Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And speaking of iPods...

...here are a few accessories to go with one.

I personally like Number 5, but I think Number 2 (Har!) is going a bit far.


...a solid reason for guys to buy an iPod. THIS site.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Silly things people do with computers

I must admit....

...as a traveller, I'm glad I don't know this sort of thing goes on....

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ewwwwwww 2

What do they mean by "washing hands with soap removes almost all of the bacteria"?


Girl, 12, proves toilet water cleaner than ice

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Why we forward jokes

Courtesy of one of my sisters, who forwards me more jokes than I deserve.....

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a short while they came to a high stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill it was broken by a tall archway that glowed in the sunlight.

As he stood there he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl and the street that led to the gate like pure gold.

He and the dog walked towards the gate as he got closer he saw a man at a desk.

When he got close enough he called out "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is heaven" the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water please?" the man asked.

"Of course Sir, come right in and I'll have some ice water brought right up".

"Can my friend", the man gestured towards his dog, "come in too?" asked the traveller.

"I'm sorry Sir but we can't accept pets".

The man thought for a moment and then turned back towards the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After a long walk he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah sure, there's a pump over there, come on in".

"How about my friend here?" the traveller gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump".

The man and his dog went through the gate and sure enough there was a old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveller filled the bowl, took a long drink for himself and gave some to his dog.

When they were full he and the dog walked back towards the man standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" asked the traveller.

"This is heaven" he answered.

"Well that's confusing" the traveller said, "The man down the road said that was heaven too".

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold streets and pearly gates? Nope that's hell".

"Doesn't it make you mad that they use your name like that?"

"No we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind".


Sometimes we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this will explain.

When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what...you forward jokes.

When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep in touch, you forward jokes.

When you do have something to say but don't know what or how, you forward jokes.

Also to let you know you are remembered, you are still important, you are still loved and cared for guess what.. you get forwarded a joke.

So next time you get a joke, don't just think you've been sent another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend at the other end of the computer wanted to send you a smile.

PS You are all welcome at my water bowl anytime.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Out of Office Auto-Replies

1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

4. Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again.'(The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).

6. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

7. I've run away to join a different circus.

8. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Margaret' instead of 'Steve'.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It had to happen sooner or later.....

....a theme song for EBay.

Click on the tiny "play" button in the embedded image to hear it.

I'm still snickering.....

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Contact Sports

Ok, settle down you football fans, I’m not referring to the Superbowl (which, by the way, my spell-checker objects to – it prefers “Superb owl”)

I’m referring, of course, to the art of covering your children’s school books in that clear plastic sticky film called “Contact”. Not of course that we actually use “Contact”. Oh no. We use the cheap Taiwanese rip-off plastic sticky film. It comes in three-foot long rolls, suitable for doing one and a half exercise books. And as you’ll see, NO WAY do I have any intention of doing anything with the other half-a-book’s-worth other than putting it into a Tupperware container and sticking it into the fridge (see my previous post if that seems a confusing thing to want to do).

Let me start by saying that I’d pay extra for exercise books that came pre-covered. I don’t care how much it would cost, I’d mortgage my house rather than cover them myself.

Then let me say I’ve always thought that there should be, if there isn’t already, a special place in hell for the product packaging designers who create packaging that can only be opened with a chisel, or perhaps a power tool featuring a lot of sharp teeth.

You see products packaged like that constantly. I particularly hate things that come sealed in that really stiff plastic that is completely sealed around the product and its cardboard display board. The sort of plastic that even a fairly robust pair of scissors won’t cut through. And even if you do manage to cut through it with a pair of tin-snips, or a file or something, without putting out the eye of the person sitting next to you, the plastic is so stiff and strong you are at risk of losing a few fingers prying open the remaining packaging.

Many Christmas toys come like this. I suppose the theory is that, while on display at the toy store, the sticky little fingers of legions of ankle-biters can’t muss up the product. I don’t know, and I don’t care. The packaging designers should be damned.

A close cousin of this form of packaging is the “blister” packaging that you get around batteries. The type where the plastic extends to the edge of the backing cardboard so there is no way to wrench it off the backing. It annoys me even more than having to find my set of micro screwdrivers to get the cover off the battery compartment of the toy every ten minutes on Christmas day to feed new batteries into it.

Still, as I sit through the frustrating process of not only dealing with the packaging around the toy, but also the packaging around the batteries, comforting images flash through my mind of the product packaging designers roasting slowly in hell being forced to open their own packaging for the rest of eternity.

Anyway, for marketing or display purposes or some such similar nonsense, our rip-off plastic sticky film comes curled up into thin tubes that make it subsequently impossible for the book-coverer to make it lie flat. That’s where the problem starts, but it certainly doesn’t finish there.

If you are one of those people who think that there is some type of karmic value in overcoming a difficult task regardless of the obstacles (I’m thinking of Sly and her phone here, because I can think of no other reasons for trying to do what she is doing), then book wrapping should become your number one activity.

Given I don’t believe in such mystic rubbish, I approach the problem rather more pragmatically – with alcohol. Here’s how it works:

1) Get a wine glass, pour some wine, and take a mouthful. Right. Ready to go. I’m an intelligent adaptive sort, SURELY this won’t be too hard. Can’t imagine why everyone says its so difficult actually.

2) Take your exercise book and a roll of the Contact rip-off film (hereinafter “the film”).

3) Attempt to get the film to lie flat by trying to roll the film in the other direction.

4) Discover this is a waste of time

5) Take a mouthful of wine while you consider your options.

6) Use the glass to weigh down one end of the film while you hold the other end with one hand and position the book with the other hand.

7) Emit a short expletive, clean up the broken wine glass from the floor where it has been unceremoniously flung by the film snapping back into a tight little roll.

8) Get another glass, pour more wine and take a calming mouthful.

9) Get passing child to hold down one end of the film while you position the book and make the first cut according to the instructions.

10) Discover that the scissors you have chosen have been used for some purpose that has rendered them completely useless for cutting anything.

11) Take calming mouthful of wine.

12) Turn the house upside down looking for a set of scissors that can actually perform the function they were designed for. Settle on sewing scissors, and relocate to spare room where their use for this purpose cannot be observed.

13) Make the first cut, and per instructions start to peel off the backing for half the width of the book.

14) Discover that the product designer for this stuff is destined to sit next to the rest of eternity sitting next to the packaging designers, being forced to tease the initial edge of the backing away from the film.

15) Refill glass and take a calming mouthful of wine.

16) Retrieve the film from the hands of the rest of the family who were convinced you were just being incompetent, but now realise the product designer needs to not only go to hell, he needs to go straight to the seventh level of hell.

17) Grit your teeth and persevere, taking calming mouthfuls of wine as you go.

18) Finally tease the backing away at one corner. Start to peel it back before realising the curly backing makes this impossible without it also wrapping the sticky side of itself around your arm and any nearby slow-moving children.

19) Grit your teeth and persevere, taking calming mouthfuls of wine as you go.

20) Eventually pry enough of the backing away to get the book into position. Realise that the book is not square on the film. Carefully peel the film off again, ripping the film down the middle in the process.

21) Take calming mouthful of wine.

22) Get another roll, and repeat steps 1 to 20. Reposition book. Discover there are masses of air-bubbles that make the cover look like weather-beaten prune.

23) Refill glass, take calming mouthful of wine.

24) Decide bubbles-schmubbles, you aren’t going to start over at this point, and anyway, the wine bottle is looking disturbingly empty and there are four more books to go.

25) Peel off remaining backing. Discover that the static buildup generated by doing so has made the film go berserk and it has become alive and is writhing about trying to attach itself to anything within reach. And succeeding.

26) Peel film off wine-glass (or is it the wineglass off the film, its getting hard to tell) and take a calming mouthful.

27) Flip the book over and sort of squeegee it onto the exposed film, encasing whatever remaining objects that have been caught up by the static cling writhing between the film and the book cover.

28) Stand back to admire handiwork. Damn fine job if you do say so yourself.

29) Write a note to the teacher explaining that the remaining books will be covered once you have overcome tomorrow’s inevitable hangover.

Mortgage smortgage. I have just had a better idea. I’ll set up a shop selling pre-covered exercise books and make my first billion at the start of the next school term.

Of course you know who know who will be working in the sweat-shop out back doing the covering – product packaging designers…..

The Tupperware Cupboard

I don’t know about you, but we have a Tupperware cupboard.

Not that it contains any actual Tupperware mind you, because nobody can afford that stuff, regardless of how many free canapés you get at the parties.

No, ours contains a mass of that Taiwanese rip-off Tupperware, and consists largely of smallish containers to seal up leftovers so they can be put into the fridge. Leftover Chinese, leftover chicken wings, leftover stir-fry, leftover half tomatoes, left over pretty-well-you-name-it.

Storing leftovers in this fashion is highly effective.

First, it’s neat, and I’ve observed that always scores highly on the female priority list.

Second, when the left overs have finally rotted into a soup (because who eats left overs anyway), there is no smell to worry about.

Finally, when you realise there are new life forms that have evolved to the light industrial stage in the container at the back of the fridge, and will soon have evolve to the stage where limited nuclear exchanges between rival colonies of slime creatures are probable, you can chuck the entire container into the trash without getting your fingers dirty. Or your neighbours finding out. Which is always important.

Very convenient is “Tupperware”. A product of our disposable times where we can kid ourselves into feeling better about throwing things away by storing them in the fridge for a few weeks first.

But I have a problem with our collection of plastic containers. At last count we have 4,298 containers, and 5 lids. I know this because the process of finding a container to fit whatever it is you intend to throw away, and then attempting to find a matching lid for it, involves emptying the entire contents of the cupboard and spreading it out over the floors of the adjoining two rooms.

I have no idea where all the lids have gone. All I know is that the only lids we have don’t appear to match any of the containers. I have theorised that there is the same sort of portal into e-space at the back of the dishwasher that exists at the back of the drier for socks. But I’ve never found any socks in the dishwasher, so I’m probably on weak ground there.

We have the same problem with cutlery. I don’t know about you, but some types of cutlery seem further down the food chain that other types. Large spoons, for example, appear to be the lion kings of the knife and fork draw. They are not only surviving, they are multiplying. We have approximately 3,000 desert and soup spoons. We have stuffed as many as will fit into the normal cutlery draw, but there is a whole separate draw in the sideboard for the remaining spoons.

Tea spoons, on the other hand, are down the bottom of the pecking order. Finding a clean teaspoon in the draw results in a celebration that can last for days. The only thing I can think of to explain this phenomenon is that, in the dark of night, teaspoons are evolving into soup spoons. Knives seem to be about the next most rare implement we have, followed fairly closely by forks. But the big spoons rule.

When I die, I want to come back as a soup spoon please. And it occurs to me just now that burying me in a big Tupperware container would be fairly practical idea as well. Or perhaps not. I can just see them trying to find a lid that will fit.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Why Did God Make Mothers and other questions

Courtesy of one of my sisters:

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mum just the same like he made me. He Just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you Your mother & not some other mum?
1.We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mums like me.

What kind of little girl was your mum?
1. My mum has always been my mum and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mum need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mum marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mum eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mum didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mum doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mum. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mum is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between mums & dads?
1. Mums work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Mums know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but mums have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Mums have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mum do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mum perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mum, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mum smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.