May 27, 2011

Duck Friday

Portrait of Many Ducks:  by Father Park

May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Style is when they're running you out of town and you make it look like you're leading a parade. 

William Battie

May 22, 2011

Now to protect ourselves from zombies and vampires

Now that the Rapture failed to eventuate, it's time to turn our attention to saving ourselves from zombies, vampires, the undead, the unclean, the neighbors and census takers.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mentions a "zombie apocalypse" as a lighthearted way to get Americans to read about preparing for hurricanes drove so much traffic that it crashed the website, the agency said.
"There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for," the blog post begins. "Take a zombie apocalypse for example. ... You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency."

"If you prepare for the zombie apocalypse, you'll be prepared for all hazards," CDC spokesman Dave Daigle told Reuters.
 From the special zombie blog post:
“How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored).
Or better still, get yourself a zombie-proof house, which is far more glamorous than it sounds and even has a swimming pool.

I want one for Xmas.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Prepare for zombie apocalypse

May 21, 2011

The Rapture: time please!

Good grief!  The world is possibly going to end today and I need to be ready before 6pm - not even three hours left to prepare!

In the US, some lovely atheists have banded together to rescue pets left behind when the Rapture comes.  For a small fee, the heathens have offered to rescue and continue to look after family pets after their owners have ascended to heaven.  They have entered into hundreds of contracts for the service.

Tips being offered include leaving clothing and shoes on the front lawn, to give your neighbors the impression that you were one of the blessed and have gone to sit with god.

Rapture: the end of the world

May 20, 2011

Duck Friday

Portrait of a Duck:  by Father Park

May 18, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. 


May 14, 2011

Dr Brown's Budget

The biggest disappointment of the recent Federal Budget was the rejection of Bob Brown's contribution to economic matters:
As expected, the Government did not provide $370,000 for a feasibility study into the Canberra ''democracy walk'' between Civic and Parliament House - a proposal from Greens leader Senator Bob Brown.
Keep plugging away at the big ideas Bob. 

Based on Huge Porn Stash Recovered, CIA Believes Bin Laden Acted Alone

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – After seizing an enormous cache of porn from his compound in Pakistan, the CIA said today that it now has a new theory about fallen al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

“It’s clear that Osama bin Laden acted alone,” said CIA director Leon Panetta.  “And he spent most of his waking hours doing just that.”

Mr. Panetta siad there were still many unanswered questions about Mr. Bin Laden's porn stash, "like how he kept it hidden with three wives in the house."

As the CIA spent most of the week removing bin Laden’s porn stash, which weighed over nine metric tons, intelligence analysts said they would have to spend “many, many days” analyzing the trove to determine its true value.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, calls faded for the release of pictures of bin Laden, but there was increased pressure for the release of his extensive porn collection.

“I think we all have a right to have access to these materials,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  “I’m just sorry that John Ensign isn’t around for this.”

As the revelations regarding bin Laden’s unquenchable porn appetite came to light, intelligence experts said that porn may have been America’s single most powerful weapon in disrupting terror plots.

“There’s no doubt about it,” CIA director Panetta said.  “Porn has kept America safe.”

Experts said that this new assessment could result in a Congressional Medal of Honor for Jenna Jameson, who today was named Ambassador to Pakistan.

May 12, 2011

Aligned, aligned!

 Jupiter lining up with Venus, Mercury and Mars  - the alignment will be visible in Australia's eastern sky tomorrow morning, after around 5.00am.  

Last time was back in 1910.  Next time will be in 2056.  
Might be a good idea to make the most of it.

Swedish not alarmed

Sweden has the highest number of nuclear power plants per capita, with 10 reactors for nine million inhabitants.

Despite this, they appear to be  happy and relaxed peoples.

The Swedish are also known for being very attractive.

And having funny accents.

Structural Damage Not Divulged

The type of weapon, calibre of bullet, distance at which bin Laden was shot and full extent of structural damage done have not been formally divulged by the administration.
Everyone in Washington not too squeamish to see "gruesome" pics of dead bin Laden

May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

I may be a living legend, but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tyre. 

Roy Orbison

May 10, 2011

A meeting of minds: Sol and Boris

Solomon is not the only person less than chuffed with the shooting of bin Laden:

Well, that's handy. We have all just learnt some useful etiquette about how to greet US Navy SEALs arriving unexpectedly in your house when you have just gone to bed. If you find yourself lying there with your wife, just after turning off the lights, and there is a terrific racket from downstairs, you need to follow these essential do's and don'ts.

If the ninja-clad gunmen start charging up the stairs and shooting up your relatives, you are perfectly entitled to stick your head out of your bedroom door and have a gander. If you are so rash as to duck back into your bedroom, you will apparently entitle the SEALs to follow you into the matrimonial chamber, shoot your wife in the leg and then blow you away with a shot in the chest and one in the head.

Yup, it was Osama bin Laden's ''hostile act'' of bullet-dodging that cost him his life, the White House says. As an explanation for killing an unarmed man, this is starting to get embarrassing.

Well sure, just as handy as the polite chat that I suggested (and composed) could have transpired to placate the appeasers - refer comments under the last thread.

An endless list of little *problems* with all of this, but one will do:
An enemy combatant does not need to be armed to be legally engaged, they can be engaged at any time provided they are not wounded, infirm, surrendering, medics, shipwrecked or on hospital ships.

That is the rules of war according to the Geneva Conventions.

Stop making up "unarmed rules" that don't exist. You're just painting war to be far less brutal than it really is, which does no-one favours in the long term.

Not that the US is signed-up to all bits of the Geneva Conventions, but hey, the point still holds.

Tony Soprano would be proud of this hit - Boris Johnson

Racy photo of Hillary erased

May 6, 2011

Elite Unit Gets Post-bin Laden Bounce

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In a startling measurement of public opinion since the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Americans in record numbers are signing a petition to replace Congress with SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that took out the al-Qaeda madman.

The petition echoes the results of a new poll by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, in which the Navy SEALS trounce Congress by a lopsided 97% to 2% margin, with the remaining 1% answering, “Superman.”

Professor Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota said that the numbers behind the numbers were even more striking: “By a wide margin, Americans favor SEAL Team Six landing on the Capitol building with helicopters and taking out Congress by force.”

Added Professor Logsdon, “There’s a broad consensus out there that the Navy SEALs get things done, and that they would make C-Span more fun to watch.”

News of the petition and the survey caught the attention of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who issued a strongly worded denial of rumors that SEAL Team Six were practicing maneuvers on a life-size replica of the Capitol building  constructed inside an abandoned Linen ‘n’ Things in suburban Virginia.

In other post-bin Laden news, the White House said that they were “no longer concerned” about the American people being grossed out by images of Osama bin Laden: “After all, they’ve been looking at Trump for weeks.”

Duck Friday

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

The object is not to die for your country, it's to make the other bastard die for his. 

General George Patton

May 3, 2011

To the sea, to the sea

No spontaneous act; on the contrary, the disposal of bin Laden's body would have been set a long time ago, in a collection of carefully crafted protocols and processes written by a group of government and military officials.

Confirm that he's dead.


Confirm that it's him.


Wrap him up.


Sail out to the middle of the ocean.


Place body on slab of wood.


Perform religious rites and undertake traditional procedures for Muslim burials.


Tip plank at an angle and slide the body into the ocean.


The official reason:
"A senior U.S. Department of Defense official said Monday that bin Laden was buried at sea because "there was no available alternative in terms of a country that was willing to accept the body."

May 1, 2011

Unseemly haste?

His body barely cold, Pope John Paul II, who was himself a gun-happy saint-maker (482 of them, but who's counting?), had a beatification ceremony today, led by current Pope Benedict XVI.

That puts John Paul II one step off from being made a fully fledged saint.

Only dead since 2005, one marvels at the speed of the process to confer sainthood on the late Pope. 

John Paul a step closer to sainthood

The slope was extra slippery from the get go

At what point, in defending his/her self against a not at all unkind book review does the author arrive on a slippery slope of which there can never ever be a return to dignified silence or graceful appreciation for the attention paid by someone who went to the trouble of reading the book?

If you're Jacqueline Howett, the slope commences steep and extra slippery, and things only get worse.  Ms Howett has published her book for electronic consumption (Kindle).  Her first effort was reviewed, quite generously, but with a two star conclusion, by blogger Big Al. 

Ms Howett's histrionic and hysterical defence of her own fine writing was the very first comment posted:
"My Amazon readers/reviewers give it 5 stars and 4 stars and they say they really enjoyed The Greek Seaman and thought it was well written. Maybe its just my style and being English is what you don't get. Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea, but I think I will stick to my five star and four star reviews thanks."
Anyone resorting to Amazon reader ratings is already on a losing streak.  She followed up her first comment by posting numerous of said Amazon reviews.

Sad and embarrassing.

Big Al provided a politely restrained response, which reads, in part:
I'll also point out that in the first two chapters alone I found in excess of twenty errors that ideally would have been caught in editing and proofing. Some were minor, but all have the potential of disrupting an enjoyable reading experience, depending on the specific reader and their sensitivity to such things.

Here are a couple sample sentences from the first two chapters that gave me pause and are representative of what I found difficult while reading.

"She carried her stocky build carefully back down the stairs."

"Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance."

I understand what both are probably saying. I do question the sentence construction.

However, I should point out that the review does say the story, which is the most important part of a book, is good. The effort of extracting the story through the errors and, at least to me, sometimes convoluted sounding language, made doing so much too difficult, IMO.

I would encourage anyone who thinks the story sounds interesting to sample the book. Read the first few chapters and decide for yourself. 
This only infuriated the huffing and foaming Ms Howett even more.
Look AL, I'm not in the mood for playing snake with you, what I read above has no flaws. My writing is fine. You were told to download a new copy for format problems the very next day while they were free at Smashwords, so you could choose any format you wanted to read it in and if their were any spelling mistakes they were corrected. Simply remove this review as it is in error with you not downloading the fresh copy i insisted. Why review my book after being told to do this, and more annoying why have you never ever responded to any of my e-mails?

And please follow up now from e-mail.
This is not only discusting and unprofessional on your part, but you really don't fool me AL.

Who are you any way? Really who are you?
What do we know about you?

You never downloaded another copy you liar!
You never ever returned to me an e-mail

Besides if you want to throw crap at authors you should first ask their permission if they want it stuck up on the internet via e-mail. That debate is high among authors.

Your the target not me!
Now get this review off here! 
And then worse.
The book is out there doing well without your comments. My first book is great! and I intend to promote now without your ball. Face it AL, you did a booboo, and you can't correct it!

I know its you AL talking, stop hiding and stand up and be a man!

I want this review removed or its just considered abuse.

Hmm never did get involved in your forum for reasons, now I know why. 
Someone called Anonymous eventually chimed in with a lovely summary of the thread to date:
The best part is that even your comments, Jacqueline, are full of misspellings, awkward phrasing, grammatical errors, and typos. So I'm certain those creep into your writing. And if you didn't have a good editor (or even an editor at all), then it's not hard to believe what the reviewer is saying.

It's almost like you're proving Al's point for him just by your own writing in the comments. 
To which Ms Howett offered:
Fuck off! 
Naturally, the blog post went viral quickly (a month ago).

The thread - Big Al's brief and polite review of The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett