Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Friday, February 29, 2008

I feel the same way when I step out with my bike...

errant thoughts and kites

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another said, "Under new management."

Be sure to also scroll down to the church bulletin bloopers:

When parking on the north side of the church, please remember to park on an angel.

Let us join David and Lisa in the celebration of their wedding and bring their happiness to a conclusion.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

The beautiful flowers on the altar this morning are to celebrate the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our bell choir practice.

The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They maybe seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

The Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 P.M. Please use the back door.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Lots more here.

Suck on this

A Daly City man was rescued by helicopter from a wooded hillside on San Bruno Mountain after he became trapped while trying to retrieve his model airplane, authorities said Tuesday.

The 44-year-old man, who was not identified, called 911 on his cell phone about 6:45 p.m. Monday, saying it was dark and he couldn't make his way down the hill. Daly City firefighters summoned a Coast Guard helicopter, which arrived a half hour later.

The rest here.


mykart wrote:
Help! I am trapped on a big hill in the dark. Somebody save me!

strad wrote:
So. . . you're stuck on the mountain. What's wrong with being stuck outside overnight in a mild climate? Just wait it out until morning and hike out. You had a cell phone to tell your family where you are and not to worry about you.

badstink wrote:
He should have called Dominos and ordered a pizza. They deliver. Then he could have followed the pizza dude down the hill.

chris_thorne wrote:
I have, on my keyring, an AMAZING HIGH TECHNOLOGY DEVICE, which I expect will at some point in the near future be available for retail purchase, and which will be offered under the trade name of "flashlight". This "flashlight" device actually enables me to navigate in the dark! Thank goodness for the march of progress. I was getting tired of having to constantly call the Coast Guard to send a taxpayer-funded rescue helicopter at $5,000 per flight hour to rescue me when the sun went down. Darn that sun. It's always doing that. So unpredictable. Now if I could only invent an AMAZING HIGH TECHNOLOGY DEVICE to *warn* me when it was getting close to the time that the sun would go down. Perhaps... a miniature clock, held on to my wrist with a strap. I could call it -- a "watch". Sound promising to any of you?

str8nochsr wrote:
That's why a helicopter flew through my living room last night. I saw all the commotion and then this copter comes roaring right over my house. I'm taking my dog up there to find this moron's paper airplane so he can tear it to pieces and pee on the fragments.

warmuse wrote:
No wonder California is broke. We are beset with morons. He could have toughed it out overnight. I hike that mountain once or twice or month. No way does it justify a helicopter rescue. I could have been there in 30 minutes with flashlights and some granola bars.


A like-minded acquaintance once described cell phones as adult pacifiers.
How apt.

Somebody look at me!
Somebody listen to me!
Somebody save me!

Wah! Wah! Wah!

Related posts
Me! Me! Me! Or, how I'm Superman / a Superhero
Well, what do you know? I'm not alone in this. Part II
Give it up! You can't win on this one.
Be(a)ware or be roadkill
Well, what do you know? I'm not alone in this
Lemmings, lemmings, they drown
A voice in the wilderness, eh?
No cell phone
Cell phone, thy true name

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Track 3

(A long overdue post.)

In Shanghai, there once lived a Chinese lady, who was mistress to the consul general of France in Shanghai for many years. Later, upon his replacement's arrival, and his return to France, she was somehow, "passed on" to his successor. She became the new consul general's mistress for many more years. Finally, realizing that age was catching up with her, she married a farmer in Kansas.

I will not be that farmer.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nabokov's passion

Outside my room, a butterfly emerges from her cocoon (left). Wings drying — fluttering — in the morning breeze, she prepares for a life without bounds.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Group stirring

It seldom gets better than this!

This Phillies prank on Kyle Kendrick works on so many levels

By 'Duk
Monday, Feb 18, 2008

There are still eight months left in the 2008 season, but the rest of the 29 teams are going to need the time if they're going to top the prank the Phillies played on young Kyle Kendrick over the weekend.

If you haven't seen it yet, the setup went like this: Manager Charlie Manuel called the 23-year-old pitcher into his office and told him he had been traded to the Yomiuri Giants for a player named "Kobayashi Iwamura." The ruse, expertly orchestrated by Brett Myers (who else?), worked so well that Kendrick was shocked into silence for most of the trick. Couldn't even stop to realize that MLB and Japanese teams never swap players.

So many things went into staging this that it's hard to pick just one favorite aspect.

Among the contenders:

The sheer number of people who were complicit in bringing Kendrick to the verge of tears. From the team's traveling secretary to the Comcast cameraman to the PR people and writers who helped stage a fake news conference, it was a fine reminder of how much downtime there can be at spring training.

The fake trade papers/travel arrangements. If Kendrick doesn't know not to sign anything without talking to his agent first, then I have a few business proposals I'd like to discuss with him. (If anyone else is interested most of the ideas have to do with either hot plasma TVs or slippers for housecats.)

Manuel's weird sadist glee over the whole incident. "I would have loved to see him fly to Japan and get off the plane," the Phillies manager said afterward. "That would have been the best. As a matter of fact, I would have paid his fare." Quick show of hands: Who else is glad that Weird Ol' Chuck isn't their boss?

How fast the prank has already spread. Kendrick's Baseball Reference page has already been bought by a sponsor who left "Good luck in Japan Kyle!" as a message. "Good luck living this down!" might have been a more appropriate tag.

The howling Phillies clubhouse. Because it's always fun to laugh at the young'un. Did that scene remind anyone else of the Goodfellas clip where all the gangsters bust on Henry Hill after Pesci's "funny, how?" bit?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heere Bigynneth the Tale of the Asse-Hatte

An Archbishop of Canterbury Tale

With apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer

25  Sayeth the pilgryms to Bishop Rowan,

26  "Father, we do not like howe thynges are goin'.

27  You know we are as Lefte as thee,

28  But of layte have beyn chaunced to see

29  From Edinburgh to London-towne

30  The Musslemans in burnoose gowne

31  Who beat theyr ownselfs with theyr knyves

32  Than goon home and beat theyr wyves

33  And slaye theyr daughtyrs in honour killlynge

34  Howe do we stoppe the bloode fromme spillynge?"

Get the rest from the brilliant IOWAHAWK!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Love, of a different — and purer — kind

Call me old school, but this is how I like my things made — painstakingly, by hand, and with love:

The video is over 17 minutes long. Grab a cup of coffee.
(Hat tip: NickIz2HardKore)

I like my bikes (1) (2) made this way too. My 1991 Bridgestone MB-0, 1992 Bridgestone MB-3, and 1996 Specialized Stumpjumper FS were all — fortunately — acquired in the era where they were still handmade. I built my pre-amplifier and 4 monoblock amplifiers this way: resistor by resistor; capacitor by capacitor; diode by diode; solder joint by solder joint. One day, I will build a car and a plane in the same manner.

Related post
Camping in my room

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Nigerians are getting desperate

Subject: You have a Package: Contact FedEx
From: FedEx Delivery Services Online (
Sent: 2/07/08 3:27 PM
Reply to: FedEx Delivery Services Online (


I have been waiting for you ever since to contact me for your Confirmable Bank Draft of $1,243,000.00 United States Dollars, but I haven't heard from you since that time. So I went and deposited the Draft with FEDEX COURIER SERVICE, West Africa. Meanwhile, I've travelled out of the country for a 3 Months Course and will not be back till the end of April.

What I would advise you to do now is contact the FEDEX COURIER SERVICE as soon as possible to know when they would commence the delivery of your package to you because of the expiry date. For your information, I have paid for the delivery Charges, Insurance premium and Clearance Certificate fee of the darft showing that it is neither connected to Drug Money nor meant to sponsor any terrorist attack in your Country. The only money you will send to the FEDEX COURIER SERVICE to deliver your Draft direct to your postal Address in your country is ($215.75) US Dollars only being Security Keeping Fee of the Courier Company so far. Again, don't be deceived by anybody to pay any money more than $215.75 US Dollars for the Security Keeping Fee of the Courier Company.

I would have paid that but I was denied of it as they argued that they don't know when you will contact them in the case of any demurrage. You have to contact the FEDEX COURIER SERVICE now for the delivery of your Draft with this information below;

Contact Person: Mr. Donald M. Smith
Email Address:
Telephone: +(234) 8069069074

Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the delivery and ask them to inform you of when your package would get to your address once it is on transit.

Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping fee of $215.75 US Dollars for their immediate action.

You should also let me know through email as soon as you receive your Draft.

Yours Faithfully,
Mr Wellington


My reply:

Dear Mr. Wellington,

Your US representative, Mr. Barack Obama*, has already collected the US$215.75 from me.

I am awaiting delivery of my confirmable Bank Draft of $1,243,000.00 United States Dollars, failing which I will invade your country.

Mr. Rumsfeld


* Yes, yes, Barack Obama's father hails from Kogelo, Kenya, not Nigeria. Grant me a little artistic license, would you?

Related links
419 Eater
Nigerian 419 Scam (NSFW)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More culture in a cup of yogurt than there is in Singapore

Hat tip: title courtesy of Constantine.

Young Singaporeans risk becoming culturally bankrupt, as they do not make the effort to understand or follow their traditions, said security officer Edward Chua, 52.

More here: "Chinese New Year exodus exposes Singapore generation gap," Reuters 30 January 2008.

Umm... they ARE culturally bankrupt. What kind of culture stampedes for 'Hello Kitty' Kids Meal Pack gifts at McDonalds; drives up in Lexuses, BMWs, and Mercedes to swoop up free schoolbooks meant for the poor; eats endangered animals; shops, shops, shops, and then wallows in slimming centers?

Uniquely Singapore.

As with many Singaporeans — and most of his generation — Mr. Chua makes the tragicomic mistake of conflating work with personal relations:

A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.
         (Bertrand Russell)

2 Trains, 2 Years

All she is asking for is a seat on the train

I am 62 years old. I work part-time and travel by public transport. My journey to and from my place of work by MRT takes at least two hours each day.

At my age, I cannot stand for more than 10 minutes before pain sets in. It starts from the knees, then radiates to the back, upper limbs and shoulders.

As a senior citizen, I am seldom offered a seat by young adult commuters and students. Very often, I have to fight for a seat.

I even wear my senior citizen ez-link card on a chain around my neck. But the other commuters turn their eyes away, pretend to read books, pretend to sleep or play with their mobile phones. Some people even stare at my card but do nothing.

I am not asking for much. I just need a seat to rest my legs, so that I am not in pain.

One day, after I had been standing for more than half-an-hour, a passenger alighted and a young woman took the seat. I asked her if she could let me have it as my legs were hurting.

She replied that she had been nearer to the vacant seat so she should have it. Then, she simply ignored me. The other commuters stared and pretended nothing happened. Finally, a man who looked like a foreign worker got up and offered me his seat.

Apparently, in Japan and South Korea, a senior citizen has the "right" to ask a young commuter for a seat, with no arguments. There, young children and toddlers sit on the laps of their parents, but in Singapore, parents let their small children occupy a single seat.

The message displayed inside trains says: "Please give up this seat to someone who needs it more than you." It simply has no effect.

The SMRT could reword this message to say: "Please give up your seats to needy people such as senior citizens."

It should also play a message on the trains to remind young commuters to give up their seats.

Lee Kam Woon

(Lee, Kam Woon.  "Voices."  Today [Singapore] 5 February 2008: 16.)


Must Singaporeans 'behave like pigs'?

Recently, my friend from Australia commented that Singaporeans behaved like pigs. I disagreed, saying that at most it's a small minority who behaved that way.

He challenged me to a test. I accepted his challenge, determined to prove him wrong. I was bitterly disappointed.

Here is an account of what happened.

My friend, my wife, our one-year-old son in a pram and I (wearing a neck brace and with my arm in a sling from injuries sustained in a car accident) went for an MRT ride. My wife and son couldn't get into the station for some time because other commuters kept using the gate meant for the disabled, ignoring her and the pram.

When the train arrived, people rushed in while alighting passengers rushed out. No one gave way to my wife and the pram. She had to compete with the horde to get onto the train. To make things worse, those standing at the doorway refused to move in, making it even more difficult for her.

Once on board, no one bothered to give up his seat to my wife, who was carrying our son. Those seated were young, able-bodied and educated (executive-type) adults. Finally, it was two Thai workers who gave up their seats to us.

Later, an old woman boarded the train. Again, no one gave up his seat until a man in a neck brace and an arm sling did so.

When we reached our destination, we tried to take the lift from the platform to the ticket concourse. The lift was packed with able-bodied people. My friend asked that my wife and the pram be allowed in but one man turned around and remarked rudely, 'Why can't you take the next lift?'. I was shocked beyond words.

We went to a packed food court for lunch. No tables were available. We waited and finally noticed a couple leaving. We inched our way towards their table but, with just 5m to go, a group of office girls ran ahead of us and took the table.

When we finally got a table, it was unbelievably messy. There were chicken bones, spilt sauces and prawn shells all over the table.

I turned red in the face when my friend, who was helping to clear the table, asked, 'So, do you still think that it's only a minority of Singaporeans that behave this way? If so, take a look around you. Look real hard at the tables when they leave... You guys eat like pigs.'

Martin Goh Lye Thiam

(Goh, Martin L. T.  "Forum."  The Straits Times [Singapore] 14 October 2006.)


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Monday, February 04, 2008

CNY Greetings: Stirrer Style

Instead of remaining passive, pacifist, and being annoyed this Chinese New Year, I leveraged on the fact that I look 11 years younger than my age, and adopted a modus operandi not too dissimilar from George Dubya 'Bring it on!' Bush's "Offense is the Best Defense" strategy:

Damn! You look like shit! What happened?


Oh, yes, married with kids. Right!
How's that going for you?

That should forestall the excruciating, "When are you gonna get married?" crap.

I used it once so far. The "deer caught in headlights" look is priceless — infinitely more precious than any hongbao.

I'd rather plant a tree. It will live much longer; has a smaller carbon footprint; and remove more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Now, shoo! Go eat your mercury-and-cadmium-laden sharks' fin and incinerated pig flesh before they all run out.

Related post
Why breed?
Why breed? II

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dogs go to heaven. Part II

Conan, an 18-month-old long-haired Chihuahua, folds its paws in prayer with a Buddhist priest in a temple in Naha, Japan.

Related post
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Now we all can be Mechs: a handheld autocannon for the masses

Disclaimer: while I'm generally opposed to killing people, preferring torture by slow degrees over decades (muahaha!), this new weapon is rather remarkable.

The fin-stabilized mini-grenade is da bomb.

Literally  :-P

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A special place in Hell reserved for thee

Man Views Porn on Nun's Computer

Associated Press
January 31, 2008

Hamilton, New Jersey — A civilian State Police employee was accused of sneaking into a church to look at pornography on a nun's computer. Police arrested Thomas G. Findler Wednesday and charged him with burglary and theft.

Authorities said Findler had been sneaking into Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church in the night over the last three weeks to look at pornography.

Wednesday morning, a church custodian found Findler, who worships at the church, on a nun's computer.

The custodian chased him out, right into a police officer who happened to be nearby.

Findler works in a local office for the state police.

Reached Thursday morning, Findler's father said his son was not home.


Food for thought

An investigative report by The Humane Society of the United States into the practices of a slaughterhouse, Hallmark Meat Packing Company, in Chino, California:

Video evidence obtained by an HSUS investigator shows slaughter plant workers displaying complete disregard for the pain and misery they inflicted as they repeatedly attempted to force "downed" animals onto their feet and into the human food chain.

In the video, workers are seen kicking cows, ramming them with the blades of a forklift, jabbing them in the eyes, applying painful electrical shocks and even torturing them with a hose and water in attempts to force sick or injured animals to walk to slaughter.

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