Saturday, December 29

Mortality vs Futility

I read Mortality by Christopher Hitchens yesterday.

His powerful last book, written as he died of cancer.

Anne and I last night discussed how sorry we felt for his wife. Not just that she had lost her husband, but that she had to write the afterword in the book.

Who wants to follow the genius writing of their husband with their own pedestrian prose?

For the opposite reason I hope Anne never has to write an epilog to my own writings. She's a way better writer than me.

No doubt my book would be called Futility - the 100 ways I get angry waiting in line at Starbucks.

Thursday, December 27

Oh, No! It's the Pathetic Sharks

I was reminded of one of my favorite Viz cartoon strips this week. The Pathetic Sharks always get themselves into sinister situations before squealing like little girls with ringlets.

The reason for the reminder was that Anne sent me this awesome video from Mashable. Who the fuck builds a shark tank in a shopping mall?

The Chinese.

Thursday, December 20

Gatwick Airport

This headline in the Guardian grabbed my attention today.

For the life of me I could not understand why the US president would be warning the Central African State of Rwanda about the M23.

If you've ever been stuck on the A23 you'll surely agree that the M23 provides quick and excellent access to Gatwick Airport south of London.

Mystery solved.

Thursday, December 13

More than one wish.

Growing up in the Euro-zone often meant watching poorly dubbed ads for suspicious non-British chocolate.

This one from Kinder Surprise has stayed with me my whole adult life. Whenever someone says they want more than one thing, my brain automatically switches to the picky little fucker in this ad.

I think Kinder is banned in the US because the toy will choke the kid.

I'm undecided if that is a good or bad thing.

The past few days I've been trawling through on-line gift guides. I've actually done all my Christmas shopping, but I like the curated guides like Cool Hunting who provide great ideas for gifts all year round.

During one such search I stumbled on this one.

It's a combination glass* dildo and marijuana pipe.

Reasonably priced at just $38 it's that perfect stocking filler for the 'guy/gal who has everything.'

Unlike the Kinder surprise it does not come covered in chocolate.

You have to do that on your own.

* Always the best material to shove inside yourself.

Tuesday, December 11

Vile Images!

I try to avoid telling people what I do for a living. It usually takes a few sentences, after which I get the "that wasn't worth it" look.

And any time I go simple, there is a list of mis-conceptions that pop up.

If I say, "I'm a graphic designer", there's a common assumption that I can draw.

I cannot draw, although I am quite good at tracing.

But it seems to me that drawing is an inherited talent, and unless you have a good teacher you will never improve.

Which brings me to my art teacher who was featured in the local paper this week.

A retired school teacher was found to have over 2,500 vile images of children and animals being sexually abused on computers at his West Yorkshire home.
Police made the discovery after executing a search warrant at 65-year-old Stuart Hodgson’s home on Ashton Court, Newmillerdam, Wakefield, in March last year.
Hodgson, a former art teacher at Kettlethorpe High School, Wakefield, was arrested after officers analysed a computer and a computer tower seized in the raid.
A total of 62 images of child abuse were at levels four and five - the two most serious categories of offending. The images featured children between the ages of three and 16-years-old.
Officers also discovered images and videos of animals being sexually abused. It was also discovered Hodgson had made internet searches for ‘dog sex’.
Alistair Campbell, prosecuting, said Hodgson told police he was a retired teacher and had a drink problem. Hodgson said he had been accessing illegal material since 2007.
Mr Campbell said: “He said he had become interested in pornography and he is the sort of person who, when he gets interested in a subject, he likes to find out all about it.”
Hodgson pleaded guilty to 21 offences of making indecent images of a child and one of possession of extreme pornography.

Saturday, December 8

Time to buy a Lamborghini

Last year I boldly sent two $100 checks to the Mass State Lottery to enter their Mega Millions and MegaBucks lottos.

Today I received checks for my combined annual winnings.

I managed to turn my $200 into $15.

My investment lost 92.5% of it's value.

In business we call this a loss.

Like any sensible investor I've sent them 2 more $100 checks, because I'm sure I'll win that money back in 2013.

4 times a week my morning ritual is to grab an over-sized cup of coffee and go to the lottery website to check my numbers.

I'm certain that at some point my Mega Millions numbers are going to come in on MegaBucks and frenzied excitement will shrink to what could have been.

But as Jimmy Savile once said to Dave Lee Travis, "you've got to be in it to win it."

Wednesday, December 5

Take your shirt off and lay on the couch

I had a medical today for life insurance. The nurse came to our house bright and early. Her name was Luba and she was in her seventies and spoke with a thick Russian accent.

She ran through the usual stuff of weight, blood pressure and pulse. Around this time Anne left the house for her first cat-sit.

Coincidentally, as Anne left, Luba announced I needed to take off my shirt for an EKG.

I lay down on the sofa and she pulled out the sticky circular tabs.

"Relax", she said, sensing my discomfort at an elderly Russian lady attaching electrodes to my torso.

Attempting another track she asked if I liked 'Masterpiece Theatre' on PBS.

"Sure, I like Downton Abbey", I replied.

She then went on an elaborate monologue detailing how she illegally downloads Russian copies of the show. Turns out she likes Lord Grantham and his mother, but finds Matthews a 'cold, wet fish'.

Inevitably, conversation moved to 'Upstairs, Downstairs', the 1970s version of Downton Abbey.

All the while the EKG machine is scribbling away like a Dollar Store lie detector.

I was about to mention Gosford Park when she began to pull up the sticky circles, so instead I cried as clumps of chest and leg hair were removed.

After that bout of awkwardness pissing into a cup was a breeze. But to help me along we discussed the architectural beauty of Leningrad and the environmental worries of China.