Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 little oddities

This year we experienced and are going to experience four unusual dates:
January 1, 2011
January 11, 2011
November 1, 2011
November 11, 2011

In modern numerical format, these translate to:
In that order.
Notice a patern?
Furthermore, every one of these dates is a specific holiday in Canada, and the USA.
Jan 1 - New Years day
Nov 1 - All Saints Day
November 11 - Rememberance day in Canada, Veterans Day in USA--
(and my 33 Anniversary--I hope I don't forget!)

But Jan 11 has 11 unofficial holidays dedicated to it in either Canada or USA or both:
  1. National Clean Off Your Desk Day (I think I missed this one)
  2. National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day --(In Canada and Alaska it's called "Snowball fight")
  3. Use More of Your Mind Day (Okay, I'll go for 11% today)
  4. Giant Day (A left over from Roman Times. The Centaurs are really pissed about this one. Cyclops are kinda ticked too)
  5. Banana Boat Day (Day oh! Ta day ay ay oh! Daylight come...Usually celebrated after Holiday #2 and #11 in that order)
  6. Art Deco Festival (Huge in Florida)
  7. Pharmacists Day (Every Druggist has his day)
  8. Send a Dollar to the Treasury Day  (But we won't) 
  9. Smoking May Be Hazardous To Your Health Day (The only holiday that's such a drag)
  10. Golden Globe Awards (Not really an unofficial holiday, but what would the Oscars be without them?)
  11. National Hot Toddy Day  (Canada, Northern States and Alaska only. I celebrate NHTD religiously!! Especially after I win the Snowball Fight! Day Oh, Ta day ay ay oh...Daylight already?)

But that's not all 2011 has to offer us... take the last two digits of the year in which you were born; now add the age you will be this year, and the result will be 111 for everyone! 
For example - Harry was born in 1957, and 57 + 54 = 111
  (note: for this to work you have to be older than 11 years old. If you are younger than 11, it will always add up to 11,  funny isn't it)

This year October will have 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Saturdays, which the last Monday is Halloween.
This happens only every 823 years.
Not a bad Year by the looks of things. Don't get me started on 2012 for that's another story.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Visual Blog Journey you might not have thought of doing.

Even Dr. Evil missed this one.

Most of the bloggers that I am familiar with do use analytic tools to check on their blogs progress. Tools like Site Meter, MyBlogLog, Facebook, and Twitter just to mention a few. I'm not sure how many bloggers have thought of this idea, but I found it quite cool to do once in a while. Using Google, Bing or Yahoo image searches simply enter the name portion of your blog url as a search parameter. To clarify, I mean the portion of your blog url between the http:// and the .blogspot.com. (or what ever blog flavour you use). What you do end up with is a nice pictorial representation of your blog, but you get even more than that. You also get pictures from other bloggers that have referred to your blog in some way. Here's a screen shot of what I mean: (click for larger view)

If you really want a relly nice 3D wall to view the results, try using Cooliris:

The nice thing about doing this is that you see a full snapshot of your own blog, and as you scroll through the results you will see pictures that you swear you didn't post. Someone did post a picture and either backlinked or refered somewhere in their post something about your blog. It may even be from a blogger that you were completely unaware of and never saw their post because they didn't comment on your blog about it, or for some other reason.

I just thought I would share this little idea with everyone, because it's a nice little blog trip down memory lane for yourself.  You might even be surprised to see new-to-you bloggers that you may have been completely unaware that they read your blog--let alone post something about your blog.

Another fun thing to do with google images is to enter the names of your favourite blog reads. Again it may be a trip down memory lane for you, and you might reread a few of your favorite posts that you may have forgotten about. You may also discover how your own blog has impacted some of your favourite blogs as well.
With Google, we're all interconnected.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When Google Image Searches make you go HUH???

As many of you know, I like to draw. I will draw just about anything that does come to mind, but one of my favourite topics to draw is the human form. I started with faces, but soon felt I needed to study the complete human anatomy, both male and female. I have never gone to an art school or taken any formal training in drawing, but I did buy a few books that I really do recommend if you want to learn to draw. I will provide titles of these books at the end of the post. To expand the depth that these books could provide, and much needed subject matter I deeded to draw from, Google Image search did provide a vast library of images that I could filter down and draw from. Going to a figure drawing class, or hiring models to draw from was completely out of my reach, both financially, and my work schedule does not permit joining an evening class, for most of my work is during evenings. Google Images was a treasure trove for me.

A typical search would be "figure art nude" or "life drawing, sketching" with google set to a moderate safe setting. I have no interest in drawing porn,  or filtering though mountains of porn pictures to find one decent picture to draw, and the strict setting would miss most of the figurative pictures that I could choose from. I wanted tasteful art photos or drawings done by others in which to study from. 
Google Images can be a funny beast. I'm sure most of you have tried a regular web search on any topic, and google returns with millions of hits in 0.24 seconds, but after you get past the first or second page of the search result, the result seems to be less accurate or not even relevant. So you have to refine your search, sometimes several times, until you reach a page of interest to you. Google images can be like that too, but at least it's visual, so you can see right away if your search missed the mark and you do not have to click on a link to go to a web page only to find it's not what you are looking for. Sometimes though, and I only mean sometimes, Google images will pop up with something that does make you scratch your head and go HUH? Sometimes it is because you mistyped your search, other times it's because Google is trying to get the best fit to your search. When you do go HUH? at the search results, sometime curiosity get the best of you and you have to go to that web page Sometimes these HUH?s are just plain funny, odd, or even wow factor to them. A few of these search results, I just can't help but share.

I was searching images for couples in embrace that I could draw from. Most of my drawings are individual, male or female. Drawing couples adds another dimension to figure drawing. Entering "Couple male female embrace passionate kiss" One picture that popped up just made me giggle.
Yes, this made me go HUH? But knowing now that this is a real piece of furniture, I wondered if it came with an instruction manual.
And sure enough it does. Sold separately of course. We never played Twister quite like that when I was younger.

On another search, I wanted to draw women with shapely, long legs. One picture that popped up, besides making me go HUH?, curiosity got me and I just had to go to the web site.
I just couldn't stop here, I had to see more.

Yes, there's a female chest of drawers too.

I wonder if Hooter's knows about this wine rack?

Now there's an interesting twist on the cup runneth over.

On another search, I was looking for a male subject to draw, so I entered male photo, and google offered male photo shoot as a search option.

Yes,iIt made me go HUH?, until I looked at the file name of the image, 
Sometimes Google, you take your search parameters a tad too literally.
But I am going to keep my eye on funny or weird google near misses.

Here's a couple of drawing books that I do highly recomend.

This book really changed the way that I draw, and even go about drawing.

This is a great guide to start drawing the human figure.
Both books are available at any good book store or online.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

History's Best Pickup Lines 2: The Pirate Edition

Continuing my journey through history's best and worst pick-up lines, I present you the Pirate edition. Those swashbuckling days must have been fun, yet filled with thrill and danger. But it seems to me, that even the pirates of those days would have inevitably been hit port side by the sting of the put-down line. The Pirate's pick-up lines are in normal text, and the put-down responses are in red text.

1. I must be huntin' treasure, 'cause I'm diggin' yer

And this bank won't be opened for just any boob.

2. Ya certainly put the shiver in me timber.

Ha, even your plank looks flaccid!

3.Is there an 'X' on the seat of your pants? Because it appears that
there's wond'rous booty buried underneath!

But you couldn't find your way to the treasure with map and compass.

(I think google images is broken. I typed in booty for my search and I did not find any pictures of pirate treasure. I'm not complaining mind you.)

4. Me skull and crossbones arn't the only thing I plan on raisin' tonight.

Sounds like you're running for office too. Another empty promise, for the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. At least your campaign banner is honest.

5. Do ya' mind if the parrot watches?

Hey now...

...You cracker, you brought 'er here.

6. Hey, sexy -- how about a Jolly Rogering?

Ya, you'd need a strong support to stop it from flappin in the wind.

7. See this hook? Variable speed with five alternate attachments.

So you'll be finished that rug in no time.

2.Do you have the latest copy of Windows 7 with cracked product
activation? (software pirates only)

NO thanks, I'll stick with Tux. I don't jump through Gates any more.

Cowboys 'n stuff

Cowboy jokes and other stuff

I've been filtering through my email inbox for the past few days and I've been finding little treasures in there that I just have to share. Some of the jokes may be a little dated, but I do have a BIG inbox. 

Many of you will remember that Cowboy movie that has changed everything. Yes, I mean that movie. Many cowboys now have to be very careful of the expressions that they have used since the early wild west days. 
Yes, things will never be the same in the west again.
But there is a new movie coming out which I think I may take a gander at.
  I'm sure, with a cast like that, that I'll be giving this movie a couple of thumbs up...Ahem. (Clearing throat, wiping brow)
The Modern Cowboy and the Genie

 (Yes, that is a cell phone he is using)
A modern day cowboy has spent many days crossing the
Texas plains without water. His horse has already died of thirst.
He's crawling through the sand, certain that he has breathed his
last breath, when all of a sudden he sees an object sticking out of the
sand several  yards ahead of him.He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the sand, and discovers
what looks to be an old briefcase He opens it and out pops a genie. But this is no ordinary genie.
She is wearing a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) ID badge and a
dull gray dress.There's a calculator in her pocketbook.She has a pencil tucked behind one ear.
Well, cowboy," says the genie.. "You know how I work....You have three wishes."
I'm not falling for this." said the cowboy... "I'm not going to trust a FEMA genie."
What do you have to lose? You've got no transportation, and it looks like
you're a goner anyway!" The cowboy thinks about this for a minute, and
decides that the genie is right.OK!, I wish I were in a lush oasis with plenty of food and drink."


The cowboy finds himself in the most beautiful oasis he has ever seen,and he is surrounded with
jugs of wine and platters of delicacies. "O K, cowpoke, what's your second wish.?"
"My second wish is that I was rich beyond my wildest dreams."


The cowboy finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins and precious gems.
"OK, cowpuncher, you have just one more wish.Better make it a good one!"
After thinking for a few minutes, the cowboy says..."I wish that no matter where I go,
beautiful women will want and need me."


He was turned into a tampon.

The moral of the story:
If the government offers you anything,there's going to be a string attached.

And just so there is no confusion, the modern cowboy is using a cell phone...
And this is the particular model shown above. I just wanted to clarify this.

Old Chinese Proverbs

Confucius say,
 "If you are in a book store and
cannot find the book for which you
search, you are obviously in the...

Confucius say,
Woman pilot who flies plane upside down...
...have crack up.

Confucius say,
Illegitimate baby born in back seat of car with standard transmission grow up to be ... 
...Shifty Bastard!

Confucius say,
Man who lives in glass house... 
...should change clothes in basement.

Confucius say,
Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways...
...is going to Bangkok.

Three posts in under 24 hours, I must really have a funny bone to tickle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A real State of Emergency


The largest condom factory in the States burns down.

President Obama is awoken at
4 am by the telephone.

"Sorry to bother you at this hour, Sir, but there is an emergency!
I've just received word that the Durex factory in
Washington has burned
to the ground. It is estimated that the entire
USA supply of condoms
will be gone by the end of the week."

Obama: "Oh damn! The economy will never be able to cope with all
those unwanted babies. We'll be ruined. We'll have to ship some in from
(Hmmm I guess he sleeps in his suit??)

Telephone voice says, "Bad idea... The Mexicans will have a field day with
this one. We'll be a laughing stock.  What about

Obama: "Okay, I'll call Stephen Harper and tell him we need five million
condoms, ten inches long and three inches thick.  That way, they'll
continue to respect us as Americans."

Three days later, a delighted President Obama runs out to open the
first of the 10,000 boxes that had just arrived.

He finds five million condoms, 10 inches long and 3 inches thick, just as
... all coloured with red maple leaves with small writing on each one:

I'm in soooo much trouble....

...And it all started with an iPhone.
August was when my son celebrated his 26th birthday, and I got him an iPhone.

He just loved it. Who wouldn't?

I celebrated my birthday in November, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an iPad.

I was thrilled.

My daughter's birthday was in September so I got her an iPod Touch.

She won't get off it now.

My wife celebrated her birthday in last week so I got her an iRon.

It was around then that the fight started......

What my wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook and iClean.

This inevitably activates the iNag reminder service.

I should be out of the hospital by Thursday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's always good to share.

It is alway good to share!

I have mentioned that I used to live with my grandparents, while my parents were away on assignment. These were truly special times for me. My grandparents were unique, at least for a five year old. My "Papa" was a retired civil lawyer, and my "Nannie" was strictly a house wife--although she ran the farm when they owned one, managed the household of 7 siblings. It didn't matter what was on her plate, breakfast was always ready, as was lunch and dinner. Laundry was completed sometime in the morning, for you always saw the clothesline filled at breakfast, and nothing was the same on the line. My grandfather would ring the bell from up in his bedroom at promptly 6:45 am, and not two minutes after the bell rang, my Nannie would be traipsing up the stairs with a tray fresh toast, marmalade and tea. This was before breakfast mind you, for that was served promptly at 7:30am. My Papa would come downstairs at 7:15 formally attired, yet he was retired. Together, they were the most loving couple that you could ever imagine, they truly admired each other. Even at 5 and 6 years old, I could see their eyes light up when they caught a glimpse of each other.
A strict household, I would say so, but not in a disciplinary way, more of a structured organised way. A different household, maybe my North American standards, yes, but my Nannie and Poppa were of Irish descent, born in England and relocated to Canada at very early ages. But they kept their customs and ran their household with such structure it would embarrass the Queen of England.

I really feel privileged knowing them as a couple, and especially for living with them for 3 years at such an early age. Later on, we did move back to Ottawa, and our house was only two blocks away from where my Nannie and Poppa were, so visiting was a daily routine for me. I was sixteen by that time, but I would never miss a day. Even if it was just to help Nannie go to the Dominion grocery store to get their daily needs.  I miss those days too.

But, from the way I've described them  above. I make it sound that it was so structured that there was no space for levity---furthest thing from the truth. Yes they were a polished couple. My Popa would never be caught without a suit and tie on, and my Nannie would wear a "house dress" underneath a full apron, and underneath that was a more appropriate dress in-case of company. That would be unless there were evening plans, then the above must removed and replace with formal attire, with enough time left not to leave anyone waiting. That's the way they were. But like I said, there was a very special item that they shared with each other, and that was humour. My Nannie was the joke teller--always clean--but cerebral, yet funny for its day. My Poppa was the practical joker, and tormentor. Nothing was funnier to him then pulling off the special practical joke--nothing harmful--and watch his eyes light up and twinkle when he new he got you. My Nannie would tell the punch line to her joke and finish with the most contagious giggle that you have ever heard. They were a pair.

It must be because they were of UK descent that they (especially Poppa) found this particularly funny. My Poppa was a public farter. He loved to fart At least, that's my impression. But he never ever would admit that he did it. He always had a scapegoat, and that was my poor Nannie. I can remember this clear as it happened yesterday, we were at a theatre and the movie playing was Bambie. They took me to the theatre whenever there was an appropriate children's show on. 
In the very middle of the movie, at the most quietest moment in the theatre, my Poppa let the loudest one out. You would think that that would be the end of it, but no. My Poppa started to tsk his tongue in utter disgust and said quite loudly to my Nannie, "Dirty, dirty Diannorrah, shouldn't you stand up and shake yourself out."

My Nannie's name was Catherine, but he called her Kitty, unless she was the brunt of a fart joke.
We were in an elevator once. Now that really is closed quarters, and there were quite a few people in the elevator with us. He did it again, looked down at my Nannie and simply said, "Kitty, you should be ashamed of yourself."

Out for dinner in a restaurant, yes, my Poppa did it again. He didn't even flinch, but just said loudly of course, "Kitty, you keep that up and all the ships will go off course." It was a foggy night, but Ottawa is kind of land-locked.

This was my youth, and for some reason it is very special to me. The relationship that my grandparents had with each other, was beyond description. But, I think, their truly special tie to each other was they both had a very melded sense of humour. 

PS. You would think that most people would be really disgusted by my Poppa's flatulence, but I never mentioned the killing stroke. After my Poppa just outed my Nannie for doing something she was completely innocent of, she would giggle uncontrollable as if it was a punch line that she just told. I did say that her laugh was contagious, but every time my Poppa would set this up, and Nannie started giggling, everyone would start laughing within earshot. The elevator scenario, everyone missed their floor for they were laughing, and that was back in the days where there still was elevator operators. He was in stitches giggling.
Just thought I'd share this, because as my Poppa used to say, "One can 'shiite themselves, but we fart others. It's called sharing."


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