Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Stuff you need to know

In about 1915 it was estimated that in New York the working horses deposited 2.5 million pounds of manure, and 60,000 gallons of urine on the city’s streets each day.
(Source  “Victorian America – Transformations in Everyday Life”  by Thomas. J. Schlereth, HarperPerennial, 1991)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sarah Palin - another epic fail! ('Fings aren't what they seem to be")

According to that brilliant scientist Sarah Palin
“It snowed in Alaska in May, so there is no global warming” 
In response to sister Sarah
  "Palin confuses weather with climate, a mistake frequently made by climate change deniers."
Palin's statement and the response via Huffington Post)
In a similar vein Kai Ryssdal (what a wonderful name!) the host of the (USA) National Public Radio programme “Marketplace” often reminds us that
“The (stock) market is not the economy, and the economy is not the (stock) market.”

Monday, 20 May 2013

Drama last night (and a follow up)


From early morning today: (some have already read this).

Such excitement! I thought that I heard voices outside my bedroom this 3:30 a.m., and then I decided that it must have been a dream.

Heard the (two male) voices again, and I yelled out "hey get away". One man  replied "it's OK, it's the police". I then foolishly said "are you sure?? (I am sure that burglars would have said "yes, we are the police").

Went outside and there were two police cars and an ambulance outside Ed Bellon's house. (three doors away). Not sure what was happening. Oddly enough  Penne did not bark.


1)   Turns out that my neighbour Ed Bellon had called for an ambulance because he was enduring excruciating back pain. He was taken off to Doctor’s Hospital (and released later in the day).

2)   I still can’t fathom why Ed’s emergency call necessitated the arrival of two police cruisers, or why said police were walking by my bedroom window (three houses away from Ed’s home) at 3:45 a.m.

3)   Penne did not bark (1)  

Friend Fred Emrich suggests that Penne needs to be given a pep talk. Cousin Kippy Altiini suggests that she needs a hearing test.  

(Oh yeah -  and I’ll have to buy canine hearing aids at a thousand bucks or more?  -- tongue in cheek  to Kippy!)

4)   Penne did not bark(2)  

This is indeed unprecedented – she usually barks at the slightest noise outside (and even when there is a doorbell sound on a T.V. show).

5)   Yes my good Penne has been a bit dilatory in recent days.  She, who normally loves to walk, has been walk resistant for a couple of days. On five occasions yesterday and today we’ve gone outside, only to find that she would walk for no more than 15 yards, take a pee, and then pull me back to the house.

6)   We normally walk for at least 90 minutes each day, but today we had only one long (12 minute) walk.

7)   Oh dear, is she slowing down as a result of age (she may be 10, or perhaps she is 12) - or is this a temporary phase?


1)   I worry too much about the health and welfare of Penne.

2)   It’s good that I never married and shared the raising of children with a spouse or partner.  I’d have been a helicopter parent, or a control freak!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

So they say

"University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."
— Henry Kissinger

"In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known."
— Thomas Pickering

"Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labours is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways."
— Samuel McChord Crothers

"One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork."
— Edward Abbey

"It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that."
— G. H. Hardy