Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Of Apple Trees and Graffitti

Mr. Milsum was not well-liked. Although he was a bit of a misogynist and occasionally uttered opinions which were considered politically incorrect, he was not a bad man. Mr. Milsum thought of the world in relatively simple terms most of the time. In his youth he had been particularly zealous and intellectually advanced for his age, but his intellectual pursuits were now stunted for the most part. His ways were mysterious to a lot of those in his neighbourhood and when they watched the way some of his progeny handled themselves, they assumed that their fanaticism, short tempers, and in-fighting were traits that belonged to Mr. Milsum as well. Mr. Milsum had decent relations with most of his neighbours, but a couple members of his extensive clan were known to cause trouble around the neighbourhood.

One of his neighbours, Mr. Acirema, was enraged when one of Mr. Milsum's particlarly delinquent children purposely burnt down his garden shed. "I don't blame the Milsums, their family is usually very peaceful," he said in his bombastic way, "My daughter-in-law is a Milsum, and I love her." Of course, he secretly kept a closer eye on that daughter-in-law by evesdropping on her phone conversations as much as possible. "It's my house," he reasoned, "and I need to protect my children from possible arsonists."

As for the delinquent, it was this same delinquent whom Mr. Acirema had hired to trample the vegetables in the ever-expanding garden plot of the Naissur family. "That Mr. Naissur went beyond his alloted boundary!" Mr. Acirema insisted, as he claimed that particular area of the community garden for himself. Of course, that was when the Naissur's were Mormons. They now professed to be Presbyterians even though the suspicious Mr. Acirema felt he occasionally detected Mormonish behaviour in his neighbour. Nevertheless, they were not Mormons anymore and Mr. Acirema felt he could now trust them. Most of the neigbourhood had forgotten about the epic garden war and now the entire neighbourhood was sympathetic with the Aciremas over the garden-shed arson and even approved when Mr. Acirema toppled down the Milsum's ugly apple tree which had been producing nothing but rotten apples for about two years.

"What an eyesore that was," the neighbourhood agreed. Opinion was divided on whether the new tree which Mr. Acirema had planted would take root. There were a lot of little Milsums rough-housing around the little tree and it had already lost more than a few branches. Mr. Acirema would angrily berate the children by shaking his big fist and cuffing a few of the children before they hid from his righteous wrath. Mr. Acirema swore that he would find the delinquent who had destroyed his shed, but made little effective effort in apprehending the little felon.

Of course, opinion was more divided when Mr. Acirema tried to insist that Mr. Milsum's cousin, the wife-beating Mr. Qari, had been party to the arson. Mr. Milsum, to his credit, made an effort to appeal to the United Neighbourhood Committee, but his arguments and outright lies did little to convince his neighbours of the justice of his vendetta against Mr. Qari. When Mr. Acirema threw some eggs at Mr. Qari's house and angrily confronted the brute, it resulted in Mr. Qari receiving a severe beating which drove him from his home. Many members of Mr. Qari's household were secretly happy and Mrs. Qari, encouraged by Mr. Acirema, was already courting new suitors. Mr. Qari insisted that his wife still loved him but Mr. Acirema petulently refused to let him see her. There were even rumours that Mr. Acirema intended to bed her himself. Meanwhile, the Qari family fought among themselves over the suitability of Mrs. Qari's various suitors.

And of course, Mr. Acirema conveniently forgot the time he had recruited Mr. Qari in his effort to have Mr. Allotaya, Mr. Milsum's nephew, evicted from his home. Mr. Acirema's memory was a delicate thing. He could wax eloquently on his triumphs and greatness but remained frustratingly forgetful when it came to the clashes he had experienced with his neighbours.

Some of the neighbourhood gossips whispered that Mr. Acirema had manufactured the entire incident as a stepping-stone to further his access to Mrs. Qari's delicious potatoes in the community garden. Furthermore, they reasoned, what better way for him to get to those potatoes but by cutting down the ugly apple tree which had formerly blocked his access. From these conspiracies came more conspiracies, each one more ridiculous than the last. Mr. Acirema, one gossip not known for her intelligence insisted, burnt down his own garden shed just so he could chop down that apple tree and get access to those potatoes. Few people took her seriously, except for a few members of the Ecnarf family. Of course, the Ecnarfs loved to scoff arrogantly at the political manoeuvring of the Aciremas while ignoring their own indiscretions. The whole neighbourhood had been aghast when some of the grandchildren of the Ecnarf clan, who were related to the Milsums, had angrily vandalised the Ecnarf garden after being confronted with some particularly nasty familial favouritism.

Mr. Milsum was not well liked. His niece, Yekrut, had been grudgingly accepted into the West Block's Knit Club but more than few of the club's members grumbled about her unpopular opinions and the way her children seemed to disrespect the neighbourhood customs. "As a matter of fact," complained old man Eporue as he knit another one-size-fits-all asexual sweater, "all of those little Milsums really don't have a lot of respect for our ways."

Kramned Eporue's son, one of old man Eporue's many grandchildren, decided to take action. He was tired of the way the Milsum family kept insisting that the neighbourhood needed to accept their ways and so, in big red letters, he sprayed the words "MR. MILSUM'S MOTHER WAS A TWO-BIT PROSTITUTE" on an empty wall. It didn't take long for many of the Milsum clan to get riled at such an underhanded insult and soon there were little Milsum children gathered on their lawns hurling acorns at Kramned's car. Kramned hadn't written the graffitti himself and tried to explain that to the young Milsums, but he was answered with a hail of insults. Although Mr. Learsi and Mr. Acirema had nothing to do with the graffitti it was not long before their cars were targetted as well. This, of course was the Milsum custom, because experience had taught them, rightly or wrongly, that if there was a problem it was likely the Learsis or the Aciremas who had caused it.

A few of the wiser Milsums urged their children to behave themselves, but their suggestions fell on deaf ears. Matters became worse when a few neighbours decided to broadcast the graffitti's contents on megaphones from their front porches. This made the Milsum children even more enraged and the acorns flew with dizzying fury, but little accuracy.

"See," a few neighbours said, "that graffitti was necessary, look at the way those little buggers are reacting."

"I don't know," others countered, "the graffitti is a little disrespectful."

"What about when a couple of those little Milsums sprayed the word "DUMBO" on Mr. Acerima's driveway?" others argued with self-satisfaction.

"The Milsum's don't consider that as insulting," was the reply.

"Well, I certainly do," they insisted, "I know my children would never throw acorns if my mother was called a whore."

"You and your mother are estranged, aren't you?"

"That's not the point. The point is that these little Milsums are not mature and therefore we should be broadcasting the words of this graffitti from our fronch porches."

"So, because they're immature, we should be too?"

"You know what I mean."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Hidden Blog Entry

Welcome to the hidden blog entry. Basically, this is an entry that you can't see. This means that this entire entry is addressed to an audience of none. I suppose, though, that the author can be counted as the entire readership. The readership of one, if you will. Oh, and I know you will because you're me and I can read your thoughts because, well, they're mine.

Of course, a hidden blog entry is merely hidden and not invisible which means that there is the possibility of finding the entry. This means that there is not, in fact, an audience of one but an audience of n.

Still, one must consider the interest factor: few blog readers would take enough interest in this blog to try to search for a hidden entry, especially if the very existence of this blog entry is unknown. Thus, the readership is back to one and the author can safely argue that this particular blog entry is one which is only known to himself. This opens up a whole new realm of possiblities in terms of topics. There needs to be no concern about offending the sensibilities of the audience, neither does there need to be a concern about proper grammar, punctuation, or spelling basicaly this hole entree ken bee whutevver eye want it 2 be.

For instance, I can switch between first person singular and third person singular as I have been doing without worrying about the propriety of my decision. The author doesn't even have to worry he is using the word "propriety" correctly. Also, I can say that I despise Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" without stirring up the sensitivities of my emotionally vulnerable friend, Aaron Gysbers. Why? Because he can't be offended by what he can't see. This brings me to the question of my hidden thoughts. Are these thoughts less offensive because no one but myself can see them? After all, cancer is just as harmful when it remains a malignant growth hidden in your stomach as when it is quite obviously protruding from your mouth. Of course, the secret thought which asserts that Aaron's attachment to a smarmy Celine Dion song is rather pathetic is a fairly benign one. That is, it is benign until you see the way this six foot five math major starts weeping at the opening notes of the song. Of course, this is assuming that this entry will work; that it will actually be hidden. If this entry isn't hidden and its contents remain exposed for all to see then I will have to reconsider the whole entry and I would appear far less clever than I presently feel. We'll see what happens. Oh, and if you can see this, write the words "hound dog" in your comment.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Spot the Dutch Proverbs (click the picture to enlarge it, unless you want a challenge):

Thanks to Bvo I have made this post a little more clear. I found a website that listed the proverbs found in this picture, most of which I have listed here. Now see if you can find them:

"He runs his head against a stone wall"

"There the roof is tiled with tarts" (a land of plenty; a fool's paradise;)

"He has toothache behind his ears"

"Throwing roses before pigs."

"He is a pillar-biter" (a religious hypocrite)

"Big fish eat little fish"

"He is pissing against the moon"

"It depends on the fall of the cards."

"They both shit through one hole"

"It hangs like a privy over a ditch"

"He tosses feathers in the wind"

"One shears sheep, the other pigs"

"The world upside down"

"Two dogs over one bone seldom agree"

"He is looking for the hatchet" (an excuse)

"The world dances upon his thumb"

"Leave at least one egg in the nest"

"They pull to get the longest end"

"The pig is stabbed through the belly"

"To shoot all one’s bolts"

"To marry under the broomstick"

"He who has spilt his porridge cannot scrape it all up again"

"She carries fire in one hand and water in the other"

"He does not care whose house is on fire as long as he can warm himself at the blaze"

"One winds on the distaff what the other spins"

"To get the lid on the head" (to have to pay for the damages)

"To fry the whole herring for the sake of the meat"?

"She puts the blue mantle on her husband"

"He falls from the ox onto the ass"

"He carries the day out in baskets"

"He catches fish with his bare hands" (this shrewd fellow profits from the work of others by taking fish out of the nets which they have cast)

"Bow and scrape if he is to get on in the world."

"The herring hangs by its own gills"

"He holds a candle to the devil" (to make friends in all quarters)

"He plays on the pillory"

"Who knows why geese go barefoot?"

"He looks through his fingers" (he can afford to be indulgent because he is sure of his profit).

"They lead each other by the nose" (they are tricking each other).

"He confesses to the devil"

"She would bind the devil himself to a pillow."

"Fools get the best cards"

"He hangs his cloak according to the wind."

"There hangs the knife" (a challenge)

"He fills the well after the calf has drowned (measure taken only when an accident has occurred"

"There stand the wooden shoes" (to wait in vain)

"He wipes his arse on the door"

"Where the gate is open, the pigs will run into the corn"

"He carries a burden"

"He throws money into the water"

"The die is cast" (it is decided).

"Here the sow pulls out the stopper"

"He cannot bear to see the sun shine on the water"

"It is ill to swim against the stream"

"He sees bears dancing"

"He shits on the gallows"

"He falls through the basket" - rejected suitor

"She gazes at the stork"

"He ties a flaxen beard to the face of Christ"

"He shits on the world"

"He keeps his eye on the sail"

"To sit between two stools in the ashes"

"The hen-feeler" (“To count one’s chickens before they are hatched”)

"It is growing out of the window"

"He can barely reach from one loaf to the other"

"To shave the fool without lather"

"There the scissors hang out" (symbol of pickpocketing: a place of cheating and fleecing)
"No one looks for others in the oven who has not been there himself"

"He who eats fire. shits sparks"

"It is healthy to piss on the fire"

"He holds the eel by the tail"

"To put a spoke in someone's wheel"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There's a new blog in town . . .
Welcome to the blogosphere, Karen and Clint.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I haven't been tagged, but this looked like fun:

Four Jobs I Have Had-
- Delivering newspapers
- Working with flowers and trees at a nursery
- Cutting grass in neighbourhoods and at a golf course
- Teaching ESL

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over-
- City of God
- Braveheart
- Crash
- The Godfather

Four Books I Could Read Over and Over-
- The Covenant - James A. Michener
- The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
- The War in 2020 - Ralph Peters (not even a great book, but it entertains me)

Places I Have Lived-
- Owen Sound, ON
- Hamilton, ON
- Ottawa, ON
- Gatineau, QC

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation-
- B.C.
- East Coast of Canada
- Florida
- Charlevoix and Quebec City (honeymoon)

Four Websites I Visit Daily-
- crooksandliars.com
- bbc news
- dictionary.com
- wikipedia.org

Four Favourite Foods-
- Hawaiian Pizza
- Hamburgers
- Sour Cream and Onion Ripple Chips
- Cold Raspberry Yogourt

Four Favourite Beers-
- Heineken
- Grolsch
- Corona
- Tuborg

Four Favourite Non-alcoholic Drinks
- Iced Tea
- Coca Cola Classic
- Grape Juice
- Cold Milk

Four Favourite Musicians-
- Bob Marley
- Buju Banton
- Ben Harper
- Wyclef Jean

Four Places I Would Like To Be Right Now-
- In bed.
- Floating in the water at a tropical beach.
- Accepting a cheque for a million dollars from some eccentric relative I never knew I had.
- Eating ribs.

Last four books you have read-
- Blindness - Jose Saramago
- Papillon - Henri Charriere
- Sun Tzu's Art of War -
- The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Last four movies you have seen-
- Sometimes in April (*****/*****)
- The Pink Panther (*/*****)
- The Bone Collector (**/*****)
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding (***/*****)

What's on your desk right now?
- A blank cd case
- Three empty glasses
- A Frank Lloyd Wright mousepad
- My elbow

Six- Seven bloggers you're tagging -
- Aaron Gysbers
- Daryl de Boer
- Todd Guthrie
- Piet Harsevoort
- Jake Belder
- Rob Joustra
- Marcellin Mutoni

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Crocodiles are ancient reptiles which are thought to have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs. Their sharp claws and fearsome jaws have been inspiring fear for thousands of years. These aquatic creatures love to loll in the slow-moving rivers and lakes of Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.
One particularly infamous crocodile has made his home on a river near Burundi's Lake Taganyika. Gustave is a crocodile who is said to measure six metres from snout to tail; a measurement which, even if exaggerated, puts him among the longest crocodiles of all time. The thing about Gustave is that he is a freshwater crocodile and his reported size rivals that of his saltwater cousins. Of course, that is only if Gustave is as long as people say he is.
The longest scientifically recorded crocodile was measured at 6.3 m on a crocodile killed on the Fly River in Papau New Guinea in 1983.
Of course, crocodiles, like fish, tend to grow the more people talk about them. A croc that was killed in the Bay of Bengal decades ago was said to be 10 m long. Later, the skull was measured by the British Museum and it was learned that the crocodile likely only measured 4.8 m. 5 metres is actually the average size of a full-grown saltwater crocodile. This crocodile, in other words, was no Gustave. Perhaps Gustave is no Gustave, for if his measurement doubled in the telling just as the length of the Bengalese croc did, we're really talking about a three metre crocodile which is nothing spectacular (unless you're being attacked, then it's pretty impressive).
Crocodiles tend to grow quite rapidly for the first fifteen years of their lives afterwhich they continue to grow at a much slower rate. Saltwater crocodiles commonly live to the ripe old age of seventy while freshwater crocodiles typically live to the age of fifty or sixty. A crocodile that died in Russia in 1997 was captured at the age of five or ten in 1890 which means he could have been as old as 115. More interesting, perhaps, is the fact that this crocodile's lifespan enveloped Russia's Communism quite comfortably and with a couple decades to spare.
Gustave's age is difficult to guess but it is safe to say that he's big for his age. A Frenchman by the name of Patrice Faye has been following Gustave for three or four years. It was Patrice who gave the crocodile his moniker "Gustave" in the first place. According to Monsieur Faye, the crocodile is particularly dangerous when he goes on his amorous adventures in search of feminine crocodilians: "One year I followed him on one of his forays and 17 people had been eaten from Kanyosha and Minago, and Kabezi and Magara." Now, this claim is difficult to substantiate as it is likely that Gustave gets credit for most of the crocodile killings along his routes. Nevertheless, Gustave is a dangerous old reptile and his reputation is one that causes quite a bit of fear among Burundian fisherman and bathers. Gustave is too slow to eat fish and small mammals and relies on larger and slower prey; namely humans. Sadly, Gustave has had many opportunities to gorge himself on dead corpses that have floated down his river.
Monsier Faye has made several attempts to capture Gustave but has failed. There have been a few attempts by Burundians to kill the crocodile as well but these, too, have failed. It is unknown how well the crocodile would fare in captivity, but hopefully he can develop a taste for beef.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Right now I'm listening to:

Elvis Presley - In the Ghetto
Otis Redding - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
Eddie Vedder with Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn - Long Road
The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
2Face Idibia - African Queen

Any other recommendations?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hamilton vs. Toronto and Ottawa

In response to this

Hamilton is better than both Toronto and Ottawa put together because
. .

1) The Hamilton Farmer's Market on a Saturday because everyone knows that Kensington and Byward can't compete with an indoor market that has a mezzanine level.

2) Less stray bullets than Toronto and less stray politicians than Ottawa.

3) Bayfront Park is spectacular if you don't touch the water.

4) Unlike Ottawa or Toronto, Hamilton doesn't have a winter festival which will gradually peter out due to global warming.

5) Hamilton doesn't have a team named after aging grey-headed politicians nor do they have a team named after reptilian creatures which have absolutely nothing to do with their geographical location and have more to do with the popularity of a certain Spielberg movie.

6) Ottawa and Toronto may have won more Stanley Cups but they have yet to beat Hamilton for the number of festivals they have held which have met premature deaths.

7) Hamilton brought the world a few NHLers such as Dave Andreychuck but also, and more significantly, Hamilton is the hometown of Martin Short. Martin Short!

8) Ivor Wynne Stadium is honestly better for watching CFL games than either the Frank Clair Stadium or the Rogers Sports Centre.

9) The Plastimet fire was far more glorious (and toxic!) than the fire that took Ottawa's Parliament and the fires the American soldiers set in Toronto during the War of 1812.

10) Like those in Ottawa, Hamiltonians don't need help from the Canadian Army to shovel their snow. Unlike Ottawans, Hamiltonians actually shovel their snow.

11) Ottawa may be the capital of Canada and Toronto may be the capital of Ontario but Hamilton is the mullet capital of the world.

12) Unlike Torontonians, both Hamiltonians and Ottawans can get to work in under an hour each morning. Unlike Ottawans, Hamiltonians don't work cushy government jobs with expense accounts and ridiculously short hours.

13) Hamilton doesn't have Poutine, but they do have Canada's very first Tim Horton's restaurant. In fact, if you can't find a Tim Horton's branch in Hamilton than you're not in Hamilton.

14) Lawns in Toronto are postage-sized. Lawns in Ottawa and Hamilton are about equal size, but Hamilton has former Heritage Minister Sheila Copps and a lot more one-way streets which makes us that much more cultured and cosmopolitan.

15) Toronto's nickname? Hogtown. Ottawa's old nickname? Bytown. Hamilton's nickname? The Hammer (much cooler).

16) Do Toronto or Ottawa have a mountain? Neither does Hamilton, but it certainly has an escarpment/cuesta.
To all those who find my site inquisitive and would like me to look at their site:

Thank you for you kind words and for your interest in my site. Somehow, unfortunately, I am doubting the sincerity of your admiration. I received the following double-posted comment from a fellow by the name of markericks1317666745: "I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. So please Click Here To Read My Blog http://pennystockinvestment.blogspot.com "
First of all, what are you doing posting at 4:15 in the morning? Secondly, your blog is nonexistent and so the implication that I might find your blog as interesting as you found mine is actually pretty hurtful. I should hope my blog is more interesting than something which is "not found."
Davidalexander9507 left the following comment "I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog "
Now, davidalexander9507 and markericks1317666745 might not be related but their comments are similar to the point of being identical. All davidalexander9507 added was this little tidbit "My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger." I thought maybe it was a coincidence that these two individuals express their interest in the same way, but then I found a common thread. The name of the first blog is pennystockinvestment.blogspot.com while one of davidalexander9507's posts reads as follows: "

Stocks? I don't know...

Today a friend of mine confronted me about investing in some penny stocks.....what?

He is a broker in some firm, whatever. Being a park ranger he knows I am big for the environment and all that good stuff, and knows I have some extra cash saved up that said I wanted to invest in something (I've been very vague). ANYWAY, he goes on and tells me about one very specific stock..this company that creates a special type of tree; that regrows from the stump when cut, and grows at a very fast rate, great for the environment to say the least.

I'm not very good with stocks...well, I should say I don't know anything about them. But I looked at the stock today, and the damn thing is up 166%! I might buy a thousand shares (only about $100 bucks or so) and see how it turns out. Yes, I know I can lose all my investment, but wow, looks damn good!

Any stock people out there can assist me? Check the details of it here. If your good with stocks toss me an email to juicy_fruiter@yahoo.com, I'd like to know if it is as good as I think it is."

What is the common denominator? If you said pennystocks than you're on the right track. Anyone else want to invest in trees that grow from the stump at a very fast rate after being cut? They're very good for the environment, to say the least. Davidalexander9507 also has an interest in Juicy Fruit gum and a free downloadable program called Motivation which can be downloaded at www.filequota.com.

In addition, I think I should point out that the word "inquisitive" is an adjective which describes someone who is curious. A blogsite, being an inanimate object, does not have the capacity to be inquisitive. If it did, we would soon find that blogs would be seriously unfulfilled as they are unable to search for knowledge to sate their curiousity.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What Hath God Wrought?

Today I read that the Western Union telegram had finally met its demise after one hundred and fifty years of service. I was under the impression that the telegram had gone the way of the dodo bird around the same time that records started to be cool. Nope, the telegram was still clicking away as recently as February 1, 2006. In fact, the Swedish Company Telia still sends telegrams and nostalgic novelty items. I suppose that means that telegrams have not yet completely died and the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

In other technological news, the United States is set to switch off the televisions of over seventy million viewers from around the country. February 17, 2009 is the proposed date for the end of the broadcasting of analog signals. Canada may soon follow suit and grandpa and grandma's television will fade to black. Once the spectrum is free it will be sold off to tech companies who can use it for improved cell phone, wireless access and other such technological mumbo jumbo. The American government is proposing vouchers for those who rely on VHF/UHF signals so that they can purchase digital or cable access. This has some in the Canadian Liberal Party asking, "what is to stop these people from spending this money on popcorn and beer?" Perhaps a revolution will occur in which thousands of souls stuck at home watching fuzzy re-runs of That 70's Show will suddenly be inspired to visit their local library and read some books.

Who deh?