Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Fun With Death

These ones are for you, Nerd_on_Safari

Blush with death

Images from here and here

Flush with death

Images from here and here

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This Is Statring To Be A Worry

It is becoming clear that whoever is in charge of the local school's noticeboard might actually be dyslexic.

This makes it less fun to poke fun at the nonsensical notices that appear from time to time.  Well, a little less fun.  Maybe.  It does, however, make me wonder who thought this was the best job for the person in question, and why these signs are left to sit defiantly next to the STAFF CARPARK.  Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. White Station-wagon.

Still, I appreciate how easy these little slip-ups can be, and how one letter can really change the meaning of what it was you were trying to say.   For example, in attempting to type "brush with death," I accidentally wrote "bush with death."  Which would look something like this:

Images from here and here
Which got me thinking about other ways to mangle the phrase.  Perhaps a "brush with Heath?"

Images from here and here
Or a "crush with death?"

Images from here and here
The possibilities are endless.  

Well, maybe not endless.  Actually, that's all I could think of.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On The Naming Of Toilet Paper

One of my favorite oddities in the English language is the existence of words with negative prefixes that have no positive counterpart.  Frustratingly, if turned on their heads, many of these would make great words.  Who wouldn't like to say they were gruntled, tressed, mayed or even combobulated?  If we had the utmost respect for someone we could hold them in dain, or if something looked really appetizing, it could be gusting.

There aren't nearly enough examples of these wonderful new words in use, but when they are, they are not always used to the best effect.  You might even say their use is tuitive.

Abnormal, for example, is the opposite of normal, n'est-ce pas?  So, the opposite of absorbent would naturally be, well, Sorbent.  Do I want a water-repelling toilet paper?  No.  I do not.  But on examination, other toilet papers are equally poorly named.  As astrocave once pointed out to me, he never uses "Safe" toilet paper.  Is it because he doesn't like its homely brown colour or vaguely abrasive feel?  No, he says he simply likes the more dangerous kind.  And a more dangerous kind might well be Aldi's "Clarissa" - I for one feel quite uncomfortable with the idea of using one of the Two Fat Ladies in the smallest room.  Likewise, their sensibly priced "Enviro Friend" makes me want to look for alternatives.  Anything with "friend" in its name should not be subjected to the ultimate indignity that is the fate of all toilet paper.  Which is why I also avoid "Scott."

Toilet paper nomenclature often abides by the principle that a scientific suffix supercharges the word it is added to.  Hence "Kleenex" is super-clean, "Purex" is super-pure, "Softex" is super-soft, "Hygenex"is super-germ-free and "Quilton" is super-quilty.  Which invites the uncomfortable analogy of using your bedding.  It is in no way turbing.

And the supermarkets' home brands are no better: Coles' "Smart Buy" is pointing out the obvious - it is, after all, stupid not to buy toilet paper, and "Black and Gold" is a misnomer.  I guess "Off-white" just wouldn't sell.  And why anyone thought "Encore" would be a great name for something that you ideally want to use only once is also a mystery.

In fact, the whole thing is describably silly.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

These Paws Were Made For Walking

The other day Ellen and I were sitting out on the deck having a respective chin and tail wag about life and about when dinner might be ready.

"You know," Ellen said to me, "This is pretty sweet.  The only thing that would make it better would be pork belly."  She leaned back and tried to put her arms behind her head, but was thwarted by her inflexible canine shoulder joints.

I was surprised, but not entirely.  This was the first sentence she had ever said, and I always thought that when she spoke, she would talk about pork, or processed pork products.

"Yes," I replied, "Pork is delicious.  Really, really delicious.  But do you know that there are lots of dogs out there that never taste pork?"  Having instilled Obedience, I thought I'd have a go at Social Conscience.

She looked at me blankly.

"It's true, " I continued.  "Do you remember when you were at the RSPCA, and there were lots of dogs there that had been treated very badly?  We chose you because you were such a good* girl, but not all dogs find a loving home so quickly."

She reflected for a moment before speaking.

"This home would be more loving if there was a bit more pork on offer."

"I think you're missing the point.  Don't you think there's something you could do to help them?"

She looked at me blankly.

"For example," I continued "you could participate in the Million Paws Walk and help raise money."

"There would be other dogs there?"

"Yes.  If the RSPCA achieves its goal, there will be 999,996 other dogs.  Or more, if there are any of those clever three-legged dogs there."

"Would you make me wear one of those twee bandanas?"

"Would you eat it?"


"Then no."

"OK then."

So we have signed Ellen up.  She has already started carb-loading for the big day, and we will start exercising closer to the time.  If you would like to support Ellen in her first ever event, we would be grateful for any donations.  You can donate here.

And one lucky** donor will win a pair of handcrafted sterling silver earrings.  I was thinking they'd be dog-themed, but you can chose ANY ANIMAL YOU WANT*** if you win, and I will make a striking pair of earrings just for you.  If you're not into animals, I'll even consider something botanical.

*compared to the Pit-Bull/leopard cross in the next kennel.
**or unlucky, if you hate earrings
***any REAL animal.  I don't do unicorns or spoodles.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Greeeeeenfingers...... She's The Girl, The Girl With The Greenish Touch

We have been pretty happy in our house, but lately the Fella and I have got to thinking that we have far too much money, use far too little water, and don't spend enough time engaged in heavy lifting, bending over and swearing at cabbage moths.   Any of these things is resolved easily enough on its own - indeed, I've become adept at swearing at a range of flying pests - but the simplest way of tackling them all was to build a vegie patch.

We chose this fine patch of land.  It's where our bamboo used to be, and is now a graveyard for bones and clothes pegs.

With the site chosen, we had to think about how to thwart the garden's most formidable enemy: 

Surveying the moonscape around us, it was clear that our tasty, tasty vegetables would have to be guarded against this menace by a very sturdy structure.  Very sturdy indeed.

After many Very Precise Drawings in the margins of newspapers and on the little pad next to my phone, I worked out a most ingenious design, and toddled off to Queanbeyan (o, happy place!) to procure wood and screw thingies to hold the wood together.  I think they are called screws.

When I returned, the Fella had the following questions:
  1. Are you sure we need 64 screws?
  2. Who pays $1 each for screws??????
  3. This little project has so far cost us over $600. We will be paying for extra water, mulch and other mysterious things gardeners use on an ongoing basis. We would usually spend $175 a year on vegetables, $80 worth of which would end up back in the compost.  Isn't this a rather expensive way of producing compost?
  4. How do these screws work, anyway?
  5. Couldn't we just use one screw on each plank?
After a day's digging, I was able to demonstrate the need for correct screwage as I started to construct the  frame.

By this stage of a project I usually lose interest and go off to start knitting another scarf.  And the Fella, who was suffering from a fit of domesticity, did not help my focus by making these delightful hot cross buns.

However, fortified by the bunny goodness, I fixed the remaining 58 screws, pulled my pants down a tad, and leaned on a crowbar to admire my work.

The longer posts are for securing wire to repel the beast, should she jump up and start grabbing things Balrog-style.

And here are the things we planted yesterday.

I guess we're going to have to start eating vegetables.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dirty Photo

Is there anything nicer than a freshly delivered load of compost soil?

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