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Mar 2

The dangers of random Web surfing

Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009 in humor

I began my reading with a random Wikipedia entry for the King Vulture.

King vultureNow here’s a creature I don’t want giving me the evil eye.

That thing over its beak is called a caruncle. I think that might be a my new insult for colorful, but creepy, people. “That Jack Nicholson is one freakin’ caruncle.”

I suppose the sentence really should be “That Jack Nicholson is one freakin’ vulture’s caruncle.” A caruncle is really the same thing as a wattle or other “fleshy naked outgrowth” per Answers.com. And wattles are just silly, not creepy or particularly flashy (except maybe to hens.)

I’m curious about this word and do a general Google search and things get disturbing.

I’m now learning of something know as a urethral caruncle. This can’t be good. Nothing that begins with the word “urethral” is ever pleasant. No vacation inn will ever be called the Urethral Breezes or Urethral Spa and Resort. According to eMedicine: “Urethral caruncles are benign, distal urethral lesions that are most commonly found in postmenopausal females.” Nice to know they are benign, but I’m about to enter menopause and now I have just one more thing to be scared of.

I continue reading and learn that “cases of urethral melanoma, tuberculosis, intestinal ectopia, and lymphoma, masquerading as urethral caruncle have been reported.” That’s one sick Halloween party. I wouldn’t want to make the costumes for that. So the caruncle is benign, but you can’t relax because it could really be something deadly in disguise. It good by some sort of super villain with his evil sidekicks, the Lesion League.

There’s an even worse description at WrongDiagnosis: “Urethral caruncle: a small, fleshy, sometimes painful protrusion of the epithelium at the meatus of the female urethra; it may be telangiectatic, papillomatous, or composed of granulation tissue.” Latin is a disturbing language, or maybe it’s just when we create our own words from the Latin. I don’t want to know that I have “meatus” in or on or around my urethra. I feel the need to go take a bath right now.

Feb 21

You’re scaring me

Posted on Saturday, February 21, 2009 in humor, Me

Here’s what scares me…

Heights

Quimet CanyonI’m sure that if I get on a ledge without a sturdy and high barrier, I will just throw myself off. I went to Ouimet Canyon, in Canada, and had to literally crawl out on the decking to look down. I did this in full view of a family with children. It was either crawl out and take a look, or waste the entire drive out there. I looked like a fool, but I felt pretty damn brave. I was trusting in the carpentry ability of people I did not know and who live somewhere even colder than I do. The platforms looked new and not too weathered, so I told myself to keeping breathing and forged ahead. Breathe in; right leg and right arm. Breathe out; left leg and left arm. I crawled like a nervous bear.

When I fly in my dreams I do not soar like an eagle. I float like someone too scared to get out of the shallow end of the pool. I hover about 3 feet off the ground. No higher. I have to fly around trees and gravestones and such. I don’t go very fast either. You know if you fall in your dream, you die.

Mars

I’m never going. Nothing good happens there.  Watch any science fiction movie. If aliens come and ask me to go along with them, I’m not even going to stick around long enough to answer. HabMoo and I have a pact that neither of us will go. Because even if they say they are from Alpha Centauri, they might really be from Mars. I will go to mars.com. That’s totally different. I like Skittles and the cats like Whiskas.

Drowning

I learned to swim, barely. I have even snorkled. But I do not get out over my head. No, no, no. I’ve breathed water into my nose before. It hurts. I have no real reason to fear the water. I sort of like going out on boats. But I want to be able to see the shore. A lake is better than the ocean. A nice stream is really the best.

Contact with my eyes or my wrists

I have a friend with tattoos on her wrists. I can’t even look at them. They horrify me. You can see the blood from your very own body in those veins at your wrists. Just stay away. That’s really the only place you can see my veins, other than my eyes.

I’d rather go to the gynecologist than the eye doctor. During a pelvic exam you’re not asked to answer questions you just can’t answer. I don’t know if this image is more clear than that one. I’m sorry, but sometimes I just can’t tell. And I hate getting answers wrong. And I blink. You’re supposed to blink. It’s good for your eyes. I will never win a staring contest. I really try to keep my eye open during that part where they test your pressure or whatever it is they do. I don’t even want to think about it.

Black ice

I totally blame the news media for this one. They make it sound like some evil gremlin just hiding out where you least expect it. It looks like nothing special. But it could be the reason for a 12-car pile up. It’s like some sort of environmental land mine. It’s not even black; it’s transparent. There could be black ice in your shower for all you know. Even if your tub is pink like mine. You have to be ever vigilant.

Drawing blood

I don’t mind getting a shot. But I hate having blood drawn. I have tiny little veins and they collapse easily. I have had nurses give up on trying to get blood out of me. They’ve made me come back on another day when a more veteran blood-drawer will be in the office. So mostly I fear being stuck because they most often do it in my hand, dangerously close to my wrists, and because it produces so much stress in the nurse. I hate making people feel bad. But three tries is all I ever give them.

Coming back as a chicken in the same neighborhood as vampire bats

Just go look at the photos here. You’ll understand after looking at the photos. Although I might have to rethink this one. Perhaps a vampire bat could be trained to draw blood for medical tests. I mean the chickens don’t seem to be bothered.

Feb. 24 update.
Thanks to the people at Mind Hacks I’m now also scared of tripping and impaling myself on the keys left in the door. And thanks to unfabulouz I’m also scared of falling the shower (perhaps due to black ice) and landing eye first on the plumbing.

Feb 7

Random thoughts III

Posted on Saturday, February 7, 2009 in humor

Favorite spam entries

swiss army bread bag
Now does’t this get your imagination going? All I can come up with to do with my bread bags is pack a lunch or dispose of cat litter. But those Swiss Army people probably have awesome cool ideas that I’m missing out on. I’m thinking there’s probably something for actually transporting bread, but maybe you can also put it over your head for night vision or use it as a floating row cover in your garden. I looked it up and there really is a Swiss Army bread bag and it’s pretty damn boring. All it has is adjustable straps. How disappointing.

john deer belly rings
This sounds like something my nephew would have wanted had he been a girl and grown up during the time of belly rings. I recall him telling me about school yard fights over John Deere versus International Harvester and Ford versus Chevy. How cool would you be if you had a John Deere tractor replica hanging out of your belly button? Or how desperately uncool would that be? You be the judge. See one for yourself.

The scoop on baby corn

I finally looked this up. It really is just baby corn. Seems like a huge waste. Sort of like eating green bell peppers instead of waiting until they’re red and much more tasty.

Never heard of the fig

mental_floss has a very enlightening article, Why Is The Middle Finger Offensive?

I’m still looking for a job – just not one of these

However, I am considering calling someone a gong farmer and maybe getting into a fight over it.

Again from mental_floss: 10 Jobs You Didn’t Hear About On Career Day

Jan 26

The cell phone, the universal remote, and the spider plant

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 in children's books, humor

Another retelling of a Grimm’s tale–just for Peggyj. This time it’s of The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage.

The cell phone, the universal remote, and the spider plant

Once upon a time a cell phone, a universal remote, and a spider plant shared an apartment in perfect peace and prosperity. It was the job of the cell phone to order pizza. The universal remote provided them with daily entertainment, and the spider plant kept the air in their apartment clean and fresh.

But no one is ever content and everyone judges their prosperity against their neighbor’s. One day the cell phone overheard another making reservations at an exclusive night club and resolved that he and his friends should have more than simple pizza and bread sticks.

The cell phone spoke to his friends about how, in the apartment down the hall, the occupants lived in a much grander scale. The neighbors were going out that very evening to a French restaurant, followed by drinks and dancing, while they were going to spend a night at home watching reality TV. Weren’t they just as deserving of a fine evening on the town? Was if fair for his talents to be wasted on calling only Domino’s and Papa Johns?

The universal remote and the spider plant had felt content with their lives, but were persuaded by the cell phone’s continuous arguments. Let us see what happens to these friends.

The cell phone made reservations for three at downtown’s finest restaurant. The three of them put on their finest clothes and took a cab into town. The cell phone complained that he’d had to take care of both the reservations and getting the cab. His roommates reminded him that he was best suited for the task, but the phone still felt taken advantage of and the end of the trip was taken in silence.

After their evening out, during which they mostly spoke of the TV shows they were missing, the plant offered to go outside and hail a cab so the cell phone wouldn’t have to do it again. His friends paid the bill. (They wouldn’t be able to afford bread sticks for over a month.) And then they walked outside expecting to find the spider plant and a waiting taxi. But the plant was nowhere to be found.

The universal remote eventually found a cook who was outside smoking and had seen a squad car pull up and take off with the spider plant. The cell phone called the station and found out the spider plant was being held for questioning. The phone and remote pooled the rest of their money and took a cab to the station to try and learn more and to help out their friend. But the spider plant had not been able to prove citizenship and his green card had expired months before. So he was being deported.

The cell phone and universal remote were considerably upset and began walking home together. They no longer had enough money to even pay for a bus, plus they were not familiar with this part of the city. The cell phone was mugged and critically injured. The remote ran off to save his own life, but in his haste he ran across the light rail and was hit by a train.

===

If you’d like to read another tale see Grimm’s The Turnip: My version, or a good tale at “Uncle Chortle” by Robert Gray.

Jan 23

Grimm’s The Turnip: My version

Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009 in children's books, humor

Sometimes Hab Moo will read to me at night. I love it. It’s hard when he reads Grimm’s Fairy Tales, because they always set him off into fits of laughter and confusion. Really there are some rather odd stories out there. So far our favorite is The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage. You can probably guess which one gets it in the end. Here’s my modern telling of The Turnip.

The Facebook Application

There once were two brothers who both worked as tax advisers, and one was rich and one was poor. The poor one, wishing to better himself, left his practice and played on his Facebook site. He posted items, became a fan of many odd things, and tried his hand at creating an application to create a virtual bakery.

The virtual bakery became wildly popular in his network. People were leveling up their ingredients and adding their own recipes. They were gifting each other cakes for weddings and cupcakes for virtual parties. The Facebook fanatic could not imagine what would come of this, whether it would bring good luck or bad.

At last he said to himself, if I sell it what shall I gain? The best thing will be to show it to the venture capitalist and offer it to him. So that’s what he did.

“This is extraordinary!” exclaimed the venture capitalist. “Did you create this marvel? Does it belong to you?”

“Oh no,” said the Facebook fanatic. “It was an idea only. I am but an unfortunate tax adviser who could barely earn a living. I have a brother who is rich and well known to you. But I have nothing. Not even a blog. Just a Facebook page.”

The venture capitalist pitied him and said, “Your poverty shall be at an end and you shall receive from me such rich presents that your wealth will equal you brother’s.”

Thereupon the Facebook fanatic received an iPhone, Wii, large flat screen TV, stocks and bonds, a house on the beach, and a yacht.

Now the rich brother heard what his brother with a single Facebook application had acquired; he envied his brother and pondered how he might gain a like treasure for himself. But he wanted to show himself much more clever, so he took Flash games and widgets and photo sharing applications and presented them to the venture capitalist, feeling certain that he would receive an even finer gift.

The venture capitalist accepted the presents, saying that he had something wonderful to give the brother in exchange. There was nothing in his opinion greater than the Facebook virtual bakery application. So the rich brother had to download the application.

Frustration and evil thoughts came to him and he decided that his brother should die. He hired gang members from a neighborhood several miles away, had them make ready an ambush, and went to his brother. “Dear brother, I know where we can buy the next Powerball lottery ticket.”

The poorer brother set off with his brother without suspicion, but when they reached the seedy gas station the gang members sprang upon him, gagged him, and threw him in the trunk of their car.

While they were so occupied they heard a siren which frightened them and they ran off. The brother lay in the trunk until he heard voices. He banged hard against the trunk and moaned and gasped. The voice he had heard turned out to not be a police officer, but rather a young man in baggy pants.

He worked his way out of his hastily tied bounds and called out, “You’ve come in the nick of time. May you be as lucky as I.”

The young man looked around and asked “Did you say something to me? Where are you?”

A voice from the trunk answered, “I am here in the trunk and believe me it’s the best experience I’ve ever had in my life. You know auto-erotic asphixia? It’s so much better than that. I’m exhausted from the last ten orgasms I’ve had. I don’t think I can survive another. If you were in my place you’d know what I mean.”

The young man grew excited. “Can I try it? How do I get in there? How does it work?”

The other answered, “I will let you try it because of your youth, and for the price of that Starbucks in your hand for I have grown thirsty. But wait just a few minutes. I think I’ve recovered enough to experience just one more or two more.”

The young man waited a bit but grew impatient. The man in the trunk pretended to give in and said, “Release the trunk latch and then you can get in.”

So the young man released the latch, helped the man out, and put a foot into the trunk. “Stop. That’s not quite the way,” said the other and bound him, gagged him, and tossed him inside. Closing the trunk he said, “How are you feeling? You will soon feel sensations you’ve never before experienced.”

Thereupon he drank from the youth’s coffee cup and walked away. But he called the station an hour or so later and told the attendant to check for an abandoned car in his lot.

Jan 1

Silent Night

Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009 in humor

“Silent Night! Holy Night!” with apologies to Joseph Mohr

Lyrics if written for a Web page:

Night

The night was

  • silent,
  • holy,
  • calm, and
  • bright.

The virgin mother sleeps with her holy, tender and mild infant.

Lyrics if written for Twitter:

Xmas carol: Night = Silent + Holy, http://tinyurl.com/735djh

Lyrics if written by an academic:

The Period Between Sunset and Sunrise Traditionally Associated with the Christian Holiday of Christmas: Reflections on Maternal and Infant Sleep Patterns