27 February 2011

Happy BirthdayI forgot to mention that we are away this weekend. We are, as we “speak” in beautiful downtown West Charleton, Devon assisting Dave Walton in the celebrations of his 60th birthday (which was on Friday). We are staying in a lovely house hired for the occasion along with three other couples, Dave and Sue and their two girls, Ellen and Zoe.

I am sure you will be surprised to learn that we have been having a wonderful time and that we may have eaten (and perhaps imbibed) more than one generally ought to. However, it is a special occasion and it’s been a splendid weekend. I will hope to be able to provide a few photographs next weekend but just to reassure you, it’s not been all eating and drinking – yesterday we scampered up a “tor” (or, in other words, a hill) on Dartmoor which was a suitably challenging endeavour in between all the eating, drinking and general carousing. We are planning to call in on Penny’s brother, Alfred, on the way home this afternoon whom we’ve not seen for a number of years.
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27 February 2011 – Amusements

I believe we’ve had some, if not all, of these before but I repeat them here as a public service. (Hey, it’s what the Big Society is all about!) And, there’s no question – they work.

Amazing Simple Home Remedies

1. Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold the vegetables while you chop.

2. Avoid arguments with the women in your house about closing the toilet seat by peeing in the sink instead.

3. For high blood pressure sufferers: every few days, simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure on your veins without the high cost of drugs. Remember to use a timer.

4. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

5. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives — you’ll be afraid to cough.

6. You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the duct tape.

7. If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.
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20 February 2011

Shower HeadIt never rains but it pours.

For some time we’ve been dealing with an annoying quirk of our hot water system. Intermittently, when we turn the hot water on it runs hot for about a minute and then starts to run stone cold. It runs hot just about long enough for you to get soaped up all over and then, just as you are about to rinse off, the water turns absolutely frigid. Because it’s an intermittent fault naturally it’s been quite difficult to diagnose. We had one plumber out just after Christmas who replaced the hot water thermostat which seemed to cure the problem – for about twelve hours. Since then we’ve shivered just about every day while waiting for the plumber to have a spare slot in his busy diary to come and try another solution. Continue reading “20 February 2011”

20 February 2011 – Amusements

In the hospital where I work, the quality of meals offered in the employees’ cafeteria is a source of aggravation. Once I watched two young surgeons approach the serving line.

After reading the posted menu and looking over the dishes displayed, one doctor turned to the other and remarked, “No doubt about it, this calls for a culinary bypass.” And they left.


A biology teacher wished to demonstrate to his students the harmful effects of alcohol on living organisms. For his experiment, he showed them a beaker with pond water in which there was a thriving civilization of worms. When he added some alcohol into the beaker the worms doubled-up and died.

“Now,” he said,” what do you learn from this?”

An eager student gave his answer.

“Well the answer is obvious,” he said ” if you drink alcohol, you’ll never have worms.”


A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

“Listen,” said the CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”

“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO, as his paper disappeared inside the machine. “I just need one copy…”


As in many homes on New Year’s Day, my wife and I faced the annual conflict of which was more important – the football games on television, or the dinner itself.

To keep peace, I ate dinner with the rest of the family, and even lingered for some pleasant after-dinner conversation before retiring to the family room to turn on the game.

Several minutes later, my wife came downstairs and graciously even bought a cold drink for me. She smiled, kissed me on the cheek and asked what the score was.

I told her it was the end of the third quarter and that the score was still nothing to nothing.

“See?” she said, continuing to smile, “You didn’t miss a thing.”


13 February 2011

Snow DropsWell, I guess Spring must indeed be just around the corner to judge by the snowdrops showing themselves. These were on our walk at Chipping Warden yesterday but they are all over our area; the clump in our front garden has also emerged from its winter slumbers. What I would like to know: how do they decide when it’s time to get up? I am guessing it is temperature related and the brief bit of research I’ve done would seem to bear this out. Last year there were several reports about their delayed arrival because of the very cold temperatures and deep, penetrating frosts in January. Having said that, the weather this winter was every bit as cold although, I guess, perhaps it’s been a bit more pleasant (temperature wise) over the past couple of weeks and the ground is certainly no longer frozen. But how do they tell the difference between conditions now and conditions back in November, say? Answers on the back of a postcard (or, indeed, using the Comment feature). Continue reading “13 February 2011”

13 February 2011 – Amusements

A guy goes to the Post Office to apply for a job.

The interviewer asks him, “Are you allergic to anything?”

He replies, “Yes, caffeine. I can’t drink coffee.”

“Ok, Have you ever been in the military service?”

“Yes,” he says, “I was in Iraq for one tour.”

The interviewer says, “That will give you 5 extra points toward employment.” Then he asks, “Are you disabled in any way?”

The guy says, “Yes. A bomb exploded near me and I lost both my testicles.”

The interviewer grimaces and then says, “Okay. You’ve got enough points for me to hire you right now.
 
“Our normal hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 am, and plan on starting at 10:00 am every day.”

The guy is puzzled and asks, “If the  work hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 PM, why don’t you want me here until 10:00 am?”

“This is a government job,” the interviewer says. “For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that.”
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6 February 2011

What a difference a week can make. Last weekend we were shivering in Arctic-like freezing conditions; “If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze, till sometimes we couldn’t see.” This week, Spring has arrived.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate to some extent but yesterday, Saturday, the temperature got up to 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and, at least in terms of the temperature, it was tolerably comfortable. Mind you, it was overcast and blowing a gale – branches of large trees and the occasional small child flew past the window at regular intervals – but one could almost be forgiven for believing that Punxsutawney Phil had indeed predicted an early Spring. Earlier in the week we even witnessed swarms of small insects making their way in the world for the first time. The birds, I suspect, were delighted to have fresh meat on the menu but I don’t imagine it will last long. The next cold spell is forecast for next week.

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6 February 2011 – Amusements

Following on from last week’s piece about jokes from different countries and how they very often are all about making fun of a neighbouring country or region, I ran across this one the other day which, once again, illustrates the point:

A couple of Canadian Native Americans were driving along a road when they collided with an American car head on. Both Indians and the American were killed instantly.

As they reached heaven, God said “Wait, it’s not your time. You have to go back.”

“How can we go back?” they replied. “Our bodies were mangled in the car accident.”

God pointed to a wishing well and, when they looked down it, they could see the world below them. “I’ll reincarnate you as an animal,” God said, “just say what you want to be and jump in.”

The first Indian ran, jumped into the well and shouted “Eagle!” and he suddenly became a majestic eagle, soaring high.

The second Indian ran to the well, jumped in and shouted “Wolf” and so he became a mighty wolf, running free in the forest.

Astounded and delighted by this the American sprinted towards the well, tripped on a rock and shouted, “Shit!”
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