Shallow Thoughts : : humor

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 06 Jun 2014

Santa Fe Highway Art, and the Digestive Deer

Santa Fe is a city that prides itself on its art. There are art galleries everywhere, glossy magazines scattered around town pointing visitors to the various art galleries and museums.

Why, then, is Santa Fe county public art so bad?

[awful Santa Fe art with eagle, jaguar and angels] Like this mural near the courthouse. It has it all! It combines motifs of crucifixions, Indian dancing, Hermaphroditism, eagles, jaguars, astronomy, menorahs (or are they power pylons?), an angel, armed and armored, attempting to stab an unarmed angel, and a peace dove smashing its head into a baseball. All in one little mural!

But it's really the highway art north of Santa Fe that I wanted to talk about today.

[roadrunner highway art] [horned toad highway art] [rattlesnake highway art] Some of it isn't totally awful. The roadrunner and the horned toad are actually kind of cute, and the rattlesnake isn't too bad.

[rooster highway art] [turkey highway art] On the other hand, the rooster and turkey are pretty bad ...

[rabbit highway art] and the rabbit is beyond belief.

As you get farther away from Santa Fe, you get whole overpasses decorated with names and symbols:
[Posuwaegeh and happy dancing shuriken]

[Happy dancing shuriken] I think of this one near Pojoaque as the "happy dancing shuriken" -- it looks more like a Japanese throwing star, a shuriken, than anything else, though no doubt it has some deeper meaning to the Pojoaque pueblo people.

But my favorite is the overpass near Cuyamungue.

[K'uuyemugeh and digestive deer]

See those deer in the upper right and left corners?

[Cuyamungue digestive deer highway art] Here it is in close-up. We've taken to calling it "the digestive deer".

I can't figure out what this is supposed to tell us about a deer's alimentary tract. Food goes in ... and then we don't want to dwell on what happens after that? Is there a lot of foliage near Cuyamungue that's particularly enticing to deer? A "land of plenty", at least for deer? Do they then go somewhere else to relieve themselves?

I don't know what it means. But as we drive past the Cuyamungue digestive deer on the way to Santa Fe ... it's hard to take the city's airs of being a great center of art and culture entirely seriously.

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[ 12:40 Jun 06, 2014    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Fri, 30 May 2014

Punctuation Reveals Truth in advertising

This ad appeared in one of the free Santa Fe weeklies. It's got to be one of the funniest mis-uses of quotes I've seen.

Does she not know that putting quotes around something means that you're quoting someone, you're introducing an unfamiliar word or phrase, or you're trying to draw attention to the quoted phrase and cast doubt on it or make fun of it? That third use, by the way, is called scare quotes. Like you'd see in a phrase like this:

One expects lawyers to have a good command of English, and to pay attention to detail, so ... what should we think?

"Injured" isn't an unfamiliar word, so it has to be either the first or third use. And whether she's soliciting clients who only say they're injured, or she's casting doubt on the injury, it's hard not to read this as an offer to help people pretend to be injured to collect a payout.

Which I'm sure happens all the time ... but I don't think I've previously seen an ad implying it so strongly.

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[ 13:32 May 30, 2014    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Mon, 06 Jan 2014

Government accountability

Do you ever get annoyed at how government takes your tax money and tosses it around, without much accountability as to how much money goes where?

[COST $7557022.00] Well, in New Mexico they want to make sure you don't get that feeling.

When you drive by a highway construction project, the cost of the project is right there -- down to the nearest dollar. (With no commas, so be careful when counting those digits that you don't run into the car in front of you.)

$7557022.00. Now that's accountability!

(We won't talk about the completion date of fall 2013 and the fact that this photo was taken in early 2014. I hope that doesn't make the costs overrun to $7557022.50 or even $7557023.00.)

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[ 21:18 Jan 06, 2014    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Sun, 15 Dec 2013

Hi-Fi Internet

On way home from a trip last week, one of the hotels we stayed at had an unexpected bonus:

Hi-Fi Internet!

[Hi-fi internet]

You may wonder, was it mono or stereo? They had two accesspoints visible (with different essids), so I guess it was supposed to be stereo. Except one of the accesspoints never worked, so it turned out to be mono after all.

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[ 19:35 Dec 15, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Thu, 24 Oct 2013

A present on the doorstep

When cat owners talk about their cats, they often tell stories about opening the door to find a "present" on the mat of a half-eaten dead bird or mouse, proudly displayed as evidence of the cat's successful night of hunting.

We don't have cats, but this morning I opened the back door to find a present on the doormat:

[Dead guava present on the doormat]

[guava eaten by a squirrel] We don't have cats, but we do have squirrels. Currently, our main visitor is a young all-black male I call Little Blackie, after the pony in True Grit. LB visits daily to take our walnut offerings, and is diligent about chasing away any interlopers who might come by. I watched a wonderful aerial chase yesterday morning, when LB leapt after a grey who fled through the trees and upside-down along a thin telephone line.

Anyway, it's guava season now, though the harvest is sparse and small, not the bounty we get most years. (Note to self: turns out guava trees actually need watering in drought years.)

Squirrels don't normally like any sort of fruit very much, or at least our spoiled eastern greys don't. But occasionally in October one will develop a taste for guava, and we'll find a few scraped-out guavas lying near the tree each day.

This is the first time we've found a dead guava left as a present on the mat, though.

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[ 11:09 Oct 24, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Wed, 13 Feb 2013

Why should I stop here? Oh, that's why!

[Railroad gate caution sign]

I love warning signs. Especially when they have funny pictures on them illustrating the drastic consequences of ignoring the sign.

This one is by the railroad tracks in downtown Mountain View. In case you weren't sure what that funny wooden arm was for.

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[ 20:15 Feb 13, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Sat, 02 Feb 2013

Leave it like it is

[Tree with floating brick border] I guess the brick and concrete border was a little too small, and the tree just ignored it and kept growing. Tree: 1. Landscapers: 0.

And the neighbors, bless their hearts, didn't try to remove the border -- they left it intact as the tree continued to grow and raised the border higher and higher.

It's wonderful -- makes me smile every time I walk past. It reminds me of a great David Wilcox song, Leave It Like It Is.

Go, tree!

[ 12:22 Feb 02, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Wed, 23 Jan 2013

Mahatma of Spain

[Mahatma authentic Spanish rice] The silly things you find ...

Found this in Mom's pantry. "Mahatma Authentic Spanish rice."

Maybe it's just my ignorance that when I hear the term "Mahatma", Spain is not the first country I think of. But it says Authentic! So it must have something to do with Spanish culture, right?

Maybe it's named after that famous palace in Spain, the Mahatma.

I haven't tried the rice yet. I'm not sure whether I should serve it with curry, or tacos. I know! I'll make some curry tacos!

It's been pointed out to me that tacos aren't associated with Spain either. Whoops! Blame my nortemericano upbringing -- "Spanish rice" is what's served with Mexican food here, and cuisine from Spain is rare.


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[ 16:10 Jan 23, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

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