Shallow Thoughts : : humor

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

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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[ 20:18 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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[ 18:35 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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[ 10:09 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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[ 19:15 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!

[ 11:22 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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[ 15:10 Jan 23, 2013    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Thu, 13 Dec 2012

Miss American Stuck-in-Green-Cross

[Mis American Green Cross]

This is one of the creepiest statues I've seen in a park. A bronze lady has her feet embedded in a green cross, with cut tree stumps below her.

On the pedestal below her, it says:

HELP SAVE OUR TREES

THE FOREST IS THE MOTHER OF THE RIVERS

A small plaque below that says:

DEDICATED TO
THE AMERICAN GREEN CROSS
BY
GLENDALE CHAPTER No 1
MCMXXVIII

On the wide of the pedestal, it says:

CONSERVE THE FORESTS
PREVENT EROSION —
RENEW SOIL FERTILITY
PERPETUATE THE LUMBER SUPPLY

The title of the work, as given on an even smaller plaque on the gruond in front of the statue, is "Miss American Green Cross". Apparently it was created in 1928 by sculptor Frederick Willard Proctor, for an environmental group (although I don't usually think of "the lumber supply" being a prime concern of environmental groups).

[Miss American Green Cross, side view] The statue was first erected at Glendale High School in 1928. But she suffered some damage and abuse over the next few years, including being hit by a car. And then at some point in the early 1930s she disappeared. No one knew what had happened to her.

She wasn't officially rediscovered until 1954, when some hikers reported seeing it near the old Brand family cemetery, now part of Brand Park. She stood there for another three and a half decades, where she continued to be vandalized, acquiring scratches as well as grafiti, and eventually losing both arms.

Eventually, in 1990, after some debate over materials and methods, the city of Glendale restored the statue and moved down the trail to itsmis current location near Brand Library at the foot of the Brand Park hiking trails.

I've chuckled at this statue for years, whenever I visit Glendale and hike Brand Park. I still find her trapped legs, crucifixion motif, and pile of razed stumps creepy. But I must say that her history is a lot more interesting than I had imagined.

Tags: ,
[ 20:04 Dec 13, 2012    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

Miss American Stuck-in-Green-Cross

[Mis American Green Cross]

This is one of the creepiest statues I've seen in a park. A bronze lady has her feet embedded in a green cross, with cut tree stumps below her.

On the pedestal below her, it says:

HELP SAVE OUR TREES

THE FOREST IS THE MOTHER OF THE RIVERS

A small plaque below that says:

DEDICATED TO
THE AMERICAN GREEN CROSS
BY
GLENDALE CHAPTER No 1
MCMXXVIII

On the wide of the pedestal, it says:

CONSERVE THE FORESTS
PREVENT EROSION —
RENEW SOIL FERTILITY
PERPETUATE THE LUMBER SUPPLY

The title of the work, as given on an even smaller plaque on the gruond in front of the statue, is "Miss American Green Cross". Apparently it was created in 1928 by sculptor Frederick Willard Proctor, for an environmental group (although I don't usually think of "the lumber supply" being a prime concern of environmental groups).

[Miss American Green Cross, side view] The statue was first erected at Glendale High School in 1928. But she suffered some damage and abuse over the next few years, including being hit by a car. And then at some point in the early 1930s she disappeared. No one knew what had happened to her.

She wasn't officially rediscovered until 1954, when some hikers reported seeing it near the old Brand family cemetery, now part of Brand Park. She stood there for another three and a half decades, where she continued to be vandalized, acquiring scratches as well as grafiti, and eventually losing both arms.

Eventually, in 1990, after some debate over materials and methods, the city of Glendale restored the statue and moved down the trail to her current location near Brand Library at the foot of the Brand Park hiking trails.

I've chuckled at this statue for years, whenever I visit Glendale and hike Brand Park. I still find her trapped legs, crucifixion motif, and pile of shorn stumps creepy. But I must say that her history is a lot more interesting than I had imagined.

Tags: ,
[ 19:54 Dec 13, 2012    More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]

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