Friday, April 27, 2007


Think you've seen it all? Wanna bet?

For most people cheese is a food that one eats. Then again, for others cheese is something that they enjoy watching.

You read it right. Cheese watching in living color live on the Internet!

A site has been set up whereby surfers can watch a slab of cheese aging. In the scheme of things it's a slow process unless of course it rots but that as they say, is a complete different process. We're talking here about watching a slab of British cheddar cheese put on view by the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers. Visually, it can best be described as yellow-tinged and round and somewhat grey-ish on the sides but perhaps that's strictly shadows or the quality of the photo.

Cheese aficionados are also supplied with an exact time lapse from the instant the cheese began the aging process and those inclined can even name the cheese. Some suggestions that spring to mind are Chunky...Cheesy...and keeping things British, Chumly Cheese...

Shades of Monty Python!

Writers & Friends

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Singer Sheryl Crow is big on the fight against global warming and all green-related causes in general.
Good for her!
In her blog, she is urging people - us - to use "only one square (of toilet paper) per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two or three could be required."
So like...I'm wondering under what conditions are we allowed or sanctioned to use more than one? I guess or presume she's referring to illness like stomach flu or virus where one would definitely not suffice, or following a particularly large-ish meal.
Have to confess that on occasion and when hand-dryers are broken or take to long to actually dry hands, I've used toilet tissue!
Forgive me Sheryl but it's true!
The problem with using toilet tissue is that due to its structural nature especially in public bathrooms where it's generally 1-ply quality, the tissue disintegrates where tissue meets wet hands and breaks down into small, irritating pieces that stick to your hands.
Rosie O'Donnell who always has something interesting to comment about, made a point: "Have you seen my a--?"
Interestingly enough, the singer's contract according to The Smoking Gun, when touring calls for parking space for three tractor trailers, four buses, six cars.

Writers & Friends

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Let's say...a house in the Hamptons isn't a viable option and there's this yearning for a vacation home that's a cut-above-the-rest.

"Oh we're not going to Florida this year," you might open your conversation with your friends. "We'll be visiting our winter/summer mansion in East Yorkshire. You know - horsies, tea, crumpets, Queen Liz and Phil- the whole shebang. Florida is know...nouveau riche," you'll comment, while sipping your sherry in the drawing room. It might be more obtainable than you think.

A British family want to give away their mansion in Old Parsonage near Goole, East Yorkshire. Interested?

The owners of said mansion, Kath and Alf Overy (Kath and Alf...Alf and Kath...) tried selling it but didn't have any takers listed at £650,000, so they decided instead to offer their 300 year old home as a contest prize, instead.

According to Mr. Overy there have been a lot of updates over the years (I bet!) but the woodwork and beams are orginal. Whew! I know that was a great concern of mine.

The way the contest works is that contestants who pay 60£ to enter, have to look at a doctored photograph of the house and guess where a missing shadow should fall.


Guess...where a shadow should fall? Wouldn't that be subjective depending on the person viewing the photo? Perhaps a person/contestant could erroneously see a shadow let's say...on the left side of the roof but it won't be the right shadow because the right or correct shadow would be the one on the left side of a window...

Anyhow, the couple have limited the amount of entries to 25,000 and once they have covered the cost of the house, plan to donate any remaining money to the International League for the Protection of Horses.

Okay. Horses before people...or the environment hunger...

So at this point people reading this are probably thinking: 'now just how do I go about winning this Georgian mansion of which you speak or write. You just key in: to get the rules on how to enter.


Read the information blurb here:


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fate? Destiny? Boy saves friend's life with Heimlich manoeuver

With all the negative news that the media reports, it's always refreshing and uplifting to find a good news story, especially when it involves young people.

Probably hundreds of thousands of people taking a CPR course also received instruction on using the Heimlich manoeuver to help dislodge a person choking on an object. There are two levels with one for adults and another for children and babies. Few people actually expect to use it least of all a young boy who saved the life of his friend using the Heimlich.

If ever there was a case for fate and being in the right place at the right time, this story will make you a believer.

Last Wednesday, Travis Hayes of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, CA, was in his 6th grade classroom sucking on a peppermint candy when a fellow classmate did something funny that made him laugh. Somehow during his laughter, the peppermint somehow slipped down and became lodged in his windpipe. Upon realizing that the young boy was choking, his teacher used the Heimlich manoeuver but couldn't remove the candyand a trip to an adjoining classroom to get assistance was unfruitful.

Fellow classmate, Tristan Unsworth who was a skateboard buddy of Travis, assumed that his friend might be fooling around but upon seeing saliva dripping out of Travis's mouth and his facing turning red, he realized his friend was in stress and choking. As luck would have it or some would call it fate, Tristan having taken a babysitting course that included a life saving technique given by the school in February, knew exactly what to do. He wrapped his arms around his friend's stomach and dislodged the candy with one strong abdominal thrust. Taking it all in his stride once Tristan saw and heard Travis cough, he cooly walked back to his seat.

Talk about a good friend! As mentioned he was in the right place at the right time...

Fate? Destiny? Luck?

Writers & Friends

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Stranger's Last Wish...whoever...whatever

Like many people reading this I'm a cyber $$$ millionaire a few times - more than a mere few times - over but today, posted directly in one of my e-mail's bulk file, I was asked to fulfill a dying man's wish. This letter joins all the others including one from my Nigerian friend, Mr. Nagobukutu along with hundreds - nay - thousands of "friends" from around the globe. However, this was my first letter from a dying friend.

It's true! Really!

As is the case with all the other "offers" the request came by letter and I know it was directed to me personally because it was addressed: "dear friend." The sender, a virtual stranger in the true sense of the word, seeked me out personally explaining, "I got your contact informations from the web data directory when I was searching for a relaible individual to assist me in this project." I mean - how much more personal can it get?

Before going into his spiel...I mean to say, before he explained the purpose of his letter, he wrote: "I don't want you to feel SORRY or PITY for me because I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Mr. Larry -----, a merchant in Dubai in the U.A.E. I have been diagnosed with prostate and esophageal Cancer that was discovered lately due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled (a Freudian slip perhaps?) all forms of medicine and right now,I have only about few months to live according to medical experts."Furthermore," he went on to confess and/or reflect on his past, "I have not particularly lived my life so well as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. I wasn't too generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my businesses as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world."

Oh yeah?

Larry - I'm sure he doesn't mind me using his first name since I feel that we became cyber buds in the money sense - then went on the juicy part where he explained that he was rich and "the last of my money, which I planned to use in openning a shopping complex in London is a huge cash deposited with a Financial Security Firm abroad. I want to donate it to any worthy, charity organisation, hence my contacting you with blind trust having been led by my intuition of goodwill."

Aw Larry! Such generosity!

'Intuition of goodwill' - such poetic drivel...I mean, self-expression.

Anyway, the gist of his communique was "...I am looking for a trustworthy individual/firm to help me collect this deposited funds with the Financial Firm abroad and dispatch it to charity organizations and let them know that I, Mr Larry ---- is making this generous donation as a dying man's last wish."

Now ain't he just the greatest? I get all choked up at the point where he says he is writing his letter to me in a hospital bed on a laptop computer.

He closes his comminique by writing: " I have decided to offer you 25% of the total sum and also set aside 5% for all your expenses (i.e for any expenses you may incure during the process of this project).

I's a guy - Larry - a stranger let's not forget - who makes me an offer that I can easily refuse! Is there no end to how much cyber money a person can make?

Anybody else receive a letter from Larry? If not - I'm sure he'll get to you all sooner or later.

Writers & Friends forum

Monday, April 16, 2007

Another random, useless shooting, this time at Virginia Tech

If ever there was a reason to rant and rave, it's today's shooting at Virgina Tech. At last report 30 people were killed and 21 people are injured. Imagine as a parent sending an offspring to a school of higher learning so that she/he can be a contributing member of society, saying goodbye in the morning, forever. Unfortunately, these horrific mass killings in school settings are becoming all too frequent. Just last year we experienced a similar situation although not to such a degree, with a young and obviously very disturbed young male entering a local university and opening fire at random. He killed a young female and injured others that happened to be in his range of fire, then did away with himself before anybody could find out any information as to his reason for committing murder. In the end, does it really make any difference, anyway? The result is the taking of lives of innocent persons.

I don't know...I... just... don't... know. It's just not right or normal to outlive your children. My heart is heavy today. Why...why...why...?


Can't take credit for writing this but I bet many people especially the teaching profession reading this will relate.

"Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options:

"To lie about why your child is absent, press 1.

"To make excuses for why your child did not do his work, press 2.

"To complain about what we do, press 3.

"To swear at staff members, press 4.

"To ask why you didn't get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several fliers mailed to you, press 5.

"If you want us to raise your child, press 6.

"If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone, press 7.

"To request another teacher, for the third time this year, press 8.

"To complain about bus transportation, press 9.

"To complain about school lunches, press 0.

"If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his or her own behaviour, class work, homework and that your child's lack of effort is not the teacher's fault, hang up and have a nice day."

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Forgive this indulgence of posting my frustration, ire and angst here but I'm frustrated. There's nothing I can do about it but we're expecting as is the case in many geographical locations in the U.S. up to 15" of snow tonight and tomorrow. You read it right: fifteen inches of new, cold white stuff! I mean - how's a gardener to garden?

Many of my perennials are starting to poke through the earth because it's (supposed to be) Spring. The earth is finally de-frosting and the grass is beginning to grow in addition to turning green and in as far as the birds are concerned, it's Spring. The rats with fluffy tails a.k.a. squirrels are also out in abundance digging up the garden searching for food items buried last autumn and a member of the neighborhood skunk family has been spotted. 'Mr. A' our sidewalk and driveway cleaner has finished his yearly contract, which means we're on our own when it comes to clearing the snow.

Actually, when it comes to clearing sidewalks 'Mr. A' prefers or opts to wait until the snow stops falling completely before he and his hench men...helpers show up. When contacted to remind him that we are his clients, he inevitably responds: "the storm not over yet. It gonna snow some more and then we gotta come back." My response to him is "well Mr. A, why wash my face every day if it's going to get dirty again?"

Why we retain his services year after year is a mystery. Probably because feedback from other neighbors indicates that the other snowclearers are worse.

So I'm waiting and worrying. What else can I do? Perhaps an anti-snow dance would be in order but then what would the neighbors think?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Zoo veterinarian unaware of the concept

Here's one for the unaware-of-the-concept category that crocodiles+available humans=snack.
We're talking here about people-unaware-of-the-end-result or he-should-have-known-better file. Popularly known as 'duh'.

So this man who is a zoo veterinarian no less indicating he has knowledge and experience dealing with dangerous animals, enters the crocodile compound or cage or whatever and wherever crocs live, in Taiwan. According to reports the vet was in the crocodile's cage to examine the croc since it was sick and was administering an aenesthetic dart, given crocodile's propensity to bite without provocation. Perhaps he should have considered an alternative method of shooting a dart from outside the cage but for whatever reason, he decided to get up close and personal with the beast.

At the point where he i.e. the vet, was about to remove the tranquilizer dart and not noticing that the croc wasn't fully aenesthesised, the crocodile made its move biting off the man's fore-arm. Again it makes one wonder how a professional veterinarian with knowledge regarding all types of zoo animals could have missed the signs.

Initial reports indicated that shots fired at the crocodile by a co-worker killed it however an updated report now claims that no bullet holes have been found in its (the crocodile's) hide.

Darn - there goes a crocodile purse!

Seriously though... According to a zoo worker the crocodile, shocked at the fact that it was a target, opened its mouth and let go of the severed arm. A local video report showed the police officer firing at the animal to retrieve the arm.

Anyway...the bottom line to all of this is that the arm was rushed to the hospital where it was re-attached.

Here is the "before" photo:,23599,21543403-2,00.html

There is no report on how the crocodile is doing.

Friday, April 06, 2007


It occurred to me that by the mere act of writing about or commenting on this Sanjaya, I am assisting in retaining his high profile. Therefore I shall no longer comment upon the-name-that-shall-not-be-mentioned in writing, anymore. American Idol and other singers, however, is another story.

Maybe that'll help.

Writers & Friends

Thursday, April 05, 2007


"IT" survived yet another vote. More to the point - I can't believe that I'm still commenting on this non-singer/entertainer/whatever. The fact that he returns week-after-week indicates that Paula, Randy and Simon's comments on the group's singing abilities have absolutely no impact on AI viewers.

Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part but last night I saw signs of embarrassment cross Sanjaya's face when Gina was eliminated. Then again and given his current run of popularity, it could have been smug satisfaction bordering on arrogance.

Like they say - on with the show. we really care anymore? Bump...please!

Writers & Friends