Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Dweezil's Ripped My Flesh." Popcorn by The Colonel #25

Epigraph: "The path up and the path down are one and the same." --Herakleitos

What's that mean? Be nice to the people you meet on your way up, because they're the same ones you'll meet on your way down? Who knew the dark one was so show biz?

Philosophy: Single malt helps.
"Cream is good. Everything else is bad." --Donald H. Fisher, possible dietary crank (Another of his: "You don't get fat because you eat fat.")

"A cat is a sphinx to whose riddle you never get an answer no matter how much of its poop you scoop."

“Mio gattino,” I whispered, in a language I don’t understand to a creature who doesn’t understand words.

"Online dating is a terrific den of humanity."

"Judge Crater, call your office. We're running out of things to tell the people in your waiting room."

The Colonel misunderstood an old joke for many years. The joke: "Guess what they found when Tammy Faye Baker went to prison and they took off her makeup? Jimmy Hoffa!" The gist is that TFB was Jimmy Hoffa in disguise. The Colonel thought the gist was that the makeup was so thick that they found the body of Jimmy Hoffa buried in it. (Apologies to anyone grossed out.) Sometimes The Colonel needs jokes carefully explained to him.

One person's summary: "The Republicans want tax cuts much bigger than the spending cuts they are willing to deliver. The Democrats want big government on half the necessary tax base."

Another summary: "The reason that the latest tax hikes won't solve the problem is that no tax hikes can solve the problem."

If you and your significant other are both reporters, and you get the story first, have you scooped your shapoopi?

The Czech Republic counts Franz Kafka, who wrote in German, as one of its great writers.

The Colonel once spoke (in English) to a Czech who was amazed that some non-Czech third party had learned Czech. The Colonel asked, "Why is that such a big deal? After all, you learned English." He said, "Yeah, but why bother learning a language spoken by only 10 or 12 million people in the whole world? That's impressive."

Hmm. Modern Greek is spoken by only about 13 million people, and Ancient Greek by zero, or maybe one, if you count Professor Andrew Szegedy-Maszak at Wesleyan (search his name at coursera.com for a free treat). Yet Greek has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history, but it has had at least two others: Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary. The Greek alphabet apparently derived from the Phoenician alphabet, but Greek adapted some symbols to serve as vowels, making it the first "true" alphabet. Vowels, like bowels, are important.

No language is difficult for its native speakers. Americans may think Chinese is hard, but it is spoken fluently by millions of three-, four-, and five-year-olds.

"American is a very difficult language, mixed with English." -- Anonymous (doubtless a Brit)

"America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language." --GBS (attributed)

"I don't mind mind what language an opera is sung in, so long as it is a language I don't understand." --Edward Appleton

We don't know who the reptilian shapeshifters among us are, but could Will Ferrell actually be a Wolf Earl?

Since the gospel account doesn't specify the number of kings, should January 6 be "Unspecified Number of Kings Day"?

Comforting thought: "A friend is someone who knows your faults and likes you anyway."

A less comforting thought: "What's important is not whether you win or lose, but whether I win or lose."

Similarly-minded birthday card: Cover: "If I could have just one wish for your birthday, this is what it would be." Inside: "That I would win the lottery."

Another birthday card: Cover: "Sorry this card is late. It was delayed in the mail." Inside: "Unlike your present, which will never get there."

A "hater" is the personality type whose life stance is vehement rejection of all that it considers greedy, oppressive, or unjust. Haters are usually humorless bores. They have guardian angers. Nevertheless, we could do with a lot more of them. Just not in my back yard.

"You should attend St. Thomas Fiorini University" is a polite way of saying please be quiet.

"The worst part of office Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day." --Phyllis Dilller

Seymour "Psy" Silberfels, who's not very hip, was asked whether he missed his daughter, who had gone off to collage. "Gangnam style," he said. On further inquiry, it turned out that he thought "gangnam style" meant "big time." Sweet. Psy gets a lot of teasing around Christmas because his surname fits the meter of a common carol.

"American girls want everything in the world you can possibly imagine." --Mick Jagger, "Some Girls."

Brits pronounce the “a” in “can” differently from the “a” in “can’t.” They say "can't" as “cahn’t.” The distinction is useful in avoiding misunderstandings. No way Americans will adopt it though.

A year ago, Glenn Beck tried to buy Current TV, a struggling cable network founded by Al Gore and others to air a liberal or progressive perspective on public affairs. Current TV turned Beck down, saying that "the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view." This year Current TV has agreed to sell itself to Al Jazeera America, a new arm of the Quatari-financed news organization. Anonymous atheistic blogger Allahpundit commented, I really don't like the idea of an extremist propaganda outlet that seeks the destruction of America airing on U.S. cable. Fortunately, sounds like Al Jazeera's about to get rid of it.”

There's a memory system called "the Dominic system." It's named after Dominic O'Brien, a longtime champ in international memory competitions. The Colonel speculates that the system is not called "the O'Brien System" because a maker of wakeboards got the name "O'Brien System" first. A "wakeboard" is a buoyant board resembling a surfboard, used to ride over water while being pulled behind a motorboat. Cf. water-skis.

"A Buddha is just someone with no concerns." --Te-shan


Anonymous said...

I always interpreted the Tammy Faye Baker joke the same as the Colonel had and I still think it works and is funny both ways.

Anonymous said...

Home made birthdaly card from my father-in-law many years ago: "I was out all day looking for an expensive present for your birthday. Sure glad I couldn't find one."