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tales from the woods

Friday, November 21, 2003

more timepass

Many folks have heard about the internationally famous arm wrestling championships regularly held in Petaluma, but there is another chap who lived in relative obscurity in a small, nameless town, yet who has a unique claim to fame nonetheless. He was the perennial arm wrestling champion year after year until one fateful day when he lost his wrestling arm in a terrible accident. This put the man into a deep depression, forlorn at the prospect of never again competing at the sport he deeply loved.

A world-class surgeon in a nearby town heard of his plight. Moved with compassion he offered to perform restorative surgery, but with an unusual twist. He reasoned that if a pig's or baboon's heart could so successfully be transplanted into humans, he would transplant a huge grizzly bear foreleg to our poor arm wrestling champ, giving him another chance to complete.

The surgery was a huge success and the man soon re-entered competition, soundly beating anyone who dared to challenge him. He so quickly and bruisingly dispatched his opponents that they banded together and appealed to the United States Arm Wrestling Committee, claiming that this man's transplanted arm gave him an unfair advantage. They wanted him disqualified and barred from any further competition.

The committee's answer was swift and brief. They noted that it would be a gross violation of this man's civil liberties to forbid him from competing. They called particular attention to the fact that every American citizen clearly has the constitutional right to bear arms.

[By Chris Cole]

Friday, November 14, 2003

The perils of religion

can be summarized by this shaggy dog:-

[unknown author]

A new young monk arrives at the monastery.

He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son."

So, the abbot goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript is held in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot.

The young monk gets worried and goes downstairs to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall. His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old abbot, "What's wrong, father?"

With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, "The word is 'celebrate'."

Monday, November 10, 2003

Monday morning blues

A while ago, i used to maintain a mailing list called the Monday Morning Blues. Since these dreary mondays seem to be repeating themselves week after weak, i'm restarting the MMBs. If only to preserve my sanity.

Here's a song by Phish called "Fee".

In the cool shade of the banana tree
On the rugged trail toward the balcony
A child of the twentieth century
A dried up Goliath and a weasel named Fee

Far away in another place
A fading beauty named Milly Grace
A gospel singer with pocks on her face
And a bamboo cane to help her keep the pace

Fee was a Buddhist prodigy
Long past the age of maturity
Someday he knew it would set him free
Like it did for Floyd the chimpanzee

Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free.
You're racing with the wind
You're flirting with death
So have a cup of coffee
And catch your breath

Fee first met Milly in a bar in Peru
His heart was jumping like a kangaroo
Like a beast in a cage in an old Dutch zoo
It was hopping and thumping in wooden shoes

But Floyd was jealous and alone
He wanted Milly for his own
A desperate craving in his bones
"Their love", he said, "I will not condone."

Then one day on a ship to Quebec
Floyd found Milly on a lover's trek
He picked up a bottle and broke off the neck
It sliced through the air, and Fee hit the deck

Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free
You want to stay with Milly
Until you're dead
But you just got a bottle
Upside your head

Milly turned and began to scream at Floyd
She said "You think you're pretty mean"
And though she was as thin as a small string bean
She slammed him in the face with a nectarine

Floyd fell back over the edge of the ship
Till he hung from the rail by his fingertip
Milly said, "Floyd I'll make you lose your grip
With this tiny piece of paper I can make you slip"

So Milly took that paper and did the deed
Floyd hit the water with astonishing speed
And as the sharks circled and began to feed
Milly knew her weasel was finally free

Oh, Fee, you're trying to live a life
That's completely free
Floyd is dead; he's nothing but a ripple
Cause Milly took that paper
And sliced him on the nipple

Friday, November 07, 2003

Indian blogging

seems to have come to age. Not only do we have the No-bull awards, we even have the igNoble awards! Do i hear a certain inventor of the dynamite turning in his grave? Or, do i see the prices of bananas skyrocketing? Alas, only time and a flamewar will tell.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

people with long beards

who speak good english, wear khadi and generally look intellectual can get away with anything. One such creature accosted me on my way to work. No sooner had he hopped on to the backseat of my bike, the NGO schpeil started. Dressed to the part, he started telling me about his "ashram" where he helps destitute women and the homeless. He poured his heart out on my ear while the other was listening to the traffic. He had even sold off his house to start the ashram, my ear signalled to my brain. On finally getting down from the bike, he asked me suavely for money to buy sweets for the children in the Ashram. Oddly enough, i gave him a hundred bucks without any hesitation. I even gave him my card and promised him that i would organize a drive to collect old clothes in my office and give it to him.

A month later, when a lot of water and 5000 lines of code had flown under the bridge, i get a call from the reception that someone was waiting for me. Mr. khadi beard had made an appearence again! After asking him how he was, i cut to the chase and asked him what he wanted. "One hundred rupees for the ashram", came his reply. Suddenly something clicked in my head and i saw him in all his fakeness. I glared at him and asked him to bugger off. Pat came his reply, "How about 50 rupees then?". I just walked off, too stunned to imagine that i had given this lowlife a lift AND given him a hundred bucks. Awright awright, you can all kick me now. damn.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Real tech support

Taken from userfriendly:-

Michael sent me this little message, and I swear that I spluttered my coffee when I read it:
I am tech support for a Portland based ISP. Just thought I would pass along some real questions I have been asked this week.
1) Telling a customer to enter a phone number for their dial up connection they asked "Do I need that in caps?"

2) Received an email asking us if Netscape would cost them more to use on the net than Explorer.