Friday, January 31, 2014

Funny Friday

I confess that I am not a fisherman.  I cannot see the enjoyment in having a barbed hook enter the flesh of a living creature, subjecting it to torment for some period, then throwing it back in the water.  It brings to mind Clement Freud's quote on the topic of fishing and attitudes of the British:  

"The depressing thing about an Englishman's traditional love of animals is the dishonesty thereof ... Get a barbed hook into the upper lip of a salmon, drag him endlessly around the water until he loses his strength, pull him to the bank, hit him on the head with a stone, and you may well become fisherman of the year. Shoot the salmon and you'll never be asked again."

Nonetheless for those who do like to pursue that pastime, and even for those who don't, here is some fishing humour for today's Funny Friday.

Caution: risque language and swear words ahead.

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A couple of young boys were fishing at their special pond off the beaten track. All of a sudden, the Game Warden jumped out of the bushes. Immediately, one of the boys threw his rod down and started running through the woods like a bat out of hell. The Game Warden was hot on his heels. After about a half mile, the young man stopped and stooped over with his hands on his thighs to catch his breath, so the Game Warden finally caught up to him. "Let's see yer fishin' licence, boy!" the Warden gasped. With that, the boy pulled out his wallet and gave the Game Warden a valid fishing licence. "Well, son," said the Game Warden. "You must be about as dumb as a box of rocks! You don't have to run from me if you have a valid licence!" "Yes, sir," replied the young guy. "But my friend back there, well, he don't have one." 

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It was a cold winter day, when an old man walked out onto a frozen lake, cut a hole in the ice, dropped in his fishing line and began waiting for a fish to bite. He was there for almost an hour without even a nibble when a young boy walked out onto the ice, cut a hole in the ice not too far from the old man and dropped in his fishing line. It only took about a minute and WHAM! a Largemouth Bass hit his hook and the boy pulled in the fish. The old man couldn't believe it but figured it was just luck. But, the boy dropped in his line and again within just a few minutes pulled in another one. This went on and on until finally the old man couldn't take it any more since he hadn't caught a thing all this time. He went to the boy and said, "Son, I've been here for over an hour without even a nibble. You have been here only a few minutes and have caught about half a dozen fish! How do you do it?" The boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rrarm." "What was that?" the old man asked. Again the boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rarrm." "Look," said the old man, "I can't understand a word you are saying." So, the boy spit into his hand and said, "You have to keep the worms warm!" 

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The next item has been posted previously in Bytes but is worth repeating in the context of fishing.  It is followed by a variation on that joke that I recently came across.  The first has risque language.

Version 1:

Out fishing with a sailor friend, a priest hooks a huge fish. Helping him reel it in , the sailor says, "Whoa, look at the size of that fucker!" "Hey, mind your language!" says the priest. Embarrassed, the sailor thinks quickly and blurts out, "Sorry Father, but that’s what this fish is called - it's a fucker fish!"

Accepting the explanation, the priest forgives the sailor and takes the fish back to church."Look at this huge Fucker," says the priest, spotting the Bishop. "Language, please! This is God’s house," replies the Bishop. "No, no – that’s what this fish is called," says the priest. "Oh," says the Bishop, scratching his chin. " I could clean that fucker and we could have it for dinner."

So the Bishop takes the fish, cleans it, and brings it to the Mother Superior. "Could you cook this fucker for dinner tonight?" he asks her. "My, what language!" she exclaims, clearly shocked.
"No, Sister, that’s what this fish is called - a fucker," says the Bishop. Satisfied with the explanation, the Mother Superior says, "Wonderful, I'll cook that fucker tonight, the Pope is coming for dinner!"

The fish tastes just great and the Pope asks where they got it. 

"Well, I caught the fucker!" says the Priest. "And I cleaned the fucker!" says the Bishop. "And I cooked the fucker!" says the Mother Superior.

The Pope stares at them for a minute with a steely gaze, leans back on his chair, takes off his cap, puts his feet up on the table, pours himself a whiskey and says, " You know what? You cunts are alright!" 

Version 2:

One day a nun was fishing and caught a huge, odd looking fish. A man was walking by and said, "Wow! What a nice goddam Fish!" The sister said, "Sir, you shouldn't use Lord's name in vain." The man said, "But that's the species of the fish, a 'Gauddam' Fish." The sister said, "Oh, in that case, it's okay." The sister took the fish back home and said, "Mother Superior, look at the Gauddam Fish I caught." Shocked, the Mother Superior said, "Sister, you know better than that." The nun said, "That's the name of its species - a Gauddam Fish." So, the Mother Superior said, "Well, give me that Gauddam Fish and I'll clean it." While she was cleaning the fish, Monsignor walked in and Mother Superior said, "Monsignor, look at the Gauddam Fish that the sister caught." Nearly fainting, Monsignor said, "Mother Superior, you shouldn't talk like that!" Mother Superior said, "But that's the species of it - a Gauddam Fish." Monsignor said, "Well, give me the Gauddam Fish and I'll cook it." That evening at supper there was a new priest at the table, and he said, "Wow, what a nice fish." In reply, the sister said, "Thank you, I caught the Gauddam Fish." And Mother Superior said, "I cleaned the Gauddam Fish." And Monsignor said, "I cooked the Gauddam Fish." The priest looked around in disbelief, quite shocked, and said, "I'm starting to like this fucking place!"

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Four married guys go fishing. After an hour, the following conversation took place: 

First guy: "You have no idea what I had to do to be able to come out fishing this weekend. I had to promise my wife that I will paint every room in the house next weekend."

Second guy: "That's nothing, I had to promise my wife that I will build her a new deck for the pool." 

Third guy: "Man, you both have it easy! I had to promise my wife that I will remodel the kitchen for her." 

They continue to fish when they realised that the fourth guy has not said a word. So they asked him. "You haven't said anything about what you had to do to be able to come fishing this weekend. What's the deal?" 

Fourth guy: "I just set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. When it went off, I shut off the alarm, gave the wife a nudge and said, Fishing or sex," and she said, "Wear a sweater".

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Corn Corner:

I couldn't separate these two for picking today's Corn Corner item so her they both are:

I phoned up the fishing helpline today.
I said, "I'm crap at fishing and need some tips."
The man said, "Okay, can you hold the line?"
I replied, "No."

I saw a guy fishing the other day and I asked him, "Have you caught anything?"
He said, "I've caught loads today."
"Using worms, are you?"
"No, licorice."
"What have you caught with that?"
"All sorts," he said.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Faces in Objects

 Ever noticed how the holes in a power point resemble faces, sorta.

There’s a website that allows people to send in pics of everyday objects with faces and they’re very funny, even if some of the faces are sad. But are they as good as my power point faces? You be the judge (more in future posts) . . .

One thing is certain, you will now start seeing faces in a whole lot more places where you hadn’t seen them before.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5 Quotes by Japanese People

“The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace...beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man’s belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his belief in the cooperation of men, and through this cooperation, his ability to find greatness.”

— Minuro Yamasaki 

Of Japanese and American heritage, he was the 
Chief Architect of the World Trade Center Complex 
The above remarks were made at the opening ceremonies and dedication April 4, 1973

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“Despite the best that has been done by everyone--the gallant fighting of our military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of out servants of the State and the devoted service of our 100,000,000 people--the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage . . . “

- Japanese Emperor Hirohito,
radio broadcast 14 August 1945, accepting the Potsdam Declaration, aka the Declaration Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender.

(Hirohito, raised in isolation in a palace, lacked Hitler’s oratory skills and his connection with ordinary people. On visiting Hiroshima after it had been obliterated by the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japanese cities, Hirohito remarked “There seems to have been considerable damage here.”)

(I am grateful to my father in law, Noel, 
for bringing the Hirohito quotes to my attention).

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”It is a terrible shame for me – I came back, still alive, without having won the war.”

- Soichi Yokoi 

Soichi Yokoi (1915-1997) was a Japanese sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War 11.. He was among the last three Japanese holdouts to be found after the end of hostilities in 1945, discovered in the jungles of Guam on 24 January 1972, almost 28 years after US forces had regained control of the island in 1944. Although he had read dropped leaflets declaring that the war was over, he believed them to be false. Eventually found and subdued by two local fishermen, he was returned to Japan where he stated "It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned.” The remark became a popular saying in Japanese. After a whirlwind media tour of Japan, he married and settled down, becoming a popular television personality and an advocate of austere living.

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Exhausted, I sought 
a country inn, but found 
wisteria in bloom 

Matsuo Basho, haiku

Basho (1644-1694) is today recognised as the greatest master of haiku poetry, with many of his works being reproduced on monuments and traditional sites in Japan.

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“No matter where I go in the world, although I can't speak any foreign language, I don't feel out of place. I think of earth as my home. If everyone thought this way, people might notice just how foolish international friction is and the would be put an end to it.” 

- Akira Kurosawa 

(1910-1998), Japanese film director, screenwriter, producer and editor who is today regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bad Pics by Agents

Remember that web site called Awkward Family Photos where people send..well...awkward family photos.  It's at:

There is a similar site called Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs where members of the public send, as the name states, really bad photos used by agents in their advertising. My attention was brought to this by Kate who had seen a news item about it a couple of days ago. 

The site van be visited by clicking on:

The photographs make you wonder about the IQ of the agents who have used the photographs, all the more so in that agents are renowned for overdescribing the qualities of the properties listed by them.  

Here are some of the recent pics with the captions from that site, more at a later date:

A rare example of what architectural historians refer to as a “fertility window”.

This one raises a couple of quite urgent questions: Where did they go, and are they still in the house?

There’s an old Danish proverb about having a dead goose in the rafters of your house… 
OK no there isn’t.

Something about this picture suggests a certain lack of confidence in that stove.

It’s a lovely flat, but a recent restraining order prevents this agent being seen within 500 yards of the building.

A rare example of a more hard-hitting style of Real Estate Agent Photography. The agent has given up trying to sell the property in favour of documenting a hideous accident involving some unidentifiable brown sludge.

This property did have a problem with mice, but the current owner assures us he found an effective way of dealing with them.

No it’s fine. Stay there, and you won’t become a preposterous centrepiece of the most ridiculous real estate photograph ever taken.
(For those who haven't seen it, look at the bottom of the curtain on the right).

Sometimes you have to give an agent the benefit of the doubt and presume that they’ve spent the last 60 years in a cultural vacuum with their eyes closed.

Ideal for those of you with a particularly fast metabolism.

A point-blank Mexican stand-off between two bright red sofas adjudicated by a television. In the world of Feng Shui, this is quite a low score.

The garden was meticulously well-maintained by the current owner, who passed away in 1974.

We call this the blue room.

Despite modernisation, the owners have retained the toilet’s original listening booth - an unusual feature seldom seen nowadays.

Heaven knows what he was doing that required so much toilet paper, but clearly the estate agent’s arrival caused him to panic and hide under the sink.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Some emails received

Because of the mountains of daily spam and advertising received on this blog when comments were enabled generally, I have limited comments to subscribers. Such comments are able to be posted on the blog itself or can be sent in response to the daily blog email.

Below are some of the recent emails received.

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From Byter Charlie regarding the honey factlet:

Otto –

I happen to be in New Zealand and went to the Arartaki Honey Centre near Napier yesterday, where they tell you everything you would ever want to know about honey, including the non spoiling characteristic, which dates back to some found in Egyptian tombs. So the honey being made today by bees doing their thing will still be good on January 23, 6499!

At my age i don't even buy green bananas, but perhaps some of your readers plan to be around then!



#1: The honey stays good because it has a high sugar content in its cured state and this inhibits fermentation. If it is exposed to moist air, the moisture can be sucked into the honey and, if in sufficient quantity, it will dilute the honey and allow fermentation to begin. The ideal form of sealing and preservation is honey in honeycomb cells.

#2: Why aren’t there any King Bees?

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From Elena regarding the nightmare factlet:

... after having read the last one re nightmares, it reminded me of the Irish banshee which I find rather interesting. Then going on from there M.R. James’ ghost stories, even now years after they were written they still send shivers down the spine, far more so than the modern writers. 


I haven’t read any of James’ ghost stories but I do recall from my younger days that the black magic and occult novels of Dennis Wheatley used to send a shiver up the spine when read alone at night.

Do readers have recollections of others?

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From Byter Dee Bee/Lapun Pinis re Dale, the father who waved goodbye to his 16 year old son Rain aboard the school bus for 6 months wearing a different costume each day:

Onya Dale! A great attitude and the ultimate right way to handle the problem.

The “Father from Heaven” may have been a better intro!

And from Nora on the same subject:

Thank you so much for this story it really touched a chord deep in my heart... Cried like a bloody baby. 


Dale and Rochelle are the parents of daughter Rikki, son Rain and son Ryatt. Rikki is married and is receiving treatment for thyroid cancer, Rain is doing missionary work in Liberia in Africa and Ryatt is in high school. He does not ride the bus.

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From Kara regarding the post about my mother and father in law in Canberra, Margaret and Noel.  Margaret broke her hip on Christmas Eve.

Dear Otto

That was a lovely story but sad too and brought tears to my eyes. Your mother-in-law has had to suffer through much but clearly her strength of character and support of (truly) the love of her life, and family, continue to help her through. So much better of course that the latest fall had never happened but when you think about it wasn't it great that, if it was going to be so, it happened while you were all there. Imagine the alternative, Kate's parents having to cope on their own until help arrived, a frightening telephone call on Christmas Eve, and a frantic dash for yourselves to organise flights etc to be with them.

Wonderful photographs of Noel and Margaret. I look forward to a future Bytes showing the happy couple on their 60th Anniversary.

Best Wishes for 2014 to you and yours - and many thanks for all you share through Bytes. Long may it continue.


PS I did take slight umbrage when I first saw 'Hello Boys . . . ' what about us girls?

From Maria and Chris:

So sorry to hear of Margaret's fall on Christmas Day. Every best wish for her speedy recovery

Maria & Chris

And from Jen:

I think this was one of the most beautiful and inspiring stories I ever heard, ye love is incredible, it doesn't have age, distance or absence, thanks so much for sharing. My best wishes for her quick recovery.
Regards Jenny


Thanks for the well wishes, I have passed them on. Margaret remains in hospital although she has now progressed to the rehabilitation section. The powers that be are trying to get her home and rehab includes climbing stairs. A stair lift will be installed at home if necessary. The time frame remains unknown.

Here is another pic of the happy couple on their wedding day just short of 60 years ago.

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As regards my use of the following clipart item to introduce that post:

and for which Kara took me to task as being sexist, I agree that there should have been a bit more thought on my part.  The pic is of Randy Quaid, who speaks that line when he sends his plane into the alien spacecraft via the ships anal sphincter.  It was my intention to announce that I was back after a Christmas break.  I should have used:

Which also gives me an opportunity to repeat a bit of humour posted previously:

A top movie producer was discussing his new project - an action docudrama about famous composers starring several top movie stars.
Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis were present.
The producers allowed each man to choose which famous composer they would portray.
Stallone said, "I'll play Beethoven."
Bruce Willis said, "I'll be Mozart."
Schwarzenegger said, "I'll be Bach."

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

No Bytes on Sunday

I'll be away on Sunday so there won't be a Bytes that day.

Sunday is Australia Day, I wish you a safe and enjoyable celebration.

(There is another Bytes item for today below this post.)

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Blunders and Foul Ups: The Battle of Karansebes

The Battle of Karansebes

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Today begins a new occasional series: Blunders and Foul Ups.

The initial item in that series is from a field rich in blunders: the military.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." 

- Albert Einstein

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Back in the days when I was an Arts student at Sinnyuni  I heard a story, probably apocryphal, of a Commem Day stunt. Commem Day was a lot bigger back then than it is today, the main feature being student pranks and silliness.

I managed to locate a newspaper's description of the stunt that I mentioned above:

“ . . . one University Commemoration Day, Parramatta Road (then the main western artery into the city) was in chaos because a gang of workmen were busy pulling up the tram lines. Some Machiavellian students rang the police and told them that a group of students had dressed up as workmen and were digging up Parramatta Road. Something should be done and done quickly. 
Having alerted the police, the students then rushed out to the workers and informed them that it was Commemoration Day, students were running wild all over the city, and they had heard that a group of students, dressed as police, were about to try and stop the workers from doing their jobs. 
The students then quietly retreated into the university grounds, found strategic vantage points, and watched a brawl break out between the police and workers. It probably never happened but it is a great story.” 

Beautiful. And so simple.

I was reminded of the above story when I read an item about the Battle of Karanesebes (which has also been mooted as apocryphal by some).

The story about the battle, which took place in 1788 (the same year as white settlement began in Australia, hence an Australia Day connection) was first recorded in print in the Austrian Military Magazine in 1831. 

Back in 1788 Austria was at war with Turkey. Determined to kick some Turkish butt, the Austrians sent 100,000 men to what is now Romania. On 17 September 1788 they settled down for the night outside the town of Karansebes with some of their light cavalry, known as hussars, crossing the Timis River to scout for Turks. They didn’t find Turks but they did find gypsies, who, in turn, had a large amount of schnapps.  This was purchased by the hussars who then got down to some serious drinking. This attracted the attention of some Austrian infantry who had also crossed the river. The infantry demanded some of the alcohol but the drunken hussars refused, even to the extent of placing guards on their store of schnapps. An argument followed and a shot was fired.

The following then happened:
  • The hussars and infantry began fighting each other.
  • Some of the infantry, believing that they were fighting the Turks, called out "Turci! Turci!" ("Turks! Turks!").
  • The hussars believing the claims by the infantry that they were being attacked by the Turks, retreated on horseback, straight through the infantry. The infantry, seeing the hussars fleeing, had their belief of Turkish attack confirmed and joined the retreat. 
  • The Austrian army was not composed only of Austrians. It also comprised Italians, Slavs and other minorities. Many of the retreating soldiers could not understand each other. In an attempt to restore order, German-speaking Austrian officers shouted “Halt! Halt!” which the non-German speaking soldiers heard as “Allah! Allah!”  
      It is hard to believe that the situation could get any worse but . . 
  • As the fleeing hussars and infantry reached the main army camp, an officer in that main camp assumed that the body of advancing yelling men were attacking Turks.  He ordered his artillery to open fire. The whole camp awoke to the sound of cannon fire and also assumed Turkish attack. As with the hussars and the infantry, they fled in all directions, firing into the dark at anything they saw, that is, Austrian soldiers.
  • The entire army made a general retreat and even their leader, Emperor Joseph 11, was pushed off his horse into a creek.
  • Two days later, the Turkish army arrived and discovered 10,000 dead and wounded soldiers. They easily took the town and surrounding countryside, plus what was left of the schnapps.

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