Friday, April 30, 2021





Caution: Risque humour ahead.

A few days ago I posted an item about coincidences and said that I didn’t regard them as portents or omens, nonetheless I threw salt over my shoulder and rubbed a rabbit’s foot.

That reference to a rabbit foot for luck reminded me of a story from years ago when my son was working in the legal practice with me. I looked it up in Bytes and had another head scratching chuckle reading it.

I have checked with son Thomas and he is okay with me reposting it. The post was on May 24, 2013, but the photo of Thomas dates from 2008.

Here is that post . . .

My son Thomas, who works in my office (and who has now completed his law course, graduation in July, WD) had carried out some tasks for John, an elderly, eccentric Scottish client. John took a liking to Thomas and would often pass on bits of advice, tell him some stories and so on.

Not long after Thomas had completed the tasks mentioned above, he received a letter from John in the office mail.

The letter said that:
  • the item enclosed was for good luck and should be worn around the neck;
  • John’s father had been an ace poacher in Scotland and had never been caught;
  • his father had told him to wear one but he, John, hadn’t and he was nicked in 1942;
  • there was an extra one for a friend.
Inside the envelope was a wrapped parcel which smelt horrible. Tom opened it and found two rabbit’s feet…

John died a couple of years ago. We never did find out whether he was serious or if it was a joke. 

I suspect that he was serious.



Because of my posting the above anecdote in Funny Friday back in 2013, I had added some jokes about rabbits. They appear below.

A priest was assigned to a new church and wanted to see how seriously the attendees took Easter. He approached one person and asked the meaning of Easter.

She replied that Easter is when a giant bunny brings candy for children.

Ok, how about another, so the priest asked someone else. He says Easter is when all the children colour eggs, and the adults hide the Easter eggs and let the children participate in an egg hunt.

Ok, how about another, so the priest found a conservative looking person praying quietly, and he hoped she appreciated the meaning of Easter.

She described how Jesus carried the cross and then was crucified, and then his body was put in a cave with a rock at the entrance. Good so far thought the priest but then, Easter Sunday, the boulder magically rolled away from the cave, Jesus was resurrected ... and stepped out of the cave and saw his shadow, and he knew there would be 6 more weeks of winter

A precious little girl walks into a pet shop and asks in the sweetest little lisp, "Excuthe me, mithter, do you keep widdle wabbits?"

As the shopkeeper's heart melts, he gets down on his knees, so that he's on her level, and asks, "Do you want a widdle white wabbit or a thoft and fuwwy bwack wabbit or maybe one like that cute widdle bwown wabbit over there?"

She, in turn blushes, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and says in a quiet voice, "I don't think my python weally givth a thit"


Sister Claire and Sister Teresa are driving down a desert highway when the devil appears on their hood, making threatening gestures.

"Quick," Sister Teresa says, "Show him your cross!"

Sister Claire leans out the window, shouting:

"Piss off you bastard! I'll kick you in the fucking balls if you try that shit again! Don't mess with me, you prick!"



There was a young girl of La Plata
Who was widely renowned as a farter.
Her deafening reports
At the Argentine sports
Made her much in demand as a starter.







A priest, a minister, and a rabbit walk into a bar...

The rabbit says, “I think I might be a typo.”

A rabbit, a monkey and a lama walk into a bar.

The bartender looks at them, and goes: " I think you're ALL in the wrong joke."

The rabbit says : "Man this is worse than when I was just a typo."

A priest, a Baptist minister, and a rabbit walk into the Red Cross to donate blood.

The nurse asks “What's your blood type?”

The rabbit says, "I'm probably a Type O"

A priest, a rabbit and a minister walk into a bar.

The bartender asks the rabbit “What can I get you to drink?”

The rabbit says “I have no idea, I’m only here because of autocorrect”.


Thursday, April 29, 2021


“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes, then I will have considered my life a failure.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
(1859 - 1930)
author of Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1914

Sherlock Holmes statue in Edinburgh, erected opposite the birthplace of Doyle, which was demolished c. 1970




“The Beautiful Impossibilities that We Want to Live In” is a website that is dedicated to posting pics and images of impressive architecture, structures and buildings, so much so that it subtitles itself Architectural Porn. Visit the site at:

Photographs from that site were featured in a recent post on Bored Panda at:

Here are some gorgeous pics of impressive works, with the captions and some reader comments, from the Bored Panda post . . .

Pavillion Of The Enlightened, Bangkok:

Reader comments:

I feel enlightened just looking at it!

This comment sums it up perfectly

I agree. It's like I feel ZEN just looking at this!

It looks like a mutant artichoke. That's not a bad thing. I like artichokes. But I didn't expect to see one here.

I think of cactii and magical spiked back toads in this beauty. A place to really feel at one with self. Building it all in the waters quite a feat as well.

Aww man I wish I had known about it when I was in Bangkok.

Wisteria Blossoms Surrounding The Entrance Of A Victorian Townhouse In San Francisco:

Asian wisteria is invasive in the US and I'm pretty sure the only US native wisteria is specific to the east coast. Wisteria is pretty, but please stop planting invasive species. Native plants are pretty, too.

Wisteria can also cause severe damage to wood structures! It twines into every crevice & can literally pull a building apart.

It's like a waterfall of flowers

OK, I know it doesn't look like it but this reminds me of the house from Charmed lol, and both make me want to move to San Francisco lol

Okay....I only mentioned the invasive "personality" of wisteria NOT for this home as it looks well under control...BUT for anyone who, in this forum, oohs and aahs and wants to plant some, themselves, I just wanted to forewarn you of its potential tendencies of destruction of one's home. This one, to repeat, is beautifully taken care of along with every other aspect of it.

I thought it was a wedding cake. It’s absolutely beautiful! I just hate that the neighbors are so close.

Reminds me of pictures from the 1800's

So beautiful I love Victorian homes.

True Victorian style, looks like lace

Yeah, it's pretty, but NOT architectural - planting a wisteria, or any tree/shrub/bush is gardening, or if you want to get all fancy with it, call it landscaping. And planting a wisteria right up against your house is flat-out stupid - without constant cutting back, that vine is gonna pull the porch apart.

A Spiral Staircase Designed By Leonardo Da Vinci In The Year 1516:

It’s amazing how something so intricate and detailed was designed and built so long ago.

Old buildings are more likely to be intricate and detailed because 1) it was the taste and 2) it was a mark of power and wealth.

It almost looks like fabric! What beauty

It's like a conch shell.


Because of the golden ratio !

I've seen this in person and it's just incredible!

Staircases in wood and stone were built long before this one, but here he had the freedom of someone else's money

It looks alive

Amazing how he could take rectangular blocks of material and turn them into weightless circular beauty.

It was designed as a double spiral staircase even though seems to be a single ramp yet the two ramps never cross. A central newel enabled courtesans to see each other from one spiral to the next, but never to cross paths.

It's in France, Chambord castle : It's a double helix staircase

We had a similar one at my old university. But ours had a groove in the pillar in the middle. I always wanted to put a marble in it and watch it roll down. I was afraid it would jump out and smash the modern glass door at the bottom.

Kansas City Library:

All of the book titles they used were former 'banned' books, makes me love it all the more!

Fahrenheit 451 was banned?

I'm from KC, and one other amazing thing is, this isn't even the library. It's the parking garage next door. The library itself is housed in a century-old former bank building with marble columns, massive bronze doors, etc. - very fancy and very traditional. This parking garage was built just across the street in 2004.

I wonder if they change the book spines now and then.

No, they don't change them. The library board solicited recommendations from the citizens of Kansas City, and then the board chose which titles to use. The installation was done in 2004, and is installed on a parking garage across the street from the actual library. The library is in a huge old former bank building that I worked in back in 1970!

I love this!

This is so cool!!!

Which Kansas City?

Downtown KC, MO :)

Kansas City, Kansas?

WOW! My brother lives there and when I visited he neglected to show me this. We must have words......

'Farenheit 451', well played.

Love it......

My new reading list. Thank you Kansas City Library!

There should be an unspoken rule about library architecture; it needs to spark creativity, put a smile on the face and create a sense of mental awe. Nothing less than what a good book does when you read it.

I love it - but each book should be a genre, like mystery, childrens', romance, etc., with a door to go in at the bottom of each book

Wonderful concept

We Kansas Citians call it the Community Bookshelf. Here's a link, you can "read more about it".

Love it especially Catch-22

What fun! If the book fronts' covers come from paint, I can't imagine having the job to repaint every few years.

They're 'printed' on mylar. Not done by hand.

I've been here. It's amazing. I didn't even know it was here. We were just driving around and I was like OHMY! It was so fun to discover with my kids who were still small.

Oh ☹️It’s not architectural it’s signs made from metal 😏

Sorry, it IS architectural - it was designed by an architect. And it's printed on mylar.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021





I don't believe that coincidences are a foreteller of something or other, or that they are omens, or that there is some Jungian subconscious connection.

However, in the space of 2 days, three connected items came my way:
- I was thinking about a poem called Hay, Hell and Booligal;
- I received an email, as a subscriber to the website Amusing Planet, about a wholly cast iron church in Istanbul;
- Graham E sent me an email about “tin tabernacles” in Australia, the term for iron churches, with the first pic being of the Anglican Church in Booligal.

So, throwing some salt over my shoulder and putting a rabbit’s foot into my pocket, I decided that the above items would be the next few Bytes posts.

First up is the poem . . .


About the poem:

From Wikipedia:

Hay and Hell and Booligal is a poem by the Australian bush poet A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson who wrote the poem while working as a solicitor with the firm of Street & Paterson in Sydney. It was first published in The Bulletin on 25 April 1896. The poem was later included in Paterson's collection Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses, first published in 1902.

The phrase "Hay and Hell and Booligal" and its more common variant "Hay, Hell and Booligal" is used figuratively in the Australian vernacular "to designate a place of the greatest imaginable discomfort". The phrase was popularised by Paterson's poem, but the expression pre-dates his work.

Hay is a town in south-western New South Wales on the Murrumbidgee River. Booligal is a town on the Lachlan River, 76 kilometres (47 miles) north of Hay by road. The road connecting the two townships (nowadays a section of the Cobb Highway) crosses a flat expanse of country known as the One Tree Plain. In the earlier expression "Hay, Hell and Booligal", and also Paterson's adaptation of the phrase, "Hell" corresponds to the One Tree Plain, on the stock route between Hay and Booligal.

Readers may recognise the reference to One Tree Plain from the lyrics to the Australian folk song Flash Jack from Gundagai. Sample lyric:

I've shore at Burrabogie and I've shore at Toganmain
I've shore at Big Willandra and out on the Coleraine
But before the shearing was over I longed to get back again
Shearing for old Tom Patterson on the One Tree Plain.

The western Riverina town of Booligal was a remote, isolated locality. The poem compares Booligal unfavourably with the nearby town of Hay and even Hell, recounting a great list of problems with the town—heat, sand, dust, flies, rabbits, mosquitos, snakes and drought.


The poem:

Hay and Hell and Booligal

        - A B “Banjo” Paterson

"You come and see me, boys," he said;
"You'll find a welcome and a bed
And whisky any time you call;
Although our township hasn't got
The name of quite a lively spot --
You see, I live in Booligal.

"And people have an awful down
Upon the district and the town --
Which worse than hell itself the call;
In fact, the saying far and wide
Along the Riverina side
Is 'Hay and Hell and Booligal'.

"No doubt it suits 'em very well
To say its worse than Hay or Hell,
But don't you heed their talk at all;
Of course, there's heat -- no one denies --
And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
And rabbits, too, at Booligal.

"But such a pleasant, quiet place --
You never see a stranger's face;
They hardly ever care to call;
The drovers mostly pass it by --
They reckon that they'd rather die
Than spend the night in Booligal.

"The big mosquitoes frighten some --
You'll lie awake to hear 'em hum --
And snakes about the township crawl;
But shearers, when they get their cheque,
They never come along and wreck
The blessed town of Booligal.

"But down to Hay the shearers come
And fill themselves with fighting-rum,
And chase blue devils up the wall,
And fight the snaggers every day,
Until there is the deuce to pay --
There's none of that in Booligal.

"Of course, there isn't much to see --
The billiard-table used to be
The great attraction for us all,
Until some careless, drunken curs
Got sleeping on it in their spurs,
And ruined it, in Booligal.

"Just now there is a howling drought
That pretty near has starved us out --
It never seems to rain at all;
But, if there should come any rain,
You couldn't cross the black-soil plain --
You'd have to stop in Booligal."

"We'd have to stop!" With bated breath
We prayed that both in life and death
Our fate in other lines might fall;
"Oh, send us to our just reward
In Hay or Hell, but, gracious Lord,
Deliver us from Booligal!"


The town reaction:

The Hayligaleans (a word I invented to refer to the residents of Hay and Booligal) have not been impressed.

From Wikipedia:

In May 1936 the newly-built Booligal War Memorial Hall was opened with a fund-raising ball attended by local and district residents. ‘Banjo’ Paterson (“the man who put Booligal on the map”) had been especially invited to attend the function. In an interview with Roger Sheaffe, the president of the hall committee, Paterson explained that he could not attend “as he was getting too far on in years to make the journey”. The poet had remarked, "I suppose Booligal has grown into a fine big town now", to which Sheaffe wryly replied, “No, it never recovered from the blow you dealt to it in its youth”. Paterson “autographed a number of copies of his works” for the occasion, which were sold at the hall opening to benefit the building fund.

When A. B. Paterson died in 1941 the following remarks were included in his obituary in the Riverine Grazier newspaper:

Paterson's "Hay, Hell and Booligal" did not add to the poet's popularity in the districts mentioned, but the line which is still quoted by people ignorant of the actual conditions, was probably only used by the poet as a catchy phrase.



Former One Tree Hotel in Hay

Booligal General Store

Booligal Court House

Paterson’s reference to Hell may refer to the area around the old One Tree Hotel midway between Hay and Booligal. It may also refer to Hells Gate Station, a property midway between Hay and Balranald. Gordon Paterson (no relation to the poet) owns the station, which he bought in 1966. “The official name was Richlands but it was always known as Hells Gate so I changed the sign at the entrance,” Gordon says. He is unsure of the name’s origin but suggests, “It might have been a nickname given by the shearers who had to deal with some seriously big Merinos.” James Paterson, Gordon’s grandson, thinks it might be because of the rutted roads that created considerable angst as they often caused wool bales to topple off the bullock wagons.

The Hay Plain

Late afternoon on the Hay Plain.

The original Booligal Hotel, rebuilt in 1979


Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Rudyard Kipling, objecting to having been appointed a Companion of Honour without his consent:

"How would you like it if you woke up and found yourself Archbishop of Canterbury?"

- Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936

Letter, 1917




In 2006, an Australian man tried to sell NZ on eBay.

The starting price was one cent and there were 22 bids, increasing to $3,000, before eBay stopped the auction and pulled the plug. According to Daniel Feiler, eBay Australia spokesman at the time, "Clearly New Zealand is not for sale. There are the occasional quirky items put up, we have a look at them and if they are OK we leave them. But if it is something that can't be sold, we take them off."

The trader, who has not been identified but thought to be from Queensland, advertised NZ as having the "dodgiest America's Cup win ever ... and very ordinary weather".

Winston Peters, Wellington’s foreign minister, said “I don’t think it’s funny. It is nonsensical stupidity.”



The actors who portrayed C-3P0 and R2-D2, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, in the Star Wars films actually hated each other in real life.

“He’s the rudest man I’ve ever met,” Baker said of Daniels to in 2005. 

“He might as well be a bucket,” Daniels described R2-D2 — played by Baker — in a 2011 interview with British newspaper the Mirror.

Apparently the trouble started on the set of 1977’s “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” Baker says that Daniels always seemed above the proceedings. “Daniels has no time for any of the other actors — not just me — and none of them have a good word to say about him,” Baker said in 2006.



During WW1, ant-German sentiment became so strong that anything referencing Germany was renamed.

Here are some examples:


What it came


Liberty Cabbage


Liberty Steak


Liberty Sausage, then hot dogs

German Measles

Liberty Measles


Liberty Pups

German Shepherds


Germania, Iowa


From hindsight it all seems a bit of overkill but 15 years ago, when France refused to support the US action in Iraq, French Fries were renamed Freedom Fries in the US.



Airport codes designating cities in the US arose in the 1930s and originally consisted of 2 letters.

This arose from the two-letter code from the National Weather Service (NWS) for identifying cities. This system became unmanageable for cities and towns without an NWS identifier, and the use of two letters allowed only a few hundred combinations.

As a result a three-letter system of airport codes was implemented. This system allowed for 17,576 permutations.

Some airports in the United States retained their NWS codes and simply appended an X at the end, such as LAX for Los Angeles, PDX for Portland, and PHX for Phoenix.



Disney went through dozens of dwarf names before deciding on the seven we know today. Here are some of them . .


Monday, April 26, 2021





The following is a repost which, on the internet, is usually attributed to Omer Washington.  I have since found out that the author is Kathy Kane Hansen, who wrote it in 1971. 

Here is the work as written by her.  There are numerous variations on the net, this is the original.  (I prefer the variation, which follows this version).

It makes a lot of sense so it is worth reading in its entirety, despite the length.

I’ve Learned 

- Kathy Kane Hansen

I've learned - 
that you cannot make someone love you. 
All you can do is be someone who can be loved. 
The rest is up to them.

I've learned - 
that no matter how much I care, 
some people just don't care back.

I've learned - 
that it takes years to build up trust, 
and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned - 
that it's not what you have in your life 
but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned - 
that you can get by on charm 
for about fifteen minutes. 
After that, you'd better know something.

I've learned - 
that you shouldn't compare 
yourself to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.

I've learned - 
that it's not what happens to people 
that's important. It's what they do about it.

I've learned - 
that you can do something in an instant 
that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned - 
that no matter how thin you slice it, 
there are always two sides.

I've learned - 
that it's taking me a long time 
to become the person I want to be.

I've learned - 
that it's a lot easier 
to react than it is to think.

I've learned - 
that you should always leave 
loved ones with loving words. 
It may be the last time you see them.

I've learned - 
that you can keep going 
long after you think you can't.

I've learned - 
that we are responsible for what we do, 
no matter how we feel.

I've learned - 
that either you control your attitude 
or it controls you.

I've learned - 
that regardless of how hot and steamy 
a relationship is at first, 
the passion fades and there had better be 
something else to take its place.

I've learned - 
that heroes are the people 
who do what has to be done 
when it needs to be done, 
regardless of the consequences.

I've learned - 
that learning to forgive takes practice.

I've learned - 
that there are people who love you dearly, 
but just don't know how to show it.

I've learned - 
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned - 
that my best friend and I can do anything 
or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned - 
that sometimes the people you expect 
to kick you when you're down 
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned - 
that sometimes when I'm angry 
I have the right to be angry, 
but that doesn't give me 
the right to be cruel.

I've learned - 
that true friendship continues to grow, 
even over the longest distance. 
Same goes for true love.

I've learned - 
that just because someone doesn't love you 
the way you want them to doesn't mean 
they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned - 
that maturity has more to do with 
what types of experiences you've had 
and what you've learned from them 
and less to do with how many 
birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned - 
that you should never tell a child 
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. 
Few things are more humiliating, and 
what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I've learned - 
that your family won't always 
be there for you. It may seem funny, 
but people you aren't related to 
can take care of you and love you 
and teach you to trust people again. 
Families aren't biological.

I've learned - 
that no matter how good a friend is, 
they're going to hurt you 
every once in a while 
and you must forgive them for that.

I've learned - 
that it isn't always enough 
to be forgiven by others. 
Sometimes you have to learn 
to forgive yourself.

I've learned - 
that no matter how bad 
your heart is broken 
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned - 
that our background and circumstances 
may have influenced who we are, 
but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned - 
that sometimes when my friends fight, 
I'm forced to choose sides 
even when I don't want to.

I've learned - 
that just because two people argue, 
it doesn't mean they don't love each other 
And just because they don't argue, 
it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned - 
that sometimes you have to put 
the individual ahead of their actions.

I've learned - 
that we don't have to change friends 
if we understand that friends change.

I've learned - 
that you shouldn't be so 
eager to find out a secret. 
It could change your life forever.

I've learned - 
that two people can look
at the exact same thing 
and see something totally different.

I've learned - 
that no matter how you try to protect 
your children, they will eventually get hurt 
and you will hurt in the process.

I've learned - 
that there are many ways of falling 
and staying in love.

I've learned - 
that no matter the consequences, 
those who are honest with themselves 
get farther in life.

I've learned - 
that no matter how many friends you have, 
if you are their pillar you will feel lonely 
and lost at the times you need them most.

I've learned - 
that your life can be changed 
in a matter of hours 
by people who don't even know you.

I've learned - 
that even when you think 
you have no more to give, 
when a friend cries out to you, 
you will find the strength to help.

I've learned - 
that writing, as well as talking, 
can ease emotional pains.

I've learned - 
that the paradigm we live in 
is not all that is offered to us.

I've learned - 
that credentials on the wall 
do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned - 
that the people you care most about in life 
are taken from you too soon.

I've learned - 
that although the word “love” 
can have many different meanings, 
it loses value when overly used.

I've learned - 
that it's hard to determine 
where to draw the line 
between being nice and 
not hurting people's feelings 
and standing up for what you believe.


This is the version you will usually find credited to Omer Washington:

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.
I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do, but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people, It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done, when it needs to be done. regardless of the consequences.
I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them  to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions.
I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned that writing, as well as talking, can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon.
I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love and be loved.
I’ve learned…