Jamie123

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Everything posted by Jamie123

  1. Jamie123

    Nostalgia (and other stir-crazy ramblings)

    Yer man Trump wouldn't agree! Mine is a lovely yellow and it has special bits that go over my ears to keep it on. I'm doing the family shopping in an hour. I have face mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and ready to kick some COVID 19 butt! Wish me luck!
  2. I hope you guys are all well and coping with "all this"! Does anyone remember these issues from long ago? They all seem to belong to a bygone age: Brexit Trump (impeachment of) Prince Andrew (potential naughtiness of) Epstein Anne Sacoolas Harvey Weinstein Harry and Meghan Covid19 seems to have been going on forever now, with no end in sight. Even Johnson has gone down with it. You should hear the suggestions people have been making on TV, like having a "cabinet" of ex-Prime Ministers to run the country until Boris better. Can you imagine John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May all in a room together trying to agree "what to do now"? I think the Queen should call a virtual meeting of all the actual cabinet, and based on their advice appoint one of them as a temporary Prime Minister with full powers. She's the only person with the authority to do this, and if she doesn't use it in a circumstance like this, what's the good of her? Well OK - I guess she makes good speeches like she did on Sunday, but... Eddlie Large died of coronavirus. This morning they told us Honor Blackman has died. (They didn't say whether it was coronavirus - but she was 94.) I liked Honor Blackman. I found her incredibly sexy, even as an old woman. She was Steed's first companion in The Avengers (the proper Avengers - not the Marvel thing) and the goddess Hera in Jason and the Argonauts. And she was Pussy Galore in Goldfinger - playing opposite Sean Connery (the best Bond ever in my opinion - though my wife likes Brosnan better but she's wrong - no one beats Connery.) Is anyone else sick of having work meetings in Zoom? My webcam makes me look green, and I'm getting a bit sick of being told I look like the Hulk. (I prefer to think I look like that guy in the Wilfred Owen poem - the one who gets gassed: "As through a green sea I saw him drowning" - best line in the whole poem I reckon.) Anyway, God Bless...
  3. The best part is being woken up out of a sound sleep at 2 a.m. to catch spiders, and when you're balancing precariously on a wobbly swivel chair, trying to reach the ceiling with an empty Pringles can (in which to receive Mr. Incey-Wincey Spider) your assembled family demand to know why you don't just kill it. Well...as James Henry Trotter once said: ‘I must NEVER kill a spider I must only help and guide her And invite her in the nursery to play.’ On a related topic...
  4. Jamie123

    Nostalgia (and other stir-crazy ramblings)

    First things first - here's a picture of Honor Blackman playing Goddess Hera... ...and here she is as Pussy Galore... ...with Sean Connery also in the picture. Two total legends! Anyway, now I have that off my chest, we have one child at home too (a daughter). Until last week she had to do school work online, but this week it's the Easter vacation so right now she's cooking supper (butternut soup). Luckily we all have our own laptops so no arguments - thoug last week mine broke and I had to make a trip into work to borrow one. (Hence the "green" webcam - perhaps a student was sick on it once - who knows?) It's like a ghost town there too - only security and IT techs on campus, and not very many of them. My wife has knitted me a face mask, so no coronavirus for me when I go shopping tomorrow!
  5. Jamie123

    Riddle

    All well and good, but: Who's on first.
  6. Jamie123

    Lame Jokes, the Sequel

    What's the definition of "baroque"? When you have no Monet.
  7. Jamie123

    "Daisy, Daisy...

    ...give me your ansa-doo!" I always associate that song with two things: A very rude version of the chorus which some kids used to sing when I was at school. (I don't know...some people!) The scene in 2001 A Space Odyssey where, after the spaceship's computer HAL-9000 goes on a killing spree, the one surviving astronaut disconnects its circuits one by one, causing it to lose gradually its cognitive capacity. At the end, all it can remember is this song, taught to it by its first programmer. (Which incidentally was the first song sung by a computer using speech synthesis.) Did you know that that song has verses to it as well as the chorus? Check it out: I only found that out today!
  8. Jamie123

    Best Looney Tunes

    That Foghorn Leghorn episode had me in stitches for weeks when I first saw it. It's often made me wonder - was it just pure wackyness, or did the writers have some idea of quantum tunneling?
  9. I was reading Bill Bryson last night, and he was talking about his experiences with cicada killers as a kid growing up in Des Moines, Iowa. I was intrigued enough to look them up online: According to Bill Bryson: Cicada killers are not cicadas Cicada killers are about the size of humming birds Cicada killers are armed with stings "front and aft" Cicada killers appear only every 17 years. When they do come, they swarm out of their underground nests and attack anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Their favourite mode of attack is to fly right up your trouser legs and attack your genitals, for which the only cure is castration. According to every other source I have consulted (which admittedly isn't many): Cicada killers are not cicadas. (Bryson is at least right about this.) They are in fact a species of wasp, while cicadas are more like locusts. Cicada killers catch cicadas to feed to their young, which eat them alive, in a venom-induced coma, saving the vital organs till last to keep the cicadas alive (and fresh) as long as possible. [Delightful I know. Charles Darwin had something interesting to say about these kinds of insects, and whether the God who supposedly created them has a sick mind.] Adult cicada killers themselves only eat nectar. Cicada killers are large by wasp-standards, but nothing like the size of hummingbirds. They are actually smaller than cicadas, and sometimes have difficulty dragging captured cicadas back to their nests. Cicada killers are armed with regular stings, same as any other wasp. Cicada killers come every year. It is cicadas that only emerge every 17 years, but they don't all emerge at on once, so every year there is a supply of emerging cicadas for the wasps. Cicada killers do not attack humans unless severely provoked. I love to read Bill Bryson, but I wouldn't recommend him as a source of accurate information. For example he said that there were only 20 episodes of Sky King, which the networks repeated ad nausium, whereas a bit of Googling will tell you there were actually over 70. Here's a picture of a chicada killer and a captured cicada.
  10. Jamie123

    Cicadas and Cicada Killers

    That's a good book - I read it quite a few years ago. There was a lot in it about the biological sciences I hadn't previously known - like about non-coding DNA, and about the differences between eukaryotic life (basically everything I had previously considered "life" and some) and other sorts of life (which I'd had no idea existed). Totally fascinating stuff - especially about slime molds. And he must have made some attempt at accuracy, otherwise the Royal Society would hardly have made him an Honorary Fellow. This one I'm reading now is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, which I think is intentionally based on the "knowledge" he had when he was about 9 or 10. (Which I think is actually quite a clever idea - juvenile mindset framed in adult language.) I had it on my shelf for about 5 years, after having been given it by a friend; I'd somehow got the notion it was all going to be about baseball, which is why I put off reading it until now. Brilliant - though I warn you its quite disgusting in parts! (If you think of the gross stuff that fascinates kids, you'll get an idea of the sort of thing I'm referring to!)
  11. Jamie123

    My Jane Austin Simulator

    I've done it! It's my greatest invention! It's as if the great Jane Austin herself were raised from the dead, and had gone straight back to writing books! It works using "trigrams" - It parses the text (in this case Pride and Prejudice) and works out how likely each third word is given the preceding two, and then, and selects it with that probability. (Text prediction algorithms work similarly, but I believe deterministically by maximizing the likelihood - mine works stochastically by selecting words at random but in agreement with how likely each particular word is.) Anyway - here it is - Chapter 1 of the long-awaited Pride and Prejudice II... BUT OF ALL THE PECUNIARY TRANSACTIONS IN WHICH HE PARTICULARLY ATTENDED TO THE GIRLS THOUGH I HAVE VERY GOOD TIME THAT MR BINGLEY AND JANE WERE ASSEMBLED IN THE HOUSE AS HER CHILDREN EXPECTED CONSIDERING WHAT HER SISTER ALLOWED IT TO BE DECENT LOOKING ROOMS WALKED ON IN THE CERTAIN SIGNAL OF A DISPOSITION TO SEEK ANOTHER BRANCH OF THE KIND ATTENTIONS SHE HAD CAUGHT A VIOLENT HURRY AND CONFUSION OF THE GENTLEMEN JOINED THEM AT LEAST WHICH WAS ALL IN AN AMIABLE COMPANION FOR MYSELF AND PAY ME THE COMPLIMENT AND AN ALLUSION TO IT WAS IN IT HE HAS THE TRUE ONE. LYDIA DECLARED HERSELF NOT TIRED AND THEY WALKED IS NOT LADY CATHERINE DE BOURGH COMES IN. OBSTINATE HEADSTRONG GIRL. MR DARCY'S STEWARD. BY ELIZABETH'S INSTRUCTIONS SHE BEGAN NOW TO BE DESCRIBED. YOUR COMING TO ASK FOR COMPASSION. MR WICKHAM WAS PERFECTLY FRIENDLY ON HIS OWN AND SHE SAT DOWN AGAIN TO DO IT ONLY FOR THE ADVANTAGE OF BOTH OF WHOM DOES JANE EVER THINK ILL OF A LITTLE LONGER ON YOUR SIDE AND NOT RUN ON IN THIS INTERFERENCE. HER LOOK HANDSOMER THAN MR BENNET EXCEEDINGLY. HE REPLIED THEY WERE THEN WITH A GOOD DEAL IS TO BECOME OF US. THE TUMULT OF JOY AND KINDNESS. AND IF THEY HAD BEEN LISTENED TO HER HOUSEKEEPING HER PARISH AND HER ACCEPTANCE OF THE NETHERFIELD PARTY. HER LADYSHIP SAID THANKING HER. HOW IS HALF AS DELIGHTFUL AS PEMBERLEY. CHAPTER ELIZABETH HAD NOW BUT LITTLE HAD SHE CONSULTED ONLY HER OWN BREAST HAD HARBOURED AND FANCIED LIBERAL. MR COLLINS FIRST CAME INTO HERTFORDSHIRE ANXIOUSLY RENEWING THEM AT AND IT WAS A SOLIDITY IN HIS ABSENCE BEFORE SHE COULD BE NO OCCASION TO ASK NOTHING ABOUT IF SHE AND HER LADYSHIP SAID THANKING HER. THE EFFECT WAS MOST PRESSINGLY CIVIL IN HER MEMORY. I HAVE ALWAYS SO. COULD COLONEL FORSTER REPEAT THE PARTICULARS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING OF WICKHAM'S RESIGNING ALL PRETENSIONS TO THE SENSE OF YOUR BEING OTHERWISE. IS THIS THOUGHT ELIZABETH. WITH THIS MR DARCY MIGHT LEAVE THE TROUBLE. I FANCY LIZZY THAT OBSTINACY IS THE MOST FLATTERING KIND. Gripping stuff, don't you think?
  12. Jamie123

    Rated R movies

    I'm not totally sure what an R movie is (we have a different classification system in the UK) - I guess it's similar to our 18 rating. But there are a lot of things milder than those, which some people will consider beyond the pale. Many, many years ago, when I was young, I was browsing in my local poster shop, when a man came storming in. He was one of those tall, smart, serious, ultra-respectable-looking men who I've always found a little unnerving; I rather fancy he had a mustache. Anyway, he stormed up to the counter holding a poster, which he presented to the woman serving for her inspection. It was a picture of Pamela Anderson - quite a well known one in fact - wearing tight denim shorts and a stetson hat, leading forward so that you can see quite a lot of...well, I think we all know what you can see quite a lot of whenever Pamela Anderson leans forward. (Steamy stuff I grant you, though nothing worse than you'd see on page 3 of The Sun - even in these ultra-feminist days!) I know it's bad to eavesdrop, but there are some things you can't help hearing, and the conversation went something like this: Man: My son bought this here, and I'm not allowing him to have it. He's twelve years old and he's very keen on Pamela Anderson but I'm...but, well, I'm not allowing him to have it! Woman: (takes poster) Well...OK I'll give you a refund. [Short pause while woman fumbles about with the till. Man is [I suspect] a little taken aback that she has agreed so readily, and feels cheated out of a good argument. He's going to make one though, if it's the last thing he ever does!] Man: (with faux casualness) I'm interested...do you normally sell pornography to 12-year-old boys? Woman: (looks at poster) Well it's not exactly pornography, now is it? Man: I consider that to be pornography! Woman: That is not pornography! Man: Well I... Woman: Look, if you want a refund, for the sake of goodwill I'll give you one, but that is not pornography! Exchanges continue between man and woman, each determined to have the last word on the matter, until eventually the man storms out deeply dissatisfied.
  13. Why do Americans think baseball is so awesome? As far as I can make out, it's exactly the same game as rounders. OK there are a few differences I grant you - but baseball is still just glorified rounders. And rounders is not even a proper sport. It's a game school kids play at lunchtime when they've got nothing better to do. (We used to play it using an old police truncheon as a bat. It belonged to a friend of mine, who claimed to have found it at the bottom of the school fields "covered in flesh and blood". That was by no means the only tall tale he ever told...that guy could have given Baron Munchausen a run for his money. But anyway, I digress...) The point is, what's the big deal with watching a bunch of grown men playing rounders of all things? Not only that, but going gaga about famous rounders players, and collecting cards with their photos on? If you ask me, all Americans are crazy. My American wife thinks otherwise, but she says she's fed up with arguing about it!
  14. I wish songwriters would think their lyrics out a bit more carefully: 1. The Righteous Brothers: "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips." How would he even know this unless he kept his own eyes open? Sounds like he's lost some "loving feeling" of his own. 2. Carly Simon: "I'll bet you think this song is about you." The song is about him! It can be about him without being in praise of him. It would be more a sign of vanity if he thought it wasn't about him, but about some other conceited man, and he's thinking "aren't I so wonderful not being vain like him?" 3. Chris de Burgh: "Close the shutters, do not cry, there's a new moon in the sky." Earlier in the same song he told us that "a big fat moon is dancing on the sea". In the time it's taken him to sing 11 lines, the moon has gone through half its complete orbit. 4. REO Speedwagon: "And if I have to crawl upon the floor, come crashing through your door." How can you come crashing through a door if you're crawling on the floor? How would you get enough momentum up, shuffling on your hands and knees? Unless it was a very rotten door that just collapsed when you nudged it with your head. It doesn't make sense.
  15. Jamie123

    Songs that Don't Make Sense

    I've thought of another one: 5. James Blunt: "She smiled at me on the subway / She was with another man / But I won't lose no sleep on that / 'Cause I've got a plan". In the very next verse he says: "And I don't know what to do / 'Cause I'll never be with you." He doesn't know what to do?? He just told us he had a plan!!
  16. Jamie123

    Baseball is Glorified Rounders!

    When I was a kid I had much the same opinion of fruit cake. Actually I probably could get into baseball if I wanted to, but I have much too much fun winding up the Americans about it!
  17. Jamie123

    Baseball is Glorified Rounders!

    Bt the way I hope my wife's nephew isn't reading this thread. If he is, he'll right now be planning avunculacide! (Is that a word?)
  18. Jamie123

    Baseball is Glorified Rounders!

    Why not go one step further and get the rounders package? 😜
  19. Jamie123

    50-year-old assaulted over birthday hat

    If like me you can't access that page, the story is also here: https://toofab.com/2020/02/12/woman-punches-retired-cop-in-bar-over-make-fifty-great-again-hat/
  20. The other day, my little boy came up to me and said: "Daddy...what will happen to my rabbit Thumper when he dies?" "Well, son," I said to him, sitting him upon my lap. "Thumper will go to Bunny Heaven, where he'll have a lovely time, hopping about with all the other bunny-angels, eating the best lettuce and carrot and doing...well...all the things rabbits love to do. But he'll still think about us sometimes and he won't want us to be sad. So when that day comes when we lay Thumper to rest under the old apple tree, we'll have a big party to celebrate his life. All your friends can come, and we'll have party games and ice cream and jelly and balloons. And it will all be in honour of Thumper!" Well, my little boy looked up at me with his big brown eyes, and he said: "Daddy...can we kill him now?"
  21. If you're a cat person (like me) you can't afford to get too sentimental about rabbits. Back before I was married, I owned a huge tom cat called Ginger, and he would catch wild rabbits in the field near the house. The first couple of times I took the rabbit off him and put it in the bin, but then it struck me that this was stupid. It could hardly do him any harm: it was his natural food, and if he was a wild cat he'd eat it all the time. (Assuming he could get it!) So I started letting him keep them - though he obviously wasn't allowed to bring them into the house! I'd be out working in the garden, and every now and then I'd see Ginger dragging his rabbit carcass from bush to bush - and there was always a bit less of it each time. In the evening Ginger would waddle in, stuffed with rabbit, leaving only the feet on the doorstep - and his sister Tabitha (who was always more of a bird-hunter) would play with them like they were toy mice!
  22. Jamie123

    Congratulations to our friends in the UK

    The big mistake was to put May in charge. OK, I quite like Theresa May. She's a nice woman. But the whole point of a leadership change was to put someone in who could - and would - implement Brexit. Someone who believed in it the way Cameron didn't. The obvious choice was Boris Johnson; crazy though he is, he would have made it happen back then the way he has now. Failing him, Andrea Leadsom would probably have done at a pinch. She was at least on the Leave side. But no, she was chucked out of the leadership race for the stupidest reason imaginable, which was blown up out of all proportion by the newspapers. And having one remainer resign, they put in another remainer - and no prizes for guessing what happened! We remained!
  23. What a clever mousey!
  24. Jamie123

    Puss in Boots!

    We went to see a pantomine on Saturday, by the same acting troupe I used to belong to myself. It brought back some wonderful memories. It was Puss in Boots - "Puss" played by a very very handsome young man I've acted with before. (Hah - my wife totally fancies him!!) Anyway, here are some of the running gags they had this year: The king's herald has a very loud and irritating trumpet. Every time he blows it (which is often) the king and the princess screw up their faces and cover their ears. Sometimes the king says "Is that really necessary??" to which the herald comes back with some totally convincing reason why it is. (As you can imagine, they bring plenty of references to Trump in concerning the trumpet.) The ogre's two goblin-henchmen are a pair of Laurel-and-Hardyesque buffoons who fail to scare anyone at all - least of all the heroes! The "Hardy" of the pair is always toadying and simpering to the ogre, but trying (and failing miserably) to terrorize anyone else. The "Laurel" always misunderstands what the other has told him (actually her) to do and comes back with ridiculous excuses. Everyone has difficulty pronouncing "The Marquis of Carabas". They practice saying it over and over again, but still keep getting it wrong. I've been away from acting for nearly three years now! (I only intended to take a 1-year break from it.) I met the cast afterwards and it was great to catch up with old friends. I was surprised (and quite touched) that they said they'd all missed me! Anyway, that's definitely given me the acting bug again!