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Showing posts from July, 2005

please and thank you

"Please"ByU2 [Click the link to play the video - you can also have the video box actually on your blog if you want]

Please [Words by Bono, Music by U2]

So you never knew love
Until you crossed the line of grace.
And you never felt wanted
Till you'd someone slap your face.
So you never felt alive
Until you'd almost wasted away.

You had to win, you couldn't just pass
The smartest ass at the top of the class
Your flying colours, your family tree
And all your lessons in history.

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees.
Please, please, please, please, oh yeah.

And you never knew how low you'd stoop
To make that call
And you never knew what was on the ground
Till they made you crawl.
So you never knew that the heaven
You keep you stole.

Your Catholic blues, your convent shoes,
Your stick-on tattoos now they're making the news
Your holy war, your northern star
Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car.

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees.
Please, please, please
Leave …

parts, both car and bodily

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Dual Stromberg carburetors – was he on to something?

Trying your best to perfect your writing skills via your blog so that maybe one day you can make some money from it?
Maybe this little tit-bit from Reuters’ Oddly Enough files will have you thinking in a different direction…

Carburetor breast fantasy wins bad writing contest

A Microsoft analyst has won an annual contest celebrating bad writing by comparing fixing carburetors to fondling a woman's breasts.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual," went Dan McKay's winning entry in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

McKay, 43, of North Dakota was said by organizers on Thursday to be visiting China &qu…

why can’t you see the madness

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What use all your talent
When you have no desire
What use knowing truth
When you were born a liar

What use a Rolex watch
When you won’t find the time
What use a silken ladder
When you won’t try to climb

Maybe one day hell will freeze
And I will see what your mind sees
A forest hidden by all the trees

If you can see the black cats
That cross your path each day
And if you can see injustice
From many miles away
If all your worldly wisdom
Affords you perfect sight
Then why can’t you see the madness in your life?

What use a song about you
When you don’t want to hear
What use my sharing demons
When you can’t see my fear

Maybe one day hell will freeze
And I will see what your mind sees
A forest hidden by all the trees

If you can see the black cats
That cross your path each day
And if you can see injustice
From many miles away
If all your worldly wisdom
Affords you perfect sight
Then why can’t you see the madness in your life?

I love you
Cos I have to
But it’s still love
Why can’t you see?

You hurt me
Cos you had to
But it still …

classic dr cox rant

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Tortured by tremendously traumatizing terrorism?

Plagued by persistent petulant pessimism?

Angered by absurdly atrocious alliteration?

Cheer up and scan this vintage dialogue by Dr Perry Cox from Scrubs.

For Episode Nerds, it’s from S03E09 entitled “My Dirty Secret”.

For those who have yet to watch the show, tut tut. Yer just plum missin out there, newbies.

[Just to set the scene … JD has been bugging his mentor all day to open up to him…here’s the reply…]

"Fine, Newbie! Let me--let me tell you a little story. It starts every day at 5 in the morning -- which is just about the time that you're setting your hair for work -- when I am awakened by a sound: Is that a cat being gutted by a fishing knife? Nooo! That's my son. He's hungry and he's got a load in his pants so big that I'm actually considering hiring a stable boy. But, I go ahead and dig in; because I do love the lad and, well gosh, you know me, I'm a giver. And [whistles] I'm off to the hospital, where…

shoot to kill

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Jean Charles de Menezes

The BBC brings home the shocking reality behind the weekend’s revelations...
Police chief 'sorry' over death

Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair has apologised to the family of the Brazilian man shot dead by police in south London on Friday.

He said the death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a "tragedy", but admitted more people could be shot as police hunt suspected suicide bombers.

The 27-year-old electrician's family condemned the shooting and said there was no reason to suspect him.

Meanwhile a third man has been arrested by police under the Terrorism Act. Police said on Sunday that the man was arrested in Tulse Hill, south London, on Saturday evening. He is the third man to be questioned under the Terrorism Act.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke described the shooting of Mr Menezes as an "absolute tragedy".

Mr Menezes, who lived in Tulse Hill, was completely unconnected to Thursday's attempted bombings, Scotland Yard has confirmed.
The one …

stories worth a thousand words #28

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A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

1000 WORDS ON…MONEY AND STUFF


Written: December 8, 2004 (except lyrics)

I was always one to tune out when the Sky News business report came on. What really annoyed me was the way the newscasters referred to the Financial Times Share Index as “Footsie”. I’m sorry, but in my humble opinion even a mild sexual reference can’t jazz up an update on the business world!

One day, however, in the mid 90s, my attention was captured, so much so that I turned the channel back on again an hour later to make sure that I had not been mistaken in what I had heard. I may well be wrong in the actual figures I am about to relate, but there is no doubt that the company they were on about was Guinness, so I guess that was the first thing to make me prick up my ears!

The lead story in the bulletin was all about the world famous Dublin-based brewery’s announcement of its yearly profits, and for argument’s sake let’s say the figure was £500million sterling. To my ama…

going for a thong

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I’m a little bit concerned that so many of the Ananova Quirky stories come from Germany…

Builder stole panties for work

A German builder admitted stealing hundreds of pairs of ladies' knickers because he likes to wear them for work.

Police arrested the 23-year-old for stealing pants from neighbours' washing lines after he was trapped by one of his victims.

Ingrid Volkmann, 53, had her hubby install a motion sensor under the washing line to catch the thief.

After he was arrested, the man reportedly told police:

"I like wearing women's knickers to work but was too embarrassed to buy any myself, which is why I took my neighbours." What’s more disturbing here – the fact he was robbing the panties or the fact that someone went to the lengths of “installing a motion sensor” (what-can you pick them up at Germany's answer to K-Mart?) on their washing line?

slip of the text

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Then there was the time I was waiting for MyX to pick up the kids one morning about two years ago. She was meant to be here at 9am.

As it approached a quarter-past, I received a text message from her saying she was delayed. Since I had arrangements to meet my girlfriend downtown that morning, I had to send her a text in turn to inform her of what was going on.

My message to Sandra went something like this:

Her Ladyship has been held up I will let you know when she has gone.

It’s always nice to invent a couple of nicknames for your ex when you split up. I say a couple because it’s handy to have one relatively polite, and one relatively not-so-polite. I will pay her the courtesy of not publishing the latter version, at least now that I’m both sober and in a relatively good mood!

So for the civil pseudonym, I decided to parody her various airs and graces and choose the moniker “Her Ladyship”. It worked very well, especially between Sandra and me; it also helped with the whole “proving-I’m-…

beamed up for good

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James Doohan RIP

Star Trek's Scotty dies aged 85

Actor James Doohan, who played the chief engineer Montgomery Scott in Star Trek, has died at the age of 85.

Doohan, whose role was immortalised in the line "Beam me up, Scotty", had been suffering from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease, his agent said.

His wife of 28 years, Wende, was by his side, Steve Stevens added.

Doohan was a popular character actor when he auditioned for the part in 1966. When the series ended in 1969, he found himself typecast in the role.

The Canadian-born actor was a master of dialect, developed during his years on radio.

When asked what accent he thought his Star Trek character should have, he said: "I believed the Scot voice was the most commanding."


For the rest of the BBC.com report which includes links to clips of classic Scotty moments, click HERE.

All the jokes will begin, and I can’t help myself chipping in with a couple, but be sure, the vast majority intend anything but disrespect.

I…

a warning to naked backyard sunbathers

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Here’s a pretty long sentence to act as an opening paragraph to pique your curiosity even more after that rather evocative headline.

Isn’t it great how the word “naked”, together with the knowledge that a post has some pictures, can get someone’s attention even though the post really hasn’t got anything to do with nudity?

No, really, though, I’m glad I caught your eye, because courtesy of Red Mum’s cool blog I’ve found something that’s bound to have you glued to your computer screen for hours!

If you have tried Google Maps and think this is the same, well it ain’t – Google Earth makes it look like a pocket-sized travel atlas in comparison.

The cool thing for me isn’t just the level of detail with each destination, but the way you travel from one place to another. You really have to download it (it’s totally free) to experience it properly, but here’s an idea…

First you start with a view of Mother Earth…



Then, with the press of a few keys, you can be whisked away to such locations as…

Ze Awfu…

stories worth a thousand words #27

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A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

1000 WORDS ON…THE AIRPORT INCIDENT



Written: December 9, 2004


Booking the trip was easy. I rang around a few travel agents until I found one that had a one-way ticket to Playa del Ingles on the Sunday.

Unfortunately, the earliest flight they had was 1pm, but I knew I would still have to leave the house early in the morning to make my getaway. I went on my lunch hour on the Saturday over to Georges St to pay the fare. Once I had the ticket I called Caroline and surprised her by saying I would see her the next day and to save a spot on the beach for me.

The two of you were in your gran’s that morning, and I made some excuse to go over to see you before I went to work. The last time I looked at you both was in the kitchen, with RA down helping at the sink and CJ in his high chair. You both smiled at me as I said goodbye but of course neither of you knew what I had planned.

I got through the day’s work in the sports store downtown, and as luck woul…

and a-rove-ing I went

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I knew little or nothing about Karl Rove before last week, so I decided to rectify the situation.

My sources comprised Wikipedia.com, plus a piece by fellow blogger James Shott which more or less comes to his defence on the Valerie Plame situation.

Three things regarding the whole state of affairs piqued my interest.

1. This story from Rove’s youth :

In 1970, at the age of nineteen and while a protege of Donald Segretti (later convicted as a Watergate conspirator), Rove snuck into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and stole some letterhead, which he used to print fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters. Admitting to the incident much later, Rove said, "I was nineteen and I got involved in a political prank."

Start as you mean to go on, eh?

2. His forte seems to be “attacking people on their strengths”. Since mud-slinging seems to be his, m…

thought for the weekend

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“Love thy neighbour as thyself.”

I wonder if whoever came up with that well worn phrase ever heard of alcoholism, drug addiction, obsession with plastic surgery, anorexia, depression and all the other numerous forms of torture we do to ourselves, all most likely resulting from various levels of self loathing.

How many times have you seen an attractive person of either gender and thought something like : “Ha – I bet they absolutely love themselves!!!”

Not that it would necessarily be true in their case, but if it were, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

hail to the (editor-in-) chief

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As an American citizen it still troubles me that from the 1987 sci-fi/war flick Predator, THREE of its cast have since run for election to be governor of American states, and TWO of them actually went all the way. That’s a fact, everybody.

Here’s what seems to be the opening salvo in California’s next gubernatorial (what an amazing word that is! Find an excuse to use it people!) campaign, courtesy of Reuters’ Oddly Enough files…


Schwarzenegger making millions as muscle mag editor


Arnold Schwarzenegger may be forgoing a state salary as California governor but he is still pulling in millions of dollars a year as an editor of two bodybuilding magazines.

American Media Operations, which publishes "Muscle & Fitness" and "Flex" magazines, said on Wednesday it was paying the former Mr. Olympia $8.15 million over five years to serve as executive editor of those magazines.

Schwarzenegger announced his role with the magazine last year but declined to detail payments. American…

stories worth a thousand words #26

A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

1000 WORDS ON…MY RETAIL CAREER

Written : November 8, 2004

It would have been February 1997. My written statement of the events of a few nights before clutched in my hand, I managed nervous smiles to all the staff members as I made my way up the staircase in Donnelly Sport’s HQ on O’Connell St, Dublin. Bill Dobson, the Operations Manager who had summonsed me, was at the top of the stairs, and stoically led me into a private office, along with Katrina O’Sullivan from HR and Managing Director Pat Macken’s PA, whose name I think was Sarah. She was supposedly there as “my witness”.

What proceeded was a kangaroo court whereby Mr Dobson turned my account of the story into a means by which I could be fired from the company. I vividly remember the moment when he mentioned the word “terminated”. I could not have felt lower. Well that’s not quite true. My wife’s initial reaction to the news of “Oh my God what am I going to tell the people I work with?”…

let’s talk about the weather

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I sit here, determined to write something but unsure where to begin.

My recent blogging has painted me into a corner in that I feel trapped by an artificial necessity to post one of the following

• a chapter from my autobiography
• the lyrics from a song I wrote years ago
• a snippet from Reuters’ Oddly Enough files accompanied by the result of some Image Search/Photoshop follies
• My latest take on the MakePovertyHistory campaign, which has been both my most important and at same time my most boring contributions of late. I’m even afraid that a passing-by browser’s glancing eye may notice those three particular words shoved together and go fumbling for the “next blog” button without a moment’s thought. I’d love to say that doesn’t bother me, but it does.

Despite this routine I have fallen into recently, I felt I needed something new to post about. Then, as I was typing that last paragraph, an incredibly simple notion surged forward and dived headlong into my pool of creativity, causing eno…

outcome of the g8

As you may have noticed I took more than a passing interest in the MakePovertyHistory cause recently. That is because with the G8 summit taking place in Edinburgh last week, it was an important time to focus on the issues at hand. Below is an email I received from the campaign organizers last week which outlined how they got on with their aims.

The 2005 G8 Summit took place against a background of tragedy. The attacks in London yesterday focused all of our attentions on the terrible waste that each and every life lost always represents. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed and those who were injured.

At a time when terrorists have shown such disregard for our shared humanity, Make Poverty History is a living embodiment of it.

Never before have so many people stood in solidarity with the poor. While there is a great deal more G8 leaders should have done in Gleneagles, today they responded to our campaign for justice by making significant commitments to increase aid…

heavy stuff

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(These lyrics make up the rest of the chapter in my autobiography entitled “1000 words on…More Of My Lyrics” which I first posted yesterday)


Nobody told me it’d be this hard just getting through the day
With complications, situations getting in my way

I remember when I was a little boy
Who thought nothing at all could get in my way
The shit grown-ups told me used to build me up so high
That I swear to you I thought that I could fly
But then an overdose of reality left me shaking like a leaf
I found out life ain’t a fairy-tale much to my disbelief
Then all of a sudden all my childhood games didn’t matter anymore
And though I found it hard I had to disregard all I had learned before

Well I’ll tell you what
I’ve had enough
I don’t wanna play no more

Nobody told me it’d break my heart to see what’s really going on
With desperation, sheer frustration, making me write this song

Now whenever I see a little boy
Who thinks nothing at all can get in his way
I wanna sit him down, wanna spin him round, wanna open …

stories worth a thousand words #25

A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

NB : I have split up this chapter so that the two song lyrics can each have their own post.

1000 WORDS ON…MORE OF MY LYRICS

Text written : NOVEMBER 18, 2004

I really thought I had it all worked out when I was writing these songs. My philosophical musings led me to believe that it was enough to assume that we didn’t know what was going on, and that there was no need to define a purpose for being alive; all we had to do was get on with it. Nobody really knows what happens when they die; most of them just prefer to accept what they have been told and live their lives accordingly. Indeed, I sure was one smug son-of-a-bitch in the 90’s!!!

Although “Buckpassing” was written to my offspring, it was conceived before they were. I remember distinctly I was standing on the platform at Alewife station in Boston when I got the tune in my head – I even grabbed my wife and hummed it into her ear hoping she’d help me remember it later. The lyrics came surpri…

buckpassing

As sure as darkness can be full of many dangers
As sure as little children shouldn’t talk to strangers
As sure as night follows day you’ll ask me the question
As sure as Mother Nature cannot be predicted
As sure as one to nicotine can be addicted
I’m sure I can safely say you’ll ask me the question

“Daddy, what’s really going on?”

Well, I could give you a bible and tell you to read
I could give you commandments and tell you to heed
But could I honestly say they’d answer your question?

Ask me how,
I’ll show you ways in which you can proceed
Ask me where
I’ll show you places you will not believe
Ask me any of the above and I’ll gladly reply
There’s just one thing though
Don’t ask me why

Now if you wonder why I question my ability
My train of thought it’s greatly lacking in mobility
In fact, when it comes to this, it’s stuck at the station
I asked the conductor what on earth the whole delay was for
He just laughed and said “Stop using stupid metaphors!
You can dodge all you like but they’ll still ask the ques…

in memoriam 070705

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If all hatred is a river
And her rapids human pride
Then can we build a bridge across her
To the peace on the other side?

Though the currents may seem strong
And the distance far too wide
We’ve been waiting far too long
To find peace on the other side

If there’s one thing I believe in
If there’s a love I just can’t hide
I want to follow my own children
To the peace on the other side

So if hatred is a river
And her rapids human pride
Can we build a bridge across her
For there’s peace on the other side!

© JL Pagano 2001



dear fools,

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An open letter to those protesters involved in the Edinburgh riots


Dear fools,

Yes, indeed, you are all fools, and there is no better word to describe you. That is, if you really thought you were either helping the MakePovertyHistory campaign or ending Globalization with your actions this week. I am well aware that many of the perpetrators of the riots had absolutely no interest in the cause and were only using it as an excuse to partake in senseless violence, and I am equally aware there were no doubt a good many baton-happy police officers to blame also, and the English language has another word for all of them; scum.

I prefer, however, to direct this letter at those from the first category as outlined above. What you have done by making these less than ideal headlines is play straight into the hands of those against whom you are protesting. And don’t think being dragged kicking and screaming into a police wagon is going to make you a hero – for I suspect this may be your primary objec…

oh to be like mike

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Shaggy IV > Mike Todd

It was recently suggested that I needed a sense of humour transplant (I’m just gonna go ahead and start spelling it “humour” – I’ve exhausted my Thesaurus before now out of respect to my American readers – just get used to the “u”, please!), so I figured it’s about time I paid tribute to a blog which actually does get the sides of my mouth turning upwards on a regular basis.

Blogland is great for many different reasons – it can inspire you, it can put a new spin on something you firmly believe in, it can shed new light on something you believed not to be the case, it can get you riled up that someone can be so bold as to have a view that differs from yours, and, once in a while, it can make you laugh.

Of all the blogs I’ve seen, I know of only one that I can repeatedly go back to and know I can relax and take it all in without fear of having my beliefs trampled on and yet still be able to let all previous tramplings be swept away on a wave of hilarity.

So without …

stories worth a thousand words the stories so far

A WARTS ‘N ALL AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ORDINARY GUY

When my grandfather passed away last August I realized how much I regretted never getting to know him properly, a feeling no doubt many people experience at some point in their lives. Since at the time I was trying to explore my abilities as a writer, I thought it would at least be productive to try and write down my own stories in case one day my own kids have the same curiosity.

I thus gave myself a target of having 50 essays on various topics written by New Year’s Day 2005, and I devised 50 headings which would cover the years from 1969 to the present day. I also decided to factor in a level of nerdiness as befits my character when I made the stipulation that every chapter had to be EXACTLY one thousand words, or at least according to Microsoft Word’s word-count function.

And so I achieved my goal, and although the chapters were not written in sequence, when put together it seemed to come out the way I intended. I was amazed at how much …

millstone, u.s.a.

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I was headed down Interstate 9
And I could not find my way
That’s when I saw the sign
“Now Entering Millstone, U.S.A”

There was reason to celebrate
And at first I couldn’t work out why
That’s when I checked the date
And saw it was always the Fourth of July

There was bunting and banners all round
Pride in the land that their fathers did found
An elderly couple walked up to me
A smile in their eyes as they said unto me

They said; “We were wondering what could be holding you back?”

Hey, check out that TV show!
Live footage of America’s greatest crime!
Hey, check out that mixing bowl!
It slices, it dices, it even tells you the time!

I was so overwhelmed by it all
Even the price of a long distance call
I thought about how sad my life had been
With all of these wonders that I’d never seen

And I started wondering what could be holding me back

I was enthralled with what I learned
Of great battles and heroes to admire
Independence that was truly earned
An amazing history that could not but inspire

So I started to talk …

a good day to turn vegetarian

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Having clearly converted the entire blogosphere to the cause of MakePovertyHistory.org, I think it’s time to lighten things down a notch, and you can always rely on Ananova’s Quirky files for inspiration...
Gravediggers held BBQ in cemetery
Gravediggers in a Belgian city have been criticised for holding a barbecue party in a cemetery.

It follows a complaint from a couple who visited the cemetery at Merksem, Antwerp, to visit the grave of their son.

François and Magda Boljau were shocked to find the gravediggers holding a party in a shed at the cemetery, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

click here for full storyClick the name JL Pagano at the top of the page to see my latest posts