Did you know the following facts?
- The best way to spread a computer virus is to sneeze onto the keyboard and press Command> Enter.
- Only malware properly registered with the Central Bureau Of Mis-Information is allowed on Russian computers.
- It is easier to hack a Windows 10 computer than it is to hock it.
- Many of the keys on the standard qwerty keyboard do nothing at all – they are just there because the key maker wants a greater profit. Stand up for your rights. Spell ” through ” as ” thru “.
- You cannot recycle a French mime. No facility on Earth will accept them and you will just end up having to store them in your shed. Marcel Marceau ended up behind the paint tins and old motor oil in a Bordeaux garage for decades.
- No-one has ever successfully impersonated you. Even you are rather suspect and most people think you are doing it poorly.
- In China women hold up half the sky but their percentage of success in holding up traffic in Winthrop and Leeming car parks is far greater.
- Iran was not responsible for the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies. But I’ll bet they wish they were…
- No Canadian hockey team has ever won in the Pakistan League. This is because the Canadians insist on wearing skates and heavy padded uniforms and the Pakistanis are clothed in team jerseys and shorts. Also the games are held on grass, and not ice. Bad translation of the rules has always been blamed.
- You cannot touch your ear with your elbow, but you can touch those of other people. This leads to criminal charges.
- The term ” Public Service ” was first used in 358 BC when the Egyptian Execution Office was set up in Room 45 in the Pyramids. People lined up and took numbers in the waiting room. They are currently calling N0.28…
- The term ” Baker’s Dozen ” was invented to steal bread from bakers under threat of torture.
” Sorry to hear about your problem. But keep at it – if you try to have a thought every day – even a little one – eventually thinking comes easier.
But thank you for the complement in the latter part of your speech. You might leave a little pause between the first sentence and the second, so people understand that there is a full stop there… ”
Well, there you go. A ready-made Uncle Dick squelch for the person at a party who wants to be offended and take over your conversation upon that basis. You could cede it to them by apologising for whatever it was you said – but you would have a difficult time getting it back. This way you leave them wondering what the holes are on both sides of their mental cockpit and what that whizzing noise was. It was a 40mm Bofors squelch.
There are lots of what the Readers Digest used to call Perfect Squelches to be had – and lots of times when they are needed – but unfortunately we often miss the cue and fail to fire. Or we are a little slow in the fusing, and the target flies away. A squelch delivered too late bounces off the ground and can detonate in your face.
The best thing to do is practise – and nowadays we are given this opportunity nearly every day when the Indian call centre scammers ring up to try to take control of our computers. There is a brief pause after you lift the telephone receiver and then often a hiss or the sound of a background camel market as the scammer reels out their spiel – you can have up to ten seconds to collect your wits, fuse a squelch, slam it into the breech, and reach for the trigger.
Use these scammers as practise targets. Do not be rude or profane – don’t even be vulgar. Be nice. Be logical. Be honest. Draw a bead on them and tell them that you are Billy The Old Kid and that you rob railway trains as a pension. Tell them that are looking for a Russian bride but all the agencies will offer is Vladimir Putin in a dress. Tell them that you are the ghost of John Diefenbaker looking for butter tarts. Do it in a serious voice.
Note: When an Indian scammer blows up the results can be spectacular. They are only human, after all, and it must be hot and sticky there in the market. They are often only one call away from running amok.
The no-Facebook-feed experiment has been completed. One month of not scrolling down the newsfeed – the only contact being Messenger all through August. Now we’re on the 1st of September and here is what I’ve discovered:
- I did not collapse weeping or shivering at any point of the month. The hold that Facebook had on me was not such as to constitute a classical physical addiction. There was no cold turkey – not even a lukewarm chicken.
- I was as informed about the general local, state, and federal matters as I would have been had I been reading the feed. Radio and magazines filled the void in the month as far as immediate news is concerned. I did not need to read about the Edict Of Nantes on any medium, so I did not need it on the net.
- I did miss out on news of a more personal nature – people nowadays take to the feed to alert their immediate social group and I very nearly missed out on a very important occasion. Luckily I was alerted and the occasion met…but complete divorce from social sites might be awkward. At the very least one would have to take an old-fashioned newspaper and read it carefully for the hatches, matches, and dispatches.
- The amount of time that no-feed freed up for other activities was amazing. This is as much a condemnation of myself before as it was of the internet mechanism. After all, I was the one sitting there wasting time – not the makers of Facebook. They were cramming every minute of every hour with what they hoped would prove productive advertising.
- Other activities saw a great deal accomplished – models built, tools cleaned, fences mended, essays written, photos taken. The house looked tidier and was so earlier and earlier in the day.
- Visits were made to friends physically, rather than electronically. This cost money, petrol, and time, and was overwhelmingly rewarded with personal happiness.
- Visitations from people who annoy me were reduced to a bare minimum. I still got Indian scam calls, of course, as these were inevitable. I got a few pamphlets and shill sheets in the post. And there was always the radio advertisement for a car yard and a dental implant surgery that clog up the old-time radio. But I was not bombarded by politics, propaganda, folly, or fecundity all month. A most refreshing time.
- I got to sleep at a decent hour. Or as decent an hour as the bastard cat would permit. I want a cat-proof fence down the middle of the bed.
So…what to do? Now I am free to re-commence my Facebook activity – or curtail it – or close it down entirely. I know the benefits and perils of each course. I think the best decision for me is:
- Keep the line open. I use the Messenger function and several activities I quite enjoy are carried by Facebook in ancillary groups. No sense cutting my nose off to spite someone else’s face…
- Open the feed for a limited period of time. And that is an exact use of the language – I shall dedicate a 45-minute period to Facebook during each day. I’ll use that FB-Time to read messages, send out replies, post column links, and read the general feed. But the last-named activity will be kept for the last, after all the others are done. If the earth-shattering news of your lunch is not within the 45 minute limit, I shall never know of it. This last month has shown me that I will never grieve for it.
- I shall place a number of individuals upon a private notice list. If they break forth into Facebook annoyance again, I shall simply take no further notice of them. They’ll not suffer indignity through this, and neither shall I.
Really, it was so simple – yet it took a month for me to see myself and how foolish I had become with the social media site. Now I can go back to it with pleasure and reserve my folly for other fields.
” …With Injected Twisted Face. ”
This was a sign on a building seen yesterday as I drove to the hobby shop. Not a small sign, either – big one. Had I not been in traffic I would have driven off the road in amazement. As it was, the puzzling message dogged me all through my shopping – so much so that I deliberately drove back to stare at the sign. The other signs on the building gave it away – the place is a golf shop and apparently injected twisted face technology is something that makes you a better golfer.
Indeed, the internet reveals that this technology is legal as well as technical…to quote TODAY’S GOLFER magazine…
” In 2018 TaylorMade made headlines with their new ‘Twist Face’ technology in the M3 and M4 drivers. This year, they’ve improved upon that technology in their newest M5 and M6 models by coming up with a way to make every driver face they produce on the legal limit of COR (coefficient of restitution). ”
I have not gone past this statement for fear of cooties. The fact that there is a coefficient of something, and that there is a legal limit to it and that this is connected to the pastime of hitting a white ball over grass into a hole seems both diagnostic and sad. I should be ashamed to associate with any sport that needed to be regulated by lawyers, no matter how good the drinks were at the bar when you finished it. The legal eagles might be in there seeking restitution…
There would be the constant danger on the links of either flouting the sports law deliberately or worse – adhering to it zealously. Soon you would be watching others to see that they were not gaining an advantage by invoking clauses and torts and one day you would stand up in the bar and cry ” Mr. Chairman! Point of order! “.
And the portal of hell would open and swallow your soul. And your twisted face golf club.
PS: Have you got your legal qualifications to allow you to read weblog columns? Have it ready for when The Inspector calls.
But I think I got away with it.
You would be a brave person these days if you held anyone else** up to contumely and ridicule on a public stage. Far more so if it was the internet and the social media. The gaff that you inserted into your victim would be as nothing compared to the gaffe that you would put into your own career.
The lawyers would have a field day. They would look at you, at the social media site, and at the electronic servitors who had broadcast the slur to the world. Their gaze would fix upon two things; your guilt and who has the money. Were you just a beggar in the market place shouting imprecations they would be satisfied with whipping you and then moving on to the real sources of compensation. If you had money you would also stand the ire of injured reputation and moral outrage.
Perhaps they would be right to do this. After all, we should not defame others. Perhaps their efforts would only be to right a wrong and prevent a sin. When you think about it, Torquemada had only the spiritual interests of his victims at heart when he lit the fires under their stakes.
I am not brave. I quiver at the least danger. So I never publish scurrilous attacks upon people – even when they are patently deserving. I forebear. I forgive. I just keep watching them to see their next stunt. Eventually what I essayed to do will be done by the mainstream press and possibly the magistrate’s court – and then I can be virtuous and moral. And when they are finally cut down, I will ask for a piece of the rope as a remembrance.
* Before you pop a vein and write to the editor, it’s a reference to ” Fawlty Towers “…If this show has not been seen in your section of the Ozarks look it up on Netflix.
** You can do it to yourself and make a good deal of money from the networks…
But I did say it
” But you are not allowed to say that! That is not acceptable! You are not allowed to have those opinions! We forbid it! ”
We? Who is this ” we ” that you write about?
” Me and all the other the moral people! The people who are caring and sensible and good and right and virtuous! The people who demand that you toe the line and conform to our moral standards and only print our opinion! ”
So no other opinion is permitted?
” No! We are a free country and you are free to think as we do or suffer our displeasure! ”
Do you always speak in exclamation marks?
” Yes! We are never wrong! “
And the goodness may be your own peace of mind.
One day recently I made a bad purchase – for a small price. Neither the seller nor I were aware of a defect in a product that rendered it valueless. There was no chance of recompense from a supplier or maker – they were unknown and far away. The only saving grace about the whole thing was the low price of the article – it was not worth raising a stink about it to anyone.
But it was worth writing a weblog column about – tying in memories of cheap goods from Hong Kong that plagued us in the 1950’s and contrasting that with the generally high standard of production from China these days. Didn’t put the coin back in my pocket, but did keep the thing in perspective – and the release of steam meant that the rest of the boiler remained calm.
The weblog column is much maligned as too petty for real writers to bother with – and too common for real readers to look at. Bit of elitism there, but it doesn’t touch the real benefit that writing one may give; the opportunity to vent a grievance or order your mind when no-one else will listen. If I were a single person without family or friends – which I thank the Lord is not the case – I would regard the humble blog as a lifeline to sanity.
As it is, I have looked at sanity and decided that I didn’t need it all that much.