About lennymaysay

Atheist, non-conformist, anti-authority

Muggy

lennymaysay:

The musings of Argentum Vulgaris. Check it out!

Originally posted on Life is but a Labyrinth:

GHWYes, it’s muggy. Not hot, but very humid. I am sitting here in my underpants….

Oh shit, you didn’t read the warning, did you!

…sweating at 8am.

And the day promises to get hotter.

Last night, I had pizza for supper. I had planned a full meal, but after late class and a later beer, I decided that pizza was less time and effort.

breakfastSo, breakfast this morning, I took the advice of Foul Bachelor Frog (see Tuesday’s posts on Nether Region of the Earth III) and had a ready prepared snack in the fridge.

Although, I did make it more breakfasty by spreading cream cheese on it.

Quite yummy.

In my younger days we didn’t have pizza like today. There were no Pizza Huts or pizzas in the supermarkets, so we didn’t have the same advantages of today’s youths where cold pizza competes with cornflakes as a breakfast…

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Considerations of a Tired Man

lennymaysay:

I could add to that list of lamentations, but if you’ve been paying attention, you would know them already. However, if you’re oblivious to the woes of the world, but getting on just fine, please let us know how you got to that awesome planet you’re on.

Originally posted on Attenti al Lupo:

enough_is_enough

The world outside seems like a crazy merry-go-around.

Severed heads. Shattered countries. Helpless presidents. Girls are raped like it’s nothing – in India and Sudan it can seem like it’s endemic. And the world is silent.

Chaos. Do we even know what we are anymore?

Everyone’s yelling about something; we’ve learned to bark better than the dogs. And the dogs are abandoned like they are trash.

Suffering. Children are used as human shields; it’s happening now in Syria and not too long ago in Gaza.

The North hate the South. The South swears the North is a plague. The Whites kill the Blacks. The Blacks murder other Blacks -and sometimes Whites, too. Ninety percent of the world is starving. Elephants are nearly extinct and tigers are killed to make throw rugs.

Priests speak of God, but they turn their backs and leave the little nuns in Burundi to do the…

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A quotidian mess

bsfree

Facebook appears to be the favoured dumping ground for usually soppy quotes by those who either harbour an agenda to mislead, or who are either too lazy to validate or just plain credulous. In the case of the former, these quotes are often misattributed to celebrated personalities. I have no doubt that Twitter experiences its fair share of quote dumping, but since I’m not a subscriber, I’ll limit myself to what I do see.

The innocuous quotes are reasonably acceptable, but annoying in that they occupy far too much Timeline real estate. The others are sinister and hide religious, political, cultural or other nasty agendas, and when spread around may case serious harm.

Off course there are quotes that are genuinely of a scientific, skeptical and educational nature that are beneficial and if humorous to boot, are quite acceptable. I’m also not averse to the odd salacious quote that exposes religious, political or social douchebaggery.

I can’t say that I’ve come across too many examples of quote mining, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that sort of thing happens quite frequently in certain Facebook circles, especially those that promote religion and pseudo-science.

I often wonder what my Facebook friends think of me when I don’t like one of those soppy quotes they post. I have actually gotten into arguments when I commented negatively on some of them, so refrain from that sort of thing these days. The religiously inspired ones are particularly annoying. Sometimes in a fit of rage, I will repost them on my own Timeline with a snarky comment, but I try my best to control my ire. When I fail, I do hope it does not do too much damage to my Facebook friends’… er egos.

I am really pleased however that hardly any one of my Facebook friends have posted the unadulterated horse-shit that seems to be the make-up of Deepak Chopra. You could string together any of the words he spews out regularly, in random, and they will seemingly sound profound. I shit you not. Here are some examples:

Perception arises and subsides in cosmic success

The future exists as dimensionless balance

The unexplainable grows through subjective phenomena

Why not amuse yourself some more with this Random Quote Generator of the “enigmatic wisdom” of Deepak Chopra.

Friends

I just spent the most awesome weekend with friends, celebrating the 50th birthday of one dude in particular. There’s just nothing like being around good friends.

Monday being normally the day I post music videos, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of these…

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come running. Well mostly, off course. You’ll forgive me if I’m a little late, won’t you.

Things just work out so much better with a little help from your friends, but maybe not with the lyrics.

And you, yes you, are my best friend. I’m not saying who. I think this one is going to get me into trouble.

Sometimes you just have to wait on a friend. Another whiskey old chum? I’m pouring.

Off course your friend, doesn’t have to be an actual person. Strangely it could be a diamond; ask any girl.

Or stranger still, it could be the wind.

Can’t say I’ve had any friends who were depressed. Disturbed yes. Cripes, now I’m gonna be in a real spot of bother.

And yep, I can just tell we are gonna be friends.

Finally, just know this: I’ll always be there for you.

 

 

 

iDon’tGeddit

Big news this week is the release of yet another iteration of the iPhone. It’s the iPhone half-a-dozen and it’s much bigger; and probably sports some new-fangled tech-shit that will amuse a lot of people no end.

But am I the only person who doesn’t understand this fascination obsession with new cellular phones? Sorry “smart” phones.

And I’m not just picking on Apple. They’re the solo-evil-genius of the smart phone world, but the Android operating system has multiple evil manufacturers. If I remember correctly, Samsung released a new Galaxy version only just recently, also with a few more bells and whistles that maybe ten people will actually use.

Off course the one thing that keeps improving, is the camera on these phones. But I still don’t understand why. There must be like ten people in the whole world who have somehow managed to capture a really good photo with a smart phone. Everything else is just shite. Why wouldn’t it be? Who can hold a smart phone steady enough to take a really good photo. All it’s good for is selfies. And there you have the irony with smartphones. They’re made for not very smart people.

I got my first smart phone a little over a year ago. I chose a Blackberry because I didn’t want to be called an Apple or Android or Thor forbid, a Windows fanboy. I also only wanted a phone to make and receive calls and send and receive the odd text message. And Blackberry used to be the most stable and reliable cellphone out there. Then it all went south.

The nightmare started after the first software upgrade. The phone became practically unusable. So Blackberry eventually sorted out the mess after a few months, but the company was going down the tubes pretty fast. The next software version fixed the bugs of the version that was supposed to make Blackberry the greatest thing since… Blackberry. I think they’ve recovered somewhat in recent times.

But then came the next software upgrade a few weeks ago. And guess what? Yep, my phone is almost unusable again.Sigh!

So I’m now waiting for the software upgrade to fix the software upgrade…

Jersey Boys

I don’t normally do film reviews but I going to make an exception because it gives me the opportunity to slip in a song.

I’ve listened to December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) countless times over the years and never really bothered to find out more about Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons. Jersey Boys was therefore a timely education in music history for me.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars the main cast from the Broadway Musical and Christopher Walken, one of my favorite actors. Basically it tells the story of Tommy Devito, Nick Massi, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli (real name Francesco Stephen Castelluccio) wo formed a friendship in the 50’s that nearly resulted in them becoming hardened criminals, and how they cemented a musical relationship that resulted in the formation of the band the Four Seasons in the 60’s.

A nice bit of trivia was learning that the songwriter Bob Gaudio was introduced to the others by none other than Joe Pesci the actor. When Tommy Devito is eventually forced to leave the band he goes on to work for Pesci, in what capacity is not revealed.

Christopher Walken plays a rather likeable mobster boss, who has a soft spot for the boys, especially Frankie. And as usual he does a superb job.

You may remember some of the hit songs by the Four Seasons such as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and The Frankie Valli solo Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, but I’m going to leave this one here…

Walk Like A Man

There is a rather poignant moment at the end with the Four Seasons getting back together after more than twenty years to sing together again in 1990 when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and Frankie Valli remembering how four guys used to sing under a street lamp.

 

Mrs. President

mugabe

I am all in favour of female Presidents, because let’s face it, men are such egotistical bastards when it comes to governing. Unsurprisingly I rooted for Hillary Clinton to become the President of the USA when the choice was “do you want America to have its first Black President or first female President.”

Female heads of state are not rare, but neither is it a common occurrence. Europe, South America and the Far East seem to have a more enlightened approach and leads the way when it comes to electing a head of state, compared to the rest of the world. Africa has had only about three female heads of state, if you exclude those who acted in the position. In what is traditionally a male dominated sphere, women who do become Head of State, must surely have had a tough time getting there, and an even rougher time, being there.

However, in certain instances one has to draw the line at who is allowed to become a female leader of a country. I draw the line when cronyism or competence is involved.

Grace, Robert Mugabe’s wife’s entrance into politics in Zimbabwe is a classic case of cronyism. Anyone with two brain cells must immediately conclude that this is a blatant attempt by Mugabe to entrench his hold on power by creating a political dynasty involving his family. Off course in a country where democracy is just a word, and elections a mere formality, her rise to the top is all but guaranteed.

South Africans from many quarters have been proposing that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of incumbent President Jacob Zuma, become the next President. As much as I would love to have a female President of South Africa, it must not be this woman. If her performance and achievements as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Health and Home Affairs at various times ar anything to go by, she is not fit to be a leader of state. Her current portfolio as head of the African Union Commission (AUC), formerly The Organization of African Unity (OAU) is also not something to be proud of. This is essentially a glorified Dictator’s Club.

South Africa has many women of substantial quality who can lead the country, when Jacob Zuma is hopefully booted out unceremoniously. We must choose wisely.

When overzealous politicians go South

immigrationoverhaul

The South African (ANC) government has introduced some neat legislation over the course of twenty years which most people are happy with. Over recent years however, they seem hell-bent on tipping the scales with a plethora of mind-numbingly dumb laws, such as The Protection Of Information Bill.

Recently the idiot politicians (beats the hell out of me why they are referred to as lawmakers) in charge of Home Affairs, dreamt up some silly rules to govern Immigration, among other things. Journalist Peter Delmar of Times Live has written a very witty column about it, and because I could not in my wildest dreams have said it better, I’ve decided instead to steal it whole and post it here. I’m sure he won’t mind.

Impressionable minds at the Department of Home Affairs have been watching too much CNN.

If you’re a foreigner married to a South African, congratulations: we really are the very nicest people in the world to be married to. Too bad, though, that you will have to go back to wherever it is you came from to prove that you really are you – even if you’ve been living in this country for years, happily producing broods of little half-South Africans.

If you’re, say, a rocket scientist, a bio-molecular astrophysicist, or a newspaper columnist (one of those scarce and valuable skills we need more of if we’re going to grow our economy), you’re going to have to jump through a whole heap of hoops to convince our Department of Home Affairs that they should let you in. And genuine foreign investors can jolly well stick their money and their factories in any other country if Home Affairs doesn’t like the look of them. This because, nowadays, Home Affairs takes security very, very seriously.

(The new-found security obsession of what used to be considered the world’s worst government department does rather bring to mind that phrase that has to do with horses bolting and locking stable doors. Until very recently our borders were beyond porous and South African passports could be bought at any old flea market almost anywhere in the world.)

But not any more, not since tough guy Malusi Gigaba took over at Home Affairs a few months ago. Now we have a department of paper shufflers determined to keep us all safe. About time too (the police gave up long ago on the business of keeping people safe and secure).

But the regulations that Home Affairs’ blunt-instrument law-drafters have come up with are not exactly winning them friends and influencing people.

Most recently it was the airlines that were up in arms over Home Affairs’ brilliant idea that nobody should be allowed to travel to South Africa with a child if that child did not have an unabridged birth certificate.

All over the world millions of very nice people with nice steady jobs they have worked at for 30-odd years have been saving all their lives to come on holiday to South Africa so that they can point their Nokias at our crocodiles, get a suntan and drink cheap beer.

The problem the airlines have with this unabridged birth-certificate story is that Kenya also has cheap beer and lots of sunshine.

And crocodiles. In fact, thanks to that carefully stage-managed annual migration lark, Kenya’s crocodiles are much more famous than our crocodiles. (A big drawcard for nice rich foreign people with steady jobs used to be our rhinos but, well, we’re sort of running out of those .)

Last week the mandarins at Home Affairs agreed, in the most grudging tones, that they would deign to speak to the meddling, protesting airlines, which wanted the unabridged-certificate wheeze postponed for a year.

This is good news. Perhaps Mr and Mrs Airline can explain to the aunties at Home Affairs how things work: “We fly in lots of foreign tourists who spend lots of money in our country having a wonderful time. The money these nice rich people spend creates jobs.

“All of the people looking after them – the hotels, the bus operators, the B&Bs, the restaurants, the shopkeepers the grandchildren buy ‘Hello Kitty Goes to Kruger’ T-shirts from, even the brewers who make the beer – pay things called ‘taxes’.

“And those taxes keep you lot at Home Affairs in your jobs.”

Now I wonder which government department will try to top this act of lunacy. There sure are plenty of them, and they keep growing after every election.

Clerics! STFU!

stfu

It has occurred to me that if I had an American dollar for every time a cleric from one of the world’s major religions said something profoundly dumb, I would be pretty darned rich. If you threw in the insane things holy men of all the minor religions and cults say, I could possibly pay Mark Zuckerberg to like this post.

Why should what clerics say be of concern to us?

(a) Because credulous people tend to believe without questioning and then do stupid things, which may (and usually does) cause harm to others.

(b) Or, crazier people go further and act on these irrational utterances, which results in murder and mayhem.

In recent years, there’s been some real pearls of (un)wisdom emanating from the Middle East. These two recent incidences may on the surface seem harmless enough, but they do much long-term damage in my opinion:

Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi of Iran has issued a fatwa basically decreeing that high-speed internet is against Sharia and moral and human standards. What utter rubbish!

It’s quite obvious that this grand idiot has pulled this decree from out his arse, because no sacred religious text I ever heard off, even knows what high-speed broadband or the internet is. Furthermore, the Grand Arsehole of Iran has pretty fucked-up moral and human standards.

Then there’s ISIS. Yes, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, so much in the news recently, whose utterly barbaric behaviour which would be the envy of the Mongols, have decreed that Philosophy and Chemistry are against the laws of God and are thus banned in schools in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

For the love of Thor, show me any religious text that states that Philosophy and Chemistry both, are against the laws of some obtuse God, and I will stomp and shit on that text.

Now hear me clerics and religious fundamentalists of the world. Shut The Fuck Up!

Ohrwurm Monday

I always suspected there’s an expression for when a song gets stuck inside your head, but as I found out, it’s not what you’d expect.

It happens to me quite frequently; songs getting stuck in my head that is. According to HowStuffWorks, this phenomenon can be described as follows:

Experts say the culprits are earworms (or “ohrwurms,” as they’re called in Germany). No, they’re not parasites that crawl into your ear and lay musical eggs in your brain, but they are parasitic in the sense that they get lodged in your head and cause a sort of “cognitive itch” or “brain itch” — a need for the brain to fill in the gaps in a song’s rhythm.

Sounds like a reasonable theory to me. The song that’s crawled its way into my head at the moment is King of the Road by Roger Miller. I’m not really a big fan of country music, and this happens to be on my car’s music player. Yes, I put it there. Don’t ask…

As an experiment, I want to see if it’s catching. So come on now; be a sport and sing along…

Trailer for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
ain’t got no big regrets

Two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys a eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means, by no means
King of the road

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination: Bangor, Maine
Old worn out suit and shoes
I don’t pay no union dues

I smoke, old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I’m a man of means, by no means
King of the road

I know every engineer on every train
All of the children and all of their names
Every handout in every town
Every lock that ain’t locked when no one’s around

They sing, trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes

About two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means, by no means
King of the road

Trailer for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes

About two hours of pushin’ broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means, by no means
King of the road