Sly Humour

Colony Island will never be great again The meme, “America will never be great again until . . .”, has been floating around Facebook for a few years. Accordingly, we decided to post our own take on it as a bit of Monday morning humour.

The image itself is of the Neptune statute on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, VA. Neptune was the Roman god of the sea, but was eventually conflated with the Greek god, Poseidon.

The residents of Colony Island use the names Poseidon and Neptune interchangeably. There is a decided preference for Poseidon, however.

For additional information on the subject of Roman vs Greek gods, please visit

Colony Island will never be great again

The god Neptune was one of many Roman sea gods until he was cast in the equivalent role as the Greek god Poseidon. Image by Habib M’henni.

Go Blue Devils!Throwback Thursday on Facebook is the day when you post pictures of yourself from days of yore; You know, back when you had hair, a figure, teeth, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo for today’s TBT. I have, however, included an image of the HHS mascot as well as a somewhat more modern version of today’s subject.

The Old Hopewell High School

I attended the old high school for 8th & 9th grades. We moved to the new High School in 1967. Some folks refer to the old HHS as James E. Mallonee. Although I will agree that this was the name of its final educational incarnation, it was HHS much longer than it was JEM and thus, I will refer to it by the former title.

The Old Coke Machine

In the cafeteria, which was on the floor below the auditorium, there stood an old-fashioned Coke machine. You’d put your hard-earned money in the slot, a paper cup would drop in to the vending area, and Coke would be dispensed into the cup. Sounds simple, right?

During 9th grade, the coke machine saw that the end was in sight and had a nervous breakdown. Some of the behaviours  it exhibited were as follows:

  • You’d put your money in the slot, a cup would come down but the Coke would never show up.
  • A cup would come down and enough coke to keep three students buzzed until school let out, would fill the cup with the overflow disappearing into the bowels of the device.
  • The cup wouldn’t make an appearance but the coke still arrived on time.
  • The cup would show up and the Coke would dispense but not in that order.
  • The machine would drop cup after cup after cup. This would often happen at random intervals without anyone depositing their money.
  • Then, there were the times when the machine would dispense Coke, sans cup & sans money.
  • Every once in a while, you’d get lucky and the machine would dispense the right  amount of coke into a single cup before you could even pull the money out of your pocket.

The New Hopewell High School

HHS Coke MachineWhen we made the move to the new high school, the old Coke machine stayed behind. One can only assume that it went to a retirement home for old vending machines – commonly known as a junk yard. There is a slight possibility that they took the machine out behind the gym and . . . well, you remember Old Yeller, don’t you?

There was a new Coke machine waiting for us in the cafeteria which did not exhibit the rowdy behaviour of its predecessor. None the less, it had a few idiosyncrasies of its own. This machine didn’t hang around very long and was eventually replaced by a machine which provided Coke in cans.

Robin Williams’ Top 10 Reasons To Be An Episcopalian:

10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs. 
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them. 
7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door. 
6. Pew aerobics. 
5. Church year is color-coded. 
4. Free wine on Sunday. 
3. All of the pageantry – none of the guilt. 
2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.


It’s time to grab my kilt because Olympic Curling started today with Women’s Curling being aired at 5:00 AM and Men’s Curling going off at 5:00 PM. If NBC (the National Biscuit Company) continues to do this, yours truly is going to be getting up before the chickens for the next twa weeks.

By way of response, I’m seriously considering launching TCC – The Curling Channel; All Curling, All the time! If I can get the distilleries on board, I’m in business! Imagine! An hour of curling brought to you by Laphroaig . . . or Glen Grant, Springbank, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore – verily, the mind boggles! Of course, interest is going to wane come the summer but we can show “Curling Down Under”! Just think! Bonspiels from Australia! Interviews with Kiwi skips! And to round things out, we can show Shinty matches and watch the lads from Kingussie kick some ass! Be sure to let your cable provider know what YOU want to watch!

Has This Ever Happened To You?

I caught a wee glimpse of the men’s 500 metre speed skating this morning. Of course, the Dutch were burning up the track as usual. There was one heat with an Aussie speed skater in the outside lane. The gun went off and both skaters took off . . . or at least they did until the Aussie leaned forward a bit too much, the tip of his left skate dug into the ice and down he went, flat on his face. Somebody get the bloke a Foster’s while he regroups!

With all the problems in the world and countless issues – like Windows 8 & Linux – awaiting TechnoRants©, Dr. Data has nothing better to do with his time than blether on about the enduring social fiction known as the ‘Little White Lie’. We’ve all told them at one time or another; those fibs intended to comfort, encourage, soothe or avoid hurting someone’s feelings. For example, a friend presents you with a truly hideous gift of no practical or aesthetic value. Instead of asking the person “Have you been dumpster diving again?”, we avoid hurting the feelings of the – usually – well-intentioned gift-giver by saying “What a lovely/handsome/thoughtful gift! I will have to think of just the right place to display/use it.”

In reality, the next time that the aforementioned gift will see the light of day will be:

  1. On sale at a charity shop
  2. On the table at a neighbour’s yard sale
  3. Given as a gift to someone or other who will then pass it on to someone else, traversing the 6 degrees of separation until it returns home to the original gift-giver.

The white lie was the subject of a column by Ceila Walden in London’s Daily Telegraph concerning what we tend to say upon seeing someone’s baby for the first time. While we may say to the parent “What a sweet/adorable/handsome/beautiful baby you have!”, we privately ponder the feasibly of giving the poor kid a lifetime supply of paper bags.

Like most everything on the internet now-a-days, there was a space for user commentary following the column. The following two jokes were gleaned from the various remarks by readers. One is an auld chestnut that is still worth a smile while the other is one that Dr. Data has not seen before. Enjoy!


A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says:

“Ugh, that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!”

The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her:

“‘The driver just insulted me!”

The man says:

“You go up there and tell him off. Go on, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”


A man with two beautiful daughters visits his wife in hospital after the birth of an ugly son.

Husband says to wife, “How come we have two beautiful girls and now this? Have you been playing away from home?”

Wife to husband, “Not this time.”



In truth, we’d be lost without all those little white lies – The Daily Telegraph

Somewhere around 5th or 6th grade, I remember doing a report on this poem by James Thomas Fields. There are those males amongst us whose only exposure to barbering is Fantastic Sam’s, Super Cuts or the stylist at the mall will be gob-smacked at the idea of the old time barber shoppe being a bastion of masculinity with stuffed hunting trophies, etc. adorning the walls. Toss in cigar smoke, a copy of The Police Gazette and you were in business.

The Owl Critic

“Who stuffed that white owl?”

No one spoke in the shop,
The barber was busy, and he couldn’t stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
The “Daily,” the “Herald,” the “Post,” little heeding
The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
And the barber kept on shaving.

“Don’t you see, Mr. Brown,”
Cried the youth, with a frown,
“How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is,
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is —
In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck ‘t is!
I make no apology;
I’ve learned owl-eology.

I’ve passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
And cannot be blinded to any deflections
Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
Mister Brown! Mr. Brown!
Do take that bird down,
Or you’ll soon be the laughingstock all over town!”
And the barber kept on shaving.

“I’ve studied owls,
And other night-fowls,
And I tell you
What I know to be true;
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his legs slanted,
Ever had his bill canted,
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He cant do it, because
‘Tis against all bird-laws.

Anatomy teaches,
Ornithology preaches,
An owl has a toe
That can’t turn out so!
I’ve made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!
Mr. Brown, I’m amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don’t half know his business!”
And the barber kept shaving.

“Examine those eyes
I’m filled with surprise
Taxidermists should pass
Off on you such poor glass;
So unnatural they seem
They’d make Audubon scream,
And John Burroughs laugh
To encounter such chaff.
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!”
And the barber kept on shaving!

“With some sawdust and bark
I could stuff in the dark
An owl better than that.
I could make an old hat
Look more like an owl
Than that horrid fowl,
Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
In fact, about him there’s not one natural feather.”

Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch,
The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch,
Walked around, and regarded his fault-finding critic
(Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic,
And then fairly hooted, as if he should say:
“Your learning’s at fault this time, anyway:
Don’t waste it again on a live bird, I pray.
I’m an owl; you’re another. Sir Critic, good day!”
And the barber kept on shaving.

James Thomas Fields


Let’s see now:

  • Laptop – check
  • Geek glasses – check
  • Nerd shirt in a colour not found in nature – check
  • Stack of Linux/Unix manuals – check
  • Stack of Perl manuals – check
  • iPhone with Whipped app – check
  • Assorted flash drives – check
  • Other assorted stuff that no self-respecting computer dweeb can live without – check
  • Autographed copy of The Wit & Wisdom of Sheldon Cooper – check

[stextbox id=”Question” float=”true” align=”right” width=”200″]Just how much of a dyed-in-the-wool Hokie is my brother? He refuses to wear a kilt until he can find one in Burnt Orange and Chicago Maroon![/stextbox]

Looks like I’ve got everything. I’m off on a 10-month contract with the University of Virginia ITS (Information Technology Services). My brother, Jim Parsons – no, not THAT Jim Parsons! – a dyed in the wool Hokie, must be hiding his face in shame over all this.

So far, Day 1 has been slow but that’s the way 1st days usually are. There’s a cardboard stand-up of Mr. Spock next to my cube and Iron Man collectables on the shelf across the aisle. I have a first-rate view of the train tracks behind the building so I can foam and work at the same time. I’m in Nerdlandia.

It’s November 30th – St. Andrew’s Day. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and kicks off the holiday shopping season in the run-up to Christmas.

It is also the first day of the Annual Haggis Hunt sponsored by the Scotsman, an Edinburgh newspaper. If you’ve never hunted haggis, here’s how it goes. The Haggis is hunting season runs from St. Andrews Day until Burns Night in January. To join the hunt, simply go to the Official Haggis Hunt Website where you will find all sorts of lore about this wee tasty beasty as well as recipes for properly preparing the rascal. You will also find a set of 10 webcams. It’s your job to check these cameras on a regular basis if you hope to espy a haggis. (This is their season for migrating, mating or something like that so the haggi – the plural of haggis – should be out in force!) If you are indeed lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the elusive buggers, simply follow the instructions for reporting your find. Who knows – you just might win something!

A kilt is not required to hunt haggis but a flask of a certain amber liquid – to keep yourself warm, of course, and repel any lingering midgies – is highly recommended.

With hurricane Sandy off the coast and VEPCO’s – sorry, just can’t say “Dominion Power” –  track record of responding to outages here on Carrsbrook Drive, it is:

  1. Conceivable
  2. Likely
  3. Probable
  4. Inevitable

(choose one) that will be in the dark for a few

  1. Hours
  2. Days
  3. Weeks
  4. Months

(choose one).

No power means no PC and no internet service and therefore no blog entries. Q.E.D.

Therefore, do not be alarmed or disappointed – not that anyone would be – over the absence of posts. We’re just here, sitting in the dark, eating Vienna Sausages.

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