Archive for the ‘Amusing’ Category

Flux Capacitor

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I came across something really interesting and cool today. Having been invited to join fellow steampunk enthusiasts in a Facebook group, Southern society of steampunk steamologists I got a post of an event they were holding. It included something called teapot racing? Teapot racing? Wot the heck is that? Well, it is exactly that, teapot racing. Like I need another project.

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Wishful Thinking

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The Chess Problem

At first I thought it was a hoax at first but some after some cursory investigation it may not be. The email address that one is supposed to write to with a solution was only registered last year and at first I couldn’t find any Penrose Institute but I did find it eventually and it may all be legit because that site was only started last year too.

Where I saw the original story, then another more in depth story I found here…So, to the problem itself but I must admit I’m still a little suspicious.

Initial observations are thus. Black has no moves it can make other than the bishops and all three are on black squares so the white king is relatively safe on white squares. There seems to be some clues provided, the hand drawn chess board has an x diagonally beside the furthest white pawn. Significant? Perhaps. It also says below it that it’s easy for humans and that it is a ‘legal’ position. Amusing to say the least, here is some chatter on the forums at chess.com

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I belong to a group on Facebook called Westward Ho! History Group and post there today reminded me of an event back in the late sixties that would be amusing to relate.

Back then I used to augment my teenage earnings with doing a 2-3 hour paper route on Sundays. I used to do a paper route six days a week already for the Northam Newspaper Agent before school and Saturdays too. Somehow I ended up doing the Sunday one too for this guy on a scooter and sidecar. Anyway, the post in the group was of a guy at a garage on Nelson Road and I thought I recognized him.

Somebody else posted that they too did a paper route on Sundays with this guy and somebody else said he still picks up golf balls on the burrows, plays snooker and table tennis apparently despite being 80 years old now. It was the table tennis that jogged my memory because that must be how I too ended up playing, it was the same guy that ran the club in Bideford. Ended up playing on a team that played in a league, we used to go around to different places and towns and play our games. We were young and I don’t recall ever winning any games against the older more experienced opponents though.

Where is this going you ask? Well, I was on the Bideford quay late one evening waiting for the doubledecker bus to take me home to Westward Ho! after table tennis at the club. Because of it’s location you could see the bus coming along the other side of the river and over the bridge etc. I watched it almost get over the bridge then it stopped with the other cars and traffic on the bridge, and then they all started backing up! I waited wondering what to do next then a bus inspector came along the quay to the bus stop where I was waiting and he said they had to get another bus out of the depot to take me home because the bridge has fallen down! Eventually a bus came and I went home. My Father was waiting up for me in his dressing gown and met me at the door. Rather irately he asked why I was so late. I said the bridge had fallen down and had to wait for them to get another bus. He didn’t believe me and said I could have come up with a better excuse than that. Next day of course it was all over the news and my excuse became a perfect example of truth is stranger than fiction.

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No, this is not about his sunglasses, it’s a comparison of the movie Terminal that he starred in and my own personal circumstances that I find myself in. The movies story line is about a guy that gets stuck between two countries and ends up living at the airport for a period of time. Metaphorically speaking that is now what’s happened to me. I landed at Rycroft International Airport (tongue in cheek reference) to relocate to Alberta as most of you know and now find myself needing to get the ID changed over of course, health card and drivers licence, stuff like that. Turns out my landed immigrant piece of paper is no longer sufficient to prove I’m legally entitled to reside in Canada*sigh*. The short term cheaper and faster solution is to get my Permanent Resident Card since it’s $50, then later get my Citizenship which, yes, I should have gotten years ago. In fact my dearly departed Father warned me years ago about just this very thing. On the website where one finds the forms and instructions to get the resident card is a place to find out the estimated time of processing, looks like I’ll be at the ‘airport’ for awhile, wonder if any temporary janitorial jobs are to be had.


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Three Stages of Retirement

Quoted part from article…
“Stages of retirement
Retirement can be divided into three stages, said McCaw.
First is the “go-go” stage, which could involve travel and home renovation. Early in that stage, during the “honeymoon” phase right after retirement, spending tends to go up as people fulfil their retirement goals, be that travel, renovation, starting a business or joining clubs, she said.
“You’re getting your hobbies up and away,” McCaw said.
That honeymoon phase usually lasts anywhere from a few months up to about two years, she said, although the go-go stage lasts longer.
What retirees don’t think about is what McCaw calls the “slow-go” stage. In this phase, a retiree’s energy level may have changed, priorities may have shifted and they are not doing the travelling and active things they may have previously done.
“You may want to stay home a little bit more. You’re a bit more adjusted to the retirement and more connected with your community and your interest groups,” she said.
Last is the “no-go” stage. At this point in life, people’s health is such that they are not able to travel.”

This article hit home because I realized it describes us pretty darn good, so let’s compare.

Go-Go Stage
We did indeed experience a “honeymoon” phase. The euphoria of being free from going to work, the ability to now go camping until we’re sick of it. I even did an amusing newsletter for family and friends to highlight and record our adventures. Great fun it was. Also fired up the languishing hobby of genealogy now that I had some time. A few events though during this phase tempered our enthusiasm which dragged us back to earth, and we drifted into the next stage slowly but surely.
Slow-Go Stage
Once we had reached our destination of choice and finally began to slow down we dug in an adjusted to the more mundane tasks and chores of long term camping. We became less mobile for many reasons and spent more time close to camp. I have begun to write and start some of the things I’ve always wanted to do.
No-Go Stage
Not there yet of course but we certainly realize it’s coming as we now plan our final more permanent last stop on this adventure and stop camping.


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Because our current abode is rather small (actually an understatement) it requires some rather interesting maneuvering and contortions when attempting to avoid stepping on our dogs that always seem to be underfoot. We’ve taken to calling it cute special names based on Tai-Chi, because it’s like that with arms and legs all over the place as we balance ourselves. For the eldest one , called Boo, we call it Boo-Chi and the youngest one is Peeka-Chi. I know, too much time on our hands (and feet).

As a side note, the better ‘alf is still looking forward to me yelling, “Peeka-Boo!”, outside for the dogs. That’s why they’ll always be on a leash so I can avoid this rather disturbing prospect.

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My Beards A Good Thing

Well, well, the recent article on the BBC points out all the health benefits of growing a beard it seems.
Lots of healthy microbes take up residence they say.

Link to BBC Article

I hadn’t grown mine for that particular reason but it certainly makes me feel a whole lot better about it. I grew one because I gots too lazy to shave and I basically thought I’m retired anyway so why was I shaving. It was a bit untidy and unkempt at first so had to get it fixed up after it grew in, but I do like the convenience of one and it fits with me being a slacker these days. However I have had the odd occasion when I got Marmite stuck in it, very annoying, and I mused to myself how the rest of the population of microbes apparently resident in my beard get along.


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From The Retired Englishmans Weakly Issue +225 11 Dec 2015

Years ago I was at Wally World in Terrace and the lady greeter said to me that I looked like Dog The Bounty Hunter! Naturally wasn’t enamored with that and off came the longish stringy hair pretty quick I can tell you. Then a few months later I was in the lineup for the post office in Shoppers in Maple Ridge and the couple in front of me were whispering to themselves. He turned and smiled then she did? As they left he said you probably get this all the time, and I thought here we go again*sigh*. He said you like Hulk Hogan! So, for a few years every so often I would get that from people, not so much that I got used to it but it does usually catch me by surprise. Then a different look alike appeared along with it. When I would go outside for a smoke at work the guys from the warehouse in the next building over started calling me Micky, apparently I looked like the drummer Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac according to them. Last week when I went to purchase that heated water hose the girl at the parts department said you probably get this all the time and I thought here we go again*sigh*. She said you look like Donald Sutherland! At least the personas are getting a bit better I suppose according to my better ‘alf anyway*grin*.

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