Did you hear a click?

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10 Things I Just Don’t Get

I wonder when it officially happens. When do we switch from being normal citizens to those slightly ‘older’ people who despair at the state of the world and those ‘crazy young people’?

I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that I’ve made the transition. Maybe it’s such a subtle thing that I missed the switch. I know that I’ve switched camps because I’m often left confused by stuff that happens around me.

Perhaps you could help me out by answering some of life’s mysteries for me. Here’s a list of things I just don’t get.

1. Why do the vocals on the overwhelming majority of songs these days have to be forced through a vocoder? Has the world really run out of people who can hold a note, or several notes in succession? What has happened to the good, old-fashioned idea of a singer actually being able to sing without the aid of electronics? Cher used one for a few lines in ‘Believe’ and had a massive hit. Back them it was a cute effect. These days no one seems to record without it.

2. Why do some advertisers think that their offer is more convincing if they shout about it? Do they really think that the proof of value in a product is how fast and loud someone can shout about it? “Yes, I think I will go out and buy one of those rugs. I don’t actually need one but the guy on the telly was really yelling.”

3. When did it become standard practice to dispose of small shard of glass across metropolitan roads? Maybe this irks me more than most others seeing as I’m a cyclist. I never see people standing by the side of the road drinking. I’ve never seen a motorist hurl a bottle out of their car. Yet every day there seems to be more and more glass spread across the bitumen. It does not delight me to have to pick tiny pieces of glass out of my tyres. TAKE YOUR BOTTLES HOME AND PUT THEM IN THE BIN, YOU MORON.

4. Reality Television? Who’s reality is that? Who’s day to day reality involves being followed around by a full camera and sound crew while being forced into totally unnatural scenarios? Even if the footage gathered is somehow close to reality, what happens after the producers and editors have had their way with it means that what we see on TV bears very little resemblance to any kind of true reality. I know that it’s relatively cheap to make but don’t expect us to swallow the idea that it’s about normal people going about their normal day to day activities.

5. What’s with those roadwork signs that say, “NO LINES DO NOT OVERTAKE UNLESS SAFE”? Really? Does that mean that if there are lines marked I can overtake when it’s not safe? I’m sorry, but I’m not overtaking if it’s unsafe whether you’ve had a chance to mark the lanes or not. I don’t need a sign to remind me that it’s unsafe to overtake if there are several hundred tonnes of semi-trailer heading in my direction on the other side of the road. I will avoid that semi whether or not there are dashes or lines down the middle of the carriageway.

6. Why do the guys flying aeroplanes give you their full names? Surely a first name would be enough. Are there people who fly far more often than I do playing ‘Captain Bingo’? I’m very pleased that there are men and women who have gone through the necessary training to be able to get those huge machines off the ground (and especially to be able to land them safely) but why do I need your full name? If all goes well I’ll simply walk off the aircraft and go about my business. If it doesn’t go well, I’m unlikely to be in any fit state to quote your full name and rank in any resulting court case.

7. While we’re talking flying, I’m also wondering why common courtesy can tend to go missing when you board an aircraft. I’m not talking about flight crew. I don’t think I’ve ever found a hostess or steward that has been unfriendly. What I’m talking about is fellow passengers who don’t understand that my seat is my space. On my flight out of Perth some time back I was sat next to a woman who didn’t see it as a problem to spill over into my space. Her left arm kept straying right across our common armrest with her elbow sticking into my ribs and parts of her kept oozing under the armrest into my space. Hey, I’m a big person too but I still manage to keep all parts of me inside the confines of the seat that’s been bought in my name.

8. Lady Gaga. Do I need to explain?

9. The endless fascination with the private lives of celebrities. OK, I get that you like their films or their songs or whatever it is that they do, but why do we need to know what they’re doing every second of the day? I’m busy enough keeping up with my own life. I don’t need to know every tiny detail of someone else’s life just because they happen to be blessed with a certain creative talent. Of course there are then those people who are famous for just being famous. That boggles my mind even further so let’s not go there.

10. How the world decides who to place on a pedestal. I guess that if I’m talking about the cult of celebrity I should also scratch my head over the way we decide who to hold up as a hero. Why do we hang off every word that comes from the mouth of an actor, singer, entertainer or athlete and yet ignore those fighting for a more just world? Why do people who simply provide a distraction from our daily lives make millions upon millions of dollars yet doctors who are trying to find cures that will save thousands of people still lobbying for research funds? It all seems upside down to me.

So there you are. Yes, I’m just getting old and grumpy but that doesn’t help me understand certain things that happen in this world. What are the things that you just don’t get? (I promise I won’t think of you as old and grumpy if you leave your own list in the comments section of this post.)

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A Simply Brilliant Prank

This is one of the best hidden camera pranks I’ve ever seen.

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What were they trying to say?

What time? Which Saturday?

This is a sign I saw on the side of the road a few years back. It says, PLEASE HELP – DID YOU SEE THE ACCIDENT HERE AT THIS TIME LAST SATURDAY. It then gave a number to call.

The sign was propped up against a fence for weeks and always gave me a chuckle as I cycled past.

So what time was ‘at this time’ and which Saturday was ‘last Saturday’?

Over the years I’ve collected details of a number of funny or mistranslated signs. I’m not sure if all of them are genuine, and you may have seen some of them before, but there are some very funny signs amongst them. Enjoy.

In a Tokyo Hotel: It is forbitten to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read notis.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.

In a Belgrade hotel elevator: To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Japanese hotel: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery: You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to permabulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

In a Rhodes tailor shop: Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest: It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.

In a Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.

In a Rome laundry: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency: Take one of our horse-driven city tours — we guarantee no miscarriages.

In the window of a Swedish furrier: Fur coats made for ladies from their own skin.

In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

On the door of a Moscow hotel room: If this is your first visit to the USSR, your are welcome to it.

In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

At a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

In the office of a Roman doctor: Specialist in women and other diseases.

In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

In a Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but you’ll find they are best in the long run.

Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance: -English well talking. -Here speeching American.

In a hotel in Weifang, China: Invisible service is available for your rest not being disturbed.

Outside a Mexico City disco: Members and Non-Members Only

In a jeweller’s window in India: We shoot earholes.

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Fitting in at church

We’ve recently started going to a new church in the area we’re moving to.

I really wish I’d seen this video a couple of months ago. It would have helped us fit in a lot more quickly.

Thanks to Shane at Caffeinated Thoughts for blogging the video.

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