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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Racism, sexism, and ageism, oh my!

Sarah Palin.

I am beginning to get considerably sick of that name (I'm sure you all are, too!) I must admit, I haven't been following politics very closely as of late (I'd rather not wake up every day feeling pissed off with the world). I won't try to remain objective; I think Sarah Palin is an idiot. But, this is not a political blog and I am not a person who has a really extensive knowledge of politics, so I'm not going to discuss my views on actual politics. So, what I've noticed with all this talk about Palin, is that we are really, really, really primitive.

As I said, I haven't really been following politics (in the sense of policy... and really, I can't vote in the U.S. election anyway, so there isn't a whole lot of point). I have, however, taken notice of the attitudes towards this election. We claim to be evolved... an intelligent species even. Yet when we're presented with a chance to control (to some degree) the very issues we pretend are important to us (e.g., taxes, childcare, healthcare), we sweep it all under a shroud and everything becomes a big jumbled mess of racism, sexism, and ageism. What does this have to do with Sarah Palin (other than the fact that she's been a huge target of sexism during this campaign)? Nothing much, really... but the constant media exposure she's had has been what made me think about this a bit more.

Is there hope for us? Will we always find something to be prejudiced towards? There has been massive outrage over any racist commentary or imagery against Barack Obama... so there's one step in the right direction... but what about sexism and ageism? Aside from flat-out sexist remarks (e.g., "bitch"), we don't seem too bothered by the fact that Hilary Clinton's and Sarah Palin's abilities have been judged largely by their gender. Personally, I think it's ridiculous to question the fact that Sarah Palin has children at home... I mean, really, can't her husband watch the kids? And ageism? Well, that theory may as well not even exist... virtually no one seems upset by the comments made against John McCain... speculation on if he'll be able to stay awake during meetings or if he's wearing adult diapers... 'cause apparently anyone over the age of 50 can't stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time... and Depends are a major political issue.

Has anyone else noticed this? Has anyone seen where people are beginning to combat the constant barrage of ageism and sexism (I left out racism, not because I don't think it's an issue, but because it's [thankfully] an issue we actually seem to be taking seriously now)?

What do you think???

Monday, August 18, 2008

(Mis)Fortune Cookies

Keeping with this year's Olympic theme, I decided to order some Chinese food for dinner on Friday night. Okay, I'll be honest... I have not watched a single Olympic event, or even read/watched any news to do with this year's Olympics (and not because I'm protesting... I seriously just don't give a sweet darn... are they over yet??). I simply was not feeling well and did not feel like cooking.

Bring a vegetarian, I went to the only Chinese restaurant in town that offers something more than plain fried rice (okay, so there is another restaurant, but I didn't feel like forking over $20 for a bit of fried rice with mixed vegetables and poorly cooked plain chunks of tofu). Of course, dinner still cost an arm and a leg... so to top it all off, I added a fortune cookie to the bill. Not feeling well, I was able to rationalise such an extravagancy; I needed a pick-me-up.

Now of course, I can't hold my hand on my ass. We live in a world of personal television and internet access, so I have come to appreciate (and rely on) instant gratification. In other words, I tore into that fortune cookie before I even glanced at my dinner. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered the fortune cookie contained no fortune. Seriously, who would fork over $0.75 for a stale, crappy cookie if it didn't have that tiny slip of paper inside? Actually, why would anyone fork over $0.75 for someone's $0.02 worth? I certainly began to wonder what it might mean to discover a fortuneless fortune cookie when you're coming down with a cold. Should I be worried? (for anyone who is concerned, I'm feeling MUCH better now!)

Although the cookie was a let-down, the meal was most excellent (even though, or possibly because, I couldn't taste it).

Have you ever had a bad fortune cookie experience?

Have you laughed at any of this? If so, drop by www.humor-blogs.com to vote for your favourite posts and visit some hilarious blogs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

'Me' Before 'We': A Fine Line Between Self-Help and Narcissism

A wise friend once said to me, "it does not help us to think about how others have it worse off when we're going through our own trauma. We can only go by our own experience, so what may be petty to others can be rightfully major to us"... and, I agree... to an extent...

First thing's first: this is not a warm and fuzzy post about how truly wonderful you are. I'm not going to tell you how to love yourselves... 'cause really, I don't think that's the problem. So, if you aren't prepared to hear that you're not the be all and end all, you might wish to surf elsewhere.

So, what is "the problem"?

The problem is that we do not know how to love one another. In fact, I'm willing to bet there are some of you who grunted and/or rolled your eyes when you read the previous sentence. I don't blame you, if you did. After all, all of the leading experts in the field of bullshit popular psychology will be quick to let you in on the secret to happiness (all you have to do is buy their book)! According to many of these 'experts', the secret to true happiness is self-worship.

Okay, so maybe that last statement was a little extreme... maybe... but I doubt it.

Think of it... we're told, more and more, how we need to take care of ourselves... which is great (and very important)... but now that we're used to that idea, we're beginning to accept the idea that we shouldn't put our energies into others. Instead, we're being taught we should allow others to fend for themelves; we're being taught to walk through life without the weight of the world on our shoulders. Problem is, we're being taught to walk (or rather, sit) through life without any weight on our shoulders. We have become emotionally delicate in regards to ourselves, yet emotionally hardened in regards to others... and I really fail to see how that's made any of us happier, or healthier.

I am a huge advocate of taking care of your own needs. I believe you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. But, we seem to forget the importance of taking care of others... and we almost act as though it's ridiculous to put the needs of others, no matter how pressing, before our own. We have become so self-centred we actually believe anything that causes any sort of discomfort or feeling of unpleasantness should be completely avoided. I'm really not surprised though... as long as the pop. psychologists keep telling us we come first, we will continue to ignore those around us. So, when we need someone to turn to, we can go and pay the "doctor" who told us to shut out the outside world. And really, problems are not discussed over a cup of tea, with friends, nearly as much now as they are with doctors... we've grown to think it unacceptable to help each other out (or ask for help) without some sort of fee.

So, how do we start loving one another? Well, we bite the bullet and realise we are not the centre of the universe. We meet our basic needs, then we help others meet theirs. We listen to that friend with the crisis... especially after they just listened to ours! We listen... period (turn off the mind chatter when other people are speaking to you). We really mean it when we say "how are you?". And, we take the time to think of those we love even when they're not in front of our faces... among many other things. Honestly, I'd hope this would be obvious to anyone reading.

Some of you (who took the time to 'listen') will remember my opening quote... about the friend who told me we can only see the world through our own eyes. She's right... and like I said... I agree... to an extent... the fact that people have problems worse than yours does NOT make your problems any less severe... and I'm certain that is what my friend meant.
However, for anyone who may take from the quote: "disregard the experiences of others", I believe it is our responsibility, since we have the ability, to force ourselves to see the world through the eyes of others. Yes, our problems may be severe, but it does not give us the 'right' to diminish the problems of others. If we want sympathy, we'd best give it.

So, what do you think? Do we really put selfishness above selflessness? Do you think we should? If so, why?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Child labour and spam? Go check it out!

I was surfing the blogosphere, checking out some of my favourite blogs, and came across an article I just had to share...

Jenn Thorson, creator of the blog "Of Cabbages and Kings" has discovered the secret behind spammers - why they never tire.

So, I'm sending you all over to her blog today, since you just have to read her post...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

20 Questions You Should Probably Avoid on Social-Networking Sites

If you are reading this post, you most likely have an internet connection; if you have an internet connection, you most likely have an e-mail address. If you have an e-mail address, I will go ahead and assume you have friends (or maybe just family and co-workers) who send messages (personal or business) to your e-mail address. I know many people are still further behind the times than I, but I think it's safe to assume that anyone reading this post, or at least the majority of anyone reading this post, has been the recipient of a fairly lengthly survey, via e-mail, Facebook, Myspace, or whatnot, requesting the most intimate details of your life in exchange for a possible glimpse inside another friend's, or some casual acquaintance's, life.

Judging from my inbox, or, within the last year or so, my Facebook home page, a lot of people think displaying their life for, often, hundreds of people to view is completely harmless. Intimate surveys were never as much of a problem with e-mail, since these surveys usually stuck within small groups of close friends. But, since these surveys have started flooding social networking sites, the intimate information shared in these surveys is often available to hundreds of people (hardly an exaggeration), many of whom we hardly know.

Identity theft is very real and very common... why are there so many victims? I think part of the problem lies within these 'fun' surveys floating around in cyberspace... although many of the questions seem harmless, it wouldn't take very long to obtain a complete profile on someone. I'm not saying these surveys need to be avoided like the plague, but I am saying we should exercise caution when answering these surveys.

For now, here's a list of twenty questions we might not think of as a security threat - I won't bother posting the obvious, such as "what is your mother's maiden name?", or "what is your social insuance number?" - I'm sure my readers are smart enough to realise the danger in such questions. Also, some of these questions have less to do with identity theft and more to do with personal safety... I've compiled this list in hopes to pass on a few lesser-known helpful pieces of information.

20 Questions You Might Not Want to Answer (at least, not seriously)

1. What are the last four digits of your cell-phone number? This one should be pretty obvious... the city you live in is pretty much common knowledge, so it wouldn't be too hard for someone with not-so-innocent ideas to trace down the first three digits of your cell-phone number.

2. What was/is the name of your favourite pet? C'mon... don't tell me you haven't been asked this as a security question at least once.

3. What is your middle/full name? This one should be obvious too... seriously... do you often introduce yourself as "Jonathan Jacob Andrew Doe"?

4. Where did you attend elementary school? "In a large, brick building", or "at home, with my mother/father" should be a sufficient answer.

5. What is your favourite number? Okay, so this one seems pretty innocent... and generally is, but keep in mind, we're more likely to use our favourite number when filling out security questions, or creating PIN numbers or passwords. This seems like a really tiny, insignificant piece of information, but if it's pieced together with a number of other tiny, insignificant questions, it could be the missing puzzle piece. Personally, I just feel like someone's favourite number should be a fairly personal thing...

6. What is your height/eye colour/weight/shoe size? So these are questions that can be guessed pretty easily if someone knows you offline, or has a good picture of you. But, why flat out give them that information?

7. Who is your cell-phone/cable/internet provider? Most of us jump at any chance we get to whine and moan about crappy customer service from our service providers, but many of us do not stop to think how much easier it is for someone to cause problems with our services if they're told exactly what services we're using.

8. What bank do you use? What bank you use is hardly anyone's business... thankfully, this question is hardly asked on surveys (but I put it here because I have seen it on more than one occasion).

9. How many siblings do you have/what are their names/how old are they? You cannot (as easily) assume someone's identity if you know nothing about their family, can you?

10. Are you allergic to anything? If so, what? Right... that way, if you get to be a threat, you could easily be taken out (okay, so that's a bit paranoid, but is there really a good reason for everyone to know your allergens)?

11. Who is your best friend? Actually, avoid any question that asks for any friend's name (such as: "who was the last person to text you?", or whatnot)... some people don't appreciate their name being plastered all over the internet (plus, it's easier to gather information on someone if you can narrow down their network of friends).

12. Be careful when answering any sort of question beginning with "who/what was your first..." many security question often ask you to provide information about certain "firsts".

13. What is your sexual orientation/religion/political belief system? Think about it... do you really want every single person on your friend list to have access to that information? If so, by all means, express yourself... but keep in mind how much easier you're making it to piece together your entire being.

14. How much money do you make annually? If this one isn't obvious, there's really no hope for you.

15. What are your nicknames? This question makes it easier for people to find more information about you, if you happen to use multiple nicknames online.

16. What's your biggest secret? Again, you would have to be an idiot to answer this question... and no, I don't admire people who "let it all in the open".

17. What is your ethnicity? Avoid any questions asking for your cultural background information... or, if you're like me, just respond with "mutt"... once again, this sort of question seems minor, but it's pretty jam-packed.

18. Have you ever taken drugs/what drugs have you taken? This isn't so much an identity theft issue... more of a personal safety issue... do you really want your parents, or maybe even the police, seeing your answer to that question?

19. How many piercings/tattoos do you have? This works to identify criminals, so why couldn't it help criminals identify you?

20. Where did you meet your spouse/significant other? Common security question

Bonus
21. What time were you born? This may be a little more superstitious than anything else, but it can be pretty easy to obtain a pretty detailed astrological profile of someone if you have the exact time they were born.

I hope this list provided some helpful hints and I wish you all safe surfing. Oh, and by the way, if anyone on here ever makes you crack a smile, drop by www.humor-blogs.com to vote for my blog.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Some things simply aren't meant to be...

Some things are simply not meant to be:
cats cannot have puppies, humans cannot have kittens, and my family cannot keep a gazebo on our deck.

Roughly two months ago (actually, probably closer to one month ago), we got the same great idea we get every year:
"Let's get a gazebo"...
And, roughly two months ago (actually, probably closer to one month ago), we had the same discussion we have every year:
"Should we get one with a mesh shelter?", "Nah, mosquitoes or bees may get trapped inside... or worse yet, mosquitoes and bees may get trapped inside... or hornets!"...
Anyway, we came to the same conclusion we reach every year... we purchased a cheap moderately priced, steel market gazebo (similar to the one shown below, but not quite as nice) - no mesh net.
Since this is an annual tradition in our house, we assembled the gazebo without a problem. Of course, we live in a place that is either shrouded with heavy fog, or beat to hell by heavy winds. So, a couple days later we packed up our little gazebo and returned it to the store, picking up another little gazebo... the exact same model (yeah, I never claimed to come from a smart family)! In fact, I don't think I need go into detail about what happened to the second gazebo (you could probably guess and you would probably be correct).
By chance, dad and I were browsing through a liquidation centre we have in town and we stumbled across an "easy-up", or "scissor-up", market gazebo (which is actually the exact same as the picture shown below) - all we had to do was take it out of the box and stretch it out. The gazebo was seemingly sturdy, so we were easily sold (and satisfied)!
So, last week we assembled our brand spankin' new easy-up gazebo, sat back, kicked up our feet and enjoyed the shelter. Friday, however, was filled with off-and-on heavy showers downpours... so yesterday, dad and I just finished bending our ultra-sturdy gazebo as close to its original shape as possible, crammed it into the box, and returned it to the liquidation centre (well, dad returned it... I wrote this).

I shared a popular quote when I started this post: "some things are simply not meant to be". But, since I have a funny feeling I'll be able to write about gazebo number four by the end of next week, I think a more appropriate quote would be "some people never learn"!

If you so much as cracked a smile while reading this, please mosey on over to www.humor-blogs.com and cast a vote for this blog. I promise I'll be your very best friend!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Genetically Modified Poetry...

Modified, processed, rehydrated, and fried,
Quick to go, great late at night!
Palm, olive, coconut, and vegetable based,
Grease up your food, then plug up your face!
Antibiotics, pus, fat, and growth hormones,
Straight from the teet and into your home.
Salmonella; e-coli; cholesterol; trans,
Why isn't all of this shit we eat banned?
Don't light up tobacco, don't lie under the sun,
When you can just choke to death on a sesame bun!

Oh yeah, and if you like my blog, please vote for me at www.humor-blogs.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Quick Howdy Ho...

I'm coming up with some stuff to write... very shortly! Although, it has just come to my attention that my site has been coming up as a fraudulent website (on my mother's computer) - so, if this is happening to anyone else, please, please, please leave a comment and let me know (or fire me off an e-mail at shadow.x.crystal@gmail.com, if commenting isn't your thing). If this is happening for anyone else, I think I can solve the problem... I've recently added "Google Analytics", which gives me info such as where people come from and what search terms they used... but, if that's telling people my site is full of tracking cookies, well, I'll ditch the service.

In the meantime, please enjoy the musings of some of my favourite bloggers:

Ivyology
Crotchety Old Man Yells At Cars
Rob's Megaphone
Letter's Home to You
Nanny Goats in Panties
Of Cabbages and Kings
A Little Piece of Me

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Doodle Vacation

So, I still don't have much to write... but, not to worry, I am setting aside a couple of hours to clear my head, so the stories shall return. In the meantime, enjoy my dream vacation (okay, so it's not my dream vacation, but it is a vacation I would love nearly as much)... a quiet, private beach, with a nice, long book.

And yeah, this looks pretty horrible... but, it was done on my laptop (using the mousepad, not an actual, separate, mouse). And yeah... I know... it probably wouldn't be much better if I had a mouse, but ya gotta let me have some excuse!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Doodle Flower Garden



Okay, so this is a pretty sad flower garden...


I swear, I'm not as dark as I doodle... seriously.

If my blog ever makes you laugh, please mosey on over to Humor-Blogs.com to show your support.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spoilsbury Toast Boy (-1)

As promised, I present to you:

Spoilsbury Toast Boy -1



Created by David Firth (click here to visit his site)

Oh yeah, and if you like Shadow's Far-Out Corner of the Web, please visit Humor-Blogs.com to vote for this blog.

Doodle Bug! (Kick-Off to Doodle Week)

Okay, so technically it's tomorrow, but I'm posting as though it's today... after all, I'm still awake. I would have posted earlier, but I was busy, busy, busy (seriously, I had to rush to vote since I forgot our ward election was tonight, then I had to get some shopping done, then housework and a shower)!
Today is the first day of Doodle Week (links will be posted tomorrow, when I am on my own computer... I'm using my parents' computer to type this up right now, since I used their scanner to upload my doodle bug).
As you can see, I'm not one for doodling bugs... but, I'm pleased with what I came up with... as 'sucky' as it looks, I have grown to like it (within the hour or so since I finished it). Alas, it is more of a drawing than a doodle...

I promise I won't cheat tomorrow... my post will be pure doodle. Enjoy... and send me the links to your doodles!

(the lyric is stolen from Tori Amos' "Butterfly"... and was added in photoshop - my handwriting is atrocious)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ch-ch-ch-changes...

Hello all,

As you can see, it's been pretty dead here lately. It won't remain that way, but there will be some changes.

Now that I'm working, I don't have all day to sit around and think of things to write about... and, I really didn't feel like filling this blog up with a load of junk (e.g., poorly written stories just so I can stick with the schedule). So, I will no longer be promising to post daily... and I will not be sticking to any particular schedule. The current setup will remain and the categories will not be changed, although, I will be writing what I want, when I want... which really is better, 'cause I write much better when I write spontaneously. Also, since my entries will be more spontaneous, there is a good chance some more categories will be added to the already existing catalogue.

I know change is hard folks, but stick around and I'm sure you'll like what you see... if anything, it will be better than the odd, poorly thrown together entries I've been posting lately. I would rather provide quality than quantity, and I'm sure you would all agree.

You may have noticed the advertisement I have on the sidebar for Doodle Week. I will be participating and I will try to have a fresh doodle for every day... if you blog, you really should get in the action (click here to find out more).

And, keeping with my promise, I will still be posting the second part of Spoilsbury Toastboy, by David Firth, on Tuesday, July 15th. As for the new fiendish feature? Well, as you can see from the votes, there was a bit of a tie... so, in keeping with the pace of the announcements I just gave, you'll get a bit of everything.

Thanks to everyone who's stuck with this blog so long... I look forward to providing you with many more interesting posts!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spoilsbury Toast Boy (Part 2?)

This just plain creeps the hell out of me...



Check back next week for Spoilsbury Toast Boy Part 1 (yep, it was created in reverse order)
If you can't wait; if you simply need more David Firth RIGHT NOW, well, please check out his site.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Puppies Don't Like Pot!

*disclaimer* - I know people get their pets high on all kinds of drugs, but for simplicity's sake, I'll just be discussing marijuana.

Plain and simple, pot is not for pooches.

We wouldn't think of getting our children high (with the exception of a few nut-jobs), but many of us do not even hesitate when it comes to sparking up sparky. If you're one of those people, perhaps it would interest you to know cannabis does not have such a pleasant effect on our canine friends. If inhaled, cannabis will likely irritate the throat of your dog. The effect will be similar to the effect on humans, but the difference is that you chose to get high; your dog did not.

If, however, your dog ingests marijauna by eating it (even as little as a few grams... which sounds like a lot, but wouldn't take long for Fido to finish), the effects can be much more serious, including (but not limited to): vomiting, incoordination, urinary incontinence, and rarely, seizures or death (I sure as hell wouldn't want to risk my dog being the rare case).

It's pretty simple: dope hurts dogs.

As for the rest of our housepets?

Well, there is no evidence to suggest marijuana has a harmful effect on felines, but you can still gaurantee the smoke would irritate their little throats. And, just as with dogs, you're really not giving your cat any choice in the matter when you blow smoke in his or her face. Catnip, not cannabis, I say!

As for those who would even entertain the thought of smoking up their rodent, reptile, bird, or other small animal... well... they do not deserve pets. C'mon, they have tiny little lungs!

So, just because your pet is stumbling around and looks 'chill', it doesn't mean your pet is happy. Our pets can't tell us "hey, I don't like that!", so it's ridiculous to assume that they do like getting high. If you never smoked pot, you wouldn't know what you were missing, so what makes you think your pet is happier for getting high?

Blowing smoke in your animals face is akin to dropping acid in someone's drink.

Oh yeah, and if you like my blog, please show me the love and click on my link for Humor Blogs. Every visit from here to www.humor-blogs.com counts as a vote!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Cider House Rules: A Review


Released during the year 2000, The Cider House Rules travels back in time by a few years, but deals with issues that could more like be considered current whether the year is 1943 or 2043.

Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) is a wonderful person who was raised in a New England orphanage, under the wing of Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine). Set during the Second World War, The Cider House Rules follows the story of a young man, who is setting out to discover himself, while also (quite eloquently) touching on the issue of abortion, shedding a positive light on the respect for a woman's choice.

Homer, yearning to become a man, leaves with Wally Worthington (Paul Rudd) and his partner Candy Kendall (Charlize Theron) after they arrive at the orphanage so Candy undergo a safe abortion. After arriving at Wally's family apple farm, Homer earns his keep and lodging in the cider house by working on the farm. During his stay at the apple farm, Homer learns a lot about life, morals, compassion, and love, especially as he is allowed more time with Candy after Wally leaves for war.

This is one of the few movies I have absolutely no problem with; in my opinion, everything about this movie is perfect. Here's the trailer, but if you haven't seen this, I suggest you wander to your local video store and pick up a copy tonight.



Oh yeah, and if you like my blog, please show me the love and click on my link for Humor Blogs. Every visit from here to www.humor-blogs.com counts as a vote!

Come Into My Room: Project Complete


Well, one journey comes to an end. I apologise for neglecting this blog as of late, but I've finally got back into my blogging 'groove'. Rather than drag the cleaning of this room out for the next few weeks, however, I decided it was too much of a waste of time... it made little sense to divide the small amount that was left into three more features. So, as you can see, everything came together.

If you're disappointed about my decision to not go on and on about my bedroom for the next three Wednesdays, well, I'm sorry... for more reasons than one.

My study corner, art cabinet, and cedar chest are no longer cluttered and inaccesible. Although, I'm sure you've noticed I have bit of an unhealthy obsession with candles.

There has also been a huge improvement with the organisation of my bookshelves and entertainment centre. The rainbow flags are not exactly my choice of decor (I love them, but they're slightly loud for my room), but I don't have much else to use in place of the missing cabinet doors.

And, finally, everything has a spot. I'm still not too happy with the cheesy knick-knacks littering the shelves of my entertainment centre, but I will get to those as I find places for them. I am, however, in love with my 'coffee table'... drink tray and all! And, I found a nice home on the wall for my witch dagger. The dagger is actually the witch's hat... it pulls out!

I'm also quite thrilled with my 'spiritual corner' and my nightside table, but I felt no need to post pictures - some things must remain sacred and private.

I hope you all enjoyed your stay in my bedroom... check back for tomorrow's poll since I'll be giving the options for the next fiendish feature - it will be all up to you, folks!

If you like my blog, please show the love and click on this link for Humor Blogs. Every click-through to www.humor-blogs.com is a vote!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shadow's Far-Out Corner of the Web Wins Arte y Pico Award

A big thanks to Rob’s Megaphone for awarding me with the ‘Arte y Pico’ Award. I am quite honoured to be recognised by Rob's Megaphone, and I hope you visit him by clicking here.The rules of the Arte y Pico award require me to similarly award five noteworthy blogs, meaning this award is more viral and link-building, which is only a good thing.

I am very pleased to pay the pico forward. The five blogs to which I am awarding the Arte y Pico award, for their wonderful support and genuine blogtastic spirit are, in no particular order;

1. Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars
2. Ivyology
3. Letters Home
4. Nanny Goats in Panties
5. Retail Hell(ish)

The Rules thanks to arteypico.blogspot.com:

Rules:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you copnsider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contrubuites to the blogger community, no matter of language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog thathas given her or him the ward itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y pico”blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

Oh yeah, and ff you like my blog, I'd like to see the love. Please click here to visit Humor Blogs - each click is a vote.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day, ya idiots!


I hope everyone is having a truly wonderful Canada Day... if you're not from Canada, well, sorry... I'm only giving my good wishes to fellow Canadians. Also, if you're not from Canada and got offended by that last comment, you must be an idiot... and I don't want idiots reading my blog anyway. Or at least, not just any idiot. The only idiots allowed here are Canadian idiots.

This being said, please enjoy this hilarious video: Canadian Idiot by Weird Al (at least, I hope that's who sings it... wouldn't I feel like an idiot if it wasn't?)


If you like my blog, I'd like to see the love. Please click here to visit Humor Blogs - each click is a vote.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Can't the World just Go Away for Awhile?

I'm not a huge fan of holidays... not sure why, maybe it's some weird family tradition. It always seems holidays make life at our house extremely hectic. This weekend, of course, happens to be a kind of holiday... Canada Day is coming up on Tuesday, so this is basically the holiday weekend - if only because I don't start working until Wednesday.

Between house cleaning and running around and what not, I haven't really had much time to sit down and think, let alone write... which is driving me around the bend. We all need "me" time, just, some people need a bit more than others; some people are borderline hermits, and I just happen to be one of those people.

Also, I just finished the best book I read in a little awhile, which leaves me feeling like I've died a little inside. To me, finishing a great book is akin to bidding an old friend aideu... as though you somehow wish the novel would continue, following the protagonist through their entire life. The book I just finished is "American Gods", by Neil Gaiman. Aside from the rather whimsical nicknames assigned to many of the characters (the main character is actually called Shadow. I mean, who would call themselves 'Shadow'?), this novel kept me on the edge of my seat (to use a tired cliché), giving serious thought to anicent religions and mythologies we've, long ago, abandoned.

I'm reading another book right now, "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess", by Leonard Shlain, and it's a great book with some interesting arguments about the effects of written word, but it is not (nor is it meant to be) entertaining, in any way.

And, after writing the last four paragraphs, I still feel brain-dead. In fact, I'm more than certain I'll forget just about every word I wrote by the time I exit this page. But, I've got good news:

Shadow's Far-Out Corner of the Web has been accepted at Humor-Blogs.com!

So, every time you (the reader) clicks the link for Humor-Blogs.com on my blog, you will be casting a vote for my blog. If you like my blog, I'd like to see the love.
So, please visit www.humor-blogs.com

(and yeah, I just had to re-type "humour" each time I wrote it... I think I'm going to have to learn to 'type American')

Friday, June 27, 2008

Free 'n' Easy - uTorrent

I, like many others, never understood the whole "bittorrent" thing. I was told, many times, how bittorrents are much safer than downloading programs, such as Kazaa or LimeWire, but whenever I tried to find out more, I just walked away frustrated and confused.

Then, I found uTorrent.

uTorrent is great for anyone who is familiar with the likes of LimeWire, or other P2P file sharing applications. You simply download uTorrent from their website (no registration or payment required), install it, and you're ready to go.

So, how do you download bittorrents now that you've got uTorrent?

Simple. Run a search on roughly any search engine for the file you're looking for, plus "bittorrent". For example, if I wanted to download something by Stevie Nicks, I would go to Google and type in "Stevie Nicks bittorrent"... and end up with something like this:
Or, an even easier way, if you want to take my word for it, would be to visit MiniNova, which is somewhat like a Google for bittorrents. The same search I did in Google, shows up like this in MiniNova:
Once you find the file you're looking for, click it... like this:Then... choose your folder (top yellow circle), and click "OK":Voila, you're finished (well, you've got to wait for your files to download, but that's it)
Have fun downloading... and, if anyone asks, I told ya not to download anything illegal.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yummy Summer Treat

I thought I'd just share a random awesome recipe:

Take a scoop of French vanilla ice cream (I used Nestle Real Dairy)
Then fill a cap of Crown Royal and drizzle it over the ice cream...Then drizzle some chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's)Enjoy!(none of these pictures are mine - they were taken from Google Images)

Tag, I'm it!

I was tagged by Ivyology ! (which works out great, 'cause I also didn't have an artist post prepared for today... this week has been hectic, rushing back and forth getting ready to go back to work)

So, I'm going to answer the questions and pass it on to you guys.

5 things found in my purse: (one of my super-cool purses... with a pom-pom I learned to make while reading Ivyology!

1. A little mini-sized bottle of Sweet Spot body lotion by SudsMuffin
2. Cuke and Melon lip balm by SudsMuffin (they're a local store, but I think they ship worldwide... they are one of the best stores EVER)
3. Wallet with some random lip balm and a bunch of other keychains hanging from it.
4. A half ton of tissue, toilet paper, and anything else I can wipe my nose on (yeah, gross, but I have major allergies, so deal with it :-P)
5. A maxi pad?

5 things found in my wallet:

1. Pictures
2. Cards (debit, library, etc)
3. Money (not a whole hell of a lot)
4. Stamp cards from various places that never get filled out since I rarely shop. :-P
5. Identification/birth certificate

5 favourite things in my room:

1. Books
2. CDs
3. Clothes
4. My (crappy) artwork
5. My huge-ass collection of incense and candles (I'll post a pic for the weekly feature)

5 things I’ve always wanted to do:

1. Travel the world
2. Win the lottery so I can become a professional student (I'd love to study every non-math/heavy science course available)
3. See Fleetwood Mac in concert
4. Write a novel
5. Act :-P

5 things I’m currently into:

1. Blogging
2. Lazing in the sun with a good book (and strong sunglasses so as not to be blinded by the white pages :-P)
3. Ink drawings
4. Nature walks
5. Writing long blurts of nothing that no one will ever see.

5 impressions of my tagger:

1. An AMAZING blogger
2. Extremely creative
3. Compassionate & passionate
4. Organised
5. Fun-loving

Who I’m tagging:

I'm not... Ivyology is one of the only bloggers I talk to who I think would have a purse... and I don't want to scare people away. So, if you liked this, please fill it out and send me the link so I can go read it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

iTunes Shuffle Game (The Soundtrack of My Life)

My knocking-out knick-knacks post has been post-poned until the weekend or next week... the room is just about done, but it's working out in a way that I can't really post any pictures without giving away the final product, since everything kind of gets junked together.

So, I'm writing this post instead... it's a game I saw on someone's Facebook, and it's a lot of fun. I'm on my laptop, so I don't have much on iTunes here... so, I'll use the playlist from this page.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool... and alot of the songs fit with the setting

Opening Credits:
Hurt (Johnny Cash)

Waking Up:
In Liverpool (Suzanne Vega)


First Day At School:
Ballad of the Broken Seas (Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell)

Falling In Love:
Both Hands (Ani DiFranco)

Fight Song:
Eleanor Rigby (Beatles)

Breaking Up:
The Wrong Band (Tori Amos)

Prom:
Anchorage (Michelle Shocked)

Life:
Spaceman (4 Non Blondes)

Mental Breakdown:
Stand Back (Stevie Nicks) LOL

Driving:
Cornflake Girl (Tori Amos)

Flashback:
Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)

Getting back together:
Time in a Bottle (Jim Croce)

Wedding:
Tango to Evora (Loreena McKennitt)

Birth of Child:
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

Final Battle:
Winter Light (Sarah Brightman)

Death Scene:
Leather (Tori Amos)

Funeral Song:
Happy Phantom (Tori Amos) Right on!

End Credits:
Not A Pretty Girl (Ani DiFranco)

Now, I'm not going to tag anyone... I know a lot of people hate it... but, if you thought this was neat, I'd love to see you do it yourself and send me the link!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"EAT MY CARTOONS!!!!!" Okay...well, not mine.

"EAT MY CARTOONS!!!!!" is just one of the works in a growing collection of flash animations from Rob Yulfo. It's fun, it's freaky, and it's starting now: (or at least when you click the little play button)



If you like what you just watched, please visit Rob at either his YouTube or MySpace page (warning: the MySpace page is, like MySpace, full of stuff and will freeze up a couple of times while loading)

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin, we'll miss you.

I was planning on writing a rant and a fake news story, to catch up since I've been away from my blog for a few days. But, when I was surfing one of my favourite blogs (Letters Home), I found something that just made my stomach turn... so, this little tribute here will be taking the space of those two posts.

George Carlin, world's greatest comedian, passed away Sunday, June 22nd from heart failure.


I've never been 'touched' by the death of a celebrity, but you can bloody well gaurantee I shed tears upon reading those words. George Carlin always has been, and always will be, my biggest inspiration for humour writing.


I can't think of anything I could say to pay proper tribute to the funniest man who once lived. So, I will leave you with his ramblings on the subject of death - a little hard to watch right now, but most certainly appropriate. Thank you to "boyhowdypro", who uploaded this on YouTube.

Lemony Snicket: An Unfortunate Film


Based on the high-selling childrens books "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" and released in 2004, this movie is a huge let-down. A friend of mine gave me three of the books in the series of 13 books - very early in the series. I read them, and even though they are written for prepubescent kids, I was taken in - the books are really cute (although I'm in no hurry to run out and buy the other 10). The movie, however, covered less material than I read in the 3 books I was given (which was a let down since I was looking forward to watching the movie to see what happened in the rest of the books). Perhaps there will be a sequel? I almost hope not.

The movie follows the Baudelaire children and their experiences after their parents die in a house fire, leaving the children as orphans. The Baudelaires travel from home to home, trying to escape the miserable Count Olaf who is out for their fortune, all the while experiencing a series of unfortunate events (such as murder, unwanted/underage marriage, and atrocious acting - all brought about by Count Olaf)... and that's it. Seriously.

Starring Jim Carrey as "Count Olaf", Jude Law as the voice of "Lemony Snicket", Billy Connolly as "Uncle Monty", Emily Browning as "Violet", Catherine O'Hara as "Justice Strauss", and Meryl Streep as "Aunt Josephine", "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" has a strong cast. I was even pleased to see one of my favourite "lesser" actresses (Jennifer Coolidge) as a background character in this movie. You can only act with the script you're given, so I won't hold the poor quality of the movie against the cast (except for Jim Carrey, who never fails to raise my blood pressure). No, the cast was the only redeeming feature (especially Kara and Shelby Hoffman, who played the adorable little biter: "Sunny" - another set of Olsen twins coming up here?).


The movie will make you laugh, smile, and shudder... just... don't expect it to go anywhere.

Cooking by Numbers? Right on... or is it?

I am a big fan of StumbleUpon (which I will review sometime in the near future). So, one day while I was happily stumbling along, I StumbledUpon this:

Yep... you read it right: Cooking by Numbers. I thought "if this works, this has to be one of the coolest websites ever!"

And... it works! Somewhat...

The idea is that you click on the boxes beside the food items you have in your cupboards or refrigerator. For my first try, I clicked "apples, mushrooms, onions, milk, herbs & spices, and rice. It then gave me a list of recipes, as well as the number of ingredients I needed (by telling me what percentage I already had). The results I was given were:So... as you can see, it's a bit generalised... plus... if, like me, you're a vegetarian... there are a number of items you have to scroll through.

I then narrowed it down to simply "onions" and "chocolate", just to see what would come up:Right...

So... I still think this is a fairly cool page (if you're bored as hell), but I wouldn't use it to prepare dinner.

Luis Royo (Artist of the Week)

Born during the year of 1954 in Olalla, Spain, Luis Royo is a brilliantly talented artist.

I was first exposed to Luis Royo's art when I was a teenager, floating around a chatroom called "Virtual Places" (it used to be owned by Excite... it is now owned by Halsoft and costs $10 a month, which simply isn't worth it. Seriously... who pays money to chat?). Everyone who was anyone had a Luis Royo avatar (one of his paintings cropped and scaled down to 116x102 pixels). Well, your art has to be pretty amazing if people are going to chose to use one of your paintings as their avatar (instead of a half naked Hollywood superstar).

Today, I share with you, some of my favourite images by Luis Royo. I am sure you'll enjoy his work as much as I do.


Trust me, it was really hard to narrow his work down to five paintings to be displayed here.
Luis Royo's work cannot be confined to one medium (he also produces art for video games, comic books, CD's, and tarot cards). And, his portfolio cannot be confined to my one blog post.

...which is why I want you to click here and visit Luis Royo's website...
Because his official website is in Spanish, you can also click here to visit his page on "Artcylopedia", an online guide to art.

Banishing Boxes and Books

The pile of boxes you see above is one of the biggest things that was taking over my bedroom floor. Keep in mind, each box was full (of junk)... three boxes I didn't bother photographing, since they're filled with childrens books and staying in my room for roughly another week (I am donating the books to my new employer and I don't start until next week).

I was rather amused when I found an old cigarette package in these boxes... since it's been nearly 5 months since I've quit smoking. I miss my "sexy smoker" pose (as if there's anything sexy about smoking).

I was further amused when I found this:

... a bottle of echinacea pills. I don't remember when I bought them, but I'm guessing it would have been some time in 2003 or 2004. Sadly, most of the pills were still in the bottle (I hate waste and actually debated with myself about whether or not they'd still be 'okay', before deciding to throw them out).

So, I found a bunch of weird and wonderful stuff... mostly more knick-knacks, which makes next week's work load a lot heavier, but I also freed a ton of floor-space by getting rid of all these boxes. And, as you can see below, my books are finally in their proper homes (a lot of my books got displaced since I ended up sacrificing most of my bookshelf for childrens books when I used to work in childcare).
(Forgive the sloppy clone-job done on the bottom row of books - there was a basket in front of the shelf)(There is more to this bookshelf, but I had to crop the picture so I don't "give away" what's happening with the rest of my room... don't want to ruin any 'surpirses' :-P
Also, yes, a couple of those books are distorted... they're yearbooks, and I didn't feel like sharing the name of my high schools)

So, there you have it: my space is over halfway finished. Check back next week, we will be knocking out knick-knacks!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Hello everyone,
I have not deserted my blog... I will be back... hopefully tonight; possibly tomorrow; at the very latest, Sunday. I will also post the previously promised: "Banishing Boxes and Books", "Artist of the Week", and "Gotta-Get it-Gadget" (as well as the movie review and rant if it ends up being that long before I have a few minutes). From now on, none of this nonsense will happen - I will be preparing my posts a wee bit in advance.
Why am I suddenly going to become organised? Well...

I GOT A JOB!

Yep... finally got a job to keep me busy and sane through the summer! I'll still blog daily... but, I'll be making use of my option to schedule posts, so the writing will be done in advance (lucky for you guys - that means it will be more organised!)

Sorry I haven't been around the past couple of days... but, with that job interview (yeah... I applied for the job, got called in 10 minutes, went to the interview, was hired within 2 and a half hours of applying - SWEET!), as well as a bunch of other running around I had to do (getting information for a human rights battle against my old employer... the battle has been going for nearly 10 months). Trust me... getting information from doctors/clinics/emergency rooms is like pulling teeth. Actually, pulling teeth is probably much easier (I was fired from my last job for having an asthma attack. They (bosses) sent me to the hospital, FROM work, with a severe asthma attack - I couldn't go in the next day 'cause I still couldn't breathe, so they fired me... now I have been gathering the same information (basically my entire medical file from the time I was hired until the time I was fired) for human rights, over and over, for the past 10 months (in other words, my medical info. has been floating around the human rights department here, since I've hunted out and sent in the exact same information about a half dozen times [I'm not exaggerating... I'm probably underestimating]).

So, today I've got a wee bit more running to do for those people, then I have some much needed shopping to get done. Tomorrow I'm going out with dad, as we do every Saturday, but I'm also on a mission - several places in my city have been selling things made with real dog fur. Yep, dog fur. So, I've got some consumer-bitching to do towards these store-owners... and Sunday, I've got to meet some people... hopefully you guys won't be kept waiting that long.

Thank you so much for your readership and your loyalty. In the mean time, I recommend visiting some of the blogs I can't get enough of:
Read a lot and leave plenty of comments... trust me, these blogs ROCK:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Journey by Anis Azzoug

Since the last flash animation I shared with you all was much more freaky than fun, this week's animation is much more fun than freaky - I strive for balance here, sometimes.

Surfing YouTube, trying to find a reasonably good video, I found this:

The Journey (a no-blood flash animation)


Anis Azzoug only has a few videos posted on YouTube so far, but I look forward to seeing more work from this amazing soul. To see the other three videos, click here for the YouTube site hosting them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Disgruntled Good Guys gone Bad - or - Cops Gone Outta Control!

Groups of former police officers from all around the nation have been violently banding together, after being discharged from their former positions. Due to new legislation, a weight restriction has been placed on public service workers, forcing plus-sized patrolmen to shape up or ship out. In response to these regulations, former law-men have been performing illegal acts, protesting the laws they once enforced - they call themselves the "Porky Pigs".We were able to reach Constable Jim Jackoff for questions. Constable Jackoff, who once worked closely with some of the members of the now "Porky Pigs", told us: "I understand where these people are coming from, and they have my sympathies. These people are rebelling because they feel they have been discriminated against, but what they fail to realise is that they were given their jobs with the commitment to protect and to serve. Unfortunately, their weight was prohibiting them from fulfilling their commitment."

Jonathan Joker, however, a former Sheriff in Dinglebat Grove and current member of the "Porky Pigs", claims his dismissal, as well as the dismissal of other peace officers, was purely discriminatory. Mr. Joker also told us Constable Jim Jackoff was "lyin' through his teeth", informing us of the fact that he was the greatest Sheriff in his jurisdiction, "having caught twice as many criminals in one day as the new kid they got in there catches in a month". We were told, however, that the "Porky Pigs" would dis-band if all members were offered a public apology, as well as the return of their jobs. Of course, in this nation, we know the higher-ups will never admit error or defeat.

If there's one thing everyone agrees on, current and former police officers, the "Porky Pigs" will be around for quite some time - after all, they know the tricks of the law.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by R.A.N.G.E (Raving About Nothing Good... Ever)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Atrocious Advertising: A Rant

When I watch television (which is not very often), there is a commercial that never fails to raise my blood pressure - a commercial that would be spot on and extremely effective, if only it was advertising the right product. What commercial do I speak of? I speak of the commercial for Monistat (I think) - you know - the commercial where some sorry fool stands there looking in the mirror at a storm-cloud floating over her nether region, then takes this medication and prepares a cup of joe while the sun shines over her ovaries and birds chirp out her ass. If you don't know what commercial I'm talking about, I apologise... I can't find a clip online.

Now, the clouds and chirping birds are not what I find irritating about this commercial. No, what I find irritating about this commercial is the fact that it is advertising a product for yeast infections, when really, it would be a perfect commercial for pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). At least, that's the thought that occurred to me while I was doubled over in pain, envisioning dark gray funnel clouds wreaking havoc in my uterus and little lightning bolts blasting my ovaries to tiny bits (not to mention, thunder booming through my bowels, as I'm sure most women will agree).

I mean, I've (thankfully) never had a yeast infection, but isn't that more of a itchy, sticky, stinky sort of thing? As an advertisement for Monistat, I think the commercial would be much more accurate if the woman was shown standing in the middle of a room, with everyone around her standing back a safe distance. Or, maybe the woman could be shown fidgeting in her office chair, trying not to draw attention to the serious clam-digging taking place.

In fact, this commercial could even end with the woman praising Monistat, giving thanks she no longer has to deal with messy, time-consuming 'alternatives'.

In fact, this post could even end right now.

Magical Movie Reviews

Hello everyone... this week I send you to someone else's website. I haven't stopped making movie reviews for this blog, but I wanted to direct your attention to another excellent blog by a friend I met through Facebook... and, since today's post should be a movie review, I couldn't think of a better time to send you to his website.

I present to you, the fabulous:
"Nick Turk - My Life in Pictures"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cat got your tongue?

Searching eBay, I somehow found this:


That is a Bandai Nekonyanbou retractable cat-paw. Yep, you read that right. With a click of a button, your paw is equipped and ready to claw.



So, what's the purpose? Why would someone want a retractable paw? I think the better question here is: why wouldn't someone want a retractable paw? Seriously, you can use it scratch your back, reach something that's 16cm or less out of reach, or... well, you can use it to scratch your back!



I've really nothing left to say about this... it pretty much speaks for itself. From the picture below, it looks like it may have multiple purposes.


I'm not going to post the link to the eBay listing on here, because when this auction is over, it would just be a dead link. So, if you're interested in getting yourself one of these - visit Google (or whatever search engine you prefer... or eBay) and type in "Bandai cat".

Meow