Baa Baa Black Sheep

CBC’s list of words

CBC News Ottawa recently published a list of ‘banned’ words according to the anti-racism and language experts they consulted. Some of the phases contain the word ‘black’ which the experts said can be hurtful to people because of the negative historical and cultural background of the word. (Some people would like to add Black Friday to the list).

My Black Sheep Tangle

I was surprised to see the term Black Sheep.  Historically, black sheep were less desirable than white sheep only because the black wool could not be easily dyed colors. The phrase eventually evolved to refer to the oddball member of the family who did not fall in line with the others.

What about blackmail? It was first used in the 16th century in Scotland where it was a payment exacted by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from more pillage.

While in the current context, both words have evolved into negative portrayals, the word ‘black’ can also be a positive or powerful word, such as black belt, black diamond, black coffee, black pepper, black ink, etc.

The word white can also have an undesirable connotation – white elephant, white lightnin’, white out, white trash, show the white feather…

Hopefully, some day black and white will no longer be a source of conflict – Yin Yang will prevail.

Moving on, I’d like to know why CBC didn’t put the word ‘short’ on their list. If I was a sensitive ‘vertically challenged’ person, I would object to the many phrases that contain the word ‘short’: short changed; short end of the stick; the long and the short of it; a day late and a dollar short; one brick short of a load; a few sandwiches short of a picnic; draw the short straw; short circuit; short fuse; short sighted…

Rex Murphy, of the National Post, responding to the CBC list, constructed an editorial about these words by using them all: Rex Murphy: Tongue-tied by CBC’s 18 words you can’t say

Alas, it is the case that the rich tribe of consultants employed by the CBC to make sure Canadian English never falls into bad-speak is being pilloried on Twitter and elsewhere as lame , and even (shudder) tone deaf .

Other even more savage criticisms are raining down on the corporation, such that its executives and high-profile personalities have been called together in a kind of public relations powwow , to brainstorm some way of responding to the crisis.
– Rex Murphy –

Normally I would ask you what your thoughts are on this subject, so here goes: Do you think the legs I drew on the Black Sheep look a bit like piano keys?

Update: thanks for your comments about the Sheep’s legs. As per your input, the Sheep has now been named ‘Little Piano Legs’.

Correlation and Causation – The Lighter Side

Correlation means there is a relationship or pattern between the values of two variables. Causation means that one event causes another event to occur.
Khan Academy

‘Correlation Does Not Imply Causation’. In my day we said,  ‘Don’t Jump to Conclusions!’

https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
https://xkcd.com/925/
https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

The Car Guy, by virtue of occupation and natural tendency, is extremely good at situation analysis and risk management. Me – not so much. Do you have one of these annoyingly logical people who don’t jump to conclusions in your life too?

American Thanksgiving – 2021

May your life be full of both Thanks and Giving!

I’d like to thank Ray at Mitigating Chaos for posting this ‘traditional’ American Thanksgiving video on his blog.  I’d never seen it before (maybe because I am Canadian…) but I enjoyed the story so much that I wanted to share it with others.

The song/story is folk singer Arlo Guthrie’s  mostly true recollection of events that began at Alice’s Restaurant in 1965.

‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ was originally released in 1967. It is only a bit about Thanksgiving, Alice, or her restaurant. It’s more about the favor they did for Alice – driving her trash out to the dump, only to find that the dump was closed for Thanksgiving.

We’d never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes, we drove off into the sunset lookin’ for another place to put the garbage.
We didn’t find one till we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road was another fifteen-foot cliff, and at the bottom of the cliff was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile was better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up, we decided to throw ours down…

You will have to watch the whole video to see how trash led to an arrest which led to… well, just watch it!

Andrew Cotter – Olive, Mabel and Penguins – Mirthy Monday (Videos)

Andrew Cotter began his career at Scot FM in Edinburgh before moving into sports commentary for BBC radio and TV. When sporting events were cancelled due to Covid-19 he began posting videos of his labradors, Olive, eight, and Mabel, four, on Twitter and YouTube.

Andrew Cotter narrates the nightly walk of the fairy penguins of Victoria’s Phillip Island as a high-stakes, long-distance race.

12th Blog Anniversary and 1000 Posts

Two milestones to celebrate – my 12th Blogging Anniversary and my 1000th post on this blog; (another 87 posts – the more serious and political ones – are at my alternate identity, Counter Current)!

Highlights (and a few low lights) of the past twelve years:

Morgan or Montana Moose – though Mandate Moose would have been a better name…

How many people can say they get frequent visits from the  Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service?
_____________________________

Three Great Horned Owlets

Our property was also home to a Great Horned Owl family that nested in a large spruce tree on the edge of our driveway.

I also did 138 Wild-life stories that document all the birds, bugs and animals I saw and 88 posts about Plants.
_____________________________

On the Humour front, I did 95 posts of funny Quotations and 1000 posts that had at least one moment of happiness embedded in the verbiage.
_____________________________

I’ve posted 45 Craft Projects.  The interior decor of the Red House reminds me of the front of the family fridge when there were school age kids in our house: a bunch of crafts that sometimes only a ‘mother’ can love…
_____________________________

“Into each life a little rain must fall.”

In 2012, The Car Guy was in a bad motorcycle accident. Man and bike both recovered, though the Harley looked like new after the restoration and The Car Guy  – not so much.
In 2013 there was a lot of rain. Our entire Cabin Community was destroyed. Though we weren’t able the save much from our cabin, the Car Guy did manage to salvage   our old lawnmower!
_____________________________

My review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of  Covid-19. I did about 40 posts about the virus, none of which went viral…

2, 4, 6, 8… Who Needs to Isolate?
My blogging life started in November 2009 during the peak of the second wave of the novel virus H1N1pdm09 pandemic. It was also known as the ‘Swine Flu’. The Cornell Daily Sun joked about the pig connection with the headline: ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It, And I Feel Swine…’

I’ve also lived through two other relatively serious pandemics – two Avian flus: the  Asian flu of 1957-1958  and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-1970 . How did all three of these pandemics compare to Covid-19? No one will ever really know. Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been tracked differently and the collateral damage from lock downs, reduction in non-covid medical treatment and school closures will be difficult to measure.

Is “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a Deeply Offensive Song about Climate Change Denialism?
My blogging ‘career’ also coincided with COP15 (Conference of the Parties) which was held in Copenhagen in late 2009. COP26 (the 2021 version) is in full swing in Glasgow.  21,000 delegates, 13,000 observers and 3,000 members of the media will talk about how to cut emissions… do they understand the irony?

I’ll end this retrospective with this:

My blog is a collection of answers people don’t want to hear to questions they didn’t ask.
― Sebastyne Young –

Andrew Cotters Olive and Mabel; Jeanne Robertson (Videos)

First Date

Jeanne Robertson was a professional speaker who specialized in down home humor. In this video she speaks, as she often does, about  her husband, Jerry, who she lovingly called ‘Left Brain’ (Jerry is the man in the green sweater). Jeanne and Jerry died within months of each other in 2021, but Jeanne’s special brand of humour lives on in her many videos.

Do you remember your first date at a Drive Through Hamburger place? Did it feature the accidental escape of ketchup from one of those little ketchup packages, such that there was more ketchup on the girl’s good white blouse than on the guy’s french fries?

It Has to be 9PM Somewhere:

When I was a kid, getting put to bed at 9 PM, I couldn’t wait until I was a grown-up and could stay up until whatever time I wanted. That time is, apparently, 9 PM.
– Author Unknown –

The recent referendum in our Province (that asked if we wanted to stop changing our clocks twice a year) was 49.8% for and 51.2% against. I am disappointed, though not surprised that half of the people wanted that ‘extra’ hour of light at the beginning of the day and the other half at the end of the day. On the positive side, when the clocks change again in early November, most of the clocks in my clock collection will be on time again.

An Idea for Christmas – Borrow the Neighbours Kid for your Family Christmas Photo:

Get your relatives speaking to one another again by sending a heartfelt Christmas card with a picture of your family with an extra child nobody knows.
– Author Unknown –

Beep Beep! Has PETA ruled on Cruelty to Cartoon Coyotes?

PETA is asking Major League Baseball to stop using the term “bullpen” to describe the area where pitchers warm up and instead use the term “arm barn.” The nonprofit organization argued that saying “bullpen” is insensitive to cows in a news release on Thursday.
– Sports Washington –

I’d Watch the News if This Happened:

If liar’s pants really did catch on fire, watching the news would be a lot more fun.
– fb/New and Interesting –

Tree Hugging When Lumber Prices are Off the Charts:

Another Dog Tail from Olive and Mabel

A Motorcycle Joke

If my name was David and I had a boy, I would have to name him Harley. That way, he could introduce himself “I’m Harley, David’s son.”
– Dad Jokes –

Some ‘Groaners’ and a Bear (Video)

First up,  ‘Groaner’ Jokes – some as punny as they are funny

A couple of lads grew up together in a large city Greek neighborhood. They were good friends whose names were Euripides and Eumenides. They parted ways when they grew up. Euripides become a rich and famous celebrity while Eumenides took over his aging father’s tailor shop.

Many years went by and one day a limousine pulled up in front of the tailor shop. A man got out with a pair of torn trousers and entered. The tailor looked up from his work and saw who it was and shouted, “Euripides? Euripides?” To which the man replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah… Eumenides?”

– Sidebar: This joke has apparently been around for awhile, though isn’t as old as Euripides (480 – 406BC) (sounds like “You-rip-a-these”) who was a great Athenian playwright. Eumenides, “You-mend-a-these”, is the third part of a tragedy by Aeschylus. I ‘borrowed’ this joke from The Haps with Herb and edited it slightly. –

What does an insomniac ­agnostic dyslexic spend most of his time doing? Stays up all night wondering if there really is a dog.

A local monastery was going bankrupt. The abbot didn’t know what to do. The brothers had a meeting, and decided to open a great Olde English Fish-N’-Chips stand. One day, a man knocked on the door. After one of the brothers answered the door, the man asked, “May I have just an order of fries?”
The brother said, “Hold on a moment. I’m the fish friar. You want the chip monk.”

There are many stories related to the sinking of the “Titanic”. Some come to light due to the success of the movie. For example, most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellman’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. The “Titanic” was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after New York City. The Mexican people were eagerly awaiting delivery and were disconsolate at the loss. So much so that they declared a national day of mourning which they still observe today.
It is known, of course, as: Sinko de Mayo

Back in the 1800’s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for pocket watches, decided to market compasses for the pioneers traveling west. It turned out that although their watches were of finest quality, their compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California.
This, of course, is the origin of the expression; ‘He who has a Tates is lost!’

I will undoubtedly be borrowing more content from this page for future posts: Groaners.

Some of the other puns I have collected are at the bottom of this post. Click the link for Pun.

There is More Than One Way to Get What you Want

An elderly lady handed her bank card to the bank teller and said “I would like to withdraw $10”. The teller told her “for withdrawals less than $100, please use the ATM”. When the lady asked why, the teller told her it was bank policy.
The lady remained silent for a few seconds and handed her card back to the teller and said “please help me withdraw all the money I have.” The teller was astonished when he checked the account balance and replied: “you have $300,000 in your account but the bank doesn’t have that much cash currently. Could you make an appointment and come back again tomorrow?”
The lady then asked how much she could withdraw immediately. The teller told her any amount over $100 and up to $3000. “Well please let me have $3000 now.” The teller did as he was asked.
The elder put $10 in her purse and asked the teller to deposit $2990 back into her account…
This is called ‘adapting to adversity’.
– Author Unknown –

What was the Bear Thinking?

Cricket is a game that gives ‘not very spiritual people’ some idea of what eternity is.
– Author Unknown –

Fastest Guys Around

DoodleChaos – Line Rider Race (Video)

DoodleChaos artist, Mark Robbins, draws with Line Rider, an online application that allows you to make videos by drawing lines on which, Bosh, a little person on a sleigh, slides along the path you draw. In this video, he synchronized the William Tell Overture (by Rossini) to 8 Line Riders racing down the track to victory.

If you want to experience just how difficult and time consuming it was to make this video, go to the Line Rider site (click play to start) and try drawing a few lines! See if you can keep the little sledder from crashing!

I tried it:

This is the track I drew (after a lot of tries…)
And this is what happened to the Line Rider as he attempted that last climb…

Crash…

The William Tell Overture was composed by the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. The opera premiered in 1829.

The music has been used many times in popular media. It as the theme song for ‘The Lone Ranger’; Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoon ‘The Band Concert’; a Flintstones episode “The Hot Piano”; advertising for ‘Reebok’ and ‘Honda Civic’ and the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

Stop Motion Clay Animation (Video)

The Quippery

Gumby is an American clay animation about a green clay human like character created and modeled by Art Clokey.

A History Lesson on Stop Motion Animation

A Funny but slightly Gruesome Clay Animation – Great Song Though!

The song is Cinderella Rockefella. It was written by Mason Williams and Nancy Ames and was originally recorded and released by Israeli folk duo Esther and Abi Ofarim on their 1967 album ‘2 in 3’.