Saturday, September 30, 2006


Or, What Do These Posh Paints Have In Common?

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D. (a Pleasant, hornswoggling Dude), currently the Dean of Dross & Drop-A-Hint at the widely acclaimed Academy of My-Way-Or-The-Highway, (also known as a nexus of noteworthy nincompoops and ninnyhammers situated somewhere between Old Sweat and Pugwash, Ontario, Canada if truth be told).

There is something to be said for owning a mortarboard and long-flowing black gown, it comes in handy at Halloween, and it keeps students guessing as to what quixotic questions are likely to appear on their next exam.

What do “Ruby Red” and “Green With Envy” enjoy in common, besides being the merry monikers of perhaps a few painted ladies from Shady Lane?

Speaking of tromping about in the hollyfuds, today’s topic is devoted to getting lost on a garden path and asking Dorothy for directions to the nearest Yellow Brick Road.

All of which leads to answering the question about "Ruby Red" and Friends including “Queen of the Night”, not to mention “Audrey Hepburn” and “Hilary Clinton”.

To be more precise, these fetching floral names refer not to any flower, but the third one in popularity behind roses and carnations. Wallflowers will be relieved to know that we're talking about none other than the humble tulip.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are more than 3,000 names of tulips recorded on the “Classified List & Register of Tulip Names” published annually in the Netherlands by the Royal General Association of Bulb Growers.

(Note: Before the establishment of the Register in the late 1920’s, it is said that some tulips were a tad ticked off …as officially they remained nameless, except for some tantalizing Turkish tulips named “Big Scarlet”, “Diamond Envy", “Increaser of Joy”, “Light of the Mind” and “Star of Felicity”. )

Green thumb types will be pleased to learn that titillating tulips titles reflect a rather broad bevy of bodacious bulbs and colorful companion kits on the market including: “Blushing Ballerina”, “Sealed With a Kiss”, and “Dainty Dancers”.

On the other hand, there are some top-notch tulips named after distinguished European women of history include among others: Anne Frank, Anna Pavlova, Jeanne d’Arc, Madame Curie, Madame de Pompadour, Maria Montessori, George Sand, Margo Fonteyn, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary.

Those interested in trivial tulip tales will probably be more interested in the fact that “tulipmania” began in the early 17th century in which gardeners, investors, merchants, and speculators in Europe paid exorbitant sums of money for special (often fragmented-colored) tulip bulbs. The mulch madness finally ended abruptly in 1637 when the supply caught up with the demand…which may be why in the late 20th century some eccentric fellow named 'Tiny Tim' who couldn’t hold a tune made a blinking fortune by singing, “Tip toe through the tulips”.

Hint: those who don't know the difference between a light bulb, a turnip bulb and a tulip bulb, should probably poke around and find another pondering pool to exercise their nitwit neurons.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Or, odds and ends that have gone 404 forever!

By Professor Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, one who is known to indulge in far too much scandal broth and cat napping while holding on to his Chair in the Department of Ornamental Obfuscation at the University of the Obtuse, in Oldmans Pocket (Ontario, Canada)

The other day, I was awakened from my usual somnambulant state of shopping by an overly friendly checkout clerk inquiring as to whether I was having a “good day”, and did I find what I was looking for in the store.

Not being a mind reader, I wasn’t altogether sure if we were both on the same planet. Clearly my cerebellum was in parking mode, and my mouth was hanging open long enough to catch a few fugitive fruit flies from the produce section. All of which brings me back to the purpose of today’s tale…things gone lost and perhaps never found.

For readers who need to satisfy their deep-thinking urges and quaint sense of curiosity, there are 146,000 web pages devoted to the topic of things that never saw the light of day.

So exactly what pray tell, has been cooked up or created, and subsequently chucked into a brown box marked “obsolete”, or the crestfallen category referred to as “obscurity” or “oblivion”?

Here is a ludicrous list of odds and sods with a long overdue expiry date:

  • “TwitCit”, part of the “Citadel” family of pioneering software, that came to an early devise due to a “history of forked code”. One wonders if perhaps the developers forgot to provide cutting-edge knives with their plate of posh puterware!

  • Technical writer, Gordon R. Meyer, is rather proud of composing the following light-hearted line in a rather dry, lifeless computer manual: “After the tablespace is reordered, the savings are added to the report, as shown in the illustration below. (Magnifying glass not included).” Now we know why those "Dummies" books are so popular.

  • A lad from the Netherlands informs the world that he wrote lots of computer code way back when on a Commodore 64…some of which was “crap but used anyway”, some that was “brilliant” (at least the author thinks so), and “code that was never used in a program”…hmmm what a bummer for a bodacious byter like “Der Hansie”!

  • A game-boy toots his horn by saying that he’s been creating code since the age of 10 but today programs as a hobby and not out of necessity. He is only too happy to share his entertaining experiences on the computer at such places as Novalogic and Neversoft, not to mention harken back to those “experimental things that never saw the light of day”.

  • BBC reported that recently that several secret weapons were being used by military forces including one that never saw the light of day -- not your ordinary “stink bomb” or “dirty bomb”, but something designed to expose the enemy soldiers by their “bad breath”! Perhaps fetid foot-odor was a dead-giveaway?

  • Parts 2 and 3 of a Caliber Comics story. Does this mean that there are lots of dialogue balloons floating around in space looking for a handful of little lost characters?

  • Apparently there are more than a few Atari “silver label” games that didn't make it to the toy shelves like: “Dumbo’s Flying Circus”, “Miss Piggy’s Wedding”, “Donald Duck’s Speedboat” and Dr. Salk’s “Peek-A-Boo”. Frankly, does the world really miss them?

  • The planet “Pluto” may have been recently demoted and sent back to anonymous asteroid belt, but a rebellion may be brewing in the ranks of star-gazers and astrologers. It may well be down for the count … but it’s definitely not out of the cosmos yet!

  • “Lithium Cabbage” only played a handful of gigs, when the artists split up after graduating from high school. Who knows, if they had finished college, they might have moved on to the next element in the periodic table, and maybe tried a new veggie on for size!

  • And last but not least the artwork collection of the National Archives of Canada includes a number of designs not selected by the Stamp Advisory Committee, (including one 19th century postage stamp proposal by Sir Sanford Fleming). If truth be told, this delightful dustbin of history draws only a polite applause from a smattering of ho-humming Newfoundlanders but lots of hooping and hollering from hockey-playing Canucks who think taxpayers’ money should be used to finance the salaries of posh pucksters!

Friday, September 22, 2006


  • Registration for UBER UNIVERSITEASE courses must be completed by Monday, September 11, 2006.

  • The complexity and difficulty level of contents means that class sizes for "Knights of the Big Red Round Table" and their enigmatic entourages will be limited to 8 participants maximum.

  • All classes begin on Monday, September 18, 2006.


Class 1: How To Fill Up Ice Cube Trays.--- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation. Meets 4 weeks, Monday & Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Class 2: The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself? --- Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 noon for 2 hours.

Class 3: Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 a.m. for 2 hours.

Class 4: Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor. --- Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturday at 2:00 p.m. for 3 weeks.

Class 5: After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? --- Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Class 6: Loss Of Identity - Losing The Remote Control Device To Your Significant Other. --- Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 p.m.

Class 7: Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming. --- Open Forum. Monday at 8:00 p.m. for 2 hours.

Class 8: Health Watch- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health. --- Graphics and Audio Tapes.Three nights - Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 p.m. for 2 hours.

Class 9: Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost. --- Real Life Testimonials. Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.; location to be determined.

Class 10: Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks? --- Driving Simulations. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday noon, 2 hours.

Class 11: LIFE LESSONS 1 - 10: Learning the Basic Differences Between Mother & Wife. --- Online Classes and Role-playing. Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., location to be determined.

Class 12: How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion. --- Relaxation Exercises, Meditation & Breathing Techniques. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Class 13: How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy - Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late. --- Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered. Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 p.m. for 2 hours.

Class 14: The Stove/Oven - What It Is? How It Is Used? --- Live Demonstration.Tuesday at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Class 15: A Word About Air Freshners - It May Be Fun to Fart Around At Work Without Any Consequences, But At Home It's Quite Another Matter --- Theory Session, field trip to the local supermarket to select cost-effective, environmentally-friendly fragrances and practical demonstration on their use in confined spaces. Thursday at 7:00 p.m.


1. POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS: Upon completion of any of the above accredited courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

2. All courses offered by the fully-accredited Uber Universitease come with self-centered, self-help audio and video tapes or high-definition dude DVDs for the patriarchically-challenged or self-described "non-people persons".

Contributed by a cackle-conscious, Creative Loafer named Renie, (a retired university Professor of English now residing in Victoria, British Columbia).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Or, ever wondered how many calories one burns while sauntering, snoozing, or smacking one’s lips together for eight hours?

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D. (a pretty happy dude), whose easy-as-pie attitude to life makes him a shoe-in for Dean of Do-Nothing at the Creative Loafing Institute, (dedicated to the long lost art of lingering, lollygagging or lounging about in the company of oneself or other like-minded folk)

Creative loafers and their kindred spirits, the ever elusive “fit wits”, will be pleased to learn that calories can be burned off in many interesting if not intriguing ways.

As a matter of fact, there’s no need to lift weights, run one’s buns off, or swim 100 lengths of the pool every day. The good news is that practically anything one does such as catching a bit of shut-eye, twiddling one’s thumbs, or whistling a happy tune burns calories off.

For calorie-conscious creative loafers, here’s a list of activities guaranteed to expend a little energy if one feels inclined to impress one's family, friends or the folks next door.

  • Riding a bicycle (built for one), going at a speed of 4 mph, will burn five calories per minute; if that’s too strenuous…try hopping on a tricycle or a unicycle!

  • Standing at a slot machine for eight hours trying to match those frigging little lemons, oranges and cherries all in a row without losing one’s sanity or burning a large hole in one’s pocket or purse will probably expend 1,402 calories before the day is over.

  • Walking at a slow pace all day long, (less than 2mph), whether at work or simply puttering will burn off 1,219 calories as will driving a car around for eight hours looking for a senior with short-term memory-loss or finding a fast-food franchise that serves low-carb cookies and lactose-free milk with one’s latte.

  • Typing on a computer, decorating a festive Ho-Ho-Ho Tree, sitting at mirthless meetings and flapping one’s gums vigorously, or simply sitting on one’s tush and talking with cranky clients for eight hours, will use up 914 calories.

  • Sleeping for eight hours, (provided one is a mere 160 lbs. and not on any hallucinatory pharmaceuticals), will knock off another 549 calories.

  • Watching TV, responding to e-mails, or reading one’s favorite book, (although some may consider these arduous forms of mental gymnastics), will nevertheless count for 50 calories towards fulfilling one's goal to eliminate one pound of cellulite this month!

  • And, for those vacuous vegetarians who can’t wait to get their hands on an 8-inch stalk of celery so their chompers and stomach acid can work their magic, they’ll be pleased to know that it requires more than six calories to digest this tasteless piece of stringy stuff.

The moral to this story of muscle musing is not to sweat the small stuff! And remember, “Life is a great big garden, so why not dig it…and forget all about that calorie-counting!”


For those creative loafers who are really keen on counting calories ... take a peek at this site:

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Or, how to beat the blues, books, or sheer boredom

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by the Earl of Craboon, a lively lollygagging couple who lounge about in the Court of Quintessential Quaffers & Quirks

September is the ninth lunar month of the Gregorian calendar.

Not to put too fine a point on it but, the Romans, (who in addition to ruling the world way back and racing chariots around coloseums in their their spare time), also managed to invent their very own twelve month timetable. Since they celebrated the New Year beginning in March, September was according to them only the seventh month of the year. Well, so much for the Romans and their short-lived system of reckoning.

The fact is that whether September is the the seventh or ninth month of the year, it’s still the beginning of another school year, and that all too familiar kick-off “show and tell” event. Frankly, who cares if you can’t read, write or spell worth a darn and doodling is your favorite subject! If truth be told, it's just way more cool to cut classes than nourish your noodle isn't it?

All of which brings us to the main point, what things should you contemplate doing to keep yourself from going completely bonkers this month.

1. Hold a Virgo Party for all friends or family members born between August 23 and September 22. After all what would the world be without all those cranky, demanding, irritable, dogmatic, eccentric, nervous, and undemonstrative worry warts? Okay, so maybe they have some redeeming features, they’re loyal, responsible, incisive communicators, and shrewd thinkers who enjoy being King or Queen of the Castle.

2. Take a ride on a subway somewhere. Why? Because it’s about time we celebrated the first subway in North America being opened in Boston on September 2, 1897. The fact of the matter is that nothing much has changed in almost 120 years…people are still pushing and shoving, or complaining about not getting a seat for pity's sake!

3. Participate in the annual weird and wonderful National Mud Festival to be held in Llanelli, Wales from September 9-10. Bring along your welly-boots and hip-waders for a bit of mirky merriment such as mud-wrestling, patty-cake making, not to mention welly-wanging for the entire family!

4. Ever consider yourself a high-flying high-falutin homo sapien? Why not hop across the pond and sign up for the International Bognor Birdman competition, to be held in Bognor, Regis (England) on September 9th and 10th. All you have to do is build your own set of winds and then flap them sufficiently long and far enough to win some mazuma for either yourself or your favorite charity.

5. For those with a penchant for tossing or heaving things around, suggest they take in the “World Black Pudding Throwing Championship” on September 10th in Ramsbottom, Lancashire (in jolly old England naturally). The town is famous for it’s ‘tripe’ (cow’s intestine) and ‘elder’ (steamed cow’s udder)…doesn’t that whet your appetite!!

6. Can’t cook…well have we got something to celebrate! If you can boil water, add a handful of oatmeal and add a pinch of salt for good measure, you can enter the Golden Spurtle World Porridge-Making Championships in Carrbridge on September 10, 2006. Who says chefs are born and not made!!

7. Okay, so you hate cooking and you couldn’t glue a pair of wings together if your life depended on it, but you adore getting behind the wheel of a car. Have we got a great opportunity for you! Time to head on over to Seloncourt, France to enter or watch the French Pedal-Powered Grand Prix, held on September 11th each year. Keep your eyes peeled for a banana car driven by monkeys, a pumpkin piloted by witches or a tiger with a Tarzan behind the wheel.

8. Those with ugly mugs looking for 15 minutes of fame might want to enter the “World Gurning Championships” being held on September 16th in Egremont in Cumbria, in the ‘olde’ country, where else?) Frankly, any festival that’s been organized since 1267 to celebrate the harvesting of the humble crab apple deserves some consideration. So practice putting your head in a horse collar and then contort your face into the scariest, most grotesque or silliest expression possible…who knows, you might even win!

9. For those who haven’t got a clue what to do, why not host a laugh-out-loud lunch (and invite your friends to bring along their bodacious brown bags of course). Tell everyone the theme is “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time”, a great way for everyone to share their very own tawdry tales of detours, dead ends, and dubious decisions that went wonk when they weren’t paying attention to the things that really do matter like eating popcorn at the movies, experimenting with whoopee cushions, and talking to a pet rock.

10. And last but not least, those who are searching for something to do besides “Waiting for Godot”, they might want to head on down the Yellow Brick Road to Billings, Montana to take part in the "Scarecrow Auction & Festival" from September 21-23. Who says strawmen don’t have fun, even if every now and then one, the odd one goes up in flames? Whatever you do, don’t forget to say hi to the Tin Man, the Lion and the Wizard of Oz!