RUH-ROH. Imagine our surprise, chagrin, and/or utter embarrassment when — thanks to a less than subtle “nudge-nudge” from our very dear friend, TAN LUCY PEZ — we were reminded that today, of ALL the days in all the months of each and every stinking year is our pal DOUG‘S 40TH BIRTHDAY!!! (that’s, like, 280 in dog years… you know, old)
WEA (in our heads, that’s plural for “mea”) culpa, you CRUSTY CURMUDGEON, you. That said, surely you can recall the fact that some of us DID see fit to wish you a Happy Happy Joy Joy this time LAST YEAR, Shirley — and in a rather grand fasion, at that. Or is it difficult to remember stuff like that at your age? (careful boy, say word one about our own “advanced” years, and we will hurt you… we may be older, but we also carry bigger sticks)
PS: a more resourceful blog would hang on to the post we did earlier in order to use it later this week. We, however, are too lazy to do that. (our way of saying please read it, because our son took all of 3 minutes out of his not-so-busy day to find/send us that video, and we think it’s really cute) 😉
While sorting through my pictures in some of my many albums, I came across this one:
I love when you discover good photos you forgot you ever took. This picture is responsible for today´s post!
For thousands of years a quiet group of islands in the North Atlantic peacefully existed. They are called the Vestmann islands and are located south of Iceland. Then, on the 14th of November 1963, a new volcano erupted out of the sea in a violent column of ash and fire, creating the youngest island in the world, Heimaey.
In true Viking fashion, Icelanders can settle almost anywhere, and why should an island of cooled magma be any exception? Heimaey was settled, its inhabitants fully aware of the intricate dance they are about to engage in. Iceland, beyond doubt, is the land of ice and FIRE.
Only 10 years later on January 23rd, 1973, a Tuesday I seem to remember, history would repeat itself, only this time, 5000 souls inhabited this island. All the boats were in the harbor that night, a gale and heavy rainfall through the day kept them in the bay. At around 1.55 am the eruption began and a thick slope of lava descending from the mountain now known as “Eldfjall” (Fire mountain), making its way slowly but steadily towards the town and harbor area.
Police cars and fire trucks sounded their alarms driving through the streets to wake up a town fast asleep and within two hours everybody was afoot, streaming down to the harbor where 60-70 boats were ready to get the optimistic Vikings to safer shores, the first boat is said to have left at 2.30, merely 40 minutes after everything started. The town council had decided to evacuate the whole population.
Within an hour Icelandair and other minor airway companies, including the NATO Defense Force in Keflavik helped and transported around 300 people by air, putting an emphasis on the sick and elderly. In one night, all 5000 were evacuated, only one man died and not the Volcano´s fault either. The population was warned that due to the shaking earth, gas leaks will occur and a volcanic eruption is simply not the time you should lock yourself into a cellar!
A mad professor, the world is filled with them, one was bound to be located on Heimaey, suggested to pump cold sea water onto the running lava and with it breaking its flow towards the city into another direction. Needless to say, he was mostly laughed at…but there is also bound to be one good idea in say…um…1000 mad professors and when his idea was put into action, the result was as desired. By cooling the lava from one side (dip your toes into the Atlantic around here and you´ll understand) it budged out to the other side and left its original trail.
The harbor was saved. 400 houses destroyed, 250 damaged and 250 escaped without a scratch. And slowly, yet steadily … almost half of its inhabitants returned. It took a year to clean away the ashes left behind form that fateful day. The population is about 4.800 now…that´s 200 short of 5000! I bet almost all of them are ready should nature decide to go out on a whim again.
And images like these serve as a daily reminder of the fiery power Mother Nature holds deep within her icy exterior.
Any questions? Fire away or satisfy your burning curiosity about the rest of life at
Filed under: FYI (ish)
ANNOUNCEMENT? Yikes. Nothing we hate more about ourselves than when we promise to conjure up something special for you kids and then can’t. Or don’t remember what we were thinking when we made the promise to try, in the first place. Sometimes the party in our heads rages on without our permission, and we’re the ones left picking up the confetti of ponderings and/or bad ideas when all the brain cells have gone to bed. While you mull over that last sentence, allow us to pull an “announcement” out of our, um, hats…
A couple of weeks ago, a certain LAMPSHA was engaged in a flurry of e-mails with a certain CURMUDGEON. Actually, it was more of a flur, because there were only one or two, or so we were told, but that’s beside the point. The point, because we absolutely must have one around here somewhere, is that during that flur of e-mails, it was revealed that the aforementioned curmudgeon had put the names Gina and Neva together to form a unique — and moderately amusing — moniker: Nevagina. Don’t think those of us named Neva and/or Gina didn’t laugh and laugh and laugh at that one, because we most certainly did. Then we said to ourselves: Hey, let’s use that as a jumping off point to introduce a new “feature” in the Snark! Something to do with sex! Not “sex” sex, but “sex-ish” sex. Related to sex. Sex, but not SEX.
What the hell are we saying here? We’re saying that on Fridays* we’ve decided to try to have fun with sex without being too, uh, gratuitously, er, sexy. In other words, no matter what we seem to be leading up to, anyone who gets too inappropriate and/or racy will be cut off faster ‘n you can say “Lorena, put down that knife.”
IN the absence of a clue and/or stepping off point, we decided to start this new “feature” off slow and easy, in hopes it might grow organically, on its own. In lieu of enhancements, we thought it might be fun to offer up the following Instructive Video for your amusement and/or education. Don’t thank us now, save it for later — after you snag a date, enjoy a mouthful of weenies at the dance, and successfully commandeer a memorable-yet-tongueless good-night kiss.
NEXT week, we’ll post something that lends itself to more, um, participation. For today, we just hope you can all enjoy this video, and maybe share a few stories about your own first dates and/or dating faux pas.
NOW, having spent the better part of the morning (around 47 minutes) working on this post, we have no idea what’s going on around the blogosphere. That said, we know for a fact that DIESEL’s doing something that involves funny pictures and captions, but, for the life of us, we can’t remember what it’s called. Ah well, it’ll come to us eventually — most things that give us pleasure usually do. Loreeeena…
Plenty to laugh, chuckle and/or titter at on Humor-blogs.com.
*except when we don’t feel like doing it.
As most of you know by now, this here Penguin has recently been to the States. It wasn´t that difficult getting there, I took a left on Snow-Drift Road and basically just went South West from there until my paddle hit American soil. Looked like average soil to me, so I moved my flippers onto it.
But a penguin is easily confused and I think I don´t need to regurgitate the toilet-pandemonium to remind you of my difficulty to adjust to the novelties that greeted me upon arrival. And don´t even get me started on how fries come with everything, even if you don´t order them!
The perplexity I want to discuss today, however, is the good ole American Dollar. One hears these rumors of the Dollar not being as strong these days as it used to be. You thought economy was to blame, I am here to tell you it is color. No really! So much diversity- Lincolns, Franklins and Jeffersons, all in green and rolled up in my pockets and each time I had to pay for something…there it was: Confusion multiplied by the speed of light with a bit of sweat on my flippers, as somebody was anxiously awaiting for money to change aehm … limbs. All the bills basically look the same, with different old guys minimally differentiating the obverse if you happen to have a magnifying glass near-by. And before you know it, you have set up camp for Mr. Grant in some tip jar at a local Starbucks.
I am also sorry to tell you this, but Iceland seems to be light-years ahead of American currency. Now would you look at the array of colors, pictures and layouts of these our most precious Kronur:
The 500 KR bill depicts Jon Sigurdsson at his writing desk. An MP at the Icelandic Althing and an extraordinary scholar of history and the Icelandic Sagas. His birthday, 17th of June, is Iceland´s national holiday.
The 1000 KR bill depicts Brynjolfur Sveinsson and his church at Skalholt on the reverse. A Lutheran Bishop who is famous for his collection, study and dedictaion to Old Norse literature.
The 2000 KR bill depicts Johannes Kjarval and Kjarval’s painting Yearning for Flight and his drawing “Woman and Flowers” on the back. One of the most famous artists in Iceland he is the newest addition to our banknotes and was distributed in 1995. My favourite bill and the hardest to get!
The 5000 Kr bill depicts Ragnheidur Jonsdottir and her husband with his other two wives on the front and her instructing two girls in embroidery on the reverse. I can´t tell you why she is depicted on the highest banknote, nor what great accomplishment she has manufactured, but by golly, she´s a woman. I have mentioned this before, but Iceland had the first female president in Europe. It bears repeating, I feel…what with us being ahead and all!There you have it, everything from writers to painters, through clergymen all the way to some chic doing needlework. We have it all and in color no less!
Now get with the programme and excuse me while I get back to eating my rotten shark meat.
I’m pretty sure I just coughed up my ovaries, but other than that I’m feeling pretty good. Mentally at least I’m doing much better than I did when I coughed up last week’s almost incoherent post.
I thought I’d change gears this week and talk about one of the other areas that I’m an expert in, as far as you know. I’ve recently retired from my job, so I’m now a “home maker.” No really, I’m building a house. I’ve got pictures to prove it.
Anyway, as a result of my retirement and corresponding lack of income, I have become something of an authority on “home economics.” As such, I thought I would share some nuggets of wisdom with you about saving money in and around the house.
First, you’ve probably already noticed how much money you’re saving by not driving 50 miles in to work every day. Why, you’ve already saved enough to buy the latest Nickelback album. And by simply turning on the radio rather than buying that album, you’ve saved that amount once again. And extrapolating from current gas price and Nickelback popularity trends, I would estimate that you will save around $80,000 over the next year. Impressed? I thought so. And that’s just the start.
Second, here is a little tip on shopping: Look for 2-for-1 sales on items. A “2-for-1” sale is when you can get two of something for the same amount that it would normally cost you for just one of those things. For example, if the latest Nickelback album ordinarily costs $16.99, that means you could get TWO of those albums for $16.99. Or you could buy their current album and their last album, which is essentially the same thing. But that’s not all! The trick is to buy THREE of whatever it is. Because the dirty little secret of 2-for-1 sales is that you can actually get three of whatever it is for what it would ordinarily cost you to get one and a half of those things. And that’s an even BETTER deal than getting two of them, especially if what you are buying is a hamster. Because after all, what good is one and a half hamsters? I mean, unless you have a snake.
Third, here’s a simple rule for determining which store has the lowest prices: The bigger the store, the lower the prices. Your worst value is your local “mom and pop” store. Sure, they’ll lure you in with a good selection, cheery lighting and an open parking space three feet away from the cash register, not to mention friendly and knowledgeable proprietors who are willing to go out of their way to make you happy, but shopping at such places is going to cost you precious nickels that could still be jingling around in your pocket if it weren’t for little Suzy Proprietor’s health insurance. And I don’t know about you, but I love that jingle-jingle sound nickels make in my pocket. Sometimes I take nickels out of the March of Dimes box just so I can hear that sound. Because the March of Dimes is just going to throw them away anyway, because they only take dimes. It’s in the name, you stupid nickel-givers. I’ve got my own charity. It’s called the Jingle of Nickles. It’s like Christmas wherever I go.
Your next best bet is going to be your medium sized chain stores like Target and Kohl’s, but the real savings are to be found at places that have “Big” or “Super” in front of their name, as well as places that require a membership card. Those stores are so big that they can’t help but pass the savings on to you, the consumer. Sure, customer service is lousy, selection is terrible and there’s something profoundly oppressive about an endless array of gigantic florescent lights constantly humming over your head, making everything into some kind of vast Orwellian nightmare-scape, but there’s no better place to go if you want six pounds of raisins or eight Nickelback albums. I have to say though that I’m disappointed that nobody in the U.S. has yet built what I would consider a truly gigantic store. I’m talking about a place that’s so big that stuff is practically free. Of course, selection would be even worse, the employees would be downright hostile and the overall oppressive environment would probably turn you into a suicidal alcoholic, but at least you’d be getting a good deal. You’d become dependent on the store for meeting all of your needs, and you’d be so happy that you’d never want to leave. And just in case you did want to leave, they would build a big wall around the store and try to shoot anyone who gets out. Consumers of the world, unite!
Uh… so anyway, there are lots of other things you can do to save money. Like, um, I hear you can make your own ketchup with potatoes or something. Although I’m not sure why you’d want to, since you can take all the ketchup you want when you go to McDonald’s for lunch. I hear they have McDonald’s in Wal-Mart these days, which is awesome because I’m going there anyway to stock up on Rice Krispy Treats. Three for the price of one and a half!
You can save money by the barrel of monkeys at Humor-Blogs.com.
Filed under: FYI (ish)
AT the risk of appearing even more insensitive than we may already do, we’ve decided to bid adieu to yet, another entertainment legend, who passed away last week at the tender age of… 96. We are referring, of course, to Kitty Carlisle-Hart. Who? you ask, for surely you asked that question, Shirley, or our name isn’t, uh… Shirley. Okay, so maybe our name isn’t Shirley, but still, you asked. You know you asked. We know you asked. The American people know you asked. Asked what? you say in that sweet and disarming way you have when you want to know something. Not “what” we reply, but “who” — then we laugh and laugh and laugh in that annoying way we have when we think we’re being funny, even when we are not.
WE remember watching KITTY CARLISLE on a show called “What’s My Line” back in the 60’s when we were just kids. Of course, when we were kids, many of you were still a gleam in your moms’ and/or dads’ eyes, who were but kids themselves, but that’s beside the point. Our point, for once again you’ve forced us to come up with one, is that we never really knew who in the hell Kitty Carlisle was, aside from some lady with terribly black “done” hair and terribly red “done” lips, who had a ballsy laugh, and seemed smart enough. Smart enough, that is, to be on that game show, but what did we know… we were just kids. Stupid kids with nothing better to do than watch that show. Still, bet you young whipper snappers out there think “What’s My Line” was about DSL vs cable, but you’d be wrong. It was about people. People who did stuff. Interesting stuff. Stuff folks like Kitty had to figure out. Yeah… it was boring, and then some.
UH… did we say we wanted to do a tribute to Kitty Carlisle? Have we done that? Now that this post is already filled with more words than we planned to type, maybe we should do you all a favor and let you read and/or listen to THIS REPORT from NPR. Once you do, you’ll know as much about Kitty as we do, (epsecially since that’s where we got the inspiration for this post). That she was a high society dame in NYC — known for the swell parties she threw — who started her career in show business singing opera, and starred in one of the Marx Brothers most famous/popular movies. A Marx Brothers movie? you ask. (gee, you ask a lot of questions, don’t ya?) Yes, we say grinning and/or nodding our heads. Can you guess which film it was? Do you need a hint? Yeesh. Okay then, here’s a lovely scene from that hilarious film featuring a moving performance by Harpo Marx — one that involves no nighttime singing of opera, we hasten to add, yet seems appropriate for marking the loss of a great star and/or dame we never really knew.
OH it would have been easy enough to share a clip of Kitty Carlisle-Hart in action, either singing her operatic heart out in the aforementioned operatically amusing film or as a game show panelist guessing which cute girl clad in little more than an oversized bathing suit rode Willie the Whale to infamy and/or the deep end of the pool. But where’s the fun in that?
By the way, care to venture a guess as to why this qualifies as an “opposites/cheap laughs” post? Well du-u-u-h. Over the weekend our dear and delightful NBFF, and spinner of Saturday tunes, DJ LAMPSHA, introduced us to the musical magic of Modest Mouse (which we loveloveloved so much we downloaded a bunch of their songs to our iPod). Still wondering? Yeesh, and yeesh again. How hard can this be?
FINE. You can all keep scratching your heads until tomorrow, when DIESEL will give you something worthwhile to think about and/or to find laugh worthy. OR you can take your possibly dandruff-laden heads over to humor-blogs.com, and shake ’em out there.
TOP 5 Reasons Video Games are Evil (or, Why giving your child unlimited access to the computer and/or video games is a bad idea):
5. Too Expensive ~ some games cost more than a week’s worth of groceries. Others come with payment plans. And some require a signature in blood — avoid those at all costs (all costs? heh).
4. Extremely Annoying ~ kids stay inside/underfoot/in front of the TV, making it impossible for you to watch soaps/make prank calls/blog/get drunk/take naps.
3. Language Barriers ~ not necessarily graphic, just confusing. All your base are belong to us? What the hell does that mean??
2. Incomprehensible and/or Complicated ~ seriously, some of these games are just plain pull-out-your-hair/bang-your-head-on-the-table/poke-out-your-eyes hard. We know. We’ve tried to play ’em, and we suck. Not that we’re bitter, but still… shouldn’t we be good at something besides Pong?
1. Holy Shit Bloody/Scary Violence ~ the characters, the actions, and, in some cases…
Instead of buying video games, why not send your little ones to humor-blogs.com? That way they’ll leave you alone, and you can get back to all those “important” things waiting for you on TV/your computer and/or your couch.