Late March, 2023, Grab Bag o’ Humour

People may question why McDonald’s brought out their new chicken Big Mac. I’m just wondering why it took them so long. Some might say the taste is a little bland after their palates have been accustomed to the normal Big Mac. But McDonald’s will quietly wait while those old taste palates become accustomed to the new offering.

When McDonald’s began, chicken meat was more expensive than ground beef. Changes in the shape of chickens (due to selective breeding) has changed this factor. Now chicken is the cheaper meat and McDonald’s is now waiting (and hoping) that they can change our taste buds to liking chicken better.

Wait for it. The Quarter Pound Chicken with Cheese is next up. But I expect McDonald’s to hedge their bets and keep offering hamburgers, too. If the consumer is going to try to be cheap about their purchases, McDonald’s has that covered. If the consumer prefers the taste of hamburgers, McDonald’s will have that covered as well.


There’s a little bit of surprise in the air that Succession is having it’s last season be the 4th season. It used to be that shows would pull out all the stops to make it to the 5th season. Why the 5th season? Well this is the magical year when most syndication deals are possible.

However, with the advent of streaming, and marathon small screen watching, making it to the 5th season isn’t quite as important. In other words, network television is losing some of its pull.

And the show creators all remember what happened to Babylon 5. It was planned to be a 5 season show from the outset. But I guess, 3rd season numbers weren’t what the network wanted to see. So they gave the warning: finish it off in the 4th season because that is as long as the show would get.

So the most important story ideas were finished off early. Everyone wanted to see how all the arcs would tie together in the end. Viewership went up. So much so, that at the end of the 4th season the network relented and said there would be a 5th season.

Now all the arcs didn’t get tied up in the 4th season, just most of the more important ones. Still the 5th season became known as an almost pointless season.


Some people are so adverse to losing that they will take me up on my next idea. If you’re going to play “she loves me, she loves me not” with a flower’s petals, why not use a trillium? This 3 petaled flower basically guarantees a win.

Assuming that “she loves me” is a win, that is. If you are playing the game with a she or he or a they that is so repugnant you can’t believe it, the answer is to play with a poppy. This four petaled flower guarantees that she/he/they will love you not.

And for those who don’t like winning for whatever messed up reason, use a poppy when it’s good to be loved and a trillium when it’s bad to be loved.

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Fabricated: My Book, Out Now

“Fabricated” is my first book that I have put out. It’s a collection of science fiction stories that dare pose the question: is there a grand unified theory of fantasy machines? While it doesn’t quite answer this, it provides strong links between totally separate fantasy machines,

While I don’t want to give away too much, one of these stories’ strong links has been around in various science fiction forms for decades. It links the replicator to the transporter.

If a replicator is thought of as a perfect scan and a 3D printer, it can mimic a transporter. All you need to do is send the information from the perfect scan to a far away 3D printer. Once the 3D printer has finished printing you, it’s exactly like you were transported to the far away printer. The only thing that gives away what really happened, is that you still exist in the scanning bay.

If it is important to create the illusion that this is just another transporter, your machinery can kill the unfortunate you inside the scanning bay. You may be dead, but from the outside world it looks like you are very much alive and have transported successfully.

That’s just one of the strong links in Fabricated. If you want to be there for the hard launch of Fabricated, and you live in or near Stratford, Ontario  or if you just want to check out some fine books, I will be at the Stratford Book Fair and Market on April 23, from 1pm to 6pm.

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The new Tangerine ad has people having to go through hoops on the way to work, at work and anywhere they have to move while at work. Unfortunately, I can’t find this ad on YouTube, yet, so I hope my descriptions are enough.

I think this ad is supposed to show a dystopia, but I can’t help wishing that it was real. I’ve always preferred to get my exercise by accident. Which was fine long ago when I worked at a lumber yard and a pavestone yard. But after those jobs, I didn’t really keep up on getting exercise that way.

Now seeing these hoops around a normal office job, I bet I could keep in shape there. Lifting my legs high enough and stooping over my upper body to get through the hoops I bet is wonderful exercise. And it’s all done in the normal course of the day.

I bet it keeps you awake to go through hoops like that. Could this be the tipping point we need to banish caffeine from our everyday life? We could stay awake with exercise instead of drugs. And in the great coffee pendulum, the last study I saw a couple weeks ago said coffee was bad for you. I’m aware that the pendulum may swing back. But still caffeine is a drug and maybe we can use one less drug in our lives.

And with all this wonderful exercise we could get at work, maybe we could save some money on gym memberships. We would no longer need to go to the gym because we would be getting all our exercise at work.

And don’t forget the time we are saving by not going to the gym. Remember, time is money, and in fact now we would be getting paid to exercise at work. So put up your hoops all you evil employers, and you just might end up with a healthier and happier workforce.

So Tangerine, you’ll have to excuse me for seeing your work dystopia ad as a work utopia ad. But I would also like to say that this utopia is not for everyone. The hoops would be road blocks for those with disabilities. And elderly employees might not be able to work through these hoops also. So may I suggest a second floor for these people without the hoops. Because I believe in an inclusive utopia.

It figures that a company, when thinking about a dystopia, comes up with something that could be seen as a utopia. Which might also mean that when they’re chasing utopias for the company, those become dystopias for the employees. I guess that’s capitalism at work,

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Grab Bag o’ Humour, March 2023

While I was in early elementary school, they did the Canadian switch from imperial measurements to the metric system. So I was one of the first grades to come up to the spots where they used to talk of units and conversion. These spots were huge. It would take just a few minutes to understand the metric units and conversions, but we were booked for a full hour, or whatever had been necessary with the imperial system.

No wonder I learned to daydream in school. With all these useless gaps it was easy to get through doing this. I wonder if school is still like this. Or did they manage to squeeze those unit of measurement time periods into smaller bits so they could teach other things? I think that probably they did. Otherwise some kids would use that conversion time we never needed to make spit balls or make and use paper airplanes.


I just noticed that in a block of 6 commercials in a row, the first 4 had only black people as the stars. The fifth one had white people and the 6th one had no people at all.

Now this doesn’t always happen but that it is happening at all is a sign of progress. The ads originated out of Toronto, on Global, during the Drew Barrymore show.

More than half of Toronto’s population is visible minority, so it’s about time this happened. That I noticed this first on Global which is not considered to be a progressive network, is interesting. That it happened during the Drew Barrymore talk show is also interesting. Drew is of course white and on at the same time as Jennifer Hudson’s talk show on another network, where J. Hud is a black woman. Better representation has already gotten here and I just noticed.


And speaking of Drew Barrymore, you might wish to know what kind of content she hosts. Well I’m sorry, but I haven’t yet noticed the representation on her show, and whether she is being progressive or not in that area. But I did notice one quote that just rose up and slapped me in the face.

Drew said while promoting some product that, “I have no capacity to B. S.”

Yes this is a direct quote and Drew is an actress.

If she has no capacity to B.S. she is a horrible actress. Beings she has been hired as an actress, multiple times and in some good films, you would think she’s an okay actress. So the sentence she said must have been a lie. So her current job of helping to promote things on her show, means that sometimes she lies about the virtues of what is being sold. Oh, Drew!

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I Don’t Want to Say What This Post is About

I don’t want to say what this post is about or I’ll fall into the same trap as these other fine headline makers did. Just look at these train wreck headlines I found under Science in Google News:

From Giant Freakin’ Robot: NASA scientist wants to explore inside Uranus.

From Popular Science: Uranus’s quirks and hidden features have astronomers jazzed about a direct mission.

From IFL Science: Why planetary scientists think it’s time for NASA to probe Uranus.

It makes me wonder if it’s even possible to have a non suggestive exploring Uranus sentence (uh oh, I fell into the trap).

The following headline makes a good attempt:

From Hot Hardware: Planetary scientist issues desperate plea for NASA to probe the icy depths of Uranus.

This was a good try. I think that icy is not something you usually associate with your anus. I say nice try because the kid inside me still burst out laughing when he heard this sentence.

Why probe Uranus at all? (I did it again!)

Well as suggested in this long ago post of mine, Uranus may have liquid diamond seas with diamond icebergs floating in it. (and again!)Of course they are going to explore it. Such raw wealth available for the taking. It’s better NASA gets it than those billionaire rocketeers.

But this true mission will go up unexpected by anyone because we all expected the whole thing was just one big joke.

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Roger Hodgson in Kiss?

Roger Hodgson is to many, the voice they think of when they think of the band Supertramp. And why not? He penned and sung most of their hits. But there was a schism with the band in the early 1980s and he left and then released the hit song Had a Dream.

For those who don’t know Kiss, they were a hard rock band that was best known for their painted faces. Indeed their gimmick in the 1970’s was that they always performed with their makeup and fans didn’t know what they really looked like.

I finally looked up the video for Hodgson’s Had a Dream and was taken by the fact that Hodgson has no less than two black and white painted faces. Was he trying to woo Kiss into taking him on as a band member? He was a known hit maker, with the two faces for his application.

Kiss has been silent on this matter all these years. So has Hodgson. But maybe, just maybe this happened,

The faces appear in the video at the 2nd and 3rd verses of Had a Dream. At roughly the 3:00 and 4:00 minute marks of the video.

The first one can be described as a going-to-war face. The black paint looks very angry. The white accentuates this a bit. Kiss purists might think that this paint is not covering enough of the face and is lazy. But aren’t the rest of Kiss lazy for not doing their necks or ears?

The second face can be described as lightning man. This particular look, to my mind, is more likely to win over Kiss fans, It’s black and white with the whole face done.

There are likely many reasons why the lineup of Kiss never included Roger Hodgson. Firstly he is a very high singer compared to that band’s more gruff singing. Secondly, Hodgson is an excellent piano player, which I doubt is a sound that Kiss wanted to add to the band. Thirdly, although Hodgson is also a good rhythm guitarist, I don’t think Paul Stanley ever left the lineup of Kiss. Thus, there was no opening for Roger Hodgson.

As for Roger Hodgson, he would likely have had to curtail his piano and keyboard playing. Although he was a known hit maker, his high, lilting voice might be forced out of the very songs he wrote. And Kiss isn’t just the faces, he would likely have to learn theatrics and how to walk in heels.

Anyhow, this marriage of two well known sounds never happened, Maybe the world is the poorer for it. But are we really?

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Grab Bag o’ Humour, February 2023

Have you heard about the supermoons, as advertised in the press? Supermoons are full moons when the moon is closer to the earth than normal.

They are perfect for lovers or those doing things outside at night. But they are not relished by astronomers. Instead they are a load that astronomers have to carry on certain nights.

Astronomers hate light pollution. And full moons, especially supermoons, are light pollution when looking at other, much dimmer objects in the night sky. Those much dimmer objects are harder to see in the glow of the supermoon.

And wouldn’t supermoons lead to the scourge of super werewolves?


This particular winter in Ontario has been ridiculously warm. It’s now mid February and we’ve only had two weeks of below zero highs. This is like a New York City winter. Or a Vancouver winter. It’s fine by me to be so warm, however the winter sport enthusiasts are hurting.

There’s not much snow for the ski hills. Outdoor rinks have a hard time operating. And snowmobiling is pretty much non existent this year.

I can’t help the skaters and skiers. But perhaps someone can invent slush/mud mobiles for just the type of weather we’ve been having. Maybe such a machine could have little skis for slush and mud at the front and knobby wheels for mud at the back.

I think skis would also operate on mud. I just wonder if farmers would hate trails in their fields that such a machine might make. It might make plowing in the spring more difficult. But maybe the trails could stick to the peripheries of any such fields.


Has China seeded any doubt into your mind that the balloons over North America and even South America are just civilian operated and no harm whatsoever to anyone?

And don’t we look ridiculous, shooting them down like we did to two of them? Is this overkill like in the song 99 Red Balloons? Maybe.

Or maybe China is actually spying. You know, the way Sun Tzu highly recommends in his book the Art of War. Perhaps China has even heard about this book. It was written by a Chinese general over a thousand years ago. In it, the general harps about always having the best information about the enemy. Then finally in its last chapter, he goes on about spying and that spies should be rewarded well. What they do is important.

These couldn’t possibly be spy balloons. But we should shoot them down to see what makes them tick and then send our own over China. Wouldn’t the Chinese like to see the improvements we made with them?

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Flying Squirrel in the Mother Earth Force

Flying Squirrel stood watch on top of the CN Tower where he had been for the last couple days. The Big Smoke had been experiencing many carjackings lately. If one happened in the Big Smoke’s downtown, Flying Squirrel would be there to follow and hopefully apprehend.

“911 call from University and Queen,” said Mother Earth in Flying Squirrel’s earpiece. “Someone is carjacking a black Dodge pickup truck.”

“Close enough,” said Flying Squirrel and leapt off the tower, his wingsuit saving him from certain death. It allowed him to glide quickly toward the carjacking.

“Headed north,” said Mother Earth. “Why would they pick a pickup truck in the middle of downtown? Certainly they would have better odds of getting a pickup from the suburbs or the country.”

Flying Squirrel had spotted the pickup now. So he could pursue. “Because they need something big to smash into a store and do a quick grab and run!”

Flying Squirrel could see the pickup turn left up ahead. He got ready to alter course.

“That’s left onto Harbord.” said Mother Earth.

Flying Squirrel just made the turn in time to see the truck smash through a glass front of a jewelry store. Flying Squirrel pulled his parachute. There was a jerk and then he could control the parachute and aimed for the back of the pickup still sticking out of the building.

He could hear the smashing of display cases as he landed perfectly in the truck’s back. He just managed to get the parachute off when he glimpsed a blur to his right. As he rolled over the cab into the store he saw that the blur was Tail who imprisoned the thief in his tail.

Flying Squirrel was about to charge the 2nd thief who turned to see him but didn’t turn toward Modern Ninja who drop kicked the thief. The thief went down.

Tail handcuffed the first thief. He tossed another pair of handcuffs to Modern Ninja.

“Well at least I managed to follow him for us.” said Flying Squirrel to Tail.

“Yeah,” said Tail, “You were at least as useful as-”

Modern Ninja had disappeared from Flying Squirrel’s view as Tail went silent. “Where’d she go? What were you going to say?”

“I’m sorry,” said Modern Ninja. “I must have accidentally turned my invisibility on while looking at you.”

“I was saying you were at least as useful as a drone. At least, buddy. A drone doesn’t come down to fight in a non lethal fashion like we do. You were ready to fight,” finished Tail.

“And if they had just parked and gotten out, you could have landed on one of them and thus taken him out,” continued Modern Ninja.

But Flying Squirrel sounded wounded. “I don’t think this waiting on the CN tower is working out.”

“Dammit!”said Mother Earth into each of their ears. “This is the one thing we all agreed to do while Near Absolute Hero was injured. The cops are coming.”

They piled into their SUV and were off the scene before the police got there.

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The Nuclear Bunker That Became a Death Trap

On the Grand River in Kitchener, Ontario, they built a nuclear bunker that was supposed to keep 40 Regional staff alive for a few months in the event of a nearby nuclear strike. It was built in 1966 and mothballed in 1992.

Back then, the makers didn’t have a perfect grasp on keeping people alive. Two of the materials it was made with, lead and asbestos, were known in the 1970s as being harmful to life. Lead could cause brain damage and asbestos caused mesothelioma.

The bunker was still used for other purposes until 2018 when they found that deadly mould was growing in it. Finally it was abandoned completely. Still the Region thought it could be used for something so they decided to renovate it.

When I think of nuclear bunkers, I think of people having to suit up to go into the dangerous outside, which could kill them. With this bunker, while restoring it, workers had to suit up before going inside it, because doing so might kill them. Just think of that cold war irony. It’s right up there with mutually assured destruction causing very little destruction.

Most communities have destroyed their old cold war bunkers. This one in Waterloo Region is the last publicly owned one in Canada and so the call is out about what to make this into.

So far it has been suggested that it be made into a museum, a community gathering space, a film location or a place where people could put their cheese to mature. For the first three suggestions, I think the bunker is too ugly for those purposes. That last suggestion would make us unique around the world. So far my vote is for cheese.

Around the world, people have made bunkers into a night club, a restaurant, and an underground farm.

Might I suggest this bunker would make a great reality show. Since it is only there to survive the first few months of a near nuclear strike, we could set it up with a pretend strike. Contestants would have to suit up before going outside, live on canned food and in general pretend it’s a matter of humanity’s survival. They would be judged by their peers for being the best bet for survival.

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Grab Bag o’ Humour, January 2023

I remember going to York University in Toronto for the first time and being in residence. The talk came around to skipping class. I said something like “Yeah, I’ve already bagged off a class.”

Everyone around just looked at me. Like they didn’t understand what I just said. Like what I just said sounded sexual and had nothing to do with what they were talking about.

None of these people understood my Waterloo Region slang in which bagging off is simply the act of skipping class. My fellow students in residence didn’t understand and they were a fair sampling of the rest of Ontario. York prioritized residence for those who were from further away, so most were from outside of Toronto but still from Ontario. Not one had heard my slang before.


Every place that has managers, if they have a slightly lesser position, have assistant managers. Meanwhile every business that has a president, if they have a slightly lesser position, have vice presidents.

Assistant president sounds like it’s very under the thumb of the president. So if they do something wrong, it still sounds like it’s the president’s fault. The astute president needs to be able to totally blame the vice president for bad things. That’s why they choose the title of vice.

Meanwhile vice manager sounds like for the whole day, the person is managing vice. Sounds like a good job for Satan or even lesser demons. When I hear vice manager I think of someone in charge of gambling, prostitution or the drug trade in the business they are at.


Ontario is being bombarded by online gambling ads since the province let in out-of-province, private enterprise casinos. Take this ad for MGM Casino. It features Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Foxx. First Foxx gets an ace. Then most of the ad is both actors saying “Give me a king, Steve”.

Why a king? It sounds as if the ad copy people wanted to say some specific card. But in blackjack, it doesn’t matter if you get a king, a queen, a jack or a ten. They are all worth ten points.

Foxx could have said “Give me a ten, Steve,” and it would have made more sense. Even saying “Give me a face card,” would make more sense even though that doesn’t include the number ten cards.

The only reason I can see it making sense to say “Give me a king, Steve,” is if Jamie Foxx had been counting cards. He might know that a king appearing was more likely.

Now I bet (pun intended) MGM Casino doesn’t want us counting cards. With this ad, they are encouraging us to be blatant about it. Thus when someone says “Give me a queen, Ralph,” they know to kick that person out for counting cards.

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