25 August 2007

some new words

Here is a list of some new words that just came to me. Enjoy!

wigloo: a dome-shaped wig filled with ice chunks to cool one down on a hot day.

pumpire: an official who stands by gas pumps and ensures you follow all the rules of the gas station by yelling helpful things such as: "Unsafe!" when you talk on your cell-phone at the pump, or "You're out!" when you go to check how much gas you currently have in your tank.

gagriculture: when farmers sell you rotten, maggot-infested crops.

blunderwear: skivvies designed to withstand multiple "accidents".

panhandlebars: bicycle handlebars equipped with two baskets -- the one on the right comes with an overweight, three-legged pug wearing a scarf, and the one on the left has a sign reading, "Please help. I'm caught in a bad cycle."

Nursa Major: a new constellation shaped like a bear wearing a stethoscope.

presidenture: a specialized gold-plated mouthpiece worn as a symbol of authority by the president of a corporation.

dorchestra: a bunch of nerds making music.

22 August 2007

The move to Canada

I'm sorry.

I apologize for my streak of faux-news articles.

An update on the Wood family: After driving across the entire continent (effectively, from Sacramento to Toronto) in two separate cars, Kris and I are almost done unpacking in our new townhouse here in London, Ontario. Exactly 100% of our furniture was donated by the Pallin family. Not only did they donate it, they stored it and moved it for us. A million thanks to them.

Aside from getting unpacked, we’ve been busy getting ready for classes to start. I’m in the process of choosing a research project. When I settle on one, I’ll write more about it for anybody who’s interested. I’m just really happy. I’m feeling that fire of curiosity that has been a driving force for so many of the good things that have happened in my life.

Here are a few nice surprises that I’ve had over the past week:
* I discovered that I’ll be teaching a lab on research methods in psychology (a course I haven’t even taken yet – should be interesting).
* Jason Bourne gets more and more awesome as time goes by.
* I actually get my own room on campus. It’s on the 6th floor and has a window.
* Not counting books for electives, I only have to purchase one book for both years of the program. Less money = yay. Fewer books = boo.
* Most of the pants that I recently unpacked still fit me after a year of sitting in a suitcase. The pants were sitting in the suitcase, not me.

The only dark cloud in my substantial happiness is the basement. Let me paint a picture. As you walk down the stairs into the basement, you notice a cool sensation on your face. That’s the ultra-high humidity. You start to feel a hot, searing sensation in your nostrils. That’s the cat urine. Slowly, it dawns on you that each breath is ushering particles of feline waste into your cardiovascular system. Unless you leave, you’ll soon be cat-atonic. (Again, sorry.) Then, as you leave, your shoulder brushes something slippery on the wall. That’s the leak from the . . . no, wait . . . that’s just more cat urine.

To purify this nether-region, we borrowed a high-pressure hose from Kristen’s dad. In our preparations for the hose-down, Kristen called for me to come and look at a curious little compartment that she had found in the wall next to the water heater. It was covered with a metal plate. I pried the plate open and, to my chagrin, discovered the body of a dead pigeon, reposing peacefully alongside its severed head. My first thought was, “Hmm. Voodoo.” I admit, there was a ventilation shaft in this little hole (which probably exits on the roof somewhere), so the bird could’ve fallen in. But I can’t imagine that the bird fell so hard that its head fell off, or that the bird was standing on the roof near the hole when its head was somehow detached, at which time it tumbled, along with its head, into the hole. Maybe the bird fell in and there was a sharp knife wedged halfway down the shaft. I don’t know. I’m convinced there was human involvement.

I had fun with the power-washer. I even etched “I love Kris” into the paint on the floor.

Tip of the day: don't spray your bare feet with a high-pressure hose. It stings like the dickens.

Love to all.

11 August 2007

The Daily Nous, August 11, 2007


Cairo, Egypt (AP) -- Early Friday morning, Al Qaeda’s No. 2 issued a new video that includes a chilling call for jihad against those who contribute to global warming. In what has already been called “the most glaring blunder in the history of terrorism,” Ayman al-Zawahri's 36 minute presentation included roughly 14 minutes of material that was directly plagiarized from Al Gore’s recent documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” This is especially surprising in light of Al Qaeda’s recent decision to open an official Al Qaeda Film School, which is rumored to be based somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan.

This latest tape is peppered with the usual harsh rhetoric and, refreshingly, some good, hard science. In a characteristic move, al Zawahri repeatedly applies the label of infidel to anyone who contributes to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere.

Safwan al-Naseem, the noted suicide bomber who became disenchanted and left Al Qaeda after his near-death experience last week, made the following remarks about the tape: “It isn’t surprising to me, really. Osama believes he is this passionate environmentalist. He’s such a pompous fool sometimes.”

The news of Al Qaeda’s plagiarism has spread rapidly in film circles. “You’d think the standards would be raised after the film school was opened,” said Jordan Turner, who is both a professor of film at Columbia and a popular Al-Qaeda scholar. “They did use blue-screen technology, which is a slight improvement. However, they used the blue screen to make a backdrop with images of a grinning al-Zawahri methodically beheading different kinds of vegetables from their stalks and vines. Simply puzzling.”