Archive | May, 2011

I Like The Sun, And That’s A Fact

31 May


Today when I got up, the sun was shining for the first time in months.

Actually, I know that the sun always shines (and not just on tv): I was once on an Aer Lingus plane that left Zürich in the middle of winter, climbed through mountains of snow clouds, and when we broke through the top there was the sun, waving to us. 

There were nine people on that plane, including the crew, and the Hub ate three breakfasts because, rather like Everest, they were there.

I thought I’d look up some interesting sun facts for you.  I’ll start with this one, because it gives the most stupid explanation I’ve ever heard:

  • It is a medium size star, it also has medium brightness.  Some stars are many times brighter, and some are many times fainter.

Thanks for clearing that up.  Now explain this: if it is medium, how can it be large?

  • Containing more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System, the Sun is by far the largest object in the Solar System.

I suppose it’s the same way I can be beautiful yet repulsive, and for a similar reason:

  • The Sun also emits low density streams of particles, also known as the solar wind. These winds blow through the solar system at 450 km/sec and consist mostly of electrons and protons.

The blow factor is about the same but my wind consists mostly of smells and smells.  Talking of gas,

  • The centre of the Sun is made of helium.

I pity the poor bloke whose job it was to check that out.  But not to worry, we’ll all be dead soon:

  • The Sun is heating up, and will kill all life on Earth.

That’s not very nice, is it?  His mother won’t be happy.

  •  It’s becoming 10% more luminous every billion years. In fact, within just a billion years, the heat from the Sun will be so intense that liquid water won’t exist on the surface of the Earth. Life on Earth as we know it will be gone forever.

Better stock up on the Evian.

  • On its trip around the sun, the earth travels over a million and a half miles
    per day.

Did you buy enough Evian?

  • In Spit Bergen, Norway, at one time of the year the sun shines continuously for three and a half months.

And don’t forget the suntan lotion.

  • Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.

Unless you live in Stockport, when it’s every eight years.  I blame Norway.

  • There are sometimes “Mock Suns” (parhelia) which are called Sun dogs because they follow the Sun around.

The Earth’s equivalent are known as “Paparazzi”.

I listened to a programme on Radio 4 last night that told me (children and impressionable adults look away now) you can stare at the Sun for thirty minutes if you are high on cocaine, I think it was, and not suffer any lasting retinal damage because your pupils are already dilated, I think it was (I wasn’t paying attention, if I’m honest).  It is commonly known as ‘Actus Moronus’. 

Don’t try it at home; I don’t want to read about you in The Sun.

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I Love This

31 May

It combines two of my favourite things – satire and The Terminator movies.  Throw in some chocolate and I think I could expire of happiness.

Click on the link to see more Madam & Eve – the best cartoon strip ever.

Joke 68

31 May

There was a man sitting at a bar, and he looks over at the gentleman sitting next to him and says, “Hey, you look familiar.  Are you from around here?”

The man answers, “Yeah, I live down the street.”

“No kidding?” says the first man, “well, so do I. And hey, you look about my age. Where did you go to high school?”

“Oh I went to Francis Lewis over on Utopia. Graduated in ’66.  How ’bout you?”

“Get out. I went to Francis Lewis. And I graduated in ’66, too.  Where’d you go to college?”

“Beloit, in Wisconsin.”

“No way! I went to Beloit too. What dorm?”

“Kevin Sullivan dorm.”

“Sullivan? You’re not going to believe this . . .”

Joe the bartender walks over, and the first guy says, “Joe, you won’t believe it in a million years. This guy went to the same high school as me, graduated the same year I did, and went to the same college. We were even in the same dorm. Isn’t that amazing?”

Joe looks at them both and says, “Yeah, that’s just plain amazing.”

A third man comes in and says, “Hey Joe. What’s new?”

Joe says, “Not much. The Johnson twins are drunk again.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

30 May


Alexandra Park was given to the district of Edgeley by the Sykes family.  We can walk, fish (with a licence and so long as we throw them all back), go on the swings, picnic, play games.  It’s a nice park.

Every Tuesday afternoon, a bunch of old men gather on one side of the reservoir to sail boats and ignore passersby.

Why is that an interesting thing to do?  Same with remote control cars: why not drive the real thing?

I just don’t get it.

Broken Promise

30 May
Books I've Read: Ender's Game

Image by Myles! via Flickr

Who is the character from a book that has made you feel so close to him/her that you simply can’t stop thinking what’s gonna happen next?

Gonna?  Really?  In what purports to be a serious question?

I’m annoyed: I had taken up Nancy’s challenge not to make fun of the WordPress prompter for a stretch but, really, ‘gonna’?  Now I have to start all over again.

Gonna have to cut&paste an old post for some of my answer because I’m too irritated to write anything new:

Desperate for something to write about, I turned to Plinky Prompts again. It asked me ‘What book would you read over and over again?’

I would have to say, Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. It started life as a short story that became a novel and then a series of books, the Ender Saga and the Bean Saga (Bean is a minor character in the first book). I prefer the Bean Saga because they are more like Ender’s Game; the Ender Saga is dreadful, apart from the first book.

Ender’s Game is the story of a child trained to save the world; but also the story of a child who has to survive the world. When my boys came up against bullies, I gave it to them to read. I must confess, however, that putting your enemy’s nose through his skull is not a path I hope they take: it is the philosophical angle I hope they will consider.

Above all, it is the story of negotiating childhood. In space.

Here’s a review from I know not who on Amazon:

Whenever I talk about this book, it’s hard not to make it sound like I am a science fiction junkie. I love and defend sci-fi, but I am not limited to the genre. Neither, I think, is this magnificent book. To label it simply a sci-fi classic would be like labeling “Moby Dick” a great book about boats. All great books, regardless of the genre, say something truly profound about the human condition.

Ender is a good child trying to do the right thing, but circumstances forced upon him make him a killer.  He is sweet and vulnerable and ruthless.  I love him. 

It’s such a shame that the rest of his story is dull dull dull.  He deserves better than OSC gave him.

There are constant rumours that there’s going to be a movie of Ender’s Game.  Now that technology has caught up with Card’s imagination, I’m hopeful that eventually the rumours will prove to be true.  This is probably the only instance, however, where I hope that if they do film it, the sequels don’t follow the book’s sequels. 

Ender deserves better.  Ho!

Joke 67

30 May

A man goes on a 2-month business trip and leaves his cat with his brother.  Towards the end of the trip he calls his brother.

Brother 1: So how is my cat doing?

Brother 2: She’s dead.

Brother 1: She’s dead!  What do you mean, She’s dead?  I loved that cat.  Couldn’t you think of a nicer way to tell me? I’m leaving in a few days. You could have broken the news easier. You could have told me today that she got out of the house or something. Then when I called before I left you could have told me, Well, we found her but she’s up on the roof and we’re having trouble getting her down. Then when I called from the airport you could have told me, We tried to scare her off the roof and she died when she hit the ground.

Brother 2: I’m sorry…you’re right…that was insensitive; I won’t let it happen again.

Brother 1: Alright, alright, forget about it. Anyway, how is Mum doing?

Brother 2: She’s up on the roof and we’re having trouble getting her down.

Cat cartoon by Steve Langille.

From Top To Toe

29 May

Would you ever consider running for Prime Minister?

I have several answers (and they all mean ‘no’):

  • I thought he had aides to do that for him
  • What, with these feet?  (Thank you, Ronnie Barker)
  • Tory Boy would be a bit miffed because that’s his future job
  • Would I have to give up blogging?

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Joke 66

29 May

I seem to be reserving Sundays for the groaniest jokes.  I think I’m hoping people will sleep in and miss them.      


Some men were discussing coincidences.

The first man said, “My wife was reading a A Tale Of Two Cities and she gave birth to twins.”

“That’s funny,” the second man remarked, “my wife was reading The Three Musketeers and she gave birth to triplets.”

A third man said, “My wife gave birth to quintuplets after reading Five Children And It.” 

Suddenly, another man jumped up, shouting, “I have to get home now!”

When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, “When I left the house, my wife was reading Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves!”

My First Six Word Saturday

28 May
Mr. Sunshine (2010 TV series)

Image via Wikipedia


The sun – I’ve heard of it.


Here in Stockport we hardly ever see the sun.  Clouds nestle on the Pennines and seep into the sky all around like a bad smell in a lift. 

We’re almost at the end of May and there’s no sign of sunshine.  I never thought I’d miss a drought, but I do: at least droughts are cheerful.

Read more Six Word Saturdays at Show My Face.

Let Them Eat Cake

28 May
Star Trek Barnstar

Image via Wikipedia


What makes you feel like you’re still a kid?

When the Hub tells me to stop picking my spots.


What invention, as in something not yet invented (jetpack, teleportation ring, time machine) do you most need right now?

A replicator.  Those babies can rustle up a meal or a cup of Earl Grey, hot, faster than you can say Star Trek.

I don’t need it right now (it only takes a minute to warm milk for my cereal in the microwave) so much as I want one I want one I want one.


Arts Jobs – Cake Popper

When you read that, did you think, like me, pretty girl in a bikini?  Then you’d have been as confused as I was to learn that the first requirement for popping out of a fake cake is ‘a basic food hygiene certificate.’  Health & Safety are strict in this country.

Sadly, I thought, it’s just a dull kitchen job.  Then I did a little research: the advert was placed by two London women who make the most amazing cake lollipops at the Pop Bakery:

I found their blog – they make cakes on stalks; I may be their first cake stalker.  Go on over and take a look; I defy you to be unimpressed.



Joke 65

28 May

A woman decided to have her portrait painted. She told the artist, “Paint me with diamond rings, a diamond necklace, emerald bracelets, a ruby brooch, and a gold Rolex.”

“But you are not wearing any of those things,” the artist replied.

“I know,” she said. “It’s in case I should die before my husband. I’m sure he will remarry right away, and I want his new wife to go crazy looking for the jewellery.”

You Wait Months For A Guest Post And Then Two Come Along At Once

27 May

This post is not about pushing a personal agenda, but helping out an author.  All readers of a non-Christian disposition should look away now. 

Surrendered Balance

About Surrendered Balance

Do you live a fast paced and hectic life? Is your relationship with God suffering because of it? Imagine living a life of balance, in the flow of God’s will even while you’re always on the go. It is possible to flourish and have fulfillment in both your spiritual life and natural life without feeling as if you are neglecting either one. It comes by way of surrendered balance.

 Hermina Krista Pettiford, in her first book connects with modern the Christian woman, giving fresh ideas and insight for balancing the responsibilities of modern-life while maintain an intimate relationship with God.  In her personable style she gives practical solutions and applicable tools for women to make a life of surrendered balance no longer just a dream but a reality!

A modern Christian woman is someone who balances all of her responsibilities – family, career, friendship, ministry to others, and caring for herself all while keeping the Lord at the center of her life. If you are a modern Christian woman this book was written for you.

Proverbs 31:16 (AMP) says, “She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.”

As modern Christian women we balance so much: time with the Lord, family, friends, work, staying fit and healthy, making time for ourselves without feeling too guilty, church and ministry.

God has a plan for each one of us that will bring about a proper balance between our spiritual and natural life. It is through the path of surrender and making time for Him that we find this plan. As we allow God to order our lives, not taking on more than we can handle or are called by Him to do, but rather, like wise women considering all of our choices in the presence of God before we proceed, our lives are bound to come into a state of surrendered balance and make room for all the needed things.

However, because of modern-day busyness, living a surrendered life and creating a constant balance is not always easy, even for those who have lived the Christian life for many years. The disciplines and principles in this book may not be new to you, but I believe the strategies and ideas will give you a fresh way of looking at how to balance your daily living as a modern Christian woman.

 This book has two parts. The first part lists and discusses seven disciplines of a balanced life for the modern Christian woman. The second part is designed to help you implement these disciplines into your life without boxing you into just another system that will never work because it doesn’t fit your life. This book was written to help you keep track of your time, so that you will have time for all the needed things without getting overwhelmed.

The strategies and ideas I will share are those that God gave me when I was in a stressful time of life with more work and responsibilities than time and energy in a day. They still work for me and they will work for you if you apply them.

Surrendered Balance Virtual Book Tour


About Hermina Krista Pettiford

Hermina Krista Pettiford is the women’s ministry leader in her local church – New Covenant Tabernacle located San Diego, CA where she lives with her family. She has a B. A. in Biblical Studies from Southern California Seminary. Her belief is that the Spirit of God and the Word of God work together to create dynamic power for living the Christian life, thus, she ministers with a solid Biblical message and with the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Her desire is to see women and families strengthened through God’s Word and their relationship with God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She has written out of her own life experiences, and her gift and love of writing to and for the Lord.

You can find Krista Pettiford at her website;

Purchase the book at Amazon;


Visit Krista’s tour page at Pump Up Your Book!



101/1001 (10)

27 May

First of all, thank you everyone for your suggestions for new tasks.  I am sifting through the sensible ones and I’ll blog separately about my choices. 

I knew I could count on you all; thank you.

I will mention one task I have added:

Expose myself to four new experiences.

It was to have been three, but I made it four so I could include the one that inspired it: I saved a spider from certain squashing.

(The phone is for Kate Shrewsday)


Posting a letter the other day, I noticed a large arachnid hanging from the box where the collection times are shown.  I knew that the next person to come along would probably flatten it, so I gathered it and its web in my reluctant fingers and dropped it to the floor, where it could take its chance amongst the feet.

Saving spiders is not new to me: the Hub has persuaded me over the years that they are good for the house – an environmentally friendly way to see off flies and mozzies – and, as they are not harmful to humans, there’s no point killing them: they can’t help being ugly and it’s a bit unfair to kill something because you don’t like the look of it.  My post on Donald Trump yesterday refers. 

This saving was different, however, because it is the first time I have taken do-goodery outside or saved a wild spider (as opposed to a domestic one).   It was a shame, then, that the stupid thing ran straight back up the box and started re-building its web in the same spot. 

The whole incident inspired my new task because something else has been going on over the last few weeks, and the two things have worked together in my mind.  I was approached via email to do a poetry reading at a home for dementia sufferers in Salford.  Having suddenly become aware that I might be living there one day, it seems like a good idea. 

I have read individual poems to small groups but I have never given a recitation to a bunch of strangers.  I’m kakking my broeke, as we say in South Africa (which is where I’ll know I’ll wish I was on 23 June in the afternoon this year).  Yes, I said ‘yes’.  I’m terrified, but console myself with the thought that they won’t care and I’ll never see them again after my half hour is up, so the worst that can happen is people will wonder at my flaming face and stained trousers on the bus ride home.

I like new opportunities but I can’t help wishing this wasn’t one of them.  I will treat it like flying: I hate it but I don’t let my fear stop me going somewhere.  If I don’t crash, I consider the journey a success.

I completed one task

Another brave act, I think: I ate cauliflower again. 

‘Dull’ is the best word to describe it.  Like solid water without the teethache of ice.  I shan’t be doing it again in a hurry, but I won’t actively avoid it any more.


I am a third of the way through my read thirty books new to me task.  Two this week: another Noel Streatfeild, When The Siren Wailed; and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird.  I loved them both and I may add Watch Gregory Peck in TKAMB for the first time in twenty years to my list.


I am half way to my goal of having 100000 hits.  Incredible to think readers actually come back for more.  What’s wrong with you people?

New 101/1001ers

We have two new members who have taken up the challenge.  Welcome, Emsyjo and Mamamash!  I hope you enjoy your tasks as much as I sort of enjoy mine.

We now have five members, including Sarsm and Perfecting Motherhood.  Wouldn’t it be fun if we could get 101 – or even a 1001 – before the end?



Joke 64

27 May

A husband and wife were sitting in the living room discussing a “Living Will”.

“Just so you know,” he said, “I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine, taking fluids from a bottle.  If that ever happens, just pull the plug.”

His wife got up, disconnected the TV, and threw out all the beer.

Funny computer Andrew television  cartoon from September 13, 1995

This cartoon first appeared in 1995.  What I love about it is that it could have another panel: 2011 The World As Flat Again:

Don’t Stress – It’s A Guest Post

26 May

Have Stress Relief Now is about helping YOU!  Ever have too much to do, and not enough time? Interested in shedding a few pounds? Wonder what’s the most effective way to organize both your personal and professional life? Interested in finding that someone special or improving your current relationship? If you’ve ever pondered on questions like these, then Have Stress Relief Now is for you. The site provides you with resources to manage your personal and professional life.

Have Stress Relief Now is a free online membership site created in 2009 by author and freelance writer, Tinisha Johnson, who resides in Colorado with her family.  It started as a blog, and has turned into a full launched website as of 2011.

After a failed marriage and two small kids, Tinisha thought it best to take a new route in her life; one that involved various ways to manage stress on different levels. Stumbling upon the following three books:  Unstoppable Women by Cynthia Kersey, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and Do You! by Russell Simmons, these books literally changed her life, and from that change, Have Stress Relief Now website was created.

Tinisha wanted to make the information she provides through the site diverse, because let’s face it, everyone’s problems and stress are sometimes different and unique. By signing up to become an online member, the site will introduce you to all types of articles, services, products, and prizes that are of high quality and have proven results in the area of stress management.

To learn more about Have Stress Relief Now, visit the website:

Visit Tinisha at her tour page at Pump Up Your Book!


During the month of May, “Have Stress Relief Now,” will be giving away a $40 and $10 Amazon Gift Card, along with a free Ebook entitled “How to Manage Stress Before it Manages You.” Both give-a-ways will be accessible through the winners email.

There will be a total of 2 winners. 1st winner will win a $40 Amazon Gift Card and a free Ebook. 2nd prize winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of the Ebook.


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