Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Anecdote for the Day

This is a repost from 2010. It came to mind in that last night's trivia quiz included a question about bedbugs.

On 4 March 1889, Mr Phineas P Jenkins, a salesman of pig-iron products, travelled on the sleeper of the Pullman Palace Car Company.

The sleeping car, or “palace car”, had been developed by George M Pullman (above) who modelled them on the boats that travelled the Erie Canal. After Lincoln’s body had been transported by a Pullman sleeper, orders poured in. In 1867 he established the Chicago-based Pullman Palace Car Company. His railway cars incorporated such luxuries as freshly prepared gourmet meals in Pullman-operated dining cars, chandeliers, electric lighting, table lamps with silk shades, leather seating, and advanced heating and air conditioning systems. And, of course, the famed Pullman porters. Pullman sleepers operated until 1968.

Back in 1889, however, Mr Jenkins was moved to send a letter of complaint to the Pullman Palace Car Company at having had to share his bed with bedbugs. 

In return, he received a heartfelt apology from George M Pullman himself, the company president. The company had never heard of such a thing, Pullman wrote, and as a result of the passenger's experience, all of the sleeping cars were being pulled off the line and fumigated. The Pullman's Palace Car Company was committed to providing its customers with the highest level of service, Pullman went on, and it would spare no expense in meeting that goal. Thank you for writing, he said, and if you ever have a similar problem — or any problem — do not hesitate to write again.

Enclosed with this letter, by accident, was the passenger's original letter to Pullman, across the bottom of which the president had written, "Sarah - Send this S.O.B. the bedbug letter."

Some Funnies

Some humour sent by Leo M (and some insights):

Thought for the Day

More Limericks

Some more limericks as a result of some discussions after the last limerick post.

If you haven’t seen your favourites, it may be that they were posted in the past. Go to and use the search function to search Limericks.

One of the following is mine, see if you can work out which . . .

A very sad poet was Jenny.
Her limericks weren't worth a penny.
In technique they were sound,
Yet somehow she found
Whenever she tried to write any
She always wrote one line too many.

This is similar to:

A frustrated fellow named Stan,
Whose limericks weren't according to plan.
If you ask him "What's wrong?"
He'll say "They're too long,
Because I always try to cram as many words into the last line as I possibly can."

There once was a man from Darfur
Whose limericks all stopped at line four.
When asked why this was,
He just said "Because."

There once was a man from the sticks,
Who loved to write limericks,
But he gave up the sport
Because he wrote them too short.

A limerick of classic proportion
Has rhyme, meter, and a portion
Of humor quite lewd
And a frightfully crude
Impossible sexual contortion.

There was an old man from Darjeeling
On a train ride from London to Ealing.
The sign on the door
Said “Don't spit on the floor”,
So he carefully spat on the ceiling.

Your editor has frequent late nights
As he thinks, researches and writes,
Remembering as I sit
That tempus fugit,
To bring you each daily Bytes.

Courtesy of my father in law, Noel:

On the chest of a barmaid at Yale
Were tattooed the prices of ale,
And on her behind
For the sake of the blind
The same information in braille.

There was a young lady from Hyde
Who ate a green apple and died.
The apple fermented
Inside the lamented,
And made cider inside her inside.

There once was a soldier named Fisk
Who said, when the fighting got brisk,
"I'm sorry to say
That I cannot stay. 
I've got only one *"

(Think about it).

There once was a [person or place].
Whose [body part] was [special case].
When [event] would occur,
It would cause [him or her]
To violate [law of time/space].

These two are repeats:

From the crypt of Justin St Giles
Came a scream that resounded for miles.
Said the vicar "Goodness gracious!
Has Father Ignatius
Forgotten the Bishop has piles?"

A preoccupied vegan named Hugh
picked up the wrong sandwich to chew.
He took a big bite
before spitting, in fright,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thought for the Day

Readers Write


A mixed bag of comments over the last week.  Thanks for the input, people.

From Maria B:
Hello Otto

I loved Tarzan as a child but my father adored him!! Even with the language barrier (Dad didn’t speak much English in 1960’s) but he knew exactly what Tarzan was going to do.

I have to admit I like your quote of the day “You are what you believe yourself to be” Paulo Coelho – now to put my hat on and start believing……

Love Maria

Whilst on the topic of Tarzan, from Graham E:
Hi Mr O,

Further to your Tarzan yell piece, the most famous performer with the yell after Weissmuller was Carol Burnett:


Thanks Graham, but her yell is not a patch on Johnny Weismuller’s:

Maria also sent me an email on the poem Buttprints in the Sand:
Hello Otto

I loved the poems but the one that really struck me was the butt one!

How true it is, fight or give up….

Love Maria
Tim B feels differently:
Hi Otto,

I like the first post better. As a believer I don’t rely on God to always carry me. I believe He gives me choices and to make it on my own, with Him beside me. If there are times when I need to get over a hurdle, He is always there. Just me.


PS. Don’t know why your veins and arteries crystallize reading this poem, mine didn’t reading the second post. Maybe you need to find God, it may give you a little peace.

Brett B took me to ask for the caption on one of the photos:
Interesting post, as always, but a mistake: the penultimate picture (labeled Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lucy, Woodstock) is really Woodstock on the back of the bench, sitting on the bench reading is Marcie, and Peppermint Patty is in the background, kicking the football.



From Charles X in respect of the following Audrey Hepburn pic:

Dear Otto

The photograph of Audrey Hepburn proves what goes around comes around.

The kitchen bin behind her is lined with newspaper. In the 1960s, before glad bags were invented/marketed, households had metal or plastic kitchen bins which were lined with newspaper. Most garbage bins were made of metal, although some later versions were made of plastic. I recall that it was my job as a young teenager to line the metal garbage bin with newspaper following the council garbage collection which occurred twice per week.

Scraps were wrapped up in newspaper before they were placed in either the kitchen bin or the household garbage bin. Plastic was rarely used. I suspect that plastic was more expensive than paper in those days.

It may be the reason that newspapers were published twice per day! Maybe plastic is the real cause of the demise of the journalists!

Charles is probably the only male reader who looks at an upskirts of Audrey Hepburn and notices the garbage bin in the background.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quote for the Day

Trash Art

I have previously posted pics and stories of art works made out of garbage and discarded items. Here are some more examples:

Bordallo II:

Bordaio II, 37, is a Portuguese artist using trash to highlighty waste issues. Having started as an illegal graffiti artist, he is now involved in what he calls “Big Trash Animals”.   This is a series of artworks that aims to draw attention to waste production, materials that are not reused, pollution and its effect on the planet.  The idea is to depict nature itself, in this case animals, out of materials that are responsible for its destruction. These works are built with end-of-life materials: the majority found in wastelands, abandoned factories or randomly and some are obtained from companies that are going through a recycling process.  Damaged bumpers, burnt garbage cans, tyres and appliances are just some of the objects used to bring home the message.



Mandy Barker makes photographic murals out of what she calls SOUP, the name given to plastic debris suspended in the ocean. The plastic objects she photographs are salvaged from beaches around the world. 

Soup: 500+ is made from more than 500 bits of plastic debris found in the digestive tract of a (dead) albatross chick in the North Pacific Gyre (aka the Great Garbage Patch).

Penalty, from the Penalty collection, is made up of 597 washed-up soccer balls. Finding so many flotsam toy soccer balls took the artist and 47 members of the public a whole four months. These ones were collected from 87 different beaches on four countries and seven islands around the United Kingdom.

Chris Jordan (born 1963) is an American artist and photographer based in Seattle, Washington. Many of Jordan's works are created from photographs of garbage and mass consumption.

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continent, global detritus ends up in the stomachs of thousands of baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast Pacific Ocean. Nothing was added or moved in these documentary photographs vy Chris Jordan, the pieces of plastic simply became visible as the birds decayed.

“For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits.” 
- Chris Jordan

Artist Sayaka Ganz uses a variety of discarded items salvaged from garbage to create vibrant sculptures of animals, fish and birds.

Note the use of washing machine doors as eyes and computer mouse teeth

Robert Bradford uses discarded toys to make engaging sculptures: