Friday, August 07, 2015

Contemporary Russian countour flying. In 1971, I was riding north on a winding road through the forests in the hills near Xuân Lộc, South Viet Nam, when suddenly a US Army LOH (pronounced Loach: Light Observation Helicopter) surprised us by appearing close overhead. He had flown up from behind us, about four meters off the road, and we had no idea he was coming. The pilot kept his LOH perfectly above the center of the road, the same height above the road up and down as it went through the hills, with forest hugging either side of the road. We were very impressed. Everybody knew all helicopter pilots were nuts, but that guy was good!!
This is what a LOH looks like.
You could knock one out of the air with a flyswatter.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Come unto me, my brethren and sistren, and I shall tell unto you the story of Joseph and the Goat of Many Colors.
In days of yore*, there lived a man named Jacob and he didn’t believe in planned parenthood, so he had boy child after boy child after boy child until finally he got one he liked. He liked this child so much that he named him Joseph, which in the language of the Israelites means Joseph. One day he found a goat with many colors, and as a sign of his special preference, gave said goat unto Joseph, which caused Joseph to put on airs. His brethren, sorely vexed, sold Joseph to a caravan for twenty shekels, killed the goat, cooked it, and told their father that alas, Joseph and the goat were murdered by some crazy Baptists from Westboro for eating figs, that they had buried Joseph and retrieved the remains of the goat. Jacob asked for a second serving.
Time passed. Many years later, Joseph, having been sold into servitude in Egypt, worked his way up to the ladder until he was CEO of Egypt. Whereupon there was a great famine in the land of Israel, whereupon the brothers decided to try their luck begging in Egypt, whereupon they were arrested for loitering and taken before the CEO, whereupon they recognized him not but he recognized them, whereupon he forgave them and fed them and everybody was happy again.
This story teaches us that selling your little brother into servitude is a shrewd investment, because you can not only earn twenty shekels, but many years later, in time of need, he will show his magnanimity by feeding your starving carcass. Smart move, big brothers. 
עֵז פַּסִּים
 * In days of yore mama’s mama’s mama’s to the Nth power mama.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A very unfortunate juxtaposition on the Google News page:
“Kesha is a singer and songwriter. It's time to end this perverted excuse for entertainment.
Actually, I believe that was not a criticism of Kesha’s musical abilities, but rather a call from Kesha for an end to big game hunting for "sport".

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Sunday, July 26, 2015

We should take Donald Trump to one of those beaches where sharks have been appearing and settle once and for all who has the most odious mouth in the Northern Hemisphere.
But no, sharks are an essential part of the ecosystem, and I wouldn’t want to wish Trump on them. 

Friday, July 24, 2015


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Great moments in English teaching
In SAT vocabulary class, we came across ideology. I explained that ideology means doctrines that form or define a group, and that Lenin used the term to refer to indoctrinating people to put a political plan into effect.
Then I remembered that ideologue came up on a recent SAT, so to prompt the students, I asked, “What do you call someone who is trying hard to push their ideology on you? They’ve got this whole set of ideas, they’re really doctrinaire, you just can’t talk reason with them, and they’re going to force you to accept this ideology whether you want to or not?”
And a boy piped up from the back of the room, “My Dad.”