Category Archives: Just for Fun

Boisterous Birds

Parrots are very, very intelligent and very sociable, too. But how do the birds in these videos know the cats won’t hurt them–even when they purposely try to tease the cats? And then there’s the cockatoo teaching himself to play the guitar. If this can ever be done without hands, a bird will do it.


How Cats Can Terrify You into Babbling Idiocy

Y’know that classic ghost story by M.R. James–Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad? The one in which the sheets on the other bed in the room rise up and start to fold and wrinkle themselves into–well, never mind, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Point is, it’s almost certain that that story was inspired by a cat. And in this video, you’ll see how that was possible.

 


Oh, for Shame!

Prince Dadian

Nineteenth-century Russian princes could do things that only big-name Democrats and politically-approved scientists can do today. That is, cheat like mad and get away with it. Even in chess.

Enter Prince Dadian of Mingrelia, who published 38 games he played against some of the top players in the world, winning every single one of them. Modern chess historians smell a rat.

Dadian is believed to have composed chess games that were never actually played, or to have had them composed by others, and then published them as brilliant victories. Chess players in the 19th century, as a class, were usually short of money (“The fame I have. It’s money that I need!” said Wilhelm Steinitz). The prince helped them out, it is strongly suspected, by paying them to lose games to him–even going so far as to write their moves for them in advance. He would also pull strings–again, not proved, but very strongly suspected–to have uncooperative chess stars kicked out of resorts like Monte Carlo.

He would fit right in today. He’d probably be hawking Climate Change instead of chess; there’s more money in it. Or else he’d be president of a teachers’ union.

We didn’t invent cheating in our era. We just made it more lucrative.


The Elopement, at Last (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of silly romance novels

At last! Lord Jeremy Coldsore has eloped to marry Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire.

Chapter CCCXLI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, opens with Lord Jeremy and the vicar waiting in the abandoned warehouse in Plaguesby, where the marriage is to be secretly performed. They have to be careful because there’s plague in Plaguesby. Also in attendance, as best man, is Jeremy’s bosom friend, the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. He has a burlap bag over his head. This provokes a fit of the giggles from the vicar.

“Why has he got a burlap bag over his head?” the vicar asks, giggling.

“Because Lady Margo thinks he and I are the same person, and it confuses her when she sees us both together,” Lord Jeremy explains. The vicar finds that richly humorous.

Midnight draws near, without a sign of Lady Margo. “What’s keeping her?” Jeremy grumbles.

“Alas, dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular breaks into the narrative, “Lady Margo, escorted by her crusty old butler, Crusty, has misunderstood the plan and gone to an abandoned warehouse in the isolated nearby village of Plaguespot. The place has an unwholesome reputation! It is said that Black Rodney’s brother, Red Pokey, passed through Plaguespot in 1483 and, just for practice, put a terrible curse on it.”

As midnight draws near, Crusty grows impatient.

“I told you Coldsore was no good, you stupid old bat,” he confides in Lady Margo. “How can you trust a man with two left feet? Both of which seem to have gotten cold!”

“I can’t say I like this as a location for a wedding,” mutters Lady Margo. “All those sinister voices whispering I don’t know what, all around us in the dark! Are you sure this is where dear Jeremy said he’d meet us?”

Crusty is jealous: he has long desired Lady Margo for himself.

Just then, a long-drawn-out, hideous moaning erupts from the shadows–

We suspect it’s the reader.


Meow It Again, Sam

This astonishingly patient woman is trying to play Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu Op. 66 (otherwise known as “Long Tall Sally,” I believe) on her piano, but her cat has other ideas. I wonder if Chopin has always had this effect on cats. Or is it true, as they say, that Chopin’s own cat, Fuzzy, wrote a good half of Chopin’s music?


Byron: the Next Comment Contest

See the source image

G’day! Byron the Quokka here. Cousin Jupe and me once found a whole package of Big Burger Taste just left there for anyone who might want it. There’s a lesson to be learned from that! And if I ever find out what it is, I’ll tell you.

So I’ve been talkin’ to the Big Mango here–oh, all right! he doesn’t like that nickname–I mean, talkin’ to Lee, and finally got him to let me run another comment contest.

Just now we have 54,602 comments, so the goal for this contest will be 56,000. Whoever posts Comment No. 56,000 will win an autographed copy of Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, when it comes out sometime early this year. I’ve read some of it already–wow!

He still won’t let me offer a bicycle as the prize. Sometimes the poor chap has no vision.

 


Lunch with Sir Walter Scott

See the source image

I received a copy of Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, for Christmas. The edition they forced on us in high school convinced me that Sir Walter was an idiot. I was not aware that the editors had done him a mischief, tearing all the guts out of his book and leaving only the hollow shell of a rather silly story. So it was decades before mere curiosity–could it really have been that bad?–moved me to read it again.

And it blew me away. Ivanhoe is a truly great novel that richly deserved to be a classic.

But there’s another thing to love about my Christmas present. They’ve included all of Scott’s notes and footnotes on Ivanhoe–how he came by this or that tradition, this or that old song, what he was thinking when he had a character perform a certain action, etc. It’s the next best thing to having Sir Walter sitting across the room from you and talking to you.

How I would love to sit down with him over tea and cigars, for a nice long natter! He had a gift for taking the reader along with him as he wrote the story. He had a gift of self-deprecating humor. I’ll bet the two of us together could talk the sun across the sky.

Well, of course I can’t do that, unless it’s one of those things the Lord has in store for us in heaven. But what I can do is always be available to my readers–and friends!–right here, on this blog. Ask me anything about my books, or how I write them, whatever. I love talking about stories, and how they come to be told.

Wouldn’t that be cool, if some famous writer read this, and replied?


Are Cats Part-Octopus?

The octopus is well known for its ability to slip into or out of tight places. It’s not so hard to do, when you don’t have a skeleton.

Cats do have skeletons, or so I’ve heard. Otherwise they’d wind up folded in your wallet or seeping outside under the closed door. Watch the one cat in this video practically pour himself into a glass jar that you’re sure is just too small to hold him.

Why do they do it? Free tin-foil hat to whoever knows.


Thincking Herts Yore Brane!!!

See the source image

Heer at Collidge we has Discuppered “that” Thincking “is” jist anether fourm “of” Racism,, and eevin Werse, it herts Yore Brane!!! So us at the Stodent Soviet we has past a roole that fromb Nhow on thare woont be No moar Thincking hear at collidge!!!!

And besydes,, us Interllecturals we dosnt has to Thinck at alll!! So we nevver do it!!! All we has got to Do is wattevver The Centrul Camitty thay says we got to Do!! This hear it “is” Reel Jenuwine Smartness becose “the” Party it is nevver Rong!!!!!

Our Stodent Soviet Party Bosss she toled us “how elss do yiu spose Trans Gender it got Inventid?? If peple was Thincking, it “nevver” woodve got Inventid!!! And that gose for Evvry Thing that “is”  “in” Socile Jutstus!! And” she sayed aslo “al that evver Got dun bye Thincking is jist ownly Opresstion and the Paytree Arky!!”

So we “are” goingto Ograniyze Antie Thincking Squawds to go al round “the” Campas to checke on peeple and Sea iff thay “are” Thincking and iff thay Are,, whel—whatch Out!!!!!! thay whill be sari!!

Reely this heer it Is Not teereny,, it “is” foar thare Own Good!!! Becose Settled Scyance it prooves that it dont taik That Mutch Thincking to putt Hoales in yore Brane!!! And then watt”s Lefted over it whil Fall Out!!! The good nooze is iff it All falls Out then yiu woont be Doing “no” Moar Thincking. Thiss is watt hapened to Addem Shift oncet and “he” been All Rihght evver Sincet!!!


Cats & Puppies (without Adam Schiff)

My cat Buster would have loved to have a puppy to romp with. He never had much time for the serious side of life–if he even knew that such a thing existed. So, yeah, a playful puppy would have suited him down to the ground.


%d bloggers like this: