Final Weeks in Florida

After July in Florida, Part III

August 2004

Sunday, August 1, 2004

A neighbor parks a big boat:

Another neighbor has a problem with his boat:


PS: This is the site of the world's newest Corkscrew Collector's site: My friend Nick Hunt created it - go there: http://www.occa-corkscrews.com.


PPS: This is the next-to-front page: http://www.occa-corkscrews.com/clubs.html


PPPS: Today 275 people were burned to death in a Paraguayan supermarket fire ... equal to about 25% of all the Coalition Forces who have been killed during the 18 month Iraq war. The day after tomorrow ... or, maybe the next day (even if tomorrow is a slow news day) ... this story will be dropped from CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, et al.


PPPPS: The population of Paraguay is 5,434,095 (1999 census). The Coalition population is almost 400,000,000.


Monday, August 2, 2004

What are these things? I picked them up over the last couple of decades in Africa, Antarctica, South America, Europe and Asia.





Tuesday, August 3, 2004

How about some 'out-takes' from the beach?

Watcharee and I had a busy day getting ready to leave for BKK. I'll try not to make a habit of this.


PS: Here are the answers to yesterday's questions (*):

  1. A glove for shucking oysters (France).
  2. A close-up of the finger of that glove (also, France).
  3. A wrist cuff for transporting the unwilling ... a simple twist by the 'holder' will snap the wrist of the 'holdee' ... (Singapore).
  4. A hook for hauling whale blubber ... they - lots of them - were in a tandem 'chain' that allowed the whole whale to be downloaded or uploaded into the processing plant (found in an abandoned Antarctica whaling station).
  5. A strange lock; for what? (England).
  6. A kite string spool (Beijing, China).
  7. An opium pipe (Macau).
  8. A fighting---personal combat---hook (Zaire, Africa).

(*) Only three people made stabs here...all were aimed at the glove: they zoned in on the hands of meat cutters.


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

OK, so I lied!


Thursday, August 5, 2004

Tidying up before we go home:


Friday, August 6, 2004

A marriage of hot air balloons, corkscrews and elephant polo in a wine rack/cabinet:


PS: Reader Thorn Amrey from Fort Lee, New Jersey (USA) writes:

I am sick and tired of the trite ... please let us see Miss Gift.

OK!


Saturday, August 7, 2004

Corkscrews for TERRORISTS:

One of them is cleverly disguised as a mere corkscrew with fringes; however, built into this machine is a double barreled pistol (22 caliber: the preferred ballistic of choice for Bangkok hired killers ... two quick and quiet shots into the ear hole) (*). Also, triggered by a backward pull on the twin corkscrews, is a blade; thin enough to slide between ribs for a heart plunge ... and sharp enough to slice one of the main neck arteries if a throat attack is wanted.

The other is a combination corkscrew/knife/matchbox; perfect for lighting a fuse in a shoe bomb ... after whittling the wick to a nicely tapered 'burnable' point.




* 5,000 Baht for a local ... 10,000 Baht for a farang (that's about $125 or $250, respectively).


PS: The little pouch in the handle (see the swinging door) is for storing extra 22 caliber bullets.


Sunday, August 8, 2004 (pre-journal)

This seems to explain last week:

NEW HAVEN, CT (AP, CNN, NBC - joint BREAKING NEWS - In a diagnosis that helps explain the confusing and contradictory aspects of the cosmos that have baffled philosophers, theologians, and other students of the human condition for millennia, God, creator of the universe and longtime deity to billions of followers, was found Monday to suffer from bipolar disorder.

Rev. Dr. J. Henry Jurgens, a practicing psychiatrist and doctor of divinity at Yale University Divinity School, announced the historic diagnosis at a press conference.

"I always knew there had to be some explanation," Jurgens said. "And, after several years of patient research and long sessions with God Almighty through the intercessionary medium of prayer, I was able to pinpoint the specific nature of His problem."

Bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder is a condition that afflicts millions. Characterized by cycles of elation followed by bouts of profound depression and despair, the disorder can wreak havoc on both the sufferer and his or her loved ones, particularly if it goes undetected and untreated for an extended period. Though the condition is estimated to affect, in one form or another, 5 percent of the world's population, Monday marks the first time it has been diagnosed in a major deity.

Evidence of God's manic-depression can be found throughout the Universe, from the white-hot explosiveness of quasars to the cold, lifeless vacuum of space. However, theologians note, humanity's exposure to God's affliction comes primarily through His confusing propensity to alternately reward and punish His creations with little rhyme or reason.

"Last week, I lost my dear husband Walter to the flood," said housewife and devout churchgoer Elaine Froman of Davenport, IA. "I asked myself, 'Why? Why would God do something like this, especially when He had just helped Walter overcome a long battle with colon cancer, and we were so happy that we finally had a chance to start our lives anew?'"

New York attorney Ruth Kanner also gained firsthand knowledge of God's wild mood swings.

"Last Saturday, on a gorgeous spring afternoon, I was jogging in Central Park with my daughter. We were marveling at the beauty and majesty of nature, and I remember thinking what a wonderful world we live in. Then, out of nowhere, I heard the gunfire," said Kanner, speaking from her hospital bed at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. "All they took was a measly $17, and for that, the doctors say my daughter will never walk again. If only Our Holy Father didn't have those mental problems, my precious Katie might not be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life."

Jurgens stressed that God's earthly subjects need to understand that, because of His bipolar condition, He is not in control of His actions and does not realize how they affect others.

"What He needs from us is understanding and patience," Jurgens said. "To paraphrase the words of the Lord God Himself, 'Humans, forgive Him, for He knows not what He does.'"

While such drugs as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft have proven effective in the treatment of bipolar disorder among humans, there is no modern earthly medicine that can be prescribed for a deity as vast and complex as God. Jurgens is in the process of forming a support group, "Living With A Bipolar Creator-Deity," for all of humanity to "get together and discuss their feelings about living in a universe run by an Omnipresent Loved One not fully in control of his emotions."

Jurgens said he believes God's essential condition is seasonal, as evidenced by the bursts of energy and elation associated with springtime and summer, followed by the decay and bleak despair of fall and winter. Sometimes, however, the condition cycles even faster.

"The average person with bipolar disorder may go through as many as 10 or 12 cycles of mania and subsequent depression in a lifetime. In severe cases, a sufferer may experience four or more per year, which is known as 'rapid cycling,'" Jurgens said. "We believe God suffers from the even rarer 'ultra-rapid cycling,' which would account for the many documented cases in which He alternates between benevolence and rage toward humanity within a matter of seconds. For example, last week, He brought desperately needed, life-giving rain to southern Mali while simultaneously leveling Turkey with a devastating earthquake."

Further evidence of God's manic-depression can be found in the Bible, in which the erotomania of the Song of Songs sharply contrasts with the sadness and existential despair of the Book of Ecclesiastes. The Book of Job, Jurgens noted, marks the best example of His condition. The book begins with the bleak lamentations of Job and ends with a full-blown manic episode by God, complete with such classic bipolar symptoms as the illusion of omnipotence and delusions of grandeur.

"One of the major 'heresies' of Christian history is the Gnostic belief that the Creator, or 'demiurge,' of this troubled world is a blind, idiot god who is insane," Jurgens said. "This idea surfaces in many religious traditions around the globe. As it turns out, they were only half right: God has His problems like anyone else, but He is essentially trying His best. He just has a condition that makes His emotions fly out of control at times."

"So it's up to us to make the best of God's emotional problems," Jurgens continued. "Thus, mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly."


Sunday, August 8, 2004 (post-pre-journal)

Here are the latest handicaps for the elephant polo teams that will take to the grass this September in Hua Hin, Thailand. As you can see, our Screwless Tuskers have a 0 handicap. Of course, I shall make a strong case that we should receive a +4 going into each match.

2004 King's Cup: Latest Handicaps
#1Mercedes Benz GermanyHANDICAP:-3
#2Chivas RegalHANDICAP:-2
#3Sandalford AustraliaHANDICAP:-2
#4American Express ThailandHANDICAP:-2
#5Mobile Easy ThailandHANDICAP:-1
#6St Andrews House/UBC TelevisionHANDICAP:-1*
#7British AirwaysHANDICAP:-1*
#8Mullis CapitalHANDICAP:-1
#9Element WineryHANDICAP:-1
#10Bangkok Bank LadiesHANDICAP:0
#11DBS SingaporeHANDICAP:0
#12SCREWLESS TUSKERSHANDICAP:0
#13Kuoni ThailandHANDICAP:0
#14Price Waterhouse All BlacksHANDICAP:0
*Pending Confirmation of Horse Polo Handicap

The official Hua Hin site now has details on the Screwless Tuskers' opposing teams. You can also go directly to the Screwless Tuskers official card on the team list.


A Major PS:

I think that the Screwless Tuskers need at least a +8 against these guys ... their titles are enough to drown us.

Is HE for real, or is HE just the flip side of our "... and enjoys girlish lunches ..."?

His Grace, Torquhil Ian Campbell,
The 13th Duke of Argyll:
Titles THE MOST HIGH, POTENT AND NOBLE PRINCE HIS GRACE TORQUHIL IAN CAMPBELL, DUKE OF ARGYLL, MARQUESS OF KINTYRE AND LORNE, EARL OF ARGYLL, CAMPBELL AND COWAL, VISCOUNT LOCHAWE AND GLENYLA, LORD CAMPBELL, LORNE, KINTYRE, INVERARAY, MULL, MORVEN AND TYRIE IN THE PEERAGE OF SCOTLAND, BARON SUNDBRIDGE OF COOMBANK AND BARON HAMILTON OF HAMELDON IN THE PEERAGE OF GREAT BRITAIN, DUKE OF ARGYLL IN THE PEERAGE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, BARONET OF NOVA SCOTIA, HEREDITARY MASTER OF THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD IN SCOTLAND, HEREDITARY KEEPER OF THE ROYAL CASTLES OF DUNOON, CARRICK, DUNSTAFFNAGE AND TARBET, ADMIRAL OF THE WESTERN COASTS AND ISLES, AND CHIEF OF THE HONOURABLE CLAN CAMPBELL, MACCAILEIN MHOR.

... if the latter, he'll beat us before we even reach the field.


Monday, August 9, 2004 (pre-journal)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA!

A quiet day on the beach:


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

How many THOCBDC readers can identify this spot and date ... perhaps, only the few who were there at the time can do it?

Here is a photographic crescendo (or, diminuendo?): going from a pale hint to a near answer.

[Sure, of course this is a total 'cop-out' page! I had a totally white sheet of 8 by 10 in my typewriter, and it would not go away.]

Next: Interlude in August

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