The Edmondson Blog

Meanwhile, Down Our Street...

Boothill Graveyard

Although there are quite a few graveyards called Boothill in the American West, the most well known one is in Tombstone, Arizona. Located on the northwest corner of the town, the graveyard is believed to hold over 300 persons, 205 of which are recorded (this was due to many Chinese and Jewish immigrants being buried without record).

Notable occupants include Lester Moore (see photo above) who was a Wells Fargo agent who got into a dispute with a customer over the cost to send a package.

Also Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury are buried there; shot during the famed Gunfight at the O.K. Corral by the three Earp brothers, Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan, along with their friend John Henry "Doc" Holliday, at about 3pm on Wednesday, 26th October, 1881.

How Beer Works

The Draft Bribery Bill

Going through the UK Parliament at the moment is new legislation on bribery and corruption. When the bill was published only two short months ago, The Rt. Hon. Jack Straw, MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, felt inspired to observe in his forward:

The United Kingdom is recognised as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. We are proud of the high ethical standards we uphold in public and commercial life.

Steamboat Willie

Steamboat Willie, released in November 1928, was the first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon and the first Disney cartoon to feature synchronized sound. It premiered at New York's 79th Street Theatre, and played ahead of a conventional film, Gang War. Steamboat Willie was an immediate hit while Gang War is all but forgotten today.

The cartoon was written and directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. The title is a parody of the Buster Keaton film Steamboat Bill Jr. Music for Steamboat Willie was put together by Wilfred Jackson, one of Disney's animators and comprises popular melodies including Steamboat Bill and Turkey in the Straw.

30 seconds of scenes of what might be considered cruelty to animals have been removed from several versions of Steamboat Willie, including Mickey pulling a cat's tail and then swinging the cat by the tail above his head, picking up a nursing sow and "playing" her babies like an accordion keyboard, and using a goose as bagpipes. This is the full version.

Meanwhile, Round Our Neighbour's...

Modern (And Contrived) Aphorisms

Why don't cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny.

There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

One-seventh of your life is spent on Mondays.

Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

If some people didn't tell you, you'd never know they'd been away on vacation.

It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you.

Be free and open and breezy! Enjoy! Things won't get any better so you better get used to it.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

A fool must now and then be right by chance.

He who lives without folly is less wise than he believes.

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx
A fool is one who hunts around a darkened house, searching for farts.
Old Peruvian saying
What's up with my cat? She looks at me strangely when I sing and dance for her.
A cat owner called Iams

Don't Ever Complain About Your Job!

Cecil Rhodes

Remember only this, that you are British, and in the lottery of life you have won first prize.
Cecil Rhodes.
I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake.
Mark Twain’s (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) summation of Rhodes.

Pretty Boy Floyd

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was an American bank robber and alleged killer. He was shot dead by Melvin Purvis, an FBI agent, on 22nd October, 1934. When Purvis approached his body, they found him still alive and gasping for air.

Floyd said, "I'm done for. You've hit me twice."

Purvis demanded, "Are you Pretty Boy Floyd?!"

Floyd responded, "I'm Charles Arthur Floyd!" These were his last words. He died 15 minutes later.

He was romanticized by the press and by folk singer Woody Guthrie in his song Pretty Boy Floyd.

If you'll gather 'round me, children,
A story I will tell
'Bout Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw,
Oklahoma knew him well.

It was in the town of Shawnee,
A Saturday afternoon,
His wife beside him in his wagon
As into town they rode.

There a deputy sheriff approached him
In a manner rather rude,
Vulgar words of anger,
An' his wife she overheard.

Pretty Boy grabbed a log chain,
And the deputy grabbed his gun;
In the fight that followed
He laid that deputy down.

Then he took to the trees and timber
To live a life of shame;
Every crime in Oklahoma
Was added to his name.

But a many a starving farmer
The same old story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage
And saved their little homes.

Others tell you 'bout a stranger
That come to beg a meal,
Underneath his napkin
Left a thousand dollar bill.

It was in Oklahoma City,
It was on a Christmas Day,
There was a whole car load of groceries
Come with a note to say:

Well, you say that I'm an outlaw,
You say that I'm a thief.
Here's a Christmas dinner
For the families on relief.

Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home.

Mutant Ninja Poodle

My Mate Kev

Don't Tell Anyone

T-Mobile Sing-A-Long

Laundry Instructions

Laundry instructions on a shirt made by HEET (Korea):

For best results: Wash in cold water separately, hang dry and iron with warm iron.

For not so good results: Drag behind car through puddles, blow-dry on roofrack.

Interesting Signs

Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center

Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center is a maximum security prison in Cebu, in the Philippines. The prison has a programme of choreographed exercise routines for the inmates. Byron Garcia, the prison governor, explains that his inspiration came while watching the movie The Shawshank Redemption in particular the scene where the sounds of Mozart's Figaro flood the prison yard.

He initially introduced an exercise programme where the prisoners marched in unison to the beat of a drum, but moved on to dancing to pop music; he began with one of his favourite songs, Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). As the repertoire expanded, he deliberately chose camp music such as In The Navy and Y.M.C.A. by The Village People, so macho prisoners would not be offended at being asked to dance.

The prison now even has its own official choreographer teachers. Some prisoners are chosen more prominently for more sophisticated routines while the general prison population (sometimes up to 1500 inmates) participate with simpler more accessible routines.

Time Magazine, in an article in December, 2007, ran an article, Most Popular Viral Videos, and placed the inmates' Cebu Thriller as 5th in its Top 10 list. Time's stated description of the prisoners was: Orange-jumpsuited accused murderers, rapists and drug dealers paid homage to Michael Jackson's Thriller in a dance performance filmed at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines.

True Prediction

A wise man once said that a black man would be president when pigs fly. Sure enough, 100 days into Obama's presidency, swine flu.

Home Alone (Rejected Poster)

Most Watched Clips On YouTube

Meanwhile, Down At The Local Sportsground...

Hat tip Ronnaldo.

Proof There Is A God

The chief executive of the company that installs the majority of speed cameras on Britain's roads was banned from driving for six months today after admitting driving at more than 100mph.

Tom Riall, the boss of Serco's civil government division, which supplies and installs the Gatso fixed radar cameras to police forces, was travelling at 102.9mph on the A14 in Newmarket, Suffolk, just before 1pm on 4 January, magistrates in Sudbury heard. The speed limit on the dual carriageway is 70mph.

Riall, 49, had two other driving convictions from the last three years, including another speeding offence, the court heard, meaning the six-point penalty imposed by magistrates took him past the 12-point mark. He asked the magistrates not to impose a ban but on consideration, they banned him anyway. He was also fined £300.

Riall, who took part last year in a road safety campaign called Safe Drive Stay Alive, told the court he would like formally to apologise, saying: "In my role I am all too aware of the consequences of speeding." Riall said he was driving to visit friends in Newmarket before a business meeting in Norwich and the road was clear.

Glaswegian Nicknames

Who says Glasgow is a grim, humourless place? From a recent survey, here is a list of nicknames currently in use there:

Two Soups - his real name is Campbell Baxter.
Norrie Two Bunnets - the Glasgow taxi-driver who wears a wig under his cloth cap.
The Colostomy - the girlfriend of a married man (ie. the wee bag on the side).
The Boomerang Kid - whenever anyone at work asks a question, he always replies, "I'll get back to you on that."
The Parachute - lets everyone down at the last minute.
Cashline - an experienced young lass who's open 24 hours a day.
Vaseline - his real name is Willie Burns .
Rembrandt - loves saying to colleagues, "Let me put you in the picture..."
Bo Derek - a chap called Derek with terrible body odour.
Brewer's Droop - his real name is Willie Falls.
The Genie - magically appears whenever anyone opens a bottle.
Dulux - his pals reckon he's only got one coat.
Soapy - washes his hands of any problems that crop up.
Captain Hook - continually late for work, it's believed he must be scared of the alarm clock.
The Yeti - always on the sick, there have been many unconfirmed sightings of this guy, but nobody can prove he actually exists.
The Gas Man - he's serviced loads of old boilers.
The Hostage - when anyone asks for help he always replies, "Sorry, my hands are tied."
The Chernobyl Jannie - during the mid-Eighties this guy had a really bad complexion.
The Woodpecker - he's always tapping.
Mussolini - a woman in an office in Glasgow who has rather loose morals (aka the great dicktaker)

Our Local Plumber


If you receive an email from the Department of Health telling you not to eat tinned processed pork because of swine flu - ignore it. It's just spam.

Royal Flush

Playwright Tara Summers' mother, Nona, was born under a gaming table. Nona’s mother was a world class poker player and very pregnant. She went into labour when she was dealt a royal flush and chose to play the hand rather than go immediately to hospital.

She explained she was excited about having a child, but adamant that nothing was going to get in the way of playing such a rare hand. (The odds of being dealt a royal flush are 649,739 to 1.)
As reported in The Daily Telegraph 19th December, 2005, page 22.

Truth In Advertising

Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part III)

  • Summer.
  • Buddy Holly.
  • The working folly.
  • Good golly Miss Molly.
  • Boats.
  • Hammersmith Palais.
  • The Bolshoi Ballet.
  • Jump back in the alley.
  • Nanny goats.
  • 18-wheeler Scammels.
  • Domenecker camels.
  • All other mammals.
  • Equal votes.
  • Seeing Piccadilly.
  • Fanny Smith and Willy.
  • Being rather silly.
  • Porridge oats.
  • A bit of grin and bear it.
  • A bit of come and share it.
  • "You're welcome."
  • "We can spare it."
  • Yellow socks.
  • Too short to be haughty.
  • Too nutty to be naughty.
  • Going on 40.
  • No electric shocks.
  • The juice of the carrot.
  • The smile of the parrot.
  • A little drop of claret.
  • Anything that rocks.
  • Elvis
  • Scotty.
  • Days when I ain't spotty.
  • Sitting on the potty.
  • Curing smallpox.
  • Health service glasses.
  • Gigolos.
  • Brasses.
  • Round or skinny bottoms.
  • Take your mum to Paris.
  • Lighting up the chalice.
  • Wee Willy Harris.
  • Bantu Stephen Biko.
  • Listening to Rico.
  • Harpo.
  • Groucho.
  • Chico.
  • Cheddar cheese and pickle.
  • The Vincent motorsickle.
  • Slap and tickle.
  • Woody Allen.
  • Dali.
  • Dimitri.
  • Pasquale.
  • Balabalabala.
  • Volare.
  • Something nice to study.
  • Phoning up a buddy.
  • Being in my nuddy.
  • Saying, "Hokey-dokey."
  • Singalonga Smokey.
  • Coming out of chokey.
  • John Coltrane's soprano.
  • Adi Celentano.
  • Bonar Colleano.
According to Ian Dury

Difficulty Getting Parked

Dorothy Jordan

Dorothea Bland was born in 1761 near Waterford the daughter of Francis Bland and his mistress, Grace Phillips. In 1774, when she was 13, Dorothea's father abandoned the family to marry an Irish actress. Though he continued to support the family by sending them meagre sums of money, they were poor and Dorothea had to go to work to help support her four siblings. Her mother, an actress by profession, saw potential in Dorothea and put her on the stage.

She became a famous actress of the day and was said to have the most beautiful legs ever seen on the stage. She moved to London and assumed the name Mrs. Dorothy Jordan, because it was slightly more respectable for a married woman to be on the stage. In fact, there was no Mr. Jordan and she never married, she chose the name Mrs. Jordan as a reference to her escape across the Irish Sea, likened to the River Jordan.

Pretty, witty and intelligent, in England, she had a number of affairs before becoming the mistress of William, Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, in 1791. She continued her acting career, and made public appearances with the Duke when necessary. Together they had at least ten illegitimate children, all of whom took the surname FitzClarence.

In 1811, she and the Duke separated. She was given a yearly stipend by him and custody of their daughters while he retained custody of the boys. A condition of her stipend was that in order to continue receiving that money, and retain custody of the daughters Dorothy must not return to the stage.

In 1814, when a son-in-law became heavily in debt, Dorothy returned to the stage to help pay off that debt. Once the Duke received word of this, he removed their remaining daughters from her care, and took back her yearly stipend. To avoid creditors, she fled to France in 1815 and died at Saint-Cloud, near Paris, in poverty just a year later.

She has a number of notable descendants:
  • David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, (born 9 October 1966)
  • Sir Edward Bellingham, 5th Bt. Brig.-Gen., Senator of the Irish Free State (26 January 1879-19 May 1956)
  • Fra Andrew Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller (1929-2008).
  • Duff Cooper British diplomat, Cabinet member and author (February 22, 1890 - January 1, 1954).
  • John Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute (b.1958), aka Johnny Dumfries, former racing driver.
  • Brigadier General Charles Fitzclarence, recipient of the Victoria Cross (May 8, 1865- November 2, 1914).
  • Adam Hart-Davis, British author, photographer, and broadcaster (born July 4, 1943)
  • Rupert Hart-Davis, British publisher, literary editor, and man of letters (August 28, 1907 - December 8, 1999).
  • Merlin Hay, 24th Earl of Erroll a cross-bench member of the House of Lords (born 20 April 1948).
  • Violet Jacob, Scottish writer (1863 - 1946).
  • William Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'Isle 15th Governor-General of Australia, the last British Governor-General (23 May 1909 - 5 April 1991).

Meanwhile, Down Our Street...

Tempting Hyundai Advert

How To BBQ

We are about to enter the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh our memories on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:
  1. The woman buys the food.
  2. The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
  3. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.
  4. The woman remains outside the compulsory three metre exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.
  5. The man places the meat on the grill.
  6. The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.
  7. The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat
  8. The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.
  9. The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
  10. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.
  11. Everyone praises the man and thanks him for his cooking efforts.
  12. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed her night off, and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.
Hat tip to Raymondo.

Photo Finish At World Submarine Race

(Well, what did you expect?)

Separated At Birth

How The Modern British Economy Works

It is April. In a small pretty tourist town out in the shires the holiday season is in full swing, but it is drizzling so there is not too much business happening.

Everyone is heavily in debt.

Luckily, a rich Russian tourist arrives in the foyer of the small local hotel. He asks for a room and puts £100 in banknotes on the reception counter, takes a key and goes to inspect the room located up the stairs on the third floor.

The hotel owner grabs the banknotes and rushes to his meat supplier to whom he owes £100.

The butcher takes the money and races to his wholesaler to pay his debt.

The wholesaler rushes to the farmer to pay the £100 owed for pigs he purchased some time ago.

The farmer triumphantly gives the £100 to a "lady" who gave him her services on credit.

The "lady" goes quickly to the hotel, to pay what she was owing for her room she rents by the hour to entertain clients.

At that moment, the rich Russian comes down to reception. He informs the hotel owner that the proposed room is unsatisfactory. He takes back his £100 and departs.

There was no profit or income. But everyone no longer has any debt and the small townspeople look optimistically towards their future.

Friendship In Troubled Times

World Famous Statue Returning To Italy

After a record breaking two year loan to the United States, Michaelangelo's classic sculpture of youthful perfection is returning to Italy.

The proud sponsors:

The Otford English Dictionary (Illustrated)

Apex (n.): chimpanzee's signature.

Philander (proper name): HM The Queen and her consort.

Hoarding (n.): a call-girl's door bell.

Propaganda (v.): to stare using binoculars.

Dictator (n.): a humourously shaped root vegetable.

Diatribe (n.): a truly awful extended family of aboriginal folk.

How To Catch Swine Flu

The Long War For Democracy

Some historical events need to be viewed after the passage of many years to be properly understood. For example, the dispute over claims by the kings of England to the throne of France that we now call the Hundred Years War was only named such by later historians to describe the series of events and to put them in context.

The Hundred Years War was punctuated by several brief and two lengthy periods of peace before it finally ended, but repeatedly flared up all the time the fundamental dispute remained unresolved.

Future historians may bring the same connected view to the conflicts of the 20th century. For the want of an alternative name, the Long War For Democracy would include the Great War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, as well as the Bolshevik Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War and a series of other lesser conflicts that can be considered to all have been fought over a single set of issues, to determine which form of constitution – parliamentary democracy, fascism or communism took over from the previous world order.

Throughout the 19th century most of the European states had been governed by different shades of imperial, colonial and nationalistic ideologies.

For example, before the Great War, although Germany considered itself to be a democracy, the Kaiser retained most of the power. All the appointments to the bureaucracy, the armed forces, and the diplomatic forces were made at his sole discretion. It was common knowledge that the army strongly supported him and would arrest his opponents if he so desired.

Following the Great War, apart from parliamentary democracy (that had become discredited as an unrealistic utopia) other constitutional forms, mainly based upon fascism and communism, were considered attractive and viable alternatives.

Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state and as such is opposed to democracy. Apart from Germany, Spain and Italy also had fascist governments in the 1920s and 30s.

Although communism contains elements of democracy, these are subordinated to an ideology of class struggle, common ownership of the means of production all within a permanent communist political structure, and therefore is fundamentally anti-parliamentary democracy.

We can view the Great War as the opening conflict in the dispute, with the Second World War as a flare-up that ended with the elimination of fascism. However, the parliamentary democracies had had to ally themselves with the USSR to win against Germany, and communism continued as a supposed viable alternative to parliamentary democracy.

It was only after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe that the 1990 Paris Summit, effectively the peace conference of the 35 year Cold War, adopted the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, signalling that – for the time being – parliamentary democracy was left as winner.

Did the Long War for Democracy last from 1914 to 1990?
Partly based upon The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History by Philip Bobbitt.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog