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Thread: Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

  1. #9721
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    A decade ago, I was part of a large group of people who accompanied one of my buddies to the top of his last Munro - he'd climbed all the 3000ft Scottish mountains on Hugh Munro's list, which is something some people aim to do and celebrate once completed.
    Mobile phone reception is notoriously poor in the Scottish Highlands, and one of my pals has a nice photograph of a group of people (of all ages) standing on top of this 3000ft mountain holding their phones above their heads (some on tiptoe) in an effort to ping off a bulletin about the climb.
    On the other side of that, I believe I've already recounted the story of a friend who, after a prolonged bout of ill-health, finally managed to get up a significant mountain with us again. Exploiting freakish mobile reception on the summit, one of my other friends posted a summit photograph on Facebook. Then we lounged around on top for an hour in the sunshine, listening to the notification alerts rolling in as friends from all over the world posted their congratulations. It was quite moving.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #9722
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Now, at least one picture I've seen like that is of people using an app designed by the museum to give them more information about the paintings and so forth. And, yes, I've still seen it used as an example of how those teens today care more about social media than art.
    The American Museum of Natural History has several apps like that, I’ve even used them despite visiting often enough to get around without a map.

    On the thread topic: I felt we needed a “Summer” decoration for our home’s front door, as we have ones for Halloween, Christmas, and Spring, so I sewed a simple picture showing a seashore out of felt pieces with a cardboard internal structure to keep it somewhat flat. I’ll post pics tomorrow once I take a photo in sunlight.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  3. #9723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Now, at least one picture I've seen like that is of people using an app designed by the museum to give them more information about the paintings and so forth. And, yes, I've still seen it used as an example of how those teens today care more about social media than art.
    Those darn hippies, I mean Gen-xers, I mean millennials, oh dang won't someone please slap a glib label on Those Kids Today so's I know what to rant about!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #9724
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    They blew past us as we were travelling west to the border outpost on the Top of the World Highway.
    Ah, nice drive, that.
    We travelled in the opposite direction, back in the early '90s. I am still amused, but only in retrospect, by the difference in border formalities between our entry to Canada at Little Gold Creek (someone wandered out of a log cabin and waved us through), and our return to the USA on the Alaska Highway (an hour-long delay while we, our car and our luggage were searched by a man and woman who appeared to be seething with fury throughout the whole process).
    In retrospect, I probably should have just agreed when the guy who check our passports told me that we had "travelled in the Soviet bloc". (Hungary, 1993.)

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #9725
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    ... I am still amused, but only in retrospect, by the difference in border formalities between our entry to Canada at Little Gold Creek (someone wandered out of a log cabin and waved us through), and our return to the USA on the Alaska Highway (an hour-long delay while we, our car and our luggage were searched by a man and woman who appeared to be seething with fury throughout the whole process). ...
    May have had to do with you being a foreign national. I crossed back from Canada with a quick glance at my ID and a wave. The young lady with me (German national) took a bit longer.

    Then there's the somewhat anecdotal story of the American driving back in from Mexico. He was asked if he had anything to declare. "Nah, nuthin' but that kilo of cocaine in the trunk. Ha ha!" Half a dozen very frustrated agents descended on his car and pretty much took it apart.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
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  6. #9726
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    This is a photo I took in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a couple of years ago.
    Kids today...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #9727
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    We travelled in the opposite direction, back in the early '90s. I am still amused, but only in retrospect, by the difference in border formalities between our entry to Canada at Little Gold Creek (someone wandered out of a log cabin and waved us through), and our return to the USA on the Alaska Highway (an hour-long delay while we, our car and our luggage were searched by a man and woman who appeared to be seething with fury throughout the whole process).
    In retrospect, I probably should have just agreed when the guy who check our passports told me that we had "travelled in the Soviet bloc". (Hungary, 1993.)

    Grant Hutchison
    Back in 1984-85 I lived in France for a year. I traveled all over the Continent with an American passport and there often wasn't even a check at a border (ie Paris to Vienna by train and no one ever asked for passports). At most I'd start to pull it out of my pocket and they'd wave "OK".

    When I went to the UK they gave me a full grilling: where was I going, what was my business here, where was I staying, etc. But this was at the height of the IRA bombings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    May have had to do with you being a foreign national. I crossed back from Canada with a quick glance at my ID and a wave. The young lady with me (German national) took a bit longer.
    My wife and I recently drove to Canada (vacation) and the actual process with the Border Patrol agent took less than 5 minutes. The wait in traffic to get to him was 90 minutes.

    Then there's the somewhat anecdotal story of the American driving back in from Mexico. He was asked if he had anything to declare. "Nah, nuthin' but that kilo of cocaine in the trunk. Ha ha!" Half a dozen very frustrated agents descended on his car and pretty much took it apart.
    Reminds me of an old Steven Wright joke, about him driving back into the US from Canada:
    "Do have any drugs or firearms?"
    "Yeah, what do you need?"
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #9728
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    May have had to do with you being a foreign national.
    The "Soviet bloc" thing was a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't", unfortunately.
    The guy who checked my passport asked me if I'd travelled in the Soviet bloc, and I said No. Then he opened my passport, found the Hungarian stamp and said, "How do you explain this, then?" I had a choice between letting him think I'd lied about my travel, or pointing out that Hungary had voted out the communists several years before our visit. I got about halfway through that short dissertation when he suddenly shouted, "Just pull into the bay!" and directed me into a parking area. At which point it all kicked off and it was just a matter of standing stoically and letting them get on with it. All part of life's rich tapestry, as I managed not to say at the time.

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #9729
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Reminds me of an old Steven Wright joke, about him driving back into the US from Canada:
    "Do have any drugs or firearms?"
    "Yeah, what do you need?"
    Robert Morley used to have an anecdote about entering the USA back in the '60s, and being asked a series of questions ending with "Do you have any plans to overthrow the government of the United States?"
    To which Morley claims to have replied, "My dear fellow! If by any chance I do overthrow the government of the United States, I can assure you it will have been completely by accident."

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #9730
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    Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

    Years ago it was possible to travel between Canada and the USA on a drivers license. Those rules tightened up right around the time I needed to make a trip to Toronto - and realized at the gate that I had left my passport at home. Eastern Arlines (yes, that long ago) let me get on the plane but warned it might be an issue.

    Canadian immigration wasn’t bad and allowed me in, but again warned me that returning to the US would be a problem and to expect a hard time.

    Sure enough, on the return when I went through US immigration (you clear in Toronto at the airport) the agent (strong New York accent) gave me a great deal of grief. Finally he barked out “who was president during the civil war?”

    I wanted to say that on our side it was Jefferson Davis - but I really wanted to catch my plane and avoid a strip-search.

  11. #9731
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Ah, nice drive, that.
    We travelled in the opposite direction, back in the early '90s. I am still amused, but only in retrospect, by the difference in border formalities between our entry to Canada at Little Gold Creek (someone wandered out of a log cabin and waved us through), and our return to the USA on the Alaska Highway (an hour-long delay while we, our car and our luggage were searched by a man and woman who appeared to be seething with fury throughout the whole process).
    It's no longer a log cabin. Both sides have a large metal-clad building with diesel generators. The first 10 miles on the Alaska side were freshly paved, and I remember thinking, "Wow, these Americans really know how to cater to the tourists". But after that it was rougher than the crushed gravel surface on the Canadian side.

    When we arrived at the crossing, the three others cyclists were there, and having problems. Clearly, the border official was unhappy with papers or the story one of them had told. It was taking forever, and the gate was supposed to close in a few minutes for the night. Finally, they were permitted to carry on. The local resident ahead of us was waived through, and I pulled ahead expecting to be grilled. Other officials were walking out to the gate to close it. I could smell the dinner someone was preparing. The officer glanced at my passport.
    Officer: How long do expect to be in the USA?
    TK: Seven to 10 days.
    Officer: Are you carrying anything with you that you intend to leave in the USA?
    TK: No
    Officer: What is you profession?
    TK: I'm a retired professional forester.
    Officer: Is this your bucket list?
    TK: (After I stopped laughing) Yeah, I guess it is!
    Officer: Hands back my passport and says I may carry on.

    When my friend presented his passport, the officer asked him if he was travelling with me, and Dan said "yes". He was waived through. They closed the gate as we rode through.

    (And now I had better get that stuff on my bike. I have a ~500 km ride ahead of me today, and I'm half an hour past my intended departure time...)

  12. #9732
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    I've never had a USA border agent ask about firearms when we return. But they always ask when we go into Canada.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  13. #9733
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    Who was it on here that said that when asked at Customs “What are you planning to do in the United States?”, they were tempted to answer “Your Mom.”?
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  14. #9734
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    Years ago, I was on the ferry back from Victoria, BC, with some friends; I lived in Port Angeles at the time, and Victoria was a common day trip, as all you needed was valid ID. One person in our group asked how much you needed to spend before you had to declare things at customs, and none of us knew. We agreed that we thought it was "about $50." So when we got to customs, all of us were in one line except for one person in our group; we were okay with this, as she was not a fun person to go through customs with. However, she noticed this just before we got to the desk--and cut in line to be in front of us. The customs guy kind of blinked and said, "Are you all together?" She cheerfully said, "Yes!" The rest of us said, "Mmmmph." He gave us sympathetic looks and asked, generally, if we had anything to declare. This friend said, brightly, "Oh, only less than $50 worth of stuff!"
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  15. #9735
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    The only possible response to the question, "Are you all together?" is:
    "Well, I certainly am. I can't vouch for my friends, though." (He says, visibly leaking the 1970s.)

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #9736
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    My one business trip to Japan in the early 90s, I was traveling with the marketing manager for the company I worked for at the time. He was big on stereo equipment and digital audio tape players had just come out, but only in Japan. He purchased one during this trip, and since I was returning to the US and he was traveling on to Korea, he asked if I could bring it back for him. I agreed. He told me that Customs usually didn't check on such things, and so if I wanted, I could skip declaring this item and save him the duty. Right, like I'm going to risk fines and jail time so he can have save the duty on his new toy. I didn't say anything, but I must have had a look on my face, so he quickly added "or just declare it and I'll reimburse you the duty", which is of course what I did.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  17. #9737
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    There's a lot of highway construction on my route to work. Not trivial and not amusing, but ...

    They put out digital message boards to alert drivers of coming activities and conditions. One these was just put out. It says:

    ALT LANES CLOSED
    6/31 - 7/2
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

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  18. #9738
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    Apparently they are using an ALT calendar.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  19. #9739
    Or they just don't want to admit to Canada Day.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  20. #9740
    This might be a just my sense humor. My grandfather was a mechanic who had a small scrap yard of old cars in one of our fields for spare parts, it didn't help matters that one of my aunts "borrowed" his gun and shot at them and ruining several windshields. Also he tore down buildings for some extra cash in the summer when he wasn't driving school bus, this left us with some scrap metal around the place. Most of the cars were taken away the summer he passed, one remains in the woods were no one really get it out. A five or six years ago I figured on gathering some of it up and selling to a local scrap dealer, he also a friend of grandfather and helped get rid of the cars. So one fall I gathered about a ton and a half of stuff and the scrap dealer came got it and paid me. Enter the BIL, for a while he lived near another scrap dealer and started talking. This dealer would give him a bit more by the ton if he drove it over to his scrap yard. So the BIL and his friends built a trailer for various purposes but he got too busy to deal with scrap metal, he has actually pieces here for some of his projects. This weekend he comes out to get a couple of pieces off of car that he scrap and found out that the dealer he was going to go thru just passed, so the scrap will have to sold to the guy I was going to use anyway.

    I do like my BIL but he is just use to being in charge, he has been on various things like cutting wood or running boats since he was in his late teens or early twenties, but sometimes it gets on my nerves also I wish he clean up his messes.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  21. #9741
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    Catherine: Mom, did you have an imaginary friend when you were little?
    Kitty: Yes, it was a white horse.
    Catherine: Dad?
    Me: I had the Force. And a lightsabre. I'd show you but I'm kind of laying low.
    Catherine: Oh, thank god. I thought you were going comment on the horse.
    Me and Kitty (in unison): She gets this from YOU!
    Solfe

  22. #9742
    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Catherine: Mom, did you have an imaginary friend when you were little?
    Kitty: Yes, it was a white horse.
    Catherine: Dad?
    Me: I had the Force. And a lightsabre. I'd show you but I'm kind of laying low.
    Catherine: Oh, thank god. I thought you were going comment on the horse.
    Me and Kitty (in unison): She gets this from YOU!
    Ny questions probably would of been, dies he speak and have a name? or does he have a horn?
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  23. #9743
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    Name of a new paper just out from arVix: "The Iκεα model of feedback-regulated galaxy formation" (note Greek letters)

  24. #9744
    I wonder if it comes with a manual.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  25. #9745
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I wonder if it comes with a manual.
    You also have to use a special tool to assemble the galaxy.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  26. #9746
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    Brian Eno now has an asteroid named for him. His album Thursday Afternoon is the CD that plays when I drive.

  27. #9747
    So you now listen to a rock star.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  28. #9748
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    So you now listen to a rock star.
    No, he's.... D'OH

  29. #9749
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    I'm amused (and also bemused) that a friend of mine was publicly called out for "encouraging toxic masculinity" last night. (Or at least, I think that's what happened - it's difficult to be sure, for reasons you'll soon see.)
    The context is a group of people standing around chatting at a party - friends and acquaintances, and one person I didn't know, who didn't seem to be with anyone else in the group either.
    My friend, riffing on a theme already established in the conversation, remarked that at some point she was going to have to "just man up" and stop dying her grey hair. At which point the person I didn't know said, "You shouldn't use that phrase 'man up', because it encourages toxic masculinity".
    Complete silence ensued, and as I looked around the group I could see they were all staring at the speaker, with a whole range of different frowns on their faces. Presumably, like me, they were trying to work out how exactly my friend had encouraged toxic masculinity with her self-reproach about hair dye. I'd guess the silence went on for ten or fifteen seconds, and then the person who had spoken turned and walked away without saying anything else.
    Another five seconds of silence, and then someone said, "So not ready to stop dying yet, I take it?" And the conversation went on as if nothing had happened. I so wish one of our usually articulate group could have gathered enough wit to respond to the remark with a polite question, but we collectively blew the opportunity in our startlement.

    Grant Hutchison

  30. #9750
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    "Man up," among other things, implies that growing up is inherently masculine. I wouldn't have called it toxic masculinity, though, so much as sexist. It sounds to me as though someone understood that there are people who don't like the term because of its sexist assumptions but didn't quite understand what the issue is.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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