Wonder Why Your Phone Does Not Work?

Posted in Humor, Mixed Nuts, Opinions on February 29th, 2008 by MadDog
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Apparently, (remember that I’m no expert on the subject) it has something to do with Telikom’s “Failure Assurance” maintenance plan.  The beauty of this plan is that it allows Telikom to collect exorbitant fees while allowing the entire infrastructure to rot and then extending to its customers the privilege of waiting months to get someone to fix a phone.  I have friends who have simply given up.

As you might imagine, I have an example of Telikom’s “preventive maintenance” skill.  Here’s a junction box in front of my office.  (Click on the picture to see a bigger one.)

Telikom junction box in Madang

The lid was broken into two pieces, so I don’t think I violated the law in lifting it enough to take the picture.  The gaps in the lid are apparently big enough for someone to fall into – witness the shoe!  There is also plenty of room to shoot in a carefully aimed stream of buai spit.  As for the smell – you don’t want to know.  And when it rains, it is of course full of nasty water.  Hmmm . . .  Water – Electricity?  I seem to remember that they don’t play well together.

Kiddies – Don’t Try This At Home.  It’s probably not a good idea to go around poking into Telikom’s junction boxes for photos.  If anybody bothers me about this one, I’ll tell the truth.  It was broken. My foot slipped in.  I was just trying to get my shoe back.  Oh, and by the way Telikom – You owe me K1,000,000,000.00 in compensation for my broken leg.

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My Favorite US President – William Henry Harrison

Posted in Humor, Mixed Nuts on February 22nd, 2008 by MadDog
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Noting that the U.S. holiday “Presidents’ Day” was on the 18th of February, I’ll take this opportunity to clear something up.  People are always stopping me on the street and saying, “Hey, you look like a Yank.  Who is your favorite President?”  Well, let’s just get this out now, so that people will stop wasting my valuable time with this nonsense.

My favorite President is William Henry Harrison.  “Why?, you might ask.”  It’s a reasonable question and I have a reasonable answer.  First, here’s a picture of him.  (As one can see from the picture, he was a formidible master of the sceptical stare.)

William Henry Harrison

Okay, why is W.H.H. my favourite?  Well, on his inauguration day, a frosty affair in March 1841, he forgot his hat.  He delivered a lengthy but forgettable address lasting 105 minutes.  He also caught a cold.  He spent the next month in bed with pneumonia.  And then, bless him, he possessed the good decency to die without having attacked a single sovereign nation, authored a solitary obnoxious and unenforceable law, or even whipped the nation into a froth of fractious fear.  In short – He did no harm.

So, hat’s off to you, plucky William.  You’re my American Hero.

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Happy Birthday, Robert Wadlow, Wherever You Are

Posted in Mixed Nuts on February 22nd, 2008 by MadDog
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On this day in 1918, in Alton Illinois, in the Land of the More-or-Less Free and the Home of the Easily Frightened, was born a teensy-eensy-weensy little baby whose destiny was to become the World’s Tallest Person.  He still holds that record today.

Robert Pershing Wadlow

Robert Pershing Wadlow was born weighing only 3.85 kilos. When he was two, something went terribly wrong after he had a double hernia operation (ouch!). His body started doing the beanstalk thing. By the time he was five he was 1.6 metres tall and weighed 47.6 kilos. By the time his eighth birthday rolled around, Robert was a stunning 77 kilos and stood over 1.8 metres.

 On June 27, 1940, Mr. Wadlow was measured by Dr. Cyril MacBryde and Dr. C. M. Charles, Associate Professor of Anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. (Picture Harry S. Truman with a stethoscope.*) They recorded Wadlow’s height at 2.72 metres. A week later, Wadlow was fitted with a brace on his right leg. The brace fit poorly and inflamed his ankle, causing cellulitis. Robert Wadlow died from the infection on July 15, 1940. A coffin was made especially for him: it was 3.28 metres long.

According to all accounts, the man who became known as “The Gentle Giant” was a genuinely nice fellow.

* For non-Yanks only:  Harry S. Truman was the President of the U. S. of A. after Franklin D. Roosevelt died.  He was from Missouri (called the “Show Me” state because you have to work hard to convince a Missourian of anything).  His main claim to fame was that he dropped the Big One on Japan – TWICE!  He was affectionaltley known to many as “The Hairy S”.  He was known for his down-home wit. My favorite Truman quote:  “Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it.”

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Happy Fisherfolk at the FAD

Posted in At Sea on February 20th, 2008 by MadDog
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For the last two weeks we’ve been seeing mobs of people fishing out at the FAD near Pig Island.  They tie their canoes together in a big daisy-chain. Here’s a photo:

People fishing at the Pig Island FAD

It was pretty flat looking, so I dolled it up a bit with Photoshop in an artsy-fartsy kind of way until it pleased me.

They’ve been catching tonnes of skipjack tuna out there.  We’ve purchased a few.  We asked if they had anything bigger, but no dice.

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What Does This Sign Mean?

Posted in Opinions on February 20th, 2008 by MadDog
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I’ve been seeing this billboard on Airport Road for some time now. Each time I see it, I get a certain feeling. Can you guess what it is?

Telikom billboard on Airport Road

What do you think when Telikom claims to represent the spirit of PNG? Does Teilkom’s business plan of treating its customers as if they were a necessary evil represent the nation’s spirit? Is the spirit of PNG held up for the world to see by Telikom’s pathetic attempt to maintain a monopoly so that it can charge more for services that are much less expensive elsewhere? Is that what PNG’s spirit is? Does it make you feel good that Telikom claims to embody the spirit of PNG even as it fails to provide the services that businesses and other organizations need to grow so that they can provide more and better services to the people?

I’m going to start a little contest. The person who uses the Comment button under this article and sends me the FUNNIEST answer to the question, “What does this sign mean?” will win a K20 Digicell prepaid card. That’s right – Use the Comment button to send me your funny idea of what the Telikom sign means and, if I decide that your answer is the funniest, I’ll give you a Digicell card worth K20. We’ll take a picture and post it on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi.

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In My Garden #3 – ALIENS! – Ant Body Snatchers

Posted in Humor, My Garden on February 19th, 2008 by MadDog
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Hmmmm, my garden seems to be getting a lot of attention these days – and not all of it is welcome.

This morning, while making my usual rounds with camera in hand, I discovered that Aliens From Outer Space have established an ant body harvesting operation in my garden.

Have a look at this:

Alien machine to harvest ant bodies

Clearly, this is a cleverly disguised device for collecting and preserving the nutrients from ant bodies for later consumption by the fiendish aliens which have occupied my garden.  The ants are attracted to the death machine by the cloying scent of the ‘flowers’  These elegant but devilish contraptions then lure the hapless ant to the yellow thingie in the middle (see the ant walking around on it).  The ant is then immediately sucked inside the dissolving chamber which is full of alien digestive fluids, a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, and a little ascorbic acid as a preservative.  (click on the image to see a bigger version)

Please, in the name of public safety, check your garden for suspicious activity.  You can look here and here to verify that any flesh eating ‘plants’ that you find are safe.  Mother Earth has quite a few of these and they are most generally satisfied with the occasional bug.

But we must not let these alien upstarts have our ants.  First it will be ants, then cats and dogs, then small children and goats.  Heaven help us!

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The Cherokee Phoenix is 180 Years Old

Posted in Mixed Nuts on February 18th, 2008 by MadDog
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The Cherokee Phoenix in 1829

In 1828 Elias Boudinot, a Cherokee leader, became editor of the USA’s first Native American newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix.  The newspaper was printed in Cherokee and in English.  It profoundly influenced the development of the written Cherokee language.  It was also an important influence on Cherokee affairs, helping to bring unity to the tribes who had been scattered and decimated by the constant pressure of foreign invaders.

The newspaper was shut down in 1935 because of pressure from Georgia polititions (nothing new there).  It lives again today under the same banner as a source of news for tribal members everywhere.

This is the seal of the Cherokee Nation:

Seal of the Cherokee Nation

And, for your amusement, here are famous (and near famous) people of Cherokee heritage.  Jimi HendrixJohnny Depp, Burt Reynolds, James Garner, Chuck Norris, James Earl Jones, Lou Diamond Philips, David Carradine, Charisma Carpenter, and Wes Studi; the musicians John Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas), Eartha Kitt, Miley Cyrus; the actress and singer Cher; the singer, musician and actor Elvis Presley; the singers Rita Coolidge and Tiffany; the country music singers Billy Ray Cyrus, Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle; the boxer Jack Dempsey; the painter Robert Rauschenberg; the activists Rosa Parks and John Leak Springston, and the writer Mitch Cullin.  (the foregoing list shamelessly ripped from Wikipedia)

Last, and surely least:  your humble blogger, MadDog.  And, while we’re on the subject, here’s the flag of the Cherokee Nation:

The flag of the Cherokee Nation

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