Hasty Ruminations

Speaking out, to remove all doubt. http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An Oldie ...

...but a goodie. The story, not the cow.

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
Barbara Streisand sings for you.

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.

You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.

You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

You have two cows.
Under the new farm program, the government pays you to shoot one, milk
the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

You have two cows.
You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
You are
surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the
analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow
and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give
excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find
alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.

You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

You have one cow.
The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks she's French, other times she's Flemish.
The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy.

You have a black cow and a brown cow.
Everyone votes for the best looking one.
Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
Some people vote for both.
Some people vote for neither.
Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

Friday, May 26, 2006


.In these rural parts of Pennsylvania, for some reason, the posted speed limits are 40 mph. Similar roads in Kansas, Missouri, even California have 65+ speed limits.

Today, the fauna and flora on the way to work were great. Eager to get to work, I sped up to 65 mph in Big Ride.

I noticed many squirrels out at 6:30 am. For some reason, they seem more laid back, relaxed and unhurried here than in other parts of the country, especially when eating breakfast on the blacktop.

Suddenly, I realized why the speed limit is so low: the squirrels are timed for 40 mph.

Note to self: Wash truck on Saturday. Start with wheels.


The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, "Do you know what I use this for?"

The navigator replied timidly, "No, what's it for?"

The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!"

The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.

The pilot asked, "What's that for?"

The navigator replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."


When Hillary Clinton visited Iraq last month, the Army Blackhawk helicopter used to transport the Senator was given the call sign "Broomstick One".

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Horse's Broken Leg

Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner, broke his right rear leg in the Preakness this weekend. It is a life threatening injury.

I am not a fan of horse racing, but I, and my dog Lacy, love these magnificent animals. I have not understood why a broken leg should threaten the life of a horse. As an engineer, I appreciate the advances in medical science of the past century, and it frankly seems an archaic solution.

The article below finally sheds some light on the problem, and I am beginning to understand. I am, however, an optimist, and I think that at least a prosthetic leg, or at best a new cultured set of bones, will someday stop this most regretable euthanasia. If we are going to "exploit" these wonderful creatures to make a lot of money, a little payback seems to be in order.

Why a Broken Leg Is Bad News for a Horse
Can't we all just sign Barbaro's cast?
By Daniel Engber
Posted Monday, May 22, 2006, at 6:56 PM ET

"Barbaro's veterinarians say the champion racehorse has a 50 percent chance of survival after breaking his leg at the start of the Preakness. He may not recover even after a successful five-hour surgery on Sunday, during which he had almost two dozen screws implanted to stabilize his bones. Why is a broken leg so dangerous for a horse?

"There's a high risk of infection, and the horse may not sit still long enough for the bone to heal. Infections are most likely when the animal suffers a compound fracture, in which the bones tear through the skin of the leg. In this case, dirt from the track will grind into and contaminate the wound. To make matters worse, there isn't much blood circulation in the lower part of a horse's leg. (There's very little muscle, either.) A nasty break below the knee could easily destroy these fragile vessels and deprive the animal of its full immune response at the site of the injury.

"Barbaro was lucky enough (or smart enough) to pull up after breaking his leg. If he'd kept running—as some horses do—he might have driven sharp bits of bone into his soft tissue and torn open the skin of his leg. Though his skin remained intact, he still faces the possibility of infection; any soft-tissue damage at all can cut off blood flow and create a safe haven for bacteria.

"It's not easy to treat a horse with antibiotics, either. Since the animals are so big, you have to pump in lots of drugs to get the necessary effect. But if you use too many antibiotics, you'll destroy the natural flora of its intestinal tract, which can lead to life-threatening, infectious diarrhea. You also have to worry about how the antibiotics will interact with large doses of painkillers, which can themselves cause ulcers.

"If the horse manages to avoid early infection, he might not make it through the recovery. First, he must wake up from anesthesia without reinjuring himself. Doctors revived Barbaro by means of "water recovery." That means they suspended him in a warm swimming pool in a quiet room and then kept him there for as long as possible. Not all horses are willing to sit around in a sling, and the antsy ones can thrash about and break their limbs all over again. (In 1975, the filly Ruffian managed to break a second, healthy leg in the process.)

"If Barbaro starts favoring his wounded leg post-surgery, he may overload his other legs, causing a condition known as "laminitis." If that happens, the hooves on the other legs will start to separate from the bone, and his weight will be driven into the soft flesh of the feet. He may also develop life-threatening constipation as a side effect of the anesthetic.

"Doctors will often put down a horse that develops a nasty infection, reinjures its broken leg, or develops laminitis in its other hooves. (A horse that's unable to stand will develop nasty sores and can be expected to die a slow and painful death.) A few horses have had broken legs amputated and replaced with metal, but the equine prostheses don't have a great track record."



If you haven't checked out Fark.com, you are in for some fun. Here's one of today's headers for an article:

"USPS allows companies to create their own postage stamps with their corporate logo. Hewlett-Packard has already signed on, but Microsoft not expected to take part as market research shows consumers spit on the wrong side."

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Little Light

. Here in Bethlehem PA, they get pretty strong thunder storms. One came through last week and destroyed the awning on my RV. My awning was more elaborate than the one in the picture - the tube was 5" diameter aluminum, 17' long, and the awning extended ten feet out from the trailer. Anyway, all gone. Replacement cost estimate is $1,700 plus installation.

I didn't like it from day one - oh, it was great to keep rain, sun and even snow off the entrance and the patio. But I was always nervous that a big wind would, well, do what a big wind eventually did. And, I am not anxious to throw more good money down that same hole.

So, I found a great substitute:

This is a heavy duty vehicle shelter (which I will use as a patio canopy), 20' long and 10' wide, and tall enough to fit Big Ride (the truck). It comes with vinyl coated tarps, for top, ends and sides. I don't need the ends and the sides now for a camp shelter, but they will be handy in cold weather. I put it up yesterday on the side of Big Easy (the trailer) with the door. That side also has the exhaust for the propane heating furnace, so the shelter gets warmed from time to time. And, it cost $169 at CostCo - much more reasonable than the awning. It just takes longer to set it up and to take it down. I set it on the vinyl covered ground cloth yesterday, and after high winds and rain last night, it was still in place and the ground cloth was dry, and clean - no twigs, leaves or other debris.

A little light, in what is turning out to be a dark, waste-of-my-time contract here in Bethlehem.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Just What We Needed


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Wasn't Fast Enough


Cingular Wireless pulled a ring tone from its web site which some said was "blatantly offensive."

The ring tone started with a siren, followed by a male voice saying in a Southern drawl, "This is la Migra," slang for the Border Patrol.

"Por favor, put the oranges down and step away from the cell phone. I repeat-o, put the oranges down and step away from the telephone-o. I'm deporting you back home-o," the voice continued.

I wasn’t fast enough to download-o it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Great Truths From Stephen Wright


* I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it.
* I had amnesia once - maybe twice.
* Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
* All I ask is a chance to prove money can't make me happy.
* I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
* If the world was a logical place, men would ride horses sidesaddle.
* What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?
* They told me I was gullible. And I believed them.
* Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to edge his car onto a freeway.
* Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.
* Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.
* What if there were no hypothetical questions?
* One nice thing about egotists. They don't talk about other people.
* When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.
* A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.
* What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?
* My weight is perfect for my height. Which varies.
* I used to be indecisive. Now, I'm not sure.
* The high cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
* How can there be self-help "groups"?
* Is there another word for synonym?
* The speed of time is one second per second.
* Is it possible to be totally partial?
* What's another word for thesaurus?
* Is Marx's tomb a communist plot?
* Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.
* It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
* Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?
* If a number 2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still number 2?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tonga Is Relieved

There was a big earthquake near Tonga today, in the Pacific. 7.8 on the Richter scale.

A tsunami warning was immediately issued, because that size earthquake in the ocean often produces a tidal wave. Like the one which devastated Sumatra last year.

Well, they canceled the tsunami warning, but that isn't the only reason that Tonga-nians are breathing easier.

Now they won't need FEMA either.