Broken Glass Houses


In the last post, I made comment about the crazy gun, greed and celebrity culture that seems to be prevalent in the USA these days.  But the Lone Grey Squirrel remembers the adage, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”  And so before you start throwing stones back, I readily admit that things are not so great over here either.

Recently in the news was a 21 year old Malaysian girl studying chemical engineering in Sydney, Australia.  The bank made a mistake and gave her bank account an unlimited overdraft facility and she proceeded to spend AUD 4.6 million (USD 3.3 million) on handbags, luxury items and rental of a luxury apartment – all in less than a year.  When authorities began to make inquiries, she tried to leave the country on an emergency travel document but was arrested at the airport.  When asked why she had spent so much and not reported the mistake to the bank, she replied that she had just assumed that her parents had given her the money to spend.

So many questions?  Whose fault is all this? The girl’s or the bank’s? Was she dishonest? Is she guilty of any crime? Or is she just naive?  Did she really believe that her parents would give her millions to spend?  And finally, how come the banks have never been kind enough to make such a mistake with my accounts?

Of course, she isn’t alone.  The Malaysian Prime Minister has also been in the spotlight with regards to USD 681 million that was paid into his personal bank account.  He too has an explanation……….it was a donation from an unnamed Saudi Prince.

The perception is that corruption and dishonesty has permeated the fabric of Malaysian society at every level from the man on the street to the engines of industry to the corridors of power.

Here are two funny tales that are circulating which help to explain how things are perceived to be done in Malaysia these days.

Story 1:- Shrewd Financial Management

A homeless man finds a 100 dollar bill  He goes to a 5 star hotel, gets a room for the night and orders room service.  The next day, the hotel demands payment of 800 dollars.

The man says all he has is the 100 dollar bill.  The hotel manager calls the police.

The police come and arrest him. While in the police car, the man offers the cops the 100 dollar bill.  The police immediately release him and ask where he would like to be dropped off.

Now, that is shrewd financial management

Story 2: National Service

Malaysia joins the space race and wants to send a man to Mars.  After a grueling training and selection process, the hopeful astronauts have been whittled down to just three candidates.

A high ranking government Minister in charge of the space program decides to meet the candidates before making a final decision on who will be selected. Each candidate was asked in turn, what would they like as a token of thanks from a grateful nation for carrying out this dangerous mission.

Candidate 1 told the minister that he was happy to serve the country but it was a risky mission and he has 3 wives and their families to feed.  He therefore asked that he be given 3 million dollars to make sure that his families were well taken care off in case he did not come back.  The Minister said he would consider the request.

Candidate 2 similarly asked for 1 million dollars.  He explained that he had one wife and that 1 million would make sure that his wife and family were well taken care off if he failed to come back.  The minister said he would consider the request.

Candidate 3 told the minister that he would need 5 million dollars.

Taken aback, the minister asked if the candidate had 5 wives?

Candidate 3 replied that he was not married.

“Why then do you need 5 million?” asked the minister.

Candidate 3 leaned over and whispered into the minister’s ear, “Give me 5 million……2 million I give to you, another 2 million I will keep and I know a fool who will actually go on the mission for just 1 million.”

Or in other words…….how government tenders work.

Savvy???

If Squirrels were in Charge….


Squirrels are well trained to look for and spot a bad nut and we also know what to do with bad nuts…….

squirrels with bad nut
….squirrels make sure that the BAD NUTS don’t get away and cause any harm!!!

So, if squirrels were in charge there would be none of these nonsense……..

zimmerman gun

If squirrels were in charge, ……. THERE WOULD BE NO PROFITEERING FROM TRAGEDY!

If squirrels were in charge, …….NO ONE WOULD BE ALLOWED TO MAKE A WEAPON THAT CAUSED SUCH TRAGEDY TO BE MADE INTO AN ICONIC COMMODITY!

And, if squirrels were in charge, …….. MOTHERS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BUY SUCH ITEMS AS A GIFT FOR THEIR SONS!

 

Excerpts from BBC report:-

The handgun used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 has been sold for $250,000 (£172,000), US media say.

The gun was put up for auction by George Zimmerman, who fired the shot but was acquitted of Trayvon’s murder.

The sale of the gun drew criticism from those saying Mr Zimmerman, 32, was seeking to profit from the killing. Gun rights advocates say he was exercising his legal rights under US law.

Denny Honeycutt, a Florida bar owner who said he had agreed a price of $150,000, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that Mr Zimmerman had reneged on the deal.

“I thought he was a man of his word,” Mr Honeycutt told the paper.

He said the buyer was a woman who had wanted the gun as a birthday present for her son.

Honestly, humans! What the heck is going on in that”superior” Homo sapien nut of yours?  Better let us squirrels take charge before you make things even worse.

Colouring Between the Lines


Has it finally happened?!?!?!  Has the Lone Grey Squirrel become so grey that he has entered the proverbial second childhood?

For whatever reason, LGS has returned to the childhood activity of trying to colour between the lines.  I blame my wife. She started it and I got dragged in.

As you smart and trendy readers would know, there seems to be a surging interest in colouring books for adults.  These books are full of line drawings of varying complexity but all uncoloured.  All awaiting our inner child to awake and put our imagination and creativity on paper.  It is touted as a great way for stress relief and I guess it is more constructive than my old standard of throwing darts at a picture of my boss.

At any rate, the sheer proliferation of such books are a clear reflection of its popularity.  And as I always say, “50 million monkeys can’t be wrong”!*

*in case you are wondering, those are lyrics from the song “The Peanut Vendor” by Moises Simons of Cuba; although the English lyrics were by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Marion Sunshine.

Anyway, I present before your cruel, critical eyes,some of my early work in this medium.  Please be kind – like to a helpless baby seal. Thank you.

squirrel
SQUIRRELS! Of course, I had to start here!  This could be my coat of arms….what do you think? (drawing from Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom; colouring by LGS)
mushrooms
You may be wondering what possessed LGS to do this?  All I have to say is SHROOMS! (drawing from Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland; colouring by LGS)
bird nest
Now, colouring between the lines seems to be here to stay, like a  BIRD COMING IN TO NEST! (drawing from Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: colouring by LGS)

Will you catch the bug too?

Choosing Sides


When I was young, I spent a lot of time reading comics.  And now, some of those same comics have made it onto the silver screen in a big or should I say, a MEGA way.  The Marvel-Disney stable of movies now account for four of the five movies with the biggest grossing opening weekends of all time.  The Marvel comics movie franchise has now earned more than Harry Potter, James Bond, the Hobbits or even Star Wars.

All of which merely underlines the fact that I had a wasted youth. If only I had studied my comics more diligently instead of wasting my precious time with trigonometry, science and history at school, perhaps today I would be enjoying my share of the Marvel bonanza. If only. Yes……a wasted youth is a sad, sad thing.

Anyway, I just came back from watching the latest Marvel movie, “Captain America: Civil War”. It was a great movie. I enjoyed it; my wife enjoyed it; my young nephews enjoyed it; someone I know who is really into comics really enjoyed it; someone I know who doesn’t read comics at all went to see it twice! So this means this squirrel gives it a 5 acorn rating.

But without letting the cat out of the bag (and us squirrels prefer the cat not to be running around loose), Captain America and Iron Man find themselves on opposing sides and the rest of the Avengers and superheros have to make a decision about who they support. All of this leads us to this most important and potentially divisive question being asked of all the fans, “Are you on Team Capt. America or Team Iron Man?”

When asked, Wally the Corgi said, “I’m Team Cap because he’s got a cool frisbee.” (Editor: a good enough reason!)

And what about us squirrels?  Well, actually we are great friends with Black Widow so whoever she sides with is just fine with us. Although, sometimes we can’t tell if she is on this side or the other as so often she is playing the double agent. All very confusing really.

squirrel girl black widow
Squirrel Girl hanging with good friend Black Widow and some weirdo.

So whose team are you?

Surfing Outback


This week LGS is stepping in the ol’ time machine (otherwise known as my dusty photo album) to go back some 15 years.  It was not the best of times for me.  I was very  stressed, terribly unhealthy and quite unwell.  During this dip in my life, I took a trip to Australia to visit relatives.  I was so worn out that I slept most of the time there.  But I did go on a road trip with them towards the interior of Oz.

Our journey started from Perth and we made our way south for hundreds of kilometers to Albany before we struck out to the north and inland towards the heart of the continent.

 

south australia_0060
As it was spring, the journey started lush and green and colourful (Stirling Range National Park)
south australia_0038
Canola fields
south australia_0061
After the Stirling Range, we endured seemingly endless boring kilometers of flat, dry , dusty featureless landscape (the wild flowers were pretty though)
south australia_0051
Any distraction from the long drive was welcome.  Even a dog cemetery.
south australia_0066
But there were beautiful things to see if you took your time to look
south australia_0062
And there were local inhabitants to meet
south australia_0055
Finally, we made it to our destination of Hyden.  This is where we spent the night.
south australia_0056
Near by is the Hippo’s Yawn Cave.  Caves nearby have aboriginal hand paintings.
south australia_0063
And finally, this was what we traveled all those long dusty kilometers to do!  To go surfing! (Wave Rock, Hyden)

No chance of drowning or shark attack here!

 

Original Weirdness


When I was trying to write my scientific thesis at University, an older and self proclaimed “wiser” student offered me this piece of advice:- “If you just quote from one source, that’s called plagiarism.  If you quote from many sources, that’s called research!”

That’s why, my last post included items pinched from several sources around the internet – that’s quality research!

However, just to prove that the Lone Grey Squirrel is capable of some original content, here for your enjoyment is some original weirdness that I actually found on my own while doing field research in my natural environment*.

( field research in my natural environment* = finding something to kill boredom while my wife does window shopping at the local mall)

The following are all originals by LGS which to my knowledge has never been loaded up on the internet.  With your help, I expect them to be a runaway viral sensation on the internet, thus making me world famous and landing me a lead role in Zootopia 2 opposite Shakira.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Here are my originals for your enjoyment…….

1.  For the Men ………some pretty women going cheap

IMG_3305

2. For the Ladies …….. some Australian Beef(cake)

IMG_0903

3. For those who like to stand on their heads………..

IMG_3004

And you know, my all time favorite was the photo that got away.  They discovered their mistake before I could return with my camera.  My local supermarket was apparently selling “chicken dumbsticks”!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my original discoveries and please feel free to leave caption suggestions in the comments!  That will make us an international collaborative research team.

Fun With Squirrels


This blog has lost its focus of late in that we haven’t had a post about squirrels for many moons.  And with the absence of squirrels, there hasn’t been much fun around here either; because Squirrels = FUN!

pick a nut

Here are three videos to remind us all that squirrels are fun.  In fact, the sooner all you humans surrender and submit to squirrel domination and rule of the world, the sooner we can put all the unpleasantness and get on with having fun.

Video 1 :- Squirrel horsing around

Video 2:- Squirrel -the life of the party and

Video 3:- Squirrel spectator sport

All 3 prove that you can have fun with squirrels…….. now don’t we all need some fun these days?

 

 

Viewing the World Through the Observation of Squirrels

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 178 other followers