Time Flies By (When You're The Driver Of A Train)

Posted on 13th May 2011

In light of my recent posts, I received the following story from a friend.

Rules Is Rules...

Good news:
It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, Kansas, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina.

Bad news:
Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

Good news:
A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules

Bad news:
The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain this to Union Pacific higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train!

They were informed that Rules prohibited moving the train when a part was found to be defective!


(Don't ever let common sense get in the way of a good Disaster!)

And just in case you thought that wasn't a true story, here it is with pictures!

File Under: humour / trains

Hungry Like The Wolf

Posted on 31st October 2008

For some time now, someone in Messagelabs has been driving to work in their business van. I'm guessing that the van normally only gets used during the evenings and at weekends for local deliveries around Cheltenham and Gloucester. As such during the day it saves buying a car just to commute to work :)

Now driving to work in a van is not that unusual, and the first time I saw the van it just amused me to see that it was a Indian Takeaway van.

However, it was only after I suddenly noticed all the modifications that have been made to the van, that moved me to take some photographs of it. It also gives Poppadoms a bit of advertising, which is essentially what they meant to do with the changes. I have never used the takeaway themselves, so can't endorse the food ... yet, but I'm willing to give them a try if they want to deliver to South Birmingham ;)

What I first spotted was the "No curries kept in this vehicle overnight" sticker on the back of the van, then the contradictory "Curry on board" sign. It was only later I noticed that the model of the van too had been doctored to "Suzuki Curry 1.3". Is that the average grading of the curries on board at any one time? ;)

I known, I know, but sometimes it's just the simple things that amuse me.

File Under: humour

Hanging On The Telephone

Posted on 22nd October 2008

In light of the recent announcement about a device to help avoid silent callers and cold callers to households, it's interesting to note that there is another way to get your own back.

This video was sent to me via Facebook and I haven't laughed to the point of tears in a very long time. Thankfully I wasn't drinking or eating at the time. Watch "The Greatest Prank Call Ever" and you too will be crying with laughter. If I was as quick witted I might give this a try on UK cold callers ... even though we've been signed up for TPS for the last couple of years! Enjoy :)

File Under: humour / phones

I Dream Of Wires

Posted on 16th September 2008

The following has recently entered my inbox; body copied verbatim:

"Your internet access is going to get suspended

The Internet Service Provider Consorcium was made to protect the rights of software authors, artists. We conduct regular wiretapping on our networks, to monitor criminal acts.

We are aware of your illegal activities on the internet wich were originating from

You can check the report of your activities in the past 6 month that we have attached. We strongly advise you to stop your activities regarding the illegal downloading of copyrighted material of your internet access will be suspended.

ICS Monitoring Team"

Those who receive this, and the attached file, may well be duped into believing that they have been caught out and consequently open the attachement to discover they have now install a dubious artifact on their machine. The Winlogon trojan, which is then installed, may not be want you want hanging around on your system.

I did find it amusing that the creators, working with the scare tactics of the major music industry companies I've previously spoken of, have crafted this social engineering attack to dupe unsuspecting recipients. It effectively means, once people do educate their spam filters, that any future emails from music industry henchmen threatening fines, court appearances and cutting your internet will most likely end up being deleted :) 

As a result it may just mean the dubious threats might finally go away. Mind you with the stocks and share around the world looking rather shaky, I can imagine the media moguls have better things to worry about than those downloading dubious files over BitTorrent.

File Under: humour / internet / music / spam

Legend Of Xanadu

Posted on 22nd April 2008

I should have posted this a few weeks ago, when I was too busy to post a diary entry. Maybe I should save it, but then it's always nice to be reminded of the story. I've come across this story several times over the years, and I always enjoy re-reading it.

Mario is currently working for Sun in Manchester, so next time I see Alan Burlison, I must remember to ask him if he knows him. I expect so. Anyway it's a good story and if you haven't read it, do so now. Then think whether you could ever do the same with a Windows system .....

A Legendary Unix Recovery.

File Under: computers / humour

Blue Monday

Posted on 21st April 2008

If someone was to die through indecision would that be cantdecide?

Sorry, it's been a long week and it's still only Monday!

File Under: humour

Icing Sugar

Posted on 11th April 2008

A while ago a friend of mine brought over a bag of sweets to show me, as he knew I'd appreciate the name :)

Unless you're not as impressed, people in the Perl community generally find anything which can be tenuously tied to the Perl programming language amusing. We're like that. Perle Beer always seems to go down well too :)

File Under: humour / perl

Blitzkrieg Bop

Posted on 14th March 2008

LUGRadio celebrated it's 4th birthday two weeks ago, and a few of us met up in Wolverhampton at The Varsity to raise a glass (or two). Current presenters Jono, Aq, Adam and Chris, plus ex-presenter Ade were all present, together with some of the Wolverhampton and Birmingham LUGers, Birmingham Perl Mongers, and Roger Light (of infamous LUGRadio 'The (One Man) Freedom March' Video fame) decided to head over from Nottingham to join us too. A good night was had by all, especially those of us watching Jono trying his worst to impress anyone who would watch him with his dancing. I was asked on several occasions to put videos up on YouTube, but I couldn't be that cruel, so I've added them here instead ;)

Here's to the next 4 years. I wonder what they'll be like in their teenage years?

File Under: humour / lugradio / wolverhampton

He Knows You Know

Posted on 4th March 2008

A friend sent this to me recently and I have no idea where it originates from, so if I've accidentally abused any copyrights, please let me know. Although I've spotted it elsewhere on the net, and everyone seems to have had it emailed to them, with no reference to the original author. Anyway, in the meantime, enjoy this rather comic aside into how product marketing could cause confusion. For anyone too young to remember Abbott and Costello (they were part of my regular Saturday morning viewing in the 70s ... and Sunday afternoons on occasions), then keep an eye out for one of their classic films.


You have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on... If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on First?" (video), might have turned out something like this:

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know.? What will I see when I look at the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: ? No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
ABBOTT: ? Yes.
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START".............

File Under: computers / humour

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