Impractical joke

pie-in-face

Believe it or not, for several years, I worked in a hospital research lab. (Won’t mention which Toronto hospital lest people stop taking their sick children there.)

What I hadn’t realized until one fateful day was that not only was I a pretty good biochemist, but I was also a damned fine engineer…when motivated.

And what better motivation than a plate of whipped cream to the face. Really, the old pie-in-the-face chestnut.

And the chortling culprit was a friend who worked across the hall. (I won’t name names because Andy, who was still quite green then, is now a medical practitioner.)

We laughed. Boy, I sure look silly. You got me. And now…you must die (of embarrassment)!

Doing my best MacGuyver, I set to work.

Pyrex baking dish? Check.

Cling film? Check.

Wood block? Check.

Masking tape? Check.

Water? Double check.

Tools

The plan was simple. Convince A.G. that he had a research paper we needed in his desk drawer, which we had booby trapped with a tray of water.

When he opens the drawer, AHA!

Oh wait, the tray will slide backwards.

Support the tray in the drawer so it doesn’t slide, and AHA!

Nuts, even if he pulls the drawer forward, Conservation of Momentum says the water will slosh the other way.

Cover most of the tray with cling wrap so the water has nowhere to go and sloshes back all the more forcefully, and then AHA!

Oh but why would he sit down to open the drawer…they slide so easily.

Stick masking tape under the upper rim of the drawer so he has to yank it open, and then… (Aha, right?)

Yes, Aha.

AHA!

To avoid suspicion, I had a mutual friend ask Andy for the paper…he sat at his desk and tugged the drawer, but it was stuck. Sitting at the desk, he pulled harder and yanked the drawer open. And was hit with a wall of water that completely drenched his lower half.

AVENGED!

He wandered the halls looking like the Lusitania went down in his pants.

It may all be quite silly to you, but to this day, this represents my greatest engineering feat…something that, for me, rivals the Pyramids of Egypt and those irritating metal ring puzzles.

Booby trap

(This silly memory prompted by yesterday’s post by Ned Hickson about his fake poo…you think it’s easy being this juvenile?)

Day at the Beach – Not Feathers

Birds seemed to be my primary focus on Sunday while I wandered the boardwalk in the east end of Toronto.

Today, it is the grand compilation of everybody else.

See also: Day at the Beach – Feathers

Day at the Beach – Feathers

So, despite some early morning rain, Sunday ended up being a beautiful hot day in Toronto. And where better to spend such a day than wandering the boardwalk along Lake Ontario in the east end of the city.

At first, I wondered where the hell everyone was…the beach was almost deserted. Had traffic and construction finally gotten the better of everyone? And then it dawned on me: World Cup!

The day got that much more beautiful.

I’ll have another set of photos tomorrow, but here are some images of the birds that came out to play. Not all are technically wonderful photos…mostly a sign of how bright it was, how far off the birds were and/or how much I still have to learn about using my camera.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy.

See also: Day at the Beach – Not Feathers

500

500b

So I have hit the milestone blog post: 500.

For some of you, who have followed me from the earliest days, you are no doubt thinking: “500? Really? Seems like 5,000.” For those of you relatively new to the wonder that is my blog, please note closely the previous statement.

I dithered over what to write for my 500th post, and have decided I’m going to talk about you…well, some of you.

I “follow” quite a few blogs…I read many fewer…and I seek out even fewer. I’m sorry for those I don’t visit more regularly…hours in a day and all that. It’s some of that last group, I want to highlight here…those glorious few who make me stop whenever I see they’ve posted something new.

crows

Filippa Levemarks Blog

The paintings that this woman creates and the themes she explores by mixing media and mixing subject-matter blow me away. Rare is the image that doesn’t elicit some emotion in me. Hers is a style I have seen nowhere else and is worth exploring.

 

Jack Flacco

To read Jack’s blog is to have no clear idea as to who Jack is, and I mean that as a compliment. Jack takes on any subject it seems, but always in a thought-provoking and welcoming way that makes you want to contribute with a comment. His latest topics have been: monotasking, Veronica Mars, infectious pandemic readiness and phone addiction.

 

bareknuckle

Bare Knuckle Writer

As the title suggests, Steph Snow is a no-holds-barred writer who likes to talk (or rant) about writing. With generous dollops of humour, she discusses the creative fortunes and practices that torture her soul on a seemingly daily basis. Misery truly does like company.

 

ionia julian

Readful Things Blog/Julian Froment’s Blog

I list these two blogs together because they are both discussions of the written word—e.g., reviews of books and authors, discussions of book marketing—and because the bloggers (Ionia Martin & Julian Froment) are beautifully connected at the soul (I don’t ask questions about any other forms of connections). Amazing people whose love for words is only surmounted by their love for each other.

 

Schelley Cassidy Photography

As a photo-hobbiest, I deeply appreciate the craft and skills that other photographers bring to the world. In this case, however, Schelley and I seem to share a greater fascination for the minute rather than the panoramic, as suggested by her regular feature “What is it?” where you only see an aspect of an object and are left guessing as to what that object is.

 

Ron Scubadiver’s Wild Life

If I couldn’t have my life, I would want Ron’s. A world traveller and freelance journalist, Ron is an amazing photographer, capturing incredible aspects of life in the many places he has visited. I particular enjoy his collections of people photos, often taken at a festival or gathering, which are incredibly natural and inviting.

 

ned

Ned’s Blog

Ned Hickson is not right in the head. And that’s what I love about him. A journalist in the Pacific Northwest and volunteer firefighter (or latex-coat fetishist…can’t really tell), Ned brings an irreverent sense of humour to everything he writes, earning him several accolades including his own NSA file. Ned also has a book to his credit, which I believe he has to return to the library next Tuesday.

 

Curnblog

More a collective than a personal blog, Curnblog offers amazing insights into all things film, whether examining an individual film or genre from angles such as sociology, creativity or cinematography. Predominantly the work of James Curnow, the blog is like having your own little film school where you can access new and unusual topics on a weekly basis without the pressure of essays, theses or exams.

 

There are so many other blogs to which I would like to direct you, but I am happy that you made it this far down the page. Perhaps for my 1000th blog post!

My gratitude for your patience and enduring interest.

post-milestone-500-1x

Convince readers to take a leap of faith, instead of a flying leap

Created by RCW:

Don’t let him know, but this is actually a really interesting (and surprisingly useful) post from my friend Ed Slickson…

…his name is what? What did I say? Oh, whatever!

Originally posted on Ned's Blog:

image Welcome to Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, when I share writing wisdom gained through 15 years as a newspaper columnist — or as my editor calls it, “Reasons I have a cardiologist.”

But enough accolades!

As I’m sure all of you remember, the last NWOW was about the importance of honesty in all genres of writing…

Fine, no one remembers.

At least you’re honest.

In that post, I talked about how writing must ring true with readers for them to become emotionally invested. This is particularly important when it comes to fiction, where you are often asking readers to suspend their disbelief and buy into something — such as an eccentric character, over-the-top situation or random reference to the new iPad6® in hopes of getting a free one — that requires a leap of faith. I this case, your reader is making a “leap” over reality because they have…

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