Monday, October 15, 2018

The Words of the Prophets

The original was "Keep your friends close and your fries closer",  itself a play on the quote from The Godfather:  "My father taught me many things here — he taught me in this room. He taught me — keep your friends close but your enemies closer."

Thought for the Day

Readers Write


David B:

An email from David B in England in response to my Bytes about the giant chalk figures on the English hillsides: 
Whilst I enjoyed your Bytes Daily on the Giant Hillside Chalk figures, as a proud Yorkshireman I must take issue with your statement that they are only found on the hills of Southern England :-) I attach a photo of the Kilburn White Horse on the flank of Sutton Bank in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

Thanks Dave, I stand corrected.

BTW, here’s a news report from The Guardian from 2007 that refers to the Cerne Abbas Giant mentioned in the earlier Bytes post:

Pagans have promised to conjure some "rain magic" to erase a figure of Homer Simpson which has been painted next to the Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset. 
The figure, representing Homer in his Y-fronts holding up a doughnut, is standing to the left of the chalk giant and his erect penis. The cartoon character was drawn on the hill slope to promote the new Simpsons film, which will be released later this month. He was painted with water-based biodegradable paint that will wash away when it rains. 
"We were hoping for some dry weather but I think I have changed my mind. We'll be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away," said Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation. "I'm amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It's an area of scientific interest," she added. 
Many believe the 180ft giant to be a symbol of ancient spirituality that can aid fertility. Opinions are divided as to the age of the Cerne Abbas giant, with some experts saying that he dates from as recently as the 17th century, while other says he was designed thousands of years ago. 
The giant has previously been used to promote products such as condoms, jeans and bicycles. He receives a full rechalking every 25 years.


Steve M:

Email from Steve M in response to the Funny Friday quickies: 
Honestly Otto, you should be bloody embarrassed and ashamed to attach your name to so many shit jokes, as in today’s Bytes. They are absolute rubbish, the biggest load of crap I have ever read.

Please continue – I just love ‘em! 
Thanks Steve. 

Here’s a couple more Steve to brighten your Monday . . . 

2 things I hate 
1. Lists 
2. Irony 
3. Maths 

A comment on the Royal Wedding not published in the mainstream press 

How do you make a Pirate angry? 
Take the 'P' out of him. 


Steve M:

Another email from Steve M, this one in response to the Moments in Australian Television when I mentioned Michael Parkinson’s interview of Sir Les Patterson . . . 
What a marvellous Bytes today, Otto, thank you!

I particularly enjoyed Sir Les, a man I strive to emulate, but fail miserably – a friend of mine, a fellow Byter - Stephen P from Perth - is the nearest I have ever met to Sir Les in real life. What a man!

I have seen Sir Les (and Dame Edna) and indeed their manager, Barry Humphries several times live (he has not appeared dead yet, but I will buy tickets because he will still be bloody funny) and truly believe that all three of them are genius’s or genii or whatever the plural is... I missed the wistful and charming Sandy Stone from my list – another marvellous character.

The amazing thing about Humphries and his creations is that they cross continents and their humour is lauded throughout the world. Some are disgusted by Sir Les, others are irritated by Dame Edna, but I have never met a person yet who will not acknowledge the craft and skill of Humphries as an entertainer.

Once again, many thanks for yet another wonderful Bytes! 
Thanks Steve. 

Dianne M:

I commented in a post on an amazing house in Brisbane:
It is an amazing house but not my cup of tea, unfortunately. Maybe it’s my Dutch upbringing, the house of my parents in which my brothers and I were raised displayed the influence of my mother. It must be a Dutch thing because the interior of my mother’s house very much resembled the restaurant in the Dutch Shop at Smithfield, even to the heavy carpets used as tablecloths:

Byter Dianne M in Holland can tell us, is the above style of decorating common in Holland, Di? 
The post is at: 

Dianne has sent me an email in response: 
Hi Otto

First loved the wedding photos of your children, so elegant.

Yes , the Dutch shop in Smithfield has the real Dutch furniture , lampshades and the complete interior lampshades and dressing and the clutter but we find it "gezellig " meaning cosy.

My granddaughter and husband were here last year and loved it.

Frilly lace curtains wide open so you can just look inside walking past or at night with the lampshades on with all being in full view. Needless to say, they walked this village all the time or rode the pushbikes just viewing it all. My granddaughter also said it gives open living a secure feeling, like being embraced with the friendliness. To their surprise, she said that people say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” to us and they don’t even know us.

They loved it here and it will be a repeat visit in the future.

Hope you and your wife are well.

Take care

Thanks Dianne. 

I remember the word “gezellig” (the g’s being pronounced with the guttural “ch” sound) being used a lot when I was young. 

For those interested, the Dutch Shop, aka Holland House, is at 85 Market Street, Smithfield NSW and is well worth a visit, as well as a lunch. Hours are 
Monday: Closed 
Tuesday – Friday: 09:00am – 4:30pm 
Saturday – Sunday: 09:00am – 4:00pm 

There is a review and a lot of pics at: 

Another pic of the restaurant and one of the exterior: 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Thought for the Day

3 x 5 x 5: Miscellany


3 items, maximum 5 sentences and 5 pics (some with captions) for each . . . 

Britain’s Giant Hillside Chalk Figures: 

From as early as 1,000 BC right up to the 20th century, people have been carving into Southern England’s hillsides to create images by revealing the chalk underneath or by filling the carved trenches with crushed chalk. Today there are 57 identified, it is believed that in the past there were hundred with most lost through erosion and by being overgrown. Many are huge and need to be seen from a distance to be appreciated. Those that remain are maintained by local groups of volunteers who keep the overgrowth away and periodically renew the chalk where needed. A selection follows. 


The Uffington White Horse in Berkshire county, believed to have been carved by Iron Age people in 1000 BC. 

The Osmington White Horse is the only horse figure with a rider. It was carved in 1808 in honour of King George III, who was a regular visitor to nearby Weymouth 

The Westbury White Horse, believed to have been carved to commemorate King Alfred's victory at the Battle of Ethandun in 878. 

The Cerne Abbas Giant is a giant figure of a naked man with an erect phallus, wielding a primitive club in his right hand, and is located near the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. It’s origins are a mystery with the earliest recorded reference being in 1694. Having come to be associated with fertility, women who wanted to conceive would spend a night alone on the hillside, particularly within the confines of his giant phallus. Sleeping on the giant was also thought to be a good way to ensure a future wedding for unmarried women. 

Near Fovant in southwest Wiltshire are a set of regimental badges cut into a chalk hill by soldiers garrisoned nearby and waiting to go to France during the First World War. Originally, twenty badges were craved, but only nine remain today. 


Tatusya Tanaka and his miniature dioramas: 

Tatsuya Tanaka has been creating miniature dioramas every day since 2011 and posting photographs of those dioramas on his calendar website. You can see the website by clicking on: 
Tanaka combines everyday items with tiny figures to cause us to look at such figures in new ways, to smile at the whimsy and humour. As you can imagine, there are thousands of diaromas and photographs but I can only post 5. Here are some from October 2018 and a couple of other recent ones . . . 


Toby Jugs: 

A Toby Jug – also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Philpot) – is a pottery jug in the form of a seated person, or the head of a recognizable person (often an English king). Started in the 1760s, it is thought to be a development of similar Delft jugs that were produced in the Netherlands. One theory as to the origin of the name is that it was inspired by the intoxicated, jovial character of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night. Another is that it was named after a notorious 18th-century Yorkshire drinker, Henry Elwes, who was known as "Toby Fillpot" (or Philpot), who was mentioned in an old English drinking song The Brown Jug, the popular verses of which were first published in 1761. In the 1949 film 12 O’Clock High, a Toby Jug depicting Robin Hood is used as a signal in the Officer's Club, to discreetly warn aircrews that there will be a mission the following day, without revealing this to outsiders who might be visiting. 


Toby Jug, made by Ralph Wood (the Younger), Burslem, ca. 1782-1795 

German Sterling Silver Toby Jug, 1904 

Royal Doulton Fidel Castro jug 

Vintage Royal Doulton Old Charley Character Toby Jug 

Dean Jagger with Toby Jug, 12 O’Clock High