Friday, September 17, 2021


Death is the only certainty in life

"There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.

The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra." 

- W. Somerset Maugham



Remember how at Christmas and New Year's Eve last year we wished each other well and expressed the hope that the worst was behind us, that 2021 would be a good year.  How wrong were we.  It makes you wonder what 2022 holds in store.

I can't tell you about 2022 but I can tell you about today, and that is that it contains another Funny Friday.  I can also tell that you will have a few giggles and laughs, as well as some groans and rolled eyes.  Okay, not much of a prediction, that's the same as every Friday in Bytes.

Enjoy, readers.

Caution: some risque content ahead.



My wife recently discovered I was cheating after she found all those letters I'd been hiding.

She got really mad and said she's never going to play Scrabble with me again.

A man is driving home one night and almost falls asleep while driving...

"God dammit," he thought, "I'll never be able to stay awake on the road, and I don't have money for a motel. I'm not gonna risk it, I'll just pull over to the side of the road and take a little nap."

He parks his car just outside of a park, and kicks his seat back. "I don't need much, maybe just an hour at least." He closes his eyes, and lies motionless waiting for sweet dreams to come.

The man is this close to falling asleep, but before he can, he hears the most annoying sound in the world. He wakes up to see where it is coming from, and he sees someone knocking against his window! He rolls the window down to see who it is, and he sees a man jogging in place.

"What do you want?" he asks.

"Do you know what time it is?" the jogger asks.

"No I don't know what time it is," the man says, and the jogger jogs away. He rolls up his window and tries to fall asleep again. He lays his head back thinking about how annoying that was. You'd think that if someone knocked on your window it would be about something important. He closes his eyes again, and waits for more dreaming.

He's just about to do it until... he hears more knocking on his car window! "Gosh darn it!" he thought, what does that guy want this time? He tries to ignore it, trying to signal to the person he is not interested, but the man is very persistent. He relents and rolls down his window and he sees another man jogging in place.

"What do you want?" he asks.

"Do you know what time it is?" the jogger asks.

"No, I don't, now leave me alone!" says the man, and the jogger jogs away. He rolls back up his window. "Is this going to be happening to me all night?" he thought. 

Frustrated, he opens up his glove box and pulls out a piece of paper. He grabs the biggest Sharpie he could find and writes down, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS!" and he grabs some scotch tape, and puts it on the driver side window.

"There!" he thought. "Now everyone can leave me alone!" He's confident that the sign is going to work and he won't have to deal with anymore persistent knocking on his car window.

He lays back and tries to sleep again. This time he is about to do it. And just when he thought the sign was about to work, would you believe it? He hears more knocking on his window! Frustrated, he roles down the window to see another jogger.

"What do you want? Didn't you read the sign?" The man asks.

And the jogger says "Of course I can. I just wanted to let you know, its 9:15 PM."

So I asked my friend, "what does STFU mean?"

"Shut the fuck up," he responded.

He didn't have to be so harsh, he could've just told me to go away.

The King of the magical land Wakanda invited the President of the United States and the Queen of Britain to visit.

When they arrived, the Royal Guide of Wakanda brought them to the Palace.

"I should warn you, the beauty and luxury you will see is unparalleled." he said.

They both snorted haughtily. Surely this third-world country couldn't compete with their own riches.

But when they entered, they were shocked. A giant room ran as far as the eye could see. The floor was carpeted with thick, beautiful rugs. Pillars of marble rose to a roof far, far above them. Chandeliers shimmering with crystal hung from the ceiling. Sitting on plush velvet thrones were thousands of exotic dogs of every breed. Servants rushed to and fro, bearing gold platters laden with delicacies. In one corner, a 40 piece orchestra stood, playing the most amazing music.

The President recovered first. "Alright, this place is pretty big. But the White House must be nearly double the size."

The Queen sniffed. "Oh, if you care about size then fine. But one does prefer the decor at Buckingham Palace."

The Royal Guide of Wakanda turned around impatiently.

"Do hurry. Surely you didn't travel all this way just to see our kennels?"


A Jewish woman buys a new apartment

She calls her friend once she is moved in and is gushing about what a nice place she has and invites her to come see it.

Of course she agrees so she starts giving the friend directions on how to get there.

"Once you park, head straight through the courtyard and you'll see a buzzer for the apartments. Use your right elbow to hit 3B and I'll buzz you in. When you get inside walk over to the elevator and use your knee to push the UP button. Then use your left elbow to hit 3. I'm the apartment at the end of the hall. Kick the door two times and I'll come open it for you."

The friend is understandably confused by these detailed instructions. "But can't I just use my hands for the buzzer and elevator and to knock on the door?" the friend asks.

She pauses for a minute, then finally says "Oh, so you're not bringing anything?"


Also from the vault . . . 

A truck driver would amuse himself by running over lawyers. Whenever he saw a lawyer walking down the side of the road, identified by the pin striped suit and brief case, he would swerve to hit him, enjoy the loud, satisfying "THUMP", and then swerve back onto the road.

One day, as the truck driver was driving along he saw a priest hitchhiking. He thought he would do a good turn and pulled the truck over.

He asked the priest, "Where are you going, Father?"

"I'm going to the church 5 miles down the road," replied the priest.

"No problem, Father! I'll give you a lift. Climb in the truck." The happy priest climbed into the passenger seat and the truck driver continued down the road.
Suddenly the truck driver saw a lawyer walking down the road and instinctively he swerved to hit him. But then he remembered there was a priest in the truck with him, so at the last minute he swerved back away, narrowly missing the lawyer. However even though he was certain he missed the lawyer, he still heard a loud "THUD". Not understanding where the noise came from he glanced in his mirrors and when he didn't see anything, he turned to the priest and said, "I'm sorry Father. I almost hit that lawyer."

"That's okay, my son", replied the priest. "I got him with the door!"



US President Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1914) was a limerick afficionado, not only of quoting but also of writing them. The following limerick has been credited to him, perhaps because he was fond of reciting it, but it was actually written by Anthony Euwer, artist, lecturer and poet, and published in his "Limeratomy" in 1917. Euwer was at Princeton when Wilson was president there, and perhaps they were friends.

As a beauty I'm not a great star,
Others are handsomer by far;
But my face, I don't mind it,
Because I'm behind it –
It's the folks in the front that I jar.

There is more support that the Pres did write this one . . .

I sat next to the Duchess at tea;
It was just as I feared it would be:
Her rumblings abdominal
Were truly phenomenal,
And everyone thought it was me !

A variation with "thought" instead of feared and "abominable" instead of phenomenal is reported as a misattribution in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 132







What's the difference between people who pray in church and those who pray in casinos?

The ones in the casinos are serious.

100 years ago everyone owned horses

And only the rich owned cars

Now everyone has a car and only the rich own horses

The stables have turned.

I read somewhere we only use 10% of our brains

I wonder what the other half is used for ??

A man went to the doctor and said: "Doc, I broke my arm in 12 places."

The doctor replied: "Well, stop going to those places then."


Thursday, September 16, 2021




Continuing the 2021 drone photographs of the year awards, winners pasted last week.  Here are the runners up and commended in the Wildlife category, with the photographers' captions.

Note: the title is misleading in that the competition is open to aerial photography and videos taken from fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.

Category: Wildlife

Back to Adventure

Green turtle heading back to water after laying down eggs in her peaceful nest at Oman coastline between Ras Al Jinz and Rashad turtle reserve.

Fast Food

This photo was taken in Zambia. Two male lion brothers killed a buffalo, and after eating for a day they left the remains to the others.

Hippopotamus group from above

Hippopotamus group from above creating an amazing pattern. All hippos are adults except one baby who is in the center.

Fairy Circles

Zebra herd in the Namib Rand Nature Reserve in Namibia. The thin grasses here have a rare speckled pattern known as "fairy circles", a phenomena that is poorly understood. Grasses seem to grow higher on the inner rim of the circles due to less competition for water on the inside of the ring.

Polar Bear Hunting

Polar bear hunting seal from an iceberg in Svalbard during the summer while the sea ice is gone all the way north to 83°N.

Giving Back to the Ocean

An adult male sperm whale died stranded in the shallow waters of BahΓ­a de la Paz, Baja California Sur, on November 2020. The local marine mammals conservation team could not determine the death cause, but its skeleton was later retrieved to do more research and became part of the Museo de la Ballena osteological collection in La Paz.


The Yamuna Ghat in Delhi is the site of a majestic gathering of thousands of seagulls flocking to feed. One day early in the morning we visited Yamuna Ghat with my drone to capture this beauty of seagulls from above.

Sleeping Beauty

Working closely with the bears and getting them used to our behaviour meant that by day 5 we were well underway to documenting some truly unique behaviour. By this point we have gotten to know in detail the personalities of 27 different bears, and they in return welcomed us into their lives and let us film around the clock. Utilizing drones, remote cameras, and custom made gear in order to capture the most intimate footage.

Emus of the Salt Lake

Emus running in shallow water on Lake Gairdner, a salt lake in central Australia. The birds were foraging though they were many km from the shore of a 7000 sq km lake. There were no plants and the water too saline to drink. The normal diet of emus is seeds and fruit, but also insects. Strong winds had blown many insects over the lake and, exhausted, they fell into the water. This is probably what the emus were feeding on.

Fast Track

Whether the Zebra is black with white strips or if it is white with black strips it definitely stands out in the wild. I was on a photoshoot for some other species and that is when I spotted this beauty running in haste.

Lake Rudolf Sprinkle

During the rainy season, the beautiful flamingos adorn the Rift Valley with their long-legs, long-neck, black beak, and pink feathery coats. It is indeed feasting to our eyes. I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time observing them and clicking as many pictures as I could because to me every frame out there was unique. In this picture, you can see a flock of flamingos flying over a pattern, which is very similar to the pattern they are flying.

(Does anyone understand the above caption comment?? - Otto)

Baby Flamingos

Baby flamingos said hello to life. Salt lake is a good home for them. Their mother is feeding nearby. They will grow and migrate. The minerals in the salt lake are their food source. The weather is very hot this year but they are used to it. It is necessary to go to the salt lake very early in order to photograph flamingos. As the weather warms, they go to deeper waters.


Some nocturnal animals, like this pair of Golden Jackal, have taken shelter in the wheat field because their home has been destroyed. Golden jackals are locally common in Bangladesh despite intensive cultivation and high human densities. It's quite difficult to find jackal in day time so I had to use my drone to capture this image without making them feel intimidated.

A Still Point in Time

At a still point in time, a flock of greater flamingo wades through the obsidian brine pans south of Walvis Bay with the dainty grace of ballerinas. This image was taken hand held from the fixed wing aircraft. Flamingo are incredibly noise and vibration sensitive and normally take to flight when disturbed. Our aircraft is so quiet these flamingo were unaware of us photographing them from above.

If you look at the top right corner, you will see one flamingo with wings outstretched, the only one that looks different. It reminds me of Brian in Life of Brian telling the gathered crowd "You're all individuals." They all repeat in one voice "We're all individuals", except for one plaintive voice which says "I'm not."

Point of No Return

A 13-metre whale entered, disoriented, in the estuary of river Vouga in Aveiro, and got stuck in a sand bank. The efforts of the fishermen and of the authorities to keep it alive were not enough and ended up dying. The reason that led the whale to make such a journey is still unknown, but the lack of food due to intensive fishing and the noise of the boats may have contributed to this outcome.

Shark Seeking the Salmon

Capturing this was delight, as the light was beautiful, and the shark was in a great position, while in the hunt for the many hundreds of salmon.


A flock of Greater Flamingos enjoys the food-rich salterns of Vankali Bird Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. They travel thousands of miles every year to reach Sri Lanka, which is their ideal residence during winters.

Sheep in Congress

In the north of Israel, I documented during summer and winter a herd of 1500 sheep which became more than 1900 heads. I followed them when they moved from one location to another mainly for searching for fresh grass but also for preparing to give birth and cut their wool.

More to come.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021




Last week I posted some items about Rag and Bone Men, the men from bygone days who travelled the streets of London and surrounds collecting old and thrown out clothing, bones (various uses) and equipment in the hope of making a shilling by selling same.

Those wishing to read some recollections of those days can do so by clicking on a piece by Sandra Cook at:

Well worth a read.

In this Bytes post, the last instalment on the topic, is a poem by someone known only as Jenny, from her website “My Poetic Side”, at:

Her mention of goldfish was to the practice of the rag and bone man giving a goldfish to those who gave him goods, which Sandra Cook says was mostly rejected – the goldfish would only die the next day anyway.

I remember when I was a little girl
And the Rag and Bone man came round
On his cart pulled by a horse
All manner of things could be found
A washing machine with a broken ringer
And a bicycle without a wheel
He used to give my grandma two pence
For a bag of meat bones leftover from a meal
The bones were used for knife handles
And the grease extracted used to make soap
We’d give them to him in a potato sack
Tied around the top with a piece of rope
I remember one day the ragman
Knelt down on the ground
Searching between the paving stones
Where horseshoe nails could be found
Over his tired shoulders
He would carry a small bag
It would contain bones and various metals
Plus numerous pieces of coloured rag
One of the ragmen who came to our street
His name was Henry Moon
If we gave him something for his cart
We were rewarded with a goldfish or a balloon
It was a hard life being a ragman
People now wouldn’t see the sense
In working from early morning till night
For the measly sum of six pence
You still see rag and bone men about
No longer with a horse-drawn cart
Driving around in short wheel-base lorries
They have scrap collecting down to a fine art
They still pick up broken washing machines
And bicycles without a wheel
But some people still prefer to fly-tip
Dumping unwanted items in a field
We live in a throwaway society
No longer reliant on Mr Rag and Bone
It’s easy to get rid of scrap items
We just need to pick up the phone

Tuesday, September 14, 2021



FROM THE VAULT: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya..."

From Bytes, Saturday, May 29, 2010

I was discussing The Princess Bride with someone.

I am not afraid to say that it is one of my personal favourite movies, so many great moments, so many great characters, so many wonderful lines. One classic scene is that of Inigo Montoya seeking revenge on the wicked, six fingered Count Rugen for the brutal slaying of Inigo’s father when Inigo was a child. Since that time, Inigo has trained as a swordsman and searched for the 6 fingered man, to one day kill him.  Inigo proposes to say to the man when he finally finds him: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

See the classic scene by clicking on the following link:

My point in posting the above item is to introduce you to a different and contrasting version of the same scene. I will not say anything apart from encouraging you to click on the link:


(By the way, you are aware that Mandy Patinkin was also Saul Berenson in Homeland and Jason Gideon in Criminal Minds?)


Sunday, September 12, 2021




Another contribution by Graham . . .

Hi Mr O,

Here is a link to the 2021 drone photograph award winner and runners up.


Mr G
Thanks G.

Following are Graham’s pics and photographer captions from the above link . . .

Winner - Photo of the Year

Thousands of pink-footed geese roost in central Norway in spring, on their way to the breeding grounds on Svalbard in the Arctics. The geese tend to use the same paths, so when waiting for them in the air with a drone, photos like this one are possible.

Winner - Abstract

This is a detailed photograph of a small Romanian river filled with poison. Poisoned Beauty was a personal project to photographer Gheorghe Popa who wanted to tell the story of a natural disaster in the "Apuseni Mountains". This abstract colourful pattern is created by chemical waste which has resulted from the copper and gold mining process

Winner - Urban

A 500-year-old monastery in Russia is dwarfed by a looming power plant in the background. The steam is thick and heavy due to severe frost, which is contrasted against the stark white of the place of worship

Winner - People

A fisherman starts his fishing day in the mangrove forest in the lagoon of Tam Giang in the Hue province of Vietnam. Mangroves lose all their leaves and turn white during the winter season

Winner - Weddings

On a late summer evening in Marina di Pisa, Tuscany photographer Matteo Originale spotted illuminated clouds on the horizon. He placed the couple towards them to capture the "infinity full of love.

Some more info, pics and captions from that link

Drone Awards is the most important worldwide competition about aerial photography and video. It’s a project of Siena Awards, dedicated to a different photographic genre deliberately separated from being compared to traditional photography.

The competition is open to the aerial photography and videos whose platforms also include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.


Images featuring people and activities relating to wedding or engagement ceremonies, celebrations or traditions captured from the sky.

Photography featuring environment and landscapes captured from the sky showing scenes in nature through the creative eye of the photographer.

Images of a person or group of people capturing the personality of the subject from the sky.

Photography featuring urban and architecture captured from the sky: abstract, bridges, buildings, cityscapes, historic and industrial buildings, interior, others.

Photography featuring the animals’ life captured from the sky through the creative eye of the photographer. Unethical treatment of the animals is not allowed.

Aerial photography depicting a visual image not immediately associated with real objects in the world.

From sporting events to personal fitness, we want to showcase the most creative and captivating sports photography captured from the sky.

Runner up. Urban

Standing 992 feet high, the Kingdom Centre was the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia when completed in 2002—and is considered only the second to have been built in the country—but is now 5th on the list.

Highly commended. Urban

White parasols at the beach of the Dead Sea.

Highly commended. Urban.

The Vaccanonesa is a small train that connects the city of Trento with the villages of Val di Non and Val di Sole in Trentino. During its ride through the apple orchards, the train makes this breathtaking passage above a gorge over 150 meters high.

Commended. Urban.

Dusk at Rohingya Refugee Camp
Kutupalong refugee camp is the world's largest refugee camp. It is in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar, and is inhabited by Rohingya refugees that fled from ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar. Million of Rohingya refugees are living here. They made small homes, tents and houses for survive their lives.

Commended. Urban

Aerial view of church flooded with toxic waste water, mud. The village of Geamana (Romania) is under 100 meters of ore dumps. The church’s tower is still visible because it was built on the highest hill top in the village. The environment is an ecological bomb.

Commended. Urban.

This photo was taken from the bank of the river Buriganga during the pandemic time in Bangladesh . These boats and ships are used for people and goods to cross the river from one side to the other.


Commended. Urban.

Church of Saint Ursula in the middle of the fields of SorΕ‘ko (Slovenia) polje just before spring storm, 13 May 2021, near the city of Kranj.

Commended. Urban.

Redyk is a traditional annual march of shepherds with a flock of sheep. Every summer sheep are taken for few months high up to the mountains for grazing. In October sheep are taken down back to the villages to survive the winter in the farms. The big coming back is much celebrated. Shepards lead the herd through the villages and locals welcomes them with music and cheers.

Commended. Urban.

I've been wondering for a while what this van is delivering in these fields. I'm thinking wooden shoes, as I captured it in The Netherlands. But could be some cheese too for some Gouda times.

More to come.