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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Adventures of Luminous Man, Voluminous Lad And Voluptuous Woman! - Part One

Serialized fiction for your reading pleasure, L.O.V.s! And at no extra cost to a single one of you! I.S.P.s are hurting the L.O.V.s enough as it is without me, thy luminous acerbic scribe, master of sarcastic witticisms and sardonic repartee (but the latter is for message boards... Boars? Bores!) and so-very kind humanist, adding to your strife and internet surfing costs!
No way! I am kind! I care! I do! I really do!

Okay, enough already - let's save the sappy stuff for the actual piece of fiction here! Chapter one of an uncanny and mesmerizing saga, one that comes to you straight out of nowhere too (the idea for it came when I was bored out of my wits - isn't that promising and exciting, folks, eh?)

So here we go with PART ONE: "There's nothing to it!"

It was another sunny morning, just like the ones they have when London is caught in the thickest fog since Jack was in town...
It was, hence, the perfect time for Luminous Man to don his luminous suit and go out to fight injustice... By doing the groceries first thing in the morning!

Sparing the cashier girl one extra rush hour customer would do wonders for everyone's stress - including his own. Luminous Man loathed wasting his luminous time on a not-so-luminous line at the check-out counter of his decidedly NOT luminous grocer! It had happened repeatedly over the years and the conversations struck up then, with the other ones waiting in line with his luminous person, had not thrilled Luminous Man one tiny luminous bit at all!

All of that is another story though - better saved for part ninety-one... If there is one!

Before heading out though, luminous grooming was required. For, ever since Bill Maher exposed the middle-class and what they wear to go to the supermarket, Luminous Man took it upon his luminous self to set the example by treating a "running errands outing" as if it were a night out at the Apollo - no less! Only the best dressed shall buy groceries - a new commandment right there! Thanks a million, Mr. Maher, for the inspiration...

After the painful process of putting on the luminous spandex suit - the one that magnified the luminous pecs and biceps, ten-fold - Luminous Man was ready for the most difficult task yet, so far, on this ominous -not luminous- morning like no other mornings at all, save 365 other ones each year... He was ready to ask Voluptuous Woman if she wanted anything!

Voluptuous Woman, mind you, was still occupying the bathroom - since around 5AM, roughly speaking - and was far from done yet... It appeared that, as with any other independent, self-reliant, feisty-tempered, autonomous but not autophagous too much, debonair, reliable, competent and in-style modern woman of the new millennium, Voluptuous Woman would get anything she might want HERSELF!

That was a relief, of course, for Luminous Man had no interest in scavenging the women's hygiene products aisle... Or any other aisle that was of interest to women, their pets, their hygiene and any combination or derivative of the three!

Alas, in came Voluminous Lad at that crucial -not luminous- point... It amazed Luminous Man to see the lad up so early... Then he remembered that the boy had not even GONE TO BED YET...!!! Time sure does fly by fast when one is 15 years-old, without a care in the world, x-box - will not travel, starts playing on the damn thing around midnight and does not let up until dawn... The creature now - yes, we are still talking about Voluminous Lad here - wanted breakfast... With special emphasis on the "fast"! Luminous Man was ever more impressed by such resolutions coming from this, after all and against all odds, fine young "man"...

"Fine initiative, Voluminous Lad! Fasting is good for the soul, the mind, the spirit... And it certainly will do wonders for that voluminous body of yours there! Combine the benefits of all four, and I do believe we will have to call you "Minus Lad" very soon - with all the weight that you will be losing in record time!" said Luminous Man, proudly and with a tear in his eye...

"Uh... Whatever, man!" responded Voluminous Lad with a smirk on his ungrateful chubby visage. "If I'm going to be called "Minus Lad"... Are you going to become "Diminutive Man" soon too? Like... I heard the not-so luminous lamentations emanating from the "luminous bedroom" there... And those were definitely NOT cries of ecstasy that I heard in there...!"

"That will be enough mixing the hellacious, pornographically-unrealistic worlds of your silly little videogaming habit, lad, with the harsh reality of thy hopeless quest to attain luminous manhood comparable to what stands before you!!! Thy mother and I have nothing to explain to you..." admonished Luminous Man immediately, burning with... Ah, luminous righteous anger! What else? He then added, only to himself... "Note to self: we should have enhanced the insonorisation of the room after all - the kid appears to be developing supra-hearing, along with acne... He may yet be one of them "ecch-factors" after all...!"

Just then, Voluptuous Woman finally came out of the bathroom, looking like a million bucks... And costing just about as much in healthcare and beauty products too, annually! It was coming out of her paycheck anyway, as she was constantly seeing electronic funds being transferred into her chequing account that originated from her number one fans, the kind old ladies from the Woman's League. They sure were a league of their own... Most men were out of their league there! No denying that they were in league with some higher power, those broads... Okay, enough with the league puns!

Luminous Man's eyes were ever more teary - not from any joy of seeing the woman he thought lost forever in the tub or upon the throne, mind you, but rather from the fumes emanating freely now from the aforementioned bathroom!

"Egad, Voluptuous Woman! Don't you know that those cans of hairspray are dangerous?!?" asked Luminous Man defiantly...!

"They may be - but I assure you that there is far greater danger to the world if a woman has her hair all messed up by the wind on her way to the supermarket...!" she enthused, just as defiantly and even an iota moreso...! "If such a tragedy was to occur, who knows how many might perish during the rampage that would follow?" she added, with not-so false bravado either!

"Aye... Too true." admitted Luminous Man, unable to admonish anymore at this point. "Especially if the dame is driving there... Alas!" he added, sadness in his sparkling luminous eyes. "It is your car though...!" he concluded, with resignation as to the fate of the world...

"Yes, it is!" confirmed Voluptuous Woman, falsely coyly.

"Onwards then, everyone! Onwards to the foul territory of mercantilism known as that evil Grocer's lair!" declared Luminous Man, after having sealed the bathroom door.
Voluminous Lad grumbled his discontent but sleepwalked to the car nonetheless, in record time.

In a matter of seconds -which says volumes about Voluptuous Woman's driving right there- the terrific trio was on the site of many crimes against health, economics, public hygiene, the environment and, of course, good old-fashioned common sense!

Scurrying the aisles, the three of them soon amassed enough goods to sustain three dozen third world families. And at a third of the cost there too. They were very much ashamed, but hey... A terrific trio's got to eat!

The grocer's tenebrous gaze never left the trio the whole time that they unloaded the merchandise upon the check-out counter. Finally, it came to a point when Luminous Man had to address the situation - mano-a-mano!

"What are you looking at... Fatso?" asked in a totally "unluminous" manner our no longer Luminous Man - for he had been possessed by the dark forces of... Consumerism!

"Hey - I'm not the only one who's fat around here! Have you taken a good look at the kid yet - huh?" retorted a royally pissed-off evil grocer!

"I'm not "fat" - you are! I'm just "calories-challenged" that's all!" snapped back Voluminous Lad, more than able to speak for himself, quite obviously! He even added "I'm still growing towards my apex - but you, grocer-man, you're way past your prime! You peeked - in the grotesquely obese category - yeeeeears ago and are now ever closer to going DOWN... Fatso Schmuckso style!"

Several hours later, as everyone was being escorted into the big basket by the constabulary force, someone from the press managed to ask our luminous trio how they had managed to create such havoc while merely running some very basic errands on a Saturday morning...!?

Luminous Man paused for a luminous second or two before spouting out that most luminous of explanations: "there really is nothing to it!"



Friday, September 08, 2006

Luminous Friday Night Videos!

Today, for this edition of LFNV, I give you MUSIQUE CLASSIQUE
Courtesy of one André Rieu...!
André Rieu is like a modern-day, modest but dynamic Mozart of the stage!

One of his concerts, seen on PBS, was taped live from Maastricht, in the Netherlands. Rieu went out of his way to flatter the patriotism of the locals, even going as far as doing his homework and unearthing little bits of historical trivia about the city. Maastricht is, indeed, the oldest city in that area - founded over 2,000 yeara ago by the Romans, in the good old days (not merely "old days" of course but "ancient & archaic days" indeed!) back when "all the lands of the (ancient) world were Roman"!

Rieu then invited local star Benny Neyman to sing on stage another classic from olden days (Newman? NEWMAN? Nay - Neyman! Think of a Dutch version of Barry Manilow...) which, in itself, was a very nice touch.

Speaking of whom - one must give credit when credit is due - no matter what - and Manilow deserves major kudos for his performance at the Emmy Awards honoring the great American Bandstand legendary host, Dick Clark. It was especially amazing considering that Manilow was scheduled to be on an operating table the next day at 5 in the morning! His honoring Mr. Clark was, in itself, also a very nice touch. Nicer than the speeches honoring Aaron Spelling...! But that is another story we've delved into already...

I may not like Barry Manilow much (save for "Copacabana" maybe...) but I can look past personal preferences - unlike others I know...!! ;)

Back to André Rieu now - his habit is to have splendid ladies deliver very-well known songs on stage with him, while he plays the fiddle and his orchestra carries the whole show further along...! That combination makes Rieu better than Yanni, John Tesh, Kitaro and many others - though we have various sounds there. Rieu is, of course, the one championing a very classical sound.

To accompany the André Rieu musical pieces here tonight, I found the perfect companion and modern-day music counterpart in... Jean-Michel Jarre!
Also from Europe (with a name like that...) Jarre has had music in his blood from day one too. Oxygène IV, VII, VIII and X prove it well, below...

Jarre and Rieu - indeed the Roman Empire is reborn, in the European Union - and indeed they rule the world again... The world of arts anyhow! ;)

And, ultimately, the video that will be playing for the next 14 days in your heads, as you stop by TLB Prime's homepage, will be THE LAST RENDEZ-VOUS... Click and listen to it in a new window - because I've disabled it here on this post, for archival purposes...! Tis a video without video and only audio though - ominous sounds added, to boot, for further allegorical meaning...! Aye, this is reflective of my somber thoughts - when I am not reflecting The Luminous Source of Light that is! Blessings to all - even the antagonists - for such is His Teaching and Example.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Google!


Google, the world's leading internet search engine, was created by two Stanford students. The engine introduced a unique concept of ranking pages based on how many other pages link to it; those with the most links are higher up on a search results list. Google also set itself apart with its homepage; instead of being laden with graphics that took a long time to download, it contained only a logo and search box.

At eight years of age though, Google is a newborn babe in comparison with other companies "in full expansion" out there... In full expansion it sure is though; GMail has been the latest fruitful addition to this virtual empire in full bloom! Bill Gates must be keeping close watch... Who says he owns a monopoly? Not on being a geeky student that made it big, somehow, he doesn't! *LOL*

I am most impressed not with the variety of brands offered by the company (Google, Froogle, GMail, Google Page Creator, Google News, Orkut, etc...) nor with the much-vaunted "Googleplex", but really with Google's tradition of creating April Fool's Day jokes! They have, over the years, come up with, in the languages list, the Bork! Bork! Bork! version, imitating the Muppet Show's Swedish Chef. They also offer versions in Pig Latin, Elmer Fudd, Hacker (H4X0R), and Klingon!

Now that is variety!

The expansion of the company though has enough variety already right there...
On September 28, 2005, Google announced a long-term research partnership with NASA (no less!) which would involve Google building a 1-million square foot R&D center at NASA's Ames Research Center. NASA and Google are planning to work together on a variety of areas, including large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence, and encouragement of the entrepreneurial space industry. The new building would also include labs, offices, and housing for Google engineers.
Time Warner's AOL unit and Google unveiled an expanded partnership on December 21, 2005, including an enhanced global advertising partnership and a $1 Billion investment by Google for a 5% stake in AOL. As part of the collaboration, Google plans to work with AOL on video search and offer AOL's premium-video service within Google Video. This will allow users of Google Video to search for AOL's premium-video services. Display advertising throughout the Google network will also increase.
Additionally, Google has also recently formed a partnership with Sun Microsystems to help share and distribute each other's technologies. As part of the partnership Google will hire employees to help the open source office program
In August, 2006, Google signed a $900 million deal with Fox International Media to provide search and advertising on MySpace and other Fox-owned websites.

Yeah, but is there any money to be made there, you ask?
A buck -or several- apparently...
After the company's IPO in August 2004, it was reported that Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as CEO Eric Schmidt, have accepted a base salary of $1.00. They have all declined recent offers of bonuses and increases in compensation by Google's board of directors. In a 2006 report of the world's richest people, Forbes reported that Sergey Brin was #26 with a net worth of $12.9 Billion, and Larry Page was #27 with a net worth of $12.8 Billion.

Not shabby at all for a company that began with a misspelling of "googol," which refers to 10100 (a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros!)
The verb "google" was recently added to both the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary, meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information on the Internet.
There goes the English language. Shakes must be turning in his grave - tossing and turning with the shakes too!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Call me a bandit while you're at it, eh!?

Somebody comes up to me - virtually, of course - and tells me the following:

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Should I believe him, take it with a grain of salt, doubt the sincerity of the compliment or take offense to the "p word" (pundit!) - hmm?!?


Just one of many fun quizzes and... ah... things that one can find at -!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

optical illusions - erroneous perception 2

About time I post the rest of the amazing 3-D artwork from one Julian Beever. These are chalk drawings made on the streets; so, catch them while you can, before they're washed away by rain, sleet or snow!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin


A stingray did what countless crocodiles and other dangerous beasties might have wanted to do - playfully or not so playfully - but never succeeded in accomplishing, over the years... And that is "end the lucky streak" one Steve Irwin was on, the renowned Crocodile Hunter who put to shame fellow local hero from down under Paul Hogan, a.k.a. Crocodile Dundee, since relegated to becoming Flipper's patsy (in a failed attempt at a franchise to boot) while Irwin continued on to invade all manners of media, even the silver screen. This is, after all, the age of "reality TV" - and there were no more real dangers than those that Steve Irwin placed himself squarely into and this very routinely too! He captivated TV audiences that way - less so moviegoers - and was shooting another documentary in his own inimitable style (imitated though it may be; it was never really duplicated) when tragedy struck in the form of a devil ray.
(Though it may not be technically a "devil ray", I'll call it as such and even Terri Irwin, a renowned animal lover, will perhaps do likewise here...)

My most sincere condolences to his wife hence, Terri, to their two children and other family, all of whom held their collective breath each time he would take one outrageous chance after another... He seemed to thrive on doing that too - taking risks and pushing his luck to the limit. As my dear departed father used to say, "tantas vezas que vai a jarinha a fonte, que, um dia, ela fica là" - which means, in short, that one day, one's luck is bound to run out...

My Dad is one of the first genuine good guys who has passed away this year - the year that seems bent on seeing all the good ones take a hike from "mother earth" and ascend into heaven... So that we're left with not much else other than an overwhelming majority of rotten apples?!? Sure looks like the plan here...
2006 has been nothing short of a very, very bad year for the "good guy"...
At any level and in any field too.

The Crocodile Hunter was not the only good guy to perish prematurely on this day - far from it. 2006, as I stated, has been one lousy year in that regard with an overabundance of good guys biting the big one since January...

On this day alone, September 4th, 2006:
In Jordan, a British tourist was among the dead on the site of a terrorist attack.
In Irak, another American soldier was killed while
in Afghanistan, another Canadian soldier went on to meet his maker because of that most oxymoronic of all things called "friendly fire"... This time emanating from a NATO jet, no less! With friends like these...

Most revolting of all, in terms of good guys dying needlessly, left and right, is the following tale (which is our main link today, incidentally, courtesy of - a tragedy which actually did not take place on this day precisely but, as fate would have it, that I learned about today, just as I learned about Mr. Irwin's untimely passing too...

A puppy died - and it can be directly blamed on American Airlines and their denying the pup the appropriate medical care within a reasonable amount of time. A two-year-old English bulldog died after arrival from a cross-country flight. Terrence Ing, the owner of Willie, placed his dog under the care of American Airlines to safely transport his pet on a New York to San Francisco flight. Ing never expected Willie was not going to make the trip alive. According to Ing, an American Airlines baggage manager denied him access to Willie and had the dog relocated pending instructions from airline superiors. It was only after Ing contacted several area veterinarians that animal paramedics arrived five hours after the flight landed. By then, Willie had died. An animal paramedic who examined Willie’s body at the airport believes the dog may have survived had American Airlines provided adequate medical care. Now, Ing is taking American Airlines to court.
I just know that animal lovers such as the Irwins would be supporting Terrence Ing in his legal recourses here.

I'm at the point that I wonder "who's left" among the good guys... And who could be going next? Could it be... me?


Sunday, September 03, 2006

In lieu of statistics, this Sunday we have the week's news overview... luminous style!

And... back to square one we go.


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