Friday, May 29, 2009

Important Study

"Study suggests obese women should not gain weight."

Delving deeper it is revealed the reference is to pregnant obese ladies.

That's alright then.


Thursday, May 28, 2009


Workmen trim hedges around Simon Cowell's Beverly Hills mansion using levels and measuring tapes. And wait, is that some Topiary in the background?

In an interview with the Daily Mail Cowell states: "When I walked into this house, I literally arrived with my belongings in a suitcase. One suitcase."

This question of 'stuff' has been perplexing Topiary for some time. Are we our stuff? We shop for it, we keep it or give it away. We pack it and take it with us. Can we be "us" without stuff? Is our stuff us, and if we get rid of it, are we still who we think we are? Does our stuff make us, or do we make our stuff? Would stuff be interesting without us? Would we be interesting without our stuff? Can we tell who we are if we don't have stuff around that says: this is what I read, this is what I like, this is art I find appealing?

Although Mr. Cowell seems minimalist, in actuality, his belongings consist of what's in the suitcase, AND a mansion, the cars, the furniture. And a couple Picasso drawings, reportedly.But no leaves on the lawn. The gardeners are instructed to pick them all up. And hide them, presumably.

And yet, Topiary approves of Mr. Simon Cowell. An animal lover who's stated he'll leave his fortune to animal groups, as well as someone with a regard for hedges and Topiary. Who could ask for more?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Deep in the rigging

To the detriment of her household projects, laundry, etc., Cow now steaming through the third of Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series. Topiary kept telling herself she'd just read a little more, get to a stopping place...but then horrors, it was on to book 3! And after that there's quite a few more.

The author makes it interesting with the contrast between the captain and essentially the First Officer, not, in this case, Kirk and Spock, but Aubrey and Maturin...same transparent cheerfulness of the one, same deep-thinking, super-intelligence on the part of the other.

And yes, Gorilla, Cow has now seen the moovie, Cow thanks you for recommending it! Except for feeling that it was a shame none of the port-visits were shown (probably too high for the budget) the ship scenes were excellent.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Contest, part II

So, Susan Boyle sang again.

The winner of the competition gets cash and the opportunity to sing for the Queen of England. The winner is determined by a call-in vote, as well as the judge's pick.

Cow imagines the Windsor Castle denizens being implored to call in for whoever the Queen most likes...thousands of palace employees madly phoning in to vote in the allotted ten minutes.

Cow thinking they probably voted for Ms. Boyle, along with everyone else.


Friday, May 22, 2009


Readers may have noted Gorilla Banana's unparalleled ability to combine two disparate items, resulting in both humor and a philosophical view of the issue at hand. And Doghouse, despite being hampered by back-yard accommodations, shows an ability to transcend hard kibble and connect the dots.

Think of the time that could be saved. Instead of separate warnings for the global financial meltdown, H1N1 Swine flu, and West Nile virus, combine and condense:

-Wear long sleeved shirts and DEET while washing your hands of houses you bought and can't afford;
-Avoid close contact with sick individuals, including anyone with the last name of Madoff, any mosquitoes showing signs of West Nile Virus, or those coughing and sneezing anywhere other than their long-sleeved shirts;
-avoid being outside between dusk and dawn, without personal protection of a hedge fund, or a sturdy particle mask.

Now if only cute women could be discouraged from revenge flings with odd and unworthy men (photo of Holly Valance, recent ex-girlfriend of the luscious Alex O'Loughlin of Moonlight, and her latest conquest).


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Master of some domain somewhere

A trifle behind the curve, since the book has already been made into a major Hollywood Moovie, Cow has been reading Master and Commander.

Thirty pages in, Cow already stuffed to the gills with ship lore. Aft, bulkheads, sails. Seems like it will be a good book.

And Cow feels she deserves a good read, after having made a terrible mistake in selecting "Nasty, Brutish, and Long" for the weekend.

"Nasty" is a book by a nursing home psychologist who basically writes about his job, and he doesn't seem to like it very well.

If you weren't already depressed, reading this book will make you want to find the nearest 6-foot deep hole and crawl in. Bleah. Highly unrecommended, except for a couple bits of wisdom culled at great cost from the reading.

First, if put in a nursing home, try for the bed by the window. Second, give away your assets three years before going in one or Medicare will claw them back. Third, when in a nursing home, never tell the psychologist you want to kill yourself, or he'll put you on suicide watch while whining that drugs don't help people, people just need more human contact. Preferably with somebody besides the psychologist.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


When this photo first flashed on the screen, Cow kept waiting for a reference to the Captain's daughter, or girlfriend, or perhaps a young passenger who bravely sought to assist.

No, she's the co-pilot. Paid so little she still lived at home, commuted to her job and often slept in the office overnight. So inexperienced. So young. Pictured in her graduation gown.

Yet each passenger probably paid just as much as they would have to fly with experienced pilots.

Too bad, when selecting your airline, your flight times, your seat, you can't also select your pilot. Sully Sullenberger of the Hudson River landing would be worth paying a premium for.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


After months of revelations about lavish US bankers salaries and bonuses, now the UK is in revolt over "expenses" claimed by its already well-paid ministers.

What's the scandal? Why, that the British have such better quotes than we do. To wit:
'He must be handed the pearl revolver.'

'I did not come into politics not to take what is owed to me.'

"At best, he has the air of being a bemused passenger in the car crash of an institution the Commons has become."

Taxpayers financed moat-clearing projects, swimming pools, hanging chandeliers horse manure.
No mention of Topiary expenses though perhaps the moat was cleared for a future Topiary garden. One can only hope.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Flat Broke

Weekend reading included: Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People, by Jon Jeter. 2009.

This was an interesting look at policies worldwide which are making the rich richer and making the middle-class and poor struggle even more. For instance, the wholesale sell-off of public schools, public hospitals, and basically any public land at all, by politicians to developers.

Instead of having a school which brings in zero tax revenue, you can sell that land to a developer for pennies and as soon as they "redevelop" the acreage into condos or shopping malls, you get not only whatever the developer has paid you to get the deal, but a constant revenue stream.

The international examples of water and power companies being sold by countries to private enterprise, and the resulting price rises for the commodity as these private companies use their position as a monopoly to ensure profitability, details the ill effects on the poor and middle class as costs of living rise by hundreds of percents a year.

There were a few happy examples of people triumphing over greedy politicians and forcing change. Overall though, Topiary is not recommending this book because it was just too depressing.



Cow has to say she thought the new Star Trek came closest to being as good as the best of the original series. Cow not being a fan of any of the previous movies, she thought this one blew the others away.

There are a few lumps to get past...Cow not posting any spoilers so will keep those comments for later, except to wonder: what's with Kirk continually (almost) falling off the sides of things? But otherwise, a worthy entry into the mega-movie canon.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Weekend Moovies

Wolverine was filled with yummy scenery. Mountains, and lakes, and vast Canadian wildernesses. Oh, and Hugh Jackman's mighty biceps.
Loads o' violence but a good action movie.

Also went to see "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" starring Jennifer Garner and Matthew McConaughy. Or however you spell his name. It had some funny moments but it was irksome.

The premise is, guy is a scumbag, slept with a million girls and dumped them. Nowhere is there an iota of responsibility placed on the gals, for jumping into bed with a guy within the first 38 minutes of meeting him. So, irksome, and sexist. All about these poor, poor girls. What about waiting till you have a relationship?

Cow gives Wolverine 3 moos for eye candy (oooh, who's being sexist now?) and Ghosts 2 moos for some funny gags.

Hope you all have an entertaining weekend too!