Bad Pun Sunday

The Guardian reports that the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog is considering whether to investigate Nigel Farage over payments he has received from Arron Banks. I am not going to express any opinion on whether such an investigation is justified or long overdue, but I am often amused by the fact that the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog is known as Olaf — a name shared with a certain comedy snowman.

I can’t help wondering, therefore, whether this investigation will lead to Farage’s assets being Frozen, or if they will ultimately decide to Let It Go.

Only in Belgium: The adult egg roll

More than 10,000 people search for sex toys in Walloon field

An adult version of the “egg roll” in which children search for eggs that have been hidden by the organisers took place in Wepion in Namur Province on Sunday. However, it wasn’t eggs the 10,000 participants searched for in a field in the Walloon municipality best-known for its strawberries.

Indeed it wasn’t. The aim was to find vouchers for sex toys. The event has been running for nine years and this was the most successful so far with a total of 10,000 people taking part. It’s becoming international, too:

As well as the many Belgian participants, 250 French people took parts, as well as people from the Netherlands and even Portugal and Spain.

I have to wonder about what sort of person travels all the way from Spain on the off-chance of winning a free sex toy.

Chili had a lucky escape

Chili can be a funny cat sometimes. He will sit by the back door meowing until someone lets him out, at which point he will dash straight round to the front of the house and start meowing until someone lets him back in.

He’s lucky that it was French European Affairs Minister, Nathalie Loiseau who thought to name her cat Brexit because of its indecisiveness.

She told French newspaper Journal du Dimanche that she named the animal after the U.K.’s EU departure because “he wakes me up every morning miaowing to death because he wants to go out, and then when I open the door he stays in the middle, undecided, and then gives me evil looks when I put him out.”

Credit it where it’s due and it’s nice to see that someone is managing to maintain a sense of humour in the face of the UK’s shambolic government. Although I have to admit to being a bit miffed at the fact that I hadn’t thought of this when we were coming up with names for the kittens.

Chili, on the other hand, should be very thankful indeed.

The latest Brexit shenanigans explained

I was going to post about the latest bout of slapstick in which the UK’s comedy government has been engaging. But since nothing has actually changed, and I don’t want to sit here endlessly repeating myself, I shall leave it to the satirists at NewsThump to sum up the current situation:

So right now, we’re essentially we’re waiting on an unelected ‘expert’ to decide if Theresa May’s revised deal will mean that some foreign judges in an international court could allow us to unilaterally leave a backstop that was our own idea in the first place. And if he decides it does, then the dinosaur-deniers who think gays are an abomination will help the government make it so by getting haunted Victorian apparition Jacob Rees-Mogg to support them.

Now would probably be a good time to apply for a Belgian passport.

When puns go bad

March is international bowel cancer month and, from VRT, comes the news that Belgian charity Stop Darmkanker (Stop Bowel Cancer) has launched a campaign to get people to encourage their friends to test for early warnings.

Since 2013 test kits have been sent out to the over 50’s every two years. The tests are designed to trace bowel cancer in its early stages. A laboratory checks whether there are traces of blood in the excrement, something that could point to the early stages of bowel cancer. There is a 90% chance of being cured of bowel cancer it it is detected early enough.

In order to encourage the 50% of Flemings that don’t bother using the test kits to do so Stop Bowel Cancer wants Flemings to encourage people they know that have received a test to actually use it.

This is all good stuff and it is obviously far better to catch the disease while it’s still treatable rather than waiting until it’s too late.

I’m just not entirely sure about calling on people to Become a shitty friend.

Become a shitty friend

Belgian Street Art: The Lego Edition

As part of trying to stay fit and shed a few excess kilos, I have taken to going for a walk in the evening after the kids are all in bed. The length of the walk is determined by how active I’ve been during the day — the more active I’ve been, the shorter the walk needs to be.

Because Sunday was such a wet and miserable day, I really didn’t move much at all. This meant that my evening walk was quite a bit further than usual.

Which is how I came to notice that someone has been having way too much fun with the road markings.

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It turns out that this came from the local school. This is due to receive a fair bit of building work in the coming summer holiday and they have been having a lot of fun with murals, graffiti-type artworks and small displays. I hadn’t realised that their activities have expanded to the surrounding streets.

Built for Belgian Roads

When we first moved to Belgium, Eve and I derived a fair bit of amusement from the fact that you could always tell when you crossed the Dutch-Belgian border from the road noise.

Dutch roads, in general, are well built, well maintained and very quiet to drive on. Belgian roads… aren’t.

It appears that some marketing hack at Mitsubishi has made the same observation.

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The Joy of Automation

I have long been a keen advocate of automating everything. As far as I am concerned, any job that can be automated should be automated — and will be automated unless someone explicitly tells me not to. It’s an attitude that has saved my sanity in more than one occasion when I’ve found myself single-handedly supporting a business critical application.

It also earned me a fair bit of leeway when my manager, thinking I was awake at 2:00am resolving issues with overnight jobs, would say nothing about my inability to drag myself out of bed.

But it never got me promoted.

I take my hat off to Serge, who was promoted for slacking off, and to Louis, who was given a pay rise for oversleeping. I really must try harder to do less.