Tag Archives: America

A Small Joke

I thought I would tell you a little ‘jokette,’ which though quite distasteful for two reasons, it has a dead Cat in it and a banker, is still rather funny, and funny enough for me to slip it into my forthcoming book ‘The Travelogue’ so here it is!

How do you tell the difference between a dead Cat on the motorway and a dead banker? The answer is simple, there are skid marks around the Cat!

As for a picture to go with the joke sadly I could find a lot of pictures of Cats that had been knocked down on all sorts of roads but none of any bankers really you humans should do better! All of which means I though I would show you a picture of one of my favourite roads from America.

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“The road goes on forever.” As J. R. R. Tolkien said.

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Sad News!

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Today I am saying goodbye to Randolph the Mountaineering Cat who unfortunately yesterday met a mountain that he wasn’t able to climb successfully.

You know I met Randolph the Mountaineering Cat on his travels while I was doing research for my next book ‘The Travelogue,’ unfortunately the chapter with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat in it was ‘bought’ by the country where we met and so it won’t be in my next blockbusting book.

Actually I am finding that a lot of governments, mayors and anyone connect with countries, cities or towns which feature in my soon to be published Travelogue are ‘buying out’ chapters related to their countries, cities or towns so that they don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of being ‘exposed’ in what is the most honest travel book every written by a Cat!

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This purchasing of chapters means that the book is constantly getting smaller and in turn means that I in the interests of value for money have to keep traveling to new countries, of course the extra work is annoying but let’s face it the ‘hush money’ or as some call them ‘bribes’ come in very handy – just ask any african politician or sporting body committee member!

What I can say without breaking the confidentiality agreements I have pawed is that I first bumped into Randolph the Mountaineering Cat on the way to Nepal as he was enduring a stop over at a shabby and rather smelly airport in a rapidly developing country that will one day take America’s place as the leader of the world… sorry I have to stop there for two reasons the first is mentioned above and the second is that I am laughing so much I just can’t type.

After that, our paths seemed to cross as we went from country to country Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was off to climb yet another mountain and I was… well I actually can’t tell you too much about what I was doing or you won’t buy the next book and that would be a little like shooting myself in the Paw with a keyboard! Mmh ‘shooting myself in the paw with a keyboard’ doesn’t sound right does it? But I think you know what I mean.

You know in the short time that we had together Randolph the Mountaineering Cat and I got on rather well and shared a curry together and later the same toilet. It was then while we were both in a lot of pain that something he said stuck in my mind as the dysentery did its worst “chaps and Cats that suffer together form a bond that nothing can break!” I knew exactly what he meant and I also knew that I would possibly sometimes miss-quote Randolph the Mountaineering Cat but I would never forget him or what he said.

Sadly yesterday that bond was broken but not but me. I heard that Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was swinging one pawedly from snowy boulder to snowy boulder in a scree 6,000ft above Base Camp 3 when something went wrong and he slipped.

You know, we got on so well that I had even arranged for him to have ‘exploratory’ talks with my translator John Woodcock in the hope that with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat’s amazing adventures and our very own Mr. Woodcock’s feeble talent together they could produce a bestseller similar to my work a masterpiece of feline literary genius – ‘Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary’ available here Amazon.com if you are one of the few people on planet earth who haven’t bought it yet and of course my www – wickedly wonderful website www.thecatsdiary.com where you can buy my book, read my blog and get so much more including loads of free online games both festive and not so festive.

It’s a shame and a great loss that as with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat that book is lost forever.

So in conclusion I would just like to say that Randolph the Mountaineering Cat was a fine Cat and a good friend and I know that it is not only me who will miss him because the world is a poorer place without him and his adventurous kind!

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Oh take all of what I said about Randolph the Mountaineering Cat back, he has just called me, he’s in town and we’re going out for Prawns on Friday. I asked him about the photograph and he said that it was the first in a series of ‘shots’ taken for a magazine of him clawing his way to the summit of Katmandu.

Apparently the photoshoot was supposed to be ‘dramatic,’ I didn’t have the heart to tell him how ‘dramatic’ the story that was that I was given about the first picture in the series! I don’t know you can never trust the media these days. Still I am looking forward to catching up with Randolph the Mountaineering Cat almost as much as I am looking forward to the Prawns.

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A Small Problem With Gas!

This very week marks the anniversary of a very brave attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean by Airship. On
October 15 1910, the airship America slipped silently out of its hangar in Atlantic City and headed out to sea.

The ‘jaunt’ across the Atlantic Ocean in an airship was the idea of wealthy journalist and adventurer Walter Wellman who previously had failed to reach the North Pole and other undiscovered destinations in the same airship America.

The America’s 6 man expedition into what was the complete unknown aeronautically speaking was led by a Cat of course and sadly some still point their fingers at the innocent but rather good looking tabby Cat even to this day, but in his defence it has to be said that Kiddo the Cat hadn’t been asked to be put in charge of the expedition.

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And of course it was rather odd for a Cat to lead such a difficult expedition of exploration and to complicate matter further this particular Cat had only signed on for the project just before departure and had received no formal training in not only sailing in an airship, but like most Cats in anything what so ever. Cats of course in normal life don’t really need qualifications and training, they simply rely on their good looks and charm and their ability to cuddle almost anyone affectionately.

In fact Kiddo the Cat was what humans call a “Stray Cat” and had been sleeping rather comfortably in the America’s substantial hangar and was initially picked up by Murray Simon the navigator who like many sailors was a little superstitious and knew that a Cat on board – no matter how unqualified – would bring them luck indeed wrote in his journal ‘We can never have luck without a Cat on board.’

Unfortunately not all of the crew agreed with Simon about Cats and the luck they can bring not only at sea and so as the airship was being towed from the coast by a tug boat, the not all that nice, Melvin Vaniman, who was the airship’s the chief engineer (and indeed probably the reason the expedition failed), secretly stuffed the poor unsuspecting Cat into a bag and attempted to lower the Cat in the bag into the tug boat or the sea which ever was the closer.

However Vaniman’s attempt to jettison Kiddo the Cat failed but not before the poor Kiddo the Cat was unceremoniously dunked into the sea and then pulled back onto the America – what a way to treat a Cat!

It is probably because of this behaviour that the crew decided to not only give the Cat a name “Kiddo the Cat” but also to make him Captain and let him lead the expedition, something that the rest of the crew later came to regret probably as the expedition lurched from one misadventure to the next.

After 38 hours of flying the engines failed and the unfortunate America began to drift. In a moment or two of panic the crew decided to jettisoned all excess weight which in their opinion included one of the broken engines, though happily deciding not to dump the Cat or any food, both decisions the Cat heartily welcomed.

To make matters worse Melvin Vaniman, the airship’s the chief engineer, mixed up the gas release tap with the tea urn handle or something similar and the crew were treated to a rapid rise upwards to over three and a half thousand feet where the temperature has been described as a “bit nippy.” This major loss of Hydrogen meant that the Airship eventually lost buoyancy and started to get alarmingly close to the surface of the ocean where if the crew were dumped in the drink they would have been not only a lot colder but a lot wetter than they wanted to be.

After six days of aimless drifting to and fro over the Atlantic, and having travelled a total distance of 1,370 miles (2,200 km) from the launch site in Atlantic City (a world record distance as it turned out), the Cat and crew spotted the Royal Mail Steamship Trent not far from Bermuda and reluctantly decided to abandon the America and were picked up by one of the RMS Trent’s lifeboats.

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Sadly the America drifted off out of sight and was never seen again although rumours abound that to this day it haunts the Atlantic disturbing Seagulls when it creeps up on them silently.

It is not known whether there was much in the way of Cat food on board the RMS Trent but the Cat became a minor celebrity with the crew and then later a much larger celebrity upon his triumphant return to the states.

As is the way with these things especially when they involve Cats Melvin Vaniman the crew-mate who had at the start of their journey tried to dump the Kiddo the Cat into the Atlantic became the firmest of friends with the Cat, which just goes to show that if you take time to get to know someone or indeed ‘somecat’ before your try to drop them overboard in a bag; life could be so much easier and of course less frightening for any aforementioned felines.

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When Kiddo and the rest of the crew of the ill-inflated and ill-fated airship America eventually got home they were all treated like heroes especially Kiddo the Cat who was put on display in a gilded cage in the famous Gimbels department store. Fortunately Kiddo the Cat’s life became more sedate later when he went to live with Walter Wellman’s daughter, Edith and entered a dry and peaceful retirement.

Authors thoughts:

If any readers have any more information on this brave and well travelled “Kiddo the Cat” as he was called (especially) pictures this Cat would be delighted to upload them in his honour because no matter where we live in the world we should always honour our heroes whether they are in civilian or military life.

When writing that I remembered – if you haven’t seen the marvellous movie “Taking Chance” do. It is not only a very well made movie which will make you, rightly, extremely emotional it is great and fitting tribute to the military and their sacrifices in Iraq and by association in other conflicts.

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November Could Be Interesting

You will be pleased to hear that I am going to have a bit of a break, unfortunately that break won’t be until November but it will be rather fun I am sure.

Have I piqued your interest? I do hope so! Where am I going I hear you ask – no go on please ask where I am going even if you aren’t really very interested because I am really hyped by the prospect and when you hear you might just be a little hyped too – whatever ‘hyped’ actually is of course!

Ok I give in I’ll tell you anyway. I am going to Florida, to Cape Canaveral that used to be Cape Kennedy, to watch a photograph of my face be launched into space on the last Space Shuttle flight ever, unless of course you count the return flight as a separate one if you see what I mean and surely the return flight is important enough to be counted separately.

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The great thing is that after NASA asked me to supply the photograph of me that is used on the cover of my world famous book “Getting Out Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary” available from all good, and not so terribly good, bookshops near you and of course at these fine places Amazon.com and my wickedly wonderful website or www www.thecatsdiary.com I asked them nicely if they would consider letting ordinary people send their pictures into space along with mine.

First they said that was a wonderful idea and then as they thought about it more they suggested that they might encourage people to send their pictures to them via the wonderful world wide web and they went away to build a website to do that very thing, well we have to celebrate NASA’s generosity because now if you are inclined to send your photograph into space you can do just that.

Simply go to the link below and upload a picture of you or indeed a loved one or family member (sorry old joke couldn’t resist it) and then wait until the Shuttle you choose comes back to the planet.

After your Shuttle has arrived back on Earth all you have to do is to go back to the site and using your reference number (which they give you after your picture is uploaded) you can get a certificate to say that your face has been in space, which if you are as interest in Rockets and of course explosions as I am you will probably treasure for a long time or if you are cheap like some people accuse me of being send the certificates to your friends and family as Christmas presents – tee hee.

www.faceinspace.nasa.gov/index.aspxm

I am going on the very last Space Shuttle mission the 134th, you should choose that one because it is going to be the best and most memorable because it has me on it. If you look at the picture below you’ll see some of our co-astronauts, a little bit about our mission on the STS-134 and a picture of the all important embroidered Mission logo – I want one of those don’t you?

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Well although of course I am going to be really sad to see the back of the ugly little Space Shuttle it has ended up like almost all little ugly things, it has become an icon like, oh Mickey Mouse, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Dreamworks and of course the Statue of Liberty which frankly I believe the French couldn’t off load fast enough once they realised just how ugly it was, so they looked around for a young, gullible nation and gave them a ‘present.’

I think that the only reason that America accepted the French ‘present’ was that they thought that they were getting the Eiffel Tower, much as they did when the those nice folks in Lake Tahoe thought that they were getting the iron bridge called Tower Bridge and were justifiably surprised when the first stones of London Bridge were unloaded, though why they would want that ugly Victorian monstrosity is anyone’s guess!

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Just to compare the bridges and to prove that the bridge the good people of Lake Tahoe got was a nicer bridge. Here is the London Bridge as it is today.

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Do please let me know if you agree with this Cat or not and of course if you upload your picture to be blasted off into space later this year.

Personally I can hardly wait.

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A No News Day

Quite often I find a subject for my blog in the news and when I say news I mean the lighter than air meringue stuff that they serve on ‘news’ websites where ‘news’ usually involves stories of several fat ladies and a Yorkshire Terrier doing something heroic, such as eating their weight in Mushroom Omelettes or something.

Then there is the stuff on sites that offer in the ‘broadcasters’ opinion earth shattering news, you know the sort of thing, the latest CNN travel bag has been launched and now comes with a ten year guarantee which offers you your money back if the travel bag gets damaged so long as you never use it on airlines, French HiSpeed trains and indeed anywhere where a baggage handler might get to ply his or in some very muscular cases ‘her’ trade.

Often the non-news, as I like to call it, extends to other topics such as the Queen of England having a new hair do or a sitting for yet another painting, they both seem to be about as regular as each other.

Then there are some news orgainsations that will go to any lengths to take old news dress it up and churn over it time and again, this is usually done with over paid and unqualified celebrity presenters I can think of one new Poodle on the block who fits the bill perfectly there can’t you?

‘But’ and it is, as I often say a big one (and so in this case I will say it again), ‘but’ today the non-news is monumental the BBC News website, home of adverts for many of their up coming new programmes and mini-series, leads with a story that is entitled “Obama in final health vote push.”

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Obviously the story’s subject is very, very important but today isn’t decision day in the Senate and so there is little or no news for the idle journalists to write who are constantly being asked to find new angles, threads and much more to justify their expensive existence and that means that any ‘news’ organisation covering the ‘story’ has little or nothing to say and so they produce this sort of nonsense.

To tell the truth (something that seems to be missing from news sites these days) I am surprised that the headline on the BBC site didn’t say “Obama reminds everyone to set their alarm clocks” so that they get to work on time and are able to vote.

Surely if there were less headline non-news stories the news media would have more room for other stories that somehow get sidelined and then the real ‘news’ when it breaks would be important and less of a ‘relief’ that the story has finally died. But then what do I know I am just a Cat after all.

I am sure that you dear readers have our very own pet non-news stories and I would love to hear them.

In the meantime this clever Cat is off to hear why Africa’s Elephants are keeping scientists guessing then I might do bit of crystal ball gazing and read New US-Russia nuclear deal ‘soon’ of course after all of that I am going to do the most constructive thing you can with the Sunday newspapers, light a fire!

Don’t forget that you can get a much more interesting read here www.thecatsdiary.com for free or you can part with a bit of cash for a great read here Amazon.com

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