Sometimes. Sometimes melodramatic. Sometimes clever and sometimes overwrought. Sometimes funny and sometimes lame.

I found two online comics today. Well, one comic and one that claims to be something else. 

The first is called Tiny Ghosts and it's the one that claims to be something else. It is really. The author says that each strip is actually a full story in two lines (with two pictures). Some of them are good. In fact, I find some of them really stunningly good. If you have some free time, pick through them. 

Some aren't so good. 

It's like spending an hour sorting through a thrift store; the junk is just interesting enough to keep you looking and sometimes you find something really great. That you think must have been mispriced at only 25 cents.

They have those here in Iraq. Most of the items for sale come from the US or Europe. It's weird and out of place to see used tupperware and Mr.T T-shirts in the bazaar. 

It's intersting to pick through things that belonged to someone a world away and wonder how each thing wound up on Iraq. In a flea market.

And, while I know this post would make it seem like I might have ADD, stick with me.

The other site is a comic. It's called The Perry Bible Fellowship. Don't let the name fool you, it isn't bible-related. It's a fairly clever comic. Again, some are funny, some aren't. Some are really very clever.

I hope you enjoy.


Merry Christmas

I was just trying to make cookies and I totally burned them.

I hate cooking sometimes. 

I am also making a turkey for tomorrow. I'm brining it and, given the time it takes to make a turkey, I probably won't burn it.     

I am planning to try a new recipe for it. You can see it here. I'm not actually following the recipe entirely. i'm just going to do the part that'll make my turkey golden brown and beautiful.

Or, at least orange...

I've never cooked with saffron before, but it was only $1, so I figured I could experiment a little.

Tomorrow night we'll have Christmas dinner and then on Christmas day, we're all going to a local hotel for breakfast. I hope it's good.

Did I mention that I have taken a part-time job teaching English? Knowing how much I love to teach English, you may be asking yourself why I did that. The answer is simple; they pay me to do it. 

It's also a good way to meet people, but they all think I talk too fast. 

I tell them to suck it up and stop whining. 

Of course, I don't really say that. I say "I will try to talk slower." But then I don't. I mean, they need to learn how to comprehend spoken English sometime, right?

Today in class we talked about using one/ones. Like, "How much is that one?" or "Which ones? These?"

I told them they couldn't say, "How much are those ones? What about these ones?"

Then I said, "Well, you could say it if you were from Ohio, but it isn't right."

Merry Christmas from these ones in Iraq!!


All The Pretty ... UFOs?

Earlier this week Turkey bombed Iraq. They sent some number of planes into Iraqi Kurdistan to kill PKK forces operating here, but that's not the point of this post.

The next evening, Aram saw fast moving lights in the sky and got a little freaked out. I think he thought they were Turkish jets, but he described them as fast red lights and the more he talked the more they sounded like UFOs and they less they sounded like man-made aircrafts.

He called the police and asked whether anyone had reported this. They said no. 

Angie and I assumed that the Turks were coming and we heard the faint sound of jet engines and went outside to search the sky a few times, but we most likely were hearing the same sounds we hear every night of cars and taxis on the street. Our imaginations had gotten the best of us.

Tonight, we went to the Butterfly Cafe for dinner (I had the pasta. It was good, thanks for asking) and the lights went out - as they do. As we were sitting in the dark, Angie noticed a light in the sky outside.

It was red and seemed to be moving very quickly toward us. It was very small, but we watched it for a minute or so. I got up and went to the window to watch it more closely. It looked like a small point of fire. It was moving quickly but erratically through the night sky.

I watched it for a minute more and then realized what I was seeing.

It was totally a UFO!

I went back to the table and told Angie. The lights came back on and we prepared to meet the aliens.

Just kidding - obviously, but it took me a while to pinpoint exactly what it was. 

A week ago, we were at a department store in town and we saw some guys lighting what looked like cotton attached to a bag. It was a hot air balloon of sorts - a bag with fire that floats up into the sky. Just like you would expect.

This is what we were seeing tonight and it makes me wonder if this is what all the fuss was about earlier in the week; not an invasion of Turkish jets, but semi-dangerous Chinese toys.

Or aliens. That's always an option...


No Explanation Needed*


* Explanation needed. I cannot provide it...


Quick Questions

Is it appropriate to leave a banana peel on an end table in the living room overnight? If someone asks you to throw it away, can you defer the task to the morning?

Please take a minute to weigh in!

Interesting Personality Test...

Your Score: 8 - the Asserter

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose AY - your Enneagram type is EIGHT (aka "The Challenger").

"I must be strong"

Asserters are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender,
    vulnerable side.

  • Give me space to be alone.

  • Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's
    a personal attack.

  • When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just
    the way I am.

  • What I Like About Being a EIGHT

  • being independent and self-reliant

  • being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • upholding just causes

  • What's Hard About Being a EIGHT

  • overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • putting too much pressure on myself

  • getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when
    things don't go right

  • EIGHTs as Children Often

  • are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • are sometimes loners

  • seize control so they won't be controlled

  • fugure out others' weaknesses

  • attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

  • EIGHTs as Parents

  • are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • are sometimes overprotective

  • can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

  • Link: The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test written by felk on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

    I Know That Guy...

    Iraqi Kurd Media Bill Draws Protest

    By YAHYA BARZANJI – 2 days ago

    SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) — Lawmakers in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region approved a measure that would allow courts to accuse journalists of "vague offenses" relating to terrorism or disturbing security, drawing protests Friday from Kurdish journalists and an international media advocate.

    The Committee to Protect Journalists said the bill, approved Tuesday in a sparsely attended parliamentary session, could be "exploited by pro-government judges to put critical newspapers out of business."

    Aws Herdi, editor of the weekly Kurdish newspaper Owena, accused the major Kurdish parties that supported the measure of hypocrisy, saying their slogans for freedom "are only empty words."

    "This new law will send journalists to prison, ban newspapers and allow for outrageous fines under various pretexts," Herdi said at a protest Friday in Sulaimaniyah, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad. He said any journalist who writes about terrorism could be accused of a crime under the measure.

    The bill must be approved by the Kurdish president, Massoud Barzani, before it goes into effect.
    Among the lawmakers who opposed the measure was Suzan Shihab of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Of the semiautonomous region's 111 lawmakers, only 57 attended the session. Of those, 11 abstained and seven voted against it.
    "This law means silencing people, journalists, and intellectuals who usually criticize the government and its mistakes," said Shihab, who attended Friday's protest. There was a similar gathering in Irbil, another Kurdish city.

    Shihab called on Barzani to veto the measure.

    Under the measure, journalists can be prosecuted in counterterrorism courts, which could bring the death penalty, and newspapers can be shut down for up to six months and face fines up to $8,200.

    "Given the tenuous financial and political situation of independent papers — several operate at losses or barely break even — the bill's elastic language could be exploited by pro-government judges to put critical newspapers out of business," the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement Friday.

    The Kurdish government has said a new media law is needed to replace the current law, which dates to the era of Saddam Hussein, but has otherwise not commented on the specifics of the measure.

    Aso Jabbar, a government critic who attended Friday's protest, said the law would not make him back down.

    "We shouldn't be frightened of prisons," he said. "Putting me in prison for my views is an honor."

    The Kurdish Air Force

    So, Turkey has begun bombing northern Iraq - aka southern Kurdistan.

    I should stress before I go any further that this activity is no where near us and there is no reason to believe that it will ever come anywhere near me, Angie and Nila. Unless, of course, Nila joins the PKK. Not to say that she's thinking about it, but....maybe.

    So, tonight I was reading this article and talking to Aram. He pointed to a picture of Turkish fighter jets and said,

    "This is bad. We don't have these."

    I said,

    "You have actual turkeys, though. You could just tape bombs to them and send them off... the Kurdish Air Force."

    I laughed and laughed at this idea. He didn't think think it was as funny.


    I still think my joke was hilarious, but for a more serious discussion of the Kurdish Air Force read this post.


    A Post For Nikki

    Hey, Nikki!

    I don't know if the readers are aware but Nikki ran her first 5k earlier this month.

    She's also the only person I know who uses "JK" in regular conversation.

    So this link is for her.


    Never Cut a Pancake Again.

    I kid you not.

    Read this.

    It's an invention called the Snap Jack (#4).

    Then read the rest of the list. It's pretty funny.

    The last line of the Snap Jack review made me laugh out loud. Or LOL for the nerds.



    Click This

    I know you think I should be posting important things here.

    Until then, enjoy the link!


    Come Misuse the Meyers-Briggs

    Your Score: Criminal- ISTP

    26% Extraversion, 20% Intuition, 60% Thinking, 40% Judging

    Rules? Hah! Who needs rules? They merely prevent you from doing your own thing, right? Down with the MAN!

    Wow. I wasn't aware that you had access to OKCupid! in prison. And if you're not behind bars, all signs say you're well on your way there in the near future.

    You love taking risks. You love the adrenaline rush of extreme sports. You love taking action. Generally, anything that's idiotic, you're in. Wanna light yourself on fire and dive from a 500 metre high cliff into shark-infested waters? I'll write your name down.

    However, you do need a lot of alone time because that's when you can finally sort things out in your mind most clearly.

    If it wasn't for your analytical and logical skills, I'd vouch that you didn't have a brain at all. The fact that you do have a brain merely means that the likelihood of you being a criminal has just gone up.

    Thankfully, you're most probably a good athlete, which will help when running away from the police. If not, prison doesn't seem too far away from you at all.

    Just please... stay far away from me.


    If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.


    Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test