Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


I wonder to myself why I write this silly blog--it’s not like I make any money from it, Condoleeza Rice never leaves comments, Norah O’Donnell has never sent me an autographed picture--I mean, what’s the point?

But then, I go to the referrer logs, and I see who all came by this little out of the way backwater of the Web, and I realize that there are people out there searching for answers--answers that apparently only I am able to give. And it gives me a whole new outlook on my value as a person.

Just look; someone came by not long ago searching for hippopotamus thingymabob.

If there was ever something I know about and can offer my advice on, it’s hippotamus thingymabobs.

Now here in Alabama, we don’t see many of them, for obvious reasons. Well, take that back--it may not be that obvious. You see, under the Code of Alabama (1975), they are very difficult to import and you have to have a special license and all that stuff. So there’s not many around. Same goes for the closely-related hippo thingamajigger, hippo whosiewhatsits, hippo gizmos, hippo doohickies, hippo doodads, and hippo flibbertiejibbets. As well as any sort of hippo marital aids.

The Possumblog Museum of Oddities and Fine Art (open seven days a week from noon to 5:30 p.m.) has a large collection of all of these (except the marital aids) nicely categorized as to age, type and size, as well as geographical provenance. It has been acclaimed as one of the finest collections of its type within a five-county area (including the northern half of Chilton County) and receives visitors daily who are dumb-struck and spellbound by what they see.

Mrs. Li Xiu Goocher of Palmerdale notes in the guest book [edited for length], “It […] is […] terri [fic] and makes me want to pu [t] […] some money […] into […] more […] display[s]!” An anonymous visitor from Yuma, Arizona compares the collection favorably to the display of Gordon Terwilliger’s Curiously Wide Hat Brim he saw in Leadville, Colorado, as well as the Typing Paper Museum in White Plains, New Jersey.

Come visit soon!

But you know, Possumblog is not just about animal biology--we have a hard-earned reputation of excellence among the quasi-medical profession for dispensing good, solid advice on a variety of health topics. This is probably why someone came by here wondering about meth effects on earwax.

As you all know, earwax is awfully annoying, but using cotton-tipped swabs, or bobby pins, or keys, or pencils, or paper clips, or pen caps, or rolled up business cards, or swizzle sticks, or toothpicks, or letter openers, or twigs, or screwdrivers, or teaspoons, or felt tip markers, or machine screws, or doorbell wire, or scissors, or twist ties, or umbrellas, or chicken wing bones, or your finger, or coat hangers to remove wax can cause damage to the delicate little ear-type structures inside your head, leading to a loss of hearing, which is bad.

Likewise, methamphetamines, or “meth,” is not a good thing to use for earwax buildup, although rapid combustion associated with exploding chemicals in a meth lab can often raise the ambient temperature within a room to the level where the wax easily melts, and it can then be dabbed clean from the outer ear with a damp washcloth.

Now, lest you think that Possumblog is only caught up in science and art to the exclusion of other things, it is obvious that you are mistaken, as witnessed by the person who came by not long ago seeking "handshake instructions".

As always, we are happy to oblige any who wish to know the finer points of the social graces.

From the Possumblog Manual of Protocol (1979 Edition, page 766):

The handshake is recognized as one of the hallmarks of good manners. Improper handshakes can often drive away others and leave them with bad feelings for you. A handshake is a very simple gesture, but can be a determining factor in job interviews and social gatherings.

A proper handshake can be done as follows:

1) After first making sure your hand is clean and fragrant, extend the arm and attached hand to a point just below the level of your chin,

2) Vigorously move forearm side-to-side, leaving the hand and fingers slightly relaxed to allow them to shake properly,

3) Make sure you are far enough away from the person you are greeting so that the hand does not strike the person’s face or body,

4) Maintain eye contact and a friendly expression with the person,

5) Allow the hand to shake for two to three seconds only. Any shorter and the gesture may be seen as dismissive, and any longer tends to tire the arm and hand,

6) Variations include allowing your forearm to bend upwards at the elbow while shaking the hand, holding the entire arm above the head, or using both hands,

7) Ladies should take care that bracelets or other jewelry is firmly clasped to keep from it from shaking loose,

8) Remember that people from other cultures have different handshaking customs, and may be somewhat perplexed when you first greet them. This is normal, and not to be taken as a slight should they not respond in kind.

So, then, another day in the life of Possumblog is begun--helping the world to be even more smarter and stuff!

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