HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Doctor's Consultation

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Money Matters

Films on DVD for Rental in Chiang Mai

Let's Go To The Movies

Life in the laugh lane

The Doctor's Consultation:  by Dr. Iain Corness

Erectile Dysfunction - or diagnostic dysfunction?

Judging by the number of signs outside small medical clinics, Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, must be very prevalent in Thailand. The sign usually indicates the treatment as well, take your choice from Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. It’s all there on the sign. Salvation is through this clinic’s doors. Hallelujah, ED has been conquered, just like we did with smallpox all those years ago.
I used to have a very old cat. Didn’t do much, just slept under the back stairs most of the day. Got up a couple of times for a pee and something to eat and then went back to sleep again. But that cat was a hell-raiser in his heyday. No female tabby cat was safe with him around.
So what has that to do with ED, I hear you ask? I would suggest - everything! You see, I believe that lots of males out there get this ED label hung around their necks, until they begin to believe it. Somehow, this fit young virile 50 year old suddenly gets this disease called ED when in his 60’s. Where did this disease come from? Why did he get it? And how do the rest of you make sure you don’t get it either?
Before we get too much further into this, I want you to think back to when you were in your late teens, early twenties. You could run 100 meters in well under 13 seconds. Now you probably can’t run that distance at all, let alone clock 13 seconds for it. Is this a new disease? Should we call it “Leg Dysfunction”, or LD for short?
When you were in your twenties, you had no problems reading the newspaper, but by the time you were 40, it was becoming a bit of a problem. By the time you were 60, you really had problems with distance vision as well as reading. We should probably call this Visual Dysfunction, but the initials VD have already been taken, so let’s call it Focussing Dysfunction, or FD for short.
In your twenties you probably didn’t have any problems with the erectile thingy either. In fact, it was probably overactive. But as you got older, the frequency and intensity began to slow up somewhat. By the time you were 60 you were told you had this terrible disease - ED. But what’s the difference between LD, FD and ED?
I would suggest to you that there is no difference. I made up LD and FD, because neither is a true “dysfunction”, but just the natural aging that occurs. Likewise, I would suggest that ED is not a true “dysfunction” when it occurs later in life. It is just part of the natural aging process too. So all you 60 and 70 year olds (and older) who have been given the label ED, just throw it away. You haven’t got a dysfunctional disease. You’re just growing older, like my cat.
Now there are a few differences from Mr. Tom Cat and Mr. Tom Expat. Sex is not just procreational, it is recreational, and is something about which we have built up great mystique. We judge ourselves on our horizontal abilities, rather than our intellectual achievements. Those with younger wives feel that they are letting the side down (or something else) if they cannot rise to the occasion (sorry about that) every night, or every second night, or every “whenever” that you have decided “homework” should be done.
So what should be done about it? Well, first off, the Viagra, Cialis, etc., do work for the majority of the older chaps. But they open up much more than just the door to the bedroom, they open you up to physical exercise (I was going to say “viagorous” exercise, but Ms. Hillary stole that line) for which your body might not be fit enough. This is why these medications should only be taken after examination by a doctor, to ensure your general level of fitness is good enough. Homework shouldn’t become work for the undertakers!
Talk to your doctor and get a good check-up first!

Heart to Heart  with Hillary

Dear Hillary,
Always looking forward to your weekly dose of humor. I am asking for your help today! I am suffering of Coeliac’s Disease and am required to stick to a gluten free diet. Would you or any of your readers have any feedback on availability of corn bread, rice bread or further products that would compliment my gluten free diet here in Pattaya? Any help is much appreciated... Please write to: [email protected] Regards and Thanks!
Dear Kevin,
I don’t know why you would think I would know where you can get corn bread from, my Petal, all I know are the stores that sell French champagne and Belgian chocolates. Whether the odd blast of bubbly is good for your disease I don’t know either. I hope someone can point you in the right direction of the suppliers and give you a push. Beyond me. (At least you didn’t want your motorcycle fixing!)
Dear Hillary,
I’m an 82 year old Englishman new to Pattaya, rather naïve in respect of the local ladies even though fairly versed after advice from two good friends of mine, namely Nairod and Dorian who said to contact your good self to sort out any misunderstandings should they occur? As you will note from my address, I have found good lodgings in Soi 6 where I’ve befriended a very sweet young lady who’s graceful tall willowy figure wouldn’t look amiss on any Paris catwalk. Her employment, she informs me, that along with a hundred or so of her Soi 6 friends, is doing a traffic survey for the council in that particular soi. Now my question Hillary is that she’s asked me for a few thousand baht loan for surgery to remove two swellings on her anatomy which she declines to talk in detail about. I have noticed one on her throat and one that strangely undulates beneath her costume when we’re frolicking on the beach, the latter she’s so shy about that we’ve yet to get truly intimate. So, should I make her this loan or wait for Nairod’s advice when he arrives shortly? Oh yes, he asked me to inform you of his coming in order that you can organize his pitch outside your office. He’s hinted that there’s something going between you two and gets so excited when talking about you that his teeth fall out. Oh, and he thinks he’ll go up in your esteem when you know that his recent lodgings on Dartmoor UK, were full board and quite similar to Pattaya, having many bars.
Dear Larry,
What an epistle from an 82 year old, laboriously hand typed on what was probably an 82 year old Remington typewriter! Goodness me, can’t your so-called friends Nairod and Dorian show you how to send an email from the internet shop on Soi 6?
I am so glad you have found an honest girl on that soi too, doing such an important job there as well. I would imagine that it is quite dangerous, as she would have to stop the traffic to be able to count it, and that would require getting right into the roadway in front of drivers who might not be giving their full attention to driving, there being many distractions on both sides of the street.
As regards the money for the lumps. This is difficult, my Petal. Very difficult. Perhaps you could help the undulating one beneath the costume by suggesting tighter knickers. Just a thought. I would really suggest that you try and get the money out of Dorian. Nairod’s a dead loss. But please tell him I have the ideal pitch for him. The center of the Sukhumvit and Central Road intersection. He could do some traffic surveys, right from his camp stretcher. With even more luck, he could get run over.
Dear Hillary,
You have probably heard this hundreds of times but I hope you may be able to help me in this problem I have. On my last trip I fell in love with a most beautiful girl from a bar and against all the advice given by “old hands” I gave her money to buy a house, which had to be in her name as it could not be done in mine. I had to do everything quickly as I was only here for three weeks. At the first opportunity to return for a quick trip I went to surprise her and found out that she was living there with some German guy and had been for some time! Should I ask her to return the money? I feel totally cheated and I think it will be some time before I fall in love again, especially with a Thai girl.
Dear Cheated Charlie,
You must really stop and take this opportunity to decide just who cheated who, here. You were here for three weeks and bought some girl you did not really know, a house? Is this reasonable behavior? You threw your money away, my Petal. She did not rob you - you robbed yourself. Next time, think twice, or in your case, think two hundred times. Perhaps you might even listen to the old hands too. Sorry, Charlie, but you had it coming. Don’t bother asking her for the money. You could try the German guy, but it’s a slim chance.

Camera Class:  by Harry Flashman

10 Tips - often painfully acquired!

I wrote down these tips many years ago. Since then, I have been asked many times to give out the “secrets” you learn in the professional photography arena. There are really no secrets, they are all here. The secrets come after painful experiences and here are my (still) top 10 tips for a happy photographic life! I should add that all these tips come from real life experiences which have happened to myself and other pro shooters. None of it is made up. These days, references to “film” are probably not as applicable as they once were, but you can substitute “memory stick” or “memory card” instead.
Tip number 1. When going on holidays with your camera, take spare batteries with you - always. No matter how new the batteries, if there is a failure while you are trekking in Nepal, or just lazing on the beaches in Koh Chang you will not be able to get the correct replacement. That’s as sure as God made little green apples as the song goes. Remember that your camera may also use more than one type of battery, another trap for young players.
Tip number 2. Always carry one more memory stick or roll of film than you think you’ll need when on holidays. The shot of a lifetime will appear and you will have already used all your film. And don’t use the one you’ve suddenly found in the bag - see Tip number 3. Likewise, you haven’t got the time to sit there going ‘review-delete-review-delete’ with your digital.
Tip number 3. When you find a roll of film in your camera bag or suitcase that you’d completely forgotten about, use it to throw at predatory puppies, rather than using it in your camera. You can be guaranteed the results will be no good at all. The colours will be all wrong because the film has been hot at some time or exposed to airport irradiation. No matter how tempting it is to slip it into the camera when you urgently need another roll of film, don’t do it! You will be disappointed. Guaranteed.
Tip number 4. Always check that the camera neck strap is indeed tight and secure on both ends. If one end lets go, the camera will hit the ground before you have time enough to react. Cameras do not bounce well, if at all.
Tip number 5. Frequently check the exposure controls on your camera, that they really are set on Auto, or Shutter priority or what have you. It is very easy to knock the controls and settings when taking the camera in and out of the bag, or even when it has been hanging round your neck.
Tip number 6. When you get the book of prints back, and the envelope with the negatives from the photo shop, or the CD with the images, immediately write on them the subject material of the shots and the date. Do this with black texta pen so it doesn’t rub off and you will have saved yourself hours of work, flicking through books of prints and CDs, while looking for “Solomon Islands 1998”.
Tip number 7. Never keep your camera in the glove box of your car. With the temperatures that can be reached in the cubby hole reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius in our blazing summers, at best the film is spoiled, at worst, the camera is spoiled. The newer “plastic” bodied cameras and camera backs can actually warp with the high temperature.
Tip number 8. When you decide that you want an enlargement made of one particular shot, arrange for it straight away, while you still have the negative or CD handy, and before it gets covered in dust and scratched, making it impossible to get a decent enlargement. And before it gets lost.
Tip number 9. Always put spare memory sticks or cards back in their plastic containers, and keep them in the camera bag. I even suggest you tie them in place, so they don’t get lost. When you need it in a hurry, it has to be accessible.
Tip number 10. When shooting kids, get down to their level. You’ll get a better shot!

Money Matters:  Graham Macdonald MBMG International Ltd.

It’s enough to turn you green - Part 3

DuPont, the chemicals company, estimates that it has saved $3bn in energy costs since 1990 through measures such as using methane emitted from landfill sites to power its industrial boilers. Wal-Mart saved $25m a year and 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by fitting auxiliary engines to trucks for use when they idle at rest stops. Wal-Mart also has a solar energy vision to make its stores 100% energy independent. Jupiter’s Green Investments Trust PLC’s Charlie Thomas estimates that Wal-Mart is likely to result in the largest single corporate solar installation in history with demand for solar modules to produce roughly 4 G-watts of energy. With annual global demand for solar modules currently running at 12-15 G-watts and only enough supply for 6 G-watts, Wal-Mart’s ambitions are likely to exacerbate the supply/demand imbalance.

If the only reason to go green was to look good, the world would be in trouble. Happily, there are profits to be made too. Mr. Bush may not see the appeal of laws to stop global warming, but the market and consumers are sending a different signal.
Where and how does one invest in those companies that are attempting to slow down the growth in global warming?
The review of the economics of climate change by Sir Nicholas Stern, the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, has been hailed as the most comprehensive study of the subject ever undertaken. The key premise of his report is that the benefits of strong early action on climate change outweigh the costs. If we are fortunate, the world might escape with a 5 percent fall in global GDP and millions of deaths from the economic impact of climate change. If we are not so lucky, there could be a 20 percent drop in global GDP, mass starvation and hundreds of millions of deaths.
The Stern Review reinforces the critical role of water in relation to the potential effects of climate change. The other obvious winners are those in renewable energy and in the capture of carbon and storage. The latter has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from fossil fuel power generation and is likely to prove a critical technology in global carbon reduction strategies, particularly for developing countries with fast growing economies and rapidly growing fossil fuel consumption.
Some important markets will be created as we struggle to adapt. These are likely to include markets in managing higher temperatures, especially in major cities where there is a need to cope with the magnified “urban heat island” effect; in dealing with vector born diseases such as malaria, which could become more widespread; in flood defences; in new methods of food production and so on.
While the evidence is mounting, it is encouraging to note that millions are invested in tackling climate change through the use of clean energy. Calculations suggest that global expenditure on curbing the effects of climate change could be $1,000bn within five years.
Green investing isn’t such a lonely pursuit anymore. Society is placing a greater emphasis on renewable energy sources and technologies to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Witness Al Gore’s conquering hero status at this year’s Oscar awards as he picked up a statuette for his climate change documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, there is increasing attention paid to this approach.
Lehman Bros., with input from analysts in London and Tokyo, recently published a 143-page paper, “The Business of Climate Change”. The well-being of the planet, the report concludes, has gone from a “fringe concern” of scientists and activists to a “central topic” for CEOs and investors. Discussions about what interest rates mean for stocks are giving way to chatter about what a 1 degree rise each year in temperature would do to profits at businesses ranging from carmakers to solar companies.
“Global warming is likely to prove (to be) one of those tectonic forces that - like globalization or the aging of populations - gradually but powerfully changes the economic landscape,” writes John Llewellyn, senior economic policy adviser at Lehman.
Also California’s Calpers, America’s largest public pension plan and considered a trendsetter among giant money managers, is committing $800 million to invest in clean technology in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
“We are approaching a tipping point when it comes to climate change,” says Edward Kerschner, a strategist at Citigroup.
From an investors’ standpoint, it doesn’t matter if people believe global warming is real or if greenhouse gases are to blame, Kerschner says. What does matter is if consumers, regulators, governments and corporations “react to the perceived threat.” That is what creates investment opportunities - and risks, he says.
Unfortunately for investors, mainstream enthusiasm for green companies doesn’t always translate into the green that lines wallets. But green is a term that’s open to interpretation. Take General Electric, although the conglomerate has a leading position in green energy like wind power, some of its operations infuriate environmentalists. Meanwhile, small pure-play companies can’t turn a profit. Wading into the green pool, investors may find it safer to play diversified indexes, mutual funds or fund of funds rather than pick out the eventual winners in a crowded field.

The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Graham Macdonald on [email protected]

Films on DVD for Rental in Chiang Mai: Mr. I. Dewcritique

Driving Lessons
In terms of names, you have to agree that this film has strong demands on your attention. Brock did the screenplay for The Last King of Scotland, and his stars here are Rupert Grint [Harry Potter’s dear friend Ron Weasley], Julie Walters [Educating Rita, Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls, Harry Potter (she is Ron’s mother) as well as much else] and noted American actress Laura Linney [The Squid and the Whale].
The plotline is very gentle and is centered on the growing up of Ben, the character so ably played by Rupert Grint. Ben is the only son of the local vicar in the plush London suburb of Hampstead. On account of both his own gawkiness and the intensity of his religiously minded activist mother, he suffers even more than most teenagers from the repressions and humiliations of adolescence. Then Ben comes across a retired theatrical dame, once a well-known classical actress, who is deeply aggrieved that she is more frequently remembered for appearing in a soap opera she has nothing but loathing for. Dame Evie is now but a shell of what she formerly was and has a serious drinking problem, but her willfulness; occasional foul-mouthed outbursts and sense of fun are just what Ben needs to break free from the restrictions and hypocrisies of vicarage life. American viewers will be struck at how much gentler teenage angst and the problems of aging actresses [think Sunset Boulevard] are among the English middle class than they seem to be in Hollywood. In fact, the sheer Englishness of this film may be a barrier to some. The comedy is very slight and depends on English eccentricity [the vicar making bird calls] and reserve. For example, if you don’t realize that the English are very quiet on public transport you will not even understand how naughty and daring Dame Evie is when she talks loudly to Ben on the bus! You also have to be willing to cope with quotations from Renaissance poets. The quality which the film has in abundance is charm. Ben is a very nice, slightly spaced-out boy trying to do his best. His relationship with the older woman is charming, and their trip to Scotland full of sweet moments. If you want loud laughs, excitement, drama and suspense, you will be bored silly by this film. If you enjoy British films like The Calendar Girls, Tea with Mussolini and Mrs Henderson Presents you will probably appreciate this one.
Thinking of Driving Lessons and some of the films I have just mentioned made me realize how matriarchal British society has in many ways become. British women long outlive their partners, parents are authority figures and usually trying to bring up children and hold down jobs at the same time, so grandmothers are a major and much-loved factor in many young people’s lives. And, of course, there is the Queen, who has been there as long as most people can remember. Strong older women [typified by Dame Judi Dench] fill the films listed above and you can easily add Ladies in Lavender, Mrs Brown [about Queen Victoria; incidentally also the work of Jeremy Brock], Shakespeare in Love, which would not be the same without Elizabeth I, and now The Queen. One can learn quite a bit about a country by watching its films.

Let's Go To The Movies: Mark Gernpy

Now playing in Chiang Mai

Call ahead to confirm as movie schedules are subject to change.
Major Cineplex Airport Plaza, Telephone: 053 283-939. Times usually change daily.
Vista – Kadsuankaew, 4th Floor Kad Suan Kaew, Telephone: 053 894-415, Times usually remain the same.
Vista – 12 Huaykaew, Across from Kad Suan Kaew, Telephone: 053 404-374, Times usually remain the same for entire week. Warning: For at least the last showing of the day, the actual starting time of the movie itself may be up to 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
Spider-Man 3: US Action/Adventure – If you like this sort of thing, you should like this very much. I did not find it very compelling – maybe it’s just me – except for the Sandman. I thought him a mythic character – an infinitely sad and tragic creature, like “King Kong” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” doomed to do some awful things. I thought the awesome sequence when he willed himself back into existence from individual grains of sand, to be the best part of the movie. But submerged by the vast number of (to me) boring scenes, poorly written and acted. Mixed or average reviews: 60/62 out of 100.
Pan’s Labyrinth: (Spanish/Subtitled in Thai and English) Mexico/Spain/US Fantasy/Thriller – At Vista only.
I have seen this three times, and I’m saying it’s not to be missed. You owe it to yourself to experience this film; you just might be tremendously moved, and end up considering it one of the finest films ever made, as many have. It shifts between a richly imagined fairy tale (not even remotely intended for children), and a gritty, violent, and extraordinarily tense war episode in the fascist nightmare of Franco’s Spain in 1944. The unbearable reality causes the fantasy.
Do not take your young children to see this movie unless you want them to be scarred for life. I have never seen a more deeply disturbing, profoundly frightening creature than the Pale Man, with his removable eyes in the palms of his hands. Rated R in the US for graphic violence, language. Reviews: Universal acclaim: 98/85 out of 100.
Shooter: US Action/Drama – With Mark Wahlberg. For an action movie and thriller, terrific! Very nicely acted by Wahlberg as a marksman involved in a presidential assassination. Good dialogue and plot. Rated R in the US for strong graphic violence, some language. Mixed or average reviews: 53/56 out of 100.
Disturbia: US Suspense/Thriller – Two teens begin to suspect that one of their neighbors is a serial killer. Generally favorable reviews: 62/62 out of 100.
Wild Hogs: US Adventure/Comedy – Four middle-aged men decide to take a last road trip on their bikes to escape from lives that are leading nowhere. Phenomenally popular worldwide. Generally negative reviews: 27/38 out of 100.
Train of the Dead (Ghost Train): Thai Horror – Five of your favorite Thai teenagers (including a transvestite and a junky) rob a kindergarten, have a terrible car accident fleeing from the crime, wake up dead but not aware of it, and board a train with weird passengers heading for Hell.
Epic Movie: US Comedy – Movie parodies. Reviews: Extreme dislike or disgust: 17/22 out of 100.
Next: US Action/Sci-Fi – Nicholas Cage stars as a magician with an ability that torments him: he can see a few minutes into the future. Mixed or average reviews: 42/46 out of 100.
Pathfinder: US Action – Vikings in North America, and nearly100 percent violence. Rated R in the US for strong brutal violence throughout. Generally negative reviews: 29/35 out of 100.
Me…Myself (Khor Hai Rak Jong Jaroen): Thai Drama/Romance – Of interest for Ananda Everingham, who gives a fascinating and subtle performance as an amnesiac who falls for a young woman without remembering his true identity as a gay cabaret singer.
A Millionaire’s First Love: (Thai-dubbed version only) South Korea Romance – a simple love story from Korea. Spoiled rich kid has to graduate from rural school to inherit family wealth, falls for rural girl.
Blood and Chocolate: US Horror – Werewolves. Generally negative reviews: 33/36 out of 100.
The Number 23: US Mystery – Jim Carrey as a man obsessed with a book that appears to be based on his life, ends with a murder that has yet to happen. Rated R in the US for violence, disturbing images, sexuality, and language. Generally negative reviews: 24/35 out of 100.
Scheduled for
Thursday, May 17

28 Weeks Later: UK Horror – This follow-up to the wildly successful 28 Days Later picks up six months after the rage virus has annihilated the British Isles. Rated R in the US for strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity.
The Last Mimzy: US Adventure/Sci-Fi – Two kids find a bizarre box on the beach and are soon exhibiting signs of genius in this gentle fantasy film. Mixed or average reviews: 59/59 out of 100.

Life in the laugh lane: Scott Jones

Horror at home

A flash of lightning and thunderclap signals the launch of the air-borne hordes. Flapping madly on their first sinister flight, a million creatures leave their hidden haunts in the bamboo stand like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, luckily headed away from my bungalow. I search for some weapon and only find a can of Off insect spray, but they’re already off. This year God threw the rainy season switch one morning and suddenly we’re in Wet World: the Internet extended forecast says “scattered thunderstorms” everyday until death. Besides the barrage of bugs, the green mold has already begun to breed on the wooden table outside. I don’t even want to know what’s going on under the bed. We eat in darkness before watching a couple of “horror” movies rented to distract us from our own, but they should have been in the “horrible” section.

Hi neighbor, bad night with the ants?
I hear a scream as my mate enters the living room, now truly living with thousands of winged ants scrambling on the floor, all substantial with some major mothers that look ready to spew their spawn. Sweeping turns them into a frenzied cloud. For an hour the battle rages against the homecoming troops who have forsaken their home for ours. Great! We get to watch horror movies while creatures crawl up our legs.
The Wicker Man is perhaps the worst movie ever made, starring (and embarrassingly directed by) Nicolas Cage, who has delivered splendid performances, but I don’t trust him anymore. To save you time and 19 baht, here’s the gist. A motorcycle cop, Cage stops a car to return a doll dropped out its window. An evil little girl throws it out again, but as Cop Case retrieves it, a semi-truck smashes their car and turns it into an inferno, a flashback scene we get to see 1,246 more times as the movie continually grinds to a screeching halt. Upon hearing from his former fiancée, a complete wacko living on a grim, remote island run by wicked women and their mute men kept for “breeding,” he answers her call to help find her missing child, who ends up being his daughter, the evil one from the car. Things barely go bump in the night as the women get nastier until Cage starts beating them up and yelling the F-word at the children. I just cannot imagine him telling his friends, “You have to see my new movie. I got to punch old women in the face.” Well, it’s finally ancient ritual time as he is lured into the crowd of loonies wearing animal outfits; we hear the crack of his legs; Cage is dragged to a three-story, man-shaped, wicker cage and hauled up to its head by a rope attached to his broken legs; his daughter sets fire to the cage and Cage screams his way into hell. Sweeping the ants was scarier.
You should absolutely avoid White Noise starring another aging actor grasping at the bottom of the barrel. The plot is incomprehensible and mainly we get to watch Michael Keaton’s eyes squint as he also attempts to understand it. His wife dies and he squints. A fat man with a bullfrog neck demonstrates that his wife is trying to reach him through random radio noise and snowy white computer screens, but soon dies, apparently murdered by his mouse. Michael squints. Michael buys his own electronic toys and sits for months in front of the television while we see soft, hazy images on the screen and watch his face squint and twitch. As usual, there are bad spirits in the beyond, who, in an obscure fight that looks like dust clouds battling black Jell-O, finally terminate Michael’s squinting and twitching. He joins his wife inside the TV at the best part of the movie: the end.
These flicks are chicken fodder compared to The Exorcist where all of humanity trembles as Regan spins her head round and round, spews green vomit at priests and yells obscenities never before heard in public. I finally watched it one winter night in Minnesota at a friend’s house, alone and scared. As movie hell broke loose, a yellow weather announcement crawled across the screen heralding a tornado warning. I went outside to find a calm, frozen night. Tornados don’t normally stalk the village at 20 below. I was doubly spooked. This happened several more times, until I remembered I was watching a video cassette recorded months earlier during summer, when tornados attack frequently. It wasn’t live; it was taped. So I was as an idiot then, and continue to be one, renting horrible movies and trying to sweep flying ants. Please do not let anyone read this column.