Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Divine Spellchecker

I was at this Taco Bell a while back, and a young man took my order. This was one of those young men who tries to look tough, but the wear and tear on his body will make him look old by the time he's 30. He had a brand new tattoo on his forearm. You could tell it was new, because the area was shaved. It was supposed to say, "ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME." Unfortunately, the tattoo artist wasn't paying attention, and wrote, "ONLY GOD CAN JUDE ME."

The "good" news was that each word was on its own line, so the tattoo artist tried to fix the problem by changing the E in JUDE into a G, then drawing another E. It ended up looking sort of like what it was intended to be, but more like "ONLY GOD CAN JUDEE ME." Words for the ages. At least that guy's ages.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Office Zoology

We had a rare sighting of the elusive ceiling gopher today.

Víkingar ferðuðust mikið.

For several days, we've been working on elements of a Viking costume for Son's social studies class. His Viking name is to be Sax the Mankiller. Right now, I would have guessed his name to be "Sax the 'why are your jeans in the middle of the living room floor?'"

After recycling the tunic from his Link costume, making a Viking helmet out of posterboard, and struggling with some thick cloth for the pants that kept BREAKING NEEDLES AND THREAD ON MY SEWING MACHINE, we finally got the pieces together last night. Around bedtime, Son said, "Oh, I forgot. I need a cape for my costume."

At least it's not due today.

That's Icelandic up there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Slummin' in the Land of Literacy

I used to read a lot of books. In my freshman year in high school, my English teacher encouraged us to keep a log of all of the books we read. I quit keeping track sometime in my senior year when I hit 300 books from the time I started counting. I didn't keep track of anything less than 150 pages, and I didn't count textbooks, although if we read a novel for class, I would count that.

Even into adulthood, I read a lot. My house is filled with books, and my barn has several plastic totes filled with books that we can't find room for in the house.

Since Son joined our family, though, my reading time is a little less available. I read out loud to Son every night, although lately he has been using the reading time to talk with me almost as much as we spend reading. I also try to keep up on current events via blogs and other news sources, so reading for pleasure is becoming more and more rare.

I decided to get my feet wet again, so I just read Half Moon Investigations, by Eoin Colfer. It's a nice quick read. I hope I have time to turn on the ol' brain again soon, though.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Geek Humor in the Workplace

Person: I need to have a dialogue with you about this issue.

GDad: Will this be a modal dialog?

Person: Um.... no.

GDad: I don't have time to talk right now.

p.s. This conversation only happened inside my head.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

EBS Guy Grad School

EBS Guy is apparently attending another clown school event later in St. Louis. There will be thousands of clowns there. Why St. Louis? It's the only city with a convention center more than 1000 feet from a school or park.

DISCLAIMER: EBS Guy is no threat to children or adults.

Friday, April 25, 2008

EBS Guy - Cranky Edition

EBS Guy stopped by to tell me what a craptacular day he was having. His job is to manage a team of IT folks who work in a maintenance capacity for a big system. My job is to manage a group of IT people who gather requirements for new projects that affect that system. He was telling me that he felt like we were trying to do too much with too many people. I showed him my list of incoming projects that the management team thought we were "focusing" on. There were about thirty items on the list.

EBS Guy: This is stupid! [Throws list on ground.] We're getting sucked into a big-ass sinkhole!

By Jove, I think he's onto something!


Mike, please don't point out my blatant hypocrisy for complaining about new business words, then inventing a new word of my own. I won't listen. That's sort of the thing with hypocrisy.

Smokatraz: /smo'-kə-traz/ - (n) - the remote place smokers go when law or their companies don't allow smoking near the building.

Angry Parent Guy, Episode II

Son's social studies teacher left a message on our home answering machine on Wednesday afternoon promising to call back later Wednesday night or Thursday. As of Friday morning, we had not received a call. I sent her an e-mail from GPop's account asking her to call him on his cell phone to discuss.

Foto Phriday

Here's a picture of my mileage readout for this particular tank of gas. In case the readout is a bit confusing, I've gone 99.9 miles when this picture was taken, the engine has turned off due to "AUTO STOP" technology, and I have gotten 50.4 miles per gallon for the past 99.9 miles.

Funny story - I was showing this to a co-worker whom I've known (not closely) for roughly 10 years. I was telling him that my car gets excellent mileage. He said that my next step should be to get one of these cars for my wife. Heteronormativity lives!

Welcome to Catty Corner

How many men out there think of themselves as a "lone wolf?" And how many of them wish they drove a Camaro?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day-o, Day-ay-ay-ay-o!

It's Drag Your Spawn to Work day here. Son's school chose to avoid the issue of excuses/unexcused absences by making the day a teacher inservice day instead of a normal class day. Last year, Son came with me. This year, he preferred to stay home.

Our divisional president sponsored breakfast today with the kids at our location. One of the people in our department quipped, "My son met the president of our company on his only day here, and I've worked here for five years without ever meeting the guy."

Reuse and Recycle

Here's a new way to generate content. Take one of your blog entries, copy and paste it into the Babelfish translator. Translate it to some other language. Copy the output and translate that back to English. Post.

I like my bicycle. I've always liked my bicycles. I've been riding sans training wheels since I was probably 5 years old.

Son and I took a bicycle ride last night. There's a big box store opening about a two-mile ride from our home, and we wanted to see if it had opened yet. It hadn't, but the sign said that it would be open on April 30.

I've gotten so used to driving my hybrid that I actually got a bit upset that my bicycle's brakes just dissipated the braking energy as heat instead of recapturing it to use for acceleration later. Then I realized that I was being silly.

I like my bicycle. I always liked my bicycles. I was training ride to wheels, since I was probably 5 years old. Son and I lasted a bicycle travel evening yesterday. There is a large box memory opening one approximately two-mile travel from our house, and we wanted to see, if it had already opened. It did not have, but the indication said that it would be opened on April 30. I have thus used to my to drive half-breed received that I really received a point to tilt that brakes of my bicycle the straight braking energy as heat absent-minded, instead of, it again to attain later to the use for acceleration. Then I stated that I was stupid.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Let's See How this Pans Out

Son doesn't have school tomorrow. He's trying to go over to some new friend's house to spend the night. He called me from school via a borrowed cell phone to ask if he could ride the bus to Austin's house. I've never met Austin, but yesterday, when Son asked if Austin could come over to play, I found out that Austin's parents did not get home until about 5:00.

He told me that Austin had cleared the stay with his parents. He called me back about a half hour later to tell me that Austin now couldn't make any arrangements until 7:00 tonight, because he had some things to do. This seems to me to be a very different story from the one where Austin's parents were OK with some unknown kid (Son) coming over to spend the night without even speaking to the kid's parents.

I told Son to mow the lawn. He's out there now, and I just got home. The phone rang, and when I answered it, I got the "Is Son there?" demand. I have now implemented my standard response to that. The kid hasn't called back in five minutes. He's either confused, miffed, or a very slow learner.

Captain Ruffles and the Clue in the Crossword Cipher

On seeing a cigarette-smoking man wearing a Jack Daniels shirt, a Bud Light had, and camouflage pants, Captain Ruffles quipped, "I'll bet he has his own file at the ATF."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Angry Parent Guy

Son called me yesterday to tell me that he got home OK, as he does every afternoon. I asked about his homework and such, and he told me that he had it covered. Then he took a deep breath and blurted out, "I have something to tell you." As anyone over the age of, say, eight knows, this is never a good introduction.

"I think I got in trouble today, and I might be expelled, and the teacher said I may go to jail, and I'm so frustrated and mad... [dissolves to tears]"

"It can't be that bad. What happened?" I knew it couldn't be that bad, because the school hadn't called me, and they are pretty good about calling whenever anything untoward happens.

He told me that his social studies teacher had sent some of the kids out into the hallway to work on a mural for a class project. The kid who had the important information for the project was absent, so they could only get so far. Son and "Corey" were walking around the mural to see it from another angle when Son bumped into one of the fire alarms. This is a brand new school building, so there are still a few kinks in the system. The alarm sounded.

A teacher in the class right next to the alarm came out of her room, muttered something like, "Stupid alarm," then Fonzie-slapped it. The alarm shut off. That teacher retreated into her room.

Son's teacher came out into the hall and shouted, "What happened?"

Son said, "I bumped up against the alarm, and it went off." The other kids confirmed that this was what happened.

The teacher started shrieking at him that alarms don't do that sort of thing, and that he would likely be expelled for his crime, and that the fire department would likely come to talk to him and take him to jail, etc. She must have been a sight to see.

Son was pretty taken aback by this. When she told him to get back into the classroom and take his seat, he saw that the other kids in the class were staring at him. The teacher then told the class that they had to pack up their projects and spend the rest of the class reading from the textbook. Additionally, some unfortunate few (looking at Son as she says this) will no longer be allowed to take part in the Medieval/Viking Faire in a few weeks. Of course, they call blamed Son for their misfortunes. Son was devastated. He loves medieval and Renaissance things, and he has been looking forward to this event for weeks.

At some point during the remainder of the class, the principal's office called the teacher. At the end of the class, Son went up to the teacher's desk and asked, "Am I going to be in trouble?" She looked at him, didn't answer, and then pointedly looked away. This was the last period of the day, so this takes us back to him getting home and calling me.

I was irked. My mom is an elementary school teacher, and because I know what some of her experiences have been, I'm very sympathetic to teachers, and I tend to cut them a lot of slack. This teacher, though, went over the line and needs a bit of a talking-to.

GPop went in to discuss the matter with the principal and assistant principal today. They told him that there were maintenance crews working on the sprinkler system and that the alarm system had been wonky all day yesterday and all day today. They promised to talk to that teacher. By interesting coincidence, that teacher wasn't present during Son's class today. I don't know the outcome yet, but my expectation is a public apology to Son, and an explanation IN FRONT OF THE CLASS that he had nothing to do with the fire alarm and didn't cause any trouble.


This morning, after my morning ablutions, I descended the stairs to prepare to depart for work. At the second stair from the bottom, I slipped and fell on my back and butt. Owie! It seems to run in the family, although the genetic link is suspect.

NURTURE BEFORE NATURE! Take that, biologists! Checkmate!

It Never Hurts

Our old cell phones finally gave up the ghost. GPop's actually died a horrific death, and mine simply refused to hold a charge for more than 20 minutes of talk time. We decided to get new phones. We decided that the LG Rumor fit our needs and budget.

One of the benefits of the newest generation of phones is that many of them support memory expansion in the form of Micro SD cards. With this memory expansion, one can store gobs (or even kilogobs) of music, photos, and video. One of the killer app uses of a phone for me is the ability to take a picture of something silly and save it for humor or blogging purposes. GPop, on the other hand, would like to have a music player available. So, we decided we could use the memory expansion.

The store where we bought the phones had 1 GB cards for $15.98, but we didn't buy them that day on the theory that you can always get a better price online, and that the cards weren't critical that day. A few days later, I discovered that there was another Sprint store closer to our home than the one where we bought the phones, and even more importantly, it was closer to my commuting route.

I stopped at the new store and asked what the price was for the Micro SD cards. They were behind the counter and unmarked. He told me that they usually ran about $40. Then he asked if I wanted the 1 GB or the 2 GB. I replied that it really didn't matter, but that the other store a few miles away had them for about $16. He harrumphed, then he sat down at his POS terminal. After a few moments, he told me that the best he could do was $19.99 for the 2 GB card. Since I hadn't specified what capacity was $16, I was pretty thrilled to get such a deal. Huzzah!

Check out Get Rich Slowly for more ways to control finances.

Python, Monty, Would Be Proud

Here's a video of Son and me acting like idiots on the trampoline. For those who can't tell, I'm the one running around the edge, and Son is the one rolling back and forth.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Echoes of Janet and Justin

Our family likes to have teevee shows that we can watch together and then discuss the lessons contained therein. Since Son has joined our family, we've gone through Futurama, Red Dwarf, Babylon 5, and some movies.

We had heard from some friends that Stargate SG1 was pretty fun, so we borrowed the season 1 DVD set from some friends. We already had the original movie on DVD, so we watched that first. Last night, we put in the first DVD of season 1 and watched the pilot.

We're watching, we're watching... BAM! Full frontal nudity! Huh. I would not have guessed that, given the show was usually aired before 10:00.

To Son's credit, he didn't snicker or hoot. Instead, he just asked, "Why do those people have big X's on their bellies?" (Answer - because they're aliens.)

As parents, we're concerned about inappropriate entertainment choices for our son. We both tried to show by our behavior (no overt response) that nekked people aren't dirty, dirty, dirty, but it was a bit of a shocker, nonetheless.

War on Everything

Our most recent TIME magazine cover has a green border and it talks about the War on Global Warming. What? I wonder what the "War on..." construct does to the issue at hand. If every social ill or technological challenge is presented in martial terms, what kinds of solutions present themselves? Probably violent ones.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Pointy Hair

One of the gentlemen on my team is on a Caribbean cruise right now. He recently won an iPhone in a drawing, and he's been sending us pictures when he gets close enough to shore to get Internet access. He's sort of rubbing it in. "Here's a picture of the beach. Here's a picture from the deck. Here's a picture of this or that island. Here's a picture of..."

While he's gone, we learned of a new project that is another #1 priority, just like the other dozen #1 priorities. I decided to punish my absent team member by replying to his e-mails and assigning him this new project, which will involve some travel the week he gets back. Heh.

OK, before anyone accuses me of being too much of a jerk, this man loves to travel, and the trip is just one overnight stay. It was sort of funny, though.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

From Beyond

It occurred to me that with Blogger's new scheduled posting feature, an author could conceivably post from beyond the grave.

You take 10 points Spooky damage.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Foto Phriday

This is a picture Son took with my camera of some part of his hand, because he thought it looked like someone's bottom. I started to tell him that his humor was pretty adolescent, and then I remembered that he is 13. After that, I realized that I thought it was pretty funny, too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Neophilic Luddism

I like my bicycle. I've always liked my bicycles. I've been riding sans training wheels since I was probably 5 years old.

Son and I took a bicycle ride last night. There's a big box store opening about a two-mile ride from our home, and we wanted to see if it had opened yet. It hadn't, but the sign said that it would be open on April 30.

I've gotten so used to driving my hybrid that I actually got a bit upset that my bicycle's brakes just dissipated the braking energy as heat instead of recapturing it to use for acceleration later. Then I realized that I was being silly.

Heck's Cherub

Here's a short video of Son on his new Baja Racer mini bike. It's a pretty cool little machine.

The thing that cracks me up, though, is that the maximum weight is 150 lbs., and the minimum age is 16, according to the documentation and the web site. Here's the Venn diagram of the intersection of those sets, assuming the target audience is male.

If you expand the target to include female riders, then you've probably got a much larger intersection.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sleepless in Small Town

MustangBobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof asks what is the longest time people have stayed awake. I've had a couple of long runs with wakefulness that have stayed with me. Sometimes, insomnia can be fun. Mostly, it stinks.

In high school, I remember inviting a friend over to play Starflight on my DOS machine. We saw the sun set, and we saw it rise.

When I was in college, some friends and I had a stay-awake-a-thon. We lasted through about 4:00am, and called it a night. We didn't have a lot to do.

Later in college, I worked for a while as a night assistant in the dorms over the summer. These dorms were populated for the summer with graduate students from all over the country who were attending some special program for a couple of months. At the same time, I was working as an assistant manager in a retail store in a mall. My best stay-awake was closing the store on one evening at 9:30, running home by about 10:00pm, changing clothes, going to the dorms on my inline skates or bicycle (no place to park), working the night there from 11:00pm until 7:00am, running home again, showering, and then opening the store at 9:00am. I did that several times over that summer. My hope, after a while, was that I would start to hallucinate. I was looking for some big experience, like a pink elephant, but all I got was an auditory illusion that someone cleared his throat loudly in the passenger seat of my car. Bummer.

Back in August, 2003, I was in New York City for a business trip. My professional role at the time was as a "junk drawer" manager - I had a team composed of functions that nobody knew where to put. I actually had managers reporting to me, which was kind of strange, but it did give me some experience in indirect management. One of those managers who reported to me was the training manager. I was also a subject matter expert on our web functionality, so I was along to do one of the training sessions.

Anyway, we flew out on August 13, and we did training in one of the Manhattan skyscrapers that belonged to JP Morgan, etc. Inc., on August 14. Around 4:10pm, as we were getting close to the end of the day, the lights flickered. Those of us from places other than Manhattan didn't even blink, but the New Yorkers started to panic. We asked what was wrong, and they told us that the power NEVER goes out in Manhattan. Also remember that this was less than two years after the destruction of the World Trade Center.

We ended up shutting down a bit early. The building had its own generator, but it only kept on the lights, not the air conditioning. Mid August in Manhattan is warm. Many hotels did not have any power at all, so several of our business partners opted to stay in the JP Morgan building. We were on a single-digit floor, so climbing the stairs wasn't too bad. Of course, the dinner plans were hosed, so people were essentially on their own. Because I'm a large man, I offered to escort smaller or more fearful folks to and from their hotels as the evening became night. I ended up having possibly one of the neatest experiences of my life - wandering around in the DARK in downtown Manhattan.

As the evening wore on, some restaurants started to give away perishable food, so sandwiches and such were easy to come by. The people on the street seemed to be in a party mood, and nobody really seemed threatening to me, even as I wandered closer to some of the side streets. The bars were selling cold beer for not a lot of money, so it was an interesting evening. One of the more interesting situations I saw was a very small woman who had a cello case (with cello) on her back. She and I started to chat, and she said that she had to go north about 50 blocks. As buses and taxis passed her by, she started to get more and more resigned, and finally she said, "I'll just walk." This woman was maybe five feet tall.

One of the business partners was in from sunny Pennsylvania, and she had a relative who lived uptown. She asked me to stay with her while she tried to find a taxi. The buses and taxis were running, but they were packed. Finally, one of those human-powered taxis (sort of like PediCabs, but not enclosed) came by. She asked how much to get to the place she needed to go. When she found that it would be $150, she swore and came back with me to the office.

By around 2:00am, people were getting bored and scared, so we went exploring. Someone came up to our floor and told us that the building management had opened the gates to the cafeteria, and that we were welcome to help ourselves to snacks and soft drinks. Once we had stuffed ourselves with Snickers and Pringles, though, people started to express a little more worry. I started a game of twenty questions that lasted about an hour, then we had a sing-along for another half hour. When the sun rose, we ended up disbanding to try to get back to our hotels so we could clean up.

We were scheduled to continue the training that day, but we cancelled it for obvious reasons. Some of us stood outside the Good Morning America set. Someone from that staff asked if my group would be interested in staying to get on camera, and we said that we would. Between then and the start of the show, some of us had to find bathrooms, so we took off. Those that stayed were actually on GMA. I missed my chance.

By the time we were to get to the airports in the early afternoon, some of the chaos had died down. The power was still out, but people were mostly taken care of. I found a taxi and went to the airport. I couldn't sleep during the taxi ride or the plane ride, so I ended up being awake for, by my calculations, about 40 hours. I think I did start to doze a little bit in the taxi, because I distinctly remember seeing a Segway climbing stairs into a building, but I know I didn't actually fall asleep for long.

Not a bad experience for a Midwest corn-fed boy, eh?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Son with Guitar

Here's a movie...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thought I'd Add to the Noise


Google Loves Me

Google loves me, this I know,
For Feedburner tells me so.
Weirdo searches find this page.
I'm too stoked to act my age!

Sorry - that last line wasn't my best ever. Anyway, here are some recent search terms that have landed on my blog. As always, I'm intrigued by the oddness. I've put them in alphabetical order rather than chronological, because I can.

ceiling fan remote receiver burn
You know, it's been a while since I wrote about my ceiling fan issues. I'll bet you would never guess that the receiver burnt out again so that we can't use the remote to toggle the light any more. I think we'll do a minor kitchen remodel this year and hire someone who can install a hard line rather than a remote-based fan.

clothestime ad drag queen
I'm not sure I want to parse this one out. It turns out that as of this writing, I'm in the top three Google searches for this phrase, though. Here's where it links.

Consistent Dripping Nose
Ewww. At least it comes to my site honestly.

cranial duplicity
I was talking about BSG. Imagine that. Even so, is the searcher looking for someone whose head has betrayed them? Odd, that.

cranium two bumps back
This sounds like someone giving driving directions while suffering from Wernicke's Aphasia.

fake-breasts drag home flour balloons
I am honored that someone could find my blog from this search term. I am disturbed that someone thought to type this search term. I am concerned that I am, as of this writing, the top result for this search term.

fotografia e gogurt
Sugeriría que usted navegue al Web site para Gogurt. ¡Gracias! ¡Venga otra vez!

furry wearing a Monocle
No, no, no. Go away. Now.

horseshoe mustache
EBS Guy rides again!

humpty dumpty evil
Actually, this is pretty accurate.

instant messaging mind control
The Sci-Fi channel has tried to implement this. We once signed up for Ghost Hunters updates through SMS. The show cracked me up. The several messages on every Wednesday did not. It does seem to work, though.

kitten plunger
I honestly can't imagine the context for this one.

One eyed kitten
All part of a theme.

slipper with ruffles
Captain Ruffles' eveningwear. Ewwww.

Thank god it's Friday Kitten
Is this the one that hangs in there?

three-Eyed one
I think I've gotten this one before.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Features in Blogger

Blogger is advertising some new draft features to allow users to post content with a tag for future publishing. So, for example, I should be able to write this on Saturday, set it to post on Sunday, then leave it alone to auto-post on Sunday. Let's see if it works.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunshine Saturday on ABC

When I was a kid, the Saturday morning cartoons had a lot of PSAs in between the cartoons. The also did a lot of station identification. One of the station identification items was a jingle that said, "Sunshine Saturday on ABC! ABC!" Sometimes, even now, when it is sunny on Saturday mornings, this will run through my head, as it did just a moment ago.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Foto Phriday

Phriday is Hawaiian Shirt Day.

Angry Language Guy

I was in a meeting yesterday. I heard someone claim twice that we were inferring something in our communication to our business partners. When I present information to you, I imply; you infer. That is all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Son was eating his cereal this morning, and he said, "There's a hair in my water. Oh, my eyelash fell into my water."

I replied, "That's milk."

"Milk, water, same tomato."

Happy End of an Age

Baldo McNerdy's last day of being 39 is today. Everyone send him happy thoughts.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun Fun Fun

Son on his trampoline. We've since moved it out of the driveway and into the yard.


Headache and nasty sour stomach. Bleh.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Cranky Prof laterally tagged me to participate in this meme if I want to. Sort of.

The Rules:

  1. Write your own six word memoir.
  2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
  3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
  4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
  5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play…
Well, I wrote several versions of my memoir. Some are autobiographical memoirs, and some are post mortem biographies. I'll leave it for you to decide.

  • Try to look at things differently.
  • Maybe he's gone off his meds.
  • Should we be worried about this?
  • Like fish, it's been three days.
  • I said, "No more wire hangers!"
  • Deep thoughts are hard on Mondays.
Wow - six by six. All of you numerologists in my readership (ha!) may find some meaning in that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Update on Mondern Business

The credit card company didn't give me any hassle at all, and they're not even the one who claims to have a No-Hassle card. There was great rejoicing. Yay.

Modern Business

I bought some airline tickets to take the family on vacation this summer. I was doing well, because I had the receipt in hand about five months before the flight. Everything looks good.

Except the airline just folded.

Their web site tells me to dispute the charges with my credit card company. We appreciate your business and =_(& you very much.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Big Toy

The weather is nice enough today for us to set up the trampoline we bought for Son's birthday. Brother 3 is coming over to help. The instructions claim that it takes two people four hours to set it up. Son said that four people could set it up in two hours. I explained that three women can't have a baby in three months.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Birthdays, Again

We're heading up to my dad's for birthday celebrations for Son, SILA1, SILA2, and Brother 3. Can't forget to pick up Brother 3 on the way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

BSG Live-ish Blogging

10:32pm: Just got Son to bed. GPop is watching South Park.

10:34pm: South Park is still playing on the TiVo.

10:36pm: South Park may or may not be finishing up. Something about bubblegum for Canadians.

10:38pm: Canadians are dancing.

10:40pm: It starts!

10:45pm: Wow

10:51pm: OK, space battle is cool.

10:53pm: Live blogging in the dark is very difficult.

BSG Haiku

It's Battlestar night.
The TiVo is all queued up.
Time to make popcorn.

BSG "Live" Blogging

Yes, the scare quotes are intentional.

Hoji and I may be liveblogging tonight during the BSG Season 4 premier. This depends on whether Son is mature enough to watch or if he can be persuaded to go find something else to do.

See you all there and then.

UPDATE: I thought it started at 9:00. Since it seems to start at 10:00, I should be able to liveblog with about a 30-minute delay.

Foto Phriday

Baldo McNerdy and I went to the local Nerd Store last night. I bought this Munchkin bobblehead. The box tells me that if the bobblehead is in the room when I'm playing, and it can "see" me, then I get to re-roll a die once in each game we play that day.

Behind the Munchkin is Obi-Wan Kenobi in a plastic bag. He's hiding from Darth Vader. Ssshhh!


Battlestar Galactica, Season 4 starts tonight. Hooray!

After Leviticus; Before Deuteronomy

The US budget is, after rounding, about three trillion dollars this year. This is $3,000,000,000,000. The US population is, after rounding, three hundred million. This is 300,000,000. If we make some (probably unfounded) assumptions about how much in the way of taxes each of us should pay to balance the books, you'd be looking at $10,000 per person, including children.

Of course, the government has other sources of revenue than personal income tax, but just the awareness of this number should be required for anyone who expects to be taken seriously in any discussion of tax policy.

The CIA main page at is delivered over https. This makes me laugh.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hypocrisy Unchained

The other day, I was in the car with Son. The battery in GPop's car had died, because someone left a door open all weekend, and we were driving around the block to recharge the battery so GPop could go to work the next day in our fuel-efficient compact car instead of our not-so-efficient emergency backup pickup truck. At one point, I darned some idiot driver to heck for stupidity, and it must've sparked a thought in Son's head. He asked me, "If you saw a drunk hobo in the road in the middle of the night, and he was waving his arms for help, would you help him or would you run him over?"

"WHAT?" I shrieked. "That's the most awful thing I've ever heard! Why on earth would you even ask such a thing? Of course I'd stop to help."

"Even if he looked really scary?" Son inquired.

"Of course! That's what decent people do. Even if I wasn't able to help, I'd still try to figure out a way to get help to him. Why would you even think not to help?"

Son answered, very matter-of-factly, "Because Fatina once told me that she'd run over anyone like that instead of risk getting shot." I rarely talk about Son's background on this blog, because it's really not my place to share his life before we became a family. If he chooses to put that on his blog, that's all fine and good. However, this remark needs some clarification. Son spent most of his elementary school years in foster care. One of the families with which he lived was Fatina's family. She and her family were the back-woods, conservative church-going, small-town-living, limited world-view, "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet.", no-queers-allowed sort of people. Son and Son's Older Brother regularly reminisce about the time spent in that home with a mixture of anger, sadness, and relief. All that being said, she did open her home to take in seven kids into foster care. I won't go into the canard of "she just did it for the money," because a) I don't pretend to know her thoughts, and b) I don't buy into that concept that foster parents regularly do it for the money. The money's not that good, and the oversight is, in theory and in the absence of significant budget cuts, pretty rigorous.

My reply, in my surprise and anger, was something like, "Well, Fatina must be an awful person." Then I thought about it some more, and asked, "Why would she have said something like that?"

Son told me that Fatina said that it was dangerous to help people in the middle of the night, and that she'd have run over anyone who looked suspicious rather than risk her life trying to help someone. He then said, "So you'd risk your life to help someone?"

"Of course. I've done it before at least once*, and I'd do it again. Even if Fatina was afraid of the man, she could yell out the window that she was calling for help, then call 911 on her cell phone. Running someone over is NOT an option. I'm not mad at you, buddy, but I'm just flabbergasted that an adult would say such a thing. Plus, I hardly think that helping a stranded motorist counts as risking my life. By that logic, any exposure to the public counts as risky. But then, I'm a large man, and by all accounts, she was a short woman with health issues. That still doesn't excuse her judgment."

"Yeah. She was kind of like that."

*When I was in my early to mid teens, my family went on vacation to someplace that had a beach on a big lake. I was swimming in water just over my head, and I noticed a kid very obviously struggling to the point of being in danger of drowning. Since I was the only person anywhere close to the kid, I swam over (against all recommendations of the swimming guidelines), grabbed him, and got to the place where I could stand on the bottom. I had the kid get on my back, piggy-back style, and I walked the kid into the shallow water. He ran off to join his family. I went back out into the water.

Ahead by a Couple of Weeks

This is much more topical now, given the current political situation and the talk of boycotting the Olympics.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

That's Amore

Over at Dr. Zeus' Forensic Files, we find a quest to find the worst puns for the tune "That's Amore." Here's the canonical one followed by some of mine.

Not mine:
When you're swimming in the sea, and an eel bites your knee,
That's a moray.

A Canadian in Spain, at a Berber pointed, sayin',
"That's a Moor, eh?"

An Italian-Scottish lord, cut his field down with a sword.
"That's-a moor hay!"

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Salad

Salad salad salad salad.

EBS Guy - Academia Edition

Yet another instant classic from EBS Guy. I received this yesterday.

Subject: Tuesday & Friday

I will be offsite for a management team meeting on Tuesday and taking vacation time on Friday (will be in Nearby City clowning around- ie: clown school).