Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Main Street

Many years ago, GPop worked with a self-described little old lady. Let's call her Pat. She has long since retired from that job. When they worked together, GPop and Pat would go grocery shopping once a week. They had a lot of fun, and it got GPop out of the house. Pat didn't have a car or family, so it got her away from her apartment, too. Since then, she's worked a couple of other jobs. One of her jobs was at CVS, from which she gets a pension.

She just called to ask if GPop was here. He's working late, so I told her that he'd be in tomorrow. She asked me, in a panicky sort of voice, if I thought her pension from CVS was still going to show up. She was genuinely concerned that the banking crisis had cleared out her pension.

I assured her that it was unlikely that she would be affected by the banking crisis, but that she could call GPop tomorrow, and that we'd look up any news on the web in the meantime.

Nuts to the media for scaring a sweet old lady.

Except in my head, I'm not saying, "Nuts." I'm saying something that rhymes with "duck shoe."

Adieu and Bonjour!

I just cleaned up my blogroll. I deleted some blogs that haven't updated in months. If they do come back to life, I will certainly add them again.

I also added Green Dads. Go check them out.

When Can I Retire?

My 401(k) balance today is where it was in February, 2007. That's considering that I'm putting in a significant portion of my income in there every two weeks, and that I've never taken a loan or withdrawal from the account. Fascinating.

Reader Response - Similes

At GPop's dad's party, there was a lot of food. Mmmmmm.... party food. When I walked past the food staging area, I saw this jar of pickles. (Click to embiggen.)

Notice how much of the label is in Polish. I started to chuckle, because I immediately thought of the phrase "as _______ as a Polish pickle." What made it funny is that I couldn't think of what should be in the blank space.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill in that blank.

Monday, September 29, 2008


This weekend, at GPop's dad's birthday, Aunt Cindy finally caught up with me and gave me a belated birthday present. She bought be Crocs in size 14. I didn't realize that they existed. Thanks, Aunt Cindy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Went to GPop's dad's 70th birthday today. Happy Bday!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Paul Newman, 147, died today. He will be best known for inventing the salad.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Start Passing out the Buckets

The $700,000,000,000 bailout made me pause to reflect on what that cost really means.

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are approximately 303,824,640 people in the USA. Let's assume that nobody under 15 years old pays taxes, and that people living below the poverty line pay no taxes (not true if we count sales tax, which I'm not). The CIA WF reports that there are 61,146,753 people under 15 in the USA. It also reports that 12% of people are below the poverty line, so...

Total US Population: 303,824,640
People under 1561,146,753
people below poverty line (12% est.)*29,121,346

*I took 12% of the >=15 population, not the total so that I wasn't double-counting.

That means that if we agree these assumptions might be somewhat accurate, then the maximum total number of taxpaying individuals is something like 213,556,541 (or so). I realize that businesses pay a lot of taxes, and that any calculation of per-capita cost is really not something that makes sense in our tax system as far as who OWES what, but it's an interesting point as far as what it costs us.

So, the magic number is something like $3,277.82 per US taxpaying citizen. Keep in mind that if you are under 18, but not poor, I'm counting you as a taxpayer, so make sure your parents know that.

Lies, d*mn lies, and statistics.

Foto Phriday

Son put on a hat before his hair dried. He took the hat off, and he had a triple Mohawk.

UPDATE: I showed this picture to someone at the weekend birthday party, and the guy called it a "Trohawk". I think "Trihawk" would also work.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sign Generation

Today's post is a bit of a cheat, but over on Make Your Own Sign Generator!, you can make these.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Think Not

This scan is from the liner notes from Doctor Demento's 30th Anniversary album. The artist is Loudon Wainwright III, who is the father of Rufus Wainwright. Look at the title of the song he wrote about his son. Somehow, I think he may have been mistaken.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It's Brother 2's birthday today. He's legitimately 29. It's also been about a year since his wedding. Help yourself to some cake. You've all been here enough to know where the plates are.

Not Quite Right in the Head

I take Nexium for my acid reflux. It's a proton pump inhibitor.

If I had been extra sensitive to light, would I need a photon pump inhibitor?

If I listen to too much Stevie Wonder, do I need a Motown funk inhibitor?

If I keep running into people at a country dance, do I need a hoedown bump inhibitor?

If I need to stop going number two, do I need a colon dump inhibitor?

If I watch The Magnificent Seven over and over, do I need a Coburn hunk inhibitor?

If I cut down a bunch of trees, and they keep growing back, do I need an oaken stump inhibitor?

If I'm too drunk to call my drinks by the right names, do I need a Coke and rum inhibitor?

If I [mumble mumble mumble mumble], do I need an Onan hump inhibitor?

If I see someone speaking at this event in Akron, do I need a Hoban Mum inhibitor?

OK, this is starting to get on my nerves. Please roll your own in the comments. And no, I don't think Falun Gong rhymes well enough, but I am not quite certain how it's really pronounced.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Passive Aggressive Bageling

It appears that the morning bagel run in the cafeteria of the satellite building where I work brings out the worst in people. Hoji some time ago ran into a woman who took him to task when his bagel caught on fire in the bagel toaster. "The sign says that you shouldn't put in the cinnamon crunch bagels, because they're too thick."

Thank you, you sanctimonious busybody. It wasn't a cinnamon crunch bagel, and you should mind your own business. Thank you for playing.

This morning, there was a sleepy looking woman poking through the bagel selection. She was poking each bagel with the tongs individually to make sure it passed her test for whatever criteria against which she was judging them. Poke... nope. Poke... nope. Poke... poke... nooooope.

I grabbed my bagel from the bin next to the one she was examining and made my way to the toaster. This toaster is the kind that has a little conveyor belt and knobs on the front. The woman at this point had selected her bagel and had meandered over next to me. She watched me sort of impatiently, which I thought was ironic, given that she had taken so long to choose her bagel. I set the speed knob to the setting I use every morning for my bagelicious toastiness.

Once my bagel was warmly ensconced in the toaster's maw, I stepped back to let the impatient woman put her Bagelus perfecti on the belt of the toastercoaster. She stepped up, put her bagel down just so, and and committed a huge breach of etiquette by twiddling the knob away from my setting. The nerve!

She started to step away to go peruse the banana selection, so I sidled back and quickly twisted the knob back toward my setting and a little past it. Then I stood between the toaster and her to wait for the chu-chunk of the bagel's exit from the machine. I grabbed my well-toasted bagel and whooshed away toward the peanut butter. I'd've exhibited a more dashing figure if I'd been wearing a cape, but you make do with what you have.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


As happens every fall, the Halloween merchandise starts appearing in stores. The stores that are a bit fancier tend to forgo the Halloween stuff and go directly to the Christmas merchandise, which is a bit upsetting in September, but what are you going to do? The Martha Stewart wannabe middle-aged women with brittle hair have to shop early so they can get everything out of the way before Thanksgiving, when their eldest sons come home from their junior year in college to drop the bombshell that they've changed majors from business to English literature and that they've decided to move in with their 56-year-old sugar daddies now that they've figured out that they're both gay and motivated by at least three of the seven deadly sins (the traditional ones, not the new ones that include text-messaging and sagging). But I digress...

GPop, Son, and I were running errands last weekend, and we noticed a new Halloween store in an until recently closed storefront. Since we weren't in any particular hurry, we thought we'd pop in for a bit to see what was new and hip in the Halloween industry.

We saw ghouls, goblins, and ghosts galore. We saw costumes ranging from firemen and doctors to yet another year of prepubescent girls' costumes designed to sluttify the third-graders of America. Fishnet stockings, heels, and missing incisors are a bad combination no matter how thin you slice it.

In the a la carte section, we found the clown paraphernalia. They had red noses, large ties, suspenders, and my favorite - big clown shoes. As I looked more closely at the shoes, something started to wiggle and jiggle for attention in the back of my mind. I bent down to get a better look, and it occurred to me what it was.

I pulled a pair of the shoes off the rack and held one of them sole to sole with my own shoe. Drat! The clown shoes were the same length as my own shoes. Yes, that's right. I have giant clown feet. Except that since the clown shoes were designed to be novelty shoes for people with "normal" feet, they were likely to be padded on the inside and too small for me. I'm not sure what to think about this.

Below is a rough sketch of my shoe and the clown shoe. As always, click to embiggen.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!

My friend M is celebrating his birthday today. Have some cake!

Not Yet Dead

Next time I see my doctor, I'll see if I can get medication for this.

They're society's pact
On how we should all act.
Those are mores.

Mea Culpa, Again

Cranky Lit Prof (nee Cranky Prof) moved a while back, and I didn't update my link. My apologies to the Prof and to anyone who tried to get there from here. I've corrected the link.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Been a Year!

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day again.


Foto Phriday

At the mall down the street from where I work, there is a display of cars for some kind of giveaway drawing. In one of the cars is a creepy mannequin who appears to be checking people out.

Notice how his seatbelt is fastened.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been injected with a radioactive substance. Keep me away from vials of poison and cats.

Internet down at home again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, Really?

I was in a training session yesterday. The instructor was talking about setting SMART objectives. For those of you not blessed to be in Corporate America, SMART is an acronym that means something like Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound.

The instructor was talking about some example, and he said something like, "I could say that I will talk to each of my direct reports once per month about their performance numbers. That's both specific and measurable." He wrote the first two letters of SMART on the board with great flourish, then said, "I like S and M."

After thinking about it for a moment, I came to the conclusion that I probably would have guessed that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Health and Well-being

Have to go in for cardiac stress test Thursday. Bleh.

Boo Hoo for Me

Home internet connection down. Blogging by text messages now. Hope it's back soon. Stupid weather.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Four Word Movie Review

Mummy 3 movie review in four words. "Zombies versus golems. Meh."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Through Rock and Through Stone

The wind is blowing so hard that branches are falling off the trees, and the electricity is flickering on and off.

Title from John Prine's "Sweet Revenge."

Receptionist Innuendo

When I went to the doctor's office, I paid the copay with my credit card. The receptionist handed me the slip to sign, and she said, "I need your John Henry right here."

I wonder if she meant what she said.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Haiku

Husband leaves work after six.
Wife changes the locks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Synchronicity in Action

I had to go to the doctor's office today. One of the things they needed to do was an EKG. The doctor told me, as she was leaving the room to go get a technician, that I should take off my shirt and put on the gown, open in front.

As I was getting the gown situated, I heard the radio playing in the next room. The classic Eagles song "Heartache Tonight" was playing. Mmmm... sweet, delicious irony.

Foto Phriday

He's got high hopes!
He's got high hopes!
He's got high, apple pie in the sky hopes!

Friday Haiku

Baby's first birthday.
Grandma drinks too much vodka.
Mother cries all night.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

It's time for breakfast at Milliway's.

Thursday Haiku

Thanksgiving dinner.
Son comes out of the closet.
Now there is drama.


Seven years ago today...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jungian Buffoonery

A friend of mine, M, will be celebrating his fiftieth birthday in a few weeks. He is a fascinating conversationalist and a great cook. He and his hubby, &M, have a wonderful home for entertaining, and they love to put out trays of yummy goodness. It's always a real treat to be invited to one of their shindigs.

The other night, I dreamt that M had been replaced by someone who looks very much like Tim-Tom, the one on the right in the picture below. The difference was that in my dream, M's doppelganger did not have a five o'clock shadow.

Oddly, in the dream, I knew that this wasn't M, but the Tim-Tom analogue was very insistent that my memory was faulty.

The one on the left is Kevin.

Wednesday Haiku

It's a reunion.
Uncle says, "Pull my finger."
The room is empty.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


"Why is it always the Black Knight? Why can't it be the Purple Knight?"
-Son, while watching a show with a fantasy setting


Here is a quartet of haikus I wrote about today's all-I.T. associate meeting.

All-I.T. meeting.
VPs yammer on and on.
Lots of Powerpoint.

Upper right corner...
Origin at lower left.
They love those quadrants!

A cone diagram:
Broad view narrows to action.
Now I want ice cream.

Debonair, witty,
Confident, relaxed, and suave?
Not the I.T. guys!

Tuesday Haiku

A cane and slippers.
Maybe he'll get out of bed.
Or maybe he won't.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Haiku

It's leftover night.
Children whine, "This stuff is gross."
To bed. No supper.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Haiku

An empty shot glass.
No memory of last night.
Someone else's clothes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Son is in the other room singing a song to the tune of "O, Tannenbaum".

O, butt monkeys,
O, butt monkeys...

Week of Haiku

Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting a haiku a day for the week. I was thinking about a possible Awful Greetings card line. Enjoy! Feel free to add your own haikus to the comments.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Foto Phriday

Someone brought in muffins to work. Another person decided that a full muffin was way too much to eat, and so cut about one-sixth of the muffin to eat.

Muffin muffin muffin muffin muffin muffin muffin

New Stanza

Cottleston Pie
by A. A. Milne

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fish can't whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don't know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

My verse follows. Add your own in the comments.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
If y equals x, then x equals y.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reader Vote!

You get to decide which quote wins the week.

"Wisdom is a hard won ally."
-PC Strobe of My Ring Has Three Diamonds, in response to some of the drama in Son's Older Brother's life

"A little crazy goes a long way."
-Son's 8th grade math teacher, describing how her intentional hissy fit at the beginning of the year helps 8th graders remember which rule violations press her buttons

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Windows to the Soul Need Curtains

Here is my right eye after dilation yesterday. I had to wear double sunglasses to drive to work afterward.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Time to Make the Donuts

I took Friday afternoon off, and here in the good ol' US of A, we have the first Monday in September off as a holiday. Back to the grind.

I have an eye appointment this morning. I imagine that my pupils will be quite dilated on my drive from the doctor's to work.

Monday, September 1, 2008


We got home from spending the day at Grandma's, and my phone rang. It was Son's Older Brother. He told me that he was very upset, because he had gotten into a fight with SOB_Girlfriend.

When I asked what happened, he said that it started when she got really upset at some of his normal horseplay. She started yelling at him, and he told her that he was leaving until they had a chance to calm down. She told him that the conversation wasn't over until she said it was over, and she punched him on the side of the head, knocking off his glasses and causing him to stumble into the wall.

He tried to push past her to leave the patio where they were arguing, and she screamed at him, ran inside, grabbed a knife, cut herself, then tried to chug "a bunch of pills." Her dad came over and started screaming at Son's Older Brother. SOB_Girlfriend's_Dad threatened to harm Son's Older Brother (who is 17) for "laying his hands on [his] daughter."

Son's Older Brother's foster father arrived and told the guy to calm down. Foster dad is about 6'4", 280 lbs of meat, not fat, and has military experience. SOB_G's_Dad backed off about the time the police arrived. Son's Older Brother has been advised that he is not to go to SOB_G's house under penalty of arrest for trespassing.

SOB_Girlfriend was taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation and for whatever cuts she had.

Son's Older Brother called to get my perspective on the matter. Given that she has done this before, the phrase "hot potato" comes to mind. However, when kids feel they have nobody, they cling to each other.

Any thoughts?