Friday, October 31, 2008

Taking a quick break from a big meeting in a convention center. The room has few right angles. Crazy architect. Makes me dizzy. Sent from phone.

Foto Phriday

Since autumn is upon us, and winter draws nigh, here's a picture of a springtime flower from our flower beds to tide you over until the next equinox, or Easter, or Beltaine, or whatever suits your fancy.

Dear Old Golden Rule Days

Son brought home this letter on Wednesday night, October 29. Image is below, then text below that, and I've edited only the identifying parts of the letter, not any of the content.

October 31, 2008

Dear Parent, Guardian, or other family member,

On November 12th Small Town Middle School, along with over 9000 schools in the United States, will participate in Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Mix It Up is a project that supports student efforts to indentify, question and cross social boundaries in schools and communities. The lunch activity prompts students to swap seats in their school cafeterias, break out of their zones and meet new people. Our hope is that students will take a fresh look at their school environments and ask why the barriers that divide groups exist. Students and their teacher allies can help form safe, welcoming schools- places where every students [sic] can grow socially and academically. The goal of Mix It Up is to help make that possible.

In preparation for Mix It Up we ill be showing the video, Let's Get Real. This video depicts middle and junior high school students speaking frankly about their experiences as people who bully, people who are victimes of bullying, and people who intervene in the bullying process to become allies for others. The video will be shown the morning of November 12th to the 7th and 8th grade students.

As we spotlight this topic which is not often openliy discussed in school, we expect students may have strong emotional responses. This film may remind them of their own personal experiences with name-calling or harassment. The students in the film use their own colloquial language to describe their experiences, which sometimes includes words that would otherwise be inapprpriate in the classroom. The inclusion of these words in the film will facilitate discussion about why those words exist, their impact and how to minimize their use in our school in the future.

Students in the film also bring up issues of teen suicide and using violence or a weapon to harm their harassers. We ill discuss these topics and students will know where they can turn-including to you-if they are dealing with simialr feelings in their own lives.

You are invited to come to school on November 7th at 11:00 in room 117 to preview Let's Get Real and discuss some of the activities from the curriculum guide. Our discussion will include strategies for students as well as parents, guardians and other family members on how to deal with name-calling and bullying.

Please feel free to contact me, our assistant principal or one of our counselors if you have any questions or concerns.


_____ ________
Small Town Middle School Principal

The most interesting thing about this is that the letter fell through a time warp from two days in the future.

The second-most interesting thing about this letter is that it dances, quite adroitly, around the actual topic. When Son handed me the letter, and I read it, my fairy-sense started tingling. The letter was very obviously a way for the principal to tell the parents that they were going to be talking, among other things, about LTBQG(etc.)-bashing, but the principal was hoping that the bland tone of the letter wouldn't cause the whackadoodle spittle emitters in the community to storm the gates of the school. A quick check on IMDB confirmed my suspicions.

I intend to show up for the preview of Let's Get Real and the following discussion. I'm waiting for someone to pipe up that they don't want their kids to be exposed to the homos. I'm pretty damn tired of being a walking wedge issue.

I wrote to the principal last night to tell her that I was looking forward to the preview and that I thought her mastery of euphemism and misdirection was awe-inspiring. She hasn't written back. I suspect she's trying to figure out if I'm a crank or not.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Not-So-Angry Language Guy - Reader Survey

Which word sounds better?




From the Mixed Up Files of Brother 1

Brother 1 used to keep a dish of fruit-flavored Tums in his living room. He would chuckle whenever visitors would eat them like candy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inside, Looking Out

This is what was outside the seventh-floor office window near my desk a moment ago.

The Ds and the Rs

I've been receiving a lot of mailers at home from the Republicans and the Democrats. I'm not sure where they both got our names, but I'd like to point out something that I think is pretty interesting.

Whenever GPop Surname or I, GDad Lastname, get a mailer from the Republicans, the thing is addressed to "The Surname Family or Current Resident" or "The Lastname Family or Current Resident." When we receive something from the Democrats, it is invariably addressed to "GDad Lastname and GPop Surname" or "GPop Surname and GDad Lastname." That simple recognition of our family speaks volumes to me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Trial of Ted Stevens

Guilty on all seven counts.

Weird Texting Joke

This took place over cell phone texting.

Baldo McNerdy: So, two protons walk into a black hole.

GDad: And one says tttttttooooooo ttttttthhhhhhheeeeeee oooooooootttttttttthhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Monday, October 27, 2008


A juror from the Ted Stevens trial has been replaced, and the jury will begin deliberations all over again today. Even if we assume that he is found guilty, I would predict that he will be a guest of honor at Pardon-fest 2008.

Quack! [limp] Quack! [limp] Quack! [limp]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How Much?

That puts the whole "lipstick on a pig" kerfuffle in a new light.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Foto Phriday, Day Late

This is an ashtray at a rest stop on the interstate route to my mom's house. How do people get the cigarettes ready for the ashtray if they are not to smoke them?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Doing God's Work

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) has put about $8.4 million into advertising and support for Proposition 8, which is a ballot initiative in sunny California to overturn the recent CA Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriage in CA.

Alternately, they could have funded these two charities for a full year. Interesting priorities.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Here are a few of the odder titles and their explanations. Yes, this is just a filler post.

This Thing All Things Devours - From the riddle that Gollum asked Bilbo.

Those Were the Days, My Friend - A song I sang in an elementary school performance.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur - Means "Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound."

Back to the Futon - A play on Back to the Future, except I had to sit on the couch.

Take it to the Limit One More Time - An Eagles song.

1 Corinthians 13:11 and Giant Alien Robots - The verse from 1 Corinthians is often read at Christian weddings. "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways." I wasn't as excited about Transformers as I thought I would be.

We Represent the Lollipop Guild - We played the game Munchkin, the name of which is from the Wizard of Oz, as is that song.

The Importance of Being Scripted - I had recently been thinking about the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in which Dorian Gray was a character. The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest were both written by Oscar Wilde.

Rejected Lines from Handel's Messiah - The line is "King of Kings!"

The Long and Winding Road - A Beatles song.

Disobedient, Disrespectful Oafs
- A line from the song "Kids" from the musical Bye-Bye Birdie!

A Bridge is Burnt - It's a part of a line (actually "a bridge is burned") from a John Prine song I like.

Valley of the Dals - A misspelling of the movie, and a reference to the Daleks.

Mala Vista - Play on Buena Vista, the Disney production company, which is a trademark of the Disney corp. All hail Disney.

The Turtleheads Are Coming! The Turtleheads Are Coming! - From the story of Paul Revere and a silly name for New Trek Klingons.

Mos Eisley Cheesesteak Sandwiches - Mos Eisley was the location of the cantina from the oldest Star Wars movie, A New Hope.

More to come if I need to do another clip show.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


My new year's resolution was to post at least one post per day during 2008. So far, I've succeeded.

Swiftly Flow the Days

This is a picture of sunrise from the parking lot of the building where I work. I took this Monday morning. The photograph doesn't accurately portray how pink the sky was. It seems more orange in the picture.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For That, of Course, Was the Answer

Since the beginning of September, GPop's schedule has been such that he has either had to work at least one of each weekend days, or that we've had some family event out of town. Or both. This makes it difficult to entertain friends or get work done around the house.

So, if we have any friends left, please know that we're planning to catch up soon.

p.s. The title is a line from The Hobbit, where Bilbo accidentally answers Gollum's riddle correctly by shouting, "Time! Time!" As in, "I need more..."

Angry Language Guy

Dear Media,

When a person has been convicted of a crime, and his or her appeals are all used up, isn't it appropriate to stop using the word "alleged?"

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Are English Types-a

This is a picture of "Sir Timothy" donning his armor in preparation for the jousting event. He was our hero, where the knight in the background, Sir Catain (or something) was the villainous knight from Ireland. Neither of the actors really played it straight, though, and both of them made some comments about being Canadian.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Fest

We went to the Renaissance Festival today. It was a pretty decent time, although it was awfully chilly until about 3:00.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Has Fallen

We had a frost warning. Ragnarok approaches.

Because of some strangeness with recent power outages, I signed up for severe weather alerts and school closings to come to my phone via text message. When I woke up this morning, I saw a frost alert for 2:00 am through 9:00 am sent to my phone at 4:45 am.

Perhaps it would have been more effective if sent earlier?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Foto Phriday

This picture shows some kind of fungus popping up out of the ground near where I work. I was walking between buildings when I spotted this.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Evil Plan

So, after some discussion, the boy and I have decided to rule the galaxy as father and son.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Son's Politics

Son was looking over my shoulder while I was reading this post on Cutting Through The Crap. He pointed to the picture of Senator McCain and exclaimed, "I'm a crazy old man, and I know where you live!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Open Letter to the Shopper at the Grocery Store

Dear Shopper,

There are several hints you have given me to indicate that you live on the far west side of Bell Curve Town. You also appear to be somewhat intimidated by technology, so that factors into our conversation. I'm glad you thought to make it a trip to this side of town, but I have a little advice for you, which you may find to be useful, even if it is unsolicited.

Since you've demonstrated a narrow cognitive bandwidth, I'd suggest that perhaps multitasking is not your forte. Because of this, you may want to consider HANGING UP YOUR PHONE instead of switching from hand to hand as you SLOWLY scan each item in the SELF SERVE checkout. The long line of people waiting for you to finish will appreciate it.

I will admit that the user interface isn't 100% intuitive, so I'm willing to cut you some slack when you get confused by the "Please wait for cashier" message on the credit card slider. See, the tricky part is that in a self serve lane, the cashier is you! Even if you did have a question about that, which is perfectly understandable, you might want to indicate through some kind of verbal or somatic cue that the high school age lad at the podium should come over and help you. Simply giving an oblivious teenager the oblique stink eye and muttering on your phone that you aren't happy with the service doesn't really help you much, nor does it move the line any faster.

So, my dear lady, in short, HANG UP THE PHONE AND KEEP MOVING. I am

Yours truly,

What I Want for Christmas

I would like a however-long video created of every right-wing teevee ideologue who has, in the past seven years, claimed that disagreeing with the current administration in any way is tantamount to or actually treason, especially during times of war.

Then I want that video played, picture-in-a-picture style, over every one of those ideologues' teevee appearances every single day during the Obama administration.

Then I want a pony and a million skillion hillion zillion dollars (which equals approximately one fifth of the recent bailout).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Title Contest

"Papa Ate a Rolling Stone"

We were looking at Jupiter.

Zeus (the Greek name for Jupiter) was the son of Cronus/Kronos and Rhea. Cronus feared that one of his children would overthrow him as he had overthrown his own father. To try to prevent that, he ate all of his children when they were born. Rhea didn't like this, so when Zeus was born, Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes and gave the stone to Cronus. Cronus ate the stone, which allowed Zeus to grow up in secret and eventually overthrow Cronus.

A little pop culture reference combined with classical mythology. Enjoy.

The Irony and the Ecstacy

As I was driving home on Friday, I noticed one of those giant banners in the sky that was towed by a small plane. The plane was towing the banner right along the outerbelt at rush hour. Cars were slowing and swerving while the drivers were trying to see what the banner was advertising. I slowed down to give myself plenty of maneuvering room in case of an accident in front of me, and then I risked a glance at the banner.

It was for Geico.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Papa Ate a Rolling Stone

Last night, we got out our Celestron NexStar 114 telescope. We've had it for a while, but this is the first time we've had it out since Son joined our family.

We were able to look at the moon, which was about 3/4 full, and we saw a planet which I believe was Jupiter. We saw three of the planet's moons, which eliminates Mars and Venus. The image looked something like this.

Son says he saw some swirls on the planet, but I didn't.

p.s. Bonus points for tying the title of the post to the contents of the post.

Weird Juxtapositions

I'm still intrigued by how many hits I get for "three-eyed kittens" and "guy haircuts", according to Feedburner. I think I will try some word combinations that draw stranger searches to this blog.

zombie haircut

Obama leprechaun

Palin station wagon toast

Harry Potter steam cleaner

sugar bun dumb man

tegina achina

carbunkle flimflam

jackrabbit reactor

teapot conehead

Please feel free to add more in the comments.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To See the Young Lady Who Fell from a Star

Today is National Coming Out Day. The day is set up for LGTQB(etc.) people to be out and open and to show closeted people that the fear and dread of life in the closet is much worse than the freedom of accepting who you are.

Because our society isn't really set up to acknowledge GQTBL(etc.) people, please consider even outing yourself as an ally, if you never have before. Every little bit helps.

End of line.

I Am Geeky-Geek the Geek I Am, Geeky-Geek the Geek I Am, I Am....

Take the Sci fi sounds quizI received 92 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Quiz by SheGoddess:

UPDATE: Weird! This was the code I was supposed to copy and paste, but it doesn't show my score. I got 92 credits. I assume that's 9 of 10 or something.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Foto Phriday

On the way to Grandma's house, we usually stop at a rest area about half way there. At the rest stop, there is a small building with the standard facilities, including a snack machine and a soda/pop machine (depending on your linguistic quirks).

This sign says it all.

Friendly Neighborhood GDad

I noticed a minivan in the parking lot with a low tire. Just in case the driver didn't see it when he or she returned to the vehicle, I left a little note with a doodle.

"Your front passenger tire is low. Just an observation from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."

I would love to see the person's reaction, but I'll just have to imagine it.

Why, Yes, I WAS an English Major

The other day, GPop scored a cool gift for Son. He managed to get a copy of the new Christopher Paolini novel Brisingr. That's not all that exciting, since anyone with $30 or a library card can probably get a copy. The interesting thing is that GPop has some contacts in the book retailing business, and can sometimes get autographed copies of books.

GPop presented the book to Son. "I couldn't get the book itself autographed, but I did get this autographed sticker insert than you can place in the book later. You may not want to do it now."

I was in the other room. I chimed in, "Why don't you keep that sticker as a separate piece? [pause] Heh. Heh heh. John Knowles. Ha ha ha ha ha!"

GPop asked, "What's so funny?"

"Oh, nothing."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You're Stalling

Both Angry Professor and Cranky Lit Prof have posted bathroom poo posts in the past few days. I feel pressure to post something along the same lines.

Yesterday, I was in the gentlemen's room, and I entered a stall. The seat was clean, which was a pleasant surprise, but there was a big glob of gooey liquid on the floor next to the toilet. I can think of only a couple of fluids that can get out of the body without surgery, and it wasn't one of the ones that traditionally issues forth in a corporate restroom. And it wasn't THAT one, either.

Come on, people! Do we have to put out spittoons? This is absurd. I will not toss out the word "unsanitary," because I have observed that people throw that word around almost as wantonly as they throw around the word "terrorist." However, it is pretty disgusting.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This is a picture of water beading on a plant at GPop's parents' house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Business Casual

GPop and I went into a store to buy some wrapping paper for birthday gifts. The young woman at the register was wearing pants that were so tight, I could tell she had a nickel and a quarter in her pocket. I wonder if that retail chain has a dress code and if so, whether she was abiding by it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Marketing Problem

Last December, we went to the Small Town Holiday Celebration in downtown Small Town. At in addition to all of the businesses staying open, there were people from local organizations trying to raise awareness for their causes. We received the little postcard shown below that, on the other side, exhorts us to attend a local church.

I am alarmed at the message on this card. I understand that it's trying to say something like, "Attending this church will cure what ails ya'!" It seems more like an "opiate of the masses" sort of thing, though.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Geek Question

I don't seem to attract the hardcore geeks to this blog, but if anyone has any experience with ReactOS running in Sun's VirtualBox, drop me a line. I'm running into some program crashes.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

On the Road Again

We'll be up at my dad's today fr a visit, then off to my mom's tomorrow. Fun!

Yet More...

Again for the RPG fans...

When your enemy's gone down,
And you sneak to his town,
That's a foray!

Friday, October 3, 2008

On the VP Debate

I now understand why Elvis Presley was known to shoot at teevees.

Foto Phriday

I call this multimedia composition "Cracker With Oddly Shaped Cheese." By "multimedia," I mean "cheese and cracker."

I call this one "Cracker With Oddly Shaped Cheese With a Bite."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here it Comes Again

For you RPG fans...

When you fight hand to hand
Beside your dungeoneer band,
That's a melee!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Win Some / Lose Some

Here's another one for those who like it. For those who don't, just pass on by.

When the sun has gone down,
And we're out on the town,
That's a soiree!