Monday, March 31, 2008

QotD

"This is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I was previously unaware of."
--Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

And Furthermore....

Jen over at Redhead Ranting describes a computer tech support experience that would have killed a lesser woman. It really intrigues me how companies seem to be going on and on about differentiated customer experiences, but in practice, the only thing that's changed in 30 years is "lay-zers" at the checkout.

When I worked a job as a phone jockey in tech support for Nearly Defunct Online Company, we had expectations regarding our call lengths. We were supposed to take, if I recall correctly, something like 10 calls/hour in order to make our stats. The formula took into account periods where no calls were in the queue, so we didn't have to resort to cannibalism or anything in order to get our 10 calls, but people did sometimes throw the customer under the bus with a promise of "try this and call us back if it doesn't work."

I hated that constraint. From the time I took the job until the time I no longer worked on the phones, I think I missed my stats quite a few weeks, but since I was in the extended 6-month training period, it wasn't something that would get me fired. The reason I missed my stats was that I was a firm believer in FIXING THE PROBLEM. I refused to be a "reboot and call us back" kind of rep.

By the second month on the phones, I started keeping a record of every customer that called me. We had a customer contact call log application, and reps were supposed to enter notes on the calls. I was always fascinated by the calls where the customer had called in several times for the same problem. I saw it as a personal challenge to help them so they wouldn't have to call in again.

Every day or so, I would go back into the customer service application to see if my list of customers had called back. At first, some of them had called back for additional assistance, but I used the feedback to train myself to fix the problems more effectively. Eventually I found that almost none of the callers that reached me had to call back for the same problem again.

When I had my six-month review with my manager, he told me that he was unable to promote me to Rep II, because I hadn't gotten an Exceeds on my call length, but that I had done an exemplary job with the first-time solutions. In fact, my first-time-final calls were among the best he'd ever seen. Fortunately, I had been offered a managerial job the week before, so this review was just a formality. The following Monday, I became that manager's peer.

I can't help but wonder if I'd have been able to continue that level of service after six months if I'd been told to cut back on my call time. Presumably, I'd have been able reduce call times just by virtue of additional practice, but my memory tells me that Reps II had to take more calls per hour, so the ability to deliver that experience would have been a bit more difficult.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

On Top of Old Smokey

We were talking about how tall Son might eventually grow to be. I compared him to Son's Older Brother, who is 17 and 5'10". I understand that their birth father was also that tall. Son asked me what would happen if he grew to be taller than me. I told him that he would look down on me from on high if he grew that tall.

Then he mentioned that the reason I've got thinning hair up top is that I'm so tall, and the air must be too thin or the temperature too cold to support hair growth. I asked him, "What about Baldo McNerdy?"

His reply: "Well, that's a different story."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Recent Searches

I swear to Dog that I must be the primary landing page for these search terms:

  • One eyed kitten
  • Three eyed kitten
  • Three eyed lizard
and variations on that theme. Feedburner tells me things, and I'm honored, but crikey...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Foto Phriday

Even more bacon. Punctuation would have been nice, I think.



Meals made simple, bacon.

Meals made; simple bacon.

"Meals Made Simple" bacon.

Celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Son!

Inappropriate Laughing

OK, group discussion. Does anyone ever have a common situation where you laugh at something routinely that isn't funny at all? For example, these situations always make me laugh, and I don't know why.

  1. Door: [knock knock] Housekeepeeeeeeng!
  2. Any time someone starts to take my blood pressure.
So, beautiful readers, what makes you laugh when you probably shouldn't?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

IMs of the Stars

PC Strobe: By the way, what question could you ask someone you called today, that would be absurd to have asked like 25 years ago?

GDad: Are you driving?

PC Strobe: Yet it is very common now. And I'm sure you yourself have asked this question. . .

GDad: What's your e-mail address?

PC Strobe: Close enough?

PC Strobe: "Where are you?"

GDad: Have you read today's entry on my blog?

GDad: Did you lose more than $10k in the internet bubble burst?

PC Strobe: Stop! There are of course bazillions of questions . . .

GDad: Is your car getting over 40mpg?

GDad: Sorry.

PC Strobe: Where are you? is the one I was going for, you spoiled it with your wit.

GDad: Only the first and last of my questions would have made sense 25 years ago.

GDad: The others would have been either nonsensical or contextually inaccessible for most people.

PC Strobe: You're just too smart for me. . .

PC Strobe: I'm going home now. . .

GDad: Catch you later.


Although I secretly suspect that "smart" was an abbreviation for "smart-@$$."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My New Plan

[Phone rings]

GDad: Hello?

Voice: Is Son there?

GDad: Hello, Mr. Lastname, this is ([sotto voce] fill in your name here). May I speak to Son? [click].

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nova Diem

I received Son's new Social Security card yesterday. It looks about the same as mine, but there are now instructions for children not to sign theirs until they either turn 18 or get their first job. Let's see if the IRS accepts my e-return now.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Evil Humpty Dumpty

Yours truly, the bad egg, must've eaten a bad egg. GPop and I both have some kind of digestive issue. Heh... issue.

No, I guess it isn't really that funny.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Captain Ruffles and the Crooked Bannister

Upon seeing a very pretty young man with a cast: "Did they grease the pole?"

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Diversity Diversion

Megacorporation One is really driving home the diversity idea. There's a mandatory online training course that everyone must take by a certain date. Now, on a different note, as a manager, I'm encouraged not to see my direct reports as members of any specific protected class, because that view could lead me to treat people differently. So, in short, I am to embrace people's diversity without acknowledging it. It sounds something like what we're supposed to do with Uncle Bert at Thanksgiving.

I once belonged to an organization (not the singing group, nor Megacorporation One) that had a written diversity policy that included about fifteen different things that could make someone "diverse," such as age, sex, national origin, race, sexual orientation, religion, and others. I was part of a committee to help select candidates for a program to get them into special assignment roles that were considered to be pretty interesting. We had narrowed the list down to about seven people, and we could pick three. The person in the room whose job it was to oversee the diversity initiative asked if there were any diverse candidates in the list. Semantics aside, some of the other people pointed out that there was an African American woman in the list. Knowing that we were trained to look at other facets of diversity, I pointed out that there was also a gay man, a Jewish woman, another person over 55, and a person with a physical disability on the list. The Diversity Patrol person told me that those aspects of diversity didn't count for this exercise. Hmmm... Talk the talk != walk the walk.

Anyway, in order to point out the awkwardness of these moments, I thought of this little diagram. Think of Sesame Street's "One of These Kids Is Not Like the Others" song.



The actual person who is not like the others is the one in the lower left. She's a vegan smoker with a bad haircut, and it appears that we're supposed to notice that difference.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Foto Phriday

This is a picture of the side of our house from a couple of years ago. The tree on the right with the ivy on it is now dead and gone.

Things I Learned in School this Week

Every student in Son's grade (USA= seventh grade; Canada = grade seven) at Small Town Middle School did a research project recently. On Monday, the students were supposed to show up after school to present their results to wandering parents. We parents were told to ask kids a bunch of questions about what they learned. The idea was to interact with the kids to get them excited about their work.

Here are some things I learned. This is more a "Kids Say the Darndest Things" sort of post rather than a "Yumpin' Yiminy! Our Schools Are in the Toilet!" kind of post.

  • Chicago is in a state that is pronounced "Ill-ah-noise," and the state's name is spelled Ilions. That's sort of like iPhone, but different.
  • The number of years between 1899 and 2008 is 112.
  • Alexander the Great conquered Troy with a big wooden animal.
  • There are only a few vampires in the USA, and the youngest vampire is known and documented.
  • Barry Sanders, the Heisman Award winner from Oklahoma State, was born in 1968 and attended high school in the mid-1970s.
  • There are currently over 2000 WWI veterans still living in the USA.
  • WWI was started when an archbishop was murdered.
  • We Sunnis (sayeth the presenter) have the right beliefs, and we pray the right way; whereas those Shi'ite doofuses think Muhammed wasn't the right prophet, and they pray by throwing rocks at the ground.
All in all, it was a very informative evening.

There was on child, Corey Crookshanks (not his real name (maybe)), who was loud, boisterous, and crude (shouting, "I'm not gay!" at random passersby) while we were looking at his friend's project, but when we approached his desk, he decided that maybe being under scrutiny wasn't something he should be so flip about. He admitted in a tiny, quiet voice to us that he had done his work between the end of school that day and the beginning of the presentation that evening. Later, Son told us that Corey "wasn't a good kid." I sort of gathered that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Baconalia, Russian Edition

Hoji and I share any mention of bacon we find on the Intarwebs. I found this one for bacon flavored vodka. I can only imagine the Absolut ad for this flavor.

UPDATE: I wonder if the drink would be related to Sporkle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moe's Tavern; Moe Speaking

I took the afternoon off to take care of some Social Security stuff related to Son's adoption. Basically, the IRS doesn't like it if you claim a child whose name and SSN don't match, and since Son's name changed with his adoption, the IRS looked askance at my e-return.

I checked out the Social Security web site to see what I needed, and I ended up being prepared to get it done in one trip. When I arrived at the closest office to my home, I was confronted with what I shall call a "powerful musk." Even though there were signs posted on every wall, door, and window telling people not to use electronic equipment of any kind in the office, some guy still answered his phone when it rang quite loudly. The security guard told him to take it outside, because cell phones "slow down the computers." I supposed there could be some Rube Goldbergian explanation why this could be true, but absent that, the guard's assertion was likely claptrappish technobabble designed to keep people from complaining that they had a privilege to be loud on their cell phones all day.

Anyway, as I was chatting with the woman who helped me, another clerk called out the name of the next person to be helped. "Harry Pitts? Harry Pitts?"

I kid you not.

Down the Hall, Upstairs from Me

I wish I could link my titles somewhere.

What is the True MeaningTM of x? The x could be

The blogosphere is many things to many people. It's been almost a year since I started up this little scenic overview on the Information Byway. My original intent (take that, constructionalists!) was to amuse myself and maybe amuse GPop and Son. Now I find that I've made some connections with people out there across the country and world that I may or may not ever meet, but who seem like really interesting people.

The even more interesting thing is that some of the anonymous bloggers out there have made connections with each other and sometimes with me without first knowing each other's real identity. I find that to be fascinating. I'm not by nature a particularly outgoing person, so the idea of transient and temporary relationships is a little outside my ken.

The people I've met, even though some of them remain anonymous, really shine through my screen as truly compassionate people with multifaceted lives. I've met academics, professionals, students, retirees, and people who don't like to be categorized. The connection is that they seem to want to make the world a better place.

Some point out the world's foibles with a sharp pen and sharper wit. Others muse about their hobbies and how hobbies ground people. Still others write of the trials and celebrations of their lives, just to lay bare the human condition. Each of these people gets something out of their blogging experience, and each of these people seems to give something back to the community.

The community is not simply zeros and ones stored on a server. The content is so connected to the people that create it that it speaks a voice that is hard to find elsewhere in history. Each word is both ephemeral and permanent, as immediate as lightning, yet as historical as anything in a library. The words can be as personal as a diary, and yet at the very same time be as global as the ocean.

The blogosphere reflects humanity's desire for community outside the bounds of one's geography or genealogy. I can't help but stand in awe of what comes next.

And, no, this isn't a drunk post, but I am kind of sleepy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Singular Sensational Loneliest Number

Today is my first blogiversary. Thanks to all of my readers for making this year a fun journey. Please, have a slice of cake. It's your favorite kind. Don't worry if it looks like it's almost gone. We have more in the kitchen.

The Opposite of Engrish

I was standing in line at a Chinese food storefront in a food court, and I heard this exchange. An middle aged woman with brittle hair, the kind of person that drives a big SUV and talks on a cell phone, was interrogating the guy behind the counter. This place was family owned & operated, and the older generation had heavy accents, but this younger guy grew up locally, so there was no chance of misunderstanding his words, and he was HUGE. He looked down when he looked me in the eye, and I'm 6'3", and he was built like a tank. He had obviously been talking to this woman for a while.

Woman: What's in the General Tso's Chicken?

Guy: Breaded chunks of chicken in a spicy ginger sauce. It's served with broccoli over your choice of fried or white rice.

Woman: What's in the Kung Pay-oh Chicken?

Guy: The Kung Pao Chicken is chicken breast pieces in a spicy brown sauce with peanuts.

Woman: What's in the Shrimp Fried Rice?

Guy: Shrimp. And. Fried. Rice.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Moral High Ground or High Horse?

Sometime around May 1, 2007, Son and Thing 3 got into a scuffle at school. Thing 3, a known instigator, decided that he was going to see how far he could push Son that day. Son reached his limit after lunch and physically responded. Both boys went to the principal's office for a lecture.

I called the principal to discuss, and I found out that Thing 3 had said some very rude things to Son about our family. I advised Son that this was a showstopper as far as Thing 3 being welcome in our home until we received an apology to our whole family. Since Son had been involved in a little bit of poor behavior over at Thing 3's father's house on an earlier occasion, and I made him apologize, I figured that we'd soon see the end of the issue with a contrite Thing 3 telling me that he was sorry, and that would be that.

No such luck.

Son's birthday party is coming up. He wants to invite a couple of friends to stay the night with pizza, cake, video games, etc. GPop advised Son that if I agreed, Thing 3 could be on the B-list if any of the A-listers couldn't make it. I do not so agree.

I told Son that until Thing 3 acknowledges that he was a jack@ss and apologizes for that behavior, Thing 3 is not welcome in our home. I am not telling Son that he can't be friends with Thing 3, since I don't think parents can or should force that issue, but I can control who has access to my home. Son told me that Thing 3 said that he had never done anything wrong, and he doesn't have anything for which to apologize.

So, blogosphere, help me out. I'd ask the Google, but she's kind of a "Google helps them that help themselves" kind of gal, and I want real opinions. Am I sticking to my principles in a good way, or am I carrying a grudge that needs to be dropped off at the grudge recycling center?

Memery Redux

From Alex at Asolis,

Please list a few reasons as to why you do not respond to “blog memes,” and “tag” at least as many blogs as reasons you list, excluding the blog that tagged you or blogs they tagged and the number of blogs you tag has to be a natural number (i.e., an integer greater than zero).
  • I dinna have th' time, Cap'n.
  • Ooo, Mr. Alex, I do not know how I should be answering the meme's questions. Thank you! Come again!
Now the taggery...
Come on guys, generate some content, or we can't all be TIME Magazine's person of the year again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Memery

Finally, the random factors allow me to catch up on memes.

List…

  1. 5 names you like.
  2. 5 names you don’t like.
  3. 5 things you do, (or should do,) daily.
  4. 5 of your favorite stores, (they can be online or off.)
  5. 5 blogs you have tagged
OK, here goes.

  1. Elizabeth, Michael, David, William, Christopher
  2. Gomer,
    Boot,
    Any name where there are too many Y's or K's,
    The names that appear before and after where my name should be on those novelty items with names that are in gift shops at tourist traps,
    Todd (not because I hate the name, but because I always type Toad, then have to go back and fix it).
  3. Blog, drink my coffee, tell my family that I love them, take my share of the pharmacopoeia, make the bed.
  4. Amazon.com, most bookstores, an odd little store I found in San Francisco that sold antique knick knacks whose name I can't recall, hardware stores in general (and our local one specifically), and computer stores in general
  5. Heh. I sometimes wish I could reach back in time and touch the blogs that have gone before us, like Lefty's Place, Give Up Blog, Karen's Korner, Galaxy of Fear, and Lieberdent. But I can't.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

With Its Tail Cut Short

I found my BSG DVDs. They were under the seat of my car. I think I also saw a name tag that was a bit worn and torn, but it said something like "mes Hoff".

New Organization

I heard that PETA was doing something new and exciting, but I forget what it was, and I don't particularly care. It did make me think of an acronym for a new organization called People for the Humane Treatment of Humans or People (PHTHP!). Bill the Cat could be the spokescreature.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Foto Phriday, Two Weeks in One

I missed Foto Phriday last week, so here's the make-up work.

This first photo is from the day that Son had custody of the camera. Back in film days, parents would have been mad that the kid was wasting film and money, but now...



This second image is my niece, who just turned two. This picture is from last summer. By all reports, she adores me, names her stuffed animals after me, and talks about me constantly. However, at her birthday, she was a bit grumpy, so she cried when I was near. My Evil Plan involves creating an army of blond preschool girls who will help me achieve world domination. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but so far, I have two soldiers in my Army of Evil.

Last Chance! Act Now!

As I mentioned before, I saw a device with unsubstantiated medical claims at a local home and garden show a few weeks back. I finally processed all of the flyers and giveaways from the show. I scanned the full-page sheet, front and back, from the magical healing device. I absolutely love everything about the flyer.

From Pete's Dragon, there is a song about a traveling showman, Dr. Terminus, who sells miracle cures. When he finds out that there is really a dragon nearby, he gets excited about all of the cures he can create from parts of the dragon. "Dragon liver can cure a cold./Dragon powder grows hair./With dragon blood, you'll never grow old./Every item is covered with gold!"

Here are scans of the flyer. I didn't link to the guy's web site, mostly because I don't want the HTTP_REFERRER variable to show that you went to his site from this one. One of the pages on his site tells us about how he is no longer affiliated with the Mafia. I don't need a horse's head on my bed, thank you very much.

Season Wrap Up

Joey didn't make the team, either. He was very upset. Son was disappointed, but he took it in stride.


Please ignore the fact that this post is mostly to fulfill my per diem requirement for posting. Meatier posts to come soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't Take Me out with the Crowd

GPop just called from another late baseball practice. Son didn't make the team. There is a recreational league, though, so Son will play in that one.

Angry Language Guy

Your large vocabulary is only useful if you are using the words correctly. Ironic use is acceptable, but only sparingly.

You say, "Shibboleth."
You mean, "Sacred cow."

You say, "Hoi polloi."
You mean, "High society."

You say, "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
You mean, "War without end."

============
I have been guilty of misuse in the past, so I guess I'm self-loathing or something.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gree 2

After a fitful sleep, I'm no longer hungry, but I'm still a little angry and tired-gry. So in the light of day, here's a few follow-up thoughts about this situation.

First, regarding the coach who told the kids that their bedtime should be 10:00, who felt empowered to foul up family schedules for about 30 parents, but who decreed that there would be no practice on Friday, because it was his son's birthday - "...and the horse you rode in on."

Next, I received a letter a few months back telling us that Small Town School District is on the "needs improvement" list for Midwest State's academic ranking report card. The letter asked me, as a parent, to help the school work on ways to improve attendance and test scores. Here's an idea - don't have sports tryouts until 9:00 during the week the kids are taking the very tests that rank the schools on the state's report card. How much impact will 30 tired and grumpy boys have on the test scores?

Finally, I need a vacation. Maybe I can take a staycation this weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gree

I'm hungry, and I'm angry. I am also quite probably the other word that ends in -gry.

Son is trying out for the seventh grade baseball team at Small Town Middle School. Go, Son! The tryout practices were scheduled for last week with the cuts to be made after Thursday's practice. On Friday, due to the impending Ragnarok that was forecast, the school let out early, so the announcements didn't go out to tell the kids who was on the team. Monday was a "calamity day" due to the as-yet-incomplete attempts to rebuild civilization after the storm over the weekend.

Today, I arranged my schedule so that I could leave a few minutes early so I could pick up Son after his practice, assuming that he made the team. Fortunately, I had a working lunch with my boss, so I wasn't feeling guilty for bugging out 15 minutes early.

Partway home, my cell phone buzzed. It was Son. He told me that he wasn't sure when practice was, so he came home on the bus, but his friend Joey told him that practice was at 7:30, unless Son wanted to try out for pitcher or catcher, which he didn't, but if he did, the practice would be at 6:30, oh I'm so confused.

Joey is an 80-to-85 percent reliable source, so I figured I should trust but verify. I asked Son to get me the phone number for the school. While he was doing that, I asked him if he had heard any announcements about the practice. He told me that there was one, but he had been in the middle of presenting his big project in front of the class when the announcement came on the loudspeaker, so he wasn't really able to pay attention.

I called the school, and Random Functionary answered. When I explained that my son hadn't really understood when the practice was, she said, "Well, we announced it." She went on to tell me that Joey's information was correct. Joey is now about an 88% reliable source.

When I got home, I was a bit torn about dinner. Tuesday is GPop's late day, so I'm a single parent on Tuesday nights. Conundrum - feed Son dinner before practice, when I know that the coach will make the kids run all sorts of exercises designed to make kids puke, or feed him dinner when he gets home, which is after his bedtime. I opted for a small salad and a small serving of spaghetti as early as I could, then we ended up having a half-PB&J sandwich when we got home.

Son didn't want me to stay at the practice - I guess I'm an embarrassment or something - so I went home. About 45 minutes later, I headed back out to pick him up. Halfway to the school, my cell phone buzzed. Son was calling from some other person's phone to ask if I was coming to pick him up. Let me stress here that I was on target to be about five minutes early to pick him up, according to the schedule. I started to get a bit bent out of shape that Son didn't appear to trust me to pick him up. In over a year and a half of Son being in our home, GPop and I have never missed a commitment to be when and where we promised Son that we would be. I was starting to get pretty upset at this point that we hadn't impressed upon him that we were trustworthy.

When I finally got there, Son was nowhere to be seen. I pulled up, waited, and finally he emerged from the school, only to be hit by a snowball that missed its original target. Son got in the car, and I made parental noises about practice for a few minutes. I must not be as good at hiding my feeling as I thought, because Son asked, "Are you mad?"

I explained that I was a bit upset about the timing of the practice. Son told me that the coach had indicated that he didn't see any problems, because seventh graders should have a bedtime of 10:00. At this point, I decide that any more conversation on the topic will lead to my being incoherent (as you readers have probably concluded already), so I changed the topic.

Anyway, it's too late to make a long story short, so I'll just bring it to an abrupt end. I ate a sandwich, and I had a bag of microwave popcorn, but after I opened it, I realized that it was one of the mini-bags. Drat. On a popcorn-related note, it turns out that I'm related to Cousin Willie. He really is my distant cousin.

The Ratings

We were a Nielsen family the other week. I considered auctioning off some of my viewing time, but I'm either too ethical or too lazy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Works Cited

Just so you don't think I was making up the post about Rob Hatt, here's the first page of his recent letter to us. Please note that the only editing I have done is to change his name to Rob Hatt. Everything else is original. Keep in mind that it goes on like this for four pages. The alarming thing about this is that over 30% of the people in my district who voted Republican voted for this nimrod. I can only hope that 25% percent of people who voted Republican were crossing over to vote for the person who would be least likely to be elected in the general election.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fimbulvetr Lite

We were just granted the blizzard of the generation. The weather where I grew up was quite a bit more snow-oriented in the winter, but since I've moved 120 miles south, we don't get quite the snow I remember as a kid. The Great Blizzard of '78, for example was... [Here's where the kids roll their eyes and leave the room.]

This weekend, however, the measurement I made on our patio showed 9.5 inches when I got out the ol' tape measure last night. That's almost like 10 inches of snow. Here's a picture from my back door about half way through the blizzard.

Owie

Son fell down the stairs at school Friday. I asked him about five different ways to make sure nobody had pushed or tripped him, and he assures me that nobody did. We put an ice pack on it and such, all according to the parental first aid information.

Now that I'm not worried or mad about it, I can see that it's actually quite interesting. The bruise looks like a map of England, Scotland, and Wales. Notice Hadrian's Wall along the border there.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Minutiae Rather Than Trivia

Not that anyone cares, but I'm becoming a bigger fan of the dollar coins, as long as vending machines accept them. They're pretty convenient, and the new Sacagawea and later coins will hardly be confused with quarters as the old Susan B. Anthony coins were likely to be.

Friday, March 7, 2008

New Idea for a Game

Volleybowl.

It would be a combination of volleyball and bowling. six people would play volleyball in a bowling alley. Bowlers would be bowling simultaneously. The rotation of players would rotate people off the volleyball court into the bowling team. The setup would look like this...



Today's match sponsored by the AAOS.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Topical Humor Frozen in a Ziploc Bag

If you haven't noticed, the Captain Ruffles posts are all based on titles from Nancy Drew. I was looking for a good title, and I saw one that made me chuckle. It would rock if people went out, bought the sixteenth Nancy Drew book, and sent it to Senator Larry Craig.

Does Anyone Know...

I can't find my Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0. I have my Season One set, my Season 2.5 set, and my BSG:Razor set. Does anyone know where it might be?

O, where,
O, where
Has my BSG gone?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

At Least There's That...

Rob Hatt lost his bid to be on the ballot in November as the Republican nominee. Sam Schweiz prevailed. Great... now we'll see kindergarteners mutating with some weird superpowers or something.

EGG RIP

E. Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons is dead.

Thanks for the fun.

Captain Ruffles and the Thirteenth Pearl

SCENE 3 - A party in Rickmansworth.

Party Dude: I wonder what wine goes with pepperoni pizza.

Captain Ruffles: Boxed.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March Madness

Because of some electoral chicanery from several years ago, GPop and I are registered Republicans for voting purposes, even though we won't vote for a Republican at the national level until their party platform drops explicit discrimination against us. Because our state has laws that allow crossover voting, this doesn't hurt us at the polls, although I suspect we may be skewing someone's funding or demographic analysis. The benefit is that we get all kinds of information from Republicans that show us just how ridiculous some of their positions are, and how they are trying to triangulate on that demographic that doesn't like the queers or the immigrants, but doesn't want to say so in such specific language, and imagine themselves wealthy enough to be affected by tax cuts for the rich, even though they would have to double or triple their income to hit the bottom of that particular financial tier. In this primary season, we've been receiving mailers and phone calls from all sorts of people, but one in particular is beyond simply entertaining and moves into the realm of alarming.

This candidate - let's call him Rob Hatt - is running to be the Republican nominee for the US House of Representatives in the general election in November. This guy was in our state house of representatives for two terms, but from different districts. When he lost his re-election bid the first time, he moved to another district so he could run in that one. Then he lost re-election in that district.

This guy is a whack job of the highest order - 33rd degree or something. He's been carpetbombing us with mailers asking for money or support of some kind for a couple of weeks now. In each mailer, he gets progressively (reactionarily?) more shrill. In the latest mailer, he accuses his Republican rival - again, REPUBLICAN rival - of supporting the largest tax increase in history, funding abortions (the wording suggests that the abortions may be mandatory and coerced or something), and, I kid you not, supporting a bill that would require kindergarteners to be forcibly injected with some serum created from aborted fetuses.

He goes on to say that this rival, Sam Schweiz, is actively trying to destroy the American family with abortion funding, teaching of evil-u-tion, and removing Jesus from our schools. He tells us that, unlike Sam Schweiz, Rob Hatt is out to save 'Murica as evidenced by his record of supporting his particular prayer in schools and sponsoring a bill at the state level to prohibit gay men and lesbians from being able to foster or adopt children. When that particular abomination of legislation happened a couple of years ago, I castigated every legislator who sponsored the bill, wrote to every legislator who was on any committee that might hear the bill, and then baited all of the co-sponsors with another letter a few days later that asked them if they would consider even stronger measures to keep the queers out of our schools and neighborhoods. None of them ever responded.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed that this yahoo fades away soon.

UPDATE: Upon further examination, it appears that the second page of his recent screed may actually be flecked with spittle.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thank Goodness

I'm relieved that a lovely young woman of a mere 22 years, whom I shan't name to protect her privacy, but who is dear to me, found out today that the two lumps were just cysts. She'll be tender for some time, and then back on her feet. Life is better now for her than it was early this morning, and for that, I am grateful.

Jeans, Schmeans

I'm always intrigued by the difference in customer service one receives when one is dressed in a way that differs from the usual demographic. Try it sometime. For example, go talk to a financial planner while you're wearing your working outside clothes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Birthday Number Two

My niece's birthday party was yesterday. She's adorable.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Religious Confusion

I don't understand why this guy is a religious leader. As always, click for a larger image.