Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Minute To Go

Farewell, 2009.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

Two Full Years and Part of Another

I've managed to publish at least one entry per day for two full years. I didn't have that discipline in year one. We'll see how 2010 turns out.

I Wouldn't Know It

I was walking through the hallway at work the other day when I felt a small, sharp, pinching pain in my right buttock. I looked around to see what had caused it, and I didn't see a thing. I started to laugh as I realized that my detractors could be right - I wouldn't know it if it bit me in the @$$.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

GDad's Tips for Avoiding the Swine Flu

Be sure to read these tips. If you forward to at least 300 of your closest friends, something will happen.

  1. Be sure to wash your hands. A lot. For at least forty minutes every hour. With abrasive cleanser.

  2. The flu virus is vulnerable to certain percussive sound waves. Learn to beatbox loudly. NOW!

  3. "Filthy lucre" is right. A recent Mythbusters episode scientifically *proved* the FACT that money is filthier than raw sewage, with respect to germs. You can reduce your exposure to the flu virus by coating all of your money in extra-virgin olive oil (including coins) and putting it in the oven on the "broil" setting for no less than 35 minutes.

  4. Those travel steam irons are good for more than taking the wrinkles out of your permanent-press Sansabelt pants. You can steam away germs from surfaces at restaurants and grocery stores by applying steam for 45 seconds to hard surfaces. Know your rights. Restaurants and grocery stores are LEGALLY OBLIGATED to provide you with power outlets for these devices. Ask to Speak to a Manager if you are refused this service.

  5. Forget megadosing yourself with vitamin C. What you need is to GIGAdose yourself. You should consume at least twice your body weight in raw vitamin C each day in order to fully protect yourself from the H1N1 virus.

  6. Along similar lines, be sure your food is properly prepared, because proper nutrition is the best defense against the flu (or maybe rickets). Any food that is deep-fried in oil for more than five minutes should be safe to eat. French fries and onion rings are unlikely to carry the flu virus.

  7. Finally, make sure you fill out your vaccination profile when you get that message from the CDC. The paper trail they create when you get your vaccination is in NO WAY sufficient to satisfy the government regulators at the DOL and the TSA. Act now.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended for the prevention or treatment of any disease, real or fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Your actual mileage may vary. Some assembly required.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


For motivation, I added a little gadget to the sidebar.

I'm a lot heavier than I need to be. Sedentary job, sedentary hobbies, bit of a gourmand....

I turn 40 at the end of August. My new slogan is Forty by Forty. I have until my fortieth birthday, about 35 weeks from now, to lose 40 pounds, or about 3 stone(s?).

The chart in the sidebar will mark my progress. The blue line is the target, and the red line will be my actual measurements. Each week, I'll update the Google Docs spreadsheet, and we'll see how the actual matches the target. I'm not a healthologist, so I don't know if a linear weight loss is a reasonable assumption, but we'll see how it works out.

If you see me through an RSS feed, here's the chart in this post. As I update, this chart should update automagically as well.

Unfortunate Name

There's a medication for acid reflux that advertises on teevee. GPop, Brother 3, and I were multislacking the other night when we all laughed at the name AcipHex. When pronounced out loud, it sounds like Ass Effects. I suppose Ass Effects could conceivably help with acid reflux, if the effects were special enough.

Monday, December 28, 2009


When I was a kid, older folks would refer to Brother 1 and me as "Mutt and Jeff." I always smiled as though I were in on the joke, but I never understood the reference or bothered to ask. As it turns out, Mutt and Jeff were comic strip characters whose attributes included being different in height - Mutt was tall, and Jeff was short. I suppose it makes sense, although I don't think Brother 1 and I had the affiliation with horseracing and get-rich-quick schemes that I read about in the Wikipedia article.

I suppose that people remember things that were relevant to them in the appropriate phases in their lives, but as they move away from those phases, and other people enter them, the older folks don't even realize that the things they knew aren't current, and that the younger people may not have heard of or even care about those memories. This is why I had to explain Knight Rider to Mandy.

As it turns out, when I was Googling random words, I found that Weebles are obsolete. Who knew? They were great toys, because they were practically indestructible, and they had good heft when you would wing them at your brother. I'll have to see if Son has ever heard of them. "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down." What a great demonstration of tenacity in the pursuit of one's goals.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday List

Thoughts in no particular order...

  1. Back to work tomorrow. I've got a boatload of stuff to do.
  2. I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas.
  3. Frankenputer just refused to boot. It's not much of a printer server if it doesn't boot.
  4. We're going to see a local winter lights display tonight. Enthusiasm for this event is tied to #1.
  5. Son has been gone for a week. He's back tomorrow.
  6. I think my change of attitude will require a change of latitude. How much money does one need to live out the rest of one's life as a slacker? If I had a crystal ball...
  7. I have a bunch of paperwork to do today, too.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Water on a Wire

Here's a picture from warmer weather.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yuletide Greetings

Here's our Christmas card for the year. I ninjafied our faces to obscure our identities.

Oh, I drew everything myself, except for the pieces of photographs and the lettering. Someone should call that guy who promotes his art school on late night commercials.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Night Before Christmas

Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Humor in Odd Places

I was just watching someone have issues with a teevee remote control. It was a) humorous, and b) not the first time this had happened.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Trying to sleep off the cold before Christmas. Bleh.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice!

After today, the hours of daylight will increase each day until late June. Except for readers in the southern hemisphere, where you are working on the inverse calendar.

Four Word Movie Review - Avatar


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Melon Collies

Feeling a little maudlin or whatever about Christmas. I think I like Halloween better; the expectations are much simpler.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mentoring Book

Mega Corporation One gives mentors tokens of their appreciation throughout the year. A recent token was one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I can only deal with those books in small doses, since more than 10 pages tends to overwhelm my Avandamet. I made this book cover for a book I have not written.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Foto Phriday - Jonathan Tuttle

In the recent mash-up of two departments in our area, we ended up with teams spread across two buildings. My cube-neighbor, whom we shall call Dom, is a very quiet gentleman whose desk is so clean that it looks unoccupied except when he is actually sitting there. He's also generally good humored, and he will chat for a minute or two on occasion, but he never monopolizes anyone's time. Unfortunately, his new role has him in the other building most of the time, so he moved his stuff (easy task for him) and vacated the cube next to me.

Because of the movement back and forth between the two buildings, people from one building often have to find a place to sit in the other building. When you have a perfect neighbor, it's hard to go anywhere but down, so I was a little put out that there was suddenly the equivalent of an overgrown vacant lot next to me that would attract corporate vagrants and hoodlums. (Get off my lawn!)

One day, I decided to take a page from the script of an old favorite show and create a fictional person to take over the cube. My reasoning was if it looked like someone was sitting there, the peripatetic departmentals would find another place to sit. I typed up a nameplate in a similar font as the one at my desk and chose the name Oscar Goldman. As a backup plan, I also typed up a nameplate for Jonathan Tuttle.

When coworkers J and C asked me if I had seen this new Oscar fellow, I let them in on the joke. Both J and C sit close to Dom's cube, so they appreciated that we were taking it over. C even put a coffee cup and a picture of Bigfoot to make the cube look lived-in. The Bigfoot picture was also designed to attract the attention of Bigfoot Lady.

The next day, when I was out shopping for some groceries, I saw foam letters in the crafts aisle. I bought an O and a G to put up in the cube. Oscar's presence was becoming more and more real for people.

The next day, we were asked to sign up for a potluck. Oscar's name appeared on the list. At this point, our department admin assistant got a little panicky, because she had just been asked to do a comparison of department headcount with department deskcount. She was alarmed that she could not find Oscar's HR record anywhere. We had to let her in on the joke.

The hilarious part is that Dom came back that day to do some work in this building, saw Oscar's stuff, and thought that his old cube had been reassigned. He sat somewhere else.

Foto Phriday - Last Week Edition

Several times a year, Mega Corporation One brings in arts and crafts shows to take over the cafeteria and lobby and allow employees to shop for upcoming holidays or events (Christmas, graduation/Fathers Day, etc.). One such vendor has been in the buildings a couple of times that I've seen. The vendor sells all sorts of miscellanea. Most notable are these wispy pieces of cloth that most people would call "scarves," but which the vendor has labeled, "scraves." I suspect a typographical error; however, the sign has been this way for at least two years.

Thanks to C. for the picture.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Keep Your Fork

Some years ago, Brother 1 was in the habit of sending me glurge with a snarky comment at the end. One of his missives was the entire Keep Your Fork message (the second half of the article), but it was edited to include an additional few paragraphs describing the uprising of the congregation as ravenous cannibals. Essentially, he predated Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by several years. Too bad he didn't publish.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Middle Earth Today

On my way to work this morning, I was sort of half-listening to the radio while navigating traffic. The focus of today's set of reports was the climate conference in Copenhagen. The report that started as I approached the freeway on-ramp was about schoolchildren in England who are trying to make a difference by acting in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Then I started wondering why the pickup truck in front of me was going 25 mph on the on-ramp. DRIVE FASTER!

The radio reporter introduced a young person who had some words to say about what she and her classmates were doing. "And Jessie Southington-Frumpus, of Westmoreland-by-the-Lake, has organized her classmates to blah blah blah. Let's hear from her..."


"...blah blee blo carbon dating of Ents." [second of dead air]

Did she just say "carbon dating of Ents?" Treebeard is dead?

The radio reporter came back on. "Did she just say, 'carbon dating of Ents?'"

The girl's voice started back up. "For example, instead of driving to a movie, why not take a walk in the park? Instead of going to a restaurant, why not have a quiet dinner at home?"

Oh, low-carbon dating events. That makes way more sense. Then I adjusted my rear-view mirror, because the truck also had its brights on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lesson for the Day

When your coat is already on at the end of the day, and your desk phone rings, just keep walking.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thoughts in my Head When I Woke Up

The other night, I woke up out of dreams a couple of times. Here are some thoughts that were in my head when I woke up. Unfortunately, I have no context for these phrases. Armchair psychologists, on your mark, set, GO!

"Ours will take longer, because it's in Elvish script."

"...and four cat pies with ice."

p.s. Yes, I know that Elvish script is called Tengwar, but I was probably trying to explain it to the uninitiated in my dream.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I've had 1300 posts. Cool.

More Music

Son's school had their holiday concert today. The kids sounded very nice.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Most Wonderful Time

We just attended a fabulous party at M&M's. As we were putting on our coats to leave around 10:30, I told M that on a similar Saturday night 20 years ago at about the same time, I would have just been putting on my coat to go OUT, not to go HOME.

Friday, December 11, 2009


The Internet has always been treated as the red-headed stepchild in the three-legged stool of the corporate strategy.
--From a meeting this morning. I'm tempted to reveal the speaker's real name.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

-Dennis the peasant, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Line from the Concert

There's a concert touring the country right now. A live orchestra is traveling with Anthony Daniels to play music and video from the Star Wars movies. We went a while back. It was a blast.

As we left, I looked at GPop and said, "No, nobody in there was creepy at all!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Work or not Work

I had a dream last night where most of my coworkers were at some event at a mall. This guy and I were conspiring to keep the details of a murder from the rest of our coworkers. Neither of us had committed it, but we were bound to secrecy for some reason.

I think it has something to do with a murder mystery dinner thing we're sort-of planning for New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 1941.

This was the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

I recently found out that one of the terms of the Japanese surrender at the other end of the war was that the emperor disclaimed divinity.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

It is snowing right now. The mean temperature over the time the records have been kept is 33°F.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I taught son today how to pull parts out of two inoperative computers and create one that works. Geekery!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saw first holiday concert. The season is upon us.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Foto Phriday - Phood Edition

This Friday's photo comes from long-time reader and friend, C. Included are the words she sent with the picture.

What does this mean? Are you going to automatically throw up in you mouth? Compliments of Tidy Suburb BP station.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


The text below is from an instant message session. In case you've forgotten, I sit on the seventh floor.

GDad: So you're at this building now?
GDad: Soon?
GDad: Eventually?

M: I'm on the 2nd floor F1.

GDad: Cool.
GDad: That's close enough. They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I need floors 3 through 6.

M: lol. Of course you do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Few Disadvantages...

There was a commercial earlier this year for that doohickey that lets you put TP on the end of it and wipe yourself from farther away. The commercial featured a guy who stated something like, "Being a big guy has its advantages..." The commercial never states what those are, but from personal experience, I'd have to guess that looking natural in Hawaiian shirts is close to the top of the list.

Following the logic of the guy's statement leads me to the conclusion that being a tiny woman has its disadvantages. I saw one of those disadvantages displayed today.

As you may recall, cinnamon crunch bagels cause angst in our cafeteria. There was a very petite woman in the cafeteria this morning, whom we shall call Brandy. Brandy pulled one out of the rack and tried to squish it so that it would fit in the toaster. She put it between two small plates on the counter and pressed down as hard as she could. Her feet LEFT THE GROUND, and the bagel still didn't compress as much as she needed.

I am going to guess that Brandy will not be getting a wiper stick for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Long Serve the King!

The so-called King of Spam is going to jail for fraud. Hooray!

Semper vigilo, however, because I'm sure there are a dozen pretenders to the throne hiding in the shadows.

Monday, November 30, 2009


¿Qué es este "sueño" del que usted habla?

I have not been sleeping well for about a month. It's not very fun.

On a positive note, we just got our homestudy renewed today. The medical exam part certainly went a lot better than last time.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Have You Seen the Ghost of John

Last night I had a dream where I was part of an expedition sent out to colonize a new planet. Unfortunately, the colony ship lost power and had to make an emergency landing. Of course, this caused all kinds of trouble for the colonists.

My group of colonists took a Jeep-like vehicle and travelled along the roads that were put there by the survey crew/ship to see what was out there. We had many adventures, some of which starred John Rhys-Davies for some reason.

As it turns out, the reason the ship crashed was due to a curse placed on our expedition by King John of England. You know, the one who was always the villain in the Robin Hood mythology. Somehow, the court wizards cast a spell that sat idle for 800 years until our ship was flying through space.

The special effects of the wizards casting the spell were phenomenal. Imagine several men in a large, badly-lit, basketball-arena-sized room. They are walking along invisible ramps throughout the volume of the building. As they walk, red glowing runes appear where their feet touched the invisible ramps. Now imagine our camera point of view on a huge arm that lets it move freely through space. Cool, eh?

Anyway, we survived our alien adventures. How's that Magna Carta, John?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back home from the holiday. Whew!

Friday, November 27, 2009


So I just got up in order to hit the sales at the department stores...


I preposted this so that I could sleep in. You couldn't threaten me enough to get me to Wal-de-Mart or Jacques Penet today. If you feel the need for some competitive shopping, good luck and good health.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Check out some of the old Hand Turkey Files.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Calendar Envy

The schools in the area all have today off. I don't remember previous school years having Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, and I certainly don't remember such a thing as a child. Kids these days have it easy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Savings Plans for the Temporally Dislocated

I went out to check my 401(k) balance yesterday. Because I care when I can retire, I sometimes go through the calculator exercises that are on the web sites. When I went through the exercise to see how much more I could save if I increased my contribution by 2%, I got the following graph. Note how my life will not be in chronological order.

I took out the actual dollar amounts for either modesty's or embarrassment's sake.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning - In Autumn!

We rented a large trash container to get rid of a bunch of stuff out of the house and barn over the weekend. Our tattered sleeper sofa is now gone, and good riddance. For some reason, sitting on that thing for more than five minutes would hurt my back. Now the other couch from the front room has moved into the teevee room, and the front room's space is a bit more open with just the loveseat and the music equipment. And Beardie.

We also got rid of a piano. When GPop and I got our first apartment together, we were looking for some things to put in it. I had a stack of boxes from my college years as a resident advisor and from my tenure living in Baldo McNerdy's basement. I also had a vintage 60s hip naughahide chair. GPop had a bunch of boxes, a couple of plants, and a dresser.

Around that time, the Hillel Student Center at Midwest State University was planning a demolition and rebuilding of the facility. They were selling furnishings and fixtures to raise a little bit of money to help furnish the new building. GPop bought a piano for $50. It had been painted green at some point, but underneath was a nice mahogany. GPop thought he'd refinish it.

Since we lived in a two-bedroom apartment, there wasn't a lot of room to refinish a piano. GPop would slide the piano out onto the concrete slab between apartments A (ours) and B (the guys with the yappy dog) and smear stripping chemicals on it. He stripped maybe 20% of the surface before the weather forced us to move the piano inside. It sat in a corner for the rest of the five and a half years we lived there. I believe we covered it in something that we called a "piano cozy."

When we moved to our house in 1999, the piano was going to be the project we did in the barn. So we put it out there for a couple of months, but then we decided that we wanted it closer to the house so the cold weather of winter didn't completely destroy it. We put it on the uninsulated porch, but it was against the wall that separated the porch from the teevee room. We covered it in a tarp for temporary storage.

It sat there for more than 10 years.

Now we have that space back, and we no longer have to worry about refinishing a broken piano that was probably hopeless anyway. My only regret is that I never built that trebuchet to throw the piano into the back field.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Is This?

This is something from the state fair.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maybe a Different Name?

The other day, I was in a restroom. The paper towel dispenser was labeled with the model name Intuition. Next to the model name were printed detailed instructions describing how to use the dispenser. Cognitive Dissonance, ACTIVATE!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Foto Phriday - H1N1 Edition

This is the photo of a cousin's wife struck with H1N1. Hang in there.

Here's my cousin's description of his wedding. If memory serves, this cousin has a PhD in math, and he spent a year or so on the Ultimate Fighting circuit or professional wrestling or something.

We got married by ourselves at the courthouse very spur of the moment so we don't have any pictures of that. Which is probably a good thing since I was wearing a Miller Lite T-shirt and flip flops and she was in pajamas.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Portmanteau Poll




as in...

"This article on the Snuggie is __________."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Haiku Inspired by a Corporate Webcast

She said, "Win win win."
The Office has become real.
Yes, that's what she said.


Son is fine. He was a bit grumpy and tired from not sleeping much the other night, but he's fine now. Thanks for the good thoughts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Attack

Son rode his bicycle to a friend's house last night. On his way back, he was attacked by some jack@$$ teen mugger. The kid demanded his bike, then pushed Son off the bike, hit Son in the face, and knocked him to the ground. Son punched the kid back and retrieved his bike, but he's pretty upset by this.

At this point, I really want to Goetz the kid that did this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Four Word Reviews - 2012 (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Independence Day minus aliens.


Day After Tomorrow again.


Roland Emmerich, please stop.


Please stop Roland Emmerich.


Stargate - not really related.


I paid for this?


Cusack has done better.


Kid named Noah? Ark?


Another implausible disaster movie.


Science, schmience. Mayans, schmayans.


Who knew neutrinos mutate?


Giraffe airlift wasn't necessary.


Got what I expected.

Four Word Movie Review - 2012

LONG goodbye to civilization.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Four Word Movie Review - The Men Who Stare at Goats

Clooney's and McGregor's butts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Movie Night

Son went to a friend's house last night. Since GPop and I haven't been out to see a grown-up movie for a while, we decided to see The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Many years ago, we went to see a movie, the title of which escapes me, but which was out at the same time as The World Is Not Enough. When I was waiting for GPop to arrive at the theater that day, I was listening to the people in line order their tickets. I tried to predict what a give person or group wanted to see. I ended up not being very good at that kind of prediction, though.

My favorite part of that waiting, though, was when I observed a person step up to the ticket box office, clear his throat, and say, "Two tickets for The World Will Do." I had to bite my tongue to keep from chuckling. GPop appreciated the humor when I told him about it.

Last night, there were a lot of people at the theater. When we got to the box office, the kid behind the counter looked a bit harried. GPop cleared his throat and said, "Ah'd lahk two tickets fer The Goat Watchers."

The funny thing is that the kid has probably heard titles mutilated more than that. Recently.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Freitag der Dreizehnte

Ooooh, scary! It's Friday the thirteenth!

Found cat clip art here.

Foto Phriday

This is the back of Son's head in his Link costume from The Legend of Zelda video games. The fog is from Baldo McNerdy's fog machine. The extra-large person with the orange thing on his head is GPop in one of those inflatable sumo wrestler costumes. This was Halloween, not our normal evening attire/activities.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another One

Yesterday evening, as we were watching some teevee, Son started to laugh. We looked at him and saw this.

He got part of his shirt caught in his braces. Go back and read that again. He got part of his SHIRT CAUGHT in his BRACES.

GPop said, "That's going on the blog."

Son said, "I must look like a real idiot on your blog."

I told him that no, he seems like a fine young man with a penchant for getting things caught in other things.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today marks the end of World War I. 11:11 on 11/11.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Right and Wrong Bumper Stickers

I saw this one. This is the right one.

I made up this one. It is very, very wrong.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Plumbing Problem

This is from an old e-mail to my uncle from 2001. Pulled it out of the archives due to busy schedule today.

The pipe between my well and my pressure tank had a leak. It was a small spray of water that would probably fill a glass with water every ten to fifteen minutes. Fortunately, the leak was situated so that the water all ran down into the pit where the sump pump does its thing. It was time to fix it, though. I started to unscrew the coupling that hooked the plastic hose to the brass tee that was attached to the tank. The coupling, which was the source of the leak, broke. Part of it was stuck inside the tee, and part was stuck inside the pipe. Grrr...

So, GPop and I went to the hardware store, and I explained to the Hardware Guy that I had committed an act of home repair against my house, and that I needed an accomplice to help hide the evidence. He summoned the Well Guy (Kevin) to lend me a hand with determining what I needed to buy. We figured out that I needed a new coupling, some plastic pipe, a new tee, the pressure gauges and plugs that go into the tee, and the pipe fitting compound (a.k.a. pipe dope). I also bought a short ladder/step stool so I'd have a place to sit while I was working.

OK. So far, so good.

GPop and I went home with our new purchases, and we discovered that removing the tee required us to remove the pipes on the OTHER side of the tee as well. Who would've thought? So, I went back and bought some copper pipe, the appropriate couplings, a propane torch kit, flux, and solder. I went back home, and we cut the pipe, then removed the tank so we could get to the tee. When I started to twist the tee to remove it, the bottom of the tank began to buckle. Arrrrgggghhhh!

Back to the hardware store. I'm sure that Well Guy and Hardware Guy were laughing by this time. We bought a new tank and a pipe wrench. So, at that time, we had all we needed.

We got everything installed correctly, and it looked just like new, which was correct since it was basically all new. So what now? Turn on the water and see if there are any leaks. I can see by the expression on your face that you expect me to say something like there was a gusher. Nope. It was leak free. Then, we heard a hissing/bubbling coming from a pipe about five feet away from where we had done our work. Apparently, our work had jarred a pipe that had a weak bit of solder, and it started a small leak there.

OK. Not to worry...

We started soldering the old pipe. After doing that, I've come to the conclusion that solder doesn't stick well to old copper pipe, so you have to do something to take away the corrosion. We ended up soldering a LOT onto the connection, then using an epoxy material to coat the whole coupling. It still leaked a bit, but it was about one drop every five to ten minutes. That's probably about enough time between drips that the floor will dry out in between drops. I'll look at it again next weekend.

And the kicker is that the village is running city water out our way within the next couple of months. Anyone need a used 20-gallon pressure tank? It's a very pretty sky blue color.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday? Bleh.

Not that it's on the ballot, but I'm voting for a 4x10 work week.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bubblin' Ears

Son has used cotton swabs to clean his ears for a long time. I have told him that using swabs this way is contraindicated right on the package, but he persists. Yes, he did manage to push a big glob of ear wax into his ear. He had enough pain that we took him to the doctor.

The good doctor told him not to do that any more. She also told him to put hydrogen peroxide in his ear to mumblefrotz the whozits with peroxidey goodness. I had Son lie on the bed with a towel under his head, and I poured about a half teaspoon of H2O2 solution in his ear. I told him to hold his nose, close his mouth, and blow gently. It fizzled a little, and I signaled for him to turn over. Rinse, repeat.

Son advised me that this was the strangest sensation he'd ever felt. He wanted me to do it, so I gave it a try.

Yes, indeed, it is certainly a strange sensation. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to feel dizzy for a few minutes while the bubbles interfere with one's sense of balance. Goofy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Foto Phriday - Inspirational Edition

The inspiration for my Halloween costume was this sculpture we saw at the arts festival this summer. When I saw it, I thought of the term Booba Fett, which of course led to Bubba Fett. Notice the Chewbacca-like sculpture behind Ms. Fett.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

I knew I was forgetting something...

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Confused Language Guy

The other day, I heard a radio report that was discussion changing people's behavior with a "carrot and stick." Geek that I am, I heard the phrase "keratin stick." I wondered for a brief moment how that would work. Are they goring people with rhinoceros horns? Then I realized what the speaker had actually said. Fortunately, people outside my car don't see me blush from embarrassment.

I think I'm going to start saying homophones when speaking to amuse myself.

Icy ewe. Yeah, shoe.

Halve eye Eton? Noah halve knot.

Ware due Wii knead two bee four the me ting?

[If I were the Witch King of Angmar...] Gnome an Cannes sleigh mi.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Geek Choices

My phone battery now maintains a charge for interesting usage for about five minutes. "Interesting usage" is defined to be any use other than standby mode. So, in other words, calls, texting, internet browsing, Sudoku, MP3 playing, and other uses all collapse with a beep and a shutdown after a few minutes.

I could buy a new battery for about $40. This is likely the most economical solution, short term. However, a secondary issue is that the phone's features have some limitations that make it much less useful to me than I thought when I purchased it in early 2008. Also, there seem to be some software defects that cause the phone to reboot intermittently when I use certain features.

I've been a Sprint customer for my cell service for a long time. They irritate me some, but when I talk to customers of other carriers, I find that customer service highlights are rare. Some of my friends swear by their service with their respective carriers, but other friends have had abominable experiences with the same carriers, so it seems to be a wash. So, absent a compelling reason to change carriers, I'll just stay where I am. This eliminates the iPhone until they decouple with AT&T.

I could go backwards a bit and get a less feature-rich phone, but I find that I do use quite a few of the phone's features naturally, without inventing reasons to use them, so I'd like to retain those features in a new device.

I'm leaning toward one of the Sprint Android phones. Plus, I could possibly use the Android development kit to make my own apps. Except that I'm pretty lazy with respect to that sort of thing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Off-Year Election

Thank goodness for the screed.

Last night, I was reviewing my choices for village council, township trustee, municipal court judge, and school board. Since the only race that was big enough to cause a blip in the media might have been the judicial race in Capital City, the other candidates were sort of ciphers. Thank goodness also for the series of tubes.

The Capital City newspaper (motto: "Proudly Giving Lie to the Phrase 'Liberal Media' Since 1882") has a voter's guide web page where one can select two of the candidates in a race and compare them side by side. This was a little awkward for the "pick up to four of these nine candidates" races, but you make do with what you've got.

A couple of the candidates were either unresponsive or unreachable when the newspaper sent them the questionnaire, but most had some responses listed. I am especially thankful for those candidates who took the time to write long-winded responses that were only tangentially related to the question and which showed off the very apparent need for increased dosages of their meds.

And, on a related note, when I voted today, I was the first voter. Finally, after 10 years of showing up before the polls opened did I manage to get to be first in line. Actually, it was a line of one.

Nobody Got It

Several of us were talking about project estimating yesterday. I drew a diagram on the whiteboard that represented project range estimates, then we discussed how an estimate range could incorrectly drive the decision to go forward with project development.

One of the meeting participants said, "There's one little word that seems to be very important in our recent discussions." He took a marker and wrote next to my diagram, "ROI."

I said, "Yes, that is very important." I took my marker and wrote, "is king," next to "ROI."

Nobody got it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Parenting Poll

OK, parents...

Son indicates that he gets anxious when he has to take a test. His grades seem to bear this out in that he gets good marks for homework and projects, but ungood to plusungood marks for quizzes and tests. Son wishes to go to college. He has plans for an advanced degree in the computer field. Specifically what, he doesn't know, but let's cut the high school freshman some slack for that lack of specificity.

Given that the SAT and ACT are still important college entrance requirements, would it be beneficial to have him take one of these tests "cold" this year, with the idea that exposure to the test will make it less scary when it really counts? Or would people suggest that I leave it alone, with the idea that scoring low on the test this time might result in a hit to his motivation and confidence?

I suspect the polling results from the most thoughtful parents will be YMMV.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Up the Ladder

Son's school had their first mixed choir concert of the year. Some of the music was very pretty.

UPDATE: For some reason, the typo in the title escaped me. I've corrected it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Road Trip

Brother 1 called last night. Mom had asked him to set up a new wireless router. He ran into some issues, so I offered to come up and help.

Five minutes later, Mary from work texted and asked if I could come over and help her set up her new wireless router.

Geek Squad? Feh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Foto Phriday - Halloween Costume

I would like to present Bubba Fett. Note the Three Wolf Shirt. The helmet is made from papier-mâché over a balloon, some poster board, a piece of wire coat hanger, a paper towel wadded up, a Sierra Mist bottle, lots of duct tape, and some Sharpie marker to color it in.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beggar's Night

Due to our local governments being afraid of football fans (says one of my coworkers), the local trick-or-treating will be tonight in Capital City and in surrounding areas. Outlying areas are still having it on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flash of Something or Other

I woke up from a dream at 3:30 this morning with a very clear image in my mind of why my main project for the past three months has been running with faulty premises. Since I am precaffeinated right now, I really ought to run this past someone else before I call shenanigans at work, but if I'm right, there will be much harrumphing.

I have had instances where these flashes of insight in the middle of the night have paid off. I once woke up knowing where a thing was that I had lost earlier that day. I've also woken up with technical solutions just floating in my head.

Of course, I've also woken up with the idea that there is a vampire in my house who is stealing my wireless connection, so my track record isn't 100% on this stuff.

UPDATE (10:30am): I spoke with one of the accounting guys. My flash of inspiration was correct! I feel good about that. Unfortunately, this means I have to undo a bunch of work and redo it the right way, so I don't feel really good about that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Found a New Toy

Translation Parity, where you start with an English phrase, which then gets translated repeatedly to Japanese and back until it stops changing.

Original phrase:
What are the odds that our leader will make the right choice?

Parity phrase:
If many people and my odds, please contact us.

If you have any fun phrases, please post in the comments.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In Memoriam

I just found out that Pat passed away late last night. Requiescat in pace.

Pulpy Vikings!

This is a pumpkin Viking ship we saw at the Renaissance Faire. It came in second place. The first place winner was a pirate ship.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hail the Queen

We went to the Renaissance Faire today. It was a blast. More to follow, perhaps.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hippies or No Hippies

We're off to M&M's house to help with some computer problems. The last time we did this, we picked up some hippies. Only time will tell what our adventures will be today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lovely Spam, Wonderful Spam!

Dead men may envy living mites in cheese

Im all oer-sib to Adams breed that I should bid him go.

For me six months o twenty-four to leave or take at choice.

Create a love tornado

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Son said this morning, "I'm too sick to go to school."

All last week, he was also too sick to go to school. I disagreed with his analysis today. At the point where he was yelling, I decided that perhaps his throat wasn't so sore after all.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Invisible Words

I've been walking in the back field with a GPS that tracks where I walk. Now I'm trying to spell words while walking so that I can download the track to my computer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bad News

Pat is in the hospital. She fell while walking outside.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Gaming

Our characters were trying to track down who had killed a local merchant who sold magic gems. Another local merchant told us that twin halflings were shaking down the merchants and collecting for the new protection racket in town.

Later, Son was talking about this mafia "muscle," and he called the halflings, "hoblits." I think he was saying "hobbit" and "goblin" at the same time. Then later, he said something like "hobcoblit."

We kept referring to the halflings as "hob pocklets" the rest of the night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It shouldn't surprise anyone that our family plays Dungeons & Dragons (Satan's game) and other role-playing games. We have for years. Remind me sometime to tell you about some of the stranger people who have been part of the gaming group.

Anyway, Mr. Mandy is running the game this time around, and we were playing yesterday. One encounter put our group of hardy adventurers up against a ninja-like fighter who used chains for weapons and an animated scarecrow with some sort of magic attack.

My turn rolled around.

GDad: I place Warlock's Curse on the scarecrow. Then, I cast Your Delicious Weakness on it. This will be against his Reflex. [clatter of dice rolling] It's a hit! This lets me do either psychic damage or damage of a type the enemy is most vulnerable to.

Mr. Mandy: Do you know which kind of damage that is?

GDad: [screeching falsetto] How about a little fire, Scarecrow? [cackles]

Marcot Ravenswatch: No, we're not gay at all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Science Observation Inappropriately Applied to the Business World

Unless you had a HUGE initial force, momentum will only take you so far upward. Momentum only keeps you going sideways.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just Have to Remark on This

A Justice of the Peace in Louisiana has refused to sign a marriage license for an interracial couple. His rationale? "'There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,' Bardwell said. 'I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it.'"

Right. Children of interracial couples suffer so much that they never amount to anything. Ever.

Foto Phriday - Innuendo

I saw this at Aunt Cindy's house on Sunday. Sorry it's so blurry. The product is Zim's Crack Creme. Tee-hee.

And while I have never watched it, I have heard of the teevee show Invader Zim.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Relativistic Observation on Space Travel and Project Work

The faster things go, the less time you have before you get there. Thanks, special relativity!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jumping Back in Time

If you're tired of cold and rain, here's a summer memory.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Tis the Season

Son has the crud. His tonsils are huge.

I had a medium fever last night, but I feel fine now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

School Daze, Etc.

Son is struggling a bit in his World Studies class. My initial response was to encourage or demand more studying. I may now implement my sinister phase 2 and talk to the teacher. My goal is never to be one of those parents, but at the same time, when the World Studies teacher is indicating that:

  • Iran is ruled by Malis, because "mullahs" is too difficult to spell, never mind Khameni or Ahmadinejad.
  • Cuba's president is still Fidel Castro (as of October, 2009),
  • Kim Jong-il is pronounced "Kim Jong the Second",
then perhaps it's time to get more directly involved.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Let's Give It Up for College Professors

We just had a family gathering where there were three college students. I was astounded at the self-absorbed nature and obsession with picayune matters that seems to permeate the youth culture. They're worse than bloggers. And these are kids that I like.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Radio Star

Once a month, a number of people who belong to Mega Corporation One's QTBLG(etc.) employee group go out to lunch. We have two main campuses in the greater Capital City region, one in downtown Capital City, and one in Tidy Suburb. There are a couple of other smaller locations around town, and several in other cities/states. Since I work in Tidy Suburb, I go with the group out there.

The other day, I was sitting with Lunch Lesbian and M. We were chatting about a venerable LBQT(etc.), and sometimes G, bar that recently started a monthly ballroom dancing night. M and I were remarking that it had been a long time since either of us had been to that bar, because neither of us were in the guppie demographic that frequented such places any more, what with M being suburban and me being kinda rural.

LL: Well, we only go out to dance lessons and then out on Wednesdays. Lesbians don't get out much like the boys do.

GDad: So Zappos and Netflix have essentially killed the lesbian social scene?

All: [Much laughter.]

Friday, October 9, 2009

Foto Phriday - BACON!

Meet Mr. Bacon and Monsieur Tofu. These were in a storefront in the Castro when we went on our trip to San Francisco.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Morning Weirdness

Mandy: I love these pumpernickel bagels, but they always have coconut flakes on them. How does that happen?

GDad: Coconuts are migratory?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Software of the Gods

Lotus Notes is known for being quirky, byzantine, labyrinthine, and weighty. It's also fairly powerful and feature-rich. Here's an error message I received in Notes yesterday.

Notice how the Details>> button is grayed out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What's a Battle?

No. He actually said, "What's that rattle?"

The ventilation system in our building has developed a rattle near my desk that will probably drive me to distraction. There's a stick with a hook on it that we use to open the shades. I tried poking at the ceiling with it, but it started to look like I was one of those apes in the first part of 2001: A Space Odyssey that didn't know what to do with the monolith.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Battlestargate Galactiverse


Stargate: SG1

Stargate: Infinity

Stargate: Atlantis

Stargate: Universe

We watched the pilot of Stargate: Universe last night. The schtick is that a group of about 50 or so people (+100%/-50%) went through a stargate (see the Intarwebz for more information if you're not a fan) to an Ancient ship that was billions of light years from home. Billions with a B. Light years. Oh, and the way back was shut off.

Star Trek: Voyager's pilot was about a group of about 120 people who went through a wormhole or space warp to a place 70,000 light years from home. It was going to take them 70 years to get home, maybe.

The earlier Stargate shows were kind of fun science fiction that were mostly self-contained episodes with about two thirds of the episodes advancing the season's story arc. There was very little TV-14 material. The good guys wore white hats, and the bad guys wore black hats. Mostly.

This program has started off having learned some lessons from the late, great Battlestar Galactica. The camera work was sort of cinema-vérité, which was a hallmark of BSG. The lighting and general condition of the spaceship recalled some of the more rundown parts of the Galactica. Additionally, there was a morally gray doctor of SCIENCE! with a non-American accent. BSG had the English James Callis as Doctor Gaius Baltar, and SGU has the Scottish Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush.

Of course, it's not a blatant rip-off of BSG, but it rather incorporates some of the thematic elements from BSG that seemed to resonate with the viewers. I'm not sure of the direction of the series yet, but I think it will forge a different route than previous shows.

I would suggest that the theme of SG1 was that we humans were throwing off the chains that we didn't even know were enslaving us. SGA was about making our way in the new world. It's hard to say what SGU will be about, but it does seem to be intriguing so far.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Stargate Universe is playing right now on our TiVo. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Advocating Vocationicide

I found a bastardized blog/news thing that is tagged at the top as an "ADVERTORIAL". The layout of the page contains some weather and news headlines to make it look like it's a part of a local newspaper's web site. It's a write-up of that Acai berry fad thing that presents the article as being written someone who started off as a skeptic of the berry, then through personal experience lost weight. The conclusion is that every claim about Acai berries must be unconditionally true.

Because testimonials are the best type of evidence.

There are some coupon codes for online ordering of Acai berry products and paraphernalia. The coupon codes just happen, by sheerest coincidence, to expire tomorrow. I'll bet a shiny nickel that if I go back there tomorrow, the coupon codes will expire the next day.

Then, the really cool part is that there's a boatload of disclaimer at the bottom of the page. My favorite part is this.

It is important to note that this site and the stories depicted above is to be used as an illustrative example of what some individuals have achieved with this/these products. This website, and any page on the website, is based loosely off a true story, but has been modified in multiple ways including, but not limited to: the story, the photos, and the comments. Thus, this blog, and any page on this website, are not to be taken literally or as a non-fiction story.
We need Adam and Jamie put this one to rest. And we need someone to take out the people that came up with this abomination of marketing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Foto Phriday - Techopork Edition

We live far enough out in the country that we don't have a gas line. Of course, if we lived ACROSS THE STREET, we'd have one. So we make do with electric appliances or use propane tanks. Our neighbors, Tim and Laura, decided that they didn't care for the way theirs looked, so they modified it. I am showing you this so you realize that I am not the only odd one in the neighborhood.

I especially like the plastic flowers around the bottom of the tank. Note also the tail. Laura did the design, and Tim did the actual painting. GPop and I are talking about decorating ours to be a Holstein cow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Must Be Doing Something Right...

This morning, as Son was putting his stuff together to go to school, he brought in a pair of his old shoes that were in good condition, but that no longer fit him. He asked, "Is it OK if I take these shoes in and give them to my friend X? He only has one pair of shoes, and they got all torn up somehow, and I think these would fit him."

"Just be sure not to embarrass him. You're growing to be quite a fine young man."


Yesterday morning, I went to another building for a meeting with WG. After about ten minutes into the meeting time, I received a change to the meeting details that told me that I was supposed to call the other party on his cell phone. Since I was already at his desk, I used his phone to call him.

I hate using other people's office phones. It's amazing how many people wear perfume or cologne that gets all over their phone handsets and then migrates to the face of any other user. So even several hours later, I still smelled the miasma that was WG's aroma du jour.

They say smell is one of the most powerful triggers of memory. This incident reminded me of a time when I was a customer service supervisor at Nearly Defunct Online Company. The department frequently reorganized, due to high turnover. There was a married couple, let's call them Alice and Bob, who were notorious for questionable behavior. Each of them reported to me at one time or another.

It was a pretty well-known fact among the managers that if Alice or Bob reported to you, you would have attendance problems that would always skate on the edge of the policy. For example, if the policy said something like "No more than three unscheduled absences in any rolling 90-day period," then you could bet all the money in your wallet that Alice or Bob would have four unscheduled absences in a 91-day period, but only three in any given 90-day period. And you would win your bet more often than not.

Also, you could bet that if Alice scheduled a vacation day, you could talk to Bob's manager and find that he had scheduled the following day off. Then Alice would be "sick" on Bob's vacation day and Bob would be "sick" on Alice's vacation day. Of course, it ticked off managers, but the support to get them written up wasn't really there, because the Human Resources department was more interested in the company not being sued by disgruntled ex-employees than helping managers resolve issues. Or something like that.

The other part of their mystique was that they both reeked. They had a sour unwashed smell, which they both covered with huge amounts of cologne or perfume or whatever. Plus, their hair was out of control. Alice's hair looked like a farcical movie actress' make-up for what happens after someone gets shocked by a huge amount of electricity. Bob's hair was slicked down with some kind of grease so that it formed more of a flexible plate than a head of hair. Sometimes his bangs would separate, and he'd use a finger to mash them back together into a united front.

I had a theory that if you put both of them in an enclosed space, the two smells would cancel each other out. That explained why they thought nothing of each other's odor. I never thought to set up an experimental situation, though. I think I was afraid of potential fallout. Also, I'm not that cold.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold vs. Hot

I don't know if I'm ill on top of injured, but I had a slight fever Monday night and Tuesday morning, and I feel very warm right now. This stinks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Old Ballgame

Newest in the video series...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Town

I've had some pretty crazy back spasms and pain the past few days. GPop finally dragged me out of the house yesterday to the local Urgent Care. Now I'm on a muscle relaxant, and I rented an apartment in Vicodin Town.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Overheard in the Cafeteria

"It's always Friday night somewhere."

Perhaps the person was confused with it always being happy hour somewhere.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Neologism of the Day

Weirditating - (adj.) a little weird; a little irritating.

"One of my dearest friends has this weirditating habit of stopping mid-stride every time he has to pass through a door."

Unfortunately, although I created this word on my own, The Goog tells me that someone else created it independently and previously.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foto Phriday - Office Edition

Here we have a diagram I found on a white board. I hope it's not, yet fear it is, our planned goal state. In case you can't read the picture, I'll describe and transcribe it after the picture.

The picture is a triangle that looks sort of like the old food pyramid. There are words inside each level and some other words in red outside. Outside words will be in parentheses below.

Level 1 (bottom): Absence of Trust (Invulnerability)
Level 2: Fear of Conflict (Artificial Harmony)
Level 3: Lack of Commitment (Ambiguity)
Level 4: Avoidance of Accountability (Low Standards)
Level 5 (top): Inattention to RESULTS (Status/Ego)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Solution for Health Care

Instead of all this reform nonsense, why not just let USFidelis handle it? They advertise "no hassle" comprehensive coverage for your car. How much more difficult would it be to apply this philosophy to medical care?

Link 1.
Link 2.
Link 3.
Link 4.
Link 5.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brother 2

Brother 2 is 30 today. Ha ha!

Pretty Awesome

If you have a minute, stop over at Unexpected Journey and say, "Hi," to pixnlil. Especially important is her September 22 post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Equinox

It's starting to look autumnal out there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Improvement by Defect

We're fans of the Stargate television programs. We never watched them on broadcast teevee, but through the magic of borrowing the DVDs from friends, we watched all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 and all five seasons of Stargate Atlantis.

Recently, we were in our local Blockbuster, and I saw a DVD in the used markdown bin. It was the first four episodes of the animated Stargate Infinity. I picked it up for something like $1.99.

This Stargate series is best left unwatched. The animation is of the sort we used to see in the late 1980s and early 1990s on Saturday morning or after-school cartoons. The characters are only differentiated by what color uniform they are wearing, which sort of belies the name. The Air Force must have also changed its policy for personal grooming by the time this show is set, which is some 20 to 30 year future date. The theme song is one of those wailing men who sounds like he's in pain, and who is going on about "FINDING OUR WA-AAAY BACK TO EAAARRRTHHH! STARGATE INFINITEEEEEEEE!"

Anyway, we watched it for a bit. At some point in episode three, the sound started cutting out. We'd hear somthing lik thi entenc com g out o he spe kers. Then the video would pause and jump ahead. This led to some amusing experiences where characters would suddenly be in a new setting saying things that made even less sense than they did when everything was running smoothly.

My favorite line was when one of the characters (It doesn't matter who.) said, "Yo butt!" We all laughed a lot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yesterday, Son, Baldo McNerdy, Marcot Ravenswatch, and I went on a drive. We drove about five miles away, then we started rolling a die at each intersection to get us randomly lost. After a while, we turned the GPS on and found our way home.

On the way, we found the reason why Obvious Name Road was named such. Of course, it lead to the town of Obvious Name, but then we discovered why Obvious Name was called that.

Then we saw some neat houses barns.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Sorry, Dave's Beer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Foto Phriday - Zombie Apocalypse Edition

This is a picture of some peanuts I found in a restaurant. They look kind of zombified.

Breakfast Words

Mandy and I were in the cafeteria grabbing our breakfast items, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Mandy: I think I'll have a biscuit today.

GDad: Biscuit. That's a funny word. Biss-kitt. Bissss-kitt. Biss-cyoo-itt. Biss-cyoo-itt.

Mandy: Most normal people don't pronounce it that way.

GDad: But we SPELL it that way.

Mandy: But again, most normal people don't pronounce it "biss-cyoo-itt."

GDad: Ah, sorry. BIZ-cyoo-itt.

Mandy: D__n you. Now I'll be saying that all day.

GDad: Glad to be of service.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I think I've figured out the term of our President, based on the input of some of the people I've seen on teevee and heard on the radio.

Afrislamicommunazi. Or, using CamelCase, AfrIslamiCommuNazi.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Observation From My Cousin's Wedding

At the risk of painting with an overly broad brush, it seems that all wedding DJs are jerkasses.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phone Surveys

I hate talking on the phone. However, I recognize that other people do not necessarily share my neurosis, so I make accommodations for friends and family and generally answer the phone, since I am on the Do Not Call list. I also refuse to pay for caller ID, so answering the phone is one of life's little adventures.

Although I will give a very hard time to telemarketers, I have a soft spot for phone survey people. Last night, I received a call from a mostly-literate barely-post-high-school woman with a heavy southern drawl who asked me if I'd be willing to answer some questions about my opinions on a contentious issue here in Midwest State where certain groups are attempting to put a ballot issue on the November ballot that will amend the state constitution to allow certain business activities to take place. I generally support the business activities in question, but I vehemently oppose amending the state constitution to do something this quotidian.

I suppose, however, that the distinctions are lost on some people. After my rant about how absurd the recent constitutional issues have become, she asked, "Do you have anything else to say on this matter, or can we move to the next question?"

"The ballot issue, or the constitutional issues?"


"Um... no. Let's just move on."

Then in the demographic questions, she was convinced that a bachelor's degree was something one routinely obtained in three years. I indicated that it was usually a four-year degree, and she advised me that perhaps the colleges had slowed things down in recent years. Sure. Let's go with that.

At one point, she asked me if I'd heard X about the issue. "Have you heard that the passage of this issue would create 27,000 jobs in Midwest State?" I indicated that I had. "Is that true, false, or don't know?

Huh? Crystal ball... not working...

"Did you hear that every county in Midwest State will get an allocation of the taxes raised from these businesses?" I had. "Is that true, false, or don't know?"

Once again... principles or pragmatism?

Monday, September 14, 2009

To the Counter Guy at the Greek Restaurant

I'm dressed nicely today, and I don't smell of anything. When I signed the receipt and handed it back to you with the pen, you could have waited until I turned around before you squirted the big glob of hand sanitizer all over your hands.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Four Word Movie Review - 9

Burton and Elfman! Imagine!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


We watched Lord of the Flies (1963 version) last night on the free On Demand function of our cable box. I'd never seen the movie before. Son fell asleep somewhere around the hour mark.

One thing I didn't quite get out of the story is how long they were on the island. Based on my recent observations of kids in malls, I'd guess around three to four hours.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Foto Phriday - Phycic Edition

On another blog, I commented that the blogger take an opportunity to test a tarot card reader or medium to get some ideas about cold reading. In the comment, I mentioned something about Madame La Mystique's Palm Reading and Pancakes. Here's a picture of a place I saw in San Francisco.

The post's title comes from a Corner Gas episode where Hank thought he could read minds. The local paper had a front page headline that proclaimed, with this misspelling, "HANK IS PHYCIC!"

September 11

Eight years ago today, we had one of those "Reply-To-All" cascades at Megacorporation One. You know the kind - some numbskull presses Reply To All to an e-mail that went out to the whole company, and then it starts. Angry people from interns to vice presidents start replying to the message, saying things like, "STOP REPLYING TO ALL!" or "Please remove me from this distribution list."

Then, around 9:00 EDT, one of the replies to all said something about how this distribution list might be upsetting, but at least we weren't being hit by an airplane like those poor folks in NYC. Nobody around me had heard anything, so we checked CNN or whatever to see what was going on. We were stunned.

The guy next to me had an old 8-inch B&W TV in a drawer. He got it out, and several of us huddled around it, watching the live coverage of the tower's burning.

GPop was panicked. I worked in downtown Capital City in a high-rise building on the 23rd floor. He kept trying to reach me at my desk, and the phone systems was overloaded. He thought something had happed to our building. Finally he reached me.

I can only imagine what the situation was like in New York at the time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What's In a Name?

I received this invitation yesterday to a web presentation. I love the presenter's name. I'd like his middle name to be "Of."

The guy's name is Mark Studness.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Captain Ruffles and the Case of the Missing Watchband

Terry: [After seeing a young man walk by] I didn't know popped collars were back in style.

Captain Ruffles: They're not.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gears A-Turnin'

Small Town has a big festival on Labor Day weekend each year, which involves shutting down the downtown area by the traffic light and importing carnies from far and wide to run the seven or so rides, along with providing a venue for local artists and craftsmen to hawk their wares. Plus, there is a plethora of fried things. Then, on the actual day of Labor Day, there is a parade with cars and bunting, horses, wagons, a band, and best of all, et cetera.

Last week, Son advised me that he wanted to go into the village for the festival. Since we are a mile from the festival, as the crow flies, or about five miles as the car drives (stupid closed intersection over the highway), it wasn't a big deal, so we went. I took one of Son's friends along with us. Funny thing I discovered about myself - I don't particularly like other people's kids, unless they're related to me somehow.

Son and friend wanted to wander, so I was left to my own devices. I noticed on our recent trip to San Francisco that Californians are all slender and good looking. Or it seemed that way to me. The same is not true in Small Town, Midwest State. Or it seemed that way to me.

I spent some time talking to the people at the Small Town Historical Preservation Society. They had quite a number of items for sale, given that the town is actually pretty small. I bought a book called Small Town: The Second Ninety Years. It tickled me that someone had written a book about the first ninety years of Small Town, but not a centennial book. Then some people wrote a follow-up about the second ninety years. I wonder if there will be a collective furtive glance at the time of the bicentennial, because nobody will want to irritate Pauline and Frances, the authors of the second book.

The rides all had a weight and height limit that was much smaller than me, so I meandered about in the arts and crafts area. One of the booths was a face-painting booth that was raising money for the high school's softball team. They had some samples of designs they would paint for two dollars. I didn't want the heart or the kitten, so I approached the booth and pondered for a moment.

Booth Lady: Can I help you?

GDad: Well, I want my face painted, but...

Booth Lady: But what?

GDad: Well, I'll ask. Please feel free to shoo me away if you think this is inappropriate, but can you paint a bullet hole in the middle of my forehead?

The woman stood and stared at me for what seemed like about thirty seconds. I thought she might shoo me away. Finally, something clicked in her head, and she said, "I think I can do that."

I went in, and the booth workers had a big pow-wow about how best to paint the hole. A teenage boy used his web-enabled phone to look up what bullet holes look like. The patriarchal figure thought the whole thing was hilarious. The moms were kind of amused, and the softball girls were sort of confused.

Anyway, after a couple of minutes, I was able to show off this beautiful painting. The hat I am wearing is the same one that makes this shadow.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Old Time Entertainment

Here's a brief video of a John Deere engine attached to some ice cream makers. We saw the contraption at the Small Town Labor Day Festival.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Son's Damage

Son fell down skateboarding today. There's a small cut along his shin. He's convinced that it's already infected and that he will lose his leg to some kind of infection.

Oy vey.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Foto Phriday

A few months ago, we went to the Capital City Arts Festival in Capital City. Here's a photo of the place where we entered the festival grounds. I cut out some words to obfuscate location, but I've added no words. Note the very mixed message. At least I can attribute some of the weirdness to the idea that the car is from out of town.

Somebody Please Think of the CHILDREN!

I heard on the radio this morning that three school districts around Capital City are disallowing students to view President Obama's address to schoolchildren, because some parents are complaining that the President's stated goal of providing a fairly bland inspirational message of You Can Achieve Your Goals If You Try Really Hard And Stick To It will turn into a recruiting video for the Weather Underground Organization or the Judean People's Front or whatever.

"OK, this next part is for the students only. Teachers and parents, go ahead and leave the room. Go on; I'll wait. [pause] Are they gone? Go lock the doors and listen carefully, kids..."

I may be am painting with an inappropriately broad brush here, but it seems that the people who generally complain about this sort of thing intersect heavily with the set of people who push for things like Intelligent Design in the science classroom. In that instance, they'll say things like, "Teach both sides. Let the kids decide."

I wonder if there's some kind of treatment for the inability to see your reflection in a mirror?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pretty Girl

GPop got a call from Pat the other day. Pat's cat, Pretty Girl, is not doing very well. Pat finally realized that it was time to euthanize Pretty Girl. Here are some pics of the last few moments at the vet.

WARNING: Kleenex moments approaching.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nonparallel, Nonintersecting

My observations today indicate an inverse correlation between a man's hairline and his waistline. I suspect that a more formal analysis will not support this correlation, but it amused me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quote of the Day...

...or another reason I love my son so much.

After completing his geometry homework with no complaining and very little hand-holding from yours truly: "Dad, is this the kind of work you expected from me in Algebra last year?"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Birthday

It's my birthday. One year older.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something I Found Out

As I was getting cleaned up this morning, I decided that one can't put lotion on one's elbows if one uses only one hand.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Foto Phriday - School Days

This is a picture of Son at his new school on Monday evening.

As a bit of a meta-note, the labels for this post are spot on.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Opposite of Henry VI, Part 2

Earlier this year, I got a letter from the IRS questioning my taxes from 2007. Once I got up off the floor, I spent a couple of days wringing my hands and quoting my favorite bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. "Oh dear."

Eventually, I managed to contact a lawyer who was covered by my prepaid legal services plan. His office manager arranged for an appointment, and he took care of me with panache and flair. And not the kind of "flair" from Office Space, either. He even did much of the work from his hospital bed while recovering from surgery to remove a tumor.

When everything was taken care of, I sent this.

GDad Lastname
123 Country Road
Small Town, MW 65432

August 19, 2009

J. D. Lawyerman
7654 Oak Lakes Blvd
Next Town Over, MW 65421

Dear Mr. Lawyerman,:

Thank you for your excellent work on my recent IRS audit issue. The IRS sent me a letter indicating that the matter was closed to their satisfaction. As far as I am concerned, the matter is also closed to my satisfaction. I am duly impressed that you were able to do all this while experiencing all of the wonders of modern medical care, too. You are my new favorite lawyer, and in that list of potential favorites, I include that hilarious guy, Ron Kuby, from The Smoking Gun Presents: The World’s Dumbest [Whatever], and my partner’s brother-in-law.


GDad Lastname

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Altus Schola

Son starts ninth grade today. We had a good chat last night. He is worried about, in no particular order...

  • What if I doesn't know anyone with whom to sit at lunch?
  • What if one of my teachers is really mean?
  • What if I'm late to class? I mean, like 10 minutes late?
  • What if someone tries to get in a fight with me?
Serious concerns, indeed. I recall similar concerns when I was going into high school.

He has his lunch. He has his clothes. At the end of the day, he will always have his family. We can get past issues with the school.