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.