Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sinking Grades

Son is off his games right now while he figures out whether he wants his grades to be above C level.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garbage Gut

Yesterday, I felt like my stomach was on a roller coaster.  Bleh.  Better today.

BTW - still figuring out how best to narrate the last several weeks so these pathetic little one-paragraph posts go away.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Whole Time

It occurred to me today, as I'm getting closer and closer to 40 years old, that The Simpsons has been on television my entire adult life.

What things have been part of your whole lives that aren't family or friends?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


We're watching Solving History with Olly Steeds.  I think it would be great if he would collaborate with Olly Stone.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Captain Ruffles and the Secret at Seven Rocks

The scene: Captain Ruffles is sitting next to Clueless Clem.  Clem is yammering on his cell phone about something.  Clem hangs up.

Clem:  That was my sister, not my girlfriend.

CR:  I think you'll find that I'm generally not at all interested in your telephone conversations.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cold Shoulder Warmed

My suspicion that I would be getting a bout of frozen shoulder seems to be unfounded.  Huzzah!

My uncle told me that women detect frozen shoulder before men, because women detect it when it hurts to fiddle with their bras, while men detect it when it hurts to fiddle with their wallets.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cats Beware

We just saw one of those "funniest videos" programs last night.  One video showed a cat trying to deal with a balloon that was stuck under its hind legs by the magic of static electricity.  I will now carry a balloon with me whenever I visit houses with cats.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Householder

Son's Older Brother is staying with us for a little while so he can get into some kind of vocational training.  While I have some trepidation about this, I do also have some hope about the situation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Frankenputer now acts as a print server for both the Linux laptop and one of the Windows machines. Next step is to make it pull data from the DVR.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foto Phriday - Spy Family Edition


Health News

I am feeling a bout of "frozen shoulder" (a.k.a. adhesive capsulitis) coming on. I've had this before, and it is two weeks of no fun. Frell.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mistaken Identity

If you Google my Real Name, many of the results will be a passage from a crappy "inspirational" Christian book where GDad Lastname is the name of the Snidely Whiplash-like villain who stands to inherit all of Nell Fenwick's grandfather's fortune if Nell dies.

This book was published when I was 19 by a woman in England, so I don't think it's possible that I had made any international enemies that early in my life. I suspect this is just an unpleasant coincidence.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Accidental or Purposeful

In Star Wars: A New Hope (a.k.a. Episode IV, or "The first movie"), there was an exchange of dialogue midway through the movie when Luke, Ben, and the droids entered the Mos Eisley cantina. The bartender looked up and shouted to our group of adventurers.

Bartender: We don't serve their kind here!

Luke: What?

Bartender: Your droids. They'll have to wait outside. We don't want them here.

In the prequels, the large conflict is (completely run by Palpatine/Sidious) between the Trade Federation separatists and the Republic loyalists. The army of the Trade Federation is made up of battle droids. Eventually, the Republic (soon-to-be Empire) prevails. This might be part of the reason for the dislike of the droids.

Or it could be a complete lucky accident.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Naive Marketers

This is a package of frozen vegetables. I am astounded that the marketers made it through the first meeting where this name was brought up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doctor King

Today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


When I woke up this morning, I woke out of a dream. My dream was a documentary that was showing how tourism between our normal areas and areas that fall under science fiction rules is beneficial to the economy. Tourists pick up interesting gewgaws from each area and take them back to their home areas. Somehow this is a big component of the economic recovery.

Two observations:

  1. My subconscious is not well-versed in economic theory.
  2. My dream was narrated by Jonathan Frakes.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Family Time

Brother 1 took Son to Dad's house for some snowmobiling action.

GPop got back last night from a week in sunny Atlanta, GA.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's the Little Things That Get Ya

Even though Pat was much more GPop's friend than mine, her memory came rushing back to me today as I was putting up a 2010 calendar. She would always buy me a candle for my birthday and a calendar for our family for Christmas. This year's calendar is just the one we got from the village chamber of commerce. There are no nature vistas or puppies in this one.

I miss her old lady goofiness.

Title from here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why Do I Care?

The other night, we caught an episode of Speeders. This is a show that's like COPS, but without all of the running about at night. This particular episode was a special "Southern Fried" episode where they played up the stereotype of southern hick, but with the conceit that the speeders were southern gentlemen and ladies.

One driver was a 19-year-old with a beat-up pickup truck and an arm tattoo. He was driving his buddy home, because the buddy's wife had just come back from duty in Iraq.

The young driver was pointing to his truck's front end, and he said that the truck had some number of "pounds of torque per foot." Brother 3 and I looked at each other in disbelief. I don't have a great deal of call for dimensional analysis at work, but I do recall that torque is a vector measured in foot pounds (or similar units), so this driver's statement would give us

(feet) (pounds)

or, after simplifying the expression, just pounds. Unless we simply take his units and ignore the fact that they don't actually measure torque.

Realistically, it was possibly a misstatement. Us average corn-pone folk aren't used to being on camera at a traffic stop, after all. However, I like to take people at their word, unless I have facts to indicate otherwise or some kind of intuition to doubt them. When people make big errors like this, it makes it difficult to accept any other statements they make without running a fact-checker on the new statements. That's a lot of work.

Then, the next day, I saw this xkcd. Once again, a day late and a dollar short.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Seventh Sign

So it appears that Sarah Palin will be getting her own show on FOX News. Anyone who did not see that coming from a mile away, please raise your hand. Don't worry, I can't see you through the screen.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I went to the gym today. I spent 28 minutes on the "Interval" setting of the elliptical machine. Why 28? Why not?

For those of you who exercise in a more natural environment, here is a representation of what you see when you are doing the Interval setting on the elliptical machine.

Long Meeting; Short Notes

Here's a picture of my notes from the second day of a 2-day management off-site meeting from a couple of years ago. They're transcribed below for people who can't get to the image.


  1. [Sr. VP] has a hangover.
  2. [Dept.] has a strategy.
  3. Something about a cone.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The End of Time

Just watched the last normal David Tennant episode of Doctor Who. It takes me back to my youth - staying up on Saturday night to watch it after my parents went to bed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lazy Day

We decided to get a new game on the cheap. I downloaded Pub Darts for the Wii. It's kind of fun.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lead Time

We found out yesterday that our department is moving to a new building next Wednesday. But don't unpack! We'll be moving again in two to four weeks! What a pantload of fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The other day, I was baking some super-low-sugar, low-calorie cookies in the oven. I made several substitutions, which made the baking time a little questionable. I shuffled into the kitchen in my robe and new warm sheepskin slippers with rubber soles. I looked a lot like Arthur Dent.

I opened the oven and reached in. Suddenly, I jerked my hand out, yelling "OW!" See if you can guess what happened.

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I managed to scuff my feet enough to build up a static charge. When I touched the cookie to test whether it was done, I shocked myself with an audible electric discharge.
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Did you guess right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Evil Snowman

Since many of us in the northern climes have snow right now, here's a picture of an evil snowman.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Speaking Before Thinking

This morning, as I was driving to work, I was listening to my normal radio programming. One of the stories was a piece about how golf courses are trying to become more environmentally friendly. The reporter was talking to the manager of a golf course somewhere in Georgia, I think. The reporter mentioned that some old-timey golfers would lick the golf balls to clean them, but that one wouldn't want to do that with the chemicals that most courses spread on the grass.

Reporter: With your new emphasis on going green, would you recommend that golfers clean their golf balls that way?

Manager: I would definitely say, "Do not lick your balls."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Security - A Play in One Act

Scene: The security office at the local Mega Corporation One building. GDad is standing fourth in line to speak to the Security Officer behind the window. GDad has his 11-year-old badge in hand. The badge is broken in half.

The line moves slowly, and people shuffle toward the window, somehow expressing both hope and despair simultaneously. GDad offers to hold a gentleman's coat while the gentleman's soul is being stolen by the digital camera used to create the badge photo. Now GDad is next in line.

Security Guy: How can I help you?

GDad: [passing badge through window access] My little guy broke his neck.

SG: Well, I've never heard it described like that, but OK. We'll get you a new one.

GDad: Yep, I've had that one for a long time.

SG: I can see that. [tries to get the MENTOR sticker off the front]

GDad: Don't worry about that. I'll ask for another one.

SG: You sure?

GDad: Yeah. We've been through a lot together.

SG: Hmm... [types] Do you want to keep your old picture?

GDad: Yes. Otherwise, you'd have an awful lot of Photoshopping to do.

SG: [chuckles] Well, I hope you can get to like your new badge. [hands it through the access port]

GDad: We'll do our best to make it work.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trying to buy pants. Mall smells like poo gas.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is Frightful

I used to love winter. Now I love the first snowfall, and I want it to be Spring within a week. It is freakin' cold!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Two-thousand ten?


I choose the latter.