Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Color Me Flabbergasted

Or not.

I'm a little late to the party, but the buzz is that Ricky Martin has come out of the closet. Were people as surprised when Elton John and George Michael came out?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where we are now: 29 39.651, -82 22.346

UPDATE: Click here for Google Maps location.

Galleta de la Fortuna

Here's a bad scan of a fortune I received. I love how the second sentence just cuts

In case you can't see the image, it says:

Today, give control over to another person. It is definite

Monday, March 29, 2010

IMs of the Office

Mary: hi gdad. you there?

GDad: Yes

Mary: dumb question. I'm supposed to be getting a new laptop soon for work. anything special I'll need to do for wireless at home?

GDad: I don't think the wireless controls changed dramatically recently. You shouldn't need to change anything at home. Your laptop may need a couple of settings configured to find your home network, though. I can help out if you'd like. If I can't make it for a couple of days, you can always connect to the router with a cable. That doesn't need any settings changed at all.

Mary: ok...thought of it last actually woke me up around 2...have no idea why. Not due to get it until May...but Admin Assistant thought it might come sooner

GDad: Let me just repeat back to you what I heard you say.... You woke up from a mild nightmare about getting a new work laptop. You need a vacation.

Mary: Or....the mild nightmare WAS geeting the new laptop because its never configured right since they let pcstrobe go

GDad: You know, I have a fictional PhD in Armchair Psychology from the University of My Imagination. I think I may be able to help you work through this issue.

Mary: :-D

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where We Are Now

Click here for Google Maps location.

Happy Birthday, Son!

He's 15. Sunrise, sunset, and all that.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where We Are Now

Where we are now: 28deg21.344N x 81deg24.246W

UPDATE: Click here for Google Maps location.

Where we are now = 28 21.246, 81 24.237

Click here for Google Maps link.

Photo Saturday

This is preposted while I'm on vacation.

Long-time reader and friend C was docking her laptop on her desk the other day when she felt something hit the back of her neck. There had been some recent minor construction activity, so she thought it might be some detritus from that effort. However, it stuck.

She swatted at it, and it fell off onto a chair. When she saw the cockroach, she shrieked, smashed it again, and called me. I came up to dispose of the body by giving it a whirlpool ride in the twa-lay. Here is a photo and a video of the little bug.

The next day, the exterminator showed up. He was tickled to death that I'd taken the picture and the video. He examined the picture and intoned, in a Cliff Clavenesque way, "That is an Oriental Cockroach, commonly known as a waterbug, or Blatta orientalis."

C said, "That's fine, but can you kill the rest of them?"

"Oh. Yes."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tick Tock

In eight hours, I should be sitting in my seat on the plane to Florida.

Foto Phriday

For some reason, many of my recent phots have disappeard from the blog.  We'll see about this one.

This is a picture of the snow on my truck this morning.  It was a degree or two shy of 70°F a week ago.  Lousy Smarch weather.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dinner with Son

GPop and I took Son out to dinner tonight to celebrate his upcoming birthday. 

Parental Question

I'll let you invent the backstory for yourselves, but here's the question.  Has anyone every used one of those home nicotine testing kits?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Every Good Deed Goes Punished

Or "Every Good Boy Does Fine."

So, as you may recall, I am the department coordinator this year for the Feed the Hungry campaign.  One of our associates, let's call her Indira, has a very good record for putting together fundraisers on her own to support this effort.  A few weeks ago, she arranged for several Indian immigrants to cook traditional dishes for an Indian food buffet.  The food was yummy, and the event raised well over $350.

In April, she is putting together several baskets with plants in them.  We will give people a ticket for a $1 donation, and then we will draw some tickets.  The people whose tickets match those drawn will get the plants.  Please note that this is NOT a "raffle."  Apparently, there are awkward legalities involved in calling something a raffle, or as Coworker Tom puts it, "You can't call it that, because the Catholic Church owns the term.  And they WILL get you."

In any case, I told Indira that I had some baskets at home that I could donate to the cause.  After I looked, I couldn't find any.  So yesterday, I stopped at a greenhouse and garden center on the way home and picked up four small baskets and a six-pack of pansies.  I set them on her chair this morning.

This afternoon, I stopped by to make sure she had found them.  She thanked me for going out of my way to get the baskets, and then she told me that she already had bigger baskets.  She held one of my baskets up against one of hers.

Indira: And look...

GDad: [nodding] Uh-huh.

Indira:  See how your basket looks with...

GDad:  Um...

Indira:  And I don't know if the flowers will live indoors.  I use plants that have colored leaves.  That makes them colorful.  Not the flowers.

GDad:  Well, let's look at the tag that came with the flowers.  Oooo... grows in either full or partial sun!

Indira:  Yes.  I use these other plants here.

GDad:  Maybe we could bundle these together as one item.

Indira:  Yes.  I have these bigger baskets and these plants here.

GDad:  So, I should take these back and return them.

Indira:  If you think that's best.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some years ago, I worked with a woman who had a few quirks.  One was that she was terrified of earthworms.  In fact, when it rained, she would insist that her husband carry her to her car if it were parked on the street and if she had to walk near worms on the sidewalk.  She also carried a gun with her in the car.

I'm pretty sure the vermiphobia and the gun carrying were unrelated.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Adiós, ídem de cabeza

La Excelencia en Broadcasting Network está llegando a ustedes desde San José, Costa Rica.

Translate here.


This is a little spring house or something on the property Brother 1 and SILA1 bought last summer. I use this as the main screen for my GPS unit.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Communication with the School

Dear Assistant Principal,

I received your letter regarding the incident on the bus last week where Son Lastname got off the bus at a stop that was not his assigned stop.  I wanted to let you know that Son had asked my permission to do this, and I had given it.  I had not been fully aware of the policy, and I sincerely apologize to you and to the bus driver for the incident.  I completely understand the importance of the rules in ensuring the safety of the students under your care, and I guess it didn't occur to me that this could potentially cause an issue.

If this incident follows Son in his dreaded PERMANENT RECORD, could you insert a note to the effect that his father is a doofus who was complicit in the affair, and that Son is not an irredeemable miscreant?  I appreciate your consideration and your dedication to my son and the students of Small Town HS.

GDad Lastname

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Equinox!

Happy vernal (northern hemisphere) or autumnal (Mel Keegan) equinox.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Foto Phriday

My own photo that should go to People of Wal-M_rt.  Notice the multiple plaids.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A spammer or spambot left a comment yesterday.  If it was actually a spambot, I am amazed how it could guess the verification word.  OCR is getting better and better.


Happy Blogiversary!  We're 3 today!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

This is my concession to wearing green.  It's not that I'm anti-Irish, but rather that I did not want to get pinched or punched or whatever.


Yesterday, the doctor told me that my three-day headache was something called a "cluster" headache. I have heard of "cluster__ck" and (for LEXX fans) "cluster lizard," neither of which is pleasant. This use of "cluster" follows the same pattern.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Does anyone have a link to the Congressional report that tells us how much money we save using Daylight Saving Time?  Wasn't there supposed to be such a report back in 2008 or so?  Check this out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Happy Birthday!

Timed Postings

The timed postings from yesterday were an attempt to see what Blogger would do when the hour 2:00 to 3:00 disappeared from the calendar.  The behavior seems to be that scheduling a post for the missing hour actually causes to post to appear immediately, but otherwise the scheduling works as it says on the tin.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Scheduled for 3:01 AM


Scheduled for 1:59 AM

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Scheduled for 2:15 AM


Scheduled for 2:00


Marcot Ravenwatch's last day at Mega Corporation One was yesterday.  He was downsized.  But wait!  Another job opened somewhere else in the company.  He is re-employed!  Huzzah!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foto Phriday

This was a sign in the office.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunny Days

Florida Grandma has been bugging me for a while to bring Son to Florida.  She and Grandpa travel to Midwest State at least once each year, so we see her a lot.  However, the guilt has set in, so I'm putting together a trip to Orlando/Gainesville/Tampa in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The last several months of my career have been focused on trying to find the return on investment for a >$100M program. 

Some benefits are easy: we used to spend $1M on mainframe costs.  Now we spend $100k on server costs.  We save $900k.

Some benefits are harder: one customer needed some functionality that didn't exist on the old system.  By migrating its accounts to the new system, we claim all of the revenue from that customer in this program.

Some benefits are sublime: we made the decision not to do project X in 2007, because the new system would have that functionality by the end of 2010.  Therefore, we saved the estimated cost of doing project X.

It makes my head hurt sometimes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Open Letter to Parents

Dear Parents of Teens,

If your teens are at a performance, even a high school choir concert, and they are texting, browsing the web, and talking, and you are sitting right next to them, TAKE THE D@MN PHONES AWAY!

Monday, March 8, 2010


The woman in the next cube evidently has a) a series of extremely important phone calls, and b) a phone that does not have a volume control on the ringer.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Old McRusty Had a Farm

This is a picture of neighbor Rusty's back yard.  Yes, that is a Ronald McDonald figure in the distance.  A local McDonald's was redecorating, and Rusty asked if he could take the figure from the trash.  Kath does not like this, and she insisted that Rusty move it further from the house.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Helping Hand

So I am standing here at neighbor Rusty's, listening to a high-pitched, nonstop beeping that tells me his invisible dog fence has a fault. Rusty has about two acres encircled by said fence. He is trying to find the fault in the snow. This is one of the weirder things I have helped Rusty do in the past five years.

Foto Phriday

I found this note in the parking lot where I work.  Our building does not house any labs, and I don't think we're within litter-blowing-in-the-wind distance from any chemical labs, but maybe litter can really travel in the right weather.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Like Father, Like Son, and Vice-Versa

Son has a habit, when doing his homework, of narrating his cognitive processes.  I'm trying to break him of this habit so he doesn't get in trouble at school when he is supposed to be working quietly on a quiz or test.  Talking at such times can result in the teacher alleging cheating. 

Last night, I made a point of having him sit at the kitchen table to study for his geometry quiz.  The conventional wisdom is that a student should study in an environment that resembles the environment in which he or she will be tested on the material.  The idea is that the student will more readily recall the material, because there are fewer differences in studying and testing that could cause distraction.

As Son was loudly describing all the steps involved in determining whether a quadrilateral was a parallelogram, I asked him to use his inside-the-head voice, and explained that he should try to approach this particular study session as a practice for the quiz environment, which wouldn't allow talking.  He seemed to get it.

Today, I find myself working on an assignment that involves moving a bunch of numbers from System A to Spreadsheet B.  I was just narrating my steps, until I realized that I am the new kid on the block, and I don't want to scare the neighbors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Foto Phriday - on a Wednesday

Here's a picture of a pencil I found yesterday in the driveway of the school where I go to mentor.  It looks like it exploded.  My mentee suggests that I sell it on eBay.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

As a Bug in a Rug

Brother 3 was sitting on the couch last night with a blanket covering him all the way up to his neck.  I looked at him and inquired, "Where's your Snuggie?"

He replied, "Upstairs."  Then he got a cross look on his face.  "And now I can't reach the remote.  This blanket needs sleeves!"

Monday, March 1, 2010

In Like a Lion

Lousy Smarch weather.