Friday, April 30, 2010

Lizard Butt II

Beardie's condition may be fungal or possibly cancer.  This is ungood.  Poor little guy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wee Hours

When I got up at 4:00 this morning to use the bathroom, I noticed the light on downstairs.  Son was watching teevee.  He told me he had been up since 2:00.  He had done some laundry, cleaned up some of his video game area, and watched some cartoons.  I suspect I will have a tired, cranky kid this evening.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


My mentoring experience has been pretty fun so far. Our session yesterday was a service meeting where we went out to pick up trash around the school. Interestingly, the National Honor Society kids were out the week before to pick up the trash on the school grounds. The mentoring kids didn't have a lot to pick up.

Curse you, National Honor Society do-gooders!

Oh, wait. I'm a third-generation NHS kid. Mayhap I ought not say bad things about them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lizard Butt

Beardie had a problem with his excrement about two weeks ago. Something got stuck. He's not doing too well, and it would be a shame if our lizard s_at himself to death. Our new vet is contacting some specialist at the university for insight and guidance. I hope the poor little guy makes it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Motto of Sloganing

The school where the kids had their choir contest was a fairly new building. It was dedicated in 2002, and the district had provided all of the faux tradition accouterments, including a slogan posted above some doors. The slogan, in burnished metal CAPITAL LETTERS read "EXCELLING IN EXCELLENCE."


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Prenatal, But Not by Much

Friend Mandy is about to pop. I think we're talking about days, given what she said about certain things happening.

She and Mr. Mandy have moved into a new home. They bought a house that was a bit smaller and easier to manage, and which had some features that would make having a new baby a bit easier. The gang went there yesterday to help unpack some of the MANY boxes that moved from their old home to their new home.

I can't wait to see the pre-rugrat when it becomes a rugrat. Yes, I know I said, "it," but the parents want to be surprised. Oh, yeah, blessing this, little miracle that, blah blah blah, but I can't wait to see the baby in the custom onesie.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Congratulations, Small Town High School

The Small Town High School Symphonic Choir competed in the State Choir Competition today. They achieved a rating of 1, which is Superior. The kids really worked hard, and they sounded great. Son was very happy about this result.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Foto Phriday - Signage

Here's a picture of a sign attached to a gas station at the end of our road. I saw another gas station of this chain elsewhere that day, and they were advertising the same things, sans misspelling. Ewwww....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faces Past

When I was reading the book I mentioned yesterday, I found this picture marking the page that had A Visit from St. Nicholas, by Clement Moore. Found pictures always spark questions, way more so than pictures of unknown models in magazines. Who is this girl? Is she still alive? Is this her book? Is she sad that she lost this picture?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Golden Days of Yore

This photo comes from the copyright page of a book I found in the waiting room of the Honda dealership where I was getting some auto maintenance done a couple of weeks ago. Notice how the requirements could be updated just very slightly to be green.

The book was really interesting. It was called something like Anthology of the Familiar. It was a collection of essays, poems, and passages from famous works. I think it was mostly published to cater to people's need for stability in wartime. I did find some passages that would never be published in a mainstream publication today, though. Some of the songs had not been updated to remove the very racist undertones overtones tones that they had in the original lyrics.

Also, the publisher wants to cooperate with our government. Is it good corporate citizenship, or is it socialist propaganda? Why should the government dictate book margins, huh? OLIGARH! Socialism!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Don't Expect Much

Today is the infamous 420. Don't expect much from your local stoners. Or, in French, "stoneurs."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Things I Know

I know several things from experience that I suspect are not really common knowledge.

I know what happens when you put a potato in a blender.

I know why you don't see chocolate flavored Jell-O or other gelatin desserts.

I know how to use a hex editor to cheat in the Dungeons and Dragons branded computer game Eye of the Beholder.

I know what the inside of the wall on the 23rd floor of one of our corporate buildings looks like.

What odd things do you know?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The other day, I took Son over to his friend A.J.'s house. As I was driving back, I got caught by the elementary school bus disgorging about 20 primary grade kids on a corner in that housing development. Of course, since the kids were tiny, I stopped and waited for the herd to thin out before proceeding. It seems that parents no longer teach their children to look both ways before crossing the street.

Once most of the kids were out of the road, I looked to make sure I had a clear path, and wouldn't you know it, two kids were standing right in the middle of my lane. They didn't look like they were going anywhere, so I started inching my car forward hoping that they would see me and get out of the way.

Finally, one of the kids scampered over to the sidewalk. The other kid, probably seven years old, stepped a bit more toward the center of the road, giving me about a foot clearance to go past him without going up on the curb. I inched past him, and as I passed him, he did the angry rapper pose.

I stopped the car and gave the kid the over-the-glasses glare for a second, then I rolled down my window.

The kid immediately looked contrite and plaintively said, "Sowwy."

I used my calmest Mr. Rogers voice to tell him, "Be sure you get up on the sidewalk so cars don't hit you."

Seriously, what the hell are parents teaching their kids?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Over the Easter weekend, we were up at GPop's parents house. In the background, on the teevee (probably the History Channel), was Yet Another Documentary about Alexander the Great. At about the end, they said something about how years of being in battle and on the road had taken its toll on Alexander. They said he died after a long illness. I said, "I believe he had 'leonitis.'"

Maybe not my absolute best material, but nobody ever gets my best material. I say the material is classic. I would have killed at the Acropolis.

You think it's easy coming up with a snarky pun about the death of someone who died over 2000 years ago? OK, fine. Here's one: Sargon II. You try it. Not that easy, huh?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Foto Phriday

Two pieces of partially-eaten bread, or a picture of Poppin' Fresh?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gift of the Geek-gi

Mandy and Mr. Mandy are due to have a baby in a couple of weeks. Their theme for the nursery is "non-scary monsters."

When I was discussing gift ideas with Baldo McNerdy, we were talking about nerdly gifts to give to the child of our gaming buddies. Baldo mentioned something about "Baby's first character sheet." I thought that was genius. Knowing that Baldo is more of an idea guy than an implementor, I decided to make that happen.

I put this graphic on a custom onesie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Musical Interlude

When I woke up this morning, a song was playing in my head.

No, I was not listening to it the day before, and no, I do not have a radio alarm that woke me up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My cold has gotten past the mild fever stage. I'm into the "nose that feels like it's burning slightly when I inhale or exhale" stage. What a load of fun!

Monday, April 12, 2010

But What a Lovely Way to Burn

On Saturday around lunchtime, my throat started to hurt. How I wish for those halcyon days of "started to hurt."


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Baldo! Notice that your cake is ray traced!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


GDad: I read that The Amazing Randi came out of the closet a few weeks ago.

GPop: Which one is he?

GDad: The little Santa Claus-looking guy who debunks the psychics and has a foundation dedicated to educating people about scammers and such.

GPop: Oh, the magician.

GDad: Yes.

GPop: Did he change his name from "The Amazing" to "The Fabulous?"

GDad: Uh...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Foto (sort of) Phriday (definitely) - Corporate Involvement Edition

This is an e-mail sent by smart-aleck coworker whom I'd deputized to collect money for the Feed the Hungry campaign in my absence. There are some conditions for the dress-down days which have been complicated this year.

What if I wear a hat and stand on one foot during one of these weeks? it would be a week with a hat standing on one foot but not on holiday that is a week ending in Y but not a friday as they are $3 with a lunch ticket included if it is a Friday before a Saturday not to be confused with a Friday before a Tuesday which happens every 48th lunar leap year after a Sunday solstice event?

Then what do we tell people who want to pay?

My response was simply this Visio chart. Click to embiggen.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bee Hunters

Son is pursuing several privileges that will come with attaining and maintaining a B average. Since Small Town High School just started a new grading period, and only one of his teachers has submitted a grade so far, he claims that he has a B average. The modified agreement is that he must have a grade listed for each class.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Teaching Moment

I took Son and a couple of his friends to the new skateboarding park that opened in Small Town recently. On the way back, since the boys had been (relatively) well behaved, I offered to buy them each a small ice cream cone or something of equivalent value at the local Dairy Queen.

When we entered, I knew it would be a few minutes, because the customers in line were four high school senior/college freshman aged ninnies who were spending WAY more time texting than placing their orders. However, I was not in a big hurry, so I stood patiently and waited for them to arrange their critical social scheduled to allow for them to finish their orders.

As I was standing there with the boys, a teen girl, apparently known by the boys, approached me, smiled, and asked in a saccharine tone, "Can I cut in front of you? I only want to buy one thing."

I stared at her for a few seconds, then in my best dumb blond voice, said, "But we are in line." I crinkled the corners of my mouth upwards into a fake smile and stood very still.

She muttered, "I guess not, then."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Five metered lines rhyme
With scheme A A B B A
It's a limerick.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Why would a 13-year-old nephew need to spend an hour each morning fussing with his hair? Really, now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Oyster

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Peter Nortontail

Once upon a time, many years ago, I worked in a software store in the mall. One bright day, the Symantec corporation, who then owned the Peter Norton suite of utilities, sent us a cardboard cutout of Peter Norton. We put it up in the store for the duration of the special sale. Then we put it up behind the counter and decorated it for whatever holiday was coming soon. Around this time of year, Peter had bunny ears, buck teeth, and whiskers to make him Peter Nortontail.

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Old Irish Tale

Once upon a time, in the town of Kilkenny, there was a period of great prosperity. The merchants sold their wares as far away as Galway without any trouble with bandits along the highway. The farmers' crops and livestock were better than in any other town for miles around. The craftsmen drew the very best apprentices from the county and even from other counties, and the mayor was well respected.

At the height of this prosperity, Mother Superior of the local convent realized that her nuns could do more good by helping out convents in other towns, so one by one, she sent them to the surrounding villages and cities with instructions to care for the sick, protect the weak, and keep the faith.

At about the same time, the scion of the only Jewish family in town had just laid his parents to rest. His parents were very old, but they had both lived long and happy lives before passing away on the same night in their sleep. His neighbors, unaccustomed to Jewish traditions, had done all they could to learn how to honor the family by visiting him in his home next to the convent in his hours of mourning. Even with the loss of some beloved citizens, the mourning process brought the town even closer together. They even had a chance to admire the flowers that the old couple had grown in the back garden. In the spirit of neighborliness, Mother Superior showed off the flowers on her side of the fence. For years, there had been a friendly rivalry over who could breed the largest and most colorful flowers.

A few months later, there was a strange disease that wiped out many of the cash crops in the town. The sustenance crops were left alone, but local farmers feared that their period of great prosperity had come to an end. At the same time, a wolf pack killed off the breeding stock of the prize animals around town. A few weeks after that, several merchant wagons were robbed on their way to the market in Galway. When news of this reached the town, the citizens realized that they needed some way to bring prosperity back to the town.

The mayor called a town meeting. The farmers told everyone that they had no more crops to sell to other towns, nor any surplus livestock. The craftsmen's productivity was way down, because parents had called home their children out of fear that Kilkenny would be overcome by bandits or wolves. The merchants couldn't sell anything, what with there being nothing to sell.

Finally, Mother Superior caught her Jewish friend's eye. They both nodded, and within a few moments they came up with the solution. They would harvest the seeds from their beautiful flower gardens and allow the merchants to sell the seeds to wealthy nobles across the land. The townspeople applauded this act.

The needs of Kilkenny outweigh the seeds of the Jew. Or the nun.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


It's back to work we go.