Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Very Merry Christmas

Click to embiggen.

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the Night...

Niece got a puppy for Christmas.  It's a little Boston terrier.  When it gets bigger, it will be terriest.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Tree of Potted Plants

The annual poinsettia tree in our corporate lobby...

Click to embiggen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


In the line behind me - diapers and beer.

Passive Aggressive Notes at Work

These were on the bathroom mirror on Monday morning.  We think the weekend cleaning crew just had enough.

Click to embiggen.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Feel Fine

Wow, I forgot that it was the end of the world, what with all of the hubbub of the apocalypse going on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cake Apprentice

The end result of a half-hour class on cake decorating.

Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not a Finger!

A sign in the basement at work....

Click to embiggen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Travails of Pre-Posting

My check engine light came back on while I was driving to work.

I Used to Be Smart

Back in my poor college days, I had a philosophy regarding minor car annoyances.  Well, "philosophy" makes it sound considered and deliberate.  Perhaps I should call it a "profound laziness."  I would ignore minor inconveniences, because they would

  • go away on their own,
  • be something I could live with, or
  • get too large to ignore.
It worked for me for a couple of years until I was able to buy a car that would have looked a little out of place at a demolition derby.  At that point, I started paying attention to the maintenance schedule and such.

Last Thursday, my check engine light came on.  This is a new thing.  The Honda Maintenance Minder indicator is something I have seen, but this light has not lit up since I bought the car in 2007.  I didn't have a lot of opportunity to schedule something before the weekend, so I figured I'd take the car to the shop after work on Monday or Tuesday.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, as I was heading out to the grocery, I noticed that the light was no longer on.  I win!

Monday, December 17, 2012

And, we're back...

I have been blogging daily from January 1, 2008 through December 1, 2012.  I ran out of steam there for a couple of weeks while I dealt with some issues at home.  We're all OK, but we had some interesting times.  I'm back in, and I'd ask that people treat that period like they would treat that block of time in 1752 when we switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Other People Do This, Too

From a display of colored placemats at a local restaurant...

Click to embiggen.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Engrish on TV

On a display of televisions at a local big box store (not Wal-de-Mart).

Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oddly Worded Sign

This is part of my series on corporate signs that underline words for emphasis.

Click to embiggen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This is tea forming at the bottom of a cup of hot water.  There is a distinct layer.

Click to embiggen.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day Four - No Coffee

I awake, groggy from the dwindling supply in my veins of that which supports my thoughts and actions through the day... that vaprous puissance which wafts from the decanter through the air to my quavering nostrils... and yet, I must rise.

My arrival at my workplace is usually conjoined with the preparation of that delicious elixir from which so many draw their aptitude, yet today, I must not submit to its pertinacious seduction.  I must persevere.

The machine...  Oh that infernal steaming contraption...  It sits patiently waiting for the next person who will activate its rattling mechanism.  My faculties left me, and I prepared the machine for action, but I resisted the final step and did not start its machinations.  How it mocks me, sitting there serenely...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Flowers

A bouquet of flowers sent up from my aunt to my grandma for Thanksgiving.

Click to embiggen.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Still Tired

Could be lack of coffee.  Perhaps it's time to break that habit.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I slept most of the day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for many things, first among them my family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Son's Older Brother

Son's Older Brother has been something of a problem.

Long-time readers will recall that we tried to adopt him when he was sixteen, but he backed out at the last minute, because he listened to his clingy fifteen year old girlfriend who threatened to kill herself if he moved a half hour away.

You may also recall when he was living with that girl's family after he turned 18, and after he had, without fanfare, moved out of his foster dad's house and dropped out of high school, been kicked out of her house for being too much trouble.  We gave him a place to live with the stipulation that he get a job or get into some program to get trained for employment.  He decided that our rules were too draconian after about 36 hours.  Son was devastated when Son's Older Brother left that night.

Fast forward to a couple more times of being trouble.

A few weeks back, Son's Older Brother contacted me.  He told me that he was living with a girl, and that she was about ready to kick him out.  I won't put too many details out, but he advised me that he had burned all of his other bridges, and I was the last person he could think of that could offer advice.  I told him that I wasn't giving him any money, and that he couldn't come to live with us.  He told me that he wasn't expecting any such favors, but I think he may have been.

After some back-and-forth, I discovered a relative who had commented on one of his Woe Is Me Facebook postings, and that relative mentioned something about offering a place if Son's Older Brother could come up to visit.  I suggested that, and there was a lot of foot dragging, but eventually he agreed to contact her.

Several days passed where Son's Older Brother kept claiming he was almost ready to go to New Hampshire to live with this relative, but something kept coming up to stand in his way.  Finally, he was ready, but Hurricane Sandy had closed the route.  A few more days, and the stars aligned.  I picked him up, bought him lunch, a duffel bag, and a Greyhound ticket, and sat with him at the station until the bus came.

This is the young man in question.  All of his worldly possessions are in the bags he has on his person.  He is hoping to start a new life.  Good luck.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fez Day at the Renaissance Faire

I saw four other fezzes at the Renaissance Faire.  I was number five.

Click to embiggen.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Again

This is the top of a peanut butter container lid with a variation of the pattern.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Appropriate Use of Quotation Marks

From an older department store in town.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dandelions in November

Hardy little buggers, eh?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Response Yet

I haven't gotten a response yet from my elected official.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Observation of the Day

From a meeting yesterday...

Dear Project Team Member,

You can ask the question as many different ways as you want, but it's still the same question, and I'm only writing it down once.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Saw this comment over on Pearl's blog (edited for aphorismness).

"Duct tape... turning 'Help, help,' into 'mmmm, mmmm,' for 60 years!"

Austan is funny.

Fun with Myopia

I just got a Christmas party invitation from The Mikes.  They throw the most fabulous parties, and they have a very welcoming environment for a breadth of friends.  There is a request to bring a "non-gender-specific gift" to put into a round robin white elephant event thing.  I am imagining something like this.

Recipient:  What the #%#%^ is this?

GDad:  Oh, I must need new glasses.  I thought it said "non-gender-conforming."

Monday, November 12, 2012

Men are from...

Son has to do some sort of project in English class on Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles.  As a way to enhance Son's reading experience, we've purchased and are viewing the 1980 teevee miniseries of the same name, starring, among others, Rock Hudson and Roddy McDowall.  For all of the sometimes cheesy effects, it's actually quite good.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Letter to Newly Elected Official

I sent this to my district representative to the state legislature who was elected on Tuesday.  No response yet.

As always, click to embiggen.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Just Can't Tell

Small City, where I live, has a government service where residents can pile leaves at the curb or in the ditch (depending on one's in-town or slightly-more-rural status), and a big truck will come and suck all of the leaves away about once every week or ten days in the fall.  The service appears to run from roughly late September to early December, so it covers the full leaf-dropping season.

My own street seems to be slightly more blue than red, politically, but there are a couple of houses with prominent signs for the Republican candidates for office, and it amused me that the one house with the most signs for the most right-wing candidates was the same house that had the most leaves in the ditch on Monday before Election Day.  I wasn't sure if the house in question knew that these candidates advocate for reduction in government services, or whether they didn't care, or if it was "OK for me, but not for thee," or what.

Maybe, in some brief non-political period, I can try to ask some of these folks what they think about these issues.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

All Purpose Bumper Sticker

For anyone whose candidate of choice lost the election in any race.

Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The interminable campaigning is over for a week or two.  Thank goodness.

Now we just have to worry about the fiscal cliff.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Once again, I was first in line to vote today.  By the time the polls opened, our little precinct had about ten people in line.  Usually, there may be one other person there at 6:30.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Write to Congress

I am going to advocate the abolition of Daylight Saving Time.  It knocks me on my @$$, even when we get the extra hour to sleep.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back to the Swingin' Sixties

Mandy and Mr. Mandy had another fondue party today.  We had a great deal of fun, and their little boy has become a bit less fussy and more smiley.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Son took the SAT today at Large Midwest State University, which is where my parents graduated, I was born, and from which I graduated.  Alma mater, I suppose.

There was a football game to start a couple of hours later, so the team colors were brightly on display whilst GPop and I waited for Son to emerge from the crucible.  I couldn't sit still long enough in the crowd, so I wandered over to the testing building and waited outside the room.  I found out that parents aren't allowed to look into the rooms while the test is going on.  I suppose it's a distraction, since it would be silly to guess that parents and students have figured out some eye-blink code to express the questions and answers to each other.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stand Up Bit

 If I did stand-up, I would totally want to put in a bit about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and when nobody laughed, I'd say, "too soon?"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Language Keeping up with Technology

If we start mining asteroids, would they be "rare earth magnets?"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Auto "Correct"

My phone tells me that when I fat-fingered "are" as "sre" that I really wanted "Srebenica."

Yes.  That is what I wanted, Messaging Application on Android.  Thank you for your efforts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hallway Conversation

Scene: Weird Contractor with a Cane approaches GDad in the hallway.

WCwaC: Do you know which floor has the best vending machines?

GDad:  Well, of the three floors I spend any time on, I believe only 26 has vending machines at all.  If that doesn't have what you need, you can always go down to the Corporate Store.

WCwaC: I'm looking for something like Caffeine Dusted Coffee Chips.

GDad: You could always get a jar of powdered caffeine and keep it on your desk.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Not sure if it's the weather, work, Son, or some combination of those and other factors, but I am just exhausted.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bring Him Home

Son's fall choir concert was today.  The small male ensemble did an arrangement of Bring Him Home.  It was so beautiful that I cried.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Son got all As and Bs this quarter, and he's due for a cell phone replacement.  His old phone had some damage, then it was "accidentally" dropped (or run over or something).  We budgeted for a phone, and we Son made an argument for a new iPhone.  That's fine, so while he was out at his band contest, I drove around Capital City trying to find one.  Evidently, there is collusion not to "hold" iPhones for customers, even just for 20 minutes.  "Sorry, sir, we just sold the last one."

I finally found one and managed to get it purchased with as many discounts as I could swing.  By the time I got done, I ran another errand or two and made it over to see Son perform.  After the kids did their show, I followed Son to the buses and handed him his new phone.  He was thrilled.

Son's friend Tremell came up to me and asked, "Hey!  Where's my iPhone 5?"

I stared at him for a moment.  Tremell is one of those comically confrontational kids, and I wanted to react in a way that would throw him off his game.  He was ready for the sheepish, "Sorry," or the abrupt, "You're on your own, kid."  What he wasn't prepared for was me reaching up and blurting out, "Got your nose!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gaming the System

Boss was dressed in a nice long-sleeve, yet still somehow summery shirt and cream-colored canvas-like pants today.

GDad:  Lookin' sharp!

Boss: [distracted]  Huh?

GDad and Suzi: Your outfit.

Boss:  Yeah, I dressed down, but just over the "pay for jeans" line.  Do not tell anybody I said that!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Local Restaurant Artwork

I took this picture at a local Mexican restaurant that shows off placemats that people color.

Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Big Machine

This machine was at the Renaissance Faire.  It was in a booth that sold leather bustiers.  Yes, you read that right.  This was not the Victorian Faire.

Click to embiggen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Walking Dead - New Theme Song

Brain drops keep fallin' on my head...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Funny Note from School

A coworker sent this to me.  The kid who wrote the note is a schoolmate of coworker's son.

Click to embiggen.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy New Addition to the "Smiths"

Coworker and wife had a baby.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Lesson for the day....

Chipotle has consequences.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Feeling All Masculine and Stuff

This Google ad popped up in my inbox.

Google's "Why this ad?" help tells me this: "This ad is based on information from your Google account. Visit Google’s Ads Preferences Manager to learn more, block specific advertisers, or opt out of personalized ads."

I sort of want to get better ads, but another part of me would rather be entertained by the misses.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Son took this panoramic view of our back yard with my new phone's camera.

Click to embiggen.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Skid Marks on the Road

This is not even from the very end of them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sicko - Raining and Pouring Edition

I now have "it" from the best-selling "it's going around."  Cough and runny nose, and I feel feverish without actually having a fever.  Hooray!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doctor Results

Son is to be on naproxen and a muscle relaxant for over a week, and he is not to lift anything (including the bass drum he plays in marching band) for at least five days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another Accident

Son was in another accident.  Nobody was injured, but he was cited, so he likely will lose his license until he's 18.

Son was pulling out of the driveway, nose first, with friend Ashton in the car.  He turned left, but he didn't see an oncoming pickup truck coming from the left.  The other truck locked its brakes and collided with Son's back end.  Son spun 90 degrees and ended in the ditch on the other side of the road.

The other driver's skid marks were 107 feet long.  The speed limit on our road is 35 mph.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How Many Cats is Crazy

I always thought 8, but I'm now willing to downgrade that estimate to 5.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8

Today is the day that everything happens, according to any historical date mentioned by Dave Barry.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Distant Relative

I found this funeral write-up at Grandma's house when we went to visit today.  This relative is distant to me, but I don't think that I have him in my genealogy work.  Time for updates, then.  I love that his nickname was "Baldy."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wild Blue

GPop and I took our introductory flights today.  When we paid for ground school, we also paid for the intro flight at the airport.

I went first.  Once we got into the air, the instructor handed over the controls to me.  I felt like I was 16 again at the wheel of the car.  It was an odd sensation, and I had to devote a lot of energy to making sure I at least kept the plane from falling from the sky as fiery death upon the citizens below.

GPop went up after I did, but he had been sick the day before, so he started to get a little queasy, and the instructor brought him back down to earth.

Overall, we're very excited about this.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Foto Phriday - Joke Undone

There's a joke that escalators are the only things that turn into something else when they break.  The corollary is that there is no such thing as a broken or out-of-service escalator.  Here is a counterexample.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sorcery... er, Surgery

GPop is undergoing a fiberotomy right now.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Enormous Caterpillar

I saw this caterpillar trying to get into my house.  Fortunately, it was a bit clumsy, and it sort of rolled over and out the door.  Those are my sunglasses in the case next to it for size reference.

Click to embiggen, if you dare.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 Eye Appointment Dilation

From this year's eye exam...

Click to embiggen.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Creepy Fortune

This one was in a cookie received by my friend Eggbert Terwilliger.  The cookie had two fortunes in it, in case this one was too creepy.

Click to embiggen.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of Quarter

Third quarter is over.  Time to report on things!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Head in a Jar

From the Futurama phone app...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Why Is This so Hard?

Waiter:  ...and do you want the minestrone or the Italian wedding soup with that?

Me: Surprise me.

Waiter:  What?

Me: Surprise me.  I like them both, and there are only two options.  Just bring me whichever one you want.

Waiter:  Ummm....

Me:  Trust me.  It will be OK.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just Overheard

Rick:  ...so Pat asked me, "Why are you doing that?" and I told him that there was a very good reason, but I just didn't know what it was.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cost-Benefit Analysis

There is a department in our company to which the corporate choir sort of reports.  As president, I am obligated to color inside the lines, although I do have some leeway to offer suggestions about where the lines should be.  Let's call this department Mega Corporation One Choir Department (MCOCD).  The room in which we rehears is the Multi Purpose Room.  It is about 100 feet by 40 feet, and the back of the room is used for storage of years-old cr@p.  However, there is a locked smaller room off to the side in which we can store music and equipment, including the piano.

Scene 1 (in person)
Me:  Good morning!  Great news - we recruited enough people that our rehearsal room needs more chairs.  How do I make that happen?

MCOCD:  Well, you should be able to call the Corporate Services number and request some more.  Let me check with the boss.  I'll let you know by tomorrow.

Scene 2 (via Instant Online Chat)

MCOCD: hey GDad...how many more chairs were you talking about...we are discussing now

GDad Lastname: Maybe 10?
I think we have enough for ~38 to 30 seats.
28 to 30
We have 39 books assigned, including Director's and Accompanist's.

MCOCD: we can't have the extra chairs in the multi purpose room all the time so just go ahead and email Serivices...and let them know when you need them. and when they should come get them...i just wanted to double check with the Boss!!
good luck with the newbies!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Limbaugh - Nothing New Under the Sun

In honor of Rush Limbaugh's recent statements regarding a study, I would like to point to a post I made five years ago.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Want to LIVE

David Sedaris wrote essays about his time as a housekeeper.  He worked in New York cleaning apartments and houses, and one of the really comical pieces was his description of mixing different household cleaners against the warning labels' proscriptions.  If I recall correctly, he said you actually can mix bleach and ammonia, but you just have to keep concentrating on the thought, "I WANT TO LIVE!"

I have a seventeen year old son.  He is very dear to me, but sometimes I think he is bleach, ammonia, and carbonation all mixed together.  I didn't realize that having a teenager meant that you get to relive teen years from both sides at the same time.  Parents have to be made of pretty stern stuff.  I just want to survive this with my sanity intact.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Corporate Creepy

Mega Corporation One has a new advertising campaign that is supposed to tie our current strategic direction to our corporate roots.  You know, because our actual history is discontinuous.  Stupid time machines.

Anyway, the internal advertising for the campaign is in the form of, well, everything.  Remember the movie with Tom Cruise where he had to switch eyeballs so the advertising gizmos couldn't identify him by his retinal scan?  That's the level of advertising we are seeing with this campaign.  On my desk is a little standee that tells me what to think about the campaign.  It has four parts.

Part 1 - Plain text on a white background.  This is for the textual learners who don't care much for frippery.  FRIPPERY - BOOOOOO!

Part 2 - Corporate logo on a cool, relaxing, color-coordinated background.  There are some nonsensical marketing statements on this side.

Part 3 - A warm, orange-and-brown-based picture of two friends jogging and smiling.  That right there shows the problem with marketing pieces.  I dare you to find one out of a hundred joggers you see on the street who are smiling.

Part 4 - A list, with brief descriptions, of what this marketing campaign is trying to portray us as being.  Authentic, Thoughtful, etc.  Then we get to Maternal.  Maternal?  My mind is boggling with Freudian implications.  Regressing, regressing....

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Really, Ms. Knowles?

Click to embiggen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weather vs. Mood

The weather has been absolutely beautiful the past week or so.  I mentioned looking at the moon with my telescope and such, and it's been gorgeous.

My mood, however...

Son is 17.  He knows absolutely everything, and he is not shy about explaining exactly why GPop and I are full of cr@p.  Every parent of every teen ever has probably been through the same issues, but this is close to home.  I love my son dearly, and I can only slog through this until he emerges as the adult he will be.

My grandmother in Florida just told me that it's about time for her and Grandpa to move into a senior independent living facility, which can then transition to assisted living.  This is a bit of memento mori that I was hoping to avoid for a while.  I called her last night and had a nice talk.  She wants me to come down and dig through all of her stuff to claim anything that I find meaningful.  If I hadn't mentioned it before, Grandpa is step-grandfather.  My paternal grandfather died 30 years ago.  Grandma got remarried soon after to this man, who had recently lost his wife.  They've been happily married ever since.  In fact, they've lived in Florida for at least 25 years.  When they sold their respective houses and moved to Florida, they asked my parents and uncles and aunts to claim anything they wanted.  I need to process how to handle this.

The trip to New York cost more than I'd like.  I have always tried to be fiscally responsible, and carrying some of that debt bugs me to no end.

On the other hand, I am reasonably healthy, I get along with people, and again, the weather is nice.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Angry Language Guy - Thinking

If you think X, you've got another think coming.  You do not have another thing coming.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


We got some rain today.  Too bad.  We could have used it six weeks ago.

Monday, September 17, 2012


We're rewatching Firefly and enjoying how well written the show was.  It's a shame that it was marked for death from the beginning by the network.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Four Word Movie Review - ParaNorman

Conquer fears; save town.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Running Around Town

I ran a lot of errands today.  I think it was good to get out of the house.  I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Kid Sick Again

This time, it's a bad sinus infection.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not So Much

This is a picture of my building's cafeteria cooler for "grab and go" items at 12:30 on a Monday.  Something seems amiss.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Morning Glow

This morning, I took a few minutes to observe the moon through my telescope before I headed off to work.  I don't have a mechanism whereby I can photograph the image, but it was beautiful.

I tried to get Venus into the viewer, but I couldn't get the telescope to cooperate.  Perhaps some nice binoculars would do the trick.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Memoriam

Not Potter

I had a dream last night that I had met and made friends with Prince Harry.  He had adopted a Midwestern American accent for some reason.

Monday, September 10, 2012


This was the sunset last night.  I wish my camera could catch the colors the way they really look.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Son's Pictures

Son had an assignment to take pictures of things that are important to him.  Here is his costume hat and ocarina from his Link costume from the Legend of Zelda.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Best wedding picture ever.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Puffed 4

Puffed meat --> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_rinds

Puffed rice.
Puffed wheat.
Puffed corn.
Puffed meat!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


When I was in college, Baldo McNerdy and I had a fun time making up weird things.  We had a little bit of doggerel based on food we saw in the grocery one day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Parade

The parade in Small City yielded less than 65 tiaras.  The little town down the way beat us by about 20 tiaras.  I am crushed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Coworker's New Bike

His is a 1993 Honda Shadow 1100.  Mine is a 1994.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friend's Vacation Photo

You get a huge discount by being the second row back.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Why do I like The Soup but think that Tosh.0 is a complete @$$ who probably shouldn't have a show on teevee?  The cognitive dissonance is really bugging me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Missing Self-Referential Post

There will be no post today.

Well, other than this one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Magazine Cover - Kinda Creepy

This was on the table at the auto repair shop where Son's truck was getting a new radiator hose.

Click to embiggen.

Monday, August 27, 2012


We had a meeting with one of Son's teachers this afternoon.  The school system is asking all of the teachers to meet with the parents of the students they have in first period.  It gives the parents a contact at the school and allows the teachers to learn something about their students from the parents' point of view.

When I walked into the English teacher's classroom, I saw some posters that summarized some of the Greek myths.  I supposed this will be more "Literature" than specifically "English."  The summary of the myth of Arachne jumped out at me, and I commented, "When the devil challenges you, you play to win, but when the  gods challenge you, you should play to lose."  The teacher agreed wholeheartedly.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Ride

GPop is still working stupid hours, so since Florida Grandma has been telling me for nine months that she and Florida Grandpa are coming up at the end of August for my cousin's wedding, I decided to take Son up for the 140 mile trip to Dad's.  Son wanted to ride motorcycles up there, and since the weather looked to be very cooperative, I agreed.

Son rides a Honda Rebel, which is a 250cc-class cruiser, but he thinks it's way too small for him, and he complains occasionally, until I snap at him that he doesn't need to continue having a motorcycle that is registered in my name, and then he shuts up about it.  However, I do indulge him sometimes, and on longer trips, I'll swap out with him.  So we start at about mile marker 80, and we go to mile marker 220.  The non-interstate portion is negligible, so let's call it 140 miles.  At mile mile marker 130, Son indicated he wanted to switch, so I told him that I would for 30 miles.  When we got on the road, I waved him ahead so he could lead.

At about mile 163, I pulled ahead of him so I could lead us off the highway at 165 for gas.  When we pulled up to the pump, Son noticed that his bike that I was riding was missing its license plate.  He said that he'd seen it dangling by one screw earlier, so it had been there somewhere around mile 135.  I started to ask why he didn't say anything earlier, but then I decided just to deal with it.  Since Son is on the 90-day hold-open for his accident, I decided that I would rather get the ding on my record if we were pulled over than having him get his license suspended, so I rode the bike.

We stopped at the state highway patrol office at exit 169 and went into the super-secure bulletproof 8'x8' kiosk and spoke to the hidden guy (presumably) behind the two-way mirrored window.  I explained the situation and asked what I could do to avoid being pulled over.  He said, "Well it's the weekend.  You'll probably get pulled over and delayed.  You should be OK as long as the bike isn't stolen and you have the registration."  I asked if he could give me a note or something, and he told me that he wouldn't.

No, we didn't get pulled over there or back.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gained in translation

This is the entire content of a site I stumbled across, translated from Chinese.

Wang Lijun event gave people played a needle with blood, and a variety of conspiracy theories full of people's brains. Sometimes really do not want to go online and wanted to take over an extraordinary day. But as long as in the country, your life can not help but influenced by the bad things. Whatever the final official statement, I just want to say that the truth is used to cover up. But to know the truth and how, just yet another conspiracy theory popular. I think I can stop this world is full of love and evil, but I can let their inner slowly let love fill, or else alive is too tired.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Dream

I dreamt last night that I was somehow recalled to work in my job in the mall, but the store was closing for good.  The employees were all jockeying to take home supplies and furnishings at the end of the day, so each person had marked up old merchandise (Commodore 64 games, old printer ribbons) and old office chairs, with their initials.

Customers kept flocking in and asking for deals on things that were marked down to a nickel.  I hate those imaginary people.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last Day of Summer in Small City

Local school districts are starting up.  Some start today, some tomorrow, some Monday.  Parents all over Mega Corporation One are singing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year...."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Meeting Minutes

We had a large meeting today, and the facilitator asked me to take minutes.  I enjoy taking minutes, because without that focus, I can easily zone out into hyperspace.  However, this meeting required a little extra focus, due to it having "less of an energetic agenda" than some.

In order to stave off the cold hand of death from boredom, I started hyperlinking out to web sites in the meeting minutes.  At first, during the "What I did over the summer" part of the meeting, I simply linked to wherever people went on vacation, mostly to lull people into a false sense of security.  After that, I editorialized.  For example, mention of one particular activity linked to the Wikipedia article for Sisyphus.  A mention of our director working with another director linked to a DC page for Batman and Robin.  The words "project estimation process..."  Well, you get the idea.

Reading the text would give you a professional accounting of the minutes.  Interestingly once I sent out the minutes, my team was howling with laughter.  The other team that attended the meeting evidently did not choose to follow any of the links, as I received no feedback from them regarding the information.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GPop's Days and Nights

GPop is working to make sure his store can handle a recent switch of the university's schedule from quarters to semesters.  He's been working open to close.  It's got to be exhausting.  Fortunately, he recently also switched from salary to hourly, so he's got some cash coming in.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Birthday

Brother 1 is 38.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

If I Won the Lottery

I think I'd set up bank accounts in several banks, then do large cash withdrawals and carry the cash to another bank to deposit it, just to trigger that requirement to report >$10,000 cash transactions.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Headlines I'd Like to See

Accused Cannibal Dumps Husband

Friday, August 17, 2012


Q: What do you call a pig with three eyes?





A: A piiig.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's in the Stars

Orion is my favorite constellation.  He shows up on time, but he's not part of the zodiac.  He's a big guy, but he sort of does his thing without getting in the way, and nobody really knows what to do with him.  Nobody really messes with him, either.

I saw Orion in the sky this morning for the first time this season.  I'm sure he's been there for at least a few days or weeks, but that's another part of his charm: he's not all that intrusive.  Not like those obnoxious Pleiades.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peaks and Valleys

The Good

The 10:00 meeting was cancelled

The Frustrating
at 9:59, after I'd called into the conference number in order to be prepared.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aviation Alphabet

Rep:  Thank you for calling the FAA Hotline.  This is Xander [pronounced Ex-ander], how may I help you?

GDad:  This is GDad Lastname.  I filled out my medical form the other day and submitted it, but I need to add something to it that I forgot.  Can you help me out?

Xander:  First, can I have a phone number to call you back in case we get disconnected?

GDad:  123-555-1122

Xander:  Great!  And can I also have an e-mail address?

GDad:  Oooo... Let's try this.... Golf, Delta, Alpha, Delta, Lima, Alpha, Sierra, Tango, ummm... Oh to hell with it.  GDadLastname[at]domain.com.

Xander:  Good try.  It does take a while, but keep practicing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Over Four Years Ago

Not quite four years ago, we were introduced to Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket.  We just heard about Paul Ryan being picked by Mr. Romney.  Here's hoping for similar success.  Cheers!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


GPop is just finishing up his quota of alterations on the band uniforms for Son's marching band.  Parents are encouraged to take home uniforms and sew up cuffs for kids who have grown or for new kids.  Evidently, someone last year hemmed up the uniforms with a sewing machine, which makes taking out the stitches a lot harder.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Small Neighboring Town Festival, Year 2

We attended the Neighboring Small Town's Small Town Days Festival and Swap Meet with Live Entertainment by Local Celebrities Bucky McGurk and the Timberteeth.  Son's school is invited to send  the marching band for the parade on Saturday morning, so we sat where we sat last year.  This year, Eggbert Terwilliger attended with us, along with Baldo and Geekina McNerdy, and their son, MicroNerd (formerly NanoNerd).

The official counts:

Tractors: 34
Tiaras: 83

Probably our favorite parade component was the octogenarian who drove his tractor for a bit with his hands up in the air shouting, "Look Ma, no hands!"  We egged him on.  He ate it up.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Foto Phriday - Office Phun

I posed for this picture to be a part of coworker Kevin's presentation.  The big white posterboard acts as a background for the contents of the Powerpoint slide.  I have no idea how this got rotated.

Click to embiggen.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Final Exam

I needed 34 correct answers on the final.  I got 54.  Now I am endorsed to take the FAA written exam.

In our county, which includes Capital City and a number of suburbs that are much larger than Small Town City, there are about ten Aviation Medical Examiners.  Two of them are in Small Town City.  How very convenient.

Also, my aviation headset should be here today or tomorrow.

All is well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aviation Final Prep

Our final exam is tonight.  If I did my math correctly, I need to get 34 questions right out of 60 in order to get the 80% grade in the class to automatically get endorsed to take the FAA written test.  Weighted grades are so much fun.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Support the CAUCE

GDad: ...which is why pretty much everyone today who calls your house or cell phone with some kind of pitch is a criminal.

Son:  I sort of already figured that out, but thanks.


GDad:  That's either GPop or a startling coincidence.  [picks up phone]

Phone:  Do not hang up; this is not a sales call.  The FBI reports that a home break-in occurs every 42 seconds.  You have been selected to receive a free security system.  Press 1 to speak with a live representative.

GDad: [Presses 1]

Phone:  Con-graaaaat-ulations!  This is Dennis.  You've been selected

GDad: [interrupting]  Tell me Dennis, how is this not a sales call?

Dennis:  Because your mom gave me a b___ j__.  [hangs up]

GDad:  I rest my case.

CAUCE supports consumers' rights to be free of unsolicited intrusions into their home in the form of unwanted e-mail. Check them out.  Also check out the Do Not Call list, if you are a US resident.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Son's Monday Saga

This summer, Son is responsible for getting himself to band practice.  For several weeks, they've been practicing 9:00 to noon each weekday, with some variations.  This is a nice way for Son to have some of that freedom to make his own decisions about timing and such without the penalties of getting detentions for lateness or whatnot.

Many days, I will get a frantic phone call around 8:30.  "Dad, I don't have anything to wear!"  I will respond by describing where some clothes are (on top of his dresser) or perhaps advise him to grab some of my gym shorts (as I am the largest in the house, everyone can fit into my clothes, but the reverse is not true).  This usually solves the immediate problem, but in the spirit of "teach a man to fish," I tried something new last night.

I had Son join me in my bedroom and sit ON MY BED to watch me fold clean laundry, so he could see WITH HIS OWN EYES that he had clean clothes to wear for band practice.  In order for this not to seem like some underhanded trick, I primed the conversational pump with some thoughts about video games, and Son took off with the narrative whilst I folded the clothes.  When all was said (by him) and done (by me), I pointed out that there were at least four clean outfits visible without lifting anything or looking in his dresser, and that I may have more folded before bedtime.  He acknowledged this, and we put our respective clothes away.

Fast forward to this morning.

Coworker Kevin: ...new motorcycle.  And I even got the helmet along with it!

GDad: Sounds like you got a great deal.  Maybe on Friday, we can ride in and form a gang...


GDad:  Oh, this is Son.

[Now, dear reader, you think you know where this is going, but you don't.]

GDad: Hello?

Son:  Dad, I can't find my wallet and my keys.

GDad: [facepalm]

Sunday, August 5, 2012


August is my month.  There are no major holidays, and so no major expectations.  A lot of people take time off, and the weather generally doesn't require a lot of reaction.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More Silly Questions

The Management wants to spotlight random associates by putting their pictures and self-reported answers to arbitrary questions on the monthly hallway Powerpoint presentations that rotate on the floors in our department.  I answered the questions.  I will either be first up or never up for consideration.  It's hard to tell sometimes.

  1. What team are you on?  The tied-for-best team in MCO – ABC Business Consulting – DEF and XYZTech!
  2. Where did you grow up?  I was raised in Othertown, Midwest State, but I’m not sure I would use past tense for having grown up.
  3. What college did you attend?  My parents graduated from Midwest State University, I was born there, and I graduated from Midwest State U.  Hat trick.
  4. How many children do you have and ages?  I have been blessed, for the past six years, to be the father of a wonderful lad who is now 17.
  5. What are your hobbies?  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, board games and role-playing games, reading, computer games, motorcycling, and lately, everyone in my family is taking an aviation course with an eye toward getting our pilots’ licenses.
  6. How long have you been employed with Mega Corporation One and also what areas have you worked in?  As of this writing, 14 years, three weeks, and four days.  I’ve worked in Business Line 7 and ABC.
  7. What is your favorite restaurant?  I’m a big fan of The Spaghetti Warehouse.
  8. Favorite sport and favorite professional team?  Quidditch, and The Sweetwater All-Stars.
  9. Do you have any pets?  We have a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) named Jin Long.
  10. What was your first job ever and how old were you?  When I was seventeen, it was a very good year… I had a job moving piles of things from there to here… 
  11. What was your first car?  I had a Dodge Omni hatchback.  I added a small toggle switch labeled DEATH RAY.  Passengers in my car would not believe me that the switch was only glued on.  They always thought it did something sinister.  When the car finally died, I had to lift the back end by hand to let my friend Jeff get the tires off.  That was the heaviest thing I think I ever lifted.
  12. What are three words that describe you best?  Concise.
  13. What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?  Take care of my family as best I could, then establish a fund to support some arts and education programs in my community.
  14. If you were an animal what would you be?  I don’t know, probably something in the primate family.  Maybe related to one of the great apes, perhaps in the Homo genus, maybe the sapiens species.
  15. Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what is it?  I do not; all of my talents are visible.  That is my story, and I am sticking to it.
  16. What’s your favorite way to manage your energy?  I shut off the lights when I leave the room.
  17. What’s your happiest childhood memory?  Hours and hours, spent alone with a book or on my bicycle.  Or with a book on my bicycle.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Foto Phriday - Last Year Retreat

From a team retreat last year...