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]

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: 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...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Court Date

So we got something from the court that told us our date was June Somethingth. Our attorney (paid for by the fabulous legal insurance plan at work) attended that hearing and then advised us that our new date was August 2. I patiently waited for another letter from the court to confirm, and had received nothing by July 31, so I sent Attorney Lawyerman an e-mail. He confirmed that we were to show up for the 1:30 docket, but that he had not heard anything from the prosecutor.

Son went to band rehearsal and came home shortly after 11:00. We got gussied up in matching black suits and headed into downtown.  I intended to be there by 12:45, but due to a comedy of errors, I made it into the right place at 1:23. Our lawyer was somewhere in the building, according to the lady behind the bulletproof glass, so we sat and waited and watched the people. My observation of the day, which was corroborated by our attorney, is that people don't seem to take court seriously any more.  Son and I had on our funeral suits.  The next-best-dressed person who was not a lawyer was a teen of middle eastern descent who was wearing black cotton pants and a black long-sleeve shirt.  After that, it was the kid who looked like he was from Tidy Suburb (or similar white-bread suburb) who was wearing jeans and casual shoes and his fashionable long-sleeve shirt, no tie, with the sleeves rolled up and a massive dose of entitlement. After that, it was shorts and t-shirts all around.  Those kids all ended up paying their tickets. Our lawyer kept up a whispered commentary about what was going on and why those kids' sartorial and behavioral decisions were contributing to the fact that all of them walked out with tickets in hand and directions to pay up at the window.

 The bailiff was a tall, imposing, older man whose job it was to keep the courtroom moving. When one of the kids approached the door to the room, the bailiff told him to tuck in his t-shirt. Our lawyer leaned over to us, and whispered, "That kid just got the best advice he's gotten all day, and he doesn't even know it. The bailiff has a thankless job, but you'll notice that he's trying to keep these kids out of trouble."

 Our story was a bit different, though.  The fresh-faced, just-out-of-law-school prosecutor woman in her knee-length skirt and six-inch heels (flaunt it if ya got it, I guess) had lost Son's file and hadn't prepared anything for the hearing, including subpoenas for the sheriff deputy. Our lawyer smiled and nodded as she was explaining a deal she wanted to make. Then he mentioned that this was the same deal he used to hear about 20 years ago, and that he would decline it for now, but that he'd get back to her. I guess he was punishing her for not doing her job.  It threw her off a bit.

 When we got into the courtroom, the magistrate seemed a bit taken aback that we were suited up and polite. I guess she had been irked with all of the other people before us. Our lawyer did his required introduction in his most stentorian tone, which also seemed to throw off the prosecutor.  The magistrate actually had to prompt the prosecutor by saying, "Would you care to go over the facts before the court?"  The prosecutor blushed, shuffled the papers, and then described what had happened. There was some back-and-forth, which included Son responding with "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am," as I had coached him, and then the magistrate explained the offer - if Son has no more moving violations in the next 90 days, this ticket just goes away along with all of the fines and fees. If he gets another moving violation, then it all comes down at once. We took the deal, and the prosecutor sighed with relief, because she didn't get caught out being completely unprepared.

 We got out just before the next block of cases was supposed to start.  We were exhausted. We got into the car, and Son asked, "What do we do next?"  I told him that we would get some late lunch, head home, and just relax. He leaned back in the car seat and said, "Chillin' with my dad."

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Warehouse 13 Prediction

I predict that the Brent Spiner character is the evil that this character warns Artie about.  The evil will be that Artie will try to undo the astrolabe's effect and redo the destruction of the Warehouse.