Monday, December 31, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 7

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the seventh day of Christmas,
My new iPod gave to me,
Seven Mary Three
Sixpence None The Richer
Five for Fighting,
The Four Tops,
Three Doors Down
Two Skinnee J's,
And nothing by the Partridge Family, so don't even joke about it.

Explanation: Also on my new iPod are:

Seven One Eight, by the 2 Skinnee J's
Six Underground, by the Sneaker Pimps
Five Piece Chicken Dinner, by the Beastie Boys
Four Sticks, by Led Zeppelin
Three MCs and one DJ, by the Beastie Boys
Two Step, by the Dave Matthews Band
And The Humpty Dance, by Digital Underground.

Yeah, that's right - The Humpty Dance. It has nothing to do with partridges or pear trees. It's just a cool song.

Special Blog Bonus: Feeling numerical? Don't forget 5150 by Van Halen, #41 by the Dave Matthews Band, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon, 8 Mile by Eminem, 316 by Van Halen, 99 Problems by Jay-Z, 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins, 1984 by Van Halen, Nineteen Naughty Three by Naughty By Nature, 100 Years by Five for Fighting, One Thing by Finger Eleven, 3 A.M. Eternal by the KLF, Ten by Pearl Jam, and 6th Avenue Heartache by the Wallflowers. Speaking of numerical...

Solutions to Yesterday's Evil Number Theory Questions:

6 is the smallest perfect number, because it is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors: 1, 2, and 3. Can you find the next even perfect number? Can you find an odd perfect number?

The next even perfect number is 28, which is the sum of 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14. The perfect numbers after that are 496 and 8128. All known perfect numbers fit the formula 2^(n-1) * (2^n - 1) where 2^(n-1) is a Mersenne prime. It is unknown whether there are any odd perfect numbers. If you managed to find one, you should tell me what it is and never speak of it again.

5 is a prime number whose binary representation, "101" is palindromic, meaning its digits read the same backward as forward. What is the largest known prime number that is palindromic in binary?

The largest known prime number which is palindromic in binary is 2^32582657, which is a 9.8 million digit number and happens to be the largest prime number known to date. It is a Mersenne prime, meaning it is one less than a power of two, hence the binary representation of the number is a string of ones, and is therefore the same both backward and forward. All of the largest known primes are Mersenne primes.

4 is an even integer that can be written as the sum of two primes, namely 2 and 2. Can you find an even integer that cannot?

This little gem is called Goldbach's conjecture. It is a conjecture because it is unproven. If you have found an integer that cannot, again, please contact me immediately with that number and then treat yourself to a nice long vacation in a place without telephones while I hold onto it all safe and sound for you. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone.

3 is a triangular number, because it belongs to the sequence (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, ...). The number 3 can be represented as a sum of three triangular numbers: 3 = 1 + 1 + 1. Can you find an integer that cannot?

No you cannot. This is a subset of the Fermat polygonal number theorem, which states that every positive integer is the sum of at most n n-polygonal numbers. So, in this case, n=3.

2 is a value for n such that there exist nonzero integers x, y, and z where x^n + y^n = z^n. For example, 3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2. Can you find a value of n greater than 2 for which this is also true?
This would be Fermat's Last Theorem. Pierre de Fermat famously wrote the following words in the margin of a book: "It is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second into two like powers. I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this, which this margin is too narrow to contain." For over 350 years, mathematicians cursed this man and his "marvelous proof", until Andrew Wiles of Princeton published a proof in 1995. Anyway, in short, the answer to this question is "No, you cannot".

1 is the difference between 2 and 3. There also exist powers of 2 and 3 such that their difference is also 1, namely 2^3=8 and 3^2=9. Can you find another pair of consecutive integers who have powers that are also consecutive?

This problem was known as Catalan's conjecture for over 150 years until it was solved by Preda Mihăilescu in 2002, and it is now referred to by the much more pronounceable "Mihăilescu's theorem." The example I cited shows the only pair of consecutive integers (2 and 3) for which this is possible. So, if you found another pair of consecutive integers, I suggest you check your math.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 6

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the sixth day of Christmas, an evil number theorist said to me,

6 is the smallest perfect number, because it is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors: 1, 2, and 3. Can you find the next even perfect number? Can you find an odd perfect number?

5 is a prime number whose binary representation, "101" is palindromic, meaning its digits read the same backward as forward. What is the largest known prime number that is palindromic in binary?

4 is an even integer that can be written as the sum of two primes, namely 2 and 2. Can you find a greater even integer that cannot?

3 is a triangular number, because it belongs to the sequence (1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, ...). The number 3 can be represented as a sum of three triangular numbers: 3 = 1 + 1 + 1. Can you find a greater integer that cannot?

2 is a value for n such that there exist nonzero integers x, y, and z where x^n + y^n = z^n. For example, 3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2. Can you find a value of n greater than 2 for which this is also true?

1 is the difference between 2 and 3. There also exist powers of 2 and 3 such that their difference is also 1, namely 2^3=8 and 3^2=9. Can you find another pair of consecutive integers who have powers that are also consecutive?

Explanation: I love number theory because it is primarily concerned with integers, which seem quite simple, and yet can be extremely complex. These are just a few examples. I will post the solutions tomorrow.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 5

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the Fifth Day of Christmas,
Edgar Allan Poe gave to me...

On a dark and somber evening, as I sit in darkness grieving,
Over a quintet of loves, my soul is worn, my heart still clings,
As I mourn my tears are flowing, I can feel the cold wind blowing,
I hold this package surely knowing, knowing the heartbreak it brings,
All that's left from five lost loves, I take a breath, untie the strings -
There they lay, five golden rings.

On the floor, I'm crumpled, heaving, through my pain and stunted breathing,
Suddenly I am perceiving something near me on the floor.
'Tis a bird, it's wounded, crawling, both of us on the ground sprawling,
In the eaves four friends are calling for that bird upon that floor.
Four birds calling from the eaves, I hear them as their sorrows pour,
But their friend will fly no more.

Now we five - we mourn together, you might say "birds of a feather",
Quite a sight to see this night, yours truly with these mourning four.
Yet another noise distracts me, pecking on my door attracts me,
So I haul my sorry self and go see who is at my door.
I thrust it open and I ask "Who's pecking on this mourner's door?"
Three hens gravely say, "Bonjour."

You could say I am quite stricken, never have I heard a chicken,
Say "Hello" in English, let alone in the French tongue before.
I will try to cut some slack, for also they are dressed in black,
They're clearly here to join the pack of mourners based on what they wore.
As if that is not enough, two turtle doves walk through my door.
I guess there's always room for more.

I think I'm taking things in stride, for no more birds shall be denied,
In fact I have just called outside, "Excuse me birds, but are there more?"
A partridge from my tree of pears has joined us and he also wears,
A yarmulke and shawl of prayers, he is the last, I close the door.
Now eleven mourners sit and long for those with us no more.
It's less lonely than before.

Special Blog Bonus: I was trying very hard to use the lines:

"I hate to pry, but must implore, Have you ever won a war?"
Three French hens said nothing more.

I just couldn't make it work. Oh well. If you don't know this, I really enjoy Raven-izing stuff. This isn't the first time I've broken something down into iambic pentameter and won't be the last.

Oh, one other complaint. Because I had to rhyme with "rings" I got stuck using "brings" and "clings", so the whole poem had to be in the present tense. That got a little awkward, but I think I pulled it off.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 4

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten birds. TEN FREAKIN' BIRDS. Are you kidding me? Do you know what I bought her? A piano. $700 worth of finely tuned musical instrument, and all I get are 10 birds. Four of them won't get off the damn phone, three of them just keep surrendering to everyone they come in contact with, two are the slowest damn things I've ever seen, and the last one won't get out of that tree, which incidentally keeps dropping pears all over the yard. Not that you'd be able to find them under the thick layer of bird crap. Seriously? Birds? Come on! If you're gonna go the bird route, at least get me something I can eat. I could totally go for some chicken right about now - even one of those Frankenchickens that McDonald's uses to make the McNuggets! A turkey would be wonderful. Even a duck would be pretty cool. I couldn't eat a hawk or an eagle, but at least I could show it off to my friends. But noooo. I get the calling birds, the French hens, the turtle doves and the partridge in that stinkin' tree. You don't even want to know what they've done in our Christmas tree. What a crock... EEEW! The hens just open-beak kissed me!!! I'd better get some bling soon, or that piano is going back.

Explanation: I did get my wife a piano for Christmas. She did not actually get me any birds. I'm OK with that.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 3

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the third day of bacon,
My bacon gave to me,
Bacon bacon bacon!
Bacon bacon bacon!
And bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Explanation: What can I say? I love bacon.

Special Blog Bonus: And now, compliments of the good people at IHEARTBACON.COM and Bacon Unwrapped, here are some ideas for the bacon lover in your life:

And finally, I don't care if I've run this Beggin Strips commercial before - It's that good. BACON!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 2

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the second day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.
And it only cost her $204.99 (or $354.94 if she ordered them online).

Explanation: These estimates come courtesy of PNC Christmas Price Index. Since 1984, PNC has calculated the costs of the items in the Twelve Days of Christmas for you, the concerned consumer. Here are this year's prices:

That's right! Now you can wear this T-shirt with pride!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 1

Jeremy's Status Message Proudly Presents The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas,
My neighbors gave to me,
A giant sleigh with a Snoopy.


Snoopy and the gang did bring us the following Christmas moment from Luke 2:8-14.

As we read further in the book of Luke, today's status message becomes clear:

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. And we shall plant a lawn, and upon that lawn, we shall place a giant wooden sleigh, taller than the tallest man and crafted in the finest wood available to people of our station. And upon that sleigh, that glorious sleigh draped with lights aplenty, we shall place a giant glowing Snoopy in a Santa hat. The Snoopy shall glow brighter than the moon and the stars and even the mighty inflatable candy cane merry-go-round across the street." And so they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they built their giant sleigh and placed their glowing Snoopy upon it and he was brighter than the sun itself. All who saw were amazed at what the shepherds had built.

So, should you wander into my neighborhood this holiday season and see a giant Snoopy in front of one of the houses, now you know the biblical significance of this glorious creation.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

"Holiday Figure" Is Coming To Town...

From the archives:

Twas the night before a non-denominational-winter-holiday when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The neutral-gift-sacks were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that a non-specific holiday figure soon would be there. Children of every race, creed and nationality were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-free plums danced in their heads. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter (and to see who was violating the neighborhood sound-level ordinance). When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an emission-free vehicle and eight size-challenged reindeer. "Holiday Figure" was so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be "Holiday Figure". He had a broad but normal face and an advanced-sized belly and he laughed, "Lady of the evening, Lady of the evening, Lady of the evening."

Source: A politically correct Christmas story, as told by Larry the Cable Guy on the Blue Collar Comedy tour.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yukon Brasi Sleeps With the Penguins

From the archives:

Deck the halls with that stuff you use to deck halls.

Explanation: You know. That stuff. Get to decking!

Special Blog Bonus: And while you're decking, enjoy some holiday time with the Reinfather:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

You Did Win Ms. Congeniality, Though

From the archives:

You have won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect $11.

Source: This is a Community Chest card from Monopoly:

With the exception of the "Go To Jail" and "Get Out Of Jail Free" cards, I would guess that this is the most popular.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I took first. I'm so pretty, it's just not fair.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"La," The Note That Follows "So"

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la ti... DOH!

Explanation: Our new (to us anyway) piano arrived yesterday and since it got here, my wife has been playing almost nonstop. Her repertoire includes numerous Christmas melodies. When I play, however, it seems the notes I want don't always seem to be in the places I put my fingers. This leads to many sour notes and obscenities. I'll keep working on this.

Hey, what's the deal with that "Do Re Mi" song from The Sound of Music? "Do" gets to be a female deer, "Re", a drop of golden sun. "Mi" is the name I call myself, "Fa" a long long way to run. "So" is a needle pulling thread, but poor "La" is the note that follows "So". That's it? The note that follows "So"? That's the best they could do? This has to be one of the all time biggest copouts in pop culture history. Rodgers or Hammerstein (whichever one is responsible) should be ashamed. It's just sad.

Anyway, don't let The Sound of Music get you down. From all of us at Jeremy's Status Message to all of you, have a wonderful Festivus, Christmas, and New Year's!

I will be out of the office for the remainder of the year, but the status messages will keep coming! Stay tuned for Jeremy's Status Message Presents: The 12 Days of Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Not Just For Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs Anymore

Dadadadadadada dadadadadadada dadadadadadada clap clap clap clap

Source: This would be the chicken dance.

Explanation: See, every once in a while, I like to post music in text form and see if anybody has any idea what on earth I'm talking about. Usually (as with anything else I post) the answer is no. Not sure how to do it? Here's an instructional video:

At this point, I should probably mention that this is the most addictive song known to man and that if you've watched this video, your Christmas is now ruined in a giant puddle of accordian music. Happy Holidays!

Special Blog Bonus: It's a Chicken Dance-Off!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


"It remains inexplicable that we can solve murders with the help of a single hair fiber or a drop of saliva, but we can't figure out the exact ages of Cuban baseball players and Asian basketball players."

Source: ESPN's Bill Simmons, talking about how we have no idea what Yi Jianlian's actual age is. Yi is listed as 20 by the Milwaukee Bucks, but it is widely believed that he's older. Luckily, we don't have concerns like that with American players.

Nope, nobody has ever thought that a young American basketball talent was older than he claimed.

Nosirree. Never.

Special Blog Bonus: As a bonus today, you get a little culture. The title of today's post is "Carbon Dating" translated to simplified Chinese*, via Google Translator. I do not actually know anything about Chinese. This is why I wonder about people who get tattoos of Chinese or Japanese characters. It's not that I don't trust a tattoo artist named "Snake" to be a reputable source for eastern Asian languages... I'm just afraid that a minor miscommunication somewhere along the line might leave me with "Monkey's Butt" permanently written in large Chinese characters** somewhere on my body.

*I just discovered that these Chinese characters are unprintable on my home machine, but show up fine on my work machine. If you don't have the fonts, then just pretend that the unprintable characters are really Chinese.
**Google claims this tattoo would look something like "屁股的猴子" in simplified Chinese.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Something You Don't Want On Your Hamburger

Words you never want to say: "Wait a minute! That's not ketchup!"

Explanation: So, the other day, after some difficulty opening the "safety seal" on a ketchup bottle, I poured my ketchup and noticed that I had some on my thumb. Upon further inspection, I exclaimed today's status. Apparently, I had managed to slice my thumb open on the safety seal and it was bleeding profusely. Very safe, indeed. On the bright side, I have never found myself saying "That's not apple juice!" (OK, I did say that once, but it turned out to be white grape juice)

Monday, December 17, 2007

It Does The Body Merry

Merry Christmas milk!

Explanation: Today I opened a gallon of milk with a December 25th expiration date. It's Christmas milk!

No matter how old I get, I still get excited for holidays (probably because it means I won't be working) and nothing is a better reminder that a holiday approaches than knowing that you have to use your milk by that day! Woo-hoo!

Another sure-fire reminder that Christmas approaches is the fact that I need to wear sunglasses when outside in our neighborhood at night... but that's a post for another day.*

*This is a writing device called "foreshadowing". The knowledgeable reader now knows that I have a future post planned concerning my neighbors' Christmas lights.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just Like in College

From the archives:

Today's status message is left as an exercise to the reader.

Explanation: I was really excited about this status message back when I came up with it. Man, was I sick of reading something in college, only to find that its proof was left as an exercise for the reader. It was never like "1/2 is a rational number" either. Oh no. It was like "Given two identical jelly donuts, a red hankerchief, and a 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, clearly there is a God."

Also, leaving today's status as an exercise for the reader seemed like a good idea, considering that I'm posting this after 9PM - I pretty much did it anyway without saying as much.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


From the archives:

His feet are webby, short beak, wings unsteady,
There's herring on his coat already, lunch was messy.
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To fly far, at the hands of the Yeti.
Off the ground, he swings around and around.
He spreads his wings out but their size leaves some doubt.
Yeti holds him now, swinging fast he's frozen now,
Release the mouse, and the penguin's flying, WOW!

Source: This is a song based on Eminem's Lose Yourself from the movie 8 Mile. The topic, however, is the third part in the series of Yeti games on YETISPORTS.

Explanation: The object of most of the Yeti games is simple: use the Yeti to propel a penguin for maximum distance. In the first highly addictive part, the Yeti simply uses a bat. Part 2 was lame, so we won't talk about it here. In part 3, the one my above song is about, the Yeti swings the penguin around in circles, throwing him for height. It's actually been quite some time since I've played any of these, so I don't remember the other parts very well. In one, I know the yeti uses the penguin as a golf ball. Anyway, parts one and three were extremely addictive, so I encourage anyone who hasn't seen them yet to go check them out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Performance Enhanced Blogging?

I'm just glad the Mitchell Report is out and my name is finally cleared.

Explanation: I've denied all allegations against me, and now my name has been cleared. Yep, not being in the Mitchell Report means that there is abolutely no way that I could have possibly used blog-enhancing substances. Thank you to all who supported me through this difficult time.

Special Blog Bonus: Haven't read all 400+ pages? Get a special inside look at those who were surprisingly named in the Mitchell Report:

Johnny Bravo


Grape Ape

Bam Bam Bigelow

Bam Bam Flintstone

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Me Post No Writer Today

Writer strike make me post own funny laff status.

Explanashun: Becawze Writers Gild of America strike, me write own funny laff status message today. No creativ like smart clever writer people, but do best with little brain me get. Me hope writers come back soon cuz no have more funny laff status for post. No remember hiku silable numbers for Friday and no very good with poems and stuff anyway. Sorry for misspelinks.

Speshal Bonus: No get rights for Far side or Dilbert. Me draw own funny comic:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Little Football/Prison Humor to Brighten Your Day

How can they send Michael Vick to a minimum-security federal penetentiary? Has there ever been a quarterback who was more of a threat to run?

Explanation: Michael Vick was sentenced to a 23 month prison sentence on Monday. But "minimum security"? I beg to differ. Vick is going to run. You know that going in. I'm thinking the prison needs some sort of a cover-two or a zone-blitzing scheme. And they undoubtedly need a spy. When he breaks contain, and it's going to happen, they need to be prepared. Can we get Bill Belichek on this?

Special Blog Bonus: At this point I would point you to some sort of clever Flash game involving Michael Vick and dogs and possibly PETA, or to a humerous article about Vick going to prison, but the internet is far too tasteful for such things. Instead, if you would like to partake in some pleasant family entertainment, I suggest you go to Willie's blog and watch the YouTube clip where people light a Tickle Me Elmo on fire.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pet Peeve: ICTL

My Pet Peeve:

ppl who use ictl

Explanation: It's official. I'm giving it a name. I officially proclaim it to be ICTL: "I Can't Type Language." As a frequent user of instant-messaging tools, I have grown to despise this. I know, ICTL is quite popular with text message senders, and I don't condone their use of it, but at least they have the excuse of dealing with a horrific text entry interface. Instant messagers have no such excuse. Their only excuse is that they can't type on a standard keyboard.

I just love having exchanges like this online:

Jeremy: Hey do you have a minute?
Coworker: brb
Coworker: ok
Jeremy: We're going to have to report our status on this project at the meeting this afternoon. Do you think you can put together your half of it, and then we'll just each present separately?
Coworker: sure
Jeremy: Cool. Thanks!
Coworker: np
Jeremy: See you at 1:00.
Coworker: ok

I typed about 210 characters. My coworker typed 13. I typed 10 punctuation marks. My coworker typed 0. I typed 6 capitalized letters. My coworker typed zero.

This is even worse when I get outside of my industry. Every time I'm playing poker online and somebody types "nh" for "Nice hand" or "gg" for "Good game," I just want to strangle them. TYPE IT OUT, PEOPLE! Jeez. It's not that hard.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

I ate a lot of latkes this weekend.

Explanation: The toughest decision I made this weekend was how to fill myself up - brisket or latkes. I opted for the 50-50 option and it was WONDERFUL. Even better were the leftover latkes and brisket I had for lunch yesterday, not to mention the latkes I will eat today.

Yes, it's Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in celebration of the Macabeees' victory over the Seleucid Empire. At the time, there was only enough consecrated oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day, but then a miracle occurred. It was discovered that extra oil could be obtained by squeezing their latkes, and the flame lasted for eight days, which was enough time for fresh olive oil to be prepared and consecrated.

Special Blog Bonus: It's the South Park Dreidel Song! (Like anything else South Park, this song contains adult language.) If you've ever been at a table where several people are playing dreidel, you can really appreciate Stan's lyrics: "I'll try to make it spin. It fell, I'll try again..." Some people just have more spinning trouble than others.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome To Titanicville

From the archives:

Would you be nervous if you lived in a town called Neversink?

Source: Apparently, I once drove past a town called Neversink and thought it was funny. I don't actually remember where it was, but according to Google Maps, it's a town in New York I passed during my days as a volleyball coach. I guess it's better than living in Nodumphere or Ignorethesmell.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gene Simmons Never Had a Personal Computer When He Was a Kid

From the archives:

Gene Simmons never had a personal computer when he was a kid. How do we know? We know because our own well-documented research has shown conclusively that a child who lacks his own personal computer during those earliest school years will very probably grow up to be a bass player in a heavy-metal rock band who wears women's fishnet pantyhose and sticks his tongue down to his kneecaps. Just like Gene Simmons. Your child's future doesn't have to look like this. The Banana Junior 6000 Self-portable Personal Computer System, complete with its optional software Bananawrite, Bananadraw, Bananafile, and Bananamanager is just what your four-year-old needs to compete in today's cut-throat world of high tech and high expectations. The Banana Junior 6000... Buy one before it's too late. Gene's mother wishes she had.

Source: This was taken directly from Bloom County:

In fact, now that I think about it, I have no idea why Bloom County hasn't made an appearance here before. Look for more in the future.

Friday, December 7, 2007

LEGO Haiku!

My LEGO Haiku exists
Only in my blog.

Explanation: It is Haiku Friday, and I used my status message to redirect everyone to my blog to witness the awesomeness that is my LEGO Haiku:

Also, coming soon to Philly is the Art of Brick museum show. It'll be at the American Swedish Historical Museum from August 22 to November 30 in 2008. I think my favorite piece is Yellow:

And finally, as part of today's super LEGO extravaganza, Operation Lethal Duck, which won the Castle Siege category of the LEGO Castle Contest. You have to check this out!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


You see Jake, in the old west, cowboys could be out on the dusty range for months at a time, and they get mighty dirty. So they'd mosey into town with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and they'd need to wash them. So what they'd do is, they'd go down to the creek, and strip down until they were wearing nothing but their boots... in order to warn people that were swimming that a naked cowboy was on his way, he would yell, or, if you will, call, “Booty! Booty!” Ergo, the Booty Call.

Source: From Two and a Half Men.

Explanation: Alan is dating Kandi, a 22-year-old who isn't that bright. She comes walking in the door and yells that she's there for a booty call, not knowing that Alan's son, Jake, is in the house. Jake asks Alan what a booty call is, and Alan immediately says that Kandi has come over to do laundry. Jake asks why she doesn't have a laundry basket with her. After a long pause, the following conversation ensues:

Alan: You see Jake, in the old west, cowboys could be out on the dusty range for months at a time, and they get mighty dirty. So they'd mosey into town with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and they'd need to wash them. So what they'd do is, they'd go down to the creek, and strip down until they were wearing nothing but their boots.
Charlie (Alan's brother): Why'd they keep their boots on?
Alan: Rattlesnakes. Anyways, in order to warn people that were swimming that a naked cowboy was on his way, he would yell, or, if you will, call, “Booty! Booty!” Ergo, the Booty Call.
Kandi: Wow Alan, you really make history fun.
Alan: Well, thank you.
Kandi: So when did it start meaning casual sex?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Get Your Festivus Shopping Done Soon

Only 18 shopping days left until Festivus!

Source: If you don't know about Festivus yet, it was a holiday created on the show Seinfeld. Of course, if you needed to know that, um... well, you probably missed the nineties altogether.

I'm really looking forward to the airing of grievances this year, 'cause I've got a LOT OF THEM!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sharing Birthdays Today...

Sharing birthdays today are pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, rapper Jay-Z, actress Marisa Tomei, model Tyra Banks, and millions of other people who nobody particularly cares about.

Explanation: Also with a birthday today is comedienne Margaret Cho, who falls into the last category. This, of course, takes me back to the Simpsons episode where Homer is asked for ID to verify that he is a veteran, which he is lying about to get an admission discount:

"Charlie didn't ask for ID when I fought at La Choy, and Chun King. I saw my best friend's head explode at Margaret Cho."

Special Blog Bonus: I haven't run a comic in a while, so here's an xkcd you may not have seen yet:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Clark, I Am Your Father

Just for the record, I do not think Superman should be allowed to wield a lightsaber.

Explanation: Just a random thought from an incident on Thanksgiving weekend. The cardinality of the integers came up again, too - This time a google has been replaced by a googleplex as the largest number in existence. I had to go back and reread my letter to the four-year-olds of America... even though the offender is now five.

Special Blog Bonus: Not sure if I've posted this yet, but I love this clip about how Superman should have ended:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Orange Bowl, Here We Come!

From the archives:

"After notching their 100th blocked punt, they tried to give Frank Beamer the game ball, but someone got a piece of it."

Explanation: I just made this up. I think Virginia Tech notched the 100th blocked punt or blocked kick of the Beamer era, so I posted this as my status. Anyway, it seemed appropriate today, seeing as the ACC Champion Virginia Tech Hokies blocked two kicks in yesterday's game, including an extra point that was run back for a two-point conversion. The announcer said, "You don't see that very often!" To the contrary, if you're a Virginia Tech fan, you actually do see it more than most.

Also, as a result of #1 Missouri and #2 West Virginia both losing yesterday, it appears that every team in America now has a legitimate shot at playing in the BCS Championship game. I was most amused when one of the talking heads claimed that USC had a good chance of playing in the game. USC was ranked #8 in the BCS standings last week and defeated unranked UCLA at home. Meanwhile, two of the teams ahead of them won conference championships this weekend on neutral fields against top-15 teams while the 3 teams ahead of those two teams were idle. How exactly does that qualify USC for anything?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Not Old - Elderly

From the archives:

I'm not saying Professor Farnsworth is old, but if you consider his age, he's likely to die soon.

Source: Bender from Futurama. This reminds me of a time a child who knew my grandmother called her "elderly." The child's mother immediately scolded the child for saying something so rude. The child said, "What? It's not like I called her old!"

Exciting News: Speaking of Futurama, it will return for another season! Well, sort of. It will return in the form of a DVD set that will be broken down into 16 30-minute episodes and aired next season. Woo-hoo!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Last Minute Beer Substitution

I don't think Dos Equis is an "adult beverage." Now, if there was a "Tres Equis," that would be a different story.

Explanation: I'm not going to explain this any further. It's a little racy, I'll admit, but it was a last minute substitution for a wonderful LEGO post that can't happen due to technical difficulties. So, you get beer instead.

I'll throw in a whiny haiku, just 'cause I'm a good sport:

Can't chew on left side.
Black eye is now orange-brown.
And my heel still hurts.

Special Blog Bonus: Just to be nice, I will include M.C. Escher's Relativity in LEGO:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pet Peeve: Pronounstitution

My Pet Peeve:

People who misfuse words.

Explanation: Yesterday, in an online chat, somebody made a snide remark about Ricky Williams' torn pectorial. Now, as far as I know, a pectorial should be a collection of photographs of men's chests. Why Ricky Williams has one, I have no idea, but the man smokes up a lot and did wear a wedding dress that one time, so I guess anything is possible.

As I thought about this, I realized that I have seen this phenomenon several times. Usually, it happens when somebody is reaching just outside of their vocabulary for a word. They don't quite get the word right, but they do manage to combine the word with another one, also slightly outside of their vocabulary. After a little stroll through my therannysaurus*, I have decided to call this phenomenon the misfuse of words. (This choice slightly edged out pronounstitution)

I can think of a few other examples of word misfuse. I was once told by somebody that a person had broken their tibula. I said "Wow, that's too bad," feeling for the poor guy - not only are his two lower leg bones fused together, but he managed to break them too! That just sucks.

Then, of course, there was Mike Tyson (Mike, if you're reading this, we at Jeremy's Status Message has nothing but the utmost respect for you) who once said, "I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian." I don't know much about South America, but I'm pretty sure he didn't plan on going there to be forgotten.

If you come up with any other examples of word misfuse, please feel free to post them as comments.

*I use a very big, very old thesaurus... with useless forelimbs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Make Like a Tree...

It's ironic that they call them "leaves" because they just keep coming back.

Explanation: I raked and used the leaf blower this weekend. All the trees in our yard looked bare, so I figured it was safe to get rid of the leaves. Now the yard is covered with leaves again. I really have no idea where they came from.

Special Blog Bonus: Ten things I thought while using the leaf blower this weekend:

10) Two days from now, this lawn will be covered with leaves again.
9) If my name was Leafstache, leader of the leaf herders, J.R.R. Tolkien would be proud of me.
8) I bet I could dry a wet dog really fast with this thing.
7) I bet I could launch a small dog really far with this thing.
6) Blowing leaves into a headwind is not very productive.
5) I wonder if I can use this thing indoors...
4) You think Rapunzel uses one of these to dry her hair?
3) I would just love to take a joyride in the township's giant leaf vacuum truck.
2) Gee, I hope this electrical cord doesn't hit me in the face sometime today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

Last week I ate two Thanksgiving dinners in six hours. Yesterday, I was proud that I managed to finish half a bowl of mashed potatoes. Oh, how times have changed.

Explanation: Today's status would be the reason I scheduled my periodontist appointment for AFTER Thanksgiving. The next family holiday is Hannukah, and latkes are easy on a damaged mouth.

Ironically, the procedure I had done yesterday is called a "free gingival graft". I find this name particularly amusing, considering that I will spend the remainder of the week working to pay for said procedure.

Special Blog Bonus: As a special bonus to you valued readers out there, I will not discuss any of the specifics of yesterday's procedure, nor will I discuss why my brief attempt at keeping my eyes open during the surgery failed so miserably.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's All Fun and Games...

They say it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. I say, if you find yourself questioning whether it's all still fun and games, it probably isn't a good thing.

Explanation: See, you think of stuff like this after you remember that when something hits you really hard in the face, it makes a very distinct "clunk" sound. In my case, this "clunk" was the result of the business end of a 100 foot three-prong outdoor extension cord drilling me in the face. I still have no idea how it happened. I had it wrapped around my shoulder and was reaching down for something. I think it started to unravel, the end falling off the back of my shoulder, accellerating through the bottom of its arc, and finding its mark as it came up the other side. Regardless of what actually happened, it's never good when you find yourself asking the question, "Did I just blind myself?" It turns out that I did not. I do, however, have a large gash and a comical lump about a half inch from my right eye, though.

While I did post a new status message, I am not at work today. I am having gum surgery instead. If you think you'd prefer gum surgery to work, I will gladly switch places with you.

Thoughts On Vacuuming

From the archives:

10 Things I Thought as I Vacuumed My New House For the First Time:

10) Wow, this place is bigger than my old place.
9) This is going to take forever.
8) I wonder where my employer gets those carpet zambonis from.
7) Maybe it'll be better when we actually have furniture.
6) I wonder if I can vacuum a giant VT into the center of this room.
5) I bet they make ride-on carpet zambonis, too.
4) Am I taxed by the square foot?
3) If I walk forward and then back, I can make my footprints disappear.
2) A housekeeper can't be THAT expensive.

Explanation: I have a LOT of time to think while I'm vacuuming. This would also be how I concocted Hoover's Paradox. I should also note that now that we have furniture, vacuuming is not much more fun.

Oh, the joys of home ownership! Today's chore: raking the yard.*

*I should note that raking the yard will still be a slightly more fun activity than Monday's scheduled periodontal surgery.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mmmmm... Pony

From the archives:

"Today, I've personalized each of your meals. For example, Amy, you're cute, so I baked you a pony."

Source: Bender from the Futurama episode, 30% Iron Chef.

Explanation: You can find a brief (and very confusing) episode guide here and sounds from the episode here.

Side Note: On Thursday morning, I was so hungry I could eat a horse. Now I'm so full, I feel like I've eaten a horse. No horses were actually harmed during this process, of course, of course.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And After The First Thanksgiving...

From the archives:

"Cochise was the last great American Indian chief to die free and absolutely unconquered. When several members of his family were captured, tortured, and hanged by the U.S. Cavalry, Cochise declared war on the entire Southwest and went on an unholy rampage, a warpath to end all warpaths. He and his warriors drove out thousands of settlers. Cochise the Avenger, fearless and resolute, attacked everything in his path with an unbridled fury. This song kinda sounds like that."

Source: Tom Morello, guitarist for Audioslave, explaining why the song Cochise was given that name.

Special Blog Bonus: I got a kick out of today's xkcd comic:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

From the archives:

If a status message is written on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and nobody is there to read it, can it truly be funny?

Explanation: This was my status on the day before Thanksgiving a year or two back. Obviously, it's not as good as yesterday's was, but it's your fault if you weren't in the office to see it.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Greatest Status Message Never Posted

[Status Message Omitted]

Explanation: Today, as a special bonus to the brave souls who actually found their way into the office today, I have run my greatest status message ever. It took months to write, and quite possibly will never be topped. I have seamlessly blended hobbits, Seinfeld, volleyball, 2 Skinnee J's lyrics, and several jokes from the Simpsons into one glorious epic poem, all molded into perfect iambic pentameter. There's even a reference to the G.I. Joe cartoon of the eighties in there. Several who have ventured into work on this day before Thanksgiving have actually required medical attention due to the excessive laughing caused by this status message. Others were left speechless by my magnificent effort. Sametime outages have been reported because the server has just been overwhelmed by my brilliance.

But you? Poor you, you're not at work today to appreciate it, so you'll never know. Oh well. Maybe I'll top this status message someday. Not likely, but you can hope.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Heel Hurts

Years ago, upon receiving the prophecy of my death, my mother dipped me in the River Raritan, which protected my entire body from harm.

Explanation: As with the story of the great warrior Achilles, I, too, was dipped into a river as a baby. My mother apparently also held me by the heel. And today, after a mere four games of volleyball last night, my fatal flaw has been exposed and I can no longer go on. Just leave me here and go on to save yourselves. Tell my tale to others so they shall remember me. THIS IS SPARTA!!!

OK, maybe I'm getting my stories confused. The fact of the matter is that the back of my heel hurts a lot and I can't walk normally today. Since I work remotely, you're just going to have to trust me on this. THIS IS SPARTA!!! (Fine, that time I just said it because it was fun.)

*We kindly ask that you refrain from making comments about the cleanliness of the Raritan River. Thank you.

**For like six years I played indoor volleyball all the time against Hector's team, and do I think of the Trojan War at all? Noooooooo.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Short Film For A Short Week

Well, maybe you just weren't meant to write agricultural space tragedies.

Source: From George Lucas in Love. Hat tip to "Sorbet" Sam for this clip:

Friday's Trivia Results: The nine current MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL arenas or stadiums named for the teams that play in them are:

  1. Yankee Stadium
  2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  3. Angel Stadium
  4. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
  5. Dodger Stadium
  6. Dolphins Stadium
  7. Giants Stadium
  8. Cleveland Browns Stadium
  9. Charlotte Bobcats Arena
The (Evil) winner got five of them, with two others getting four.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Today's Status Message, Now With Less Status!

From the archives:

I have to run by the store later and pick up some Caffeine-Free Diet Mountain Dew, non-alcoholic beer, low-carb pasta, a cut of low-protein sirloin, and a low-fruit banana.

Explanation: On this particular day, I was frustrated with products that were being marketed as not having the one quality people purchase them for. OK, so maybe the majority of people don't buy steak for the protein, but I do. I still don't understand why anyone would drink Caffeine-Free Diet Mountain Dew.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Velveeta Rabbit

From the archives:

"I got you this because I know you like rabbits and I know you like cheese."

Source: This is from the the Friends episode, The One With the Dirty Girl.

Explanation: Chandler, who is secretly in love with Joey's girlfriend, Kathy, offers to take care of buying a birthday present for her. He purchases an early edition of The Velveteen Rabbit, her favorite book. Kathy figures out that Chandler made the purchase and not Joey:

Kathy: The Velveteen Rabbit? I kinda have the feeling you had something to do with it.
Chandler: What do you mean?
Kathy: Well, when Joey gave it to me, he said, "This is 'cause I know you like rabbits and I know you like cheese."

Special Blog Bonus: Want to have some fun over the weekend? Play Flash Empires.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Gray Friday!

Drive-by body pierce.
Get crazy with the Cheese-Whiz!
Whatever that means.

Explanation: It's a special song lyrics version of Haiku Friday! Today's lead haiku was inspired by Loser by Beck. That song has some bizarre lyrics.

But that's not all!

From Zoot Suit Riot:
Who's your daddy? Yes I am!
They should tell Pedro.

Explanation: Here I am cleverly combining the lyrics of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and a quote by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez who proclaimed the following after a loss in 2004: "What can I say? I tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." Nowhere else but Jeremy's Status Message can you find such a clever blend of pop culture and sports. Nowhere! Don't even look elsewhere! Seriously, stop looking.

I am the highway.
I am not your rolling wheels.
Audioslave rocks.

Explanation: I am the Highway by Audioslave is just a good tune. That's all.

He's the space cowboy.
Some people call him Maurice.
I just call him Steve.

Explanation: I'm sure you all know this one. In Joker, by the Steve Miller Band, some people call him the space cowboy. Some call him the gangster of love. I prefer just using his first name.

Special Blog Bonus: Now, stepping away from the world of music, I have several random notes to mention:

  1. Congratulations to my favorite Bosnian on the purchase of his house today! Stay tuned to find out if Enter Sandman is playing on the public address system as he walks in to close.
  2. Special note for Barry Bonds: You can't spell "indicted" without "dic". Think about that.
  3. Happy Gray Friday! I deem it so, because it's not quite Black Friday yet. Only 34 shopping days until Christmahanukkwanzakah! This means one important thing: next week NOBODY will be here to read my status messages. Such fun!
And finally, here's a trivia question to keep you occupied during the holiday week. What are the nine current MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL arenas or stadiums named for the teams that play in them? (No cheating!)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No Pain!

I must say, I feel surprisingly good, considering that I had volleyball last night.

Explanation: If you recall, last week I played volleyball for the first time in a long long time and came home feeling like this:

Today, I feel no pain whatsoever. Of course, part of that could be because after driving the half hour down to the facility, I discovered that there were no volleyball players there. Apparently, the open gym last Wednesday was a one-time only thing and not a weekly event. Maybe I should have asked, huh? I must say, few things are worse than driving an hour for absolutely no reason.

Of course, there was the time that I was on my cell phone and started a three hour drive by going twenty minutes in the wrong direction on the highway, turning it into a three hour and forty minute drive. That was worse. The lesson there is to not use your cell phone while driving.

Special Blog Bonus: Several pictures of a LEGO castle that is flat-out sick:

Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4, Pic 5

And, as added fun today: A Nintendo Quiz! I got 68% (17/25), which is a D- where I come from. How will you do?

When you're done with that, you should see this site, which features complete maps from several popular video games (past and present).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This Post Goes On And On And On And On...

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, it just goes on and on and on, and on and on and on and on, and on and on and on and on...

Source: This would be a bastardization of the lyrics to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's Karn Evil 9 First Impression off of Brain Salad Surgery. After looking this up, I don't believe I've ever seen an album title or song titles containing such random collections of words.

In fact, busting out my trusty Random Sentence Generator, if I ever have a band someday, I think I'll name it "The Economics Rots" and we'll call our first album "Its Technique Smokes." Now, I just need to muster up some musical talent...

Special Blog Bonus: Other notable things that seem to go on forever:

  • The decimal representation of 3 1/3
  • Eyes Wide Shut
  • Our country's involvement in Iraq
  • The n+1st workday after an n day workweek.
  • Most nonfiction works over 400 pages
  • Free Bird, by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Song That Never Ends. I will spare you the YouTube hits for this search.
  • The media's infatuation with Britney Spears
  • My current project at work
  • Every baseball game I've seen in the last ten years
Since it's my blog, I reserve the right to add to this list as the day goes on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Four Minutes of Fun!

You say potato and I say Tabata.

Explanation: Aside from the "po-TAY-toe" vs. "po-TAH-toe" thing, the point of this post is to mention Mr. Tabata. I shall now parapharse from T-Nation, which is one of the best exercise websites out there.

Tabata (whose first name I do not actually know) was a Japanese researcher who discovered an interesting method of exercise where one could increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It's one of those strange training programs that seems to fit across disciplines: it's excellent for bicyclists, speed skaters, Olympic lifters, or the person looking to lose fat quickly.

The Tabata method is quite simple. Pick an intense exercise. Some of the best with weights are barbell front squats and "thrusters", which are dumbbell squats with a military press at the end. Use a light weight. Then do as many repetitions as possible in 20 seconds. Rest 10 seconds, and repeat seven more times. That's it. Four minutes and you will be fried.

I am trying to get into shape so that I can actually do these things. Last night I did squats. Just squats: no weight, no thrusters or anything, and only I managed to do three minutes of this before my legs stopped functioning. A week ago, I could only do two minutes. Someday, I will do a full four minutes.

You can also do these with sprints, either on foot or on a bicycle, neither of which I have had the courage to try.

Special Blog Bonus: If you go to YouTube and search for "Pumping Iron 1/9", the entire movie is up there. Major fun.

Starting at about 3:00 into this clip is my favorite scene from the movie (from part 5/9). Arnold's lifting partner is killing himself on squats. Absolutely killing himself. He collapses in a heap and Arnold just steps over him to prep for his set.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Operator, Get Me KL5-LEGO

You know you've been collecting LEGOs for a long time when you realize that you have phone bricks in both rotary and touch-tone.

Explanation: A few days ago, I drove home from my parents' house with what is perhaps my most valued childhood possession: my LEGO collection. Since I spent most of my time between ages 8 and 12 looking in my bins for the exact piece I needed to perfect my model, the grown-up anal me decided to organize my LEGOs a bit. This included putting them in fancy new plastic containers, blowing the dust bunnies off of them, and removing the half ton of birdseed shells that accumulated at the bottom of the containers, thanks to my childhood pet birds. (Luckily, birdseed is the ONLY legacy the birds left) Anyway, LEGOs are on my mind, and since I have just recently been through my entire collection, you may see quite a few LEGO status messages in the near future.

Rotary phone: LEGOs from the distant past.

Touch-tone phone: LEGOs from the slightly less-distant past.

Even more telling is the fact that I don't have anything that even resembles a LEGO cell phone.

Oh, and if you're wondering, I actually built and photographed the two scenes above. Be afraid - I may do this again.

Special Blog Bonus: Here are a few impressive LEGO creations I have come across online:

Mushroom House
Monster Present (with accompanying comic)
Sequoia of Secrets

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hello, Newman

From the archives:

"I'll tell you a little secret about ZIP codes. They're meaningless."

Source: Newman from Seinfeld, while trying to impress a woman.

Special Blog Bonus: Here's another Newman clip:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Welcome to Hungovember

Oktoberfest is a blast, but the real fun comes in Hungovember.

Source: "Hungovember" was totally stolen from The Onion, long long ago.

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a Far Side comic to help you get through your weekend:

Friday, November 9, 2007

Good on Nachos, Too!

Chile: Preventing Argentina from Enjoying the Pacific Ocean Since 1818.*

Source: This is the title of the article on Chile in Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition.

Other highlights include "France: One Nation Above God," "Iraq: They Had It Coming," and "Canada: For The United States, See Pages 9-22."

*Please note that this post pertains to Chile with an "e" and a capital "C", not chili with an "i" and a lower case "c". While chili with an "i" and a lower case "c" has most certainly had ill effects on most of those who have partaken in it, as have chiles with an "e" and a lower case "c", they have not (to my knowledge) ever prevented Argentinians from enjoying the Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, Chile with an "e" and a capital "C" cannot be eaten. If it was edible, it would have been consumed by General Augusto Pinochet in 1981.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Feelin' fine.

Source: For you Simpsons enthusiasts, you should immediately recognize this as what Homer typed in their knockoff of The Shining in Treehouse of Horror V. I posted a video clip of this way back when, but it is no longer available on YouTube, so if you missed it the first time, you're out of luck.

Explanation: I played competitive indoor volleyball last night at a level I have not seen in a very long time. More to the point, I played volleyball at a level my body has not seen in a very long time. So, after 252 posts, it's about time I created a "Volleyball" label.

My wife seems to remember me saying things like "If I keep playing volleyball, my shoulder is going to keep getting worse and someday I'm afraid I won't be able to lift my own children." She also remembers me saying things like "My shoulder is back to 100%. It's fine as long as I don't play volleyball."

So, it's important for me to note that I feel just fine today. Nothing hurts. Nope. My body is finely tuned for such athletic activity. My shoulder is not, I repeat, not dangling from a thread today. I could totally reach that thing over my head with my right arm, I just don't feel like it. Not today, anyway. And those were not ibuprofens you heard from the bathroom, I was just finishing off my Tic Tacs. Yep. These tears are tears of joy.

Special Blog Bonus: I probably feel better than Phil Dalhausser did after this:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No More "Idiots" in New Jersey... Constitution.

Interestingly, one-third of local voters did NOT want the phrase "idiot or insane persons" removed from the state constitution.

Source: New Jersey statewide public question number four on the ballot yesterday:

Seeks voter approval to remove the words "idiot or insane persons" from the state Constitution as a reason for denying a person the right to vote and replace them with "person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

At this point, I should comment on how, while common sense did prevail on this issue, it's no surprise to me that these same voters leaned heavily toward one particular political party. I should also comment on how I voted for the other political party, and that I think their party is evil and stupid.

Link of the Day: The authors of Freakonomics discuss voting. Think your vote counts? Time to get depressed. (This is why I saved this post for AFTER election day)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Make a Difference Today

Vote YES on Proposition 3.

Explanation: It's time for Jeremy's Status Message to make a difference. Today is Election Day - get out there and vote. And when you do vote, vote YES on Proposition 3. Your YES vote is important for those most effected by Proposition 3. Your YES vote is a vote in favor of the most important proposition your town has faced since Proposition 8 back in 1974. Proposition 3 CANNOT succeed without your support. You've seen the signs on your neighbors' lawns. There are people who want to put an end to Proposition 3. You must stop them. They support our country's slow descent toward fascism. They are evil. They like to kick sweet little puppies. A vote for Proposition 3 will stop them. It will drive them from your town. A vote for Proposition 3 is a vote for democracy. You've seen the commercials. You've heard all the arguments. You know what you have to do. Vote YES for America. Vote YES on Proposition 3. Make this world a better place for your children.

Special Blog Bonus: Wear the shirt! Support our cause!

Monday, November 5, 2007

E-A-G-L... And the Game Is Over.

Coming into this weekend, someone should have told the Eagles that "Fall Behind" only pertained to setting their clocks.

Explanation: I had the privilege of attending the Philadelphia Eagles' game against the Dallas Cowboys late last night, where the Eagles opened the game by fumbling the ball on the first play and then managed to get worse from there.

When Terrell Owens scored a touchdown and taunted the fans, somebody with me said, "I hope he gets out of here alive." I could not say the same.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Election Day is Coming!

From the archives:

Vote for the Apathy party in November. Or don't. I don't really care one way or the other.

Source: This is pretty much ripped off from an episode of Futurama, where Fry encounters a representative from the Apathy party:

Fry: "Now here's a party I can get excited about. Sign me up!"
Apathy Party Rep: "Sorry, not with that attitude."
Fry: "Ok, then screw it."
Apathy Party Rep: "Welcome aboard, brother!"
Fry: "Alright!"
Apathy Party Rep: "You're out."

Other sound bytes from this episode (as well as this one) can be found here. I particularly like the Richard Nixon quotes.

Remember to vote early and vote often on Tuesday!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mike Vick, Are You Reading This?

From the archives:

No animals were harmed in the typing of this message.

Source: This is paraphrased from the line you always see in movie credits. I just watched 300 where some giant elephants got knocked off a cliff, so this seemed appropriate.

Special Blog Bonus: Speaking of "Animals", here's Kermit interviewing Animal from the Muppet Show:

And here's the Animal vs. Buddy Rich drum battle, with a hat tip to Peter for this clip:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Virginia Tech 27, Georgia Tech 3

The sun is shining,
Birds chirping. Life is better
When the Hokies win.

Explanation: Now, certainly I will concede to you that Georgia Tech, a very strong running team, came into the game with their top two running backs injured. That put the responsibility for their offense squarely on the shoulders of their quarterback, who apparently doesn't actually have very big shoulders. That being said, my Hokies responded to last Thursday's unspeakable heartbreak quite well, totally demoralizing the Yellow Jackets.

Haikus are better
Without all those censored words
Don't you think? "<BLEEP> yeah!"

Special Blog Bonus: More from The Big Bang Theory:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

That's How We Roll

Yeah, you saw what you saw. That's how we roll in the Shire.

Source: The Big Bang Theory, which is rapidly becoming my favorite show on television.

Explanation: This is from the Halloween episode. Leonard, who is dressed as Frodo, gets a big kiss in his apartment doorway from a drunken Penny. Penny's rather large, muscular ex-boyfriend sees it from Penny's apartment across the hall. Leonard says, "Yeah, you saw what you saw. That's how we roll in the Shire." He then runs into his apartment, slams the door, and locks the deadbolt.

I really like this show. I highly recommend that you check it out on Mondays on CBS. Since I like it, it will be canceled soon, so you'd better tune in ASAP!

Special Blog Bonus: The guys invite Penny to see a Superman movie marathon:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

"I am active."

Explanation: Like my Halloween costume? This year my status message is going as one of those ordinary status messages. Convincing, huh? Sure is! Now gimme candy! Candy candy candycandycandycandy...

Special Blog Bonus: It's a Garfield Halloween! (parts 1, 2, and 3) It's totally worth it just to hear Garfield say "candy candy candycandycandycandy..."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Softest Post Ever!

It was certainly a great deal, but I have to question Target's motivation to sell bulk packages of toilet paper two days before Halloween.

Explanation: I did my part and reduced their inventory by 48 rolls, but they still had more, and I just know that the kids from my neighborhood are over there right now stocking up. I did not look to see if eggs or shaving cream were on sale.

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a comic of the day:

I woke up to "Hey Mickey" this morning, so I figured I'd share my pain with you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

You May Not Have Heard, But...

You may not have known this yet, but next weekend the Indianapolis Colts (7-0) and the New England Patriots (8-0) will play each other.

Explanation: At the end of LAST WEEK's games, all the talking heads could talk about was that there was the possibility of these two unbeaten teams playing each other. This weekend's games meant absolutely nothing, except that both teams managed to remain undefeated, setting up the most-hyped regular season football game ever. (Commentators seem to have suddenly forgotten the last most-hyped regular season football game, which is interesting, because it was probably last year, and at the time they wouldn't shut up about it) On the bright side, networks can now cram even more hype into their pregame studio shows, because they average about seven commentators per show. Also exciting is the chance to hear what Emmitt Smith has to say on the subject. Stay tuned to Monday Night Football tonight for more on the battle of the undefeated.*

Links of the day: Hans Rosling's TED presentation on global trends. While the content of his presentation is quite interesting, what floored me were his presentation materials. I have never seen data charted and presented this well before. You can further explore his work at Gapminder or play with the graphing tool yourself on Google. I am now subscribed to their "Gapcasts" through iTunes.

*Monday night's coverage of the Indianapolis-New England matchup may contain minimal footage of Green Bay playing Denver.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quicksand Box

From the archives:

"When I was a kid, we had a quicksand box in the backyard. I was an only child... eventually."

Source: Steven Wright

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sam vs. the Sorbet, Part IV

From the archives:

In a close race, Sam figured out his dessert JUST before...

Explanation: The exciting conclusion of the Sorbet Saturday series! First, I should apologize for not finishing this series last week - I had to attend a family funeral last weekend and my mind was totally elsewhere.

Now, you're probably wondering where the rest of this status message went. I can paraphrase the conclusion by saying "JUST before we finished Service Work X" where Service Work X was a legendary work item our department had been working on for at least six years. In general, a piece of service work that has its first birthday draws management attention and must be dealt with ASAP. This item, which became service work once the development stream passed it by for the third or fourth release, was around three years old, I believe. It sure seemed that way. I would have specifically mentioned it here, but I have discovered that you can easily Google for it and I don't want to reveal too much about the inner workings of my company. Plus, any of you readers who work with me already can guess what I'm talking about.

Special Blog Bonus: Mike Stimpson's LEGO recreation of "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" by Charles Ebbets:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Haiku You, B.C. Haiku You.

Tech's up ten-zero
Three minutes left, then we lose.
It is what it is.

Yeah, it's <bleep>ing haiku <bleep>ing Friday. (Can you tell I'm composing this on Thursday night after the football game?)

I wanted to highlight the phrase "it is what it is" and this seems like the perfect opportunity. This is a phrase people use in one of two ways:

  1. "This <bleep>ing sucks, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it."
  2. "This <bleep>ing sucks, but there's absolutely nothing I will do about it."
To paraphrase, the first flavor means "we're screwed" and the second means "you're screwed." A very significant difference. In the workplace, it is important to take note of this distinction, because often management will use the second flavor, but pretend to be using the first.

As for my Hokies, trust me, I am using the first one. I am also using many other choice unbloggable words right now. I composed the following haiku shortly after my Hokies muffed a Boston College onside kick attempt, giving them the ball back with a chance to win the game:

<bleep> <bleep> mother <bleep>
How could you <bleep> <bleep> the <bleep>
You <bleep> <bleep>ing <bleep>

OK. For the rest of the weekend, I shall pretend that there's no such thing as college football. The following is a distraction if you plan on doing the same.

Link of the Day: Play Treasure of Cutlass Reef online.* Drown your college football sorrows by sinking and plundering pirate ships!

*Hat tip to "Jim" for this link.**

**I've seen "hat tips" in other blogs and always wanted to do it myself. Now I have! Thanks "Jim"!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My "Help"

System Up-time Alert: Your system has been running continuously for more than 48 hours. As soon as possible, please shut down, hibernate or suspend your system for at least 15 minutes. To maintain your workstation's performance and extend its life, you should shut your system down and restart it daily.

Explanation: At work, we are required to run a program called My Help. This application has numerous fabulous features:

  • At the first sign of a problem, the application pops up a window with a warning. Of course, on my machine, I cannot see the window, I just see the My Help entry appear on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. In order to actually see the entry, I have to right click on the My Help taskbar entry and then click "Move". I then have to touch the mouse to move the window, which causes my warning to magically appear. This took about 4-5 months to discover.
  • My Help warns me about any and all connectivity problems. Generally, I will be working in a terminal (pretty much all I do) and will discover the terminal to be unresponsive. I will then check other terminals to see what kind of connection issue I'm facing. If I have become completely disconnected from the work network, I lose the ability to do anything until I reconnect again, which usually takes about ten minutes. About five minutes after I stop cursing, a My Help window appears to dutifully tell me that I may have lost connectivity. Thanks, My Help!
  • Today's status message absolutely takes the cake. I must have received a My Help update recently that now includes this warning. Apparently, the Windows operating system will not function properly if running continuously for more than two days. TWO FREAKIN' DAYS??? This is a joke. An absolute joke. I think the stability of Windows is ridiculous, and even I don't usually encounter problems until I get up near 2 or 3 weeks of uptime. I recall how excited I was when I ran Linux on my desktop machine and my uptime would hit 100 days. Now I guess I have to adjust my standards to 100 hours, huh? My Help is essentially telling me that a daily reboot is a preventative measure. I can't believe somebody was paid to write this application.
  • And finally, this is a new perversion that I've noticed all over the world of software. Somebody requires that you run some sort of management program with another program. For instance, My Help is required when you run the e-client at work. Or you download iTunes and you get the iTunes Update application with it. My printer/scanner software has a driver update feature. Even the evil Norton Internet Security comes with LiveUpdate. Have you noticed that the management applications need to be updated more often than the applications themselves? Nine times out of ten, when I download updates for my work machine, there is a My Help update in there. Meanwhile, I think the iTunes Update application solely exists to update itself. Same goes for LiveUpdate. Without the management application, our software would be dead in about a year. But WITH the applications, our internet connection is abused for a lifetime.
Special Blog Bonus: All this complaining is depressing. Here's a comic to add a little levity to your day:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hello. My Name is Inigo Montoya.

"See? Didn't I tell you she'd never marry that rotten Humperdinck?"

"Yes, you're very smart. Shut up."

Source: This is from The Princess Bride. The grandson (Kevin Arnold) is totally shot down by his grandfather (Columbo) so he can continue telling the story. It's a total throwaway line, but I love it.

Want a better line? How about this one: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

He could have saved half of his dialogue with one of these:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You're So Vain

You're so vain, you probably think this status message is about you.

Source: This would be paraphrased from the Carly Simon song, You're So Vain. Simon has never said who the song is actually about, but several of her ex-boyfriends are suspected, including Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger. In fact, when the song was released, Warren Beatty called her and thanked her for writing a song about him. Personally, I don't care who the song was about. I'm just grateful that Simon and Jagger never married, because that would have led to a new breed of giant-mouthed horse people.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sheer Brilliance

Say whatever you want about the rest of the show - naming a Basset Hound "Flash" was a stroke of brilliance.

Explanation: Few dogs look less built for speed than Basset Hounds, so when Rosco P. Coltrane named his dog "Flash", it was just brilliant. If only he could have used some of that brilliance in outwitting those pesky Duke boys, huh?

Here's a little something to get stuck in your head for the rest of the day:

Link of the day: Microsoft's Blaise Aguera y Arcas demonstrates what Microsoft is doing after their acquisition of Seadragon. This is the coolest technology I've seen since the iPhone.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Luckily It's Sunny Today

From the archives:

A day without sunshine is like, night.

Source: This was a bumper sticker I found online. I still think bumper stickers make great status messages.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Vacation Recap

From the archives:

Let's see. There was a cabin, a lot of rain, some really annoying horseflies, a trip to the CIA, a little volleyball, a dog funeral, seventeen family dinners, a piece of a Danish musical instrument, a strongman competition, celery, fireworks, Liz was late, my toenail was ripped off, a parade, a pool, more dominoes than I could ever imagine, my Intranet password expired, and now I'm back at work.

Explanation: One tradition I've had over the years of posting status messages is hitting the highlights of some time off when I return to work. This was my status after a particularly eventful week and a half off, which included the Fourth of July and a camping trip. By the way, I'm still a little bitter about the toenail thing.