Thursday, January 31, 2008

Check the Flavor of the Rhythm I Wrote

Let me clear my throat!!!

Source: Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool. Thankfully, this was the most notable track off of DJ Kool's hit 1995 album Allow Me to Perform This Bodily Function. (I strongly suggest you avoid the 24 minute Permit Me to Yawn track.)

Explanation: None necessary. Few sounds bring in the party better than the horns at the beginning of this song. I was wondering if there was an actual video for this song and it turns out there is, but not the Live in Philly version that I'm used to. Oh, and it stinks, so...

Special Blog Bonus: Somebody on YouTube created a Fraggle Rock version of Let Me Clear My Throat. I figured you might enjoy this more.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Six Degrees

Buffalo wings are served with blue cheese, which is served with salad, which is served with soup, which is served with bread, which shares a BLT with... BACON!!!

Explanation: That's right! It's six degrees of bacon!!! Want another? It doesn't even have to be about food. How about this:

Popeye eats spinach, which is in Quiche Lorraine, which contains eggs, which are served with... BACON!!!

Hmmm... Let's get tricky.

Jack Nicholson was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon, who was in JFK with Jack Lemmon, and lemons are squeezed on scallops, which come wrapped in.... BACON!!!

There. I started you off. Give it a shot. It's quite fun.


Special Blog Bonus: Here's comedian Jim Gaffigan talking about bacon:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wait Wait... Don't Post Me!

"How are things in Vancouver?" "Ummm... kinda like Seattle, only metric."

Source: This exchange happened when Anthony, a caller from Vancouver Canada, was a contestant on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Explanation: Wait Wait is rapidly becoming my favorite podcast, which is unfortunate, because I'm burning through all of my past episodes. Soon I'll be stuck waiting for a new episode each week like the rest of the world. It's like "catching up to reality" on a TiVo-delayed program. You suddenly just don't feel privileged anymore, because you have to watch commercials like the rest of those non-TiVo-owning commoners out there.

Here's a behind the scenes look at Wait Wait:

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a Good Eats parody. "See how much easier it is when we work in metric?"

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not-So-Super Monday

Today is the Monday before the Monday between Super Sunday and Super Tuesday, which makes it... a letdown.

Explanation: Next Sunday is the Super Bowl, making it "Super Sunday" in the sports world, while next Tuesday is "Super Tuesday" in the world of politics. Why am I not talking about next Monday when it comes? Well, because next Monday I'll be talking about the Super Bowl, like the rest of the world.

Special Blog Bonus: Today is the 50th anniversary of the LEGO Brick as we know it today! Even Google has joined in the party:

Late Addition: Gizmodo has a great LEGO timeline today as well. The Galaxy Explorer (497) was one of my all-time favorites.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

C Code Run. Run Code Run.

From the archives:

"C is a language with the flexibility and speed of assembly combined with the ease of use of assembly."

Source: I got this quote off the internet somewhere. I have to agree, considering how confusing C can be at times. If you haven't seen my post on the International Obfuscated C Code Contest you should look now.

Explanation: I sat down at my Linux machine the other night in an effort to put together a web site using a Content Management System (CMS). I had high aspirations. After three hours of work, I was proud to say that my web server was recognizing the directory in which the CMS code resided. Mind you, the site didn't work for squat, but I had managed to figure out the intricacies of SELinux, which the developers put into Fedora to keep people like me from being productive. The amazing part was that I was PROUD to have accomplished what I did.

Let's put it another way. Imagine getting a new jigsaw puzzle and being really excited to put it together. After three hours, imagine the puzzle still being in the box, but being really proud that you managed to find a table on which to assemble it. That's about where I stand. You have to love technology.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Could Go For Some Fun in the Sun

From the archives:

It's tough to complain about the sunburn you got at work when work consisted of shuffleboard, miniature golf, a horseback ride through the woods, a little tennis, some time on a climbing wall, and no actual work.

Explanation: This was my status the day after our organization's "Fun in the Sun" day a few years back. When it's 30 degrees outside, I like to reminisce about those great days of yore, back when we could comfortably wear shorts outside and the waterslide was a great way to finish up a "tough" day at work.

Special Blog Factoid of the Day: Shaquille O'Neal, whose financial information was made public as part of his divorce proceedings, averages spending $12,775 a month on food. Other expenditures of note are $110,505 a month on vacations and $3,345 in phone bills.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tom Platz Knows Squat

"After a good set of squats, I'm breathless and have difficulty walking."

Source: Tom Platz. THE Tom Platz. What? You have no idea who Tom Platz is? Shame on you.

Explanation: At his prime, Tom Platz had the best leg development in the history of bodybuilding. This was 30-some years ago, and in a sport where everyone has gotten bigger and better (possibly thanks to advances in modern chemistry) Platz's legs remain the gold standard.

At a 198 pound bodyweight, Platz squatted 600 pounds in competition. At his best he did 28 reps with 405 pounds and 52 reps with 350. With 225 pounds, he has squatted for ten straight minutes. And, amazingly, even with all that bulk, the man could do a full split. Just sick.

Anyway, the moral of the story is simple. Squats are good for your legs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Art of Shoptimization

Shoptimization: The art of evaluating internet deals in order to pay the lowest possible price for an item or items. See Software, Financial.

Explanation: Yesterday, I made my annual TurboTax purchase. This is always a very exciting time in the Jeremy's Status Message household. After several days of monitoring internet deals, I decided that my best option was to purchase TurboTax Deluxe With State at Staples for $39.99 (a $5 internet-only discount off the normal $44.99 price) and take a $60 rebate on Quicken Deluxe ($59.99) along with it. Ordinarily, I would look for the best possible deal on TurboTax and take any deal I could find with it, but this year I'm in the market for a new version of Quicken, and I need the Quicken Deluxe version for 401(k) tracking and such, which you normally can't get for free with TurboTax.

Normally, I would be looking for Antivirus software - usually you can get Norton Antivirus for free with tax software, so I buy it and hold on to the free copy until my subscription runs out later in the year. Last year, though, my subscription ran out very late in the year, and I think I can get by without actually making a Norton purchase this year. Yes, I know that means not getting new antivirus updates for a week or so, but it's a risk I'm willing to take, especially after the last time I installed Norton.

So this year, I was actually looking at an OfficeDepot deal that offered the same $60 rebate (actually 2 rebates) on Quicken Deluxe, but they never posted one of the rebates on their web site. I even called tech support and they said they would fix it and never did. Luckily, I looked again at Staples and saw that they have the same deal, plus the $5 instant coupon on TurboTax. Throw in my Staples Rewards membership and the convenience of their Easy Rebates system, and this was a no brainer.

So, I knew the deal I wanted. The next step is to maximize that deal. The best offers I could find were a 12% store-only coupon (which means I would lose my $5 instant rebate on TurboTax) or a $10 off $100 coupon they had emailed me. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I could have probably bought a $20 off $100 coupon on eBay, but I never trust those and I think it's more hassle than it's worth. Doing the math, $12 off $104.98 was not as good as $10 off $99.98, so I went with my coupon. Unfortunately, when they say $100, they mean $100, so I had to buy a $0.58 eraser to render the coupon valid. A small price to pay for a better deal.

There you go. That's my shoptimization process in a nutshell. Stay tuned - maybe someday I'll talk to you about the last LEGO set I bought. It took three months to find the perfect deal, but it was TOTALLY worth it. Ooh! There was also my camera, which I ordered for store pickup with a sick coupon on a day when I was in the Delaware area. That was a major coup as well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Go Green!

If I had a pet made out of #1 plastic, do you know what I'd call him? Pete!

Explanation: Whenever I check a piece of plastic to see if it needs to be recycled, I always see "PETE" written under the #1 symbol and think to myself, "I guess this can/bottle/container is named Pete!" Maybe I'm the only one...

Special Blog Bonus: We at Jeremy's Status Message care for our environment. We strongly support telecommuting as a way to help our planet and maintain a "green" lifestyle. Here are a few pointers:

  • Save gas. A mere fifteen mile commute for an entire year can add up to about 7000 miles. Even in a hybrid, that's over 200 gallons of gas. Working from home will save that gas. In fact, we suggest a healthy lunch of turkey chili, so you can help create gas right here in America.
  • An office is expensive to heat. Staying at home, you can turn your heat off and just throw on a few layers of fleece. Just be sure to properly ground yourself before using any sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Showers waste thousands of gallons of water each year. Baths may waste slightly less, but if you're working from home, who cares about personal hygeine? Shower once a week. Shaving is for sissies. If you do have to leave the house, just tell people you're growing a playoff beard for whatever sport is in season.*
  • Millions of trees are killed each year just to make napkins. Don't use them. An added bonus is that you can save extra food in your playoff beard in case you get stuck on a teleconference and can't run down to the kitchen.
As always, we at Jeremy's Status Message reserve the right to update and revise this list during the day.

Also, if you want a truly "Green" candidate we suggest you vote Hulk for president.

*If you don't follow sports, just say your playoff beard is for the local hockey team. The NHL playoffs last for about four months, so you have a high probability of being right.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

An Unusually Stable Market

Oddly, the company stock price didn't change at all yesterday.

Explanation: Usually, on a federal holiday, I totally forget that it's a federal holiday, but yesterday was different. Even though I was working, I remembered that there was no mail delivery. In fact, I was quite excited at the possibility that my wife might ask if the mail had come so I could show how smart I was that I knew it was a federal holiday. I was so smart, I could barely contain myself.

Meanwhile, all day I was checking the stock price on the company intranet and was pleasantly surprised each time that it was up $2.30. Each time. Never did it occur to me that the time next to the price was last Friday at 4:00 PM.

Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and forget about the whole market thing and start laughing at the people in my neighborhood who put their trash out last night, even though collection was postponed until Wednesday due to the holiday. Suckers!

Special Blog Bonus: It's been a while since I ran a comic, so here's a Far Side for you:

Polar bear and penguins

Monday, January 21, 2008

On My TiVo the Packers Still Have a Chance

I have a dream that one day my TiVo will actually record an NFL game in its entirety.

Explanation: Since I played volleyball all day yesterday, I was having trouble keeping my eyes open during the Packers-Giants game last night. So, I told the TiVo to record the rest of it and went to bed around halftime. This morning, I watched the second half of the game. At the end of the recording, the score is tied 20-20 and the Giants are driving toward a possible game winning field goal with about 1:30 left in regulation.

This is exactly why my Virginia Tech recording preferences always record an hour and a half after the network schedules the game to end. When recording on the fly, however, sometimes it just doesn't seem worth the effort to go through all of those options. Oh well. Only one more game left this year, and I'll be watching that live.

Also, I'd like to send a "hello" to all those Americans who get today off. You'll be reading this after you wake up around 10:00, I'm sure. Jerks.

Important Note From The Management: You may notice that there were no posts this weekend. Well, there weren't. I will backfill them when I have a spare moment or two today. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Footloose! Cut Loose!

From the archives:

Kick off your Sunday shoes.

Source: From the song Footloose.

Explanation: I originally ran this on a workday, of course, but it just seems more appropriate to run on a Sunday. So here it is.

You know, I loved this movie when I first saw it back in the eighties. I bought the tape. I listened to it all the time. Most importantly, I vowed never to get involved with a preacher's daughter.

Do you remember the scene where Kevin Bacon* just goes to the old warehouse and dances alone? A little weird, wasn't it? Here's the video. Judge for yourself.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rock Music Makes You Stupid!

From the archives:

"Rock music has been found to cause chemical imbalances in the human body. The bass tones and driving drumbeats of modern rock have been proven to demonstrate a reaction with the cerebral-spinal fluid and pituitary gland of the brain. When exposed to rock, the adrenaline and sex glands over secrete. Their hormonal production is pushed into overdrive. This is why feelings of lust and sensuality wash over everyone there. Since the body’s hormones are imbalanced, it compensates by drawing blood sugar from the brain to bring everything into alignment. Since blood sugar is the primary material used by the brain to feed itself, a lack of decision making ability is the inevitable result."

Source: Jeff Godwin's book, Dancing With Demons.

Explanation: So, after watching the movie Footloose I actually hopped on the internet and did some research, wondering if there actually were people out there who refused to dance for religious purposes. I found this quote in an article and I had to use it as a status message. As a counterpoint, I propose you watch the following video and see if it impairs your decision making ability.

Does it make your cerebral spinal-fluid all tingly? Do you feel compelled to rock? Do you not remember what you were doing before you watched the video? Are you trying to figure out how Angus can play guitar with his stubby little munchkin fingers? We want to know!

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Mountain or a Fish?

I'm confused. Is she a mountain or a fish?

Source: This would be a line from a wonderfully written conversation between Alan and Charlie on Two and a Half Men. Unfortunately, this blog is too family-oriented to contain the remainder of it.

Special Blog Bonus: Moving right along, I have two exciting links to make up for today's lack of information...

First, somebody created a LEGO Minas Tirith. You have to see it. Quite impressive.

And secondly, with a hat tip to my favorite Bosnian, here is a gizmo that you didn't know existed... and now you can't live without.

It's a battery charger that allows you to set your charging rate, in order to be more gentle on batteries. It tests batteries and tells you what their capacity is. Most importantly for me, though, it refreshes old rechargeable batteries. Ever use a rechargeable battery long enough to cut its performance down to about 15 minutes? This will refresh the battery, giving you a much greater performance out of those old batteries. It's green, it's a gizmo, and you MUST HAVE IT! (Well, I must have it. I don't know about you.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

At-Home Science Experiment

Dark room + fleece sweatshirt + compact flourescent light bulb = freaky

Explanation: Last night, as I got ready for bed in a dark room, I took off my fleece sweatshirt and tossed it onto the top shelf of my closet. As I was looking for something else in the closet, the light bulb flickered. We have a switch or two in the house that can be in the off position, but not completely off, which leads to flickering lights and other odd symptoms, so I checked the switch only to be reminded that it wasn't one of them. I then stood for a minute and wondered if A) this light bulb was going to cause our house to burn down or B) our house was now haunted.

Then it occurred to me that the sweatshirt had been particularly staticky. The static from the fleece as it passed by the bulb managed to excite the gas enough to make the light flicker.* See? Static isn't just for sticking balloons to the wall and making your hair stand up.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to work my plans for converting an old football stadium into a power plant by installing 100 yards of shag carpeting and then hosting birthday parties with balloon animals there for toddlers in socks.

Special Blog Bonus: Check out Static Electricity by the Sticky Socks:

This video is complements of Bill Nye the Science Guy. You can see the whole episode in three parts here, here, and here.

*Kids, don't try this at home without adult supervision.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pay Attention People!

Look at you, just sitting in front of your computer. The current Homeland Security Terror Alert status is "Elevated," or yellow! There is a significant risk of terrorist attack!!! Are you prepared? ARE YOU???

Explanation: We at Jeremy's Status Message consider it our civic duty to remind you, our valued readers that you should not forget about terrorism. It's still out there. It could be lurking around the next corner you see. BOO! OK, that was just us testing you, but it could have been terrorism. You cannot take your freedom for granted.* As advised by the United States government and the Department of Homeland Security, we encourage you to take the following steps to thwart terrorism:

  • Vote against terrorism. That's right. Are you anti-terrorist? Are you pro-America? Then make your voice heard! Get out there this November and cast your vote against terrorism! If you don't, the terrorists may have already won.
  • Do everything in your power to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Help the American government find new sources of oil! Dig holes in your backyard to find your own!** The only way we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to find our own oil right here in the United States of America. IT'S THE ONLY WAY, PEOPLE!!!
  • Be patient while waiting in line at airport security. It is a well known fact that terrorists only utilize methods that have been used in the past by other terrorists. Therefore we ask that you do your duty as an American by taking off your belt and shoes and surrendering your shampoo. Your hair will lose body and volume, but democracy will prevail!
  • Learn the terrorism threat advisory levels. Sure, you may be familiar, or even eerily comfortable with yellow ("Elevated"), orange ("High") and red ("Severe"), but did you the chart also comes in blue, for "Guarded", and green, for "Low"? Sure, achieving one of those levels would obviate the very department that established them, but it's something that all Americans should dutifully aspire to. Also, be on the lookout for exciting new levels, like hot pink ("Duck!"), strobing red/blue ("Get out of the way!"), and the always terrifying nuclear winter white ("Oh dear Lord, you're hunting with Dick Cheney!!!").
Special Blog Bonus: As a convenience to readers Jeremy's Status Message is providing you with the current terror alert status. Come back and check this post to see changes in the terror alert status. We recommend you check three to five times a day for starters, then more as you get more comfortable with that schedule. The current terror alert status is:

*In accordance to the Patriot Act, article 7, paragraph 12, the federal government is now allowed to take your freedom, just not for granted.
**While you're digging, can you please let us know if you find Osama Bin Laden? We found Saddam in a hole, so it's not too much of a stretch.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking 5 miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is."

Source: This is a quote by Ellen DeGeneres.

Special Blog Bonus: Need to kill some more time? Check out Sean Kenney's LEGO web site. Anybody who creates a Plastic Shatner is cool in my book.

Monday, January 14, 2008


You know, without the dancing Indian chief, the YMCA is pretty much just a health club.

Explanation: I was fortunate enough to be invited as a guest to a very nice new YMCA yesterday. The facilities were great, but we left after working out, so I don't know if it would have been fun to stay...

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a photo of my brother-in-law (left) dancing to the Y-M-C-A on the Philadelphia Phillies' dugout with 4-time World's Strongest Man Magnus ver Magnussen, strongman Chad Coy, and the Phillie Phanatic. I'm sure this would make a pretty funny joke somehow, but frankly the picture is amusing enough.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Scandinavian Furniture, BUT AT WHAT COST???

From the archives:

Ikea is a four-letter word.

Explanation: This was posted on a Monday morning. The previous weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to go to Ikea to buy some nice inexpensive Scandinavian furniture for my new town house in Poughkeepsie. The nearest Ikea was in Paramus, New Jersey. So, Jim (who also is big into inexpensive Scandinavian furniture) and I hopped into my truck on Sunday morning to make the hour and fifteen minute drive down there. When we got there, we realized a very important detail that we had overlooked. Everything in Bergen County is closed on Sundays. Oops. Instead of writing off the trip as a complete failure, we managed to meander another 45 minutes or so to the Ikea in Elizabeth, only to discover that they were having a weekend sale.

Allow me to digress for a moment and describe a few different types of crowds I have experienced in my life:

Times Square at Rush Hour: Rush hour in New York City is unique. Take a giant island, put 10 million people there, let them all out at 5:00pm and watch them scurry in a million different directions. Everyone is going somewhere, and everyone is in a hurry. And even worse, everyone is going to a different somewhere. It's total chaos. Now, create a bizarre intersection like Times Square and it gets even more confusing. But that's not all! Now intersperse a few thousand tourists who don't speak English and have no idea where they are going. Oh, the joy! Whenever you combine thousands of people in a hurry with thousands of people who have no idea where they are going, it just isn't pretty.

A Football Game Has Ended at RFK Stadium: My memory is a little shaky on the actual distance, but as I recall, RFK stadium is located about a third of a mile from a Metro station. When a football game ends there, thousands of people depart the stadium and head directly to the station. In this type of crowd you have a very large number of people all hurriedly heading in the same direction. The problem is that there are a limited number of trains at the end of this mass of humanity, and if you don't hurry, you're stuck in the station until next week, or longer if there's another home game. Nobody can hurry fast enough. I may have plowed through a dozen or so people on an escalator that day - it's all a little fuzzy.

The Wegman's Grand Opening: Our local Wegman's grocery store opened last year. In the three years since I had been in the area, there had been a giant Wegman's sign in front of the shopping center, but the store hadn't finished construction. The public was dying to get in there. They wanted their big fancy grocery store, and it turned out to be bigger and fancier than they had possibly believed. So, they all came. All of them. By sheer luck, our local pharmacist had been bought out by Wegman's and had moved into the new store. Wouldn't you know it, we had to go pick up a prescription that day. If you have ever been in a grocery store with thousands of people in it, I'm sorry. The place is jam packed. Everyone has a giant grocery cart. Everyone is stopping to look at everything. It's a traffic nightmare.

Bourbon Street on New Year's Eve: This was the most dense crowd I have ever been in... and not just because there were Texas Longhorn fans there. We were there right after the Sugar Bowl ended and there were areas of the street where the crowd would just carry you from one place to the other. You could stop moving your feet and the crowd would just drag you. Having experienced it, I know what it must be like for those people who get caught in human stampedes. It's pretty scary.

Now, back to Ikea. If you've ever been in an Ikea, there is only one path through the store. You get on the path and follow the arrows, and ultimately you find yourself back in the parking lot, full of Sweedish meatballs and $600 poorer, with a new sunroom for your house packed neatly in a 5x5x1 box that weighs 700 pounds. It's simple and it works, and I had always remembered it as being a neat experience.

That all changes when Ikea has a sale. There are thousands of people in the store. They wander around with total disregard to the arrows on the floor. Their children are untended to and running amok - in fact, I think people just leave their children there for the day and noone notices. Nobody speaks English. People are rude to you in languages you'll never understand. Manners are left in the parking lot. No, check that. Manners are left at the entrance to the parking lot. The parking lot resembled the mall parking lot at Christmas time, only less friendly.

It was an insane crowd. Take the four crowds I have described above and combine them... only lose the stampede and the drunken partiers. OK, just combine the first three crowds and add some Longhorn fans. I'd rather be in the stampede - at least I was drunk and happy.

I didn't buy anything that day at Ikea. I just had to get out of the store. I had to get out of the parking lot. I had to get away. It was hell. Sheer hell. It took me the entire drive home to return to normalcy. That was five years ago and I haven't been back to Ikea since.

Special Blog Bonus: Irregular Webcomic forever earned my love with this comic the other day:

Have a happy Ikea-free weekend.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Flipper Has a Point

From the archives:

On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was much more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much, the wheel, New York, wars, and so on- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man- for precisely the same reasons.

Source: Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Explanation: If you've read it, good. If you haven't you should. See, I'm a poet... and I know it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Whining

I am thirty-two going on thirty-three,
My back, it really kills.
My heel makes me gimpy, my shoulder is wimpy,
I need some more Advils!

Source: This is a rewrite of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from The Sound of Music. Special thanks to Mr. Rademacher, my middle school music teacher, for making us sing the songs from this musical over and over and over again.*

Explanation: I played volleyball last night and found out that I am one of only two people on my team who is under 50. Why do I not feel under 50? When did my body start breaking down like this? On the bright side, we won our match in five games (again) and remain undefeated at 2-0. I mention this because I fear it won't last.

*Note that this is the first time I have ever thanked Mr. Rademacher for anything in my entire life. It will probably be the last, too, so you'd better enjoy it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Go #134!!! Woo-hoo!

Why is it that NFL game officials have uniform numbers and no other professional sports league does?

Explanation: I've been wondering this for a long time, but this is the first I've remembered to mention it in this space. Why are they so special? Is it so Ed Hochuli's parents can differentiate him from the linebackers?

Little Known Fact #1: Referee #135 used to be my second line manager. OK, maybe they just share the same name.

Little Known Fact #2: Not only does Ed Hochuli have his own Wikipedia page, but it has a section entitled "Physical Exercise".

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Da Vinci's Last Deathtrap

"I have devised a cunning and inescapable deathtrap. Unfortunately, this room is too small to contain it."

Source: This is the punchline from yesterday's Irregular Webcomic. Say what you want about internet comics, but there's no way you're finding a good number theory joke in Family Circus or Shoe.

Explanation: For those of you who do not remember (and shame on you if you don't) I first mentioned Fermat's last theorem nine days ago. You can read about it under the explanation for item "2".

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Oh Poop

What's more fun than a 120 pound arthritic labrador with digestive issues? Everything!

Explanation: For the past week, we have had a house guest: my parents' dog Emma. She's a good dog, but things were a little shaky for her when she first got here, and there was a morning when I came downstairs to find that our laundry room was... well... Let's just say it was dirty. Very, very dirty.

So, I spent 45 minutes of my first day back to work after vacation mopping and cleaning up after her. At the time, I wasn't a happy camper. I can laugh about it now. Almost.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Get Bent... At Bending College!

Of course [I went to college]. I'm a bender. I went to bending college. I majored in bending.

Source: This is from the Mars University episode of Futurama. The bad news is that Futurama is no longer on the Cartoon Network. The good news is that it's now on Comedy Central! Here's the full dialogue leading to today's status:

Leela: You went to college?
Bender: Of course. I'm a bender. I went to Bending College; I majored in Bending.
Fry: What was your minor?
Bender: Robo-American Studies.

Also important to note is that Mars University has it's own Wikipedia page. Find that in your Encyclopedia Brittanica. What? You don't have one? Oh. Me neither.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

True Hollywood TURN OFF THE TV!

From the archives:

If you're ever flipping channels and you find yourself watching the "E!" network, just turn off the television and go read a book or something. It just isn't worth it.

Explanation: After several years of searching the channels for anything, and I mean anything to watch, I realized that I ultimately would end up watching some garbage on "E!" instead of doing something more productive with my life. You know, "Top 25 Celebrity Split-Ups" or some "True Hollywood Story" or even worse - Howard Stern. This had nothing to do with my need to see such a program - it was just the most interesting thing to watch when I didn't want to get up from the television.

Finally, I declared today's status message to be a rule in my life. If I get to "E!" and it looks interesting to me, I turn off the television and go do something else. It's that easy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 12

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

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,
My online anagram finder gave to me,
Mummers vend lewd rug trim,
Viper nipples peeing,
Penned alligators,
Sandal ending in ice,
Salami king might die,
Mass newsman viewings,
I see lying axe gas,
Diverging Felons,
Bald slicing furor,
Eh... Fresh Entrench?
Vetoed Wort Lust,
And I retained a paper garter.

Explanation: These are simply anagrams of the gifts on the twelve days of Christmas. Want to look them up yourself? Here are convenient links to the anagram finder. I got a great deal of amusement out of looking these up. Unfortunately, several of the most amusing anagrams were not publishable.* Note that if there are a lot of anagrams, the page may be slow to load:

Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtledoves
A partridge in a pear tree.

*Yes, I deemed "Viper nipples peeing" as publishable. I understand that. There are just some words I can't put on the blog, that's all.

This concludes the Twelve Days of Christmas on Jeremy's Status Message. We hope you had a joyous holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 11

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

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Hokies gave to me... a loss.

That was my actual status message on Sametime. For completeness, here's the rest:

Eleven special teams players, none of whom accounted for the Kansas player who ran up the middle untouched to block a short field goal attempt. The final score differential? Three points.

Ten senior starters who just played their last college game and went out with a whimper.

Number nine, linebacker Vince Hall, who is one of the best defensive players on the team, about whom I read the following yesterday:

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Virginia Tech starting senior linebacker Vince Hall is questionable for Thursday's FedEx Orange Bowl against Kansas with a bruised left knee he injured Sunday at the team beach party.

Eight months until Tech plays another meaningful game. That means eight months of moping about this loss.

A seven point gift of an interception return for a touchdown thrown by our quarterback of the future for the game's first score. Good thing he's the quarterback of the future, because I don't think I can take the present anymore.

Six Buffalo wings. OK, so the Hokies did not give them to me, but they were the highlight of my evening, so I figured I should mention them.

Five sacks allowed.

A fourth and ten conversion when Tech opted to bring their cover guys in from the gunners to rush the punter... and then the Kansas up-man threw the ball to an uncovered gunner for a 22 yard gain. Through some fluke, this drive contained a 1st and goal from the Virginia Tech 1-yard-line, followed shortly by a 2nd and goal from the Virginia Tech 29-yard-line, followed by a Tech interception, keeping Kansas from scoring. This lessened the pain a bit after the aforementioned missed field goal... but only a bit.

Three turnovers, resulting in 17 Kansas points.

Two quarterbacks. We had two quarterbacks this season along with the best receiving corps our school has ever trotted out on the field. The result? Nothing special. Who'd have thought I'd be longing for the days of Bryan Randall?

And one good thing: At least we're not Notre Dame.

Explanation: OK, so technically they gave me all of this stuff last night on the tenth day of Christmas, but the eleventh day was the first day I could post about it, so that's why it's here.

Answers to Yesterday's Cryptic Crossword Clues:

10) Bounding angle pi confused clearing (7): LEAPING
Bounding is a synonym for leaping. "ANGLE PI" confused, or mixed-up is "LEAPING". Clearing is also a synonym for leaping.

9) Women's mixed-up ideals (6): LADIES
Women's is a synonym for ladies' and "IDEALS" mixed-up is "LADIES"

8) In the beginning man ate insects, dinosaurs, sometimes the help (5): MAIDS
In the beginning of "Man Ate Insects, Dinosaurs, Sometimes" is M-A-I-D-S. "The help" are maids.

7) She was a nun's sister initially (5): SWANS
"She Was A Nun's Sister" initially is S.W.A.N.S.

6) Placing some of replay in green (6): LAYING
"Placing" is another word for "LAYING". Some of "repLAY IN Green" is "LAYING".

5) blonde returned part of reasoned logic (6): GOLDEN
"Blonde" is another word for "GOLDEN". Part of "reasoNED LOGic" returned is "GOLDEN".

4) Art or craft racket (7): CALLING
Art, craft, and racket are all synonyms for CALLING.

3) We would be yes to the ear, cheese eaters (6): FRENCH
To the ear, "We" and "Oui" are the same. And it would mean yes in FRENCH. "Cheese-eaters" is a dirty clue, but if you know me at all, you know that I like to call the FRENCH "Cheese-eating surrender monkeys."

2) Peacemakers do vestment introduction (5): DOVES
Another word for "peacemakers" is "DOVES". The introduction of "DO VEStment" is "DOVES".

1) We hear twins appear topless (4): PEAR
Twins would be a "pair" which we hear as "pear". "APPEAR" without it's top is "PEAR".

Bonus Clues That Didn't Make the Cut:

10) Creators marry ladies (5): LORDS
"Creators" are lords, and lords "marry ladies"

9) Rather croon it sounds like waltzing (7): DANCING
"Rather croon" is another way to say, "Dan sing" which sounds like "dancing". Waltzing is a synonym for dancing

8) Bleeding breed seen in a ruling dynasty (7): MILKING
"Bleeding" is another word for "milking." Another word for breed is "Ilk". A ruling dynasty is "Ming". "ILK" in "MING" is "MILKING"

7) Stroking oddly sows IBM's main nags bathing (8): SWIMMING
"Stroking" is another word for "SWIMMING". "SoWs IbMs MaIn NaGs" oddly is "SWIMMING". Bathing is another word for swimming.

5) Beheaded cellos worn by Elrond and Galadriel (5): RINGS
Cellos are "strings" and if you "behead" of "STRINGS", you get "RINGS". RINGS were "Worn by Elrond and Galadriel" in Lord of the Rings.

1) Danny or Shirley even spray rotors in degree (9): PARTRIDGE
Danny and Shirley were PARTRIDGEs in the "Partridge Family". The even letters in "sPrAy RoToRs In DeGrEe" spell "PARTRIDGE".

1) Astronaut reentry conceals ash or Aspen shades (4): TREE
"astronauT REEntry" conceals "TREE". Ash and aspen are types of tree, and trees shade.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 10

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

On the Tenth Day of Christmas,
My cryptic crossword gave to me...

10) Bounding angle pi confused clearing (7)
9) Women's mixed-up ideals (6)
8) In the beginning man ate insects, dinosaurs, sometimes the help (5)
7) She was a nun's sister initially (5)
6) Placing some of replay in green (6)
5) Blonde returned part of reasoned logic (6)
4) Art or craft racket (7)
3) We would be yes to the ear, cheese eaters (6)
2) Peacemakers do vestment introduction (5)
1) We hear twins appear topless (4)

Explanation: These are all cryptic crossword clues. Once you figure out the answers, try to figure out the clues! I'll post the full explanations tomorrow.

Bonus Clues That Didn't Make the Cut:

10) Creators marry ladies (5)
9) Rather croon it sounds like waltzing (7)
8) Bleeding breed seen in a ruling dynasty (7)
7) Stroking oddly sows IBM's main nags bathing (8)
5) Beheaded cellos worn by Elrond and Galadriel (5)
1) Danny or Shirley even spray rotors in degree (9)
1) Astronaut reentry conceals ash or Aspen shades (4)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 9

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

On the ninth day of Christmas, that person who always tried to read the Sunday comics out loud to you gave to me:

"So, there are these nine stick-figure ladies dancing in a Rockette line and this guy says to the first one, 'Are you chicks?' and she's like 'We are LADIES, thank you very much!" so the guy says "I couldn't tell" and the lady yells back, "WE'RE STICK FIGURES, YOU IDIOT!" The guy responds, "I know. You should really eat something."

"There's this guy alone in a stable with a cow. The guy checks his watch, waits some more and checks his watch again. Finally he says, "Where are they?" to which the cow responds, "They're still working on the pigpen."

"This guy is standing by a pond and he sees these seven poorly drawn little ducks swimming. He says, 'Man, you guys are ugly! Where are the swans?' to which one of the ducks responds, 'Just give us some time...'"

"There's a man standing in front of six doors, all of which are dressing rooms with 'GOOSE' written under a big star on the door. Each door has a necktie hanging from the doorknob, and the man asks aloud, 'Is this comic appropriate for all viewers?'"

"A guy is standing in a Burger Hut and his tray has a burger and soda on it. He's holding a container of onion rings and yelling at the person behind the counter, 'You call this a large? I only got five!!!'"

"A guy is sitting at a poker table and he thinks to himself 'This is it! This is the perfect time to bluff!' He then says aloud, "I'm all in!' to which four birds immediately respond 'I call!' The man is clearly dejected with his head in his hands and one of the birds whispers to another, 'Should we tell him we read his thought bubble?'"

"Three chickens stand atop a giant castle wall of some sort, and one of the chickens is yelling to the others, 'FECHE LA VACHE!'"

"Under the heading 'TMNTD', there are two large birds, each wearing a mask and martial arts gear. One has a giant staff and is labeled 'Dovetello' while another has two nunchaku and is labeled 'Dovelangelo.'"

"In the middle of a field, there's this tree with pears on it and sitting on a lower branch is a game bird, who asks the reader 'Can I be a turtle, too?'"

Explanation: As you may recall, due to the strike by the Writer's Guild of America, we at Jeremy's Status Message were forced to draw our own comic strip. Well, due to the rousing support by our readership, this tradition was supposed to continue. In fact, these comics were all designed and just awaiting the great artistic abilities of our wonderful staff. Unfortunately, in the process, we forgot that we don't actually have said artistic abilities, which really slowed down the drawing process. So, instead of spending our entire winter vacation staring at a blank sheet of paper, we opted for the above status message instead.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 8

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

On the eight day of whatchamacallit,
What's-his-name gave to me,
Eight gizmos,
Seven thingamajigs,
Six thingamabobbers,
Five hoobajoobs,
Four doodads,
Three ka-jiggers,
Two whatsits,
And one of those doo-hickies.

Special Blog Bonus: This post is loosely based on that show. You know the one. The show with the guy who does that thing. No, the thing. You know, with the stuff? Yeah, that thing. That guy cracks me up. I love that show.