Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jury Duty Continues

Jury duty today.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Live Free or You've Gotta Be Kidding Me

Giant nuclear lizards.

Source: Once, many years ago, I was watching the movie Godzilla (or something similar) with my parents. After about an hour of watching this movie, my father (who worked in the airline industry for several years) jumped up to complain about how the outside of an airplane they showed did not match the plane cabin that the actors were in. That was the scene that drove him over the edge. I exclaimed "GIANT NUCLEAR LIZARDS!!!" to remind him that the entire premise of the movie was implausible, and once you suspend your disbelief over something like giant nuclear lizards, pretty much anything is possible.

Explanation: Yesterday, Sarah and I watched Live Free or Die Hard and during one of the final scenes, I looked up and proclaimed that we had exceeded my threshold for implausibility. Mind you, at this point, digital terrorists had already seized control of every traffic system in the country, set off the anthrax alarm in a government agency, hacked the New York Stock Exchange, and shut down power to the entire country. Oh, and let's not forget the gorgeous ninja computer hacker woman - oh, I totally remember her from my computer science classes in college.

I could go on to explain the exact scene which drove me over the edge, but I don't want to "ruin" the movie for anyone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

No Quiero Taco Bell

Curse you, Taco Bell!

Explanation: Yesterday I decided to splurge during my lunch break from the court case and went over to Taco Bell again. This particular Taco Bell has a three-step ordering process - first you order at the giant menu, then you pay at the first window, then you pick up your food at the second window.

I placed my order for a #1 Combo. That's a burrito and a taco. When I pulled up to the first window to pay, the woman asked me if I would like any sauce with my order. Well, I was getting one taco so I wanted one packet of hot sauce. Since it clearly didn't get through last time, I made a big deal of it this time. I said, "I only need one packet of hot sauce. Just one. Last time I got twenty and I'm sick of throwing them out." She laughed and leaned over to yell something to the person at the other window. I assume she was explaining my request, but I could not totally hear because the window shut. Next, I completed my payment and she gave me one of those random survey slips where I can call and have a chance at winning $1000. I've never gotten one of those from Taco Bell before.

Anyway, I get to the second window, they give me my food and drink, and I'm on my way. I glanced in the bag, but didn't see any sauce, which I thought meant that there was only a single packet hidden in there somewhere.

When I returned to the courthouse, I opened up my bag, and to my surprise, there were three Supreme tacos in there. That wasn't my order. Not only was that not my order, but for three tacos, I would want three packets of Hot Sauce, not just one. How many packets were in the bag? Zero.

I'm going to enjoy taking this survey.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jury Service, Day 3

Well now, la-ladies and g-g-gentlemen of the j-j-j-j-jury...

I am serving on a jury today... again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jury Service, Day 2

"You can't handle the truth!"

I'm continuing to serve on a jury today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And The Case Begins

You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order!

Source: Al Pacino in And Justice For All.

Explanation: I'm serving on a jury, starting today.

Special Blog Bonus: I just found out that Choke is coming to theaters! As a fan of Chuck Palahniuk, I have to suggest you get out and see it. Or you could read the book. Whatever.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stanley the Poker Monkey

I have successfully recreated a digital chess monkey in poker!

Explanation: For quite some time now, I've had a computer game called Chessmaster that features a large selection of computer players. The computer players range in skill from the Chessmaster himself (whom I could never ever even think about beating in a bajillion years) all the way down to little kids and finally to a monkey named Stanley who makes random legal moves.

In my quest to create a digital poker player, my intent is to create a table of capable digital players and then simulate thousands of games between the players to see which algorithm is stronger. The first step, however, is to create a digital player, and that first player was Stanley the monkey. In any given situation, Stanley randomly folds, checks, calls, or bets. While wildly unpredictable, he acts very quickly, giving me a great base opponent for my simulation. I have moved ahead quite a bit in the quality of my digital players, but no accomplishment was better than recreating the digital chess monkey in poker.

My next hurdle is enabling Stanley to sling his digital feces at you when he loses.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Run For the Border

And the eternal dance of the taco sauce continues...

Explanation: You think I'd learn, but I never do. I went to the Taco Bell drive-through the other day and ordered a #6 combo - that's two chalupas and a taco. I like the Baja chalupas as they are, because they have their own sauce on them, but I do like to add a little something to the taco. That little something is a single packet of Taco Bell Hot Sauce. That's it. That's all I need.

So, after I placed my order, the nice lady asked, "Would you like Hot, Mild, or Fire Sauce with that?" I responded the same way I always do: "Yes, I would like ONE packet of Hot Sauce." Then I drove through to pick up my order and sure enough, it contains 67 packets of Taco Bell Hot Sauce. Seriously. There was more volume occupied in my bag from taco sauce than there is from food. It's ridiculous. You think I would learn and just give up on the taco sauce, but I don't.

It's kind of like at Subway when I say "I would like a little lettuce and a LOT of tomato" and the person proceeds to slather on the lettuce and then gives me a whopping 3 slices of tomato. I think they're required to ask the question, but they aren't required to care about the response.

Anyway, should you ever visit my house and open up that one kitchen cabinet, and have millions of packets of Taco Bell Hot Sauce fall on your head, now you know why they're there. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Just Bursting With Civic Pride

Heheh... duty.

Explanation: Well it took a number of years, but I had my first experience with jury duty yesterday. I was on call for the morning, but then I had to go in for the afternoon session. Here's a timeline of how it went down:

12:30 PM: I arrive at the courthouse parking lot and wolf down the Taco Bell value meal I bought on the way. At home I usually eat a meal every two to three hours, so I was pretty worried about surviving an entire afternoon without sustenance.

12:50 PM: I walk into the jury room, feeling bloated from my Mexican feast and clinging to my tub of Mountain Dew. The first thing I discover is that it's "Juror Appreciation Week" and they have a spread of free food and beverages for people on jury duty. At this point in time, the mere appearance of food makes me feel ill.

12:52 PM: After checking in, I take my seat in the front of the jurors' room where they have two televisions showing "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" There are also computers for jurors' use and a large number of books available. Of course, I brought a book, so I'm good.

1:00 PM: "Millionaire" ends and a daytime soap opera comes on. I'm suddenly very uncomfortable sitting that close to the television.

1:02 PM: Court Lady #1 puts in a DVD about how a courtroom works. Surprisingly, the acting is much better than in the soap opera she turned off.

1:10 PM: The video ends and Court Lady #2 spends five minutes taking attendance. There are 54 of us. Then we all proceed up to the 6th floor where the courtroom is.

1:15 PM: Outside the courtroom, there are about a hundred jurors, some from the previous session. We wait patiently. Some of us who may have just finished chugging our tub of Mountain Dew are relieved to discover that there are restrooms there.

1:20 PM: We are shepherded into an unused courtroom, where we are told we will wait for 20 minutes until the judge is ready for us.

1:30 PM: Whiny lady in front of me complains that she has to pick up her kids at school and there's no way she can be on a jury.

2:00 PM: We are told that the lawyers are still working with the previous group of jurors and it may be a while longer.

2:12 PM: Court Lady #3 pulls a copy of "My Cousin Vinny" out from the Clerk's desk and plays it for us on the large court monitor.

2:15 PM: Whiny lady in front of me complains again that she has to pick up her kids at school and there's no way she can be on a jury.

2:41 PM: Whiny lady in front of me complains again that she has to pick up her kids at school and there's no way she can be on a jury.

2:43 PM: Whiny lady in front of me makes a phone call where she tells someone else they have to pick up the kids.

3:10 PM: Whiny lady in front of me complains that she has to pick up her kids at school tomorrow and there's no way she can be on a jury.

3:30 PM: The judge will see us now. We proceed to the courtroom next door. It is amazing how many times you can tell a large group of people to "not leave any empty seats" before they realize that you are talking to them. I certainly hope isn't a jury of MY peers.

3:37:02 PM: "All rise for the Honorable So-and-So."

3:37:04 PM: "Please be seated."

3:37:05 PM: Major head rush accompanied by sudden leg cramps.

3:38 PM: The Honorable So-and-So explains the details of the case and introduces the lawyers and the defendant.

3:39 PM: The Honorable So-and-So says you should come up and talk to him if any of the following four conditions apply...

3:46 PM: It took so long to explain the four conditions, I had forgotten the first two by the time he was done. I remember desperately hoping that I would know a witness so I could be excused. No luck, though.

3:47 PM: A parade of people walk up to the bench one by one to tell the judge why they're too good for jury duty.

4:30 PM: We are dismissed for the day and have to return at 10:00 AM tomorrow.

And there you go. In conclusion, the justice system works and I've never been more proud to serve as a citizen of this wonderful country of ours.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bounce, Tigger! Bounce!

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things.

Source: This is, of course, the first line of the Tiggers song. Here's some more:

The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is
I'm the only one!

Explanation: This weekend my neice received (among other things) a "Turbo Tail Tigger" for her second birthday. Turbo Tail Tigger is the closest an inanimate object can possibly be to AD/HD. It bounces up and down, singing the Tigger song:

Personally, I think Turbo Tail Tigger would fit in quite nicely at a 2 Skinnee J's concert. He's got the bounce down perfectly.

Special Blog Bonus: Sure, Turbo Tail Tigger might wear on you after a while, but at least it's not a screaming chicken:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The one flaw with my TiVo has been exposed.

Explanation: I rarely watch Monday Night Football. Last night the Eagles were playing the Cowboys, so I made an exception. After the most exciting first half of football I've seen in a long time, it was way past my bedtime, so I set the TiVo to record the rest of the game (plus an hour, because sometimes these things run over). Then I went to bed, knowing I wouldn't miss a thing.

This morning, I woke up excitedly telling my wife about the first half of the game. I went flying downstairs to watch as much as I could of the exciting conclusion before work, only to find that my recording lasted a whopping 7 minutes. After pulling my jaw back from the floor and recovering from the shock, I realized that my internet connection had been down as well. I went outside to check things out.

Sure enough, when moving a car last night, the temporary cable line in my driveway managed to get pulled from my house right before I went to bed. The TiVo works great, but you need cable for it to work.

So, as far as I know, the Eagles won last night by 6 points. Go Philly!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Veggies? No Thank You.

No thank you, I'm a meatatarian.

Source: This is from a Wendy's commercial for the Baconator - what may be the world's coolest* sandwich:

Explanation: It's a personal choice.

*The Baconator is not, I repeat, NOT the least healthy sandwich on the market. Not while Hardees still exists, anyway.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Get Rich Quick!

You can make a 79% return on your money just like I did!

Explanation: Yes, you heard me right. Seventy-nine percent. Forget public school for my kid - my child is going to and Ivy League school!!! I may get me a DE-luxe apartment in the sky with this kind of money, 'cause we're movin' on up!

Did I make this money on the stock market? Not likely. Commodities? No way. Money market? Nope. How did I make this fortune in less than a day? In less than an hour?? Without leaving the comfort of my own home???

Online poker, baby! Yeah, you heard me right. Last night, in under an hour, I made a big fat 79% return on my investment. Yep, I'm a high roller. I don't even know what I'm going to do with my windfall. Maybe I'll put it in inflation-protected securities for the time being just to be safe.

As a beginning poker player, I would recommend you don't play high stakes games like I do. Just start yourself off with freerolls or play money games. You don't want to sit down at a real money table with sharks like me, 'cause we bite. Nope. Build up your game. Then, when you think you're ready for it, I'll see you at the $0.01/$0.02 No-Limit table.

Don't expect that day to come anytime soon, though. Only gifted players like me can turn a $1 buy-in into $1.79 at a difficult table like that.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Salt Rocks!

Salt is the only rock that you eat.

Source: This "factoid" was actually the opener to one of the most painfully boring tales I've ever heard.

Explanation: A bunch of people at our church went on a weekend retreat where the guest speaker was a "rock enthusiast" or "mineralogist" or something like that.* It was the kind of weekend I wouldn't go near with a ten-foot pole. Then, the following weekend, one poor soul was nominated to stand up in front of the congregation and talk about how wonderful the weekend was. In my opinion, the only thing worse than actually going on that retreat was trying to make it sound interesting to other people. Anyway, she opened her not-so-exciting tale with today's status message, which I will forever associate with those poor folks who went on that retreat.

Counterpoint: Anyone who thinks that salt is the only rock you can eat has never owned a dog.

*I'm sure if you stretch it really hard, you can come up with a good religious explanation for why a church group talked about rocks for an entire weekend, but I think the real reason is that the retreat organizer just had a friend she wanted to bring along and that friend's most unique characteristic was her knowledge of rocks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Would Tom Do?

What Would Tom Do?

Explanation: I'll spare you the specifics, but yesterday I was trying to do something at work and I couldn't figure it out. There were two ways to perform my task - a short way, where a tool we use could have formatted some information for me, or a long way, where I would have to read through the information myself and interpret it based on how it was built. The short way would take mere seconds, provided I had the proper configuration to run it, while the long way would take ten to twenty minutes to work through. I, of course, tried the short way, but could not configure it properly. After five minutes of trying, I gave up.

At this point, I reached the age old question: Do I ask someone for help or just do it the long way? In this case I decided to just go for the long way, thinking it wouldn't be too terrible. Well, about five minutes in, I decided to give up and ask for help. I opened a Sametime window to ask Tom and started typing my question. Tom knows these things and he helps me out a lot, but I hate to bug him because he's usually all sorts of busy with bigger stuff.

As I typed, I imagined how Tom would reply. My imagination always starts his reply with "Jeremy, you're an idiot..." and then goes on to tell me why my question is stupid. Mind you, Tom doesn't ever actually say that, but one of these days he might if I ask him a stupid enough question. Anyway, in this case, my imagination said "Jeremy, you're an idiot because the key to your configuration is right there in the data you're loooking at." Sure enough, it was. Tom had answered my question without ever knowing that I had asked it.

By itself, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but this is not the first time Tom has answered a question of mine without me ever asking it. I would guess that four out of every five times I type him a question, I figure out the answer ("Jeremy, you're an idiot...") before ever hitting "Send".* So, I think it's clear what my options are here:

  1. Get "WWTD" bracelets made up for the entire department. I'm sure I'm not the only one who should be asking that question. I could make one for Tom that says "WWID" just so he doesn't feel left out.
  2. Tom claims he does it by a form of mental telepathy. I should have him studied.
  3. I could just stop trying to solve problems on my own and instead start trying to ask Tom immediately. Perhaps the answers will come more quickly that way.
  4. We don't need to see his identification. These aren't the droids we're looking for.
  5. I could just stop bugging Tom and send the questions directly to myself via Sametime. That way there's no possibility of me actually sending him a question by mistake.

*Interestingly, this is not unique to Sametime. When I worked out of the office, I would often walk halfway down the aisle to Tom's office before realizing the answer to my question and turning around.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This is Sportcenter!

NFL Fun fact: Each of the last seven times the Minnesota Vikings have lost their first game, they have failed to go undefeated in a season.

Source: I heard it on Sportscenter, so it has to be true.

Explanation: It's officially that time of year. I can care about Sportscenter again! Here are some other interesting facts I learned:

  • ESPN has a jovial announcer who has funny nicknames for all sorts of players.
  • The "New York Football Giants" won the Super Bowl last year, yet apparently most people think they weren't a very good team then and aren't one now.
  • The new quarterback for the New York Jets actually spent some time playing for another team before joining the Jets.
  • OK, that jovial announcer is getting annoying.
  • Apparently there is a player on New England who may have gotten hurt on Sunday. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything more about it.
  • There is a player named Adam Jones on the Cowboys who goes by the colorful nickname "Pac Man"
  • OK, there's nothing jovial about him, just get him off my screen.
  • It turns out that there are other football teams from places other than Dallas, New York, and New England.
  • That "Dancing With the Stars" guy with the terrible grammar is an analyst for ESPN.
  • Player number eighty-five has a very poor understanding of Spanish.
  • Must... kill... Chris... Berman...

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Fraternal Order of Delta Hand

"So, you're dealt a hand, right?" "No, I'm Alpha Omicron Pi."

Explanation: Recently, I've been pondering a probability issue in poker. I attempted to explain it to my wife last night, resulting in the above conversation. Now, to her credit, she was joking, and it was so funny I left the room to go write it down. That pretty much ended our conversation, though. Things like this happen when you marry someone who was in a sorority.

Now Down To The Nitty-Gritty: My problem is this: In Texas Hold'Em, what is the probability that my starting hand will win against n other starting hands. For example, if you are dealt pocket aces and are playing heads up, you have about an 85% chance of beating a random hand.

It's easy to design an algorithm for this. For a given starting hand, iterate through all other possible starting hands (or combinations thereof) and generate all possible combinations of community cards for those starting hands, keeping track of the total wins for your starting hand and the total number of permutations considered. On my home machine, given the best algorithm I've come up with so far, I think I can perform this computation for n=1 for all possible starting hands in under a day. Last time I did this was a while ago, so I don't remember exactly how long it took, but I've done it before in a reasonable amount of time.

Using the same algorithm for n=2, however, increases the complexity to the point where it can take days to consider a single starting hand. There are 169 possible starting hands, so the computation for all possible starting hands cannot be completed in a reasonable amount of time. I need a better algorithm, and that's what I've been working on.

Special Blog Bonus: This problem mocks me, as the snake mocks the snake charmer* in this Far Side:

*Yeah, my segue is a stretch. So what? You try connecting a snake in Groucho glasses to a complex combinatorics problem.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Comcast Rant

Is a flood-free yard worth 26 hours without Internet access?

Explanation: Over the past several weeks, I've noticed some serious water in my backyard. As we live in a neighborhood with a lot of water, including the woods behind my house, which I believe are classified as wetlands, I just assumed that I needed to adjust my lawn sprinkler settings. I slowly reduced the amout of watering I was doing in that area, but with no luck. Then I reduced the amount of watering in nearby areas, but again, the mud puddles remained. I can't even mow back there anymore, because it's just disgusting to take the mower through. It has frustrated me to no end and I was wondering how I got suckered into buying a house with a giant mud pit in the backyard.

Wednesday afternoon, Dan, our neighborhood landscaping guy came by my front door. We do not use Dan's lawnmowing services, but a bunch of my neighbors do, and the previous owners of my house did as well. Dan said that I really need to stop watering in the back corner of my yard, because it's just soaking wet back there. I told him I haven't watered there in a month at which point he suggested that I might have a bad sprinkler valve back there. Dan would know our sprinkler system - he installed it for the previous owners about 5 years ago.

So, Dan, his associate, and I went out into the backyard in search of the sprinkler valve. Sprinkler valves should be very easy to find - they have a circular plastic top about four inches in diameter and should be right on the surface of the ground. Over time, however, they have a knack for being overtaken by grass and dirt. After five years, only one of my 6 valves remains uncovered. So, the hunt began. The valves should be just below the surface, so a poke in the ground with a shovel would easily find them. We worked off a map I had of the early plans for the sprinkler system. Unfortunately, it didn't quite match what was actually in the ground.

The map indicated that there was a valve in the back corner, but after much prodding with the shovel, nothing turned up. So, they went deeper until they found the sprinkler main. Then, with numerous shovel pokes (easily cleaned up by a footprint or two) they traced the main toward the offending sprinkler heads. As he was very close to the largest puddle, Dan found a wire, which would indicate that the valve (which is electronic) was nearby. Sure enough, it was, and they were on their way.

At this point, I had been outside unexpectedly for about 45 minutes or so, so I ran back inside to make sure I hadn't missed anything, and to update my Sametime status so people knew I was playing in mud in my backyard. Unfortunately, my IBM network connection had reset. That was no big deal, so I just tried to reconnect. In the meantime, I went to load a web page on my home machine, but the page was hanging. Then my reconnect to the network failed. I tried to open another web page, but with no luck. I put two and two together and realized that my cable must be out. So, I checked my business phone (which is VOIP) and sure enough, there was no dial tone. Running downstairs, I flipped on the television to see that I still had channels, but they had lots of static. Something was wrong with my cable.

I went back outside, where Dan was elbow deep in a mud puddle and politely asked if he had been poking around in the front yard with a shovel, because my cable was out. He said, no, he hadn't. The cable from the street attaches to the front right side of my house and we were on the back right corner, so it didn't make much sense that there'd be any cable in the back. Dan was concerned, though, and looked again at the wire he found about 20 minutes earlier. "You know, I don't think that's a sprinkler wire" he said. This didn't do good things for my blood pressure. Sure enough, the wire had a little shovel damage to it. Time to call Comcast.

Just for the record, if there's one company in the entire world who I am afraid to call for service, it's the cable company. They are almost legendary for being pains in the butt when it comes to service. Just for the record.

So, I sprinted inside, looked up the Comcast number in the yellow pages (eeeeew) and called them up. The automated system thanked me for calling and asked me to input my ten-digit telephone number. So, I did. I worked my way through outage menus until I eventually found something that seemed like it would put me through to an operator. I finally got to talk to a human. "Can you please give me your ten-digit phone number?" This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If the stupid automated system is going to ask me for my number, I would hope that number could be magically transferred to the person who answers the phone. Oh well. I gave her my number, confirmed my name and address, and explained my problem. She was a very nice lady, but said she would have to transfer me to another department, and they would be able to help. The next woman picked up the phone and immediately asked, "Can I have your ten-digit telephone number?" At this point, without any other issues, I was thinking Comcast customer service was as bad as I imagined it. I gathered my composure, confirmed my name and address (again) and explained my problem. She was very polite and friendly and told me that they could have a technician at my house that (Wednesday) afternoon! I couldn't believe my good fortune! She went on to explain that I didn't need to be there because it was an outside issue, but I said I wanted to be around to show the technician the damaged cable and to warn him or her about the mud pit. I asked when they'd be coming and she had to put me on hold for about five minutes while she checked. Mind you, it was about 1:00 at this point. She came back on the line and said someone would be at my house between 1:00 and 5:00. That window didn't help much more than telling me that someone would be at my house "during the afternoon," but I thanked her and continued to marvel at my good fortune.

At about 5:45, with no sign of any technician, I stopped marveling and called Comcast again. In an effort to avoid the three people asking for my ten-digit phone number, I dialed the service number off of my cable bill instead of the 1-800 number. After entering my ten-digit phone number, I chose the "To confirm an appointment" menu, which happily explained to me that I had an appointment on Monday, September 8th. This was quite a shock, as I had just spent the last five hours offline, waiting for a technician to arrive. I worked my way back through the menus and after several minutes I managed to find one that would transfer me to a human... only it hung up on me.

I called the local number again, this time going directly for the same service menu I had used with the 1-800 number. Instead of transferring me to a human, it somehow connected me to the automated billing service, which told me that my recurring credit card billing was still working fabulously. I worked backward through the menus and tried again, only to find out AGAIN that my credit card billing was working. So, I hung up.

At this point I stopped and wrote down everything I could about what had happened up to this point. I was going to send a nasty letter to Comcast, but decided they wouldn't care and that it would be more productive to just post all of this on the internet. So here it is.

Let's recap: My yard is flooded, my sprinkler is broken, my Internet is down, my cable wire is cut, five hours of my life were wasted, Comcast gave me an appointment that never existed, I'm homicidal, but my credit card billing is just dandy. Good for me. Moving right along...

I went back to the 1-800 number, input my ten-digit phone number, and worked my way to a human. I gave her my ten-digit phone number, confirmed my name and address, and explained to her that I had been lied to, I had just wasted five hours of my day, I needed internet to work, and that I was about to summon up a posse to go hunt her down. She apologized profusely for the misunderstanding and told me that the first available appointment time for service was on Tuesday, September 9th. I explained again, more clearly, that the appointment I already had and DIDN'T WANT was for September 8th. September 9th, being AFTER September 8th, would not make me any happier. In my second explanation, I also may have included fun words and phrases like "livid," "seething," "incompetent," and "lying scumbag." After eventually getting my point across that I was willing to come to their office and do unholy things to them with their own office supplies, she eventually talked to her manager and managed to get me an appointment for Thursday afternoon, also between 1:00 and 5:00, where I would get a temporary fix. Then on my next appointment, which may or may not be on September 8th, they will give me a more permanent fix.

Yesterday the nice man showed up and performed the "temporary repair" which amounts to (this is amusing) running a really long cable from the street hook-up on the front left side of my house along the ground to the house hook-up on the front right side of my house. That's right - it's just laying on my front lawn, runs across my driveway, and runs along the mulch on the side of my driveway. It's not pretty, but it works.

So, I have internet, I hate Comcast, and my yard is now flood-free. Why the cable runs behind my house is still a mystery, which I will take up with Comcast if and when they try to bill me for this fiasco. Is a flood-free yard worth 26 hours without Internet access? It probably is, but you probably shouldn't ask me about it for a few more weeks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


My life is Comcastic.

Explanation: The short explanation is as follows:

Shovel + Home Cable Line = Disaster

There will be a much longer explanation, but at this point I have limited internet time so it will have to wait. Let's just say that I'm not happy with Comcast right now.

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a Far Side depicting God's creation of Comcast:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm a Little Monkish Today

been have I lately Monk much too watching

Explanation: My status is "I have been watching too much Monk lately", but I thought it would look nicer if I put the words in alphabetical order. It does, too - I was right. Also, I think I have solved the crime:

The professor was upset about losing the grant to Dr. Wadsworth, but he knew that there was no way he could do anything about it without their coworkers becoming suspicious. But, he had access to the chemicals in the lab! He knew Dr. Wadsworth would need a 60-cent stamp to send his prospectus to the NSF, so he applied the E-coli to the back of the stamp and left it on Wadsworth's desk. Wadsworth took the bait, licking the stamp that very afternoon. It was a brilliant plan - everyone thought he had just fallen prey to the tampered chicken scare at the local supermarket. The professor had gotten away with murder, except he made two crucial mistakes. First, he did not know that Wadsworth, since his visit to the cattle ranch last summer, had recently become a vegetarian. Wadsworth would never buy chicken. And second, he did not know that the E-coli would break down the adhesive on the stamp, causing it to fall off. The post office returned the package postage due, but the stamp - the one piece of damning evidence, had apparently vanished. Except it hadn't. The stamp had fallen off in the "Out" bin in the department office and Lucy noticed it. She wasn't whispering about "infidelity" when we overheard her on the phone - she was talking about "philately". She's a stamp collector! We stopped by Lucy's house, and sure enough, the most recent addition to her collection is also the most valuable. It proves that the professor murdered Wadsworth!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I don't mean to toot my own horn, but... HONK!

Explanation: I'm not trying to brag or anything, but when you've got it, you've got it. And I've got it. It's a little embarassing to be this good, but I manage. OK, I more than manage - I flourish. You can't stop me. You can't even hope to contain me. I am the greatest in all the land. Bring your finest meats and cheeses for all my people! The mustard is off the hot dog. I'm getting tired of making you look bad. It's hard work.

Special Blog Bonus: Hey, speaking of being exceptionally good at things, here's a Far Side depicting God on Jeopardy. OK, it's actually "Trivia Tonight," but let's face it - it should have been Jeopardy.