Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Think I Hear Crickets Chirping

If a status message is posted and there's nobody there to read it, is it really a status message?

Explanation: Nobody is in today. My status is half-hearted. You'll have to excuse me. If you're looking for something to occupy your time today, I suggest you ponder the sound of one status message clapping.

Have a happy Turkey Day! I'll be back on Monday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Anxious Father-To-Be

When your pregnant wife tells you to run downstairs and boil some water, it can be traumatic, even if it's just for making tortellini.

Explanation: I don't quite know why one has to go boil water as soon as a baby delivery is imminent. Perhaps newborns are most comfortable laying in a bed of al dente pasta? Maybe a nice hot cup of tea is a good way to cap off childbirth? Maybe the task is merely a way to get queasy fathers out of the room so the real work can get underway. Regardless, when I hear "go boil some water" I panic. And last night, I panicked. Sure, I knew we were having pasta for dinner, but I'm always on alert.

Don't even start me on the night I had to "go get some towels" out of the clothes dryer.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Once Again, The Answer Is...

Nothing says 20 degree fun like running through a sprinkler at 7:00 in the morning.

Explanation: At this point, you're probably wondering what kind of idiot I am to run through a sprinkler at 7:00 in the morning. Actually, if you know me, you might not be asking that question at all.

Last night, I heard a noise in the house. It sounded like a knocking noise, it was very consistent, and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. After walking around the house a bit and listening, I concluded (uncertainly) that it was coming from the boiler. I felt a bit better having come to a conclusion, but that didn't stop the knocking sound, and I knew the sound wasn't the norm in our house.

As I was getting ready for bed last night, I decided the knocking sound was more like our water system than anything the heating system could generate. Before I fell asleep, I had a small panic attack that I'd wake up to a giant puddle of water somewhere, or worse.

When I woke up, however, I had forgotten the whole ordeal. Our house is always a bit louder in the morning, what with my wife and I getting ready for work and the heating system catching up from a long night of rest. When I came downstairs, though, I noticed two things immediately. First, I saw the front lawn was white. I know it's already been cold this year, but this is the first morning I've actually seen frost. Second, I saw that there was steam coming up from two of the front windows in our house. Naturally, I made no connection between the two.

Knowing it was really cold out, I inspected the windows to see if there was any air leaking from our nice hot house to the cold outside. There was not.

I couldn't let this go. My next theory was that there was a vent from our crawl space under the window (which has a heating duct next to it). So, I ventured outside into the frigid weather to inspect the outside of the house. There I found my answer.

There was a spray of water coming out from somewhere just below the window. It took my mind a few minutes to wrap around how all of the facts were suddenly tied together. We have a spigot on the front of the house with a small hose connection to a splitter, which has two hoses connected to it. Because the spigot is buried behind our bushes, I left the spigot on during the summer and just used the valves on the splitter to turn the hose on and off. It was a great idea for the summer, but not so great in the winter. Last night the water in the connecting hose froze, causing the hose to explode, leaving a wide open spigot to launch water all over the place.

So there I found myself, at 7:00 in the morning, crawling behind icy bushes through a spray of water in 20 degree weather to turn the spigot off. The answer, as always, is "Jeremy, you're an idiot."

Guess I need a new hose now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Morning Bacon

Early to bacon and early to bacon makes a man bacon, bacon, and bacon.

Explanation: Today my wife has parent teacher conferences. When her school does conferences, they start at 10am and go forever - I expect her home around 7pm. The day is usually exhausting for her, but being seven months pregnant, I think today will be particularly rough. So, as a special treat for her, I satisfied her craving for French toast this morning. And, because I'm an extra special wonderful husband, I also made...


Aren't I just the best? Anyway, I have enough leftover bacon to have a hot bacon, turkey, and muenster sandwich, which takes me back to my favorite meal in the Virginia Tech cafeteria: the Smokey Gobbler. Of course, the Gobbler was on a crossaint, but it's close enough.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to sit here and giggle at the possibility of a 6'7" 330 pound offensive lineman (a parent of one of her students) sitting in one of those little third grade chairs as she talks to him. I sat in one the other day and I looked ridiculous. Maybe he'll just stand...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Joys of Mouse Hunting

I just don't think I have what it takes to be an exterminator.

Explanation: About a month and a half ago, we discovered that we had a mouse in our house. Being the man of the house, I was charged with the responsibility of removing the perpetrator. Since my wife is pregnant and I do actually have a family* to protect from the nasties of rodent disease, I headed out to the store to pick up the latest and greatest in mouse murdering appliances.

I have had a pet mouse**. They're cute little buggers. I really don't want to kill them, so much as remove them from my house. If one does die, I certainly don't want it to suffer any terrible pain before its undoing.

Well, it turns out that killing a mouse isn't as easy as the trap package would like you to believe. Where I thought I was "baiting" the traps, it turns out that I was actually just providing numerous peanut butter offerings to the new master of the house. For several days the mouse was eating and eating. I even found a humane trap on the internet, made from an old soda bottle, which I assembled, much to my wife's amusement. No dice. It was not until I devised a cunning array of four side-by-side snap traps with bait only on the middle traps that I finally managed to catch the little guy. My brief forensic analysis of the scene leads me to believe that a trap actually caught his foot first, and then in the ensuing panic, a second trap fractured his spine and killed him.

In a brief moment of insight, I did not dispose of the extra traps. I just left them out in the garage, all consolidated into a cardboard box lid - a nice little tray of mousie terror. Well, last week I discovered that one of the traps had been triggered (with nothing in it) and realized that another invader was treating my humane trap as a mousie buffet. This being unacceptable, I corked my humane trap and instead provided a new offering of peanut butter, which the invader enjoyed for a night or two.

Well, this morning I discovered something unpleasant. One of the mousetraps was triggered last night, but nothing was in it. Another was still armed. And the third trap? I have no idea where it is. The only explanation I have is that it again got a mousie leg, only this time the mouse wasn't lucky enough to be done in by a second trap. Now there is a mouse dragging a trap somewhere in my garage.

I think I need to get a cat.

*Until February, my family happens to be contained in one convenient package. So what?

**In high school, a friend and I bought a pregnant mouse at the pet store so we could observe the birth process and report on it for class. Several weeks later, with no babies in sight, we learned that there really wasn't much difference between a pregnant female mouse and a really fat male mouse.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

It's officially the holiday season. My LEGO Christmas catalog has arrived.

Explanation: OK, so technically, this one is the "Late Holiday 2008" catalog. I have already received the "Holiday 2008" catalog. Still, this one just feels more special.

Of course, noticeably omitted from the catalog are the two items I'm most interested in - the LEGO Medieval Market Village, due out in 2009, and the LEGO Castle Advent Calendar, which is not available in the United States. Luckily, I happen to have obtained a set anyway. Still, I can't wait for the Medieval Market Village to come out. Then, I can finally achieve my dream of owning LEGO cows!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Source: I got this from The Big Bang Theory last night. When I looked it up, I discovered that it (sadly) was not original material. Somebody had already invented this game.

Explanation: When two people who know each other well play Rock-Paper-Scissors, three quarters of the games between those people end in a tie. To expedite the important decisions being made by such games, an advance was made which added two new symbols: Lizard and Spock. The rules are "simple":

Scissors cuts Paper, as usual.
Paper covers Rock, as usual.
Rock crushes Lizard.
Lizard poisons Spock.
Spock smashes Scissors.
Scissors decapitate Lizard.
Lizard eats Paper.
Paper disproves Spock.
Spock vaporizes Rock.
Rock crushes Scissors, as usual.

Here's a diagram with arrows from the winning symbols to the losing symbols:

I have dubbed this version of the game "Rochambeauchamro", which is much easier to say than "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock." You can thank me later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Post v1.0

If at first you don't succeed, call it Version 1.0.

Explanation: If it doesn't succeed again, call it version 2.0. If it fails miserably on a global scale, call it Vista.

Speaking of Failing Miserably: I am attempting to upgrade Norton Internet Security today. If I seem frustrated, irritable, or distant, or if my internet connection goes down, hangs, or spontaneously combusts, it is almost certainly the fault of Norton. As I've learned in the past, it's important to start these installations early in the day, because they might take several hours. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Dear Kimberly,

I am sorry that I inadvertently sent the SWAT team to Kayla's slumber party and made you cry. I am sorry about the nightmares. It will never happen again.

Adrian Monk

Source: From Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy.

Explanation: Today's post comes courtesy of the typical police show, where the police consultant is learning how to use a computer and somehow sends an FBI-headed SWAT team to a little girl's slumber party in search of a serial killer. No big deal - just your run of the mill episode.

Special Blog Bonus: And, speaking of typical, here's Far Side on safari:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hi Ho the Merri-O!

The hills are alive with the sound of chicken.

Source: This is a lyric from the 2 Skinnee J's song Meadowblaster. At the end of the song, before the last chorus of "the J's in the dell", the band just keeps repeating "the hills are alive with the sound of chicken." I'm not totally sure what that means, but I'm thinking the chickens are about to rebel...

Explanation: I don't think I could possibly explain this song. Instead, I'll just give you the lyrics:

The J's in the dell
The J's in the dell
Hi ho the merrio the J's in the dell
Old Skinnee J had a farm E-I-O
Planted breeds of the seeds and I heed to watch them grow
Frrom knee high to sky high body and in spirit
Here a rhyme there a rhyme everywhere a lyric
Our delivery is candid with band-aid adhesion
Made it through the changes weathered all the seasons
Now it is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer 2 Skinnee is the magic number
And I wonder awake from your slumber
The blindfold around your mind and soul is torn asunder
So you wake up to greet the day
It's the dawn in the house of J

Well I'm an international harvester so here's a harbinger of things to come
Emerge the one Special J that's prehensile
I've been wrestled from my nestle on the vessel of the wind swept plain
To obtain my weight in grain
It's the cycle of the seasons and here we go again
We how rows with our flows as we sows all we knows
Into grooves and furrows using bulls and burroughs
Storing all we've grown in a mile high silo
Laying claim to our domain with our deeds and titles
I kneel to idols to grow my pastures faster
That's how it is with the old meadowblaster

Reaping props like crops and sowing rhymes like seeds
We're springing like the chicken and we're stinging like bees
Wee wee wee like the piggy heading all the way home
It's the leaders of the sheep and like the cheese I stand alone
And I get down like the rain on the plain for sure
So God damn this you're not in Kansas anymore
Do you dare go where a scarecrow will slay a witch
And the hills are alive with the sound of chickens

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pet Peeve: Acronym Misuse

[Actual work status omitted. Bonus internet status provided instead]

Today's status message is written in HTML language for the WWW web.

Explanation: It just drives me batty when people misuse acronyms. This happens all the time at work, but I don't want to post anything internal on the internet, so I'll just complain about "ATM machines" instead. An acronym should be able to be expanded into a string of words and still make sense in the context in which it was used. For example, "I got money out of the ATM machine" would expand to "I got money out of the automated teller machine machine." People do this all the time. You don't say "I'm from the USA America." You don't say "I'm making a PB&J jelly sandwich." Why would you say "ATM machine?" Jeez. Think before you speak, people!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go check out this TV vision show on the CNN network about how a Navy SEAL land went MIA action in the USSR republics because his SCUBA apparatus malfunctioned during a SAR rescue mission.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anaesthesia Sure is Fun

No important decisions today - doctor's orders.

Source: My doctor said I can't make any important decisions today, and since I consider my status to be pretty important, I'm just going to leave it at that. I'll be back tomorrow when I can decide on something funny to say.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh the Joys of Aging

All I ask for in this world is a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice each morning. Take that away from me and I get very cranky.

Explanation: I have what could be officially described as a "diagnostic procedure" on Tuesday. I've put an awful lot of thought into this and my decision was to spare my readers (and coworkers) the details. It is not terribly scary, nor is it or my illness life-threatening. It is, however, particularly annoying that I have to endure it. And frankly, if I wasn't the one undergoing the procedure, I would find the whole situation particularly amusing.

As I have learned in the past, particularly with dental work, the part about medical procedures that frustrates me the most is not the procedure itself, but the procedure's effect and requirements on my diet. With that being said, I am on a liquid diet today. My breakfast was a glass of water and a cup of tea. Yep, that's some hearty eats there. I also just made some Jello, which should be ready in a few hours to provide a particularly unsatisfying lunch.

And Now For the "Good" News: Having looked online at my recent insurance claims, I know that the CAT scan I had a few weeks ago pushed me past my insurance deductible for 2008. While it means I have spent an awful lot out of pocket, that also means that tomorrow's procedure should be quite inexpensive. Free MRI's for everybody!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Time Keeps on Slippin'

"Time continues to skip forward randomly, details at 11." (time jump) "This is the news at 11. The mysterious and unexplained…" (time jump) "Turning to entertainment news: Teen singer 'Wendy' might just be the lates…" (time jump) "…won 3 Grammy's last nigh." (time jump) "…was found dead. In her bathtub."

Source: This is a news segment from the Time Keeps on Slippin' episode of Futurama.

Explanation: I TiVoed the Virginia Tech football game last night and started watching it this morning. (At this point I have only seen the first half, so please don't talk to me about it.) Something is flaky about my TiVo, or maybe my cable, because I kept missing little segments of the game. Even more annoyingly, the first incident happened when Maryland was attempting their first field goal. The snap was good. The hold was good. The kick was up... "...ever live without this product. It's amazing technology". I had no idea what happened. The kick was in the air and suddenly I was in a commercial. At first I thought this was an ESPN issue. Then it happened again. And again it was during a Maryland field goal attempt. Again the play started and I was suddenly in a commercial. The only way I knew the result was because the score was different when I got back from commercial. I was certain it was an ESPN issue until it happened during live play as well. At that point, I realized that I had completely missed 2 minutes of broadcast. Then I missed the last 3 minutes before halftime as well.

So, on the bright side, I expect to finish the rest of the game in about half of the normal time. Sure, I'll miss most of it, but at least I can still claim that I went cannon to cannon.

By the way, if you're wondering, "cannon to cannon" is my Virginia Tech football motto. Tech fires off a cannon at the start of the game and at the end of the game. (And for scores in between, but that's not pertinent to my motto.) I watch games cannon to cannon. Start to finish. If we are winning in a blowout, I go cannon to cannon and enjoy every moment of it. If we lose in a blowout, I still sit tight until the final cannon and endure the pain.

I believe the only exception I've ever made to this rule was when my parents came to join me at a VT vs. Akron game in October of 1995. It was absolutely pouring rain on a typically cold fall day in Blacksburg. We left after the third quarter, when Tech's band was substituted into the game for the third string players. Tech went on to win the game 77-27. I would have stayed for the whole thing, except I left in deference to my parents, who were a bit soggier than they were used to being. It only seemed appropriate, seeing as they were paying for me to be there in the first place.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Filling the Polictical Void

Isn't it about time for the 2012 primaries to start?

Explanation: By my calculations, the 2008 primaries (Democratic, in particular) lasted longer than Christmas season at a Hallmark store. Therefore, given the trend, shouldn't the primaries be starting right about now? I guess the Republicans should have a bit more urgency, given that the Democrats already seem to have a candidate. Where are the candidates? Where are the debates? Where are the town hall meetings? I don't know what to do!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Results Are In!

On this day 53 years ago, Dr. Emmett Brown conceived the flux capacitor.

Source: Of course, this is an important fact from Back to the Future. Plus, it's on Wikipedia so you know it's true.

Explanation: Yes, that's right. The secret to time travel arrived in the mind of the greatest inventor the world has ever seen when he slipped and hit his head on the sink while standing on the toilet to hang a clock. It just goes to show you that most brilliant thoughts do indeed come while in the bathroom.

Election Results: At this point you may be asking, "Seriously? A presidential election yesterday and you're talking about fictional inventions?" Well, you're right - there was a historic election yesterday, and here are the results:

Barack Obama: 4
John McCain: 0
Anyone but Bush: 1
Joe the Plumber: 1
Hillary: 1
Pat Buchanon: 134
Tina Fey: 3
Margin of Error: plus or minus 117%

Thank you all for voting. Your vote mattered and it really made a difference.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote!

Was it wrong of me to take my political party up on their offer to drive me to the polls?

Explanation: I was originally unsure about registering for a political party, but since I have it has been wonderful. Yesterday they called me to remind me to vote today and they asked if I needed a ride! Sure, we have two perfectly functioning cars, but gas is expensive these days and I know these politicians have more money than they know what to do with. So, I'm getting chauffer service to vote today! I feel so special!*

Special Blog Bonus: Yes, it is finally election day, America's day of Democracy, when years and years of hard politicking culminate in one Senator (who doesn't really work as a Senator anymore) defeating another Senator (who doesn't really work as a Senator anymore) by a slim margin because elderly folks in Palm Beach County, Florida accidentally vote for Pat Buchanon. Today is the vision the framers of our great Union had in mind when they drafted our Constitution so many years ago.

In honor of today's day of voting, we at Jeremy's Status Message are taking the political pulse of America by having a poll of our own! Check it out on the right. Vote early and vote often!

*I did not actually take them up on the offer. Although, this does encourage a devious plan of registering for the other party and taking them up on any offer I can that drains their finances and keeps those who are truly in the party from getting the attention they deserve.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Expensive Restaurant Guy

I find it a little eerie how much celebrity chef Mario Batali resembles Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

Explanation: I know he's one of the world's greatest chefs and all, but seriously, doesn't he look just like the Comic Book Guy?

"I shall return to my restaurant, where I dispense the entrees instead of absorbing them."

Special Blog Bonus: Here's a Comic Book Guy soundboard to keep you amused for a little while.