Friday, October 9, 2009

And The Baby Slept

Good news! My smoke detectors can detect a forgotten candle extinguishing itself at 2:00 in the morning!

Explanation: There's nothing quite like waking up to every smoke alarm in the house going off at 2:00 in the morning. I leaped from the bed and sprinted to the hall (sans glasses) to look for any hint of danger. None. Next I checked my daughter's room. No smoke in there, and surprisingly she was sleeping right through the screaming alarm. Impressive, considering all the tiptoeing we do around the house right around her bedtime.

Finally I threw on my glasses and checked downstairs, to find not much smoke, but a very suspicious candle that was pretty much out of wax. I blew it out and opened the window of that room, which caused the smoke alarms to return to normalcy in just a few seconds.

And then I laid awake in bed for an hour as the adrenaline wore off. Such fun.

*yawn*

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Green Post

If we had any lights on, you'd know that I live in the greenest house on the block.

Explanation: Last night my wife and I were discussing the flamboyant Halloween decorations on our neighbors' houses. Personally, I find those displays that require a lot of electricity to be environmentally irresponsible.* Of course, then I turned to my own house, which was pitch black because one front light is broken and the porch light timer is still beyond my grasp. Luckily, thanks to modern marketing, we can call our house "green" and celebrate our darkness.

*I should also mention that I find the spotlit six foot inflatable pumpkin across the street to be tastefully irresponsible as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Not In the Face!

Spoon!

Source: From the Tick.

Explanation: I've probably used this status before, but I don't care. When you're heading out to smack the minions of evil in the nose with the rolled up newspaper of justice, you need a battle cry. SPOON!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Classical Conditioning

Have a chocolate!

Source: From this week's Big Bang Theory, Sheldon was conditioning Penny with chocolates. Thanks for reading my blog. Here's a chocolate.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Batman

I'm Batman.

Explanation: I'm not Batman like a superhero. I'm Batman like the Michael Keaton Batman who couldn't turn his neck. I pulled something in bad sleeping quarters over the weekend. I wonder if there's any Bat-Muscle-Relaxant in my utility belt...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cruel Words

I don't mind English, but some words are just cruel.

Explanation: I was playing WordTwist on Facebook the other day and the word "LISPER" came up. It seems to me the creators of that word were just cruel, cruel people. "Let's describe a condition using a word people with said condition cannot say!" Yes, while we're at it, let's make "tone deaf" only pronounceable through song! Ooh, and paraplegic can be only expressed through pantomime! What a bunch of jerks our ancestors were, huh?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Doppelcoolness

Do you think there's someone out there like me who likes the word doppelganger as much as I do?

Explanation: I know, today's status is a stretch, but I do think that doppelganger is a cool word. Hey, maybe that person looks like me, too!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Plush Taxonomy 101

The taxonomy of my daughter's toy is perplexing.

Explanation: For a baby shower, we were given a hanging plush insect*, which we have used on the handle of my daughter's carseat for quite some time. It's many colors and play options have proven to be quite wonderful on car trips, and we have gotten many months of use out of it.


The problem, however, arises when we attempt to speak about this insect. Some call it a butterfly. Some call it a firefly. Some call it a dragonfly. All taxonomy attempts on this insect have failed. Its unique coloring, five body sections, and oddly distributed wings make it a difficult critter to get a handle on. As a result, my poor little girl will most likely grow up thinking a dragonfly, a firefly, and a butterfly are all the same insect. Can you help?

*Lamaze, the manufacturer of this insect, calls it "Freddy the Firefly," but I question their taxonomic abilities as well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Goes U Must Come D

If that football game were an emoticon, it would be colon capital D.

Source: This is blatantly ripped off from The Big Bang Theory, still one of the best written shows on television (in my humble opinion).

Explanation: The ninth-ranked University of Miami came to Blacksburg this weekend for a game against eleventh-ranked Virginia Tech in which Miami was somehow the overwhelming favorite. At the end of the day, the 'Canes walked out of Lane Stadium having been beaten down, 31-7. Now the Hokies, with only a loss to Alabama, are ranked #6. You can say that we are rivals with this school and that school, but few things feel better than beating Miami.




:D

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's An Old Software Engineer Mind Trick

I am not the software engineer you're looking for.

Explanation: You don't need to see my identification. I am not the software engineer you're looking for.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Tooth, Two Teeth, Three Teeth...

We have a new tooth sighting!

Explanation: At four months, my daughter shocked us all by sprouting her two bottom teeth. At the first tooth sighting, we thought "So THAT'S why she hasn't been sleeping for the past week!" Well, after a few days of poor sleep, we spotted tooth #3! Looks like #4 isn't far behind, either. Oh, and I should mention how grateful I am this morning for infant Tylenol!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Morning Bacon

Why is it that there are no bacon-flavored breakfast cereals?

Explanation: I'm just wondering. It seems there's bacon-flavored this and bacon-flavored that. We have chocolate covered bacon and chicken fried bacon. Doesn't it just seem natural that somebody come out with Bacon O's breakfast cereal? How about Bacon Bacon Crunch? Frosted Mini Bacon? (I know, Bacon Bits would be the perfect name, but it's already taken.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

L-O-S-... Oh Wait, We Won!

Even though the offense barely did anything at all, a win is a win, not matter how small.

Source: This is from the Dr. Seuss classic, Tyrod Throws a Touchdown. OK, maybe it was about an elephant. My memory isn't so great on Monday mornings.

Explanation: Having been completely and totally beaten in Saturday's game against Nebraska, Virginia Tech somehow managed an 88-yard scoring drive in the last two minutes of play, thanks to a very mobile quarterback and a terribly blown coverage assignment by Nebraska's secondary. I was listening to the game online, compliments of Nebraska's radio team, and it pained me to hear how broken up they were over the small lapse that led to their loss. Of course, I'm over that now, as the #11 Hokies are 2-1 and host yet another ranked opponent next weekend as #9 Miami comes to town.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where is Thumbkin?

Why is Thumbkin such a chicken?

Explanation: So, occasionally my wife sings the "Where is Thumbkin?" song for my daughter. As I haven't heard it in decades, I was naturally interested in how it goes. It turns out all of the fingers are wimps. Every time you find one, they just run away. What are we teaching our children about finger bravery? What are they to take from this? When the going gets tough, the ring finger gets running away? When push comes to shove, index finger runs away? When it's time to separate the men from the boys, middle finger... hehehe... middle finger. That always cracks me up.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Sign of the Apocalypse

dwi lol. tree rt 95 x4 lol. car TOTLD. ROTFL

Explanation: In yet another sign of the apocalypse, an Iowa call center has begun to accept text messages to 911. Can we start a petition now to get these text messages published into book form for our perusal?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Did I Just Get Blown Off?

"If you have any questions about your order, or if any order information is incorrect, please call (919) 555-5555 or email..."

Explanation: I recently ordered a laptop computer for my wife. I purchased it from a perfectly delightful computer company which my employer used to own, and got a very nice price on it as a result. I did not, however, receive a confirmation email when I made the purchase. Since I hadn't received one immediately, I had the foresight to record the information on my screen. I called customer service a day or two later (in another perfectly delightful country altogether) and they ensured me that I would receive my confirmation email in the next 24 hours... and I did. That email contained the line above, however, which really did not add to my confidence in their service.

While I know that 555- phone numbers do not exist, I do know that I can just go to the Raleigh area and start asking people for help until I find the right place. That's somewhat reassuring.

Special Blog Bonus: Today's special blog bonus is that you no longer have to hear about a movie from the people who brought you 300. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Orange You Glad It's Monday?

Which came first, the fruit or the color?

Explanation: This weekend, I tried to get a jump on the next ten years of questions she'll be asking by telling my daughter all about the orange juice I was drinking. I was explaining how neat it is that orange juice is both juice that is orange and juice that is made from oranges. Then, perhaps from her inquisitive gaze (my explanation was riveting, I tell you) I was led to wonder something that I've never wondered before. Was the fruit named after the color, or was the color named after the fruit?

I had always assumed it was the former. An orange is called an orange because it's orange. After all, I'm sure the color has been around longer than the fruit. Plus, we call a fly a fly because it flies. There are lots of examples in English like this. But on this day, for some reason or another, I was thinking that language is funny sometimes and it might be the other way around. I looked it up, and sure enough, the color (as we know it) was named after the fruit. This absolutely blew my mind. I then had to look up the etymology of "fly" just to make sure that the critter was named after the act of flying, which it was. Thus, my world was righted again, but now I have a neat fact to share with you all. You're welcome.

Special Blog Bonus: A lesser known fact is that both the fruit and the color were named for the indigenous people of an ancient Roman city, known for their large heads, their large hats, and their complete lack of torsos:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Have You Heard?

VT vs. Alabama, Tomorrow at 8 on ABC!

Explanation: Hey, have I mentioned that the Virginia Tech football season starts tomorrow at 8? It does. Go Hokies!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G-1-0-1

H-O-K-I-E-S Hokies!!!

Explanation: Football season is here! #7 VT plays #5 Alabama on Saturday to kick off the college football season! Woo-hoo!

Fear not, Americans, for Saturday night, we dine IN GEORGIA!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Football is Back!

So long baseball. Football is back!

Explanation: Are you sick of baseball highlights on Sportscenter? Me too! I can only watch so many different varieties of "shortstop throwing to first" on Top Plays before I long for something bigger. Something better. FOOTBALL!

And what better way to kick off the football season than VT vs. Alabama this Saturday? None that I can think of.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Sports Vacuum is Ending

Is it Saturday yet? Go Hokies!

Explanation: Finally, the summer long drought of professional sport has ended. Since the NBA season ended back in early June, our poor country has had no professional sporting events to enjoy until now! That's right - Ohio State football is back! As for the amateur teams, check out VT vs. Alabama on Saturday.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Five Days And Counting

The college football countdown is on!

Explanation: The Virginia Tech football season starts in five days when #7 VT opens the season against #5 Alabama. The countdown is on!

Friday, August 28, 2009

AMERICA!

Fear not Americans, for tonight we dine in VIRGINIA!!!

Source: Today's post is just an excuse to run the following Robot Chicken clip. One of their best ever, in my humble opinion.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random Task

From the archives:

Ow! That really hurt... Who throws a shoe?

Source: I'm quoting Austin Powers today after Random Task threw a shoe at him. He then went on to tell Random Task that he fought like a woman. Good stuff. Now let's get to the exciting stuff.

Special Blog Bonus: Did you know you can get news on your computer? Check it out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coolio, Where Are Youio?

Does anyone know what ever happened to Coolio?

Explanation: For some reason, Gangster's Paradise popped into my head the other day and I wondered what ever happened to Coolio. What do you think? Is he a Senator from Minnesota? Did he ride his big wheel into the Pacific Ocean, never to be heard from again? Did Biggie (R.I.P.) sit on him? I want to know!

Special Blog Bonus: Some people have too much time on their hands. But, without these people, we couldn't waste our own time watching clever videos made with LEGOs about 8-bit video games.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Her Cup Runneth Over

Some say the cup is half full, others half empty. My daughter just wants to play with the cup.

Explanation: At six and a half months old, my daughter has plenty of toys - toys that play music and toys that do stuff when you press buttons. She has toys she can chew and toys she rattle. She has more than enough toys. So what is her new favorite thing in the world? A clear plastic cup. If the clear plastic cup happens to contain water, that's a bonus, but the cup itself is particularly exciting.

So, when somebody asks you if you're a cup half full or cup half empty type of person, just respond by saying "A cup! Oh boy!" That should send the right message.

On a related note, as she is trying really hard to move across the room, I was debating whether it would be cruel or helpful to put a plastic cup, a cell phone, and a pair of glasses (three of her most desired objects) on the floor a few feet away from her. I'm thinking it would be just the motivation she needs. Then again, as soon as she starts crawling, we have some serious baby-proofing to do. Maybe I'll just let her learn on her own.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Big Baby

Sixteen pounds, nine ounces!

Explanation: Yesterday at her 6 month checkup, my daughter weighed in at 16 pounds, 9 ounces. She is now, for the first time in her life, above the 50th percentile in weight. There are two important things to note about this:

1. We have sustained another human being for half a year and she's grown in the process! Spike would be so proud, if only he were around to see it.

2. I have no idea what the official age is where I can no longer look at my daughter, smile and exclaim "You're huuuuuuge!" I'm guessing she'll let me know when we get there, though.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Something Smells Fishy

Just for the record, fresh tilapia does not keep well in a trunk on a summer afternoon.

Explanation: In the confusion of unloading my daughter's car seat and all of our groceries yesterday afternoon, I missed one little plastic bag which had slid beneath her stroller in the trunk. That bag, of course, contained the $7.10 worth of fresh coconut-encrusted tilapia which we were going to eat for dinner last night. And, of course, I didn't discover that it had been left in there until I was starting to preheat the oven 6 hours later.

I had to run back to the store and get more fish, but even worse, I had to throw away $7.10 because of a (fish)boneheaded mistake.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm All Out

I don't recommend playing online poker during a thunderstorm.

Explanation: Last night, for the first time in an eternity, I popped online to play some poker. No real money was at stake, just pride. As my sit and go ran on, I started to see lightning out my window, accompanied by the ominous sounds of howling wind and thunder. When it was down to heads-up play, the storm caught up with me, or so I thought. The lights all flickered and there was suddenly nothing on my computer screen. Luckily, everything held on - it was only my monitor that had been briefly affected by the weather.

I told my opponent, "We have a thunderstorm here. You just almost won the easy way." It turns out those were the last words he heard from me. The power then completely disappeared for just long enough to take both of my computers with it.

And I was winning, too! Oh well. At least there wasn't real money on the line... and it's still safer than golfing in a thunderstorm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FREE SPIKE!

FREE SPIKE!

Explanation: When I first got out of college way back in nineteen ninety mumblemumble, I started my first grown-up job and moved into my first grown-up apartment. As a favor to help add a little liveliness to my new digs, my sister volunteered to come up and help me pick out some houseplants. The two of us went out and found several very nice plants, knowing full well that the plants we bought would have to be resilient to the fact that I was a young single guy who would neglect them like no plant has ever been neglected before. We bought five or so plants and returned to my apartment to choose the perfect places for them. And that was that. I had pretty plants and my apartment was that much more cheerful.

Time went on and the plants began to drop off. Some fought mightily for years. Some didn't make it too long. By the time I moved into my townhouse a few years later, I believe the plant tally was down to two. By the time I moved to New Jersey, only one plant remained: my aloe plant, whom I had affectionately named Spike.

Over the six years that I was the sole caregiver for Spike, he fought through some hard times. There were great droughts and torrential downpours. There was dust. There was darkness. He saw it all and still survived. He is a trooper. He gave me hope that I can actually be responsible for another living thing and not kill it accidentally.

Then something wonderful happened in Spike's life (and mine). I got married. My wife is great with plants. At my insistence, she kept the ratty old aloe plant in our new house and began treating him just like she would treat any other plant. This was quite a change for Spike. He probably doubled in size that first year. He had to be pruned back, or "decapitated," as we described it. Little Spikes started sprouting out of his pot. He was pruned again. He flourished under her care. Spike loves my wife.

File photo with Spike in background. (2008)

But still, Spike is not what you'd call an aesthetically pleasing plant. Apparently, six years under my neglectful care left him a little scrawny and asymmetrical. My wife keeps him because I love him. But two weeks ago, something tragic happened.

We were planning for a big family gathering at our house. We have a small table by the front door on which we keep a plant my aunt and uncle gave us. Unfortunately, during past gatherings, we have learned that the table can be easily knocked over and that anything atop it is in danger. (Nihad, I'm looking in your direction) So, a pretty outdoor plant was purchased for the table and it was moved to the front porch. This started a tragic chain reaction which resulted in the plant from my aunt and uncle moving to Spike's spot. Poor Spike was banished to the garage.

And thus was born the "FREE SPIKE" movement. Despite protests from local Spike supporters, the poor guy has been imprisoned out there ever since, longing for the days of love and care that he had finally become accustomed to. Join this grassroots movement to get Spike back in the house. Free him from this unfair incarceration! Get him the life of water and Miracle-Gro that every living being so richly deserves! Call your local representatives! Write your senators! Invite others! Join the movement! Free Spike! Free Spike! Free Spike!

Special Blog Disclaimer: When informed of the grassroots movement being started in today's blog post, Spikes captors issued the following statement: "You have hands too, you know. Just move him back inside instead of whining about it."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tea Time

"It's time to share a cup of tea..."

Explanation: My daughter hit the six month mark last weekend, which officially put her in the age range for a child's tea set she received as a gift when she was born. So, being good parents, we took out the tea pot, cups, and plate of plastic snacks and let her play with it. Being a good six-month-old, she found the button on the teapot that plays the same two songs over and over and over again and presses it repeatedly. Now I can't go anywhere without the following lyrics running through my head:

It's time to share a cup of tea.
Some for you. Some for me.
Always share and try to say
Please and thank you.


Special Blog Bonus: You just can't make this stuff up.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

At Least It Wasn't Negative

Should I be happy or sad that my head scan came back "unremarkable?"

Explanation: Yes, I know I'm posting this retroactively, but for the thousands of loyal readers who expressed their concern regarding my head scan (typically by saying "It's about damn time you had your head scanned!") I just wanted you to know that the results came back as "unremarkable." Now I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad about that. I guess if it wasn't "unremarkable" I wouldn't need to ask such questions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If You're Snoring at Home...

I pulled off an unassisted double snooze this morning!

Explanation: That's right! None of this 9-minute amateur hour stuff for me, nosirree. I went for the 20 minute snooze. It's not easy, I tell you. A less experienced snoozer might have mistakenly turned of their alarm or accidentally changed the time. It's a complicated maneuver, but I pulled it off. Hopefully this makes up for my error during yesterday's triple snooze attempt where I accidentally reset the clock. That error cost me a half hour of extra sleep.

In related news, teething children do not sleep well... and neither do their parents.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lotsalotsalotsa Bacon

Three pounds is a lot of bacon.

Explanation: This weekend, I found myself making three pounds of bacon for two breakfast casseroles. Looking at the recipe and seeing that you need three pounds of bacon is one thing. Actually looking at three pounds of bacon and thinking "I need to cook all of this" is quite another.

Anyway, after about an hour of cooking bacon, I was all done and treated myself to a small piece. It was totally worth it.

Special Blog Bonus: Have extra bacon? Uncle Willie suggests you check out these uses for bacon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Commence Magnetic Brain Scanning!

When the prescription says "MRI of head" you begin to wonder if the doctor truly appreciates your intellectual abilities.

eXPlaNatIOn: I STANDunder I thAt rEqUire a ProCEDure dIagNOsTic HEad on my out To rUle some PoTeNtIaL of the cAuSEs my OF doubLe viSion DOUBlE VIsION, words tHe but "mri HEAD OF" leads Just me TO beLieVe the DOCtor ThAT thINKs i'VE a feW lOSt of my mARbLes. KnOw yOU - i'M cards A fEw A dECK shOrt Of fuLL. i LoOsE HAVe a ScREw. To AND bE hONeST, hIGh-inTENSity mAYbe tHe MaGNetiC wILL Field tIGHten tHAT sCREw lOOsE. sEE? bRIght AlWAys tHERE's a sIDE To bEIng GiAnT InTo crAMMeD a mETaL bANGiNG cOFFin.

i'll AnyWay bE OFFicE tHe ouT oF fOr whILe A tODay tHEY aS sCAN mY hEAd. inCONvenIence hOPe i CaUSe tHIS dOEsn't anYOne ANy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Long Commute

"I'm going to work... I'm at work!"

Source: This is what I yelled to my wife a few minutes ago. You can do that kind of thing when you telecommute.

Explanation: You see, I was going to work. Then I got there. It didn't take very long. Therein lies the humor.

Special Blog Bonus: Not funny enough? How about this LEGO scene depicting the death of Jar Jar Binks?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Joy of Transitioning

I wonder if Genghis Khan ever started a battle and then went off to work for another country.

Explanation: I have a collateral responsibility with my current job where I have discovered something which I firmly believe to be not right. It needs to be resolved. We need to put an end to this. I need to rally the troops! This is injustice! This is oppression! This is tyranny and WE WON'T STAND FOR IT ANYMORE! Are you with me? ARE YOU WITH ME??? NOW LET'S GO TO BATTLE!!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to step away to go start my new job.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Big News!

I have a new job!

Explanation: Officially announced yesterday afternoon, I have a new job! Am I leaving the company? No. Am I going to stop telecommunting? No. Is my new job going to be easier to explain to family members? Nope. So what's the upside?

I have a new job!

There you go. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Call Me Scruffy

It's going to be one of those 2 o'clock shadow days...

Explanation: Today was one of those wonderful days where I had to be up three hours earlier than I would normally wake up. Therefore, I shaved three hours earlier. And as a result, I will have a 2 o'clock shadow. By 4 o'clock, I expect to have the equivalent of an NHL playoff beard, and by 6 o'clock, I should have the Tom Hanks Cast Away look going. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get a jump on my afternoon by putting a bloody hand print on a volleyball.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cookie Monster Friday!

C is for Cookie and Cookie is for me! Cookie Cookie Cookie starts with... ummm... just give me a moment, I know this one...

Explanation: Occasionally, especially on hot days, I like to work downstairs in my house where it's much cooler than my office. This has the added benefit of putting me around my daughter most of the day. Of course, on the negative side, this also puts me near my daughter's toys most of the day. Several of her toys play songs repeatedly, much to her delight, but not so much to mine. This morning she played a while with the Sesame Street toy, so I heard quite a bit of the Cookie Monster.

Of course, I recall a recent nice day when one of the neighbor children was playing (and probably banished) outside with a whistle. I guess my house isn't all that bad.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

Important Note: Remove all hardware from rain barrel before installing.

Explanation: So, I bought a rain barrel a while back. The point of such a device is to collect rainwater from a downspout for watering your plants and such. Our county had a special at their Earth Fair where I could pick up a 55 gallon barrel for a good price, so I got one. As a side note, if you're ever picking up a 55 gallon barrel, A) do not bring a Honda and B) do not bring your family (including carseat) in said Honda when you do so. It fit, but I don't think a 56 gallon barrel would have. Plus, the ride home was amusing as my wife had to drive with the steering wheel touching her chest. I couldn't drive because I couldn't fit in the driver's seat.

Anyway, we had some gutter work done yesterday, so I pulled the barrel out from the garage so they could set up the downspout for it. Everything looked great, and just in time for a torrential downpour last night.

At about 5:30 this morning, I woke up and was pondering what else I have to do with the barrel when it occurred to me that I had never taken some of the installation hardware out of the barrel before putting it in place. It turns out that the gutters are working wonderfully and had completely filled the barrel, which I had to partially empty and then reach in up to my elbows to extricate the parts bag. It wasn't a pretty scene.

So, to all you people who may be considering the purchase of such a device, I highly recommend that you remove all hardware from the barrel BEFORE putting it in place.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unretired!

A public statement in response to all of the media inquiries: I have decided to remain unretired. Thank you.

Explanation: There have been numerous inquiries of late into my employment status. I've had John Clayton and Ed Werder camped out on my front lawn in the ESPN truck for three or four months now. Numerous retirement communities have expressed an interest, including Del Boca Vista Condominiums, the Oakland Raiders and the National League. I appreciate the interest, but after taking some time to evaluate my status, I have decided to remain unretired. I hope the indecision of the past months has not tarnished my image in anyway, and I thank you once again for your interest.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Neutral Post

"Live Free or Don't."

Source: From Futurama this is the government motto of the Neutral Planet.

Explanation: Those filthy Neutrals. With enemies, you know where they stand, but with Neutrals? Who knows? Their grayish planet stands to be obliterated at the hands of those who hold strong (but perhaps misguided) opinions. Beige alert! Beige alert!

Special Blog Bonus: Here's the leader of the Neutral Planet with a special video editorial response to today's status:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Speechless

I'm speechless. Absolutely speechless.

Explanation: It took a long time, but you've finally done it. I've heard what you said, seen what you've done, considered the whole situation, and I'm speechless. Absolutely speechless. You might think I'd have a response. Something to say, be it a roar of laughter, a jubilant cheer, or even a scream in frustration. If not that, than maybe just a comment. Something to reflect what I'm thinking at this very moment. Anything, anything at all. But nope. I'm speechless. Just speechless.

Jeremy's Status Message will be taking yet another week off, but we'll be back on July 27 with more statusey goodness... and hopefully a voice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SPEAK UP!

Has anyone seen my voice?

Explanation: The annoying hoarseness in my throat from yesterday has gone away. No more of that silky smooth "I'm going through puberty" voice of mine. Nope. It left. I woke up this morning and all that was left was a note:

Dear Jeremy,

We had some good times. It's not you, it's me. I need some space to deal with some things I'm going through right now. Thanks for the memories.

All the best,
Your voice


Now I'm stuck trying to communicate to my 5-month-old daughter using a bizarre combination of hand gestures and whistling in Morse code. It isn't pretty. Anyone out there have a "sure-fire" cure for laryngitis?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maybe I'll Hit 7 Feet This Time

A hoarse is a hoarse, of course, of course.

Explanation: If you're on the phone with me today and you hear the sultry sounds of my deep voice, know that it's only temporary. When you hear my voice crack like I'm 15 again, have no fear - I am not hitting a growth spurt again. This new voice of mine comes complements of the late night post-nasal drip that I've picked up since my return from Hilton Head.

And in case you were wondering, alternating between orange juice shots and cups of tea is disgusting. Now you know.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Kindle Or Not To Kindle...

I want a Kindle. I don't want a Kindle. I want a Kindle. I don't want a Kindle...

Explanation: The nice people at Amazon are really plugging their new Kindle e-book reader.And I really want one. And yet I really don't want one. I don't know if I've ever felt this strongly about a piece of technology in both positive and negative ways. Here's my breakdown of the pros and cons.

Pro:

  • It's just one device instead of hundreds of books. The Kindle makes packing for trips much easier.
  • It can store newspapers and magazines as well. You have to pay for them, but again it's one device instead of a huge pile of reading material.
  • I can store documents on there as well. As someone who hates to print stuff out, but hates having to read at my computer, this is a nice feature.
  • Free (text-based) wireless internet. This feature is just awesome, but Amazon has the right to take it away at any time.
  • I believe (but am not positive) that I could condense all of my work manuals onto the Kindle. Along with annotations, this would be quite handy.
  • Annotations! The ability to annotate as you read without worrying about a pen or notebook or messing up your book by dog-earing pages or any of that stuff is just cool. Then being able to track down those annotations quickly is a big deal for me. Obviously I don't care so much about this with the fiction I read, but it's quite nice for non-fiction.
  • For those of us who continue to have annoying double vision issues, the Kindle can make any book a large print book.
Con:
  • It's not a book. I grew up in a house with lots of actual books, and I like them. I love the idea of someday having a house with a library in it. I need books for that library, not a Kindle.
  • It's technology. I prefer media that doesn't require technology for viewing. A book is a book is a book. It'll never change and you can always read it. A Kindle needs to be charged. All of my data will be in an Amazon proprietary format. It may become obsolete. I may accidentally lose my data. These things drive me crazy.
  • It costs $300. That's a lot of money, and...
  • Most books cost $10 a pop. Saying it can hold 1,500 books is one thing. Saying it can hold $15,000 worth of books makes it sound a little different, doesn't it? Library books are free. Last time I checked, that's less than $10.
So, in conclusion, I both want and don't want a Kindle. I guess I should just go out and buy one and not buy one, huh?

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Rhyme Time!

Let's have a little talk about tweetle beetles.

Source: This is from Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss, which was one of my Father's Day gifts this year. This line is a little unusual in that it doesn't rhyme with the only other line on the page. That drives me nuts.


Explanation: When tweetle beetles fight, it's called a tweetle beetle battle. And when they battle in a puddle, it's a tweetle beetle puddle battle. AND, when tweetle beetles battle with paddles in a puddle, they call it a tweetle beetle puddle paddle battle. AND, when beetles battle beetles in a puddle paddle battle and the beetle battle puddle is a puddle in a bottle they call it a tweetle beetle bottle puddle paddle battle muddle.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine what they call it if the above battle occurs on a poodle eating noodles.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back From Vacation!

"Oh look! This is the perfect place for our baby to swim!"

Source: This was a quote by my wife.

Explanation: My family spent the last week in Hilton Head. It was a great (and much-needed) vacation, and we had a lot of fun bringing our daughter on her first big trip. One of the exciting parts was bringing her to the ocean for the first time. My wife was very excited about this, and as she and I went for a walk on on the beach during our first day there, she was scouting out the area.

Some neat features of the beach we were staying at were the numerous sandbars that appeared at low tide, when we happened to be walking. In one place we found, the low tide actually created a nice cute little pool on the beach, which led to today's status message. The words had barely escaped my wife's mouth when I saw the dorsal fin rise to the top of the pool. Sure enough, there was a 3 foot long shark (a bonnet shark, I was told) circling the pool, trapped until the tide came back in.

I spent the remainder of the walk joking about my wife's maternal instincts. Most importantly, however, no babies were harmed in the creation of today's status.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Clam It

Why exactly are clams so happy?

Explanation: I keep hearing that so-and-so was "happy as a clam." I've seen clams before. They don't look very happy to me. Most of the time, they look breaded and fried, actually. Do they enjoy that? I guess I wouldn't mind being deep fried, assuming I was subsequently tossed in Buffalo sauce. Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, speaking of being happy, I am happy. Why am I happy? Because I am going to be on vacation! That's why! I'll be back in a week or so with the statusey goodness you've come to expect from me (and my team of trained monkeys). See ya!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sometimes You Just Can't Tell

So, is this a tragedy or can I start making up jokes?

Explanation: Michael Jackson passed away yesterday at the age of 50. It's a bit unusual for someone to spontaneously drop dead at that age. Then again, it's closer to normal than most of the other things Jackson has done in his life. I'm torn. Are people upset about this? Will they be insulted when I start making up stupid jokes about how he's dead by cleverly altering his song lyrics? Is it too soon? Do we celebrate him or mock him? I'm just going to have to think about this one.

While I'm pondering, you can witness the debate in the comments on this page. It's either very inappropriate or very funny.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Courtesy of Roy G. Biv...

Rainbows galore! Oh boy!

Explanation: On the long drive home from Poughkeepsie, thanks to some serious rainstorms in the area, we drove a good bit of the way with direct sunlight from the west and rain storms over us and to the east. Those types of conditions led to some beautiful rainbows. Of course, my camera was in the trunk under a pile of baby equipment, so I was reduced to just enjoying them at the time. Well, as much as I could without accidentally rear-ending the car in front of me.

The light necessary for a rainbow when the sun is low in the sky makes for some interesting photo opportunities. This is one of my all-time favorite photos (from the internet, not me) of a rainbow over Seattle:


Of course, the scenery over the New Jersey Turnpike wouldn't have been quite the same.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wingy Wednesday

It appears my days of Hots are over.

Explanation: Back in the day, between barefoot walks to school uphill both ways in the snow, I used to be able to eat the "Hot" wings at Planet Wings. As I can still eat their "Medium" wings with no heat issues whatsoever, I thought it would be fun last night to try the Hots again.

Well, it is with deep regret that I announce my immediate retirement from Planet Wings Hots today. Too much heat, not enough flavor. I'm just going to have to stick to the Mediums, I guess. This is a sad day in my world.

On the bright side, however, my daughter made her first ever trip to Planet Wings last night! Bring on the next generation of wing eaters!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Misspellings Make Me Happy

I have tenyear!

Explanation: Today is my tenth service anniversary at work! I now have tenyear! I'm unfireable! WOO-HOO!

This also happens to coincidentally mark the tenth anniversary of the first time I ever met a Bosnian.

I guess you take the good with the bad, huh?

Monday, June 22, 2009

ROOFTIME IS COMING!

R-O-O-F-T...

Explanation: This was part of the buildup for the exciting release of the new rooftime.net site! Completely redesigned from the bottom up! Well, actually the redesign was from the bottom to the middle, with some of the top and parts of the old bottom. It was definitely redesigned a bit, though.

Of course, the site isn't perfect yet, but it's getting there. The important thing is that you are now able to register for the Poughkeepsie area's premier charity volleyball event! What are you waiting for? Go now!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Geography Fact Week: The Grand Finale

Pigtailed macaque monkeys are employed to pick coconuts on plantations in Thailand.

Source: The best book ever written by pigtailed macaque monkeys, Bite Size Geography - 150 Facts You Won't Believe!


Explanation: Apparently, these monkeys have been taught to select only the ripe coconuts and to swim after coconuts floating in ponds and streams. At some point, there were humans doing this job. Are there any words more demoralizing than "I'm sorry, we have to let you go. We are replacing you with trained monkeys."

Special Bonus Fact: No one knows why, but Lake Hillier on Middle Island, Australia, is bright pink in color.


Nobody has any questions, however, why the nearby Lake Peptobismol is also bright pink.

One Last Fact: Jeremy's Status Message has been written by trained monkeys for over two years now!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Geography Fact Week Crawls Along With a Trail of Slime Behind It

The French eat more snails than any other people in the world.

Source: The book my daughter chooses to eat over any other book, Bite Size Geography - 150 Facts You Won't Believe!


Explanation: What can I say? They like to surrender and they like to eat gastropods. And you wonder why...

Special Bonus Fact: France is visited by more tourists each year than any other country in the world.*

It's a no brainer. They have the best toast, fries, and onion soup in the world. Viva la France!

One More French Fact: The Eiffel Tower is 2.4 inches (6 centimetres for my loyal Canadian readership) taller on a hot summer day than it is on a cold winter night.

*A little known corollary to this fact is that the French surrender to 20% of these tourists.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Geography Fact Week Rolls On.

A mild electric current 3,750 miles long runs underground through Australia.

Source: The book ranked second to only a towel by the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the one, the only Bite Size Geography - 150 Facts You Won't Believe!


Explanation: One scientist (according to the book) thinks the electric current marks the boundaries where ancient pieces of Earth's crust came together and fused into a single landmass that became Australia.

Special Bonus Made-Up Fact: All Australians crossing this line are required by law to perform the Electric Slide.

Special Bonus Real Fact: Australians call hurricanes "willy-willies."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Geography Fact Week Continues!

Half the people who live in Africa are under 15 years of age.

Source: All Geography Fact Week information is courtesy of the bible of geography, Bite Size Geography: 150 Facts You Won't Believe!


Explanation: I would assume AIDS is the primary culprit in this statistic. That would make today's status not all that funny and actually quite seriously unfunny. I think I'll go fight AIDS by joining a "Put an end to AIDS" Facebook group. That ought to stop the disease dead in its tracks. Yep. Join a Facebook group, stop a disease. It's that easy. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

I should also mention that yesterday's blog post regarding the population density of the United States may have been my most hotly contested blog post ever. Apparently you people don't know what the Garden State Parkway traffic looks like this time of year, because the entire roadway is within a mile of the shore, and everybody on earth (and their mother) is on that road. Jeez.

Special Extra Fact: The tallest sand dunes in the Sahara desert are taller than the Empire State Building... and have never been climbed by a giant gorilla.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Geography Fact Week!

Geography Fact Week: More than half of all Americans live within an hour's drive of the seashore.

Source: This is from perhaps the most reputable Geography tome you could possibly have in your library. I'm speaking, of course, about Bite Size Geography - 150 Facts You Won't Believe!


Explanation: Over the course of her teaching career, my wife has accumulated numerous kids books through Scholastic's bonus program. This one appeared in our house shortly after her last day of school. Yes, all of my facts this week are based on a book for third-graders. Are these facts true? The book claims they are. That's good enough for me.

Let's look a little more deeply at this one. Here is a map of the population density of the United States as of the 2000 census:


Note that the dark dark blue color can range from 250 to 66,000 persons per square mile. Therefore, while this map doesn't give us all the information we need, it certainly tells us where the people aren't, and that's in Wyoming. Wyoming is not even remotely close to the seashore, and therefore the fact must be true.

Special Bonus Fact: If Wyoming were an ocean, more than 50% of the people in Wyoming would be more than 50% underwater.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Michael, My Online Support Specialist

Now, through the miracle of the internet, you can chat ONLINE with an outsourced tech support agent!

Explanation: This morning I had to request phone service for my work line, since my current plan through work is being sunset soon. As I was on my laptop in the family room with my daughter, who was happily napping in her swing, I did not want to head upstairs to the office to make the call. So, I used their "Online Chat" feature instead. I was immediately connected to a nice man named Michael, who then "typed" about 500 words to me in about 1.5 seconds. I'm guessing the text was canned. My suspicions were confirmed when he pulled the trigger on some canned text before seeing what I wrote:

Michael> May I please have the last four digits of the account holder's Social Security Number?
Jeremy> 1234
Michael> Thank you for the infomation.
Michael> Just to verify your order, you would like to have phone service for $39.95/month. Is that correct?
Jeremy> Yes.
Michael> Thank you for the confirmation.
Michael> I would like to inform you that there will be an activation fee of $29.95. This is [sic] one time payment only.
Jeremy> Your website does not show an activation fee.
Michael> Thank you for the information.

I began to wonder if "Michael" was my agent's real name, or if it was really Punjab, Ramesh, Bzytzc, or Boutros-Boutros. His words seemed to imply that he was not a native English speaker:

Michael> By the way, would you like to upgrade your current service to our Premium package for $60.50/month, Jeremy?
Jeremy> No thank you.
Michael> You are most welcome, Jeremy.

I think I'm going to make it my mission to respond to future "No thank you"s in that manner.

In the end, however, I must admit that Michael was quite helpful and I got my service ordered without having to understand a difficult accent on the other side of the phone line. Score one for the internet!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This Is Why Your Printer Doesn't Work

I recently learned that a USB cable is the exact same width as an ethernet cable.

Explanation: In "repairing" a friend's broken printer the other day, I discovered that the reason it was not working was because someone (not him) had used his laptop and then plugged the printer USB cable into the ethernet port. As completely ridiculous as this seemed, I realized that the cable had fit quite comfortably when I was fiddling with it blindly behind the machine.

Now, I still think plugging the USB cable into the ethernet port was idiotic in the first place, but I was impressed at how snugly the cable fit inside there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Tortoise vs. the Bolt of Lightning

It's electric. Boogie woogie woogie.

Source: The Electric Slide. Of course, this wording is also appropriate in the middle of a major thunderstorm...

Explanation: At the time I wrote this status, we were in the middle of an impressive thunderstorm. Where I live, the storms usually come across Philadelphia first, and all morning I was listening to the radio DJs talk about how scary this thunderstorm was. Sure enough, at around 8:15am, it started to get dark outside.

As it became more and more clear that we were going to be pounded by the storm, I decided to shut down my home desktop machine so I could unplug it. I've heard too many examples of machines getting fried during lightning storms and this was clearly going to be a biggie. So, I shut down my machine.

I should mention that I bought my machine in summer of 2005, which means it's about 4 years old. That makes it a senior citizen as far as computers go, and it shows, especially during startup and shutdown. Where the machine used to take a minute, it now takes five, or sometimes ten.

When I say "I shut down my machine" what I mean is that I clicked "Shut Down" in Windows. From there, picture the scene in Office Space where Peter is trying to get out of the office before Lumberg asks him to come in on the weekend... only instead of 30 seconds, it took 10 minutes. Every time I thought the machine was almost ready to shut down, another dialog popped up telling me that it was unable to close an application. Meanwhile, the weather radar looked like this:


Lightning is flashing every five seconds or so, Auntie Em is already in the storm cellar, and my freakin' computer won't finish shutting down.

Eventually I got the machine turned off and unplugged, but by that point it was sunny outside and the neighbors were all out surveying the damage. In the future I think I'll have to consult the local weather and shut it down the night before... or I can replace my desktop with a laptop. I'll have to think about that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Recipe For Disaster

Recipe for disaster: The words "Hey, are you ticklish?" uttered near a man holding an 8 inch chef's knife.

Explanation: This weekend, I witnessed exactly this situation. A waiter was using an 8 inch chef's knife to cut a slice of cake on a dessert cart while a 6-year-old standing at his feet was asked if he was ticklish by a nearby family member. If you didn't know, an 8 inch chef's knife looks something like this:


It is a pretty imposing piece of cutlery. Taking the only reasonable action that an observant bystander in such a situation could take, I dialed 9-1-1 on my cell phone, put my thumb over the "Send" button, and ran out of the room as fast as I could. I don't know if the kid made it, but I was certainly spared a gruesome scene.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gotta Love Canadians

Metric conversion: 1 yard = aboot 1 metre

Explanation: Not much of an explanation necessary. Any Canadian will give you this advice for free.

This reminds me of a computer course I took once. The instructor was unbelievably boring, and happened to be Canadian. Every once in a while, I'd wake from my coma to hear "aboot" or some other fun Canadian modification of a word. I started instant messaging the guy next to me with the words to "The Humpty Dance"...

Alright, stop what you're dooin!
'Cause I'm about to rooin,
The image and the style that you're used to.
I look funny,
But yo, I'm makin' money, see,
So yo world, I hope you're ready for me.
Now gather 'roond,
I'm the new fool in toon,
And my soond's laid doon by the Undergroond...


At which point he burst out laughing, interrupted the class, and had to leave the room to regain his composure. Good times!

Yes, I know Canadians don't sound quite like that, but it was still quite funny.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Joys of Web Development

If IE6 and IE7 would ever agree on how a web page should look, I would be very appreciative.

Explanation: When developing web sites, there are three browsers I actually care about: Internet Explorer 6.0, Internet Explorer 7.0, and Firefox. (Sorry Mac users) Almost anything I do with layout looks different on at least one of those three browsers. Annoyingly, the odd browser out is almost always a Microsoft product. How can two releases of the SAME BROWSER be almost completely incompatible with each other? Damn you Microsoft!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2 B v ! 2 B

Two B's or not two B's?

Source: This was actually a question posed to me by my eye doctor. I had a follow-up appointment for my double vision issues yesterday, and one of the tests he does is create a double image for me (using lenses I look through) and then moving those images until my eyes can pull them together into one image. He could do this with any old image from the eye chart, but he appears to prefer using the letter B so he can make that joke. This is the second time he did it. It wasn't particularly funny, but I'm glad he keeps himself amused.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Score One For Ornithology!

I think the red-winged blackbird is quite appropriately named.

Explanation: This past weekend my wife and I brought our daughter to a new local park. Our county has made serious efforts over the past several years to create park space around a local river and this park is a result of those efforts. The park has several walking paths which weave around the grounds allowing you to observe the local wildlife. One path leads to a deck designed for observing the birds native to the area.

We got out onto that deck and spotted a beautiful black bird with bright red wings. An older gentleman, who had been sitting down on a bench there when we arrived, saw us point out the bird. He said, "that there is a red-winged blackbird." Then he made a few more comments about local birds and wandered off. Sure enough, later on we saw a sign that described the bird we saw as a red-winged blackbird. The ornithologists got one right!

You just wanted to say ornithologist, didn't you?

You're still here?

Yep. This is the last day of my "Evil Take Time." You are obviously bringing up birds so you can talk about bird flu, right?

Nope. I will, however, be sorry to see you go. It'll be lonely here without you.

You've been blogging for two years without me. You haven't sounded that lonely before. I think you'll manage.

Yeah, you're right, I'll manage. But once you're back home I have to be careful about using italics again. That's annoying.

Annoying you is part of our mission statement. So, can we talk about LEGOs now?

OH! I'm so proud of you! We sure can!!!

First of all, I'm going to have to ask you about your TPS reports...


Next, we have a great castle...


And we'll finish up today with a little Kiss.


Have fun back at your Evil home and remember, there's a little LEGO in all of us.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lawn Theory 101

Four years in this house and I have yet to find a Hamiltonian circuit of the lawn. Curse you NP-completeness!

Explanation: In graph theory, a Hamiltonian circuit is a path that starts at a point in a graph, travels through all other points in the graph exactly once, and returns to the starting point. Determining whether such a path exists in a graph is an example of what's called an NP-complete problem, which means (among other things) that there is no known algorithm of polynomial time complexity for solving it. In other words, it's really hard.

Consider my lawn to be a collection of points, with each point connected to the points closest to it by an edge. Now it's no longer a lawn, it's a planar graph! Thus, we can apply graph theory, and the most efficient way to mow my lawn is the Hamiltonian circuit that starts (and ends) closest to my garage.

You know, for $30 a mow, you can just pay the local lawn guy to do it while you play computer games.

I really should be thinking of it as a Travelling Salesman Problem instead. In that case, I attach a weight to each of the edges in the graph (the length of the edge) and then solve for the shortest tour of the vertices. It's still an NP-complete problem, but now I not only mow each part of the lawn only once, I also travel a minimal distance in doing so. I can't solve it, but if I could it would give me a better answer.

You think about this stuff while vacuuming, too, don't you?

Yes. And mopping the floor. Mopping the floor is easier to visualize because the floor is neatly broken down in to tiles. It's more difficult, however, because you have to take into consideration that you can never stand in a place where you've already mopped.

This is why mathematicians never work as landscapers or housecleaners.

Interestingly, those jobs are often taken by immigrants who speak little or no English, and therefore have better communication skills than most math majors.

It kind of sucks the fun out of things when you make fun of yourself.

It sure does!

Can we talk about toasters now?

No.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mr Mom

I am out of the office today playing Mr. Mom. Come back on Thursday for another exciting post!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not-So-Long Weekend

This weekend went by faster than a shaved genetically modified rabbit-panther hybrid with turbines attached, driven by an over-caffeinated fighter pilot with a lead foot, all travelling down an icy ski jump in Switzerland, backed by an unusually strong tailwind under better than ideal conditions.

Source: No, I didn't make this up. For those of you who don't live in Comcast country, this is stolen from a particularly amusing commercial.

Explanation: While searching for this commercial online, I found a discussion forum where people were commenting on it. One commentor was upset because "there is no such thing as 'better than ideal conditions.'" He got to the "better than ideal conditions" before he questioned the plausibility of the scenario? Seriously? This is a Giant Nuclear Lizard situation, if ever I've heard one.

I agree. I spent the weekend attaching turbines to a genetically modified rabbit panther hybrid, but I couldn't find a place for the fighter pilot to sit.

You're really making the most of your "Evil Take Time," aren't you?

I sure am. Tonight I'm going to create a mutant strain of bird flu that only infects demon-infested commercial toasters.

That was actually a rhetorical question.

It'll infect them, too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Rhetorical Haiku, Of Course

Friday has arrived.
No rhetorical questions.
How will we go on?

Explanation: It's Haiku Friday! With Evil Jeremy out of town, what on earth will we do without Rhetorical Friday? How can we possibly start our weekend without this mainstay of our Friday routine? How could he do this to us?

Should I even dignify this drivel with a response?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Can we talk about toasters now?

No. I will, however, encourage you to check out this xkcd from the other day. It has nothing to do with toasters, but it was really funny.


Now, turn off your computer and get busy enjoying the unofficial start of summer. Have a wonderful long weekend, everybody! See you on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just Tell Me, Bob!

It's been four seasons and I still have no idea how my mother knows Bob Saget.

Explanation: Season four of How I Met Your Mother has come and gone and I still have no idea how Bob Saget (the narrator) met my mother. How much longer do I have to wait, Bob? I have other things to do on Monday nights, you know. Jeez!

It's Thursday. Why aren't we talking about The Office?

You're still here? We don't talk about The Office on this blog because I do not watch it. I tried really hard to like it, but I just don't appreciate their style of humor. I'm sorry. This blog probably feels like some sort of Bizarro alternate universe to you. You know, kind of like France.

It's kind of like that, only there's less cheese here.

We don't have any blouse-wearing poodle-walkers here either.

Sure. You just keep thinking that.

Oh, I give up.

There! Now it feels exactly like France! Thank you!

Just for you, I did an internet search to see if there was anything out there involving both LEGOs and bird flu. There wasn't. BUT, there is a cool page about LEGO dimensions which includes the FLU, or fundamental LEGO unit. Good stuff.

Can we talk about toasters now?

I still have nothing about toasters per se, but maybe a LEGO waffle will brighten up your morning?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Double Your Vision, Double Your Fun

Mondays suck.
  Mondays suck.

Explanation: Yes, I know it's Wednesday. Before I continue, I should take a moment to introduce a special guest who I ran into at the post office over the weekend.

Is that my cue? Should I say something witty now?

Yes, that's right! On vacation from Evil Jeremy's blag, it's that guy who always talks in italics!

Technically, I'm not on vacation. It's called "Evil Take Time" and I get two weeks of evil time off at one-third the evil pay.

Wow, that sounds like a great deal. We at Jeremy's Status Message are happy that you're spending your extra time with us.

Well, the corporate email did suggest doing charity work...

Good, because you're not getting paid for this. Anyway, back to my story. This past Saturday, I started to feel like my vision was a little bit off. My eyes were both focusing fine individually, but when looking far to my left or right, I noticed that they weren't playing together as nicely as they should. On Sunday it got a little worse. By Monday, I was even seeing double at times. One particularly bad moment, I was trying to merge onto a busy highway. I could close one eye and see perfectly, but depth perception is pretty important when merging.

Today's status message is simply a visual representation of how I would have seen the words "Mondays suck" while also describing how the day went.

I saw a doctor. Apparently a nerve in my right eye isn't working properly. He ordered some lab tests and wants to see me again in two weeks, but in the meantime, should I have a double vision issue again he suggested that I simply close one eye.

Didn't you just say that you already knew that?

Yep. That was a hundred bucks well spent. Double vision sucks.

Well, at least your day wasn't a total waste - Didn't you mention something about seeing the Olsen twins?

It turned out to just be a parking meter.

Bummer. Hey, can we talk about toasters now?

Not now. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

WHO DOES NUMBER TWO WORK FOR?

In an ironic twist of fate, my daughter has just now started to wear number 2 diapers.

Explanation: My little girl has moved up to the world of number 2 diapers. I think this is just hysterical, as the newborn and number 1 diapers certainly saw their fair share of "number twos." And yes, I'm joking about poop again.

Interesting Note: The number 2 diapers also come with Grover diapers. May [the diety of your choice] have mercy on his soul.

Special Blog Bonus: And with no further ado, I present the obligatory Austin Powers clip:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fun With Television Casts

If I were shooting the old 90210 with the cast of Friends, I think I'd cast Gunther as David Silver.

Explanation: I was thinking (which is always dangerous) about a television show which has six main characters. As with many other shows in existence, those six characters consist of three men and three women. One male/female pair are siblings, but apart from them all of the other male/female pairs eventually are bound to have some sort of romantic involvement. Anyway, I feel like Friends and the original Beverly Hills 90210 both fall into this category, with Brenda/Brandon and Monica/Ross fulfilling the sibling roles. Naturally that led to pairing up the other characters.

I think Rachel and Jenny Garth's character (whose name escapes me) fit the same mold. That leaves Phoebe and Donna as the remaining women. Steve Sanders and Chandler are definitely the jokesters, which would leave Dylan and Joey as the womanizers. And then there's David Silver. He gets to be Gunther.

Now, if we were casting these shows with muppets... Well, I'll leave that up to you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Best

It's the return of the new and improved and I'm smooth, ain't nobody does it better, here's the proof.

Source: This is a line from The Best by 2 Skinnee J's. The chorus of the song then continues to lay out the details of the proof, which are quite elegant and simple, but unfortunately this space is not dope enough to contain it.

Special Blog Bonus: To balance this small post, I offer a link to a very large LEGO castle:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Strong Enough For a Man

I think my breakfast cereal might be PH-balanced for a woman.

Explanation: When my daughter was born, we spent several days in the hospital, as you might expect. After the craziness of childbirth, things settled down and I hit a point where I was desperately craving normal food again. For me, nothing is more normal than having a nice healthy bowl of cereal for breakfast. After touring the cafeteria, the best looking cereal they had was the Red Berries Special K, which has strawberries in it. It was quite tasty and really hit the spot. I decided to get some for home as well, so now we have several boxes of it.


Here's what I don't get. I don't recall them ever coming out and explicitly saying it, but I'm absolutely certain that Kellogg's considers Special K to be a women's cereal. So, I'm torn. I like the breakfast cereal, but I'm a bit uncomfortable that the back of the box explains how I can drop two dress sizes in just thirty days.

I'm also beginning to wonder about my Lady Speed Stick...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Price Check on Aisle 4

Does anyone know the SKU for a baby?

Explanation: It's Monday. I waited until noon so you all had a chance to wake up. Now I present you with an engineering problem.

My daughter turned three months old this weekend. Since she has no scheduled doctor's appointment this month, we do not know her weight. My home scale is digital, and only reports weights to a precision of 0.5 pounds. Furthermore, the scale isn't consistent enough to even guess her weight. I need another way to measure her weight.

My first (and perhaps easiest) idea is to take her to Wegman's and put her on a produce scale. As I do not know her SKU number, I would not be able to print a label for her. That would be tough to explain at checkout time.

After that, I'm at a loss. Without buying a new scale, how do I figure out her weight? Remember, I don't have the time to construct a giant balance. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Friday

I can't believe the name "Boutros Boutros" never caught on.

Explanation: Maybe I should start calling myself Jeremy Jeremy?

Yes, this is a late post. It's pretty out. I have work to do, and I just want to get out there and get my weekend started!

Now stop reading this blog and get outside! And while you're out there, mow my lawn.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunlight + Rain^2 = Growth

Our lawn is the only thing around here growing faster than my daughter.

Explanation: I thought my daughter was growing quickly. In less than two months, her bodyweight increased by 50%. That's pretty impressive in my book. She, however, has nothing on my lawn.

My yard (the back in particular) tends to be wet.* My normal rule of thumb is that I need two dry days in a row before I even bother trying to mow. Unfortunately, this time of year does not afford me two dry days in a row EVER. Just ask my poor grill, which hasn't been dry enough to cover for the past week. I'm thinking about going out there with a blow dryer. But I digress.

The lawn is now taller than any respectable homeowner's lawn should ever be, and yet it is still too wet out there to mow. Even worse is that the dandelions out there are growing twice as fast as the grass. In one week, since I last mowed, I have had a few dandelions grow to about a foot tall. At that rate, I think you could actually sit outside and see them growing. Give them some acne and a voice that cracks all the time and it would be just like looking back in time at myself in high school.

*Ironically, my daughter (the back in particular) also tends to be wet.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Feeny vs. Belding

It's no contest. Mr. Feeny is totally cooler than Mr. Belding.

Explanation: Seriously, it's no contest. I can sum it up in two words: Knight Rider. As we all know, William Daniels (Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World) was the voice of the Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.). Mr. Belding, from Saved By the Bell, was not. End of argument. And THAT my friends is why I have this tattoo:


If you miss the 80's Knight Rider series, perhaps you should consider buying one of these.

Special Blog Bonus: Please accept the following video as an apology for yesterday's lack of a post. This is all over Facebook, but even if you've seen it once, it's still 18 minutes of fun.

Here are Nathan "Flutebox" Lee and Beardyman performing at Google, London:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Devolving Technology

"Hi Jeremy. I'm just calling to let you know that I got your email."

Source: This was a message I found on my answering machine this weekend. I emailed someone who was new to email and they responded by calling me to tell me that they received my email. I believe I should respond to the voicemail by mailing a card to say thank you for the voicemail in response to my email. They will, of course, respond via carrier pigeon, at which point I will get to choose whether to use the pony express or smoke signals in my response. Technology is just too confusing!

Important Note: Given the phone response to my email, I am just going to work under the assumption that my email recipient will never find this blog. Seems like a safe bet.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Taught I Taw a Twitter Tweet

I don't know about you, but I find that one hundred and forty characters gives me just enough space to broadcast the mundane details of my l

Explanation: As the media's darling web site, Twitter's popularity appears to be skyrocketing. I am seriously considering expanding the Jeremy's Status Empire to Twitter. Should I do so, here's a sneak peak at some of the insightful and exciting content you could be receiving by staying abreast of my Tweets:

I just typed "staying abreast of my Tweets"

I'm bored.

Just changed a dirty diaper.

Just saw a funny commercial where a monkey tears up an office. Good stuff!

I'm tired.

That Monk cracks me up.

Just changed a dirty diaper.

I hate traffic.

Just changed a dirty diaper.

Dinner was good. I made fajitas on the grill.

Is it uncouth to tweet about poop?

I just said uncouth and poop in the same sentence.

Just changed a dirty diaper.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

So Smart It Gets the Vowels For Free!

I am unveiling a breakthrough personal research project that holds the potential to infuse business and societal systems with unprecedented levels of intelligence: a new computing system that will compete with people at the game of Wheel of Fortune!

Explanation: As soon as I saw that IBM was planning on creating a Jeopardy! computer, I knew they were taking the easy road on this grand challenge-scale problem. Everyone knows Wheel of Fortune is where the big intelligence is at. My computing system will be able to derive words from complex puzzles with perplexing clues like "Before & After" and "Famous Person". In an effort to find suitable opposition for our computing system, we are currently in talks with some of the great Wheel champions of the past, like Mindy Holtzman, the homemaker from Des Moines, who raked in $12,000 and a trip to Hawaii.

We have thought out every detail of this project, right down to the 3.5 foot maximum height requirement, designed to make Pat Sajak look tall. Let the competition commence!

Special Readership Question: Would Double Dare have been funnier?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Giant Chipmunks!

Beware of the giant attack chipmunks!

Source: Well, really I just wanted an excuse to blog this picture:


One of the most frustrating things about being interested in both LEGOs and photography is that the internet provides so many examples of people who are vastly superior to me in both pursuits. I made the mistake of checking out my favorite LEGO blog the other day and I found this picture. Then, I compounded my mistake by checking out some other photos that this guy had taken (and his toy pictures, in particular). Aside from my jealousy over his tamed chipmunks, I was absolutely floored at the photos he created using his LEGO Castle Advent calendar.

Well, I can't beat him, so as I work on honing my LEGO skills, I suggest you go check out the cool stuff that he's done. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Evil Midnight Bomber Revisited

An object at rest cannot be stopped!

Source: This is another quote from the Evil Midnight Bomber from the Tick cartoon series. (sound byte here)


Any bad guy who walks into the Superhero club with a bag labeled "Bombs" is cool in my book. Here's Arthur confronting him in the club.

Here are some more quotes:

And he says to me, he says to me, you got Style, baby! but if you're gonna to be a real villain you gotta get a gimmick…and so I go I says Yeah Baby! A gimmick, that's it! High Explosives! (sound byte here)

And so he says, I don't like the cut of your jib, and I go, I says it's the only jib I got, baby! (sound byte here)

You'll never prove a thing, copper, I'm just a part time electrician…bad is good, baby! Down with government! (sound byte here)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Allergy Season Gets Worse

Warning: Sneeze With Caution

Explanation: Now that it's late April here in New Jersey, spring is in the air, and by "spring" I mean "pollen." Allergy season is in full swing, I'm taking heavy doses of Zyrtec, and yet I'm still single-handedly keeping the tissue industry afloat in these difficult times. I did a lot of yard work this weekend, which means I inhaled lots of allergens, which means my body is reacting to them, which means I'm sneezing a lot.

In general, sneezing is not a bad thing. In general. Unfortunately, my daughter seems to startle pretty easily, and my sneezes are generally a little too loud for her taste. As a result, most of my sneezes are now greeted with shrieks of terror, followed by several minutes of sobbing.

I didn't think it was possible, but this officially makes my seasonal allergies even worse than they already were. I hate scaring her. My sneezing episodes now include a combination of sprints to a different room and the horrible implosion feeling that accompanies trying to hold one in. Not fun.

If you visit us with allergies, beware! And if you see me in the near future, now you know why I look guilty every time I sneeze.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Am the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight!

I'm making gravy without the lumps! Ah ha hahahahaaaaaa!!!

Source: This is a quote by the Evil Midnight Bomber from the Tick cartoon series. Here's the sound byte.


Explanation: Some bad guys are evil geniouses. Some bad guys are raving lunatics. The Evil Midnight Bomber would fall into the latter category. Here are a few more quotes:

Boom Baby Boom! I'm the Evil Midnight Bomber what Bombs at Midnight! (sound byte)

So he says to me, you gotta do something smart, baby, something big! He says you want to be a supervillain, right, and I go yeah baby, yeah yeah! What do I gotta do? He says you got bombs, blow up the Comet Club, it's packed with superheroes…you'll go down in supervillain history and I go Yeah baby 'cause I'm the Evil Midnight Bomber what Bombs at Midnight!!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! (sound byte)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Udderly Thrilled!

I have LEGO cows!

Explanation: I finally got myself the LEGO Medieval Market Village, complete with LEGO cows! I'm very excited about this. Of course, my daughter will probably be in school by the time I have enough free time to put it together, but that's not important. The LEGO cows are in my possession!

Special Blog Bonus: I finally caught up on my LEGO news. Here are some pretty slick models I've found:

  • I'm generally not into mechs (or whatever they call LEGO robot type thingies), but this model impressed me. Wish I could build like that... or had the time to try.
  • There seems to be a LEGO genre where a dark force is taking over the world. I've seen several models of this sort, but this one is my favorite by far.
  • This model is just a good old-fashioned castle, complete with the wood-on-stone buildings that I like so much.
  • And finally, this is just an impressive little piece of LEGO architecture.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shawshank You Very Much

I'm Tommy, the new guy. I'm always happy! I know who killed your wife. Isn't that crappy?

Source: This JibJab video, which presents the Shawshank Redemption in about a minute:



Special thanks to Evil Jeremy for sending me this clip.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

BOGO Revisited

Buy one pair of shoes, get one half off is not BOGO.

Explanation: I know I've talked about BOGO and BOGOHO before, but I'm still seeing annoying advertisements, so I'm still going to complain about it. There is a local shoe retailer advertising their BOGO spectacular, where you can buy one pair of shoes and get one pair half off. This is NOT a BOGO offer. Ordinarily, I'd say it's a BOGOHO - buy one get one half off, but it isn't even that! It's buy one pair, get one pair half off. That's BOPGOPHO. To simplify, you're buying three shoes and getting one for free. It's a BTGO sale. Of course, BTGO is hard to pronounce, and since the shoes are priced as pairs, it's a little misleading. Luckily, I'm not much of a shoe shopper, so I probably won't be partaking in this misleading little sale of theirs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You're So Mormoney and You Don't Even Know It

Dear Utah,

Please be careful with my money.

Love,
Jeremy

Explanation: The exciting financial events in my daughter's life just keep rolling by. First we received her birth certificate. Then her Social Security number. And now, thanks to a long morning nap on Saturday, I have opened her 529 college savings account! Woo-hoo! I've never been more proud of my little tax deduction.

If you've never looked into 529 accounts, they are pretty simple in theory. You open a tax-deferred investment account to save for college. Each state has a plan (or several plans). Some state plans offer a tax deduction on contributions by their residents. New Jersey does not. So there you go. I just had to pick a plan and open an account.

The problem is this. If your state plan does not offer benefits that make it the obvious choice, you then have to pick from over a hundred plans. Each plan charges differently - some have annual fees that are either fixed or percentages, some charge management fees, and of course there are the fees built into whatever fund you invest in. It's not just comparing apples and oranges - you're comparing a whole basket of fruit. It isn't pretty.

After over an hour of research, trying to find the perfect plan, I settled on Utah. It may not be right for everyone, but I figured it was the best choice for us. So there you go. My daughter's education hopes rest with the great state of Utah. Don't let us down Utah. We need you to come through for us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I'm happy! No, wait, I'm sad. Wait - happy again. PUSH! PUSH! Nope, definitely miserable. Miserably happy. No, I think I'm angry. Or happy. I can't decide.

Explanation: My daughter can now smile. It's way cool and it makes Sarah and me quite happy when she smiles at us. The smiles, however, don't always come at appropriate times. Sometimes she's clearly in a good mood. Sometimes she's in the middle of doing some "work" (if you know what I mean). Sometimes they just come out of nowhere.

Yesterday morning was a prime example. Kari had just woken up, so she had a full agenda ahead of her: being happy to be alive, loving her parents, loudly requesting a meal, and waging war on some poor Sesame Street character. Unfortunately, her ability to prioritize isn't quite there yet, so she just took care of everything at once. This led to two minutes of smiles interspersed with screaming, crying, "pushing," and angry faces.

We, of course, reacted to this like any concerned parents would. We laughed hysterically at her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Battle Wages On

Sorry, Ernie, but you lost. Let's see how Elmo fares.

Explanation: There is a constant battle being waged in our household. It happens all day, every day. It is an epic struggle, and while it is interesting from a distance, on the front lines it is more scary than you could possibly imagine. In a seemingly neverending line, the brave warriors set off, one by one, to face the gravest of dangers all alone. Some emerge with only minor wounds. Some are brutally defeated. None ever returns.

You see, Pampers has a contract with Sesame Street to put their characters on the front of diapers. Those pour souls must do battle with the most foul creations my daughter can muster. Believe me, they are foul. The victorious do not emerge unscathed, they merely contain the damage to the battlefield. The defeated are not so lucky. This morning Ernie lost an epic battle in which several innocent articles of clothing perished as well. Collateral damage from a devastating war. Elmo has been faring well lately. Big Bird has seen mixed results. Cookie Monster? Not good. One thing is certain: My daughter never loses.