Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Karmarang Always Comes Back To You

Usually karma takes a little longer to catch up to me.

Explanation: One week ago, a friend of mine was complaining about how his hot water heater was a piece of crap. He has complained about this hot water heater before, and I know he's had issues with it. Why? Because I happen to have sold him his townhouse.

Knowing that I managed to avoid all (or at least most) of the hot water heater issues in that townhouse, I grinned just the slightest bit when I saw he was having trouble with it again. Big mistake. Karma took the express train to Jeremyville.

Yesterday, my wife went to get something out of the downstairs closet and noticed that the floor was wet. Why was the floor wet, you ask? Because our hot water heater happens to be in that closet as well. The water was the equivalent of blood to a household appliance - after many years, it had given up the fight and had to be put down.

So, within one week of cracking the slightest bit of a grin, I had to replace my hot water heater. Beware of karma!

Special Blog Bonus: For those of you who enjoy just a little bit more of my misery, I should also point out that I had originally gotten all of that Sears credit late last year in case one of our major appliances died. Then, when the economy turned sour, I feared for the health of Sears and started using the credit on other things. Little did I know.

Extra @$&%ing Special Blog Bonus: For those of you who just can't get enough of my misery, there's more! Just last month I joined the PSE&G WorryFree Repair program in case such a disaster occurred. Sure enough, after spending only $8.10 in the program (the equivalent of kicking the bucket immediately after getting a large life insurance policy) I was thrilled to find out that we needed to utilize their services. Turns out that $8.10 covered the cost of a PSE&G guy coming to our house and saying "You need a new water heater and your contract does not cover that." Money well spent!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hooray for Spit-Up!

It's official. Every single piece of clothing that I own now has spit-up on it.

Source: Last night it finally happened. I was holding my daughter and realized that the shirt I was wearing was the last article of clothing I own that hadn't been spit-up on. (The warm-up pants I was wearing had fallen from those ranks only a few hours beforehand.)

Congratulations to that T-shirt. For about 3 hours it stood head and shoulders above the rest of my clothing as the only spit-up free garment I owned. It was a glorious reign, which came screeching to a halt about 2 minutes later as a result of a rather impressive little burp. I think I'll just wear a poncho from now on.

On a side note, I'd just like to mention that people keep telling me this the "potted plant" stage of a child's life. Now that I think about it, most potted plants will take all the water you give them, only to leak any they don't need.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The free donuts are less plentiful here at home.

Explanation: Having gotten home at 9pm last night, I've noticed some subtle differences from Poughkeepsie. First of all, when I got home I took the baby, who slept on me until 2am. This means I only got 6 hours of sleep last night, which is in stark contrast to the nine and a half I got on Wednesday night. Of course, I also got to hold my baby, which pretty much makes that a wash. This brings me to the dealbreaker...

There are no free donuts here! In Poughkeepsie, there were free donuts. I had one. It had chocolate frosting and sprinkles on it. It was very good. I could have had more, but I passed so it wouldn't ruin my healthy Wendy's lunch. How am I supposed to function as an employee without free donuts? This is terrible!

Important News Update: In case you were wondering, I got 48 basketball games into the tournament before my bracket went under. After my Sweet 14 put me in a prime stalking position (61st, with tremendous upside potential) I was blown out of the water last night, losing 3 of the 4 games. I will now root for upsets so everyone else's pool gets screwed over. For those of you who haven't been following the mainstream media's take on this, that means I will be rooting "against the chalk." I don't know why I have to be anti-chalk, but I am. Go whiteboards!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Working From Work

Vacationing in scenic Poughkeepsie.

Explanation: I woke up at 5:00 this morning and thought long and hard about where I would go for my next vacation. Of all the wonderful places that came to mind, I chose Poughkeepsie. So, I drove here. I just can't get enough of the lovely fjords and the majestic moose up here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wow. Just Wow.

Barack Obama. Spam. Surgery. Mucous Plug. Dog License. 'Nuff said.

Explanation: You're probably wondering what on earth these things have to do with each other. In fact, you're probably wondering what a mucous plug is, too. Three months ago, I had no idea what a mucous plug was and frankly, I think I was better off not knowing.

A few nights ago, I happened to wake up to my daughter crying at an odd hour of the night. I couldn't fall back asleep while my wife fed her, so I volunteered to put the baby down while Sarah got some much-needed sleep. Of course, most of that story is unimportant. The important part is that I awoke from a dead sleep, which means that I was smack dab in the middle of a very interesting dream. I got up and walked immediately to my computer, where I wrote the following sentence:

"I just dreamed that in order to get a dog license, Obama required a double surgical procedure to have his mucous plug removed, which involved implanting and then removing Spam from his chest cavity."

In the dream, I needed a dog license and had just learned that I had to undergo the same procedure in order to make it happen. Of course, the only mucous plug I actually know of is A) not in men and B) not in the chest, but that's not important. Plus, I don't know much about surgical Spam implantation, but I'm not really up on leading edge procedures.

I'm not even going to try to analyze this. You can. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yo Canada

O Canada! Our home and native land! True something something something command...

Source: These are the words to the Canadian national anthem as I know them. Yes, you may be as shocked as I was to learn that the home of Bryan Adams is actually it's own country, but it's true.

Explanation: My house has a gimmicky doorbell. It has 25 different musical options, none of which are described using the word "doorbell." Approximately ten of those options are Christmas-related. Then there are the other fun options like Hava Nagila and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Being the musical genius that I am, we were in the house for about two years before I realized that O Tannenbaum was actually a seasonal ring and that I could change it.

Anyway, my cousins came to visit yesterday and my cousin Phil was tinkering with the doorbell. Now it plays O Canada, which I think might be perplexing to our future visitors. I also think the odds are pretty high that it'll still be our "ring tone" the next time he comes to visit. Fun stuff!

In NCAA Tournament Pool Action, Because I Know You Care: I have 14 of the Sweet 16 and have only lost one Elite Eight team (Thanks, Marquette). In many years, this would be an amazing feat, but this year it didn't get me very far. I'm currently in 60th place out of 151 entries. As usual, I am actually doing worse than I would have if I had chosen only the higher seeds.

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Jerk" Wasn't My Word of Choice

Universal Rule of Volleyball #12: If somebody fetches an errant ball for you and you do not say "Thank you," you are a jerk.

Explanation: For years and years, having seen hundreds of volleyball players and having shagged thousands of misplayed volleyballs, it has always, ALWAYS ticked me off when I go out of my way to help them and they don't thank me.

In my Thursday night volleyball league last night, two players on one particular team did just that. I have never liked the sportsmanship of their team to begin with, and they confirmed my suspicions by just taking the ball I tossed back to them and going back to what they were doing, completely ignoring me. Later in the night, they finished their match quicker than we did and were playing pick-up on the court next to our game. Again, on several occasions, their pick-up game interfered with our league game and again, on several occasions, they did not apologize in any way for it.

So, in our match last night, I played like a man possessed, hitting the ball like I did when I was 23, almost killing several innocent players on the team we were playing, all because I was angry at the team we play in two weeks. And for the next two weeks, I will be frothing at the mouth, ready to destroy those jerks when they're on the other side of the net.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today's status message has been canceled so Jeremy could make his basketball picks. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Camera Envy

I don't care what it actually does. I'm just upset because it's ten better than mine.

Explanation: Today is my cousin's birthday. To protect her identity, I will simply refer to her as Lisa R. Lisa R was gushing on Facebook the other day about how her loving boyfriend (we'll just call him Zach G) gave her a Nikon D60 for her birthday. It was very nice of Zach G to give her such a wonderful gift. I'm glad she's so happy and I'm glad he got her something that made her so happy.

HOWEVER, I am NOT glad that she now has a Nikon D60, while I have a Nikon D50. My Nikon D50 was the entry-level digital SLR that Nikon offered a few years back. When I purchased it, the next model up was the D70. I researched quite a bit and came to the conclusion that the D50 was the best camera for me at the time. I was happy with it at the time, and I still love it to this day.

Lisa R now owns a D60. THAT'S TEN BETTER THAN MY CAMERA! I have no idea what the features are. Frankly, it might not even be a digital SLR. If the folks at Nikon know anything, then it probably is, but I'm not checking online to verify that. Regardless of what it actually is, the present has to be better than mine. Ten better, to be precise. What could possibly make it ten better? I can only imagine. Three dimensional holographic imaging? High definition video recording? The ability to play Blue Ray DVDs? An optional D-Fit package for working out at home?

It's killing me! I think it's time to buy a D61.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy House of Pain Day!

Jump around! Jump around! Jump up, jump up, and get down!

Source: My favorite Irishmen, House of Pain.

Explanation: Yes, I said House of Pain. I know half of you are screaming "What about U2?" at your monitors right now. Just take a moment to compose yourselves...

... And now I can continue. Just admit it. House of Pain is the most Irish band EVER. One of their members is named Danny Boy for [your diety of choice]'s sake. They feature such songs as Shamrocks and Shenanigans and Top o' the Morning to Ya. They have such wonderful lyrics as:

I'm Irish but I'm not a leprechaun. You wanna fight? Then step up and we'll get it on.

What's up with that brew, man? Hurry up and finish. Then grab the barmaid and order me another Guinness.

Put on your [expletive deleted]kickers and kick some [expletive deleted].

So there you have it. In honor of St. Patty's Day I will be listening to House of Pain all day.

Interesting Note: St. Patrick's day concludes one of the busiest holiday stretches I can think of. First, 3/14 is Pi day, a huge day for irrational folks everywhere. That's followed by the Ides of March, THE holiday for the dead emporers in your life. Then comes 3/16, which doesn't have a holiday, but it's probably big for Van Halen fans and people named John who hold signs at baseball games. Then you top it all off with green beer! What a week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wait, They Played Basketball This Year?

So, do I pick by uniform color this year, or just stick to my trusty coin flip?

Explanation: Ah, the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament is upon us. Apparently, even when I have a kid the colleges have the nerve to continue playing basketball games. As a result, I have the following working against me in this year's pool:

  • I watched a total of about 20 minutes of basketball this season. That includes the end of the Virginia Tech game where they beat Wake, parts of the Virginia Tech game where they lost to Duke, and the end of Syracuse's Big East Semifinal game where they played a measly single overtime period against West Virginia.
  • I don't trust my decision-making abilities right now, as my sleep patterns are not quite what they once were.
  • I can't make my picks while pacing the floors and making shushing sounds, which seems to be how I spend most of my free time these days.
In conclusion, I know nothing about this year's college basketball season and I have neither the time nor the energy to make picks. And yet, I feel obligated to, given my recent victory in this very basketball pool. So, I'm looking for suggestions on how to make my picks.

The coin has proven quite amusing in past years. Do I go with that tried and true method, or should I try something new? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Quickie

"I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."

Source: Steven Wright

Since I was so late posting yesterday's status, I'll let you enjoy that and just give you a Steven Wright quickie today. What? That's not enough? Fine. Here are a couple more from Mr. Wright.

"I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day because that means it's going to be up all night."

"It's a small word, but I wouldn't want to paint it."

And here's a little something special of my very own:

6f nb/, nn bmhhhhhhhhhhhhyjjjjjjjjjj4567890wswerjkop[]\zsxdfghjkl;'
v b n m

Interpretive poetry? Nope. I accidentally just used my cereal spoon as a catapult, launching milk and cereal into my keyboard. That's what my text window said when I was done cleaning the mess up. And on that note, I think it's time to take a break until Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Few Feet Away...

I used to be very close to my feet, but we grew apart.

Explanation: When I was young, my feet and I were very close. We had lots of fun together and didn't have a care in the world. I see how close my daughter is with her feet, and I remember those times fondly. They were happy feet, and I was happy to be so close to them. As time went on, we just grew apart. I don't know why, it just sort of happened. Then, midway through high school, my feet went and moved far away from me. Much farther than anyone's feet should ever be from them. I don't know why. Perhaps they were upset that I was playing too much basketball and soccer? They were certainly taking a beating, but I didn't think they were that upset. Now they live very far away from me and I rarely see them anymore. It's really quite sad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hans Gruber Was a Clever Dude

You ask for miracles? I give you the F-B-I.

Source: The one and only Hans Gruber, of course.

Explanation: I was helping Hans out on a job back around Christmas of 1987 at the new Nakatomi plaza, where the Nakatomi corporation was holding their annual Christmas party. We bust into this new building with the intent of stealing the $640 million in German bearer bonds they have in their vault. We couldn't get the password from the Nakatomi executive, Joe Takagi, so Joe had to go and we started drilling the puppy instead. I got all the way through to the last layer of security: an electromagnetic lock, but thought it would take a miracle to get through it. Then the FBI takes over the crime scene, cutting the power to the building and getting us into the vault. Hans drops this gem on me when it goes down. Man, that guy was clever. Unfortunately, during our exit strategy, I was detained by a limo driver named Argyle and Hans departed the building from about 31 floors higher than he intended to. Good times!

Special Blog Bonus: And now for twelve minutes of fun. Watch as LEGO minifigs assemble the Millenium Falcon all by themselves:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hepatitis B: One Down, Two to Go

It's really not fair when the needle is as long as your leg is thick.

Explanation: Yesterday my daughter had her one-month checkup at the doctor's office. The most notable part of this whole experience was the Hepatitis B booster my poor little girl had to get. This is the first time we've seen her get a shot. For somebody with only one word, she certainly made it clear that she did not like getting stuck with the needle. As an interested observer, it was amazing to see her reaction to it. It is now very clear that she's never been in serious physical pain - her shreik when she got the shot was unlike anything I've heard from her before.

Of course, as a dad I never want to hear that sound again, and I'm still upset that I had to hear it once. In fact, I think I'll put my "interested observer" hat* back on.

*And yes, if you felt so inclined you could certainly liken an "interested observer" hat on a dad to a party hat on a Mouse DeathBot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Virtual Mouse Hunting

When placed onto a DeathBot, this party hat spices things up!

Source: The oh-so-addictive Facebook game Mousehunt.

Explanation: In Mousehunt you work your way through the land of Gnawnia, setting traps and catching the various breeds of mice there. Over time you earn enough gold to buy bigger and better traps. You also gain more experience and discover other lands in which to hunt. Throw in potions, loot, and the ability to craft your own traps and cheese and it's a pretty darn cool game. With my expansive mouse hunting experience, you can see why might enjoy such a game.

Anyway, one of the traps that's available is called the Mouse DeathBot. As you can imagine, it's a pretty imposing looking thing, with missiles, blades, guns, and such. It can do quite a bit of damage to a mouse. This past week, the game ran a promotion to celebrate their first birthday, and when you caught special Birthday Mice, you earned gifts. One of the gifts I found was a party hat, which came with the description I used for my status today. Intrigued, I bought myself a Mouse DeathBot, broke it down and rebuilt it with the party hat. The result? A PartyBot!

I have to say, they're right. The party hat really does spice things up!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Haiku Friday Reunion Tour!

I feel haiku-ey.
Which is better than flu-ey.
I guess that's something.

Explanation: Haiku Friday is back on it's once-in-a-lifetime reunion tour! See all of your favorites in one final performance! All of the original members will be there! See 5 take a break from his solo career! See 7 clean and sober for the first time ever! And ladies, straight from the cover of G.Q., the one, the only, 5 will be there as well! Buy tickets now! This is your FINAL chance to see Haiku Friday*.

And there you go. I have resorted to forming haikus from made-up words. You should try it. In fact, it's Friday. You should. Just post a comment with a haiku. Two requirements:

1) 5-7-5
2) Use a made-up word.

Let's see what you've got readership!

*Until the not-yet-announced We Ran Out of Money From the Last Reunion Tour tour.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Starbursts + Math = Fun

Most people just eat the candy. Me? I do the math.

Explanation: Not so long ago, I was eating from a box of Starbursts. While not a huge fan of candy, I seem to have a bit of a weakness for their chewy goodness. Anyway, the Starbursts were individually wrapped and inside a box, so I could reach in and just grab a bunch. My normal Starburst eating style is to grab 4 or 5, vow that I'll stop after those, and repeat until the box is empty.

At one point, I took 4 Starbursts out and they were all red. As the red ones are my favorites, I didn't have much of a complaint, but I did notice how unusual it seemed that all four were red. Most people would stop there, but me? I did the math.

Embarrassingly, I had to look to see how many varieties of Starburst were in the box. The answer was five: red, pink, yellow, orange, and green. Furthermore, I assumed that I would have been impressed to pick any four of the same color, not just reds. That means the probability of this occurrence was really just the probability that I picked four Starbursts, where the color of one didn't matter and the color of the other three were the same as the first.*

From there, the math was straightforward. Five to the third power is 125, so the probability was 1/125, or 0.8%. Not inconceivable odds, but not very likely either. I then ate my little math project.

*People tend not to consider this assumption, but it is quite important. For instance, you may look at a family with four daughters and say that it's amazing because the probability that all four children were girls is 1/16, or 6.25%. In reality, though, you would have thought the same thing about four boys. The probability you would be computing is NOT the probability that there would be four girls, it's the probability that you'd be amazed by the genders of the four children. The probability that four kids are all the same sex is just 1/8 or 12.5%. I once demonstrated this to somebody by flipping a coin three times. The coin came up heads all three times. Admittedly, my demonstration could have gone worse, but luckily, it was a friendly coin.**

**Yes, I just said "luckily" in a post about probability. Deal with it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Investment Advice

I just realized that accidentally dropping change behind my dresser is an investment strategy that has beaten Wall Street over the past several years.

Explanation: Yes, it's true. Don't believe it? Maybe this simple graph will help:

As you can see, my "change behind the dresser" scheme is a winning investment strategy.

As free advice to our readers, we at Jeremy's Status Message would like to suggest several other sound investment strategies in today's market:

  • Put your money in holes in your backyard. Keep an eye out for squirrels trying to eat away at your investments.
  • Keep your money under your mattress. We suggest you only do this with bills, as change can lead to an annoying jingling sound every time you lay down.
  • Drop your money in that crack between your carseat and center console that you just can't get your hand into no matter how hard you try.
  • Invest heavily in your favorite status message blog!
  • Burn money in your fireplace. Believe it or not, this is safer than investing in most major banks right now.
  • Please do allow ousted Nigerian politician access to your account of banking. They will deposit $10,000,000 American in there for safe keeping. You can trust them.
  • Spend, spend, spend until there's no more money left to lose. This is a great strategy, as you will most certainly be able to get an iPhone out of it.
  • Invest heavily in frozen concentrated orange juice futures. Trust us, we have a good feeling about this year's crop report.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Short Cultural Lesson

In case you're wondering, Bosnians don't differentiate between desks and tables.

Explanation: In almost 10 years of studying the Bosnian people*, this was one of the interesting facts I have discovered. They do not have words for "desk" and "table." They only have a single word that covers both. Imagine if you would, living in a world where the two were interchangeable. Oh the horror! Would Spamalot be nearly as funny if it featured the Knights of the Round Desk? Could we get our passwords reset faster at work if we called the Help Table? Would college have been nearly as fun with beer pong desks? (I think maybe more fun, actually) Yes, we have much to learn from this fascinating little civilization of theirs.

Stay tuned for future posts as we discuss other fascinating rituals of the Bosnian culture, including the 13-egg cake, running on ice, and of course, the rolling of the five pound plate across the gym floor.

*Admittedly, my sample size of the Bosnian people was 1, but it's a small country, so I'm thinking that's enough.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day? No Day!

Three-week-olds just don't appreciate the snow like they should.

Explanation: It's a snow day! My wife's school is cancelled, which would matter if she wasn't on maternity leave. It might effect me if I didn't work out of the house. That leaves my little girl. We took her out to play in the first snow of her life and she just sunk to the bottom and fell asleep in it. Pretty sad.

OK, so our daughter didn't actually get to see the snow up close, but she does seem to have a very strong grasp on the concept of "Monday." The absolute highlight of last night was perhaps the most disgusting experience I've had since becoming a father. Let's just say that (among other things) it dirtied a wall 3 feet away and we'll leave it at that.

Special Blog Bonus: Moving on to more entertaining subject matter, here's a LEGO temple hosting the sacrifice of a poor young woman:

And yes, if you were wondering that is indeed a Princess Leia torso. That's pretty much a trademark of this artist. You can see more of his stuff here. I strongly suggest you page through his photostream a bit. Some of his castle models are just insane.