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



Explanation: This was part of the buildup for the exciting release of the new 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.