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?


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


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.