Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Scary Feet

Despite my best efforts, I accidentally overheard a commercial for 24 tonight. I heard some bits and pieces about this week's episode, though I tried not to listen.

One phrase that stood out was the danger of "weaponized nerve gas", which struck me as funny, when all you need to make a nerve gas weaponized is to make a hole in its container. Like saying "Weaponized Chain Saw" - just turn it on.

Jack Bauer is frightfully skilled, no doubt about it. But I'd be really impressed if he could face down the really awesome WMD's...

Something like 'Weaponized Bunny Slippers' would be a scary feat.

Monday, January 30, 2006

If Caught or Killed...

It happens to all of us from time to time - a song will get stuck in your head and it won't leave. Sometimes it's even hard to recall where it was you heard it, what started the whole thing. Having a song stuck in your head can effect your morale and attitude - an upbeat song can cheer you, while a depressing song can drag you down.

What if the government has a special ray gun that can implant songs in people's minds - and how long can you put up with one song before it drives you mad? Or worse, a song makes you bold or reckless, which is my problem right now. I've had the Mission Impossible theme song stuck in my head for about a week, and I can attest to the fact that it's having an effect.
While at work, I'm now a daredevil with Microsoft Office, trusting the macros to copy correctly the first time, disabling the spell checker with an evil giggle (bring it on!) and laughing at the very idea of using the virus scanner before opening the documents from Eastern Europe - who needs it, I'm living dangerously!! Leaving work on Friday, I dove into the elevator at the last possible millisecond, surprising and impressing the new girl from accounting.

At home, doing laundry was a Special Forces mission. I furrowed my brow and crouched into Attack Position 8-Gamma, the laundry bag slung over my shoulder like a Commando Santa, my bandolier of downy balls slung across my chest in a brazen dare of spring freshness. Alert! One of the foolish citizens of Apartment 12 thinks he's gonna get the washer before me! With a fluid motion, I flung the bag of dirty laundry in his direction, a silent missile hurtling through the chill night air without a sound, dropping him like a sack of potatoes, Ha!

I did a handstand on the second floor railing and did a double flip before hitting the ground beside my fallen bag and the schlep from Apt 12, with a furtive glance from left to right as I dropped the thermite charge which would incinerate the body and destroy any evidence. All without losing a drop of laundry soap.

Life is an adventure when you're possessed by the Mission Impossible theme...

Friday, January 27, 2006

What's the Safety Word?

While testing the music game yesterday, I was going through each of the musical instruments in turn when I came across one that I thought had to be a joke or a typo.

Like anyone else, Programmers can get distracted or bored, and will sometimes plug an amusing bug into a game just for the fun of it.

When I came across the instrument named a "Vibraslap" I had to chuckle, thinking it sounded more like an S&M sex toy than a musical instrument. So I wikipedia'd it, and sure enough, it's a
real instrument.

That, or the programmers knew I'd check wikipedia, and wrote a fake entry to fool me.

Talk about covering your bases. Who to trust?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Nice little town, Albany.

We're watching His Girl Friday - A great classic starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. The dialogue is great, the delivery pace is breakneck, and I'm finding it impossible to write a post while watching it. This movie demands complete and delicious attention.

Walter: I still wish you hadn't done that, Hildy.
Hildy: Done what?
Walter: Divorced me. It makes a man feel he's not wanted.
Hildy: Oh, now look, junior... that's what divorces are FOR!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


In software testing, there is a list of tests called "Gotchas".

The items in a Gotcha test are a result of mistakes made in the past - when previous projects would be submitted for final approval, fatal flaws would be discovered at the last moment. This would likely cause a delay, costing thousands of dollars.


I've decided to start my own list of Gotchas, based on life experience instead of software.



Never trust any girl named after a spice.
The rhythm is gonna getcha.
Bring a cushion.
Never play keep-away under water.
Chew your food.
There is such a thing as too much softener.
Even the cutest monkey is probably a biter.
Never bathe angry.
Always read the directions, even if you decide to ignore them.
If you can afford a book or a meal, buy the book.
Slow down on the curves.


All right, everyone - feel free to chime in with some Gotchas of your own. We'll all benefit from our hard-learned lessons.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Like Lightsabers, But Different

What color is your aura?

Some folks say it's the same as your eye color, which could be interesting, since I have hazel eyes. According to Cindy, my eyes are green at the moment, so I might be glowing greenly to sensitive eyes just now.

Another story says your aura is the same color as the lint layer that you find in the dryer after you've run a few loads - for me, a ruddy purplish blue.

If you and your aura are a bit under the weather lately, perhaps suffering the effects of a little Seasonal Affective Disorder, head on down to Walgreens for a little Aura Relief - the sure cure for what ails ya!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Alone Time - Yechh

I don't need a lot of alone time every day - An hour, perhaps two at the most. After that, I'm fully ready for Cindy to come home and snuggle!

We're both very clingy - which works fine for me. I did my stint as a lonely bachelor, and I'm not at all sorry those days are gone. (If I'd been a sexy, swinging bachelor, I might feel differently...)

Come home Cindy!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dear Tech Support: Why is all my text red?

Microsoft is preparing to unveil Windows Vista, which will offer an amazing new array of options and features. Some of these features are secret, but as a software industry insider, I'm privy to interesting tidbits.

One feature I'm very much looking forward to is the Prose Scanner, nicknamed The Crap Detector; I know my blog will improve once this debuts.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Baby, You Should Get That Lump Checked Out...

I'd been debating whether or not to move forward on my Lust Scar idea - it's the simplest invention idea I've had, and would be the easiest to create - no moving parts!

But then, I worried that there wasn't enough of a market for such things, I mean in some people a Lust Scar could be permanent, and who wants that? Who would be willing to possibly scar themselves forever in that way?

And then I saw
this, and realized that there were plenty of people out there very willing to do so.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Money Flowing Like Buttah

Here I am, working day in and day out like some shmoe when the easy money is just waiting for me to discover it. I was driving to work this morning, and was stopped at a light behind a big truck, which had one of those "How Am I Driving? Call 1-800-555-5555" bumper stickers on it.

It strikes me that these driving safety phone numbers are a pretty easy way to make money. You get an 800 number (I just priced it - $4.99 a month) and voice-mail for that number, and create a very basic web page.

Then you send out flyers to everyone and anyone who has at least one company car or delivery vehicle, extolling the virtues of the How Am I Driving campaign, how they'll save money on insurance, how their children will better respect them, and how the glorious light of righteousness will beam down upon them, yea verily like unto a beam of holy sunlight itself, Hallelujah. The companies pay you a monthly or yearly fee for the service (One month free for the annual plan, order today!).

The voicemails are automatically converted to WAV files, and automatically emailed to the biz owners to listen to at their leisure. Sure, there are other companies already in this business, but my overhead is gonna be much lower than theirs - so I'd easily underbid them. Easy money! Hells yeah. Flawless. Damn I'm good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Kudos, Sis!

My decade younger than me sister - who is only 24! - has just bought a house. Of course, she lives in Ohio where mere mortals can still afford a house. She bought it for about $60,000 - which in Los Angeles might buy you a cardboard shanty in downtown Hooverville (not the suburbs, forget it).

Meanwhile I'm still doing the 'renting an apartment' thing, and will for the next few years most likely, and wondering what the heck I did with my twenties... Oh that's right, I did nothing. Grrr.

Kudos, Sis! You always were good at saving. When she was two, and you handed her a candy bar, she would eat a third of it and save the rest in the fridge. I was always a gobbler - I'd wolf a snack down and look for more. Just something fundamentally different in our brains, I guess.

Since we're planning to move to Florida by mid-2006, and rent and real estate is a lot cheaper where we're going, I think the odds are good that we'll have a house within another five years. I'll be about 40. Wheeeee!

Speaking of moving, can anyone recommend a good nationwide moving company? Tell us which companies to avoid? We're still debating whether to get a company or to move it all ourselves.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Like Nike Sez

I’ve been trying to convince Cindy to get her butt in gear, submit her writing and get her stuff published.

It’s a thorny business, especially since I haven’t worked to do the same for my own work in a good five years. Hypocritical, yes – but it’s also a testament to her abilities and my belief in them. I know her books will sell like gangbusters, the tricky part is getting her to believe it.

But ah – I think I know what the solution is. My talented Cindy is also very competitive – so the best motivator I can think of is to publish something of my own. Which means I need to get my own butt in gear and get something published.

Not that my stuff is all that great or worthy - I love it as I'm writing and hate it the next week - but there’s plenty of adequate and unworthy stories and books already out there, why not mine too? So I'm gonna get to it.

On that note, I’ve finally gotten around to posting some snippets of the work I did for my novella FAST - my entry for the 2005 NaNoWriMo – When you're in the mood, you can read it here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Just Build Him a Beautiful Horse Tomb

I have a special place in my heart for Jim Reeves, a little-known crooner who did most of his work in the 50's and early 60's. (That's in the 1900's, kids)

My folks listened to Jim Reeves as I was growing up - in fact, at a very young age I thought my Dad sang all those songs, and he must have recorded them for us...But no.

Later, I met Cindy thanks to the fact that I had 'Jim Reeves' in my AOL user profile. (Yay!)

I was just listening to internet radio and one of my favorite Reeves songs came on, The Blizzard...It's a great song, well written and tenderly delivered...But it annoys me on a certain level...

Here it is:

There's a blizzard coming on, how I'm wishing I was home,
for my pony's lame, and he can hardly stand.
Listen to that norther sigh, if we don't get home we'll die.
But it's only seven miles to Mary Ann's.
It's only seven miles to Mary Ann's.

You can bet we're on her mind, for it's nearly suppertime
and I'll bet there's hot biscuits in the pan.

Lord my hands feel like they're froze, and there's a numbness in my toes.
But it's only five more miles to Mary Ann's.
It's only five more miles to Mary Ann's.

That wind's howling and it seems - mighty like a woman's scream.
And we'd best be moving faster if we can.
Dan just think about that barn, with the hay so soft and warm.

It's only three more miles to Mary Ann's.

Dan get up you ornery cuss, or you'll be the death of us.
I'm so weary, but I'll help you if I can.
Alright Dan, perhaps it's best, if we stop a while and rest.
For it's still a hundred yards to Mary Ann's.
It's still a hundred yards to Mary Ann's.

Late that night the storm was gone, and they found him there at dawn.
He'd-a made it but - he just couldn't leave old Dan.
Yes they found him there on the plains, hands froze to the reigns.
He was just a hundred yards form Mary Ann's.

Damn, dude!..Leave the stupid horse and get your ass over to Mary Ann's!..How long do horses live anyway, ten years?

I don't mean abandon him, but go in and get some help from Mary Ann, maybe...Get the sled, drag Dan into the barn. Die for a horse - Jeez!..100 yards. Humph. Hot biscuits are waiting, yo!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's Not My Thing... Honest.

A&E wouldn't steer us wrong, would they?I don't care much for Reality TV outside of Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs. Really.

So it concerned me more than a little bit this evening that I found myself inexorably drawn to
Rollergirls. I couldn't put my finger on what the appeal was.

Was it the strung-out wenches? The heavy makeup? The trashy clothes?..The in-your-face female can-do bravado?

I blame my exposure to Charlie's Angels as a child of the 70's.
Yep. Scarred me for life, it did.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Most Independant Study

Almost fifteen years ago, I was in a car accident and picked up some scars - on my face, of all places. I have a short beard which covers most of them pretty well, but there are a few noticable gaps in the beard hair.

So I touch these spots up with eyeliner, which doesn't rub off easily and matches my beard color quite well. Early on, I wondered if eyeliner would turn out to have suprising scar-inflaming (or hey! scar-reducing) properties - I mean, you never know what will happen when you
ignore the directions on a bottle.

So the results are in - and it turns out that Maybelline Line Works Ultra-Liner Liquid Waterproof Eyeliner, Very Dark Brown has absolutely no effect on scars, except to cover them up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This Captioning was CLOSED.

I caught a bit of television at the gym this morning, and the President was speaking on some subject - what, I don't know because there was no Closed Captioning.

I'm not big on politics, so I've never noticed this before. (In my defense, I enjoyed the first three seasons of The West Wing very much).

I checked all three televisions, which were set to different stations, and none of them had Closed Captioning for the President. Is there a law that says you can't caption the pres? Perhaps the news agencies are afraid to misquote the President.

Surely during a prime time national address there would be closed captions, but not for a quickie Q&A... Anybody know?

Monday, January 09, 2006

What to do...

I spent some time this weekend trying to come up with a new piece of art for the header of my blog, (as seen on such distinguished blogs as Life, What the...) and I couldn't come up with anything good.

Short of a big Etch-A-Sketch or a series of random images, nothing seems applicable. Also, I aint got no art skill. I could easily collage something together with Photoshop, but what?

I threw something together, but it was just a blue-to-red gradient with a sponge-painted-blotted look and the title text. Blah.

Any ideas?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

It's time again for input on the Bloggie awards, where we can all nominate our favorite blogs.

I've already put my two cents in, and you guys should head over
there now and voice your opinion too!

I'd tell you who I nominated, but I don't want to bias you. Let me just say their name has a high ratio of vowels to consonants. Go!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

If You're Gonna Dream...

I had a dream last night - In the dream I was taking a walk, and I rounded the corner of a building to encounter Dooce, of all people.

She was with her
hubby and I exclaimed "Dooce!" in surprise, which startled them both. We then had a quick chuckle and chatted for a minute, during which I gushed foolishly about enjoying their blogs, and noted brilliantly how much taller they were in person.

It was a cute and harmless little dream, but if I have to dream about women, why can't they be more the - ah - more fantastic sort; Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson or Ziyi Zhang?

But Nooo, apparently my dream women are married, with child, and more than a little crazy.

At least I'm well prepared for the future.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Credi-Bull #5

Credi-Bull - a news item that might be fact, or might be fiction.

Doctors in Germany have reported a recent breakthrough on the treatment of some types of congenital blindness.

In a backwards-seeming concept, patients eyes are exposed to direct sunlight for short, precisely measured durations (3.221 seconds) across a series of treatment cycles.

The sunlight causes a specific type of damage to the retina (A-Wave Macular Degeneration) which activates latent regenerative proteins from the Choroid and Fovea ocular regions.

68% of patients showed a 15% increase in light sensitivity over a six month treatment program.

Real or Fake?
(Vote in the 'comments' section, answer to be revealed tomorrow)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What's in an Adjective?

This is just a brief look at the fevered ramblings of my brain - shouldn't I be putting it to some more useful purpose? I mean really...

While toiling away at my desk yesterday, the boss walked through the office and said "Hey, John Roberts is coming by in a few minutes - he used to work here? Some of you might remember him, hefty guy?"

Now, I've never met John, so I don't know if he'd care for being called "hefty" or not. Is it applicable? "Hefty" isn't neccessarily a snide or rude comment, but you probably wouldn't say it to someone's face.

How does the boss describe me to others? Am I... Pudgy? Voluptious? Ample? Robust? How about Corpulent? ("Have you met Mike? He's that corpulent guy - sits over here? No?")

So I wait to see, what I think of John. If he's smaller than me, and he qualifies as Hefty, well I don't know what to think. I might have to re-evaluate my impression of the boss as A Good Joe. He might only like beautiful people.

John shows up. Okay, it might be applicable, though I would have said 'Beefy', which implies strength along with bulk, whereas nowadays "Hefty" is most likely to conjure images of trash bags...Hmn.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Just Wrong - Numbers

We very regularly get wrong numbers for AMC Theaters. It gets old, but we've yet to bother changing our number.

Being me, I get tempted to mislead these folks - teach them a lesson, make them think twice and hit those digits a little more carefully.

Me: Hello?

Goofus: ...Uh, is this AMC?

Me: Oh! Yeah sorry, this is my first day. AHEM! Thank you for calling AMC, this is Bill.

Goofus: Yeah I wanted to check the times for The Ringer.

Me: The Ringer is playing at 6:30, 7:15, 8:30, and 9:20, but listen -

Goofus: Huh?

Me: (stage whisper) Whatever you do, don't eat any popcorn. Good God Man, the things they do with the popcorn. I threw up for about fifteen minutes nonstop when I first saw the inside of the Popper. And there's rats dude. Big ones.

Goofus: .......

Me: Thank you for calling AMC, goodbye!