Friday, December 29, 2006

Stirring up some excitement

Have you ever wanted to charge into the CEO's office and fall to your knees, tearfully (and falsely) confessing that you are a spy from the competition, who has been paying you handsomely for juicy tidbits of corporate espionage?

Uh, me neither.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You say Poe-Ta-Toe

Several different people lately at work have been complaining of "migraines".

Now, no one can really say how much pain another person is in, but if you're lounging in your chair, chit chatting, grinning and joking around, it doesn't count at a migraine in my book.

If you're under your desk in the fetal position, with the trash can over your head, weeping because a field mouse 2 miles away is squeaking too loud - that there is a migraine.

Otherwise, just say "headache", OK?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


It's 49 degrees right now in central Florida. And on Christmas, a tornado did a million dollars worth of damage just down the road.

Spring Break better kick m'f'ng ass, that's all I got to say.
Elvis was banned, but hula hoops were just fine?  Hey, did the Hawaiians ever get a cut of the hula hoop profits?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's a damn good thing I'm not sexy

Now in my first ever customer service job, I've discovered a horrible truth about myself - I simply can't say NO to people. I just want to help them, make them happy, and send them on their way.

Monday, December 25, 2006

22nd Annual Etcher's Christmas Awards

It's the 22nd Annual Etcher's Christmas Awards!

Hosted by Robert Loggia

Guest appearances by:
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Carol Channing

Musical Guest:
Robert Goulet

Psssszap! Technical difficulties, please stand by.

We now join The Simpsons, already in progress!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Is it just me?

It's so odd to think that the name of this product was developed by a committee, approved by management, submitted for consumer testing, and actually made it onto the box.

People got paid for dreaming up this name. Wow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

it ain't writers block... but it'll do until the real thing comes along

I've been whining about work lately, I know. It's leaving me drained - there's just so much new data that my brain is so busy processing this high-priority shit that all the fun wordplay I usually entertain myself with has been locked off in cold storage .

I mean damn, there have been days recently when I didn't even blog, and I'd been so good about posting 5 days a week for years! (Did I mention my brain runs BASIC? Explains a lot, I know. I think I have some bad sectors right now...)



023 bytes free
RUN writefiction

Syntax Error line 23431: Ha ha yeah right
Syntax Error line 43564: AS IF
Syntax Error line 89712: Talk to the HAND

During November, I wrote a total of about 200 words for NaNoWriMo, and had to spend 4 hours in bed recovering afterwards. Then I flaked out of Craig's fun writing contest. I suck!


When scientists working on artificial intelligence finally figure it out, this is what it'll be:

Three or more separate (often conflicting) drives or agendas which result in an internal discussion or debate over which action to take - this is consciousness.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Horse Country!

We moved from Southern California to Florida around 6 months ago...

I'm still getting used to having clouds in the sky, and actual weather. Oh, and livestock around every bend. There's a horse farm behind Best Buy. And another one behind the grocery store. Circuit City sells hay and live bait.

It's odd. Beautiful too.

This sticker is on all the gas pumps round yonder. I like to think no one gives Mr. Commissioner a hard time.

The sky! Clouds! Too beautiful to be real, it must be special effects.

Did I mention we live across the street from a graveyard? Yep.

One of the businesses in our area. I am not at all affiliated with them.

Umm. We might just be in NASCAR country.

A horse ranch.

Another horse ranch.

One of a thousand horse-related businesses in the area.

What's this? If you guessed "A horse ranch" you guessed rightly!


Monday, December 18, 2006

Welcome to the Wis-Dome of Tomorrow!

There's a saying, something about The only true wisdom is realizing that you know nothing. (Did I get that from Bill & Ted? Probably.) On one level, I believe that. I'm an intelligent person, and while I know many things, I'm still in the dark about 99.9999% of everything. I believe this.

And yet I feel like I SHOULD know everything. One layer of me demands that I know the answer to any question, and if there's something I can't answer, I actually get pissed at myself. If something stumps me, I MUST go look up the answer (at home or work). If I can't look it up right away, I'll jot it down for later research. As compulsions go, I could do worse.

It's this need to be completely credible that's driving me batty with the new job - since there's far too much for anyone to know, and even if you could somehow memorize it all at this very moment, all of the policies and procedures are under constant revision, so there it is: unending frustration.

I can't deal with feeling LOST. They say it can be up to 6 months before you feel completely comfortable. Good grief, I'll have killed someone by then. I won't give up without really giving it my all, but feeling lost all the time is exhausting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

LubDub LubDubLubDub

Have you noticed? A song with a speedy beat seems to slow down when your heart rate is elevated? Listening to my ipod while on the treadmill, I frowned at the music slowness. Since I'm old, I checked the ipod's battery level.

Remember cassette walkman? Your batteries would get low, and the songs would start slowing down. Kids today probably think cassettes are funny.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

-50 to Coolness Factor

It's not cool to carry an umbrella, but you kinda gotta when you live in Florida.

Not that I was ever cool to begin with - I'm the guy with the fan on his desk, a lunchbox full of drinks and snacks, an ever-present tin of mints, a little bottle of pills, tiny tube of travel lotion, and a little rubber non-slip strip for my keyboard.

Did I mention I've only had the desk 2 days? Yeah it's uncool, but my geek ass is prepared!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Phantom Presentation?

Remember a while back when I mentioned that our 'fixed' cat was in heat? It seems that she might well be fixed, she just doesn't know it. The phenomenon lasts about a week every 6 weeks or so, with the wiggly backside and yowling.

She doesn't spray pee anywhere, no misbehaving at all - she just rubs her face on everything (more than usual that is), twitches her backside and calls out to boyfriends who never reply.

We never took her to the vet for it, because she never made a mess or anything. She seems ok... Any ideas? Should we be worried?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Una Noche Mas!

I've been listening to a lot of Pandora lately - and it seems like no matter what station I create, it's just a matter of time before the Spanish version of the Jennifer Lopez song Waiting for Tonight plays - it's Una Noche Mas (isn't that one more night, instead of waiting for?)

I guess all my musical roads lead back to that song, which is a bit troubling, when I started out with Tricky and Zero 7.

Still, it's an upbeat song and even though I only know 2 words of Spanish, I sing along joyfully - ever true to my white and nerdy roots.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Crap Crap Crap

Work in an hour! Me not ready! Too much pressure! Eeep!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Nowhere but up

First 'day' on the phones, I took 3 calls. Granted, they were far longer calls than they would have been if an experienced rep had been handling them - every single bit of information was a bit of a struggle - imagine if you had to look in the instruction manual before each button press on your remote control.

I did okay - I'm not very happy with my performance, there's a lot of room for improvement, and I have a bad tendency to rush. At least it's Friday! The weekend will give me some time to digest what I have learned.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Deep Breath! Let it out!

After 6 weeks of training, today will be my first day speaking to customers. I'll have another 8 weeks of mentoring before I'm left all alone with the customers - how cool is that, how excellent is that? How many companies take customer service so seriously? This company rocks!

I'm a bit nervous, but I feel well-equipped by the training. It's all good - there's just a lot of self-induced stress on The First Call.
It's all good baby!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chance discovery of deliciousness!

Did you guys know there is such a thing as pumpkin-apple pie? It's one of the most delicious food sins one can participate in.

If you knew and didn't tell me, consider me vexed. No tickle for you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Awkward without context

I've been very careful not to stimulate her, but she's got the dither-fidgets something awful. She just wouldn't shut up, so I had to lock her in the bathroom overnight.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Consider Toilet Paper

Have you ever tore a package open, and realized that you were the first person to ever touch the item?

Like a pen:

Millions of years ago, a forest is buried by a volcanic catastrophe. For eons, the plant and animal matter ferment into bubbly black goo.

Until one day, this oil is pumped to the surface from deep under the Gulf of Mexico, piped a few hundred miles to the processing plant, where the petroleum is fractioned and polymerized, automatically blended with synthetic resins in the XJ400 processing vat (7500 gallons at a minute, 18 million gallons a month).

Here it meets the ink cartridge, made in Argentina by the world's finest pressure-treated plastomer cartridge die (the GetterdunKreig YT12, made in Berlin).

Next robotic fingers as delicate as feathers and strong as steel pluck the tops and bottoms (ventral and dorsal, in penmaker jargon) out of the sterilized bin while the pieces still hot, still soft. The pieces are spun together like kite string and deposited (as gently as an infant onto a changing table) onto the packaging conveyor.

The blister packer eats pens like a Hungry Hungry Hippo eats marbles. Packaged pens emerge glistening and dewy with possibility, (though most are resigned to their fate as doodlers).

And at the end of all that, you casually pop the package open and are the first (and possibly last) person to ever touch them.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Is it possible to pursue discipline without feeling self-righteous and pissy with your coworkers?