Archive for November, 2005

My profession is generally thought to be populated by quiet, if not introverted, relatively harmless people.  But that’s not how it really is.  We are a violent group, as noted by our jargon…
  • We execute programs as a routine practice.
  • The fruit of our labor has one of two choices:  It runs or it dies.
  • We abort jobs when they don’t perform to our liking.
  • Our primary communication device is a terminal.
  • After a test run is completed, or a production process fails, we do a post-mortem review.
  • Sometimes our programs hang.  When this happens, if they don’t die on their own, we’ll eventually kill them.
  • We terminate cables.
  • If we don’t have time to build a solution properly, we’ll hack it.
  • When we don’t have an answer, we’ll take a stab at it (not exclusively I.T., but applicable nonetheless).
  • When a server is no longer useful, you can bet we’ll take it down, and it’s not getting back up.

Now, do you still want to mess with this group?


Programmer:  1) a nocturnal organism that interacts by mumbling, survives on pizza and coffee, and communicates with inanimate objects.  2) a device for turning coffee into software.

"Time is an illusion… lunchtime, doubly so!"
        Ford Prefect
Did Douglas Adams have insight into the modern corporate world, or have lunch hours always been figments of our imagination?
Speaking of "On time…"
-  I must admit I am only aware of two types of meetings:  Those I am late for, and those I have not been invited to.
-  Douglas Adams said he loved deadlines.  He felt they make the most wonderful "Woosh!" sound as they go by.
OK, well not all of it.
  • I am 100% American, but my ancestry is half Italian.
  • Italy is 5 hours ahead of us.
  • half of 5 is 2.5.

So that’s why my 5 o’clock shadow shows up at 2:30 in the afternoon!

Contrary to popular belief, it’s important to buy flowers for your wife/girlfriend for GOOD things, and NEVER to make up for something done wrong.  Keep their connotation positive.  And do it fairly often and in front of her friends if possible.
We recently went to my wife’s 15th work anniversary celebration.  I wanted to surprise her with something, but couldn’t come up with the right thing.  So I landed on a corsage.  However, as it came time to buy it, I began to doubt myself.  See, she had a sheer dress, and a pin was out of the question.  So it would have to be a wrist corsage.  Would she want something dangling from her arm all night?
So I asked, ruining the potential surprise.  "I haven’t worn one since … well since PROM NIGHT!", she said.  AAHHH… what did that mean?  I decided to go the bold route and ASKED AGAIN, "Is that good or bad?" 
"Are you KIDDING?  It’s great!  I’d love a corsage!!"
So, I stared at the dress and did my best to memorize the color.  Then I went into the florist like a bumbling idiot.  They showed me an array of ribbons and I picked the best color match.  I then went back to work, hoping it would turn out nice, and picked it up on the way home.  She was thrilled.
The best part, though, was how much attention that little corsage got her from her co-workers and/or their spouses.  A couple of white roses and some ribbon made her the envy of so many women at the event.
So, when you want your loved one to feel special, get flowers.
After reading my last post, Catholic Mom posted her blog’s worth on her site.  Then she found this site…
so I followed suit.  :)
Funny how "tracked" we all are, eh?  It’s all in fun.
P.S. – I’m not copying your post, Brenda.  I’m imitating… you know, "the sincerest form of flattery!"
Others, like this blog, you apparently can.

My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

The joke goes like this
(it’s bad… so you’ve been warned… and it’s old, so you might not get it)…
Ever heard of Mil Famey?  Of course not, and it’s a sin.  Back in the golden days of baseball, along with players like Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig, there was a pitcher named Mil Famey.  No one could hit his fast ball.  His curve ball swung three feet away from straight.  But his success caught up with him, and he developed a fondness for the drink.  It got to where he was sneaking beer onto the mound with him during the games.  Eventually, he was playing drunk and couldn’t get a ball across the plate to save his life.  At the end of the season, at the end of the team’s last game, the opponents had won without hitting a single ball, marking the end of ol’ Mil’s career.  Two of the winning team’s players were walking on the field after the game, and one tripped with a loud clank.  "What was that?" asked the other.  The stumbling player picked up a crushed can and said, "That’s the beer that made Mil Famey walk us!"
Ok.  So it’s just an ordinary joke.  But not when Dad tells it.  Aside from the fact that he’s laughing so hard by the end that you can hardly understand the punchline, he replaces the name "Mil Famey" with something akin to "Bob Stanford" (if you don’t know the commercial tag line, this doesn’t matter and the joke makes no sense when correct).  When you’re familiar with the joke told correctly, this is hilarious.  Otherwise, you look around for someone who can help you figure out just what was right and what was wrong.
Many years ago, I had a friend over to dinner.  I warned him about my dad’s jokes.  During the meal, it was three guys (me, Michael, and Dad), and three girls (Mom and my sisters, Lynda and Caroline).  Dad ran off one of these jokes (I wish I could tell you which one), laughing hysterically by the punchline.  No one got it, but Michael and I started laughing because it was exactly what I’d said would happen.  The ladies looked back and forth at each other, perplexed.  Finally Lynda said, "It must be some ‘guy’ thing."  That just made it funnier.  We couldn’t say anything and were practically in tears by the end.
It was so trivial, but it’s those kinds of moments that really stick with you. 
So, what do my kids say about me behind my back.  I know I have some oddball "dad" behaviors!


B   E

S   E   E



OK, so my eye-doctor has resumed taking my insurance again.  Turns out the clinic changed hands just about the time I was to go last year, and it takes forever for the insurance to register a new doctor.  My contacts had run out and I couldn’t get a new prescription.  So I went a year "four-eyed".  The transition became unnatural.

"The transition" is that moment when you remove your glasses and insert the contacts.  Standing still, everything looks fine.  It’s all clear, and throughout the day I’ll even try to adjust glasses that aren’t there.

Then I move.  Lenses propped an inch in front of your eyes cause the scenery to move at a different pace as you turn your head.  There’s a small, but very perceptible "wobbly" feeling as your brain tries to reconcile clear vision without that altered movement.  I’d swear I move more naturally with no glasses on (or in total darkness, for that matter) than I do for the first 3 minutes in contacts.

Over time, you adjust, and there’s virtually nothing to switching between blurriness, contacts or glasses.  Just a couple more days, I suspect.  But, hey, I can wear cool $20 shades now!

Right now, all the eyeglass/contacts swappers are wondering why I’m posting this — it’s SO obvious.  However, all the 20/20 people will be asking them about this effect tomorrow.

I put up a new video.  Probably significantly more of interest to two groups than any others:
- Those who have kids, and
- Those considering a Legoland (California) visit.
I choose not to auto-start the video because I know of some visitors who are using slower connections.  Please click the "Play" button to start the video.
In any case, the older two could drive in the "city", whereas the youngest was only allowed to drive in a little loop.  So, I merged the videos together.  It’s about 7 minutes, choppy because I only have 5MB to work with.  I’m trying to re-render it a bit more smoothly.  I’ll post an update if that occurs.
Lots of people are asking how I got the media player into my site.  I learned from another blog, so rather than give it to you second hand, here’s a link to that blog.  There are other tips/tricks there, too.  Good luck!
OK, well I got some of the 275 pictures up from this vacation!  I have a special set of shots I took from the plane window, but the real fun happened in the parks.
Note the little guy.  He was fine on 11/11, right up until dinner time, when we had the incident mentioned in "Bad Day in CA".  Then he carried the mark over the right eye for the rest of the trip.
We ended up having a great vacation once the boys settled into their routines.  There were some accomplishments, too!  Tom went on Space Mountain.  Matthew rode the sliding  cars on the Ferris Wheel at California Adventure!
I don’t know if everyone experiences this or if it’s unique to my history, but I get such a sad feeling when it’s time to come home from vacation.  Wouldn’t it be nice to spend all of your time in that mode?  Running from place to place, never pausing to clean up (the maid does it), and just enjoying "together time!"
We’ve never gotten into organized sports leagues.  We’ve offered at every turn, explaining that evenings and weekends will be a commitment.  They’ve never taken us up on the offers, and I’m glad.  Every weekend is just a little part "vacation."  After the work’s done around the house, we just spend time together.  With work and school (and after-school daycare or camp), there’s no need for another obligation.  I’ll be happy if they join a club or league, but I’m not anxious for those days.