Showing posts from September, 2008

This template is not condusive to creating polls

When the economy stops circling the drain and drops in, how will you respond?a) Curl up in a fetal position and cryb) Grow a beard and move to the desertc) Sell pencils (and possibly organs) on the streetd) Loot as many stores as possiblee) Find yourself a nice little dumpster and settle in; then begin training rats and raccoons to become your unholy army of the nightf) _________________________________

pepe le pew

Last night I dreamed that a skunk got in our house and I had to gently herd it outside. Then, when I left this morning, I smelled skunk when I stepped out the front door. I assure you there was not a trace of skunk smell in the house. Maybe I have secret animal psychic powers.

Hats Off

Why don’t people wear hats anymore? I’m not talking about the deliciously huge hats women wear to the track or the moronic trucker hats people wear around, but rather the kind of hats people wore when dressed up for a night on the town. Deep down I have a sneaking suspicion that if we all wore hats, the world would be a more peaceful place. Okay, not really, but I think it would be a more dapper place, which is something in itself.

I Beg to Differ

I'm fascinated by the way people are afraid to disagree sometimes. For example, sometimes I hear someone voice an opinion, and I'll offer a contrasting one—not to be argumentative, just to explain that I see things differently. Then the other person will sometimes try to agree with me or come up with something conciliatory to say.

This also happens with food. It's perfectly fine if my wife doesn't like smoked gouda. She doesn't need to apologize about it (but sometimes she does anyway).
I mean, it's nice that we don't want to offend other people. But we have every right to our own opinion.

If you hate this post, that's great! I want to hear all about it.

Can you believe this is post #400?

What do the following three paragraphs have in common?

Last night I noticed that a neighbor had planted one of those tiny pine-tree-like shrubs, and it brought to mind a question I have had for a long time: Why would anybody want a pine tree in their yard? The needles stand ready to stab you if you get too close, you can't climb them, and their shape prevents them from providing useful shade.

I had a great idea for a restaurant. It would be a Western-themed restaurant, and it would be kind of like the Training Table, except you order your food using a telegraph at your table (the menu would give you the Morse code for your meal). Then it would be sent out to your table on a little train. Wouldn't that be an awesome place to eat?

And, finally, last night I started having this really interesting dream. It was just like a movie, complete with a narrator. There was this girl who was dating a guy, and she had a necklace she always wore when she wasn't around him, but she took it o…

Terms Our Children Will Grow up Not Knowing


Stock market

Internal combustion





Gnat Terrors

When it comes to running/cycling/whatever you do to get exercise outdoors, you can choose between several annoyances. If you exercise outside, you can pretty much choose between heat stroke and swallowing copious amounts of insects.
If you go in the heat of the day, the bugs are sensibly taking shelter somewhere, so you are free to gasp for air without fear of mosquito bites in your esophagus. But you run the risk of losing more body weight through sweat than you actually possess.
For those who prefer to exercise in the morning or evening, the temperature is pleasant, but you probably actually gain weight from the truckloads of bugs you will inevitably swallow and/or inhale. After running in the evening, I often have to pick gnats out of my hair, and I might spit out one or two a couple hours later.
So here's my solution:

The bonus is that those roving bands of rebellious fencers will choose an easier target to attack.
My pirate name is:

Iron John Flint

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

And in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day...


Saddle up

So I'm plant-sitting for Brooke at work this week.

Can you tell I've been trying all week to finish watching a Western?

I had an onion tied to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, you couldn't get white onions because of the war; all you could get...

Do you ever get stuck in a conversation that you can’t get out of? I’m not talking about those times when you have to be somewhere else or there’s a rational need to leave, but rather those times when, with every word the other person utters (it’s typically just a two-person conversation), your brain threatens to escape your body and make a break for it. All you can do is try to play some old TV theme songs in your head, or maybe design circuits if you’re the engineering type, all the while searching for an opportunity to escape.Now I’m boring myself just thinking about those situations.


Sam likes to play ping pong. The problem is that he can barely see over the table, and as a child of not quite three years, he still needs to develop some hand-eye coordination. He typically chases the ball along the ground, smacking it with the paddle. So he usually destroys a ball every time we play. In order to avoid that, I thought it might be nice to suspend a ping pong ball from a string and let him go at it, which would keep him from running out into the street after it and also help him learn some coordination.

This was after he smacked me in the groin with the ping pong paddle to express his impatience (it took forever to figure out how to get the ball so it wouldn't fly out of its little harness when he hit it).

Call Me Ishmael

I just had an age-old unsolved question brought up by Brooke. She asked me how my name is supposed to be pronounced, which is something I occasionally have pondered with no clear answer. Is it one syllable or two? I do know that if it’s two syllables you’d better emphasize the first one, because I’m not a girl. But is the vowel just a long O sound, or is it a diphthong morphing from the O sound to a “wuh” sound?At any rate, I decided it’s my prerogative to mandate the pronunciation of my name. So what should I do? One syllable, two syllables, plain O sound or “jowuhl”?


All right, musically inclined people, I want an answer to something. Why does an octave have 7 notes instead of 8? It really needs to be a “septive” instead. And don’t give me that “It’s from low do to high do crap either. Can I say I work from Monday to Monday and collect 6 days’ worth of pay? No. Counting from do to do is only 7 notes. Mathematically, that’s like saying 12–5 is 8: it doesn’t work because you don’t count the 12. You count from 12 to 11 (1), from 11 to 10 (2), from 10 to 9 (3), from 9 to 8 (4), and from 8 to 7 (5).Sorry, it’s been a bit of a tense day.

Take My Ego, Please

Okay, the new blog is up and ready, complete with its first writing sample (but read the introductory post first, at the bottom of the page). If I don't already have your email address, you'll have to give me one to include on the list of people allowed to access the blog. If you're squeamish about posting your e-mail address in the comments, either go create a new account just for this or send it to me via email at As for the rest of you, I'll add the e-mail addresses I already have for you, unless I hear otherwise.

most unique license plate cover:

"I'd rather be watching The Andy Griffith Show."

I guess you have to admire the loyalty someone has for a show that hasn't been produced in 40 years...

With thoughts of peace and courage for you

There have been a number of people at work who have lost loved ones recently, and it’s of course a common custom to pass around a sympathy card. I wholeheartedly support the idea, because sometimes it helps to know that people are aware of the pain you’re feeling. What I don’t like, however, is that everyone writes the same thing in these cards. Then again, there don’t seem to be a lot of options. Sometimes I am passed the card for signing and half a dozen people have already written “our thoughts and prayers are with you.” That’s a lovely sentiment, and I suppose if we all have the same sympathy there’s no harm in expressing it with the same words. But it becomes trite when we don’t even attempt an original sentiment. With the power of the internet, it only takes a few seconds to find a nice little quote or even a list of appropriate sayings.If that’s too much work, just buy the card yourself so you can have dibs on the “thoughts and prayers” thing.

Lend Me Your Eyes

Some people use blogs to record actual to-be-published writing, and I was considering doing the same thing (with fiction, since I have no more interest in writing non-fiction than I do in reading it), since it’s not like I spend all day at work being edited too. But it might be helpful motivation for me to work on my writing more, and I personally believe that my blog readers are among the most exceptionally intelligent people on the planet. As such you might be able to help me make improvements. If I do this it will be an invitation-only blog, so my question is, by a show of hands, how many of you would be interested in adding one more blog to your already bloated reading schedule?

Of Snakes and the Mice Who Feed Them

This is my snake, Reggie*

*Okay, I didn't have a picture of her, so this is a picture of another valley garter snake, but she looks pretty much exactly like that.

This is what Reggie eats:

No, not the quarter.
You can buy frozen mice at pet stores as food for reptiles. They come in varying sizes: pinkies, fuzzies, hoppers, and adults (which is one of those things I could never imagine knowing before). At first it seems gross to feed cute baby mice to a snake, but it's the healthiest food for the snake, and you get used to it.

Reggie eats about once a week. (Snakes are the easiest pets to care for.) But sometimes in the fall snakes won't eat well, because they are preparing for brumation, which is the reptilian form of hibernation.

Anyway, two nights ago I put a mouse in Reggie's cage and then forgot about it. Then last night (right before dinner, as luck would have it) my wife brought it to my attention that Reggie had not yet eaten the mouse, which was starting to look a li…

Know Thy Blog

This is a Wordle of my blog, which is a graphical image that shows the most commonly used words in it. Apparently I'm concerned with the "people" I see "around."
Cool find, Todd.

Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee

So the other day my friend Jer gave me one of the two or three best gifts I’ve ever been given (okay, it was partially in payment for doing some work, but it was far and away beyond what I should have received). So that begs the question: What is the best gift you have ever received? I love seeing the subjective value of gifts, so I’m hoping some of you say something like “a new car” and others say “a dried flower.”


I recently discovered that pretty much everybody had a better-looking blog than I did, so I decided to look around for a new template. Bear with me while I mess with the features and such.

The Most Useless Things I Ever Learned

How to use the card catalog at the library

The Spanish Armada sailed in 1588

How to tie a bowline knot

Base 6 math

The use of a pogo stick

Can you top those?


Apparently, summer has gasped its last breath. Lat night was the first time since spring that I saw people walking around in coats. And it was still about 65 degrees outside at 9 p.m.. I’m always amused that if we had a 65-degree day in March, people would be running around in shorts, but because it’s in the summer, people bundle up. Our perception truly is relative.

Dream Log 2

Last night I dreamed that some huge meteorite hit the earth, and it started snowing immediately. I was with my family in some sort of shelter, and I started worrying that the dust cast into the atmosphere would severely limit food production and we’d all starve. I woke up before much else happened, and frankly I’m glad I did.

She Looks So Familiar

How often is it that you see someone you think looks familiar but can’t immediately identify? It doesn’t happen to me that often, but almost every time we go somewhere my wife says she thinks she recognizes someone. So apparently I’m either woefully anti-social and don’t know many people, or she’s super social and knows far more than most of us do. Or maybe one of us is just crazy. In fact, all of those options could be true.

Policy Update

For those of you keeping track (i.e., me), I decided to combine this blog and my seldom-updated family blog. So occasionally you will see actual news and events relating to my life, as opposed to the results of the arbitrary firing of synapses in my brain. Lucky you!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled stream of consciousness.


Well, I don't usually post when I'm on vacation, but I guess I'll post a couple pics of us in Zion National Park on Saturday. Thanks for being quick with the camera, Calee, even though it was a bit creepy that you took most of these pictures without our knowledge.

I don't know what happened to this one, but I'm too lazy to crop it.

Sam was thrilled that we let him walk on the sand in bare feet.

"I want to be by the water, but not in the water... I can't get the captions where I want them. Deal with it; I'm on vacation.