Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jay: No Birthdays Today

Guess I’ll have to figure out what else to post.

01:50 PM | BloggingHumorTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jay: True Names

We’ve been holding out.  You may think we have kids named Sadie, Valerie and Henry, but really their names are:

04:01 PM | HumorKids • (2) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Deb: Overheard in our house, impressive connections edition:

Jay: You know, in a way Lee Iacocca invented the modern carseat industry.

Deb: Um, that was kind of random.

Jay: Not really.  I was thinking about ABBA.

10:51 PM | HumorTotally Random • (2) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jay: Betrayed By Weather!

Oh wait.  I mean, what a wonderful day it appears to be, and how nice it got for a large chunk of yesterday.  Hooray for sun and warmth, and their power to dry previously soaked grass.  Yeah, that’s it.  Assuming the 50% chance of precipitation, focused in the afternoon and beyond, is worth the risk.

Which means it’s looking sadly, I mean happily, like the family gathering Easter egg hunt thing will happen today.  That means getting a ride, which appears to be all set.  That means preparing and bringing something the baby can eat.  That means getting cash I can’t afford to contribute to the purchase of pizza, which means dairy, which means “hey, what’s Deb going to eat?” That means sitting here trying to remember what lyrics my brother wanted me to locate online and print for him, so I don’t have to be like “oops, forgot” or whatever.

But hey, it’ll make my brother and the other kids happy, so it must be worth it.

If it’s happening, and we have no idea for sure yet.  As of yesterday it was completely up in the air.  Not only does it depend on the lack of rain long enough for the grass to be dry, it also matters whether the grass was cut recently enough, or couldn’t be because mumble mower fixed mumble come do the lawn mumble, or it was too wet at the wrong time.

We also have no idea what time it is scheduled, since nobody in the family who schedules these things ever announces a time for them.  Apparently naming the date is considered sufficient.

Oh well.  Guess I’d better start frantically scrambling to be ready to go, rather than taking advantage of what for me is a work day with someone else to help redirect the kids.

I relaxed when my look at the weather told me it’s likely to be raining again by 2:00, but I’m told we should show between 12:30 and 1:30, so I really do have to scramble.

12:04 PM | BusinessCarsHumorJob HuntingKidsMoneyNewsWeatherNothingTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, May 02, 2008

Jay: Sunday

Was supposed to be the annual Easter egg hunt for the little kids, at my grandmother’s house, but I don’t even need to discuss it with anyone to know it’s off.  The weather is, well, the kind of weather that makes us do this well after actual Easter in the first place.  Cold.  Rainy.  Completely unsuited to scampering around the yard on a search and consume mission for plastic eggs and their contents.

My mother would be handy in a drought.  Pick a day, have her plan an outdoor event on it, and voila, rain.  It’s very nearly uncanny.

01:06 PM | HumorKidsMassachusettsNewsWeatherTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Jay: One-Hundred

Who wants to trip the odometer?  Deb’s Neatly Tangled Shop is now at 99 items sold (in under a year - very nice), and this is your opportunity to be the big one-oh-oh.  The century buyer.  The triple digitizer.

Yay!  100 Items sold!  In well under a year.  Go Deb!  And, yeah, don’t let the benchmark being reached stop you from buying, even if the shop isn’t as well stocked as it was.  She’s working on it.

02:16 PM | BusinessHumorMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jay: The Luckier Away Team Members

03:25 PM | GeekeryHumorKidsPicturesTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jay: Love, Love Them… Don’t

So this week it was Beatles, rather than merely Lennon/McCartney, and it was one week too many for the American Idol contestants to handle.

In a fit of naked manipulation, TPTB placed Amanda in the death slot, where she entertained us thoroughly with the excellent choice of Back in the USSR.  A bright spot, probably enough to keep her in and get her on the tour.

In a fit of naked manipulation, TPTB placed dead girl walking Kristy Lee Cook second, between Amanda and God, where if Amanda entertained her way out of the trap, Kristy would be doomed without the performance of her life.  The only save for her might be how bad the night was overall.  You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away wasn’t a great choice, and then it might not be best to admit the song was new to you.  Not sure if TPTB actually care whether they get the country cutie or the rocker on the tour, so in a way the positioning, which is of course purely random, is aimed at both.

God, honorary member of the Rat Pack, sang The Long and Winding Road competently, but not entertainingly enough to be an “idol” or to rate the verbal equivalents of sexual favors from the judges.

Speaking of which, Kristy was memorable for her attire, the camera work that ran counter to the idea of TPTB wanting her executed, and her offer to blow Simon out of his socks if she gets to stay.  Will people have voted for the image of a Kristy favoring them?  Guess we’ll find out tonight.  And Kristy dear, the expression is “blow your socks off.” I know that expression is even older than the Beatles, but people still use it as conceived back when.

Later in the writing of this post, I went and looked at Dial Idol, which to the extent it has accuracy, predicts Kristy and Amanda as the bottom two.  Not sure what Chikezie is doing down there with them, but I’ll get to him later.

Michael Johns is still there.  Still has potential.  Once upon a time, he blew us away by reincarnating Jim Morrison and doing near justice to Freddie Mercury.  That early fan base, charisma, and fitting the Johnny Bravo suit won’t win it for you dude.  However, the chances of being gone this week?  Not.  He’ll be good on the tour, so that works.  I’d love to see him just astonish us one week, before the weeks run out for him.

Poor Brooke White.  Did seeing her family make her nervous?  Too much pressure to match last week, but no piano to hide behind?  It wasn’t horrible or anything, and Here Comes the Sun might not even have been the worst choice, but you could hear and especially see here nerves.  In fact, I give her huge respect for how well she did despite them, and how well she muted their obviousness.  She’ll have to do a lot worse and for more than a week or two before she goes anywhere.  And please, watch the talking back with the judges, even if it’s polite and explanatory.  In fact, there was so much of that this week, it’s almost as if the contestants were told they could do it to help fill the extra time.  Obviously it’s awkward to program the same length of time with fewer people each week, with discontinuous jumps up and down in length depending on where they are in the season and numbers.

David Cook made the excellent choice of Day Tripper and was highly entertaining yet again.  Silly judges, but TPTB probably don’t want him winning.  We didn’t like him at first, but have become fans.  He’s just that good, and not in a boring kid with an angelic voice and overbearing father sort of way.

Carly Hennesy Smithson continues to blow our minds, this week doing a reasonable job on Blackbird.  How exciting that she’s “from Europe” (a new country in the special Pickler Edition of Risk) and thus has so much in common with the boys from Liverpool.  That’s a country in the new Beatles Memorial Edition of Risk, a bit south of Norwegian Wood.  But seriously, it was pretty good and she’s safe for a while.

We’re over Jason Castro.  He’s gone too many weeks no longer singing or performing well, even if he can still be charming.  He didn’t already know Michelle?  Sheesh.  Sad thing is, it could have been far better from him.  It’s like he’s coasting intentionally and amused by it.  We compared him to Chris Sligh last night, just managing to get on the tour and happy with that.  If he can’t have a musical career, he can always become the next Dread Pirate Roberts.  He ought to have a lock on that.  Ba-dump-bump.

Syesha Mercado sang Yesterday because, face it, somebody had to, making it the most covered song in history plus one.  Is that like infinity plus one?  I thought she was pretty competent.  Deb wasn’t as impressed.  Perhaps I was being subjected to invisible boobie rays, to which I am more immune than some.  She looked nice, but ruined her cool hair.  A demographic ploy?  Be who you are, dawg, and joke ‘em.  Dial Idol says the boobtronic rays were effective shielding and she will still be on the bridge in next week’s exciting episode.  Much more effective than Kristy’s legtronic rays.  And yet Carly was the one wearing a red shirt.  That’s not right.  And at least it could have been an attractive red shirt.  But I digress.

Chikezie Eze may not have matched last week, and could have safely sung the whole thing straight and pretty as it began, but his performance of a song I’d never heard of totally rocked.  I’ve Just Seen a Face?  Do I sound as bad to a true Beatles fanatic as Achoo and some of the others do to mere ordinary music listening humans between 1 and at least retirement age?  Talk about turnarounds.  We will buy an album when he produces one.  After the first week of top 24, I wanted him gone and expected him not to last.  I’d say he’s hands down safe, being one of the bright spots of the night, but Dial Idol isn’t so sure.  In fact, the bottom four are the first and last two to perform, meaning either the pimp spot and its environs are no longer safe, or people dislike the last two performers that much.

Finally, Ramiele Malubay should have known better.  Actually, she was okay, but she’s still trying (well, or not trying, really) to live up to her momentous Dusty Springfield performance.  She’s about through whatever fandom she earned from that.  She’ll probably be safe tonight, but unless she astonishes us in a way I’m not sure she’s able, she may not make the top 8.  And how do you feel about the pronoun changes?  I think the only one who hasn’t changed pronouns in one performance was Amanda.  I forget which song or week, but it really struck me.  Or this could be shock elimination night and showing 4th from the bottom on Dial Idol could spell the end for her.  Guess we’ll know soon enough.

I still think Kristy will be leaving us, and that Dial Idol will be unusually accurate for this point in the competition.  However, the only one of the bottom seven I would be sad to see go at this point is Chikezie.  Of the top four I might only be really sad to see David Cook or Brooke White go.  Which I guess says I’m rooting for those three at this point, with nods to a few of the others.

Here are a few others posting about American Idol since last night’s show:

My Beautiful Chaos
Kevin Aylward
Not an AI post but Jen likes David Cook
Chris O’Donnell

(Deb: Also, tWatPoaAIJ and Radley Balko.)

03:07 PM | HumorMusicTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Deb: Overheard in our house, extended warranty edition:

"Are you saying that any problems we ever have in our lives are my fault for not buying the warranty when I married you?”

11:48 PM | HumorMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jay: Just to be clear on the migration thing…

The discussion of moving is little more than fantasy at the moment and probably for a couple years anyway, notwithstanding that we’d have probably packed and moved this week had we been financially able.

To move in the near term would require winning the lottery, which I can’t afford to play because a dollar is a lot of money just now.

It might be possible relatively soon if I got the right offer of work that would cover the cost of such a move up front, or would allow for my getting there and getting crash space while supporting the cost of this place and accumulating enough to consummate the move.  Or something similar that would involve two locations.

Otherwise?  If I get enough work for long enough here, sure, but then if I have such work, there will be a disincentive to move and a pull toward staying.  It’d end up being a decision for a time when whatever I do next for primary income tied to this area came to a logical and natural conclusion.  But since people take jobs with big companies and keep them for thirty years, then retire wealthy, unless they are lazytard slackers who are disgraces to their families, even if nobody else has that fantasy job either, a bout of employment drawing to an end would never be an issue until it was time to decide between dueling retirement heavens in Florida and Arizona.

We’ll see, but if I get a great keeper job in Massachusetts, it may be worth the risk of having to fight with or move out of a local school system over the right to educate our kids properly, and worth having to avoid certain people other than through distance.

Time to make supper, I guess.


The main thing is it’s been a tipping point.  When I met Deb, I had the option of moving to California, or of both of us moving elsewhere, but I was tied to the business, and I still wanted to be near the family and didn’t have as much political reason to want to leave.  Frankly, I couldn’t picture leaving the state.  It felt scary and unsettling, close as I came to it once before.

Now it doesn’t.  It feels desirable and perhaps inevitable.  The buildup toward it started long ago, and it would have probably gotten there eventually.  It’s just sooner rather than later that the mental switch inside me flipped.

09:39 PM | BusinessCarsHumorJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMedicalMoneyTotally Random • (1) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jay: I’m Trying to Post but Nothing Happens

Before I thought of writing the AI post, I had another in mind.  Well, also before I thought of writing about Valerie saying “thingamahoobie” this morning.  Sadie says it all the time, for something she doesn’t know or can’t think of the name of offhand, and sometimes just because she knows it’s cute.  Valerie never said it before, and we had no idea she knew the expression, for all her vocabulary challenges Sadie’s and her enunciation blows Sadie’s away.

It’s icky out.  Just the sort of day to run to the post office to mail packages.  I was congratulating myself for not having to go to the store, and being able to return the client’s computer tomorrow.  Not a big deal though, since it’s maybe half a mile.  On a good day with a light load I’d walk.

The computer I worked on yesterday needed a video card.  It seems an unlikely source of spontaneous reboots, but it hasn’t done that to me.  It sat and defragmented the drive from around 4:15 PM or so until the wee hours.  The drive had zero free space, but it had 296 folders full of .CHK files from it spontaneously rebooting and running scandisk.  Those, temp files and temporary internet files gave it 13 GB free.  A DLL needed for MMC was corrupt, which meant being unable to do some things like look at the event log, but that was easily replaced from dllcache and reregistered.  It needs a video driver, so it’ll run at a good resolution and stop griping.  Today I’ll try to get it on our network/the internet to make the driver thing easy, and to backup some files, as I can do that in case, without adding much to the cost.  Other than that and blowing dust out of the power supply fan, it’ll be about letting it chug, maybe running some programs, and seeing if it stays running.  Totally a background thing that doesn’t add to the cost, but does make having it here for a couple days useful.

We’re planning to offer blog-related services at the business, like a special price on a basic blog setup and get you started package.  What I hadn’t thought of until someone asked about it was the potential of other work for people who blog.  I’ve used cPanel in connection with my hosting for years, and have also helped people with hosting that used alternatives to cPanel, manually backed up MySQL data or removed spam comments or such, and probably have enough programming and web background to look at PHP and figure things out.  Haven’t written things with it myself, but when I needed a contact form, I found a sample and modified it as needed.

I’ve seen a draft of this week’s CotC, which was nicely done and will presumably be up soon.  I’d really love to get a host for next week, though I’m resigned to doing it myself, and already have a collection of self-picked posts started.  An odd thing happened this week.  There were 22 submissions and I passed 13 of them along to the host.  Some were maybes, to my mind, but that is a really solid proportion of good stuff compared to where we were for a time.

We had the week more or less planned out food-wise and are actually ahead of where we expected to be.  Yesterday I made barley lentil soup in chicken stock, light on the chicken put with enough not to be a veggie soup.  Came out great, and was co-supper with leftover spaghetti last night.  And cornbread.  There is more leftover spaghetti, leftover potatoes, and most of the soup available today, when I thought by now we’d be cooking a pot of beans and maybe making tortillas.

Okay, time to get moving.  I can always write another post if I’ve forgotten something.

03:13 PM | BloggingBooksBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryHumorJob HuntingKidsMoneyTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Jay: Carnival of Meant to Write About That

This is a dump of a bunch of links I’ve been accumulating in Firefox with the idea, when saved, that I would post and write something about each of them, or sets of them.  I may yet.

12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them

Give your resume a face lift

WaPo “blogs” reflective of bureaucracy in D.C.

New life inside the depressed brain

Web Video: Move Over, Amateurs

Taking Marriage Private

3 simple ways to optimize for Google PageRank

(Skipping the set of four Grapenut pudding recipe links.)

Evolution of Alphabets

Is the United States on the Brink of Bankruptcy

Magma may be melting Greenland ice
(More recently there was buzz about a volcano under the Antarctic being a factor, too.)

The New Year’s Cocktail: Regret With a Dash of Bitters

50 Best Websites 2007

Classic Pea Soup with Ham

Why CNET Is In the Mess They Are In

Mayor Mumbles Menino attacks plan to have clinics in retailers

Chertoff on final Real ID rules: “Reconfiguring our society”

Cutting Through the Katrina Krapola

The Broken Window Fallacy in Software

Cholesterol as a Danger Has Skeptics - New York Times

Best Business Advice - Short and Sweet

New Leisure Suit Larry game announced: Box Office Bust

44 Ways To Improve Your Productivity

Maybe there will be a recession. Here’s what to do just in case

End user training - Whose job is it?

What if the Internet went down...and didn’t come back up?

SmallBusiness Wiki

7 Powerful Steps to Overcoming Resistance and Actually Getting Stuff Done

Who are these people?

The Lazysphere and the Decline of Deep Blogging

Can Their Wish Be the Market’s Command?

Miserable? It must be U

MySpace wins UK domain name that pre-dated its service
(Would be post, summarized: Utterly absurd result.)

KDE 4 for Windows

The Year of Twitter


Gen Y, Gen X and the Baby Boomers: Workplace Generation Wars

Online Schooling Grows, Setting Off a Debate

Scientist: All Blue-eyed People Are Related
(Actually, didn’t I post this one? Oh well, it’s still in the list.)

Where the Capitalism Is (Always on Display)

Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers
(Hi Dad!  Hi Wally!)

The Latest Technology

Can Search Marketers Grow Up?

The Wages of HillaryCare
(Well, this one is from this morning, but I had added it to the bookmarks.  HillaryCare = RomneyCare and it impresses me Obama understands the problem.)

02:39 PM | BloggingBooksBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryHumorMassachusettsMedicalMoneyNewsTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, February 01, 2008

Jay: That’d Be One Venue-Bursting Family Reunion

All blue eyed people are related?  Imagine that!  Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us all people are related.  Oh wait, a bestselling anonymous author already did, thousands of years ago.

But seriously, it’s fascinating, and akin to the recent news about red hair genetics.  6,000 to 10,000 years isn’t all that long, really.

It’s also fascinating that it’s just one step to get from blue eyes to albino.

At any rate, I’ve always assumed that darker skin and eyes were more the “natural” condition, with lighter being a mutation/adaptation along the line.

10:06 PM | GeekeryHumorNews • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jay: Levers

This could be a scene from our house, except we take turns being Sam.

01:22 PM | Humor • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jay: Recieved In E-mail

Punfully amusing…

Ed the farmer was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called “pullets”, and ten roosters, whose job it was to fertilize the eggs.

The farmer kept records and any rooster that didn’t perform went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of his time, so he bought a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so Ed could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells.

The farmer’s favorite rooster was old Butch, a very fine specimen he was, too. But on this particular morning Ed noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! Ed went to investigate.The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing. The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

But to Farmer Ed’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring. He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one. Ed was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Renfrew County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result...The judges not only awarded old Butch the No Bell Piece Prize but they also awarded him the Pulletsurprise as well.  Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making: who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most highly coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention.

Vote carefully...the bells are not always audible!

03:15 PM | Humor • (0) CommentsPermalink
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