miércoles, octubre 11, 2006

No more No More Mr. Ice Guy

This is the final farewall post. See you on the other side.

martes, octubre 10, 2006

Mr. E Football Ranking - October 10

What started as a bunch of barroom and backyard discussions is now a reality. Here is my first ever *FL team ranking!

Football Rankings as of October 10, 2006Divison leaders in bold, Wildcard candidates in italics
RankCityDivPower RankDom PctgWin Pctg
4New EnglandAE0.67750.6520.800
8New OrleansNS0.62880.6090.800
9San DiegoAW0.62380.7780.750
14St. LouisNW0.57340.5000.800
16N.Y. Big GuysNE0.55110.5260.500
18Kansas CityAW0.52720.5560.500
20N.Y. JestAE0.48650.4800.400
23San FranciscoNW0.36490.3700.400
25Green BayNN0.30020.2400.200
28Tampa BayNS0.27390.3160.000

* (Please note, because I do not have the "express written consent" of a certain nation-wide football league, I will not use any real names as of yet.)

miércoles, octubre 04, 2006

I guess it beats being Kenny ...

This is on the Comedy Central homepage under Games - Brainteasers.


martes, octubre 03, 2006

Too stupid to not share

At work we have a temp doing some filing and organizing for us part time. We have a big project right now, and he has gone through all of the folders we had on hand plus 600 more that I bought and brought in. Before scheduling our temp’s next visit, I checked with our admin that handles orders to make sure we would have enough on hand – after all, if he shows up and we don’t have work for him, we pay him for nothing. A few emails later, she had confirmed a delivery date for more folders and set up a date that the temp could return.

“Thanks for your help,” I emailed back. “I want to make sure we don’t get caught by supplies.”

lunes, septiembre 18, 2006

Jerry! Jerry!

Ever had one of those my-life-would-make-a-good-Jerry-Springer-show days? These past 24 hours have been that way.

And I'm probably the one who will get hit by the chair ...

viernes, septiembre 15, 2006

When Life Gives You Poop …

My favorite part about watching TV, reading books, listening to music, going to movies, or, if necessary, dealing with real people is catching the occasional one- or two-liners that really stick out – the soundbites of life, if you will. While I tend to drone on and on, I love it when someone can find a way to say a heck of a lot by saying just a little.

This all started with my 11th grade language arts class. Our teacher had us keep a quote book throughout the whole year. I still have mine and I actually intend to set up a favorite quotations site or blog of some sort sometime soon. (Of course this requires some deliberation; one of my old schoolmates posted his quote book online – now whenever you Google the name of one of my other schoolmates, you see fat jokes he and I made about her back in high school.) Often times I log onto imdb.com for the sole purpose of pulling up “memorable quotes”. I will at times have a pen and paper – or better yet, a computer – with me when I watch TV so I can quickly jot down anything cool, poignant, or just plain quirky that is said. This drives Ms N nuts.

Here are a few snippets that come to mind …

“Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here, this is the War Room!”
President Merkin Muffley; Dr. Strangelove

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy

“War doesn’t decide who’s right, only who’s left.”
Bumper sticker

“I’m the President. I don’t have any real power; my job is to draw attention away from it.”
Zaphod Beeblebrox, Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy

Animal, Muppet Treasure Island

“Mongo just pawn in game of life.”
Mongo, Blazing Saddles

“If money can’t buy happiness then I guess I’ll have to rent it.”
This is the Life; Weird Al Yankovic

“Multiculturalism: Going From Bad to Diverse”
P.J. O’Rourke

“Nobody goes there, it’s too crowded.”
Yogi Berra

“Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that’s thinking what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of.”
Where Your Eyes Don’t Go; They Might Be Giants

“Maybe you should try raising kids. Then you can know what it’s like to be woken up at midnight because they want another bottle of Mountain Dew.”
Joy; My Name Is Earl

“I’m so hungry I could eat a vegetable.”
Al Bundy; Married … With Children

“My karma ran over your dogma.”
Not sure

“But I am so God-awfully human; I’ll pick the lock but will not turn the key.”
Looking In; Bad Religion

“Flattery gets you underwear.”
Sarah Dey

“If shit were gold, I’d have the Midas touch.”

“Young girls are like miniature human beings … young boys are pod people from the planet Destructo.”
Dave Barry

“What [our band] lacks in talent, we make up for in volume.”
Dave Barry

“Perhaps he shot himself and then hid the gun.”
Detective; Monty Python’s Flying Circus

“Dead puppies aren’t much fun.”
Dead Puppies; Ogden Edsl

“If I can make just one person happy, that is my reward. The rest goes to the government.”
Victor Borge

“I plan to live forever … or die trying.”

“Usually, when all is said and done, more is said than done.”
Not sure

“When life gives you poop, make poop juice”
Bug-eyed Earl; Red Meat

sábado, septiembre 02, 2006


Hurricane Ernesto landed in the Carolinas yesterday and has now worked its way up the mid-Atlantic states. It’s not a hurricane anymore, of course. Deprived of its warm ocean water fuel, it rapidly deteriorated from hurricane to tropical storm to tropical depression. Eventually it will dwindle down to a single L on the weather map – perhaps with a frowny face if it’s a local morning news weather map. Right now it’s a huge mass of rain clouds and high winds stretching hundreds of miles from Virginia to New England, turning the last vacation weekend of summer into a “what can we do inside” kind of weekend. Flood warnings have been issued for almost every country in that area. Those kids who like to pretend the couch is a boat can actually float around the living room on the couch.

Let’s call it “Tropical Bummer Ernesto.”

So as Ernesto worked its way north from Florida to the Carolinas, my folks were working their way east. They landed in DC around 7, Ernesto just a bit later. This morning, we drive down to meet them.

DC is a good walking city. Not that they have done a lot to make walking easier, mind you. It’s just that traffic is bad, parking is so ludicrous, and cabs are priced for lobbyists with expense accounts. Compared with these alternatives, a brisk walk seems like a wonderful idea. Unless, of course, the path along which you have to walk is flooded.

As you might guess, we’ll be cabbing it a bit. And a family picnic on the National Mall is right out.

Actually, recent weather reports indicate that the weather will be better by the time we get there. We’ll see how it goes. Now if I can just get my son to pack his stuff without too much hassle …

Have a good Labor Day weekend, all you loyal reader(s?)!

viernes, septiembre 01, 2006

A Snowball’s Chance in [Our Apartment]

Today we mourn the passing of a dearly loved pet hamster, Snowball.

Snowball was a good hamster, escaping only a couple times and never once chewing up the carpet or power cords when free, unlike Spongebob, his black sheep of a brother. And while Snowball was never quite as friendly as the other half of our odd couple of hamsters, he was far tidier – the Jack Lemmon to Spongebob’s Walter Mathau, if you will. Spongebob keeps his home in standard bachelor fashion – food and garbage strewn about haphazardly and such. It was refreshing by comparison to look into Snowball’s cage and see him blissfully asleep, dreaming his little hamster dreams atop his small yet tidy bed of wood chips, curled up in a ball, using his scrotum as a pillow.

Snowball had a good life. While he never made it to his second birthday, in hamster years he was pushing 50 or so. He showed signs of sickness in his final days, but he was so stoic by nature that we never realized the extent. There were no pained cries for help, no frantic actions or signs of distress. He simply passed quietly in his favorite spot, leaving us assuming he was merely asleep.

Until the smell hit, that is. And even then I thought it was a plumbing problem. I was going to call in maintenance to look for a sewage leak, us living on the bottom floor and all.

Snowball was interred in state this morning before work. He is survived by his brother Spongebob, his owner Emily, and probably thousands of other brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, and nephews out there somewhere. Emily is holding up well, all things considered; her grief being tempered by fond memories of the good times they had together, and perhaps some relief that cage cleaning is off her chore list.

So now, Snowball, as you run eternally on the giant hamster wheel in the sky, we thank you for being part of our family and we wish you well.

Rest In Peace
October-ish 2004 – August 30 (perhaps?), 2006

jueves, agosto 31, 2006

If It Bleeds, It Leads

I’m not a big fan of the whole “if it bleeds, it leads” approach to “journalism” these days. News outlets shamelessly promote violence and tragedy in an attempt to get you hooked so you will watch their show or read their paper and thus be exposed to all of their advertisements. It’s sick, yet at this point ubiquitous. That being said, there are times when stories of violence do need to take center stage.

Nine different shootings happened in the Philadelphia region last night. Seven of them occurred in the city plus one in the suburbs on the Pennsy side. Camden, the nations poorest and most dangerous city, got in its 9mm worth by having a shooting of its own.

The shootings were scattered and varied – one involving cops, one involving two teenage girls, one where a man was simply found dead.

The shooting getting the most attention was the one in the Fern Rock section of the city. A couple happened across a rape in progress. They tried to stop it; the rapist shot and killed them both. His initial victim is now in stable condition at a local hospital. It’s hard to imagine what she will be going through now. The physical impact of rape is often dwarfed by psychological wounds. It’s hard enough to cope with being violated, this woman also has to cope with the fact that two people died trying to rescue her.

The police have a suspect in custody at this point. I hope enough evidence is found to properly identify the attacker, and I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. The man who did this should never be allowed to walk free again.

So with this exceptional night of mayhem and tragedy; with all of these stories unfolding at once, what did Philly.com, the site of Philadelphia’s two major newspapers, pick as its lead story for today’s online edition?

Philanthropist’s legacy: Green space, questions

miércoles, agosto 30, 2006

You Look Nice Today

I used to think that complimenting someone was a good thing to do. Then I got a job.

OK, so not all compliments are bad. Perking up a friend or family member is good. Certainly when trying to convert a customer’s money to your money, it doesn’t hurt to remind said customer of their more amazing qualities. And in the dating scene, it can be essential. Flattery gets you underwear.

But workplace complements are apparently out.

One of my earlier jobs was in a steel shop. In that type of environment, kind words are in short supply. You show your respect for someone through jovial disrespect. While it seems counter-intuitive, trading good natured insults fosters camaraderie in some circles, especially in male-dominated groups. In such a setting, strength is an admirable attribute; weakness is, well, a weakness. When you hurl an insult, you communicate to the insultee that you know he is a strong enough person to take the jibe and to the group that you are willing to take on a challenge. By taking the insult in stride, the insultee proves that he possesses that strength. Furthermore, by returning the insult, the insultee demonstrates his willingness to match the challenge. The group may acknowledge the exchange by holding up their clubs, spears, blowtorches, or whatever manly implement is used in the setting, and grunting approvingly.

It was nice to get a “good job” from the foreman, but I took much more satisfaction when he’d say, “glad to see you didn’t f- this one up.”

Direct personal praise can reflect weakness, therefore most personal complements are avoided. For the most part, it depends on what is being praised. Acquisitions and accomplishments are one thing, appearances are another. In other words, it is perfectly fine to say “nice belch” or “nice truck;” “nice pants” is right out.

I figured that this would change when I moved into an office job. Office work is gender-neutral; hence the male-female ratio is not as skewed as it was in the steel shop. Plus there’s a lot less spitting. I figured that in a professional environment, all those manners my family tried to instill in me would finally be of use. After all, guys are guys, but women are supposed to be more like human beings.

Boy was I ever wrong. Insults are out, as I had suspected, but so are compliments. They are not good at all. I had this drilled into me the hard way by a female supervisor who didn’t take too kindly to kindness. I never knew that “you look nice today” is an insult (and not a good natured one). It infers that the person does not like nice on other days. Also, positive statements about a person’s physical appearance – especially if that person has a different X:Y chromosome ratio than your own – indicates that you do not respect that person’s personal qualities, which of course indicates objectification, which of course means sexual harassment and hostile work environments and all that other stuff. Slippery slope, I tell you.

Before I met this supervisor, I had always assumed that one sure-fire way to avoid sexism was to take gender out of the equation altogether – you know, treat everybody the same. I guess I was off in some fantasy dream world where reason applies. Silly me.

It was not at all uncommon for a male in that company to be jokingly asked by his coworkers (male and female alike) if he had an interview on a day where he wore a tie into the office. The dress code was relaxed, therefore ties and suits and such were rarities. One day a female coworker came in wearing a suit skirt. We had a positive working relationship, so it seemed awkward saying nothing. I knew I couldn’t tell her that she looked nice, though, so I decided to act the way I would to any of my male coworkers.

“Interview today?” I asked.

The supervisor overheard. I got a talking to.

Apparently, “real world” equality has nothing to do with treating people equally. I was duly informed that a male (if he is feeling particularly daring) might ask a female coworker “did you do something different with your hair?” In general, though, the only way he can show respect for his female coworkers by treating them as if they have no physical existence whatsoever.

This same woman would fawn all over the young guy that they brought in to run our department a few months later.

Alrighty, then.

Fortunately, I have had better luck with managers in the years since (with one notable exception). As for my peers, I think I have been lucky as well. I try to keep a good friendly-yet-professional rapport with all of my coworkers. I tend to remain tight-lipped until I have identified the men and women with whom I can interact in a more relaxed fashion. Even with them, it seems I am hesitant to repeat any of my prior faux pas-es.

I was waiting for the elevator this morning. The doors opened and out walked one of my coworkers. He was wearing jeans and a black T-shirt with a design on it. Our workplace attire is relaxed, but not that relaxed. He nodded hi; I surprised myself with what I said next.

“Interview today?”