Thursday, December 27, 2007

This Too Shall Pass

Four days ago I didn't know it existed. Two days ago I was convinced I needed it. Now the fever is passing and reality has set it.

Like most males, my toys are relatively expensive and unnecessary. You see, I've got a lovely $80 strat-copy that I've painted neon green and it matches my electric guitar abilities.

But then I saw this lovely creature, on sale for a mere $250 and a bargain at that. Besides, we just got our property tax rebate!

The first time I suffered guitar lust was this dandy DanElectro Mod:

A bit goofy and retro, I still think this one fits me best but it was a mega-blowout discontinued $100 at a time when $100 was $100 more than I had. And so I let the opportunity pass and they are no longer available except on eBay.

The other guitar that has held my attention for some time is the Ibanez Artist line which I find asthetically pleasing.

But as I said, the fever has passed and I no longer am under the compulsion to OWN STUFF. That is until the next issue of Musician's Friend comes in the mail.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Spam

Good mornin' y'all! Hope all 1.28 of my regular readers had a fabbo Christmas, or a similar experience.
This morning I sliced into my annual can -o- Christmas SPAM. Carefully. With 150% of your daily fat (and probably 375% of your daily sodium) in each can this is not something to take lightly. Take the time to enjoy the process because once this stuff hits your heart it may be the last thing you see. Relish in the embryonic and mysterious SPAM jelly, immerse yourself in the sizzling on the skillet (NEVER microwave SPAM. Never taunt SPAM (or Happy Fun Ball).) (How's THAT for punctuation?). Savor each bit, pehaps enhances with a bit of scrambled egg or toast with your favorite jelly (although I don't recommend SPAM jelly... WAIT! Maybe that's what the stuff is for! But alas, I am not that brave to spread the gelatinous goo on my toast even though it may be nirvana and open up the secret of life). (Am I using too many of these? I've been up since 5:00.)
Um, that's it. No more. Go home. Drink some coffee. Nothing more to see here... move along.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Primiti Too Taa

One great thing about YouTube is that you can see great animations you remember from your past. So now I present the classic primative poem "Primiti Too Taa" animated one page at a time using a manual typewriter by some obviously manic fellow with too much time on his hands during the late eighties.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Manly Man's Guide To Christmas Morning

Nothing is worse for the macho manly man than to be unprepared. Except being humiliated. By packaging. So, with Christmas morning a mere eight days away I, the ultimate manly machismo man, am here to help you prepare for the big day.

Assemble the following tools and you will surely be able to break into the toughest box, remove even the sturdiest product display/protection devices, and make sure your Christmas morning goes smoothly for you and your children.

Item 1: A box cutter or pocket knife. Today is the day to begin sharpening your knife using a whetstone or double-sided grinding stone with oil. Don't use scissors... think of the damage you would do to your children to have them seeing their manly father using dainty scissors to open a box. From China.

Item 2: Wire cutters. Many a toy is clamped in place with plastic bands. Again, scissors will buckle and your children will gasp in disappointment as their father is defeated by Chinese ingenuity. Wire cutters are the way to go. Or tin snips. Needle-nose pliers with a wire cutting edge also work. Especially macho men may opt for bolt cutters.

Item 3: Regular Philips Screwdriver. Sometimes the toys are actually screwed into the box or into special protective plastic pieces that make great gobs of poisonous black smoke when tossed into the Christmas fire.

Item 4: AA Philips Screwdriver. If you don't already have a set of tiny screwdrivers for opening the battery panels you need to get them TODAY. A manly man uses the right tool for the right job and though they are dainty, these tiny tools will not strip out a screw head, one of the ultimate shames for the manly man.

Item 5: Batteries. Lots of batteries. Even if none of the presents you are giving need batteries you will need to be prepared with lots of batteries. AA, AAA, and 9 volt. Sure, pick up some D and the increasingly scarce C size while you're out. Stop by Batteries Plus and get the mysterious N size to shock the kids.

Item 6: Flame Thrower. What? You're gonna leave all that paper and cardboard just laying around? There's FIRE to be had!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Family Secrets

Last night we made a variation on a Hoffman family favorite ~ Orange Julius. Hold onto your blenders kids 'cause it's PINEAPPLE JULIUS TIME!

1 Cup milk
1 Cup cold, cold water
1/2 Cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla or vanillin or your favorite synthetic imitation vanilla extract
A whole buncha pineapple (6 oz orange juice concentrate may be substituted for olde worlde taste)
10-12 ice cubes

Blenderize/ice crush the mess for 30 seconds. Enjoy!

* Baby shown for sake of comparison. The author of this web site does not condone, approve, or recommend the making, imbibing, or digesting of Baby Julius.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Taggers on the Public Pay

Ah... the daily morning walk into work. The crisp morning air, the nearly empty streets, the towering office buildings, the spray painted graffiti on the sidewalks and streets. No, Fort Wayne isn't home to an active group of taggers but for some reason utility employees find it necessary to mark out the paths of their pipes and wires with spray paint. I can understand if you're going to do some work under the street but lately it seems they're just spraying lines because they have five minutes left before a coffee break. If you look close you'll see the mysterious orange dots that run for six blocks and just stop... not sure where they lead or if I'm even following them in the correct order. These were all sprayed down six months ago or longer and I've yet to see a jackhammer or a backhoe digging around that would have needed to be warned about the dangerous pipes below.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Crazy Employer

The place I work for, a web-based application, is in dire need of managerial direction. Here's the timeline:

Four months ago we put out a new version. It had an entirely new look and feel to it. It took three months to get the thing out, making our customers wait for minor bug fixes while we added some snazzy, exciting, non-essential features. We vowed that we would never again wait three months between releases.

Last month we put out a new version, the first since the one three months prior. It had an entirely new look and feel to it. Imagine going to eBay or Amazon and finding that they completely changed the look of their web site every three months, moving things around seemingly on a whim, disabling such non-essential functions like the ability to cut and paste and being able to search for something with fewer than five mouse clicks. They don't because they are real companies. This version, like previous versions, was full of bugs and errors and a complete disregard for usability. It's almost as if we are actively TRYING to irritate our customers, seeing how far we can go before they leave us. It surely has nothing to do with the lead application programmer slamming things into the system after it has been tested and approved by Quality Assurance. Certainly our clients appreciate that we are using the latest technology even if our system is as slow as a Vic 20 and, well, doesn't always exactly work on fundamental items. I mean, seriously, if you type in an account number in a search window do you really expect that hitting the ENTER key will make the application search for the account? That is SOOOOOO last year!

If you were such a company you could A) Listen to your employees who were telling you that there were problems with fuctionality and usability and fix these things before release or B) Put the thing in place anyway and after clients complained and threatened fly five or six of them to Chicago to personally air their grievances but make sure you put in another hurried release the weekend before so that you'll be surprised by additional bugs while face to face with your most important clients.

Guess which one we picked?


This morning being a Monday I decided to celebrate with two extra Snoozes. Normally when I go into work twenty minutes later than normal the roads are 238% busier than my normal time due to school buses and soccer-mom vans. Due to a two hour delay such cars were absent. This and the recent goofy yahoo headline made me start thinking...


I figure that if the gaia tree huggers were serious about their love -o- the earth they wouldn't support forced busing/integration via diesel chugging yellow buses or all the precious oil that is burned in transporting our precious imps to and from the public institutions of brainwashing. But then they'd have to be responsible for personally brainwashing their own children and what about those poor children whose parents believe in all the wrong, conservative things and would never have a chance to be corrected by government employees?

So it's time for them to choose... their earth or forced indoctrination.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If they weren't serious I'd laugh

My homepage is the Yahoo home page (even though I was using Google when it was in beta I'm currently anti-Google) so I get to read loads of headlines.

Until I saw the one for today: Divorce Hurts the Earth, Too

I wish I were making it up. It turns out that when couples divorce there are now two households which use up more water and electricity and... No, I told you, they are serious! They also tell married people not to get smug (a trait normally associated with liberals) about being green because hippy communes are also very earth-friendly. No, really. I am not making this up!

See for yourself.

Thoughts on the Way To Work

So there I was, walking to work at 7:35 AM on the south side of Berry Street heading west (my stalker likes details) and I'm trudging through about two inches of fresh powdery snow. The traffic is hushed and not in it's usual rush, instead plodding carefully along at a respectful pace so as not to disrupt the peace.

As I'm walking through the fluffy stuff my thoughts turned to the miracle of snow. God didn't have to give us snow but instead He blessed us with weather you can play with. Before I left for work I brought up the box of gloves, hats, and scarves that have patiently waited since last year, knowing that today the kids would be excited at playing outside. And rightly so. It truly is a miracle as a child to wake up and see the expected front yard magically transformed into a white playground. Want to make a snowman? Want to slide down a hill? Build a fort? Go right ahead! Fun is free today, compliments of a benevolent Father.

On a lighter note, quite a few of us park five blocks from work and walk in. So it was my pleasure to track one of my co-workers in, following a trail of distinctive shoe-prints through the concrete jungle. Once in the office I identified the co-worker as Mike Jones. Being the true hunter that I am I shot him. Now I need to go skin and clean the carcass. If anyone wants to help I'll share some Jones Jerky with you!

7102 - it's been a bit slow