Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mid-life crisis, anyone?

Yesterday I arrived in my Cube Farm at work to find a page from our local newspaper on my keyboard. It was the "police blotter" page -- the one that lists all the recent arrests and such. This paragraph was highlighted:


1:03 p.m. Monday. Arrested: Gregory Smith, 36, of 110 Polaris St., Cocoa. Charges: possession of drug paraphernalia, ran stop sign, driving while license suspended, leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid, grand theft.

Under the paragraph someone had written, "Hee! Hee!"

I immediately picked up the paper and crossed my Cube Farm to Maggie's station, where I had this conversation (me speaking first):

"Maggie, did you leave this on my keyboard?"

"How did you know it was me!"

"The 'hee hee' was a dead giveaway."

"Oh. Aren't you glad that wasn't really you?"

"Actually, I wish it was me."

"But if that was you, you'd be in a lot of trouble!"

"If this was me, I'd be 36 again."

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Definition redux

Definition 1 is in the dictionary. Definition 2 should be:

mi·cro·cos·mic, adj.

  1. relating to or characteristic of a microcosm

  2. an extremely important attribute of a something that is itself profoundly unimportant

     "Did you hear?  Our neighbor Shirley's son 
John's girlfriend Susie has painted her house
bright yellow."
"Dude! Microcosmic!"

Oh, and don't ask me what brought this to mind.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005


cel·er·y: The basement of a nunnery or rectory.

I made that joke up myself. As you can probably tell.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


A friend is someone who will tell you, when you get out of the pool, if you have a booger hanging out of your nose.

Don't ask me how I know this.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The FrontPage Look (and me)

Someone please tell me... Why is it that we require people to study and pass a test before we let them drive a car, and we require people to study and pass a test before we let them practice medicine, but we will put copies of Microsoft FrontPage into the hands of everyone who plunks down a hundred bucks and let them design Web sites?

You know what I'm talking about: I'm talking about The FrontPage Look. You know it the instant you see it. The first giveaway is always the Very Fancy Widgets that are Very Poorly Used. Like someone put a turbocharger on a tricycle. That was missing a wheel. Then there are the images that look like they're 320x240 pixels but take forever to download because they're actually ginormous and Mr. FrontPage didn't know to resize them. Hello! This is the Internet, not the Metropolitan Museum of Art! We do not need 6.5 megapixel versions of your photos. You know there are still some of us out here on dialup!

Of course, you can't say anything about The FrontPage Look if it's someone personal Web site. I mean, everyone is entitled to look like an idiot on the Internet, just like they're entitled to look like an idiot anywhere else. But it's galling when it's the Web site of a company, government, or other professional organization. I mean, it's like they buy a copy of FrontPage and give it to a clerk or a janitor and say, "Here, Sue/Joe/Mary/Ed, you're good with computers (read: you know how to launch Excel), so take this and build us a Web site."

Take a look at this city's Web site, which isn't the most egregious example, but just one I happened to need to use. Now I must say I don't know who's responsible for this Web site -- a clerk, a janitor, a police dispatcher, or even the Mayor. All I know (or at least fervently hope) is that it isn't a professional (because if it is then my tax dollars are going to waste). Would they take such an unprofessional approach with any other tool? Can you see them treating, say, a new street-paving machine this way? "Here, Susie, I know you're a cashier in the Utilities Department, but it's slow this afternoon and Lombardy Street needs to be resurfaced, so would you take the new paving machine and get that done?"

I happened across this site, too, a bakery that makes gourmet dog treats. Again, I don't know who maintains this site, but let's just say, for fun, that it's the girl who bags the treats when they come out of the oven. It kinda looks like it. And let's say the very nice lady who owns this shop needed the electrical wiring redone. Do you think she'd say, "Suzie, we've got an hour before the next batch of treats comes out; would you run up into the ceiling and rewire the shop for me?" No. But somehow anyone with FrontPage is qualified to buld a commercial Web site. The kicker is that I'd like to say to her, "You know, this is a very nice store, and your products are great, but your Web site sucks. For a very reasonable fee, I could build you a site that looks much more professional and could actually be used by customers on dialup." That's what I'd like to say, but for some reason the subject never seems to come up in casual conversation, and I don't want to be brazen about it.

I am so unbrazen.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Manager Said This:

There's reality, and there's perception, and reality is perception.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Bless his heart

My brother has pointed out to me that you can say anything bad about anyone you want as long as you include "bless his/her heart." For example, "Sally, bless her heart, doesn't know how to hold her tongue." Or, "Joe gets on everyone's nerves, bless his heart." I was struck by the wonderous effect of these three simple words, that can take the sharp edge off cutting comments. But will they always work? I decided to see how far I could push them. Here goes:

Jim is an loudmouthed, obnoxious, ignorant jerk, bless his heart.
Aw, that Jimbo! Just makes you want to give him a big hug.

Charles Manson was a murderous lunatic, bless his heart.
Yikes! Okay, it seems that part of the reason "bless his heart" works is it suggests that, for example, while Jim is loudmouthed, obnoxious, and ignorant, maybe those aren't entirely bad things. When you extend it to the point of suggesting that serial killing isn't entirely a bad thing, well....

Let's give it one more try:

George Bush, bless his heart --
Ack! Ack! Okay, I admit it, "bless his heart" doesn't always work. George doesn't have a heart :).

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