Saturday, June 18, 2005

Cleaning up today

We're cleaning the house from stem to stern today so not much chance to blog or the like. Did have time to say that the new computer I ordered proved to be a bust--no motherboard documentation, crappy support, incompetent technicians--so I'm returning it and buying something locally that will ultimately cost me $250 less for a better computer. (Did I mention that I made the mistake of buying an HP computer? Hanging out with those Compaq folks has really dragged their quality down to the gutter.)

I must point you at one of the funniest pictures I've seen in a while. I don't recommend romping around on the site; it's pretty mucky and definitely not safe for work, but this picture is wonderful.

Addendum: closed down, but I fortuitously saved the picture because it was that good. Here you go:


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Someone who REALLY doesn't do mornings

For some reason, I thought of a story today that I haven't thought of for years.

Terry Byers of Tucson, a friend of mine from years back (well, alright, several decades back), told me about Joe, a guy he lived with in the same dorm on the 3rd or 4th floor in college. Joe was a big guy and strong. He liked to party and he didn't like to get up in the morning. In fact, he didn't like to get up in the morning so much that, when the alarm clock would go off in the morning, if Joe had been out drinking the night before and really wasn't interested in getting out of bed, he would either (a) mash the alarm clock firmly or (b) fling it against the wall. Both methods of shutting off the alarm had the undesired side effect of doing so rather permanently, so every few weeks, Joe would have to march off to the drugstore to pick up a new $4 alarm clock.

After going through perhaps 5 or 6 cheap clocks, Joe decided that he might be less inclined, even in a sub-conscious condition, to destroy a more expensive clock, so he tried a rather expensive clock radio. This worked for a while: knowing that he'd spent $30 on the clock radio, he treated it with somewhat more care and the clock continued to function for two months, a signficant improvement.

My friend Terry decided that he'd add something to the equation, so one evening, Joe came home very late and very drunk. Terry went into Joe's room and moved the clock radio from the nightstand to the corner of the room (which, fortunately, was on an outside wall). Terry also set the alarm for several hours later, then went back to his room and set his alarm so he could get up and witness this.

Morning broke and Terry's alarm went off. He stood in the door of Joe's room and waited. The clock radio went off at the appointed time.

A hand came up from under the covers and, seemingly on its own, was swatting around mechanically on the nightstand looking for the clock radio and (more importantly) the Off button. No luck. Terry chuckled at this and said "It's not there, Joe." The hand paused in mid-air. "It's over in the corner, Joe."

The hand retreated under the covers. Nothing happened for a moment, then Joe suddenly sat up in bed with a snub-nosed revolver in his hand and fired three shots at the clock radio. They all connected. The clock radio went silent. Joe--still completely asleep--threw the covers back over his head, his arm, and the pistol, and went back to sawing logs. Terry, in shock, backed quiiiiiiiiietly out of the room and cloooooosed the door vewwy, vewwy cawefuwwy and crept back down the hall to his room.

Late that same day, Joe woke up on his own volition and surveyed the damage. He went down to Terry's room and said "Terry, what happened to my clock radio?" Terry, who was studying and trying to look small at the same time said "You... shot it, Joe," in a rather small voice. Joe looked thoughtful and said "I thought that's what happened but I didn't remember for sure," and he walked off.

After that, Joe went back to buying $4 alarm clocks every few weeks and Terry never, ever played with Joe's alarm settings ever again.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005


This blog contains no animal byproducts and is made from completely recycled bits. Kosher (parve) for Passover. Percentage of calories from fat: 0%. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog.


Cats as symbiotes... no, it's not what you think

There's a really interesting article about cats and toxoplasmosis in the Times. Cats carry the toxoplasma gondii parasite and it's very easy for people to catch it. The long-term behavioral effects aren't entirely clear but it looks like it has a somewhat negative effect on men and a somewhat positive effect on women. What I found particularly interesting is that this parasite makes rats less afraid of cats... not necessarily a survival trait for rats, but a really great symbiosis for a parasite carried by cats.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Evil Clown Generator

Sunday evening and there's a lot of work to finish. However, for those of you who don't have to do all of this work, let me suggest a bit of fun with the Evil Clown Generator. Their motto is "Don't worry, you'll sleep soundly tonight...."