Sunday, January 31, 2010

Overheard during dinner

Irish Woman:  "Oh, by the way, I noticed today that Walmart had plastic rakes, shovels, and hoes."
Daddy Bear :  "Sweetheart, Walmart always has plastic ho's."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Should have named him Calvin

 This reminds me of how things have been with Junior Bear.  He's so close to "freedom" that he does just enough to keep the vein in my forehead from throbbing, and no more.  Add to that the wiseass sense of humor he got from me, and it's an interesting relationship.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Interesting new find

For my brother and sister geeks out there, here is a great new blog to follow Command Line Kung Fu.

I have had training from Hal on the blog, and he has walked the earth with the Great Old Ones.

It's good to see how those flags and tags that we talked about in Intro to Operating Systems put to good use.  I'll definitely put this one on my read-every-day list.

Suggestions for PETA

PETA, in its infinite wisdom and instinctual need for publicity, is suggesting that Puxatawny Phil, the groundhog that has his own holiday, should be replaced by a robot.  Apparently, the attention, lights, and crowds aren't good for a rodent that lives better than about 3/4 of the humans on the planet.

Since they're trying to save animals in the public spotlight, here are a few suggestions:

  1. The Budweiser Clydesdales - these majestic draft horses are being used to sell a mild metabolic poison, and are known mostly from their Superbowl commercials, a game played with, shockingly, a pigskin.  These magnificent animals should be let loose to roam free in the grasslands, and the beer should be carried around in the back of Toyota Prius's (or is that Priui?).
  2. The Presidential Thanksgiving Turkeys - These poor fowl are raised for food, but at the last minute, just as they are preparing for execution, they are paraded in front of cameras and given a reprieve.  Imagine the stress of being ready for death, and then being given a pardon in front of the news media.  These unfortunate poultry are then taken to California to have a grand parade, and then spend the rest of their life in confinement.  Wouldn't it be better if these wonderful cream colored birds were let loose in the wild to live their lives out in freedom?  At least until their lack of camouflage and survival instincts turned them in to coyote chow.  The President should be eating tofurkey for Thanksgiving anyhow.
  3. And finally, we come to the California Cows.  These "happy" bovine are not only exploited in commercials, but are used to sell milk, a product that is ripped from their very udders twice a day!  These cows will be truly happy when they are let loose on the open prairie to mingle with bulls of their own choosing.  There should be a new advertising campaign starring the San Diego Soybeans! Mmmm, soymilk!
So there, you are.  Hope this is helpful to our friends at PETA.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chevy's On Ice

or if you're watching Fox, it's "When Morons Slide".

As I mentioned before, we got some snow last night.  We got about 3/4 of an inch here at Case de Oso.

Under that snow was 1/4 of an inch of ice.

Girlie Bear got on her bus at 6:15 this morning, but as I was helping load BooBoo into Irish Woman's car, I watched Junior Bear's bus roll away.  At that exact moment, Junior Bear came out of the house. 

So he got a ride to school this morning.  It was very slow going, but traffic was still light and we made it there without taking the truck out of 2nd gear.  Guess who's being woken up by his father half an hour early tomorrow to make sure he gets out on time?

I went back to the house and was getting ready for work when Girlie Bear called me.  Her bus had gone off the road and into a ditch.   No-one was hurt, but the bus driver was asking that all parents who could to come get their kids and drive them to school.

So I got back in the truck, and drove the two miles to the narrow, icy, hilly, and curvy country road that she was on.  It took half an hour to go half a mile once I left the main road.  I retrieved Girlie Bear and we made our way back up the hill.  It only took two attempts in low gear to get to the crest and get  back on the main road.  Since traffic back towards Louisville was at a standstill due to multiple accidents, I decided to go in the opposite direction and get on the interstate.  It was a longer trip, but I thought it would be faster than waiting for traffic to clear on the direct route.

I was wrong.

Half a mile later, I was at a standstill about halfway up a hill.  The cars in front of me were stuck because they couldn't get up the incline, and I was blocked in by cars to my side and rear.

We all pretty much just sat there until the sun came out and gave enough heat to the road surface to turn the ice to slush.  While we waited, we were entertained by the people who tried to use the median as a lane and were doing car gymnastics.  Before this morning I did not realize that a Kia could do a 360 degree slide inside of two car lengths.  Who knew?

We creeped along at 5 miles an hour to the turnoff to the interstate, and then even slower as we all plodded along behind the nice old man I had so graciously let out of his subdivision.  He decided it was safe to go 3 miles an hour on the wet roads.  Let me repeat:  The roads at that point were wet, not icy.  It was the nice old man, followed by me and Girlie Bear, followed by about 50 of our closest friends.  To all of those who were behind me after I let him in front of me, I am truly sorry.

Once I got to the highway, we went along at a good clip, and I got Girlie Bear to school.  I got the call that her bus was stuck at about 7:30, and I got her to her school at 11:10.  There were so many kids late due to road conditions that the principal had decided that there would be no tardy's today.

I made my way home, and called my boss again to let him know I was going to get some breakfast and a shower and then I'd be on my way to work.  Since he's a good guy and didn't want me to waste my time driving across town, he told me to just dial in for the day.  So now I'm installing Oracle remotely.

We're supposed to start getting more snow later this week.  Hopefully it won't cause as much panic and distress as our little dusting did today.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sounds like my day

From Dr. Grumpy:

Dr. Grumpy: "You look kind of unsteady today."

Mr. Woodstock: "Yeah, I smoked a few joints out in my car before coming up here."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why did you do that?"

Mr. Woodstock: "I was really nervous about coming in today."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why were you nervous? You've been here before."

Mr. Woodstock: "Oh, not about that. I've been drinking scotch all morning, and didn't want you to notice I was drunk when I came in. I've never been drunk to a doctor visit before, so I smoked some weed to calm down, because I didn't want you to think I'd been drinking."

I've had conversations at work remarkably like that.  Just goes to show that stupid isn't limited by profession.

If you don't like the weather

Just wait 20 minutes.

2 weeks ago, it was 18 degrees out with snow on the ground.  The surface of our pond was frozen to a depth of several inches.

Last week, it was in the high forties/low fifties.

This weekend, it was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock, with thick fog between downpours.

Today it was snowing, and it is getting colder by the minute.

Not sure if the next wave will be locusts or frogs, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Kentucky has the most bipolar weather I've ever seen.  At least in North Dakota it got cold and stayed cold.

And so it goes

Well, I was batting .500 this week.

The Colts looked really good yesterday.  Manning really kept his head in the game after they fell behind early in the game and pulled it out and ran with it in the 2nd half.

The Vikings on the other hand, well, they lost that game more than the Saints won it.  It was very close, but it didn't have to be.  Peterson spent more time looking for the ball after he'd dropped it than he did running with it.  And Favre got pounded.  New Orleans knew they had to get to the Minnesota quarterback, and they succeeded. 

Early in the season, I questioned whether Favre would be able to go the distance, and he surprised me.  He showed a lot of talent and strength throughout the season.  I'm sad to see that what will probably be his last year ended on a heartbreaker like that.

As for the Superbowl, I'm going to go with Indianapolis.  The Colts did well yesterday against a defense that did their best to go after Manning, and their offense is as good as it's ever been.  As far as I can remember, this is the first time the two best teams in the NFL will meet in the Superbowl, as opposed to a good team kicking the snot out of a longshot that got lucky for a few games.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Picks for Conference Championships

I was 2 and 2 last week. 

Here are my picks for Conference Championships:

Indy and New York Jets - Indy
Minnesota and New Orleans - Minnesota.  Can Favre keep up the tempo?

Everything's Better With Bacon

Including pastries.

That's a donut, with maple icing, with a strip of bacon.  I didn't partake, but I was advised that it was quite tasty.

Mmmmm bacon.  Is there nothing it can't improve?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Infidelity in the News

Noted sleazeball and former presidential hopeful John Edwards finally confirmed what everyone pretty much knew today when he announced that he was the baby daddy.  File this one under "No Kidding".  Let's see, you were porking your videographer while running for president and your wife was sick with terminal cancer.  Then, when said strumpet gave birth to a child that looks remarkably like you, you admitted the affair but denied the child.  Instead you had a friend take the fall and say he was the father.  Even if you weren't a personal injury lawyer, this would get you that scholarship to Hell you've been hoping for.

Tiger Woods is apparently at a center in Mississippi for rehab for an addiction to sex.  Funny, I thought sex was one of those things that everyone craved.  Kinda why we continue to have kids.  How can you be addicted to something that is part of your survival instinct.  But maybe Tiger is being taught how not to have sex with women other than his wife.  Wonder how that works.  Do you sit in a room and talk about how you shouldn't bone other women?  Maybe, but I envision Mr. Woods strapped to a chair while a large man with a vaguely Eastern European accent kicks him in the crotch while screaming "Don't bone other women! Don't bone other women!".  Kind of a negative reinforcement kind of thing.

I just don't see how this is an addiction thing.  I think it's more of an "I'm rich and famous, and no-one has the right to expect me to act like a real human being, so I think I'll sleep my way through the national ho directory" kind of thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

From Frank J. over at IMAO:

It’s almost impossible to comprehend. The most liberal state in the union just elected a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s seat? It’s like Massachusetts just abandoned Ted Kennedy in a car at the bottom of a river.

Losing my widebody status

Went to the doctor the other day for my regular arthritis treatment.  Since the amount of medicine they give me is calculated based on my weight, they weigh me every time.  Last year, I had a spike in my weight, and all of my health care professionals were clucking at me over it.  And I wasn't skinny prior to that.  So I was quite large, the heaviest I've ever been.

Since last fall, I've cut a bit of the junk out of my diet, mostly by not eating out as much. 

In November, I was 15 pounds down from my peak weight.  My doctors were happy about that, but cautioned me to expect to gain some of that back over the holidays. I missed my December treatment for a variety of reasons, so this was my first weigh in since November.  Imagine my surprise when I was down another 5 pounds.

I'm 20 pounds down from my peak weight!  I may actually start doing something to bring it down, like getting off of my butt and exercising. 


Doc Russia over at Bloodletting has passed his boards exam.  I've been reading his blog for quite a while, and it's good to see someone who's willing to work hard to attain his goals get ahead.

Go, give some love!

My son, the shaggy dog

Last night, as Junior Bear and I sat through briefings on the process of getting into his chosen university, I noticed that he is beginning to look like something out of the early '90's grunge movement.  Scraggly hair, chin beard, tee shirt worn under an old button down shirt, unbuttoned of course.

I mentioned to him that he needed to shave and get a haircut.  I was informed that he was saving his money for something else and he might get to it in a month or so.  I considered doing it for him in the parking lot with my pocketknife, but after counting to 10 in about 3 different languages, I started seeing in color again and let it go.

When I saw this tonight, I thought it fit my reaction last night:

Thanks much to Chad Carpenter at Tundra for all the great laughs.

Signs of the End Times

Last night, a Republican won the Senate seat from Massachusetts.  That hasn't happened since I was a baby.  The election of Scott Brown will throw sand into the gears of most of the Obama administration's attempts to push through left of center agenda.  This will either cause paralysis in Washington or drive the president to the center in order to get some of what he wants.

A Republican Senator from the Bay State?  What's next?  Dogs and cats living together?  Coal becoming scarce in Newcastle?  Cars that run on water and have perfume as exhaust?

Nudging him out of the nest

Last night Junior Bear and I went to another informational session at the college he's chosen.  We're having to accelerate the normal process of paperwork and orientations because he wants to start in the summer instead of the fall. 

Luckily, he chose a school that isn't too horribly outrageous to pay for.  Tuition and books will be less than $10K per year, and that's pretty good.  The other ones he was looking at were at least almost double that per year.

He's slowly working his way towards the edge of the nest.  He discovered that a boy he knows is also going to that particular university, and I think they're going to try to be roommates in the dorm.  He's putting together lists of things he'll need to buy for his dorm room, and is looking over course catalogs.

One down, three to go.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What San Diego's Place Kicker wishes he could say

3 bad kicks in one game?  Dude, did they do the Heimlich on you after you choked that bad?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Results and Picks

OK, I went 2 and 2 on Wild Card Weekend.

For Divisional Playoffs, here are my picks:

Baltimore and Indy - Indy
New York Jets and San Diego - San Diego
Dallas and Minnesota - Minnesota
Arizona and New Orleans - Tossup.  I'll go with Arizona.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A note to a coworker

Dear Lady on the Sidewalk,

This morning, I was about 10 meters behind you on the walk into the office.  Even with a slight breeze to my back and a stuffed up nose, I could distinctly make out the perfume you were wearing.

I realize that after a few seconds you can't smell your own body scents, and this can make it hard to know when you've used too much, but please try to better regulate the amount you use. 

Here are some guidelines:

If after dousing your carcass, you can tell a difference in the amount of perfume left in the bottle from before you marinated yourself in it, you might be using a tad too much.

If your family pet won't come to you because it's too busy snuffling up water from its dish to get the pain out of its nose, then maybe you should cut back.

If birds drop dead as you pass under trees, then maybe you need a perfume sponsor to help you put on the appropriate amount.

Thanks much for your consideration,


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Electricity and Marriage

A woman in Washington has been charged with assault for switching the wires in her husband's saw because she was angry with him.

Reminds me of why I don't work on electricity with Irish Woman around.

A few years ago, our dishwasher died.  We went to the store and bought a new one.  Delivery was free, but the salesman wanted $150 to install it.  Being a manly man (read moron), I decided that I could install it myself.

The new dishwasher was going to be delivered sometime on Saturday, so I wanted to disconnect the old one after work on Friday.  It took me about an hour to get all of the molding and cabinetry out from around the dishwasher.  After I had gotten the thing pulled a few inches out from under the counter, I saw that the power line was soldered in.  I would have to cut the line and run a new one.  No big deal.  While I found my wire cutters in the toolbox, I sent Irish Woman down to the basement to hit the breaker.  After a few minutes, the lights in the kitchen went out.

I shouted downstairs "Is that the right breaker?"
She heard "Did you hit the breaker?", and of course answered "Yes!".

I took hold of the power line, and cut through it.


Next thing I knew, I was across the room, smacked up against the refrigerator.  All of the lights in the house are out.  I had not only blown the breaker for the dishwasher, but had also blown the house main.

From the basement, as I did a quick inventory of all my parts and pieces, I heard:

"Honey?..... Sweetheart?......"

About a minute later, I heard her coming up the stairs, slowly.

I growled "Do not come back up here right now".  I then heard her head back to the dark basement.

I collected myself, found a flashlight, and headed down to the basement to hit the house main breaker.

Luckily I was not hurt.  I learned two things that day:

1.  Switch off your own breakers.  What happened was my fault, not hers.
2.  The Irish Woman is a jinx, and I will never do anything remotely dangerous around her.

That's my philosophy, and it's worked well so far.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dog bites man

In other news, the body politic is shocked, shocked I say, to find that over 20 Congresscritters spent our hard earned tax dollars to attend the failed Copenhagen conference.  And of course, Madam Speaker Pelosi (D - Xanadu) was one of them and won't offer an accounting of the money spent until all of the paperwork is in.  Which will probably be sometime during the 2015 to 2016 time frame.

This is nothing new.  When I was stationed in Germany, we always knew we would have congressional delegations come through just prior to Octoberfest.  And wouldn't you know, Mrs. Congresscritter would come along to see how the military families were holding up in our harsh Bavarian outpost.  And we were never surprised to learn how many congressional staffers would show up to watch a technology demonstration in the Mojave desert and have to fly in and out of Las Vegas, with a quick stay in Sin City to prepare for and recuperate from their trip to the desert wastes.

What strikes me about this one is the scale and absolute arrogance of those who went along.  And this one isn't on one particular party.  Both parties were dirty on this one.

Look, politicians have been taking advantage of their positions since the first cave people decided that Og the Magnificent could be the head of the hunters.  But in this day and age, they should know better than to think it will happen without someone noticing and raising a stink.  One would think that a sense of shame would stop them from doing something this stupid.  But then again, that would presuppose the existence of a sense of shame and duty.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Watching Them Squirm

I attended a project planning meeting this morning with one of my customer groups.  We spent the time going over what they wanted to do over the next year or so.  It's going to be busy. 

We went over how much effort my work would be, and then the DBA gave her two cents.  We were able to estimate that it would take about half of our time for the first quarter, and then only support time after that.

Then we got to the programmer.  This was the guy who drove the conversation for the most part, and had listed out all of their requirements.  When asked how much of his and other programmers' time would be necessary to get to the high heights they want to go to, he started tapdancing.

Nothing like watching someone who wants you to work hard for him squirm when asked to quantify how much work he is willing to do to get to his destination.  My day was complete.

Monday, January 11, 2010

First playtime in Snow

We took BooBoo out to play in the snow yesterday.  He wasn't too sure about it at first, but got into it once Girlie Bear and I started pulling him around on the sled.

I think I've hatched another snow gopher.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Conference locations

OK, this is a bit of a rant, but please bear with me.

I'm an IT guy.  IT is pretty heavy on self improvement and continual re-learning of your job.  I do everything I can on my own to learn about new tech and methods, but occasionally it's nice to just go somewhere and spend dedicated time learning.  I definitely get more out of training when it's away from my laptop, desk phone, and constant stream of meetings.

A good answer to these is conferences.  There are classes, break-out sessions, and demonstrations that I can learn from.  SANS makes their conferences into classes with a conference thrown in.  That's my favorite way to do it.  You go to conference stuff from 6 to 8 AM, go to class from 8 to 5, and then do conference stuff from 5 until about 10 PM.  Yes, after a week you're kinda psychotic from lack of sleep, but your head is buzzing from all of the things you have been exposed to.

Problem is, conferences and good training tend to happen in really nice places, such as San Diego, Los Vegas, and Orlando.  I'm not complaining.  I like going to nice hotels and nice places as much as the next person.  It probably makes it easier for the vendors to attract people to their event if it's in a resort type destination.

However, there are a lot of people who go to conferences in those places abuse the situation and skate out for an afternoon or three.  I never have, but there are those who do. When I was new in IT, I was always being told about the partying that went on when the more senior guys went to conferences and training.  Lots of guys took the opportunity of being away from work and home to revert to frat boy status. When I got to the point in my career that I was sent to training and conferences, I tried hard to resist that urge.  I didn't want to get a reputation for blowing off expensive training to have a paid vacation.  And to be perfectly honest, I didn't want to be that guy. 

My very senior manager has a problem with paying for people to go to destinations where their work ethic might be compromised.  And that's understandable.  Money doesn't grow on trees in IT anymore, and he's being scrutinized on what he's getting for every training dollar.  Why spend money to send someone to a class or conference if you're worried they might spend the whole time drunk on the beach?

But I do want to go to these events.  And since I don't have an extra five thousand dollars a year to pay my own way, I have to get my managers to authorize the expense at work. And it's difficult to get that authorization from a skeptical manager when conference based training is held at places like Disneyworld.

I'm going to send a message to my training vendors and ask them to start holding conferences in places like Buffalo, Toledo, Barstow, or maybe even Louisville.  It will make it easier for those of us who have to work hard to get an OK to go if our managers don't have to worry about us going to DisneyWorld or the Bilagio instead of training.

Snow Day

Apparently we don't pay enough taxes to get the roads cleared after a light snow fall, because they called off school in Louisville due to slippery road conditions.

My boss is understanding, so it's no problem to dial in and work from home.  I've got quite a bit to do, so as long as I'm productive, this shouldn't be a problem.

It's actually cold outside.  With the wind chill, it's about 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it warms up and the wind dies down, we'll take BooBoo out for his first snow play this weekend.  It'll be fun to watch Girlie Bear try to teach him to make a snowball.  Maybe we'll take him sledding.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

Well, light, fluffy flakes of happiness are falling from the sky.  There's almost no breeze, so it's falling pretty much straight down.  It's quiet enough that if you stand very still, you can hear the flakes hitting the ground.  Heaven.

We're projected to get between 2 and 4 inches.  And it's cold enough that it'll hang around for a while. 

Everyone in the area is acting like this is White Armageddon, but I don't think it'll be that big a deal.  One of the supervisors at work was telling his people what to do if the end of the world happened today, and I piped up and reminded him that it wasn't going to be raining frogs, just a little snow.  I'll probably get a talking to for that later.

This morning, the kids were up and doing an ancient Norwegian snow dance in the living room in hopes that they'd close schools.  No luck for them.  A lot of the rural districts around the city are closing schools, but they have to deal with a lot of country roads to get the kids to school, so that's understandable.

I braved the supermarket last night to do the mid-week grocery shopping, and I seemed to be between waves of the Golden Horde.  The bread shelves were picked pretty clean, so I obviously wasn't the first one there to get food, but the store wasn't too busy yet.  I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, so I feel lucky.

So, hopefully in the next few days we'll be able to take BooBoo out for his first snowball and snowman.  It's nice that the snow will stick around for a while.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Half Heard on the TV

"He would combine complex mathematics, Eastern philosophy, and psychodelic drugs to ...."

Not sure if I'm watching the History Channel or MSNBC at the moment.  They could be describing an aging hippie or one of President Obama's advisors.  But then again, what's the difference?

How I feel today

Today, I'm just hoping I can get home before the rock shifts.  H/T to There I Fixed It.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Picks - Wild Card Weekend

OK, here we go!

New York Jets and Cinci - Cinci.  They're playing at home, and hopefully no morons injure themselves in warmups.

Baltimore and New England - Baltimore

Philadelphia and Dallas - Dallas

Green Bay and Arizona - Green Bay

Results - Week 17

So the regular season ends.  My Raiders and Redskins didn't do so well, but the Vikings have done really well.

I was 9 and 7 for the final weekend of regular season play.  My record for the entire season was 135 and 121.  Just a hair better than flipping a coin.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


To a dog is a toddler who decides he doesn't like the chicken and starts dropping it on the floor.

To a cat is a sunbeam on a shelf above the toddler's range of climbing.

Sorry for not posting

but I've been flat on my back.  I started feeling cruddy on New Year's Eve, and the next morning wasn't able to lift my head without help.  I kept trying to treat it at home with Tylenol and such, mainly because I will have to postpone my arthritis treatment later this month if I go on antibiotics.

But after 3 days of laying in the bed, Irish Woman directed me to go to the urgent care clinic.  She didn't want me to wait until tomorrow when our doctor was in her office.  Doc took one look at me, pronounced me with a bad case of strep throat, and game me a prescription for horse pills, to be taken twice a day.

I'll be OK in a day or so.  It's just a great way to start off the new year.

Irish Woman has been run ragged by BooBoo, but Girlie Bear has been helping a lot.  I owe them both a lot for letting me rest this weekend.
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