Post Circadian Depression

I’m suffering from an affliction I have termed post circadian depression. I believe there are a lot of us out there and I know it is a very serious problem. I have no desire to correct the issue; I wish only to prolong my original recreation. To put it simply waking up is hard to do.

I’ve been off Benadryl now for four days. The issues of the post Benadryl & Coffee are quite real. I’ve been a raving lunatic recently, completely unable to function. I have been worried about everything, over tired and with very little sense left in my head. Additionally I’ve been having crazy dreams at night, so I haven’t felt rested in the morning. I decided to stop taking Benadryl, and I’m off coffee. I still have caffeine during the day but not as much. I used to start the day with three mugs, roughly 48 ounces, of coffee. As a result I’m taking a little longer to get going.

I need to go to some wake up treatment center.

Are you suffering post circadian depression?

Do you feel the ground taunting you as you step out of your bed each morning? Do you wish you could shirk your earthly responsibilities and snuggle back to the warmth and comfort of your covers?

one of our patients explains, “I just start recovering when I’m in the shower, but I’m all wrinkly. I can’t stay in here all day!”

We understand the world is harsh. Leaving bed is the first step into a world of diminishing returns. You leave bed and get into the shower, its warm like the bed but your have to stand. You get out of the shower to get assaulted by the cold, so you wrap up in your towel. It doesn’t cover all of you, but it’s better than the cold. This process of diminishing returns continues the whole day till your back in your bed. Where you have eight hours of bliss, only for morning to come too soon and start all over again.

Your alarm clock can’t understand the trauma you undergo. Our centers are here to help you! We offer supportive staff, understanding and years of experience. Come and learn to live again!

What's a Kludge?

What the heck is a kludge anyway? I know there are a couple of you who have no idea what’s with the kludge thing, so I figured I’d take a few moments to explain.

I was 16 years old and I had purchased my first computer, it was an AST i486 at a raging 66Mhz. I had used two previous computers but they were for the whole family. This one was mine. And at $2000.00 it ate up all capital I had. Anyway I also signed up for dial-up service and my 14.4k external modem was ready for the task.

So during this process I had to pick a username, and I couldn’t find one. I was a Lewis Carroll buff and tried all the combinations I could of think of from madhare to mockturtle. No luck. I was very disappointed, and couldn’t come up with anything else. So I opened my fathers’ unabridged dictionary at random and picked a name. Kludge. No one at had it and so, I was kludge. I didn’t check it’s meaning until later.

The word is slang, and a computer slang to boot. It basically means the equivalent of jerry rigging. When something is made to work but no one knows how, why, or for how long we say, “What a kludge!” It was serendipitous that the page opened there that day. I use the name as a pseudonym for gaming or computing.

One day at one of my jobs I was IM’ing with a co-worker and he walked over to my desk and said, “Great handle. I’ve always liked kludge.” Only he said “kloodge” with an “oo” like ooze and I’d been pronouncing it like fudge for the past four years. He was the senior network engineer and I was just the new guy. I wasn’t stupid enough to correct him. I looked it up and he was right, even if it didn’t make any sense.

I’ve been kludge ever since. There are a lot of us on the web, but I probably win the prize for stumbling on it the most accidentally.

Here's a cool kludge I would like to try. NES Alarm Clock

Bumper Stickers

I have been thinking about doing this for years. I have a number of ideas for bumperstickers and mostly they've just been in my head. Through the magic of the internet, I can design them and sell them. here are my first two. Bumper Stickers

Let me know what you think.

Those Who Can...

It is the sustainer of life. You can have bread but without the thirst quencher you have very little chance of survival. It gives both conciseness and clarity of mind. Without it I’m lost. Water is the basis of life, and I’ll drink it if I have to, but I’m talking about Mt. Dew.

Looking back on my posts, I am surprised this subject hasn’t come up before. They say that you can only write about what you know, and Kludge knows Dew. For those of you not in the know let me explain.

Mt Dew is a soda, but its more than that. To say Mt Dew is a soda is like saying Hitler was bad. It’s not enough. Hitler was bad, but to put it like that diminishes what he was. Additionally he never tried Mt. Dew, I’m not sure if it would have helped, but who knows. Mt Dew is sticky sweet, like relatives who find out you've won the lottery. It’s neon green like Anti Freeze, which gives it that toxic teenage allure. It is only mildly carbonated so you can guzzle without fear of making unattractive muzzle music. But wait there’s more! That’s right it’s got more caffeine then a Yuban convention. Whoop!

Now that you see the benefits, you can probably overlook the fact that it’s got more calories than a whole bowl of chocolate mousse, and some unknown substance referred to only as bromated vegetable oil. Shrug I feel fine, and I’ve have gallons of the stuff.

It’s hard to remember when I got hooked but It was sometime in after I was allowed to make my own purchasing decisions. My parents thought I was crazy, and wouldn’t go near it. They’ve since found the humor in it. My father once sung Patricia and me a catchy jingle he'd made up. And my mother is now stocking her fridge with Dew for when we come over.

I’ve yet to convert anyone, you either like it or you don’t. Mt Dew leaves little room for middle ground. Luckily Patricia is a Dewer. Here are some pictures from a bridal shower that her work had thrown for her. Yes, I’m the twelve year old. All her co-workers bought a gift and a two liter of Dew. We had decieded when we were doing the wedding registry to add two containers of Mt Dew. These folks thought it was funny. We loved it then and I see no reason to stop now.

Training Day

Tomorrow is the day. Training day. I get together with 40 other county employees and learn how to drive a car correctly. Your tax dollars at work! I know that J Crew went through this a few months ago but I have to admit I'm pretty nervous. Not about the training or the driving. I'm nervous about saying my name.

Every time more than four county employees get together we have to do this ritual.

“I’m going to go around the room,” I feeling the hair on my neck rising “Please stand up say your name, where your from, how you like your beef prepared, what’s your favorite flavor jelly bean, and what would your spice girl name be?”

I’m just so uncomfortable in these situations. Some of you are surprised, because I’m such a loud mouth. That’s different; I know you and feel comfortable around you. When I'm alone in a room full of strangers, I get nervous. When I’m nervous in public, nothing good will come from it. Save a possible Saturday post.

There are people who have no trouble with this social requirement. They stand up; prattle on for like four minutes with some amusing anecdote about their car trouble and why they like to chew gum at their desk. They sit down and smile, and everyone is laughing or nodding. It gets to me, I’m usually near the end of the line so I get as uncomfortable as possible.

“Next?” the instructor motions at me.

“I’m called Peter,” I say ”…and I like popcorn...buttered...I mean.” I sit down and bury my face in the agenda items.


Anyway I’m sure it will be fine. I’m just letting myself worry about it, because this is the way it has always happened before. Luckily when I get back to my office on Wednesday no one will rememeber.

Till the e-mails start flying.

For the record:
Name: Peter
From: Santa Rosa
I like my Beef: medium well
Favorte Jelly Bean: buttered popcorn
Spice Girl Name: Geeky Spice

Just so Horrible

So Patricia and I are pulling out of the grocery store, and she looks in her rear view mirror, then she looks again.

"Peter" She says dumbfounded,"There's no one behind us."

"So." I say. I'm so understanding!

"No, you don't understand," she pulls it together,"There is a car behind us but no one is driving it."

I looked behind me, and sure enough there was a blue sedan navigating turns and using its blinkers by itself. It was astounding. I honestly could not see anyone driving the car! We both take turns looking behind us and slackening our jaws. So here we are, turning around smiling and laughing and trying to see some person in the car.

The car follows us all the way home. We see it pass our house, do a U-turn, and park. At our neighbors house. Our neighbor gets out. She's african-american. I pushed the button and our garage door lowered as slowly as it could. We laugh ourselves stupid in the house. We worked very hard not to run into her on accident, in case we had to fess up to the mistake.

I have always hoped she thought, we just reconized her face, and couldn't place her. I doubt it, since we were giggling most of the time.

It was rather freaky though, you really couldn't see her!

It's a Beautiful Day

“Joan,” the newsman beams, “It’s going to be a beautiful day! Temperatures in the 100’s. People’s pets are catching on fire and little Johnny’s burned to a pile of cinders! I can’t stop smiling as I sit here in the TV studios and tell you tomorrow is going to be another blistering day of sun, sun sun! Back to you Joan!”

Why is heatstroke such a joke to the news anchors? Why can’t we have a nice day in Santa Rosa without the death rays from Sol beating down on us? I think a nice day is 75 to 80 degrees, a nice breeze and twelve cold Mt Dew. Not sweating my life out into my cars upholstery.

I don’t think it’s any hotter than it was this time last year. Though it is hard to remember that after 11 ½ months go by. We had 100+ weather in July last year, and I’m sure I was equally unhappy about it. I don’t believe in global warming, even if Al Gore does say so. I don’t trust ex-vice president Gore on what he had for breakfast, much less global climate change. Either way I’m not fond of the heat, and today was no exception.

We were supposed to go to Marine World today. I worked hard to juggle my time around to get the hours together to have a day off. I could have taken in some coasters, and we could have seen some animals too, I suppose. Due to the heat, plans were changed. Vallejo isn’t the place to go to escape the heat. Anyway I resented the heat for it. I don’t approve of anything, nature or otherwise, cutting in on my roller coaster time.

Patricia and I took the girls to the San Francisco Zoo instead. The temperature in San Francisco was about 30 degrees cooler. We ate hamburgers, onion rings and churros. We listened to the sound of birds chirping, tigers roaring, and children screaming. We sweated like pigs in the reptile house and listened to George M. Cohan as we rode the carousel. The zoo was great, the girls did fabulously. We stayed cool, even if there weren’t any roller coasters.

So I guess the newsman was right along. It was a beautiful day.

The Misunderstood Food

I have in my lunch bag a few stalks of rhubarb. For those of you who do not know about my manic obsession with rhubarb, read on. Rhubarb is a vegetable; it grows on a very ugly plant that looks almost prehistoric. Its one of only two veggies that are perennials, so it’s there for you year after year. Rhubarb also means "A quarrel, fight, or heated discussion" but that has nothing to do with this post.

Okay so rhubarb has a texture akin to celery and a taste like sour patch kids. It’s got a bite, as in, it’s got a kick, as in, its tart, as in, it’s freaking sour! Rhubarb is very tart. It will grab your tonsils, like a pit-bull locking it’s jaws on an enemy. I eat it raw, sliced down the middle and I add a little salt to cut the sour.

When I buy rhubarb people are always perplexed. It’s an odd little morsel and folks aren’t used to seeing it. I recall one encounter at the Safeway. I had purchased a number of stalks of rhubarb a knife and shaker of salt. The clerk started in.

“What’s that?”

“It’s a snack, I call it rhubarb,” I say. I’m very defensive about it,“It’s 2.99 per/lb, if you don’t know the number.” I've learned that it’s good to know the price to move the line along.

“Isn’t it poisonous?”


“I think it’s poisonous,” She wasn’t going to stop “I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.”

“You think Safeway sells poisonous vegetables?” Okay it’s starting to get fun. “What would the health inspector say?”

“Are you going to cook it?”


“You need to cook it or it’s poisonous!” She is genuinely worried.

“So I cook it” I say, “And what do I have… hot poison!”

At this point my bag boy “Jimmy Olson” is inspecting my snack. He smelling it and bending the stalks and I just told them both I wasnt going to cook it!

“Don’t man-handle it, just bag it!” I pay and take my misunderstood treat to the car for some alone time.

This isn’t an unusual occurrence. Most people only know rhubarb from pie. I’m not a fan of rhubarb pie. I know there are some of you who like it, and I can respect your food decisions even if I disagree. I feel that putting Rhubarb in pie is just turning it into a potato in stew. There for the texture not the taste. You take sour foods and cover them with sugar and put them in pie. Delicious! Why not take sweet food, and skip the sugar? That pretty much sums up most pies I can pass on. Rhubarb, granny smith apples, and blackberry. I say don’t change it, love it for what it is. Rhubarb, the best tart veggie this summer.

Ode to a Frappuccino®

My Frappuccino's® not Italian
And true coffee it is not
But it’s cold and oh so tasty
It beats a mocha when it’s hot

I order it in “Starbucks Speak”
It’s well rehearsed I never slip,
“Venti, Mint Mocha Frappuccino®,
With two add shots and no whip!”

I used to order it pretending
That for me it would not be
And that I preferred black coffee
Not this sissy drink you see

But now I say it loud
Without pause or hesitation
Give me that blended drink!
Without the reservation

It only costs twelve fifty
For this plastic cup of joy
Give me my Mocha Frappuccino®
And I’m a lucky boy!

-Peter Brown 2006

Henry Fonda Is Not A Jerk

I have to take Benadryl daily to survive living in beautiful Sonoma County. Mostly I only need one a day, but recently I’ve had to step up my dosage. I now take a Benadryl at night to help me from sneezing my head off my shoulders, which would wake up the girls, which would wake up Patricia, who would threaten me within in inch of my life if she didn’t get a full two hours of sleep a night.

As a rule, I don’t dream at night. Those of you who say everyone dreams, have never been in my head! For the most part, count yourself lucky. For me sleep is the two seconds between falling exhausted on my pillow, and waking refreshed the next morning. In order to wake me up in the night, you would need an atomic explosion, or at the least a bucket of ice water. Now with the Benadryl this is different story. I find myself having vivid dreams. This morning I awoke drained after spending all night in the Santa Rosa Airport terminal; trying to explain to Henry Fonda that I needed him to stop taking my money from the vending machine, as I was desparate to buy a package of laundry detergent. I knew if I was unsucessful I would starve. I was very angry with Mr. Fonda this morning, and it took a while to curb the desire to watch his death scene in “The Longest Day.” Those of you who dream regularly, this is nothing unusual; but to go from blackness to chaos every night is quite disconcerting. I find myself not wanting to go to sleep, to avoid the dreams.

I explained this to Patricia, but she wasn’t impressed, as elaborate dreams are standard fare for her. I cannot count how many dreams she has relayed in our marriage, and how unsympathetic I usually am. I will now give a little more credence to the terrifying troupe of baboons performing Mozart. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that for a few minutes every morning you have to tell yourself, “Henry Fonda is not a jerk, Henry Fonda is not a jerk.”

Emergency Blues

For those of you wondering, yes I still have quite a few of these. Additionally I'm always acquiring new ones. I've changed the sidebar to help categorize embarrassing posts. If your ever feeling stupid come here, read some posts and you'll feel better. If you don't you should start your own blog. I'd love to read it!

I was taking a friend to the emergency room. She had been jumping into a lagoon on a rope swing and landed badly. She had waited two days, and her leg was in pretty bad shape. Her ankle was quite swollen. To be honest I’ve forgotten some of the details, the reason will be apparent soon enough.

“Julie,” I tell her in an effort to keep her distracted as we wait in the emergency room, “I’ve never been in the emergency room for someone else”

This was true, I’ve lived in the emergency room since I was little. Broken arms, sprains, strains, I’ve even had my face x-rayed. This is another good story, but not very embarrassing.

So they wheel her into a room and prop her up on a bed. I was standing beside the bed with a clear view past the fabric divider at another paitent. So this guy in his forties, with a John Deere cap is sitting there calm as a cucumber.

“Yeah,” he says “I just lost my grip, and then it happened. I was…”

This is all I heard. He put up his finger and there was very little left of it. I can honestly say I now know what a human finger bone looks like. He had either lost all feeling in his body, was overcome with shock or the most manly person I’ve ever chanced to see.

The next thing I remember was a doctor standing over me, as I looked up at him through the railing of the underside of the hospital bed. It seemed I had fainted barely missed the chair, fell on the floor and convulsed for a number of seconds.


Julie and her grapefruit sized ankle were whisked off the bed, and put in a chair. I was forced on the bed amidst a thousand protests and apologies to my friend. They made me drink Julie’s apple juice, count their fingers and the doctor even did a pretty decent magic trick.

Right about the time I was feeling like a two year old, mister ‘John Deere’ walked by with a small bandage on his finger. He was asking the doctor when he could go back to work. I think he smirked at me, but I’m not positive.

iPod Envy

It seems that every where I turn I see a happy person with a set of trendy white ear buds. They're on the corner, swaying to the music only they can hear. Smiling and holding their iPod. I cannot stop thinking; I wish I had a pair of white ear buds. What’s more, I want them connected to an iPod.

I remember when MP3 players started to get big. Apple wasn’t a contender in the market. They were busy mopping up the iMac. This was a ludicrious product that was a throwback to the mac classic. Little power, and no floppy drive. In fact Apple was slowly working itself into oblivion. I was fine with that, they charge too much for hardware, they have only a handful of software programs, and it's too simple to be called a computer. As I'm fond of saying 'Apples are computers for people who don't like computers.' But they’ve duped people into believing its worth more, because it’s Apple. And people love them for it!

Then the iPod appeared.

It’s not the fact that is so clean and simple, like every other Apple product. It defies complexity. Steve Jobs never bought into one of my favorite quotes
"Never make anything simple and efficient when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful”
It works, and apparently it works well. There are ten thousand accessories for it, and I love accessories. Plus you can get it in black, what more could you ask for?

So here I am at an impasse, I’ve hated Apple for so long, how could I own an Apple product and live with myself? I mean they’re easily the most popular MP3 player; you can watch movies on them, and there are plenty of 3rd party programs to bypass Apples' inane socialist restrictions for MP3 copying. I’ve seen other players that are much less expensive, work better with PCs, they even have white ear buds. But at the end of those white ear buds lies a sham. A pile of fools gold.

I’m not sure I can even explain this. It’s like buying generic cereal. It tastes very similar, it’s much more reasonably priced, but it comes in a bag, with no propaganda or puzzles, and I know I’m putting inferior coco-bombs in my mouth.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Take 4

Okay admit it you loved lite-brite! Welcome to Lite-Brite ala geek.

Lite Brite

If you have webspace, save the picture and drop a link here. You could use PhotoBucket or Flickr if you want. Here's my creepy clown picture. Bask in the rays of my creativity.

Speaking of Stories

This is a place for stories. I tried my hand at social commentary and I didn’t care much for it. I’d rather be petty, than deep. So back to the tales, some have been told often, and others will be new to you, all are true. Either way I write these out to make you smile. This story is no exception.

When I was in college and I joined the speech team. It was a great experience and it helped me learn how to talk to a room full of people. I didn’t do any formal speeches, but rather did Readers Theater, Duo, Dramatic Interpretation, and Poetry performances. It in no way helped me with my one on one speaking skills. But I’m not afraid to speak in front of a room people, as long as I have a sheet of paper.

So we are at the nationals in Minnesota, great pop, lousy weather. I was snowed on in May, and we almost had to stay in Minneapolis due to the amount of rain at the airport. All in all it was a good trip. I got to see the Mississippi, read some Mark Twain, and ride a roller coaster in a mall. The Mall of America is easily the best place to blow every cent you own. If you can think of it, there’s a store that sells it in the Mall of America.

The meet went pretty well for me. I placed third in one category and got to the finals in another. I made a lot of friends. This is also the time in my life when I finally understood when you order something "Californian Style" from a restaurant, all they do is put avocado on it.

Near the end of the tournament, I’m in the audience for “Speech to Entertain” finals. I was done with my rounds and this was a much better choice than “Speech to Inform” finals. The speakers had a full house. This was as close to stand up as a speech tournament comes. After a number of good speakers this guy gets up.

“I wear gel in my hair,” he starts “only wear clothes from Structure and The Gap. I have all my CD alphabetically chronologically organized.”

“I’m a SMAG. A Straight Male Appearing Gay.”

He went on to say he loved show tunes, and musicals, and had been picked up on by men numerous times. It fit me to a tee, and I thought I was hysterical. Mostly because I was wearing Structure clothes at the time, and had just shown someone my very well oraginized CD binder. All my fellow team members labeled me a SMAG from then on. And I wore the badge with pride. At least it meant I liked girls, which was better than most people who first met me thought.

I remember when I found out that the only reason I got my job at the music store was because my boss though I was gay. He was actually blown away when I got engaged. I’ve shed the title since I’ve been married. I can’t recall being propositioned since I started wearing my wedding ring.

Too Stupid to Microwave Popcorn

I find myself writing more about my failures here than my successes. They tend to be more amusing and I enjoy writing about them. Anyway here a few such episodes since yesterday.

Last Night


I endeavored to fix a zipper. We have these sleeping mats we sometimes unfold in the living room for lounging. One of them had a broken zipper. A small portion of the foam was visible. It really didn’t affect anything, it just annoyed me.

I worked the zipper for about 5 minutes and finally in a burst of inspiration was able to free it, right off the tines. Sigh… another 20 minutes of muttering and maneuvering are in vein. I come up with the brilliant idea to remove a couple of the tines with a pair of needle nose pliers and work the zipper back in.

The tines are all a single piece of polymer woven through the fabric like thread. I didn’t know that till I grabbed one and yanked. I removed 17 tines, and had no trouble adding the zipper back in. Now a huge section of foam is visible. I haven’t learned my lesson though. I Can't help thinking that a bit of duct tape would be an affective covering.


I decided to have a bag of microwave popcorn because I had just removed all the popcorn husks that had lodged themselves in my teeth from my last bag three days before. I hate microwave popcorn directions.

Cooking time: Varies from 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave. DO NOT LEAVE MICROWAVE UNATTENDED WHEN COOKING.

Stop the microwave when popping begins to slow down to 2 to 3 pops per second (Popping may take as little as 1 minute or as long as 5 minutes because microwave ovens do vary).

Does anyone do this! I hate the idea I need a stopwatch handy to pop corn. Isn’t this supposed to be easy? Isn’t that why I have a microwave? What are they thinking? I want to zap fry popcorn, I’m lazy! I don't want to spend the 5 minutes listening to it! Why did they put that “Popcorn” button there if they don’t want us to use it! So I just put it in, and punched "popcorn"

It burned.

This Morning


I was typing this up in my office. I have an auto light switch in my office. It turns itself off after so much inactivity. Luckily it gives you a "beep" about 5 seconds before the world goes dark. I'm a network analyst. I sit at a desk and type... all day. This involves little motion. I'm practically dead as far as my light is concerned. If it could it would call an ambulance. I occasionally turn and grab a reference book. Needless to say I hear a lot of "beeps." So here I am a professional in a respectable job, jumping around for 5 seconds flailing my arms like an angry monkey trying to keep the light on. Everything went dark.




No Suburban Article today. I spent an hour at a blank computer screen, these will probably hold your attention longer anyway..Got any odd sites? post a comment... they will be monitored by Kludge, and filtered via a vast right wing conspiracy.

Yet Another Saturday Post

I know this took place before 2004… I believe it was summer or fall of 2003… regardless.

I was over at my wife’s parent’s house. There were six of us total, Patricia and myself, my father and my mother-in-law and Josh and his wife Christine. I’m not positive what we were doing, or how it all started but I clearly remember how it all finished. I was evening because the light was on. We must have been leaving because we were all near the door.

So… (I always feel a pang of reluctance right before sharing these with everyone)
So…(Maybe it helps though to tell people, that way it sort of lessens them)
So… (Mostly I believe I’m just giving you all ammunition)

So… my father-in-law starts turning off and on the one light in the room… I’m not sure why.

body, this is the brain. I’ve got an idea
What’s that brain?
We should pretend to have an epileptic fit… right here!
Would that be funny?

Sure it would!

So dad had stopped with the lights about five seconds before I started the act. Big Mistake! I fall to the ground and start thrashing around for at least twenty seconds or so…

Was that funny or WHAT!

“Peter,” my wife with mouth aghast, “are you okay?”

no one is laughing brain… they’re all just staring at us

“I feel wet,” I say.

“You splashed the dog’s water all over you.” Patricia now begins to giggle, “You’re soaked. Are you okay?”

I hate explaining jokes. Now everyone is laughing at me and not with me. I hate that more. Anyway the joke was a hit but not for the reason I though it would be. I also had to perform a reprise in January of ’04 after Christine’s surgery, because I made a promise to.

I still hold to this day, that it was a funny joke and they are all morons for not getting it. Lesson to be learned? Timing is everything! If your not careful your joke might turn you into a family gag for the next millennium.

Fashion Slave

I'm not a trendy person. I don't have anything against new trends, as long as you buy them because they look good and not becuase they told you it looks good. An excellent example would be the fuzzy boot craze. I'm a fashion slave not out of choice but out of lack of choice.

This has become most evident recently as I need to purchase a new pair of pants. Blue jeans to be specific. I like comfortable clothes and blue jeans are a must for any relaxed wardrobe. The issue is this; I can't find a pair of jeans without carpenter accessories. I'm talking about a hammer loop, screwdriver holder and pencil slot. When did carpentry hit the big time? Why are misters Klein and Strauss obsessed with the building business all the sudden? Was there a mix-up on the catwalk?

"Jan, that suit jacket was by designer...wait what is THIS!"
"I see it Raphael. A new bold statement coming down the runway."
"Sorry, I'm here to fix a squeaky floorboard...hey what's with the cameras?"

Who can really guess?

I suppose this would be acceptable if it weren't for the fact that I can't even use these items. I was doing some work recently and tried to stow my hammer in the loop, and it almost ripped off. So not only do we want to look like we're carpenters, we want to look like carpenters off duty.

So here I am trying to find pants without add-ons and waiting to see what new trend they will make us all buy next. We've already have the used look, the dirty pants look, and the patches outfit. I was thinking geek styles, like with your shirt buttons all off by one hole or the pirate look with pantaloons and boots.

I know, how about neat, clean, new clothes and shirts, without logos or giant dogs. Sorry I guess I lost my head.

The Dentist Wants Your Teeth

I have to go to the dentist. They have a sick obsession with my mouth. They bombard me with questions of my brushing and flossing habits. Why do they bother with the customary, “Do you rinse Mr. Brown?” when they can tell with one look, that they will be able to finish their garish tooth necklace tonight.

I’m not fond of the dentist. Not for the reason that most people fear the dentist. I’m not afraid of the pain; for the most part I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. I just sit back, relax my mouth and tighten every other muscle in my body. Normally by the end of the visit, Ive molded the armrest to fit my clenched fists. I’m not saying I enjoy the discomfort, but it isn’t my primary fear. I think they’re twisted. I honestly believe the dentist wants my teeth.

I’m missing a tooth, my top center tooth. I have a tooth mirage, made of resin and dye. I didn’t get a cavity, or have a fist fight. I don’t play contact sports, and it wasn’t pulled on a dare. I went to the dentist with it in, they looked at it and said,

“We need to take it out”
“I can’t tell you, but it will cost you”

Having a fake front tooth is not enjoyable. I can't eat anything tougher than oatmeal without removing it. Removing it public is terrifying, because without a doubt someone will want me to talk to them, or smile for the camera. My second day of work at my current job, someone won a free rib lunch from the local country station. Have you ever seen a new guy and knew he wouldn't fit in? So there I am with 1 pork rib and a pile of salad. I'm the only guy trying to cut the ribs with a knife and fork.

I’m dreading my return to “The Chair” I haven’t been since they removed my favorite Central Incisor. Dentists have been angling about getting their latex mitts on my four wisdom teeth for years. Most don’t even try and be underhanded.

“Schedule an appointment after your cleaning to have your wisdom teeth entered into my personal collection. I have a bracelet I’m working on, and those would look great!”

The worst part is, once I get in the chair they use some kind of mind control on me. I find myself thinking, “They know best.” Hopefully they will only take a few this time, I hate the idea of drinking apples thru a straw.

Office Pranks

RULE OF PRANKS #1: Expect the unexpected.

I love office pranks. This is a necessary requirement of any good working environment. The best pranks are the least expected, in timing and also the deed that is done. Don't overdo tired pranks, be yourself, unless your dull, then... be a target.

I had just spent an hour unpacking some 70+ hard drives from their individually boxed packages for our SAN (it's technical, but not important). Anyway it was dull. So to liven things up, I spent another 20 minutes re-decorating a co-workers cube with my leftovers.

I've been here a year, but I'm not very social in this office. Most of my co-worker were a little surprised to see the dungeon dweller, out with the living. Anyways I built an elaborate arch out of styrofoam, and then covered the cube floor in about 50 "land mines" that were the packing material for the harddrives. Additionaly the process wasn't complete without a taunt. Craig likes BMW, hence the witty sign. Luckly someone took pictures with their cell phone, so I can share them with you. If I'm correct I should have a present of my own waiting tomorrow morning. This fellow gets in at 7:00, and I'm not in till 8:00.

Note- This was a small scale assault.

I've been party to some pretty elaborate schemes in my working career. My favorite was taping down every article on a co-workers desk, with packing tape. We're talking paper clips to telephones, EVERYTHING. This process took a good hour or so. When Carlos arrived, the phone rang, and the antics began.

RULE OF PRANKS #2: Never dish it, if you can take it.

Of course retaliation is a must. The best retaliations are more elaborate than the original prank. Carlos was able to load an annoying wav file called chupacarbra into my computer and it would play at every logon. Anyway for a month, while I tried to find all the references he had added, every time I started up my computer the taunting sound of defeat rang in my ears. As payback, I wrote a script to copy all his temporary Internet files to his desktop. Imagine having to delete 2000+ icons on your desktop every hour. This process goes on till you run out of one-ups, or a truce is called.

Anyone got a good prank or payback story?

Is it Saturday?

So I'm at Safeway with Patricia, B.C. (before children), we've purchased a flat of water, a 32 pack I think. And plenty of other items. My hands are full of groceries, but like any man would do, I grab the flat of water.

Try and get this visual, we're walking out of the store, my hands heavy laden. The flat is hanging on by it's thin, and poorly produced plastic wrapping. I decided to flip it up into the air and hook it with my arm. This looked great in my head.

I flip up the flat... the thin plastic tears loose and right out of my hands. I watch helpless as the flat soars though the air, and lands about eight feet in front on me with a resounding "WHAP!"

Water flies in all directions, and my wife stood stunned. I freak out. I moved at light speed gathering water and hauling out the store. When we got in the car I spent the next ten minutes trying, without luck, to convice Patricia that I hadn't just had a fit in the store.

...Sigh... Why do I have so many of these?

Selling Power

The looming black mammoth in my kitchen was dearly paid for. Not just with money, but with time and sanity.

We needed a new fridge... the last time we purchased one was eight years ago. It was a used fridge, and we got a bargain on it because it's coils were bent. For the last eight years a twisty tie from a bread package has kept it working. It was time to upgrade.

My wife wanted a black fridge, because we have a white dishwasher, a white microwave, a cream hood and a cream oven. I really can offer no insight into this requirement, but I didn't care. I wanted a side by side, with an icemaker. Seemed simple enough, a black side by side that makes ice. Of to the appliance store.

So we go to the fridge shop, and are identified in seconds by the joy-sucking leeches, that are commissioned salespeople.
Salesman #1 - aka “The Listener”

"Hello, can I help you?"

"Yes," I say, Patricia is giving me the evil eye at this point. Apparently her superior shopping sense had already identified this guy’s caliber. "We're looking for a fridge. We want a black one, side by side, that fits our budget."

Apparently I said, "Were both a couple of ripe suckers. Ignore our request completely and show us the most expensive models!"

He proceeds to parade us around to the industrial stainless steel fridges with LCD interface, soda fountains, voice recognition, and a satellite uplink. Who's looking for that in an icebox? Are we supposed to communicate with our fridge?

"Hal, I want some turkey"
"I'm sorry Peter, I can't do that"
"Hal, release the door"

Regardless we couldn't afford any of them. So this clown finishes off this less than stellar act, by saying, "I recommend this model. It's not black, not a side by side, and it only $500 more than your max. Let me know when you're ready."

Oh... Thank you!

We, being the undying optimists that we are, decide to try again. We probably got the one fella who didn't know what he was doing...

Salesman #2 - aka “The Talker”

This guy was unreal. I didn't know there was that much to talk about. He starts off with the evils of electric controls, and the anatomy of filters. Blah blah, slide out trays, blah blah, optional frozen pizza holder, how long can he go between breaths blah blah, spill proof doors, blah blah blah, a good fridge is a quiet fridge, take some of your own advice friend blah blah blah

Both babies are crying and we're doing the nod and shuffle. I think this should be a clear sign that we need to go. What do I need – signal flags? He didn't care, he was talking about his lesser-priced competitors, and how they ignored customers. I have to say, at this point I could do with a healthy portion of neglect. I didn't know what to do, we smiled, said thank you 37 times, and made a break for it. It was so comical it was almost hard to believe it really happened.

Anyway we went to a competitor, got a great price, and now have Mr. Jumbo Frigidare squeezed into a very tight spot. I will not begin to pontificate on the joys of filtered water at your beck and call, or the sheer bliss that is a spacious fridge. I will only say the joyful “Crack!” “Plop!” of automatic ice making is worth almost any sales pitch.

Lazy Thursday Blues : Take 3

Here are a few links to kill the Lazy Thursday Blues.

    - Hundreds of pics of ... Stuff on Cats... very odd

    - Star Wars: A New Hope in ASCII ... A work in progress since 1997

    - Don't worry... it's all for fun... I think

    - A great puzzle game
  • Is It Catching?

    “Is it catching? I was hanging out with the guy all weekend and he had it pretty bad doc.”
    “The good news is, you don’t have it, the bad new is, it is highly contagious”

    I feel like I have an illness. You can’t see it, but it’s defiantly there. I’m very careful who I tell about it. If you're wondering if you or someone you know has it, just look for the signs:

    • "Wow! That guy was moving at warp speed!"

    • "So where can I find the replicator? I need a soda."

    • "See my new Minivan? I've named it 'Runabout Rio'"
    Liking Star Trek is like speaking only in Pig Latin. It’s not socially acceptable and it means you can only communicate with select group of people. That being said it’s also like any high addictive substance, it feels good, and you don’t want to stop.

    I’ve now taken this addiction to the next level; I’m buying Star Trek seasons on DVD. I hide them because I’m afraid my friends wouldn’t understand. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who are adamantly apposed to Star Trek. It’s hard to be a closet Trekkie.

    That being said I’m not willing to boldly go to "Star Trek Leper." This is the fan that attends conventions, wears a uniform, has pointed side burns, and a com badge. You can see them talking to their cell phone like a communicator, or watching the skies for alien spacecraft. This is social rejection at its height. These people have one friend counting their dog. You need to be on your guard, because unlike the average geek, this breed wants to talk to you. They corner you at work or in the movie store and babble on about an episodes inconsistency… …

    “On Season 2 of DS9, in the episode Shadowplay, Dax and Odo..."

    Once their 20-minute dissertation is over its a quick "Live long and prosper" and they're off to the next victim.

    I made the mistake of one time going to the midnight opening of a Star Trek movie. I would never have thought people would be brave enough to dress like Klingons or Bolians in a public place. They cheered for Kirk, yelled at the Klingons, and ate like tribbles. (If you’re lost, your one of the lucky ones)To me Star Trek is like listening to a Neil Diamond album, best done without any witnesses.

    The one I feel the worst for is my wife. When I met her she wouldn't have known a warp drive or a space-time continuum if it got in bed with her. Now she knows all the characters, and how a deflector dish works. But I guess I'm one of the few geeks who knows all the songs in Guys and Dolls, and can quote Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice verbatim.

    A match made in the Alpha Quadrant!