Happy Tuesday

Happy Tuesday. How do you do?
Happy Tuesday. I’m fine, and you?
I’m thinking ‘bout the weekend
Yes, I agree. Me too.

No one ever cared for Tuesday
A point I simply say
Tuesday’s insignificant
Not black or white. Just gray.

Monday it kicks off the week
And is nothing short of bleak
Friday its antithesis
Gateway to the end you seek

But Tuesdays are just there
Like an ever steady “fair”
Free of spirit, praise or hate
So what. Another stark affair

Happy Tuesday. How do you do?
Tuesday? Are you sure? Say’s who?
It’s Wednesday, see? Happy Wednesday!
See if that helps to change your view.

-Peter Brown 2007

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Letter To a Toy Manufacturer

Dear Toy Manufacturer,

Hello. I writing this letter because I need to get something off my chest. Normally I would take a bit of time to inquire after your well being or thank you for whatever service you render. I just want to say, that while I wanted to do these things, I could think of nothing polite to say. I’m sorry.

I hate your guts. That seems a bit harsh. Let me try it again, I think you’re vile, festering excuse for a human being. Again, I apologize, this isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. I don’t want you to think that this is how I normally act. That is assuming you are still even reading this letter, given that I assume you have an unbelievably short attention span. Clearly any one producing toys today must. I’m a sane rational man, who tries to be level headed and clear minded. I like to try and approach issues from a detached emotional standpoint. It’s just that where your products are concerned, I have trouble doing so.

As an adult I have trouble remembering what I played with at one and two years of age. I imagine there were many brightly colored objects. Cups, blocks, rings and other highly stimulating shapes that excited my rather spongy infant brain. I can only imagine what my parents must have endured at the end of the nineteen seventies. Plastic toys they had to assemble, and colorful mechanical cars that whistled and beeped when you wound then up. How annoying to have all those things under their feet. Up until I became a parent I could empathize for them. You, Mr. toy manufacturer, have changed all that.

My folks never had to endure the slow brain deterioration that my wife and I must go through on a daily basis. I’m talking about your battery powered, intelligence pathway driven, implanted microchip talking toy series. Because of you and your creative circuit circus, I’m losing my mind! I cannot move in my house without some object singing, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” , asking one of my daughters for a hug or just letting out some freakishly demonic toy like laughter. I’ve heard “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes” one million five hundred and seventy-two times. I have strong urges to smash little talking tea pots.

I then considered abandoning all the talking, singing, laughing and otherwise annoying toys. I figured on some normal stuffed animals that just sat there. Maybe some plastic cause and effect toys, or just bits of rocks for them to look at. The trouble is there isn’t a toy that doesn’t do, play or say something. It seems that people who can't accept this, are just living in the past. I then decided to just persevere by scheduling some quiet time,every once in a while, by turning some of them off. You, in your infinite wisdom, neglected to add off switches to your toys. Cute. Additionally all batteries are secured to the toy with a twenty eight screw panel, to test our parental endurance and make sure we never remove the power without an hour or so of free time.

Anyway, if you see a strange man coming to your manufacturing plant in the dead of night with a pickup truck full of gasoline cans, a box of matches and a good pair of running shoes, pay him no attention. He’s just blowing off some steam.

Sincerely yours,
Peter “Little Teapot” Brown


“Ready for the big race?”

“Excuse me?”

“The race... Are you ready for it.”

“I’m not here for a race. I’m here for carrots.”

“Ah. So then, what’s with the big number Eight on your side?”

“Can’t get carrots without it! Gotta get the carrots! WHOO!”

“You, uh, like carrots then?”

“Like carrots? No. I love carrots! I mean, obviously! Why else would I be here? I mean why are you here-”


“-I’ll tell you why! Carrots, and lots of them. I always get a bunch after a nice brisk run.”

“Man, are you a greenhorn!”

“Plantations Risk”

“Excuse me?”

“Thats my name... Plantations Risk. My sire was Plantations First and my dam was called Risky Lady.”

“No, today your name is Eight. See my number? You can just call me Two. I mean this is clearly your first race.”

“Yes, but I was assured that it would be no different than running at the track.”

“Sure kid. Sure. Did they happen to tell you about the other horses?"

“How many?”

“It varies. There are seven of us in this race. Ever run with other horses?”


“Don’t worry, Eight it’s not that bad, it just gets a little crowded as we're all running together. I mean, well...there might be a little trouble not bumping into other horses sometimes. You know, when we're all trying to get the to same place first! Just be careful out there and whatever you do, don't fall down.”


“You could break a leg. Do you know what happens if you break a leg?”


“They shoot you!”


“Honest. They’ll snub you out! Without even flinching, or asking how you feel. You just need to be careful not to tangle to much with the other horses. You see, there’s this one guy with a gun on the sidelines. He only has one job. He doesn't feel right about getting paid unless he gets to kill a horse.“

“And a jockey.”

“What do you mean?”

“What about the jockey? He gets shot too, right?"


"Are you kidding! I mean if we get shot, then they should shoot the jockey too! It’s not really fair otherwise! He has as much to do with tripping us up as we do!”

“Oh no! That would be cruel. If something happens to the jockey, they carefully load him into a car and drive him off. They take him to the hospital and get him all fixed up. You know, so he’s ready for the next race.”


“It’s the truth.”

“So he can do it again!? That hardly seems fair! This is horrible! I had no idea. Well... I’m not going to get to get shoved around like that.”

“You can’t dawdle though.”

“If they’re going to shoot me, you bet I’m going to dawdle!”

“That’s why the jockeys all have whips!"


"Yeah, you don't look like your really running, and then out comes the whip! Wham! Wham! Wham! Boy that stings!"

"This is nothing like the track!"

"You want some advice friend?”


"You need to look like you want to win, but stay far enough back not to get hurt. They might not be pleased, but at least you’ll be alive!”

“Your right! Thanks. No amount of carrots are worth this! I going to start to work up a sweat.”

“You do that!”

“Bye, and thanks again!”

“One down, five more to go...”


“Ready for the big race?”

“I’m actually a little nervous. Say have you done this before?”

“You bet. You want some advice friend?”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Why Game 2

Welcome to another edition of the Lazy Thursdays Blues. The Caption game has been going good, but I'd thought I'd break it up again with another try at why.

It's pretty simple I enjoyed your answers from the last time we played. I call it the Why Game. This isn't like that annoying game you play with a six year-old. Instead I will pose a question and you will give me an answer. If you know the real answer, post it, if not just have fun. The only real rules are these two:

1. As always, keep it clean.

2. No looking up the real answer.

So let's give it a try! Remember this is less an exercise of WHAT you know but more in your wit or creativity!

"Why do pigeons bob their heads?"

Here's one to get you started

Little is known about the city pigeon population except what we learned from Burt. Pigeons are pacifist by nature and are always practicing their agreeable nature with everything around. People, other pigeons, worms or whatever.

Tackling Idioms

Anyone who has ever had to learn English as something other than their primary language, has had to struggle through the task of discerning idioms. As a public service I've decided to do my small part to help out. Consider the below as a small but helpful reference for a handful of idioms. It's intended for those who are still having trouble understanding these unusual and rather unique forms of communication.

“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth“ - In the early part of the seventh century horses were still to be allowed to take part in various trades and compete directly with humans. Trades such as cooks, salon owners and gift wrappers. Horse gift wrappers or gift horses, wrapped beautiful presents, and were quite sought after. They used their teeth and tongues to wrap. As a matter of fact many humans looking to usurp their roles, tried to learn these skills. Horses re-acted by not wrapping gifts for any human caught trying to steal these tricks of the trade. Hence the phrase, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth“ At that time this was a popular way of saying, just enjoy the wrapping and don’t try and steal the secret. A simple lesson in being content. In fact, up until the Great Equestrian Revolution of 1052 when humans finally realized horses could be used for hard labor and transportation, horses enjoyed many human benefits. They owned houses, gardened and had monogrammed feedbags. Their only major disadvantage was not being able to remove a bit and bridle with that nimble tongue and agile set of teeth.

“Getting down to brass tacks" – This is very simple idiom. It means simply to get going, or get down to business. It comes from the nest building habits of the severely speckled horn tooter. The Horn Tooter, or simply Tooter for short, makes a nest completely out of brass tacks. As such, they tend to settle down near millinery and furniture repair shops. The point is the Tooter, would much rather toot it’s horn than care for it’s young. So as soon as the eggs hatch the little fellas learn to fly in a remarkably short period of time, or die trying. Severely Speckled Horn Tooters are very rare.

“Pie in the sky” - When commercial airlines first got started there was a bit of incision about what to serve for snacks on shorter flights. Most people believed that pretzels or peanuts would be the easiest but Earnest Bortman had another idea. He suggested a slice of pie for every passenger. Though many argued that this was neither convenient nor feasible Bortman would not be dissuade. This might also because he held large amounts of stock in giant pie distribution company. Who can guess? Anyway Bortman pitched the idea to every airline he could find and he was eternally optimistic about the outcome. In the end he became a laughing stock, but he will always be preserved by this idiom of wishful thinking.

I hope I have helped out in some small way for everyone wishing to know more about this truly unique language called English. And of course for anyone who is of a less then than trusting nature, please feel free to visit here, here and here.

Letter To The Non-Caffeinated

Dear Non-Caffeinated;

I hope this letter finds you well, though I have to say I believe that is a false hope. I honesty I’m not sure when I should be sending this letter to you. Are you awake as long as those of us who choose to par-take of the joys of caffeine? Do you start the day as I do with alertness and awareness? I really haven’t got any idea. Do you just past the day in the restless sleep of those who have never understood, let alone held or sipped at joy?

I have to say I would be hard pressed to live a life as horribly misshapen as yours. I feel pity and sorrow, first for your lack of attentiveness and second for the inexplicable hesitance you feel towards happiness. Please feel free to read this more slowly or in bits more fitting for your state of concentration. You could also have some caffeinated person read it to you, if you find it too much work for one morning.

Before diving in much further I suppose you are wondering why I’m writing. This is simple. I wish to offer an olive branch to you, from my people. Are you still reading this? Did you doze off? Should this letter be shorter so that you can concentrate? As you can see, there is still a lot about your kind that my people do not understand. Currently you serve mostly as an example, or illustration for my people. The sort of folks who scoff at bliss, the way the Amish do at technology. You help us realize that if we were to fall into the same trap as you, we might not wake some morning, in a groggy decaffeinated haze. Additionally our digital watches might be missing. The thought is truly terrifying.

Again to return to the point at hand. I wanted to start this conversation because of the obvious breech between our peoples. My people hang out in coffee shops, go to work, and stay up past nine O clock at night. What about you? Did you know that the sun sets every night and a mass called the moon comes out in its wake? It’s the truth I assure you! It is really quite lovely. I suppose you could have heard about it from some of your caffeinated co-workers. What do you do for fun? I cannot imagine. Sleepwalking? I really don’t know.

I have heard of your people talking about our addiction to caffeine. I suppose this is true, we are addicted to it. As a point of information though, I wanted to point out the possible incorrect conclusions you might be drawing. Do you know that caffeine is readily available and is not an illegal in any country? You are aware that there are massive amounts of the stuff in a variety forms to suit all tastes? Did you also know that it brings fulfillment, is relatively inexpensive and is completely available? If so, why would being addicted to it be viewed as a bad thing? This brings to mind two other substances we are also both addicted to, water and breathable air. I hope you don't try and kick either of those habits soon.

I hope I have made my point obvious? I apologize if I have gone to fast for you. There is no reason, beside a possible medical one, why not to consume some form of caffeine. Even those people with medical issues, I would imagine, would be happier with a shorter caffeinated life, than a longer deprived existence. Though in the end that is only an opinion.

Sincerely yours;

Peter Brown
Severely Over-Caffeinated


“So, what’s for dinner?”

“Coconut stew.”


“What do you mean again?”

“Didn’t we have that last night?”

“No. Last night was, coconut soup! I have to say I really liked that one, but I might change-”

“And Tuesday? What did we have Tuesday?”

“Coconut meat, served in a lovely coconut broth! My favorite! Before you ask, the day before was julienned coconuts in a hearty coconut stock.”

“You know, I might be going crazy, but they all sort of tasted the same to me!”

“Then you have a very poor pallet. They were hardly even similar.”

“What do you mean!? They’re all the same!! Coconut bits floating in coconut milk! Why do we have to eat the same thing every day!?”

“Look when we got stuck here, you put me in charge of food, right!?”


"It’s a little hard to find anything but coconuts on a deserted island the size of a jelly bean abandoned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! I’m doing the best I can. It's not like we're lucky enough to have wild animals roaming around!”

"I could go for some fish."

"How? It's not like either of us are capable of catching fish. You wouldn't even recognize a fishing pole if you saw one!"

"Your point?"

"You're just too stupid to catch fish."

"That's real nice!"

"It's the truth. Besides, it not like you don't already know that. I'm not sharing an epiphany with you. I know you very well."

“I know. You're right, it’s just..."

"It's just what?"

"...I hate coconuts!”

“Well you could go back to eating bugs like you did before I figured out how to open these things! Do you remember those days?! Maybe I'll start serving beetles again, just so you appreciate everything I do around here.”

“I remember. Those were crazy days! I didn't realize how well armored a coconut was until I tried to crack it open on my own skull.”

“You did go a little overboard...”

“Well, there I was, coconut in hand for three flippin' days. Food right in my hands! Right there, and no way to get at it!! There’s nothing to drive you mad like having a huge pile of un-husked coconuts right in front of you for thirty-six hours while you’re still eating raw beetles!"

"I was cooking them by that point."


“So all I’m saying is enjoy what you have! I don’t need you to have another episode. I couldn’t survive without you.”

“You’re right of course. I just feel like I’m losing my mind. How long do you reckon since the ship crashed?”

“About four or five months.”

“How long was Robinson Crusoe on that island?”

“28 years.”

“Never mind.”

“Hey, it was a different time! A lot less of the world was charted, no GPS, no Coast Guard. I mean they still sailed with wind!”

“I bet he didn’t try to open a coconut by thumping it on his head.”

“No... he spent his time building fortifications, exploring the island and hollowing out a canoe. He even collected salt for seasoning.”

“That’s a thought!”

“You want salty coconuts?”

“Never mind.”

“Look at least we have each other. It’s a good thing too, or we’d both go mad!”

“Agreed! Too bad your just a voice in my head.”

“Yea... Oh well. I guess that’s better than nothing though eh?”


“Ready for some coconut stew?”

“You bet! I’m crazy hungry!”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 17

I was going to play the why game this morning, but it seems that I've run dry. I poured all my creativity into a the caffeine pants post yesterday and nothing was left for this morning. I tried to turn on the funny faucet and I just got a trickle...so..

It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption. It's a bit grim, but I like to believe everyone was okay.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.

Here's one to get you started!:
Bus driver's first day with his new iPod!

Stuff I found this week:

Thanks to Puddleglum for this cool link! Chimpage Generators
Be sure to let us know what you come up with!

Black and White Twins Believe it or not!

Roomba like Lawnmower! - Sweet!

Caffeine Pants!

A Caffeine Revolution! Check them out at Legal Additive Stimulants. My last ditch effort to save a dying blog!

Come and play in the caffeine playground one last time, before I run an interstate bypass through the center of it!

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I love fun gadgets! Infomercials were easily one of my favorite programing choices. There is just something so comical about bad actors, ridiculous products and outrageous claims all mixed together that makes for a very enjoyable half hour of entertainment. I mean how many times can one person pretend to act surprised about a Magic Bullet?

“The Magic Bullet makes soup Jan!”


“Jan, The Magic Bullet, turns normal sugar into powdered sugar!”

“HOW Dan!? Is that amazing! Is it really magic Dan?”

“Listen to this Jan. The Magic Bullet will also clean up your kitchen for you! And that patch of weeds in your garden...”

And then the price game starts! This might be my favorite part of the whole performance! Why would anyone spend sixty dollars on an item that they’ve never seen in person? Because in the ad it started at one hundred and twenty bucks!

“Jon, How much would you be willing to pay for these amazing onion goggles?”

“They’re the best kitchen solution in decades Bill, I’d easily pay seventy-five dollars!”

“Well your not going to spend seventy-five dollars, or seventy-four dollars or even seventy-two fifty!”

“Seventy-two dollars!?”

“That’s right, but with shipping and handling it should be quite a bit more.”

“For these cheap plastic goggles? What a deal!”

When you do get infomercials items home, they’re never quite as good. I mean we had a food dehydrator but hardly ever used it. When it came down to it our jerky meat wasn’t sitting out in a glass dish, ready to just add to the dehydrator like it was on the television. Who wants to spend the time making the fruit paste required to make 'home made' fruit roll ups when they're only fifty-nine cents at the supermarket?

How about the day you realized that in order to chop onions in the astounding chopper, you had to cut them into small pieces first. Doesn't that defeat the point? Additionally, no matter what they tell me, I have no need for a knife that can cut both the metal head of a hammer and slice a tomato to near transparent proportions.

So now you've spent way too much on a plastic gadget that will fill up more cupboard space and be used less than you ever dreamed possible. Such is life. Consider not that you spent too much on a cheap product, but rather that your money is going to keep quality programing on the air!


I'm contemplating the demise of Legal Addictive Stimulants...

...Would anyone notice? I had a notion to maybe give one last try with it, but maybe it's not worth my time. Please take a moment or two and share your opinion if you are so inclined.

Thank you for your continued patronage.

Editor and Chief

Collecting Chopsticks

Every once in a while an event takes place that is so monumental that everyone sits up and takes notice. It shakes our society to the very core and spreads joy around the likes of which we have never known. For those that experience it life will never be the same. For those who miss out, they will always wonder if it really was as good as everyone else has claimed.

Such an event took place in my immediate circle. It was the summer of 2005 and only six houses down from me history was being made. My wife’s sister and her husband had a deep fryer. This was no ordinary deep fryer. This deep fryer was magic. Apparently when coupled with regular oil and a recipe from a near immortal celebrity cook, food went into it but joy came out.

Josh and Christine made corn dogs. As I type that it seems to wash away the truth of it. Apparently these corn dogs weren’t corn dogs like you and I have had, but the very same corn dogs that are served in Valhalla. Norse people love corn dogs. Anyway for some reason I decided not to try a corn dog. I’m sure that’s what happened. It couldn’t be that everyone else had a few thousand of these morsels and I didn’t even see one of them, let alone try one. I even recall someone commenting on how well they freeze. This means that there were so many extra corn dogs left over, they didn’t know what to do with them.

Now don’t mistake this for bitterness. No. I accepted the fact that I had somehow missed out on a near perfect delight by only six houses, and that freezers were bursting with happiness and I somehow never tried one. I can take that. Really. The issue is this.

In order to make said perfection from a hot dog, you need chopsticks. Josh and Christine didn’t have any, and used bamboo skewers instead. So in a effort to garner support for a second batch of blissful stick doggies I started to collect chopsticks. I started soon after I learned that the corn dogs, that everyone tried and loved, all rode off together into the sunset. In the months and now years that have followed, I have mentioned my collection to the would be chefs many times.

It has now almost become a joke. I have been collecting chopsticks since fall of 2005. I have a gigantic horde of wooden eating rods. I almost need to designate a new drawer for the beasties. They all sit there in quiet anticipation of their new assignment. Whenever I go to Chinese food, Japanese food, or just the teriyaki bowl, I always ask for extra.

“Can I have some chopsticks?’

“How many?”



“I’m very rough with them.”


“Okay... how about four?”

I’m not sure why I’m still collecting them. I suppose I’m just being overly optimistic. The worst part is I’ve now built these corn dogs up past any level they could ever come close to meeting. Could they really be that good? I sometimes wonder if the corn dogs ever really existed. Like a myth that has been retold for generations. I’m sure it was built on some reality, I suppose there could have been a deep fat fryer somewhere, making enrapturing eatables, but just six houses down? I don’t know. It's hard to believe.

In the end, I hope so, because if not, I’ve got a lot of chopsticks to try and get rid of!

Cooking with Math

Cooking = Food

Food = Good Taste

Tasty Food = Happiness

By this simple proof I’ve decided that since I like to be happy I must also like to cook. I mean it’s pretty hard to deny that if A = B and B = C than A should also equal C. I’m not sure if it’s so. I don’t want to dismiss this obviously astounding mathematical proof I’ve created, but I’m having trouble with the solution.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about this as my wife has started to blog again. Patricia has had a blog for a while but wasn’t really into it. Now that she is contributing to the new recipe blog, new posts are popping up all the time. She is making cool new recipes at home where we are trying them out and then she posts it up for the world to see. As I peruse the page, I find that while I understand how to cook, and can follow a recipe, I’m not sure I like cooking.

There are people who think blogging is pointless. How can you spend countess hours typing up something that only a handful of people will ever see and even fewer will comment on? The answer is simple, because it’s fun for me. I enjoy dreaming up new things to talk about and funny ways of putting it.

Cooking is one of those things that I feel that way about. Why would I spend all that time, energy and resources on something I could just purchase? I mean, why spend two hours making chicken curry when the Indian restaurant is five minutes away? They welcome me with open arms, thick accents and giant vats brownish indistinguishable food substances. There are no tears from chopping onions, no stress from mixing spices, and best of all clean up is a styrofoam container!

The exception to this feeling is BBQing. I feel that I do truly enjoy BBQing food. I’d much rather cook on the BBQ than in the oven. Why would this be more rewarding? Again when answers are hard to find we turn to simple logic and bad math.

BBQing = Fire

Fire = Danger

Men = Stupid

If it has the possibility of death involved, it has just moved from chore to sport. I am a pyromaniac. Most men I know are. If we get to play with fire we’re there! Additionally there is no measuring. I don’t need half a teaspoon of this or a one cup and three quarters of that. I just smatter on as much as I want and then stoke the fire up to near heatstroke levels. Is that cooking? I think so, I mean it comes out hot and mostly the food is digestible.

Do I like good food? Yes. Do I like to cook? Sometimes. I don’t know if anyone has the answer. Maybe it’s one riddle that even bad math and weak logic can't solve.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 16

I thought last Thursday's Why Game went over very well. I hope all enjoyed it, because we'll probably be playing it again. Thanks to Patricia for the idea.

For today I thought we would have some more caption fun. So it is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption. This weeks picture has been in my folder for a few months, and I think you'll like it!

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.

Here's one to get you started!:
This is a no training wheels zone!

Stuff I found this week:

Signbot Make your own cyber scrolling LED sign!

Speak-N-Spell As any 80's child knows, this is one vital part for 'phoning home.'

Road Sofa? Yes, a street legal sofa. 6 wheels, 87mph, 2 headlights, 1 house plant.

Letter To A Sales Clerk

Dear Sales Clerk at Computer Store;

I know you must be surprised to be receiving this letter. I would guess you probably don’t get much mail at work. I want to start by saying I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you’re in a job you cannot perform. Additionally that you have started to kid yourself, and your customers, into believing in skill that you neither possess, nor will ever acquire. I don’t mean any of this as a cut on you personally. I’m sure that there would be lots of places that your skills would be useful. Nothing comes to my mind right off the bat, but I’m sure we could find someplace for you outside the state mental system. Maybe you would be well suited for a career in management.

You might not remember me specifically as I’m sure the way we interacted yesterday is what you would consider, ‘quality customer service.’ People who are not in your position might call it something else, like annoying, stupid, or just plain imbecilic. Regardless I wanted to send you this letter to better help you in the future, or at least, purge the encounter from my system by writing it down.

When I came in the store, I was looking at computer parts and equipment. Additionally I spent some time browsing through video cards. I was doing this because, I enjoy to be near technology. It makes me happy to see all the equipment lined up on the shelf in pretty boxes and know what they are all for. I then picked up a video card box and started looking at the specifications. This was the point that we began our interaction. I’m sure that there are lots of elderly grandmothers buying video cards for their decrepit computers that could benefit from your expertise. I assured you I was fine and thanked you for your help.

This did not dissuade you from lying to me. You smiled, grabbed an expensive shiny box at random and began your dissertation. Your dissing array of manufactured knowledge was astounding. Even though I’ve been immersed in computing for over a decade, I’d never heard of the protocols and acronyms you rattled off. My favorite being APG ROM which sounds like a fantastic new invention from the future. Even the box itself was crying out with corrections on your ‘truths.’ When I called you on it, you merely shook your head as if to say, ‘Oh you poor soul. It’s a good thing I stopped by.” We chatted back and forth for a number of minutes before I could no longer stand it.

I thanked you again and left the store. I left not because I felt ashamed of being shown up by a lier, but because my brain was shrinking after our conversation. I wanted to get out of the store before I could no longer feed myself. Please don’t take this letter as a criticisms but as a warning from someone who longs for your own best interest. Please, get help. Soon. If nothing else, learn to say, ‘I don’t know.’ That would at least be a start.

Peter Brown
Stupid Customer #183652

Technical Trade Offs

I’m not here just to entertain but also to pump your brain full of worthless information that you might someday mistake for truth or wisdom. Keeping in that vein, I will answer a question from the rather light Kludgespot mailbag. Today’s question comes from, no other that my sole sibling, or Boston Love:
“How come the computer techies in an office can get you up and running but almost always leave something physical undone. i.e. My computer if half open and there are a million cords all undone under my cubicle. What gives?? Why don't they finish what they started?! - Boston Love"

The answer is actually rather simple, but I will need to give you a little geek understanding before I can really get to your answer.

First off is this simple philosophy, “In order for good things to happen to you, there must be a trade off.” Geeks are very well aware that, "You cannot have it all.”

The thinking is plain enough. If you want a ham and sour kraut sandwich you need to lose something. This could be something obvious like money, or the time required to eat it. It can also be more severe, like close friends, random acquaintances or your elite social standings. Nothing is free. Everything has it’s price. Even a good thing like losing weight means you will have to buy new clothes, which can be a costly undertaking. There is also the real chance you might have to give up eating anymore ham and sour kraut sandwiches. You need to be aware of the costs before you dive headlong into any endeavor.

Computing is no different. There is a favorite computer saying of mine which goes like this: “It is always something. Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't have all three).” This is the way the world works. If your computer starts smoking and you think something might be wrong, pause for a moment. You need to stop and ask yourself, How bad do you want it fixed? Should I call the office geek? Is it really worth having a poorly dressed, anti-social person under my desk for the next three days? Because that’s what it could take. Do you want that sort of stigma. Plan ahead, think about visitors, clients, and your own sanity. Geeks aren’t pretty, and you want to be sure you’re ready for the ordeal.

You might say “I have a tech who has no personalities flaws.” I say drop the bum! Anyone who is that polished is not a real geek, and simply a wolf in sheep's clothing. Or a normal well adjusted person with a pocket protector. Just as in anything, you have to make trade-offs. If you want to better understand computers, you have to spend time with them. Time that other people spend learning how to look people in the eye, smile, and string multiple thoughts together into coherent sentence structures. So the geeks give up social graces for computers. When a user calls we then have a dilemma. You see, we like computers and we want them to run well, but we don't want to deal with users more than we have to. As geeks we don’t want people calling all the time with petty problems, but we don’t want people to not need our help. This is the trade off we deal with everyday. Social interaction for knowledge of computing. Because of this, we cannot let others get out of their trade offs. You must pay the piper.

So the answer to your question comes down to this, sometimes fixing a computer is fairly simple and you will not need a geek at your desk for the next three days. Which means you could possibly get something for nothing. To a geek, this is not acceptable. To help keep the universe consistent, and make us feel better, we do our best to lend a hand and make you as miserable as we are. To accomplish this we will try to make a small job look as difficult as possible. This helps to adjust for it's lack of universal cost. If that is not possible then we need to leave things a rye, or create new issues. We do this, to share with the users the pain that they might otherwise get out of. This isn't incompetence, this is just for your own good. Trust me.

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't have all three). I hope that fully answers your question Boston Love.

Want to have your question answered?
Email Me:kludge@anastrophe.com

The Party

“Alright everybody, five minutes to game time! We got it all! Forty-two inch high definition plasma screen!"


"Hot wings, chips, dip, drinks, and sausages!"


"And this year, no Melvin! The only thing were missing are four hot deep dish pizzas that should be here any minute!”

[bing bong]

“And there they are. I’ll be right back.”


“Hey you’re late! Do I get an discount or something?”

“I’m sorry I had a little trouble figuring out where the party was...”


“Happy to see me?”

“How did you...?”

“At a loss for words I see?"

"Melvin...You weren't suppose.."

"Don’t worry I always know what to say! I have also been thinking a lot about super bowl extra large. For instance-”

"Super bowl what?"

"Super bowl, extra large! I've been working on my game lingo!"

“Forty. Last year was super bowl forty. This year is forty-one. XL and XLI are Roman numerals. It’s a football tradition to use them instead of regular numbers.”


“I don’t know! Who cares? Maybe they thought it added a bit more dignity to it or something. I really don’t have a clue.”

“Anyway so last year we had that long conversation about half-backs...”

"I recall."


“Yes, in fact I have thought about it quite a bit in the last year. That conversation lasted right through the 43-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass that essentially secured the game.”

“Wow, I didn’t know our conversation meant that much to you. I’m glad to hear you still remember it.”

“Believe me Melvin, I’ll never forget it.”

“Anyway about half-backs...”

“Melvin, Wait."


"How did you know where the party was? No one called you, right?”

“A-ha! See! I knew it!”

“Knew what?”

“You said ‘no one called’ and it just confirmed what I had already assumed.”

“[sigh] Which was what?”

“That it was a secret party. And that you wanted the guests to try and figure it out where it was on their own."

"Why would I do that?"

"That way you didn’t get any losers at your party. Like that bunch of mush-heads you had last year. Eat, yell, boo. How long can a person endure such company?”

“I was thinking the same thing actually...”

“So I went to your house and you weren’t there.”


“But your neighbor said something about how hard it was to get your TV in your car..."

"I need to have a chat with Ted..."

"...he then said you made three trips back home, and that each trip took approximately twenty five minutes."

"...a nice long chat..."

"...I then used my computer based mapping program to pinpoint each of your known friends houses and then I calculated which you could be making deliveries to in that time frame."

"Maybe we can go hunting together."

"First I tried Kevin's, and his wife must have been in on your game, because she tried to put me off the trail.

"Good ol' Laura."

"But I kept at it! I then tried Ralph's house and someone let the dogs loose on me. luckily I'm quite nimble and was able to escape with only my corduroy cuff as a casualty."

"...better luck next time Butler..."

"I then figured you must be at Doug's place, and well, here we are!"


"I was quite a test of fortitude and cunning. I must give you credit for dreaming that up!"

"Yeah...Thanks. Well, I guess since you went through all that trouble, you should come inside and watch the game."

"Thank you!"

"Too bad the pizza guy hasn’t gotten here yet.”

“Oh. I sent him away!”

“What! Why?”

“Four deep dish pizzas! That's just ridiculous to think, that anyone else would be able to find this party besides me! Especially with the sort of friends you keep!”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Why Game

Welcome to another edition of the Lazy Thursdays Blues. The Caption game has been going rather well. I have been stocking up on caption pictures and always enjoy seeing everyones creativity!

Today I thought I'd try something else. It should be pretty simple and possibly fun. I call it the Why Game. This isn't like that annoying game you play with a six year-old. Instead I will pose a question and you will give me an answer. The answer can be ridiculous, funny, serious or. whatever. If you know the real answer, post it, if not just have fun. The only real rules are these two:

1. As always, keep it clean.

2. No looking up the real answer.

So let's give it a try! Remember this is less an exercise of WHAT you know but more in your wit or creativity!

"Why do men have decorative buttons on their dress coat sleeves?"

Here's one to get you started

Thought up by women, they serve as a painful reminder to men who ignore tact and wipe their mouths in nice resturants, with their sleeves, instead of their napkins.