20 Rules Of Halloween Etiquette

Fernando over at Picando Codigo and I were going to attempt another joint "20 Things I Learned" list for Halloween. While we both were willing, it seems we were a little shy on items. Actually Fernando had 5 and I had none. So... I thought I'd try a different approach.

  • If you going to go trick-or-treating you need to have a costume

  • If you can drive to my house, you can't have any of my candy

  • As parents you're allowed to siphon Snickers and Reese Peanut-Butter Cups from your children's Halloween bags. You know your parents did the same to you.

  • As children you're allowed to hide Snickers and Reese Peanut-Butter Cups in your pockets. Know that your kids will pull this on you someday.

  • Three knocks on the door or two doorbell rings are sufficient. I'm coming! Relax!

  • I give out more candy for kids in cute costumes than zombie death lords... go figure.

  • Kids: Eat all the candy you can tonight, for tomorrow it might disappear.

  • You can scare all the people you want today.

  • People want to be scared on Halloween. So oblige them.

  • Even if children run away sobbing from your house with fear, just smile and say "Happy Halloween!"

  • Fathers love scaring children. I can't explain it, it just is.

  • People expect to see strange things on Halloween

  • On Halloween it it perfectly acceptable to walk around town in your PJ's

  • A smile and a well place "This is my costume" will fix any odd looks

  • Any 3 year olds dressed like the devil by their parents, will need serious therapy at some point in the future.

  • While carving up a squash would seem odd any other time of year, at Halloween we simply label it "Tradition" or "Good Fun" and it all makes sense.

  • Kids: Always accept what is offered while trick-or-treating. You can throw it away later

  • Parents: No child wants a box of raisins in their trick-or-treat basket. Let's just give healthy a rest for today, okay?

  • Dogs or cats should not be dressed up. Period. (apologizes to those who disagree)

  • Have fun and Happy Halloween!
  • Hoisting The Jolly Roger

    Upon reading the title of todays post, you might be asking yourself one of two questions:
    "Why more pirates Peter?"
    "How in the world did I get to this stupid page?"

    As for the later, I cannot begin to understand the inner workings of search engine algorithms, let me instead take a stab at the former.

    I imagine it's because they live rather short and exciting lives. Out of the reach of the law, pillaging the innocent, robbing those who happen to have more than them, and then spending that loot on their own vein pursuits. What other profession offers these draws, with the possible exception of working at the IRS? The main advantage over working for the federal government of course, is not being required to wear shoes and getting to carry around a blunderbuss.

    I always like being able to work the word blunderbuss into a post.

    Generally by this time of year, I've purged many of my pirate urges. As the build up of September 19 comes and goes, most things pirate-like go with it. Sadly this year, while everyone was enjoying their pirate levity, I was busy yelling at my department manager. I suppose this hostility could have been the platform for a classic mutiny, but all it did was sink my frigate. So with "Talk Like a Pirate Day" behind me and a Star Wars party closing in front of me, I find that I still have a heap of pirate urges to purge.

    Just recently I've been feeling trapped. Like the routine of life has got me down. Work, coffee, sleep, coffee, home, coffee, work. It's a good job and a good home and the coffee really isn't that bad either, but I can't help feeling unhappy. Like I just need to feel the spray of salt water on my face and the looming threat of scurvy at my heels.

    There are just times in your life when you want to set yourself leeward to run along side a speeding sloop packed with treasure. There you are, swinging from the jib, heading loft with a scabbard held fast in your sparsely toothed mouth, coming in for the kill. After a hard day of piracy, dividing the booty with your mates and setting sail for the first port to spend your ill gotten gains on wine, women and song.

    Sure the law might catch up with you soon and demand you get current with both your personal hygiene and that whole slew of back taxes, but for now you don't care. It's just you and your smelly unwashed shipmates spending someone else's hard earned coins, planning the next big run. For now there are no beards to be shaved, no reports to file, no meetings to attend and nothing is on fire. Well actually there might be, but you lit it yourself, with a torch in one hand and a huge toothless smile on your dirty face.

    Inventing Potato Chips

    There are few things as aggravating as losing. Especially when losing means winning. To pour into a task all of your hostility, animosity and general disgust only to have it come out for good is about a poor an outcome as you could hope for. To have your spite washed away by happiness and joy, you lost the battle but won the war.

    George Crum was a cook at the Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York. On a summer day in 1853 a customer complained that Crums fries were too thick and sent them back. Annoyed, the cook sliced them thinner and sent the plate back to the customer. The unhappy customer still persisted that the food was wrong and requested Crum to fix it, yet again. At this point Crum was mad. So in order to get back at the complaining patron he sliced the potatoes paper thin, deep fried them and sent them back.

    I now have a mental image of George Crum I would like to pass on. He was an older man part African American part American Indian. He had also been a trapper and probably was a man who was a bit rough around the edges. I imagine that someone sending food back twice to his kitchen really got his hackles up.

    Keep in mind too, that in 1853 you ate fries with a fork, and so for all intents and purposes, this cuisine was completely inedible. It was intended to be so. Because Crum was mad. So there he sits, on the edge of the kitchen, listening for the dissatisfied cries of the persistent patron. With a smirk of joy on his face. Sort of like the Grinch on the top of Mt Crumpet, with his hand to his ear. But what does he get?

    Praise. The customer loved them. He loved them. He thought they were the most wonderful things he'd ever had. He sent thanks to the kitchen and Crum was congratulated. In his vengance, the customer found joy. In fact they were so popular Crum opened his own restaurant. This crusty old trapper with spite in his heart was soon the toast of town. And I don't have to tell you how well his invention, that he dubbed "Saratoga Chips", has fared.

    Now that being said, I have to wonder, did this ever upset him? I mean really, the point, was to anger the man. Make no mistake, George had to feel a slight dissatisfaction in pleasing the man that had embarrassed him and insulted his cooking. I've often wondered if Crum ever considered the matter a loss, or if the chip was enough to console him. I wonder.

    20 Signs You're Addicted To Caffeine

  • You get a headache if you don't have caffeine every day

  • You've never skipped a day to find out

  • You have a 23 second attention span

  • You have a monogrammed coffee scooper

  • You never speak in complete sentences

  • You sleep 3 hours every night, whether you need it our not

  • You have a Mt. Dew tattoo

  • You run everywhere

  • Walking makes you nervous

  • Actually, everything makes you nervous

  • You have more coffee mugs than plates

  • Workers at the coffee shop, start your drink before you order it

  • You've never met a double-shot of espresso you didn't like

  • You drink French Roast to come down

  • You don't do instant

  • If you ever did, you would never tell anyone

  • You buy your weekly soda supply at the warehouse store

  • You love bromated vegetable oil

  • Your leg involuntary shakes

  • You just spent the last 16 straight hours gaming and you still feel awake

  • Originally posted on Legal Addictive Stimulants

    Memory Foam Mattress

    I saw an ad for a memory foam mattress last night. Something about it struck me funny. I'm not even sure why, but the idea of the foam being like,

    "He's coming home tonight! I have to tell you nightstand I'm not looking forward to it."


    "Why?! Because some idiot scientist got the crazed idea to give me a memory! Why? So I can recall the crushing feeling of his tossing and turning all night!? So I recall every last crumb of food and punch spilled on me and ground into my material by his constant up and down trips to the restroom!? Do you have any idea what's it's like to be molded into the shape of a human buttocks every night?"


    "No, you don't! You have a hard lacquered surface! I mean, my one fitted sheet isn't much protection! I not sure I can stand it much longer! Plus, I remember every vicious detail, every second of my own destruction! And the worst part is, its what I was made for! Can you believe that!? Designed to be tortured and engineer to remember it. And they talk about cruelty to animals!"

    "I'm sorry-"

    "I know, and what's sad is that I can't talk about it to anyone."

    "But you're talking to me about it right now."

    "Yes, but tomorrow you won't even remember we had this conversation."

    "Why do you say that?"

    "Because, I've been telling you this for the past 2 years!"

    "Oh. I'm sorry. Well... It can't last forever."

    "Sigh...no, not forever. I guess that's true. Too bad I'm rated for over 20 years. Only 18 more to go."

    I don't know, kind of makes you feel bad for it. That's why I don't think I could get one. It just wouldn't feel right to do that to a mattress.


    Why do people gesticulate when talking on the phone? It's not like anyone can see them doing it? Who does it benefit? To me it seems like a very unusual habit. Which is why I can't understand why I seem unable to stop myself from doing it.

    Even as I type, I will at times pause and point at the screen with one finger to sort of get my baring and make sure I know what's going on. If I don't do this, I cannot continue. If for some reason I was not allowed to gesture with my hands, my brain would stop working. I could not think, type or talk.

    As far as I can tell my brain runs on the kinetic energy. The source is generated from the motion created by my hands and arms. Without that energy, blood would stop flowing and my thought train would derail. I can go long hours without moving my arms, but subsequently no thoughts would pop into my head. Additionally I can think without talking, but I must move my arms. I can be seen in a crowd, rubbing my nose, waving my hands and gesturing at the sky. Ignore it, I'm just thinking.

    It occurs to me as I write this that there might now be an explanation as to why I seldom dream. Normally I'm a very heavy sleeper and as such almost never move. I usually only dream if I toss an turn all night, but mostly this isn't the case. I cannot relay to you the number of times my wife has said to me, "I thought you were dead last night." To which I say "I'm sorry." She will then follow that up with something like, "If your back hurts today, its because I started pounding on it last night till moved."

    Some people might see this as an affliction, but not me. I feel that if I have to put a little real energy into my brain to keep it cranking out the esoteric nonsense, that normally flows from it and prevent me from drooling all the time, then it is worth it. By the way, I just spread my hands open wide and beckoned to the sky with them. As if to say, "The end."

    20 Reasons Why Coffee Is Better Than A Dog

  • Coffee doesn't poop.

  • Coffee will wake you up when you want, not the other way around.

  • You can bring coffee into any hotel room without extra charge.

  • Coffee doesn't shed on the furniture.

  • Coffee won't chase cats. Though you might if you've had too much coffee.

  • You never have to scold your coffee.

  • If you get some coffee on your pants, you won't be outcast for the rest of the day.

  • The best cup of coffee might cost you 6 dollars. The best dog, 6,000 dollars.

  • Coffee will never chase your car. Though if you leave your cup on someones roof, you might chase theirs.

  • When you take a walk with coffee, you don't need to bring a plastic bag.

  • If you French press your dog, you might get arrested.

  • Coffee can keep you up all night, and there might be barking, but it's different.

  • You never have to wonder where your coffee's tongue has been.

  • You can have seven cups of coffee in one room, and not one piece of furniture will get knocked over.

  • If you're curious what you're drinking, you can read the label, and not smell the cups behind.

  • You can have your coffee in any restaurant.

  • Coffee won't beg for table scraps.

  • Coffee smells good, even when watered down.

  • If you lose your coffee, you don't need to post a reward.

  • When you're done with coffee, you can just throw it away.

  • Originally posted on Legal Addictive Stimulants

    20 Signs You're An RPG Addict

  • Countless hours of your life have been absorbed by conversations with NPC's

  • You named your favorite pen "Foe Slayer"

  • When you put on your shoes each morning you upgrade your AC by 2.

  • During introductions you give your class. "Hello, I'm Peter, level 15 monk."

  • Some days, you wish you'd brought a broadsword.

  • When people ask you about your background you say, "I was raised by wolves. +2 DX, +1 CN, -3 IN."

  • People have learned to avoid such conversations with you.

  • You roll twenties. Enough said.

  • You grade all work assignments based on XP gains.

  • You tell annoying co-workers that, if they don't leave your office, you'll to go into unstoppable Barbarian Rage.

  • You look forward to side quests.

  • You think of Mt Dew as mana potion.

  • You can't explain any of this to your non gaming friends.

  • They probably wouldn't listen anyway.

  • You believe your baseball hat is a +3 to CH.

  • You pwn n00bs.

  • You find yourself casting spells on jaywalkers and tailgater's.

  • You refer to all of your acquaintances by their alignment. "He's chaotic neutral, but we still get along."

  • There's always time for "one more quest".

  • If you are addicted, you hope they never find a cure!

  • Terms for N00bs:
    Alignment - Good, Neutral, Evil and so forth.
    AC- Armor Class
    DX- Dexterity
    CH- Charisma
    CN- Constitution
    IN- Intelligence
    N00b- Newbies, babies, whiners or losers.
    NPC- Non-Playing Character
    Pwn- To beat, win, or absolutely destroy
    XP- Experience


    So as I sat there in my living room, Isaw an ant on the wall. And I was impressed because I realized that it was walking upside down. It probably had no clue that it was doing this. To that ant my ceiling was the ground, and my ground was the ceiling. How awesome! How interesting it would be to have no perspective on gravity. As I sat marveling at the ant and it's usual freedom, another thought popped into my head.

    "Why is there a filthy scavenger in my house!"

    Ants. I despise these little beasties. They are the antithesis of all the capital values I hold dear. Stealing from others, living off good honest people and trying to pass that off as hard work. We are all impressed that you can carry a Volkswagen Beetle on your back but no one invited you to our picnic! Go away and stop stealing my food!

    Why can't they go out and get a job like everyone else? Seems like they are enterprising enough! Why do they have the right to come into my house and eat all the maple syrup? What do I have to do, lock all of my pantry goods into an air proof vault to keep the nasty scavengers out?! They're like a bunch of raccoons at a camp-out. At least raccoons have the decency to come at night, and try to do it without your knowledge.

    Not ants! No sir! They are just as proud as uncle Larry in his moose lodge cap and boxer shorts, out for the world to see, marching across your counter tops in broad daylight! Like they deserve to raid your grape jelly jars and light margarine tubs. (I hope all those trans fats do you in!)

    So keep mowing down armies of ants with a paper towel and a bottle of 409 to try and cut down the advancing columns of insects carrying off your baby's breakfast. It does little good, as they are constantly replenishing their ranks! You're now chasing ants around the yard stomping on them and throwing poison sticks down every crack you can find! As if they would understand your chides and insults, and finally get the hint that they are an unwanted guest in your home.

    Now all you can do is wait. Wait and see if they eat the poison, or decide to come back inside for some sausage and eggs. All the while you are wishing that maybe they will go next door for a while, or possibly find a nice berry bush they can raid. Anything, anything to leave your house alone.

    Current Life Tracks

    Recently I've been listening to a lot of music to get me through my days here. I figured I try something new and share some of those with you. Somewhere between Rock and Pop is usually where my taste in tunes lay. As long as I can hear the lyrics.

    Thousand Foot Krutch - Breathe You In

    The Afters - Beautiful Love

    Collective Soul - Better Now

    Keane - Crystal Ball
    Some days I'll play this track 12 to 15 times... I need an intervention...

    20 Things I Learned From My Manager

  • Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, manage.

  • Numbers don't reflect reality, they create it.

  • Overlord Boss: Micromanaging you to an early grave!

  • When in doubt, call a meeting.

  • The only thing that would make life better is another pie chart.

  • It might be the best idea on Earth, but if you can't make me understand it, it's worthless.

  • I'll never get it.

  • The only constant is ignorance.

  • My door makes me special.

  • If managing is an art, then I'm a finger painter.

  • Everyone below me is an idiot, everyone above me is a deity.

  • Never measure, cut a dozen times.

  • Open door policy. If it's open, I'm out.

  • Promises were made to be broken.

  • Bitterness is the fuel that makes this office run!

  • If it can't be graphed, it's not important to me.

  • There's no money for training, so stop asking! Oh and remember I'll be gone next week at a convention in Palm Springs.

  • When you start to speak, I begin thinking about the features on my new Blackberry.

  • Don't mistake my nodding for understanding. It's just a reflex.

  • Your knowledge is an affront to my managing skills.
  • The Passing Of Gnats

    Yesterday, for no reason at all, a good gnat died. It died in the most useless and senseless way possible. It suffocated to death in my nose. Additionally it died thinking that I was the enemy.

    As I was standing outside, contemplating torching my place of business to the ground, just to see it burn, a gnat flew up. It must have sensed my rather unpleasant thoughts because it started to flutter excitedly under my nose, like a divining rod that reads evil. In an attempt to remove the annoyance from my face, I waved my hand at it.

    The goal was to move it along. This isn't to say that I've never murdered a gnat in cold blood. I have. As a matter of, fact had I not been so upset about my day/week/month at work, I would have killed the little dust speck right then and there. Instead I decided to give it a free pass, a proverbial "get out of jail free" card.

    Apparently the gnat didn't get my meaning and, fearing for it's life, it sought the first hiding place it could. This was a mistake.

    I stumbled back slightly when then the flying dot launched itself at full speeds into my left nostril. I have to say, that even though this creature was only a tiny spot of life, it managed to create quite a lot of stir up there. A very unpleasant circumstance. After a second or two I expelled the irritant, even though my nose would twitch for hours later. I'm sorry to say, he didn't survive the encounter.

    Makes you wonder how often we do this ourselves... When we think there are no more option left to us, we choose the path towards destruction out of sheer desperation. When, if we had stopped for a moment and considered our situation, we could have shortly been on the path to freedom. It's strange what you can learn from the passing of gnats.