Oh Progress Bar

Progress bar, oh progress bar
How you taunt at me

I wait and watch with faith eternal
I pray on bended knee

I see you jump from ten to twenty
Just to sit at thirty-three

I sit and stare as nothing happens
As if my gaze you see

Soon as I start to push the button
Once more alive you'll be

On we go, up through the count
Now eighty-five I see

And as we reach for ninety-nine
I pulse with energy

The screen goes black then a beep
The cursor doth decree

That you've crapped out for the fourteen time
And I must punish thee...

Peter Brown 2011


Confirming what real computer users have all known for quite a while now.

Yeah...it's probably just my personal Apple envy, but it's still funny.

Man Week 2011: Manly Check

Manly or Not Manly?

Not Manly. And freaking weird...

Sorry. No dice.

Riding a bear? Possibly Manly. Now if it was alive...

Dude! You rock!! Extra points for the disgraced look of your spouse!

No. But...funny!

Whoa. Clearly not...

All depends on what happened next but for now... Nope.

Holy fuchsia cape Batman!! No..

This one is up for debate.

Yes. This is definitely a real man.

Man Week 2011: Day 4

Happy St. Patrick's Day's! You'll notice Kludge Spot is sporting green in a nod to the Emerald Isle! As we celebrate Irish heritage in America we welcome you to turn your beverages green, talk in a bizarre leprechaun accent, and eat potatoes with boiled meat. Shrug. Of course, this will all be made easier after a few pints of porter! OH, and don't forget to look for that pot at the end of the rainbow!

Now....Welcome to day 4 of Man Week 2011. So far I've alienated my wife, upset close friends and destroyed my page count for the week. All in all another successful man week!!

So what do we have in store for today? Men in social situations, a study in contrast.

"Peter can you call Carl and see if he's coming?"

ring. ring

"Carl? It's Peter."
"Hey. So are you coming over?"
"Cool. Later"

"He's coming hon."
"What time?"
"I dunno..."
"Is Lucy feeling better?"
"I dunno..."
"Did you two actually talk?!"

Of course women will read this and think, "That's the same as my man!" and men will look at this and shrug. They will shrug because they see nothing wrong with this. We called and preformed the exact function required. No more no less.

In contrast:

"Hon can you call Sally and see if she's coming?"

"Sally?! It's June!!"
"June, I was just thinking about you! How did you know!?"
"Intuition. Ha! How strange that is? I was just sitting here yesterday when the phone rang and you'll never guess who was calling me...."

-=20 Minutes Later=-

"So is she coming?"
"Oh, right. I forgot to ask her that... Let me give her another call."

I could not fill a 20 minute conversation with a man on the telephone. Most men would be hard pressed to fill twenty minutes face to face. It's just not who we are.

For the uniformed I present a quick primer of men conversations:

  • Watching T.V.: Not a time for idle chit chat. Sarcasm, cheering and moans are allowed as long as no response from your fellow viewers is required.

  • Playing Games: Whether physical, video, darts or otherwise this is not the time to talk about your feelings. You may taunt, jeer, brag, gloat, belittle and otherwise humiliate your friends. I find that once competition begins all manner of rudeness is expected, understood and ranked. Men who are witty, or especially cruel are highly ranked, while those with a more tender personality will be relegated to refreshment duty. Even with all this jeering and poking fun, no one will get upset and no one will leave the room crying or even hold a grudge.

  • Restroom: DON'T SAY A SINGLE WORD! Do your business and get out.

  • Meal Time: Again, men are objective focused. When eating meals in a group of men you will not hear much conversation. Chewing, groaning, and the occasional utterance of approval for the food is all that you will hear, unless a belching contest erupts.

  • Gathered Round: This is the inner sanctum of male conversation, when men huddle round an object. This is where the lengthly male conversion is born. They will not talk for hours about their children, feeling or gossip but find a huddle and you will finally hear the men. I've seen hours of chat erupt from a huddle by a grill, a car, pair of tickets to the game, a new tool or even a broken pipe. These are man objects and all men feel compelled need to explain the best/right/only/improved method for fixing/using/understanding them. I've literally passed whole afternoons in conversions with other men and then realized we never even asked each other our names.

  • So there you have it. Men and the art of the conversation. Why chat when a nod, expression or simple handshake will suffice? We can and do converses but not about anything so frivolous as what's happening in our lives or what we feel about things. That is understood by how we live. The conversation should not be overused on these things. And that's just the way I see it.

    Man Week 2011: Day 3

    As I sit here at my desk munching away on my salad, that my wife prepared for me today at my request, I cannot help but wonder how such a meal would be viewed by our manly predecessors.

    "Nog, I have returned with food!!"
    "Ugh!! What have you slain."
    "Well actually its a little something I like to call... Green Stuff"
    "Green Stuff?!! Oh!! Lizard?
    "Where did you kill this strange green beast?!"
    "Actually it's a mixture of leaves, pine cones for texture and a sweet juice squeezed from the blue ball tree..."

    Needless to say Ugh's offering was not well received. Additionally the clan noted that he tasted much better to them then this is 'Green Stuff" he invented. To this day men are vary of salads and would much rather partake of food that tends to bleed and leaves a smelly trail of droppings.

    Not to say that men don't appreciate the finer things in life. We do, and can, but it is not at our core. It is something we have to reach out for. Something we have to be willing to try. At our core we inherently understand that pigs, cows and pizza trees exist solely for our sustenance. Additionally these things could be had with minimal effort. I cannot tell you how many times this has taken place in my house

    "I'm getting hungry..."
    "I can make something."
    "How long will that take?"
    "I dunno 30 minutes or so. What do you feel like."
    "Too stinking long. Lets order out and it will be delivered in a hour."

    To me this makes perfect sense. I'd rather do what I like for an hour than wait while something is cooked. The wife has not grasped on this concept. What's not to get? I get food, with no prep time, no cleanup and don't have to smell it while it cooks. Honestly men, who among you hasn't resorted to cooking only because it was too late to get delivery?

    The only exception to this is cooking on the grill. I love cooking on the grill and will jump at any chance to wield an open flame. Some part of my childhood manifests itself in the delight of touching and using the matches that got me in trouble more time than I care to admit. Men and fire go to together like girls and gossip.

    So in summary. If it can be killed we'll eat it. If there is a path of least resistance, we'll find it. And lastly, if it needs to be blackened, make sure you call for a man.

    Man Week 2011: Day 2

    It seems I may have lost a few of you with yesterday's post. I fully intended it to be amusing and enjoyable. It turned out to be neither. So... I re-wrote it about 2 hours later. It is now just a brief intro for the rest of the week. Sometimes I'm on and sometimes I'm off. It's part of this media form known as blogging. Regardless I'm ready to try again!

    So for the second post of Man Week 2011 I'd like to strike at a part of all men that is at the center of our being. A real representation of what it means to be a man, and something that if we were separated from, would take away much of what we are. That's right, you guessed it... competition!!

    Men love competition. Whether that competition is for who is the smartest, who is the strongest, who is the fastest or even who is the dumbest. If there is a challenge to be had, men will fight for it. This is evident after just 20 minutes in a room with more than one man present. If one guy does something the other will try to outdo him. This could be as simple as a belching contest. There is nothing like the thrill of victory while you send out a resounding burble to room of impressed fellow men. As losers clutch their sour stomachs and nod in acceptance of their defeat, one lone soul triumphantly gloats and takes that final swig of soda.

    If any girls have gotten this far in the post they have just wrinkled up their noses in disgust and bewilderment. Trust me girls all men have done this. Even your man. In fact any man who claims to have not been party to a belching contest is a liar and phony. Do not trust him. To relate this to the broads, I would say a male belching contest is a direct corollary to a girl, "I got the purse for this much" contest. And for the record no man alive should ever be caught bragging about how cheap he bought something. This will not garner support from the other males and might call for the revoke of his man card. See previous years post on The Man Card.

    When it comes down to it we are always competing with other men. I'm reminded of something I heard Robin Williams say. I cannot find the exact quote but it was to this effect:

    "God decided men should not have babies because he knew they would turn childbirth into a sport."

    Come on now, admit it. You know he's right. I can picture it now, with markers every 2 yards worth increasing points, doctors and nurses with catchers gloves, announcers lamenting poor performances and a crowd of fans wearing giant foam diapers! It would be awesome.

    "Garcia had a strong third trimester and is a serious contender here today, but you never know, Mitchell could be sporting triples. That would certainly put him at the top of this field!"

    So ladies who wish to castrate men of this vital urge with friendly games and scoreless rounds, know that men are never in agreement, even when they say they are. Care to put this to the test? Simply ask any father the ending score of the local "fair and equal" sanitized little league game. He'll know exactly who won and won lost. As he should, for competition is just part of manhood and a vital part of life.

    Man Week 2011: Day 1

    Last week Google was pitching March 8th as International Womans Day. I had to laugh. Not because there is anything inheritanty wrong with womans day, but the fact that it need exist at all. Are women in need of any more recognition in this modern age? I think not. They are told from birth that they are special and to embrace being a woman. In a strange contrast, men are told that they should be less of what they are. Men.

    As an example. If a man does something the newspaper headlines would simply read:
    "English Channel crossed today"

    If a woman does the same thing years later, that same paper then will tout:
    "Woman braves English Channel for the first time!"

    Why? Because our world believes being female makes you special. Well guess what. Being male is pretty special too and I'm going to prove it! So in lieu of International Mans Day, it's time for the annual Kludge Spot celebration of MAN WEEK!

    This week we'll take another stab at that bastion of gruffness, girth and grunts; the male. We will tackle the reason men should be proud of how they were created and celebrate their differences. Posts might include topics from fishing, men in social gathering and what to expect from your trip to the barber shop. Of course we will allow the girls to have their say, but not the upper hand. Not this week ladies. This week, is just for us.

    Look for posts and updates all week as we celebrate the certain idiosyncrasies that make men what we are.

    For more Man Week fun be sure to stop by Fusion Ring.

    Talking To My TV

    If one should visit in my house
    They might surely hear me grouse

    For if the televisions on
    To it I am naturally drawn

    And for some reason I relay
    Whatever thought I wish to say

    Once the show has then begun
    Whether new or just re-run

    Something takes a hold of me
    And because of what I see

    I call out to give advice
    Or tell them that's overpriced

    Or warm them of a lurking soul
    Behind them on the lonely stroll

    Or tell them the facts are wrong
    As they orate to the throng

    Even wishing I was mellow
    I cannot help to stop the bellow

    I do not want for a reply
    It's just the nature of this guy

    Who cannot seem to help,
    Talking to his TV

    Peter P. Brown 2011


    The best sci-fi alien ever. So I eat whatever I want and I help populate a cute and totally harmless species? I'm in...

    Filling The Gap

    Here I sit on a foreign PC looking to fill a gap of time and waste approx 28 minutes and 30 seconds. As I think about it, this is a task for which I am singularly blessed. Who else can burn up spare time like me? So... lets recall what brings us to this lonely desk with neatly places pencil sharpeners, a box of Triscuits and the warm hum of 25 odd computers...

    Today I was sent out into the wilds of the unknown network topology. I was dispatched to solve a problem of my own creation. I, the network engineer damaged my child and without warning, and sent it's nodes into the playground of oblivion. This is not a good way to start off Monday.

    "What happened?"
    "The Sr. Network Engineer arrived and everything stopped working."

    I'd like to pretend that it didn't go down that way but I would only be fooling myself. I'll leave that trait to the users, thank you very much. No, I was at fault. I was... um... tinkering? Adjusting? Tweaking? No, I was 'fine tuning' the network. That sounds good. Not quite as blundering as tweaking or tinker and less precise than adjusting. Truth was, I was removing the superfluous bits of spleen when I accidentally nicked the liver. Sorry for the medical analogy, I've been watching back seasons of House MD.

    Anyhoo... The liver. It doesn't take kindly to being nicked. In fact it tends to bleed and do whatever else nicked livers do. Regardless, data access seems disrupted when it passed through the annals of this iron rich organ. People don't like data disruptions, or liver blood on their network packets.

    So here I am, with 14 minutes left to fill, waiting for the users to leave the severely kludged network so I can patch the switch, er liver.

    Sigh. Seriously the medical analogy is getting hard to maintain. Lets try again...

    I play around with switch
    I kill user access on network
    I go home
    Someone else fix network with duct tape on Friday
    I come in Monday to fix duct tape and my stupid mistake

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Shrug. Oh look, only 5 minutes left. Here comes Dr. Geek with his data scalpel!