Critial Errors Invites Kludge Spot Over

Gentle Reader;

I received a guest blogging invitation from my friend Andy over at his review blog, Critical Errors. Considering that I haven't been blogging here, I jumped at the chance to force my hand at writing something.

I was asked to do a Christmas themed review post. I decided on a review of snow.  So, I encourage you to drop in an have a look!

Hopefully that jump start will help me post more here as well.

Thank you for your continued patronage.

Editor and Chief

For the Love of Ants

What could be more noble than an ant? What creature could be a better example of what is right and good in the world? What person can not say that the studious, devoted, hard working ant was anything but the best that the insect world could create?

They aren't slimy like a worm. They aren't poisonous like a millipede. They don't consume their spouses like a preying mantis. They don't sting like a bee or stink like a beetle. I've never heard them disturb my peace like those loud, good for nothing grasshoppers. They don't suck your blood like a tick or make you itch like a louse. They are just devoted to their work.

They are true blue and loyal. They always obey their mother, and work tirelessly for the betterment of their colony. Ants can carry things much heavier than themselves. As any entomologist will tell you, that makes them the perfect Sherpa to scale any mountian with a pack full of food.

"Wait. Where did you guys get all that food?"
"My counter top!"
"How many of you are there?!"

What can be more lonesome than an ant? A filthy dirty scavenger! What creature could be a better example of a low life bottom feeder? Bees are like the farmers of the insects world. Cultivating pollen which will be converted into honey for their nourishment. They work the plants and add to the food supply of other animals. Worms recycle garbage into rich useable soil. And while quite macabre, at least the preying mantis supplies her own dinner. (I still hate grasshoppers though, nothing is changing that opinion.)

But ants?! What do they do. They invade! They steal. They do it so blatantly that you cannot ignore them. One or two become dozens. Dozens become hundreds and hundreds become thousands, until your entire kitchen counter top is black shifting mass of larceny!


Ants. There is no reasoning with their kind. All they understand is violence. I am a murder. I've killed hundreds. Thousands. They keep coming, but I will be victorious. I plan to eradicate an entire civilization. I have no remorse. How can you? If you show any weakness they will exploit it. There are no treaties, boarders or agreements. No, there is only one option; the ants must die.

The Mayans Were Right

I have been neglecting my blog, not because I have nothing to say, but because I cannot think of anything amusing. The truth is lately I've been rather depressed. As far as I'm concerned 2012 has lived up to all its dire predictions and I will not be the least surprised if the world came to a fiery end before I complete this posting.

March 2012

Dear Diary,
I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty good. I've lost over 30lbs of nasty clinging body fat since January 1st. My clothes feel better, I wake up on time and work has become rather interesting. 2012 is looking like a fairly good year!

April 2012

Dear Diary,
The wife thinks she's pregnant. I was supportive. but honestly I have to say, When a man spends a week recovering from a painful operation that will 'stop you from producing any more offspring' you presume all that pain and suffering had a point! It's like a contract. You let them slice open a sensitive area, while you're awake, and in return you don't have to buy any more diapers! I feel like someone is in breach of contract. Dear Lord in heaven, I think I need to go throw up again...

May 2012

Dear Diary,
Even though it turns out that I am completely infertile (thank you all that is holy) we have decided to sell our house. Hopefully it will all go according to plan...

June 2012

Dear Diary,
When I said hopefully it will all go according to plan, I meant my plan. Not some crazy persons plan! Some lunatics, going-to-walk-through-your-house-every-4-hours-and-make-you-leave-for-an-hour-at-a-time-but-not-put-a-offer-in-on-your-house, plan. That's not the plan I was working from. I cannot imagine this can go on forever.

August 2012

Dear Diary,
Apparently it can go on forever. Actually that's not completely true. We did get an offer, that after 17 days into escrow was pulled out from under us like the proverbial rug. I have nothing but good thoughts for Jose and Nubia with dreams of dry rot, infestation and adjustable rate mortgages with a non reputable leading houses in their immediate future.

September 2012

Dear Diary,
After two more deals have fallen through, we've decided to take the house off the market. I suggested we burn it to the ground in celebration. Patricia seems against the idea. Maybe she'll warm up to. Get it?!

September 2012

Dear Diary,   
Work sucks. I had to skip a training, got bumped off the one interesting project this year and now I cannot find a single reason to be motivated to come in and work. Well... I do have to pay my mortgage. Is that irony or just a terribly sad truth of life?

September 2012

Dear Diary,
It's a good thing I lost those 34 lbs in March because if I hadn't I would be 70lbs heavier right now and not just 36lbs....

November 2012

Dear Diary,
The election is over. I don't want to talk about it...

November 2012

Dear Diary,
December is fast approaching. I'm looking forward to 2013. Or an asteroid falling on San Francisco and sending us all into the drink. I'm not sure which sounds better at this point.

Another Day At The Office

As I sit here in my office staring at quad core computers, large LCD monitors, high end speakers, company laptops and friendly office white boards all I can think is, "I really want to steal something!" Must be September 19th again...

Pirates are a free and happy bunch. Back in a time when men in powdered wigs, breeches, high heels and ruffled collars ruled the land what was a free thinker to do if you wanted to get away from it all?

Not working meant ruining up debts, and debtors prison in the eighteenth century was not a friendly sort of place. If you didn't live among the gentry you could always try your hand at manual labor, but the outlook offered a fairly diminishing return.

Well, you could pack your bags, move to Brazil and start up a coffee plantation! But that took a fair amount of money. You had to buy the land, buy the trees, buy the slaves. Spend, spend, spend. Plus, think of all the responsibility it requires to tend to an enterprise such as that? No...after a quick assessment the idea was really beginning to look a lot like work.

So? Ditch the hygiene and grab your cutlass.

A pirate ship offered something for nothing. Much like the modern welfare system only without the hassle of government forms, nagging dependents or pesky calls from social services inquiring into your supposed daily job hunt. No, piracy was real freedom.

No rules, no regulations, no disinfectants and a projected lifespan shorter than the average celebrity marriage. Plus if anyone wanted half of you booty you could just cut his throat and be on with it.

Sure there were some drawbacks. First you were on ship filled only with men which means you had to wait until you set into the slip before you could find someone to wash your duds or darn your socks. But at least you never had wipe your feet to enter a room, figure out which towels were for the guests, decipher complex emotional states or let your mates have 'just a sip' from your mead mug.

The good though, far out-weighed the bad. For as the stiffs on land, with their powdered wigs, were just a few coins richer for their days labor, you had accomplished so much more.While your dirty shipmates sing songs and eat roasted pig, you sit comfortably gulping down your rum and telling the bar wench of your day. A day ended by you burning that trim young sloops mast to a smoldering heap and then loading up all the heavy trunks into your waiting hold. Sure, you tell her, It was hard work relieving the passengers of all those shiny bits and expensive clothes before bidding them off this mortal coil with a lead ball from your blunderbuss but you managed to get through it. She exchanges you a refill for an ill gotten coin from your ever diminishing purse and you sit back and bask in the glow of your life choice.

Ah another workday is done and you're eager for the spray of salt air in your lungs, the smell of burning timbers at your nose and cries of those poor saps who will be supporting the next evenings purchases and slightly embellished stories ringing in your dirty pirate ears.

5 Haiku's: Buffalo Wing Regret

Wings of buffalo
Why do you torture me so?
I love to hate you

Wings of buffalo
When will you ever let me go?
My belly begs for death

Wings of buffalo
Oh spices you burn my tongue
Then tush as you go

Wings of buffalo
My toilet is quite displeased
I need more Clorox

Wings of buffalo
I'm sure I'll never have again
Until the next time

-Peter Brown 2012

Servicing The Car: Confessions of a Geek.

My truck has been making this funny noise for a while now. I really really really need to take it in for a service check but I hate doing it. Every time I turn my truck in for service I'm at the mercy of some who knows I don't have a clue.

So I'll call up and say, "Yes, my car is making a funny noise"

"Right. Bring her in!"

Obviously they cannot diagnose funny noises over the phone, that's not surprising. But what they can diagnose over the phone is a sucker. Which means when I drive up and get out, they know that I am a complete car moron. Mechanics love this. It means that they can say anything they want and I have to respond with, "Ah.. well that makes sense."

So I pull up and get out...

"So, did you hear that noise?"

"Yessir. Yep I sure do."

"Any idea what that is?"

"Well sir, that is probably the rear bushing. We need to see it and align your torque sensor."

"My what sensor."

"You torque sensor. Hopefully that's not blown!"

"Would that be bad if it had?"

"Well..." The technician holds back the laughter, "It sure wouldn't be very good would it?!"

"Ah. No, I mean. I guess not. How much are we talking here?"

"Well we won't know that till we slap her up on in the grease nest and see. How long have you been hearing this?"

"A week or so."

"Ah... well then, I imagine that the torque sensor has started to effect other systems by now."


"Yep. They'll do that you know."

"I didn't actually..."

"Well the manifold will start recalibrating it's alignment. So we'll have to give it the full overhaul."

"You still haven't said how much this will cost me yet..."

"Do you have a second mortgage?"


"Good. "

"That's not funny..."

"Sorry.  Let me have the keys and and we'll try to fix it by next weekend."

"That long?"

"Well, it's not easy work. I mean we have to drain the pan, and rework the hoses before we can even get to the torque sensor. Then we plug in the diagnostic station and run a full baseline. After that it's just test and retest until were sure the groove is wearing correctly."

Sigh..."Ah.. well that makes sense."

You Made Me Fat: A Blog of Blame

I started a new blog project. Something for the emotional binge eaters who need a need a platform for anonymous confession.

You Made Me Fat  Confessions of emotional eaters: A cathartic blog of blame.

In my mind this is a place for people to share what stresses or joys have led to a more full figure.  I of course will be adding my own revelations but will also be taking submissions. I'm am hoping for a bunch of emotional eating confessions.

Anonymous will be presumed, but of course if you want to be named I'll be happy to link back to your site as well. Check it out, and look for new content, or help add to that new content.

See the blogs sidebar for submissions. Send me a couple paragraphs, a couple words or just a picture.

Trust me, you'll feel better...

Giving Myself An Ulcer

I'm giving myself an ulcer. It's an early birthday present. I haven't done anything nice for me in a while and thought maybe I should correct that. So this is what I came up with. Loads of unnecessary stomach acid churned with my doubt, anxiety and penchant for eating away all my troubles. A truly unique present, that is presently always present.

So... We bought our house in January of 2005. What many now realized to be the highest peak of the California housing market in the last 20 some odd years, if not ever.  We sunk in about $100,000 of money that we made from a previous sale. After 7 years of blissful homeownership we have turned that $100,000 worth of equity into -$30,000.  I put it in red becuase it's so much more festive that way...

Hang on, I need a Tums.

Sigh. Okay, where was I? Right, drowning in a sea of former equity and listening to the sound of my stomach digesting its own lining.

One morning, in the not too distant past my lovely bride of 14 years turns over in bed and says, "Peter. I want to sell our house"

Not exactly what I was expecting, but okay. We had walked this path before about a year earlier and I had already decided that we couldn't possibly get what we needed to out of this place this we lovingly refer to as, "The place where our future died a cold and meaningless death." It's hard to put that on envelopes so we normally just abbreviate it as "home."

"We looked at the market just recently"
"I know, but I think it's possible."

After a brief conversation, I decided to acquiesce. I mean who cares what I think? If I'm right nothing will come of it and if I'm wrong... well, then we can sell this place and move into something more suitable.

"Let's try it."

So we did. And we are. The house has been on the market for about 10 days or so. I had forgotten what selling was like. The last time we sold we were in a boom market. We put our house on the market and had to beat away buyers with a stick. In fact we even got a bidding war and accepted an offer above our original listing.

That isn't what we've got now. In 10 day's we've had about a dozen and a half people come and look at it. Which means that at a moments notice we get two kids in the car and scramble around making the house look as inviting as possible. Counter tops are cleared of toys, towels, trinkets and tchotchkes.

These things are crammed in drawers, the dishwasher, the refrigerator or anywhere it will not be noticed by potential buyers. Including in the car with us.
Anyway that's been the last 10 days. Loads of lookers and no buyers. I feel like a retail clerk at the Neiman Marcus store. I have no idea what will be happening or if we will be moving or not, but the worrying about everything and stressing over things I cannot help to control is turning me into a nervous wreck.



Sorry, I just passed out there.
Calming down...

I'm not sure how I'm going to top this gift next year. Maybe I'll just give myself a lobotomy...

Bridge Sreet Re-visted

I'm re-vising one of my all time favorite posts. I got this crazy idea one day and it just sort of became this. Since there are so many new followers here, this should be something new for you... Enjoy!

"I said take Washburn Ave."

"I don't want to take Washburn, I want to take Bridge."

"Steve, you can't get to Madison from Bridge."

"Molly, I've been going Bridge to Madison for ten years, will you please stop trying to tell me how to drive."

"You should have taken Washburn."

"How is it you can't find your way to the grocery store unless you're a passenger in my car!?"

"You're just like your father. Steve, before I married you - LOOK OUT!"


"Steve, what happened?!"

"We hit something. I think it was a dog. Get out Molly, lets see if it's hurt."

"Oh. Its not moving. it dead?"

"Should we poke it with a stick?"

"Don't you think it's gone through enough! What is wrong with you! Get down there and see if it's still breathing!"

"Fine. ...He’s not breathing."

“Does that mean he’s dead?”

“I not a doctor Molly! I sell children's raincoats for a living! I don’t have a clue. Look, he’s not breathing and he’s not moving I think it’s safe to say he’s dead.”

"You should have taken Washburn."

"[sigh] Should we try and find it's owners?"

"Look at him Steve. He's clearly a stray, no collar, straggly, worn and tired. You should have taken Washburn!"

"Stop saying that! You don't think they have strays on Washburn! Look it was an accident okay! I'm sorry, I wasn't aiming for him Molly! I already feel horrible, you aren’t helping anything! Help me move him to the side."



"We have to eat him."


"We have to eat him Steve. We have to eat this dog."

"Molly, what in the world are talking about. Look just get in the car, I'll be there in a second."

"I'm serious. Look at this dog Steve. It looks horrible, like it was never loved. Liked no one cared for him, and before he got a chance to ever find happiness we come and hit him. We stole all his chances. We don’t even know his name! We need to eat him.”

“I feel bad about hitting this dog but I don’t see how eating him is going to make up for it Molly.”

“It will be a way to show him how we appreciate him. That we cared, that he meant something to us.”

“Like the worst memory of my life, followed by the worst meal?”

“I’m serious Steve.”

“So I am I! You are obviously traumatized by this and I understand. Please just try and relax Molly. I’ll deal with this. ”

“No Steve, I’m perfectly rational, and serious. I just couldn’t stand knowing that you and your stupid driving sucked the life out of this animal and the we just threw him to the shoulder and went on with our lives. He deserves to be loved and right now the only way we can do that is to eat him. Steve we have to do this!”

“This is ridiculous. People don’t eat dogs Molly! What if he’s diseased? What is someone finds out?! How would you explain this to your mother? Molly what if he tastes horrible.”

“I doesn't matter. It’s our duty Steve.”


“-Steve if you don’t do this I’ll never forgive you.”

“Fine. Molly. Fine. I’ll load him up into the trunk and we’ll take him home and eat him. I feel like some crazed redneck out on a hunting expedition. I just need a plaid shirt, five less teeth and a hat with those ear flaps!”

“Thank you Steve, we’re doing the right thing!”




“This is the worst dinner I’ve ever had.”

“You should have taken Washburn!”

Giving Away The Internets

Such a strange new world we find ourselves in. Something that was once a sought after commodity is now cheap currency on the world market. It used to be that the thing itself was worth something, but now everyone is just giving it away.

When did we start giving away the Internet? Who decided that we couldn't charge for this anymore? Why is everyone convinced that free Internet is what we need more of in this world? Not that I'm complaining. Well, maybe I am.

Do you remember the sound of dial-up? That sweet minute or so of anticipation while you waited with bated breath for the connection protocols to finish their handshake?

"Hello, sir"
"Good morning!"
"I'm looking for 33.6k"
"Sorry best I can do is 3200 baud"
"Ah.. are you sure? I can try back later?"
"No, no... that's the best we can do."
"Alright. Shake on it?"
"Agreed. Welcome to the Internet"

And then you were on the Internet and all else was near utopia. Chatting with people halfway around the world, electronic mail and text based gaming. Could the world possibly get any better? For me this experience cost me plenty. @ 16 I bought an AST computer for $2,100 from Circuit City.  I paid for my own phone line in my bedroom and paid monthly for my Prodigy service. And it was worth every red cent it cost me.

Now here we are in 2012 just giving it away.

Yesterday I spent most of the day setting up free WiFi in our buildings. Free. No strings attached. You connect, you get on and then browse the web for nothing. No $2100 computer, no phone line no prodigy service.

What do they think people in my office are going to use this for? Edification? Looking up facts for clients? Searches for how to replace commas in Excel spreadsheets with a return carriage? No. They can already do that on our corporate Internet connection. They will use free Internet browsing for all those things we are blocking on our corporate LAN. A direct stream to all the stuff I spend months of time try to protect the network from.

Who needs anti-virus, anti-spam, web filtering and IPS level protection when folks can now connect their corporate computers to the free Internet and get all that unhindered via the free Wi-fi?

Because people need the Internet, for checking Facebook, Googling pictures of Abraham Lincoln and reading stupid blogs...

Stealer Wheel Screwed My Algorithm

Apparently, adding Stealer Wheel to your Pandora stations is equivalent to flipping the "please play some crazy crap" toggle.


No, Pandora I don't want to listen to TeddyBears or Butthole Surfers...

Wireless Installation

Working in a small IT shop affords many benefits. One of the best is being able to perform so many different jobs. Today I found myself installing new wireless access points in one of our buildings.
These are little square devices that connect to the metal frameworks that support false ceilings. It allowed me to learn a couple of things.

1. Ceiling tiles are evil
2. People love to watch other people work

I have enough ceiling tile dust in my eyes, hair, ears and collected in my shoes and open pockets to tile the ceiling of a new building. I also have a pretty fare idea that I don't like the way ceiling tile dust tastes. Who needs fiber cereal when you could ingest ceiling tile dust.


Plus the little buggers take a downright maniacal pleasure in not functioning as designed. You can pop one out but have you ever tried to get one to re-seat properly in the framework? Impossible. Not going to happen. You need pop out an adjacent tile in order to wrap your finger around to push down the first one. Now of course you have a different tile up. Give it a wiggle. Nothing. A tap. Nada. Then you pry it, push it, squeeze it, grab it, force it, jam it and curse it. All the while teetering back and forth on your ladder trying to get some leverage on this horrible little beast!

So you end up having to pop up some 20 odd tiles moving the wedged up corner from tile to tile hoping that the next one will be slightly loose and just fall back down in place. As it was, of course, designed to do.

Luckily though, you're not alone. No sir, you've got an audience. A whole building of workers who never say hello, but will watch you out of the corner of their eye. If you turn around to look their heads whip back and they pretend that they didn't notice you.

"What? A 230lb tech wrestling ceiling tiles for the last 20 minutes? In this building?!"

Not that I really want to chat with anyone when I'm busying playing Whack-A-Mole with the tiles.

"Whatcha you doing?"
"Installing stuff"
"What kinda stuff"
"Cisco 1400 Wireless Access Points."
"For what?"
"Wireless. It's even in the name..."
"Why do you have to plug them in if they're wireless?"

So, I was on my last one of the day with very few interruptions. I'd gotten through almost all of my ceiling tile madness when someone rounds the corner and looks up at me.

"Whatcha you doing?"
Sigh... Here we go.

And then out of nowhere it came to me and I spurted this off without missing a beat:

 "As part of the new green initiative we're installing these new collectors. They absorb negative thoughts from the employees and we turn that into energy to power the servers."

He looked at me, looked up at the wireless controller and said, "Wow. What will they think of next." And then he walked away.

Unbelievable. Or, apparently not.


Yes the second lowest form of humor (just over slapstick) is on KludgeSpot. Enjoy!

  • I changed my i Pod name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
  • When chemists die, they barium.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
  • I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
  • I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.
  • I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
  • They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type- O.
  • A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
  • PMS jokes aren't funny, period.
  • Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.
  • Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.
  • Energizer bunny arrested. Charged with battery.
  • I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  • How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it!
  • Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
  • When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
  • What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.
  • I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!
  • Broken pencils are pointless.
  • I tried to catch some fog. I mist.
  • What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
  • England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
  • I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
  • I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
  • All the toilets in New York's police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.
  • I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • Velcro - what a rip off!
  • Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.
  • Venison for dinner? Oh deer!
  • Earthquake in Washington obviously government's fault.
  • I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.
  • Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.
  • Kludge Klassic: A Sneaker Suspicion

    I was sitting comfortably at my desk, earning my living, when something tickled my ankle bone. This unknown then began to work its way down between my shoe and foot towards my sole. There was only the thin cotton of my sock protecting me from this unknown thing. I looked, very calmly down at my shoe, and didn’t see anything. There could be no real doubt about it though, there is something in my shoe.

    I have an unnatural fear of bugs, and while some of you will not understand, the idea of an insect in my shoe makes me uneasy. I have visions of spiders, or ear wigs burrowing down into my canvas. Making themselves at home in my cross trainer, and dining on the only available meat when the urge hits them. Add to this the fact that these shoes are on thier last leg and there is a fairly large hole in the one sneaker I'm focused on. After a slight hesitation, I shoved my finger in between the shoe and sock.

    “All clear Capitan”

    “Proceed to Shoecom 4”

    “Captain, what about the smell?”

    “Move it soldier!”

    I removed my shoe. Nothing. Nada. I shook the shoe violently; I know that there is something in my shoe!

    “Peter…” The Boss!

    “Hey Boss” I usually call him ‘boss’ especially when startled, “I was working on that TPS report you wanted for…”

    “You okay?” He questioned, eying me with a slight suspicion.

    “Oh… my foot hurt…that’s all.” I said, looking as nonchalant as possible. This is a little difficult with a shoe in hand.

    Once the coast was clear I attacked my right sided smelly shell with a new ferver. There was something in my shoe. I was now looking for a nylon thread, or similar lifeless explanation. I've had this happen before and I was sure I would find something to explain the uncomfortable feeling from earlier. Nothing. Nada.

    I left it off for a few minutes in case whatever was in there was hiding and I would soon catch with my well honed spy skills. I waited and it waited. I waited longer and it waited longer. This worked out much the way you would expect. I decided it was ridiculous.

    So I put my shoe back on. It was not more than ten minutes later when something tickled my ankle bone. There is something in my shoe!

    The Practice Of Dovetails

    As everyone with half a brain knows, dovetail joints are the hardest joint to make in woodworking. People with whole brains however, dispute this fact and are generally more articulate at expressing their views.

    I like power tools. They're fast, reliable and make for cuts that are highly repeatable. When it comes to working with hand tools, none of those things can be said about me. I'm slow, sloppy and highly erratic. Still, I'm also stubborn and pig headed, so that makes me want to continue trying something until I get it right.

    Enter in the dovetails. This is a joint that proves that you have the skills required to be a craftsman. A good clean dovetail makes people want to get up a cheer. So that's the goal. cheering crowds of people when they see my joinery. I like to set reasonable expectations on all aspects of my life.

    The trouble is it's actually hard. It's really hard. I don't know what I expected it to be, but hard wasn't on the list. Tricky, challenging, fun. Right fun was on the list.

    Shrug. Where do we get these ideas from anyway? You see people doing this all the time.

  • (Some random day in May) "I want to run a marathon"
    (Two minutes into marathon) "What the hell was I thinking!?"

  • (While watching DIY) "I want to repaint the kitchen. You know, liven things up"
    (On third coat with paint in your eye) "What the hell was I thinking!?"

  • (Sitting comfortably at the office) "I should learn hand dovetails"
    (45 minutes into chiseling out waste on a set of pins) "Don't I have a machine I could do this with?"

    And in fact I do...
  • Lazy Thursday Blues: Magic Eyes 4

    Lazy Thursday Blues!! It's been a while but here we go!

    Anyone reading this that recalls the 90's craze that was Magic Eyes?! We had a giant poster sided one at my school that took me days to get. I stood there for what felt like hours trying to see anything other than a pretty blue pattern smeared on a printed sheet of paper. Even worse was standing there staring at the thing while fellow students "ooed and ahhed" at the wall. It drove me mad!

    Once I finally figured it out, I felt like a treasure hunter who scored a giant pile of loot! Now, I can see them instantly. I suppose it's like riding a bike, once you conquer it, you never forget!

    Be the first to post below what you see and be the first to win at being the first...

    Three Short Months

    Three months is a long time. It funny because it doesn't feel that long but it is. Three months ago I did something kinda crazy. I went on a juice diet. I drank my breakfast lunch and dinner for 10 days. 10 days sounded like a piece of cake when I started.

  • Day 1 -"Shoot," I mused. "This is going to be nothing. I can do 10 days easy."

    I was such a fool back then.

  • Day 3 - My headaches were so bad I had to take 2 Aleve just to get through the day. "Oh well," starving Peter muttered. "It's the price of eating poorly for so long."

  • Day 5 - I ditched veggie drinks in a wild fit of rebellion. "I cannot gag down another carrot juice. I'm only juicing fruit from now on."

  • Day 7 - I was sick of drinking juice. I hated it with such venom that it couldn't be suppressed. In contrast though, I loved the results. "I hate drinking slime for lunch," I gagged. "But my pants feel pretty good!"

  • Day 10 - I had somehow convinced myself that it was all worth it. "Done! I'm down and feel great." Maybe it was the lack of calories I was ingesting...

    It's been almost three months since my first juicing diet. (Jan 8th 2012) Since I started I've lost a total of 31lbs. It's a great start, and I feel good, but I'm a big guy and still have another 30-40 lbs to go.

    So, I started another 10 day juice fast last Saturday. It's amazing how you can tend to forget how horrible something really was with just a few short months of time.

  • Day 5 - "What the hell was I thinking..."
  • Trackballs and the Promise of the Future

    Trackballs look like the future. They are sleek, odd and different. They do exactly what mice do, but do it while looking awesome. Trackballs are a vision of tomorrow. Except...

    ...they don't quite live up to that hope. They don't work any better than mice, in fact in some ways they are less useful. They tend to gum up pretty easily, and require frequent cleaning. In addition to that, they're kinda gross. Rolling your hand over nasty germs, dirt and all those dead cells from other people who might have rolled your trackball.

    But...the ball is really fun to play with. Sometime you want to take it out and just roll it in your hand. You sit there playing with it and rolling it around and start to think to yourself, "I wonder if I do that thing that the Goblin King did in Labyrinth, and roll it up and over my fingers?" You then think about David Bowie in really tight leather pants. After you force breakfast back down your throat, you grab tightly to your trackball ball and give it a try. Surprise, surprise... drops. With a loud THUD and rolls across the ground and under a metal filing cabinet and there you are. Metal filing cabinets are NOT anything like the future. They are the past.

    They hold the relics of a part remembered memory. Those sections of your your mind that you printed out in hope of preserving knowledge. Knowledge that got edged out of your brain in desire to retain more useful information. Information like the all the dialogue in Star Wars: A New Hope, and every IP addresses of DNS servers from companies that have long since been dismantled. ( There is nothing new to be learned from a filing cabinet except what you might have already forgotten.

    So you find yourself down on all fours; face to the ground, on your dirty office floor peering under a filthy filing cabinet searching for your future. How is this anything like the promise you were offered not mere moments ago? See the overly simplified analogy? The future is like a trackball, and if you're not careful you'll find yourself stuck in the past wondering what happened to your hope.

    Things That Are Impossible

    #54 - Looking tough playing the flute

    #78 - Understanding the lyrics to Come Together by the Beatles

    #12 - Having any good reason for skipping

    #32 - Re-reading a mystery novel with any enthusiasm

    #33 - Reading Moby Dick with any enthusiasm

    #6 - Believing someone who has to use the phrase, "Trust me"

    #15 - Playing Super Mario Bros. without humming or whistling the theme song.

    The Book Parade

    My wife loves is when the local library has their book sale. She spends hours perusing and then comes home with a load of grocery bags full of books we never read.

    The Outdated Western Farms Garden- How to maintain your garden in bell bottoms and leisure suits.

    The Router Handbook- 100 completely unsafe things to do with your 1/2 hp fixed base router in a series of poorly drawn diagrams.

    The Jello Book - A disturbing collage of chiffon dresses, pipe smoking dads and lobster shaped jello molds.

    The English Breakfast Book- Jellied Eels and everything else you never wanted to know about what British people will put on toast.

    The Whispers of Tarnis- Book 25 of a 85 book fantasy series, that you will never understand without the 24 previous books.

    Discovering Inner Failings- A self help book written to show you why you need another self help book.

    Silicon Valley in 1979- How boring people can take a boring subject and craft it into the definitively useless coffee table book.

    How To Clean Practically Anything- Whisk aways hours you could be spending with your kids or spouse agonizing over a stain that no one ever even noticed.

    Anything by Charles Dickens- Why even your worst childhood memories are better that anything that ever happened to people in a Dickens novel.

    The next one is coming in April. I'll try to contain myself...

    Fantastically Lacking Post Collage

    In looking over the suggestions remaining in the Will Work For Posts post I decided to combine them into a fantastically lacking post collage. Why a collage? It sounds better than hodgepodge....

  • Suggestion by Homestyle Mama (with a side of autism):"I really liked your coffee post. The one where the cup never emptied :)"

    I don't think this was so much a suggestion as just a reader being polite. Sort of, "I kinda liked it when you lost your mind and driveled on about nonsense for like 400 words." I'm glad you liked that and equally surprised that you got through the post in it's entirety. These posts are a main reason why I blog. To get this stuff out of my brain.

    My wife used to have to listen to my hair-brain theories at length while driving in the car or lying in bed. She too is glad that I now post them instead of talking to her about them. Don't fret, more like this will always be supplied by my semi-broken brain. Stick around...

  • Suggestion by Tina:you could train to be a firefighter! "Kludge on Fire"!"

    No. I would actually die. I have enough embarrassing stories, I don't need my eulogy to be one as well...

  • Suggestion by Tim:"Why is it that commuters all have ADD. I see the same commuters every morning with their gps on. Did they forget how to get to work after going to sleep the night before?"

    Totally got this one... I uh... because because they're stupid. Yeah. They're a bunch of dummies.

    I honestly don't know. I really want to make something cool out of this one, but I'm failing. You win, Tim. I got nothing. Sorry.

  • Suggestion by Tina:"why is it that a kid can have 6 pounds of food caked around his mouth, and he's okay with that - but if his hands are in any way remotely dirty, everything has to stop and we have to "wash up"?"

    Having two kids I have found out that they really don't make any sense. Who programs the new kid models coming down the pipe?! Has it always been like this? Did our parents just pretend that we were smart because they didn't want to lose face in front of their friends?

    For a while I thought it was just my kids. My eldest girl, Alexis has down syndrome. More often than not Alexis makes sense. You can't explain things to her, and she's not caught up developmentally but she rarely behaves in a matter that doesn't make sense. We turn off the TV and she gets mad. We tell her we have to brush her hair, she cries. We tickle her and she laughs. It's not easy, but it is logical.

    Hannah, my five year old, on the other hand is broken. She refuses to go to the bathroom until the last possible second. She has to scream and run in an effort to 'keep the pee in" She likes corn, peas, salad and refuses to eat pop tarts.

    She can fall and scrape up half the skin on her legs and be fine. "No big deal Dad, see? It doesn't hurt," but put a fly in the room and she'll start bawling and freaking out.

    They're all broken models with buggy code. I can't think of any other explanation. We have to keep upgrading them with knowledge and hope their little processors can handle the strain...

    Thanks everyone for the ideas! I appreciate it!
  • How People See Me: PC Gamer

    A little mindless humor...

    Let me know what you think, or do one for yourself! Here's a blank template for you. It's pretty fun.

    Slamming Headache

    Suggestion by HMC4ever12 : "What are your thoughts on slam poetry? have you ever been in/seen a performance?"

    I have a headache. Not one of those little nagging ones. I mean a real mother-lode type headache. The type where you can feel the blood pulsing through your skull "thump-thump. thump-thump" It's rhythm is haunting, its beat is entrancing and the pain of it is just at the edge of bearable. It hurts you but in a strange almost like it. You wear it like a badge of honor, a shield of office. I'm tough enough, I'm strong enough to feel all this pain and keep on going. I can handle the harrowing, throbbing, pulsing, pushing, pain that is Slam Poetry.

    I know that's the cause this headache. It all started with HMC4ever12's comment to my "Will Work For Posts" entry. Seriously. I looked at that comment for a week straight thinking to myself. Yeah, maybe I'll try to tackle that one. I seems like a fun premise for a post. I was thinking of some 1960's stereotype, sporting a goatee, black turtleneck and round dark sunglass. There he is in his beret, sipping a latte snapping his fingers and yammering on about nonsense.

    That is not slam poetry. Slam poetry is a headache waiting to pounce on you. I watched about a dozen performances on the net at various Slam Poetry Soapboxes. Apparently the heart of this competition is the urbanizing of poetry. You dress casually, grooming is optional and the audience is allow to hoot or hail with interruptions. Walt Witman, Lord Byron and Odgen Nash would have no place here. Slam poetry isn't for the aristocrat, it's for the great unwashed.

    Yeah that's right, it's for the little guy! A way to let his voice be heard by the man! You can't rhyme, but you are allowed to yell. Yelling means you're passionate. Oh and swearing. Swearing means you're REALLY passionate. You would think that poets would be able to find more descriptive words to relate their meaning to the ever 'hooting' crowd but not so. Adjectives, it seems, are a tool of the upper crust and not for use in Slam Poetry. The more swearing the more hooting from the gallery and the better your score.

    So, while it might not be for me I can certainly see the appeal. I used to perform poetry in completion very similar to that. In college I was in many interpretive speech competitions. It was fun. I liked the crowds, the other competitors and the way it felt to bring life (or death) to a piece of poetry. Besides the microphones, hooting calls, swearing, yelling and dreadlocks it almost took me back to my college days...


    Network Engineer: How People See Me

    There is a new meme going around. How people see me, here's the one I just did.

    Let me know what you think, or do one for yourself! Here's a blank template for you. It's pretty fun.


    In the middle of February Patricia and I went on a FauxCation. We knew we couldn't get away for any period of time, but thought we might enjoy some time off while the younglins were in school. Add to that a brilliant showing by my inlaws offering to take two sick girls all day and night Friday and we even managed to stay in a hotel one night.

    It was quite relaxing. During our Friday and Saturday we teamed up with Patricia's sister and her husband for a jaunt into San Francisco. It's a city that we've been to many, many times. This time though, we decided to go as tourists and see what oddities we could find.

    First was a trip to the Exploratorium at The Palace of Fine Arts.
    We pushed grade school kids on field trips aside and tried our hands at all the science exhibits they had to offer. Then I saw this..

    Next we took a drive down Lombard street. Apparently my sister-in-law had never done that, as she was hanging out the window of the car while we were driving down Lombard street yelling to Patricia to slow down so she could get a picture. This aroused the tourist who then started taking pictures of us. Her husband responded to this by sticking his head out the window and yelled to the onlookers that we were locals and that everything was cool.

    After we all regained our composure... we found our selves here: Coit Tower.

    The view was impressive.

    Out front is Christopher Columbus. See that in his left hand? Some local decided that Columbus needed a Diet Coke. Unopened. After his voyage I'm sure he appreciated it.

    The nastiest looking but best tasting, raw, gluten-free, vegan stack food you can over pay for at Whole Foods. Yum...

    Kale Kruch was good, but real food was needed too. Pub Grub. Fish & Chips, Mushy Peas, Boston Bibb Salad, and IPA. Lunch is done!

    We then padded down to Ghirardelli Square for something sweet. While browsing through toys in a shop I met a die-hard Star Wars fan. She looked at me and said, "I'd like to show you something special" This is was I got!

    Those are light saber tattoos. She claims the experience was extremely painful and unpleasant. I can only imagine. Another fantastic quote from Star-Wars girl, "My living room is done in Star Wars, Batman and leopard print. The boyfriend has to adjust." Freaking Awesome.

    We started Saturday with a 2 1/2 hour tour of AT&T park. I have to say, I wouldn't know a baseball stat if in got in bed with me, but I completely enjoyed the tour. My brother in law on the other hand, could have given the tour himself and was extremely happy with our choice of venues for the morning!

    Hanging in the Press Box.

    Chilling on the field.

    And my personal favorite. A lonely Cubs clock hanging in the Giants club house. Slowly ticking away it's time until another chance for a pennant comes its way...

    After that we went to pier 39. It was pigeon kicking season and were in top shape. Seriously. The sheer number of pigeons was insane. People were screaming all around us and a unlucky patron eating her clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl had a little "extra flavoring" from one of the flying beasties. I sympathized with her as I giggled and covered my bowl with my hand...

    The last picture I leave you with is a crowd surrounding a local band, belting our their odd SF funky sound while sporty that musical instrument of legend. The Keytar!

    Is There Pork in Heaven?

    Suggestion by QueenBear: "Why don't you tell us what happens to people when they die? Do their spirits stay with us? Or are they in some other dimension where they don't have anything to do with us? Or do we just turn to dirt? What do you think?"

    Thanks for the question! We've all heard stories of ghost sightings and strange occurrences regarding the great beyond. Houses where people swear they are haunted by the spirit of a soul unwilling to ascend into heaven. Seems strange to me a soul not willing to climb the steps to the pearly gates in order to remain on this mortal plane, and then it occurred to me. The truth of it depends on a single question, "Is there any pork in heaven?"

    We all know that Jesus said that his Father was busy making houses for us in heaven. Apparently it wasn't only his Earthly dad that was a carpenter, but also his heavenly one. This means that if we're game then we have digs in heaven. Golden mansions in a perfect world. Considering God's other creations it should be pretty boss up there... where ever that may be.

    But we also know that Man was created after God's own image and that the Jewish people are Gods chosen people. We also know that Orthodox Jews don't eat cloven toes animals, a category that three of my favorite animals are included in; the ham animal, the sausage animal and the bacon animal. That of course begs that next question... is God down with pork? Maybe that's why he outlawed it among his people.

    "This one is no good."

    "What do you mean God, this animal is perfect. Eve and I love the pig!"

    "No. It's too good, too much flavor and possibilities. It's banned, off the list. Got it?"

    "Okay... What are we going to do with all these?"

    "You can keep them around in case we need to send an evil spirit into it or something..."

    I know that the possibilities of the lack of bacon topside one of my primary concerns and so I figure it's something on the minds of all my readers. Lets delve further into this...

    We know that in the book of Acts Peter claimed a vision that told him it was cool to eat pigs. Something that apparently was a bit of a shock to him. In addition it told him it was cool to dine with Gentiles which was even more of a shock. Peter had a lot of crazy ideas (yeah I kind of liked him) including going Van Gogh on some soldiers ear and hanging to death by his feet. (not my first pick method of leaving this world)

    So the question is, was Peter right and did God say he was fine with the idea, or was Peter just smelling some amazing pork BBQ at the Centurions house and had an episode? I don't rightly know. (as you can probably guess, theology has never been my strong suit) I would like to believe that even if God didn't like pork, lamb, goat or other unclean animals he would suffer us having them. Sort of like the way vegetarians all look down at us critter crunchers but still will dine with us.

    So that's what I think. People go to heaven, and hopefully when we get there we can have pork chops, apple sauce and a big hunk of leavened bread.

    Will Work For Posts

    I need to post to get the last post off the top but I haven't got much to talk about. This blog has never been a journal, and I don't intend it to become that. This has alway been a place for me to share my most ridiculous ideas and a place for me to try and be creative.

    So posting that I'm not eating much, working hard or engaged in politics just doesn't cut it.

    I haven't had any new ideas either. So here we are again for like the gazillionth time where I petition for your ideas.

    Here's the plan: You post a simple idea and I pledge to make 300 words from it. If I fail you win, if I succeed you have something to read. Deal?

    Let er rip...


    Last night at 8:12 I realized I hadn't drawn names yet!

    So I cut up an Offical KludgeSpot Pink Post-it© note and hastily scribbled names on it. Given the sheer volume of past winners in the mix I'm blown away that there wasn't a repeat winner...

    This pen is heading to Missy in the sweltering Arizona heat! Congrats, and thanks to everyone for playing and keep looking forward to the next one!

    Shoot me an email with your address and I get this heading your way!

    January Pen Giveaway

    It's time for another Pen Giveaway! Click here for past giveaway results. I will be giving away another of my cross style pens. This one is made of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) and is super slick!

    All you need to do to enter is comment below. As I'm still in the middle of my diet, I would love to hear what you all are eating. If it has any meat or cheese in it, you can bet it's better than what I'm eating, or just say hello if that's too much work for you...

    Like Kludge Spot on Facebook and you get a second entry in the drawing. (With a qualifying comment below)

    The Game Rules:

  • 1. No vulgarity. I reserve the right to delete any comment. This will remove you from the contest.

  • 2. Wining. I will randomly draw the wining name from a hat on Sunday January 29th of all caption entries. The winner will be contacted Sunday evening via email, and announced Monday January 30th.

  • 3. United States for free shipping. If you live elsewhere and don't mind pitching in the extra cost for international shipping (about $8 I think) I'll totally ship it to you

  • 4. Contact. I need a way to let you know you've won the prize. And I'll need your shipping address to send it to you. So sign up with blogger, or OpenID, or something that I can contact you with. Otherwise I'll move on to another contestant.

  • 5. Have Fun!
  • Peters Theorem of Domestic Relativity

    Albert Einstein said lots of stuff. I'm sure most of you are aware of that. Some of the things he said makes sense to me. Most of what he said made sense to no one but the most brilliant minds on Earth. Odds are if you are reading this blog, you're not too smart either. Which means that no matter how much I screw up his theories no one reading this is ever going to know!

    Now that we have established a baseline for this post, let me continue. One of Einstein's big ideas was that all motion was relative. Which means that time was relative to motion as well. Which means that although we perceive time as being a constant it could change depending on how fast you get going. In grade school we were told that if you could travel at the speed of light you would perceive the passage of time differently then those who were not traveling at the speed of light. A week to you traveling at light speed might be equal to a decade or so for those not traveling that speed.

    This is getting complicated...let me try again.

    You go fast -> time slows down.
    You slow down -> time speeds back up.

    So what if this were true when you weren't traveling at light speed? What about other times in life?

    Two people can perceive time totally differently. For instance, when you have no obligations doesn't time seems to fly by? Like vacation?

    "This is the longest day of vacation I've ever had in my life!"

    "I know. I just sit and relax, sit and relax and it's still only 9 O'clock!"

    Never. Lets be honest, vacations always fly way too fast. Am I right? And work seems to drag on till there is no end in sight! If it didn't who would ever complain about having to go to work?!

    "Off to work! See you soon!!"

    So if we all experience the same perception of the passage of time relative to our situation then who's to say it's not true? If it is true then there a few things to take note of.

    First is that when time is moving more slowly you are moving more quickly and therefore aging less. Which means that on vacation you're just dying quicker than you would at work. That's a nice way to think of it when others leave for fun in the sun and you can't. Replace jealously with pity and know that your life just got longer relative to theirs.

    Of course if the corporations ever got hold of this information the propaganda campaigning would be unbearable.

  • Live a long and healthy life, work overtime!

  • Sign up with Corpacon, our company offers 1/2 the vacation time of other firms!

  • Corpacon cares, we give you double shifts!

  • Day passing too quickly? Try some filing!

  • Some of you are saying to yourselves right now, "How much younger do you think I am, now that I've just mucked through 500 words of this crap?" Well, instead of contempt, you should be thanking me for all those wrinkles I just saved you! Of course right now it's just a theory, but hey you never know...

    Ultimate Advances in Self Deprecation

    I am hungry. Very hungry.

    In a constant battle of man versus buffalo wings I have been a near heroic figure. If I could take that a step further I would claim a near godhood. Of all the people that I know there are few who champion the cause of over-eating as much as I do. It is fun, it tastes good and I genuinely look forward to it.

    The trouble isn't the looking forward it's the looking down. As I look down I see a nice well built reserve of nutrients that I am stowing along in tow these days. Not as much as some but still a sizable bit more than most. At some point everyone has to say to themselves. "Who put my freaking pants in the washing machine?! These things barely fit at all!"

    Maybe not that exact phrase but you know what I mean. You stand there in the morning and think, "Well the hell did that happen?" And you're not entirely sure. You remember them fitting a while back. You remember all the times you've gone for a walk or a bike ride but you have a hard time remembering the date of your last excursion.

    So you say to yourself,

    "It's the governments fault for all the tariffs on healthy foods!"

    "It's the fault of food companies using all that sugar and fat!"

    "It's the fault of fast food for being so dang convenient when you've had a long day!"

    "It's the fault of society for making me work so comfortably at a computer and not picking cotton all day!"

    "It's the fault of my next door neighbor for playing his stupid TV show so loud that I'm forced to leave the house and eat poorly! If only he were more reasonable I would look like a super stud in my jeans!"

    None of it true. It's your fault. Yours alone, unless of course someone is actually force feeding you fast food while holding you down. Then of course it's not your fault at all and you really should call the cops. So... Yeah, anyway. It's your fault, you did it but you can fix it!

    Which is what I'm doing...but I'm kinda hungry. I suppose that's good. If I wasn't hungry it wouldn't be very effective.

    "So I've decided to make a change for my health, well being and the betterment of the seam work on my jeans."
    "Excellent! What are you doing?!"
    "I've cut out chocolate donuts."
    "Wow. How many of those were you eating everyday?"
    "Yeah, I know! It was easy! It's so simple it's brilliant! You know many calories are in chocolate donuts!?
    "I've also cut out falafel, apple fritters and-"

    So, I've cut out food.

    Wow right? Tell me about it. It's Just for a few days. Just to get started on my way. I'm on a juice diet for the next the next 7 days. That's right nothing but juice from my blender for the 10 days and I'm already on my 3rd day. Then after that, I figure a more balanced diet and hopefully a more permanent change. I figure once I'm done with 10 days I'll be so delighted by the progress and the ability to eat again, good food will be more appealing to me. That's the plan at least.

    For the record. This kinda sucks right now. It's suppose too. I mean, who would honestly believe that giving up caffeine and food would be fun?

    Right. I did...

    Allergic To Cactus

    "I'm allergic to cactus."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I mean, it hurts when it gets on me"

    "Uh...not to be rude but uh, it hurts everyone. That's why you don't touch it."

    "I know, but it's different... it leaves these little circle pin pricks on me."

    "Hum. Yeah, okay. You don't know much about cactus do you?"

    Seriously though, I am allergic to cactus.

    Coup d'état Le Télévision

    After a week of sitting around the house over Christmas break Patricia and I resolved to get us and the kids some fresh air on Saturday. This was said Friday night as we climbed into bed after a day of doing absolutely nothing productive all day long. The strain of vacation was getting to us and the lack of structure was going to drive us insane.

    Saturday morning greeted us with her frosty charm and warned us not to venture out into her icy realm for at least a few hours. We sighed deeply but agreed that throwing the younglings out in 29 degree weather, although tempting, was not the right decision. So we set back the expedition until after the sun came out and warmed up our California neighborhood a few degrees Fahrenheit.

    We resigned ourselves to the pattern of the last few days. The annoying sound of a repeatedly played signing Christmas gift. The well meaning friend who gifted it to our daughter was now officially on our naughty list. We found what solace we could in our coffee regiment and braced ourselves for the first round of cartoons.

    But instead...I did something crazy. I looked at my bride and had an idea. Something all couped up parents dream about but few attempt. We staged a coup for control of the TV. I announced that I would be watching a show. A real show. One with people and real sets in it. Not a single frame of animation would appear on the TV and no one would start signing or dancing, or counting to ten. It was a parental Coup d'état of the TV that we had paid for but rarely got to use!

    The children had lost control! I then directed the tube to display live action shots of grown ups whining about their undersized kitchens out of control gardens or favorite recipes for baklava. It was exciting, fun and we could scarcely believe that we'd done it. Patricia and I reveled in our new found power and soaked up all the entertainment we could from what we knew would be a short lived rebellion.

    My special needs daughter formed an anti-daddy movement almost instantly and stormed off to the bedroom to lash out at the mini-blinds in protest. The mini-blinds were just a causality of war and we marked it up to collateral damage. It didn't matter and we wouldn't be detoured. Mike Holmes was on and we were going to stand our ground.

    Hannah, our youngest, decided on a more diplomatic approach.

    "Uh, what is this?"

    "Mommy and I are going to watch one of our programs."

    "You do that we we go to bed."

    "Today, we're going to do it now."

    "For how long?"

    I sized her up and threw out a little puzzle for her. "How long did you watch shows yesterday?"

    I saw her brain trying to devise a strategically sound response. I could tell because she looked like her mind was aching. I presumed this was due to atrophy while she was on break. "Just becuase it was on a lot yesterday, didn't mean I watched it much."

    It was a good stance, and well thought out. I countered.

    "Perfect. Then I'll leave it on my show, and you don't have to watch it much today either."

    The fun went on for about 3 hours or so. For us it was a major milestone and a welcome relief from the previous days. Days with little comfort from the annoyance of singing cartoon animals, dancing children, and puppet monsters insisting my little ones learn to count in Spanish. There is only so much insanity a parent can stand. We reached it on Saturday.

    And even though we eventually retreated and lost the ground we had fought for, the children learned a valuable lesson. Parents have more power than they realized and the TV is not as safe as they once thought it to be...