March 30, 2005


So I got home last night from playing basketball and noticed that my Tivo was recording. Since Girls Gone Wild – Ultimate Spring Break Uncensored doesn’t come on till Friday, I couldn’t imagine what was recording. For a split second, I thought someone had hacked my Tivo and was recording illicit movies without my express, written consent. For the record, I just finished playing two basketball games back to back and probably had little or no oxygen to spare for the brain which is why I thought someone would actually hack my Tivo. Go figure.

Anyway…I fired up the TV, stereo, and satellite using my super-deluxe, one-button macro and noticed that some program on Discovery was being recorded. That’s when I remembered that I’d accidentally chosen this crap to record the night before. I guess I didn’t delete it like I thought. I don’t know why, but seeing that crap recording when I didn’t want it to made me mad.

I started flipping through the Tivo controls, trying to find a simple ‘stop recording this shit’ option, which does exist but couldn’t be found at that moment. The more I tried to find it, the grouchier I became. Yes, I know this is a stupid reason to get mad, but it happens. After going back and forth and up and down through the menus, I finally found something that looked promising. I selected it, hit “Yes”, hit “Yes” again as I thought “Quit asking me stupid freakin’ questions and just stop recording this crap already”. I should have paid a wee bit more attention to that last “Yes”.

You see, folks, Tivo has a cool feature that allows you to delete everything you have recorded. To make sure you don’t screw up and accidentally delete everything, it calmly asks you if you’re sure that you want to do delete everything, including the protected stuff. Notice I keep using the word “everything”. That’s because it deletes “EVERYTHING”. I now have 119 hours and 30 minutes of recording time available. I had 40 hours…before I deleted “EVERYTHING”.

Actually, not everything is gone. The only thing left on the Tivo is the one thing I was trying to delete.

Posted at 02:56 PM | Comments (5)

Public Service Announcement

I just found out that two friends of mine were hit by an SUV yesterday as they were riding their bikes. Fortunately, neither of them was hurt and the driver did stop to check on them. The driver said he didn't see them because the sun was in his eyes. I find this hard to believe since I know their location and time of day. The sun is not really in your line of sight at that time, however, I'll give the guy a break because he did stop.

Folks, please be aware of cyclists on the road. These guys were about 200 yds from the bike lane and were trying to get to it when struck. I know there are many assholes out there who ride, but the majority of us just like to get out and get some excercise. Mississippi has very few bike lanes so we're forced to ride on the roads right next to cars. For the most part, people here are tolerant of us provided that we try and give them enough room to pass and don't bunch up on two lane roads.

I'm very thankful that nothing serious happened and ask that all of you who drive keep an eye out for us. We're sure as hell looking for you.

Posted at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005

Did you know?

Did you know that thin spaghetti turns red when left in the fridge for several months while pasta shells turn black?

Did you know that whole-kernel corn doesn't change color at all when left for 6 months?

Did you know that frozen ground beef with an October expiration date is not good even in stuff like chili?

Did you know that you should take out the trash before the frozen fish thaws?

Did you know that I don't clean out my fridge often enough?

Posted at 02:14 PM | Comments (4)

March 28, 2005

Asian Grocery

My buddy David and I went to the local Asian grocery store today. Man, do they have some weird shit. Dried squid that is probably like squid jerky, quail eggs, snow pea chips, dried, fried squid, wasabi peas, sugared ginger, and tons of other stuff that I can't begin to imagine what's inside. The pictures don't really help, either. I would like to go back with someone that actually knows what's in the packages. Some of the stuff looked pretty good, but I'd be afraid to try it without knowing what it was.

My favorite part was reading the English translation of what's inside. We bought something called 'Muscat Gummy' which seems to be muscadine-flavored gummy candy. We didn't buy them for the candy, we bought them for the description on the package:

Its translucent color so alluring and taste and aroma so gentle and mellow offer admiring feelings of a graceful lady. Enjoy soft and juicy Muscat Gummy.

We also bought grape-flavored Hi-Chew and some other kind of candy that looked like Nerds and tasted like ass. The Hi-Chew wasn't bad, but I get the feeling that the Japanese don't like things as sweet as Americans.

They did have some cool chopsticks, mugs, and assorted china, plus a really cool Chinese butcher knife for only $25.00. I may head back there later and pick one up.

Posted at 01:31 PM | Comments (6)

March 24, 2005

No, it looked like this.

I swear, if I added a step to the operations group’s procedure manual that said, “Shit on yourself”, there is one person in that group that would do it every time, no questions asked. I’m serious. I just handled a help desk for this person and it was amazing. It took me 10 minutes to get this person to answer a simple question.

One of their monitors seemed to be going bad. The whole thing was bathed in lavender and it made it difficult to read some of the console messages as they scrolled by. This person mentioned that another member of my group installed this specific monitor a few weeks ago since the old one went bad.

“So the old one looked like this,” I said, pointing to the screen.
“No,” she replied, “it was different.”
“Hmm,” I said, “what was the problem with it?”
“It looked like that,” she said, pointing to the screen.
“So the old one did look like this,” I said, pointing to the same screen she just pointed to.
“No, it was different.”
Inside, I’m thinking, what in the F* are you talking about? I say ‘did it look like this’ and you say no. But then you say ‘it looked like that’, pointing to the same freakin’ thing. I try again, slowly.
“OK,” I said, “2 weeks ago, this monitor was replaced, right?”
“OK. And we replaced the monitor because it was going bad, right?”
OK. Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Did the monitor that was going bad look like this?”
“No,” she said.
“No? Then why did we replace it,” I said.
“Because it was going bad like this one is,” she responded, pointing to the lavender-hued screen.
“So the old monitor did look like this one?” I said, pointing to the same freaking lavender-hued screen.
“No, it was different.”
Ho-lee shit. It was all I could do to not scream, “What is your major malfunction, Pyle! I started again from the beginning.
“Wait a minute. You’re telling me that the monitor was replaced because it was going bad, right?”
“And when the new monitor was installed, it looked fine, right?”
“And now we have to replace the replacement because the replacement is bad, right?”
”We’re replacing this monitor,” I say, pointing at it, “because now it’s going bad, right?”
“YES! Right!” (you can see the light go on)
“And the reason we’re replacing this monitor,” I say, still pointing at it, “is because it looks like the other one, right?”
“No. The other one looked different.”
“What do you mean it looks different?” I say, enunciating each word like I’m talking to a 3 year old.
At this point, I’m really getting pissed. I can’t imagine what the frick she’s talking about. How can it look the same, but be different?
“It looked different,” she says, pointing to the plastic bezel around the monitor, “this was different and the button was different.”
“Do. What?”
“Yes,” she says, “this part of the monitor was different on the old one”.
“Um...What?,” I say slowly, “you’re talking about the actual monitor? You’re saying that the monitor was different?”
“Yes,” she says, pointing to the monitor and looking at me like I’m the idiot, “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. This monitor looks different than the old one.”
“Dude, I don’t give flying flip about what the monitor looked like. All I want to know is”, I say, tapping on the monitor’s screen, “did the old monitor look this bad.
“Oh yeah," she says, tapping the screen, "the colors were all messed up just like this one.”

Posted at 03:51 PM | Comments (6)

March 22, 2005

Living my life

Well, Dear Reader, sorry for not posting in a while, but I’ve had some issues that I’ve had to deal with of a personal nature. For me, as always, it’s issues with my family. There are some days when it’s all I can do to not just pack my shit up and disappear.

Y’all remember last July when I had to go to Florida because my Mom broke her ankle? Well, at that time, I discovered that my Mom was just this side of being a shut-in. She wouldn’t leave her apartment, she had groceries or take-out delivered, and she had someone to do the laundry and clean. For a while after I left, she seemed to be getting her shit together, but it didn’t last long. When I ask her now if she’s getting out, she always says the same thing, “I make plans to get out, but I never follow through”. I even had one of her best friends call and tell me that she never gets out, cancels plans at the last minute, and just stays in her recliner. I know the friend meant well, but my response was basically, ‘what would you have me do’?

In the past, I would sit in my apartment (or house) and worry myself sick over it. We’re talking about getting up in the middle of the night and pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to do. It got the point where it’s all I would think about. I would make myself nuts trying to figure out what I could do to change the way my Mom lived her life, how I could motivate her to get out, how I could change her outlook, how I could get her over her depression. One day, though, I had a revelation. I realized that it’s not my responsibility. I am not the person who has to force these changes…She is. I realized that I needed to make sure she had food, clothing, and shelter, while the rest was up to her.

At first, it sounded cruel and it bothered me a lot. It felt like I was abandoning her and I would picture her sitting in her recliner all day, doing nothing. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I was not responsible for how she chose to live her life. I finally figured out that it’s her life to live and if she chooses to live it in a vacuum, then that’s HER choice. My brother and I have given her every opportunity to enjoy her retirement and if she chooses to continue on in this manner, I can no longer feel that it is my responsibility to change her.

I have a life of my own to live. I refuse to be put into a position where I do nothing but worry about her. That is not a life I wish to live. If I seem cruel to you, then I’m sorry. Well, no, actually I’m not sorry. As I’ve said, I will make sure that she has a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear. The rest is up to her.

Posted at 10:27 AM | Comments (8)

March 18, 2005

Completely Worthless

Is what I will be for the rest of the day. It seems our Real Media server does have some use after all. As does the company's cable connection. IT'S MARCH MADNESS, BABY!!.

Oh...gotta go, the game's back on. Shhh! If anyone asks, I'm in a meeting.

Posted at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

Work Tip #10

If you are required to use a Help Desk Tracking System, it is advisable to write clear and concise sentences when entering resolutions to problems. However, making the resolution rhyme will not be seen as a valuable use of company time and/or resources.

An example of what not to do:

I installed Service Pack 3 for Office XP,
but it didn't solve the problem entirely.

When Mary tried to view her deleted email,
Outlook wouldn't allow it and the program would fail.

We did an exmerge since her account was corrupt,
It worked like a charm when Outlook came up.

Mary then complained that her fonts were too small,
so I changed her resolution, and it fixed them all.

I called her today and she's doing just fine.
She said, "Thanks for your help", and I said, "Anytime".

Posted at 09:33 AM | Comments (4)

March 15, 2005


This is my old bike:

And this is my new bike:

The reason for the new bike is the cycling team I help out changed bikes because of some ugliness with a sponsor. I chose to not ride the old bike anymore and got this su-weet new one. It's a Guru Flite with a custom paint job, Speedplay pedals, FSA Carbon bars and seat post, and Velomax Orion II wheels. It weighs a grand total of 18.1 pounds.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stare at it for a few more minutes.

PS - If you look at the team picture, I'm the chunk of lead on the far right in the white shirt.

Posted at 07:36 PM | Comments (10)

Bernie is Guilty

Sorry, Bernie, but the Sargent Schultz defense just doesn't cut it anymore. You gotta do better than "I know nothing" to fool people in New York City.

Posted at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

Help Desk du Jour

I can't make this stuff up...

My mouse squeaks constantly (so that others complain about the noise!). I gave to X the other day to look at and see if there was a way to stop the noise.


Posted at 09:52 AM | Comments (5)

March 14, 2005

The Weekend

Good Thing: Spending the weekend with The Dogs
Bad Thing: Spending the weekend with a hairy, white dog that sheds.

Good Thing: 80 degree weather
Bad Thing: Cold front behind the 80 degree weather.

Good Thing: Satellite TV
Bad Thing: Satellite TV during a torrential rainstorm

Good Thing: Shiny new car
Bad Thing: Hail!

Good Thing: Two-car garage at the Ex's house with room for one more
Bad Thing: Hairy, white dog that sheds

Posted at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2005

Coffeemaker killer

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good coffeemaker? I sort of burned mine up last night.

I decided to clean the water reservoir since it'd been a while. I bought some baking soda, dissolved half the box in water, poured it in and turned it on. The coffeemaker started to make a gurgling sound like it does right before it's finished. Only problem was that there was no water in the pot.

When I empited the reservoir into the sink, the water had miraculously turned into a thick, white sludge. I must have used a tad too much baking soda. Interesting fact: When wet baking soda dries, it transforms itself into an organic concrete, which can plug up even the best coffeemakers. Now all I get is white smoke, which looks nice, but tastes awful.

So, uh, any suggestions, besides DO NOT CLEAN THE COFFEEMAKER, would be appreciated.

UPDATE: Found a Black & Decker 8-cup carafe at Kohl's. List price was $49.99, sticker price was $34.99, tag sitting on top of boxes said $24.99, girl who rang me up couldn't do math and gave it to me for $22.54. Figured I couldn't beat the deal. Timer, cone filter (looks like it can take reusable), and black.

Thanks for the suggestions...I really wanted a Braun, which is what I had, but couldn't see spending $70 or $80 for one.

Posted at 02:17 PM | Comments (7)

March 10, 2005

Junior Achievement Final

I just wanted to take a minute and say THANKS to everyone who donated to the Junior Achievement Bowling Classic. The money was turned in last Thursday and we raised $200. WAHOO FOR US!!

The Dogs had planned to buy one of the donors a $25 gift certificate to Amazon, but the winner (who wanted to remain anonymous) asked that the money be donated back to JA. The dogs, who never argue about anything except food, agreed and donated the money accordingly.

Again, thanks to all of you that donated. You rock.

PS - In case you're wondering, I bowled an abysmal 103 in the first game, but came roaring back with a 183 (or 185) in the second.

Posted at 02:24 PM | Comments (1)

March 09, 2005

Ignorance can be bliss

So we’re sitting in the Dim Sum restaurant surrounded by Asians. Being the ignorant redneck that I am, I figure if the place is full of people who eat this on a daily basis, then food has gotta be good. You want authentic Asian food, go where the Asian people eat, right? Right. There’s only one problem; neither of us speaks the language.

The restaurant owners, obviously being shrewd businessmen, anticipated our linguistic ignorance and planned accordingly. They had each employee read Chapter 2 of the popular American book, You’re in America, dammit, so speak English which advises the following:

“If the foreigner doesn’t understand the words coming out of your mouth, you must look them directly in the eye and speak slowly. When you speak slowly to a non-English speaking person, they will automatically become fluent in English. In fact, this works for any language other than English. However, since everyone in the world should speak English as opposed to their native tongue, then we must assume that there is no other language besides English, therefore everyone should understand you automatically.”

Well, the only thing that happened when they spoke slowly was that it took me longer than normal to not understand a single word.

The owners, being the shrewdest of the shrewd, have also anticipated my ability to not understand a slowly spoken foreign language, and devised yet another clever plan to help me. They instructed the wait staff to open the lid and show us what was inside. It went kinda like this:

Waiter: Lifts lid and slowly says something I don’t understand.

Me: Oh! That’s lovely. A jiggly white thing with a pink thing inside of it? Mmmm. Yummy. What about that one there?

Waiter: Lifts lid and slowly says something else I don’t understand.

Me: A green dumpling-like thing with brown bits in it? Dee-licious. Ok, uh, how about that one over there?

Waiter: lifts lid of two other items and slowly says other stuff I’ll never understand.

Me: Cool! Jiggly white stuff with no pink stuff in it. That's my favorite!

The waiter then shows us a few other items. For some reason, I make him go backwards. Something caught my eye.

Me: WAIT! Yes, that one. No, the other one. Go back two spaces. YES! I’ll try that one. Hmm…white bread with ‘meat’ in it. Groovy.

Waiter: lifts lid of one other item and enthusiastically says something slowly that I can’t understand.

Me: This? I should try this white stuff in broth? It’s good? OK, cool. I trust you.

Waiter: Walks off smiling and muttering.

We begin eating. First, I try the stuff that the waiter suggested and it’s not bad. Although it’s a bit chewy like octopus, it has a good flavor so I keep eating, blissfully unaware of what it is. I have no idea what the jiggly white stuff is that surrounds the pink thing, but the pink thing inside turns out to be shrimp. SCORE! There’s a fried ball of stuff that turns out to be a fried shrimp ball. SCORE AGAIN! The ‘meat’ in the white-bread thingy is barbequed pork. TRIPLE SCORE! I still have no idea what the chewy white stuff is, but I keep eating.

One guy comes around with the fried shrimp balls and I hear him say, “Would you like a fried shrimp ball?” I asked him to repeat that. He said, “Would you like a fried shrimp ball?” My brain said “THAT’S ENGLISH!! HE’S SPEAKING ENGLISH!”. I take two fried shrimp balls as a reward for him learning English. As he’s leaving, my brain says, “Hey, ask him what that chewy white stuff is.”

Me: “Yo,” I say, pointing to the chewy white stuff while simultaneously impressing him with my command of the English language, “what’s that chewy white stuff I’m eating?”

Now, folks, we all know that there are times in life when being ignorant of certain facts is a good thing. Remember the first time you realized that your parents did “IT”? And that your grandparents, in order to have made your parents, also did “IT”? Not knowing would have been fine with me. How about the time you realized that your Dentist was gay because none of your other friends got a free prostate exam with their teeth cleaning? Or that the really good-looking girl you talked to at the bar was a guy? You see, folks, what I'm trying to tell you is that you don't always need to know the truth. As Americans, we're always clamoring for the truth. We want Barry Bonds and OJ and W and Bernie Ebbers and many others to tell us the truth. DAMMIT MAN, we say, YOU MUST TELL THE TRUTH! Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that sometimes I'd rather not know the truth.

Waiter: “That,” he says, smiling and pointing to the chewy white stuff, “is beef tripe.”

Posted at 03:28 PM | Comments (10)

March 03, 2005

Three-legged Hero

Check this out. A three-legged dog rescues a lost little kid.

Thanks to Sugarmama for pointing this out.

PS - This is a link to the main page. The URL to the specific story keeps changing. Also, I couldn't get the sound to work.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Comments (6)