Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Inauguration Wonder

If you haven't already seen this, I'm sure you will find it really interesting. This is a super high definition lens that took a picture during the inauguration speech. You can zoom in and around all over the Capitol and it's surroundings. I found myself not doing work for like an hour as I was playing with this. But don't worry. The corrugator was down for repairs anyway and the conglomerators were in the middle of a job-change, so I had some time to burn.

Goodwill Irreverence

This weekend I spent many hours cleaning out my daughter's room. She's the type of person that doesn't mind a good mess. However, she's not paying the mortgage and I DO mind the mess. So on Sunday while she was at a friend's house I plowed everything out of the room and into the hallway. I was surprised to learn that her room has wall-to-wall carpeting. Who knew?

After an hour or so of cleaning and several hours more of going through the stuff and readmitting it to the room we had a pile that was eligible to be hauled to Goodwill. There's nothing like getting rid of stuff you don't need and getting a tax-break from the IRS. Now if we could only find a way to get rid of my neighbors and get a tax break for that, too, but I digress.

Yesterday was the haul-it-to-Goodwill day. I had 15 bags of stuff, plus 2 boxes of assorted books, toys, and stuff that wouldn't fit in my trashcan. I pulled up as I usually do, backed up to the unloading zone and popped the hatch. If you've never been to Goodwill, the facility employees disadvantaged men. Some are mentally ill, some are border-line mentally retarded, some have criminal histories. You get the idea. The intention is to employ them, get them on their feet, give them some purpose in life, structure their lives, etc… And I admire this.

As I'm unloading one of the men comes and helps me pull bags out of my truck. We're almost done when a bee-atch pulls up in her Acura with the hug a tree, celebrate diversity, and O'Malley for Governor bumper stickers, pops her trunk, and sarcastically hollers with a total air of superiority and disrespect, "Hello!!!! Would you MIND helping ME???!!!"

I'm not sure if anything came out of my mouth, but I know thoughts were racing through my mind. I wanted to smack the fecal matter out of her. Why do people have to act that way? Where's the respect? It's as if she's saying, "I'm in favor of helping people except when it inconveniences me."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Great Bright Blue Scrotum Incident

That title sure gets your attention, doesn't it? If you haven't heard already, John Sanders, the technology guy from WBAL Channel 11 here in Baltimore, just got the ax. And he got the ax for being a dumbass.

Here's the story: Fox News recently ran a story about a monkey that had gotten loose at a zoo. The female newscaster described the monkey and said that he could be distinguished by his bright blue scrotum. There were a few laughs in the newsroom. The anchor even asked the reporter if she'd repeat the distinguishing character of the monkey and she politely refused to restate it.

The newscast then transitioned to John Gibson's radio show where he was telling viewers that he was going to talk about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the first black Attorney General. John Sanders thought it would be pretty funny to edit the video and have Josh Gibson say, "We'll be talking about Eric Holder...and his bright blue scrotum." He then posted it on his personal Youtube page.

Check out the 4-5 minute mark:

Unfortunately for Mr. Sanders, the video was picked up by the left-wing liberal extremist website Huffington Post and presented it as actual footage. That website has since retracted the posting when it learned that it was a fake and has apologized to Josh Gibson. Rumors indicate that Huffington likes to sensationalize issues without checking facts first. John Sanders, however, was promptly fired from the Conservative-leaning Channel 11. I suspect he'll be applying for a job over at The Onion.

This comes in the wake of a New York Post cartoon depicting the shooting of a chimpanzee and a reference to the author of the stimulus bill. The Post was attacked for being racist despite the fact that Obama was not the author of the stimulus bill and Congress is routinely called a bunch of metaphoric monkeys.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pass on the Maryland EZ Pass

Martin O'Malley, the spend-happy governor of Maryland, is always on the prowl to generate more revenue, so that he can spend more money, so that he can get our state moving forward again. It must be such a tough job, you know, trying to figure out how to spend more money. What isn't tough is O'Malley trying figuring out how to collect more money.

O'Malley's administration recently announced that it was restructuring the costs of the EZ Pass transponders. Currently the transponders can be acquired for $25, of which $15 is available as a prepaid amount for tolls. The remaining $10 becomes available once you register your transponder and set up an account with a credit card.

The NEW plan, as celebrated by the euphoric spend-happy libs, will cost users $21 for the privilege. Users will then be charged a buck-50 per month for all of eternity (or until they raise it again next month). Money-money-money!!! How great is this?!!!

Ah, but unfortunately for Mr. Irish Cheeky Smile O'Malley, Marylanders, for the most part, are smart. Here's how you can beat the system. The EZ Pass is used all up and down the east coast. Which means that the same EZ Pass has to be used in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, PA, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and all the other happy liberal states. So, why buy it in Maryland? You can bu it in Delaware for $21 upfront and no monthly fees. Or you can go to Pennsylvania and pay $3 per year.

So, the next time your rolling through Delaware or heading to Hershey Park, pick up your new EZ Pass transponder. Then mail your old one back to Mr. I'm Not Hillary's Vice President and deny him the revenue. That was easy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shoot the Chimp

When is a monkey a monkey? Now that we have a President who can claim 50% African-American heritage, apparently we can no longer call a monkey a monkey.

The New York Post ran an editorial cartoon lampooning the shooting of a rampaging chimpanzee. After the shooting one of the officers states, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." Immediately Al Sharpton started hollering racism. CNN ambulance-chaser Roland Martin jumped on the bandwagon, as did Baltimore's minimally educated hard left-wing liberal extremist 98 Rock morning show.

For the record, President Obama did not write the stimulus bill, or more accurately, the public sector pork barrel spending bill that will not create many private sector jobs, nor stimulate the economy. No, Congress wrote the bill. And, if you really want to be accurate, it was probably written by a bunch of high-paid Washington lawyers.

The fallout from this incident is surprising. Fearing retaliation from the racial sensation crowd, zoos across the country are now renaming monkey houses and will no longer refer to the animal as a chimpanzee. The animals will now be known as Jon Stewarts. And the facilities that contain the Jon Stewarts will now be known as Snuggies. Over time we will not think twice when the zoo tour guide says, "And over here in the Snuggie we have several Jon Stewarts that were born in captivity." "Jon Stewarts are very playful creatures, enjoying the company of other Jon Stewarts. However, some Jon Stewarts often play in poop. But remember, even though they look cute, Jon Stewarts are still wild creatures."

Additionally, our vernacular will transform over time. "Man, I can't stand my job. I work with a bunch of Jon Stewarts!" "Hey, what kind of Jon Stewart-business is going on in here?!!!" "My job is so mundane. A trained Jon Stewart could do it."

Why take a chance on being called a racist? By following the lead of zoos across the country, we can change over time and be more sensitive, avoid the pitfalls of the New York Post.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How Rude!

So you think you know rude? Let's turn it up a notch.

I get a phone call every day from some automated phone machine and the voice warns me that this is their last courtesy call to help us take advantage of new lower credit card rates. Press 1 to speak to a representative.

No. It's not the last courtesy call. We get one every day. And they never tell you who they are. And they keep calling.

So today I pressed 1. When a voice finally came on the line, it went like this:

Are you calling today to take advantage of new lower credit card rates?
No, I'm calling today to find out how to get you to stop calling me.
Stop answering the phone.

I reached into the phone to punch her in the face, but fortunately for the face covering her bad attitude she had already disconnected the call. How's that for rude?

Random Happenings

Work is again occupying much of my time, so I just finished my lunch and will squeeze in a quick post about some random funny things that have happened around the house.

Yesterday I get home from work and have this brief interaction with my son:

Eludius: How are you?
Sonius: (in a chipper voice) Hmmm.....not too bad. (and he walks away)

I'm not sure why I found this so hysterical. Maybe because he's 7 and that's not a typical 7 year old response.

After dinner one evening, Sonius passes gas.

Sonius: Wow. That was like 3 or 4 bubbles. Probably big brown bubbles.
Daughtero: That's disgusting. Mommy! Tell him to stop being so gross.
Mommy: (still laughing at Sonius' comment) What's better, one big bubble or a bunch of small bubbles?
Sonius: depends.

Please help me. Anytime things like this happen at home I suddenly recall some tasks at work that I need to leave and go finish.

I was complaining that I don't get to read as much as I once did. Then it occurred to me, I've read a lot lately. I'm just not giving myself credit. For instance I've read:

Brown Bear, Brown Bear (at least 5 times daily)
The Very Lazy Ladybug (once daily)
Eight Silly Monkeys (once daily)
My First Colors Book (4 times daily)
My First Numbers Book (3 times daily)
The Mitten (2 times daily)
The Very Lonely Firefly (2 times daily)
Ten Little Ladybugs (once daily)

And the best part is how you're told it's time to read. My youngest daughter can't talk yet, so she throws the book at me, then using my foot sort of like a horse stirrup, hoists herself up on the couch. Unfortunately, I can't seem to convince her that she wants to hear Civil War Civilians.

So who says I don't read? I do read. I read a lot! And BTW - Eight Silly Monkeys is the best, especially if you use silly voices and a good rhythm.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's That Simple

Mr. Eludius has been stressing at work at lot lately. Not only has the workload increased significantly, which normally in a bad economy would be a good thing, but I've also been put in charge of a project run under the Lean Agile methodology, which I am not that familiar.

Things here at American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America are tight, just like everywhere else. In fact, there's been a lot of talk of laying off some amalgamaters, some corrugaters, and even some conglomerators. Yes, it's that bad.

My one project to work on the dehumidifier or Corrugator #2 was to last throughout the year. I'm now being told that it has to be done by May. Additionally, the budget for the amalgamating department was cut by $1 million last week. No one is supposed to know about it, but I heard it from everyone.

With these uncertain economic times, you'd think that everyone would be buckling down trying to stay busy. That is not always the case. I still see engineers surfing the Internet, spending lots of time on, that social networking website for cardboard box engineers.

Anyway, I had this big 2 hour meeting yesterday that was to gather steps needed to complete each step of this new dehumidifying process. I gathered about 10 analysts, developers, and project leads to go through every step of the process.

I was very nervous about this meeting because I don't know many of them and I am now reporting to a new supervisor, one which I have little or no rapport. On Wednesday my wife asked me what was wrong. She said I looked anxious and worried. I said that I was anxious about the meeting because I felt like I had to give a good impression and I was not very comfortable with the material. You see - I normally work with humidifiers, not dehumidifiers. This totally threw me off of my game. After telling her this, my 9-year old daughters says, "Papa, if you can coach a soccer game you can coach a meeting."

How profound is that? Let's keep everything in perspective. I knew little about soccer, didn't know the players, coaches, and parents, yet I was able to bring them all together, coach the soccer games, and have a good time.

So the lesson from the 4th grader is - "Don't perceive life as being that complicated. Put it into simpler terms and it will be okay." I thought about this throughout the day leading up to the meeting, thought about it during the meeting, and I got through it just fine. I was even told by the project lead that I did a really good job.

When I got home I thanked my daughter for making my meeting so much easier.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Is It Just Me?

Is it just me or does it seem like the more people that get laid off the worse the economy gets?

Is it just me or does it seem like the music from our generation seems to be the best and it's been downhill ever since?

Is it just me or does it seem like most people vote for politicians that promise to give them something rather than for politicians who want to fix the system?

Is it just me or are all of my food packages getting smaller?

Is it just me or does it seem like politicians don't really care what the people think, they're going to do whatever they want anyway because they know we'll forget at election time?

Is it just me or does it seem like corrupt politics are tolerated in Maryland?

Is it just me or is it really difficult to get excited about sports in Maryland once the NFL season is over?

Is it just me or are people getting tired about hearing how historic it is for Obama to be the first black President? I think we get it.

Is it just me or does it seem like it's colder than it used to be, but we still don't get very much snow?

Is it just me or do most people at work slack off while I'm usually busy working?

Is it just me or does Tom Daschle look totally ridiculous in Sally Jesse Raphael's glasses?

Is it just me or does it seem like the more money I make the less I have?

Is it just me or should I get back to work?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Super Bowl Hangover

Hangovers come in many forms. Some hangovers are from drinking the entire case of Bud Lite behind the dumpster in the Burger King parking lot. Others originate from 3 plates of salty meatballs, chicken wings, chili, 4 variations of taco dip, and 5 beers. While others witnessed the end of the 2008-09 football season.

As Super Bowls go, this one was pretty good. I expected a blowout. The Cardinals actually kept it interesting throughout the game and even gave us some false excitement with about 2:30 to go in the 4th quarter as Larry Fitzgerald blasted down the field and scored a touchdown putting the Cards on top of the Steelers. But, alas, Ben Hamgburger pulled another touchdown pass out of his sphincter and plopped it down in front of our faces that was more offensive than Janet Jackson's left breast.

And that wasn't all the excitement. Apparently, some fans in Phoenix got to enjoy 10 seconds of porn instead of football (a fair trade if you ask me). Comcast and station KVOA are investigating how this could have happened. Let me help - a) deviant employee or b) a hacker with a great sense of humor. Are you really investigating or are you consulting your lawyers about the ramifications from the FCC?

So now that the Super Bowl is over, Pittsburgh fans can rest those yellow scary washcloths and start looking for a job again. Arizona fans can go back to their depression and desert smog. And the rest of us can go about hating the Steelers.

And for those non-sports fans, they can stop pretending they know what's going on. "I heard that Brett Favre kicked a homerun into the goal!" You know who you are. Don't pretend you know all about football. If you don't know a bootleg from a flee-flicker from a quick hitch, you're going to stick out like an honest politician on the Baltimore City Council.

Quasi-sports fans can pretend that they are interested in the upcoming baseball season. Others will begin watching the NCAA basketball season as March Madness soon approaches. No one really gives a sheet about the NBA. 5 of us will watch hockey. Women's volleyball, anyone?

And the football addicts will agitatingly hunker in their chair, shaking with anticipation for the new season to start. They claim that they are hard-core fans, driving around in their purple campers and buses, wearing make-up, feathers, beads, and camouflage. But I say they are clowns who have no life outside of football. I bet most couldn't provide their children's middle names.

So as that empty part of your life begins, go play with your kids. Take your wife to dinner and a movie. Make that to-do list. Because before you know it, it'll be time for football again.
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