Thursday, December 30, 2004

He Would Choose The Tsunami

Last night I was talking with my brother about the tsunami. "I've been thinking about this all day," he said, "and I've decided that a tsunami would be a great way to die. If could choose how to go, that would be it."

"What are you talking about?" I said. "What makes that a 'great' way to die?"

"You'd be on a beautiful beach, surrounded by supermodels, and then a big wave comes in, and you're like 'maybe I can ride this one' and then whack you get slammed into a palm tree or something, and that's it."

"Uh, I'm not sure that's exactly how it would be." I said. "It could be much more awful than that . . ."

"No," he said, as if explaining the obvious, "it would definitely be the best way."

"I have a different idea of what would be best," I said. "One day, I walk out of my office building, and then wham, I'm crushed by a falling piano. It's so quick, I never feel a thing."

"What?" said my sister-in-law, "Where did the piano come from?"

"Somebody dropped it from the 15th floor."

"Why would that happen?"

"I don't know, maybe they were trying to move it in through the window and the rope broke. But it strikes my head in such a way that for a split second it plays a perfect C major chord, and that is the last sound I hear."

[Author's note: the recent tsunami was a terrible tragedy, of course. My brother and I happen to be the type of people who deal with such things through black humor. It is almost an involuntary response.]

Monday, December 27, 2004

Mixing Paint

As I was in the hardware section of a store, buying some wrenches, I overheard a young woman have this conversation on her cell phone. (She was standing near the paint aisle.)

"Hello? Oh, I'm mixing paint with Jesse . . . no, that's not a euphemism, we're actually mixing paint."

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Amity Sunnyside Pinot Noir 2002

I got this wine as a Christmas present, and it is amazing! This is like the Oregon wine equivalent of a classic Rhone wine, with maybe a bit more fruit. Get some if you can.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Law of Slacking

Iron Monkey's Law of Slacking: Every action creates the need for an equal but opposite period of inaction.

The Tale of Supply-Side Santa

Supply-Side Santa: Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! What's your name, little boy?

Timmy: I'm Timmy, and I want you to bring me a new bike for Christmas.

SSS: Ho, ho, ho! Oh, no, Timmy, I can't do that!

T: What? Why not?

SSS: Supply-Side Santa doesn't believe in handouts, he believes in encouraging investment. Why, if I decided what each boy and girl should get for Christmas and gave it to them, that would be a single-provider system with a centralized control mechanism! That's a very naughty Socialist idea, it's anticompetitive and anti-business, and it makes Supply-Side Santa very unhappy.

T: But if you don't give kids presents, what do you do?

SSS: I'm glad you asked, Timmy. I'm going to visit the houses of the wealthiest people, and give them even more economic advantages than they already have.

T: That doesn't seem fair, Supply-Side Santa . . . have the rich people all been very good this year? Better than me?

SSS: Ho ho ho! Of course they have! The fact that they are rich shows how they have been good and wise and hardworking. Those people will invest their new wealth, which will create jobs and stimulate the economy. Then maybe you can get one of those jobs, and someday you can afford that new bike you want!

T: But Supply-Side Santa, what if the rich people invest in companies that outsource all the jobs overseas? Then how will I get the bike?

SSS: Now Timmy, it's not Supply-Side Santa's fault if people like you are greedy, and demand higher wages and benefits than the global market can support. You'll just have to be more reasonable and work harder. Maybe you can do a little union-busting on the side to earn some extra cash.

T: OK Supply-Side Santa, now I see! If you gave me the bike, I would become weak and lazy and dependent on handouts. But by giving me nothing, and giving everything to the rich, it's actually all for my own good. I'll have an incentive to work hard and develop the right moral values.

SSS: Ho ho ho! Very good, Timmy, now you understand the true spirit of Christmas! Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


(Inspired by The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Remixed

Her: What was that song about racism I used to like a long time ago?

Me: Ebony and Ivory?

Her: No, it wasn't that. It was a much angrier song.

Me: Ebony and Ivory 2: The Kill Whitey Remix?

Sunday, December 19, 2004

At The Tree Farm

Jim: "How should we cut down the Christmas tree this year?"

Me: ". . ."

Jim: "I say we set up from long range with a sniper rifle and then . . . crack!" [mimes tree falling down] "One or two shots should do it."

Me: "What about this one?"

Jim: "It isn't tall enough."

Me: "We can always put some viagra in its water."

Jim: "OK, now this is the one."

Me: "This is the tree. Time to take it down. Release the termites!!"

Jim: "That's a good idea but . . . I know, beavers! That's what we should have brought."

Me: "Next year we'll bring a pack of trained beavers, on leashes. They can fell the tree for us. That will save us so much work. Well, if you don't count the training."

Rating Beheadings

Her: ". . . that was just gross. But the best decapitation scene in a movie was . . ."

Me: ". . . um . . ."

Her: ". . . in Conan."

Me: "Yes! I knew you were going to say Conan. And you're right, that was the best decapitation in a movie."

Her: "When Conan's mother got killed."

Me: "What? No, not that one! The other one, at the end, when Conan killed Thulsa Doom and his head went bouncing down the stairs! That was the best one."

Her: "No way. The first one was better, because of the way the headless body slowly fell down . . thud."

Me: "I can't believe we're arguing about what the best beheading scene is."

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Boba Fett sighted in downtown Portland. Posted by Hello

What's On My Treo 600

These are the Palm OS programs on my Treo 600. Favorites are in boldface, freeware is in italics.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Winter Party Quotes

After Summer and Fall party quotes, it is now time for Winter party quotes. There aren't many yet, but I'll keep adding to them.

"You can always tell what's in the oven . . . by the color of the smoke."

"The mininimum to get into the investment club is at least one indictment for securities fraud."

". . . and you know what else the wine steward said?" "Uh, 'Drink it all in one gulp or you're not a real man'?"

"I will suck out all your chi and use it for evil."

"Figure skating would be more interesting if they let them fight like in hockey."

"Tango is the Argentine version of Judo. There is a lot of grappling, but nobody gets slammed to the mat."

"Aren't you going to eat?" "I'm trying to put some meat on my wife for the winter."

"Your wasabi looks like an Ewok."

"She wants to help the downtrodden, but she works at [Law Firm]." "Oh yeah, and they only help the up-trodden."

"What do you think about those Internet-enabled refrigerators?" "Time will tell if it is just a fad." "Yeah, well, that's what they said about the wheel."

"For some people, 'I like you' is harder to say than 'I love you' because 'I love you' just means 'I'm going to get you into bed in a minute.' Don't you agree?" "Well, yeah, if it's said right . . ."

[After a discussion about catnip.] "Wouldn't life be more exciting if there were a such thing as human-nip?"

"The drug of choice there is sunshine." "Yeah, but it can lead to harder drugs."

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Miracle Cure

When I was a child, I had the bizarre belief that when I was sick, I could be cured by eating onion rings. I don't know how I came up with that. My mother tried to talk me out of it, but usually after I kept insisting it would work, she would get me some onion rings (maybe just to demonstrate that it didn't work?). Most of the time I felt better after eating them. I'm sure it was all in my head.

But the weird part is that even now that I am an adult, this still usually works. I know how absurd it is, and that actually, eating onion rings when I am sick should make me sicker or at least have no effect, but it still works. Is it some kind of psychosomatic voodoo?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Give The Gift Of A Stick


Give the gift of a stick this Christmas! Pottery Barn has these fine sticks on sale. They were $5.00 per stick but they are now marked down to $3.49. A stick has so many uses: it can be a bat for stickball, a piece of kindling, a weapon, raw material for a whittling project, a dog toy, and so much more. Plus when you give two sticks, you have also given the gift of potential fire! Yes, there's nothing like a store-bought stick. Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Modernizing Proverbs

Many of our proverbs have become outdated. They refer to things that are no longer common in daily life, but we still retain the sayings. Here are some suggestions for modernizing old proverbs.

Proverb: Strike while the iron is hot.
Problem: Refers to blacksmithing.
New Proverb: Flame while the newsgroup thread is hot.

Proverb: Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
Problem: People don't count unhatched chickens any more, or watch them hatch. Modern bioengineered chickens are grown in vats.
New Proverb: Don't count your share of the Nigerian exile's fortune before it's wired into your account.

Proverb: Closing the barn door after the horse is gone.
Problem: Barns and horses uncommon.
New Proverb: Closing Internet Explorer after the spyware has been installed.

Proverb: Putting the cart before the horse.
Problem: Carts and horses no longer used for transportation.
New Proverb: Putting the athletic competition before the steroid use.

Proverb: The straw that broke the camel's back.
Problem: Straw, camels.
New Proverb: The spam that broke the email server.

Proverb: Don't judge a book by its cover.
Problem: Decline of book readership.
New Proverb: Don't judge a download by its filename.

Proverb: . . . Bob's your uncle.
Problem: Erosion of traditional extended-family based group formation.
New Proverb: . . . Bob's some guy your mom met in a chat room.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Lil John

Back when George Bush, Sr. was in office, Dana Carvey did an impression of him on Saturday Night Live that was so memorable that the impression eclipsed the real thing. I couldn't watch a real George Bush speech without thinking of it as somehow being a second-rate Dana Carvey act.

Dave Chappelle has done the same thing to Lil John. I can't hear "what!?" or "yeaaaah!" in a Lil John song without thinking of the Chappelle version and laughing.

Free Lil' John mp3 download here.

Unsatisfying Fairy Tales Vol. 1: The Boy Who Was Almost Prince

Once upon a time, there lived a poor, orphan peasant boy who worked hard in the fields. He was smelly and unsophisticated, but he had a heart of gold. For a while it seemed like maybe he was secretly the son of the King, because the King's son had mysteriously vanished as an infant. But then it turned out that the King's real son lived in a nearby city where he worked as a furrier, and since he was 10 years older than the peasant boy, the whole theory never made very much sense anyway. So the peasant boy was just some kid. THE END.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Commuting Not As Fun As Sex, Study Shows

Today's lesson is that you can learn all sorts of fascinating things, if you have the wherewithal to put together an official, multi-university, academic research project. For example, a recent study of women's happiness revealed that "Having sex is the high point of most women's' days, while commuting is the low point."

Faced with this startling new information that women like sex more than commuting to work, one might ask, how much more fun is it? 10 times better? 100 times better? Thanks to the Inexorable March of Science, we now know quantitatively that sex is actually less than twice as fun as commuting:
On average, the 900 women gave "Intimate relations" a positive score of 5.10, compared to 4.59 for socializing. Housework scored 3.73, which was better at least than working at 3.62 and commuting with a lowly score of 3.45.

The creators of this study aim for more than just the accumulation of abstract knowledge. The article reports that "
they propose that their tool could be used to plan social policy." Well, one obvious social policy leaps out from this data. Society must find a way for people to have sex while commuting. In addition to increasing happiness levels, this could provide new, compelling reasons to car-pool, which would reduce pollution and oil consumption.