Wednesday, June 30, 2010

View from the Easy Chair

In case you ever wondered what it was like to sit in my easy chair and eat a burrito/drink a shot of Bailey's/call someone on the phone, I have drawn a rough sketch of the view.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loser Blog

Today I read an article about how the blogosphere is just like high school: some blogs are popular, and others are not. It claimed you may have a “loser blog” if nobody responds to your posts. I hadn’t really thought of my blog as a “loser blog” with no friends; it always seemed more like the kid in high school who had a small but tight-knit group of friends. However, “Loser Blog” does kind of have a catchy ring to it, so I wish I’d thought of it back when I was naming my blog. Anyway, do blogs really need self-esteem issues? People do comment on my blog now and then, and some of you assure me that you read it regularly and just don’t comment because you don’t have a Google identity. This would be the ideal time to get one so you could write some kind of comment on this post. Here are some ideas for you:

“Loser!”
“Famous Hat = Loser Blog”
“This blog is a looooooooooser!”

Or, you could not write a comment and – according to the people writing the article – that would accomplish the same thing. Then again, I am always a bit leery to take advice from people who write blogs that are referred to as “snarky” by a mainstream website. What would GenericNews.com know about “snarky”? Can they even define the word? (Snarky: like or pertaining to a snark. Which is a big, mean fish that swims in the snee.) Is there some International Snark Standard against which all blogs are measured for levels of snarkiness? And what does it mean if your blog goes off the snarkometer? Or if you guarantee a snark-free blog? Which one would result in greater virtual popularity?

Self-proclaimed arbiters of snarkiness make me think of self-proclaimed geniuses (genii?), which reminds me that I may have to rethink my stand on Mensa. Friday night Mamastep and I were smoking a hookah at the Mideastern restaurant in the ‘hood when she told me that she’s a member, and that they regularly booze it up at their meetings. So I had it all wrong: being a member of Mensa isn’t an excuse to look down on those with inferior intellects; it is just another excuse to get hammered. I said in that case I totally endorse membership in Mensa.

Famous "Loser" Hat

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Magic of $2 Bills

This weekend I had to drive to Chicago again, this time for my cousin’s baby shower. When I got a bunch of $2 bills at the credit union and told the teller that they were for the Illinois tollway, he said, “You are my hero!” I figure they deserve the aggravation since they treat us non-I-Pass-owning types like second-class citizens. Most of the toll workers were middle-aged women, about half of them white and half black, and they were completely unfazed by the $2 bills. They gave me correct change without blinking an eye. But one old white guy made it all worth my time. Here’s how it went down:

The toll was for $1.60. I handed him my $2 bill and waited for change. And waited. And waited. Finally we had the following dialogue:

Toll Guy: This toll is $1.60.
Famous Hat: Right. I’m waiting for my change.
TG: Oh! This is a $2 bill! I haven’t seen one of those in awhile! Now I have to figure out how to get rid of it. I don’t have a place for it here. (He hands me $1.40 in change, and I start to say that’s not right.) Wait, that’s not right. (He takes it ALL back.)
FH: I should still get 40 cents back.
TG: What? Right! Here – 40 cents.


I will always remember this encounter fondly, since it was even better than what I had been expecting, which was simply a double-take: “Whoa! Is that a $2 bill?” Funny how none of the other toll workers were one bit fazed by a $2 bill, and yet it magically made this gentleman unable to do math. There are two possible conclusions to be reached, which are not mutually exclusive so they might well both be true:

1. This dude really needs to retire.
2. Women are just smarter than men.


Feel free to discuss this in the Comments section.

Famous Hat

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Whole Lotta Misunderstandin'

The other day I was telling Light Bright about a woman I know who has two PhD’s and can’t find a job, and she thought I said “two pasties,” which makes some sense – one isn’t enough for most women and three is too many, right? – but she didn’t understand what that had to do with getting a job. We had a good laugh over that misunderstanding, especially since the woman in question is extremely overweight so it made for the kind of mental image that makes you want to scrub your eyeballs.

When I told this story to A-Joz and some other girls from the bus, I said how two pasties makes sense, and one of them responded that it depends how hungry you are. The rest of us were flabbergasted by the idea of eating pasties, but she was thinking of a Cornish pasty, and I don’t know about you, but I pronounce that word so it rhymes with “blast-y,” more or less, whereas the word in the story I had told rhymes with “hasty” and is more pertinent to strippers than hungry Cornish farmers.

However, the weirdest moment of all might have been when I was sitting around with Richard Bonomo, Kathbert, and Anna Banana II, and I told them how Light Bright misunderstood me, but I wasn’t sure if the problem were her hearing or my diction. As we discussed this woman, the conversation naturally drifted to another woman in a similar predicament: a PhD, a personality glitch, morbidly obese, and trouble keeping a job. Rich said something about two highly educated people with personality disorders keeping them from getting jobs, and I added something about them both being fat as well. He asked in surprise who the other one was, and we all said well, both women are quite LARGE, and he said he had been thinking of the second woman and a really skinny guy who had not come up previously in the conversation. Unlike, say, the first woman. When I told Light Bright about this, she said that’s just men for you, and her fiancé does that all the time. “They forget we can’t read their minds,” she said.

So that was plenty of entertainment mileage out of one simple case of mishearing!

Famous Hat

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keith's Romantic Advice Column

My little dracaena marginata Keith now wants to be an advice columnist, doling out words of wisdom to lovelorn flora. I said it could answer some questions in today's post.

Dear Keith:

I am a legume seed and just noticed my next-door neighbor. We have a lot in common: we’re both round and green, we both live in the same structure, and we both hope to sprout. Do you think things will work out for us?

Hopeful


Dear Hopeful:

You sound like two peas in a pod! This could definitely work!

Keith

Dear Keith:

I am a tamarack who fell for a beautiful willow down the road, but it left me in the larch! Should I have seen this coming? Are willows bad news?

Timber! (Fell for the Wrong Tree)

Dear Timber:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: willows will just leave you weeping. Palm trees are the best trees for dates. For a long-term commitment, find yourself a sequoia.

Keith

Dear Keith:

I am a pumpkin who asked the melon in our garden patch to marry me, but its family does not approve of interspecies relationships. I begged it to run away with me, but it refused. Is this relationship doomed?

Punky


Dear Punky:

What kind of melon are we talking about? Remember that many a melon can’t elope.


Keith

OK, Keith, that's enough of that. Maybe you should go back to writing romance novels.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Law of R Preservation

As a trained linguist, I cannot help noticing there seems to be a law of R preservation. For example, take the word “February.” Everyone I know (with the exception of Richard Bonomo) pronounces this word “Feb-yoo-ary.” Where did the R go? Into the word “sherbet,” which around here tends to be pronounced “shur-burt.” There is no actual R in the orthography of this word, but we don’t have to wonder where it came from. Clearly, it came from February, which has an R that is rarely pronounced.

The Boston accent demonstrates the Law of R Preservation beautifully. They seem to drop most of their R’s, in words like “park,” “car,” and “chowder,” which they pronounce “pahk,” “cah,” and “chowduh.” However, these R’s are not lost; they are stuck onto the ends of words that don’t actually end in R, so that the names Tricia and Becca become “Trisher” and “Becker.” So in the sentence “Tricia brought Becca some chowder in the car,” the net number of R’s is the same whether spoken by a Midwesterner or a Bostonian.

Midwest: TRicia bRought Becca some chowdeR in the caR = 4 R’s
Boston: TRisheR bRought BeckeR some chowduh in the cah = 4 R’s

I rest my case.

Famous Hat = No R's wherever you are

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pulmonary Grand Rounds: Cereal Lung

Background: Last night as a bunch of us were sitting around eating a delicious rhubarb cheesecake made by Anna Banana II to celebrate Rhubarb Season, we got on the subject of Grand Rounds and then generic cereals. Involved in this discussion were Richard Bonomo (who came up with the scientific name for Cereal Lung), Katzooks and her boyfriend (the one who came up with the actual idea of Cereal Lung), Mr. and Mrs. “Smith,” Kathbert, and me. (My job was explaining what Grand Rounds are and then promising to come up with a Grand Rounds presentation on Cereal Lung.)

Description: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokellogscrispiosis, or “Cereal Lung,” was an idea first advanced in June 2010 during a discussion of generic cereals that came in bags. As these were enormous ten-pound bags, quite a bit of the product would become pulverized and was then easily inhaled. It was posited that, as these generic cereals, such as “Tooty Frootles,” tended to come in highly unnatural colors, a pattern of coloration would become evident during scans of infected lungs.


Figure 1: Larry the Lung demonstrates a pair of healthy, bright-eyed lungs.

Figure 2: Tooty Frootles
(photo credit: unknown; stolen off internet)



Figure 3: Cereal Lung

(photo credit: Rahim Rizi, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Medical School)




Figure 4: Breakdown of infection

Prognosis and treatment: There is no known treatment for Cereal Lung at this time. The best method of prevention is avoiding cereal in bags, cereal in unnatural hues, and especially cereal in unnatural hues that come in bags. The prognosis depends upon exposure. Lengthy exposure to pulverized Tooty Frootles inevitably leads to COPD, or Cereal Out Probiscus Disease, in which the victim tends to cough sweet, artificially-flavored powder out of the nasal passages, and bright colors can be detected in the sputum and the mucus. The course of the disease can often be reversed by a complete dietary overhaul, in which all cereals consumed are brown and taste like cardboard.

Famous Hat

Friday, June 18, 2010

Keith's New Quarter Series Idea

My little dracaena marginata Keith is at it again. It has yet to receive a response from the President of the United States, so now it is writing to the Federal Reserve with its latest idea. (The form asked for its profession, so it said "Houseplant," and for organization it said, "Plants United Against Boring Currency (PUABC)"). Here is what it submitted:

I greatly enjoyed the “State Quarters” series and its equally wonderful sequel, the “US Territories” Quarters. Are you planning another series? Because last night I had a really good idea that came to me in a dream (yes, plants dream despite what botanists may tell you): The Signs of the Zodiac Quarter series! Actually, the only quarter I saw in the dream was Taurus, but why not put them all on coins? (Feel free to put Virgo on pennies, since the person who waters me has had a number of bad experiences with Virgo men.) That should shut up all those atheists who complain about “In God We Trust” on the coins, since how can the Treasury be religious if it is endorsing astrology, right? Also, please make more $2 bills. The person who waters me finds they are very useful at the local farmer’s market, where everything costs – guess what? - $2, and they confound teenage cashiers everywhere.

Sometimes I really regret the day I taught that plant to type!

Famous Hat

Light Bright Moonlight

Looks like Light Bright has got a second job painting water towers. This is a totally non-doctored photo I shamelessly stole from a local news station's website of the new paint job for a local water tower. The town is Stoughton (pronounced, by those in the know, as "Stufton"), but something seems to be missing here. It doesn't quite fit to a T.

Stuffon Water Tower

Famous Hat

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting Into Some Kind of Shape... Trapezoid?

You know the tired old joke: "I'm in shape - round's a shape!" Why not get into a more interesting shape, like say rhombus? Or trapezoid? Seriously, though, I am once again on a quest to "get fit," which never seems to actually happen even though I think about it now and then. So Monday night I went over to Hardingfele's house, bought a pink visor from Rockstar Tailor's Random Queen Girls business, and then hit the weights and the elliptical machine at the club. The machine was a bit of a disappointment, since it said my target heart rate was so low I would practically be dead. It kept telling me to slow down, already, and I was barely breaking a sweat. When I told Richard Bonomo about it, he said those things are always set too cautiously, and he tells it he is 35 so that he can get a reasonable target heart rate. In that case, for purposes of working out, consider me 19.

Yesterday I walked partway home but otherwise did nothing athletic, being too busy with a side project for one of the doctors I work for. He asked me to do some dictation, but it was about a fighter pilot from World War II and his fascinating exploits. I don't know if I should say too much more about this, since I don't want to scoop his article (which will appear in some aviation magazine), but I will say this: never have I laughed so hard while doing dictation! A biplane buzzing various people is way more entertaining than medical terminology, for some odd reason. This is yet another endeavor of mine that I fell into which will net me tens of dollars, right up there with the occasional paying gig and the children's story illustrations I am doing for our church organist. She liked my first set of drawings so well that she gave me a 20% raise for the next batch! If only freelancing actually made me enough money to live on...

Then today I boke to work and then over to Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety. It was very difficult, and I wasn't sure if the problem were my bike Eusebius, or me, but it is probably both of us. Hardingfele helped me pump up E's tires with a bike pump that she says sometimes takes more air than it gives, and Rich thinks one of the brakes is rubbing. Still, I cannot deny my own part in this drama; if I am in shape, it is currently not a bike-friendly one! Also, at work we have been having/will have a round of parties all week for people getting new jobs, getting new husbands, or retiring, so I REALLY need the exercise. Then I came over to Rich's house and planted the "money tree" (which is probably bee balm, but nobody is really sure) and a leftover Easter lily from Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety in what passes for his garden. After that I mowed maybe two-third's of the knee-high grass in his backyard, and now I am blogging on Aquinas. Why didn't I mow his whole lawn? It was getting dark, the mosquitoes were really bad, and I am feeling exercised-out for today. Maybe tomorrow I will finish the job. (If I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll tackle the front yard too!)

Famous Hat

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Knights and Compentent [sic] Researchers

This heavily disguised blog post is comprised of two parts: a true story involving some coworkers, modified for your reading pleasure and my legal protection; and an email (also heavily edited to protect the guilty) with an allegedly true story sent to me by Toque McToque, who thought it would make good blog fodder. I will let my 5.6 loyal readers be the judge of that.

Once there was a king who had promised lands to some of his knights, and one valiant knight was promised an especially beautiful parcel of land overlooking a river. However, the highest-ranking knight in the kingdom decided that he wanted that particular parcel of land. Not only that, he wanted to keep his original castle because it was close to the village, where all the action was, so he occupied two parcels of valuable land in the kingdom, because he could. This was known as the “right of the first knight.”

So Miss Sara Thooster spake thus: at Hardknox University she wrote her history Masters thesis on the history of the concept of the Right of the First Knight. Except she got it wrong every single time. Something like 180 references to the Right of the First Night, including in the title of the paper.

No one on her committee caught this. Her thesis was approved and published this way. Then about a month later, a professor (not on her committee) pointed out to her that the Right of the First Night is a completely different concept having to do with kings getting the first crack at new brides. He suggested, as she wrote to her thesis office, it could "call into question my compentency [sic!] as a researcher."

Ya think?


Famous Hat

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Marvin the Computer

Richard Bonomo is back safe and sound from Mickey Mouse Heck, which he really enjoyed. Here is a photo o him in his banana leaf hat, which is older than Famous Hat. (The hat AND the person!) It has been all over the world, Kuwait and Vienna and now Mickey Mouse Heck, which he made sound like so much fun that now I kind of want to go. (Anna Banana II and Kathbert have both been there.)


Here, for Toque McToque, is a picture of Marvin the Computer with a penny for reference:


For full disclosure, I should tell you that the penny next to Marvin is the one on the left, which I got for $3 at a museum gift shop. The one on the right is worth 1 cent.


And here is a kind of cool effect I got by trying to block the flash with my finger:


Famous Hat

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pictures of Rooster

Here are the promised pictures of my trip to Rooster. First are some pictures from the party at my brother's house in a small town outside of Rooster.


Sister-in-Law's Garden

Here are several of the guests who were at the party:


Queen Bea


Marley


Bear

De-Niece's cake


Mortarboard-shaped piñata


Pedicure of De-Nephew One's girlfriend


Pedicures of my sister-in-law and Tiffy

Then we drove to Rooster, and on the way we saw these stoplights. Notice how someone seems to have been gnawing on the left edge of the middle one? What happened there?


We stayed at the swanky Kahler Hotel, which has many swanky gift shops. You can see they were trying to get the H out of this gift shop!


You can tell the Kahler is swanky because of the carpeting:


Here is a view of Rooster from the Kahler Hotel swimming pool. In the distance you can barely make out the corncob-shaped water tower just to the right of a regular water tower.



Plummer Tower

Here are two views of the Kahler Hotel sign through the dome over the pool:


Daytime


Nighttime

And here is a short movie I made of the Kahler Hotel swimming pool.

video

Famous Hat

Meet Joe

Here are pictures of Joe, the poor little pegasus I named with his secret code. Kathbert thinks he looks like Liberace.



Famous Hat

Thursday, June 10, 2010

ePlushpidity

Lucky you, Hatkateers! Two posts in one day! I have to tell you that I did something so stupid that it left me convulsed with helpless laughter for twenty minutes, so why not share the joy? It all started when Rockstar Tailor talked Hardingfele and me into stopping by the craft store to buy supplies for her online business, Random Queen Girls, where she and some school friends sell random stuff online to raise money for pet shelters. While she was collecting beads, I admired the ePlush stuffed animals. Most cost quite a bit of money, but for some reason a very pretty white pegasus with gold hooves and wings was on sale for a fraction of the price of the others. Now I need another ePlush like the proverbial hole in the head - and in fact what happened next may convince you that I have said hole right through some vital part of the brain - but I did buy it. Since my ePlush creatures are two boys and three girls, I decided that my little winged horse would be a boy to keep the balance even.

I was going to name him Thanatos 2U, and Tailor thought I should make it a girl and name her Ophanta, but Hardingfele nixed Thanatos. I mentioned to a Mexican janitor as we entered Hardingfele's office building that she didn't like the plushy's name so I should call him "Cabron," and he laughed. But Hardingfele thought that meant "buddy"! So I went to the ePlush website, entered the secret code to activate the online avatar of my little stuffy, and was surprised when they asked me to enter it again. Too late I realized the first time they must have been asking for his name, so now he is immortalized with the moniker [six random letters and a number], his now not-so-secret code. OOOOOOOOOPS!!!! In case you're wondering, it's pronounced "Joe."

Famous Hat

Missives from Mickey Mouse Heck

Two days ago Kathbert, A-Fooze, Anna Banana II, and I received the following alarming message, desperately sent from the depths of Mickey Mouse Heck:

Rich: HALP! I am being held prisoner by a giant mouse couple who insist on entertaining me in exchange for money! :-))

I replied right away: How much do you need for them to stop entertaining you? Maybe I could wire it tonight...

Anna Banana II then sent this message: Hi Rich, I have Scrooge McDuck working on the ransom money. He is working on a deal to have you out of Mickey Mouse Heckland by sometime on Friday. Hang in there! :)

The only thing I have heard from Rich since then is this: BTW, I am planning to pick up a tacky Disney snow globe for your collection if I am able. Is this something you'd like to add to your collection, or would you prefer something else? :-))

So it appears he is still alive and spending money in Mickey Mouse Heck. If he comes back in one piece and with a snow globe containing a miniature replica of The Enchanted Castle, I promise to take a photo of it and post it on this blog. Stay tuned….

Famous Hat

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hickey Hat Heck

Greetings, Hatketeers! What a derby day it is! Let's all sing the Hickey Hat theme song:

It’s a world of fezzes and a world of toques
It’s a world of fedoras and a world of caps
There’s so many hats to wear
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a hat world after all!


Now you can stroll around Hat World and buy all kinds of hats. Any kind of hat you like, as long as you want a hat emblazoned with the "Hat World" logo. Everyone here is hatty!

Sound familiar? Kind of like, oh, say, PURGATORY??

Famous Hat

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

blooggin' with marvin

So here I sit in Rich's house (that's right, bad people! if you think his house is an easy target while he's in Mickey Mouse Heck, I'd be happy to put the smackdown on you), attempting to blog on Marvin the Computer. This is no trivial task, since Marvin is a tiny green computer made for kids in Third World countries. I may have small hands for an adult in a First World country, but even I find it a challenge to type on Marvin. So please excuse any typos. I have promised Toque McToque a photo of Marvin, since one does not encounter adorable computers every day, and I have just the thing to put it in perspective, but of course said object is at my house and I am at Rich's house. It has taken me twenty minutes to laboriously type this paragraph because I have to type so carefully. Now I generally type upwards of 60 words per minute, but typing at my normal speed on Marvin would be a disaster. Allow me to demonstrate with a poem we all had to memorize in hgh school, although I was never sure why:

Whse woods theseare I think I know;
His houxe is in yhe vvillage, thoughy.
He will noy see ,e syoppinh jete
To waychhis woods fill up wiyh snow.

my liyylr hotse musy find iy queer
To syop wiyout a villge near
beween he woods and frozenm lake
The darkest eveninghg of the yer.

He gives jos hness ells a shake
Yo addk if there's neen some mistake
The only oher' suimds the sweep
og fromst ywind anmd downy flke

The woods we lovely, dk nd deep,
but I hcew promiea to keep
nd miles to go befor eI awlpp,
nd miles to go before I aeep.

-- Robert Frot

So you can see why I will be wraping things up now.

Famus Hat

Monday, June 7, 2010

Visiting Rooster

Sorry, I have lots of pictures – and a movie! – from my trip to my hometown of Rooster, but I can’t put them on the blog yet. It’s a long story, but Rich is currently on a family trip to Mickey Mouse Heck, and he brought Aquinas with him for aid and comfort, so I have not been able to download the photos off my camera. I will provide a brief summary for now and will post pictures once Rich returns from Mickey Mouse Heck.

My besty Tiffy and I hit the road late Saturday morning and arrived at my brother’s house in a downpour right on time for De-Niece’s graduation party. I brought her the cash and savings bonds I’ve been saving for her all these years, although in two years I will not be able to bring the same thing to De-Nephew One because I sent it all to him earlier this year so he could afford to go to Europe for some Fantastic Opportunity that will get him College Credit. Among the guests at the party were two Rottweilers and a pug, besides all sorts of friends and relatives of the graduate. My sister-in-law had a beautiful setup for an outdoor party but no contingency plan for rain, so we all crowded into the garage. De-Niece’s girlfriends smeared cake all over her face, which didn’t please her too much. There was a mortarboard-shaped piñata which we never got to take a swing at and plenty of food and drink that we did get to consume.

Then Tiffy and I stayed at the swanky Kahler Hotel, which really wasn’t much more expensive than your basic motel for our little room with two little beds. It was very cute and cozy. The pool is on the top story, with incredible views of Rooster in three directions and a dome over it that lights up different colors at night. We were a bit weirded out by all the kids running by the “no running” signs, diving under the “no diving” signs, jamming themselves into the “maximum capacity four” hot tub although they were clearly under the minimum age of 12, and playing around with the weight-training equipment, all without any obvious parental supervision. Miraculously, they all survived. Then we met my parents for a late dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Sunday morning we met my parents for brunch at a Dutch pancake house, and when I ordered a chocolate chip Dutch pancake a la mode, Tiffy said, "How old are you?" Then we drove back, passing through several torrential downpours. I went to the late Mass for Corpus Christi and saw a number of other regulars from the 9:00 Mass there, so either everyone was out of town this weekend, or everyone else slept in.

Famous Hat

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Week in the Life of Famous Hat

Sorry for the sporadic blogging - it's been a crazy week. Right now I am at Rich's house blogging on Aquinas, after Tiffy and I went to the Mideastern restaurant in the hood for dinner and a hookah with jasmine and rose flavored tobacco. A belly dancer performed a much more traditional dance than the one A-Fooze and I saw there months ago, and since it involved no fire, the fire alarms did not go off. Here are some stories from this week:

It is acceptable to throw holy water at the choir director if you think he is possessed. However, doing it because you're angry at him is bad form, especially if you are a person who constantly crows about your own holiness. Just sayin.'

A doctor was presenting an article at Journal Club about a study done in Taiwan, and she noted that the average weight of the patients was 63 kg. When she asked how that compared to the patients our doctors see in the ICU, another doctor quipped, "Do you mean 63 BMI?"

Another doctor was telling Light Bright and me that he thinks the rules about having to put kids in car seats until they are practically able to vote is forcing people to have smaller families, since most cars cannot handle more than two car seats. He then told us a story from his childhood in a distant time and place, when his family was driving somewhere and suddenly his little brother was gone... because he had fallen out the car window! To this day the brother (who was three at the time but is now past retirement age) accuses this doctor and their older brother of throwing him out the window, but they insist their father just went around a curve too fast. Of course, they were having this conversation in Spanish sometime before the Ross Sisters performed "Solid Potato Salad," so things were different, but still.

A government agency in this state hired a construction firm to build a new building for them but specifically requested that they not use a specific software for the elevators. So what did the construction firm do? Of course they used that software for the elevators. I don't know who is crazier, the company that did exactly what they were told not to do, or the state agency that now refuses to buy the building, because although the elevators work perfectly well (and I can attest to this, since I have ridden in them), they use the wrong software.

Say there were four doctors in training, and one of them spent a lot of time at a VA hospital, two spent some time there, and one did purely Pediatrics. Now say the VA was funding one of these four doctors in training. Wouldn't it just make so much sense to say they are funding the Pediatric doctor? And here I thought we didn't use child soldiers in this country. Silly me!

Famous Hat

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When a Loved One Dies

Yesterday my computer got a virus somehow. (I'm not saying it was the "Online Buddies" email that Jilly Moose sent me, but just remember that cute pictures of puppies and bunnies can be full of dread disease.) Since in my fantasy life I must be some kind of IT guru, I decided to try to fix it myself instead of calling IT immediately. Whether that made things worse or not, I can't say; all I know is last night I left it running a scan, then this morning I cleaned up the bad files and rebooted. (I downloaded some freeware from the internet because my standard issue virus protection could sense the virus but couldn't get at it, so it bombarded me with messages every second that it had tried and failed to erase the threat.)

The computer was a little wiggy after the infection, but after the "cure" it was far worse and just kept getting hung up. Finally I contacted IT, and they tried to fix it remotely but couldn't, so they advised me to turn the computer off. Which I did, after holding the button in, since it wouldn't turn off on its own. An IT dude came up to see my computer, and he turned it on but only got the Blue Screen of Death, so he unplugged it and took it away. I wasn't sure what to do at that moment - all the bosses are out of town, and Light Bright suggested I just go home, which was very tempting - but after doing all my non-computer tasks (e.g., filing - always a good time) I decided to move into the Bat Cave, a tiny room with ancient computers in it for the student hourlies. Luckily the students are all gone for the summer, so I was able to get a lot done in the Bat Cave. But I did miss my window, and the computers in the Bat Cave are glacially slow. Hopefully tomorrow I can return to my rightful office...

Famous Hat