Lesson of the day

I have a walk-in attic. That is, a standard door on the second floor opens up into the space over part of the first floor, and you can enter and walk around. Most of this space contains plywood flooring so you can walk on it. Other, clearly delineated parts, are unfinished, with the bare rafters and insulation open and visible. The unfinished spaces are separated from the walkable parts with 2×4 framing, such that no sane person would want to walk into the unfinished bits without a really good reason.

Lesson for the day: don’t let your mother-in-law wander the attic unattended.


Dreaming an SNL sketch

I had a dream the other day that seems like exactly the right concept for an SNL sketch. (Meaning, it’s initially funny, but would go on too long.) The dream goes like this: my wife and sit down to eat in a fancy restaurant called L ’Idiot (my subconscious pulling a reference from L.A. Story). We’re dressed well (yes, this is a dream) and it’s all very proper. Then our waiter comes, and it is this guy:

Billy Mays

In his typical loud voice, he says “Hi! Billy Mays here for L ’Idiot, the last word in restaurant pretension!” The dream is a bit cloudy in my memory, but he goes on to tell us about the specials. I remember lines like “You get it all! The linguine! The clam sauce! All for just two easy payments of $14.95!” and “But wait! If you order now, you’ll also get L ’Idiot’s world famous chocolate mousse, absolutely free!”.

It was weird, man.

Evil genius

The year is 2035. Joe Smith stands in front of the United States Senate, subject of a confirmation hearing for the post he has sought all his life:

Camera cuts to Senator Archibald Huffenpuff [R], looking self-important and slightly bored.

Huffenpuff: Mr. Smith are you now or have you ever been a member of the web site called [checks notes] MySpace.com?

Cut to Joe Smith, in a sharp suit.

Smith: Yes sir.

Huffenpuff: In what capacity?

Smith: Well, while running for office several years ago, we used myspace.com/joe-smith-in-30 as part of our grassroots campaign to…

Huffenpuff: Have you ever used any other usernames on this site?

Smith looks moderately confused by the question.

Smith: I don’t particularly recall, Senator.

Huffenpuff: Have you ever used the name el-guapo-suave?

Smith smiles.

Smith: Ah, yes. I used that name during school.

Huffenpuff: Do you recall comments made then about circuit judge Mary Jones?

Smith blanches, clearly confused

Smith: Back then? I didn’t even know who she was then, Senator.

Huffenpuff: Let me refresh your memory. In 2008, she was fifteen years old and went by the user name meow1kittens15.

Smith: Uh…

Huffenpuff: You left comments on her page when she posted a picture of herself in her cheerleader uniform.

Sensing Smith’s discomfort, the camera slowly zooms in.

Smith: Uh…

Huffenpuff: Specifically, you said of the then underage Mary Jones, and I quote “I’d tap that” and “omfg u r so h0ttt!!!11!1”. Are these your words, sir?

Smith: Uh…

Camera cuts to a closeup of a white cat with blue eyes and a diamond necklace, being pet by Rupert Murdoch (indirect owner of MySpace) in his orbiting space station.

Murdoch: Bwah-ha-ha-ha! You should have paid up, Mr. Smith.

Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are already being used for blackmail, but I can’t help but suspect that blackmail is actually their entire reason for existence. This is the only reason I can find to explain why Faceberg still gets investment capital in spite of having no visible business plan or prospects. It may also explain why Facebook removed a third-party application that let its users stab each other: it was cutting in on Facebook’s action.

Expect to see this type of thing show up in government more often, along with services that will eliminate incriminating web evidence. One interesting aspect of this will be the collateral damage created. For example, in my fictional example above, a plot intended to take down Smith would probably also take down Mary Jones by also exposing her teenage escapades.

Inside joke

Only seven people in the world will actually understand this, much less think it is as funny as I do. And only half of them are probably reading this. But hey, my blog, my rules.

In doing some spring cleaning, I came across this scrap of paper in one of the many piles in my office:

Tanador note

Good times.

UPDATE: not long after posting this, I got a “mysterious” text page from one of the seven people saying “There is no rash.” Trust me, that was hilarious.

Hyper MacJesus Pro Gold returns from the dead to save all mankind

Back in the days of Macintosh System 6.0, Lamprey Systems (“software that sucks”) brought us “Your Own Personal Savior on a Floppy Disk”, but then He languished as technology outpaced Him. Now, He’s back, redubbed MacJesusX, promising Mac OS X goodness, “the Insinerator Sin-Removal Tool® and state-of-the-art 80’s programming techniques”.

The latest version, unfortunately, isn’t as fun as the System 7 version. I think one reason might be that it doesn’t use the hypnotic theme song from the earlier one. To restore it to its former glory, I’ve managed (not easily) to extract said theme and translated it into a short MP3. You pretty much have to listen to it on a loop to get the full effect. If you have QuickTime installed, hit play on the control below to see what I mean.


A co-worker told me about something he saw last weekend that has to be the most concise illustration of how to properly use incentives to change people’s behavior I’ve ever seen. It was a sign in in a retail store saying:

Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.