Monday, August 29, 2016

Just wear something, will you?

Transcribed audiorecording of myself, June, 2015:

00:03: "No, you cannot go in the back yard until you at least put on some underpants."

01:20: "Not on your head. Put them on the way you're supposed to."

02:25: "Wait, those are your brother's underpants. You can't even cross the room without them falling off."

02:30: "See? They fell off. Now find some that fit."

02:50: "No, not mine. Put my underwear back on my shelf and go get your own."

02:55: "The shelf, not your head."

03:47: "What? Of course you have underpants. They're right here in your... where is your underpants bin? Did you take it off the shelf? Did you hide it?"

04:32: "Fine. Sure. Of course it wandered over and took a nap under the blankets on your brother's top bunk all by itself. Underwear bins do that all the time. Now, do you want to go outside or not? Because aside from that one mitten, you're still naked."

05:00: "Oh, look. Real underwear, and you're wearing them... well, backwards, but close enough. Now you may go outside."


25:14: "Where did your underpants go? No, the tree did *not* eat them. Where are they? And why did you take them off?"

26:37: "So why didn't you just come inside, where we have flushing toilets and toilet paper? No, you know what -- never mind. Don't tell me. I don't even want to know. Just stand there until I finish hosing you down, and then put the underpants back on."

30:12: (muttering) "And yet, if I duct-tape them to his body, somehow I'm the bad guy..."

Friday, August 26, 2016

One of those random lists of questions

I'm just going to pretend that I'm famous enough to be interviewed...

1. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER SOMEONE?
Sort of. There's a longish history on my father's side involving the patterns of the first names. However, my dad was not the oldest, so my brother and don't quite fit the pattern, and my kids don't fit the pattern at all.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
No idea, but probably pretty recently and probably over some YouTube video that someone was passing around. Definitely when we buried my mom a few weeks ago.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I learned to type in self-defense.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Cheeseburgers?

5. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS?
Two boys. I might have written about them before.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Of course. It'd be like the bit in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World where the title character finally meets Nega-Scott.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
No. Never.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes, as well as a small but very tasteful collection of other people's.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Yes, and while being a parent has made me more cautious, that would not be the craziest thing that I've done.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
...Crunch Berries? I don't know if I could still eat that. It's been years.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Rarely.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU'RE STRONG?
Physically? Yes. Not like I was in my youth, but yes. Mentally/emotionally? Eh. Nobody's unbreakable, but I get by.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Usually the coffee-ish flavors. Again, it's been a while.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
The way they move, sometimes. Other times, it's the usual superficialities: clothing, build, coloration...

15. RED OR PINK?
Sure.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I don't always realize when it's time to stop being nice/reasonable, and I frequently don't know when to shut up.

17. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW?
Why, hello there Everyone On The Internet! As it happens, I'm not currently wearing pants or shoes. This would be a lot more embarrassing if I didn't suspect that an awful lot of you were doing the same.

18. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Popcorn.

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Collide: Wings of Steel.

20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Forest Green

21. FAVORITE SMELL?
The air after a rainstorm.

22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My wife.

23. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH?
I don't generally watch sports. Gymnastics, when it's on.

24. REAL HAIR COLOR?
Brown fading to gray, with some lovely silver highlights. It used to be a very dark brown, but no longer. I blame the boys for this.

25. Eye color?
Brown.

26. Do you wear contacts?
No.

27. FAVORITE FOOD?
I have a particular bowl that I make at Genghis Grill (if you don't know it, it's a sort of build-your-own stir fry place) that's both tasty and very hot. Adding the Asian Chili Death Sauce means that it isn't just a meal; it's also the best over-the-counter decongestant that I've ever found.

28. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Scary movie, but it can have a happy ending if it fits the plot.

29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Jurassic World; the boys requested it.

30. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Black.

31. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter. My allergies behave themselves during the winter.

32. HUGS or KISSES?
Hugs, usually.

33. FAVORITE DESSERT?
I'm not a big dessert person. Tiramisu, maybe?

34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I recently decided that I needed to re-read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books. This may have been... over-ambitious. I'm currently about halfway through The Great Hunt, which is book two -- out of, I dunno, thiry-seven or something.

35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
The mouse. (Kidding. I don't actually have a mouse pad.)

36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST ON T.V.?
...No idea. I don't actually watch TV, at least not in any sense that most people would use the phrase. The last TV show I watched was the Robot story arc from the classic Dr. Who (Fourth Doctor / Tom Baker) series.

37. FAVORITE SOUND?
My kids, snoring.

38. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Not really, no.

39. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE TRAVELED?
The Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia. It was awesome.

40. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Lurking? Skulking? Looking suspicious when I'm not actually doing anything? I'd list writing and climbing, but if we're being honest I'm kind of out of practice on both of them. Oh, wait! I actually do have a special talent. I work in IT, and my special talent is explaining computer stuff to non-technical people in ways that make sense to them. It's like a mutant power, but much less exciting!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Video: Otter juggling rocks

I have nothing for today, so here's a video of an otter playing with (juggling? Sorta?) some rocks:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Real Work Conversations: You don't say...

A Co-worker passes me in the hall. I nod to him while I'm making my tea.

Co-worker: "You don't say."

Me: "I never do."

Co-worker: "Well, why should you?"

Me: "Exactly. When I say that something should go without saying, it darned well goes without being said."

It was sort of the opposite of that old Bugs Bunny scene:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Choose Your Own Adventure Cookbook

Inspired by something I saw on facebook...

"If you do not have enough olive oil, turn to page 122. Um, okay. Page 122... 'Order Pizza.'"

"WHAT?"

"That's what it says. We're out of Olive Oil, so I turned to page 122, and it's telling me to order pizza."

"Are there any other options?"

"Hang on, I marked our place with my finger... Okay. 'If you think you can run to the store to get more olive oil before your guests arrive, turn to page 76.'"

"And?"

"Hang on. Page 76... 'You will not have time to finish the sauce before the chicken is overcooked to the point of petrification. Turn to page 122."

"And what's on page 122?"

"It still says, 'Order pizza.'"

"What if I substitute melted butter for the olive oil?"

"Well, let me flip back... Here it is. 'If you wish to substitute butter for olive oil under the wildly misguided belief that this won't thoroughly destroy the flavor of your sauce, turn to page 130."

"Fine. Page 130?"

"...Says, 'May all the saints and angels protect you. You're on your own from here. Godspeed.' Then, in parentheses, it adds: 'It's still not too late to turn to page 122.' Which is the pizza page. I... may be detecting a theme, here."

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Confrontation at Twilight

The man straightened, regarding his accuser. "No," he said, with flat authority. He was a tall man, handsome, richly dressed, and wore dignity like a cloak. "I am the Keeper of the Flames, the Transmuter of Organics, the Adder of Flavor, and the Watcher of the Grocery List, and I say to you that if you have not finished your food, you may have no dessert!"

"But Daaaaaaaaaad...!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Priestly Book

While we were out of town, we stayed at a house that belongs to a friend of the family. This particular friend of the family happened to be in the ministry, at least until he retired. One of the rooms in this house was his office, so naturally I found myself browsing the bookshelves (as one does). In doing so, I stumbled across this:

(If you can't read it, it's a book cover:
The Christian Priest Today, by Michael Ramsey)

I was, of course, charmed by this. It's such a topical and timely title, and being on this particular set of bookshelves, it had to be... yep:

"First published 1972.
9th Impression 1983.

This book is older than I am.

Just out of curiosity, I flipped open to the bookmark and looked at the (rather long) paragraph that this minister had marked.

I'm not going to transcribe the whole thing, but it's basically talking about how, as a priest, you may feel that much of the work you're called to do is trivial and unworthy of the full glory of God; and that it's important to remember that so much of God's work, and so much of the value of Christianity, is found in the little things.

Yeah.

That's the kind of Christianity I grew up in.