Good Friday

Dad, it's all broken!

Not anymore.

Bilingual Chickens - Guest Post by Bryan Logan

I'm taking the day off today.

I realize that's not much different from most days. Quiet, you.

Today we have a guest post from Bryan Logan - blogger, programmer, inventor, astronaut.

Bryan and his wife just had their third tax deduction, and are still managing to function. This blows me away. We have one and I have a hard time keeping up. You're a machine, Bryan...but one of those cool machines like in a Dr. Seuss book, not a fax machine.

So I was at Emma's choir concert. They had a song called "ki-ke-ri-gū", which is the Latvian equivilant of "cockadoodledoo".  That got me thinking, what if roosters actually spoke different languages (or at least had accents), that humans couldn't tell.  If you brought over a French rooster, would all the other chickens think he was exotic and awesome?  And would the American rooster be all, "Buck buck buck buck buck" (that joke is probably funnier if you speak Chicken).

I took some Spanish in high school and watched a lot of Dora the Explorer when the girls were younger, but I can't speak it that well.  I'm in awe of those people that can speak two languages and just flip in-between without any hesitation. Me? I get distracted when I have to figure out a single word.  I could be watching a movie and someone could say, "Hey, let's go get some empanadas" and instantly my mind has to run through trying to remember what an empanada is.

The closest I get to being bilingual is that I can watch a British TV show (this gives me a chance to namedrop Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, or the IT Crowd for SEO points) and do instant translations of words that are slightly different.  "Oh, hey guys, I just got back from holiday" and my mind instantly goes, "Oh yeah, he's not talking about Christmas, Easter, or Flag Day, he's talking about vacation."  Yeah, you go mind.  And after watching many episodes, it finally sunk into my head that "quid" is slang for "pound", much like "buck" is slang for "dollar".  Yay me!

Do you have trouble translating Mexican foods?

Canada, We Have to Talk

I went to the grocery store last night to get salsa for the taco salads we were having for dinner. We were out of salsa because Jana didn't hide it and went to work, leaving me and the salsa all alone together. Poor planning on her part, right? The populace of the grocery store was mostly guys on the phone with their wives telling them they couldn't find anything, which I mentioned to Jana when I called her to tell her they were out of the kind she likes best.

I don't understand people that live in cold locations. One time in Kansas, my eyebrows froze. Think about that. That means it's too darn cold. Another time in Nebraska, it was -14 F. That means Nebraska was in debt to the sun. So my new personal weather rule is that if the snow in my area ever covers my shoes, I'm moving. You guys realize you don't have to live in cold places, right? I'm looking at you, Canada.

Evan had a rough night, so after I got him settled again, I decided to turn it into an opportunity and go to work early. Got here at 5:15. That's when I realized I had forgotten the key to our department's door. I asked security to let me in. The head guard said, "I can do that for you Sir, but you need to know that I'll have to write your name down on the list." Really? The list that provides documentation I came in before anyone else? Oh, NO!

What's the coldest you've ever been?

High Five for the Domesticated Bacon!

I think most men wouldn't mind being domesticated if they could choose their own level of domestication. Put the toilet seat down? No problem!

Yesterday I found myself in a serious discussion about duvet covers.


I wish all folks were as easy to please as my son. When my boss got upset at something, I'd just say "High five!", and move on.

One of the biggest perks of adulthood is the ability to control your own bacon intake.

If you're sick a friend of mine, I'll be happy to help in any way...from far away, like if you need me to Google something for you.

I almost got hit in the crosswalk this morning by an SUV. I was in the right, so I threw my hands up and stood my ground as the maniac drove around me (my light was green, he was running a red light). It was only two minutes later when I had calmed down that I realized how stupid I was. You can be dead and still be right. I should have boogied out of the way...but I'm an idiot.

I have two cartoon desk calendars. Everyone loves it when I tear them off and hand them out. So I think that's good job security, yes?

How many light bulbs are out in your house right now?

The Listening Lottery

My coworkers play the lottery. I don't. This leads to lively discussions about money, math and being super rich. When I came in today, one of my co-workers said, "Well, I'm here so we obviously didn't win, but you know if we did we'd still split it with you, right?" Now THIS is the way to play the lottery!

I started my new job on 12/31/12. I got a letter this week thanking me for my perfect safety record in 2012. I felt it was well-earned. I'm going to list it on my accomplishments when review time comes around.

In business school, we learned the best way to launch a fast-growing and profitable business was to identify a need and fill it before someone else does. I've noticed that these days, everyone's talking and nobody's listening. However, I'm often told I'm a great listener, so...feel free to talk to me. Right there on your laptop. Just speak straight at my blog's homepage, and I'll listen. Then just send me a check for a nominal fee. Tell your friends!

Tell me whatever you want - I'm listening!

Changeup, Chapter 10

Joe placed the box on the coffee table next to the no-longer-steaming mugs and lifted the lid.

On top was Dad's old baseball glove. Joe picked it up and reflexively slipped his hand inside. He felt the familiar worn leather, smelling of sweat, oil and grass. The smells of baseball. Dad had bought the glove at a garage sale for a nickel when he was a boy. It was too big for him then, but he'd used it his whole life, even up through his two short years in the AA minor leagues.

He slowly set the glove down next to the box as he continued through its contents like an absent-minded archaeologist. There were some papers he'd look through later and a photo album of Joe's early years. Then he saw it.

The ball.

The one he'd rolled back and forth with Dad when he was too small for a glove. The one he'd eventually learned to catch and throw with in the back yard. The one that was signed by Whitey Herzog, but had been used so much the cover was coming off. He'd once asked Dad why he used the ball when it had a Hall of Famer's autograph, which was now nothing but a few scratches on the leather.

"Because it's a ball, not Whitey himself!", his dad had said, laughing.

Joe slowly came back into the moment. He'd been staring at the ball, turning it over and over in his hand.

He picked up an envelope from the stack of assorted papers. He opened it gingerly since it seemed very old.

"What's this?", he asked Mom.

"Old stock certificates from your great-grandfather. They've been passed down for ages."

Joe looked at the five sheets of brittle paper in his hands.

"Do you know what this is worth, Mom?"

"Probably not much. There's only a couple of them."

"That's all it takes", said Joe.

At the top of each sheet were the words "General Electric Company".

They were dated 1892.

What old treasures have you found?

Rental Cows and Depressed Cigarettes

We are so frequently out of milk that I just need to buy my own cow. Or rent one. Or however that works for city folk.

When I was in IT, I always assumed the users sat around not doing their work while they brainstormed ways they could get IT to do it for them. Now that I'm no longer in IT, I can confirm that suspicion.

In order to be a proper cubicle worker, one must eat early. And often.

Except the crust, the part of the pizza that has no sauce or cheese is there to make you sad. If you receive a pizza like this in a restaurant, never frequent that particular establishment again. Trip, don't tip, the waiter.

Our departmental copier machine went out again this morning. The Boss told IT she wanted a root cause analysis after it was fixed. I thought that was fairly obvious - it's a copier machine. All copier machines are garbage. 

That's why the repairman always looks depressed and defeated. That's also why you see him daily.

The coffee this morning was particularly awful. Usually it's good, but today it tasted like old cigarettes. Don't ask me how I know that, Mom.

Are pancakes better in the winter or the summer?

Dead Skunk In the Middle of the Road

Matthew 15:10-11 - Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Also, it defiles the car seat.

I drove over a dead skunk yesterday and it was an improvement to my car's olfactory experience.

Don't worry, Evan's getting better. Jana and I should be close behind.

Regular irregular posting to resume shortly, assuming I think of something.

Or maybe you can think of something. That sounds better to me. Go for it!