27 April 2006

In the weeds.

Sorry all, I thought that after the definitive agreement was signed that things would go back to normal.

I was an idiot to think that lawyers would only take one pound of flesh, when there are still a couple of hundred left.

Added to the new list of moronic legal demands are our new corporate overlords demanding a grueling schedule of "Vision statement" meetings, team building exercises, diversity training ("What, I can't refer to Norwegians as 'Weegies' anymore? What the Hell?" and other consultant inspired bullshit that is now eating away at my weekends and evening.

If I couldn't drink at work, this would be unbearable.

Oh well, maybe when the deal is finalized I shall have a life.

19 April 2006

I'm not dead

I just feel like it. I've been spending my time generating mountauns if documents for the lawyers (when we are done we will have deforested the northern hemisphere to provide paper for their inane demands) and trying to debug an insidious little, okay, well big problem out in the field.

It seems that semiconductor manufaturers are not fond of fire ine their clean-rooms.

Honestly, if that's such a problem, why'd they buy a SootMaster 5000™ from us in the first place?

Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow with something marginally amusing.

13 April 2006


I’m better off than 99% of the people on this planet and still I moan. Oh, it’s true that I’ve seen more idiocy of late and the stress at work is growing to infarction levels, but we don’t have to lay any one off and soon the lawyers will be gone, taking with them the bulk of the money. This is normal, I suppose, but it does nothing to slake my desire to beat them severely about the head and shoulders with a blunt accountant.

The downside seems to be an endless mind-numbing life, glued to the corporate teat. We have already been given procedure manuals from our new corporate overlords.

Frankly, they’re amazing. There are guidelines for what food can be eaten on the premises, vendor interaction, bathroom comportment and team building exercises!

“Your company loves you!” the manuals exhort. They were written by pod people and predict my fate in Nostradamic quatrains.

“The chubby one shall piss and moan;
Alcohol will be banned on the premises;
And should he resort to arson;
The company shall recover its money by selling his organs.”

I am doomed. I shall grow old; my body kept alive by life-support machines, my brain hooked up to the company’s computers to be accessed at will by nerds with no desire for world domination.

It is an ugly future; all porn sites are blocked.

I spent last night contemplating my options whilst ignoring the familial hullabaloo. The cats were chasing each other and the dog was trying to dig a hole in the carpet. The boys were taking turns punching each other in the shoulder. (I remember doing this with my brother, but not the reason. Perhaps clots forming in the contusions are supposed to migrate to the brain and slowly kill it, allowing adequate blood supply to more important male organs, like the beer gut.)

Gretchen tried to engage me in conversation, but I just sat, staring vacantly at the TV, dranking beer and brooding.

“Honey,” I finally said, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some damn machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

So, she got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all my beer.

“Get a hold of yourself!” She said. “Think of your new bosses as fresh meat! New peasants to subjugate! New victims to fleece, sheep to shear, lemmings to mallet! Now get out there and start scheming. And don’t forget to bring back any valuables that they are foolish enough to leave lying about in the company safe.”

So it turns out that I am a very lucky man after all. My love always knows just what to say.

11 April 2006

An open letter to His Grace, Edward Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Your Grace,

I spent the good portion of this morning stuck in traffic on Route 322. Apparently, an Amish buggy had jack-knifed and was then hit by a team of Mennonite Clydesdales hauling a cargo of highly flammable corn-cobs for the out-house industry. The scene must have been horrific, what with the Clydesdales whinnying as they burst into flames and subsequently exploded.

Oh the equinity!

Ironically, this all occurred in the shadow of your latest, grandest, public works project; the gleaming white superhighway known as I-99. It is a wondrous road; rising ribbon-like from the valley below to the loft peak of Sky-Top and beyond. It was a thing of beauty when it was almost completed three years ago.

Today it is just as beautiful and just as almost completed.

You see, for the last three years, we have been forced to drive on Route 322 (the cattle trail alongside I-99). We have been faced with a daily crawl up Sky Top, stuck behind teams of oxen and plodding mules, whilst being taunted by Road Construction signs and barrels. "Warning! Construction Zone!" They tell us. "You are going too fast!"

And yet, these signs have not witnessed a Penn DOT worker in the same period. There can, after all, be no construction zone without construction workers, n’est-ca pas?

Yes, I have heard you state that your construction workers are busy elsewhere. We have all seen the road signs: “Welcome to Pennsylvania! (Road construction next 500 miles)

By the way, this is a much better slogan than the older “Pennsylvania! America starts here!” which was an unnecessary pronouncement if there ever was one, as we were all well aware that Italy stops at our New Jersey border.

Be that as it may, it seems that you could take three actions vis-à-vis the I-99 debacle. You could take the bold approach and have Penn DOT finish the freeway (I know; that would be risky. A politician that actually gets things accomplished? People would talk!). The upside to this is that I could get to work on the same day that I leave home.

You could order the fallacious “Construction” signs removed; returning the speed limit on Route 322 to its fin de ciècle value. This action would allow me to make the twelve mile journey to and from work in less than a fortnight.

Or, you could simply declare the road a triumph of post-modernist art from the realist school.

“See?” you could say, “ It looks just like a freeway, and yet, it isn’t!

Voters might get a tad miffed at the $240 million price tag for a 35 mile long post-modern sculpture, but then again, politicians have traditionally shown themselves to be uncompromising supporters of the Arts, what with their firm commitment to exotic dance and the like. The downside to this option, is that I would have to give up my highly paid (and taxed) engineering job and revert to a low-income, simple existence of worm ranching and animal husbandry; the later of which probably being illegal under the "Defense of Marriage" act.

Please reply with your decision at your earliest convenience. I eagerly await your response with the greatest interest.

I remain, Sir, your Obt. Servt.

Dr. E. Scientist, PhD.

07 April 2006

Feed a fever, starve a cold,

Drown an accountant, drive a stake through the heart of a lawyer.

Well, that last line is just silly. I’d never advocate harm towards a human, so the accountant, despite being a crashing bore, was let go.

The lawyer, on the other hand, had it coming. I kept warning people that he was a vampire, but they all laughed at me. “Nonsense!” They said. “There are no such things as vampires!”

The implication was that I am some sort of lunatic. Honestly, they looked at me as if I was a gibbering, drooling maniac. Well, I showed them!

I drove a stake through the lawyer's heart, and he died.

Mark my words, they'll listen next time.

06 April 2006

These Things I Believe, Part II

(Part I)

I believe that if success was really 99% perspiration, the deodorant industry would go bankrupt.

I believe that I will stop trying to build and unnecessarily large weather machine, and just buy an SUV instead.

I believe that George Romero got his zombie film ideas buy observing 14 year old boys on an all female topless beaches. (“Breasts…. BREEEEEEEEASTS!”)

I believe women would change that last statement to include all males over the age of 14.

I believe that Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a Federal law enforcement agency.

I believe that necessity is the mother of invention, but the skank-ho has no idea who’s the father.

I believe in angles.

I believe that those who claim that they do not, are just being obtuse.

I believe I can fly, just as soon as I get these bars off my window.

I believe that a cocktail of Irish whiskey and Thorazine is quite possibly the mostts wondefrul kjraslkkkkkk, mmmnaaaaaaaaaaaahhh


“PARIS (AFP) - Astronomers say they have spotted a cloud of alcohol in deep space that measures 463 billion kilometres (288 billion miles) across, a finding that could shed light on how giant stars are formed from primordial gas.”

This is a rather nasty thing to say about Michael Moore, even if he is formed from primordial gas.

In any event, I don’t believe a word of it, since there is no way the man would leave that much booze laying about.

I know I wouldn’t, and I’m barely 95% his girth.


Okay, I guess it's a stretch as Moore is a director and not really a star, but we can blame this on the translators.

05 April 2006

Something will have to be done.

And I’m just the person to ignore it. I’m too busy, you see. I made the mistake of watching the young’uns play Oblivion, and decided to try it myself.

“But you’re playing on our machine, with our game DVD!” comes the inevitable moans.

“Well, boo-bloody-hoo! Would you like me to call a Waaaambulance?” I say in a stern, but fair, patrician manner. I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of adults to teach children to act maturely. However, since I can’t teach to save my life, I settle for taunting.

I will be in big trouble when they get larger, or ever get enough money to afford goons of their own.

“Besides, you need to mow the lawn.” I add, not taking my eyes from the screen. I have just killed a goblin and am looting the body.

It occurs to me that I might be a nerd.

“But there’s three inches of snow on the ground!” They protest.

“Well, a couple of days ago, you lot were willing to go to school wearing naught but Speedos. Get out there, shovel the grass and then mow the lawn”. I wave them away.

“Shoo!” They shoo, grumbling about how unreasonable I am, but this is for their own good.

Honestly, kids these days have no problem solving skills and no grounding in reality. If they can’t figure out how to mow a snow covered lawn, they’d never be able to figure out how to unlock the Marvish trapped Hell-gates of the Temple of Xardoz in the grand ruins of the Googlish city of Quim


SafeT comes up with a better solution:

"See, I would've salted the lawn. But my problem solving skills always have a tint of jackboot in them. Luckily your children don't take after your evil ways, Dr E, or else their problem solving skills might lead them to an eventually bleached wood chipper and a suspiciously evil mulch pile."

It's a good thing the kids don't have SafeT's reasoning skills, or I wouldn't be able to play their video games at all.

03 April 2006

A few observations on the way to work

A new business was gone in next to us, by the name “ReXam”. Their permanent sign is not ready, so they have a giant banner.

"ReXam" seems to be a poor choice for a company name. Maybe it’s just me, but the name “ReXam” conjures up disturbing images of rubber gloves, hospital gowns and pained grunting.

So I shall steal the banner as soon as it gets dark enough.

I also saw a lot of kids waiting for the bus, wearing naught but tee shirts and shorts. It was raining with a few snow flakes and way too cold, but I already know the answer to this one: “I don’t wanna look like a doofus!”

Is there some sort of “daylight saving” time-table that says teenagers must not, under any circumstances, leave the house with clothing other than items that look like cheese cloth undergarments, after a certain date? And who is on the committee that sets this fashion faux-pas deadline? IT’S SNOWING! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, PUT YOUR DAMN COAT ON! IT COST $250!

“We're n-n-n-n-n-not c-c-c-c-old!” is the response from the blue-skinned and shivering primates. “We're old and s-s-s-smart enough to d-d-d-dress myself!”

Erm, no.

You are demonstrably not smart enough.

We still have hopes (they are fading somewhat) that you might some day recover from teenagehood, but right now, left to your own devices you’d be hanging by your tail from the walnut tree, peeling fruit with your feet.

I insist. Coats are reluctantly accepted, albeit with much grumbling. I get the “oppressor” scowl, but I do not care. In fact, I cackle maniacally, letting them know that being a capricious tyrant is how I get my jollies. I am Ming the Merciless.

"And get a damn haircut!" I shout as they slouch away. "You look like hippies!"

This fellow deserves an award.


01 April 2006

I should write ad copy; I have a gift!

Peemil has been exposed to Dr. Pepper, and he doesn’t like it. No Sir, not one bit. Being an Australian, I suspect he was expecting a beer, rather than the sickeningly sweet, heavily caffeinated, carbonated prune-juice beverage he was served. And when you put it that way, who can blame him?

But when one’s goal is to create a pack of high-velocity children in order to maximize entropy at a wake (such as knocked over caskets and the like), Dr. Pepper is just the thing to give them, since, unlike crack, it is not illegal to give to kids.

So that is why I bought a case of the stuff; to liven up the Grandparents’ wake. There was way too much sobbing and shrieking, what with them both dying at the same tine.

Grand-dad Flannery had gone quietly in his sleep, but Grandma died hard, screaming “Wake up, you old coot; you’re in the wrong lane!”

In order to lighten the mood, I gave a few bottles of “liquid crack” to each of the kids and filled the empty spaces in the caskets with candy; making “coffiñatas”, if you will.

And these kids caught on fast! After tipping over Grandpa’s coffin there was no stopping them. It may have been a wee bit rough on the other bereaved families (this was a largish funeral home; lots going on), but my goal was achieved and the kids made out like bandits; getting candy at the Flannery gig and a nice collection of watches and jewelry from the others.

This sort of thing is why Americans drink the stuff; the flavour evokes a flood of childhood memories of happier times.

And that's the way I likes it.