Sunday, September 23, 2007

Larriken's Kitchen Nighmares

I like to experiment in the kitchen. It's a creative outlet for me. I can usually whip up something good, if just a bit on the... umm... interesting side. I usually make a mess too, filling the sink to overflowing with pots, pans and other instruments of mad science. Back in college, I gained notoriety with my Venison Stew with Cinnamon. Hey, don't look at me like that, it was good and everyone enjoyed it, even if they do still tease me about it. As with all experimentation, failure is an option. The good part is most of my failures are still edible, with only one or two notable exceptions over the years (think burnt - I mean really carbonized!)

Still, I have a reputation for leaving a "creative blast radius" in the kitchen, to the point where, if my family sees me staring at the spice rack with a pensive look on my face, they grab the phone and the Domino's Pizza magnet off the fridge and wait for the detonation.

Today, I was hungry. So, staring at the contents of the fridge, I thought I'd make short work of the various and sundry leftovers accumulating in there. In walks my daughter.

Surveying the scene, she asked, "Whatcha doing, Daddy?"

I replied, "Experimenting. Wanna help?"

Without skipping a beat, she deftly replied, "Sure, I'll get the bandages," and walked out of the kitchen.

Smartass. She's definitely her mother's daughter.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It Ain't Rocket Science...

My first set of course books arrived today. Yay, study time!! My inaugural class is MGT 5014: Information Systems. Let's see what's inside the textbook:

Foundations of IS (good start)
Computer Hardware (snort)
Computer Software (snicker)
Telecom and Networks (guffaw)

I've only been doing this for nearly 20 years. The first few chapters cover things I can do in my sleep. If I don't ace this course, I'll break a boot off in my own ass and I'll invite each of you to form a line to do the same, cuz I'll sure as hell deserve an ass kicking.

What I am afraid of, on a more serious note, is getting overconfident. I don't want to get cocky, so I'm definitely approaching this with the seriousness it deserves. So even though the class doesn't officially start for another three weeks, I'm cracking the book, reading ahead and preparing for whatever quizzes, tests and other assignments will be coming my way.

My wife, on the other hand, needs to be sent off to remedial driving school. Or at least rudimentary mechanics. I think I've mentioned before how dumbfounded she gets when faced with anything that has knobs, dials, gears, flywheels, buttons, levers and/or blinky lights. Today, she called me up at the office in a panic. It's raining outside, and she has the wipers on, driving around town on errands.

"So what's the problem," I ask.

"The wipers are not going faster when I turn the knob! And, OMG I turned the knob to 'Off' and they're still going!!"

"Wow, that is weird. Okay, if the wipers are still going, you're still driving, and it's raining, stop fiddling with the buttons! As long as they're going, even if it they are going slow, don't keep messing with them or they may stop working altogether on you. Go home, and I'll look it over when I get home tonight."

I'm thinking maybe an electrical problem or something. Seems logical. No. It was simpler than that. Much simpler. Paris Hilton simpler...

She called back later, laughing her ass off. She figured it out when she got in to the garage: the knob she was fiddling with the whole time was for the headlights, not the wipers. So the whole time she was flipping the "wipers" off, on, and on full, she was signaling the entire highway with her headlights.

Another day in the life of a crazy married couple... Wouldn't trade it for the world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Memoriam

Today marks the 6th anniversary of open warfare by the Islamic Fascists against our civilisation. No other way to put it. More than 3,000 innocent lives lost on that fateful Tuesday.

I'll never forget that day and what I saw happen. Recalling my reaction, I understood how the Greatest Generation felt on another "day of infamy," December 7, 1941. My gut reaction, even before the second plane hit, was, "This is war."

Fascist Islam thought we'd run away crying and surrender. This picture, which circulated soon after the attack, speaks volumes about the will and resolve of true Americans:

Pray for the innocent dead. Pray for their families. Pray for our troops. Pray for Total Victory.

Remember who started this war. No prayer for the enemy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Once More Into The Breach, Dear Friends!

Well, it's officially official. I'm going back to school. I've decided to complete a goal I set for myself 10 years ago and go back for my Master's Degree. I'd wanted to get started a decade ago, but the combination of a shitload of work (Imperial, not metric) a new baby (now growing up WAAAAY too damn fast) and some really bad career advice from someone I should have known better than to trust (told me it wasn't a good idea - fucker) resulted in me not getting started sooner.

I'd planned to get started this year, back when I was working for a top-ranked software firm which shall remain unnamed, but that fell by the wayside in an unforeseen re-org. That was two jobs ago, and as a consultant, there's no safety net under me anymore. So, I've decided not to wait for someone to sponsor me; I'm taking a loan from Uncle Sam and doing it myself. Sometimes you simply have to decide if the goal is worth the sacrifice or not. Maybe there will be a big payoff for this, maybe not. Screw it, I'm doing this for me.

I'm kinda scared, actually. This is kinda like the fear one gets bungee-jumping for the first time, wondering if the rope's tenuous grip on your ankles will hold up to the G-force of all those White Castle burgers from across the years. And once you take that leap, it's no longer a simple physics problem, the consequences are real.

It's been a long time since I've had to really study for real tests. Granted, I've got certifications, and I've been to scores of technology classes to keep current for work, but this is completely different. If I don't maintain a 3.5 GPA they'll toss my sorry ass out on the street. And I'll still owe Sam the dough. So, yeah, the stakes are a lot higher in this game.

Fingers crossed, I should be walking the aisle dressed in a mortarboard and robes in two years or so. Will I be naked under the robes? Stay tuned for that answer.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

For Want of a Nail...

My printer broke down today. And by broke down, I mean it was making coffee grinder noises, only no cup-a-Joe was coming out the slot. I guess I downloaded the wrong Java into it, eh?

I tried to save it, but the poor thing just couldn't hang on. The postmortem autopsy revealed the culprit (yes, I am one of those types who likes to take things apart!) and just like in those pharmaceutical commercials, what felled my little printer was left than a half-inch in length:

It appears to be a guide bracket from the paper feed pathway. You would think that something like this, which is right next to the gearworks would be made of metal not flimsy plastic. The truly sad part is that the printer was one of those all-in-one types, so while it can no longer print or make copies, the scanner part probably works just fine.

Drop me a line if you want to make me an offer on it.