The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Full Moon at the Swim Meet

We have some friends whose teenage sons are swimmers. They have only started swimming in the last year, but they are apparently really really good. The oldest placed third in his first swim meet…before he learned how to do a flip turn. He literally had to swim to the wall, stop, turn around and start swimming again. And he placed third.

Anyway, he was in a fairly big swim meet today. He doesn’t normally do the whole body shave thing, but this was a big enough meet that he did. One of the events that he was entered in was the 100 Meter Butterfly. Before the event, he didn’t make sure that his speedo was adequately tied/fastened/whatever…having never worn a speedo, I don’t know what he didn’t do right. But I know you can see where this is headed…

He dove in. The water ripped the speedo off. And he proceeded to finish the event naked…and mooned the spectators with every stroke.

His mom told us that there was professional level cheering going on. She also later told her son that it could have been worse…he could have been swimming the backstroke. He said he would have stopped if that had been the case! He also made sure everything was properly fastened before every other event.

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March 9, 2008 Posted by | comedy, kids, life | , , | 2 Comments

Airport ODBC Connection

I realize the picture below is pretty bad…it was taken with my phone in less than optimal lighting. At first glance it doesn’t appear to be anything exceptionally unusual. It’s just a computer where someone is setting up an ODBC connection to a database.

What made this one comical to me is that the monitor that this ODBC setup was taking place on was a giant flat panel monitor hanging above the baggage claim carousel in the Wichita airport.

Dude…next time you might want to turn off that screen before you go advertising your database server’s name and other info to everyone waiting on their luggage!

Airport ODBC Connection

And yes…I blacked out the server name…just in case. I really don’t want a visit from Homeland Security! Although honestly, the picture was such low resolution that you couldn’t make it out anyway.

March 4, 2008 Posted by | comedy, tech | , , | Leave a comment

Dyslexic T-shirt

I have a nephew who is dyslexic. His mom is really wanting to find a t-shirt for him that reads:

Dyslexics of the world untie!

March 1, 2008 Posted by | comedy | , | 2 Comments

Error 80004005

If you have worked with Windows systems for long, at some point you have seen the infamous 80004005 error code. It seems to pop up everywhere. Problem is that it is a bit infuriating to try to figure out what it means.

Last year I was at the Microsoft Management Summit, and Johan Arwidmark was giving a presentation on Operating System Deployment. During the presentation, he mentions that error code. He then asked the audience if we would like to know what it meant. Since all of us had seen it and been frustrated by it, all of our ears perked up. What does that crazy code mean?

Johan then let us know. In his characteristic deadpan delivery he informed us that it means:

“That thing you were trying to do…it didn’t work.”

February 27, 2008 Posted by | comedy, ConfigMgr, tech | , , | Leave a comment

Minnesotans for Global Warming

Dang funny video! My favorite quotes:

  • “if we had some global warming, it wouldn’t be 20 below”
  • “set the flamingo free”
  • “turn our snow shovels into lawn chairs”
  • “just think, Northern Canada would even be inhabitable, not to mention Northern Minnesota”
  • “maybe we’ve got alligators, nah…muskies would eat ’em”
  • “yeah, cute cold blooded killers”
  • “I’d make you a fur coat…we gotta do something with all them dead polar bears.”

February 12, 2008 Posted by | comedy | , , | Leave a comment

Blackberry Outage

No this post isn’t going to have much in the way of anything technical about the Blackberry outage that covered North America today. This is a tribute to a great piece of writing.

On the FoxNews website, there was an article about the outage. It included the opening quote, ““CrackBerry” addicts were looking for thumbthing to do late Monday …”

It may be dumb, but I was laughing hysterically…looking for thumbthing to do…excellent!

February 11, 2008 Posted by | comedy | , , | Leave a comment

Closed Captioning

I had a dentist appointment this morning. My dentist has flat panel TVs mounted to the ceiling directly above the chair so that while you are getting your teeth cleaned/drilled/pulled/etc you can watch TV. All of them are muted with the closed captioning showing at the bottom.

So while I’m in the chair this morning, I’m watching the news. Every time they would reach the end of a segment and head to commercial, the closed captioning would read:

“adlib teaser. [a bunch of gobbledy-gook]   fade to black” 

Essentially, what they were pushing to the CC feed was what was going to the teleprompter for the newscasters to see. It was amusing to watch them adlibing a teaser for the next segment and then the screen fading to black right after reading those instructions on the screen.

January 31, 2008 Posted by | comedy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese Restaurant

Last night I had Chinese take-out for supper. When I called to place the order, I had a menu in front of me, so I told them the number on the menu, in this case is was something like C13…combo meal 13. The lady sounded a little confused, so I said the number again. At that point she told me that their restaurant didn’t order by the number.

Hmmmm. A Chinese take-out restaurant that doesn’t order by the number? This may be completely groundless, but my trust factor for that restaurant immediately went down. But I went through with the order and requested the General Tso’s chicken meal.

My logic for why my trust factor went down may be flawed, but in this case it was accurate. The food simply was not as good as the “order by the number” Chinese restaurants that I’ve been to.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | comedy | , , | Leave a comment

No Jumping From Bridge

Why is this sign even necessary? Only in an area with a bit too much alcohol consumption would any normal person need to have this warning posted.

No Jumping from Bridge

January 17, 2008 Posted by | comedy | | Leave a comment

Computer Warranty: Dell vs Apple

A year or so ago a co-worker of mine had his Dell Latitude laptop at home. He had a webcam hooked up to it and was attempting to get his infant son to smile/laugh/something into the camera so that his grandmother on the other end could see it. So he is bouncing the kid attempting to get the smile/laugh, and the kid throws up on the laptop…just puked all over it. He quickly puts the kid down, unplugs the computer, takes it apart, cleans it out, but it was too late…it was toast. The next day he calls Dell’s tech support and told them exactly what happened…didn’t even try to fudge it…”my kid puked on the computer.” The response? “Let’s see…you have CompleteCare. No problem. We’ll send the parts to the technician, and he’ll come to your house to fix it tomorrow.” No questions asked…simply “we’ll fix it.” Very nice!

A couple of weeks later my co-worker was in a meeting with our corporate Apple rep. I’m pretty sure that it was our Apple rep along with the regional sales manager also, but I’m not totally sure about that aspect. Anyway, my co-worker told them about what happened with his computer and how Dell responded. He then asked them, “What would Apple do in this situation?” Apple’s response?

“We would sell you a new computer.”

Let me repeat that in case it went by too fast for you…

“We would sell you a new computer.” No apologies. No qualifications. What awesome customer (no) service!

I like the fact that the computer that I am writing this on (Latitude D830) has complete warranty. If something flips out, I will have someone coming to my location the next day to fix it, and I’ll be back up and working. I depend on my computer too much to risk being unable to do my job while I ship the computer off for repair service. For that matter, I had another co-worker who was on his way out of the country one time and had the following experience. This next quote is a correction from my original post. He saw my original post and replied with the correct story via e-mail. I copied in his email with his permission…and left his name out per his request.

“I was flying to Japan. The night before, in Orlando, certain keys would no longer work – to the point where I couldn’t even log in to the machine. I did what I could that night but couldn’t fix it. The entire keyboard was hosed. I called Dell during my layover in Dallas and a tech came to the residence I was staying at in Portland. He replaced the keyboard before I flew out of the country the next day.

“Obviously I don’t believe Dell is perfect b/c, as a veteran tech, I have had my share of frustrating experiences with them. Still, this is one of my favorite stories about excellent customer service.”

Oh…and before someone replies with the tired old comment of “Macs don’t break.” Just stop. We all know that’s not true. Don’t even think about throwing that garbage around. I work around entirely too many of them to believe that.

Now…I know this story is likely to annoy a few Mac fanatics. I am not trying to flame bait the Mac community. This post is simply relaying actual events and actual conversations that my company has had with Dell and Apple. But based on the response to my previous posts that highlighted a security issue with Leopard and the attitude of certain Mac users, I know that a bit of flame response is a possibility. If you feel you must…go ahead…I have thick skin; I can handle it.

December 19, 2007 Posted by | comedy, computers, kids, tech | , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Twelve Days of Christmas – Straight No Chaser

Got a link to this over email this morning. It is an acappella group from Indiana University named Straight No Chaser singing a version of “Twelve Days of Christmas“. I’m amazed at how they keep their parts straight in this. It includes a bit of “12 Days”, “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel”, “Santa Claus is coming to Town”, “Deck the Halls”, “Carol of the Bells”, “The Boar’s Head Carol”, and wraps up with “12 Days” sung to the tune of “Africa” by the band Toto.

December 14, 2007 Posted by | comedy, music | | 2 Comments

Ham for Chanukah?

It’s hard for me to believe that people aren’t aware that pork products are forbiden by Judaism. But apparently so…how about a nice spiral cut ham for Chanukah?

December 4, 2007 Posted by | comedy | | Leave a comment

World’s Best Speed Bump

Just saw this and laughed hysterically. The special effects are pretty good. Having been frustrated at times with the people racing down my street endangering my kids, I have to admit that there is a certain part of me that wishes for more effective ways to slow them down… Hmmm…

Note: It’s in German…I have no idea what the guy is saying.

November 27, 2007 Posted by | comedy | | Leave a comment

Funny Restaurant Name

I saw this restaurant this week. The name struck me as funny.

Davy Jones' Locker Room

A place where you can dine to the sound of calypso music and the smell of death and sweat. Oh yeah…that’s appealing.

November 20, 2007 Posted by | comedy | | 3 Comments

Peyton Manning Priceless Pep Talk Commercials

The first time I saw the Priceless Pep Talks from Peyton Manning Commercials I cracked up laughing. They are Peyton Manning giving a “pep talk” on some of the stuff that comes up in life. My favorites are the haircut and “I’ve got a gut” ones…although the “I can’t stop eating” is really good also. You can even personalize them and send to a friend.

Probably only your guy friends…unless you really don’t want the girl to call you back.

Seriously…she won’t.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | comedy, sports | , | 2 Comments

Counting to 100

Last night my four year old was counting her fingers and toes. She was skipping fifteen and nineteen and ending with twenty-four. She’s been skipping fifteen for months. So…I sat down with her and worked on teaching her to not skip fifteen. My goal was to get her to twenty…enough to get her fingers and toes.

I wrote out number 1-10 in a vertical column. Next to them I wrote 11-20 in another vertical column such that 1 was next to 11, 2 was next to 12, and so on. I got her to twenty that way. Then we kept going. I went into Excel and filled out a 1-10 in a column then used formulas to fill out a chart with 1-100 in ten columns. (i.e. cell B1 had “=10+A1”, cell C1 had “=10+B1”, etc.) Doing that I was able to get the columns nailed in about a minute and a half…short enough to not lose my four year old’s excitement.

Using that chart, my four year old counted all the way to 100. Very cool. And she was really really excited. Jumping up and down, cheering, dancing. So much so that I had to take a picture.

November 13, 2007 Posted by | comedy, kids, life | | 2 Comments

School Event – Why bother?

Tonight I went to an event at my daughter’s school. I can’t say it was the highlight of my week, but it was pretty funny. They had a local guy named Mr. Richard there. Mr. Richard is pretty popular around Orlando. He reads to kids, plays guitar, sings. He is pretty amusing. It was really amazing to see the kids and parents responding to him. My wife refers to them as “Mr. Richard groupies.” He has several videos on YouTube. That will give you an idea of what he is like. Honestly…the kids love him.

Well…sitting a few rows in front of us was the dad of one of the other kids. He was sitting next to his wife and had brought his portable DVD player to watch what appeared to be a stand up comic. Why did he even bother coming?

November 8, 2007 Posted by | comedy, kids, life, relationships | , | 2 Comments

“Winter” in Florida

A couple of days ago a “cold” front came through Florida where I live. The lows at night have been around 48-50 degrees. This morning while driving to work I stopped at a grocery store to pick up something. It was really amusing to me to see the really large display of firewood for sale in front of the store. Yep…”winter” has hit Florida. If the temp drops to 40, I expect to see people walking around in parkas.

November 6, 2007 Posted by | comedy | | 2 Comments

Did that change your plans?

Last year, my oldest daughter (who is now 8 years old) asked me to teach her how to play chess. I’m not very good, but I taught her what I know. She enjoys playing and never makes a mistake moving the pieces. She hasn’t figured out the strategy of getting multiple pieces working together to get a checkmate, but she has fun. We play a few times a week.

Last week we were playing, and I looked at the board knowing what I had set up and what her tendencies were and told her, “In four moves I will have you in checkmate.” She quizzically looked at the board, said “ok” and moved her knight. I then moved my bishop. She then took her knight and killed my queen. Then she innocently looked up and with perfect voice inflection asked, “Did that change your plans?” My wife who was sitting behind me on the couch cracked up laughing.

That was excellent! I gave her a high five…and then spent the next twenty minutes re-tasking my remaining pieces to get her in checkmate…without the queen!

October 3, 2007 Posted by | comedy, kids | | Leave a comment

Thinking about choices

Recently Julie was in Wal Mart going through the self-checkout lane. In front of her was a teenage couple purchasing a box of condoms…trying to sneak through without being seen. Well…Julie saw them…here’s how the conversation went.  

Julie (to the guy): Does her dad know?

Guy [stammering in disbelief that someone would actually say something]: Uh, uh, uh…

Julie (to the girl): Does your dad know?

Girl [also stammering]: Uh, uh, uh….I’m 18!

Julie:  Is your Dad okay with this?

Girl: Uh…he wouldn’t care.

Julie: Really? Can I have his phone number so I can call and ask him?

Girl: Uh, uh, uh…

Julie [turning to the guy]: I’m a Mom, and if she were my daughter…I’d hurt you. 

Keep in mind, my wife is not an intimidating person…she’s 4’11” and sub-100 pounds. This little couple knew they were doing something they shouldn’t…as evidenced by their trying to hide what they were doing. Julie simply cared enough about them to try to get them to think about the choices they were making.

October 3, 2007 Posted by | comedy, life | | 1 Comment