Friday, June 30, 2006

Without further comment.....

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Truth in performance evaluations

These quotes are apparently taken from actual (US) Federal Employee Performance Evaluations. I rather like 10, 11, and 12, and 16 is what PMs dream about with some project staff, but I've MET 18:

1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."
2. "His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity."
3. "I would not allow this employee to breed."
4. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."
5. "Works well when under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in a trap."
6. "When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."
7. "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."
8. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."
9. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
10. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
11. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."
12. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together."
13. "A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."
14. "He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless."
15. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."
16. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."
17. "He's been working with glue too much."
18. "He would argue with a signpost."
19. "He has a knack for making strangers immediately."
20. "He brings joy whenever he leaves the room."
21. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
22. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."
23. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."
24. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."
25. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."
26. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."
27. "Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it."
28. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."
29. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."
30. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."
31. "It's hard to believe that he/she beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
32. "One neuron short of a synapse."
33. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."
34. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60 minutes."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why dogs attack their owners.....

I wonder where he keeps his light saber? *flashback to Emotional Support Animal thread*

Possibly a new outfit for Cookie?

ACK! Spider! *STOMP* Ooooops......

This is just pathetic somehow.....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Of Boys and Fireworks

Given the fun I had with fireworks just recently, and recognising July 4 is coming along fairly soon, I thought I'd share a story of my adventures with fireworks at or around the age of 11 or 12.

Fireworks at that time were lots of fun, particularly rockets and "bungers" (firecrackers). They sadly don't have those any more. Well, at least not legally anyway. I live near a sort of empty corridor between suburbs, featuring a big storm water drain surrounded by scrub, which makes an ideal place for teenagers to let off the illegal ones each year - indeed periodically throughout the year. They sound like small sticks of dynamite. A flash of brightness some distance away followed by a BOOOOOM! that rattles the wondows. Wonderful fun I'm sure, but the grouchy geezer in me has started to object to this when it occurs in the middle of the night.

Annnnyway, when I were a lad, they had various sizes of bungers. The smallest, called Po-Hahs, were about the thickness of a pencil and an couple of inches long. I created a sort of exploding missle with these things by taping them to a small bottle rocket and poking the fuse to the po-hahs up the end of the rocket exhaust. Then, utilising a gun shaped piece of wood with a drinking straw taped to the top, I was able to load the stick of the missle into the straw, light the rocket wick and point it at a friend. WHOOSH! goes the rocket the requisite 30-40 feet into the back of the fleeing friend. BANG! goes the po hah. Reload. Look for next victim. VERY satisfactory.

There were two bigger sizes as well - "penny" bungers which were about 4 inches long and the thickness of your finger, and "thunders". Thunders, while rather more expensive, were very satisfying, if somewhat awesome, explosives. Good for demolition work on ant-mounds and similar things. Could blow a letterbox completely apart - although I never did that. No, what I did was create a cracker gun.

The project started as the result of observing some teen-agers with a bit of thick water pipe, closed at one end, shooting penny bungers in a morter like fashion. Light one bunger, drop it down wick upwards, immediately followed by unlit bunger facing wick downwards. First bunger goes off, shooting and lighting the second bunger waaaay off into the sky, where it explodes. FanTAStic.

Home I went to create my own version. I cast around my parents garage looking for materials. I think I inherited my pack-rat shed-stuffing genes from my parents, certainly there was a lot of material to choose from. But I just wanted to do a proof of concept before getting too elaborate.

I settled on some light aluminum piping, the type you normally see on TV antennas. It was the PERFECT fit for a thunder. And guess what! A shooter marble is almost exactly the same diameter as a thunder AND the pipe, so why mess about with a morter when you could make a REAL gun. Woooo Hoooo!

I sawed off a two foot length of the pipe, clamped over the end, then drilled a small hole for the wick to come out. It was a bit tricky to tease the wick out, but I decided to leave rectifying that design issue for later. Roll marble down the pipe followed by a bit of packing to stop it rolling out again. Nail the whole thing to a piece of planking (leaving shaping the wood to proper gun shape for later), and set off to a friend's house to give it a go.

I got about half-way there when I thought I'd better test it before arriving at the friend's house. Didn't want to embarras myself after all. So I tucked the contraption under my arm, lit the fuse and aimed the thing at a nearby, fairly substantial, tree so I could see what impact the marble would make.

The fuse burned down and down. As it burned, I got to wondering about what would happen. This WAS an untested gun after all. So I untucked it from under my arm, and held it by the edges of the board with the pipe facing away from me.

The fuse burned down and down. I got increasingly nervous, and ended up holding the wood by my fingertips at arms length, with eyes closed and face averted. Probably just as well.


The whole mechanism leaped out of my hands. I was fairly deafened from the sound (and my ears continued to ring for most of the afternoon). Retrieving the device from the ground, I observed the pipe had split along most of its length, which would have been VERY interesting had that happened in my armpit. I never found the marble.

Ahhhh, those were the GOOD old days......

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Its Freaking COLD!

How do I know that you ask?

Well, not by looking at the weather pixie on the sidebar, that's ferdamnsure. That guy must have anti-freeze for blood. He gets around with a t-shirt and perhaps a jacket when its hovering around freezing. For my part, at this time of year I spend the majority of my time considering whether I can get yet another coat on over the top of the two I'm already wearing.

No, you know its cold because it's the Queen's Birthday long weekend, and its ALWAYS cold. Why? Because that's the weekend we do our fireworks, and that of course involves standing around outside after dark, which is not something that I traditionally do during winter.

The fireworks themselves went fairly well. My brother-in-law hosted a big gatering featuring mulled wine and about 4,978 kids. Ok, there might have been a few less kids than that, but mulled wine will do that to you, and it certainly adds an edge to the adults in charge of setting the fireworks off. Still, we got through the event with only one mishap. A firework that works a bit like a morter fell over. Instead of shooting the explosive charge up into the sky where it can explode with a colourful "Bang!" it started shooting the explosive rounds all over the yard and into the crowd. Very exciting.

Buying the fireworks was a bit of entertainment all by itself.

I have one of those shopper discount cards that normally apply to restaurants - the "buy one meal, get one free" sort. I received a flier in the mail on the morning I had to go buy my share of fireworks - "Receive 10% discount on fireworks!". Sounded good to me. So I went to the address provided. I had puzzled over why they didn't have the store name in the add, just the address, but I put that down to the fact that a lot of fireworks places set up shop for just the week in which fireworks can be sold, then disappear again afterwards.

I was wrong.

The enterprising owner of one of the larger adult shops had done a deal with a fireworks manufacturer to sell fireworks from their premises. Having parked the car and approached the shop before I realised what was going on, I figured, "what the hey, I've never been in one of these places, I wonder what its like inside?". I wasn't alone in thinking that.

Entering the large barn-like establishment past which I think were statues of cupid or some such, your senses are immediately assaulted by the sheer range of ... things ... on display. Lacy things, rubber things, feathery things. Things that buzz and twitch. Or rotate. Things that you had to stare at for a while to even take a guess what they were for. Fuzzy things, padded things, blow up things. Things so realistic that....well, let's just leave it at that.

And that was just the view from the front door.

Having examined the fireworks selection and made my choice, I was told I'd have to wait while the processed the Government permit for me. So I, like a large number of other people (perhaps 30-40), passed our time wandering about amongst the things, figuring we wouldn't have a good excuse to be back in here for at least another year.

There was one entire wall taken up with....err....vibrating massage devices primarily for use by ladies. Perhaps 50 feet of wall. Perhaps several hundred different models. All different shapes and sizes and colours and appearances. All included batteries, although some, it would appear, would require different sizes.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of the ladies roaming about (roughly half of the people there) seemed to gravitate to that display. There was certainly enough room for them all. The men seemed to spend somewhat more time regarding the various types of loungerie on display, no doubt wondering, if they bought some, what it would take to get their partner to wear it.

All in all, I say there were more people in there on that day than the shop probably gets through it in a year. Which I suppose was the whole point.

I might have spent longer looking about, except that at that moment a female shop assistant came beetling up to ask me whether there was anything she could do for me. As a thousand punch lines to a thousand dirty jokes raced through my mind, I decided that the house video cameras probably had enough blackmail material on me to preclude any future in public life, so I merely smiled, declined the offer, and left.

But I suppose there is always next year.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Things you'd love to say at work but can't

I particularly like #14. #3 is my life right now...... ;oP

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of sh#t.
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.
10. Ahhh...I see the f*ck-up fairy has visited us again...
11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn.
14. I'm already visualising the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your cry-baby whiny-assed opinion would be...?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks