Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wok the Dog

My friend has bought a Chinese Crested puppy - one of those dogs that look like it was shaved by a deranged barber who left tufts of hair around poor dog's head, paws, and tail as a cruel joke. If ever an animal needed one of those embarrassing doggy coats, I'm sure the Chinese Crested would say," Nah, that's ok. I'm humiliated enough. Thank you."

So now, my dear friend is trying to come up with a name for him. She asked me for suggestion. I'm thinking “Wok”, as in “Wok the Dog”. His title sounds almost regal, like a soon-to-be famous animal superhero. Or, a Saturday morning cartoon. Either way, his name would be helpful and a time-saver.

For example, when you're in need of exercise, and you wonder who is going to accompany you: Wok the Dog. When your favorite pet does something really, really, really bad, what are you going to do about it: Wok the Dog … along with a threat of stir-fry.

I'm sure you can appreciate the versatility of this wonderful name.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ain't Technology Great!


Since I don't have phone service, my iPhone updates as soon as I have a verified Wifi connection. When I arrived home and walked in the door tonight, a message popped up from my NASA app - another massive flare violently burst outward from the sun. Great! If Facebook doesn't tell me about my friends' exploding gas, I get a text about the sun's.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why Facebook isn't called "Saving Face" book

I'm sure that most of your co-workers are like mine – kind, considerate, tolerant of viewpoints that differ from their own. Yet, what is it about Facebook that unexpectedly releases an ugly persona that some hide so well from us?

When a few of your dear colleagues seat themselves in front of that glowing screen of Facebook, you can forget the polite, social censorship they use when speaking to you face-to-face. It's as though a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transformation takes place.

Suddenly, your angelic ally-of-the-workplace becomes a raging fanatic, condemning your mortal soul if you don't immediately "share" their post that promotes the saving works of their Jesus.

Your liberal-leaning buddy broadcasts their concern that all of you are not having enough of your hard-earned income taken for the government's noble-sounding (though incredibly wasteful) projects. When I say "broadcast their concern", it's in the form of ridiculing you for not sharing their beliefs.

Your dog-loving, save-the-animals associate plasters their page with pictures that have been on the Internet for years showing doggie atrocities. This usually accompanies their entry encouraging your guilt for not adopting the latest sadly cute pet of the week.

And then you have the loving mother who posts those darling pictures of their wonderful five-year-old child. Somehow this adoring mom forgets that you know how bratty and spoiled her kid actually is. In fact, you know this “sweet, innocent” child will be the next mean-spirited teenager who ties lit fireworks to the tails of truly sweet and innocent dogs. This hateful teen will then grow into the latest undesirable adult - that bully who works as a tax collector or even that person who abrasively preaches the virtues of Jesus and the 10 Commandments (while conveniently neglecting the ones on stealing and coveting).

You read your co-workers' newest entries on Facebook and shake your head. The next day, you return to work, smile at them, and think, "I read your little secrets. Please stay away from me!"

As the great general Sun Tze once said, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies friended." Something like that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This a-chording to me

Out of all of the songs for the guitar, I only know two. One is that classic hit: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". The other song isn't. I'm not sure what it is.

Oh sure, with a little practice, I could do "The Flight of the Bumblebee" with amazing agility. But, throw in a guitar and "the flight" would become an agonizing crawl - bumblebee not included.

A friend talked about playing "Seventy-six Trombones" on a guitar. I said, "That must be one huge guitar to fit 76 trombones on." After my friend made a few disparaging remarks about my intelligence, he went on to explain that it was the song called "Seventy-six Trombones".

A song? That didn't make any sense. Why would any one use a guitar to play a tune about trombones? What's next? Having a guy wear a dress to his construction job so he can get whistled at? What a drag.

Maybe I'll just skip the playing part and begin emulating one of my favorite rock groups, The Who. They were a charming groups of lads who would end their high energy performances by using the floor to tune their guitars flat. I can do that.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What did you say?!

Yay! Congress has pulled that noble-sounding SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation for the moment. The driving-force - the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) - is a tad upset. But don't say anything. The last time we said bad things about MPAA, they tried to wash our mouths out with SOPA.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I've Moved Closer Into The 21st Century

A couple of weeks ago, my very good friend gave me his well-used iPhone 3G. You probably know that Apple had to obsolete this ancient 3 year-old smart-phone as part of their brilliant business plan - avoid bankruptcy each year by giving us the privilege of buying the latest version of the same phone. Apple's woes aside, my friend's generous gift was a major step-up from my Luddite existence involving two tin cans and some string.

So, for the past few weeks, I have played with my new digital toy and have turned it into a somewhat effective personal assistant. I don't know how I've survived before receiving my sleek, scuffed iPhone. Yet, somehow I did.

For example, my grocery shopping trips used to be frighteningly similar to a confused mouse frantically looking for cheese in a very complex maze. Or whatever inconvenient aisles the evil grocer would use to hide my precious supplies. Eventually, after several mind-numbing hours, I would find my stashes of cheese and other necessities. Thankfully, I could then recover as I stood for hours in those ever-pleasant long lines of the checkout counter.

That was then. Now, my shopping experience is completely different. With the help of my trusty PDA, I can zip through the store with the speed and accuracy of a laser-guided missile. Where's the coffee? BAM! There it is! And BAM! Right into my shopping basket it goes. Immediately, my hound-dog of a phone points to my next unsuspecting target. Where's the soup? BAM! There it is! And BAM! Right into my shopping basket the cans roll! Where's the carton of eggs? BAM! There it is! And BAM! Right on to the floor the eggs splatter! (I've got to work on my overly enthusiastic aim.)

As you can imagine, my smart-phone has effectively shortened the time spent hunting for groceries. I can now get to those long, snail-paced lines at the checkout counter much, much sooner. But, while waiting in those DMV-styled people queues, I've figured out how to safely ignore the unmoving throng of decaying fellow shoppers surrounding me. I simply tune out by catching up on books and podcasts installed on my very smart phone. (Or maybe the smart one is just me. Modesty prevents me from saying, so chime in please).

Of course, it's not all fun-and-games. I am without At&T or Verizon's phone service. The good news is that I've figured out how to make free calls to any phone as long as I have a WiFi connection. The bad news is that this level of 'free' has its own set of frustrations. In fact, the more I use my obsolete device, the more I hit other walls of limitations. And each time this happens, I'm tempted more strongly to upgrade from free and into tomorrow's costly technology. (I'm sure that the more frugal among you will agree with me: if it is priced more than a dollar, it's costly.)

It doesn't help watching my engineering and geek friends gleefully play with their Android-based goodies. And now that I have a taste of what-could-be, I wonder about what an htc buy would bring to my next level of mobile experimentation.

Is it possible that the cell phone gods will smile upon me again? Perhaps an unwanted htc jetstream will fall from the heavens and smite my well-deserving noggin? ... hint, hint ... Or maybe this is all just a precursor to Apple's next competing product – the iWish.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

I seem to have reached that stage in my life where I catch myself reflecting on my life. When I was younger, I didn't want to go to school. In my adult years, I didn't want to go to work. Today, into the second century of my life, I've successful made yet another trip around the sun and realized -- I just don't want to go.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Someone sure lit a fire under him ...

The LA arsonist set 55 fires in 4 days. I guess it's hard to quit when you're on a hot streak. Hopefully, he wasn't just following through on a commencement speech "Now get out there and set the world on fire!"

Monday, January 02, 2012

First Face Plant of a New Year

Excellent start of a great morning. No school buses to dodge, no early morning slow pokes on the road, almost no traffic in fact. So it only took me a speedy 80 minutes to arrive at work!

There, a deserted parking, dark windows on the building, and locked entrance doors joyfully greeted me. While the mental agility of a sleeping dog, I realized that today must be a plant holiday.

30 days ago while I was on vacation, I vaguely remembering hearing about a tentative 2012 holiday schedule. But no one confirmed or denied it when I returned to work. And since I work in the dungeon, no one bothered to make sure I knew about the change in the plant's closure.

Yeah, this is going to be a great year!