Monthly Archives: September 2004


This is a funny dose of school fun from [name withheld].  He received the following email:

   Hi my name is <SNIP> and I am in our Social Psychology class sec
   0021 and I had a question about the essay assignment for Whats Eating
   Gibert Grape….I didnt know what the question meant about his identity
   heiarchy..could u explain that in lame terms??

His comments:

[“Lame terms?”  Perhaps I should use Sociology terms,
of which “identity hierarchy” is one.  One, in fact, that was
discussed at some length in the chapter covered on the recent exam.
Then again, this person only scored a 71 on the exam–*including*
the 15-point curve–so I guess I shouldn’t expect too, too much.]

Alert Level Orange

The 80s – corporate yuppie greed and the Cold War
The 90s – MonicaGate and the Bosnian War
The 00s – All terrorism, all the time

So I stop at the Shell station to grab some snacks after working out. On the drive home, I finish up the popsicle and notice that there is something printed on the stick. It says:

“It had a virus.”

For a brief irrational moment, my brain automatically loaded all the interesting scenarios involving attacks using unsavory substances. The I read the print further down the popsicle stick:

“Why did the computer go to the doctor?”

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Lifted from a Slashdot article about “Marketingspeak”:

“Deregulation of the chicken’s side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Accenture, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken’s people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework.

Accenture convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Accenture consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge management, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken’s mission, vision and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution.

Accenture helped the chicken change to become more successful.”

What are they selling?

Email subject from a recent spam:

“buddhism koala traversal”

And in the email body appears:

“canary shovel”

Wikipedia is my friend

Every time you visit, there is a “featured article” concerning some random subject.  Today’s was about the “Holy Prepuce” (or Holy Foreskin).  An amusing paragraph from the article:

Allegorical importance

Apart from its physical importance as a relic, the Holy Foreskin appeared in a famous vision of Saint Catherine of Siena. In the vision, Jesus mystically marries her, and his amputated foreskin is given to her as a wedding ring.

During the late 17th century, Catholic scholar and theologian Leo Allatius in De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba (“Discussion concerning the Prepuce of our Lord Jesus Christ”) speculated that the Holy Foreskin may have ascended into Heaven at the same time as Jesus himself and might have become the rings of Saturn, then only recently observed by telescope.

Voltaire, in A Treatise of Toleration (1763), ironically referred to veneration of the Holy Foreskin as being one of a number of superstitions that were “much more reasonable… than to detest and persecute your brother”. [1]

Outer Banks vacation!

Here is my hastily assembled, poorly written, vastly incomplete Outer Banks vacation log.

hatteras trip


took off in the morning to head up to richmond.  christina let us all stay the
night while she visited her sister in charlotte.  as soon as we got to
christina’s house, kathryn opened the passenger door of the car and gonzo took
off.  he then immediately ran into the neighbor’s backyard and left a gift of
poop.  the mccubbins arrived at christina’s house and we then proceeded to let
the kids wreak havoc on the house. it took less than an hour to turn the
nicely organized kids’ play areas into disaster zones.


cleaned up the house, and packed up to finish the drive to rodanthe NC.  met
chris and angel at the realty – they arrived earlier but the realty would
not release the keys to them presumably because everything was in kathryn’s
name.  we got to the house, and it was really nice despite the rather plain
exterior and the junk-filled houses nearby.  we explored the beaches a bit
and enjoyed letting the iris and eris explore the sand and water.  this was
also gonzo’s first beach experience, and he was a bit scared of the surf
coming in.  kathryn ran up and down the beach with him – she looked as
happy as an eight year old girl. for dinner we ordered takeout from the asian
restaurant down the street. when i went to pick up the food i was surprised to
be served by a dreadlocked, blonde, slightly sun-worn white woman with an
australian accent – not what i was expecting to see serving sesame chicken and
teriyaki kebobs.  the women went out to the food lion in avon to stock up
on groceries for the week, and chris and i played DDR until we were
really bad at it.  later that night kathryn and i saw a really bright fireball
meteor – chris mentioned the possibility that it might have been an iridium
flare.  i saw the exact same thing 2 years ago at the house in salvo.
christina and her two kids arrived late (closer to midnight) – we were worred
she wasn’t going to find the place since she didn’t have a cell phone we could
call to give her directions.


we walked around the beach with iris in her backpack, and christina came with
us with maddie and ella.  all the kids enjoyed the beach quite a bit.  it was
maddie’s first time at the beach (the “big water”).  and karaoke revolution in
the evening.


went out to nag’s head in the morning with everone to visit jockey’s ridge, a
state park built around the big sand dunes there.  apparantly the sand dunes
move several feet south per year, so the property nearby is at risk of being
covered with sand.  a minigolf course is currently buried – its tallest
feature, a castle, is still visible in one section of the dunes.  kathryn and
i took iris in her backpack and walked to the top of the dunes where we saw
the view of pamlico sound, the hangliders, and folks flying kites.  met back
up with everyone and headed back to the house, stopping at a sushi restaurant
at a strip mall for takeout on the way (and a cigar shop to pick up some
smokes).  after eating lunch at the house and letting the kids nap, kathryn
and i took iris back to nag’s head – we wanted to hike a few of the wildlife
observation trails along the way but thunderstorms were rolling in all around
us.  we ended up driving through nag’s head and kill devil hills.  stopped at
a coffee place and then went to a electronica-themed music shop which also
specialized in snowboard sales and repair.  kathryn found an afghan whigs cd
she didn’t have, and i found a brand new paul oakenfold CD which had just been
released several weeks prior.  the shop clerk had a “thing for drum and bass”
and once was within beer-bottle-clinking distance from oakenfold when the
latter DJed live in DC with his eyes closed while drinking guiness.  one
section of CDs was blocked by snowboard equipment.  snowboarding equipment in
hatteras??  later we stopped at a minigolf place to play video games.  they
had a ddr game, and a cool boxing game where you wear gloves and your body
movements are detected – you have to duck and weave to avoid getting hit by
the game’s boxers.  kathryn loved that game and was saddened when the coin
slots jammed up.  that night after the kids went to bed we all played cranium
and kathryn and i got our asses kicked by the mccubbins.  i enjoyed a cigar
outside and ended up walking to the beach to absorb the sounds of the sea
while watching the surf wash over the sands like big hands spreading cards
over a giant table. lightning occassionally flashed far at sea, lighting up
the cloud banks in the distance.


we went to ocracoke island with christina and ella (chris and angel stayed at
the house and watched maddie and eris).  it rained most of the day but
cleared up as we were driving back home in the afternoon with the cranky
tired babies (of course).  took the ferry over and stopped at the same
seafood/burger joint we went to with the turmans two years ago. after stopping
at a candy store for sugary snacks and fudge, i took a quick look at the
british cemetery there (four british sailors recovered from the destruction of
a british ship loaned to the US during the early years of WWII). drove down
the island and explored the arts and crafts shops and found some interesting
decorative junk.  it was a fun day hanging out with our ol’ college
buddy.  got home, and later in the evening, chris and angel went out to a nice
mediterranean restaurant in kitty hawk for a date night while we listened out
for eris as she slept. christina, kathryn, and i played scattergories after
getting the kids to bed.  i enjoyed yet another cigar out on the windy deck.
now i am overfull with food and my lungs are good and gummy from smoking.
life is good!


hung out at beach with everone; had a date night at meridian 42 (“coastal
Mediterranean cuisine”) ( – reminded us of the
Metro restaurant in downtown roanoke.


nature trail at wildlife refuge; kayak, followed by walk home eating sundae and
buying gifts; everyone else went to nicer beach across street from wildlife
refuge on pea island


getting screwed by sun realty; walk on beach with ella; walked on pier;
sun-worn fisherman dude sleeping on hard planks; bob’s grill (“eat and get
the hell out”); arcade


checked out of house; spent all morning packing and cleaning up.  on the drive
back, gonzo kept jumping into the front seat – had to pull over to put him
back in his gonzo-shaped hole in the pile of vacation stuff.  ate lunch at a
place called Mel’s Diner somewhere on route 168 – shiny retro-50s restaurant


breakfast in richmond with roger and michelle; kathryn and schmee slept in the
car almost the entire way back; freaky jewish dude staring at us at the gas

Quote of the day

"The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its
 milk, on the principle that it is cheaper to do this than to keep
 a cow.  So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered."

 - Samuel Butler