Sunday, December 28, 2008

Proposed Tribute to OU

I hear that Piper and Bou have a little wager in the works. Because Bou will be way too busy with her marathon to prepare a decent "Ode to OU", I offer (as a courtesy to her) the following (with my apologies to Lord Tennyson):

The Charge of the Florida Gators

Half a yard, half a yard,
Half a yard and punt,
All at the bowl of Death
Fell the SEC Wonders.
Back to the Everglade!
Charge for the bus - dismayed:
Back from the bowl of Death
Come the SEC Wonders.

"Back to the Everglade!"
Was e'er a game so misplayed?
Not tho' the players knew
BCS blundered:
Gators not to make reply,
Gators not to reason why,
Gators but to do and die:
Into the bowl of Death
Fell the SEC Wonders.

Sooners to right of them,
Sooners to left of them,
Sooners in front of them
BCS blundered;
Sooners rang the dinner bell,
Gators they just tripped and fell,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Fell the SEC Wonders.

Flushing more than Bou could bear,
Flushing as she cursed the air,
Skewering all her hopes and prayers,
Charming the Sooner fans
BCS blundered:
Plunging in, the Gators croaked
Right thro' the Sooners broke;
Passin' and Rushin'
Ball fumbled, what a joke --
Sacked and plundered.
Then they rode home, but not
Not the SEC Wonders.

Sooners to right of them,
Sooners to left of them,
Sooners behind them
BCS blundered:
Sooners rang the dinner bell,
Gators they just tripped and fell,
They had left such a smell
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of the SEC Wonders.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All those SEC Wonders.
Back to the Everglade!
Charged for the bus - dismayed:
So the BCS blunders.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Gift From Andy

To understand this post you should to first go read this story.

The "Mrs F" mentioned in the story was the first-grade teacher for all three of our sons, so each of them went through her "Fortunately ... But Unfortunately" exercise -- but only our middle son's humorous handling of Mrs F's assignment has entered the realm of family folklore.

James is now home on leave from the Army for a couple of weeks, and on Christmas Eve the UPS truck delivered his gift from his older brother Andy. Upon tearing off the wrapping paper, James found this message taped to the gift (which is a very nice coffee press):

And James, upon flipping open the card, found this inscription:

God has truly blessed Joyce and me with sons who keep us endlessly amused.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sly Before Christmas

'Tis the night before Christmas and up at the table,
Little Ben is a-scribbling as best as he's able,
The kids at the school have been dissin' the man,
So Ben's little mind is devising a plan.

Ben should be nestled all snug in his bed,
But questions of truthfulness buzz in his head;
He scrawls on his card stock; I bring the ink pad.
He's cleverly testing if he has been had.

The milk and the cookies have always been downed,
But now he needs proof a little more sound.
His marker, it moves with a flair and a flash,
"Lev your tum print Santa---" he ends with a dash.

Our little wise guy, so cunning so slick,
Has baited his trap for alleged Saint Nick.
Then carefully sets out the ink pad and note,
So Santa will use it (like Iraqi's all vote).

"Ben's dashing, now dancing, now prancing, and fixin'
to check if old Santa rides a sleigh that he sits in!
I say, "To bed with ya now!" [down the end of the hall]
"Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
So Ben mounts to the bunk, his bed way up high.
Then Mom and I wait for the whispers to quiet,
We've got us a ploy, but not sure if he'll buy it.

Next morning Ben's thrilled by the handsome ink blot,
But checks out each hand, looking for spots.
With nary a stain on the parenting mitts,
He exultantly cries, "There is a Saint Nick!"

Mom and I stifle our dance in the zone,
(lest high-fives now possibly make our sin known:
With a wink of my eye and a nod of her head,
Without overt lying, we've once more misled).

A year then has past and (kids getting pubescent)
I figure it's high time that I get confessant.
I lay out the truth as plain as you come,
Answers Ben back: "How 'bout the print of the thumb?"

"Didn't check my toes, didja?" I humbly admit.
Ben looks at me hard, then utters, "Aw ... shux!"
But he heard me exclaim, ere he walked out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to y'all, and to y'all a good-night."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wonderful News

Meredith just had to call Aunt Joyce and share the wonderful news.

Joyce: Hello?

Meredith: Hi Aunt Joyce! [Meredith is now ten years old.]

Aunt Joyce: Well, hi Meredith - it's nice of you to ca...

Meredith: Aunt Joyce, guess what!

Aunt Joyce: I don't know -- what?

Meredith: I got my ears pierced!

Aunt Joyce: Wow! Have you heard the story about when your mommy got hers pierced?

Meredith: Yeah, I know.

Aunt Joyce: Well in that case, I'll tell you anyway. I was eighteen. She was sixteen -- she fainted!

Meredith: Yeah, I know.

Aunt Joyce: So, when you got your ears pierced, did it hurt?

Meredith: Yeah, it stung a little. Wanna hear me play the piano?

Aunt Joyce: Absolutely ...

Meredith: {{Pecking out "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen."}}

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twenty-Two Words

My brother-in-law Jerry has found an interesting challenge: "Tell a children's story in just 22 words."

So here, as a retelling of this ancient tale, is my submission:

Terrycloth caped Superboy leapt from the second-floor window and pancaked into the ligustrum, but not before being seen by Lex Luthor (Dad).

Flying Coach

"N joo?" asks the flight attendant, not the pretty stewardess with the lilting voice who'd led the refreshment cart past.

No, my inquisitor is the butt end of the refreshments, Eugene Levy doing a dynamite impersonation of a gay Puerto Rican.

His "N-Jew?" query has me sorely tempted to reply, "Nope, Christian - Protestant - Evangelical - Non-denominational." But I resist. Still, Eugene seems peeved.

Maybe I shouldn't be so judgmental about his being miffed at me. For all I know, he and his life partner might have had a spat last night: Hab'n we seen Singing in the Rain' enuff tines, a'ready? Why don' we ebber watch moobies lo que I like? ... Jess, I mean moobies like The Gladiator!" ... Eet soun's to me like joo're yost chellous of Russell Crow. ... Chure I tink he lukes hot in hees leather gladiator ou'feet, but steell -- eet's a good moobie. ... Okay, so maybe ee's a leetle biolen', but ...

"Sir! W'chew lie suntheeng to drink?"

I sputter, "Uh, maybe some orange juice?"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Atheist's Argument in Favor of Evangelism

Imagine an atheist being the one to explain so compellingly the Christian's moral obligation to evangelize. Penn Jillette (who doesn't know whether the Psalms are in the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures) preaches this sermon far better than I've ever heard it from the pulpit.

From Crackle: A Gift of a Bible

If we actually believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, how dare we keep silent about it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Don't you just love the way folks populate their emails with those little hints that what they just said is supposed to be funny? I contend that the "smiley" is the greatest invention in English literature. Just imagine how much better Shakespeare's writing would have been if he'd only had emoticons.

To be unhappy smileys, or not unhappy smileys to be smilies -- That is the question: jumping smileys
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind Smileys to suffer
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune indifferent smileys
Or to take arms aim smileys against a sea of troubles winking smileys
And by opposing end them. To die, aim smileys to sleep-- unhappy smileys

No more--scared smileys and by a sleep to say we end ashamed smileys
the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks cool smileys
that flesh is heir to.

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. sad smileys

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welcome Home

This picture (which my lovely bride pointed out and which I lifted from Thunder Run) about brought tears to my eyes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Random Slogan

I found the link to this random slogan generator over at Mrs Who's "House of Zathras". Considering my last post, this just seems all too fitting.

So Easy Bob Can Do It.

That pretty much sums you up!

(Okay, so I changed the image.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Funny Pages

Back in the '80s Jerry Van Amerongen used to draw a single-panel cartoon called "The Neighborhood". I recently unearthed one of those panels that I'd saved (for obvious reasons). This timeless cartoon seems more appropriate now than ever (in light of my recently installed our outdoor Christmas lights).

My dear Joyce married herself a soldier -- how was the poor thing to know she was getting an engineer in the bargain?


Here's a picture of the lights in front of our house.

(That girl I married is so easy to please.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yes, We Can!

I just checked my stat counter and I think I perceive a subtle pattern here.

So I strongly urge you to have all the negative people you know drop by. If we all work together, we can push this thing into sub-zero territory within another day or two.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Closed Shop

The news reports out of Washington are disappointing -- not the news itself (the news about the Senate's defeating the auto industry bail-out couldn't be better) but the news reports. The disappointment is that the press is still up to its usual obfuscation -- hiding the fact that this bail-out deal was squirreled by the United Auto Workers' leadership. It appears the UAW has figured out that the survival of Chrysler, Ford and GM is not important -- what matters is that blame for the impending car wreck be properly assigned. So the AP, UPI, Reuters and the news departments of CBS, NBC and ABC have all stepped forward to point the finger at their favorite nemesis: It was those evil Republicans who scuttled the deal!

Were it but true that the Senate Republicans had seen the error of spending taxpayer money on foolish investments, my faith in pompous windbag politicians would be restored. But alas, all that the Republicans have done is propose the UAW not squander our money too quickly. So pardon me, if I don't shed any tears for the drunk in the tuxedo (a.k.a., the UAW) who was so insulted at being offered less than his preferred mixed drink.

Nonetheless, the angry panhandler in a tux shouldn't despair. A new Administration and a new Congress will soon be in charge, so he was probably wise to reject the Mad Dog 20-20 the Republicans offered. Fret not, you union bosses, come January we taxpayers will be serving you your Chateau Lafite-rothschild 1988 with a smile.

(Image shamelessly lifted from here.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Geek Humor

I think I've been had.

Robert, another engineer at work, was telling me about his audio system (which he's forever modifying with assorted spare electronic parts). He looked at me seriously and asked:

Robert: Bob, why does an ungrounded audio amplifier hum?

Bob: Well, without a solid common ground for all the circuitry, you get sneak circuits, or ground loops, and ...

Robert: Nah! That's not it.

Bob: Okay, smart-ass -- you tell me, "Why does an ungrounded audio amplifier hum?"

Robert: 'Cuz it doesn't know the words.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Blogging Carol

In this twelfth month I'm telling what readers gave to me:
Twelve jokes worth keeping,
Eleven hits from Lancing,
Ten vipers sniping,
Nine frummer thumbings,
Eight posts worth milking,
Seven cons Nigerian,
Six thoughts I'm weighing,
Five ancient meeemes ...
Four-letter words,
Three mensch friends,
Two viral bugs, and
A great new Scrabble tip free.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check Out Dudley's Post

I was checking out Dudley's site and just had to laugh when I saw this contraption.

Words to the Wise

A friend recently cast a few pearls my way:

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, if they resent your criticism ...
you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.
Do not walk beside me either -- just pretty much leave me alone.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Santa's Mailbag

They were true believers. Let the other kids mock -- our boys knew Santa was real. Okay, so an obese guy in a red-velour and white-fur getup traveling all the way around the world in one night did stretch credulity a bit, but it was so much more plausible than the alternative: Mom and Dad, spending money to buy a bunch of useless crap -- Yeah, right! Sure, Mom and Dad did buy stuff for kids at Christmas, but their gifts were always what Mom called "practical" (which is apparently a synonym for "really lame stuff" or something).

Nah, clearly Santa was "the man". You could count on the jolly old elf when the chips were down and Mom and Dad needed constant reminding that Christmas was "How many more days?" away. Even teachers at school knew that parents were untrustworthy and so encouraged all the children to compose their letters to Kris Kringle. And so it was with confident hope that James took up his fat felt-tip and composed this heart-felt appeal to Santa's generosity:

which (for the benefit of you who don't read second-grade-ese) translates as:
A electric train set:
All of the Radio Koq {control?} toys
And star trek the next generation.
And a green ranger.
And Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park.
from James

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tribute to Carl Sagan

In April 1994 US District Judge Lourdes Baird dismissed Carl Sagan's libel suit against Apple Computer.

Her opinion stated in part:
Plaintiff's libel action is based on the allegation that Defendant (Apple Computer) changed the code name on its personal computer from "Sagan" to "Butt-Head Astronomer" after plaintiff had requested that Defendant cease the use of Plaintiff's name. ... There can be no question that the use of the figurative term "butt-head" negates the impression that Defendant was seriously implying an assertion of fact. It strains reason to conclude that Defendant was attempting to criticize Plaintiff's reputation or competency as an astronomer. One does not seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined phrase "butt-head". Thus, the figurative language mitigates against implying an assertion of fact.

(Source --- Dr Dobb's Developer Update, Volume 1, Number 10, Dec 1994)

BCS Fall-out

I wish I'd had a camera. The west-bound train was just pulling away as I walked up. I looked up just in time to see a scowling face framed in a window of the trailing car. And atop that frowning head was a ball cap. And emblazoned on the front of that cap was a burnt-orange Texas Longhorn.

UPDATE (for the benefit of those who don't listen to sports reports): The University of Texas, Texas Tech and the University of Oklahoma have all tied for the South Division of the Big Twelve Conference, but because Oklahoma has a higher score in the BCS ranking system, Oklahoma will play Missouri for the Conference championship. So Oklahoma gets a shot at the national championship and Texas doesn't -- even though Texas (with an identical record) soundly defeated Oklahoma earlier this year.