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Sunday, December 31, 2006

What do you get your wife for your anniversary?

Yesterday was my anniversary.
The classic problem arose. What do you get for her?
No good. I get her flowers all the time. That wouldn't be very good. Flowers are only special for people who don't get them every week.
How about candies?
No good if you are on a diet.
Ok, the old standby. Diamonds.
That sounds good. Diamond whats?
Earrings? Got those for Valentines.
Bracelet? Birthday.
Necklace? Christmas.
Ring? No good. She won't wear rings.
Ok, let's get her something practical.
Clothing? Not if I want to live. We apparantly don't have the same taste in fashion.
Kitchen appliances? I know better. Death sentence.
Ok, so what would you get her?
Well, it seems that I am a geek. So I got her a geek gift.
I got her a 512mb video card for our anniversary. It's really nice. Very sexy and sleek. And some new speakers. They are really cool. They have a digital readout on the front of the speaker that displays the name of the song you have on. It also displays the time and date and the resources you have used in your computer.

Here's the quote:
Shelley: OMG it's amazing. You can zoom all the way up on her nose. It's like you are right there.
Jagular: So is that a good anniversary present?
Shelley: You're such a geek.
Jagular: So are you.
Shelley: I know. We're just an old married couple now.

Now I have upgraded her computer to the point that windows no longer recognizes it as the original system. So I had to call Microsoft and revalidate her windows installation. That's always fun.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Alternative News

Breaking News:

Our sources in the middle east have just confirmed that Prime Minister Nouri Kamel al-Maliki of Iraq has just announced that today will mark a new national holiday in Iraq to be called "National String 'Em Up Day".

In other news, AACS has reportedly already been cracked, the last remaining software encryption on movies. So welcome Blu-ray to the ranks of CSS and IPOD.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas is over

Who got a Wii?
I got a Wii.
Link lives.

I also am now a multimon computer user.
I have dual 19 inch flatpanels up and running.
(and a leather computer chair. Now I can surf in style)

Oh, and the kids got some stuff, too.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Get off of the stupid computer and go spend some time with your family. It's Christmas, for crying out loud.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The ghost of Christmas Presents

Somehow I am not feeling very Christmaslike. I stayed up all night wrapping presents.
I think that's probably the reason why.
I hate wrapping presents. I'm good at it though. I just don't like doing it.
Well, you know, to be honest, I like wrapping some presents. And when there is an unusual one I enjoy it. I have wrapped a beach ball, a bicycle, a skateboard, and may other challenging items. Those aren't the ones that bother me. It's the plain ol' regular boxes that bother me. Not that I can't do them well, mind you.
There are just so friggin many of them. It took me seven hours to wrap them all.
That just sucks. I didn't count them, but I bought a package of seventy-five name tags to stick on them and I still have a few left over.
Actually, five.
But that doesn't count where I wrapped more than one of the same type of item in the same present, the clothes, or the other presents that Santa will bring, assuming any of us are on the "nice" list this year.
The shopping was even worse. We went to so many stores that the bank flagged my debit card as suspicious activity.

Yes, I know all about the overcommercialization of Christmas. But I saved up for it, so screw it. Maybe next year I will hire a college student to wrap them all for me so that I can be more Christmaslike.

But as for this year, Bah humbug.

Monday, December 18, 2006

And the answer is....

So as promised, here is the answer to the geek riddle from yesterday:

The answer is, GH
No, really. That's the answer.

In the beginning it sounds like 'guh' as in "ghost"
In the middle it is silent as in "bought"
And in the end it goes 'ffffff ' as in "tough"

I'm tellin ya, geek riddle.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A geek riddle

In the beginning it sounds like 'guh'
In the middle it is silent
And in the end it goes 'ffffff '

What is it?

(Answer to be posted tomorrow if nobody gets it right)

blog update

enabled word verification.

The bots have found me.
It's not that I would not like to import prescription medications, get a larger penis, or find the perfect mate. I'm just tired of having to clean out all of the comments, that's all.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Quote of the day

I was driving down the freeway with my daughter in the car and we were passed by a pickup truck. It was a great big crew cab truck. There was a guy alone in the front, driving, and in the back were three Mexicans. They were huddled over against the cold. One of them had pulled his hood of his sweatshirt up over his head, and all three were somewhat shivering. My daughter saw them and watched as they passed us.

"Hmmmm..." she said. "I ain't never seen that before."

I was quiet. I was trying to decide if she was old enough to understand if I were to explain to her about day laborors and about how people don't always trust them enough to let them in the cab. At the same time, I was impressed that she would notice that there was room in the front, but three of them sat in the bed, in the cold.

"Daddy, did you see that?" she asked. "There was a guy driving a truck over there, and he was hauling two workers and a grim reaper."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Falling Down

This has got to be the best compilation of falling down that I have ever seen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blogger hates me

Actually blogger is fine with me. It's blogger beta that hates me. It won't allow me to comment on any blogs running blogger beta. It doesn't seem to recognize my password or something. I'll have to look into it and see what is going on.
At least whenever I get some free time.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Please disregard my previous post. I changed my mind.

I'm just kidding.
I stayed up into the night and worked on my outline. I was really amazed at how quickly it all came out. You know how everyone always has an idea for a book that they stew on for years. Well everyone I hang out with does, anyhow. It would appear that mine has been stewing long enough that it is pretty much done cooking.
I typed out the outline as if I were recalling a story instead of creating one. It was really spooky. Word Count gives me 1889 words in the outline. I think that's not too shabby. Of course the outline is not anywhere near complete. I need to go back over it a couple of times and fill in the gaps. But I got most of the main points included, or at least accounted for. Mostly it's plot highlights or interesting/funny things that I want to include in each chapter, written in bullet points. On my second go around I will make it more "outliney" in that I will include each actual thing that is supposed to happen in the whole book. At least that is my intent.
When it comes time to actually sit down and start writing the book I will have to steal that spiffy little sidebar wordcounter that Heather uses on her blog. That's a really nifty looking little tool.
I still haven't decided on if I will type the book or write it longhand. In the past I have only been able to write longhand. But that was a long time ago. I'm a better typer now, and Word has improved greatly.
I still haven't come up with the characters' names or the Title of the book. But what's the hurry.
Is there such a thing as a psychological comedy?

Monday, December 11, 2006

So I've decided to write a book

I got to talking to Heather about a month ago, back when NaNo was kicking off. She is very encouraging and told me that I should go ahead and write my book.
Oh yes, that book. The book that shows up in my dreams and eventualities. The ever elusive book that I have always been going to write whenever I finally get struck by the muse and have all the free time in the world. When the kids are grown and the wife is off on world tour. The book I want to write when I finally conquer the English language to a degree that the words come flying off of my fingertips as fast as I can type. When the entire outline of the book suddenly appears in its completed form in my newly photographic memory. When a world famous publisher comes knocking on my door saying that they have heard of my amazing writing ability and sought me out to beg me to please write for them.
Yes. That book.
And I considered it. I thought about it for days. Temptation works that way. Jag, you know you want to write it. You've always wanted to. Now is the time.
But then I declined. The kids are NOT grown. The wife is NOT on world tour. I have a life. I have responibilities. I still have my sanity. I cannot commit to a book right now. I just don't have time.
And that was it. Right?
Well, the short answer is, no.
That would have been it if my answer was "No, and I'll never think about it again." but alas (I've always wanted to use the word alas in context.)
It has been haunting me. It creeps in from the sides when I am not expecting it. It is a dream. A wish. A hope.
And then I realized something. NaNoWriMo asks you to write fifty thousand words in a month. That's intense. But I don't have to do it for NaNo. Why a month? Why not a year? Why not two years? What if I were to write fifty or a hundred words per day?
And that was the end of my resistance. It took a month, but I relented nonetheless.

So here I sit in front of the computer, looking at the blank page.
Yes, the dreaded blank page.
The night was hot...
I realized suddenly that my dream is not to write a book. My dream is to have written a book. Writing a book is hard work.
Writing a book that someone else would like to read is even harder.
And writing a book that somebody will pay money for is even harder than that, or so I am told.

Thank you, Heather. Thank you for giving me that extra little push. Thank you for saying, "Yes, you can." Thank you for all of the time you have given me so far explaining the difference between ideas and plots. Between a rough outline and a finished outline. Between telling and showing. Between writing and being a writer.
Thank you.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Carols

It all started one day as I was walking through the supermarket. They were playing music overhead and I suddenly realized that they were playing Christmas carols. Except that the one they were playing was some guy singing a carol and changing the words to what he obviously thought was a more modern day approach to it. I always hate that. Why can't they just leave things alone? It really made me mad.

But then I realized...

If they can do it, why can't I? I mean, if it upsets me, who rarely ever gets upset, what would it do to a mere mortal? So I decided to test it out.

I waited until just the right moment. My wife and I were sitting, watching TV and the show had just ended. I began to sing:

In the meadow we can build a snowman.
And pretend that he is Parson Brown.
He'll say are you married
We'll say no way...

The reaction was instantaeous. It was heartfelt. It was painful.
I decided to try my luck again later in the night.

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But your kiss is... also frightful.

I tell you, Hell hath no wrath.
So how would the kids react?

Jack Frost roasting on an open fire.

Kids have even faster reactions than adults do sometimes. "Daddy, if you aren't going to sing it right, don't sing it at all."

So I tried one more time.

Outside the snow is falling
and friends are calling wassuuuuuuup

Ok, well now I give up. I'm out of ideas.

I was talking to 7 last night

I was up late during the night, IM'ing with my friend 7.
No, seriously. That's his name. His mother named him 7. Not Seven. 7.
I'll just be frank about it. The guy has issues. I think it has to be the trauma of going through life with a number for a name. Think of the possibilities.
When you are signing for a fedex you could just --zip-- put your name on it without pausing. But growing up must have been hard for the guy. I've known him since he was a year old, and I can assure you that it can make some interesting things happen in your life.
I remember one time in particular. He was seven years old and his mother was taking him down to the local swimming pool to get "pool tags" to let him in all summer. All she had to do was to fill out a short questionaire and pay her ten bucks.
Lifeguard: Ok, and what is his name?
Mother: 7
Lifeguard: No, his name.
Mother: 7
Lifeguard: His NAME is 7???
Mother: Yes.
Lifeguard: What does it say on his birth certificate?
Mother: 7
Lifeguard: So under NAME I will put 7?
Mother: Yes.
Lifeguard: OK, lady. And ummmm...how old is he?
Mother: 7
Lifeguard: Lady, get the hell out of here.

And if you think Norm has some name recognition? No way. He's got nothing on 7. He has the most memorable name in history. And poor Mrs. 7. I won't even get into the issues that she must have. "Aren't you 7's wife?"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some things are spooky

You know what's spooky? It's when you look on your hit counter and see people coming to your blog from an email link. That's when you know that someone wrote an email about you, someone else read it, and then came and looked at your blog.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


No, not Myspace.com
My own space. My personal space.

That's the problem these days. There is none. Personal space, that is. I'll be at work and someone will say to me, "Hey, Ken. I'm going over to IHOP after work. Wanna come along?"
And there it is. No. I do not want to go to IHOP with you.
It's not that I have anything against IHOP. Or eating. I have nothing against you, either. But I won't go to IHOP with you. And I won't eat lunch with you, either.
Why not? It's simple. You are not my mother and you're not my wife. You see, there's a line there. I'm also not going to let you cry on my shoulder or establish an open door urination policy with me. I will not ask you for your opinion on my haircut. I will not invite you to Christmas dinner. For that matter, I will not give you a Christmas gift either. Do not ask me what I brought for lunch, because I won't tell you. Don't ask me to smell your perfume. I don't want to see pictures of your children. I am not your husband.
Do not show me your suntan. I will not be at the annual Christmas party at work.

I work with you and sometimes I spend more time with you than I do with my wife. So there is a boundary that I have set up that I will not cross.
What makes a man cheat on his wife? I've heard people say that every man will cheat if given the right circumstances. I do not know if that is true. But what is that man doing in those circumstances?
I can safely say that I will not cheat on my wife. The reason I can say that is because I will not develop an intimacy with another woman.
There are certain parts of my life that are private. Mealtime. Hopes and dreams. My writing. Certain music that I listen to. Bathroom time. Children. Body parts.
It's not that I don't like you. I'm certain that you are a wonderful person.
But you just are not my wife.

There are exceptions. Waitresses can talk about my food. I can discuss my body parts with my doctor. I may use my children as an example when I am explaining something.

But for me to talk about any of these things with anyone else is rare. There is a woman at work with whom I talk about some of the music that we both like. There is an intimacy about it. Mostly due to the fact that the music is so unknown to most people that we were both excited to actually find someone else who has even heard of it. She's about twenty years older than me, and there are a couple of times that I caught her making comments such as "I wish you were older." or "I'm thinking about leaving my husband." and then I have had to steer her back. There is an intimacy in music.

Today I agreed to be a critique partner with someone to critique each other's writing, and that someone happens to be a female. Normally I would just say no without even considering it. But I happen to know that this person is a good Christian, is happily married, and lives very far away. So I can work with her. But there is an intimacy in writing. At least in my writing there is. I'm not talking about blogging. Writing comes from deep down inside of me. Writing is born in the parts of my brain that are on the inside of all of the guards and filters that I have set up. But this person is a good writer, and I value her opinion when it comes time for her to critique my work. There is a very good benefit in getting a fresh perspective on your work. But I won't be inviting her to Christmas dinner. And I won't go to IHOP with her either.

Again, I have nothing against IHOP. I go there all the time with my wife.

Underneath the Mistletoe

Ok, so today I went and did all of the shopping for Christmas decorations. Ornaments, lights, manger, nutcrackers. Check, check, check, check.
Mistletoe. Well, funny thing happened today.
I went and got all of the hardware from walmart, but I didn't want to get mistletoe there, because all they had were these cheap little plastic mistletoes that looked more like toy salad. But since we had decided to get a real tree, and a flocked one at that, I figured I could just pick up a real, live mistletoe at the garden center down the street where they sell the flocked trees. That's what I figured anyway.
So I went into the garden store, found a nice tree, and then looked around for some mistletoe. I couldn't find any. I found the guy who worked there and asked him. And it just went downhill from there. You see, if I asked for mistletoe and he just said "no" everything would be fine. Or if he said "yes" it would be just great.
But that would have taken English. But this guy was apparantly new to this country. That's ok though. He was just doing the jobs that nobody here wants to do.

Salesman: Can I hep jew?
Jag: Yes, do you have any mistletoe?
Salesman: Yeah, man, we got da real toe ones. Like twelve feet and stuff.
Jag: No. Mistletoe. Do you have any mistletoe?
Salesman: Sure, man. Jest how toe you wan it?
Jag: No. Not tall. Mistletoe. You hang it on the ceiling and kiss people.
Salesman: Ok, da toe ones are over der and all da short ones are up here.
(In walks the manager. Also new to this country.)
Manager: Wussup?
Salesman: He wansa know how toe da tchrees are.
Manager: Yeah, we got da real toe tchrees outside over here. Some is like twelve feet toe.
Salesman: Das wat I toe him but he done b'leeve me.
Jag: No. Mistletoe. Hang. Kiss.
Manager: Cmon, man, I chow you da real toe tchrees.
Jag: (Whimper)
Salesman: How toe you want da tchree?
Jag: I just want this tree over here and I'll be going. I still have to stop at walmart and get some toy salad.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree

While decorating the tree today

Ambre: Daddy, this candy cane broke when I tried to hang it on the tree. Can I just eat it?
Me: Sure, go ahead.
Kenny: We can share it.
Ambre: Go break your own!!

Monday, December 04, 2006


I just accidentally reported my entire inbox as spam.
I don't know if that calls for a temper tantrum or a nervous breakdown.
I don't know if yahoo will now block all of my contacts who have written me in the last week.
I don't know anything at all anymore. It was all deleted as spam.
See, I told you I hate Mondays.

It's all downhill from here.

Holiday Traditions

I don't really remember how it started. I'm sure it had something to do with my twisted sense of humor though. But we have an unusual family tradition whenever gift giving time comes around. Every year when it comes close to Christmas, or to birthdays, or any other gift giving occasion, people start asking "what are you going to get me?" I know that I sure asked that a lot when I was a kid. I always thought that "Wait and find out" was a really lame answer. Now I'm not a psychologist, but it seems to me that all "wait and find out" does is encourages people to ask again later. Surely there are other good answers than "wait and find out".

But what can you do? Do you tell them everything that you are getting them and spoil the surprise? Do you just say, "I'm not telling."?
Not at my house you don't.

"Daddy, what am I getting for Christmas?"
"A spatula."

And on Christmas morning, the kids open their presents, and what is present number one? A spatula. Not a cheap throw-away spatula, mind you. A very nice ultra deluxe spatula that even Rachael Ray would be proud to own.

It doesn't have to be a spatula though. It could be a vegetable strainer. Or a potato peeler. How about a peppermill? Wooden spoons? An ice tray? Yes, I've given them all. The possibilities are endless.
So what are the children getting for Christmas this year?
I don't know.
But Kenny is getting a fly swatter.


I hate Mondays.

A Joke for Geeks

A man was walking through the desert and found a Genie bottle. He picked it up and rubbed it and in a *poof* there appeared a magical Genie.

Genie: Ok, you have one wish remaining.

The Man: Wait a minute! I thought I was supposed to get three wishes! What's the big idea?

Genie: Well, you did get three wishes. You used the first wish and things didn't work out exactly how you imagined. Then you had to use the second wish to undo the first one. So I just brought you back in time to the moment that you first rubbed the lamp. That way it undid the first wish and all of the effects of it. So now you have one wish remaining.

The Man: I wish that women would find me irresistible!

Genie: AGAIN???

Friday, December 01, 2006

Link of the day.

Sometimes when I go surfing the internet I can go through hundreds of websites per day and find nothing memorable. But other times I come across a website that is so extraordinary, so profound, so awesome that it makes my whole day worthwhile.
Today was one of those days.

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