“One man deserves the credit, / One man deserves the blame...”

Borrowing from Lobachevsky.

“...Only be sure always to call it please 'research'.”


Free pizza/free t-shirt. Probably the only reason I wouldn’t sell my soul for such is that it would be logically impossible.


Danny’s Corollary to Pascal’s Wager
Use who rather than whom.


“I’m guessing the 4x4 matrix is impossible, because otherwise you’d have to spend a long time doing it.”

Continuing Work-Study might be impossible.


Going to Suspicious of Whistlers for free pizza merits a callback?! Clearly I am an expert on intelligence.


Did you just say custard?
No, mustard. As in, we could relish some mustard when we catch up.

Okay I'm out like... like... we have both a banana and mozzarella cheese in the freezer.

Is that a metaphor or a statement of fact?


“Oedipus conjugated when he should have declined.”


I fear I hear Cat purr
And grow sadder
Since they, who sublime climb had, were
Upon fallen


For some reason my Away Message was not set yesterday, so all of you missed a bad pun. Similarly, my SI entries were overlooked this week. (Including one that could have been much funnier were I one who watches the OC.) So if you heard some bad joke coming from me this weekend, it wasn’t my fault- I swear it there was something in the French fries. (Like vodka, only without the alcohol.)


A man walks into a butcher shop and says to the butcher, "I bet you $5000 that you can't reach the meat on the top shelf". The butcher thinks for a second, then says, "Sorry, no, those steaks are too high.


“It’s an incentive to stay on top of things. You don’t know whether there’ll be a quiz. I don’t know whether there’ll be a quiz.”

In theory there is a 1/6 chance of having a pop quiz in CompSci. In practice, it’s a lot closer to 100%.


Google’s best advice regarding the current noxious influx of Spam-IM:
“One of these days, an attractive girl named Megan is going to im me and i'm not going to believe it because i'll just assume she's another one of these spam im things” [sic]


Four-square naturally evolves into dodgeball.


Wash U B (Team Korean Raw?) won 5 of our first 6 games- and then dropped 7 in a row to finish 5-8. At least we got propped as the funniest team there.

The appropriate incentive to discourage tardiness: having to take “The Judge”- a suitcase with 9 lights on the side that contains the buzzers, a battery, and a lot of wires- through security.

Fluxx. [It still might be my turn.]

Shuttle drivers and car rental agents will laugh at you if you try to take 9 people in 2 mid-sizeds.

Weakest Link. <[space]>

Ironically, one must be 19 to gamble in Canada.

RPS. [When it counted, 3-0.]

<sports bar trivia>
What kind of category is “Famous Roads”?
“How about the one Not Taken?”
“The Yellow Brick?”
Colossus of?
“...That’s the nerdiest thing I’ve heard all day.”


In an earlier Away Message I stated that
I am in a state that begins with M and is 8 letters long.

I think everyone who read that guessed wrong at least once, and most did so twice. For the record, there are 3 states {Maryland, Missouri, Michigan} that fit the criteria of beginning with M, being 8 letters long, and having me be in them while such an Away Message was displayed.

Appearing in Maryland while I was in Michigan was an SI entry attributed to Missouri which I composed in, er, Molorado. [Unprinted was Disquali-migration: Technical term for a Nannygate.]


I am in a state that begins with M and is 8 letters long.


I think my New Year’s resolution is to next year not have to make the New Year’s resolution to buy a calendar before New Year’s by buying a calendar before New Year’s. For the second consecutive year I am in mid-January scraping through leftovers trying to find a decent page-a-day calendar. Sure, they are discounted, but the saved money isn’t worth the hassle from limited selection.

(Finally decided on the Escher.)


“Catch-22” seemed more a collection of character sketches than an actual story, yet the further I read the more I became absorbed. There was an “Atlas Shrugged” moment, when like “Who is John Galt?” a phrase in the book transforms into an idea in the real world while still in the book. Nately’s whore’s kid sister reminded me of “Les Miserables”’s Cosette; I’m not sure what Rome was. Orr’s unexpected secret fit so perfectly [though I cannot remember what it reminded me of]. The narrative style convinces that Yossarian is insane, then that everyone is, and finally that Yossarian is the only sane one. But the biggest problem I had with “Catch-22” is that I thought “Caine Mutiny” better: the former says that war is crazy; the latter says why.


“The Dick Cheney Code” is more effective as a satire than a parody. I kept expecting the plot to perfectly parallel the source, but it instead diverged, probably to allow the political humor to be more one-sided. Most of the political jokes are the ubiquitous type; they are not as memorable as how effectively the book labels as bad a bestselling novel thought good. The book’s missed opportunities are equivalent to those of the Da Vinci Code.

And besides, the author also writes Latin humor books. And the local geography is too familiar.


Singled in this week’s SI. I’ll assume it was the best I submitted, since I don’t have access to my rejected entries.

For that has been the only critical disappointment with Vanessa: the lack of portability hence flexibility. Otherwise she truly has been fabulous. I’d forgotten how annoying it is to type on laptop’s keyboard, or to accidentally use the touchpad, or to try to angle the display. To say nothing of sharing.

The difficulty is somewhat ameliorated by the perfectly named external 80 GB offshoot or division of the main portion of a structure. Another contraption which happens to be a useful holiday gift.


Saw Wicker Park, having not given in despite my stalker having drugged me on the outbound flight, sabotaged the third in-flight movie on the return flight, and scratched tonight’s DVD. The random squeals emitted by the speakers were less painful than the dramatic irony the film is saturated with.


It is gratifying that he knows about the “used to be funnier” stage, and that it is so historically fundamental. For there is a cycle, one I have witnessed in others besides myself, going from introduction to discovery to reading to fanatic following to clipping columns to purchasing books to aforementioned realization. But following that final realization, after which the fanaticism leaves and one seeks humor elsewhere, there still remain too many uninitiated, who will not get some allusion, just waiting for their introduction into the greatest humor writer of the era.

Dave Barry Was Here


Focus Puller sounds like it should be a name. Like, “Focus Puller’s Day Off”.
Obscure cinematographic occupations were but one piece of trivia featured in the advertisements running too quickly in the Aspen theatre before coming attractions, so that it was a bit hard to snarkily comment upon them to BLS sitting beside me. The 2-3 seating arrangement was fortunate, since the family was seeing Meet the Fockers; for even though it was less painfully dramatically ironic than the original, with embarrassing replaced by embarrassed, the meta-pain was much worse.

It had nothing to do with the aborted nighttime stroll through Aspen.
The problem with a family ski vacation isn’t the ski part.


Begun watching Lost in addition to Alias, both of which resume tonight.

I may not be able to respect Michael Vartan any more- apparently he smokes...
That’s nothing; apparently Jennifer Garner has unprotected sex with Ben Affleck.
<winces> So that’s true? I saw it in some tabloid.
I read it on imdb. You know what happened the last time I disbelieved an imdb rumor about Jennifer Garner.


Claustrochronomentrophobia, the fear of closing walls and ticking clocks.


The underwhelming New Year’s celebration consisted of finally completely watching The Big Lebowski. It seemed overrated, ironically analogous to the title. There were a few moments, but it overall seemed to be missing something, probably plot, which made the relatively abrupt end feel anticlimactically unresolved.

I can’t help but think it was symbolically appropriate.


I’m beginning to slightly see a use for locative announcements, yet the banality of a fixed “munching on a rutabaga”, “studying rutabagas”, “rutabaging”, etc. seems too abhorrent. I suppose I could use my profile or restart a blog to continue the spirit of interest promised exactly 3 years ago, keeping the best of both worlds, but I feel too resistant for some reason. Or perhaps a second AIM account could provide the flexibility to be simultaneously boring and creative.

I don’t think I’ll do anything before I return to Vanessa, since my position is too stable and the connection too unstable.

A boring resolution for a boring New Year? Forget being resolute; I know not solution.