Saturday, February 26, 2011

New cartoons

Daddy! We wanna watch the new cartoons!

Ok, what channel are they on?

Boomerang, daddy!

Boomerang, huh? Okay, here we go.


Is that...Top Cat???

Yeah! Ooh, the Jetsons are next!

New cartoons? These cartoons are older than me.


The Jetsons come on and I start preemptively singing the theme song.

Daddy! How do you know this?!

I told you. These cartoons are older than me.

You're funny, daddy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


By which I mean, incredibly incompetent.

Today my office is having their March of Dimes fund raising bake sale.

After being off both Monday and Tuesday I got into work this morning, logged into my email, and the first email that catches my eye has the subject "Quarters and other coins".

No, it's not spam. It's from one of the girls organizing today's Bake Sale. It was sent at 4pm yesterday afternoon and it says: "Can I give you some dollars bills for coins? I did not have time to get change today - need it for tomorrow's bake sale."

What am I, a bank?

I've mentioned before that as I manage the office coffee fund my coworkers are often hitting me up for change, and in some cases it's not a simple request like "Can you break a twenty?" (which usually I can) but a more demanding "I need two tens." and usually it's the same woman who makes requests like this.

"I need a ten, a five, and five ones."

That's not a question because she doesn't ask if I can make change. She just hands out a twenty and demands change, in specific quantities of specific denominations.

How about twenty ones?

My response is met with the incredulous look that her own demand should have received.

"Can I give you some dollars bills for coins? I did not have time to get change today - need it for tomorrow's bake sale."

I give my response more effort than it deserved but long answer short, No, you can't. I have no change.

Now we get to the fun part, which is actually short for inFUriatiNg,

With my daughter's Girl Scout cookie orders arriving this weekend I actually came into work on Monday (even though we were closed for the President's Day holiday.) because my greedy generous coworkers bought 45 boxes of cookies from me, and I'd be damned if was bringing that many boxes of cookies with me on the bus.

Now while most of my coworkers paid in advance for their cookies, nine coworkers did not. Knowing most of them would probably not pay $4 or $8 but would have $5 or $20 bills and so expect change, I came into work this morning with a wallet full of one and five-dollar bills so I could make change. Because I'm a former Boy Scout so I'm Prepared.

So you can imagine how irked I was to see the email from my coworker requesting I make change for her because she didn't have time to get to the bank herself. Hell-fucking-O??? Isn't there a bank right across the road from our office? Why yes, I believe there is. And yes, I know Monday was a President's Day and thus a Bank Holiday, but hell-fucking-O??? Have you not heard of delegation? If you, personally, are so busy that you can't take 10 minutes to walk across the road to the bank to get change...send someone else! Geez, Louise! Good golly, Miss Molly! Etc.

So here I am, at my desk this morning, and one of the girls comes up to me and asks for change. She has a twenty and she wants change. No, not for her cookie order. She wants change for the Bake Sale. I pull out the coffee fund tin but I already know there's no change in there (I looked earlier) so she asks if I can make change. As in me, personally.

Actually yes, I can, I reply, but I need this change for my cookie orders ("Because I'm fucking Prepared! I scream. Silently. In my mind.)

We go back & forth and I'm very reluctant to hand over all my change (all $20 of it) but in the end this woman out passive-aggressives me and I reluctantly hand over my change. Reluctantly, because I already know what's going to happen. The first couple of customers at the Bake Sale are going to pay with $20 bills, because today is payday, and there's an ATM in the building's lobby. So those first two customers will pay with $20 bills straight out of the ATM and take all of the Bake Sale's change (by which I mean my change) and the next 20 customers in line behind them? If you think they've come straight from the ATM and all have $20 bills too, then you'd be right.

And naturally, as I type this, I just had the second person come by asking if I had change for the Bake Sale.

No! I fucking don't! You already took all my change! Get the fuck out of here!

By which I mean I politely replied, No, I don't have any more change. Now fuck off. Oops. Did I say that out loud? Of course I didn't, because I'm a professional, at least I am at work. This Blog doesn't count.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toyota cleared by NASA scientists...

"Armchair Physicists" know better; still blame Toyota.

20 years ago I was a young, inexperienced driver and I was backing out of my parents' driveway one evening with my sister riding shotgun, and rather than using the mirror to see, I was looking back over my shoulder. In doing so my head was turned away from our neighbor's house and so I didn't see that he had parked his car at a slight angle across our shared driveway. We lived in a rounded cul de sac and the bottom of our driveways at the curb were positioned at a slight angle to the actual driveway...hard to describe, so here's a crappy, ascii-art picture:P
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\x\ \
Our drive is on the right, our neighbor's was on the left, and his car was parked at the bottom of his driveway (x), which meant his car sort of blocked our driveway, or at least it prevented me from being able to back straight out into the road.

As I was backing up and looking back over my right shoulder (Australian, remember? Steering wheels & drivers are on the left.) my head was turned away from the neighbor's drive, and so I didn't see his car was blocking my exit.

But my sister did.

She yelled at me to STOP! and in such an urgent voice that I panicked and jammed the pedal to the floor. Except I floored the gas pedal, not the brake. As the engine rev'd and the car leaped backward I immediately realized what I'd done, and despite being a new driver I reacted with the typical lightning-fast reflexes of a teenaged video gamer, switching pedals I jammed the brake pedal to the floor. The wheels actually locked up and left skidmarks in our driveway, but we stopped in time.

This was not in a Toyota. This was in a Ford, but that's irrelevant because it was ALL driver error. All mine. That's the difference between me and all those other Toyota drivers who fell "victim" to "stuck" accelerator pedals. I'm willing to admit that I was at fault.

Floor mats getting bunched up and stuck under pedals? That's driver error, too. Why do I say that? Because part of driving is being aware of your surroundings, including noting the condition of your car. If your floor mat is loose, sliding up, and bunching up under your gas or brake pedals, whose fault is that? The car's? The manufacturer's? Riiiiight. It's your fault! It's your car, you're responsible for maintaining it, and keeping it in a safe, drivable condition.

Unfortunately for Toyota the damage was done and their reputation took a dive, which is what makes me wonder if this was not so much a case of our sue-happy nation jumping on the anti-Toyota class-action lawsuit bandwagon, or something a little more sinister. Corporate espionage, perhaps? Who knows. From here on out, it's all speculation, regardless of what NASA has to say.

*Apparently there were a few cases where accelerator pedals actually did get stuck leading to uncontrollable acceleration, but those were few & far between.