Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Friday, March 27, 2009

I don't see dead people...

Thanks to Occasional Fish, I have found out that I am...

37 years and 292 days old today. That’s exactly half the life of somebody famous. In another 37 years and 292 days, you will have lived exactly as long as Timothy Leary. He was a psychologist and counter-culture icon known for promoting mind-altering drugs who died at the age of 75 years, 222 days of prostate cancer.


In 11 days, when you reach 37 years and 303 days of age, your lifespan will surpass that of an innovative record producer.

The dude that created the Monkees, maybe?

Except for Ethel Rosenberg, I haven't heard of these people, either.

You've outlived Jason Mizell by almost two weeks. He was a musician best known as DJ "Jam Master Jay" of Run D.M.C.. He died of murder by gunshot on October 30, 2002, when you were 31 years old.

Jim Fisk was almost two weeks younger than you when he died of murder by gunshot on January 6, 1872. He was a financier, associate of Boss Tweed and business partner of railroad speculator Jay Gould. He died 100 years before you were born.

You've outlived Ethel Rosenberg by almost a month. She was a Communist Party USA member who received the death penalty for conspiracy to commit espionage. She died of execution by electric chair on June 19, 1953, 18 years before you were born.

Jack Parsons was more than a month younger than you when he died of injuries sustained in a lab explosion on June 17, 1952. He was a CalTech researcher, co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Aleister Crowley adherent. He died 19 years before you were born.

You can see whom you have outlived here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Am I more like Whoopi or Oprah?

I'm referring to the movie The Color Purple, in case you hadn't guessed. I wore one of my new "uniform" shirts to work today. We were allowed different colors, so I chose forest green, ash gray, cardinal red, royal blue, and royal purple. (That's why "uniform" is in quotation marks.) I haven't worn the green one yet. The gray is sort of "ehh". I like the blue. I think the red looked good on me. However, this purple one got the most response. Three different people said how good it looks. If I had known that ahead of time...

No Fear

I reminded myself this morning that it has been less than a year since I attempted the motorcycle safety course -- without fear. At that time, (I think) I declared this to be the "year without fear". I have a little over two months until that year expires on my birthday, and that's a lot of time. If, by then, I don't have a job lined up, then I can be afraid.

I'll take my strength for the time being from a quotation by Aunt Betsy Trotwood from David Copperfield (which aired on many PBS stations earlier this week). "We must meet our reverses boldly and not suffer them to frighten us. We shall act the play out and live misfortune down."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Is this how phone sex starts?

When I was in college, I had a job as a D.A. (short for Desk Attendant, but pronounced “duh”) in my residence hall. It wasn’t a challenging job. I would answer the phone, make change for the laundry room, check out the pool balls and cues, and check out the key to the kitchenette. On rare occasions, I’d be challenged with putting the residents’ mail into their boxes. Yippee. Whenever I answered the phone, I would say, “Regents Row, this is The Captain. May I help you?”

One day, I was busy assisting someone at the counter, and the phone rang. I intended to ask the caller if I may put him/her on hold, so I could finish with my customer. The words that came out of my mouth were, “Regents Row, this is The Captain. May I hold you?”

The female caller did not seem to find this as amusing as my male customer and I did.

Fast forward to this morning. Again, I’m answering the phone. “Grounds Department, this is The Captain. May I help you?” (When you have a formula that works, why change it?)

The female caller said, “Good looking.”

“Oh, thank you!” I said. (Hey, inadvertent compliments count just as much!)

She then corrected herself. “I meant to say, ‘Good morning. I’m looking for Boss.’”

God Bless America

While at the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that the ad on the shopping cart said that the product would be found "in the dry pudding aisle".

Now imagine some poor immigrant entering an American supermarket for the first time. "Wow, an entire aisle for nothing but dry pudding! America is a land of abundance!"

Of course, that's also why many people around the world consider us a land of excess, as well.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Manager Wanted. No Intelligence Necessary.

I know there's less than three months left on our contract, but wouldn't you like to come work with me? You don't need to know anything about horticulture, and you don't need to have any management experience. The only job requirements are that you can nod, say, "Yes, sir," and (figuratively) roll over and offer your ass to a random freak on campus.

The first thing Sub did was give up on leaf blowers. Our crew now uses them only Mon. through Thu., from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. (Otherwise, the guys stand around and pick their noses, I guess.) This was because one person, who has been branded as the campus whiner for years, claims the blowers stir up too much dust and pollen and aggravate people's allergies. It doesn't matter that, at this very moment, you can go out to any fruitless mulberry tree on campus and watch the pollen waft into the air. It doesn't matter that this is March and spring is the windiest time of year, with 60 mph gusts not uncommon.

I just heard the second dumb thing this morning. We are going to cut down one of the largest Afghan Pine trees on campus (maybe one of the largest trees period) because a rich donor wants us to. It's not outside the building named after him; it's in front of the building that houses the collection of petrified wood he donated to the university.

So, if you want a job where the hardest duty you have is not thinking, I'll give you Sub's job. Better yet, if you want to put a flock of pink, plastic flamingoes on the Horseshoe (our campus lawn), paint every third leaf pink, or stop us from mowing the grass because of pollution, come to Las Cruces! We'll do whatever you want!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No blue balls for me!

I took a ride in a police car yesterday. In the front seat.

Actually, it wasn't a car so much as an SUV. The assistant campus police chief was at the same webinar I was, and he offered me a ride back to my office, since he was heading to the same complex. We had a nice conversation.

It disappoints me a little that police forces (at least in our part of the country) are doing away with the big, rotating lights on the rooves of their cars, like Kojak used to have. (I felt the same way when freight companies did away with caboose... cabooses... cabeese?) My friend Gimpy calls them "cherries and blue balls" -- but he's the only one I've heard refer to them that way. Instead, police cars now have LED bars. Our campus police SUV's have them mounted on the grills, between the headlights, because, I was told, the SUV's are so high off the ground that the roof lights wouldn't be seen by smaller cars.

All this is well and good, but do LED's give the full 360-degree warning that the rotating lights used to? If I'm in traffic and hear a siren and don't see lights in front of or behind me, will I know that a police car is passing on a cross street?

Any of you have experience with these new things?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Realization

Now that so much of my hair has fallen out, I no longer care that I need to stoop to see the top of my head in most mirrors.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

None shall pass.

The other day, I was caught behind a school bus dropping off kids. I also had to stop for one heading the opposite direction. I noticed something different and new about that bus.

When the driver opened the door and turned on the red, flashing lights, the front bumper swung forward from a hinge on the door side. I'm guessing it's to keep children from crossing the street right in front of the bus.

Of course, when I took the school bus, I was smart enough to cross behind it. I kind of wonder, if kids aren't smart enough to avoid getting hit by their own bus, should we bother sending them to school in the first place?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who takes out the trash at the White House?

I've had strange dreams before, but this one has no basis in my life, as far as I can tell.

I dreamt that I was assisting President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton tie up the ceremonial First Bag o' Trash from the White House. It was a standard, white, plastic, kitchen garbage bag, complete with built-in red, drawstring handles. After all the photographs and polite applause, I lifted the bag (bulky but not heavy) and slid it into the ceremonial White House Polycart.

Gosh, I hope this doesn't mean something.

I need a fix.... Er, solution.

The university has updated its drug policy for employees. Sub tripped... er, walked us through it.

According to the list of possible indicators of drug use, someone who is on drugs may exhibit "excessive sweating or skin clamminess", have "loud, boisterous", "repetitious, rambling", "rapid, pressured" speech, and "excessive talkativeness". Aha! Maybe Ob's not just that way; maybe he's on drugs.

Similarly, I identified another employee's traits on the list. This person is "irritable, moody, belligerent", has "lack of motivation" and a "lackadaisical, apathetic attitude", and shows a "reduced quality/quantity of work".

What a relief! I'm not stressed because of losing my job; I must be on drugs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tommy, can you hear me?

Our deaf seasonal employee (second year he has worked here) just walked by my office, speaking very loudly. I stupidly wondered why he was speaking so loudly. After all, we already have Ob and Sub for that. Then I realized that, being deaf, he has no concept of volume control. So, I wondered to myself, if he's already deaf, do we need to provide him with earplugs when he operates equipment like backpack blowers or weedwhackers?

For sale... cheap!

On my way to the grocery store last night, I walked by a car for sale for just $350. I think the metal it's made out of might be worth that much.

The vehicle was so small, I think I can push it. (Remember to use your legs, not your back!) The driver's side fender was gone -- not even replaced with a mismatching color panel. The coup de grace was inside. On the shelf between the passenger seats and the rear window were two, small stereo speakers, I'm assuming because the car's original speakers no longer work (or were stolen some years ago).

I wonder if they'll lower the price twenty bucks if I provide my own speakers.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

On the Good Ship "Lollipop"

So if I'm a Captain, I need a boat right? Naturally, it follows that the Chlorophyll craft would be a bark.

From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.: a small sailing ship; a sailing ship of three or more masts with the aftmost mast fore-and-aft rigged and the others square-rigged; a craft propelled by sails or oars. (Also barque, barkentine.)

Friday, March 06, 2009

I is a grammarian.

Okay, so the product web page shows periods in the slogan, but when I saw the ad on TV, it didn't. It read, "Clean more faster".

Hey, 98.6, it's good to have you back again.

Our annual surprise safety inspection occurred yesterday. The bad news is that it caused me to miss lunch. The good news is that we passed with a 98.5%. (The only ding was not being able to find the latest safety committee meeting minutes in the gigantic pile of training/safety papers Worker Bee left behind.)

In case you're curious, the lyrics are here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

It's all in my head.


Tweety told me yesterday, "You have a blue pen mark in your ear."

I had wondered where those two pens disappeared to in two days, but you'd think I would have noticed them getting stuck in my ear, wouldn't you?