Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't grumble.

Since I've twice mentioned Muppets bits I find funny but my mom doesn't, I'll turn it around and share with you the routine that never fails to make her laugh. (Sorry, but it's the only one I could find, so you have to put up with the creator cutting off the last line and tagging on some phony credits. Oh yeah, and s/he misspelled Fozzie's name. Good grief.)

Any time my mom or I say, "Good grief," the other will immediately follow up with, "The comedian's a bear!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tell him what he's won, Vanna!

If you're reading this, then I plugged my fiber optic cable back into the right slot. :)

I also uncovered, as I put stuff back around my living room, the game card I got at the bowling alley on Saturday. I scratched off the covered spot, which revealed that I won "an Apple iTunes $10.00 Gift Card!", one out of just 1,000 awarded. Sure, I beat the odds over one free game with one paid game (848,960 awarded) or $5.00 off bowling on my next visit (50,000 awarded), but I would've preferred either of those prizes.

So, can anyone tell me what the @*&^# I won?

I wonder if I can penalize him for Delay of Game?

I shouldn't let my whine overshadow the fact that I finished painting my apartment this weekend, but... I could've been done a day earlier.

Froggy called me on Saturday and suggested a Guys' Night for bowling. I had just finished taping around the last walls as far as I could go, and I was debating going out for just one more roll of tape or staying in and painting around just the taped areas. I decided I could bowl with Froggy then buy the tape and have dinner somewhere. "When?" I asked.

"When" turned out to be three hours later. He had to go to a funeral for the mother of one of his employees (who, as I learned that night when I bought the tape and a sympathy card, was not the only woman in The Noog to die on Thanksgiving Day). In the meantime, I was frustrated (reading, but frustrated) because, in that time span, I could've gone out to buy that last roll of tape and finished painting. I also would've eaten before bowling, rather than 8:30 at night, my usual bedtime.

I slept in the next morning, since I was up late (and yes, there was a bit of pleasure at skipping my cardio that a.m.), and I finished taping and painting. When I get off work today, I get to pull down all the tape and move my furniture back in place.

That's another reason I didn't get to post this yesterday: my computer wasn't hooked up to my fiber optic connection. I hope this will make it up to you. I know I always laugh at it. (It's another one of the skits that made me laugh like crazy when I was little but horrified my mother.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jumping Nope

It's very unusual for me to see anyone in the gym on the weekends -- especially a student, at 5:30 a.m., on a Saturday, during school break. But there he was, running laps around the indoor track. After a cooldown, walking lap, he hopped in place. It looked like he was jumping rope without the rope.

He looked kind of silly, but it might be a good idea. After all, people say skipping rope is good exercise, but I tend to give up after a short time because I either trip myself, or the rope is too short and it catches on the back of my head. Why not "skip" the rope?

Speaking of things that don't make sense....

Oh, and that reminds me of Opus's line, "Gilda Radner shouldn't end."

Friday, November 26, 2010

No one has ever accused me of being observant.

I have lived in this apartment for nearly 17 months. Yesterday was the first time I realized that the block of wood on the inside, rear wall of my medicine cabinet wasn't a brace. It's a shelf which had been turned up on edge. I didn't really need it, but I started using it, since I have it.

Keeping with my tradition of non-traditional Thanksgiving dinners (if you can count two instances, 11 years apart as a tradition), I ate pork chops at Herman's yesterday. I was expecting them just to toss them in a frying pan and flip them, but out came chicken-fried pork chops. Yum! And, for some reason, my brain was thinking "fried okra", but my mouth told the waiter "green beans". Oh well, they were tasty, too.

It was unseasonably warm earlier this week -- in the 70's. Tonight we're supposed to have our first freeze. (The one predicted a couple of weeks ago never happened.) Tomorrow will be cold but back to warmth on Sunday. To tide me over these next two days, maybe this will keep me warm.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bork, bork, bork!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What do they sing at a poultry farm the day before Thanksgiving?

2 + 1

I started researching plane fares last night. I got through about half of the possible airlines I could use, depending on whether I fly out of The Noog (CHA), Atlanta (ATL), or Nashville (BNA) and into Albuquerque (ABQ) or El Paso (ELP). I came up with three generalities.

1) It's cheaper to fly out of ATL or BNA than out of CHA. This is partly because CHA is a smaller airport and requires an extra connection, but mostly because "discount" airlines have created competition for "major" airlines in ATL or BNA, so the prices are more competitive. (I put quotation marks around the words in the previous sentence because some companies now blur the line between the formerly rigid designations.)

2) It's cheaper to fly into ABQ than ELP. This might be because ABQ is slightly larger. Plus, ABQ has the International Balloon Fiesta, and you can go to Santa Fe or Taos. ELP has... um... and you can go to... uh, Carlsbad Caverns or White Sands National Monument, I guess.

3) The third item isn't another generality so much as a realization -- and math is involved, and I wasn't sure you'd read this far if you knew math was coming. (Although, to be honest, the title was a hint.) One airline indeed has a higher price to fly out of CHA than ATL or BNA, but not as high as its competitors. Then I started thinking. If I fly out of ATL or BNA, I need to take the shuttle, which adds $73 to my cost. The extra airfare is about $80, a difference of just $7. Is $3.50 per round trip a low enough "Convenience Fee" for me to pay, rather than two hours each way in the back end of a van crammed with "Customers of Size"? You bet your sweet bippy it is!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Now it works.

Here's the video I wanted to embed in my post this morning.

Do not try this at home!

I do not hold myself up as a parenting expert. Since I have no children, I tend to keep my mouth shut. However, I saw something this weekend that dismayed me.

I drove onto campus (a rare event) and passed by a house where the father was blowing leaves into piles for his children to play in. (The fact that he was using a blower "borrowed" from my crew without my knowledge didn't occur to me until later.) What disturbed me were 1) that the piles (and the children) were in the street and 2) that the mother called the dog to come off the street but not the children! One of the children said, "There's a car behind you," but at that point I could have mowed down at least four of the five.

I swear. There should be a testing and permitting process involved before parenthood. Honestly. Something more difficult than "Put Tab A into Slot B".

What a Drag

I hypothesized this weekend that one of my bathing suits holds more air underwater than the other because they are made of two different materials. A possible corollary to that is that one suit will slow me down more than the other. I'm not sure if the air bubbles contribute to slowing down (more volume = more resistance) or if the added buoyancy helps (if the amount of buoyancy is even significant). It sounds like an interesting experiment, but it also sounds like I'd be subjected to all sorts of embarrassing measurements, and probably photos or video, and I'm not too keen on that because my self image isn't that strong. What I need is someone to view my nearly naked body and tell me how good I look, but where am I going to find that (without paying for it)?

I painted three of the walls in my kitchen this weekend. Sure, one is almost completely taken up by cabinets and the window, so there's just a foot-wide strip between the cabinets and the counter, but it counts! I'm holding off on the fourth wall until I can get someone to help me move the washer/dryer. I was able to shift the stove and fridge myself, but the washer/dryer is either too heavy, or it's stuck to the vinyl flooring. I'm thinking of painting the living room next and then go back to the fourth wall. We get two days off for Thanksgiving, not counting the usual weekend, so I'll have some large blocks of time available. Maybe I will get this done by Christmas, after all.

On Sunday, I planted pansies outside, and some bulbs I got for free. The pansies won't flower much since the flower beds are on the north side of my apartment, but it's just the act of planting that makes me feel good. Although, some flowers would be nice, too.

I woke up from an interesting dream involving the Beach Boys some time during the night. I told myself to remember it in the morning to tell you about, but all I could remember when the alarm went off was that the Beach Boys were in it. Still, that gives me enough reason to share this with you.

Hmm... Okay, maybe I won't be sharing it. Youtube seems to be having difficulties this morning.

Speaking of going home (that segueway would make a lot more sense if you had been able to listen to the song first), I need to make flight reservations for my trip back to New Mexico in January.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No, it's not a singles ad.

One thing you get used to after moving to Tennessee is seeing "Volunteer" this and "Volunteer" that. The slogan for Volunteer Express, Inc. caught my eye, though.

Large enough to perform...

...small enough to care.

Rip Van Winkle

I overslept this morning by nearly an hour. Thankfully, having my workout as a buffer allowed me still to get to work on time, so no one but you knows I overslept. (Don't worry. I still had time for cardio today; I'll do the weights tomorrow instead.)

I rolled over and thought, "This is about the number of times I wake up and then the alarm goes off." Especially since I was just getting comfortable. So, I looked at the alarm clock. Was that a three? No, it was a five. Five?! It appears that I neglected to set my alarm last night.

And here you thought I had been asleep for days because I haven't posted lately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday's Sojourns

On Saturday, I made a couple of shopping trips. In the morning, I drove to Idiotville so I could purchase a poster frame at Michael's, using one of their coupons. I dislike going to crafts stores because I am assaulted by the aroma/odor of incense or scented candles or something as soon as I enter. Then, when I finally got accustomed to the stench such that I barely noticed it, they hit me with a couple of Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. I guess that means St. Valentine's day is just around the corner.

In the afternoon, I drove to Ft. O to check out a couple of new (to me) stores.

First, I went to a liquor store named Beverage World. I was impressed by the beer selection listed on its website. The store itself isn't as nice as the site, but they did not lie about the variety of beers on hand.

Next, I stopped at K-Mart to purchase a starter toolkit for a coworker who just moved into a Habitat-built home. I had given her a gift card for Target at her housewarming (last weekend? a couple weekends ago?), which turned out to be a very good idea, since everyone else bought her dishes, small kitchen appliances, and bathroom supplies, so I didn't duplicate anything. (Miraculously, neither did anyone else.) However, it niggled in my mind that she didn't have anything for simple repairs around the house, so I got her some.

Third, I ate lunch at Zaxby's.

After that, I bought groceries at Aldi. I had never heard of it before, but the ad occasionally in the newspaper makes it sound interesting, so I thought I'd check it out. The website mentions a few non-mainstream foods, but it's not a gourmet market. It's also not very big, so if you don't see it on the shelves, they don't have it. (It looks like the European Market in Idiotville is the only place in The Noog where I can buy red currant jelly.) What they do have is a surplus of customers who drive their shopping carts down the wrong side of the aisle. They also have an odd checkout system, where the cashier puts everything back into your cart after scanning, and then you push your cart over to a diaper-changing table (or so it appeared to me) to bag the items yourself. The dairy and produce prices were less than my usual grocery stores in The Noog, but do I want to drive that far every week to buy a bag of too many bananas for me to eat before they spoil? (Okay, I guess I could eat two a day.)

Incidentally, I was subjected to more Christmas songs at the grocery store. Thank heavens for the classical radio station on in my car, which drove them out of my head!

I now had milk and ice cream in my car, but I wanted to make one more stop before heading home: Dunkin Donuts -- you know: the coffee place that also happens to sell donuts? (My receipt contained a coupon for a free donut upon my next purchase of coffee. Why not give me a free donut upon my next purchase of donuts?) Even the door handle was a big, pink, plastic "D", to remind customers of the shop's humble origins. It was kind of humorous to me that, from the angle I approached, it blocked part of the "Pull" sign on the door, so it looked like it said "Dull".

Incidentally, it took 15 minutes to drive from what I call The Intersection in Ft. O to my apartment. My ice cream sandwiches didn't melt (I had to test them, didn't I?), and my milk didn't spoil.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Classic Comics Row

I think I should petition The Noog to change the name of Cherokee Boulevard.

First part of the reason: that's the location of Tubby's, where I eat my cheesesteak every Friday night. (For those of you who don't know, Tubby is Little Lulu's friend.)

Second part of the reason: I drive by Ziggy's liquor store on the way to/from Tubby's. (Ziggy should be familiar to most of you, since he still appears in your newspaper's comics page.)

Third part of the reason: no more than six months ago, Sluggo's vegetarian restaurant opened up on Cherokee Blvd. (This one's both a classic and current comic pal; he hangs around with Nancy.)

Any objections?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just call me "Stainmaster".

Or you may call me "stupid". They both fit.

Lord knows I'm normally smart enough to tell myself, "Cap'n, don't set your soda down on the sofa." And Lord knows I'm normally smart enough to realize that sitting on one end of the cushion most likely will raise the other end of the same cushion. Beats me how neither of those thoughts entered my mind at all tonight. (Maybe I was just too hungry to think.) It even took nearly a full second for me to figure out why my leg suddenly began feeling cold and wet.

I have to give credit where credit is due. That is, I would, if that tag had still been attached to my sectional when it was delivered. Thus, I'll just give thanks to the anonymous chemical engineers who invented stain repellants for upholstery. More than half an hour after I blotted the spill, I looked over and wondered what those little, round things were. "Oh, that must be some more soda I need to get up." And now, about two hours after the spill, the site of most of the soda accumulation is slightly damp, but I don't foresee any staining.

Then again, that's why I bought this sectional instead of this one; it's darker and easier to hide dirt and stains.

Live and Let Die

You know you probably read too many mysteries when... you're walking home from work, notice a helicopter flying kind of low overhead, and wonder if someone in the cockpit is going to machine-gun you.

After a moment, I realized how preposterous that sounded. First off, my ego would have to be tremendously inflated for me to actually believe in that possibility. Second, I'd have to be more than a nebbish to tick someone off that strongly. Third, that's an awful lot of money to spend on bumping me off.

But I'm flattered that someone would spend that much money on bumping me off. I laughed at that thought the rest of the way home.

Incidentally, I never realized how many James Bond theme songs I recognize, even though I've never been interested in the movies themselves.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let's talk business.

Things have been moving and shaking around here (at least for me) the past month or so. Although, unlike my comments a few days ago, they're just tremors, not a full-blown earthquake.

First was my annual evaluation. Last year, Boss was still my boss of record, and he scored me very well (and much better than I scored myself) because of my performance during our miserable end of contract. I don't know how Skippy thinks, but I scored myself "meets expectations" for all categories, figuring that I've made a good start but have a lot to learn, to do, and to catch up on. On average, Skippy scored me better than I did, too. Some comments he added will help me focus more this year on what he's looking for, but I think I did so well mostly because I'm not my predecessor. (Oh, well. I'll take what I can get.)

Then, just a week ago, I got an e-mail (and Boss did, but not Skippy, so I'm assuming it was sent just to grounds managers in the company) announcing two new positions (one in Nashville, just a two hour drive from here, and one in Philadelphia). They were for, in effect, landscape consultants to help sales staff evaluate and bid for new accounts and to help existing accounts with grounds/landscape concerns. Given all the wording in the job posting (which I won't bother duplicating here), I have done every single task they're looking for, so I am suitably qualified. (Indeed, I am qualified to be President of the United States, according to our Constitution, but let's not tarnish my reputation.)

I had some questions, though, so I e-mailed the recruiter handling the posting. Would I be based out of an account? Could I be based out of The Noog rather than Nashville? To whom would I report? The recruiter replied that I would not be based out of an account, that the location had been switched to Denver but as long as I lived near an airport that could get me around the country it probably wouldn't matter, and that, rather than "up to 70% travel" in the posting, the position requires 80%+ travel. (He also gave the name of the supervisor, but that's not relevant here.)

Some red flags were raised about then. The change in amount of travel bothered me. Not only do I prefer a stable home base, rather than living out of a suitcase, but I know that there couldn't possibly be that many sales or consulting trips. I guessed that they'd also want me to sit in any vacant positions until they could be filled permanently (two weeks? two months?).

The change in home base also concerned me. Denver would put me closer to my mom (even though it's colder and snowier than here). Possibly moving back to New Mexico would be even closer. In one scenario, I could take over my dad's office in the loft of my mom's house and be there to take her grocery shopping or to doctor's appointments and to help her downsize some of her and my dad's possessions. However, the change just one day after the job was posted makes me suspect that there was a candidate in mind already and that it was opened to everyone just for the perception of fair hiring practices.

On top of that, the posting was no longer there yesterday, barely a week after it was announced. That's another clue that someone might have been preferred. Heck, I didn't even have time to dither about the job and update my resume!

One silver lining is that I have updated my resume because of this. Another is that I will have stability. In the back of my mind, I pondered what would happen if, in a year's time, I decided that the traveling was too much for me or if the position wasn't necessary enough to remain funded. There probably wouldn't be a conveniently vacant grounds position for me to fall into -- let alone one that I would want to take. In that sense, I'm better off staying here.

I suppose I can tell Skippy that he's stuck with me, and I can go ahead and order those replacement windows and my bed.

Apropos of nothing, this song is stuck in my head this morning. But, hey, everyone needs a little Lynda Carter in his/her life -- especially combined with The Muppets.

Monday, November 08, 2010

In Which I Redeem Myself

I've used foul (or at least vulgar) language in the past couple of posts. Rest assured, I'm not normally like this.

In fact, when an idiot driver cut me off on the way home from my weekly cheesesteak on Friday, I muttered, "Fank you so thucking much."

Extra Hour of Sleep, My Ass!

Again, it's that time of year when America realizes it made a mistake by shifting hours in the first place. The Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation tries to cover it up by claiming we "get an extra hour of sleep". In my case, that translates to an extra hour of lying in bed with my body wide awake but my clock telling me I don't have to get up for another hour yet.

I think I'll mosey over to Betty's blog and see how she, as someone who routinely switches work shifts, is coping.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I probably won't be able to view this post myself.

I've mentioned before that our campus computer department has some sort of 'net screening software that blocks certain websites. I don't know what basis they use, since I can't view Robomarkov's blog, but I can get onto Youtube and Myspace, which I'm sure are havens for worms and viruses that would love to get into the campus network. Yesterday, I did a brief 'net search to learn about free ringtones for my cell. phone, and I was astounded at the number of sites the computer gave me access to, where anybody could post song clips you think are really neat but could disguise some sort of destructive computer thingy.

Anyhoo, I'm about to take a step toward getting my own blog blocked, even though I'm currently posting from my office. (Note: before the official workday begins.) I'm going to drop "the F-bomb" (and some other not-so-nice words).

Actually, that's what got me thinking about this post. Why is it that people substitute "F-bomb" for "fuck", but they don't substitute "A-bomb" for "asshole" or "H-bomb" for hell? Yeah, I know they're taken by incredibly destructive, explosive devices, but why choose the word "bomb"?

Obviously, we are falling behind in the nuclear weapons race! American scientists need to invent an F-bomb right now! You can be sure it'll be strong enough to wipe out both you and the horse you rode in on.

A Thought for Today

Thanks to Fred of Occasional Fish, I read this post by Bill Maher, in which he humorously responds to complaints by "rich" people about some sort of proposed tax plan. (Yes, I know I am woefully ignorant of public policy -- in this case, one which actually might affect me in some way -- but government -- at least, U.S. government -- tends to do what it wants to anyway, regardless of what the people represented think.)

Anyway, my thought of the day is this: If you can afford to have a servant, you can afford to pay him/her a decent amount and maybe even give her/him a few benefits. If you don't want to shell out more than minimum wage and complain how you can't find good help these days unless you hire an immigrant who hasn't learned English and you always wonder if s/he is going to rob you blind, then clean the effing house and mow the effing lawn yourself.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Dem Bones

I found out from Miss Kitty that the fire department came because the live-in girlfriend of the new renter across the street was boiling some neck bones and let them boil dry. A concerned neighbor saw smoke and phoned 9-1-1 (and gave them the incorrect address).

In related news, I was tired yesterday from lack of sleep, so I nearly nodded off at my desk a few times, and I kept yawning throughout bowling last night. Some time during the night, I dreamt that I had overslept -- and that I didn't care!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I was dead to the world.

Last night, I woke up just an hour after I went to bed. I don't know how long that was after I actually fell asleep, but I was out. Still, I heard sirens, which I thought faded away.

I was really on the edge of sleep, ready to fall back into slumber easily, but awake enough to have a debate with myself. "Do I hear a motor idling outside?" I concluded I did. "Do I want to get out of bed and see what it is?" That one took a little longer; the bed was so comfy, after all. Sigh.

Nothing out the back window; Pinocchio must be away on a recruiting trip. As I walked to the living room, though, I saw red, flashing lights through my closed blinds. Hmm. I guess I had heard sirens after all.

Two fire trucks (a regular engine and a hook-and-ladder) were parked in the street, and I saw firemen (in their rubberized suits) carrying something (which I saw later, as they carried it out, looked like a generator) into the house across the street. "Geez," I thought of the new Nougats who had moved in, "they haven't even been there two weeks, and they're already trying to burn the house down?"

Although I saw someone point a flashlight toward the ceiling of the front porch, and I saw the porch light turn on and off several times, there appeared to be nothing major going on. One of the firemen came over to me and apologized for waking me up. "Did you hear us knocking on your door? 9-1-1 gave us your address, but the lady across the street came over and told us it was her house."

I didn't hear them knocking at all. I can only conclude from this (and another story which I am about to relate) that, if I perish in a fire someday, you should not be surprised.

In my sophomore year of college (no, Robomarkov, the college I attended before I met you), I woke up one night to see my RA standing over me. "What the are you doing here?" I asked him. "Don't you hear the fire alarm?" he asked.

Apparently, it was the RA's responsibility to check all the rooms to ensure that residents didn't ignore the fire alarm. He entered my room and saw me still in bed. It transpired that he had to physically shake me awake. After a moment, as I approached full wakefulness, I said, "Oh. Now I hear it."

The fire alarm was on the wall right across from my door, yet I was sleeping so deeply that I didn't hear it.

I come by this affliction naturally. I inherited it from my father. When he was working for RCA, he came back from a trip to Los Angeles and told us that he woke up one morning and went downstairs in the hotel for breakfast, when he noticed that the lobby was a shambles. When he asked the desk clerk what had happened, s/he asked him, "Didn't you feel the earthquake last night?"

Alas, I, too, have an earthquake story. In the summer I spent three weeks at the CTY program in Claremont, CA, I woke up in the middle of the night because my bed was shaking. "Okay, Mom, I'm awake. You can stop shaking the bed." The bed didn't quit shaking. I opened my eyes. My mom wasn't there. Moreover, I wasn't in my bedroom. Oh yeah, I was in California. Earthquake?!

I knelt on the bed, not quite panicking. Should I stay on the bed or get off it? Should I go outside? By the time I decided to get off the bed, the earthquake ceased. I opened my door and looked down the hallway. No one else was around. Didn't they feel it? Didn't they care? Where was everybody? I wasn't the only student not from California; wasn't anyone else worried?

The next day, I was told that I should stand in a doorway. It sure would've been nice if anyone had bothered announcing that before we had an earthquake.

If there were any aftershocks during the rest of my stay, they were either too minor to feel or I slept through them. During the summer I worked at the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden on Santa Catalina Island, I didn't feel any earthquakes at all. Of course, given my nature, I can't say that there weren't any....

Drat. Now I have this song stuck in my head. At least it's one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I'll go there right after I finish seeing the U.S.A. in my Chevrolet.

Last night, the publicly funded, classical radio station for the Noog featured the song "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius. That means they played the song, with a bit of exposition beforehand. Not to be outdone, I found this Youtube video with a history lesson included. (Some Christians may find the theme from the later part of the song familiar, as it is the basis for a hymn.)

Of course, my brain doesn't work quite that way. The song I have stuck in my head this morning is this one.

Monday, November 01, 2010

And I'm Hungry like a Wolf

Yesterday was Halloween, in case you hadn't noticed. Thankfully, Cartoon Network did not run a Scooby-Doo marathon.

You read that right. I was glad Scoob wasn't on all day. That gave me time to watch The Munsters all day. (I had my choice of WGN or the Hallmark Channel.) I should've been painting my kitchen, but I had run out of painter's tape on Saturday, and there was no sense going to the store for more until today, because I can pick up leftover Halloween candy on sale at the same time. :)

Naturally, watching The Munsters made me think of the first time I saw a pin-up photo of Yvonne DeCarlo.

You read that right. Before she was Lily, Yvonne DeCarlo was a "serious" actress and a pin-up girl. Here's proof.

(More images are easily obtained by a web search.)

In fact, in this interview, she recalls worrying that her fans would be disappointed by her taking the role of Lily.

Okay, but how good is aging being to you? She looks like she would've been a really nice grandma, though. And those stories! Whose grandma could tell you about all those movie stars she once dated?

Anyhoo, some time during my web search yesterday (and I don't even recall how I got there), I found a site called Hulu, which lets me watch episodes of some TV shows and movies for free. Plus, there were ten Wallace & Gromit shorts. Here's my favorite. It made me laugh so loud, the new Nougats' dog across the street barked at me. (My windows were open; that's how it heard me. I wasn't that loud.) I won't tell you yet why I laughed. I want you to watch and see first.

In the meantime, I'll add that I attended the school's fall play on Friday night: You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw. I'm not going to review the play nor the acting here, but I do have a few comments. First off, since it was set in England, the cast each attempted an English accent. They were passable, some better than others, but a few of them wavered between dialects. (Have I really watched so much British television that I'm starting to distinguish between regional accents?) Second, while a "black box theater" might be the appropriate size for the meager audience that attended (mostly parents of the cast), it plays heck with acoustics. We were seated against either the north or south walls, while parts of the set were on the east and west sides. That meant, when the actors were facing each other, speaking, the speaker's back was to half of the audience. Combine that with unskilled accents, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who missed some of the jokes.

Finally, as I promised, I'll tell what made me laugh so hard at the Wallace & Gromit cartoon: knickers. It was the word, the timing, and the tone. And if you don't think "knickers" is funny, either you haven't watched enough Are You Being Served?, or I've been watching too much.