The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The joke's on me

Gregory came over last night (okay, technically this morning but really, if it's before 5am, it's last night, but since it's technically today I'm posting it here) and we all went out to IHOP for dinner (yes, we keep strange hours). While there we told very bad jokes.

As we were leaving, I told the following joke: “A long time ago two guys decided to build a house on the side of a mountain. During the design, they figured they would need 100,000 bricks to build the house and ordered that many. When the bricks arrived, they started. At the end, they found they had one brick left over. What did they do with that brick?”

“I don't know,” said Gregory.

“Threw it off the side of the mountain,” I said.


“That's the punchline,” I said.

“That's like your other joke,” he said. “Why is an orange?”

“What?” I said.

“Why is an orange?” asked Gregory.

I, for the life of me, couldn't remember ever telling that joke. “I don't know. Why?”

“Because motorcycles don't have windshields,” Gregory said.

“That was my joke?”

“Yes,” he said. “You wrote it in one of columns.”

“I did?”

“Don't you remember?” asked Spring, “this exact same joke came up a few years ago and we checked it.” I have a hardcopy of all my columns (what's on my site is only about a third of the columns—the rest range from “eh” to “burn it. Burn it all to Hell! I never wrote such trash!”). “It was there,” said Spring.

“I certainly don't remember it,” I said.

And I certainly can't find it.

The only thing that's even remotely close is this bit from the “High tech brings low-down tricks, big mess” column of April 27th, 1988 (which isn't online by the way):

Shut up! Let me get back to my column. Now, where was I? Ah yes, the cafeteria … the cafeteria is okay, if you like institutionalized food. So what if the pizza is schizo? I don't mind, as long as the psychotic chicken is kept in the straightjacket.

What if it was 7–1?

I liked it better as 7–2. And I also like 5–10 records.

But that's it. I can't find any occurances of “oranges” or “motorcycles” in any of my columns.

I may have to let Spring look for it.

Looking into the library and Check-point-Charlie

While looking for the source of last night's joke I did come across some really good bits from otherwise “eh” to “burn it. Burn it all to Hell! I never wrote such trash!” columns) like the following from “Looking into the library and Check-point-Charlie” (a commentary on the bag search the FAU library had instituted at the time):

Curses! Trapped again by Check-point Charlie. I open my knapsack, which was ransacked by the man.

“Right! You're cleared.”

“Can I ask what you're looking for?” I cautiously ask.

“Any material that belongs here in the library that has not been properly checked out, government forms, periodicals, microfilm, that sort of stuff.”

“What about rifles, shotguns, sub-machineguns, knives, numchauks, Chinese stars, cocaine, marijuana, heroine, pornographic material or bombs that I may have?”

“As long as you don't hijack the library, it's fine.” Well, ask a silly question …

Murphy's Law, December 9th, 1987

Or this bit, from “Conner's rash of bad luck” whereby I talked about working at Radio Shack back when they actually carried all sorts of electrical devices:

“Hello, can I help you find some particular item?” I ask, after my manager throws me in the customer's direction.

“Yes, I'm trying to hook up my VCR to my car battery and 8mm movie projector, so I can record my home movies while I drive to Hueytown, Alabama. But I'm not entirely sure how to do it? Do you sell anything that I could possibly use?” is the usual request of the customer.

“Uhhhhhhh …” I say, looking around the store for something that looks remotely like a VCR-car battery/8mm movie projector connection kit and seeing nothing. “Do we have any VCR-car battery/8mm movie projector connection kits?” I end up asking the manager.

“Yes, right here,” he says, walks over to where I am standing, and holds up a cable. “One end goes into the VCR, this end goes into the 8mm movie projector, and these two ends (four ends on a cable?) hook on the car battery,” he says, holding the strange looking cable. “And over here we have the Radio Shack Universal Mounting Kit that goes with the cable, but we sell them separately to get more money.”

“Fine, I'll take it,” says the customer. And then my manager writes up the ticket and get the 6.25% commission.

Murphy's Law, October 5th, 1988

And this bit, from “Time for a checkup and a nasty shot of novocaine:”

“How was the dentist?” mom asked when I got home.

“Tewwible,” I replied.

“Oh well, I rented you a movie to make up for the visit,” said mom, handing me a video tape.

“Wha' is it?” I asked.

“Marathon Man.”

Murphy's Law, November 16th, 1988

Trust me, the rest of the quoted columns? You don't need to read. And the columns not here? You don't need to read those either.

If this keeps up, I might not come into the office on Wednesdays

Two weeks ago the fit hit the shan. It hit again today. The power was out in The Office for perhaps an hour. Now that the power is back on, the A/C doesn't work, either in The Office or in the Data Center (and not having A/C in The Data Center is not a GoodThing™).

And to top it all off, one of the servers I manage for R is dead due to the heat, and I have about a thousand sites to move to a new server.


Oh, and on top of that, one customer can't send emails to anyone at AOL, I can't log into one of the servers because the control panel is asking for a licensing key, and I have to come back into the office tomorrow because I can't seem to configure this XXXXXXX DSL unit to save my life (and I might have to go to the client site to troubleshoot it, which is in Boca Raton).

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