Check your yarbles at the door

I bought tickets to The Lion King as a Christmas present for Elise this past year. She’s really wanted to see this production for years and made sure to let me know as much in November. So I made sure to sell my left kidney so she and I could see this magnificent Broadway show while it was being performed in Austin.

Many of my friends have seen The Lion King and I was told that I would love it. I knew Elise would love it as she likes things like plays, flowers, talking about her feelings, breakfast foods and Grey’s Anatomy.

The night started out with something in the world of married folks we like to call “not communicating effectively”. Allow me to verbally paint the picture for you:

The male role: [While scratching his groinal region] “We need to leave at 7:00 p.m. to get there on time.”

The female role: 7:35 p.m. and we’re rushing out of the house late because: makeup had to be applied, the baby had to be nursed, earrings had to triple-checked, husband had to be ostracized because he’s wearing jeans, wife’s blouse had to be ironed, all the while said husband is also being yelled at for not mentioning the fact that the tickets clearly indicate that there will be no late seating. In black and white, plain English the ticket reads, “Those who arrive late will be denied entry and be forced to sit on the steps of the Bass Concert Hall where the husband will be subjected to discussing what happened on last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Or his wife’s feelings on breakfast foods. Whichever is deemed by the wife to be more painstaking.

We were late for the show. I won’t name names here but someone had to to triple-check her earrings and hence didn’t eat dinner which meant the husband had to stop at Jack in the Box for a Jumbo Jack (excellent breakfast food, by the way) and we arrived somewhere remotely near the University of Texas campus at 8 p.m., which was when the show started. It was about at this point at which the tears started falling. I really didn’t want to spend two hours and forty minutes having “hakuna matata” beat into my skull. But the real tears were from my wife, who really wanted to see this show. We didn’t have $8 cash to pay to park in the parking garage (see wife needs Jumbo Jack meal above) so I pleaded with the gatekeeper to let me in and allow me to walk to the office to pay for a parking ticket with the credit card.

Elise had dressed up so beautifully for the evening and really wanted to see this performance and have a nice date with her loving husband. I was still in the dog house for “not communicating” that we had to be there on time. Just after we parked I gave her her ticket and told her to go to the show without me so she could secure our seats. I told her I would get into the theatre if it meant I had to discuss “my feelings” or last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy with the box office attendee.

The University of Texas is nestled on 40 acres. I think I walked the circumference of 41+ acres while trying to find the Bass Concert Hall. I stopped and talked to two foreign exchange students who, in hindsight, clealy indicated that the Bass Concert Hall was, “over there”, but for whatever reason, I thought “over there” was actually, “over in that other direction.”

I finally found the Bass Concert Hall and was greeted by Elise. We found out that they did in fact allowed late seating. We had to wait a couple minutes for Scene I to end so an usher could show us our seats. While your humble narrator was trekking the campus, Elise was able to watch the performance on a television monitor in the lobby.

I sat there for two and half hours and tried to look at my own eyebrows while humans pranced around the stage in costumes that would make for great Gwar concert while singing “hakuna matata”. But I also held my wife’s hand because it was something that she wanted to do and that was the most important thing for me.

Next time, we’re going to see World Combat League.

And we won’t be late.

Mac guy

I sold my PC today. It had been on craigslist for a month or so and a college kid from San Marcos drove to our house this afternoon to pick it up. He told me he plans on adding an external 100GB hard drive and turning it into a DVR. Now my old computer will get some use. It was hard letting it go because my parents gave me the pieces in which to build that computer a couple years ago as a Christmas present. I severed ties and am now, officially, a Mac guy. I don’t “own” an Windows PC any longer. Elise has her HP laptop (which I don’t touch unless I have to fix something for her) and I have a Dell Latitude laptop that I’ve, on numerous occassions, wanted to give some serious latitude to — as in launching through the 8th floor window of the office. We’re supposed to get Macbooks for our work computers in a couple months and until then, I’m not attaching myself to my work computer any more than I absolutely have to.

In the meantime, my Mom emailed me last night to tell me that she’s having to ship her brand new Hewlett Packard desktop with Windows Vista © Doesn’tCrashAsMuch Premium computer back to HP because it, errr, crashed.

And I guess it should go here where I make mention that I’ve seen a 102.72% return on my initial investment in Apple stock five years ago after I realized that Apple is a bad ass company upon buying my first iPod.

Monthly Maly Letter: Month ten

Dear Maly,

You turned ten-months-old today. You’re now into the double digits. Just from looking at pictures of you, it’s amazing to see how much you’ve changed and grown in just a month. You’re such a pretty girl and every moment I spend with you makes me just that much prouder of you. It’s undeniable that you’re my child due to your outward appearance, but sometimes I think you’re just too cute to be from my gene pool. Your hair is getting so long and it’s a gorgeous straw-colored blonde. We thought your eyes would have decided by now if they were going to change to either brown or blue. It’s looking like they’re going to stay brue. Or blown. Or stone. You have a very beautiful eye color. Very unique – just like you.

You reached many milestones this month. You cut your first two teeth in late January. They’re your bottom front teeth and as each day passes they grow bigger and bigger. Gone are the days of your empty toothless smile. You have choppers now. I’m anticipating the day when your mom tells me that you bit her while nursing.

Since you have teeth now, we’ve let you start eating solid foods that you can pick up with your hands and put into your mouth yourself. We started you with these little star shaped Gerber “Puffs”. It wasn’t but a few days after that when we started letting you try all kinds of new finger foods. You now eat green beans, ground turkey, potatoes, asparagus, mozzarella, grapes, mango. It’s so much fun to watch you eat on your own. You do an awesome job of feeding yourself and there isn’t a food yet that we’ve found that you don’t like.

Except little pieces of broken screwdriver handles.

Your Grandma was here for my birthday a couple of weeks ago and while you were crawling around on the kitchen floor, you found a little tiny piece of a screwdriver handle. You don’t ordinarily put random objects into your mouth so I watched you as you crawled around on the floor, toting your little piece of broken plastic, sitting yourself up occasionally to say, “oooh oooh ooooh oooh” as you held your treasure in your hand in front of you. I turned my attention to something else in the kitchen and turned and looked down as you started to crawl away and made a wretched gagging sound and a pool of drool spilled onto the tile in front of you. I watched you for a second to make sure that you were okay. You sat there on all fours silent and not moving. With Super Sonic Daddy Hearing I then heard you silently gasp for air as the piece of plastic had lodged in your throat. I ran over to you, scooped you up, held you face down, horizontal to the ground and slapped you hard enough on the back that, if you weren’t choking, would have warranted a visit from Child Protective Services.

The piece of plastic came out. You were scared from the whole ordeal. I was scared, too. After I held you, kissed you, told you it was going to be okay, you stopped crying. I put you in your high chair as your mom started getting your lunch ready. I stood there next to you and ran my fingers through your hair. Your Grandma asked me, “You’re worried about her, aren’t you?” to which I lied and said, “Nah…” Your Grandma looked at me and said, “You’re a good dad.”

I can’t put into words how much you mean to me. I try very hard to be a good Dad for you. The love I have for you is something that only a parent knows; only my love is a gazillion times more.

Yesterday was your first Valentine’s Day. I bought you a fancy pink dress with flowers sewn into it. Your mom was shocked that I bought something so “girly”. I also got you a Valentine’s Day card. Your mom went to Double Daves last night to pick up our dinner and while she was out I wrote a message to you in your card. You sat in your high chair and ate asparagus and ground turkey as I wrote to you. I don’t know why, but I got teary eyed at that moment. I guess I was reveling in how happy I am to be your dad. I hope that one day when you’re much older, over the phase where you hate me (sometimes referred to as the “teens”), and possibly even married and have a daughter of your own that you’ll read that card and know that I tried my best to be the best dad that I could.

I love you, Sugar.



Free vehicle investment advice

I bought my neighbor’s 1993 Toyota pickup truck three years ago with 80,000 miles on it for $2,000.

I washed and waxed the truck yesterday.  I put “For Sale” on it this evening at 7 p.m.  The truck was sold at 9 p.m. with 151,000 miles on it for $1,900.  In my book, that’s an awesome sale.  I’m happy that I got good money for my little truck but I’m kind of sad because of all of my vehicles, that was a damn good truck and probably my favorite.  I’m going to miss it.

Now the gauntlet has been dropped… I’m in vehicle selling mode.  Next on my hit parade is Elise’s Jeep.  I think some tears will fall after that sale.

How to explain why you downloaded a virus onto your work computer

I was doing some research at the office today on the technologies that the company employs.  I wanted to see if I could crack our system.  I figured if I could exploit a vulnerability and bring it to the attention to the organization, I would be helping the company to create an even more secure product for our customers and I would be applauded, praised and handed large sums of cash, stock options and gummi bears.

So I did what any other eager, semi-new employee would do.  I downloaded a progam that would aid me in my research.  Upon downloading the zipped binaries of said program, a window popped up with a bright red Trend Micro OfficeScan banner at the top.  I immediately knew that I’d screwed up because a pop up window with a red banner screams, “You’re an Idiot and because you did this at work, we’re taking away your stapler!”   Which is funny in and of itself because, despite multiple requests for one, I don’t even have a stapler.  HA!

I’ve dealt with computer virus issues, malware, hijackware, spyware and even tupperware many, many times in the past.  For most of us the anti-virus program window pops up and says, “Hey, Slingblade, put down the biskits ‘n’ musturd and tell me that you don’t REALLY want to download this!” and then we all click the quarantine or delete button and go about our day scouring the web for photos of Britney Spears exiting a vehicle.

Instead of asking me if I wanted to quarantine or delete the virus, I was told that the system has notified our Senior Systems Administrator and he will be at my desk momentarily to kick me in the yarbles.

So I quickly decided that I needed to make my case.  I decided that it would be best if I said, in my best Slingblade impersonation, something that I’ve never thought would ever, ever pass my lips:

“You see, it started when I began my research on MD5 cryptography and rainbow tables which are, as Britney Spears recently noted, a refinement of an algorithm that uses the inversion of hashes by looking up precomputed hash chains whereas each table depends on the hash function and the reduce function used.”

Much to my surprise, our Senior Systems Administrator didn’t come stomping over to my desk.

So I decided to leave work early.