good neighbors

Today I heard my neighbors car alarm go off so I headed to a window. Then their other car’s alarm started going off too. Looking out the window, I could see both neighbors and their daughter, pushing buttons on their remotes to get the alarms to shut up.

Seizing the moment, I grabbed a broom and raced out the door towards them. While brandishing my broom high I screamed at them, “get away from my neighbors car.” Rhonda, their daughter, who had set off the first alarm was rendered utterly helpless. Apparently it’s much harder to dodge a broom waving maniac while busting a gut laughing. Who knew?

Smitty, upon hearing the first alarm, thought it was his car so he grabbed his keys and hit the alarm button to turn it off, which is why there was now two car alarms blaring. Rhonda had turned off the first alarm, but then Smitty’s started so she hit the alarm button again, turning it back on. I arrived in time to inject more confusion and transform it into a true comedy of errors.

Get them jollies while you can!

Leftovers make you feel good twice

Leftovers make you feel good twice. First, when you put them away, you feel thrifty and intelligent: “I’m saving food.” Then a month later when blue hair is growing out of the ham, and you throw it away, you feel really intelligent: “I’m saving my life.”— George Carlin

Up-twix

Up-twix: what a dentist sees in his business following Halloween.

Potty talk

Today four little girls were packed in my master bathroom water closet, buzzing and giggling with excitement as they negotiated taking turns. Four of them! In a toilet closet. What could possibly be so exciting?

Two months ago Lucas and I were walking through Costco. Lucas spotted something unusual and asked what it was. I read the label and explained that this particular toilet seat had a heated seat and a bidet with warm water. After explaining what a bidet is used for, he paused thoughtfully and then replied, “I want that!”

The seeds for Lucas’ desire were sown back in March when the only parent willing to wipe his bottom went back to work. Wiping ones own bottom is apparently a skill learned reluctantly. Both kids found the barbaric practice of using dry paper to smear moist excrement around their little anuses to be disgusting. I agree, but wiping three bottoms is 3 times as disgusting. Our compromise was to provide them with moist flushable wipes. I also showed them how to use a hand mirror to check if more wiping was needed. Two issues have persisted: clogged toilets and frequent requests from both kids to “check or wipe.”

Amusingly, when I declined to wipe them, and later declined requests to check, they began to provide those services to each other. I was confident that in the course of time, they would find no willing participants. Wiping each other lasted but a couple weeks. Months later, threats and coercion were required (If you don’t, I won’t!) for checks. It was in that environment that Lucas spotted that fancy toilet seat at Costco.

Thus inspired, on Christmas eve, Santa went through the house and added bidets to every toilet. The “check or wipe” pleas are no more. We haven’t had a plugged toilet in a week. I am fond of the hygienic practice, and the novel little contraptions are very amusing to visitors. Even grandpa’s bidet “is starting to get along” with him.

Them’s Biting Words

After a morning of outdoor play, Lucas asked, “Daddy, may I have this snack?”
I glanced at the time, “Whoa, it’s after lunch already. You should be in here gnawing at my legs by now!”

Moments later, I’m in the kitchen making sandwiches and Lucas has lifted my pant leg and is gnawing.

It’s obvious whose sense of humor this child inherited.

Daddy, can I use your nail polish?

Kayla: Daddy, may I use your nail polish?
Me: Why don’t you use mommies?
Kayla: It doesn’t match.
Me: Uh, okay.

Now Kayla has one hand that is purple and one that is pink. The toes on her left foot are blaze orange and the toes on her right are cherry red. In my view, her toe colors exactly match the colors of polish and/or duct tape I use to mark my climbing gear. In her view, having blaze orange toes on the left foot and cherry red toes on the right is a perfect match.

BSD, how I love thee

Gordon called this morning. I always like hearing from Gordon, and today was no exception. Even when “the pooh has struck the rotary oscillator,” Gordon is polite and amiable. Since Gordon manages a slew of networks, the best way to keep in touch with him is to break one of his servers.

To make sure he doesn’t forget about me, I wrote a program to do this automatically. I’m quite clever about it. The breakages coincides with power outages, lightning strikes, and other such events so my tracks are always covered. Gordon has to call me at least once every year or two.

After a manual fsck, his server back came back online but wasn’t working. We figured out that he’d changed the default gateway of the network since the machine was last rebooted. We updated the routing table on the machine and all was well. Since it had been 14 months since the box was last touched, we decided I should do some updates.

Partway though, I filled up /var. Oh, the partition is only 256MB. That’s a tad on the small side, I thought. Then I looked at the disk size: 16GB. RAID 5. Seriously? 9GB disks. And 256MB of RAM. The Pentium III processor dates the machine to circa 1999. And I just upgraded the OS to current. Amazing.

Life Lessons

“Daddy, can I have some brown cake?”
“Brown cake, I inquired?”
“Yes, the one you brought home,” Lucas answered.
“Sure,” I answered, as I watched him grab one. Not wanting to miss out, Kayla came running and grabbed one too.
“Take a small bite,” I cautioned as they both took big bites, and proceeded to spit them out on the floor.
“Ewww, what is that?” they asked, between sputters.
“Coffee grounds from the expresso machine.”