Monday Sep 11, 2006

Test For Professionals Only - Take 2

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This is a repeat of a previous posting. This time I'm trying out different code, shamelessly stolen from Google Groups. It's mainly done as a learning exercise for me, so I'll know what to use in the future.

Don't be shy in telling me just how good or bad this is. (Hah! As if you would be). Especially on Planets and in RSS Blog readers.

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional. Click on the Answer link to show each answer. Do them in numerical order. The questions are not that difficult. But don't click until you have thought of an answer!

  1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

    - Show answer -

  2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

    - Show answer -

  3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend... except one. Which animal does not attend?

    - Show answer -

  4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

    - Show answer -



Thursday Sep 07, 2006

Squashed Lizard

What is it with me and small flat dead animals?

Beside our pool is a shed which contains the pool heater and filter. Occasionally during the summer, when I've opened the door, I've seen a lizard scurry away under the heater. It'll then slowly poke its head out to see if I was still there.

We haven't seen it recently and now I know why. At some time, it must have positioned itself inside where the door would close, and I've gone ahead and accidentally squashed it. Oops!


Friday Sep 01, 2006

Test For Professionals Only

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A small quiz that came over one of our internal mail aliases a little while ago (thanks Kartik). If there are any Javascript experts reading this, please feel free to critique and suggest improvements for the code.



Friday Jun 16, 2006


Friday is hacking day. I've been wanting to do this for a while.

Using some of the miscellaneous warnings on the Brad Berson and ByteBrothers web site, and basing my JavaScript hack on a script by Colin Lingle (thanks!), I've created a _disclaimers template that gets loaded by Roller as part of my Blog page.

It writes three random disclaimers to the right hand side of the blog heading area.

If you use your browser to View Page Source, you'll see how it's done.



Thursday Jun 15, 2006

Punish Your Microsoft Developer

As shown at the Bay Area ACM last night (thanks Jaime!)
[YouTube video link]



Thursday Dec 15, 2005

The Pessimist's Guide to Engineer Talk

Humor break. It's been just over a month since I posted anything in this category.

Originally posted to rec.humor.funny in Sept 1989 by S. Travaglia, of the University of Waikato, in New Zealand. It's starting to show its age now.

"What they say".
- What they mean.

  • "That's interesting"
    - Shit! I've never seen anything remotely like that before.
  • "We'll just run diagnostics"
    - I wonder if that'll give us a clue.
  • "So we've eliminated XXX"
    - It's probably XXX, but it's really hard to get at.
  • "I've just powered it down"
    - I tripped over that bloody power cord again
  • "Ok, that's good"
    - What the hell was that noise?!?
  • "We've noticed some failure evidence"
    - Something's burning...
  • "If you'll just..."
    - I don't want to be the one to blame when it crashes
  • "Yes, you'd expect to see that..."
    - Hell, that's stuffed as well!
  • "We'll just fit a revision"
    - We'll put the same version in from a different tape.

If you have others in a similar vein, please comment.


Sunday Nov 13, 2005

Alligator Incident

You can blaim Hal Stern for this. If he hadn't blogged about sitting next to a Czechoslovakian super model on his flight home from Spain (one of the more arduous parts of his job), then certain synapses in my brain wouldn't have fired and you wouldn't be reading this sorry tale.

Several years ago, when I lived in Australia, there was a major incident when two hitch-hikers, one from Poland the other from Czechoslovakia, went missing in Kakadu , one of the wildlife reserves in the Northern Territory. A large search operation was arranged involving dozens of rangers from all over the Territory.

After several days, they found the remains of their campsite next to a river, with the hikers belongings scattered everywhere. Basking in the sun at the rivers edge were a pair of alligators, one male, one female. Part of a human leg could be seen dangling from the mouth of one and what looked like an arm beside the other. Both animals were very bloated.

The rangers killed both alligators instantly and took them back to the closest ranger station to be autopsied. The first alligator to be opened up was the female. Inside they discovered more human remains; enough that they were able to make a positive identication that this was the missing Polish hitch-hiker.

Ah, the doctor exclaimed, that means the Czech's in the male!


Thursday Nov 03, 2005

Canine Cross-breeds

Here's an interesting collection of dog cross breeds.

You know. What do you get if you cross a ...

Also checkout some of the other selections in the drop-down menu at the top of the Woolgatherers web page. Yes, I've gathered a lot of wool on this web site.


Monday Oct 24, 2005

Insurance Photos - Hall of Fame.

I'm a tad busy today, so just time for a quick entry in the Humor category. Oh deer dear!

I'm sure there are a lot more web pages like this "out there". I particularly remember one for exotic sports cars, but I can't find it at the moment. If you have good links, please comment, and I'll update the entry.

Update: Found it [link].


Tuesday Oct 11, 2005

Kid Science

A teacher forwarded this list of comments from test papers, essays, etc., submitted to science and health teachers by elementary, junior high, high school, and college students.

As she noted

"It is truly astonishing what weird science our young scholars can create under the pressures of time and grades."


Thursday Sep 29, 2005

Ten Best Things To Say If You Get Caught Sleeping At Your Desk

It's a combination of a busy day (with not too much time to blog), the fact that I haven't posted to my Humor category in close to four months and that I had a lousy nights sleep. So if you see me dozing off today, I'm all set with the appropriate reply.

This came over an internal jokes alias about six years ago. I don't know it's origin, although it looks like a Letterman Top Ten.

10) "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."

9) "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to."

8) "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time!"

7) "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm."

6) "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance."

5) "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory toward people who practice Yoga?"

4) "Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

3) "The coffee machine is broken..."

2) "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot..."

And the #1 best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk...

1) " ... in Jesus' name. Amen."


Sunday Jun 05, 2005


If you are easily offended (or nauseated), then stop reading now. The front page of does say, "This space is accessible to any Sun employee to write about anything", so I'll now reach an all-time low for this particular blogger by showing you what I just scrapped off the road in front of our house and put in the trash, ready for the garbage men to collect tomorrow.

Front view.

Side view.

Aren't those camera phones so handy!

Oh gosh, what Technorati tag should I use? Does it come under Amusement or Entertainment? Maybe Humour. What about Food? They don't seem to have a Gross tag.


Well I thought it was funny.

Saturday Apr 30, 2005

Fred Wedlock

I usually enjoy folk music about as much as I do listening to my son describe (in great detail) the strengths of all the Pokemon characters, but there are some exceptions and one of them is Fred Wedlock.

Fred Wedlock (also affectionately known as Fried Wetleg), was an entertainer who was around when I was a teenager. I went with a couple of friends to see him at the local university in Exeter, in the West Country of England. This would have been about 1972-3, and it was at a time before he was "discovered overnight" in 1981 when one of his songs (The Oldest Swinger in Town) made it to number 6 in the British charts. Noel Edmunds then started featuring him on his show on national radio on Sunday mornings. In fact back in the early 70's, Fred was entertaining such a select crowd, that we'd all fit into a medium sized room, and we got to sit on the floor right at the feet of the master. It's nice to see he's now a celebrity after-dinner speaker as well.

Why is Fred Wedlock different? Well, his act is very funny. Lots of hidden meanings and double entendres. In fact, if there are any maiden aunts reading this, or people who don't get out much, or are easily shocked, then you should probably stop reading about now.

I used to use his introduction to Handy Household Help as my one remembered joke. I had a rabid fear of forgetting the punchlines of jokes, so I meticulously remembered just this one, and pulled it out whenever it was needed. It went something like this. (I won't translate it into American. Hopefully most people should be able to understand it in the original English).

Once upon a time there was this Bristol firm that invented this product that could clean anything from shot silk through to six inch armour plate, but they couldn't think of a name for it. They decided to have a competition. Bright and early one Monday morning, one of the workers walks into the advertising managers office.

"I've thought of a name for the product Sir!".

"Oh yes then lad. What is it?"

"Well Sir, I thought we'd call it Bugger!"

The advertising manager groans. "Why's that then", he asks.

"Well Sir, it stands for Best Universal Grit Grim and Effluent Remover!".

The advertising manager groans again. "Umm, nice try son, but I don't think Mrs Bloggs of Bolton is quite ready for a trendy name like that".

"That's a shame Sir, because I've even thought of a slogan we can use."

"What's that then son?"

"Well Sir, if Daz won't whiten it, and Omo won't brighten it, Bugger it!"

Fred goes on to say that later that morning another young wag comes in to the same office and wants to call it the Finest Universal Cleanser Known. That didn't fly too well either.

He then tells you they finally decided on the name Handy Household Help and sings the song. I've included the lyrics here. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of seeing Fred perform and therefore have heard where he put the vocal inflections, let me tell you that Fred is a master of the unexpected rhyme. Read the last two lines of each verse carefully, and you'll see what I mean.

THE HANDIER HOUSEHOLD HELP (Fred Wedlock) For the Handier Household Help, let's hear a roll upon the drum. It's the answer to your problems. It will solve them every one. It's universally popular in colleges and homes For removing excess pubic hair and mending concrete gnomes. And you can bung it down the toilet. You can spread it down your halls. You can buy it in pint canisters for putting on your banisters. CHORUS: It's only six and fourpence from your local hardware store. It's a handier household help than you have ever had before. Now Mr Brown went fishing for to try and catch a trout, But though he stood for hours and hours, it seemed his luck was out. He tried some Handier Household Help. He quickly changed the scene. He caught mermaids, the Titanic and a nuclear submarine. And it removes the stains from carpet, the blemishes from glass, Keeps your radio free from static. It will fumigate your attic. CHORUS Now Miss Brown was most impressed 'cos she didn't have much figure. She rubbed her bust with Household Help to try to make it bigger. [The bust drove Miss Brown's boss berserk as she sat on his knee.] Now her figure's getting bigger where it didn't ought to be. And it will insulate your kitchen if you spread it nice and thick. It will grant your fondest wishes and get egg-stains off your dishes. CHORUS Now Mrs Jones complained to us her sheets was always grey. We recommended Household Help to drive the stains away. She dropped some in her husband's beer about a week ago. Now poor Mrs Jones is a widow, but her sheets are white as snow. And it will reproduce a picture upside down or back to front. It will clean the streets of Dunstable or renovate a constable. CHORUS

One of the other songs that Fred used to sing was The Vicar and the Frog. I assumed it was his, but apparently it's copyright Stan Crowther. Fred does a mean version though.

It you ever get a chance to see Fred in person or come across one of his CD's, snap it up. You won't be disappointed.


Tuesday Apr 26, 2005

The Pythons - Michael Palin's Childhood

I spent some time last night, reading The Pythons, the autobiography of the Monty Python team. In particular, I read about the childhood of Michael Palin. There are a couple of his paragraphs that bought back distinct childhood memories of my own, and that I can clearly resonate with:

National Service had finished a couple years before, but we still had the cadet force where we wore uniforms and carried very old rifles and drilled people

Now for Michael, this would have been the early 50's. For me it was the late 60's, yet our school still had the combined cadet force. (Looks like it's still around at lots of English schools). It wasn't compulsory for me though, so I managed to escape having to do it. I seem to remember I choose rugby and so once a week in the afternoon, I got cold, damp and badly bruised instead. But you could always see a selection of your fellow school chums parading around in front of the school, looking like they owned the place.

Another recollection of Palin's is listening to the Goon Show on the radio:

My father had a sense of humour but The Goon Show was beyond him. It was something I discovered and I used to just hope and pray that he wouldn't come in when it was on. He came in once when Bluebottle was in full swing and was convinced that there was something wrong with the radio.

I loved The Goon Show. Of course it was re-runs when I was growing up. I still have a couple books of the scripts from several of there shows. Check out the web site above for a cornucopia of their work.

What was great about The Goon Show is that they broke the rules of comedy on the radio at that time. The Monty Python team then went and did the same for television (first as script writers and actors for other shows like The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust your Set and then with their own series).

It's going to take me quite a while to read The Pythons, but if I keep getting flashbacks like this, I reckon it's going to be worth every minute.


Wednesday Apr 13, 2005

Are you ready for children?

This test goes out to Dan and Erin, who just had a baby girl yesterday (congratulations).

After reading this, you might be wondering what you've got yourself into. I've filed it under humor, but if you've ever been there, done that, then you might not be laughing too hard.





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