Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Today I’m going to sit here and type for a while so you can see how my brain works when I don’t know exactly what it is I’m writing. Pretty much, I am zoned in on the key word “archives” as being the destination point of this article. So, when you see the word “archives” mentioned, you’ll know we’re getting close.

But first, I was reminded of a period of time in my life when writing software manuals was a large part of my job. That, plus providing customer support for the same software about which I wrote. Our customers were television stations who paid hefty monthly license fees to use our television ratings software. As such, the amount of money our customers paid to use our software placed them uniquely high up on the hierarchical food chain. Forget them ever reading my manual: these were people who demanded to bitch to someone — LIVE.

In those days, we support folks had a wonderful term that, unfortunately, we could never use publicly. “RTFM!” Which loosely translates, “Read The Fancy Manual”. After almost every support call — after the phone was politely and safely hung up — you would usually hear a frustrated support person, exclaiming “RTFM!” to nobody but everyone in particular. Since it was MY manual our customers weren’t reading, I was often one of these post phone call “RTFM!” chanters. It was personal.

The other day I was poking around my blog’s “administration” area and discovered something called the “archives widget”, which I slid into my navigation bar without really knowing what it was going to do. Turns out, the archives feature neatly categorizes and places all my past articles in a nifty “archives” pull down window near the top right of my “widgets” bar, immediately underneath the “blogroll” section.

By golly, how cool is that?

Perhaps if my blog folks had written a manual, I would have RTFMed it years ago.

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Tim says. It is now 24 hours later and I am sitting here again, this time wondering why I hadn’t placed the “archives widget” immediately  ABOVE my blogroll widget. Hang on. There we go.

Now, what am I going to write about for today’s article? I think coffee, Coffee, COFFEE will be today’s key words…

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My vehicle was packed and ready to go one day before a trip to Florida to visit Mom. The next morning at precisely 5 AM, I stepped onto the front deck and locked the door behind me. It was 25 degrees and much too cold to think about anything else other than cranking up the Ford Explorer and turning on the heater.

But had I shut off the coffee pot? And where was my faithful morning cup of coffee? Back inside again, where a full cup steeped beside a coffee pot that — yes, had been turned off.

Anything else?

Outside, a second time. Locked the door. As the screen slammed shut I remembered the kitchen’s full trash bag. Certainly did NOT want to leave THAT festering for several weeks while I played in Florida. I set the steaming coffee cup on the hand rail and once again unlocked the door. Quickly now, I yanked the handle-tied trash bag out of the trash bin. Halfway across the kitchen I noticed dark goop dripping on the floor from a torn corner of the bag. Gravity always seems to do that to the yuckiest contents of a trash bag. Smelled like canned sardine juice and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. I grabbed a second trash bag and my all-in-one mop. Then I sealed the old bag in the new one with a loose knot and speed-mopped the floor.

I locked the front door for a third time and retrieved my coffee cup from the hand rail. It was stone cold. Okay, I thought. Settle down. I was getting nowhere. I set the trash bag-inabag down and unlocked the door, carefully carrying the coffee cup across the wet floor. I nuked the coffee in the microwave on high for 1 minute.

Outside once again, locking the door behind me. I actually made it to my Ford Explorer with the trash bag and very hot cup of coffee, managing to open the door without spilling anything. In the predawn, the driver side door light was comforting as I tossed the trash bag on the roof and climbed in. I placed the coffee cup in a travel cup holder.

Chug, chug, chug, RRRRRrrrrrrr. The engine started.

Ah, there’s nothing quite like a responsive vehicle in sub-freezing weather an hour before sunrise. But — had I forgotten to turn on the dishwasher?  I already knew the answer. I turned off the ignition.

Back inside again. A couple of pushed buttons later, the dishwasher surged to life for a second or two before I yanked open the door and stuck in the coffee pot and basket as an afterthought. Good thinking. Clean dishes would await me when I returned home from my vacation.

All was right with the world. No matter what else. I locked the front door for the final time. Look out Florida, here I come!

In the driver’s seat again. The engine started immediately, purring like the Cheshire Cat sucking on its hookah. I slipped the transmission into drive and cruised slowly up the gravel driveway, sipping my first cup of coffee. It was ice cold. Again. No matter. Still tasted good. I parked next to the trash cans at the top of the hill and stepped out of the cab, reaching towards the roof rack. The kitchen trash bag was gone, having fallen off the roof somewhere along the private gravel drive. For the second time I steered the Ford down the pitch black driveway. Dimly at first, the 13-gallon white trash bag took shape in my headlights. Out of the truck. Into the truck, this time placing the trash bag in the passenger seat. Started around the circular driveway near the front door porch ramp. Why the hell not? I turned off the engine, grabbed the keys and my cold coffee, rushed back inside and nuked it for another minute. Heading back out again up the gravel driveway. The digital dash clock read 6:02 AM.

One hour into my trip and I hadn’t even cleared my driveway!

I laughed, tossing the trash in a garbage can at the top of the hill just as the first wash of dawn silhouetted an eastern stand of shivering pines. I climbed back in the truck and quietly sipped my hot coffee. Look out Florida, here I come — AGAIN! One hundred miles south I wondered if I had turned off my computer. Didn’t matter. And what was that nasty odor?

Geeze — canned sardine juice and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce.

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Tim says: I found this post in my earliest archives. It is Recipe du Jour’s very first “FRIDAY FOOD THING”. Probably circa, 1998. I laughed so hard when I rediscovered it, I just HAD to post it again.

I think you will agree, FRIDAY FOOD THING has come a LONG way since then…

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Husband: “The two best things I cook are meat loaf and roast chicken…”

Wife (peering at her dinner plate): “So, give me a hint — which one is this?”

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I don’t remember much about my kindergarten year in Yokohama, Japan, but I do recall I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s where I played hooky for the first time (I went fishing), and that’s where I was served my first fish that still had its head on it.  Minutes before the meal, I was lead to the restaurant’s indoor trout pond and waterfall, where I was given a bamboo pole with a dough ball neatly wrapped around a tiny hook. Three seconds after dipping the line in, I yanked a pan-sized trout out of the water. Zip, zang! The trout – – MY trout – – was clipped with a double, V-shaped identifying tail-notch. Flipping and flapping, the trout was quickly carried off into the restaurant’s steamy kitchen.

Thanks, kid -- I see you!

After a while, a waiter delivered the very same fish to our dining table. He pointed at the double, V-shaped tail-notch and grinned, but I was more interested in the fish’s head end, where a single, crispy-fried eyeball stared up at me from a bed of fluffy, white rice and lettuce.

I fiddled with my chopsticks.

“What’s the matter, young man?” asked my father. “You love fish.”

“Yes, sir,” I said. “But this one’s LOOKING at me!”

Mom reached across the table and sliced off the fish’s head with a knife. She wrapped the head in her napkin and placed it beside her plate. “There,” she said. “Just like the way Grandpa cooks them.”

Wink, Wink!

I ate the fish, but had a difficult time keeping my eyes from wandering to Mom’s folded napkin. The trout’s nose was sticking out of a corner, and I knew the rest of the head was waiting for the napkin to slip just so it could sneak another peek at me.

Soon, the meal was finished, the table cleared, and Mom’s napkin forgotten. Later that night I laid awake and thought about the trout.

I think that was the first time I realized there was a difference between the fish I caught back home — the headless and anonymous kind that Grandpa cleaned when nobody was looking — and the more personal one I had yanked out of that Japanese Restaurant’s trout pond. No doubt, if I had been that fish, I, too, would want to stare at whomever was eating me.

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This is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. Be sure to watch it to the end.

–submitted by “Mary N.”

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Tim says: if you’d like to submit one of your own You Tube “Video Curiosity” discoveries for consideration, use the “Contact” form at the top of the blog. Include the link and your first name only. Email addresses (if any) will not be published.

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–submitted by “Ron”

I love to watch inventive advertising.

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Tim says: if you’d like to submit one of your own You Tube “Video Curiosity” discoveries for consideration, use the “Contact” form at the top of the blog. Include the link and your first name only. Email addresses (if any) will not be published.

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I had what you might call a “virtual interview” on Skype late last night. It was with the good folks at UberStrike — creators of my most favorite new pastime shoot-em-up 3D computer game; the same company that’s been sitting for months in my “blogroll” to the right, and the same one I wrote about here many weeks ago; the same UberStrike game that’s got me hooked for life and fascinated by the inner workings of their well-managed public forum board, on which I have become active these past months.

UberStrike is owned by a parent company named “CMUNE”.

Turns out UberStrike is looking for new, game-hardened writers to become CMUNE-sanctioned reporters in what they call the Cmunity Newspaper”. (Very prestigious stuff if you are an UberStrike gamer like I am.) In other words, UberStrike was looking for Simply Tim and just didn’t know it yet.

So, there I sat in front of my monitor last night well after midnight, jacked into an international Skype chat session with about a dozen UberStrike moderators, getting ready to tell them why they needed ME on the team. Right off the bat — the very first question — I was asked where I lived (UberStrike has players worldwide, where timezones are important) and to tell them a little bit about myself.

Very carefully, I steered my geezer fingers to begin typing: “I’m in USA — North Carolina. I’m retired with lots of time on my hands. And I am wild about UberStrine.”

I pressed the SEND key and there it was, a typo bigger than hell, irrevocable and plain for everyone to see: I had misspelled the company’s name who was interviewing me for a WRITER’S position!

“UberSTRINE” ?  I was absolutely mortified.

Time passed. I recalled that great death scene in the animated X-rated adult movie, Fritz the Cat from 1972, the scene where — one by one —  billiard balls dropped into a pocket, clearing the table, each ball-drop signifying being one step closer to death — my future with UberStrike, like those balls, dropping from sight.

Time passed. I heard Jeopardy music and billiard balls falling one by one. “I’m in USA — North Carolina. I’m retired with lots of time on my hands. And I am wild about UberStrine.” was still sitting on the screen.

Then my fingers began to move. I had no idea where they were heading.

“I even like UberSTRIKE!” I added, pressing the send button once again.  HAHAHAs lit up the Skype screen like a Christmas tree. And just like that, I was one of them. I got the job, which, by the way, is non-paying, gratis.

I think I’m gonna have fun. I’ll keep you posted.

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