Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yahoo Answers: Ball Kicking

A remorseful but illiterate mother writes Yahoo for an answer:

My daughter amy whos(sic) 12yrs old told me her older cousins was(sic) beating her up, So out of anger i teached(sic) her to kick them where it hurts, That was six months ago. Now my friends son told her that she kicked him afew(sic) times and she had one of her friends over and right infront(sic) of me she kicked him in groin over the remote.... i punished her and told her "You only kick a boy there if hes(sic) hitting you or your(sic) in danger",

Or...If your a competent Nuclear power expert and your boss fires you because you're smarter than him and he has an ego and command-and-control problem, and seems to like to humiliate smart women.

Or...If someone wants to sue you because you merely registered a domain name and that boy is mad at you because he lost track of his personality® and thinks it's your fault.

Or...If you're a Saskatchewan RoughRider fan and your coach gets you your first Grey Cup since the Crimean War and now he's buggering off to Mississippi.

Or...Because you're a Saskatchewan RoughRider fan and your GM has the worst possible hair cut ever and it makes you want to kick him in the balls.

Or...If you see a blogger who is unusually stupid and vacant and he writes something stupid and vacant about Charles Darwin promoting genocide. Kick him twice.

Or...If you got that popular new Wii game called Kicking People In The Balls. But remember: Playing the Wii game is not a substitute for really kicking people in the balls.

Or...You come across someone who thinks it would be cool to have Al Qaida blow up a Canadian Politician visiting Afghanistan, which as you know is chock a block with people wanting to blow people up. Maybe this person doesn't have balls. Kick them anyway, its OK.

Or...You see someone clutching a stupid book they just bought and yammering on and on about Liberal Fascism. Kick them until they stop.

Or any other reason that suits you. As long as you think its ok, its probably ok.

Feel free to contribute to the discussion. Who would you kick in the balls if you had the chance?

Disclaimer: This is satire. We are not advocating kicking men in the balls. If you kick a man in the balls it's your responsibility. Mostly it's against the law, but check with your local law enforcement agency.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Java and Weather Hyperbole

I spent all morning writing a Java exam, and the rest of the day rehabbing what was left of my brain. It was three hours long and practically killed me. I'm here to tell about it only by the grace of God. Atheist, sneer if you must, but I claim a miracle of severe ardor and bitter survival.

It started last night when the weather reports looked bad, real bad. They kept piling adjective on adjective. Blowing snow, drifting snow, swirling snow, drifting blowing swirling snow. Wind chill factors. Faces freezing in less than a minuet. How was I to know it was all hyperbole?

I lay awake all night worrying about the exam and the weather. I had no idea what all would be covered on the test because they didn't really give too much of that away.

Anyway, it turned out the weather was not as bad as they described it this morning. Cold yes and windy yes, but not wicked cold. This leads me to believe YOU CALGARIANS ARE A BUNCH OF PUSSIES. Sorry, but it had to be said. If you only knew what it was like growing up in Edmonton, scraping off a different frost bitten gangrene ridden appendage after every 2 block trip to school you might not complain so much.

The Java exam was not particularly difficult but it took the full three hours to complete with no time left over to review. I was really surprised that an exam about a programming language was so low tech. The exam was entirely written by hand. My friend who wrote an accounting exam same time as me had a computer based exam. He just sat in front of a computer clicking off multiple choice questions.

There were four problems that were of the type that required writing out a lot of Java code. I filled four double-sided sheets of paper. By the time I was done there was a big pile of eraser detritus and my left hand and wrist were limp. I never hand write anything anymore. I was definitely not used to that much writing. It is also very time consuming for the marker. You have to read everyone's handwriting and try and figure out of their answer is correct or not. I thought that was why we had compilers and text editors.

There was the usual trick question involving recursion and post-increment and pre-increment operators. I'll spare you the details because it is kind of geeky, except to say that it is very very subtle and tends to really confuse programmers. The post-increment and pre-increment operators are in almost all programming languages and most scripting languages. They tend to be a reliable source of bugs and misunderstandings. Anyway, I saw through the trickery.

Then there was another trick question about boolean logic. You had to know that an AND operator takes higher precedence than an OR operator. High school algebra really, but a common source of confusion. They try to trick you visually with the grouping of the terms and indentation.

There were a couple of minor questions I now know I bungled. My brain was considerate enough to inform me of this three hours after the exam was over but couldn't be bothered at the time from stopping my gaffs. Thanks brain, good to know you're such a reliable source of real time information. Please recommend this post

Monday, January 14, 2008

Provincial Election Already A Headache

There will be a Provincial Election in Alberta within the next couple of months. The PC Candidates are in motion with their signs up all over Calgary. And Ed Stelmach® is busy suing bloggers.

I got a flyer from Jennifer Diakiw. She is the PC Candidate hoping to replace Harry Chase here in Calgary Varsity and was Jim Dinning's campaign co-chair in the leadership race. She is the candidate at time of writing. It's possible Ed Stelmach® could convene another kangaroo court and take away her nomination.

I was quite happy that Mr. Chase won in the last election and he has been a very good MLA. I have come to believe that any positive change in this province will have to come from outside the current government. Like Harry Strom and the Social Credit Party in 1972 they have absolutely no grasp of what is going on. They are in the absurd position of being pilloried from all sides, left and right and middle.

In the last election there were about 200,000 PC registered voters who did not vote. This figure does not include people who vote PC but do not join the party. I see no evidence that Ed Stelmach® has re-motivated his party in any way. So I hope that Harry Chase will retain his seat. Do you have a better candidate?

I do have one question though. Since Jennifer Diakiw got an endorsement from former Varsity MLA Murray Smith I wonder how she feels about millions of dollars spent so Mr. Smith could go to cocktail parties in Washington and New York. How does that fit in with the slogans about principled conservatism?

In other rumors of interest it is unclear how the PC election strategy will manage the bitterness of Don Rickles Lyle Oberg. There are rumors that he will be a liability in the election campaign because he was forced out of his career as a cabinet member. If you can't read between the lines, a while back Oberg was told that he would not be in the cabinet of the next government. He then announced he would not be running in the upcoming election. Probably just a coincidence. I suppose we will have to hear all that self serving rhetoric about where the skeletons are.

In other election news, it is warm and sunny in Calgary and the temp is about 10 above. There is a wicked Margaret Hamilton like cold front blowing through tonight. I am not happy about this as I have to travel tomorrow morning. Just when I thought everything would be fine the radio played that stupid Jim Reeves song about that guy and his horse who die in the blizzard just five hundred yards from Mary Ann. Anyway, Jim and Dan, it wouldn't have mattered if you made it that extra five hundred yards, Mary Ann was out playing bingo. I love Jim Reeves. I'm sorry if you think thats weird. Please recommend this post

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Brief Message From Our Sponsor

Mr Harper you're the worst Prime Minister in my life time. Hang on a second... Oh, sorry, I forgot about Mulroney.

Mr. Harper you're the second worst Prime Minister in my life time. But take heart you're on pace to plunge wildly into first place.

And McGuinty you're looking a little obsequious don't you think. Who do you think you are Ed Stelmach® ?

Please recommend this post

Friday, January 11, 2008

Grammar Fussing

I'm obsessing again over grammar, spelling and general style. Hardly a day goes by when I don't spit some coffee at my monitor while reading something poorly formed. And it's not just bloggers, the MSM can quite easily use their thick style manuals as door stops as well. Listening to the Radio can be a hoot as well, especially at night when they put the B teams on.

Before I go any farther I should admit that I'm just as bad, given half a chance.

So here are my latest requests of things that you cease and desist in:

1. Use of the phrase in point of fact. This is meaningless chin dribbling gibberish. Stop it.

2. Use of then instead of than. Amy has bigger hair then Jenna.

3. Use of going forward. The other night the Edmonton Oilers won a hockey game in regulation for the first time in ages. After the game a reporter asked a player in a locker room scrum: important is it to continue this kind of play going forward..." What a stupid question to begin with. What are you supposed to answer, well going forward we kind of want to lose a lot... Going forward, presumably in time, is sort of a basic assumption of reality that need not be constantly re-affirmed.

4. People who say or write ANN Rand instead of Ayn Rand. You're a pretty incompetent libertarian if you don't know her name. There probably is an Ann Rand somewhere. Pity her. Think of the hate mail.

5. Never start off an explanation with I personally believe. If you are using this phrase you are in semi-lucid companionship with Miss Teen USA South Carolina. You will need a good map to find your way out of that quagmire. Unless you use this phrase we will have to assume that you don't believe what you are saying.

6. Stop using any word that ends in ess, trix or ette. Poetess, Authoress, Seductress, Dominatrix. One of the charming things about French is that the gender of a noun has no connection whatsoever with its meaning. You should always keep people guessing when it comes to gender. Words that have fancy-smancy gender endings, especially of the feminizing kind, are hereby declared poor style.

7. Overuse of LOL. If you LOL me one more time I'm going to come over there and KYA. Besides, I know you're just being polite. I'm not all that funny.What would it take to have a kind of an internet counter-insurgency to get rid of the use of LOL? Who's with me?

8. Use of through instead of done. Through is mostly a preposition and is abused this way. Correct usage: I tried to walk through the glass wall at Second Cup instead of using the door. Therefore I'm done with them. I'm through with you should be I'm done with you. Writers make it worse by writing the homophonic[2]version: I'm threw with you, or the non-existant I'm thru with you, Or the IM version, Im thr w u which makes you look illiterate. By the way, its a mean thing to say to someone who probably loved you a lot.

9. Avoid use of the words literal or literally. As Ambrose Bierce[1] observed, they are
Often incorrectly used in support of exaggeration or violent metaphor."
Metaphors should never be violent. Not even uppity. Avoid phrases like Stephen Harper literally kicked the chair across the room. Even if it is true.

10. Irrelevant adjectives are distracting. According to the NHL web site,
Twenty years ago Ron Hextall became the first NHL goalie to physically score a goal."
The reader is tempted to believe that prior to this accomplishment all NHL goalies scored goals metaphysically or in some ethereal non-physical way.

I have more but I think I'll stop now in the interest of public safety.

[1] Ambrose Pierce appears courtesy of the A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults freely available at the Gutenburg Project. [2]A homophone is a word that sounds the same as another word but has a different meaning. People who use homophones are called homophonics, and are part of an agressive militant agenda.

Update: Reposted 11-Jan-2008 09:00 am MST. Original time stamp was incorrect.
Update: Fixed typo: it's not its. How embarassing. Please recommend this post

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Kent Austin Leaving?

I was looking at my server logs the other day and trying to figure out why there was a moderate jump in traffic. The bump consisted of people from Mississippi and Arkansas googling "Kent Austin". I figured something was up, even though there was nothing in the news here.

It turns out that the Roughriders gave permission for Austin to interview for a coaching job with the University of Mississippi which is his alma mater. The gap in the coverage between Canada and Mississippi is kind of interesting. Obviously the media down there got the story whereas we did not. I always think it is better for organizations to be proactive about potentially bad news rather than letting the media write the story for you.

If Austin does leave it will probably be awkward timing because I think most of the CFL coaching vacancies have been filled. The annual CFL Chinese fire drill is all but over.

So who would they get as a replacement? Ned Flanders Tom Higgins is the only one I can think who is available, at least as someone with senior CFL coaching experience. Having Higgins coaching the Roughriders would probably generate some profanity ridden commentary in both Calgary and Regina. It would be entertaining. These two fan bases do not like each other.

The other question is how much do you attribute the Grey Cup win to the Coaching skills of Austin? I think he is a fantastic coach and I don't think they would have won it without him. It seems strange to me that he would choose to leave after one year. Maybe there is more to the story that we know right now.

So Riders fans, if Austin leaves will it be another decade or two before you have a parade?

Aside: I previously posted a joke about Austin walking on water. I thought it was funny. But you know what they say about people who laugh at their own jokes. Please recommend this post