Humor Why I am the way I am

Why I am the way I am – IV

Grade: Kindergarten

Age: 4

It seemed like a regular Friday. We had alphabet, milk break and recess just like every regular day. After recess we’d normally just sit and draw or play and wait to get ready for the bus. Miss McNanny announced after recess that we should each pick a partner for “something special”.

That was an easy one, Steve Mohr. He was the kid that came up to me on the first day of kindergarten and asked “Do you want to be best friends?” and I said, “Yeah.” It was then official, we WERE best friends so he was my pick and I was his. Simple, right? Nope. It turned out that Wanda McKnight’s (or maybe it was Wendy they were identical twins and I just called them both McKnight) twin was sick that day so she didn’t have a partner so she got put with us. Steve and I shrugged and welcomed her aboard for the “something special”.

The bus was ready to take us home so the “something special” was apparently “something secret” that we’d have to wait until Monday to find out about. I think I was learning so when Steve asked me all excited-like “what do you think this is all about” I had a genuine fear and my stomach got a hard knot in it and I just stared out the bus window wondering.

The weekend was mine and I did not even think about school. Saturday morning cartoons with super sugary cereal then exploring the woods or a construction site. The neighborhood kids were always around and even though they liked to tease me they’d always teach me something or make me laugh, too.

Monday morning rolls around and I think about feigning ill health in hopes that the returning twin would get put in my place but I couldn’t do that to my best friend. He’s surely counting on me. To the bus stop. *sigh*

The big announcement: We are going to put on a circus. The kids all cheered except for me and the 7 year old. This is going to be bad. Very bad.

Just before recess everyone gets their circus assignments. Two kids were told they were elephants and they went out to recess. Two were tigers and they got released to recess. The two clowns got sent to recess along with the lions and monkeys, etcetera, etcetera.

Steve, McKnight and I are last and we get our assignments. “You are going to be the seals.” says Miss McNanny. Great. I begin to walk out to recess sans all forms of enthusiasm.

“Hold on,” she says. “You’ve got to practice.”

“But I want to go play with everyone else,” says me and even Steve started to protest. No one else had to practice. Just me and those affiliated with me. They were jinxed by association, I suppose.

“Don’t you want to do something special? More special than recess?”

“Ummm. No?” and I look to Steve for backup. He shrugs and looks down.

Miss McNanny had us throw a ball back and forth and after she watches us do it she must have though I wasn’t a good at playing catch because she tells me “You’re going to be the SEAL TRAINER! 😕

Now I was only 4 but I wasn’t stupid. I knew there were elephant trainers and lion trainers but I had never in my life heard of a seal trainer. What in the world was this lady smoking?!? We were just a few years out of the 1960s but come on!

For the next TWO WEEKS Steve, McKnight and I didn’t have recess and I’m going to be honest I was angry like the neighbors cat that I tried to teach to swim by dunking it in their pool. Steve and McKnight had to perch themselves on milk crates and I had to tell them to throw the ball to each other. I did NOT have to be there. I could have been AT RECESS!!!!! They can throw the ball without me telling them. I was distracted by the gleeful screams and laughter which tauntingly echoed from the cement recess area from just outside the realm of the seal trainer. 🙁

I went through the “practice” day without recess in and day without recess out and on the last day Miss McNanny invited the kids in grade 1-4 to watch our final practice. It was a dress rehearsal so all the other kids got to walk in a circle with animal or clown masks on and the older kids all clapped. 😕 I was forced to wear a red paper hat and a coat that smelled like moth balls and bad breath and got a big bushy mustache taped under my nose. I looked just like the guy that used to sleep on the bus stop benches down town. He had a mustache and a stinky coat, too.

Then it was our turn and I was not about to perform for anyone so I refused. Miss McNanny pushed the ball to me and I pushed it back to her and crossed my arms. She kicked the ball and it swept my feet out from under me and I fell and all the older kids laughed at me. I tore my hat and mustache off and threw down the malodorous coat and went to the rest room and hid until the bus came.

On the next day we found out that Miss McNanny invited our parents to watch our Cirque Du Imbéciles. I was mortified. I already got laughed at once and I decided that was never going to happen again.

The other kids walked around the parents and received their applause and it was our turn again. Steve and McKnight had stockings over their faces and looked more like bank robbers than seals. I had on my torn up hat, mustache and smelly coat and I totally choked in front of the parents, I couldn’t even talk. I couldn’t even move. My mom was there and I froze. Miss McNanny had a little music maker that was playing circus music and I pretended to be interested in it so I wouldn’t have to do my act. She tried to shove me out. There was no way I was ever going to perform in front of people again in my entire life. I hid my face against the wall and only peeked out once when Miss McNanny took my place and told Steve and McKnight to throw the ball to each other.

The next school day was almost back to normal. Recess was again mine. I think Steve was a bit upset with me but we were still best friends. My mom didn’t disown me so it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen but I never could speak in front of people after that. I can still see those fat, dirty faces laughing at me when I get in front of people and I still freeze up.

Lesson learned: The clothes (and mustache) make the man into a nervous wreck.


Last Comic Standing – The voting begins!

Marcus – winner of the challenge, immunity and a guaranteed spot in the finals at Las Vegas. It was a terrible challenge and I wouldn’t have been surprised if the “judges” had picked Abe Vigoda as the winner.

Iliza Shlesinger – Hi Iliza. 😀 How are you? *ahem* Claims to have written fresh material. I don’t know if it was or not. I will listen next time if possible. Iliza received 5 votes from me

Adam Hunter – He did alright. His delivery reminds me of the comic styling of Tony Orlando and Dawn (gah). Struggles a bit. Not comfortable. No votes from me.

Jeff Dye – He was funny and quirky today. He did a great 3 minutes. Still, no votes from me.

Jim Tavare – I don’t think he did anything this week. :shrug: Zero votes from me.

Louis Ramey – He’s so comfortable on stage. So personable. Definitely going to the top 2. 1 vote from me

Ron G – Yawn. Meh. Feh!

Seán Cullen – They say that people with more than a 30 point difference in their IQs will have difficulty communicating with each other. This was proven during the bed time challenge except I think there was more in the way of 72 IQ points difference. I laughed the whole time but he used words that contained more than 4 letters so I think he should have used a translator. If the need arises I have a friend that can help:
Mr. Jigglenuts
Seán’s performance in the standup portion was excellent. I gave Seán 4 votes because I believe if there’s going to be any violence on the show it will come from the mighty fists of Seán Cullen. I look forward to a severe beating very soon. Perhaps a great pummeling upon the face of Jeff Dye. I don’t hate Jeff Dye but I don’t like him enough to pass up on the joy I’d receive in seeing an incredible facial massacre.


Blow by blow – Last Comic Standing

Iliza Shlesinger – I love you more than last week because you helped me to never see Blahblah RJ ever again. Thank you. I swear I’ll listen to your jokes either next time or the time after. Winner of the second face to face and eliminator of 4 bad comics.

Adam Hunter – he also would have won a face to face against Paul Foot and Raja JJ.

Marcus – had a good run at the challenge. Nice work.

Jeff Dye – Obvious and rightful winner of the props challenge. By the way, dingle. The Spartans fought the Persians at the battle of Thermopylae, not the Egyptians.

Jim Tavare – I don’t think he did anything this week. :shrug:

Louis Ramey – Still my pick for the finals.

Ron G – Yawn. Meh. Feh!

Paul Foot – I thought he had a good run at it. Just didn’t hit with the fast paced audience. In his honor I’ve eliminated hallways from this and every future house I ever live at. Eliminated by Iliza at the second face to face. If you were still around I’d tell you to please quit challenging her.

Seán Cullen – Going to finish with Louis Ramey. I’m sure of it. He rants with the best of the ranters. His violent diatribes give me an unmentionable joy. I may be changing my mind by thinking he could beat Louis Ramey. I won’t vote for him because he makes me turn my TV down and I’m not all about getting out of the big chair after 7:00 PM. Well, I might vote for him if he gets in a fist fight with Ron G. Ron G bleeding from either or both eye sockets and lying unconscious in a pool of his own intestinal fluids would be the funniest and most entertaining thing he’s done so far. Seán, be a friend to your fellow comedian and help him in his career by beating him to a bloody sack of broken bones. Thanks pal.

Some guy I forget – I was really hoping for an announcement that the anonymous one got caught under the bus or got thrown out the window by Paul Foot instead of the nerf gun. Unnecessarily mean spirited at the end of his set and it cost him. He may have won had he not been such a jerk. That would have been unfortunate. Same lame jokes over again. You lose. Hooray! Eliminated by my sweet love, Iliza. You know, the one that Mr. Nobody said was not a strong commedian. Too bad one of Seán Cullen’s outbursts didn’t come to fruition in your direction.


Last Comic Standing rundown

Esther Ku – Rarely funny but the jokes that hit make you LOL. Eliminated at first face to face.

God’s Pottery – fricken hilarious but a one trick pony. You only need to see it once. Eliminated at first face to face.

Iliza Shlesinger – I love her. I hope she wins. I think she tells jokes. If she want’s me to laugh for her I will. Just tell me what to do Iliza. Return my calls! Winner of first face to face.

Adam Hunter – douchebag.

Marcus – impressionists never make me laugh and I can never figure out who they are trying to copy. Why is it supposed to be funny to act like someone else? His regular jokes are good the impressionism thing is ancillary at best.

Jeff Dye – funny-ish. Not the best I’ve heard but not the worst on this season. He’s cute. Girls will vote for him.

Jim Tavare – very funny but very dry. It’s almost like you already have to get him to want to bother to get him.

Louis Ramey – definitely makes me laugh every time. Seems like a decent soul. The others will eat him and try to pretend they never heard his name. If they don’t he will probably win.

Ron G – Yawn. Meh. Feh!

Paul Foot – Funny but doesn’t translate well. I hope he sticks around for a few episodes because I enjoy his act.

Seán Cullen – something decent from canada. I didn’t think it was possible. Some of his jokes don’t hit right away but when you finally process them, ZAM!

That’s the lineup for Last Comic Standing this year. It’s probably the best reality show because you’re supposed to laugh at it because it’s funny, not because it’s sad and pitiful.

Oh, wait. There is one more. Some schmuck named Papa BJ or Papa Dildo or Schlongrod CJ or something stupid. He’s the kind of comic you want to just punch in the face. Not because he insults you but because he’s so unfunny that a shattered frontal process is in order. Yeah, yeah. We get it. You’re from India, even our comedy is out-sourced, yadda yadda yadda. I hope he’s eliminated quickly. Not by the competition but by the mafia or gang violence or something equally satisfying.


Office Outlook 2007 won’t restart after exit

Last night I was experiencing trouble with Outlook 2007. If I would close the app and then try to open it again it would appear to close down but would not start again. Checking in the Windows Task Manager Processes I noticed that OUTLOOK.EXE *32 was still running and after killing the process I could start Outlook again. The problem persisted. I googled the problem but none of the fixes mentioned had any effect.

After a few more reboots I just started looking at Outlook’s settings. Under Tools -> Trust Center... -> Add-ins -> Manage: COM Add-ins I started disabling things but I noticed that Windows Search Email Indexer wouldn’t respond to unchecking or removing so I went to Start Orb -> Right click on Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services -> Windows Search -> Right click -> Properties -> Startup type = Disabled

I could then uncheck or remove Windows Search Email Indexer. You can restart or leave the Windows Search service off (I left it off). Now Outlook starts faster, closes completely and allows me to restart it anytime I like.

In fact after disabling the Windows Search service everything seems snappier and I don’t see the spinning blue chakram all the time.

Hope this helps someone out there. 🙂

Web design Web standards

Third annual CSS Naked day

April 5th, 2008 is Bette Davis’ 100th birthday and it is also the third annual CSS Naked Day. If you are viewing this on April 5th then you will see no styling. Any other day it will look normal. A properly written web page should fail gracefully and still be useable by browsers that do not understand CSS. It is the web standards way. 🙂

The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and; well, a fun play on words. I mean, who doesn’t want to get naked?. Feel free to see the original reference article for more information.


Trouble installing Uru: Complete Chronicles

Trying to install Uru, I know, it’s about 5 years old but I just got it mostly because I just started using a PC and Uru was never released for Mac, I constantly received this error:

Feature: DefaultFeature
Component: AGameFiles
File: D:\
Error: Data error (cyclic redundancy check).

None of the solutions online were of any help so I simply tried to copy the files to my hard drive and install them from there. The only problem is couldn’t be read on any of my PCs (2 laptops and one desktop). I was able to copy the file from the CD to my Mac’s hard drive so I just shared it over to the PC and installed it from the hard drive. It worked so I suppose if anyone needs a copy of and don’t have a Mac, just drop me a line and I’ll put it online somewhere for download.

On an interesting side note I was also able to get Uru to run on my Vista 64-bit machine by bypassing the “Play URU – Complete Chronicles” and instead starting it up using the UruExplorer application.


Getting Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 installed

I just received my copy of Office Ultimate 2007 (yes, I bought a 2007 app in 2008 … *sigh* why do they name them with years?) and everything went fine with no problems until I tried the second disk (which contains Accounting and Business Contact Manager). Accounting installed and then BCM threw an exception “Setup failed to install Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007”.

I tried again and again and looked for solutions online (none worked). A good friend had a look at the install log and noticed something. This line:
MSI (s) (6C:28) [08:22:19:591]: Product: Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 -- Error 1913.Could not update the INI file C:\Windows\SysWOW64\mapisvc.inf
He asked me to check if mapisvc.inf existed (it did) and if I could change it (I couldn’t). I couldn’t edit, move or delete it. I checked the properties and it was owned by “SYSTEM” which I changed to my user account and then I was able to move the file. Before trying to reinstall BCM I moved mapisvc.inf out of my SysWOW64 folder and created a new copy of it and dropped that in SysWOW64.

I was then able to install BCM with no further problems.

Now all I have to do is come up with a reason to use it. 😉

ASP.NET Programming

Firing a click event using the enter key

This one had me stumped for a few minutes. I had a text box that would post to a google search. Entering text in and hitting the enter key would just post back to the page and have no effect.

Hmm. Frustrating. I don’t expect everyone to type in their search criteria and grab the mouse to click the tiny little button so here’s what you have to do.

                <asp:Panel ID="searchPanel" DefaultButton="topSearchButton" runat="server">
                <asp:TextBox ID="topSearch" columns="21" CssClass ="formbox" runat="server" EnableViewState="False" />
                <asp:ImageButton ID="topSearchButton" ImageURL="images/bg/buttonGoHome.gif" OnClick="topSearchButton_Click" CSSClass="buttonGoHome" AlternateText="Submit" runat="server" />  

OnClick event:

    protected void topSearchButton_Click(object sender, ImageClickEventArgs e)
    {       Response.Redirect("" + topSearch.Text);

The DefaultButton attribute names the ID of the button you want to fire. The only issue is it doesn’t work on a text box (or any other form item) it only works on a Panel. I suppose it makes sense because you usually don’t just have one form field and a button, it’s usually many text boxes, any of which can fire the click event using the enter key.

I figured there was no point in having ViewState on a text box that posts to another site so EnableViewState should be set to False in this case.

Classic ASP Programming

FPDF.asp carriage return / line feed in MultiCell

Recently I was given the task of printing address labels from a database using Avery 5160 labels. These labels are 3 columns of 10 rows. 2.625″ x 1″ (66.6mm x 25.4mm).

I was having trouble with carriage returns. First problem is that the ASP version of FPDF doesn’t seem to recognize the \n line feed. It was easy enough to replace it with Chr(10) but I suppose I had a misconception of how FPDF handles line feeds in that it used the entire height of the multicell height for every line of text.

At first I used this incorrect code to test (notice the carriage return has no effect):

<!--#include file="fpdf.asp"-->
Dim i,pdf
Set pdf=CreateJsObject("FPDF")
     pdf.CreatePDF "P","cm","Letter"
     pdf.SetFont "Times","",9
for i=0 to 40
          labelText = "Client #" & i & Chr(13) & "<--carriage return there address" & Chr(10) & "City, State  Zip "
     pdf.MultiCell 6.66,2.54,labelText,1,L
Set pdf = Nothing

with the results shown below:
bad line feeds

Then after googling a bit I found a php version of a script for creating a PDF for Avery 5160 labels and ported it to ASP:

<!--#include file="fpdf.asp"-->
Set pdf = CreateJsObject("FPDF")
	pdf.CreatePDF "P","mm","Letter"
	pdf.SetFont "Arial","B",10
	pdf.SetMargins 0,0
x = 0
y = 0
' instead of for next call names and addresses from database
for a = 1 to 40
	' Make label text
	LabelText = "Contact Name" & a & chr(10) & "Entire Company Name" & a & chr(10) & "1313 Mockingbird Lane" & chr(10) & "Chicago, IL  60617"
	LeftMargin = 4.2
	TopMargin = 12.7
	LabelWidth = 66.6
	LabelHeight = 25.45
	' Create Co-Ords of Upper left of the Label
	AbsX = LeftMargin + ((LabelWidth + 4.22) * x)
	AbsY = TopMargin + (LabelHeight * y)
	pdf.SetXY AbsX+3,AbsY+3
	pdf.MultiCell LabelWidth-8,4.5,LabelText,0,L
	if (y=10) then
		y = 0
		if (x = 3) then
			x = 0
			y = 0
		end if
	end if
Set pdf = Nothing

Just change the for-next loop to a database call and you’re in business.

I find FPDF extremely useful and am sure to use it in the future.


Making FTP work on Windows Vista

I just built a Windows machine from parts and installed Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit. The only problem I was having was the FTP service would not stay active upon shutdown or restart. I had to start it manually every time.

If anyone else is wondering, here is how to make it work (if you already have FTP installed and just need it to start on reboot then start at step 7):

  1. Control Panels
  2. Programs
  3. Turn Windows features on or off
  4. locate and check FTP Publishing Service
  5. Click OK to install the items you selected
  6. You may or may not have to start FTP through IIS 6 but it may work without this step
  7. Start Menu
  8. right-click “Computer”
  9. Select “Manage”
  10. Select “Services” under “Services and Applications”
  11. double-click “FTP Publishing Service”
  12. Change “Startup Type” to “Automatic”
  13. Click OK

Let me know if this helps. I don’t know, it may be obvious to everyone that knows Windows but I’ve been a Macintosh guy since I bought my second computer back in 1995 (I had a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A before that). I’m used to starting FTP with one click in the Sharing control panel. 😉

For comparison here’s how turn on FTP under Mac OS X:

  1. Apple Menu
  2. System Preferences…
  3. Sharing
  4. Click the “FTP Access” checkbox

This also opens the port in the firewall and keeps it active any time the Mac is started.


Man Illegally Arrested for Refusing Bag Search

Today was an eventful day. I drove to Cleveland, reunited with my father’s side of the family and got arrested. More on that arrested part to come.

For the labor day weekend my father decided to host a small family reunion. My sister flew in from California and I drove in from Pittsburgh to visit my father, his wife and my little brother and sister. Shortly after arriving we packed the whole family into my father’s Buick and headed off to the grocery store to buy some ingredients to make monkeybread. (It’s my little sister’s birthday today and that was her cute/bizare birthday request.)

Next to the grocery store was a Circuit City. (The Brooklyn, Ohio Circuit City to be exact.) Having forgotten that it was my sister’s birthday I decided to run in and buy her a last minute gift. I settled on Disney’s “Cars” game for the Nintendo Wii. I also needed to purchase a Power Squid surge protector which I paid for separately with my business credit card. As I headed towards the exit doors I passed a gentleman whose name I would later learn is Santura. As I began to walk towards the doors Santura said, “Sir, I need to examine your receipt.” I responded by continuing to walk past him while saying, “No thank you.” …

Please see the rest of the story on Michael Righi’s blog: Papers Please: Arrested At Circuit City

This is just the beginning of the story which escalates to him being illegally detained by the store manager and then illegally arrested by a police officer for refusing to show a driver’s license even though he was not driving a car.

I most likely would have donated to his cause had he not involved the ACLU and promised to give them any remainder. I’ll not be party to their Fabianistic tactics and stand against their communist background.

I can’t blame Michael Righi for getting involved with the ACLU though, he is, after all, from Pittsburgh. 😉

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