The Time Traveler Convention

May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)

East Campus Courtyard, MIT

42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W

(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

This will be the first and only time traveler convention (since you can attend from any era, multiple conventions are unnecessary).  Come and meet time travelers from the past and future.  Introduce your grandchildren to your grandparents (you’ll probably have to pick up some of them first).

Please note that the date is in reference to the Gregorian Calendar in use at the host time.

I’m posting this here, as I believe that my blog will become so popular that transcripts should be available well into the future!

Judicial Overkill

April 21, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Current Affairs 

Michael Mayo, of the Sun-Sentinel in Florida talks in his column about judicial overkill.

Male juror Stacey Forbes, age 19, was arrested and sentenced to 4 MONTHS in jail for lying on a juror questionnaire.  He has been arrested twice before for minor drug offenses (but never convicted), and answered “no” to the question asking if he’d been arrested.  According to him, he thought that they’d meant convicted, not arrested.  He’s a high-school dropout with reading problems.

In Broward County, Florida, failing to show up for jury duty gets you at most a $100 fine.  Showing up and accidentally lying on the form?  4 months.

This is out of control.  The kid apologized for his mistake, but activist Judge Eileen O’Connor (a Bush appointee) has decided to use him as an example.

He’s currently free on bond awaiting appeal, but has to report to authorities 3 times a week and has a 1am curfew.  Here’s hoping that the Appeals Court has better judgement (and is less fascist) than Judge O’Connor.

Note that Mr. Mayo has posted her office phone number in his column.  Feel free to use it.

Outsourcing Minimum Wage Jobs

March 10, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Food and Drink, Work 

McDonald’s is apparently considering outsourcing drive-thru order taking.  Reuters Story

That’s right – the person behind the clown’s mouth (though McDonald’s doesn’t really have those anymore) might be several states away.  Probably in a cheaper job market.  And they won’t have any idea whether or not your McDonald’s is out of Apple Pies or not.  I can’t see how they’ll be accountable for mistakes either.  (“Sorry, I know you ordered a Big Mac but the girl in Cleveland typed in McNuggets by mistake.  If you’ll just pull over here we’ll fix it.”)

How long before they outsource the jobs to India?  Not only will we have trouble understanding the Dell tech support folks, but now we won’t be able to order American food from an American restaurant without talking to a foreigner! (OK, to be fair, that’s already true in some parts of the country.)

Diversity Beans

February 18, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Work 

My wife recently ran a “Diversity Celebration” for her company at two locations.  As part of the celebration, she used Diversity Jelly Beans from

Diversity Beans are regular jelly beans, except that the flavor doesn’t match the color.  A black bean might be cherry or lemon.  A yellow bean might be licorice.  The whole point is “This candy is just like people–you cannot determine what is on the inside by simply looking at the outside. These beans remind us to experience people one at a time and enjoy their unique qualities.

The colors and flavors are random – it’s not like they just switched the colors.

Here’s the kicker – the package comes labelled “Diversity Beans – Assorted”.  Can you buy just red?  Can you buy just cherry?  Seems a bit redundant to me.

(Note:  This is a little like the “Every Flavor Beans” from Harry Potter, except without the nasty flavors.)

I Guess They’ll Skip Her House on Halloween …

In Durango, Colorado, two teenage girls (17 and 18) were successfully sued for delivering a gift of cookies to a neighbor’s house.

Wanita Renea Young was at home when her neighbors came over with a Random Act of Kindness – a few cookies.  They had been delivering cookies to their neighbors on Avenida Del Sol in Durango, CO for about an hour, having skipped a dance to be kind to their neighbors.  They even skipped houses that were dark – only going to houses where the light was on and someone was presumably up (at 10:30pm on a Friday summer night).

Ms. Young was so frightened by these scary girls (see picture with Follow Up story below) that she called the Sheriff.  The Sheriff didn’t see anything illegal.  She ended up going to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack.

Wait – it gets better.  She later sued the girls, and won a judgment from a Small Claims Court judge (who is apparently very small himself) for $900 in medical costs, plus $1 in damages.

The good news is that the kids are alright.  MANY people have offered to pay their costs.  They’ll even be going to NYC to appear on Good Morning America. (Followup #1)

But then it gets even worse.  Apparently, Wanita Young’s husband won’t stop calling the girls’ house.  Herb Young is the subject of a restraining order requested by the father of one of the girls. (Followup #2)

Wanita Young – you are truly a hard-hearted person.

I Had to Walk to School …

January 27, 2005 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up 

In Greece, a bus driver is likely to be fired for showing porn to students on the bus.

Now, I had to walk to school or ride with my father.  Even if I’d taken the bus, I would have seen the back of the kid’s head in front of me.  What kind of school bus has mini-screens in the seatbacks?

Stupid Employee Tricks

January 27, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Work 

This is a true story – it happened yesterday.

My wife is a department manager.  One of her employees is a 60-ish man who’s just coasting until retirement.

Yesterday, she walked into his office.  He was leaning back in his chair, head back, and SNORING.

So, she walked up to his desk and shouted: “WAKEY, WAKEY, EGGS AND BAKEY!”

He jumped up and quickly grabbed his mouse to make it look like he was working.  In doing so, the screen saver disappeared and revealed a 1/2-completed game of Solitaire.

He’s a diabetic.  He claimed that he fell asleep due to low blood sugar (apparently ignoring the hypnotic effects of Solitaire).  So, he proceeds to get out his testing kit and take a reading in front of my wife.

He came up with 142 – which is HIGH, not low.

(Yes, she gave him a verbal warning and she’s gonna document it today.)

My Wife’s Hearing Loss?

January 10, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Life 

This morning on the radio, there was a commercial for hearing aids that began:

“Many people live with hearing loss …”

My wife (who is not yet 40, by the way) heard:

“Many people live with their in-laws …”

No, she doesn’t have a physical hearing problem.  Her brain is just wired that way.

(NOTE:  We’ve never lived with either set of parents.)

Help, or Get Out of The Way

January 7, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Current Affairs, Life 

Varifrank has posted this gem in his blog about Europeans’ reaction to US tsunami aid.

Unprofessional – maybe.  Absolutely the right thing to say – definately.

Wacky Warning Label Winners

January 6, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Can't Make This Up, Life 

The winners are out in the annual Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch Wacky Warning Label contest.

This year’s first prize goes to a toilet brush, with a warning label reading:  “Do Not Use for personal hygiene”.

Second prize was won by children’s scooter that reads “This product moves when used”.

Third prize (this should have done better than 3rd) was a digital thermometer that reads (are you ready?):  “Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally”.

Click the link above for the 4th and 5th prizes.

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