I was born. I suffered.
I suffered some more, and hopefully,
I won't die a painful death.
This is my life.

My company has the safety bug stuck in its craw. Granted, we have many construction and other dangerous projects that require a high degree of safety precautions. I can agree with this aspect. However, my company is run like a quasi-military organization. Its managers are comp-case fearing spirit killers. All of these precautions have spilled over into the office. This fear of being sued has lead to a massive propaganda campaign to impose a whole safety culture over the office. Year after bloody year employees are expected to complete online safety seminars-on their own time mind you. Every meeting has to have time reserved for a safety moment. These safety moments are nothing more than commonsense statements. The following exchange is typical.

Nameless Drone: “When I was at work this weekend putting in some extra time on my 2253C project, I backed out of my parking space and hit a pylon. From now on I will always turn my head around and look behind me when I backup.”

All: “Good one. That’s really important.”

There are times when my group does not have its’ little weekly meeting. I envision us all in headgear and wrapped in bubble wrap continuously ramming into walls and falling down stairs because we missed the safety moment. We will occasionally get emails detailing some science geek having his roller chair slipping out from under him and being tossed. Ha! That was a funny one. Hence, all plastic computer chair mats have been banished. The Safety Gestapo conducted and audit in our old building one time. Computer cables were duct taped out of the way and chairs were replaced. Even though there is a state law banning smoking in public places, some horrible “This is a non-smoking building” clipart- laden signs now graced all doors to the office.

So thank you annoying multi-national corporation for trying to impose your anal safety practices on my already superb life. I’m off to wrestle an alligator. It must not be dangerous. It hasn't come up in a safety moment yet.


A big happy one year closer to death goes out to Craig today.
Treat yourself to a nice turkey wrap.

The Garmin 265WT NAG GPS

The other day I was in Radio Shack with my buddy from the salt mine looking for a GPS for his wife. A great idea dawned on us. What if the voice on the unit had a nag option for the husband on the road away from home? Currently, we are in development of software that can be purchased as a download. As of today, Marlene, from Long Island, is the only voice we have compiled.

Here things like: "Oh my gawd, did you just pass a Starbucks?" and "Slow down! I'm trying to put on my lipstick." If you are feeling frisky, and attempt to touch the wrong button, Marlene will give the usual: "Leave me alone, it's not Saturday" or "You just got it last week." And the ever popular: "What are you doing down there?"

Alas, Marlene is an obstinate bitch and the best directions we've gotten out of her are: "Turn left at the place we ate dinner at on our second date." Another bug that we have to work out has to do with the Bluetooth option. Marlene will use your cellphone to call her sister and talk the whole trip.

Hopefully, we can iron these little issues soon. We envision adding multiple ethnicities so even Mr. Lei can be nagged by Misaki from San Francisco.

How do you make black frosting?

It's time again for another reason to drown your sorrows in alcohol and butter cream frosting.  Yes, I'm talking about the yearly birthday.  There are many milestones to celebrate in life based on your age. Your 13th, 16th, and 21st are the most fun and really the last good birthdays.  All the rest are just fillers until the sweet release that is death.

You may ask "Eric, you are so happy and devoid of want, what could you possibly need for your birthday?"  The answer is, an electric can opener. My current can opener is lying in the bottom of the garbage can under the mangled can of tuna it failed miserably to open.  It is one of those can openers which cuts from the side and attempts to leave smooth edges.  These can openers were made famous in the Everybody Loves Raymond episode entitled: "The Can Opener."

Mostly, the can opener blade just spins around and chops a few gashes and laughs at me.  Inevitably, tuna juice, Bush's Baked Beans, or whatever delicacy that I'm about to enjoy will spill all over the counter.  Luckily, Progresso soup, the main staple of my diet, has cans that have the pop-tops on them.

So if any of you are in the small appliance isle somewhere, slap a bow on that Oster and put it in the mail.