Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.


network solutions made me a child pornographer!
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Saturday, March 15, 2003

Sleep Deprivation and Overmedication

So I decide to stay an extra day in New York to help a client, end up getting an average of four hours of sleep a night since Wednesday and I accidentally took my allergy medication twice last night, so it's taken me an hour to write this long, run-on sentence, primarily because of the time required to periodically wipe the drool off the keyboard.

If I survive the trip back to Chicago, tomorrow I'll post something that is at least mildly entertaining. Damn. I hate when I overmedicate myself. It's bad enough being groggy and lethargic, but then I have to keep swatting the dwarves trying to crawl up my legs. And next time I have to remember to ask for a room where the walls don't undulate and are chromatically unstable.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Beam Me Up, Scotty

In my current career as an application support engineer, I get to do a lot of interesting things. Like talk to customers and pass their requests on to our engineering department when they actually encounter a problem not related to their innate... uh... density.

It's that time of year when we have to fill out our employee evaluation forms. I'm thinking of using the following from the movie Office Space, where a soon-to-be-laid-off customer support rep explains his function to a couple of outside consultants called in to see who's expendable:

"Well... well look. I already told you: I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!"

If you're in the software business, you must watch this movie. Comedy Central plays it every week or so. Better yet, get the video or DVD.

I also get to travel a lot; it's back to New York City tonight on the redeye. I joked with one of my co-workers how it sometimes seems I'm stuck in a bad Star Trek episode; I'm plopped into a distant, hostile environment where my survival depends on fixing software and systems originally installed by an ancient culture whose knowledge was not passed on to the current inhabitants.

"Yeah," he noted. "The problem is, you're the guy in the red shirt."

Maybe, but so far I've always managed to beam out in one piece. But based on the previous entry here, I think I'm cabbing it from O'Hare to the front door of the apartment.

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Monday, March 10, 2003

Sort of Mugged

It's not flying that irks me, it's the trips to and from the airports.

Last week I prematurely praised the CTA because I felt certain that even with the snow, the Blue Line to O'Hare would be running. Wrong. After entering the station and buying a transit card I was informed that I'd have to walk two blocks and catch a bus to a station several miles away. I just hailed a cab.

Last night I was on my way back to the apartment in Chicago and I was sort of mugged. As I passed this scruffy little guy hunched against a building, he apparently tried to grab my backpack. Not a smart move; I weigh 275 and the backpack had to have had at least another fifty pounds of stuff in it.

I went over backward. Fortunately (for me, at least), my attacker broke my fall. I wish I could've seen it. I suspect it would have looked like a Road Runner cartoon, with the squashed miscreant cum coyote frantically waving his arms and legs while trying to extricate himself from beneath my not insignificant bulk. He did a high speed sprint/limp and disappeared into the night. Stunned, I just got up and continued to the apartment.

The entire incident is puzzling. Maybe he thought the backpack would come off easily. Maybe he thought I would fall forward.

Maybe it's just some bizarre urban form of cow tipping.

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Make your own dartboard

On Site

Somewhere near Princeton, New Jersey, KGB performs a VAX to Windows software migration. Sigh. How the mighty have fallen.
(Photo by Dave McNeill/Datalogics)

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

The Great Question of our Time

(Thanks to Marc McCune)

GEORGE W. BUSH
We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle of the road here.

AL GORE
I invented the chicken. I invented the road. Therefore, the chicken crossing the road represented the application of these two different functions of government in a new, reinvented way designed to bring greater services to the American people.

RALPH NADER
The chicken's habitat on the original side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrialist greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

PAT BUCHANAN
To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American chicken.

RUSH LIMBAUGH
I don't know why the chicken crossed the road, but I'll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I'll bet someone out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing-the-road syndrome. Can you believe this? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars, and when I say tax dollars, I'm talking about your money, money the government took from you to build roads for chickens to cross.

JERRY FALWELL
Because the chicken was gay! Isn't it obvious? Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's what they call it - "the other side." Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens 'til we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side."

DR. SEUSS
Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road.
But why it crossed, I've not been told!

ERNEST HEMINGWAY
To die. In the rain. Alone.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

GRANDPA
In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

BARBARA WALTERS
Isn't that interesting? In a few moments we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting and went on to accomplish its life-long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON
Imagine all the chickens crossing roads in peace.

ARISTOTLE
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

KARL MARX
It was a historical inevitability.

SADDAM HUSSEIN
This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

VOLTAIRE
I may not agree with what the chicken did, but I will defend to the death its right to do it.

CAPTAIN KIRK
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

FOX MULDER
You saw it cross the road with your own eyes! How many more chickens have to cross before you believe it?

SIGMUND FREUD
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES
I have just released eChicken 2003, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook - and Internet Explorer is an inextricable part of eChicken.

MARTHA STEWART
No one called to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the farmer's market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

ALBERT EINSTEIN
Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON
I did not cross the road with that chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?

THE BIBLE
and God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, "Thou shalt cross the road." And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.

COLONEL SANDERS
I missed one?

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Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


I am a professional. Do not try this at home.


I canna change the laws of physics


As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Left wing liberal nut job


Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


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If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.


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