Mostly about my amusement

Category: Humor (page 3 of 12)

Madagascar 3 in 3D

Years after 3D has become mainstream in the movie theaters, I finally saw my first one with the family. It was Madagascar 3 in 3D and we all liked it.

The 3D wasn’t overdone and I think that’s what made it work. I put the Real D 3D glasses over mine and enjoyed the show. Once I stopped attempting to focus on the intentionally out of focus parts, the effect was mostly ignored.

Not ignored exactly. It just wasn’t obtrusive. That’s what I think will make this a long lasting fad.

There was a bit of humor afterwards. See the two glasses above? I hadn’t realized that they came in kids size and I wore the small set. My 8 year old girl wore the grown up version. The ones I wore sure were snug alright.

Report from the home front

As I embark on taking care of the household while Lily is away, I thought it would be a good idea to take notes for when she returns on the 2oth.

It’s like a blog within a blog and I’m going to have fun with it.

Monday Day 1!/jan_dembowski/status/179150138676232192

That didn’t go very well.

Last night my son had some sort of bug and was tossing his cookies all night long. Fortunately I had help but I was in no condition to go to work today.

The children are cooperating and I’m really pleased. They’re doing their home work, eating their meals, and peacefully playing with each other. It’s actually kind of nice and quiet.

I could get used to this. I do miss my wife, but this extra alone time with the kids is a welcome change.

Tuesday Day 2!/jan_dembowski/status/179530235857997824

Sigh, the kids are acting up.

It’s only little things but they’ve learned to repeat phrases like “Mom would let us do that” and “That’s not what Mom said”.

At what age did I become contrary like that?

They are being very disrespectful and I’m patiently explaining that

  1. that’s not true about Mom and
  2. I’m the one in charge.

Nothing to get excited about, just kids being kids.

Wednesday Day 3!/jan_dembowski/status/179888060224389120

Without meaning to I’m sleeping later in the morning. This has lead to my parking the car and running like a madman to the train.

I don’t get it. It’s like I’m getting up a full 30 minutes later.

The kids are acting odd. It’s like they are taking turns testing me and how I’ll react. They don’t do it at the same time but it’s like one will wait in the wings while the other tests my defenses. That’s weird!

It’s probably nothing. I’m tired from a lack of sleep.

Thursday Day 4!/jan_dembowski/status/180233203100024833

The alarm was set to 30 minutes later!

At first I thought it was Lily’s doing but now I’m not sure. The kids are acting so strange.

They’re planning something and I think they somehow resent that I’m in charge. It’s a struggle to get them to do things.

I’m not sleeping too well, I never do when the wife is away.

Friday Day 5!/jan_dembowski/status/180587857365311489

I made to the right train today!

I had to get up really early (why is the alarm set to 5:15 AM? doesn’t matter) but I was on time.

My co-workers have been teasing me about being by myself without adult supervision. Also they’ve notice that I’ve not shaved my beard this whole week.

Lily doesn’t like me with a beard but she’s in Mumbai. So there.

I’m still not sleeping well. It’s making me a little disorientated.

Saturday Day 6!/jan_dembowski/status/180972846791659520

Where am I? How did I get here?

I seem to be in charge of some sort of military camp. My two underlings aren’t like me; I think they’re part of the local native population.

The resentment that these “children” are harboring for me is intense. They can’t seem to be able to follow instructions and keep asking for the previous Administrator.

I keep telling them “I’m in charge and that’s that!” but it’s just not placating them.

I may need to implement a more strenuous process and procedure.

At work we are trained that with the correct process documentation anything is possible. And with that process a lack of accountability is successfully achieved.

That must be true, that’s what the compliance and audit people say.

Sunday Day 7!/jan_dembowski/status/181320558657544194

I’ve begun to gather evidence of the crimes being perpetuated against my lawful administration. At the moment it’s all circumstantial but as I am the judge and jury of the court I don’t expect any problems.

The natives are almost in full revolt. They keep complaining about the tasks that they are asked to do, something about “child labor laws”. I just don’t get it. They’re 8 and 10 years old and all I’m asking them to do is a little factory work.

Children have been working in factories for over 100 years. Everyone her has to pull their own weight and I see nothing wrong with these people working till midnight to help pay the bills.

This great nation of ours doesn’t run on good wishes you know. How can I run a benign dictatorship without money?

It’s all very distracting and just adds to my lack of rest. I feel like I haven’t slept in days.

Some other day later!/jan_dembowski/status/181673572547309568

I think it’s Monday. Yes, that’s right. 1,2,3,4… 8. It’s the 8th day.

I’ve been speaking with the natives and have brought up my “issues” with them.


I narrowed down the problem somewhat


I must calm down. That’s not me speaking, that’s just the result of the sleep deprivation. But-


Tuesday Day 9!/jan_dembowski/status/182132419711864832

It’s amazing what some sleep can do to your mood. I was afraid I was losing it a little there for a while.

But it’s all better now and I’ve come to terms with the disintegration of This Just and Divine Administration of mine.

You see, it’s not my fault.

The blame lies at the feet of my followers. They didn’t believe strongly enough and-

THEY ARE COMING FOR ME NOW.!/jan_dembowski/status/182151096754647040

Hello? This is Lily speaking.

Jan is a little bit tired and will be taking some time off. Nothing to worry about. With some rest and relaxation he will be fine.

The children are also well. They keep snickering about something but I am not sure what they are talking about.

Thank you for your continued support. It is good to be home.

So! 10 days left to my own devices

After much prodding I have finally convinced Lily to post to her own blog. That intense conversation went like this and took a lot out of me.

Me: You should post articles about what you are doing or topics you like. It’s fun.

Her: Okay.

Me: *blinks*

Her: That looks new. Do you know where I can find good technical support?

Right now she’s on a plane to India on a business trip and she wants to blog about the experience. It’s her second trip and I hope she takes lots of pictures.

Naturally I’m running her blog as part of my multisite installation. Picking a theme was tricky so once she gets the hang of WordPress I’ll encourage her to find one she likes.

You can take a look at her blog at

She’s going to be away for 10 whole days. To commemorate this event our son thought it would be appropriate to spend all night hurling. As a result of those shenanigans I’m mostly sleep deprived today and am amazed that I can even form complete sentences.

Although run-on sentences don’t seem to be a problem for me right now.

10 days. This maybe a good time to order a Olympus 35 RC or XA rangefinder camera…

Old content! Now in 3D!

The guys over at Wired re-published their old review of The Phantom Menace but with a difference. Using CSS and duplicating the content they were able to apply a 3D effect.

It’s readable if you have the glasses. And of course, I do have 3D glasses.

Naturally, I tried to do the same just for giggles. I was able to duplicate the content in both red and blue, but the entire container div uses “position: relative” so the height needed to be set manually.

That can be read as: I haven’t figured out the CSS to dynamically overlay text content on top of each other without the comment box sitting on top of the text. I can’t do it the same way as they do at Wired.

Google to the rescue! To get the effect I wanted, I’m using CSS to color the paragraph fonts a shade of blue while making the offset text-shadow red. For links I reverse that so they look different. It’s not a lot of CSS and if you apply it you better have your glasses ready. It’s easy to do but probably doesn’t work right with old browsers.

Forget old browsers. I opted for this simpler method and put the solution into a plugin.

The plugin inserts the necessary CSS into the head and when a post is tagged “Phantom 3D” the_content gets wrapped in a div  with the CSS class “redblue-text”.

Here’s the “Now in 3D!” part

  1. Download, install, and activate a copy of my plugin. It’s a zip archive with one file in it.
  2. Find an old post on your blog and edit it just by adding the tag “Phantom 3D” to the post. The spelling and case are important, the P and D have to be capitalized in the tag or this wont work.
  3. Poof! You’ve just brought new life to an old subject.

For purposes of readability I have not put that tag on this post. Not everyone has 3D classes by their PC.

But I do have an old post titled Adding Slimstats to WordPress from 2007 and that’s a good candidate.

The info in that post is horribly outdated (I mean come on, I recommended editing wp-config.php) and totally unnecessary these days. As indicated today in the comments, there are just better ways to implement Slimstat in WordPress that are supportable.

But we all know that by adding 3D everything is improved. I’ve made that post new and exciting not by updating the content but by simply applying a special effect.

If that’s good enough for George Lucas, then it’s good enough for me. 😀

See? Life does imitate art

I’m playing with the basement wireless AP when I saw this popup on Twitter.!/gothamist/status/123033078770835457

Which of course made me think about Support Your Local Sheriff.

Pa Danby: If that gun had gone off, it’d of blowed right up in my face.
Jason McCullough: Now it wouldn’t have done my finger a hell of a lot of good either, would it? What can I do for you, Mr. Danby?

Officer William Reddin blocked the hammer with his finger (good thing too!) and I am sure the real life situation was more intense than James Garner’s version, but still I got a giggle out of the headline.

We are your typical American consumers

Sometimes you plan on buying one thing and end up getting something slightly different.

As part of my job responsibility, I provide support after hours. It’s not something that happens frequently because the first and second level support is really good. If a problem is escalated to me during my personal time, I don’t question it because I am treated as a last resort.

Last month I had a problem that started at Sunday 5 PM-ish and lasted till just after midnight. My home office line is a pair of cordless phones with old batteries and they kept dying on me. The rotten phones only had speakerphone on the handsets and not on the base station!

That was last month. This past week Lily had all day meetings and was working from home. The same thing happened to her so today we got a replacement at Costco.

Her: That model has a base speakerphone and a total of 4 cordless phones.

Me: Yes, that’s true, but we’re looking for just one cordless phone and speakerphone base station.

Her: It’s $65.

Me: Yes, but it’s got three more phones. What are we going to do with the other three?

Her: It’s $65. On sale. Best Buy’s would probably be more expensive and this one is normally $80.

So we got this unit. it’s a discontinued AT&T phone but it works well. I’ve put the three spares in the kids bed rooms and the guest room. I haven’t said a word to the kids, I wonder how long it will be before they notice?

It’s a neat phone. I kept getting “Messages available” even though there was none on the base station. It was from Vonage; the phone got the message notification that I had messages and was letting me know. Cool! The old ones never did that.

I must be on a Jon Stewart roll

Okay, if you follow Fox news and you buy into the whole “class warfare” nonsense, then you too are an imbecile. You can still watch Fox news (no idea why myself) but don’t buy the spin.

When Warren Buffet talks about closing loop holes, people should understand that he know’s what he’s talking about. He should be the sort of person Fox would listen to: self-made and wealthy. He’s a smart and very successful. So now he’s a socialist…? How did they form that conclusion?

Read up on it over at the Atlantic Wire. Naturally they have videos and those are worth watching. It’s fun to note that you can’t even talk about raising taxes with some people but they have no problem raising taxes on everyone else.

Postpartum compassion…?

Oh, that Jon Stewart. It’s almost like he’s coming right out and saying Megyn Kelly is a hypocrite.

The best line is this:

See this, this is the problem with entitlements. They’re really only entitlements when they’re something other people want. When it’s something you want, they’re a hallmark of a civilized society, the foundation of a great people.

I just had a baby and found out maternity leave strengthens society. But since I still have a job, unemployment benefits are clearly socialism.

What’s sad is that she’s not a dummy. Wonder if it ever bothers her?

Middle age? It took me forever to get here

As you get older, your habits change and you do different things. In the past I have spent a great deal of time building Linux servers and running my domain’s mail and spam filters, my own web servers for family web sites, ftp server, and sometimes hosting a game server.

Linux and open source software is cool and exciting.

This past week? I’ve been working on my own time preparing the pool for Sunday. Last year we opened the pool up for the first time on Memorial day and had a great summer. Since it was the first time the pool company took care of balancing the water, adding salt, etc. This year it’s all me and Lily.

It’s not a great deal of work (vacuuming was a pain), and the pool is really low maintenance. It’s just that I used to spend my time doing geeky things.

Now my geek tasks are actually managed.

  1. My domain’s mail is handled by Google Apps because I was spending serious time losing the spam battle.
  2. I update my WordPress site using the automatic upgrade feature while I weep for my lost SVN commands.
  3. I never host any game servers anymore and feel like I should yell “you kids get off the lawn!”
  4. My Linux distro of choice for my servers is Ubuntu 10.04 LTS because I got tired of updating Linux distros every 6 months.

My hobbies have changed too. I used to play PC games much more frequently but lately I’m more into photography. Unlike other family members, I’ve only gotten into this about 3 years ago. And my 35mm film infatuation is more recent than that, I carry an Olympus Trip 35 everywhere.

I still plan on working on my Gunpla collection, but I’m finding it funny how my spare time is being used. I’m not upset about it, but the observation makes me laugh.