You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Earl Is in the House!

It's been rather a busy last week and a half, but the Fandos are at last home from vacation. First day back on the bleedin' job today (It's actually a good job, but I'd rather be writing this crap for a living..I mean, who wouldn't? I'm watching Python on the Beeb-American Style, also known as Crazy American Auntie, and I'm feeling quite jealous of the success that brilliant sextet has had. Memo to self - add two more writers to the blog).

I neglected describing the drive home, primarily because I'm legally prohibited by the Departments of State, Interior, and Motor Vehicles from disclosing the state in which I live, so as not to cause a general panic, as I am completely radioactive and transform into a massive, green monster when enraged.

All right, we all know that last part is actually the plot of every issue of Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk, as well as the Ang Lee film of the same name, in which the Hulk was, through the magical craft of computer generated imagery, as an enraged, green, John Goodman.

For those obsessively curious about such details, I will say that we stayed in hotel somewhere in Indiana and barely slept, what with all the kids playing basketball and driving open-wheeled motor vehicles into the wee hours of the morning. That and apparently Larry Bird is required by state law to greet each and every visitor to the state in person. I think they're shirking on this detail however, as the "Larry Bird" we met was only 5' 7" (or 6 inches shorter than me) and had a handlebar mustache. That and I beat him in a game of HORSE shooting only layups.

I plan to post more regularly, especially as we are expecting a massive new computer at the house any day now. I say "any day" because we actually have a boxed computer sitting in our living room that was delivered last week. I say "delivered last week" meaning that the computer was deposited on our doorstep while we were somewhere in Northern Virginia. In fact, if our neighbor hadn't noticed the large packages sitting in front of our door, it most likely would have wound up in the home of the person slowly driving their truck by our house. I say "slowly" because according to the neighbor they were driving along at a normal rate of speed until they got within sight of our house and the packages and suddenly slowed way down. I'm sure they could have been curious about why such large packages, stamped DELL, would be sitting out on the front porch on a day when the temperature was near 100 degrees Farenheit. Knowing our neighborhood, I'm also sure he was also curious as to how fast he could get them into his truck without being seen by the neighbors or police.

Our well intentioned neighbors prevented the theft by storing the computer in their garage. Unforunately, the inside of an unairconditioned garage on a hot summer day is about 1200 degrees (Celsius), and so I'm not particularly confident about the machine.

Also, I had discovered the early delivery of the machine when I went to call DELL about the shipment to have it delayed until we returned. Before I called, I decided to see if the machine had shipped yet and was flabbergasted to discover that it had already been dropped off. Furthermore, after contacting the overnight delivery firm (who shall, for legal purposes remain unnamed, except to say that the color of their vehicles is the same as the color of a foul smelling substance that describes the quality of their service on this occasion), the firm told me they had received a signature for the machine. After I suggested to them that, being over 1000 miles away, I nor my wife could have signed for the PC, they admitted that the signature was "unreadable".

The short of it is that they are telling the computer company that someone signed for the PC, and I'm telling the computer company that the delivery service are lying out of their pieholes. A new machine, to replace the heat-inflicted one is on the way (supposedly) and we will be shipping the old one back to the company via the same delivery service.

The most hilarious thing about this (that is, hilarious to an outsider... for myself, the sensation has been one of numbing waves of pain) is that, shortly after discovering the mishap, I checked my cell phone voice mail and sure enough, there was the drivers voice, calling me to ask if I was going to be home or could a neighbor sign for the delivery. So, a machine worth over $1,500 was left on our doorstep because a delivery driver (company?) didn't want it on the truck, after the first day?

As you may well guess, I'm looking forward to hauling the first machine out to the delivery I can drop it on the driver's foot.


Update: All right, I'm not really going to drop anything on anyone's foot (Satisfied F. Johnny Lee?)

More normal posting resumes tomorrow. Also, we hope to have a new addition to the DOUI roster sometime in the next week or two (if I can get him to actually sign on). So keep a lookout for a Mr. Linus Coconut.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

First annual panda naming contest...

Is over, and the winners are hereby announced. The two chosen as most likely to annoy panda lovers across the web are, drumroll please...... and for you who are Chinese, springroll please.......

"Bon Bon - Mmmmmm creamy panda filling." by Elizabeth K.


"Harold Abramovitz - enough with the ing ing crap already!!!!" by Dortmund H.

Congratulations to you both and remember the checks are in the mail, metaphorically speaking of course.

Update: Earl is back in town today and will be posting again shortly, as I had lunch with him only a few hours ago. He would probably be doing it now if his new computer hadn't been dumped at his house while he was gone on vacation. But I'm sure there's at least one post to that whole story.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's a BOY!!! That's the umbilical cord Mr. Simpson.

Ah, the classic Simpson's line which we all know and love. Turns out that Earl was on a working vacation after all and he didn't tell anyone. As one of only a handful of trained panda sexers in the United States he was appaently sent to the zoo to find out the sex of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang's progeny. I take it that is why he made the seemingly off the cuff remark about Ding Ding, which is the Chinese word for... well you get the idea.

With his work accomplished Earl is returning as we speak, if we were speaking, which we're not. But he is on his way back and I thought the best gift to give him on his return would be a name for the new little fella.

  1. Bling Bling - this one just writes itself folks.
  2. Wing Ding - he could do advertisments for word processing programs.
  3. Sing Sing - he can wear a cute little prison outfit. Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
  4. Long Dong - could have made Earl's work a little easier.
  5. Ping Pong - he would cause a resurgence in popularity for the game.
  6. King Kong - he could join Peter Jackson on the publicity circuit.
  7. Won Ton - mmmmmmmm won ton, sorry got a bit peckish.
  8. Tom Thumb - if he turns out to be a pygmy panda (is there such?)

This is where you, the reader, come in. I need a couple of more ideas to make it an even ten. Please e-mail any suggestions to me (please keep them at least as clean as The Aristocrats joke) at my e-mail noted somewhere to the left of this post. Thanks, and welcome home Earl!!!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Earl's on the road again...

Well, this short trip to Washington D.C. is almost over.

Saturday was monument day as we traveled to the major landmarks in the District of Columbia.

At the Jefferson Memorial I had great fun climbing on the back of the statue of Thomas Jefferson and yelling "Giddap!!" For once, the Park Police got into the spirit of things, drawing their guns and firing into the air repeatedly. Unfortunately, they winged Thomas, taking off an ear. He's being moved to the National Gallery's Van Gogh exhibit, but somehow, I don't think it's going to last.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was quite wet as I kept falling into the waterfalls.

The Lincoln Memorial didn't work out as I planned. Instead of sitting in Lincoln's lap (The Park Police at the Jefferson Memorial had called ahead to warn them I was coming), I had to settle for doing an impression of Abe Vigoda, of TV's Barney Miller, on the memorial steps. People didn't seem to get the connection.

We then went to the Vietnam and WWII Memorials. No jokes here. They were both quite stirring. However, I did notice that certain people took to wading in the WWII Memorial pool right next to the signs which said, "Please respect the memorial - no wading..." I recommend flogging.

The Washington Monument was as tall as I remember it being when I lived here in the 70's. We couldn't go to the top as all the tickets were gone. I fancied an attempt to climb it from the outside, but all that got me was a severe leg burn and the merciless laughter of a group of Japanese tourists. The flashbulbs nearly blinded me for life.

We also saw the White House and Marine One, the President's helicopter. I'm sure George W. waved at me, even though I actually missed the copter itself. The White House was as magnificent looking as I remember, but much farther away. At my age, the walking was brutal, at yet, I still fancied joining the games of football/soccer just off the Mall. It was all ladies though, and I gave up getting outclassed by women footballers 5 years ago.

Today was all National Zoo. I can say that you have not truly experienced nature in all its magnificent glory until you've had a massive gorilla break wind five feet in front of you. At least that's what it smelled like had happened. For all I know though, it may have been the sweaty large man well to the right of me.

The cheetahs were impressive, especially the mother with cubs, who had a slight run in with some zookeepers. The zookeepers used long staves to keep the cheetah at bay. This seemed to work only because cheetahs aren't bright enough to realize that they could easily sprint past the staff and bite the dickens out of these pale, slow keepers. Fortunately, it did not come to that.

We saw the giant panda, whose name was Shing Shing, or Ling-Ling, or Ding-Ding or something like that. He seemed as bored as the youngest Fando.

There was much more, but I'm out of time. I will leave you with one interesting fact about the National Zoo. They seem to have the world's largest collection of golden maned marmosets in the world, as there seemed to be a pen of them every other window in the small-mammal house. I suspect they may be running the place.