Saturday, September 29, 2007

Canine logic

I've always wanted to get inside Watson's head. Finally a glimpse into his decision-making processes and inner machinations.

(Click the picture for a larger, clearer view.)

Come to think of it, this looks a lot like the circuitry of my own gray matter. All those fancy schmancy neurons are firing off their bells and whistles with three ends in mind: eat, eat more, and sleep. Guess Watson and I have a lot in common... makes sense that he's (this) man's best friend: we share common interests.

Thanks to Joe for the submission.

OK, I'm off to lunch. Then, maybe a nap.

(who's Khoi?)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Poll Results: 2 web surfers devastated; millions of other internet readers oblivious, unaffected

When asked how often readers visit the Land of Yajeev blogsite, 18% of poll respondents indicated that they check in more than 10 times per day. To these two diehards, I offer the sincerest of apologies for the dearth of bloggings in the past two weeks. I can make excuses: busyness, stress, travels… but I know that my readers hold me (as I do myself) to a higher standard of blogging fidelity.

54% of my readers check the site once to four times a day, and they have no doubt been dissatisfied (but surely not as disheartened as the abovementioned LoY fanatics) by my recent lack of blog-related activity.

27% indicated that they check the site less than once per day. These are the casual observers who stop by to check out the view. I hope you like what you see, and I wish you many happy returns.

Thanks to all who participated and waited patiently for the results.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What can blue do for you?

My wife thinks I like to get to work early in order to get more accomplished in the course of my day, but in reality, the most significant perk of arriving at work at 6:00 am is getting first crack at the freshly cleaned toilets.

Few workplace sights are more welcomed to me than the cool blue of residual cleaning fluid in the toilet bowl. I don’t have to wipe the seat with toilet paper, and there’s no need to mess around with those tissue-paper seat covers (which always tear or stick to my legs). Thanks to our faithful and always pleasant janitor, Jeff, I know that my rear will contact only the cleanest of porcelain.

B-L-U-E: that’s how I spell relief.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Eat n' fly

Blogging live from Pittsburgh International Airport... I am seriously regretting my most recent action.

Directly across from the gate of my departing flight is the deliciously tempting Wok & Roll. I had finished my (rather large) lunch not three hours ago and to the moment of my fateful decision nary a hunger pang had been felt. The aroma and the sizzle of chicken frying on the stove drew me in.

My head said that I was not hungry. My heart said otherwise. Like my brother involuntarily purchasing the exorbitant gym membership from the comely young saleslady, I heard my voice placing an order for General Tso’s chicken with spicy rice noodles and watched as my hand extended a credit card to the lady behind the counter. It was an out-of-body experience: I had no control over myself.

I carried my fresh chicken to the table, sat down, and opened the styrofoam container. I was not hungry, yet the hand which had involuntarily volunteered my credit card was now shoveling forkfuls of chicken n’ noodles into my mouth. “No, no, no,” I tried to will my hand back to the table. It would have none of it.

By the time I had consumed nearly 2/3 of my unnecessary dinner, I felt ill. Finally my hands obeyed my mind and, reluctantly, closed the chicken and carried it to the trash can where it, with great resistance, dropped the remains of the meal.

I am now sitting at the gate, feeling overstuffed and sorry for myself... and sweating General Tso’s sauce.

My plane boards imminently. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

So jump.

We recently vacationed with my wife’s family in Dale Hollow, Tennessee. Her folks had rented a cabin and a speedboat on the lake. Most of our days were spent motoring along in the boat, water skiing, tubing, swimming, and fishing.

On day four, we happened upon a cliff face on water’s edge. Ascending in a stepwise arrangement were four perches from which swimmers of increasing bravado could jump into the drink. Normally, the ledges would be approximately 1, 10, 20, and 30 feet above the lake surface, but in this summer of drought and fallen water levels, one could legitimately add 10 feet to each height.

I had been unable to impress the in-laws with any sort of water skiing ability (pictured at right is about as far as I got on water skis).

And, while my tubing had been the source of much laughter and amusement, there was no skill or bravery involved. I decided I’d show the family-in-law what I was made of by jumping off the successively higher perches.

I climbed the first and jumped in, toes first, graceful as ever. No one seemed to notice or be impressed, so I mounted the second step and before I had time to consider what I was doing flung myself into the lake. I popped to the water surface to a few muffled “ooh”s and “ahh”s. Not satisfied by the underwhelming accolades, I scaled the third and penultimate peak. This time, I looked down to 30 feet of elevation between me and the glassy sea and felt my heart momentarily visit my throat. I paused. “Are you really going to do that?” my wife asked. That was the impetus I needed—doubt. Without another thought I leapt from the step and actually had time while I was midair to think about myself falling, flailing before: SMACK. I had tried to keep my body as rigid and toes-down as possible, but in the course of 360 or so inches, my body had managed to rotate about my pelvis such that a pseudo-belly flop resulted.

“Way to go,” my wife said. “Wow,” said some other family member… maybe it was my father-in-law… maybe it was my sister-in-law… I had no time to revel in my own derring-do; in my periphery, I spied a descending body-shaped object descending from on high. Splash! Buoyed up by her life jacket, my mother-in-law popped to the surface. She had jumped from the 40-foot perch.

I had been outdone. “Woohoo, Mom!!!” shouted my wife. “That was amazing,” my father-in-law praised her. Whatever street credibility I’d achieved by jumping 30 feet had completely vanished with my mother-in-law’s 40-foot leap of glory.

“Wow, that hurt,” she said after regaining her composure. But I didn’t have time to let those words sink in. I was scaling the crag. I rushed to the peak from which she had jumped, but when I looked over the edge I had second thoughts. From the water, my wife and in-laws expressed their misgivings. “Honey, please don’t do this,” my wife importuned. “Yeah, it really wasn’t even fun,” my mother-in-law chimed in. “It just hurt.”

I stood, teetering on the edge, legitimately frightened by the distance. “People break their necks jumping from that height,” my father-in-law shouted up to me. I nearly backed down, when, after a few minutes of consideration and reconsideration, my mother-in-law appeared behind me. “I’m going again,” she said, smiling.

“I thought you said it wasn’t fun.”

“Well, it wasn’t that much fun, and it hurt, but now that I’ve done it once, I think I can do it right.”

“Oh, ok.”

I deferred to her, and she jumped again off the cliff.

I stepped forward again but was talked down by my wife. “Please, honey, you might hurt yourself.” In a moment, my life flashed before my eyes, and I acquiesced. I gave in. I punked out. I descended the cliff face, slipped into the water, doggy paddled in place for some time, tail between my legs, as my mother-in-law claimed the glory I sought after.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chinese may not be my love language...

Refilling my coffee cup in the break room the other day, I encountered two lovebirds mid-conversation at the lunch table. The individuals here described were Chinese scientists who work on my floor. The young lady spoke too fast for me to comprehend (not to mention in Chinese), but I understood everything that came out the fellow’s mouth. I loitered by the coffee pot to catch a snippet of their exchange, which I relay to you here. (Apologies for my incomplete command of the Chinese tongue.)

Girl: …在世界的悠久的历史, 仅几个世代被授予了保卫的自由的角色在它的小时最大危险。

Boy (looking down at his lunch): Uh huh.

Girl: 我不小腿从这个责任-我欢迎它。 我不相信其中任一我们会交换地方与其他人或其他世代。

Boy (turning the page of a magazine in front of him): Mmmmm.

Girl (with feeling): 能量,信念, 我们给这努力带来的热爱将点燃服务它的我们的国家和所有 -- 并且焕发从那火可能真实地点燃世界。

Boy (sipping water): Ah.

Girl: 然后美国公民们: 问没有什么您的国家可能为您做-问什么您能为您的国家做。

Boy (looking down at the magazine, nodding): Mm hmm.

Girl (hands waving): 同胞们世界: 问没有什么美国为您将做,但什么我们可以为人自由一起做。

Boy (turning another magazine page): Uh huh.

Girl: 终于,您是否是美国的世界的公民或公民, 要求我们力量同样高标准并且牺牲哪些我们问您。

Boy (lifting a forkful of noodles to his mouth): Uh huh.

Girl: 以好良心仅我们的肯定的奖励,以历史我们的行为的最后的法官, 让我们去带领我们爱的土地,要求他的祝福和他的帮助,但知道这里在地球上帝的工作必须真实地是我们自己。

Boy (wiping a noodle off of his chin): Mm hmmm.

Semi-engaged submissive acquiescence and noodle slurping: the universal (male) language of love.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Keep off the grass

Our grass needed to be cut, but I had been putting the chore off for some time (excusably so, in my humble opinion, as my ankle is still a bit on the sprained side). This afternoon, I was sitting on the couch reading when I heard the sound of a lawnmower in the back yard. I limped to the window and saw my wife mowing the lawn. What a gal.

I reflected on this and was reminded of the deadbeat lawnmowing men in my paternal genetic lineage. I have never seen my father with a lawnmower, and the quantifiable reason why, I am told, goes a little something like this.

My folks were newlyweds and had just bought a house. My mother, whose father had been the primary lawnmower in his household, expected my father to be the primary lawnmower in his. She made the expectation clear to him. Apparently too proud to tell her that he had never before mowed a lawn, my father obeyed marching orders and went outside to cut the grass.

Moments, then minutes of silence passed. After some time, it seemed strange to my mother that no mower noise could be heard. When she peered through her window, she was shocked at what she saw: my father, sitting cross-legged in the grass. He apparently could not get the darn thing to start, and was sitting with the mower, blade-down, on his lap, tugging at the pull cord with all his might.

My mother burst forth from the front door, shouting, “No! No! No! Stop!!!”

Thankfully, he heeded her new command and stopped what he was doing; for this I am eternally grateful. Had he been successful in starting the mower and gotten those blades a turnin’ above his lap, I would surely not be here to blog about it.

He has never again attempted to mow the lawn. Probably a good thing.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Poll Results: Pottermania sweeps Land of Yajeev…

…followed closely by Hendersonmania and hairdressermania.

When asked who their favorite Harry was, 35% of Land of Yajeev readers selected magical boy wonder Harry Potter, which isn’t all that surprising given the mega-million dollar ad campaign.

The real winner in this poll is Bigfoot Harry of Harry and the Hendersons, played by the late Kevin Peter Hall. You might also recognize Hall from his role in Predator and Predator 2 (he played the Predator). Even without the ongoing publicity and endless promotion, the hairy Harry’s following is as vibrant as ever with 30% of blog readers selecting him as their favorite.

25% of Land of Yajeev readers chose my wife’s hairdresser Harry as their favorite. Good choice. And, no, I have not logged onto my own site from five different computers to vote for her hairdresser. Although, honey, if you are reading this, your hair looks as lovely as ever. Thanks to all who voted for Harry the Hairdresser, from the bottom of my heart.

“Give ‘em hell” Harry S. Truman was the favorite Harry of 10% of poll respondents. The buck stops here!

Bringing up the rear of vote getters were the multi-talented Harry Shearer (actor and voiceover artist) and Harry Anderson (actor and sideshow magician). Each received 5% of the votes (i.e. one apiece).

Speaking of magicians, Harry Houdini did not receive a single vote. It seems he has disappeared into relative anonymity, at least among Land of Yajeev readers.

If you’re doing the math, you’ll notice that the total value adds up to 110%. Before you cry "Fuzzy math!" or "Election fraud!" and demand to have the voting machines and chads checked, remember that voters were allowed, in this poll, to make more than one selection. n=20.

Thanks for voting!