The Professor's Notes

Where my thoughts and your eyes (and now ears!) collide

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Beggar needs money for… Helicopter rides??

Posted by Steve Brady On October - 27 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

Back in the summer, we visited our daughter in New York, and Matthew and I saw this gentleman sitting ‘Pan handling.”

Perhaps there is a very good reason why someone would ask for money for a helicopter (oh, wait–”helOcopter”) ride to JFK–but wouldn’t a cab be more affordable?

From 2010_08_08

I also chuckle at “pan handling” while talking on a cell-phone, and having your Starbucks cup between your feet.

Speaking of “Pan Handling“–feel free to donate to this blog to keep this blog, and the podcast “Real Tech for Real People” moving along!  The donate button is over there on the right!

And I promise not to use your money for helicopter rides.

I am renting in a neighborhood that only recently has seen their Home Owners Association (HOA) really “energized.”  This group spent a good bit of their time fighting to get the roads paved and they finally won this 4 year long battle. 1

Once this hard fought and necessary battle was won, the HOA celebrated their victory, and opened up a Yahoo Group to the community to enhance communications.  Alas, this seems to have brought out not a spirit of friendship and community but one of sniping and backbiting.

Everyone has their own little petty concerns that bother them.  Of course, what seems to bother them the most are what their neighbors are doing with their own property, or with their cars in front of their property.  And of course, all arguments er discussions are brought up with the “greater good” at heart, the greater good being, of course “Property Values.”

Sounds fair, right?

Try this one.  The first comment (and I mean the very first comment) was that, now that the roads have been paved and it is easier to get into your driveway, we need to mandate that everyone parks in the drive and ban parking on the streets in front of their own home.  Oh, and if you have too many cars for the driveway–you need to park in your garage.

The battles have continued, over swimming pools, RVs, pets, fences, and all the various other issues that can annoy neighbors.  But despite all of this, one things remains constant:  no one wants to participate in a Democracy.  They want things to simply be “their way.”

As I mentioned I am renting, so I honestly have “no dog in the hunt.”  I couldn’t care less how things are for the long term.  I just enjoy watching this little corner of America play itself out.  So I have until now just stayed out of the discussions, and watched–and laughed.

This weekend after a rather lengthy back and forth discussion with someone having violated a “24 hour RV parking rule” by 48 hours, I finally offered up my suggestion.  The argument seemed to focus on two things.  First, one group was adamant that “these are the rules” and it doesn’t matter if you like these rules are not, rules are rules and must be followed.  The other group (to summarize) essentially argued that some of these rules are silly and the application of fines and punishments for silly rules is beyond silly.

So I stepped in and suggested that, here in America, it might be a good idea to put the various rules up for a referendum.  Let the community decide as a whole, through a vote, which rules are important and which are worth modifying or discarding.  Then, as we always do in America, live with the will of the people until the next opportunity to change the rules presents itself. {2.  The current rules were simply “handed down” as an edict from the builder when he created the community (remember the builder? Bankrupt and all…) The various members did agree to the rules when they moved in, but are these rules to remain etched in stone for all eternity? ]

Seems simple.  But nooooooo… You can’t change the rules.  The rules are the rules.  And of course, my FAVORITE argument was this one:

“The only people who would want to change the rules are the people who want to break them in the first place.  We shouldn’t give these lawless people a voice!”

SERIOUSLY?  Yes… seriously.  That was the response.  Um. Duh.  People who repeal laws usually do so to allow a behavior that had previously been made illegal.  Remember Prohibition anyone?

I could go on, recounting story after story–the stories are numerous and honestly, I am saving every one of them, hoping some day to turn this dysfunctional microcosm of America into some sort of Erma Bombeck style book.

In the meantime, I would LOVE to hear from each of you–do YOU have any HOA stories you can share?  Horror, humor or happy?

  1.  The builder of the community went bankrupt and, along with the issues surrounding home warranties and repairs, also failed to put the finishing two inches of asphalt on the roadways.

Remember Carter? Apparently not.

Posted by Steve Brady On January - 19 - 20094 COMMENTS

I continue to find it amazing that the media, and President Elect Obama insist that this is the worst economy since the Great Depression.  As I wrote previously, we are no where near the economy that Carter handed over to Reagan.  But lest my words didn’t convince, check out this great cartoon:

found at:

found at:

The Apple Wheel

Posted by Steve Brady On January - 9 - 20091 COMMENT

What will they think of next?

I of course, love the line (roughyl quoting) “I will buy anything from Apple that’s shiny.”

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Fun with iTunes

Posted by Steve Brady On February - 29 - 2008ADD COMMENTS

Ever want to listen to music, but just don’t know what you want?  Try a completely random, stream of consciousness playlist.  Go to the search window (see below) and type in the first word that comes to mind.  This will search all your songs for that word in the title, artis, and even in the descriptions.  Start the playlist, and enjoy what plays.  For an additional serendipitous variation, select randomize when playing this playlist.

BONUS:  Can you guess which songs were selected when I searched on “photo” and my library came up with these three artists?

The Blogosphere (was Purpose of a Blog?)

Posted by Steve Swartz On February - 15 - 20081 COMMENT

Full Disclosure:  I have been involved in my fair share of flame wars since I was rapping through a 300 baud acoustical coupler “back in the day.”   Have personally been the victim of some pretty scurrilous, underhanded, unethical, and somewhat disturbing personal smear campaigns.  [eg crossposting threads after removing the home thread; allowing the protagonist to edit the victims comments and republish in other forums without the victims knowledge, etc.]  I am here to tell ya though- today’s level of intolerance seems somewhat intense, relative to our freewheeling chats of yore.

Maybe it’s because- in part at least- we have morphed from the Newsgroups being a “Public Forum for Discussion” into Blogs becoming “My Private [unlicensed] Broadcasting Company.”

With ownership comes, well, ownership. 

Case in point:  So there’s this blog on the internet, topic not important to the point at hand, and a dialogue gets going, point-counterpoint style.  Apparently the arguments on one side of the issue start falling apart, and more posters started coming around to the alternative point of view.  It got re-e-e-e-eal quiet from that side.  [I guess they were hunting wabbits]

[wait for it]

Surprise! Someone took their ball and went home!  The Blog “owner” shut down comments for the specific thread- of course, after posting a snarky “it’s my medium” blast of pique.

It isn’t about “dialogue” anymore; it’s about “broadcasting one point of view!”


Care to guess which side of the political spectrum was engaged in (polite, reasoned) dialogue . . . and which side decided that tolerance with respect to another’s ideas had gone just about as far as it was going to go, mister!?

Well, o.k., silly question . . . we all know which side of the (artificially defined by the two-headed single political party in the US today) political spectrum is tolerant/intolerant of opposing viewpoints . . .

But putting that aside

Internet: Two way communication; or just another transmission medium for digitized vomit?


Scorch aka the other steve

Punk Music is a Joke… It Really is Baroque…

Posted by Steve Brady On February - 1 - 20081 COMMENT

Perhaps it was the time of night, or perhaps it is because I remember so fondly the renaissance of Baroque music in the early 80s. (Baroque, and Ronald Reagan but captivated the nation–coincidence?) Either way, I found this performance to be quite enjoyable which is a nice way of saying I really laughed out loud! To quote from youtube:

A comedian rants about how much it sucks to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D on a cello. Recorded live at Penn State, this piece by comedian/musician Rob Paravonian has been a favorite on the Dr. Demento Show.

Well, the next time he is at Penn State, I hope I find out! You should visit his site, too! So here–enjoy!

A Book Meme

Posted by Steve Brady On February - 1 - 20082 COMMENTS

I have been “tagged” by my brother to do a “book” meme.  The rules:

  • Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more (no cheating!)
  • Find page 123
  • Find the first five sentences
  • Post the next three sentences
  • Tag five people
  • Okay–so the book is Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies by Simchi-Levy, Kaminsky, and Simchi-Levi. (3rd Edition)

    Page 123 is the first page of Chapter 4–Supply Contracts, and it starts with a case study about American Tool Works (ATW). So, without further ado, the three sentences.

    The relationship between ATW and its distributors and dealers may take two forms:

    • Large Distributors tend to have a vendor-managed-inventory (VMI) agreement with ATW.  In this situation, ATW monitors the inventory levels of various products at the distributors’ facilities, and makes additional shipments as necessary.

    So there you have it.  Only my second meme (my first can be found here.)
    I would like to tag my favorite liberals.  Fleshy, Eric from A liberal dose, and then Dean Dad at Confessions of a Community College Dean.  Not that they will ever actually find out that they have been tagged.

    Liberals Battling? Say it Ain’t So!

    Posted by Steve Brady On January - 30 - 2008ADD COMMENTS

    You all might remember my good friend Fleshy or at the liberal blog Pressing the Flesh. Well, he found a great video where a Hillary and an Obama supporter duke it out in true name-calling fashion. It was–well, judge for yourself:

    An Internet Party…

    Posted by Steve Brady On January - 28 - 20082 COMMENTS

    Okay, so if we were to make websites actually be “people” this MIGHT be how the party would go down, eh dawg? 

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