Guest Post By Gabby Crazy Squirrel

I was at grandma’s house last weekend, and there was a power outage.Turns out, it was a squirrel chewing on the power lines, and got electrocuted.We found out when my Uncle Brian came in saying,”There’s a dead squirrel that was chewing on the power lines.”When I heard that I fell on the floor laughing!That squirrel is nuts!Or at least was nuts…

You Want How Many?

I used to work near a little restaurant called “Rasta Grill”. It was this weird fusion of Italian and Jamaican food, and everything was absolutely delicious. We’d walk down to Rasta at least once a week or so and have giant plates of spaghetti with jerk chicken in the wonderfully bizarre atmosphere.

Well, we always suspected that some of the employees perhaps took the Rasta theme a little far, and occasionally partook of Jamaica’s other famous export. Our suspicions grew one day:

Us, ordering: …and an order of garlic bread.
Cashier: [writes “GBR” on the ticket, but draws the “G” almost like a “6”]
Cook, taking ticket: OK…. hey, what’s “6 B R”?
Cashier: That’s a “G”. It’s garlic bread.
Cook: [long, confused pause] And they want 6 of ’em?

Winning By Any Means

I was walking through our house when I saw Jake. He was watching me stone-faced with eyes open wide and bugged out. In our house, that means one thing – staring contest. I returned the stare as I walked nearer and bent closer to his level.



Until he reached up and poked me in the eyeball and yelled, “you blinked! I win!”

Yeah, he got me: I definitely blinked. I think I can still see his fingerprint on my cornea.

Becoming Unrooted

So, I forgot my root password. For non-technical types, that’s pretty much the key to the kingdom when you need to get full access to a computer, or install new software, or to make backups, or to fix something in an emergency. I use this little program called “sudo” all the time that lets you do most of the same things except with your own password. I guess it’d been so long since I’d actually needed that root password that it just slipped my mind. Still, I felt pretty dumb and resigned myself to coming up with a new one and resetting it on all the computers I use.

So, this morning something came up where I really needed that password, and without thinking I picked up a keyboard and mashed it out. It worked. “Oh joy,” I though. “I’ll just do it again and pay attention to what I’m typing.” Except that try as I might, I just can’t type that password if I’m consciously thinking about it.

This has not improved my outlook on an upcoming birthday in the slightest.


In our household, a baby just ain’t a baby without an appropriately geeky birth announcement. And since Nick is mostly functional – I mean, he can’t exactly type yet – this one is in Lisp. Share and enjoy!

; This program forks().  That should be plenty for a few years' entertainment
; Copyright (C) 2007 Kirk & Jennifer Strauser

; This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
; it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
; the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
; (at your option) any later version.

; However, the output of this particular instance shall remain
; exclusively licensed to the authors for a period of up to eighteen
; years.

; $Id: baby.lisp 4 2007-09-05 23:18:12Z kirk $

(require :sb-posix)

(defvar *birthtime* (encode-universal-time 0 20 1 1 9 2007))

(defvar *age* (- (get-universal-time) *birthtime*))

(defun hello ()
  (format t "Hello, world!  My name is Nicholas Arthur Strauser and this is ~
my ~:r day!~%" (ceiling (/ *age* 86400))))

(defun labor ()
   ((zerop (sb-posix:fork)) (format t "Ouch!~%"))
   (t (hello))))

(defun wait ()
   ((< *age* 0)
    (sleep (- *age*))
    (setf *age* 0)
   (t (hello))))


Strangers In The House

On Tuesday evening, August 24, 2004, I left my wife and three young children (ages four, three, and sixteen months) at home for a couple of hours to go to a Lodge meeting. About an hour after I left, Jen put the kids to bed and sat down at the kitchen table to eat a bowl of ice cream and work a crossword puzzle.

After a few minutes, she heard a sound coming from the general direction of the utility room, which is adjacent to our dining room, but she guessed that our Boston Terrier might have been sleeping in there and making dog sounds. When she heard the noise again, she got up to check it out. Just as she stepped into the utility room and looked at the sleeping dog, she heard a voice coming up from the basement stairs that open into that room:

“Don’t mind me – I’m just hanging around.”

Jen screamed, ran into the kitchen, grabbed her cell phone (in case the intruder had cut the phone lines), dashed into the nursery, grabbed our sleeping baby, sprinted into the room of our two older kids, slammed and locked the door, and called the police.

In a state of near panic, she told the operator that there was someone in the house, and to please send a policeman quickly. The operator kept her on the phone to make sure that she and the children were still safe, and in almost no time four cars had arrived from the Norfolk Police Division. After a quick sweep around the house with guns drawn and a police dog in tow, the operator told Jen that the yard was clear, and asked her to open the door for the policemen to come inside.

When she did, four officers dashed into the house with guns drawn, and quickly went through every room in the ground floor while Jen ran back into the kids’ bedroom to try to calm them down. Then, they moved toward the basement.

After a few minutes, a policeman told Jen that he thought they’d found the problem, and asked her to come with them. As they started down the basement stairs, he asked if we had some weird kind of video game. Jen said that she didn’t think so, but wasn’t sure why he was asking. As they rounded a corner and entered the back of the basement where we have our entertainment center, she saw him – the “intruder”. Our babysitter had left our DVD player turned on, and the kids had been watching Disney’s “Snow White”. Now, when you insert a DVD, it will often play a little video loop until you decide whether to watch the movie, turn on subtitles, or listen to it in French. In this case, that video loop happened to be the witch’s Magic Mirror hanging on the wall and saying such clever things as, you guessed it:

“Don’t mind me – I’m just hanging around.”

That’s right. My wife had been terrified out of her skull and called the police on a minor character in a Walt Disney movie. Now, let me clearly state that I don’t blame my wife for a bit of what happened. If I had been home by myself, and I heard a voice coming from my dark basement (especially a voice specifically meant to scare kids), I might’ve done the same thing. Fortunately, the police seemed to have a good sense of humor about the whole situation, and were very kind and reassuring to Jen. I really appreciate their quick response, bravery in the face of the unknown, and ability not to laugh until they were back in their cars.