At least you made it home alive, Terry.

Last night I prayed at the porcelain altar.

The Long Tail of the Ballmer Peak should never be experimentally determined.

I remembered that I spent most of my time in college, between problem sets, in a dynamic equilibrium consisting of an elevated state of inebriation and wishing I was dead.

…or maybe theoreticians like you should stay out of the lab.

Like one time, we decided to carol all of Caltech with the main verse of “Terriers are My Favorite Animal.

This is why you cultivate an abusively low tolerance for alcohol, Terry

After about two dorms it became, “Terry is my favorite animal. Terry weighs about 20lbs…”

Just make it end.

And by the time we finished at Ruddock House, it had pretty much become a solo: “I weigh about 20lbs. I help the aged…”

Please, please, I promise I won’t do this again.

That’s when J— got the idea that we had to protect all the eggs in the house.

What comes after bargaining?

We raided the place for all the “safe sex” condoms.

I shouldn’t have eaten anything.

Then we into every refrigerator and proceeded to individually condom every egg we found in there.

Was that just my liver that came out?

Yeah, I know it sounds hilarious.

Uh oh. This is the part where parts of your body haven’t been told there is nothing left to eject.

But imagine you lived in Ruddock House and needed a hangover breakfast and found all your eggs individually condomed.

Note to self: Alcohol is the devil.

I’m glad I lived in Page House.

I wish I was dead.


When geeks rule politics

From Chris Kelly’s article on Huffington Post:

One good thing about Hillary proclaiming her right to a four-day national non-concession? We’ll never have to wonder what it would have been like if she’d been elected and that phone in the White House had rung at three AM.


All your base are belong to us!!! You are on the way to destruction!!! You have no chance to survive make your time!!!

Can I call you back? I need at least a week for this to sink in.

(Personally, I’d move ZIG for great justice.)

Weird factoid. Back when this meme was first forming, you could type “All Your Base” into K-Mart’s website search box, and it would say. “Geeks like you also bought…”


As I mentioned before, everyone in my family but me is an expert at statistics. It’s hard to explain…

When my brother was angry that O.J. got away with it, my dad calmed him down by pointing out that in was a natural consequence of our legal system minimizing Type II error.

When my mom pointed out how unfair it was that her children were the highest rated teachers in their departments and she was the lowest rated in hers, my brother joked, “That’s just mean reversion, mom.”

I won’t get into how many times we’ve seriously argued about what the proper null for our discussion was…

Which brings me to last night’s dinner after Spontaneous Drinking Night, with my geek friends:


(Sometimes I think I’m living in an xkcd comic.) Also apologies to Benjamin Disraeli…and my family 😉


The child on the bus has just entered the quizzical-pointing phase.

Child: “Why are we stopped? Where is the bus driver, mommy?”

Mom: “Oh! I think she just stepped out to go the bathroom.” *laughs*

Child: “Why? She’s a big person and she’s wearing underwear.”

And I think to myself, How thoroughly practical—that kid will grow up to be an astronaut, for sure.

Signs your child was born to program

A friend broke the news that he has a second child on the way.

I was like, “Already? Must be the Irish Catholic in you!”

It occurs to me that now his first born has entered ankle-biting school. And maybe some of you have kids. How are you to know your child has a future in programming?

Well I don’t know, but I do have a story.

[The terrible threes after the jump.]Continue reading

L by the pint

Overheard over dinner.

Girl: “I’d like to order some expensive beer but I can’t finish it.”

Boy: “Don’t worry, honey, I’ll chug this equally expensive beer and help you with yours later.”

Now that’s love right there.

Family tech support

I’m preparing a list of things to do tomorrow, when it occurs to me:

I wonder if Larry or Sergei ever have to fix their family members’ computers?

If so, that’s got to be the World’s Most Expensive Tech Support.

I wonder how many six(or more)-figure-salary software engineers weekend as the family Geek Squad?


(I am sitting in a presentation on a web framework in our office conference room given by a former employee who is now a consultant. One of my engineers asks the consultant to give an example from experience where he had to modify the framework code itself.)

R—: “Yeah, that happened to me, you know when v was greater than 1 and you are going viral… you know when you are doing a blast? We had a couple sites hit over 40 million users, sure then we had to go in to the CakePHP objects with an optimizer. I don’t know if you still have that at Tagged, but back when I worked there and blasting those times it makes sense to optimize so sure I’ve done it before.”

(One of my engineers, not me): “What company did you consult for hit 40 million users?”

R—: “Umm… (long pause)…I was speaking in hypotheticals. But certainly… v greater than one… I’m talking about the slope, when that happens and a lot of e-mails… No, we’ve worked with some sites that had… umm… (pause) more than 10 million users and that’s umm… what I was talking about, built on Cake and we’ve done that for around 10 million, so it’s certainly doable.”

(I so wanted to ask what site that was with even 10 million regs.)

[Origins after the jump.]Continue reading