Rubik's Cubicle

More vacation pictures are still on the way, but this was too good to pass up.

At work there is a tradition of playing a prank with somebody's office when they go on vacation. So it wasn't a total surprise that when I got back to work, I discovered that my co-workers had transformed my office into a "Rubik's Cubicle":

Rubik's Cubicle 1

Rubik's Cubicle 2

It's quite an elaborate construction job, with 4 double-sided walls and a "door" to go in and out.

Rubik's Cubicle Desk

Even the desk is covered in hundreds of stickers to make Rubik's Cube-like patterns. I'm sure they will be lots of fun to peel off..

Posted on March 31, 2009
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

Bad Sign

Paratex Pest Control pen at Red Robin in Redmond, Washington

Hmm, is it a bad sign if you're at a restaurant and the pen they give you to sign the check is from a local pest control company?

Posted on November 9, 2008
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

Bathroom Norman Door

At work one of the bathroom stalls' latch broke, so they put on a new latch. They naturally put it on backwards, so now the door opens outward instead of inward:

Bathroom Norman Door Outside

There's no way to pull the door open, so you have to reach up and grab the top of the door. It's quite the Norman Door now, because the handle's still on the inside, where you have to push to get it open:

Bathroom Norman Door Inside

Worst of all, it's the handicap stall:

Handicap Norman Door

For some reason people were giving me funny looks when I was taking these pictures inside the bathroom.

Posted on July 30, 2008
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Still Married

When I got my new car a couple of years ago I didn't get rid of my old car right away, so I had to add the new one on to my existing car insurance policy. A couple weeks later I went to remove my old car from the policy, but the insurance salesperson said that there was "something wrong with the computer," because my new premium would be much higher after taking off the second car.

After I waited on hold for a while, she came back on and said she had found the problem: "With two cars, you're getting the married rate, but if you go down to only one car on your policy, then you're a single male so you would get a much higher rate." I found that sort of amusing, and decided not to take the car off of my policy. Ever since then, I've been insuring two cars.

Last week I turned 25, so today I went to the office to see if I could get a lower car insurance rate. Supposedly 25 is the "magical" age when you suddenly become much less likely to get in a car accident.

I inquired about removing my old car from the policy, but again discovered that this would increase my rate. This time I was able to get some specific numbers:

Cost to insure '84 Buick + '06 GTI: $277 + $560 = $837

Cost to insure just '06 GTI: $945

It's interesting to see that insuring a 2006 GTI costs 68% more if you're single than if you're "married." Apparently getting married is yet another way to instantly transform yourself into someone much less likely to get into an accident. The best part is that you don't even have to bother with the hassle of a wife: you just have to buy another car.

Now I'm wondering: could I reduce my insurance costs even further by adding a third car? I suspect not: clearly if I had three cars then I must have had a kid, and we all know how dangerous kids are..

Posted on May 27, 2008
Filed under: Car, General, Humor, Random Comments

Yoda Head

My Yoda pez-dispenser at work got into a fight with a Darth Vader dispenser. Unfortunately he lost..

Decapitated Yoda Pez Dispenser

Posted on April 15, 2008
Filed under: General, Humor Comments


At work a co-worker got upgraded to a window office across the hall from me, so we naturally had to rig up an office-warming surprise for him.

ghost prank door

The shut door looks innocent enough..

ghost pops up

.. until you open it and a ghost pops up to scare you!

The idea was that opening the door quickly would cause the Angel of Death to pop up from the shadows and startle the victim. The bright yellow network cable probably looked suspicious as the door was opening up, but we had to make do with the supplies in the office.

Unfortunately, the prank was not a huge success and didn't really scare anybody, as you can see in the YouTube video below. We tried it out on various other co-workers and got similarly underwhelming reactions.

Posted on January 20, 2008
Filed under: General, Humor Comments


At work I made an apparently too-cryptic joking reference to the Total Information Awareness Program and John Poindexter, but nobody understood it.

I was quite disappointed - I had figured that most people would get it. I'm sure if it had been a reference to American Idol or Survivor more people would have understood it.. So sad.

Total Information Awareness logo

Posted on October 26, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Mr. Lightswitch

Mr. Lightswitch is angry because he couldn't get a parking spot today:

Mr. Lightswitch

I was hoping that the switch part would look like a mouth, but I don't think it really works.

Posted on September 25, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Eyeball Security Camera

As many people noted, the Eyeball Security System is very vulnerable to attack since it can easily be turned off or unplugged, rendering it useless. Little did they know, that was all part of the plan!

You see, the actual tripwire alarm is just a decoy, and is just one part of the whole system. Most people see only the alarm and completely miss the webcam conveniently positioned to catch them in the act of stealing the eyeballs or trying to disable the alarm:

Eyeball security system webcam

The webcam caught many people red-handed, though eventually its presence was discovered and disclosed to other would-be thieves.

Here's a YouTube video of the interesting bits of the security camera footage:

Posted on July 22, 2007

Eyeball Thief

Ever since finding his new home in the Crypt hallway, my Wallmonster has been repeatedly defaced, requiring numerous repairs. Now, I am sad to announce, one of his eyeballs has been completely stolen.

It's time for a Wanted poster to help catch the thief.

Wanted: Grand Theft Eyeball

Posted on May 31, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Watch problem solved

Needlenose pliers: is there anything they can't do?

Changing a Swiss Army watch battery

Unscrewing a watch

Flipping a lightswitch

Turning on a light

Eating a cookie

Eating a cookie

Playing XBox

Playing XBox 360

Washing the car

Washing the car

Posted on May 26, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments


Prize for the first person who gets it


Posted on May 7, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Jeopardy Typo

In yet another sign of the impending apocalypse, today there is a typo in my Jeopardy calendar.

Jeopardy Calendar Typo

Posted on April 30, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

How to open a Windows Vista or Office 2007 box

I nearly cut my hand while opening my copy of Office, and my brother just sent me a string of angry emails after banging on his Vista box for 5 minutes trying to get it open. So to prevent further pain, I present this guide about how to open your Windows or Office box.

First, rip off all the little plastic seals from the sides (This step updated 4/2/07 with a picture sent in by Erin (thanks!)):

Peel the sticker off
Next, you need to cut the circular sticker across the top using your trusty Swiss Army knife. Note: don't try ripping this sticker off, or else it will probably rip the 'certificate of authenticity' off the box as well. Pic:

Cut the sticker across the top

You might have to cut the sticker on both the front and the back if it covers both sides.

At this point you might be tempted to push in the tab things on the side of the box and pull it open:

Don't pull the box tabs

Don't do this, however, because these tab things are actually supposed to hold the box shut, so if you grab them you prevent the box opening at all. The trick is to leave the tabs alone and find the little recessed grip thing on the top of the box and pull on it:

Box top grip

The center of the box slides outward radially, so you actually have to pull up on it, which might not be what you expect. Once you do that the box pops open:

Vista box open

Alternatively, you could also read the little visual diagram of how to do this that's on the first little plastic thing you rip off, but that would be too easy :).

Posted on March 19, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Happy Valentine's Day, Angel of Death style

This one gets me even weirder looks from co-workers than the Christmas Angel of Death. So it's obviously a tradition that needs to continue ;). Next up, St. Patrick's Day Angel of Death!

From a psychological perspective, it's interesting to see that people are clearly disturbed by the juxtaposition of Halloween and Valentine's Day office decorations, but it doesn't stop them from taking some candy hearts out of the bowl 🙂

Valentine's Day Angel of Death

Posted on February 13, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

This week in Google

I'm always amused by the things people type into Google and find this site with. Here are some from this week:

  • seattle yuppie - Apparently I am the #1 search result for "seattle yuppie" (why.. why?).
  • bomb threats advice - My advice: don't search Google for random blogs if you get a bomb threat!
  • bugs in cereal - For some reason this one gets a lot of hits, which is scary.
Posted on February 11, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor, Random, Website Comments

Signs you might be a Seattle yuppie

  • #17: Your car has both high-performance racing tires and a ski rack, and you don't see anything wrong with that.

GTI ski rack

Posted on January 28, 2007
Filed under: Car, General, Humor Comments

Deformed fork

At lunch today I got a plastic fork that obviously wished it was metal instead. (ha ha, horns, get it? never mind..)

Deformed fork

Posted on January 5, 2007
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

Angel of Death gets some holiday spirit

At work I have a leftover Halloween decoration in my office:

Angel of Death box

I haven't thrown it away because I love how corny it is. "Pre-assembled, ready to scare!" and "Straight from the grave.." It's a no-name Made-in-China decoration that is obviously not made by a big company (i.e. "ScareCorp Inc. Angel of Death GXR 2006 Edition"). There's no company name or contact info at all, so they don't have to include any 'instructions' which are really just lists of warnings to avoid lawsuits ("Do not eat Angel of Death", "Do not set Angel of Death on fire").

Reactions from co-workers range from people who find the humor in it ("That's funny", "Hillarious"), to people who don't get it at all ("You're deranged", "That's sick").

This week, in the spirit of the times, I dressed it up with a hollyhat and some jingle bells:

Christmas Angel of Death

Posted on December 17, 2006
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

Time for a bigger monitor

It must be time to get a bigger monitor.. All the junk on my Desktop is approaching 30% of the visible area again. Maybe another fix would be to delete some of the stuff, but what fun would that be?


Posted on November 28, 2006
Filed under: General, Humor, Random Comments

Waiting for Wiidot

I don't know why, but this idea came to me while I was in the shower. Don't ask - I have no idea ;). My apologies to Samuel Beckett fans. (If you don't get it..)

Waiting for Wiidot

A tragicomedy in one act

A Wal-Mart parking lot. A bench. Night.

Estragon, sitting on the bench, is trying to warm up his feet.

(enter Vladimir)

Estragon: (giving up) Nothing to be done.

Vladimir: That’s what I’m saying.

Estragon: And might I inquire where you just went?

Vladimir: Behind the dumpsters at the back of the store, in the bushes.

Estragon: That’s disgusting you know.

Vladimir: Of course. But what else are we to do?

Estragon: You could wait. Like me.

Vladimir: Ah, how well is that working out for you?

Estragon: Not that well.

Vladimir: I doubt you’ll make it until they open in the morning.

Estragon: I have to.

Vladimir: It’s too much for one man.

Estragon: Suppose we gave up.

Vladimir: Now? It’s two in the morning; we’re half-way there. And we have a good spot in the line.

Estragon: What if they run out? Do we wait another week?

Vladimir: We don’t have anything else to do.

Estragon: So we wait until we get one.

Vladimir: Of course.

(enter Pozzo)

Pozzo: Cheerio!

Estragon: Are you handing out the Wii tickets?

Vladimir: He doesn’t look like a Wal-Mart employee.

Pozzo: The what tickets?

Estragon: Wii tickets.

Pozzo: You tickets?

Vladimir: No, we’re in line to buy the Wii, you see.

Estragon: ..and we thought you might-

Pozzo: In line to buy yourselves? I say, that sounds like a strange thing to do.

Estragon: Nintendo Wii.

Vladimir: It’s a game console.

Pozzo: A what? You’re making no sense.

Vladimir: I don’t think it’s us.

Estragon: Look, it’s just called Wii and we’re in line to buy it. At some point they said they were going to come around and hand out tickets to people in line.

Pozzo: I don’t have any tickets.

Vladimir: And you’re not in line?

Pozzo: No.

Estragon: Why are you here in the middle of the night?

Pozzo: How would I know?

Vladimir: You’re cracked.

Pozzo: Am I? You’re the ones waiting in a line to buy yourselves.

Estragon: No, the Wii is a gaming device -

Vladimir: Let’s just drop it.

Pozzo: Drop what?

Vladimir: Nothing, we were just confused.

Pozzo: I’ll say you were; I’ve never heard such boffo. Anyway, I’m off! Adieu.

(exit Pozzo)

Estragon: That was weird.

Vladimir: Maybe he’s been in line for a few days and just lost it.

Estragon: I didn’t see him when we walked by.

Vladimir: Or maybe he waited for a PS3 and didn’t get one.

Estragon: At least it passed the time.

Vladimir: It would have passed either way.

Estragon: Yes, but not so rapidly.

(Long silence)

Estragon: How much longer?

Vladimir: Still six hours.

Estragon: I’m so bored I could hang myself.

Vladimir: Do it.

Estragon: What would you do?

Vladimir: Laugh.

Estragon: I knew it.

Vladimir: Do you hear something up ahead?

Estragon: I believe I do.

Vladimir: I think they’re handing out the tickets for the Wiis.

Estragon: It’s about time.

(enter Wal-Mart Employee)

Employee: .. 52 .. 53 .. 54. (stops)

Vladimir: What about us?

Employee: That’s it.

Estragon: But we didn’t get tickets. Where are the rest of the tickets?

Employee: We only got 54 Wiis delivered. You’re number 55.

Vladimir: But the other lady said you had 75.

Employee: The day manager? She’s a little flaky. I counted them. 54.

Estragon: How could you only get 54? That’s not even a round number.

Employee: I just work here.

Vladimir: But we have to get one! We’ve waited all night.

Employee: We’d still have the same number of Wiis if you’d waited a year.

Estragon: This is crazy! Off by one.

Employee: You could try the Beaverton store. Or wait until we get another shipment next week. Sorry.

(exit Wal-Mart Employee)

Estragon: Should we wait?

Vladimir: Are you nuts?

Estragon: I will be if we don’t get a Wii.

Vladimir: You could hang yourself.

Estragon: (looks up at light pole) I could, you know. In fact, I think I will. (gets up, takes off belt)

Vladimir: Is it long enough?

Estragon: I think it is. (pants fall off)


Posted on November 20, 2006
Filed under: Games, General, Humor Comments

Tootsie Roll Sphinx

For the second year in a row, after all the kids picked through the mixed bag of candy, the only things left were Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Roll Pops. I sort of agree with the kids - they do get kind of gross after you eat about two of them.

So, what to do with all the extra Tootsie Rolls? I know what you're thinking, and I was thinking the same thing. Sculpt a sphinx out of them!

Sphinx 0

Sphinx 1

The Tootsie Roll sphinx sculpture

Posted on November 1, 2006
Filed under: General, Humor Comments

Magic LED Box

On Sunday I was bored, so I built a box with some LEDs and mirrors inside of it:

Box Pic 1

It has blinking LEDs on the ceiling and a couple of convex mirrors on the bottom which reflect the LEDs and make it look like there are more than there really are.

Since it's dark inside the box, the blinking LEDs distract you from noticing the water nozzle in the middle hooked up to a squeeze-ball behind the box. When I activate the squeeze-ball it squirts you in the face:

Box Pic 2

I brought it to work and had moderate success showing it to co-workers. Many were initially suspicious of the weird-looking box, but I was eventually able to prank everybody that came by (except one guy who recently had an eye operation that I decided not to squirt).

It turned into a sort of a social experiment in how to get people to stick their faces into a box. I had some interesting observations:

  • People were much more suspicious if I said "hey, come look into my magic box" "what's in it?" "oh, you'll see.."
  • Instead, if I waited until they walked by and asked about the box they were much more gullible, especially if I said something like "oh, do you want to see the LED light show too? ok, let me turn it on..."
  • Everybody was expecting to get an electric shock when they looked in (probably because of the circuits and LEDs on the top). Nobody guessed that it would squirt water
  • It's probably a good idea to ask people if they wear contacts before squirting them in the face with water (of course that would ruin the surprise in this case..)

Here's a video clip with some highlights. I got a bunch of other people too but forgot to turn on the webcam in time:

Posted on October 7, 2006

Napkin Backs

In a comment on a previous post, Paul expressed confusion about whether napkins have backs. So at lunch today we took the following pictures in order to demonstrate the differences:

Napkin Front

Front side of a napkin

Napkin Back

Back side of a napkin (for doing calculations)

Posted on September 28, 2006
Filed under: General, Humor Comments



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