Author Archives: rocjoe

About rocjoe

Once a full-time software developer. Chances are if you've paid for a beer or a sandwich on any major airline in the past 5 years, code I wrote has reached you. I shifted to part-time software developing about a year ago, as a step towards a better quality of life. I still code but the 20-hour work days are a thing of the past. Lately I amuse myself by pretending I am a witty and insightful blogger. All three of those things ("witty", "insightful" and "blogger") are totally false. My promise to you: nowhere in this blog will you see source-code or technical speak. This is purely a blog for personal fun and discovery.

Mind those arrows…

Left-arrow: takes you to a list of all the reasons you get passed over for promotions.

Right-arrow: leads you uo a gymnasium with a chin-up bar and your high-school gyn-coach, ready to shout "encouragement" at you.


Air Conditioning… Not So Cool

A hot night, preceded by an above-average hot day. When its that hot, there’s no fun under the midday sun, so I worked through the day without looking up from the computer little over an hour ago. On go the shoes, on go the headphones and out I go to work up a little thirst before settling down with the west-coast baseball feeds.

Somehow, it might seem a little nice, going out for a peaceful late-evening walk but it just gnaws at me because it’s just a little too peaceful… There’s hardly anybody out there. Yes, it’s no secret that it is uncommonly hot this week. Very uncommon, but mild nights like this are better seen on the steamier side of the window and nothing could convince me otherwise. Thinking of the places I’ve been, the ones where staying at home is the least comfortable option makes for the best night life.

In Zanzibar Town, the days are so hot the stone buildings are still giving heat off in waves at midnight. Not that many would notice, everybody is in the park by the beach. Friends, buskers and hustlers would all agree there’s no better place.

In old Marrakech the center of the city is a giant public square that walking across at midday is what it must feel like to walk over hot coals, shimmering heat in every direction you look. But when night falls, the square fills up with these portable restaurant stalls, complete with seats and counters for diners. You pick the food you want to eat and watch the cook cook it.

Those are just two of my favorites. Let me put it this way by lining up a few points:

Activity #1: Typical Night, A/C-free Zone

Activity# 2: Typical Night, w/Air-Con

  1. Go someplace where cold drinks are served
  2. Meet friends
  3. Watch sunset
  4. Ponder whether to eat at patio restaurant or from stand beside shish-kebob cart
  1. Get home
  2. Check the temperature, lower it by five degrees
  3. Watch TV
  4. Ponder life in the rat-race

There’s no point trying to judge one or the other, but if I had the choice, if it was simply an option around here, I know which one I’d choose.

That’s all for now, I’m a slow typist and my beer is only going to get warmer with every extra word!


The Novel’s Coming Along, Gosh it’s So Nice of You to Ask

Yep. That novel is practically writing itself. Oops, did I say “practically” I meant “literally”, because if that novel is getting written, I sure as hell am not the one doing all the typing.

That’s right, I have fairly little time as it is to write, what with my one-man mission to finish every last game of Spider Solitaire. At this rate, I may get to complete this goal shortly before I die of old age. But you know, it’s wise to have multiple life-goals so when one of them doesn’t work out you can always fall back on another just as easily as falling for another Nigerian-banker-scam.

Most of the time I’m just waiting for the right moment to come along to put the finishing touches on that novel that I’ve barely started. Lucky for me I have a really clear idea of what I should be thinking while I write novels, when I eventually get around to it. yeah, I’ve go it all “up here”… I’ll be all like “I am so writing an awesome novel”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what Mark Twain was overheard muttering to himself when he wrote Huck Finn… check his autobiography if you don’t believe me. I don’t have to because I’m just that sure, but you do whatever the hell you like.

Sure, I know you tend to bump into me at the same Starbucks day in day out, but don’t you have anything better to do than to criticize my reliability and constancy? I mean it’s not like you’ve never seen me working, because if you did you’d know that working is exactly what I’m doing right now and that’s why you suck. That, and you deliberately threw out my empty coffee-cup. Now I’m going to have to buy another “Short Americano” or the barista is going to ask me to leave. Thank you very much for that.


Tips For Girlfriends: Keeping the TV Remote for Yourself

In most films people fight for world domination, my life is a fight for domination of the TV, tonight I am victorious! FEAR ME!

@Twistedlilkitty

Tip #1: The Old “Rope-a-Dope”

Tempt boyfriend to set down the remote-control by dangling a video game controller in front of him. Unbeknownst to him, you smashed the video game console with a golf club so it won’t play games or even switch on anymore. While he fruitlessly attempts to make the game console turn on, hide remote control (see tip #3). Other items that you can dangle in front of boyfriend to make him let go of the remote:

  1. Bag of chips
  2. Beer
  3. A DVD of “Slapshot!”
  4. Breasts

Try to alternate these items from one night to the next so boyfriend does not get suspicious too soon.

Tip #2: If Distraction Doesn’t Work, then Really Distract Him

With remote in hand there is only one thing that will cause a man to loosen their grip on a remote: sex (well, “duh!”).

So, after shagging him senseless with a senseless shag, gently prise the remote from his hand (I know he didn’t let go of it during, really we’re sorry about that but when you catch us by surprise….). If boyfriend still has his wits about him, attempt conversation to ensure he passes out cold before attempting a second time to remove the remote.

Tip #3: Hide the Remote for Later Use

Try putting the remote somewhere the boyfriend would normally never go near. A few good spots are:

  1. Next to a sink full of dirty dishes
  2. Behind the Smirnoff Ice
  3. The passenger seat of any car he might drive
  4. Directly on top of the washing machine

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

This article guarantees you access to The Good Wife, reruns of Gilmore Girls, that annoying movie with Julia Roberts and that other guy, or whatever other crap you like to watch, but why should I be doing this? Well, only once you have the remote for yourself can you possibly understand the awesome power and responsibility that we boyfriends try to shield from you every night. Heavy hangs the hand that carries the television remote. With a little first-hand experience I’m sure you will agree that your boyfriend must be King-of-the-Remote EVERY NIGHT FROM NOW ON.


Dick is Talking to You

Going to a restaurant with me is never dull… it’s not fun either, but at least its not dull:

Waiter: “Good evening, I’ll be your waiter for this evening… Dick”

Me: “Good evening, can you recommend the seafood here?”

Waiter: “Seafood is arse specialty!”

Me: “Fine, then… wait… did you say ‘arse specialty’?”

Waiter: “Bum?”

Me: “Did you just answer my question with ‘bum’?”

Waiter: “No, I didn’t hear your question clearly so I said ‘Hmm?'”

Me: “Sounded like ‘bum’…”

Waiter: “It must be Tourette’s Syndrome.”

Me: “You have Tourette’s? Well, I’m sorry about that-”

Waiter: “No, I meant YOU have Tourette’s.”

Me: “I… have Tourette’s… in… my ears?”

Waiter: “Precisely.”

Me: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all day.”

Waiter: “You should listen to yourself talk, it’s more ridiculous than you know.”

Me: “Whatever, Dick… I’ll just have the steak.”

Waiter: “See? There you go again!”


Grocery Checkout Lines and the Meaning of Life

Crackers… olives… coconut water… yep! Shopping list is complete. Breakfast of champions!

Wow, would you look at that? Only one register is open and it’s the middle of the day! What were they thinking?

This shouldn’t be too bad, I see I’ll be queuing up behind an elderly lady, some guy with a twitch in his neck, another guy who is extremely tall and skinny, a woman in a business ‘power suit’ and a mother with her toddler son. That’s just five people, I’ll be through this in no time.

…Gosh, that skinny guy is like really skinny. I mean really skinny. I reckon he makes a whistling sound on a windy day if he turns sideways to the wind current.

Great, the toddler is making faces at me, I would rise to the bait but I think I’ll just gaze at the magazine covers. Hm. Seems if you’re not getting cheated on, you’re getting pregnant or you’re pregnant but the father is cheating on you, or you’re pregnant because you cheated with someone else. Same stuff, different week.

This line hasn’t moved at all. What the hell… I mean I can see the cashier from here, she’s actually doing stuff, so why isn’t this line moving forward?

How many people are left? One… two… three… four… five.Huh, you know I could have sworn the kid making faces was a toddler, but you know he’s too big for that on second glance.

Ugh. Internet on my phone is broken. Bogus. Why does it always happen in the checkout line?

Look at that! I reckon twitchy-guy is going to lose it pretty soon. I mean he looks really agitated. Hey, did twitchy take a step forward since i last looked? Maybe there’s nothing left to get so twitchy about: one.. two… three… four… five. Dammit!

…Hey, what’s my eye doing? Feels like there’s a little earthquake going on there?

Toddler definitely not a toddler but a teenager. He looks old enough to be driving soon. How did I miss that?

Old lady at the front can’t get the hang of using the debit card machine. She’s entered her PIN wrong like 4 or five times now. Wow, look at twitchy! He’s going purple.

But never mind that, the young man in front of me just introduced his fianceé to his mother. Ooo! They do not like each other at… all!

Hey, what’s going on now? The old lady is getting her items cashed out again? What the hell?

Gosh, what well behaved grandchildren the lady in front of me has. Ah, that’s it, she’s placated them with candy bars.

Magazine rack looks the same as before. President Chelsea Clinton denies she’s carrying Justin Bieber’s unborn child. Oh man, I think the line is going backwards. The checkout line is actually going backwards now.

Forget this, life is too short. Lets go out for breakfast!


Another Glorious Spring Day

As I throw open the curtains today, I am greeted by a fine Spring morning: the sun shines bright, climbing up a clear-blue sky.

Oh look at that! A bunny! Out from your rabbit-hole are we, Mr. Bunny?

Well this is turning into one fine Spring day already. Wiggle your nose if you agree, Mr. Bunny! … my thoughts exactly!

And look over there, a squirrel has hopped into my perfect Spring picture. Go say “hi” to Mr. Bunny, Mr. Squirrel! Ha! Look at that, the squirrel is making his way over to the bunny! Never seen that before, how odd.

…Gee, that squirrel and bunny are just looking at each other, I mean really staring each other down. That really is kind of strange, don’t you think?

After breakfast I’m going to have to go for a nice long walk in the– hey, that squirrel appears to have some sort of object in its front paws… a very pointy object… Hey, Mr. Bunny! Take a step back! This is not time to be brave, just …step… off! Hey, Mr. Squirrel, just chill, it’s cool why don’t we all just–

OH MY GOD! MR. SQUIRREL JUST “SHANKED” MR. BUNNY! THAT IS SO MESSED UP!

Seriously, some days this neighborhood kinda freaks me out a little.