Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Conversations while Married

(Walking home after running errands with an hourly-rental van.)
Frage: "Look at that one guy, no headlights on at 9 at night!"
UIM: "I refer you back to our earlier conversation: there's a$$#0le drivers everywhere; no sense getting offended by them."
Frage: "Look: I point out dogs when I see them; I point out a$$#0les when I see them.  This is who I am."
UIM: "As long as you don't point out dog's a$$#0les, I guess I can -"
Frage: (shocked by what she thought she heard) "What about putting on tassels?"
(UIM starts cackling and gasping for air - stops and cackles very loudly, slapping his knee, for most of a minute.)
(UIM looks up at Frage, solemnly staring at him, and he cackles some more.)
UIM: "No, I said - As long as you don't point out dog's a$$#0les -"
(Frage starts cackling, as they start walking again.)
(A few minutes later, Frage and UIM pass a woman carrying a tiny dog.)
Frage: (smiling at woman) "He's so tiny and cute."
(A moment passes.)
UIM: (leaning in to Frage) "Now, please do not point out the dog's a$$#ole."
(Frage surprise laughs, then regards UIM worriedly.)
Frage: "Go on, say 'a$$#0le' a little louder. People will -"
UIM: (louder) 'A$$#0le A Little Louder."
Frage: "Seriously, in public?  People get offended by that.  This time it was an innocent woman carrying a chihuahua, but what if a gang member thought you were -"
UIM: (cop voice) "Against the wall, please, I need to search you for chihuahuas."
Frage: "What?"
UIM: "Hey, you're the one who said gang members would be carrying chihuahuas..."
Frage: "No!"
UIM: (cop voice) "We believe there's gang involvement smuggling unlicensed chihuahuas from Indiana, where chihuahua ownership is less regulated."

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Repressed Anger - Long Distance Banking Edition.

"Wow, I can actually feel my Dad's  spirit rising out of me now -"
(Switches to Aggrieved Dad voice)
"I don't know why I gotta ask the same question five times to get one answer.  I don't know why I gotta ask the same question ten times to get an ACCURATE answer.  But if THAT'S the way you want to run this clown car, all right."
(Back to normal voice.)
"Of course, that was not an accurate Dad quote.  There was nowhere near enough profanity.  F-bombs would have been falling like spring raindrops."

Monday, April 16, 2018

from the back files: data gnomes

An e-mail chain from Oct 2009.

UIM: Well, the morning full symbol database load should be happening soon, so maybe some magic will happen, and the suspiciously-merry data gnomes will carry the symbol into the editing interface.

Developer: Didn't anyone tell you? The IBDG Local 334 is on strike. We've been trying to hire scabs, but the gnomes hired bridge trolls to keep anyone from breaking the picket line.

UIM: I had wondered why a wav file of “Joe Hill” launched when I opened the editing interface this morning.  Apparently, we never loaded the reagan32.dll to prevent this sort of thing.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

from the back files: sharing one's emotions at work.

From: UIM
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 3:06 PM
Subject: sharing one's emotions at work.
"If only we can modulate the waves of depression that UIM emanates, so that we can encode information.  Expect to be used as an inbound NIC when the devs are ready to test the TCP/BLAH protocol. "

(Current note: writing it today, I might name it the TCP/BPD protocol.)

When that doctor asked me, 'Son, how'd you get in this condition?'

Last summer, while at a cousin's wedding weekend, I was talking with my brother, Shell, and quoted myself, "I accept that we come from the 'hold my beer and watch this' demographic."
Shell: "F**k that, I'll do it one-handed. I'm not letting anyone touch my beer."
UIM: "Hm.  Yeah.  That is more accurate to our family traditions."

Bears and popes and such

Two different conversations within the last year.


(Sitting at home, while my wife, Frage, points out I may have gone too far with my humor.)
Frage: “But you just had to poke the bear with a short stick.”
Frage: (UIM voice) “Well, why did you bring a bear here to begin with?”
Frage: (different voice) “Well, there’s no sign saying bears aren’t allowed.”
(UIM cackles.)
UIM: “See?  Isn’t fun to do both sides of the argument?”
Frage: “When I do it, yes.  Not so much when you do it.”


(Riding in the car on the way up to the suburbs.)
Frage: “You’re wrong.”
UIM: “Wait? Am I in a forest?”
Frage: “I don’t know.  Do you see a pope sh*tting?”
UIM: “I see a bear in a pope hat.”

Note: The "If a man speaks in the forest" joke is one of the first jokes my wife told me after we started dating.  Hence, it's more "couple shorthand" and less "UIM really believes that crap."

Truths and useful phrases from a previous boss.

"Thank you for your two cents, but I'm afraid you've got change coming back."

"Go sell that crazy somewhere else."

"If the high point is the tree catching on fire, then I just won't bother with Christmas."

"Yeah, that's it - we smoked the pooch right there."

"I don't want anyone horizontal on those couches.  When people go horizontal, stuff starts coming out of them."

This happens two or three times a day at work...

... as I make mistakes.

Me: "What are you doing, UIM?"
Me: "F**king up."
Me: "Okay, as long as you know what you're doing."

(Yes, it's kind of a Heathers reference.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Coining words at work

Other Team's Lead: “You coined the word ‘suckage’ today.”
UIM: “I did?”
UIM: “Was this when I blanked out while talking to {The Head of the Development Group here}?”
Other Team's Lead: “I do that all the time.”
UIM: “No, I mean, literally, I have no recollection of that five minute slice of time.”
Other Team's Lead: “You said, ‘Everything sucks!  The suckage is everywhere!’ “
UIM: “Thank you.”

Friday, November 03, 2017

Workplace environmental variables

For whatever reason, during a discussion with the team's project manager:

Project Manager: "Just don't do the Time Warp dance."
UIM: "But, {name}, it's just a jump to the left."

Within a minute, he IMs me the lyrics.

Prompting my response via IM:
"Yeah, I know the lyrics.  Strangely enough, I was not going to utter the phrase 'pelvic thrust' at work until I was forced to do so by circumstances outside my control."

Saturday, September 09, 2017

She does have to remind herself that she chose me out of the herd...

During a conversation:
Frage: "You're missing the point, yet again."
UIM : "I prefer to think of it as, avoiding the point, with the skill of a matador."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


A: “We tried instituting a talking stick for the daily outage meeting.”
B: “Well, that method doesn’t work for every group meeting.”
A: “Yeah, the problem was that Ops viewed it more as a ‘talking bo-staff’ or ‘talking quarter-stave’, depending whether they were watching more Asian martial arts movies or Robin-Hood-type movies recently.”
B: “So, management took the stick away.”
A: “Well, more that Ops insisted on upgrading to a ‘talking machete’, so, at that point we just went back to the standard outage meeting format of sitting at a table with groups sullenly glaring at each other.”

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

from the back files: glass

From: UIM
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 9:59 AM
"You're not a glass-half-full person, really."
"I'm not even a glass-half-empty person.  The glass is chipped, and cracked, and has contaminated sea water, and someone is trying to pour it in my nose."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Another typical home conversation.

(As UIM rises from the couch, he knocks a pillow off onto the floor.)
UIM: (singing) "F**k you, pillow; f**k yoooooou."
Frage: (from the bedroom) "What are you cursing now?"
UIM: "Everything.  I am launching imprecations at the totality of existence."
Frage: (tired) "Awesome."

Friday, March 24, 2017

People Should Not Ask UIM for Explanations.

(After UIM makes a passing mention in a work e-mail.)
Colleague: "Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead?"
UIM: "Once while bored on Chicago mass transit,I tried to imagine a cheesy horror movie set in the area where I grew up.  Riverhead is the county seat.  It was easy for me to imagine mutant lobsters (caused by the Navy testing something odd out at Calverton) rampaging up the Peconic River and leveling Riverhead, before swerving south to crush the Hamptons in their buttery oversized claws."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Let's face it, folks, she's tired.

(UIM and Frage driving around, doing errands.)
(Frage is audibly irritated by a couple different pedestrians stepping thoughtlessly into the road in front of her.)
UIM : “You have to remember: These are simple people.”
(Frage chuckles.)
UIM: “The common clay of the new West.”
Frage: “What?”
UIM: “You know: morons.”
UIM: “Look, I either answer that, or, ‘Mongo only pawn in game of life.’  Quotes from Blazing Saddles are all I’ve got right now.”
Frage: “Thank you so much.”
UIM: “I certainly don’t think I can respond with ‘I think he said the sheriff’s near’ relevantly.”

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Freeze frame

(Frage is getting slightly frustrated trying to take a picture of UIM to send to his mom.)
Frage: "I have to take 7 pictures just to get one useful one."
UIM: "Well, that's how the good photographers do it. They let the subject be natural and just take the pictures they need."
Frage: "Yes, but you being natural is this frowny scary person that frightens small children and animals."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I don't recall the context, but she's not wrong.

UIM: "Now, sweetie, what's your default reaction?"
Frage: "Please don't use my default reaction to 99 percent of the crap that comes out of your mouth."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seriously, Stephen King writes novellas about trips like that.

(On the way back home from a funeral near St. Louis.)
(After a certain point, UIM gets tired of the GPS throwing out weird detours for no discernable reason.)
(UIM unplugs the GPS from the 12v outlet.)
GPS: "Do you want to turn this unit off?"
(UIM clicks the switch to turn it off, and chucks it in the back seat.)
(An hour passes, and Frage takes an exit to get fuel and stretch our legs.)
GPS: "Recalculating."
Frage: Is it still talking to us?"
UIM: "Yes.  I believe it is cursed, and trying to kill us."
Frage: "That's a bit far-fetched."
UIM: (dry) "Yeah. I'm breaking character."

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Heh heh heh.

UIM: "I love you."
Frage: "I love you too. We just said that. That's twice in one minute."
UIM: "Yeah, but I was 2 hours late, so I have to say it more often, so that it averages out."
Frage: "So, what: whenever I wake up, you're going to say it, just to keep your average going?"
UIM: "Well, whenever you wake up..."
(UIM grins evilly.)
UIM: "...before you put on your makeup...  I say a little prayer for you."
Frage: "Get out."
(UIM leaves the room, chuckling.)
(A minute passes.)
Frage: (calling out) "Now I have Julia Roberts in my head, damn you..."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


A: “What’s he doing?”
B: “Apparently, attempting ritual belly-cutting via a frozen ice cream snack.”

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


“He’s at his desk, holding a can of Coke Zero to his chest, rocking back and forth, and whimpering softly.”