Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

No exceptions

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Recently I was out riding my bike and I saw a car sporting this bumper sticker:
God Bless Everyone - No Exceptions!
All I could think was that the owner of that car must really like to use return codes for their error handling.

Sampling keyboard

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I'd like to write a piece of software which makes it trivially easy to record and instantaneously play back sound. This piece of software would be operated by holding down keys on the computer's keyboard. For example:

  1. Holding down 'R' records whatever goes into the computer's microphone while the key is held down and stored in the next unused buffer.
  2. Holding down 'P' plays back all the buffers at the same time (until the last buffer runs out or the key is released, whichever happens first).
  3. Holding down 'B' does both (with appropriate cancellation of the output signal from the input signal).

This software would enable a truly epic (and slightly shorter than normal) reading of the children's book "Doggies". For those unfamiliar with the book, there are ten dogs, each of which has a different bark ("Woof", "Yap yap", "Ruff ruff ruff" etc.). On the first page the first dog barks, on the second page the first and second dogs bark and so on.

With the aid of this software, the human reader/operator need only make each dog sound once. Furthermore, all the dog sounds would be heard simultaneously, making the immediate vicinity sound like a dog pound by page ten.

I'm sure there are other uses too, but this was the inspiration.

Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

Saturday, June 14th, 2008
  • When you are hungry, eat.
  • Fruit is good for you.
  • Eating too much junk food will give you a stomach ache.
  • Green leaves can cure all ills.
  • When you are not hungry anymore, stop eating.
  • When you want to change yourself, hide away while you do it.
  • Anyone can become something beautiful.

Eric Clapton story

Monday, May 12th, 2008

A friend of mine told me this story a while ago. I have no idea if it's true. A friend (or possibly a friend of a friend) of his was a big Eric Clapton fan, but lived out in the boonies far away from any potential tour stops. But eventually he learned that Clapton would be playing at a (relatively) nearby city, and started saving his pennies so that he could go.

He managed to gather together enough money to buy a beaten up old car which (he hoped) would hold together long enough to get him to the city and back. After an epic journey he arrived in the city on the day of the concert and started trying to buy a ticket - only to find out that the show was completely and utterly sold out. Some tickets were being scalped, but for much more money than he had left. Dejected, having got so only to be foiled at the last hurdle, he wandered to a nearby seedy bar to drink himself into a stupour.

The barman asked why he looked so depressed, and listened with a sympathetic ear as the fan related his story.

Some hours later, the sounds from outside the bar suggested that the concert had ended and our hero decided that he should get back to his car to sleep off the drink before the long drive home. The barman enigmatically said "just stick around a little longer".

And he was right to - because shortly after that, Eric Clapton himself walked into the bar and proceeded to jam for the small audience there until the early hours.

Robot squirrel

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

When I first arrived at Microsoft I had a few days to settle in before I actually started work. I took the opportunity on one of these days to wander through the campus so I would know where to go on my first day, and to just explore a little. At one point on my walk I noticed a squirrel sitting on top of a fencepost staring it me, its eyes following me as I walked. I wondered (not seriously) if it was a robotic squirrel invented by the research department.

Bananas on the answerphone

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

My parents' answering machine used to live on top of the filing cabinet, right next to the fruit bowl. My mother eats lots of fruit so this fruit bowl is often overloaded. One time it was so overloaded that while my mother was trying to extract a piece of fruit, a bunch of bananas fell out onto the answering machine. Unluckily, the bananas happened to push the "record outgoing message" button just as my mother exclaimed "Oh, bananas on the answerphone". Then we had "bananas on the answerphone" on the answerphone (as the outgoing message, until someone realized and re-recorded the message).


Monday, September 4th, 2006

Yes, this is an entry partially about Steve Irwin.

I am now imagining that once his children grow up, they will go a mission to track down the stingray that killed their father and take their revenge upon it a la The Life Aquatic. I think that would be awesome.

Conversation between Gennie and I at the pet shop yesterday:
Gennie (looking at a big bird cage containing 20-30 brightly coloured budgerigars): Looks like they're having a cocktail party.
Andrew: Or a cockatiel party.
Gennie looks around for something heavy to throw at Andrew.

Hard news

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Conversation from this morning:
Gennie: I think Esme has an upset stomach - she ate some newspaper yesterday.
Andrew: Yeah, some of those editorials can be a little hard to swallow.
Gennie looks around for something heavy to throw at Andrew.

I've been thinking about some ways of motivating myself to write more stuff here. I have lots of ideas and half-written bits and pieces, but I think the trouble is that I'm a perfectionist and hate "putting stuff out there" unless I'm completely happy with it. This is also why it takes me ages to reply to email sometimes.

I think I need to change the way I think about this blog (again). Currently it's a sort of monster that I feel I need to keep on "feeding". Meanwhile I also have a personal website that I also hardly ever update (except for the photos section). I think what I'd like to do is to take some of the pieces I have written here and put them on my website, and then start updating my website on a reasonably regular basis with new stuff. This new stuff will also appear here so that you don't need to keep checking my website. That way my website will be something I can be more proud of (so I'll be more likely to update it) and the things I write will accumulate into an impressive looking list.

Mongol Rally

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

From that perennial source of entertainment, the Welcombe Village News:

3 people were banned from Turkmenistan for a year. 1 person was detained by police in Azerbaijan and threatened with a beating from a dwarf. This followed an incident with a cow.

Those guys really know how to have a good time.

A joke I thought of today

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

It seems that astronomers and astrologers have in recent years started pronouncing the name of the planet Uranus as "you're a nus" instead of "your anus" as it was before. I believe this is the first time that the pronunciation of the name of a planet has changed for this reason.

Watch out because you're next, Mars ("m'arse").