I lived in Venezuela from 94′ – 96′ and the Maracaibo sun burned a deep love of the place and the people right in to my soul.

I’m still regularly in touch with many people there, so it’s been absolutely heart breaking to watch the country implode and know so many people suffering.

Because he is my twin, it feels like Joe was able to suck memories and motifs right out of my brain even though he’s never been to Venezuela, and he wrote a song about the place that moved me to tears.

Your foot really will sink in to the asphalt in the maracaibo heat, and the enormous lake Maracaibo hosts a never ending lighting storm called catatumbo, which is a fitting metaphor…


Crossing the street leaves tar on your feet
Not even the pavement can handle this heat
It's a push and a shove for the ones that you love
But the stores are all empty again
If you don't want to break, you're gonna have to bend
There's a lightning storm that never ends
You can't say what makes you stay
With the border less than an hour away
It bulges at the seams with all your hopes and dreams
But you can't bring yourself to leave
So if you don't want to break, your'e gonna have to bend
There's a lightning storm that never ends, it never ends
If you don't want to break, you're gonna have to bend
Because this lightning storm never ends, it never ends, will never end
(Joe wrote and played the song, and his preternaturally gifted daughter sang it. )

I Love You Adrienne, Happy Adrienne Day!

Adrienne and I were sitting on the couch the other night choosing a movie to watch and trying to get Reese to go to bed. I was obviously coming down with something because I had a fever and felt miserable. I NEVER get a fever. EVER.

Adrienne and I were joking back and forth and, even though I was legitimately miserable, I was having a great time too. Reese begged to stay up late and hang out with us because he was absolutely delighted with how much fun we have together.

I can’t blame him; we have really do have so much fun together.

(Even when I have an absolutely unprecedented fever that means I had the flu worse than anyone has ever had it in history and I was so very brave about it and barely complained at all.)

I ended up coughing my lungs out a few nights in a row and tried to fix it by soaking in a tub at 3am after taking my codeine cough medicine. In my sleep-deprived and syzurup-addled state I had the stereotypical silly-stoner moment of thinking I had a profound insight about the meaning of life and then was totally unable to remember it. I tried to dig back through my thoughts and recapture it, but besides, “God probably thinks everything we ask Him for is hilariously out of line” all I could come up with was “Spend your time with your favorite and your best.” Which, thanks codeine, I think is straight from the kids show Charlie and Lola, but is really not a half bad attempt at the meaning of life if you let it sit for a minute.

Adrienne is definitely my favorite and my best, and I’m never happier than when I’m spending my time with her.

Also she is hot.

Take a minute out of your busy day and wish Adrienne a happy Adrienne Day!

Previous Adrienne Days

What is Adrienne Day? I hate Valentine’s day. It is a cheesy, commercial mess of a holiday. I can’t stand it. Adrienne, on the other hand, I love. So, when we were dating and Valentine’s day was approaching I decided to take control over my own holiday destiny and I invented Adrienne Day. I arbitrarily chose February 9th and we have celebrated it ever since.


At hospital for 6 month post spinal fusion follow-up X-rays. See an old guy collapsed against car in parking lot. “How can I help you!?”

“get wheelchair…” I ran to ER and grabbed wheelchair. Ran back and rushed him in to ER & up to checkin desk. “How can we help you?”

Barely able to speak, huffing and wincing in pain, he says “Did…I…leave…my…sunglasses…here?”

Do Not Set Sail, Oh Sailor!

My 6th grader brought this home from school yesterday. “I had some time after my math test and this popped out of my head. It’s a little dark…”

I’m a little confused why (and how) my 6th grader has Victorian sailor tropes popping into her head after math tests.

Do not set sail, oh sailor!
Do not set sail, oh sailor!

Do not set sail, oh sailor. Beware the seeping sin.

Do not depart on this acursed voyage, for the serpent will do you in!

The ocean yields up horrors, monsters waiting to pull you down.

As you sink, slowly suffocating, you begin to drown.

The water becoming our grave, you inch closer to death

The serpents teeth tear into your body, and you lose your final breath

So do not set sail, oh sailor. Beware the seeping sin.

Do not depart on this acursed voyage, for the serpent will do you in!

Bringing the Thunder

My 8th-grader banged out this poem in about 15 minutes. It’s probably the best thing you will read today.

Swiggity Swastical
My fake hand feels plastical

“But how’d you lose it?” you might wonder.
It’s story time, kids, and I’m bringing the thunder.

See, saving the galaxy’s my number one task
I fly between planets with an oxygen mask

Got in a fight with my evil jerk father
He cut off my hand, a five digit slaughter

“Rule the galaxy, as Father and Son!”
But my hand was gone so I felt done

I let go of that tiny iron pole
And fell like a rock through a high-up hole

Luckily my friend Lando caught me
Deciding to save me though before he fought me

We flew away in my homie’s ship
This was a really bogus trip

Then we went and chilled in a rebel blockade
That’s where my fake hand was made

So now you know why my hand feels dumb
But still, my story isn’t done

My homie Han got frozen stiff
And was almost thrown in a Sarlac Pit

But death never came that day
Main characters always find a way!

Away we flew at hyper speed
Freed at last from Jabba’s greed

Then we lead a final assault
The second death star had one tiny fault

We drove an entire ship inside
Launched some missles, “Open wide!”

The Death Star was reduced to pieces
Imperial plan had gone to feces

We landed, then, to celebrate
Stormtrooper meat is what we ate

Now you see why we are pros
Saving planets with my bros.

The Manchurian Candy

Swedish salty licorice is the worst candy I’ve ever had by a factor of 10. It tastes like hospital disinfectant, gunpowder, and the tears of chimney sweeps.

It’s flavored with ammonium chloride. Read this and tell me if this is a food stuff:

“The mineral is commonly formed on burning coal dumps, due to condensation of coal-derived gases. It is also found around some types of volcanic vents. It is used as a flavouring agent in some types of liquorice. It is the product from the reaction of hydrochloric acid and ammonia.”

I’m sure it’s an acquired taste, but one that must be acquired the same way the Manchurian candidate acquired his love of communism, or Alex his distaste for ultra-violence.

If I ever had to debate against Nordic Democratic Socialism I would just point to this candy and win.

If you forward this post to ten of your friends…

When email first really became a thing I would constantly get mass-forwarded emails. Do you remember those? Bill Gates wanted so badly to give me a ton of money if I would just help him track emails by forwarding them

“My name is Bill Gates. I have just written up an email-tracing program that traces everyone to whom this message is forwarded to. I am experimenting with this and I need your help. Forward this to everyone you know, and if it reaches 1,000 people, everyone on the list will receive $1,000 at my expense. Enjoy. Your friend, Bill Gates.”

I still remember a friend of a friend of a friend being getting mad at me when I sent a link showing that tampons did not, in fact, contain asbestos. Goofy political conspiracies, inspiring but not true at all stories… all sorts of things that could be disproved with a little common sense and a quick google search.

Eventually people matured enough that they stopped sending those out. Or maybe they all just got mad at me for checking Snopes and replying to their dumb email in 3 seconds and they just didn’t include me on future forwards. Luckily, whenever I get nostalgic for those days I can just go to Facebook and look at my stream.

Thanks Facebook!

Million Dollar Idea – Baby Background Checks

Think about it. We have a baby coming any day now and we are going to bring him home from the hospital and let him live in our home from now on without knowing anything about him at all! Who is this guy? He could be a total jerk and we are just going to let him move in with us?

This is a huge market. Thousands of stranger babies are born every day. Wouldn’t you sleep better knowing a little more about that little mystery man’s background?

Evolutionary Failure Part III

I just choked to death on a cherry coke and coughed it all over my office like a custom-built Cherry Coke in-office sprinkler system. It looks like I murdered an Elf in here (everyone knows they bleed cherry coke).

Climbing to the top of a radio tower

Sorry, the video got pulled :(

The footage of the climb came from a friend of mine that does this type of work, I have know him for several years and he has helped me many times in the past. Recently he gave me this video he shot on one of his jobs. I showed him the edited video and he approved it and I put it up on TheOnLineEngineer.Org and You Tube over the weekend. On Monday he was getting calls from colleagues telling him that they were concerned about what the video showed. His world is a very small one, and you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you! Some facility owners are pretty uptight about liability and such and may not hire him if they think he does not take safety seriously.

I spent most of this movie clip wiping my hands on my pants and thinking, “Clip in, you @(#*&$! CLIP IN!!!”

Ways our kids try to get out of being in trouble

In my continuing attempts to turn this exclusively into a link and cute stuff my kid’s say so blog that no one will ever read again…

“Because, I’m just too little to know. I mean, just look at the size of my hands! (holding them up) Pretty tiny!”


“But I have liberty, this is America!”