Sunday, January 29, 2006


Snow and the Italian train system

The traffic in Milano went in tilt on Thursday because of the snow. I can understand that, as the roads were not cleared and people are not used to driving on snow. But, I cannot understand why the trains and metro went in tilt on Friday. I expected a lot of people to take the train when they realized it was too much snow to go by car so I left home one hour earlier than normal. Great I thought; the train was only 9 minutes late which is better than on a normal day even with a bit of snow in the station:

It continued snowing and the problems started when everybody wanted to go home. The increased traffic came a surprise to nobody apart from the train companies. Ferrovie Nord canceled several most trains and the few trains that went were short with the obvious effect; People insisted on getting on the train even when it was full. It took another 15 minutes before they managed to close the doors after I took the picture…

I finally got a place on a train that brought me to Bovisa where I had to take another train. But which train should I take when there are so many to choose from?

Eh… no trains and no information. Just a bunch of unhappy people waiting for news.

And rumors, loads of rumors. The guy next to me went to Cadorna first where there were no trains in the station and no news. So, he took the underground and another train to arrive in Bovisa where we was met with the same story; no trains and no news. Trains were rumored to be stuck in various places due to power failures etc. The only news we finally got: the train line I took to get to Bovisa got closed due to a technical error. So; I was officially stuck with no place to go.

I bought a bunch of supplies (chocolate and Pocket Coffee) and was getting ready to walk the 15 km home when they announced that a train arrive in 2 minutes. Walking to the track was not necessary; lift the feet and the crows carried you. It was the first train in the hour I had been waiting so it was already packed. People were fighting to get on so I ran close to another track to the front of the train where I saw that there was "plenty" of space, but then the doors started closing. A last sprint, and I solved the problem the Italian way; I put my foot in the door so they had to open it again…

It was late when I finally came home but I guess you can pick out the car covered by snow and a broken hedge…

The really bad news? It started raining on Saturday and has been raining ever since so most of the snow is gone :-(

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


What (not) to do if you are surprised by a bear...


Size matters: smaller is better!

Research on bats show that smaller is better: males with big balls have small brains and and unfaithful females.

Whereas males with smaller balls had larger brains and faithful females.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006




Boycott the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics 2006 in Torino will not start for another couple of weeks but I hate it, with a passion, already. That is a very confusing feeling for a Norwegian that loves the snow and winter sports.

Let's rewind a couple of years.

The tickets were put of for sale on the internet a few years ago on The online purchase worked OK even though they follow some weird rules I still do not understand. It was possible to buy tickets for a couple of weeks a few years ago, then later in the year, then last year etc. A major PITA for the little guy but perfect for agencies buying large batches of tickets.

But, in the end I got some (but not all) of the tickets for friends and family coming down to Italy in a  few weeks. Then it got worse. A lot worse; I had to find allocation…

All bookings must go through one central agency in Rome; Jumbo Dumbo Grande Eventi. I tried sending mails, faxes and calling them but I was completely ignored when they realized I needed a double room or two. They were, of course, interested in selling tons of places to agencies booking hundreds of rooms.

Late last year it finally got possible to book online so I booked the best one I could find. 101 km as the crow flies.

Bad got worse when I checked the so called public transportation. Non existent public transportation is more like it. The train takes 3 hours, each way, each day. The earliest train in the morning arrives at 11 something so they will miss half the events each day.

I would love to have gone for day trips but I am boycotting the events. No Torino 2006 on my TV.


Andersen Consulting optimizes the restaurant business

Last week I took some friends out to a restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange, but I ignored it. However, when the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket. I then looked around the room and saw that all the waiter persons had a spoon in their pocket. When the waiter came back to check on our order I asked, "Why the spoon?"

"Well," he said, "the restaurant's owners hired Andersen Consulting Experts in efficiency in order to revamp all of our processes. After several months of statistical analysis, they concluded that customers drop their spoons 73,84% more than any other utensil. This represents a drop approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. If our personnel is prepared to deal with that contingency, we can reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen and save 1,5 man hours per shift." As we finished talking, a metallic sound was heard from behind me. Quickly, the waiter replaced the dropped spoon with the one in his pocket and said: "I'll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

I was rather impressed; the waiter continued taking our order and while my guests ordered I continued to look around. I then noticed that there was a very thin  string hanging out of the waiter's fly. Looking around,  I noticed  that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flys. My curiosity got the better of me and before  he walked off I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?".

"Oh, certainly!" He answered, lowering his voice. Not everyone is as observant as you. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom'.

"How so?"

"See" he continued, "by tying this string to the tip of ... you know ... we can pull it out over the urinal without touching it  and that way eliminate the need to wash the hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by .39%."

"OK, that makes sense, but ... if the string helps you get it out, how do you put it back in?"

"Well, he whispered, lowering his voice even further, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

Monday, January 23, 2006


Nine people

There are 9 people in the picture.

If you find 6, you have ordinary powers of observation.

Find 7; you have above average powers of observation.

Find 8; you are very observant. Congratulate yourself!

Find 9 you are extremely observant, very intuitive and creative. You can rival the observant powers of Sherlock Holmes


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


20 year old dies of malnutrition in England

This is sad; A twenty year old in England recently died of malnutrition after living on a diet of French fries, buttered toast and the occasional canned beans since he was a kid.


Scott slowly bled to death after he had to pull three teeth as his blood was too thin due to the malnutrition.

I have no words

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Consultant or whore?

  • You work very odd hours.

  • You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

  • You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

  • You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

  • You charge by the hour but your time can be extended for the right price.

  • You are not proud of what you do.

  • Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

  • It's difficult to have a family.

  • You have no job satisfaction.

  • If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

  • You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

  • People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

  • Your family hardly recognizes you at reunions (at least the reunions you attend.)

  • Your friends have distanced themselves from you and you're left hanging with only other "professionals."

  • Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

  • Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

  • Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or BMWs.

  • Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

  • You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client is foolish enough to pay it's not your problem.

  • When you leave to go see a client, you look great, but return looking like hell (compare your appearance on Monday AM to Friday PM).

  • You are rated on your "performance" in an excruciating ordeal.

  • Even though you get paid the big bucks, it's the client who walks away smiling.

  • The client always thinks your "cut" of your billing rate is higher than it actually is, and in turn, expects miracles from you.

  • When you deduct your "take" from your billing rate, you constantly wonder if you could get a better deal with another pimp.

  • Everyday you wake up and tell yourself, "I'm not going to be doing this stuff the rest of my life."

(from my inbox archive that I am trying to clean up)


Farting Santa

How could I have missed this Christmas gift idea

It looks harmless enough until you press the remote and Santa lets one of 5 different farts rip. The remote works up 30 meters away so it should take a while before your guests discover the trick...

Or, if you prefer the interactive option; you can pull Santa's finger:

7 different farting sounds with random remarks:

  • Ho Ho

  • Come on,Sit on my lap

  • There 's a gift for ya! 

  • That 's all your getting this Christmas!

  • Ahhhh ' the Holiday smells..

  • Up the chimney I gooooo! 

  • Was that on your list?

If you cannot get enough of the sound; Pull My Finger

Monday, January 16, 2006


A tough day in the office

This photo pretty much summarizes my day in the office today:

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Sharks hunting

Don't eat the bag he has on the back.
It makes you fart!


All the Windows are frozen again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Gator or Claria; a spyware by another name is just the same

Gator was one of the worst pests until it changed the name to Claria and managed to disappear from the limelight. What changed apart from the name? Little or nothing. They still track&spy on what the users do and send it to a central location. With careful wording in the EULAs they have convinced the lawyers that they should be declassified from spyware to adware. Who cares about the name? Crap by any other name is just the same! The deals and money involved are worthy of a Grisham novel.

The worst part is that Gator Claria is no longer identified by antispyware due to the deals they have made.

More background info on Gator/Claria and its spyware in Wired


A Prayer for the Stressed!

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I cannot accept,
and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had
to kill today because they pissed me off.

And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today
as they may be connected to the ass that I may have
to kiss tomorrow.

Help me to always give 100% at work....
12% on Monday
23% on Tuesday
40% on Wednesday
20% on Thursday
5% on Fridays

And help me to remember.....
When I'm having a really bad day,
and it seems that people are trying to piss me off,
that it takes 42 muscles to frown and
only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me!



An Italian road sign story

(click the image for a larger version)

Monday, January 9, 2006


Sewing machine for sale

(from my inbox)

A man with a sewing machine to sell placed a classified ad in a newspaper
with the following results.

MONDAY: For Sale: R.D. Smith has one sewing machine for sale. Call 958.
Call after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him cheap.

TUESDAY: We regret having erred in R.D. Smith's ad yesterday. It should have
read: For Sale: R.D. Smith has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 958
and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him after 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: R.D. Smith has informed us that he has received several annoying
telephone calls because of an error we made in his classified ad yesterday.
His ad stands corrected: For Sale: R.D. Smith has one sewing machine for
sale. Cheap. Phone 958 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Kelly who loves with

THURSDAY: Notice: I, R.D. Smith, have no sewing machine for sale. I smashed
it. Don't call 958, the phone has been taken out. I have not been carrying
on with Mrs. Kelly. Until yesterday, she was my housekeeper.


Why sex is better to women than to men

A great quote from Dilbert Newsletter 62.0:

One of my co-workers (who is originally from Arkansas, just FYI) told me one day that he knew for a fact that sex feels better for women than it does for men.  I asked, "How do you figure that?"  His reply was (and I am not making this up!), "Because when you put your finger in your ear and wiggle it around, it feels better to your ear than it does to your finger."