Not lately.

I saw this sign at a rest stop in New Jersey. And the answer is no. No, I have not. I've been meaning to, but you know how it is.

We just spent a long, relaxing weekend in LBI with some friends. It was uneventful, but fun. We drank a lot, ate a lot, laughed a lot, and I got to sit on the beach and look at the ocean. Good times.

It was my first trip to Long Beach Island, and I learned it's a pretty expensive place. Some of the houses built right on the beach are unbelievable. I also learned that just because you have more money than god doesn't mean you have good taste.

Exhibit Number one:

I rest my case.


Chats with OKS.

Over the last couple of years, I've noticed that whenever I can't think of anything to blog about, I can chat with Sarah for a minute or two and get some fodder that I can sometimes turn into a worthwhile post. I told her that she's my twisted muse. I decided that in the spirit of extreme laziness (well, not extreme laziness, because this was a bitch to format) and through the miracle of modern chat-logging, I would show you some of these raw chats in no particular order, and on no particular topic.

On Jack Bauer/24:

Sarah: I know! Why the h did he go back into the consulate? Also, is it just me or is Jack torturing like 7 people an hour nowadays?

Me: well to be fair, I think he probably felt he had to go back as soon as he saw that cigar clipper. Because you can't just not use that thing.

Sarah: right. Or like if there was a drill there for some reason.

On LOST and the village people:

Sarah: that's the thing. Ben is totally not a murderer. he's just a bastard.
Sarah: well actually, he killed Locke didn't he? so that's not true.

Me: yeah. And he killed all the village people. Even the cop and the Indian.

Sarah: yeah, what the hell am i talking about? he's like a huge murderer.

Me: and he did tell eyepatch guy to kill the underwater girls, and he said to kill the men in the village if they fought against the taking of the pregnant women.... so yeah, what the hell are you talking about?

Sarah: i'm on crack.

On mingling with big bosses:

Me: he seems like a nice enough guy.

Sarah: yeah he's really nice. He knows my dad. when he found out my dad's daughter worked here he came to my desk to meet me. what! i was like wow, he sought me out!?

Me: yeah, i imagine it has to suck when underling-type people avoid you like the plague at company functions.

Sarah: oh my gosh i know. but they have to understand right? i guess they feel better when they go home and lay around in their piles of money.

On cats and dogs:

Sarah: i just remember we were helping my best friend make the programs for her wedding and her stupid cat jumped up on the coffee table, knocked over a glass of water onto half the programs and then sat on the others. i was so annoyed.

Me: I don't hate ours except when they are tear-assing around the house at 3am when I'm trying to sleep.

Sarah: ooh yeah. another good thing about dog-crates. My dog sleeps in a cage. he loves that stupid thing but it's awesome b/c then you can take him places and he's not a horrible intrusion.

Me: I had a dog for about a week and a half, and he went back to the pet store. I realized that there was no way we were home enough for that.

Sarah: yeah they require a certain amount of energy, esp. at first. I love big dogs, but would never own one. way too much work.

Me: Yeah, this was a husky/shepherd mix. cute little puppy. We named him Veal because he was in the cage all the time.

On various other animals:

Sarah: did i ever tell you about my ex boyfriend? in college he and his roommate had 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 turtles, a snake, an iguana, a piranha, a tarantula, regular fish and 2 eels. when i would go visit him it was like i was going to the freaking zoo. I'll just say it didn't smell great in that apartment.

Me: Weird pets. When I was a kid I had a soft-shelled turtle.

Sarah: soft shelled? what is that?

Me: This. They were big for a while. Then someone got some disease from them, my mother flipped out and flushed it.

Sarah: wtf is that!! it looks like snot.
Sarah: My ex-bf had like 2500 fish. he was really a strange one, but man, he loved all animals.

Me: is he a vet now?

Sarah: um, no.

Me: prison?

Sarah: he works for arby's. seriously.

Me: So...like prison, only with worse food.

On the day after a party:

Sarah: i had fake tattoos on my wrists and hands.

Me: one day, you will wake up in the morning and have real tattoos, I am pretty sure of this.

Sarah: and at this one bar when i was at my peak of drunkenness this guy pushed me and i yelled, "easy buddy! I will fight you! i have a skull on my wrist!" and i showed it to him. i'm sure he was terrified. it was glow in the dark.

Me: why on your wrist?

Sarah: i have no idea but i put a skull on one, and an anchor on the other.

Me: You're going to die at sea. you know that, right?

Sarah: then right by my thumbs i put a shamrock on one and a martini glass on the other.

Me: if you're hardcore, it goes on the side of your neck.

Sarah: yeah i was gonna put one on my neck but they made me leave.

On High school Dating:

Sarah: i actually said that sentence "if you ever break up with your girlfriend will you call me? Pleeease? i will wait." so pathetic.

Me: what did he say?

Sarah: he said yes. of course.

Me: of course.

Sarah: yeah and it was like the best day ever. i want to smack that 16 year old me.

Me: there is so much future sarah needs to share with young sarah, yet, sadly, she cannot.

Sarah: i know. then he decided he wanted to be with me and went to break up with his gf but he didn't end up doing it. so instead he dumped me at his house when we were all over there hanging out. he disappeared into his room, then had his friend come downstairs and get me. he's like, 'Jim wants to talk to you in his room.' so i go up there and as i walk in, he walks up to his stereo and presses play then "with or without you" by U2 came on. he planned the soundtrack to his dumping me.

Me: No!

Sarah: i know!! even at the time when i was in love with him i was like, 'this is a little gay, dude."

Me: I knew I should have taken up guitar instead of drums.

Sarah: then you could've played 'with or without you' when you broke up with girls.

Me: exactly. Because I've found that "wipe out" really doesn't convey the proper emotions.

On Punk'd:

yes-i saw him on punk'd too! it was weird. also that show sux now right? like it's totally played out? or is that just me?

Me: No, it's not you. I think even the people getting punk'd are getting tired of it.

Sarah: i can just picture the next celebrity:

ashton: "You got punk'd!"
random celebrity: "oh-is this show still on?"

On Amazon.com and dolls:

Me: amazon messes with me. Right now it's recommending two movies: The Sound of Music, and Bride of Chucky.

Sarah: it's trying to determine your sexuality. if you pick the sound of music all the people behind amazon will be all, 'see? i told you. you owe me $50."

Me: well then I better go with the puppet.

Sarah: right. i saw the first chucky--well parts of it --and i was like 'ok so the doll is obviously creepy but like it's a doll. as humans we are roughly 100x its size right? so..what's the deal? kick it hard.' But i guess it has superpowers or something.

Me: yeah. plus it's sneaky.

Sarah: true-it's better at hiding. advantage: chucky

Me: I hate dolls.

Sarah: the dolls with ceramic faces are the worst.

Me: my friends had this floppy eared rabbit-doll with a human body and black button eyes. I had a nightmare one night that it was hovering over my bed.

Sarah: holy cripes. it probably was. your friends obviously worship the devil.

Me: yeah, and it had denim overalls.

Sarah: so it was evil and a bad dresser.

So there you go. She's a funny girl.


I'm a lazy piece.

Right now, even as I type, my Killbot (to which I have given the completely awesome and totally original name of "Killbot") is hard at work cleaning my floors.

I'm still waiting for Professor Wernstrom to send me the bottom half (which includes the machine gun and Lotus Notes add-ons), but even so, I have to say that the floors in my house have never been cleaner.

www.irobot.com is offering a 30 day money-back trial on these things, including reimbursement of shipping charges in both directions. Seriously, how could I go wrong? I would get to mess around with a new geek-gadget, terrorize the cats and keep the floor clean all at the same time.

The problem with having pets and working a full time job is simply this -- when you are at work slaving away, they are sitting at home. What are they doing, you ask? Well, they are doing what they do best, which is eating, sleeping, and losing fur at an alarming rate. Since we have no carpet in the house and also have leather furniture, an amazing amount of that fur ends up on the hardwood floor. You can clean it every day, and every day their follicles reject another massive quantity of it.

Killbot does a great job of cleaning it up. Much better than I would have anticipated, actually. I ordered the cheap one -- they have a more expensive one that has a charging/docking station, and when the battery is weak, it will find its way home for a recharge. They have an even more expensive one with a scheduler, so you can tell it to start cleaning while you're at work so you don't have to listen to it. I'm a little leery of that one because while I don't know exactly what would happen if my Killbot ran over fresh cat puke, I have a pretty good idea that it wouldn't be good for anyone.

We generally run it when we leave the house or when we're outside, since it's pretty loud. Sometimes I run it when I get home from work. Eventually, you almost get used to the loud noises and the way it randomly bangs into stuff before it staggers off in a different direction and then eventually gets stuck in the bathroom. I find it strangely comforting. For some reason, it reminds me of college.

Sadly, today is my last day of evaluation and Killbot is packaged up and on his way back to the iRobot factory. While adept at cleaning floors, it turns out that he sucks big at disarming IEDs, surplus military ordnance, land mines and other incendiary devices. I think I am in luck, however, because iRobot also makes these:

I might try this one for 30 days too. If this hardcore mofo also vaccuums the floor, I am totally keeping it. It has a claw, a video stalk, and apparently, (and most importantly) it can project your face on its little video screen.

If this eval doesn't pan out, who knows. I might have a line on a used Spider Slayer Mark II, so we'll see what happens.