Friday, June 15, 2012

Answers Day

the retrograde inversion of Questions Day

How are you? - Evil Mike

My mind is a swirling miasma of scintillating thoughts and turgid ideas.

Are you now, or ever in the foreseeable future, willing to babysit for me? If so, how many children at once, and for how long? If the answer is more than "1" and "10 minutes", which ones? - Ex-Roomie

This question would be much more interesting if I could replace the verb, babysit, in the style of Mad Libs. I will do so, since this is my house.

juggle: I could probably juggle two of your children at the same time for about two minutes, providing that each one was duct-taped aerodynamically to prevent wind resistance from flailing arms. I would pick Rosie and Katie's namesake, because they are probably the lightest.

speed stack: I could make a pyramid of all three of your children in less than five seconds, as long as Ella does not fidget. I would probably want to buy one of those specialized mats that cost a hundred dollars and prevent the baby pyramid from slipping (after which I could sell it for profit as yoga equipment). If you are interested in this offer, we need to act now, because you're probably going to have kid #4 within the hour (and millions of lives are at stake). Once there is a 4th, I can't guarantee a symmetrical pyramid again until you reach a total of 6.

What do you do when your current job is paying for expensive training but you have prospects for a new job any day now? - Evil Mike

I paraphrased this question, which wended its way across the comments section like a soccer mom on a cell phone in Costco and established major and minor characters like a George R.R. Martin book. In its original translation, the question reminded me of one of those ten-page novellas sent to Carolyn Hax, where the clueless advice seeker caught her boyfriend humping a barista but has painted an excuse (involving weather patterns and tricks of the light) that will let them stay together in fairy-tale land.

The bottom line is that you should be prepared to reimburse your current job for the cost of training if you voluntarily leave soon afterwards, as free on-the-job training is seen as an investment in an employee. This may even be formalized in your employee handbook. However, there's no reason you shouldn't complete the training as soon as possible, and you should definitely not use a training voucher after you've left the job. The fact that you knew of the new job when you took the training is no one's business but your own. With the training completed, you may find that there is no official mechanism in place to pay them back, so you end up with a free certification and did the best you could to even the balance.

Going to Virginia Beach soon. Any ideas of fun things to do? I will be digging a hole at one point so that's covered. - Evil Mike

  • Run barefoot on the beach and bet on the time it will take to step on a hypodermic needle.
  • Compile a Bingo list of military bases in the area and visit the front gate of each. Tell them that you're trying to reach the IHOP and ask for directions.
  • Skim foam off the surf and sell it in bulk to Starbucks.
  • Visit the local aquarium, which is only 7 dollars cheaper than the Baltimore Aquarium and has 4 fish in it.
  • Drive the last 2 hours to the Outer Banks.

If you could have a re-do day of any day in your life, which day would it be and why? You don't need to preface it with the whole "Well, if things hadn't worked out the way they did I wouldn't have Rebecca, and Booty, etc, etc". - Mike (of Mike and Chompy)

There are no single days that utterly shifted the direction of my life in a negative way. With that in mind, I would go back to March 1997, on the day when I had just put the finishing touches on an online birthday card for some girl I liked, complete with original music that was accurately timed to the slideshow of pages (Netscape 3.0 Gold required). After spending hours essentially reinventing Flash before Flash had taken over the browser, I went to work on my C++ programming assignment which had to do with memory pointers and ended up bricking my Pentium P60. This resulted in a day lost to reformatting the computer, having to rewrite the entire assignment, and never getting to show anyone the online card.

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