May 2008

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Morons. I guess nothing really happens FOR Induhviduals; rather, it happens TO them, clueless and SLEs that they are.

Anyway, here you go. Send me my Pulitzer any time.

The Deadliest Jam

I was and was not surprised to find out that many people who consider themselves "motorcyclists" have not been to a Bike Week at Daytona. I suppose this is for a variety of reasons. Maybe it's too far - Florida is at one corner of the country - but there is great entertainment to be had, even cheaply, due to "biker tradition".
One of the traditions of Daytona Bike Week is the assembly and appearance of literally thousands of custom bikes, the likes of which we can see on "Orange County Choppers". You know this. Some of the builders produce truly delicate and precise work, which can cost $150 thousand - for a bike which will be ridden less than a thousand miles per year. The $30K - $50K range is quite popular. The demographic contains a number of disreputable people - lawyers, drug dealers, record company executives, etc.
You might not know that a goodly percentage of these people seek a particular kind of passenger: the Biker Bimbo. Whatever mental and other qualities these ladies may have is unknown; I, and others I have quizzed frequently on the subject, have determined that this is secondary to other, ah, considerations.
Generally, the more prosperous the rider and expensive the bike, the higher the "class" of his passenger: apparently, supermodels enjoy motorcycling, if it is expensive and brief. Sometimes the relationship between rider and passenger is one of convenience, currency unknown.
Anyway. One fine Daytona night, we and our friends stopped at a convenience store, having worked up a thirst shopping for motorcycle accessories near the Daytona Speedway. As we chatted, I saw an expensive chopper at the intersection, and the people associated with it seemed to be arguing. Shortly, we saw the passenger left in the street.
Her approach left those of us with a conscience somewhat at a loss; I was figuring out how to address a scantily-clad blonde, obviously the current Miss Nude California, as a real person without stuttering or getting whacked by my wife or her dear friend Stephanie.
Fortunately, I was saved by the realization that one of us had nearly no conscience, and was in the deadliest jam of his adult life.
I smiled serenely as Miss Bombshell asked, "Can one of you give me a lift? My ride left me. I just live down the street a half-mile or so."
My brother-in-law was the one with no conscience - but he was completely married to a decisive woman who was tending their four children whilst he recreated with us. I saw him realize what was happening: he had room on the back of his motorcycle, and could be the gallant knight rescuing an awesomely delectable damsel in distress. Yet, he had to face the reality that yes, we would indeed describe said damsel in detail to his loving wife. He also had to face the real possibility that the same man who could casually leave a girl like this on foot would be waiting anxiously at the probable destination, perhaps with a goodly supply of alcohol, PCP and firearms nearby to help him wait.
Fortunately, we were also talking to a sales rep from Kawasaki, who took the girl, presumably where she wanted to go.
We haven't missed a Daytona Bike Week event since, but we never saw the Kawasaki rep again.
The brother-in-law is OK. Physically, at least. He is very grateful for having made the correct decision, but aspects of it haunt him to this day.

Wow,an overlong dull story written by someone trying to sound motobike manly and super intellgent at the same time.

Congrats on the Dull Post Of The Week award.




no offence but that idea wouldn't have worked anyway.
why would anyone WANT to subscribe themselves to ads? and i'm pretty sure there are even fewer people who would plan their life on a calender and then publish them


Why would I write in my calendar that I want my house painted on a specific date? Why would I care? I want the quotes first, and then I'll decide when to do it based on the availability of the vendor(s) I choose.

No wonder five years later it still hasn't happened, patent or not.

Francis Ocoma

Ah! THIS is the reason behind those "Evil Google" strips you made a while back, ain't it, Scott? :-P


I think a "lack of stories" is relative. Most people choose a career and stick to it for the better part of 30 years. If you work in an slaughterhouse, other people will not be amused for too long by your "knife stuck in the pig rectum" stories. They've all been there, done that.

On the other hand, if later in life you go to work for First Cubicle Farm Bank of Ohio they will never grow tired of your wild, slaughterhouse musings. You might get a fun nickname like Abattoir Larry.

Good stories are about Juxtaposition.


A guy I've worked with forever always has great stories. But after you've been around him long enough you realize these are not all things that actually happened to him. A lot of the stories happened to people around him. But he has so integrated them in to his life story that I believe he really thinks all these things happened to him.


indo wrote: "Dude, get a life. It's not about 'registering' an idea... or as u put, "an idea", but covering the fact that you actually sat down to use some of ur grey matter, and in some cases invested hard earned bucks in R&D to develop the - um - "idea", which means u'd kind of wanna prevent some lazy arsed maggot coming and making a buck off the product without either having put any intellect into it or invested any bucks at all in actually developing it, cos remember, a succesful product is 20% product, 80% design."

You're missing the point. Sometimes patents are awarded to companies/people who have no intention of creating a working product. Then they just sit around for years, waiting for ANOTHER company to come up with the same idea, then they come out of the woodwork and sue for millions.

This happens all the time in the software development industry (where I work), because its worst-kept secret is that there are NO COMPLETELY NEW/ORIGINAL IDEAS in Information Technology. Everyone's "new" product builds on some ideas that are "owned" by someone else.

These leeches who sit on patents for years are known as patent trolls. I don't think you have to be a "commie" to hate them. You wanna see some real-life examples, where *capitalists* have been hurt by patent trolls:

Google for:
* "Microsoft versus Eolas" (Here Microsoft is the victim, and Eolas is 'patent troll' that never created a product, but managed to change the browsing industry. Basically any website that used 'plugins' to play active content like movies had to change their code, costing everyone time and money, thanks to a Microsoft-hating patent troll. And I don't even like MS that much, but I think Eolas is despicable).

* "RIM versus NTP" (Anyone here like the Blackberry? What if RIM had gone out of business, taking the Blackberry service with it, because of NTP's patent lawsuits? Can anyone here name a *product* created by NTP)

* "SCO versus Linux" (A dying proprietary UNIX vendor claims the free Linux OS contains "stolen code". In an extraordinary move, SCO promises not to sue its own customers, for you see, SCO *themselves* distribute their own version of the free Linux OS.)

I don't think you have to be a communist to see that the patent system might be broken, and that it sometimes enables the behaviour you hate: "some lazy arsed maggot coming and making a buck off the product...".

Just like Scott has been prevented from "commercializing" his idea, which he claims isn't even very similar to the original patented idea. Maybe Scott's product would've changed the world (or maybe not). Either way, we'll never know. (Can Scott force the original patent holder to come out with a similar product?) Explain to me how this helps capitalism. Maybe the patent system needs to change, whereby if you don't create and sell a working product based on your idea within a certain time frame, you lose your patent. Obviously the details would be tough to hammer out.

BTW, the original purpose of intellectual property laws was NOT to enable artists/inventors/corporations make a buck. The point was to promote the growth of the arts and sciences by providing an INCENTIVE to create. This incentive came in the form of a LIMITED-TIME monopoly on an idea or process. But if you actually read what the Founding Fathers had to say on intellectual property, they realized that ideas are inherently "free" and cannot really be owned. To them, "Intellectual Property" laws were a necessary evil.

Thomas Jefferson wrote:
"Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody... The exclusive right to invention [is] given not of natural right, but for the benefit of society."

So now, I guess you're gonna tell me Thomas Jefferson was a pinko commie, huh?


I find that I'm good at writing or telling stories, unless they're actually about me. I'm really not sure why my brain works that way. But I do have one story about myself which I'll attempt to tell.

I was very shy when I was a kid, and I still am now really. As a child though, it caused the usual problems of bullying. Being a fairly sensitive soul, I took this negative experience fairly badly and I started sleepwalking. The doctor later told my mother that the sleepwalking was most likely caused by the stress of being bullied. From what my mother told me, all I usually would do when sleepwalking would be to walk around the house, switching lights on.

One night, when I was seven was a little different though. My mother woke up to some crashing noises and found me at the bottom of the stairs. The first thing I have a recollection of is waking up in the living room, where my mother had carried me. I suppose plenty of people fall down stairs, but I did it while sleepwalking.

Rather luckily considering that I was asleep when I fell and couldn't consciously protect myself, I only suffered a hairline fracture to a small bone in my foot. It healed in two weeks.


(Off topic). Scott, can you somehow introduce a character into Dilbert based on LA Clay?


Here's one of my stories.

I worked in the entertainment industry (left for obvious reasons). My boss was the right hand of the boss of a record company and founded a software company (at the time we were in the same building). Anyways, on a day I was at work and a girl who worked for that record company dropped in and asked all of us to phone to a certain radio station to vote for an artist I never even heard about. I did and of course got embarrased when they asked why I voted for that particular song. The thing was they wanted to get that artist nominated for our country contribution to the eurosong festival (puke!).

He eventually made it past several rounds (thanks to cheating), but didn't get the past the final round. So the record company did what catbert would do, they dropped him like a brick and paid a fine for contract breach. (it's a game to them, some are willing to prosecute, others don't have the money to)

Some time later that artist broke through and the boss of that record company phoned him up to propose a new record deal. His moto was: if you don't ask you will always get a no.

(wouldn't that make catbert proud?)


I've got lots of stories that are good to me - things that make me smile when I think about them. But not many that other people would find gripping.

Patents are supposed be non-obvious (whatever that means), but I think a more stringent test should be applied: the bathtub test. If the idea is one that someone could have got in the bathtab (i.e. spent $0 developing), then no matter how brilliant, it shouldn't be patentable.

Ideas are like water; we need them, but there's such an abundance that they're almost worthless. Any half-decent broadly applicable idea will be near-simultaneously invented by 10,000 people.


The baby hooker pants story by Patricia is great. I just watched an episode of My Name Is Earl and so pictured Catiana saying that. It's usual for pretty girls to be good comedians however that actress does it well.


I only really have one story. This is it:

Worryingly, it is based on a true story (apart from the Goblins) that happened to me when I was around 20 years old.

The style of the telling is due to the fact I re-scripted it for a Live Roleplaying Event in sunny England.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…

A Nocturnal Affair

During one of my more relaxed periods, I found myself in the company of a rag-tag, but thoroughly entertaining band of gypsies. It was their tradition never to see in darkness by their own campfire, so each evening as the sun was setting, we set out to find campfires to bring our warmth and laughter to.

On this particular night, we had encamped in a dense wood atop a low, wide hill. An area notoriously mined by a local goblin clan for its valuable ores and minerals.

I found myself at a foreign camp fire, a little worse for some of the local ’shine and decided it would be prudent to make my cautious way back to my camp, before the worst of the shine took hold.

I set of resolutely into the night, my stout oak staff, soundly thumping the ground before me, testing the way for my uncertain feet through the dark and unfamiliar terrain.

After 30 minutes or so of accidental wandering in the vague direction of my camp, my heart leapt into my mouth as ahead of me, my staff - so resolutely, tap, tap, tapping through the undergrowth - struck nothing.

I waved the staff in front of me and surmised I had stumbled, almost to my certain doom, on an abandoned goblin mineshaft. Gathering my racing thoughts - I decided the best course of action would be to circle round the unseen gaping maw and continue my journey ahead.

Acting more cautiously, I gently tapped the ground to my right…


Panic rising, I spun to my left and encountered again, nothing but empty air.

Dread welled inside me as I slowly turned and tentatively tested the ground behind me.


My mind reeled and tried to make sense of my situation. The only rational proposal I could surmise was that some how, the ground in the area, already weak from the enterprising goblin activities, had fallen away - leaving me stranded atop some sort of isolated pinnacle of rock.

Resigned to my fate, I slumped to my knees and tried to make myself as comfortable as I could as I prepared to wait out the night.

It was a long, cold night. The forest was alive with whispers and far off fairy lights. I sat with my chin clutched to my knees with my trusty staff at my side prepared to face the very worst my nocturnal prison could deliver.

I awoke with a start, with the first sun kissed rays of morning breaking through the treetops to illuminate my predicament.

There before me, to my mounting horror and disbelief, I discovered that the end of my staff had broken off and lay not 2 feet from my side.

The moral of the story is a simple but worthy one…

One cannot get the staff these days.


Interesting stories, all
Delightful to read
as for me i prefer to keep my best stories to myself just out of superstition
i like to recall them sometimes, feel the same feeling when it happened, smile and put it back into my memory shelves
i suppose it’s not interesting to anyone coz my stories never involve coincidences, perhaps i’m just blind to them, or any amount of money, never won any lottery, just once an eraser :)
stories like this one for example
me, then 17, and my dad were camping in the mountains, our tent was set just on the brink of the forest and that evening it was dark, moonless and i was alone in my tent waiting for my dad. He left to pick up something to the nearby village 2 or 3 miles away. So i was waiting him, the forest was darkening slowly, windy, leaves rattling etc
And here i heard the whistling, some weird unknown song, and it starts and ends and again starts, and again stops and it was getting closer or farther and this lasted like 20-30 minutes and i was near to die scared when the whistling stops and my dad calls my name, i was so happy to hear him and angry and relieved all at once
My mom scolded dad after that

Are you bored
If not i have other stories too, but again it’s about what i felt i suppose not much about what happened

Paul O

There are a few types of people out there. Some have delusions that they were "there", that they did all the work, that they are singularly responsible for things that other people actually accomplish. When they tell their stories, their delusions are what others hear.

There are some who meekly go about their daily existence, splitting their time among work, friends, sports, and home. They might think of new ideas, but might not have the depth of experience (or contacts) to bring any to fruition.

And there are a few who have been exposed to enough technologies to know how to develop their ideas, and have been fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of those people who can make it happen.

My own stories tend to be somewhat self-deprecating, because I reserve my arrogance for other purposes and I try to not be viewed as a bragging bastard. What others choose to report about themselves is up to them.


The problem with people who say they are full of stories is that they are'nt, they only think they are, and so are the most boring people to trip over in the street. you remember the Seinfeld bit with his Uncle he meets on the street... those kind of people.
You, Scott, happen to be a good story teller and have the faculty of transposing them onto the page... you are almost alone in a sea of BORES!


The good story tellers I know are just "more". More honest, more sarcastic, more energetic, more abnormal. Just think about the contestants on Last Comic one enjoys listening to the meek and mild tell a story.


are you sure others have no stories? I have some great ones, most involving alcohol, near misses of famous people, animals, cars, embarrasement of my self and broken bones, sometimes all in the same story.
maybe you are self absorbed and don't care about others stories. or maybe others don't have the story telling gift you have honed to relate the tale in a proper manner. or you have adult ADD.
now about the night I met Gene Simmons of KISS in the strip club in Pittsburgh next to the old airport....

Emily Z

When I think about it I have a lot of interesting stories but I feel awkward if someone says, so tell me an interesting story. I think I am decent at telling stories if the subject arises naturally. There's the scar inflicted by a caution sign. Stealing from a dumpster on a first date. The time I was on nickelodeon. The reason my name is on a carousel. The time I was on reading rainbow. The time I used "who's the sexiest ninja turtle?" as a pickup line. The times we had tea parties in an elevator. The time I stole an egg from an acquaintance.


After much rending of hair and gnashing of teeth, when I turned 18 I decided I was ready to lose my virginity to my long-term girlfriend despite how nervous I was about unwanted pregnancy. I was pulling in to the parking lot of Walgreen's when, from the passenger seat, she said my name. Urgently. "What?" I said, shifting the car into Park and taking out the key. She pointed at the wall in front of our parking space. In front of us -- the only one in the lot -- was a sign that read:


It was a few weeks before we tried that again.


To take a tangent: I really love targeted advertising! I get so sick of commericals for things that have absolutely no interest to me, like pickup trucks, mattresses, and feminine hygene products. Gads.

Now, what if all the ads that made it to me were for cool stuff like RAM, snowboarding gear, computer games, or car audio equipment?

Life would be a lot better.

Some people surprise me by hating the idea of narrowly targeted advertising. Somehow they feel their privacy is invaded. My suspicion is that these people spend the wee hours of the morning surfing the disreputable areas of the internet, and so whatever would be monitoring their behavior would be constantly shoving ads for embarassing battery powered devices at them.

Stupid people.


Top ten geek business Myth #3: Someone will steal your idea if you don't protect it.

Reality: No one gives a damn about your idea until you actually succeed and by then it's too late. Even on the off chance that you do manage to stumble across someone who is as excited about your idea as you are, if they have any brains they will join you rather than try to beat you. (And if they don't have any brains then it doesn't matter what they do.)
(copied from Ron Garret's blog)


My best story:
I'm snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico one day. I am trying to catch fish for an aquarium we keep. Then I see a school of anchovies, and I go for them. There's only one problem, the net I'm using to catch fish acts more like an oar. And inch long anchovies are devilishly maneuverable. So I'm racing after them in about a foot and a half of water.
Then the predator instinct kicks in and I separate about 30 from the main school. And I am between them and the open sea. Then fate steps in a a small wave flows over me and washes the anchovies out to sea.
I was about to give up all hope when I felt a odd wiggling in my ear. One of the anchovies had gotten stuck inside my ear. So I stood up and nonchalantly pulled a squirming fish out of my ear.
True story.


Not many stories to your call, but there where quite a lot on comments to other posts, so, my deduction is that people come up with their stories depending on the context and/or conversation, not like any professional (or wannabe) comedian (with due all respect). Of course there is a wide range of degrees and personalities. Somehow seems you like to categorize people on narrow parameters that put you, somehow, on quite a good position, hehe, people do that all the time, yours is no better. Oh btw, i enjoy a lot the apparent emotional ups and downs you seem to show on your posts.
Ah, and your story and sites like the ones about absurd patents show how screwed the thing is, but not as much as the copyright one, haha.

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