Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Centus -- The Making of Jack-o-lanterns!

Hi Ho Ranters!

Yes, I know I've been doing more Centus than ranting! Well, get over it!

So, here is the promo:

This is part of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus.

The prompt this week, is this picture:

Here are my 100 words:



What kind of naive neophytes have they sent me this year?

YOU are not pumpkins! You are SQUASH! You are gourds! You are sniveling Jack-o-lantern want-a-bes!

I said LIIINE UP! That MEANS on the WHITE line!! Are you color blind? That is no excuse! WHITE is not A COLOR! ARE YOU BLIND?

What is it Smith??

NO! Not having eyes is not an excuse! Now, line up on the WHITE LINE!

Now what is it SMITH?!?!

Oh, now you are just trying to make up excuses. Ooh Sergeant, I don’t have legs!

Get in line SMITH!

Till next time Ranters!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Job's never done -- Saturday Centus

Hi Ho Ranters!

Yes, I know I said I wouldn't do this. But, my wife told me about this week's prompt and I couldn't resist....

So, here is the promo:

This is part of Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus.

Here is the story:

Zebidiah checked the hen house one more time. He knew that it was the middle of summer and the storms blew with the fury of God. He would lose more chickens if they were not shut in for the night. The horses were fed and stabled. Zeb thought how much better the horses had it than anything on the ranch …even he and his bride of 30 years! These were the evening chores and they had to be done night after night… including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays! After all, it was a dark and stormy night and a poor rancher must always be prepared for the worst.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer Vacation

Hi All,

My wife wanted me to do another of Jenny's prompts. So here goes... Here are the rules:

Each linked essay must be 100 words or less, not including the "prompt" words. No pictures should be used. No profanity. The prompt words can be used in any place within your story but must be left intact. You cannot split the prompt.

Please display link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog.

Link to her blog


Do you remember how during the first week back at school the teacher would make you write an essay about what you did over your summer vacation? Well, school has been in session almost two weeks here so I thought we'd try this for something different.

Your story must be written in first person AND must be exactly 100 words long. It can be fact or fiction.


Exactly 100 words, first person, fact or fiction...What I did over my Summer Vacation. AND What I did over my Summer Vacation is the title of your essay not to be included in the 100 words!

What I did over my Summer Vacation...

Just one more step. One more step either way. Right and everything is ok. Left, and I die …The world goes to waste! A little step. That is just what I need to do. Oh no, everything is falling. My world is crashing down on me. I can save it! Just need to get under it! They are falling fast. Maybe too fast! The world is over! The blocks are flying down upon me. CRASH! CRASH! CRASH! Game Over!

This is how I spent my summer at Dave and Busters with my game-fanatic son!

Until next time Ranters!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Imagine you are on a bus. Say this bus gets a flat tire. The driver calls in and the office tells him, he needs to make the timeline, so the bus driver pulls over and attaches a portable compressor to fill the tire and he drives on. A few feet down the road, the compressor breaks, and the driver calls into the office again. This time, the office states, that he must meet his schedule, keep going. So the bus driver, wanting to get to his final destination, keeps driving. Eventually, the wheel comes off while driving and the bus flips, killing the driver and all of the passengers.

At the bus driver's funeral, a representative from the office gives a glowing eulogy stating that the bus driver should be recognized for trying to make his schedule! The office staff felt good because they recognized the bus driver. His widow spat in their faces. Confused, they asked, why did you do that? We recognized him for following our direction! You should be proud! They really didn't understand why she was so upset.

Do you know why the widow was so upset? Who benefited from this situation? The bus driver died. The passengers died. The timeline wasn't met. The bus company lost a bus (and will probably be sued). The driver should have actually got recognized for blind stupidity! Following orders that compromised the safety of his passengers!

This is a parable on corporate life. A few words of advice:

1) If in a crisis situation and everyone is in reactionary mode, Don't join them! Plan your next steps and everyone will be better!

2) If everyone is in planning mode, but nothing seems to be getting done, execute your plans! The only thing worse than executing without a plan is planning without execution. They go hand in hand!

3) Don't take the bus!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus!

Hi Ho Ranters!

Easter Bunny and Santa Claus spoiler alert!!! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH!

Today, I’m going to tell you a story that, well, I’m not too proud of. My son is going into middle school (no! That is NOT what I’m not too proud of), and my wife wanted to make sure that we utterly crushed his belief in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. They had a long car ride and she said she would break the news then (keeping my unique, yet blunt talents of breaking news out of the picture).

I get home from a long day at work. We are sitting down to eat dinner and I find out that she has not had the “talk” with our son. And she starts to broche the subject at the table. She tries (quite eloquently) to tie the religious aspect of the Easter Bunny and Saint Nick to manifest through us. But, as I saw, this approach was not working. I took control of the conversation and said…

Son, what your mother is trying to tell you, is that the Easter Bunny – pregnant pause -- was killed in 1946 by Farmer McGreggor’s car. What we now know as the Easter Bunny is actually a malicious spirit that poops candied eggs in everyone’s yard every Easter when his spirit materializes in our world for one day. To try to hide this fact, your mother and I give you presents and say it is from the Easter Bunny.

Well, I’ll tell you Ranters, in my opinion, he took the news quite well. Then, I took on the next subject. Yes, the big guy himself! …And, yes, I will probably go to Hell for this. So, going off my past success, I told him…

Son, now let’s discuss Santa Claus. I said, Santa was a great man that gave toys to children all around the world! One Christmas in 1961, Santa went down the wrong chimney. He found himself confronted by a group of Hippie War Protesters, high on LSD. Santa did his best to defend himself, but alas, he was out numbered. That was the last we saw of Santa Claus and the last Christmas Santa personally delivered toys to children. In this void and to take up Santa’s original charge, parents, around the world, started pretending that they were Santa Claus. They dressed like him; Put imitators in department stores; And formed the Secret Santa Alliance. All participating parents had to sign legal documents around how to perpetuate Santa’s memory throughout the ages. This, of course, was the Santa Clause. Well, we had to swear a vow of silence as you now have too so the memory of Santa Claus will still live in others (even though, we just killed it in you!).

I looked to my son. Big crocodile tears traversing his face, I realized, maybe I wasn’t so successful with that story!

Let me tell you Ranters, I didn’t even bring up the subject of how the tooth fairy was actually an alliance of dental hygienists who misappropriated funds from the dentist that they worked for. In their shame, they gave portions of that money to the children who lost teeth.


Till Next Time Ranters!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stop the world -- I want to get off!

OMG! My day started bad and went downhill from there! I woke up with a back ache, did not have a good workout, get into work and find out that my plans have to be reworked because China decided Saturday October 9th is a work day. I'm vilified in a meeting for problems created and controlled by another group. A perfect storm is being formed for this weekend by people who think proactive is something they sell on infomercials to clear up pimples!

I look forward to Friday the 13th!! Heck, I don't think I'm going to make it through Thursday the 12th!

I would take this last-gulp-of-air after coming up for the third time, but I think it will all be Carbon Dioxide from all the hot-air going on!

I think the greatest export of the UK is politics, hot-air, and a flair for the dramatics! They are also good at pushing-buttons, taking pot-shots at people who are not present to defend themselves, and placing the blame on everyone except for who should take it!

I HATE England! Your best export was Dr. Who! ...and you don't even export that until after it has been on the air for 6 months!

Wow! I'm glad to get that off my chest!

Oh well, back to the war!

Till next time Ranters (if there IS a next time!!!)!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

FREE Organically Grown Vegetables!

Recently, I was in our break-room at my workplace. I saw an empty basket with the sign, "FREE Organically Grown Vegetables" I thought to myself - As opposed to what? Genetically enhanced vegetables?

When I got a free moment, I went onto to find out exactly what is meant by organic. It gave the following definition:

of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living plants and animals
So, this still perplexes me! How do organically grown vegetables differ from non-organically grown vegetables, and -more importantly- why did the author of the sign believe they had to differentiate their vegetables as organic. Were the vegetables still living?

I guess if I worked at a genetics research company, it would make more sense to distinguish between genetically altered versus not. But, I don't work at a genetics plant. I work for a large financial institutions. I don't even know anyone who grows nor had grown non-organic vegetables. What would such a vegetable look like?

Well, this will just have to stay as another perplexing mystery!

Till next time Ranters!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Life's a beach!

Hi ho Ranters,

Pelican Joe and family has visited one of the Carolina's many beaches. I won't mention where we stayed. My wife did not want me to speak ill of them (I think she feels sorry for them).

The place we stayed at had the feel of a well-used hunting lodge, where a place to stay was secondary to the location. Well, in true Pelican Rant fashion, here are the good and bad of our mini-vacation.

The good:

  1. Right on the beach
  2. Neighbors were fairly quiet and sociable
  3. Dog friendly
  4. The on-sight managers were very responsive
  5. Not only on the beach, but had a pool and a balcony overlooking both the pool and the beach
  6. Close to the local boardwalk and carnival
  7. The dog traveled well and was well-behaved
  8. The ocean waves were 3-5 feet and fun on a boogie board

The bad:

  1. Room was dirty, smelly, moldy and all of the other ee's that you can think of.
  2. Landlord stated that the apartment had a small two burner stove (turned out to be a two burner hot-plate).
  3. One sink did not have cold water
  4. On the website, it said it had free WIFI. Well, it was one DSL wireless router in the manager's office. The connection was spotty at best and I think the internet pipe was very small (say around 768kps).
  5. Parking was off-site.
  6. Air-conditioners were old window units (very noisy)
  7. Had cockroaches and wasps in our unit (dead ones now)!
  8. Battery was missing from the smoke detector
  9. EVERYONE staying there chained smoked!
  10. The lodging was pet friendly, the beach was not.
Lesson learned:

Next vacation, the dog goes to a kennel, and we stay at a much nicer place! This way, everyone has a more pleasant respite.

All in all, it was a fun vacation! We ate at some unusual restaurants and consumed local cuisine.

Pelican Joe Quote:

Ocean Beaches would be more fun if they removed the sand, removed the salt, and removed the dangerous sea creatures! Wait, BP is doing that last thing!

Till next time Ranters!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Himalayan Salt Lamps -- They read your mind *(and do your laundry**!)

About 3 months ago, my son was having a hard time sleeping and I was getting a little concerned. While listening to the podcast "Mysterious Universe" the host mentioned that they have been using the Himalayan Salt Lamps and it helped with moods, reduced pollution, helped with sleep and the list went on. They also spoke of credible evidence around the lamp as a negative Ion generator. So, I bought one from

As with most of my brilliant ideas to help my kids, they did not want anything to do with this lamp! My daughter called it evil and my son did not want it on in his room. So it disappeared for a few weeks.

A couple of days ago, while my wife was redecorating, it was rediscovered and now it is in our room. When the lamp is on, you can feel the hair on your arm tingle. Leaving it on over night, makes it very hard to get up in the morning. I've even noticed that I am remembering my dreams (which did not happen before). This lamp makes my wife sleepy as well and she has mentioned that it is hard to wake up in the morning.

I will update this post from time to time to let everyone know how it is using the lamp over time. Don't want to grow a third arm and not rant it to the world!

So, for now,

Till next time ranters!

* To get the lamp to read your mind, look into it for 30 seconds, then the thoughts you will have is the thoughts the lamp believes you are thinking! 100% accurate with 0% margin of error!

** To get the lamp to do your laundry, first put your laundry in the washing machine, put in the detergent, and press the start key. The lamp interacts with the washer so that your clothes will get just as clean as if you did it yourself! Amazing!

In a teen-age mind

Have you ever went shopping with your teen-aged daughter? Well, Pelican Joe had the pleasure of taking his daughter to buy a back-pack this past weekend. Let me share some of the conversation:

Pelican Joe - So, what style of backpack are you looking for?

Daughter - Something that can hold all my books.

Pelican Joe - You wanted to get the LL Bean backpack. What size is that backpack?

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - How do you know that all your books would fit into that one?

Daughter - It's an LL Bean backpack!

Pelican Joe - Okay, let's look at the sizes of backpack we have here.

Daughter - These are all too small!

Pelican Joe - Let's look at the sizes and get the biggest one. We can always return it if your LL Bean backpack is bigger.

Daughter - These are all ugly.

Pelican Joe - We have another criteria? It has to be big and good looking?

Daughter - Well, Duh!

Pelican Joe - Okay, are there any backpacks that you find nice looking?

Daughter - No.

Pelican Joe - There are more in the back of the store.

Daughter - None of these look good.

So, I looked at sizes 19.5 inch by 17 inch seemed to be the biggest (but did not fit the appearance factor). Most of the bags were between 19 x 17 inches and 15 x 13 inches.

Pelican Joe - (Noticing that she is looking at a backpack) So, what size is that?

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - Will all of your books fit into that? (looking at the tag I noticed that was 19 x17 inches. One of the bigger backpacks at this store.)

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - Why don't we buy this one and we can always return it if the LL Bean one is bigger.

Daughter - Okay.

So, we ended up purchasing the backpack. Later I asked her the size of the LL Bean backpack. She told me it was smaller.

I guess what I learned from the experience was that if you can discern the criteria and establish metrics that allow you to objectively limit the selection, then the subjective part (Look and Feel) gets easier.

I know! Now that I have this written down, the above formula will never work again! After all, as she reminds me, she is a teen-ager! Which is hard for a person who graduated with a degree in Decision Theory to handle!

Till next time ranters!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. "
Samuel Beckett

Well, I tried the Jenny post and don't think it is for me. I am not saying anything about anyone else (so, relax Tom! your comment yesterday was longer than my whole post!). I know my wife will continue, but it is not for me.

With that said, if you can give me guidance on other meme out there, I would like to see other options. It would be great to find something I could give my unique spin.

Till next time ranters!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A visit with Jenny

Hi All,

I'm really trying to expand myself. So, I told my wife I would put in a post for Jenny Matlock's weekly challenge. Here are the rules:

Each linked essay must be 100 words or less, not including the "prompt" words. No pictures should be used. No profanity. The prompt words can be used in any place within your story but must be left intact. You cannot split the prompt.

Please display link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog.

Link to her blog


Driving six hours is a long time on the road. Six hours spent singing car-aoke and taking in the picturesque scenery, but mostly reminiscing about the good times. But those days were long gone and my mind was in a different place now. Or was it? My pulse quickened as I passed the road sign which read "Medford 27 miles."

Here is my entry entitled:

What I left in Medford

It has been almost 12 years since the last time I saw her. She was 23 and I was 25. It is different now, or so I’ve been assured. Her zest for life has been toned down to apathy. Her passions condensed to indifference. But her rage, oh yes, her vile angry mood-swings, have also been reduced to calmness. Or so I’ve been told!

Driving six hours is a long time on the road. Six hours spent singing car-aoke and taking in the picturesque scenery, but mostly reminiscing about the good times. But those days were long gone and my mind was in a different place now. Or was it? My pulse quickened as I passed the road sign which read "Medford 27 miles."

I am going back. Back to where I left her 12 years ago in Medford and the Medford Psychiatric Clinic. For tomorrow she will be discharged. And finally, this chapter of my life will have concluded.

The end.

As in Pelican Rant fashion, I would like to really rant about the prompt! Could we really have made this shorter? If you have 160 words to tell a story, but you provide 60 of those words, you have just told the story. Now, if it was 500 words, anything could have happened. If next weeks similar to this weeks, then this will be my first and last.

Till next time ranters!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Routers -- Update!

Well, my DLink router configuration did not work as well as I would have hoped. I was watching a repeat of Psych! on TV (streamed over my LAN) and all of the sudden the dreaded start, stop, start, stop occurred. Thinking about my options, I was hoping the WISH configuration would work. So, I clicked my heels 3 times and said... "There's no place like a properly configured network!, There's no place like a properly configured network!, There's no place like a properly configured network!" That did not work! Gasp! Surprise! Shock! Maybe I had to click my heels 4 times?

If only there was some sort of Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling built into the router! Oh, wait a minute the acronym for "Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling" is WISH! Maybe THAT is what I need to use. This clicking of heels is definitely not working! So now, I've configured the WISH settings on the router and HOPEFULLY, that will work! Otherwise, I need to go back wishing I can discern the proper configuration settings that will allow my network to flow flawlessly!

So, click your heels 3 times and say "I wish Pelican Joe would blog about something I actually care about! I wish Pelican Joe would blog about something I actually care about! I wish Pelican Joe would blog about something I actually care about!"

Till next time ranters!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I recently had to switch from one gigabit wireless router to another. Different brands, but pretty much the same functionality. I sent back my SMCWGBR14-N router because it was dropping wired and wireless connections (and I only had it since May of last year!). SMC finally agreed to give me an RMA for the router, so I decided to purchase another router so that I can have a backup once the replacement SMC arrives. I purchased a DLink DIR-655.

The DLink router (as mentioned) had much of the functionality as the SMC, but it was a little better at handling mixed speeds connections 100mbs vs. 1000mbs. So, my network is based on zones - Zone 1 is the wireless video streaming to the televisions via a media center server. Zone 2 is our VOIP (Voice over IP) box (ooma). Zone 3 is comprised of all wireless computers (5 in our house). Zone 4 is our print server. And zone 5 manages the remaining IP enabled devices from our Netgear gigabit switch.

So, I configure the DLink router identically to what I had in the SMC router. Zone 1 and Zone 2 failed to provide adequate streams and all telephone and television signals failed (much to the dismay of my family). After much playing around with the settings (QOS/WISH configurations as well as turning off a lot of bells and whistles), I finally have the DLink providing the same, if not better coverage in the house.

So, my rant is... Why can't you configure two devices that have similar settings the same and as a result they give similar performance? Why couldn't the same settings give similar results? Afterall, they are based on the same specifications and protocols.

I don't know! By the way, if anyone is interested in the configuration changes I made to the DLink DIR-655, just let me know and I will tell you what I adjusted.

Till next time ranters!