archive for the 'tips' category


If the email announcing your webinar starts with “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About UNIBA!” — where UNIBA stands for Undefined & Non-Intuitive Business Acronym — and you don’t actually explain what UNIBA means, your email will probably be deleted faster than you might prefer.

I mean, even faster than is normal for a webinar invitation.


Much to everyone’s chagrin, we have now entered the holiday shopping season. Which means hordes and herds of people heading out in a mass panic to… THE MALL.

Which leads me to our topic for the day.


Are we all familiar with them? Stairs that move? Good. Saves me drawing a diagram.

Let us first look at the word “Escalator”. What is the root of the word? Yes! You, in the back-row. Can you please speak up for the class?

That’s right.

The root of the word “escalator” is “ESCALATE”.

And what does the word escalate mean?

“To increase, enlarge, or intensify”

So, if we take that meaning, it would seem that the escalator, which is a mode of transportation whereby an individual or individuals can be conveyed from one floor to another, it seems logical that the escalator is meant to increase the speedin comparison to the use of stairs — at which one could travel from one floor to another.

Logical, no?

However, let us examine the two species of escalator users, which will illustrate that this intended purpose is by no means universally accepted:

MOVERS: These are those blurs of motion that you see dashing about on escalators. These are the individuals that are using the escalators to increase the speed at which they can move from one floor to another. They are dynamos of action. They are stepping onto the escalators and ACTUALLY WALKING. These are your Movers.

SHEEP: These are your standers, your slouchers, your herds of loungers. These are the individuals that see the escalator as a means of eliminating the need to walk. These are the individuals who feel nothing about wasting minutes, hours, even DAYS of their lives being shuttled from floor to floor. These are your Sheep.

Being a strong advocate of the Mover camp, I am nevertheless quite willing to allow that there is enough room in this wide world of ours to accept both tribes. I will not — though from time to time I have felt the urge to hand out literature extolling the virtues of moving your ass — deny fellow members of humanity the right to grow moss on the escalator if they so desire.


But I do ask one favour — nay, I IMPLORE — those members of the Sheep faction to show myself and my fellow Movers the same courtesy and give me the freedom to pursue my goal of getting off the escalators in as brief a period of time as possible.

And how, you ask, can this be accomplished?


That escalator you are standing on? Note how wide it is? Wide enough for two people side-by-side? Or maybe… just perhaps… just enough room for one person standing and FOR ONE PERSON THAT MIGHT ACTUALLY CHOOSE TO WALK?

“But wait!”, you ask? “I’m with my friend! We want to talk! Waa! Waa! Baby wants his bottle!”

Interestingly enough, I say to you, the escalator has a built-in feature designed to deal with JUST THIS SCENARIO!

Just follow these steps:

  1. Person A steps on the right-hand side of the escalator.
  2. Person B steps on the right-hand side of the escalator, directly behind Person A.
  3. The most crucial step — PERSON A TURNS AROUND!

Viola! Face-face-conversations may ensue! Here. Have a tissue. Dry your eyes.

So please, all members of the Sheep Nation, I invite you to go forth. Stand on your escalators. Chat with your friends. Revel in the pleasures of the steel grates at your feet.

Just remember… you are not alone.


This is your only warning.

the month of me: if you remember anything, remember this

You know what doesn’t work like it does in cartoons?

Toothpicks propping your eyelids open.

That so totally hurts.

the month of me: #1 computer troubleshooting tip

The number of people that I stun with my computer prowess grows daily.

Printers stop working, programs freezing, perplexing error messages in ancient Sumerian, jets of black flames spearing down from the heavens, lemurs chewing on the cables.

I fix them all.

People think I’m a freaking wizard. They love me long time.

And I can thank my number one piece of troubleshooting knowledge:

90% of all computer problems can be fixed by a restart.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Turn it off.
  2. Turn it on.

Presto! You’re done!

Then just sit back and bathe in the tithing of wine and goats.

And I don’t keep this wisdom to myself! Oh no! Every time, after the dragon has been slain — again — and after my supplicants bow down before me — again — I bestow them with this wisdom — again


And they never, ever remember.

However, the other 10% of the time is when things get dicey.

Thankfully, I do have a brain.

It’s called Google.

the month of me: jason’s no-fun monkey/cat/zombie-free studying post

I’m studying for a midterm right now. My brain is sizzling at the rate I’m cramming relational database theory into my pea-sized, monkey-obsessed brain.

So unless you want to hear about how to decompose a relation into Boyce-Codd Normal Form, or how to determine the closure on a set of functional dependencies… just walk away.

WAIT! I do have one important tip for the throngs and masses reading this…

Jalapenos taste very good in omelettes.

However… they are not very good to you the rest of the day.

Or weekend.

I speak from recent, disquieting experience.

I think I’ve said too much.