Printer Cops

Someone in my office apparently obsessively lurks by the printer, and when anything, I mean anything, is printed, leaps into action, removes the paper from the tray, and places it face up on a common table nearby. Every single time I have printed on this machine, by the time I can physically walk from my desk to the printer, the paper has already been removed and placed on display.

Admittedly it is “a long walk” from my desk to the printer, because the printer nearer to my desk is broken. But the walk is not longer than 45 seconds.

The lesson here, I guess, is that if for any reason you might be printing anything, ever, that you don’t want the entire office to see, you need to stand next to the printer with your laptop, print the document, and grab it as it comes out.

Not joking. I’ve done this.

I get that it’s a problem to let stuff pile up. We publish books here, and sometimes it’s chapters or even whole manuscripts that are being printed. You don’t want a forgotten job gumming up the tray. But seriously, could we be granted a 2 minute grace period to get to the printer before our stuff is displayed in the deadbeat printer hall of shame? Continue reading


Facepalm Friday: Stranger in a Strange Kitchen

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a Facepalm Friday. Lucky you, I’ve got a twofer.

Part I: Having my cake

Sam’s parents are coming to visit this weekend, and Sam asked me to make a Guinness cake for his dad, who had a birthday this week and, as it happens, loves Guinness cake (because he is human, come on!). Actually, Art asked Sam to ask me to make it, but nevertheless, Sam was excited:

“They’ll forget they asked, or they’ll expect me to have forgotten to ask you. Either way, they won’t be expecting a cake!” Continue reading

The Little Prince

By a strange alignment of the stars, on both Royal Wedding day (April 29, 2011) and Royal Baby day (July 22, 2013), I was giving introductory lectures on text encoding and markup languages. This is not something I do every day or anything, so the coincidence really is a little strange.

In both cases I wasn’t really paying that much attention ahead of time….and then at some point during the day (perhaps in the post-lunch-no-free-brownies!?? slump) I became entranced, and sat in the back of other people’s keynote talks, clicking through slideshow after slideshow on my laptop.

I was going to say that it was all the whispering and giggling at the altar between bride and groom that got me on board with the wedding, but that’s a lie. It was the bells and the MAGICAL FOREST in Westminster Abbey. Let’s enjoy it all again right now (4:41 for the forest; 8:10 for the love):

Today, it was this freaking video of Wills putting the carseat in the car:

Of course it was all completely contrived. I mean, of all the days to take advantage of the fact that you have a professional driver employed by national security so you can ride merrily along in the back seat, don’t you think the day you bring your child home from the hospital would be one of them? According to a very nearly overcome CNN anchor, the fact that William is driving is “so symbolic.” I wonder if he just pulled over around the corner and jumped into the backseat.

What can you do? These royals may not do much else, but they know how to warm a heart.

My mom is coming to visit!

I just spent about 10 minutes trying to think of some clever title for this post, but this about sums it up. My mom is coming to visit tomorrow. So that means I will spend tonight cleaning all the parts of the house that she doesn’t care about (area rug in the study) and neglecting to clean all the parts that she does care about (driveway and porch).

Mom and me at Top of the Park in 2012

Mom and me at Top of the Park in 2012

Continue reading