Wednesday, December 20, 2006

17 - Answers

Q: Kevin Graves - Why hasn't anyone asked a Mitssob question yet?
A: In considering this question, a number of possible answers come to mind:

1. There are no more questions left to ask.
2. Ron has been deleting the questions before I get a chance to answer them.
3. People are very busy during this holiday season and don't have time to ask questions.
4. People don't have any questions to ask right now.
5. My answers have been so unhelpful that people have given up on me.

Well option 1 is pretty unlikely. As long as humanity exists there will be questions. Similarly, option 2 is pretty improbable (unless the conspiracy goes far deeper than I suspected).

I tend to think that it's a combination of options three and four. The holidays tend to throw people into a frenzy of activity, and therefore it's natural that they wouldn't want to spend the time asking me questions. In addition, I've been pretty slow in answering questions lately due to my own hectic schedule. Therefore people are possibly holding their questions back until things calm down again.

As a writer I'm sensitive to option 5, which is why I included it as a possibility. I'd like to think that this feature has been at least somewhat funny and enlightening, but if that's not the case then I'll do my best to improve it. Just keep the questions coming, Jolinko! I look forward to the chance to provide a few laughs and maybe even some deep thoughts.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

16 - Answers

First, a quick apology. I spent the last two weeks finishing up my NaNoWriMo submission, which took up the majority of my free time. I managed to write about 16000 words in 5 days in order to get to the required 50,000. Because of that, I had to forgo the Ask Mitssob, and I'm sorry for not giving prior warning.

Without further ado...

Q: Bill Jeffers - What is the studly underwear choice? Boxers? Briefs? Boxerbriefs? Manthong?
A: Again with questions about clothes. I should open a fashion column or something. In any event, let me think about this. Even though I'm not a stud, I do wear underwear, so I'll use myself as an example to start. I wore briefs for a very long time (no, not the same briefs), and switched to boxers my graduate year of college. I would have to say that boxers are much more comfortable, and I'll stick with them for now. I have never worn boxerbriefs or a manthong; the former would be acceptable to me, the later too horrifying to contemplate.

Now, for the "studly" part of your question. In order to properly answer this question I'd have to consult a female, since I am not homosexual and thus do not find men to be "studly". If I had to choose underwear that would make ME feel studly, I'd have to go with boxers. The choice that sounds the studliest is the manthong. In my opinion it takes a special kind of man to wear a manthong. I am not that man. Are you? Let me know.

Q: Brett Gobe - Crosby, Stills and Nash or Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young?
A: Since I really like the music of Neil Young, I would have to go with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Q: Adam Barnello - Why does Bill keep asking questions about clothes?
A: I have a couple of theories about this. The first is that he misses his days at Tuxedo Junction. Perhaps he feels like he has unfinished business there. I don't know.

The second is that he is secretly fantasizing about me wearing the clothes that he's asking about. And since this includes the infamous manthong, well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

15 - Answers

Q: Bill Jeffers - Black and Navy-still fashion faux pas or the new thing?
A: Didn't you used to work at Tuxedo Junction? Doesn't that make you more qualified to answer this question than me? I'm sorry, I'm answering your question with another question. That's not very useful of me.

I'm really not all that current on the latest in men's fashion (pants are still in, right?), but my impression is that black and navy together is just not right. Now, I'm not talking about wearing black pants and navy socks, or navy pants and black shoes. That's okay. But wearing black pants and a navy blazer is just wrong. I don't care if it's "the new thing" or not. It looks ugly. Is it a "faux pas"? Yes, I would say so.

Q: Joe Zaffarano - If a safe is unlocked, is it still a safe?
A: A safe can be basically defined as a container with a lock. This definition does not get into the state of the lock, merely that the lock exists. Therefore, the fact that a safe is unlocked does not make it not a safe. It is merely a state of the safe. So the answer to the question is yes, an unlocked safe is still a safe.

Q: Kevin Graves - Should I try learning a new musical instrument, or just stick to the drums?
A: Congratulations, Kevin. You win the award for best question this week. Let me first spin the story of the question (and please correct me if I get anything wrong). This question comes from a Pep Band Road trip to RPI. I think this was my Junior year, which would make it during Kevin's tenure as a graduate student. We were short a drummer for the trip, and so Kevin was lending a hand on the quads. He played some cheers and a couple of songs on the quads, and then switched back to his regular instrument (trumpet). After playing one song, a kid came up to Kevin and said in a serious and deadpan voice, "You should stick with the drums." The entire band was in stitches over this, and it became a running joke for months to come.

As far as your question, you should definitely stick with the drums. You already knew quite a bit about drumming when we played together in Pep Band, and rather than learning a totally new instrument, you should focus your energies on improving your drumming skills. And while you're at it, teach your son too :). The world can always use more drummers.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

14 - Answers

Q: Bill Jeffers - Who is next to get married? Translation: Which pussy will finally pony up and by the gad domned ring?
A: Silly answer: I am, because I caught the garter at the Stoffel wedding. As is the young woman who was unfortunate enough catch the bouquet and have the honor of my placing said garter on her leg.

Serious answer: For the first time in "Ask Mitssob" history, I'm going to refuse to answer a question. Allow me to explain why.

The decision to marry is a personal and private decision. As such, I am uncomfortable in making any predictions about it. The unmarried couples that I know undoubtedly have reasons why they haven't married, and it is not my place to speculate as to what they are. We've all been in relationships, and (I presume) that at least some of these haven't worked out. It's possible that these relationships will end prior to marriage, while others will see through to the event. But I'm not going to guess. It's not my place.

I realize that I sound as though I might be offended by the question. I'm not. I am choosing to respect my friends' privacy. And no, Bill, I'm not implying that you're being disrespectful. Not at all. My view is that if a couple decides to marry, then I will wish them the best of luck, and will provide my love and assistance to them whenever called upon. But I simply won't speculate as to which couples are destined to marry and which aren't.

Q: Brett Gobe - Was that a thinly vailed hint to Mit Ssob? Will Tim answer that question?
A: Being somewhat paranoid (as well as narcissistic), I'm going to assume that this question was directed at me. And as I said above, I'm not going to answer this question. Sorry, folks. I hope you understand.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

13 - Answers

Q: Brett Gobe - Klondike Bars and milk? That's alot of dairy.
A: Yeah, I realized that after I posted the answer. Good thing I’m not lactose intolerant.

Q: Adam Barnello - What do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning?
A: This question comes from the song of the same name. The song is originally titled Sailor’s Holiday, and it’s a traditional “sea shanty”, or work song. The song begins:

What do you do with a drunken sailor (x3)
Early in the morning!

There are many verses which can be sung following this same style. Here are just a few that I find rather funny:

- Put him in the long boat till he's sober,
- Shave his belly with a rusty razor.
- Put him in bed with the captain's daughter.
- Rub him really smooth until he guffaws
- Threaten him with sharks til his’s sober

What would I do with a drunken sailor early in the morning? That would depend on the situation. If I were aboard a ship with said drunken sailor, I might join him. It would also depends on what the drunken sailor is doing. If he’s just sitting around being drunk, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with that. If he’s being belligerent and annoying, I’d probably do something about it. Like kick his ass or something.

I guess in the end my final answer is that I would interview him. Since he was drunk it would make the interview funny, and since he's a sailor he's undoubtedly done some traveling and seen some interesting things.

Q: Bill Jeffers - When will California fall into the ocean?
A: According to the atrocious NBC made-for-TV miniseries "10.5" it’s already happened. In reality, it'll happen many thousands of years from now. Though to be totally accurate California won't "fall into the ocean", but rather break off and become an island. So the answer to your literal question is "never".

Q: Karyn Graves - Will a 2.5 yr old enjoy a trip to DisneyWorld? Will he remember any of it?
A: I would say that your son would definitely enjoy a trip to Disney World. The sights, the sounds, the sheer "Disney Experience" all add up to a great time for kids of all ages (man, I sound like a commercial here). I think he's on the young end of the scale, but there's still plenty there to entertain him (and you and Kevin too).

As far as remembering anything about it, I have to say that I doubt it. As part of my research I asked Allison this question, and she told me that she went to Disney World when she was 3.5. She has only vague memories of the trip, and those are mostly of a side trip that her family took to Cape Canaveral. On my end, I went to Disney Land when I was about 5 years old. I remember bits and pieces of the experience, such as the flight over and going on various rides. Judging from this rather limited sample, I'd say that he might remember things like seeing his favorite Disney character walking around, or possibly a parade, but as far as life-long memories go that's probably unlikely. Let me know how it turns out!

Q: Brad Pettengill - How much halloween candy can I eat without getting sick
A: Two pounds. Not more. Any more than that and you’ll risk all sorts of unpleasantness for anyone who happens to be around you. I'm talking gastric difficulties on an epic scale. Mark my words!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

12 - Answer(s)

Q: Brett Gobe - How do you measure yourself against other golfers?
A: Chevy Chase would answer this question with, "By height." I am a much more infrequent golfer than he (I've played three times in the past four years), but I'll give the same answer since it gives me a greater chance of victory than if I played golf straight-up against other golfers.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Will the Yankees ever win it all again?
A: My initial answer is "I hope not." As a fan of the Boston Red Sox since childhood, I have a nearly genetic predisposition to hating the NY Yankees. Therefore I hope that their six-year trend of failure in the postseason continues into the next century. But even I must admit that yes they will win it all again. I personally think that it'll take another two or three years of failure before they accept the fact that trying to buy the best players and placing them on the field together does NOT a team make. Of course, they could always purchase every other team in major league baseball and win by default, but that's pushing even my Yankee-hating boundaries.

Q: Eric Carney - You have Box and you have Wine. Two of my most favorite things united in what can only be described as a monumental achievement of the late 20th century. There's no question here I justed wanted to say I love Boxed Wine.
A: That was Eric Carney, former Pep Band President. He was damned glad to meet you.

Q: Adam Barnello - What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
A: First, I would get up from the comfortable couch on which I am typing these words. I would then put on my coat, leave my apartment, get into my car and drive to Wegmans. Once at Wegmans I would find the frozen dessert section and get a package of Klondike bars. I would then exchange cash for said Klondike bars at a checkout register and leave the store. I would then have the Klondike bars, and could do with them whatever I wished. Fling them at passing motorists, rub them in my hair, or even consume them with a nice glass of milk. Whatever came into my head.

Q (repeat): Nicole Maloney - What kind of music was played at weddings before the 70's came along?
A: I asked around about this question, and everyone I asked had pretty much the same two answers as me: either the popular music of the day, or the music that the bride and groom request. This makes sense. The wedding reception will reflect the tastes of the bride and groom, and therefore the music played at the reception will mirror those tastes. All things being equal, popular music of the day is probably the most common music played at weddings in all times. Some couples may choose to have something different, such as a string quartet, a jazz band, or even a carribian steel band. It's really up to the bride and groom (which means the bride).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

11 - Answer(s)

Q: Brett Gobe - Why do they rock so hard? Did I already ask this?
A: First, a quick parusal of the Ask Mitssob Archives shows me that you have not asked this question yet. Second, I think that "they rock so hard" because they feel that they must. Let me explain. "They" feel that the only way that they can express themselves is to "rock", and therefore in order to express themselves to the fullest they must rock "hard". Who are "they"? What does it mean to "rock"? What qualifies as "hard"? I don't have the answer to those questions. Perhaps next time I'll revisit this.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Why can't I get paid to be good at video games?
A: While it is possible to be paid to play video games, these jobs generally take the form of "game tester" or "game developer". The question you ask relates to the quality of your video game playing, and I'm here to report that you in fact can get paid to be good at video games. Granted, this payment does not take the form of a salary with benefits, but there are many competitions out there for gamers to compete in. These competitions have prizes that can go into the tens of thousands of dollars. You must be very good in order to compete, but if you are good enough, then you can indeed be "paid to be good at video games." Best of luck with that, Bill :)

Q: Sarah LaBombard - where are the best bagels?
A: The literal answer to your question is "where the best bagels are made." But since I know that this is what your question implied (and since if I don't answer this, you'll be mad at me), let me take a crack at it. First, I would say that the best bagels are generally accepted to be found in New York City. I did a quick search and found H&H Bagels, which is reported to have the best. I can't honestly judge this because I've never had their bagels, but I'll pass the link along.

For my money, the best bagels that I find locally are from Brueggers. Are they the "best"? Probably not, but they're my favorite. Please feel free to comment, Jolinko community, and help find the best bagels!

Q: Nicole Maloney - What kind of music was played at weddings before the 70's came along?
A: This question is going to be put off until next week, Nicole. I want to do some actual research on this question because I'm also curious about it. So tune in next week (and also feel free to submit other questions for me to ponder in the interim).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

10 - Answer(s)

Q: Bill Jeffers - Will this be the year the Sabres bring home Lord Stanley's Cup?
A: Unfortunately, I don't know. More to the point, I won't even hazard a guess at this point in the season. The Sabres have definitely been improving over the past few years. They've got tgot some hot rookies (Jason Pommenville and Ryan Miller, both former Amerks), as well as a solid cast of verterans (Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, and Marty Biron). I think they can compete with the best of the NHL, but as we all know that's not necessarily enough. On a personal level, I certainly hope they win the cup. As a transplanted New Englander, my sports loyalties still lie in that region, but the one exception has been the Sabres (I was a Whalers fan before they moved, and don't really care for the Bruins). So go Sabres!

Q: Jennifer Walden - Why can I 'drop out' of school, but I have to 'quit' my job?
A: The first thing to do is get some definitions, courtesy of The definition of "quit" that fits best to your question is "To give up; relinquish." The definition of "drop out" that fits is "to stop attending school or college." So it seems that the initial answer to your question lies in the very difinitions of the words that are used.

But I find this an interesting question, so I'll dig a little deeper. I think that part of the difference in terminology comes from the difference between school and work. "School" is a voluntary activity in which an individual pays money to an organization, and in return the organization educates the individual. "Work" is a voluntary activity in which an organization pays money to an individual, and in return the individual gives worth to the organization.

I see the difference between the two in the expectations of the parties. In the case of work, you (the individual) have obligations to the organization. If you choose not to perform those obligations, then you have quit. The organization will stop paying you because you have stopped adding worth to the organization. In the case of school, you are obligated to pay and to learn. Should you choose to end, then you simply leave. The organization will not be paid, but they will also not be educating you.

I guess the real answer for me lies in another difference between school and work. School is not only an educational institution, but also a care-giving one. When you go to school as a child, then you are under their direct care. When you go to school in college, you often live on campus and are a part of the larger college community. When you choose to leave school prematurely, you are truly "dropping out" of the community. The same cannot be said of work. If you stop working, then you quit. There is a "dropping out", but it's not the same as school.

So those are my thoughts on that subject. I may come back to this question; it's more interesting than I expected. Thanks, Jen!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

9 - Answer(s)

Q: Bill Jeffers - Why are boobs so attractive to men? (Well, and some women I suppose)
A: From theoretical physics to boobs in the span of two weeks. Bill, you're one of a kind.

In all seriousness, this is a very good question. Let me try a simple thought experiment first, then lay out some other related thoughts on this topic (I might have to come back to this one in the future; it's a good question). One primary goal that men have is to spread their genes in the gene pool. This is done by finding a woman (or many women) and mating with her so that she will produce his offspring. The first step that the man must take in this goal is to find a woman. Breasts are one of the distinguishing physical characteristics of women. Therefore, men will seek breasts in order to separate the women from the men. Therefore, men are attracted to breasts. Was that a silly thought experiment? Yes, but it's literally true, so it provides a little value to this discussion.

Something I saw on TV (the Discover Channel or TLC, I can't remember which) a few years ago provides more fodder for this question. The subject was why males are attracted to certain characteristics of females. I learned from this show that men in general are attracted to cleavage, and not necessarily breasts. They showed examples of cleavage in the knees, the butt, and the breasts in several females, and all three were remarkably similar. I found this rather interesting at the time, and still do, so I think part of the answer is that men are not necessarily attracted to breasts, but to cleavage in women.

Another reason that boobs are attractive to men is their role in childbearing. There is a theory in biology that suggests that men are attracted to women with large breasts because they (the men) view them (the breasts) as a sign that the woman is better able to provide for his offspring than women with smaller breasts. Is this true? I'm not sure. It's certainly logical, at least on a subconcious level.

I guess the answer to this question can be best summed up by Brett Gobe: "Because they're boobs". Truer words were never spoken.

Q: Brett Gobe - Why do I always lose socks in the laundry?
A: One answer is that the socks are getting left behind in either the washing machine or the dryer. I've noticed that my socks tend to stick to the inside of my dryer sometimes, meaning that they'll occasionally get left behind. Similarly, I've found that my socks can get wedged undernieth the agitator in my washing machine. The socks aren't necissarily "lost" in these examples, but they're not making it out with the rest of the clothes.

Another potential explanation is that the Underpants Gnomes are branching out. But that means that they're getting more ambitious, and I don't even want to think about what that means for civilization as a whole.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

8 - Answer(s)

Q: Joe Zaffarano - What is the proper length for the snare-quad solo in Conga?
A: The proper length of the Conga solo depends on a number of factors, such as the tiredness of the drum section, how many minutes are left in intermission, and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Removing those variables, my opinion is that the proper length of the snare/quad call and answer is 4 exchanges. This gives both parties enough time to show off a bit, but doesn't drag the drum solo section of the song out for too long. If time is short, then the solo should be cut down to as few as one exchanges. If the crowd is really into it, then I can see extending it to as many as 8, but anything more than that is really pushing it.

Q: Sarah LaBombard - Did Sarah find Oscar?
A: First, the backstory: While moving my drums into Monty's Krown for a gig last Saturday, Allison asked me what Sarah L's cat is named. I was highly confused by the random nature of the question, and I said that I couldn't remember, and asked her why she was asking. She pointed to a poster taped to a lightpost, which had a picture of a lost cat belonging to a "Sarah". Under the picture was the name "Oscar", and a phone number to call with information about the cat. Unfortunately I didn't write down Sarah's number from the poster asking for information about her lost cat, so I can't get any information about this. Sorry!

Q (repeat): Bill Jeffers - So how many dimensions are there REALLY?
A: After studying the issue some more, I'm sorry to report that I'm more confused about it now than I was when I began. I spent about half an hour reading the Wikipedia article about string theory, and then watched the "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" flash animation that was posted on Jolinko last week (that I imagine sparked the question). What I learned from my research is that there are 5, 10, 11, or 26 dimensions. I can wrap my mind around the concept of a fifth dimension, which ties into quantum mechanics, specifically the "many worlds" theory. The basic idea behind this theory is that there are infinite universes that exist based upon the events that took place in the past. For example, there is a universe in which Ron Ayers wants to destroy the Random Thread, and one where he wants to keep it. This "many worlds" theory has (apparently) been proven, and so I submit that the minimum number of dimensions is 5.

Once we get beyond the fifth dimension, I start to get somewhat fuzzy. Are there higher dimensions? I don't know, and more to the point it's impossible to prove at the moment. I think a more important question is does it matter if there are higher dimensions or not? By this I mean, even if there are higher dimensions, what does that get us? Are we able to make use of this knowledge in a productive way? I don't have the answers here.

On a slightly related tangent, I have some more thoughts. As I grow older I find myself looking at these "big" issues more philosophically than physically. If I look at an object, I don't think about what makes it up at a subatomic level. It's enough for me to just know that the object exists. By this I mean that when I look at an object, I am satisfied with the FACT that it exists. HOW it exists (the physics behind it) doesn't interest me as much as it used to. I loved physics in high school, and continue to find the subject of astronomy fascinating, but when I started to read about string theory and quantum mechanics, I realized that it's less about physics and more about metaphysics. These things can't be proven, only speculated about. I know that much of science is just theory, and I also know that there is good reason to believe in higher dimensions. But I view it as just that: "belief". I think that this matter can be settled someday, but that day isn't today.

I realize I've gotten away from the question you asked, Bill, and for that I'm sorry. But this is what's on my mind. Thanks for your time, guys.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

7 - Answer(s)

Q: Karyn Graves - What are you supposed to do with a tree that loses major branches in a storm?
A: Let me preface this answer by saying I'm not an expert in anything landscaping related. If people have better answers than me, please contact Karyn and lend her advice.

I did a bit of research, and found a few things out. Partly, the answer depends on how major the branches are. A tree can typically survive the loss of one or two "major" branches. Any more than that, and it becomes less likely that the tree will survive. You should trim the affected area to encourage the tree to heal. If the tree was reasonably healthy before the damage, then it's probable that it will survive. If more than half of the major branches are damaged or broken off, then the tree is less likely to survive. In that case you can wait it out and see if it recovers, or preemptively cut it down.

Here are some sites that provide more information:
National Arbor Day Foundation
NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Minnesota Extension Service

Q: Brett Gobe: What is your secret ingredient in Tim Boss's 5 Alarm Smokehouse Chili?
A: I have actually never made chili before in my life. Not only that, I don't particularly like chili. Does this make me less of a man? Probably. But at least I'm honest about it.

If I were going to make chili, and I wanted to "spice it up", I would probably put some horseradish in it. Maybe some wasabi too, just for fun.

Q: Bill Jeffers - So how many dimensions are there REALLY?
A: Man, you had to ask a theoretical physics question, didn't you? Bastard. Anyway, the initial answer is that there are three dimensions in space (length, width, and depth), and that time is the fourth dimension. Beyond that it gets really complicated, and I won't even pretend to have a clue about this. I've read that there are 5, 10, 11, or 20 dimensions. What these are is above my current knowledge. But I'll tell you what, let me defer an answer to this question until next week. I'm curious about this topic, and I'd like to research it a bit more. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

6 - Answer(s)

Q: Brett Gobe - Can you validate my parking?
A: Um, no. No I can't. This is a blog entry, not a parking garage. If you want to park here, you can do it free of charge for as long as you like. You're welcome.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Will you drop you I'm a big puss attitude and play broomball this year or is your Skanatto contract keeping you on the sidelines?
A: I have not decided whether I will play broomball or not this year. My reasons for not playing since my first year are both time-related, and fear of injury. Call me a puss if you like, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of getting hurt playing broomball. That having been said, I am considering it for this year. I'll keep you posted, Bill. Thanks for keeping me in mind.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

5 - Answer(s)

Q: Brad Pettengill - What is the real reason why Ayers wants to get rid of the Random Thread?
A: Let's start this with a little bit of history. The random thread was started back in 2004 by Brett Gobe. His inaugural post explains its purpose:

Brett Random Thread 9/25/04 at 6:07 pm
This a product of boredom and being stuck working saturday nights in a library. Anyone who is around is free to add to the disscusion. Basically this is the sienfeld of threads, its about nothing. It is also to see how long a thread can go until the Jolt is forced to close it. The over under is 1000 posts.

It has been a running conversation ever since, as I'm sure you all know. Everything was going along smoothly until last week, when Ron posted the following:

Ron Random Thread 8/29/06 at 3:50 pm
Hey everyone. Just a heads up. I may have to destroy the random thread soon. I noticed the server load starting to rise up again with the school year starting, and as you can imagine, the query that pulls down this monstrosity is not very good. So I might have to kill it. I know I know. What can I say. There's always the LOST thread.

This set off what can best be described as a shitstorm within the Jolinko community. People created Avatars advocating the salvation of the Random Thread, and Ron was raked over the coals for this post.

So that's where we are. Now, as to the question of why Random Thread is being threatened with destruction. I have three answers:
1. (Serious, most likely) - Ron wants to shut it down for his stated reason. With nearly 25,000 posts, I can see how a query on it would be a strain on the servers.
2. (Conspiratorial) - Ron has entered into a contract with a book company and wishes to publish the contents of Random Thread as a novel. He will then use the profits from that novel to further his empire of destruction, and thus be one step closer to his ultimate goal: the domination of the known universe.
3. (Possible?) - Ron hates all of us. I don't think this is the case, but it's possible.

Q: Bill Jeffers - What year will Clarkson Hovkey finally win an NCAA crown?
A: Clarkson will win an NCAA crown in the year that they beat every team that they face in the NCAA tournament.

Q: Jennifer Walden - What part of the US will be most affected by this year's hurricane season?
A: In terms of geographic region of the US, I would say that the states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina will be the most affected. They have been spared somewhat in recent years, and they're due for some damage. Not that I'm advocating this damage, mind you, I'm just predicting. And no, I have no basis for this prediction. I'm just guessing.

Upon further thinking about your question, I decided that the "part" of the US that will be most affected by this year's hurricane season will be the US media. 2004 and 2005 were very busy hurricane seasons. 2004 saw three storms cross the Florida penninsula, and 2005 saw not only a direct strike on New Orleans, but a record number of named storms. Because of this, the media spent the past winter stirring up hysteria regarding this upcoming hurricane season. Now that it's proving to be milder than last year, and their predictions of disaster shown to be wrong, they are made to look like fools. I think that their credibility on these matters will suffer as a result. Is this a good thing? I don't know. But I think that's the ultimate result.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

4 - Answer(s)

Q: Lisa Jeffers - What will my time be in the 5K on Saturday?
A: I answered this question on Friday night in an instant message to Bill, but saved my answer for this space until I got around to writing my full response to the questions posed to me. I said that Lisa would run the 5K in 23 minutes. I was not correct. I’ll leave it to Lisa to announce her time in the 5K, but I will say that she did it faster than I could have. Good job!

Q: Brett Gobe - Why does the cheese stand alone?
A: This question comes from a nursery rhyme called “The Farmer in the Dell”. If you need a reminder as to the lyrics (which I did before I could tackle this question), here they are (and feel free to sing along):

The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the farmer in the dell.
The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the farmer takes a wife.
The wife takes a child, the wife takes a child,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the wife takes a child.
The child takes a nurse, the child takes a nurse,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the child takes a nurse.
The nurse takes a cow, the nurse takes a cow,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the nurse takes a cow.
The cow takes a dog, the cow takes a dog,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the cow takes a dog.
The dog takes a cat, the dog takes a cat,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the dog takes a cat.
The cat takes a rat, the cat takes a rat,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the cat takes a rat.
The rat takes the cheese, the rat takes the cheese,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the rat takes the cheese.
The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone,
Hi-ho, the derry-o, the cheese stands alone.

First, I have a problem with the cheese standing in general. All of the other things contained in the rhyme are creatures with legs, which means that they are capable of standing. The cheese has no legs (unless they’ve been carved), and so I don’t think it can be said to “stand”. I know, I’m probably being a little bit too literal in my reading. In proper English, “standing” can also be taken to mean that an object is not in motion. Fair enough. But given the rest of the items in the list, I find the choice of the word “standing” to be a little vague.

Next, the words of the rhyme seem to contradict the last line. The second to last verse reads “The rat takes the cheese”. If the rat has taken the cheese, how can the cheese stand alone? Isn’t it standing with the rat? And what does the rat do with the cheese? If it’s a normal rat, it will probably eat the cheese, not stand with it. So that’s another problem I have.

Now, putting aside my objections to the lyrics, I consulted the Internets for guidance, and I was surprised to come across this very question at Yahoo! Answers. Many of the answers were too simple, but one of them got me thinking a bit. The person said, "The cheese can't chase anything." I got to thinking about that, and I realized that the reason the cheese stands alone is that it is the only inanimate object in the list. It can’t “take” anything, because it is incapable of taking. Because of this, the cheese must stand alone. I find this a fascinating bit of reasoning, so I submit it here as the answer to the question.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Will mullets ever come back in style?
A: I consulted some people I work with on this question, and got the following answers:

Mike W: “Were they ever in fashion?”
Aaron D: “Only if you grow one. Grow it, and they will follow.”
Bill N: “Probably.”

Now for my thoughts. I must start by stating that in my opinion, the mullet is a crime against hair. However, my ability to tell people what to do in general is pretty limited. As long as people have hair, they will continue to style it however they see fit. If enough popular people start sporting a particular hairstyle, then that style will take off. I was reminded of this phenomenon while watching “I Love the 90’s” on VH1. They highlighted the emergence of the “Caesar” hairstyle during the mid 90’s, showing all sorts of famous people sporting it. That's another hairstyle that I think is pretty bad, but people went along with it.

I guess my point is that if enough popular and/or public people begin to do something, then much of the public will follow them. This is the nature of popular culture, not just now but throughout history. We will imitate what we see and hear. Thus, if enough people grow mullets, then they will come back into “style” as it were. Therefore, my final judgement is that yes, mullets will come back. It is inevitable. You might as well give in and start growing it out now. And send me pictures, too.

Q: Eric Carney - What is the purpose of a garter besides an excuse to feel your wife under her wedding dress and make men stand as far back in a room as possible?
A: I once again consulted the Internets on this one. In my brief search, I could only find one site that dealt with the history of the garter toss: WedAlert. The main answer they give is this:
"The garter tradition originated back to the 14th century. In parts of Europe the guests of the bride and groom believed having a piece of the bride’s clothing was thought to bring good luck. They would actually destroy the brides dress by ripping off pieces of fabric. Obviously, this tradition did not sit well with the bride, so she began throwing various items to the guests – the garter being one of them. It became customary for the bride to toss the garter to the men. But this also caused a great problem for the bride….sometimes the men would get drunk, become impatient and try to remove the garter ahead of time. Therefore, the custom derived at having the groom remove and toss the garter to the men. With this change, the bride began to toss the bridal boutique to the unwed girls who were eligible for marriage."

I did find a site where you can find a garter, so ladies, if you're in the market, you can find them here.

Q: Sarah LaBombard - What was the first job you ever had?
A: Starting at about age 11 I began babysitting for my little sister. I eventually began babysitting for kids in my neighborhood. I really enjoyed doing it. Kids liked me and parents trusted me, which meant that I had a lot of repeat customers. I did this all the way through high school, and even a couple of summers following during college.

My first "real" job, which I classify as involving a paycheck, was as a paperboy. When I first moved to New Hampshire at age 10, the local paper (the Concord Monitor) was an afternoon paper. When I was 12 the kid who delivered the paper in our neighborhood decided he didn’t want to do it anymore, so I took the job over from him. I would get home from school to find a bundle of papers on our front porch. I’d sling the official Concord Monitor bag over my shoulder (I still have the bag), get on my bike, and ride around the neighborhood stuffing the paper into the slot. Then when I was 13 the paper switched from afternoon to morning. I remember that the switch happened on my birthday, as a weird coincidence. I started to have to get up at about 5:30am or so to deliver the paper. I tired of this after a month or so, and so I quit, and the guy who delivered to the neighborhoods outside of ours took over for me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

3 - Answer(s)

Q: Bill Jeffers - When will black Jesus rise again?
A: Throughout history Jesus has been portrayed as a Caucasian male. While it is certain that he was male, his race is a mystery. The movie "Dogma" claimed that Jesus was black. "The Passion of the Christ" showed him as white. Most paintings depicting Jesus show him as white, but there have been some made showing him to be non-white. Since I have never met Jesus, I don’t know what race he is. Frankly, I find his race to be irrelevant. The point is that Jesus is the son of God. That much is not in dispute. His race is beside the point.

So with that part tackled, when will Jesus (be he black or white or green or whatever) return? That’s a good question. According to the Jewish faith, the messiah (whom Jesus ultimately represents) has not come yet, so therefore he cannot “return”. According to Christian teachings, Jesus will return following the apocalypse. I’m believe this to be the case (being Catholic), so that’s going to be my answer. Jesus will return following the end of the world. Only then will we learn once and for all whether he's black or white or green or whatever. Until then, you'll just have to guess.

Q: Karyn Graves - If we put a new storm door on our basement entry, will that stop the bugs and crickets from getting in?
A: If your existing storm door in the basement has holes in it, or if it is not a good fit to the door frame, then yes, a new storm door will stop various outdoor insects from getting in. You've probably already done this, but I would also check to see whether there are other entry points for these insect invaders you seem to have. I have a sliding screen door at the rear of my townhouse, and it has a nasty tendency of letting in moths and large flys from time to time.

If the crickets persist, then I can suggest a few things. One would be to start capturing them and either feeding them to a pet reptile, or selling them to a pet store. Another would be to capture one and keep it for luck. Just a thought. I wish you and Kevin luck, and let me know how it turns out.

Q: Sarah LaBombard - why is bill's latest blog so insanely long??
A: Bill’s last blog posting is so long because one of Bill’s many talents is that he is a very good storyteller. One of the reasons for this is that he’s been involved in (and the cause of) a great many interesting events throughout his life. Because of this, his ability to recount the events has been honed. As such, the fact that what happened to him on Friday was a good story meant that his latest blog about it would be a long, storytelling post.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

2 - Answer(s)

Q: Sarah LaBombard - Are you taking over for Jeeves since he retired?
A: Actually, I hadn't considered that. I don't have the programming skill, nor the time to take on that type of task. Furthermore, I don't like wearing tuxedos :).

I'll use the occasion of your question to explain a bit further what it is that I'm doing here. I believe that in order to find the right answers you must first ask the right questions. About two years ago I started collecting some questions about conventional wisdom and popular culture. I'll keep these to myself for now, but I used the questions to explore my feelings on subjects. What I'm doing here on Jolinko is a request for more questions to answer. I don't claim to have the answers, and if my initial request sounded like an arrogant, I-know-more-than-you type of thing, then I apologize for not explaining myself fully. So bring on questions. Any topic, any subject, any level of detail. I'll tackle it!

Q: Brett Gobe - How is your French coming along?
A: Not too badly, actually. I can ask for directions, tell people I don't understand French, and say "please" and "thank you". Hopefully I don't get my ass kicked.

For those of you who don't know, I'm going to Paris and London with Allison and the Blackmers's's. We're leaving tomorrow and coming back next Tuesday. There will be many pictures taken, many stories to tell, and you'll get both when I come back.

Q: Bill Jeffers - What the hell is wrong with me?
A: I'm tempted to say something like "Bill, there aren't enough bytes on the Internets to explain this", but that's too easy. I'm also tempted to go the other way and start calling your friends and family to get their impressions. Maybe even do some psycho-analysis on you. But I'm afraid of what I'd find. Really. So we'll go with door number three: "A lot."

See you guys when I get back!

Friday, June 30, 2006

1 - Answer(s)

Q: Brett Gobe - What's your favorite flavor of Kool-Aide?
A: I've always been partial to lemonade. Kool-Aide lemonade isn't my favorite, but it's pretty good. Another winner is the ever-ubiquitous Fruit Punch. I know it's unoriginal to like that stuff, but I do, and so I'll put it here.

Q: Bill Jeffers - What is the ground speed of an unladen swallow?
A: "Flight speeds of birds are difficult to measure and verify, Estimates for
maximum speed of swallows is probably 40 to 50 mph. (Terres. Audubon Society
Encyclopedia of North American Birds)" -

Q: Bill Jeffers - How does a New Hampshire computer geek become a Bushy? Was there a conservative hazing along the way?
A: OK, let's tackle this one a piece at a time. First off, I think that your question is flawed. I do not consider myself a "Bushy". Saying I'm a "Bushy" implies that I blindly support President Bush no matter what he does, which I do not. I support him in some things (tax policy, foreign policy, abortion, etc) and oppose him in others (not putting pressure on Congress to limit spending, and immigration policy). I have always defined myself as a conservative, and as a result, I will often vote for and suppor Republican candidates for office, including President Bush. President Bush, despite what my friends on the left think, is NOT a conservative. He is a Republican. You may think it's a distinction without a difference, but I do not.

So with that out of the way, I will answer a modified version of your question: "How does a New Hampshire computer geek become a conservative?"

The first part of the answer lies in your question itself: "New Hampshire". As most of you know, NH is the site of the first Presidential Primary every 4 years. Because of this, every single Presidential candidate (from the wacko to the serious) comes to this state in the hopes of getting enough attention to win the primary. I found this interesting as a child, and therefore paid enough attention to the candidates to form my own opinions of them. These were the opinions of a child, but the point is that I became interested at a fairly young age.

The real answer to this question lies in a single name: Rush Limbaugh. One summer (I think it was between 7th and 8th grades, but I really don't remember) I was flipping channels around lunchtime and happened across a corpulant man talking politics. What made him interesting to me was not that he was talking about the issues of the day (probably the Socialized Medicine Plan, tax increases, etc), but that he was EXPLAINING them. He went to great pains to explain why he thought things were bad (or good) ideas, rather than just asserting that they were. Moreover, he did it with humor and as he put it, "good cheer". His name, I learned that first day, was Rush Limbaugh.

I was intruigued by Rush, and started watching his television show every day at lunch (it was a rebroadcast of the show which aired at night). I soon learned that he had a three-hour radio show every afternoon, and from that point on I was hooked. His show was (and still is) one of the best sources of news and commentary out there. I listened all through high school by programming my stereo to record the first hour and last half hour of the show (I only had 90 minute tapes). His show really opened up the world of conservatism to me, and remains a force in my life to this day.

So that's how I became a conservative. I won't get into WHY I'm a conservative, since that's something I really don't have the energy for at this moment, and also because my conservatism tends to put me at odds with my friends and loved ones. Someday I'll get into it, I promise, because frankly there's a lot that people don't get about conservatism, and I'd love to teach them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'd like to try something here with the Jolinko community: open the floor for questions. Every Thursday I will put up a new blog entry asking for question submissions, and I will choose one (or more) of those questions and post an answer during the weekend/week (depending on the complexity of the question). Depending on how this goes, I may even create a topic for this. For now, I'll keep it in my blog and hope that people take notice. So please submit a question for me to answer. It can be serious, silly, whatever. I'll research the topic and answer the question.