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More random things

I figured that it was about time to start posting some of the random crap that forced me to purchase a scanner all those months ago. I still have another pile of things that I've been meaning to work on, but here's what was done a year ago and never got posted.


Happy instructions

I went to a mathematics conference in Asilomar around this time last year, and my group stayed at some joint in Monterey. As the resident safety freak of the group, I was checking out the safety procedures in case of a fire. As I glanced through the booklet (yes, a booklet on fire safety procedures in a hotel room on the first floor) and found something a little out of place. It was a bit out of the logical order, I thought.

Happy Instructions

While I don't think it's strange for a hotel to want to save its property in the event of a fire, I don't agree with it being more important than phoning the fire department (only #3 on this list). To sum up, IF you can't breathe, IF you can't put out the fire yourself using the bathtub and ice bucket, IF you can't get the phone working, and IF you can't air out the room by opening the window, THEN you should attempt to exit the room. A lawsuit waiting to happen.


I've been having a bit of trouble with one of my lamps recently. It has this handy footswitch and sometimes when I step on it, it doesn't turn on. Most of the time it does, but not all of the time. However, if you leave the switch tripped, it will just turn on sometime later when it feels like it. Most recently, I stomped on the switch and, when it didn't light up, I left it and went to bed. Sometime during the night, when the heat kicked on, the lamp also kicked on. Perhaps there's a connection between that outlet and the thermostat, but I wasn't sure. So, I consulted the instructions that came with the lamp (yes, I still had it).

Happy Caution


How am I supposed to know if I'm doing something illegal if that's not written in English? Sure, those are English words strung together, but that's not an English sentence structure. The queer part is that the rest of the instructions are written "normally". As far as I can tell, there's nothing in that "paragraph" about thermostats, so I'm not doing anything wrong for which I should have been warned, but who really knows?


In college, I would frequently meet friends for lunch in the dining hall or one of the restaurants on campus. Because of the regular meetings, we wanted to have something to do. I carried a cribbage board that fit perfectly into one of the weird pockets in my backpack. I was very easily recognized as the "cribbage guy". It was most excellent.

My friends, acquaintances, and I played cribbage almost every day for close to two years. We played with on the same board, using the same deck of cards. Come to find out, during the entire time playing, no one had noticed that one of the cards was erroneously printed.

Happy Extra Graphics

Now, I don't have any idea how something like that gets past the printing crew, but that's a pretty heinous mistake. If you ever see a deck of cards that are "Black Power" cards called Sheba, I challenge you to find the 6 of diamonds and see whether they're all messed up or the problem is only in my deck.

Happy Cards

This deck of cards holds the perpetrator! Or maybe it really is a limited edition.


Just about the time I moved to California, I was trying to fill my apartment with furniture. I had recently acquired an enormous desk (thanks, Linda) and had been using it for my computer. Within a day or two of using the computer, I realized that I needed a desk lamp for lighting. I wanted the ugliest desk lamp ever! My search was short. I found uglier and cheaper, but no better combination of both characteristics.

Happy Monkey Lamp

Behold the monkey lamp. It stands in at 11 inches tall (with shade) and an impressive 8 watts of lighting power. It was just stupid enough to convince me to trade in my $8.00. And not to be outdone by less ugly, piece-meal lamps, this monkey lamp came with the light bulb. And to make sure you knew that it came with a lightbulb, said bulb was packaged very carefully. The small torchiere bulb was wrapped in a bubblewrap sleeve held closed by ...

Happy Lighting

this "light bulb" sticker. If, for any reason, you were ever unsure about what you were unwrapping, emblazened on the front of this bright orange sticker are the words "LIGHT" and "BULB". It goes without saying that the sticker was larger than the light bulb.

Well, that's all for this installment. I hope you've enjoyed my collection of swag. If you have any great pictures you'd think everyone would like to see, send them to me and I'll do my best to get them posted. If you really want to have something show up, create your own submission. We could always use some fresh blood around here, along with a guest or two...

Posted by dennis @ 08:16 PM | Comments (0)
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