The Dilbert Blog


Written on Friday, December 30, 2005 by Jessica

While reading The Dilbert Blog, I found this funny entry about back pain. Here's a quote:

If you have ever had a severe back sprain, you can answer the following quiz with no problem. Which activity is most likely to result in the worst back pain of your life?

A. Skiing to outrace an avalanche
B. Lifting a car to save a baby
C. Kickboxing competition
D. Bending over to pick up a piece of Pringles™ you spit out while laughing at your own joke

Management reports


Written on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 by Jessica

Today's Dilbert cracked me up.

Letterman's lawyers have run amok


Written on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 by Jessica

According to a article, a judge has tossed out a restraining order that was "granted to a Santa Fe woman who accused talk-show host David Letterman of using coded words to show that he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host."

The article continues:

Lawyers for Letterman contended the order was without merit.

"He is entitled to a protection of his legal rights and a protection of his reputation," Pat Rogers, an Albuquerque lawyer representing Letterman, told the judge Tuesday.
Good lord, Letterman. Don't your lawyers have anything better to do? The woman is obviously insane. Your reputation wasn't in danger until you actually paid people to take the matter seriously. Now you look like an idiot.

Christmas gifts


Written on Tuesday, December 27, 2005 by Jessica

I received plenty of baby items and maternity wear, as you might expect. My sister-in-law -- oh so funny -- gave me a package of maternity underwear. Naturally, I had to open them up so everyone could see a giant pair. Fortunately, they were "bikini" style (yeah right), which means they weren't as huge as a pair of, say, maternity briefs.

No kilts allowed


Written on Thursday, December 22, 2005 by Jessica

I'm extremely amused by this article at, about a student who tried to wear a kilt to a formal dance at his high school and got in trouble.

The amusing part is not the article itself. It's the fact that the article links to the website of the school district in question. I was able to browse the Administration section and easily find the principal's e-mail address, so I wrote him a respectful letter telling him why he was wrong. I'm sure it's Christmas break right now, and I'm also sure that there are hundreds of idiots just like me--maybe thousands--who also wrote him letters. His inbox will be overflowing when he gets back! Poor guy. (I don't really feel sorry for him. He supposedly called the kilt wearer a clown, but says he "doesn't recollect" saying that, which is code for, "Yes, I said that, but I'm not going to admit it, nor am I going to lie and say outright that I didn't say that.")

Sick of A&E


Written on Thursday, December 22, 2005 by Jessica

I've finally had it with A&E's programming, so I wrote them a letter. I guess I'm just in a bitchy, letter-writing mood these days.

Dear A&E,
I am now thoroughly disgusted with your programming lineup. It's time you changed your network name to TTE -- Trailer Trash Entertainment -- because retaining the "A" for "Arts" is an insult to your viewers. Dog the Bounty Hunter, Growing up Gotti, Inked, Rollergirls and others are simply not worthy of A&E.
Jessica [Last Name]

UPDATE: A&E's initial reply:
Thank you for submitting a QUESTION/COMMENT through our automated FAQ Wizard.
We will do our best to send your inquiry to appropriate contacts at A&E
Television Networks.
Thanks again for clicking with us!
Viewer Relations
A&E Television Networks

Jane Austen action figure


Written on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by Jessica

The Jane Austen Action Figure has been around all summer, but I never heard about it until I received one for Christmas from by boss!

CNN breaking news: Saddam says he's been beaten and tortured while in detention


Written on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 by Jessica

Hmmmm, somehow it's hard to feel sorry for torturers who get tortured.

Trying not to be furious


Written on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 by Jessica

I ordered my sister's Christmas present from LTD Commodities well in advance -- November 7. I had to prepay using a ridiculously inconvenient system: they sent a postcard with the item's cost minus shipping, which took several days via snail mail. (You can't pay with a credit card on their site b/c they don't accept credit cards.) I immediately sent payment, and then I waited. And waited. Finally, on December 17, they "shipped" my package. Of course, I use the term "shipped" loosely. The 17th was a Saturday, after all, on today (Tuesday), the item's status at UPS is "billing information received," which means the item hasn't even been picked up yet. I don't know how I'm possibly going to have time to get it by Friday, which is the day we're having Christmas with my sister.

Maybe it will in fact arrive on or before Friday, in which case my current mood will be pointless. I'm trying to wait until it really is too late before I become furious.

UPDATE: I received an email from LTD Commodities to tell me my item has shipped and should arrive in ten business days. Here's the letter I wrote, which was a waste of time because I don't feel any better.

I am officially furious. I ordered my item on November 7, well in advance of Christmas. When nervously checking my item's status on December 14 or 15, I naively believed the statement on your site that promised, “If you’re item’s status is ‘preparing to ship,’ assume that it has shipped. We won’t be updating order statuses until December 20." The first thing I did the morning of the 20th was check the status of my item. It finally "shipped" on December 17, which merely means that your site claims it shipped on December 17. As of today (December 20), however, my item's status at UPS is still "billing information received," which usually means the carrier hasn't even picked it up yet. The last straw was the e-mail I received this afternoon (December 20) saying that my item has shipped and should arrive in ten business days. I need it in three days for Christmas with my sister.

It is absolutely unbelievable that it takes six weeks to ship an item. I'm sure that part of problem is the ridiculous policy of sending a postcard via snail mail so that I could pay in advance of shipment. After I placed my order, it took two weeks for the postcard to arrive. I had to return this payment via snail mail because there is no way to pay instantly with a credit card. I sent payment immediately because I was concerned about receiving the item in time for Christmas. It took over a week an a half for my check to clear. It then took another two and a half weeks for the item to finally ship. If I'd had any idea that LTD Commodities was such an undependable company, I obviously would never have placed an order. Even if my item miraculously arrives in time for Christmas, I can assure you it wasn’t worth the stress.
UPDATE #2: Well, guess what. UPS now says my item is in transit and will deliver today! Does this mean I have to eat crow? I'm not sure, because as I said in my letter, even if my order arrived in time, it wasn't worth the stress.
UPDATE #3: My package arrived in time for Christmas. LTD Commodities never responded to my letter.

Personal sexism


Written on Monday, December 19, 2005 by Jessica

Sigh. I hold sexist views that I can't seem to shake.

I spotted this article, which had the following headline: "Dr. Germ, Mrs. Anthrax released by U.S. Army." It refers to some high-profile officials in the Iraqi government before Saddam's fall.

I thought to myself, Oh, sure. The guy gets to be Dr. Germ, but she's Mrs. Anthrax.

It was a completely irrational thought because, as a doctor, his nickname is obviously going to be prefixed by "Dr.," not "Mr." Why would I have a problem with that? After all, if she were a doctor, she'd be Dr. Anthrax, not Mrs. Anthrax, right?

So here's the terrible truth: They're both women. Dr. Germ is a woman, but I assumed she was a man. What's wrong with me?

Skydiver survives fall, gets baby surprise


Written on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by Jessica - Skydiver survives fall, gets baby surprise - Dec 13, 2005

The article is misleading:

During treatment [for a skydiving accident that resulted in Shayna Richardson's hiting the ground at 50 mph], doctors found that Richardson was pregnant, which was a surprise to her. She said she would not have jumped had she known.
I watched a CNN interview on television, and this woman said she would not have been allowed to jump if she was known to be pregnant. She went on to say that she'd try another jump right now if she could: "Obviously, they're not going to take a broken, pregnant woman up in the air, but if they would, I'd go."

A recording of the interview is currently available at, but I don't know for how long. It's a long clip -- eight minutes -- so if you only want to hear the statements I mentioned above, fast forward to 5:50.

New blog


Written on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 by Jessica

I created a baby blog, The Kidney Bean because I thought this blog might be in danger of being overcome by baby topics.

I love urban legends


Written on Monday, December 12, 2005 by Jessica

Below is an actual letter sent to a bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, prerecorded faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and hereafter, no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN that s/he must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. Press buttons as follows:

1.- To make an appointment to see me.
2.- To query a missing payment.
3.- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4.- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5. -To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6.- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7.- To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated at a later date to the Authorized Contact.
8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.
9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever-so-slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

British English


Written on Monday, December 12, 2005 by Jessica

I read the BBC's news website from time to time and I'm always amused by differences in terminology between American English and Standard [British] English. I recently stumbled across an article about the flu-jab nonshortage, and I must say that I infinintly prefer "flu jab" to "flu shot."

Last week I read an article about how "dummies reduce cot-death risk." American translation? "Pacifiers reduce SIDS risk" or "pacifiers reduce crib-death risk."

And today, I found a reference to sticky plasters. I can only assume this refers to the casts used to help heal broken bones. In the same article, I discovered the word "paracetamol," which is the British word for acetaminophen.

Labeled ultrasound


Written on Friday, December 09, 2005 by Jessica

For the sake of those who can't see anything in ultrasounds, here's a labeled version of the eleven-week ultrasound.

If you're colorblind, here's a version labeled in blue.

Eleven weeks


Written on Thursday, December 08, 2005 by Jessica

Here is the promised picture. During the ultrasound, the baby turned completely around. One second it was facing me, and a second later it had its back to me. I never imagine fetuses moving that fast. I always imagine them moving slowly underwater or something.

Click here for a printable (higher quality) version of this ultrasound image. It won't look like it's higher quality on the screen, but it'll look better after it's printed. Note: The print size will be much smaller than the size on screen.

New ultrasound


Written on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 by Jessica

New ultrasound today. Baby is four centimeters and weighs a quarter ounce. Moved all over the place. Pix coming soon. Really.