Friday, February 19, 2010

Hawaii Ruins Your Week (Yet Again)

So, I'm in Oahu.  Yes, I know you all pity me, but that's the price I have to pay for being me sometimes.  Anyway, internet and cell phone reception is spotty here (unless, in a strange reversal of all common sense, you have AT&T) so I'm uploading something I did a while ago.

I'm posting a link to all my video classes.  I've been teaching the intro class of game development for a number of years now.  As things start to shift to online, I figured I'd put some of my material online, but in video format so my students wouldn't miss out on my unique "me-ness."  They're pretty rough as I did all the work myself, but they get better as I gained some experience.

In any case, there's some jokes hidden in there.  See if you can find them all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Mystery of the Avocado

This is a picture of a mysterious avocado.

Study it. Learn from it. Watch it. Beware the avocado.

This is no ordinary avocado, satisfied with hiding itself in perfectly innocuous foods and then filling your mouth with yucky green mush when you are least expecting it. This is the Mystery Avocado. Behold its awesome and terrifying story.

Several months ago, one of the small hedge bushes by our front walkway began to wither. We cut back the dead branches as suggested by our gardener, but nothing we did seemed to help. I eventually cut it back to almost nothing in preparation for replacing it.

Side note: When Halloween came, I searched in vain for some kind of electric device that would make a monster jump out at the children from our hole in the bushes. I briefly considered grabbing some branches and hiding behind them to scare the kids myself, but it was cold out and I didn’t want to sit outside for hours. Somebody should make one of those. Then send me one. Then send me royalties.

Where was I? Oh yes.

As we left our home earlier this week, I pointed out the remains of the hedge to my wife. The remaining branches had started growing leaves again. When she looked down on them she said “Where did the avocado come from?”

There, underneath a light covering of branches and slightly buried in the dirt was the aforementioned Mystery Avocado. The avocado was pristine. It wasn’t the kind of avocado we normally bought and we hadn’t bought some in a long time. Our son denied burying it there in hopes of growing a bush. It was an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, surrounded by squishy green flesh.

So far we have three major theories as to its origin:

1. A squirrel buried it.
A good theory, and it would explain why it was partially buried and covered in branches. However, there are no avocado bushes on our street and a squirrel big enough to carry it would have to weigh approximately 130 lbs.

2. It was left by rogue gardeners.
Last year we found squash hidden on our front porch by people we thought were our friends. They could have stashed their extra avocadoes on our property the same way they had disposed of their zucchini. However, I can’t imagine anyone cruel enough to try to dump avocadoes on the unprepared.

3. The CIA.
As I stated earlier, this avocado was pristine. It hadn’t withered or been chewed on by animals or bugs (probably showing that the local wildlife is increasing in intelligence). The only explanation for that phenomenon is some kind of CIA plot to drop surveillance avocadoes in people’s front yards. This idea is the front runner.

Any thoughts? Your input is appreciated.

By the way, I went out just an hour ago to gaze at my Mystery Avocado and it was gone. Somewhere, the aliens are cuddling their evil brood, or MI-5 is reprogramming it for its next assignment, or it’s teaching Britney Spears how to sing. We’ll never know. All that I have is a small, pear-shaped hole, and questions.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Example of My Heroism

It was late at night and the rain poured down. I was in my socks and didn’t want to step outside and get them wet on the slick pavement. The gap between the side door of my home and the garbage can was long, but not so long that I couldn’t lean out while holding the doorframe, lift the top of the garbage can and drop the bag of garbage in. The trick is throwing the lid up high enough so you can get the garbage in the can before the lid crashes down again.

I was halfway through this maneuver when I heard a rustling sound to my right. I looked over and saw another garbage bag leaning against the house, just under the kitchen window. As I watched, the bag rustled again. Someone *cough* wife *cough* had left a garbage bag outside instead of putting it into the can and an animal got inside. Following my *cough* wife’s *cough* example, I dropped the garbage bag I was holding and left it on the ground. No point in fighting a rabid animal just to take out the trash. I’d let it have its fun and clean up the next morning.

In the early daylight hours, I stepped outside. As I approached the bag of garbage against the house, it rustled again and I -- ever fleet of foot when my life is in danger -- jumped back inside the house with the grace of an antelope who uses performance-enhancing drugs. I slammed the door shut and considered my options. The animal hadn’t been foraging for food; it was trapped in the bag. I couldn’t just leave it there; that would be cruel. Still, I didn’t want to get bitten.

Spotting a broom out of the corner of my eye, I realized what I had to do. Leaning out while holding the doorframe again, I reached with the broom handle and slowly pushed the garbage bag over so the opening was near the ground. Now, anything inside it would be able to get out.

It was only then that I could see, from my vantage point of clinging to the wall like a frail version of Spider Man, that the garbage bag was right next to the dryer vent. In fact, the bag had been covering the vent until I pushed it over. Now that it wasn’t blocking. longer stopping the flow of humid air, the bag ceased rustling.
I nodded to myself, satisfied in my own heroism. Problem solved.