Me: Joe, do you know anyone with Community on DVD?
Joe: No, but it’s on Netflix, I think.  Why not use a free trial and see it all?
Me: I’ve used up all my email addresses to set up accounts already.
Joe: You own like, 4 domains, just make a new email address.
Me: Joe, you’re a smart one.

Minutes later “” existed.

Joe, Todd, Dylan and I went out to dinner tonight and afterword I returned to Joe’s.  We were chatting when his parents returned having also come back from dinner.  It had been a while since I’d talked with Joe’s parents and his dad and I chatted.

Him: How’s work?
Me: Fine, I’m doing a lot of work with tubing which is new but repetitive.
Him: Have you tried Joe’s Kinect yet?
Me: Yes, it was fun.
Him: You know what my favorite feature is?  Voice commands.  *Yelling into Joe’s room* KINECT, PLAY GAY PORN.
Joe: Dad.
Joe: I don’t even think it’s on.

I hope I can age as gracefully.

Me: How do you compare the musical influence of Eric Clapton with Kurt Cobain?
Joe: Clapton had the technical wizardry but Kurt just seemed to have something else?

Me: More to the point…
Joe: Zing?  No.
Me: More to the blunt end?
Joe: More to the 12 gauge?
Me: More to the shot?
Joe: More to the buck shot?
Me: We should stop.
Joe: Yes, yes we should.


Whit was in the area for Christmas and he and I got together with Joe at Joe’s house to catch up.  At around 8, Joe said he had to walk his dog so the three of us took Penny the Pointy for a walk.  Penny is a dog that thinks humans live life too slowly and spent most of the time pegged against her leash imploring us to go faster.  I had never really walked a dog before as Max I and Max II had run of our properly which proved more than enough.  I asked Joe for the leash, he passed it to me, and off Penny and I went.

I went as fast as I thought I could manage and Penny seemed happy with this higher pace.  As Whit has noted, I run like a saurapod and I probably looked like an idiot as my legs went up and down like pistons rather than with the fluid grace of a runner.  There was a feeling of freedom at running unconstrainted until I remembered I had no idea how fast I was going.  Up until now, “running” meant “treadmill” and a tiny LED array would declare my speed.  Here there was none.  Penny sensed my apprehension and tugged me through it and the rest of the loop had me alternating between jogging and sprinting in no particular pattern.  Penny and I then dashed to Joe’s house, and then back to where Joe and Whit were walking, and then back to Joe’s house.

Back at Joe’s there was enough adrenaline left in my system that when he asked if I wanted to play Kinect table tennis I said “yes”.  I got slightly too into it but smiled when I saw the shots the game had of Whit and I mid-game.  Tonight I got to strike an item from my “141 reasons I don’t want to be fat anywhere”:  Play a movement game without looking like an idiot.

I’ve known Joe Naylor for probably about 13 years now and I count him among my closest friends.  He and I both enjoy topics of science and critical thinking and I appreciate his willingness to apply reason in cases where I don’t always.  For instance:

Me: Joe, what do you think of the idea that when one door closes another opens.
Joe: I think that means you have poor airflow within the room or structure.

Me: Well, what about every cloud having a silver lining?
Joe: That shows little familiarity with actual cloud mechanics.

So wise.

Joe runs the computer at the Ockanickon Magic tournaments which allows me to run the floor and answer questions.  I really like this arrangement and Joe has at least not actively aired dislike for it as it seems to afford him quality time with current and former staff members as he tackles the amazing task of clicking things in DCIR and later yelling about match pairings.  Camp is a place where Joe and I are both deified and I say that with almost no exaggeration.  We are part of “The Great Old Ones” about whom legends are told.  “Did you hear about when Joe completed camp school without sleeping?” or “Terry once ran a session of Environmental Science that includes 114 kids and one of them was Al Gore”, these nuggets catalyze the rare case where I go from egotism (I’m awesome) to outright arrogance (I’m better than you and I have the evals to prove it).  Also, camp allows one to be a kid again.  Freed largely of the web of connectivity that permeates one’s normal social spaces the sense of ‘now’ comes much more down to who is in the room with you leading to non-standard conversations.

Dave Scherr: My track coach, Mr. Deyfuss said…
Joe: Your track coach is Richard Dreyfuss?  That’s awesome.
Me: That must be motivational having a recognized actor as your coach.
Joe: And I bet each week he chooses a different persona from which to grant wisdom.
Me: Yeah, like what if it were Jaws week and he wanted to inspire you with something.  “Imagine, you’re being chased by a shark.” he’d say.
Joe: “Who is in turn being chased by Roy Scheider with a harpoon gun.”
Me: “Who is in turn being chased by” what did he die from?  Cancer? “who is in turn being chased by cancer.”
Joe: “Who is in turn being chased by the march of scientific progress.”  That would be really inspirational.
Me: Dave, sorry, we cut you off.  You had a story?
Dave: No, yours was better.

The (Bavarian) Illuminati and the New World Order are probably the two most popular organizations to underwrite “power behind the throne” conspiracies but I was lucky to find a credulous coworker familiar with neither.  Joe made a sideways reference to the Illuminati which triggered hours of curious Googling from the coworker, resulting in a day punctuated with “did you know that the Illuminati are attempting to hasten the discovery of the anti-Christ?”  I popped into the lab during lunch and he was still digging up esoterica and when I looked over his shoulder I saw a diagram explaining the ties between Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the Illuminati Inner circle, and some hierarchy of demons.

I like that Joe can now focus distraction with the coherence of a laser beam but I wish he’d pick a projectile less likely to result in me hearing crank theories.  Next time he wants to harness someone’s credulity I request he turn someone on to the marginalia of Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse or link-bait someone to Wookieepedia.

Tomorrow I hope to be in DC and have no expectation that I’ll be within a quarter mile of the presenters of The Rally for Sanity and I’m overcoming this by renting a 100-400mm lens.  When I stopped in I was asked for a copy of my license:

Me: Why?
Sales Person: So we can find you in case there’s a problem.
Me: But you already have my credit card.  What could my license do?
Sales Person: You know, so we’ll have it.  It’s not that big of a deal.
Me: Sure, give me your license.
Sales Person: Why?
Me: That way if you charge me anyway, I can, you know, have it.
Sales Person: *Angry stare*

I went on to camp, theoretically to campmaster, but by and large to see Kevin Ott.  Until he arrived I took pictures with excessive zoom of Chuck’s parrot:


A Meeting of Minds


Chuck Gets to First Base with a Parrot

Joe arrived in his Ron Burgundy garb, and I tried very hard to make it look old tymie.


I should have made it blurrier.

Then Kevin arrived with a friend.  It was swell.

Coworker:  You look angry.
Me: It’s 2PM, which is normally the time where I bullshit with Joe in the R&D lab.
Coworker: Is he doing something?
Me: No, there’s the general managers presentation in the lab.
Coworker: Presentations don’t usually stop you from bullshitting.
Me:  Yeah, but in this case, were I to go into the lab 19 out of 20 people could fire me.
Coworker:  Yeah, my personal limit’s about 50%.
Me: Good rule.  Is that your key to having stayed here for 15 years?
Coworker: One of them.

Me: I crushed a 17 year old’s hopes of appearing competent this weekend.
Joe: Really?
Me:  He was mouthing off about quantum mechanics and I called him out for maintaining outmoded pieces of the Bohr Model.
Joe: Is there anyone you won’t try to crush if you think they’re wrong?
Me: Yeah… Generally anyone under a decade younger than me is safe.  But as time goes on that minimum age is dropping faster than I age.
Joe: I see you turning 40 and yelling at zygotes “you call that cell differentiation?  You’re not dividing hard enough!   Kids these days.”