Geek Jokes 0011

Q: Where are dead programmin' cowboys buried?
A: Reboot hill

Q: What do you call a dead software developer?
A: De-programmed

Q: What killed the programmer?
A: Hackin and coffin

Q: What kind of applications do dead programmers run?
A: Zombie processes

Q: What does a programmer zombie eat?


When I am King: Social Disease

When I am King...

I was at a software development conference this week where they talked about programmers creating social experiences.

Let me say that again: "programmers creating social experiences"

Why do they think they're dealing with, cheerleaders? In my experience, programmers are the least social beings I know of, rating just shy of the mollusk and barely surpassing a pile of rocks. In fact, most of us got into this field because it seemed like a great way to avoid people. And they're looking to us to create the next great social revolution?

It's like asking bullies to run group therapy sessions, or drug lords to host kindergarten tea parties, or presidents to manage foreign policy. Who knows what could happen?

No wonder the web is full of sites like FaceBook - it's socializing for people that don't know how to actually talk to people.

When I am King, social networking sites will be created by people who, you know, like, know how to socialize. And programmers will go back into our offices, dimly lit by the comforting glow of our only friends, the pixels.


When I am King: Cover Story

When I am King...

New clothing fashions will sport even more unattractive body parts.

I love recent fashion advances, especially those in waistlines and shoes.

Waistlines have been slowly creeping down our backsides so that we now get to witness displays of bodily flesh that wasn't meant to be seen outside of a doctor's office or a morgue. I'm not saying that this area is universally unattractive; there must be 2 or perhaps 3 people in the world who have waists that would make this look sexy.

Meanwhile, shoes have lost their shoe-ness. Many people now sport sandals and flip-flops at work, showing everyone their toe details. There's a reason we're born with shoes on our feet and socks under the shoes as a failsafe measure; toes are not attractive. And unlike waistlines, nobody has good-looking toes.

But the problem is not that we've gone this far, but that we haven't gone far enough. If you're just a little bit off, it's creepy. But if you're way off the deep-end, it's trendy.

When I am King, new, bold fashions will be created to expose more parts of the body that have been safely under wraps so far. In fact, these new clothing styles will hide the attractive parts of our bodies in order to emphasize the uncovered portions even more.

Shirts will be produced that bare guts exactly where the love handles begin. Face masks will be required that have holes only for large noses and hairy eyebrows. Hats with holes for bald spots will be popular, and comb-overs will be outlawed. Pants with holes showing knobby knees will be the rage. Ear supports that push the ears out of their hiding and extend them like Dumbo in flight will be worn by all. Clipping nose and ear hair will be illegal and salons will spring up that specialize in braiding and dying of these peripheral locks. Glasses will be modified to magnify the corners of our eyes, showing that rheumy bit around the tear duct and the cascades of red veins that are otherwise sadly hidden from view.

It's not good enough that today's clothes make us all look slightly unattractive; we need to push it much further and look so awful that we all start appreciating each other's inner beauty instead. Because it's gotta be better than what we see.


From Bad to Verse

From Bad to Verse

The poet cried, “It cannot work!”
And put away the verse.
It started out okay at first
But then it got much worse.

The meter, for example, was
Distinctly going wrong.
Initially it read okay,
But then some lines ran really quite far too long.

The words, it seemed, had also failed
To flow upon the page,
He grasped for synonyms but missed
And chose bad words in anger.

He’d written sonnets by the score
And couplets two by two.
An epic ode, some limericks,
But now his violets were blue.

Why was he just blanking out
In this entire season?
“It’s fate,” he told himself in shame,
There was no rhymer reason.


Corporate Survival Guide: Slide Ruler

If corporate life is a war, then conferences are the critical skirmishes, turf wars that, one by one, capture the land parcels and postage-stamp lawns that eventually add up to a captured subdivision. These battles not only help lay the groundwork for the overall conflict, they also serve as tests of your will and help you hone your skirmishing skills.

The Corporate Warrior must attend conferences in their chosen field at least one a year, but ideally many more. The successful soldier will attend at least a conference per month, more if possible. If you occasionally forget what your family looks like and start referring to the hotel front desk person as "Hon," you'll know that you're reaching the right balance in your life.

Attending conferences is one thing, but knowing how to conduct yourself to achieve your Maximum Importance Factor is another thing entirely. This is why I've written up the terribly important tips below.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to cover the gamut of effective conference attendance behavior, which includes such items as cutting to the front of the toilet line, sleeping through the keynotes, and selling the conference lunches to the homeless. So I'll just focus on one aspect of conferences here, albeit the most important one for a soldier of the bureaucracy:

Speaking at a Conference

Attending a conference is important; the opportunity to schmooze while eating a box lunch with strangers in a cavernous, damp hall is invaluable. But if at all possible, you should be a speaker at conferences. This is where the Big Importance is. Not only can you blow it out of proportion on your resume and make it sound like you presented "I Have a Dream 2," but you get an entire hour on stage to pontificate to others, an opportunity that you haven't had since your ex-wife took off.

Applying as a speaker for conferences turns out to be a simple task; you just need to lie. Acceptance of speakers is based on their session proposal. Whatever the conference is about, think about one of the hard, unsolved problems in the space that the conference is about and submit a talk abstract that claims a new and complete solution for that problem. Submit an outline for the presentation like this:

  1. Title: "At Last, a Solution to (some important problem)"
  2. Introduction
  3. Background: a history of the problem
  4. Context: where we are now with respect to the problem
  5. Solution: how I've solved it and you can too
  6. Future work
  7. Conclusion

Once you are accepted, write your slides about whatever you want. The people that accepted your talk won't look at your slides and probably won't even be at the conference, so contents of your slides are irrelevant.

Speaking Style

You want to be a speaker they remember, not one of the nameless throng of presenters at the conference. Wars are won by generals, not by committees, and the Corporate Battlefield is taken by the individual, not by the mob.

Most regular speakers speak authoritatively and articulately, handily balancing dense content with an easy speaking style. There are so many of these 'good speakers' out there that audiences are bored of this approach and will tune you out if you go this route. You want to stand out in their minds, to capture their imagination as well as their attention. To do this, you need to be different.

It doesn't matter how you do this, but pick particular mannerisms that will distinguish you from the rabble. Some possibilities include a pronounced limp or even an amputation, a strong stutter, a very slow drawl, or constant shouting. Any of these will make the audience sit up and pay attention. Using all of them would astonish them. But don't stop there; think about what you could do to personalize the experience. Can you dribble a basketball during the whole presentation? Or just dribble without the ball. What about firing off a shotgun to emphasize particular bullet points? Or whispering quietly without the microphone, so that the audience must listen closely. Use your imagination - and capture that of your audience.

Start with a Joke

A good presentation imparts information. A great one entertains. Strive for greatness and begin your presentations with a joke:

"Good afternoon. Or is it? We wouldn't know because we've been inside here all day! Ha, ha!" [smile]
This bit of levity does two things. First, it makes you one of them, with the important distinction that you're the one on stage with the microphone. It also adds a fantastic bit of humor to break the ice and make everyone look forward to the rest of your presentation. It is the last joke you will make, of course; you don't want to distract from the important material coming up. But your audience will hold out hope that you will crack another one as funny as the first, and will stick around through a lot of tedious slides just in case.

Presentation Contents

The most important part of your presentation is what's in your slides. This is what the conference attendees will take home with them on that CD that they never take out of the sleeve. This is what you'll be speaking to when you're on stage. And this is what you can tell your boss that you're working on feverishly for several weeks prior to the conference while you're actually just watching YouTube videos.

The most important slide is, of course, the title slide. It is the slide that must capture the attention of the people trying to sleep in the room, or that are walking by the room in an attempt to ditch the conference and hit a bar. But most importantly, it has your name on it. You must ensure that your name is huge on the slide. It might even be worth learning some of the fancy animation tricks in the presentation program to make your name blink and glow.

The second most important slide is one that is in the template that the conference organizers supplied to you: "Speaker's Qualifications." This is the slide where you are supposed to tell the audience why you're more qualified to be up there on stage than they are.

This is your moment, your opportunity to shine. When was the last time that someone other than the person in the mirror asked you to tell them how important you are?

Some of the best presentations I have seen have spent the entire time on this single slide. It is where you give the audience a good idea of Who You Are, potentially covering a difficult but significant birth, prestigious schooling, awards received in little league and debate teams, and tragic tales of the injustices of college rejection letters. But all of this is just the foundation for the real meat of the issue: your career. You should go over the details of the jobs you've held, the positions of responsibility you've held (or wanted to hold; the crowd does not know you and won't be able to spot the lies), the problems you've solved, the committees you've been on, the important meetings that you were almost invited to, and the executives you've glimpsed in the lunchroom. You should go over your goals and aspirations, talk about the people you'd like to meet some day, the types of meetings you'd like to chair, and the dress code you would enforce if you owned a company.

Ideally, you will continue this tirade until the end of your session. If you run out of things to say about yourself (note: if this is the case, you need more practice), say that you would have liked to finish the slides and have time for Q&A, but that you must vacate the stage so that the next speaker can get ready for their session. Then pack up and run out of the room before anyone can catch you and ask about your presentation.

And So, in Conclusion

Remember, in corporate war, as in life, presentation is everything. And conference presentation is even more.


Little Jokes: Money, Money, Money

Q: What do you call a money-losing company's financial results?
A: Yearnings announcement

Q: What do you call a surprise change in stock price?
A: Ticker shock

Q: What do you call the world market in toilets?
A: Commode-ities. But that whole market is in the crapper right now.

Q: Why do televangelists do what they do?
A: Prophet motive

Q: What are the prospects for a money-losing company?
A: Noncents

Q: What do you call it when a company is falling apart?
A: Bankrupture


When I am King: ATrophy for Everyone

When I am King...

Everyone will get the recognition they deserve. And don't.

Children today get trophies for everything from sports to academics to drive-by's. And what's more: they get awards when they don't win the competition, or even when they clearly lost. Because there is understanding in our society that our children need more emotional support for their self-esteem.

But emotional support is difficult, so we give them awards instead.

When I was a child, the only trophies were given out to the winners (or so I heard from those who actually won). And in prior generations, the only award given was that the winner didn't get physically beaten as much as the losers (which is where the term comes from: those conestants who were "beat" in a race then faced severe physical abuse at the hands of the friends and loved ones. It was considered both a good motivation during the event as well as fun for the crowd afterwards).

But I don't think we've gone far enough. Why recognize the 50% of the students who make the honor roll in sixth grade and not give out awards to the rest of the class as well? Imagine the emotional injury we're causing by not giving them something at least that says, "Here's hoping you suck less next term."

When I am King, we will do more to award less. Some awards will be bumper stickers that announce your highest achievements to drivers that should be watching the road instead. Some will be certificates because we all need more of those floating around the house. But all of them will be meaningful and heart-felt in the way that only anonymous awards given to the masses can be.

Some examples of child recognitions that my ministry is proposing include the following:

  • My child graduated to third grade
  • My child gets the opportunity to repeat second grade
  • My child isn't on the honor roll because the grading system is unfairly biased toward smart kids
  • My seventh-grader got dressed this morning with minimal assistance
  • My child gets out on parole next month
But why should we limit this program to just children? Everyone has self-esteem issues and needs the opportunity to feel better about themselves, no matter how badly they screw up. Some of the adult awards under consideration include these:

  • My husband hasn't beaten me yet this year
  • My wife practiced safe sex with ten different men last month
  • My spouse has been alcohol-free for 30 2 days
  • Most profitable home-based meth lab in the tri-county area
  • Highest number of jobs fired from in the last year
  • Not dead yet

Remember: it's not about what you do that counts; it's about how you feel. And we want you to feel just as good about the things you haven't done.


Corporate Survival Guide: Battlefield Communications

Clear communication is the key to the kingdom in today's Corporate Warzone. It's the nonfat in your triple latté, the mousse in your hair, the lifts in your shoes. It's what makes things work in the company, and it's the thing that will distinguish you from the rabble.

The ability to clearly articulate what you mean is the, the, the ... well, it's real important, like.

That's why you have to become the master of all means of communication. I will cover only one mechanism them today, but there are many more that may come in handy. You may want to learn smoke signals and semaphores on your own until I have a chance to address them.


Email has become the single-most critical communications mechanism on the Corporate Battlefield, exceeded only in importance by the pursed-lip smile as you pass someone you don't know well enough to actually talk to. The ability to formulate an effective email message is a crucial success factor in executive trajectory. In fact, studies have shown that someone's email-output volume is directly proportional to their pay grade and their cube size.

So let's look at what makes an effective email.


When you're sending email to your boss, what do you think she's going to value more: a misspelled and poorly grammarificated message, or one that is clear, concise, well thought-out, and perfectly constructed?

Right: they prefer the message that looks like it came from a three year old.

Executives don't care about correctness; they care about slavish productivity. If you send a message that looks like you actually took time to compose it, they'll wonder why you have that much time available. They may start to wonder what else you actually did today, or what you're working on that can suffer from such a lack of attention while you penned your work of art. They may even wonder why they hired you and whether the location you work in has any laws against killing employees.

But if you send a message that looks like you composed it on a broken phone while running under sniper fire, they'll know that you were so busy with Really Important Stuff that you didn't have the time and ease to actually think about how it looked. They'll know that you're giving it to them straight; you're too busy to think about image, and you just focus on Getting It Done. They'll be impressed.

But how can you achieve the right tone of wrong in your emails? Short emails can be easy to craft for this by just hitting a few random keys along the way. But longer emails require thought and attention. Writing wrong can sometimes take all day to hit the perfect mix, but it's worth the time and effort. There are also tools available to assist you, ones that can create seemingly random typos and re-wordings that find the right balance between getting the message across and looking horrible.


Punctuation. Is. Interesting. Isn't. It?

Did you notice that? Did you notice how I cleverly inserted periods (".") in the previous sentence? Probably not - it was such a subtle introduction of punctuation that it probably slipped right by you, while at the same time changing the very nature of how your mind interpreted that sentence.

You, too, can become effective with punctuation use in your emails. You just need some rules and hints about where to use - and NOT use - punctuation appropriately. For example:

  • Don't use a period at the end of paragraphs. The period is implicit and using it will show your boss that you had enough free time to spend it wastefully on unnecessary dots.
  • Exclamation points cannot, CANNOT!!!!, be over-used. It not only adds emphasis, it adds excitement!, suspense!!!, and an indication that what you are speaking about, right now!, is clearly the most important thing that your boss has seen all day! They will be compelled to read, re-read, and then probably photocopy and send it around in an office memo, highlighting the phrases that have exclamation points in them.
  • Consider the comma: Don't make your boss read so many sentences; he's a busy guy! Instead, take all of the periods out and replace them with commas. Besides saving all of the mental energy of having to stop, pause, and re-start to read each separate sentence, this approach will help collect all of your ideas together as one compelling thesis that supports some stunning conclusion.


I bet as you were reading the section above this, your eyes automatically noticed the all-caps word CAPITALIZATION that lay below. They hungered for that section, trembling in anticipation, because clearly the upcoming section was IMPORTANT. Make your emails important. USE CAPITALS WHEREVER YOU CAN. IN FACT, YOU SHOULD GLUE YOUR CAPS KEY DOWN SO THAT YOU DON'T FORGET. DO IT NOW. I'll WAIT.


Some email programs allow you to set the priority on your outgoing messages. Get one of those programs. Set it up so that every message you send is rated at the highest priority. That way, your boss will know that what you talk about is important, what you're working on must be important, and therefore _you_ must be important.

Request Receipt

Some programs allow you to specify that the reader of your important communiqués should send you a receipt to show that they've read it. Get such a program. Set it up to always request a receipt. This won't actually result in any receipts because everyone hates sending those back. But the people you contact will know that you're actively involved in your messages, and they will respect you more as they click on "No, don't send a receipt" and look for the option to disable that dialog forever in their program.

Words, words, words

When your boss receives a message, like "Nd to talk, 2?," how do you think they'll feel?

Right - they'll think that there's nothing to talk about. It's an empty email, saying nothing, and you therefore must have nothing to say.

Fill your emails with volumes of information. Background on the problem, on where things stand and where they've been, on what you've been working on to solve the issue, on your plans for fixing it, and an agenda for the meeting. Talk about where you'd like to help take the company in the future, what you did last weekend, and what you had last night for dinner. Give your boss something to hold onto that says I Have A Lot To Say.

Put the critical info in the first sentence, because your boss certainly won't read past it. In fact, the rest of the 3 Megabytes of verbal spew can be copied from elsewhere since, like the lettuce and tomato in a BLT, it's only filler. I use an email template where I simply replace the first sentence and the rest of the mail is the same every time. Nobody has ever mentioned it.


Send as many emails as you can. Send preview emails before the main ones, then follow-ups and reminders. Send notes to say that you don't have anything to report. Send emails to large aliases of people you don't know. CC your boss on every communication.

Email is the weapon of choice in today's corporate battlefield. Like many weapons, it doesn't matter if your aim sucks, as long as you just keep shooting.

Wrap Up

Remember: people judge you not just by the way you look, but by the messages you send. Be sure to get them write.