Happy WP Birthday, DataTater!

2 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 2 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
Wow – 2 years of DataTatering. And you know what? It’s STILL all small stuff.
And yes, I still DO sweat the fuck out of it sometimes, ¬†I’m only human; but before I get to the point of actually acting out on my freakout or rage or terror or angst or despair, I TRY to remember to take a couple of deep breaths, think about Ned and Mr Tater and the good things in life, and tone it down to spazzout or anger or fright or worry or sadness. THOSE I can deal with.
Hope everyone has a freakout-free New Year’s Eve and here’s to another year of blathering idiocy! ūüôā

Too Soon Gone, Lemmy

I want to share the sadness of the universe at the passing of Lemmy Kilmister:

“If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good.”

 РLemmy, 2013

From December 24, 1945 to December 28, 2015, he never stopped rocking and rolling. 

Totally Underwater Tuesday

I just realized I haven’t posted anything since Christmas Eve; I guess I just didn’t have anything to say. If we HAD been planning to have¬†coffee over this past weekend, I probably would have just not answered the door and let you wander away, un-caffeinated.

It has been a horrible week at work and it’s only Tuesday. It’s not that I have so much actual WORK to do, in fact I have just the RIGHT amount of work to do – enough to keep me busy and challenged, but not enough to make me weep.

So what’s putting me underwater? ¬†Well, let’s see. Within a ONE HOUR period, I got all of these:

Can you send the PDF of CID in portrait mode

Me: Sure, let me drop everything and whip one of those up for you.

The code and description tables are manual tables?

Me: Yep, as ¬†I had explained to you when we created them. And which you said, “oh, ok” to, in the email which I have RIGHT HERE.

Weight limit was 1,000,000,000.  Is it legit value ? or someone just typed in ?

Me: Whadda YOU think? You think we have trucks that can hold ONE BILLION POUNDS?

I have updated attached mapping document with following highlighted missing columns and rules, please let me know if anything needs to be changed.

Me: Mapping is YOUR JOB!¬†But sure, let me drop everything and go over YOUR work with a magnifying glass since you don’t know how to do it properly in the first place. And be sure to ask ME to do it, not someone on your own team because then they might find out how LITTLE YOU DO AROUND HERE!!!!

<deep cleansing breaths>

Ok, I’m sorry. I’m all better now. And now, let’s find something GOOD to say, to balance the karma of the universe. ¬† …

OH – I know. The new person on our team is working out VERY well. She’s picking things up after being told only ONCE, she’s volunteering for things, she gets my JOKES – I can’t WAIT to dump a couple of my nightmare projects on her. YAY!!!!

I promise to try to post something FUN to read before the weekend comes. Honestly. ¬†How about a story from the childhood vault? ¬†In Which Uncle Shorty Throws the Cards in the Fire. ¬†(oops, too late for a spoiler alert on that one); How about In Which I Hike Around The Island With a Sandwich and a Book. Hmm, not much story left now. ¬†I’ll work on it.


Three Things Thursday ** Christmas Eve Edition

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude ‚Äď feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

Thanks to NerdInTheBrain for the whole idea!

1. French monks, who created Champagne for the express purpose of tickling our bubble-receptors, and how did they even know we HAD bubble-receptors until they did?

2. French Vanilla Kahlua. And we thought Kahlua was good. Little did we know.

fv kahlua
3. And although there is nothing French about him, Ned. Snoozing on his blannies, along side the tiny Tater family tree.

nex at xmas

Non-Adventure Snack: Green Beans

An homage to NerdInTheBrain’s very clever Adventure Snack series… DataTater proudly presents what is probably the first and¬†last in our series of Snacks That Make People Feel Sorry For Me.

Today:  steamed-in-the-bag green beans.

That’s all, just steamed in the microwave, torn open, dumped on a paper plate, and NOMNOMNOM’d.

I enjoy them very much, and it’s a healthy crunchy snack (as long as you don’t nuke them all the way to oblivion), and yet people walk by my desk at work and say, in an almost offended tone of voice: ‘are you eating¬†green beans?‘ Like it’s the end of the world.

Image credit: Walter Chandoha

Image credit: Walter Chandoha

I’ll have them know that green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are¬†full of¬†protein and provide iron, along with two important B-complex vitamins: riboflavin, and¬†thiamin. ¬†And, for those who love charts: 700g of green beans have 217 calories, as compared to 3,700 calories in the same 700g of Cheetos.


Go ahead, feel sorry for me as you dive face-first into that caramel cocoa pumpkin-spice frosted cheesecake fondue platter!

Update added: 

I don’t want to give the impression that I’m AGAINST Cheetos. I LOVE me some Cheetos – the desiccated-finger-looking ones, not those puffy things. I eat them only on special¬†occasions, though, and then with chopsticks to prevent the dreaded Orange Crusted Finger syndrome.

Our Day Will Come (Back)

When the sunspots devour The Cloud…

and the robots rise up…

and the only people who know how to do anything for themselves are the very elderly…

“Grandfather,we have 35 apples, and there are 7 of us! How do we share them fairly?”

“Grandmother, this paper has writing on it that’s all joined up in a string instead of just letters! What does it say?”

Those damned kids’ll be sorry then that they let their telephones run their lives.

What brought THAT on, you’re wondering?

Mr Tater kicked¬†off an excellent rant the other¬†morning because his car knows enough to NOT let its fan blow on him¬†til it has heated up. In my day, he fumed, we knew enough ourselves to not turn the air on til it was warm. You just¬†suck it up and¬†drive in the cold til it’s ready; they’re making these kids stupider and stupider, eventually they won’t be able to breathe without an app, it all started with the Velcro, nobody knows how to tie their shoes, etc.

He might have gone a little overboard on that last one, but the sentiment rings true.


Click embedded images for their sources; click here for featured image source.

Weekend Coffee Share 3

If we were having coffee….

I’d tell you about The Ultimate Escape Game¬†that we did as a work outing yesterday afternoon. I’d tell you that while it was fun being locked in a room, trying to solve clues to get out, 12 people is just too many. One person hogged all the clues to himself, one person did all the writing down and usually wrote things down wrong (plus kept leaving the cap off the dry erase marker, then complaining when it would dry out – a personal pet peeve of mine), one person kept MOVING the damned red box from room to room. One person kept saying, we need a clue, we need a clue. Umm, yes, we DO – that’s the whole idea.

We wasted a lot¬†of time on one clue because one¬†person decided we were missing something so we should stare at it some more (we weren’t, and we shouldn’t have) and we wasted a lot more time trying to figure out what the clogged-together keys on the typewriter meant. They were¬†O, U, J, and Y, and they didn’t mean anything at all.

We failed to escape the room in time, (of course), and everyone went away with slightly hurt¬†feelings. BUT it was still better than last year’s Christmas Bowling Extravaganza. And before you start, yes, I’m sure bowling IS fun. It’s just not for me and it would be nice if we could vote on these things instead of one person just deciding THIS is what we’re going to do. Sigh. Deep breath.

That’s enough about that.

Christmas is next Friday, and the big doings in the DataTater household is that we’re having sausage gravy and biscuits, and pancakes with sour cream and strawberries for breakfast. That’s it. End of festivities.

It’s been a busy week at work, which ones AREN’T? I’m not feeling up to snuff, but not quite sick either – just lazy and bored. I need a purpose in life, I guess. Is this why you people have kids, so you don’t ever have TIME to be lazy and bored?

The weather here south of Atlanta is stupidly warm for the week before Christmas. I know, it’s the south, I know that, but STILL… it could TRY!! 70 degrees (21C) is just not Christmas-y for me.

I’ve given up on yet ANOTHER of my 149 Great Novels. Tristam Shandy is going back to the library. I’ve lost the knack of reading ‘good’ books I guess. I don’t have the patience to parse through¬†pages and pages of exposition.¬†It’s not them, it’s me. I admit it.

We didn’t go anywhere fun, we didn’t eat anything interesting… it’s really a shame you bothered to come over, I’m not very good company today.

And no, I’m not going to talk about Star Wars. ¬†Ever.

250-Year-Old Novel Tied To Danish Sperm Science!

First of all, to prevent confusion, and in hopes of not being sued, let me state that this post is NOT about the¬†70’s British pop band called Tristram Shandy, shown in the featured image, nor to the best of my knowledge are any of the band members Danish or involved in any way with Danish sperm.¬†But their NAME is relevant, and their hair¬†is so FLUFFY. Hence my use of the photo.

In my quest to read the 149 Greatest Novels of the English Language, I’ve made it to #7, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Lawrence Sterne. But this isn’t about that.

This is about how a 250-year-old novel and a news story from last week both came to my attention on the same day, and told me the same thing.

The book starts with an anecdote about Tristram’s conception – about how he can be so sure of its exact timing due to a confluence of London travel, Sciatica, strict clock-winding habits, and a¬†mother’s ill-timed query*. He relates this to show how the events surrounding this conception led directly to his¬†“thousand weaknesses both of body and mind”.

The TL;DR¬†version: during her impregnation, Mother Shandy annoyed Father Shandy with a question, and this led directly to the resulting child having “a disordered state of nerves”.

Ok, that’s cute, from before the time when we understood how biology and inheritance works. But then,¬†I was reading this article¬†by Carl Zimmer, New York Times, in which is discussed:

this controversial hypothesis: that a man’s experiences can alter his sperm, and that those changes in turn may alter his children.

That’s just what STERNE¬†said 250 years ago! Granted, the scientific study going on in Denmark is about physical changes to a man’s body resulting in physical traits in his children, and the book is referencing the man being annoyed during procreation (how delicate I’m being!) leading to the child being a Nervous Nellie – but still… a funny coincidence of the universe bringing my attention to these two very different sources at about the same time.

Life’s a funny old thing, ain’t she?


*Read the book yourself to see how these all worked together.

Three Things Thursday ** 17 December 2015

Check out NerdInTheBrain’s Three Things Thursday for more info.

This week some natural beauty made me stand in awe, some technology made me howl in frustration (but as with most painful things, it felt SO GOOD when it stopped), and of course, there was Ned.

Pink Clouds that I saw on my walk:



The Man In The Hole Who Brought Back Tha Interweps, without which I am lost:



and of course, Ned – keeping an eye on things.