Category Archives: Humor

Funny things that have happened to me, stories I’ve heard….anything

Dilbert and Unfit by the same artist

I haven’t seen this anywhere else on the web yet, but my suspicion is starting to grow. Even if it’s a nutty theory, I’m still going to put it forward. Has anyone else wondered if Mike Belkin and Scott Adams are the same person?

There is a relatively new comic out there called Unfit by author Mike Belkin. Recently, Dilbert’s Scott Adams hosted a contest for a new artist for Unfit on his blog.

Has it occured to anyone else that the type of humor portrayed in both comics is similar? I think there is even a strong similarity in the artwork (hence the reason for an artist contest?) and the lettering. Unfit is just slanted differently.

Does anyone else think this?


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Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Gift of the Magi

While I was shopping for a gift for my dad I must have mentioned to somebody something about how someday I wanted to build model ships. My dad caught wind of it, and on Christmas Eve I opened a nice set of knives and razors suitable for working with small wood parts. I was really confused. My mom got it, and laughed. I was still confused.

Later that night, my dad opened his model ship, and I handed him the knives which he had bought for me. Very funny. 🙂


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Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

A long day of coding…

You know you’ve spent too long that day writing code when you start working on a term paper and ending sentences with semi-colons instead of periods.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Bad Random Functions Redux

I had talked before about the random play function in my car stereo, particularly the playing of Arlington every time I drive past Arlington National Cemetery.

It happened AGAIN. This is the 5th time in a row. I haven’t heard the song, otherwise.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

When Bad Random Functions Go Good?

Most software developers who have even a cursory knowledge of code security know that using the built-in rand() function for anything cryptographic is a bad idea.

Now take the issue of randomness in car CD players, for example. In the last year I replaced my car’s stolen stereo system with a new one. It’s a Kenwood and I’m generally happy with it, but it has got to have the WORST shuffle play I have ever seen…er… heard. Let me explain:

I created a WMA CD with about 80 favorite songs in the root directory. I have this CD in more often than not. Yesterday, as I was driving home it played the exact same set of songs as on the previous day driving home! They were in a different order, however. It was probably a subset of about 20 songs. What are the odds of that?

A second oddity I’ve noticed is that it more often than not plays two Elton John songs in a row (songs are ordered in alpanumerical order and most consist of something like “01 – My Song.wma”, where the number is the track number from the original album). I have maybe 5 on the CD.

But the really weird thing is that every time Trace Adkins’ beautiful tribute Arlington comes on I happen to be passing Arlington Cemetery right at that moment. This has happened each of the 4 times I’ve heard the song in my car. Each instance has been separated by at least a few weeks.

I would be interested in seeing the algorithm they use.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

The Customer Service that Keeps on Serving

After moving to the DC area a few months ago, I signed up for Comcast high speed internet. The service has been wonderful, no complaints whatsoever. As part of their promotion, they were giving away free web cams. So I went to the web-site and filled out the form. I got the Logitech QuickCam Messenger in the mail a few weeks later. Then, yesterday, I got TWO more ony my doorstep. Not wanting to unlawfully benefit from their mistake, I wrote them a quick note:


When I signed up for Internet, I took advantage of the free web cam offer. I received mine a few weeks ago, but yesterday I got TWO more in the mail from you. I would just like to know what to do with the extras. I’ll gladly keep them, but if you need them back, I can return them.


I thought that was simple enough. Was I wrong? I received this in reply:


Dear Benjamin Watson,

Thank you for contacting Comcast Communications.

We have received your question regarding the receipt of two free webcameras.

We appreciate you taking the opportunity to inform us of this matter.

All gift selections are final. Returns will only be accepted if the item is deemed defective, damaged, or if the wrong selection was fulfilled.

Merchandise must be in new condition with its original packing and accessories intact. In such cases replacement product will be sent to the customer at no cost. If the returned product is found to be neither defective, damaged nor incorrectly fulfilled, the customer must pay all shipping costs. There will be no convenience returns.

If the product is defective, damaged or incorrectly fulfilled, please contact us by email at <e-mail snipped> and we will assist you in the return. We hope this information will be helpful towards answering your inquiry.

Thank you for your patronage.

Sincerely,

<name snipped>

Comcast Customer Care


Hilarious! I still don’t know if they realize they sent me three free products instead of just one?

So now I have 3 brand new webcams, plus the one I already had! I can hook one up to each computer! At Amazon, they are selling for $34.97 apiece. I got quite a deal!


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: