Friday humour - December 11, 1998

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

    Yo,
Well, it's a fairly large collection this week - and a mixture ... a few
that came in much earlier this year, and a few which just arrived over
the past couple of weeks.  First up, this one from our "westerly" list
(it's has been sitting around since Easter):
                            --------------------

A Canadian, an American Indian, and an Irishman decide to go hunting.  On
their first day they draw straws to see who gets to go first.  The American
Indian won and set right out.

The following morning, the American Indian returns with a dead deer
dragging behind him.  Both the Canadian and the Irishman run up to him in
excitement and said, "Wow!  How did you bag such a big deer?"

The American Indian smirked and said, "I found his tracks, I followed the
tracks.  Bam!  Shot deer."

Both of the men nodded and agreed that that was a good idea, so, on the
second day the Canadian went out and also came back the following morning
with a deer dragging behind him.

The Irishman runs up with excitement and asks, "How did you get it?"

The Canadian smiles and says, "I did just what the Indian said.  I found
the tracks, followed the tracks and shot the deer."

The Irishman replied, "Well, I can handle dat."  So off he goes with his
rifle, out to get his deer.

The following morning the Irishman returns with a broken leg, a smashed
rifle, and bloody clothes.  The other men rush over to find out what
happened.

The Irishman groans, "... I did just what you said.  I found the tracks,
I followed the tracks, and - BAM - I got hit by a fucking train!"
      ---------------------------------------------------------


     This next one's from one of our ex-ports, Kate D Hawkins (nowadays at
     over Kodak, at the Coburg HQ).  Kate sent a couple in recently (and as
     she put it: "I like the ones where the cows talk.")

                      ***************************
                         INSURANCE CLAIM FORMS        (continued)
                      ***************************

"I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought."

"A car drove away at speed, catching our client, who went up in the air
and his head went through the windscreen and then rolled off at the
traffic lights a good few feet away.  The car then sped off, and
miraculously our client remained conscious and managed to cross the road."

"I am responsible for the accident as I was miles away at the time."

"I pulled into a lay-by with smoke coming from under the bonnet.  I
realised the car was on fire so took my dog and smothered it with a blanket."

Q: Could either driver have done anything to avoid the accident?
A: Travelled by bus?

"I had one eye on a parked car, another on approaching lorries, and
another on the woman behind".

"I started to turn and it was at this point I noticed a camel and an
elephant tethered at the verge.  This distraction caused me to lose
concentration and hit a bollard."

"On the M6, I moved from the centre lane to the fast lane, but the other
car didn't give way."

"On approach to the traffic lights, the car in front suddenly broke."

"Three men approached me from the minibus.  I thought they were coming to
apologise.  Two of the men grabbed hold of me by my arms, and the first
slapped me several times across the face.  I kneed the man in the groin,
but didn't connect properly, so then I kicked him in the shin."

A Norwich Union customer collided with a cow.  The questions and answers
on the claim form were:

Q - What warning was given by you?
A - Horn
Q - What warning was given by the other party?
A - Moo

"I was going at about 70 or 80 mph when my girlfriend on the pillion
reached over and grabbed my testicles and I lost control."

"I didn't think the speed limit applied after midnight."

"I was on my way to see an unconscious patient who had convulsions and
was blocked by a tanker."

"Mr. X is in hospital and says I can use his car and take his wife while
he is there.  What shall I do about it?"

"No witnesses would admit having seen the mishap until after it happened."

"I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked
her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk."

"While proceeding through 'Monkey Jungle', the vehicle was enveloped by
small fat brown grinning monkeys.  Number three fat brown monkey (with
buck teeth) proceeded to swing in an anticlockwise direction on the radio
aerial.  Repeated requests to desist were ignored.  Approximately 2 minutes
and 43 seconds later, small fat brown monkey disappeared in 'Monkey Jungle'
clutching the radio aerial."

"First car stopped suddenly, second car hit first car and a haggis ran
into the rear of second car."

"Windscreen broken.  Cause unknown.  Probably voodoo."

"The car in front hit the pedestrian but he got up so I hit him again."

"We had completed the turn and had just straightened the car when Miss X
put her foot down hard and headed for the ladies' loo."

"I had been driving for 40 years and I fell asleep at the wheel and had
an accident."

"I thought my window was down, but I found out it wasn't when I put my
head through it".

"A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face".

"A pedestrian hit me and went under my car".

"I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home.  As I
reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision, and I did
not see the other car."

"I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal
joint gave way, causing me to have an accident."

"My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle."

"The pedestrian had no idea which way to run, so I ran over him."

"I was thrown from the car as it left the road.  I was later found in a
ditch by some stray cows."
      ---------------------------------------------------------

      Now another one from the "list out west" - this one's also been
      buried in the drawer since about April:
                           ------------------

A pregnant woman walks into a bank and lines up at the first available
teller.  Just at that moment the bank gets robbed and she is shot three
times in the stomach.  She gets rushed to the hospital where she gets
fixed up.  As she leaves she asks the doctor about her baby.  The doctor
says "You're going to have triplets.  They're fine but each one has a
bullet lodged in its stomach.  Don't worry though - the bullets will pass
through their system through normal metabolism."

As time goes on, the woman has three children - two girls and a boy.
Twelve years later, one of the girls comes up to her mother and says
"Mummy, I've just done a very weird thing!"

Her mother asks her what happened, and her daughter replies: "I passed a
bullet into the toilet".  The mother quickly smiles, and comforts her by
explaining all about the incident in the bank.

A few weeks later, her other daughter comes up to her with tears streaming
from her eyes.  "Mummy, I've done a very bad thing!"  The mother says "Let
me guess - you passed a bullet into the toilet, right?"

The daughter looks up from her teary eyes and says: "Yes, how did you know?"
The mother comforts her too - again explaining about the incident at the bank.

A month later, the boy comes up and says "Mummy, I've done a very bad thing!"

"Aww - you passed a bullet into the toilet, didn't you, darling?"

"No, mummy.  I was masturbating, and I shot the dog."
      ---------------------------------------------------------


      Now - time for the regular Microsoft bash.  This is another "longish"
      one, forwarded on by David over at Telstra.  A titch dated now, but
      enlightening nevertheless:
                                 -------------

            MICROSOFT CODE HAS NO BUGS (that Microsoft cares about)

                  A FOCUS Magazine Interview with Bill Gates.
                             ===================

In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October 23,
1995, pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some statements
about software quality of MS products. [See executive summary, below.]

After lengthy inquiries about how PCs should and could be used (including
some angry comments on some questions which Mr. Gates evidently did not
like), the interviewer comes to the storage requirements of MS products.
It ends with the following dispute:

FOCUS:  Every new release of a software which has less bugs than the
older one is also more complex and has more features...

GATES:  No, only if that is what'll sell!

FOCUS:  But...

GATES:  Only if that is what'll sell!  We've never done a piece of software
unless we thought it would sell.  That's why everything we do in software
... it's really amazing: We do it because we think that's what customers
want.  That's why we do what we do.

FOCUS:  But on the other hand - you would say: Okay, folks, if you don't
like these new features, stay with the old version, and keep the bugs?

GATES:  No!  We have lots and lots of competitors.  The new version - it's
not there to fix bugs.  That's not the reason we come up with a new version.

FOCUS:  But there are bugs an any version which people would really like
to have fixed.

GATES:  No!  There are no significant bugs in our released software that
any significant number of users want fixed.

FOCUS:  Oh, my God.  I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows
the page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page
numbers.  If I complain to anybody they say "Well, upgrade from version 5.11
to 6.0".

GATES:  No!  If you really think there's a bug you should report a bug.
Maybe you're not using it properly.  Have you ever considered that?

FOCUS:  Yeah, I did...

GATES:  It turns out Luddites don't know how to use software properly, so
you should look into that. -- The reason we come up with new versions is
not to fix bugs.  It's absolutely not.  It's the stupidest reason to buy a
new version I ever heard.  When we do a new version we put in lots of new
things that people are asking for.  And so, in no sense, is stability a
reason to move to a new version.  It's never a reason.

FOCUS:  How come I keep being told by computer vendors "Well, we know
about this bug, wait till the next version is there, it'll be fixed"?
I hear this all the time.  How come?  If you're telling me there are no
significant bugs in software and there is no reason to do a new version?

GATES:  No.  I'm saying: We don't do a new version to fix bugs.  We don't.
Not enough people would buy it.  You can take a hundred people using
Microsoft Word.  Call them up and say "Would you buy a new version because
of bugs?"  You won't get a single person to say they'd buy a new version
because of bugs.  We'd never be able to sell a release on that basis.

FOCUS:  Probably you have other contacts to your software developers.  But
if Mister Anybody, like me, calls up a store or a support line and says,
"Hey listen, there's a bug" ... 90 percent of the time I get the answer
"Oh, well, yeah, that's not too bad, wait to the next version and it'll be
fixed".  That's how the system works.

GATES:  Guess how much we spend on phone calls every year.

FOCUS:  Hmmm ... a couple of million dollars?

GATES:  500 million dollars a year.  We take every one of these phone calls
and classify them.  That's the input we use to do the next version.  So
it's like the worlds biggest feedback loop.  People call in - we decide
what to do on it.  Do you want to know what percentage of those phone-calls
relates to bugs in the software?  Less than one percent.

FOCUS:  So people call in to say "Hey listen, I would love to have this
and that feature"?

GATES:  Actually, that's about five percent.  Most of them call to get
advice on how to do a certain thing with the software.  That's the primary
thing.  We could have you sit and listen to these phone calls.  There are
millions and millions of them.  It really isn't statistically significant.
Sit in and listen to Win 95 calls, sit in and listen to Word calls, and
wait, just wait for weeks and weeks for someone to call in and say "Oh, I
found a bug in this thing". ...

FOCUS:  So where does this common feeling of frustration come from that
unites all the PC users?  Everybody experiences it every day that these
things simply don't work like they should.

GATES:  Because it's cool.  It's like, "Yeah, been there done that - oh,
yeah, I know that bug." - I can understand that phenomenon sociologically,
but not technically.
                      ========================

                         Executive Summary:

* Bug reports are statistically, therefore actually, unimportant.

* If you want a bug fixed, you are (by definition) in the minority.

* Microsoft doesn't care about bugs because bug fixes are not a
  significant source of revenue.

* If you think you found a bug, it really only means you're incompetent.

* Anyway, people only complain about bugs to show how cool they are, not
  because bugs cause any real problems.

                      - Straight from the horse's mouth.
      ---------------------------------------------------------


      Now, another Christmas story - this forwarded on by Russell Newnham
      from the Battery Group:
                            ----------------

                Rationalisation Hits The North Pole

The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the
early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern
about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring
decisions at the North Pole.  Streamlining was necessary due to the North
Pole's loss of dominance of the season's gift distribution business.
Home shopping channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's
market share.  He could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the
profit picture.

The reindeer down-sizing was made possible through the purchase of a late
model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip.  Improved productivity from
Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is
anticipated.  Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental
emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavourable press.

I am pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed.
Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole.  Management denies,
in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose
got that way, not from the cold, but from substance abuse.  Calling Rudolph
"a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load"
was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of
context at a time of year when he is known to be under executive stress.

As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the  North
Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps.  Effective
immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the
"Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:

The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be
the cash crop that was forecast.  It will be replaced by a plastic hanging
plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.

The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost
effective.  In addition, their romance during working hours could not be
condoned.  The positions are therefore eliminated.

The three French hens will remain intact.  After all, everyone loves the
French.

The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system,
with a call waiting option.  An analysis is underway to determine who the
birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.

The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors.
Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative
implications for institutional investors.  Diversification into other
precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks
appear to be in order.

The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be
afforded.  It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per
goose per day, is an example of the decline in productivity.  Three geese
will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel
will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good
one.

The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.
The function is primarily decorative.  Mechanical swans are on order.  The
current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore
enhance their outplacement.

As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy
scrutiny by the EEOC.  A male/female balance in the workforce is being
sought.  The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no
upward mobility.  Automation of the process may permit the maids to try
a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.

Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number.  This function will be
phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.

Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill.  The high cost of Lords plus the expense
of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest
replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen.  While leaping
ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we
expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year.

Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the
band getting too big.  A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on
new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down
to the bottom line.

We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and
other expenses.  Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching
deliveries over twelve days is inefficient.  If we can drop ship in one
day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion
to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing") action is
pending.

Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in
the future to stay competitive.  Should that happen, the Board will request
management to scrutinise the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is
the right number.

Merry Christmas
      ---------------------------------------------------------

     And finally, as we get ready to dive down to the pub (or the bottle
     shop, or ... whatever ... depending on your tastes), Lars (our SQL
     and Web contractor at the moment) has just forwarded on some more
     beer jokes for your drinking pleasure:
                             -----------------

Always remember - I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken
out of me.
  - Winston Churchill

He was a wise man who invented beer.
  - Plato

Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.
  - Catherine Zandonella

If God had intended us to drink beer, He would have given us stomachs.
  - David Daye

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
  - Henny Youngman

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
  - Benjamin Franklin

If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes
beer shoot out your nose.
  - Deep Thought, Jack Handy

Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is
beer.  Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the
wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
  - Dave Barry

The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.
  - Humphrey Bogart

People who drink light "beer" don't like the taste of beer; they just
like to pee a lot.
  - Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI

Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.
  - Kaiser Wilhelm

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer.
  - Homer Simpson

Not all chemicals are bad.  Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen,
for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in
beer.
  - Dave Barry

I drink to make other people interesting.
  - George Jean Nathan

They who drink beer will think beer.
  - Washington Irving

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his
fools.
  - For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemmingway

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
  - Dean Martin
                 [Yes, I know we had that one before, but I love it.  Ed]
      ---------------------------------------------------------
[ End Fri humour ]




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