Dishes Flow Chart

Sometimes talking to other people is a great way to convey information. But for an engineer this usually isn’t sufficient. An engineer can only carry a conversation so far before getting frustrated at the words getting in the way. Your engineer will then turn to the white board to map out their thoughts for mutual understanding for all.

That’s why my wife appreciates the flow chart I created for how to do the dishes. This chart allows the dish washer to determine the proper action when faced with each dirty dish. Prior to having the chart we would spend 10 minutes over a steaming sink trying to figure out what the heck to do next. Now with this chart laminated over the kitchen’s workhorse, we can easily follow the steps to the proper action. does-it-go-in-the-sink

This chart is great for not only spouses, but also for children, significant others, and even roommates. It’s especially useful for when family comes over for the holidays. You don’t have to yell at grandma anymore when she gingerly places her egg nog glass in the sink. Instead you can just snap your fingers in her face and point at the chart.

Once you’ve printed and hung this chart in your home, come back and leave a comment about how much better your life has become.


Things our Kids Should Know (Before College 2030)

My friend, Shane, posted an article about things your kids should know before they brave it alone in college. His list is quite good for general life skills and interpersonal relationships, however, Shane failed to assess how technology is going to change our kids’ college experience. As a new dad I think about this constantly; to the point of my wife saying, “I get it! Robots are going to take over everything! We heard you!”

Our college experience is going to look like the Old West compared to what our kids are going to interact with.  Did you go spittoon or horse shopping with your parents at Bed Bath and Beyond before heading to the dorms? No? Well they did. It’s up to parents to prepare their kids for the upcoming changes in technology while they are still allowed to raise them.

Here’s a supplemental list of what your kids should know before going to college in 2030:

Take off your Augmented Reality Glasses when you Meet New People

It may seem advantageous to see someone’s name floating over their head or be able to quickly browse a list of their worst fears, but just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t make it cool. Impress people by remembering their names with your brain.  Ask people questions and actually listen for the answer instead of checking your feeds while the vocal processor does the work. It may take a lot of mental gymnastics but after some practice you’ll be able to carry the conversation without the need to select from a list of popular questions or answers.

Have a conversation without recording it

Remember to sometimes have a conversation off the record. It’s nice to know your speaking skill level and vocabulary statistics and compare them with friends, but take the time to enjoy the freedom to say things that won’t be analyzed. You’ll be surprised at what you can come up with! Bring your friends to a place well away from Listening Stations like in an abandoned building or a in the sewer. Keep your AR Glasses close by in case of robot attack.

Avoid foods with Nanoparticles

It may seem fun to have all of your calories automatically tracked and your food and drinks categorized for optimal ingestion everyday, but be bold and eat an apple off of a wild tree or a fish from a pond that hasn’t been incorporated by Google Wildlife Tracker. The nanoparticles can stay in your body for years and may come back to haunt you.  And I understand that you’ll eventually try alcohol, but be different and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon (the only beer not yet laden with nanoparticles).

Exercise without your Tracking Bug

Certainly you’ll want to maintain your mandated daily exercise quota (in order to earn your food rations), but once and awhile, get out and have fun without the nagging need to constantly be filling your Energy Meter. Run up a hill, bike to class, or climb up the side of a building (just to feel alive again) – and don’t worry about tracking it! Just be sure to do to look out for Google Compliance Drones before braving such an adventure.

Learn how to Build Something with your Hands

Sure, 3D printing is an important part of our daily lives. What would we do without the ability to print our a picnic table or a set of ninja stars in a few minutes? Where would we go when a murderous robot demands parts in exchange for your life? There are things we need at the press of a button, but take some time to make something on your own from wood, metal, or paper (if legal in your area). Your friends will make fun of you but just remember you can always print out a life size replica of them and humiliate them by leaving it in the college commons, as long as your robot doesn’t tell on you.

Go out without your RFID

It’s impossible to get a fake ID anymore but when you’re of age, try going to a townie bar where they will check your ID manually. Sure it’s a hassle to carry physical identification around but they won’t check to see if you have enough surplus food rations so you might be able to have a good time. Some bars will still take cash (if you’re able to barter for some) so your transactions won’t go into your Google Wallet Permanent History. Also, professors won’t be able to see what you were up to last night unless you were drinking something other than PBR.

Your Personal Defense Drone is for Defense ONLY

It’s not for spying on your girlfriend / boyfriend! It’s not to be used to remotely view your lessons or to prove your suspicions that “Kendra is a whore” (that’s what Facebook is for now). It is only to be used to record your every movement in case the authorities need to corroborate your actions/location for an alibi.

Go Sans Robot

Robots are a great invention but you don’t always have to let them read your lessons to you or get your groceries. If you’re able to overpower your robot, reach inside of its brain and switch it off. This may end in your death but if you’re victorious can end with a few moments of peace so you can study or relax. Either way your Defense Drone will record the entire encounter and play it back for the robot so it will be more prepared next time.

Be able to Read a Compass

Always know the direction of Mountain View. Remember to Praise our Great Leader 3 times a day. Praise Google!

Fat Ducks

Every time it rains the ducks come to my house.  The utility easement floods a little and makes kind of a pond that attracts the ducks.  There are two ducks that fly into my backyard for a bath, but more importantly to feast on the seeds thrown out of the feeder by the smaller birds. Ducks’ webbed feed can’t wrap around the little sticks on the feeder.

Ducks also can’t fit on the feeder because they are too fat.  Ducks are too fat because they eat too much.  The female duck that lands at my house is fat because she won’t stop eating.  Her weak-kneed husband’s will is no match for his wife’s insatiable desire to feed.

The husband duck stands sentry while his mess-of-a-wife gobbles down duck bill after duck bill of seed, mulch, fertilizer, and bugs.  The male duck never eats anything.  He patiently waits until they hear a noise or the neighbor dog starts to chase them.  He’s a good man, but needs to stand up for himself.  They usually get a good 30 minutes of uninterrupted feeding.  Sometimes the male sounds the alarm only to realize the noise is his wife banging her head against the feeder pole in order to dispense more food.

I can only imagine their daily conversations go like this:

Male: Such a wonderful day for flying.  With the wind beneath our wings we can go anywhere our hearts desire.


Male: Uh, why we just ate moments ago.


Male: My dear, have you already digested the salamander I spent so much time –


Male: Uhg.

I didn’t know that ducks ate bird seeds.  I found out that birds are omnivorous which means they really prefer people food.  Now, when I see the ducks come, I search the fridge for the things that they really want to eat.  They get steaks, chicken wings, dinner rolls and butter, loaded baked potatoes, cheese dip, nachos, tacos, and french fries.  A real American meal.  I even take the time to set souffle cups of ranch dressing (fat girl ketchup) for dipping the fries and wings.  It’s so funny to watch the duck dip its little bill into the ranch dressing with a hunk of chicken wing hanging out of her mouth, buffalo sauce covering her cheeks.

Oh yeah, the male still won’t eat any of the “omnivore” food.  I’m starting to think that the male duck isn’t a real man.  I went out and tried to high five him and I threw a football to him but he ran away like a girl!  We (the female duck and I) convinced him to throw the football back but he couldn’t even throw a spiral.  What a sissy!  The female duck and I just laughed at him while he hung his head in shame.  She told him to wait in the utility easement pond while she finished feeding.  What a lame duck.

Credit Card Wife Watch

When credit cards first came out, women were not allowed to use them on their own.  If a woman was found trying to use a credit card without her husband’s knowledge, a savvy shop owner would phone the husband to obtain permission.  Some husbands would even write on the signature line: CALL HUSBAND, underscored by the phone number to his office.

When the shop owner would call, the husband would have to drop his cigar and put down the stack of money he was counting.  The conversation would go something like this:

“Hello, Mr Henderson.  I have your wife detained here at Sears attempting to make a purchase using a bank credit card.”

“You have got to be kidding me.  Is she buying another vacuum cleaner?”

“I’m afraid so, yes sir.”

“Tell her she had better put it back and buy a cheap frying pan instead because I’m going to pound her in the face with the old one.”

“Yes sir!  I’ll release her back in your kitchen in no time.”

We waited until after we got married to combine our finances.  We’ve had a few short talks here and there on what kind of purchases we need to discuss, what constitutes a “large” purchase, and what we shouldn’t worry about as we go about our own business. So far it’s going fine, but we have a few more things to do before becoming a strong financial team.

One new leap in the trust game was adding her to my credit card.  I do not expect her to go crazy buying things (because I am more likely to do that) but extending the control of a block of credit that I’ve always had complete control of and allowing her shared access was not as simple as ordering another card.  It takes a small leap of faith.  Sharing finances and credit involves a mental exercise in trust of each other, but usually necessary and done by most couples. For us it was not a problem and has become a welcome change.

Well, I was pleased to find that there is a technology that takes the trust variable right out of the marriage equation.  It puts the balance back on the Man’s side.  The credit card companies have brought the 1950’s back to the 2010’s with the introduction of a new program called Wife Watch.  I no longer have to trust my wife to make sound purchases when I can simply watch her every move.

With Wife Watch, you will get an alert on your smart phone (or an archaic text message if you prefer) every time your wife tries to make a purchase using your hard earned money via your debit or credit card.  Your phone screen will pop up with a merchant name, total price, and two buttons for you to answer APPROVE or DECLINE.  You can also view an itemized receipt from participating member merchants while you consider your options.  With an approval the order goes through without a hitch.

The system will give you 5 minutes to answer while she taps her toes and the store keeper silently makes a bet if she is going to be denied or not.  You may let the pressure build if you believe a line is forming behind her or she’s otherwise hurried.  She knows she can’t call, pleading for your approval, because it might time out your phone display and she might have to scan everything again.  Besides, you told her not to call when MEN are making decisions.

As the pressure builds, if she believes your finger may be hovering over the DECLINE button, she is permitted to begin returning items on the purchase.  You will instantly feel relief when you see that total price going down.  Then it’s up to you if you still want to sadistically scrub the purchase.

You can even put a ban on certain merchants such as Bed Bath and Beyond, the Grocery Store, or the Beauty Salon.

Wife Watch can also be used for your unscrupulous teenagers. Sorry Jimmy.  I’m afraid you won’t be viewing Dunstin Checks In 2 with your friends tonight. It’s simply too scary.

You’re busy with your life and you don’t have time to put so much effort into trusting your spouse.  Let technology remove that burden.  Wife Watch is available for iPhone and Android 2.1+ devices.