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12-06-01 - Game Break

Okay, some Diversions:

Sent in by Amy, it's the Horrible Affliction Test!  Find out what disease you are!  (Amy and I were both rabies.)

Spanked the Monkey lately?  Now you can, at as yet unheard of speeds.  Requires Flash.

Finally, a neat game called I'm Gonna Kill You.  Can you defuse the bomb in time?  I can!  Sometimes.  Requires Shockwave.

I ain't touchin' the site tomorrow, so I'll see you all Monday!


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12-05-01 - Gone, With Occasional Art

I bonked my head getting off the bus this morning.  

You know on sitcoms, when someone hits their head, and it completely changes their personality?  That happened to me.  Before I hit my head, I was a bitter, moody, unhappy, sleepy temp.  After hitting my head, I was transformed into a bitter, moody, unhappy, sleepy temp with a splitting headache.  Hopefully, another whack on the head will change me back!


Anyway!  Since I'm taking a break, let's check out some reader art!

This was sent in by Sepi!  Very nice job.  Better than any damn logo I've come up with.  Thanks, homey!  Click here for a site Sepi works on.


Jori made this and sent it in!  Kewl!  That's pretty much me, except I'm not a woman.  And I'm not smiling.  The thought-bubble is right on, though.  Thanks, Jori!


This is from Kim, for my now more-or-less defunct Win-A-Car Page.  That's me, staring sadly at the car I'll never, ever win.  Ah well, you never know!  Thanks, Kim!


Okay, tomorrow I'll chuck some Diversions your way.


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12-04-01 - Breaktime, Con't

Update!  Although I'm taking the week off, I got an e-mail today informing me that Shift Magazine named Not My Desk 'THE BESTEST SITE EVER ON THE INTERNET!'  Cool, huh?  They even say 'Not My Desk is the reason the internet exists' and 'Chris sure is handsome, isn't he?'

Actually, that's a complete lie, but they did include me in their '100 Best Websites of 2001'!  Boss.  My site rounds out their 'work' category.  You can check out the write-up here!

Thanks to the folks at Shift Magazine for thinking of me.  That's really cool.  Everyone should run out to their newsstand and buy a couple dozen copies and pass them out to strangers.  Oh, and get me a copy, since I haven't yet found a local newsstand that carries it.  And I called two whole different places!

Actually, I have some art I'm long overdue in posting as well, so I'll do that tomorrow.  And maybe some Diversions.  But that's it!  The rest of the week I'm totally gonna be off.  Really.


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12-03-01 - Breaktime

Rather than half-ass it through another week of updates, I think I'm gonna take the week off from the site to regroup.  

Still!  I'm working on a new site design, so maybe that'll be done by next Monday.  Also, I've got loads of e-mail to answer, and I'll take care of that this week as well.  And, I might post a couple Diversions, if I find anything interesting.

See you all in a week.  Don't miss me too much!


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11-30-01 - The Letter

[Temp Agency] Corporate Headquarters
Oklahoma City, OK

To whom it may concern:

I have been a temp for [Temp Agency] for the past several years, and have found the experience to be... interesting, to say the least.  

I was therefore quite happy to receive in the mail (along with my weekly paycheck) a flier outlining your short essay competition, with a five-hundred dollar payoff to the winner!  What a fine event to sponsor, and, for reasons I won't get into, one that is right up my alley.  Like, right up my alley.  I am sure other temporary employees across the country have their own opinions and experiences to share, and upon learning of the contest, I immediately looked forward to assembling my own thoughts on the matter of temping, despite the somewhat limiting 25-word-or-less specification outlined in the rules.


I received the envelope containing the contest information on November 11th, as Exhibit A will clearly show [postmarked envelope enclosed].  While perusing the rules, I noticed that my entry must be postmarked by November 10th (Exhibit B) [rules enclosed].  This allows me a total of negative one days to compose my short essay and get it in the mail.

Now, I can certainly understand the need for deadlines, in fact, I write much better under pressure.  But negative one days is a rather challenging time-frame.  I am not one to admit that something is impossible, and the words "I can't" aren't in my vocabulary (except when asked to view a film featuring Freddy Prinze, Jr.), but I found this to be a bit vexing.


I have decided to enter the contest anyway, with some minor adjusting of the rules.

1)  My entry will be postmarked later than January 15th.

2)  My essay will be more than twenty-five words.

3)  A lot more than twenty-five words.

4)  I will write my essay while not wearing any pants.

And, I will concede to the following:

1)  I may not be eligible for the five-hundred dollar prize.

2)  My essay will probably be routed directly to the trash.  (And if so, please recycle.  We only have one planet!)

3)  I am a deeply disturbed human being who will probably be fired from [Temp Agency] immediately.

If my essay is indeed read, let it be read in the manner in which it was written:  without any pants on.  No, seriously, the essay is intended to be humorous, an exaggerated slant on the trials and tribulations of everyday, on-the-job occurences.  I do enjoy being a temp (somewhat), and I look upon the quirks and oddities of the job with fondness and humor, and no real malice.

If you choose to read my essay, please do the same.


Christopher Livingston



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11-29-01 - One Of These Things

Since I suck so bad with the whole updating thing this week, I thought I'd instead find you some other websites you might enjoy.  Aren't I the best?

And, as we all know by now, the best way to find things on the net is to TRUST IN GOOGLE.

Google has a lot of neat search functions.  A while back, I did an image search for NMD, but this time, I'm using a different feature, namely, the 'Find Similar Pages' feature.

Yep!  Google is so smart, it can find pages on the 'net similar to!  Wow!  What a great way to check out comparable sites with similar goals, huh?  We're sure to find you an NMD equivalent in no time.

For instance:!  Sounds like we're peas in a pod, don't it?

When visiting Pennant initially, I thought I had screwed up and clicked onto my own site, because this page is so darn similar!  Just like Not My Desk, Pennant is all about puff pastry and Danish doughs, bakery mixes and bases, fillings, icings and glazes, thaw 'n serve cakes, croissants, cinnamon rolls, muffins, frozen cookie doughs and other specialties!

If you love Not My Desk, you're bound to love buttercreme icing!  Thanks, Google!

Another site which is a whole lot like mine is  Like Phil, I also appear in my underpants and feature cartoons with captions like 'Never trim your nose hair with a Weed Whacker. Trust me, I've been there'.  Oh, Phil!!  You're like my long-lost twin.  Phil is also a corporate entertainer for hire.  Just like me, only not like me in any way at all.  Google scores again!

Then, there's


Also, if you're a regular reader here, then you know I'm always sharing stories about being a cab driver in Roanoke, Virginia!  You know me, I never shut about about all the wacky fares I've had.  Ha ha!  That must be why Google thinks my page is similar to a site called 'Real Taxi Stories'!  I also clutter my site with animated gifs, like this one:

 Text Version

 Of course, on the Taxi Story site, this animated gif points to another animated gif.  I'll have to work up to that.

But I kid the Google.  Actually, Google does a pretty good job at finding work-related sites, which sucks, because there really weren't enough wacky returns to make fun of, in my opinion.

Although hey, at least it found a great diversion at

Just don't forget to come back here when you're done, for more pastry-related taxi stories featuring security guards with giant flounder -- well, you know.


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11-28-01 - UPDATE-O-RAMA!!!!

Okay, I got nothin'.  But tomorrow, I'll have something new up.  Kay?  Promise!  Totally!

Fer real!


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11-26-01 - It's Not Just a Copier.  It's a Document Center.

To:  All employees

We're finally getting a new copier!!!!  And the best part is, it's a digital copier, and it'll be on the network!  This means you can copy and collate without having to leave your desk!!!!!!!!!!!

Um.  Yay?

I don't know if your job has these document centers or not, but I've worked a few assignments that do.  In case you don't know, a document center is like a combination of a photocopier and a printer, that is, you can print things on it, from your computer, or you can walk up to it and copy documents on it, or -- and this is the great part -- you can do both!  You can send a print job through, and have it make copies.  Stapled, collated, whatever.  All without leaving your desk!

This is a good thing.  Really, it is.  

Let's take a look at a few features of the document center, shall we?

1)  You can copy, collate, and print, all without leaving your desk!

Great!  Know what else you can do?  You can completely forget that you copied, collated, and printed, and leave your crap sitting in the output tray for several days!  Along with everyone else's!

2) You can copy, collate, and print, all without leaving your desk!

But, hey, someone's gotta go get it at some point.  Why not the temp?  Just walk over to his desk (you'll pass the document center on your way), give him a vague description of what you printed, and have him go rifle through the 700 other documents sitting in the output tray (as noted above).

3)  You can copy, collate, and print, all without leaving your desk!

Of course, you can't do other things without leaving your desk, like printing onto colored paper.  So, you'll make your fifty copies on white, then realize you need them on color, call the temp, and have him do it.  

Well, first have him find your fifty copies.  Then have him do it.

4)  You can copy, collate, and print, all without leaving your desk!

So, we've got the temp at the document center.  He's put colored paper into the machine.  He's copying.  Meanwhile, you're sending something else through from your desk.  Thanks to the super-fast document center, as soon as he's done with his copying (but not before he can remove the colored paper from the machine), your copy job will start printing!  That's right!  There's no pause between copy jobs!  So, your new stuff will print on colored paper too, since he hasn't had time to remove it!  Which means the temp will have to find you, and tell you you need to reprint it!  Hooray!

5)  Did we mention you won't have to leave your desk?

Just like with those out-of-date, old-timey printers of yester-year, the document center will eventually run out of paper.  But don't let that stop you!  Just keep on sending the job through again and again, so when the temp finally fills the machine with paper again, your crap will print 800 times, along with the thousands of other jobs that have been sitting in the queue for hours, once again depleting the paper supply!  Well done!

EXTRA BONUS FEATURE:  It's connected to your computer network!

Super!  I don't know about the rest of you, but the companies I work for never, ever have network problems.  Never!



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11-21-01 - The Longest Yard

I'm having fun with my Book of Facts, and dammit, you're all coming with me.  More animal stuff today:

"The female anglerfish is six times larger than her mate. The male anchors himself to the top of her head and stays there for the rest of his life. They literally become one. Their digestive and circulatory systems are merged. Except for two very large generative organs and a few fins, nothing remains of the male."

Huh.  That sounds familiar.  I think I was in a relationship like that once.

"Fleas are essential to the health of armadillos and hedgehogs; they provide necessary stimulation of the skin. Deloused armadillos and hedgehogs do not long survive."

Neither do government grants for the Institute of Armadillo and Hedgehog Delousing Studies.  There's just more money to be made researching goldfish seasickness, guys.

"A type of lizard, the chuckwalla, escapes pursuers by crawling into a crack in a rock and inflating its body with air so that it is wedged tightly into the crack and can't be pulled out." 

Whatever you do, AVOID GETTING ONE OF THESE THINGS UP YOUR BUTT.  Actually, that's a good rule of thumb for many (but not all!) types of lizards.

"A minute-old cria, or vicuna (a small llama), can outrun a man. In the Peruvian Andes, Indian shepherds smear infants with vicuna bone marrow so they will grow up to run as fast as the vicuna."

I'm willing to bet that the fact that not a single child has grown up to run as fast as the vicuna has persuaded the shepherds to stop smearing their kids with disgusting bone crud.

"Thirty thousand monkeys were used in the massive three-year effort to classify the various types of polio."

The effort was a failure, of course.  What the hell do monkeys know about classifying diseases?  All they did was screech and fling their crap everywhere; they didn't even glance at the data!  Anyway, they fired all the monkeys and brought in scientists, so at least there was less screeching.

"The female salamander inseminates herself. At mating time, the male deposits a conical mass of jellylike substance containing the sperm. The female draws the jelly into herself, and in doing so, fertilizes her eggs."

When first discovered, this process was described by scientists as "seriously gross."

"The female pigeon cannot lay eggs if she is alone.  In order for her ovaries to function, she must be able to see another pigeon.  If no other pigeon is available, her own reflection will suffice."

I got no smartass remarks on this one.  It's just weird, man!

"The bearded vulture, or lammergeier, is noted for its habit of carrying large bones and dropping them onto rocks from heights up to 200 feet, smashing them in order to feed on the marrow inside. It is the only bird of prey to do this."

Most of the marrow, however, is snatched up by fast-moving shepherds for child-smearing purposes.

"The honey ant of the desert has an unusual method of providing food in times of scarcity. Certain members of the colony are stuffed with liquid food or water until the rear proportions of their bodies are enlarged to the size of a pea. When the famine occurs, these ants disgorge their supplies to feed the others."

This process has been described by scientists as "almost as gross as that salamander thing."

"The African Eagle, swooping at better than a hundred miles an hour, can brake to a halt in twenty feet."

This distance can be considerably lessened by a process known as "hitting the ground."

"Cockroaches have quite a capacity for survival. If the head of one is removed carefully, so as to prevent it from bleeding to death, the cockroach can survive for several weeks. When it dies, it is from starvation."

This process has been described by scientists as "gross, yeah, but really a lot of fun, actually!  Lookit 'em go!"

"The tallest bird of all time was the moa, a flightless inhabitant of New Zealand that became extinct 400 years ago. It grew to be eleven feet tall. Its drumstick was a yard long."

A yard-long drumstick?  A yard?  Man.  I hope... nay, I pray... they had honey-barbeque sauce back then.

Speaking of which, hey, have a good Thanksgiving!


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11-20-01 - Splunge!

I bet you thought I was done talking about butter.  I bet you thought, "Hey, sure, he wanted to rant and rave about the unlikely discovery of butter on Monday, so we'll let him, and by Tuesday, he'll have moved on to something else."  Is that what you thought?  That I'd be done with butter?  IS THAT WHAT YOU THOUGHT?

Well, you're right!  I'm done with butter, but I want to talk a little more about discoveries.  I was flipping through Issac Asimov's Book of Facts last night, and I came across this interesting tidbit:

"A species of sponge, called the red sponge, can be pushed through a piece of fabric so that it is broken into thousands of tiny pieces.  The animal does not die.  Rather, all the pieces reassemble until the sponge is back to its original, whole self and continues with its life."

Huh.  This is pretty neat, I'll admit, but just like with the butter, I'm wondering how someone actually discovered it.  Not the sponge itself, but the fact that it could survive being pushed through a piece of fabric.  Seems an odd thing to do to a sponge, y'know?

Of course, it may not be that hard to understand.  We all know scientists are angry, vindictive geeks who were picked on by bullies during childhood, and now take out their aggressions by torturing helpless animals.  So, they probably couldn't wait to cut the sponge in half, and then, upon seeing the sponge put itself back together, cut it in half again.

"Look, it's still alive!  That's amazing.  Well, let's just see how you do when I cut you into more pieces, Billy Stevens -- er, I mean, red sponge!  Huh, it survived again!  Cut it into smaller pieces now!  Wow!  It did it again!  This rules.  Okay, how can hurt it -- I mean, study it... even worse -- I mean, more!  I meant more."

Now, if someone were to ask me to cut a sponge into the tiniest bits possible, I wouldn't think to push it through a piece of fabric.  Then again, I'm not a scientist.  You know how methodical they are.  Who knows, maybe they've tried pushing every single kind of creature known to man through fabric to see what happens.

"Okay, the slug died, the squirrel died, the sloth died... the less said about the St. Bernard, the better... the stoat died, the suricate died, the spotted-tailed quoll died... but the sponge lived!  That's 7,397 fatalities, one survivor.  And... okay!  We've finished the all the animals that start with 'S'.  'T' is up next.  Gimme the toad.  Okay, are you ready for this, Sally Jeffries, who would never talk to me in 3rd grade?  Er, I mean, are you ready for this, toad?  Now, PUSH!  PUSH!  PU-- Oh, gross... lookit the all the toad slop.  Ah, well!  Hand me the terrier."

Of course, sometimes people discover things by accident.  A lot of things have been discovered accidentally, like penicillin, nylon, x-rays, Australia, silly-putty, and Jeff Foxworthy.

So, it may have been all by chance.  Figuring that sponges, being slow-moving creatures, would probably hate moving at high speeds, perhaps one scientist was trying to frighten the sponge to death by running around the building with it held out in front of him.  Maybe he dashed through the labs, down the hallways, and into the cafeteria, when suddenly he slipped, perhaps on some butter (!!!), and the sponge flew through the air and into a dining scientist's cloth napkin.  Smoosh!

Then again, maybe scientists just have a whole lot of time on their hands.  I mean, look what else I found in Asimov's book:

"Fish can be susceptible to seasickness. Artificial "storm waves" made in a glass bowl, in a scientific study, resulted in seasick goldfish."

That's great guys, thank you.  Thanks a lot, really.  The Nobel Prize is on its way.


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11-19-01 - As The World Churns

I was thinking about butter the other day.

And not just butter, but things in general.  But mainly butter.  Butter, as it often does, started the thought process.

How did we get butter?  I mean, sure, it seems like an obvious thing nowadays, but centuries ago some guy or gal had to make the first batch of butter, and like many things on this wonderful planet, I don't understand how it could have first come about.

To get a solid grasp on how butter is made, I did a couple searches on Google.  Basically, it's like I thought:

Step One:  Get milk from some big, smelly animal, like a cow or Chris Penn.

Step Two:  Let it sit for a couple hours, until the cream separates from the milk.  DO IT!

Step Three:  Take the cream and churn it for, like, a really long time.  At the very least, a half-hour, at the most, like, a week or so.  You have no life anyway, admit it.

Voila.  Butter.  There's a little more to it, like separating the buttermilk and creating marketing synergy and whatnot, but that's mainly it.  And please, for the love of God, don't send me an e-mail fully explaining the process of making butter.  I'm not entirely interested in the finer nuances of butter-making;  my main concern here is how someone came up with the concept in the first place.

Step One I can understand.  Get milk from a big disgusting animal.  Someone probably noticed baby animals drinking milk from the Mommy animals, and thought, "Hey, I'm gonna get me some of that to drink, too.  No little baby animal is gonna be drinking stuff that I could be drinking instead."  This is not a generalization, this is exactly what they thought.

Step Two, letting the milk sit, sure, I can see how that happens.  You bring the milk in, you put it down for a while, possibly because you're preoccupied with something, such as chopping firewood, shunning your children, crapping in the street, fending off dinosaurs, or whatever else people in olden times used to do.

It's Step Three that gets me.  The whole churning thing.  Here's the conversation I picture:

Person:  "Hey, lookit.  The cream separated.  What should we do with it?"

Other Person:  "I dunno.  Maybe, uh... maybe I'll churn it or something."

Person:  "A-ight."

Fine, so, someone decided to churn it.  I guess I can accept that.  Maybe they tried other things, like mashing it with a hammer, rubbing it on themselves or others, smoking it, reading stories to it, and a multitude of other applications with a discernable lack of success.  Gotta get around to churning eventually.

But it's not like you can just churn it for five minutes and get butter.  You have to churn it for a while, a really long while.

Person:  "It's been twenty minutes.  Anything happen?  With the churning?"

Other Person:  "Nope."

Person:  "What now?  Should we try planting it?  Or maybe worshipping it?  Should we trade it to the Sumerians or the Hittites or the Mohawks, or whatever people are around in these olden days, whenever they are?"

Other Person (with crazy look in his eyes):  "No... no.  I... I think... I think I'm gonna keep churning it."

Person:  "Whatever, dawg."

That's what gets me.  He keeps churning!  Why?  What would keep you churning when nothing seems to be happening?  Whatever the reason, he got butter.

It all seems so random, and really, who knows what other cool stuff hasn't been discovered yet?  Like, say I take a bunch of carrots, put them in a sack, and swing 'em around over my head.  Who knows what might happen?  They might turn into gold!  You don't know!  No one has tried!  And, say I swing them for twenty minutes, and nothing happens... doesn't mean I should stop!  Maybe it requires me to swing them over my head for sixteen hours.  We just don't know.

And why not apply churning to everything else?  Ever churn grass?  How about Q-Tips?  I didn't think so.  Maybe you get something wonderful if you churn salt or mittens or Peter Graves.  How about puppies?  Can you honestly tell me you've churned puppies?  For over an hour?  You'd figure you'd just get a lot of dead, churned puppies, but you might get something cool, like a motorcycle or heat-vision.

There's no end to the things we haven't tried.  Maybe keeping acorns in your nostrils for six days will make you irresistible to women!  Maybe hopping up and down on a plate of oatmeal all night will cure baldness.  Maybe if you visit this website daily, articles of an intelligent and worthwhile nature will appear!

Try it!  You never know!


Diversions:  Speaking of dairy, let's fling a buncha eggs around!  Try The Amazing Dare Dozen!  Requires Flash.  Also, why not drive everyone in your office completely fucking nuts with The Singing Cow!  Crank up the speakers and get mooing!  (Also Flash.)  And how about Cow-nnect Four?  It's like Connect Four, only it's marginally cow-related.  Links are on the sidebarn.  Ha.  Barn.  I'm a goddamn genius.


 Last Week on Not My Desk

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