For the first time in my life, I can relate to this story.
So it made me laugh.
Laughing is a good thing, especially after spending so much of yesterday on the verge of tears.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.
“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”
The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

TechTV is coming tomorrow to shoot some really spiffy “call for help” stuff and a segment for “show us your tech.” I’m hoping to show off how cool Mandrake is, and how easy it is to use and install…I have this XP box that has never started up, but sure has a ton of badass hardware in it, and I think we’re going to put Mandrake on it, and attach it to the network here in old casa Wheaton. It should be fun, and dispell a little FUD.
Coming in the next couple of weeks:

  • Chicago
  • Vega$
  • Boxing Barney
  • Wrapping up SpongeBob Vega$Pants
  • The Trip To Alaska
  • My Linux Adventure, so far.

I think I’m going to take the weekend off from updating WWDN, starting now. Have a good one, everybody.

48 thoughts on “TECH”

  1. Whee!!! First post.
    uh, corporate culture sucks, management, engineer, developer, marketing…doesn’t matter.
    It’s high school with a paycheque.

  2. Ah…. geek toys… us boys love our toys. Stick it to the man, Wheaton! Don’t let the evil empire (or dare I say Borg?) win. Linux, linux, linux!
    But I still use windows for my games : (

  3. Have a good weekend. Can’t wait for the new stories. Well, actually I can wait, if I couldn’t wait I probably would figure out where you live, get on a plane and beat the stories out of you. But since I can wait I will, but don’t push your luck. πŸ˜›

  4. Goody! More SpongeBob Vega$Pants!
    The joke made me giggle. The manager I had before the one I have right now was EXACTLY that kind! Constant promises, and no results. Very annoying. What do you call those of us that do the actual work and don’t get credit (or paid enuf) for it?
    Thanx for the giggle!

  5. This is so true… well thats all i have to say on that post. Dont really know why i bothered but, ya know, here we are…
    Sooooo… Hurry with the Spongebob Vega$ thang for the simple reason that i keep having to dredge you archives to read the original SBVP and i just dont have that much time!!! Three excalmation marks and poor spelling. It must be thursday. Come on Weekend!

  6. The description of the engineer is absolutely perfect. Everytime my husband describes his job to a relative, I have to translate it into everyday terms so they know what he does. :)
    Enjoy the weekend, Wil.

  7. Funny, I’ve always heard this as a lawyer joke.
    And, ya know, you’ve been promising us more SpongeBob Vega$Pants for very nearly a year now. We’ll see.
    Have a good weekend!

  8. Wil,
    taking yourself a 3 day weekend are ya..good for you relax and enjoy it. I wonder if you have seen todays usernet cartoon bashing you once again? if you havn’t you can look at my post in the comments about 9-11 and the link is there, it is at todays fark. Enjoy the cartoon, enjoy your weekend, and enjoy your life. Best to you and your family.
    Until your next post……

  9. techtv is coming tomorrow where? Casa Wheaton or your Arena office?
    There is NO way you are making up all those entries in the next couple of weeks. I’d take some vegas odds on that :)

  10. Here’s to starting the weekend early!
    Hey, I’m unemployed so everyday is a weekend for me.
    Ah, can’t wait to hear about Vegas & beating up Barney. Mr. B did seem pretty tough on ya & some of the punches looked pretty strong/real.

  11. I enjoy you site BLog immensly, and decided to briefly stop lurking to give you kudos
    Enjoyed the simplicity of your site yesterday, it was all that needed to be said.
    Love the stories buddy, and I will add my voice to the loud din – write a book darnit!
    Have a good one weekend Wil.
    Back to the background!

  12. Wil-I’m not sure whether to laugh or feel bad for you now that you are able to relate to that joke!:) Gotta love corporate life!
    Astra-you and me both!

  13. Glad to hear the comming attractions. Your site always gives something to look forward to each and everyday.
    Your fans in Seattle

  14. Wil, that story/joke is great. Plus, it’s good to hear that you’re laughing again. Like you said, laughing a good thing.

  15. Where in Chicago, Wily? I’m out in the suburbs and if your doing any public event i’d love to get out and see ya.

  16. Wil,
    Have a good time away from WWDN. And, I’ve been sort of waiting on the Alaska story. That must have been a great trip. Have been there once by air, about the same time of year as your cruise.

  17. Well, while we’re doing the whole copier humour thing, my preferred story along those lines is this;
    A shepherd is watching his sheep when a BMW pulls up alongside him. A man leans out and says “I’ll bet I can tell you how many sheep you have in this field; if I can, I’ll take one, and if I can’t, I’ll pay you 20 quid.” [1]
    “Fine”, says the shepherd, knowing that he’ll never count them as they move about the field.
    “Two hundred and fifty-three”, says the intruder, confidently scooping up an animal.
    “That’s amazing, but I’ll bet I can tell you what your job is. If I get it right, you’ll return my sheep, and if I get it wrong I’ll pay you the 20 quid.”
    “Fair’s fair.”
    “You’re a management consultant. You came here unasked for, you told me something I already know, it cost me money to be told it, and you know nothing about my business. Now, can I have my dog back?”
    [1] This does date it rather to before the agricultural collapse in the UK, when a sheep might realistically be worth more than that.

  18. Interesting. I’m seriously considering getting a new computer this fall, keeping my “old” XP box, and putting Linux on it for the purposes of just playing around with Linux.
    Mandrake is cool. Geeky, but cool. Sort of like Trek. :)

  19. ROFLMAO!
    I’m a Telecom Tech for a Global Telecommunications company Company … I just sent this about 15 minutes ago, to a few of my Techie friends both in my company, and in another company in the same line of work.
    It’s spreading like WILDFIRE already, because it is SOOO True!
    Thank you SOOO much for making my day today Wil!

  20. Wil,
    What is in the air out there? You have posted some strange things this week. I think some time away from updates is just what you need. Have a good weekend.

  21. Haha! This story has circulated often through my office since I work for the American Society of Civil Engineers. Engineer jokes run rampant…
    The funny thing is… this story is oh so very true.
    Happy Friday!

  22. Dude, that’s so cool! I’ve reported this over at (note: the title is a play on the ballooning joke):
    Oh, BTW, you don’t have to buy “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”. Eric Raymond has all his writings available on his Web site:
    Anyone wishing to understand how open source software works (_very_ useful if you want to learn Linux) should take a look.

  23. Wil – first time reader of your site, saw you on TechTV with Roger Chang and Scott Herriott in a HouseCall segment. Loved it. Looking forward to the next one. Since you’re coming here to Vega$, I’d usually encourage you to drop a ton of dough at the casinos since the more you lose the more free cable channles we get, but you’re too smart for that so just have fun and relax. Will you be making any special appearances while you’re in Vega$?

  24. Hey Wil, I think “casa del Wheaton” would sound better.
    Your joke reminds me of – big surprise — another joke. A programmer, a hardware engineer and their manager were going down a steep hill in the manager’s car when the brakes failed. After much frantic weaving, downshifting and rubbing against the curb, the car finally stopped and they got out. The hardware engineer said, “I’ll get under the car and take a look. Maybe I can fix it.” The manager said, “No, I’ll call a tow truck on my cell phone and we’ll take the car to a certified repair shop and have a brake technician work on it.” The programmer said, “Wait, let’s get back in the car and see if it happens again.”

  25. I guess I really must be a thoroughgoing geek, because my first thought (after laughing at the joke) was “hey… 40 degrees north by 60 west? that’s in the middle of the atlantic ocean.”
    It’s about halfway between bermuda and halifax, actually.

  26. Will,
    “starting now”…I love that.
    Good choice though, you got a family With kids now and they Need You on the weekends, every weekend you can give them.

  27. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on your Alaska trip! Too bad I didn’t get addicted to your site a little earlier… I live in Ketchikan and would have camped out at the dock to try and say ‘hi’. Enjoy your weekend!

  28. Uh oh Wil! Who let Vinnie in here! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding, he’s a great guy. When the TechTV fans start hanging out here at your website, look out! I’ve already posted a link to your website at Leo Laporte’s message board at and I recommended they follow your Amazon link to order the Lord of the Rings DVD set! Several people have said they have! Look out, the Laporteans just may make you a few bucks yet! πŸ˜‰

  29. Mandrake? Man I’d try linux if I could! That trip to Alaska oughtta be fun, thats where I grew up!! It’s all about Alyeska resort and Seward!

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