Random Thoughts from Benjy Cline

Sometimes people laugh at my attempts at humor, charm, and/or wittiness. These people are to blame for this page.


I was analyzing the chords to the jazz classic How High the Moon when I got sidetracked into rewriting the lyrics. The original first four lines are
Somewhere there's music
How faint the tune
Somewhere there's heaven
How high the moon
My new lyrics are
Somewhere there's Benjy
How faint the smell
But when he gets closer
You sure can tell

Cool Name

There's a Brit I hear on the radio sometimes. His name is Rock U. Jones or maybe Rock You Jones. Anyway, it's a cool name. Why can't I have a cool name like that? So I looked him up.

His name is really Rob Hugh-Jones. I misheard his name.


I'm on a search committee for a GIS analysis/programmer. One of the committee asked if we should ask the interviewees to define "polymorphism". We said no.

Then I added that I had gone to school with a Polly Morphism. She was very nice, and she married a guy named Joseph P. Wannacracker.

Being a traditional girl, Polly took his surname when they married.


I saw a new store on the way to work this morning. It is a "Nail Bar". I wanted to stop by and ask them if they have screws, bolts, and other fasteners or if they just specialize in nails.


I like to make up rhymes/tongue twisters like "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck......". Here are a few:

What Was That Movie?

Q: What was that early Brooke Shields movie where she was a pirate?
A: Blue Doubloon

Putting a Microcontroller to Sleep

I wanted to see how much current a particular microcontroller would draw in sleep mode. How do you put a microcontroller to sleep? I don't know how other people do it, but I tell it stories from my undergraduate college days.

Mystery Radio Signal

I saw a headline in The Register:
I immediately started looking at the signal they received and decoded a message from beyond the galaxy. It was in Morse code.

It said, "UP, LID".

(Hint: This is a ham radio joke.)


RTTY (Radio Teletype) was invented by the French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Baudot.

Loose Morals

There is a dumpster behind my building at work which has a hand-lettered sign attached. It says, "No loose trash." Now I'm in a quandary. I don't know how to tell if my trash has good morals.


After Michael Jackson had completed the Thriller album, he was home one day and tripped on the edge of a rug. He fell and twisted his ankle. Fearing he wouldn't be able to dance, he cried, "I've fallen and I can't get down."

Reality TV Show

Have you seen the reality show on TLC about the young woman from Iowa, Abagail Finch, who moves to Seattle? She finds an apartment in the city center and finds she really likes the hustle and bustle. She isn't able to find job in her field, so she winds up working multiple shifts at Starbucks to make ends meet.

She has two roommates: A Bulgarian taxi driver who speaks no English and a 27 year old waitress from NYC who ran away from her husband and two children. It is hilarious!!

The name of the series is "Downtown Abby".

The Ticker

My local newspaper recently renamed a section of the paper to "The Ticker". When I first saw it, I thought, "Oh, my! A section on cardiac health." But I was wrong. It was a business section with the "ticker" referring to a stock ticker.

The Higgs

I found out that the folks at CERN were using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to look for the Higgs particle. I decided I'd try to beat them to it. I did find a guy named Samuel Higgs who was a Bosun's Mate on a ship. I was working on a press release when I discovered that CERN was looking for the Higgs boson, not the Higgs bosun :-(


The Wikipedia entry for War and Peace is approximately 7,144 words. The entry for the Beyonce Knowles song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" is approximately 12,008 words.

On the other hand, War and Peace contains about 460,000 words. Even counting all the repetition, "Single Ladies" only has 565 words.


I decided to create a web site to promote the Alliacease family of plants which includes leeks, garlic, and onions. I was going to use the domain name WikiLeeks.com, but I discovered someone already owned the domain.


My wife and I went to see a movie about a horse that became an administrative assistant. It's called "Secretariat".


I saw a license tag that read "N2SPIN" in a Virginia Tech parking lot. At first I thought it belonged to a physicist. Then, given the lot location near some publishing offices, I thought it might be owned by a journalist. But, there were also some architecture offices nearby, so maybe it belongs to a potter.

Now That's Some Woman

A friend of mine, who lives in the southwestern part of Virginia, received a flyer from an auction firm. One item to be auctioned was a "1500 lb wench". Now, that's some woman! (It's not unusual for "wench" and "winch" to be pronounced the same here.)


I recently overheard a university faculty member complaining about one of his student's use of grammar. He said, "The word 'data' is plural." I immediately corrected him, "That's not correct. The word 'data' am plural." :-)


Dictionary.com defines "twitterpated" as "confused by affection or infatuation". It made me think that some people are twitterpated with Twitter.

A friend sometimes sends me the word of the day and its definition. He recently sent the word au fait. So I sent him the definition of au jus. It literally means "with the juice" as in "I was riding in a slow white Bronco au jus."

Well Water and Coffee

I recently read an article that said that people who drank a certain amount of coffee were at reduced risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. I've also read that there might be an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's if you drink well water. Since I make my coffee with well water, I wonder if the two effects cancel.

My Honda Fit

I bought a Honda Fit in December of 2009 while there were ongoing talks about bailing out U.S. car manufacturers. Since my tax dollars were going to go to the U.S. car makers and I was buying a Honda, I felt like I was getting one car for the price of two.

I was going to get a personalized license tag for the Honda Fit I bought. I would ask for a tag that said "Hissy". But I decided to stick with my ham radio tags.

The Hacker

I came to work on the morning of 2/11/2009 and noticed that an ssh session to an old Sun workstation had closed. I logged in and noticed that the system had been rebooted by root at 2 a.m. and oddly didn't reboot until 7 a.m. "I've been hacked," I thought and spent an hour looking at logs and trying to figure out what happened. Due to some clues, I decided that the machine was not down for 5 hours. The time zone had been changed.

I'm running Solaris 2.7. Sun would not provide a free patch to handle the newer DST dates, so I have some cron jobs that run each year to reset the timezone and reboot the system. But why on 2/11? That was the cron job that was meant to go off on 11/2/2008. I had switched the month and day fields in the crontab table.

I have met the hacker, and he is I.

Copyright © 2009-2023 Ben E. Cline (benjy at tuxcat.com)