Drew in hand

As you can see, I've got my hands full with with an important new "project." I've been parenting just over two months now and have found that I can't help spending a large percentage of my free time with the little guy. Although this is partly because the actual amount of free time I have has been severely diminished since this memo went up at work 2.5 months ago.

Overtime Memo

Thankfully, things have eased up slightly since then. I've actually had multiple days off this last month - a couple of which were even consecutive.

Anyway, the point is that these two things combined have forced me to temporarily defenestrate the idea of sticking to a schedule. (Don't worry "Chief," your question isn't as pressing as you think.) As usual, you have my assurance that updates are in fact still coming. It's just hard to predict when.

May I suggest subscribing to my RSS feed? Or if you'd rather, I can notify you by email when I next update. Just leave a comment or email me through the Question Submission Form

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It's fall now, and the leaves are covering my yard like crazy. I just don't have the time or energy to get out there and rake after work. Are there any other ways I can get my yard cleared that don't involve so much work?

-Leave Me Be

Dear Leaf,

It is a little known fact that several weather deities offer yard waste removal services this time of year. If you can afford it, you can have a custom, localized wind storm take all the leaves away. For a small extra fee, you can have it sent to the nearest dump or compost site.


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No matter what I do, I'm always finding one more thing that needs doing before I go to bed each night. This happens 7 or 8 times a night! Im EXHAUSTED!!@

Dear Exhausted!!@,

If these things really need to be done, then you just have to let yourself sleep in a bit more after you've worked so hard. Surely your employer will understand.


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cheese guy

how do i keep my kitty off the table when im not home?

i can has clean table

Dear cheeseburger,

The perfect way to deter your pet is to set up a motion detector so that whenever Kitty hops up on the table it will trigger an anti-gravity ray or a tractor beam. As long as you are careful about programming where the beam will relocate your animal to, these devices are perfectly safe. Also the momentary weightlessness that Kitty experiences should adequately freak the critter out so that it will think twice before jumping on the table again.


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Dear Cheese Guy,

Bats keep getting into my house. How can I put a stop to this?

Invaded Belfry

Dear Bel,

Remember, bats navigate their world mostly by sound. If you sound-proof your home, it should be nearly invisible to them. Any bats still hiding inside will immediately attempt to move out because they are blind and miserable in the soundless environment you've created.


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Dear Square Root of Kevin,

I hate my job and who it's made me become. I want to go back and make it so I never worked there, but I lose my nerve when I think about all the movies I've seen where people mess up the future or almost destroy the whole space time continuum. How dangerous is it really to do this? Am I really putting the whole universe at risk?

Needing a Change

Dear Needy,

Time travel is indeed risky business; There are the risks of unintended changes* to the timeline, the hazard of less than 100% reliable transportation back to the present day, and those pesky paradoxes that you were referring to.

While indeed very dangerous, I can't say that paradoxes necessarily put the whole universe at stake. It's possible that the damage could be very localized, limited only to your own galaxy. But I'm sure your neighbors would agree that this is still a significant risk. Proceed with extreme caution.

Something else to consider is that most time travelers retain their memories of what the timeline was like before they changed it. This means that in your case, changing the past will not help your goal to change who you have become. What you should do is ask a trusted friend to go back and make the change for you.



Examples of possible unintended changes worth consideration:
Preventing an accident that turned out to be how your parents met;
Redirecting the path an abandoned puppy that would later have been rescued, adopted by the old couple down the street, and later foiled an attempted burglary on their home;
Swatting a fly that was the grandfather of the one that irritated your great aunt, causing her to wave her hand and spill her drink, which would have caught the attention of her no-longer-husband-to-be thus canceling the birth of that cousin with the birthmark that inspired your mother's interest in botany.

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Mr. Colby,

There's some kind of plague going around my work place. How can I avoid it?

Clinging to Health

Dear Clinger,

Your safest course of action is to simply avoid your workplace. If you can, work from home. If not, contract yourself a lesser illness that will allow you to take time off until the plague passes.


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Cheesey Guy,

I found this video on YouTube that seems to show proof of a time traveler in the 1920's with a cell phone. Could this be for real?

Hopeful Skeptic

Here's the video:

Dear Hopeful,

Yes... but no. That time traveler is a phony. Sure, she brought her iPhone back to 1928 and got herself captured by a camera that she knew would be there. But look at that smile when she looks at the camera. That's the smile of a prankster who knows that she's got people fooled. The fact remains (and in a few years it will be proven) that no mere cell phone sized battery can hold up more than a few seconds when transmitting through Time.

The time traveler and her iPhone are real, but it's a prank call.


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Help me Skippy,

Spring time is here and I'm helpless in the garden. How can I get myself a green thumb?

Lost with Tomatoes

Dear Lost,

Well, if you like to talk to tomatoes, it sounds like you're in good company. Granted, not many tomatoes can speak back. Nevertheless, there's no need for you to be helpless when hired help is listed in the phone book.

As far as your thumb goes, all you need is bowl of water and some food coloring.


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Dear Cheddar Man

There's an awful lot of theories about time travel and different ideas about what kind of device or conditions are required. Who's got it right? Do I need to snag a bolt of lightning at 88 miles per hour, or just look for wormholes under my kitchen sink? Do I need to borrow a starship and slingshot my self around the sun, or can it really be as simple as a hot tub or a phone booth?

I need to know because it makes a big difference on how much I can pack.

Quantum Cheeseburger

Dear Traveler,

The truth is that all those theories and methods generally work. Time travel is THAT unstable a process. (Except for that silly one you threw in; that made me laugh.)

Pick whichever one can best accommodate your luggage.


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Dear Cheesey,

This guy at work is driving me nuts! He's really gotten under my skin with his antics... What can I do about him?

Itching for Vengeance

Dear Itchy,

You need to get him out from under your skin before he causes more problems than itching. See a dermatologist immediately!


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Mr. Cheese Master,

I promised my readers that I would update last Thursday, but I'm only just now getting around to it... How can I keep from losing what few readers I have with my erratic schedule?

Bacon Pi

Dear Pi Guy,

You can't. Find a clever way to apologize and start working ahead for a change.


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Dear Cheese Doc,

My electronics keep dying on me... I've lost 2 computers and an external hard drive in the last month alone. Am I cursed? How can I exorcise my home office?

Fearing for my cell phone

Dear Fear,

Let's not jump to any wild conclusions. It sounds to me like you just need an exterminator. You have a gremlin infestation.

Call a professional who specializes in gremlins. As technology has progressed and gotten smaller and faster, so too has the modern gremlin. Setting traps is not very effective since the smallest of the pests will make the traps malfunction and free the larger ones. It's very likely you will have to fumigate; and if that's the case, leave behind any electronics you normally carry with you (cell phone, iPod, blender, etc.) to make sure they are clean as well.

I would also advise telling your employer about your problem as soon as you are sure. You could be held responsible for knowingly infecting your workplace. Or, it's possible that the gremlins followed you home from work, in which case the responsibility for replacing your equipment is up to them.


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Mr. Cheesy~

I've heard that librarians are the real superheros. What superpowers do they have? Why don't I see them use their superpowers?

~Bookless in Brooklyn

Dear Bookless,

Yes, it's true. All librarians are super heros. There is some variation in what powers they have, but there is a "default set" that they nearly all have.

Their most common power is their great wisdom. There are very few questions they can't answer. And they will always know where to find these few answers.

The next most common power is enhanced hearing ability. If you've ever been given the stereotypical "Shush" by a librarian, you've probably just hurt his or her super sensitive ears. But today, most librarians are combatting this stereotype by taking advantage of hearing aid technology set in reverse.

There are of course, as many different powers among librarians as any other super heros: flying to reach the top shelf, super speed for rapid assistance, energy blasts, rock-hard skin, talking to cats, etc... However, you won't see many of these more obvious powers in use, because they tend to frighten the general public, and any resulting screams would hurt their delicate ears.


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My job is terrible. It's making me crazy and has sent my attitude right down the drain. Now... the pipes are backed up, and my plumber doesn't know what to do about it.

Fractions of Bananas

Dear Split Bananas,

First thing's first... start looking for a new job. All jobs have problems, but if it's that hard on your plumbing, it's time to move on.
It also sounds like it's time for a new plumber. A simple clog, however psychological, should be no problem for even a rookie plumber.


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