Ben Langhinrichs

Photograph of Ben Langhinrichs

E-mail address - Ben Langhinrichs

May, 2020
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Wed 11 Jul 2007, 10:02 PM
Although it makes me feel so old I can hardly bear it, my lovely daughter turned 21 today (which means I am probably not 25 anymore).  Sigh!  Many of you have shared in her journey through these pages over the past few years, ranging from the dating advice I have dispensed (see Dating advice,  Tips for tipping and even Confidential to "Caught in Cleveland Heights") to her eating quirks (see hypothetical carrots) to her joys and griefs relating to college (see Priceless! and One of the hardest days), and even to her uncanny ability to attract attention in unlikely places (see ABC News and Prom follow up or To see, or to be seen).  Thanks for tagging along, and I imagine I will write more about her in the years ahead (although she may be beyond needing my dating advice), so stay tuned.

I don't use her name on my blog, so ...
Happy Birthday Princess!

Mon 1 Jan 2007, 11:06 PM
The blog's been a bit quiet lately (although traffic hasn't slowed much - as Bob Sutor says, "having a photo of an attractive young woman on a blog entry will help drive a lot of traffic"), as I have been caught up in end of year preparations, Christmas holidays and a trip to the Deep South to see my wife's sister and family.  I am trying to gather my thoughts, and have considered writing a "favorite columns" post, but decided against it for now.  I may still do a highlights post, but I think I'll wait a bit.

A more important thing to post about is: What next?  After almost four years writing this blog, with many hundreds of posts and even more hundreds of comments, what is it I want to do this year to keep things fresh?  What do you want to see me do?  More posts about rich text?  About coexistence?  About ODF?  Or even about dating advice?  More articles in the Rich Text 101 series?  More updates on products?  More insight into the world of software development?

Or should I just ask Mike Midas and Crystal Coex to post more?  It so happens that a few months back, Andrew Pollack noticed how quiet Rocky Oliver's blog had been for several weeks, and asked me to "guest blog".  Not thinking, and because I was way too busy (and lazy), I sent Mike and Crystal over to help out.  Did I mention that I wasn't thinking?  Anyway, the following was written back in September, but somehow Rocky managed to keep it off his blog, so I'll post it here just to show you what I have to deal with in my office.  People complain about bosses, but employees can be worse...

Wage Slaves Unite!
by Mike Midas, Ace Developer (and virtual, remote guest blogger on

It is said that house guests, like fish, start to smell after a few days.  Something certainly smells fishy over at, where the elusive Rocky Oliver hasn't been seen for weeks, so our boss sent me and Crystal over to be house guests, to freshen the place up a bit, if you catch my drift.

Driving to Georgia from Cleveland is like volunteering to give blood when your half blind Aunt Gertrude is the only dumb sucker they let draw blood at the annual Red Cross blood drive, and her sciatica is acting up.  You might as well just shut your fingers in the car door before taking off, but taking off we were, me with a hangover that a British King would have found sufficient reason for beheading whomever the current British Queen was, and Crystal with an attitude that filled the passenger seat like a hot blooded Latino princess being eaten slowly by a cold blooded South American reptile.  If looks could kill, the looks she was giving me could have been used by the U.S. Marines to clear out all the insurgents east of Euphrates.  Now don't get me wrong, Crystal and I work together just fine, but she doesn't like me, and the only thing I like about her she keeps covered up and out of reach of the likes of me.

But when the boss says jump, sometimes you have to put a lid on the snappy rejoinders, shut your eyes to the obvious headaches, smother your resistance like an unwanted pet ferret, and jump.  After all, Rocky has been a friend to the boss for a lot of years, and not just any friend either, but a short, gimpy, motorcycle driving  friend, and you don't find those on every street corner in town, except maybe you do in Georgia, which is why we were heading in that direction.  Ever since Rocky start working for the Man, his time hasn't been his own.  From free wheeling, hard drinking, bike riding independence, he has chucked it all over for the sake of the Suits, and the Suits have paid him back by piling on the work.  So, when a wage slave calls, us fellow wage slaves go forth in sympathy, because our lazy, self made entrepreneurial pain in the ass boss wants to sit back at the office and "manage the business", by which he means pull in the big bucks while he waits for us to get back and do the real work.  Not that I am complaining, mind you.

On a long car ride, because as you might have guessed, our boss is too cheap to spring for plane tickets when his yacht needs provisioning for the late season blowouts, a guy's mind tends to wander like the hands of a wayward Uncle when the attractive nieces are about.  With the lack of any good scenery other than the Ice Queen, my mind wandered toward the topic of what the heck we were supposed to do to help Rocky.  After all, Rocky's blog mirrors his skills, but his ego mirrors the Grand Canyon.  When he wrote a book, he called it "The Bible", and if that doesn't say something about a guy, I don't know what does.  So, I don't want to blog about "new @ functions", and I can't let Crystal blog about what she is thinking about in a public forum read by script kiddies, so what should we tell Rocky's readers to calm them down until he finds a free minute hiding out without his laptop in some corporate bathroom while the vampire Suits wander the halls thirsting for his blood, sweat and tears?  I'm guessing they don't want to hear about CoexLinks and Blackberries, although it makes a good story, and Ed Brill has the whole evil empire thing pretty well covered.  We could start some rumors about Hannover, like how it will include an Eclipse plug in for IPO (individual productivity orgasmatron), but they probably wouldn't believe it without some fuzzy screenshots by Maureen.

Then it hit me like a wet towel in a steamy locker room in 7th grade.  We are talking about a blog, not a newspaper.  It doesn't really matter what you say, what matters is what you link to.  So, in honor of Rocky and his blog and the whole LotusGeek ethos, I give you Bennie and the Jets by Elton John, but annotated for the blogosphere with lots of links to drive traffic to  Maybe we can even get marked as a link farm and banned from the search engines, which would pay the boss back for sending us here.  (Just don't let Crystal see the last two links!)
Bennie And The Jets

Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Available on the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Hey kidsshake it loose together
The spotlight's hitting something
That's been known to change the weather
We'll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You're gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they're so spaced outBennie and the Jets
Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
Oh Bennie she's really keen
She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Bennie and the Jets

Hey kidsplug into the faithless
Maybe they're blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who's right and who's wrong
© 1973 Dick James Music Limited 

Wed 23 Nov 2005, 07:10 AM
Don't worry!  Bright lights may attract more moths, but a sunny personality is all that is needed to attract butterflies.
Mon 15 Aug 2005, 02:28 PM
If you only read Christopher Byrne's weblog via RSS (and if you don't read it at all, shame on you), you may have missed the newest addition to his site.  I'm not sure what her name is, but I just want to know how we are supposed to know what Chris is selling based on this picture?  Business advice?  Dating advice?  Is she blue because she's too compliant, or are others blue because she isn't compliant enough?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Fri 29 Jul 2005, 10:25 AM
This is one of those long requested items by regular readers which was a lot harder to add because of the way I integrated the weblog into the home page.  Nonetheless, it is here at last, so you can search for dating advice or search for whatever you like.  The search link is on the left, and I probably need to do something to make it easier to find.  I tried to add a quick search there, but there is some problem with submitting from Firefox from there, so I will add that later.
Mon 6 Dec 2004, 11:50 AM
A while back, I implemented a hook into the search for both our Midas Help db and our Support Forum that would send a notification of the searches that were made.  I wanted to know what people were looking for, and it has been useful, but it has also been very frustrating.  People search the Support Form for topics that would be better suited to searching the Midas Help db, and vice versa.  This weblog isn't searchable at all, as my daughter pointed out recently when looking for my posts about her clueless date and his tipping ability to show to a friend.  Besides an interest in obscure dating advice though, there is lots in here that is valuable... (read on)
Mon 5 Apr 2004, 08:55 AM
OK, it is not as bad as ordering a peanut butter sandwich, but I do have a bit more dating advice for the clueless, courtesy of my daughter.  She is (still) dating a boy (yes, the same boy), and they went out to a restaurant last night.  She has continued to work on his "date-readiness", but there are still some gaps.  The latest anecdote has to do with tipping... (read on)
Wed 10 Mar 2004, 08:20 AM
No, this weblog isn't going to turn into Advice for the Lovelorn, but I do have a bit of dating advice for the clueless, courtesy of my daughter.  She is dating a boy (not "going out", because they are "just friends"), and they went out to a restaurant last night.  They have gone to various restaurants before, and she has been trying to train him to be more "date-ready", meaning not a total clod when it comes to ordering, eating and paying.  She gave him a new wallet so he wouldn't have to pull out his old ratty one he has had since he was eight.  That sort of thing.

But today, she told me she thinks it might be hopeless.  "For dinner", she said, "he ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

Ouch!  Talk about a RLM.  I'm not sure even I have ever been that clueless.

So here's the advice.  If you don't have the cash to buy more than PB&J, invite her to eat at your place.  If you don't have the class to figure out the PB&J is inappropriate for a date, get really comfortable with your computer, because the only dating for you is going to be anonymous on-line chat room dating.  'Nuf said.