December 21, 1999

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

— Aldous Leonard Huxley, British writer (1894-1963)

(by the infamous Unknown Author unless otherwise noted)

Warning: Dates on the Year 2000 calendar are closer than they appear. — John Munyan

There are now three things in life that you can't avoid: Death, taxes, and the Year 2000.

Win Zero-Zero.

Original meaning of "Y2K": Used by executives to mean "WHY do I have to spend 2 KAJILLION dollars to fix this problem?!"

Why did we need to shorten "Year 2000" to Y2K? Wasn't it this kind of thinking that caused the problem in the first place?

Microsoft has announced a solution for the year 2000 problem. It will be released in 2004. — JavaSoft president Alan Baratz

People greatly underestimate the seriousness of the Y2K bug. After all, to
fix the problem, a computer programmer needs to find a date... and we all
know the likelihood of that happening!

IT Manager to Management: I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that on the 31st of December 1999, all computers will show the date as 1900. The good news is that we will have another 100 years to solve that bad news.

Why Coke Will Surge After The Millennium: Starting shortly after Jan. 1, 2000, the Coca-Cola Company enjoyed an unexpected surge in demand for its flagship product. Seems that the company's embedded process control system clocks rolled back to 1900, causing the original cocaine-laced formula for Coca-Cola to be reinstated.

Q: Know why the White House was not too concerned about the Y2K Problem?
A: Because they were more concerned with "in-bedded" interns than embedded chips!

Q: What are Y2K analysts and programmers gonna do after Year 2000?
A: Become expert witnesses.

Q: What will Y2K programmers do on New Year's Eve?
A: They're gonna party like it's Eighteen Ninety-Nine!

We're gonna panic like it's 1999...

The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. — Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 B.C.

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future. — Adolf Hitler, 1935


Copyright © 1999, Chris White

I worry a lot about the Y2K bug. What if everything keeps working, and I can't get a refund for all those gas powered generators I bought? — Scott Marshall

I think it would be fun if the power companies turned off the power for a minute or two just when we roll over to the year 2000. Then, after people panic and the looting starts, they can turn it back on and yell, "GOTCHA!" — Scott E. Frank


I am strong. I am invincible. I am heavily armed.


HEADLINE NEWS: 01/01/2000

The Social Security Administration announced today those long-held fears of financial collapse by the year 2030 are completely unfounded. "Due to the failure of all our computers with the Millennium Rollover, we will not be disbursing any more funds and therefore will never run out of money."

The IRS simultaneously announced a new taxpayer relief initiative stating that "they would no longer be collecting any money."

Congress declared its responsibility for these recent developments. Debate still rages on the House floor as to what Congress is taking credit for. The Senate bills it as an "elegant solution" to the balanced budget problem.

The Executive Branch is in remedial math class trying to add 1 to 99. Some debate surrounds the questions as many purport that the question is 00 minus 99.

Bill Gates, President and CEO of Y2K Industries announces the hiring of Al Gore Consulting to assist with persistent production problems in the Pencil Division. The release of new colors always seems to be delayed.

Faber challenges the incorporation of an eraser in the Y2K pencil as unfair marketing. The Justice Department is investigating.

Smith Corona has been suddenly deluged with 24 million orders and stock soars to $1.50 per share.

In a late night session, The Railway Express Agency not only manages to fight off bankruptcy but also announces a major expansion of services.

The Lone Ranger sues over copyright infringement for the use of "Silver Bullet" by adding machine repair companies. Negotiations are continuing with an unnamed brewer for rights to the name.

George Burns is celebrating his 5th birthday. He says he will live to be 100. (Everyone laughs because 100 doesn't exist.)

Physicists cannot find reason for the Repeating Millennium phenomenon. They are unable to determine whether 01/01/00 is today, yesterday, or maybe 100 years from now. Albert Einstein's theories on time and space are labeled "lunacy."

IATA, the International Airline Transportation Association announces that flight will be invented in another 7 years. Orville and Wilbur Wright are found to be alive and well.

Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" is challenged by the new "Theory of Repetition."

Mathematicians are still puzzling over what number comes after 99. The "Chaos Theory" is developed to try to compute the answer. The word "compute" coined to replace calculate as that word has 2 too many letters.

Anything learned from history is discarded. All future history is canceled due to lack of interest.


POLITICS: The president, senior vice president and vice president of China's largest airline all will be flying at the stroke of midnight Jan. 1 — hoping to ease the jitters of passengers with year-2000 anxieties, but in reality, the Chinese airline executives won't be taking too big a risk, considering the Chinese New Year doesn't begin until Feb. 16.
[While Chinese New Year isn't until Feb. 16, it's the beginning of the year 4697. The Chinese got past their Y2K problem over 2500 years ago and still have 300 years to get ready for the Y5K problem]

RECREATION: Lifestyles and Trojan brand condoms both have unveiled millennium condoms...
[The tough part is finding a girl who will be Y2K compliant...]


Physicists have calculated that the arrival of the year 2000 will be delayed on Dec. 31, thanks to one of NASA's planetary probes.

The CERN Courier, a physics magazine published by the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, reported that in a slingshot maneuver performed last Aug. 18 to gain speed on its seven-year voyage to Saturn, NASA's Cassini-Huygens space vehicle gained speed at the Earth's expense, thereby slowing the Earth's orbital motion by about one-millionth of one-millionth of a second. Result: the blowing of horns should be delayed by that amount. — NY Times

[Thanks to John — John Garison's Home Page]


Copyright © 1999, by Brian Dean

OBITUARIES: Y2K Dead of Apparent Suicide (Santa Monica, CA)

A lifetime of disappointment ended last night when Y2K flung himself off the Santa Monica pier into the Pacific Ocean.

Friends said the droid had fallen into a deep depression lately. "The Star Wars thing was bad enough, but he recovered from that," said one. "He just couldn't deal with being blamed for the Millennium Bug."

Like many others, Y2K had moved to Hollywood in the 70s, looking for work in the movie business. His first disappointment came when George Lucas cast his roommate, R2D2, for the part of the plucky robot in Star Wars.

"Y was bummed about that for a long time," said X2B3. "He was way more mobile than R2, and he had a great speaking voice, kinda like a young Conan O'Brien."

Y managed to land parts in other sci-fi movies, including the 1979 cult classic, Death Moon 2040. While droids were popular, he earned a living opening shopping malls and performing at children's parties.

When acting jobs dried up, Y began a second career in telemarketing.

"He was an innovator," said Carl Rood, who worked with Y in the 80s. "He practically invented random dialing. He used to pretend he was a computer."

His success in telemarketing gave Y the courage to try to return to acting.

"He was a wonderful talent," said Cathi Brisbane, his agent. "I once saw him do all the parts for Hamlet at the Santa Monica Playhouse."

Brisbane said Y was making a comeback before his death.

"I got him a part on the new Love Boat, and we had great hopes for the new Star Wars movies. I told him this Millennium thing could be great publicity, but he didn't believe me."

As the Millennium Bug story grew, Y began receiving phone calls, blaming him for the problem. His landlord, Bill Jackson, said the calls were the final blow.

"The guy lived on publicity, you know? Imagine having to get an unlisted phone number in this town."

Fellow droids deny rumors that Y developed a software abuse problem in his final days.

"OK, maybe he fooled around with Windows 98," said one, "but that was nothing. Y was a standup droid."


Note from the Goddess:  Damn, due to an oversight... er, I mean a definite blonde moment, I already used this blonde Y2K joke earlier in the year and I couldn't find another one... So consider it an obvious Y2K glitch (the first of many... LOL) and here it is again:


Dear Sir:

I hope I haven't misunderstood your instructions. Because to be honest, none of this Y to K problem makes any sense to me. At any rate I have finished converting all the months on all the company calendars so that the year 2000 is ready to go with the following new months:

• Januark
• Februark
• Mak
• Julk


Attn: This is Very Important!
Subject: Y2K Compliance

It has come to my attention that an unknown number of zippers manufactured in various facilities around the world will fail at the stroke of midnight December 31, 1999. It is crucial that everyone make certain to wear only clothing with Y2K compliant fasteners to avoid potential disaster. CHECK YOUR ZIPPERS NOW!! Certain zipper manufactures have been certified as Y2K compliant and have marked their products with the letters YKK to help minimize the potential confusion. If your zippers are not marked with the YKK, you should buy new ones now before there is a run on the market. I plan to be on the safe side and wear button fly jeans. It has also been suggested to consider wearing sweats. Whatever you do, you must do something and soon before it's too late. Please don't fail to plan ahead on this very important and potentially embarrassing matter.


In relation to Y2K, the population can be divided into three camps:

1. Those who think their lives will be worse if everything crashes and burns.

2. Those who think their lives will be better if everything crashes and burns.

3. Those who don't give a rat's ass.


15. IRS demands a hundred years of interest from stunned taxpayers.

14. "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" song gets stuck in infinite loop.

13. At the stroke of midnight, Windows 99 turns back into DOS 1.0, the Pentium V turns back into an 8088, and the Handsome User is left holding a beautiful glass mouse.

12. Internet Movie Database now lists "1901: A Space Odyssey."

11. Residents of Indiana have to figure out if they're off by 999 years, 364 days and 23 hours, or 1000 years and one hour.

10. Bob Dole's age erroneously listed with only 2 digits.

9. Mel Brooks' "2000 year old man" skit stops being funny...Oops, too late.

8. Sales of Coca Cola jumps drastically after original cocaine-laden formula becomes legal again.

7. Software engineers point out that since computers think it's almost 1900, we technically have to "party like it's 1899," which, frankly, doesn't seem like much fun.

6. Microsoft declares the year 1900 to be the new standard of the "Gatesian" calendar.

5. Jesus shows up late for His second coming, blames it on COBOL programmers.

4. Computers temporarily fooled into thinking Strom Thurmond is only 103.

3. First Top 5 List of the year? "Reasons No One Would Ever Assassinate President McKinley."

2. Using a computerized adoption service, Michael Jackson mistakenly takes home some octogenarians.

     and the Number 1 Unforeseen Consequence of the "Millennium Bug"...

1. Unexpected demand for COBOL programmers results in severe understaffing of fast-food restaurants.

The Top 5 List

Copyright © 2000, by Chris White



• You must first remove the plastic cover.
• By doing so you agree to accept and honor Microsoft rights to all TV dinners.
• You may not give anyone else a bite of your dinner as this would constitute an infringement of Microsoft's rights.
• You may, however, let others smell and look at your dinner and are encouraged to tell them how good it is.

Cooking Instructions:

For MS-DOS microwave oven users:

• Insert the dinner into the oven.
• Set the oven using these keystrokes: \mstv.dinn.//08.5min@50%heat//
• Then enter: \\ms//start.cook_dindin/yummy\|/yum~yum:-)gohot#cookme.

For Mac microwave oven users:

• Insert the dinner and press start.
• Press the OK button at the following questions:

     • Are you sure you want to start the oven?
     • Are you sure you want to cook the dinner?
     • Are you sure you want to eat the dinner?

• The oven will set itself and cook the dinner.

For Unix microwave oven users:

• Insert the dinner
• Enter the ingredients of the dinner (found on the package label)
• Enter the weight of the dinner
• Enter the desired level of cooking
• Press start.
• The oven will calculate the time and heat and cook the diner exactly to your specification.

(NOTE: Be sure NOT to use the -o flag. Otherwise the oven will cook everything OUTSIDE the oven, including yourself.)

Additional Information:

• Be forewarned that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case your oven must be restarted. This is a simple procedure:

     • If you have an MS-DOS oven, remove the dinner from the oven and enter: \\ms.nogood/tryagain\again/again.dupe.
     • This process may have to be repeated.
     • In the event of further difficulty, try unplugging the oven and then doing a cold recook. If this doesn't work, contact your microwave oven retailer.

• Many diners have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger than the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of which are empty. These are for future menu items. If the tray is too large to fit in your oven you will need to upgrade your oven.

• Dinners are only available from registered outlets, and only the MS Chicken variety is currently available. If you want another variety, call MS Help who will explain to you why you really don't want another variety.
MS Chicken is all you really need.

• Microsoft has disclosed plans to discontinue all smaller versions of their chicken dinners. Future releases will only be in the larger family (bloated) size.

• Excess chicken may be stored for future use, but must be saved only in Microsoft approved packaging.

• Microsoft promised a dessert with every dinner will be included with the next major upgrade, Dinner-2047. Diners have permission to salivate in advance.

• Dinner-2000 may be incompatible with other dinners in the freezer, causing your freezer to self-defrost. This is a feature, not a bug. Your freezer probably should have been defrosted anyway.


Angry Letters to Authorities
You won't be able to phone them, so send your letters to Hawaii, where your Congressmen will be on a "Y2K fact-finding mission."

First Aid Kit
Make sure it includes supplies and instructions for open-heart surgery.

Something to Burn for Warmth
Stockpile bundles of those government press releases assuring us there will only be "minor inconveniences."

Since most Americans own automatic weapons, you'll need something bigger to keep those angry mobs away. (Note to foreign viewers: this is a joke.)

Junk Food
So you don't suffer withdrawal symptoms.

Batteries for TV Remote
You'll be doing lots of flipping, because the only TV will be reports from computer centers and disasters.

Flare Gun
Face it, you've always wanted one of these. Use it to attract TV news crews, get a free helicopter ride.

Pith Helmet and Clipboard
Use these to look more official (or dorky, depending on your neighborhood).

James Bond Jetpack
Use this for flying over traffic jams.

Large Machete
This will make anyone feel Macho, and nobody will mess with you (unless they have a howitzer).

Weather Maps
To forecast local weather, make three maps: sunny, cloudy, precipitation. Throw maps into the air, use the one that lands closest. Note: you must stop using this method once official forecasts resume, since this is the way the weather service does it.

Good Nutritious Food
Forget it — it's not sold in stores, and your stomach couldn't handle it anyway.

Use these to see the giant asteroid, not mentioned on TV because of all the Y2K stories. Government experts assure us the asteroid won't strike the Earth. Note: these same experts say you won't need binoculars to see the asteroid after November 1st.

Cool Sign for Your Lawn
(Suggested sign: "DANGER: Giant Killer Mutant Kangaroos")
You might as well have some fun, and it may be a while until the tabloids resume publishing.

Spot Remover
This end-of-the-world stuff may get messy!

Bottled Spring Water
City dwellers should remember that pure water may taste odd or cause stomach pains. To simulate city water, add a rusty nail, some dirt (for color), and any dead insect.

Pet Food
Be sure to buy a flavor that appeals to you, in case it comes down to you or Fluffy.

Humor and Animation from Comedy Gum
Copyright © 1999, by Brian Dean


This memo is to announce the development of a new software system. We are currently building a data center that will contain all firm data that is Year 2000 complaint. The program is referred to as the "Millennium Year Application Software System (MYASS)."

Next Monday at 9:00 a.m. there will be a meeting in which I will show MYASS to everyone. We will continue to hold demonstrations throughout the month so that all employees will have an opportunity to get a good look at MYASS. As for the status of the implementation of the program, I have not addressed the networking aspects, so currently, only one person at a time can use MYASS. This restriction will be removed after MYASS expands.

Several people are using the program already and have come to depend on it. Just this morning I walked into a subordinate's office and was not surprised to find he had his nose buried in MYASS.

I've noticed that some of the less technical personnel are somewhat afraid of MYASS. Just last week, when asked to enter some information into the program, I had a secretary say, "I'm a little nervous. I've never put anything into MYASS before." I volunteered to help her through her first time and when we were through, she admitted it was relatively painless and she was actually looking forward to doing it again. She went so far as to say that after using SAP and Oracle, she was ready to kiss MYASS.

I know there are concerns over the virus found in MYASS upon initial installation, but I am pleased to say the virus has been eliminated and we were able to save MYASS. In the future, however, protection will be required prior to entering MYASS. We planned this database to encompass all information associated with the business.

So, as you begin using the program, feel free to put anything you want into MYASS. As MYASS grows larger, we envision a time when it will be common place to walk by an office and see a manager hand a paper to an employee and say, "here, stick this in MYASS." This program has already demonstrated great benefit to the company. In a recent audit, an employee was asked where he had secured the numbers on the report. He proudly exclaimed, "I just pulled them out of MYASS."


Here's the 'real' meaning of those Y2K compliance phrases which we see and hear:

"Y2K ready"
We're not Y2K compliant.

"Well along"
We really have no idea where we are in our Y2K remediation progress.

"On track"
We have some evidence that we're making progress somewhere, but not enough to claim we'll actually be finished on time.

"Well on our way"
We're making progress, but we don't want to commit to actually being finished on time because we're not sure if we will be or not.

"Taking steps"
We're not quite doing nothing, but we are starting to think about what we should be doing.

"Plan is in place"
We haven't taken any action yet, but the company picnic and all vacation schedules have been completed.

"Plans are underway"
Somebody, somewhere has a plan, we hope!

"Evaluating alternatives"
We don't have a clue about what we are doing. We may just close down the company and start making sand candles.

"Reasonably confident"
We're really not quite exactly sure, but we are optimistic.

"We started on [date]"
By trying to impress you with how early we started, we're distracting you from the fact that we're still not finished and we don't know when we will be!


The Los Angeles Times asked its readers to create a slogan or product to promote in the next millennium. The Off-Kilter column is just that, off-Kilter. And readers of the column didn't let down its columnist, Roy Rivenburg.

Here's a sampling of what the winners came up with. First, in the millennium products category:

• Y2K-Y Jelly, to help ease your way into the new millennium. (Submitted by reader Barry J. Stone.)
• Rip Van Wrinkle Cream, which causes you to sleep through the Y2K problem and wake up looking 20 years younger. (Ann Harrison)

Honorable mention goes to Tom and Trudy Egan for:
• Y2Kream Pie, which might or might not crash into your face on Jan. 1, 2000.

The panel did like one of Bill Williams' slogan ideas:
• "The new millennium — or as Bill Gates calls it: 'One hour's pay.' "

Here are the other winning slogans:

• "It's the third millennium: Reach out and defrost someone." (Larry Frank, who also suggested, "Welcome to the third millennium--with your host, Dick Clark.")
• "Y2K, You're OK." (Mike Crawford)
• "Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right this way, the saucer leaves at midnight!" (Jack Hayes)
• "YNot2K?" (Steven W. Alloway)
• "M M good," with the two M's signifying 2000 in Roman numerals. (Chris Ungar)


John Koskinen today announced that all Federal agencies were on schedule to deal with the Y2WD bug, and said the only worry was that the public would panic.

The Y2WD (You Too Will Drown) problem is caused by a flaw in computers. In an effort to save memory, early computer companies forgot what Bill Gates was really like. This led to the dominance of the PC market by Microsoft. This has caused the Lord God to get really pissed, and He has announced that He intends to make it rain 40 days and 40 nights, until Bill Gates has 100% liquid assets.

Koskinen dismissed as scaremongering stories that the White House was building a massive floating city. He was especially critical of Noah, who he accused of hoarding cubits. All most Americans need to do, he insisted, was to have a three day supply of food, and a few sponges and mops.

A new survey by the Gallop organization indicated that 78% of Americans, and 100% of Seattle residents, thought that there would be no Y2WD impact in their lives, but 86% plan to withdraw all their money from the bank in December. When asked why, 94% of those planning to withdraw funds said, "Because it is so much fun watching Alan Greenspan getting torqued."

Sales of ocean going survival gear increased 1200% in the last week. An informal survey by Titanic Gear Corporation indicated that most of the gear was being sold to meteorologists.

Communist North Korea issued a bulletin Monday boasting that their workers paradise would not have any problems with Y2WD, but that the lackies of the running dog Americans will all perish in terror.

Jesse Helms announced today that Y2WD is proof that God will get the perverts and that there is no global warming problem.

Dan Quayle stated, "Fears of drowning are groundless. God said that he would make it rain. Rain is water in the air. You can't drown unless the water is no longer in the air. That is why you never hear of angels drowning."

Microsoft announced that keeping computers dry is a hardware problem.


Max was a COBOL programmer and having worked 70-hour weeks for the past few years leading up to Y2K, he was just sick of it all. It was now August, 1999 and he just didn't care about Y2K anymore, he didn't want to hear about it. So Max decided to be cryogenically frozen and reawakened in August 2001; all the fuss should have died down by then...

When Max came to again he was surrounded by a group of anxious looking people (one looked suspiciously like Bill Gates). One of them stepped forward and explained — in broken English... the computer system running his cryo release date had not been Y2K compliant and in the chaos following January 1, 2000, he had kind of been forgotten in his cryo chamber. Anyway it was now July 9997 and they had heard that he was a COBOL Programmer...


...Evening news headlines... January 1, 2000... anchor desk copy....
Good evening, and welcome to the Microsoft Evening News:

President-elect Bill Gates was under fire again today for alleged tampering with Internet ballots. Gates issued a brief statement (59 k), noting that a bug was found in ballot versions 3.0 and lower, causing all votes for his opponent to be counted for him. Microsoft is working on the problem, and should be issuing Microsoft Ballot 4.0 in time for the next election. Vice-president Michael Jordan, coming off a twenty-eight point performance against the Knicks last night, had no comment.

In Los Angeles, O.J. Simpson's 10th civil trial began today, with Judge Judy presiding. In related news, Simpson has filed suit against Bruno Maglie, and Maglie is suing Simpson. Representing Simpson is attorney and former Baywatch star Pamela Lee Anderson Simpson.

American tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds has done the unthinkable, releasing a report today admitting that cigarette smoke "doesn't smell that good". The American Cancer Society issued a terse response, claiming, "We give up, people are idiots."

In entertainment news, The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince now wants to be known as Andy. Early this morning and just after completing his performance last night in Times Square, Andy commented on the millennium date controversy. "Now that we've just party'd because it was 1999, I'm going to sleep like it was the day after. Who says the new millennium isn't really until 2001? No one asked me!" His new release pays homage to the Rolling Stones and is titled "I can only get no satisfaction from myself" is due out in March, 2000.

In economic news, The Dow Jones closed up 7001 points today to a new record high of 32000 today. The Federal Reserve Board has declared all paper money worthless as of today. Microsoft closed up an eighth.

The weather forecast for New York and the rest of the East Coast — a gorgeous winter day, with highs approaching 97 near the beaches, dropping to a low of 95 tonight.

Finally, in the landmark censorship case "U.S. vs. Howard Stern" the Supreme Court today ruled 10-2 that people should turn off the radio if they are offended by what they hear. It is unclear what this will mean for the Internet.

That's the news, and don't forget, coming up next on MSNBCCBSABCFOX, the hilarious new CyberTeleSatelitteDVD-ROM sitcom "Mad About Friends Being Married With Children Named Seinfeld In The NYPD Blue-Files" The show is now also available on Nintendo 256 with the Oprah AI feature, and MicroIntelSoft's Mmmm Good Inside Hot Pocket Portable.


From CERT®/CC Year 2000 Computer Viruses and Hoaxes:

The following sites have a variety of information about computer viruses and hoaxes that have some relation to Y2K. AVERT and SARC also have listings of trigger dates for various viruses.

• AVERT Y2K Resource Center
(Network Associates, Inc.)

• Symantec AntiVirus Research Center — Year 2000 Awareness Center

• Trend Micro, Incorporated - Security Info - Y2K Virus Watch
(Trend Micro, Inc.)

And you might want to check this out if you don't already have an anti-virus program installed:

• Scan your computer for FREE! Scan your computer for Y2K-related viruses right from your browser with HouseCall, Trend Micro's free on-line virus scanner (also automatically clean any infected files it finds).

Wishing you all a Very Happy Y2K!!!

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Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love — Rainer Maria Rilke

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