Cap'n Arbyte's

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Loren in Penang - 2003

My co-worker Loren went on a business trip for approximately two months to Penang, Malaysia ('Pinang' on this map). While he was there, he ate food like this:

Cooked fish, looking at you

…and saw things like this:

Petronas Towers struck by lightning

…and left his cubicle in Oregon totally unprotected. Muhahahahaha!

So, we did a little light redecorating. This was a team effort — everyone pitched in, even our manager. During the construction we got lots of curious looks from passers-by, who quickly grasped what they were witness to.

We moved a narrow wall segment so that it mostly blocked the entrance to Loren's cube. This little gateway was uncomfortably small for anyone but me:

Entrance to Loren's cube

You can see a pink ceiling on his cube. That's bubble wrap. It made a nice pink glow on the ceiling above his cube, which we oft admired as we walked nearby.

The pushpins on the wall read "Hye Loren :)" and are part of an evolving joke. They originally said "Hi Loren :)" when he came back from a vacation much earlier in the year, then changed to "Bye Loren :)" just before he left for Malaysia. We are very lazy people so we did the bare minimum, just changing one letter to make it a phonetically correct welcome home. Spelling isn't important.

The real fun was inside:

We are very, very evil

Colorful walls. Bubble wrap carpeting. Everything in Saran wrap. Packing tape streaming from the ceiling and walls. Truly, a thing of beauty!

Here we have a few items wrapped with care. It's hard to tell, but that's a pen holder wrapped in Saran wrap. All the pens inside also individually wrapped. This was done in the spirit of protecting and preserving the items in his office, of course.

Phone, pens, and plaque wrapped neatly

We're very generous people, so we upgraded his computer:

Craptacular computer!

From this picture it isn't clear how horribly decrepit that monitor is. It was the smallest, filthiest monitor we could find. I immediately dubbed it "craptacular" with a delighted squeal.

Here's a close-up of his new keyboard. We left him the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys so he could log in when he got back. No sense in wasting his time, preventing valuable work from getting done! We also left him the arrow keys (not pictured), but three of them pointed in the same direction.

Keyboard spelling 'Hi Loren'

I take full blame for this one — I thought Loren might enjoy a refreshing Tab when he got back. Some were worried that he wouldn't get the joke. There was never any cause for concern, he understood immediately.

Tab key taped to a Coke can

That bluish egg hanging on his wall is actually a lab jacket. Paul's special talent is smushing up clothing and holding it together with zip ties. Then it needed to be covered with packing tape and Saran wrap so it wouldn't clash.

Loren's lab jacket

We had entirely too much fun with Loren's chair:

Loren's chair

We forced the height adjustment handle so it was always adjusting. This was difficult to do, and we broke a lot of wimpy zip ties before we found some that were strong enough. The result was that when he sat down, the chair sunk to the ground — and when he stood up, it rose back to full height. We turned a useful ergonomic feature into a maddening irritant!

We also tied other parts of the chair to the wheels, to prevent it from rotating freely. Tape was applied to the wheels so the chair would slide but not roll. Of course, then we wrapped the whole thing in Saran wrap so it wouldn't clash.

Here's Loren sitting down at his desk. Stunned.

Loren at his desk

Isn't it lovely? Laptop unpacked and ready for a day's work!

A functional and fashionable cube

Loren liked what we did to the place. This picture proves it!

Loren smiling in his new digs

Look at that happy, happy smile! Not even an glimmer of pending revenge in those eyes, nosiree.

Tiny Island