Intro Page

Dickisms to Know & Live By

“I don’t recommend that you allow your life to get so full of ‘things’ that you lose control.”

19 December 1996

“I am making progress towards getting started.”

26 February 1997

“I know what it feels like to be over-committed.”

7 May 1997

“All of my students are working on projects that are going to get them big prizes.”

17 July 1997

“I don’t recommend studying...to tell you the truth.”

26 March 1998

“So sometimes you need a boost from your professor, and later in life, you boost your professor when Alzheimer’s sets in so bad that he is dysfunctional.”

6 August 1998

“The reason I have stickies is because my memory is not good. Thus, I will never be able to know if a sticky is missing until I get in trouble.”

5 October 1998

“The problem is my students should be working on their Ph.Ds, not their MBAs.”

9 February 1999

“When you get to my age you need a little memory aide—not just Gingko.”

8 April 1999

“We can’t do things like we used to, but that’s one of the things we’ll do.”

22 September 1999

“I apologize for missing this morning's meeting. I really simply didn't have it in my Palm Pilot, and an inadequate brain requires technological crutches. Additionally, I really have no acceptable excuses even if I have any excuse.”

30 September 1999

“Kent [Hatch] is what I was hoping for when I brought women into the lab.”

“You go try to hybridize with a Pan, why don’t you.”

27 October 1999

“There are times when you guys are rigid, and times when you guys are loose.”

11 April 2000

“The sooner you get your bumps, the better off you are.”

25 April 2000

“If you have a chance to squeeze yourself…take it.”

9 May 2000

“When I was a new Master’s student I was about as knowledgeable as a carrot.”

25 July 2000

“Let me know if you want to do some cruising next week…my car has enough room to make babies in the back seat.”

28 July 2000

You have to be allowed to make mistakes as an undergraduate, do drugs, steal cars and things like that.”

7 Septemer 2000

“You only get one chance at a good first impression”

10 October 2000

“If its valuable, then why couldn’t it be a thesis?”

4 December 2000

“Everybody thinks nature is so wonderful”

26 February 2001

“She is appealing in all of the wrong ways.”

November 2001

“It is no longer fair for you to call yourselves snot-nosed graduate students”

January 2002

“So, what is the answer Mr. answerman?”

March 8, 2002

"You need a half-naked woman leaning up against a Gila monster, then people will be interested in your poster."

October 2, 2002

"If we do have an impact it is sort of an equivalent to pissing on the headhouse."

October 11, 2002

October 2, 2002

"I've been a member of this society (ASZ) longer than Feder has, I'll guarantee it!”

January 5, 2003

"I'll strap on dynamite and walk into the executive committee meeting and be the martyr of zoologists.”

January 5, 2003

"My name is no longer Dick Tracy, as of this morning my name is Drink Ticket”

January 6, 2003

“The desert tortoise is not a species going extinct because of disease, it suffers from the death of a thousand pricks.” At DTRPAC meeting, 2003

Eric: “Can horses have a child?”

Dick: “That depends on who breeds them.”

November 25, 2003

“The university was a very bad citizen.”

September 19, 2004

“Our lab smelled like vulture puke.”

September 26, 2004

“My desktop got as bad as Eric’s, but then I just made the icons smaller.”

November 17, 2004

“Mac users are like democrats, they are in the minority, but they know they are right.”

November 17, 2004

“The talk right after mine (SICB 2005) was at least the worst talk ever given…an absolute unmitigated disaster.”

January 18, 2005

“If you guys would actually listen to my advice instead of belittling it, good things would happen to you.”

February 03, 2005

“People don’t wear clothes on Rio de Janeiro beaches and I like to look at things.”

April 28, 2005

“Just write any old piece of shit and I’ll help you get it into shape.”

September 19, 2005

“I was about that far away from being date raped. I was getting lathered up and next thing you know…”

December 05, 2005

“Sorry, I didn’t have time to pick up food.  I was being molested by an X-ray technician.”

December 05, 2005

“Eric, I think what you have written is crazy for several reasons with this response.”

January 13, 2006

“This is not frog rape; this is doing experiments.” November 16, 2011


One cohort of graduate students - led by Bobby Espinoza - started keeping track of dumb or ironic quotes from me. I’m happy to laugh at myself as much as these people did - I just wonder if I said things before and after this cohort that were equally ironic or stupid or crazy. I guess I’ll never know. Below is the list that was kept on the bulletin board in the lab where people added more each time I opened my mouth and said something stupid again. I deleted three quotes that were about faculty members at UNR - they were not mean spirited, but they could be misinterpreted out of context. Actually, all the quotes are without context, so they often seem vapid. I wonder if that is the point.

Dick Tracy