Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Agony Of The Feet

ow!Last week, somewhere around Thursday-ish, I sprained my left foot.

I have no idea how I did it, honestly. I just became aware of pain. I had stretched the tendons on the top of my left foot somehow. It was pretty painful.

ow!Saturday, my wife and I went to Big Splash. We walked in the gate, and went up to the lockers where you can stow away your stuff. I reached up to a locker on the top row, and my lock slipped out of my hand. From a height of about 6, 6 and a half feet my moderately heavy metal lock fell and bounced off the top of my left foot.

We went (I limped) over to the nearest pool and got in. From that point on, I made an effort to not use my left foot when I was in water. I'd bounce along on my right foot, sparing my left foot as much as possible.

ow!At some point during the Big Splash activities, I managed to sprain my right foot. Just like the left, the tendons on the top of my right foot got stretched or something.

So, two sprains and one nasty bruise. Thank goodness my job doesn't involve much physical activity. :)


Friday, July 28, 2006

Webinar Etiquette

For those who don't know, a "Webinar" is basically a conference call on the web. The presenter can be heard via speakerphone, and the presentation (usually powerpoint slides) is shown through a web site.

I participated in a webinar today, and I want to stress the importance of muting your conference/speaker phone when the presenter is speaking. That way, you can hear the presenter, and the rest of the folks listening in on the call cannot hear you.

This was an issue twice. Early on in the call, while the presenter was speaking, we could hear "HUUUUUHHH... WHOOOOO... HUUUUUHHH... WHOOOOO..." over and over. A heavy breather, with the phone pressed up against his face. I thought I was being stalked.

Later, another participant started... well, I don't know what he was doing. It sounded like he was cracking open peanuts or something. Maybe it was 16 people all cracking their knuckles at the same time. It was freaky. :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006


OK, so over the past few days... dang near a week, there really hasn't been anything amusing enough to write about. I have other ideas for "past" stories, but I really don't want to resort to doing 3 of those in a row. So instead you get a story about how average the past few days have been.

Over the past few days I've seen "The Island" and "The Pentagon Wars". The Island is not a great movie, but it was reasonable. It's basically a remake of a movie that MST3K featured, so set your expectations low, and you'll be impressed. The Pentagon Wars is funny in an "Oh my goodness I really hope this *isn't* a true story" sort of way. Think "Office Space" in a military environment.

Today, in a meeting, "Ajax" was mentioned. For those who aren't programmers, this is a programming technique. It is not one that I am very familiar with. I was asked (by Mad Dogg), "You know all about Ajax, right?". I replied, "I'm more familiar with the kitchen counter cleaner by the same name."

Most people chuckled at that comment. Slim, however, nearly fell out of his chair laughing. It was fun.

Finally, you know how perfectly innocent words can sometimes sound not-so-innocent? A "dongle" is a piece of computer equipment that plugs into your computer for various purposes. Today, we received email from a coworker who had lost one, basically asking, "Have you seen this?" with a picture attached for reference. To which, Farmer Brown said out loud, ...

"Uh Oh... [name] is emailing everyone pictures of his dongle!"

Thankyew you've been a great audience. I'll be here all week... don't forget to tip your waitress.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stories From My Past: Body Piercing

When my sister was Jr. High aged, she decided she wanted piercings. Mom and Dad let her get both ears pierced, but they drew the line there. I don't remember all of the things she asked for, but the one-word reply was always the same.

"Can I get multiple piercings in my ears?" "No."
"Can I pierce my tongue?" "No."
"Can I pierce my nose?" "No."

One day, I was in my bedroom. I don't remember what I was doing, but I remember hearing my name being whisper-shouted repeatedly. Each time, it was just a little bit louder. My sister was trying to get my attention, and didn't want Mom and Dad to hear.

I wandered into her room and saw a most amusing sight. My sister had stapled her hand to her desk.

She was trying to do a "hand piercing" - putting an earring in the stretchy bit of skin between her thumb and forefinger.

Now, I've seen some funny things in my time. But I gotta tell ya... the sight of my little sister stapled to a desk... well, it's just a special memory. :)

Between the two of us, we got her pried up from the desk. I was sworn to secrecy. For reasons I don't think I'll ever fully understand, I agreed. As it turned out, I didn't have to worry about the speed with which the secret would come out.

My sister got a visit from our yicky friend tetanus. She had to show her badly swollen hand to Mom and explain what she'd done. The piercing was removed, shots were given, and she came through it just fine.

Closer to adulthood, she did eventually get multiple piercings in her ears, but as far as I know it ended there. 'Sis, if you do have any other piercings, I don't want to know about them. :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stories From My Past: Snake!

Timeframe - Late Jr. High, early High School.

A friend and I were wandering out by the pond behind my parent's house. It was a pretty small pond. My friends and I would wander out there when we were bored. Sometimes we'd fish, sometime we'd just run around and throw rocks at each other. It wasn't a real exciting pond, but it was there.

My friend DareDevil had a "I'll try anything for a nickel" mentality, but he really didn't require the nickel. All he needed was an idea that he hadn't tried before.

As we walked around the pond one day, we saw a water moccasin sunning itself on some rocks by the side of the pond.

I have a very simple rule regarding snakes. Greater distance = happier Jeff. As far as I was concerned, the outdoor activities were over. I was already 30 paces or more away from the situation when I realized I was walking (OK... galloping) alone. I looked back, and there was DareDevil, picking up a fallen tree branch.

He took the 10-foot branch, and using it like a spear, he thrust it down hard on the snake's head. Only he missed.

If a water moccasin is threatened, it will attack you. Mr. Snake very quickly identified the source of the threat, and it struck without hesitation. The only problem (from the snake's point of view) was that DareDevil's stick had managed to pin his tail down.

I could see the snake strike repeatedly at DareDevil. But every time the snake lashed out toward him, it got within a foot of DareDevil, and then was stopped because its tail was pinned. Then, in a panic, the snake would lash out away from DareDevil, trying to get back into the pond. It would be stopped again by the stick that was pinning its tail. Lather, rinse, repeat. The effect (from a significant distance) was that I was watching a helicopter blade spin around.

DareDevil figured out the pattern and released the stick during one of the snake's round trip attempts at escape. WHEE!!!.... the snake flew off and splashed into the water.

DareDevil came back over to me with a look of shock and wonder on his face. "Wow!", he said, "Let's go find another one!". "Are you crazy?", I replied. DareDevil countered with, "Hey, it's safe. I've still got my stick!"

Greater distance = happier Jeff. I went home.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Grab Your What?

Today I have a brief story of questionable taste for you. For most of my readers, this should be right up your alley. :)

This past weekend, my wife and I went to the Olive Garden. I went into the restroom for entirely normal reasons. There was music playing; it was some jazzy sorta swing tune - it was pretty groovy. As I stepped into position, the song reached a point where the singer (female) was singing.

The actual lyrics she sang were, "Grab your coat, grab your shoes," and then it continued on about the merits of going out on the town to have a good time. However, when I heard that first line, I thought she was saying "Grab your cup."

Did I mention where I was, and what I was doing? For a second there, I thought I was on Candid Camera or something. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

ASP.NET Training is Complete...

...and now I know everything. I even have a little certificate of completion thingy to prove it. Doubt me not!

About 20 minutes or so before class was done for the day, the lady who runs this training company ("Giggles") came out and asked us, "Who here is the easiest to embarrass?".

This question was met with a mixture of reactions. There were three of us there, all from my current job, and none of us fluster too easily. Proximity to Mad Dogg will do that to you. There were also plenty of adventures with Rent-A-Zilla and the Bad Man to thicken my hide. It was hard to decide who might actually get embarrassed, but we eventually settled on The Golfer.

So, Giggles wanders over to The Golfer and says, "Hm... he's fair-skinned, too... yeah, I bet he blushes easily." The Golfer obidently blushed. "You see," she continued, "I have this tradition when training classes end. I always give everybody a kiss."

There was a bit of a pause while we all digested this statement. Mentally, I was weighing my options... I could just take a deep breath and hope it ended quickly, I could make a run for the door, I could pretend to be engrossed by something on the wall ("Oh, I didn't see you back there")... I didn't really think an actual kiss was immenent, but with that michevious look in her eyes it was pretty obvious that *something* was going to happen.

Giggles let us ponder for a moment, then she continued. "But I don't want angry spouses coming after me, so I brought these instead." She had a small handful of dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses.

Dark chocolate = yum. Too bad her tradition was for only 1 kiss. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stories From My Past: Harassment Training

So, the .NET Training class I'm going through this week has dredged up some memories about other training experiences. This happened at my old job, a few years ago.

We (the very Dilbert-y employees) were told that we all had to attend mandatory "Sexual Harassment Training". That's right... training. Not, "Prevention" or "... and the Workplace", or even "Policies". We were apparently going to learn exactly how to harass someone. There were more than a few "I already know how to do that!" jokes going around, as you can imagine.

For reasons that aren’t very funny and would take too long to explain, the "classes" were consolidated. So, we had ... I'm guessing around 100 people per class? Much larger than it should have been, in any case. The facility didn't have any rooms that big, so the largest area we had was cleared out. No chairs, no tables, just floor. We were told to cram in and sit.

SardinesI was right up against at least 4 people. Everybody was. We were told to scoot in closer, because we still didn't have enough room.

Finally, we all fit. Well, for a very liberal definition of the word "fit". My knees were plunged deeply into the back of the poor woman in front of me. I was hip-to-hip with the folks on either side of me. Behind me, my backside was intimate with the knees of some other poor soul.

Then, a very condescending trainer-lady proceeded to tell us all that inappropriate touching was bad. What?, you mean, like this touching we're all doing right now?

Ah, memories.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

An Apology To Those I've Trained

OK, so those of you who are not programmers, a lot of this isn't going to make sense. There's not really a punch line either. This is more a case of, "Holy crud, I've been stupid."

For those of you who are programmers... remember ASP.NET Validation Controls? Remember what I've always said about them? I've stood in front of informal training groups and flat-out said that Validation Controls were horrible, worthless things. I swore never to use them. Today I learned how incredibly wrong I was.

Those silly things do Server-Side validation, in addition to Client-Side. The Client-Side is fairly proprietary to Internet Explorer, but the Server-Side bits are nigh bullet-proof. And they are far, far, easier to use than the custom validation code I'm used to writing.

So, if you are a programmer whom I have led astray, and you want to learn how these things are supposed to be used, please feel free to contact me. I'll lead you into the light. And if you're not a programmer... well, didn't you read the warning back in paragraph 1? ;)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Adventures in ASP.NET Training, Day 1

Today was day 1 of my ASP.NET training course. The instructor is a guy named Ben - he's a good guy. Very bright, pretty easy to understand, knows his stuff really well.

A few amusements from the day...

One of the slides that Ben showed today had a basic outline of Software Development. He read off the 4 "basic" steps to us. They were, "Design, Develop, Debug, Deploy". I nearly shouted, "... and DODGE!" [sheepish embarrassed jeff] 'cause, see, in the movie Dodgeball, the 5 D's of Dodgeball were Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive... and Dodge.

*sigh* I'm such a nerd.

Also, today we encountered the horrors of pronouncing things that shouldn't be pronounced. File extensions, to be exact. We were discussing a particular type of file that has a "WSDL" extension (for example, somefile.wsdl). Ben kept calling it a "Wizz-dull" file. It wouldn't have been quite so funny except that he said something about "generate my own wizzdull". To me, this sounded like he was trying to be subtle about a visit the little boys' room.

And finally, my favorite. When I first came into the classroom, one of the ladies who works for the company was in there, as well as Ben, a network techie, and the other folks in class with me. The lady was bragging about Ben. She was excited about his real-world experience, and how much that would benefit us. She failed to notice Ben walk away from the brief conversation. The network techie dropped to his belly on the floor and started wiggling around trying to plug in a stubborn network cable near where Ben had been standing. Meanwhile, the lady proudly (and blindly) gestured in his direction and said, "He does this for a living!"

He wiggles around on the floor for a living? I can't decide if I need to be looking for a job like that, or if I need to be running away. :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Potential Service Outage

This week, I'll be participating in a Microsoft ASP.NET training class. This will throw off my schedule a bit, so I don't know how frequently I'll be posting messages.

Enjoy your week! I'll try to let you all know if anything amusing happens in our class.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Quick Practical Joke, re: Mad Dogg's Age

eh?My wife found a coupon for hearing aid batteries. A plan was quickly hatched.

Readers with long-term memories will recall how my co-worker Mad Dogg turned 30 recently, and wasn't too happy about suddenly being "old". The plan was simple. I came into work before he did, and I taped the coupon to his monitor.

I went back to my office to wait. Quite a lot of time passed. Finally, I got a phone call from Den Mother, who works in the same office as Mad Dogg. Her desk is right next to his. There was laughter from multiple people in the background during this call.

"Hey Jeff, could you please call Mad Dogg and explain the coupon to him?"

I was prepared for, "Could you call him and fess up?". I wasn't quite prepared for this. Den Mother had asked Mad Dogg, "Do you want me to tell you who did this?", and he responded with, "No, because whoever did it is going to fall over laughing at the fact that I don't get the joke."

So after all this was explained to me, I called Mad Dogg. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "I hear you're a [i should have been nicer in my choice of nouns]."
Mad Dogg: "Is this because I'm getting old?"
Me: "Of course!"
Mad Dogg: "See, I just didn't know what it was supposed to mean."
Me: "Hey, I see a coupon for hearing aid batteries, and you're the first old person I think of."
Mad Dogg: [long pause], followed by [explicative]

Apparently, when you get "old", the mind is the first to go. You young pups out there, take note.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stories From My Past: Philosophy Class

"The $%#&@&$! Manifesto"

So, one sad semester in college at OSU, I had a Philosophy class. It filled in some general credit requirement, and my advisor said it wouldn't be too difficult of a class.

I am NOT a fan of philosophy. Not even a little bit. I hated this class even before I set foot in it. The professor was a smallish man, white hair, and he always had a cup of coffee with him. At the time, I was badly addicted to caffeine. Even so, I remember thinking, "Wow, this guy drinks a lot of coffee."

Day after day in that class, he would ramble on about ... well, philosophy, I guess. I couldn't understand more than about 6 words from him on any given day. I just don't speak that language, and I've never cared to. I didn't have any friends in that class. I would spend about half of my time in that class actively trying to understand what he was talking about, and the other half of my time was spent wishing that something interesting would happen. It wouldn't have been the first time, after all. ;)

One day, I came into class, and there was a different guy up at the front. I looked around... nobody else seemed to have any idea why there was a stranger in front of our class. "Is professor [name] OK?" "He's out for a while. Once class starts, I'll explain why."

What had happened? For the first time all semester, there was genuine interest from the students. And concern - the prof was an older gentleman, slightly frail. The buzzer sounds, and class began. The replacement started off with...

"So, many of you probably noticed that in your class last week, Professor [name] had started to exhibit some unusual behavior. I'm told he was speaking with incomplete sentences, and cursing frequently."

What? Really? I hadn't noticed. Was I *that* zoned out? As I looked around the room, I was seeing a few heads nodding, but more than a few students who were sharing my confusion.

As it turns out, my philosophy professor had a stroke. While in class. And almost *nobody* had noticed. This guy's philosophical ramblings were so incoherent normally, that when he honestly went into incoherence, you couldn't tell.

For the record, the prof was out for a week. When he came back, he didn't seem any different. He mumbled a couple of sentences about the experience, and then it was back to business as usual.

Needless to say, this class did nothing for my interest in Plato. I somehow managed a "B" (or was it a "C"?). Not bad given how little I paid attention in that class.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Simple Puzzle

Today, I thought something a little different was in order. I thought it might be fun to give you all a puzzle to ponder. You know - one of those brain-enriching activities that makes you a better person.

So enjoy! If you can successfully work out this puzzle, you will have increased blood flow to your brain. You'll be better, stronger, faster... you may not actually be worth 6 million dollars, but you'll have the respect and admiration of your peers.

I won't bother including an answer key for this, because I know my audience. You're a sharp bunch.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zip It!

Today (Tuesday - I know I'm posting this late), there was a meeting of various web-related folks at my job. There were about 15 people there, including myself and Mad Dogg.

A question was asked, and Mad Dogg started to speak. He was spoken over by another person in attendance. Mad Dogg tried to speak again, and was again spoken over by another person there in the meeting.

Dr. EvilEven though Mad Dogg can be a bit outrageous at times, he is also very talented and he's very passionate about doing his job well. He obviously had a legitimate answer to the question that was raised, but every time he tried to speak, he was spoken over. This happened at least 5 times, with 5 different people. It got so bad, some of the other folks in the meeting started doing the Dr. Evil "Shh!" thing at him. Several of us saw what was going on, and were laughing, but those who were speaking just kept right on going.

Finally, the last person to talk over him finished what he was saying, and noticed that Mad Dogg had been trying to speak. He motioned for Mad Dogg to speak, but he had just finished saying what Mad Dogg had been trying to say all along. With a "Never mind, what's the use?" look on his face, Mad Dogg simply replied, "That's what I was trying to say."

It was at that point that I jokingly said, "See, we don't actually need you." But I was spoken over, so nobody heard me. *sigh* What a meeting!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Stories From My Past - Shelter From The Storm

This happened when I was in Jr. High, maybe early in High School. It was an overcast day, and I was visiting a friend's ranch.

I remember standing on one side of a fence, and a horse was on the other side. It was a generic brown horse - I don't remember details. I had some sugar cubes in my hand, and I was feeding him.

I held out my hand - he was gently eating right out of it. I looked off at the horizon. It was a hazy day, and the horizon didn't exactly look right. I couldn't figure out why. I could hear the horse next to me, crunching the sugar cubes. The "crunch crunch crunch" didn't sound quite right either.

I turned back to look at the horse, who was "crunch crunch crunch"... and CHEWING MY HAND.

I just knew that at any moment the delayed-reaction pain was going to hit. The horse had calmly consumed my left hand up to the wrist! I pulled back and jumped, and opened my eyes.

I was in my bedroom, safe in bed. There were flashes of light from outside - lightning. It had been a dream. I could hear thunder, and ... I could still hear the "crunch crunch crunch" of the horse eating my hand!

Wha...? I looked down at my hand. There was a noticeable lack of horse on the end of my arm. But that sound was real, and it was still going on.

Crunch... crunch... crunch...

After a quick search of my room, I found the culprit. A pair of sad doggy-eyes looked up at me from the depths of my bean-bag chair. The crunching sound was her walking around on it in circles. "Sugar" was nesting.

Sugar was a good dog with a firmly established belief system. I don't know if she believed in God, but she believed that lettuce was the Devil and she knew without doubt that lightning couldn't strike you if you were in Jeff's bean-bag chair.

Sugar was easily the best dog I've ever had. I miss her - even though she did scare the heck out of me that night. :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ready... DODGEBALL!!!

Swoop!Tonight, my bride and I went to a Tulsa Talons game. They played against the OKC Yard Dawgz. They won, too - 71 to 49. It was loud, and fun. This brings up two discussion points...

First, every so often the cheerleaders run out to the sidelines and throw free stuff up into the crowd. I was all of 6 rows from the sidelines, but most of the tosses didn't make it up past row 2. C'more, cheerleaders, you've gotta be able to throw better than that! I still managed to come away from the game with a free Talons Towel... it's got the Dodge logo and the Talons logo on it. It's a nifty little trinket, but it's got nuthin' on the Terrible Towels.

Second, and most importantly, tonight was the "First Annual Talons Mascot Dodgeball Tournament". They had Swoop (the Talons mascot), along with:

- A polar bear and a parrot from the Tulsa Zoo
- Chuck E. Cheese
- A "Trojan" (write your own joke here) from Jenks High School
- A shark-headed guy from who-knows-where
- A guy dressed as a cell phone (US Cellular)
- The Carl's Jr. Star
- Two guys dressed as big sodas
- A cow from Chik-Fil-A

There were others, but those are the ones I remember. The dodgeball rules were the same as the ones from the movie.

The whistle blows, and the mascots run for the balls. At least, the ones who had costumes that allowed for a reasonable field of vision. There was a fair amount of stumbling, also. Chuck E. Cheese ran up to the line, and knelt down to grab a ball. Swoop, who already had grabbed one for himself, smacked Chuck hard directly in the face... it was glorious. Chuck was the first mascot out.

In the end, Swoop's team won. It may have been rigged... it seemed like there were a lot of "where are their eyes?" types on the other team. :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stories From My Past: Oh Hubcap, Where Art Thou?

This was, I think, around Jr. High-ish time. My parents, my sister, and I all piled into the family car to travel to Montana. We saw every touristy thing we could along the way, including Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park.

Not a day went by that something screwy didn't happen. Montana is vaguely north from Oklahoma. So, as we traveled up through Kansas and toward the Dakota's, the first 3 (maybe 4) nights in a row a tornado struck the town we were staying in.

Clickie!I remember going outside with Mom while a tornado passed about 1-5 miles away from our hotel. We saw a crowd of tourists who were obviously not from Tornado Alley. They were shouting, "We have to get inside! Run!". Meanwhile, another group of similar tourists were inside the hotel, shouting, "We have to get outside! Run!". They all met around the front door, and an argument ensued over where was the safest place to be. Meanwhile, there's Mom and me - outside, watching, pointing at the funnel cloud, and trying to snap pictures.

Clickie!As we approached South Dakota, we found t-shirts at a random gas station that showed the view from behind Mt. Rushmore. We bought 4. The next day, while we were at Mt. Rushmore, we all had those shirts on. You couldn't get them at the actual site... we had other tourists coming up to us and asking where they could get those shirts. I'm sure the gas station owner was pleased with all the business that Dad sent his way that day. :)

Somewhere during this part of the journey, we were traveling down the highway and Mom heard a metallic "clang" sound. She looked out her window and was shocked to see one of our hubcaps rolling along down the highway alongside us. This lasted for a second or two, and then it bounced off the side of the road.

We stopped the car and found the hubcap. It was too damaged to put back on the car, but Dad wasn't willing to just throw it away, so it went into the car with us.

I should mention at this point that the car was loaded already. There wasn't even room in the back seat between my sister and I. It was so loaded that the hubcap almost didn't fit into the trunk.

A few days later, *clank* and there goes another hubcap. It rolled and bounced alongside us for a bit, then went off into a ditch. Again, we stopped the car, and found it. At this point, there was literally no room in the car for the silly thing to travel with us, so Mom and Dad had to find a post office. We mailed those silly hubcaps back home. It was that, or my sister and I were going to have to hold them in our laps.

We reached our relatives who lived in Montana at the time. My uncle had a ranch. I don't really know how big it was... it looked huge to my city-bred kid eyes. It may have actually been huge. He did have a monster of a dog that roamed the place. "Does that dog ever get into trouble with skunks?", my dad asked. "No, he hasn't gotten into a skunk in 2, 3 years" my uncle replied.

That night, the dog found a skunk.

You know how they say that baking soda masks the odor of skunk spray? They lie. We had a lovely aromatic trifecta of wet dog, skunk, and baking soda.

Up next, we visited Yellowstone National Park. We saw Old Faithful and whatnot. It was kinda sad, because that was the summer after those terrible wildfires that took out half the park. So, our tours were full of phrases like, "There used to be trees over there", and "Look! A bear carcass!"

I don't remember much from the trip home. My memory is a little fuzzy. It seems like we spent a lot more time on the road, and a lot less in tourist attractions or hotels. I think there was a certain urgency in getting us back home, where things were less stressful.

About a week after we got home, a package arrived in the mail. It was our hubcaps.

This was a typical family vacation for us.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

An Inanimate Object's Birthday

Today, three of my coworkers were at my desk, and we were discussing some things we'd like to do on our company's web site.

Mad Dogg sent me to Yahoo's page, to look at the way they present their multimedia content. I clicked on the top story link, which just happened to be about the Bikini turning 60.

By the way Mad Dogg, thanks for making me click on a bikini link at work. If the network admin notices that one, I'm sure I'll get some interesting questions asked of me. I'll be sure to blame you. ;)

At any rate, the content of that page was loading very slowly. Mad Dogg got about an inch from my monitor, and asked very politely, "What is taking so long?". Of course, when I say "politely" in reference to Mad Dogg, that means that there was only one profanity in the sentence.

So I said, "It's performance anxiety. Too many people are watching too closely."

Switch immediately deadpanned, "Yeah, my wife does that to me sometimes."

Switch, you've got the best deadpan punch line delivery I've been around in a long time. I'm pretty sure I misquoted you, but I think I got the gist of it. Let me know if I butchered your joke too badly.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bobblehead Who?!?

OK, this just made me laugh my fool head off, so I thought I would share. I just saw a commercial for a Tulsa Drillers game. They have a game on Friday July 7th that's being billed as "Faith and Family Night". I'm quite in favor of this concept, having gone to a Talon's game that was also a "Faith and Family Night", and it was a lot of fun.

The part that got me was, "... and the first 1,500 fans at the gate get a free Moses Bobblehead Doll!" (click to see him full-size!)

This is simultaneously one of the coolest things I've ever seen, and one of the most disturbing. And there's more. In a world full of useless trinkets, I have to think these things rank near the top.

That's all for today... happy 4th of July, all!

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Nephew Can (Almost) Spell

A week or two ago, my parents had my niece and nephew with them as they went to Sam's Wholesale Club. They were walking toward a big display of peanuts when my mom looked over at my dad and said, "Should we go over to the emm oh vee eye ee ess before we leave?"

My nephew (6 years old) looked up immediately. "Gramma, what'd you spell?"

"Peanuts!" my mom said, pointing to the approaching display.

My nephew thought about this a second. "You said emm, that's mmm, muh, mwuuuhhh, and peanuts starts with a puh, puh, puh, Gramma that's not what you spelled."

I know everyone says their (or in this case, their close relative's) kids are smart, but still... I was impressed. Heck, if I had been thinking about something else *I* might not have caught that.

Of course, I *never* zone out like that. *ahem*. Rent-A-Zilla, keep your mouth shut. :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Book And Movie - A Good Weekend

This weekend, I finished reading a book and saw a fun movie. My thoughts on the two:

Movie - Godzilla, Final Wars

Oh my this was fun. It's one of those movies you definitely have to be in the right mood for. I was expecting bad acting along with big dumb rubber monsters with lots of cheesy fight sequences. I got that, plus mutants, aliens, fighter jet-ish aerial battles, and kung-foo fighting from both 'zilla and the humans.

There was an American captain who never spoke a word of Japanese. Nobody seemed to notice (except for the guy writing the subtitles). Just like in classic Star Trek, the only real difference between the humans and the mutants and the aliens was the color of your shirt. And it was good to see the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and the Doublemint Twins working again.

If you're in the mood for a really monumentally dumb movie, then this is perfect! I lost IQ points during this thing.

And now for something completely different...

Book - Black Wind, by Clive Cussler

One of Cussler's best. Made me laugh out loud twice. Make me chuckle throughout. Made me stay up late twice because I couldn't put the book down in the middle of an action sequence.

Hey Rent-A-Zilla and Project Imp, I'm curious to know if you've read this one yet, and what you thought. I had to explain the bit with ferry and the 1953 Chrysler to my wife, because she wanted to know what I was laughing at.

Oh, and we saw Superman Returns, also. It's a no-brainer - if you like Supe's, then go see it. It will bowl you over.

Yoinks!... and away!!!.....

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Nephew And The Hudson

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and dad took my niece and nephew to see Cars.

Now, first of all, if you haven't seen this movie, go see it. It's fantastic. People will make fun of you if you don't go see it. It's important.

One of the characters in the movie is "Doc Hudson" - he's a 1951 Hudson Hornet. He's voiced by Paul Newman. And as soon as he showed up in the movie, my dad got all excited.

Dad has a 1950's Hudson in his garage. I don't remember the model year, but it might actually be a 1951 car. It's not a Hornet, but the body is similar. The poor car is in relatively good shape for a car of its age. It has no brakes, and the engine overheats. It's not rusty, but it is metal-colored, any semblance of paint having long since given up and wandered away. The interior is cracked in places. A nest of wasps made a rather expansive home in the engine compartment at one time. And most of Dad's tool collection is in the trunk. That's right - a 1950's classic car has become a glorified toolbox.

So depending on how you look at it, it's a junky old car. But if you look at it just right, it's absolutely beautiful.

When they got back to my parent's place after seeing the movie, Dad jumped out of the car, all excited. He opened up the side of the garage that holds his Hudson. Waving, he called over my niece and nephew. "Look, here's Grandpa's Hudson!".

My nephew, clearly unimpressed, looked it over with a critical 6-year old eye. "It's supposed to be blue." Then he wandered off.

Poor Dad. :) Hey, if it makes you feel any better, *I* still love that old car.