Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Hate To Resort To This, But...

hammer time!...I have just simply been crazy-busy this week at work. Usually, what I do is I write stories for this blog in the evenings, and then publish them around lunchtime during the week. I couldn't do that last night, because I was still working. Even at a good job, sometimes the deadline thing comes at you and drops the hammer.

So, in the interest of having *something* up, here's an email jokey thingy that I got yesterday.

Thanks, 'Sis!


rainyAfter a hearty rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets and alleys, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in the puddle through her kitchen window. The older of the two, a five year old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of his head and shoved his face into the water hole.

As the boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother runs to the yard in a panic. "Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?!" she asks in anger.

"We were just playing 'church' mommy," he said. " And I was just baptizing him.....'in the name of the Father, the Son and in...the hole-he-goes."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You're not what?

Yesterday, our Web department had a meeting. This is generally not a source of amusement, but yesterday was special. I could tell it was going to be special the moment I walked in the meeting room.

ROFLThe room was already mostly full of the usual suspects. "Bubbly" was also there - she usually isn't, since she's not in the web department. The entire roomful of people was laughing as I walked in the door. Now, you might be thinking that this would not be unusual. To you I say - you're mean and you make me sad.

Anyway, I got no more than 2 steps into the room when Bubbly looked up toward me. Like the others, she had been laughing. There were practically tears in her eyes, and the laughter had made her somewhat short of breath. She shouted, "I am not pregnant!" This inspired a new wave of laughter from the room.

Now, pregnant or not, I knew *I* didn't have anything to do with the situation. I wasn't sure why she felt the need to shout her status out at me. To be honest, I'm still not sure. Everyone was laughing and talking over each other. As near as I could tell, a rumor had somehow been started, and now Bubbly was about to die laughing. She was also loudly shouting "I am not pregnant!" to every person she saw walk by. To some of them, this was a revelation... at least a few people legitimately thought the rumor was true.

See, I work at a newspaperFinally, everyone got more or less calmed down. Cowboy ruined it though, with this comment: "You know, it's a good thing that we aren't in the business of collecting information and then sharing it with others."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Invinci... Hey, What's So Funny?

InvincibleThis past weekend, we saw the movie "Invincible". But this story isn't about the movie itself, it's about the experience of seeing it in the theater we did, with the crowd we did.

What's that? You want a movie review, too? Er... OK. Well, it's a Disney movie, and it's based on a the true story of a guy who later worked as a story consultant for this movie. So if you can't figure out how it ends, there's something wrong with you. But that really doesn't matter - if you think, based on the movie trailer, that you'd like it... you will. I liked it.

We went into a local theater to see it. In this particular theater, there are seats way up at the very top of the auditorium that we are quite fond of. Up we went. And we found a lady sitting in "our" seats. She said, "I've got about 30 kids from my class coming, so I've got these top three rows reserved."

Er... fine. We sat across the aisle. There were no kids in her reserved area. For the next 10 minutes, people would walk by, and start to sit, and get the same mini-lecture that we got.

Destination - earEventually, some honest-to-goodness kids showed up and started taking those seats. We were a little concerned, because sometimes large crowds of kids (with minimal adult supervision) get a bit roudy when the lights go down, and we wanted to watch the movie. We wern't looking forward to kissing noises, or shouts of "Mrs. Teacher! Polly put popcorn in my ear!". Little did we know, we were concerned about the wrong demographic.

When the movie started, there were two adults in "our" seats, and then the rest of those three rows were mostly filled with kids. And they were perfect angels. I swear I never heard one of those kids, not even for clumsy tripping-over-your-neighbor bathroom trips. But the chaparones...

At one point, I heard a choked gasping noise. It sounded like sobbing, at first. I looked over, and one of the adults was on her knees, on the floor in front of her seat, with her back to the screen. She was throwing her head back and making sobbing noises. It took me several seconds to realize that she was actually laughing very loudly. On her knees. With her back to the screen. And then I realized that adult #2 was out of her seat, standing in the aisle, and leaning over trying to squeeze herself behind the back row of seats.

Help me I'm lost"I can't believe I dropped that!" "[grunt] Where is it?" "I'm so sorry!" "I've almost got it. [grunt]" "I think it's right back here!" All the while, every sentence was punctuated by that laugh/sob noise from the kneeler.

She had dropped her cell phone. I had an idea for where she could store that thing that would have been safe and warm. But I refrained.

Monday, August 28, 2006

@%#$^#@#$ Weekend

Well, this past weekend could have gone better. *sigh*

Zap!We had a big storm come through. Not a big deal, right? Just turn off the sensitive electronics and sit back and watch the light show. Except that for this storm, the power outage came before the storm. "Hey, I think it might be getting bad out." BBWAAAaazzoooop. "%#@%@!"

We instantly turned off and unplugged everything, then went out and played in the rain. Ah, blissfull ignorance.

Later that night, I was plugging everything back in and I saw that the cable modem didn't have any lights on it. Uh-oh.

LinksysFor those that have never had the joy of calling Linksys Tech Support, let me share a couple of insights with you. First, every 20-30 seconds the hold music is interupted by a voice that apologizes for the wait and then invites you to go online to contact them. The whole reason I was calling them is because I *couldn't* go online. That was really annoying. The second valuable insight that I have to share is this... you know as much as that tech guy does. If you think it's dead, it's dead. Just pitch it.

The next day we bought a new cable modem. Upon installation, we learned that it wasn't just the cable modem that was dead. It was also the router, and two of my network cables. Such revelations are never exactly speedy. I was annoyed.

Of course, it's not all sour and discolored. The new cable modem we bought was on sale with a fairly hefty discount. And the new router we bought was on sale. One computer now has internet access, and once the router ships, the whole ugly incident will be behind us.bang

I wanted to upgrade all that stuff anyway, just not at gunpoint. *sigh*

Saturday, August 26, 2006

You Might Be A Redneck If...

A little rain doesn't spoil the fishing...

Everyone at Spring break enjoyed riding on your limo...

You carry your front porch with you...

You need fashion tips from your husband...

You wear a shirt like this for your engagement picture...

Your wedding picture looked like this...

And your wedding cake looked like this...

Your mailbox looks like this...

Your doghouse looks like this...

Your pickup looks like this...

You have a deer’s butt for a door bell...

You don't need a lake to do a little skiing...

Or if your wife is quoted in the local paper saying...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Maynard Ferguson

Maynard FergusonI was having a normal morning until I saw this news story about Maynard Ferguson's passing. This saddens me greatly. He was 78.

I got to hear him play in Stillwater a few years ago. At one point, he referred to himself as "M.F." Then, when the crowd laughed, he said, "Hey, those are just my initials." If the big man says it's OK, then by golly it's OK.

Even in his mid-70's, M.F. could hit high notes that I could never dream to get near. That concert was simply magnificent. My ears were ringing... for hours afterward, I could still hear the music just by closing my eyes and listening to the echos.

Maynard FergusonHe had a lead trumpet player who was clearly a disciple. This guy could screech out the high notes just like M.F. I remember, during one song the lead trumpeter came to the front and played a solo. Maynard was standing next to him, just grinning and watching him play. At the end of his solo, this young kid blasted out a note higher than anything I've ever heard. You could actually hear the audience gasp in amazement. And Maynard was just beaming - he looked like a proud father. It was cool.

I have a couple of Maynard's albums. I suspect I'm going to get more of them soon. He was the last of an era of unbelievable jazz greats. Rest well, big guy... I'll miss you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stories From My Past: Hawaiian Dollar

I think this happened in Jr. High School. It might have been late in grade school.

Want a soda?There were 4-5 vending machines in the school lunchroom, including a couple of soda machines. One of my friends asked me if I had money for him to get a pop. I didn't.

"Hm... ", he said, the wheels turning in his mind. "I have an idea."

Another kid, not known for his quick wits, walked by. My friend (we'll call him "Copperfield") grabbed Witless and said, "Hey, do you want to see a Hawaiian Dollar?"

Witless gave him a blank stare. "Uh... a what?"

Copperfield convinced Witless that it would be super-cool to see a Hawaiian Dollar. But it would cost him. Payment was one US Dollar. Confused, Witless agreed and handed over a dollar bill.

Hawaiian DollarCopperfield immediately flashed the dollar bill in Witless's face and said, "Hawaii is part of the United States. Therefore, *this* is a Hawaiian Dollar." Then, he immediately put the dollar in the vending machine and got his soda.

It all happened so fast, Witless barely had time to protest.

Just in case there's any doubt, Witless and Jeff are not the same person. Anybody who knows me at all knows I'm too cheap to spend a dollar to see a dollar. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Fear For My Team

OK, so there's this website that I *ahem* may or may not be a bit familiar with. It has a new feature which highlights each of the "big 3" college football teams in Oklahoma. There is a Header-style image at the top of the page, one for each team (TU, OU, OSU). The images I see are oddly appropriate.

So, for each of these, please humor me and click over to the site so that you can see the image I'm talking about (I'm not quite comfortable with the idea of "borrowing" these images).

TUTU - The University of Tulsa - Celebration
Focus on the faded-out players in the background of the header (top-most) image. A celebration, perhaps? Memories of a great season last year, confidence that they can do it again. Yay!

OUOU - The University Of Oklahoma - Anticipation
Again, look at the guys in the background. Looks like a QB about to take a snap. There's tension, preparation, ready to redeem themselves after a less-than-satisfactory season last year. Yay!

OSUOSU - Oklahoma State University - Confusion
Well, just look at those guys in the background. The phrase "Thumb up their hinders" comes to mind. They don't exactly look like they know what the heck they're doing, do they? Yay!

My team's gonna get killed this year, I just know it. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

These shoes are made for walkin'...

This past weekend, I got new shoes. Ordinarily, this is not exactly a red-letter noteworthy occurrence. But I was amused by a couple of things.

delusionalOne is the revelation that I've been wearing shoes that are too big for me. For quite a while, actually. The salesman listened to me whine about how my feet were hurting, and he measured my feet. I should be wearing a 9 and a half. For as long as I can remember, I've been wearing at least a size 10. My previous shoes I'd been wearing to work were size 11's. Apparently I've been suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Another is the salesman himself. He was an incredibly nice, older gentleman. He talked about a wide variety of subjects while working with me. When we were done he handed me his business card. I was greatly amused by the title - "Master Fitter". I don't exactly know why. For some reason, the phrase "Master Fitter" just makes me chuckle.

Feel This!Finally, there were the socks we bought to go with the shoes. One package had socks that are made of particularly comfy, fluffy material. It even had a sticker on the package that said, "Feel this!" When we got home, I took that sticker off of the socks and put it on my hinder.

You know, wives never seem to be as impressed by this brand of humor as husbands (savages) are. :)

Monday, August 21, 2006


Well, last night was exciting. I was watching Sunday Night Football, and halftime was approaching. It's preseason ball, so it was already getting dull. But the halftime show looked interesting, and I was looking forward to it.

Suddenly, my wife came in and told me there was a fight going on outside. I stepped outside with my cell and before I was even out the door I could hear what might have been a punch or a slap. I could also hear a lot of shouting and cursing.

Three teenage boys were fighting... two on one. The two made some threats, got in their car, and were leaving when the slap-ee made the mistake of shouting at the escaping car. They stopped, and turned around to come back.

Car 54, where are you?At this point, I called 911. I have to say, I was impressed. Cops must have been lurking nearby... I was still giving my description of the car and the kids involved when 2 cop cars came screaming into the complex to stop the insanity.

My wife and I retreated at that point. No reason to let the punks know who called in the heat, after all. :)

For those who might worry... This was nothing even close to ordinary in our little world. There were no drugs or gangs involved. Just some hormonal idiots who got some sense scared into them.

Pout - Whine - CryAnd I missed my halftime show. [pout]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Coffee And The Mosquito

Goodness definedThis morning, I went into the break area to put my lunch in the fridge. Standing near the coffee machine were two co-workers, Captain Coffee and "He to be nicknamed at the end of this story".

"He to be" is a happy guy, as a rule. I have heard him refer to himself as a whiner, but he always laughs when he's making any kind of snide comment. So, a bit of a whiner perhaps, but one with a good sense of humor.

Bzzz...Anyway, Captain Coffee grabbed my attention by telling me he'd found a dead mosquito floating at the top of the pot of coffee this morning. This was a problem, because he'd just brewed the last of the "good" grounds. If he poured this pot out, he'd have to resort to the freeze-dried Folger's junk. (folks from my old job - doesn't this sound exactly like something P-Ziddy and English Major would agonize over?)

Figuring it couldn't hurt him too much, the Captain simply plucked out the mosquito and decided to roll with it. And "He to be" was having a lot of fun with this. He told us, "Hey, it's just protein. That means it's an energy drink!"

I looked at him with mock admiration and said, "I shall call you Mr. Silver Lining."

The Captain and Mr. Silver nearly wept laughing. Sometimes the best nickname for somebody is one that is the exact opposite of their personality type.
Buff McRockhard
With that in mind, you can all begin referring to me as "Buff McRockhard."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Meeting? Awesome!

This is a follow-up to my previous post about my first-ever pre-meeting. That pre-meeting, as I mentioned, was with a vendor who wanted to sell their product to my company. They were gathering our requirements so that they could give an effective presentation later. Yesterday, Wednesday, was that presentation.

Awesome!That's right... I got to meet Little Miss Awesome face-to-face. She has fairly bright red hair. She had black pants and a white top, with a green undershirt. She also had a green sweatshirt that she was wearing in kind of a New Englandish type style... she had it draped across her back, with the arms of the shirt going over her shoulders and tied together in the front as if they were a scarf. The forgettable white and black really made her sweatshirt and hair stand out. The red and green made me think happy Christmas thoughts.

Where in the world?...So, where was our Perky Presenter actually from? You make the call. She had:

- The before-mentioned New Englandy shirt/scarf thing
- An accent that sounded ever-so-slightly New Englandish
- A residence in Tampa, Florida
- Speech mannerisms that were almost California Valley-Girl-ish ("Like, Awesome!")
- An occasional un-accented "Y'all"

Remembering the conference call from last time, one of the first things I did was write "Awesome" and "Y'all" on a piece of paper, and I started keeping track. Flaming Red actually started out strong, but as she got deeper into her presentation she said the keywords less and less. Out of 6 (yes, 6!) total hours of presentation, she only said Awesome 12 times, and Y'all just 7. I was mildly disappointed.

That tasted bad, and it hurt!At one point, She-Of-Many-Nicknames was using a web tool of theirs to upload an image. She went to a folder on her computer that had a bunch of random photos in it. She picked a photo of a surfer, saying, "We'll just use this surfer dude...". I had an immediate flashback to my Surfer-Dude story and had to suppress a giggle.

The Vice-President of this company was also here for the presentation. He was interesting. He actually started off the entire presentation with a brief slideshow of "This is our company, this is what we do" and so on. I was near the front of the room, where he was standing and pointing at the image being projected up on the wall.

You need to know...VP sounded just a little bit like a preacher when he talked. Everything he said was said with deep conviction, as if he whole-hearted believed every word he was saying. He also had a perpetual smile that was just a tad bit creepy. While he was talking, for some reason, he zero'd in on me. Before long, VP was telling me all about the history of his company, and why they were the absolute best choice for our needs, and he never broke eye contact with me. I had to force myself not to laugh... there was only one person in the room with less seniority than me!

So... 6 hours of presentation. 4 hours solid after lunch. I couldn't feel my hinder by the time it was all done. Arg.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


This happened a couple of years ago at my old job, and it has to do with an ant infestation at the desk of a co-worker.

English Major was loud about the "fact" that somebody had attracted ants into the building with their mess. "I didn't do anything to attract them," she said. "It's all you guys, with your soda cans sitting out, and crumbs in your keyboards. It's not me!"

I can spell!Regardless of cause, the infestation was undeniable. You could watch the ants follow a line from the corner of a wall over to English Major's desk. They'd go up the desk leg, and then would scurry all over the surface of her desk.

So, we got some Borax (? I think that was it... "ant poison", in any case) and then started moving English Major's stuff to another desk.

When we turned her keyboard over, crumbs fell out.
When we picked up her monitor, coffee spills and crumbs were evident.
When we moved her PC, more coffee spills and sticky, sugary stuff was evident.

It wasn't me?The mess was extensive, and impressive. The ants were eliminated, and English Major was proven wrong. This was great fun... she's somebody who's fun to pick on. :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Satellite TV

I need a signalI've never had Satellite TV. I guess it must be nice, in the right conditions. Apartment living is not exactly ideal for such a beast, I gather.

Our downstairs neighbors have Satellite TV. Everybody knows it, because of the extensive experimentation it took for them to get a signal.

We live in an apartment complex where there are many buildings. We face the back of this particular building. Boxing in our "back yard" are two other buildings. The effect from the sky is that these three buildings form a big triangle. They are all three stories tall, and our downstairs neighbors are at ground level.

I don't play well with delicate electronicsThey can't get a signal from their porch area. They dragged the dish out several feet into the yard (toward the center of our backyard triangle), and still couldn't get a signal. They got longer cables, and put the dish out about 30-40 feet into the yard. They got something at that point. From then on, all the adjustments were minor. For the next couple of hours the guy would come outside every 10-15 minutes to move the dish around some more, fine-tuning his signal. At one point, the dish's cable was perilously close to his charcoal grill.

Just plug me in!While this was going on, my wife and I were sitting comfortably inside, watching our TV, and looking at this monkey through our window. We were wondering if he'd give up (he never did).

You know, I see something like that, and suddenly I don't feel bad about watching shows on a 15 year old TV.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Honor Roll

I know that not all of you know PossiblySatan's secret identity. Those of you who don't will have to just trust me when I tell you that he made the OSU Summer Honor Roll.
Congrats, PossiblySatan ("P-Z-Bub", or "P-Ziddy" to his hip-hop friends)! It would appear that your margarita recipe isn't quite strong enough. ;)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Tulsa Talons Lost...

...and their season is over. They did well this season, won their division, all that jazz. But they lost in their first playoff game today. Poo.

Click for a slightly larger viewA couple of amusements from the game:

1) The cheerleaders arrived on the field during pregame in a stretch limo. This limo was so long that they couldn't turn it around after it came out on the field. They had to put it in reverse after all the cheerleaders had jumped out.

I will eat your face2) Number 42 on the other team was a frightening man from the word "Go". He racked up a large number of personal fouls. In the 4th quarter, he was ejected from the game (I didn't see why). On his way out, he got flagged again for taunting.

Illegal use of hands!3) The refs were... interesting. I'm sure that the Talons got away with a few plays they shouldn't have. They also were on the short end of the stick several times. I can't say for sure, but I think we got the shaft more often than we caught a break.

So, the AF2 season is over. Bring on the NFL. :)