Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Right Angle / Snow Day

I'm "snowed in" today. I'm working from home. I'm also going for the easy route on today's blog story. There should be a much more interesting story for tomorrow, but hopefully this will be amusing enough for today.

"The Right Angle"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

They Speak Spanish

OK, bear with me on this one. The path winds around a bit, but I think you'll agree the destination is worth it.

tunesWhile driving home from work yesterday, I had the radio on. I got bored with the song that was playing, so I hit the "scan" button. The next station that came up was a Spanish station.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't hang out on a Spanish station. I had Spanish in high school, but that was 14 years ago. All I really remember is that "Hola" means "I am a tourist."

percussiveThis time, however, the music caught my attention. It wasn't your typical Mariachi band stuff. It was more percussive, and had vocal harmonies, and was just generally a lot of fun to listen to. So, I left the radio there.

I couldn't understand the words, obviously, but I didn't care. Somehow I managed to not care even when the song ended and a commercial came on.

Se habla español!I slowly realized what I was listening to. I heard the voice rattle off some numbers, probably a phone number. Then, the part that made me laugh out loud... the ad concluded with - "Se habla español!"

At the conclusion of a 30-second all-Spanish radio ad, they have to also mention that they speak Spanish?

This message brought to you by the Department of Jeff (he speaks English!).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stories From My Past: Ugly Couch

When I was in college, I had a very ugly couch in my apartment. I don't remember where it came from, I just remember that it was passed from one family member to another. It was red-ish, with a horrible flower print all over it. It was a sleeper sofa from the 70's, which means that all of the mechanical bits underneath were metal. This was a broken down, ugly, obscenely heavy sofa.

DRUMS! GIRLS! FOOD!It was so ugly that when I was roommates with MetaCow, he put a large sheet over the couch to conceal the ugly. MetaCow is not an overly sensitive or fashion-conscious male. In fact, he once wore an "Animal" t-shirt to a job interview (he was doing the interviewing). The fact that this couch disturbed him is really saying something.

Ugly CouchAs an afterthought, I did a Google Images search for "Ugly Couch". The second image in the results list looked very similar to my old couch. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Runaway Pup!

No one can see me...Thanksgiving day was fun. We visited my wife's family, and we visited my family (same day!). My wife's family gathering was small and vaguely sane. My family's gathering was huge and chaotic.

Let me quickly introduce you to two new people. "Random Grand-Daughter #1" and "Random Grand-Daughter #2" (RGD1 and RGD2). These two are the Great-Grand-Daughters of my Great-Aunt. I had never met them before. They are, I think, somewhere around 10 and 12 years old.

I stepped out onto the front porch of my grandparent's house, where my niece, oldest nephew, and RGD1 were playing. I had my camera, and I was going to see if I could get a good kid-pic. I hadn't been outside more than about 3 seconds when RGD1 pointed at the road and shouted, "Hey, there goes Grandpa's dog!".

Get away from me, you freak!I looked where she was pointing, and sure enough a black chihuahua was going in a dead run down the side of the road. I looked back to where the kids were playing, but they were already headed off in a dead run after the dog. With sudden horror, I realized that I was watching a 12, 6, and 4-year old run toward the road.

I stuck my head inside the house. "Runaway dog!" I shouted, and then I was off and running. I caught up to the 4-year old, and told her to go back to the house. Then, my sister came outside and shouted for the 6-year old, who turned around and came back. Good deal... now the niece and nephew are taken care of. However, RGD1 was no longer in sight. Neither was the runaway pup. I glanced back toward the house, and nearly got run over by RGD2, who had just caught up to me.

Zoom!"Where'd she go?" RGD2 asked. "This way I think," I replied, and then we were off on the hunt. Then ZOOM my dad blazes by in his truck... he's also on the hunt.

RGD2 and I walked a block or so further, trying to figure out which direction our two runaways went. Then, RGD2 pointed to an approaching truck. My dad was on his way back, and he's got RGD1 in the cab with him. There was no other traffic, so he stopped for us.

"Did you find the dog?" I asked. Dad shook his head and replied, "It was somebody else's dog."

What? I didn't go anywhere.Back at my grandparents house, there was a whole crew of people gathered around Grandpa's trailer. They had checked to make sure that both of his dogs were still locked up in there. The crowd could see us getting smaller and smaller in the distance, terrorizing somebody else's dog. The crowd was amused, to say the least.

So I spent part of my Thanksgiving holiday terrorizing a stranger's dog. How was *your* holiday?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

No one can see me...Regular blog posts will resume next week. :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rewards! Very! Very! Very! Rewarding!

Last night, my wife proudly greeted me at the door and pointed to an area of the floor in our living room. There was a Christmas present! It's officially started! I have one Christmas gift from my wife. She's a sweetie. :)

Best BuyShe also showed me a Best Buy Rewards card thingy she got today. She said I could read the fine print if I wanted, and "we shop at Best Buy occasionally."

I read the fine print, and it amused me. It said that if we accumulated 250 "points", then we were eligible for a $5 discount on certain merchandise. That seems a lot of points you have to earn. I chuckled and mentioned that to her, and she said, "That's OK, it's a free program." Quite true.

Then I read further. "For nearly every dollar you spend, you get one point!" For *nearly* every dollar? That made me laugh out loud. Those 250 points you have to earn cost at least 250 dollars. "Come spend $250, and we'll give you five bucks." Still laughing, I mentioned that one to her as well. I got a similar answer.

Hooray for the internet!Then, I saw a very interesting bit. You can check the status of your points online! What a deal! I mentioned that one, and said something about going online to check our points. I said that I could see how many points we have, and then get an idea about how much she spent on me.

The look on my wife's face said, more or less, "Holy poopy." She laughed, but grabbed the card thingy out of my hands and refused to give it back.

For the rest of the night, we'd have little conversations that went something like this:

Me: "I wonder how many reward points we have."
Her: "No! I'll take it back!"

Me: "I wonder how many reward points we have."
Her: "I never should have showed you that thing!"

It was a most amusing night.

...and to all, a good night.Honey, I love you! I haven’t looked at the Best Buy site, and I haven’t picked up the package to try and guess what it is. I promise I won't. You're the best! Please don't make me sleep on the couch. ;)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm A Lost Fan

Jorge GarciaIf you're a Lost fan also, then this David Letterman Top 10 List will amuse you (click to expand).

Top Ten Signs You're Obsessed With "Lost" presented by Jorge Garcia

10. After each episode, you do an all-kitty reenactment in your basement

9. You refer to your in-laws as "The Others"

8. While visiting New York, you stood over every manhole and screamed, "Good God -- a secret hatch"

7. You're halfway to your goal of licking every cast member

6. Your friend phoned during "Lost." Next day you beat him to death with a hot poker

5. You pitched NBC a show about 12 people stranded backstage at "Saturday Night Live"

4. Co-workers affectionately refer to you as "That loser who's obsessed with 'Lost'"

3. Renamed dental practice "Flost"

2. Your wife is getting sick of playing the bedroom game "Find the castaway"

1. You sat through all ten of these lame jokes

If you're not a Lost fan, then you need help to understand what us "Losties" are talking about. My pal Queen Spoo has just the thing you need.

SIDE NOTE: "Heros" rocked my world last night. I know what I want for Christmas now. I want Pixie-Chick and Eraserhead workin' for me. Oh my. I searched Google images for 15 minutes trying to find good pics of them. Narg.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Unwelcome Saturday Adventures

Fuzzy CableEarlier in the week, we had trouble with our TV's. We called COX, and got an appointment set up for 10AM-12PM on Saturday. We figured that he'd either A) take one look at the same problem happening on our 2 TV's and figure out that it was a problem with their equipment, and then leave and go climb a pole to jiggle wires, or B) not show up at all (this is COX we're talking about, after all).

We absolutely did not expect him to show up at 5 minutes to noon, and then be there 2 hours. There were multiple problems - he eventually got them all figured out and fixed, but he also more or less set up camp in our living room.

Around 1PM, my wife went out to check the mail. When she came back, there was more good news... I had a flat tire (I had picked up a nail).

In Owasso, all the tire places close at 1PM on Saturday, and reopen on Monday. Joy.

Tire, Pre-NailI've always had good luck with tires. So much so, that the last time I had anything to do with a tire change was probably somewhere around age 11, "helping" my dad change a tire. When you're a city boy, "helping" dad means that you stand behind him and watch over his shoulder.

I called a friend who had changed tires before. I knew how to do it, I just wanted someone with a little experience to be there in case I did something stupid. My pal Scruffy came over to lend a hand. We got the flat tire off, and got the donut spare tire on. The donut was 6 years old and had never been used. Therefore, it was also flat.

So, we put the flat tire in my wife's trunk. This was about the time that the cable guy was finally leaving. Scruffy, my wife and I headed to Firestone in Tulsa, so they could patch the tire.

They couldn't patch the tire. The nail was too close to the sidewall. Also, after looking at the treads on the tire we brought in (we were close to EOL on those tires anyway), the Firestone guy recommended we replace all the tires, not just the dead one. Grand. We should have aired up the spare and brought my car. Too late for that. By then it was 3PM, and we still hadn't had lunch (thanks, Cable Guy!).

We ate, went home and aired up my spare. Then we called it a day (so much for that "shoppin' date" we had planned!). Sunday, we got the tires replaced.

Glass is half full - I picked up a new skill this past weekend!

Glass is half empty - er... I'd better leave this one alone.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Getting Ready For Black Friday

Nearly every year, my sister and my dad get up early the day after Thanksgiving and go hit the stores. They are generally among the first to burst in the doors at 6AM. Some years, when they're really on top of their game, they can hit Store A's opening sales at 6AM, then Store B's opening sales at 7AM, and maybe even make it to Store C when they open their doors at 8AM.

I've never been shopping during the early-morning madhouse on Black Friday. I've been told what it's like. I have no need to experience it.

This year, I found a web site that's selling "Black Friday" gear. It made me laugh, so I'm sharing.

Black Friday Gear

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Secret Admirer

AngryThis has been quite a week for Mad Dogg stories. Any minute now I expect to see him heading toward my office in a dead run with vengeance in his eyes and a continuous stream of curses issuing from the depths.

This story begins over the weekend. It seems that Boy Wonder - Master of Disguise and/or The Pup had a task that needed to be done. Something (I have no idea what) happened, and Boss Lady (AKA "Pantene") helped them out. Not an extraordinary story so far, right? Well, Boy Wonder - Master of Disguise and The Pup decided to show their appreciation for Boss Lady by purchasing flowers for her.

From: Secret AdmirerSo, Tuesday comes and when Boss Lady came in, there were flowers on her desk, with a nice card from the dynamic duo. Oohs and Aahs and whatnot follow, all is happy. And then... "The Plot" is birthed.

Everybody in that office collaborated, and when Mad Dogg (usually one of the last to arrive) came in for the day, he was told that the flowers were from Boss Lady's "Secret Admirer". While Mad Dogg made crude jokes and was generally noisy about the whole thing, Cowboy wandered off, and called Boss Lady's desk from a remote phone.

Ring! Ring!The drama increases! Suddenly, Boss Lady is on the phone with her "Secret Admirer", and he's asking her out to lunch! Everybody can hear her side of the conversation, and everybody (except Mad Dogg) knew that it was Cowboy on the other end.

For the next day and a half, Cowboy would sneak off and call Boss Lady from time to time, and she would always talk to him just loud enough for Mad Dogg to hear. He thought it was real the whole time. Finally, mid-morning Wednesday, they told him the truth.

At that point, I got a call from Mr. Dogg. With absolutely no preamble, he announced;

Sticks n' Stones may break my bones, ..."I just want ya'll to know you're a bunch of [unflattering plural noun]."

Mad Dogg the Mighty... Embarrassed. :) It was grand, to say the least. I didn't even *know* about the joke until mid-day Tuesday, much less participate. But I got to share in the blame. It's good to be me. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Conversation With Mad Dogg

Mad DoggMad Dogg is a graphic designer where I work. He's a sharp guy who also dabbles in programming a small bit. He's also as blunt and disturbing as The Bad Man and P-Ziddy (for those who know who they are).

Mad Dogg called me yesterday to ask how to do a thing (details, obviously, are watered down considerably for the purposes of this story). So I told him how to do the thing, and he went away. Minutes later, he called back.

Ring! Ring!Mad Dogg: "No."
Me: "OK."

And I hung up. A couple of seconds later, he called again.

Mad Dogg: "OK, let's try this again. No."
Me: "OK."
Mad Dogg: "Hold on, hold on!... hey, did you just hang up on me?"
Me: "Yup. I figured that 'no' was a complete statement, and we were done."
Mad Dogg: [laughing] "Well, it didn't work."

Macs are silly!We proceeded to talk about his problem, and why what he tried didn't work. It could have been a silly mistake that he made, or it could have been something wacky with his computer. He's a Mac user, so either is possible ("ZING!"). Naturally, I chose to pick on him.

While on the phone, I sent him an email with the info he needed to solve his problem. He got the email, and tried it. It worked, much to his pleasure. Then:

Me: "See what happens when you follow Jeff's directions?"
Mad Dogg: "Hey, do you know what I'm holding up to the phone right now?"
Me: "Your ear."
Mad Dogg: "My MIDDLE FINGER!!!"

Yo, Mad Dogg... I love you, man. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The MCP Store

MicrosoftThere is a wondrous and bizarre creation lurking behind a login script on the Microsoft "MCP" member pages. If you are an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), you can shop at the MCP Store.

I've only browsed it twice since obtaining my Microsoft Certifications. Most recently, I browsed it yesterday. I found some amusing things, so I thought I would share.

Microsoft Zen GardenFirst, under the category of "Toys", there is a small desktop "Zen Garden". It's got a little wooden box, white sand, some stones, pretty typical Zen Garden stuff. I just love that the whole thing is Microsoft-branded. "Enjoy new Microsoft Zen! With up to 10 times more Zen than previous Zen!"

I can just imagine Microsoft Zen 2.0, and the eventual Microsoft Zen 2.0 Service Pack 1 ("Don't let hackers transgress on your transcendence!"). This is getting silly, so I'll move on to:

Microsoft Vista Bike JerseyMy favorite item. The Windows Vista bike jersey. First of all, I tend to think that you have no business wearing a "bike jersey" unless you are competing in the tour de whatever. Second, this thing is $60! Oh my goodness! They want me to pay sixty bucks for the honor of being a mobile billboard and mugger magnet?

I do have to admit, it is tempting to pick one up and wear it to work. The Mac and Novell guys here would... well, let's just say they'd *notice*. Could be dangerous, though... that big circular Vista logo on the front kinda looks like a target. ;)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bark! Bark Bark Bark! Bark Bark! Bark! Have A Nice Day.

Bark! Bark Bark Bark! Bark Bark! Bark!Last week, our upstairs neighbor got a new puppy. Since that time, I have begun to develop a deep and passionate loathing for my upstairs neighbor.

The puppy barks constantly. He apparently makes no attempt to train the puppy otherwise. Trust me on this one... dogs can be trained not to bark. Just ask my dad.

I am an animal lover. But there's a certain two-legged animal upstairs that I'd like to have words with. The only reason we haven't reported him to the apartment manager is because the neighbor keeps his new pup in the bedroom above our spare bedroom. Therefore, we can only hear the pup in our bathroom, and in our "computer room".

Of course, the "computer room" is where I am as I write this. Listening to the pup. *sigh*

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nothing In My Pockets

David CopperfieldOK, I don't usually post twice in one day. However, the previous post (below) is an out-of-character somber one, and this was just too good to pass up. Three thieves ran up to a guy, pulled a gun, and demanded that he give them everything in his pockets. The victim fooled them into thinking there was nothing in his pockets. It's an easy trick... especially if you happen to be David Copperfield.

From the CNN article:
One of three teenagers charged with attempting to rob illusionist David Copperfield as he left a performance has pleaded guilty.

[skip forward a bit...]

Copperfield, 50, and two female assistants were walking from the Kravis Center to their tour bus when they were approached by the teens April 23. The assistants handed over money and a cellphone, but the illusionist turned his pockets inside out to reveal nothing, although he was carrying his passport, wallet and cell phone.

"He said in depositions that he had things on him, but it wasn't difficult to make it seem like there was nothing there," prosecutor Sherri Collins said.

The thought of a couple of morons trying to rob David Copperfield amuses me greatly.

Somber Movie Night

Last night, my wife and I did something that we almost never do. We watched a movie that had absolutely no laugh lines.

United 93United 93 was kind of a hard movie for me to watch. 9/11 jarred me badly. This movie made no attempt at levity. It was just the story of that morning - beginning to end. It was not an easy morning for any of us.

When I hear that the Democrat-controlled Congress and the Republican-controlled White House want to work together for the good of our country... well, I hope they mean it. I hope they haven’t forgotten that day.

Mad Dogg!I know I usually write about silly things, so I promise: This heavy stuff is not the beginning of a new trend. :) If need be, I'll go rattle Mad Dogg's cage a bit so that we'll have something amusing to discuss next week. ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Slow News Day

Here's a "Rainy Day" type of post. In the absence of any type of story to share, I instead will give you sillyness. Click each image to see a biggie version.

P-Ziddy sent me this one:
You'll never get to work on time!

Metacow sent me this one:
Fantasy Football

Another one from P-Ziddy:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales

I've known about this for some time now, but I haven't "geeked out" about them yet because I'm not quite sure what to make of them.

Babylon 5For fans of Babylon 5, JMS is working on "Babylon 5: The Lost Tales". These are new self-contained stories in the Babylon 5 universe. It sounds like they will be about the length of a TV episode, maybe a bit longer. They will be direct-to-DVD, although there's a chance a TV network might air them.

John SheridanI think I'm very excited about this. New B5 stuff! Direct-To-DVD doesn't thrill me, though.

One of my good buddies has a blogger site she's put together with news n' updates about this new B5 thing.