Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Three: Mom n' Dad!

It's time for Animaniacs!Our third and final Christmas was Christmas Day with my parents. In attendance were my parents and grandparents, as well as my sister and her husband Bull-Rider, their kids Yacko (6), Dot (4), and Wacko (almost 1), and my sister's niece. Also periodically roaming around were my parent's two dogs.

A good-lookin' coupleStory 1: Perhaps the most special moments of the entire holiday were shared between my grandpa (84-ish) and my youngest nephew Wacko (almost 1). Grandpa just sat there during most of the gift-opening with Wacko in his lap. Neither seemed to care much about their gifts. :)

Presents!Story 2: Yacko (6), on the other hand, cared very much about his gifts. He was a little whirlwind - he would run to the middle of the living room with a gift. He'd rip open the paper and squeal about the present inside. Then, he'd push the gift off to the side, and run to the tree again. Literally, the last piece of wrapping paper from the previous gift hadn't finished floating down to the floor before Yacko had his next present in hand, and was running again. I was deeply impressed. His little sister Dot (4) was more or less doing the same thing, on the theory that if brother can do it, I can do it too!

Story 3: Yacko wasn't particular about whose gift he picked up... he'd just grab and go. Sometimes he could read the name on the package, and sometimes he needed help. If the gift wasn't his, he'd run over and hand it to the lucky recipient, and then he'd be off and running again. At one point, he grabbed a gift for his infant brother Wacko.

On learning who it was for, he ran halfway to where Wacko was sitting in Grandpa's lap. "Wacko, hands UP!" he shouted, and threw the present at him. The present hadn't even reached the peak of its arc before Yacko was turned around and running back toward the tree. The present bounced off the wall next to Grandpa. Wacko didn't seem to mind (or notice, really).

Story 4: At dinner, most of us were seated and starting to eat. Yacko started to play with his food. He had a piece of ham that looked like a face (to him, anyway), and he was talking with it.

Yeah. I can talk. So?Dad caught this out of the corner of his eye, and asked Bull-Rider what Yacko was doing. Bull-Rider chuckled and said, "He's making his food talk." Dad thought about this a moment. Then he laughed and said, "My food doesn't usually talk until a couple of hours after I eat it."

Christmas is always hectic and busy. But I know how blessed I am. I love this time of year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Two: In-Laws!

Pebbles and Bam-Bam!Barney and BettyThe Saturday before Christmas was spent with my wife's extended family. It was a good day. In attendance were Barney and Betty (my wife's mom n' dad) and Bam-Bam and Pebbles (my wife's brother n' his wife). Pebbles and Bam-Bam brought their 2 new puppies.

Story 1: Pebbles saved her father's life this Christmas season. She was talking to him on the phone a week or so before Christmas, and he told her, "I got your mom a deep freeze for Christmas!"

Pebbles paused slightly. "Uh... did she ask for one?" "No, but she's always talking about needing more freezer space." Pebbles probed further: "Was there something she asked for?" "Yeah, she asked for a sweater, but I don't know how to pick those. Instead, I put the freezer's instruction manual in a sweater box, so she'll *think* it's a sweater until she opens it!"

Pebbles graciously offered to order her mom a sweater, wrap it, and put her dad's name on it. Thus, bloodshed was averted.

LovelyStory 2: Betty got some "Lovely" perfume, which is Sarah Jessica Parker's fragrance. Bam-Bam commented, "Yeah, everybody's got a fragrance now." I nodded and replied, "Mine comes out in June." There was a brief "What did he just say?..." pause, followed by laughter.

Story 3: The puppies were great fun. They are still getting used to the family, and learning their boundaries.

Barney, traditionally, is not a dog person. He's a flower person. His backyard, when in full bloom, looks like something you should be paying five bucks to tour.

On the back porch are 5 fairly large planter boxes. The contents were long dead before Saturday. The branches / stems had fallen over, hanging well past the sides of the boxes. One of the pups walked by too close, brushing her side on the stems. Suddenly, it was ON! Both pups started growling and pulling on the dead stems. I had never seen dogs attack dead foliage before. It was hysterical.

Help! It's not a toy! Help!Then, they decided that the planter boxes must be new toys. Before I could stop them, they climbed up on the boxes. With all the stems that had fallen sideways, it looked like one big playland. So, as they walked from one box to the next, they would fall through the "ground".

I could hardly stand upright, I was laughing so hard. I like the pups. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas One: Spoo!

The Friday before Christmas, Queen and King Spoo came from the great state of Virginia to visit. This was grand fun, as they generally only come by our neck of the woods once every year or two.

Boom!We were initially concerned about whether or not they'd made it out of state successfully. You see, two years ago when they came there was a gas truck that exploded outside their condo. Before that, I don't remember what it was, but there was a big boom just before they left. We didn't see any fireballs from VA on the news this year, so we thought maybe they decided not to leave the state.

Well, this year they managed to arrive without any mass destruction preceding (or following) them. Quite good.

Logan's RoadhouseWe had a good visit and went to Logan's Roadhouse for dinner. I had never been to Logan's before. They have barrels of shelled peanuts all over the place. You can just grab a handful, eat the peanuts, and shuck the shells onto the floor. Everywhere you go, there's the crunch of peanut shells underfoot. I was in love. I'm only a fair-to-moderate peanut fan, but there was just something about flinging peanut shells that appealed to me, probably more than it should.

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOPAnyway, when they left, Queen Spoo got our her keys to unlock the car. She hit the panic button instead. So, in relative darkness and more-or-less into the evening hours, the car was "WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP" 'ing while Queen Spoo tried to shut it up and King Spoo and I acted like we weren't associated with the noisy car. It was most amusing. To be fair, it wasn't Queenie's car, so she wasn't familiar with the clicker.

Thanks for coming to visit, King and Queen Spoo! Hopefully next time you come, the Misses and I won't be apartment-dwelling anymore, so that car alarm will annoy fewer people. ;)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I ended up not posting this because it depressed me. I did not pass my MS Certification Exam last Friday. Too much cramming, not enough time to prepare as fully as I needed to. *sigh* At least it was free.

Sometime in the next couple of months I'll try again. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Elf Yourself

I'm an Elf!OK, I know I said I wouldn't post again for a while... but this was just too dang good to pass up. Fyrebaugh found this, and I immediately misplaced my dignity.

Click here to see me dance!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night

Christmas TreeMy Christmas hiatus is fast approaching, so this will be my last post for a week or so, with one probable exception.

Upcoming events for my Holiday:

Queen and Mr. Spoo are coming to visit from out of state, which will be great fun. She's a Board-Certified Art Therapist. I'm thinking of showing her some of Mad Dogg's art... maybe she can tell me what's wrong with him.

Pre-Christmas with the in-laws. With new puppies in the backyard, presents in the living room and Christmas dinner in the dining room, this promises to be a "Hey, where'd [name] go?" type of day. We may not be able to keep everybody in one room due to all the distractions.

Christmas with my family. My niece and nephews (three total, all aged six or less) will be there. Very likely my grandparents (mid-80's) will be there. At least two indoor dogs will be rampaging around also. I expect clouds of wrapping paper at just below eye level, and lots of noise. :)

And finally, my Microsoft Certification exam is Friday. This is the "probable exception" I mentioned above... sometime Friday (possibly late) I'll most likely post to let you know if I passed.

I'll start posting again semi-regularly around mid-week next week. Merry Christmas to all, and God bless!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Twisted Christmas

I ... I ... I can't ... but ... it's ... I just ... how ... what ... I ... I don't ... how ... if ... but ... why ... I can't ... I mean ... just ... just ... *look* at this thing ....

Twisted Christmas

Even more disturbing than the existence of such a ... a ... thing ... um ... is ... well, ... the fact that I desperately want it.

I ... I feel ... dirty.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Well, this weekend was full of MS Certification exam preparation, football and a good flick.

I mentioned previously that I'm out of the Fantasy Football playoffs in both leagues that I'm associated with. It's kind of refreshing to be watching the games without cheering for individual players. So this is what being a fan is like... I had forgotten.

RayWe say "Ray" over the weekend, too. A good flick, much *much* better than "Walk The Line".

I'm afraid I may not be too interesting until after this MS exam (which is Friday). We'll see... maybe I can get Mad Dogg to say something worth poking fun at. In the meantime I'm studying / cramming constantly and hoping that I know as much as I think I do.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Hogfather

This is simply one of the coolest things I've ever seen. There is now a UK movie based on one of Terry Pratchett's best novels, "The Hogfather".

If you don't normally read T.P.'s books, then here's why you should experience Hogfather. The Hogfather = Santa Claus. Hogswatch = Christmas. The Hogfather goes missing, so Death (the Grim Reaper) steps in to help out.

The HogfatherIn other words, picture the Grim Reaper in a Santa Suit. Riding in a sleigh pulled by 4 stinky warthogs with bladder control problems. He's trying to do the right thing, but he doesn't quite get it.

"Just 'Ho. Ho. Ho.' will do. Don't say 'Cower, brief mortals' unless you want them to grow up to be moneylenders or such."

I have to see this. It is required. I don't quite know how I'm going to be able to see this. But I will see this.


Thursday, December 14, 2006


Christmas Tree... duh!I just realized - I'm busy enough right now that I'm no longer interesting. Er. Terribly sorry about that.

So, here's a Christmas funny that you may have seen before. Under it are a couple of holiday-ish pics that you may not have seen before.

Feliz Navi-dude!

Christmas Carols for the Psychologically Challenged

  1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

  2. Amnesia --- I Don't Know if I'll be Home for Christmas

  3. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

  4. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and ...

  5. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me

  6. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

  7. Full Personality Disorder ---You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll tell You Why

  8. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, JingleBells ...

  9. Agoraphobia --- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House

  10. Senile Dementia --- Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles From My House In My Slippers and Robe

  11. Oppositional Defiant Disorder --- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House

  12. Social Anxiety Disorder --- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas -- While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate.

holiday pic

holiday pic

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Two linkies

The Lost Rhapsody 2The Lost Rhapsody 2

My good buddy, Queen Spoo, alerted me to the existence of this joyous little nugget. It's a flash animation of scenes from "Lost's" Season 2, set to Weird Al's song "The Alternative Polka". And for you Pratchett fans, look for a very brief cameo from one of T.P.'s creations near the end.

You can view it from Queen Spoo's blog... the author's site won't let me direct link to it for some reason.

Jerome MuratJerome Murat

This is weird and impressive at the same time. I have no idea if "Jerome" is the host or the performer, because it's all in French. The performer does some pretty nifty puppet work, which ends with a little slight-of-hand to produce a cool and slightly disturbing effect.

Click here for the French stuff.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Couple Of Random Thoughts

Picked last in every sportFantasy Football

It's over, baby. *sigh* I usually lose the first 4 games of the season, and then come on strong at the end. This year, I won my first 4 in blowouts, then became average, and now at the end of the season, I flat-out suck. I have officially missed the playoffs.

I was also helping my Dad in his Fantasy Football league. Some help I was. At one point he was ranked #2 in his league, but he's missed the playoffs also.

Fantasy Football playoffs begin this weekend. Now that I am relegated to "observer" status, I guess I'll try to play vicariously through P-Ziddy.

Go 'Zid, Go!

Soon I will be fully assimilatedMicrosoft Certifications

Currently, I have two. They are "Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)" and "Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD)".

This upcoming Friday the 22nd, I will take an "upgrade" exam that, if I pass, will elevate me to the new Microsoft Certifications. The new certifications came into being along with the MS .NET framework 2.0, and the new version of Visual Studio (VS 2005).

So what exactly do I get if I pass? I'll be given two certifications... "Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)" and "Microsoft Certified Professional Developer - Web (MCPD)".

I am most grateful to my colleague, Mr. Silver Lining. Mr. Silver attended an MS Launch Event, and one of the goodies he picked up was a voucher for a free exam, which he then gave to me.

The only downside is that the exam voucher expires at the end of the year. Hence, the cram session that is currently going on. Wish me luck...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Upcoming Event: An Evening With...

I'm all excited. My wife and I purchased tickets to An Evening with Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood from Whose Line is it Anyway?

Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood

Of course, it's a stage show, so I expect it to be somewhat different from the "Whose line..." TV show. If the event is even half as funny as the video link below (6 and a half minutes, laugh-out-loud hilarious), I'll be wiping tears out of my eyes for days.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Flower Power

This is yet another follow-up to the "Secret Admirer" saga. Clickie here if you need to refresh your memory.

I gave those dead flowers to Mad Dogg on a Monday, and much hilarity was shared by all. Boss Lady generally doesn't work Mondays, so she wasn't around. Mad Dogg re-wrote the "To / From" note, and stuck it on Boss Lady's desk.

From: Secret AdmirerTuesday morning, after all the haw-haw's and "What the heck?"'s and such, Boss Lady put the flowers on Boy Wonder's desk.

More haw-haw's and such result. Boy Wonder put the dead flowers on Switch's desk.

Switch is a man who knows when a joke has been run into the ground. He also knows how to spice things up in wiley and unpredictable ways. Switch took the flowers outside of the department, and put them on WhoDat's desk.

Who is WhoDat? Well, I know that he works in the "Art" department, and that's about it. I've never met him, and I have no idea what his duties are. But he got dead flowers on Tuesday, from a "Secret Admirer". And here's the crazy part... as far as I can tell, his reaction to the flowers has been, "Hmmph."

With absolutely no comment, WhoDat placed the flower vase on top of the hutch above his desk. There it remains, proudly displayed for all to see.

I suspect this is the end of the flower saga. We'll see. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dog Lovers Beware!

I've got personality quirksRecently, my Sister-In-Law on my wife's side got to meet a neighbor's rottweiler. She, along with my wife's brother (her hubby) and his parents walked across the street at the urging of this particular neighbor.

SIL ('Sis-In-Law) is quite a dog lover. Hubby and In-Laws are not. They hung back while the big dog was trotted out on a leash. SIL happily stood in front of them, ready to make friends with the beast.

Ah....The dog was being lead by the neighbor. The dog calmly wandered over to SIL, and with absolutely no hesitation, lifted a leg.

Hubby and Pop-In-Law nearly fell over laughing. Mom-In-Law lead SIL back to the house to help her get dried off and changed. When SIL finally had dry pants again, Hubby and Pop-In-Law were *still* laughing hysterically. Their faces had changed colors from oxygen loss.

The moral of the story? Don't let a dog whiz on you. Especially if you married into a mean family. ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Don't Touch

Newspaper ProductionToday I saw something amusing and a little baffling. I was walking through an expansive staging area where newspapers and inserts are put together in preparation for delivery. This generally happens very late at night, so that the papers can be delivered early the next morning. As such, this room is generally very quiet and deserted when I wander though during the day.

I walked past one of the large recycling bins. Picture a large cardboard-ish box that's 6 feet tall, and probably close to 5 feet wide and long at its base. There are many of these things throughout the room.

This particular recycling bin had something written on it. In huge black permanent-marker lines, it read: "Don't touch Bert".

I'm a little unclear as to the meaning. I guess it could be a personalized message for Bert. Maybe Bert has a socially disturbing habit of touching recycling bins. Perhaps Bert has started to annoy.

Do... not... TOUCH!!!Maybe it's not a command. Maybe it's a message from Bert. Perhaps Bert is tired of getting touched all the time. Logically, he chose a prominent place to display his plea for personal space... on the side of a recycling bin.

I suppose it might be a warning from Bert's coworkers. Maybe he has cooties or something., like an eagle...In any case, I think I know what I'm going to do if I meet Bert. Just to be on the safe side, I plan to run like the wind.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Splendor In The Snow

Last Saturday, there was a lot of snow on the ground. You fellow Oklahomans may have noticed. For some, a ton of snow is a minor obstacle. For some, a ton of snow is a life-threatening, paralyzing concern. And for others, a ton of snow is pure joy!

Allow me to introduce Skippy. Skippy is a neighborhood kid, I think. It's a little hard to tell because he's bundled up to an extraordinary degree. He might not actually be a kid - he might be a sentient winter coat.

Peace... Tranquility... Zen...My wife and I saw him Saturday, wandering through the snow with a broom. He was using the broom to very gently brush the surface of the snow. It looked like he was cultivating a Zen Garden or something.

Then, with very little warning, he threw the broom off to the side, and dove into the snow face-first. Greg Louganis he ain't. He rolled and flopped around in the snow like he'd just realized he was on fire. He finally came to a stop in a (formerly) relatively clear patch of snow. He made a snow angel.

Without getting up, he managed to grab the broom handle. He held the broom up in the air, completely ignoring the snow falling off the bristles and into his face.

Then, Skippy got up in a flash! He started swinging the broom like a wild man, slamming it down into the snow. He almost looked like he was chopping wood.

I've got a whale of a headacheSuddenly, Skippy took off running toward a nearby snowman! This particular snowman (pictured on the right) had a very small head. Skippy, still in full gallop, twirled the broom around in his hands, and took a vicious swing at the snowman's head. I'm not kidding, this was a mean swing. It looked like he was getting revenge on the T-Ball stand that shot his paw.

After knocking off the snowman's head, he suddenly twirled around like he was scared. Quickly, he found a likely lump of snow and placed it on top of the headless mound. Then he ran away.

It was several minutes later that my wife and I stopped laughing enough to breathe. The entire episode lasted about 3 minutes, max. It was brilliant.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Secret Admirer Follow-up

This is the first time I can think of that a previous story is *required* reading before we go on. Therefore, if you do not remember the "Secret Admirer" story from two weeks ago;

Click here to read the story (expands)

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. :)

It just worked out this way... I hadn't bought flowers for my wife in quite a while, and she's more than worthy. A plan was already in motion for me to buy flowers for her when the whole "Secret Admirer" thing went down. I went ahead with the flower purchase at the same time. Then, a few days later, I started to hatch my own plan.

When the flowers started to die, we didn't throw them away. When they started to smell, we didn't throw them away. Finally, when the flowers were good and nasty... I put a note on them that said, "To: Mad Dogg, From: Your Secret Admirer."

(click to see larger versions of these!)

This morning, I put the flowers on his desk. He generally gets into the office around 9AM. I'll let you know what kind of response I get by posting a comment to this story. Assuming he doesn't break my fingers, of course. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Day, Still

UPDATE: I have an amusment for you. Overheard at lunch - Guy 1 walks over to Guy 2 and says, "Here's your 50 cents." Guy 2 says, "Don't bother. I'd just blow it on chicks and booze."

OK, it's not much... but it's a Snow Day. What'd you expect?


Snow!Well, today I am at work. But it's still a snow day. Oklahoma set a record for snowfall in November... we're buried in about a foot of the stuff.

The roads weren't in good condition this morning, but I made it. Now I'm sure that there will be a more interesting story up next time... next time will be Monday, though. :)

It's OK... I can tell from the site counter that most of you are buried also. We'll get back to normal next week.