Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An Odd Resemblance

OK, this one is a bit odd. A few days ago I was in a meeting with a co-worker who, for no apparent reason, placed her pencil under her nose while pondering something.

Would you buy insurance from this man?The pencil looked kinda like a mustache. For some reason, the sight of a pencil-mustache made me think of Hitler.

Now, let it be known without doubt that I am not making comparisons between this person and Hitler. There was no genocide during this meeting. There were no donuts, either, which was unfortunate. A certain deadline of mine *was* placed in jeopardy. But definitely no one died. I would have noticed.

Hi! Remember me?Also odd... a pencil? Who uses pencils? I haven't seen one of those since 1998. ;)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Am A Man Of Many Talents

I had to post this story today instead of yesterday, because I wanted to make sure I didn't spoil a joke. :)

DiskAbout a week ago, Fyrebaugh asked if he could get some stuff from me that would easily fit on a data-DVD disk. I said sure, and we both agreed that since there was no hurry, we wouldn't worry about how to get the disk from here to there (he lives about an hour and a half away).

This past weekend, Tiny and Automotive came up to visit my wife and I. Tiny works at the same place that Fyrebaugh does. So, while they were here I asked Tiny to take the disk home with her, and place it on Fyrebaugh's desk Monday morning.

A surprise lurks withinMonday, Fyrebaugh came into work, and there was the disk he asked for, sitting right on his desk. No note, no explanation. When he asked how I managed this trick, I simply replied, "I have ways."

So this morning, a full day of torture ends. Now he knows how I did it. :) That was fun!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Celeb! Celeb! I Saw Him First!

OK, again with the pseudo-celebrity thing, except this time I almost didn't bring it up. This one didn't happen in downtown Tulsa, so I wasn't sure if it should count.

Anyway, first you get "the list" of folks I've seen:

John Ratzenberger.
John Belushi.
Charlie Chaplin.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Sherlock Holmes.

I got nothin' against mankind. It's people I can't stand.This past weekend, while in Target, my wife and I saw a Carol O'Conner look-alike. The man looked like Archie Bunker in absolutely every respect except one: His big friendly smile. He didn't even call me a Meathead as I walked by.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.


Friday, January 26, 2007


Ready for a new day?Yesterday, I attended a Microsoft Launch event. It was basically a product demonstration for the new version of Windows (Windows Vista) and for the new version of Office (Office Professional 2007). The series I attended was for developers, so it was full of "You can make programs that do this!" things. Pretty cool stuff, really. But you know my stories aren't going to be about the technology. My stories are about the event itself. :)

Blinded by the light!Walking down the hallway toward the large conference rooms, there was a projector sitting near one wall. It was projecting promotional Microsoft images on the opposite wall. Now, picture this in your mind... a projector firing images across the hallway that we're walking down. Therefore, as you walk down the hallway, you block the images. And if you glanced in the wrong direction, you were also blinded.

Micro-strongOnce I signed in, I got a bracelet to wear. It looked just like one of those Lance Armstrong "Livestrong" bracelets. It said "Microsoft" instead of Livestrong, of course. This was how they identified who could get into the conference rooms.

waiting...As it happened, the overwhelming majority of the developers in attendance were male. When it was time for a break, there was a mighty stampede toward the restrooms. The ladies room door never saw more than one or two at a time going in or out. The men's room had a lengthy line. One guy quipped, "Now I know what my wife feels like!"

There's a joke there. I'll just let you use your imagination. ;)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Wanna Be Like You, Daddy

A story from a co-worker. To protect the guilty, we'll call him Big. Big has a young son, who we'll call Small. I don't know how old Small is, but for the sake of the story we'll say he's 6.

Big was telling us about Small. It seems that Small had seen a cartoon recently with some penguins in it. That, plus the recent ice storm, got him to thinking.

Belly slide!"Daddy," he said, "I want to have a bigger belly."


"I want to be able to slide on my belly on the ice like the penguins!"

"Oh. Yeah, that sounds like fun."

Fat like you"But I don't want it to be too big. I just wanna be fat like you, Daddy."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You talkin' to me?

Say hello to my little friends.Say hello to my little friends.Yesterday, Slim (from Advertising) came by our office with some friends. These two "friends" were more than a bit intimidating in appearance... both had black suits and ties. One looked like his face had been chiseled out of solid granite. The other had his greasy black hair pulled back in a pony-tail. Neither smiled. Hands were kept in front, crossed over. Both looked like they could break me in half. They looked like the mob.

They walked past my desk, past Farmer's desk, and went into Golfer's office. I wondered if we'd ever see the Golfer again.

Turns out, these two are the owners (and sole employees) of an independent software shop. We might be using some of their stuff in the near future, if the price is right.

Eek! What am I doing here?!?I had a very difficult time picturing either of these two working at a computer keyboard. Blunt objects... now that seemed more their style.

I hope Slim has paid his protection money.

Actually, knowing Slim, he's paid his protection money. I just hope his check doesn't bounce.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some Funnies

I shall share things that made me laugh yesterday.

Poopy StinkerpantsFirst up is a kid's T-Shirt. This was sent to me by P-Ziddy. The text on the small image here is a little hard to read, but it says, "Hello. My name is Poopy Stinkerpants."

I know more than a few fully-grown folks who need this shirt, badly. P-Ziddy himself fits into this category occasionally (as do I). Too bad it doesn't come in extra large. :)

And then, there's Aunt Elsa's cake. This came in an Email from ICanSpell - the text was:

"The Customer Is Always Right.

It's Aunt Elsa's 50th birthday and you want the bakery to print a nice message on her cake. Just email it to the bakery so they can't screw up any spelling or anything, right?

Aunt Elsa will be thrilled."

Click for a larger version of this cake

(click the cake for a slightly larger version)

Monday, January 22, 2007

We're *not* buried in snow!

Cold rain, that's allThis weekend, Mother Nature gave us a break. Leading up to the weekend, all we heard was, "snow". First it was going to be 7-8 inches. Then it was 3-4. In reality, we ended up with cold rain. The rain actually melted away the majority of the ice, so our roads and parking lots are mostly clear.

Potholes stinkNow, it's just a matter of navigating potholes.

It was a nice, relaxing weekend. We both were fighting a bug of some sort, so we just stayed in and tried not to get sick.

My wife loves me!My wife gave me pizza for dinner Friday *and* Sunday nights. Bachelors, take note... this is the kind of woman you want. :)

Friday, January 19, 2007


Yesterday, I was feeling a little under the weather. I pretty much just collapsed when I got home, and didn't write anything in advance, which is why this is so disjointed today.

The major highways in and around Tulsa are finally approaching "normal". There's still slick spots, but more often than not you have two lanes again. Now that the ice is finally starting to yield, we've got snow comin'. H'ray.

Yesterday morning, when walking out to my car, I walked near the apartment building in the "grass" (you can't tell the difference between grass and any other solid surface, there's so much ice). When I got in front of my car, I took one step toward it, down the slope. Then, I slid all the way into the parking lot, and landed on the hood of my car. Crawled off, got in.

This morning, some kind soul brought donuts. Things are lookin' up!

They say this might be the first step toward full-time free parking in downtown Tulsa. That would be mighty... currently, I park 5 blocks away from work so that I don't have to pay to park.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Her Glass Is Half Empty

My sister isn't having any fun with our recent sleet / freezing rain / ice storm. She lives out in the country, so her power's been off for almost a week now.

Troy-Bilt!Her husband got them a gas-powered generator so they could at least have heat. Now, this is key... most folks, when they get such a toy, only hook up their heaters to it. However, Sis's entire house got hooked up. The intent was to have heat and lights, since they live out away from the city.

The generator wasn't strong enough to run everything. So, Sis told everybody not to turn on anything. The power was just for lights, nothing else. This message didn't quite take hold.
Good-bye cruel world!
First, kiddo #1 tried to turn on a small TV. POOF! There was literally smoke coming from the TV. While Sis got onto kiddo #1 about the mistake, there was a shout from the kitchen.

Mikey-WaveIn the kitchen, kiddo #2 was waving smoke away from the microwave. Trying to warm up something in there was not a good idea with the power being so weak.

Sis gathered all the kids together. She pointed out the dead TV, and the dead microwave. While she was doing the "mom" thing, there was a POOF noise from the master bedroom.

POOF!Hubby had momentarily forgotten, and turned on the TV in their bedroom. More smoke.

The next day (which happens to be yesterday) she dropped the kiddos off at Gramma's, and went to work. Ice was not a big enough obstacle to keep her away. She needed the break. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

His Glass Is Half Full

This is a series of short stories about my father-in-law.

Obstruction (the tree, not the guy)He lives in Muskogee, which is one of the hardest-hit areas from our recent 3-day sleet / freezing rain / ice storm. Every tree in town is damaged. Every surface is coated in inches of ice. Just about every road in his neighborhood is blocked by fallen tree limbs. Some of his neighbors were trapped in their houses because fallen limbs blocked their doors. By some miracle, his house never lost power, although they did go ahead and unplug nearly everything after a few brown-outs.

Aaaahhh.... comfyHe is having the time of his life.

When the storm was at its worst, he and my wife's mom were concerned that they'd lose power. So, they dragged an old twin-sized mattress into the living room, next to the fireplace. The intent was to have a worst-case warm place to sleep. He discovered that this made for one heck of a nice napping spot, so he refuses to move it back.

Shades of DOOMThis is a man who once fell part-way through his living room ceiling because of something that the family refers to as "the power drill incident" (further details are usually obscured by growls). This man, who is not allowed to have tools, went out with a neighbor and bought a chainsaw.

Amazingly, he still has all his major limbs attached. Every few hours, he and his neighbor go out and clear some more limbs from the street, and from people's yards.

Who brought the 'smores?He is recently retired. For the first time ever, travel conditions are horrible and he doesn't have to worry about it. He putters around with a chainsaw, ignores the computer and sleeps on the living room floor by the fireplace. It's like he's on a camping trip.

Hopefully, these next few days (with temperatures above freezing) will help to clear up the ice and destruction there, and life can return to normal. Hopefully when it does return to normal, my wife's dad won't be too disappointed. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kid's Names

Baby Name BookI've never been much of a fan of naming kids after countries. After this experience, I am even less of a fan.

My wife and I were wandering through Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago (before the current world-ending ice storm), walking past the toy section. A few isles away, I heard a woman start shouting at the top of her lungs, "Israel! ISRAEL! ISRAEL!!!"

IsraelMy first thought was, "Lady, I doubt if they can hear you from here." Then, we walked past the isle where little Israel was engrossed in some toy or other. My first thought may not have been too far off the mark... he was paying absolutely no attention to his mom.

Just imagine if all her kids (she had 4) were named after countries. "Israel! Get over here! Zambia! Put that down! Chile! Stop running! Côte d'Ivoire! Leave the nice man alone!"

Once again, I find myself very grateful to my parents. :)

Monday, January 15, 2007


This weekend, the skies opened up and ice cubes fell out. What fun. I really dislike it when ice is all white. It looks like snow. It ain't snow. Not even close.

Jeff On Ice

Friday I left work early. I'm very glad I did... the roads were starting to get slick even then.

Where The Sidewalk Ends

There is a pathetic short little sidewalk that leads from our apartment to the parking lot. It's maybe 10-15 yards total length.

This thing was mostly clear an hour ago (Sunday morning pic)Friday evening, I shoveled that thing. I figured, "Sure, more is coming, but at least it won't be as thick here."

Saturday afternoon, you couldn't tell where I'd shoveled. Not even a little. So, I did it again. Mostly. Toward the bottom of that sidewalk, the ice was really thick. The activity had ceased to feel like fun invigorating exercise. Instead, it felt like I was getting punched repeatedly in the right shoulder by a truck. I gave up.

Sunday morning, after 10 hours of exhausted sleep (I usually get around 6), I had coffee and Advil. I felt GREAT! Sore shoulder? What sore shoulder? [stretch]... oh... *that* sore shoulder. Ahem.

I ended up shoveling that sidewalk a third time on Sunday. Arg.

On The News

News stations around my area started showing scrolling text that said, "Due to the volume of church closings, we are not able to list them all individually." I was impressed.

When I think of solid layers of ice, I am reminded of warm breadAlso, at one point a weather guy started drawing on his weather map. He circled a long area, and then drew lines across it. He wasn't even talking about that particular area when he did the drawing. It looked like a loaf of french bread. I have no idea what the point was.


Today is Monday, and I've made it into work. The roads were rough, though. I'll probably leave early again.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sometimes I Take Off My Shoes

The Owie MakerOften when I am sitting at my desk at work, I will take off my shoes. Anybody who knows me knows how much I hate "dress" shoes, so this should be no surprise.

Also, occasionally I snack at my desk. I'm a programmer. These are just things we do.

C Is For Cookie!Yesterday, Slim from Advertising came by the office. He walked by while I was eating a cookie. He looked down at my feet - my shoes were on.

"Every time I come down here you're either eating or you've got your shoes off," he said, in an attempt to be funny. "I'm glad you cover up your feet while you eat."

The Naked GunAs he walked on past my desk, I announced, "The next time you come in here I'll be naked."

I thought the Farmer was going to fall out of his chair. Slim nearly tripped over absolutely nothing. It was grand. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

iPhone Whoopsie

Apple. Whatever.This is for my "Apple can do no wrong" pals. You know who you are. Oh ye of the mighty blind spot and the ballistic superiority complex. ;)

Cisco Sues Apple Over Use of iPhone Name

I know it's a petty lawsuit. I hate it when companies sue each other over stupid trademarks like this. Even so, after the all the Mac-bragging I had to endure a couple of days ago, this small setback for Apple just about made me fall over laughing.

Speaking of laughing, check this comic out. A certain Mac-fan I know had a reaction that was nearly verbatim to "Brent". Once he snapped out of it, the bragging began. *sigh*

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

These Things Shouldn't Be Allowed To Talk

Urinal Cakes are not really cake!I have recently learned of an item that makes my soul shiver. Talking, flashing, interactive ads on urinal cakes.

I don't know about you, but I doubt if I would put much faith in a voice issuing up out of toilet.

It seems to me that these things would be far better suited for practical jokes. I can picture, for example, one of those things whispering, "Psst! Hey, buddy! Yeah, you... your fly is down."

I did see one place where these things are being used in a semi-reasonable manner. There's a place in New York where these things are being used in bars to present messages "aimed" (oh! I'm a bad person) at preventing drunk driving.

I'm not going to ask, "What will they think up next?", because I'm afraid of the answer.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ice Cream Date!

Marble SlabSunday night, Pebbles and Bam-Bam (my wife's brother and his wife) planned to go on an Ice Cream Date. I think they were planning to go to the Marble Slab, or something similar.

Poof! Gone.Pebbles was outside, playing with their puppies. Bam-Bam came out to join her in the backyard, and the back door locked behind him. Quickly, the conversation shifted from, "Now, WHOOOOO'S a goodlittlegirlyou'reagoodlittlegirlarn'tyou!" to, "You mean you don't have *your* keys either?"

The only spare set of keys are owned by my wife's mom and dad. They live an hour away. So, Sunday night at 9-ish, they rushed down the highway to come unlock the door for Pebbles and Bam-Bam.

I'm lovin' what exactly?In the meantime, P and B walked about a mile from their house to a McDonald's, where they got ice cream and sat down to wait. In a manner of speaking, they got their Ice Cream Date.

Mmmmm... a McDonald's Ice Cream Date. I haven't had one of those since I was 15. ;)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Rough Weekend

There was rough stuff on both sides of the family this weekend.

On my wife's side, her sister-in-law's father got bit by his dog. His face was severely lacerated, and he lost part of his nose. Due to other health concerns, the father is not able to have any cosmetic surgery to clean up his face.

Do these wrinkles make me look fat?The dog was a Chinese Shar-pei that was so overweight, he didn't have any wrinkles. The dog's many health concerns, plus the fact that he was getting more and more aggressive as time went by, meant that the dog had to be put down.

So, my wife's sister-in-law's father lost his dog, and his nose. The crazy thing is, this is not the first time he's been bitten in the face by this dog. He is what we (perhaps a bit unfairly) refer to as a "slow learner".

On my side of the family, there was a death. One of my sister's sisters-in-law passed away tragically. This was not a "close" family member - I've never met her, in fact. But her passing does bring along with it all the unfortunate things that you'd expect.

The Pursuit of HappynessOther than the tragedies from somewhat-distant relatives, the weekend was OK I guess. We saw "The Pursuit of Happyness", which is pretty darn good. We also celebrated my wife's mom's birthday. The anniversary of her 39th, that sort of thing. :)

So, those are the stories. 'Sis, if you are reading... please let Sweet Sixteen know that we're thinking about her. And you.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pseudo-Celeb Alert!

It's been a while since the last sighting. To date, in downtown Tulsa I've run across look-alikes for:

John Ratzenberger.
John Belushi.
Charlie Chaplin.
Sammy Davis Jr.

Sherlock HolmesSherlock HolmesYesterday, while walking to my car after work, I ran across a near-perfect look-alike for Sherlock Holmes!

He had the trademark Holmes detective jacket. He had the same hat. The only thing he didn't have was the pipe.

It was a bit of a funny sight. Not many folk in downtown wear detective cloaks, after all. He really stood out.

OK, time to take bets on who I'll see next!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Screaming Beemer

DippyWe have a neighbor of questionable intellect. Hey, it's an apartment complex... that's going to happen. We'll call her Dippy. Dippy has a son who we'll call Teenage Dippy.

Dippy has a BMW that she apparently doesn't need. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that back in mid-November, the car got a flat tire (rear driver's side). About two weeks later, the front driver's side tire was also flat. The car hadn't moved. To date, she still has not fixed or replaced the tires.

Very FlatYou may recall that I had a similar adventure back in mid-November. That's what we get for living near a construction zone. It stinks, it costs you money, you wish it hadn't happened... but it did, so you gotta fix it. Unless you are Dippy, I mean. Then you just leave your eyesore of a car out in the front parking lot for everybody to see.

Well, a week ago somebody in the apartment management office finally got wind of the eyesore, so they left a note on the car saying that it would be towed if the tires weren't fixed. H'ray! I never thought to raise a complaint myself - seeing that car with its two flat tires always helped remind me not to park near it. Dang nails.

Anyway, two days ago my wife saw a strange sight. Teenage Dippy was out there with an air compressor, filling up the tires! We discussed this between ourselves, trying to figure it out... did they fix the flats somehow? Are they going to quickie drive it somewhere to get the tires patched?

PssssssssstAlas, no. All they did was drive the car out of its spot, turn it around, and park it in another spot. Yay, us! We fixed the flat tires! Gee, what's that "Pssssst" sound?

So, yesterday the tires were flat again. Go figure. And Dippy was fighting mad about it. She asked us, "You guys had a flat too, didn't you?" "Uh... yeah." "Well, I'm going to complain to the office! They want to tow *my* car! It's not *my* fault there's so many nails around!"

Well, no, that part isn't your fault. The part where you let your car sit and rot for two months... yeah, that's all you.

UPDATE (1/5/07) The screeming beemer now has three flat tires. Amazing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


This actually happened back before Christmas, but I didn't get a chance to write about it until now.

In my department's breakroom, there is a smallish round table with four chairs around it. It's in a central area of the department, so it's typically pretty active. I've never before thought of it as "relaxing" or "serene".

Nap in progress...On this particular day, many members of my department were on vacation. The lights were turned out in the break area, and two of my coworkers ("Large", and "In Charge") were stretched out across two chairs each. Napping.

This was an unexpected sight, something akin to a little girl's pretend-tea-party in the middle of a country road. The pic is from Farmer's cell phone.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Stuff - movie, food, game

Night At The MuseumFor the New Year's weekend (Saturday, to be specific), Fyrebaugh came for a visit. The three of us went to see "Night At The Museum."

Now, I am not a Ben Stiller fan. I was expecting this movie to be good, because of all the nifty special effects. The movie was not just good, it was excellent. I laughed throughout. Robin Williams was great, Owen Wilson was fun, and Ben didn't get in the way.

The line, "Lawrence, why are you slapping that monkey?" brought tears to my eyes.

Go see this movie. It's High-larious.

McAlister's DeliThen, we went to McAlister's for dinner. I mention this only because of the poor waitress who tried to help us mid-way through the meal. She ran off with my water glass, and then got pulled to the side to help out at the register.

I turned in my seat and finally caught her attention. She immediately realized she had forgotten me, grabbed my glass, and ran for our table. "Sorry!" she gasped as she turned and ran back to whatever other desperate situation needed her attention.

Whatever it was that pulled her away from refilling my drink, it happened when she was only halfway done refilling the glass. So I got a half glass of water... with a piece of lettuce stuck to the side.

Fiesta Bowl - OU lost :)Finally, an honorable mention for last night's Fiesta Bowl game. OU lost, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. It was a dull as heck game for three quarters, but the 4th quarter and overtime were magnificent. It's a good thing I took today off... my wife and I were up way past our bedtime watching that game.

Happy New Year, all!