Friday, March 30, 2007

Amish Hackers

Nuts. Lots of nuts.I'll admit, I'm taking a chance on this one. Depending on your sense of humor, you'll either think this is hilarious, or you'll think I'm a nut. Either way, you may be right.

Anyway, the required (and greatly truncated) back story to this happened many moons ago (anywhere from a year to two years back, I think). A friend of mine, in a fit of delirium, came up with the idea of a Techno-Amish Military Brigade. In time, this was simplified down a bit to a clan of Amish Computer Hackers.

The monster of the castle aaaarrghRight away, you probably know where you stand on this type of humor. You're either laughing already at such a ridiculous thought, or you're looking at the screen thinking, "What? That's just ridiculous." You're both right, of course. If you aren't laughing at this off-the-wall bizarre type of humor, then you need to go watch Monty Python's "The Holy Grail" in a continuous loop until our familiar logical world doesn't make sense anymore. Then come back here. We'll wait for you.

Ready? OK. Anywho, I was challenged in conversation to come up with a pledge for a guild of Amish Hackers. The sort of thing they might recite together as a group at the beginning of their meetings, that sort of thing. This is what I came up with:

"I do solemnly swear to give compassion with my heart, and merciless slaughter with my packets.

I will raise a barn with my hands, and I will raze international archives with my mad skillz.

JamaicaI will sell the fruit of my fields and donate the money to the poor, and I will sell stolen personal identity information on the black market while donating that money to my Jamaican Relocation fund.

I shall do so with joy, for it is written: Blessed are the n00b's*. They shall be my provision.


* NOTE: The definition of a "n00b" can be found here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


T.M.N.T.I found out a couple of days ago that one of our managers is going to see the T.M.N.T. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) movie with his kiddo son. He's also taking Boy Wonder - Master of Disguise!

Even better, his son and Boy Wonder - Master of Disguise will both be in costume.

I have requested pics. I was told, "If I finish the costume without losing any fingers."

Teen-aged Mutant Ninja Boy-Wonder!
Hero in a cubical!
Boy Power!


Final Automotive Note:

I finally got my car back yesterday! It looks beautiful. I was flat-out terrified to drive it to work this morning.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Me And My Big Mouth

Code MonkeyYesterday, I was workin' along, being a good little code monkey. As the afternoon wore on, I received two unexpected visitors: My boss, and my company's VP.

They started asking questions about what resources Farmer and I needed to complete some of the projects we're working on. It was one of those, "What tools do you need in order to accomplish this goal?" type of conversations, and it was a good one. It also had a moment of silliness that I still can't quite believe.

Macho, Macho Man!The first question was along the lines of, "What resources do you need for (blah blah blah)?" Before I knew what I was saying, I replied: "A wet bar, a disco ball, and a raise."

Thankfully, this got a big laugh. I'm not sure what I would have done if they'd taken offense. Laughing, the VP said he wasn't sure he could get us a wet bar.

But he didn't say no. ;)


Side note: In the comments for yesterday's blog story, Mad Dogg suggests that I should post a pic of my car (which I *still* don't have back yet, thanks to a body shop that treats deadlines the same way Mad Dogg does). So it's a pic you want? Well, here ya go.

Yeah, this is my ride. Sure. And if you believe that, you'll believe that she's my nurse.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Top Women Drivers Of 2006

Sorry, I don't have anything original for today. It just happens this way sometimes. I did not get my car back yesterday, the paint was still drying. I should get it back today. And now for the silly...


For the record, this came from an email that was sent to my wife, by a woman. So if you think I'm being sexist or mean, feel free to post a similar story on your own blog. ;p












Look Close: The helmet is on backwards.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Higher Than A Kite?

CHINESE FOOD BAD FOR YOU!If you don't remember the "Chinese Food Is Bad For You" story from a week or so ago, go back and refresh your memory. The summary, as bizarre as it sounds, is this: My boss (The Golfer) was told by a Ukrainian woman at high decibel that his Chinese Food lunch would shorten his lifespan.

Secret projectThe Golfer left on a two-week Hawaiian vacation a week ago. While he's out, I've been preparing a small surprise for him. I'm not going to say too much about it now, except that it involves painting a block of styrofoam to look like a tombstone. There will be pictures here next Monday. :)

Anyway, if you ever have a chance to use spray paint on styrofoam in swirling winds... don't. This is a special kind of stupid.

Among the many challenges is the fact that spray paint tends to make styrofoam dissolve. You have to apply the paint very lightly, which means you're out there longer. This also means you get to breathe fumes longer.

blargYeah. About that. Fumes suck a whole lot of hinder. I didn't realize what it was doing to me until I got inside. I've never had a headache quite like that. Pounding, sharp pains echoed all around my skull, regardless of whether I was moving. And I had nausea. For a while there, I was sure I was going to loose my lunch. Even when seated, I couldn't stay vertical.

My new best friend.I've painted things before, but this is the first time I've had a reaction to fumes. I don't plan to ever paint again without a painter's mask.

I sure hope this little "secret" project of mine is worth it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

No. Frickin'. Way.

Seen the pics of the Grand Canyon Skywalk?

No. Frickin'. Way.

I get vertigo just lookin' at the pics of this thing. My stomach goes "urp" just thinking about it.

I've seen where the prices for "tour packages" will cost from 50 to 200 dollars. Um... it's a big horseshoe. What do you get for the extra 150 bucks? A guarantee that there won't be anybody jumping up and down making it shake while you're out there? An airsick bag? Life insurance?

Perhaps this is a good time for some. But for me? No. Frickin'. Way.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bus Drivers

Another one rides the busWhen I go to work, I have to park in a lot that's some distance from the actual building where I work. The company provides a shuttle bus for us, so we don't have to walk the 5 blocks or so unless we want to.

Ever since my accident, I've been working from 8:30 to 5:30 so that I can avoid the bulk of the rush hour traffic. An unintended benefit of this is that often I'm the only one coming in, and the bus is just sitting there waiting. I frequently get to ride to and from the office in a bus all by myself.

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!Yesterday morning, the bus driver was sitting there waiting for me. As I approached he said, "Ain't you about 2 minutes late today?"

I had no idea I was *that* predictable. "Ain't you the one who comes in late and leaves late?", he continued. Well, yeah, you got me there.

When I left, again the bus was waiting with nobody on it. The driver was talking on his cell phone as we pulled out into traffic. The one-sided conversation I overheard was not encouraging:

So... Tired..."Yeah, I been up since two-thirty or so... I've been doing that a lot lately... Yeah, I've been doing a *lot* of that to stay awake..."

Erm, 'scuse me kind sir? You can drop me off right here wherever we happen to be and I'll gladly walk the rest of the way...

Unrelated Note: I will likely get my car back from the body shop late tomorrow! Yay!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Violinist Alex Depue

A quickie story and a video is all I got for you today. Sorry.

The story... I was walking to the restroom and overheard a single phrase from two guys who were talking down the hall:

"My dog is the only reason I go home at night."

I think I'll leave the punch-line(s) to PZiddy on that one. Wow.

And the video... check this guy out. This is an outstanding violinist, named Alex Depue. Most impressive.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stories From My Past: Russian Hat

A Furry Russian Hat.This story is from when I was 10 years old. I don't remember this happening, but I don't doubt it for a second.

My maternal grandmother had a nephew (or maybe a distant cousin? I don't remember) who was fluent in Russian. During the Cold War, he spent time in Russia working as a translator. Grandma was very proud of him.

A Furry Russian Hat. And a dude.The local newspaper ran a story about him. The story featured a large picture of him, all bundled up and wearing one of those huge furry Russian hats.

Grandma brought out the newspaper and showed it to me. She was primed and ready to brag. "Do you know who *this* is?", she asked.

A completely unimpressed 10-year-old Jeff looked at the picture in the paper and said, "Yeah, I saw him on Johnny Carson's show. He makes funny hats."

ROFLWhile Mom and Dad tried not to hyperventilate with laughter, my very dejected Grandma wordlessly put the paper away and left the room.

Sounds just like me, doesn't it?

Monday, March 19, 2007


Soccer!Saturday, I got to see my 7-year old nephew in a soccer game.

He's on a team with a lot of other 7-year-olds. Most of them haven't played the game before, either. As you can imagine, the kid's skills aren't exactly polished just yet.

The most common thing they did that was amusing was to aim for the goal and kick as hard as they could, regardless of how many other players were between them and the goal. The sound of the ball bouncing off of a player ("thunk") was common.

My nephew, one day perhaps? Certainly not quite yet.Also common were the misses. Somebody would pull back a leg, then swing as hard as they could, and *whiff*! Sometimes, this was followed by a "thud" as the kid landed on his hinder.

At one point, a kid on my nephew's team ("Us") fell down and wound up in a seated position on the field. He was near mid-field, but was facing vaguely in the direction of the opponent's goal. The ball was directly behind him.

One of the opponents ("Them") pulled back a leg. You could see it coming from a mile away. Them swung his leg, connected with the ball, and "thunk" it bounced off of Us's hinder.

The ball rolled back over to Them. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Them pulled back his leg again. Once again, we had a kick, and an immediate "thunk". Right in Us's hinder.

Personal FoulMy dad laughed and said it should have been a foul. I think it was a very *personal* foul, myself.

In the end, my nephew's team lost. They had a lot of fun, though. So did I.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's Bad For You!

Nice pants!First, I must (re)introduce the players in this story. First is the Golfer. He's my immediate boss at work. He likes golf.

Second are the Ukrainian workers who crew the printing presses across the hallway from my office. They were mentioned in a semi-recent story about my feet, when one of them burst out laughing at my limp. Most of them are women, and very few of them will acknowledge any of us Americans.

Chinese FoodEarlier this week, the Golfer went out to get Chinese food for lunch. As he was coming back with his bounty, he walked through the breakroom just behind his office.

Now keep in mind, these printer-press folk are generally polite and quiet. They almost never make eye contact with strangers, and are pretty protective of each other. It's *very* unusual for them to speak to any of us.

It was flat-out unthinkable for one of them to step in front of the Golfer and question him. She was loud (she was very likely the same one who pointed at my limp and laughed like she was seeing Robin Williams in his prime). She pointed at his lunch with a broad grin and question / shouted in a thick Russian accent, "Is that Chinese food?!?"

Shocked, the Golfer could think of nothing to say except, "... uh... yeah?".

CHINESE FOOD BAD FOR YOU!"Chinese food bad for you!" she proclaimed. "Very bad for you! They have short lifespan! You eat Chinese food, you die young too!"

"... uh... really? OK... "

"You believe me! I live next to China! They not live long time! That food bad for you!"

"OK... I'll take my chances, thanks..."

With that, the Golfer scurried away as quick as he could.

Chinese symbol for longevity... or so I'm toldWorth noting, this is the first time I've ever heard such a thing. I've always heard that Chinese food is actually very good for you. And last I heard, the Chinese have respectable lifespans. I never expected these assumptions to be challenged by a boisterous Ukrainian woman.

The rest of the week, the Farmer and I would give the Golfer a hard time about his expected lifespan.

"I'm off to a meeting. I'll be back at 4."
"Sure. If you live that long, you Chinese-food-eater."

Step AWAY from the light!Adding even more joy to the story is the fact that the Golfer is off for the next two weeks on a Hawaiian vacation. If the Ukrainian lady asks about him, Farmer and I are going to tell her that the Golfer died.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A New One...

Note: I'm not deliberately ignoring the *fun* events of yesterday, I'm just in a hurry and this was already written. Thanks to everybody who's contacted me to make sure I'm OK!


Patriotic TieEarly this week, there was an occasion where several of us were invited to go to lunch with the big boss and a few other higher-ups. Lunch was to be at a fairly formal dining establishment.

Business casual wasn't going to cut it that day. So, I had my nicest shirt / slack combo, and a spiffy tie.

Most of you know how this goes. You walk into the office wearing a tie, and everybody greets you with variations on, "Hey, job interview today?". The intent, of course, is to embarrass.

Preacher Jeff?That day, I heard a new one. I was sitting at my desk and a co-worker stopped by to chat. He said, and I quote:

"WHOOOAAAHH!!! Where are you preachin' today?"

I hadn't heard that one before. I like it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jeff's Rough Morning

I don't normally double-post (scroll on down for your expected dose of silly). I don't normally rear-end drivers on the way to work, either.

That's right, I wrecked the car this morning on the way to work. According to the police report, "driver inattentiveness" on my part is the cause. The driver in front of me was racing along like a wild man, and then with no warning, slammed on his brakes. This appears to not matter in the slightest.

I hope your morning is going better than mine.

Off Into The Sunset...

Mad DoggWell, yesterday was Mad Dogg's last day with us at work. Today he starts his new "milk and honey" job down the street. And amazingly, nothing bizarre or explosive happened yesterday.
Bond. James Bond.
I could tell stories of his "gift basket", which was a case of Red Bull. I could tell you about how he finally got to ride in the boss's Aston Martin. But those are his stories.

What will I most remember about that fateful day?

Can you say LIPTON?Mad Dogg's goodbye lunch was at a restaurant I don't like, for starters. I ate my sack lunch, then attended his lunch. All I ordered was a glass of iced tea. After the tip, it ended up being a $3 glass of tea. I did not leave a large tip. They are quite proud of their tea, for some reason.

Oh, and Mad Dogg's final contribution to our web site? He "fixed" an error that only applied to users with Internet Explorer 6. It had to do with a link not being underlined. The link still worked. The link still looked OK. It wasn't even an "error" that happened all the time. So while the rest of us were working like mad on functional elements that aren't quite functional yet, Mad Dogg tweaked a minor visual element. Thanks, man.

Gah!This past year, working alongside Mad Dogg, has been most entertaining. And occasionally frightening.

Thanks for the memories (scarred forever into my brain). Call me every now and then, and we'll do lunch. I'll pick the location, though. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Psuedo-Celeb Sighting!

History of sightings:

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

Sherlock Holmes.
Carol O'Conner.
Charles Barkley

Again with the thing. I was walking through the Promenade mall in Tulsa this past weekend, when what to my wondering eyes should appear... Hurley?

4 8 15 16 23 42I caught his reflection in a store window before I saw him. It's the large lovable lug from Lost! Curly hair, wide load, lumbering walk... it was all there. It was perfect. Until he turned the corner and I got a good look.

It was a woman.

Even more horrifying was the fact that she still looked pretty much exactly like Hurley. She didn't have as much of a beard, though.


Monday, March 12, 2007


Zio'sOver the weekend, my wife and I took an old friend to Zio's. Italian food, pretty good stuff. And now, a couple of amusements from our trip.

We placed our order, and the waitress went away. All was going as expected. We started to chat while we waited, but suddenly a man appeared with food!

It had been less than a minute since we placed our order. He said, "Spicy Chicken Alfredo?" Our friend had ordered this, so she tentatively put up a hand. The he said, "Chicken Cannelloni?"

What table is this?Nobody had ordered that. I also realized that he had two plates with him. We had three people at the table.

At this point, another waitress ran up to him and said, "Table 111 is over this way!"

Sheepishly, he grabbed the first plate and said, "Sorry... it's my first day here." The waitress shook her head and said, "Don't believe him. He's been here three years."

His eyes bugged out and his jaw dropped. She couldn't keep the serious look on her face any longer, and burst out laughing. I kinda felt sorry for the poor guy.

Happy Birthday... Mr. President...The meal concluded. We stopped by the restrooms on our way out. Hung above the potty in the mens' room was a picture of Marilyn Monroe. As with most old pics of her, it was reasonably sultry. The pic was at eye level as I stood to perform my duty. She was looking down.

So I did my thing with Marilyn Monroe looking down at my... um... she was looking at me. It was kinda creepy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Grandma's Voice

For most of this week, my mom has had a sore throat. She lost her voice for a few days, and is only recently getting it back.

Gimmie my voice back!This has amused my little 5-year old niece to no end. Every time she sees my mom she says, "Gwamma... what did Gwandpa do to your voice?"

They've tried to explain to her that nobody took Gwamma's voice away. But she remains unconvinced.

Get well soon Mom! I love you!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Best Ever License Plate

While driving to work, I saw a silver car with the coolest personalized license plate I've ever seen.

Rut-Row!It said, RUT-ROW.

I actually have a Scooby-Doo floor mat in the passenger-side rear seat of my car. Ah, now if only I had that license plate to go with it. :)

What's the best license plate you've seen?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm Not Ready For My Close-Up

During my father-In-Law's birthday gathering this past Saturday, he decided that he wanted to have a group photo of all of us. "All of us" was to include the grandpups - my brother-in-law's two puppies.

Wild and unpredictableAnne and Victoria are mutt-ish dogs. They're only about 5-6 months old, but are already 30 pounds or more. They are both cute, hyper, and constantly moving.

Tanned, Rested, and ReadySo, my father-in-law (in honor of his "retired" status, he will henceforth be referred to as TRR - Tanned, Rested, and Ready) sat down in a lawn chair. He insisted that I sit next to him. The rest of the family was gathered next to or behind us. He put a large handful of dog food in my hand and said, "Pick up Anne. She'll stay in your lap as long as you've got food." Then he did the same for Vicki.

Bro-in-law set up the camera, then took up his position. Anne was happily eating out of my hand. The light on the camera started to blink, meaning the picture was about to be taken. And Anne decided that she was no longer cozy and happy.

Fear me!Anne said "Rawrf!" and rapidly expanded like a puffer fish. Her sudden spaz attack meant that I had dog paws in my ear, armpit, and crotch. Her face (with lovely dog-food breath) was pressed up against mine.

A brief struggle ensued. It ended with me in sad shape. I had dog drool dripping from at least four places, and half a handful of soggy dog food. Anne was running full-speed across the backyard, well out of sight.

*click* The picture was taken.

"Well," said TRR, "I guess we'll have to try that again."

Oh please. Can we?