Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Ramblings

Short, quick, near-incoherent ramblings...

Bad Foot

smileycentral.comI've been working on my right foot. I have a massive callous that I'm trying to get rid of with some Dr. Scholls corn removers. This shows signs of working, but in the short term, it means that I've got bandages all over my right big toe. This causes me to limp as if something is terribly monstrously wrong, because I'm more or less walking with a big rock in my shoe.


Jeffy Van Halen?How To Be A Guitar God

Finally, I have somewhat vague step-by-step directions on how to become a dazzling guitarist. First step is to start playing before I turn 13.

Actually, that might be a problem...

Moldy Weather?

Here on the surface world, rain is coming...This was the yesterday's Weather Avatar from a site that I am *ahem* somewhat familiar with. This image disturbed me, and at first I couldn't figure out why. Then it hit me... why is this Weather Person all moldy? Check out that skin tone... she looks like she crawled up out of the grave or something. "What, is Susan undead again? Well, slap some lipstick on her, she's on in 5!... 4!... 3!... ".

Thursday, August 30, 2007

So Glad

Well doneOne recent morning, I shuffled into work in my usual glassy-eyed semi-conscious way. I woke up a little as I approached the break room, because I could see Aqueduct standing in there, toiling over an English Muffin.

Fwooosh!Walking into the break room, the smell of burnt English Muffin woke me up the rest of the way. Aqueduct only likes his English Muffins *after* they've been blessed by the presence of the Tulsa fire department.

Anyway, I was feeling wide-eyed and slightly inebriated by the sudden rise to consciousness. Which probably explains what happened next.

I love you, man!Aqueduct said "Good morning". I spread my arms slightly in an "I want a hug" pose, pasted on a overly dramatic smile, and said, "I am *SO* *GLAD* to see *YOU*!"

There was an elephantine pause as Aqueduct stared at me. He didn't blink. It felt like whole days were passing in the tense silence. I could feel dust gathering on my outstretched arms.

Slowly, carefully, he replied, "Well... I hope that I can live up to your lofty expectations of me."

Without moving my arms or my huge smile, I said, "So far, not so much, no."

Two burnt, stinky, smokey peas in a podAqueduct has a good sense of humor, so the end result of all this was laughter. Thank goodness... I'd hate for him to sneak down to my office and burn *my* toast.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Imprisoned At Quick Trip

QT. Customers check in, but they *don't* check out.Yesterday, I stopped by a local Quick Trip on my way to work. I picked up a sammich that was going to be my lunch.

This particular Quick Trip isn't near a stoplight. And the traffic was simply amazing. I needed a left turn, but it was terribly obvious that I wasn't going to get one.

In my sammich?!?I turned my A/C up to try and keep the sammich fresh.

Sadly, I couldn't get a right turn, either. It took almost 5 full minutes for traffic to pause enough for me to turn right.

Once I turned right, I knew I needed to reverse course. It was a full 2 miles later that I was able to make a left turn into a neighborhood. There were so many cars even there that I had trouble getting into a driveway to turn around.

The whole time I was shivering from the cold. Dang sammich.

The idea of being imprisoned at a Quick Trip parking lot got me thinking... maybe this could be worked up as a legitimate punishment for federal offenders. For example:

Ron Mexico?"Mike Vick, you are hearby sentenced to the Quick Trip parking lot torture. The terms are as follows:

1) You must make a legal left turn from the QT parking lot during rush hour within 30 seconds.

2) Your left turn must not endanger other drivers. (Endangerment of other drivers will result in a doubling of your sentence, plus a flogging.)

3) You may not use the A/C to keep your sammich fresh.

Tibetan mastiff4) Your car will be populated with 8 raging violent adult Tibetan mastiffs who can howl Barry Manilow songs and have been lovingly trained in the use of Chinese torture devices.

5) Failure to make the left turn in 30 seconds will result in you being taken back to jail until tomorrow, when you get to try again.

6) You must eat your sammich at the conclusion of each exercise, regardless of your success or failure.

May God have mercy on your soul."

What do you think of the QT Parking Lot Torture? Useful alternative to traditional prison institutions? Cheap way to kick a guy while he's down?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My wife and I were talking to a friend of ours the other day. This dear sweet old lady's husband worked for an oil company when they were much younger. They have traveled the world, and lived in several foreign countries.

A couple of those years were spent in Libya. Their daughter was around 10 at the time.

And that'll do for the back story.

Italian?Our friend was telling us about a new Italian place she'd found in town. She couldn't quite remember the name of the place, but she thought it was "Napoleon's... or something like that."

She also told us her daughter recommended it highly. Specifically she had said; "Mother, they have spaghetti that tastes just like the spaghetti at that place in Libya. It brought back memories."

So, let's check the facts here. We have: Italian RestaurantItaly
...with a French nameFrance OklahomaUSA
...which reminds us of Libya.Libya

Italian!For the record, it turns out the name of the place is "Napoli's". We're going to try it out at some point. Maybe they make a decent enchilada. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mexican Brouhaha

My wife's Aunt and Uncle came to visit last weekend. Aunt Fanny was born and raised in Oklahoma, but lives in Detroit now.

Sweet Aunt FannyAunt Fanny is certain that you can't get good Mexican food in Detroit. Don't bother trying to tell her otherwise; she won't listen. She is also convinced that Casa Bonita has the very best Mexican food ever.

There are two problems with this assertion. One is a bit subjective: Casa Bonita really was more of a fast-food place. The other is much more concrete: They don't exist anymore.

Ted's Cafe EscondidoAnd so, with some reluctance, Aunt Fanny found herself out to dinner with the family at Ted's Cafe Escondido, which is a very nice place down on 71rst in Tulsa.

¡Ándale!"Oh," she said, looking around. "Isn't this *just* like Casa Bonita?"

¡Arriba!"NO." said my father-in-law, rather firmly. "This is much better."

Aunt Fanny deflated a bit. "I just meant with the decorations and all..."

Captain Sensitivity stomped on her dreams once again. "It's Mexican. There's only so many ways to dress it up."

How *do* you stop spelling banana, dear?At the end of the meal, the waitress brought by some sopapillas. Aunt Fanny insisted on calling them "sopapapillas", with an extra "pa". It reminded me of a joke from a Terry Pratchett novel about a lady who wanted to know how to stop spelling "banana".

Ah, family. *shudder*

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wobbly Knees

Melinda!Earlier this week, Big Dawg and I were about to leave the office for the day. Golfer and Farmer had both already left. As we were standing up to leave, Mr. Big walked in.

Two things to keep in mind. First, is that Big Dawg is still a relatively new employee here. And Mr. Big is the President of the company.

Mr. BigMr. Big is very outgoing and agressivly friendly. He saw Big Dawg and didn't recognize him, so he walked into our office and introduced himself. They had a quick friendly chat and a spirited handshake.

As Mr. Big turned to leave he grinned and asked Big Dawg, "What do you think of your cellmates here?" Big Dawg replied that we were fine, and he liked working with us.

Mr. Big looked my way and winked. "Are you sure about him? Have you read his blog?"

Gah!!!I nearly soiled myself. There was laughter, there were additional words. I have no idea what they were. I was quickly wondering if I should shut down my humble little blog or not.

It took several days for me to get up the nerve to even write this story. :) Mr. Big, if you are reading this I want to thank you for the hearty laugh. I'd also like to assure you that I did not actually defile myself that day, although it was a close thing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Are You Ready?

It is *so* on!Football season is HERE!, baby. A group of us had our Fantasy Football draft last night. I got "He Of The Many Commercials", Mr. Peyton Manning. Optimism is high right now. I am pleased.

By the way, even if you're not a football fan, check out this video. It's worth it. It's a riot.

Also of note: About a week ago, I used my shiny new library card to pick up the first Harry Potter book. I read it pretty quickly (I've never read any of the Potter books).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneMy wife expressed an interest. She generally doesn't read very fast. But it's a short book and I had almost two full weeks left before the book had to go back. No worries!

A day and a half later, she finished the book. She asked me if I was going to check out the second one. I told her I wouldn't check it out right away, I'd rather have a little time in between each book.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsThe next day, she told me that she'd gotten a library card of her own.

The next day, she told me that she'd requested the second Harry Potter book.

The next day (yesterday), she had picked it up.

We're now reading Potter 2. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random Bits Floating On The Wind

Once again, I am writing this *way* too late at night. You'll have to forgive any faulty logic, bad metaphors, or disturbing imagery you might run across. Then again, you *are* reading this blog. I assume you are immune to at least a little bit of that stuff.

Anyway, I mentioned some time back that I got a library card. I recently did a search on the Tulsa Library website for Authors named "Yankovic". The search was successful, and I zero'd in on Weird Al's old "Dare to be Stupid" album.

Dare To Be Stupid!I was overjoyed! I used to own this album, but I haven't heard many of those songs in a decade or more. I clicked the "Reserve" button so I could check out the CD.

Turns out, I am the 10th person to request it. Even if every person in front of me skips out on his reservation, the album still goes to the "Hold Desk" for a week before they give up and move on to the next guy on the list. At this rate, I'll have the album in my hands again sometime next year.

Oh well, I've waited this long...

Short Timer called me yesterday, looking for a phone number of one of us former co-workers of his. I joked, "Hey, you lazy bum, you haven't shown up here at work in months!" He laughed and agreed. Then I said, "Then again, I guess I could say the same thing about the 2 months *before* you put in your notice."

Well, I never exactly claimed to be the sensitive type.

Finally, a Bloom County flashback. I was re-reading an old Bloom County book I have, and came across this strip. The main character (a penguin) has been knocked unconscious and is hallucinating about life 20 years in the future. The comic was written 20 years ago. So this was a "vision" of the future. Click into it to see just how different his vision was from our reality:

Bloom County, by Berke Breathed

Just so I'm being fair to everybody involved, here's Berke Breathed's website.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Darn Right! (Psuedo-Celeb!)

I had another Psuedo-Celebrity sighting! One of the very best of them all!

No, seriously, *who* delivers ten times outta ten?A guy walked by my office last week and asked for directions to somebody's desk. I swear, he looked almost identical to THE MAN, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson.

I did a rather enthusiastic double-take. I think it scared him. He didn't pull a gun on me or anything!

I thought about asking if his wallet had "Bad SomethingOrOther" engraved on it, but I couldn't figure out how to work it into casual conversation.

Late last week there was another bizarre sighting. I was walking back from lunch and passed a guy on the sidewalk who looked like a taller, thinner Dick Cheney. It was like somebody had taken the Vice-Prez and pulled his head upward until he stretched.

I've included a dramatization:
I can see my house from here!

He didn't even shoot me in the face! I count myself lucky. ;)


History of sightings:
John Ratzenberger.
John Belushi.
Charlie Chaplin.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Sherlock Holmes.
Carol O'Conner.
Charles Barkley.
Al Sharpton, Hurley (again), Santa.
Drew Barrymore, John Cleese, Richard Simmons, Amanda Plummer, Jack Black.
Rainn Wilson
Cousin Itt, Corpse Bride


Monday, August 20, 2007

Strange Substance

Eatin' good, even if we can't *quite* identify it visually.Over the weekend, we ate out at an Applebee's with lots of friends. It was nice and fun and everything you'd expect, with one glorious "laugh out loud" moment.

The waiter took our order and went away. Later, the server showed up with our food. As he was passing around the food, he looked at one plate and was clearly stumped by what he saw. So he said:

Mystery Meat?"...who had the shrimp aaaaaand... noodle ... [pause] ... things?"

It was shrimp fettucini. But I couldn't tell him that, I was trying too hard not to squirt tears of laughter onto *my* plate.

Poor guy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Two Sillies From Yesterday

Just A Good Ole' Boy

Rosco P. ColtraneYesterday morning I walked into my boss's office and said:

"I feel like Rosco P. Coltrane walkin' into Boss Hogg's office. Good Neeeeews! Good Neeeeews! kitch kitch kitch!"

Boss HoggThen I proceeded to tell him about a milestone we'd just reached on one of my projects. He didn't even object to being compared to Boss Hogg. I love my boss.

Plus, I got to dust off my bad Rosco P. Coltrane impersonation. Bonus!


To infinity... AND BEYOND!Yesterday afternoon Lightyear came by with random candy. We all said yay and thank you and whatnot.

Lightyear said something about the rest of his bag being for the "... other ladies in my department... that is to say, you 4 are the only *guys* who get any of this, the rest are very attractive young ladies."

After he left, I quipped, "I've never been told I was the other woman before."

Melts in your mouth, spit it at your handWe lost Big Dawg for a few minutes after that one. He had a mouth-full of chocolate that very nearly became a gooky fist-full of chocolate. :)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Trick Of The Light

A few days ago, I was on the highway driving home from work. There was a guy on a motorcycle about 4 car lengths ahead of me. He had a bright yellow helmet.

The sun was very bright that afternoon. The sun was reflecting off his helmet to such a degree that my eyes played a fun trick on me. It looked like he had a Lego head, complete with a little nub on top!

Lego Head!

It was a bit freaky, but at the same time, it was wicked cool. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Story?

Tiny CubicleBefore we get started, it should be noted that there is a cubical wall between Farmer and I. He and Big Dawg can see each other, but neither of them can see me unless I lean forward considerably.

And now, on with our story.

Code Monkey loves you!One day last week I was happily coding like the good monkey I am, when I decided that I needed some music to make the afternoon go faster. I popped in my earbuds, and a full-scale rock concert broke out. Suddenly, instantly, "Background Noise" died un-noticed and un-mourned.

After a while, I became vaguely aware that Farmer was talking. I assumed he was talking to Big Dawg, so I ignored what little I could hear and kept working.

20 minutes passed.

*giggle*A funny thing popped up on my computer screen. It probably was a funny story or link that somebody sent me. I don't remember what it was, I just remember that it made me chuckle out loud.

Out of nowhere, I heard Farmer laugh and shout, "Yeah, I know!" As I looked over his direction, I saw him walking away from his desk toward mine.

I popped out my earbuds. "Yes?"

He stopped, his face suddenly surprised. "Oh," he said, "I thought you were laughing at my story."

Me so silly!I leaned forward to look at Big Dawg. He had his headphones on, also.

Er.... whoopsie. Sorry about that, Farmer. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not A Problem At All

Yesterday, I was in the funniest conference call EVER.

I've got a screw loose! Get it? Ha! Oh, my poor head...This call was a "training" session for us. When I entered the meeting room, I promptly picked a seat near a screw that was sitting inexplicably on the table. I figured that having a "screw loose" was appropriate for me. Boy, I had no idea.

Kep-tin! My eyebrows can no longer be controlled!The guy on the other end of the phone had an odd accent. To me, he sounded like somebody doing a bad Pavel Chekov impersonation. Powerama had a different take - he said that the presenter sounded French Canadian.

In any case, we all agreed on one thing. It sounded like he was seeing this thing for the first time today, too.

Foo-low the leader!His speech was full of odd pronunciations. Every time he said "campaign" it sounded like "contain". It took a full five minutes before I figured out what an "Ad Contain" was. "Documentation" was not just a 5-syllable word - it was very nearly 5 single-syllable words. And my personal favorite was when he said something about us "Foo-lowing along". "Foo" rhymed with "Who" in this case. I thought Big Dawg was gonna lose control laughing over that one.

Bad Grammer Makes Me [sic]Grammar was also an adventure. He was overly fond of "Uh...", so we were blessed with sentences like, "It will dynamically uh... gonna change uh... is one-time thing." At one point he mentioned checking a setting "to see if it doesn't broke the page." One time, he trailed off completely, never even finishing his sentence. He said, "We'll look over here, because I wanna know..." I helpfully concluded, "... where love is."

Big Dawg nearly cried over that one.

Press any key to continueEvery answer he would give to our questions would contain either "Not a problem at all", or "No problem at all." I'm pretty sure I don't believe it.

Legally, I can't ask about your immigration status, so no worriesAdding to the chaos were constant sirens and alarms in his background noise. At one point, we literally couldn't hear him over a fire truck. Powerama asked, "Does he know his building is on fire?" Car horns blared at random intervals. Police sirens overwhelmed us once as well. Powerama took advantage of the moment, doing his own bad Chekov impersonation and saying, "Just a minute, it's INS!"

It took a while for my breathing to return to normal after that one.

But for me, the best moment was when he was giving out his cell phone number. I shall reenact:

You can write it down!Him: Do you have my cell phone number?
Golfer: I think I do somewhere, but...
Him: Is at bottom of all my emails.
Golfer: I don't have it here with me, go ahead and tell me now.
Him: I will tell you now.
Golfer: Yeah, that'd be fine.
Him: You can write it down.

Powerama turned to me in mock surprise and said, "Really?!?" I was a goner. I literally cried from laughing so hard. I couldn't even form words for several minutes.

Thankfully, he emailed us his doc hew men tay shun when the call was done. Maybe it'll be more use to us than he was.