Friday, November 30, 2007

Cassettes! Nutz!

Don't count me out just yet...Over a year ago, I wrote a triumphant blog story about my old cassette tape collection. I had taken more than 100 old cassette tapes, and over the course of a couple of years, I had converted them all to MP3. The story can be found here.

Well, it turns out I wasn't quite done.

My parents have been trying to get rid of some of the clutter in their home. They found a box in my old bedroom that was crammed full of cassettes. When I went home for Thanksgiving, I was given a great meal, a place to stay... and the mystery box.

The actual cassette pile - click it for a larger version!There's 178 (or so) more cassettes for me to shuffle through.

The upside is that lots of this is stuff I don't want. The hit parade includes such classics as Janet Jackson, Robert Palmer, Prince, Bang Tango, Kid n' Play, Quiot Riot, Ratt, MC Hammer, and Vanilla Ice. I bet I can just throw away at least half of this joy.

Click for a larger versionAlso in the box were a couple of year's worth of "Nintendo Power" magazines from the late 80's. I was such a hopeless nerd.

I know, I know,... some of you are debating the word "was" in that sentence. You know who you are. *sigh*

You're probably right.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Fallout, Part 3

I promise this is the last one. :) We ended up spending one more afternoon with the crew from my wife's side of the family.

My wife's Aunt and Uncle had gotten into a bit of an argument over whether or not he should be allowed to purchase a new pair of overalls. I have no idea why this was an issue, but apparently a relatively big deal was made out of nothing, and some feelings were hurt.

The clothing of contention?My FIL (Father In Law - also known as "Captain Sensitivity") instructed us, "When you arrive, be sure to compliment your Uncle on his new overalls."

That afternoon, Uncle got approximately 612 compliments about his overalls. Aunt rolled her eyes slightly every time.

Also, Cousin had a lewd moment. My wife's brother and his wife have two medium-sized dogs who were in the backyard. I was outside playing with them when Cousin and her hubby came out to take a few pics.

Cousin picked up one of the dogs, and held her up for their photo op. Her left arm was holding up the dog's front end, and her right hand was under the dog's hinder. Well, *mostly*.

Please... Move... Your... Hand...Cousin's hubby started laughing as soon as he saw the pic he'd just taken. Cousin's right hand was clearly visible between the dog's hind legs, gripping her crotch. No wonder the dog wasn't blinking.

Unfortunately, the Animal Perv was successful in her efforts to delete the offending pic. Otherwise, you know you'd be seeing it right about now. :) She was not able to delete it before my wife's brother saw it, though. The look on his face was something I'll treasure for a long time.

"What are you doing to my dog?!?"


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Fallout, Part 2

University Of OklahomaI have an Aunt who I'll call Aunt Boomer, 'cause she's nutty about her OU football team. She's a sweet lady, but I could have stopped that sentence 5 words early and it'd still be an accurate statement. She sounds a little like a chipmunk when she laughs.

Anyway, during Thanksgiving at my grandparent's house, I overheard her shouting a story at somebody about vegetables. She was laughing and telling us all (at significant volume) that my grandmother made her eat everything on her plate when she was a kid.

It was the Brussels Sprouts! AAAAAHHHH!!!"... Even if I HATED it, she'd make me eat it! She made me eat all kinds of veggies, and it made me psychotic! Ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha-huh-ha!"

I've known for a long time that Aunt Boomer was a tiny bit boisterous. I just never would have thought to blame it on cauliflower. I thought all Sooner fans were like that.

Anyway, that night we stayed with my mom and dad. So did a different Aunt / Uncle pair, and my 5 year old niece.

As my niece was preparing for bedtime, she announced that she wanted a fudgesicle. My uncle got one also. He was sitting next to her at the table. He finished, put down his popsicle stick and said to her, "I finished first. I win."

I will get medieval on your hinderHe was grinning from ear to ear, just trying to tease her a little. But my sweet (*cough*) little niece was not in a mood to be teased. She gave him a look that suggested very firmly he should go visit a hot place and stay there a long time. She put down her unfinished fudgesicle, picked up her teddy bear ("Mr. Bear") and marched off to bed.

Who knew she was so competitive? I hope she doesn't grow up to be a Sooner fan.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Fallout, Part 1

This week, I'm in a week-long training class, so there's not much *new* to write about. Microsoft SQL (Database) Server is generally not too amusing. But that's OK - Thanksgiving left me with lots of stories.

Part of the weekend was spent with my wife's extended family. My favorite moment had to do with my FIL's (Father In Law) organizational skills.

The reason that diets were inventedWhen he sets up for Thanksgiving lunch, he puts little scraps of paper on the table to remind him where to place the food. He has matching scraps of paper in each serving piece.

He scooped a huge mass of dressing into its serving dish. Then, he realized that the scrap of paper that said "dressing" was still in the dish.

I knew none of this. I was off several feet away, half-listening as he told my wife...

Dang, I say... dang."Isn't it just great to hear everybody laughing and having so much fun and ####!"

I guess the fun ran out, briefly.

Also amusing my my wife's Aunt's (from Detroit) tale of woe. Apparently she booked two rooms in a local hotel - one for her and hubby, one for her daughter (our cousin) and hubby. The cousin, thinking she was being helpful, also booked two rooms. All four rooms were booked for four nights. Whoops.

It wound up being a fantastic Thanksgiving Day visit with the In-Laws. I'll have a couple of shorties about my side of the family for you tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I've Always Wanted To Be A Writer

I have nothing amusing to say about this pictureMy wife and I spent Thanksgiving night at my parent's house. Since we were in my old bedroom, I decided to spend a little time weeding through the endless piles of old books in my closet.

I found an old notebook (circa '92-ish), hidden in between some shelves. I opened it up, and... well...

When I was a kid, I read a lot. I figured that if it was easy to read a book, it couldn't be much harder to write one. So, sometime around high school / early in college, I tried to write a book. That "novel" was part of what I found.

It was 50 pages or so of a quaint little disaster I called "Treasure Hunt". It was never completed. You can all begin thanking me now.

Look boss! De plane! De plane!Where to begin? For "plot", I just took elements of all the stuff I'd read and pieced them together. I was horrible at creating names for my characters, so I had a bad guy named "Sam Nefarous", and a random nobody named "Edwin Putz". There was a short Mexican guy who was, as far I could tell / recall, an near-exact replica of "Tattoo" from Fantasy Island. My dialog featured such gems as "Meester Rex!" (from the little Mexican) and "Ow! I am hurt!" (from a character who had just been shot).

But the novel wasn't all I found! It gets (*ahem*) better. I shall briefly digress...

If I hate you, you'll never know itI read once that Abraham Lincoln used to write angry letters when he was mad, but he'd never send them. He'd throw the letters away the next day, saying it always made him feel better.

Following his example, I wrote some horribly mean and bitter letters to girls I knew in college. They had, at one time or other, broken my heart. Hey, I was pretty pathetic - it didn't take much.

Naturally, it was one of these letters that my wife reached for. "Hey, what's all this old stuff?" My heart nearly stopped. I did not want my wife to read my whiny old "Wah!-I-love-you-why-don't-you-love-me-?" letters. Heck, there was one to a girl whose name I don't even recognize now.

I just want to be lovedFinally, there was a ton of stuff from the brief period where I was involved with RPG's (Role Playing Games). "The Call Of Cthulhu" was apparently my favorite, although I don't remember actually playing it much. I did find papers outlining a game that I led based on my "Treasure Hunt" epic.

There was a reference in those papers to some magic spell called "Flaming Telepathy". The name amused me. I was certainly a flaming *something* during that time.

I put all the stuff in the notebook and told my wife that we were bringing it home with us. "Why?", she asked.

"Because it's important to me that no one ever read this stuff," I replied. "At home, we have a cross-cut shredder."

Goodbye, "Treasure Hunt." :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I'm going to be traveling off and on during the long weekend, so I won't be posting again for a while.

Happy Me-Day!

The week after Thanksgiving, I'll be in a week-long training session on the wonders (*ahem*) of Microsoft SQL Server. It's going to a be a laugh riot, lemmie assume you. Therefore, I may not be posting every day next week, either. We'll see.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving! God bless.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Santa For All Occasions

My wife and I were out shopping over the weekend, and saw this variation on a Santa Hat.

Bring out your dead!

This is probably the type of hat Santa would wear while traveling over Europe in the 14th century.

I wonder if it was tradition back then to leave out cookies and milk for Santa. If it was... do you think he'd take them? Or would he just discretely toss them in the trash and go wash his hands?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Try It! You'll Like It!

My wife and I were stopped at a red light last weekend, across from a gas station. There was a guy out front, changing the letters on the their sign. To my great amusement, he carefully spelled out:

Try A Cup

Well, it *was* Sunday... maybe this was his advice to all the football players who were just starting the process of pounding each other into the turf?

While I was wiping tears out of my eyes, he was carefully studying a piece of paper in his hands. He finally shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, "Well, if this is what they *really* want the sign to say..."

Then he deliberately continued with the sign:

Try A Cup Our Latest

I didn't get to see how the little mini-drama finally played out. The light turned, and I had to try not to drive us off into the ditch while laughing. I shouted "Of! Try a cup *of*!" as we drove by, but I don't think he heard me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Sad Thumb

What follows is my tale of woe.

I mock you with my stringYesterday afternoon, I was fightin' a cold. I had a bad headache, was sore and tired, and needed some kind of relief. I decided to get a tall cuppa tea.

Owie. Stingy.The stringy thingy came off the teabag I chose. So I used water from the blistering hot water tap on the coffee maker while holding the teabag between thumb and finger. Twice I dropped the cup on the counter top while holding my hand in agony and making use of my lower vocabulary skills.

Why not just get a different teabag? Because my brain had shut down - I honestly didn't even consider the possibility. Why didn't I just drop the teabag into the cup and dig it out later with a spoon? Because the teabag was slightly open at the top.

I'm a British Whale... my teeth are nasty!This comment did lead to a most excellent suggestion, though. After hearing about the ruptured tea bag, icanspell helpfully offered, "Perhaps you could have filtered it through your teeth like a whale?"

Honestly, that phrase is the entire reason I'm even telling this story.

For future reference, here are the common symptoms of a cold, Jeff-style. A sniffly nose, a blistered left thumb, and tea leaves stuck between my teeth.

Oh, and I'm feeling much better today. Thanks for asking!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hot For Hill (Pseudo-Celeb)

We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.My wife and I were out to lunch last weekend, and saw a Hillary Clinton look-alike at a nearby table.

I wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but at one point I did hear the words "business opportunity" come from her general area. That's how I know it wasn't *really* her.

The guy she was with looked nothing like Bill, which I suppose is only fair. Bill's done that to her a few times, as I understand it.


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.
Samuel L. Jackson, Dick Cheney.
Emma Thompson.
Selma Blair, Wolf Blitzer.
Michelle Ryan
Dr. Phil McGraw.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sock Hop

I get so lonely, Baby...
Master has given Dobby a SOCK!?!
For the past 4 business days, there's been a lone sock sitting on the stairs between the third and fourth floor in the building where I work. I have no idea why.

I know that every now and then socks disappear in the laundry. I had no idea it could randomly happen in a coporate environment also.

Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to have this vanshing act apply to other articles of clothing? "Hey Edward, weren't you wearing pants a minute ago?" "Aw nuts! Quick! Check the Stairs!"

I'm also very amused by the fact that I just blogged about a sock. Hey, if you think this is bad, just wait until you see my next pseudo-celeb post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Take A Break

Food. NOW.Yesterday I was sitting at my desk, wishing desperately for lunch. I had some leftovers in the breakroom upstairs that had been calling my name since about 9:30 in the morning. It was 11:30 and I was about to give in and go eat.

Large and In Charge walked by my office right then. Large leaned in the door, chuckled, and said, "You've worked hard enough, why don't you take a 5 minute break?"

Now we do the dance of joy!I was about to get up anyway, so I lept dramatically out of my chair. I lifted my arms up and shouted, "Whoo-hoo! Large said I could take a break! Whoo-hoo!" Waving my arms over my head like a deranged simian, I ran past Large and In Charge, and raced up the stairs.

Don't bother me. I'm on break.About 3 minutes later, I was warming up my lunch in the breakroom when the Brute Squad came by again. They were amused... "Hey Jeff really *did* take a break!"

Now Large and In Charge have mild delusions of authority. It's fun, but to be fair, it's not too different from how they normally behave. ;)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Running The Table

Do not spill beverages on thisP-Ziddy has a pool table in his game room. Therefore, P-Ziddy has just moved up into the list of my top 5 favorite people ever.*

It was great. We racked them up and went after it. I am, at best, an average pool player. I was not at my best yesterday.

Do not jab this into your eyeBut it didn't matter! P-Ziddy sank the 8-ball early. I win! Then he did it again! Yay me! Next game, he sank the 8-ball to win, but also scratched. Hawt diggity!

Do not swallowBig Dawg showed up and joined the fun. Soon he was scratchin' and givin' away victories, too!

By the time I left, I had eek'ed out a couple of legit wins (and lost a couple, too). But my freebie wins were easily two-thirds of my triumphs.

Thus, I learned the true secret of being a champion. Pick your opponents wisely. ;)

Tiggers are wonderful things!* Jeff's Top 5 Favorite People Ever:
 1) Jeff's Wife
 2) Jeff's Mom
 3) Tigger
 4) P-Ziddy
 5) Carrot Top

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage

I got nuthin' today. My writers are on strike. Here, enjoy a silly video filled with optical illusions... I'm a big fan of this video, mostly because of the title. :)

(yes, "The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage" is the actual name of this video!)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dr. Phil Mc-Pseudo-Celeb

Watch yourself, punk.While I was out to lunch one day last week, I saw a Dr. Phil McGraw look-alike.

It was a bit traumatic. First, he challenged my manhood by suggesting that I've never been injured playing college football (Obviously true, but the accusation still stung). He mocked my hair, saying "Bald is beautiful, you hopeless dork. Nyah!" Finally, he tossed my chicken sammich on the floor, stepped on it, and shouted, "How's that workin' for ya?"

Actually, none of that happened. He just sat quietly at a nearby table, looking all wise and blunt.

Still, I count it as a close call.


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.
Samuel L. Jackson, Dick Cheney.
Emma Thompson.
Selma Blair, Wolf Blitzer.
Michelle Ryan


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Beward the random street mist!Yesterday, I was walking in Downtown Tulsa when I came across this... thing.

Rarely have I come across a section of sidewalk that was vomiting mist up into the sky. Even better?... the little guardrails make it look like some kind of pathetic miniature circus attraction.

What could be causing this Random Mist Event? I have some theories:

1) An underground hot-water pipe developed a leak, releasing pressurized water vapor into the air.

2) A dragon lives under the street. Angered by our urban ways, he is preparing to burst forth from the depths and eat us all.

3) The sidewalk had spicy Mexican food for lunch. ¡Arriba!

Actually, that first one sounds a bit shifty to me. Prolly can discount that one.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Can I Take Your Tray?

Yesterday, I went to lunch with The Golfer. We were finishing up - my plates were empty, and his were close.

Don't turn your back on me... I'm fast!A waitress-type wandered by. Golfer was grabbing his fork to attack the last of his lunch as she came up to our table. She looked directly at me and said, "May I take your plates?" I said yes.

Immediately she turned away from me and started grabbing stuff on Golfer's side of the table. She yanked his dessert plate out from under his fork. Within a half-second his food was stacked neatly on top of my empties, and she was about to take off with it. I've never seen a waitress move so fast.

From deep within the depths of Golfer's soul came the desperate cry of a man about to lose his chocolate pie. "NOOOOOOO!!!!......"

Gah!We quickly sorted out the error, and our overly enthusiastic friend took my dishes (*only* my dishes) back to the kitchen. She probably also had a quick cry and changed her trousers.

Just think how much fun I could have had with her. "My I take your plates?" "You know, I think those folks over there are done. Why don't you clear off *that* table?"

Or, I could go further. "You know, I think pretty much all of us are done here. Why don't you just go lock up?"

Better. Stronger. Faster. Than YOU.It's probably just as well I didn't. The lady at the table next to me looked amazingly like Michelle Ryan. That's right, not only did I nearly manage to ruin the Golfer's desert, but I also nearly got my hinder kicked by the Bionic Woman. That makes this a silly story, *and* a pseudo-celeb sighting.

Yay me!


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.
Samuel L. Jackson, Dick Cheney.
Emma Thompson.
Selma Blair, Wolf Blitzer.


Monday, November 05, 2007

45th G Company

Saturday we did something we've never done before. We went to a World War 2 historical gathering / reenactment. It was in south Tulsa, at the Helmerich Library.

Authentic.My wife and I are not exactly history buffs. But my wife's old friend Cat and her husband are. In fact, they are members of the 45th Division G Company, a "Historical Color Guard and Living History Unit". They have a ton of old WW2 equipment and artifacts, which they put out on display from time to time. They dress up in WW2 uniforms, set up tents, even drive old military vehicles.

Cat's sweet rideWe got to see newspapers, weapons, jeeps, and other goodies. It was pretty cool. The jeeps (fully restored and functional!) were the highlight, at least for me.

Cat and her hubby own one of these babies. He was driving it around the library parking lot, letting kids have a ride. I didn't say anything, but I was very jealous.

A good driver smokes at halts only.This panel (left) of instructions is mounted on the driver's side dashboard of one of the jeeps. I was amused by instruction number 16... it was a different era, to be sure.

Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on.And this panel (right) was mounted in the Air Force jeep, on the passenger side. I think it speaks for itself. :)

As we left, a thought struck me. A group of people with similar interests all show up at the same location for a gathering. Many of them are in costume. They collect artifacts from their shared passion. These artifacts are shared freely, but also fiercely guarded. There are many minor attractions at this gathering, and there are a few major attractions.

Live Long And Prosper!I shared this with my wife, and then said, "You know, if you just change a few details, this is no different than a Star Trek convention."

She thought about that a second, and then nodded her head in agreement.

God bless you, Vets! Live long and prosper.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Christian Rock?

We'll feed your [ambiguous noun]Every now and then, I like to listen to internet radio stations that play loud Christian Rock n' Roll. I hadn't tuned in to any such stations in a little over a year. I poked around and found one of my old favorites, Tri-Rock radio.

The first three songs that were played were by the Goo-Goo Dolls, Queen, and Ozzy Osborn. They easily fit the "Loud Rock 'n Roll" category, but the message was a bit off from the "mission statement" quoted on their homepage:

Let me feed (on) your heart."Tri Rock Radio plays rock music that feeds the Heart, Mind and Soul and not your crotch."

The less said about the second half of that statement, the better. Let's just say, I'm not sure that Ozzy Osborn feeds my heart, mind *or* soul.

The next song up was by a band I'd never heard of. The album name was "The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack". It was time to move on.

Pure sounds and sensual clothsI tried another of my old favorites, Reign Radio. When I hit their homepage, there was an ad on the side for one of those screwy t-shirt places. The girl in the ad was wearing a shirt that said, "With a shirt like this.... who needs pants?"

I decided to give up on the radio that day. I'll try again later.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Deep Discount

My wife and I were walking through a store recently. To get from one area of the store to another, we walked through the children's cloths.

Suddenly, my wife pointed at something and said, "Whoa! Look at THAT!".

It's cute, but?...

I looked at the item in question. A cute little girl's dress, but I didn't see anything worth shouting about, necessarily. Then I realized, she wasn't pointing at the dress itself. She was pointing at the price tag.


In retrospect, we really should have just taken them all and ran. Instead, we got freaked out and left.

Those of you with little girlie-babies (or soon to have them)... I'm sorry. I'll try to be stronger next time.