Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Day

Presents!Christmas Day was spent with my side of the family, and it was grand. I was blessed to be with my parents, one set of grandparents, my wife, and my sister's family (including her lively little bunch of kiddos). Ages ranged from not quite 2, to the mid-80's. Chaos reigned. It was grand.

My littlest nephew is almost 2. He didn't *quite* understand the presents... somehow he got the idea that every present he picked up was for his Great Pa-Pa. Before long, my grandfather had a pile of presents next to him stacked up at least a couple of feet high. Nobody above the age of 7 could do anything but laugh.

Pucker up!During Christmas Dinner, I told my grandparents the story about how I confused a waitress. Scruffy had asked for water with lemon, and my wife wanted water without lemon. I told the waitress I didn't care if I had lemon or not, and it badly confused her (almost to the point of tears!).

Later, my Grandmother was asked if she wanted pumpkin pie or pecan pie. "Whichever one you're cutting is fine," she said. I gave her an amused look. "You're just trying to cause trouble, aren't you?" "Yep!", she happily replied, with a twinkle in her eye.

More Than Meets The FryFinally, the story of the Potato Heads. I actually asked for Opti-mash Prime because he amused me so much. My sister went out and got him for me (along with Spidey-Spud). While looking at the presents that day, my mom said to her, "Oh, your kids are going to love those!" There was a brief pause before my sister said, "Er... those are for Jeff."

My mom knows me well. She didn't question for a second why a 33-year old was being given plastic potatoes for Christmas. Instead, she simply asked, "Shouldn't you get one for your kids, too?"

As it turns out, my 'sis did go back and get one for her kids. It's a good thing she did. My oldest nephew (7) was eyein' my 'taters suspiciously until he opened his own. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Photoshop Jeff, Attempt #2

OK, so I'm a dork. This is not news, I would hope. I had intended to do the Holiday Photoshop Jeff thing during the first week of December, and then have all the funnies to show off for you during Christmas week. Instead, I put up the pic in late December, during the busiest part of the year for us all.

I'm such a dork.

Therefore, we're going to try again.

Holiday Jeff

You know the drill. Photoshop me! Holiday theme, this time. Click into that picture to get a bigger version of it. Sorry about the unshaven face and slight red-eye... but I suspect you can do something about that, too. :)

Here's the one pic I've already received... it's from Short-Timer. You'll have to click into it to see all the text, and trust me it's worth it.

Jeffy Lou Who

Here's a link to past Photoshop Jeff glory... maybe it will inspire you.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Potatoes

One of the many bits of evidence to suggest that I have had a really, REALLY wonderful Christmas...

More Than Meets The Fry

There are lots of other reasons why this Christmas was wonderful, of course. These guys are not even in the top 10. But they were the easiest to photograph. :)

God Bless! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

NOTE: Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff, Holiday Edition! It's important.

This isn't the right house at all!... darn Mapquest...I'm probably not going to post much next week, it being Christmas and all.

Please don't forget about Photoshop Jeff! I've got an idea for mine, and I've gotten one (excellent!) one from Short-Timer, and that's been it so far. Perhaps next year I shall look into the timing a bit... it's almost as if you all are busy or something. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Slumber Party

NOTE: Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff, Holiday Edition! It's important.

If you can't say anything nice, you must be talkin' about me!We live in an apartment, as you probably know. 2nd floor, with Stompy and her daughter Thumper up above us. Every few months, Thumper will have a loud night; we'll hear giggling and running and crashing and whatnot. Generally, a day or three later we'll get an apology from Stompy, who always tells us, "Sorry, but we had a birthday slumber party for Thumper."

By our count, Thumper has had three birthday slumber parties this calendar year.

The most recent was earlier this week. Thumper actually came down to knock on our door and warn us. "I'm having a slumber party, and if we get too loud you can come up and tell us to be quiet. My mom said so."

Would you willingly do this to yourself at 1AM? Not I!Classy. Stompy expects us to wander up to her apartment in freezing night-time temperatures? We dug out her phone number, instead. We were ready.

This time, thankfully, they were only noisy at first. It may have had something to do with The Bathroom Incident.

My wife went into our bathroom, and could hear the girls upstairs giggling and rampaging around like wild animals. Then, she could hear Stompy shout, "WHAT are you girls doing in the bathroom?!? Get out of there! Go to bed!"

Shame has a home. It lives here.I don't know what happened upstairs in that bathroom, but whatever it was, it shamed those girls into silent submission. It was the quietest night we've had at the apartment in a long time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Odd Phone Calls

Last weekend was full of odd phone experiences.

Darn the luckIt started Saturday night. My phone was low on charge, and somehow I missed a call. Caller ID failed me, though. My phone said I had missed a call from "Private". No message. Tough luck, private.

I shut the phone off to charge it. When I fired it back up again, there was another missed call, again from "Private", again no message. Well, maybe he'll give up and have his Sargent try.

I Am LegendThen, Sunday, my wife and I went to see "I Am Legend". Very good flick, by the way. During the movie, I felt my phone vibrate. Caller ID showed me the number of who was calling, but I didn't recognize it, so I ignored it. 10 minutes later, same thing. Naturally, no messages were left.

This is the point where you're going to think I'm crazy, but I promise this really happened. My wife can confirm the story.

The movie ended, and I called the number back. The squeaky, high-pitched prerecorded voice on the other end had this to say:

Toon-Town's out to get you! Tee-hee!"Hi! This is your operator Minnie at the toon-town operators desk! There's no one here to take your call, but we'll get someone to take care of you shortly!"

I had to listen to the thing 3 times (once on Speaker-Phone, because my wife didn't believe me) before I caught all of that. There was more, but it was hard to understand. However, at one point, the operator did identify herself as Minnie Mouse. After the squeaky voice was done, a very ordinary-sounding woman's voice said, "Hi, you've reached (*unintelligible*), please leave a message."

The last time I called, the woman from the end of the message actually picked up and said, "Hello?". We determined that she had been dialing the wrong number, and she went away.

I still have no idea what actually happened for any of that.

UPDATE - There's a chance that the deviant call came from LifeKIDS. The area code fits, at least.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Silly Stuff

Here's a couple of unrelated short stories that have been positively *begging* to be told.


I was walking through the 4th floor break room (I work on the 3rd floor) during lunch hour. Large and In Charge (and a few others) were sitting at the small table eating. Large put on a huge "don't take me seriously" smile and started to pick on me.

"Jeff, you used to come up here all the time to visit us and eat lunch with us, but we just never see you anymore."

Yetch. Bletch.Without missing a beat I replied, "I would, but you disgust me."

He knew I wasn't being any more serious than he was. Laughter filled the hall.

Funny News

I was browsing briefly on Saturday, and saw the following headlines under the heading of "Funny News".

A 'Photoshop Jeff' idea, perhaps?

I didn't click either of them, because I just couldn't shake the queasy feeling that both headlines linked to the same story.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photoshop Jeff, Holiday Edition!

OK, It's that time again. You could argue it's a little bit *past* that time, since there's no way results for this will get posted before Christmas. But hey, they might get posted before New Year's.

Holiday Jeff

You know the drill. Photoshop me! Holiday theme, this time. Click into that picture to get a bigger version of it. Sorry about the unshaven face and slight red-eye... but I suspect you can do something about that, too. :)

Here's a link to past Photoshop Jeff glory... maybe it will inspire you.

Have fun!


Friday, December 14, 2007

(Hopefully) Last Thoughts On The Storm

You got a reprieve from storm-related stories yesterday, 'cause I had that story already written and I needed time to collect my thoughts. I think I'm still collecting them, honestly. It's been a long couple of weeks. In no particular order:

 - My wife's sister-in-law lost her dad to a heart attack
 - A precious friend suffered a miscarriage
 - My wife's dad had (non-emergency) knee replacement surgery
 - An Uncle of mine has inoperable brain cancer
 - A family friend of my wife's has inoperable brain cancer
 - The ice storm snapped a tree in my Aunt's in-laws' yard, which landed on their car; Aunt's family and Aunt's in-laws are still without electricity
 - A former co-worker of mine died of heart-related problems, age 39

I'm not even sure I remembered everything in that list.

I know I am blessed. I know that more today than I did two weeks ago... sometimes it's a hard lesson, though.

I miss Ben*sigh* I know you didn't come here for somber, so I'll leave you on a lighter note. I usually don't shave over the weekends, and was without power Monday and Tuesday. I never had exclusive access to a lit bathroom mirror, so I didn't worry about it. I came into work Tuesday looking a bit like Grizzly Adams.

To infinity and stuffLightyear stopped by the office and poked fun at my scruff. "Jeff!", he shouted, "One mornin' your wife is gonna wake up and look at you and say, 'That boy has changed!'".

That evening, over at Scruffy's house, my wife chased everyone out of the bathroom. Then she pushed me into it, and handed me my razor. "You have work to do," she proclaimed. She guarded the door until I was me again.

Lightyear is right more often than I care to admit. :)


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Breakfast Of Champions

*Way* Out WestWe have two network guys in our I.T. department. I'll refer to them as Laurel and Hardy.

A few weeks ago (before all the recent ice stuff), I rode up the elevator with Laurel. My office is on the third floor, but the bulk of I.T. (along with the breakroom) is on the 4th floor.

Laurel pressed 4. Then he looked at me. "Three?" I help up my sack lunch, which needed to go in the fridge. "No, four."

Laurel doesn't always catch nonverbal hints in the morning. "Why aren't you going to three?" I told him, "It's a morning ritual... I have to go to four so I can smell Hardy's breakfast." Laurel laughed.

I love the smell of Burnt Toast in the morningWe got off on four. As we walked into the breakroom, there was Hardy with his English Muffins. There's just something about the way he toasts them... I've never figured out why, but they smell *terrible*.

I looked over at Laurel. All I said was, "See?" Laurel broke down laughing. Hardy had no idea why we had just walked in and started laughing at him.

This is *not* going to help you attract a mateWe explained the conversation, which Hardy enjoyed. He said something about the smell, to which I replied, "Yeah, at least, I'm assuming that's the English Muffins and not just your natural musk."

Without missing a beat, Hardy replied, "Well, English Muffins are actually odorless and tasteless, so that's all me."

If that's the way he smells, I'm gonna pass on the taste test.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Still Cold

Well, the whole cold / ice / power outage thing got interesting.

As I mentioned previously, Scruffy spent the night with us Sunday night / Monday morning, because his electricity was out. I knew he'd return the favor someday. I didn't expect it to be so soon... that morning, his power came back and ours went away. We've been without electricity two days now.

It's bizarre to drive down the streets and see the carnage. Most of the downed power lines are at least moved out of the way now, but you can see icy trees leaning on power lines all over the place. Some restaurants and businesses are open, some are dark.

We went into IHOP Tuesday morning and took our place at the end of the massive line. Within seconds we were asked if we were doctors... a customer had fallen or something. We left (without breakfast) as the ambulance was arriving.

I may try to get some pictures of the tree bits. There are places where there are far more bits on the ground than what remain in the tree itself.

We are hopeful that we'll get our electricity back late tonight or early tomorrow. In the meantime, I remain Scruffy's prisoner.

Please send help.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Saturday night into Sunday morning... it got a bit cold around here...

Our elderly neighbor bought a tarp to put over her minivan, to make sure it didn't ice over. The problem was, the tarp ended up being car-sized instead of minivan sized - it only covered a few inches worth of the windshield. It also started to rip as soon as she put it on. Within a couple of hours one corner was flapping loose and it was (more) obvious that this wasn't going to work, so she threw it away. I regret with all my heart not getting a picture of the thing.

There were power outages in Owasso yesterday, too. We had power, but Scruffy wasn't so lucky. The power company says that it might be Wednesday before power is restored in his neighborhood (yuck!). So we had Scruffy as a house-guest last night.

As I write this (Sun. night), I'm not sure if I'll be at work tomorrow or not. Another icy storm system is coming through, and the roads are hazardous. I might end up working from home.

Wherever you are, I hope you've got power! If you're reading this, I'll take that as a hint. :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Decorations

Spent yesterday finishing (yes, finishing!) our Christmas shopping and visiting my wife's dad at the hospital. He's recovering nicely from his knee replacement surgery... he's slightly ahead of his rehab schedule.

I thought I'd share a couple of pics of my Christmas Decorations.

The view from outside

To absolutely no one's surprise, these decorations have actually been up for a while now. :)

The M&M Army

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Knee Replacement

Bionic-KneeTuesday, my wife's dad had knee replacement surgery on his right knee (It was a scheduled thing, not an emergency).

Yesterday, she and I went to the hospital to visit him. Her mom has been staying up there with him, and he's doing fine. We got to see him head out into the hallway for the first time after the procedure, in fact. I amused myself by thinking, "Hey we get to watch his first steps now!" Obviously, I am easily amused.

He's been getting calls from friends and family, of course. Most of them call once to see how he's doing and to wish him well. His sister, however, is a bit (*cough*) of a control freak. She's been calling every few hours, it seems.

One last desperate attempt for freedomToward the end of our visit, the control freak was mentioned. My wife's dad rolled his eyes... "She means well, and she loves me... she's just crazy." As we got up to leave, he mentioned her again, saying, "She'll be calling here in a few minutes to tell me how I'm doing."

We're going back to the hospital again today to see him.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nocturnal Pooch

You know, there was one other *fun* thing that happened last week. We got a dog. Kinda. Briefly.

We have an elderly couple living near us, who are old friends of my family. Late last Tuesday night, he had to go to the emergency room (he ended up being OK, thankfully). We got a panicked phone call from her, asking us to take care of her dog while she jetted off to the hospital.

I'm cute and I know it"Missy" is an adorable little thing. She's sweet and good-natured, but she's also an older dog who has always been treated like a puppy. She didn't understand what was going on.

So, late Tuesday night we found ourselves in possession of a cute elderly excitable arthritic Pomeranian. It was a long night. She wanted to play. Then she needed to go outside. Then she wanted more play. We went to bed, but she didn't slow down much. She had to go outside again at 3AM. Every time we went out, I had to carry her up and down the stairs because of her bad joints.

Foul Nectar Of LifeAll that night, I slept maybe an hour and a half at a time, tops. This was during the SQL (Database) training week, so Wednesday was a long day.

The training was held at a Radison hotel. I learned that their coffee tastes like poo... but it is obscenely strong stuff. Thank goodness... I needed it. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

SQL Training

Last week, I had the joy of a week-long Microsoft SQL (Database) Training class. It was actually a good class, and I learned a lot.

BOOM! Ya're Dead! Ha, I jest.Our instructor was from New Jersey. He didn't have a super-thick accent, but it was more than recognizable. He sounded like a cross between Jay Leno and Joe Pesci. Every now and then he'd say "Fah-get abou it", and we'd all have to choke back laughter. During one example, he said, "...and if ya don't have backups, and 'den ya have a hardware failure BOOM! ya're dead."

You never want to hear the words "boom you're dead" with a 'Jersey accent. Even in jest. My heart skipped a beat.

One day for lunch we (myself, Big Dawg, Golfer, and Mr. Silver Lining) went to a small cafe. We sat for at least 5 minutes with no service. We were beginning to wonder if anybody would come by to take our order.

Oh the humanity!Suddenly, we saw the door to the kitchen burst open. A waitress hurried out, obviously trying to hold back tears. She grabbed her jacket and ran out the front door.

Several awkward moments passed. No one was quite sure what the protocol was for such an event.

A few minutes later, a waiter came out and apologized, then took care of our orders. He confided, on the sly, that the waitress in question was just involved in a big argument with her boyfriend, who also worked there. He shook his head sadly, and said, " should never get your meat from the same place you get your bread."

Bread + Meat = DoomWe all chuckled and nodded. Then it hit me... I had just ordered a hamburger. Dang!

I guess I just like to live dangerously.

Monday, December 03, 2007

New Hire

About a month ago, the Farmer left us for (ready for it?) greener pastures (woka woka!). I hear that he's pretty happy at his new job, although I'm sure he misses my excellent sense of humor.

To infinity... and a blonde!Obviously, at that point the search for new talent kicks in. This has been a pretty normal process, except for the occasional outbursts of encouragement from Lightyear. He kept telling the Golfer (at significant volume), "This is your chance! You gotta find you a tall leggy blonde! It don't matter if she can work the keyboard or not!"

Well, today our new hire will take his (yes, *his*) place in the office. Lightyear happened to drop by a day or two ago, and the Golfer broke the news to him.

"Lightyear, just wanted to let you know we hired somebody."
"Really?!? Tell me you picked up a tall leggy blonde! That's what ya really need!"
"No, actually, he's a quiet middle-aged Asian male."
All my dreams, torn asunder
At this news, you could visibly see Lightyear's heart break. There was a rare moment of silence as he gaped open-mouthed at the Golfer. Trust me on this, it's *rare* to have silence in the same room with Lightyear.

Slowly, with a shocked and dazed look on his face, he turned toward Big Dawg and me. "Guys," he said, with great sadness, "... you see the path he's leadin' you down..."

Even now, I have no response for that.

BTW, welcome aboard, leggy blonde wanna-be! I'll think up a nickname for you eventually...