Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, It's Official

They totaled my car yesterday. I really did like that car. :(


Dig it!So, we move on. We take a bad situation, and do what we need to do to make it better. With that in mind, I have my sights set on a red Pontiac Vibe. It may fall through, but there's a good chance this will be my next car. It'll be early next week before the deed is done.

In other news, we had our realtor contact the owner of a house we're interested in. We wanted to know what the story was behind the mismatched carpet.

Apparently HomeOwner got huffy with our agent. "The carpet is fine!" she insisted. "I've kept it very, very clean."

Schizo!"Yes, but it doesn't match."

"That carpet is fine!" she proclaimed. "I never even let my dog widdle on it!"

By the way, I am not making that up. HomeOwner literally said the words, "... widdle on it." As if this were some extraordinary thing. You know how all those *common* dog owners are, letting their dogs widdle all over everything with reckless abandon. Most dog owners would positively have to *swim* from the living room to the kitchen, but not HomeOwner! Her dog, and all associated surroundings, are bone-dry. Add another 4 large to the price of the home, doncha-know.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


None of us is as dumb as all of usLast week, there was a Meeting. I didn't have to go, thank goodness, but my boss (The Golfer) was required to attend. It was one of those marathon Meetings; the type that justifies the capital letter. Even better? They didn't tell The Golfer how long the Meeting would last.

Two hours after it started, I walked by the Meeting room on my way to lunch. There's a window into that room from the hallway. I could see that the room was darkened for whatever presentation was being given. As I walked by, the door opened and Professional Comedian walked out.

He walked with me for a bit and said, "You're missing out." I expressed doubt. "What's in there, anyway?"

Pro Comedian's eyes widened in mock excitement. "It's the coolest thing *ever*!" "Describe it," I challenged.

I'm tellin' ya, it was at least *this* big!"Imagine the coolest thing you've ever seen," he said, while holding his hands open in the classic fisherman's it-was-this-big pose, "... and this is *better*!"

"It's not in that room," I stated, with great confidence. Pro Comedian laughed and didn't argue the point.

Later, as I was walking back to my office, the Meeting room door opened again. This time it was The Golfer who came out. He saw me, and gave me a slightly different appraisal of the situation:

Despicable!"Do you have a knife or a gun, so I can end this?"

I'm pretty sure he was joking, but even so I made sure I was standing between him and the plastic utensil drawer until he passed.

That Meeting ended up lasting two and a half hours, and went through lunch. I'm so glad I didn't have to go.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Food Stories

Got two quickie food stories to share.


Late last week a crew of us from work got together with an old co-worker, Boss Lady! It was really good to see her again. She was just about everybody's favorite, and is still missed.

Yummy!I ordered BBQ Chicken. It tasted grand, and I was very amused by the presentation. The two bits of chicken were sliced and pushed together in the shape of a cutsie heart. Thankfully, the BBQ sauce was the wrong color, otherwise it might have looked a bit like blood.

I sat there and stared at it, wishing I had a camera. Halfway through the meal I remembered my camera-phone. *sigh*


My wife and I went out to dinner over the weekend. As we got close to the end of our plates, the waiter offered us a box. "Sure."

How many boxes would you like?He came back later with the box, and we got our leftovers packaged up.

A few minutes later he came by again, pointed at our pile and said, "Would you like a box for your... uh... box?"

The poor guy was runnin' on autopilot, I guess. :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Backup Sensors

The latest word on my car is that it's likely to be totalled. I'll know for sure sometime today or tomorrow.

Dig It!With that in mind, my wife and I went lookin' at cars over the weekend. And I gotta tell ya, I'm diggin' on this Pontiac Vibe.

But I do worry a little about the blind spot in back. I figured, might be nice to have one of those nifty backup sensor thingers. Something to beep at me if I'm backing up and there's something (or someone) behind me that I can't see.

I did some online searches, and found several that look OK. I also found one that amused the heck outta me. It's called "Eyes Behind You". It amused me because of one odd feature they list: In addition to mounting brackets, cables, and so on, it's also got a handy "mute feature".

Safety you can ignore!

Ponder this with me a moment. "Mute feature"?!? The whole point of this thing is to alert me when I'm in danger of hitting something. But I can ignore it if I wanna? Somehow this just doesn't seem right.

Maybe they are saying that if the device goes wonky, I can silence it until the problem is sorted out. Which would mean they expect problems, which doesn't fill me with much confidence, either.

Do any of you have any experience with backup sensors? Got any recommendations?

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Lost Him

My grandfather has been in Florida this week visiting my Great-Uncle. Both are in their mid-80's. My great-uncle has some interesting moments from time to time. This is one of them.

Only the finest items for sale!Tuesday, Great-Uncle called my grandmother (who had stayed back home in Oklahoma). "Well," he said, "We went to a flea market, and we've been wandering around and, ... well, ... I lost him. What should I do?"

Keep in mind this is a man in Florida asking a lady in Oklahoma how to find her missing husband in a flea market. Grandma was a bit overwhelmed. She suggested he find an intercom and have Grandpa paged. Then she called my mom.

Awww....Mom assured Grandma that Grandpa would be OK. He was probably just napping somewhere (Grandpa can nap on *any* park bench and be perfectly fine). Meanwhile, in Florida, Great-Uncle went off in search of an intercom at a flea market.

Two hours later, Great-Uncle called my grandmother back. "I found him!" he happily proclaimed.

Something fun to think about: On Tuesday, my mom got phone calls from me (car wreck), Grandma (missing hubby), and her grand-daughter (Mr. Bear's hot-foot).

FreakyTuesday was a full moon.

I have updated my online calendar to include phases of the moon. Don't expect to see much of me this time next month.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mr. Bear

Mr. BearTuesday afternoon, my mom got a phone call from her 5-year old grand-daughter (my niece).

Mom said hello. Without any preamble or introduction, Niece said, "Dwah-mah, do you have inny bwown fuh?"

Mom quickly translated in her head (gramma, do you have any brown fur?), and asked, "What happened, Honey?"

Hot Foot!"Mr. Bear got too close to the fire and his foot melted."

Wednesday, my mom got to perform semi-emergency surgery on Mr. Bear.

The best part? All during that phone call, Mom could hear Niece's little 2-year old brother in the background. He was saying, "Ha-ot! Ha-ot! Ha-ot!"

Poor Mr. Bear.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Automotive Update

OK, here's the scoop on what happened yesterday.

I was driving to work. An oncoming truck hit a patch of black ice and lost control. He crossed over the center line and hit the car in front of me.

Ow.The car in front of me spun around and landed in the shoulder, facing the wrong way. The truck bounced back and spun 360-degrees, counter-clockwise (from my perspective). He spun all the way around and slammed into the driver's side of my car. That's where we both came to a stop.

His front door was pushed up against mine. He rolled down his window. I was wearing my window. Our faces were just a few feet from each other. It was an awkward way to meet.

Oh! And did I mention, this all happened on a bridge? The poor lady in front landed just a few feet away from the guardrail. Good times.

All three of us are OK, no injuries. The lady in front of me likely has a totaled car. The truck that caused all the fun might be able to be repaired. My car can probably be repaired. So, I guess I was the lucky one.

This is a toy, not a car.I have a rental car now. It's a powder-blue Hyundai Accent. It looks, sounds, and drives like a wind-up toy. It is *so* not a Jeff-car. But Truck-Guy's insurance is covering the cost, so I won't complain too loudly.

I am considering putting some racing stripes on it, though. Maybe that'll help.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Yes, this is my car.

No, it was not my fault.

Rough morning.

Monday, January 21, 2008


My wife and I have been looking at houses for the past few weeks now. We saw a fairly nifty one on Saturday, but one really big negative was the back yard.

To trip along merrily?The back yard sloped downward slightly for about 30 feet or so. Then, the slope dropped off dramatically. The end of the yard had at least a 6-foot drop down into heavily wooded forest-y area beyond.

I thought about my 7-year-old nephew. I can just imagine him running around in the backyard and then 'Whoop!' he slides down the backyard slope. "Well, he's rolled down into the forest. I'll see if I can find him before the 'coons do."

Happy MLK Day!Speaking of my nephew, he doesn't have to go to school today. Of course, being 7 he doesn't quite understand the concept of "Civil Rights". According to my Mom, Nephew thinks he's got the day off from school "... because some king died."

I guess everyone celebrates the holidays in their own special way. :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Grandfather 'en fuego'

I'll take what's behind door number 1I had the strangest dream.

In this dream, I was walking into the far end a long hallway. There was a toy on the floor, so I bent down to pick it up.

BOOM! My nephew (7) slammed into me, knocking me to the ground. We hugged and giggled and "I love you" 'ed at each other for a moment. Then, nephew pointed down the narrow hallway. "Look, Uncle Jeff!"

I do declareI looked up. I saw a very strange sight indeed. The choir director from my old church was standing there. She has a love for large wide-brimmed hats. Hers was on fire. "Oh dear," she complained, and took off her hat. She swatted it behind her lazily.

Stiff as a boardBehind her stood my mother and my grandmother. They were facing each other, and were holding my grandfather between them. Mom had his legs and Gramma had his arms/shoulders. He was stretched out between them, flat as a board. The look on his face, however, implied that he was happy and very comfortable.

Choir Director's hat brushed against him, and he caught on fire. Mom acted like this was a small annoyance. Grandfather glanced at it, and seemed to shrug indifferently. Grandma didn't seem to notice at all.

You should do something about this.As Mom swatted vaguely at the fire, it spread. My wife (suddenly in the picture) started saying that somebody should do something a bit more urgent about the situation.

As for me, I was watching the whole thing and thinking, "You know, I could make a blog story about this."

Hey, Mom, I just had the *wierdest* dream!I'm not sure if I should be concerned about my reaction or not. After all, it *was* just a dream. I think.

I'd better give Mom a call, just in case.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Water Leak

Shiny!Yesterday at work, I happened to notice a spot on the carpet right across from my desk. It looked shiny. Carpet should not be shiny.

I went over to look, and discovered a hand-sized puddle of damp, right next to the wall. There's a leak in the wall. Grand. I didn't even know there was plumbing in that wall.

So I notified all the folks I should notify, including The Golfer (my boss). The Golfer had some insight regarding the plumbing. He said that before this room was our office, it was a meeting room. There was a pipe that came out of the wall right around that spot. They had built a box / cabinet around it, and used it to hold a microwave and a coffee maker.

Insert your own Brokeback Mountain joke hereThe thought of a coffee maker in our office made me think of The Farmer. He's moved on to another job now, but he's a coffee man, big time. He used to make "Cowboy Coffee" (his words) to drink at his desk. That stuff was apparently on par with the Brazilian Pilao in terms of strength.

"You know, " I told The Golfer, "It's probably best that Farmer never knew there used to be a coffee maker in this room." Golfer laughed and agreed.

Want!I thought about this a minute. "Actually, " I said, "It's probably not such a good idea that *I* know it."

When they fix that leak, I wonder if they'd be willing to install a coffee maker for us?...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So You Think You've Seen Everything?

This is from an email I got some time ago, titled "So You Think You've Seen Everything?"


Here on "George Of The Jungle Boulevard"...
Watch out for that tree!

Here's how you fit an 18-wheeler into a Compact parking spot...
We fix trucks!

This is a little mistake...
For a civil engineer, there's no such thing as a little mistake.

Look out! Britney Spears is on the loose again!
That fence jumped right out in front of me.

A competitive advantage...
Size matters.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. sells his soul.
Top speed: 18 MPH

Mr. Ed Jr. changes a spark plug.
Those Firestone guys are rippin' you off, Wilbur.

And finally, archaeologists have found what they believe to be the bones of the first politician...
Vote early! Vote often!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Pressure To Be Funny

I hope this thing doesn't turn my teeth orangeSo I found myself in the bathroom, holding a camera at arm's length with a toothbrush in my hand, and I thought to myself... "Holy buckets... I'm out of things to write about."

It was a sobering realization. When you find yourself thinking, "Hey, the world might be interested in this cute little stocking stuffer I got!", that's when you know that insanity lurks nearby.

I am a handsome devil though, ain't I?

Monday, January 14, 2008


Power. Pure. Potent. Pilao.P-Ziddy has acquainted me with one of his favorite vices: Cafe Pilao, coffee from Brazil.

Oh my goodness this is strong stuff. P-Ziddy warned me, but somehow I still goofed. I used 2 spoonfuls of grounds to make my coffee the first morning. I make 2 cups (1 mug) at a time. Later, I found out that P-Ziddy only uses 3 spoonfuls to make a whole pot.

Given this, I'm a bit surprised that I lived.

I carefully sipped that first mug. The taste was nice and fresh. The potency was obvious. I got about a third of the way through when "it" happened.

It was as if everything from my midsection down was fleeing upon the arrival of the blessed nectar. My tummy was full of Pilao goodness, and there just wasn't room for anything else. I suddenly found myself in immediate need of the nearest facilities.

When I told him this story, P-Ziddy was quick to name the experience. He called it an "Emergency Evacuation." It nicely sums up the events, I think.

Now that I've mastered the art of not overdosing on it, I quite enjoy the Pilao.

Gary Larson's 'The Far Side'

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well, Nutz

Holiday Photoshop Jeff was a pretty spectacular failure, durnit. Next time I won't run a Photoshop Jeff event during the biggest holiday season of the year. I'm gonna try to avoid ice storms, too.

Anyway, here's the one that I came up with. I'm pickin' on P-Ziddy a bit... it didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped, but the idea was kind of a "Santa's Post Office" sort of thing.

The wanted poster at Santa's Post Office... sorta

In case you missed it, here's the one 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

As always, here's a link to past Photoshop Jeff glory. We'll try this again sometime when life isn't quite so hectic for everybody.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Breakin' The Law

Yesterday, I heard a fantastic story from icanspell. The short version of it goes something like this:

Car 54, where are you?One day during her college years, icanspell glanced outside her apartment window and saw a cop car. She didn't think anything of it until she glanced out again and saw many cop cars.

She and her roommate watched as the cops pounded on their neighbor's door. Before long, they had confronted the neighbor and handcuffed him. That was when the genius made his lunge for freedom... he ran for it. The police easily caught him again, because the poor fool was still handcuffed when he fled.

It feels good to be a gangstaLater, icanspell learned that the neighbor had been arrested because of alleged gang activity in Wichita. This Mensa hopeful barely bothered to cross state lines in his run from justice. He thought he could outrun police with his arms handcuffed behind him. As if that isn't enough, just try to say the phrase "Kansas Gangsta" with a straight face. Go ahead... I dare you.

Anyway, this story came up because of some similar excitement that happened in my apartment complex yesterday. My wife was home during the day and heard sirens. A lot of sirens. She stepped outside and walked a couple of buildings down from us. The police had a suspect down on the ground, and were handcuffing him. He had some garbage bags and a brown suitcase with him.
The travel stickers are from all the places where I'm 'wanted'
A neighbor told her that the suspect was confronted by the police, and tried to run. He thought he could outrun them while carrying luggage. Bright boy.

He was probably another one of those notorious Kansas Gangstas.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Home Office, 1993

I recently found myself in possession of some "Home Office" magazines from 1993. I thought it would be fun to see what treasures lay within.

June 1993

Plus: Will Floppies Soon Be As Useless As Eight-Track Tapes?June's issue featured a "Windows Watcher" column titled "Four New Ways To Put Windows To Work." This column was all about new programs made to work with Windows 3.1.

My favorite was the blurb about the "new" AOL (America On-Line) for Windows. "I've been using the long-awaited Windows version of AOL, and it is great!" Also, "America On-Line's new Windows version takes point-and-click friendliness to new heights."

I feel a little nauseous just re-typing that. Obviously, some of us have a different opinion of AOL... then and now.

July 1993

Yes, You Can Deal With Windows FrustrationMostly, this one amused me because of the title. It could be argued that the "user experience" for Windows hasn't changed much in the past decade and a half. :)

This wasn't especially amusing, but it did make me grin a bit. "Well, rumor has it, (...) the release of Windows 4.0 has been put off until well into 1994." Microsoft never has been good about meeting their own self-imposed deadlines, have they?

October 1993

The Dream Machine: Your Computer Wish ListThis one had a cover story called "The Dream Machine". It was all about the absolute best computer you could buy at the time.

The total cost of this "Dream Machine" came to about $3,500. Obviously, computers just keep getting better and cheaper, but it was still amusing to look at the list of "essentials" they came up with back then. For example:

  • The best Processor was a 486 (33-MHz)

  • Recommended RAM was 16MB

  • Hard drives maxed out at around 340MB

  • CD-ROM drives were $450

  • 16-bit sound was around $300

  • Modems maxed out at 14.4 (1/4 the speed of avg modems now), and cost up to $400

Some things haven't changed though. Well, OK, one thing, ... maybe. The last item listed is an ergonomic mouse. Not a bad idea, even today. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

M. O. O. N., That Spells...

The Stand...The Stand, by Stephen King. I read the unabridged version of this several times as a kid. A few weeks ago, I got an odd whim and decided to read it again.

Several thoughts have occurred to me as I re-read this (I'm about halfway through).

There are multiple places in the book where some of the characters are referred to as being "...a lot older...". The characters in question are in their early 30's. There was one lady who as 40-ish. She was referred to as being "...set in her ways..." as if she was some ancient spinster.

Old MaidNo wonder I thought my parents were so old when I was a kid. They were in their 30's at the time. Life's practically *over* at 30... Stephen King says so.

As for the primary plot, the idea is an apocalyptic one where over 99% of the world's population is killed by a mutated influenza outbreak. For some reason, I always seem to get the sniffles when I read this thing. Allergies, cold, whatever. It's always a little disturbing.

Repent!Most amusing (this time, anyway), is the character of Larry Underwood. He's a rock n' roll singer who had just made it big before the flu strain did its thing. His name, obviously, is very similar to that of Carrie Underwood. Since she's a singer who has (relatively) recently made it big, I can only conclude that she is a sign of the Apocalypse.

You heard it here first.