Thursday, July 31, 2008


Oreo... the projectile snackAt my desk, I had just kicked off my shoes, propped up my feet, cranked up my headphones and jammed a whole Oreo in my mouth. Suddenly SWoaN (She Without a Nickname) appeared behind me. I jumped in surprise and nearly fell out of my chair.

There was a brief pause. Then, to the best of my ability I mumbled "fwoour eyeming eyenda thux."

Somehow, I managed to not spew crumbs on her during this. I'll have to work on my aim.


Smoke-Free Environment!I walked through the building yesterday and passed through a stinky hallway. There were some serious vapors there, lemmie tell ya. I guess it was some kind of cleaning solution or something.

As I was gagging and turning blue in the face, I was amused by a nearby anti-smoking sign that implored me to "breath easy". I hate to disobey the printed word, but deviance was the only option in that situation.


All day Monday our A/C at home kept running. It was 100 degrees outside, so we didn't think much of it. But the house got hotter and hotter, and by bedtime it was obvious something was wrong.

A young capitalist seeks his fortuneOne sweaty night later, repair guys were called. Late that day the problem was fixed. We figure that the A/C ran pretty much constantly for 36-48 hours. That, plus the hottest month of the year and a rate hike has us thinking we may need to take out a small loan to pay our electric bill. Maybe I can pull in some extra bucks by opening a lemonade stand.

If you see me hawkin' yellow water on the side of the road, please... tip generously.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Quite possibly the world's most perfect product. Ever.We saw this on the news and... wow. Just wow.

Man-Scented Candles: Mandles.

At the Manly Man Candle Company you can buy candles scented as "Yardwork", "Leather", and "Coffee Shop". There's also "Wild Alaska", "The Hunting Lodge", and "Grandma's Cooking". These candles take Potpourri and kick it hard where the hinder would be if it were facing the other way.

Heck. They had me at Coffee Shop.

New scents in the works apparently include "Beer" and "Bacon". I know it's hard to believe, but I haven't even *started* with the jokes about other possible Mandle scents.

Is this thing on?Now, I shall.

A "Butcher Shop" scent might be appreciated by some. To complete the redneck home theater, you simply have to have a "Movie Theater Floor" scent. I don't know if "Cialis" has a scent, but if it does, there'd better be a candle for it. Everybody can enjoy the gunpowder-scented "NRA" candle. And to go along with that upcoming Beer scent, "MLB Nachos" would be a nice touch.

What Mandle scents can you come up with? Keep in mind that others have already taken some of the more obvious ones. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Answering Machine

My wife and I have a friend who is pregnant. She and my wife chat from time to time. Last week my wife was amused to hear our friend's new voice mail message, which included the phrase:
Leave your dignity at the beep
"I can't come to the phone right now... I'm resting."

This is now officially my favorite voice mail message ever. I'm seriously considering using it for my phone at work.

What are the best voice mail messages you can come up with? Here are some of mine:

C'mon, it's just the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter...Gilbert Gottfried: I'll get back to you after I'm done tutoring Stephen Hawking's son in algebra.

Chuck Norris: I'm roundhouse kicking my mom in the face right now. Don't worry, I'll get to you.

Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran): I'll be at Falls Creek this week, but I'll call you as soon as I get back!

William Shatner: Look, I'm pruning my eyebrows, OK? This should only take a few minutes...

For the record, my actual voice mail message at work sounds like this: "Hi, this is Jeff McClung. I'm not available at the moment. Now you say something."

I wish I could say that one was original, and I'm sure it once was. I read it in a book. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Dark Knight

I finally got to see Batman: The Dark Knight this weekend! I have to say, it was full of surprises.

Jiggle it! Just a little bit!The big dance number caught me completely off guard. I think it was a bit out of character for Batman and the Joker to dance the Charleston while the Marlins Manatees formed a chorus line behind them and sang "Oh, the depths of our hate." But I guess you're supposed to suspend your disbelief for moments like that.

As a general rule, I have no problem with product placement. However, I did think it was a bit over-the-top to film the entire movie on location inside a Pizza Hut. I would have gone for something a bit more upscale, myself.

...if somebody asks you if you're a god, say YES!Overall, a very good movie. And just like in Batman: Begins, they gave us a hint of the bad guy for the next movie. I can't wait!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Pet Odor Eliminator?There's a new Febreze product out called the "Pet Odor Eliminator".

Question: Wasn't there a time when that was called a garden hose?

...and many more...I can't for the life of me figure out why, but this gift sack made think of P-Ziddy. And icandrink. And Metacow. And... sheesh! You people need new hobbies.

And I need to figure out why I think about P-Ziddy so much. I'm starting to get concerned...

Frankly, m'dear, I don't give a loan
Ah strive, Rhett, rah-lie ah doo.
I've been seeing a lot of commercials lately for "astrive", which is apparently a student loan company of some sort. I don't know anything about them, I just know that they really need to have Scarlett O'Hara as their spokeswoman. I can just hear her breathy southern voice drawlin', "Ah strive, Rhett, rah-lee ah doo."

Tastes like chicken!A salon in Virginia is using a tiny breed of carp to give people pedicures. This worries me. The fish are supposedly eating away callouses and such, but it looks to me like they are trying to elevate themselves on the food chain. When the Ms. Paul's boxes start to contain actual Ms. Paul, I'll be the one wearing a Revelations 6:8 sandwich board and saying "I told you so." You heard it here first.

Jiggle it! Just a little bit!The Florida Marlins are starting up an all-male all-overweight dance squad. I even have multiple links to this one. This looks like more fun than you can shake a navel at. I've now added a new bullet point to my list of life goals: Gain 150 pounds and move to Miami.

Finally, July has been "random gifts for Jeff" month. Big Dawg saw this and decided that I had to have it. He also knew that I'm too cheap to buy it for myself. It's the Pessimist's Mug! Now, knowing that the end is near brings a smile to my face.

It makes everything taste bitter

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This year's spring wardrobe...It's summer and yard work season is in full swing. Almost two months ago one of our neighbors across the street kicked things off by mowing her lawn in a bikini.

Temperatures at the were in the high 70's. No one should have to cover up in such unholy heat, I always say. My wife and I watched the show for a bit and pondered: If she's bikini'd in this weather, what will she be wearing in August? Nothing? It was a prospect that deeply worried at least one of us.

I'm really glad I decided against the overcoat and mittens.Of course, now we are flirting intently with 100 degree days. We have been introduced to act 2 of our circus of curiosities: A next-door neighbor kid who mows his yard in 99 degree heat... in jeans... in the middle of the afternoon.

He would work for nearly three whole minutes at a time before having to stop and cool down. Most impressive. Maybe he should have gone to the lady across the street and borrowed her bikini.
Yes, this is Jim Carey. No, you cannot have your innocence back.
Just think how disturbing *that* would be.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ceiling Fan

We have ceiling fans in every room of our house. Recently, my wife turned on the fan in the guest room. It ran for about a minute, buzzing loudly the whole way. Then, "pop!", and the blades stopped turning.

First name is #%@##$!!I was immediately called upon to investigate. As you all know, "fix-it" is my middle name. As you also may have guessed, my last name is "what-do-you-mean-you-can't-fix-it?"

I opened up the thinger right above the light thinger (these are technical terms, so try to keep up). Shattered plastic bits spilled into my eyes. Blinded and groping, I determined that something was indeed broken. The investigation phase of my project was going well.

Watch your eyes!I collected up some of the pieces that fell for a closer look. If you happen to see something like this when you open up your ceiling fan, you can rest assured that you have a date with the top of a ladder in your immediate future.

We bought a "3 speed fan switch 4 wire" unit in hopes of being able to fix the thing instead of replacing it. Against all expectations, installation was a snap. It completely failed to fix the problem, but it went in smooth like buttah.

The next step in our adventure is a new ceiling fan. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last weekend I got my typical low-maintenance lightweight aerodynamic buzz-cut. I'm practically bald now. Even better, my clipper-wielding stylist was an amateur comedian.

Hairstyle of the godsWhen I told her I wanted it rounded in the back she said, "That's best. Sometimes those corners grow out faster than the rest and you can end up with a mini-mullet."

An executive dork.She buzzed the sides and back first. Then she teased up the top and said, "Wouldn't take much to make this into a mohawk, would it?"

Sure, just some gel, extensions, coloring... not much at all, right?
When she finished with the clippers she asked if I wanted any organic scented hair gel. I saw her reaching for a sledgehammer and a watermelon and quickly declined.

One final bit of goodness... when I proof-read this post, I noticed a most amusing typo. I said that the barber-lady gave me a "buzz-but".

I'll let you write your own joke for that one.

Monday, July 21, 2008


By the power of graysk... oh, wait, wrong mythosLate last week I decided I wanted a footstool for under my desk. There's a large storage area just beyond our office, so I went hunting. I tracked down an old wooden trash bucket, turned it upside down, and Shazam! It's even lined with felt on the "bottom" so that it won't scratch tile. My prayers are answered.

Electrocution is a harsh mistressI was sitting at my desk with my shoes off and feet propped up, and my toes touched cables. I figured this was not a good thing, so I found a Zip-Tie and crawled under my desk to do some pruning.

That's when I heard The Voice. It wasn't my boss. It was my boss's boss. The head of the entire department was coming down to pay me a visit, and I was barefoot Lewinsky'ing around under my desk. I nearly ruptured something getting out of there quickly enough to appear normal for him.

I'm not good at appearing normal.

Later I got a private moment to wrangle my cables, so now I can kick back and relax without fear of electrocution. Good times.

Friday, July 18, 2008

When The Cat's Away

My boss has been out on vacation the past few days. Of course, he's not a cat and we're not mice, so the old adage doesn't quite work. "When the boss is away, the programmers will fire up a Quake server," might be a little more literal. For us, it's a bit more accurate to say, "... the programmers will eat popcorn until they explode."

In my specific case, I used the opportunity to lurk around his office and take pictures.

Check this one out. His office is in a corner, and that plant has only been there a week or so.

Lo, the oasis beckons

Most of the time, we approach his office from this angle... notice how the water fountain disappears...

How not to be seen

The day the plant was added, I went up to my boss's door. "I see you've managed to hide the executive water fountain," I complimented. "Don't worry, I won't tell any of the other underlings."

Salty!After all, it's a dog-drink-dog world out there, and the fewer folks who know where the goodies are, the better.

I'm hoping to get some more plants so I can hide the popcorn machine, too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cookies, And Other Stuff

My wife and I were grocery shopping last weekend. There was an expansive woman in our way with kids who were doing what kids do best: begging for sweets. Cookies, to be specific.

Dang! No cookies.The woman said something amazing. "No! You know we don't keep cookies in the house."

My wife and I were thinking the exact same thing... "Riiiiiiight. So where *do* you keep them? In the yard? 'Cause you ain't foolin' anybody, Little Debbie... you've seen a few cookies. A lot of cookies. In fact, you look like you've seen a half-dozen or more in the past 20 minutes alone."

Ook! Ook!In a different store, we saw something we'd never seen before: Monkey Bread. OK, so I google'd it... it is a legit but oddly named pastry. In my extensive 12-second research odyssey, I was unable to learn anything about *why* it's called Monkey Bread. I doubt, for example, that the mighty chimpanzee made many advances in dough leavenation. One would assume that if a chimp wanted pastry, he would simply find some already in existence, point, and "ook".

What would Tiger Woods do...?)In other news, there's a 101 year old man in Minnesota who golfs 18 holes twice a week.

I can imagine me out there at age 101, if only because I'm too cheap to bring more than one ball. I'd hit into the forest, then I'd have to find it. I'd hit into the water, I'd have to dive for it. A bear would eat it, I'd have to wait for him to do what he does in the woods. At that rate, it would take forever to get to the back nine.

Ook! Hi-Keeba! Ni!Finally, check this shirt out. P-Ziddy saw it and said it had my name all over it. I can't thank him enough... knowing that this gem is waiting for me at home has made my business casual feel especially uncomfortable this week.

Hm... Ninja Monkey Bread... now *there's* a Photoshop project for anybody who's bored... :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don Rickles (Psuedo-Celeb)

Bullet-HeadMy wife and I were at the Cracker Barrel, and a guy walked in who was a dead ringer for Don Rickles!

I was so impressed by the resemblance that I considered asking the guy if I could take his picture. I was worried about what he might say, though. Rickles is an insult comic... I don't know if I could handle that kind of public ridicule.

"You call that hair? Looks more like fescue."

"Your glasses could probably deflect one of Frank's bullets!"

"You look like a puppet with a drunk marionette, you sound like a teenager, you smell like you spilled your lunch,... but thanks for keeping your nose picked clean."

It would have ended in tears, no doubt. We escaped out the back kitchen door rather than risk a confrontation.


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.
John Voight.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


No one is ever this happy to get on a bus.The parking lot at work is about 5 blocks away from our office, so we have a bus that ferries us back n' forth. Bus Driver is a good guy, I like him, but sometimes... well, you'll see.

Friday of last week, the bus stopped at an intersection. While we waited for the light, Bus Driver turned to face a lady near the front and asked her, "D'ya ever dream about the dead?"

Would you rather discuss politics?I don't know about you, but I figure the less my bus driver talks about death, the better.

It took a while because we were so shocked by his question, but he eventually explained that if you have a dream about the dead, that means it's going to rain. At least, "... that's what the old folks say."

Flee to the trailer park!Sidebar: This is actually not what *my* grandparents say. Quite the opposite. My grandparents trust the TV weatherman to such an extreme that they take shelter when they hear there's a tornado anywhere in the tri-state area. We rarely see them in May.

Anyway, the lady he questioned blinked away her shock and then embraced the conversation. To my horror, they began to discuss death-dream interpretation while he was bouncing us along the busy downtown streets. I gripped my seat and held my breath, hoping that Bus Driver was paying more attention to the lights and traffic than his own mortality.

I'm glad I don't live in a flood zone anymore."See, what *I* heard," said Crazy Lady, "is that if you talk to a man on the phone in your dream, a woman is gonna die, and if you talk to a woman on the phone in your dream, a man's gonna die."

Predicting that somewhere, somehow, a man's going to die today seems like a bit of a gimmie, really. It's like predicting earthquakes in California, stupidity in Congress, or beer in NASCAR fans.

For the record, it did not rain on Friday.

Never trust the dead.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Be Seated

Don't sneak up on me like that... you'll break my concentrationA 56-year old man has found his way into the Guiness World Record book by sitting in 39,250 seats at the Rose Bowl.

Now here's a story I can get behind. I don't care too much about the record, or the obsessive sitting. I just like his hat. Looks like he's got his head stuck in a funnel, doesn't it? I want one.

I could see myself embracing any sport that would let me wear a hat like that. Curling? Gimmie a hat. Mountain climbing? Have hat, will travel. Syncronized snorkling in tubs of used mouth wash? Count me in... as long as I can wear one of those hats.

The hero of *this* story, "Mr. Sit-And-Win", chose competitive sitting as his hat-wearing sport. The article says that he landed in more than 39 thousand seats in 48 hours, which begs the question... when you're sitting competitively for two solid days, what do you do when you get tired? I guess you could stand up for a change of pace. It's either that or take a quick nap in somebody's beer and nacho spill.

No open flames, please.The article says that Mr. Sit-And-Win "... says he loves the Rose Bowl but calls the place 'filthy.'" Imagine that!... "Boy, this place smells like a 56 year old rolled around in it for two days! Pass the Febreeze!"

Ah, but what a magnificent hat he had.

It takes a brave man to wear a hat like this

Friday, July 11, 2008


Today, a collection of short stories that I couldn't make a blog out of individually...

Kick it! Kick it!A friend of mine recently badly sprained her foot. She expressed annoyance that it was her "Driving Foot." I can just imagine her out on the fairway, kicking the ball as hard as she can. Later, on the green, she'd switch over to her "Putting Foot", lefty-tapping the ball in for par.

I'm in good company!At work this week, Big Dawg was demonstrating a web page for me. He put a button on the page and labeled it "JeffBut". I was honored to have a hinder named after me. Not too many people have hinders named after them, you know. It's pretty much just me and J-Lo.

Wilbur! No!Several us of Programmer types went out to lunch in Utica Square this week. On the way back we drove past a place called "Stone Horse". I don't know why it's called Stone Horse, I just know that nothing whets the ol' appetite like granite mammals.

The sum total of my artistic depthI came up with an idea for a one-panel cartoon I thought would be pretty amusing. I sketched it with stick figures and I think the joke works. Most of it is just solid lines, which is helpful since I have all the artistic talent of a tuna salad. But there is one human in the picture, which is a problem for me. After several hours of experimentation, I came up with two semi-reasonable faces. One looked like an overweight Asian male, the other looked like a corpse.

At this rate, I may be able to share my cartoon in a year or two. Stay tuned.

Finally, I give you this goodie from The Farmer. The email subject line on this one was, "Don't honk me off... I own a backhoe!"

I have caused offense

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finish This Phrase

Hey, where'd the other guy go?I had one of those really random thoughts. How would you complete this phrase, if you didn't know how it was supposed to end?

"A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush."

I did a little brainstorming, and this is what I came up with:

"A bird in the hand is better than..."

Police Officer  Two making a getaway in a stolen van
Cave ManDinosaur sniffing around campsite
FiremanTwo tipping over a lantern
LawyerA songbird on the witness stand
Edgar Allen PoeTwo trying to peck your eye out
College MascotHaving to dress up like one
Circus ClownTwo in my pants
George W. BushHaving to pronounce "Nuclear"
James T. KirkKHAAAAAAAN!!!
Wolf BlitzerTwo in the sound stage during my closeup
Bill GatesCompetition
Barak ObamaTwo in Florida and Michigan with votes that count
Choosy MomsChoose Jif
P.C. TechnicianHis nest on your hard drive
All those radioactive mutant alien birds they won't tell you about

Well, how about YOU? How would you end this phrase, if you didn't already know the ending?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Saw "The Incredible Hulk" over the weekend. :) I know some people really like the crowd experience; seeing a movie opening weekend with loud audience reactions and whatnot. But for me, the best time to see a movie like this is on opening weekend of a Will Smith movie. My wife and I were the only ones in the theater.


I kinda cocked my head sideways when they introduced Emil Blonsky as a Russian-born man, and then this British guy started speaking. Other than that... it was perfection.

When the jolly green giant raised his fists and roared "HULK SMASH!!!", I giggled like a little schoolgirl. Days later, I was still giggling. Heck, even now I'm still sqeakin' a bit.
Jeff + Hulk 4 Ever
Ah, Hulk. You've always had the keys to my heart.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gone In Sixty Seconds

I saw this news story over the weekend... a woman in Tampa gave birth to a baby in sixty seconds.

The speedy duoDispatcher helps Tampa dad with early arrival

This woman, I believe, is the textbook definition of an "overachiever". It got me thinking... I wonder what else she can do incredibly fast? (Somebody slam a hand over P-Ziddy's mouth now.)

I figure she probably completed college in about 5 weeks. Most likely she could read a typical four hundred-page novel in 18 minutes or so. And I'd bet anything she can complete a load of laundry 4.9 seconds *before* she actually starts.

Zoom-ZoomThen I started to think about the newborn. Is he OK? I mean, at least the space shuttle has surface insulation tiles to protect against the heat of atmospheric reentry. I figure at best the rocket-child had a fuzzy blanket. I hope it was enough.

I wonder if the little tyke will take after his mom. If so, I wish him luck this fall at the ivy leagues.

They grow up so fast.