Friday, February 27, 2009

The Violence Of American Humor

I've been reading a book by William Keough called "Punchlines: The Violence Of American Humor".

I know you find it hard to believe that I would be interested in such a thing. :)

Well, despite the promising title, it's really more of a "history" book, so in that regard I'm a bit disappointed. However, with regard to unintentional hilarity, I submit to you the introduction to chapter one:

The Violence Of American HumorI know that text is hard to read... the bit I'm pointing out reads, "God is not evil. But the best you can say for Him is that He's an underachiever." -- Woody Allen

The part that got me is that little smudge mark... some well-meaning God-Defender has scratched out the word "best" and penciled in "worst". Clever, right? Now Mr. Allen is paying God a compliment. I'm sure that's what he really meant to say, if he'd just thought about it a bit.

I think back to all the great moments in Christian history... Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the All Saints' Church in Rome, Mother Teresa's Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and of course our anonymous vandal defacing a library book. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it.

Call me crazy, but I think there are better ways to serve God than mis-quoting departed *demented comedians. :)

* UPDATE... apparently I wish Woody Allen was dead. I had no idea I was so violent. ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Fable Of The Unhappy Admin

I can't believe Conan is going to replace Leno...I'm not sayin' that this story happened where I work. I'm not sayin' it didn't. All I'm sayin' is that once upon a time there was a Program that Users could log into, and an Unhappy Admin who cared for it.

One day a User wrote an email to the Unhappy Admin. "I can't log into the Program," he claimed. The Unhappy Admin wrote him back, saying "I've reset your password. Your username is THIS and your password is THAT."

Joy bubblesMinutes later, the User sent another email. "It told me 'Invalid Password', but I think it let me in anyway." I ... er ... I mean, the Unhappy Admin, replied "I don't think you got in. When you log into the Program, it bubbles with joy and good cheer. I sense nothing but the burnt essence of perpetual failure. Try again... your username is THIS and your password is THAT."

The brief glory of silence was broken by another email. "I put in my username and it didn't work, so I tried uppercase and that didn't work. By the way... should I be typing something in the 'password' box?"

No solicitors!At that point the Unhappy Admin flew into a rage. He pushed the User into his oven next to the two German kids, locked the doors to his gingerbread house, and sat down to wait for the Angry Woodsman.

The moral of the story, obviously, is that sometimes a blank password really is the best way to go.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Biscuits For Dessert

Frustrated... I've had better days, I admitMy wife and I had an experience in varying velocities at a local restaurant recently. Lemmie 'splain...

When we came in, there was a nearby table where a couple was already showing signs of BSF (Bad Service Frustration). Our waitress was very prompt and nice, however.

My wife heard the unhappy couple ask their waitress for more biscuits. Their hearts were broken by the reply, "Oh, we're out of biscuits right now."

Forbidden pleasuresA few minutes later, our waitress came by. I asked for more biscuits and she happily replied, "Right away!"

Halfway through our meal, a third couple came in. They were seated at a table behind us. Our biscuits arrived. The "Les Misérables" couple got their first drink refill of the night. They continued to look unhappy.

19 seconds later, we heard chairs scrape behind us. The speedy third couple were already headed out. I can only assume they disintegrated their meal and inhaled the vapors to save time.

We finished our normal meal and got up to leave. As we walked by, the Displeased Duo got one last visit from their waitress. "Here are your biscuits!" "But we're already done eating!"

*giggle*My wife and I *almost* managed to conceal our laughter as we ran out the door.

Misery can be fun when it happens to other people. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Few Quick Random Stories From Work

Enhanced Security

I've been tagged, but I was never released back into the wildA few weeks ago I was given a dot to stick on my ID badge. It contains a super secret coded micro-wazzit identifier thinger. Now I can wave it at the door, and it unlocks for me.

That's right. My workplace is boldly embracing technology from the early 90's. It's an exciting time for us!

I love you, man

One day as I left the office, I walked past Merrik and Oorah. Oorah, master of the obvious, said, "Ya leaving?"

Come to think of it, I've never loved you"Yup," I replied. "I just don't love you any more." I turned to Merrik. "Jury's still out on you."

It took a few seconds for the joke to sink in. Now Merrik has to decide if he's going to actively solicit my love.

Cappuccino FAIL

I don't do this very often. But once in a blue moon I'll give in and say "I need a cuppa something to get through the afternoon." One floor up from my office is a cappuccino machine, which only makes the temptation worse.

I'm gonna hafta start stockpiling these things for emergenciesI went up and plugged in my 30 cents. There should have been a "thud" as a cup slid into place. But the machine was out of cups.

I watched, helpless, as the infernal machine sprayed my blessed brown life-juice directly down a little drain. I actually considered sticking my head under the spout, but the little cup-shelf was too small.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Breaking" News - Flatulence Wars

At least warn me firstThis popped up in the news last week, and I just can't let it "pass".

'Pull My Finger' subject of court fight

There are applications for the iPhone that cause it to make Flatulent noises. Literally, if you desire it, your phone can fart at you. I think Thomas Edison would be pleased to see what technology can do for us today.

Of course, with something as silly and pointless as this, there had to be a lawsuit. In the case of "He Who Smelt It Dealt It" vs "The Smeller's The Feller", one company is claiming to have trademarked the phrase, "Pull my finger."

Actual product... can't find a working link to buy it, thoughAmazing. Actual judges in actual US courts are debating the sovereignty of the phrase "Pull my finger." If this trademark holds up, my uncle could be charged a licensing fee every time he plays a practical joke.

How can you determine which company "ripped off" the other, I wonder? They both tried to "toot" their own horns, but wound up causing a big "stink".

I'd go on, but I think you get the idea. Besides, no matter how many gas-jokes I come up with, none of them top this direct quote from the company being sued:

Oh, *NO*, you DIDN'T!!!InfoMedia, Inc. CEO Joel Comm. Comm continues, "While it is unfortunate that the Pull My Finger application could not compete on its own merits, I find their threats to be little more than vapor."


Friday, February 20, 2009

Stand By Me

I was reminded of this story while chatting with LadyPatsFan last week. At my previous job I had a co-worker who calls himself FurryJello.

All programmers sometimes get stuck and need assistance. The first time it happened to him, he asked for my help. I went over to his desk. "See, here's my code," he pointed out. It all looked fine. "When I try to load the web page I'm working on, it fails like this..."

He brought up a web browser. His page loaded without error.

Loosely translated, 'that certain something'FurryJello stared at the screen in complete disbelief. "It's not supposed to ... I mean ... it's *supposed* to do that, but it wasn't doing that before ..."

We investigated the problem of his lack of a problem for a bit, but gave up when we realized how silly it was to try and recreate an unsolvable problem that had solved itself.

A few days (or a few weeks) later, FurryJello asked for my help again. He tried to show me the problem he was working on. Once again, when he got to the "...and this is how it breaks!" part of his presentation, his web page came up with no errors.

Aaaaaaaaaeeeeee....Awestruck, FurryJello murmured, "Your presence is all that's required to fix my problems. It's like you're Fonzie or something."

The next time FurryJello encountered a tricky programming problem, he called my name. "Hey Jeff, could you stand over here by my desk for a second?"

I wandered over. "What's the problem?" "Doesn't matter," he said. "Just stand there while I try this again... yeah! That got it. Thanks."

I "fixed" at least 10 problems for FurryJello without ever knowing what they were. It was like the old-style TV antennae, where you'd have to stand on one foot in a corner of the room to get a decent picture.

The magic of the nearness of Jeff is potent. Don't underestimate it!

My new fragrance... look for it in stores!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


We will give you 'wind', or you money back!Late last week, six of us from the office went to Ron's Hambergers and Chili for lunch. The group did not include Big Dawg, because he is desperately scared of Ron's. He's never actually eaten there, but he had college roomates who loved the place. Apparently they would go eat lots of volitile stuff, then come back home and pollute the apartment so badly that the paint started to peel. Big Dawg told us that when we got back from Ron's, he'd have a gas mask on.

When we arrived, we saw three "tip jars" at the cash register. Each had the name of a waitress on it. One of them said "Princess Angela... TROUBLE!"

Guess which waitress we had?

She was blunt, sarchastic and snarky. Obviously I loved her.

*grin*I caught her once as she walked by and reminded her that we were still missing one plate of cheese fries. She literally said, "Yeah, duh, I know that," with her eyes rolled and her head nodding forward and back like her neck was broken. "Thank you," I said, as politely as possible. "By the way, that's an excellent bobble-head impersonation."

She rolled her eyes even further and grinned as she wandered off.

By the time we left, I think she was actively plotting to kill me. I saw her sharpening a fork and glaring.

Protected!When we got back to the office, we all walked over to Big Dawg's desk. Each of us put a hand on our stomachs and said, "Don't mind me, I'm just waiting for something to pass."

Big Dawg just smiled at us through his gas mask.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Friends' Baby

Valentine's Day my wife and I got to eat lunch with P-Ziddy and his bride, iCanSpell and hubby iCanDrink, plus (most importantly), Baby-Zid!

Overwhelmingly cute'Zid and his wife have a simply adorable little girl. She was easily the star of the event. She'd babble and coo and grin every time somebody suggested something embarrassing or painful toward me. I'm not sure how she knew, but it was kinda creepy. "Throw that toy on the floor, we'll make Jeff go get it!" Grin. "She needs to burp... point her at Jeff!" Grin. "By the time you're a year old, you'll be able to beat Jeff at arm-wrestling!" Grin.

P-Ziddy has trained her well.

Toward the end of the meal, a comment was made that Baby was now nice and soggy. iCanSpell picked up a sugar packet and said, "Let her suck on this so she's sticky too, then hand her over to iCanDrink." The look on his face was a nice mix of annoyance at the suggestion with just a hint of annoyance that she might actually do it. iCanDrink has the "annoyed" look down pat.

Heh.iCanDrink also expressed a genuine desire to not be mentioned in my blog.

There was a decorative plate on the wall above my head that attracted some attention. We collectively pondered how the bird could contort himself into such a position. Then it hit me. The bird is doing Karate. Just imagine somebody who is seconds away from attacking and shouting "HIEYE KEEBA!". Then look at this pic.

My name is Bluebird Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.I challenge you to come up with any other explanation.

This is the Kung-Foo Bird of Paradise.

Your car windshield is NOT safe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Late Photoshop Jeff Pic

You know that I'm not legally liable if your monitor bursts into flame, right?

No matter how distressing a photo I display, I can't *actually* be blamed for damages (physical or psychological) that you may experience. Especially if I give you a nice bold warning first.

Short-Timer has presented me with the most... you know, I'm honestly not sure which noun is appropriate. But there's no doubt that "most" is the best qualifier for it.

Click here to see something truly memorable.

OK, now you've seen it. The damage is done. Let me help you with some of the post-trauma conditioning.

First of all, don't close your eyes. This image will haunt you. I recommend you immediately focus on something pleasant and colorful. You could search youtube for some old Chevy Chase clips, watch some kids playing, or even hug a puppy.

If you work for a company of any size, then you've had diversity "training". Take a moment to embrace it now. "Some people are just whiter than I am. They're different and that's OK."

Finally, don't let the fresh deep bruises on your soul distract you from practical concerns. If you smell smoke, unplug your computer and walk away. If you've soiled yourself, don't be embarrassed. Under the circumstances, no one can blame you.

I'm truly sorry to have done this to you, but you all know my "Photoshop Jeff" posting policy... if you submit it, I'll post it.

Pleasant dreams. :)

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Photoshop Jeff, Danger Pants Results

Well, the response to the Danger Pants event was disappointing. Only three entries, and I did one of them.

But the ones I got were pretty good, so let's get to it. You can click into these to see larger versions of the pics. First up, here's the one I did.

Break it down!

You may find it hard to believe, but that's the closest I've ever been to smokin' hawt hip-hop dance girls. Too bad they were so pixelated.

This one is from V:

Captain Danger Pants!

That text is a little small at this size, so I encourage you to click into it. It's worth it. "He wears... DANGER PANTS!"

And finally, this one is from P-Ziddy. This one wins the prize, methinks.

Your hinder has never been safer!

I know he pretty much just put my head into a different picture, but this thing cracks me up big-time. Bravo!

As always, you can view all previous Photoshop Jeff pics here.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

From The Email Archive...

Danger Pants!Next week I'll reveal the Photoshop Jeff pics I've received. This time around what I lack in quantity I make up for in quality. That's a hint, folks. I've got a couple of real winners, but there just aren't very many submissions this time around. Help a nerd out, will ya?


Revenge is Sweet:

Golf for Beginners:

Irish Paramedics:

A Jolly Good Recovery:

A Kodak Moment:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stories From My Past: School Photo

No, this isn't me... my hair was never this tameIt was late in elementary school, or maybe early in jr. high school. We were all sitting in class when our school photos (taken several weeks earlier) were handed out to us.

I opened up my envelope, looked at my photo and very quickly put it face down on my desk with my hands over it.

This isn't me either... I wouldn't be caught dead in that tieMost of the time, school photos turned out OK for me. Once or twice, they turned out kinda bad. But this particular time... well, I looked like a small chimp who had died unpleasantly.

All around me, kids were showing each other their photos. "Hey Jeff, let me see yours!"

Also not me... my ears were biggerI refused. One of the guys sitting next to me said, "C'mon, it can't be worse than mine!" He showed me his picture, and it was fairly bad. But I still refused.

"I'll give you a nickle," he promised. The capitalist in me perked up, but the price was too low. "No." "I'll give you a quarter."

This is pretty close to the truth, actuallyI was reluctantly sold. "OK, but only you, and only for a second." I flashed the photo at him.

Minutes later, when he picked himself up off the floor, he told the entire class, "Give him a quarter! It's worth it! Trust me!" He didn't stop laughing for 3 days. He even tried to give me a second quarter so he could see it again.

Bingo! It's like they *knew* meOf course, I wonder what that photo would look like to me now. If it exists anywhere, my parents have it. I'm tempted to ask, but I bet *all* of my old school photos look pretty goofy now. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I'm magic on the 'micREMINDER: Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff! This preview is from me... I've got two other submissions, but I really don't want to show off either of them early because they are so good. :)


It's easy for many folks to forget that their computer wasn't "born" knowing how to run Windows. The programs, games, and web browsers that we're all used to weren't easy to create just because they are familiar now. At some point, nearly every piece of software that you run was created by a living, breathing person. The only exception is Linux, which was not created. It was belched out of the third circle of hades after the devil ate a salmonella-infested PBJ.

But I digress.

I saw this error featured recently. Apparently, the programmer who created this imagined a "crash" scenario but didn't think it would ever actually happen.


It reminded me of this old error I saw featured many moons ago. This programmer must have been a bit sleep-deprived. I couldn't find a pic of the error, so I recreated it here:

Loosely translated, 'that certain something'

There was a system I worked on at my previous job that was used to tell customers their rebate status. I talked it over with the Rebate Manager, who told me, "Condition 1 means their rebate is being processed. 2 means it has been denied. 3 means..." and so on.

I completed the pages for our web site and put it into use. A customer called almost immediately to complain. It seems that I didn't get all of my incomplete 'test' code out of the way. When the customer asked our web site what his rebate status was, the site replied:


Even though it was practically company policy to be apathetic about the customers, it most definitely was NOT company policy to be honest with them about it. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Batmobile Dream

Sweet Ride(s)I dreamt I was driving the Batmobile. Not the most recent version of it, though. Not even the Michael Keeton version. We're talking Adam West here. For the record, I was NOT wearing tights.

I was driving on city streets that were a sort of combo of Tulsa and Stillwater roads. Some of them even had Tulsa street names. They were lined with students getting ready for a big college game, but I'm not sure which sport.

I swerved past a wreck... the injured people waved at me and smiled. I drove through a red light at an intersection... the folks that should have plowed into me stopped on a dime instead. They smiled and waved, too.

I drove up to the stadium. There were a lot of stairs leading up to the entrance, and there was a huge crowd of students. They reacted like the mascot had just shown up... huge cheers, chants, lots of jumping around and general mayhem.

Even with the visual aid, it makes no senseThen things got wacky. Somehow, a hook was attached to my batmobile and it was lifted about 5 feet off the ground. I got behind the rear driver's side tire. Big Dawg appeared in the dream at this point, behind the driver's side front tire. We started to push the hovering batmobile up the stone steps.

I guess the batmobile was going to be attending the game. As we grunted and pushed the floating vehicle up the stairs, the crowd cheered wildly. Suddenly, I knew what we needed... a chant. A simple, short chant for the crowd to be roaring as we pushed my batmobile into the stadium. In a rush, words appeared in my head. "Heck yeah! *This* is the hard part! Winning the game will be easy!"

It just sorta rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

Dream-Jeff took a deep breath and shouted, "HECK! *cough* yea... *cough* *cough* *cough*"

Oddly enough, the crowd didn't join in. However, back in the real world, my wife rolled over, hit me and said, "What the heck are you shouting about over there?!?"

Holy race-cars, Batman! This is even more embarrassing than being seen in tights.After a groggy moment or two I said, "Uh... race cars."


Monday, February 09, 2009

Photoshop Jeff: Danger Pants

If you haven't seen the Danger Pants story, now would be a good time. For several days after this post went up, I got blog comments from folks referring to me as "Captain Danger Pants". I seem to have struck a nerve.

Captain Danger Pants!With that in mind, it's time for a new Photoshop Jeff event! The theme, obviously, is "Danger Pants".

The rules, as always, are pretty simple. Manipulate the photo into something amusing. Please keep in mind that this is a PG blog. :) My submission guidlines are pretty simple: If you send it, I will post it. Send your photo(s) to:

jeff dot w dot mcclung at gmail dot com

Have fun... I'll post all of the responses I get in a week or so. You can see links to previous Photoshop Jeff events at the top of the right column of this site. You can also view all previous Photoshop Jeff pics here.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Random Amusements

This one came to me in an email titled, "Dumbest Illegal Immigrant".

Running stop light = $100.00
DUI = $350.00
Not wearing a seat belt = $150.00
Putting you & your girlfriend's photo on your fake driver's license = PRICELESS

Look, I can vouch for her, OK?

Remember! When making a fake ID, attach a picture of yourself only... no matter how much you love your girl.

This following pic comes from me. This is the discount bin at a local Walgreen's:

Where's Waldo?

Maybe at first glance, you didn't see it. The plush Christmas Tree is a red herring, look again. It's mostly candy and cheap plastic junk, plus... a microwave chili dinner?

I don't know about you, but I've always thought that the very best chili comes from the "75% off!" bucket at a drugstore. They have the best combination of spices, bar none.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Full-Contact Shopping!My wife was checking out at Walmart the other day when the lady at the register grinned and said, "See those two girls over there? We're about to nab them for shoplifting."

Well, that's certainly a bold way to greet customers. Checkout lady was taking her sweet time running items, too. "Just get comfortable," she cautioned.

The shoplifters made it past the checkout lines and were taking their first steps toward apparent freedom when the alarms sounded.

Red and Blue lights started flashing, strobe-style. It was like being in a low-impact disco.

Plainclothes Walmart Security Goons appeared out of nowhere and started throwing punches.

It's a swat team! Get it? Ha!SWAT members burst in through the plate glass windows as lead-lined concrete-and-steel doors slammed down.

Blue-vested specially-trained combat troops burst out of the toy section, armed with plastic baseball bats and Nerf rifles.

Walmart had achieved lockdown.

It was a good half-hour before security finished sorting out the guilty from the collateral and started letting shoppers leave. By that time my wife's ice cream had melted, but at least she didn't take any direct hits herself.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stories From My Past: Ice Storm

In high school I went on a band trip to Florida. We marched at Disney and whatnot.

Yicky iceDuring the trip I got on a pay phone (pre-cell phone days, remember) and talked to Mom n' Dad. They told me that there was an ice storm back home. I was in shorts and a t-shirt as they told me this. "No way", I thought. "They must be mistaken."

We all climbed on the bus for the 26-hour ride home.

I remember waking up a few hours before we were supposed to arrive. It was chilly. This didn't seem right. Then I looked outside the bus...SNOW! Blessed whiteness all around us.

Sidebar: "Blessed Whiteness" would be pretty good Rock band name, doncha think?
I was around the middle of the bus, but I could hear the whispers from the back. "Hey, we aren't leaving any tracks in the snow."

My teenage mind entertained a bizarre, foreign thought. "I wonder if my parents were right..."

I opened up my suitcase. The top layer was all my dirty laundry, but I suspected it wouldn't matter. I pulled on another pair of socks. I put jeans on over my sweats. I pulled on another shirt, a sweatshirt, and then my jacket and my heavy coat. I put on my thin white band gloves, then my winter gloves over those. I looked like I was ready to go explore the Arctic.

Meanwhile, the wisdom-impaired baboons in the front of the bus were going nuts. They stubbornly refused to believe that the white goodness outside could be ice. "SNOW! Snowball fight! As soon as we stop it's ON! Team up! Me an' Stinky against you and Dummy! Whoo-hoo!"

The bus stopped. The door opened. The loudest of the band bullies (who was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt) shoved his way past everyone, let out a barbarian's yell, and leapt out full-speed into a wind chill of 5 below zero.

Google images failed me. Sorry.It was gorgeous. I remember it as if it happened in slow motion. He had already started on an impressive anguished scream when his feet hit the ground and zipped out from under him. He landed hard on his hinder and then slid for at least 15 feet.

He very quickly rejoined us on the bus.

It's kinda rare for me to have a fond memory of high school. Seeing diddle-dork turn himself into a sled certainly bucks the trend, though.