Thursday, April 30, 2009


Doubt me not!I was watching Dr. Phil do a guest spot on the Tonight Show last week, and he mentioned the Slumdog Millionaire story. The news said that the father of one of the child actors was trying to sell her. It turned out to be untrue. Dr. Phil used this as an opportunity to wail on bloggers, saying that the fake story was caused by (paraphrasing) "some blogger kid in his parents' basement, making things up."

Personally, I'd choose a malicious blogger over NBC news any day. But that's not the point... I'm a blogger! I can make stuff up! It worked for a publicity hound in India, why not me?

Michael Jordan un-retires again
Claims, "If I don't, I'm afraid Jeff may eventually break all those records I set"

Get ready to feel the thunder!Classic rock band 'Captain Danger Pants and the Blowfish' cancels new Guitar Hero ad
En route to studio, band converted to Kabala and changed course for Indonesia

Tiny nerd in near-rural Oklahoma sued by the Onion for copyright infringement
The Onion: He didn't even bother to write stories for his headlines! The lazy bum!
Jeff: Aaaaiii! How did they find me?!?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Covers

You know that I don't have much to write about when I trot out the pointless comedy exercises this early in the week. :) Bear with me, the weekend will eventually come and save us all.

This was inspired by Jay Leno's "Worst Selling Products on" skit he does from time to time. I thought I'd go through some of the books I've read recently.

Up first, "Deal Breaker" by Harlan Coben. Technically, I'm not finished with it yet... it's good, not great.

Then there's my custom version...

Up next is "Crazy Love (Overwhelmed by a relentless God)", by Francis Chan. Obviously, this one won't be suited to everybody's taste. :) But it really is a wonderful book.

The Jeff-version is perhaps a bit too honest for comfort...

Finally, "The Fairtax Book", by Neil Boortz. "Saying goodbye to the income tax and the IRS". A noble goal, to say the least.

The Jeff-version is not quite as inspiring.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dust To Dust

At work, my desk is under an A/C vent. Occasionally, large-ish lumps of black dust will descend and coat my desk.

Have you ever tried to photograph dust?The guy across from me has the same problem. It's annoying, but it doesn't bother either of us too much. Usually I'll just wipe off my keyboard as I sit down. Occasionally it gums up my mouse.

I hadn't thought about it, but this has been going on for almost a year. It's not daily, but it's at least twice a week. Many of the little lumps are just big enough that they smear when I try to brush them off. It looks like I've been drawing on my desk with a crayon.

A few days ago, an enthusiastic lump drifted over and landed on Big Dawg's desk. A full-scale emergency was launched.

I was!I became aware of the crisis when I saw our building manager's head appear over my cubical wall. Imagine a "Kilroy was here" moment, but with a Super Mario Brother head. His moustache did a better job of dusting than I ever do.

He and one of the facilities crew were discussing the black powder at high volume. They wandered constantly and caressed my desk repeatedly. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

"The dust blows out over here?"
"Yeah, all over his desk."
Confused... Befuddled..."There's no dust now."
"I already wiped down his desk."
"So it doesn't blow out over here?"
"It always blows out over here."
"There's no dust now."
"That's because I wiped it down."
"What I don't understand is why there's no dust here."

Eventually Super Mario came to terms with the problem. I've seen him in the hallway a couple of times since then. He always points and says, "We're working on your dust problem." If I'd known he'd be so single-minded and determined about it, I would have brushed some of the dust over on Big Dawg's desk months ago.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yard Work

My wife really likes yard work. Before the end of last week, she gave me the list of things we were going to do over the weekend:

Ah, manual labor! My favorite! - Edge the front lawn
 - Weed-eat front and back lawn
 - Plant flowers (two flowerbeds AND pots/planters)
 - Fill in low spots in the yard
 - Cover our landscaping with new mulch

We were done by 11AM on Saturday. Yowsah!

I wasn't even allowed to park when I got home from work Friday. My wife was waiting for me outside. She punched me in the head, pushed me over to the passenger side, and lead-footed it over to Lowe's. When I came to, we were in the checkout line. I was told that the orange flowers I picked looked wonderful.

I am morally obligated to pick 'orange' when asked for my favorite colorI'm just glad I was able to contribute.

The anticipation was far too much for my wife, who wound up planting the flowers Friday evening as the sun set. I got to follow her around with a flashlight and answer questions like, "Where'd I lay that shovel? Can you tell what color this petunia is? Is that the brightest flashlight we've got?"

When we finished, we stepped back to take a look at our handiwork. Eventually, a car went by and we caught a glimpse of everything from its headlights. Not bad.

My garage is NOT for sale!Saturday, a neighborhood-wide garage sale turned our quiet little community into a demolition derby. While we finished up the last our of our chores we watched neighbors and friends honk and swerve and park in front of each other's mailboxes. At one point the mailman drove by screaming with his middle finger held high.

Overall, it was fun and I think it was worth it. What do you think?


Friday, April 24, 2009

Album Covers

I've done this a couple of times before... it was fun, so I thought I'd revisit it. Plus, the phrase "Trouserless British" just doesn't come up in conversation very often.

Calm down, monkey!

I was hoping to make that album name look like a smiley face. Methinks I failed. :)

For this next one I went with the trusty "facebook" method.

1) Random Wikipedia Article = Band Name
2) Random Quotation = Album Name
3) Recent Flikr Activity = Album Art

favored by the gods

Aw yeah. That's more like it.

For my last one, I thought I'd re-use the "Artificial Motivation" idea from yesterday's blog post:

Wake me when it's over

But wait! There's more! iCanSpell took a couple of random phrases out of context and came up with this winner:

Encryption Foils Zombies

I love it!

Happy weekend, everybody!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


My ancestors used to tell of the days when...I had the weirdest dream. I don't normally remember my dreams, but this one was a doozy.

I was trapped in a large confined building. It seemed like it was part warehouse, part kitchen. Our very scary masters had commanded us to move large boxes of stuff around.

There were lots of fellow slaves who were terrified. They cried, screamed, ran, but they always were caught by the very scary masters and forced to continue working.

Presumably, the boxes contained kitchen suppliesThere were also lots of fellow slaves who were dumb, passive and happy. They didn't seem to realize they were being abused. They'd pick up boxes and carry them around with simple little smiles on their faces.

There were a few of us who seemed to know we were trapped, but didn't quite know what to do about it. I was one of those... I was trying to keep from being noticed so I could find a way to escape.

One of the smilers came to me to help with a particularly large box. We moved the box and found 5 little discs on the ground underneath it. The smiler lady-slave was fixated on them. "Oh, aren't these wonderful!", she coo'ed. "Do you think they left them here just for me?"

Anybody remember 'Don't take any wooden nickles'? Is it just me?I had my doubts, but I didn't want to attract attention. "Sure," I said. They looked like very ordinary worthless tiny bottle caps. Surely nobody would care if she snuck them into her pockets. And even if they did care, nobody would think *I* had anything to do with it. No problem.

Except that she got *really* happy about the discs. "Oh, this is so thoughtful of them! Positive reinforcement! They are motivating us!" She happily lost interest in me and the large box and wandered off. Something fell out of her pocket as she pushed the discs in.

Instantly I could feel an evil presence behind me. "WHAT IS SHE DOING?!?", demanded one of the very scary masters. I jumped. So much for not being noticed.

There is nothing to fear here... except everything..."She's abandoned her work," I confessed. I knew that I would be punished just as severely, because the very scary masters would punish you just for being near an infraction. I was doomed. "She thinks you were trying to motivate her."

"WHAT DID SHE DROP?" I picked up the item. It looked like a broken piece of a child's toy... plastic with an empty space in it for a battery. "It..." I stammered. "It is... was... what she used before... for motivation."

"THIS PROPELLED HER?" Things were getting really out of hand. At this rate, the very scary masters would make a party out of my torture session. "Yes, it was her... uh... her artificial motivation."

This is my kinda artificial motivation...The phrase "Artificial Motivation" changed things. Instantly, I was aware of the fact that this was a dream. The scary mood evaporated while the formerly scary master wailed in annoyance. His prize was gone.

It was the first time I've even woken up laughing from a nightmare.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


For this story to work, you need a quick background story.

Yummy!One day when I was in grade school, everybody in my grade level learned what "epidermis" meant. Our science teacher told us about this crazy new word that simply meant "your outermost layer of skin" but sounded vaguely obscene to your average fifth-grader. Some of us had science class before lunch, and some after. The teacher helpfully suggested that we have some fun with the word during our lunch break.

When the lunch bell rang, we took off at high speed for the playground. The ritual was that all the boys would run as fast as possible, and whoever got to the playground first won. I have no idea what the reward was, because I was never fast enough to be first (are you surprised?).

The kid who was usually the fastest was also an "after lunch science class" guy. He quickly began to outpace the rest of the pack, as usual. Then, the guy right behind him shouted, "Hey, your epidermis is showing!"

I hate it when this happensOur resident speedster instantly doubled over at the waist. He was reaching for his zipper when his face first made impact with the unforgiving dirt. It was a pretty spectacular display. He might have rolled further if the soccer net hadn't caught him.

Fast forward to present-day.

My cubical wall seems to attract this kind of behaviorOoRah was standing on the other side of my cubical wall at the office, making conversation. He glanced off to the side and quizzically announced, "He's looking at my profile."

The "epidermis" story roared back to life, and my mind created a definition for "profile" that probably won't be found in Webster's. Suddenly I was worried... was OoRah wearing pants on the other side of that cube wall? Was he enjoying the attention? Should I inquire?

OoRah quickly explained... he could see a co-worker's monitor, and that co-worker was looking at OoRah's profile on a social networking site. It was too late though, the damage was done.

I'm appalled.I explained the "epidermis" story to OoRah and my boss (who has a knack for showing up in the middle of embarrassing moments). While OoRah laughed, I looked at my boss and said, "I can't believe we tolerate this kind of behavior."

I'm sure my boss was wondering the same thing, about me. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


'Lottery' by Patricia WoodMy wife was reading a book called "Lottery". Apparently it's quite a good book. It's about a young mentally challenged man who wins the lottery. His only relative who actually cared about him has recently died, so he's pretty much on his own. Well, except for his one good buddy, "Keith".

50 pages into the book, my wife was laughing almost to the point of tears. I asked her what was so funny. "Switch is in this book!" she announced.

I was doubtful. Switch is a coworker of mine, and my wife has never met him. She's only heard stories and seen his Facebook profile.

Then she read me a few passages.

The main character (I forgot his name) asked Keith, "What am I gonna do with all this money?" Keith replies, "Well, you're gonna give half of it to the [extraordinary adjective] government!"

During a consultation with some lawyers, the main character turns to Keith and asks, "What language are they speaking?" Keith eloquently replies, "[Unprintable]! They learn it in school."

And scars. Chicks dig scars, too.The character of "Keith" is a foul-mouthed gun-toting government-hating trust-no-one paranoid heavy-drinker. He's also a decent man (deep down) and loyal friend. He may as well be Switch's illegal North Korean clone.

Every 10 minutes while my wife was reading the book, she would laugh and then read me something that "Keith" said. It was grand.

NOTE: If you are thinking about reading this book, you'll want to stop reading here! I'm about to spoil part of the end!

50 pages or so from the end of the book, she got quiet. I asked her what was wrong and she burst out, "Keith died!" She was practically trembling.

I can just picture it, years from now, at Switch's funeral. "He was a good man, and Jeff's wife will miss him greatly..."

Monday, April 20, 2009


I think shopping at Walmart is hilarious. Check it out:


Pardon me. This rarely happens.I walked in as a small family was walking out. Papa was first. He was unhappy, and was noisily complaining at his kid, who was next. The momma was last. As we walked past each other, there was an explosive ROAR.

I nearly jumped out of my skin. At first I thought she had snapped and started to scream at her kid, but it sounded more like I had stepped on a mountain lion's tail. She turned bright red, covered her mouth and timidly squeaked, "Oh! Excuse me."

I swear it was the loudest burp I've ever heard. Keep in mind, I've had college-age male roommates. I've competed with them in terms of volume, tone, and duration. I was pretty loud, back in the day. But this made my ears ring.

Truth In Advertising

The store was just crowded enough that I couldn't get many pictures. But check out... "One aisle. $1 dollar or less. One great way to stock up."

One dollar, more or less

It's a little hard to see, but those items on the top shelf are leftover Easter baskets. Original price $14, but now they are marked down. To $9.

Methinks they haven't quite finished re-organizing the merchandise.

What Kind Of Milk?

Identity crisisMy wife got stuck in a narrow aisle where an elderly couple was discussing milk. The woman could see my wife waiting patiently, but the man was oblivious.

"What kind of milk do we want?"
"It doesn't matter... just get what you always get."
"But this kind is a little bigger."
"It doesn't matter... just pick one!"
"What's the difference between this milk and that other one?"
"But what size do we need?"
"One big enough to hit yourself with! Now get out of that woman's way!"

Pink Taz Tattoo

Yeah, you read that right. A guy at a register in front of us had a Tasmanian Devil tattoo on his ankle. I'm guessing that he had this done long ago, because the colors were beginning to fade.

It's hard to see in the pic, 'cause I had to be discreet about snapping this one. His natural flesh tones were showing through, which made 'Ole Baggy Eyes look pink.

At least he didn't wear socks with his sandals, like I do

That's a manly tattoo, don't you think?

Friday, April 17, 2009


My wife went for a walk in our neighborhood. After a while, she had an odd feeling like she was being followed. Then, she realized that she was simply being followed by something odd.

A kid was behind her, occasionally riding a skateboard. Mostly, he was crashing it. When he was vertical he was speedy, but it never lasted more than a few seconds. Then, he'd bounce off the pavement while the skateboard ricocheted off a curb. He crashed into a few mailboxes and took out dozens of flowers, never getting up enough speed to outpace my wife.

The 'face plant'... very rare... only grows in the summer...She didn't want to stare, especially since that would mean having to walk backwards. But she was constantly aware of the noises behind her... the brief "whiiirrrrr" of wheels finding traction, followed by a clicking sound and kiddo-grunt of despair, and then harsh, harsh impact. My wife was the leader of a parade of senseless violence.

When she told me the story, I was reminded of my own skateboard story (I only have one). My Dad gave me his old skateboard when I was a kid. It turned out to be an unkind gift.

After some careful instruction, I was ready to try out my new toy. I planted one foot, pushed off with the other, and WHOOSH! I was roaring down the sidewalk.

The trip lasted about three seconds. Then, my "push" foot landed in a wad of chewing gum. I had one foot glued to the sidewalk while the other was streaking down the sidewalk at the speed of light.

And I was this graceful about it, too.Obviously, it didn't end well. In fact, it was the one and only time I've ever done the full splits. I died a little that day.

Tony Hawk never has to worry about any competition from me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wash The Dogs

My oldest nephew (9 years old!) was spending the day with his gramma (my mom). Mom and Dad have two dogs, and Nephew decided he wanted to bathe them.

This thing is huge in real lifeI admit, it's not my idea of a good time. But Nephew sure thought it sounded like fun. "Gramma, where's your washbasin?" Mom told him to go out into the garage to look for it.

"Cluttered" doesn't quite do justice to what you'll find in my parent's garage. Consider... the garage contains a 1951 Hudson, yet somehow that's not the first thing you notice when the garage door opens. In fact, you might spend 20 or 30 minutes poking around the debris before you even realize there's a car buried in there.

My dad's 1951 Hudson fails to impress my nephew
It's even more impressive when you consider that Dad has recently taken 4 truckloads of junk out.

Nephew bounced into the garage searching for an old over-sized metal washbasin. He may as well have been searching for a needle in 12 haystacks.

Mom grew concerned when Nephew didn't come back after a few minutes. She peeked in the garage and saw Nephew standing on the roof of the Hudson, surveying the wasteland below. "I don't see it, Gramma."

I *never* saw an empty trunk until I got my first carMom demanded that Nephew disembark. He moved toward the back of the car, where the trunk lid was open and pointing skyward.

A quick sidebar. My dad uses the trunk of the Hudson as his toolbox. When I was a kid, he'd close the trunk lid most of the time. Nowadays, there's too much stuff for the lid to close all the way. Go figure.

Zoom-Zoom, baby!Anyhow, Nephew started to climb up and over the trunk lid. Mom told him not to do that, the lid could fall.

His eyes bugged out as he looked at the trunk lid. "It goes *down*?" He'd never seen Grampa's Hudson with the trunk lid down.

After all that, the dogs finally did get a bath. I don't know if they found the washbasin, or if they just filled up the back seat of the Hudson. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That Was My Stop

I usually work 8:30-5:30. Doing this lets me miss most of the rush hour traffic, and it also means that I mostly miss the big crowds riding the shuttle bus to and from the parking lot.

First one to sing 'The Wheels On The Bus' gets kicked out to the curb!I parked into the lot one morning. The shuttle bus was just pulling in... my timing was perfect. I hopped on the bus. I was the only one, so the driver shrugged and took off.

We chatted briefly as he pulled out into traffic. "How are you?" "Fine. How are you?" "Fine." Our friendly conversation exhausted, the rest of the drive was made in silence. Not unusual.

He rounded the corner in front of my office building, and drove right past it. He never slowed down.

I leaned forward. "Uh, were you going to drop me off there?"

You big dummy!Bus Driver screamed and nearly jumped through the windshield. He grabbed at his chest and had a Fred Sanford moment.

"WHOA!", he shouted. "I forgot you was there!"

He dropped me off a block and a half from the office.

You know, I never start out the day thinking, "Today I will kill a bus driver!"


P-Ziddy was inspired by yesterday's post about ID badges.

If I'm such an evil genius, then how come *I* didn't think of this first?

Outstanding. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo ID

We're getting new ID badges at work, so we all had to go up to HR and have our photos taken. I went with Big Dawg and OoRah, because we were afraid to go alone.

I was first. Super-Friendly HR Lady told me to smile, which I don't do well on command. "Maybe your friends here can make you laugh," she suggested.

Woof.A quick side note. I refer to Big Dawg by that name because he used to wear "Big Dawg" t-shirts all the time. He is a large man. He is also quite jolly, and he knows just how adolescent my sense of humor can be.

At HR Lady's suggestion, Big Dawg grabbed big handfuls of his belly, scrunched up his face and started shouting "Tee-hee! Tee-hee!"

My new badge photo shows me with tears in my eyes. I look like I've been pepper-sprayed.

I thought maybe I could do better designing my own ID badge. I have since changed my opinion. What do you think?




Monday, April 13, 2009


Saturday, we finally had a nice Spring day. That means yardwork!

Back-BreakerWe have a low spot in our yard, so I bought a 40-pound sack of topsoil. Since it was the only heavy thing we were buying I decided not to use a cart.

My arms began to shake while we stood in a very slow line to pay. My wife had to get a cart to wheel *me* to the car, and a handy Lowes man helped her stuff me into the trunk next to the bag of dirt.

At least I still have my dignity.

I took the bag out back. Turns out, a 40-pound sack wasn't enough. Then, we pulled weeds and tossed them into the empty bag. Once again, the 40-pound sack wasn't enough. I guess we had a lot of weeds. :)

Sunday, we went to our church's Easter service. We found some seats near the back. A complete stranger in the row behind us pointed and grinned, saying "I saved those seats for you!"

Har, Har! You're a great crowd... Don't forget to 'tip' your waitress! Har!Ah, the awkward pseudo-joke icebreaker. We thanked him for his low-effort good deed, and got comfortable. Another couple came in and sat down across the aisle from us. The joker behind us spoke up again. "Hi there! I saved those seats for you!"

He only knew one joke, but he was getting as much mileage out of it as he could.

Later, the pastor walked up toward the stage. I heard the guy behind us shout, "I sa-*blerg*" just before his wife slapped her hand over his mouth. Seven different people applauded her. He was shamed into watching the rest of the service from the hallway, next to the bathroom. A group of latecomers thought he was a doorman, and one tipped him a nickle on his way to the potty.

Don't knock it. In this economy, every nickle matters.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

When the Easter Bunny outsources...I don't have much to say beyond "Happy Good Friday!" and "Happy Easter!". I managed to snag a long weekend, so I'm not even at work today. :)

Of course, nothing depicts this sacred holiday quite like plastic potatoes dressed up as bunnies.

It's amazing how tempting this junk is. I was hunting for a price tag before I partially came to my senses. I say "partially", because I'm considering going back the day after to see if they lasted long enough to be thrown on sale.

Happy Spring, and Happy Easter!

He is risen!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Also Embarrassing

Sometimes I get mail at my parent's address. This is rare, but not unusual.

Recently, I got mail at my grandparent's address. This is pretty much unheard of, because my name has never been associated with that physical address.

I know there's text on this thing, but I'm having trouble focusing on itEven better? It was a Victoria's Secret flier.

Apparently the items advertised can help me attain perfection (at least once). I can also claim one "Free Secret Garden Item" with my purchase. I wonder if I have to actually go to Misselthwaite Manor to claim my prize.

My parents figure that either I'm using Grandma for cover, or she's using me. Neither option helps me sleep at night, frankly.

So... unsolicited mail of dubious content, discretely sent to me at a secondary address. Where was this service when I was a teenager? ;)