Friday, May 29, 2009


I was reading my "Quotations from Babylon 5" book again (and thanks again, Queen Spoo!). I came across a short essay from the series creator / book author, J. Michael Straczynski, about the power of one mind to change the world.

I really liked how it ended, so I made a "Motivational Poster" wazzit out of it. Hey, if nothing else, it'll brighten up my desk a little.

click for a bigger 'pic
Never Surrender Dreams

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zombie Fire Ants

Danger!This is quite possibly the coolest thing you'll ever run screaming from. This is real!

New weapon turns fire ants into headless zombies

The inclusion of the word "Zombies" makes my geeky little heart go *glee*.

True loveIf you're like me (and I know I am), you just got an awesome mental picture of regular ants fleeing in panic while a bunch of slow-moving zombie fire ants follow them and chant, "Braaaaiiiinssss....."

I can picture a little ant tripping up some of his doomed buddies and shouting, "I don't have to be faster than them, I just have to be faster than you!" There's always one.

Be preparedI'd always figured that my Zombie Apocalypse plan was to go to the second level of a shopping mall and point all the escalators "down". But if you're an ant, that wouldn't work. You'd pretty much just have to pick somebody to throw under the bus. "Ooohhh, Zombie-Fire Ant... lookie! Slow-moving Aphids!"

What's *your* Zombie Fire-Ant Apocalypse plan?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extra Information

My wife and I ate out recently. Our waiter ("Jabberin' C") was a talkative fellow with a permanent smile. The restaurant was unusually bare, so we were his only table.

U+Me 4EvahIt started with a discussion about napkins. He offered them even before taking our drink orders, and I jokingly said, "The napkins make all the difference." He immediately handed me a friendship bracelet and pledged his life to mine. Awkward.

From that moment on, every time he came by he stayed for an extra couple of uncomfortable moments, and shared tidbits about himself.

"I'm a pizza chef for another place in the mornings." Thank you, but I really only need to know if you're putting lemon wedges in my water.

"I'm having a cookout at my house this weekend!" Uh, nice. Can I get my salad dressing on the side?

"I've never understood British humor." Please, can I just see a desert menu?

"I speak Pig Latin more fluently than English." OK, that one, I believe.

The actual 'wobbly' chairAnd then it got crazy. A family came in and was nearly seated at the table next to us. The "Mom" refused to sit because her chair was wobbly. It was not a polite refusal.


Her entire family collectively face-palmed and sighed, "Oh, here we go again." The hissy-fit was impressive. Moments later, they were led away to a less offensive table. Apparently, no one is willing to sit near me. Ever.

Jabberin' C stopped by our table to watch the spectacle with us. "My mom is an Aquarius," he helpfully offered. I'm so glad to know these things.

Another family came in and my wife pointed. "Look, they're going to try it again!" Sure enough, they were being led to the wildly dangerous and internationally famous 'wobbly' chair. I lept to my feet. "For the love of God, no!"

The new family sat down with no problems. The chair was sturdy. Jabberin' C was impressed.
Whatever it is, good luck with it, m'kay?
"My girlfriend and I have been trying to..." "Whoa! OK, thanks, now it's time for the check."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Fence Question

How is it that my back fence can survive 60 MPH winds despite having several rotting posts, and yet it can't handle a 6-pound Chihuahua?

Boom goes the dynamite?

This is amazing stuff. I've only written about it a couple of times, but my wife and I figure this is at least the 6th time little Peanut has crossed enemy lines.

I guess I should be upset, but I'm too busy laughing. I think it's hilarious that such a little 'pup could be so devastating.

Missing?!?This last little foray into our utopia was especially notable because it's the first time Peanut invaded without leaving us a "pile" to remember her by.

Poor girl. I hope she's feeling OK.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy last day of long weekend to you!

Happy Memorial Day!

That is all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Baseball Cards

I saw this blog post, where a guy looked back at 10 "mistaken identity" baseball cards. In other words, cards that have the wrong picture on them.

Now, to an actual baseball fan, I suspect this is amusing stuff. It didn't do much for me. But it did give me an idea that was much more amusing in concept than in execution... silly baseball cards!

I had to start with Tigger, of course.

This Lego guy pic was already baseball themed... I got off easy here.

Hey, why not go for an actual person? How about a General?

You knew how this had to end (and thank goodness it ended!).

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Me And My Shadow

Big Dawg usually eats about an hour earlier than I do. It's pretty rare for us to be in a restaurant or the breakroom eating at the same time. That said...

Recently I walked across the street to Subway for lunch. As I walked in, I saw Big Dawg at the front of the line. I was a little early for lunch, he was a little late. The game was afoot.

Owie. Stingie.The next day I walked up and down the sidewalk, peering in windows, trying to find Big Dawg. Four different fast-moving pedestrians thought I was begging and tossed some change at me. I nearly had my eye gouged out by an arrowhead penny.

Then I saw him! Front of the line at a nearby Greek place. I jumped into the back of the line and waited. As he walked by I taunted him... "You'll never shake me. I'll always be watching. Bwah!"

I am a tripping hazardThe next day Big Dawg went out to lunch so early that hadn't actually come into work yet, in an attempt to thwart me. I was ready for him. I chased him down the sidewalk until I tripped over a loose manhole cover and turned an ankle.

Finally, I had to submit to Big Dawg's superior urban stealth. Which is a fancy way of saying, I lost him. He went to lunch two days ago and I haven't seen him since.

Have you seen me?Maybe I should tell someone?...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Programmers Lunch

A nerd clusterIf you have nerds, it's a good idea to try and socialize them from time to time. Not that it'll work, but it's a handy excuse to go out and eat.

Most of us went to Olive Garden for lunch one day last week. OoRah was among the first to arrive. He told the hostess we needed a table for 6. "Name?", she asked. "Tim."

No one in the office is named Tim.

LadyPatsFan gave OoRah a confused look. "Never give them your *real* name," was his half-serious reply. The hostess told him they had a table available. "Will the others in your party recognize 'Tim'?"

There are those who call me... Tim..."Uuuhhh.... no."

Despite the best efforts of "Tim", we all got seated together. It is well known at the office that Olive Garden is a favorite of my wife and I, so they asked with a grin if she'd be jealous.

"Actually," I confessed, "She and I are coming back here this weekend as part of our anniversary celebration."

"Oh," said OoRah. "So this is just reconnaissance."

They asked if my wife knew where I was. I had already told her about our office lunch plans, but OoRah hadn't told his. "She'll find out when she sees the receipt on our credit card bill," he said with a smirk.

A few minutes later, his phone buzzed. "Hi, Honey. Uh... we're at lunch. Yeah, a lot of us. Uh... Olive Garden..."

Caught in the act!Big Dawg's grin went from ear to ear. He pointed and shouted, "BUSTED!"

It's a miracle we didn't get thrown out of the restaurant for social incompetence.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's not mine. I gave mine to her 8 years ago.Today is my wedding anniversary. Everybody all together now, *awww...*

We celebrated last Saturday by going out to eat, seeing "Star Trek", doing a little shopping and attending a Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert.

The concert was very excellent. My wife noticed a dog in the audience, just politely sitting there, looking toward the stage. She didn't mention it to me at the time because she thought she was hallucinating.

Whoa! Strauss never fails to impressAs we left the concert, we saw a blind gentleman walk past being led by the mystery dog. "I knew it!", my wife gleefully shouted. "That's the dog that I thought I saw that I didn't tell you about!"

The guy looked a little like John Cleese, but not enough for me to dust off the old "Pseudo-Celeb" bit.

Here's the cover of the anniversary card my parents gave us. Hurtful!

Marge was getting pretty tired of waking up at the crack of Don

Monday, May 18, 2009

To Boldly Go

Zoom-zoom forever, babyWe saw the Star Trek movie! *bliss*

We don't usually do the concessions thing, because I don't want to have to take on a second job. But this time we had a free popcorn ticket. Into the line we go!

Two guys in front were arguing with the attendant about the price of hot dogs. "I can't believe they're so expensive!", one shouted. Apparently it was his first time in a movie theater. Ever.

They literally argued for minutes. "I told you we should have gone to Quik Trip," one said. Granted, I bet the hot dogs are cheaper there, but I doubt they are showing "Star Trek" on the little pumpcast screens.

Logically, a more expensive hot dog must be higher in qualityWe got into the theater early enough to have our choice of seats. We took a couple of middle-ish seats high up, naturally. There were still lots of empty seats at this point.

Another couple came in. Keep in mind there were hundreds of available seats. They sat down right next to me. They didn't even leave an empty seat between us as a spacer.

About a minute later they leaned in close to each other in huddled conversation. Then they got up and moved to different seats.

Noxious... funk!... too much... can't breathe...My wife and I giggled at this. "Maybe you smell funny," she suggested with a grin.

Another couple walked in. Again, hundreds of seats to choose from, but they chose the still-warm recently-vacated seats next to me.

About a minute later, they got up and moved. Maybe they thought the "still-warm" part was somehow my fault. My wife had tears in her eyes, she was laughing so hard.

A third couple walked in and started to head toward us. My wife pointed. "Look out!" she said. "It's going to happen again!"

Can you blame them?It did.

The only person who actually sat next to me was my poor wife. Probably due to some contractual obligation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

License Plates

I was looking at the new Oklahoma license plates...

Not bad. It occurred to me... with all those simple, flat colors, this would be really easy to Photoshop. About 2 seconds after I had that thought, I knew what this week's "Friday" blog was going to be. :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Terrible Thing To Do To A Coffee Pot

Boom!Late last week there was a domestic disturbance in Muskogee where one spouse hit another with a coffee pot. It's the sixth item on this police report.

This is a totally unacceptable use of coffee machinery, people. Unbelievable. What part did the coffee pot play in this sad little drama?

"You missed your son's soccer game because you were sneaking out with your coffee pot!" I don't think so. Coffee pot is not a mistress.

"We're broke because you keep going to the mall with your friends and the coffee pot!" Unlikely. Coffee pot is not a willfully negligent shopping buddy.

Coffee pot is an essential service provider, not a crude tool of vengeance. The couple can get marriage counseling, but what can poor coffee pot do?

People Opposed To The Insufferable... UNITE!These people make me spit. *ptoo* What's the matter, was the gas stove too heavy for you?

I'm thinking of forming a support group called "POTTI" (People Opposed To The Insufferable). Obviously, "insufferable" refers to brown-stained glass shards.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stream Of Consciousness

This one's pretty silly, so bear with me.

I was in rare form one recent morning as I headed to work. I knew that one of my first tasks of the day would be to contact Switch about a project we're working on. I was thinking about it while driving, and then I started to speak aloud.

It's dynamic! It's exciting! It's... EMAIL!"Switch. I will be working on [blah blah details]. I need to talk to you about [blah blah details]." And so on.

I liked the wording I came up with, so I repeated it. This was turning out well... usually I get to work and spend a good 6 and a half hours just trying to remember my own name and find my chair. This day I was going to walk in and have an important email written before I even sat down!

Assuming I could remember the email, that is. I repeated it out loud again. I started wishing I could call this in and dictate it to somebody.

Hire that wealthy guy, 'Jeff', so I can fire him"This must be what it feels like," I thought, "To have so many important thoughts running around in my head that I have to hire other people to organize them for me."

Of course, stereotypically, only fairly wealthy folks employ other folks just for the joy of never again having to touch a pen (or keyboard, in my case). Suddenly I experienced a burst of ego. I'm ready to be wealthy!

This was a happy revelation indeed. I grinned like the madman I am. Then, up on the horizon I noticed a cloud formation that looked like a perfect abdomen.

"Neat!", I thought. "That cloud is really ripped!".

It's subtle, but see if you can find the cloud formation I noticedIt occurred to me that I don't normally notice cloud formations on my drive to work. "I'm unusually perceptive today," I pondered. "Is it possible to be *too* alert during the drive to work?"

Then I remembered this and this. The sobering answer is no... it is not possible to be too attentive while highway driving.

I re-focused my attention on the road.

By the time I got to work, I had forgotten the email I was "writing".

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going Green

But I like my carbon footprint...I walked into the break room at work and saw this message posted on the cabinet over the sink. No more Styrofoam cups!

A co-worker who I'll call "Hair Stylist" was in the break room. "I heard," she told me, "That there won't be any hot chocolate or tea, also."

Oh wow. The tea loss would hurt, but not too bad. It's just Lipton, after all. But company-provided hot chocolate is important. What else can I mix with my coffee on those *really* tough days?

Then, another important question occurred to me. "They're still going to provide coffee, right?" The answer was not all I had hoped for. "I think so."

I left my pitchfork in my other pantsWe debated the merits of company coffee for a moment. "If they don't," I theorized, "I imagine there would be an angry mob rushing up the stairs with pitchforks and torches." Hair Stylist disagreed. "They couldn't. They would all be asleep at their desks!"

Point taken. I put on my brave face. "Somehow we'll survive." I wasn't sure I believed it.

She smiled and agreed. "We will overcome!"

I thrust a fist in the air. "Adversity makes us stronger!" I was lying like a maniac now, and I knew it.

I've done my partLater, I was discussing the cutbacks with East Coast. "I wonder if our environmental efforts will be enough to save a half a tree."

East Coast chuckled. "Maybe a bush." I tend to agree.

*sigh* I really like Styrofoam.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy late Mother's Day!

Teach me, o wise oneOur day started at church, where there were 4 families having a "baby dedication". The pastor read a Bible verse for each child. The last kiddo was an adorable little boy who grinned and stared at the pastor as if he was the only thing in existence. He didn't even blink.

Pastor finished up with the boy and then looked at the congregation. "Man, I wish *you* guys would pay attention to me like that!"

After church, there was a group of us that went to lunch. The friendly lady up front asked how many was in our group (seven), and then told us it would be 35 minutes or so. Then, she launched into a lengthy explanation of, "...we estimate high so that no one gets mad..." I interrupted her. "But I'm mad already."

You wouldn't like me when I'm angryI was grinning when I said it. Scruffy and my wife both laughed. But I think I freaked out the poor lady. She started apologizing and explaining and gibbering.

Can you believe that anybody would take *me* seriously? Well, apparently there's one.

About 45 minutes later, my crowd was starting to turn on me. "You shouldn't have provoked her." I was feeling pretty sheepish when I went to the hostess stand again to ask what the holdup was. "Let's see... did you say there were 7 in your party, or
When 'please pass the salt' goes horribly wrong
Oh my. They were trying to set us up a table for 17. That would have been fun. We'd have all the elbow room in the world, right up to the point when the other crowded claustrophobic patrons turned on us. The floor would have been littered with broken muffins, apple butter and crushed dreams.

Good luck getting *those* stains out.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Air Force One

OK, I know I'm a bit behind on this news story, but it felt like a good "Friday" blog, so I delayed.

Air Force One was flown low over Manhattan last week for a photo opportunity. The response, once the panic was concluded, seemed to be pretty much unanimous. Photoshop would have been a better choice. In fact, the New York Daily News asked readers to submit Photoshop'ed AF1 pics. You should really go check them out. Several are quite magnificent.

I don't know if my humble submissions are quite that good, but they were fun to make. :)