Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Stories

Bad Hair Day

I have an elderly Uncle who is a bit eccentric. He really outdid himself this year, though.

All I want is to be beautiful!My parents walked into my grandparent's house and there was Uncle, with his twiggy white hair sticking up in all different directions. He was sitting at the table, looking down, mumbling to himself. He did not acknowledge my parents in any way.

After a couple of "Hi, how are you?" lines of conversation, he interrupted everyone by shouting, "WHO'S TAKING ME TO WALMART?!?"

Grandpa volunteered. The two left. Grandma smiled and told my parents, "Never mind him... he's having a bad hair day."

A half-hour later the pair returned. Uncle had a new can of hair cream, and his brittle locks were smoothed down into his normal "look". He sat down at the table and sighed. "That's better." He finally looked up and recognized my parents. "Good to see you!"

...So I Can Pet The Puppy

I was sitting next to Dad after the Thanksgiving meal. My youngest nephew (3 years old) ran by, chasing one of my Grandpa's dogs.

I was looking forward to the attention..."Pa-pa!", he shouted, seeing my Dad. "Kin you pick up da puppy so I kin pet him?"

Dad smiled. He picked up my Grandpa's little dog and set it down on his lap.

Little Nephew grinned his crazy-happy little grin. Then, without touching the dog, he turned and walked away.

Grandpa's dog looked at us both as if to say, "Can I go now?"

Poor puppy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Food Poisoning Pie

A three course meal... who needs meat?My mom got a phone call from my Grandpa. "Did you buy or make any pies for Thanksgiving this year?"

Mom was a bit confused. "No. You talked to me about this already. You said not to bother, don't buy any pies, don't make any pies. I haven't even thought about pies. Why?"

"Oh." Grandpa was typically blunt. "I forgot what I told you about that, and when I was coming home today I bought 4 pies. Grandma had already bought 4 pies herself, so I guess we're gonna have 8 pies this year."

The best part is that this conversation took place early LAST WEEK. This year for Thanksgiving we are going to have 8 ten-day-old pies.
Should the pie be moving?
If you don't hear from me on Monday you'll know that they weren't frozen. I will try to avoid eating from the sugar-encrusted petri dishes, but I've never been all that smart.

Wish me luck! Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Chill In The Air

I have learned that a sense of humor is not a helpful thing to have when dealing with Building Maintenance.

Sorry. Hiccups.Last week the A/C started blowing and never stopped. As you can imagine, A/C in late fall tends to annoy. After almost a full day of this, I sent a message to my boss that said;

"The A/C is on over here. It seems pretty enthusiastic, too. I must say, it's blowing cool air quite appropriately for a unit of its type in July."

My boss passed the message along to Maintenance. Next thing I know, a jumpsuited man appeared next to my desk. "Did it stop makin' noises?"


I can fix anything that's already working"Oh, it must be intermittent. Rampin' up, spewing dust, that sort of thing?"

"No. It's just on. I'd like it not to be."

"OK, I'll see if I can find the noise for you, get that calmed down."

Within a minute we had maintenance guys up in the ceiling tiles, clanging and banging. One guy shouted, "The fan's still blowin'!" Then there was the most spectacular metallic farting noise I've ever heard... and I sit next to a freight elevator, so I know what I'm talking about.

A few minutes later, the Building Manager came over to my desk. I shall forever refer to him as "Pronoun Man" because of the way the conversation started.

"Is it still doin' it?"

I'm gonna need a second coatEventually, our language issues were sorted out. They assured me that the problem was, in fact, real. And that they would try to maybe do something about it soon. Ish.

The A/C blew for almost 2 solid days before the problem was sorted out.

P-Ziddy's insight was most appropriate. "Building Maintenance does have a sense of humor. How else to you explain the fact that you have to go outside to warm up?"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Exercise Bike

Do not try this at homeSo, we bought an exercise bike. It has a digital monitor to show speed and estimated calories burned and whatnot. It also has "Dual Action Handlebars", which is just a fancy way of saying the handlebars move. You can push the thing with your arms or with the pedals. Clever.

I put it together Friday evening. Saturday, my wife and I took turns on the shiny new toy. "I did 5 minutes!" "I did 150 calories!" "I outpaced Lance Armstrong on the mountain stage!"

As evening approached, I got on the bike for one last turn. I was pushing along happily when the noise started. "Click... Click... Click..." Interesting.

I got down on the floor and started poking at it. The pedals were all right, the handlebars were still attached and moving, nothing seemed wrong.

My wife walked in. I was on my knees leaned over and staring at the fan assembly. I looked like I was bowing at a pagan alter... of *course* she walked in at that moment. "What are you doing?"

"Well, it started making a 'Click' sound when I move the pedals," I explained. I grabbed the nearest pedal to demonstrate. "See, I move it around and it makes a noise *THUD*... "

The handlebar swung forward and hit me on the back of the head. It wasn't exactly the noise I was trying to demonstrate, but it *was* well-timed. I had just enough presence of mind to say, "That wasn't the noise..." before I fell over. The impact laid me out flat on the floor.

Did anyone get the number of the truck that hit me?My wife thought I staged it, trying to be funny. She was laughing her head off while I moaned and drooled on the carpet.

As for the clicking noise, turns out the seat was wiggling a little. Just one of my many screws that were loose.

So how was my weekend? I brained myself with an exercise bike. How about you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jiggle It

Last Friday morning I walked by Big Dawg's desk. OoRah was nearby.

Snoopy has the purest 'happy' dance of them all!I had mentioned on my Facebook profile that it had been a long week, and a "Friday Dance" seemed appropriate. It was just a silly way of saying "Thank God It's Friday", but OoRah has always been the literal sort.

"Can I see your Friday Dance?", he asked, grinning. He was puttin' me on the spot and he knew it.


I'll make you squirm, boy!Big Dawg was trying to work and had already started to ignore us. "Why can't I see your Friday Dance?", OoRah insisted, still grinning like a madman.

"Honestly, it's hard to tell the difference between the Friday Dance and an over-caffineated jiggle."

There was a gasping noise beside us as Big Dawg started to convulse. "Wrong word! Wrong word!" He made several dramatic sputtering noises, removed his glasses and thumped one arm repeated on his desk in a flailing motion.

I had just given him an unexpected and highly disturbing mental picture. I smiled. "No, it was exactly the right word."

"My blast shields weren't up!"

This photo of Jeff dancing has not been altered in any wayI've always found that if I can cause a co-worker emotional distress early in the morning, then it's going to be a good day.

Happy Friday! I'll be dancing. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Volunteers

OK, I'm naming them and mocking them a bit... least I can do is link to them :)A group of us from the office went out to lunch recently. Midway though our meal, OoRah noticed a large table being set up near us. It had a cheesy paper centerpiece that said, "Welcome AT&T volunteers."

OoRah was confused. "OK, so I understand non-profit groups having volunteers," he said. "But how does a for-profit corporation manage it?"

We were musing over the potential savings to our company if we could get the Advertising department to "volunteer", when the anticipated crew walked in.

I forgot... which one of us is named 'Maxine'?It was 15 little old ladies. The youngest was at least 60. Every one of them had white floofy hair. They were all wearing identical AT&T t-shirts.

At this point, I will turn the dialog over to a co-worker I've never written about before. I will simply call him "Genius", for reasons that should be obvious shortly. These are all (as best I can remember) direct quotes.

"Wow! That's why it takes an hour to activate a phone! They forget what they're doing, think they're talkin' to themselves..."

"Hello Deary... I forgot what we were talking about."

"Oh, that's so nice. I have four grandchilden named after you. Where am I again?"

"What time is it over there? Really? Hold on a minute... Time to take my medicine..."

We were in tears. It was beautiful. On top of everything else, his warbly "little old lady" voice was perfect.

I can't top any of that, so I'm not even going to try. :)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Super Waiter

We went out to eat recently and encountered a truly remarkable waiter. Not ours, of course. But his greatness could not be confined to his tables alone.

If I slow down to walk, I'll dieWe first noticed him when he came by to refill our drinks. As I said, he wasn't our waiter, but that didn't hold him back. I'd swear his hands were empty, but when he asked me "You had water, right?", a full pitcher appeared out of nowhere.

He was doing more than wait tables, too. In between orders he would bus tables like he had at least three arms and a caffeine buzz for the ages. In the time it took to ask for more biscuits, he had wiped down two tables. You could see his halo'd reflection in the tabletops. The dirty dishes had vanished. They didn't get carried to the kitchen... they simply disappeared.

I also know in advance that you will not tip me, but I love you anywayOn at least one occasion he brought food to somebody's table before they ordered. "Here's your fried chicken, sir." "Wow... Uh... I mean, Yeah I was going to order that, but..." "Enjoy!"

*I* am the wind beneath my wingsSome waitresses near us started pulling tables together for a large incoming party. As the superhuman waiter was jetting down the aisle, one of the waitresses pulled some chairs out in his way. He didn't even slow down, he just levitated over the chairs and still managed to drop off some extra napkins for us on the way.

Toward the end of our meal, he walked by the table with a cell phone in hand. "Yes, Mr. Netanyahu, I think the Palestinians are finally willing to talk peace. Let me conference you in."

Heck of a guy. Unfortunately, our biscuits were cold. No tip. Better luck next time!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This story is absolutely true. At first. Then, it isn't. See if you can guess the point where I go from truth to wild fabrication. :)

I had no idea that was your puppy!I walked past OoRah on my way to the break room. Had a distracted look in my eyes that he misread.

"What? I didn't do it!"

Thinking fast (a challenge for me), I decided to see if he was just being silly or if he really did have something to hide. "Right. You just better hope the boss doesn't find out."

I won't bother making it look like an accidentOoRah's eyes went wild. "If anyone finds out, I'll have to kill you."

Hm. He *is* a former marine, so he might actually have a plan in place to kill everyone in the office, should the need arise. The game was starting to get uncomfortable. I kept my response vague. "Maybe we can work out some kind of a deal."

"What did you have in mind?"

That's hawtDang! OoRah knows how to play the vague game, too. OK, time to bust out the wish list. "In exchange for my silence, I require donuts every morning for a week, a fresh coat of wax on my car and a winter coat made of LEGO."

OoRah's eyes narrowed. "How about you stay silent, and I'll take your office and your lunch money. Plus, I'll promise not to give you a second wedgie."

Whee!"A second wedgie? But I haven't had a first..."

I'd rather not say what happened next.

In the end, I got to keep my office, but I did lose my lunch money and my dignity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photoshop Jeff... Code Bandit: Results!

All I need now is a pistol and a free hand
OK, so there's the pic. Your task was to take it and mock me digitally.

Visitor response was unfortunately minimal. I never thought that implied respect could be so disappointing.

Of course, late submissions are always welcome.

You can click into these for larger versions... especially important since the last few in the list have text and other small details you might miss otherwise.

Up first is the one you've seen already from P-Ziddy. He thoughtfully confined me to the serene germ-free bullet-proof protective custody of a giant hamster ball.

Thank you, 'Zid!

This one is my own creation. Admittedly, I didn't spend much time on it, but I've always thought it would be fun to see my face on a "lost dog" poster.

Have you seen me?

There's been a Boy Wonder sighting! Sorta. And if I know anything about Boy Wonder, it's that he loves him some Adam West.

Thank you, Boy Wonder!

The next one is from Boy Wonder also. This gentleman seems to have misplaced his tights.

You kinda scare me, Boy Wonder

Finally, I will unashamedly play favorites here. My wife came up with this idea, and I love it. If I ever do turn to a life of crime, my first target should be pretty obvious.

I love you, Sweetheart!

All the past Photoshop Jeff pics


Friday, November 13, 2009

Can You Help Me?

Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff! I invite you to mock me digitally! I'll post the results sometime next week.

The treasure you seekMy wife and I were shopping at Walmart the other day. A couple of aisles down from us, we heard a sweet little old lady loudly ask somebody;

"Excuse me, do you know where the honey mustard sauce is?"

We didn't think anything of it until we crossed over to the next aisle. Sweet little confused old lady was there, but still couldn't find the treasure she sought. "Excuse me, do you know where the honey mustard sauce is?"

Eep! I fear human contact!The man she asked nearly jumped out of his skin. He pointed in a random direction. "Over there!", he squeaked.

Naturally, he was pointing in our direction.

Thankfully, I had been aware of the saga for a moment, so I had time to prepare my answer. The sweet little old lady approached.

"Excuse me, do you know where the honey mustard sauce is?"

Do *NOT* send the crazy old lady over here!"Toy aisle," I replied, pointing. "Other side of the store."

"Bless you, Dearie."

She wandered off, smiling. A dozen other grocery shoppers gave me a thumbs-up.

Later, we saw her again. She was still asking the same question to every person she passed.

"Excuse me, do you know where the honey mustard sauce is?"

"Yes ma'am," said an exasperated employee. "It's over at Best Buy, across the street."

I have him a thumbs-up as we left.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veteran's Day Parade

Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff! I invite you to mock me digitally! I'll post the results sometime next week.

One big advantage to working Downtown is that I sometimes get a front-row seat to big public events. Like yesterday's Veteran's Day Parade.

Hundreds of kiddos lined the street and cheered wildly for everything that went past (even the bagpipes!).

All I had to do was turn around in my chair and look out my window. I'm on the second floor, so the view really couldn't have been any better.

And, as luck would have it, the view just *inside* the window was pretty amusing, too...

OoRah, SWoaN, Big Dawg and the Golfer all thought the view was pretty sweet, too. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grandma Got Run Over By A Durango

Don't forget about Photoshop Jeff! I invite you to mock me digitally! I'll post the results sometime next week.

Sung to the tune of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"

Grandma got run over by a Durango
Walkin' out to her car recently
You can say she should go see a doctor
But Grandpa says she only skinned her knee.

She was shopping one fall morning
We had asked her not to go
But she liked the prices at Sam's
And she needed paper towels now, doncha know?

As she crossed that asphalt jungle
Arm-loads full of all her loot
A sudden lurch, a sudden impact
And she fell down to the ground, right on her butt.

Grandma got run over by a Durango
Walkin' out to her car recently
You can say she should go see a doctor
But Grandpa says she only skinned her knee.

Now the band-aids have been pressed on
And her hip treated with ice
The family members prone to panic
Haven't been told yet although it isn't nice

I tell all my friends and neighbors,
Buying paper goods, watch out!
I'd hate to see you get blindsided
By crazed shoppers looking for a bulk discount.

Grandma got run over by a Durango
Walkin' out to her car recently
You can say she should go see a doctor
But Grandpa says she only skinned her knee.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photoshop Jeff... Code Bandit

All I need now is a pistol and a free handRemember this picture from yesterday's post?

Well, your task is to take that picture and use it to mock me.

Piece of cake, right?

Now, I know that some of you (*cough* *cough* *iCanSpell* *cough*) have complained in the past that I don't stand in front of solid-colored backgrounds for these things. That would be because I don't carry around a photo studio in my back pocket. So, to accommodate the whiners, I'm providing you a version of this picture with the background already helpfully removed. Click into it for a bigger version.

Code Bandit

Ha! Now there's no excuse for you not to mock me. Do your worst... then email the goods to jeff.w.mcclung AT

And if you need inspiration, then check this out. P-Ziddy has already been hard at work on this, putting me where I've always wanted to be. In a protective plastic bubble.

C'mon! Mock me! You know you wanna!

For inspiration, here's a link to all the past Photoshop Jeff pics


Monday, November 09, 2009

Dust In The Wind

Last week at work, somebody turned on a dang big ventilation fan or somesuch. I've worked there in that particular office for over year now and I've never heard that noise before. The constant rumbling reminded me of an airport terminal.

And, as an added bonus, it was blowing dust down on me from the air vents.

This is after a couple of swipes across the desktopActually, I'm being pretty generous when I say that it was blowing some dust on me. It actually covered me head to toe in stinky black bits. It looked like snow in Hades.

My chair crunched over the particles on the floor when I rolled. My eyes burned. My mouse stopped working. The "water" level in my mug kept increasing, despite the fact that I wasn't putting any more water in it. My aggressive hacking "huff puff BLOOOOOWWWW" campaign was the only reason my keyboard was still working.

Two coworkers fled the scene, red-eyed and weeping.

Manufactured with careWhile we tried to find out who had turned on the swirly doom-cloud machine, somebody suggested that I could try to block off the vent over my desk. I tried, but when I pushed the lever what happened was that every other blade turned in toward each other, creating a powerful funnel effect.

So, I could have debris blown gently into my eyes, or aggressively into my eyes.

The guy from the cubical closest to me showed up back at his desk with a canary and a hard-hat. The canary bleated sadly and fell over. The coworker left again.

All I need now is a pistol and a free handA couple of years ago I attended a Tulsa Talons (AF2 Football) game where the cheerleaders threw heavily-branded "US Cellular" bandannas up into the crowd. I got one, and had tossed it back behind my desk. In desperation, I dug out the blue bandanna and put it across my face like a makeshift SARS mask so I could breathe.

The transformation was complete. I became "Jeff, the Code Bandit." It actually didn't help much with the breathing, but I did feel slightly more dangerous.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Missed The Deadline

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Classmate, Sheep

Two embarrassingly short ones.


Where the 'X' stands for XnowledgeI got an email from one of the social networking sites I use. A "friend" request, more or less. I've changed the name, obviously, but otherwise this is exactly what appeared in my inbox:

Dink Dinker has indicated you are a Classmate at Xavier University:

I knew you would think thatI had no idea I was attending classes at Xavier. I didn't even think I could find Ohio on a map. Heck, I honestly didn't know Xavier was anything other than a bald mutant wheelchair-bound telepath.


It's mean, but I love this story:

Fan dressed as sheep set on fire

A sports fan dressed up as a sheep. Some onlookers set him on fire. Some other onlookers tried to put out the flames by throwing beer at him.

If this isn't some bizarre inebriated sports fan trifecta of tragedy, I don't know what is. I mean, I'm sorry the guy got hurt and all. But I'm *really* upset about the lack of pictures.

Is it hot in here or is it just me?I'm also thinking that "Drunken Sheep Flambé" would be an excellent name for a rock n' roll band.

Or maybe a main course at a theme restaurant.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Unsafe At Any Speed

Even if knew I could literally fly, I wouldn't do thisI don't like dangerous activities. I don't get any kind of a special thrill from them. Also, I'm frail and I injure easily.

That's why I don't bungee jump, race cars, or tame lions. I also avoid camping, eating while lying down and political debates. Oh, and I no longer fold blankets.

I was helping my wife swap out our lightweight blanket for a heavier one. Bad idea. As I folded up the lightweight blanket, my thumb got caught on some sharp pokey plastic bit. I have no idea what it was, but I literally gashed my thumb on it.

Watch out, puppy! You're in grave danger!Seriously. I bled. I had to resort to band-aids and antibiotic cream to get it to stop.

I had no idea I lived such a hazardous life.