Friday, February 26, 2010

Bad Librarian, OKC LEGO, Perfectionists

My wife was at the library. The library lady there was trying help some poor fool find a book. "I need something I can read to my 2-year-old," the dummy explained.

I had a mean joke here, but I removed it. :)They wandered the aisles a bit. Library-Lady picked out a couple of little books of the "See Spot Run" variety. The lady she was helping flipped some pages. She was not impressed.

"This book has too many words for a two-year-old," she complained.

Library Lady was puzzled. "The two-year-old isn't actually doing the reading, though. You're reading *to* him, right?"

The dummy-lady glared angrily at her, daring her to continue. The question, "Just who exactly is this too many words for?" lingered unspoken in the air.

Library-Lady took a deep breath. "Let's see what else we can find," she offered.

Of course, *I* would have asked the question. :) I guess I'd make a bad librarian.

This is from a while ago... Oklahoma City, made entirely of LEGO.

Very cool! I just wish there were more pictures.

If you have a couple of minutes to spare, click into that story and then watch the video. The dorky kid at the beginning cracks me up.

This is from the book, "Manage Your Time To Reduce Your Stress", by Rita Emmett. It's a list titled, "Nineteen Ways To Stress Out A Perfectionist To The Point Of Madness". I've whittled it down to 10, because *I'm* a perfectionist and humor lists like this should always have 10 items. :)

10) Put empty cartons and bottles back into the fridge.
9) If someone is telling a joke and you've heard it before, wait until they're nearly finished and then shout out the punch line.
8) Take every opportunity to give the perfectionist advice.
7) Squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle. Never replace the cap.
6) Always be late.
5) Go to the movies with your perfectionist and just keep chatting.
4) Recognize your limitations. Then ignore them.
3) Recognize your perfectionist's limitations. Then tell him or her what they are.
2) Turn on and turn up all the appliances in any room you are in. Leave them on.
1) Never return anything you borrow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Defeating The Flu Bug

In a multi-story office building, there are obviously many bathrooms. Several weeks ago I found myself in one that I rarely use.

I hadn't been in there more than 10 seconds when the door opened again. A *very* stinky dirty guy walked in.

But I have a kind and gentle heartHe had a dingy stained jacket with holes all over it. His jeans looked like they would stand up on their own if he vacated them. He shuffled, rather than walking. His stocking cap looked like it might explode at any moment. He stank of cigarette smoke. His skin color was indeterminate because of all the grime.

He looked like a textbook "creepy homeless guy" off a movie set. If I had asked for an informant to anything, I feel certain he would have spoken up. "I wonder who took the last bagel?..." "*cough*, well, see, I know a guy..."

I tried to do my thing while breathing as little as possible. As bizarre as it sounds, normal bathroom aromas would have been an improvement over this guy.

I also tried to be quick, but he beat me to the sink. He stood there a long time, making me wait. At first I couldn't figure out what was taking so long, but then I noticed that his head was turned a bit sideways. I followed his gaze to the old poster on the wall.

Protect yourself from disease! Wear a mask and never leave your home!"This flu season, beat the flu bug! Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds! Don't touch your eyes or your mouth! Sneeze into your elbow!"

This crazy-filthy smelly scary little man was staring at the poster. He never blinked. His lips moved as he read the text. And he meticulously washed his hands for 20 seconds, with soap.

When he finished, he got a paper towel and used it to grab the door handle. He looked like he lived in a trash dumpster, smelled worse than a skunk, and sneezing into his elbow could only improve its condition. But his hands were clean, by golly, and no recently-wiped down bathroom door handle was going to pollute them!


Monday, February 22, 2010

My Purpose

During departmental lunch gatherings, I serve two purposes. I receive mockery and provide Weird Al Yankovic quotes.

It started at a Mexican restaurant with a conversation between OoRah and LadyPatsFan about odd vacation spots. LadyPatsFan said, "... and there was something about a big ball of twine... I can't remember where..."

No one understands me like you do, twine ball... I love you, twine ball...I spoke up. "You're talking about 'The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota'."

"Yeah! That's it! Weird Al!"

My purpose momentarily filled, I fell silent.

Later, movies were being discussed. Somebody mentioned "My Cousin Vinny". "I've never seen that one," I confessed.

I may as well have announced that I whizzed in the salsa. I got near-angry stares of disbelief.

Uh... did you say 'yutes'?"That movie is a classic!"
"I can't tear myself away from that movie!"
"It's hilarious! How have you not seen it?"

There was a brief pause, followed by OoRah's ominous voice. "It's not quite un-American to have not seen that movie, ... but it's close."

I only got out alive because I promised to put the movie in my Netflix queue.

Of course, I can also dish out the mockery when the moment demands it. LadyPatsFan got a taco salad for her lunch, and managed to break the tortilla bowl. Salad innards spilled everywhere.

And that's no bull"Aw," she complained. "I broke my bull."

I blinked. "Bull?" "No!", LadyPatsFan protested. "I said bowl!"

Next to me, a coworker I'll call QuietVoice backed me up. "I heard bull. It sounded like you said bull."

"I didn't say bull! My accent isn't that bad!"

"I had no idea you had cattle over there," I said.

I got a dirty look. It was totally worth it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mean Trainer Jeff, An Idea, Wilkins Coffee

I got to run a small training session for some folks in another department. It literally took 10 minutes. I talked the guys through some stuff and promised to email them my training notes once we were done.

Attach a file... you know you wanna...When I got back to my desk, I sent the following email:

"As discussed, here's the document I used for our training session this afternoon."

"If you have any questions, then you weren't paying close enough attention and have failed as a human being."

It's all part of my master plan to never be asked to run a training class again.

Everything's on sale!... even this guy!I have an idea for a business that could flourish in a recession.

I'm thinking about opening up a store that sells "going out of business" signs.

All I need is a Venture Capitalist to fund me. This could work...

Apparently, back in the day, there was a brand of coffee called "Wilkins". They had a series of 10-second ads that are just fantastic.

Check it out... Muppet humor at its absolute darkest. My favorite one by far starts about 59 seconds in.

Those little fellows were actually brought to life by Jim Henson. You can read a short little paragraph about the commercials here:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who's Who

Because almost everybody is somebody!I got an email from Strathmore!

Who is Strathmore, you ask? Who? Ha! *Who* is exactly the right question!

This company publishes a "Who's Who" book of successful people. They want me for their book!

You know what that means, don't you? You all work for me *me* now. Aw yeah.

Check out the email I got from them:

Subject: Jeff - Your invitation to Strathmore's Who's Who

Dear First Name,

It is my pleasure to inform you that on January 24th, 2010 your information was reviewed and accepted for inclusion in the 2010 edition of our registry.

Strathmore's Whos Who each year, recognizes and selects key executives, professionals and organizations in all disciplines and industries for outstanding business and professional achievements.

This recognition is shared by those who have reached a distinguished level of success in their chosen profession.

Did you catch that? In the subject line, they know I'm "Jeff", but in the first line of the message, it's "Dear First Name".

It's very tempting to fill out the form with "First Name" / "Last Name" as my name. I probably won't, because then I'd start getting contacted as they try to sell me a copy of the book with my "name" in it.

It's gotta be worth something, right?Of course, then I could just snail-mail them a check signed "Last Name, First Name". Or maybe send them some Monopoly Money.

It's a tough call. What would you do?

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Car Was In Danger

Whee!I'd been at work for an hour or so last Friday when I got a call from our department receptionist.

"The telephone pole you parked next to is about to fall over."

Yeah, baby.

For the record, that's pretty much a direct quote. Who needs coffee when you can have soul-crushing panic?

The parking lot at work is about 5 blocks away, which is a good 5 blocks more than I'm capable of running. I ran anyway. It nearly killed me.

This is honestly what the pole looked like... minus the crunchy car, thoughThe base of the pole literally looked like somebody had crashed into it. They hadn't... it was just the extreme age of the pole. But it was shattered, splintered, severed. It was bad. The only reason the pole hadn't fallen yet was that the wires up top were still attached.

But none of this is the funny part of the story. The funny part of this story is Shaggy.

Shaggy was on the fourth floor near the receptionist when she called me. "I'm gonna go down there and give Jeff a ride out to his car," he said. He immediately went down the stairs to my office on the second floor, but I had already started running.

Shaggy got in his truck and drove to the parking lot. Even though he was driving, I still beat him there.

Shaggy rolled down his window and waved at me. He was offering to give me a ride back once I'd moved my car, but there were two problems. I had already decided to move my car to an entirely different lot, and I was too oxygen-starved / freaked-out to realize what he was offering.

Don't think... [gasp][pant] ready for... [gasp][pant] triathlon... [gasp][pant]"Oh look, [gasp][pant]... Shaggy's here [gasp][pant]... doesn't have anything to do with me!"

I nearly burned rubber leaving the parking lot while Shaggy sat and watched.

Shaggy made it back to work before I did and told everybody the story. I was the talk of the office for hours.

It took longer than that to get my breathing back under control.

I should take up jogging.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pseudo Celeb Harry Potter, Toyota Top 5, Get Frosty

My wife and I were in the lobby at Olive Garden, waiting for our names to be called. A kid walked in who was a near-perfect match for an 11-year old Harry Potter. There was no lighting-scar and no magic wand, but if he'd even *started* the Avada Kedavra chant I was ready to leap through a window and out to safety.

Gotta love me!During the meal, there was a crashing sound as a waitress spilled a tray of food on some poor patron. I don't know if young Mr. Potter was involved, but I like to think so. Maybe she was distracted by his dashing good looks and tripped, or maybe the mischievous little scamp cast a fumble-foot spell on her as she walked by.

In any case, I didn't wear *my* dinner, so it was all good!

Top 5 things to do with your recalled Toyota

(would have been a top 10 list but I ran out of ideas)

1) Strap a rocket engine to it (you won't be able to stop then, either)
2) Fire up a drum kit in the backseat and sing "Can't Stop The Beat" as you zoom along.
3) Throw some Jamaicans in the back seat and head for the Olympic luge ramp... the Jamaican Bobsled Team is reborn!
4) Sign up to join the Easter Bunny's rapid candy delivery team.
5) Go onto Jay Leno's show and race on the Green Car Challenge track.

Months ago, my sister sent me this video. She said, "Why does this make me think of you? All your blogs about coffee & work I guess. Every time I see this commercial it makes me think of you!"

Personally, I love how one guy suggests it's coffee time and the whole office shuts down. Brilliant!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crash Bang

My desk, with freight elevator barely visible in the backThere's a freight elevator just behind my desk at work. It sees pretty constant use, but I've learned to ignore most of the noises that come from it. There have actually been times when visitors from other departments hear a crash and ask me "What was that noise?!?", and my honest reply is "What noise?".

More recently, the freight elevator has come under *very* heavy use. There's a huge storage area near our office that is being cleared out. Whereas we usually only hear the elevator going up or down past us, now we're the loading dock.

DramatizationThe crashing and banging noises really have been spectacular. Three or four times a day there will be a metallic impact noise that makes me jump in my chair. There's not a single surface on or around my desk that isn't covered with spilled coffee. There's even a ceiling tile over me that's been knocked loose.

One afternoon, it all came to a crescendo. Or, a "crash-endo", if you prefer. The crashing noise sounded like a firework had gone off. I'm pretty sure at least a few of the heavy items being moved fell over. There was a faint hint of sulfur in the air. And then, silence.

Well, brief silence. Then the shouting started.

"This is the newest elevator in the building!... It keeps breaking!..."

I didn't bother to contain my laughter. They were just on the other side of my cubical wall, but they were yelling too loud to hear me.

Boo!That's when the hands appeared over my cubical wall, above my computer monitor. The freight elevator abusers were leaning against my wall, talking about what to do next. It was seriously tempting to stick my own hand up there from the other side and see if they'd notice. I probably should have done it.

A few minutes later they got the elevator moving again without cargo. I have no idea what kind of conversation they were having, I just know that I heard the door open. The guys stepped out and one of them said, "I don't have an apron."

What, are you trading recipes between floors? Don't you have a freight elevator to fix? Crazy.

About a half-hour later I was taking a sip when *WHAM!* *WHAM!* *WHAM!*. Coffee splashed my keyboard. They were moving cargo again.

Normalcy had returned.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Windows 7

For the next few weeks at least (maybe longer), I'm moving to a Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule. I'm also going to push my normal post time back to 8:30, and I'm going to type up all my rough drafts in Swahili.

Join us...Several of us installed Windows 7 on our computers at work. This involved lots of bizarre configuration for our corporate network, so we had one of the IT Nerd Kings leading us through the installation, step by step.

We were told to click a particular button, and a thing installed in a couple of seconds. Well, for most of us it installed in a couple of seconds. For Big Dawg, the progress bar got about half-way and stopped.

"What do I do now?", he asked. The IT Nerd King was perplexed. "Maybe the hardware BUS configuration is scanning the dilithium chambers for signs of intelligent life," he pondered. "Turn your speakers on."

I can slow down for you if you need time to go grab a nap or some coffeeBig Dawg blinked. Then, wordlessly, he turned his speakers on. The installation finished instantly.


We never doubted him again. Although, frequently during the installation we'd ask speaker-related questions. "Now you need to reboot." "With our speakers on or off?" "Off." There'd be clicking noises from four sets of speakers, and then the systems would go down for reboot. Good times.

Later, with Windows 7 safely installed, he led us through some of the new features he thought we'd like. "Check this out," he said, "It's a new way of organizing Wotchas on the Whizbang."

Hard currency is the stuff of nightmareI spoke up. "But I fear change."

It was several moments before the IT Nerd King could respond. Hey, I gotta be me.

Later we were on our own, installing the various programs we need for our jobs. I like Windows 7 quite a bit, but there were things that took some getting used to. One of those is an "Elevated Shortcut". If you don't know what that is, don't worry. It's just something that I needed that was a bit of a challenge to learn how to create.

And it had been a LONG CRAZY STRESSFUL week. I didn't take that week off from blogging for nothing! Many things had failed on me recently and I was really frustrated. And I finally figured out how to make an Elevated Shortcut.

I whooped. I threw my arms up in the air. I giggled. I lost the capacity for verbal communication. I bounced in my chair. I got a little delirious.

Today, minor success!... Tomorrow... THE WORLD!!!"Wow," said Big Dawg. "It's an Elevated Jeff!"

I wheezed desperately in reply. My teeth were clenched in a grinding overly-wide smile. I hadn't blinked in several minutes.

"Are those 'Happy Jeff' noises, or 'Insane Jeff' noises?"

I still couldn't quite speak, so I grabbed a piece of paper. I scrawled the words, "Delierious Non-Verbal Happy Monkey!" and handed it over to him.

Big Dawg chuckled, then grabbed his own pen. When he handed the paper back to me, he had added, "With spelling problems!"

Hey, I gotta be me.

Monday, February 01, 2010

LOLJeff - Joy

No blog posts this week. I need a break. Sorry.

I'll be happy to prorate your subscription fee if you ask nicely.