Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Office Stories

Couple of stories from the office...

Press Conference

Last Wednesday, Big Dawg ran up to my desk. He is large and does not run quietly. He rumbled to a stop near my chair and shouted, "He might really be quitting this time!" Then he ran off again.

I was not the only one he shouted at, so pretty soon our little corner of the office was in an uproar. "Quitting? Who's quitting?"

Quitter?Dumbfounded, shocked and breathless, Big Dawg filled us in. Bret Favre had scheduled a press conference! Why would he have a random press conference in the middle of the week? "Maybe his ankle's bothering him more than he's let on," Big Dawg theorized. "The Vikings only have one backup behind him! This is going to be crazy!"

He kept gibbering with terrified excitement while the rest of went back to our desks. Big Dawg started searching the internet to find a live feed of the Earth-shattering news to come.

About a half hour later he slinked over to my desk, head hung low. "Turns out," he shamefully admitted, "Bret Favre has a weekly press conference on Wednesdays."

While we're on the subject of regularly scheduled meaningless time-wasting stuff, I'd like to point out that my next blog post will be up at 8:30 AM Friday, CST. :)


Remember the little plastic cotton candy cups that OoRah and I have been pranking each other with over the past year or so?

Unruly giraffeOoRah escalated things by gathering up 7 of those things. He caged every toy on my desk, as well as my mouse.

I waited a few months, and then last week I took those cups and stacked them all under OoRah's desk. The top two had bits of random desk debris in them (ink pen bits, mostly), so they'd make more noise when they fell.

When OoRah sat down the next morning, he didn't notice the cups. He also didn't extend his feet. It was nearly 2 hours later that he finally stuck his feet out and kicked the cups over.

The delayed "OoRah Mocking" event was fun. Most of us in the office knew about the stacked cups, so the reaction to OoRah finally finding them was quick.

Now, I await the eventual retribution, which I know is coming. :)


Monday, September 27, 2010

HS Marching Bands


Owasso hosted a high school band competition last weekend. High school marching band was a long time ago, but my wife and I still enjoyed going and watching the shows.

Of course, the drum folks are always fun...

Not only did these guys have a sweet setup, but their uniforms kinda look like they came from Star Trek: The Next Generation...

The flag teams nowadays seem to lean more toward "costumes" than "uniforms". Many of them had some kind of change they would do halfway through as well.

The best example was probably these ladies... the initial costume honestly looked like somebody tried to make evening gowns out of white plastic garbage sacks.

Halfway along, the sacks came off to reveal their classy "purple duct tape" ensemble.

Then there was this band, featuring what I like to call the "random princess"...

She was part of the "story". I think she represented a star, or an angel. Basically she danced around and distracted the saxophone players.

And finally, "A thousand points of odd blue light"...

They look like blue candle wicks. :) I love it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Free Headphones

I've seen the spam email that says, "Cheap software! 90% off!" I've seen the junk mail that says, "Special Limited Time Offer!" I've even seen spam email that says, "About that five dollars I owe you..." (no, I'm not making that one up). But this is a new one.

Answer 5 questions, and we'll give you noise-cancelling headphones. See inside.
Answer 5 questions, and we'll give you noise-cancelling headphones. See inside.

Let's see... at work I sit near a freight elevator, two conversation magnets and a guy who's earbuds bleed the Evanescence song "Bring Me To Life" daily (again, not making that up). And Verisign is offering me free noise-cancelling headphones? Yes please.

All I have to do is answer 5 questions. How hard can it be? I opened up the envelope.

Q1: What is your social security number?
Hm. No red flags so far.

Q2: Are you willing to submit to mandatory non-FDA approved DNA splice experimentation?
Hm. DNA = "Domain Nugget Absolutely", right? Yeah, why not?

Q3: Solve for "x"
Seriously... ???
Clearly, "x" = the Spanish word for "gravy". Duh.

Q4: What is your underwear size, and favorite underwear color?
For ego purposes, I buy briefs with a 48-inch waistline. For practical reasons, I also buy a lot of clothespins. Oh, and hot pink is definitely my color.

Q5: Please sign up for our "Special Offers" newsletter, delivered once every 6 and a half years. Invalid / Fraudulent email addresses welcome.
What?!? Not a chance! No way will I trust Verisign with my email address!

So much for the headphones. *sigh*


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New York Jets Sensitivity Training

I'm hawt but only TV viewers are allowed to notice.
You may have heard the story already... an attractive female reporter went to visit the NFL's New York Jets. Some of the players (and allegedly even some of the coaches) verbally harassed her. I'm thinking it was something of the "Hey hot stuff!" variety, although perhaps a bit more colorful.

As a result, this week the Jets are headed off to "Sensitivity Training". Those of us in the real world know what that means... sexual harassment training!

I've shared a story about this subject once before... we were crammed into a room like sardines and then told about the evils of inappropriate touching.

Another good one involves a gentleman who I will not name... a female co-worker and I walked into the meeting area fairly late. There was one seat open next to him, so he gestured to her and bellowed, "You're cute! You can sit next to me!" It was a great way to start off a harassment meeting.

I'm desperately amused that NFL players are going to have to endure the same sort of condescending "This is not a frat house" speeches that the rest of us get to enjoy. I'm a little surprised that it hasn't happened before now. But I'm simply dumbfounded by one of the "ad words" on the page I linked to up above.

In Farsi, the phrase "please don't sue" loosely translates to "please don't stone me"
Near the bottom of the article, Mike Ditka is quoted saying that the reporter "wears tight jeans". The words "tight jeans" are underlined. I moused over the words, and an ad came up offering to teach me how to speak Farsi.

I had no idea tight jeans were marketed out of Iran. I bet they're high quality, but you void your warranty unless you zip them in the direction of Mecca.

That was very insensitive of me.


Monday, September 20, 2010


My balloon.
And yes, that's an M&M character in a recliner on my fireplace mantle behind me. Don't act surprised.
So, last weekend my house got hit by a car. The week was, generally speaking, about as fun as you'd imagine. Calls to insurance companies, visits from adjusters, and so on.

We have a lot to be thankful for and we know it. Even so, it's easy to let the situation get us down. There's a lot to do and we have to move slowly until Insurance gets everything squared away.

And then I went out into the backyard and found a birthday balloon. A deflated, puny, faded-lime-green balloon that says "Happy Birthday" on it. On a string.

Even in difficult times, there can be small gifts to bring us great joy.

Either that, or somebody's trying to speed up my birthday cycle so I'll die faster.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Car vs. House

This will be my only blog post this week. We're going to be a little busy fixing our house.

Yeah. Good times. Now I have to admit, if you're going to get your house hit by a car, this is the way to do it. The driver was not belligerent, and immediately took full responsibility. That's the garage he crushed, not a living area (although a couple of airborne bricks did break out a bedroom window). Despite the garage being so wonderfully crumbled, the cars inside were not damaged. The driver is insured. My wife and I were not hurt.

I would like to point out, for the record, that the perpetrator was a damn dirty Sooner.

After a lot of hard work (mostly by my dad), things are looking better out there. We're going to be fine. But things are nutty enough around here that I figured a blog break was in order.

Stay safe! I hope your week is less chaotic than mine is likely to be.

Friday, September 10, 2010


As I've mentioned before, my wife's sister-in-law is pregnant. The in-laws are about to become Grandparents, and they're very excited. One of MIL's (Mother-In-Law) extremely intelligent (*cough* *notreally* *cough*) friends is helping them to plan out all the minor details.

Super-Intelligent Buddy, about to lose 5 dollars
A few days ago, Super-Intelligent Buddy called MIL in more or less a panic. "What is the baby going to call you?", she demanded.

"I don't know," MIL said. "Grandma and Grandpa, I imagine."

Super-Intelligent Buddy pressed the issue. It was suddenly very important that MIL and FIL plan what the baby would call them. "Grandma" and "Grandpa" were not sufficient. Would they use "Grandma Firstname", "Grandma Lastname", or nicknames? What nicknames? C'mon, this is *important*!

After a few minutes of "It doesn't matter," and "This is critical!", my MIL decided to do what any sane person would do. She started giving out ridiculous answers.

Super-Intelligent Buddy misses a hint
"We'll go with Bones and Butt-hole."
"No, no, no... you're not thin enough to use 'Bones' as a nickname."

MIL's claws came out. Super-Intelligent Buddy didn't even realize what she'd said... typical of her.

"We'll use Big Boss and Big Gut, then."
"No, that's too silly."

"Sawtooth and Superfly?"
"Too dramatic."

"I think we'll go with Moo-moo and Poo-poo."
Super-Intelligent Buddy required reading
"Too gross."

Eventually MIL pretended the line had static and hung up. Super-Intelligent Buddy never realized how annoying she was being, and she never explained why the name question was so important.

On the off chance that it matters, my wife and I decided on some nicknames for ourselves so the new Niece / Nephew will know what to call us. My wife will be 'Auntie Princess' and I'll be 'Julie Andrews'.

I'm glad we got that sorted out in time.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Big Dawg moved recently, and his pet cat isn't used to the new place yet. The poor 'fraidy-cat is terrified of all the new noises.

Kitty scares easily
The cat gets scared when the air conditioner turns on.

He's afraid of voices from the hallway.

He's scared by the motorized automatic litter box.

He panics when the air conditioner turns *off*.

He's mortified by the window washers outside.

Basically, the only thing Big Dawg's cat does not fear is Big Dawg himself. The best part of the story-telling involved Big Dawg mimicking his cat's movements... such a large man should not be able to so easily imitate feline grace. I think he practices in a mirror.

Like this, only more cat-ish
SWoaN suggested Big Dawg get some earplugs for his cat, so he won't hear all the evil noises around him. I started to laugh. "Now I have a mental picture of your cat with huge noise cancelling headphones, overbalanced so he's walking with his hind legs up in the air."

Just then, OoRah wandered over into the conversation. I greeted him warmly. "So, airborne cat hinder got your attention?"

I shouldn't be so mean. He'll probably kill me in my sleep some day.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!


Friday, September 03, 2010

Ice Cream Man For The Win

Recently, my wife's brother and his bride visited the parents to deliver some happy news. Our Sister-In-Law is pregnant!

Obviously, there was much rejoicing. Father-In-Law (FIL) decided that they needed a family picture with the four of them to mark the occasion.

The only problem was that they needed someone to take the picture. Not to worry, said FIL, he would go across the street and get a neighbor to come over and help.

To the rescue!Neighbor Guy wasn't home. FIL was dejected, until he heard the familiar little tune of an approaching ice cream truck.

FIL jumped into the street and waved for the ice cream man to stop. "Will you come in and take our picture?", he begged.

Moments later, FIL walked into the house with the ice cream man following. MIL was shocked. "Can I help you?..."

"This is my friend,...", FIL began. Then, he looked behind him. "What was your name again?" Ice Cream Man started to speak, but FIL cut him off. "He's going to take our picture!"

After snapping a few pictures, Ice Cream Man also got to dust the top of some tall cabinets, change the oil in FIL's car and re-tar a section of the roof. FIL tipped him 5 dollars.

Thank you, Ice Cream Man!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Lost Dog

I was driving home the other day and saw a guy in an old truck cruising my neighborhood. He was driving slowly down the middle of the road, blocking everything and handing out fliers to people as he passed.

Have you seen me?
"I've lost my dog," he kept saying. "Have you seen him?"

The interesting part was the reactions he'd get. People looked at him like he was crazy. "No... I *still* haven't seen your dog... maybe you should try another street?"

During the 45 minutes it took to drive half a block down to my house, I gathered that this was at least his third trip through the neighborhood. He was doing an exhaustive single-street search for his departed canine.

When he got to my house, he parked in the road and blocked my driveway. My wife walked out and pointed, trying to get him to leave. He gave her a flier instead. "Have you seen my dog?"

My wife told him to search other streets, but he just handed her more fliers. She yelled at him that he was blocking my way into the driveway, but he just nodded and handed her yet another flier.

She started throwing fliers back through his window. He patiently handed them back to her.

Love me!
I plucked a flier out of the air (they were floating around like leaves in fall). Then, I backed up and left the neighborhood.

I drove to a local animal shelter and picked out a dog that looked similar to the one on the bozo's flier. I went back home to find him still blocking my driveway. Our yard was paved with fliers.

"Hey!" I shouted. "Is this your dog?"

The guy looked back and his eyes widened in unimaginable joy. His nightmare had been averted! Saint Jeff the Wise had found his poor lost dog! "Yes!" he yelped, tears in his eyes. "That's my dog! You found him! Thank you!"

Sorry, but I'm allergic to crazy people
I let the dog loose. The terrified pup took off, running as far and as fast from my house as he could.

"Go get him," I said to the bozo. His tires squealed as he took up the pursuit. My driveway was cleared.

Problem solved.