Monday, November 29, 2010

Bad Family Photos

We visited my sister for Thanksgiving. My Niece (8 years old) grabbed my hand. "Uncle Jeff, come look!"

She dragged me over to the wall of family photos and started pointing. "This one's no good," she explained. She was pointing at a picture of her older brother.

I couldn't resist
"This one's no good, too." Now she was pointing at a picture of her younger brother. Her finger drifted over to a picture of herself. "This one is good."

The pattern thus established, she continued to work her way through the pictures. "This one's bad. This one is really bad. This one is nice. This one has got to go. This one needs to go. This one is pretty."

She pointed to a picture of her parents. "This one has GOT to GO!", she shouted, grinning.

I glanced back at my sister. She was laughing, but had a semi-horrified look on her face.

There's more than one problem here
Niece worked her way through about 15 pictures, most of which were "bad". She finished with a picture of herself, saying "...and this one is good!"

It was my moment. I looked at her and said, "Have you ever considered that *you* might be the problem?"

"Aw, Uncle Jeff!" Niece rolled her eyes at me and ran away, giggling.

My sister was holding her sides and trying not to fall over laughing. "Yes!," she gasped. "Yes!, it's her! Trust me! It's her! She's the problem!"

I'm glad we were able to establish blame... it's the first step toward healing. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the holiday!

No blog post tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Foul Language

I was walking out of the office a few days ago when I heard two building maintenance guys talking. I only heard part of the conversation as they walked by. What I heard was perplexing.

"Yes, please."
"Watch your language."

Both guys were just talking, not shouting. They didn't sound angry, but they weren't joking, either.

I have no idea how "Yes, please" could provoke that kind of a response.

I could understand if his phrase had ended with, "... AND your mother!" My mind can fill in *those* gaps.

Mental Note: Building Maintenance folk are offended by common courtesy. Next time I ask one for something I'll have to slap his face and defile his tool belt.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Mighty Roar

The freight elevator near my desk is a constant source of background noise. Most of the time it's pretty easy to ignore, but every now and then we hear something new.

Last week there was a roar from the freight elevator. I'm going to guess that it was human, but it's hard to say for sure. It sounded like a cross between Animal and Chewbacca. It was so loud that Big Dawg heard it through his headphones.

"What was that?", he asked. I gave it my best guess. "I think there's a wookie in the freight elevator."

Big Dawg chuckled. "Did he injure himself in there?"

"I hope so," I replied. "If that thing's not injured we're all in trouble."

P-Ziddy suggested I hang a sign near the elevator:

  "Wookie taming in progress."
  "Please keep all arms attached to your body."
  "For your safety, please maintain a distance of three blocks."

That got me thinking. What kind of crazy group would try to tame a wookie? Wookie Tamers United, of course. And from that, this silly little logo was born.

Naturally, every member of WTU would have an injury. It comes with the territory.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Signs You Drink Too Much Coffee

From the email archive: (#16 is my favorite, but #10 is a close second)


1) You answer the door before people knock

2) You ski uphill

3) You haven’t blinked since the last lunar eclipse

4) You’re the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don’t even work there.

5) You can type sixty words per minutes…with your feet.

6) You can jump-start your car without cables

7) You buy half and half by the barrel

8) You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee

9) You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it’s not plugged in.

10) Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down.

11) You’ve built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers

12) Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.

13) You think instant coffee takes too long.

14) You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can.

15) Your birthday is a national holiday in Brasil.

16) You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.

17) You can thread a sewing machine while it’s running.

18) You help your dog chase its tail.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It was a long day. I had been at work for what felt like 87 hours solid. I looked at the clock. It was only 1:30.

I message'd P-Ziddy. I asked him how his little 'Zid-spawn behaves when it's naptime and she doesn't want to lie down.

"Well," he replied. "She usually runs around and shouts 'no!' anytime I mention it. Why?"

"Because I desperately need a nap," I replied. "I'm thinking of employing her methods. Maybe somebody here will put *me* down for a nap."

P-Ziddy laughed, but then he cautioned me. "Wait until LadyPatsFan is out of the office... I'd hate for her to see you do something entertaining."


Poor LadyPatsFan. She missed out on the Code Monkey birthday bag and the glorious over-sized fake moustache. P-Ziddy's never gonna let her live it down. :)

I went over to tell LadyPatsFan the story. I started out with, "Remember my buddy P-Ziddy?"

She said, "Is that the sunnuvagun who always makes fun of me?"

The conversation went downhill from there. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Guest (Almost)

This past weekend my fantasy football team played against Big Dawg. We decided to celebrate the event by having Big Dawg come over to our house to watch my team lose to his in person.

lonely... like our hearts after the cancellation...
We bought soda, chips and dip. We put the game on, and cleared out lots of "sit and shout at the TV" space in the living room. We even plugged in a few Christmas decorations so he'd have more reasons to poke fun at me.

Big Dawg was ill and had to cancel.

My wife and sat down on the couch. We looked at the coffee table full of goodies and did what anyone else in our position would have done.

We missed you. More or less.
Later, I sent Big Dawg a message. "We ate like kings! Could you skip out on us again next week?"

I'm sure he'll have something to say about that once his fever dies down.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Perfect Cup

I have one coffee mug I love above all others. Not because it's personalized, but because it's *slightly* over-sized.

Yes, that's a toy catalog in the background. Don't act surprised.

It's 10 ounces instead of 8, or somesuch. I always grin when my groggy-blind groping hand finds this one, because I know that I'm less likely to spill it.

So yeah, I spilled it.

I was stumbling around the living room and tripped. When I looked up, I saw coffee dripping off the coffee table, end table, couch, exercise bike, fan and wall. Well done, tiny nerd. Well done.

When I finished licking the furniture (don't judge me!) I got a rag and cleaned up the mess. Later, my wife was sitting on the couch and wrinkled her nose.

"Does this cushion smell like your holiday peppermint coffee?"

"It's your imagination," I assured her.

She'll never know. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not My Fault

My wife and I were standing in line at Lowe's. The family in front of us included a guy who was dancing and wiggling back n' forth to the music in his head.

I'm a lumberjack and that's OK!
Plus, he was carrying long strips of plastic (baseboard?) on his shoulder. They bounced and swayed back n' forth while he did his crazy humming little wee-wee dance. He looked like a slapstick comedy routine about to happen, and my wife and I were in the slappin' zone.

As we stepped back, he glanced over and noticed my wife. "If I hit you," he politely said, "it's not my fault."

My wife glared at him. "Right," she said. "And if I kick you hard in the tenders, it's OK because I wasn't here at the time."

He stopped moving and glanced at me. I discretely placed my hands over my area and nodded. "She'll do it," my body language said.

He glanced at his wife for support. She glared daggers at him. "I'll let her do it," her body language said.

He gulped and stood perfectly still.

Later I asked my wife, "You *were* bluffing, right?"


I think she was bluffing. I hope she was bluffing.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mid-Term Jeff?

P-Ziddy was having a slow day at the office, so he made this for me. I'm running for Governor!

The sock monkey cap is outstanding. The scarf is sweet. But when I saw the text in the upper right... "A Monkey In Every Pot"... oh man. I would totally vote for any politician who I thought could deliver on that promise.

Hey, look! I can see Russia from this hat!

Friday, November 05, 2010


The phone rang. It was noon. I knew who was calling even before I looked down at the caller ID.

I picked up and didn't even bother saying hello. "This is the third day in a row that you've called me at noon."
Called? At noon? I was nappin'...

Web Ninja sputtered. "Really?"

"On the dot, yes."

"But... how?..."

"Two days ago I wasn't at my desk but you left a message. Yesterday I was here but eating lunch so I ignored your call. Today you got lucky."

Web Ninja wasn't expecting to be viciously attacked with uncomfortable truth. Faced with his own failings, he responded with admirable eloquence.


"I just thought I'd point out your oddities to you," I continued. "Noon is when most people eat lunch. Mid-day and whatnot."

It. Will. Be. EPIC.
"I don't each lunch," Web Ninja countered. "I'm a robot."


If he is actually mechanized, then he should settle into a new pattern now that I've disrupted his old one. I wonder what it'll be? Daily mid-afternoon smoke signals? Hand-written haiku's on pink Hello Kitty notepaper slid under my cubical wall in the wee hours of each morning? Regular bathing?

It should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I Want Candy

This happened last week, before Halloween.

My wife and I were watching Iron Man 2. We were sitting next to a big bowl of Halloween candy.

One of the packages of Smarties must have been open, because every once in a while I'd catch a whiff of pure sugary goodness. I didn't think anything of it.

Halfway through the movie my wife sniffed the air a bit. "Do you smell something?", she asked.

I had already forgotten the candy scent. "No," I replied.

A few minutes later her nose wrinkled again. "Did you light a candle?", she asked.

"You would have noticed," I pointed out. "I've been sitting here the whole time."

A few more minutes passed. "Is that...?", she ventured, "... is that you?"

By now I was smelling the candy scent again. "Honey, 'pure sugar' is not one of the many odors my body can produce."

We had to pause the movie so she could recover.

I'm now required to carry a stick of deodorant with me at all times so that she'll have something to cram down my mouth if I get snarky again.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Everybody Loves A Parade

This happened last week, before the elections.

Vote early! Vote often!
My wife got home from running a few errands. "You'll never believe what happened to me!", she said unhappily. "I left the store to come home and wound up in a dang parade!"

Turns out there was some local Tea Party gathering near us. They had a "parade" of about 6 cars, all slowly cruising and honking and waving "Please Vote!" signs. My wife got stuck behind them, effectively becoming the last float.

"Aw, how cute!", I said. "You're my pretty little Tea Party activist."

"Well, I did feel like taking some kind of action," she growled menacingly.

If I'm not a witch... and you're not a rabbit... what are we?
"If you're a Tea Party lady," I asked seriously, "Does that mean you're a witch?"

The glare I got was certainly cold enough to be supernatural. If she had the ability to turn me into a toad, I'd be catchin' flies right now.

I'm glad I'm not in politics. It's a dirty sport.