Monday, January 31, 2011

Doo Dah

A broken link! Ha!
I got an email at work from one of our users.

"A blog I saw had a box with a link that was broken."

Well, the site that I work on has some blogs. Some of them even have boxes. But I couldn't find any broken links, so I contacted the user.

"Which blog had the broken link?" "Oh, I don't know."

No idea where the problem is, but still expecting me to fix it. Nice.

I brought M16 in on the situation. He and I looked over things as best we could, but we just couldn't find anything to fix.

I made an observation. "It kinda sounds like a twisted version of a children's song. Check it out..."

"Wave your hands in the air, like you just don't care..."
There's a blog with a box and a link that is broke, doo-dah! Doo-dah!
There's a blog with a box and a link that is broke, oh the doo-dah day!"

Our decent into silliness was complete. M16 and I left the phantom problem unresolved.

5 minutes later I walked past M16's desk. I was singing under my breath, just loud enough for him to hear...

"Doo-dah... doo-dah..."

I kept on walking as he laughed. That way, if anybody asked why he was laughing he'd have to explain it on his own.

I'm like that sometimes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Restaurant Review

A new restaurant opened up a couple of miles from our house. My wife and I decided to give it a try.

Our staff stands (waddles) ready to serve you

It's an Italian place, staffed mostly by tall thin Italian guys. There was one waiter who looked a bit like Peter Griffin... the lighter color hair and pot belly *really* stood out among all the Jersey Shore clones. He looked like he had sampled the pizza. A lot.

I have our daily specials written on my abs...

Speaking of Jersey Shore look-a-likes, our waiter looked a lot like Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, but without the physical ability to smile. Seriously, his face was so immobile that I don't think his lips moved when he talked. Also, his hair was shorter and he was wearing a shirt.

At first our waiter was really responsive. The salads came out 12 seconds after we ordered, which was nice. Granted, the salad consisted of three lettuce leaves drowning in a bowl of dressing, but it was *fast*.

Then, our guy just disappeared. After about 20 minutes (no, I'm not kidding) I managed to flag down a different waiter. "Do you know where our waiter is?"

"Oh," he mumbled, "he's probably in the tanning booth behind the kitchen."

"You guys have tanning booths?"

His eyes widened in panic. He shouted, "I've said too much!", and skittered away.
I'm here to keep the Department of Health out

When we left, there were two guys at the front. One worked the register, the other held a baseball bat and kept looking at my knees. When my card cleared, he looked disappointed.

I think we found the Italian Mob's restaurant, and I think they considered "whacking" us. The food was good though, so we'll probably go back.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stories From My Past: Seat Belt Safety

I'm good at everything

I'm good at nothing
I have no idea why, but this story popped into my head recently. The best lesson I ever learned about seat belt safety came not from a teacher, but from a high school Jock (fit the stereotype nicely, quite deserving of the capital letter).

There was a loose crowd of us, and somebody was talking about seat belts. A nearby NERD (light years above and beyond the stereotype, deserving of multiple capital letters) scoffed and said, "I'm never going to wear a seat belt."

Somebody challenged him on this, and he replied, "If I'm in a car wreck I'll just stick out my hands. I won't hit the dashboard."

The Jock had been uninvolved with the conversation to this point. He calmly walked over to the NERD and grabbed him by the back of the neck. The Jock then twirled the NERD around so that he was facing a wall.

"Stick out your hands," the Jock said. Then, with one hand, he slammed the NERD's face into the wall hard.

While the NERD gasped and held his face, the Jock calmly spoke. "If you can't stop me, what makes you think you can stop a car?"

Yeah, my high school could be a little rough sometimes.

The Jock went back to dispassionately ignoring us all. The NERD bled and blubbered. The rest of us pondered this important life lesson.

No, we didn't help the NERD over to the nurse's office. We didn't want his cooties.

And no, I wasn't the NERD in question. I was never a NERD in high school. I was just a simple Dork. Totally different class of undesirable, and only one capital letter. Learn the difference, or I'll find you and give you my cooties.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Actually, I Prefer Just "Slash"

At work, we got an email from one of the companies we do business with. It was sent to everybody in our department, and it started out with the greeting:

...or Madam, ... we can't tell...
   Dear Sir/Madam, ...

I wound up being the lucky one to reply with the info they needed. Some time later, they replied again, this time saying;

   Dear Sir/Madam,
   Thanks for your attention and kind response...

They had replied to the entire department, but the response *was* directed at me. It's not like my name is "Pat". *sigh* Those crazy dorks.

All I've ever really wanted was your love
I brushed it off and ignored it. Big Dawg didn't. He came by my desk and said, "If I had a blog, your nickname would be 'SirSlashMadam'."


He hasn't been calling me "SirSlashMadam" in public yet, but when I look at him I can tell he's thinkin' it.


Friday, January 21, 2011

My Latest Ailment a real pain in the hinder.

Piriformis Syndrome, as you can probably guess from the name, is the condition that occurs when you pass gas and sneeze at the same time.

Wait!, no, I tell a lie... that's something else. Piriformis Syndrome is the sudden dramatic appearance of feathers around your midsection.

Whoops!, no, actually that's not even close.

Actually, Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms, and irritates the sciatic nerve. The piriformis is a muscle which runs from your sacrum (mid-line base of spine) to the outer hip bone (trochanter).

(My sincere thanks to the miracle of copy/paste, which made that last paragraph possible)

In other words, my butt hurts and it won't stop. Awesome. *sigh* It seems to be an injury that mostly affects runners. Must have happened to me while I was wind-sprinting between my office chair and the vending machine.

So... foot, groin, and now hinder.

Anyone wanna take bets on what will be next?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Nickname

For years now I've occasionally mentioned a co-worker who I've called SWoaN, or "She Without a Nickname". I always intended that to be temporary, but it kinda stuck.

(By the way, the first story to mention SWoaN is worth a re-read. You can find it here, if you are so inclined.)

Last week, SWoaN opened up some website code and started shouting. When she calmed down a bit she shared the offending code with us.

Blah, blah, blah...
Now, for those of you who are not Web Programmers, I'll try to be gentle. There is a simple beastie called a "SPAN" that can be placed around text. Generally, this is done to change the text's style; to make something bold, or change color, that sort of thing.

<span class="RedText">It looks like this</span>

Simple, right?

The code that SWoaN opened up had at least 50 of those SPAN beasties, all clobbered around more or less randomly. It filled up the entire screen.

...<span class="rs18"><span class="jt27"><span class="ds5">It looked something like this</span></span></span>...

I gotta admit, that's the sort of thing that would make me scream, too.

Tools of the trade
Well, obviously I couldn't just let this one slide. I took a post-it note and wrote <span class="SpanFan"> on it. Then I took another post-it note and wrote </span>.

I walked over to SWoaN's desk and put the two post-it's on either side of her computer monitor. The whole time she was sitting right there asking, "What the heck are you doing?"

Once the second wave of shouting died down, I grinned at SWoaN. "You realize you finally have a real blog nickname now, don't you?"

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce (again), SpanFan! (the artist formerly known as SWoaN)

Welcome to the family, SpanFan. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011


Nope, not yet
As is often the case, P-Ziddy and V were discussing my pending untimely demise. They figure it's only a matter of time. Every day I live, I have exceeded their expectations.

It started with P-Ziddy mentioning a nail gun. I said, "Oh, I want a nail gun."

P-Ziddy tried to talk me out of it. "No, no you don't."

"Oh, I think I do!"

Seriously, these things are awesome
Granted, I'd probably only use it once and then it would go in my garage until the end of time. It would sit alongside my belt sander, dremel, and rivet gun.

P-Ziddy expressed skepticism that I'd ever used any such tools. But the fact is, I used the belt sander when I added some shelves to my wife's computer desk, the dremel to shave off some nail points from the neighbor's side of our fence, and the rivet gun once when I couldn't find a hammer.

P-Ziddy chuckled. "Sounds like the lead-in to a joke: Jeff walked out of the house with a ladder, a nail gun and a broom and climbed up onto the roof..."

I concluded the story for him. "Eventually, they found his left boot in a field 4 miles away."

Have you seen my salt shaker?
Inspiration struck V. She said, "I plan on starting the Jeff McClung memorial fund and embezzling enough to live on a small island in the Caribbean."

I thought this might leave a stain on my legacy, but she assured me, "I'll name a tropical drink in your memory."

P-Ziddy suggested a couple of names for the tropical drink. "'Death by Razorblades'? 'Screaming Agony'?"

[insert drum roll here]

V had another name in mind. "I was thinking 'Caffeinated Wood-chipper'."

One more Red Bull and I'm good to go

"Caffeinated Wood-chipper". That's the sort of phrase that wins conversations. I honestly think we've finally found a name that's too magnificent for a rock band.

"Caffeinated Wood-chipper". It's perfect. It completely captures the essence of *me*.

I love it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Seymore Butts

OoRah's Butt

OoRah wandered over to my cubical and leaned over to look down at me. Feeling a bit like a prairie dog at the zoo, I looked up at him. "Yes?"

"Nothing," he said. "My butt hurts, I'm just stretching my legs."

...and I cannot lie
There were people wandering all around, so I knew I had an audience. I raised my voice a bit to make sure I'd be over-heard. "Oh, excellent. Tell me *more* about your butt!"

OoRah's reply with swift. "No."

We nearly lost Big Dawg. His chair squeaked distressingly while he tried to control his giggles.

Of course, since somebody in the office had been funny, Big Dawg felt the need to try and be funnier. :) He told OoRah, "From you, that was the perfect answer. If it was me, I would have made him tell me to stop!"

I have my doubts about that, but I didn't dare challenge him in case he was right. I'd rather be nebulous on as many "butt" details as possible.


So, a friend who shall remain nameless posted this as his FaceBook status:

Love me!
"But tension is to be loved when it is like a passing note to a beautiful chord."

I couldn't resist. I replied to his post, simply saying:

"Butt tension?"

Later, when he noticed the reply, he deleted it. I almost think that's funnier than anything he could have said. Lord knows I had about a hundred "gas jokes" lined up and ready to roll, but now you'll all just have to use your imaginations. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Oh Glorious Day

Last Wednesday, I got a bunch of instant messages from P-Ziddy, all one right after another. Note the timestamp... this all happened in the space of one minute. It went a little something like this...

[15:31] P-Ziddy: Oh!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: OH!!!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: It's Winter Wipeout Day!!!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: Wipeout!!!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: ####!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: No
[15:31] P-Ziddy: That's tomorrow
[15:31] P-Ziddy: ####!
[15:31] P-Ziddy: ####! ####! ####!
[15:31] jeff: Indeed.
[15:31] P-Ziddy: And here I thought there was actually a reason for today

Don't you just hate it when you think it's Thursday but it's actually only Wednesday? P-Ziddy feels your pain. Loudly.

By the way, if you're not watching Winter Wipeout you are dead to me.

Just remember... it's on *tomorrow*. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

User Description

I know your password. You cannot hide.
One day at work I found myself creating a User Account for OoRah on one of our servers.

For those who have never had the joy, creating a User Account on a Windows computer really isn't all that hard. There's a field for his login name and password, and a few other options. One of the optional fields is "Description". Being the consummate professional I am, I know that the "Description" field provides valuable additional information about the user (in this case, OoRah) and his level of access to the server. It is very important that I be accurate, concise, and fair.

I considered all of this, and then typed "Large, Bulky" into the Description field.

I'm just big-boned
I called OoRah over to my desk so he could type in his password. He saw how I described him and shrugged. "That works for me," he happily said.

I checked the box that said, "User cannot change password." "What?!?", OoRah said in mock outrage. "You mean I can't change my password?"

"If it's any consolation, I'm about to add you to the Administrator's group."


I gave him one last piece of advice. "Just try not to FDisk anything."

OoRah gave me a blank stare. I pretended to be surprised. "Did I just show my age?", I asked.

OoRah's blank stare did not improve. I chuckled and turned away. Let him wonder.

He can Google it if he really wants to know.

Friday, January 07, 2011

TSO Photoshop Jeff

You might recall the "TSO Poses" that I did a couple of weeks ago. I knew P-Ziddy wouldn't be able to resist Photoshopping them. I was not disappointed.

Click into either of these for a larger version.

I'm on stage! With invisible instruments! And Mojo-Jojo! Sweet.

And then there's this:

If there were four of me, my Christmas light display would be at least this big. Aw Yeah.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011




My wife and I were at Mazzio's, sitting near the front. I saw a little boy (couldn't have been more than 4 years old) wander up to the lady behind the counter. He waved to get her attention, and then asked:

"Can I have some Flower Nuts?"

The poor lady behind the counter was visibly stunned. "I don't know what you're talking about."

The little boy persisted. "Where are the Flower Nuts?" He was already starting to sound desperate.

"Do you mean Sunflower Seeds?"

"No... Flower Nuts!"

He looked like he might cry, so the lady grabbed a handful of Sunflower Seeds. "Is this what you need?"

"Yay! Flower Nuts!"

I think Flower Nuts would be an excellent name for a rock n' roll band.

Monday, January 03, 2011

My New Year's Resolution

Everybody stand on one leg!

Blow something up!

Have some badly pixelated hats!
I have settled on my New Year's Resolution.

Of course, when making a resolution, it's important to be specific with your goals. Naturally, I have decided to ignore this advice and take a swing at "vague".

Therefore, my resolution is...

Never anything less. Always something more.

Just now, I got chills reading that. I'm sure you did too, but hands off! This is *my* New Year's Resolution! Get your own!

More of anything is, by definition, better. More bowls of Cheetos. More brands of deodorant. More bags of lawn clippings. More!

I will be enjoying my year of "something more". I hope you all enjoy your year of "whatever".

Tune in next year for my 2012 Resolution: Never anything less. Always something more. Voyage of the Dawn Treader.