Friday, April 29, 2011

Consolidated Plastics

I got a catalog from "Consolidated Plastics" in the mail at work. It was addressed to "Jeff McClung: Developer".

I don't know what kind of developer they think I am, but they apparently also think I am a mass plastics consumer. Or possibly a distributer. It's a little hard to tell.

The part that really caught my eye was the "Unique and hard to find" tagline. Unique? Really? Let's take a look.

Spray bottles! Totally unique. You've never seen anything like it!

Paint buckets! Zip ties! And a ... baking dish? Tell me that's not a baking dish.

OK, I admit I'm a little fuzzy on this one. Looks like a nice utility for the spare bathroom. You know, for guests you hate.

Now *this* is unique. I've never seen golf tees like this before.

If anybody needs obscene quantities of Ziplock knockoffs (1000 per box), let me know. I can hook you up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Portal

I made a web page at work. It's what I do, more or less. I sent the page off to several co-workers to get their approval.

Web Ninja was quick to give me his feedback. The email exchange went something like this:

"Shift-Tab" will pop you back over to the wardrobe

I'll cut the cake...

Web Ninja
Well, when I tried to access it, it opened a door to a magical realm. I saw a snowy forest and a lamp post.

Good going, the website now leads to Narnia.

Excellent. I can live with that. :)

Web Ninja
Actually, that would rock if it were true.

"What are all those fauns, dryads and nymphs doing in the break room?"

"Oh, just eating popcorn."

The White Witch makes an awesome dessert tray. You have to physically ward off her amorous advances, but the turkish delight is worth it.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have a nameplate on my cubical wall. It used to read, "Jeff McClung - Sr. Web Developer".

It's a nice title, but I decided that it no longer accurately describes my position at the company. Oh sure, I occasionally sling some code, but more often than not my considerable talents are channeled in a different direction.

Hey Jeff! Hey Jeff! Hey Jeff!I decided to re-title myself. I figured it would make it easier to fulfill my role with the company if I eliminated the ambiguity.

My nameplate now reads "Jeff McClung - Panic Participation Services".

I think it has a nice ring to it, don't you?

I also made one for OoRah. His nameplate now reads "OoRah - Front Toward Enemy".

I put it up on his cubical wall without telling him. I wonder how long it'll be before he notices? :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Discussion Regarding Clubs With Nails In

In the blog comments for "Punch Drunk", V had this to say about about the "wood club with a nail in it":

V: (gasp) You mean, not everyone has a wooden club with nails in? I thought that was standard equipment.

Now that I know it's all special and stuff, I'm going to take mine to the grinder and put a fresh point on all the nails.

Jeff: ROFL

"a fresh point on all the nails"

I have a most excellent mental pic of you standing at a grinder with your club o'nails, humming happily. There's a blacksmith's fire in the background with a tea kettle, of course.

V accused me of peeking in her window. I guess I hit pretty close to home.

Later, V and I were discussing something unrelated, but the conversation came back around to spiked clubs:


Jeff: Truly, my glass is half full. Well. Maybe 1/3 full. Definitely at least 3/16ths full.

V: Are you sure it's even your glass?

Jeff: No.

V: There's your problem. Somone pinched your glass and drank it dry.

Jeff: Likely.

V: You should get a club with nails in and teach them a lesson. When people know you have one, they become all sorts of nice and concilatory.

Of course, a good solid club *without* nails can have a similar effect, and with your handy man skills, you wouldn't have to worry about killing yourself with the grinder.

Some people swear by rusty nails. Me, I think they should be clean, shiny and super sharp. That way you get the light reflecting off the points, dancing in little spots across their face. It's like having a scope without the red dot and the extra weight on the club.

Jeff: I love how much careful thought you put into your acts of violence. You are a true artisan.

V: Thank you.

Well, of course I was going to compliment her after all that. She's got a club, and takes great joy in using it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Old Land Line

Big Dawg, OoRah and I were discussing cell phones. Big Dawg theorized that Land Lines wouldn't completely go away until cell phones have the ability to have more than one phone number attached to them.

Twice as nice, yo!
"They could have different ring tones," he explained. "Then you'd know, 'Oh, that one is my land line.' It could be the generic family number, but then everybody would have their own personal number as well."

I pondered this. "I hope that when that day comes, the name 'Land Line' sticks. Then, generations from now if you ask a kid 'Why is it called a land line?', he'll shrug and say, 'I dunno... it just is.'"

Big Dawg grinned. "They'll come up with wild ideas, like maybe the signal for the family number runs underground instead of through the air."

OoRah contributed. "The signal has to come up through your shoes, which is why you can't wear anything with rubber soles."

Please sir... I've no where else to go...
I put a hand up to my ear as if I was on the phone, and started jumping up and down. "Sorry, there's a lot of static on this line."

After the laughter died down, OoRah shared a bonus story. He's got a land line, but only telemarketers ever call it. He's trained his littlest daughter (5-ish) to pick up that phone when it rings and say, "I'm sorry, but we don't want any squirrels today." Then she hangs up.

I love it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Imaginary Car

Today's story comes courtesy of LadyPatsFan's daughter Giggles.

LadyPatsFan was roaming the city with Giggles in tow. They left a school office after signing up for one of the events, and on her way out LadyPatsFan picked up parking permit.

I can see it... can't you?
As they walked out the door LadyPatsFan looked down and saw that Giggles had picked up a permit also. She asked, "Is that for Daddy's car?"

"No," Giggles replied. "It's for mine!"

LadyPatsFan grinned, knowing this was going to be cute. "Oh, you have a car?"

"Yeah, I've got an imaginary car but I hate it."

Even LadyPatsFan's fine-tuned maternal instincts wasn't expecting anything quite that good. "You hate it? Why?"

Giggles shrugged. "'cause it's red with pink polka dots."

I guess it's so expensive to get an imaginary car repainted, sometimes you just have to roll with what you've got.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Some Kind Of Friday

Last week my wife posted on her Facebook wall:

"Thankful Thursday: What are you thankful for today?"

I was really thankful to have a day off work that Friday. Since "Thankful Thursday" started with two T's, I figured I could inject some humor if I used two F's.

"So, ..." I pondered, "What is a good F-word I can use to describe Friday?"


Oops. So yeah, once I thought "F-word" in my mind, it was really hard to think of something other than *that* word. It took nearly 10 minutes to come up with, "I'm thankful tomorrow is Fa-la-la Friday."

It wound up being such a lame joke that I'm inspired to try again today.

Today, I may or may not be thankful that it is Fallaciousness Friday.

I'm so glad that today is Fat Friday!

Everybody celebrate Festering Friday!

You WILL enjoy Forceful Friday.

Bask in the glory that is F. Scott Fitzgerald Friday.

I pity the Foolish Friday.

Quick! It's Frenzy Friday!

Typical. Another Fruity Friday.

I loves me some Flip-ity-doo-dah Friday!

Hide the women and children! It's False Foxglove Friday!

What about you? What kind of Friday is it for you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Claymore Mines

P-Ziddy has a Marine buddy, and of course I've got OoRah. 'Zid and I wound up being a proxy for the two of them to discuss T-Shirt ideas.

It started with this little bit of genius from CafePress. I didn't understand the joke, but OoRah was kind enough to outline it for me.

"The original Claymore Mine had nothing printed on it. After some accidents with troopers pointing the concave part of the mine towards the enemy (instead of the convex part), they printed "front towards enemy" on the front of the mine."

"Later on, they discovered that in the dark, Claymores could be mistaken for ration cans, which led to some other accidents and damaged mines. So they printed Do not eat. The lettering is "carved" - it has some depth, so if anyone picks one up in the dark, the letters can be felt."

This led to OoRah's magnificent T-Shirt idea... "Front Toward Enemy", as in the picture above. The back would say, "Do not eat: Contents toxic."

This is where P-Ziddy's Marine buddy comes into the discussion. He suggested "Backblast area all secure" for the back of the shirt.


Turns out, "Backblast area all secure" is the warning one gives before firing a bazooka or LAW rocket. I'm told it's also a warning that a Marine shouts just before he passes gas.

I would like to take this moment to thank the US Marine Corps for providing me blog content for today. Gentlemen, a tiny nerd salutes you.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Punch-Drunk: When you're so tired, *anything* is funny.

I'm fine... really...
We had a major project launch at work last week. The Powers That Be wanted us in the office at 4:30 AM to get everything in place before the morning rush. There were a *lot* of punch-drunk people in the office that morning.

What follows are a couple of stories from that day, which probably aren't terribly funny unless you imagine the participants as confused stumbling yawning sleep-deprived semi-coherent code jockeys.

In other words, everybody was acting like I normally do. It was freaky.


We were having a ... well, let's call it a "complaint session", regarding some folks in another department. Communications are occasionally difficult between our two groups. They want this, we want that, requirements misunderstood, that sort of thing.

Maarek lamented, "I wish we had some way of communicating our disgust with them in a way that would really get the message across."
Your attention please...

"Stay simple," I recommended. "A wood club with a nail in it. You could just plunk it down hard on a random desk, you'd have everybody's attention."

Maarek's face lit up with joy. "Oh! And then you announce, 'Negotiations... have failed.'"

I like it. Simple. Elegant. We were so tired we laughed at this until we cried.


There was a gathering at Big Dawg's desk. As the crowd shuffled around, SpanFan came into view. Big Dawg blinked rapidly and leaned back. He looked like somebody was shining a flashlight in his face. "So bright!"

He was staring at SpanFan's shirt. "It's just pink," she said. "I know, but it's BRIGHT!"
You will succumb to our evil! Ha!

A delirium-inspired idea struck me. "For the first time ever, I'm tempted to get a pink shirt. SpanFan and I can come around your cubical from opposite sides, then JUMP out on either side of you!"

Without even the slightest pause Big Dawg said, "I'd call it the Care Bear Stare."


Halfway through a phone conversation with Cowboy I forgot who I was talking to.



There was a moment where somebody inside our group did a thing the wrong way, and he should have known better. I sent out a "policy" email warning, "Somebody goofed up, so everybody, don't do this, do that instead."
My shirt may be ugly, but so are you, and *I* can change!

I was a bit blunt in the message, so I sent out a separate email to a few individuals saying, "Just FYI: It wasn't you."

Web Ninja replied to the email. "*Now* you tell me. I freaking soaked my shirt in tears."

I replied to him, "That was by design. I hate that shirt."

Friday, April 08, 2011

Perfectly Timed Photos

From the email archive:

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Armed And Dangerous

I was provoked...
Turns out there was a stabbing last week in Downtown Tulsa. It was 11:30 AM, and it was just a few blocks from where I work.

Naturally, I heard from my wife as soon as the news broke.

"Yes, I'm fine... No, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one who got stabbed... what? Is that a real question? *sigh*... No, *I* didn't stab anybody..."

The conversation got playful and concluded with her warning me, "Be aware of who is around you today!"

"Don't worry," I replied. "I'm pretty sure SpanFan isn't armed."

"Yeah, but what about OoRah?"

I considered this. "OK, I'll be careful."

Naturally, I had to share. I went over to SpanFan and told her the story up to the line, "I'm pretty sure SpanFan isn't armed."

OoRah's pocketknife
She laughed. "I'm not," she confirmed. "But I think OoRah is."

OoRah looked hurt. "What? All I have *here* is a pocketknife."

Hm. Pocketknife. Stabbing. Eek.

Somebody save me.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Fun Phrase

alone in my misery
Maarek and I were talking last week. It was Friday, and it was his turn to have a bad day.

See, all last week, if I was having a good day, he was having a bad one. If he had a good day, I didn't. It was weird.

In any case, I asked him how a particular project was going. He replied, "Today, this project has been filled with horse feces."

That is probably the best executive summary I've ever heard.

We briefly discussed how we traded bad days all week. "I wish we could pass that along to somebody else every now and then," Maarek lamented.

"I nominate OoRah."

OoRah turned at the mention of his name. "Sure," he happily said. "I'll take one for the team."

OoRah's a swell guy.

Maarek got a little giddy. "That's perfect!," he said. "All we need is for you to be our metaphysical karma magnet."

Ready? Here it comes!
Everybody laughed. Then, Maarek's mind started to go to strange places. "Hey," he pondered. "A metaphysical karma magnet would be a great thing to have. You could put it on your refrigerator. It'd be like a mood ring... it would change color... rub it for good luck..."

Maarek's a swell guy, too. Especially when he's all giddy and manic.

Of course, we all learned an important life lesson. Specifically: "Horse feces" is a hilarious phrase to say out loud.

Try it!

Friday, April 01, 2011


We got a door hanger earlier in the week from this "Clean Cut" place. I loved their motto:

"We Do Nothing Half Grassed"

So, if they don't take *half* the grass, does that mean they do take *all* of it? And since there's no grass left, do they pave what's left?

Hm. I might be interested.