Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day, 2011

You shouldn't be reading a blog like this on a day like today. Go enjoy the summer-ish-ness. Live a little. Throw a hotdog at somebody.

Happy Memorial Day!

That is all.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nothing, Really

It's Friday, and I've got pretty much nuthin'.

So, we'll start with this cell phone notice over on the right. It made me giggle. You can probably read most of it as is, but if you wanna you can click into it for a bigger version.

I especially like the line about not looking anyone in the eyes. Words to live by.

Next, a random observation... Facebook gave me an alert last week that my wedding anniversary was approaching. The hilarious bit was that the alert linked to my wife's page and said, "Send her a message." Uh... I live with her? I don't think a Facebook message would be an acceptable anniversary remembrance.

It made me laugh, and in retrospect I really wish I had take a screenshot of it. :)

Finally, here's the Swedish Chef from the old Muppet Show. This short video starts out as cake decorating. It winds up with a demonstration of the "cäkenschmööscher."

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stories From My Past: The Elf

Yahtzee just got weird
Back in college, there were a lot of folks who enjoyed Dungeons and Dragons. For those who might not know, it's a Role Playing Game (RPG)... participants pretend to be wizards or warriors or whatever, and sit around a table rolling dice and talking their way through a grand adventure. It's a bunch of people all reading the same fantasy novel out loud, except they are also writing the story.

I tried it a couple of times, but got bored and quit. On the other hand, I had a couple of friends who decided that imagination and dice were not enough. They started to LARP.

LARP is "Live Action Role Playing"... basically, the same concept as an RPG, except that the participants dress in costume and act out the roles.

In other words, it's the point where RPG's start to earn a certain reputation.

1791 was the year it happened...
There were three "buddies" of mine who thought it would be fun to act out their chosen characters all the time, not just while LARP'ing. They went to class in costume. One guy (I'll generously re-name him "Joe") wore his vampire cape and novelty-store pointy teeth everywhere.

Me: "Hi, Joe."
Joe: "Do not call me 'Joe'! I am 'Lestat'!"
Me: "No, you're an idiot."

There was one guy who decided that he was an elf. Not that he would play the part of an elf... No, he decided that he literally was an elf. He studied magic. He held his hands so that it looked like he had three fingers each instead of four. He practiced writing in an elvish script.

Loosely translates to: 'You have a boogey in your nose'
He was, simply put, messed up.

He claimed one day that he had "discovered" his name. He used some funky method to generate his character's name from elvish words, but to him this was his true name. He showed off the elvish characters and told everybody that it was a two syllable name, pronounced "Chi-Tos". ("Chi", like the first part of "kite", and "Tos", like the end of "tomatoes")

Then he made the mistake of showing the English spelling. It was "Chee-Tos". His LARP group nearly died laughing.

Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed elf
"Your name is 'Cheetos'?!?"
"What? No! It's pronounced 'Chi-Tos'!"
"Is your elf orange-skinned?"
"No! Do I *look* orange-skinned?"
"Do you come from a clan named 'Free-toe-lay'?"
"Shut up!"

For weeks after that, he'd find Cheetos bags taped to his dorm room door.

He never relented on what his true name was, but I think he did eventually modify the spelling.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bad Cartoonist

I was wandering through a local library when I saw this book on display, just *begging* to be loved by a Jeff.

Cartoon Cool... This looks promising. When I opened it up, one of the first sketches I saw was of a guy with a coffee mug. "This is mine," I happily purred.

Of course, skill is not born overnight. I figured my pathetic scratchings were amusing enough to share. (Book drawings on the left, my sketches on the right)

The title of this drawing in the book was "Sultry Female", or somesuch. Mine didn't turn out "Sultry".

Mine looks like a lizard-fish-alien hybrid. She's coming for your soul!

And this... Oh my. This happy little lady was admiring a dress, but I had to stop sketching when the giggles took over.

"Pardon me, ma'am. Is that a headband, or are you actually being stapled to a cardboard box right now?"

I had to add a cape to this happy fellow, because my wife couldn't tell what he was doing.

Also of note, my wife asked, "What is that ball-thing in his hand?" "That *is* his hand," I explained. I'm bad at hands. So I practiced.

I'm still bad at hands.

There was one drawing I did that turned out more or less OK, however.

I call him, "Dr. Sbaitso." :)

Friday, May 20, 2011


I'm sorry, I've just never been able to do this. I just can't write with a blue pen.
I've always been exclusively right-handed. I've also always been a creature of habit. I never expected one to mess with the other quite like this.

Every morning I have coffee. Every morning when the coffee has been consumed, I stand over the sink and clean out the coffee pot. I always start by pulling out the used coffee grounds with my left hand.

I've been doing this for years, and never noticed that I was grabbing the coffee grounds left-handed. It shouldn't matter, but apparently it does.

The hour of your doom approaches
One recent morning, I was looking somewhere else when I tried to clean out the coffee pot. I reached for the grounds with my right hand.

It felt WEIRD. Like when you pick up a pen with your non-writing hand, and suddenly you have no idea what to do with it. I thought, "What an odd thing to be left-handed at... it's just a pinch/grab/lift, ..."

And then I dropped it. There was a small crashing sound and a wet "sploot" of damp coffee grounds attempting to splash.

From across the house my wife shouted, "What was that? Are you OK?"

Performing Funeral Dirge for a Tiny Nerd, in e-minor
"I'm fine," I replied. Then I stepped on the coffee-ground goo pile. One foot slipped and I did the splits. My hamstrings twanged like Steve Vai's E-string and my head crashed hard into the oven door.

"What was *that*?!?", my wife shouted. She sounded concerned. "Are you sure you're OK?"

"mmm fine", I mumbled. I think it was verbal, anyway. I put a hand up on the counter to pull myself up. My poor dumb groping hand landed on the hot-plate for the coffee pot. It was, naturally, still hot.

Owie. Stingie.
There was brief sizzling noise, followed by a scream. "What was that?", came the expected shout. "Are you OK?"

"You don't want to know," I shouted back in reply.

"You don't want to know" is a phrase that gets shouted a lot at my house.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jeff The Interviewer

I got to sit in on an interview! I make a great interviewer.

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
First I let the other interviewers speak for a minute. When it was my turn, the *real* questions started.

"What's your astrological sign?"

Everybody looked at me funny. "Do not doubt my methods!", I shouted.

I turned my attention back to the candidate.

"What are some of *my* favorite toys?" The candidate stammered for a moment. "You really should research these things before coming into an interview," I warned him.

I continued. "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" The candidate blinked rapidly. "Uh... African or European?"

How frequently do you bring donuts for your beloved co-workers?
I smiled. Very good. He's getting the hang of this.

"If the office was on fire, would you save the web servers or the office furniture?"

"Uh... I'd make sure you are OK first."

"Excellent answer."

I wound up recommending him for the position. He's a quick learner.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Policy Addendum

I'm gonna need a bigger FIFO
For years, I've operated on a first in / first out "HeyJeff" policy.

As best I can, I deal with the ad-hock stuff that gets thrown at me, in the order in which it was thrown at me.

I'm thinking now that I need to allow for bribes.

I figure, why not? I give, you give, we both get something... what's the harm, right?

I figure, a HeyJeff that comes with a coffee offering is going to get priority over anything that came before it. A HeyJeff that comes with a cheap plastic McDonald's toy will be completed within the hour. A HeyJeff that comes with vague "I owe you" favors will be shuffled down to the bottom of the list. Hard currency only, so to speak.

Combining gifts is also acceptable.
I accept coffee, backrubs, chocolate candies, stickers, Lego... you get the idea.

It's short because I ran outta jokes. It happens.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Revenge Of The Exercise Bike

Do not try this at home
Back in November of 2009, my wife and I bought an exercise bike. It's been used pretty frequently, but we've neglected the maintenance on it big time.

First it started making clicking noises. We ignored them. After a few months, it started squeaking. We ignored it. When the shaking started, I dug out the instruction manual. It talked about things we could do every so often to keep the bike in good running order. We ignored it.

A year and a half after buying the bike, the handlebars flapped side to side like wings. When my wife would ride it, I could hear the crashing noises outside. We had to re-arrange the living room to make sure no breakables were within the potential zone of destruction.

I finally broke down and grabbed a screwdriver.

Call me?...
The wireframe drawing in the instruction manual made the bike innards look like a rocket engine, but it was actually much less complex than I feared. The biggest problem was that I kept sitting on the screws I'd taken out. That Allen Wrench and I had a moment I'll never forget.

Once I got to the actual bike chain, it was pretty easy to tighten up. It was just two bolts, really. I pushed it pretty tight, figuring once every year and a half was a little too frequent for my tastes.

My wife got the on the bike when I was done. She stood on the peddles. They were as unmovable as granite. "What did you do?"

I got to take the bike apart again. At least the Allen Wrench was still warm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I got a million of 'em!
An unexpected situation came up at work that required me to come in a little early. It's not as bad as it sounds, since I'm usually last-in and last-out. Still, it was an unexpected break from routine.

On my way into the office it occured to me that I might actually arrive before SpanFan (our earliest riser). I had it all figured out... she'd walk in and find me. She'd ask, "What are you doing here this early?" And my punchline reply would be, "I never left!"

Unfortunately, my plan was foiled. SpanFan beat me into the office.

"What are you doing here so early?", she asked.

"Failing at a good punchline," I replied.

I told SpanFan about my comedy's busted timing. She sympathy-laughed, which I thought was very kind. Then, Big Dawg (another early riser) wandered into the office.

Can I have a do-over?
He saw me and looked surprised. I waved and grinned sheepishly. There was an awkward pause.

SpanFan prodded me and said, "Use your punchline."

"I never left!", I shouted.

It wasn't exactly my finest moment, but it'll do.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Animal House

I am NOT changing that diaper
There's been several stories in the Tulsa newspaper recently about a woman who keeps a disabled kangaroo (!?!) as a pet. The city council made a big deal out of the situation, trying to decide if she could keep it. Eventually they decided to make an exception for exotic animals that were incapable of harming anyone.

At the office, several of us were discussing the situation. Hilarity started to pour in from all sides.
Obviously, the conversation had already gone "weird". Buckle in and hold on to your armrests, because it's *all* downhill from here. :)

M16 kicked things off with, "So basically they're saying you can keep any animal as long as its handicapped?"

Grinning wickedly, LadyPatsFan was quick to jump in. "No, you have to say 'Handicapable'. It's a handicapable kangaroo."

M16 (ever the sensitive one) said, "Riiiight. So I can keep any animal as long as I cripple it first? I could have a pet Wildebeest as long as I break its back."

RUN! It's M16 with a leash!
There were laughs and gasping variations on, "Did he really just *say* that?!?". Then, for reasons unknown, somebody suggested doing the same thing to a rabbit.

"Wouldn't work," I pointed out. "If you break a rabbit's back, you don't have a pet. You have stew."

Somebody (either Maarek or OoRah) jumped in. "If handicapped ('Handicapable!' - LadyPatsFan) animals are OK, then I want a narcoleptic mountain lion!"

There were squeals of agreement. "As long as you can outrun him for a few minutes, he can't hurt anybody!"

Big Dawg joined the fray. "*My* mountain lion has A.D.D."

Inspiration struck me. "You know what a mountain lion with A.D.D. would look like?"

I pantomimed a mountain lion, about to swipe at somebody with his front paw. I even roared. Halfway through the motion, I got distracted by my own "paw" and just stared at it for a while.

Everybody else in the office roared, too. :)

Eventually, somebody threw out the easy-but-dependable joke, "That would make an excellent rock n' roll band name!". By the time we were done, our list of band names included "Handicapable Kangaroo", "Narcoleptic Mountain Lion", "Gorilla With a Hairlip", and "Tainted Rice".

My rice was "ew"
For the life of me I can't remember how Tainted Rice even found its way into the discussion. But I'm glad it did.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Actual Customer Quotes

More than 10 years ago, I worked as a Technical Support agent for Creative Labs. I was one of the folks you talked to on the phone when you couldn't get your sound card to work.

I compiled a huge list of ACQ's (Actual Customer Quotes)... hilarious and/or dumb things that customers would say to us. I found that decade-old list recently, and I've whittled it down to a few of my favorites.

ACQ one-liners:

Typical -- "I deleted Windows 95 ... I didn't know I couldn't do that ..."

Final Authority -- "This is the last Packard Bell I'll ever buy. It's a decent machine, but their tech support sucks, and you have to have permission from Christ if you want to upgrade ..."

Not as much as one might think... -- "So, is there much snow skiing in Oklahoma?"

Consequences -- "The wages of sin is scandisk."

No comment -- "I went through all the poo-poo I was supposed to..."

Customer, talking to his slow-booting computer -- "C'mon, you pig, fly!"

Yup, pretty much -- "Windows can't scratch it's own [hinder] without building a driver information database."

"Thanks" would have been enough -- "Dude, if this works, I will come over there and kiss your [hinder]!... If this works, dude, you will be my man forever!...."

ACQ responses to agent questions:
(Us vs. Them format)

Us: Don't worry sir, it will come back.
Them: That's what they said about my first love.

Us: Ok, shut down the computer and reconnect the cd rom drive to your sound card...
Them: Ok, I've gotta put my Jock Strap on.

Us: "Windows 98.."
Them: "is a piece of junk!"

ACQ Agent Testimonies

I was talking with this guy, trying to get his 2x CD recognized. At one point he goes, "Shhhhh, hold on.... Whoops! I gotta go! Springer's on!" I just sat there blinking for a coupla seconds going, "Uh..." when he chuckles and says, "Just kidding."

(Normal techno-babble, then):
Customer: Sarah, honey, I'm on the phone.
(a few minutes later, "Sarah" comes back):
Customer: No, I'm still on the phone. I'm not ready yet.
(a few minutes later):
Customer: No! I told you I'm not ready yet! You see me sitting at the computer, with the phone in my hand. What part of this don't you understand? Go sit in the bathroom!

This last customer I talked to was a good ole' southern gal. She had just moved; In the process of moving, they lost the install disks. The following is a collection of words of wisdom she imparted to me:
"Lemmie tell you, if you ever move, take your stuff with you!"
"Aurthor-ized files verified." (authorized)
"You are your mother's son!"

Open the case to get the model number off the drive. While opening the case, I hear a child yelling in the background, something about the other kid hitting him/her. To which Mrs. xxxxxx replied, "Well hit 'em back."

I just got off this call where this guy would laugh hysterically at everything he said. Examples:
-- "I'm trying to make this cdrom work and it doesn't." Har har har har!
-- "I connected it to the secondary ide port." Ha ha ha ha!
It was a really annoying call. I even quit sympathy laughing pretty quickly.

I just had a guy call and, no joke, he was snoring! I tried and tried to wake him but he wouldn't wake up!

ACQ conversations

Them: "So where are you located?"
Us: "Oklahoma."
Them: "What part of Texas is that located in?"
Us: "Actually, we are located north of Texas."
Them: "So, Arizona?"
Us: "No sir, we are an independent state between Kansas and Texas."
Them: "Really, so you are close to the East coast. I thought you would be towards the west."

This customer was asking about the weather. I told him it was raining. Then he asked where I was. I said Oklahoma. Then I said:
Us: We really needed the rain.
Them: So the wheat will grow to an elephant's eye!
Us: (pause) Uh, yeah...
Them: I don't know why an elephant would want wheat in his eye, but whatever...

From a Customer Service agent:
Them: I can't get my sound card to work!
Us: Have you tried contacting tech support?
Them: Why the #### would I have to to call them?
Us: They would be the best ones to help you get your sound card up and running.
Them: *heavy sigh* OKAY. What's the number for Texaco?

Another from a Customer Service agent:
Them: Hello. I'm having a problem with my sound card.
Us: Okay, what sort of problem are you having?
Them: Well, I can't find it.
Us: Do you mean that your system is not detecting it?
Them: No, I mean I've lost it. I don't remember where I left it. Can I get a new one?
Us: A new sound card?
Them: Yeah, I still have the little disk thingy
Us: Okay.
Them: Can I get a new card?
Us: No.
Them: Can I just get the card?? I already have the disks.
Us: No.
Them: But they said I could just get the card.
Us: Who did?
Them: The computer people
Us: I'm sorry, we can't replace the card because you lost it. Please try to keep an eye on your hardware from now on.
Them: Fine. I'l buy a new one. Can I have a discount because I already have the software?
Us: I think you should talk to your local computer store about that.
Them: Really? Do they sell sound cards?
Us: Probably
Them: Can I get one that will work with my disk thingy?
Us: Sure, but I'd tell them the whole story.
Them: About losing my sound card?
Us: Yes. Thanks for calling.
Them: Sure. Thanks, you've been very helpful.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


The "R" key on my office keyboard stopped working. Naturally, I was trying to spell "Arg..." at the time.

The irony (iony?) was so beautiful that I couldn't stop laughing. Big Dawg checked in on me. When I'm laughing like that, it either means there's hilarity to be shared or that I'm about to break down from the stress. Either way, it's good theater.

I told him about my missing "R" key. "That's teh-ible," he agreed.

One way or another, I shall get my point across
I told him, "Now I can't properly express my frustrations!"

Big Dawg pondered this for a moment. "Use 'Blah' or 'Meh'," he suggested.

It doesn't quite have the same ring as "Arrrrrggggghhhh....", but I guess I'll take any pot in a stom.

Monday, May 02, 2011

He Never Noticed

I noticed several people steal this status from me, of course. :)


My nephew says this is one of the funniest videos he ever "saw".