Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tipsy Haircut

Liquid Courage... because barber shops can be so intimidating
My wife got a show with her haircut last week.

It was early in the afternoon, but one of the other customers had already started his evening merrymaking. "Jus' a little (hic!) off tha top," he slurred. He was grinning manically.

The haircut began. His cell phone rang. "Can't talk! M' gettin' a haircut!", he shouted. "Me n' aaaaaall myyyyy friends!" He gestured expansively and gave everyone a huge open-mouthed smile. The fumes from his breath made a nearby conditioner burst into flame.

"Sir," said the barber. "They didn't hear you. You have to answer your phone first."

"Oh... (hic!) Thanks!"

Whoa. Seriously. Stop that.
He answered his phone and repeated the routine. The barber began her work again. A calm moment passed, and then the drunk shouted, "Who wants ta sing wif me?"

There was a horrified pause, followed by "I've got friiieeeeeeeeends, in loooooooow (urp), PLAAACESSSSS...."

Mercifully, his phone rang again. He tried to answer, but dropped it in the cup where used combs were soaking. As the phone gently sizzled, he plucked a comb out of the slightly-green solution and put it up to his ear.

"Hullo? Can't talk, m' gettin' a haircut!"

I love you guys (hic!)
This pattern continued for some time. When my wife left the shop, he was trying to set a campfire in the middle of the chairs. He kept slipping on piles of cut hair while grinning madly and shouting about how happy he was to spend quality time with so many friends.

I'm jealous I missed it. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

My June Ailment

So, I've hurt myself again. It just keeps getting better and better.

It started with my foot. After years of limping and poor posture, I managed to hurt my back. My chiropractor recommended some stretches and exercises I can do to make sure things stay healthy. He failed to mention that the stretches would also kill me.

I don't like being so familiar with medical diagrams
I stuck my right leg out to do a hamstring stretch. Apparently there's a wrong way to do this, because something went "ow" and my hip said, "Hey... I just realized that I hate you."

I strained a muscle in my hip. There's also a small tear. There's also likely some inflammation of the Bursae.

Walking hurts. Climbing stairs hurts *bad*. When I sit, it hurts. When I lay down, it hurts worse. I think this is really gonna hurt my chances as a contestant on Wipeout.

If you ever get a chance to exist as a fragile nerd, don't bother. It's not as transcendent as you might think.

So, anybody want to guess which body part I'll hurt next while rehabbing this one?

This will end badly
The doc gave me a stretchy exercise band that I'm supposed to use as part of my rehab routine. It's tough and durable, so I fully expect it to break on me. It'll pop up and smack me in the head. I may even lose an eye.

Then, before I'm used to walking around with no depth perception, I'll trip on something and break a foot. Then, the "pathetic injury" parade will have come full circle.

Wish me luck.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Doormats With A Message

From the email archive...


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Apathetic Checker

My wife and I were at Target the other day. We bought a few odds n' ends, including a large bottle of laundry detergent.

The lady at the checkout counter mumbled something and starting scanning items without even looking at us. My wife interrupted her to ask, "Did that laundry detergent scan?"

Whatever, dippy
The checker-lady looked up, eyes rolled back in annoyance. She looked like she couldn't possibly care less. She waved a hand dismissively and mumbled "Scanned."

When our total rang up, it was obviously at least 10 dollars short. "This didn't scan," we insisted. The checker-lady just shrugged. She was so apathetic about it, she couldn't even be bothered to verbalize.

"Look, I get that you don't care," I said. "But I kinda don't want to be a shoplifter, even if I get away with it. Re-scan this."

She rolled her eyes and grabbed the bottle. I decided to test the limits of her apathy. "Look," I said, pointing behind her. "There's a guy stealing an armload of toilet brushes." "Meh," she replied.

"He's sharpened the end of one and he's pointing it like a sword." "Feh," she elaborated.

"If he takes out your manager, you could be in line for a promotion."

Yeah, I've got issues
Still nothing. I waved my arms in the air. "Hey! My hinder is on fire!" "Whatever."

"Actually," my wife said, "Your hinder really is on fire."

I jumped and yelled and did a groping little "hiney-dance." There was no fire.

So, we never did hit the limits of our checker's apathy, but we confirmed that my gullibility is at standard levels.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pillow Talk

I think the statute of limitations is up on this one. Even so, I'll write vaguely so as to obscure my alleged guilt.

I made this pillow from two "Soundblaster Live!" fabric banners that hung at a CES-style trade show some 13 years ago.

Here's how I made it happen:

1) Acquire the necessary materials (*cough* *legitimately!* *cough*)

2) Hide them in the back of your closet for 4 years.

3) Using needle and thread, spend an hour sewing one edge of the two banners together. Jagged lines preferred. Poke yourself with the needle several times.

4) Hide your progress in the back of a closet for a couple of years.

5) Again with only needle and thread, spend another hour sewing a second edge of the two banners together. More jagged lines. Break a needle, gash your hand. Cry a little.

6) Hide your progress in the back of a closet for 6 years.

7) Obtain a sewing machine.

8) Undo all previous stitching, re-sew the whole thing in minutes with the sewing machine.

9) Gash open an old pillow. Spew pillow innards all over the living room. Breathe deeply, inhale the pillow fibers. Gag, cough. Cry a little.

10) Stuff the new pillow, sew up the last opening.

11) Party.

See, with just a few (*cough* *legitimately obtained* *cough*) materials, occasional determination and a complete lack of competence, you too can make your own pillow in just over a decade. An existing pillow must be sacrificed for the cause. Be prepared to bleed.

It's *totally* worth it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Christmas In July In June

Father's day is coming up. My Father-in-Law (FIL) has decided to have all us kiddos over this weekend to celebrate.

This should do for the appetizer...
Since it's *his* big day, he gets to pick the menu. In years past, he's chosen to have a cookout, in which he'll grill enough steaks to feed an army. Seriously... one year, for 6 of us, he grilled 10 steaks and baked 14 potatoes. Add in a couple of pies, a cake, enough salad to fill a bathtub and a broccoli-cheese casserole, and there wasn't enough room in the kitchen for all the "wind" that the broccoli caused.

Amazingly, he acted surprised when half the baked potatoes went untouched.

This year, he wants something different. He wants turkey and dressing.

I hope you made enough potatoes...
"It'll be Christmas in July!", he happily shouted. "It's June," somebody pointed out. "Eh. Whatever." FIL didn't seem too concerned with the details.

"So, Christmas in July in June," I pondered. "Wouldn't that like Thanksgiving? Are we going to hang the Christmas lights and watch football? Should I bring a jacket? Do we have to do this again in November?"

It took some time to sort out the details, but I now know that Thanksgiving is still on the schedule for November. I'm not invited.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Welcome to the Flower Channel... all flowers, all
the time.
My wife and I recently discovered HD. You see, we only have basic cable. We only want basic cable. We don't watch a lot of TV generally, so we just let the squarish picture expand across the widescreen TV and call it good.

But one day I got curious (bored) and started browsing the mysterious upper channels that had started appearing. Up in the 700+ range, I found HD versions of our local channels! Wow!

The picture was beautiful! The detail was magnificent. I flipped back to one of the standard channels and shouted to my wife. "Come see this!"

When she walked in, I showed off the standard picture. "See how it's all stretched?", I said. "Now look at this! This is beautiful!

I flipped over to one of the HD channels. They were showing a bra commercial.


"Huge Tracts Of Land"
Now, I wouldn't say that the bra in question was large. I'd say it was frickin' HUGE. Nicely framed, too. I think that if the dear lady's assets had been any bigger, they would have jumped out and punched me in the face.

"So," my wife said. "That's beautiful, is it?"

"Well," I confessed. "You have to admit, they aren't pixelated at all."

I'm not allowed to use the TV remote anymore.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Talons Game

This past weekend, my wife and I went to a Tulsa Talons (Arena Football) game. You know how there's usually a bunch of fools at football games who dress weird and paint their chests and yell constantly? We sat behind them!

This group was truly special, too. They were all shirtless. The first guy wore a red firefighter's hat, and blue football shoulder pads. He had painted his chest some gray-ish / black-ish color, with no discernible pattern.

The second guy had a mostly red and black Mexican Wrestler's mask with powder-blue tassels sprouting from the back. He wore a set of black angel wings, and had painted his chest with the same gray/black non-pattern as the first guy.

The third guy had a bright orange fur hunting hat, plus huge wrap-around reflective sunglasses. He had drawn a beard on with a Sharpie. He wore a blue plastic cape that looked like a tarp, or a pool cover. He also had masking tape wrapped around all of his fingers.

The fourth guy was an overgrown smurf with a beer gut.

That guy in the Morph Suit was a little disturbing. The suit was form-fitting enough that there really *should* have been a visible panty line. Also, occasionally he would turn around. I don't need to go into details here, do I?

Anyway, emotional trauma aside, those guys were hilarious. They hooted and shouted constantly, but they were always family-friendly. Not everybody in our section was so considerate.

If I let you jump seats, the terrorists have won
The fun started with a lady who was sitting in the wrong seat. Two police officers came down to speak to her. "Sit where your tickets say, or you're going home." The lady tried to talk them into letting her stay, since there were open seats and she wasn't displacing anyone. They threw her out.

Harsh. But, she *did* break the rules. Then, a guy grabbed a megaphone from the Village People in front of us. He started screaming through it at the other team. The police showed up again.

"No F-Bombs," they said. The guy was incredulous. "I didn't say that ----ing word!", he insisted. The police threw him out.

My wife and I exchanged glances. "There can't be *that* many thugs, drunks, malcontents and evil-doers in this section," I said. I was wrong.

No joy! Joy is NOT permissible!
A guy made a pass at the cheerleaders. The police threw him out.

A kid stole an onion ring from his brother. The police threw the whole family out.

A vendor even got thrown out because his cotton candy pole was too short.

Up 80-51, the Talons prepared for an extra point attempt. Somebody joked, "Don't miss! We need this point!" I thought it was pretty funny, but the police threw him out.

Leaving early? Throw them out!
The highlight was when somebody yelled at the other team, "Hey number 17! Take a shower!" The police showed up again. "No yelling at the other team." "You're kidding, right?" "No. Just watch the game. No yelling."

I've never heard of fans being told not to yell at a football game. Naturally, the guy was kicked out.

By the end of the game, our section was empty except for us and the Fantastic Four. The Talons were up 81-51 with three minutes left. "Let's go," I said.

The police stopped us. "No leaving early."

We got thrown out of the game for trying to leave early.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Advanced Studies

My wife found these in a file cabinet drawer recently.


That's 12 pages of spiral notebook paper. Every line filled, and most of them filled up on the backside, also.

12 pages of what exactly?


This stuff dates back 6 years or more, when I was trying to leave my old job. I was studying for Microsoft Certification exams. I wrote down every item that could possibly be on the test. The "X" marks next to each line means that I had mastered that particular item.

The "X" marks stop at around page 10. I guess I ran out of time before the exam. :)


I also seem to have had some questions about the "ContentPager Control". Come to think of it, I may still have some questions about that one.

My wife, bless her, she was so generous. Looking over this pile of old study material, she offered, "We can put it back in the cabinet if you want to keep it."

I have the sweetest wife in the world.

Despite her kind offer, I threw the pile away. :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pseudo Celeb - John Boehner

"People Start Pollution. People can stop it."
Last week I saw a guy in Subway who looked so much like John Boehner that I did a double-take. He wasn't orange-tanned or crying, though. He was texting.

He was sitting at his table with a sammich in one hand and his phone in the other. His texting thumb was a blur. Bites occasionally disappeared from his sammich, but his eyes never left that phone.

As I walked by I paused. He didn't notice. I waved. Nothing. I kicked his chair and yelled "BOO!". His focus never wavered.

I pulled his tie loose and emptied a ketchup packet in his shirt pocket, but he didn't so much as blink. His texting thumb never slowed down, either.

I can't look away
What could be so important and engrossing that he didn't notice what was going on around him? I figured he was either watching his stock portfolio explode or re-runs of Wipeout on Hulu. I leaned in close to take a look.

He was sending and receiving Nancy Pelosi jokes.



Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me, 2011

Today is my birthday.

That is all. Carry on.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin might be one of the most interesting historical figures ever. I base that assumption on a single source.

He might also have had something to do with early American government and electricity, but WHO CARES.

Ben Franklin occasionally wrote short satirical humor pieces. Wow... I love this man. Plus, the pages of this book smell slightly of boiled cabbage, which I thought was a nice touch. Every time I crack open the book to read, my wife gags and steps outside.

I don't know if reading satire from the 1700's will make me a better writer, but it *is* exposing me to words that aren't common to most modern Americans. Words like "Farthing". Yes, it's a real word. And yes, my good friend Ben capitalized the first four letters of it.

I love this man.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Beard Talk

My beard even makes this sweater awesome!
Every now and then, we compliment Web Ninja on his beard for no reason. He might say or do something vaguely positive, and one of the rest of us responds with, "Yeah, that's great... it's the beard. It adds "awesome" to everything you do."

Last week Big Dawg complimented Web Ninja on his beard. Everybody giggled at the easy familiar joke. Then Web Ninja stepped it up a bit. "I was thinking about growing it out," he said, "but people would get caught in it."

This is not Jeff Goldblum. Do not be fooled by cheap imitations.
Big Dawg crinkled himself up in his best "The Fly" imitation. "Heeeeeelp meeeeeee....", he squeaked.

Ah, follicle humor. It never ceases to amuse.

That night, my wife and I went out to dinner. We were chatting and relaxing, when I glanced across the dining area. Easily visible from our seats, Web Ninja sat eating dinner with his mom.

I grinned at my wife and raised my voice. "Web Ninja is sitting right over there!", and I pointed. He didn't notice. "I'm so glad we're over here, and not sitting with WEB NINJA over there!", I continued. I waved my arms and whistled. Still nothing.

I picked up a bit of fried okra. "Don't," my wife warned. "It *would* get his attention," I pointed out. "He's here with his mother!", my wife said. "We've never met her! She might not think it's funny."

It broke my heart, but I ate the okra.

As we left, we stopped by Web Ninja's table. I delivered the greeting. "Hello sir... I couldn't help but notice that you're bearded."

It could have been... magnificent...
Introductions were given all around. I told Web Ninja about the piece of okra I almost threw at him. "Oh, you should have," his mom said. "That would have been hilarious!"


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Blowout

This is why I won't try Tai food.

Can you imagine the size of that hole with fuel behind it? Lordy.

These pants actually survived more than a decade before the blowout. Such sturdy pants can only be made of one thing: Barbed wire, crocodile tears and tar.

This apparently happened on the same day that I ate lunch with Scruffy last week. Next time, less jalapeños.

My pants cannot contain me!