Friday, September 30, 2011

Wild Wild West

It is very difficult to find "chaps" pictures that wouldn't work as the punchline of a Brokeback Mountain joke.
Cowboy mentioned that he's having a party at his place. He does this annually, and calls it his "Fall-Fest". In years past he's had an "80's" theme, a "Bad Sweater" theme, and a "Funny T-Shirt" theme. The theme this year is "Wild Wild West."

I told him, "I can't do that. See, I have a pair of chaps, but nothing I can wear under them."

Web Ninja was nearby, and his reaction was pure gold. A full-body shudder, an "urp" noise, and loss of color in his face. It was everything an amateur comedian can hope for.

By the way, I do not actually own any chaps. Just in case you were worried.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Not Good At

M16 came by my desk to talk to me. I'm pretty sure everything he said was English, but what I heard was:

"I need to talk to you about the Ya-Ya Project. I'll have to change the thing to do this instead of that. Do you see any problem with that?"

I grinned happily and replied, "I have no idea what you're talking about. What is the Ya-Ya Project?"

There was a long awkward pause. Then, more pseudo-English as M16 tried to explain:

I'm still trying to figure out the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow
"Well, OK, it takes the nouns and verbs them, and puts them someplace in space-time. Just like the Foo-Foo Project."

"The what?"

There was an even longer pause.

"I've never heard of the Foo-Foo Project either."

"Do you actually work here?"

"Not on everything."

You probably don't want to do a 'Google Images' search on this topic
M16 recovered admirably and launched into his technical speech again.

"OK, well, what I need to know is, ... "

I interrupted him. "No, I have a better idea. Let's talk about some more things that I've never worked with and don't understand. Hay balers! Differential Equations! Animal Husbandry!"

M16 gave up. "I'll come back later."

I love how the phrase "Animal Husbandry" can derail a perfectly sane conversation. I'm gonna have to use that one more often.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Can Of Doing

Remember the ferocious greenery that was destroying the fence in Scruffy's back yard? Well, we yanked that sucker out a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the big ordeal this past weekend. It was time to tear down and rebuild about half of Scruffy's back fence.

Scruffy bought a nailgun for the occasion. In honor of the Home Depot ads, he called it his "Can of Doing."



Demolition was AWESOME. Do you know how often I get to grab a hammer two-fisted and swing it as hard as I can? Not often enough. Pure joy!

Eventually we got to the first big mistake. We eye-balled the cross beams. "Those look like 6 foot sections, and that one looks like 8 feet." We bought the lumber. Then we measured. Then we went back to the store.

"You again?", said the checkout lady. "Yeah," I replied. "Turns out the guy who said 'Measure twice and cut once' was probably on to something."

She rang up the total. "I'll see you guys again in an hour or so," she happily said. "Oh no, we're good this time."

We drove back to Scruffy's house with lots of 10-foot long 2x4 beams sticking out of the back window of my Vibe. While putting up the cross beams, we ran out of wood screws.

"You again?," said the Home Depot lady. She didn't sound very surprised. "Yes, us again."

There was still a little demolition left at this point, so I grabbed a hammer. I swung hard and a shattered piece of 2x4 bounced off my ankle.

I laid on my back in Scruffy's yard to see if my ankle would swell, and reflected on what a beautiful day it was. I might even have fallen asleep, except that the ringing in my ears was too loud.

Eventually, I recovered enough for us to almost finish. Then we ran out of fence pickets.

"Hi!", the Home Depot lady said as we came back. "Shut up," I wearily responded.

4 trips to the hardware store mid-project, 4 hours longer than we expected the project to take, and 1 moderately traumatic injury later, Scruffy and I decided that we had run into "The Can of Doing us in."

That nailgun is pretty sweet, though.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free Fries

You cannot have them
A real short one today, just to show how *fun* it can be to work in Cowboy's department...

Cowboy got a new hire, a nickname-less (so far) lady. He was introducing her around the office and said, "Show your badge down at Arby's and you get free french fries."

There was a brief hopeful slightly-disbelieving moment. "Really?..."

Don't taze me, bro!
Cowboy grinned. "No. Not really."

I prefer Golfer's bit of Badge Wisdom that he shared when I was hired. "Show your badge at the front desk and you won't get tazed." Much more practical.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Licence To Kill

OoRah got his hunting licence (watch out, Coyotes!).

He happily showed it to me and grinned. "I have a license to kill."

Big Dawg chimed in. "I have a license to resist."

Gah! They can't resist me!
It was my turn. "I have a license to be irresistible." I followed this up with a "check me out" hand wave and a suggestive eyebrow waggle.

There was a long pause. Then, Big Dawg gave up. "I need to purge that from my memory forever."

As he hurried away, OoRah and I could hear retching noises.

But I *am* irresistible, aren't I?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Full Metal Jeff

I was having a conversation with OoRah, discussing a co-worker who was being a little difficult.
What is my major malfunction?... I have to pick just one?...

Me: "... yeah, he's kinda full of it today."
OoRah: "That's OK. I just need to know what everybody is full of so I know how to treat them. You treat a jelly donut different than a plain one."
[long pause]
Me: "I love you."
OoRah: "I'm sure that was meant in a brotherly way."
Me: "Yeah, sure, close enough."

I shared that conversation with P-Ziddy, which resulted in...

P-Ziddy: ROFL
P-Ziddy: Some day you should watch Full Metal Jacket just so you will realize how fine the knife edge you walk daily really is
Me: I laughed so hard at that, I literally choked. I'm blue-faced... wow.
P-Ziddy: Excellent
P-Ziddy: I had to work my way into that blog post SOME how

P-Ziddy's motivations are a bit transparent, sometimes. :)

In any case, this led to a discussion about the movie "Full Metal Jacket". OoRah told me about the bit where Private Pyle shoots his drill instructor, which led to...

I don't wear a hat this big... but I should
OoRah: ... and that's what P-Ziddy was trying to warn you about.
Me: But I don't wear a hat that big.
OoRah: And I don't have suicidal thoughts.
Me: We're obviously all wrong for each other.
Big Dawg: I think you're lying to yourselves.

Big Dawg *might* be inside my head a little. Darn him.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Horticulture Horror

Feed me, Seymore!
My pal Scruffy had a large ... well, we'll call it a generic "growth" by his back fence. Like the picture, but uglier. Kind of a cross between ivy and a weed. It was littered with spider webs and bird droppings, so even though it should have been more or less green, it was mostly a white-splashed "ew".

It had consumed part of his fence and was threatening the gas meter. Kinda like "Audrey II" on a wood and plastic diet.

Armed with some loppers, Scruffy and I set out to do battle with the mostly-green beast.

This... is my BOOM STICK!
Have you ever heard the phrase, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail?" Well, let's just say it was a good thing I was wearing shoes. I could have sworn those loppers were gas-powered, they did so much damage. Scruffy would start choppin', leaves would start flyin'. It was chaos.

At one point, the green haze in the air turned brown and I started to shout. When I finally got Scruffy's blades of fury under control, he'd managed to gouge out a 2-foot hole in the ground. A terrified mole squeaked at us and dove for cover.

When we were done, we poured the mulched mess into a over-sized trash bag. It was "Shrub Puree". The end result almost looked like a bean-bag chair.

I managed to keep my fingers mostly by virtue of staying out of the way.

Good times.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dream Analysis: The Oil Change

Dream Machine
So, I thought I'd share a dream with you.

I dreampt that my dad donated a car for some important event. It was one of those big boxy 1970's sedan-types. It wasn't in great shape, but it would do. "The oil is a quart low," he told me.

I took the car to a hardware store. Suddenly, Cowboy (from work) was in the car with me. "I'll just go get the stuff we'll need," I told him. Cowboy agreed to wait in the car.

I'm a man. These cost $40.
In the hardware store, I was lost. Mike Gundy was there, and helped me find 5 long pieces of metalic ribbon. I have no idea why, but it made perfect sense at the time. I would *need* this.

Anyway, back at the car, Cowboy and I raised the hood. The ribbon already didn't make any sense. "I think I need some gloves," I said. "This could get messy." Once again, Cowboy agreed to wait in the car.

Perfect for oil changes
I found a whole aisle of gloves. Half of them were flimsy 2 dollar garbage, and the other half were at least 50 bucks each. I found one pair that was around 10 bucks. They were too small, shiney, and the fingers were smudged together like mittens. But, they were at my price point, so I bought them.

Anyway, the line was crazy long. Mike Gundy was working the register. By the time I got outside, night had fallen. Cowboy was waiting in the car. He looked grumpy.

We raised the hood again. I had my too-small gloves and my ribbon. Suddenly, a thought hit me. "It's just low on oil, right?" Cowboy nodded. "One quart low."

Hundreds of uses?
"Maybe we should... just... buy some oil?" It sounded just crazy enough to work. I put the gloves and ribbon in my pocket. They may be useless, but I bought them so I'm keeping them, dangit.

Then I woke up.

I don't understand much about Dream Analysis, but I *think* this means today's winning lottery numbers are 40, 13, Mike Gundy, and pi.

I want a cut of whatever you win.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Slapping The Giraffe

My wife and I went to the zoo with Scruffy. There were a couple of amusing moments. It started near the front gate, where they had a giraffe doing a "Blues Brothers" impersonation.

Cute, right? But that wasn't the highlight... there was a kid in front of that poster, a boy. He was slappin' that giraffe like it had cussed his mamma. "WHAM!" "WHAM!" "WHAM!" He even looked angry. I wish I hadn't missed the pic, because it was hysterical.

Later, in the Rain Forest exhibit, Scruffy pointed out a tray of lettuce on the floor. A rat-squirrel thing (it probably has a more scientific name than "rat-squirrel") was eating from the tray.

A little girl nearby asked, "What's it eating?" "Lettuce." The girl asked, "What are those things in with the lettuce?"

I helpfully replied, "I think it's some kind of Italian dressing."

Her wide-eyed expression of amazement was more than I ever could have hoped for.

The zaniest thing was when a couple of teenage boys approached Scruffy and said, "Will you take our picture with this cell phone?" One thing led to another and... well...

Later, Scruffy tried to explain. I told him I didn't want to know.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Danger Scenarios

Hi! Can I shoot you?!? Please?!?
At work, a group of us were talking about danger scenarios (I don't remember why).

OoRah happily informed us, "As part of my Marine training, I have a plan to kill every person I meet."

I acted like I was making a list and did my best OoRah impersonation. "Let me make a list of Jeff's weaknesses... hm... there are too many..."

Big Dawg joined in. "My escape plan involves having at least one person behind me."

There was much amusement and general agreement with the strategy.

I have a sensitive tummy
Of course, Big Dawg is, well... big. So he continued, "Given my speed, most of those plans involve wrestling moves."

There was much more amusement as his plan began to resemble something that just might work.

Then, he went for the home run. "If 'King Hippo' does it on Punch-Out, I'm willing to give it a try."

While we gasped with laughter, Big Dawg alternated arms, raising and lowering them just like the old 8-bit video game character used to.

Now all Big Dawg needs is a band-aid for his belly.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I Missed Out On Something Wonderful

Big Dawg had an old couch to get rid of. His apartment manager told him he could use a nearby construction dumpster, but the only way to get the couch to the dumpster was to take it down two flights of stairs, out the front door, and then around the block.
Hey baby

I could see it in my head. Big Dawg on one side, OoRah on the other. Carrying me, on a couch, down the side of a city street. This would be an adventure I'd tell my grandkids about one day! I could hardly wait.

The big day came. And I forgot.

Big Dawg, Golfer, M16 and OoRah wandered off to move the couch, and I didn't even notice. By the time I remembered, they were coming back from the adventure. I was heartbroken.

"You missed a lot," Big Dawg told me. "We had to cut the couch in half."

Yeah right, I was thinking. He's just rubbing it in. Then, as he kept talking, I realized something awful.

I regret nothing!
He. Was. Serious.

First, they dropped the couch on the Golfer. That could have been *me*! Can't you just imagine the "Jeff Smooshed by a couch" pics? You *know* I'd post them! Dang!

Then they got stuck on the second floor landing. A maintenance guy came by and offered, "I have a power saw." Big Dawg pondered this and said, "Well, we *are* throwing it away. Sounds good!"

Big Dawg and crew got to watch a crazy maintenance guy cut his old couch into three big pieces with a power saw.

Death to fabric-covered items!
That could have been *me*!

Then, they all got to carry Couch Fragments down a city street and around the block.

That could have been *me*!



Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day! (2011)

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

The heat has finally broken! If you need me, I'll be outside shivering.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Bewildered Texan

From the email archive...

While hiking down along the border this morning, I saw a Muslim extremist fall into the Rio Grande River; he was struggling to stay afloat because of all the guns and bombs he was carrying. Along with him was an illegal Mexican who was also struggling to stay afloat because of the large backpack of drugs that was strapped to his back.

If they didn't get help, they'd surely drown.

Being a responsible Texan and abiding by the law to help those in distress, I informed the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security.

It is now 4 PM, both have drowned, and neither authority has responded.

I'm starting to think I might have wasted two stamps....