Monday, October 31, 2011

Tee Hee, A Key

Sometimes Big Dawg gets histerically giddy for little or no reason. It's like watching a cartoon character. Usually the words "Heeee! Heee-heeee-heeeee-heeee! Heeee-heee!" are involved.

This... [dramatic pause]... is one of those times.

There was a random office conversation going on. A group of us standing around, talking about Battlestar Galactica (and other such important issues).

Big Dawg pulled his keys out of his pocket, looked down, and laughed. "Heeeee! Heee-heee-heeee-heeeeee!"

In reply, we all looked at him oddly. Still giggling, he held his handfull of keys out to me, indicating that I should look. He pointed at one key in particular.

I looked. "That's a key," I agreed. "Most of the time those aren't funny."

Undeterred, Big Dawg pointed again. "It's hard to see in this light, but there's a little indented pattern on the key that I'd never noticed before. It's like a little key-man flexing..."

Big Dawg quickly gave a little demonstration-flex, just in case I had never seen it done before. Then, "It made me think, is this supposed to be a key to...", he flexed again, "... a strong-box? What's in the strong-box? Money? Secrets? Is that where they keep the really good drugs?"

I kept my voice as deadpan as possible. "No, I get the impression you already found *that* box."

"Heeee! Heee-heee-heeee-heeee!"

I work with a cartoon character, folks. I couldn't be happier. :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Devil Ducky

The Golfer came up to me one day with a little card in his hand and a slightly befuddled look on his face. "My boss gave me this," he explained. "He saw it in an advertisement and said it made him think of you."

I managed to contain my squeal of glee, barely. The boss's boss had cut a Devil Duckie out of a magazine for me!

The Golfer continued. "I'm not sure what this says about you... or him, I suppose..."

I took the Duckie and grinned. "All is says about him is that he's paying attention."

I got a Duckie!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Last Friday was the end of the world. Again. I guess. At any rate, that led to this discussion with ICanSpell...

ICanSpell: Any end of world or rapture type things happening there?

Me: Naw, just some wing'ed demons.

ICanSpell: That was just Big Dawg.

Me: Big Dawg is a flightless wing'ed demon.

ICanSpell: Like a penguin of the underworld?

Me: Absolutely. Also, this is the point where the conversation must be shared with Big Dawg. I think he'll find some joy in the title, "Penguin of the Underworld".

So, I shared the conversation with Big Dawg, who replied...

"I like sushi. Tuxes are cool. Demons and the underworld are not for me, nor do they represent me. Angelic Penguin of Happiness is much more appropriate."

Naturally, his cubical nameplate was altered. Instead of "Smarty Pants Programmer", his title now reads "Angelic Penguin of Happiness".

On a related note, it's stunning how many images come up when you do a Google images search for "Evil Penguin". Very few of them are the Batman villain. Amazing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Code Monkey

My buddy P-Ziddy sent me a link to this most excellent shirt you can buy over at ThinkGeek.

I was still cackling insanely when Big Dawg walked around the corner. "Lookit!", I pointed.

Big Dawg smiled happily. "That would be a great shirt for all of us to order and wear on the same day."

I agreed. "When people ask, 'What's up the Programmers today?', we could politely explain, 'Ah-Ooh!-ah-oh-ah-oh-ah-ooka!'"

Along with the monkey noises, I flailed my arms wildly and rocked back and forth.

As responses go, I figure it wouldn't *quite* answer the question. However, I think it would put a stop any future questions. In my book, that amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Simple Philosophy

A simple one for Friday, from the email archive. Slightly PG-ified. :)

My older friends tell me that this graph is stunning in its simplicity and accuracy. I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weed Eater

I was working on the yard last week and noticed the motor winding down on the weed eater. It's an electric, so this isn't exactly normal.

I pushed on until I smelled smoke. Then I did my best to stomp out the resulting flames. Then I did a little "whoo-hoo hot-foot" dance and fell over on the driveway.

Time for a new weedeater. I went to Lowes and grumbled. The low-end unit they had was the same one that just burned up on me. They were out of stock on the next model up. So, I went for the "Foliage Fiend Vege-Crush 8000". The logo was sub-titled, "It's a good day to maim."

When I took it out of the box, the little dual-lines were already spinning slowly. The machine smelled like menace and dead leaves. I plugged it in. Time for a test run.

Thankfully, I've always wanted a door on that wall.

This weed eater is unbelievable and more than a little scary. It obliterated grass. It threw rocks like bullets. It cut deep into a tree stump, and sliced through fence posts like butter.

On a whim, I pointed it up in the air. The dual-lines acted like helicopter blades, and I started to rise up off the ground. I must have looked like Tim Allen as Mary Poppins.

I'm pretty sure I could jump-start my car with this thing.

I'm afraid to use it again, honestly. Thankfully, I've got some time before that's necessary. The yard will probably take a year or two before it recovers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fender Bender

My friends are weird. Observe:


Jeff: Boom! There was a fender bender just outside the front door of our office building a second ago.

V: Were there fire trucks?

V: And lights and sirens?

V: And fun things like that?

Jeff: No, it was just a fender bender.

Jeff: Part of a bumper did fall off while they tried to pull over to the side of the road, though.

V: Oh.

V: Well, that's nothing really then.

Jeff: No punches thrown, no screaming.

V: I'm horribly disappointed.

Jeff: It was directly in front of our front door. The security guard basically just stood up and he was there, inspecting the damage.

V: You pumped me up with expectations of blood and gore.

V: That sort of things is bad for my health, you know.

V: The pumping thing, not the blood and gore.

Jeff: What part of "fender bender" did you have trouble with, exactly?

V: If the fender fell off, it is more of a fender broker than a fender bender.

V: You are the king of understatement.

Time to get noisy!
V: What do you expect?

V: I'm used to having to translate things like "I've got a band-aid on my finger" into "I shot myself in the finger with a nail gun while trying to fix my shoelace."

Jeff: "There was a fender bender outside the building here a minute ago. There were no survivors, and the resulting hole in the fabric of the universe is letting in trans-dimensional monsters. It's pretty noisy."

V: Better. Unrealistic, but better.

Extra relish is 25 cents, and that's cuttin' me own throat
V: Next time, try for survivors, but have them screaming as the trans-dimensional monsters eat them.

Jeff: I'll try to make sure there's a hot dog cart nearby, too. For condiments.

V: Yes, because everyone knows that bystander tastes better with relish.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You Did It!

And now, with no context whatsoever, it's some pictures of me with a yellow miniature traffic cone that says "You did it!" on my head.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Evil Overlord

Scruffy: My influence at work is growing. I'm being placed in the Workstation Admin group.

Me: Excellent! That means you could take Plants vs. Zombies and push it out to everybody's computer!

Time to get some work done...
Scruffy: Uh... no, we wouldn't do that.

Me: I don't know why you wouldn't. That would be the very first thing I'd do.

Scruffy: Even if we did, that would be a different group.

Me: There should totally be a Plants vs. Zombies distribution group. Everybody should have one.

Scruffy: (stunned silence)

Me: So, anti-virus updates? Windows Updates? That sort of thing?

Scruffy: No, that would be a different group. We won't actually push any software out to anybody.

Me: So... what kind of group are you?

One Beeeeee-lion Windows Updates
Scruffy: We'll be the ones who discuss and plan how everybody's computers should function. What programs and what versions of programs to use, that sort of thing.

Me: So, you're not actually practical in any way?

Scruffy: No.

Me: But you'll be in an "Evil Overlord" sort of role?

Scruffy: (grinning big) Yes.

Me: Oh... oh that's wonderful.

Plus, I think I'd look good in tights
"Scruffy the Evil Overlord". That would look beautiful on a business card. Plus, he can keep Plants vs. Zombies all to himself.


I wanna be an Evil Overlord. Dangit.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I always have my umbrella with me when I get coffee. Always.
At work there's a coffee vending machine in the break area one floor above my office.

I went to get a cuppa. There were some entirely average normal-looking ladies I didn't know sitting there in the break area. I nodded at them.

In reply, one of them belched so loudly that it knocked me backwards and singed my eyebrows. The others all laughed as if a very impolite joke had just been told. Which, I guess it kinda did.

I relayed the story to OoRah. He told me about a girl he knew in college who could belch louder than anybody he's met before or since.

"I'm not saying there's no female burping talent to be found," I explained. "It was just a bit unexpected."

Plus, now I gotta wait for my eyebrows to grow back.

Weird day.

Friday, October 07, 2011


I have a Mr. Potato Head collection at work that includes an "Indiana Jones" guy who plays part of the theme song when you push down on his hat.

OoRah was over at my desk and pushed the hat. The first few bars of the theme song played out.

OoRah frowned. "It shouldn't have stopped that quick."

"You have to push repeatedly to make it play the entire theme," I told him.

OoRah considered it, but then said "I don't want to waste your batteries."

"That's only the third time it's been used since I got him. You're actually protecting me from a battery acid leak at this point."

OoRah grinned. "It's good to be useful."

I am acid-free, thanks to OoRah!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

How's It Goin'?

Big Dawg and I walked past East Coast. East Coast said, "Hey Jeff... how's it goin'?"

"Fine, how about you?"

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
"Oh, I'm good."

Big Dawg pointed accusingly at East Coast. "You're lying! You're having a terrible day!"

East Coast grinned and laughed. "You saw through me."

As we walked away, Big Dawg cackled. "That was FUN!", he rejoiced. "I've never told anyone they're having a bad day before! I *liked* that!"

I've never seen Big Dawg grin bigger. He was wobbling side to side with glee. "Wow! There *is* evil in my soul!"

This is the happiest DAY OF MY LIFE!
I've never heard anyone prounce something so dire with so much joy. He was bouncing, he was having so much fun. He never stopped giggling, and the edges of his smile were touching his ears.

"I'm gonna go tell SpanFan that she's having a bad day!"

He bounded off to blissfully spread despair.

From the moment of "You're lying!", all the way to his glorious exit, I never said a word. I'm pretty sure I never blinked, either.

I was stunned. OK, *and* more than a little annoyed that I didn't think of it first.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Splash Panel

They also help protect my modesty
One of the Splash Panels under my car came loose. Those things are partly to keep road debris from jumping up into your engine, and partly for aerodynamics. At least, I think that's what it's for. In any case, I'm pretty sure they shouldn't drag the ground at highway speeds.

I went to a generic mechanic. "Sure, we can fix that," he said. "Oh, no, wait, actually we can't." It seems the panel doesn't simply attach with a bolt and screw. The bit of the car frame where it attaches is hollow, so it's some sort of fancy "snap fastener". "That particular part has to come from a dealership," he said.

I went to a nearby dealership. "Sure, we have those in stock," the guy said. I asked "How much?", and he waved a hand dismissively. "We usually don't even charge for something so simple." I said that was great, and then he casually mentioned, "It'll be about two and half hours."

"What?!?" "Well," he explained, "We get a lot of cars in here on Saturday, and I only have two mechanics. I have eight during the week."

"So," I said. "You deliberately schedule fewer mechanics on the day you know you'll have the most business?" He looked at me like I was crazy. "Don't judge me!" Then he stomped off.

As good as new?
So I got some Zip-Ties. How hard can it be?

Turns out, not too bad. However, the same things that make bolts and screws impossible make zip ties difficult. I wound up drilling a couple of holes in the thick plastic panel so I'd be able to attach the zip ties.

Nearby, my neighbor was having a garage sale. "How much are these books?" "How much for the pool table?" "What's with the moron next door, power drilling under the front of his car?"

My neighbor glanced over our way. "We don't talk about him."

I grinned. I'm famous!