Friday, June 29, 2012

Ways Not To Look Cool

As you all know, I am an expert in how not to look cool. I've perfected such maneuvers as the casual nose-pick, tripping over nothing, and of course the "Gee I *hope* that's a coffee stain on his trousers."

It's rare that I see a fellow dork truly elevate the art form. When I do, it's pretty special.

Last week I saw a guy cruisin' on a Harley. It was one of those crazy ones with handlebars so high that you arrive at your destination with bugs in your armpit hair.

The poor guy had an itchy ankle. So he tried to scratch it with one hand while steering with the other. The result was a comedy of rapid "bike tip" "over-correct" "bike tip" "over-correct" wobbling that had him taking up multiple lanes of traffic with his two-wheeled vehicle.

It was a Wobbly Harley. I can just imagine him as the subject of a children's book... "The Little Wobbly Harley." It would fit on the shelf between "The Little Engine That Could" and "Dianetics".

It was a hilarious sight, but because he was a leather-clad tattoo'd bearded monster of man, I dared not laugh.

Instead, I'll just blog about him. And hope he doesn't find out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Business Plan

Lunch with Captain Silver Lining is always pretty wonderful. Recently a large group of us went out to lunch, and the good Captain shared his amazing business plan with us.

"Puppy Pile" sounds like something you
don't want to have to clean up
"I want to rent out space in the mall," he said, "and fill a room with kittens. There might be a second space as well that I'd fill with puppies. Because who wouldn't want to drop a few bucks and then go lay in a room with a bunch of puppies flopping around and cuddling them?"

We were all stunned at the brilliance and simplicity of it. "I have to admit, I would totally do that," I said. "I'd be walking around, 'I am a confident, logical, emotionally secure man who... PUPPIES!!!' Then I'd jump into the pile and never come out."

"The only flaw with my plan is what to do with them when they get older," Captain Silver Lining said. "I'd need a steady supply of kittens and some way to get rid of them when they age."

"You'd need a lot of Crazy Cat Ladies," P-Ziddy suggested.

"Pile of Kittens" would be an hysterical
name for a rock n' roll band
That sparked an idea in me. "Just get a sign-up sheet for all the Crazy Cat Ladies. They can volunteer to adopt your older cats."

There was general agreement with the wisdom of my plan. It was time to bust out the "little old lady" impersonation. In a warbly voice I said;

"I'm only interested once they develop arthritis."

Much laughter. M16 joined the fray. In his own warbly old-lady voice, he said;

"Do you have any with broken legs?"

I waved my hand around like a second-grader who knows the answer to the teacher's question.

"Oh! Oh! Dibs on the incontinent ones!"

Captain Silver Lining asked how much we'd had to drink before lunch. I swear, that glass only had tea in it. (hiccup!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Red Light

In the middle of a rambling office conversation, I learned something interesting about M16.

"I had to check my voicemail right away so the red light would go away. I can't stand little red lights."

This caused considerable comment. "Little red lights? Seriously?" "I just can't stand them. They make me... ug! I had to make it go away."

My mind was on fire with possibilities. "You realize now that I'm gonna put red lights all over your desk." "Oh, don't do that! I just can't stand little red lights!" "You're not exactly discouraging me, you know."

That day, M16 left the office at 5. At 5:01, I picked up my phone and dialed his desk. At the voicemail prompt, I started a happy little song:

"YOU've, got a reeeeeed light!
A red light on your PHONE!
YOU've, got a reeeeeed light!
A red light ON your phone!"

I repeated the whole thing... second time through I let my voice go crazy-high and squeaky. Think "Alvin the chipmunk on Helium" and you've got the idea. It was loud.

When I hung up, Big Dawg was staring at me. His look of utter bafflement caused me more joy than my heart could contain.

"Now he'll have a red light on his desk!", I happily shouted. I even threw my arms up in the air.

"Oh, that's genius," Big Dawg agreed. He picked up his own phone. At M16's voicemail prompt, he quickly shouted "Red Light!" and hung up.

M16 has stopped telling me things. It's a defense mechanism, I think.

Friday, June 22, 2012


A short one for your Friday.

I bought a soda for Big Dawg. He was in one of those wobbly gleeful caffeine-deprived deliriums, so I thought I'd try to help out. Besides, if he were to actually fall over and go to sleep, I'd have no other option but to grab a pillow and blanket for him. This seemed more cost-effective.

When I presented his soda to him, he cuddled the bottle like it was a teddy bear. "Oooohhh... it's COLD!"

I couldn't resist. "It should be... I carried it over here in the void where my soul used to be."

Big Dawg laughed so hard that he curled up a bit and closed his eyes. His entire body shook. There may have been some drool.

I guess the soda came just in time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Here's another one to add to the never-ending list of "Things that are wrong with Jeff".

My hip pain is not just a symptom of Bursitis. No, that would be too simple. I have "I.T. Band" troubles as well.

Given that I work in Information Technology, I was pretty sure I was being mocked ("Your I.T. Band is defective... you need a new vocalist"). But no, it's actually a thing. It's a long band of "fibrous tendons and stuff" that goes from the hip down to just below the knee.

The best part is how they fix it. It's a procedure called ASTYM. I'm pretty that's an acronym, and that at least 3 of those letters stand for "ow".

The link, "What's the treatment like?", is actually quite fascinating. However, they do leave out three important words... "Hurts like ####".

They take a device that looks like a miniature pizza cutter.

Dramatization. Not a real medical device. Do not attempt at home. Pizza sauce will stain.

Then, they scrape that thing HARD up and down the IT Band, to smooth out the lumpy bits. Once the IT Band is all smooth and good, it can stretch normally and the pain goes away. In the meantime...

Yeah... that's a downward motion. It's a bit uncomfortable. "It's normal for the skin to bruise," the lady told me. It's also normal for the patient to cry. At least, I hope.

She did this to me on a Monday. That Wednesday, I came back for a second round of treatment. I was really hoping she'd go easy on me. "Look," I showed her. "The bruises haven't quite faded from Monday."

"That's OK," she cheerfully replied. "I'll just run right over the top of them again!"

That was NOT the answer I was hoping to hear. *sigh*

I may never walk again.


Monday, June 18, 2012


So, after SpanFan's tear-jerker farewell, we had a position open at work. One of the applicants was most unexpected and extremely welcome... P-Ziddy.

That's right, my old buddy, long-ago coworker, and high-profile blog personality P-Ziddy! When his interview was scheduled, our mutual friend V nearly lost her mind.

"Can I suggest interview questions?!?" It would have crushed her soul to say no. "Sure!"

Her list was quite good, actually.

1) What do you want to be when you grow up? Acceptable answers:
  - Taller.
  - Jedi Knight
  - Able to leap medium to large objects.

2) What super hero most personifies your coding abilities?

3) Superman was Clark Kent to the Daily Planet. What is P-Ziddy to his employer?

4) You have a room to pack and three sizes of boxes. Large, medium and small. Which boxes do you pack with beer?

V also suggested that we all wear fake mustaches, give him an ASCII-art Ink Blot test, and make him sing "White and Nerdy".

Ultimately, none of those interview questions came up. I did hit him with, "This next question accounts for 49.5% of your overall score.... Kirk or Picard?"

P-Ziddy sniffed out the trick question and correctly answered, "Sheridan." We hired him on the spot.

Holy buckets! I work with P-Ziddy again! What have I DONE?!?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day Card

I don't usually post on Sundays, but I thought I'd show you the Father's Day card I got for my dad. :)

The original outside of the card said "Sammy", but I personalized it a bit.

"Jeffrey's dad told him he could be anything. Jeffrey decided to be awesome."

The inside reads:

Now you all know who to blame. :)

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Step 7.2-ish

Hey, I made progress on the Starfury model again!

I didn't say I made a *lot* of progress.

Also, yes, that is my back porch. I had to move outside due to the nearly-visible mixture of paint and thinner fumes. Even while I'm outside I've got a fan blowing to make sure I don't get a face-full.

So... two weeks later, I've got three of the four engines painted.

I'm starting to come to terms with the idea that I stink at this.

Here's hoping the end result is worth it.

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Favorite Birthday Card This Year

My absolute favorite birthday card this year came from my dad. It's got "Mom and..." written on it, but don't be fooled. This is my dad's handiwork all the way.

Gee! I wonder what it could be!

I can only assume he's speaking from experience. :)

Love you, Mom n' Dad!

Also, Happy Birthday to my sister!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Birthday Dinner

Last week I had a birthday! My wife surprised me with a pizza party... P-Ziddy and his clan showed up, as did MetaCow and his crew! It was a very loud party. Occasionally you could even hear the kids over MetaCow's wife. ;) (Love ya, Mrs. MetaCow!)

Speaking of kids, P-Ziddy's three-year old took a pic of me with Daddy's camera phone.

Not bad for a three-year old. Also, nice thumb kiddo!

MetaCow's two girls drew me pictures! I was very impressed. His oldest daughter brought this to me...

Is that sweet!?! A cute little flower, a smiling sun, even a rainbow! It says, "Happy B-Day" and everything!

Then, MetaCow's younger daughter gave me this one...

"Happy Birth Day", with an ambiguous animal disemboweling another ambiguous animal! I think Hallmark might be interested in this design, honestly.

I showed it to MetaCow, and the look of horror on his face was special beyond description. "We may need to turn off Animal Planet for a while," he said.

I'm hanging these things up in my cubical at work. They make me happy. :)

Friday, June 08, 2012


My normal routine when I walk into the office is to walk past everybody's desk and say "hi". I'm usually the last to arrive in the morning and my desk is over on the other side of the office anyway, so I may as well be friendly about it.

I approached LadyPatsFan's desk and said "hi". There was a crashing noise from over in the middle of the office. OoRah shouted, "Oh! She's here!"

Suddenly we had OoRah running over to join us at LadyPatsFan's desk. I wasn't prepared for a meeting. I hadn't even gotten to *my* desk yet. In fact, I wasn't quite sure if I was even awake yet.

"I got here first this morning," OoRah explained. "For the longest time I was the only one here. I'm just happy somebody is in the office now besides me."

"Somebody?", asked LadyPatsFan.

"Anybody," OoRah shrugged.

LadyPatsFan was feeling punchy. "So I'm 'Somebody'?", she asked. "Does that make Jeff 'Anybody'?"


As if on cue, M16 walked in. "Who's that, then?", LadyPatsFan demanded.

M16 wasn't prepared for a meeting either. "Me? I'm nobody."

LadyPatsFan was enjoying this. "Somebody, Anybody, Nobody!", she shouted, while pointing at each of us.

OoRah grinned, too. "New blog nicknames?"

M16 looked at me. "What is going on here?" I started to answer, but then Monty walked in.

"Look!", LadyPatsFan shouted gleefully. "It's 'Everybody'!"

Monty looked pretty stunned. "Uh... hi."

"Somebody Anybody Nobody Everybody!"


Aside from "Hi", I never said a single word. Mornings can be pretty overwhelming, sometimes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Today's blog post is brought to you with apologies in advance. It started with a rambling office conversation...

Big Dawg: "Yeah, I'd like to move to Hawaii. The problem would be getting a job so I could live in Hawaii."

Jeff: "You could brush up on your survival skills, and live on the beach."

Big Dawg: "Naw, I require fresh-water showers."

Jeff: "Thanks for making me think about you in the shower. I won't sleep tonight."

Big Dawg: "You're welcome. You deserve it."

I'm not sure anybody deserves that, honestly.

Later that afternoon Big Dawg was over at my desk. I have a big red "Easy" button, an old promotional toy from Staples. Big Dawg was leaving, and the button caught his attention. In overly exaggerated comic fashion, Big Dawg moved toward the button.

Big Dawg: "Can't... resist... must... PUSH!"

Staples Voice: "That was easy!"

Big Dawg: "Every now and then, I just have to obey that urge."

Jeff: "That's OK. I'd push that button myself every now and then, but I don't have to since... (ominous grinning pause)... you satisfy my urges."

Big Dawg: "Yeah, I mention showers just once and suddenly I'm satisfying your urges."

Jeff: "You know it, baby."

Hey, I apologized in advance, remember? No turning back now.

I mentioned this conversation to our mutual friend V, who had a simple but wonderful observation. For the record, Big Dawg, I did NOT say this next bit! It was V! Blame her.

V: "Big Dawg is a very uncomplicated man. A vending machine can handle most of his urges for a small fee."


Monday, June 04, 2012


0As you may recall, last week I replaced a ceiling fan... twice. I was proud of my minor accomplishment, but even so the next day brought about a different kind of joy.


Jeff: Oh! This is stupid, but I was so excited. Last night, I didn't spend even a single moment up on a ladder!

P-Ziddy: And doctors everywhere looked at their checking accounts and sighed pitifully.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Jeff: Our buddy Scruffy was over yesterday evening. I showed off the new ceiling fan, and then he got to talking about how he'd like to install a new ceiling fan in his guest room.

Jeff: Translation: "I'd like for you to install a fan for me."

P-Ziddy: ROFL

Jeff: So I started talking about scaffolding. That seemed to convince him it would be a LOT of effort to install one for him.

P-Ziddy: Hey Jeff, could you come over and replace the ceiling fan in our vaulted living room? Don't mind me, I'll be over in the corner with the video camera and a mop.

Jeff: Sure!

P-Ziddy: Don't worry. We'll make enough off of our winnings to pay most of your medical bills.

Jeff: Scruffy makes me look like Bob Villa and Ty Pennington combined. I'm not sure what mental pic he had in his head when I invoked "scaffolding", but I'm sure it was pretty traumatic.

P-Ziddy: Sure. I can come do that. BTW. How many fire extinguishers do you own?

Jeff: And yes, the ceiling in question is vaulted.

Jeff: "It'll actually be easier if we peel back some of the roof tiles and go in from the top."

P-Ziddy: And is your carpet Scotch Guarded? I hear pee stains are a pain to get out if they're not.

Jeff: "We'll just fill your guest room with packing peanuts. That way, when we fall it won't hurt." "When?" "Yup."

P-Ziddy: I need someone... er... something soft to land on.

Jeff: "You're fully insured, right?"

Jeff: "Planning to fail" is the same thing as "Misplaced confidence", so no worries!

P-Ziddy: In case of fire, scream like a little girl and run around in circles.

Jeff: Can do!

Jeff: Copy... Paste...

Jeff: Aaaaaaand... there. Blog posts for next week, one of three.... complete!

Jeff: Thanks!

P-Ziddy: No problem.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Step Seven... We're Gonna Be Here A While

Not much to report here except that I am a slow and bad painter.

I've had to move my painting stuffs outside, because the paint and the thinner fumes are far too overwhelming to keep inside. Still having trouble with brush strokes and gloppy paint. I've decided it's OK though, because models were never really intended to be seen in good light anyway.