Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nobody Puts Batman In The Corner

OoRah got me again.

Holy unwashed cotton candy cage, Batman!

Now I gotta figure out what to do to OoRah next. Hm...


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ceiling Fan

I'm sure you all remember this blog post from July of 2008. Shortly after we moved into our house, a ceiling fan broke. It's the smallest and least-used room of the house, so we kinda forgot about it.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that less than four years after the first one broke, I have replaced the fan! You just don't find service like that these days.

Naturally, I replaced it with the cheapest fan we could find. When we turned it on, the hum of the motor was loud enough that our neighbors could hear it. That was on the "low" setting. When we turned it up to high the phrase "Howling Demon" was invoked.

So, I got to replace the fan... twice. The second fan was a little higher quality. It actually functions like a fan should function. Plus, it's slightly nuclear.

Insert "That would make a good name for a rock n' roll band" joke here.

You know, all my stories are going to be short this week. Therefore, I'll post on Thursday also. Why not, right? See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Humming Toddler

A short cute one for you today.

My wife's brother and his wife both have electric toothbrushes. They also have a son who is a year and a half old.

Recently he's started a new habit. When they say, "Time to brush your teeth," he starts humming. He hears the noise when Mommy and Daddy do it, so he thinks he's supposed to hum while his teeth are brushed.

Told you it was short. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, 2012

In honor (and celebration!) of the unthinkably brave... I say thank you.

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial day.

(I'll post again tomorrow... yes, tomorrow!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Step Seven. Ish. Still. Kinda.

Not a whole lot of progress this week. I did get the rear thrusters glued on...

Not bad. I'm holding off on the paint job, though. I've learned that with acrylic paints, you really shouldn't try to clean the brushes by simply soaking them in water. I think this is why the black paint on the base stand turned out so bad. Also, the wood handles of my brushes soaked up a lot of water and then split open like old fireplace logs. Oops.

So... I need some new brushes. Again. Heh.

I did manage to get Andy ready for his close-up, though.

Not bad. Not perfect, but I'll take it.

I had a feeling about this next decal. First, I figured it would be difficult, and second, I figured it would look stupid. It *did* make for an excellent test to see if I know what the heck I'm doing with those decals...

Nope. I have no clue what I'm doing with those decals. Excellent.

So, Andy is faceless again. Frankly, he's so small that it won't matter. I hope I figure out how to do this and make it look good before I get to the bigger ones.

Wish me luck...


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Ring

Last week my wife found an old emerald ring that she had back in high school. She put it on. It was a little tight, but it fit. It looked really pretty and made her happy.

She showed it to me when I got home. "Should your finger be all red and swollen like that?" "Probably not." "Oh goodie... nice ring, though."

I wound up having to cut the ring off her finger. She found a "How to cut off a ring with a Dremel" video on youtube. We watched it before making the attempt. It was a bonding moment.

"Let's do this over the sink." "Why?" "So that if one of us bleeds, we at least do it where there's a drain."

I got very strict "Do not cut off my finger!" instructions before we began. I was a little hurt that she thought I needed to be told that.

Now, here's a simple physics lesson. Friction produces heat (I told you it was simple). A Dremel blade can produce a lot of heat VERY quickly. The first half-second of cutting time went smoothly. I thought to myself, "This is actually gonna work with no problems!" Instantly, the shouting started. "HOT! OW! HOT!"

We eventually settled on using a plastic fork as the spacer between ring and flesh. It dissipated much less heat. And no one bled! I was pretty convinced that one of us would bleed, and that it would somehow be me.

I shared my success with P-Ziddy. "Success" never feels like success for very long after you share it with P-Ziddy.

P-Ziddy: At least you were close to water
P-Ziddy: Just don't drop the Dremel in the sink.
P-Ziddy: Or you would create a whole different situation.
P-Ziddy: "I wonder if stainless steel still conducts... ZZZZZZOT!"

Honestly, I might have dropped it in the water on purpose if I knew it was going to make a "ZOT" noise. I've missed out, I think.

We'll get the ring repaired soon so my wife can wear it again. It really was a pretty ring.

Naturally, as soon as I started sharing the story with P-Ziddy, he knew where it would wind up...

Jeff: I still can't believe she has 10 fingers.
P-Ziddy: Now there's a two-fer blog post
P-Ziddy: The cutting
P-Ziddy: And "The Return of the Ring"
P-Ziddy: Forged in the fires of Mount Doom. Repaired by the Israeli man at the mall.

Soon you will be whole again, my Precious...

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Sister Has Four Kids Now

Last week, kiddo #4 (another nephew!) made his big debut. My sister's clan continues to grow... soon she will take over the world!

When he was born, they hadn't decided on a name. So, there was some debate among the other three as to what New Brother's name should be.

They didn't name him 'Gunner'
"We should name him Gunner!", shouted the oldest nephew (12 years old). My mom grinned. "I like that name. Mike Gundy has a son named Gunner. Go Pokes!"

Mike Gundy, of course, is the OSU head football coach. Oldest Nephew is an OU fan. He made a face. "He'll be the *good* Gunner."

The middle nephew (6 years old) started poking his new brother. My dad was trying to take a picture. "Stop poking him!", Dad said. "You'll have the rest of your life to poke him. Go poke something else."

It was probably not wise to give Middle Nephew an open-ended command like that.

Yep. That's my dad's belly. He's being aggressively poked by the 6-year old while he takes a pic of the new baby.

I love it. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Step Seven!

Holy Progress, Batman!

This was the easy part

The "thrusters" step looked pretty intimidating, but turned out easy. At least at first.

Red Bull gives you wings?

These others look to be a little more tricky.

Just chillin'

And then there's this guy! The pilot, resting on a toothpick. Now get this... the Starfury is pretty much all dark gray. The stand will be all shiny black. But this tiny little guy will wind up having THREE colors painted on him! Blue suit, black boots / gloves, and he's gonna have a coating of gray on his helmet and shoulder strap. Yikes.

I'm also thinking about writing "ANDY" on the bottom of one boot. Who here actually thinks I can paint letters that small?

The Stand (non-apocalyptic version)

I skipped ahead a bit, figuring I'm about to hit a point where the 'fury has no "flat" surfaces to rest on while glue dries. The stand went together just fine...


... but the paint job was kind of a disaster. In average light, it looks OK. In bright light, it looks bubbly and lumpy and awful.

I'm glad I did that first, because I do NOT want the Starfury's paint job to look like this. Anybody have any simple advice for me to make sure this doesn't happen again?


A lot of progress, but a lot of painting still left to do. And suddenly that step worries me...


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's A Party

Temptation lurks... EVERYWHERE!...

I have no use for them and yet I want them badly. Lego Yoda! Toe-Mater! Mickey!

Although, to be honest, Sylvester is the one who *almost* tipped the scales in favor of a crazed spending spree.

"They're only 87 cents each," my wife graciously offered. "You're not making it any easier to walk away," I replied.

I didn't buy any, mostly because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have bought just one. I would have taken the entire display case home with me.

UPDATE 10:29 pm... finally got around to fixing the "incomplete" title on this one. Yay me? *sigh*

Monday, May 14, 2012


We have a relative newcomer in our office. A fellow programmer from another department that I'm going to nickname, "Impervious". You'll see why in a moment.

Beauty, like a former Marine...
One morning (a year or more ago) when I walked into the office I greeted OoRah by saying, "Good morning Beautiful." Even better than the sputtering surprise from the rest of the crew was OoRah's response. He simply grinned and said, "Thanks."

Ever since, I've pulled out the "Beautiful" gag once every couple of months. OoRah always plays along. It's wonderful.

Last week I walked into the break room. OoRah and Impervious were both in there. It was time to hit a newbie with one of my favorite jokes. I decided to crank it up a notch.

"Hey, Impervious," I said. Then, to OoRah: "Hello Gorgeous."

You told a joke. How wonderful.
OoRah grinned and played along like always. Impervious... well, he just simply nodded and then walked out of the room.

We watched him go. There was no reaction. None.

"Well," OoRah said. "It *was* nice to get a promotion."

"It didn't even phase him." I was baffled. "Wow."

OoRah consoled me. "You'll just have to think of something even more outrageous to call me next time."

I sniffled a little. "Thanks, Beautiful."

Help me out here... what should I call OoRah next time?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Step Four!

Not much to say on this one, really. Progress continues at a very slow pace. The biggest thing I learned was that the flash on my camera is what was making the cockpit look blue.

That's much nicer. Less than halfway through, though.

Have a good weekend! I'll try not to glue myself to my chair...


Wednesday, May 09, 2012


There's always something fun going on with me on the "Pathetic Injury" front. I've hurt my foot, and I've hurt my back. I hurt my hip. And the best part is, these stupid injuries linger. I do the exercises, I follow the instructions. Sometimes things improve but I've yet to actually "fix" anything.

I turned to P-Ziddy, my trusted emotional confidant, for some much-need solace.


Jeff: So, I went to an orthopedic doc this morning, had him look at my tricky hip. Diagnosis... Bursitis on the side, lower-back pinched nerve likely affecting the backside.

Jeff: He gave me a cortisone shot. Hurts like #### right now. Wowie.

P-Ziddy: You didn't really WANT to sit down today, did you?

Jeff: I find it amusing though, just how many of these various doctors I've been going to are Sports Medicine guys. My chiropractor has worked on at least one NFL player. This guy specializes in athletic injuries. Podiatrist sees a lot of track n' field runners.

Jeff: I feel like I'm lowering their averages by quite a bit.

P-Ziddy: Definitely.

Jeff: And I love how much effort you put into sparing my feelings there, too.

P-Ziddy: LOL

Jeff: The guy today suggested an MRI for my back, but we'll go with less invasive / expensive options for the moment.

P-Ziddy: My MRI was like 45 minutes long. Of course, it was on my head.

P-Ziddy: It was like someone slid a metal barrel over my head, but with less room.

P-Ziddy: And then beat on it for an hour with a hammer.

Jeff: They'd prolly want me to lay on my back in this tube thing, and the pain is in an area where I can't lay on my back.

P-Ziddy: Maybe they'll want you to lay on your stomach?

P-Ziddy: Or just hop up and down while they wave a laser pointer over you.

Jeff: Bad foot. Can't hop, either.

P-Ziddy: I'm sorry... Spin your wheel chair around on one wheel while they wave a laser pointer at you.

Jeff: Carpel Tunnel symptoms in one wrist. I prolly can't manage the wheelchair spin, either.

P-Ziddy: How are you still breathing at this point?

P-Ziddy: I swear Stephen Hawking could beat you in a foot race.



Monday, May 07, 2012

Free Samples

Last week the "McDonald's Sampling Truck" came by our office for a visit. They handed out free samples of their new Cherry Berry Chiller, as well as some "giveaways and coupons".

Of course, the announcement could have simply said, "Some guys will be coming by with free stuff." It would have had the same effect.

The big day arrived. LadyPatsFan, M16, Monty and I all went down to behold the glory of ...

... a ghost taking close-up pictures of a truck, while dancing.

The samplers themselves were really small, but I have to admit they were good.

MMMmmmmm...! Pink Slime. Whoo-hoo!

I think they used liquid nitrogen to chill the samples. Two sips and I had a brain freeze so severe that I had to sit down for a minute.

They also handed out coupons and swag! A beach ball and some comically large sunglasses! I put mine on and asked, "Do these look stupid? If they look stupid, they're going on my blog." M16's face was carefully neutral. "I'm not gonna be the one to say they look stupid... I'll just say that they should go on your blog."

Maybe I'm crazy, but they don't look as ridiculous as I'd hoped. Oh well.

I showed off my pre-inflated beach ball to OoRah. He was unimpressed. "It looks like a colostomy bag." He got a chorus of "What?..." responses. "It's just the area he's holding it in."

"Well, thanks for thinking about my area."

Probably the funniest visual image of the whole ordeal was LadyPatsFan trying to inflate her beach ball. She seemed to be workin' pretty hard at it. After watching her huff and puff for a bit I commented, "Yeah... that looks dignified."

I think she might have tried to hit me if she hadn't been laughing so hard. Plus, the lack of oxygen may have been blurring her eyesight a bit. I'm not sure she knew where I was standing.

Yay, free stuff!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Step Three!

An update on that Starfury model I've been working on...

Last week, I made it all the way to step 2. This week, I conquered step 3. Yeah, only one step. But in my defense...

... step 3 does cover two whole pages. There's even an arrow on the second page three that points to a piece it calls, "Completed assembly from step 3." But we're still on step 3. I think. Between the instructions and the glue fumes, I can't really be sure of much.

I did manage to glue on enough bits that the thing is starting to take shape, which is obviously pretty nice.

On a whim, I checked eBay. I found my model on sale for 50 bucks. A few days later, I checked again. I found my model again, this time for 63 dollars.

Holy buckets. If I hadn't opened mine up ... wow. I don't remember what I paid for it, but I'm sure it wasn't more than 20.

Anyway, I also painted the cockpit.

The instructions say, "Metallic Gray". I used "Metallic Gray". In real life it doesn't look quite as blue as it does in the picture, but I'm still not sure the final product will be dark enough look right. I'm a little concerned.

Also, I really need to figure out how to squeeze that "model cement" tube without having huge streams of glue pump out. I keep having to open up windows to let the hallucinations out.

Glacial progress continues! Next week... step 4! Maybe!


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Grilled Pizza

We tried something new last week. Well, new to us. Grilled Pizza!

The instructions are pretty easy, honestly. First, obtain some pizza dough. Second, put stuff on it. Third, grill it forever.

Here's a "before" pic.

Ham and black olives. That's how we roll. Generic stuff from the crisper! Yeah!

Now, a few warnings. If you get too much water in the dough, it will be extremely sticky. I even coated my hands in flour before I started and it still wound up looking like I was wearing dough gloves. I wish I'd thought to have my wife take a picture of it... it was hilariously disturbing.

Also, don't overdo it on the pizza sauce! It will make the dough soggy. I had so much sauce and cheese that my pizza was soggy and juicy.

And finally, cook the pizza over indirect heat... fire on one side of the grill, pizza on the other side. But make sure the "hot" side is pretty blazing hot, otherwise you'll be standing out there for 40 minutes wondering if the crust will ever turn brown (hint: it won't... but the bottom *will* eventually burn!).

Even with all the challenges, it still turned out pretty good. Here's the "after" pic.

It had a liquid center and a burned bottom, but it was tasty!