Thursday, February 28, 2013


At work, most of the folks in my department are involved in the same project. One of our managers is keeping a list of things that remain to be done. He's also started keeping a list of things that will need to be done after the deadline.

He brought out the second list at a recent meeting. "That's OK," he said (talking about an item that wasn't critical), "We can add that to the paunch... p-pp... POST-launch list."

He shook his head sadly. There's just no way to walk back a verbal snafu like that.

"The Paunch List!", we all shouted. "That's what it's going to be called forever."

"OK, OK," said the manager, admitting defeat. "It's the Paunch list."

Big Dawg grinned. "Everything that doesn't fit in the belt!"

Thank goodness, not all meetings are dull. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Party On

P-Ziddy had a birthday party for his little kiddo. Here are few samples of the fun that was had...

No sleep 'till Brooklyn

There was a slumber party the night before. P-Ziddy blearily confirmed that Kiddo was the ringleader in the "No sleep tonight!" attempt. Her gramma thought this was hilarious.

When Kiddo came to Gramma for a hug, Gramma was ready. "I heard you stayed up very late last night," Gramma said. Kiddo nodded guiltily. "I was tryin' to go to sleep," she fibbed.

Gramma nearly fell out of her chair laughing at the audacity of that one.

A cryin' shame

One itty bitty boy started crying. Up past his naptime, most likely. "I'll cheer him up!", his grandpa optimistically claimed. He picked up the boy. "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

A little old lady came up to the pair. She coo'd at the screaming boy. "Let me get a picture of you crying with Grampa, OK?"


Surprise me

Metacow was there with his clan. His oldest daughter jumped on him out of nowhere. "SURPRISE HUG!", she shouted. She nearly knocked him over.

"Aw," I said as she skipped away. "That was a lot sweeter than this one is going to be."

Metacow looked very confused for a second. Then, he was outright horrified as I shouted "SURPRISE HUG!" and lept at him.

I'm not sure which one of us was more injured in the melee that followed. It was totally worth it, though. Metacow's a passionate hugger.

Basket Case

One little boy strapped a pink pointy party hat to his wrist.

"Well," I commented, "If he puts on 2 or 3 more of those and paints them black, he could pass as an Oakland Raiders fan."

The boy was chasing some other kids around the yard. He put his hand to his head so the pointy top of the hat was facing forward. He shouted, "I'm a unicorn!!!"

Metacow was impressed. "Wow. I wish I was a mythical creature."

"You're not?", I countered.

In the meantime, the boy had already found a new use for his wrist-hat. He pointed it at the kids he was chasing. "It's a rainbow gun! Pew! Pew!"

I'm not exactly sure what a Rainbow Gun is, but I think I want one. It sounds mighty.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Paintball 2: Electric Boogaloo

You may recall, last year my nephew had a Paintball birthday party. Naturally, the experience went bad for me.

This year, he wanted to do it again. With panic-y eyes and trembling knees, I once again put on the mask and limped timidly toward my doom.

I had a huge advantage this time, though. I knew in advance that I'd be playing, so I didn't wear orange. :) I actually did OK. Two bruises, both from shots I took after declaring, "I'm out!". Surrender is frowned upon, it seems.

Still, it could be worse. Much, much worse. 4 seconds into the first match, my dad got shot in the tenders. He didn't participate much after that. At the pizza place afterwords, my sister asked him what happened. Dad told her, "Dirty Dingus McGee took a shot to the head."

The look on my sister's face as she parsed out that statement was magnificent.

My 6-year-old nephew was also allowed to play. He got a flack jacket that went to his knees and a wrap-around helmet. His dad followed him around to make sure he was OK. After one of the matches I saw him with a grin so big that it looked like his head might split. "How'd you do?", I asked.

"I shot a guy in the FACE!", little nephew gleefully squeaked.

"Well," I said, "Today you're a man."


I'll probably end up out there again next year. I figure as long as I never surrender and always wear a cup, I should do OK.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Happy Couple

At the office, M16 and K2 have been working on a project that involves, among other things, user accounts on our company's web site. It's not a very exciting back-story, but you need to know.

One day as I walked through the office, they blind-sided me with near non-verbal shouts of joy. Both had "Ah... what a relief!" grins on their faces. They were basking in the glory of shared achievement. If they hadn't been half-collapsed in their chairs from exhaustion, they might have hugged.

Let's name him "Bruiser" so
nobody can make fun.
A bro-fist, at a minimum, seemed pretty likely.

I gave them a curious look. Both were still grinning deliriously. M16 pointed over at K2 and happily chirped, "We made a user!"

My brain completely locked up. On the one hand, there's a near-endless supply of "I didn't think that was biologically possible" jokes. On the other hand, I like being employed. I froze up so hard that pigeons could have nested in my gaping mouth.

Big Dawg broke the awkward silence perfectly. "Shouldn't we get cigars now?"

I'm still waiting on my shower invitation.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Stories From My Past: It's Not A Date!

Back in college, there was a friend of mine at church was a little socially awkward. Good guy, friendly, just tended to be a little dorky and shy and not have many close friends. A lot like me, in other words.

I feel bad for telling a story on him, because I honestly don't even remember his name. I guess that gives him deniability if he ever reads this. :)

At any rate, it was around the time that the band Avalon was touring in support of their album, A Maze Of Grace. Their hit song was...

Yeah, not exactly my kind of music. I liked the lyrics quite a bit, but I'm too much of a metal-head to get excited about anything where a programmable synthesizer is the primary instrument. :)

Anyway, my doppelgänger approached me one day. "Wanna go to a concert?"

In the long history of awkward "uh" 's, this one may have been the longest. "Uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh.... ... ... maybe? What?"

"I have two tickets to the Avalon concert," he explained. I had no idea they were even on tour. "It was going to be a date, but the girl I asked backed out on me."

"Oh." I was a little relieved. "Who was the girl?" Doppelgänger's eyes dropped. "Never mind."

Red flag! Red flag! "Wow, ... uh ... well, I'm sorry it's not going to be a date for you." Doppelgänger looked like he might cry. "Me too... " He tugged nervously on his thumbs. "So... wanna go?"

He asked me!
He asked me!
There was another long awkward silence. "It's not a date," he insisted.

Avalon wasn't a band I was excited about, but my social calendar wasn't exactly full. "I guess so. How much are the tickets?"

"Oh, I already bought them. Don't worry about it."

Red flag! Red flag! "Dude," I protested. "This just became a date."

"It's not a date!" "Then let me buy my ticket." "No, I honestly already bought them. It's fine."

You can't
I gave up. The siren call of "free ticket", even to a band I didn't care about, was too strong for me to resist. "OK, fine. When is the concert?"

"This weekend at 8. I'll pick you up."

"Dude, this just became..." "It's not a date!"

At least he wasn't wearing a boutineer when he picked me up.