A Few Quick Things, vol. 62

countdownClearly, I’m unable to keep up with this website right now. And it bothers me. I sometimes dream about how I’m not living up to my obligations, and suck on a basic molecular level. Oh, I have a regular lineup of anxiety dreams, and the sorry state of this website is currently batting third. It really bugs me.

So, until my life settles down, and my job is no longer all-encompassing, I’m going to have to make another change. I considered taking the summer off, but that feels too drastic. I’ve decided I’m just going to update on Mondays for a while, and it’s gonna be these kinds of all-over-the-place posts. Yeah, exactly the kind of thing I was trying to get away from… But, under the circumstances, it’s the best I can do.

This is hopefully temporary, and we can get back to the regular schedule soon. It worked well for a long time. But my job unofficially changed late last year, then officially changed in mid-February, and it’s been sucking up all the oxygen and sunlight ever since. I apologize, folks. I wanted to be 100% consistent here, and everything’s shit the credenza.

But I’ll make sure there’s something new on Mondays, with one or two good Questions mixed in, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m too old for all this stress and upheaval… My dad was retired when he was my age. Retired! I’ll die at work, probably wearing a security guard uniform and a scowl.

From the Quit Yer Bitching, Jeff desk, comes some news from our old friend Chris, the Angry White Guy. He’s posted in the comments about his son, Jamie, who is suffering from brain cancer. Here is a GoFundMe page with photos and information. Please feel free to donate, if you’re so inclined. As you can imagine, the medical bills are enormous.

During the first week of the baseball season Jamie was offered the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game, and we have video. Check it out.

Chris reports that it was a wonderful day. Each player took the time to speak with them individually, they all signed a bat for Jamie, and the family ate dinner with the team. Pretty cool.

I’ve known Chris all my life, give or take, and wish him and his family nothing but the best. Good luck, man! You and Jamie are in our thoughts.

Since I could never muster the energy to finish off last week’s post, here are the rest of the things that have made me laugh the most:

Late Night with David Letterman
The Jerky Boys
Beavis and Butthead
Phil Hendrie
The Adam Carolla Show

Yeah, I know… a few of those are questionable. But, I’m just being honest. When I was in Atlanta the guy I shared an office with would play The Jerky Boys all the time, and we laughed our asses off. I mean, every time. We had them all memorized, but it was the all-in attitude, I think. It never got old.

And Beavis and Butthead is often dismissed as stoopid. But, that’s missing the point. Of course the two main characters are stupid, but the show wasn’t. It was a smart show about two dumbass kids. I love it, as well as King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, and pretty much everything else Mike Judge created. The dude is one of the best satirists of our time.

Letterman’s old NBC show was just about the greatest thing ever, Seinfeld might be my favorite TV show of them all, and Phil Hendrie is a real, honest-to-God genius. And I’ve listened to five 90-minute Adam Carolla Show podcasts per week for years. The laughs have come consistently, and the show must be included here.

So, there you go. Let me know what you think, and what would be on your list of the things that have provided the most laughs during your life? Here’s the first half of mine, by the way.

Yesterday Toney and I went into a giant furniture store — the kind where you can see the curvature of the Earth over by the sectional sofas — and were accosted by a salesman within roughly three seconds. The guy wouldn’t leave us alone, even after he said, “OK, I’m going to let you folks browse, and if there’s anything I can help you with…” That changed nothing. He was still nearby, ready to pounce. I hate that.

Anyway… he had Band-Aids all over his face, which was odd. Toney asked, in a whisper, what I thought was going on with him, and I said, “Dunno. Maybe he got all liquored up at the bar, and got into a fight with somebody about Scotchgarding or something?” I’m pretty sure he heard me, which caused us to start laughing. And then we couldn’t stop, on account of the awkwardness of it all. It was terrible, and also fantastic. Ya know? It hurt so good.

Speaking of awkwardness, I have to attend a two-day training class in mid-May which makes my stomach churn every time I think about it. It’s the wildly-redundant Train the Trainer Training, and at the end of it, I’ll be able to certify and license people to use forklifts, etc.

The problem? I’ve never used a forklift in my life. I had to get a license many years ago, and never used it. Not once. So, I’ve spent roughly 30 minutes on a forklift in 52 years. It doesn’t matter, they say. I’ll be training, not using. It’s all about safety.

But, I don’t know… The class concerns me. I’m afraid I’ll get to the hands-on part of it, and make a fool of myself in front of a bunch of coal-cracker rednecks. It’s stressing me out, man. I’m not good with this kind of thing. The classroom part I got… no problem. But it’s the hands-on part that’s making my sphincter wink.

Why, exactly, did I want this promotion again?? Sweet sainted mother of Babs Johnson!

And I need to call it a day here. Some dude just came and fixed our washing machine. He was here for roughly six minutes, and charged us $65. Said it was some kind of switch. Who the hell knows? But I consider it a bullet-dodged. Even though we paid him the equivalent of $650 per hour… Andy liked him, which makes me think he’s good people; Blacklips is a shrewd judge of character. So, I’m OK with it.

I’ll leave you with a Question we were batting around at work a couple of weeks ago. It’s possibly from Facebook, but I’m not sure. In any case, if you were given the opportunity to exchange years from the end of your life for $1 million each, what would you do? Would you agree to die a year early for a million bucks? Or two years for two million? What are you thoughts on this one?

My automatic reaction was to trade one year for a million, and use it to live out the rest of my life in relative comfort. But who knows when I’m supposed to go? Maybe it’s next week? It’s a tough one, and kinda silly, I admit. But I’d like to know what you guys think about it. Use the comments link.

And I’ll be back next Monday. Unless I get a burst of energy and inspiration… Yeah, who am I kidding? See ya next Monday!

Have a great week, my friends.

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  1. The Qweezy Mark says

    Assuming it wouldn’t be taxed, 5 years for 5 million. I’ll sign that deal right now.

  2. johnthebasket says

    My comment flew tourist, off to some imagined Independence Day in another imagined lifetime.

  3. Uncle_Wedgie says

    Hang in there Jeff.
    Marc Maron interviewed Mike Judge on WTF a little while ago. Well worth a listen if you get time.
    That “Train the Trainer” bullshite is the worst. And the next time someone is sales says “reach out” I gonna holler why don’t you really close the deal and do a “reach around”.

  4. I posted a couple of comments earlier on the new update and they showed up on a comments page from 07-04-2014, of which appears to not even exist.
    I’m mystified…

  5. sunshine_in_va says

    Much as I would like to win the lottery (and more than occasionally I play it), I know it wouldn’t make me happier by itself.

    Getting married, having a life – can’t top that.

    Jeff – Angry White Guy gets your beer allotment this time around.

    P.S. Couldn’t stand Seinfeld. Still can’t.

    • I thought I was the only human on the planet who didn’t like Seinfeld. Thanks, sunshine. I don’t feel so alone anymore.

    • Skippy in WV says

      Just hearing the word “Seinfeld” is enough to send me into a molar grinding, hand whipping through hair fit.

      • Skippy in WV says

        With that said, I’ve seen exactly two (2) episodes of that show, “Soup Nazi” and “The Bro”, thanks to Bill in WV, and enjoyed both. Tried other episodes, just can’t do it…

        • revashane says

          I learned in psyc in that you hate shows that hit too close to home. You are a bunch of neat dressing white guys with messed up friends that can’t form lasting relationships. I remember the humorous backlash I got when I told my co workers I hated the Cosby show.

  6. johnthebasket says

    I won’t try to reconstruct my earlier update (which ended up concatenated with comments from an Independence Day blog entry), except to try to resay this:

    The only way I am aware of to trade money for time is through the mechanism of work. Thirty-five years of corporate work, and five years of independent consulting, the last 15 of which entailed 60 hour weeks, generally seven days a week, in which I never managed to take my entire vacation. Across those 15 years, I made something like two million bucks, most of which has now gone to medical bills and living costs, and I’m damn sure I shortened my life by way more than two years.

    Life is way briefer than it looks. I recommend not trading time for money, love, or beauty, but I was never the world’s best capitalist. Your mileage will vary.

    And yeah, I’ve tried several times to listen to Carolla, and been unable to make it through an entire podcast. The Fogelnest Files was funny and entertaining, but is now long gone, the Probably Science guys are humorous, Penn Jillette has a lively podcast, and Matt and Mattingly are silly but usually fun. Answer Me This and The Bugle are both informative and funny, and Marin has charm to go with his wit.

    And I have now attempted to reconstruct my earlier comment. When I went to the archives, I was unable to find the entry to which my initial comment was attached, along with comments by Johnnybegood and Walter. But while I was searching, I think I saw William Shatner on the wing of the plane.


  7. If you need to take time, take time. Pop into the comments on occasion to let us know you are alive.

    I hate those get trained by a trainer that only got trained training things. They pull the same shit at work. You said, its about safety, to a point it is, corporate point is ” we said don’t do that”. But how about some real safety? Actual operating gotchas and what not. Seat time,. etc. We got to take “ladder training” every year. 15 minutes of my life wasted each time. There is not one sprig of actual safe ladder use in the video shown other than the ‘don’t stand on the top’. When I worked in real industry, ladder training was a half day session of physics and other interesting details. This ladder training ain’t nothing but legal CYA for the employer. Safety? My ass.

  8. Always a pleasure to hear from you, Jeff. And I know what you mean about the job.

    I’m very sorry to hear about AWG’s situation… I’ll be over to the gofundme once I’m at a rral computer.

  9. I ran across a Jay Mohr podcast with Phil Hendrie the other day on Youtube. I guess he also did one as Bobbie Dooley (with Jay Mohr) but I couldn’t find that one.

  10. I’d trade time, but only if I knew how long I had to live. Do I live until 95? 5 years for 5 million, sure. Am I living until 50? Then no deal. Won’t tell me how long? Then hell no.

  11. and how do you know if you were to win the lottery week and now you gave up the last year or two or more of your life?

  12. We’ve got your back AWG

  13. I, too, love Seinfeld and Letterman. Seinfeld was on Letterman’s show for the last time before David retires (in May) and it was a great show. I won’t even try to tell you how funny it was but am including the tape of the episode below. Just skip to the part where Jerry comes on and watch until he leaves. It is comedy gold!


  14. Ah, I remember being trained on a forklift…the guy told me get on it and get crackin’! I learned by trial and error (mostly error–including putting the forks through a wall!) Having been a trainer myself, though, I can say with total certainty that the folks driving the lifts didn’t do most of the safety stuff that we required. Reason being, if they met all the safety regulations they would never reach the productivity quotas that we also required! So don’t worry about it too much, they probably won’t even pay attention to you anyhow!
    And if you screw up the demonstration part of it, just smile and say, “See? That’s how you’re NOT supposed to do it!” That always worked for me. 🙂

    I wouldn’t trade a single minute of my life for any amount of money…life is way more valuable than money!

    Also, put me in the camp of the “non-Seinfeld fans!” His whining antics set my teeth on edge!

  15. I’m probably setting myself up for torturous ridicule, but two tv shows I still find funny

    The Golden Girls
    Roseann – the earlier seasons prior to the new Becky.

    And The Jerky Boys is hysterical, you fruity Ass.

  16. And Jeff, thanks for posting Jaime’s (AWG’s son) video. His bravery and amazing pitch had me bawling but in a good way.

  17. I’ll second the motion for the old Letterman show on NBC. I worked second shift at an affiliate station for a good part of the time it was on, so I got paid to watch the show most nights. I would have watched anyway. You don’t see many Stockings Full of Lard these days. Not literally anyway {ducks and runs}.

  18. johnthebasket says

    A couple of television shows unmentioned or undermentioned. I’ll take one per comment. . .

    The Larry Sanders Show- Funniest show ever made for American television, ran for six seasons in the 90s on HBO; 89 episodes, which kept getting funnier — actually, the funniest episode was the last. Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, Janeame Garofalo, and a host of guest stars including Elvis Costello (twice), the Butthole Surfers, Peter Falk, Howard Stern, Sting, Shawn Colvin, Chris Isaak, William Shatner, Warren Zevon, They Might Be Giants, the Wu Tang Clan, David Letterman, T-Bone Burnette, Paul Westerberg, Dave Chappelle, and some really big names. The show was mostly outlined and unscripted. Elvis Costello can act, and be funny while he’s acting. So can Bob Costas. This show made me laugh out loud through the 90s and beyond, since the DVD collection came out in 2010.


  19. johnthebasket says


    Take the link, Jake. . .


  20. paul in nh says

    Can’t believe no one linked Jeff to this…Is it too trite?

    Forklift training


  21. Jazzbone Swirly says

    Holy sainted mother of a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm! JK is back!!!!

    I enjoyed reading the update; and I’d like to sign up for five years off of my natural life in exchange for $5 million bucks please.

  22. AngryWhiteGuy says

    Thank you invisible friends for the well wishes and donations. No millions needed as I would take twenty years off my life in exchange for my boy being able to walk again and be cancer free. I’m lookin at you Satan since you created this havoc. Call me. Thanks again friends.

  23. Gonad the Bavarian says

    I’ve gotten addicted to the Bill Burr Monday Morning Podcast. It’s funny plus a Boston accent. That’s like a BOGO offer right there.

  24. As a nepaer (who’s lived on the west coast) can attest to the struggles we live with as well as the slings and arrows we deal with from the narrow minded assholes too the impossible weather, thank you spitting the truth. Keep on keeping on enjoy the beer!!