Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's tradition

In the past I always wrote a journal entry on New Year's Eve. And now with just a minute or two left in 2006 it seemed only appropriate to do one last blog post for the year.

I'm not all that into New Year's Eve. It's not really a big deal to me. Sure, I'll stay up and, hey, any excuse to kiss my wife is great but, eh, I'd just as soon kiss her at 10:30 and go to bed than stay up until midnight.

That being said, here's my year in review:

My first full year at work
My wife was called to be the Primary Chorister
I was called to be in the Elder's Quorum presidency, then Executive Secretary
My grandma passed away
Trips to Wyoming, Oregon, Colorado and (for my wife) Texas
We found out we're going to be parents
Moved into a two bedroom apartment
Had my second anniversary
My wife read the entire Standard Works
Went camping a few times
Attended my wife's family reunion
Found a bird that fell out of its nest
Owned three cell phones
Owned four computers (thanks to Apple)
Produced various radio, TV, print, outdoor and web projects at work
Ate a whole lotta ice cream
Posted 200 blog entries and a few dozen more in my journal

What did you do this year?

I can't help but smile

I'm listening to President Hinckley give a talk to the youth for a special New Year's Eve fireside. Whenever he starts talking I can't seem to help smiling. What a blessing it is to have a prophet on the earth who loves us and has our best interests at heart. The fact that he's sharp as a tack at 97 years old and has a great sense of humor doesn't hurt either. :)

"You can be wise and happy or stupid and miserable. The choice is yours."

Happy New Year. :)

Friday, December 29, 2006

MISSING: urinal cake with plastic enclosure

Before I left work this evening I noticed something different in the bathroom. One of the urinal cakes was missing, plastic enclosure and all. It was there earlier. I know because I used it.

The janitorial staff wasn't around. I peeked around to the other urinal. (No one was using it at the time.) That urinal cake was there in all its pink glory, encased in its nasty white plastic thing. Who would take a urinal cake? What's the motivation? Is there a high street value for partially erroded urinal cakes that I don't know about?

Please, if you've seen a stray, pink urinal cake in a white plastic enclosure don't pick it up. That'd be gross.

I'll stay

After all that, I think I'm going to stay with Blogger. This new layout is tolerable (although it does leave much to be desired). When all is said and done I interact with the back-end stuff most of the time and so far Blogger's is my favorite.

That being said... refer to the T-shirt question and give me some feedback! Thanks!

Thinking of switching

I'm getting a bit fed up with Blogger's templates, so I'm thinking of switching to WordPress. Tell me what you think of the (possible) new site/look by clicking here.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Applying the t-shirt rule

I found a link to a blog post which reads:

"The T-shirt rule. It's a simple test of whether you've created a remarkable experience: Would I buy the t-shirt?

A t-shirt for your blog or your accounting firm or your bug-fighting software. If you're not t-shirt worthy, what would it take?"

Since I don't think anybody would wear a "The Other Drummer" t-shirt, let alone pay for one, I will ask you my (five) loyal readers: what would it take make this blog t-shirt worthy?

Coal: the new, clean replacement for oil?

I found this Newsweek article on Digg. It makes a very good case for coal being the next major energy source in the U.S. and possibly the world.

Not only would a car run 30% cleaner on CTL (Coal to Liquid) fuel, but they can capture C02 emissions during the manufacturing process to clean that up too. The U.S., India and China could all sustain their own transportation needs with the coal they have in their respective countries which makes for greater national energy security and less reliance on foreign oil sources.

Oh. And it would be about 25% cheaper than oil.

Check it out. It's a quick, good read.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Why I should write about my expectations of the birthing process

I have been looking for something to write about. My uncle in-law suggested I write about what I think the birthing process will be like. You'd think I'd be a pro since, well, I've been born. However, this is not the case.


Do I really want to dwell on something like that? When people tell you about having a baby all they tell you is 1. how long it took and 2. how painful it was. Only does your mother go beyond that to elaborate on how happy she was to finally hold you in her arms, the reward of hours of excruciating pain. (She leaves out the intermediate steps of smacking you and cleaning off all the blood and internals.)

So do I want to write about what I think the process will be? If I make the attempt, I'm certain to come across as naive and ignorant as my experience with having babies is founded almost entirely on TV shows, movies and other stereotypes.


Fine. Here's a rough outline of how I think things will go:

Her water will break. This will be exciting and potentially damaging to whatever she's sitting on/standing over when it happens. At this point it is my job as the nervous/excited new father to run around like a clumsy idiot, scrambling to get everything together to take to the hospital.

In the car on the way there I'll try to do breathing exercises with her, although I'm not convinced they really do anything.

When we get to the hospital she's screaming in pain. I have to fill out a bunch of paperwork before a cranky, bored-looking nurse will help us. Finally, my wife is wheeled into a delivery room.

Her feet are put up in stirrups. This looks uncomfortable. That, and the fact that she's screaming because of things called "contractions". She's also "dilated", or something. This could be good or bad. I'm not sure. My wife is screaming for, "Drugs!"

Eventually she starts pushing. I start looking worried.

At this point, she starts cursing me and every other male on th earth. If I am nearby, she will take a swing at me. I try to be supportive and shove ice chips in her mouth so she won't let out any expletives.

Hours later our son will be born. He'll look pretty gross at first. But then they'll get him cleaned up and bring him in and we'll get to hold him and it will all be worth it. Or at least I'll think so. I'm not the one who had to carry the kid for nine months and then go through ___ hours of pain. But I'm pretty sure my wife will agree nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Bun's a boy!

I'm having a son! The little tyke was a bit hesitant to show off at first but eventually left no doubt.

It was a surreal experience. We could see him putting his fingers in his mouth, kicking, yawning (how does a baby yawn when it isn't breathing?) and moving his arms around. We could even see the individual chambers of his heart as it was beating.

The Ultrasound Chick couldn't tell us anything about the health of The Bun because she's not a doctor, but I think I saw an "updated" due date on the screen of a week earlier than we were told before. Based on that we're aiming for May 11th.

They printed out three pictures for us and will mail us more on a disc. Of the three they gave us, two are of the face/head and one is of his little six pack and legs. Unfortunately, the two face ones are very skeletal which is, of course, what the doctors are concerned about. However, there were several images that showed more of the "fleshy facial features" which make him appear much more baby-like and less like Skeletor.

What a great Christmas present. Oh yes. The Bun now weighs a chunky 14 oz.

Now that we know it's a boy, let's start hearing some name suggestions!

A Bun in the oven

For those of you who may not know, my wife and I are expecting our first child. We've known for a while now but haven't made a formal announcement to anyone (except our families, of course). We've just kinda told people as we thought about it. Is that weird?

Well, tomorrow is the big day. OK, maybe not THE big day, but a big day nonetheless. Tomorrow morning we'll (hopefully) find out The Bun's gender. We're really hoping The Bun isn't feeling particularly modest, otherwise it'll be off to Fetal Fotos in the mall and, honestly, the name of that place just creeps me out.

Dad, of course, is rooting for a boy and Mom is hoping for a girl. Really though, I'll be thrilled as long as they're both healthy and happy.

It's short notice but are there any predictions? Boy? Girl? Any suggestions for names?

Monday, December 25, 2006

My letter to Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

Dang I've been good this year. Really, really good. Seriously. I've been so good the Catholics tried to cannonize me or something, but it sounded painful so I was like, "Whatever John Paul, or whatever your name is. I dig the gesture and all but I really don't have a need for any kind of ancient artillery or whatever. But maybe we could dust off a few of those indulgences and toss 'em my way. Not that I need them or anything because I've been good and all but, you know, but nobody's perfect right? But I'm pretty close so maybe I could sell 'em on ebay or something. And if you could sign 'em or something that'd be cool too. You know, really make them seem all official and stuff. Or, if you could get them in the shape of the Virgin Mary that would be even better. Man, anything that even looks like Mary sells for like a kabillion dollars more than it's worth. Did you hear about that grilled cheese sandwich? Man, it took me like a hundred tries to get it right, but it was totally worth it in the end.

Well, Sir Benedict IX was looking like he was sitting on something pointy and one of his cardinals was about to blow his top. (By the way, you totally look a lot better in red than he does. You totally pull it off. Seriously.)

So anyway, I didn't get a cannon. So if you could get me a wreath or somethin', that'd be grand. Also, I don't know if this is your thing or not but my brother in-law really wants a midget, so maybe you could get me one and we could share.

Thanks and all,


My brother in-law's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
I'm sorry to say that global warming might kill you in the next 5 to 6 years. That's what Mr. Al Gore told me in "An Inconvenient Truth." Since that is the inconvenient truth I am going to need my presents ASAP. This year I would like A 2008 BMW M3 with all the options and a 42" HD plasma tv. I still have not received the midget I asked for multiple Christmas's ago, so how bout hoppin' on that before you melt away into the soon to be warm waters of the North pole.

Expecting you arrival soon,


Spreading the blogging joy

My brother in-law is setting up his first blog. I'm so proud. I think he's pretty stoked about it, mainly because he's now sporting a shiny new Macbook. NICE.

Go get 'em Brad.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone! I am truly blessed...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mario Kart

My wife just kicked my trash at the old SNES version of Mario Kart. I have to remind myself that I had a Sega Genesis, not a crummy Super Nintendo, as a kid so it's OK. Besides, Sega was a heckofa lot cooler. Yeah.

Las Vegas Bowl Champs

It was a great game. After getting warmed up the Cougs performed wonderfully.

However, Oregon's coach seems to be in denial and refused to eat his slice of humble pie:

"'No, my opinion has not changed,' said Bellotti, who a day earlier said BYU would not be among the best football teams in the Pacific-10 Conference."

Well, if you honestly believe that, you must think very poorly of your own team.

Here's the rest of the article, courtesy of The Oregonian.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Title of the final Harry Potter book

If you haven't heard already, J.K. Rowling has released the title of the next, and last, Harry Potter novel. Wanna find out what it is? Follow these directions:

"Go to her home page, click on the eraser and you will be taken to a room -- you'll see a window, a door and a mirror.

In the mirror, you'll see a hallway. Click on the farthest doorknob and look for the Christmas tree. They click on the center of the door next to the mirror and a wreath appears. Then click on the top of the mirror and you'll see a garland.

Look for a cobweb next to the door. Click on it, and it will disappear. Now, look at the chimes in the window. Click on the second chime to the right, and hold it down. The chime will turn into the key, which opens the door. Click on the wrapped gift behind the door, then click on it again and figure out the title by playing a game of hangman."

Personally, I'm a little disappointed at the title. I can't put my finger on why. I just am. Regardless, I'll probably be at the midnight release when it does come out.

Thoughts on the title?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Life without my computer

I was, of course, frustrated when my iMac crapped out on me. However, I decided to try and have an optimistic outlook. It would be a refreshing, liberating experience. Yes. I'd find that I could get by just fine without it, thank you very much. Kind of like when you go camping and remember there is life without the Internet and cell phones and it's quite relaxing.

I was wrong.

It was terrible. For both my wife and me. Computer companies have done a very good job of getting us to center our lives around our computers (*ahem* iLife) and I have admittedly become very dependent. From music and podcasts to calendars and the Internet, it was a royal pain to be without a computer for a month.

What do I do about this habit, this way of life? Do I slowly adapt and find new ways to do things to become more independent? Of course not. I plan on buying a laptop as soon as I can.

*Sigh* I may never learn.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


A new addition to the blog: Twitter. It's a site where you can make quick updates about where you are, what you're doing or what you're thinking. So if you ever wonder what I do all day...

Monday, December 18, 2006

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

A more provocative question than, "If you could do anything, what would you do?"

I think I'd start my own business (perhaps around something I'd discovered/invented) and write a book.

So, what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's back [updated]

I just got a call from Becky, the nice lady from Apple. The good news: my iMac is back at my local Apple Store and I'll have it by tonight. The bad news: all she was willing to offer me was a free .Mac account.

We had a nice discussion and I told her what I thought was reasonable: "When people ask me how this experience went I want to be able to tell them that Apple went out of their way to keep me as a customer."

She said she'd get back to me by the end of the day.

I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE 1: Becky called. She said she could give me an eCoupon for $100 off something from the online store. Thanks, but that doesn't even cover the RAM upgrade on the Macbook I was going to get.

UPDATE 2: The new mouse is busted. Figures.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Steve Jobs* called me

*More or less. Well, a lot less actually. It was actually a nice woman who opens his mail. An assistant of some sort (although I wonder if she actually has any direct contact with Mr. Stevie J. or if she's a highly-elevated customer service rep). Regardless, she called. Here's the back-story:

At the three week mark in the Apple Saga I wrote a letter to Steve Jobs. Snail mail baby. I couldn't find anywhere on their website to file a complaint so I went straight to the source. The address? Steve Jobs c/o Apple, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA. I was confident my correspondence would find its way to the proper source. From what I can tell, it got as close to The Man as I could hope for.

Friday I had called the Apple Store to find out why the new computer they'd supposedly "overnighted" the previous Friday hadn't arrived yet. I was told it wasn't there and was assured they'd call me when it showed up (they are getting annoyed with me over there, I could tell). I was pretty ticked off. As of this posting it has been four weeks since I took my iMac in for repair. I was visibly angry (which is very rare for me). I tried to work but couldn't focus. Frustrated knowing I'd be going at least the weekend without a computer, I signed myself out of work so I could go outside and walk around the block to cool off. At the last minute I came back to write down the main phone number for Apple in case I wanted to vent or something.

As soon as I came back to my desk my phone rang. "Unknown" flashed on the display. "Great," I thought. "It's someone at the Apple Store with more bad news." Instead I hear, "Hi, David? This is Becky from Apple. I'm calling in response to a letter you wrote Steve Jobs."

I have to admit the timing of the call threw me completely off guard. Anyway, I rehashed the story to her. She said she'd call the Apple Store and call me right back. Now, I've heard the whole "I'll call you back" line from customer service people more than once and rarely do they ever call back. Ten minutes later my phone rang. I was impressed.

She said it was taking longer because my computer had to be custom-built because of the upgraded video card and RAM. I asked why it was taking so long for it to ship when the online Apple Store has "popularly configured" iMacs ready to be shipped out within 24 hours. She didn't know about it. (Figures.) After checking she said she'd look into it more and call me back Monday (today). She gave me a number to call her if I needed anything between now and then.

Today I hope to get some answers and some compensation. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The fart that grounded a plane

Honestly, if you know your gas is that foul why would you voluntarily put yourself in a confined area with hundreds of people at 30,000 feet? I guess if you're dumb enough to light a match on a plane...

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


So I've been heading over to the library the last couple of days to crank on some long copy work I have to do. It's nice to get off-site and be able to focus on the work with no distractions: phone calls, e-mails, etc.

I get all set up here and right across from me are two Arby's employees (I know this because they're still wearing their polos, visors and name tags). Rachel has been yapping on the phone since I sat down. She seems to be conversing with someone at a grocery store and advising them on the benefits of buying freshly ground pepper verses the "stuff that's been sitting in a can on the shelf for months."

Riveting Rachel! Let's hear more!

Ooo! Rachel has snakes and, contrary to popular belief, they are quite active in their little habitat.

Rachel can't wait to be old enough to buy margaritas because she loves the way they taste. And, if you were wondering, she thinks vodka is the grossest stuff on Earth. Hey Rachel, if you're not old enough to buy booze, why are you drinking it? Granted, if I had to work at Arby's, I'd probably hit the bottle hard too.

It's funny to think that for some reason I would feel bad for asking her to be quiet. Why is that? She's the one who's being obnoxious and loud in a place that is very clearly supposed to be neither of those things.

Wait. The call has abruptly ended. No "goodbye". No "See you soon." Apparently the person on the other end of the line was as tired of hearing Rachel yap as I was. However, now her partner in crime feels the need to read aloud the content of the website they're both sitting there looking at.

It's fairly quiet for a while until Rachel mumbles, "I really like shoes. I don't know why I like shoes so much, but I do." What a burden. Something surely worth discussing aloud at the library.

Her friend just pulled out a little toy top in the shape of a pig. She began spinning it on the desk which was quite noisy. I looked at it and she looked at me, said sorry... and spun it again. Unbelievable.

Things have been quiet for a bit.

The phone rang. (Note: it did not vibrate, it the library.) Rachel answered but before she could start talking I asked if she would please take her conversation elsewhere. She looked at me, then ignored me. Her friend motioned for her to leave and she finally did. I'm glad I spoke up because that conversation started about a half hour ago and she's still talking.

Finally, they've packed up and left. Ah...the sweet sound of silence.

The moral of this story: if you're in the library, shut up.

Non-related update: still no iMac.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Apple saga continues

"Gee Dave, I noticed you haven't been posting as much lately. Why is that?" Well, that's because my iMac is still "being repaired" at the Apple Store. Two and a half weeks and counting.

During week two I'd had been checking up on the status of things fairly regularly, but decided on Monday to just wait and see how things were handled. Finally, after not hearing from them, I called the Apple Store last night.

"Yes! David! I've been trying to get in touch with you..."

Really? How? Telepathy?

"We have done everything we know how to do and can't figure out what's wrong with your iMac. So we'd like to replace it."

Brilliant idea. I believe I suggested it a while ago.

"We'll order a new one for you and do a data transfer for free!"

Really? You'd plug in a Firewire cable and click a button just for lil' old me? Shucks.

I asked what else Apple was going to do to compensate me. He asked if I had Apple Care on my iMac. I replied that I didn't.

"How would you like discounted Apple Care?" he asked.

"How about complimentary?" I said with a bit of an edge. He told me he'd check. A few minutes later he came back.

"We'd like to offer you $50 off Apple Care which will make it only $119."

First of all, that's the educational discount and my wife is a teacher. Second, my computer broke at a huge inconvenience to me and now Apple's trying to sell me and extended warranty "at a discount" that costs them nothing to provide? Don't insult me.

"OK. I've been authorized to give you $30 off a .Mac account."

Do I look like a fool? Honestly, do I come across as an idiot? (Don't answer that.) .Mac accounts are already discounted $30 when you get a new computer. In short, Apple was willing to do NOTHING to compensate me for my time, trouble or (at the very least) the month of unused high-speed Internet I've been paying for. Instead they were trying to hit me up for more money.

Hey Apple, here's my idea of fair compensation for the crap you've put me through:

• Give me a loaner computer until my computer arrives.
• Express ship my iMac and do a data transfer.
• Throw in complimentary Apple Care, Pro Care and .Mac
• Then, to say you're sorry, a generous Apple gift certificate/coupon. (I'm talkin' in the ball park of 25% off a new computer.)

None of these things would cost them anything out of pocket.

Any predictions on what they'll actually do?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

For sale: MWC

Some moron decided to sign exclusive rights to the conference games over to The Mountain TV station on Comcast. Not only does the "mtn" have crappy video quality, lame commentary and horrible camera work, it also limits exposure the conference would receive in other parts of the country (read: BCS). For example, right now I can't watch the BYU/U game here in Oregon on ESPN because that bozo wanted to make a quick buck.

Whoever made that brilliant decision should be sacked. By someone like Fui Vakapuna.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy (smoky) Thanksgiving

It's good to be home.

It finally rained

Rain in Oregon is not in and of itself an uncommon occurrence. In fact, it's quite common. However, over the last three years it has never rained when my wife and I have been home to visit. That's saying something since we've visited during some typically very wet months.

Today the lucky streak ended. It rained. Actually, it's still raining. It hasn't stopped raining since we arrived. Apparently my wife has lost her touch.

And just so you know, rain smells better when it has something to land on that's not dirt or a building or Utah.

P.S. Yes, I did give a big hug to the tree in my front yard.

The mural

This dog has the right idea. Down with the mural!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh no you di'in't.

Yesterday I swung by the Apple store. The part is (finally) in. They told me it wouldn't be ready until today. So I called at about 12:30. I asked about the status and a very helpful associate went back to see what was going on with my now very homesick iMac.

When he came back I was told, essentially, "Sorry, since we have so many customers out on the floor everyone who would be working on it is out helping them. It's really busy with the holidays."


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Disenchanted with Apple

I have to admit, I'm a bit miffed at Apple. You see, my beloved new iMac went kaput. We took it to the Apple Store last Monday hoping it was something as simple as bad RAM but secretly knowing the problem was larger. Indeed, a new "logic" board was needed. They placed the order that night for the part and said I should have my computer back within five days.

It's a bit frustrating to have a two month-old computer for which you laid down some serious cash require that kind of maintenance. But, hey, these things happen and the Geniuses at the Apple Store were kind and helpful to my wife. Fine.

Well, it's now been nine days and as far as I can tell from calling Apple Care they haven't even received the part yet, let alone started repairing my computer. What in the world is taking so long? Last night I realized that if I'd ordered a new computer they would have shipped it within 24 hours. Apple, I hate to say it but I think you're getting sloppy: first my new computer breaks down and I take it in to be repaired but, heck, you already have my money so why rush it?

Apple, if you can get a someone who's as hard-core an Apple fan as I am to get ticked off at you, you'd better be seriously worried about what everyone else thinks.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Walmart says "Merry Christmas"

It's a little late in posting, but Walmart isn't going to tip-toe around with uber political correctness this "holiday season". They're going to be saying "Christmas" in their store, to their customers and in their advertising. *GASP!* Merry Christmas and all that. Who'da thought?

That's the second thing Walmart has done this year that's impressed me (the first being their "green" push, not only internally but with their suppliers as well). Maybe by Walmart not bending to the obnoxious minority (as well as going green) others will follow. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm actually considering shopping at Walmart this year. Lower prices weren't enough to convince me, but hearing "Merry Christmas" just might be.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Conference champs

Undisputed conference champs, ranked 21 by the AP and heading to a bowl game. Keep it up Cougs, because if we don't toast Utah it won't matter much.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Last night's episode of The Office ("The Merger") was mediocre. It was mainly plot-driven with bits of comedy here and there (such as Michael's "slave" comment and the breast pump). Fine, but not outstanding like last week's.

The big reveal was that Jim is now dating Karyn. (Well, that and the fact that Creed is fast with a camera.) I don't know if we're supposed to be feeling sorry for Pam, but I'm certainly not. I haven't really liked the way her character has developed this season and lack of communication/chemistry between the two for so long means any hopes I had of them getting back together have disappeared. He laid his heart out there, she shot him down and now I'm supposed to feel bad for her? Sorry chica. I'm rooting for Karyn.

Da Vinci Code

I rented it on Tuesday Honestly, I enjoyed National Treasure a lot more. "The Code" was long, rather boring and I agree that Tom Hank's performance was stiff. Definitely didn't live up to the hype. The book was much more intriguing. Although I will give credit for not having Robert and the French chick kiss randomly or hook up for some reason at the end. I hate it when that happens.

There was a Smart Car in it though, so that was cool. Gotta get me one of those when they come to the U.S. in a year or two.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hit and miss

OK. Fine. My prediction of Apple's announcement of a wide screen iPod (or an invitation to an event where they would reveal said iPod) before the Zune launch didn't come to fruition.

Honestly, I'm OK with it because I realize it was a long-shot. However, news today from Forbes says Foxconn secured an order from Apple to produce 12 million iPhones said to be available within the next four to six months. That news alone is enough to make any and all sadness about lack of a 6G iPod disappear.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Office...rocked

Last Thursday's episode, "Branch Closing", was awesome. It completely redeemed last week's. My favorite part, by far, was Jim sending Dwight faxes from himself...from the future. Hilarious.

Stay tuned for this Thursday's episode: The Merger.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Office...sucked

I can't believe I'm writing this but The Office last week (Diwalli) really blew. I'm a die-hard Office fan stunk. It seems there were a lot of things started but nothing resolved. (Pam's text message to Jim, for example.) And what was with the whole drinking game thing at the Stamford branch?? Not only did it not contribute to the plot at all, but it kind of tainted my perception of Jim's character. The small glimpses we have of the Stamford branch are usually gems within the show. Not last week. I kept waiting for something to come of it but...nothing. Even Jim falling over in the bush was predictable.

The episode was also noticeably lacking in talking head interviews. Overall, I don't think I laughed once...even when I watched it again later.

I've heard talk of the it serving as a sort of an "Empire Strikes Back" episode where it acts as a foundation for everything to be resolved this week. Perhaps, but it sounds like this week's episode is pretty significant in and of itself.

I suppose we'll find out in about ten minutes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

K-fed, we hardly knew thee

Brittney and K-fed filed for divorce. Like, ohmygosh. I totally saw that one coming.

I think things could have worked out. I really do. Poor souls. They were in it for the long run. Seriously. It was 'til death do they part. Completely devoted. But we can't blame the poor kids, can we? The whole thing got off on the wrong foot when they had to push back the wedding to settle the prenup.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I didn't vote

For most people that's not such a big deal. In fact, most people don't vote. However, in my case I find it particularly ironic. You see, I helped develop the above logo. I wrote the tag line too. I also wrote four TV commercials, two radio spots and a couple of print ads encouraging people to vote (and vote early).

But I didn't.

It wasn't a spiteful thing. I just didn't register in time. In addition to normal feeling normal guilt over not voting, now I feel hypocritical too, like I should have set an example for everyone by being first to the polls.

So people, a good lesson to learn about me: do as I say, not as I do.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rise and Shout

BYU is now ranked in the AP's top 25.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006


the Hubble telescope is in need of some repairs and NASA is planning a repair mission in 2008. The only thing holding them back is the $900 million it'll take to keep that bad boy in orbit for another five years of pretty picture taking.


I've expressed my frustrations with space programs in the past and this quote reaffirms my position: "The veteran crew members agreed that the next Hubble flight would be less risky because of the safety improvements made since 2003, such as an inspection of the shuttle in orbit and new tools for repairing the ship in space."

Repairing the ship in space? We're spending millions of dollars to send people into space in a ship that's going to break when they get there so we can spend $900 million to (again) fix a busted telescope that we'll replace in five years? Seems like that money could be better spent on, say, health care, education, tax breaks or me.

P.S. The thing looks like a couple of tin cans wrapped in aluminum foil on training wheels. No wonder it's always breaking.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Fun sized" is misleading

Doesn't it seem like if candy bars are "fun size" they should be bigger, not smaller than usual?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Environmental update

I just realized it's been a while since I've posted anything green. For shame! Fret not dear readers I'm still doin' the green thing.

A while back I set some goals for myself. So far I'm batting about 500. Sure enough, I take TRAX to work which has affected me in three ways. First, it's cutting my C02 output dramatically. Second, I'm saving a ton of money on gas. Third, as a result of saving so much money I've noticed I don't care nearly as much about gas prices as I did before. (Hey, any stress I can eliminate from life is welcome.) Of course, when I do drive I take it easy on the accelerating and always carpool when it's an option.

As for off-setting our electricity consumption with wind power, well, I had to be a little flexible on that one since it's not just my money going out the door, savvy? Oh, and CFL's? They'll make great stocking stuffers this year.

Other things I've done include buying a Nalgene bottle instead of using disposable water bottles. Our new computer is not only less noisy, but the new processors use significantly less energy than the dual G4 chips I had in my last Mac. We now live in a ground-floor apartment which means better insulation and lower energy bills thanks to a non-vaulted ceiling.

I was given a Happy Hat for my birthday which I put on instead of turning up the furnace. At work I'm able to work on a project for a local utility that's encouraging people to make their homes more energy efficient. While I personally think the campaign should have more of a green twist to it, I'm still happy to be working on something good for the environment, even if the motivation for people to participate is financial.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tip of the day

Never trust a barber who faces you away from the mirror while he cuts your hair.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mushroom cloud

I saw this little gem on my way to work this week. Not sure what they're doing in North Salt Lake nowadays, but it looks like they need to be more careful.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sticks and stones

One client. Two comments.

Client: You two are art directors, right?
Tyler: Dave's a writer.
Client: Oh, that's OK.

Client: I don't care about the words. I care about how it looks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

They've gone too far

This picture was taken at my local Smith's on October 20th. OCTOBER 20TH! For Pete's sake! Christmas is still over two months away! People in retail are fetchers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Microsoft: taking failure to the next level

Apparently, simply "failing" isn't good enough for Microsoft.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Showin' the Bishop a little love

We carved these at the ward "harvest party" and left them in our bishop's office. Obviously, he's a U fan. He took it pretty well, especially considering they blew a 21 point lead and lost to New Mexico. :)

Car accident

Yesterday I was driving along with my friend Michael on our way to DI when we saw this Land Roverliterally run over this Civic.

The Land Rover drove up and over the side of the Civic, which apparently was trying to turn left and didn't get through the intersection in time. Fortunately, nobody was in the passenger seat of the Civic. Unfortunately, the driver of the Land Rover had bought it the night before.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sucking the life out of youth

This could be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of. There's a school district in Massachusetts that's banned kids from playing tag during recess. Why? Because they're afraid of someone getting hurt and suing.

I'm serious. I wish I wasn't, but I am.

I feel like yelling and ranting and raving about this subject (I feel rather strongly about our "entirely too timid/I would hate to offend anybody" society), but I'll leave it at this: if we shelter our kids to the extent of not letting them run around during recess, not only are we robbing them of their childhood, we're going to raise a generation of sissies that would easily be overrun by the French. And we can't have that.

Apples to oranges

There's some buzz about Leopard (OS 10.5) coming out and how it will compare to Vista when it finally rears its ugly, but shiny head.

Frankly, I don't think it's a fair comparison. (No, I'm not even remotely concerned that Vista will be better than OS X. I just want to make sure the comparison is fair so when Leopard blows it out of the water it will be all the more spectacular.) Leopard is and incremental upgrade, one of many made over the past six years or so. Vista is the first upgrade made in the same time period. So if you look at the features Vista offers compared to its predecessor versus the features Leopard offers over Tiger, you're more likely to be impressed.

Apple has been allowing their customers to enjoy new, innovative features over the last six years thanks to consistent updates while Microsoft has apparently been too stunned at their progress to do anything for their customers but issue security patches.

In short, if people are going to compare Leopard to a Microsoft product (which they inevitably will) it should be against XP, not Vista.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hunter's mess

Hunter was doing pull-ups on the shelves that hold our beloved CA's and look what happened.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One thing that's wrong with Utah

I have one word for you my friends: powerlines. Or maybe it's two words: power lines. Regardless, it's something that's sorely wrong with Utah. The mountains are one of Utah's few redeeming aesthetic features and too often they're obstructed by power lines. C'mon people! Bury those bad boys and clear up the view!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Distorted perception of beauty (and reality)

This is the same model, one picture taken in her "natural" state and one "post production." I grabbed the pictures from a video that shows the process models go through (hint: lots of Photoshop) to look the way they do. The tag at the end of the video reads, "No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted."

I couldn't agree more. It comes as no surprise that girls get depressed when they see something fake, and unattainable, being promoted as a standard. This is all part of Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. Check out their website, and the video, by clicking here.

On a professional note, I think the whole campaign is an excellent example of advertising being used to further a worthy cause while also promoting a brand.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Mural

This mural is on a parking garage near where I work. It's pretty much the most hideous thing I've ever seen, or that anybody has ever seen, including people who've met Joan Rivers.

Recently I was walking by and noticed some additions had been made. My hopes soared as I imagined someone painting something new over it. Alas, my hopes were dashed as I realized they weren't getting rid of it, but adding to it. Dang. The monstrosity was growing, enveloping space around it like a fat kid with a gift card to Krispy Kreme.

It looks as if we have these two women to blame. From what I can gather, they are raging liberal artists with poor taste in art. It also appears they may be the original artists, come back for more. Sort of a "Grudge 2" thing, but worse.

So here I sit, wondering what I can do to stop the furthering of this little project. Maybe if I stuck a post-it note on it that said, "This is really ugly, please stop," they would. Or maybe I should call the police and report it as vandalism. Ooo! I could encircle the site in electrified barbed wire and attack dogs. If you have any ideas, feel free to post them in the comments.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

RIP Paul

Paul has left us. We should not mourn for him, but for those of us who are left behind. He's in a better place, or at least a place that pays him more money, and we should celebrate this progression. It is, after all, part of this fragile life we live. Instead of focusing on the void left behind, we should reflect back to the good times we had. Like that time you shot me in the leg with your pellet gun (I'm still going to get you back you rascal!) and when we covered Hugh's office in post-it notes. Those are times never to be forgotten.

And so our dear friend Paul, we wish you the best and beg that you won't forget us, the little people, as you continue on your journey. You left some very big shoes to fill and you will be really, really, really missed.

Leg lamp nightlight

I gotta get me one of these.

Monday, October 09, 2006

That much closer to 30

It was my birthday last week. I've decided it's good to have a birthday at the end of the week because festivities carry through the weekend. If your birthday falls on, say, a Tuesday it kind of sucks. But if you're fortunate enough to have it on a Thursday or Friday it's really like celebrating a birth weekend which is how it should be.

Also, why do I get the presents and recognition? Shouldn't my mom be getting all the praise? I didn't really do a whole lot aside from scream a lot and pee on a nurse which hardly warrants the baking of a cake and giving of gifts. Then again, I'm not complaining because I got some cool gifts. Said gifts include a couple movies, a gift card, some accessories for our camcorder and (perhaps my favorite gift) a Happy Hat. I would explain what a Happy Hat is, but I think you have to experience something like that first hand.

I've been reflecting on my age. People are surprised I'm as old as I am. I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not. I'm not quite old enough to want to look young, but at the same time I don't want to look like I'm 40. Regardless, I'm now a year further away from twenty and subsequently a year closer to thirty. This is strange for me. I have to admit I have a bias against my thirties. I see it as ten years between being young and being old. It's a decade of limbo. An era of lost identity.

Despite my cynicism, I'm sure it won't be like that. We'll have kids by then which means soccer practices, recitals and school performances. Help with homework, carpooling and Cub Scouts. A time of cleaning up many messes and changing of many diapers. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced it will be a happy, but very tiring ten years.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Water resistant

These ladies were walking in front of me on the way to the train after work tonight. Apparently, they were so worried about their hair looking good they forgot they looked stupid in the process of keeping it that way.

A cold Cold Stone experience

Last night we went to Cold Stone in lieu of baking a birthday cake. We showed up around 9:00 and there weren't any other customers in the store. One lonely employee stood in front of the cases cleaning the glass. We entered.

She kept cleaning the glass.

We walked up to the counter.

She kept cleaning the glass.

Finally she walked around the counter and with an annoyed look mumbled, "Hi. How can I help you?" I knew what I wanted so I placed my order. While she was mashing my ingredients together some of them fell off the pile of ice cream. She started scraping them into the little garbage trough on the end of the counter. "Uh...excuse me," I said. Those were my ingredients that I paid extra for and I wasn't going to watch this manic depressive high-schooler dump them in the trash. That seemed to be enough and she began folding everything together again.

My wife ordered from the second employee who eventually decided to come out from the back and help. Her concoction consisted of one huge chunk of brownie that was never mixed in and so little carmel she couldn't taste it. The brownie sat there on the side of the scoop like a giant hideous birthmark on what would have otherwise been a delightful looking sundae.

We paid, and as we turned away I asked my wife if she wanted to eat there. "No," she said. "They'll probably go in back and talk bad about us just loud enough for us to hear."

My dream, the iPhone

Mike and I got chatting yesterday about the features we want/expect in the eventual "iPhone". As we got to thinking about it, we realized OS X is the perfect operating system to sync with a phone. Your pictures automatically load into iPhoto, your address book and calendar stay synched, movies from your phone can be edited in iMovie and, of course, iTunes.

I'd like to see at least 8 gigs of flash memory, 3 mpx camera with geotagging and wifi connectivity so when I'm wandering around the office it will notify me when I get a new e-mail in my Mail account (without having to pay data costs through a carrier). Of course, bluetooth, iPod interface and perhaps Spotlight integration as well. All that's gotta come in at about $300 without a contract.

What other features do you want to see? List 'em in the comments.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Strategic November?

Microsoft is unleashing Zune on an awaiting public November 14th. While chunkier and uglier than the iPod, it has a bigger screen and WiFi to allow music/picture/video transfers between Zunes. Thus far, critical reviews are mixed. I've read some articles saying it's another botched attempt of yet another company to dethrone the iPod. I've also heard rumblings that the social aspect of the WiFi and the fact that the iPod has remained relatively stagnant for the past year (with the exception of the Shuffle, which isn't out yet) could signal the beginning of its demise.

Regardless, the media attention and buzz about the Zune is considerable and rumblings about Apple indicate they won't get their 6G iPod out until Macworld in January, missing the critical Christmas shopping season.

Or will they?

I may be dreaming (and, in fact, probably am), but I think Apple's smarter and more capable than that. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple holds a "special event" on, say, November 13th, the day before Zune is released.

The event would, of course, announce the 6G iPod which would take all the wind out of Microsoft's sails the day before they launch a product they're already going to lose money on thanks to Apple cutting the price of the iPod by fifty bucks. Not only would that be a smart move strategically, its the cocky, egotistical kind of thing Apple would do (which I absolutely love them for).

It would also be an opportunity for them to give another plug for their movie downloads as well as upgrade their laptops which, rumor has it, they'll do before Christmas. OK, Apple. Do it!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The new setup

This post is a little late in coming, but here it is. The new 20" Core 2 Duo iMac in its new home, complete with wireless keyboard and mouse. So choice. It found its place in the living room due to the lack of a cable jack in the second bedroom. Besides, that's where we're going to put the hot tub.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Oral hygiene is so much cooler now

Check out this marvel of modern science (but ignore the tacky counters in our bathroom). My new toothbrush rocks. Just look at that comfort gel squishy. Note the ergonomic shape of the handle (to prevent carpal tunnel). Observe the round things in the bristles. They work miracles. And what you don't see is that on the back of the head is a textured soft thing that makes your mouth happy when you brush.

I'm telling you, if everyone had a toothbrush like this people would only ever see dentists if they were masochists.


In addition to General Conference, my sister in-law visiting from college for the first time since she left and getting my new iMac, we also moved this weekend.

It wasn't a "big move" per se. Not even a medicore-sized move. We went from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment in the same complex. It was so close we were able to carry everything without loading up a car, which was kind of nice.

Unfortunatley, the crazy weekend slowed us down a bit and despite the short distance we had to move things, our posessions remain spread between the two apartments. All the important things are moved, but we haven't really had time to adjust to the new space.

Ideally, I like to move, get it all done, and then have some time to get used to things. It makes me a bit antsy to not be settled. (Although the more I think about it, the more it seems that the word "settled" should imply something negative. Almost like you're too complacent, and have become a fat blob. Settled like a bottle of salad dressing that's separated into it's individual ingredients. Ew.)

But I digress.

The new apartment has an extra bedroom, but not much additional square footage meaning everything actually feels smaller than the one bedroom apartment. We lost a lot of storage space and, as my wife noticed almost immediately, there is less space in the kitchen. Perhaps moving to a two-bedroom wasn't as much of an upgrade as we thought it would be.

Regardless, I look forward to going home tonight and getting settled.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Go get 'em Granny

The news is a bit old, but still noteworthy for anyone who didn't hear about it. As the Deseret News reported, Betty Horton, 75, chased down a purse snatcher. "Good thing I had my running shoes on," she said.

She caught up with the perp (I've always wanted to use the word "perp") and ripped him a new one. "It just made me doggone mad," she said. "'That's not right.' That's what I told the guy." Eventually he apologized and gave her stuff back.

Then she gave him all the money in her purse.

"I said, 'Here, take it and go.' He said he couldn't do that," Horton said. "I put the $3 in his hand and said, 'Now get the heck out of here.' I felt bad for him. But I felt better for helping him out. Maybe he'll think twice before doing something like that again."

We all will Betty, we all will.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Headline: Sandwich artist foils robbery

This is Dave. He was my sandwich artist Friday night when I picked up a meatball sub. What you may not realize simply by looking at his friendly demeanor (ignore the huge knife he's holding up for the time being) is that he foiled an armed robbery at his place of employment.

While I was waiting in line to order, the guy in front of me asked, "Hey, aren't you the guy I saw on the news who chased the robber out of here with a knife?" Of course, this got everyone's attention. He smiled a bit, and quietly said, "Yeah." Then he went on making the guy's turkey sandwich.

What??! You can't just, in essence, say, "Oh yeah, I chased an armed robber out of here with a knife. Did you want pickles with that?" and not offer an explanation!

"Hang on a sec," I said. "What's the story?" Dave's co-worker was all too happy to relate the experience as Dave appears to be a fairly modest guy.

"A robber came in here with a 2-3 inch knife and told him to give him the money in the register. Dave said, 'I see your knife is two to three inches long. Wouldn't you rather have a FOOT LONG!?'" He then whipped out 12" serrated veritable broadsword you see him holding in the picture above. Like a samurai!

OK. I embellished the story a bit. (You know, creative license.) But he really did grab that knife and chase the guy out of the establishment and, knowing Dave as I now do, suppose he returned from the persuit and went back to putting pickles on a sandwich. Ho-hum.

My sub tasted a little better than usual that night. Maybe it was because Dave was extra generous with his application of the Parmesan cheese. Maybe it's because the bread was baked fresh that day. Or perhaps it's because a real samurai made it.

I'd like to think it's the latter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Client lunch

Yesterday I was coerced into going to lunch with a client. There were a number of reasons I didn't want to go, but none of them ended up being the reason I'm writing this now.

I learned about our client, his anatomy and why he only has two kids. Allow me to elaborate with some of the highlights.

Honestly, I was only half-tuned into the conversation at hand. I was rather enjoying my lobster fettuccini when I overheard the client say, "I've got slow swimmers." This caused me to stifle a snort which almost sent a noodle out my nose. We looked at him in a certain state of shock. Had he just said what we thought he said? While eating?

He had. But it didn't stop there.

"Well, you see, I had the little snip-snip," he said, while making a scissor motion with his fingers. "Later I got everything reconnected and we had our second child." (Suppressed gag reflex.)

A minute or two later...

"My wife's patriarchal blessing says she will have many children while on the earth. But I have slow swimmers, so obviously that's a lie."

Pardon? Maybe his choice to, er, "hang loose" affected that particular promise.

With this next statement, keep in mind that the client has a U.S. work visa.

"We've never used protection in six years of marriage and only have two kids. So I don't think we'll have more. Unless we have one so I can get citizenship faster."

I can think of a couple things wrong with that statement.

That's about all the good stuff. So, let's review: I now know the history of his plumbing, he's never used birth control and he's firing blanks! All while I'm trying to eat! Lucky me!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I took this picture a few days back on the road up to Little Cottonwood Canyon. It got me thinking. I'm not sure how I feel about the war in Iraq. There are too many unanswered (or at least debatable) questions rolling around in my head.

Thus far, we haven't found any weapons of mass destruction, which, as I understand it, was the primary reason for going in. The secondary reason was to relieve the Iraqis from the opression of a horrible dictator. The third (unspoken) reason was for oil.

The President says we need to liberate the people of Iraq, get rid of Saddam's WMD's, and root out the terrorists from the country.

On the other hand, the media blasts Bush for his foreign policy, and an expensive war (in terms of dollars and lives) we probably wouldn't be in if oil weren't in the equation.

How do you know how to trust? With the help of the media, things have become very polarized (of course, sensationalism gets the ratings, so news is governed by the almighty dollar): Bush is either doing the equivalent of liberating Europe from the Nazi regime, or he's a warmonger who wants to ensure a steady stream of oil keeps finding its way to his oil buddies in Texas.

Who do you trust?

I see-saw in the issue of us "policing the world". Perhaps we should let countries work out their own problems in their natural course. Or, maybe we have a moral obligation to try to pass along the freedoms we enjoy to others less fortunate. After all, people join the military of their own free will, many to do just that: ensure basic human freedoms. Then again, if we're worried about other's freedoms and protecting our own, why aren't we invading North Korea?

Regardless, I still support Bush over Kerry and Clinton for many reasons, the greatest of which is his stand on the family. Maybe that's the problem: there's too much emphasis being put on the dramatic things of the world, to the detriment of the strengthening of the family.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oregon weekend

This last weekend was spent in beautiful Oregon. We were there for three, jam-packed days. Happenings included a trip to the beach, a new iMac for mom and dad, Wicked and dinner at the Marakesh.

My mom also made a really good salmon dinner one night. It had some kind of orange/honey glaze on it along with rosemary baked red potatoes and Tillamook ice cream for dessert.

It's always good to be home.

100 mpg & Utah gas prices

This article from Popular Mechanics talks about a man who gets about 100 mpg on road trips. He put some solar panels on the roof of his Prius to keep the batteries charged and...ta-da. The article asks, "If this guy can to it in his back yard, why can't automakers?"

Perhaps it's the conspiracy theorist in me, but I think the question isn't why CAN'T automakers do it, but why WON'T automakers do it.

Which brings me to another irksome question. Right now, the gas prices in Utah are well above average. All throughout the press you read about how gas prices are falling. Twelve cents here, five cents there. The prices in Utah? Down maybe two or three cents. The explanation? Three of the five oil refineries in Utah (that refine the oil we use in Utah) are shut down for repairs, so output is still low while demand remains the same.

My question is, if we're getting our oil refined here in Utah, why did our prices skyrocket after Katrina hit?

I think the whole thing is an unregulated mess, and I lean toward the opinion that if Bush weren't in office with all his oil company backing, maybe things would be different.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

He's doing it.

I am writing this post in the Apple Store at Washington Square. My dad is actually purchasing a 17" iMac. When I walked downstairs this morning I told him this was going to be the fourth greatest day of his life. After, of course, marriage and the birth of two children. (You know, trying to manage expectations.)

It's a bit surreal. I've been trying to get him to buy a Mac for about three years now. It's a bit step for him, so if you see him on the street sometime, congratulate him on moving beyond his comfort zone. Shake his hand, or better yet, give him a hug. Tell him you're proud of him. I am.

P.S. He's also getting high-speed internet today. It's a strange, but wonderful day indeed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ah...the sweet smell of meat in the morning!

Really, who doesn't like to wake up to the smell of meat in the morning? I know I do! That was the wonderful aroma I woke up to today.

Actually, it was kind of gross. We put a roast in the crock pot last night before we went to bed and this morning it was very, um, fragrant.

I've also noticed that this is something like the third "meat" entry I've had in the last month. Scary. I'll try to stop. I promise.

Update: It turns out that our entire apartment is permeated with the smell of meat. Our clothes, bedding, walls and (my personal favorite) our bath towels. Let me tell youu, there's nothing better than getting out of a nice warm shower and drying yourself off with something that smells like meat.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Busy music store

Just thought I'd give an early heads-up to that the iTunes Music Store is "busy".

T-minus five hours and counting.

Update: Now it looks like Apple's gone all official on us. The online Apple Store is still up, however. You know, just in case someone's been living under a rock and wants to order something mere hours before a major product announcement.

Update: Also notice that the word "music" has been removed, and is now "iTunes Store".

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago

I was walking to my Book of Mormon class at BYU. I lived at University Villa and was crossing University Avenue as someone in passing asked, "Did you hear about the World Trade Center? A plane crashed into it." I honestly didn't think much of it. I figured it was a little prop plane. It wasn't until I got to class and heard the teacher's explanation of what happened that I started getting worried.

I raced home after class and turned on CNN. Rob came out and we watched that horrible footage over and over again. I felt shock, anger and heartache all rolled into one indescribable emotion. Shortly, President Bush stated that we would find the people responsible for this, and bring them to justice, and any country or government that harbors them. It was then that I went into my room, shut the door and began praying.

I prayed. I cried. I thought of what the future would be like. Wars. More death. More families torn apart. More tragedy. All because of the wickedness of one man and those who follow him.

Since then, additional plans of terror have been thwarted and some have been carried out. Despite increased security everywhere, I don't know that I feel that much safer. My only consolation is that I have been sealed to my family and that righteousness will eventually prevail.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An extra inch

Why stop at 23" when you can out-do yourself and sport a TWENTY-FOUR INCH display on an iMac? Almost a week before everyone expected it, my favorite company in the whole wide world released upgraded iMacs with Core 2 Duo processors, extra RAM AND a price drop in the 17" and 20" models.

If anyone would like to drool with me, I'll be hitting my local Apple Store this afternoon.

Update: Neither the Salt Lake nor Washington Square (in Oregon) Apple Stores have the new iMac in yet, and no word on when they'll arrive. The online Apple Store has ship dates in the 2-4 business days range.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Looking forward to 9/12

Apple is holding a special event scheduled for the 12th, it's enough to make me wet myself with giddy anticipation. It's pretty obvious by this invitation that iTunes is going to start carrying full-length movies. I'm not interested in that unless it comes coupled with a new media distribution system for the home. However, the idea of new iMacs (23 inches of LCD beauty), revamped iPods and this article, about the apparent up-and-coming announcement of the iPhone make me tingle.

In addition, The Office Season 2 DVD is released that day with four discs, something like eight hours of deleted scenes and 17 minutes of bloopers. (And the bloopers aren't going to be lame like some you find in Bonus Features. Word on the street is that they're going to be hilarious.) I can't wait.

Another two-faced environmental promotion

It looks like GM's whole "Live Green, Go Yellow" campaign centered around their flex fuel vehicles is a bit of a sham. The fuel itself is nearly impossible to come by, even in the corn-rich Midwest. So these supposed environmentally friendly machines are chugging along on the same amount of gas they always have been.

Why the big push by GM to promote these vehicles that, in most circumstances, aren't any different than a regular gas-guzzling SUV? According to TreeHugger, "It turns out that the Government gives GM a bonus in the average fuel economy standards, whether or not the pickup truck or SUV ever sees a drop of the stuff. Some purchasers don't even know they are driving flex-fuel vehicles."

What? Corporate America treating environmental reform as no more than a PR stunt? Sounds familiar. And the U.S. auto industry wonders why they're slowly going under. Here's a tip: do something good, for the right reason, and you'll come out ahead.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Some blog updates

I've made some changes to the ol' blog. Of course, there's a new template/layout. I'm not satisfied with it, but I got tired of the old one. I'm actually pretty disappointed with Blogger's templates. I was excited when I switched to the new beta version (is that an oxymoron?) and heard you could customize your template without worrying about the HTML. The reality of things: you can change the font size and add some new stuff to the right panel that runs down the side of the blog. Whoopee.

There's now a "Life's To-Do List" so the world can know my bizarre goals and dreams.

I'd also like to draw your attention to the recent addition of labels to posts. I retroactively applied labels to the past two months of posts, and will label posts from now on.

You know, for kids.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My feelings

At the request of my now famous (thanks to this blog) sister in-law, I will now write a post about my feelings.

Right now, I am feeling hungry. If I could eat anything in the world right now, it would be food. If you're looking for me to be more specific about my feelings for food, I would like to eat strawberry covered Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream and a tall glass of cold milk.

I don't think Grandma has a Belgian waffle maker, so I will instead crave a roast, because I'm pretty sure she's got some kind of meat in the oven. There's also some leftover meatloaf floating around somewhere. I may be craving that too.

Earlier this afternoon my dad was telling me about eating dinner at the Marakesh in Portland and ice cream in Tillamook. That made me have feelings for those things as well.

I also have fairly strong feelings about my bed, and how I would like to sleep in it very soon. I also feel covetous about this laptop since it isn't mine.

My wife just came in and I told her I was writing a post about my feelings. I started making some room for her on the couch next to me, so she could read about my feelings, but she told me she was busy playing with the dog and the only reason she came inside was to get a toy for it. Now my feelings are hurt.

I'm also feeling a bit like an old man because I have on black dress socks with my shorts. That, and I realized that my birthday is coming up and I'll be one year closer to 30 in about a month.

I also feel kinda warm.

Wow. I never thought I'd be so open about sharing my feelings, but this has been quite a liberating experiece.

Dr. Seuss had it right

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

This is one of those quotes that looks good on paper, but I think there's also wisdom in knowing when to keep your mouth shut.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More meat

I didn't want everyone to be scarred after looking at the picture of the liver, so I thought I would grace you with this beautiful picture of a massive steak. I ate this for dinner. I swear it was like 14 pounds. And it was really good. Much better than liver. My sister in-law even liked it.

It's already September??

You gotta be kidding me. There was so much I was going to do this summer! And now September 1 has rolled around and it's the official start of Fall. While I love Fall, I feel like summer kind of slipped away while I was busy doing other stuff.

I don't think I ever went swimming, I never took a nap in a hammock and evening walks were suspiciously absent. We didn't go camping nearly enough and the only traveling we did was to Wyoming.


I suppose I'll chalk it up as a lesson learned after my first summer as a full-time professional. It's amazing how tired I can be after working, but hindsight is 20/20 and I should have gotten up off my butt a few more times and done a few more things. *sigh* Shoulda/woulda/coulda...

Friday, September 01, 2006

My first day riding TRAX

Today was my first day taking TRAX to work (due to my desire to be more "green"). I just thought I'd let everyone know that I did indeed drag my lazy self out of bed an extra hour early this morning and made it to work on time. (I'm sure all four of you were on pins and needles wondering if I was going to do it.)

It's nice leaving the house at the same time my wife does, and I was pleasantly surprised about the lack of people on the train as I had a seat both ways. The trip was short, only about 20 minutes. If you don't include the walking time to and from the office, it doesn't take much longer to take TRAX than it does to drive.

I was also able to read on the train, and listen to a podcast. It was kind of relaxing.

Of course, I'm still not as cool as Matt because I don't ride a bike to work.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


My brave sister in-law decided to try liver for the first time last night. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for me to try it too, since I could take a bite of hers and not have to order an entire meal centered around the

So I tried. Yeah. Hmmm. Weird texture. Not that tasty. OK. I can understand why people don't eat this stuff very often.

If a picture's worth a thousand words, here's what my sister in-law thought about it:

When our waiter came by to ask how everything was going, we gave him the generic, "Fine." Then he asked her what she thought of the liver. She didn't really answer. "Would you order it again?" he prodded. She answered, "I would if I liked liver."

It was the perfect response. Maybe you had to be there, but it was really funny.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Calculate your impact

Here's an interesting little tool. It asks for some basic information (where you live, what kind of car you drive, how much you spend a month on utilities, etc.) and will calculate your yearly carbon dioxide output.

I rated myself and came in only slightly below average at 12,900 lbs/year. (The average is 15,000.) Eh. That's OK, but I could do better. Let's average that out to 1,000 lbs/month. Now it's time to set some goals:

I just e-mailed Margaret at work and asked for a TRAX pass instead of a parking pass next month. Using public transportation for my commute can eliminate 393 miles of driving, reducing my C02 emissions by about 31% a month.

Rocky Mountain Power has a program called Blue Sky. Starting at $1.95 per month, you can purchase blocks of 100 kwh that originate from sustainable resources, such as wind. Last month we used 795 kwh of electricity. So for an extra $16 a month, I can offset all that by paying Rocky Mountain Power to purchase electricity from sustainable sources. (For a list of Blue Sky FAQ's, click here.) That will reduce my yearly CO2 emissions by another 19%.

It should be noted that paying $16/month is probably on the high end since my last electric bill was for July. During January of this year we only used 260 kwh, which would only be $6 extra. Regardless, what I'll save in gas by taking public transportation will more than cover any costs associated with "switching" to wind generated electricity.

Overall, I'll save money AND cut my carbon dioxide production by 42% to 7,600 lbs a year.

Another thing I want to do is switch to CFLs (compact florescent light bulbs). CFLs consume 66% less energy, are 90% cooler and last 10 times as long as standard bulbs. (Boo-ya: less energy, less waste and a cooler apartment.)

Check out the Carbon Calculator and make the changes you need to reduce your carbon footprint.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto not a planet

Oh, the shame of it all. Pluto has been demoted from the ranks of our solar system. It's now a "dwarf planet". Sad.

Scientists define a planet as "A celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." Apparently, Pluto's orbit overlaps Neptune's (the nerve!) which is the disqualifying factor in this galactic quandary. But I propose the question: how do you know that Neptune's orbit isn't overlapping Pluto's?

According to USA Today, "The decision at a conference of 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries...[split] astronomers into factions, triggering days of sometimes combative debate that led to Pluto's undoing."

Factions? Combative debate? I have a hard time imagining people from the International Astrological Union becoming combative. How combative were they? Were punches thrown? Were flame throwers brought out? Is there video footage of any of this? Where can I get it? I feel the article left out a lot of important stuff.

While I couldn't care less about how many planets are in our solar system (honestly, I've never noticed any of them) this is the kind of thing that really bothers me about science. Everybody is so sure that things are a certain way (guising it under the safety net of "theory") and then, in a single day, the solar system changes. Yesterday Pluto was the smallest planet in our solar system. It was fact. And now it's not.

Poor Pluto.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Duchess (my distant cousin) helped me realize something just now. You know how when you hear about other people's adversities and afflictions, you think, "Wow. I've got it pretty good" or "Holy cow. It sucks to be that person"? After reading her blog, I'm experiencing those thoughts.

It's kind of sad it takes other's suffering to make us grateful for what we have (or, in this case, don't have), but I think it's even sadder if we don't acknowledge it at all.

And so I say that I am thrilled that I never have to do another cleaning check ever again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Coincidence? I think not.

An interesting chart that shows the top recipients of contributions from the oil and gas industry during the last election. Is it any wonder our environmental policy sucks, and Exxon raked in $36 billion in profit last year?

Thanks to CNN for the graphic.


I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed today because it's one of those days where I feel like saying "Screw it" to the whole world. I am like unto a blob of something gelatinous that, if you ask it to do something, could possibly explode covering you in slimy bits.

So today would be a good day not to ask me to do anything, or even really talk to me at all. In fact, there's a good chance if you look like you might ask me to do something I will spontaneously combust. Or slip into a coma. I'm not sure which.

There are also a number of people who, on sight, will make me cuss like a sailor and then punch them in the face. I'm sure I'd regret it later (at the arraignment hearing, for example) but at the moment I am craving the opportunity to do just that.

So let me hide out in my cave, and write in my silly little blog, and everybody will go home happy. And not covered in slimy bits.

P.S. I just realized I'm a day ahead on my Dilbert desktop calendar too. *sigh*

Monday, August 21, 2006


Next month we get to go see Wicked again. This will be our fourth time and we're stoked.

The first two times we saw it were on Broadway. We hadn't heard the music, just rave reviews from everyone we talked to. We bought tickets before we went to New York, and then won their lottery for tickets in the second row. Wow. I finally understood why people make such a big deal about seeing shows on Broadway. It really is incredible.

For those of you who may not know, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz. You see, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West, pronounced "el-fuh-buh") and Glinda were roommates in college. After a rough start they become friends until they come to a crossroads where each must choose their path. Glinda, traditionally known as the "good witch", is obsessed with being popular and will do anything to get her way. Elphaba, who has been an outcast all her life due to her green skin, is selfless and always tries to do the right thing. Unfortunately, it often backfires or is misunderstood resulting in her title of the Wicked Witch. Finally, she gets fed up and essentially says "Screw it. I've tried so hard to be good and it's never worked, I'm not going to bother anymore."

The music is fantastic, especially the closing song of the first act, "Defying Gravity". You can hear it on the soundtrack, but until you know the whole story and see it in person, you just won't realize how cool a song it is. It gives me chills when I hear it. And when we heard "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" performed in Denver we learned to love the second act.

Wicked starts long before Dorothy ever shows up, proceeds through the traditional story and concludes after she and the wizard leave Oz. It explains where the flying monkeys come from, the origins of the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, the real reason Dorothy ended up in Oz and why the Wicked Witch is obsessed with the ruby slippers.

You also find out why Elphaba is green, how she ended up with the pointy black hat we have all come to associate with witches (hint: it was originally a gift to Glinda from her grandmother) and why she flies around on a broom (hint #2: it was the only object available at the time). Ever wondered why the munchkins hated the Wicked Witch of the East so much? Or the real reason the Wizard hides behind the smoke and mirrors? It's all explained in a wonderfully creative way.

Fun and uplifting, the message is a good one and can be appreciated on a number of levels. Best of all it's entertaining and G-rated. A refreshing change considering most of the "entertainment" that's out there nowadays.

If you ever get a chance to see it, it's well worth the money. I'm sure if it ever comes to Salt Lake we'll be camping out to get tickets.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Barney beheaded

Oh, please. Like you never wanted to do it.