Friday, June 30, 2006

Road Kill Cafe?

I know it's not going to look like the one on the left, but c'mon Mcdonalds. That's just sad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Portland to mandate 5% biodiesel by '07

Apparently, there's legistlature in my hometown to require all diesel to be 5% biodiesel by 2007, and 10% by 2010.

Way to go Portland! However, I have a concern about slowly shifting our dependence from foreign oil to ethanol/corn-based fuel sources. On the surface I think it's a great idea: it's completely renewable, eases our dependency on foreign oil and makes a great supplement for existing fuel sources.

However, what would happen if we were using corn for (caution: link to tacky HTML government site with animated GIFs) 85% of our fuel needs, then had a couple years of drought across the midwest? Would our energy situation be worse off than it is now?

I'm all for biodiesel/ethanol, but I think it needs to come from a source that doesn't rely so heavily on unstable sources we can't control (the weather).

(Link to reference article)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Environmental Luxury

The more I try reach back to my tree hugger roots (see picture), the more I come to realize that being environmentally friendly can be quite expensive. I figure this is because most of the things we do that use a lot of energy revolve around two primary things: cars and our homes.

I live in an apartment. Even if I could afford it, I would not be able to put solar panels on the roof, double pane my windows (which desperately need it. When the wind blows the blinds move...and that's when they're closed), or purchase washing machine that uses silver ions instead of detergent (no chemicals) and cold water (less energy) to make the organic clothes I don't own 99% germ free.

As far as cars go, Japan has the right idea with hybrids as demonstrated in the Prius, the Insight and the Civic Hybrid. The U.S. auto manufacturers are a bit stupid as most of their hybrids are in large trucks and SUVs, resulting in minimal fuel/emissions savings. What's the point? And they wonder why they keep losing money...

Unfortunately (or, depending on how you look at it, fortunately) I am not in the market for a car right now. So no 60 mpg for me.

The problem with the recent resurgence in environmental awareness is that it's not mainstream. It's trendy at best, and being championed by either celebrities with money to spare or people perceived as environmental nut jobs who don't use deodorant and live in shipping containers or these things.

It goes back to the theory some have that one dominant green innovation isn't going to come along and dominate life as we know it. (Although I would argue that the guy with the supposed hydrogen maker would have a pretty good shot at doing just that.) Instead, it's going to be a combination of new technologies that, when combined, make a big impact. That, however, is part of the problem: there are a lot of obscure things out there, but not one thing people can latch onto, rally around, and take mainstream.


Of course, you don't have to build a house out of hay and beer cans or own a Prius to be environmentally friendly. As Andrea knows, I recycle a lot of my office paper. I have been driving more conservatively and I always turn off the lights when I leave a room. That's well and good, but at risk of sounding like a hemp-wearing smelly tree hugger, all that stuff is kind of "sissy" in my perspective. It all has the "duh" factor. Of course I do that. That stuff is a given. I want to do more.

You have to understand, I grew up in Oregon. My family of four threw out two paper grocery sacks of garbage a WEEK--everything else was recycled. In the evenings, we had one lamp on in the entire house. During the hot summer months, my mom would make us walk in through he garage to keep the house cool (no AC). The reult? It pains me to throw away a milk carton. I pause before sending a tin can into the trash. SUVs that serve only as status symbols tick me off.

Now you know where I'm coming from.

While I think living in almost complete darkness is a bit much, I think I should be doing more (along with everybody else out there). But what? How? At the moment, I don't think I can afford the luxury of being environmentally savvy.

The Hope Garden

Paul and I came up with this concept for a client of ours, BSD Medical. They're a medical company that specializes in hyperthermia (the heating of tumors).

Perhaps the best thing about hyperthermia is that it can be used with recurrent cancer patients. Most cancer patients can't be given two full radiation treatments, and partial treatments aren't effective. Enter hyperthermia. BSD can focus micro/radio waves specifically on the tumor, heating it to high fever temperature. This weakes the tumor making it vulnerable to small doses of radiation so patients with recurrent cancer can tolerate the additional treatment.

In some cases, it can double the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

Well, Paul and I are sitting around one day, discussing the idea of how this procedure gives hope to people who otherwise wouldn't have it, and the concept of a "hope garden" was born.

The Hope Garden is a place for cancer survivors, cancer patients and their loved ones to share uplifting messages with others who are struggling through similar trials. I truly believe there's a lot more to healing than medicine, surgery and hospitals. People really can influence others for good. Hopefully this site becomes a medium for them to do that.

My hat's off to BSD. They saw the same vision Paul and I had for it: a tool to uplift and plant hope in people. They didn't do what so many companies would have done and plaster it with ads or sales pitches about their product. It's simply a place people can go to inspire and be inspired.

Coming up with the idea was the easy part. Paul's been busting his butt for months, working nights and weekends to get this thing finished. It's designed beautifully and the Flash is a work of art. Thanks.

(If you didn't catch it in the post, there's a link to the garden here.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Roaming Pregnancy Test

After being used in a photo shoot for some spec work the agency did, the e.p.t. has been making its rounds through the office. Kendal left it in Jeremy's office. He retaliated by leaving it, unbeknownst to Kendal, between Kendal's monitor and the window that faces the hallway. After many inquiries, Kendal discovered the hidden test and moved it to Paul's window. Paul moved it to our snack box in the break room, wedged between some cookies and a bag of chips.

At present, it's in Caryn's office, hidden behind a frame, but facing out her window into a hallway. Perhaps the best part of this is that she saw me sitting across the hall at Tyler's desk pretending to leave it there. So when/if she finds it, she'll think Tyler put it in her office.

This is better than that stupid gnome, so stay tuned and I'll keep my faithful readers (all six of you) up-to-date on the happenings of the e.p.t.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

OS 10.5 Leopard screenshots?

Take it with a grain of salt, but here's a link to some supposed shots of next year's release of OS X Leopard.

Note a new version of Internet Explorer being used natively in OS X. Also, a tabbed Finder window (brilliant) and a new Address Book/Calendar icon in the Dock. The second image is apparently a screenshot of a desktop Fast User Switching transition. It would be interesting to see this in motion.

IF these are even real.

P.S. Somehow, I doubt I'll ever switch back to IE, even if they do give OS X users the same version as Vista users. I've been pleased with Firefox and Safari (although I now use Firefox almost exclusively) and am sorta-kinda keeping an eye on how Camino turns out. Despite the rave reviews Camino's received, I haven't noticed anything different enough about it to make me want to switch, not to mention there are hardly any extensions and themes available for it.

What I do

When people ask me what I do for a living, it's kind of hard to explain. I usually just say, "I'm in advertising." That, however, is vague enough they usually follow up with, "What do you do exactly?"


"I'm a copywriter".


At this point people assume I'm some kind of lawyer dealing with trademarks and little C's with circles around them. Depending on how much I care about the person I'm having this discussion with, I may or may not clarify:

"I write ads."

This is funny because sometimes people don't realize ads have words.

"Oh! TV commercials and stuff?"

Yes. Kind of. But not really. There isn't much TV done with clients in this small of a market, and I'm low enough on the totem pole that I've only written one TV spot.

"Kind of. I write some radio commercials, and stuff in newspapers and magazines. I also write web sites, brochures...anything a company produces that needs words, I write."

It's at about this point that people smile and nod and pretend they care and change the subject.

In my defense, I think I have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I mean, it's one of those jobs where, if I told people the projects I work on they'd think, "Someone get's paid to do that??" Yeah. Me.

Said projects include:
• Naming a hotel in Park City
• You know that letter from the gas company in your utility bill? Yeah. I wrote it.
• Putting catchy phrases on pencils that companies hand out
• Ever noticed funny things written on your cup or bag from a fast food place?
• Writing and entire Christmas catalog for a local dry goods company

Now, the next time you get a napkin with your meal, and there's something even remotely clever written on it, stop and observe a moment of silence in honor of the poor copywriter who labored for hours trying to come up with exactly the right wording for that napkin...before you blow your nose in it.

This guy's job sucks

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Office Season 2 DVD

I was reading Jenna Fischer's myspace (no, I do not have a life) and aside from learning a lot about her favorite sandals, she mentioned they recorded the DVD commentary for season two and it will be out in September.

Here's the link to the blog article (in case you too lack a life).

UPDATE: Additional research has revealed that the DVD will be released September 12th and is a 4-disc set. Amazon has it available for preorder for $35.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Quote Board

We need an online Quote Board because, dang it, we say some funny stuff.

"Ooo! Bring me back a cookie! They're cheaper if you buy more." - Amy

"Jesus was a fisherman. What do you think it smelled like when he taught?" - Doug

Amy asks me, in front of her parents and brother while we're playing cards, "What's that game we like to play? Dominatrix?"

Me impersonating Doug's response to the recall notice on Brad's car:
"Something about a fire under the hood, blah, blah, blah, final notice, yadda, yadda, yadda."

Doug: "Do you know what a rhetorical question is?"
Me: "Did you want me to answer that?"  

"I know I may not look it, but I have a dreidel." Alysia's friend.

"Do you know how much money we could make if we were Italian and in the mob?" - Brad

"Why does it make our husbands uncomfortable when we flirt?" - RaeLynn

"Can we clone you and kill the others?" - Gary

"I can't relate. I'd never do anything that stupid." - Teri

"Careful Jake - you're still soft on top." - David

"If I were a dinosaur I'd eat that tree." - Heidi

"Next time I get a prostate exam I'm going to a taller doctor." - Doug

"Three in a row? Dang. Looks like someone else needs to start talking." - Amy

"I'd be really good at yoga if I didn't have any arms or legs." - Amy

"That was a brilliant use of profanity!" - Amy

"Thanks to you and your amazing sperm." - Amy

Heidi: I think my arms are getting fat.
Amy: You know, I think I'd be OK if I didn't have any girls.

"It's a good thing she's wearing pants." - Becky

"If I was really, really tall I'd find a really, really tall girl to breed with." - Brad

Amy - "Apparently I'm not as smart as I think I am.
Me - "That's OK. I couldn't figure out how to set up my Far Side calendar."

RaeLynn - "What if you go metro in the next couple of years?"
Scott - "I can't because I'm fat."

"If you want to be in my will, you'd better put me on your quote board you little punk." - My Father In-Law

"Dear, the ceiling fan is the best parent in the world." - David

"I don't get it. How can people not believe in global warming? It's so hot!" - Melinda

"Dear, we need a little person to make cookies." - Amy

"Can I just say that high heels can really be annoying?" - Ryan

"Seriously. I poke myself in the eye on a daily basis." - Melinda

"Nobody can make you laugh but yourself." - Heidi

"Hopefully that's why my check engine light has been on for so long." - Curtis

"No one likes a leper." - Amy

Oma (our friend's grandma), laughing: "I like monkeys."

Matt: Do you know where, "Wax on, wax off" comes from?
Whittney: Seinfeld?

"You're never too old to go to space camp dude." - Dave, "Stranger Than Fiction"

"I raise mini-cattle under my bed." - Amy, sort of

"Sometimes I think I interact with the TV more than I'm supposed to." - Amy

"Wait. There aren't 71 states." - Hunter

"Did that bird miss a connecting flight South or what?" - Amy

"You can be wise and happy or stupid and miserable. The choice is yours." - President Hinckley, Dec. 31, 2006

"I can't imagine what it would be like to have your government there anything good on TV tonight?" - Amy

"If you were a super model, I wouldn't love you less, just in a different way than I do now." - Jeremy O.

"I don't hang out with you anymore and look how cool I am!" - Rob

"David, you need to grow your monkeys." - Whittney

"I'm a genius too! Wait. I think I just spit a bran flake." - Amy

"Need I remind you it powered a time machine?" - Amy

"Dear, how come we never get to watch Desperate Housewives when the kids are around?" - Doug

"I'm so hot, I'll never have to pay for anything ever! Look at me spin! Look at me twirl! " - Ryan, referencing the Jazz cheerleaders

"Well, obviously my underwear is unravelling." - Doug

"I hate getting out of the car. It's like going to the bathroom." - Amy

Heidi: "Grandma, are you a racist?"
Grandma: "No. I'm a bigot."

"Tastes just like real french toast!" - David

"I'm writing 'eat me' on pork" - Amy

"Girls rule! We have homemaking skills AND physical endurance skills" - Heidi

"He may be shallow, but he dates hot chicks" - David about Brad

"Dang! No wonder people like having money." - Amy

"Dad, I don't think you've made the peacock noises since we left Colorado" - Amy

"Is she going to wear a hair net, or am I going to have to worry about that all night?" - Doug

"The conduit for all knowledge in the universe is located in our apartment. Specifically, the shower." - Rob

"Adam had it easy. Eve HAD to love him!" - Josh

"If the social life of the world would be best benefited by my hooking up with an ugly girl, then I'm sorry - it's not happening." - Ryan

"Woo-hoo! I have dents in my head!" - Neil

"Hello, is this whore removal?" - Dave

"My brain is numb. There's been cheese on it all night." - Ryan

"I used to be a body builder..." - Dave

"Hey! Don't make fun of the dumb kid." - Alysia

"I've been told my hair feels like rabbit fur." - Neil

"I hate not eating out. 'Cause, well, first of all it sucks..." - Ryan

Dave: "What's a lime-o?"
Rob: "That would be 'limo' Dave."

"Ya know, some people just look better from far away." - Definitely Ryan

"Women don't want a knight, they want the whole dang Round Table!" - Rob

Eden: "You know, in Russian, 'Rob' means 'slave'".
Ryan: "Well, in English 'Rob' means 'to steal'".

"Sometimes I almost feel guilty for BS-ing my homework. Then I think, 'Wait, no I don't.'" -Dave

"Is she the tall girl with the loud mouth?" - Ryan

"You're a very positive person, but I think you're an idiot." - Rob

"Nothing hurts more than seeing two beautiful girls going into a bridal store." - Dave

Dave: "I always buy biscuits, but never make them."
Rob: "Then don't get any."
Dave: "But I might this time."
Rob: "The triumph of hope over experience."

"You're not hopeless Dave, all you need is a good woman." - Rob

"If there were no girls, we'd never be tempted. It'd be like scout camp." - Josh

"Well, that's a bridge under troubled waters. Wait..." - Rob

"Hyrum's wife died, and HE got married like a week later." - Ryan

"I'm just the ultimate compliment." - Ryan

Dave: "With hair like this, it's amazing that I don't have a girlfriend."
Josh: "Maybe it's your personality."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Old people "style"

When people hit a certain age, style ceases to matter, if it ever did at all. Such is the case with my beloved father, who feels the need to tuck his sweatshirts into his corduroy pants.

Dad, I love you. But please, please cease tucking inappropriate shirts into your pants. For a list of shirts that are OK to tuck into pants, see the following:

1. Button-up shirts

Any other shirt should not be tucked in, but worn over the pants, not under.