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.

Good luck?

If a ladybug lands on your mouse, does that mean you will have good luck because it's your mouse, or does it mean the mouse will have good luck? I mean, the latter seems kind of dumb because a mouse is an inanimate object, so it really doesn't have any kind of luck at all. It has no need for luck. But if the luck doesn't transfer to the owner of the inanimate object, then the luck is wasted, which is just sad.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hail storm

Talk about some crazy weather. Last Saturday there was a massive hail and thunder storm, the worst I've ever experienced by far. This first picture is a shot out of our bedroom window to give you a feel for the size of the hail.

Check out the white water action goin' on here on the covered parking. HUGE rain drops.

I was just pulling up as it started. I sped to my covered parking spot and then ran inside. I asked my wife if she wanted me to go move her car to a covered parking spot as well. She said yes, and handed me her bike helmet.

If you were lucky enough to be watching the storm that day from our apartment complex, you might have spotted me running through a flooded parking lot in flip-flops, wearing a purple bike helmet. Oh, what a sight to behold.

Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), no one captured this heroic feat of bravery on film.

If you did happen to nab a shot, please e-mail me a copy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


My dad (the lovable guy seen seen to my right) got the big account he pitched for! He worked very hard to get it and it couldn't have happened to a better guy. So a big congratulations to my dad on getting the account! And a bigger congrats on the fact that he will soon be a Mac owner (because he promised that if he got it, he'd buy a Mac).

Monday, August 14, 2006


Congratulations to Ryan and Gary who found out over the weekend that their Mrs. Fields poster got into CA. (Click the picture for a bigger image.)

Did I have anything to do with this poster? Well, I told them I liked it and thought it was a great concept. (It's a good thing I didn't think it sucked, or I would be looking really stupid right now.)

Does this great accomplishment mean anything to me? Directly, no. But now I'm cool by association.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Breastfeeding touches us all

Today I looked at my blog and I says to myself, "Dave, you need a post with an entertaining picture." As I was at the library returning An Inconvenient Truth (which was inconveniently two days overdue) I saw the following display:

That should work.

The first thing I did was surpress a laugh into a barely audible snort. I'm pretty sure that banner could have been worded differently, and I still have no idea why there are a bunch of paper hands taped up behind them, but I'm trying not to think about it.

I snapped the picture incognito, but then approached the table and asked for some information under the guise that it was for my wife. (That's not entirely untrue. If I decide not to throw it away, I'll give it to my wife.)

They were pleasant enough (one had a mustache though) and loaded me up with pamphlets and handouts on the virtues of breastfeeding. We had a brief conversation that went something like this:

Me: How long will you be here? (This was to find out if I could come back later with a real camera and get a better shot incase the one I had taken turned out to be blurry.)

Woman: The whole month of August. August is breastfeeding awareness month you know."

I didn't know. Did they expect a guy in his middle twenties to know that?

Me: (With feigned shock) I had no idea!

As soon as I said it, I realized it was a mistake. These women took their duties very seriously. I mean, if you're hardcore enough to sit in the library and distribute literature about breasts and how they can be used for feeding, you probably don't appreciate sarcasm.

They didn't.

The one on the right squinted at me and cooly replied, "It is."

I took a few more pieces of literature ("Join Le Leche of Utah!"), stuck them in my newly checked out books and walked out of the library, holding in my laughter until I was clear of the building.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

No source to rule them all

Clearly, we need alternative energy sources to cut our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution and save on energy costs. But I've been pondering lately about how there probably won't be some revolutionary new alternative energy source that takes the world by storm and is used everywhere.

Wave energy is being developed in Oregon that, by using about 10 square miles of sea water, will be able to supply power to the whole state. Wind power will be used in Oaklahoma (as the it comes rushing down the planes), and solar energy will be used throughout the southwest.

Instead of building cookie-cutter subdivisions everywhere that all look alike and are made of the same materials, I think we should take a cue from generations past. They didn't build all their houses the same way. People in New Mexico use adobe-style houses because they are made from readily made materials and keep their homes cool. Hybrid indoor/outdoor houses work in warm and tropical locations when the weather is fairly consistent year round and allow for more natural air circulation, thus reducing the need for using AC as much.

We can't make enough ethanol to supply our oil needs, plus it often uses material that could be used to feed the starving masses. Not very ethical. Gas-electric hybrid cars (such as the Prius) require expensive batteries that will, eventually, loose their ability to hold a charge and are still relatively expensive. The same problem exists with 100% electric cars. Solar panels aren't at the point yet where they can power a home in most cases, let alone a car.

So let's stop waiting for some cure-all to our environmental problems, and start acting on the technologies that are already available.


The way I see it, the "magic solution" to our energy problems is the practical production of hydrogen. If these guys are legit, they may prove the title of this posting wrong.

If hydrogen (or, in this case, aquygen) can be produced at a rate of 1,500 liters in one hour for 70 cents of electricity, it would completely revolutionize the way we get our energy. It can (could, whatever) run cars, heat our homes, power turbines to create electricity, etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, those are my current thoughts on energy. Readers (all six of you), I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, particularly on the hydrogen link video.

"I invented the friggin' iPod, okay? Have you heard of it?"

One of my new favorite blogs is one written by "Steve Jobs". The link can be found in my "Sites" section to the right. It's well written and absolutely hilarious (at least if you know anything about Stevie J. and Apple).

Just a heads up in case you need some entertaining (and sometimes slightly colorful) reading. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Good news!

I can see my knuckles today.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Bee stinged

While I was camping this weekend in the beautiful Uintah Mountains I was dive-bombed and stung by a yellow jacket. I saw something fly down toward my arm, and by the time I looked down it had already stung me. Stupid bee.

Anyway, here's the resulting damage. The odd thing is that it's been getting progressively worse, not better, since the initial sting. Maybe I should go to a doctor...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

iPhone - probably not

While I doubt this is the long-awaited "iPhone" (or, as this person calls it, "iChat Mobile"), it got me thinking about something.

One of the design challenges with an iPhone is making room for a keypad and the iPod scroll wheel because any iPhone worth its salt would, of course, have iPod capabilities which would entail the famous scroll wheel.

Or would it?

One of the big complaints I read about this photo/mock-up is that it would be a nightmare to navigate using the controls from the existing Front Row remote. Perhaps. But what if there was a new, better way to navigate than the scroll wheel?

Embed a version of Spotlight for your iTunes library. Just tap in the first two or three letters of what your'e looking for with the keypad (ala text messaging) and use the directional pad to select from the list Spotlight brings up. It could actually be comparable in speed to using the scroll wheel, if not faster. From that point, the iTunes interface would be the same as it is now in phones like the SLVR.

Of course there'd probably have to be a step before that to specify that you were searching for music in iTunes and not your phonebook or for a picture. Even then, I think about how many menus I have to click through to get to pictures on my phone (and I'm using a Sony Ericsson which has one of the best UI's out there) and I'm convinced it would be much faster to do a text-based search using something like Spotlight.

So there ya go. It's my prediction that the iPhone will not have a scroll wheel.

Other thoughts about the above picture:

• iChat Mobile? Interesting. Makes me think VoIP? If not, you'd have to have a streaming connection which 1. would cost a fortune and 2. drain your battery like crazy.
• Camera on the back? Makes sense for taking pictures, but not for video chats. Could it be that Apple has implemented it's in-screen camera, meaning that the "iChat Mobile" would have two cameras?
• No battery compartment. Not entirely surprising since none of the iPods have battery compartments either. BUT, that also means one of two things: 1. This is going to be a CDMA phone or 2. it was an oversight by whomever mocked this up. I wonder if Apple would go with Cingular based on their history together. If you're doing streaming content (video chats, incoming chat requests, etc.), Helio is already doing that with Sprint's CDMA network.

UPDATE: The above image was later shown to be a fake, as previously suspected. However, I think my case for a non-click wheel iPhone is valid.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

WWDC 2006 predictions

We're five short days away from Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference where we will get the first real glimpse of OS X Leopard. As of right now, that's the only guarantee we can look forward to.

However, as we all know Mr. Stevie J. has a tendency to announce new products and/or product upgrades and such events. Here are my predictions (and in some cases hopes) of what will be announced.

• Of course we're going to get a preview of Leopard, but I'm guessing it's going to be released in time for Christmas, just to rub it in Vista's face.

• It's pretty much a given that the new Intel Core 2 Duo chips are going to be put in the current Power Macs, finishing off the PowerPC/Intel transition. I'm also predicting the mobile versions of the chips go into the Macbook Pros to further distinguish them from the Macbooks. (I'd love to see them end up in the high-end iMacs too.)

• If there are any iPod updates, it's going to be new nanos with increased capacity (2, 4, 8 gigs) and/or new metal casings similar to the iPod minis.

• .Mac. Hmmm. I'd like to think they'd make .Mac free, or significantly reduce the price considering all the competition out there. You can essentially do everything with free Google products (Google Pages, Blogger, etc.) that you can do with .Mac. The only benefit .Mac brings to the table is it's seamless integration with OS X apps. This is cool to be true, but you can get 2.5 times the amount of space in an attractive environment from Google for free. Suggestion: Make .Mac free for everyone who buys Leopard. Keep it free until the next OS (Calico?) comes out. If people don't upgrade, they start paying a nominal fee for .Mac. If you upgrade, you continue enjoying it for free. Or perhaps you could do the same thing when you upgrade iLife versions. Regardless, it needs to be less expensive.

So there you have it. I think Leopard is going to have a few surprises in it nobody saw coming and will make Vista look primitive (if it isn't already).