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.