Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bionic toes

I'm particularly frustrated with my toes. They're ugly and I don't like clipping the nails. What I need is someone to remove my current toes (save the Raptor Toe) and replace them with bionic toes that don't require clipping and are aesthetically pleasing. Or not. I don't really care. If they were ugly and bionic at least I could say, "They're ugly because they're bionic" whereas now I just have to agree when people say my toes are ugly. Which they do.

I Googled "bionic toes" and couldn't find anyone who had had the procedure. It appears as though no one out there is taking the bionic toe replacement idea as seriously as I am.

I know a podiatrist. Maybe I should give him a call. He seemed eager to do surgery on my feet once when I mentioned the Raptor Toe. Fool. No one will ever mess with the Raptor Toe because if they tried, the Raptor Toe would kill them.

Sorry if that's harsh, but it's the way it is.

I have plenty of vacation time stored up to recover from the surgery. Yeah, I'm having a kid in a couple of weeks. But would he rather have a dad who was around during the first few days of his life or one with bionic toes for the REST of his life? I think the answer is obvious.

My bionic toes wouldn't have to do anything particularly impressive. Sure it would be cool if I could have special ops equipment installed in each one: a machine gun, a poison dart shooter, EMP ray, oil slick creator (scratch would shoot the oil forward and slip me up as well as those pursuing me), and perhaps a hologram generator which could project a hyper-realistic hologram of a predetermined person or object. Not sure what I'd use it for but it would probably come in handy. Probably some kind of grappling hook launcher too. And one for a toothpick. And one with a key that opens all the locks in the world (in case I'm captured). And the rest would be for food and water.

If anyone out there in my ENORMOUS readership has ever heard of a successful nine toe bionic transplant, please leave word in the comments.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


As I was walking downtown the other day I became acutely aware of the hardness of the cement as the slap of the soles of my shoes jarred my body. This artificial pathway to work lead me to think of the plastic chair I would be sitting in at my desk. My desk is... made of what? I have no idea. Some bizarre plastic composite perhaps?

I would spend my day indoors where natural light is abundant but the air is recycled. Phones and intercoms and the chime of computers notifying their users of new messages and appointments were destined to fill my ears for the next eight to ten hours.

Eight to ten hours. Half of my waking life.

I paused at a crosswalk, a red hand halting my progress as dozens of cars rumbled by making the air difficult to breathe.

Slap, slap, slap. The red hand gave way and I continued on, each step a subtle concussion through my body. So subtle, in fact, they had previously gone unnoticed. How? I walked the same route from the train to the office every day. Yet this particular day I felt strangely disconnected. Or perhaps I was more connected. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

Token planting pots, often neglected, lined my path. Partially filled with soil, the remainder filled with trash or cigarette butts, the withered inhabitants tried to rise.


Slap, slap, slap. My shoes called my attention downward, unwilling to let me forget their constant battle with the cement.

The cement was before me and behind me. It ran to my left into the road and to my right up the buildings. This was the layout that would guide me to the half of my life spent breathing forced air and sitting in a synthetic chair before a desk and glowing screen.

Then my hand did something most peculiar. As if to give my shoes hope, it rose into a tree and ran its fingers through the thick, green leaves on its low-hanging branches. A calm ran through my body clear down to my feet, which instantly slowed to savor the sensation. The cool, pliable leaves grazed over my hand and slid through my fingers. For the first time in a long time, I'd touched something living and organic, energizing my body and bringing life to my soul.

Friday, April 27, 2007


A lady in our ward passed away last week. She lived in the apartment across from us with her husband, daughter and granddaughter. They're a wonderful family and while she'd been in poor health for quite some time it was still a shock.

I feel for them. It's never easy dealing with a death in the family. Despite brave faces and assurances of their well-being, it's obvious they need love and assistance. Who wouldn't?

Which brings me to my dilemma: what do you say to people in that situation? I feel terribly awkward around those who have just lost loved ones. Any time I attempt to sound genuine in my condolences I feel I'm coming across as a complete fake. Words from any mere acquaintance would seem shallow.

Our neighbors are great people but I find myself trying to avoid them because I'm not sure of what to say. I certainly feel sorry for them and want to help, but saying those things seems so cliche and insincere.

But something needs to be said. Can you imagine never telling your neighbor you were sorry their wife/mother died? Horrible!

Overall, I suppose it's the though that counts even if I don't have a better way to express those thoughts than the standard, "I'm sorry to hear about your loss."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Funnel cloud phobia

So my pictures of the funnel cloud made it on the news for channels 2, 4 and 13. I spoke to a couple of the anchors on the phone. One was asking me details about where the funnel was. Where was I when I saw it? Etc. etc. Fairly boring stuff, some of which I made up.

We were wrapping things up when my wife said with a grin, "You should tell her you were afraid for your life."

So I did.

"My wife said I should tell you I was afraid for me life."

We both kind of chuckled. I asked her if she would please mention the name of the blog and she said yes.

So we watched. She talked about how it wasn't an actual tornado, these things are fairly common this time of year yadda-yadda-yadda. Then she said, "I did speak to David on the phone and he said he was a little afraid when he saw it."

Obviously the woman doesn't understand sarcasm. While we all got a pretty good laugh out of it, but I still feel the need to clarify that I am not afraid of funnel clouds, nor any other type of cloud for that matter. In fact, I would say I'm a fan of clouds. Natch, I grew up in Oregon.

Oh yeah. And she didn't mention the blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Diggnation mention

Thanks to my good fortune of submitting the 8 Core Mac Pro story to Digg, I was mentioned on the Diggnation videocast. Tipped off to the fact by Benvolio via Duchess (yes, I used to write for the 100 Hour Board) I downloaded the video.

Unfortunately, there's no love for rathofbuns.

"..submitted by...rathofbuns? Man we've got some ****'d-up users."

I edited the 40-something minute videocast down to a few seconds and muted the bad words. See the clip here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Funnel cloud in Salt Lake

Snapped this shot on my way home from work. If you look at the left side of the picture just above the cement barrier you can clearly see a funnel cloud forming. I took these pictures on 500 South coming out of downtown.

Click the pics for a much bigger images.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More free stuff from Google

Not only did Google have a stellar quarter but they've recently released a couple of cool new products. (Or, at least they're new to me.)

First off is Google 411. Instead of dialing information and being charged a buck to get directions or a phone number, dial 1-800-GOOG-411 and their automated system will get you the same information for free. You can even be connected directly to the company you're calling or have the information sent to you in a text message.

Next is Google's text messaging service. Essentially, it's Googling from your phone. For example, if you want to know movie times, text the title of the movie and your zip code to 46645 ("Googl"). Google will send you a text message with nearby theaters and show times.

I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it works. We were babysitting for some people at a Jazz game. We were wondering how much time was left so I texted "Utah Jazz score" to 466453. I instantly knew the score, remaining time and the final score of the last two Jazz games.

Of course, it's free too.

You gotta love Google's goal: make available the world's information for free. Of course, if you know what people are searching for you can do a good job of placing targeted ads in front of them and have stock worth over $450 a share.

Anyone who thinks Google is in the search business has their head in the sand. They're in the advertising business. These free services are just two more ways for them to find out what you're looking for and place discreet, relevant ads near your search results. They don't do that now, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it in the future. What restaurant wouldn't want to be at the top of the list when they know there's a customer out actively looking for a place to eat?

Friday, April 20, 2007


A friendly reminder from your local copywriter to please proof-read. Everything. Especially when it's going to be seen on national television.

Photo credit.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

More phenomenon

My left shoe lace came untied again today on my way to work.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A strange phenomenon

Every day my left shoe comes untied. Not my right shoe. My left. Every day.

This happens as I walk from the train to work (note: it does not occur as I walk from work to the train). I don't know why it happens but I have, of course, attempted preemptive measures to secure the lace: I tie it really, really tight.

Then I watch to see if it comes untied.

And it always does.

I would assume the laces were to blame except it only happens on the one foot and I have the original laces on both shoes. Those who know me well enough know I have mutated feet. While not quite as hideous as this chick's feet, I have ugly, oddly-shaped feet which may have something to do with it.

Not sure if my shoe coming untied is particularly blog-worthy, but it's what I noticed on my way into work.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Birthin' classes, part 2 (AKA 7 1/2 Hours of How to Deal With Pain)

OK. I've had a little time to recover. I'm still a little shaken, but I want to get this posted while it's still fresh in my mind. So vividly, graphically, fresh in my mind...

I'll start with some notes I took entitled, 7 1/2 Hours of How to Deal With Pain.

- I just told everyone my wife's favorite craving was a combination of boloney, sauerkraut and bananas. Some people thought it was funny.

- She [the instructor] is now holding up a stuffed animal version of the placenta

- I think "mucus plug" could be the most disgusting term I have ever heard.

- "Breaking of the Waters". The Waters? Is there more than one? Is Moses going to be delivering this baby? Sounds like a lake-side housing development.

- We're looking at step-by-step, bloody pictures of a woman receiving a c-section. I am feeling somewhat grossed out by the imagery. My wife, however, just broke out a granola bar and offered me a bite. Not sure whether to laugh or puke in my mouth.

- The idea of ANYBODY shoving a five inch needle into my wife's spine makes me want to buy a gun and shoot them.

- The whole concept of an epidural makes me sick to my stomach. Despite me sitting in a chair, my knees went weak and I had to fight the urge to walk out of the room.

- Great. Now the instructor is telling a story of a woman who was twisted enough to bring her mucus plug into class in a sandwich bag.

- Most of the information has been beneficial. I have no idea how I'm going to remember it all.

- We have just been informed by our instructor that while 99% of women give birth with a hospital gown on, the chick in the video we're about to watch decided to go without. Then why on earth are you using her for the video??

- Watching the video. My initial thought: thank goodness for computer animation.

- Wait...

- No...

- Yup. That chick looks like a dude from the neck up but is most definitely a chick from the neck down. Goo.

- Ohmygosh.

- *GAG*

- Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! C'mon!!! I did NOT need to see that!

- I just watched Powder being born.

- Great. Now another one.

- I caught a glimpse of a woman crowning. I heard the doctor tell her she could reach down and feel the head if she wanted. "Oh wow. I've never felt anything so warm, soft and fuzzy." You sure you're feeling the head, lady?

- MUST they keep repeating "mucus plug"??

- Swell. Detailed photographs of different nipple problems.

- Oooo...mission flashback: numerous women breast feeding.

- Holy cow. THAT'S a placenta??

- I can't believe Tom Cruise ate one of those things.

- I hate hospitals

Birthin' classes, part 1


Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday 13th

Is bad luck on the horizon today? I missed my train because the doors wouldn't open. They had just closed and I was standing there pushing the button like an idiot but they wouldn't open. I looked down the length of the train and people were still getting on other cars. I looked up desperately at a guy inside who was futilely trying to help.

The train pulled away with me standing on the platform, staring helplessly back at the passengers who I imagined had been rooting for me but could do nothing to help.


Other "bad omens" today:

I desperately need to go over headlines with Ryan but he's not here yet.

I'm recording radio this afternoon but the client is going to be there.

My wife woke up sick this morning.

Anyone else experience weird things happening today?

UPDATE: Ryan came in.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Beatles coming to iTunes? So what?

This article cites two important things pertaining to the Fab Five signing on with iTunes.

1. They just settled a dispute with their label, EMI, which is supposedly the last hurdle to them making the jump to the online realm of music distribution.

2. Who cares? Does anyone not have a Beatles album who wants one? Are The Beatles going to get a larger fan base because someone perusing the iTunes Store might say, "Huh. I've always heard of The Beatles and now that I can buy their songs for a buck each, I might give them a try"?

The Beatles on iTunes? Whoop-de-freakin'-do.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Calling the IRS

Ah, tax season. After all was said and done we owed The Feds. So we sent in a check about three weeks ago but it hasn't cleared.

Somewhat concerned, we called our accountant who is a very nice, retired military guy named Bert.

"Bert!" I cried into the phone. "The Feds haven't taken our money and we're worried that they're going to haul us off to the Big House for tax evasion or some junk. Help us! You're our only hope!" (I admit I felt a bit like Princess Lea when I said that. And I'm not gonna lie, those flowing robes she wears look wicked comfortable.)

Bert, being the good natured accountant he is, told us to call the IRS.
Well that sounds like an adventure.

I called the number and I kid you not, the first thing I hear is a cheery, recorded voice say, "Welcome to the Internal Revenue Service." It was like Hanzel and Grettel hearing, "Welcome to my candy house in woods." Creepy.

After navigating my way through a relatively simple automated system I was put on hold to the melodic tunes of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. But it wasn't the whole suite, just 45 seconds of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. After a few rounds of the ballet it switched to Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacht Musik and played the "chorus" part over and over and over and over again, intermingled with static. Ugh.

Then "Mr. Allen" picked up. Seriously. That's how he introduced himself. "Mr. Allen".

He sounded like he was trying to come across all mysterious or cool, like Mr. Smith on The Matrix. Then again, if I was IRS Customer Support I'd probably need to find ways to entertain myself too. He asked me a few questions and I gave him the same information I'd just typed into the automated system. Then he excused himself to "do some research".

My wife suspected he went to get a donut.

More Mozart and static...

After a few minutes and a half dozen Krispy Kremes later, "Mr. Allen" returned to say that the check hadn't cleared.

Yeah. I know. That's why I'm calling.

Mr. Allen instructed us to watch our account and if it hasn't cleared by the end of the week to send in another check, and make sure it's postmarked by April 17th. So that's what we'll do.

Note: While not overly helpful, my experience with IRS has been better than with Apple's customer service.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Vacation update

After getting Marica's e-mail I decided to take Friday (yesterday) and Monday off since my wife is off work for Spring Break. We've managed to get quite a bit done in the last couple of days, including:

- Temple session.
- Costco trip. We only bought two things that weren't on our list: a pair of shorts and some spinach artichoke dip. We also bought our first box of diapers... $38!!! I still haven't come to grips with the fact that I'm going to be shelling out that kind of cash for something that's primary function is to hold crap.
- D.I. run. I had stuff I'd hanging in the closet since before we were married. Time to go.
- Got a Jamba Juice.
- Dinner party with some friends. Not to brag, but we rocked everyone at Pictionary. When my wife correctly guessed "artificial heart", even though I was drawing it with my eyes closed, I fell in love all over again.
- Beat Call of Duty 2.
- Got a hair cut. Eh.
- Got the nursery arranged properly.
- Enjoyed a wonderful picnic in the park tonight, complete with the artichoke dip, sandwiches, fresh veggies, and a parfait thing for dessert.
- Did some blogging
- Caught up on my reading

So. Yeah. Now you know.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The new copier

The new copier at work kinda freaks me out. I'm man enough to say it how it is: the thing's creepy. That screen sticks up and off to the right, staring at you like the alien space ship in Flight of the Navigator. I can almost hear it as I walk by: "I do not leak, David. YOU leak."


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Digg Star

I noticed early this morning that the Apple Store was down. I checked the site again a few minutes later and lo and behold, they'd released the 8 Core Mac Pros.

Figuring it hadn't been that long between the store being down and my refresh, I quickly submitted the story to Digg. With some careful crafting of the headline, the story has now been dugg to the front page, with over 1,800 diggs. Shoot, at the moment (about 11:00 am) digg is down completely.

I wish this somehow made me cool. Unfortunately, it doesn't. It's a "right time, right place" scenario. However, if anyone out there would like to pay me to digg their stuff, I'd be open to offers.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Through the Agony

I finished The Agony and the Ecstasy last night, the biography of Michaelangelo. SPOILER ALERT: He dies.

It feels good to have a 750+ page book sitting on your night stand, read and slightly tattered from countless commutes and innumerable hours of attention.

It's also a relief because, based on the cover of the book, I'm pretty sure everyone on the train thought I was reading some trashy romance novel. Instead, they'll see me reading the latest issue of WIRED with a semi-naked picture of Jenna Fischer on the cover. Stellar.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

More of Apple's stellar customer service

This weekend I decided to use the gift coupon Apple sent me after the last nightmare I had with them. The coupon was for $100 off a purchase of $300 or more and expired yesterday.

Based on my last experience, I figured it would be wise to get Apple Care for my iMac. If my $1,500+ investment is going to crap out spontaneously, it would be good to have a warranty so it becomes Apple's problem, no? I called up to place my order: Apple Care, a refurbed iPod nano and the remainder of the balance in an iTunes gift certificate so the total would come out to exactly $300. (No need to give Apple more money than necessary, right?)

For some reason, this simple transaction which "should only take five minutes" was apparently so difficult it warranted ended me talking with three customer service reps over the course of two hours, wasting a fair portion of my Saturday afternoon.

And the order still hasn't been placed.

So I get to call them back Monday, see if someone can actually place the order and hope they'll be able to use the now expired coupon.

I'll keep you posted.