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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boy or girl? Vote now.


Friday is the day we go in for the ultrasound and (hopefully) find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. I've already voiced my concerns about having a girl, but here's a quick list of the benefits to each gender as I see them:

BENEFITS TO HAVING A GIRL
  • We'll have our bases covered - at least one of each
  • I'd absolutely melt if I had a little girl
  • Could bring balance to the testosterone that would be flowing through our household in the form of trucks, video games, dirt, etc. (This could also be a con.)
  • If my sons are anything like me, the changes of accidents and serious injury are greatly reduced if it's a girl

BENEFITS TO HAVING A BOY
  • It would be awesome for Jake to have a brother
  • I can call them "my boys"
  • My wife can call the three of us "her boys"
  • Seasonally, Jake's clothes will match perfectly with what The Bun II will need and we'll save a small fortune on clothes that will only be worn maybe four or five times before they're outgrown
  • No frilly stuff
What do you think we're having? Please vote on the poll that's in the upper-right corner of the site. Also, do you see any other pros or cons to having a boy or a girl? Leave word in the comments.

Image courtesy of here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Apparently I'm not all that helpful

I received the following email from a friend last week, which I publish here in abbreviated form and without her permission:

Dear Dave,

My family is going to do a family talent show on Christmas and we have to come up with something to do. Can you guys help us out...? Last time we took traditional Christmas songs and rapped them. It was a hit and we've been asked to try to do it again... PLEASE HELP!!!

Stacie


I replied:

Dear Stacie

I think maybe you should maybe do a dramatic recreation of a scene from Schindler's List. Or maybe a live demonstration about how to pluck a chicken.

Just some thoughts.

Warmest wishes,

David


Stacie replied:

I'm going to email your wife for help now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Advice on being a Secret Santa


If at all possible, avoid routes to the front porch that are covered in crunchy snow and ice. Also, the fewer people making the trek to the porch, the better - I recommend less than three. Try to avoid paths to the door that may be more complicated than necessary. For example, if there is a 30 foot wooden ramp with a 90 degree turn in it that you must go up before even getting to the porch, consider aborting the mission and giving the toys to the neighbors. Or keep them for yourself.

Finally, if you've been volunteered by your commrades to be the one to stay and ring the bell (similar to being the wounded guy in a movie who stays behind to be eaten by the monster in the hopes it will buy his friends enough time to escape), and the porch light turns on before you get a chance to ring the bell, feel free to make as much noise as you want as you book it out of there as fast as you can. It doesn't matter if they hear you; In a matter of seconds they're going to open the door, see the presents, and know someone was there, which is the whole point anyway, right?

Image courtesy of here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Three things that are giving my friend Brett a headache

My friend Brett recently vented about a few things and I happen to agree with many of his sentiments. He said I could repost it here, so I have. Enjoy, and please leave your thoughts in the comments afterward.



The Next Notebook Trend: Cellphone-Like Contract Deals
Yeah, here’s a great idea- lock people into stupid notebook contracts like cell phone companies do so that they end up paying 3 or 4 times what the product is actually worth. The only thing stupider: the people who would actually fall for something like this. No offense, iPhone users, it’s nearly unavoidable in your case.

15% Fat Tax
With “the troubled economy,” state budgets are coming up short. Their solution? Tax the people. Here’s what somebody isn’t understanding: People were not made to support government, rather, government was made to support the people. Remember that whole “by the people, for the people” line?

Who is the biggest, most bloated, grotesquely obese entity on Earth? The U.S. Government. And they want to tax us for being fat?

Instead of penalizing the people because of a desire they have for a certain type of food, government should be cutting ITSELF down to make up for the hard times, not cutting the people down to make up for their own glutenous, fatty, short-sighted spending habits. The government should be doing what American families are doing to weather the hard times—cutting back, re-evaluating programs, canceling cable, re-budgeting and adjusting appetites that sometimes get out-of-hand when times are too good to be true.

How any elected representative can, in good conscience, even throw this idea around in his head for more than 3 seconds is completely beyond me. And the one thing stupider:

North Carolina’s idea of a Mileage Tax
Are elected officials going completely insane? Charging you for every mile you drive? So they want you to pay taxes out of the income you worked for to build the roads, tax you again to buy the car, tax you again every year to own the car, tax you again to buy the gas, and then on top of all that, TAX YOU AGAIN WHEN YOU ACTUALLY DRIVE THE CAR?!

I’m sorry, but when a government has to insert itself to take money from the people at every single exchange and interaction—and it still can’t support itself, it is time for that government to go. And I’m not kidding. I’m blowing a gasket. That’s WITHOUT mentioning that they propose to track the mileage by installing a GPS unit so that they know where, when, and how far you’ve gone? This is like a bad dream.

How long can the American people support what has become an un-manageable, irresponsible, corrupt government who, instead of solving problems, creates them at every turn? I have a headache.

Originally posted here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hot girls rule the world

 "I realize you may have had some concerns before as to whether I should be given my way, but please, let me set your mind at ease about all that: I'm attractive. Matter resolved."- The Onion Editorial Page
In the ridiculously overplayed song, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Jet states the immortal words, "You don't need money when you look like that, do you honey?"

Hot girls rule the world.

Years ago Rob, Ryan and I declared this to be true, and it still is today. Hot girls get whatever they want. Think about it. How many hot girls do you know who don't get whatever they want? Exactly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a diaper to change and dishes to do.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where IS Carmen Sandiego?

Did anyone ever find out?
 Image courtesy of here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FINALLY! A note synchronization app for the iPhone: Note*spark

I've griped about this a number of times to just about anyone who would listen: "Why the #!$& can the iPhone locate my position using a combination of wifi hotspots, cell phone tower triangulation and global positioning satellites, but it can't get notes from my phone to my computer??!"

This morning I checked my RSS feed that shows me each and every iPhone app that's been approved for the App Store and, amidst the dross of apps like iFart and iLuvBling...there it was. Note*spark. Notes. Over the air synchronization. Doesn't require a constant data connection. Web-based app for desktop integration. No Comic Sans font.

Upon reading the description, I couldn't contain myself: "MY DAY HAS COME!" I shouted in my best faux-Sean Conner accent. Two bucks? Not a problem. I'm sure my wife would gladly give me fifty dollars if I'd just shut up about the lack of notes synchronization on my phone. So I signed up for a free account online and downloaded the app and it works perfectly.

Eventually, I'm sure Apple will create to-do and notes syncing with Mail. However,  you'll probably need a MobileMe account to do so ($99/year) and I'm guessing it won't sync online - just to your Mail app. Remember The Milk and Note*spark work perfectly now.

Enough. Go download it and enjoy seamless notes synchronization. Click here to download the app (iTunes link).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Official Rules of Wallball

In case you were wondering, here are the official rules of Wallball, courtesy of FOUND Magazine.

Reading this lead to a lenghty discussion between my wife and I about the very nature of Wallball because we had very different definitions.

I grew up with Wallball being a game played with a rubber ball, similar to those used in playground games like Four Square. Two people played at a time and tried to get the other person "out" by either performing a shot werf's opponent couldn't return, or causing werf's opponent to make a mistake.

Mistakes included Pockets (ball hit exactly where the wall and the sidewalk meet), Rainbows (ball didn't bounce between when it was hit and when it reaches the wall), and Carries (similar to volleyball: you can't carry the ball, it has to be a solid hit).

My wife's version involved a tennis ball and a large group of people playing simultaneously. I don't remember the rest of what she said because 1. it's hard to describe some games if you aren't watching someone play them and 2. the details are always a bit foggy 20 years later.

At this point I must boast a bit and let you all know that in second grade I went through the entire line of kids waiting before I got out. That was probably the greatest day of my life.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Google Reader redesign

 
Google Reader got a major UI tweak this afternoon. Boo-ya. The look feels a lot like Google Docs. It makes me wonder when Gmail is going to follow suit. Then again, they did just announce a slew of new themes.
Speaking of Reader, you can subscribe to this blog by pasting the following in your RSS app of choice: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheOtherDrummer

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogging from Powell's


While certainly not a momentous occasion for most people, let alone those who are reading this, I'm quite happy to be on Burnside in Portland, Oregon at Powell's Bookstore. I have a perfect, street-level window seat, ideal for watching the steady stream of people walking past. And I get to blog a bit. Perfect.

I spent the first half hour or so wandering the different rooms: the Gold Room, the Rose Room, the Blue Room, the Green Room. An entire city block, 68,000 square feet, three stories tall (at places), filled with people looking and learning.

Despite being the largest new & used bookstore in the world (over a million books at this location) it still feels personal. I feel happily curious as I walk through the aisles of books. It's a fantastic environment. It has the feel Barnes & Noble is going for, but can't quite achieve because they're Barnes & Noble.

Today I may be in the market to purchase my first book of poetry. My sister in-law suggests David Kirby. I need to set out to find it because we're headed to dinner at the Marrakesh for dinner - fantastic Moroccan food, five courses, eating everything with your hands. It's places like these that make me want to move back to the Northwest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A space just for you

I could probably spend an entire day looking through people's pictures on Flickr. Not the snapshot, "it was the greatest party in the world" pictures, but those of people who actually know what they're doing with the camera. (If you're interested in becoming addicted yourself, check out Flickr's Explore page and just keep hitting "reload".)

When I see a picture I like I'll usually click over to see other pictures from the same photographer. That's how I found the above shot. From a technical aspect, I'm guessing it's not the greatest photograph in the world. However, as soon as I saw it I thought, "What would I do with this space?

A loft in the city that's all your own - you don't have to share with anyone. It's your personal retreat. What would you put in there? It's a blank canvas and you can make it become anything you want. What would it be?

For example, maybe you love cooking so you would put a nice kitchen with great appliances and lots of counter space. Maybe you have a passion for dancing so you'd install a nice sound system and use the space as a dancefloor. Maybe you're an artist and it would become your studio. Leave word in the comments.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life isn't about finding yourself.

I saw this (sticker?) at the library gift shop and snapped a picture. I like the seniment: don't wait to find something that defines you, but do things to define yourself.

So, what do you want to be?

Monday, November 17, 2008

MotrinMoms? I don't get it.


The blogosphere is all up in arms over the above TV spot for Motrin and it's currently the #1 thing being discussed on Twitter. Now referred to as "MotrinGate" by some, Motrin has officially removed the video from their site and posted an apology note right smack-dab on their homepage (which apparently works best when viewed with Netscape?).

Want to see some of the scathing reviews floating around Twitter? This person has made a NINE MINUTE montage of the criticism (obviously, there's a lot of it).

From an advertising perspective/social media case study, here are a few additional comments:

MCP85: Motrin - classic example of how social media can kill you in a hurry when you screw up!

ChristySeason: #motrinmoms is an excellent case study to help sell the importance of monitoring your brand via social media
 
EllanNews: How’s that for instantaneous feedback on your marketing efforts? Take a deep breath and feel your power, people!
jodifur: the motrin debacle got picked up in the washington post http://tinyurl.com/68cl4o #motrinmom

However, one company's pain is another company's opportunity: baby carrier brand Ellaroo is offering 10% off their carriers if you enter the coupon code "motrin".

As I read through the Tweets and blogs about the subject, people are very clear as to the fact that they're upset, but not as to why they're upset. As a calloused, insensitive man I don't understand the reason for the mommy-rage. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me by leaving a comment?

Online journals vs. blogs

"I've never really found the time to blog, so to sepak. For me blogging isn't about sitting down on a regular basis and dreaming up something to say. It's more about indignation, frustration, pride and beliefs." - Bob Lutz, General Motors

The above quote came from The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, a book I'm reading it as part of an assignment for work. So far, I like it much more than the book I had to read last quarter, Testing Advertising Methods by John Caples. That one made me want to shoot myself in the face. But I digress.

I like what Mr. Lutz (great last name) had to say about blogging, and I believe to a certain extent it defines what makes a good blog. Are you reciting the events of the day or week? Or are you writing about things you have a passion about? Sure, online journals are fine and have their place and serve as a way for people to keep up-to-date on what you're up to.  But I think a distinction could be made between online journals and blogs, with blogs being outlets for "indignation, frustration, pride and beliefs".

Am I overanalyzing this? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Intolerance for tolerance (reblogged)


*Note: I don't know if "reblogged" is the correct term for republishing/linking someone's content because you want it to have a larger audience. But people "retweet" all the time on Twitter, so I figure it's as good a term as any. So... a quote from the blog Political Shorts.

Here are some comments from a gay activist website. Remember, these are from the people that are angry because other people are intolerant.
  • Can someone in CA please go burn down the Mormon temples there, PLEASE. I mean seriously. DO IT."
  • "I'm going to give them something to be f--ing scared of....I'm a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they've done."
  • "Burn their f--ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers."
  • "I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives."
  • "I swear, I'd murder people with my bare hands this morning."
  • "Trust me. I've got a big list of names of mormons and catholics [sic] that were big supporters of Prop 8....As far as mormons and catholics...I warn them to watch their backs."
Some additional points of my own, in addition to the obvious irony:

1. Why would you burn down our temples? Because you can't get married there? The only reason anyone would want to get married there is because they believe in the doctrine of the church. And if you do, then you A. understand why the church has taken the position it has and B. wouldn't want to burn down the temples.

2. As for the threats to individual members of the church - it's nothing new. I dare say that throughout the history of the United States, Mormons have been persecuted much more than homosexuals.

3. I'd love it if there were enough Mormons in California to take credit for the passage of Prop 8, but there were a lot of Catholics (as were mentioned), Baptists, and people of many other faiths and organizations who helped...but thanks for the nod anyway.

4. FYI - It doesn't matter how much you or anybody else protests; the church isn't going to budge. So if it makes you feel better to march around with your signs, be my guest - it's most certainly your right to do so - but it's not going to change anything.

Anyway, jump over and read the full post over at Political Shorts. I especially like his tip at the end about the Polynesian guy.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sick


 The plagues of Egypt have hit our home (minus the locusts and rivers of blood). Hopefully everyone will be feeling better by Monday. Or, preferably, tomorrow.

Image courtesy of here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Interesting poll results (should I drop The Other Drummer name?)

While I figured most people would tell me to get a Facebook account, I'm very surprised that 81 percent of people want me to keep The Other Drummer instead of using my real name as the URL. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me as to why you voted the way you did? Please let me know in the comments - I'm extremely curious.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today, we're all winners: FCC Approves Unlicensed Use Of “White Spaces” Spectrum

 
Think wifi on steroids. Everywhere. This could be a big deal. Read about it here.

Vote!


Today's the day. Or, if you voted early, the last two weeks have been the day. I already didn't vote for Obama or McCain and the whole experience only took 30 minutes. Not too shabby at all. In fact, early reports today say that lines are moving quickly - about 45 minutes from getting in line to leaving the polls.

I share these sentiments from Sarah:
...The poll worker may not even ask you for an ID [seriously disturbing...seriously], the amendments may sound like they were written by a 5th grader with a thesaurus but no dictionary, and you may not even be entirely 100% certain which is the lesser of two evils…but the democratic process–and the promise it holds– is still worth celebrating, worth defending, worth participating in.

Plus, you could probably eat for free all day with the rewards Starbuck’s, Krispy Kreme, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and Ben & Jerry’s are offering for that little red “I voted” sticker.
So get out there and vote. And if you have any last minute questions, they can most likely be answered at LeaveYourPrint.com (voting location, candidates and issues on your ballot, etc.) And I've added a poll about the polls in the upper right corner. So cast your vote again up there and then tell me why in the comments below.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Another Bun in the oven


Yup. We're expecting again. Due at the end of May.

P.S. No, I will not be putting the widget back up.

Why I didn't vote for Obama

Allow me to preface this post: this is going to be extremely personal and emotional. It will touch deeply on my personal beliefs as well as my political stance on some sensitive issues. While I will cite doctrine from my church, which I testify is true, the conclusions I come to about those doctrines are my own, not necessarily those of the Church.
"I don't want to vote for McCain and I won't vote for Obama." That's the little phrase I've come up with to explain my feelings about this election. I'm not happy with either candidate.

That being said, Obama is probably the walking definition of charismatic. When I've listened to some of his speeches I admit do feel inspired and feel like he would be an excellent leader. Despite these things, I still wouldn't vote for Obama. Here's why:

Obama supports not only abortion, but partial-birth abortion. In fact, he even made a speech in favor of post-birth "abortion". (You can read his full speech in chapter 10 of The Case Against Barack Obama by David Freddoso.)

Obama also wants to redefine the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and voted against a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Now, one might ask why I put so much emphasis on these two topics when there are other very important things to consider including the war in Iraq, health care, energy issues, the economy, etc.. It's because of The Family: A Proclamation to the World which was given by God through his prophet. I hold it in the same reverence as I do the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other scripture.

In the Proclamation it states (in part - see the above link for the full document):
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children....
We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
Note that it doesn't say high taxes, outrageous government spending, wars, or lack of health care will bring upon us calamities. The disintegration of the family will. I don't consider those idle words, nor do I think they're figurative.

Which candidate "promotes [the] measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society"? It's not Obama. And while that's not the only factor to consider when casting your vote, I believe it's the most important.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meat. Lots of meat.


I think this was the largest steak I'd ever seen. Supposedly, it was 18 oz (net weight before cooking). Ha. There's probably two pounds of meat there.

I was pleased with how much of it I ate.


That is all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I voted

I voted in my first presidential election and I must say it feels good to have gone out and performed my civic duty. Of course, that last statement should be qualified with the fact that I didn't vote for either McCain or Obama.

In fact, I didn't vote for any of the people on the ballot.

I voted for Jeremy Williams, the IT guy at work.


Not only do I think Jeremy would do a fantastic job as Commander in Chief, I'm betting that if he got elected he'd hook me up with some kind of sweet advisory position in his cabinet and would give me a tour of Air Force One.

But the real reason I voted for Jeremy is because I wasn't satisfied with either candidate. I really felt that the situation was between the lesser of two evils so I decided not to vote for either of them.

Obama seems to want to bring the country so much closer to socialism I can hardly believe it and I don't support his views on a number of issues (more on this later). On the other hand, I think he would be an excellent leader. He is very charismatic and I believe would have the capabability to inspire people to participate more in their communities.

McCain seems to be about as out of touch as you can get. The guy doesn't even know how to check his email, a "skill" which I believe the leader of our country and most of the free world, should possess. His complete lack of understanding of technology is startling considering how much of our economy, military, country and day-to-day lives rely on it.

While I tend to agree with him on more issues than Obama, I still have too many reservations to give him my vote. And his age plays a role in my decision not to vote for him. President isn't exactly easy on the body (or mind), and I don't know how he'd withstand the pressures of office. That mans Palin would be in charge of things and I don't think she has the experience to do it.

So that leaves Jeremy.

I encourage you to write-in Jeremy Todd Williams for president.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vote early


Tomorrow is the last day to vote early, so plan on a long lunch and get to the polls. You can find your polling location and see exactly what's going to be on your ballot (with links to the candidates and issues) at LeaveYourPrint.com. It's nice to be able to ignore all the billboards and lawn signs and only see the stuff that's relevant to you. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One of the more ghetto parade floats I've ever seen



Saw this beaut' while at the Labor Day parade in Evanston, Wyoming. Quality.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I need some suggestions (crowdsourcing Halloween)


OK. I do precious little around my house. Really, I come home from work, kiss my wife and son hello and then sit down and play Xbox until it's time to eat dinner. Then my wife does the dishes, I lock my son in his room and continue to play Xbox until it's time for his bedtime where I am interrupted again by having to kiss him goodnight.

So when you realize one of my few responsibilities is to be in charge of Jake's Halloween costume, you'd think I could handle it, right? Nope. I can't think of anything remotely interesting.

So I thought I'd ask everyone what they think my son should be for Halloween. Let me know in the comments. If I don't get any good suggestions it's probably going to end up similar to the above pictured costume which will scar my son for life.

Don't corrupt such an innocent mind. Leave a suggestion in the comments for a better Halloween costume.

Image grotesquely provided from here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Verizon backs down - no rate hike coming

 See my original post here. Verizon has decided not to impose the 300% rate hike on text messages sent from short codes. Woo-hoo! According to one article it was because of the strongly worded e-mail I sent to Verizon Wireless's CEO (and other public outcries). Kudos Verizon. Here's hoping it's a permanent decision.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I may give into peer pressure

Great. Here we go again. It's 11:15 pm and I'm supposed to be in bed but I had a random thought while brushing my teeth.

Most people who know me would probably consider me a tech-savvy/nerdy guy. While I don't know how to program anything, nor do I speak Klingon, Elvish, or any other fiction-based language, I enjoy keeping tabs on what's going on in the world of tech and participating in my own, limited way. Yes, I probably know enough about Star Wars to be considered a complete geek to the average person. Sure, I've had more cell phones in the last seven years than most people will have in their entire lives. So you'd think that I of all people, I would have a MySpace and/or Facebook account. After all, it's how hundreds of millions of my peers function online and off.

But I don't. And that's on purpose. (I shared my feelings about social networks here.)

Up until now.

Here's the thought I had while I was brushing my teeth: why don't I create a Facebook account to tell people I'm not using Facebook.

Weird, I know. But bear with me.

One reason I don't like sites like Facebook is, if I understand it correctly, people login to Facebook and leave me a public message. I then get an e-mail telling me that I have a public message, so I login to Facebook to see what it is. OR YOU COULD E-MAIL ME. (This is similar to the problem I have with Basecamp, but I'll save that for another time.)

So instead of corresponding with people through Facebook, why not use Facebook to tell people the channels I do use to communicate? I picture an empty page with nothing but links to my Twitter feed, this blog, and maybe an e-mail address.

Despite this minty epiphany, I have my reservations:

1. I'm really stubborn about certain things, and getting a Facebook account is one of them. Even if I don't use it, the fact that I have one wouldn't settle well with me. I kind of enjoy not doing certain things everyone else is doing. I know it sounds a bit backward, but it's true. It's why I've never had a Coke and it's why I'm perfectly happy hating potato chips and french fries, thank you very much.

2. My real name and personal information would be linked to this site. Now, most of you know me and I don't think it would take a rocket scientist to probably find out everything about me online. While I've been contemplating dropping The Other Drummer moniker and just using my full name as the title of the blog (and the URL), I haven't decided to make the jump yet.

What are your thoughts on the subject(s)? Two polls have been posted in the upper-right corner. Have at it. Or, if you feel like waxing poetic, leave some prose in the comments.

C...V...B...N...M...


I wonder what happens when you hit the "N" key.

Courtesy of Engadget.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The status of my 10 fetuses

Apparently my virtual uterus requires more nourishment than the Internet is able to provide. Sad. (But not really, because I hate that widget.)

I'm curious: in general, do you like seeing the virtual uterus widget on people's blogs? Let me know in the survey in the upper-right corner of the site.

Verizon Wireless triples SMS charges for mobile marketers



In addition to raising their text messaging rates 100% in the last year (along with everyone else in the industry), Verizon Wireless has now taken upon itself to triple the charge it imposes on sites that allow subscribers to receive SMS notifications to 3 cents per text.

For example, you pay $20 per month for unlimited text messaging. So you sign up for CNN to send you a text message any time there is breaking news. Starting in November, Verizon will charge CNN 3 cents for each message they send out, despite the fact that the consumer is already paying for the text message.

This double-dipping on Verizon's part not only comes across as greedy (it costs virtually nothing to send a text message - they were making a profit when they only charged less than a penny per text) but it stifles innovation. Sites like Twitter, Remember The Milk, Celllfire, and others may have to either close up shop or severely limit their functionality if Verizon insists on charging the fee.

I decided to be proactive and sent an e-mail to Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam telling him basically what I said here: it's greedy and it stifles innovation. I haven't heard back from him.

Maybe I should have also mentioned how they're delusional for wanting to be content providers instead of "dumb pipes" for giving people access to information. Verizon, when it comes to creating content it's you verses the Internet. And I think the Internet is going to win.

For more reading on the text messaging rate hike, hit up this link.

Logo courtesy of here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Morning routine


I usually use my iPhone.

Courtesy of here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A petition


Just last week it was in the mid-80's (nice summer temps, but entirely too warm for October). In Utah it seems like we have about six months of winter, four months of summer, six weeks of spring and about two weeks of Fall.

I consider this a travesty, as Fall is my favorite season.

So I am starting an online petition to have Fall last longer. Tell your friends.

When I get enough signatures I'm going to send the petition to President Bush because, as it appears, he is solely responsible for everything wrong in the world.

So leave a comment about why you love Fall and we'll get this crazy world we live in set straight.

Image courtesy of here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I received an interesting comment

Yesterday I received a new comment on a post I wrote back in December entitled, "If you could make a million dollars a year doing anything, what would it be?" In response to that question, a person named Gary left the following:

I would enjoy being a personal companion to anyone in need of having the company of someone who is selfless, highly intelligent, and close to the Source of all there is now, was or will ever be. The gifts I can bestow upon another far exceed what is anything commonly known by mankind, given the other person's ability to free their mind and open up to new realms of thought and being.

Gifts that far exceed anything commonly known by mankind? That sounds worthy of a sign-up sheet! So I put it to you, dear readers...who would like to sign up for Gary's companionship, should he ever start earning a seven-figure income? First come, first served. Leave word in the comments.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A dream come true


Well, kind of a dream come true. I was hoping they were doing hand-scooped ice cream on top of donut. Doesn't a scoop of really good strawberry ice cream on top of a warm, glazed Krispy Kreme donut sound good? Or am I just weird like that? Instead, they're adding soft-serve and a topping bar. Hmmm... not convinced that's going to do the trick, but heres hopin'.

See the story here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

UPDATED: In case you were wondering, I could survive 1 min 19 seconds

I could survive for 1 minute, 19 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

I dunno. I'm curious as to their methodology - I think I could last longer.

Jump over, take the test, and come back and leave word in the comments about how long you'd last.

UPDATE: I showed this to some friends at work and we had quite the in-depth discussion about the finer points of being chained to the bed with a velociraptor. Seriously, the discussion lasted about 15 minutes and covered important topics such as:

  • Who can't jump more than a foot? (Complete with a demonstration by Gary)
  • A better use of the severed arm would be to use it as bait, or to distract it from eating the parts of you that are still attached.
  • The idea of getting the raptor to chase you around the bed until it was wound up so tight it couldn't attack you anymore was brought up, but quickly dismissed because then you'd be wrapped up around the bed too.
  • Who could get a raptor chained to a bed in the first place?
  • Punching a raptor in the mouth is a dumb idea.
  • Which location on/around the bed is most advantageous?
  • Why would you allow yourself to be chained to a bed with a velociraptor in the first place?
  • Running away from dangerous animals is not the same thing as fighting them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Craig Ferguson on the media, politics and our duty

I particularly like his comments on how the media is handling things. Be sure and watch it to the end.

It's a shame we can't use clips from this in our "get out and vote" campaign.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gov. Palin and Sen. Clinton on SNL

You may have seen it already, but Tina Fey does a great job as Palin and I must say that they seemed to bash on both women equally. Well done!

The 5k Marathon


Last Saturday I ran a 5k marathon. See above picture of me crossing the finish line. For those of you who aren't familiar with 5k marathons, it's a 5k for people who haven't trained at all, so it feels like they've just run a marathon.

Considering I used to adamantly hate running, I'm pretty happy with the fact that I did it voluntarily. I'm also pleased that I 1. finished and 2. ran the entire distance.

Yeah. That's about it.

Photo courtesy of here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Magnetic curtain

I think this is pretty cool.


See more shots here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Microsoft's second ad is out, and it's better

 The second ad in the Seinfeld/Gates/Windows campaign launched last night and hit the intertubes shortly after. I must say I like this one better. It's funnier and ties in better (although still loosely) to the actual product they're promoting. Check the ads out here.

Note: It looks like Microsoft is using Flash to run the ads instead of Silverlight, despite the "Get Silverlight" link next to the video. See below.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld aren't gay

Boy oh boy. People sure are reading a lot into Microsoft's new ad. I've heard everything from the phallic nature of the churro and the implication of two men shoe shopping with leather references to outcast minorities.

It's not a typical commercial. It's 90 seconds and doesn't mention the product until the last four seconds. The rest of it is filled with...nothing. And that's the point. Kind of.

What was Seinfeld all about? It was a show about nothing. Bill Gates is shopping at the "Quality shoes at discount prices store" not as some allegory to say that a Windows machine is less expensive than the Mac, but because it's funny that the richest man in the world is shopping for shoes at a discount store in the mall.

It's also funny that Jerry, also very wealthy, knows exactly which kind of shoes are available and their different qualities.

When Jerry is sizing Bill's feet and asks if what he's feeling is Bill's toe, Bill responds. "No. It's pleather." It's a joke. Get it? It actually sounds like something my sister in-law would say. Bonus: Bill isn't even buying real leather shoes.

I don't think the Hispanic folks who are looking in the store window are a symbol of the outcast people in third world countries who don't even recognize these famous, rich people shopping inside. I think it was a random clip to stick in to break up the shots in the shoe store.

I don't think Bill holding up his platinum membership card to the shoe store to earn "big top points" is symbolic of how Microsoft rewards its customers. I think it was a chance to work a joke in, as well as a more subtle bonus joke: the picture on the card is Gates' mug shot when he was arrested for speeding in New Mexico.

I understand, to a certain extent, why people are digging so deep to find meaning in the commercial because it doesn't talk about Windows at all. But the homo-erotic and/or Microsoft/discount shoe store symbolism people are trying to establish is simply ridiculous.

By itself, the ad doesn't work, no matter how deep you look at it. The additional spots in the campaign will shed some light on the direction they're taking and will tie it all together. In the meantime, take it for what it is: a quirky, somewhat entertaining spot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google is getting creepy

So as if Google didn't know enough about you, it now has the capability of recognizing faces in your Picasa albums. (For those of you who don't know what Picasa is, it's Google's version of Flickr, which is a popular online photo storage and sharing service.)

Draw a little box around a face and Google will analyze all your photos and find the ones that person is also in. You can then label all those pictures for easy reference later. So, for example, I'd highlight my mom's face in one image and Google finds the rest of the pictures I've taken of my mom. I label them all "Mom" and even link the picture to my contacts in Gmail.

So, yeah. Google now has pictures and contact information for everyone in your photo albums.

What are your thoughts on this?

Generation gap


My parents watch 22 minutes of the evening news to get to the weather forecast.

I open my laptop and hit "F12".

Just an observation.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Support the The Fake Diddy Private Jet Fuel Fund


That's it. It's officially gone too far. Diddy had to retire his private jet and fly on a commercial airline. Via CNN:

"I'm actually flying commercial.... This is really happening, proof gas prices are too high. Tell whoever the next president is we need to bring gas prices down."

I feel you Diddy, and I'm on it. I'm going to write a very strongly worded letter to the next president informing him that he needs to bring down gas prices so you can get back to flying in your private jet.

Seriously, having to fly first class when you're used to flying private is an outrage, especially for a person of your stature who is doing so much good in the world by promoting good values and lifting people's spirits.

And because of that, I've decided to set up a special fund called The Fake Diddy Private Jet Fuel Fund. All donations made to the fund may find their way to Diddy to ensure this travesty concerning his travel arrangements is ended as soon as possible. I know you have many other worthy organizations asking for your time and money, but please consider the following: starving kids in Africa don't know any different, whereas Diddy knows what he's missing out on. So, please, click the "donate" link below and give as much as you can.

SUPPORT THE CAUSE








Images courtesy of here and here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The breastfeeders are back

They're back. And this time they've set up shop for good. The library is the new home of the Breastfeeding Cafe. I didn't spend too much time looking in the "cafe" for obvious reasons, although I did notice there are a few Lay-Z-Boys in there.

I guess the idea behind the place is that those who want to breastfeed their kids can have a place to do so. Kind of like the Mother's Room in our church buildings.

Of course, the chairs in the Mother's Rooms aren't facing big glass doors which open to a public walkway.

I'm half tempted to walk in and innocently ask for an Italian soda and a croissant, but I don't know how well that would go over.

So you ladies out there... would you use a facility like the Breastfeeding Cafe? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The hazards of golfing at high elevation

Proof that inflation is out of control, or I need to find a new job


The other day I'm driving home and there was a little girl on the side of the road standing behind a card table with a sign hanging off the front which read, "Lemonade Kool-Aid 25 cents." Smiling, I remembered back to summers when I was a kid and tried the same venture, so I pulled over, rolled down my window and said, "One cup please."

The cute little girl smiled at me showing off a full set of braces. As she poured my glass I fished around for a quarter. As I looked up, she was holding out what looked like an incredibly small cup. I was a bit taken aback. It was tiny. It was one of the little Dixie cups kids keep near the sink to use while brushing their teeth. It was this size (see below), but not this cool because it didn't even have a TIE fighter on it.


I handed her the quarter and thanked her. Then I looked in the cup. It was only half full. The little girl skipped happily back to her table waiting for her next customer/victim.

I took my 1/16 gulp of sugary water and pondered my transaction.

After doing a little research, I found that the cup size she used was 3 oz. Filling it only half full meant she sold me 1.5 oz of Kool-Aid for 25 cents. If I'm doing the math right, that means the retail/street value of a pitcher of Kool-Aid is a little over $11, or $5.50 per liter.

Since we Americans don't do the whole metric thing, let me put it in more general terms:

THIS LITTLE GIRL WAS SELLING KOOL-AID AT MORE THAN $20 PER GALLON.

Her overhead: nothing - she probably stole everything from her mom.

And she doesn't pay taxes.

I think I'm in the wrong business.




Stand image courtesy of here.
Cup image couresy of here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seriously, so blessed!

If you haven't seen it yet, Seriously, So Blessed! is a brilliant parody site, written by an unknown author, from the point of view of a young married woman living in Utah, Tiffany/Amber/Megan/Nicole (take your pick) who is married to JJWT (Jordan/Jason/Wes/Taylor) and life is, like, so good.

JJWT is going to law/dental/business/medical school and TAMN has her degree in hair dressing/teaching 2nd grade. The blog is about their perfect life being so busy doing all sorts of (self) righteous, Utah things.

Their marriage couldn't be happier. In fact, nothing goes wrong in her life. And if you want a perfect life, start with the perfect man. Here are her tips for you ladies out there who are looking to meet your own JJWT:

  • Avoid wearing sweats, BUT, if you're gonna wear sweats, MAKE SURE there is something sassy written on your bottom. 
  • TEXT IN CHURCH. This will make you look even cuter and way less boring...if you can do this with tonz of gum, EVEN CUTER!
  • Do NOT get a short haircut and/or make your hair one color (BOAR-RING!). Long and multi-colored is your best bet (but, don't bet, it's practically porn).
  • WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GO TO MORE SCHOOL, unless you want people to start calling you Yawnette. Think about it! Serious! How often do guys whistle and yell "Nice degree!" or shake there heads and say "What adorable knowledge"? EXACTLY.

    Some other choice quotes:

    In reference to being grateful for the Pioneers on the 24th of July: "If it weren't for them, we wouldn't even HAVE a Gateway!"

    And..."It’s so fun to just go up to my family’s cabin and look at the things that make up our beautiful world and feel so greatful. Love just looking at nature at night while I sit in the hot tub with a 44 ouncer of Diet Coke (bad I know, I’m off it now), and my cute pink ipod blaring, and just BEING with nature, soaking it up til I get pruney."

    Brilliant. Anyway, great site. Check it out, and start from the beginning.

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Do not disturb

    On vacation (see above).

    Image courtesy of here.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Apple on fire - literally


     Oh, snap! Apple's R&D department went up in flames late last night, triggering a three alarm fire. Heads are gonna roll. Rumor has it that Macworld, which is normally held in January, will be pushed off until July 2011. Also, reports are coming in that Steve Ballmer, or someone who greatly resembled him, was seen fleeing from the scene, laughing manically.

    Either that, or Apple got a taste of its own medicine with regard to its laptops.