Monday, September 29

Yes, I've Changed The Layout

It was getting a bit cramped on that other layout; this layout goes all the way across the page.

So it may look a bit "off" for the next day or so - bear with me while I work out the kinks and tweaks.

[Tuesday Update: That should about do it for changing the layout - any comments?]

[It's now Wednesday Morning, and Marilee does not like the new layout. "Too plain" "Loads faster" "Too plain" "Loads faster"...

"Tastes great" "Less filling"]

Winter's Next

Visually, Autumn has begun.

Physically, Fall has not.

Thursday, September 25

The Future Of The Republican Party?

I have a friend who is a Naturalized Citizen of the United States of America. After living here for some time, he decided to become a US citizen if only to vote against George Bush (the first one).

I just saw this today and hope he votes Obama:

Watch CBS Videos Online

Wednesday, September 24

Timing Is Everything

Tonight, in a move similar to the Heidi Game of 1968, ABC television was under the impression that everyone who would be watching Dancing With The Stars would just quietly wait until after President's cop-out bail-out speech to watch what they really wanted to see afterwards.

Yeah, riiiight.

Well, it didn't work out that way. You see, Marilee used the TiVo to record DWTS so as to watch something else. And not surprisingly, it was a different episode of DWTS that she/we were watching. TiVo's great in that regard. Unfortunately, we didn't realize the second episode was pre-empted by the President's speech until long after the completion of the episode.

In a ten-second blurb, ABC mentioned just before the speech that in the Pacific time zone DWTS would be shown in its entirety at 8pm Pacific Time, whereas those of us in the Mountain states would see the show directly afterwards. Since the TiVo was only going to record an hour's worth of time, that meant the last fifteen minutes of DWTS would be cut off. And it was.

I bet there are more than a few folks out there in the vast wasteland who are in the same boat as we are.

I just hope they replay it in the next day or so.

Blame the economy on this one.

How To Torment A Telemarketer With One Word

Tuesday, September 23

Bracher Emden Is On Acid

Marilee and I were (emphasis on were) watching HSN tonight and, while I try to stay out of fashionable or not discussions, the $300 travesty that was on-creen made me blurt out "NO".

Her reaction was right on key - she agreed.

After seeing what was being passed off as fashion, I just had to go out to HSN's website and see what else this guy had created.


Guys, do yourself a favor and ask your significant other what she likes. And pray she doesn't want any of this stuff.

Monday, September 22

But Whose Legacy Will It Be? [Part Three]

So it has been said recently that the reason the raccoons are being allowed to come to such a horrible demise is that raccoons are "...nonnative animals that feed on migratory birds by the lake", said Phil Douglass, northern Utah conservation-outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "An entire nesting colony of white-faced ibises fell prey west of Layton two years ago", he said. "In fact, state trappers try to thin raccoons in the area. The omnivores routinely kill more than they can eat." [adapted from the Trib's web site, September 16]

So a raccoon is a non-native creature according to Wildlife Resources. We as humans build crap smack in the middle of migratory routes for other animals and give those animals the right of way. Yet raccoons are considered as not being native to Utah and are dealt with accordingly.

Funny thing, that. Until 1847, weren't we non-native as well?

For raccoons, this isn't the place?

Sunday, September 21

Some Things I'd Rather Not Know

I'm helping Marilee write a report for sch... sorry, work today. It is, after all, homework, but for work.

Since she works in the insurance industry, and further, in the medical coding part of that field, on occasion she needs to do work having to do with procedures that would make the average person squeamish. Myself included. She'll even occasionally watch medical shows on the TiVo, and I'd rather not watch those, either.

So how do I, someone who's more well-versed in things technological, help someone with a project that's quite a bit more organic?

I'm the middle-man, that's how. If anything, I know how to search for stuff. I may not know what I'm searching for, but it's up to Marilee to say "How the hell did you find that so fast?!?"

That, and I know how to put words together that would otherwise turn into a run-on sentence of gargantuan proportions. How, for example, to put two medical procedures with god-awful sounding names together so as to not refer the typist to the Department of Redundancy Department? For example:

"The difference between [Procedure A] and [Procedure B] relies on whether the [medical term] matter stays in the [medical term] or not. In the former, it stays in the [medical term], and in the latter, it is expelled."

Sort of a Mad Libs exercise, but in much grosser terms.

Hope she gets an A.

Saturday, September 20

Grand, Just Grand

OK, so I'm an idiot. Both front tires on the Grand Am ended up being low, not just the right-front, but alas, there was no slow leak in either, either.

The big question is, though, how exactly does it take an hour-and-a-half to check for a slow leak? The answer to that, of course, is that they need the extra time to find something else that you absolutely have to have fixed.

I should have left with just paying thirteen dollars to let them fill the front tires. But no, I let them talk me into shelling out another $660 for new struts all around. The good news is that the thing rides just as well as it did before I went in.

Honestly, though, the ride was a bit better, of course, because there was much less weight in my wallet.

[Just kidding. I read the above to Marilee and she did not laugh.]

Rodeo Circus

For the last several weeks, either because I was working late hours, or on call in general, or sick, a certain vehicle in our possession has gone unused due to a slow leak in its right-front tire, and I/we haven't made it over to Les Schwab. Yet.

That would be Marilee's Grand Am. Let me repeat that: Marilee's Grand Am.

In the interim, the only mode of transportation that's been used for general travel is my Isuzu Rodeo. Let me repeat that: Bob's Isuzu Rodeo.

Otherwise, I drive the work-provided Chevy Silverado with the "unknown" logo.

So Marilee has been driving the Rodeo to work while the Grand Am's been sitting idle. Again, Marilee's been driving Bob's Rodeo.

Last week, while taking Taylor to school, I noticed something that made me begin to wonder if the Rodeo would ever be the same again. The following picture says volumes:

Sure, that's my bluetooth headset on the right, there's even a memory DIMM on the console.

But what are those things wrapped around the gear shift?


Thursday, September 18

But Whose Legacy Will It Be? [Part Two]

More on the Legacy raccoons - don't think for a minute that UDOT couldn't have done anything about the earthbound wildlife. Wildlife underpasses have worked in other areas. Take a look at what North Carolina did along their State Highway 64.

That article says they worked the overpasses into the construction of the highway. Now don't you dare tell me that UDOT couldn't have done that too.

But just watch. They'll say it was an oversight, that yes, they should have designed it in, and they'll have to rip up what they've already done, thus spending more of our highway dollars, ad nauseum.

Just wait.

Wednesday, September 17

But Whose Legacy Will It Be? [Part One]

I've been hemming and hawing about whether or not to do this entry for the last few months. But after hearing what's happening along the new Legacy Parkway, I felt I had to make a comment.

Sure, so far the thing looks like it is doing what the State of Utah said it would do - relieve the congestion on I-15. Though I don't drive I-15 up through Davis and Weber counties all that often, it's typically when I have only a few short hours to be on a service call up that way. But from what I've heard from Dave "at work", it's wonderful.

But back to what's happened since the thing opened over the weekend. Seems Legacy's route takes it across "protected" wildlife refuges, and the tree-huggers were all up in arms over that. As well they should be. Legacy goes through prime waterfowl land. The Great Salt Lake is, after all, a great resting place for avian creatures to take a much needed rest from wherever it is they're flying from/to.

But apparently, no one - the environmentalists maybe - didn't think about the earth-bound creatures in and around the route. Particularly the raccoons in the area.

The local news said this morning that one commuter saw eight dead raccoons on the side of the road on his way in to the city - roadkill in other words - and another twelve on his way home.

Tuesday, September 16

Familiar Yet Not

OK, I admit it. I haven't really been paying (much) attention to the presidential races. Beyond the obvious - what was McCain thinking, for example. But think about this:

[Partial bs follows]

When the RNC happened, McCain had just presented Sarah Plain and Tall. At that moment, there were five people who had been bandied about by the media in the last several months, regarding our next president - Clinton, Obama, Biden, McCain, and now Palin. Five. Five? That rings a bell...

The Keating Five. Look it up.

Our Economy Isn't Screwed Up

Zimbabwe's is, tho.

Found this image on someone else's rant blog:

I guess in other words, be happy here in the States.

I'm not WoWed by this

Chris referred to him as a "little punk". I thought of a better word, but I'll be nice in case someone out there has sensitive ears.

Seems the LP has been altering his World of Warcraft account password unbeknownst to Marilee or I (yes, unbeknownst is a word). And also, apparently, the parental controls password as well. Thankfully, the account itself is held by Chris, and LP can't change that.

Methinks someone's hard drive is going to crash. Soon...

Sunday, September 14

Two All-Nighters

Yes, again, a work-related theme.

Emergency installs at two separate stores. First in Layton, the second in Logan. And one of them likely made me sick. Really sick.

I could go on about how a sub-contractor can "get away with" not showing up for an install, thus making it an emergency, thus putting the burden on the guy who is on call - namely me - but I won't. But what I can go on about is how some people don't have a clue about what such emergencies can do to the human body. And not just sleep deprivation.

For the first install, it was very last minute. I knew it could happen that the install could be dropped in my lap, but they waited until after the install should have commenced to tell me.

The second one gave me more warning, but I again didn't get the go ahead until about four hours beforehand. That, and it was going to be a three hour round trip. No time to get much sleep if at all.

So on the second call, I got an hour of sleep. Got up to Logan at 9:15pm. Worked through the night. Got home at 6am. If there's one thing I can remember from the evening's activities, I recall getting rather cold on the way home. Heater up to full. Then it happened. This wave of cold - really cold - washed over me. Didn't do my addition until the next day...

These kinds of installs allow for you to work through the night and take the next day off. Didn't feel too bad, though I just slept most of the day. I usually can't sleep during the day, but for some strange reason Friday I could. And woke up to a splitting headache, sniffles, and a scratchy throat. Didn't put two-and-two together until I mentioned it to Marilee. She said I probably picked up a bug sometime in the last couple days, and my tired state allowed whatever it is to attack.

Went to bed last night with a 101-degree temperature. And NyQuil. This morning I'm down to 99.5 or so. Short bug, but it has done its damage. Hacking, snotty, aches, runs the gamut.

And a busy week ahead, what with a new contract starting. Oh joy.

Friday, September 12

Stop Being Such A (Soda) Jerk

After I wrote the brilliantly stimulating prose regarding bathroom tokens of a few days ago, I just had to send my cousin the link. In a reply email, I had to laugh. And heard my Dad laughing in reply.

In fact, there have been times when I've been around my cousins and aunt when they'll say I even laugh like my Dad.

Same - Exact - Intonation.

So in her reply, she told me about the version she'd heard from her dad, but instead of paying a nickel, it was a bit more graphic. And I won't share that, uh, BM word here.

And a comment about my Old Man Talk.

She said "Yeah, and no one says fountain drinks anymore!"

Pretty much cemented the fact that I am my father's son.

Didn't see that coming.

Tuesday, September 9

Highly Magnified Fail

Got a letter in the mail yesterday from the school district. Seems some improvement is needed at Taylorsville High. The letter. from the school principal, says the athletic fields are in need of major improvements. To the tune of a hundred grand. That's $100,000 for those of you who "do numbers."

Back in the day, that'd be a whole new stadium. And though I have not perused said field or grounds, I can think of a few other areas that the money could be better spent.

Taylor - our Taylor, not the school - told me this morning that Monday's Biology Class was boring.

"How so?"

"We were using microscopes to look an an 'e'. Could have been an upside-down '6'. Not sure."

My mind's eye started wondering what sort of single-celled creature would be of that shape.

"We also looked at cotton."
"And a magazine."

"A biology magazine?"

"No, just some dumb magazine. And nothing was moving."

This was getting interesting, but not of the scientific nature.

"Was the 'e' shaped cell dead?"

"No, it was just an 'e'."

So from this I surmise that this Biology class is more suited for those who are going into the printer repair field so as to check for background scatter from a laser printer.

Seems to me that athletics is the least of Taylorsville High's problems.

Monday, September 8

Try R New Sandwich

OK, I'm not going to make this a plug for

...but there are times when I just shudder to think what has become of the English language lately.

The title of this entry is a paraphrased sample of a sign I saw today. There's only one company that has ever gotten away with using an R for another word.

And it ain't

It's getting a bit late, and I want to get to bed by a decent R.

Blind Sighted

On the way home from a service call in Magna late this afternoon, I was rather unlucky to get behind a brand-new 2008 Chevy Impala police car. I actually wish I had been in front of the car - it would have been far less painful.

Now I don't know who specified this particular car for the West Valley Police Department, but they should have their collective heads examined.You can't really tell from the above photo, but that strip between the backup lights is shiny chrome-like plastic. Driving east along 3500 South with the setting sun reflecting off that strip, honestly, it's like a bolt of light that pierces right through you, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark.

While I won't say you really need to experience this for yourself - I'd rather not hear anything from a law firm, thank you very much - but just maybe someone from WVC's motor pool or similar will see this.

Sunday, September 7

THIS is bs

Not the brilliantly stimulating sort.

Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic. At sixty-five miles per gallon, I want one of these.

I cannot have one of these. It runs on diesel.

What's wrong with these people?

Saturday, September 6

Bob 'n' Bambi

This morning, Bambi was in a major funk since no-one was paying attention to her. Pouting, in other words.

Marilee was preparing for the CAWS party, I was off doing errands for her, and Bambi was here on the back of the couch. Got back, grabbed the camera and got the following.

Priceless Olympus magic.

Taken with Olympus C5050Z, f4.0, 1/30 sec. w/flash. Your mileage may vary.

Crossroads of the West

This afternoon:

It's cold up there.

A Token for your Thoughts

Last night, after spending an evening at a friend's house, Marilee said she needed a fountain drink, so we decided on stopping at a McDonald's. Specifically the one on 5th South in downtown Salt Lake City.

Stopping off at this restaurant afforded me something else - a restroom.

Put plainly, I needed to whiz. Soon.

Upon entering the famed billions served establishment, the damn restroom door wouldn't open. There, near the edge of the door, there was a locking mechanism. WTF?

I'd seen these things in the past, waaaay in the past, around the '60s. And my dad'd mentioned them in a variant of Old Man Talk thusly:

"Here I sit
Broken hearted
Paid a nickel
Only farted."

Since my Dad was born in 1910, I have no idea, decade-wise, when the saying originated - but I can guess that whenever it was, a nickel really meant something.

[Interesting afterthought to this entry - Nik-O-Lock started in 1910, and judging by the name, started out using nickels!]

Since this particular McDonald's is in a part of town frequented by, uh, transients, I'm sure this aforementioned pay device is there for a very good reason.

If you want to use the restroom, you need to buy something. Fountain drinks, ironically, came under that heading. So after embarrassingly asking for a token, I was able to do my business, but not before shooing away the urchin children huddled around the restroom door who weren't tall enough to read the text on the lock.

Upon exiting the restroom, there stood the kids. Turning tail and running towards their mother, they actually said "The door opened!".


Thursday, September 4

On Google Chrome

Chris was over last night and asked if I had seen Google Chrome yet. I'd heard rumblings about it, but had dropped it from conscious thought until he mentioned it.

Oddly enough, I googled it, and immediately noticed the system requirements - Vista and XP only. Likely won't see a Windows 98 version any time soon.

"This" being my primary laptop, I wasn't going to get "it" running, since it has 2000 loaded. But the "other" laptop? It's running XP. So switched gears (and power adapters) and booted XP.

Loaded up Firefox so as to download Chrome.

[Note: this reminds me of a time when, to load OS/2, you had to run FDISK from DOS to partition the hard drive. Since most OSes nowadays come replete with a browser, how, exactly was this process started in the past? Easy - from removable media. My first browser, Netscape 1.01, fit on a floppy.]

Sorry, got off on a tangent.

Niiiiice browser, Chrome is. I was tempted to then get the other other laptop from work, but stopped. Not the thought so much as the follow-through. A quick flashback to the Reply to None post of last week made me realize the IT folk at the home office probably wouldn't appreciate the intrusion.

Last week, I was talking to one of the more, uh, computer-friendly tech support guys I'd dealt with in the past in the "before time"; he said that there are times when some "innovative" measures are necessary to get a file or media of any sort to some of my associates. Not in Utah, but elsewhere in the country. Some don't even have computers. I'm guessing he was referring to the "later arrivals" in the mix, those who are more "home office" than "before time" co-workers. After all, what was, was computer-oriented; what is now is not.

Years ago, someone asked if I had a computer at home - this was MANY years ago - and I said yes I do. Jumping at the opportunity, the query then became "HOW could you have a computer at home, I'd think you'd get sick of working on a computer all day."

The answer, so many years later, is easy. I don't have to WORK on it. IT works so you don't have to.

Hm. Sounds like a neat byline.

Wednesday, September 3

Knowledge is Power

A hand-me-down of sorts in my possession is a 1945 Encyclopædia Britannica. I treasure it not because it's old, but because it's old.

I know that doesn't make much sense, but a book - or volumes of a book - that chronicles history before any given date is more likely to document the time before in much more detail than what you'd expect to see in any modern book.

Why? Consider this: That 1945 Encyclopædia Britannica has twenty-four volumes. Go out and get a 2008 edition and it will have twenty-four volumes. Where, exactly, did the last 63 years go? On the cutting-room floor, that's where.

I commented on the old vs. new scenario to Marilee this morning; she said that it's "old information". That's true - much of what is past is outdated. Not relevant. But not unimportant.

I used that set of volumes through my senior year of high school. US History was a blast, literally, particularly for the information on World War II. To a point.

Because, you see, the war was still in progress. The maps in the atlas were only correct up to a certain date.

Of the tens-of-thousands entries in that encyclopedia, there's one topic missing.

There's no entry for Atomic.


I've left my pet peeves out of my blog thus far; other than my myriad winter ones concerning snow removal from other drivers' windshields, I have a real problem with McDonald's employees and the way they "do" their jobs. Not the folks who work in the back, who are preparing the food, I'm talking about the folks who work up front.

The local store has far too many people in the "lobby". How many people do you really need up there? There's one to take the walk-up orders, one on the window, one generally doing the fried potato products. Seems to me there should be another one to do the actual order filling for the walk-up and one for the window, right? So how, exactly, do they need a total of ten people crammed into an area designed for five? They're either looking at the monitors or just watching; no one is actually filling or taking orders.

My order taker listens to what I order (following is verbatim):

BS: "A number two combo with a large drink"
McD: "Is that to stay or to go?"
BS: "To go. AND Two Bacon, Egg, and Cheese biscuits
McD: "Is that to stay or to go?"
BS: "ALSO to go"
McD: [silence]
BS: "A number 11 combo with orange juice"
BS: [silence]
BS: "And a small coffee"

McD: "Is that to stay or to go?"

And when the "order" is presented to me, sans large drink cup, on a tray, I say "That was to go", they turn and look at the monitor they've been staring at for the last twenty minutes (or so it seems), no one ever thinks that maybe the order-taker has made a mistake. They just look at you like YOU have made a mistake.

Tempted to say something negative about any kind of language barrier, I just smile and say again "TO GO". Begrudgingly, they put the order in a bag. Like it's more work for them.

OK, so this whole exchange has taken less than a minute. And you're not so much paying for the quality of the food, you're paying for the convenience of fast food.

At least when you go to a 7-11, you expect the minimalist service. Convenience at its best.

And everything's to go.

Tuesday, September 2

Axe Me About Handles

The last couple days here in the Salt Lake City area have belied the season. It's been cold - well, cold for this part of the season. Don't get me wrong - when I lived in California, cold was 60 degrees. Here, it's shirt-sleeve weather. In Utah, cold is 10 below.

Other than cold, it's been raining. And in Utah, the rain is cold, too. I've heard people say that the rain here is the coldest they're ever felt, too. Must be the altitude - the middle of the Salt Lake Valley is 4200 feet or so.

Sunday morning, sitting on the front stoop with my visibly steaming coffee, it was getting to that point temperature-wise where you start wondering how far away the snow might be, then it started hailing. The weather had now run the gamut.

I almost expected to see a pitchfork hitting the ground.

Monday, September 1

Potty Humor

We've had a house guest the latter part of last week through today; Lady has been staying with Marilee, Taylor, and I while Jenn is vacationing in California with Chris and Ramin. Lady is quite the lady whenever she comes over - she doesn't fight with the other dogs, hardly barks, and is just a love. Not to mention smarter than your average four-legged - sometimes two-legged - creature. Hell, she's more human than most humans.

So when the time comes for the executives to go outside for their business meetings, the only one out of the herd who doesn't make a big deal out of coming back inside (naturally) is Lady. Time spent for her is measured is seconds - no sooner does she go out that she's back, scratching at the door. Yeah, like that's enough time for a whiz.

The secret for Lady to spend more time outside is for me to crouch down, open the door a smidge, and whisper "Go potty more."

She slowly turns on the steps, and puts in some overtime.

[Note: Jennifer is really going to have to come up with a superb reason to get Lady back - we don't want her to go!]

Well THAT Was Fun

When I started this thing, I realized it would be necessary to write - at the very least - a post a day to keep everything fresh. Current, no so much. But fresh.

To keep you coming back for more.

So I had thirty-seven posts in August. Some days had no new posts, other days, the words just flew off my fingers, and multiple posts happened in one day.

But Blogger being what it is, and how it is, you won't see that. The list for September begins anew at one measly post. For now.

At my August rate, there should be forty or more posts for the month of September.

Stay tuned.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Google Analytics Alternative