Tuesday, April 28

Got Ourselves A Convert

Generally speaking, I don't proselytize my beliefs. Provided I would even be able to come up with one.

One thing I do believe, is that Guinness is the nectar of the gods, and I'm willing to share that with anyone who will listen. I've tried over the course of the last few years to at least get Jenn or Chris to at least take a sip. But they have that all-too-familiar belief that any dark beer is going to taste nasty.

Yes, tis true, most are quite nasty. Until you've tasted Guinness, that is.

One person I was extolling the virtues of Guinness to has been Dave "from the office". He's not so much a teetotaler as just someone who doesn't imbibe that often. But when he's on a "business trip" as he's been last week and this, he finally had the opportunity to have some real Guinness - from a tap no less.

You have not lived until you've had a draft Guinness.

Allow me to paraphrase his reaction as he told me over the phone last week: "OH-MY-GOD."

Yup. Nectar of the gods.

Saturday, April 25


I haven't yet decided if I want to put the following in a sidebar on my blog:


NASCAR vs. Nascar

Is it blasphemy to write "Nascar"? No, according to the New York Times:

Consistent, Sensitive and Weird

Thursday, April 23

Microsoft's Profit Sinks 32%

Just wow:

Microsoft's profit sinks 32% - Apr. 23, 2009

Nine Words Women Use

1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8. Whatever: Is a women's way of saying F@!K YOU!

9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to #3.

*Share this with the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.

*Share this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, cause they know it's true.

It's All In The Delivery

Lunch time. Parking lot of an Arby's. Listening to NPR.

They're saying that people are moving less than they have in sixty years, according to the US Census.

The guest speaking now says that you can actually tell where people move to, depending on certain criteria:

"Rich people move one way, poor people move another." He then added a couple other examples with "Democrats more here... and more educated people move there."

What's that, you say?

Freudian slip of sorts?

Rich, poor, then Democrat, smart?

Good comparison, there.

Detroit Woman's Underwire Bra Deflects Bullet

Detroit woman's underwire bra deflects bullet

Wednesday, April 22

Recommended For Children?

Cow Magnets!

Cow Magnet at Steve Spangler Science

Why? Thought it would be a good first step in trying to figure out the intricacies of making cylindrical shapes in PhotoShop, and remembered the cow magnets I saw when I was much younger. MUCH younger.

Back in the day, my Mom and Dad and I lived in what had been a farming area; cow magnets were buried in the dirt everywhere.

So while doing a GIS for the magnets, found the above link for actual cow magnets.

And they're even recommended for children!

The Joys Of Home Ownership

Late yesterday afternoon, after Taylor asked if I had done anything to the internet, snide remarks aside, I replied that I had not.

"What's wrong?"

"The patch for WoW stopped in mid-download."

(He didn't actually say that, but that was the paraphrased version.)

I'd just been Tweeting seconds before, and now that he's said that, I found that, yes, the internet was indeed "down".

A trip to the basement where all things electronic and computer things lay, it was eerily quiet. But the lights were on. Sherman and Molly scattered as I dove under a table to find the UPS off.

Not a good sign.

A mad dash to the circuit breaker panel, and a long-forgotten project leapt back into my mind. I had never gotten around to marking the circuit breakers and where they go.

Note to self - get over to Home Depot and get that tester that helps identify such things.

It was all for naught, however - none of the breakers were tripped. But the puzzling thing was that the lights were on, and that circuit is from the same breaker as the power for the basement equipment.

Though panic had not yet set in, I moved the UPS power cord to the socket above it, and the lights re-appeared on the UPS. Power button? Check. Database server power? Check. Router, cable modem, WAP? Check, check, and check.

So maybe the wires have come loose from the other socket.

Must - buy - circuit - breaker - tester.

BTW - are YOUR breakers marked?

Tuesday, April 21

Everything I Learned About Marketing

...I learned from Susan Boyle:

From Advertising Age.

She Named Her Kid Dante

She named her kid Dante and she's worried about the Cantina scene from Star Wars? Wait until the kid starts reading his name in other... books.

The Mommy Files : When are kids old enough to watch Star Wars?

Monday, April 20

Fear-Mongering At Its Best

And it happens in 2012:

Pillars of incandescent green writhe like gigantic serpents across the skies

Non-Standard SOP

Just got off the phone with a dispatcher. Which I was trying to avoid in the first place.

As impersonal as texting is, by nature, it conveys pertinent information as quickly as possible without all the side-effects of tone and delivery. Take, for example, YELLING at someone over the phone. Compared with YELLING in a text message, all-caps speak volumes without the person on the other "end" getting all choked up over the one having the breakdown.

Mental or otherwise.

The question becomes why is it necessary to have one procedure for speaking your request vs. texting your request? Shouldn't the two be the same, if only because one is more straightforward?

The breakdown is not personal, but a breakdown in communications.


Coming from someone who embraces technology - not bleeding edge, I have my limits - you might think the title has to do with Personal Digital Assistants. Not so.

This has to do with Public Displays of Affection. Back in the day, Mark Collins wrote an article in the Broadcaster about PDA's at high schools, specifically on the Tustin High School campus. I couldn't say, now, if his article was an assignment or an op-ed piece. Or, more likely, it was because at the time, he had no one to have a PDA with. (Sorry, Mark).

This morning, during the ritual of taking Taylor to school, I witnessed just such a PDA. But all Taylor said was "Sometimes parents let their kids drive the car to school."

What had just transpired was the female driver of the car ahead of us had gotten out of the car, books in hand; the passenger was getting out and walking around to the driver's side. I'd seen this behavior before, and Taylor had been correct. Parents did do this, it was obvious. But the female driver - obviously a high school student judging by the way she was dressed - stopped momentarily and kissed the passenger on his way around the car. On the lips. This wasn't a "have a nice day" father-daughter sort of kiss. This was far too familiar.

The gentleman who was now getting in as the driver didn't look too old - maybe it was a first-year college student dropping off his still-in-high-school girlfriend. Or maybe not.

Or maybe I'm getting to the age where things like this are beginning to get to me. We see this too often any more in news headlines. NEVER from back in the day when I was a high school student.

Maybe Mark Collins was on to something after all.

Saturday, April 18

How To Instantly Fail A Breathalyzer Test

Breath Alcohol Analyzer AlcoHAWK® Slim Breathalyzers

Madden's Only Retiring, Dammit!

Watching NASCAR just now on Fox, and they were talking about John Madden, but the music playing behind their little "tribute" sounded more like a eulogy than a tribute.

He's only retiring!

Oh, wait... it IS Fox, after all.


Friday, April 17

Free Ice Cream (Really!)

Ben & Jerry's is making area ice cream lovers an offer they can't refuse - FREE ice cream and the opportunity to help Utah's homeless dogs and cats.

If you're in the Salt Lake City area, plan to visit Ben & Jerry's store at the Gateway next Tuesday, April 21st for Free Cone Day! The cones are FREE and all tips collected will be donated to No More Homeless Pets in Utah.

The participating Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop is located at the Gateway (on the 2nd level, next to Starbucks, above the fountain).

Thursday, April 16

Perry Mason Arrested

DA: Practicing law gets Houston's Perry Mason arrested

Raymond Burr being held for questioning.

Enough Already!

OK, people, we need to band together and find that one individual in the Salt Lake Valley who insists on smiling every time the current crappy weather comes up in conversation and says:

[Wait for it]

"Yes, but we need the water."

"To drown you?"

Robber Eats Shoots and Leaves

At a Panda Express:

One dead in Far South Side shooting

Didn't Do dooce

On a day that saw Lexie get an awesome grooming from Angela at Meowser's Pet Salon, and the possibility of an awesome evening at a book signing by none other that dooce herself, Princess took a tumble down the stairs that left her limping and obviously in much pain. We're going to the vet this morning.

Needless to say, I didn't make it last night.

So it will likely be some time before I can be in her presence, since she's seven months pregnant.

I think we can all hope that some day we'd have the stamina to do a three-leg book tour while under those circumstances.

And Princess on three legs? That's painful enough.

Wednesday, April 15


This blog is just ten days away from being a year old. That's right, I've been sharing my bs for a YEAR now.

And in all that time, I've been doing something that a grammar fanatic would roll his or her eyes at - I've been capitalizing all the words in my blog titles. As an example, I'd put "This Is A Blog Post" rather than the more-accurate "This is a Blog Post". I figured the departure from proper use would make my readers think there was something inherently wrong, that for some reason my posts looked a bit "off", worth reading.

Or maybe that was a lot of bs.

My blog post today is a complete departure from my prior bs - THIS title is all in lower case. And for good reason.

dooce - all in lower case - is more properly "spelled" as dooce®. That's right, dooce is a registered trademark. Heaven forbid dooce® should be used by anyone other than its originator, and that would be Heather B. Armstrong. She is the most-famous personal blogger on the interwebs, and she lives right here in Salt Lake City. She'd be one of those nameless faces in all of Utah, except that she has been on major networks promoting her book "It Sucked and then I Cried".

And on the final leg of her book-signing tour, she's going to be right here in Salt Lake City TONIGHT. Yes, dear readers, the rock star blogger, in our own neighborhood.

I'm going to try to have the stamina to stand in a (likely) monstrously-long line of other dooce® groupies. Where?

1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

...at 7:00pm. Fifteenth and Fifteenth for those of you in the valley. Wonder how bad the parking will be.

You may ask yourselves why would I want to go - after all, it's a book about post-partum depression, and that I already browsed through the book a bit over the weekend when Marilee and I went to Barnes and Noble. Could have bought it then.

Because, dear reader, I started THIS blog in hopes that it would someday be as famous as hers. Because at the time it was a great outlet for my thought processes. But maybe - just maybe, being in her presence - and a lot of other bloggers I'd guess - maybe some of that luck would rub off.

Or maybe that's just more of bob's bs.

Tuesday, April 14

And This Is My Problem How?

Last fall, a call came in for a printer that may have been damaged by water. The customer really didn't know, as they unplugged the printer so as not to make things any worse.

Today, the same location had the exact same problem. Same printer. Same everything.

Except one thing.

The technical experts have made a request that we find some way to keep the printer covered so that water doesn't drip on it any more.

Yeah, riiiight.

I've got a better idea:


A Deck Of Tweets

Being so new to the world of Twitter, I've been overwhelmed by the number of external applications that work with Twitter. I've already played with twt.fm and Twittermail; and I can Tweet with the best of 'em, sending SMS texts with my phone.

I even created a less-than-stellar background for my Twitter page that takes into account the transparent background of the Twitter logo. Yeah, my background still needs work.

But when I downloaded and installed Tweetdeck and found out it also allows me to see all my friends on Facebook, I was hooked.

On Twitter. And Tweetdeck.

Take a look.


As is the case with most holiday feasts, Easter is no different, and there are always going to be leftovers. Not sure if it's because there's just too much food, or everyone just scales back a bit such that there will be leftovers. Maybe it's a psychological thing.

Maybe it's in our genes.

Around here, it's ham this and ham that for Easter leftovers. I came home yesterday afternoon for a minute before another call and picked some gristle off the ham bone; last night I had ham pickin's, green beans, and ham fried rice.

Marilee, on the other hand, made herself a ham sandwich.

Reaching for the sandwich that she had momentarily set on the arm of her chair, upon reaching for the sandwich, it had vanished into thin air. Or so it seemed at first.

"BAMBI!" was the startling cry as I dove under the stairs to only find a few crust crumbs left. Total time elapsed: less than thirty seconds.


"Yeah, but it didn't stay down long"

Thinking back to my discussion of fur turds, it looked like a ham turd.

[Hey, I never promised this would be devoid of grossness.]

Sunday, April 12

TWEET - tweet

This has nothing to do with Twitter. Sort of.

TWEET - tweet.

Chevy Chase as Andy Farmer1 took care of the situation with a hot cup of coffee.

Michael Rapaport2 as Gary horrified Phoebe with a service revolver.

Me? I'd just shake the damn tree, wherever it is.

Don't get me wrong, I like wildlife. But there's a bird nearby in the

TWEET - tweet

neighborhood that has this incessant tweeting voice that's driving me crazy. This morning on the porch with my cup of coffee, I realized I was so mesmerized with the tweeter that I didn't hear the chirping of the other birds in the neighborhood. It's that annoying.

I've half a

TWEET - tweet

mind to head down to the Division of Wildlife Resources this week to find out what kind of bird this is, is it native to Utah - we already know what that department thinks of non-native species and I don't think I'd continue to be in good stead with most of my friends - and what can be done in a humane

TWEET - tweet

way to eradicate the bird, if not moving it to another part of town. Maybe Magna.

Maybe you've heard this bird. I have heard it everywhere I've lived in Utah; never heard it in California. On several occasions, they've gotten to a shrill level so as to make me want to forego the outdoors and seek quiet indoors. I'd even rather have the dogs barking than to hear this bird.

OK, so maybe that's a little extreme.

Yes, I know about the birds and the bees, etc. This

TWEET - tweet

bird is only trying to find someone to shack up with, and once they do, theoretically, the chirping will cease.

And maybe I myself will tweet about it.

1 From the movie Funny Farm
2 From the Friends episode "The One with the Cop"

Saturday, April 11

Friday, April 10


I'm not looking forward to this.

Every year for the last two, at least one of us - Marilee and I - have gone to Logan's Summerfest. Not exactly your typical artiste faire, it's held in the center of town and folks from miles around attend the one-day event of artists, food concessions - just plain fun.

The first year, it just so happened that Summerfest was on the day we decided to go to the Anniversary Inn in Logan. Last year, the timing wasn't quite right, and while we would have loved to do the Inn again, I ended up going alone - I conveniently had a service call in Logan. Pure coincidence. Honest.

Always wanting to find a perfect reminder of Summerfest, the first year we got a cute sign that said "My house was clean last week, sorry you missed it." Funny thing, that. Last year it was replaced by one that said "I have a kitchen because it came with the house."

Both from the same vendor/artiste, we'll probably go by their booth this year to see what is new.

But this isn't a story about Summerfest, though I may put something up after we go this year. This is about the former sign; the latter may occupy the space for some time. The former is all about cleaning. LOTS of cleaning. Being ever the one to remind me of all the crap stuff we've collected over the years (Marilee would comment that it's mostly my stuff crap), Marilee said that this year we were going to do something about it. And she was SERIOUS.

When she said she was going to rent a trash bin, I figured it would be a run-of-the-mill back-of-a-restaurant dumpster. I was not prepared for what was sitting in the driveway when I came home for lunch today.

Had we used our county-issued trash cans for this task, it would have taken us a month... to... collect... all... the...

[Sorry, Marilee's in my head suddenly. "What's that? It's going to be there for how long?"]

Sorry for the interruption. THIS is going to be in the driveway for a MONTH:


Gaudy Isn't Only My Thing

From dooce.com today - a "Sparkle Ring".

And I thought I was the only one fascinated by god-awful rings.

As dooce puts it "...I like my jewelry to have a tiny touch of tacky", I'd never have guessed a blogging rock star would admit to such a thing.

Marilee and dooce would never go jewelry shopping together.

But it makes me wonder - does dooce shop on HSN?

Thursday, April 9

History Is Creepy

If you're like most people on the planet, you use Google as your primary search vehicle. Mine is.

Since we use it so often, it comes as no surprise that once you've found something particularly useful on the interwebs, you'll want to find that something again.

So you think to yourself "Just how did I find that thing I went to previously?" and "How will I ever find it again?"

Sure, you can use your browser's history button, but that only shows you ALL the websites you've visited, but not how you got there. Apparently, Google knew you would one day want to figure out what queries you made AND what you found.

I found out this supposedly little-known secret about Google from Revision 3's Veronica Belmont on the Tekzilla Daily I TiVo every day. She says it's a bit creepy - I'm inclined to agree:

Google History

You'll have to have a Google account set up to do this, but that shouldn't be a problem for most people.

Creepy indeed.

Oh My Gaudy

Marilee alerted me to this abomination this morning:

She recently asked me why I was so fascinated by bad jewelry.


Wednesday, April 8

The Power Of The Written Word

Last night, after hearing about the major typographical error from BYU's newspaper, I felt I had to make a comment about the situation on my blog. A major news organization even went so far as to say it was an "ungodly" mistake.

That's funny.

So today, while checking my statistics reporting service, I came across an interesting entry. One of the visitors to my blog was from none other than an institute of higher learning.

Yes, dear readers, someone from BYU visited my blog.

God forbid.

Tuesday, April 7

Word Cloud Generator

Another fun find:

Word cloud generated from the text on my blog:

Fun stuff!

Word Cloud Generator

Apostates vs. Apostles

I'll likely lose half my readers by commenting on this.

If this had been in a local paper, it would have been funn...

Oh, wait, it was. In a really bad funny way:

BYU student paper refers to “apostates” instead of “apostles”

A good proofreader can never be replaced by a spellchecker.

No-Style Guide

Marilee was watching the local Fox affiliate this morning; she was just hearing about the earthquake in Italy. Understandable, since I/we don't TiVo the news.

So the reporter on-the-scene says something that's become one of my pet peeves, though I've never admitted to it - has to do with word usage, and how certain circumstances are perceived.

The reporter said that in the aftermath of the earthquake, "...over a thousand were wounded."

Excuse me? I'd have thought they were injured.

Doesn't wounded suggest violence? As in people against people?

Where's the style guide for Fox news?

Monday, April 6

Watching HGTV Tonight

A peculiar statistic was just mentioned on HGTV that made both Marilee and I do a double-take.1

The statistic in question said that half of all businesses in the United States are home-based. We both looked at each other incredulously, and figured someone at HGTV has got to be on drugs, and could we get our hands on some?

After all, we discussed, at least half of the people HGTV shows on House Hunters seems to have a home-based business, and they're doing quite well, thank you very much.

But that statistic made me do a quick Google search. And guess what? It's TRUE. Take a look:

Half of U.S. Businesses Are Home-Based - from the US Census' website!

Surely the stats are skewed somewhat, but not sure how.

The next question was a foregone conclusion: Why don't WE have a home-based business?

1 To say we were watching HGTV may be a bit of a misnomer. Neither of us can stand live television any more; even on the rare occasion we watch TV live, we're forever trying to fast forward through the commercials. So for me to say we were watching HGTV tonight when the peculiar statistic came on, the show was actually recorded days ago.

Maximum Awwwwww

The adventures of Tom Thumb: The tiny puppy set to be the world's smallest dog

Sunday, April 5

Dashtronic Watch

Marilee's car was overdue for its yearly safety and emissions check, so took care of that this afternoon while she was at Jenn's for NASCAR.

Of the magazines in the waiting room at the oil change place, I bypassed too many copies of Redbook and settled on Road & Track. While I'm not that into cars, I do enjoy drooling at all the sporty, hot cars I'd be interested in if I was having a midlife crisis.

One advertisement, however, did catch my eye. For a wristwatch, of all things. Again, though I'm not that into cars, this watch is styled after the minimal dashboards of 1930's vintage cars.

I decided I need this watch.

Instead of the back being stainless steel, it's the front that is metal. The back, on the other hand (no pun intended), is clear.

The reviews at the manufacturer's website shows I'm not the only one who thinks this is a cool watch.

And it's only $99. And now in GOLD for $129!

I think I want this for Father's Day.

Click below to buy a Stauer Watch!

The New Star Trek Movie Widget

Anyone want to go with?

Photography Is Not A Crime

Scary stuff:

Phoenix police harass photographer under Homeland Security pretense

So I'm wondering if the photos I took on the way back from Chicago would fall under the scrutiny of Homeland Security?

Wonder if they'll show up on my doorstep now, since I've commented about it publicly?

Police state?

This Is A Fun Find

Your mileage may vary. The original image was far too wide to be displayed correctly on Blogger, so I had to scale it down to fit within those constraints. I suppose with another platform this would work better.

But it's fun nonetheless!

Make your Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

Saturday, April 4

Covering The Past In History Class?

You'd think that would be a forgone conclusion. But considering the article linked below is from New Zealand, maybe they don't consider it as historically significant - their history, that is:

White supremacy-themed party an honest mistake

I've heard of this sort of thing before. Several years ago, a Provo newspaper had an article regarding a homeowner who had called the police, alerting them to a Star of David that had been spray-painted on his lawn. The officer who responded didn't know what the fuss was about, as he had never seen a Star of David before.

Hope history doesn't repeat itself.

Thursday, April 2

The Mop Handle

This likely would be funnier if you had been there. Fair warning.

This story goes back many years, to about fifteen years ago. I had a co-worker who was really, really good on networking technologies, and went with him on numerous service calls.

Along with the tools of the trade he always carried a stick about four feet long - he'd use it to poke acoustic tiles in ceilings to see if network cables were in the ceiling, what kind they were, and whether they were in contact with any nasty EMI-inducing conduits.

The stick in question was a broom handle. He'd "borrowed" it from a broom in the office, and would return said handle to the broom after returning to said office.

Or so we thought.

Years later, when our digs were getting a bit cramped - this was just before UTA started building the University Line for TRAX - and we moved from downtown Salt Lake City to West Valley City; while packing, we found the business end of the broom was missing the handle. We basically figured it was hidden up in the ceiling somewhere and didn't try to find it - would likely be a surprise and a head-scratcher for whomever would later occupy the space.

Over the years, someone would mention the broom and the missing handle. Or the handle without the broom. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, you really did have to be there. But that damn broom and the history of it was always fresh in our memories, as was the purveyor of the original story. Did the handle really get swallowed by the ceiling, or did the handle user make off with it?

Or was it waiting in the wings to further perpetuate the story?

Over the years, people came and went. Then a couple years ago, due to getting a new contract, we gained a few new people in the office.

In the first few days, in any such environment, there's always a breaking-in period. For the existing people, you're wary of the new faces, of their mannerisms. For the new people, there's concern over their fitting in. Learning new procedures. And histories.

Ultimately, most of the new folks fit in rather well. Of course there were flare-ups; some of the embers never quite settled down, but for the most part, everyone got along.

Most of the remaining people were of sufficient age to be (not wanting to say fragile) careful of our physical limitations. So it came as no surprise that I wasn't the only one to have painful back problems. The only difference between all of us was the way each of us carried ourselves when we were ailing.

I, for one, always try to stay as vertical as possible when my back problems would flare up. My ("old") boss would do a quick shuffle. The other oldster in the mix would walk with a bit of a stooped-over gait.

Somewhere along the line, there was a flood in our stock room from a leaking pipe, likely frozen and backed-up with water from the roof. Searching for the mop, we discovered the mop handle was missing from the mop. Those of us who had been around for awhile wondered if the mop handle had gone the way of the broom handle, but that had been years ago, and was likely not in the ceiling. About that time our one oldster had mangled his back and came in with an uncharacteristic stoop to his gait. Upon seeing this, I called upon my ("old") boss and declared "I think I know where the mop handle went!"

The stooped one, hearing my declaration, asked where.

"Well, the way you're standing, it must be up your a..." 1

So last weekend, after a weekly visit to Costco, I wrenched my back picking up a crate of bottled water; quite painful, I stayed home on Tuesday after driving to St. George and back on Monday. Six hundred miles of back spasms. After calling the requisite people to let everyone know I wouldn't be in, I later got a call from my good friend, the oldster.

"We appear to be missing the mop handle again. Have you seen it?"

1 This being a family show, I'm not inclined to utter the word ass in context. But you get the idea.
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