Monday, November 30

Quantifying States Of Mind

Ooooohhh. That there's some heavy talk, Bob. Is it BS?

I wish it were.

A question to pose of all of you - OK, both of you - is whether it is possible to identify traits that you have, that you know you have, but have never sat down to quantify what those traits are.

A poorly-worded example would be that you know that you hit your head on low-hanging objects but have no idea why.

OK, bad example.

Maybe this example will work better: Suppose you think you have multiple traits of a cognitive nature. Or lack thereof. Say you believe you have some sort of memory loss issue, but cannot come up with any specifics; when asked what kinds of memory problems you have, adding to the distress, you cannot remember what they are. So, being unable to quantify those cognitive deficiencies, you are led to believe that they do not exist.

Welcome to my world.

Tourist Trappings

On this trip, I almost made one of the more serious mistakes in driving south into California, and I'm not speaking of the Sunday after turkey day.

Not even.

No, this is a mistake made by just about anyone in need of a pit stop and/or a quick bite. Since one may also need to get gas and didn't stop in Las Vegas when they should have, or didn't want to pay the exorbitant prices in Baker, you cannot pass by Barstow without stopping for something.

That's why Barstow exists.

I'm not inclined to make this a travelogue of Barstow and all its virtues (let me work on that one for a bit), but what I can say about Barstow is that of all the tourist traps in the world, of all the dumps that can be had as you travel the four corners of the world, stay away from just one place:

Barstow Station

How any reputable establishment - including McDonalds - continues to be associated with that hell hole is beyond me.

Seriously, Barstow Station really needs to be bulldozed.

Sunday, November 29

Lessons Learned

As you may recall, last year Marilee and I tripped to California, mainly due to a seminar she was attending. We did a whirlwind tour of Southern California from San Diego in the south to Santa Barbara to the north. We were away from the normal grind for a week and a half which made the trip that much more pleasing.

All in all, the driving didn't suck too much, thought the drive down between Las Vegas and San Bernardino was the pits. I'd say more than "pits", but this is a family crowd (for the most part).

So wouldn't you think that we, collectively, would have learned that you just do not drive anywhere, of any length, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving?

"Work" has sent me to school again. Same place. Slightly different subject matter.

ON THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING. Yes, I could have flown, but that presents its own hassles. So, yes, I drove.

I even left at a decent hour, 7:30am Mountain Time.

I just checked in to the hotel. After driving for 14½ hours, it is now 10pm. Pacific Time. Long Time.

Bed Time.

Friday, November 27


...and the lack thereof.

Job opening at The Art Institute listed on Monster this morning:

Irony is what this posting - blog and job alike - is about. That the posting is regarding an IT position is of no matter, but that it is for an artsy-fartsy learning institution is.

I'm guessing that it wasn't an art student that wrote the copy - or in this case edited the copy. But if it was an art student, maybe this is a learning experience to stay away from.

Word to the wise: pick a font already!

Thursday, November 26

Star Wars Thanksgiving

via Twitter

"Away put your congealed cranberry sauce shaped like a can, I mean you no harm."

DIY pr0n

Today on DIYNetwork

Cool Tools Marathon


A question for the ages:

If tryptophan is the ingredient in Thankgiving turkey that makes you sleepy, why doesn't it make the turkey fall asleep?

Thursday October Christian

So I'm poking around on a website this morning about peculiar, crazy names that parents have named their offspring. Albin stands out prominently, if only because "Albin" is how the name is pronounced; spelled, on the other hand, as:


Yeah, Albin will do nicely.

But what got me thinking in my genetically altered mind was the name "Thursday October Christian".

Born to the infamous Fletcher Christian of "Mutiny on the Bounty" fame, Fletcher wanted a name that didn't remind him of England at all.

Wikipedia's entry on Thursday - the name, not the day - says what's above, as well as what's below:

"Thursday married into his parents' generation."

On what day of the week Thursday got married is unknown.


It got me thinking about generations and when I was born and to which generation.

My Mom was 38 when I was born while my Dad was 46. What generation was I born into? In my childhood, my friends' parents were likely in their 20's. My parents were of an age that could be referred to as my friends' parent's older generation.

If that makes any sense at all - from my genetically altered brain's perspective - I lost a generation. No wonder I got along better with my friends' parents than the kids who were my age.

As a closing example, were my Dad alive today, he'd be celebrating his 100th birthday in three months.

Simply, I was born into the wrong generation.

Wednesday, November 25

Photoshop This Guy In Reflective Shades

The idea in this Fark Photoshop contest sounded simple enough - "Photoshop This Guy In Reflective Shades". Let's see:

Reflections > Mirrors reflect > Who looked into a mirror > A mirror can be called a "looking glass" > Who looked into a looking glass > ALICE!

But it seemed a little too easy to just paste Alice in Wonderland into the glasses, so I looked for a picture of Alice Cooper.

[Note that any time you have to explain at length what your mind was going through to come up with a Fark Photoshop contest entry, it likely will fail and thou will get no votes. Yup. The only vote was mine.]

Go vote for my entry.

Monday, November 23

The Clapper - PLUS!

Why the hell is it necessary to have a remote for a Clapper?
Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the clapper in the first place?

Why the hell am I concerned?

No More Liquor Licenses!

Thus the ticker at the bottom of the screen on Fox13's morning news broadcast said. Without my emphatic exclamation point, that is.

While that would be earth-shattering news, I suspect it is that there are no more liquor licenses to be had, for all of us imbibers to realize we cannot expect any more taverns to be opening any time soon.


(No, I did not stay around for the actual news piece.)

Sunday, November 22

A New Low

Chia SpongeBOB Squarepants:

Available here. And I double-dog-dare you to get me one for Christmas.

Top Trending Topic Tonight on Twitter

Saturday, November 21

Progress And The Lack Thereof

On Family:

Filtering lines of communication slows down the process. And progress.

Just sayin'.

Friday, November 20

Are Republicans Out Of Touch With Reality?

Not all Republicans, mind you. I have to be careful saying that since I'm a Blue Stater living in a Red State. But still.

At issue is Sarah Palin in her book "Going Rogue" (which admittedly I have not yet read) saying she played a role in "achieving victory" for the victims of the Exxon-Valdez disaster even when she is on record at the time saying she was "very, very disappointed" and heart-broken with the decision that she called "not right".

Reminds me of the Mission Accomplished banner behind George Bush.

(From Andrew Sullivan's blog at The Atlantic.)


In what has become an all-too-common, bordering on an obnoxiously overused term in our house, is the word "pivot".

Any time someone in the house needs to turn a corner, or flip to the other side of the bed, or even when it's not needed in context, one of us will utter the word.


And not just said in a Webster's dictionary sense. It's in the voice of Ross Geller:

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!

Thursday, November 19

Tsk Tsk Tsk

That was the sound Marilee just made.

"I'M ALWAYS RIGHT" was what she said just prior to tsking.

What brought that on was that we'd been discussing a medical condition I've been tested positive for, and no, I don't care to share that just yet. Having a relation to AD(H)D, she had said a night or two ago that in some people caffeine can have a calming effect. I know for a fact that's true for me, since a big cup of coffee is all it takes to set me up for a good night's sleep.


The why's and wherefores have to do with chemical imbalances in the brain; something more for me to reseach.

I'd just searched for the reference when Marilee told me the capitalized comment above.

It may take some time, though, for her to try the coffee trick. At least it works for me.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

Marilee just uttered the phrase "Good Intentions", without the prefix of demonic possession. Admittedly, I had to look up the entire phrase.

This dialog was prompted by another discussion I'd rather not comment on in front of God and everybody for fear of reprisal.

Suffice to say that Marilee cemented my position as the writer in the family by saying the following, verbatim:

"Good Intentions. AIN'T!"

That's "NOT", dear.

Wednesday, November 18

The Missing Hip

OK, it's a foregone conclusion that magazines have forever airbrushed out blemishes, zits, you name it, from prominent models and celebrities. But to remove a whole chunk of a thigh?

Shown at the "OMG!" blog is a Photoshop session gone wrong. A portion of the image shown there is shown below:

Article here.

Morning Activities

This morning, Marilee is up waaay before I. She does, after all, have a sleeping problem, and as is the case most mornings, she's up far before the crack of dawn. Today, three-thirty to be exact.

But she's got an excuse today: She's getting her picture taken and has to look her best. After all, she's going to have this picture following her around for several years.

In a procrastination exercise gone wrong, she has waited until the last minute to get her Driver's License. That, and she never alerted the license people her name changed. Three years ago. Her birthday, by the way, is this Saturday. Be sure to write on her wall at Facebook.

Not that I was proactive the last time mine was due. I got mine on my birthday in 2006 and won't have to get another bad picture until 2012.

Now that I think of it, I wonder how many times a day the folks at the Driver's License division say Happy Birthday.

No need to wonder - I'll ask.

Tuesday, November 17

Twitter Ends Political Partisanship


From an article via AP and Google News:

"Social-networking site Twitter plans to end a service that links prominent message posters with new users, a service that was criticized in California because of perceived unfairness toward GOP gubernatorial candidates."

Is anything in California NOT criticized?

Monday, November 16

My Whelm Factor Is Off The Charts

Last week I received a report from my doctor I had been suspecting but wasn't ready to accept.

I won't go into detail now - and don't ask - but rest assured it's not life-threatening.

After the initial shock wears off, I'll share.

Which may take decades...

Saturday, November 14

Magnetic Personalities

For whatever reason, Marilee has this peculiar fascination with magnets. Most often, it's magnetic fasteners of the purse and/or eyeglass case variety. But anything magnetic will get her attention.

I saw these the other day in a catalog - methinks it would be the perfect gift.

Hey, at least my "perfect gift" for my wife isn't a leaf blower.

Thursday, November 12

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Dangerous enough that Marilee and Jenn were out last evening shopping. Looking for bargains. Mother and daughter. Scary sh!t.


Marilee was looking for some greeting card supplies of the Martha Stewart variety and couldn't find anything she liked - they even went to Big Lots. Jenn suggested she look on eBay.

Even scarier sh!t.

So this morning, after having found something to her liking, I bid on it for her.

We talked about the subject a bit, and then it dawned on me that she should look on etsy.

"You should never have told me about that."

Marilee has a new hobby.


Double Dipping

It's about damn time.

In this morning's DesNews is an article regarding a practice in state government that really, really needs to end.

It's the practice of state agencies re-hiring employees who have retired from that same agency. Sure, the logic is there: hire someone who already knows the job and the requirements. Doesn't need to be trained. Known to be reliable. But there's a catch.

That same person who has retired is collecting a state-supplied pension in addition to their salary.

The article states that over the next ten years the practice will cost the state 900 million dollars. That's $900,000,000. Be easy on us and call it a billion.

Get on the phone. Call your legislator. End this now.

Wednesday, November 11

Who ARE You?

"So is this the new Marilee?", I say to my lovely wife just now.

At six-thirty in the morning.

On a weekday.

She's got something scheduled for today and apparently wanted to get going as soon as possible so as to not dawdle before she really needs to be off.

Oh, the answer?

"No, just another one."

Oh. My. God.

Tuesday, November 10

More Christmas Acceleration

Seen today at the corner of 90th South and State Street, a Christmas Tree lot being assembled.

You wanna bet how crispy those trees will be by Christmas?

A better bet is to get a fresh tree from DeLong Farms. One year I got one and it was still flexible by January 31st - my birthday.

It's really an amazing treat to receive a tree shipped in a wax-lined box. From Canada.

Simple Swedish

His English is still better than your Swedish:

Fair warning - you may want to turn your volume down - certain four letter words are pronounced, with typically comedic results.

Monday, November 9

Fascinating Poll

In the DesNews this morning, a poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates is asking what President Obama should do in Afghanistan.

The poll results:

  • Pull all troops out of country: 17%
  • Keep the current number of troops: 14%
  • Send less than 40,000 troops: 14%
  • Send 40,000 or more troops: 35%
  • Other: 6%
  • Don't know: 14%
What's actually said in the first gripping paragraph of the article belies description:

"Utahns are split over what to do about Afghanistan: Send more troops, pull out, drop back 10 yards and punt?"

Exactly which of those poll questions speaks of football?

Sunday, November 8

Who Framed Harvey

Another of my all-too-infrequent Fark Photoshop entries.

This one has a rather easy premise - Photoshop two movie posters into one:

Hope you like it.

Friday, November 6

Who's Smarter Than Who(m)?

The Trivial Pursuit Experiment wants to know:

Wednesday, November 4

Am I The Only One Who Hasn't Seen This?

At left is the logo for Cisco Systems.

Maybe it was because I always saw that which is above "Cisco" as a waveform. Something you would see on an oscilloscope.

But look closer. And think of California landmarks.

Yes, it looks like the Golden Gate Bridge.

While Cisco is now located in San Jose, it is in the neighborhood of another California city.

Yes, Cisco is located nearby SAN FRAN.


Version One (Of Anything)

Years ago - the stone age - there was a laser printer I got fairly good at repairing. Made by Hewlett Packatd, it was called the (drumroll):


Not a II, or III, or 4 (why they switched from Roman to Arabic is beyond me), or 5 or....


There was no LaserJet I, though now it's implied that a LaserJet by itself is a ONE.

So I was sent an email today containing a link to a really great video about Web 2.0. We're all living Web 2.0 - even right this second, as you are reading my blog, a product of Web 2.0, as is this video:

One thing that still puzzles me is that there's really never any comment about Web 1.0. When was that? WHEN did Web 1-dot-anything turn into Web two-dot-everything else?

Does anyone really remember Web 1.0?

I'm betting that most of you don't remember - but I do. I was there. OK, not of the "Al Gore Invents The Internet" style, but of the plain-Jane static website. The only interaction between myself and the viewers of my site was a link to "Guestworld", the ubiquitous "Sign our Guestbook" link of the mid-90's.

Ah, the 90's - when THE thing to have on your site were garish colors and BLINK tags. To wit: [Note that if you're using Internet Explorer, you won't see the blinking effect. Be thankful.]


Again, anyway.

The video shown above is quite worth watching. The analogies of the "current" web with blogging and sharing references versus watching Gilligan's Island are well worth your time.

Thanks, Jenn. And, yes, the presenter does have many of my mannerisms!

Tuesday, November 3

I Suddenly Have A Craving For An Omelet

...and wheat toast.

I'd always thought the following restaurant scene was from "Easy Rider". But when I saw Easy Rider last year again for the first time, I realized that it wasn't that movie.

So what movie IS it from?

Tonight, while perusing the available movies on demand from Comcast, there it was - a Jack Nicholson movie with a plot line of "Restaurant etiquette". From "Five Easy Pieces".


And The Results Are In...

That "badge" over there says a lot - I was one of the finalists in SEObySwaby's "Utah's Top Blogger" competition!

So what if I didn't "win" - I got second place! Besides, it gives me bragging rights! Many thanks to all of you who voted for my blog!

Next year, folks, I'm going to try for more than 16%. I've got some surprises to share in the next year that will take my blog through the roof!

Tell all your friends to visit. It's gonna be a helluva year!

Too many exclamation points?!

Sunday, November 1

How Men And Women Buy Shoes

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