Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The day after

Hopefully we're past the worst of the illness, though my number one son, who always seems to get the sickest, did have a messy relapse last night just as I was going to bed. I never threw up, but I did not escape unscathed, I felt I was on the verge of vomiting several times yesterday and into this morning, and spent most of my time languishing in front of my computer trying to summon the strength to be productive while I sipped my coke.

I did manage to watch Castle in the Sky last night while I tried to work. I confess to being quite the fan of Miyazaki, but then again, so are my kids. It's nice to see that there's still some great animation out there even if Disney hasn't done anything good since "The Emperor's New Groove". Beyond the vomiting and the movie watching there's not much to report. Hopefully tonight will be more exciting. I do have another Miyazaki movie waiting for me.

Suck on it Walt!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Projectile Vomiting comes to Blogspot

You knew that it had to happen eventually, the first post about vomiting in the new space. I feel like now, we're truly going to christen it. Though before I begin I'd like to direct your attention back to yesterday's post, which you may have missed, concerning comment moderation. As you may notice I did allow "anonymous" one last hurrah but that's the end of that. But now on with the story...

For reasons not worth getting into I was up until 2 am Sunday night, so last night I was tired but at the same time worried that I had pushed my sleep schedule ahead enough to make it difficult for me to fall asleep. In fact when I laid down I didn't feel sleepy at all, fortunately I was able to clear my mind relatively easy and regulate my breathing, and though it took longer than normal I got to sleep. I'm guessing I was asleep for about an hour, just long enough to get some depth when the screaming started. My wife was out of bed like a shot, but it took me a few seconds to figure out where I was and then another few seconds to figure out what was being screamed. (Something along the lines of "Mom I threw up" only at a pitch about five octaves above middle C.)

I ran into my sons room and just about ran back out. The smell was unbelievable, I think if we had waited until morning to clean it up, my other son would have been dead from the fumes, and all the paint would have been gone. Once again I'm led to wonder why it's always late at night? Why can't they get sick when they're already awake, or better yet awake and in the bathroom? By morning the other son was throwing up (it may have just been the memory of the smell) and one of the other kids was displaying "other" symptoms. At this point I'm blaming my sister, her kids were sick last week and they obviously gave it to my kids. Just one more thing to add to the tally...

No one is forcing you to read it

Monday, May 29, 2006

Turned on comment moderation

At the family dinner yesterday some people were complaining that they didn't like the anonymous comments. Which I kind of agree with, I mean the sixth amendment does give me the right to confront my accusers. Unfortunately you can't just disable anonymous comments (I mean what's to prevent someone from putting in 'sdfasdf' as their name?), so I turned on comment moderation, which means that I have to sign-off on every comment before it goes live, so from now on unless you attach some sort of name to the comment, it's not going to see the light of day, that is all.

Too much ambition, too little follow-through

Friday, May 26, 2006

Summer movies

I briefly entertained the idea of taking a long lunch today and going to see X-men III, but eventually I decided that it was too much time to be gone from work, so I didn't. Certainly I would like to see it eventually, but unless you're a "true believer" (bonus points if you make the connection there) opening day is not exactly the optimal time to go to a movie. Plus based on the seven minutes of footage I saw (shown on the internet and during X-Men 1 and 2 on FX) and the trailers, it just doesn't resonate with me in the same way the first two movies did. But I can't point to a specific reason why that would be.

Of course as everyone knows, Bryan Singer, the director for the first two movies, left to work on Superman. So part of my problem comes from comparing the X-men trailers vs. the Superman trailers. There seems to be a depth to the latter which is lacking in the former. But even so depth, and a lack of resonance are hardly concreate objections. I plan on watching both, so it won't remain a mystery for ever eventually I will know if one is better (IMHO) than the other.

As far as other summer movies I'm looking forward to: The Break-Up (big Vince Vaughn fan), Cars (Owen Wilson AND Pixar? how can you miss), A Prairie Home Companion (never really liked Altman that much, but I'm willing to give this a shot just based on the cast), Nacho Libre (Jack Black, need I say more?), Click (Kate Beckinsale =P~ ). I'm sure there are others as well, but that's what I could remember off the top of my head.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Keeping the streak alive

I'll be honest with you, if I didn't have a perfect record (or what passes for perfect in my demented imagination) in the new blog space, I wouldn't be posting today. It's been a crazy day (actually it's been a crazy 24 hours, starting with a cell phone call last night). One of the domain names we have here at work was registered exactly five years by another department, and since the person who initially registered it is no longer with the company it came up for renewal and no one noticed, so it expired. Which is a bad thing, kind of makes everyone look pretty unprofessional... But as I've always said:

The past is immutable

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Mostly I lose, but occasionally I win

In between the vacation and trying to catch up, I haven't had the chance to play much Dreamblade recently, but I managed to squeeze in a game last night. This is a cue for all the people who don't like game related posts to close the browser and come back tomorrow. I was playing online with a friend of mine. I've played him more than anyone else and previous to this I had only beat him once, and then only because I had a much better Warband than him. Two of the games (as I may have blogged about) I was way up and he managed to come back and beat me. As a result of this I decided that I was being too agressive, that I was over-extending myself to win turns and that these were ultimately Pyrrhic victories.

So last night I played quite conservatively, which mostly consisted of making sure that my miniatures were never easy pickings. As a result by the end only one creature was killed, which is quite a change for me generally all sorts of stuff dies, and unlike previous games where I strongly contested my 3-5 scoring row, this game was mostly fought around the center. I've decided that as a rule of thumb that in general you should win by as few conquest points as possible. If you're winning by a large margin what that probably means is that you're over extended and when the push back comes you're going to be in a lot of trouble.

In any case it was a lot of fun. I pulled a particularly cool move where I attacked, got some blades, and used them to swap in a Jack in the Box from the edge of the board and then skirmished the JitB into another cell where I attacked and disrupted one of his big bad guys. It was pretty sweet. Of course as usual I had a real hard time falling asleep. I'm not sure if it was the dreamblade, Coke or the early evening nap, but one of the three really kept me up, even though my body cried out for slumber.

Eye of the tiger

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Apparently I'm the Devil

So a funny thing happened while I was at the wedding on Friday. The ceremony had just ended and people were filling out of the Sealing Room past the bride and groom and their parents. While we were waiting in line my wife's aunt reminded her brother (my wife's uncle) that he was invited over to her house after the ceremony. She then mentioned that she didn't have any Coke so he would have to bring his own. As soon as she said that she put her hand to her mouth and said, "Opps, I probably shouldn't be talking about Coke in the Sealing Room."

Well the night before my wife's grandmother left the wedding dinner at the same time we did, headed in the same direction. Well as I left the Sealing Room I passed her and she said, "I tried to follow you last night, but you drive like the Devil." I caught up with my wife's aunt and said, "Don't worry about the Coke comment, Grandma just called me the Devil." Later at the aforementioned gathering at the aunt's house Grandma told of my devilish driving in great detail and with, I feel, some exaggeration.

Now I find that one of my friends has labeled me as satan, though this time it wasn't for my driving, but for getting him hooked on Galactic Civilizations II. I imagine that I'm probably more guilty of this latter charge than I am of the former and wholly innocent of neither.

This is a devil, and no monster. I will leave him; I have no long spoon.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekend of Opposites

The weekend was restful and tiring, relaxing and stressful, enjoyable and annoying, placid and turbulant, hot and cold (okay it was only really hot and less hot I don't know that it was actually ever cold.) Overall the vacation and the wedding we were there for was delightful, but interspersed with all of that, I was having these horrible problems at work. I don't have the time or the energy to detail exactly what happened, but it did cast a pall over an otherwise enjoyable weekend.

I could continue with my weekend, but I'm feeling peevish. Perhaps tomorrow I'll have the time and the inclination to tell you about some of the stuff I did, until then...

Step off

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane

I'm headed to a wedding in Arizona this weekend, so there will be no blog tomorrow. I'm announcing it in advance so I can maintain my perfect posting record in the new space. It's probably already too hot in Arizona for any sane person, but that may be more a reflection of my unusually strict definition of sanity, than a reflection of how hot it actually is.

Though I have lived in Salt Lake most of my adult life I was raised in Ogden, Salt Lake's ugly stepchild (Provo, for those that are curious, is Salt Lake's sanctimonious little sister.) It's pretty infrequent that Ogden makes the national news, but today just happens to be one of those days (I found the story though AIM's homepage). 70,000 beer cans were found in an Ogden Townhouse. What's particularly interesting about the story is that it happened last year. The property manager e-mailed the photos to some friends and it turned into one of those e-mails that gets forwarded thousands of times.

Ogden: eventually the fame associated with being my birthplace will overshadow the 70,000 cans of beer

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


One of my friends here at work travels a fair amount, so he was out on Monday and Tuesday. I noticed he was back when I went to get some breakfast at the company cafeteria and he was getting his food up in front of me. He kept looking back in my direction and I expected him to notice my drastic change in appearance and say something, but he kept looking past me, I'm sure that he didn't realize it was me.

Finally he did recognize me, I know this because he immediately burst into raucous laughter so powerful that it caused him to stumble backwards. I have to confess that I wasn't prepared for such a dramatic response, which is not to say that some responses haven't been very interesting. I had an older lady at church tell me that she didn't know who I was until I smiled. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I think it means that my smile is so strange that it's unmistakably mine. My sisters were pretty bad, besides telling me that they didn't like it, they laughed, a lot. (Though not enough to cause them to move backwards involuntarily.)

Most people (check out yesterday's comments) seem to be interested in how my wife and children reacted. My wife doesn't mind the baldness, but she really minds the lack of facial hair. This surprises people when they hear it since, they expect it to be the other way around. My oldest daughter really minds the baldness, I'm not sure how my oldest son feels about it, but I doubt he cares much one way or the other. My youngest son thinks it's cool because his hair is always buzzed. I think I frighten the youngest daughter.

Fortunately the whole cutting process happened while they watched, and I think that by witnessing the mechanism they're more comfortable with the results.

Still in shock

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The picture

I don't have much to say today, but I will post a picture of my newly shaved head. There you go, you may proceed to mock me in the comments.

At least it's cooler (literally not figuratively)

Monday, May 15, 2006


It's probably been a year since I last cut my hair, and it was pretty long, down to my shoulders at least. I also had let my beard grown out as well, so overall I was pretty shaggy (you may recall one of my comments referring to me as "Grizzly Adams"). Well that all came off on Saturday. I shaved and razored my head and my beard. I think I would have looked okay if I had kept the beard, but without any facial hair (not counting eyebrows and eyelashes) I look pretty weird.

Shaving my head has uncovered a multitude of scars. I was a pretty clumsy kid (in part because my head accounted for more than half of my mass, so I was quite top heavy) and I fell down and cut my head open a lot. However the most distressing scar I discovered was in the middle of this rather large dent kind of right on top of my skull. When I asked my Mom about it she said, "Oh that must have been where the dog bit you when you were 3." I have no memory of this, (perhaps for obvious reasons) but it sounds quite tramatic. Based on the physical scar I can only imagine what the mental scars must be like.

Looking like a freak

Friday, May 12, 2006

I may have a problem

So I've stayed up too late basically every night this week, for one reason or another. Last night I finished what I was working on around 9:30 I was tired enough that I could have gone to bed right then, but I had told one of my buddies that I would play a game of online Dreamblade with him. So instead of going to bed I started a game of Dreamblade...

I won't bore you with all the details, but when midnight rolled around the score was Me: 5 Him: 3 (6 is victory) but he had the advantage of numbers and the game was starting to swing his way. I told him that I had to go to bed, and so we saved the game (hopefully that will work). Well not only was my mind racing, but also the minute my head hit the pillow I realized that I had made a big blunder earlier in the game. The ensuing tormented rumination made it very difficult to get to sleep.

The weekend is going to be busy. It's family game night tonight, and then tomorrow I am being shorn, going to a picnic with my wife's high school friends and then going to dinner with one of my high school friends and her husband. Sunday will be church, a trip to Ogden and the some World of Warcraft. I suppose as long as I get in a nap Sunday afternoon I'll be okay.

Dreamblade junkie (and dealer apparently)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Some say the world will end in fire...

SOME say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

--Robert Frost

Everyone has their favorite theory on how the world will end. Or at least what will bring about the collapse of western civilization. I think it will be post-modernism, one of my friends thinks it will be patents. I'm not quite so apocalyptic about the issue of patents or for that matter copyrights, but I do agree that it's screwed up. Part of his recent anger comes from a conversation he had recently with an employee at a large computer company. (Initially I was going to say which one, but lest I get myself or more importantly my friend into trouble, I decided not too.)

They were discussing a little program my friend had come up with. Essentially what it does is look up what region someone is from when they visit your website, and then allows you to block people from high fraud regions (i.e. Nigeria). It makes him a little bit of money each month, but he'd like it to make more, so he was sort of shopping it around and he ended up talking to this guy, who said, "My company has a patent on that and they're going to sue you." Now I have no idea what his company would actually do or whether they actually even have a patent, but you can quickly see where it starts to get ridiculous.

For something to be patentable it has to be novel, non-obvious and useful. I would argue that this particular idea is neither novel nor non-obvious (who knows it may not even be useful). The second requirement of course is that there be no prior examples of what you're patenting, otherwise known as Prior Art. Which whould probably also be the case here. But of course once the patent office grants the patent supposedly all these questions have been answered, so defending yourself of the basis of prior art is more difficult than it might seem. Compounding this problem, many patents are written so broadly that claiming to have invented the internet is apparently not restricted to Al Gore (yes I know that's an urban legend)

These overly broad patents lead to what are called submarine patents, where someone patents some broad concept and when someone else invents a specific application the first person sues them for infringment. The list of abuses goes on and on. I'm not sure what my point is anymore, truth be told that while no one gets as angry about patents as my friend, I can get pretty worked up myself. I guess the big difference is that I don't think that's the way the world will end, though I do agree with him that it makes it difficult to make a living creating software.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I stayed up too late last night playing *cough* World of Warcraft *cough*. Actually that wasn't too bad, but then I had this e-mail message that really needed to be sent last night as well, so I'm guessing I dragged to bed about 11:30. This wouldn't have been so bad, but the light has been waking me up around 6:00-6:30 every morning (with occasional feline intercourse pushing that time even earlier) so I was already carrying a decent sleep debt. I guess I should be grateful that the neighbors got rid of the rooster.

Too tired to be prolix

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Famous Bank Teller

So yesterday I went to the bank to cash my quarterly bonus check. I'm waiting in line for the next teller, and one of the tellers say "It will just be a couple of seconds." I look up and see a young blonde who looks really familiar. I look over at the name tag and it says Elizabeth, and it hits me that the teller is Elizabeth Smart.

But I immediately start to question this conclusion. For one thing, I have this problem where people get stuck in my mind at a certain age. (I imagine that this problem is not unique to me, but who knows? maybe I assume to much) For example when I imagine children I knew while I was on my mission I always imagine them at the same age they were when I left, but that was 15 years ago... (you have no idea how sad that makes me) In any case I figured that Elizabeth Smart had to be too young to be a bank teller. But after some checking (mostly calling a friend of mine who works for the same bank, though not at the same branch) I discovered that it was in fact her.

Perhaps even more than the age, one of the things which made me question my inital assessment was that I figured after all that she had been through that she would want to avoid being in the public spotlight. If so a teller would not appear to be the ideal job. But perhaps I don't understand her true motivation. I believe I've mentioned my friend who turns green at the sight of blood, and donates platelets every other week in an attempt to overcome his phobia (we both donated this morning in fact). Perhaps that's what she's doing.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Meet the Author: Anton Chekhov

One of my friends pointed out a link to a " Meet the Author: Anton Chekhov" event. Of course it wasn't really Chekhov since he died in 1904, rather it was a comedy improv group staging a fake signing. Of course as you can imagine not a lot of people even know who Chekhov is, let alone whether he's still alive. The whole thing is quite funny, and it made me realize that at least once, before I die, I need to do something like that.

In other news I've finally started watching Firefly. Traditionally I would offer some excuse at this point for my tardiness and sloth, but I have no excuse. I should have watched it sooner. I should have watched it while it was one TV. I should have kidnapped all the Fox executives when they decided to cancel the show and only release them once they agreed to keep it on the air. Wow! I certainly have a lot of regrets.

*** Spoiler Alert ***

In the first episode when the federal agent is holding a gun to River's head, and Mal walks in through the cargo doors and shoots him in the head without even pausing, that's when I knew that I was watching something special.

*** End Spoiler Alert ***

I guess I'll just have to add this to my list of shows that died to young... Like... Sorry, I'm starting to tear up, and I can't really see the keyboard anymore, I guess I better just end here.

*whimper* ...Andy Richter... *sob*

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo and New Order

While I was going through my daily links this morning before work. I came across this story about the band New Order in Slate. While my favorite music changes hourly, New Order is always in the rotation. However whenever I talk to people about music (we have a song-of-the-day list at work which frequently sparks some debate) they never come up. So it's nice when the occasional article or cover song pops up and confirms that my own appreciation of the band is not an insular esteem.

Well it's Cinco de Mayo today (the aforementioned SOD list has already been sent out with a collection of Latino music). I got the obligatory dig in against both my Latino co-workers and my French boss, by pointing out that defeating the French was nothing to brag about, let alone celebrate. But after doing that I wanted to make sure I had all my facts straight, so I looked up Cinco de Mayo on Wikipedia. One part I hadn't heard (and this is Wikipedia, so I suppose it could be apochraphyl) is that, "the Mexicans routed the remaining French soldiers with a combination of their tenacity, inhospitable terrain, and a stampede of cattle set off by local peasants."

I guess one possible explanation for never hearing the part about the cattle is that it's been suppressed by the French. I mean losing to the Germans is actually nothing to be ashamed of, most people did, but being routed by bovines? Now that is embarrassing.

French military victories

Thursday, May 04, 2006


You know how they say that that there is no bad publicity? I kind of feel the same about comments on my blog. It's like Oscar Wilde said, "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." But wow does my wife have some mean acquaintances. I thought the "Grizzly Adams" reference was a particularly low blow. Oh well, any true artist is going to engender some negativity, though rarely have I seen critics result to ad hominem attacks on an author's personal appearance.

Had someone asked me if my oldest daughter had seen School of Rock. I would have said yes, but as it turns out I would have been wrong. She hadn't seen it. When we discovered this last night, my wife leapt into action, grabbed the DVD off the shelf and stuck it into the DVD player, insisting that we start watching it that very second.

I had a meeting right before lunch, and I managed to fall asleep during the first half. It was kind of nice. I still have the headache I've had all morning, but at least I don't feel as groggy. Unfortunately in most meetings they get mad if you take a nap, luckily for me the first 30 minutes of the meeting had nothing to do with me so no one seemed to care that I dozed off. I think in general people get upset when you do other things in a meeting, and I understand that they feel that you don't value their time, but with some many meetings going long, or spending time on really meaningless stuff, I can't help but feel that if they don't value my time, why should I value theirs?

Wondering how I can sneak in another nap

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Perfect Record

Since moving to the new blog space I haven't missed a day (not including weekends which aren't on the schedule). I know that I will eventually, but not today. Of course I still need something to write about. I could talk about my back.

Every so often the middle three vertebra sort of fuse. Not actually, but the muscles tighten due to stress and bad posture and suddenly I have no flexibility in that area. The pain ranges from mild discomfort to kill-me-now, and generally radiates around the side of my body through the ribs and up the spine into my shoulders. I've got some streches which help, though they can take a while to kick in. But yesterday afternoon nothing was working. Not only did the stretches fail to relieve the pain, but it was at the kill-me-now level. It hasn't been that bad for several years (or my memory fades as soon as I'm no longer in pain).

So besides wishing someone would put me out of my misery, not a lot happened yesterday, or at least not a lot worth writing about. Perhaps tonight will be more noteworthy.

A slave to the internet

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Donating Platelets

I donated platelets this morning, so I don't have a lot of time to blog. Generally I imagine myself to be so busy that it's tough to spare the two and half hours required to donate, and so I end up feeling guilty. Sometime I think meaningless guilt like this rules my life and I need to just ignore it. I mean yeah there are other things I could be doing during those two hours, but let's not kid ourselves here it's not like I'm really all that effective. Two hours of my time is probably only like 15 minutes for someone who's truly effective. And at the end of the process I'm helping someone out who probably really needs it.

I watched A History of Violence. It was actually pretty good, though it earned the "R" rating it had. Not quite what I was in the mood for, but it fit my primary criteria: something short enough that I could definitely finish it while on the machine, and something that my wife wouldn't care if I saw without her.

Somewhere a burn victim is thanking me

Monday, May 01, 2006

May not be safe for children

You may have noticed that there's a top border on my blog, put there by the people hosting the blog that allows you to search, create your own blog, or jump to another blog. I decided to experiment with this feature and I came across the following quote (originally taken from

I'm stuck to my chair. I'm so very scared. Please Help.

alright, without going into too much detail, here's the situation:

I am TFing (totalFarking) in my boxers, and sitting on a chair that has slightly spaced out planks. Suffice to say that part of me is now lodged, and any attempt to move just pinches the crap out of me.

Can't move, need advice, soonish.

Oh god it hurts

As I mentioned in the title that excerpt may not be safe for children (and may get me in trouble with one or all of my four sisters, to say nothing of my mother). But it was so funny that I decided to risk their wrath and post it anyway.

Praying I'm never find myself in the same predicament