Thursday, June 28, 2007

The iPhone

As you probably are aware, Apple's iPhone comes out tomorrow. One of my co-workers is so determined to get one that we actually went and scouted out the local Apple store during our lunch hour yesterday. It was somewhat helpful, I for one didn't even know we had an Apple Store in SLC. And I guess the last time my co-worker saw it, it was in a little kiosk. So he was unsure as to whether he should go to one of the AT&T/Cingular stores, or to the Apple Store. After seeing the new, larger location he decided to definitely go to the Apple Store.

Other than that it wasn't that productive. Employees at both places claimed that other than the fact that it was being released tomorrow at 6:00 pm that beyond that the didn't know anything. That's not entirely true, there were a couple of instances where we got answers only to find out that the answer was directly contradicted by the FAQ on their website (i.e. the AT&T employee said it had to be activated at the store, the FAQ says it's activated through itunes). If I had greater... liquidity. I'd probably be right there with him tomorrow afternoon waiting in line, but I can't really see spending $600 on a cell phone.

They do look pretty cool, and I have a feeling I'm going to need a new cell phone in the next few months, but despite this normally lethal confluence of factors I'm going to pass. Perhaps I can hold it out as an eventual reward when/if I do something spectacular (spectacularly profitable probably...)

Spectacularly bad is also an option...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Long Time no Blog

Well I've been pretty bad about blogging recently. Partially I've been busy, partially nothing has really jumped up and said "I need to be blogged!!" Course long time readers will realize that very few subjects have been in the "it's critical for this information to reach as wide an audience as possible!" category. I'm sure that this entry will also fall outside that category, but I figured I'd gone long enough that I needed to get something out there.

Last night my wife was doing a big activity for the women of the church and she'd asked me to run the children's class, basically women with kids leave the kids with me and while they participate in the activity. We (me and another volunteer) ended up with 13 kids... The oldest was my daughter at 10, most were a lot younger than that. The volume made my ears bleed, but I survived. Part of the problem was finding something they all could do. I think if we could have gone outside and played soccer or something we would have been okay.

I should mention how awesome my wife is. Over the weekend she decided to install ceiling fans. Now generally that should be reasonably straight forward, but our house is old enough that it was barely built with electricity in mind, let alone ceiling fans. The one in the dining room took her nearly 8 hours to put in, but she perservered, and let me tell you the temperature difference is extraordinary... At one point on her third or fourth trip to Lowe's the lady who had been helping her asked her if she was a single mother. Yeah that hurts, but it's funny enough to make the cut regardless.

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

There was an old women who swallowed a fly

The last couple of days I've had a headache. Symptomatically it has all the ear-marks of a tension headache, persumably brought on by stress. Monday afternoon I tried treating it with a couple of Excedrin Tension Headache pills. They're loaded with tons of caffiene and that evening I was doing okay, but I think the caffiene screwed up my sleep. It took me longer than normal to fall asleep and I woke up after about six hours of sleep and couldn't get back to sleep. As a result of not getting enough sleep, by the time the headache returned it was even worse.

So I left around 4:00 yesteday afternoon, and went home and laid down. I slept until about 6:45 and felt quite a bit better, but now I've got the problem of sleeping later that night. So at 9:00 I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by taking a muscle relaxant. Not only would that loosen up whatever was causing the headache, but it would help me sleep. I knew that in past taking a muscle relexant the night before had left me groggy the next morning, and I considered only taking half a pill, but eventually I decided that if I took it early enough (9:00 in this case) it would have worn off by the morning. Plus I was worried half a pill wouldn't do the trick.

You can probably guess what the moral of the story is. I'm really groggy and sleepy still, thus the title of the blog. I'm constantly overcorrecting on my treatment options. Instead of swallowing the muscle relaxant to catch the caffiene as it were it's just made the whole situation just that much worse. Though to be fair even with the grogginess I still feel a lot better today than yesterday.

Now if I can just stay awake

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Father's Day Gifts

My wife and kids got me two amazing gifts for father's day. One I expected and the other one out of the blue. The one I expected to get was The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman. It's impossible to convey in mere words how much Hodgman makes me laugh, to do it justice requires actual gesticulation, but perhaps a small sample of the introduction will give you a hint:

I say "good evening," though of course I don't know what time it is where you are. This is one of the defining sorrows of books: that we cannot see one another.

Of course it might have been different had my Publisher inserted the camera I designed to fit snugly in the spine of this book and spy on you. But this was determined to be "too expensive and "too illegal" and so we are left once again to our imaginations.

The other gift, which I was not expecting was The Essential Shakespeare: LIVE. It's a collection of scenes and speeches from the Royal Shakespeare Company, with people like Olivier, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen (as Romeo no less, that shows you how long ago some of the recordings were made), Patrick Stewart, Alan Rickman, etc. I've only listened to the first few selections and so far it's pretty good, although it's definitely easier when you're familiar with the piece (the very first piece is from Coriolanus, a play I'm not very familiar with).

In any event as you can see I made out pretty well particularly when you consider how shoddy my performace as a father has been...

To banish your defenders; till at length your ignorance, which finds not till it feels...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Voice Mail

So I go up to the Fathers and Sons campout on Friday, and we're pretty far from civilization, but when I first check my cell phone it's showing at least a couple of bars, which surprised me. I didn't think much more about it until I felt it vibrate. I checked and it said I had a new voice mail. Obviously I'd missed a call. So I pressed the button to check my mailbox, and nothing happened. I could see that it was trying to connect to the internet, so I let it sit for a moment and waited for it to finish what it was doing. Well next thing I know the screen as dimmed. I try and undim it and still, no response. Well I continue to wait and after another minute it shuts down entirely. I try waking it up, I try resetting it, I try every button I can think of, and finally I'm force to conclude that it's dead.

Normally it wouldn't have been that big of a deal I generally don't get that many calls, except from work when I'm on vacation. Once you toss in the fact that I knew I had a voice mail, I was driven to one inescapable conclusion, something bad had happened at work and they were trying to get ahold of me. So after stewing about it for 15 or 20 minutes I decided the only thing to do was borrow someone else's cell phone. That wasn't too hard, but when I tried to call work, there was no answer (this was after I got the recorded message) which is pretty odd in and of itself. I guess I could have waited for more than 10 rings, but since I was borrowing the phone I didn't want to abuse that, which is also why I didn't try calling again.

After this I stewed for another 30 minutes or so before I borrowing yet another phone. This time I did manage to get someone at work, and they told me everything was fine. But of course by this time my imagination had conjured much worse scenerios than a problem at work, but I couldn't figure out what button to push to get to my voicemail if I called my cell #. Eventually someone who also had a verizon, called their information and found out you just press # (which I thought I had tried).

So I finally got into my voice mail and discovered that it was my friend (the one I'm helping with the investment presentations) and that he had left a voice mail because he didn't want me to see his # on the caller ID and worry that something needed my attention. So yes, you heard that correctly, he left the voice mail in a specific and delibrate attempt to negate worry, so yeah, it had the exact opposite affect. when I got home on Saturday and plugged the phone in, it powered up and everything seems fine, with one exception. The little icon at the top of the screen that tells me I have voice mail won't go away, no matter how many times I check my voice mail, that icon continues to sit there, mocking me.

Lots of icons mock me

Friday, June 15, 2007

Father's and Sons

Tonight is the annual father's and sons camp out. My boys are pretty excited, mostly about the food I think. I'm pretty excited myself, I don't get to do nearly enough camping, plus it will force me to relax a little bit. Though I actually just had a thought that I could take my laptop and work on some things after the boys are in bed... That should be your first clue that I have way too much on my to-do list...

After hearing that I wasted a lot of time looking for wallpaper my b-i-l posted a link to another big wallpaper site, which struck me as really mean. Similiar to if I'd told someone that I finally kicked my heroin habit, and then having them respond that they knew a heroin dealer and offering to drive me down to the corner he was hanging out at.

All the rest recedes into grayness

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I was pretty wasted by the time I got off work yesterday, and basically decided right off the bat that I would be okay if I didn't get anything productive done in the evening, particularly if I went to bed early (as it was I couldn't wait and ended up sleeping for about an hour between 6:00 and 7:00). But even with this decision I was amazed by how little I did end up doing. After I got up from the nap I sat down in front of my computer and at some point in the first little bit of puttering around I was doing (you know checking e-mail, websites, etc.) I decided for some reason that I needed new wallpaper (for my computer monitor, not actual wallpaper). I then proceeded to spend the next two hours looking.

I'm not sure why I wasted two hours looking for a more pleasing backdrop for my computer monitor, I think part of it was a lack of energy, and part of it was that I was watching "For Your Consideration" (the most recent Christopher Guest Mockumentary) but I'll return to that in a minute. In any case I eventually ended up selecting the right half of this one. I'm still not 100% happy, but oh well, it's not like I can spare another two hours...

Anyway, to return to the movie, it was decent, but easily the weakest of all the mockumentaries. It's hard to say exactly what the problem with it was, I think part of it was that in his previous efforts everyone has been eccentric, but each in their own unique way, in this one people were all eccentric in essentially the same way. There's more to it than that, but I think that was kind of the essence of it.

I'm gonna live forever, or die trying

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Parkinsons Law

Parkinson's Law states "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." It would be nice it this were actually true, my work overflows the time available into unavailable time, well not really unavailable time, rather time which should be spent sleeping. Going into yesterday evening I was optimistic that I wouldn't have to stay up as late last night as I did the night before, but as usual my optimism was misplaced. It was nearly 3:00 am before I got to bed.

The problem as I see it is first off, people (myself included) constantly underestimate how long the "finishing touches" take. To put it another way, the first 90% of the project takes 90% of the time and then the last 10% takes the other 90%... The second issue is that, particularly when you're dealing with something as fluid as a presentation, there's always more to be done, one more read through, one more revision, one more chart, etc.

The good news is, I just got off the phone with my friend, and it went really well. He's of the opinion that they're going to make us an offer, now whether we accept the offer is another question, it may be not enough money, or they may want too big of a percentage, but even if that is the case, it will be a huge confidence boost to get an offer, plus it gives us a certain amount of leverage with other investors, you don't want to have to say "We already turned down a better offer than yours," but it does provide one with a certain amount of hand if you have to.

Not so much sleepy as enervated

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tired and Stressed

Well we have another presentation to a group of angel investors tomorrow. This time it's 10 minutes with 20 minutes for questions. I'm not going to this one, but I'm still heavily involved in helping with the preperation. Which means I was up until 2:00 am last night, and I expect that tonight will be even worse... The upshot of all of this is that other than complaining about weariness and stress (which I think I have already done) I don't have much else to say today.

Be worthy of your suffering

Friday, June 08, 2007


I failed a test of manhood last night. A friend of mine called and started out by apologizing for calling during finals. I initially assumed that he was talking about the finals college students have, which didn't make any sense, given that he presumably knew I wasn't in college. Despite the manifest implausibility of this line of thinking it was still many long ackward seconds before I realized that he was talking about the NBA Finals...

But in a larger sense I'm feeling pretty good about my manliness right now. I mean to have reached a point where you can walk into a room full of investors and ask them for hundreds of thousands of dollars and rather than them laughing at you, which deep in your heart of hearts is what you fully expect to happen, they say "Tell me more", is pretty awesome, even hard to believe. There's always part of you that still feels the same as you did when you were a kid, and as a result you always fell like a little bit of a stranger in the adult world, maybe even a fraud.

In a slightly related story, I got a ticket a couple of weeks ago for not having my front license plate. Fortunately it's a "fix-it" ticket so all I have to do is put a license plate on the front and there's not charge. What's annoying is that my car doesn't really have a place for a front license plate, so I ended up having to use a bunch of epoxy and basically gluing the plate on to the front bumper. In any case so I went down to the county building to get it taken care of, and of course the first thing I had to do was grab a cop so he could sign-off that it was fixed. He was a pretty nice guy and it quickly became apparent that he was slightly apologetic that I got a ticket for something so minor (particularly since on the drive home we counted easy two dozen cars which also didn't have front license plates). In fact another cop ended up wandering out and once he heard what the ticket was for he immediately asked who had given it, when the other cop told him, he responded "He meant well, I suppose." Overall, a pretty annoying experience.

Not a big fan of government but everyone I talked to today was nice

Thursday, June 07, 2007


So for reasons to numerous to go into, Wednesday morning 5:30 am found me at Kinko's getting the flip chart for our presentation printed, my last act before heading home to get three or four hours of sleep before the actual event. In most cases where you find yourself at Kinkos in the wee hours of the morning getting something printed, you can clearly identify how the Student Syndrome played into your predicament, but this time I don't think it played much of a factor. I mean we didn't really find out about the extent and details of the event until Friday, and between then and the event there wasn't much fat to be cut, if any. To put it another way, there was no built in buffer which we squandered.

In any case things went really well. We had a lot of interest. Not only after the pitch but before. Several people said that our business was the one going in that they were the most excited to hear about. At the end of pitch the entrepreneurs all step back for a minute while the investors write down some comments and check a little box indicating whether they want to hear more. We'll get that information tomorrow sometime, but we've already had a couple of investors e-mail us wanting to set up lunches. So overall I expected it to go pretty well and it went great, surpassing even my relatively optimistic expectations.

Obviously once it was over I took a nap. Fortunately it was the perfect (at least for me) afternoon for it. It was cool, overcast and raining, so I could open the windows and let the soft sounds of rain and the cool breeze lull me to sleep. It doesn't get any better than that.

Transformers... More than meets the eye

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


So tomorrow one of my friends is pitching his business in front of 28+ angel investors and venture capitalists. The way it works is that they break the investors up into groups of 2-4 and you get seven minutes with each group, four for the actual pitch and three for questions. Four minutes is a pretty short time to pitch an entire business idea, particularly a complex one (which my friends happens to be). Because of course it's not just the idea, you have to cover the market, the competition, the problems your company is going to solve, the management team, etc. etc.

I helped him put together a lot of his research so he wants me to be there to help answer questions. It's a lunch time meeting so initially I was just going to arrange to take a long lunch, but it's grown to the point that I've decided to just take tomorrow off. It looks scary and exciting as most worthwhile things are. I'll let you know how it went on Thursday since I won't probably get around to blogging tomorrow.

I'll tell you that getting ready for the pitch (which we found out about less than a week ago) has been very tiring and time consuming. But there's part of me that really loves the big crunch times when lesser men fall by the wayside. Still as exciting as it's been, even more exciting, tomorrows high is suppossed to be 56 (today's is 88). I love the cold and the rain...

If you haven't figured it out, I'm being somewhat coy

Friday, June 01, 2007

To blog or not to blog

I was considering not blogging. I mean it's not as if, at this point, I have some perfect record I'm trying to preserve, and things have been quite hectic. For example (without going into much detail) a big meeting that I thought was going to take place the first week of July has been moved to the first week of June. Plus I'm trying to clone a server for someone over in marketing before they leave on vacation. But I'm currently waiting on tech support to call me back on that last issue, so I figure I have a couple of minutes to spit something out.

The weekend promises to be one of the most open I've had in awhile, but because of the meeting which was moved from July to June it may be as busy, if not busier than many of my other, very heavily scheduled weekends. Other than church the only thing we actually have scheduled is the "Granddaughters of Brigham Young" Luncheon that my wife and oldest daughter are going to. All the direct female descendents of Brigham Young have a big swanky luncheon every year, as far as I can tell most of the agenda is filled up with really, really good rolls, and arguments over which wife Brigham liked best, but of course I don't get to go, so I have no way of personally verifying anything.

Well that's about it. Have a good weekend.

The enemy of the good is the best