Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Revisited

I'm sure no one remembers that one time when I blogged about getting worked by

But either way, redemption came yesterday. I was busy planning my post-marriage vacation on Orbitz (note: You get some pretty redonkulous deals on hotels on that site, just saying) and I was dissatisfied. Sure, going to San Francisco was going to be cool, but there's was a Promo Code Box next to my subtotal that was just screaming to be filled. I was a bit weary of that box. I've lost some of my deal-scavenging mojo because of that stupid horse tape and I wasn't sure if I wanted to get into that all over again. However, I was feeling a bit daring:

Step one: new tab
Step two: Google "Orbitz Promo Code"
Step three: click first option,
Step four: Find something that looks relevant to 2 round-trip flights and 4 nights in a hotel.
Step five: Copy, Paste, Enter
Step Six: $50 off my honeymoon.

Bam baby. Fifty free bucks, just for me! The mojo's back! Put that in your trailer and tow it,!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

But Aubrey dear, I've already bought you diamonds this week

I totally said that last night in a very snooty voice. It was said at the Salt Lake Capital Theater shortly before the performance of Macbeth that we attended (boring, it was an opera and they took a lot of liberty with the story). They had some blingy stuff out at the merch table (or whatever you would call those tables) for the rich folk to buy. Best part was that I actually had bought her diamonds that week. Why did I do that? Because I'm totally marrying her in January and the ring (which I had custom made) is finally done.

All of you are probably saying "So wait, didn't post for the last two months because you've been too busy falling in love and getting engaged? Oh, that's okay then." and you'd be totally right. I'm glad we're on the same page and that you're okay with it. Some things are just more important than broadcasting myself onto the internet.

So anyway, yes. I'm getting married. You may be invited. We'll have to discuss it. Who am I marrying? None other than Aubrey (as noted in the title, that's her on the right!), the very same Aubrey that attended Food Inc. with me a couple months ago. After the movie and such we had a great chat and things pretty much picked up from there. Now you might be asking "Hold on, you're already engaged and two months ago was only like you're thrid or fourth date?" to which I say, "Actually, we got engaged about a month ago, I just never told you, suckahs!" That's just how it worked out, and I couldn't be happier. Aubrey would like me to add that we've known each other for over a year, which is supposed to make it look like we spent more time together before we decided to get hitched. Don't let it fool you though, we hadn't so much as had a conversation until I asked her out in May (but then a bike accident got in the way).

Other updates: I'm switching back to pre-med in school because that's what I actually want to do (wish me luck). Turns out being engaged isn't conducive to good grades, but I'm working on that. My brother and his wife had their first child this week, which makes me the uncle of four now. AFI (one of my favorite bands) put out a new album this week, and it's actually pretty dang good. Cafe World is the best Facebook game ever, totally killing the farm games. If you feel like you deserve a wedding invite (or at least an announcement) and we haven't talked about it yet, you should probably mention it now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Domesticity... a word that once appeared in an essay I turned in for an assignment in 7th grade English. I was not the author of said essay, I stole it off the internet. That was back in the good old days before Google when you could get away with something like that.

Turns out my teacher, Mrs. Perry, was extremely impressed by the usage of that word and asked me where I learned it. I told her that I'd heard my Dad say it before. That was a lie. A lie that was both large, and unwise. She then (appearently still impressed) mentioned it to my mom, who asked when--EVER-- did my Dad use the term "Domesticity" and how I had been around to hear it. I was pretty much caught then, although I never really admitted it until now. Fortunately, I don't think anyone ever spilled the beans to Mrs. Perry. And I NEVER copied anything off the internet again...I don't think....

However! It should be noted that every so often I make an attempt at domesticity in a literal sense. Some months ago I encountered a book called Hello, Cupcake! that has domesticity all over it. I decided to take a stab at one of the cupcakey creations inside it for a family picnic thingy that we had last weekend.

Meet Old Swampy the Crocodile:
Oh yeah, now who's domestic and awesome and stuff? I screwed him up in a few ways, but did my best to fix him. I didn't have the book/picture anymore when I made him, so I was winging it for the most part.
I'm not sure who was more excited, the kids or my mom, but it went down pretty dang well. I haven't eaten any of the cupcakes yet though (and probably won't ever). Whenever I undertake a large baking project I never eat any of the finished result. I get tired of it or something.

So there you have it: a confession and an accomplishment. Greatest post ever, right? Tell all your friends!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I fought the law...

...And we called it a draw.

Long story made short: just because your tail lights are out it doesn't mean the bulbs blew it. Sometimes it's just your fuse. But hey, you got new lights out of it in the meantime, didn't you? Also, the courthouse cops are much cooler than the traffic ones. I think working at midnight has something to do it (or just the jealousy of my car which is still very, very sexy The courthouse cop even complimented me on her).

On a sidenote: The Corn Refiners Association has started a PR campaign to try and defend High Fructose Corn Syrup. The general idea is not to refute any of the accusations, but to say rather arbitrary things like "It's made from corn! And it's fine in moderation!".

But! My favorite part is that a bunch of nerds got together to make informative spoofs of the commercials. Both can be found together here on my sister's post, Speaking of Corn. (I might add that I showed her these, she just posted them first so I'm leaching).

On a note even farther to the side: The comments on each of vids are pretty interesting. Specifically, there was one for the spoof version that read "[Dang]! He just blasted that [girl] with information!" that made me laugh for quite some time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Free Chocolate Day

is today.

Go here to get free chocolate mailed right to your house from Mars Candy Company!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hey world

Sorry I've been neglectful in posting, but I've having way too much in the real world to post. Not to mention my boss officially outlawed blogs at work a couple weeks prime blogging time got cut off there.

However, things have been great the past couple weeks. Which is a refreshing contrast to all the getting sick and getting injured and stuff from earlier in the summer. I think I've finally managed to pick a major (Exercise Science) with the aspiration of going to grad school to become a Physician's Assistant. This is the first time I've ever thought of grad school as something other than "Ugh, that sounds like it'll suck". I actually can't wait to hurry up and get done with my undergrad and do cool stuff.

Furthermore, I've been going on lots of dates. And not any of those weak sauce "hanging out" dates that people seem to do all the time (I'm looking at you, Brett), but actual going and doing stuff dates. Just last night I had Japanese food for the first time and went to a bunch of local landmarks until midnight. Granted, I totally got to work late this morning, but there's no need to dwell on that (my bosses have an irrational love for me, they won't fire me, sweet huh!?).

Additionally, my sister had her third little baby last week and he's definitely a precious thing. And a total man, but that's another story. I posted a pretty sweet announcement on her blog, but it's a private blog so I'll direct you to another sister's blog for pics.

Additionally, I finally went to the local farmer's market on Saturday. I met a friend of mine from work there and checked the place out. There was mostly a crapload of crafty crafts but also some good looking food and, most importantly, some local organic produce. I'm proud to say that I got the two most perfect cantalope I've ever had for $1.50 each. Seriously. Perfect catalopes, people. Why isn't stuff like this in the news? I also got some stuff for Pico de Gallo, corn, a zuchini that was bigger than my new newphew (for only a buck!) and some rather delicious limeade. Not a bad morning. I came back later with my Mom and we got a couple loaves of cool bread and bunch of black berries with which she made some great jam. So yeah, we're officially locally grown elitist buyers now.

So that's what I've been up to lately. To end off, I'd definitely recommend a new blog I found called Bent Objects and this video on YouTube:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obama's Health Care Plan is The Matrix

This thing made me laugh for a long time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Banner for a New Cause!

As is definitely noticeable, I have a new banner! It's pretty self-explanatory, so I'm going to leave you to figure how what its all about (and click on it!)

So our little party did go see Food Inc. last night in the cool little theatre. I'm not a pro on documentaries, so I dont have a lot to say on how well done it was, but I thought it was great. Everyone should go see it. And every one of those people should take another person who hasn't ever heard of it, as I get the feeling that most of the people that will actually notice and see the film as it is are already converted. Check here for screening times and places. Sorry Alaska, you don't get anything.

All the things I liked from The Omnivore's Dilemma had a presence in the movie, as well as a few other things.

- The American food industry as we know it is pretty much Fast Food. No emphasis is ever placed on quality or nutrition, only quantity and low cost. In the production of food products (and it really does become a product instead of food, food is way more personal than this stuff)
- Workers are given shoddy pay in dangerous environments. However, the specific job of each person is so simplified that any one is instantly replaceable should they have an issue.
- Workers (b). Chicken companies like Tyson hire illegal immigrants that work for insanely cheap and then pay the police to only arrest 15 of them every day. So in effect they produce our food for us for years before getting sent home with nothing.
- Forcing livestock to conform to industrialized forms of production is causing new forms of bacteria that can totally kill us in a matter of days. Switching cows to grass for their last 5 days of life would eliminate 80% of the possibility of E. Coli in beef. Instead of that, the beef gets a lovely chlorine bath. Yay.

The last freebie is this one: 70% of hamburger meat in the USA contains ammonia-laced filler to kill the potential E. Coli. Instead of feeding cows grass, that green stuff they've eaten for 2,000 in the fields, to avoid a problem, we're causing a problem and then trying to solve it by injecting chemicals into it. Think about that when you're next hamburger.

And this doesn't even go into the nasty conditions of the animals, the destitute farmers that sell to the meatpacking/distributors, or that FDA is totally in the pocket of these abusive food companies, many of which used to work or run them before getting a government position.

However, you can do something about it! And I don't mean to become a vegan, because that would be terribly boring. But what you CAN do is buy as much food as you can outside this structure. You can buy food from local farms or at farmer's markets. You can eat that processed junk and eat more real food. You can vote for transparency in the system. All those good things!

If you're like me and have no idea how to get local food, you can check out and see what's available in your area. It'll be more expensive, but that's the whole point. Better food now for a better life later.

Here's the first 3 and a half minutes from the movie. Excuse the creepy music.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So turns out I haven't posted anything in a week. I would have you believe that's because I've been too busy doing awesome things and haven't had time to write. That's partially true, I suppose, but not really.

However, tonight I'm going to this place:to see this movie.
Of which one of the main contributors is Michael Pollan, who also wrote:
Which is an amazing book that I love. I keep meaning to write a review about it, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll be attending with Miss Nemesis (sister and fellow food snob), GH (who's probably getting dragged more than anything else, poor guy), and Aubrey (who is my date, I'm hoping this doesn't scare her away).

Anyway, for those who dont know anything about Michael Pollan, a great place to start would be an episode of Fresh Air which was given in October 2008 when his book, In Defense of Food, had just come out. I take this moment to say that I LOVE Fresh Air and Terry Gross. It would be the most-awesome-thing-ever to be interviewed by her. It's definitely one of my goals in life to meet her. Anyway, he was on her show once and I'd consider the interview a very good place to start if you want to start your journey as a more-aware food consumer.

Interview (podcast or whatever you want) is here.

P.S. The theatre we're going to used to look like this before it got demolished and redone. How sweet is this thing!? I wish they hadn't changed it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finally got a gig

I finally got another photography gig yesterday. Little known fact about CoolBoy: I'm a photographer's assistant. This means I set up lights and do other management of equipment-type things that will usually bring the term "Pack Mule" to my mind. We had a photo shoot for ESPN magazine yesterday, which is awesome in itself. But even more awesome: I didn't have to go to my normal job, got paid about 2.5x what I would normally make in a day's work (but in just a few hours), and got to shake the hand of someone that's shaken the hand of Michael Jordan. Free breakfast and ice cream were also involved, you can't beat that.

We shot Mark Eaton, formerly of the Utah Jazz. He was a monster. Which is to say, he's 21 inches taller that me. I actually has to reach upward to shake his hand. What a beast. The shoot took place at one of the restaurants he owns in Salt Lake City. This one is called Tuscany and if I ever need to impress a girl, that's definitely where I'm going to take her. The place was awesome. It's designed to look like a house in Italy and has vines and stuff crawling up the walls and out of the ceiling. A guy could score some serious points there.

In other news, according to my little map on the sidebar. There's a person from Lodz, Poland that has consistently been reading this blog. To the Polish man (or preferably, woman) I say: That's so COOL! Please keep reading! And tell all your other European friends about me too! And you know, maybe leave a comment sometime.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Remembering the Remembering

May it rest in peace...and never be heard of again. Unless you're Larry King. This is one dead horse I don't think he'll ever stop kicking.

Monday, July 13, 2009

MPS #5: Jeff Ludes

I wasn't sure if I wanted to have Jeff Ludes on the blog this week. But then I looked at his blog and saw something awesome that pretty much made the decision for me. I wasn't able to find too much on him in a biographical sense, but he DID go to Art Center College of Design from '98 to '02. So I guess that's something. But anyway-have you ever wanted to know how to make your Honda or Nissan look cool? Jeff Ludes is your man. Using amazing action shots and probably a good 40 hours a week on CS4, he's managed to produce shockingly good shots of cars. Featured on many billboard and advertisements,
I won't lie, this next one makes me want to get an Infinity. That and move to a place that has such pretty leaves during the fall to match it.

Okay, now for what I'm actually excited about. Some of you might have noticed my last post, which chronicled my epic battle with a Wild Alaskan Stallion of an automobile (she's still great, by the way). Some people apparently read into it a bit weird, causing a very short but intense discussion in the comments. But then Jeff had the following posted on his blog:

The laughter could not be contained. I guess it's a common theme.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Legend is Born

So there I was, deep within the Alaska wilderness. My hunt had been going so long, I wasn't even sure what I was looking for anymore. The food had run out 3 days earlier and all those berries were finally starting to slow me down. Fortunately I was able to take that bear down the day before for some protein and shelter. 300 miles from civilization with only the caribou to keep me company, I began to wonder if I should just give it up.

Then I saw something. I wasn't sure at first what it was...the majesty and shine of The Beast in the Midnight Sun was too brilliant for mere mortals to behold. Then she turned away from me and ambled on, carrying herself as light as a magpie in the breeze. Through squinting eyes I saw...

[This link is giving me a hard time, you'll just have to click and see]

I knew this was what I had been searching for all these weeks. In was our destiny to become one. I tracked her for 6 more days without even thinking of food nor water. She became my obsession, my very cause for life, and I at last headed her off. I knew she was toying with me-- but she was learn to respect me when I became her master.

A battle ensued. She took several dings on the doors and many a kick to the bumper before submission came. But come it did and I did mount her for the first time. Only to find that she was almost out of gas. Awesome. Not to mention she has a manual transmission. Double bad. But we were one.

Which isn't to say she isn't in need of a little training. There's some kinks we're working out with that whole "moving while in first gear" thing. But just wait my friend, our bond will become a thing of legend. Those who speak of it will only do so in fear, whispering in the dark and behind closed doors.

Photo taken by Ed McCulloch

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Year One

But not the movie. As of today I've officially been back from my mission to the Dominican Republic for one full year. I am neither engaged nor married, which I'm a bit proud of (but I will admit I'm tired of living with a bunch of dudes).

Let's take a look of how far I've got in the past year:

Dependence of Parents
Days spent living with my parents: 21
Money regularly accepted from parents: I think only when I get sick...
Times gotten sick: like 5

Jobs: 3
Current wage: Less than I made when I was 16
Monthly bills to pay: 4 (soon to be 3, faster internet isn't worth it)
Student loans: None. Thanks Dad, you're The Man
Cars in my name: 1

Professional life/Fame
Paying photography gigs: 3, soon to be 4
Copyright offices I work in: 1
Irony that I work in a copyright office: Great
Copyright Infringement investigations preformed: 1
Irony that I have conducted an infringement investigation: Endless
Times been a voiceover: 1
Times mentioned in Wikipedia: 1
Times I've wished I could be on Fresh Air and meet Teri Gross: Many

Culinary Achievement
Chocolate Icing recipes perfected: 1
Times I've cooked for my roommates: 10ish
Times I've gotten Brett to say "Mmm!": 1
Times made chocolate covered pretzels: 2
Times I made chocolate Andes cookies for the people I home teach only to find that one of my roommates took big bites out of them, causing me to completely lose my temper: 1
How funny that was for lookers-on: 9 out of 10

Degree Programs accepted into: None - curse you, mono
GPA: Like 3.5 - again, mono is the devil
Years of college remaining: At least 3

Living situation
Roommates married off: 1 - and thank goodness, he was kinda weird
Black Sleep-talking roommates: 1
White wiggles-feet-while-sleeping roommates: 1
White only-sleeps-when-the-sun-is-up roommates: 1
Arguments about the A/C daily: at least one
How much this bothers me: None
Washers, Dryers, and Dishwashers in my apt: None
How much this bothers me: A bit
Foosball tables in apartment:1
How much this bothers me: A lot
Whispered, whimpering, conversations Brett has had on the phone with his girlfriend while I'm trying to sleep this week alone: 2
How much this bothers me: Less than the Foosball table, but it's still pretty odd.

Political Involvement:
Presidential Elections survived: 1
Times wished Sarah Palin would just go home and do her job again: Any time I hear her name
Worth of BYU student elections: -$Whatever the budget is

Literary Accomplishment
Fiction Books read: 6.5 (sorry Golden Compass...I got bored)
# of those about Zombies: 1
# of books I've read due to obligation of honor and conscience and not being a dirty liar-pants: 3
Nonfiction books read: 6
Papers written for class: 3
Blog posts written: 21
Blog posts written while at work: 21
Books checked out from library without reading them: 5 (I promise I'll read The 13th Tale one of these days...)

Dates been on: several, but not as many as I'd like
Girls never called back: 2...oops
Women with hurt feelings: 1 (totally not my fault)
# dates with blondes ever: 0, I'm really not sure why this is
Relationships been in: 2
# of those that were totally weird and probably shouldn't have happened in the first place: 1
# of those girls that are now on missions: 1
# of those girls that is in my ward and everyone still thinks we're going out anyway (yet she gets asked out and hit on by guys in the ward...backstabbers): 1
# of times that girl stepped on a cupcake and made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants while laying on the sidewalk:1

Ethan & Savannah
Times I've babysat los sobrinos: a lot, in fact, I might be sitting on them tonight...I don't remember....
Times I've kissed their butts like their aunts do: None
Times I've wiped their butts: Too many
Times been made a total sucker by sobrinos: Too many to count
Times punched Savvy in the mouth on accident: 1
Planned dates with Savvy once I can drive my car: 1

Concerts attended out of state: 1
Times almost bought ticket to China: 1
Times almost bought ticket to Hawaii: 1
Times almost bought ticket to Alaska: 1
Times almost drove to Texas: 1

Missionary Work
Times I've called/written old investigators: 0
Times volunteered at the MTC: 0
Times meant to volunteer at the MTC: at least 200, I even get the emails every week and it's like a free guilt fest every time
Times reviewed a few mission letters: 2
Days thought about mission at least once in past year: 365
Mission friends married: Kind of a lot, like 15+, several of which got home after I did
Mission friends that I see regularly: 0, but I have had lunch with Wilkins a couple times

Extremely sexy bicycles owned: 1
Accidents on said bike: 1
Drugs done: 3 - Prednisone (A+), Lortab (B- takes forever to kick in), Percocet (D-)
Pron looked at in the shadows while no one was around: None
Times missed church:1
Times wanted to leave during Priesthood because it's so boring: probably around 25
Shows that I've become addicted to and spent hours watching: 4 - House M.D., The Office, Lost, Arrested Development
Hours spent playing video games instead of reading or exercising or cooking or going on a date: None of your business
Completely random and inconsistent chastity talks received from sisters: 1

How much I enjoyed it: Immensely
Number of time I'd be willing to repeat it: None

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sidebar Music

I have music on my sidebar. I'm not sure anyone's noticed because it isn't the annoying kind that just starts playing as soon as you get to the page and restarts every time you do something. It's a good little system though, made possible by working the system of your friends at Lala. I try to put things that I've found recently, but sometimes I just put weird stuff that I still like (which is how Kenny G got on there, that man can play).

Here's how it works.

We see three boxes just like these:
Each has its own Play button and won't play until clicked on (you're welcome). Lala has it set up so that you can listen to each song only once. If you try to listen to it again (or if it's just being stupid, which it often is) you'll get something like this:
meaning that you can only listen to 30 seconds of the song instead of the whole thing. Fortunately, this is easily remedied. All you have to do is go into the Privacy setting of your browser and delete any cookies you might have from Lala's domain. Refresh the page, and you should be good to go. If you don't know how to clear your cookies, Google "clear cookies [the name of your browser]", that should lead to you something that'll help you figure it out.

Happy Listening!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

MPS #4: Aneta Kowalczyk

I realize that it's Tuesday, but I'm not going to let that bother me.

This week is going to Aneta Kowalczyk, a photographer from Poland of all places. She started out as a model and didn't get behind the lens until 2006. It's taken less than three years for her to get her photos on the covers of fashion magazines. Not too shabby.
Granted this is going a bit out of my normal range. Aneta does mainly fashion and beauty magazines and I've never really been into those (if you can imagine that). But that aside, her work is dazzling. Sharp contrasts, interesting composition, and freakishly moody models are the common theme.
Her most famous shot has a bit more skin that I want to post on here and I don't have the heart to put a black box on it, so you'll have to do a bit of additional research if you want to see it. Actually, all you would have to do is visit her website. There's nothing you wouldn't see in a PG-13 movie, but more than I want people at BYU to see over my shoulder.

Also, I think it appropriate to mention that it was reported to me that today is National Chocolate Day. I don't actually think this is true because the Daily Universe is completely useless. But I bought a Toblerone for the occasion anyway, because in all seriousness, what day should not be a chocolate day?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Ah, the 4th of July, a holiday that will forever remind me of my time as a Mormon missionary in the Dominican Republic. I officially became a missionary on July 5th (Three years yesterday!) but went to Utah to go to the Missionary Training Center on the 4th. So that 4th as well as the following pair of 4ths were all spent as a missionary away from my family.

How about a little recount of my past four 4ths?

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
Half of this day was spent on an airplane (which is among my least favorite ways to pass the time) and the rest at a friend of mine's family reunion. I hadn't met any of those people before, nor have I seen any of them since. It took place in a place called Payson reached its pinnacle with the "Col-de-Sac of Fire!" extravaganza. It consisted of what I'm guessing was $2000 worth of Wal-Mart firecrackers that didn't leave the ground, but were still kinda neat.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
In my mission, Wednesdays are days known as Preparation Day to missionaries. It's the day that missionaries do things like go shopping, email the family, play sports, and (in my case) take a few naps. This particular P-day fell on the 4th, so I decided that I was going to grill up some steak for my companion Elder Aquino, a Dominican who had never had steak before. It was amazing, but turns out the reason he had been feeling so bad the past several days was because he had Dengue Fever. So the rest of the day and every day until Monday were spent at the hospital or the Mission President's house.

At one point that evening I asked President Thomas if he needed anything done and he told me that I could wash the mission van. Washing that nappy van was one of the greatest experiences of my mission. It was incredibly soothing. I think the only thing that could have beat it was mowing the lawn. I also spent some time talking to Prez about future career ideas, he had a lot to say about it. Good times.

Friday, July 4th, 2008 (leap year threw the day off)
This was 6 days before I went home. I was burned out. Like...meat that fell into the fire and comes back looking like a hockey puck burned out. I don't recall most of that day, but I do remember that I did a baptismal interview that had been very poorly planned by some guys in my district so Elder Williams and I ended up getting home very late. However, in the interest of being festive, we made a stop at my favorite hot dog place from the year before. And I'm sure that night before bed we spent some time listening to Williams' Kenny G cd. So Good.

Saturday, July 5th, 2009
Getting to sleep in
Missing the parade
Having tasty food and hanging out with my family
Whipping up a replacement black bean and corn salsa super-fast
GH letting me light the firecrackers he bought
Contributing to Savvy's coin collection so she could get her first-ever Cotton Candy
Kicking trash at a card game I hadn't played since I was 10
Seeing fireworks for the first time in 3 years

Missing the Hot Air Balloon festival
Nemesis forgetting the awesome bean and corn salsa she spent all morning on at home.
Accidently elbowing Savvy in the mouth, hard causing her to bite her tongue really hard, shriek horribly, and bleed a lot. Turns out I jump when I get a wet willy.
The Stadium of Fire fireworks that we saw from the park were actually pretty weak

It's amazing how not-alike these four days are. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to be an Overwhelming Butthead

This post is dedicated to Laurs.

There are many simple, apparently painless ways to do this to harass your co-workers. Let's list a few.

1. Identify something your co-worker doesn't do very well. Point it out every time they do it wrong. Repetition is key.
2. Think of something bad that's happened to them recently, talk about it often.
3. Think of/Make up ways that they handled the aforementioned event poorly. Comment often.
4. Find out one of their goals, something that they've been working on for a while and are proud of, like a competition. Then, have someone else do it for you and take the award to work. Double points if this person comes to work and presents it to you in your co-worker's presence. Yay for gloating!
5. If your co-worker struggles with an assignment, instead of providing constructive criticism, just criticize.
6. Think up menial tasks you don't want to do yourself. Impose them upon your co-worker.
7. Make slights on the type of art and or/music your co-worker enjoys.
8. If something nice does happen to your co-worker, be sure to belittle it.
9. If your co-worker is sick (and male), spray their workstation down with a feminine hygiene product to "disinfect" it. Extra points if you can manage a spray onto the phone between calls.

Last but most importantly:

10. Giggle incessantly when you do any of the above things. The more girlier, the better.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Something Awesome

I've made two discoveries, both of which are due to my wonderful sister Jenny.

The first is The Simple Dollar, or more specifically, 100 Things to do during a Money-Free Weekend. A list of 100 things to do that don't cost anything, and most of them are actually interesting. How cool is that?

One of these 100 things was a link to this: MIT's OpenCourseWare

It's MIT courses. For free! Courses are listed by department (look along the left side of the page) with everything you need to take the course all by yourself. Classes include a syllabus, lecture notes in PDF (sometime even on mp3s or videos), assignments, and exams.

I'm taking a course on java in the winter as a pre-req to get into the Information Systems program at BYU. Being that my programming experience is limited to that one time I got really bored with my TI-83+ in my Freshman math class when I was 14, I'm kinda worried about it and wanted to learn a bit about it before I take the course. Get this: All the course info for the equivilant course at MIT this past winter is right here. Yeah Suckahs! That's what I'm talking about!

So yeah, if you've ever wanted to take a class on something but didn't want to pay or have to follow the regiment, I've done all the looking for you. Happy learning!

Monday, June 29, 2009

MPS #3: Elliott Erwitt

Last week was the processed stuff so I guess today is the organic stuff. And not the Industrialized Organic either (why yes, I am reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, why do you ask?). This week is going to Elliott Erwitt.
Born in Paris in 1928 and raised in California and New York, Elliot started his photography career in photojournalism and advertising in 1950. He got good. Really good. His portrait portfolio includes shots of people like Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and Che Guevara.
Apart from spectacular darkroom B&W photography (that is to say, pre-Photoshop) his work oftentimes caries with it a strong since of irony. This shines out especially in one pic that features a studio full of nude painters painting a clothed woman (which won't make it on here, as it has several boobs in it).

And turns out he loves dogs too.

Not to be left in the dust, now a days he does a lot of color photography as well. But the "old" stuff is definitely what stands out. If you have the strong desire to make some of these photos your own, signed prints of all these shots are available starting at $4,000 (um...yeah...I'll take two?). Additionally, he has several books for sale, including Snaps, Personal Exposures, and several others.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hmm, who knew?

I finished Freakonomics last week and keep forgetting to write about it. I guess the time has finally come.

Firstly, I think the title is a bit misleading. It's more like "The hidden side of the few weird things that the authors thought were interesting...leading to a very random book". That and the use of (and the romanticism put into) the word "Rogue" made me think "Maverick". Also, it should be noted that Steven Levitt is the economist, and Stephen Dubner is the New York Times writer that helped him write a whole book.

But gripes aside, it is very interesting. Using statistical analysis and (in some cases rather liberal use of) econometrics, Levitt asks and answers some pretty weird questions. What caused the drop in crime in the 90's when it looked like it would only get worse? Legalized Abortion. Instead of having babies, the woman in situtations that would put their children at high-risk for crime had abortions instead. Why are most drug dealers poor? Because the standard crack scene is really a giant multi-level marketing scheme, so all the normal, grunt dealers have a common supplier and have to cough up a ton of overhead (and therefore still live with their mothers).

The book ends with two studies on parenting. The first being about parental techniques that help children "to succeed" and the second on the effects of what parents name their children. In the first study they concluded that "techniques" (like reading to your children daily) didn't really matter. What mattered most was what kind of people the parents were. If they were honest, educated, and successful themselves, their children would most likely follow suit. Things like reading to your children, going to museums, or whether or not you spank your children didn't seem to matter.

I took the slightest bit of issue with that conclusion. The study was on techniques that seemed to help children get good standardized test scores. That means very little to me. While the integrity and traits of a parent do matter a great deal, I think the time/activities children spend/do with their parents matters as well. Wholesome activities as a family could help a child be successful economically and socially after their formal education ends. It could be on a trip to the museum that a child discovers something that they eventually turn into a career. Or time spent reading or hiking or doing some other healthy habit as a family could continue throughout a child's life that never would otherwise. So this is a section of a the book where I think they were a little misleading. Good elementary school test scores do not equal success in life.

The section after that was pretty neat though. They broke down the top California baby names into several Top 10 lists by race, gender, income and decade to look for trends. There was some cool stuff in there too. Higher income families were more likely to have the traditional spelling for names while low-income families were more likely to spell a name differently (or just wrong). Furthermore, what were high-income names one year would become the new low-income names 20 years later. Crazy stuff.

What a bunch of Rogues [Mavericks].

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The time I was really tired at work...

Warning, this is a gross post.

If there's a word above all others that grosses me out more than any other, this word is "placenta". Sick. Just saying it is nasty. And then when you see one in all its nasty veiny nastiness there's just no redeeming qualities. It's like that Dave Barry essay about his son's birth:

Nonetheless, the baby came out all right, or at least all right
for newborn babies, which is actually pretty awful unless
you're a big fan of slime. I thought I had held up well for
the whole thing when the doctor, who up to then had behaved
like a perfectly rational person, said, "Would you like to see
the placenta?". Now, let's face it. That's like asking, "Would
you like me to pour hot tar into your nostrils?". Nobody would
like to see a placenta. If anything, it would be a form of

Jury: We find the defendant guilty of stealing from
the old and crippled.
Judge: I sentence the defendant to look at three pla-

But without waiting for an answer, the doctor held up the
placenta, not unlike the way you might hold up a bowling
Yes. So the Miracle of Life and cute babies and all that aside. It's a pretty gross affair.

But, if there's anything I like as much as I dislike that word, it's teasing my co-worker. From here out we'll call her Lars (I know that's a guy's name, but just go with me on this one).

Today, during a discussion of black widow spiders in bags of grapes at Costco, someone mentioned finding weevils in a banana. Lars then insists that "weevil" is the grossest word in the language. I disagree, and continued to reason why The P-Word is more gross. Especially when you consider that some people eat them.

Which got me to thinking. How do people go about eating them? I'm sure they can't taste like much on their own. Just like skin [read: lips] or something, so they would have to do something to spice things up. We brainstormed for a bit (Larz was eating some diced pears at the time and took her leave) and I then went into the Wilds of the Internets to see what I could find. And find I did.

Recipes that can use The P-Word as the main source of protein:
  1. Stew
  2. Sausage Pizza
  3. Cocktails (with V-8 juice, double sick)
  4. Lasagna
  5. Roast
  6. Meaty Spaghetti Sauce
None of these sound appealing to me in the slightest. In fact, I don't think I want to eat any of those things, P-Word or not, for quite some time. I'm just glad it's a short list. I figure you can only try out one recipe per pregnancy, leaving precious little time for culinary experimentation.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Also, Wow

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MPS #2: Marcus Sauer

Yes, the second edition of the Monday Photography Special goes to Marcus Sauer (and no, that isn't him).

Apparently based in Germany, he's traveled all over the world taking pictures of things and places. He's had a lot of stuff in advertisements (particularly cars), all of which is pretty dazzling (which means heavily processed). But a lot of post work isn't necessarily a bad thing. Most of his cool stuff is on his website and can't be copied w/out permission, so everything here is linked through an online stock photography company ( and most of those are just landscapes. But they're still very neat.

Those are some crazy-cool skies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Working on a new look

I'm trying to decide on a look for this bliggity-blag. The Google templates are all kind of weak, so I'll be exploring some others for a few days I think. Please excuse any eyesores that might pop up.

In which REI knows me way, way too well

Earlier this week, the peeps at REI had a meeting:

President and CEO Sally Jewell: Okay, so Coolboy's been into the cycling thing for a few weeks now. He's been out several times, had a minor accident, hit 30mph...

Vice President of Merchandising Angela Owens: He's such a stud!

Sally: ...and is going to for his first 20-mile ride tomorrow, weather permitting. He'll be in the market for some more gear about now. Maybe another pair of shorts and a couple more jerseys. What do we got?

Vice President of E-Commerce and Web Strategy Brad Brown: He always goes for sales though, that doesn't do us any good. He usually stops around $40. We want a good $50 out of him this time.

Sally: Hmm... what could be throw at him?

Then the skinny guy intern in the back is all like: What about this little number?

Hoe. Lee. Crap.

I'm still trying to come up with a good excuse to justify the money, as it was a bit pricey. No shipping charge? First day with no bandages since the accident? It'll help the guys in my apartment accept my new habit of spandex shorts? My Quarter Birthday? I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You cannot trust a southerner

I realize that might seem a little out of date, but apparently they just want to steal your money.

It all began with a friend telling me that on, you can buy that awesome medical tape that only sticks to itself really cheap (and upon my own investigation, lots of colors). I was pretty excited about this. I've been using ton of the stuff since my accident and it's very expensive. I recently got a great deal on some at my university Student Health Center, so I didn't need any more. But it was a great thing to know (Plus shipping was like $5).

I then made an alarming discovery:

Not even kidding. They carry wonders such as these:
Doesn't that little tie just make you want to vomit? It just seems to strange to have formal wear for your domesticated rodent. I don't get it.

Anyway, back to the point. I decided to at least give a shot. As with all my online purchases, I searched deep into the Wilds of the Internets (come back to this link when you get a chance) for coupon codes that thoughtful people have posted online for the use of all. If I could score free shipping, I'd go for another roll or two of tape in crazy colors. And I did! However... you had to sign up and stuff at before you could apply the coupon to your basket (REI does this too, it's annoying). I've been around the coupons-on-the-internet block before, so I knew that it probably wouldn't work anyway but I still wanted to give it a shot.

So I did the only right thing to do this situation: put in all jibberish for the information. It looked like this:
5616 jiosdfioo
provo, UT 84606

That's right: my address is 5616 jiosdfioo. Maybe I should have put some letters in the phone number for good measure, but whatever. Then it wanted a CC number. A little exasperated, I got my card out and typed the number in, and clicked OK, expecting page to review my order (and finally see if that coupon worked). What I got was this:

Thank You for ordering from! This message is an automated response to confirm we have received your order in our system.

Your order will be sent to the warehouse soon so you still have time to edit your order. You will receive an email confirmation letting you know that your order has been sent to processing and is completed.

Until then you can edit your order by clicking here: [there was a link provided here]

You can expect to receive your order of in-stock items by Economy Shipping in 7-10 business days*.
* - (not including Saturday or Sunday)

Um. Not good. And the free shipping did NOT work. Double suck. That's okay though, right? I can just cancel it. I clicked the link and changed my shopping cart to empty. I then saw the "cancel order" button, which I clicked as well, receiving a confirmation that it was canceled. And just for good measure, I changed all my billing and shipping information in my profile to hyphens.

About 5 minutes later, I got this email:

Greetings from
Your order has been sent to the warehouse today, 6/17/2009 5:16:23 PM to be shipped.
These are the items that we are now packing to be shipped:...

Excuse me? It was time to work the White Male in me and get things done. I responded to the email informing them that I had canceled that order and would appreciate it if they didn't ship anything, especially since the address was gibberish. I then called the number
provided and was informed by a woman with a deep southern twang (that's right: The Confederates, or the KKK at the very least did this to me) that they didn't have my order anywhere in the system (good sign), but I should called back later.

This morning, I awoke to find this message in my inbox:

Dear Michael,
Unfortunately, the order has shipped this morning. You must have canceled the order after it had came through to our website. Once the package returns, the credit card will be refunded. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
[Customer Service Agent]

What!? Really? Who did they send it TO? hyphen street?
5616 jiosdfioo? That doesn't even make sense! Nor does it resemble my CC's billing address in any way. However, I do currently have a charge on my account for it (thanks for nothing Wells Fargo, as usual). Did anyone ever look at the address? Or is "Jiosdfioo" just one of those things The Mormons talk about over there in Utah while the men sacrifice the babies and the women hide their horns under those poofy hair styles. A perfectly normal Utah address, thank you very much.

Play with fire; you get burned. That's what I learned from this experience. My emails with them are ongoing, but don't need mention here. SOMEONE really needs to work on the efficiency of their website. And someone else needs to stop playing with things that don't belong to him i.e. internet coupons.

P.S. The the case of someone getting offended that I immediately drew the connection of a southern accent to the Confederacy and the KKK, I was joking. While it is possible that she's a racist and supports slavery and segregation, it isn't likely and I know that. You do not need to explain how wrong I am or how offended you are to me. My entire family is from the south, it's entirely my privilege to make fun of them if I like. Count to 10 slowly and
then comment.

P.P.S. As for the poofy Utah hair comment, I'm not retracting it. I'm totally right. Why else would women have hair like that? It isn't attractive and it looks like a pain to do. Must be utility that keeps it in vogue.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Something Bad Happened...

...and I'm still not over it.

I love this guy:

Problem though, is that he's also Dr. Cockroach PhD

Jasper on 101 Dalmatians
Whiney Mr. Palmer
And whoever the crap this guy is supposed to be

You might ask, "So wait, an actor has played more than one character? And you're complaining?". Yes, yes I am. Because whenever I see my boy House in any other role, I get really confused. And that right there is my problem in the first place. He isn't Hugh Laurie, he's Gregory House, so any time I see him with his normal accent or in another role I think "Woah woah wait, who the heck is that guy?" But nothing could have ever prepared me for what I saw this weekend:

And then I suffered a case of sudden-onset epilepsy and slithered off my couch in tremors.

A comb over. No, not that. Anything but that! Fine! Put him in a family movie. Make him all cheery and helpful and fatherly. Heck, you can even put Geena Davis in there too if you like. But then you go and make him all smiley and sweater vesty and give him a comb over. Do you hate me tv? Do you? Seems like it (But I must add, Geena Davis' red hair is pretty hot). How am I supposed to enjoy one of my favorite shows if every time I watch it I think about Mr. Fredrick Little? It just isn't fair. Fox really should get some kind of insurance against this kind of thing. Maybe some more marketing to help me forget about it. But, the damage is done. Does anyone have the number of a good therapist?

P.S. After two weeks I was finally able to make a fist with my right hand again, which was celebrated with a 13-mile bike ride. No one even got hurt.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Photography Special #1: Nick Brandt

I'm torn between having an actual "weekly photographer" feature or just posting up cool stuff whenever I find it. The former would be nice because it would keep me on a regiment. So I'd wouldn't ever go on a photography binge on here. But if things ever get slow, I will have to spend time looking for a good one. I like the sound of that. But then again, why get into a commitment without needing to?

Either way, today's post features one Nike Brant (Also, none of the photos link to his website. It's his own fault).

Is website features two portfolios, both of which were shot in Africa. All his work is black and white with vivid contrast. Furthermore, they all convey a sense of majesty and age. He was made famous by his book On This Earth published in 2005, with another coming out this September.

For a nifty little collage, many of his photos are featured in the music video for Sufjan Steven's "Come Thou Fount of every Blessing". Check it: