Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grateful Days

I usually think of bad things being associated with the phrase "when it rains it pours," but the opposite is true as well. It's not raining good or bad things--it's autumn. It's cold, busy, and dark outside, but there are also heavenly moments where the wind is blowing softly with a warmth that just can't be imitated and the leaves are brightly glistening. Your electric AND gas bills are low. It's even nicer when someone else rakes your lawn.

So everything's not perfect in my life, but there are some subtle nice things going on:

-Gas is below two dollars. This hasn't happened since 2005 or so for me. I feel young again.

-I got an A- on an essay that took forever to write.

-The collaboration room I have been working on designing is close to being finished. I talk about it here.

-My finally moved to Verizon, so my wireless bill is lower and I get to talk to them for free, which is also good since I talk to them the most.

-I know how to change the home page in firefox: 1) navigate to the page you want for your home page 2) click on tools in the menu bar 3) click on options in that menu 3) Click on the button that says "Use current pages."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Labels II: Why Skittles are Skittles

Okay. The reason I think Chocolate Skittles are the sign of a doomed economy (please read in SOME exaggeration)is that when people think of Skittles they think of fruit or at least a lively vibrant flavor--that reminds you of a rainbow!. The rainbow on the label of these Skittles ends up in the mud! Plus, Chewy chocolate has been done already. They're called Tootsie Rolls. Mars, you went too far. You got greedy. Now we are confused. Maybe it was the blending idea. I can blend the chocolate pudding skittle with the vanilla skittle or even the s'more skittle. Even better with the brownie skittle. No! All that blends is not Skittle!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Labels: Or Chocolate Skittles = Doomed Economy

So I've come across several labels over the past few days which have made me frustrated. For some reason, frustration is easy to remember. This is probably a good thing. If it weren't we would probably keep stubbing our toes and forgetting our keys in the doorway and feeling like life was heaven at the same time. Anyway, here are the labels I've been thinking about in order of most frustrating to least.

1. Friends bot to get more friends! (from an automatically generated gmail add)
Look at this:
Auto accept pending friend requests
• Auto message, comment, or just aprove!
• Sends real friend requests!
• Import users from comments, friends and more
You know what these features sound like to me? You know what I would use as the tag line?

Dealing with your friends has never been easier--streamline your friends to-do list today!!


Losing the friend count competition? Get more friends faster than ever!

And it only costs $55! Certainly worth every penny when I consider how much time I save managing my friends!

What would be really sad is if it autogenerated comments / messages:
- say happy birthday to all your friends on their birthdays!
- tell them they look good in the pictures they're actually in!
- auto reject invitations to certain friend's events and auto accept to others!!
- auto congratulate them on getting married/ having kids/ fill in the blank!!

There are people out there that likely end up having dozens or even hundreds of meaningful friendships out there. I understand there is a need to keep in touch with people. I think it is a very real and important emotion to be able to feel happy for someone when they (finally) get married or get the job they always wanted. Or to tell them that you were thinking of them. But there is something lost when, just because we can keep in touch with friends that we start feeling like we have to. Of course I don't think anyone wants to feel that way, but when time is short and we are thinking about our friends that are actually around us, we will eventually have to prioritize somehow.

I think most of the meaning of friend comes from the time we actually spent with them. I also think we can only really be there as a friend for so many people at a time. I would consider one of my best friends now my red-headed roommate, even though I have had other friends for longer and have considered them my "best friend." Both friends are equally important to me and I would be equally happy for the good things in their lives and sad for the bad things. But I need to know less about my long time friend than I do my roommate. I'll probably get him a present or something, but I won't ever get my long time best friend a present again. Maybe Christmas present. Maybe. If you're reading this friends, I'm making a point, not promises!

I think the problem with facebook / mySpace is that they force us to be there (have to poke, have to write on walls, have to bite this person's vampire) for people, and we just don't have enough time to be sincere. But the expectation is there. So you either spend a lot of time on facebook or you feel disappointed.

Ok, I never got to chocolate skittles or some other labels, but in short chocolate skittles are gross. I might write more about that later.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Humor Can Wait... It's about time, Family Blog!

I've had the idea of starting to share my feelings about the family on a blog or a website for several times now. But I've always wanted to be clever about it. Because the family isn't just nice, picnics, and Mr. Rogers, it's relevant just like the environment, the economy, college football rankings, and technology! I think it's more relevant. Be informed!

It's not just relevant, it's also an ideal like freedom or responsibility or good humor. They aren't tangible--they are just things in our heads that have enough meaning to change what we behave and what we expect. They are at the same time very important, wonderful, and easy to take for granted, unless you realize why they're so important. They're like national parks. You start out just knowing where one is and what it looks like there. Then you start to realize things you like about it when you've visited there because there are things there that you can't experience elsewhere. Like how quiet it is, the fact that you can escape from civilization and reminders of civilization, and the fact that it's going to stay this way for a while. But then you start to realize that in order for it to stay this way, most everyone that uses the place has to feel about the same way about it. You realize that litter is a reminder of civilization and, in fact, even a reminder of uncivilization and, though a small thing, can take a lot away from what the place is. Carving mathematical expressions of love into living things, though they are trees and don't complain, and are surely always signs of enduring commitment, are not appreciated by others. So you don't do those things and you want to tell other people with enough persuasion why national parks are so great it's so nice to have a place look like no one else has been there so they don't want to either. Let alone do things like start forest fires or poison the water holes or paint the buffalo green. You also get upset if people start saying national parks are actually more like amusement parks and therefore one should expect them to be dirty and noisy and have green buffalo.

So that's actually my attempt at being clever about writing about the family. If it wasn't that clever oh well. It's taking too long. It's like waiting forever for the right words to tell someone that you love them or that they owe you money (or both). You wait too long they don't want to pay the money and they don't want to hear about the love.

I have a great family. They aren't perfect, but they've been good enough to me that I really get upset when people carve initials in the trees of them (metaphorically). I've also known people that I really cared about that had bad things happen to them that wouldn't have if what family was was understood.

So this is what I think needs to be understood about family for it to be treated right.

Families aren't just nice. I don't like the word nice anyway. Nice usually ends up being civility on autopilot. It always takes more than nice for a family to work. It takes love. Maybe the family is sometimes seen as boring because people are thinking of nice. Yes, nice IS boring. Doing what you're supposed to when it's easy and when you don't have to think about it. That is nice. But you need love to take the risk to communicate with who has hurt you and may hurt you again. Or still wanting to be there for someone when they've let you down. That's more than nice. People who learn how to love in families will have the courage to make other hard choices for things they love.

Family values aren't nice. Morality isn't nice or restrictive. I heard in a conference talk today that virtue is strength--not snootiness or naivite but something you can stand for. I always think of this cannon object lesson I saw once. You light some gun powder out in the open and you don't even have to cover your ears. You light the same amount of gun powder inside a cannon and you get a really nice report (sound). AND the cannon ball blows something up. All because the explosion was contained. That's what happens when someone actually has morals. They gain strength and confidence by containing the decisions they make.

It's a lot tougher to have morals or love without the help of Heavenly Father. Both take grace and guidance. I don't think it's a coincidence that enduring values are all found together in the same place. I also think that love is something we learn by being loved. Love just doesn't come from nowhere. I think as times get tougher,
people will want to find other people with values. And people with values will want to find God.

I also think there are more people like that than I realize or anyone who feels that way does. I think that's why it's important to tell other people how you feel.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's in your... mailbox?

So I get a letter from Richmond Virginia in one of those orange serious looking envelopes. The kind that have classified material in them. Well this one was actually half that size. But still. Could this be a tax refund that I don't know about? Have I been called for jury duty? Is the FBI trying to contact me about that Moroccan who kept calling me over Skype?

No. Indeed not. I open the letter and there are two huge 0%'s staring back at me. Capital One. My old nemesis playing games with my head. Again. Apparently I've been marked as a tough customer who never opens their mail, unless it looks important and I'm tricked into thinking it's not from them. I got mail from capital one at least once a week for an entire year. Addressed to my name spelled correctly. I also used to get enough mail from them to maybe even prove that Aron Reid living at the same exact address at the same time actually exists. Aron Reid is a fictitious entity created by Dell when I ordered and canceled an order for a laptop from them. Over the phone. Dell told Big Brother mine and Aron's addresses and Big Brother told Capital One.

What I'm really wondering is why so sneaky? And why more than once or twice? Will I eventually be subdued into needing another credit card? Will I change my mind in a week? Maybe if I get a credit card from them, they will stop sending me junk mail?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Introducing... the Generic Evil Hacker

I pulled this off of the website about David Kernell's hacking into Sarah Palin's email* (before they updated it with a real picture of him). Of course a hacker would be wearing a hoodie!! Hacker says to self: Perhaps hiding my true identity in the real world will somehow help me mask my identity in cyberspace!!

It's emperor palpatine's fault that when people wear hoodies and you can't see their faces, you think of nefarious deeds. And death's fault as well. Because of them, when we see people masked behind hoodies, we think of PURE EVIL.

*I think this is pure lamo. First of all, I think the scandal they've found on Palin so far is way weak. Go ahead and talk all day about it. And second of all, I think it's very malicious (in addition to the fact that it's hacking into someone's email). A new face on the larger political scene isn't going to be as cautious about securing her communication as others would be. Way to go for picking on the little guy (gal)! Next thing you'll be hacking into Fort Knox!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not a Big Seller

I still get emails from Out N Back in Provo to see what kind of fun camping stuff there is out there to buy. I was really tempted by this week's offering, but somehow found the wherewithal to resist.

"Hey Joey, you're back on Loo Lugging duty! Make sure the lid's on tight!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strider the Spider

Spiders are Back

Some of you are asking for me to write in my blog again. Well, all of a sudden I have like five ideas for blogs. Keep asking!! Since the last one was about bugs, this one obviously should be too.

The spiders are back in the shower. I was feeling lazy so I did not pick up the spider before I took my shower. I just let the water run and figured that he would eventually end up going down the drain, or at least drown. Well this spider was nothing short of a mutant. I looked back after a while and saw him all wrapped up in a ball of legs and body, surely done for. This was not the case. I look back again, and spider is a good foot from last known position. This spider would not give up. He didn't think to himself--Ah, the water is warm, I will just roll up and die comfortably. NO!!! He was going to LIVE!!!* And crawl up and bite me to turn my leg into a bluish deli select meat. So I let him get drenched again. After minutes of shower business, I checked him again. Yet another attempt at escape!!! This time I tried to save him, for he deserved indeed to live, as my honorable opponent. This time he stopped moving at least. I put him in toilet paper to let him dry out. He still didn't move. I assumed he was dead and put him in the toilet. But look at this picture!!! (Forthcoming). Really dead or posed for another surprise attack??

*This spider will inspire me forever. I think I will call him Strider the Spider--he's taking it in stride. Or he's got a secret amazing identity and is just going by Strider like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cicada Killer Wasps!!!

I walked outside today to check the mail (even though I had already taken it in myself), and get the trash cans back in. Right as I stepped out I heard a very strange, attempt at cicada buzz, sounding much like it was running out of batteries. At the same time something plopped onto the ground. I was to discover, that indeed, the sound I heard was the dying gasps (or clicks) of a massive cicada.

......thundering applause and a standing ovation.......

But, Hark!!! Here is the picture that I took of this heroic monstrosity.

Here is Wikipedia's version. I think I saw a female. I also saw it FLY OFF carrying the dead cicada THROUGH THE AIR!

This is not the first time I have been successful in my extremely adept bugicide investigations. I have also discovered Bee killers as well. Look at the Wikipedia article.... wait.... I can't find the wikipedia article!!! 2,468,249 articles as of this writing and there isn't one on bee killers!!!! sick out. Well never mind. I did more research. It's actually a Robber Fly. Look that up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stop Spamming Me, LDS LinkUp!

So, twice this week I've gotten random, and, very importantly, unsolicited email messages from LDS LinkUp! They both have said "You have received a message from..." and then fill in with generic email ID like Juliet78... Juliet 78 windows on my soul? Juliet born in 1978? Juliet 78 donuts a day (hopefully humanly impossible)? I certainly never knew a Juliet.... Never. Except the one from my least favorite Shakespeare play. Nevertheless, I click on the link to this message, because it is LDS Linkup, and it could be something interesting, like I did know a Julie back in the day. She was my cave woman when I played the part of a cave man for a ward movie. She broke up with her cave man (probably because I konked her on the head), or maybe you flee from a cave man, but anyway, she got married. Maybe she wanted to send me a picture of her kid, or a link to her blog. But no! The link is broke. The one before from janelov51* was already deleted from the system. I don't think I checked it that much later. Sinister, I tell you, Sinister!! This is worse than spam, it's spam in sheep's clothing**!

But then, I can be more discerning. I don't even have a picture to alure random solicitations from females. Maybe it's my stunning credentials. Just checked.... not much there. All you'd know is that I'm a research assistant who went to Belgium on his mission. Probably several dozen of those, surely.

*I hope this name is not Jane lov 51, but a much more obscure, Russian sounding name... which would sound like Janilov...KGB...since 1951. Except that I'm pretty sure that names that end in "ov" are male. Maybe the KGB still wants... me of all people.

**Hmmmm.... Spam made from lamb... sounds like an abomination.

***Okay, my use of asterisks is a conscious rip off from a good friend's blogging style (who was also copying someone else). I usually write asterisk stuff in parentheses. I think parentheses are only supposed to have 1 sentence between them. Three is enough to offend people who don't even know better. I can't see a better way.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Random... um.... poetry about a Demolition Derby

I've been going through old journal entries today. Here's a direct copy and paste from August 17, 2003:

The undead lurching piles of metal, growling beasts with echoing rage, beat some to a limp and then a halt. Few remain moving. Then, out of the corner of the eye, a scrap heap finds its hidden reserve supply, crowds ring out as he plants the assuming victor into the clenches of dirt where he cannot return.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why I Went to Grad School

About this time last year, I was at home in West Point, Utah, waiting for Malicha (the llama) to have her baby. I'm really glad she didn't, because it can be a complicated ordeal and no one was home but me. I've heard stories of llamas having to be pulled out by wrapping bailing twine around a leg because of some complication. That's more of the exception, but it could have happened.

Sometime during that visit, I managed to make a couple crows mad enough at me to consider me and and other humanoid form a threat to their chicks ever so helpless in the top of one of our pine trees. The second you stepped outside the door..... CAH CAH CAH!!! Then swoop. And more CAH CAH CAH!!! Not only that, they would follow you (maybe it was a they, I don't know if the male and the female split pestering predators duty or not) until you were out of sight. Rocks, squirt guns, and convincingly unfriendly language would not deter them. This happened for the REST OF THE SUMMER.

The thing is, there's another set of crows guarding their chicks this year. And they aren't dive bombing as of yet. So I am becoming more convinced that I might have indeed have been the catalyst for the entire reign of terror last year. I find it not entirely coincidential that I had picked up immitating crow calls from a roommate, and would no doubt have been easily stimulated by the sight of a crow to practice said crowing skills. I must have, by mistake, said "your chicks are so ugly and dumb, the best thing to do would be to feed them to me." Which are, more or less, mortal fighting words for any species. I am surprised that I didn't have a whole nation of crows recreating a scene from The Birds for all of my other crowing.

Thank goodness for grad school. All that readin and writin has done me good. I won't go crowing at crows again this year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Four Hour Nap

I took a four hour nap today. I think that's close to my record. My longest was from the time I went to Disneyland with my family and cousins. My cousin Daniel and I went back to the hotel room to take a 45 minute nap and woke up five hours later. FIVE HOURS OF PRIME DISNEYLAND TIME. What a terrible waste. The same thing happened today. I went to bed at four and got up at six. Told myself that I'd go ahead and sleep for another fifteen minutes until 6:15. Got up after eight!

I'm struggling to think of anything funny to write about. My roommate Jordan told me this evening that he has a login on or something like that (he's probably only ever spent 15 minutes on there). It's a virtual world with lego people. I thought, if I had a login on, I would choose blockhead. Ha ha ha!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

This picture isn't too bad. Maybe cell phone cameras do better with light. This is obviously back when I still had hair.
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Cell Phone Pics!

This is a pizza from spring break. MMMM. It was goooood.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anxious Thoughts

All of these happened in the last hour or so. I think I'm still adjusting to the stress of non-spring break.

1. Do I still say ain't and don't realize it? When was the last time I said ain't? I don't remember!!
2. Is this my stir fry? I don't remember buying stir fry with eggs in it... Am I eating someone else's stir fry?
3. Was that dream about a tree falling on my apartment just a coincidence? I don't have any trees around my duplex.... That sure was a huge tree in my dream.
4. Do I shake my hands off like Richard Simmons when I dry off my hands now that I've actually sweated (or didn't come close to sweating ) to the oldies with him? What if other people know what he looks like when he fizzles?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Icing on the Cake and Purple Cornflower Seeds in my Gas and Water Bill!

Every cloud has a silver lining. Every spring semester at most schools has a Spring Break. And my last gas and water bill had a bag of Purple Coneflower seeds in it! And no, they are not to plant on your grave when you die of shock from seeing how high your gas bill is! It's actually a bid by the Purple Coneflowers for State Flowers to win Nebraskans over to a new state flower, since the goldenrod, the current state flower, is considered by some, to be a weed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What Do Robots Put in their Trailmix?

Nuts and bolts. Ha ha ha.

Friday, March 7, 2008


The warranty phishers just hit the PhD office!!! Who is safe?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Phishing my Phone? Perilous!

I just got a call on my phone from some random number--562 area code... Long Beach California? They told me my car's warranty was about to expire. Wow!! After 17 years????!!!
It's so obviously a mass--something or other like spam, but since when did this happen on the phone? And HOW DID THEY GET MY NUMBER??

Monday, March 3, 2008

Your Personalized Soap Opera

There was a soap opera on when was eating lunch today. I only really remember one of the characters--the tall, ruthless business baron with a gray-haired mustache. He always eats at fancy restaurants and tries to beguile women even though he is way too old and smarmy. The thought came to my mind, there could never be such a person in my life. And I wouldn't be afraid of him! Let him have another glass of wine, and shine his debonair teeth. He ain't gonna get the kind of girl I'm goin' for! But I got to thinking, what kinds of people would be in my soap opera??

1. The copy room saboteur. He (or... she) is the one who I should be suspicious of for trying to ruin my day by sending HUGE files to the printer, effectively bringing the printing queue for the ENTIRE second floor faculty and staff to its knees it for hours, or using up all of the staples in some of the staplers and jamming all the rest, or not putting the paper in with a slight arch upwards so every 5th sheet jams, and never in the same place. I can see it now, said saboteur is actually possessed with red eyes, probably a former love interest of mine who I spurned (in this case definitely a girl, and likely fictitious since I don't recall having spurned anyone whom I was once interested in), and who is desperately trying to get me kicked out of PhD school so I will spend more time with her / so she can reap her vilest revenge on me. Probably both at the same time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I think I can

Refer to my first ever post to this blog. I think you can see the driveway. Its just asking for you to wonder, "I bet that's a pain to get up in the winter." Well it IS a pain! I have to back in to the neighbor's driveway and get a running start to make it. I set a couple speed records this evening... 40 mph on my driveway and 70 mph going up a hill with a 30 mph speed limit, according to my speedometer anyway.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

That's Interesting.

Ever wonder why some things are interesting and others aren't? I read an article for one of my classes last week about it. The formula is very simple. For something to be interesting, it needs redefine your expectations. Otherwise, you just say "oh, that's obvious." Just think of all the things you want to tell everyone about. Like I want to tell you right now that Campbell's Chicken Sausage Gumbo soup has only 3 grams of fat per serving! How can anything with sausage in it be that low in fat?? Honestly. The story of the three little pigs would be more interesting if you knew that really, the big bad wolf was really the third little pig's mother-in-law.

What also strikes me as interesting right now is that I have 16 hours worth of reading about science each week. And I like it. Why is this interesting? This is where I tie in the last two blogs I was supposed to write. I actually accidentally posted one of them, and if somehow you subscribe to my blog, you got the awful, premature, amorphous version--you got to peak into the egg before it was hatched. Interesting.

Reason Number One: I have not had an inclination towards reading most of my life.

Even though it is my last name. I still sometimes read just so I can fall asleep. I've wondered from time to time if my ancestors, also bearing the name READ, have been peering down at me my whole life, anxious to see me finally wake up and get a sense of my duty and my destiny--to read and read and read. Perhaps the first Read, let's say his name was Bertrand, was, in a heroically unassuming manner, called forth to read at a moment of utmost importance. Perhaps the king of England at the time, or maybe it wasn't even England yet, had been given a grocery shopping list by the queen for their first year anniversary dinner. However, the king couldn't read, and was hiding this fact from the queen. The queen had already asked him to take a grocery list to market several times before. The king, however, was an excellent memorizer, and would be able to put the list to memory as the queen read it to him. This time however, one of the guards stepped on one of the queen's pet ducks. The duck honked during the whole time that the queen read and reread the grocery list to the king. Afraid that the queen was losing patience and beginning to wonder at the king's repeated requests to reread something that he would normally be able to verify himself at any moment, the king decided to postpone dealing with this problem. Surely someone in the village where he procured his groceries could read and solve this problem for him. However, when he arrived at the village where the groceries were to be procured, no one in the village listening at the time could read. The king was flabbergasted! "I will relocate my stinkiest pig farming operations to completely surround your village if no one will step forth and read this grocery list for me!" The villagers became very sad. Pigs could be VERY stinky. And who would be brave enough to come to their market? All of the commotion had awakened Bartholomew who had fallen asleep with a good scroll on his head. Coming out into the village proper with scroll in hand, still clearing his eyes with his fists, the king called on Bart to read. And the rest was history. And that's why I must Read.

I did actually look up the origin of the last name Read on Apparently the first Reads were likely Red-Heads or people that lived in the forest or both, since "read" was an old English spelling for a nickname for a red head or a forest. Not interesting.

Reason Number Two: I have not had an inclination towards science most of my life.

Science fair projects baffled me as a child, almost to the point of enraging me. How on earth could I, a young lad of no notable credentials, claim to find out ANYTHING that even my science teacher knew, let alone the combined intellect of the scientific world. Maybe my awkwardly huge poster-board display was supposed to impress them? Which is probably why I never won a science fair, in spite of the most National Geographic worthy pictures of hatching brine shrimp under a microscope anyone in the county had ever seen, and in spite of the most elegant 3D models of water molecules reversing their polarity as influenced by a microwave produced by a microwave oven.

Actually, some scientists, or philosophers, or scientist philosophers would say that I was right. Some of them say that no one can really know anything about anything some would say. It's really interesting, (there's that word again), that some scientists argue about what science is. It should be easy! The plant listening to the classical music grew more than the plant listening to Hilary Clinton's debate speeches. Hypothesis confirmed. End of story. But no.

It all started when a bunch of scientists were having a Planet of the Apes marathon. Several hours in, one of the scientists decided to be friendly and microwave some popcorn for the other scientists. He nuked the popcorn. The popcorn was no longer recognizable, and the microwave oven was filled with smoke. He must have missed a digit and put it on for 23 minutes instead of 2 minutes 30. The scientist was humiliated. Someone that smart couldn't have made such an obvious error. Plus, this was the seventh time he'd done it. He decided that he would use all philosophical skill to deny that the popcorn had indeed been burned. And just on cue, the question came: "Where's the popcorn? Did you burn it Berty?"

"It may or may not be burnt. No one can KNOW that it's burnt."

"Yes we can! Just open the microwave and check!"

"Good grief no! You'll stink up the ENTIRE apartment for HOURS, DAYS even!! What are you THINKING! For the love of beauty, keep that abomination contained!" The microwave would remain unopened.

The positivist was the first to enter scientific legend. "We may not be able to tell with CERTAINTY, but I'm quite POSITIVE according to my theory, that the popcorn is burnt." This looks harmless, but the positivist always used those exact words. Very straight-forward, very precise, but sometimes boring and completely out of touch.

"No one can come to any knowledge of anything." Berty said.
Berty, was actually a very agreeable man before he started getting into arguments with his relatives. All of his relatives were really smart, and really poor losers. When family Monopoly games were lost, the board wouldn't just be disheveled, it would end up on the neighbor's roof and game pieces would be picked out of furniture and people's hair for years to come. When it came to scientific arguments... they finally agreed to disagree. And the only way they could do this is to come to the fact that everyone could have their point of view about everything. Even the most obvious, most basic things, such as--"your socks are blue." No one could know even that for sure. There must be other possible reasons, aside from the fact that the sock was indeed blue, that the person THOUGHT they saw the socks as blue. Maybe he'd seen too many blue socks in his life. If he'd never seen any blue socks before, or knew what blue was, would he still see the socks as blue?

Berty explained how no one could know for sure that the popcorn was burnt, but the positivist held his ground and repeated his signature phrase. The argument is still going on today.

Needless to say, the microwave was left unopened for days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Birthday Blog!

Today is actually my nephew's birthday, Miles Decker Jr. He is one year old. Life took on new meaning as he had his first taste of peanut butter in a peanut butter cookie. Other than that the day was same old, same old, baby bliss which included several long, deep raspberries for me over the phone.

My birthday was yesterday, in its entirety. The thing I like about birthdays is that all of a sudden, everything happens or doesn't happen because its my birthday, on my birthday. My car wouldn't start because it was my birthday. Duplex cookies mysteriously appeared in the vending machines of the faculty lounge in five ounce packages because it was my birthday. That's twice the weight of most anything else in the vending machines. That's got to be unsafe.

However, birthdays can be testy. It is obligatory to be indulgent on your birthday, or else you must have no self-esteem at all. This must be why Miles was making several extra raspberries over the phone. As for me, well I went all out and bought myself a wireless mouse. You are shaking your head right now, I can see it. I did eat enough candy and baked goods to quell my hunger until dinner today. But this was partially due to circumstances explained below.

It is also obligatory to indulge your friends in indulging you. For example, if your roommate wants you to relax and watch Fantastic Four, you may think you're getting away with something if you just walk upstairs and start doing your homework. But roommates will not be so easily undone. They will call friends to come over and talk to you. Then what will you do? Brand yourself a hermit? A naysayer? A sneetch without a star on thar? No.... no.... You WILL be sung to! You WILL have enjoyable conversation! You WILL blow out candles, and not tell anyone your wish (thank goodness, at least one convention on your side!!)!!! You WILL let yourself be carried into the basement by a herd of mountain goats.

You WILL let me remember YOU on YOUR birthday.... If I ever knew when your birthday is... and I remember when it is... Especially if you leave a comment :).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Introducing Llama Blog!

I thought I couldn't sleep ... this morning because I had eaten too much for dinner again, but really it was because I was tossing and turning from the guilt I was feeling for missing another week on my blog. So I started my blog about llamas. Here is the link:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What Omahappened?

It has been approximately twelve weeks since my last blog post. Twelves weeks without a pulse, without a drop of rain, yet, without a ray of sunshine. A great void. Twelve weeks of reruns--if you reread my blog. Wow. I don't even do that. . . often.

Who is responsible for this outrage??? Was it necessity? The mother of invention? Not this time. More like the mother of death! Can there be such a thing?? No, the thought makes one shiver. It wasn't necessity, it was the penny-pincher human resources division of my brain. A new product was shipping--data structures programming classes, papers, and who knows what else that relegated the brain cells in charge of writing my blog out the door, to become jobless bums, scraping an existence off of spare oxygen donated to them through the pity of my more generous red blood cells.

Well, the CEO in charge has caught on to a new buzz word in the brain power market--it's called SANITY. And in all the most recent "Brain Today" trade magazines he's read (I can't have a she be a CEO in my own brain), when sanity is part of a brain's strategic vision, the whole operation runs smoother. Sure the payoff doesn't clearly impact the bottom line, but authors have made millions selling the idea to Fortune 500 brains around the world. The message is gaining credibility--any hard working brain needs to be sane.

And all the SME's agree, to have sanity, you need to spend resources on something that doesn't impact the bottom line. And you have to actually SPEND resources. Simply vegging doesn't count.

So now those blog-writing brain cells are back as part of that initiative--a little lazy, a little reluctant, a little out of practice, but they now have stock options, the nice parking spots, access to the gym, and personalized iPhones. They've even had several focus group meetings and team get-aways to fabulous resorts. After hours of enthusiastic brainstorming and the most moving power point presentations, they have realized that not every week is going to be exciting enough to write about. Let's face it. Aaron moved to Omaha, not Bangladesh. It isn't THAT different. All though there are possums. Other momentous material must be sought after aside from life in Omaha. Check back next week!