Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quote, Picture, and Spontaneous Human Combustion

The other day I was talking to a buddy who is looking to buy a new house. I asked him what he was looking for and he said:
I spend like $100 a month on storage, so if I could find a nice garage with a decent house, I'd be happy.
I really like Utah, but here is one thing that I could do without:
For those of you who don't know this, "pop" is really "soda". I don't know how people can stand calling it "pop". The word pop describes a sudden feeling or sound. Examples:
I felt a pop in my shoulder.

I heard a loud pop and it startled me.
I'm thirsty; wanna go down to the 7-11 and get a pop?
Spontaneous Human Combustion: The other day I was at the grocery store and saw a guy walking out wearing a Lakers shirt and Celtics pants. Does he realize what he is doing? That is like George W. Bush and Al Gore going on vacation together. Or Ja Rule and 50 Cent co-hosting a BBQ.

Does he not realize that they just played each other in the finals 2 of the last 3 years? Or that their are 2 of the greatest rivals in history?

Not to mention, it looked ugly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

But the graph looks pretty, right?

Back in March received my Quarterly Skymiles Statement (also known as Junk Mail), but just as I was about to delete it, I noticed a graph showing how many miles I had earned this year and how many I needed for different medallion levels:

I quickly realized that something was amiss with the graph. It portrayed that I was just over halfway to my silver medallion in both miles and segments, however - if you calculate it - I was really only 10.6% of the way there with miles and 13% of the way there with segments. A little silly, but no big deal. I chalked it up to marketing and psychology - you know, make me think that I am closer than I am so I will fly more - but figured I would hold on to it and share it on the blog some day.

Then June rolled around and I received my latest Quarterly Statement and it contained this graph:

You will notice by the totals at the bottom of the graph that I did a little traveling between March and June - to the tune of over 20,000 miles. But the graph remains unchanged... hmmm.

If the graph were correct, I would now be 92.7% of the way to silver medallion by miles and 33.3% of the way there by segments.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Axis of Evil

The following comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch where Will Ferrell is impersonating President Bush addressing the country (I believe this comes from Season 27, Episode 13. But if not it is definitely the opening to The Best of Will Ferrell Vol. 2):
(Read in a Texan accent) Good Evening America. I'm very happy to be back in this country after my very successful trip in the pacific rim. I'm heartened to hear that for the most part the people of this country show strong support for my agenda. However, lately there's some who're beginning to criticize this administration... maybe these people don't understand, America is presently at war. Not just the war on terrorism, but we are engaged in a deadly stand-off with an axis of evil. Ya know who I'm talkin 'bout: Iran, Iraq, and one of the Koreas.

But my axis of evil doesn't seem to interest some people out there. Some people just want to talk about the economy and budgets and Enron. I bet mosta ya out there don't even understand Enron... I sure-as-heck don't. It hurts my head to think about it... so from now on Enron will be a part of my axis of evil. I don't want to hear anything else about Enron unless our military has pounded it into submission.

So look out, Enron, you are now a part of the axis of evil.

So is the economy.

I don't like the way this economy is acting. Not very American. It's evil. The economy is now part of my axis of evil.

Also, I don't like Senator Tom Daschle. Ya know why? He's very critical. Ya know where that leaves him? You got it; he's now part of the axis of evil.

So quick recap: That's Iran, Iraq, Enron, the economy, and Daschle, and one of those Koreas. They all form a terrible axis of evil standing in the way of all that we as Americans value.

And don't forget France. The French don't like me saying "axis of evil", so guess what? They're now a part of the very same access of evil they don't like me saying. How do ya like them apples, France? Next time you'll keep yer mouth shut. You mess with Texas, and it's straight to the axis of evil, got it?

Germany, Italy, and Japan, they were the original access of evil. Maybe they thought I would forget, but I didn't. They're back in.

Here's one ya probably didn't expect...

(looks side to side)

Dick. Cheney. Now he's up to something; I don't like it. He's never around. If I'm in the White House, he's not. If I'm on a plane, he's nowhere in sight. He's very sneaky; not to mention scary. I'm puttin' him in the axis of evil... fer now.

Evil Knievel's going in the axis of evil, but that's a no-brainer. But Dr. Evil, NO; he makes me laugh, so he's out.

So you see, America, there's nothing to fear; everything's fine. You go out and buy yer new cars and fly on airplanes and invest in K-Mart. Don't... don't listen to what the economist say. Why? Because they like math and math is very much a part of the axis of evil.

And you know what else is part of the axis of evil? LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!
With that introduction, I give you my current "Axis of Evil" list:

Apple, the computer company - Ah, yes. Some of you may be saying, "but you own an iMac and iPhone... and you love both. How can you put Apple on the axis of evil list?" Simple - I do love my iMac and I did love my iPhone. But in an attempt to alienate part of their user base, Apple released the iOS4 for the iPhone 3G (which I own) along with the iPhone 3Gs and the iPhone 4. That would be great except it renders the daggum thing completely useless! Unless, of course, you like waiting for 5 minutes to check a text message and like having your typing about 6 characters ahead of the phone; if you like that, then it's great.

The other day I was listening to music and responding to a text when a call came in; the phone didn't know what to do... it just froze for 30 seconds. I missed the call and had to give my phone mouth-to-mic resuscitation. But that's ok... it is not like I have a phone to receive calls anyhow. Besides, when I paid $300, I completely expected Apple to release software that would render it no more than paper weight.

Congratulation Apple, you got me to put my guard down. Had this been a Microsoft product, I wouldn't have trusted it. But don't worry, I am now watching you carefully and sceptically.

Some of you may be saying, "but you know you can revert it to the old OS, right?"

Yeah. Thanks. That is hardly the point. If the software doesn't work on the 3G, why did they release it for the 3G? Why not just limit it to the 3Gs and 4. That would have been fine with me. Now I have to find the time to get the old stuff to work.

Also, Apple, when are you going to do something useful with the AppleTV? You are sitting on a potential gold mine. I will blog about what you should do with it at some future date or you can email me.

Apple, the fruit - I love a good apple. But there is the problem: finding a good one. It is very frustrating. And why do they call the nastiest of them all "Red Delicious". That is pretty messed up. I like Gala, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples. Get rid of the rest.

They should have known there was a problem when people started the phrase "bad apple" in everyday speak; it is a serious problem.

Microsoft - Yeah, I bet you were rejoicing when you saw Apple on the list. Don't get too giddy pal. I've had 4 blue screens of death in a week! This Vista thing is a mess. You are a long standing member of the axis of evil, Microsoft.

My Beloved Utah Jazz - As long as Kosta Koufas is on the roster, you are on the list. Cut your losses now. He's no good. Find away to get Omar Samhan and Earl Barron. Trust me.

Lebron James - Enough said.

An Unnamed Garage Door Repair Company - A couple of weeks ago my garage door opener needed to be fixed. It sounded like the motor had totally seized up and needed to be replaced. It was a cheap, do-it-yourself Genie that had given up the ghost. The way I looked at it, I had 3 options:
  1. Replace the whole thing professionally
  2. Go to Home Depot and buy a similar cheapo and replace just the unit myself
  3. Try to get it fixed
My concern was that if I had someone come to fix it, they would just charge me to tell me it needed to be replaced. So I called a place and this was the conversation:

Me:Hi, I have a Genie garage door opener that sounds like the motor has seized up, do you do repairs?
Girl:Yes, we do repairs.
Me:Great, how much?
Girl:$29.50 for the service call, plus the cost of the repair.
Me:Well, am I going to have to pay the service fee, then you come look at it, order a part and then I have to pay the fee again?
Girl:No, they have all the parts on the truck and can fix it in the same visit.
Me:Even the motor?
Me:Ok, lets schedule a time.
Fast forward to the repair visit:
Repairman:Let's see what we have here...
Me:Alright, here it is.
Sound of the motor doing nothing
Repairman:Sounds like your motor is seized up... nothing I can do about that. We'll need to replace the whole thing. I have a great unit here for $450.
Safe to say, I lost it. He was there for 30 seconds and had the nerve to want to charge $30 to tell me something I already knew! No thank you; this is exactly what I feared when I called a repair place.

So why did I put "Unnamed Garage Door Repair Company" rather than give you their name? I called and complained and Denise was very nice and sent my check back. In the end, they seem like a stand up place, but let this be a lesson to all of us.

Math - It must be included on any axis of evil list.

If you want to see that SNL clip, try here.

Names (again...)

This may or may not be a real conversation that I was a party to:
Ted: Chuck says he is coming.
Bill: Ok... what's Chuck's real name? Charles?
Ted: Yeah, but I call him Chuck.
Bill: Yeah... Chuck is a weird nickname for Charles. What is Ted short for? Theodore? That is a weird nickname too.
Ted You want a weird nickname, Bill being short for William is weird. Even worse is Dick being short for Richard.
Bill: (oozing with sarcasm) Whatever, the whole Dick/Richard thing makes complete sense.
Ted: (Also oozing with sarcasm) HAHA, good point.
Freddy (chiming in for the first time): (voice straining with confusion) That one makes the least sense!


Ted and Bill burst into laughter

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Opinuendo on the Lebron Decision

It turns out I was wrong (I think this is the first time), Lebron didn't stay with the Cavs. He took his one hour special and ripped out the heart of a franchise. My take on it is this: If he wanted to win championships, he would have chosen Chicago; If he wanted to be the most loved and respected player, he would have stayed in Cleveland; but apparently he wants some pressure taken off himself, so he has chosen the Miami Heat.

I don't even know if I consider him the best player on his own team anymore, let alone in the league. Ernie and I were talking about it the other day and I said that if I were a team courting one of the free agents this off-season, I would would take Dwayne Wade. He has done it before; he has been to the top. I question James in crunch time; I don't question Wade. But maybe that is why James chose the Heat. It is a place where he is not THE guy. Now he shares that with Wade and, to a lesser degree, Bosh. He even said in his announcement that Wade was letting he (James) and Bosh come to Wade's team. Now when someone that has to take over, it can be Wade. For 42 minutes, Bosh and James can do their thing and in the final 6 Wade can do his.

That is not a luxury that James would have had in Chicago. Even with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah, James would have been the most prominent figure on the court night in and night out. It would have been his responsibility to win.

I am still not convinced that Miami makes the most sense for winning - as Lebron claims it does. First of all, the Heat only have 5 players currently... opps, now 4 and - depending on how much money Bosh, Wade, and James are willing to forfeit - the Heat should be about at the cap. Any way you cut this, they are going to need to find several players to play for the minimum. I am not sure that will cut it because in this league it still takes a team to win.

Furthermore, there are always egos involved - and as much as people don't like to admit it, feelings change and evolve over time. Today the 3 of them may well be happy to share the lime light, but what happens when things start going well and one or two of them is given more of the credit? Chris Bosh has shown he wants more publicity, but on a team with Wade and James, I don't think he will get that. Can he handle it? Can Wade or James handle taking a back seat to the other if needs be?

Or even worse - What if things start to fall apart? How do they handle losing? This seems at least somewhat like the 2003-2004 Lakers and that was a total crash and burn. I am not predicting failure, but I don't know that success is guaranteed.

In the end, this may be the best thing for Lebron - in the words of Bill Simmons - "becoming Mega-Pippen to Wade's Jordan" because I am not sure he has the mental makeup of a Kobe or Jordan or Bird. But regardless, it was the worst way to do it. A 1-hour special? No way. The only way that is appropriate is if he is staying in Cleveland and it is a Cleveland love-fest.

Don't mistake what I am saying, for the past 7 seasons Lebron has done good by Cleveland and has every right to leave, but he should have simply released a statement saying something along the lines of:
After carefully weighing the options I have and considering what is best for me and my family, I have decided to sign with the Miami Heat. I have enjoyed my time hear in Cleveland and this will always be my home, but it is time for my career to take me to South Beach. I love the fans here in Cleveland and I hope that they can support me in this as they will always be dear to my heart.
I think that would have been much more professional that what he has done over the past week. It doesn't seem that he realizes that while this is just a game it has far reaching effects. His presence in a community brings income to that community and at the same time the lack of his presence takes away money from a community. Should that fact make him stay? No, but it should have caused him to handle this in a more dignified manner.

Have you ever heard that when you are mad at someone you should write a letter to them and then let it sit in a drawer for a few days to see if you really want to send it? Maybe Dan Gilbert should have tried that before his response to this news that was posted on the Cavs website. I get it, you are mad. So is everyone else, but the tone is too much like a bitter ex - or in TimpJynx's words, "he sounds like a jilted prom queen". Aside from that, 2 points:
  1. Not a fan of the comic sans font. I feel like any letter written in that font should be signed with a crayon.
  2. To many "quotation marks"... Who is he, Bennett Brauer? (serious, if you take nothing else from this post, watch that clip!)

One final point. It is interesting that just 4-5 years ago everyone was ready to stick a fork in the Eastern Conference permanently because all the free agents flocked to the west, but now they are looking like the more dominant conference. Hmmm...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Opinuendo on the Lebron Special

For those of you who may not have heard, Lebron James is announcing which NBA team he will be playing with next year live on ESPN tomorrow at 9pm eastern. Why is this such a big deal? Well, Lebron was the most anticipated player to enter the NBA ever and is widely considered to be the greatest player currently in the NBA. Furthermore, this is the first time he has ever been a free agent. Up until now he has been playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers which is particularly interesting given 2 things:

1) Lebron James is from Cleveland. He grew up in Akron, OH and, almost as though the script was written by Walt Disney himself, the Cavaliers won the right to draft James as the #1 overall pick in 2003.

2) The city of Cleveland is considered to be the most cursed sport city in the USA. If Lebron James - one of their own - leaves for greener pastures, the city of Cleveland may be no more.

Unlike most free agents who visit with different teams and then announce who they will play for, Lebron has made the teams come to him - which I am actually fine with because it becomes less of a spectacle - and he is going to announce his selection in a 1 hour special on ESPN - this is the part I am not fine with.

Why on earth does he need a 1 hour special to announce this? How hard is it?
"I'm staying in Cleveland"
There, I just did it in 4 words. He could do that on twitter.

The only way it is worth it for him to do a 1 hour special is if he uses 5 minutes of it to announce he is going to Chicago - I am convinced that this would be the biggest slap in the face - and the other 55 minutes is used for live coverage of the destruction and riots in Cleveland.

But I am sticking with my original prediction. He is staying in Cleveland. Why? If Lebron stays in Cleveland, he will be the greatest man Cleveland has ever known. If he wins 1 championship there, he will be a demigod. If he wins multiple championships, they will start the church of Lebron. 1 championship in Cleveland, is worth 3 somewhere else.

Furthermore, there is a look that I have never seen in Lebron's eyes. The look of "I would sacrifice my own family to win this game". It is a look you need to be the greatest player of a generation and win multiple championships. Michael Jordan had it. Kobe Bryant has had it. I think I have even seen it in Dwayne Wade's eyes. That is the same look you need to to walk away from 2.25 million people who desperately want you to stay.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Look carefully at the following images:

Notice anything? How about if I remind you that the Roman Numeral for 4 is "IV" not "IIII". Now do you notice something?

I don't know when, but years ago I noticed that many, many clocks with Roman Numerals get the 4 wrong.

What better way to commemorate the 4th of July then by talking about 4's.

God Bless America!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Panda Express, Pt. 2

Some of you may be saying to yourself, "What-in-the... There was no 'Panda Express, Pt. 1', how are we at 'Panda Express, Pt. 2'?" And to that I say, that is no reason not to have a part 2. Who says you have to have a part 1 to have a part 2?

Besides, I am counting Personality Cookie as part 1.

Anyhow, after breaking my Panda Express drought a few weeks ago, I remembered that I like "The Panda" and went there again a few days later. My "fortune" this time?
"You Will Inherit a Large Sum of Money"
There it is! There's a real fortune... Literally.

The thing that I like about it (besides the obvious: money) is that it doubles as a good fortune for me and a mis-fortune for someone else.

But enough about that; let's tackle a real issue. Where do they get of calling themselves "Panda Express"? Let me ask you this, if you went to a restaurant named "Orange Chicken Express" and their main dish was fried panda, wouldn't you feel mislead? What if a restaurant named "Burger Express" were to serve fried chicken, how would you feel about that?

I think that I have made my point...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

But in all seriousness, good for you...

I would like to shake the hand and then punch the face of the first person who started the "I am getting married so I better start a facebook group so that I can get everyone's address" trend.

First of all, genius. You found a way to dupe more people into giving you stuff and attention.

However, let me let you in on a little secret... if you don't have their contact info outside of Facebook, you probably aren't that good of friends with them (really? not even a phone number or their email address... really?).

But don't let me rain on your parade, we should all just feel grateful that you have chosen such a personal means of informing us that you are making the biggest decision of your life. I will just keep sifting through the notices of people joining your group so you can send them an announcement of your new found your bliss. Just know, like I said, if you didn't have their contact info outside of facebook before, that announcement and the 30 seconds you talk to them at your reception, will likely be the last contact with them for the next 10 years.

The truly bizarre part of this whole post is that I am complaining about having to put up with worthless information on facebook... 99% of the info on facebook is worthless! I would be much better off reading a realbook, but I digress.

Congrats to all you lucky lovers who I barely know... And by the way, this post in no way, shape, or form implies that I will not create a group like this if when I get married because it is pretty genius.

One last note, the way I see it, every new group created only further dilutes the pool and steals more attention away from things that really matter... like the revolution. You may be saying to yourself, "what revolution?" And to that I say, "don't think that I forgot about the select-a-nugget revolution!" The momentum has really died down and I partially blame the fact that there are like a million groups out there. I am not saying this should stop you from creating new groups, but I want you to go into it with your eyes open and maybe link your group to that of the "select-a-nugget" group... just a thought...

On a completely unrelated note, this week Tuesday felt like Thursday and then Wednesday really felt like Thursday, so now that we are actually going into Thursday, well, I am just not ready for a 3rd Thursday in one week.