Monday, November 23, 2009


1. Smokers Stink

Do smokers realize how bad they smell? I know this isn't unique to me, but I can be sitting in my car at a stoplight, with the windows rolled up, smell cigarette smoke, look around, and spot a smoker in a car several yards away.

Today I was walking through one end of the lobby of a building, and I smelled smoke. Sure enough, a distance away across the lobby was a smoker. He wasn't even smoking at the time, just standing there obviously waiting for someone. He just emanated cigarette smoke smell.

I'm just glad I live in a part of the country where very few people smoke. I don't know how people in high-smoking areas stand the stench and the carcinogens so thoughtfully foisted on them smokers.

2. Unethical People Stink

People telling lies. People implying things that aren't true. People furthering personal grudges by taking advantage of their position. Employers lining their pockets at the expense of their employees. People lining their pockets by taking advantage of the inexperience or lack of knowledge of others. I'm shocked by how some of these brokerages treat their agents, and what they'll do to make some money.

3. Jealousy Stinks

Even though I would never lower myself to that level, it's still hard to hear about people not that different from myself making hundreds of thousands of dollars by doing unethical things.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Why would a hacker wear gloves?

A story on CNN about hackers messing with Comcast's homepage had the following image:

Why is the hacker wearing gloves? You can't really type with gloves on, and what exactly is their purpose? Are you trying to keep from getting fingerprints on your own keyboard?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fun and games!

Two nights ago, Child surprised me with a trip to "Play!", put on by the Utah Symphony, where they played music from video games. It was tons of fun. They had music from classics like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, up to modern games like Halo and World of Warcraft.

I had to laugh, though. Child was crowing about how sneaky she was to get me into nice clothes for the symphony without me suspecting that something was up, then we get there and there's people wearing death metal tee-shirts and spiky purple hair. It reminded me of the time we went to the Tran-Siberian Orchestra and saw an older couple walking in wearing a really nice suit and fancy dress. I'm not sure they knew exactly what kind of music TSO played...

Even considering the subject matter, I was surprised how many kids were at Play!. It was a brilliant scheme to get the younger generation involved in "culture." Abravanel Hall was packed, and I'm surprised it was a one-night only event.

As an addendum, yesterday afternoon I played some Frisbee. The weather was amazing! I seemed to have more energy than I've had the past couple months, the games were exciting and close, and our team pulled out a win in the end. It was just about perfect.

As he was leaving, one of the guys said out loud what was also my opinion, something to the effect of liking playing with this group of people because everyone played hard but no one took the game too seriously. Everyone had fun, and everyone went home happy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And more.

While I was typing that last post, Child came in and said, "I need to vent some frustrations." She had three different companies she's trying to call (to give them money!), and 5 different phone numbers between them. No one answered.

Seriously, businesses. Do you honestly feel good running this way? I still think dark thoughts about Comcast, Dell, and Brent Brown auto, whose reps at various times misled, lied, and simply hung up on me.

3 for 3

Three companies, three problems, one day! I'm on a roll!

With this company, my online account was having problems. The customer rep I called said they knew about the problem and that it only affected certain accounts, but their systems were down so she couldn't transfer me to the person who could fix the problem. Her advice was to "wait another billing cycle and see if the problem's still there."

Their system was also down the last time I called, a month ago. Either they have a terrible system, or it's a convenient excuse to avoid doing anything.

If I ever start a company, "customer service" isn't going to be a PR phrase, it's going to be a top priority.


If you gave someone a $3,000 check, and they didn't cash it for a month and a half, would you cancel it and hope they had forgotten about it, or would you remind them about it?

If someone did that to you (the "cancel and hope you forgot about it" option) , how would you react?

Stuck a between rock and a hard place

GiantInsuranceCompany(tm) says they attempted to charge my credit card for my premium, and the charge was reversed. BankOfVisaCard(tm) says no request was made, much less a reverse or decline on a charge.

So what now happens? I'll tell you what happens: I get stuck with a fee.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Attitude problems

We have a great daughter, but I've gotta say, she has a real chip on her shoulder.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Double meaning

Our company is building a website for a medical software company. Their tagline is "Whether your patient is coming in or going out, [Company] has the solution."

Considering that their software will potentially be used to manage terminal patients, perhaps "going out" isn't a good phrase to use...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And it's the kitchen by a nose!

Yesterday, Child and I got a clock that we ordered online. It has the spiffy feature that it projects the time on the ceiling--a nice feature when you wake up every few hours with a baby.

The clock is a "radio controlled" clock, meaning the time is set automatically to a radio signal it receives from an atomic clock based in Colorado.

Child and I had to laugh when we reached this part of the instructions: "It is highly recommended to set the projection the area of your home that is closest to Colorado."

Let's see, closest to Colorado...would that be the living room or kitchen? Better get out my ruler.

(In fairness, this is only during the setup phase of the clock, because they want the fewest number of walls between the clock and the radio signal, but still...)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Favicons are the little icon next to the address bar at the top of your browser.

This is more of a note to myself so I can find it later, but it might come in handy down the road to someone else:

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/images/favicon.ico">

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Random Acquaintance

Yesterday, Child and I attended a baptism for one of her high-school friends. While there, she met another friend who had recently gotten married. During introductions, we found out that both I and Child's friend's husband have the same first name. We also are both programmers. We both program in PHP. We both work from home.

The coincidences didn't stop there. We both looked familiar to each other, and after running through Ultimate Frisbee, college classes, and old apartments, we realized that we knew each other from a past writing group. In the process of figuring that out, Child and I found out that he and his friends had actually started the Quark club (BYU's sci-fi/fantasy club) many years ago. Quark was where Child and I first met. (Incidentally, "quark" is the sound a quantum duck makes.)

He thought it had died out when he and his friends left college, and it actually had, but someone had eventually revived it. It's now a full-blown club with dozens of active members; weekly writing meetings, reading groups, and movie nights; monthly socials; and at least one marriage a year. He was shocked to hear that, and I think it made his day to know that the club he had started was going so strong.

Completely unrelated: if Jean Valjean used the prison number tattooed on his chest to prove that he was Jean Valjean instead of the innocent man Javert had captured, then why didn't the LACK of a tattoo on the innocent man's chest prove his innocence?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Out you go!

This makes me happy.

In short, the mayor of Stockon tried to fire a policeman who gave his son a ticket. Talk about your sense of entitlement. The town was rightly angered, and the situation was made worse by the mayor's refusal to talk about the situation at a town meeting.

Fortunately, the town was in the middle of elections, and the mayor was promptly kicked out, garnering less than 25% of the vote. Some of those votes were from people who voted (by mail) before the incident happened and wanted to change their votes after, but were denied.

The system still works on occasion.