Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Best of the Worst

Who is not addicted to Infomercials that are on during the middle of the night? They are completely awesome. Great acting, great products, cheap prices...what is not to love? This short video shows some of the best of the terrible predicaments that each one of us goes thru every day--spraying ketchup all over the place, showing too much cleavage, trouble getting your shoes on...the list goes on and on. Time for me to now go and buy some things off the television.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Scout joins the Family

I finally sold my truck a week or two ago. I have had this truck for over 4 years now and loved it, but realized that it was time for a change.

All thru college and the first few years of marriage, I had an early 1970s Chevy Blazer. It was completely restored. Beautiful interior, great exterior. And then one sad morning, an older woman ran a red light and smashed into the side of my Blazer. We were both fine, but the Blazer was crunched, breaking its axle as well as basically ruining the entire side of it. Let me just say that many tears were shed that day.

Brodi and I decided to go out and find us a Blazer or a Bronco. We actually found one up in Norther Idaho and put the offer on it and were ready to fly up there and pick it up until the seller informed me that they decided not to sell. Seriously? You have an ad up to sell a car and then you decide, 'you know what, we are going to keep it.' Whatever. The search continued and finally ended a week ago when we found an International Scout on It was down in St. George. So, I got Brodi a hotel room and a rental car and she headed down to pick it up.

We got and she drove it home. It aint a Blazer but it will be fun to have another car and the kids love it. I am also thanking for neighbor R who is happy to help me fix some of its quirks. There is nothing like driving an old beautiful 1970s car and wondering if it will start up, how much oil it will leak and all of the other joys of a non-modern car. I couldn't be happier.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Looking good while Looking at movies

Do have an ipod or some other small movie/tv player? But do you get frustrated that it can hard to see in the glare of the mid-day sun? Well, this product will solve those concerns. Who would not want to wear this while lounging around, in a restaurant, on the beach? You would be the hit of the party as you enjoy your movie anywhere you want:

Friday, April 16, 2010

new batch of books

These are the latest books that I have read. You can see my lists (nonfiction and fiction) of the books that I have read this year and there are in order of how much I liked them. Now, on to the books:

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
If you haven't read any of Silva's books, egads, get out and get reading. He has a lovely methodical way of writing. This is the first of a long series of books involved Gabriel Allon. Allon is a Jewish operative (assassin). He is called to go all over the world to track down terrorists and those that threaten Israel and take care of them. His cover? He is a world famous art restorer. He is hired by churches, museums, private individuals to live in their city and restore famous pieces of art. But that is often interrupted as he has to track terrorists and go after them.

This is the first of the Allon books where we learn how his son was murdered by terrorists and we see him in action for the first time. Each one of Silva's books gives some historical background to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as well. If the Middle East is of interest to you and you enjoy action and storytelling, then pick up this book and get hooked into the Allon series.

The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
Oh man, how I love this writer. This is the sequel to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I actually liked this book a bit more than the first one. This story revolves around Lisbeth (girl with the tattoo) and how she is being accused of murder. Lisbeth is a complicated character, to say the least. You like her, she frustrates you, you laugh and you shake your head in regards to her.

The story moves along at a brisk pace but you need to follow along as the story slowly unfolds and you try to figure out how all of the characters relate to each other. As usual with Larsson, it is a rolickin' good time.

Tennis Confidential by Bill Fein
I wanted to like this book. And there were parts of it that I really enjoyed it. It basically is a book that tries to go beyond the tennis courts and explore the personalities in tennis and how these people interact with each other and the media off the court. It succeeds sometimes. But a lot of times, you get some quotes from the players but you still don't really get to know the players. The other problem is that the book spends a lot of time on players that were relatively big at the time, but they were players that lasted in the spotlight just a year or two. Players long since forgotten. Overall, interesting if you are tennis fan, but not worth it if you are not.

A Letter to Christian Nation by Sam Harris
This is a follow up to an early book he wrote called the End of Faith. There have been quite a few discussions about this book as the author talks about why Christianity is basically fake. my problem with it is that he falls into the trap, a trap that many Christians fall into as well, of using specific passages of the bible to try and prove his pioint...where that passage may be taken out of context or is just strange compared to the other teachings of the Bible. By this, I mean, he takes an aberration in the Bible and makes the case that it is much bigger than that and that it supersedes other points of the bible.

I also felt that he was trying to discount Christianity by knocking down Christians. He would point out some of the preposterous things some Christians do...which he is correct in that, but it does not minimize the Christian religion because people do not live by the teachings.

The line that I did like from the book was this: 'One of us is right, the other is wrong. The Bible is either the word of God, or it isn't. If Christianity is correct...I should expect to suffer the torments of Hell. If the basic doctrine of Christianity is correct, I have misused my life in the worst conceivable way. I will admit this without a single caveat.' Interesting read but not one that I would necessarily recommend to people.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phones are a changin'...and confusion in the car

We just got a new phone system in our office. It is an IP phone system. The calls are all done online (similar to using Comcast phones or Vonage). We can listen to our voicemail online. We can take our phone home, plug it in the wall and people in the office can forward calls to me at my home by simply using my extension. I can go on a business trip to Africa, plug it in to the wall and make phone calls and my caller id will show up as a local Utah call. I can put pictures on my phone...I can change up the ring tone...I can do a bunch of other stuff. Pretty coll stuff. With that said, I found an old school phone sitting around our office. Amazing how things have changed. A phone is no longer a phone.

I was borrowing a car from my mother yesterday and I got in to drive and I wanted to turn on the heat as it was snowing (yep, Utah weather, 60+ degrees the day before and a couple of inches of snow yesterday). I looked at that frakkin' control panel and I had NO idea what to do with it. I just stared at it, became more confused, said 'Forget it' and then buttoned up my jacket. There are 3 separate round wheels to do something, but what each one does, I have no idea.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Michael and Sam: the Singers

So, this past weekend, we finally decided to watch Michael Jackson's 'This is It.' I have to say, I was impressed that he was as coherent and active as he was during it all. He still could dance and he still could sing. I wanted the show to be more of a documentary of those final couple of months, instead it was more just showing him practice performing with his dancers. Oh well.

I took Carter with me to drop that movie off at Blockbuster. Carter saw the cover and couldn't stop laughing at the wild costume he was wearing. He asked me who Michael Jackson was and I explained to him that he was a singer when I was growing up. Carter then asked me if he knew of any of his songs and I explained that he didn't but I could sing some of the songs to him. I started singing Thriller and he busted out laughing--"he doesn't sound like that!" Yes, he does. I do a perfect Michael impersonation, hitting only the highest of high notes. I then busted out 'Billie Jean' and after about 5 seconds, he screamed 'Thats enough Sam, thats enough!' Yep, I wish I could say that he does not have an ear for music...but I think its safe to say that my singing stinks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pick a door--Stairs or Toilets?

I was in an office building this week. I decided to take the stairs down. I was on my phone so I wasn't paying much attention and came to this fork in the road. I went for the door on the right and walked right into the Women's bathroom. It took me a couple of seconds for it to compute--'Huh, this doesn't look like the stairs, wait...where am I, oh frak'-- and I scurried out the door.

So tell me, is this some kind of trick to put the two doors right next to each other with 'stairwell' and 'womens bathroom' right next to each other? If I wasn't preoccupied, I probably would have guessed right, but as you can see, it was a bit confusing. And yes, the Women's bathroom looked very nice, thanks for asking.