September 8, 2008
I know I’m not the first person to ask this, but it just struck me…
Did anyone on the TV sitcom Cheers have a Boston accent?
August 10, 2008
Is Water Polo hockey on a lake that thawed, or is hockey water polo on a frozen lake?
July 28, 2008
So I was thinking about this the other day… There are the problems of geological vs. God time, etc. But one thing just occurred to me.
God created man in his image. He created all the animals, and the plants, and gave man dominion above them. Man was king, he was satisfied, and he was happy. But then God thought man was lonely, and on the same day he created Man, he created Woman.
Let me ask you a question…
What Man in his right mind, king of his castle, master of all before him on earth, would get lonely and need a mate within a day? I mean, sure, within a week (possibly a few months if God gave Man beer and football instead) Man might get horny, but a day?
So this God, who we’re supposed to believe is kind and loving, presents us with a creature that seduces us into a fall from grace with her feminine wiles, such wiles that continue to this day to get us men to do all sorts of crazy things to vie for their attention.
As for me, I could have done with the beer and football. That truly would have made the Garden of Eden paradise on Earth!
July 25, 2008
It’s been a couple of strange years. The wife and I went from young DINK couple, renting apartments in California, to the responsibility of home ownership in Georgia. But then, in just over the past year, we came back to California, back to renting, but adding one child and reducing ourselves to one income (although, with the responsibility of my new job, an improved income). Now, she’s working on starting a new business, we’re keeping our eyes on the housing market for an entrance sometime in 2009.
And then I had to have the nerve to turn 30. As if becoming a parent isn’t enough new responsibility, I had to officially leave the carefree days of 29 and become old.
Time to start living vicariously through Wyatt, because my opportunities have closed off. Hopefully he’ll remember me when he starts the Martian colony that I was hoping to found. Ugh. 30! Why me?!
March 17, 2008
Well, I just arrived here in Salt Lake City. From the little I could see in the dark, it appears that I’m well surrounded by snow-cap peaks, so I’ll try to snap some pictures when I get a chance, and hopefully head out to a local brewpub tomorrow for dinner.
I’ve got a bit of nervous apprehension/excitement about this brewpub, though. These silly Mormons (no offense to my 2 Mormon readers, but seriously folks, let me enjoy my beer in peace!) in Utah have strict laws about beer, and thus there’s a 4% limit on alcohol in the beer served at this pub. A portion of me simply thinks that they’re going to be lifeless, flavorless beers. But then, I wonder. When you tell an artist that he can only paint with shades of blue, the artificial constraint forces him to try to raise his craft to make the best damn blue painting that’s ever been painted. I wonder if they’re doing the same here. If they can’t brew over 4%, maybe they’re producing some of the most flavorful session beers ever seen.
Either way, we’ll find out soon!
Looking forward to being back in California on Wednesday evening, as the constant travel pace has been a bit taxing.
February 6, 2008
No. It’s not a million-dollar idea. But it’s a good idea, if I say so myself! And, because I’m that kind of guy, I’m only posting about this idea because I can’t figure out any way to make money off of it!
As a new parent, and having watched many other parents, I know that romantic dinners with your spouse seem to disappear once the kids arrive. I recently made reservations for my wife and I for Valentine’s Day, and it’ll be her, myself, and Wyatt out for the evening. Luckily, Wyatt is still young enough that he’s reasonably well-behaved (and immobile) at restaurants, so we shouldn’t have much trouble. But it’s a pretty nice restaurant, and if he was anywhere between 18 months and 4 years, I’m guessing we’d probably get our asses thrown out of the place.
But there’s a problem. Luckily for us, we have family in the area, so if we really wanted a night away, there are people we trust to leave in charge of Wyatt. And grandparents are known for volunteering for that sort of thing. But not long ago, we were living in Georgia, and there were only a very few people we knew well enough to leave as a babysitter. Trying to get a babysitter, at what we have learned is a relatively large cost ($5-10 per hour, which can add up quickly), would make it nearly impossible for us to go out for a “nice” dinner on a whim. And society has become more like we were in Georgia, with young couples moving away from family to follow jobs, than it is for us now, where young couples live in close proximity to family.
So how can “nice” restaurants, the ones who cater more to romantic dinners than your loud obnoxious family-friendly everyday eateries, cater to these young affluent parents? I think the answer is simple: have a room and a small staff devoted to taking care of kids!
Imagine, you want to take your wife to a nice steakhouse, but you know that your two-year-old won’t sit still for the 90-120 minutes that it will require to have a fine dining experience. You could leave your child with a babysitter, but then you constantly worry about what’s happening at home, and you have the thought in the back of your mind that even if you “got a call”, it might be 15-60 minutes before you could make it home. More often than not, you’re probably going to forego the dining experience in favor of something more convenient and accessible to a family with children. If you do choose the dinner, you know it will be a stressful experience where you spend more time worrying about whether your babysitter is watching R-rated movies while your child cries in a corner than tasting succulent medium-rare filet. And worst-case, you can bring your kids with you, which will probably ensure you spend your whole meal embarrassed by their behavior while the tables adjacent to you mutter nasty things about your lineage under their breaths.
But what if the restaurant had a “kids room”, staffed with one or more people who are good at entertaining children. Throw some toys, some books, and maybe a few TV’s in the room, and the kids will be more than occupied. Feed them some chicken tenders and let them play with other kids, and they’ll be excited to go out for a nice dinner. And if you worry about what they’re up to, you can go over to the room and check on them, because they’re barely out of arm’s reach the whole time!
The restaurant gets increased business from patrons who otherwise might not visit. The other patrons of the restaurant get a noise-free environment where they’re not subjected to the screaming kids. You get a great meal with your spouse, without having to worry about what some babysitter is doing in your home. It’s win-win-win!
As I said, I can’t necessarily call this a million-dollar idea, because I can’t figure out a way that I can make a million dollars from it. But I’m sure that the aggregate profit that could be realized by high-end restaurants due the increased business they attract could be well in excess of that million dollars. While I may never get credit if this idea is realized, I’ll rest easy knowing that I can enjoy the results: stress-free dining when my kid(s) aren’t around (but other parents are), and stress-free dining when I bring my kid(s) with (because I know they’re being cared for and entertained right around the corner).
January 27, 2008
Years ago, as I was well into the obsession of motorcycling, I read this long story about one man’s motorcycle trip from northern California through Alaska and some of the northern reaches of Canada. I fell in love with the adventure that Alaska represents. While the motorcycle obsession has grown somewhat dormant, the call of Alaska has only grown.
I find myself watching whatever I can get recorded on the DVR about Alaska. I watched a special this morning about a guy who was taking a driving tour up the Dalton highway to a tiny oil town on the Arctic Ocean called Deadhorse, AK. The town has barely a hotel, a place that makes a tent look appetizing. Yet I found myself thinking about just how much fun it would be to go there.
Part of me wants to make a trip– as the author of my linked story does– on a motorcycle. I’ve often suggested to my wife that when Wyatt is in college, I’m going to buy a couple of bikes to ride up there with him for a month or two. But part of me doesn’t want to wait. I was looking at airfare this evening for this summer: my 30th birthday. I’m again watching TV, “1,000 Places To See Before You Die”, and thinking that there are 1,000 places in Alaska I want to see before I pass on.
But something about me doesn’t understand the obsession. Why do I love Alaska, a place that I’ve never even been, and why do I find it calling me? It’s more than simply a desire to go see a new place; I’ve got several places I’d love to see. But Alaska is the only place I can think of that I feel drawn to. There’s something about a true “frontier” that just tugs at my heartstrings.
So, dear readers, I’m asking for your psychoanalysis for a moment. Do any of you harbor this desire? Do any of you understand what it means? We all have dreams for ourselves in life. I want to write a book, I want to open a brewery, and I want to raise a wonderful son who is capable of being happy and fulfilling all his own dreams. Those dreams seem rational and useful, the sort of things that make a person feel like they’ve accomplished something. Why, then, is a tremendous natural sight like Alaska calling me to do nothing more than experience its wonder?
October 16, 2007
Seen on a bumper sticker:
REALITY Has A Liberal Bias
Now, humanity has a liberal bias. Most of humanity is caring, generous, kind, forgiving, and willing to accept and look past the failure of others.
Reality? Not so much. Reality is cruel, reality is harsh, reality punishes mistakes without remorse. Reality doesn’t give many second chances. Reality is the exact opposite of what could be called “liberal”.
Now, I’ll admit that it makes for a catchy little slogan. But it’s a profound misunderstanding of the world we live in. In fact, it was the “illiberal” system of capitalism that is precisely what has allowed us to blunt the harsh “conservative” nature of reality.
August 6, 2007
Last week, my old boss jokingly asked me why I was selling pharmaceuticals on the internet. It seems he’s been getting emails from a “Brad Warbiany” (with rotating hotmail email addresses) trying to sell him medications to increase the size of his… confidence.
This appears to be one issue with having a unique name that is easily found on the internet that I hadn’t considered. I now have spammers using my name to peddle their wares. And frankly, that’s the last thing I need, especially if it’s widespread enough that someone who actually knows me is getting this spam.
But I don’t know what to do about it. I doubt I could find whoever is responsible, and even if I did, I doubt they’re in the USA. I’m not sure I have any recourse to stop these guys. About the only thing I can think of is to contact Microsoft/Hotmail and see if there’s anything they can do about it.
August 2, 2007
Wow… So today, I decided to meet my wife at the in-laws, where parking is always at a premium. I arrive, unload the truck, and right as I’m about to start searching for a parking space, a guy asks if I mind giving his car a jumpstart. No problem, of course, and it’s especially nice because he was parked in a prime location, and he was about to leave.
So I drive over there, park nose-to-nose with him (he’s parallel parked at the front of a line of cars), and we get his car started. He pulls out, I pull in, and all is well. Of course, now I’m facing the “wrong” direction in my parking space.
I get into the house, and the wife & family ask why I’m parked the wrong way… “Oh, I gave that guy a jump, and I was already facing that way, so I pulled in.” We head off for dinner, and get back, and they tell me “You need to move your truck, or you’re gonna get a ticket!”
A ticket? For parking on the “wrong” side of the street? On a dead-end street where the only real traffic is people driving around at 3 mph looking for parking spots?!
Yep, it’s illegal. It hurts nobody, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s absolutely meaningless and pointless to make it a law that you park one direction or another. Yet my whole family is looking like me as if I’m crazy for not “getting it”. Because it’s the “law”, and that’s what you’re “supposed” to do. The nice man in the blue uniform has a gun, and if you don’t snap to attention and follow orders, he’s going to reach into your wallet and take your stuff.
Ridiculous. Luckily, I went over to my truck, and didn’t find a ticket there. But can anyone find a justification for this other than revenue enhancement? Is Newport Beach so crime-free that cops really have time to devote to this?
July 29, 2007
I used to smoke. My friends when I started were all Marlboro Red smokers, so that’s what I started with. Over time I switched to Camel, and eventually Camel Lights. But I had heard that smoking lights wasn’t any less unhealthy than smoking regulars. The reason is that smokers, when they switch to lights, tend to take deeper and longer drags in order to compensate for the lighter “feel” of the cigarette.
I realized over the last few nights that the same thing occurs with light beer. Recently I did a poker night with a bunch of coworkers (I’ll have to post that story soon), and since I organize it, I’m always there to the end. We reached the end of the night and had a case and a half of beer left, so I managed to bring that home with me. It was a case of Coors Light, and half a case of Bud. These are two things that never see the inside of my fridge.
The Bud was actually better than I expected. It had a more full taste than most American macro beers I’ve had, and I’d seriously consider buying it sometimes instead of Miller Lite, my usual beer when I’m just looking for something cheap and drinkable. But the Coors Light, well, wasn’t full-bodied. I can take an average bottle of craft brew, and I find if I’m just having one in the evening I’ll gladly nurse it for an hour, taking my time. But the Coors Light was different. With such a light body and flavor, I find I’m taking bigger gulps more often. I can sit drinking a nice IPA for an hour, I might finish a Coors Light in 15 minutes and feel completely unsatisfied.
It seems just like light cigarettes. Light beer might have less calories and alcohol than regular beer, but if you drink more of them and drink them faster, you’re not doing yourself any good. Might as well get the real stuff and at least feel satisfied afterwards, right?
July 10, 2007
Let’s see… The below video shows something that’s childish, stupid, pointless, probably more expensive than it’s worth, highly dangerous, and blatantly illegal.
I just might have found a new hobby.
Adult Soap Box Derby!
I particularly like how they’re the SFV Illegal Soap Box Federation. It’s like a personalized invitation
June 26, 2007
At the end of this month, I’m forced to give up my Motorola Q, because I’m no longer a “field” employee… I’ll have to go back to paying for my own cell phone, and looking around, that really means that I won’t have a shot at getting a smartphone with a data plan, because I just don’t get enough utility out of it to spend $45 each month just for data.
But it looks like AT&T’s got my back. If I can find a way to buy an iPhone (perhaps if I win an competition that I’m currently involved in), they’re offering plans that actually have pretty reasonable unlimited data plans:
AT&T’s service plans for the Apple iPhone will cost $59.99 to $99.99 a month, the companies said Tuesday.
The $59.99 monthly plan includes 450 minutes of voice time; a $79.99 plan includes 900 minutes; and a $99.99 plan includes 1,350 minutes. All three offer 200 text messages, unlimited data services, minutes that roll over month-to-month and mobile-to-mobile calls. There also is a $36 activation fee.
I’m not huge for talking on the phone, and the most I talk is to my wife, which would be free mobile-to-mobile minutes, so I could probably get by with the $59.99 plan. I was worried just getting any smartphone that I’d be in the $100/month range. I’m too cheap to pay that much every month for the cool geek factor. I’d rather buy beer. But at $59.99, I’m in my price point…
I can see it now… I’ll be the hip dad with Wyatt wearing his anarchy shirt as I carry him in a Baby Bjorn, while rocking out to tunes on the iPhone. I’ll definitely be the coolest dad at the beach!
June 20, 2007
This morning, driving in to work, I was treated to a royal charlie-foxtrot unlike I’ve seen in a while. In Orange County (for those of you familiar with the area), the traffic signal at the corner of Moulton & El Toro malfunctioned. This is a big intersection, 3 lanes of traffic in all 4 directions, but you’d think that rational adults, entrusted with the responsibility of piloting multi-ton vehicles, would be able to navigate a situation like this.
But not really. It was bedlam. Cars determining which when and how to proceed based more on gut instinct than any sense of order. Nobody having any idea when it was even correct for them to proceed, so the tentative drivers crawling across an intersection and slowing everyone down. The whole process was completely unorganized, and ended up taking us far more time than it should.
Now, some of you would suggest that this scene is an indictment of anarchy or small government. After all, without the order imposed by traffic signals, wouldn’t this be occurring every day?
But the answer is no. I’ve seen other parts of the country where traffic signals aren’t as reliable, where there are more stop signs in general, and where things like a protected left-turn-lane don’t all have their own individual signals. Basically, these are places where drivers are not only trusted with the responsibility of piloting a vehicle, but they are given some additional ability to choose when it is and is not safe to proceed at a light.
Order doesn’t have to be imposed by a traffic light. Order can emerge from patterns of behavior, and eventually become so ingrained that if someone proceeds at a 4-way stop at the “wrong” time, people wonder why he’s such an idiot. In fact, most of society works this way, not as a result of top-down government-imposed order. However, when you have hand-held your citizens through every intersection in the metro area, and suddenly that order breaks down, they haven’t built up their own order and their own patterns of behavior, so it becomes every man for himself. You treat drivers like children, and then wonder why they fall over when the training wheels break.
This is a microcosm of what we see in society. When an area without much government interference undergoes a natural disaster, people step up and step in to help each other. People are used to having societal systems in parallel to those provided by the government, so when a disaster comes that is beyond the scope of the government to handle, they don’t fall apart. Yet when you look at a place with heavy-handed government interference (such as New Orleans), the failure of government and the evacuation of people who might otherwise step in to help cause society itself to break down.
Yet people use the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in order to argue for more government and against anarchy. They’re arguing that adult-age children, kept in dependence by the government, should suddenly start acting like responsible adults when government breaks down. It just doesn’t work that way. The problem with government today is that it encourages dependence from cradle to grave. That might be fine, if the government were able to deliver on their promises. But government is unreliable, and when you encourage dependence, you shouldn’t act surprised when your subjects can’t act independently.
June 19, 2007
I went to the dentist today… That wasn’t a fun experience, as it never is… I grew up with a dentist that was an overweight man, with big fat fingers. Ever since, I haven’t liked the dentist.
But I learned something new about myself. The doctor checked out the x-rays, and I’ve got 5 wisdom teeth! Sweet!
That must mean I’m 25% extra-wise, which explains a lot… Or it could mean I’m 25% more wise-ass, which would also explain a lot. I told my wife that it must be the former, which I think is evidence of the latter…
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