Wednesday, December 21, 2005
"Please keep your seat belt fastened during take-off until the indicator is turned off." "Please keep your seat belt fastened until the plane is through taxiing and at a complete stop." "Ooh, turbulence...everyone back in their seats immediately and fasten seat belt, NOW!"
I'm convinced there is some ulterior motive for the seat belt nazism. Because I mean let's face it...whilst on a flight one of two things is going to happen. A) The flight will go normally with the possibility of a little turbulence, none of which warrants actually wearing a seat belt. Or B) the plane crashes in a fiery blaze and everyone dies, seat belt or no. That's it. That's all that ever happens. So why the absolutely colossal waste of time with all the lights and dings and announcements? It just doesn't add up...
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I'm devising a copycat endeavor as I write. For only $29.95, a steal compared to that expensive star stuff, you can get a grain of sand named after you, complete with certificate of authenicity and a photo of the beach where your grain resides. Or for $19.95, an H2O molecule in the ocean of your choice. This is gonna be HUGE!
As a sidenote...I wonder if you get a discount if your star goes supernova? :)
Sunday, December 04, 2005
So how does this happen? What is the explanation for this spontaneous mass mispronunciation phenomenon? My theory is that dumb-guy-A listens to prone-to-mispronounce-guy-B and then questions his own way of pronouncing a given word. Rather than look it up, dumb-guy-A starts to say it the wrong way, and then dumb-guy-C hears. And it snowballs from there until easily-annoyed-guy-D (me) hears it on CNN and is bothered enough to write a blog entry about it. :) I would love to hear alternative theories...
One other thing has been bothering me. It's December now and the stores are bombarding us with "seasonal" candy. Seasonal is a nice way of saying "only sells because of perceived affiliation with Christmas". A perfect example of a seasonal candy - the Candy Cane.
It's not a coincidence that the cane of candy is nowhere to be found in July. It's not that the candy cane is an uninspiring shaft of sugar, however, that I've chosen to write about it. What irks me most is the way they've chosen to package it. Innovative, year-round candies are constantly giving us new and exciting ways to minimize the "inside package" to "inside mouth" time. Simply pull this nifty red tab and watch as the packaging unravels effortlessly to reveal the now readily accessible goodies inside. That's technology at work, ladies and gentlemen...that's progress!
Alas, the candy cane makers have opted to remain in the packaging stone-age. You'll find no convenient pull-tab on these beasts, no reclosable slot/tab combo, no high-tech zip lock action, but rather a simple shrink-wrapping so tight that a wrapped cane and an unwrapped cane are virtually indistinguishable. Once you start the unwrapping process you'll find that seasonal candy must be mandated to use cheap cellophane that has this bizarre impossibly strong, incredibly weak characteristic duality which is somehow able to manifest itself at precisely the most inopportune times.
For example, the stuff is kevlar-esque when you first get a mind to break into it...but rather than just slip off the cane with one pull, it quickly loses all prior strength and you end up peeling it rather like a banana...only with an invisible peel. It's only once you begin to eat the candy cane and discover the cellophane shrapnel in your mouth that you realize that your peeling job was not thorough.
The real irony to this, however, is that there really are no fruits resulting from your labors, so to speak. Candy canes just aren't good. But I will leave the infamous cane's taste leaving something to be desired for a different post. :)
Friday, December 02, 2005
"53% of car accident fatalities were not wearing their seat belt." Your first reaction might be, "oooh, 53%, that's a pretty big chunk, they should have been wearing their seat belt!" But think about it a little more. 53%, with a +/- 3% margin of error, which is pretty standard, is for all intents and purposes the same as 50%. So in other words, 50% of car accident fatalities WERE wearing their seat belt. So what does that tell us? If half of fatalities were wearing a seat belt and half were not, then what that tells me is that wearing a seat belt has a NEGLIGIBLE effect on your survivability in a serious traffic accident.
As it turns out I happen to be a fan of the seat belt as it probably saved me from injury about a year ago when I had a head-on collision, but I just thought this was an interesting example of a misleading statistic, whether they meant it to be or not.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Figure skating is stupid. First of all, it's one of those lame subjective sports where you're at the mercy of judges, who are probably corrupt. Second, there is really only one element to a routine which separates one skater from another. They can all do the easy, frilly, artsy, boring stuff backwards and forwards blindfolded in their sleep. You know, skating forwards, skating backwards, waving their hands around, showing off the glitter in their hair, etc., which comprises like 99% of a routine. The only thing anyone is looking for is whether or not the skater falls down on her jumps. That is the essence of figure skating. She who falls least gets gold.
So I have a proposal for a new system for figure skating that removes the subjectivity entirely without really changing the essence of the sport. Take the most difficult jump in skating, and then have each skater attempt it 100 times in a row. The person who lands it the most gets the gold. 2nd, silver, etc. Done. No controversy, no corruption, takes less time, no glitter, everyone wins!
The second thing I'd like to talk about are the lines on the freeway. Or more accurately, the OLD lines that aren't supposed to be there anymore. For some reason, many months ago, they decided that the lanes of the freeway on I-15 that I drive to work each day all needed to be shifted over about 12 inches. Now, I'm no traffic engineer...so while it seems kind of odd, whatever. BUT, I have to take issue with their choice of old-line-concealment technique. Maybe it's just me, but giving the old lines a light coat of rubber cement just doesn't quite seem to do the job. Not only can you still see the lines plain as day, but now they have an annoying glare in the morning from the sun...which actually makes them MORE visible than the new lines. The result is that the freeway is now a confusing smorgasboard of lines making distinguishing between lanes a daunting task at the very least.
To summarize...we put a man on the moon, we can nuke the world 20 times over, but we can't make some simple traffic lines disappear. In the meantime bad drivers are driving willy nilly down the freeway, causing needless accidents...and my insurance premiums are rising. :)
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Two negative things happened this weekend. First BYU somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against TCU. 51-50, man what a score. I think this is like the first time in the history of the sport of football that someone has managed to botch two snaps in-a-row. Luckily I didn't go to it, nor was I watching it, because we were on our way to Mount Borah in Idaho. I had the ol' tivo recording the game in the unlikely event that BYU won, suffice it to say it didn't last long on the tivo's hard drive.
The other thing is we didn't make it to the top of Borah. I really really really hate to not summit, esp. when it takes 6 hours to drive there. But I think under the circumstances we made a wise choice. To continue in the conditions we encountered (5 inches of snow and ice on Chicken-Out Ridge) would have been suicidal at best I think. The one redeeming thing, however, was that the snow and clouds made the mountain incredibly scenic and I got an outstanding batch of Himalaya-esque photos out of the deal. Here's a taste...
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
One bummer though...because of the torrential rain we received it was flash flooding through Dark Canyon and the normal nice, clear water was replaced by what I can only describe as chocolate milk. Here I am from what could be a scene right out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. :)
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Then my mom found out. Oh man was she pissed. How could I squander such a large amount on such a trivial, worthless toy? Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. I felt bad.
It was at about that moment, approx. 2.3 seconds from when I first depressed the pump handle, that the $10 spent mark on the LCD readout came and went like a blur.
Inflation notwithstanding, my how things have changed...
Sunday, August 14, 2005
So we decided on just one non-Shakespeare one called "Stones In His Pockets". It was pretty good. Every part was played by just two actors - all kinds of accents and acting styles, so that was pretty impressive. Two things of note, however. What an unreal amount of spit that left these guys' mouths. It was unreal. They are not mic'd so I guess they had to speak loudly...that plus the way the lighting was helped us see everly last saliva molecule spew forth. Or maybe there is something about an Irish accent that is condusive to spit projectiles.
The other thing is how they substituted all the swear words. I'd heard this play had a lot of F-bombs. Their substitute of choice, apparentely, was "feck". "What do you think about that, Jake?" "I think we're fecked!" "Are you out of your fecking mind?" Etc. :)
Lastly, during the intermission I saw something else which I found quite hilarious. They were, of course, merchandising like mothers. And for a mere $8.95 you could be the proud owner of your own Shakespeare Action Figure! Complete with removable quill pen, and book! Haha. Cracked me up...like something out of Homestar Runner. Sweet Shakespeare removable quill pen action!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
From The Salt Lake Tribune - October 14, 1996:
In the diary where Caine Alder writes about his latest hiking adventure, a Saturday milestone was recorded quite simply: hiking Broads Fork Twin Peaks for the 200th time.
It took 27 years to complete the first 100 treks. Seventeen years later he doubled it.
"Just don't go up a 300th time, will you,'' jested hiking partner Rolf Doebbeling at the end of a 10-hour day.
Alder retorted: "Let's see, I'd be 79. Yeah, I could do that.''
Before the sun poked its head above the Wasatch, Alder began the trek with a 15-member entourage of daughters, hiking partners and work acquaintances.
Broads Fork Twin Peaks at 11,330 feet attracts experienced mountaineers, said John Veranth, author of Hiking the Wasatch. In 4 1/2 miles this Big Cottonwood Canyon trail climbs 5,130 vertical feet over boulders, skitterish scree and a gravity-defying wall.
"Panoramic views, the magnificent alpine setting, the enormous vertical reli! ef and the prominent position on the Salt Lake skyline make this peak a popular objective,'' said Veranth.
Even after 200 trips to the peak? Alder answers yes.
"I love Broads Fork Twin Peaks,'' he said. "Just look at the variety of trees. Look at the quartz rock; it's yellow, red, orange. I'll show you a rock on top that's blue. I love that rock.''
Age has not slowed the 62-year-old's sojourns into the Wasatch Mountains. He hikes almost weekly, climbing Mount Olympus almost 300 times now. His secret to hiking longevity: pacing and proper breathing.
Leading the pack Saturday, Alder's hike went so smoothly it appeared he entered a walking meditation. His steps were uniform, whether on the flats or a steep upward haul. Heavy breathing and gasps for air were unheard. He slows or speeds up according to the trail's pitch. And he never chews gum on the uphill; it makes breathing difficult.
Often his pace results in a game of "Tortoise and Hare'' with other hikers, said cousin Jeff Burton, who joined the m onumental trek.
"The first time I hiked with him 21 years ago, this group of young hikers burned past us,'' Burton recalled. "My young muscles were aching to join them. But I stayed with Caine, and soon we passed those hikers. Then they burned past us again, and we eventually passed them as they rested on a rock. Finally, we reached the top, but we never saw them.''
Alder's final tip for effortless hiking is to avoid talking, a pact broken Saturday because of the celebratory nature of the hike.
"I made my first climb when 2 1/2-years-old,'' said Alder, twisting his beret-covered head to address the single-file crowd that followed. A glimmer in his milk-chocolate-colored eyes revealed that a story soon would unfold.
When his father leaned a ladder against the house, Alder climbed up and sat on the rain gutter happily swinging his legs until discovered by his mother. After that he shimmied up the house's pillars. Trees were next. Alder and his si! ster began haunting Hugh's Canyon along the Wasatch Front. And in 1952, the Salt Lake City native learned about other trails riddling the mountain range.
"I'd never kept a diary, but for some reason I wrote about my first hiking trips because to me they were really fun events I wanted to remember,'' said Alder.
Forty-four years later, the diary continues.
An entry in the 1960s tells of a fog settling on Broads Fork Twin Peaks that disoriented the group. With his hands, Alder found familiar rocks and led the hikers off the steep crags.
Twenty years after that a redtail hawk claimed a 400-foot stretch of the peak's trail as its territory. When the raptor spotted Alder's hat, it swooped down and stole the cap from his head.
"After it took the hat, it came and I had to fight it,'' he said. "I went home with cuts all over my arms. My wife said, 'That was a quick trip.' When I told her what happened she laughed so hard she was stooped over.''!
Trauma did not plague Alder's 200th hike to Broad Fork Twin Pe aks. Instead, he watched the canyon's charm unfold as the sun crossed the sky, and renewed his love for hiking.
"I do this because it's fun,'' he said. "That old stuff about climbing it because it's there. . . pshaw.''
Sunday, August 07, 2005
So why am I rambling on about risk of death? Yesterday we tried to get to the top of both Dromedary Peak and Sunrise Peak, high and rugged peaks along the Cottonwood Ridge, and numbers 15 and 16 in my goal to bag all the 11,000+ foot peaks in the Wasatch Range. Once again, to make a long blog entry short, I will just say that I flirted with an unacceptable risk of death far too much and for far too long yesterday. Between the most rotten, crumbly, sharp and unstable rock known to man, sheer cliffs and exposure around every turn, tiring and frustrating route finding, I found myself as sketched out as I believe I've ever been...for probably a solid 2 hours. We actually did make it to the top of Dromedary by way of some probably questionable decisions and sheer will. I really wanted to get to the top of Sunrise as well...at first. But by the time we'd gotten to what would be the final ascent of Sunrise, I'd had enough. We instead made a premature bail off the main ridge down another scary-as-hell chute and decided to just get the $#@! out of dodge.
And to add insult to injury, on the way down a nasty thunderstorm formed overhead which I swear covered exactly the boundary of the Twin Peaks Wilderness because there was blue sky all around the horizon. We saw several bolts of lightning frighteningly close and heard a few of those ultra-loud cracks of thunder - the kind you can feel in your gut and make you want to drop to the ground in the fetal position. :) We found some overhanging rock and decided to wait it out there. Once the storm had passed we made quick work of the trail back to the car.
In hindsight I am kind of bummed that I was not able to close out my goal (esp. since this means I have to climb Broads Fork AGAIN sometime in the future), but I guess in the end I'm happy just to be able to be writing this entry.
Damn you Sunrise you WILL go down! :)
Brent and I at the top of Dromedary:
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Why, you ask? Michelle has a cornucopia of knowledge, both trivial and useful, and this is my meager attempt to harness and channel this knowledge for the good of all. If you question my view of her knowledge, you need only play her in a game of Trivial Pursuit (any edition) and get your teeth kicked in by her, just as I have.
So what are you waiting for? Ask Michelle a question today! :)
Monday, August 01, 2005
Friday, July 29, 2005
Anyway, we were driving along up this pass when it started to rain. No big deal. Then it started to rain a little harder, still no big deal. The wipers went from intermittent, to always going, and then finally to full bore as the rain kept getting harder and harder. Then it started to turn to hail...then bigger hail...harder and bigger still.
By this point people are slowing way down as visibility is not good and you wouldn't want to drive off the side of this road, that it for certain. But THEN something happened that I have never experienced before...the inside of my windshield almost instantly fogged up. No problem, I thought, just fire up the ol' defrost...which I did. But it seemed to have no effect. So flipped the fan to turbo, turned on the A/C, started messing around with the temperature dial...nothing seemed to even put a dent in this strange, new, death fog that had encompassed the inside of my windshield. Soon it was to the point where I could see basically nothing, so Bart starts wiping the windshield with his hand.
We continued this way for a few more minutes when Shelley radioed that Mike had pulled over at the top of the pass to "wait it out". I was happy to do the same. We pulled right up next to the gift shop they have at the top and decided to go inside to kill time while we waited out the hail. In hindsight, I think I made good time the whole 15 feet from my car to the front door of the shop...but that didn't keep the entire rear half of me from getting completely and totally soaked from the torrential hail onslaught. Mike later commented that he was slipping around and was doubtful he would even make it to the top. Crazy-go-nuts. It was nice and sunny at Black Canyon of the Gunnison earlier that morning. I guess it comes with the territory. Here's a pic of our cars parked at the gift shop at the top...
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
But luckily once we got back to the great state of Utah the weather got much better and we (Bart and I) survived to drive in a storm another day. :)
Friday, July 22, 2005
"You realize that this book is part of our 'buy 3 get the 4th free' deal, would you like to do that today?"
"Okay. Would you like to donate $2 to our reading program for children? You get this (stupid) purple rubber bracelet thingy."
"Uhh, okay, whatever."
"Thank you. Oh, would you like to buy one of our (gay) truffles today? Only 56 cents with a purchase."
"Okay. I'm only gonna bug you one more time, would you like to fill out this card so we can (spam) email you with special deals?"
"No. DAMN you Walden I just want my STUPID BOOK now leave me the hell alone!"
Okay, I didn't say that last sentence out loud...but I was thinking it. :) You suck Walden. People come to your store to buy books, not for your relentless harassment. B. Dalton just gained a new customer today. :)
It was kinda windy and cloudy, so we never saw any of them actually try to cross on their feet, but they did plenty of this dangly stuff (see in pic) which I guess was kinda fun for them. I think I'd like to try a crazy slackline like that sometime as I pride myself in having an above average balance. Or maybe I don't but just like to think I do. :) I guess we'll set one up sometime and see...
Monday, July 18, 2005
It gave enough resistence, however, that it freaked him out thinking there might be a dead body connected to it, so he quickly dropped the strap. Then I pulled the whole thing out (no dead body - whew) and found a fairly large pack, totally full of stuff, that had been sitting in that river for who knows how long. It had tons of mud all over it and the zippers had gotten silt or sand in them and had totally seized up.
I broke out my leatherman knife and we cut into it, not able to withstand the curiosity about what we might find inside. Well to make a long blog entry short, we found a lot of stuff. The most interesting of which you'll find in this picture:
There was a GPS, camcorder, a pair of binoculars, compass, first aid kit, and a bunch of other stuff as well. I don't know who lost this pack or how, but I'm guessing they were not very happy about it.
We debated what we should do with our find, but ultimately decided to just pack it back up and leave it there for the next group to find...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
First, I can't believe how close they let people get to the riders. I mean, they're all along the sides of the road mere inches from the riders as they pass by. What's to keep some disgruntled Frenchie from picking up a stick and jamming into Lance Armstrong's spokes as he rides by?
"C'est NOTRE tour. Yankee pigdog!"
And second...does anyone else find it ironic that you're watching Team Discovery Channel on OLN (Outdoor Life Network)?
Oh, and a bonus thought. :) Will the "Discovery" Channel please change their name to reflect their odd choice of programming? Something like, I don't know...GCN (Goofy Chopper Network). Or...BMD (Bickering Motorcycle Dudes).
Good night now!
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
These "women" are SO GROSS looking. The obviousness that every last one of them is juiced up out of their minds is on par with, say, the grass being green or the sky being blue. Sorry "ladies"...you can throw on some makeup and do your hair and whatnot, but you still look like freaky dudes with bikini tops.
Dahh, stop it. Go away. Embrace your femininity, it's not too late! :)
The following image may not be suitable for all readers:
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Anyway, the purpose of this post is to lament the fact that I was unable to take a picture with my phone from the top and have it instantly appear on this blog (which I thought would have been pretty cool) because when I reached into my backpack to get it...the STUPID BATTERY WAS DEAD! Doh! So the following pic isn't instantaneous, but at least it's a better quality one, since my phone camera is pretty lousy at best. :)
I overheard the ranger saying that everyone making it to the top had ice axes and crampons. Almost everyone. ;) In hindsight we probably should have had that kind of gear...just haven't gotten around to buying it yet, I guess...
Friday, July 08, 2005
Not only did we score with the scenery, however, but with the wildlife as well. I saw my first bear while backpacking in Banff, and not some scrawny little black bear, but a full grown grizzly in its natural habitat. I thought that was pretty cool. Here is a taste of some of the wildlife we saw:
From left to right, top to bottom: The grizzly bear near Egypt Lake. Some baby big horn sheep. An...adolecent big horn sheep (little horns). A black bear we saw from the car along the side of the road. An elk. And finally a baby mountain goat (kid) and its mommy losing her winter coat apparently.
I will probably have more to say about Banff/Jasper later...maybe some Canadian idiosyncrasies. :)
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I think the position of "supporting the troops" is all good and fine. But when you buy one of these bad boys and slap it on the back of your car what are you supporting really? You're supporting the shameless magnet creator who is cashing in on a national sentiment caused by tragic American deaths. Lame. I know, I know, I've seen the "All proceeds of sales go to sending packages to our Troops"...but c'mon. I'll bet most of these things are created in China.
Besides, who DOESN'T support the troops? You might as well slap one on that says "Child Abuse is Bad" or "Crap Tastes Yucky" while you're at it.
Lately I've been seeing cars with TWO magnets on the back. To these people I say...you're DOUBLY stupid. :)
Monday, June 27, 2005
To spice up our OF visit, Mikey had this brilliant idea...which was more difficult to execute than you might imagine, but turned out reasonably well, I thought:
I guess you could say lunch at the Old Faithful cafeteria did not sit well with him. :)
One other thing. If not to see Old Faithful, it is painfully apparent that people come to Yellowstone in hopes of glimpsing some sort of wildlife...but only if they can do it from the side of the road. One car stops, someone gets out with their binoculars or spotting scope, and within seconds 20 more cars stop and mass hysteria ensues. Whether or not there is actually wildlife to see is immaterial. "What is it? A bear???" "I don't know, but it's brown, and it's WAY out there." "Sweet, let me borrow your binocs!"
The best is when you're driving along and see a bunch of cars checking out a herd of Bison (or is it Buffalo?) which are like 2 miles away...only to turn the corner and see 2 or 3 like five feet off the road. Haha. In other words, it's easy to tell who has JUST arrived at the park.
Yellowstone was awesome though. #1 for me: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Both the hike to the brink of the falls, and the Uncle Tom's Trail down the crazy stairs built right on the side of the cliff. #2: The Grand Prismatic Spring. The way the steam rose in different colors, how vivid it was...surreal. Yellowstone is good times!
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
There were, however, some key snubs which I would like to give their due credit here on my nuevito blog and its vast readership.
"PC Load Letter? What the &!%$ does THAT mean?" - Office Space
"Hudson! This little girl survived longer than that with NO weapons and NO training." "Why don't we put HER in charge?" - Aliens
"I'm sorry I blew up your mom, Ricky" - Better Off Dead
Those were 3 that came to mind. Feel free to add any that you think got snubbed. Here's a link to the top 100 list: http://www.afi.com/tvevents/100years/quotes.aspx#list
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Man what a choke job by Duncan. Can we please stop calling him the best player in the NBA now? Who did they give the ball to in crunch time? Ginoblili. Who also pulled a nice choke job I might add. Is it just me or does Ginobili resemble a rag doll when he plays? All floppin' around and getting knocked over and stuff. And it looks like a bald spot forming under that mop of a hair do. Go Pistons!
Dahh, gonna miss game 7. Gonna be on our way to Yellowstone. Looks like I'll be firing up the ol' TIVO...
I'm guessing this will die off soon and I'll remove the link and pretend like I never created it in the first place, but you never know! Time will tell...