Your occasional dose of cynicism and randomness.

What the bad man did to my car...

Twas the week before Christmas, and par for the course, Jer was heading to work for his IT outsource.

Although it was Saturday, the server was corrupted. He had to fix it off hours so no work’s interrupted.

Committed to go, he jumped in his Mustang. (Although he left his key card behind- dang!)

Before very long (he hadn’t travelled five blocks), a sight appeared that made him jump out of his socks!

The car up ahead moved into the left lane, then suddenly swerved! This man was insane!

On horn and on brake, Jer pushed with his might, but the car up ahead continued moving right.

Unable to stop the upcoming ordeal, the cars met and bumped, with a crunch and a squeal.

Blood started boiling in the back of Jer’s head. His knuckles turned white, his face became red.

“My beautiful car! What has this idiot done?” Jer roared to himself. He was not having fun.

He jumped outside with a curse on his lips, when the man stepped out… with sixty inch hips.

The swear fell away, voice crumbled to dust. “I think that he’d maybe eat me if I cussed!”

The man approached Jer. “I’m sorry!” said he, “I didn’t see that island in front of me!”

“I’ll call the police, we’ll see what they say.” This is not how anyone wants to spend their day.

The cops came and went, insurance exchanged, but Jer wasn’t quite sure who it was the Cop blamed.

The process drags on, as these things sometimes will, but Jer hopes he’s not stuck with the high repair bill.

The estimate on his prize vehicle you see, is thirteen hundred, that’s a lot to me!

It may be up to three weeks before the case is settled, until then, Jer’s poor car will have twisted metal.

Your idiots are dumber than my idiots.

I had a humbling experience today.

While in the Customer Support area, installing software on someone's machine, I listened to the poor CSR next to me:

"I'm sorry, sir. I'm doing the best that I can. No, I have done this before. What I need you to do is hit the control key, then... the control key. Down at the bottom of the keyboard on the left side, there is a button that has 'C' 'T' 'R' 'L' on it. Yes. Hold that button down, then hit the 'C' key. No, 'C' as in 'cat'. Like the animal. You know, 'meow'? How about 'C' as in 'Cow'? No, it's another animal. No, not a picture of a cow, the 'C' button, like when you spell out the word, cow."

I don't think I'm allowed to get upset with the people I have to support anymore if they can put up with that kind of idiocy.

Why Jer should never be a Dad...

Is it possible that the women of the Wasatch Front can see a few years into the future?

I'm more of a lover...

Just in case you were wondering...


Join the dark side...

Obama's only hope... and mine..

If this were true, I'd vote for Obama in 2012.

I'm offended...

Many of you have seen my shirt that says: "I'm offended... I'm a BYU student" (If you haven't seen it, I have a shirt that says "I'm offended... I'm a BYU student, FYI)

It's really getting pathetic how we are offended by everything around us. (It offends me that we're so sensitive) Making matters worse are the people who are being denied the right to share their opinions because of it.

Apparrently, we're no longer allowed to fly American flags in our own country anymore. We can't show anyone who isn't white as working-class. And now there's this:

This is supposedly offensive to undocumented workers. (We have to call them undocumented workers because it's offensive to point out that they're breaking the law of the land by calling them 'Illegal Immigrants')

Ok, I admit that I can be an insensitive prick and a right-wing nut, but really? Are Mexicans Hispanics People born south of the border of the United States (verbiage changed to attempt to avoid offense) really going to decide that references about extra-terrestrials attacks on them? Can I protest Devil costumes because of the crack about Mormons having horns?

Sad, really, how political correctness means you're not allowed to have an opinion, preference, or sense of humor anymore.

I honor your offer

Well, court date came. Since many friends I've talked to about it are unfamiliar with the process, here's what happened:

First off, this wasn't actually my court date. This was arraignment, so it this wasn't where the cop had to show up or I'm off the hook. This is just where I plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.

There were about 30 defendants there, most on traffic violations, some in from the county jail on failure to appear in court, shoplifting, etc. I think one guy was on a controlled substance charge.

First, they had us sign a form informing us of our Miranda Rights and right to an attorney. Then we filed into the courtroom, and a 400 lb man walked in and announced he was the City Prosecutor, and if we planned to plead ‘not guilty’, try for a deal, or not be eaten, we should talk to him before the Judge arrived.

A few people in front of me had similar tickets to mine, and he basically told them their only option was to plead ‘guilty’ and pay the fine, or ‘not guilty’ and they'd set a court date. He told them this just by looking at their citations and not asking them anything. When it came to be my turn, he asked "What can I do for you?" (Maybe it was because I was well-groomed, wearing a suit, and not smelling of pot. Some people are just idiots!)

"I'm contesting that this took place in a construction zone," I said.

"Well, if you bring your ticket in to court, I can loo-- Oh, you have it here? Let's see.... hmm. Yeah, it does say 'approximately 11800 South'... OK. If you plead ‘guilty’, I'll drop the construction zone part of it, or you can plead ‘not guilty’ and take it to court where the officer will have to appear."

Now, I know the officer had irrefutable video evidence that I was going 76 MPH. I don't know if his video proved the improper lane change, but I figured with this offer, I had nothing to gain by going to court, so I accepted.

After a half an hour of listening to people explain why they were driving on suspended licenses, (seriously, I'm now convinced that I'm an excellent driver) It came to my turn and I told the Judge that yes, I understood my rights, No, I didn't have any questions, yes, I understood that the agreement was to the full fine without the construction zone enhancement, blah blah blah. I then plead ‘guilty’ to all charges, went upstairs and paid my $300 fine. At least it got cut in half.

Dealing with idiots.

I'm sick of idiots... unfortunately, I am one.

I got an email today. Here's the entirety of it: "What happened to the winSCP Server?? I can't log on!!!" (Yeah. now you know why I get short with people on emails. I get stuff like this all the time.

I hate when someone at work tells me they can't get to "The" FTP server or "The" Web logon or "The" Links site. I manage about 70 of the first two, and I don't know what you're talking about on the third. Why can't they give more information instead of expecting me to read their minds?

So, I send an email back explaining that there are several servers, and to which is she referring?

"The winSCP server that I upload product information to!"

I ignore the fact that winSCP is a client, not a server, and try again to get more information. After about 3 more emails, I finally learn which server she needs access to. I reply:

"Sorry, we had to move that site. Nobody told me you needed access. You need to log in to [address] and use the same username and password."

She replies with "What's the hostname?"

"I just gave you the hostname. It's [address]."

"What is the username and password?"


Seriously, what?? Could she be that dumb? At this point, I tell the story to Joel via IM and we discuss how at least she'll survive the zombie apocalypse.

I send her the login credentials again and she replies that it keeps saying 'access denied'. I look it over, then try to log in myself.


I gave her the wrong address. I'm really, really glad I was polite in the emails while thinking she was a complete dolt, because I'm the idiot.

The Office

Today I was chatting with my boss and our facilities manager, when my boss said, pointing to me, "He's our 'Dwight'".

I was taken aback and was slightly offended. He said "Think about it... Knowledgeable, surly, weapons...." (No I don't have weapons hidden around the office, nor do I bring any in)

I said if anything, I was closer to Andy. (For some reason, this is slightly less insulting to me, even though Andy is an idiot) A Cappella geek, bad with women, temper problems. I'm much more likely to put my fist through a wall than to mace some guy who's attacking someone else.

What do you think? Where do I fit? Do any of you have "The Office" characters at work?

Legal Advice

I went to Draper City Court today to contest my speeding ticket. I got there during lunch, and the lady there took my citation, made a copy, then said, "OK, you have until October 30 to pay..." I told her "Actually, I'd like to plead 'not guilty'." "I was just about to suggest that... the fine is pretty steep because of the construction zone."

Now, far be it from me to judge such things, but is it OK for someone who works at the courthouse to suggest pleading not guilty? I figure that kind of thing might be frowned upon.


I'm having a strange issue here. I've decided to fight my speeding ticket, and the way I see it, there are three possible outcomes:
1) The cop doesn't show up and I'm off the hook.
2) The cop does show up, my arguments make sense, and I get a reduced fine.
3) The cop shows up, but nobody listens to me, and I pay the full fine.

I've already started adjusting my budget to deal with the worst-case scenario, but I'm feeling super-anxious about it. I don't know why. It's there in the back of my head all the time, and my over-active guilt reflex is going crazy. I've got my plan in place, so why can't I quit thinking about it?

Road Rage

So, how many times has this happened to you? You're driving on the freeway, and there's someone in front of you you'd like to pass. You signal a lane change, and he happens to do it at the same time. You both dart back to your original position.

Now you're back where you started. You change lanes again, and this time do it quickly to avoid the confusion, and you pass.

Well, I got pulled over this morning for exactly that. I had to speed up to pass the guy, and as soon as I was past, I slowed back down to the limit.

All the cop said he saw was me swerving in and out of the lane I was in. Then, because the first "lane change" (us both moving) happened while we were passing the "end construction zone" sign, he decided the whole thing counted as being in a construction zone, and cited me for 76 in a 55. (76 is how fast I sped up to pass the guy... seeing as how traffic was flowing at 73 or so, I don't think I was out of line)

I was very polite and didn't talk back, I explained why the multiple lane changes (he didn't see the other guy signal), but I think the part where I screwed up was where he asked if I thought that was safe. I hesitated, then said, "Well, there was nobody in the other lane, I checked that nobody else was around.." then he asked for my license and registration. I can't help but feel that he would have given me a warning if I had said something like "No. It was stupid."

I'm thinking I'll fight it. I looked up Draper City ordinance, they don't offer traffic school, and it's going to be about a $600 ticket because of the "construction zone" that we weren't in.


The day after my last post, my mom sent one of those emails to everyone in her address book...

Gossip is as gossip does

I, as we all have, often receive emails with some wild accusation attached:


This is part of the internet. We have to deal with the conspiracy theorists, the people out there who just like chaos, and the people too ignorant/paranoid about technology to know better.

I do, however, expect people to think before they act, and by act, I mean hit the "Forward" button on their email.

Why is it that people who would shun gossip think it's ok if it's on the internet? If I walked up to you and told you "Don't drive your car on I-15 today, cars have been exploding due to the new asphalt they put in", you'd probably laugh at me.

Ok, yes. There are attack sites out there. There are viruses, identity theives, and killer robots that can make your cyber life painful. But when I hear a rumor about the latest batch of Ford cars that have a faulty part that make the car dismantle itself when you drive over 50MPH, I tend to try to find out at all if it is real before I frantically call all my neighbors, friends, and family with "OMG, don't drive more than 50 or you'll all die!"

Google is your friend. Look some of this crap up before you hit "Forward". Try this site. They research urban myths and emails and such. Be part of the solution to this spam, not part of the problem.

(To those who received my angry replies to some of these, I apologize, but it's because I know you're smarter than that)

Socialism in action

I guess I need a bit of explanation on my last post and why I feel the way I do. Many of you who read this have heard me talk about it, but I lived for two years in Australia, which is highly socialized. Government health care, redistribution of wealth, etc.

Let's star with work ethic. The majority of people I met in Oz were on "The Dole" (free government money). Most stores were open 8-5 Mon-Wed, 8-9 Thurs, and 8-3 Sat-Sun. Why late on Thursday? That's government check day. Seriously.

In America, we typically ask someone "What do you do?" In Australia, they ask "Do you work?" It isn't rude, so many don't work that it is a common question. Many Australians struggle with the idea of a 40-hour work week, and thought I was exaggerating about it. One girl was shocked when I told her "If you don't work, you don't eat". (which was a bit of an exaggeration, but not a lot)

I knew a single mother who was trying to make a better life for herself and two children. She worked two jobs and was as frugal as she could be. After a few months of this, she did the math and figured out that with 2 kids, she'd make more money on the Dole than she was working two jobs, so she quit them both. (she wasn't eligible if she was working)

So here we have a system that rewards laziness and punishes work ethic. To me, that's just painful to think about.

How about health care?

As most of you know, I worked with the deaf in Oz. There was one lady, Joyce, who was deaf and blind in her mid-70's (I believe). When Joyce got sick (with a common cold), she was sent to the hospital. We'd go visit her often in the 2 weeks she was there. (Yeah, 2 weeks for a cold) The conditions were terrible. The hospital seemed clean enough, but Joyce got more sick because she was put in a room with 5 other people (with different ailments) and they all made each other more sick. The medical staff was so busy that Joyce got a 15-minute checkup each day by a nurse and otherwise was just left alone, rather than being treated. In my opinion, she would have been better off staying at home if she had someone to help, but she was living in a government-run assisted living center, and they required she be sent to the hospital, since they didn't have the staff to help her stay in her room.

We volunteered at the Red Cross at that hospital (which was one of the main hospitals in the capital city of the state I was in). It was hot (no air conditioning or climate control other than ceiling fans), it was smelly, and I was always glad to get out of there, even though being there usually meant a few hours to just relax.

This is what socialism gets us. This is what happens when the government tries to "take care of us". Me? I'd rather be independent. We need to quit worrying about how to make sure everyone gets a fish and worry about teaching them to fish instead. If they choose not to fish, too bad for them. Get a job and make your own damn pie.

The Change Sucks

I'm going to get ragged on by certain liberal members of my family for this, but...

So, it seems Obama is getting his "change". Are you still sure you want it, America?
This site has some funny shirts and bumper stickers. They focus a lot on the "Spread the wealth" comments the President has made, but I particularly like "Don't spread my wealth, spread my work ethic" and "It's MY pie! I don't have to share it with you. Get a job and make your own damn pie"


I'm sick of seeing pictures of myself looking much pudgier than my mental self-image. I think it's time I finally take some major steps to fix that.

I figure by publicly posting these, it should help me hold to them better:

1) Fast food: no burger/fries type fast food for a month. Exceptions include casual dates, travel, and when I've been out working all day like when I help my parents with projects on the weekends.

2) Exercise: 90 minutes a week minimum. Mostly I plan to get walking on the treadmill. I'll count half of any time I spend working on my house.

3) I'm only holding myself firmly to this for a month, but if I get in the swing of it, plan to continue through the summer.

Help me accept the things I cannot change...

The other day a friend told me I was not prepared for marriage because I refused to accept blame for something that wasn't my fault. (I think he was 30% joking)

I counter that it isn't an issue of being unprepared, rather it is me enjoying that freedom while I still can.


Manly Things

All through Jr High and High School, the majority of my friends were female. As a result, I've seen just about every chick flick out there, have helped make flower arrangements, learned to dance, etc. I did decide, however, that there would be some things I would never participate in, just to hold on to some semblance of masculinity.

These things include reading/watching the Twilight series, any kind of "product party", and my biggest holdout of all, Pride and Prejudice.

What is it with P&P? I have never met a girl who didn't love that crap. And it's long. I know girls who would plan a P&P party where they'd watch the 77.5-hour-long PBS version of the thing.

Well, Joel just brought this to my attention.

It may be time to lower the ban.

More Pictures

Here's some of the work Dan's been doing at my house.

Also, a couple I forgot to put up last time: My dining nook and spiral staircase:

And, just for good measure, a picture of me after the pie-eating contest at work:

Dancingmoose vs Skinforhair

I need to pick a facebook username. Do I go with Dancingmoose (a staple since early high school) or Skinforhair (a christening from a college roommate)?

Also, Daniel's been working on my drywall the last couple of days. I'll try to take some pics tonight and post. (What?? Jer might actually move into his house??)

I Like Pie.

For those of you that don't know (and most don't), the phrase I sometimes use, "I like pie." comes from an old show called Ned and Stacy. In one of the final episodes of this two-season wonder, Ned rushes to Stacy's family Thanksgiving dinner to tell her he loves her after they've had a fight which finished with him yelling "GET OUT!!"

Ned gets to the house, and when the family asks if he has something he'd like to say, he looks at Stacy and says "GET OUT!!!.... I mean... i like pie."

Stupid, I know, but I always kinda liked it.

Don't watch this on a full stomach:

New look

I found this template online and am in the process of tweaking it to my liking... I still haven't found in the code where to push the comments back to the bottom of each post yet. I'm also thinking about making that "No Swimming" sign change daily or something. Whatcha think?

The House

Ok, it's more than a month overdue, but here's the post about my house:

I bought a house. Actually, I kinda bought two houses. There's the original house, then the add-on "mother-in-law" apartment that's close to the same size. I've got it zoned as a legal duplex now. My friend Joel is renting half.

Seen from the front corner. My half to the left, Joel's to the right

There's an awesome back yard that's totally enclosed because of the way the house is "L" shaped around the corner.

Yard includes a gazebo, fountain, and playhouse.

Now I have somewhere to sleep when my future wife is mad

Here's a panoramic of the backyard that I photoshopped together.

Unfortunately, the wiring is pretty bad, so I've been redoing it.
Holy Fire Hazard, Batman!

I'm also kinda crazy about getting cable and network into all the
rooms, so I've been doing that, too. While I was at it,
I found the poor man's way of doing whole-house audio, so I've been running audio wires as well, and have been installing ceiling speakers.

Several rooms were set up for swag lighting, so the power sockets were tied to a light switch (like a motel). I hate that, so I fixed it, and I've been installing lights in several places that needed it. (Including one bedroom that had no lights whatsoever!)

Lotsa light. Also note ceiling speaker!

I've ripped a whole bunch of holes in the walls to do my wiring, but luckily my friend Daniel used to be a drywall guy, and he's going to help me patch it up, then my sister Judi is going to help me paint. Hopefully, I'll be moved in in the next two weeks. (I've stayed out knowing I'll have to patch and paint)
Examples of my wall destruction. Take that, walls!

I wish I'd had the foresight to do "Before" pics.. I'm going to see if I can't find some of the original MLS pics.

So there you have it! Joel's family is living in the house section currently (we call my half the "Apartment"), so I didn't want to jump in there and take a bunch of pictures. I'll try to get some later.

(Can I note that I hate working with pictures in Blogger? I had to republish 17 times to get this to lay out correctly. Sheesh.)

So sleepy..

I'm exhausted. Every day this week, I've awakened in the morning to feel like I hadn't slept at all, and it's starting to catch up with me. It doesn't help that today, my email has been going nuts. I have three main email addresses (two jobs and one personal), and I literally haven't gone more than 5 minutes today without at least one of them going off, so my phone is constantly buzzing on me, and I'm OCD enough that I HAVE to look. (please don't start sending me emails just to exacerbate this. You know who you are.)

Anyway, I planned to go bed shopping this afternoon, but you know how you're not supposed to grocery shop when hungry? Does the same principle apply to buying a bed and being sleepy?

April fools

Yeah, yeah, I'll post about my house eventually. But first...

There's a guy in my office who is a bit of a primadona. He's been furious for the past year that he doesn't have an office, because he feels his pay grade deserves it. We finally kicked our IT manager out of his office and gave it to this guy, but then we moved buildings the next week. (d'oh!)

So now, we're in this new space, and he's been promised that he can have the reception area, and a wall will be built in the one space that keeps it from being a separate room. It's taking a while for that to get done, and he's not too happy about it, so he has set up shop in our only conference room until his office is "complete".

Well, we decided it's time to get him out. We got him a wall/door.

The sign says "Devron's office. Please Knock."

One of those days

Yesterday, I didn't feel well. I had some kind of 24 hour stomach bug, I think. But have you ever noticed that the day you take off from work is the day everything seems to go wrong at work? When you get back, it's insanity to try and catch up with everything that's gone wrong.

In my case, four people were unable to get their computers to even turn on, someone lost an important email to the spam filter that they needed urgently, several user accounts were mysteriously disabled, small rodents made nests in the servers, and the only voices you could hear on the phones were the kind telling you to wear tin foil hats and warn the rest of the world about the Impending Doom!

Ok, so it wasn't quite that bad. There weren't really rodents.

...Just all of Womankind...

A friend today compared me to her boyfriend who is afraid of commitments. I told her that I'm not afraid of commitment, and she responded with "No, you just avoid them like the plague."

I said I only avoid girls I don't like, and she said "Which is all of womankind!"

...dang. I have to give her that one.

New Blog Title

The new blog title is a quote from a dream I had the other night. A friend and I were being attacked by a group of evil women, and I told him to go on ahead, and I'd take care of them. He asked what made me think I'd survive, and I told him: "I'm an expert on sirens."

I woke up realizing that it was the truest statement I've ever made.. even in my sleep.

Health Care

We have a new president, and like it or not, we need to stand together as a nation. I do believe that. But I have to rant for a minute about a political subject that has been driving me nuts. (Short drive, as my dad would say)

I truly am sick of Americans clamoring for national health care without reflecting on what that really means.

Have you ever lived in a country with free health care? I have, and I would NEVER want to be hospitalized in that environment... One might as well go to a witch doctor.

Do they think if it's all free, the standard of care is going to stay as high as it is? Do they even understand how it's going to be paid for? Our public education is paid for by taxes, and is "free", and I constantly hear about how the standards aren't good enough, our children are failing, classes are overcrowded, etc. How can you think that public health care would be any different?

Yes, we have people dying because they can't get care, but we have a HIGHER OVERALL SURVIVAL rate because of the QUALITY of our care.

Here's what I'd like to see: The addition of net new health care centers that are tax-funded and available to those without insurance. I'd like to see our current system survive, so that I can continue to get care that doesn't involve not enough medicine, not enough people, rooms with 16 beds in them, and hand-me-down x-rays that will give me cancer because the clinic can't afford lead shielding.

Don't drag my health down with you.

Ripped off by BYU

I am LIVID. As I hunt for a home of my own, my alma mater has decided that they want to ruin my chances for no apparent reason other than laziness.

In early December, I got a letter from a collections agency. BYU had decided that I owed $80 for something. Instead of attempting to contact me, they sent it straight to a collection agency! Sure this must be a mistake, I called them, but the company gave me a bureaucratic run-around, and I never got to talk to anyone. Then I started calling BYU.

After about 5 phone calls, I learned that the sport jacket I had checked out from Performing Arts Management for a Vocal Point tour was never returned. I called my VP director, and we sorted out that he had it, he contacted them, and everything was supposed to be fine.

A few days later, I noticed that the account had not been cleared, so I started making phone calls again. I contacted PAM (performing arts) and the lady there said she had called it in to financial services, but she'd check again. She called me back later saying she had gotten hold of them and it was all cleared. That night, I got an automated email from BYU saying the debt had been cleared.

The next day, I got another automated email, and the debt was back! I started making calls. 4 phone calls later, the student working at Financial Services told me that the person in charge of this sort of thing wasn't there, but there was some kind of glitch that had put the debt back on. They'd sent an email to the person in charge, and it should be fixed.

A few days later, it still wasn't. I called again. It was now December 19th. I told the girl there that I was concerned, because the letter I got said if they didn't hear from me by the 27th, they'd assume I acknowledged the debt. She said she had put a flag on it and it would NOT go into collection.

Today I got a letter postmarked December 29th. (10 days later) The account is in collection. Those idiots at BYU who kept promising me that this wouldn't happen let it happen. From the literature I've read, my credit score will now be impacted by this. 80 freaking dollars. I would have paid $80 I didn't owe if I knew it would come to this.

Now I have to take several hours off of work on Monday to drive down there (I'm done trying to deal with these people on the phone) and get this sorted out.

I'm so glad that the institution that sends me six letters a year asking for donations doesn't care enough to:
- Make good faith efforts to settle problems before jumping to outside agencies
- Hold employees accountable to keep the promises they make
- Show that my concerns are valid by explaining what is happening
- Return my phone calls

Thanks a lot, BYU. I'm glad you're not above making me pay for your mistakes.