May 2, 2013

As I’m sure you know, WAT is the new WTF. It’s the hot meme right now.

Wait, you mean I’m late to this party, it’s played and now lame?


Anyway, I just spent two days with the Bobs. They weren’t actually named Bob, but they might as well have been. Two days in a Motivating Change seminar. In a conference room. Two days. About Motivating Change. With the Bobs.


Several hours in, I started amusing myself by capturing WAT moments on the notepad they provided me. I used to call these Hedgehog moments. Now I call them WAT moments. Whatever.

Here’s the annotated list.

1. The speaker referred to a study, and gave us the numbers, something like “3 out of 4 dentists recommend Trident.” But then he said “I mean, whatever, that’s not empirical data, but . . . ”

WAT? Of course it’s empirical data. It is a study conducted by studiers, on the studied. It resulted in data. That data is empirical.

2. Passerbys. Bob, in an offhand way, said something like “He ignored all the passerbys and stayed focused.”

WAT? It’s passersby. You speak in front of people for a living. You’re welcome.

3. Foyer. He said Foe Yay. Which I know some people do when they are pretentious or funny. This guy was neither. I mean, if you know how to say “passersby” you can go ahead and say Foe Yay to be funny, but anybody who says Foe Yay straight up is a @#!*% . Just stop it.

4. Bob loves quotes, some more than others. Bob had a quote from Machiavelli on a slide. Except he didn’t say Machiavelli. He said Mack uh velli. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of calling out a quote by putting it on a slide that you use as part of your job, in front of lots of paying customers, maybe look up how to say his name. I’m not Italian. But I know how to say Machiavelli.

5. How do we help people through change? We need to be humble. We need to avoid hubrisnous.”

WAT? Hubrisnous? Is that like Hubricity? Hubristitude? Hubriscosity? Or perhaps just Hubris. As in, this entry is the height of Hubris.

6. We watched quite a few clips from movies to illustrate the stages of change. Many clips came from Remember the Titans. Which is a good movie. No complaints. Until he said, as he queued up a clip, “By the way, best soundtrack to a movie, all time, hands down, no question.”

WAT? Now, I know, lists are subjective. But no list I can find lists Remember the Titans’ soundtrack as even exceptional, much less best EVER. In fact, it’s not on most top one HUNDRED soundtracks. It’s a soundtrack full of standard oldies like “I heard it through the grapevine” and Ain’t no mountain high enough.” The TWILIGHT movies have better soundtracks for crying out loud. Has this guy never seen Pulp Fiction? Or The Godfather? Or a Hard Day’s Night? Or even Amadeus. WAT!

Okay, I have a notepad full of this. But I’m sure you’ve seen enough.

Here’s a final sample. On a key slide, a bullet point said “Employees will have allot of questions.” Really? At $1500 a head, you couldn’t have an editor or your mom go over the slides?

Thanks Bob.

Bonus WAT moment–“The change went by super fast, like a light year.” WAT? I’m not sure that word means what you think it means.

save it for later

March 19, 2013

Occasionally I get emails from alert readers and friends who (reasonably) think that something ridiculous or obscene or disgusting fits right in my blog wheelhouse. I have no idea where they get this idea. So mostly I simply ignore these “helpful” suggestions.

But today, Jon, friend, beloved bike builder, and all around good guy, sent me two pics from a bathroom in St. George that I could not leave alone.

First, the scene:

seems innocent enough

seems innocent enough

Okay, no big deal. Just a regular bathroom. But let’s zoom in a bit. What’s that on top of the soap dispenser?

yup. there it is.

yup. there it is.

Why, that’s gum.

And that’s a thing that makes you go Hmmm. Because

  1. the gum is chewed.
  2. there is a trash can nearby, but the gum was instead carefully placed on top of the soap dispenser.
  3. if the gum is chewed, and not thrown away, does that indicate the chewer needed the space in his or her mouth for something else?
  4. after consuming the “something else” (in the bathroom!?) was the chewer planning on retrieving and chewing the gum again?
  5. this is a bathroom. most things, including solids, give off some form of airborne particulate matter.
  6. ew.

Jon, thanks for sharing. These things are too much to carry alone, and we are with you.


pearls before swine?

March 13, 2013

You know how if you share something super important to you, like, say, your favorite movie, or a favorite restaurant, and they hate it, you know how that sucks? Or even suckier, if they’re indifferent?

So I’m talking to Ian the other day. You know, the Ian who is totally into electronic music, some dubstep, Bonobo and the like, and who wants me to listen to it all the time whenever we’re in the car. Or everywhere.

Anyway. Earlier that day (the day when I was talking to Ian), I had watched the first song from Stop Making Sense, Psycho Killer, and had this wave of nostalgia wash over me–Stop Making Sense was my first midnight movie (that I stayed awake for–my first was The Song Remains the Same–who can stay awake for that at midnight?), and it’s awesome, and I love it, and so should everyone. EVERYONE!

So I pulled up the Psycho Killer video on my phone and said to Ian (who loves music, so of course would love something as awesome and groundbreaking and important as this) “hey Ian. Watch this.” (No pressure, right? It’s just my soul I handed to you just now.)

He watched it in silence. And then said “That was weird.” And handed my phone back to me.

Remember the movie Broadcast News, when Jack Nicholson rips Albert Brooks’ heart out on the set, and Albert leans in and whispers to Holly Hunter “I’m going to go outside and cry. When I go, laugh like I just told you something hysterical so nobody knows I’m dying inside.”

It was kind of like that.

(Except, right after that, Ian said “hey, can we watch the next Godfather movie tonight?” And then later he said “so I’ve kind of been listening to nothing but Radiohead lately.” It’s hard to be mad at someone who says stuff like that.)


just between you and me

January 30, 2013

I don’t want to belabor the topic, but I finally burned a lunch break and drove my defunct Comcast remote down to the Comcast service center and traded it in for a shiny new remote, all shrink-wrapped and everything.

Last night I set about teaching my remote to connect with my TV. Which is easy, right? You just look on the handy instruction sheet for the code that matches your TV, then follow the steps that seem a little like the fancy dance Vin Diesel does in The Pacifier (You know, the Peter Panda Dance–“Roll like a log till you can’t roll no more! Better jump up quick like there ain’t no floor, Hold your breath, and jump/step/slide to the left; And that’s the Peter, I swear that’s the Peter, That’s the Peter Panda Dance!”–Remember NOW?)

Anyway, I forget what I was talking about. Oh, right, I’m training my Comcast remote. Which feels a lot like being punked with all the clicking and pointing and waiting. And it’s NOT WORKING.

I try it like 20 times, with every code on the page. I go behind the TV with my iPhone flashlight app, to see if I can get more specific on the model number. And finally, I sit in front of the TV, and dial up Comcast support, get in the queue, put the phone on speaker while I wait, and watch Predator (what a serendipitous little surprise that our TV should be stuck on Predator).

Finally, right as Arnold squares off in the mud with the ugly alien, I get a live one on the phone.

“No problem sir, I can walk you through that.”


“What’s the make of your television?”

It’s a Mitsubish . . . . um, well, it’s a TOSHIBA.” Aaahhhhhhhhhhh!

Me, now knitting my shaming hair shirt which is waaay less shaming than to tell all y’all about this.

Let’s just keep it between us okay?

channel 4 will do

January 25, 2013

Remember Commercial Free?

I’ll raise you a Cable Remote.

Our digital cable remote recently had a stroke. And, like a stroke victim, the remote now works on the left side, but not the right side. That is, volume control, on/off, but no channel or guide control.

So, rather than examine the root causes of stroke (um, straining at bowel movement?), we . . . well, we did nothing. We are stuck on channel 4.

At least it’s the HD version of channel 4.

Or, we crawl up to the cable box, and squint or use the iPhone flashlight app and find the channel buttons on the box.

Last night I had enough–I dialed up Comcast support.

After 35 minutes of wading through menus and waiting on hold, I hung up, crawled up to the cable box, and changed the channel.

not crazy at all

January 24, 2013

Yay me. I have discovered a new permutation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. My last discovery centered around the su . . . er, around the process of drying oneself after a shower.

In a nutshell, the discovery was this: You can dry yourself in order, but you can’t KNOW the order of the drying. Simple, yet crazy.

So last night, I was leaving work, got in the elevator, which was a bit crowded and cramped, and then tried to put on my jacket.

Well, I was blocked to my right, so I put on the left sleeve first. And then I froze. “Ahhh! I can’t find my other sleeve. I’m trapped in my jacket, help.”

Bile rising, panic setting in, I bit my lip until we reached the ground floor and I could burst into the hallway and take off my left sleeve, and put on my jacket properly, right sleeve first. I hesitate to describe the process for fear of violating Dug’s Uncertainty Principle, but it’s like this:

  1. right arm in.
  2. swing jacket around the back, while left hand reaches behind looking for the armhole.
  3. push left arm through.
  4. shrug the jacket up to the shoulders.

See? Perfectly rational. Not crazy at all.

Just don’t screw it up.

In a Friends episode, Joey, Chandler, and Ross are out trying to party like rockstars, but they run out of steam around 10pm. To make themselves feel better, they talk about how it’s okay because they’re not so young anymore:

Chandler: I’m 29 years old, damn it! And I want to sit in a comfortable chair, and watch television, and go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
Joey: Yeah, yeah. And I’d like to hang out in a quiet place where I can talk to my friends.
Ross: Yeah. And so what if I like to go home, throw on some Kenny G, and take a bath.
Joey: We’re 29; we’re not women.

Well, I’m no Ross, but, here it comes, I like to throw on some Pinback, grab a glass of cold milk, a big pile of double stuff Oreos, my magazine, and take a bath. There, I said it.

So, tonight, I’m taking a bath. Kim’s in the bedroom, reading. And I realize I’m missing some key ingredients.

“Hey, do we have any Oreos?”

“No. But we have some black licorice.”

Who among us is not, in this instance, reminded of something Jesus said?

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?”

I share Jesus’ admonition with Kim. And, without looking up, Kim says “Whatever, now you have something to write in your blog.”

commercial free?

October 1, 2012

So, recently we’ve been having sort of a cinematic education/indoctrination series at the house. That is, I’ve been forcing the kids to watch movie series that are important to me. We watched all the Rocky movies (1-4–the rest never happened). Watched all the Star Wars movies. The Bourne Movies. The Lord of the Rings movies. And the Terminator movies. I have others still on the list. The Godfathers. The Screams. Back to the Futures. The Bonds.

But that’s not really the point. The point is, yesterday, we were flipping around between football games, and came across Terminator Salvation. So we settled in.

And two or three commercial cycles passed before we realized, um, so, we actually OWN this movie. Why are we watching a non HD, commercially interrupted version of a movie that is about visuals and sound and should not be interrupted?

What’s amazing is there was argument about whether we should do this. Keep watching this stupid TV version, or, if we were actually wanting to watch it, take the 20 seconds and slap the DVD into the player, and find the current scene.

Why this weird indecision? Is it because we didn’t plan to watch it, so we can’t take it seriously? I would get that if it were, say, Weekend at Bernies. But for Terminator Salvation?

We went ahead and put in the DVD. But now I kind of need to make two lists of movies–those you leave on the TV and those you stop and put in the DVD.

I’ll put that in my “projects” file.

not my job

September 5, 2012

Like the man says, “Happy companies are all alike; every unhappy company is unhappy in its own way.”

We’ve been in this brand new building for less than a year.

This has been the view from the big stall for over two weeks:

While that’s handy for sharing squares, it’s not handy for regular use.

The janitor had been spotted entering the bathroom, picking up the toilet paper dispenser, changing the rolls, and putting it back on the ground.

Here’s what it’s sposed to look like:

See how handy?

I am sorely vexed.

model toe

August 28, 2012

I need some redemption from some of the catastrophically bad nutritional decisions I made during the Ultimate Challenge ride (that’s right–I’m blaming my poor performance, not on any lack of fitness or toughness, but on bad nutritional decisions). The best way to get that redemption is to suffer through the Park City Point 2 Point race. Makes perfect sense.

So I picked up one of the many entries floating around available from people who entered way back in whatever early season month registration opened (and closed 7 minutes later), but who are too smart to actually DO the event.

Okay, I may not be thinking especially clearly here. I acknowledge this.

Anyway. Sunday, I was helping to set up a bunch of chairs, and I rolled a giant chair cart weighing about six thousand pounds up onto my right foot, most likely breaking my middle toe.

Can you tell which toe I’m worried about?

From the bottom:

That’s not magic marker.

You know the worst part? Not that this will feel especially uncomfortable this Saturday around mile 70 of 80 miles and 14,000 vertical feet of technical singletrack. (I did a Corner Canyon broken toe test ride yesterday, and while the toe did keep reminding me of its status, it never said “ride P2P and I’ll go gangrenous on you.” So I think I’m good.)

Nope. The worst part is that Eber’s wife, Cicely, looked at the pictures and said “He doesn’t have the prettiest toes to begin with.” Which is more than just mean, it’s so totally not true. I could be a toe model. Well, could have been.

king’s peak

July 23, 2012

You think I don’t know how long it’s been since I posted? You think I don’t get itchy when I notice someone’s blog feed, and mine doesn’t even make the cut because it’s been so long?

Okay, I hiked King’s Peak this weekend with some neighborhood fellers. Here’s a little video of it (I don’t really do pictures, unless 60 fps counts):

We approached King’s Peak from the North. Kind of like how the Fellowship approached Mordor. Kind of.

We hiked in from Henry’s fork, camped just south of Dollar lake, but short of Gunsight pass, then the next morning hiked up to Gunsight pass, and took the shortcut traverse to the right rather than descend into Painter basin, and up to the peak (totally the way to go, you shave two miles this way). On the return, we descended the toilet bowl chute just east of the base of the peak. This is waaaay more direct, but is not for the faint of heart. Some of our party practically ran down this 2000 foot, 45 degree chute, and others practically crawled down it. And then you’ve still got a mile or two stroll back to camp, where there was much rejoicing, and maybe a little skinny dipping in 40 degree water.

We hiked out on the third day. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.



July 9, 2012

I’ve experienced the pain of having to put down my iPhone when I get in the shower. The disconnectedness.

I don’t think Holden has.

It’s a little hard to see in this pic of Holden working the tramp board.

But you can see it when he lands.

There it is. Cell phone in hand. Whew, someone might text him mid jump, but now he won’t miss a thing.

I say, stop fighting it. Like the alien weapons in District 9, just embed the suckers already.

more ohhhhhhh

June 30, 2012

I have three kids, and they couldn’t be more different and more similar at the same time.

Maybe I’m overstating just a bit.

But still. Maddy was always very cautious. Not a big fan of danger or exposure.

Holden falls kind of in between. He’ll try almost anything, but only when he’s sure it’s the right thing to do. He’ll drop cliffs Ian drops, after he sees Ian drop them.

But Ian has no real danger filter.

Today me n Holden n Ian headed out to corner canyon for some dirt, and after we dropped Ghost and mid Canyon, we were about to hit lower Rush, which Holden had ridden, but not Ian, and I said to Ian, “okay, there are lot of jumps on lower Rush that can catch you off guard. You’ll hit several in a row that are super smooth, and then suddenly you find yourself launched. So, ease into it. Be careful.” You know. Cuz we aren’t exactly BMX champions or anything.

So Ian just takes off, and while I hang back to make sure Holden is good, I lose Ian.

Until I come around a corner and run over his bike. But not him. Because he’s off the trail and down in a ditch.

(Of course, my first thought was, hey, wait down there while I get a better angle.)

It all worked out.

It just got me thinking. Thinking about Maddy. Then watching Holden and Ian as we were riding home. And thinking.



who are you talking to?

June 26, 2012

Driving home from work this week (from Thanksgiving Point to Suncrest, along the Timpanogos Highway), I spied a local version of a minivan (a big black Escalade) with a Mitt Romney bumper sticker.

I just don’t know where to start.

You’re driving along the Timp Highway toward Alpine, Utah. In a giant Escalade.

If there’s a redder town in a redder state in the country, I don’t know about it.


So, just who are you talking to with that bumper sticker? Your neighbors? A potential employer? Your father in law?

In 2004 over 70% of Utah citizens voted for Bush, with zero counties going Blue. None.

And Mitt Romney is Mormon. Which means in 2012, about 90% of Utah citizens will vote for Romney.

Which means that putting a Mitt Romney bumper sticker on your car in Alpine, UT, is kind of like putting on a bumper sticker that says “I breathe” or “this giant Escalade is black.”

Seriously. Who is the audience for that sticker?


wait, how old am i?

June 21, 2012

Yesterday I had lunch with my mom.

My mom is 81 years old. I am well over half her age. Yup. Old.

She takes one look at me and says “so, what’s with the shaggy hair and no shave?”

I say “what, I hate shaving and Kim hasn’t made me a haircut appointment.”

She kept looking at me funny all during lunch.

When I walked her out to the car, she said “okay, so next time we have lunch, I want your face shaved and your hair cut.”

“Mom, I am old. I have 3 kids, I have a house and a job, and I’m the decider.”

So this morning I shaved (first time in a couple weeks). And asked Kim to get me a haircut appointment.

I don’t understand.

the weekend in movies

June 18, 2012

Okay, the title is a bit misleading. I mean, I did see Prometheus, which I loved despite its flaws, but by “weekend in movies” what I really mean is, I did some stuff over the weekend, and I filmed some of it, set it to music, and went ahead and Vimeo-ized it.

I’ll start with the second thing first. Got Ian, his old friend Kolby, and his new friends Megan and Rachel out on the boat Saturday afternoon. A good time was had by all, near as I can tell.

But before we hit the lake, I headed up AF with Eric Bright and Brandon Banks to hit some dirt, with the primary goal of finding our way over to the new-ish Mill Canyon stuff. I heard tell of a 32 switchback climb. Turns out, yes, yes there are 32 switchbacks.

I got a little self-indulgent while I was watching a rough cut (first cut), and I wanted a song on it, so I popped Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and, well, I just couldn’t cut any more after that. Sometimes the best iTunes feature is “sort by song length.”

Anyway, here it is, featuring the mud/mill downhill, and the mill switchbacks. There are 32 switchbacks. I think I got em all, but I don’t feel like counting again. I had a hard enough time counting them the first time.



June 13, 2012

There’s this great scene in In Bruges . . .

Okay, I guess I need to set it up a bit (some spoiler coming, but not enough to spoil the movie, which is awesome, and you should definitely see it this weekend).

Two hit men (Colin Farrel, Brendan Gleeson) are told to lay low in Bruges (natch) for a while because their most recent hit went bad (sent to kill a priest, and an altar boy got caught in the crossfire. Ralph Feinnes, the bossman, can stomach a lot, but not kid killing).

Eventually, the bossman comes to Bruges to kill Colin Farrel, to punish him for killing the altar boy. Because that kind of killing, even if accidental, is beyond the pale.

So, Ralph Feinnes is chasing Colin Farrel, and accidentally shoots and kills a dwarf instead. Except, the dwarf is on a movie set at the time, and Feinnes thinks he’s just killed a child.

And he says “ohhhhhhhhhhhh.”

I’ve been feeling like that a lot lately.

“Ohhhhhhh. Now I get it.”

have a what?

June 7, 2012

Sure, I’d heard the word “Havasupai” and I’d made the usual jokes–“have some soup, aye.” “It’s a Grand Canyon franchise of Zuppas.” And “that sounds like some really bad pie.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Turns out Havasupai is the perfect family vacation.

Although, I now have 7 band-aids on my feet, six thousand bug bites all over my body, I have cankles like a pregnant woman retaining water, and I walk funny.

these feet are no longer made for walking

Good times.


Remember all those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials, where someone is inexplicably walking down the street eating out of a jar of peanut butter like a homeless person?

So, when we visited City Creek Mall downtown over the weekend, and made the mandatory stop at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some fudge (spawning the phrase now written on my office window “the fudge counter is always packed”), and saw their brave new confection “Chocolate Dipped Bacon Strips” I, of course, had to partake. I mean, bacon? And chocolate? Shyeah.

Welllll . . . not so much.

of course it looks yummy. they could make my spleen look yummy dipping it in chocolate

what we call the hopeful “please be good” stage

reality sets in

disappointed resignation. “at least i still have this diet coke. i love you diet coke.”

ian was not impressed.

In short–two great tastes, NOT great together. No creepy man appeared behind us to bless the union.

Also, me n Holden n Ian hiked and skied the main baldy chute at Alta yesterday (Memorial Day). It was good. Unfortunately, the Contour died just as we got to the top, so only still shots for the descent.

ian showing some leg

holden navigating the mank

yes, i was there too


May 24, 2012

Mostly I hear the word “crickets” in the context of telling a joke, and then hearing, you know, crickets. As in, silence.

This week I made a quick trip back east for a conference, and, to take a cue from Jim Gaffigan, after we ate, we set up a place to eat, and then we went and got something to eat.

And by something, I mean crickets.

Well, not just crickets. We also had tongue tacos. And the most delicious guacamole I’ve ever tasted.

pretty good food. except for that weird one on the right

But the crickets stole the show. On account of them being disgusting.

those are all arms and legs in there. and mole

John and I figured, we’d order lots of stuff, like scallops, quesadillas, and other yummy stuff, and in the middle of it, we’d try the crickets.

Because when a swanky Mexican restaurant puts Cricket Tacos on the menu, I mean, you have to order them. Don’t you?

Yes, yes you do. So we did.

ready to kill any crickets that might still be moving.

All I kept thinking was “Grab my arm.  The other arm. My other arm.” That’s how it works in my head.

not as awesome as i’d hoped

Let’s have a post mortem for the crickets.

Attractive presentation. Terrible taste. Gross texture. Not for eating. Nice novelty factor. Can’t believe people really eat crickets.

So, A-