I have confessed to quite a few failings in this space, from being a lousy handyman to falling down stairs to cracking the toilet seat by sitting on it.

Have we tired of this gimmick? Well, if by “we” I mean “me” then no, no we haven’t.

Here is a picture of my toothbrush.

I realize that’s pretty uninteresting. But now you know, I have an electric toothbrush.

Lemme esplain. No, there is too much, lemme sum up.

When you brush your teeth with an old fashioned analog toothbrush, you put toothpaste on the toothbrush, stick the toothbrush in your mouth, and brush.

Well, when you use an electric toothbrush, you do the same. Except you also push a button on the toothbrush to start the toothbrush head vibrating wildly.

So sometimes, you forget. And by you, of course, I mean I. I forget. And I push the button just a smidge too early. Which starts the toothbrush head vibrating. Violently. Near, but not IN, my mouth.

Which sprays toothpaste all over the counter. And the mirror. And my face.

But don’t worry about me. It only happens about once a week. I’m fine.

One of the nuggets rattling around in my brain, surfacing from time to time, causing me to stare vacantly for a few seconds in recollection, is this clip from Saturday Night Live:

And you know, comedy shows provide the best and most accurate news. While not as funny as FoxNews, The Daily Show is at least more fair and balanced.

With that in mind, I totally believed the SNL clip. My long tug of war with Hollywood Video should have ended with their bankruptcy.

But this week I got this:

a cry from the grave. for money.

Really? But Seth Meyers said . . .

Maybe it’s cuz the movies I rent are so awesome?

k, not all of these were for me

Apparently my long national nightmare isn’t over. Yet.

uh oh

May 9, 2012

I’m a little upset this morning. I’m just going to get this out there:

I sat on the toilet seat, and it broke.

Okay, it feels good to get that off my, er, chest.


yes, that’s a crack (ha)

I was just sitting there, minding my own business. I shifted a bit. And a crack like the sound of doom reverberated throughout the bathroom the way only sounds in a bathroom can. It was like a sonic boom.

Look, Strava doesn’t lie. I’ve been riding this year at roughly 5 times the quantity I was last year.

The scale doesn’t lie. I can now button the top button on my pants.

And yet.

in case you were wondering, yes, the crack goes all the way through

I will now buy a microwave large enough to fit me.

they are not for eating

April 30, 2012

Yeah, I get it–eating bone marrow is what gave us our big brains, a couple million years ago. Whatever.

Unless I become a zombie or I’m trapped on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean (with you), the stuff on the inside of bones is not for me.

Unless, you know, I’m sitting in a hip restaurant downtown with Kim and my father in law and his wife, and the menu actually fairly shouts “Hey, we offer bone marrow as a side dish!”

In that case, still no.

Unless someone at the table (Kim) dares me. Then, well, what are you gonna do?

Eat the marrow. I hear it’s good for my brain.

presentation is everything

seriously? it's like bone jelly

does NOT taste like chicken, but i can feel myself getting smarter

this pic really just to show how as my hair recedes, my nose grows. yay.

i hate norman doors

April 27, 2012

Tony, a UX designer here at work, introduced me to the concept of Norman Doors.

Norman Doors suck.

“You are a madman! When you stole that cow and you’re friend tried to make it with the cow. I wanna party with you cowboy.”

A nice photo, and a nicer caption, from MSNBC.com this morning.

Pyongyang refuses to let failed rocket launch dampen tone of festivities.

elden’s wilhelm scream

April 20, 2012

My long national nightmare is over.

Okay, I’m being dramatic. Well, someone is being dramatic. Maybe it’s not me.

We’ve all heard of Elden’s scream, right? I mean, I’ve known Elden for over 20 years now. I KNOW his scream. I’ve heard his scream. Lots and lots of times. Usually when he falls off his bike, of course,  but not always.

So, an article I read on Grantland recently piqued my interest, and I’ve done a bit of research, and now I know why Elden’s scream feels so archetypal.

Elden’s scream is the Wilhelm Scream.

For those of you who don’t want to click over, I’ll quote from the fount of all knowledge and every blessing, Wikipedia:

The Wilhelm scream is a film and television stock sound effect first used in 1951 for the film Distant Drums.The effect gained new popularity (its use often becoming an in-joke) after it was used in Star Wars, the Indiana Jones series, Disney cartoons and many other blockbuster films as well as television programs and video games.The scream is often used when someone is shot, falls from a great height, or is thrown from an explosion.

The sound is named for Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 western in which the character is shot with an arrow. This was believed to be the third movie to use the sound effect and its first use from the Warner Brothers stock sound library.

The sound effect originates from a series of sound effects recorded for the 1951 movie Distant Drums. In a scene from the film, soldiers are wading through a swamp in the Everglades, and one of them is bitten and dragged underwater by an alligator. The scream for that scene was recorded later in a single take, along with five other short pained screams, which were slated as “man getting bit by an alligator, and he screams.” The fifth scream was used for the soldier in the alligator scene—but the 4th, 5th, and 6th screams recorded in the session were also used earlier in the film—when three Indians are shot during a raid on a fort. Although takes 4 through 6 are the most recognizable, all of the screams are referred to as “Wilhelm”, by those in the sound community.

So, that’s a nice description of a fascinating piece of film esoterica. Which I love. I mean, really, I LOVE this stuff.

But back to Elden. I don’t have a recording of Elden’s scream (except in my head, where it’s on a constant loop in a corner of my brain). And maybe you haven’t heard it before either. But I can give you a short sweet example (I got tipped off to this in the Grantland article).

Did you hear the Wilhelm Scream in there?

Now imagine that, but louder, and interminable. Like a cat being tortured.

Now you hear what I hear.



Last night Ian had a friend over, and I showed them the video I had made of Ian riding Corner Canyon goodness.

The friend ooh’d and aah’d for a minute, declared that it looked dangerous, but very cool, and then asked if it was good exercise. That is, “do I need to ride like that to get buff, or can I run? What’s the program?”

Ian told him it was awesome for fitness. “Just look at my Dad” he said. “He’s got buff arms and totally ripped legs.” At which point I got dizzy from the buzz in my head.

And then he said “yeah, but it’s not so good for the middle parts, as you can see.”

I will now eat Nala’s poop.


it is what it is

April 6, 2012

Last year was a good winter. Lots of snow. Lots of great lines skied, all the way into August.

So, today, the avy forecast master, Bruce Tremper, said this:

We looked at snow numbers yesterday from the Alta Guard Station and found that this season has even less snow for this time of year than the previous record low snow season of 1976-77. We have a measly 283 inches so far and if we get less than 30 inches between now and the end of April, we will officially break the over-60-year record for the least amount of snow in a season. Wow! So if this seems like a horrible winter it’s because it IS.

I guess intrepid explorers could still find cool big lines to ski. I am more of a low hanging fruit kind of guy. So I think I’ll put away the skis. Go watch the Jacobs/Ghost downhill again. More of that sort of thing.

For example, I bought a new MTB saddle for the first time in like 6 years. See? I’m moving on.

for leslie

March 31, 2012

For Leslie.

it’s not just me

March 29, 2012

Usually, it’s just me. I have stuff that bounces around in my head that only bother me. Like, I’m pretty sure nobody else was bothered by the crooked golf mat in the new bathroom. And maybe nobody was bothered by the gum (though they were bothered by the stream).

Well, I was in my boss’s office yesterday, and as I looked out the window at the adjacent building, something immediately caught my eye and kept me from focusing on our conversation for a while. When he called me out for not paying attention, I looked over and said “so, does that window over there bother you?”

He immediately said “yes, I thought I was the only one.”

I guess we all live alone in our heads. But now I’m not the only one.

Or maybe it’s just us. Is it just us?


March 27, 2012

I have a few regular gimmicks for my blog. You know, ski or bike video, bathroom conundrums, friday news roundup. All that. Here’s kind of a new one, ripped off from SNL: Really? As in, you really did that? Or, you just pushed the dog into the tub, while I was in it–Really?

Not too long ago, at a basketball game, I was using a urinal (okay, I hate the word urinal. I don’t hate it as much as I hate the word nostril, or even ointment, but I hate it. A lot.) adjacent to the urinal Holden was using. Holden spit his gum into the, er, toilet. I gave him a small lecture about how someone was going to have to fish that gum out of there. Someone working for minimum wage who already hated his job was going to have to reach in and grab his gum–already an unpleasant task without the whole “urinal” thing.

So, I work in a fairly nice facility. In fact, here’s a picture of the outside:

I’m pretty sure that every single person working in this building is an adult. That is, old enough to know better.

So, in a class A office space, with waterless urinals with spiffy (albeit often crooked) golf mats, who in the Hell spits gum into the urinal?


show me the feet

March 22, 2012

One of the most awkward things you can do in a public bathroom (apart from that other list of things you should never under any circumstances ever do in a public OR private bathroom) is try to enter a stall that is occupied.

I wish our fancy new bathrooms had stall doors with little “occupado” indicators. They don’t. THEY DON’T.

And, in fact, our stalls are nice. And, per usual, the big stall is the nicest. \

What I am not happy about is the design flaw in our bathroom that prevents me from knowing, short of sending a trial balloon over the wall, or using a camera or mirror on the end of a stick, or standing with my ear to the door (see list of things to never do in a public bathroom), for finding out if the stall is occupied.

A bathroom should be designed so that you can see feet.

Not like this:

Getting closer and leaning back into the sink portion of the counter does not help:

Yes, I did the whole “try to open the door, get denied, mumble apologies, and shuffle to the far stall (never the adjacent because the shame is now too great for that) thing.

I’m open to suggestions.

gardening at night

March 19, 2012

I have taken more (much more) than a fair share of heat for eating during the night.

Not just for eating after dark. For waking up in the middle of the night, going downstairs, and eating. Then going back to bed.

Well, I’m feeling like thanking God almighty, because I’m also feeling a little vindicated.

According to Ekirch‘s argument, typically individuals slept in two distinct phases, bridged by an intervening period of wakefulness of up to an hour or more. Peasant couples, who were often too tired after field labor to do much more than eat and go to sleep, awakened later to have sex [or, if their partner was not a segment sleeper, to eat Oreos]. People also used this time to pray and reflect,and to interpret dreams, which were more vivid at that hour than upon waking in the morning. This was also a favorite time for scholars and poets to write uninterrupted, whereas still others visited neighbors, or engaged in petty crime.

The human circadian rhythm regulates the human sleep-wake cycle of wakefulness during the day and sleep at night. Ekirch suggests that it is due to the modern use of electric lighting that most modern humans do not practice segmented sleep, which is a concern for some scientists.

I will now return to my normally scheduled programming of nocturnal eating of Oreos. Because I’m pretty sure that’s really what Ekirch was getting at.

friday news roundup #1

March 16, 2012

I’m not afraid to admit it, I like to listen to Diane Rehm‘s Friday News Roundup. Because stuff happens during the week that’s too important to wait for the Sunday talk shows.

I’m going to start doing a Friday roundup. Here  you go:

Two new websites that are on my daily visit list because they are so awesome I can’t wait for the Sunday talk shows.

Least Helpful Reviews, brought to you buy the same guy who does my next entry. Essentially, highlighting Amazon reviews of books by people who are too stupid to be alive. A sample from someone reviewing the BOOK One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest:

This book is verbatim the movie. I wasn’t impressed. The main character was the Indian, not Randle Patrick McMurphy. I think the movie was great, and the book was too predictable. Maybe I should use another word other than predictable. The book was predictable because I saw the movie before reading the book.

Literally Unbelievable, a website that aggregates posts and comments from Facebook that take articles published in The Onion as actual news reporting. Here is a nice sample from someone who might need a sharp blow to the head:

Scientists successfully teach gorilla it will die someday.

C complains: Our tax dollars at work

T enlightens: So what is the purpose of that? What “crippling fear of impending death” are they talking about? I’m not afraid of dying. I’ve had Out of Body Experiences, and Astral Projected, so I KNOW we exist outside of this body and plane.

I had more, but it’ll have to wait for the Sunday talk shows. Because I forget what eight was for.

Oh, and this postscript for anybody who claims Utah drivers suck so irredeemably badly that they can’t be, er, redeemed. Show me the money (that is, show me the data. Don’t give me anecdotes. I want actual data.)

linking up

March 14, 2012

I’m not much of a social networker, I’m more of a Hold Forther.

But I have joined the ranks of those who Link inwardly. Because I want a job as much as the next guy. (I have one presently, but you never know.)

Well, as a result of being linked, I get link requests on a pretty regular basis. And you know, requests for linkage seem to have rules, kind of like calling a date back.

These are my rules:

If a friend sends a link request, you just accept it in your email, and forget about it–it’s just link building. No big deal.

If a neighbor or acquaintance attempts a link, you look at the email, ignore it for a day, then open the request and accept it. Because you’re too important to just accept out of hand. Unless it’s your boss. Then you accept immediately.

And if someone you work with, but not directly, who is clearly just building a network, links you, you ignore it for at least a couple days, then open it, then ignore it for another couple days, then finally accept it. You don’t want to look easy.

I’m not sure what the protocol is on someone who recently left your place of employment (voluntarily or involuntarily–although maybe they have different rules?). Now you’re in the driver seat, but still, they need you. But do you need them? You might? Maybe it’s a game time decision.

And if someone you don’t know pings you, just delete the email.

Unless you’re out of work. Then accept everything.

of note

March 9, 2012

One of the great dangers of passing on cool Internet stuff is that probably you’re not just late, but actually stupidly late. We all get the forwards from friends and not-so-friends with the “latest” cool thing, like the giant arch rope swing, or the Kony video. Or maybe you’re just now getting around to telling the world about Shit Girls Say.

It’s a fine line between “cutting edge/have you seen this” and “I am so out of touch I should be put to sleep.”

With that said, I give you my new favorite Internet site:

Letters of Note.

In their own words:

Letters of Note is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated as often as possible; usually each weekday.

Some of my recent favorites include a letter from Aldous Huxley to George Orwell, ostensibly praising Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, but really just saying “neener neener, my dystopian vision is waaaay better than yours is.” Another is a letter from J.R.R Tolkien responding to a German publisher’s request that Tolkien confirm his Aryan purity before his books could be published in Germany.


Check it out. It’s awesome.

I guarantee it.

tomorrow land

March 7, 2012

Remember when George Senior went to a grocery store and was overcome with amazement by the scanning machines?

Well, I went to my brother-in-law the dentist this morning to get a crown. I expected the usual: take an impression, give me a temporary, send the impression to the lab, wait two weeks, eat Milk Duds, lose my crown, spend a week with fangs cutting my tongue, then finally go back to the dentist and get my crown installed.

Nope. Welcome to Tomorrow Land, brought to you by Daniel, my dentist.

What a machine. He takes pictures of my teeth with a magical device, which creates a 3D image, which he can manipulate on the screen, then send to a second magical machine, which then carves my crown out whatever you want (a rock, the sole of a shoe, a muffin, or a chip off of a porcelain toilet). Then he bakes the crown in a nuclear reactor, and glues it to your gums.

I feel like such a Rube. Now I’m the guy amazed by the grocery store scanner.

But at least I’m back to Milk Duds.

in the tube

March 5, 2012

The last few weeks have been good for the sledding. This is a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Also, I think I have third degree burns on my face. I’ve gone through an entire jar of aloe. It’s possible my face could power my car.


i hate this

February 26, 2012

I would like to lodge a complaint. Against my dishwasher.

Yeah, yeah, I know, lots of people in the world don’t have dishwashers, so maybe it’s petty to complain about mine.


I have one of those dishwashers with a door-mounted silverware tray. And every time I open the door, or shut the door, or walk past the dishwasher, or open the front door, or pee in the upstairs bathroom, the silverware tray pops open and spills its contents all over the dishwasher.

I hate this.


Okay, thanks, I just needed to get that off my chest.

Wait. Nala?

No. She just loves the camera. The dishwasher sucketh.