Thursday, July 31, 2008

Police Beat Again

When this blog was relatively young, I posted about the Daily Universe's "Police Beat" section.

Imagine my excitement when I read this today.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh it's on

This database system we have here at work requires that I reset my password every 30 days. It starts asking me after 15 days if I want to reset it, and I have, in the past, reset it earlier than the 30 days.

Never again.

And this is why:

I used the same password every time, it was a word with a number at the end. I'd just change the number each time I needed to change the password. It worked out really well and I thought I had an unlimited supply of fresh passwords here. After all, there's an unlimited amount of numbers out there, right?

So today I needed to reset the password. I was on the number 10, so I put in the word then the number 10 and got this response:

Password contains too many characters

Huh? Who's ever heard of a password that is too long? Let's see, this has nine characters, so I've got to go less than nine. Ah! I'll just start over with the same password at 1 and cycle through them again...

Password is identical to one already used

All right, fair enough. It was worth a try, anyway. Let's see, what other word could I use? Ah yes! Let's try it.

Password contains too few characters

Dang! this has six characters, so what if I try this word and number... seven characters should be OK, right?

Password contains too few characters

What? You've got to be kidding me! The only allowable amount of characters is eight? What's so special about eight? Grrr! OK, here's an eight character password.

Password contains the same letter consecutively

This stinks. All right, here's a word with no similar letters or numbers next to each other.

Password contains two numbers consecutively

Consecutive numbers? Why on earth can't I used consecutive numbers? This program wants me to change my password every 30 days, no wait, every 15 days, but has this many restrictions on what the password can be?

Whoever wrote that software should ... no. No. I'm not mad.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reclaiming the psyche 7: Memories

This is apparently a bloggy thing that's going on right now (it's the cool thing to do, you know?).

Here are the directions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

I look forward to the responses.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reclaiming the psyche 6: Soda

Er, well,

This isn't really reclaiming the psyche so much as an excuse to note that the third ingredient of Mt. Dew is orange juice.

I've never really tasted the orange juice in Mt. Dew though.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

yo yo (not the toy)

I got home from work today and found this guy outside at his grandma's house helping her find weeds in the lawn.

After finding one he told me that he has mad skills.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reclaiming the psyche 5: Cute Band Alert!

Our motto: "It's cute to pick your nose!"
But in reality, it's not. Show me a nineteen year-old who's living in reality, though.

One time we set off a really expensive firework that we bought from Albertson's while grilling these awful, massive, cheese-filled hot dogs.

Another time we watched a movie in which one of the characters was played by someone named Unsung Song. When we got back to the apartment there was a lady bug in our friend Matt's hair. We named it Unsung Song.

We really liked to watch Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Cartoon Planet, and The Power Puff Girls.
He thinks he's someone's type, he just doesn't think he's yours.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reclaiming the psyche 4: Sports


Waaa-h-h-h-h-haay back when, I played a lot of sports. And I had a number of different coaches.

Today I learned that there are coaches for life. Not that they never retire, no no no, not at all, I guess I should have said they are coaches of life. That probably would have been more accurate, and would have helped avoid some confusion.

Sorry, guys.

Yep. Life coaches.

I found this out when reading the bio of an author. It said that she was a life coach.

Apparently she reminds people to breath.

Discouraged athlete: "I just can't seem to live coach. I'm trying, you know, working on my blood flow and heart beat and stuff, neurons firing and all that, but I can't get into the rhythm for some reason."
Life coach: "I've been watching you closely. I could tell there was something missing. You need to execute your game."
Discouraged athlete: "I'm trying to execute, coach, but there's something not really flowing, ya know?"
Life coach: "OK, I've got an idea. Try sucking air in through your mouth or nose and then blowing it out."
Discouraged athlete: "Um, OK." (thinks to himself: that seems really dumb)

Time passes, and then the athlete comes back to the coach, no longer discouraged somehow.

Renewed athlete: "I did it, coach! I sucked in air and pushed it out, and now everything else seems to work so well!"
Life coach: "It's like I've always told you. The fundamentals. Don't forget the fundamentals and everything else works itself out."

I'm thinking of becoming a life coach. I think I could do it.

Does anyone know of any schools that offer programs in life coaching?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reclaiming the psyche 3: J

We've had access to this for, well, nearly six years now. This may be the first time some of you (perhaps all of you, save Heather, since she's the master artist who took these pictures) see them.

These are our engagement pictures. I like them because we both look really different. I guess a lot changes in six years.

(Yeah, like I gained forty pounds, or maybe more)

I also really like them because I really like J.

J is just so dang cool. I wonder sometimes how she couldn't tell what she was getting into.

Well, bless her for taking the risk.

Reclaiming the psyche 2: Teriyaki Stix

Way back then.



Ah, then.

Yes, way back then. I had a job. It was at Teriyaki Bowl, no wait, Tiki Teriyaki; hold on, that one didn't stick, ah yes! Teriyaki Stix.

We, the managers of the Riverwoods Teriyaki Stix, made that job perhaps the most enjoyable that a job could be. We were pretty much given license to do whatever we felt ought to be done, and we did it.

There were six of us:

Ash, Beth, Nat, Josh, BK, and me.

Six managers, just for the Teriyaki Stix side of the store... I don't think they made much profit.

I had a picture of us somewhere, but you'll just have to imagine it to yourself. This is getting way too long.

BK was put in charge of writing a monthly newsletter for the store. In it, he would interview the employee of the month. I only have one copy of the newsletter, and it is the one from when I was made employee of the mo-- uh, millennium.

He wrote up a synopsis describing our interview, and then included these questions:

BK: What is your favorite color of cleaning spray?
Me: Blue

BK: Why?
Me: Because it smells pleasant.

BK: Have you ever drunk of bottle of soy sauce?
Me: No.

BK: Will you drink of bottle of soy sauce right now?
Me: No.

BK: What is your favorite Simpson's episode?
Me: The gay episode

BK: Why?
Me: I like to see construction workers dance.

BK: What is your favorite Teriyaki dish?
Me: Chocolaki (sukiyaki cooked with Hershey's branch chocolate sauce)

BK: Is that really your favorite dish?
Me: No.

BK: Do you have an embarrassing work moment you want to share?
Me: No.

BK: Do you have an embarrassing work moment?
Me: Yes, but I can't tell you.

BK: Please?
Me: OK, but you can't tell anyone.

I wonder if he ever did reveal my secret. Probably not, because I don't think they would have rehired me after my mission if he did.

Thanks BK. Oh, and thanks for accepting me as a friend on facebook.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reclaiming the Psyche 1: Music

In an attempt to reclaim myself, in light of the former post describing the spirit-breaking brought on by Greedy dudes 1 and 2, I'll be writing the next few posts with a somewhat nostalgic quality. In essence, I'm going back to the various roots of my being and trying to become me once more.

First off, because I had this strike of brilliance to do this while listening to this song while mowing the lawn, I bring you my favorite song (and it just so happens to be my favorite music video too).

"The Set Up" by Reel Big Fish

This takes me back to the late nineties, when things were not too terribly tough. Responsibility was minimal, and music is what defined everything I did.

This song/video has all the qualities of greatness (according to me) all wrapped up in one:

-False-etto singing
-A fantastic horn section
-A rocking guitar solo
-Ridiculous and obvious tricks: like a floating guitarist
-A drummer who plays with bricks
-A bridge
-Hawaiian shirt

I'm sure I missed some things, but you'll pick up on the awesomeness of it all...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dudes Part 2

These things really exist, they're not just a Hollywood fabrication (see the opening scene of Rubin & Ed).

Don't we all wish they were?

There really are dudes who travel the country and give "sales seminars" in which they spend eight hours reveling in the sound of their own voices, offer quippy suggestions, and then spend an hour unabashedly offering eleven different products, each with a guarantee to double, triple, or ... you know, your income! The best part is that these products, which usually sell for $395 a piece, can be yours for only $71 each! "We're not making a profit here, but we think it's important enough for you to have this information, that we'll make that sacrifice."


A DVD costs less than a dollar to produce.

Way less.

Thisis Greedy Dude 1. My job sent me to listen to him for eight hours in the hopes that he would help me to sell more cars to more people, thus increasing my income and the dealership's profits.

Sorry, Saturn, but this plan failed on me:

In fact, the seminar had just the opposite effect.

Imagine my thrill when during my job interview here I was told that my job would be as an "educator." That's exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I was aware of Saturn's philosophy toward the car sales process, I knew that it was different than the slimy tactics of some dealerships where you are never sure whether or not you got severely ripped off when you leave.

Honesty, respect, no hassle, just straight-forward information and education about products and pricing.

I could work with that, and in fact, I felt like I was beginning to find my groove here. April and May were pretty good months. I had come pretty close to my goal of selling ten cars in a month during those months, and in the beginning of June I was ready to build on that momentum and help even more people to find just the right car that fits their needs, and in a way that they feel like a person, not just a dollar sign.

But then during the first week of June we went to a staff meeting where we met this guy.
Greedy Dude 2
Greedy dude 2 came to give us some tips on how to effectively sell to "phone-ups," or people that call the dealership. He gave lip service to such things as liking your customers and "acting" sincere. The clear implication was that we probably don't really care about the people who come into the dealership, but we need to act as if we do. He also said a bunch of things about schmoozing people with talks of "a great deal." He concluded his speech by attempting to sell Greedy dude 1's seminar to all of us. (I didn't sign up, for obvious reasons, but my team leaders signed nearly everyone at the dealership up for us.)

I felt like throwing up, really, after listening to him.

But I really had no idea how much his rhetoric had done to my self-image.

Not until I only sold two cars in June, and took some time to really consider what changed between May and June, did I discover how seriously these two dudes had affected my perception of myself.

I had prided myself on working at a company that really did respect its customers, and expected its sales consultants to feel the same way. I felt like I was actually doing people a service by working here--somehow making their lives better. And I felt like I did in reality sincerely care about my guests; I felt it was a privilege to work with them. I didn't feel like I was in sales at all, but rather that I was in the business of bettering people's lives by educating them and assisting them to make what was probably the second most expensive financial obligation of their lives (second only to buying a house).

But somehow, Greedy dude1's suggestion that in order to be successful I need to convince myself every day when I wake up that "I like myself" and "I love my job" by repeating those phrases out loud to myself, convinced me of just the opposite.

If I have to convince myself that I like myself and love my job, I must be in a job that is not easy to love because it is not worthy of being loved on its own merits--it's sales! Who loves a sales job? It's certainly not natural to feel that you love a sales job (implication: because sales jobs are by nature sleazy and dishonest). And by extension, if I can't love my job on its own merits, but have to convince myself of it, then I really must not actually like myself, because my employment is all about ripping people off and taking advantage of them, after all, I'm a dirty, greasy salesman.

Before hearing these dudes I didn't need to convince myself of these things. I actually, really did love my job. I looked forward to coming to work. I liked myself just fine, because I felt like when I came to work I was coming to help people reach their own goals.

These dudes made me feel like Jack Johnson was addressing me when he sang:

Look at you out to make a deal.
You try to be appealing, but you lose your appeal.
And what about those shoes you're in today?
They'll do no good on the bridges you've burnt along the way.
You're willing to sell anything
Gone with your herd.
Leave your footprints, we'll shame them with our words.
Gone people all careless and consumed.

I had been "recruited" by a number of companies, prior to applying at Saturn, for a variety of different sales jobs. Each of them had anecdotal evidences from one or two of their sales guys of how they made such and such an amount in such and such a time. And each of these places felt as disgusting as the next.

I did not want to be in sales.

And when I got hired on at Saturn, I did not feel like I was in sales (you know, in the common connotation of the word).

But then I met Greedy dudes 1 and 2. And they made me feel like I was in sales.

My momentum was crushed.

And that's why those two dudes are in large part the cause of last week's anxiety attack.

There you have it.

Since discovering this stuff going on in my mind, I've been trying to purge out everything these two dudes said and get back to where I was prior to hearing them, which is probably the reason I put off writing about it.

But now it's out there; it's been released to the cyberspace universe.

I only hope it will be as easy to rid myself of as my old pet peeve of getting called bud.

(Oh, and it's a good thing that's gone, because on Saturday I worked with a guy for two and a half hours, and he called me buddy the whole time. Didn't bother me a bit.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dudes, Part 1 (of maybe only 1, who knows?)

I last posted on Tuesday. Really? It's been that long?


First of all, let me direct you to one of the most entertaining things I have ever read. It can be found


I really like seeing my last post; maybe that's why I haven't posted again for a few days. But there's something about seeing a picture of Beck that makes me so happy, I'm thinking about using different pictures of him in every post.

Would that be a little weird? odd? scary?

I probably won't do it, so then, what is it that I'm avoiding here? Why the hesitation?

What's wrong with this holdinator anyway?

It's those two dudes from the last post. Some of you may have wondered who they are, and I've been thinking of telling you their names, but maybe instead I'll give them pseudonyms (so much more fun).

How about greedy dudes 1 and 2?

That's all I am willing to think about it right now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Get Crazy With the Cheese Wiz

Takes you back, doesn't it?

For the first time in my memory, early this morning, I had an anxiety attack.

Great, huh? I feel like such a part of humanity somehow; so in touch.

You know?

I kind of started having another one this evening, but gratefully I have two very playful children who brought me out of it quickly. Mini#1 wanted me to push him on a swing while mini#2 played with the hose--total lack of cares. Bless them.

Maybe sometime I'll blog about what I feel is the cause of this anxiety, but for now, suffice it to say, it had a lot to do with these two dudes:

Something else that helped:

Two tall glasses of Ovaltine. Mm.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Creepy, Just Creepy

The song with the worst music video ever is playing at my work right now.

"You Are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson

My skin is crawling.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

J Didn't Write about it, So I will

Mini#1 likes to give play by play calls of his pooping--loudly, so that if we are in a public restroom everyone in there knows "how it's going".

My mom experienced this last night while she was tending the mini's. But mini#1 added a new feature to his play calling.

After finishing up he said, "This was brought to you by"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Super Macho Tough Dude

mini#1 showing off his injury

Last night mini#1's friend came over to play. She is about two years older than him--he's already going for the older women, I know. They played on the swing set for a while when suddenly I heard her shouting that he was bleeding. I told him to come over and show me what happened, and he came to me with a huge smile on his face and blood dripping down his lower lip.

His friend told me he was on the rings and he fell. After my inspection I discovered that he bit his tongue.

There were some really strange things about this situation:
  1. mini#1 doesn't usually play on the rings on the swing set unless I'm holding him up the whole time; if I let go he screams
  2. anytime mini#1 gets hurt, even if the injury is really minor, he has a good hearty cry about it
  3. he seemed absolutely unconcerned about the blood
I've been trying to teach him to tough little things out like this for a while now. And now I know what I have to do to help him.

I just need to make sure there is a girl his age (or, you know, close to his age) around.

I gave him a high five and he went right back to playing, even though his friend was very concerned about the blood.