Monday, October 15, 2007

Graduation Announcement

The heat has finally died down so I feel I can post this. Below is a copy of the announcement that my brother and I sent out to inform our friends and family of our recent educational accomplishments. Enjoy! (click to enlarge)

Monday, August 20, 2007

What's Long, Hard, and Full of Seamen?

A submarine. Like the one I visited at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). This is the USS Blueback:
I took a tour of the "boat" recently. It smelled like my grandpa's basement and it was really cramped. It is also the worst possible place for someone to fart in.Here is my brother Andy in the Torpedo Room. This room was actually filmed, and can be seen in the movie The Hunt for Red October.

While at OMSI I also checked out BODY WORLDS, an exhibit of preserved human bodies. It is the same exhibit that Bond goes to in Casino Royale (the best movie of 2006).

One of my teachers at BYU once told me that the best paper airplane design was a crumbled up paper ball. OMSI was where I tested that theory. There was a wind tunnel device where visitors were encouraged to design a paper airplane, and see how it would fly. This is my brother's design. Notice the blurred wings, indicating a turbulent plane.
Below is my design. It is as steady as a rock. A quality you want in any airplane.

Kids are Babies

I am not an “old” man in the traditional sense. Sure I like Velcro shoes as much as the next 70 year-old, but I don’t have any “when I was a kid” gripes…until today.

When I was a kid growing up my favorite part of the school day was recess. Three times a day the teachers would cut us loose in the playground. The playground at McMillan Elementary School was an accident waiting to happen. And they did, often. We loved it because kids in my day were tough. Not like the kids today. Recently I went up to Snowbird and I saw this playground:
This isn’t a playground! It is a padded room for pansies. For starters the entire structure is surrounded by a soft cushiony concoction that makes tumbles softer on the kiddies.
Then they cover that with soft wood chips.
What a crock! In my day the playground was located in a gravel pit. Tiny hot rocks were often gathered in tiny handfuls and thrown at whoever was closest (Rock Tag). It was a common fact that if you weren’t picking gravel out of your bloody knees, elbows, and hands at recess’s end, then you didn’t play hard enough. We had huge rubber tires that were buried halfway into the ground that you could climb into. It was a great way to beat the heat if you didn’t mind the smell of urine. He had large metal structures that towered 20 feet in the air, a great place to play chicken. Monkey bars constructed from iron and decaying wood. Slivers were commonplace. We had real play equipment made from real substances that didn't spontaneously combust. We had to use our creative minds to think of games and activities. It wasn’t all spelled out for us like in these new playgrounds made of soft plastic.

But the thing that really proved to me that kids were weak was the swings.
Can you believe this? A Lazyboy swing set. You don’t even have to pump, it does it all for you. You sit down, STRAP IN, and gently rock your weight back and forth. Are parents that overprotective that they won’t put their kids in a swing unless it has a seatbelt? Parents, let your kids get hurt, let them swing and scrape their knees. Quit buying the antibacterial soap and let them get sick. Help them build antibodies and a familiarity with pain. They’ll be the better for it. Trust me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's the Simpsons. Shut up and sit down!

This is me as a Simpsons character. This is just one element of the Simpsons ad campaign to make us all "part" of the Simpsons. It is an ingenious campaign that has been executed to perfection. Just walk into a 7-11--I mean Kwik-E-Mart and have a Squishee or a BUZZ cola. Here is a picture of me reading Bart Simpson's favorite comic book.Today I saw The Simpsons: Movie. I liked it. It was funnier than some of their most recent episodes, but not as good as some of their classics. Because it was a movie, they were able to stretch some of their comedy onto the crude side. It was a bit surprising, at first, to see characters that I have known for 20 years act a little more extreme. All in all it was a creative, and witty movie.

Because it is The Simpsons, and because it is creative, you'd think that the audience would immediately know that there were going to be some surprises during the end credits. But sure enough, like a bunch of idiots, the entire auditorium got up out of their seats as soon as the screen faded to black. As I saw this mass exodus occur I couldn't help but get annoyed. I do not understand why people leave during the credits. Especially now-a-days where a lot of movies will place some sort of teaser at the end. So for the rest of this post I am going to list reasons why you, the reader, should stay in your seats. I had thought that the world already knew these reasons, but because of the events that I saw unfold today, I realized that the world still doesn't get it and I have taken it upon myself to educate you morons.

1) The money. Going out to the movies is becoming a very expensive pastime. In some places it costs up to $9. I spent $8. If it is an IMAX movie it will cost even more. So stay during the credits and get your moneys worth.

2) Etiquette and respect. When the curtain falls on a play the audience generally erupts into applause. The cast then comes out to take a bow. Then the audience gives a standing ovation to the cast in appreciation for their hard work. The same respect and etiquette should be shown to the people who worked hard to entertain you at the movies. You don't have to clap at a movie, but you should stay in your seats and let them take their bow in the form of a scrolling name.

3) It is part of the movie. Would you skip the last paragraph of a novel? Then why walk out during the last few musically charged minutes of a movie. Walking out of the credits is the same as walking out during the middle of the movie. You can never technically say you "saw" a movie if you didn't stay for the whole thing.

4) It is fun. The credits are a great time to just chill. You can listen to the music, look for funny names, critique the movie with your friends, and a myriad of other activities.

5) Where do you have to go? The reason people go to the movies is to get out of the house. Now that you are out, why are you in a rush to get back home?

6) Fun teasers at the end. I have touched on this a lil before. A lot of movies have little teasers at the end of their movies. And it is worth the few extra minutes to see them. Especially when a story element is placed at the end of the credits.

So shut up and sit down!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DAL's 26 Years...100 Movies

In 1997 the American Film Institute compiled a list of the top 100 American films made in the last 100 years. They called the list "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies." It took some time but I watched all the movies on that list. A decade later the AFI released another list entitled "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies--Tenth Anniversary Edition". I am happy to announce that on July 16, I not only celebrated my birth, but I also completed the new list. I challenge everyone to watch the list. It will teach you the film language, as well as convince you that most movies now-a-days blow.

iGot iPhone

Here is a quick update on some of my misadventures. We’ll start off with June 29, 2007. The 29th was the premiere of the Apple iPhone. Since it’s announcement in January, I have been setting aside money to buy it. I am what they call an “early adopter.” I waited inline for 1.5 hours in front of the AT&T store in Fashion Place Mall. Tensions were high and the nerds were on edge. Especially when the manager came out and told us that they didn’t have enough 8gig models for everyone in line. I got worried that my brother and I were going to get mugged when they told us that we got the last two 8gigs in the store. When nerds get angry bad things can happen.
After having the phone for a few weeks I have to say that it is everything that it claims to be. It is the most amazing piece of technology I have ever owned. And I was in need of an upgrade. Below is a picture of my previous phones. It is weird to think that these devices have only been around for a few years, but it’s even weirder to think of life without them. Ten years ago if I was on the go, and wanted to make a phone call, I would have to take the emergency quarter out of my shoe and find a payphone. To dial the number I had to rely on my memory. I used to have 30 phone numbers floating around in my head, now I can barely remember my home number.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Comic Book Lady

This is Comic Book Guy from The Simsons. Most of you know what this person is like. But for the 2 people who have lived in a cave, on Mars, with their eyes closed shut, and their fingers in their ears for the last 20 years, here is a short description: he is a fat, sarcastic nerdy owner of a comic book shop (Click on the link above for a more in-depth description). Although a fictional character from the town of Springfield, his real-life female equivalent can be found right here in Utah.

This week I went to the Utah Arts Festival.
A breeding ground for hippies, and artsy-fartsy losers, to find validation in this Red State. Within the grounds of this Feast of Idiots lies the Salt Lake City Library, home of Night Flight Comics.
In the early 1990's Night Flight was located on the second floor of Cottonwood Mall. That is where I first met Comic Book Lady.Inspired by Jabba the Hutt, she has run her shop with an un-trusting eye. Everyone who enters the store must pass her Gammorean Guards. They also must seek an audience with the "Mighty Jabba" and state their intentions, before they can wander the store. If you aren't going to buy anything you must leave. The following is the experience I had in her store. In script form:


Comic Book Lady is behind the Counter sitting on a stool. She is positioned above a trap door that leads to the Rancor pit. Dallas enters, and notices a fridge with drinks inside. He sees a can of Duff Energy Drink.

Wow! This is cool I should get a picture of it.

Dallas opens the fridge and takes the can out, he shuts the door. Comic Book Lady scoots off her stool and approaches Dallas.

What can I help you find today?

Oh, nothing.

In that case can I ask you NOT to open and close the fridge like that. It's hard to keep things cool as it is.

I'm just going to take a picture of this and then I'll be on my way.

Dallas takes a picture and leaves the store.
As I left I thought to myself. Why is she so protective? Doesn't she know that she works at a Comic Book Store? Comic books and other comic related products are cool and all, but they're comic books. They are not national security documents! Or a secret map to the Fountain of Youth. They are comic books, badly drawn stories about what would happen if SHE-HULK met Charlemagne. Doesn't she know that her life, her job, her entire existence is meaningless? Well not meaningless, she can always stand as an example of what NOT to strive for. (For more info on the Comic Book Lady, and the comic experience in Utah, please read Mark's June 25, 2007 post.)

I need to find a job.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fun with My New Computer

Thanks to Andy for my new profile illustration.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rat Chefs and Pea-ness

I saw Ratatouille. I have to say that it is the best movie I have seen this year. What also made the evening magical was that they let us stay after and watch Pirates 3, free of charge. Getting back to Ratatouille my favorite character was the food critic Anton Ego (voiced by Peter O'Toole). He was superbly designed, animated, and voiced. If they ever have to redo the Ghost Host audio at the Haunted Mansion they should get O'Toole to do it (that is if he isn't dead, or all uppity like Orson Welles was).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My First Post (if you don't count the one before this)

So this is my first post. I don't really know what to write about. I've noticed that most people have a theme for their blog like "Look, a baby!," or "my trip to who-gives-a-crap." I'm out of luck because I haven't procreated and the farthest I travel is to the post office. Which is where my first post kicks off.

So, I was on my way to the post office when some kid smashed into my parents' new car.

That isn't my parents' car. This is:

My Grandfather is going to roll around in his grave when I say this but--Chalk another point up for Japanese cars. They sure know how to take a hit. Look, a baby!

Friday, June 01, 2007