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May, 2008

  1. How Living in Utah has Significantly Increased My Fun Factor

    May 29, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    I was driving home today following a semi.  Not just any semi, the back of this one had black and white diagonal stripes meeting in the middle, like those cautionary doors you seen on TV right before something bad happens.  It also had the words ‘United States Air Force’ and an orange explosives sign.  Comforting.  It was also going incredibly slow, so I had to keep reminding myself not to tailgate the nuclear semi.  *Funny side note is that I was coming from Walmart where I just purchased a toxic green duffel bag, now named my ‘Secret of the Ooze’ bag.*  Back on track, driving behind something that could potentially incinerate the entire Box Elder area makes one evaluate his or her life. 

    Mine is rather strange.  I never thought I would actually enjoy living in the middle of nowhere, but I think I’m really starting to like it, despite the lack of obvious things to do.  Our previous residence in the incredibly metropolitan Denver area was filled with stuff.  Places to eat.  Places to shop.  Places to see.  There were movie theaters, mini golf places, museums, a plethora of cultural events, and even a zoo.  We lived primarily on going places.  While snowed in for a few days, I suddenly became bored. 

    A change of scenery always affects people.  I realized today just how much that is true with this particular change.  We traded shopping malls for Kings.  Our cultural events now mainly consist of Karaoke Revolution, Guitar Hero, and Dance Dance Revolution on our Playstation.  There is also a slew of small town pageants this summer that we fully intend to hit.  Who needs a zoo with all of the baby animals around?  And museums are replaced by run down buildings left abandoned on various farms. 

    It’s amazing to me how much I actually enjoy staying at home now.  I still love to shop, and we have to get out once in a while, which is why it would be great to have more places to go here.  But that’s okay because now we can entertain ourselves.  We really worried about how to entertain company, now staying at home made us more fun!      


  2. How to Become OCD in 10 Easy Steps (not for the weak of stomach)

    May 23, 2008 by Nate and Michelle

    1.  Use a public restroom, or better yet, observe a public restroom.  Note the lack of handwashing.  Now you’re trapped!  Wait for someone else to open the door and slip out behind them or grab a paper towel and brave it yourself.

    2.  Visit a retail dressing room.  Better yet, work at a retail store and clean one out regularly.  On second though, don’t.

    3.  Enjoy a relaxing meal at your local McDonald’s, but make sure this fine dining establishment is equipped with an indoor playground.  Ah, the wonderful sounds of children enjoying themselves!  Does the janitorial staff really fit inside the play equipment?

    4.  Work as a bank teller.  Between the canine digested (and passed) bills being exchanged and the chili dog covered miniature poodle sitting on your counter, you’ll get the picture.

    5.  Have you ever seen somebody sneeze and then immediately shake hands with another person?  Nothing says “Gee, sir (or madame), I would love to work for your company!” like sharing saliva. 

    6.  Stand in line in front of someone hacking out a lung during cold and flu season.  Inhale the fresh air!

    7.  On your next plane ride, enjoy your flight while the passenger next to you is incessantly “ripping one.”  (Hey, Mom, I didn’t use the word fart!)  Okay, so maybe this is just kind of nasty, but you might become OCD about where the emergency exits and oxygen masks are.

    8.  Three words for you.  Doc’s Pizza Buffet.

    9.  On any given weekday, ask my mom about how her day at work in the food service industry was.

    10.  While eating out, watch as the kid at a table near yours sucks on the cap of a ketchup bottle like it’s a baby’s bottle.  Guzzle, guzzle!  You know it’s bad when his own dad has to search out another bottle from another table to get some ketchup.

    If these 10 steps don’t provide adequate results, you may consider professional help.


  3. Flying to the State of “Shock”

    May 16, 2008 by Glorajean

    Amid the exhaustion and excitement of getting up at 3:00 in the morning to fly out to Disneyland – one of my favorite places and the Happiest Place on Earth- I was ill unprepared for what was about to happen. We arrived at the airport at 4:30 for a 6:30 flight and found that no one shows up to work until 5:00. We, along with a handful of other early birds in the queue, waited patiently for the airline attendants to show up and get us one step closer to our destination. It was finally our turn – what excitement filled the air – we were on our way! It was our family’s turn at the ticket counter; the computer had just finished printing our boarding passes as the attendant behind the desk (we will call her Madame X) casually mentioned that she would need to see my ID. No problem, I had already triple checked to make sure I had it with me. I handed it over. What ensued sent my head spinning. Madame X proceeded to ask me, “Do you have a form of identification that hasn’t expired?” Expired! What in the world was she talking about! I gave her a look of complete shock and disbelief. She then showed me my driver’s license, it had expired only 3 days earlier. No, I wasn’t flying to the State of California, I had already landed in the State of Shock. A zillion thoughts were jumping around in my head all at the same time. I was an absolute mess. Madame X asked me to hand over my boarding pass – “uh oh,” I thought, “I’m not going to Disneyland, she is taking my boarding pass away.” A small sigh of relief comes when Madame X hands me over a new boarding pass. I asked her what I should do about the situation. Madame X replies, “Go to you local drivers license division and renew.” Well, duh I was vividly aware of that fact, at least now that I realized it had expired!!! So, I decided to clarify, “No, I mean how will I be able to fly back from California without a valid ID?” Madame X says, “We get dozens of expirations every day, you just have to go through extra security, but they will still let you fly.” Goodbye, Madame X. Hello, Mr. Security Guard. Mr. Security Guard says, “Miss, you have been selected for a high security check. Please remove your shoes, watch, and belt and place them in this special red bin, along with your bag.” He asked what was in my carry on bag and I told him clothes, snacks, digital camera and video camera. He asked me to remove the video camera and to set it in the red bin separately. He then directed me to a puffer machine. Now, have you ever taken an expedition on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland? Well, if you have you will be able to relate with this experience. Do you remember how it feels as you are driving along and the ancient skeleton warriors are shooting arrows past your head with sharp gusts of air? Well that is what the puffer machine is, except the arrows (gusts of air) are shooting at you from every direction. After getting properly “puffed” a green light turns on indicating that you can leave the puffer machine. You are then escorted along with your belongings – which you are not allowed to touch and which have already gone through the x-ray machine- to another security guard. He then commences to swab and test every single inch of your belongs, this takes several different swabs and several minutes. Then finally, at least for me, the major sigh of relief when Security Guard #2 says, “Everything looks good, you’re on your way.” Whew, I made it!

    What have I learned from this experience? First, I can definitely testify of Salt Lake International Airport’s great security system; I am now intimately familiar with it. Second, If you are selected for high security try and make sure you don’t have any carry on items with you. Last of all, I will forewarn you that the Utah Driver’s License Division no longer mails out a reminder that your license is about to expire – so, if you have already had your “one time renewal by mail,” keep a close tab on your expiration date so that you don’t get sent to the bizarre yet interesting “State of Shock.”

  4. Low on Memory

    May 15, 2008 by Ryan

    Here’s an analogy I’ve used often to describe to people what happens when a computer is low on memory. I cannot fully claim it for myself – I heard the concept somewhere, and perfected the story to make it my own.

    If your computer where a kitchen, the chef is the processor. No work happens until the chef can get it done, at whatever speed the chef can operate.

    The Random Access Memory (RAM, or often called the memory) is the counter space. The chef will lay out all the ingredients here and work with them, and put them away when finished. When the kitchen in closed (computer is shut down for the night) the counter top is cleared off. If the kitchen is properly shut down, the chef will put away all the ingredients and wash up the dishes before leaving. If something were left on the counter, the cleaning crew will just throw it away rather than put it back (that is like what happens when you simply power-off a computer without properly shutting it down first)

    The hard drive is the longer term storage area – like the cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator. You keep the ingredients, pots, pans, etc – all of the things you use, stored in there overnight or longer.

    When you don’t have enough counter-top space (think RAM), you then need to “swap” items (think information, files, programs, documents, etc) back and forth. The chef can grab a couple of ingredients to make a meal, put them on the counter, work with them, and put them back and grab two more, running back and forth until the job is done. This is less efficient, but possible. If the chef has all the ingredients, bowl, spoons, mixer, and whatever else he needs to prepare the dish, he can stay in one place and get it all done at one time, getting it all out and putting it all back in one trip.

    So when you are low on memory, you might be low on one of two things. The more common thing that I see is that you are low on counter space (or working room for Windows and the programs you want to run to operate together at the same time). Your processor is having to run back and forth to the hard drive to put one thing away and retrieve another, because there is not room to spread it all out and work with it at once. If you are low on Hard Drive space (your storage places in the kitchen) then you run into entirely different problems, which are not nearly as common to encounter (at least in my experience)

    So my analogy is not entirely perfect. Recently, Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors have come about and that means that it is like having multiple chefs running around. Windows VISTA has introduced the option to plug in a USB drive and treat it like additional RAM (I guess setting up a card-table in the kitchen and using it temporarily). But there it is so far.

    Any ways to improve the analogy?. Email me, or leave them in the comments. I’d love to see this story perfected some more.