Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I think one of my new years resolutions will be to become a more regular blogger...

Christmas was good this year. In the wake of the failed business deal, I was able to shut my computer down on Christmas eve and not boot it up again until the morning of the 27th. I expected more withdrawal symptoms, but I think I've gotten to the point, where I actually hate my computer in recent weeks, so it was more of a relief.

Before I begin this main part of this posting, let me apologize to all of my readers of the more feminine persuasion. I mean no disrespect and if I am being entirely objective, she does have an excellent voice and a great deal of performing talent, not limited to her dancing and stage presence.

One of the last gifts I opened in Christmas Day was a CD. Good Girl Gone Bad : Reloaded by Rihanna. First of all a huge hats off to the wife for being secure enough to purchase me a CD by a woman about whom I have been very vocal in my opinion that is SMOKIN' HOT. I'm not typically a R&B type guy, but she is that good!

I'm listening to it right now, or is it lusting....

OK, enough of that.

On other fronts... My pirate friend has not been around recently, not sure if it's because he is off for the holiday break, or if the patch was only temporary and now he's back to normal, in which state I may not be able to recognize him.

Perhaps inspired by the pirate man, this years New Years Eve in the Koda household will likely feature a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon. I'm thinking of putting together a Dr. Seuss marathon for the kids, perhaps starting with The Grinch, then the Cat in the Hat and finally Horton Hears a Who - hopefully at which point they will all have fallen asleep in various spots around the family room.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anonymity, the Closet and Money

It's been a pretty stressful couple of weeks. Hence the some what sketchy blogging all around. I have a side business and as part of that I got into a partnership with someone a year or 2 back. Based on my calculations the deal could have allowed me to gross 1/2 million over the next 3 years. I'm guessing my business partner realized this too, used it to bring a few of his buddies into the mix, and on Sunday was gracious enough to offer me $15,000 in shares (Of course only if the company gets sold). Needless to say I didn't take the news well. We're no longer in business together. It's actually quite a liberating feeling. I think I could probably get a decent law suit pulled together, but that's not the way I like to do things. I figure I spent 2 years building the man an incredible web application, so why couldn't I take the same application, improve on it, and market it myself (With 100% equity, that's not a bad deal!)

On other matters, I'm not ready to come out of the closet. Despite my fervent support of Gay Marriage it's not that closet. Nor is it the broom closet, although I have taken quite an interest in pagan worship practices in recent months. Its the closet of exactly who I am inside, and I'm still confused about that myself.

On that same note, I really appreciate the anonymity of the blogosphere. It gives me a place to vent, to explore my feelings and to bounce ideas off friends.

In checking my logs on my other blog earlier today, I realized that that anonymity may have been in danger recently. I'm hoping not, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. If you are a regular reader of the Koda Think Tank, please send me an email, so I can send you an official invite to read it. I'll keep any email addresses strictly in confidence and delete them as soon as the process is complete.

Click here to email me

I hate to do this, but I think it is the best course of action for all involved.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Arrrrrrrrrr Matey!

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I've run into a moral dilemma twice in the past week, and I thought I might see if anyone had any insights into how to handle this situation.

I believe it is the same gentleman in both cases, but once on Tuesday and then this morning as I passed through a doorway, I have been confronted by a man with an eye patch. And not just any eye patch, but nice big black, piratey looking eye patch. The man himself if probably in his late twenties or early thirties, and has been dressed reasonably well both times.

So here's the dilemma... Could he be doing it as a joke and by my not making a comment about it, am I offending him? Or if I lost my self control and said something like "Aye, ye scurvey ridden yellow dog" would he be offended?

I just don't know quite how to handle myself around the man...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Did I get the scoop?

I'm not sure who got it out first, although I read it on the website for a local news outlet, so probably neither of us. Read yesterday's post and compare it with the "Worst Person in the World" segment on Keith Olberman's show yesterday.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I know this is early, but I'd like to wish a very Happy Holidays to all my readers. And by that I mean, if you - in no particular order:

Celebrate Christmas, then a very Merry Christmas to you.

Celebrate Kwanza, then a very Merry Kwanza to you.

Celebrate Hannakuh, then the most Happiest of Hannakuh's to you and yours.

Celebrate Solstice, the a most Splendid Solstice. Thanks for the heads up Morgan!

Celebrate Yule, then a Happy Yule to you and all of yours!!

I mean no disrespect by saying Happy Holidays, and I don't mean to take away from anyone's personal celebrations of the Season.

Now if you're some uptight senator in Utah, who should not be in office, but because dumb people cast straight party votes because they don't think God wants them to think, then it may offend you.

So much so in fact that you may opt to waste everyone's time and pass a resolution encouraging me to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays.

Newsflash senator Buttars... This country wasn't founded on Christianity. It was founded on religious freedom. George Washington wasn't a Christian, and nor were many other of the founding fathers. That doesn't mean they were trying to offend you, they just had different views on life.

So Happy Holidays to all my readers, and an especially big "Happy Holidays" to you senator Buttars. I'm hopeful that under your tree this year, you may find some implement to help you get your head out of your rear end.

Blind Thanksgiving

I had a great Thanksgiving, thanks for asking! We had my brother-in-law and his family come and stay with us for a couple of days. A couple of their kids are older, so at anyone time we have 6 adults in the house, and then 7 rugrats running around. It made for an interesting weekend.

I really like that side of my extended family. They're real, they're logical, and they've seen enough crap that they don't just take stuff for granted. They don't necessarily agree with me on politics and religion, so I didn't bring it up, but I would have expected a decent discussion had I done so.

The actual Thanksgiving meal was pretty good. I took the approach of not eating too much, and not only did I leave feeling comfortable and satisfied, I also managed to lose a pound or two over the course of the weekend.

Something at the meal did bug me though, so if I may vent for a second...

Another member of the extended fam came over to our table (there were a lot of tables) to chat. He brought up the shambles that the economy was in, rightfully blaming the government, but then proceeded to start getting upset with Mr Obama's plans as president. Apparently Mr. Obama has spoken about pulling our troops out of foreign deployments, and redeploying them within the United States. This family member is just one of a number of people who I have heard complaining about this, including Glenn Beck. Generally the argument is about paying for these deployments.

I don't claim to know all the facts, and if you know more about this than I do, please correct me. But let me just share how I am seeing this situation.

First, we have troops deployed in countries which we have no business deploying troops in. Seriously, how long has Germany been free from the Nazi's and how long has the Cold War been over?

Next, we have troops deployed in Iraq. They should never have been deployed in the first place, and I would argue that there is a better way to honor our military men and women than sending them over to risk their lives in the desert. I admire their courage to fulfill their missions, despite the fact that I disagree with the mission. The argument has been that even though we shouldn't have gone in, we need to fix the mess we made. Iraq has asked us to leave - I think it's time.

Next I live near Hill Air-force base in Utah. There is a huge amount of fear that this base may end up being closed in the future, and if so, the huge negative impact it will have on the Utah economy, particularly in the area I live.

Finally, the US economy is in the crapper.

So lets put those things all together. We have troops overseas in places they don't need to be. They are stationed at bases which are likely a huge source of income for the local economies around where they are. We're funding those bases and thereby funding the local economies of these foreign nations. Can you see the problem?

If we bring those troops back to the US, and deploy them at a national level, wouldn't that only help the economy?

I think there are a lot of valid reasons why people could be concerned about the Obama presidency. Many of those concerns are just fears of the unknown. But from where I sit, whining about the man wanting to bring troops home and spend the military budget inside the US economy, really isn't something worth complaining about. I would think anyone with half a brain would want to support something like that.

Of course I could be wrong, and I welcome your opposing view points.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Milk and Honies

OK - I promised I would back off the political stuff, so here goes with an attempt back to normal posting, or at least as normal as the Urban Koda can be...

First, a little update on what I've been up to. Basically just working my rear end off, but I took a break yesterday to hang the Christmas lights (at least those that weren't left up from last year). In the process of which I succumbed to the nasty flu which has been ravishing my kids this past week. I did get the lights all done with the exception of a couple of tree which I need to finish wrapping. I'll post pictures next week when I get it finished up.

This morning at 4am, as I was dealing with the tail end of it, I decided to go ahead and go for my last triathlon of the season. It wasn't a big deal, just a short distance "Sprint" triathlon at the local university. It was reversed, so I didn't have to bike in my wet clothes, but it was still pretty damn cold. I got done in just over an hour, not my best time ever, but I think it's in the top three. Not bad after not eating for almost 2 days and being pretty dehydrated.

Second, I've been thinking a lot recently about trying to make a difference in the world. I've been reading a number of articles about athletes and others who are using their various hobbies and occupations to help improve the life of others. I have some ideas I'm working on, but I came across a new song, by an artist I like which I though my reader(s) might enjoy. I may share more of this artist in the future since a) I really like his stuff and b) he's trying to make a difference as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's a question of Love...

I just posted this on my FaceBook page. The video at the bottom touched me in a manner which I haven't felt in a while, and which I have missed. I beleive it to be the Spirit of God manifesting truth to me, others may view it differently, but however you see it, the feelings it inspires, leave me in no doubt where I need to stand on the issue.

I have some pretty strong opinions on Politics, Freedom and Religion. Generally I don't like to impose these on others, although I do share them elsewhere online from time to time. Recently however I have felt impressed with the need to share a little of these opinions here, on my facebook page. Responses have been mixed, ranging from peaceful and enthusiastic agreement to peaceful and vigorous disagreement.

I don't share this opinion as an attack on anyone else's beliefs or rights, but simply because I feel that I need to make my voice heard, rather than sitting by in silence and in so doing giving the impression that I support those with whom I associate or have associated in the past.

This morning during religious services, I was told that my current opinion places me in direct opposition to the Church with which I attend. A Church which claims to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and yet fails to live it fully. I don't believe that Christ ever taught that we should accept and embrace sin, however that sin is defined. Rather as in the example given in the New Testament of the woman who had been caught in adultery and was about to be stoned, he set a great example. At no point did he claim to embrace her choices, nor inflict injury upon her because of them Rather he protected her right to live, and allowed her to continue on her way. While the scriptures aren't specific, I like to think that perhaps he offered a kind embrace, some gentle words of encouragement, that she could overcome challenges which she faced and then the freedom to continue on her way.

I don't begin to claim that I understand any of the reasons behind those that live a lifestyle different from my own. For many, I am positive that it is not a choice they have consciously made. Whatever the reason, these people are fellow children of God, fellow brothers and sisters, fellow humans who seek only the same rights as I do for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As I listened to the message of pride, hate and intolerance in Church this morning, I was filled with an uneasy feeling that what I was hearing was wrong. It was not the Spirit of the God whom I worship. I've been struggling a little since that time, however in watching a video this afternoon on the blog of a good friend of mine, I felt a spirit that contained love, peace, happiness, and has helped me to believe that there is still good in the world.

Like I said, I don't mean to offend any who may read this. I'm not attacking your beliefs or asking you to accept mine. As the heading on the blog I copied this from included - I believe from the video clip itself...

It's a question of love for one another and human beings and for people who want to solidify that love in permanence and commitment.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lies, Deceit and Vicious Attacks

My Hell People!!

Well perhaps I should catch everyone up... Proposition 8 passed by a very narrow margin on Tuesday. In a campaign which was dominated by mistruths and fear mongering on both sides, the people spoke and proponents won, thus depriving homosexual couples the right to be married. I don't agree with it, but first, I'm not living in California, and sometimes things turn out like the way you would rather they didn't.

Those supporting the measures are understandably upset because the Utah based LDS Church got involved, and have now begun staging protests at LDS Places of worship. LDS leaders are now saying that they think both sides should have conducted themselves with civility and honesty - which would probably have been better said many months ago, when they sent letters to all their congregations in surrounding states, encouraging members to get involved whereever possible. Many members have since resorting to email campaigns which have been full of untruths and misdirection of the issues. The Church itself and members of it, donated 77% of the money to support the passage of Proposition 8. I think you already know my opinion on the fact that this was a waste of money that could have been far better spent elsewhere.

Last night a protest was held in Salt Lake City at the temple which despite early reports that only a few showed up, ended up numbering in the thousands. My understanding is that the protesters conducted themselves civility and that there weren't even any arrests. But, the story was filled with quotes of Church leaders talking about being unfairly targeted, and that it's not right that their houses of worship be the target of protests... "We were just exercising our democratic rights...."

People... YOU SENT LETTERS TO YOUR HOUSES OF WORSHIP ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED. These people weren't from California - It was a Californian issue, not a Utah, Idaho, Nevada or whichever state you tried to involve issue. People have a democratic right to protest your involvement, and I think it's very legitimate too.

Politics is a dirty business and when you throw your hat in the ring, you should expect to get some mud on it. Don't step outside the bounds of your religion and get involved in politics, and then complain that you're just a Church and shouldn't be targetted.

On other news, a Christlike member of my family decided to attack me on my Facebook page yesterday because I posted the 10 reasons why Gay Marriage is Bad. On another blog, someone who wished to remain Anonymous attacked me as well, and when then when I got to the heart of his argument told me that I was giving unintelligent answers and had the Philosophy of Satan in the marrow of my bones. I must admit, that I loved that last comment!

I'm not sure Christ is too excited about you invoking his name and then resorting to fear and lying to promote your agenda. The LDS Church also said that the protests are unfair, because the support of Prop 8 wasn't targetted against any group... WHAT?!?! You supported it because it would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, and the entire reason was to prevent Gay Marriage. It's as bad as your statement saying that this isn't anying against Gay People - WHAT?!?!

OK, so that's the last of my rantings about this on this blog. I hope to return to humorous anecdotes and obvious observations soon. Thanks for your patience with me!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Bad

Regrettably, Proposition 8 was successfully passed in California over this week. The campaign on both sides was filled with fear, mistruths and misrepresentations, that did no favors to either side.

To help transition from my commentary on social and political issues back to something lighter, I found this excellent list on The Gurli Life!

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Bad

1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day!

I voted for the first time this morning, since becoming a naturalized citizen earlier this year. I've been a little undecided up until this point, but if you must know, my final vote went for Mr. Barrack Obama. My remaining votes for my congressional delegate and for various state and local races was split between the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party - And just for the record, my vote for Governor of Utah went to the Democrats, not the complete and utter nut job put up by the Libertarians - Seriously now - WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING!?!?

I feel like I voted for candidates that had my best interests at the heart of their campaigns. My vote for Mr. Obama was not because he is a black man, but because he is an excellent speaker, will likely help improve the international opinion of the US (Not that it matters what other's think, but I would like to be proud to be an American and not have to qualify it with an "inspite of the warmongering moron in the White House.") and because he appears to have the best intentions. I am doubtful that he will deliver on his promises, but I think the odds are better that he will than Mr. McCain will.

As a final note and somewhat different topic - unless you live in California - This disturbed me last night... I make a very sizable donation to the Mormon Church every year as part of my membership. One reason I do this is to keep current on the 'pass' that gives me entrance to the Temples. Part of those requirements also require me to "swear allegiance" to Church leaders, both local and over the entire Church. Based on events in my personal life over the past year involving light bulbs, and stands taken by the Church, including but not limited to Proposition 8 in California, I don't feel like I can honestly answer that question in the affirmative. Which comes back to the donation I make. Maybe you should watch this excerpt from The Daily Show last night first...

$25 million dollars, mostly from members of the LDS Church and from what I understand from the Church itself (Although I could be wrong on this). Do you know how much that could by for the poor and needy? It bothers me that a Church which at one time was persecuted because their form of marriage was considered wrong would back something like this. I was also forwarded a transcript from a talk given by one of the very high up leaders of the Church, where he iterated multiple times what a good financial position the Church is in, as though that should somehow help strengthen member's faith.

This problem isn't just limited to the LDS Church, but many other Churchs as well, especially the Catholic Church with the riches and treasures stored at the Vatican which I have heard many describe as 'OBSCENE'. It makes you wonder if the whole purpose for a Church is mainly to enrich those at the head. Actually, I think anyone would have a really hard time convincing me that is indeed, not the case.

So in light of the millions of dollars donated to support discrimination, and the untold weath of an organization that claims to follow the example of Christ, yet fails to actually follow his example, my 10% donation this year may be finding it's way into the coffers of the local Children's Hospital, Remote Area Medical or some other Organization that actually does something to help people, rather than just talking about it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm going to apologize up front. After neglecting this blog for over a week, the next week will likely be very political. I generally keep the politics and religion on my other blog and this post will involve both, but I believe that it is important enough to bring up here.

This is about Proposition 8, a ballot initiative to amend the Constitution for California which Californians will be voting on next week.

Proposition 8 is a response to a court ruling allowing same sex marriage, and seeks to make a Constitutional amendment prohibiting such unions.

I am pro gay marriage and hence opposed to proposition 8. That said, I don't vote in California, but since the dominant church in Utah saw fit to support this initiative financially, as well as 'call' its members to oppose it, I think I am well within my rights, and probably obligated to share my opinion.

The thing is that the argument is not being presented honestly by the proponents of it.

I believe the equation is:

Gay Marriage = Equals rights for all who enter into committed relationships

By equal rights I mean tax breaks, hospital visitation, heath care confidentiality, death benefits and all of that.

It is however being presented as:

Gay Marriage = Public homosexual orgies
Gay Marriage = Your children will be forced to enter into Same Sex Marriages
Gay Marriage = Your Church will be forced to accept Gay Marriage.

On the last thing, if you rent out your Church or building for marriage and are profiting from it, haven't you cheapened the marriage institution any way?

LDS Churches are able to be used free for weddings, but honestly, what gay couple would want to make their marriage official in the building of a Church which opening campaigned and supported against them doing it, and even it a Church were to be used for a Same Sex marriage, how would that in anyway desecrate the building. It's not like the ceremony will consist of anything other than two people committing themselves to each other. If they have a problem with this, then they can make a good start by removing the "All Welcome" phrase off their buildings, or qualify it with something like "who accept our view of how things should be."

LDS Temples require special approval to enter, and this is currently outside the reach of all but the most devoted members. If non-members can't get married inside, then why would a court force them to allow same sex marriage - it just makes no sense. In foreign countries where LDS Temple marriages are not recognized as legally binding, couple perform a civil ceremony first to satify the law, and then have a spiritual ceremony performed inside the temple. It doesn't demean the value of the marriage, and what young lady wouldn't enjoy getting married twice?!

In summary, the entire argument for Prop 8, is based purely on irrational fear and intolerance. That's my opinion and you are free to disagree - just try and make sense when you do so! I had a somewhat ignorant and pious individual tell me on another blog, that if it came down to a religious argument he would crush me in seconds. It was his only response for me to ask him to justify his position on Gay Marriage without bringing religion into it. The problem is that I guarantee you, he and I worship very different Gods, therefore he has no foundation on which to base any argument he might raise in that arena. So don't try the "My God says homosexuality is evil" approach with me, unless you can demonstrate without any doubt that there is a God, and that you and I worship the same one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I did over the weekend...

When we moved into our new home a year or so back, one of the things we really liked was a good size willow tree in the back yard. It was big enough to provide some shade, and block the sun from the windows in the late afternoon, and still had many years of good solid growth ahead of it.

About 6 months ago, we had a wind storm come through that broke a major branch off. Well, not so much broke, and ripped. It was still attached, so with some heaving and tugging, rope and duct tape, we were able to get it back together and all seemed fine.

That was when I started noticing the smell. Mostly when it got hot, but towards the end it was all the time. It smelled like rotting vegetables, and on closer inspection of the tree, I could see a couple of spots which didn't appear to be doing so well.

Last Sunday we had a snow storm. It didn't stick around long, due to the higher temperatures, but due the the temperatures, the snow was very wet and heavy. We looked out late Sunday Morning to discover that the tree had split 3 ways and had completely come down.

On Saturday I borrowed a chain saw, and got to play lumberjack for the day. I'm pleased to report that the tree is gone, we have enough firewood for 2 or 3 and the back yard is looking much larger than before. On the negative side of things, I am in serious pain. My hamstrings are tight, my forearms hurt and my back aches.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two for Twenty Two

I realize that this will mean absolutely nothing to my American blogging buddies, but a couple of my readers from 'down under' might get a kick out of this.

Last Saturday was the IronMan World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Unfortunately it wasn't televised in the US, so I had to watch it on the computer all day... Fortunately the big screen in the bedroom is hooked up to a computer, so aside from a low quality picture and occasional internet blips, it turned out OK.

The race ended up being won by Craig Alexander, an Aussie, and the ladies race was won by Chrissie Wellington from the UK, who absolutely killed the remainder of the field despite getting a flat on the bike section.

Commentary was provided by a team of past winners and professional triathletes, and while the were all good, the great standout was Greg Welch, and Australian with a tremendous sense of humor. While his commentary (Like the video below) was no doubt wasted on most Americans, it reminded me how much I miss that type of humor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm whole again!

I had my stitches removed from my head yesterday - at least those that I hadn't already managed to remove by picking at them.

As the nurse was cutting them out, another nurse came in and made a comment about how long the cut was. "You should have seen what came out of that!" the other nurse said. Apparently my lump has attained celebrity status as the doctors office. I guess it earned it, by my not doing anything about it for the past 8 or so years.

The good news is that it was only a cerbacious cyst - an oil gland that got plugged up, and kept producing oil, even though it had no where to get rid of it. That also means there is not cancer or anything associated with it.

So for the first time in almost a decade I have a smooth (smoothish) scalp! Woohoo!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ten years of Tolerance...

Ten years ago today, my beautiful wife and I were married. Since then we have welcomed 5 rugrats into our family, moved a number of times, and changed careers a couple of times too. I've gained 50 pounds, lost 30 and turned into an over achieving, exercise obsessed triathlete with aspirations on becoming an IronMan and accomplishing other crazy feats of endurance.

Through out all of that, my dear Ann has supported me and stayed by my side.

I have to be the luckiest guy in the world!

Thanks Babe! I love ya!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh...

Alright folks I know I promised this yesterday, but the problem with vacations is that you need one after you catch up from the time your took for vacation...

I did put together my race report for the marathon, over on my fitness blog. That posting is here, you should know that there are references to bowel movements, and public urination, but as I have come to find out, that is all part of living an active lifestyle!

So yesterday I went to the facial surgeon to see about getting a lump removed from my head. If you're curious, here is my head . About half way up on the side is a small scar. I got knocked over when I was 12 and ended up hitting a rock (It explains a lot). The wound got all infected, and I initially thought that perhaps a small stone had somehow been left inside. The lump itself is closer to the top of my head. I first found it about 8 years ago. It took me 5 or 6 years to ask my doctor about it, and then another 2 or 3 to actually get around to having it removed.

I was given the option of being put out entirely for the procedure, along with that option also came a charge of $380, instead of $25 for a local anesthetic. How bad could it be?

The wait was long, but I finally got called back and given a seat. Then the doc came in to shoot up my head. I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt. It felt like the guy pierced my skin, and then stuck the thing in another 2 or 3 inches. The nurse remarked that she had never seen anyone smile while getting a shot in the head. By #2 I wasn't smiling, and by #3 and #4, I was pretty close to wanting to cry. Still it was only 10 sec's of discomfort, and it's not like being put out is totally without discomfort either.

15 minutes later I was pretty numbed up and they started 'the procedure'. It's called a subcutaneous cyst. Basically the oil gland to one of my hairs got blocked way back when and so it could secrete any oil, of course being a dumb oil gland it doesn't realize this and just keeps producing more. I think it reached a point a while back where it just couldn't secrete any more, so it just sat there being annoying.

I think the surgeon just made an incision and then fished around a little to get it out. At one point I looked up and saw it and was a little surprised at it's size. Then he cleaned the whole out and sutured it up.

Once all was said and done, I got some prescriptions, a dab of Neosporon on it, and off I went, but not before taking a picture of my lump - prior to it being sent to the lab. For the squeamish reader, I apologize.

It looks a little bigger that it was just because of the angle it's being held at, but it's a about the size, shape and color of a really big butter bean - I can't vouch for it's taste however.

I was offered a prescription for Lortab, but I declined. I'm not a fan of how it makes me feel, and I can just as easily take a couple of ibuprofen. Perhaps that is why I'm not so stiff from my little running adventure this weekend.

So now my head looks like this . The gooey stuff is the neosporon. It doesn't hurt much, and if you feel around, there is a slight dent in the skin. It's going to look good once I get the sutures out.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In case you were concerned...

I am still alive, although the fact was debatable yesterday and Sunday...

On Saturday I ran my first marathon in Saint George, Utah - about 2 hours north of Las Vegas. It was wet, windy and generally pretty damn cold. I finished up in 4 hours, 13 minutes and some second in change. Overall I averaged 9:40 per mile or 6:00 per kilometer.

Having just arrived home from the trip I have much to do, although I think you can reasonably expect a decent blog post from me tomorrow - either before or after I get a lump removed from my head!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I have an Hypothesis

This was something that worked it's way into my head overnight. It's just an idea, or hypothesis, so I would like to propose it and see if anyone has any additional insight, particularly some of my more opionated readers like D. Sirmize...

OK, so I went to sleep watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I think I've already mentioned that it's my favorite news show, and it's pretty sad that it comes from a Comedy network... Anyway, last nights guest was Bill Clinton. I can honestly say that I haven't really seen much of the man, since I kicked my Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity addiction, so it was nice to watch, without thinking what a rotten, lying SOB he was - because that definitely wasn't the man I saw last night.

I thought he was well spoken, didn't resort to any mudslinging, despite Stewart giving him ample opportunity and I think he showed a great deal of understanding at the current economic situation. Something he said got me thinking though... He talked about how after the IT bubble burst, there was all this money that needed to go somewhere, and in 2001 people started investing in Real Estate, and that would appear to be the catalyst that got everything start for all that is happening now. He proffered the idea that had the money been invested into alternative energy sources and that kind of thing, the long term effect would likely have been remarkably different.

So here is my thinking...

Could it be that the greatness of America comes from an attitude of seeking out new frontiers, thinking outside the box and challenging ourselves? I think about the space program, the arms race during World War 2, even the Revolutionary war. These are all things which helped define this country and have aided in her greatness.

I'm not a proponent of the Global Warming Crisis, but I do thing we have a responsibility to take care of the environment, and alternative fuel sources do make sense to investigate.

Could it be that rather than America taking the next step after the dot com boom, and looking for a newer and more exciting challenge, we got lazy, and decided to rest on our laurels? I'm not saying that investing in Real Estate isn't a good thing, but it is not exactly cutting edge.

Could it be that the problem with the Bush Administration involving the current crisis, isn't a lack of oversight, or governmental control, but rather a lack of visionary leadership, and what has been missing is a leader who will stand and inspire us to reach outside ourselves and achieve something better.

I think this is a separate issue from the war on terror and other things associated with this administration.

Please feel free to comment and share your opinions on this idea - Thanks!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The way I see it...

Let me start by saying, I definitely do not know enough about what is going on, but from my limited undestanding here is what seems to be happening...

A bunch on lending institutions made the dumb and quite frankly idiotic decision to lend money to people who had no business borrowing it. The people who borrowed the money were idiots as well, probably overcome by greed and a sense of entitlement. Shockingly enough, these people couldn't make their payments - I know, it boggles the mind how anyone could have seen this happen.

In a free market system, the banks would have gone belly up, and those that borrowed the money should have been screwed. And while I wouldn't wish that on anyone, it's how the free market stops both sides from making stupid decisions again.

Fortunately for these people we don't live with the Free Market system. Contrary to what the Republicans have said in the past, their economic plans are not about a "Free Market System". So to prevent the free market system from running it's natural course, the government steps in with bail outs. I know Mr. Bush said they weren't bail outs, but lets be honest here - Integrity isn't exactly his strongest character trait.

So the government bails out the banks, and from what I understand, some of the banks used this money to make more loans - WHAT?!?!?

Our economy is in the crapper - it's not because the free markey system has failed, it's because we have failed to allow the free market to take care of people with questionable lending tactics. Meanwhile, those of us who purchased a home we could afford, kept our credit scores high, so we could be considered borrowers of acceptable risk, and make our payments on time, just got the middle finger from our government. Thanks guys!

The way I see it, government is going to take our money and spend it however they see fit. Unless of course, we can get a libertarian government in place, or one that holds to the consitution and doesn't seek to feed and expand itself, but I can't see that happening. So the question we are left with when deciding on who to vote for in this election, comes down to who do you want to waste your money.

I think the Republicans will continue to waste the money on wars, helping out their buddies in the large corporations and growing the size and control of government over the American people.

I think the Democrats will spend the money on social welfare and similar entitlement programs, not limited to healthcare and other such things. I think they will also focus on growing the size and control of the government as well.

So do you want your money spent on killing people and making rich men richer, or on creating a welfare state and denying people the opportunity to better themselves, by making them more comfortable to simply suck from the teet of big government. And truth be told, the second may not actually be as bad as the Republicans (themselves closet socialists) would have us believe.

At the end of the day, I think I'd far rather my money was spent on welfare programs than killing people, which is what I think it comes down to. Besides, at the rate things are going, I may be able to benefit more from the social welfare programs in the future.

I would like to vote for a third party this election, either Libertarian or Constitutional, but at the same time, what if my vote only helps push the majority of votes towards a lying warmonger and his clueless running mate. Either way, I think I'm going to get screwed, just like I have been with the economy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Do you ever look back on your life and feel like you're living a metaphor, or at the least, someone else's life?

Last night I had an experience that when it concluded I turned to my wife, and remarked. I have become George Costanza!

I then examined my life back for a few days and tried to categorize my life. For what it's worth...

Friday - All work and no play make Jack (or Koda) a dull boy.
Friday Night - You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. (I do appreciate the help though, for those involved :-) )

Saturday - 20 Miles is a hell of a long way (No metaphor, I just realized this after running it.)
Saturday Afternoon - The best things in life are free

Sunday - Eat, drink and be merry, or something about the best things in life being food and good company.

Monday - I like surprises - especially when they are completely unexpected. Also, if your horse doesn't drink when you lead it to water, at least it's at the waterhole when it gets thirsty, so you can score the whole thing a win in the long run.

And that, is what my life was like for the past few days.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


One of the first bloggers I connected with was Morgan the Dancing Mouse. I'll admit that I haven't been visiting her blog as often in recent days, due to a ton of work, but I swear I read all the posts I've missed when I do go on there.

This morning to my utter shock and dismay, I discovered that I am apparently not one of the privileged view who gets to view her blog.


Of course I guess, there's always a chance that people like me, might be the reason why she's locked it down... Hmmmmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I've got it!!

This weekend was a good one for me figuring stuff out. And I got to me The Gatsby, and his clan which was cool as well. I think it all came about because I finally got caught up on sleep. Well, until the alarm went off at 4am this morning.

The first big figuring out stuff thing happened on Friday. I get Mr. Glenn Becks' daily newsletter. I used to get it because I liked the comedy and I was generally working when his show was on, so I couldn't listen. Lately I haven't been enjoying it though, and quite often it just irks me. I've been trying to figure out why, and this weekend I GOT IT!!!

It's not that Mr Beck is not honest, nor that I object to him sharing his opinion. The thing that has been bugging me, is the pettiness of the partisan debate. Mr Beck is a Conservative Republican, and as such wholly supports that view. I can't fault him for because I used to be the same way. What bugs me is just the weak arguments put forth as to why people shouldn't vote for Mr Obama. It's not just Mr. Beck though, it seems that anyone with a firm belief in either of the major parties suffers from this bias and tendency towards childish arguing.

Some other things I figured out:

  • I am now confident in my ability to run the St George marathon next month, courtesy of Saturdays excellent 18 mile run.

  • I think I'm going to vote for Mr Obama. I'm pretty sure he's not going to be able to come through on most of what he's promising, but I'd rather aim for the stars and miss that aim for the dung heap and hit it - and as far as I can tell, Mr McCain is the dung heap (See! I'm as childish as the rest!!)

  • I figured out some religious stuff too, but I'll post that elsewhere, later in the day

Thursday, August 28, 2008


In the teaser for the news on Fox last night, they alluded to the fact that some historic event had happened at the Democratic Convention. My initial thought was "Wow! Maybe Hillary has actually managed to somehow get herself nominated, because that would be historic breaking news.

Headline in the newspaper today reads... Historic Nomination - WOW!!! What could it be?

The great revelation... Obama got the democratic nomination... HOLY CRAP!! When did that whole turn around happen? I mean for months we've been thinking it was going to be someone else, and then all of a sudden BAM! Obama steps in and takes it.

Perhaps the news stories could have been - Bill Clinton does a complete about face and gives a ringing endorsement to the guy he was tearing down a few weeks back, or Hillary manages to get herself on the news by call for an end to voting and suggesting that they just go ahead and nominate Mr. Obama.

Anyway, I'm glad that is all over, and despite my comments above, I am glad that Mr. Obama has the nomination. My beef isn't with him, it's with the morons at the news stations and how they convey news. It's no longer about information, its about marketing and spinning the stories the right way.

The nomination is historic, in that Mr. Obama is the first black man to be elected to run for president. I think it says a lot for the United States that this is possible, but at the same time I think it also shows we have a long way to go. Mr. Obama wasn't nominated because he's black. He was nominated because he is the best candidate. He is a well spoken man who comes across as genuine, sincere and while I have no doubt that he can play politics with the best of them, I get a sense from what I've seen that he sincerely wants to do what is in the best interests of the country, despite the fact that he and I may differ on how to achieve that.

Making a big deal about Mr. Obama being the first black nominee almost seems to diminish what he has achieved.

Now I find myself torn... I have shared before that there is no way in hell I would ever consider voting for Mr. McCain. Despite my political views being very conservative leaning. The Republican party has shown that it is entirely self serving, and a party of liars and war mongers, and Mr. McCain fits right in with them.

I would like to vote for Mr. Bob Barr, but despite the fact that he and I agree on many levels, and that he is closest to my personal political leanings, he just lacks the presence to be our President. I have to think the Libertarians can do better that Mr. Barr, despite the fact that I think he's a good man. Jessie Ventura - what happened to the rumors you were going to run? That would have been freaking awesome!!

Mr. Obama and I are polar opposites politically, but I'm almost leaning towards voting for him. In a time when our international image has been trashed and our economy is in the crapper anyway, I think we need a fresh perspective. I've remarked numerous time to colleagues that I would much rather have a democrat in office that was upfront about raising taxes and increasing social welfare type government programs, than a republican who pretends to oppose those things, but does them anyway.

My million dollar idea, should Hillary have gotten the nomination were T-Shirts for "Republicans for Hillary - At least we'll know up front that we're going to get screwed"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Thought

So I'm at the gym tonight, and we had the TV tuned to the Alternative Music station. Sometimes they play well know stuff, and sometimes its stuff we've never heard before.

3rd song on tonight was by a group called 'The Virgins'. It was a group of guys.

How do you come up with a name like that? And then I'm thinking... What if they are virgins, but then due to increase popularity one or more members of the group happen to leave the virgin club... Could they still call themselves The Virgins?

I guess it could always be "The virgins and the 2 that got lucky"


I've made it!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen! It has taken at least 6 long months, but I am finally on the EQ reactivation radar, and I suspect there is a good chance I may be on an actual physical list somewhere of "People to Reactivate".

Perhaps some background here is needed... In the LDS Church, there is great concern to be had when a person appears to be on their way out of the flock. In a way it's like the experiment I've heard you can do with crabs. Please note that I have never tried, so P.E.T.A. please don't send complaints, stage an Urban Koda boycott or anything... Anyway, apparently if you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket, they'll fight horribly, but if one crab tries to climb out, they will all work together to drag him back in.

You may recall that about 6 months ago, the infamous light bulb incident occurred. It was in the men's meeting following the incident that the leader of the congregation courageously stood his ground and made an example out of me. Well-timed on his part, since I wasn't there at the time and he was then able to call me later and gave me his version of what happened. I think he was trying desperately to make himself not look like a complete asshole in front of the congregation, but wanted to keep things good between him and I. Dude! Being dishonest is not the way to go about that kind of thing! He probably should have told everyone not to discuss it with me either, since someone else called to explain what had actually happened, and that just pissed me off further.

Some weeks after that I decided it was time to do the Christian thing and 'turn the other cheek'. Although the un-Christian idea of just mooning the lot of them did cross my mind as well!!

So I went back to try and get back into the EQ groove as it were. The topic for the lesson was Anger. In my humble opinion, I think it's a good topic, and one I think everyone could improve in, myself included. Anger is the loss of emotional control, and then the channeling of fear and rage at another person. Nothing good can come of it. The lesson ended with a discussion on how to show righteous anger towards our spouses and kids. WHAT THE HELL?!?

I haven't been back to that class since then. I teach a bunch of teenagers in the time period before, and while I love it, sometimes it's nice to have some peace and quiet when that class is over. For the last 6 months, I've been taking one of my younger kids and coming home for the hour. It gives me some one on one time with the kid, lets me get some things done around the house, and quite often I'll get a head start on lunch as well.

So last night as I was trying to get dressed to head to the gym, and trying unsuccessfully to get my kids in bed and asleep before I left, there was a knock at the door. Two of the leaders of the mens group to which I belong stood there. I probably should have invited them in, but I didn't. Anyway, they brought up that there is a softball game tonight and they wanted to invite me to it. I asked what time, and one of them started to say something about them announcing it in the meeting on Sunday (I was actually at Walmart at the time :-) ) and then he started mumbling and trailed off. Let me just say that I actually really like the two guys who stopped by. They're nice guys and good neighbors, they've just got something tweaked in their brains that makes them duty bound to want to save my soul. It's actually the same with the congregational leader who made the example out of me... Great guy, fantastic neighbor, but as a Bishop I could not have less respect for him.

Anyway, so I've decided not to go... I don't do team sports for a start. It's not that I haven't tried, it just not my cup of tea. On top of that I generally only get home from work at 7pm, and that's when the game starts. So in order to show to them that I want to be a good Mormon, I need to give up the 1 hour a day I spend with my kids, and then also skip my gym workout as well. Sorry guys, ain't going to happen!!

Actually thinking back to the crab in the bucket. I think I got out of the bucket a while ago, when no-one was paying attention. It feels remarkably good, and there is not way in hell I'm getting back in!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why America is great... And not so great...

Last night I witnessed one of the most amazing and inspiring events in recent history. The event was the Olympic final for the mens 4x100M freestyle relays. Prior to the race, one of the French competitors had made some comments about being at the Olympics to smash the Americans. I can't do the event justice, so please click here to see the video. You may have to download a plugin, but trust me, it's worth it. I watched it at 11pm last night, the rest of the family was asleep. I ended up yelling and screaming... Perhaps not quite as much as young Michael Phelps, but there wasn't quite as much on the line for me.

Truly, truly inspiring.

I'm glad that happened because earlier in the night NBC's Bob Costa interviewed George Bush, the current US president. One question in particular stood out. Mr. Costa asked about the contrast between the problems in America, and the position of the Chinese, moving more on to the international stage. Mr Bush began his reply by emphatically stating that there are no problems in America...

OK, so the fact that the amount of money I spend on gas has doubled (and I now take the train to work), my grocery bill has doubled as have all my utility bills and yet my income has increase only 6% in the last year, which is a nice number, except when compared with a tanking economy, and horrible inflation.

Pardon me Mr Bush, but you're an asshole, and burying your head in the sand and denying the problems, doesn't mean they aren't there, and wait a second, isn't it your party that is trying to paint Mr. Obama as the overly optimistic elitist snob?

It brings to mind a rhyme from my youth... Twinkle Twinkle little star, what you say is what you are!

And by that I mean, that you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. McCain, and the rest of you fascist scum eating pieces of crap are a bunch of elitist snobs who should be thrown out like the pieces of garbage you are.

OK - feeling a little better - best go watch that video again to remind myself what the true spirit of America is all about.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Things I'd rather not think about...

I've touched before on the practice of taking care of #2 at work. Just as a refresher, I prefer not to, and I assume neither do most other normal people. We'll exclude those who proudly stride into the restrooms with the newspaper under one arm.

There are times however when you just have to take care of things. Now when you take care of things, you kind of shut out the idea of how many other people have been there before you, however...

Nothing is more disconcerting that passing a co-worker as you enter the restroom, and then settling down onto the seat and realizing it's nice and warm. I mean I know I'm not the only person that uses the restroom, but I'd just rather not think about it...

Does this make me a freak?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


For the internet newbies... that is...

Right on the floor, Laughing My Ass off!

And this would be why...

Let's start with the original ad...

Nice move Mr. McCain, especially after the Hilton's supported your campaign with a nice donation.

But I thought Paris' response was priceless:

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Not a bad policy!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Proving my point...

I heard about this newspaper article last week, but suspected that it might be something which had been taken out of context. What I'd heard was that people where questioning whether Barack Obama is too fit to be President... The problem being that people can't relate to someone who is fit and healthy.

I found the newspaper article in the Washington Post this morning. It's here

I think it just adds to my last posting about advertisers now targeting the morbidly obese.

Of course the other explanation could be that this is an underhanded move by the McCain campaign. It was interesting that McCain gave his actual weight while Obama seemed to brush it off, and it also included the reasons why poor McCain can't lift weights. I'm sorry that the man was a POW in vietnam, but it doesn't qualify you to lead the nation.

Either way, whether the story was genuinely reporting that people don't want a healthy president, or if it is a sneeky move by Mr. McCain, or both. It still disgusts me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maybe the skinny models weren't so bad...

I attended an interesting presentation a week or 2 back by a personal trainer. Some of his clients have been fitness models and he talked about how these models have to train and then basically dehydrate themselves and do other things for photo shoots to get their bodies looking a certain way. The bottom line is that it isn't very healthy and it has given society a distorted view on what a healthy person looks like.

I think the tide may be turning though, and personally I don't like were it's heading...

Case #1 - There was an ad on TV a couple of months back that first got me thinking about this. Ad starts focused on a guy on a lazy boy, and he's surrounded by his family. The guy is huge, and not big, just obscenely fat. From his 2 or three chins, down to the rolls spilling over the sides of the chair and the bowl of potato chips perched on his huge gut. He's watching TV and talking about how hard life gets when his signal goes out. At this point, you may be thinking that this could be one of those ads that encourages you to get more active, to break away from the TV and get some fresh air... That was what I was thinking, but man was I wrong. As the camera pans back from the guy and his about as disgusting family, he yells something about moving an antenna, and then you see a guy on the roof moving their TV antenna. The ad isn't about any kind of activity, it's about a car dealership that goes above an beyond. In this guys case, even getting on the roof to move fat, lazy ass, disgusting humanoids antenna so he can watch more TV.

Case #2 - The new dish network ad... I like Frank Caliendo, but seeing the same ad over an over again was getting annoying... But then they started a new one. It appears to be fairly low budget, just a head shot of a lady talking. The lady is well spoken, and not exactly a beauty queen, but maybe if she lost a couple of hundred pounds she'd look quite decent. Some people have double chins... She has a huge flap that comes out below her face and seems to form a frame around it. I could almost describe it as something like the large flaps on Orangutans faces, but I would prefer that those remain the trade mark of those big apes. She's talking about how with the new DVR she can watch more programs.

What has happened to our civilization? We go from having a problem with models promoting an unhealthy level of weightloss, to the other extreme where the morbidly obese are promoting the ultimate in laziness? Give up America, just continue to grow fatter and fatter. Now that's a message everyone can embrace - just don't try and get your hand to meet on the other side...

I know there are problems with the perceptions people have with the skinny fitness models, but everytime I see a picture of a guy with ripped abs, I get motivated to do more. I know I'll never look like that, but I'd much prefer being headed in that direction.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She's HERE!!!!

Much to the relief of the wife, since she wasn't wild about the name I had picked out, in case it came out as a young lad... She came out a young lady and all is well!

B******* was born at today, and weighed in at a light 6lbs 15oz, and a tall 21 inches. She's doing very well, despite a brief visit from the remainder of the Koda tribe.

Koda Kid #3 is still calling her Cinderella, and this has been picked up by Kid #4 as well... We are optimistic that particular name will lose it novelty soon, although it did get a great reaction from the nurses!!

I would post pictures but I left the camera at the hospital - Perhaps tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008


The arrival of the new Koda is imminent. The wife is being induced in the morning. A full report will be given once the excitement has died down a little.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Daily Show....

E of The Gerli Life fame had this clip on her blog today...

It's from the today show on Comedy Central. That's Comedy as is "Funny!! Ha Ha!" type stuff. It was actually hilarious. The sad thing is that I think the presenter made more sense, than.... Well, more sence than most of the stuff I've heard on the news recently.

My foreign readers can probably have an especially good laugh at this. I'm torn between laughing, crying and curling up in the fetal position and starting to mumble, "We're screwed, we're screwed, we're screwed!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cry For Freedom

In contrast to the post below, this one will be a little more serious. I spent 2 years working mostly inside the black townships in South Africa about a decade ago. It was almost the complete opposite of the life I grew up in when I lived there, and a huge eye opener for me. I finished my time there with a huge love for the African people and their culture.

Since that time, from time to time, I have felt the inner stirrings to do more to help out those who still live in my home land. The problem is what exactly can I do.

One dream I have had, has been that if I am ever fortunate to become independently wealthy, I'd love to be able to go back and establish some kind of program to help people help themselves. Some kind of school, but also community programs where people would have the resources to do an Extreme Neigborhood Makeover, where the materials would be provided, training would be given, and then they would provide the labor. I'm still working on the independently wealthy part of it.

My mind has been on this a lot more lately, especially with the problems in Zimbabwe, which was the place I was born. Ironically the leaders who sought liberation for all, have themselves become worse than government that they were successful in overthrowing.

I'm still thinking of ways in which I can do something, although this is easier said than done, whilst raising a family and all of that. Perhaps once I get older.

In the meantime, I heard a great song about Zimbabwe this morning. Even if you don't have ties to that situation, it's still an excellent song. I actually went to High School with the guy who wrote this, although I doubt he remembers me. He ended up forming the most successful rock band in South African history - Just Jinjer, and is about to release a new album. You can check out the new song on his facebook page... Just scroll right down to the bottom of the page.

Proceeds from the album are going to go to a program called MyLife which rehabilitates street kids from South Africa. From what I can tell, it looks like a program that could make a lot of difference.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Types of Computer Users

Having been working in Tech Support for a number of years and now as a Developer, I think I've had exposure to the various different types of computer users. If I could categorize them into 5 groups...

1. People who know they aren't technically proficient, and don't try to pretend that they are.

2. People who are technically incompetent but don't know it, and like to throw in buzz words that they have heard but don't have a clue about.

3. Just your average person who knows their limits, but can get on just fine with a computer.

4. Power Users and people who are comfortable with technology. These could be high end users or your average computer guy.

5. The IT guy with the God Complex. Plagued by being surrounded by the technically incompetent and cursed with superior intellect and always being right.

I like groups 1, 3 and 4. I strive to be in group #4. Me and computers generally get on well, but I don't think that makes me any different from anyone else, if anything, I think I may have the brain defect that makes it possible to communicate with inanimate objects.

Group #2 are generally just annoying, and typically have those highly whiny & grating voices - I'm actually listening to one member of this group a few cubicles down as I type...

Group #5 are a group of the most arrogant self absorbed pricks - hopefully my characterization of User #2, doesn't lump me in with this group. For some reason they always seems to be one member of this group on the bus or the train, generally trying to impress a girl with his technical prowess. I'm just grateful for headphones and Linkin Park, Metallica and the Foo Fighters.

The Secret to Wealth!

Are you as sick as I am of hearing ads about the 'Secret' to wealth? Not only am I sick of those, but I think my neighbors my have heard my complete disgust last week as the news reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in trouble and may need a hand from the government.

For those who don't know, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are huge organizations that control most of the mortgages in the United States. I could be wrong, but I think they were kind of started by the government to help stabilize and control the mortgage market.

I'm sure there are a number of factors that have related to their current problems, but I think at the root is the same problem that most other financial institutions are facing.

Basically there was a housing boom. House prices started shooting up, and everyone wanted to upgrade to something bigger and better. Banks decided to loan money to people who had crappy credit histories and couldn't afford the house they wanted to buy, never-the-less the banks were blinded by dollar signs and greed.

The borrowers themselves aren't without blame either... They borrowed more than they should have, and didn't plan for the future either.

Shockingly enough, all of these people are now in financial hardship and the banks are not seeing the dollars signs anymore either. Stupid people lent money to stupid people and now they want help.

I upgraded my home a year ago. It was a significant jump in mortgage payment, but we had done our home work and it was something we could afford. My mortgage broker was very responsible and helped me get the best rate he could, without using any funky programs to help me get more house for the money.

So now, King George and the house of Lords - I mean, the federal government, rushes in to save the stupid people, with tax money from those of us that weren't dopes. And in case you were wondering, this isn't capitalism... Capitalism would mean the banks who were blinded by greed and tried to take advantage of stupid people would now be going bankrupt, leaving the responsible ones behind - That's how it should work.

Anyway, so I've saved the best for last... The Secret to Wealth - and it's free too!!

Are you ready?


OK then....

If you can't afford something don't buy it.

I'm sure there are other aspects to it as well, but that's about the most important part. Wealth is a state of mind, and has nothing to do with the amount of money you have. I earn far less than most of my neighbors, but we live far better - Why? because we've saved up for things we've wanted. We don't buy stuff we don't need and can't afford, and we live within our means. It's a foreign concept to most, but it really works.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And the wife...

Wifie was concerned with my results for the previous test... Based on her results she is...


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I'm wondering if this may lead to compatibility issues....

I'm not sure....

if this is good or bad, but apparently...


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

The Doctor

3 years ago, I decided that I should really start trying to have an annual physical. Without knowing it, I ended up picking the perfect doctor. He's a guy, a little older than me and with a similar ethnic background. I have since been told that that is exactly what you want in a doctor, since he will likely be facing the same challenges as you are, and most familiar with things that you should be concerned about.

Anyway, so three years ago, I went and was told that I needed to lose some weight, that my cholestrol was on the high side, and that I really needed to watch my blood pressure. I think my blood pressure was 120/96.

Two years ago I went back and was told that I really needed to look at losing some weight, that my cholestrol was still high and although my blood pressure had gone down to 120/94, some group somewhere had lowered the range on high blood pressure and so I was at even more risk than I was previously - something I didn't get, but whatever.

A year and a half ago, a neighbor convinced me to start working out with him. I'll be honest with you. The first 6 months were sheer hell. I managed to get into the weightlifting fairly quickly, and the eliptical was OK, but the running was something I feared each time we went. It used to take 800mg of Ibuprofen prior to a run, just to help me get through it without wanting to cry - OK, I still wanted to cry, but it was a little easier not to with the drugs. On a good night I could go to almost 3 miles!!

After 6 months I went to see the doctor - this would be a year ago. Despite all my exercising efforts, I had yet to lose any weight, although I did manage to lose a little of the girth around my waist. My blood pressure was still on the high side something like 120/94 and he even mentioned that if it didn't come down we may have to medicate. The only really good news came a few days later when I got my blood test results... My cholestrol had dropped fairly significantly!!!!

Since that time, I've managed to drop just over 20 pounds and I can now run 10 or more miles without Ibuprofen and still feel pretty good when I'm done. According to the charts, I'm still a couple of pounds inside of being over-weight, but I am no longer considered obese - I'll take it. It's time for me to schedule my annual physical, and so the one remaining factor that I'm not sure about is the blood pressure.

I donated blood this morning though, and they took my blood pressure....



Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

I have been wanting to do another post on Gay Marriage, but in light of the impending holiday, I would to touch on something slightly different.

Two things:

The first is a video I found on YouTube - actually I found it on the Campaign for Liberty website, but it's hosted on YouTube. Have you ever wondered exactly what liberty means? I thought I had a good idea of what it was, and I was pretty close, but this really sums it up well.

Secondly I got an email today from a Presidential Candidate. I think he sums up my feelings quite well. Read it and see if you like what he's saying...

Dear Friend,

This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate our Independence Day. They will gather in parks and on front lawns, fire up their grills and enjoy an evening of fireworks, family and friendship.

Children will wave sparklers in the air, tracing figure eights, while fathers will light seemingly endless fuses of fountains and firecrackers.

Most revel on the Fourth of July as a matter of tradition – and it is a good one. I have celebrated this day throughout my life, even when I lived in nations that did not cherish freedom.

When I reflect on our Independence Day traditions, I am deeply grateful that Americans continue to celebrate this historic day, but I am also saddened by our combined failure to stop the continued encroachment upon our freedom.

Each July 4th, I look back at our year and can literally count the ways in which the path set forth by our forefathers has been distorted and, many times, betrayed.

We live in a nation bursting with people who love liberty but governed by men who lust for power.

For over 100 years, those designing men have been enabled by a political system that favors and protects the powerful.

Republicans and Democrats have maintained and significantly increased their hold on the reigns of our government regardless of the damage that has been done to the men, women and children who work, love, live and die in our great nation.

Today's America does not resemble the intent clearly laid out within that document that was signed by patriots 232 years ago.

They put more than ink to paper when they signed the Declaration of Independence; they placed their lives, families, prosperity and honor on the line for liberty.

Our founders knew that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. They held no tolerance for the thought that we are granted rights by government.

Our rights, our decisions, our very lives are ours. It is through individual responsibility by which we prosper or fail – not by state decree or legislation.

When Jefferson added the word "among" into the phrase, "among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," he was defiantly stating that our rights are self-defined, short of depriving another of their life or liberty.

Since the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, we appear to have lost the meaning and intent of the words: independence, freedom and liberty.

Instead, those words have been echoed with abuse on campaign trails and government buildings by politicians who use them as Orwellian tools to mean just the opposite.

We now use "freedom" as an excuse to invade sovereign nations.

The protection of "liberty" is now an excuse to take it from us.

But today, during this election year, we have the opportunity to change the course of events.

We have a chance to send a message to Washington that will rock its foundation.

Together, we can make the word LIBERTY ring true with deafening accord.

My candidacy for President of the United States is not one of vanity or shallowness. I, probably just like you, have had my eyes forced open by a government that wants to take all that it can from me and my family.

I am running for president to stand firm and demand a return of my liberty, my privacy, my labor and the peaceful heritage of my nation.

I ask you to stand with me.

Together we face the two-party behemoth that will do all that it can to silence us.

That email was sent by Presidential Candidate Bob Barr. I'm not sure if most people will be able to get past the thought that they have to vote for either of the 2 major parties, but he's got my vote.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Pinnacle of Human Achievement

I like the celebrate the power of the human spirit. Over the weekend I completed my first Olympic Distance Triatlon. It wasn't too bad either, I got done in 3 hours and 3 minutes. If anyone wants more details on that wee escapade, let me know and I'll redirect you to my race report.

Last night on TV... Well, maybe you should watch the following and then I'll fill you in on the details.

That promo does not do the show justice. I'm not a fan of reality TV, but this one just has a little something extra. If they weren't making fun of the Go-Go girl, it was the male Jazz dancer, and if it wasn't then, it was something else. I laughed, I cried, my daughter claims she even pee'd a little.

If you didn't get a chance to watch it last night, I would highly recommend you make sure you get to see next weeks episode, or check online to see if ABC will make it available to view on their site.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

World Improvement

I'd like to think that once I pass on from this life that I will have left a positive influence in my wake. In light of that goal, I should like to suggest some ideas that might help our society. Let me apologize in advance for the first, it may come out a little graphic, but some things just need to be said...

1. I have read numerous funny emails and blog postings about have to take care of #2 at work. Personally I'm still not comfortable doing it, nor do I think I will ever become the confident person who strides into the rest room with a newspaper under one arm and loudly talking to someone on his cell phone. Just for the record if you are that person and I happen to be in the restroom - I will make a point of flushing as often as possible, so the person you are speaking with knows where you are.

The point I would like to raise today has to do with the expulsion of gas once you get into the restroom and how you follow it up. I'm sure we've all been bloated at some point in our lives, and I for one fully admit that when you feel that way, there is a certain amount of relief that comes when you are finally able to release it.

However, if you happen to find yourself in a public restroom, and have been suffering from a bloated stomach for sometime, please do not follow the barrage of gas and other little projectiles into the water below with a good loud sigh and a hearty "Oooooh Yes!!!!"

If you're home alone, by all means, say what you feel, fart as loud as possible and whatever else you feel inclined to do, but please exercise some restraint in public, especially when I'm changing into my running gear just a few feet away. I would just rather not know.

2. And this one seems somewhat petty compared to the first... Guys without shirts... It you are at the beach and walking down to the surf, then by all means, take the shirt off. If you're running, or otherwise exercising and have a little bit of a tan and some muscle tone, then I think I'm OK with the shirt being removed, but seriously, if you and your alabaster white middle-aged friend with the matching beer belly and ample girth are taking a stroll around the park on your lunch break. Removing your shirt, just is not an option. I for one do not want to see rolls of super white skin covering the top of your dress pants.

Sadly I have had personal experience with both of these in the last 24 hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday was the first of 2 triathlons out in Magna.

If I had entered the Novice race, instead of the Sprint, I would have won in my age group - helped by the fact that no-one 30 to 39 raced in that race. I'm not sure if I would have placed overall, but I may have been able to given the much shorter distance.

If I had raced in June last year, the way I raced yesterday, then I would have been the over all winner.

I was not the overall winner yesterday, coming in about 15 minutes behind that person that did, and I didn't place in my age group either. Still though, I had a great time and got my personal fastest sprint distance time to date.

Look for a full race report, which I will provide a link to when I get it done. Also watch as this coming weekend I will be racing in my first Olympic distance race in Provo, UT. It looks now that I may need to leave the house before 4am to make it there. My hope is to complete it in about 3 hours, but we'll see when we get there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here's the thing...

I have gotten 2 emails today that have irked me a little. If I may share them and perhaps dispel some myths. That aside though, I think most of my readers are relatively open minded folks already and wouldn't have fallen for this crap anyway...

OK, email number 1 came from Glenn Beck - I think I've shared my opinions on him before. I like his comedy, but not so much when he gets political. Anyway, he's touring right now and was chatting with someone whom he described as a left-wing goof ball - Ken Altshuler from WGAN in Maine. The focal point of his comments was that they had actually agreed on something.

I think there is a lot more common ground between people of different view points than we have been led to believe, so I though I would check out the transcript. I found this gem on why he would not support Obama.

ALTSHULER: He is an unknown quantity. He has done very little votes, he has stood for very little positions. He talks in platitudes. He talked in hope and change without substance. So we don't know who he is. In addition to that, we do know some things about who he surrounds himself with. There's a reverend named Reverend Wright who is a racist. This is his spiritual advisor. He has a wife who by my point of view is militant, is angry. And I believe the people running his campaign who will run the government if he's elected have a hidden agenda. I'm not sure what it is but I don't think I like it.

So Glenn and Ken then agree that until Obama has established a solid voting record he can't run as president because we don't know who he is.

8 years ago George Bush ran on a platform as a conservative. Apparently he came in with a solid conservative record and was supposed to be the next Ronald Reagan. Instead we got a weak leader with no balls who managed to get us into a major war based on lies and completely trashed our economy, and don't even get me started on the national debt and his complete disregard for our nations sovereignty.

With the past 8 years of someone with a solid record, I think I'm ready to take a chance on Obama. He and I could not be more different on policies, I'm pretty libertarian and he very clearly and openly a socialist. But he seems sick of a government run by lobbyists and other special interest groups, and quite frankly so am I.

The second email came from a guy whom I have called out on emails a couple of times. He's a nice guy, but gets caught up in conservative emails scams. The first was about the Golden Compass and how it was a tool of the Devil to convert children to Atheism. I think you all know my opinion on that... The second was on Obama wanting to change the national anthem to "I'd like to teach the world to sing"

Today was another Obama email, depicting Obama in front of a "White House" sign, saying "Well that has got to go!" Below is the following, under an ACLU logo with the Islamic crescent in place of the C.

I'm not impressed with the ACLU right now, but mainly that because they allowed the violation of rights for the FLDS polygamists in Texas, but they do serve an important role.

Anyway, so below that was the following:

The the bible - remember when I was sworn as a senator - I used the Quran. Then the flag - Remember I won't salute it. Then the pledge of allegiance - Remember I won't say it. Ready for a change? Vote deomocratic!

And yes that last word was misspelled in the email - some red neck from down south obviously hasn't figured out how to use spell check.

The thing that bugs me most is the lying. I'm not going to refute that whole thing, but if any of it concerns you, please check out the this article on snopes.

This year I think I may be getting a two for one on my presidential vote. I will not be voting republican, that's for damn sure. I refuse to vote for a party that nominates liars and war-mongers.

I'd really like to see a libertarian president like Ron Paul, or possible Bob Barr. Paul won't be on the ballot, but Barr might. I don't know much about him, but he has changed his views a lot in recent years, and many of his changes seem to be in line with the way my opinions have changed and developed as well.

If I and many others vote for Barr, it will in effect, help split the conservative vote and usher in the first African American president. This way I don't have to vote for someone with socialist policies, but I help elect someone who wants to change politics as usual.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Holy Mileage Batman!!"

Two years ago I got some new running shoes. I took them out for a run, and would consider it overly optimistic to think I ran more than a quarter mile. I returned home huffing, puffing and did not venture out again for some time.

18 months ago, and a really good friend, who is employed as a cop (this is relavent later) persuaded me to join him in trying to lose some weight and get fit. What followed was several month of pain and suffering and included a lot of him waiting for me on short runs while I gathered my breath or tried to stretch out my calves.

In the last 12 months I have done 4 triathlons, 3 5k races, an international distance duathlon and a half marathon. Not only have I achieved that, but over the weekend I completed a 45 mile bike ride, then came to work yesterday and ran almost 6 miles over lunch. I returned home and took out my two youngest kids in the bike trailer and did almost 18 miles with them.

Last night my buddy was scheduled to pick me up for a mile or two at the track - due to injury, he didn't run all winter and is struggling to get it back. I'm trying to be as supportive as I can. Right before he was due to come, I sucked down a packet of Gu, which is an energy gel I used in my longer races. It works really well when you have nothing left to give. He ended up being late, and I then found a message on my phone from a couple of hours prior that he had been called out on a law enforcement matter and would not likely make it back in time.

Not wanting to waste the Gu, I then setoff on a 5 mile run around the local park. My mp3 player ran out of juice a half mile into it, so I was left with my thoughts. I have far more positive thoughts when I run than when I mow the lawn I've found.

Last night I was just amazed at how far I've come. Not only did I run 10.5 miles in a single day, with a significant bike ride, but I came into work today and ran another 5.5 over lunch. I'm not sure I've ever been this fit in my life. It feels absolutely fantastic.

Saturday is the Magnathon triathlon. It was the first triathlon I ever competed in. I will be trying to full sprint distance one this time. I am very excited about what I might be able to accomplish!

Friday, June 06, 2008

150th Post and young blonde beauties

This will be my 150th post. To celebrate I wish to report on an incident which happened this morning.

I was at the pool swimming laps and... A girl whistled at me.

A cute young, likely 18 year old girl whistled at me.

A cute young, blond, likely 18 year old girl whistled at me.

A cute young, blond, likely 18 year old girl working as a lifeguard whistled at me.

Let me set the scene for you... It's June in Utah - It's almost summer. Temperatures in Summer often reach well over 100 degrees (I think that's around 40 for my foreign readers.

Today was not one of the hot days, in fact I debated not going. The wind is blowing, the air is cold, there is snow in the mountains, and its an outdoor pool.

To make matters worse, the lap clocks were not working, and I think I got there a little after 11:30. Lap Swimming ends at noon and they open up the pool to the general public.

So as I start out on lap number 24, grateful most of my body was below the water. A few strokes in, I thought I heard a whistle or something. I got the end and caught a life guard waving to me. She dropped the whistle from her mouth and informed me that it was noon and they would be opening the pool for the general swim. "Thanks" says I and heads back to finish my lap and climb out the ladder.

I ended my swim floating to the wall on my back and touching the wall, before standing up and removing my goggles. "Excuse me Sir!!! It's noon. Lap swimming is O-V-E-R!!

I looked around... 1 huge pool, three young female lifeguards, who I doubt could get me out, should I have cramped up mid lap and nothing else... That's right, no horde of enthusiastic teenagers, no mothers concerned about me swamping their kids, no-one else around, except for me and the life guards. I climbed up the ladder and went to grab my stuff. The lifeguards all climbed onto their chairs and began their job, making sure the public was safe.

I walked to the change rooms, showered, dressed and headed out the door. I looked back at the pool. The water was as smooth as glass and the only life was the three young and obviously power loving girls.

I'm all for rules, but seriously... "Excuse me sir!! The lap swim is O-V-E-R!! What the hell was up with that?

Competition and Other Topics

Sorry guys, it has been way to long since I've posted, for which I apologize - Because obviously many of you could not survive without your daily dose of Koda.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy with races, work and my side business, not to mention the last week of school for my oldest two kids.

I have a couple of topics I've been thinking about, so perhaps let me share those, and then I'll expand on one and leave the rest for another day. The topics are:

The Environment - I think Global Warming is a corporate/government conspiracy, but I still think we have a responsibility to take care of our surroundings. I'd just rather do it by choice, rather than out of fear for Global Warming.

Carbon Credits - Al Gore and Jack Johnson both purchase Carbon Credits, I'd like to explore what they are, and why Al Gore is a huge hypocrite, while I think Jack Johnson gets it. Unfortunately, right wing commentators often group both of them together which I think is a huge mistake.

Competition - One of the blogs I like to read posted a video from a softball match where a team exhibited great sportsmanship - Click here to read it

There were two comments made which got me thinking, both by readers of this blog as well. I'm going to summarize them, and hopefully I capture their intent. The first commented that competition is unhealthy for our society, which I tend to agree with. The second said that competition is what made the US the great country it is, and so it was a good thing. I tend to agree with that two. I think the problem is that there are two different kinds of competition.

The first kind is about beating your opponents by being better than he is.

The second kind is about beating your opponent by making him look worse than you are.

The end result is that if you are successful in either, you win, but I think the first takes more skill.

I compete in a lot of road races and triathlons. My goal is first and foremost to finish and second to try and beat my previous times. It's going to be a long time before I can even hope to win a race, and even then it may well take a small miracle.

If I can finish a race completely spent and in my best time ever I feel remarkably accomplished and motivated to try and beat it next time. I am inspired by those who beat me, and may even turn to them for advice on how to get myself to that level. I have found they are generally more than willing to share and help a relative newby like myself along. At the end of the day I think everyone who participates in competition like this wins.

My other option would be to turn a race into a circus. I could start at the front on the pack, try and get in peoples way, prevent them from passing me, and 'accidently' trip them if they do. I may well finish higher in the rankings, but only because I have employed dirty tactics to put my competition down. This seems to be how the game of politics is played these days. It's how a lot of things are done. I don't agree with it.

In the game of life, I plan on doing my best. I hope you will too. Either of could win on the day, and we will do so with honor and as better people, enriching the lives of those whom we associate with. This is the spirit that make America and many other nations great. The other kind is what is going to be our downfall.