Thursday, January 31, 2008

How to be like Hugh...

So there I was at the gym a week or two ago, and as I'm peddling away on the exercise bike, a documentary starts about the life of Hugh Hefner, the infamous founder of Playboy magazine.

I would like to first thank The Gatsby for reminding me of this, with his reference to Penthouse in todays blog - If you're interested, his blog today is really funny, even for the ladies.

Anyway, so being in the midst of a race against the clock, I couldn't really go change the channel, although I think that the two ladies who came in midway through the show, thought my buddy and I were dirty old men, but that's neither here nor there.

I've always just figured that Hugh was somewhat of a dirty old man, but the documentary was actually very interesting. Here are somethings I learned...

He took quite a risk to start Playboy, but through determination and hardwork he created a very successful magazine.
He came from a religious home where not much love was shown towards him.

The most important thing I learned was why women appear to flock to the man... Apparently he is a real gentleman, and treats them so well, that they just feel really good to be around him...

Perhaps I need to make some changes to my approach to life...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How to wear lemonade in the snow...

This weeks selection for Wise Wednesdays comes from personal experience. Let me set the scene...

The lovely Mrs Koda had her birthday yesterday. I decided to skip the gym and take her out to dinner (Thought it might score me some points, but that's another story)

So we had the kids go over to the friends house and prepared for an exciting evening.

The restaurant of choice was Corbin's in Layton. It's a really nice place, but the prices are a little steep too. Fortunately I had to discuss something about the home business, so my company picked up the tab!

So there we sat in a quiet booth, next to a wonderfully relaxing waterfall wall (I have no idea what you call them). It was a good time. We started with Mango Lemonade. Absolutely delicious and actually tasted like it may have contained real lemon.

The conversation was somewhat lively too... I forget if I was expounding my current distaste with Washington, my views on working for my previous employer or my thoughts on Religeon. Either way it was a lively discussion, and I was employing all my powers of facial expression and hand language to keep it interesting. At this point let me add too that it was well below freezing outside and we would leave to find several inches of snow on the Koda-mobile.

So there I was waving the hands, and the next thing I knew I had knocked the entire glass of Mango Lemonade onto my lap. I think they used real ice too. The waitress was very helpful. She was a little older, so her trying to soak up the excess fluid wasn't as exciting as you might think, but all involved had a great laugh - until I walked outside and my pants froze to my butt!

So the wise advice this week:

Limit the hand motions when sitting in a fancy restaurant and enjoying a nice frosty beverage.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Blog

Before I get onto the State of the Union last night... An update on the Gatsby boycott I called for on Saturday... I think it may have been an honest mistake on the part of The Mediocre Gatsby and he has since rectified it. Thanks to everyone who got behind the movement though - well Ron & Jessica at least!

Anyway, so the State of the Union address was last night. Personally I've had about all I can take of lying scum sucking, bottom feeding politicians. The only impact that this had on our house, was that we got to spend more time actually talking to the wee kodalets, although they were all grumpy, since American Gladiators got bumped to after their bed times. We opted not to watch.

I would like to include though if I may, the Libertarian response to the Address. I find it to be a somewhat fresh approach. I've been torn between registering myself as an independent or registering as a libertarian. I think this may well make the decision for me.

Anyway, hopefully they don't have a problem with me copying this from the email they sent out this morning.

The following is a response by Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath

Washington, D.C. - Following President Bush's annual State of the Union Address, the Libertarian Party issued their response from National Chairman William Redpath:

Tonight's State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government's intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy. It is unfortunate to see that after seven years of increasing the size of government and increasing the government's presence in the day to day lives of all Americans, the President refuses to limit the scope of the federal government, a once championed virtue of the President's party. The President's last State of the Union address encapsulated his legacy of an abandonment of the principles of limited government and individual freedom.

While the Libertarian Party applauds the President on taking a stand against wasteful government spending--though his administration has been a large contributor to this problem--and opening up more foreign markets to trade, we offer the following solutions to issues the President brought up in his address:

Economics: The President's economic stimulus plan is based on a flawed and outdated economic premise. The best solution to an economic slowdown is increasing the ability for businesses to grow and reinvest in the economy. Instead of increasing the federal deficit by $150 billion dollars, the federal government should focus its energy on eliminating taxes that restrain economic growth. Eliminating taxes such as the death tax and capital gains taxes, and lowering income tax rates on private citizens, will free up vital capital that can be reinvested into the economy. Additionally, the federal government should remove all trade barriers that prevent free trade with other nations. This is a more sound economic policy that presents real solutions instead of the window-dressing that is the President's stimulus package.

Education: The President's 'No Child Left Behind Act' has failed from the very beginning, and its reauthorization would be a travesty to the American education system. Instead of unfunded, federal mandates with the intent of fixing our failing public schools, alternatives involving the private sector should be explored. Increased local control over public schools and the increased use of private alternatives will increase the quality of education for all American children. We call for abolishing the Department of Education and removing the federal government from educating our children.

Health care: Far too long have our politicians tried to find a government fix for the health care problem we have in America. Government interference in the health care system is the root of the problems we face. Only in eliminating government subsidies of health care will we find relief from increasing costs. The Libertarian Party calls for the elimination of all government entitlement programs related to health care.

Foreign Policy: America will spend more than $1 trillion dollars in foreign wars started during the Bush administration. Because of such, the economy is in jeopardy and America's reputation abroad has suffered traumatic blows. On top of this, Americans have seen their civil liberties violated time after time. The Libertarian Party calls for a withdrawal from Iraq following the proper lines of withdrawal, executed by our commanders on the ground. We also call for an abandonment of the reckless policy of pre-emptive war, and a restoration of civil liberties lost under such laws as the Patriot Act and the amendments to FISA. The Libertarian Party reminds our leaders in power of the great words of Samuel Adams:

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.

In this perilous time, when our freedom is attacked from both inside our borders by corrupt politicians and from outside by foreign aggressors, we call for prudence, wisdom and above all, an adherence to the United States Constitution, which reigns sovereign over all individuals of American society.

Redpath is a resident of Leesburg, Virginia, where he lives with his wife Melinda. Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Monday Mash-up - Let It Be Me

As a humongous snow storm is poised ready to descend on Salt Lake City, I thought I'd post a slightly more mellow mash-up this week.

This weeks contribution is between The Beatles with "Let it Be" and Shaggy with "It wasn't me". The video is a little interesting, and the guy who posted it on YouTube added 2 minutes of his own wierd stuff at the end.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Please Boycott Gatsby!

So theres this guy who blogs online. His blog is actually the first one that I started reading, and then hes one that inspired me to start this blog as well.

Anyway, so recently he wrapped up work on his Blogalicious Trilogy and started a new blog called CodeName: Blogtastica. The blogalicious trilogy were truly inspired, but then he started off this new one with kind of a touchy feely theory he has - Theory was the title.

Anyway, so I got onto his blog this morning to check it out, and was pleased to see that he has finally added the list of blogamaniacs to the left hand side. Thing is, I am no longer sitting at #4 on the list. Fair enough I thought, perhaps he has other readers who have more interesting blogs and comment more often. So I scanned down the list to see just how far I had fallen. I could use any number of explitives here, but I shall refrain... I got to the bottom of the list and still no "Urban Koda" What's worse is that "H" who hasn't blogged since last summer still has his spot?!?!

Anyway, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being really dissapointed, but I think I'm more just mad. My first inclination was to launch a full on cyber war against the man, but I've been trying to be more of a pacifist lately, so I think a more Gandhi like approach would be better.

So I hereby call on all readers of this blog to boycott any of the blogs by the Mediocre Gatsby. Of course he may not know this is happening if he doesn't read this blog anymore, so if you would like to pay just one last visit and let him know what we're doing that might be the best approach.

My next plan will be to try and join forces with Esteban in the future. This will employ the old "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Connie Young Saga

I was going to launch the third of 3 new features today, but owing to the fact that I still can't walk, I've opted to launch Fitness Friday at a later date.

I did some rearranging of the side bar of the blog this week. I used to have a couple of political related links up the top, and while I am pretty passionate about politics, I realized not many readers care, and then most politicians appear to be scum sucking bottom feeders, and so I've moved those links to the bottom.

The first set of links now points to the blogs of regular readers and commenter's on the Urban Koda blog. If you are a regular reader and would like your blog to appear here, just indicate that in a comment and I'll add you as soon as possible. If you would like to link to the Urban Koda blog, I would of course be very grateful.

The next item down is a new widget from Dilbert comics. I didn't used to get Dilbert, but then I got an office job and I now live the Dilbert life. This little widget is still in the testing phase but will be available to the general public in a month or so. Speaking of Dilbert - another talented Web Developers out there... I may know of a couple of good positions in Salt Lake - Just let me know if you want more information.

Below Dilbert is the Hot Babe Trifecta. I blogged on this a month or 2 back. You can read that one here. The most contented issue was that Kiera Knightly is in my top three. I gave my reasons for this at the time, but it still raised some questions. Anyway, in the last week or so, young Kiera's position has been challenged. There is a local actress from Salt Lake City called Connie Young. Not only is she pretty hot, but she has an INCREDIBLE voice. She's been on the morning radio show I listen to a couple of times over the past week, and generally makes it hard for me to concentrate on driving.

The problem with Connie is this... Mrs. Koda is OK with the Trifecta, as long as it contains only girls who could reasonably be considered to not give me the time of day. For some reason since Connie is a local lass, apparently she poses a bigger threat. Anyway, the jury is still out on this one...

I still don't think I would stand a snowballs chance in hell with her, and in reality I probably wouldn't risk anything I currently have if I did have a shot...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Trouble Walking...

I'm having a hard time walking today... It started when I got up about 2am this morning to go to the bathroom. I probably shouldn't have had as much water as I did last night, but at least I know I'm hydrated!

Anyway, so I rolled off the bed, and that's when it hit... My calves feel like they have turned into lead, not just the weight, but the flexibility as well. It's been pretty much the same since then, although I did go for a long walk over lunch and it seemed to loosen up. Now they seem tighter than ever.

I guess it's my own fault - Stupid Male Pride. I usually run with a group at lunch, but with the deep freeze going on (We're talking double digits below on the Celcius scale) we decided to do the stairs instead. I made it up and down 78 flights in a hair over a half hour. Then like an idiot I used the leg press machine, the hamstring machine, the quad machine and finally the calf machine at the gym last night...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2nd New Feature....

OK, so on Monday I introduced "Mash-up Mondays" to you. So far I haven't had any comments, but I figure I'll give it another few weeks and see if it takes.

For my second new feature, I'm introducing "Wise Wednesdays". This one is going to be a little more serious. Typically me serious posts don't go over very well, but I figure I'll give it another shot.

Today's topic is the danger of partisanship, and this applies to everything from politics to religeon. Human nature seems to be that we subscribe to a particular idea, and then defend anything associated with that idea.

As an example... I used to consider myself an extreme right leaning conservative. When environmentalists introduced the idea that we should switch to using CFL light bulbs, all the right wing nut jobs got up in arms about this idea.

Here's the thing... The light bulbs consume less electricity and are just as bright once they warm up. There is the down side that they are more tricky to dispose of, but they last significantly longer as well.

I decided to switch our house to CFL bulbs last month. November saw a power bill of $140 in the new house and about floored me. It probably cost a little under $100 to replace all the bulbs using the walmart brand CFL's. December bill arrived yesterday and was a measily $70. Not only that, but the fittings in the family room are no longer a fire hazard - the previous owner had each fitting loaded with 3 x 100W bulbs and they would still be hot an hour after turning them off.

My point is not that CFL lights are good or bad, although I personally like them. The thing is that if I subscribed to the prevailing conservative idea that all environmentalists are nut jobs and all right wing idea's are right, I'd still be getting nailed each month on my power bill.

On a completely different tangent... Following yesterday's announcement, the Dancing Mouse posted an excellent response. It's probably not kid friendly, but I thought it was excellent. I too was reminded of a video as I have contemplated our new addition. Tim Hawkins, is a christian based comedian (Another one of my stepping outside the box finds!) and the video below is his. If you like this, you might also like "Cletus take the reel", a parody on Carrie Underwoods - "Jesus Take the Wheel".

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Big Announcement

I mentioned at the end of one of my posts yesterday that I would be including a big announcement today.

If you look to the left of this blog, you will notice that it features the brand spanking new Dilbert Widget which allows you to view the daily dilbert cartoon in full color. This is however not the topic of the big announcement.

I wrote a blog a few months back entitled No More Kodas. I think it was one of my better posts and got a fairly good response. The appointment in question is scheduled for 2 weeks time. Once that is taken care of, I think we can be pretty certain that there won't be anymore. The problem is that at the time the appointment was made, another koda was already in the making. It wasn't expected, but we're pretty excited anyway. Mrs Koda is expecting the wee one to appear at the begining of August, which might get in the way of this year's Magnathon Triathlon, but I won't be making the mistake of bringing that one up again! Last night was a little chilly at the Koda household for that very reason.

The Kodalets are mixed in their preference as to the preferred gender of the little one. The oldest male wants a wee brother. The oldest female want's a sister. Little lady in the middle want's a sister, since little brothers are apparently too mean, and the youngest lad is pretty much clueless at this point. We should know in a month or two though, and I sure regardless of what it comes out being, it'll be loved as much as the others.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm a Hierophant

I followed a link on the Dancing Mouse's site. Apparently I'm a Heirophant. Hmmmmm.

You are The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Mashup Mondays

I need to start blogging a lot more regularly, so I thought I might add some features to the blog.

Feature #1 will be Mash-up Mondays

A Mash-up is the result of blending 2 songs together. More often than not, this does not sound good, but every so often you come a across a really good one. I'm hoping that I can find 1 good one a week to share.

Today's offering is a blend of Green Day and Kelley Clarkson. Because of your Brainstew is the title.

Stay tuned tomorrow, I have an exciting announcement that may come as a shock to many of you...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

American Made

I'm struggling to look at my computer right now... I've seen far too much of it this last week, and very little of that has been fun. This also explains the lack in blogging of late.

The good news is that as of Monday I am officially a United States Citizen... It was an interesting ceremony but good overall. The biggest problem was reading the "New Citizen" letter from President Bush and trying to reconcile all the lying and other stuff he's done, with his espousing of all the values and responsibilities of being a citizen. I don't have a problem with the form of government here, but there are some real turkeys in office.

Anyway, I'm calling it good for the day. Much more I would like to say, but am seriously lacking in the motivation department.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Here's your sign...

Bill Engvall is an hilarious comedian. One of his classic things is the "Here's your sign" routine. For the unfamiliar, he believes that idiots should have signs that identify them as idiots. This way when we don't think some one would be dumb enough to do something, we can check for the sign, and if they have one, we can warn them about it.... You should probably just try and find it on You Tube or something.

Anyway, so in honor of Bill Engvall, I would like to hand out a couple of signs this morning...

We got snow last night. The weather man predicted 1 or 2 inches. I cleared 4 when I left the house, and my wife just cleared another 3 or 4. So there I am driving to work and I get behind someone in a larger car - Nissan Maxima or something. He (actually probably a she based on what happened) was sliding all over the place. It was icy, but you'd think looking at her that it was far worse than it was, and that she was on a steep hill or something. She turned from the side street to the main road while I was following her, and managed to fishtail into the curb. The thing is, that happens when a car has rear wheel drive, but not front wheel drive. As I got closer, seriously considering getting up against her bumper to help her get traction, I realize that her rear wheels are locked. I think she was trying to drive with the hand brake on - normally this just results in bad gas consumption and stinky brakes, but with the ice, she was just dragging the rear of the car along the road. The good thing to do would have been to point this out to her, but I worry that I would have been prompted to go into the "Here's your sign" bit. Apparently the fact that only her car was sliding everywhere never clued her in.

Next sign goes to anyone in New Hampshire who voted for Hillary - What the hell are you thinking people? If it's because she started crying during her little rant yesterday about just wanting to do what's best for the country, you are seriously misguided - she was crying because her sneaky ways aren't working against Obama - or at least they shouldn't be, but apparently some idiots thought it would make her a good person to vote for.

I figure if it was men that did it, it's because they haven't yet learned that women use tears to manipulate us. Guys, time to wise up - if you fall for this tactic anytime again, be it from a wife, girlfriend or anyone else, I'm going to have to give you a sign.

If it was women... Hillary doesn't give a monkeys butt about you guys. Any self respecting woman would have given Bill the boot a long time ago. She has no respect for you. Ladies if this was your fault, I'm sorry, but you're getting a sign.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How to kill your kid's fish...

It has not been a good month for pets in the Koda household. As many of you may know, the overly excitable lab/pointer mix known as Musa (Moose) has been the target of the wife's frustration in recent months.

New Years Day, saw an argument as to whose responsibility it was to get rid of the dog. It was her idea to get him, and so I just figure natural to expect her to do the deed, plus I was the only one who wanted to keep him. Apparently it worked because Saturday the new family came to pick him up. They don't have kids, so the knocking kids down and sitting on them game, which he likes so much, won't be happening. They also like the idea of an inside pet, and so he will likely no longer spend his days eating the white snow and making the rest of it yellow. The husband arrived wearing an AC/DC hat, so right away I knew he would be in good hands. They own a mid-size truck too, and he got to sit up front, between them for the ride home. Looked like king of the manor up there.

On to the fish... So Monkey the Second was being cleaned a few weeks ago. Somehow between him leaving the holding bowl and getting back into his normal bowl, he thought he'd take a look inside the garbage disposal unit. For my foreign readers... A garbage disposal unit sits in place of the drain on your sink. Food and stuff goes down, where it is then ground up into mush and mixed with water to continue down into the sewage system.

It was at this point that I got the phone call at work. My first suggestion was to pull the drain pipe off, block it and then fill the unit up so Monkey could swim out. The wife didn't want to mess with the pipes. Then I suggested pitting a hand down and trying to find him... Probably not the safest thing to do, but as long as no-one turned it on she would have been fine. It wasn't the steel blades or jagged metal pieces that scared her, but fear that she might touch the fish, which I thought was the whole idea anyway.

At this point, co-workers in adjacent cubicles started to offer advice - somehow they'd gotten the idea that he was just in the sink and needed to be scooped up. I offered a few more suggestions, following which I hung up to let the wife try them out, while using 2 hands instead of 1.

I got a call a few minutes later... The problem had been taken care of. Lily - Monkey's owner had come into the kitchen and my wife had explained what happened. Then to avoid suffering to the fish, and as my daughter looked on, she flipped the switch, and with a whirring sound, some gurgling and a hum, Monkey was teleported to the world beyond.

I don't think we're planning on getting any more pets for a while.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I may be wrong...

For a while now, I've been 100% behind Ron Paul for the presidential election this year. Logically he's the best man for the job. However this afternoon, I had an experience that has caused me to reflect on my motives for voting. Certain of you - particularly the female readership may not quite get this view point...

Click for a very persuasive political argument

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Digital TV for All

My project this last weekend was to finish up a wee entertainment project I have been working on in the master bedroom. The missus and I had a deal going... The reward for me was that the longer it took for her part, I would get inches added to a new TV. Based on the original agreement, my TV would now be well of 100 inches, but I went for instant gratification and got the 42 inch one at Walmart. I've had it for a couple of weeks, but just got it mounted on the wall, and also got the wiring done for the 5.1 Dolby Surround. I still have a little more todo, but following a couple of days of dissapointent in a few areas, it was remarkably rewarding to be able to use this setup to fully experience the Adventures of one Jason Bourne this past weekend. The Ultimatum ended just minutes to midnight, and I was then able to watch Dick Clark in all his glory count the New Year in. I don't see the attraction of Mr. Clark, but I'm sure many do appreciate him.

So from my bragging on the new home cinema in my room and details of self indulgence let me offer a slight critique on something I found out about this morning.

In February of next year, the government has mandated that all broadcast television be available as a digital signal only. This means that anyone with an old TV and bunny ears will no longer be able to pick up channels on the airwaves.

Having recently upgraded to digital TV myself, I can definitely appreciate the drive behind getting everyone moved over. Nothing quite like that clear crisp signal. But the thing is... Who the hell do the Government think they are for mandating something like this. This is the perfect opportunity for market forces to work their magic. It only took me a month after first finding out about Digital TV to make the switch, and I have been trying to share it with all my friends and aquantances ever since.

There's another little twist to this tale, aside from sticking there noses in places they shouldn't, I found out today, that each household can apply for 2 $40 vouchers from the federal government to allow them to upgrade their antenna's and such to receive the digital signals. When did TV become a need?

Just another reason for my butt to burn as I put together the joke that is my federal tax return this year.