Thursday, October 30, 2003


I'm way jealous of Provo High. Here's why:

I remember when I became a Junior in high school - the best part about that was that I was then allowed to have Open-Lunch (or leave school grounds for lunch). The only problem was that my high school was right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

We had 30 minutes for lunch. So if we wanted to go to McDonalds it had to be a coordinated effort. We had to plan for it the period before and everyone that wanted to go would have to run like heck out to the car and meet there. Then we'd have to go to the drive-thru and eat on the way back to school. By the time we got back, class was about to start or we were late.

Provo High doesn't have this problem. These students are right across the street from numerous restaurants! Panda, Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Factory, Hogi Yogi, Glazies, Pita Pit, Teriyaki, Rosas, Dominos, Arby's, Taco Bell, Del Taco, Carl's Jr, etc. All I have to say is that they are very lucky - I'm way jealous.

Look past the flesh and see your enemy

I am afraid - afraid of shopping carts hitting my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I went there three times last week for various reasons and every time I parked I spent five minutes gathering up all of the random carts around my parking spot so that none of them could potentially roll into my fender.

I would only go inside for 5-10 minutes tops. Every time when I came out there were at least two carts RIGHT NEXT to my car. People next to me would load up their car and then just leave the cart right against my car rather than walking it 10 feet to the cart holder thingy.

I'm not sure what to do ... maybe I should consider taking the bus to the store. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Fastlane Status

The freeway from Spanish Fork to Sandy is all three lanes. The whole concept of slow and fast lanes is a mystery to the people of Utah. Everyone immediately gets into the middle lane when they get on no matter how slow or fast they are. And then, they get over into the far left lane if they want fastlane status, not to go faster. Honestly, the people in the so-called fastlane are usually going SLOWER than everyone else.

I've noticed that when I'm going a bit faster than the flow of traffic and I need to pass people I spend most of my time in the far right (or slow) lane! It's so weird.

I've visited California and Nevada recently. For some reason the highways there flow slower on the right and faster on the left. Why is it the complete opposite in Utah?

Monday, October 27, 2003

Normal Edition

What ever happened to Normal Edition? I was looking at all of the new movies coming out for Christmas on and every single one was a "Special Collectors Edition" or "Limited Edition." You can't just buy the movie anymore.

Even Disney's Finding Nemo is a Collector's Edition. My question is - how can it be a edition that a collector would want if it is just coming out now? Is it already considered a classic and something that a collector must have? And how do they call movies Limited Edition? Yeah, like they are limiting it to only 100 million copies .. that's really limited.

This is kind of like what Seinfield says about medicine. Everything is maximum strength or extra strength. You can't just buy "strength" anymore.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Where are the Midget Kids?

So where are all of the midget kids?

You see midgets all of the time, but if you think about it - you've never seen a midget kid before. I'm not sure if they even exist.

So does that mean they go straight from being a child directly into midgethood? Rachel's friend from high school came over and asked Rachel about this since she's a "medical person." We just laughed because, in fact, nobody knows if there really are MKs out there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Sneaking food into movies

Movie theatres charge WAY too much for concessions. Some people say that popcorn, soda, and candy are the only sources of revenue for movie theatres. While I know this isn't true because I worked at a movie theatre for a year and a half, charging $60 for a large coke and $39.95 for a small popcorn sure don't hurt.

This is why I feel fine about taking food to the movie theatre with me. Do the people that set these prices not realize how much stuff costs everywhere else in the world? When we go to the movies, we just run across the road to ShopKo and spend $4 on penny candy and get more than we could possibly eat. $4 at the movie's stand would get me a water and a pickle.

Nobody, in the history of the world, has ever been caught sneaking food into the theatre. While in high school, my friend Jason and I snuck in everything from McDonalds, to Taco Bell, to a whole PIZZA into the movies. The ticket guys are just minimum wage high school kids that couldn't care less.

"Even my most half-hearted attempts have been successful. I am pretty sure I could balance an overflowing basket of candy on my head like an Indian woman bearing goods to the market and no one would notice." - AmishRobot

When I was the ticket guy in Iowa City I remember seeing people walk by me with the strangest lumps in their pants, huge square-shaped bellies, large pointy hats, and awkward fragile bags making plastic crinkling sounds and ice-shaking sounds. The people would be looking at me with concern in their eyes that I wouldn't let them in. The truth is - ushers DON'T CARE unless their manager is standing right next to them.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Misconception of Programming

I'm shocked at the responses I get when I tell people that I am a programmer. Well, I usually first tell them that I'm a Developer and I get blank stares. Then I tell them that I'm a Web Developer and I get even more blank stares. Then I say I'm a Computer Programmer and they seem to get it.

4 out of 5 times I hear "How do you keep track of all those ones and zeroes? I don't know how you guys possibly can do that ..." and then before I even get a chance to explain that we don't actually program in binary and that there exist higher level languages they have already lost interest.

I think that the general public's misconception of programming is what makes us "programmers" so wealthy.

Scale of a Man

I didn't buy season tickets to BYU football this season. It would have been fun to go watch the games with friends, but in the end I've been sick, out of town, busy, broke, etc. every time there has been a home game this season so it has turned out for the best.

Jason and Larry made up a funny list about men who can't go to football games. (Ironically this was a list making fun of me since I wasn't there) Here it is:

After you are married you can tell how much of a man you are by this scale:
- not a man if you can't watch football games
- more of a man if you are allowed to watch them on TV
- more of a man if your wife watches with you on TV
- more of a man if you are allowed to go to game
- more of a man if your wife comes to the game
- you are a fruit if during the game you have to go shopping

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Homeless in Provo

In the last few weeks I've seen a bunch of homeless guys around - this isn't strange, but the fact that they were all very young was. I swear two of them couldn't have been over 25. Rachel was with me when we saw one guy and she commented that he was "too young to be homeless."

I tend to agree with her. For some reason it's just funny to me to look over and see a guy about the same age as me who is hiking along the side of the freeway with his guitar.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Google promotes

I just made it into the top three on Google!!! And of course, since I'm saying "I'm in the Top 3" that implies that I am number three.

I've been trying to get on to those search results for months. I guess my site just wasn't old enough before. So the other day I opened up a web browser and came up - it's my homepage. And just for the heck of it I typed in "James Rowell." I was shocked to see that my site was NUMBER THREE.

Good job to me. I finally passed up all of those geneology links.

UPDATE: As of 20 Feb 2007 I am now #2!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Olive Garden unlocks doors

eRentPayer's success can be attributed to many things, but it all boils down to one thing in the end - Olive Garden Gift Certificates. I'll tell you how.

When you make a deal with another company (a merchant provider, an ACH processor, a constantly discontent client, a referral crazy client, etc) you need a way to ease things over and/or show them your gratitude. Something to juice them up before you ask for a favor.

For example - (Sept 5) our agent with our processor receives a letter from eRentPayer saying how grateful we are and how much we love working with them. (Sept 6) our agent receives a fax requesting millions of dollars for a new limit. (Sept 7) our funding approval is received without delay and has a "PS Thanks for the Olive Garden Gift Certificate. I'll put it to good use!" attached to it.

Disgruntled clients also love it when they get these things in the mail. It seems to make all their problems go away. It's the perfect gift because it is a national chain. Any city has an Olive Garden. And everyone loves Olive Garden - they just don't go there all of the time because it is expensive. So when eRentPayer sends them there, they just love us.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


I think it's funny how women like to have tons of pillows on the bed and couches. You ask them what they are for and they don't really have a good answer.

Some people say they are decorative pillows. But why are we decorating our bed with 2 millions pillows when we are the only ones that ever see it? It takes half an hour to get ready for bed - 5 minutes to get ready and 25 minutes to remove the pillows.

Sometimes when I go to visit friends I try to sit on their couch and I end up with about half an inch for me to sit on because the pillows are pushing me off. I have to turn around and move the pillows but there really isn't a good place to put them. You can't put them on the floor - that would be rude. I can't put them next to me because someone else is trying to sit there. So I end up piling them up in my lap until I can't even see anyone anymore.

I think one or two pillows is okay. But having a whole stack of pillows on the bed and couch is just out of control.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Perpetual Blanket

Yesterday SOMEBODY kept stealing the blanket from me while I was sleeping. I'm not sure what was going on. I remember at one point I woke up and slowly pulled a small section of blanket back over - just enough to cover my freezing feet. I've never seen a more violent "sleep tug" in return to my action. Before I knew it I was left with nothing and I was worse off than when I started.

I found a hilarious article on a Dilbert Newsletter about this. Someone proposed that married people should use a "Perpetual Blanket" so that it is impossible to lose your portion of the blanket:

"It's a blanket that wraps down one side of the bed, under the bed and up the other side of the bed, returning to the top. This way people who have spouses that constantly steal the covers can always have a fresh supply being drawn up from beneath. Optional feature: Alarm when blanket is pulled to PROVE that spouse steals the covers."

I think I might have to get one of these.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Why don't they have 3% milk?

I'm giving up whole milk. It had a good run. I've been drinking it since 1997 (if you count the stuff in Brazil 97-99 as "whole" milk. It was more like straight-cream). Yesterday I was talking to Rachel and told her that I've had enough of whole milk. It was time to downgrade to 2%.

But wait a minute - 2% is too thin. And whole is too thick. Don't they have 3%? I mean they got skim, then 1%, then 2%, ..... then WHOLE. There is this amazing gap. They like skipped a whole bunch of percents. I'm writing to the milk company today to demand 3%. I think they'd be able to sell it a lot to those of us who don't want it so creamy as whole but not as thin as 2%.

Milk is funny.

UPDATE: Today is 20 Feb 2007. I have only had skim milk for about 3 years. It seems weird to think that I thought 2% was watery.