Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Eulogy of the Sweat Burger

The Ranch Bacon Cheeseburger was born on January 3, 2003 at 344 West, 1230 North in Provo, UT 84601 at 6:10 a.m. and was named after its rich, creamy ranch sauce and delicious cooked bacon whom its mother admired very much. The Ranch Bacon Cheeseburger was also endearingly referred to as The Sweat Burger due to its uncanny aftertaste of sweat. One of Sweaty's great admirer's, Adam Mousley Moore, was known for saying, "I can't explain it, it just feels like I'm eating sweat. Sometimes I don't believe it, but I feel it in my heart."

Sweaty loved living in Provo because it lived close to its grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Some of Sweaty's most well-known relatives are The Six Dollar Burger, Famous Star, Spicy Chicken, and Western BBQ Burger. They could visit each other often and enjoyed holiday celebrations together. Sweaty spent most of its life living on Bulldog Ave. It attended Provo Elementary School for a short time and graduated in February 2003 from The Timpview Academy for Burgers.

Our precious Ranch Bacon Cheeseburger left our presence in March 2003, but has left a legacy of service and diligence for all us. May we follow Sweaty's example so that we may soon be reunited as a family, bringing the savory taste of sweat to all eternity.

Monday, April 21, 2003

By normal, do you mean White?

I grew up in the Midwest (Note: not Middle East) in Iowa City, so there wasn't very much ethnic diversity. I contrast this to my friends that grew up in CA where 80 percent of their high school was Asian, my friends from TX where about half was Mexican, and a buddy from HI where almost everyone was Polynesian. I, on the other hand, grew up in a very White community. After living in Iowa for 19 years and then moving to Utah, I have grown up around White folk and spent most of my life with them - except of course from 1997-1999 when I was in Brazil.

People have a tendency to say things without thinking about them. They don't think twice about who might be listening and whose feelings they may be hurting. A lot of people, especially older people, still say stuff like "You know that one retarded girl? ..." or "There were two black guys and one normal guy." And by normal, do you mean ... ?

If you think about it for second (and you're white), then I'm sure you've heard people say this before. Normal means white. This is very funny because a very small percentage of the world is white! But, we're normal ... which means everyone else is not.

I try not to have a closed mind about things, but sometimes little sayings like this spill out. My question is this - do other races say stuff about us with the same superior tone? Do Mexicans sit there and say, "There were 2 white guys and one normal guy." ???

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Do I want to see a hole or a core?

Today has been an extremely long day - I've worked 11 hours - and I need a break. So tonight I'm going to go see a movie with my Rachel. I was looking up the show times at movies.yahoo.com and I was pretty amused with the current titles.

First of all, the so-called chick flicks stick out like a sore thumb, e.g How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, What a Girl Wants, Just Married, Two Weeks Notice, etc. I'll be sure to be ill when my friends are going to go see these films. I can tell you right now how each one of them ends just from the previews.

Movies themes seem to go through phases. A bunch of dinosaur movies come out, then a bunch of volcano movies, then tornado movies, and so on. I think right now the current thing is "underground movies." And by underground, I don't mean bootleg.

A few months ago I started seeing ads for a new movie coming out called The Core. It was supposed to be the big movie event (pre-X2 and Matrix Reloaded) of the spring. Anyway, right after it came out a movie called Holes came out.

So the question is - do I want to see a hole or a core? Are these movies the same thing, or are they about exactly the opposite thing? One seems to be about the absence of earth, while the other is about the earth itself. I'm not sure which is better.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Your software has the right to kill you

Recently I've been looking over contracts and trying to examine the rights, limitations, and legalities in general of software licenses since we're trying to generate some contracts for eRentPayer. This made me remember an experience I had.

I used to work for Sento, where I provided help with McAfee VirusScan. Ok fine, I was a phone tech support guy, I admit it. There were some days when I just couldn't stand taking another call, so I'd find other things to do. My friend, Kelly, and I were looking at the software licence for McAfee and we found something very interesting.

In the end user licence agreement is says, "Limitation of Liability. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, WHETHER IN TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL MCAFEE OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO YOU OR TO ANY OTHER PERSON FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ... THIS LIMITATION ... APPL[IES] TO LIABILITY FOR DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY ..."

Death? Wait a second, DEATH??? Did McAfee just say it might kill you and it won't be their fault? How on earth could the virusscan program kill me? I realize that computers do have viruses, but as far as I know, nobody has come up with a way to transfer a biological virus over the internet. Except, of course, at www.downloadavirusintoyourbody.com

I guess it doesn't hurt McAfee any, or me, to cover all loose ends. But disclaiming death seems a bit extreme to me for a peice of software. I guess we'll have to follow suit and put this into eRentPayer's contract. Just in case none of the tenants pay one month and the property manager has a heart attack.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Pay your friend $18 to not drive them to the airport

Over my three years here, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten up at 3:00 in the morning to take someone to the airport. Do people realize that parking is only $6.00/day!? If you're just going to be gone for the weekend it's only $12 or $18 to park.

So you have to take them there and go pick them up when they come back. On average, this requires a total of about 5 hours. This includes a solid 4 hours of driving time and one hour of waiting for their luggage and the delayed flights.

So overall, taking them to the airport essentially costs me $175.00 since I'm missing work. (Taking into account my "hourly" wage and gas money). The opportunity cost of taking roommates to the airport is too high. Next time someone asks for a ride I'll just give them $18 and then I'll end up saving $157.

The point is - parking is only $6/day, so don't ask someone for a ride to the airport unless you're going to be gone for a long time.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Iraq doesn't need an intelligence unit

A few days ago Geraldo Rivera was giving a live report via satellite from Iraq. He is accompanying the 101st Airborne Unit. During his report, he discussed their strategy, position, plans, and even went as far as to draw a map of where they are in the sand on live TV.

To say the least, the US Military was very upset with him because he thwarted the operations of that unit for the day. With reporting like that, Iraq doesn't even need an intelligence unit. They just need basic cable!

Reportedly, Geraldo has been asked to leave the country immediately. This is very funny, because the US Military has only asked 4 people to leave Iraq - namely Saddam Hussein, his two sons, and Geraldo.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

One of my theories is that people are chatting via FAX

Two nights ago a friendly customer at The Hive gave us an extra fax machine and printer that he wasn't using anymore. I'm still not sure exactly why he gave us that stuff, but - hey, we'll take it.

I'm glad we have a fax machine now. This means we'll finally be able to be real business men. You see, if you want to earn the title of "business man," you have to fax at least 2-3 things per day.

Have you ever noticed this? Business men are always faxing stuff. Here at the office there is a constant line at the fax machine. The thing is, nobody knows who everyone else is faxing to. I think that the whole faxing-stuff-out is just a big charade.

Seriously, who are business men faxing stuff to all the time? I've worked here for about 2 years now and I'd say that, on average, I use the fax machine about once per week. But I honestly can't even remember one person that I've ever faxed anything to. This phenomenon is known as the fax black hole.

One of my theories is that people are chatting via fax. You'd think that most people would have switched over to AOL, ICQ, or MSN Messenger by now, but I guess people like to stick with what they know.

I'm glad that The Hive finally has a fax. Adam, Dave, Rich, and I are now officially BUSINESS MEN. Welcome, to the world of business. Now, if you'll excuse me, I gotta go send a fax ...

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Fun size? This isn't fun! This sucks!

I've always wondered how candy manufacturers get away with calling their smaller candy bars FUN. I think that is absolutely a fundamental wrong of the 20th Century. A small Snickers isn't more fun! If you ask me, the fun-size should be like 4 inches wide and a foot long. Now that's what I call a "fun" candy bar!

I've had this idea for a long time but I've never expressed it to the public until now. I remember thinking about this when I was trick-or-treating many years ago. People would give me these tiny little candy bars, which was totally cheap - my friends and I always knew where the "good" houses were that would give us normal size junk - and I remember feeling jipped.

Looking at the wrapper I'd see that it said that the bar was supposed to be fun. Fun size? This isn't fun! This sucks!

So much has happened since my last entry. The biggest event was the business plan presentations. We had the opportunity to present in front of 9 VCs that represented more than $4 billion. The pressure was high. We did an excellent presentation, but in the end we were not chosen as finalists in both the BYU competition and the UE Challenge. We lost out to our direct competitor who advanced to the finals in both competitions. My best guess as to why he won, and we didn't, is because he seemed to have a more experienced management team and a more scalable marketing division. In the end, we only spent about $1000 (which will be offset by semi-finalist prizes) and we learned a lot from this experience. I'm glad we participated.

Rachel took me over to her aunt's house for dinner on Sunday with her family. It was cool to get to meet everyone. I'd already met most of them in the previous two weeks, but I was glad to be able to sit down and talk to everyone.

For the last two weeks I've been working anywhere from 12 - 18 hours a day. It has absolutely been out of control. There is so much to do for eRentPayer that it just takes man hours to complete. I'm glad Jason and I really set up a good architecture that is easy to expand and modify without having to go back and change things in 1000 places. I've been impressed again and again with how scalable our code has been.