Thursday, July 29, 2004

I got my towed car back for free

Last time I was booted I was really angry and Jason and I did some research on the Provo City Code to see how we could fight back against tow companies legally. Well, it paid off.

Ruth went into the MTC last week so she gave us her car to take care of for the next 18 months. Black Diamond Towing took her car last week from right in front of our house because it didn't have a pass in the window.

I checked out their sign, as seen in the picture. and it is illegal. It is required to have the name, phone, and location that they are taking the car when they tow. The sign does not have the location. I called the Provo Police and Officer Wotcott called the owner of Black Diamond and explained to him that it was illegal. (It really helps when you call the police and site specific sections and paragraphs and remind them that it is their duty to enforce this code)

The owner called us up and said "Just come get your car." We went over there, they opened the gate, and let us drive away without any mention of a fee. I've checked around town and I've actually never seen a legal tow sign. Which means that you can pretty much get your car back for free anytime. However, you have to have a cooperative police officer. Some of them have heard these complaints and are sick of it. Call Provo Dispatch and ask for Officer Wotcott.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Want a new computer? Try defrag

Over the last week or so I've noticed my computer getting slower and slower. I was starting to think that I needed more RAM or I needed to upgrade the processor or something.

Just for the heck of it, right before I left yesterday, I decided to see if my disk needed to be defragged. Well, almost the entire disk was fragmented! (See all of that red in the picture? That's bad.) No wonder it was going so slow!

So I let it run over night and today when I came in to work it was as if I got a new computer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I keep winning stuff

I keep winning stuff and I'm not even entering any contests. I bought a Sobe for lunch because it sounded really good. I took off the cap and it said that I won a Rio MP3 Player!

We also went to a baseball game that was sponsored by Banta on Saturday that was cancelled due to rain. So Banta felt bad and had a drawing today and gave out random prizes to make people feel better. I won a 12-pack of Pepsi, a Salt Lake Singers hat, and 18 cans of oil.

I have never been lucky before in my life - so this has really caught me off guard.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Scout Camp at Adventure Park

Last weekend was scout camp for 11-year old "New Scouts." Brian Borough, the other scoutmaster, and I took up two kids to the camp - Eli and John. We had a great time.

My favorite part was having the tin foil dinners. They had hamburger, carrots, potatoes, and onions. I usually don't like onions, but I grilled them up before we left so they were really good. They had a bunch of neat classes like knots, axeyard, lashings, first aid, hiking, etc.

Saturday morning we went on a 5.5 mile hike. For a while I was walking too fast so I was all alone. It was very peaceful to be out in the "middle of nowhere" and enjoy the scenery. It's the kind of experience that is good to have every once and a while, and then after about an hour of that you're ready to go back to civilization and you start to get scared that you're lost! haha

I've attached a bunch of pictures from the camp.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Free Driving Range at Spanish Oaks

I went to Spanish Oaks Golf Course yesterday to hit some balls at the driving range. The lady at the counter told me that her machine that picks up the field range balls was broken down so she couldn't sell me a bucket of balls. However, she said that I could take a basket and walk out on the range and pick up the balls myself if I wanted to.

So I did. It took about 5 minutes to pick them up. I definitely felt like that was worth it to get to use the driving range for free!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Parade of Homes

My parents, Rachel, and I went around Saturday evening to look at some of the houses in The Parade of Homes. I was pretty impressed.

At first, I thought that looking through all of these awesome houses would make me anxious to want to buy a house way out of my means. However, we quickly realized that we are happy with the home we have.

I can't image having to clean some of these houses. These people definitely have to hire a maid service to keep the place up. Rachel and I have trouble just keeping our two bedroom town home clean!

I loved the grand entry ways, the garden work, and most of all, the theatre rooms. We're going to go look at some more this week, too. It's going on until the 24th.

Let's go to a fire

Over the last two summers there were some large forest fires in the mountains right above the city. I hate to admit it, but I really enjoyed watching them.

We'd make popcorn and go sit outside on the curb to watch the fire and talk. I made some good friends watching those fires.

I was going through some pictures and found two (attached to this entry). It's good (for the forest) that there haven't been any big fires like the last two years - but I miss watching them at night.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Homemade Gummy Worms

I was looking through the statistics for my site and found something pretty funny. I wanted to find out what keywords people were using on search engines that eventually lead to search results leading to jamesrowell.com.

Well, the main keyword leading to my site is "homemade gummy worms." Haha! Man, gotta love it. This is a combination of results from when I talked about small gummy worms and when I talked about how it bugs me when people claim things to be "homemade." At least this is better than when it used to be "gay uvsc."

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I wouldn't be a good mailman

I think that I'd be an awful mailman. These guys have a very strenuous job.

When it's cold outside, the last thing I would want to do is go give people their mail. Plus, I get sick a lot, so they'd have to call in a substitute for me and they wouldn't like doing that very much.

I admire them every time I see them driving around in their cool box-trucks. However, I'm glad that I'm a web developer so that I don't have to be a mailman.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Movies 8 raises price to 75 cents

Movies 8, the "dollar theatre," had a deal for years where people could get in for only 50 cents. A few weeks ago they raised their price to 75 cents.

I heard about this when I went to go to a show with Rachel and saw a huge sign out front saying that Tuesdays now cost $0.75.

I also overheard a group of people talking, or rather, complaining about how the movies were "too expensive" now. Too expensive? Gimme a break! It costs over $4 to rent a movie from Blockbuster and watch it on your little 19" TV with a 1 inch speaker - so why on earth would anyone think that $.75 (or regular price of $1.50) to see something on the big screen is too much?

I just can't understand it. Rachel and I have a ton of 2-for-1 tickets to the "regular" theatre, so we actually only see the new movies now. I'm loving it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Can't go to lunch

Some days I wait until the last possible second to go to lunch - this is one of those days. Even though I'm hungry I keep working so I can finish "one more thing" - which usually ends up being about 10 more things. So I don't end up going until about 2:00. Now that I'm totally starving, I just went to lunch but found that the road was shut down and I can't go anywhere.

I work at the Banta facility located way on the edge of Spanish Fork, just before you go into the canyon going towards Manti. The only way to get back into the city from here is via Highway 6.

This huge 18-wheeler semi got into an accident and the truck twisted and slid just so it covered all 4 lanes - in other words, the police shut down the road and we're all trapped out here!

Gummy worm smallness

I just got ripped off at the gas station. I bought a pack of gummy worms and when I got back to the office I took one out to eat it and it was puny.

I took a picture of it next to my key just to show how small it is. If I knew that they'd be so small then I would have grabbed gummy bears.

I think that any good gummy worm needs to be at least 3-4 inches.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Register your domain for 100 years?

Today I received an ad from Network Solutions for a special deal to register my domain for 100 years.

I think this is stupid because the Internet, as we know it, has only been around and in use for about 8 years (and that's being generous, it's probably more like 6). What makes Network Solutions think that people will still be using domain names in 100 years?

I am not convinced that we'll be pulling up web pages through a web browser on our desktop computers in 15-20 years. Technology changes so much these days.

I have to admit that it's good marketing for Network Solutions. They'll get $1000 per customer that signs up for that ($10/yr) - so they could make bank off of the whole thing, as stupid as it is.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Breakfast makes you hungry all day

The only problem with eating a big breakfast is that it makes you really hungry for the rest of the day. It seems counter-intuitive, but it's true. They say that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but I'm not convinced. Maybe a light snack, like a yogurt or something, is okay - but not a full breakfast.

I say this because I went to scoreboard grill this morning with Rachel to get omelettes for breakfast. They make them really good there, and they are cheap.

It's only 10:30 now and I'm starving to death. I usually don't get hungry until about 12:30 or 1:00 - I'm two hours early.

It's not homemade unless it's home-made

Two days ago I was telling Rachel how it really bugged me how every store claims that their food is homemade. Then, ironically, Jason calls me up today and starts ranting about how he saw a sign for "Homemade Grandma's Bread" and said that the claim to homemade food has always bugged him.

Just because you make it from scratch doesn't mean it's homemade! Homemade, by definition is: "made or produced in the home or by yourself"

I don't know how grocery stores and restaurants get away with saying that they have homemade food. If it's at the restaurant, then it's restaurant made - end of story.

McDonalds Take Out Tax

I got three dollar menu items and there was a $0.22 take out tax added to my order. I swear that I've gotten those same three things dining in and there was about fifty cents (dine in tax) added to my order.

Can they charge more if you eat at the restaurant than if you carry out?

I was getting all curious, so I searched for "take out tax mcdonals" on google and found out that it is the same amount - it just has two different names. Just to make sure I called the local mcdonalds and asked them if this was true. The manager said they are the exact same amount.

I'll have to swing by there today for lunch and order the same three things and dine in to see if the tax will be $0.22.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Shoe stuck in the tree

Our new office has a sand volleyball court - very nice. We went down to play on Friday and someone hit the ball really high and it got stuck in a huge tree next to the court.

We tried to shake the tree - but that was like trying to shake a brick wall. Doesn't work very well. We started chucking shoes and that seemed to work the best - until Jason's shoe got stuck by the shoelace right next to the ball.

Luckily, Jeehae was there and she had shoes that were heavy enough and that didn't have shoelaces. I was able to hit the volleyball down but that shoe was stuck.

Jason left the shoe and went out of town for the weekend. When he got back on Sunday to go fetch his shoe it was gone. I'm not quite sure why someone would steal his shoe on the top of a tree.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

When everything is coming your way

There is a saying that goes - "When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane."

I was stopped at a light on a large, four-lane road a few days ago on the way to work. The light turned green and we started to roll forward. Then, about a 100 yards up the hill coming straight towards us was this Asian kid going the wrong way.

I started to go forward a bit because I assumed that he would go over to the shoulder or something since he was going head-on to several lanes of cars down a steep hill on a 60 mph street - but he kept going straight at me.

For a second I thought that he was going to pop-a-wheelie and use my hood as a ramp. He actually entered the intersection and came within a few feet of me before he suddenly swerved into the median. I was amazed at his recklessness - he couldn't have been older than twelve.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

La Jolla Dues and Blues

The condo association for La Jolla has decided to do some construction that is going to cost the assocication and all of its owners an arm and a leg.

That's 4 bucks per owner ($4000) due April 1. The only problem is - I don't necessary have $4000 just sitting around for me to throw into this construction and it's due in a week.

Real Estate was a great investment for me 1-3 years ago, but recently it has really become a problem. I gotta get rid of these two condos (La Jolla and Belmont) and get rid of them fast.

I'm not the only one over there trying to sell my place to pay for this stupid assessment. I went to La Jolla last week to fix a leaky dishwasher and there are 5 "for sale" signs out front.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Does anyone want any cheeeeeese?

Today I was remembering my first programming job where Evan Child and Ryan Nichols hired me as an entry level JSP Developer for $10/hr at Outdoorsman. (Which has been out of business several years now) I miss Evan - he was a really cool guy and that was a really fun job.

We had a large room that was divvied up between 5 guys - Evan Childs, Jason Chambers, Gary Sheppard, James Finnigan, and me. Each of us had our own foldup table and computer. It was the life!

I recall Evan telling us on numerous occasions how much he liked cheese. He'd bring several pieces of string cheese to work everyday and take cheese breaks.

Evan now works at BYU. Jason is at eRentPayer. Gary is working for some software company. Finnigan was never heard from again.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Music makes friends

I think it's interesting that when people are dating or trying to get to know one another that one of the first questions asked is "What kind of music do you like?"

It seems that people choose their friends that they hang out with and people they date by comparing favorite singers. I don't think I've ever gone on a date without asking the girl what kind of music she liked, or what radio stations she liked (well, back before I was married anyway). You seem to be able to learn a lot about someone by looking at their CD/MP3 collection or the presets on their radio.

Take my parents for example, they pretty much only listen to LDS music. Or Rich, my old roommate, that only listened to hardrock and country (and probably secretly liked Britney Spears but would never admit it, haha). Larry only listens to 80s pop. Jason prefers Trance. Brinkerhoff - Bob Marley and Saturday Night Fever. The music people like says a lot about them.

I think that I'm a mystery because I listen to everything - except reggae, polka, and hardcore mexican music (with the trumpets and bad singing), all of which I find highly annoying.

Monday, February 16, 2004

New Pads, New Proof

My wife is better than me at DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). I don't know how this happened. I remember about one year ago when DDR first came into my circle of friends. Adam and I were the best. Nobody could fathom how we could hit those arrows on a level 4, or even 5.

I brought DDR over to Belmont and Stuart quickly passed me up in skill. Then I got married and now my wife is even better than me. Last week she got like a 175 combo. Which is unbe-freakin-lievable.

I thought she was better than me because we had one good pad and one bad pad. So, just to even the playing field we bought two new pads so there would be no excuses. Sure enough, she slaughters me every game.

Post posted at wrong post

I was walking to Larry's house two weeks ago and was startled to see a big, yellow Century 21 FOR SALE sign in his front yard. I was thinking, "Man, the guy is moving and didn't even tell me!"

I asked him about it and he said that the family next door was moving and the real estate agent put it in the wrong yard! But what is even worse, he put it in the wrong yard on purpose!!!

Weird. Very weird. The guy said that he thought that if the sign was in Larry's yard that it would look closer to the neighbor's door than if it was in their own yard - which is completely insane. Larry and Krista are going to have people asking them why they are moving all the time - not to mention they have a huge hole in their little front yard now because those Century 21 posts are like 4 inches by 4 inches.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Slow Children

In the picture that I have attached to this blog, why do they have a ball bouncing off of the head of the kid?

On the way to work I drove by a housing complex that has a big yellow sign by the driveway. It read - "SLOW CHILDREN."

I'm not trying to be over critical here, but is this really necessary? Just because someone in the complex has some retarded kids, that doesn't mean that they have to put up a sign telling the whole world about it.


I just think that there has to be a better way to say the true meaning of the sign. Usually they say "Slow Children" and then down below "At Play". I think if they put the "SLOW" alone and then put "Children at Play" that might do the trick. Doesn't anyone else see the weirdness of these signs?

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Ski Boot Fall-Apart

Last week we went skiing at Sundance. It was so fun. I'm glad we only went for a half-day - there is no way I could go for a full-day right now. My legs felt like jello :)

Two weeks before that we tried to go but something funny happened. We got all of our stuff ready, dressed up warmly, loaded the car up, drove up to the ski resort, found a parking spot, put on all of our gear, and started heading for the shuttle bus.

I heard a crunch and I looked back and saw a piece of plastic on the ground. Then I looked down at my foot and saw that the toe of my right ski boot had cracked off! Oh no!!!

I went back to pick up the piece and heard another crunch. The heal fell off! I took another step and heard another crunch. The LEFT toe fell off! Then the left heal. Then the right sole. Etc, etc, etc. I finally made it back to the car with only the top of the boots intact and the buckles still fastened. The bottom of both boots completely had fallen apart and exposed the bright orange lining inside.

I opened the car door and sat down. Rachel was laughing in the background. I'm glad she was there to laugh it off because I was about to kung fu the car next to us. By that time we had to call it a day and go home. I'm just glad the boots fell apart before we got on the shuttle bus and didn't happen while we were up on the mountain!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Return of the Sweat Burger

On 23 April 2003 I wrote a blog about a hamburger that was discontinued from Carl's Jr. (Why do they call it a hamburger anyway? Shouldn't it be a beefburger? There's no ham.)

Well, the sweat burger is back, or rather, resurrected. (Sweat, not sweet). I went there last week for lunch and saw it. I couldn't believe my eyes. I've had it 4 times since - mmmmm, it's SO GOOD!

I wonder why they got rid of it for almost a whole year and then suddenly brought it back.

Monday, January 12, 2004

New Primary Calling

So I got a new calling at my church. I'm working with the kids now in the Primary. For the last few weeks I was subbing for my friend and his wife, Larry and Krista Furr, while they were out of town for the holidays. We taught the 5 year olds for sunday school.

I'm not sure if they remember one thing we told them because the boys were too busy climbing on their chairs and the girls were playing with their dresses and necklaces. All they want is candy and their mommy, but nonetheless they were really fun to work with. The general rule is - if all else fails, just have them color. I wish you could do that when teaching a group of adults!

But now I am with the 11 year old boys. I was surprised at how smart they are. They were reading right out of their scriptures and new pretty much all of the answers to our questions. I have a ton of funny stories from the primary - I'll add them in later.

Bowling Injury

I went bowling tonight and I'm so sore. I think that getting sore from bowling is the ultimate sign of being out of shape.

It made me think back to when I lived at Somerset and Riviera, and I actually remember being sore several times after bowling. Seems like someone in the group always came home with a "bowling injury," as funny as it sounds.

My left shin is killing me! But hey, I did really good. I got a 151 and a 178 ... not bad for a wuss.