Monday, March 30, 2009
Every March 30th, I thoughtfully have a moment of silence, in which I pay homage to the anniversary of the crappiest piece of software ever released. (Well. Aside from Windows. Windows 3.1 to be exact.)
I like to call March 30th Crappy Software Day.
This year, however, is extra special because the original Crappy Software Date is 3/30/90. Do you see why today might be special? Let me type it out for you again (I’d hate for you to miss this one), today’s date is 3/30/09. Do you see how 3/30/90 is the same as 3/30/09? With one minor exception!? This will never, ever, happen again - in my lifetime! So Special!
Are you lost? Thought so! Hang on.
Long, long, ago, in a little town called Orem (we locals like to call it Whorem), a tiny little software company became giant. This software company was called WordPerfect. Maybe you’ve heard of it. If you’re a young’n you might need some assistance from the Museum of Natural Software that Disappeared. Go to the dot com site.
Anyway, WordPerfect was great stuff. There was, however, one release date in particular that should have stayed in Antartica. Or Lindon… wherever the heck they manufactured software back then.
How do I know this? Because I was a customer support rep. As in “Thank you for calling WordPerfect Network Support, this is Rabid, can I help you?” Always with a smile too. Then the customer would go on and on about how the corns on their left foot make it hard for them to do a mail merge.
Actually, I didn’t get these types of questions very often - being in the fancy Network Support Division (we were the only ones in support with color monitors and 40 megabyte hard drives). Most of my questions were printer sharing, file sharing… that kind of stuff.
In most cases, and after about 30 seconds on the phone, with customer telling me about this anomaly or that malfunction, you’d feel it. Through the phone wires. The customer was using that horribly buggy and grotesque 3/30/90 release. Then I’d say, “Sir [or madame], could you select Shift F1? [Remember the times before the File or About menus?] Could you tell me the date in the upper right hand corner?” Ten times out of nine, customer with corns would answer with “3/30/90.”
Then I’d ask them if they wanted their update on 3 ½ or 5 ¼ inch floppies.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In the which the rabidrunner documents what happened one year ago today.
(I apologize in advance for the photos being large. I'm too lazy to change it.)
In the which Spouse's health benefits become expensive and rabidrunner complains incessantly that yearly medical expenses will not meet out-of-pocket payments.
In the which Spouse sells Harley to pay off truck so as to make health care out-of-pocket payments.
In the which rabidrunner cries because there will be no more of this (see below), but Spouse and rabidrunner sigh with relief knowing that they will be safe now that Harley is gone.
In the which Spouse, rabidrunner, Yahoo #1, and friends go skiing. Spouse gets big air in terrain park and crushes heels.
In the which doctors say, “that sucks” and “oh crap” when reading x-ray.
In the which Spouse is taken by ambulance to hospital named “Death Star”. Clock in ambulance incorrect. (In the which it's a good thing they didn't pronounce him dead... at the wrong time!)
In the which Spouse's medical expenses exceed yearly out-of-pocket payments within first hour. Rabidrunner eats her words.
In the which Spouse spends 5 days in “Death Star” to manage pain.
In the which Spouse and rabidrunner have a Second Honeymoon of sorts. Friends and family bear gifts, help, and yummy food.
In the which Dr. Drew Van Boerum puts Spouse back together using 14 screws and a plate (3 screws in right foot, rest of hardware in left).
In the which Spouse spends 4 days in hospital to manage pain.
In the which rabidrunner leaves Spouse with 7 babysitters to selfishly run the Boston Marathon. Finishes in 3:23 and cries like school girl.
In the which Spouse moves about by wheelchair and hands/knees for 6 months.
In the which Spouse establishes Midget Man Mowing Services.
In the which Spouse learns to walk again.
In the which Spouse walks… and skis.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I am not a facebook personality.
I don't necessarily care much about the "one-liner what-are-you-doings" or the two-liner "what-are-you-thinkings". Most of it is dull and without interest. I mean who cares if you're going to your cousin's uncle's wife's son's wedding today or getting ready for work or counting toothpicks in the new box you purchased to ensure all 100 made it?
I'm not interesting in collecting friends or items that I'm a fan of. I find your quizzes disturbingly trite. I don't find a reason to poke or send good karma or imaginary drinks. I don't care if I'm smarter than others (based on an IQ test written by someone who doesn't know the difference between accepted and excepted).
Ten minutes of facebook roaming - specifically the photos - will reveal more than 10 hours on a blog. Maybe it's because when you blog, you know that your post could make it to Greenland or Mars and you might use a bit of censorship to protect your chitlins and your whatnots.
See - here I am. Beautiful. AND I golf.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Here it is 7:08pm-ish and I'm declaring it quote day. So when I hear something snazzy, I'm gonna post it. Sorry in advance if I fill up your googley reader. (Although it is Friday and everyone knows that only the bored like me blog on the weekend...)
"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. "
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Today's Tuesday Tune is back! (And you didn't even know that you missed it).
To celebrate the Irish, we'll start with an appetizing mix of The Boomtown Rats and The Pogues, then wash it all down with an aged Rodrigo y Gabriela on the rocks.
A slow jam by Skid Row will cleanse the pallette just in time for the main course. Today's special is a predictable U2, Van Morrison, and Elvis Costello casserole garnished with a hot and steamy Sinead O' Connor.
For dessert we'll serve a raucous Flogging Molly atop a heaping pile of The Dropkick Murphys.
If we're still in the mood, we'll gag down some Enya and hope it stays.
And for you? Sorry. All I have time for is:
I'm Shipping Out To Boston - Dropkick Murphys (Run, Forest, Run!)
Monday, March 16, 2009
In my dream the other night, Desmond (above) needed a haircut.
"Rabid brotha, would you cut m' hair?"
"Why sure Desmond."
So I cut his hair. Then we decided to become pen pals. He could tell me about Scotland and I could tell him about American Fork. Desmond and I exchanged info and he left with a final, "See ya in anotha life, brotha."
The next day, Desmond is murdered. What do the authorities find on his person? MY name and address. What do they find at my house? Thousands of HIS hairs.
I was so busted for a crime I didn't commit.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Spouse and I had a discussion about fairy tales and their repulsive shallowness. After said discussion, I've decided to blame all of my impasses on the fact that my poor brain was washed squeaky clean by the weaker sex fairy tales. (Did I type weaker sex out loud? I believe I did! On purpose!)
Let's dissect a few of those weaker sex fairy tales, shall we?
Cinderella. This poor girl is oppressed. She's forced to do kitchen duties and live in the cinders while her ugly stepmother and sisters ridicule her and lay about lazily. At ball time, poor Cinderella can't go because the uglies are afraid she'll steal the prince and live happily ever after.
In a nutshell (all wrapped up nice and cute): Cinderella is oppressed by jealous and ugly stepmonsters. Why? Because she's beautiful.
Snow White. This tale is about a brunette beauty taking her leisure with little dudes who whistle while they work. She sings horribly into a wishing well about finding some dumb prince. The reigning queen discovers from a talking mirror that Snow White is "the fairest in all the land". The queen can't have that! She feeds Snow White a poison apple that makes sweet Snowie go nigh-nigh until the prince in the well learns to swim.
Nutshell: Snow White is oppressed by a jealous queen. Why? Because she's beautiful.
Sleeping Beauty: Second verse same as the first, EXCEPT! sleeping beauty was insanely beautiful as a baby. So pretty was she, that while still a baby, a witch cursed her 18th birthday. On said birthday, while performing her matronly duties, Sleeping Beauty would prick her finger on a needle and go to sleep. She will remain so until some schmuck with bad breath lays one on her.
Nutshell: Sleeping Beauty is oppressed by a jealous witch. Why? Because she's beautiful.
Do you see the pattern?
Treated badly? Are others jealous? Congrats! You're beautiful!
People treating you okay? You must be ugly.
Now get out there and find someone to treat you badly so that you can feel good about yourself!
*Afterthot.... why did the jealous bitches provide the "prince charming" loop hole in every one of their curses? To see if the oppressed are in fact beautiful enough to entice men dressed in tight white pants and fluffy blouses? Beautiful enough to turn the gay straight, perhaps?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
My awesome father-in-law is getting a truck-load of wheat from Montana.
Is anyone interested? The cost per 50lb bag is:
$11.50 for hard red (14.5% protein)
$16.50 for winter white (14% protein)
If you want a bucket with CO2 treatment (de-oxygenated to fight of the weav-il) it's an additional $3.50. The buckets hold roughly 45 lbs... so you might need an extra bucket or two.
We don't know yet where you'll pick this up, but it should be in the northern Utah County area (Pleasant Grove, American Fork, etc).
He's hoping to place the order in a few weeks. If you want a bag or 18, holler. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Spoiler Alert for Heart of Darkness!
Brace yourselves, for you are about to embark, not literally but most definitely figuratively, on a dubiously deep and deviant rabidrunner interpretation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Heart of Darkness is a good read if you like flowery and descriptive discourse. It took a bit of time to get into a routine with this one, but once I did, wow! My only critique is the mismanagement of paragraphs (get a load of moi telling Joseph Conrad how to do paragraphs). You can say that I'm afraid of paragraphs that span pages. Or you can say that I like short paragraphs. Either way... Joey? Can you shorten the paragraphs in your next edition? That'd be great.
Basically there's this guy named Marlow. Marlow has been hired to ride a steamboat down (or up?) the dark and dreary Congo to retrieve a fellow employee named Kurtz. Kurtz has gone mad, established himself as a deity to the savages, and is hoarding ivory.
Being capitalist 'n all, I don't think the trading company cared much about him going mad or the deity impersonations. They wanted that ivory! Maybe because they were backed up on their piano orders? What else do you make with ivory?
Anyway, Kurtz is an ego-centric and new-age minded sophisticate with a terrible case of "short man syndrome". (Kurtz means short in German... How clever is it then, that the author named him Kurtz?) After spending many months in the darkness alone - gathering the riches of ivory and manipulating the natives - Kurtz proclaims himself ruler and almighty of the Congo and its ivory.
So Marlow takes the several-month voyage to find Kurtz, bring him back, and establish order to the ivory trade. It was a dark and dreary adventure. "Going up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances."
When Marlow's company finally arrives upon King Kurtz and his savages, they are attacked and one crew member is killed. Further investigation reveals that the Kurtz Klan performed ritualistic ceremonies and circled the primitive outskirts of their dwellings with human heads on sticks. To this, Marlow says... "his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad."
When they find Kurtz within the darkness of his surroundings, he is sick and near death. Just before Kurtz dies, and with Marlow at his side, Kurtz illuminates his bright and ferocious future with his final words, "The horror! The horror!"
Evidently Kurtz had a good look at where he was going.
The darkness, as Marlow describes it, is in all of us. We are all capable of being dark. Pride, greed, and other ills will drive us to darkness. Humility and a self-check now and again, may keep us in the light.
There you have it. Book report a la rabidrunner.
I did, however, receive an interesting enlightenment on this one. It occurred to me that this Heart of Darkness tale would be a great companion to the stay-at-home-mom handbook. The moral? In your attempt to curtail the savage beasts that you birthed (adopted, inherited, sat on, etc.), keep the pride to a minimum. Otherwise you'll go mad and mumble "The horror! The horror!"
(Actually, you WILL mumble The Horror! The Horror! even if you haven't gone mad. It'll just be the frustration. The trick will be to know the difference...buwah hah hah hah hah!)
Monday, March 09, 2009
The rampant increase in phone numbers has forced us all to dial 10 digits. Ten whole digits! Even if you live in the same area code. Realistically, it's 17 digits and a hang-up. This is because you phone a friend with their normal 888-1234 only to have Silicone Sally reprimand you for leaving off the area code. So you hang up and dial 801-888-1234. Tedios (that's Spanish for Tedious).
This reminds me of another telephony change, which may or may not be that big of a deal to you, but a change that would alter my little life forever. Well maybe not forever, but from the change 'til now.
Remember the rotary phone? My dad had an almond colored rotary phone with stainless accents. Was a sweet phone. He refused to go digital - something about the fun he had watching the circles go back and forth. This was all great... until... UNTIL... the phone company said, Mr. Runner, you need a digital phone if you want to make phone calls. Dad said Forget You! and refused to conform (now you know where I get it).
That was 1992. Daddy still has no phone.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I don't do bored well. Especially when it's injury-inflicted boredom.
Last night I wished for the chicken pox or the respiratory flu - something to completely wipe out the restlessness. (This is where you say keep your chin up girlfriend! You'll be on the mend soon! You'll be able to recreate with the rest - just be faithful! Or at least this is where I say that and pretend you are.)
Spouse and Yahoo #1 went skiing today. Yahoo #2 and I are still in our PJs watching Handy Manny. I'm wishing for the cartoon giants of my childhood and the Yahoo is staring at the tube with one hand tucked in his trousers. Why do the dudes do that?
First I ventured over to Megan's blog aka Remarks From Sparks, to see if she had posted anything new. I like Megan. She holds a special place in my heart. Haven't met her, but hope to someday - should the planets cooperate.
There was nothing new at the Casa de Sparks so I decided to read her comments. Using my special-force detective work, I learned that Megan's Mother reads her blog AND make comments. My mom doesn't read my blog.
Boredom turned to jealously.
Somebody smart once told me that jealousy was the mind's way of motivating. It means you want something. Figure out what that is and do something about it.
So what do I want right now? [Long thoughtful pause interrupted by Mini Mouse singing Hot Dog Hot Dog Hot Diggity Dog]
I think I want to read. I'll finish the last ten pages of Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister. Then what? For the first time in about a year I'm not particularly anxious about what to read next.
Then it occurred to me. That goofy show Lost? They have a book club! Many episodes mention a book title or show someone reading a classic. If they throw a book around in any given episode, there's a reason. I will find that reason!
I wiki'd the the Lost book list. Rome was not built in a day. Neither was the Lost book list.
I have a new obsession.
Here's the List:
Island – Arthur Huxley
Walden Two – BF Skinner
Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carrol
Heart Of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
A Wrinkle In Time – Madeleine L'Engle
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone – JK Rowling
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arther Golden
Bluebeard – Charles Perrault
An Egg Workout: Exercises in Arrythmia Interpretation – Jane Huff
Dirty Work – Stuart Woods
High Hand – Gary Phillips
Rainbow Six – Tom Clancy
The Third Policeman – Flann O'Brien
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
After All These Years – Susan Isaacs
Hindsights: The Wisdom And Breakthrough of Remarkable People
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge – Ambrose Bierce
Bad Twin – Gary Troup
Lancelot – Walker Percy
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Are You There God, It's Me Margaret – Judy Blume
Musset: Poesies completes, Tome 1 – Alfred de Musset
Little Red Riding Hood – The Brothers Grimm
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Carrie – Stephen King
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Laughter in the Dark – Vladimir Nabokov
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein
The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
Evil Under the Sun – Agatha Christie
Jurassic Park – Michael Crighton
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Oath – John Lescroart
Afro-Asian world: A cultural understanding – Edward Kolevzon
The Coalwood Way – Homer Hicklam
The Stone Leopard – Colin Forbes
Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
The Invention of Morel – Adolfo Bioy Caseres
Valis – Phillip K. Dick
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Survivors of the Chancellor – Jules Verne
Friday, March 06, 2009
Vinyl lettering. I find it so goofy. Sometimes the revealings of such letters, when formed into complete sentences, can be awfully revealing. And I do mean awfully.
This is the funny thing about Utah County. It's trendy. Not in a hip and edgy we're so stylish kind of trendy, but a gee look at me I'm so wholesome and good and righteous kind of trendy. When one lovely June Cleaver wannabe house wife starts something, it's a good bet that the rest of the cookie-cutter June Cleavers will follow.
Vinyl lettering. I still find it so goofy.
Visit any house. I'll bet some catchy feel good phrase will cling desperately to the textured confines. You know, encouraging words like:
Today is the First Day of the Rest of your Life, or This Home is Filled With Dreams And Love and Blessings From Above, or The Sky's The Limit When Your Heart Is In It or Life's Uncertain...Eat Dessert First or This Kitchen is Seasoned with Love or Enter as Guests... Leave as Friends or Return With Honor.
Okay. So don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good inspirational quote. I enjoy words of perspiration... er... I mean, aspiration. However... seeing the same postulate above your finely crafted hallway arch every day might just become part of the woodwork, so to speak.
This is similar to that word amazing (which I'm gleefully impressed that I won't hear the end of). Amazing is a fine word - it should be used sparingly. Not when you're brushing your teeth or doing laundry or running around in your bloomers. Vinyl lettering is the same.
If you have such sticky sayings posted strategically on the sheet rocked surfaces of your shanty, rest assured that I'm not being critical. I'm just disagreeing. We know how much I love to disagree. (I do however, love it more when we Agree To Disagree.)
Of all the possible sayings, there is one that gets my goat many shades of ill-tempered. The sight or sound of this particular axiom causes the skin to writhe, the eyes to roll back and the head to spin. One would best call an exorcist before I barf green.
What is this saying? Now that I've so vehemently declared my distaste for it?
All This Because Two People Fell In Love.
In ain't love people. It's trust and hope and charity. It's commitment and tolerance and service. It's enduring to the end.
Sure love is a good start - a great start, in fact. But Love alone will not Cause All This. Which exposes a great point. What exactly is THIS? Is this the finely furnished living room, complete with flat screen LCD and Blue-Ray quality surround? Does this happen to be the paintings on the wall or the finely manicured landscaping? Is this your radiant cleanliness and organization?
What is this?
I've decided to start the vinyl craze in my house and will have a theme to carry from room to room. No patchwork vinyl here folks.
The theme I've decided upon? Led Zeppelin. Because we all know that nothing represents the righteous or holy better than Getting The Led Out.
On the front door? Houses of the Holy. The bathroom? How Many More Times. Above the door to the garage? On we sweep with threshing oar. The Yahoo's bedrooms? Your Time Is Gonna Come.
We'll put The Battle Of Evermore above the piano and Hots On For Nowhere in the kitchen. The running shoe basket will need two: Over The Hills And Far Away and Wearing And Tearing.
The bedroom's a tough one - in which several apply. Should it be Bring It On Home, Communication Breakdown or Hey hey mama, love the way you move. Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove?
And for my face (so as Spouse can see it first when he wakes)?
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I know what you're sayin... you're sayin... "Four years late, sweetheart."
Haven't found Lost? I suggest you find it. Not only is it the most entertaining series since Giligan's Island, it will improve your golf swing and save your marriage. Each season is roughly 15 hours... that's 15 hours of therapy for only $49.95! Cheaper if you borrow it from someone.
Finding Lost late has many advantages. First and foremost? You can relieve yourself of any responsibility. Once you start, you can't quit. It's like coffee only more stimulating. (And I find coffee stimulating - so stimulating was it, I had to quit.)
Monday, March 02, 2009
This post is full of math. If you're shy of math or find it boring, you might want to venture elsewhere. You'll be missing out, however, for I intend to use "stimulus" and "package" in the same sentence.
Taxes are about taking money from one pocket to place in another.
It's that simple.
Distribution of funds from the government DO NOT come from the government. They come from you and me (that is if you're paying taxes and I challenge you to find out today if you do). If you don't pay taxes, be grateful for hardworking Americans. And if you're getting more money than you make (and many are), be grateful for hard working Americans.
I believe in charity. I also believe in helping others when it is my choice. I'm sure welfare of various forms has its place, but if you happen to be on welfare and also happen to have a maid... the government is not paying for your maid, I am. Well Spouse mostly, being the better paid 'n all. And if Spouse is paying for your maid, the rabidrunner gets pissed 'cause Spouse won't get her one.
Ready for that math? Sweet!
The middle class* pays 25% income tax. This means:
- For every dollar you spend, you must earn 1.25
- To pay sales tax on this dollar, you must earn an additional .06
- To pay for social security or FICA, you must earn .07 (it's actually .0765 but we'll round down)
- By law, your employer must match your social security tax, so you must earn an additional .07
- To pay Utah tax, you must earn .05
Shall we add this up? 1.25 + .06 + .07 +.07 + .05 = 1.50
For every dollar the middle class spends, they must first earn $1.50. That awesome purse you bought on sale for $40? You need to earn $60 to pay for it. Hundred dollar running shoes? Buck Fifty. As in one hundred fifty. A car listed at $20,000 will set you back $30,000 - if you pay cash.
Keep in mind that this is before that stimulus package - which most assuredly, is a wand with all size and no magic.
*Middle class for married people embodies the income range of $63,700 - $128,500. One might argue that this is considered upper middle class, but I disagree. Have you looked at the cost of houses lately? You can see the complete tax bracket table for 2007 here. (I couldn't find a neat little graphic for 2008.)