the FMyblog

…and no, that isn’t what it means (you perv)

Sent from your pretentiousness

Posted by Doug S on December 18, 2008

It’s been with some shock and amazement that the computing community has been given the news that Steve Jobs won’t be giving the keynote address at MacWorld this year. For the uninitiated, MacWorld is the annual trip to Mecca (otherwise known as the Moscone Center in San Francisco) for the Mac faithful. On top of that, this is the last year Apple will be part of MacWorld, so Steve isn’t even coming to say goodbye.


Why on earth should anyone act surprised by this? Most people that don’t have an ego the size of a larger solar body would certainly want to give a last tip of the hat to the cultish followers that drive their company’s success. But Steve is not in the category of smaller-sized egos. He does things on his own terms. He strikes new paths. He blazes trails. Even Chuck Norris is scared of him.

And Steve makes sure everyone knows it and promotes it by infusing four little words into an ever-increasing number of people’s lives: "Sent from my iPhone".

Those four little words just bug the bat-crap out of me. I work with no fewer than three people now (it started with just one, like a Lay’s potato chip) who have iPhones. Sometimes they’ll fire off an e-missive…yes, that’s mine and you’ll have to pay to use it…using their little bundle of joy when they’re out and about. I don’t mind that part. But I mind that every e-missive comes with the four little words tacked on at the end.

Says Steve Jobs, "This guy just sent you something from this really cool phone I made, and I want you to know about it. I want you to feel inferior for not having one, and to go by one."

I say, "I have a phone I think is way, way more cool than your iPwn. And it lets me install anything I want on it. And when I send an e-missive from it, there’s no chance of something thinking I’m a pretentious iPwn user. Because there are no little words appended on my messages. For that matter, you won’t even know if I’m on the road, sitting at my desk, or sneaking up behind you to choke you with the cord to the crappy headphones that came with your iPwn."

Says Steve, "You can buy better headphones for your iPwn now. They’re from Apple, which means they’re great. And they’re only $99."

Says I, "Didn’t the crappy headphones come from Apple too?"

I believe in good marketing, design, etc. etc. but geez. Maybe now the cult will simmer down a bit that Steve won’t be giving people "one more thing" each January.


Posted in personal, satire, work | 2 Comments »

Mad Men

Posted by Doug S on December 15, 2008

So no, I haven’t watched the show. I’ve heard “Mad Men” is really, really good though. So what does this post have to do with that if I’ve never seen it?

This is why people don’t want me to write their ad copy…

On my way home from work, listening to the radio, and an ad for some anti-aging cream comes on. It’s blathering on, and somehow its connection of words and thoughts causes this to come out of my brain.

“For skin so soft, you’ll have a face like a baby’s bottom!”

I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Posted in humor, satire | Leave a Comment »

Pure as the driven snow

Posted by Doug S on December 14, 2008

There are some things in life that just make you feel warm and fuzzy. Some of them particularly so if you’re a geek. I would be considered by some to be a geek (just ask my daughter!) and so I have a warm and fuzzy to share…

My blogging software finally works properly on my desktop PC.

Sure, that may not seem like a big deal. But it’s never worked right on this machine, so whenever I would blog it was always from my laptop. I have a very nice laptop, but it just isn’t as convenient as sitting down at my desk where my machine is always on and inviting with the ice-blue LED glow of power lights. As an aside, why does everyone think such a piercing, blinding color is appropriate to use anyway? I’ve actually disabled some of them on my machine because they were so overpowering. Anyway…

So, what the problem was I’ll never be sure. But I was having trouble getting Word to run lately, and if that isn’t going to work for me then it’s just time to get down to business. So I did something else that gives me warm fuzzies, and that I haven’t done in a long, long time. I completely reformatted and installed my machine again. It had been through a few upgrades to the operating system and various software, and somewhere along the line a hairball got stuck in its processing craw.

So at this time of year, when we’re all remembering the small things that make us thankful, remember me. A humble computer dork getting warm fuzzies over taking hours of time to re-install a computer to fully working order. Because then when you’re wishing you somehow had more to look forward to with your life, you can think "Wow, at least I’m not that guy".


Posted in activities, holidays, personal | 2 Comments »

I Felt a Little Bit of Barf in My Mouth Just Then

Posted by Doug S on October 7, 2008

It’s been way too long since I’ve written. So a fast update: marriage is good. I recommend it to anyone, and highly discourage (heh…must have meant encourage it when married to my ex) divorce as much as possible.

So I’ve wanted to address some of this Presidential (and geez, with this field I should probably write that with a lower-case “p”) race. I’m watching the second debate between McCain and the media’s big “O” right now. And it’s such a complete crock of nonsense. It’s makes a little bit of my dinner come up in my mouth. Dinners and debates are alike in that neither one is all that great when regurgitated.

What disturbs me…viscerally…is when politicians talk about “the American Dream”. I love the American Dream. I live and dream the American Dream. But not the bastardized version the political pimps are running around trying to whore out to the American people.

The American Dream is not about guaranteeing that everyone has a house, or health care, or a good job, or a high salary, or even the best food. It’s about guaranteeing that each of us has the opportunity to make those things happen for ourselves. That we have the freedom to take risks, rise to challenges, overcome obstacles, and live or die by our own decisions to do so.

I’m not a wealthy person. I do well, and have a good job. It wasn’t handed to me, and I didn’t have a rich set of parents to make it all happen. I grew up qualifying for free school lunches, but not taking advantage of them. I grew up learning how to work so I would have the skills to make my way through college, and paying the consequences for my own mistakes. I worked 45 hours a week while carrying a full-time college course load. That brought me to the point of having the qualifications to start on a good career path in which I have continued to work hard so that I can progress and rise in my field and sphere.

Also during my career I have known and heard people that didn’t want to work hard. Didn’t want to continue to learn and grow. Wanted to just coast through their careers, continue getting paid, and largely not have much expected of them. They didn’t think it was fair when they didn’t receive larger salaries because of an individual failing. They thought ill of those who were rewarded for their efforts.

I’ve worked to encourage and mentor several people in that second category. But it’s their choice, ultimately, whether or not to step up and take responsibility for their own success, failure, or mediocrity. And ultimately my own success is mine. We, as a country, need to come to a remembrance that the only thing that is supposed to be “fair” about our country is our ability to succeed or fail on our own.

This presidential race is only one to the bottom at this point. Thank goodness there’s at least a VP candidate that I think might actually believe in the real American Dream in the middle of a group of pandering, slavering idiots that only support the building of the whiniest society this country has ever known.

Posted in personal, politics | 3 Comments »

Not Your Daddy’s Mary Poppins

Posted by Doug S on May 24, 2008

So I’ll get to the reasoning of the title in a minute. But first I must say "howdy-do" and "hola", and explain my absence.

The short explanation is "I’m getting married." The long explanation is "I’m getting married, wrangling my kids through their last quarter of school, making arrangements for the wedding, changing jobs, looking for a house, and generally not having much free time." It continues to be a good busy, and should calm down in about a month. One of the happier times of my life really.

So about the title for this post. Last night was daughter #2’s last band concert of the year. Or ever. She’s wanted to quit band for while because she much prefers choir, but I told her she had to stick it out for the year since I paid actual money for that clarinet. But I digress. It was the last concert of the year, and the closing number was "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". I think I spelled that right. The song started up, and as my brain is wont to do, a thought immediately came. I leaned over to my other kids and said:

"Super cows and fragile pigs explode and are delicious"

And then I had a couple kids sitting on the floor, falling over in hysterical laughter. Fortunately we were sitting just behind the timpani, so nobody could hear us.

After the concert, in the parking lot, I shared the rest of what had come to mind.

Super cows and fragile pigs explode and are delicious.
If you cook them well enough they’re even good with fishes.
Don’t help in the kitchen and you’ll wind up doing dishes.
Super cows and fragile pigs explode and are delicious.


I talked with my bride-to-be later on in the evening and shared it with her. How great is it to find someone who not only thinks it’s funny, but that it’s cool my brain throws these things out?

Posted in children, dating, humor, work | 2 Comments »

If I Were a Child Actor, I’d be Billy Mumy

Posted by Doug S on February 25, 2008

Fortunately my long absence hasn’t been due to a deep-space screw-up by Dr. Smith. Of course I don’t have a robot sidekick to hang out with either, and goodness knows there isn’t a tech geek that wouldn’t love to have one of those.

So it probably goes without saying that I’ve been busy. Busy busy busy. But it’s been a good busy, and I’ve been having very positive things happen in my life. Let me recap what has been the best thing to happen to me in a while…

In Columbus we have this great thing called Skybus. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a discount airline that sells seats for as little as $10 each way. My mom and I had scored some of those really cheap seats to go visit my brother while he was doing an internship at Microsoft last year, and so when a new block of seats went on sale last September I determined that I would grab a cheap seat for a trip to Los Angeles. In January. Yep, I booked five months in advance for a trip out west just because it was exceedingly cheap.

So fast-forward to January and I nearly cancelled my trip because I didn’t have any real plans for anything to do out there, and since the ticket had been so cheap it didn’t really matter. But something just wouldn’t let me do it. A little something in me kept saying I should take the trip, and a family that used to live in our area found out I was headed their direction and invited me to stay with them. Free room and board, so I was set.

Meanwhile, around Christmas I had joined eHarmony. It was like a switch flipped in me and I was ready to journey into the world of experimental non-singleness again. Sure, I’d dipped my toe in the water a couple times over the past few years, but with only mixed success. I liked eHarmony though, and how it handled matches and so forth. Very much more a service, rather than feeling like I was hanging out in an online bar trying to attract people with pithy comments.

So yeah, I met someone on there. Several someones actually, but one of them in particular I was being a bit more chatty with. She lived in Las Vegas, but I really wasn’t minding because retty much everyone I was matching with was in and around the Utah area. Limiting yourself to “only Latter-Day Saints” seems to do that. Then a couple days before heading out to L.A. on my little excursion I got a lesson in west coast geography and learned that L.A. and Vegas really aren’t all that far apart. So I dropped a quick note about how I was flying out there in two days and if she was interested it might be fun to get together somewhere.

Get together we did, and had a nice time, if not slightly overwhelming. The other Mormon’s in the room will be the one’s to appreciate this, but because of a previously scheduled ward outing, I wound up being invited to join in a trip up to the Vegas temple. To do sealings. For a first date. Everyone assumed we were married, which was only slightly awkward (a lot) but we both had a good sense of humor about it. Then we had dinner with her one sister and brother-in-law that also live in Vegas, whose house I then crashed at for the night. In the morning her brother-in-law invited me to help with an Elder’s quorum move, so I went. Why not? It was just all kind of surreal, so I was just going with it.

And the weird thing was that, though it all caught me a bit off guard, I like it. Most guys in that situation would have found a door as quick as they could, never looked back, and never called again. And while I did eventually excuse myself back to L.A. later that day and got my head around what an over-the-top first date it all was, I was by no means wanting to pretend it never happened and close that chapter.

We’ve talked since then. A lot. Every day or two, for hours at a time. She’s visited out here since then. My kids love her, and so does my family. I’m headed out there in a couple weeks to meet more of hers. Probably in shifts since she’s one of sixteen kids, which is nearly impossible for me to fathom. The thought of one person having that many kids makes my uterus scream in anguish, and I’m a guy. Guys don’t have a uterus after all, and yet somehow I have one in phantom form that’s just screaming at the top of its lungs. Go figure. But from what I’ve gotten to know of her family so far it obvioulsy has worked very well for them.

So I seem to be on a good path here. Someone I really get that really gets me, shares the same values, probably has more experience raising kids than me given that she’s number five of the Family von Trapp, and isn’t a closeted lesbian. Like I said, we’ve been talking a lot, which accounts for me not being around here much. Hard to type up an entry when you’re on the phone until midnight since the other person is three hours behind.

All in all I’m feeling pretty good with things. There are some other things brewing too, but I can cover those later. No midnight calls tonight, but I do need to get some catching-up sleep from the others I’ve had recently.

Posted in dating, Mormon, personal | 2 Comments »

My Mom Wants To Fake Rock-N-Roll All Nite

Posted by Doug S on January 6, 2008

This post could also be titled "Being For The Benefit Of Mrs. B", but then it wouldn’t be a KISS reference as much as a Beatle’s reference. And the KISS reference is important here.

My mom is something of a saint to me. Since my ex (insert double entendre here) over three years ago, my mom has been coming to stay a couple days every week to help with my kids while I’m at work. It’s not a small thing since she lives a bit over an hour away. She wathces the youngest who will start school next year, she helps with homework, and more than anything else…she spends time on the phone.

She’s a township trustee, and a good one. It’s something of a thankless job, having to deal with local weasels and whiners for little pay. And it consumes a lot of phone time. She’s also pretty conservative in her tastes. It’s really getting her out of her shell to have her watch some lame reality television with us. But hey, family bonding time is family bonding time.

So imagine my surprise when I came home from running some errands the other evening with one of my daughters and found my mom, plastic guitar slung over her shoulders, playing Guitar Hero III. Specifically ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ by KISS.

Her defense was "I’ve never played before and wanted to try it." I didn’t really care what her reason was. I just thought it was great she was playing.

So I grabbed the other guitar and we spent the next hour or so playing a few songs I’m sure she didn’t know or recognize the lyrics for. This is the woman who used to go around singing lines from Sublime’s ‘Santaria’ because she thought it was catchy after all. She never seemed to get to those bits where they sung about poppin’ a cap in the guy hitting on the girl. So I got some fun out of pointing out "Remember all those crazy posters we had in the basement when I was a kid? That was Iron Maiden, and this is one of their songs." Yes, I had my mom playing the bass line on ‘Number of the Beast’.

And then her phone rang in the middle of a song. And just that fast the band was broken up. She was on the phone talking about issues with the local fire department and our audience booed us off the stage.

But for a while, we were rockin’. And after all these years, my mom showed she had a bit of cool in her.

Posted in family, humor, music | 3 Comments »

Being Careful What You Wish For

Posted by Doug S on December 28, 2007

My brother “gave” me my Christmas present this evening. Not a present really, other than that of time, but that’s good too.

He had told me on Christmas day that he wanted to watch something in particular with me. Something that we, as brothers, could bond over.

What he didn’t realize, and I couldn’t have forseen, was that he gifted me with my warm-down lap I was complaining about the other day.

“How so?” you might ask. Simple. He had located the Star Wars Holiday Special, in its unholy entirety, online. This show is a thing of myth. Legendary in its fecal prowess. The kind of thing that prisoners in Guantanamo are subjected to when waterboarding doesn’t prove to be successful.

In short, it’s a painful piece of dreck that George Lucas wishes had never been produced. And with good reason.

Feel free to watch the first few minutes (or the whole thing if you’re a masochist), and keep in mind that the breakneck pacing in the first 10 minutes is kept up throughout the whole of the show.

For those of you also requiring a holiday warm-down lap, enjoy!

Posted in family, holidays, humor, personal | Leave a Comment »

Even The Wannabes Get A Warm-Down Lap

Posted by Doug S on December 27, 2007

A couple weeks away from the blog again. It’s been the end run for Hallowchristmagiving, and it’s been busy. Work parties, making cheesecake to take to said parties, buying gifts, etc. etc. etc. All the good and great stuff we all love to do, but that really winds up meaning I don’t have much time in the evenings to sit and put thoughts up for public consumption.

And then, suddenly — abruptly even — it is all over.

I didn’t want it to be all over. I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I was enjoying it too much. I had a great time with my kids and my extended family. I kept to a good budget but still wound up being super-dad in the gifting department. I enjoyed everything about the season this year, the entire way through. And I wasn’t lonely, even when I was alone. This was my third Christmas as a single person, and it felt "normal".

So I was caught off guard when it ended so cleanly and surgically. I was at my parent’s with the kids, and stayed through the day after Christmas. Then I left the kids there to visit while I came back home to finish out the work week, and as I was pulling out of the driveway I turned on the radio to listen to Christmas music. And it wasn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere. Every station had stopped playing any music relating to the holiday season, and was back to a rotation that would have been considered lame thirty years ago.

The music has to stop at some point, I know. But consider when it started. I began driving my oldest daughter nuts a few days before Thanksgiving by listening to Christmas music. I loved it. Sure I’ve mocked the commercialism of the fourth-quarter retail money-grab for the past couple months. But I love all the rest of how this time of year makes me feel. The build-up was great! The subtle infiltration of holiday cheer and spirit into the nooks and crannies of my day-to-day life felt fantastic, and the big day itself was thoroughly enjoyable.

So being dropped like a rock is a bit of a stunner for me this year. And it doesn’t really help that nobody…and I mean nobody…in any stake or congregation in this area seems to have any plans for a New Year’s get together of any type. That’s when the official end of the season is supposed to be as far as I’m concerned, and instead it’s been cut off at the knees. Though I can admit to having some moderately high standards for New Year’s, as my all-time favorite was going to Time’s Square and meandering around Manhattan.

Sidebar: For some perspective on just how fun New Year’s in Manhattan is to do, consider this. I did that with my ex before we were divorced, but after she had started living the gay life and leaving me panicked and wondering why things were in such shambles. So it was so good that, even when life sucked and I felt like absolute hell, I still had a good time. Everyone should go do it sometime, and I fully intend to do it again someday, though preferably as part of the all-evening party in Bubba Gump’s Shrimp.

So I don’t feel like I’ve been allowed my cool-down lap after Christmas. Somebody flipped a switch somewhere and palpably turned everything off, and I’m just not reconciled with it yet.

As General Waverly in "White Christmas" would say, "Don’t just leave me standing here. How do I get off this stage?"

Posted in holidays, personal | Leave a Comment »

How Can She Be Saying Hello When She’s Showing Ta-Ta?

Posted by Doug S on December 10, 2007

I keep saying I’m going to do this more than once a week, and yet here it is a week later. Again. Good thing I’m not trying to generate any ad revenue. Google would probably have me owing them money if I were. Not that they aren’t already selling my soul online one small piece at a time.

Side thought: If Google if mining me for information, should I feel guilty enough to talk to my bishop? I should probably just feel guilty for seeing innuendo in things like that. (heh)

Anywho…speaking of innuendo, this post’s title is loaded with it. I’ve had it in mind for a while now as I’ve held back this story for a bit. So the story goes something like this:

My oldest (the Model) has a cell phone on my dime. It makes it handy to get in touch with the kids since their mom doesn’t see fit to (a) have a home phone number and (b) ever answer her own cell phone when called. After a surprise bill one month thanks to the fine folks at "Joke-A-Day" though I disabled instant messaging and so forth on her phone. She knows not the vastness of her own power to inadvertently cost me $45 in a month without hardly trying.

At least, I thought I had completely disabled instant messaging on her phone. Perhaps I have. It’s kind of hard to say really. Because one evening she received a picture message from her mom, although because of the block she couldn’t see it. Instead she received a blurb telling her that she had one and needed to go to a web site from my carrier to view it.

When she received the notice I was on the main computer (yes, as in there are multiple) at home, so she asked if I could open the web site for her to see the message. I was happy to since I wanted a distraction from the side-project I was working on. So I type in the web address, punch in the code to access the message, and get…

A tight shot of a big-chested woman wearing a t-shirt that says "I (heart) You". And almost before I can realize it’s an animated image, and definitely before I can finish thinking "This won’t end well" off comes the shirt and a second of bouncing commences.

So there it is. My oldest daughter receives a booby-shot message from her mother. Her very overtly, "you need to love me no matter who I am", gay mother.

As fast as my fingers would move, I closed the web browser. But it was too late. It had been seen, and the damage was done. Reflexes, as those of us old enough to remember from WKRP, have their limits. And those limits can only be exceeded when alcohol is provided to Dr. Johnny Fever. I neither drink, nor am I Dr. Johnny Fever. So there it is.

Brakeback did tell me later that the message must have somehow sent by accident from her phone. It was definitely her message though, as a "friend" had sent it to her. My oldest immediately knew which friend that must be, who I shall simply refer to as "The Flake". That didn’t help her feel any better about it.

So the moral of the story is this: if you have friends that send you phone porn, make sure you keep your keypad locked so it doesn’t accidentally forward to your kids, or your boss, or someone else important that might form a negative opinion about you.

Or, better yet, just avoid phone porn altogether I guess.

Posted in children, family, humor, personal | 3 Comments »