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October 17, 2005

Blog v. 2.0b

Well, my new blog is most of the way there, but it's officially in beta. And guess what? You, my friends, are the hopeful beta testers. Play around, let me know what you think or what I should change. The new blog is called Un Cachito and has a bit fresher look I think. The major things I still need to do are a picture gallery and a calendar, but those will eventually come.The blog will basically deal with whatever I feel like posting, but I think the entries will lean towards personal goings-on in my life, from my pathetic garden to my travels and more. Espero que les caiga bien!

Posted by charr at 10:02 PM | Comments (1)

October 5, 2005

My confession

Sorry for being so silent. Sure I've been busy, but I have a confession to make. I'm tired of politics, and tired of feeling guilty about not blogging whenever something happens (Yes, I do feel guilty). Of course, I still have my political views and opinions, and I still read various news sites as though the secret of life were found therein, but I'm not really interested in keeping up this blog. I've decided arguing politics is a good way to raise peoples' blood pressure without accomplishing much. I associate frequently with some liberals and have decided they believe what they want to, and I as well. No use making a big deal out of it.However, I don't want to ditch my website. I am interested in keeping an online log/journal, but with a big "but," which is that I don't necessarily want it public, because I might put some personal things up. Kind of a problem I'd say. Maybe I'll just start a new blog anyway and let people stumble upon it.So I don't know. Any suggestions for me? Shall I simply take my bow and exit the blogosphere?

Posted by charr at 2:19 PM | Comments (10)

August 24, 2005


Everybody who receives news has undoubtedly read or heard numerous reports on the terrible casualties suffered by the Allied soldiers in Iraq. I found the following article over at Powerline, written by John Hinderaker, to be very well written in regards to the state of American casualties in Iraq.While no civil person enjoys hearing about their deaths, it is a reminder that the soldiers live a dangerous life in any arena, and thus deserve our praise and respect.

Posted by charr at 9:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2005

Flying etiquette

While not very political, the NY Times has a nice article on flying etiquette. I find myself on airplanes quite frequently, so the more people can understand proper etiquette, the better.The article lists most everything I could say, though it leaves out the person who has lots of carry-on baggage and fills all the overhead bins. Don't do that. Probably the most important for me is to not recline if the person behind you passes some "tallness" threshold. I already have to try to straddle the seat in front of me with my knees on many planes and don't look kindly on people who don't care about the person behind them. I've fought a number of battles where I plant my knees in the seat in front of me to prevent it from coming down all the way. Because I'm often the victim, I very rarely recline my seat -- usually just if it's empty or populated with a child or small adult, though I typically fly with other businessmen. In short, think of those around you.Now if I could just get drivers to do the same...

Posted by charr at 8:07 PM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2005

Pulling the plug

I saw Million Dollar Baby finally. I thought it was a great movie, deserving of its Academy Awards (unlike many), and it rapidly shot to one of the best movies in my book. I felt pulled into the movie and emotionally attached, which is something that happens pretty rarely - not even with LOTR.Praise aside, the movie is sad. It's not one to see if you need a pep rally (unless you want to be thankful for what you have).Spoiler Warning!

Do not read past here if you don't want to know about the end.

You've been warned :). Anyway, I want to talk about what happens at the end. An increasingly disabled athlete wants to call it quits and exit the suffering she's going through. She's been on top and is now at the bottom with basically no hope of getting better. She's asked her friend and confidant to end it for her. What would you do if you were him?My faith teaches me to endure to the end, but what is "the end?" If you're being kept alive by machines, have you already reached the end? I think there's a difference here between being fully conscious (our athlete) and not (Terri Schiavo). I think Ms. Schiavo hit the end a long time ago and the prolonging was inappropriate. For a long while after the movie (I kept thinking about it afterwards -- another sign of a good movie), after seeing her suffering and pathetic state, I actually felt like it was ok to end it all -- that she couldn't live a meaningful life and therefore had reached the end. But then I started thinking that lots of people are quadriplegics and can still live a useful life. While the pain and pressure would be excruciating on the friend who is being asked to end it for her, I'm thinking now it wouldn't be right to do so. Her body may be ravaged, but her mind is still vibrant.So I'm curious, what do you think?

Posted by charr at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2005

Catching up

I really do want to catch up; I just have had no time. I've kept on the news and emailed myself links to a number of articles, but haven't gotten around to posting anything. I don't know how many of those links are still valid, but I'll try to put in some posts.

Posted by charr at 5:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

New Criterion

A long time ago, I posted a note on anti-war sentiment from the National Review by Jason Steorts when he was at Harvard. He is currently an Associate Editor for the National Review. I ended up sitting next to him and his wife by chance last Saturday evening and had a nice conversation.He mentioned that one periodical I might enjoy (I believe it's monthly) is The New Criterion. From my brief skimming, it is a conservative magazine that seems to have somewhat of an eccentric coverage of topics, from poetry and books to current events and politics. They even have their own blog: ArmavirumqueOne thing I noticed on the blog was a long list of links to other blogs, including one in Arabic for Mr. Muammar Quaddafi, the leader of Libya!

Posted by charr at 4:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

You're never there

So I don't think Cake was singing about me in that song, but that's how I feel. I'm not really even supposed to be home right now, but I pushed to come home for a day or two. I've been gone for almost 2 weeks and I was supposed to fly directly to my next destination from my last one -- summing to almost 3 weeks straight, with 4 days worth of clothes. You see, I was only going to be gone for 3 days, and cleverly packed for a 4th. I then had to do laundry three times on the road. I've been adding up the time I've been gone recently, and I've put it in a couple tables here.Oh, and I'm leaving again tomorrow morning.

Posted by charr at 9:35 PM | Comments (9)

February 19, 2005

Poor Osama

I got a kick out of this Osama quip, linked through Powerline.

Posted by charr at 3:45 PM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2005


Some of you may have read about Dan's canker sore research and his accompanying invitation from the makers of Canker-Rid to try their product. It just so happened that at the time I had a canker sore, and there must have been a blue moon outside, because I very rarely get them. Anyway I tried it and here's my report. The product comes in a small bottle which you can squeeze or let drop the solution onto the canker sore. I found the application of the product somewhat difficult in this aspect because it can be difficult to get the solution to the nether parts of the mouth where the sore might pop up. I imagine you could use a paper towel or cotton swap to apply it, but I wasn't sure if that would be effective. At any rate, it had me dry the area first, which is understandable though a little awkward, since the mouth likes to stay wet. After drying, I squeezed a couple drops on the area and it immediately started to sting. That only lasted for 5-10 seconds, and then the whole area -- anywhere where the drops touched -- became somewhat raw, though not painful. At this point, I tried to keep my tongue away from the area, so as not to get my tongue covered in the stuff (which can be quite messy), and that caused an immense amount of drool as I also kept my mouth open. It was somewhat comical actually.The tenderness of the canker sore was diminished however, as was the entire area around it where the fluid had made contact. Several hours later, I reapplied in the same manner and again got the same results, though by this time pretty much any tenderness/soreness of the canker sore had disappeared, along with any feeling in the surrounding area. However, the surrounding area healed quickly (hours), and I have no more canker sore.Summary:
I will say that the stuff works though I can't say if it's the magic of the ingredients (bee pollen and alcohol), or the fact that it wipes out the whole area where the solution makes contact. I would like a better applicator, and were I to do it again, I would use a Q-tip to make less of a mess and to narrow the affected area. Overall, I think I'd give it a B+.

Posted by charr at 10:54 AM | Comments (7)

January 1, 2005

Stayin' alive

Happy New Year!I've barely written in the past 6 weeks, but I'm alive and kickin'. I can easily drop the "I've been very busy" excuse, but if I really wanted to post something I could have. In those six weeks, I've probably spent more time away from home than at home, and the weekends turn into "get back to life" sessions for bills and such. Work is crazy, which is good and bad, i.e. no life but I do have job security in that they can't fire me if I'm not there :).A lot has happened, especially given the enormous tragedy in southern Asia. I've been keeping up quite a bit on the news during my sabbatical, and I feel like there's so little I can do. However, I would encourage you to donate something to a reputable charity if you haven't done so already. Go here to see several good charities. I look at the victims and see how much I/we have in America, and I find myself fighting off guilt. That said, this tragedy transcends borders, race, and religion, with the death toll now predicted to top 150,000. It makes 9/11 seem pretty inconsequential, huh? I have one picture from the paper version of the USA Today that forces lucidity. Unfortunately, I can't find it online, but it shows a bunch of debris puddled up against a beach, and in the debris are dozens and dozens of human corpses. It's unbelievable.

Posted by charr at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

October 29, 2004

A downer

So, um, my webserver and workstation were hacked into, along with a bunch of other boxes I know of. While is doesn't look like anything destructive was done, and it doesn't even look like they got root on either box, I figured I needed to completely rebuild both boxes and change all my passwords, everywhere. That's a huge pain, and now I constantly find myself typing in the wrong password. Apparently the evildoers are a bunch of young thugs from Romania. Why, by the way, do kids often think it's cool to be destructive? I've never understood that, but have known many teenagers who think it's cool to break things. I doubt they realize what major problems they cause and can only hope they get bit sometime too so they can feel the pain.But anyway, I'm up (after a significant struggle). That's the good news. The bad news is that politics here are only getting worse. I was in Europe last week and they're all very much aware of the election here and were anxious to know my inputs and thoughts. Surprisingly though, they weren't as well informed of things as I thought. For instance, the Brit and Swiss couple I talked with in Switzerland seemed a bit surprised when I told them America was very polarized with Bush haters and Bush lovers. I think they thought we were all a bunch of cocky oil-guzzling, environment-killing cowboys. Anyway, I basically told them that no one has or gives all the information on anything so pretty much both sides are making only semi-truthful arguments. They readily agreed.

Posted by charr at 6:04 AM | Comments (3)

September 24, 2004


I'm going to do it. I'm going to go ahead and say what I've been feeling for the past several weeks. It's tough, perhaps embarrassing, and more than a little surprising (to me at least), but I'm coming out. I'm T.O.P. I'm Tired Of Politics. I'm tired of the left and I'm tired of the right. I'm tired of the lack of reason, the lack of ethics, and the hypercharged level of emotion. Both sides are guilty. I'd like to think that most people are impervious to the masquerading, but I doubt that's the case. To be honest, while I thought Bush's speech at the RNC was good, I'm surprised by his jump in the polls. At the same time, I shake my head and almost feel sad for Kerry and his utter lack of direction and conciseness. The guy really does flip-flop. And Cheney saying that a vote for Kerry basically is a vote for another attack is unconscionable. The whole CBS presenting fake documents story is similarly shameful. It's to the point where you can't trust any media outlet. They're all biased and seem to skew the truth to their side. I know who I'm going to vote for and plan on not getting too involved unless something new and noteworthy comes up.

Posted by charr at 8:32 AM | Comments (4)

August 17, 2004

The Bourne bewilderment

Recently, when I travel, I've started buying a book or two in the airport bookstore before I hop on the plane. The result has been quite satisfactory, as it gives me an opportunity to read a nice fiction novel and not burn too many brain cells. The most recent book I bought was The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlam. This is a longer book than usual, so I wasn't able to finish it after my last flight. I was reading through it last night when I became bewildered at what I encountered. I then sort of laughed and just said out loud, "Unbelievable!" What is it? Take a look at some of these pictures I took and see if you can figure out:What I first saw
Seeing the extent of my misfortune
More proofCan you see it? I got to page 520, and then the book started back at page 457. Hoping they just added some extra pages in, I looked to see where the redundancy ended and was horrified to find that it proceeded all the way back to page 520 again, and then jumped to page 585. I had lost all those pages between. I felt wronged. I felt violated. I was shocked and shocked again (though I admit I laughed). Yet my distressed mind set itself in action figuring out how to remedy the situation. I first looked up the publisher's website, but I couldn't find any form of customer support. I thought of just spending an afternoon at a bookstore, reading up on the lost pages, but that would take up time I didn't have. I then realized how great technology was. I remembered had a feature they recently added where they've scanned in every page of every book they sell, and they are also searchable. It's incredible! I had never used it before but soon found out you are only allowed to view up to two pages in any direction from where you started. I was bummed since I needed some 54 pages, but I quickly realized you can get around that limitation. On an interesting note, after several pages, I became suspicious that I was being tracked and fought against. I started getting screens that said the service was unavailable. I'd reload and get pages asking me to log in. There followed a number of permutations of hoops to jump through, but given the fact I had already bought the book, I felt justified in getting through those hoops to get my missing pages. It took a lot of mouse clicks, but I finally, and happily, got to page 585.

Posted by charr at 12:29 AM | Comments (4)

July 10, 2004

Let me preface this column

Let me preface this column with the fact that it contains many personal religious beliefs. There has been a lot of activity recently in the press as voting, both locally and nationally, nears on the decisions to outlaw gay marriage. The NY TImes has an article dealing with the political aspects of a constitutional ammendment. Republicans are hoping that it will cause Democrats to alienate their constituencies. But that's not what I want to talk about.Locally in Utah, the state government is also working to pass a constitutional ammendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman only. The LDS church (of which I'm a member) has recently endorsed the social idea (not the politics behind it). I'm a little torn on the idea because while I oppose gay marriage, a constitutional ammendment doesn't seem to be the right way to go about it, at least to me. But that's not what I want to talk about either.What I want to talk about is this article on being gay and LDS. This discussion comes up on occasion and the result is pretty constant: the LDS church doesn't budge on their values and other side is angry that the church isn't more tolerant.This is where my religious beliefs come in. I don't understand how Christians can justify homosexual activity. The Bible and other scripture is clearly against it. Sodom and Gommorrah were destroyed because of it. God is declared to be the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can't just assume that God needs to get with the times and allow homosexuality. The LDS church preaches that you should love the person, and not the sin. I firmly believe that. Now, there is a lot of discussion on whether people are born gay or not. It is my non-endorsed, personal belief, that people may be born with homosexual tendencies, i.e. a weakness for same-sex attraction. I think lots of people are born with certain tendencies or weaknesses -- that's why everyone's trials in life are different. Someone may struggle greatly with alcohol, drugs or pornography, while to others, those aren't tough at all to deal with. I must confess that I've never been attracted to men, but I would assume that it's an attraction they do feel, but one they must fight. They may say that's the way they are, so accept it, but that doesn't make it right (in Christian law). Because of that, I can't sympathize with people who say

"The church kept saying I was wrong, even when I was with my boyfriend, and I was incredibly happy and at peace...I guess I'm not supposed to be happy with my life."
Everyone has trials, some of which are very difficult. That doesn't mean they can't be happy, but it does mean they have a long struggle. I know that's true from my own life. I once had a friend tell me there's no way she could have gone through some of the things that have happened to me, yet the things she referenced weren't at all a big deal to me. I believe God knows us extremely well and tests us accordingly.

Posted by charr at 12:42 PM | Comments (4)

June 20, 2004

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, though I don't think many of the readers of this column are fathers yet (that I'm aware of). I got a kick out of this NY Times Op-Ed piece. It's a tongue-in-cheek letter of a father being outsourced. Great read.

Posted by charr at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

June 5, 2004

The agony of stupidity

I'm in pain. Have you ever done something so moronic that it hurts just to even think about what you've done? First comes the moment of realization, then a fleeting instant of denial, then the truth comes back to haunt and agonize you. True, it might be funny in the future, or to anybody around you, but to you it stings to think you actually did such a thing.I shall expound upon my misfortune for your pleasure. I use my cell phone as my main address book. In it, I have just about every person I think I might want to talk to. Currently, I have around 117 contacts, not a ton, but a good amount. Since it is not uncommon to know two people with the same name, I have many entries starting with the same first name, but they are usually distinguished by a nickname or a last name. Let's take the name Melissa (names have been changed for my protection). I have 4 entries in my cellphone starting with that name. One is a cousin who we'll call M1. One is a girl from the church that I visit occasionally (M2). The third, M3, is an attractive young lady I met a while back who was nice enough to provide me with her phone number, and the last one is a girl I know from my days in New York who will be M4.I've been on the road for the majority of the time since I met M3, and so I've tried to call her on the rare instances that I've been home. She was busy right before my Maui trip, but told me to call when I returned. I called Melissa and left a message, but didn't hear back. When I returned from Ohio, I decided to give her a final call to see if she was still interested in doing something, since I hadn't heard from her. Melissa called back that same afternoon, explaining she had just now checked her messages and that yes she would like to do something and to just give her a call.I actually didn't expect to hear back from her, so I was a bit surprised, but it was a good surprise. Anyway, I returned the call and secured a date for the following Saturday (tomorrow), though I wasn't sure yet what I was going to do. I had a couple ideas bouncing around in my head, one being a "day" date and the other in the evening. I figured I'd call her on Friday (today) to see if she had a preference, and I started scrolling down the screen of my phone until I got to the Melissas. I was about to hit the dial button, when I mused on the fact that there were 4 of them. I briefly thought of M1, then M2, then M3, then M2 again. In my mind I was thinking I knew who M2 was, it was the attractive young lady I had asked out on a date, but who was M3? And that's when the moment of realization hit me. It couldn't be! It was. My mind raced wildly trying to think of who exactly I had called, and when. All of a sudden it started making sense that the girl I had asked out seemed a bit surprised and confused by some of the things I was talking about. As the realization came to me that I had asked out the wrong girl, I started seeing the mess I had gotten myself into and the pain set in. I would have gone down to pick up M3 on Saturday, and she'd either not be there, or be quite surprised and think I'm a complete lunatic (or stalker). Meanwhile, the other girl would be waiting for me and think I've stood her up. It hurt just to think about it.Since I wasn't 100% sure who I had talked to each time, I decided I needed to talk to both girls and straighten things out. Neither answered their phones, so I left messages partly explaining the situation, and asking them to call me back promptly. While I never had any intention of dating M2, I figured I owed her the date I had asked her out on. At the same time, it pained me to realize that I likely hadn't been calling M3 the last few times and now she'd think I'm a total flake and a moron. Well, M2 did call back and we'll go ahead and do something tomorrow as friends, but I felt bad for her. M3 hasn't called yet, so that might get interesting. Looking back, I think the fact that I was gone so much played a big part. M3's last name dimmed in my mind as time progressed and I think coming back from Maui I just scrolled down the phone, came to M2 first, and with the last name sounding familiar, I called it. I didn't associate M2 with her last name much either, so that last name didn't jump out as something very familiar. After that one call, I think the number was still stored in my call history the next time I called, and I just used it, again and again.Guys, don't ever do this. Learn from me. Don't let friends dial recklessly. Think before you act. And let's hope that's my dumb deed o' the year, not to be repeated.

Posted by charr at 12:22 AM | Comments (7)

June 1, 2004

Back Home

I'm finally back for a while. Supposedly, I'll be back for a couple months. I haven't even been back for 3 weeks straight since January. I'd like to take this time to work a bunch on my site, but I doubt much will happen, unless someone wants to be my HTML slave. Any takers?I'd like to change my look a bit, and also catalog and make accessible the hundreds of digital photos I have. But again, that all takes time and enough interest to get into it.So, I'm starting out small. I'm moving to bloglines, conveniently pointed out by Dan. That means I'll be removing my quick links on my page, but I'll try to add some things long overdue, like a calendar and a site search...if I get around to it.

Posted by charr at 4:46 PM | Comments (2)

May 4, 2004

Fab 5 pianists

For you Mormons out there, I found this interesting article in the NY Times about 5 young siblings who all went to Julliard and who all secured recording contracts with BMG.I have to say I'm a bit interested in how their music sounds, given that they'd like to appeal to the younger crowd. I also can't help but think the tuition bill must have been astronomical.

Posted by charr at 8:50 AM | Comments (5)

May 1, 2004

We're back

That's right folks. We're back. I'm back from the Dominican Republic (well, I got back last Sunday), and my server's back from the dead, freshly rebuilt. It's probably the hardest time I've ever had rebuilding a system. I must say that I'm very disappointed in Suse's installer. It's great for the average install, but seems to have lots of problems on server hardware. Anyway, I'll try to write something intelligent later.

Posted by charr at 12:58 AM | Comments (3)

That's right folks. We're back.

That's right folks. We're back. I'm back from the Dominican Republic (well, I got back last Sunday), and my server's back from the dead, freshly rebuilt. It's probably the hardest time I've ever had rebuilding a system. I must say that I'm very disappointed in Suse's installer. It's great for the average install, but seems to have lots of problems on server hardware. Anyway, I'll try to write something intelligent later.

Posted by charr at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

That's right folks. We're back.

That's right folks. We're back. I'm back from the Dominican Republic (well, I got back last Sunday), and my server's back from the dead, freshly rebuilt. It's probably the hardest time I've ever had rebuilding a system. I must say that I'm very disappointed in Suse's installer. It's great for the average install, but seems to have lots of problems on server hardware. Anyway, I'll try to write something intelligent later.

Posted by charr at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

That's right folks. We're back.

That's right folks. We're back. I'm back from the Dominican Republic (well, I got back last Sunday), and my server's back from the dead, freshly rebuilt. It's probably the hardest time I've ever had rebuilding a system. I must say that I'm very disappointed in Suse's installer. It's great for the average install, but seems to have lots of problems on server hardware. Anyway, I'll try to write something intelligent later.

Posted by charr at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)

That's right folks. We're back.

That's right folks. We're back. I'm back from the Dominican Republic (well, I got back last Sunday), and my server's back from the dead, freshly rebuilt. It's probably the hardest time I've ever had rebuilding a system. I must say that I'm very disappointed in Suse's installer. It's great for the average install, but seems to have lots of problems on server hardware. Anyway, I'll try to write something intelligent later.

Posted by charr at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 8, 2004

Running Away

I'm running away tomorrow -- running away from stress and technology for a brief time period that is. I'm headed down to the Dominican Republic tomorrow for a little over 2 weeks. I was thinking of going for 6 months. I'm not taking my laptop, and I won't have cell phone access. I'm hoping for bliss, though I'm a bit nervous about leaving work (I've been successfully brainwashed), and also that it might be a bit overclimactic.Has anyone been down there before (I haven't)? Any tricks on staying parasite-free?

Posted by charr at 11:25 AM | Comments (4)

March 28, 2004


Ladies, I have another question for you. I was working out the other day and a young couple, probably in their early 30s came in. I didn't think too much about it, but later, the woman said something that got my brain going. She was on the leg press, and her guy was a ways off doing curls. I don't remember what I was working on, but I heard her sort of whine out loud to her husband something along the lines of "Honey, this is too easy." But she kept on doing it without changing anything. He finally came over and changed the pin to a different block to create more resistance, a matter of a couple seconds once he was over there. Then she went on with her excercise and he did his.I have a hard time believing she couldn't figure out how to change the weight on her own. I'd put that at about 2nd or 3rd grade level. The only thing I can think of is that she intentionally wanted the guy to come over and do it as a matter of love or caring for her.My logical brain has a problem with this. It just seems so unnecessary, so girls, am I right in my assessment? Is she just being needy? Is this common? I need to be prepared.

Posted by charr at 10:13 AM | Comments (14)

March 3, 2004

Improve thyself

I liked this column on the key to leaving poverty in the NY Times. I'm sure it will get a lot of criticism for not being sensitive or politically correct, but it's what I've always thought. Instead of insulating yourself from reality and progress, and taking other peoples' money, plan your life's moves better, better yourself, and you'll generally do alright. If only we could get everyone to sing this song.

Posted by charr at 4:14 PM | Comments (11)

February 29, 2004

Sleepless in Seattle

Disclaimer: This entry is a rant.I heard the first sound at about 4:30 this morning, as someone tried loudly to get in my room. I ignored it. I then heard some voices talking amongst themselves and a knock. I ignored it. They knocked again. I yelled "Hello," but got no response. Then, a little bit later, I heard a louder, longer knock. I got out of bed, went to the door, and asked through the door who it was. They said "Stefan?" I said, "No." They apologized, but I wasn't very enthused. Sleep is valuable to me. But, I thought it was over. Probably 15 minutes later, they returned. Not to my door, but to the ice machine across from my door. And boy were they loud. It sounded like there were 5 or 6 of them, and they made no attempt to be quiet. Had I been modest, I would have told them to hush up. But I didn't, and they went away. Then another guy (I heard his voice) came by just before that and knocked quietly at my door. I ignored him. He knocked louder. I ignored him again, and he went away.By now, it was around 5:15 - 5:30, and I couldn't sleep, so I went to see if I had gotten any email. My connection wouldn't work. Apparently, the company controlling the access couldn't charge the card. I double checked the info, but the problem was, there were no contact numbers anyway, and I didn't have email access to send their support team any messages. I gave up and went back to bed.Now you're probably thinking, "Yeah, that stinks, but it's nothing to get excited about." Let me expound. In fact, let me ask why I'm in the SeaTac Holiday Inn to begin with.It started yesterday morning. My flight left in the morning to San Francisco. From there, it was on to Tokyo. I woke up with so much time that I actually got bored. I read some news and then shoveled the driveway before I went to the airport. When I got there, the ticketing terminal was packed. I figured I could just go to a kiosk to get my boarding pass to SFO. I tried half a dozen times, but it kept telling me the reservation didn't exist. Then I panicked as I realized in the past, for international flights, I had had paper tickets, and for this trip, none had been given to me. I called the company travel agent, but got no response. I stood in line for a bit with the domestic croud to see what I could do, and was finally told to go stand in the International line. That line was immense. There were some 100 soldiers goin to Frankfurt that all had to individually check in. It was a mess. By the time I got up to the gate, my flight had left. Not that it would have helped to get there a bit earlier, since the security line was even longer.Anyway, Delta did what they could and put me on a flight to Seattle that would give me barely enough time to get to the international terminal and catch the Tokyo flight out of there. However, he warned that it might not be enough time to get my bag transferred onto the Tokyo flight. He said I could be without my bag for 2-3 days, but I figured I could handle that, so he put a priority tag on my bag and checked me in. My next flight was late. Way late. By the time we landed, I had only about 15 minutes to run to the international terminal, which was a ways away. I went quickly, but needed to check in with Northwest first. The lady there said I was too late. She put me on the Sunday flight and told me to talk to Delta about them giving me a hotel, since they were late.Delta wouldn't pay for a hotel. They gave me a discount, but that was it. I was too tired to argue much, so I went to get my bag. That's when I found out it had made it on the continuing flight and would be waiting for me in Tokyo. How the heck did it make it and I didn't? I have no idea. I thought they couldn't let baggage on a plane unless the passenger was. Oh well, so now I have no bags except my laptop, and a bunch of time.I called up my brother in Portland, and ironically, he had just driven back to Portland from Seattle that morning. However, he did find me a $20 car rental, so that's the one bright spot of the trip. I went up to the Pike Place Market (if you've never been, you must go when in Seattle). I picked up some apples and some tasty smoked salmon. Quite yummy if I must say.But lets just say this has been a trip of bad luck so far. And that's bad because this is a trip where I really do need a lot of luck to try to accomplish what I've been given to do. Maybe I've used up my bad luck now and it's smooth from here on out. Well, time to go catch my flight.

Posted by charr at 11:25 AM | Comments (8)

February 25, 2004

Unfiltered Christianity

I am alive. I've been traveling a lot. I'm home for four days, and then I'm off again; to Japan. But this post is about someone who is not alive in a mortal sense.There's been a lot of talk and hype about the new movie, The Passion of Christ. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to see it or not, but I likely will. However, what I want to bring up is an interesting Op-Ed article in the NY Times talking about how the movie will force Christians to really look at their Christian beliefs.The article brings up the fact that many modern sects conveniently cleanse their religion of any troubling facts or suffering. You have people wearing large crosses around their necks as they exhibit absolutely no Christian traits. I don't mean to imply that Christians must be perfect, I mean, c'mon we're human, but the idea is try to live a Christ-like life. The movie will show people that Christ did suffer. He suffered immensely. He also did an incredible amount of good, and, as Christians generally believe, lived the perfect life.I thought this following paragraph was especially characteristic of today's filtered religions:

"Like Jeremiah, Jesus is a Jewish prophet rejected by the leaders of his own people, and abandoned by his handpicked disciples. Besides taking an awful beating, he is cruelly tempted to despair by a Satan whom millions of church-going Christians no longer believe in, and dies in obedience to a heavenly Father who, by today's standards, would stand convicted of child abuse. In short, this Jesus carries a cross that not many Christians are ready to share. "
I think the author does a nice job of subtly pointing out the hipocrisy of many professed "believers." I know I'm guilty. Sure, I try to be good, but I don't think I'm near as exemplary as I should be.

Posted by charr at 8:12 PM | Comments (2)

January 30, 2004

Why such passion?

I was reading an article in a techy magazine yesterday and they had an article by Mike Tiemann, the CTO of Red Hat Inc, a major Linux distribution vendor. He said, "[Mandating open-source software] is far less serious and immoral than the United States' willingness to export democracy by force." Normally, I'd back this guy up, given that I'm a Linux fan, but his political statement instantly drove up my blood pressure a bit, and I felt enmity towards him. The same reaction happens when I hear about celebrities like The Dixie Chics making not-to-subtle political statements against the US and it's administration.I caught myself, and I asked myself why do I get so worked up over what somebody says? They too have the freedom of speech and thought. However, I don't think I'm unique to this effect. I can think of other things, such as religion, and to a much smaller degree with some people, cars (Ford vs Chevy, etc). People can get irrationally emotional about some things they strongly believe in, even people that aren't real emotional, like me for example. Why do I care what some outspoken person says, when it likely won't effect federal policy? Why do I want to start calling these people names? Granted, thinking about things, and actually voicing or publishing them are significant differences, but it seems awfully immature to me. Again, I see this in a lot of people on different sides of lots of issues. In asking myself "Why the passion?" in order to have a rational explanation of the reaction, I can't come up with anything other than the fact that we strongly believe in things and don't like it when someone feels differently.Can any of you give me a better reason?

Posted by charr at 3:52 PM | Comments (3)

January 26, 2004

Dental Wrath

My wrath has been incurred. Remember when I wrote about my "cool" visit to the dentist back in November? Well, a couple weeks ago, I started getting some twinges of pain on the left side of my mouth. I went to the Dentist and he said it was probably cracked teeth -- something that can happen at times with fillings. I wasn't real happy with that, since he was the one who had put the fillings in, and since they were largely preemptive. But he said I could try to wait and see if the cracks fill in, and if not, I'd probably need a crown. I decided to wait. I'm a tough guy.So, I've been in pain since then. At times the pain is paralyzing. It's now more frequent, coming when I talk for more than a few seconds, or when I eat anything. I finally called the dentist again this morning, and now they're thinking possible root canals. I did some research and now I'm more upset. Here are a few links on what root canals are for (since I didn't really know):

Apparently, I should be eager to begin the root canal process (look near the bottom of the link). I don't think I'm buying it. Plus, I'm worried now about the dentist's qualifications. Several of these articles say it is performed by an endodontist, and while most general dentists have some training in the area, they often send out to a specialist. I'm assuming he's just going to do it himself, and I'm worried he might screw it up. Maybe I'm paranoid now, but I also have cause. I mean, will I still be able to date after this?

Posted by charr at 1:55 PM | Comments (16)

January 15, 2004

A Happy Day!

So, many of you know that I've been without Internet (along with other services) at home for about 7 months. After a lot of broken promises, I'm very happy to announce that as of Tuesday, I have Internet access! We still won't have tv for a while, but Internet is the biggie.Not only did we just get it, but we were the first in the whole development to get it because my brother and I have befriended the IT guys and basically let them know that we too are capable geeks. It's currently a little over 1Mb download speed, and I went by their office last night (around 9 pm), and not only were they there, but they set me up with a bunch of static IPs, and gave me the phone number of my choosing (out of a range of about 500 numbers). So I have a lot of other work to do, getting my site switched over and everything. Of course, this also means I haven't been getting much sleep lately. Anyway, this is certainly cause to celebrate in my mind.

Posted by charr at 8:57 AM | Comments (4)

December 26, 2003


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse......or two. There's some type of evil irony going on here, given my recent posting of mice attacks. The fact is I basically didn't sleep Christmas Eve.I was lying on the floor in my sleeping bag, semi-conscious. My brother came in about an hour later and got in his bed. At some point, with the lights off, my dad came in to ask my brother something, and in the process stepped on me, not knowing I was there. He kind of jumped and then asked my brother what that was, in a somewhat annoyed tone. My brother simply said "Cameron." My dad was like, "Oh." My brother just laughed and said little comments like "he's your son." I wasn't in any pain and just wanted to go to sleep, so I tried to hide the fact that I was awake. Anyway, my dad left and I mentioned something to my brother, who was still laughing. We talked for a little bit, but I wanted to go to sleep. Then he asked if I was the one making scratching noises (which I didn't hear, figuring any noise was the rain falling outside). I said no, and he said, "there's a mouse in here." I didn't believe him, but my little alarms started going off. He said he had found some mouse droppings on his bed earlier that day, and had heard the sounds before, but didn't know if they were coming from the wall or the closet, or somewhere else, since the room is pretty full of furniture. With enough credible proof to fully alarm me now, I sat up and started listening very carefully for the scratching sounds. I heard them coming from the closet. My brother told me to not worry about it, since we didn't stand much of a chance of catching it. I, however, remained determined and very much unwilling to just go back to sleep so the mice could run over me at night.Anyway, to entertain me, my brother had me grab his little flashlight and I went over to the closet, slowly moving things and watching for the beast. I saw a flash of darkness outside of the closet and thought that was the mouse. I kicked a bunch of things, and then for sure saw a mouse run back into the closet. At my declaration that I had really seen it, my brother arose to join our now automatically-defined mission -- to de-mouse the room.Man, was that mouse fast. Big too -- probably 4-5 inches w/o the tail. He (women are thoughtful enough not to bother me, right?) ran faster than our eyes could follow -- all around half of the room. He eventually ran into a boot turned on its side, and that brought about his end. We went back to bed, both a bit worked up, but before long, my brother was sound asleep. It took me a bit longer. I could swear I could hear another mouse. My mouse-running-over-my-face-phobia had been triggered, and wasn't about to submit myself to certain doom. After probably an hour or so, I got up and grabbed the flashlight from before and would shine that into dark corners every 15 - 20 minutes, when I heard scratching sounds. Hours, very slow ones, passed. I didn't have a clock near me, but I was awake an awful long time. I think in the end I may have dozed off for 30 - 60 minutes, but I don't remember it. I even tried playing mind games for a while, trying to convince myself that it was no big deal if a mouse ran over me -- that it wouldn't do anything. This particular thought had been set off by the fact that the afore-mentioned mouse had run over my foot. But my mind kept thinking of the Hanta Virus and being infected by the little mouse. I tried thinking about a girl for a while. After a jumpy start and about an hour, that actually started working. I was calmed down, and not worrying about mice. Then I heard a louder scratching noise, and I was sitting up, flashlight on, scanning corners in a matter of milliseconds. And that's sort of how the night went. I eventually was able to mostly convince myself that yes, there was another mouse, but it was in the wall. Of course, I could think of ways for it to get out of the wall, which is where we think the other one came from, but I tried to ignore that fact. I want to laugh at myself, but I don't think the phobia is going away anytime soon. Also, to my enjoyment, another brother of mine (the one I live with) called me this morning to report that he woke up around 3:00, in our house, to some sounds and a fresh case of mouse-phobia he had gotten from me. While I'm sure our house is devoid of vermin, my brother couldn't let it rest. It was only later that he realized it was just rain (ironic, I think), but he made sure to blame me for contaminating him with the phobia.

Posted by charr at 1:22 PM | Comments (14)

December 23, 2003

Men vs Malls

I got a kick out of this article in the Deseret News, highlighting the fact the men and malls don't mix.I'm a man, and I'll admit it: I don't like shopping for the same reasons given in the article. I also haven't really done any Christmas shopping yet. Christmas isn't even until Thursday, so there's no rush. I really got a kick out of The Gap's help-the-men policy though.

Posted by charr at 8:07 AM | Comments (10)

December 22, 2003

Not that special

I thought I was the only person who thought standing ovations were way out of control. I'm not. This is really bad in Utah, where no one wants to get offended or offend anyone else. Even mediocre performances usually get standing ovations. The overuse has made standing ovations lose their meaning. Just like the major overuse of the word "hero." I'm all for giving special appreciation to deserving performers, but I will stubbornly remain seated when a performance is average to good.

Posted by charr at 11:09 AM | Comments (9)

December 19, 2003

Mouse Attack

I was thinking I had mentioned the mouse story Jan inquired about. I guess not. Let me entertain.When my (brothers) house was built this summer, apparently a family of mice got built into the package (a feature perhaps?). Anyway, I moved into the house and lived there a week or two before my brother moved in. There were lots of new sounds, but I don't get scared too easy, so it wasn't a big deal. But one night, when I was up late watching a movie, I noticed a shadow moving around and heard some scratching. Then I heard some more. Mice. I sighed. It was annoying, but nothing to get worked up about. I'm a tough guy, right?So I turned on the light and watched them for a while, figuring they'd be harmless. And that they were, for the night. I went to bed not thinking about them, and saw them again the next night. Most of them were fairly small, and I decided they were likely more afraid of me and wouldn't come close. Yeah, my mistake.So I got in bed, not thinking about much. After a while, I heard what sounded like something small thunking the glass. I was in a pseudo-sleep and figured it was probably just the icemaker, or maybe a grasshopper outside that had jumped up and hit the window (which was right by my bed). I kept my eyes closed and laughed at myself a bit. But the thought of what it might be stayed in my mind, and about a minute later or so, I opened my eyes, just to make sure it was nothing. That's when a beast leaped down off the window sill, onto my pillow an inch or two away from my nose, ran across me on my blanket and leaped onto the floor.There was a second or two where I was in a denying stupor. Then I rose up in my bed very quickly, with a feeling of complete violation. I looked around, but it being pitch dark, I couldn't see anything. So I grabbed my cell phone by my bed and madly pressed volume buttons to get the dim screen light to shine down upon the carpet. I wanted to cross the room to turn on the main light, but didn't dare in the dark, figuring I'd step on a sneaky creature. Well, I managed to illuminate a mouse-free path across the room, and flipped on the light, now mad and determined to deliver swift justice. When the light came on I saw one mouse run around me out into the hall and kitchen. But I saw another run into my closet. I had a determined grin on my face, and set to work to make sure that mouse would bother me no more. Short story, I won, but it was several hours before I went to sleep, knowing there were more mice, and wondering how in the heck that mouse got up on the window sill.The next day, I spent a good $30 on various mouse exterminating equipment at Home Depot (I had to go there anyway), and using peanut butter and other creative techniques (including turning the oven upside down to dig one out of there), we managed to catch 6 mice in next 4 or 5 nights. On the last night, we (my brother had moved in at this point) sprikled flour around on the basement floor, so as to look for tracks to make sure there were no more. We didn't see any.And we've never seen once since, but sometimes, when I'm in bed and the lights go out, I'll hear a clunk from the ice maker in the kitchen, or some creak in the house, and I can't stop thinking about mice running over me. The fact is, I was violated. I might be scarred for life.

Posted by charr at 9:25 PM | Comments (9)

December 18, 2003

Mysterious questions

I was looking through my stats today and noticed a guy had queried "What happens in bed when lights turn off." I'm the first site. Do any of you know the answer?

Posted by charr at 1:58 PM | Comments (6)

November 24, 2003

Readable Religion

Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of JFK's assasination. There's plenty of publication about that, little of it mattering to me. However, it's also the 40th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, a famous novelist with religion interleaved heavily into his works. This article from the NY Times brought this anniversary to my attention. Interestingly, Lewis was an atheist much of his life, but turned to devoted Christianity at the end. There were several quotes that stood out to me as powerful and descriptive. I like how the author mentions how he made religion readable, rather than overbearing self-righeousness. Lewis also said, "Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst," which is so true, and so unfortunate to the many who have suffered at the hands of religious fanatics. Yet Lewis was also wise enough to note that sin and evil are due to the men (and women) themselves, not to a predisposition, destiny, or faith itself. I must applaud him on this, as I see too many people blame an entire religion on the wrongful acts of a few people.

Posted by charr at 12:02 PM | Comments (7)

November 20, 2003


Ok, this is for some female commentary. I have a friend who I write occasionally (snail mail, it really does still exist), and she writes back. We're pretty good friends, and have flirted on more than a couple occasions, but neither of us has made a real effort to push things past a good friendship (though we sorta went on a date once). Anyway, she's not in a situation where she should be thinking about guys and such, but when she concludes her letters, she ends with a heart, and her name. I didn't think it meant much, but I was a little curious and passed it by my sister. She said it did mean something -- something more than just friends. Her letters are pretty friendly towards me, but she also tries to give me advice about the girls I try to date. What do you girls think, friend, or friend+?

Posted by charr at 12:16 PM | Comments (11)

November 19, 2003

Too-hip hotels

I've done a fair share of traveling in the last few years and have stayed at a lot of different hotels. That's why I had to chuckle when I saw this article from the NY Times. This may not ring a familiar bell with some of you, but it sure did with me. I'm a fan of gadgets and "cool" things, but here's a few times I've been befuddled.Mountain View Sunnyvale, Ca. I don't remember the name of the hotel, but I do remember I went in my room and was quite pleased to see a Jacuzzi. The first night, I went jogging, came back, filled up the tub, and looked for the button to start the jacuzzi, and for the life of me could not find it. I finally gave up. I looked again the next morning, to no avail. It was the next morning, after I got out of the shower and went to open the curtains, that I saw the missing dial on the wall, behind the curtains, and invisible from the jacuzzi (because it was on the opposite side of the wall from the jacuzzi). I think I laughed, but was also a little annoyed how un-user-friendly the setup was.Seoul, Korea. I had a similar thing happen in a hotel in Korea, but with the hot tubs by the swimming pool. I was the only person around, and I looked everywhere for a button to turn on the jets in the hot tub. They had a service desk that I actually went behind searching for some kind of knob or button. Nothing. I finally gave up and went to the sauna instead.Taipei, Taiwan. Also in Asia, and I think this happened in more than one hotel, I hit situations where I couldn't figure out how to turn off the lights. When you walk into the room, you put your card into a slot just inside the room, to enable the lights. You flip a couple switches and about 7-8 lights around the room (lamps, ceiling lights, the whole bit) come on. That's fine until you want to go to bed. I found a few switches by the bed that turned off some of the lamps, but not the ones next to the bed. I could have gone and removed my card from the wall to turn off the lights, but that was a ways away, and it'd be pitch black trying to find my way back to the bed. To complicate things, some of the lights had dimmers, but no power switches. I think I just ended up unplugging some of the lamps, leaving the lights controlled by the bedside switches on, until I got in bed and could turn off the other lamps. I remember lying in bed, amazed at the needless complexity of the whole thing.

Posted by charr at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

November 10, 2003

Modern traditional love

I thought this article in the NY Times was kind of fun and interesting. It talks about how the new & modern style of dating on the Internet has returned many to the traditional "old-school" style of dating, and progressing slowly. While many of the contemporary dating views are foriegn to me and other members of the LDS church, I think it is valid to say that it slows things down a bit, and lets people get to know each other better. 'Twas something I had never thought of before. This still isn't going to make me try online dating again, for many of the reasons already given in the article, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Posted by charr at 8:48 AM | Comments (4)

November 7, 2003

Geek meets Dentist

I finally went to the dentist a couple weeks ago, after something like a 2-yr hiatus. Since moving, I had informally been looking for one, but when a new dentist opened by Thanksgiving Point, which happens to be quite close to home, I decided to settle down. I went and they were very friendly and serviceable. They gave me a checkup and took some nifty panoramic x-rays of my mouth, and guess what? I'm missing 5 teeth! I had no idea. And, two of those missing teeth are kinda towards the front, and since they never came in, I still have two baby teeth in their place. I was quite surprised.I went back the next day, for cleanings, and they had a cool new laser tool to check enamel depth of teeth, providing a more accurate way of looking for cavities. Now, I've been pretty proud of my mouth, having no metal, except for a pin in a rebuilt front tooth (Even the dentist complemented my teeth a number of times). I attribute that to being raised on floridated water in Seattle (For some reason, a lot of Utahns think floridated water is a conspiracy theory or something, and won't allow it). However, this laser thingy found several potential cavities, and the dentist recommended 5 fillings (the porcelain, not metal type). I thought perhaps the laser was creating opportunities to make more money for the dentist and that I didn't really need to worry about the teeth yet. But the laser was so cool, and I could kinda understand the science behind it, so I went ahead and had them all done at once the following week. The dentist was actually surprised at how well it went -- only taking about 90 minutes for 5 fillings -- which he attributed to my good behavior (which I attribute to them having a dvd and satellite tv monitor in the ceiling). The dentist also called me that evening to see how my teeth felt -- specifically the bite and also sensitivity to hot or cold foods; I haven't had any problems. I was impressed by the service, and it made me think I made the right choice, notwithstanding my internal geek's fascination with the laser.

Posted by charr at 9:48 AM | Comments (11)

October 31, 2003

Down the drain

This was just too funny to pass up.

Posted by charr at 2:59 PM | Comments (3)

October 21, 2003


Well, I'm not dead yet, and yes you must say that in a British Monty-Pythonish accent or it doesn't work. However, I've felt very close in the last week. I got back Sunday night from Tokyo after a little more than 30 hours of travelling. That's 30 hours straight, from leaving the hotel in Tokyo to getting home, sitting in numbing economy seats on really long trans-oceanic flights. That's after getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before because I was out dancing at a bar. What?! Cameron, dancing? Yep, and it was at a bar. One of the guys I was with was stunned after a while and kept telling his girlfriend that I had moves. I always say "I didn't say I couldn't dance, just that I don't like to dance." Anyway, it was either the bar or a "gentlemen's club," and I chose the bar. I actually have to say it was fun. I even tried picking up on a girl I was dancing with, just to say I tried, but failed miserably. No biggie, I still had fun, though I don't plan on returning to bars anytime soon. That was in the famed Roppongi district, frequented by Navy seamen. Jason, you might have been there.On Friday, a cute Japanese girl who speaks decent English took me out on a sort of date and that was pretty fun. Whenever we'd eat, the guys I work with would have her sit by me, and then they told her to take me to go see Thunder Gate, a famous Buddhist temple. So she took me there (paying the very expensive taxi fees), and even took me for ice cream. I made her happy by estimating her age to be about 6 years less than she was. She was delighted with my error, and I was quite surprised to find out she was really 32. So yeah, I played a little, but worked an awful lot. Friday, I worked (battled is a better verb here) until 4 AM, though the guy I was battling with did buy pizza: a large and two mediums (which is about a medium and two smalls by US standards), along with a few sides, all of which came to about US$85. Yes everything in Japan is small except prices, which are very, very expensive. When I get pictures up, I'll have to show you my first hotel room there. It was about 8'x8' with a bathroom about the size of an airplane's bathroom -- all for only $153 a night. The bed took up about half the room along with a narrow desk. It was ridiculous. The ticket was purchased from a vending machine. There are vending machines everywhere, but I saw none with undergarments -- mostly just drinks and cigarettes.Oh, and did I mention they want me to move there and live in Japan? Yeah, the guys in Taiwan also want me to live on that island for a couple months or more. I'm not sure I'm up for that right now. I do like Taiwan though.If I've sounded negative about Japan, I don't really feel that way. I did have a good time, but it really wore me out with all the work and little sleep. I got sick and never fully adjusted to the jet lag this time. I'm glad to be home, but guess what? I'm leaving again tomorrow morning for California, so my rest is short. That trip, however, is for a little personal R&R, with no plans to answer calls or emails from work. I'm In-N-Out, but I also plan on eating at the In-N-Out restaurant several times. For those of you unfamiliar with that little joint in the West, you're missing out. But, I'm going to take my digital camera along and try to organize my photos, and maybe even upload them to the server. I could say more about my trips, but it's better to talk about them I think.

Posted by charr at 12:30 PM | Comments (14)

October 6, 2003

What to do in Tokyo

As you already know, I'm indecisive, and I can't decide when to leave Japan. I just got my itinerary, and I can leave Tokyo either the 18th, the 19th, or the 20th. The problem is, I don't know if there's anything to see over there to make me stay till the 20th. I'm currently planning on the 19th, but I have up till tomorrow evening to decide. Have any of you been to Tokyo. Should I stay longer and go see something in specific?

Posted by charr at 5:26 PM | Comments (10)

September 29, 2003

Too Tired

I put in more than 80 hours of work last week and I'm still exhausted. My back hurts (from leaning over my laptop), and my eyes are going wacky (from staring at computer screens for so long last week). I must say I don't want to do it again. Unfortunately, this is another busy week. Then on top of that, the VP of International Sales stopped me in the hall and asked me to go back to Taiwan in a couple weeks. While I would think I'd be excited about that, I'm actually not. It would get my frequent flyer miles up, but it wouldn't give me the rest that I so much need, since I would go over there, make some presentations, and return. My last trip there wasn't much of a break at all. The guys I work with over there are great (though not the best influence), but I think I'm just too tired.

Posted by charr at 12:17 PM | Comments (10)

September 27, 2003

Poor Unfortunate Soul

Many others have made small posts about funny search terms. I don't look at them very often, so I don't know of many, but I found two today that made me laugh. They are:"Tumbleweed AND Sales Engineer"
"what to do when you girl friend wants to date other people"While these aren't as bizarre as some of the others that people have seen, they made me laugh. I don't know what the first guy was looking for -- maybe a stereotypical used-car salesman in Nevada. I actually kind of feel bad for the other guy (I'm assuming it's a guy). My page didn't come up until the 4th page, so he spent a bit of time looking around. Unfortunately, I can't help him out.

Posted by charr at 2:11 PM | Comments (2)

September 24, 2003


This is a somewhat random post but I was just inspired by an email from my boss to think of the topic. I'm indecisive. I think. Ok, that's actually one thing I've decided on. I think it's genetic. I remember taking one of those personality color tests with my family, and one of the questions asks you if you are indecisive. My mom asked out loud, "Am I indecisive?" She didn't realize the irony of the question, but we got a good laugh. But I'm rambling...So I just got an email from my boss asking me if I wanted to go back down to Los Alamos for some work. It made me chuckle inside, because it's another battle of indeciveness. I think he's just as indecisive as me (or a tiny bit less so). Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic guy and we get along great, but he often asks me what I want to do about something. I'll give a suggestion or two, hoping he'll make a decision, but it always turns into a business-level version of "I don't know; what do you want to do?...I don't care; what do you want to do?" It's not uncommon for us to have these discussions, and we're both pretty easy to please, so I'll often hope he'll just make the decision for me, which he generally ends up doing after a couple rounds. While I'd like to go back down to NM, I'm not sure if there's a really good reason, so I'm hoping he makes the call. Therefore, in my response, I told him the things I had going back here and then added that I certainly wouldn't mind going back down. I figured that'd make it easier on him, and in fact, I got an email back saying he'll have my new clone go down instead. Is anyone else here indecisive?

Posted by charr at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)

September 22, 2003

To be or not to be ... friends

Mel's recent entry got me in the mood to talk about relationships, so I'll add a follow-up post on mine. The general consensus was to ask the girl (Katie) out again. Well, I sorta did. I asked her out to lunch on Saturday. Like the first time I asked her out, last December, she seemed very eager to go, and even volunteered to forego some schoolwork in order to meet up.I thought that's all good, and we had an enjoyable time together, where there was a lot of good conversation. When I gave her a hug goodbye, she said something like "this probably won't be the last time we see each other." She said it in a tone that seemed to imply "you don't need to give me a farewell hug, but it's ok." I could interpret her statement in a number of ways, but I'm hoping she wasn't meaning that we may see each other sometime (not necessarily in the near future) as friends. What do y'all think?

Posted by charr at 12:44 PM | Comments (13)

September 18, 2003

New Mexico

I just got back from New Mexico last night, and will finally take some time to make a new post. I feel like I've been travelling a lot lately. In the past couple months, I've been to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver (British Columbia), Korea, Taiwan, Japan, New Mexico, and let's not forget Utah :).I was down there for work, installing part of the ASCI Lightning supercomputer, that our company has sold to Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). You can look here at a listing of the world's 5 most powerful computer systems. Note that LANL already has the 2nd fastest computer, and that my company (well, the one I work for) built the 3rd fastest. The one we're installing now will be in between those two, and it's in the same room as ASCI Q. The room is huge too -- 43,500 sq ft. And that's just the room. I've been there a few times now, and I first have to say that I'm always amazed at how barren New Mexico is. I wonder why people set up civilization down there in the first place. From the air, you can see the channel for the Rio Grande river running through Albuquerque, but it's now just a series of mudpuddles. I don't know where they get all their water. Also, the security at LANL can be intense. Besides having to be escorted everywhere (even to the bathroom), there are some other things that are really tight, which I'm not sure if I can mention. This, and the fact that it's a government institution means everything slows way down. My best/worst example of this was yesterday, when we needed to load some crates onto a truck. The truck driver had previously picked up the wrong crates from the loading dock and was going to take those up to Salt Lake, until someone at the external gate thought somethingg was suspicious. They found the problem and sent him back to get the right load. There were 14 crates in all, and the time it took for us to leave to load up the crates and get back to work was about 2 hours. That's two hours to load 14 crates, which easily rolled into the truck, over a distance of about 30 yards. Yes, the distance from where we were working, to the loading dock was only about 30 yards, with just a set of double doors between the computer room and the dock. The actual time to load the 14 crates onto the truck was about 5-10 minutes, with the remaining 110 minutes spent waiting for people, mostly a security guard to come and open the set of double doors. That was annoying. However, the entire experience was nice, and I had some pretty good food in Santa Fe.

Posted by charr at 9:55 AM | Comments (5)

September 12, 2003

For the ladies...

Ok, so there's a girl I think I like. Ladies, feel free to comment. I spent the evening with a girl last night, and she said it's easy to see if a girl likes a guy; that she can tell right away by looking at her eyes. That didn't help me at all and I refused to believe her. It's all part of a massive conspiracy theory to trick guys. Isn't it? Hah, I caught you all!Actually, she did mention that girls aren't always honest -- that they'll do one thing and mean the opposite. That I knew, but I still don't know when they're doing it.So anyway, let me tell you about this one. I'll call her Katie, which isn't her name, but I figure there's a several hundred Katies in Utah, so it's a good disguise. Although, if either of the girls sees this post, they'll know in an instant who they are. Anyway, Katie has a twin sister who I tried to date back in Spring of 2002. It didn't work out , but I have to mention that before I asked her out, and I was trying to decide which twin to ask out, I made the comment to my friend that by the end of it, neither sister would talk to me. I was right. The one I didn't ask out, Katie, wouldn't even look at me. I have to give credit to Katie's sister, we'll call her Jenny (which isn't even close to her real name), because she totally threw me for a loop. One time, our singles ward (for you non-mormons, that's an entire church congregation made up of just young single adults), met up for a closing social. Some people convinced her to lipsink, which was fun to watch, until she started lipsinking to the song Kiss Me by Six Pence None the Richer. When she started singing the chorus, she came over (I was sitting on the front row with some other girls), grabbed my hand, and pulled me up front to sing the chorus with her and dance. Ok, girls, never do that to a guy. It's mean. I was petrified, but tried to move my legs and not look at anyone (I don't like dancing and I don't like being the center of attention). Anyway, along with her friendliness, I thought that was a pretty sure sign she liked me. Right? Wrong. We went out another time, and then she did a 180, and seemed to want absolutely nothing to do with me. Why? I'm not sure. Girls.But anyway, they (Katie and Jenny) left for the summer and that was the end of that. But they both came back. We were more like friendly acquaintances at that point -- where you say "Hi," or "Hey" or something like that. Jenny managed to embarrass me a bit another time in front of a bunch of peers, but I didn't really have any feelings for her anymore, so I didn't think much of it. I saw a bit more of Katie, since she worked with my roommate on the church activities committee, but we certainly weren't anything special. I was busy going out with other girls and such, until I went on a date in November that frustated me to no end. I decided that for an undefined amount of time, I was going on a leave of absence from the dating world. Funny thing though -- during my no-dating period, which was roughly 3 months, I went out with five different girls. One of those was Katie. I didn't have much desire to date, but that afternoon my brother called me and told me he had a couple tickets to a special Christmas dinner that night which were about $75 a piece. He said he wasn't gonna use them and that I needed to find a date.I had no idea who I could ask, since I didn't want to date anyway. Plus, it was the Saturday before finals started, so everyone was busy studying like crazy. I called one girl, but she couldn't go, so I called Katie, for the heck of it. Besides, I had always thought she was pretty cool. This is how the paraphrased conversation went:

"Hi Katie, ...blah blah blah... I have a couple tickets to a thing tonight. I just found out about it today, so I'm sorry for the short notice, but would you like to go?""Cameron, I'd love to, but I've got a study session from 6:00 till midnight tonight.""Ok.""But I'd really like to go.""Ok.""But I have this study session I have to go to.""Ok.""No, I really do want to go. I have an idea. I'll call the girl who's in charge of the whole thing and find out what's going on, then I'll call you back.""Ok, bye."**** We hang up. About 10-15 minutes pass. ****"Hi, Cameron?""Oh, Hi Katie.""I'm gonna go.""Ok.""Is that Ok? Can I still go? You haven't found someone else have you?""Sure. No. You're fine""Ok.""Ok. Good, you should wear something nice, like a dress.""Ok. How about the dress I wore for the Fall Ball (A dance we all went to)?""Sure.""Ok.""Ok. I'll pick you up around 5:30""Ok.""Ok. Bye.""Bye."**** We hang up ****And that is about how the conversation went. We had a good time, and she was pretty talkative, which was good. I had a good time. And after that, she seemed to come over to visit me a few times, making an effort to get me to ask her out again. That's how it seemed to me, but the timing was off and I didn't want to date, so I never asked her out again. But we've been friends.Well, we're close to the present now. I went to Asia a week ago, and her sister, Jenny, happens to be over in Korea serving a mission. So I sent Katie an email telling her about my hopes to visit her sister, though it would likely be impossible, since Korea is still a big piece of land, and I had no real idea where Jenny was. Katie, who had been gone all summer in Connecticut, wrote me back and over several messages, was able to give me lots of info for Jenny. Then, finishing her work in CT., Jenny returned to Utah. She called me up one day and asked if she could bring some stuff by to give to her sister. That was certainly fine with me, so we made plans for her to come visit my new place. She ended the call with something like "Cameron, I'm excited to see you." That's a good sign isn't it? She came over, but with several family members, and we never really got the opportunity to talk or anything. I gave her a hug, and she left. I was a little bummed I didn't get to talk to her, but I figured there'd be other opportunities. Anyway, I went to Asia, and was able to meet up with Jenny. That was actually pretty cool. She too gave me some stuff to take to her sister back in Utah. I've now been trying to meet up with Katie for the past week to give her the stuff, but Katie's been really busy. She did call me last night though and says she is going to come over tomorrow. So that's cool. The only problem is that I think she's coming with a friend or something, so I won't have a good opportunity to talk to her. I want to go out with her again, but I'm now not sure of anything that girls do, and so I'm not sure if she wants to date. I would think so, but I'm just a dumb guy. Help.

Posted by charr at 9:18 AM | Comments (8)

September 11, 2003

Almost There

Well, as some of you may have noticed, my site is mostly up and functional. I'm still not 100% satisfied. For instance, if you look at the comments page, you'll see a nice navy blue bar behind the entry title that isn't supposed to be there. I still don't understand all the "class" and "div" stuff in html (I don't claim to be very learned in this area), so despite lots of tries at getting rid of it, I've left it for now. Previously the title was invisible over this bar until you ran your mouse over it, but I've fixed that to be white, so you can see it. I think I will pretend everything's right, though I know it will eat away inside of me until it's fixed or I go insane, but let's pretend. I can start making real posts and not talk about my html deficiencies.

Posted by charr at 9:40 AM | Comments (0)

Ghost Post

This post will likely be deleted, but it's to fix a hole.

Posted by charr at 8:40 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003


In continuation of the Stupidhead theme on Dan's blog, I've come across another bout of stupidity. I would venture to say Mr. McKinley was acting as a Stupidhead. Not just because he flew in the cargo bay (which could have been fatal), but because he paid $550 for it and could have flown at least coach for that price.

Posted by charr at 2:34 PM | Comments (2)


Hello All. As many of you know, I've been trying to restart my blog on another machine. Unfortunately, this other machine is different enough to cause quite a few problems. My site is partially operational, but to tell you the truth, I don't know if I want to mess with it the hard way (which I've been doing). I'm tempted to let it sit until I can get my old box online. Alternatively, there's a possibility I could get all my old comment online without changing it, but Dan and I were previously unsuccessful. I guess we'll see what happens.

Posted by charr at 10:00 AM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2003

The End is Near

Yes my friends, my site will soon be offline for about 3-4 weeks minimum. I currently have 5 constantly running computers in my apartment bedroom, one of them being my webserver. I'm in the process of moving to a new place which won't have Internet until mid-July or later, and the current service is stopped on June 25th. They say I can run a server, so hopefully there won't be a problem there, when they get stuff installed. On the bright side, it'll be CAT-5 100Mbit to every home, from what I understand. If you don't know what that last sentence means, it means it's a really, really fast connection for a home, about 1828.57142857 times faster than a 56K modem.

Posted by charr at 7:13 AM | Comments (19)

June 4, 2003

Email Works

Just FYI, after sufficient struggling, I've got my email relaying working so that you may put in your real email and have it work (rather than bounce back). If you have problems, please let me know.

Posted by charr at 9:32 PM | Comments (2)

June 3, 2003

The secret of life

I felt prompted to note the wisdom given in the Peanuts comic strip today. The definition of my social life for the past decade can be described by the inability to understand women. I had a girl out for lunch on Saturday and after I told her how girls mess guys up in the head (at least me), she said guys aren't so simple themselves. In my (um, biased) opinion, guys make perfect sense. They use real logic, though perhaps that's my problem -- using logic to interpret the mysteries of love.

Posted by charr at 11:15 AM | Comments (33)

March 25, 2003

Silly Peaceniks

My roommate has a friend named Jason Steorts who is a senior at Harvard, but happens to be apart from the many anti-war peaceniks there. He wrote an article for the National Review about the lack of logic of the anti-war movement, and it was apparently read on the air by Rush Limbaugh. I must say that I agree with his views. While I respect the opinions of others, I also insist they have some logical backing for their argument, something that shouldn't be too hard. It doesn't even have to be a completely failsafe reason, but at least a logical one. However, from my perusings of the anti-war movement, it is increasingly rare to find a decent argument, making the opinion that naivety is rampant in their movement more probable. In the anti-war movement I often see people holding anti-abortion signs, or such foolish banners as "Stop the war. End racism." I'm sure they can come up with a decent argument, so why aren't I hearing it?

Posted by charr at 8:36 AM | Comments (7)

March 10, 2003

Burger Battle

As the prospect of war in Iraq consumes the headlines and news shows, people tend to forget about other ongoing battles. One of these, which I shall bring to the forefront is that between the Big Mac, of McDonald's, and the King Supreme of Burger King. Both burgers are very similar, consisting of two beef patties, onions, lettuce, a special sauce, and cheese. On Mondays, Big Macs are 99¢ and currently, King Supremes are also 99¢. Today I picked up a couple King Supremes and on my way back, I passed a McDonald's and picked up a Big Mac in order to have a little taste test. The first outcome of this test is that I'm full, having eaten three burgers and drunken a can of soda.Actually, I'm going to have to give the top award to the King Supreme. As with most McDonald's food (to me at least), the Big Mac has somewhat of a processed taste. There's something kinda bland and unexciting about it. It's not bad, but it's not great either. The King Supreme on the other hand seems to use fresher ingredients (I noticed onion rings instead of the tiny chopped up onions used on the Big Mac), and you can taste the beef. In my case, the beef of the King Supreme was a little too well-done, but overall, it had a livelier, juicier taste. You could taste the separate components of the sandwhich as opposed to the somewhat "all-in-one" taste of the Big Mac. So, in the end, while I would still eat either one if I were hungry and in the mood for a burger, I conclude that the King Supreme has a more distinct, and better, taste.

Posted by charr at 1:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2003

Testing Trackback

In an attempt to get trackback pinging working, I'm gonna make this post and try to link to Dan's blog. Here goes...For auto discovery, I'm going to put in a link here.

Posted by charr at 4:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2003

More Development

Ok, so you're thinking this isn't exactly a current event, but getting the blog up and running correctly is a big event in my eyes. It's almost done -- I just need to create a template for posting comments I think. Then I'll be ready to roll.

Posted by charr at 1:24 PM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2003

My Debut

This is my big debut. This blog will focus on current events, on all scales, with intelligent commentaries.

Posted by charr at 1:50 PM | Comments (1)

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Last Updated 11/07/03