Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cold Blooded

It was freezing cold this morning as I walked to school in the icy rain. For some reason unbeknownst to me, autumn decided to take a break this year and the seasons skipped right into winter. There was no gentle transition, there were no baby steps to chilly, just a sudden drop from 80 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday to 34 degrees today. One day was all it took. To make things worse, today was the deadly duo of cold and wet. Snow blanketed the tops of the tall mountains of Utah Valley. I woke up today and had no desire to carpe diem. I felt like going back to bed and saying, "Wake me up when September ends!" But, chances are that the weather won't improve too much by tomorrow. Surprisingly, the time when I was the coldest today was during my derivatives class, not while walking to school. Something about always needing to layer up during classes to stay warm makes me think that I'm cold-blooded. If only I could have a heat rock like an iguana I could hedge against this weather.

Monday, September 21, 2009

LeBaron - Upcoming Show

It should be a good show. We have two bands opening for us and a new drummer that was motivated to start drumming after he totally dominated the drums on Rock Band.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't Drop Your Drawers!

It all happened yesterday while I was making lunch. I had a brief break between my classes so I hurried home and pulled down my box of macaroni & cheese from the cupboard and started boiling a pot of water on the stovetop. I was intently reading a Harvard Business case for one of my classes and was periodically checking the macaroni noodles to make sure they didn't boil over or succumb to sogginess. When al dente arrived, I removed the noodles from the stove and strained out all the water. I then went to open up the drawer next to the stove to retrieve a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure the milk.

This is where things got nasty. It all happened in one motion. I pulled open the drawer and it came out very fast and tipped downward. I realized the drawer wasn't connected to the drawer track, so there was nothing to prevent it from falling onto the ground. Thinking that the drawer was going to fall onto the ground, I instinctively thrust my left hand down toward the ground to catch the dropping drawer and its contents before they spilled to the ground. The drawer, however, never quite came out far enough to fall to the ground–it barely stayed in the drawer socket. My hand grazed the abnormally sharp corner of the stationary drawer and the corner gouged a deep new lifeline into my palm.

As I inspected my hand, I was appalmed to see skin flapped mountains overhanging an epidermal valley that was beginning to fill with a river of blood.

Against my better judgment, I hurried and finished making my lunch, turned off the stove, and then went to care for my wound. I went into the bathroom and took some tiny scissors and started to cut the skin flaps with my right hand (keep in mind I'm left-handed). I realized that I could never be a doctor. A couple of snips into my self-surgery I started to feel extremely light-headed. I thought I was about to faint.

I barely made it to my bed and then laid down for a few minutes to try to recover. Then I went back and finished excising excess skin. I started feeling sick again, but made it through.

It was a traumatic experience for me at the time, but it all worked out in the end. My hand is good to go and is healing quickly. Actually, suspiciously quickly. "Doctor, what is more severe, a hand injury or a head injury?"

Friday, September 11, 2009

University Parking Enforcement in Provo is the WORST!!!

For those unfamiliar with University Parking Enforcement in Provo, it isn't BYU parking. It's a company hired by many of the apartment complexes around BYU to enforce parking. By and large, people that work for University Parking Enforcement are jerks. You may think that they just have a bad rap, but it's true. Here's why:

At the very end of August I saw a note on my door. "Parking passes will be handed out on August 29 in the parking lot between 9 and 11am and between 1 and 3pm." Of course it was during a time when I was going to be in Salt Lake. The note continued, "If you do not have a parking pass you will have to get one from University Parking during your own time. All cars and bikes must have parking passes by September 15, 2009 or they will be booted."

Imagine my surprise when yesterday, September 10, my roommate came into the apartment and said, "Bob, is your car the green Nissan parked in the back lot by the bikes?"

"Yeah," I said.

"Dude, the University Parking people just put a boot on your car. The guy said they're cracking down on expired permits, but if you go out right now he'll take it off for $25 instead of $50."

Apparently the scumbag waiting out in the Jeep thought giving victims $25 off of something they don't owe is supposed to make them feel special.

I went outside to talk to the guy. I maintained composure and asked him why there was a boot on my car.

"Your permit is expired," he said.

I explained how the note on our door said that we had until the September 15th to get our parking passes renewed, but he said, "That's not my problem. Plus, I don't have the authority to take off the boot." Oh really? Because I'm pretty sure you're the one who put it on!

He then went on to tell me that he would take the boot off for me if I paid him $25.

"Okay, I'll pay you," I said. "But first, can you please explain to me how it's ethical to tell people they have until the 15th of the month to get parking passes and then start booting cars on the 10th?"

"I'm not gonna do this!" the guy said, and he started getting back into his Jeep. "Explain how this is ethical? I don't have time for crap like that!"

"That's because you're being a jerk!" my roommate said. "You're totally being unreasonable."

"Dude! Do you want me to put a boot on your scooter?!" the guy yelled at my roommate.

"You can't put a boot on my scooter, I'm getting on it right now!"

The guy was a total prick. I told him I would pay because I obviously wanted to get the boot off of my car. I was livid though. He told me that it was the fault of the people that manage my apartment because they were the ones that called him to come put boots on cars and that I would have to go through the appeals process. I told him that I was sorry for getting mad at him and that it must be a hard job since everybody is pissed off when they talk to him. "No, I can actually handle that part all right," he said. Right. Ethically, too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kit Kat Powder

I sat down in class this morning and felt a certain slab in my back right pocket obtruding into my butt cheek. I had intentionally left my wallet in my backpack to avoid the discomfort of wallet butt and was sorely confused as to what was in my right pocket. I delved my hand into my back pocket and retrieved a fun size Kit Kat bar that was once in a solid state, but had since been crushed to a fine powder of wafer bits and chocolaty smithereens. Fun size? It sure didn't feel like fun size. I guess that's what I get for wearing the same shorts I wore to Sunday dinner at the cabin, when putting a Kit Kat in my back pocket apparently seemed like a good idea. What kind of intense pressure does it take to crush a Kit Kat into fine powder anyway? I was expecting to find a disjointed Kit Kat at most, but fine powder? I guess school really is back to the grind. It's always nice to know you have a buttocks as strong as an ox butt. Or at least a huge head to weigh anchor.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"I cut the sleeves off because it looks awesome!"

I love ESPN commercials, but I think this Monday Night Football dream job commercial is the best one I've ever seen. The guy totally nailed his part–especially during the last scene where he's coaching. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. By the way, the extended version of the commercial has an extra 15 seconds of hilarity if you aren't satiated by the clip below.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How 'bout them Cougs?

Wow. Wow is all I have to say. I hope you were able to watch it. BYU defeated #3 Oklahoma tonight in an amazing game. I really liked BYU's offense tonight, but I loved their defense. Not in a gay way, in a fan way. They were able to stop Oklahoma on several drives and really, the only points they gave up came as a result of BYU's offense turning the ball over, giving Oklahoma good field position. If you didn't watch the game, be sure to check out the highlight reel.

I think my favorite part was seeing Provo come alive after the victory. I watched the game at my friend Reed's house up in Orem and drove down to Provo after the game. People were swarming the streets and drivers were honking their horns like crazy in celebration of the victory. I went back to my apartment to play some Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii and heard a huge mass of people celebrating, walking down my street. I went outside and saw a herd of fans cheering, headed by a kid playing the bagpipes at 11pm. It was awesome seeing a BYU Stone Cold Sober celebration instead of a rowdy celebration with beer flowing from the taps.

Friday, September 4, 2009

If ye are prepared...

One of my teachers is amazing. He has an Elder Holland-esque presence about him. He is a short, barrel-chested man with a fiery, energetic personality. He also comes across as one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and has a very commanding presence. I’m really excited about his class.

It was actually during the first day of his class that I had a funny experience. The class is advanced corporate finance and is made up of about 30% MAcc students and 70% MBA students.

Dr. Heaton walked in and started passing around cardstock and markers for each of us to make name tags, because he calls on whoever he feels should know the answer, not students with raised hands. As I was writing my name on my name tag, he started talking to a kid sitting in front of me. The class went something like this, but keep in mind that the questions and responses were lightening fast:

Dr. Heaton: Ryan, what was Dave Bitter’s undergraduate major?

Ryan: Computer science

Dr. Heaton: Kind of a strange degree, don’t you think?

I assumed they were talking about a mutual friend, perhaps someone in the MBA program.

Dr. Heaton: Heidi, what was Dave Bitter’s post-graduate degree?

Heidi: An MBA in finance

"Wow," I thought. "They all seem to know this Dave Bitter guy. Dave Bitter must be an MBA professor or a storied alumnus."

As my professor continued to grill students for more unique information about Dave Bitter, I realized that the students’ knowledge of Dave Bitter was a little too uniquethe entire class seemed to know something I didn't. And then, when I saw how Professor Heaton was appalled when a student couldn’t answer a question about Dave Bitter’s job description of his first job at Ford Motor company, I knew I was in trouble.

I turned to the girl sitting next to me and said, “What is he talking about? Were we supposed to read something before class?”

“Yeah,” she said. “He emailed us a 20-page case study a couple of weeks ago and we were supposed to read it and answer questions about the case.”

Gulp. I had read no such case. I started panicking a little bit. I hurried and downloaded the case and started skimming ahead to shield against the shower of Dave Bitter bullets Dr. Heaton was shelling out at random victims like a howitzer.

Luckily, I was spared from answering a case-specific question and was fielded a general question about the risk of US Treasury bonds. It was still frightening, though, because even if you give the right answer, Dr. Heaton challenges you and makes you defend yourself. In his class you have to be sure because if you're sitting on the fence, he'll push you off.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ian Eldon Tanner?

I was walking through the Tanner building this morning and saw a painting of President N. Eldon Tanner and noticed a striking resemblance between him and Sir Ian McKellen. It probably stood out to me because I just barely watched The Da Vinci Code for the first time on Friday night.

What do you think? Cast your vote on the side poll.