Thursday, December 14, 2006

Calvin and the Snowmen

My friend Diego sent me this series of Winter-themed Calvin & Hobbes strips. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Andy Kaufman - Mighty Mouse

The famous Mighty Mouse performance by Andy Kaufman

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Net neutrality letter from my State Senator.

I got an email awhile back from eBay, supporting Net Neutrality laws. They had set up a sort of email form letter that I could just sign, and they would send it on to my State Senator, Orrin Hatch, in support of Net Neutrality. I went through with it, because I'm definitely in favor, and never gave it another thought. Until I received the following letter from Orrin Hatch.

It was not sent via email, by the way, I transcribed the whole thing so I could post it. I thought it was kind of an interesting look at political formalities, and it was nice to see that our representation in Washington does actually take time to respond to us. Check it out.
September 1, 2006

Dear Mr. Curran:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for network neutrality legislation. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you are aware, on June 28, 2006, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee passed S. 2686 in the form of a substitute to H.R. 5252. This legislation would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to perform a five-year study of net neutrality issues and practices in the marketplace and report back to congress with legislative recommendations. The bill is now awaiting Senate floor consideration.

As you, I believe it is important for incumbent providers to ensure they do not and will not discriminate against consumers or consumer choices on the internet. Fostering competition and prosecuting anti-competitive practices will ensure that consumers benefit from a competitive marketplace. That is why I encouraged Senate Judiciary Chairman, Senator Arlen Specter, to hold a hearing on "Reconsidering Our Communications Laws: Ensuring Competition and Innovation" on June 14, 2006. During the course of the June hearing, several witnesses expressed concern that broadband providers will eventually exert more and more control over their networks to the detriment of consumers as well as content and application providers.

I agree with your assessment that the five-year study prescribed by S. 2686, does not go far enough to address the needs of consumers. Per your request, I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to find a solution to the potential problems caused by market concentration in the broadband industry. I believe that an appropriate Congressional response to the network neutrality debate could protect consumers, foster innovation, and create jobs.

While I am hopeful the Federal government will not be forced to take too active a role in prescribing what can and can't be done on private networks, I believe it is important that Congress foster competitive integrity in the offering of broadband and video services.

Again, thank you for writing. Learning your thoughts and opinions is extremely helpful to me as I seek to represent you in Washington. I hope you will continue to provide me with your thoughts on the many issues confronting Congress.

Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some Crummy video clips of The Strokes

More from The Strokes Sept. 29 at In the Venue.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Strokes at In The Venue, SLC, UT

My wife and I went to see The Strokes this past Friday at In the Venue in Salt Lake City, UT. It was a very cool show, and we had a great time hanging out up in the balcony with an awesome view of the band, and no sweaty teenagers scrunched up against us. Sorry about the low quality of all these photos. I took them with my camera phone.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Owen plays the Gishtar

My son Owen, making history, playing the guitar for the first time. It won't be long before he's rocking the stadium circuit and selling millions.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hey Honey, get me one of these for Chistmas!

The AeroAce Remote Control airplane is around $30, but it looks like its worth a Million in fun. I'm not sure where to buy one though.

You can get them at Toys R Us

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Review of "The Protector" with Ong Bak's Tony Jaa

I left a few hours early from work this past Friday, so my friend Travis and I could go see The Protector with Ong Bak's Tony Jaa. I thought I'd share a few thoughts.

I first saw Ong Bak about a year ago, when a friend of mine let me borrow it. I didn't expect much; it seemed too foreign to enjoy, but after watching it I was absolutely blown away. The stunts were plentiful and eye-popping, and the didn't rely on wires, as most martial arts movies of late do. The fighting sequences were unbelievably intense; I'd never seen moves like those, where the knees and elbows were used with such devastating impact. The acting was cheesy, and the plot was thin, and most of the editing looked amaturish, but it was easy to forgive all of that and just enjoy the action.

When I saw previews for The Protector, I was immediately sold. I called up Travis and said, "It's movie time." We had to go see this on opening day. Travis and I have similar taste in movies, so he agreed, even though he'd never seen or heard of Ong Bak, he took me at my word that this Tony Jaa was the new Jackie Chan - and then some. We both left early on Friday and showed up at the theater stoked and ready.

To start with, I bought the premise. Tony Jaa's character (Kham) is known in Thailand as a "Protector", one of those chosen and trained from days of old to look after the country's most cherished posessions, their Royal Elephants. This may sound a little silly, but imagine it's a tradition passed down through countless generations, and held up to be as important and meaningful today as it was 1000 years ago, and it's not that hard to buy. When two of these most precious Elephants are kidnapped and taken to Sydney to be the main course at an underground restaurant that serves endangered species', and Kham's father is killed by the kidnappers, Kham pursues, to get revenge and secure the return of his pachyderms. Kham soon finds himself doing battle with Sydney's Thai mob queen and her vast number of curiously un-armed guards and henchmen. Several impressive fight scenes follow, but none capture the raw and devastating, brutal energy that was everywhere in Ong Bak. These scenes felt, mostly, like a Jackie Chan movie, but without the charm and humor.

There was a pretty cool unbroken steady-cam shot where Kham fights his way up several flights of stairs, often throwing bodies to the floor below, culminating in a lukewarm fight with Johnny (one of the mob queen's top men). The climax of the film involved - what felt like - twenty straight minutes of Kham taking on - what felt like - 100 + of the the Queen's curiously unarmed guards and henchmen (one at a time, of course). It was one long bone-crunch-athon, as each of them stepped up in turn and hit the floor in a broken painful heap. Did I say it felt like 20 minutes? Make that an hour, it got silly. Imagine Kill Bill with no swords, no style, and no clever choreography.

Following that, Kham took on three WWE rejects, and really looked like he paid for it. Eventually, they were dispatched after Kham found a clever new use for splintered Elepahnt bones, and uncannily got them to take turns too. As a finale, Kham took a death defying leap off the top of the building to give a knee to the chest to the soon-to-be departed mob queen (breaking her grip from the rescue line of her getaway-copter). They both fell through a skylight. She died, he walked away, because, you know, he's the hero.

So, that was all the good stuff. In between, was lots of dumb, wierd, and just moronic stuff. For instance, in a scene in which Kham's policeman friend is talking on his cell phone on the side walk, a nameless character steps into the foreground and draws attention to himself by looking around, taking a swig from what looks like a medicine bottle, before giving an audible "ahh", and walking out of the frame. And get this, that guy is mentioned in the credits. That's not all either. There's a scene where Kham bumps into a stranger just after getting off the airplane. That stranger, who looked a heck of alot like Jackie Chan turns around like he wants to fight for a second, and then says "It's alright..." and continues walking. Was that Jackie Chan? I don't know, but HE didn't get mentioned in the credits. I won't even mention the watergun wielding Thai kids that take on Kham's younger elephant early in the film. There was also the fact that Jaa had almost nothing to add to the film verbally. He had pretty much two lines: "You killed my father!", and "Give me back my Elephants!"

To sum up, it was a fun movie to watch for the fight scenes, but I'm really glad I only paid for a matinee ticket. More than anything, watching The Protector just made me want to go out and rent Ong Bak, if for no other reason than to sit through it with Travis and say, "See, this is how good The Protector should have been".

Friday, September 01, 2006

Voltron got served!

Diego's Big Announcement!

I just got this email from my old pal and bandmate Diego:

After much sweat and tears I would personally like to announce that I am finally done with my undergraduate work!!! I’t about FREAKIN time no?

I have officially earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology from the Universityof Phoenix. Although the commencement ceremony will not be until May ‘07 (it’s dumb, I know…) there’s most definitely still reason to party! And you are all invited!

I would also like to thank all of you who have supported and put up with me throughout. I would especially like to thank my family, Chippy and 63 for being the best roomies ever and keeping it quiet after 10:00 PM. Larr-dog for moving to Hawaii so 63 and Chippy could keep it quiet after 10:00 PM. Shawn Linseth for holding me in times of need. Courtney (the love of my life) Forester for, well, just being you, and last but not least, Dale Williams for the hiphop…

I know I’m forgetting some people, and although I may not mention you by name, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and I thank you.

Love you all,

Congratu-freakin-lations man.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

IKEA Draper, to open in Spring 2007, will be 1st IKEA store in Mountain West

I found this press release on the IKEA website about the store currently under contruction in Draper, UT. It's kind of old news, but I hadn't read it yet, so I thought I'd post it. I'm pretty excited for this.
Contact:Joseph Roth 610-834-0180x6500

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA, November 29, 2005 – IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced plans for a store in Draper, UT, increasing the Swedish retailer’s presence in the Western U.S. (In addition to stores in Arizona, California, and Washington, a future store is planned in Portland, OR.) Pending permits, construction of the future IKEA Draper can begin next spring, with an anticipated opening in Spring 2007.

As part of a 40-acre project, the approximately 310,000 square-foot future IKEA Draper and its approximately 1,300 parking spaces will be built on 22.5 acres at the northwestern corner of I-15 and Bangerter Highway, and will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. In addition, IKEA will be selling approximately 13 acres that will be available for complementary retail and restaurant uses.

“We are thrilled about entering Utah at this site in Draper where we can build on our presence in other Western states,” said Doug Greenholz, IKEA real estate manager. “We know IKEA Draper will allow us to be more convenient to existing customers while also introducing the unique IKEA family-friendly shopping experience to new customers throughout Utah. Plus, with the additional retail parcels to be developed, we are confident a strong retail destination will emerge here in Draper.”

Besides nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Draper will feature three model homes, 50 room settings, a supervised children’s play area, as well as a 300-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features will include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.

In addition to jobs created during the construction phase, approximately 300-350 coworkers would join the IKEA family when the new store opens. IKEA Draper will provide significant annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools. “We also look forward to being a partner in the local community,” continued Greenholz.

IKEA currently has more than 225 stores in 33 countries, including 26 in the U.S., where it plans to open approximately four or five stores a year. Other stores are being planned in: Brooklyn, NY; Canton, MI; Dublin, CA; Portland, OR; Round Rock, TX; Somerville, MA; and West Sacramento, CA.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings and accessories of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. For three consecutive years, IKEA has been named to Working Mother magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” and Training magazine’s annual “Top 100” ranking of companies that excel at human capital development – as well as to this year’s FORTUNE’’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to For information about working at IKEA, please visit

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is the coolest free web based service I've seen in a long time. I'm brainstorming right now about how to feature this service on

MyChingo is a web based voice recorder/audio feedback system that you can implement on your website for free. I'm pretty excited about it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

a king wothout a crown

More Hip Hop Reggae Hacidic Jewry from Matisyahu.

If you've never seen an Hacidic Jew get funky, you're about to. Check out this video of Matisyahu.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Top 10 things they never taught me in Design School

Interesting read for all you aspiring designers out there on what it really takes to be a successful Designer.

read more | digg story

Monday, July 10, 2006

How To: Start your own Podcast

It's surprisingly easy to join the ranks of Podcasters. In fact, you probably already have most of what you need. Once you've recorded your broadcast, you simply put it online and distribute it to others through an online syndication technology called RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

read more | digg story

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Trade Your Old CDs For A Free iPod is a used CD retailer based in Charleston, South Carolina. You need to send 35 cds for an iPOD shuffle. They'll give you a 2 gig Nano for 65 cds. The top of the line video IPOD will cost you 175 cds.

I just got my 30 gig iPod in trade for 160 CD's (many were accepted at half value) plus $18 cash.

I learned about this site over a month ago, but I didn't want to post the story about it until I knew they were legit. Well, I just got my 30 gig iPod in the mail from them today - so - yeah, they're legit. I sent in 160 CD's and 5 dvd's.

They gave me partial credit for a bunch of the cd's, and rejected a few. In all, they credited me for about 127 CD's. So, I paid another $18 and got my iPod. I'd reccomend this service to anyone with a ton of great CD's or DVD's that they're willing to part with (sort of - you can rip everything to your hard drive first), but not a lot of cash to spend on that iPod they've been wanting.

One thing to keep in mind, you do have to pay to ship your stuff to them, and 160 CD's are kind of expensive to ship.

Do a little research on the sales history of your titles before packing them up. If the album is pretty new, by an artist whose getting some airplay (not neccesarily top 40), or if it has one or two songs that charted once upon a time, and it's in good shape, You're likely to get at least partial credit for it.

Be smart about it. Don't send in cd's from local/regional bands, or bands you know no one has heard of. It might help you to know that all of the 9 cd's of mine that they rejected were movie soundtracks, so keep those out of the box no matter how many good songs are on them. They do take DVD's, even ones you got cheap. I picked up Spinal Tap for $10 a year or so ago, and got full credit for it, same with the old edition of Tron.

Also, they do call you once they have your cd's, and you can use that opportunity to haggle a little. I ended up emailing back and forth with my sales rep for an afternoon, and made sure I got double credit for some double cd's they had apparently counted as singles, and I convinced him to give extra credit for a CD/DVD special edition set. I was impressed with their willingness to negotiate.

read more | digg story

Friday, July 07, 2006

Awesome unique barcode designs

Barcodes are usually pretty boring, these guys are changing that. Check out their unique designs.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fitness Jumpsite!

I found this simple, basic, and very useful site dedicated to fitness. It's got alot of great information about getting and staying fit. Now, if only I can put some of this information to use.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Download 400+ Royalty Free Stock Photos for Free!

Download 400+ quality royalty free stock photos for free. Note that these images range from 400kb to around 1.5mb, and are 1200 x 900 to 1600 x 1200. Fantastic resource for websites, Flash animations, playing with Photoshop, etc.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The use of colour in web designing

This article explains the use of colour, what colours signify, and how to find colours that fit with each other in your web pages.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 19, 2006

What if Microsoft designed the iPod Packaging?

Here's a very entertaining video parodying Microsoft's "let's really over do it" design approach, in contrast to the bare-bones look that makes Apple's products really stand out.

Click here for the video.

Friday, June 16, 2006 closes down

I had a bad experience with this website several months ago, and I was happy to hear that they really got what was coming to them. After months of complaints lodged against them with the Rhode Island BBB and Attorney General's office (I filed one of those complaints), on March 27, 2006 - agents from the FBI, Secret Service, US Postal Service, RI State and Providence police raided the offices of Mixitforme.Com and executed a federal search warrant. Read more.

The company is now closed for business, and will be filing for bankruptcy - according to lawyers.

Basically, the big thing this company did wrong was take over $20,000,000 in orders, and let a relatively small number of those orders go un-filled. In my case, they took much longer than promised to fill my order. In fact they never filled it, and only after numerous phone calls and emails from me, would they admit to not having the product to ship me. They ended up giving me a full refund (if you don't count 3+ months of interest on over $6,000 on my Discover card), but getting that out of them was nowhere near pain free either.

I'm very happy will not get another change to screw a customer. I've noticed that their website is no longer accessible, and my only wish now, is that I could grab their domain name and point it to Maybe a little extra business for me could help make up for all the extra headache they left me with. But I'm sure hundreds of other be-guiled customers have the same idea.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Raconteurs - Hands & Yellow Sun @ Irving Plaza

A little more Raconteurs to watch
The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes (live on Conan)


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Diet Coke X Mentos

Diet Coke and Mentos never looked so beautiful together. This is really amazing!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Church Sign Generator

This site is pretty cool. You can put any saying you want on to a photo of an actual church sign. The guy who came up with this is some kind of Photoshop genius.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ian McKellen on X-Men, Magneto Prequel

Here's an interview with Ian Mckellen from the website

He discusses the upcoming Magneto spin-off movie, and the new technology used in X-Men: The Last Stand, that will allow him to play himself at a much younger age.

I just saw X3, and was blown away by the effect used in the opening sequence of the film, where Magneto and Professor X appear in a flash back that is supposed to take place 20 years ago. It was absolutely subtle, and totally convincing. They really looked younger. Patrick Stewart looked just like he did in the first episodes of Star Trek: TNG. No makeup was used, instead photos of their younger selves were somehow mapped on to their faces.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Tahitian Noni lays off 130 workers

My employer just laid off 130 of my co-workers. Here's their explaination why - as told by the Daily herald.
GRACE LEONG - Daily Herald

Tahitian Noni International laid off 130 employees in Provo and American Fork in a move to shift resources from its central Utah office to key regional offices and markets worldwide.

The layoffs, which represent nearly 8 percent of its global work force of 1,650, took effect Thursday and affected departments including training and support, call centers, marketing, and lower executive management in Provo and American Fork.

After the restructuring, the Provo-based dietary supplements maker's offices in Utah, which traditionally provide support for the company's global operations, will have 720 workers.

Its Provo headquarters and call center had 600 workers, while its American Fork research and development, manufacturing, and distribution plant had 250 workers.

The affected workers were given "very generous severance packages, outplacement support services, letters of recommendation and had their health insurance extended for two months," said Shon Whitney, the company's vice president of marketing communications.

The company last laid off 45 workers in 2002 in a cost-cutting move, he said.

"Thursday's cut backs took place across all departments," Whitney said. "Several managing directors and directors were also laid off."

"As we grow globally, it's hard to manufacture and provide international support from just one central location," Whitney said. "We will continue to have more than 700 workers in Utah. But we won't be as centralized as we used to be. We will continue to do R&D, product development manufacturing for North and South America from Utah.

"We're not restructuring the entire organization for cost-cutting reasons this time as much as we're shifting resources and jobs outside of Utah to seven of our key markets in the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, Germany, Norway and Sweden."

"By growing our regional support offices, we can move faster as a company and cater to markets in those countries as they are very different from Utah in terms of culture, product, customer service and even technology needs," he said. "We need to put our resources in areas where our sales are coming from."

While the United States is Tahitian Noni's largest market, accounting for 40 percent of its total sales of $530 million this past year, the remaining 60 percent of its sales are derived worldwide.

Japan is the company's second-largest market, accounting for 35 percent of total sales; Europe accounts for between 10 percent and 15 percent, while other markets worldwide account for the remainder.

Whitney said he couldn't immediately specify how much the company will spend on its globalization initiative, nor could he specify how many jobs are being added at its regional offices worldwide. The company is opening a manufacturing plant in China this fall and planning additional support offices in Glendale, Ariz., Japan, Taiwan and Germany.

Last year, the company opened four business support offices each in Japan and Taiwan, and three more offices in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and New Jersey.

Founded in 1996, the company is operating in 73 markets worldwide and has manufacturing plants in Tahiti, Japan and Germany.

Grace Leong can be reached at 344-2910 or
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.

Friday, May 26, 2006

How To Backup Your Mac Intelligently

Here's a thorough tutorial of how to best backup your Mac.

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mormon Connection in Next Dan Brown Book?

The following story was taken straight from the ksl website. The original story can be found here.

I found this story very interesting. Especially the part about Joseph Smith's Masonic ties and Professor Robert Millet's statement.

May 24th, 2006 @ 10:10pm

Carole Mikita reporting

With the success of the film version of 'The Da Vinci Code', many wonder what's next from author Dan Brown.

Freemasonry, the oldest and largest charitable fraternity in the world, is his focus. Dan Brown saw the Salt Lake Masonic Temple building when he first came to Utah two years ago.

Since there are Masonic Temples in many countries around the world, what's the Utah connection, you ask? Well, Dan Brown also went to Temple Square and noticed the similarity of the symbols on the Salt Lake Temple.

Tens of millions of readers simply could not stop turning the pages of 'The Da Vinci Code'...

Dan Brown has already written Professor Robert Langdon's next adventure. Murder, intrigue and conspiracy take him to Washington, D.C. in search of clues and connections to the Freemasons.

Legend says the fraternal organization had ancient beginnings, back to the masons who built King Solomon's Temple. They adopted a series of secret signals to identify one another for protection.

Ridgely Gilmore, Masonic Grand Master 2005: "Every lodge room, such as the one we're sitting in, is called a representation of King Solomon's Temple... And so, we operate in that it real? Um, I would let historians argue about that..."

Masonry came to America with the Founding Fathers.

The plot of Brown's new book, "The Solomon Key" apparently involves the murders of current political leaders by a man connected to the Freemasons.

The book deals heavily with Masonic symbols. The 'G' represents God and geometry. The square and the compass represent truths.

Similar symbols adorn the Salt Lake Temple. Two years ago, Dan Brown toured Temple Square and recognized them.

Aaron Wilhelm, Dan Brown's host 2004: "He was, of course, very interested in the symbology on the Mormon temple...he was interested in the pentacles and the suns and the moons and the stars and all that. So, I gather his primary interest was to sort of see the Mormon embellishment of masonry as it exists, in his mind, of course..."

What's the similarity? How will the Mormon and mason connection play out in the new novel? Should latter-day saints be worried the book could intrude on the sanctity of temple ceremonies..."

Professor Don Cannon says the first five presidents of The LDS Church were Masons, beginning with Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.

Donald Q. Cannon, Ph.D., BYU Church History & Doctrine: "There are so many symbols that are very similar...even the external symbols like the all-seeing eye, for example... The beehive for another."

As Joseph Smith was being shot to death in Carthage Jail, he sent a Masonic signal to his attackers.

Don Cannon" 'Oh, Lord, my God... Is there no help for the widow's son? That's the Masonic distress signal he knew that some of the people, possibly in that hostile group were Masons..."

Controversy has swirled for decades. For years, Masons refused to admit Mormons. But in two years, Glen Cook, a Latter-day Saint, will become Utah's first Masonic Grand Master.

Dan Brown, no doubt, has found fascinating examples of Masonic symbolism laced with early Mormon history. He returned to Salt Lake City this year and church leaders allowed him access to the historic archives.

BYU Professor Robert Millet explains the connection this way: "It seems to be the case, after the Prophet Joseph had been inducted into Masonry that he sensed elements of truth, pieces of antiquity within the Masonic ceremony and then inquired of God."

How will Mormons play in the new novel? All we have now, like Professor Langdon, are a collection of unconnected symbols, as clues...

Aaron Wilhelm: "I'm sure that no matter what he writes...someone's going to take it as negative...I think he sort of enjoys that..."

The title may or may not be 'The Solomon Key' but we understand the book, originally slated for this year, will be released in 2007.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Will somebody please stop Ellen Johnson?!

Before reading my comments, please read this news story from ABC 4 Utah.

To summarize; Ellen Johnson, American Atheists leader, wants crosses memorializing fallen UHP troopers to be taken down. She says they violate the constitutional separation of church and state because the crosses are on public property.

A direct quote, "I think its a very bad idea to honor and memorialize these brave men and women by violating the very laws they died to uphold."

Ellen... you're full of #@&%?*.

This "separation", is meant to protect our religious beliefs, and our constitutionally granted rights to practice them. One major reason it was added to the constitution was to keep us free to worship as we wish, rather than as the state thought we should. For instance, Iran is an Islamic state. Islamic law is the same as state law there. You either obey Islamic law or you suffer the consequences. We don't want the rules and contraints of someone else's religion imposed on us, so we have a separation of church and state.

A memorial cross is a religious symbol, but it does not belong to any one church, so even if the state allows it's presence on public property, it is not forcing us to obey that religion, or even advocating it. Rather, the state is allowing the voice of it's people, who believe in that religion to be heard. Since this is still a government of, for, and by the people, the peoples voice should come through in the actions of the government.

Don't let Ellen Johnson twist the constitution this way! This is not an Atheist country (just look at our money), so don't let people like her try to turn it in to one. She's free to not believe whatever she wants to not believe, and she's free to express it, but so are we.

I don't get offended when I see someone wearing a star of David, or veiling their face, or speaking out loud and openly about how the spirit directed them to do this or that, because I've learned something that all Americans should learn... TOLERANCE.

Take note Ellen, and spread the word to your friends. If you don't believe in it, ignore it. It doesn't mean anything to you anyway so why be offended by it?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

iPod Nano 2 gb, now $169 in Apple's refurb'd section

I browse for great deals in's refurbished section regularly, and this is the first time I've seen refurbished iPod Nano's. The 2 gigabyte Nano is available in white or black for $169 (down from $199).

I've had nothing but good experiences with Apple's refurbished products. If you've been waiting to buy a Nano, maybe now is the time.

Visit the refurbished section of the online store here.

Scroll down a little past the Nano's to see refurbished iPod mini's at their lowest price yet. $139.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Check out the updated Singing Birthday Card .com

Singing Birthday Card .com has had a little bit of a face lift. Check out the new jazzed up homepage at

New features include a cool product shot that rotates out the pictures of the different Singing Birthday Card styles, and a column full of quick audio previews on the right side of the page. Also, the menu's have been reworked and moved around.

Altogether, I think it's a much more exciting home page to visit, and I hope it generates a lot more orders.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Map Gallery of Religion in the United States

A very interesting and well-put-together set of maps that show the distribution of different religions in the United States in county-level choropleth maps. Give you a really good idea of where different denominations and religions are popular.

read more | digg story

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Rise and Shine! (My Resurrection Daze) – By Doug Curran

Now that I’m older and “wiser”, I have a lot more questions than answers. Like what do we really mean when we say “Happy Easter”? I mean, it’s not like saying “Merry Christmas” is it? We don’t give presents, although I know people get new clothes and give each other strange unrelated gifts – any excuse for using that plastic. It is a major Christian holiday like Christmas, but do we really have Christian sentiments behind that greeting? Or do we really just mean things like Happy Spring Cleaning? Or Happy Daylight Savings Time? How about Happy Egg Boiling? Bunny Hopping? Bonnet Buying? Parade Chasing? Cadbury Chocolate Devouring? Diabetes Recovering? Flower Fertilizing? Ham Basting? Spring Breaking? Too many other possibilities!

And when will we really ever get past that Easter bunny/egg-laying paradox and all its candy spin-offs? For most people today, it’s a celebration of Spring, flowery dresses and weird women’s hats, and planting seeds, and yeah I get the egg-fertility-rabbit connection. But I still think it’s a very forced and mixed metaphor we continually push upon our kids without ever resolving the psychological ramifications that are very confusing and totally unrelated to the Christian reality of it all – well, maybe there’s some distant convoluted connection. But isn’t that how we get traditions anyway, from so long ago that people forget why we do them today?

Aren’t we really supposed to be celebrating something that may be just too difficult to wish someone? Do we even believe it? Do we really believe that Jesus died and came back to life? The Resurrection!? One man said that that was the biggest question of life - “If a man die, shall he live again?” And that because of Jesus, we will all come back too? I say “Amen” to that! But are we even thinking about that at all when we way “Happy Easter?” Maybe we should be coming up with something more creative and definitely related to the real meaning of this international Christian holiday more than just a sometimes predictable “Happy Easter”. How about something like, “Good Resurrection!” Now that does it for me.

But could we actually say that and be politically correct? “Have a nice resurrection!” Doesn’t that say way too much about death and dying for us to feel comfortable? Even though we are talking about the ultimate solution to dying - the ultimate reason to not be afraid of it? The ultimate miracle of life is the afterlife! Isn’t it a bit presumptuous and maybe too premature to be wishing someone something that will directly relate to their having to die first? And if we wish them a happy resurrection, shouldn’t we first wish them a joyful death, or a painless passing or a quick demise - that maybe they’ll get hit by a car rather than having to suffer with agonizing toenail cancer? And THEN wish them a nice resurrection? No really, I want to finally get this out on the table so we can get past these sometimes inane wishes we make at Easter without knowing what we actually mean and come up with something that works!

Couldn’t we really focus on the changes in our bodies that our resurrection is going to bring? Forget all that plastic surgery and liposuction and tummy tucking and face lifting and Collegin and Botox injections! Yes, forget about it because you are going to get a brand new body anyway, right? A heavenly makeover to the max! So why spend your kid’s college money and your life’s savings on stuff that you’re going to get later anyway? And continually pad the pockets of those surgeons who should be out there transplanting livers and hearts and eyeballs!. It’s ridiculous! Unless of course you don’t believe in it, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not going happen, right? Doesn’t Paul or someone like him say something like…if we believe in this life only, then we are all of men most miserable? I know I would be.

So maybe when we wish people a happy resurrection, we should also throw in something like – “…and a tight bottom too!” Or “…and a head full of great hair!” Or “…and an amazing new schnozz! Or “…and a 38 DDD!” Maybe we won’t even recognize each other, we’ll look so young in the hereafter – that is if we have only known each other as older people; because I know in my case that people don’t recognize me from my 40-year-old fotos. “Hey, who’s that stud with your wife?” Yeah, I get that a lot. And I also hear that a good resurrection will take us back to our 25-year-old body, unless of course we have already corrupted it at that age with booze and tobacco and Skittles and Big Macs. I heard that people who lose their children while they are young will get to raise them still, because they will resurrect as children. I just hope there are lots of little kids around.

So I think we need to get past the colored eggs, the yellow peeps and the burnt honey-baked ham and get to the other meaty stuff – like what kind of resurrection are we going to have anyway? Yes, it’s not all just one big happy reunion of body and spirit, even though it is a free gift from Jesus – and He did pay an awful price so we could have it. Easter should certainly be about His Atonement and our repentance most of all, shouldn’t it? And because if Him also, we get to choose our resurrection! Say what? Paul says in I Corinthians 15 that we won’t all resurrect alike. He says we will have different resurrections, comparing it to the difference between the sun, the moon, and the stars, as we perceive their differences from earth, I assume. He calls one Terrestrial, like the moon, and one Telestial, like the brightness of the stars.

I know from some modern sources that the sun is called Celestial, and that they all represent a degree of glory that God will provide to all of his children, depending on how they’ve lived on earth. Yes folks, there is still some earning to do. But the highest degree is a Celestial resurrection and those who inherit it will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and live with Him. So will there also be an afternoon and evening resurrection? I’m a late morning kind of guy myself and not too anxious to just burst out of my coffin for an early breakfast. But I’ll do early if that’s what it takes.

And will it be all that easy getting out of those boxes anyway? No one wants to be conscious and still in the coffin. We don’t want any fingernail scratches messing up the inside of the lid, right? We’ll get some help digging through that dirt, right? I have a problem just getting off the bed each morning. And I keep seeing images of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and hoping that at least I’ll have time to clean up before I go see anyone. I don’t think I’ll be doing any dancing right away. Of course, the first person I’ll look for is my wife, to see if she’s still that good looking babe I married, just to see if this resurrection stuff really works. Hey, what am I saying? She still looks good to me right now! I know she’ll be hoping that I am back to that coiffed hair and that flat six-pack stomach and marathon-runner physique I never had before.

And what will we do while we’re waiting to resurrect? There has to be a waiting place, a place to keep busy too. I hear it’s spirit prison for those who didn’t know Jesus and who are still receiving His word through His servants, who just might be some of us when we get over there. You remember when Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to touch Him because He hadn’t ascended to His Father yet? That’s because she was only seeing His spirit body – not his resurrected body yet. In Ephesians, it says that Jesus went and preached to the spirits in prison while in the spirit, to people who had died but hadn’t known or believed in Him yet. He gave them a chance to accept His Gospel there too. Remember on the cross he told one of the thieves that he would be with Him in Paradise?

Well, I think Paradise is the waiting place for those who believe in Jesus and who don’t have to wait to be taught about Him. Since baptism is an earthly and necessary ordinance as Jesus said, “Except ye be born of the water and the spirit, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven…” – people who accept the gospel in this spirit world after they die can still have baptism done for them by proxy as mentioned in I Corinthians 15 again, when people were asking Paul about the resurrection. They mentioned in passing, “Why are they then baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?” as Paul was trying to convince them of the reality of the Resurrection. Baptism for the dead is being practiced today all over the world in special Temples – and no, it doesn’t mean exhuming dead bodies and baptizing them. Remember that word, proxy, ok? Go look it up! It’s doing for others today what they might not have been able to do for themselves in a time when these baptism and the Holy Ghost weren’t available or not done by legitimate authority.

Yes, so come on resurrection! Can’t come too soon for me – unless I have to die first, of course, in which case I can hold off for a little while, no big hurry. Actually, I’m hoping for that “change in the twinkling of an eye” kind of rapture they talk about, no pain, just levitation without hesitation. I want to put in my order for that right now. Yes, that’s Curran with a C not a K, then U – two R’s, A not E, and a big N-ding. Yeah, it will be nice to see my folks again and visit with other relatives I never knew except by their pictures. Can’t remember my two grandfathers, I was so young when they died. And one grandmother was killed in a car accident while I was a nursing baby. I only knew my father’s mother, who helped us get into a home and who lived with us till she passed away. And so many of their parents and grandparents I’ve come to know through doing family history – nobody likes that G-word much…Genealogy. But it’s still fun.

I’m sure they’ve been very busy on the other side though, with time to cheer my family on and hang around to help us, their progeny, get through this life so we can all get on the next stage in our progress – together! . Angels? Could it be that this mystery is so simple? They’ve been our ancestors all along?. I’ve been trying to do their saving ordinances too, so when I do see them, I don’t have to go skulk about guilty and hide in some cloud – they did so much for me in just coming down here first and laying a great foundation of freedom and peace through their blood, sweat and tears.

And I’d really like to meet Abe Lincoln. He was a childhood favorite of mine. Oh I guess there are a lot of other people I’d like to meet – James Stephens, a tiny Irish poet who I tried to do justice to in my masters thesis. William Wordswortth – what a sublime Romantic poet I love to read. And Ralph Waldo Emerson? Oh yes, his writings were so profound. C.S Lewis of course – but he’ll have such a crowd around him I bet. Just took my grandkids to see his “Narnia”. Maybe I’ll see some of the people I served in Brazil as a missionary, like …Irmao Morais. Now there’s a guy with a story. His dad was a river boat captain on the Amazon, who jumped in the river to save a passenger who had fallen, and they both got eaten by piranha fish! Yikes. I’m sure he is thankful for the resurrecton! . And his son lived to tell me the tale, just barely, because he showed me an arrow wound in his shoulder from those crazy Yanomamo’s using him for target practice. I hope to hear some more tales. How about that Eternal Life! Now that’s what Easter’s all about to me anyway. But I don’t mind a nice colored hard-boiled egg with some salt.

Aidan Douglas Curran is born!

Hello all!

It's been a busy week, and I'm proud to announce the arrival of our second baby boy, Aidan Douglas Curran. He was delivered by c-section on April 11, 2006, at 8:15 am. He was 19.5 inches and 7 lbs 6 oz. Both he and his mother, Sharon are in great health, and we couldn't feel more blessed.

Please forward this announcement to anyone you think would like to hear the news. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Google Calendar is Here. Neat.

Google calendar is live at Check out this screen capture.

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Google Calendar is Here. Neat.

I've just discovered Google Calendar at Go have a look. Or check out the screen capture from my account.

Sunday, April 09, 2006 updates

I'm planning some updates to my website business I have a great time designing and maintaining the website, and I'm hoping some of the updates I'm planning will drive more traffic to the site, and turn more visitors into customers.

ps. If you're looking for a coupon code to use for your purchase, try: wowwhattadeal.

The Baby 411

So, we're having a baby. The c-section is scheduled for tuesday morning (4/11). I'm excited and dreading the loss of sleep again. It will be a busy week trying to keep up with everything. I've got to make sure Owen is in good hands while I'm at the hospital with Sharon, and make sure somebody takes the dog out a few times a day, and keep Sharon in good spirits as she's recovering from the delivery and surgery.

It will be wonderful to have a small baby again, and exciting to see Owen discover his new little brother.

A Ridiculously Large List of Design Resources

There's PDFs, links to portfolios, ad agencies, clip art, web tools, blogs and tons of other stuff all on one huge page.

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Website Coloring

This is one of the best sites I have seen to help with web design. I use it almost every time I open Dreamweaver. It provides color matching, color harmonies, a color calculator and more. If you ever needed help finding the right colors, this is THE place to go.

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Freak 1980 Accident; Lake Loses 3.5 Billion Gallons of Water in 3 Hours

In 1980,a Louisiana Lake experiences a freak Drilling Accident resulting in a Hole that caused a tremendous Whirlpool...The sucking force was so strong that it reversed the flow of a 12-mile-long canal which led out to the Gulf of Mexico, and dragged 11 barges from that canal into the swirling vortex

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Hi there. This is my fist post. Let's see how it looks.