Funny Names and Carpet Buying Woes

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RCWilley Carpet QuoteFor Christmas my wife wanted carpet. New carpet for our bedroom. Granted, our current carpet is old and pretty worn out and covered in stains inflicted upon it by children spilling, painting, pooping, throwing up, peeing, grinding, and more atrocities I can’t list. I relented knowing it was what she really wanted and that it was going to cost… a lot. I knew it wasn’t going to be the end of it either. I could already hear her saying “Now the carpet looks good it makes all the furniture look old. And these walls really need a new coat of paint.” So the very expensive carpet turns into a huge expense. Home decorating, I’ve decided, is just like a woman shopping for a new outfit–you don’t just get the outfit, you are buying shoes, a purse, maybe some jewelry and probably a makeover and a new hair color. Your “on sale” outfit for $50 winds up costing $213. So it is with home decorating.

So off we went to visit several carpet stores to find one we liked and one that I could afford. Somehow we found ourselves at R.C. Willey, Utah’s largest financial lender and, oh by the way, they sell furniture and stuff. The employees there work on commission backed up with threats of torture and a little fanatical brainwashing these salesmen make the corner used car salesman look like the neighborhood pastor. But they carry things no one else does (like a Sony DVD player that has internal storage for 400 discs).

So we are looking at carpet, a good selection, and finding out that some places price things in square feet, others in square yards, and sometimes the pad is included, sometimes not, sometimes labor is included (sometimes not) and that no everyone is willing to take the old carpet out. Anyway, I’m getting to the fun part of the story. So this lady is helping us, let’s call her Julie. So at the end Julie prints up this invoice that we have to take to the cashier and pay for and as I’m looking at it I see her name and start to laugh (not out loud, that would be rude). And the more she talks the more I am dying inside. If we hadn’t walked away quickly I would have burst out sniggering. Her name was “Arreola.”

Now I’m sure there is some other way to pronounce it but it didn’t make any difference. I’m still laughing.

Belated Christmas Video
I found this video last week on YouTube and I’ve been laughing about it every time I think about it. Keep in mind this is not safe for work but my wife did watch it and laugh so it’s kind of good clean fun except it’s adult humor.

Switching Phone Service to SunRocket

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In reviewing the bills this month I realized we are spending too much money. And I’m not talking about eating out or going to movies and the like. I’m talking about the core bills: water, gas, phone, cable, etc.

Over the years we’ve looked at lowering our phone bill specifically and 4 years ago we switched from AT&T to McLeod lowering our phone bill to a steady $32 per month. Long distance was always the variable but the addition of a cell phone for Erin took care of most of the long distance.

But in the last couple of months, and the last two weeks in particular, I’ve looked at non-traditional phone services such as Vonage to lower costs and improve features. After researching customer experiences and features I decided to move our phone service to SunRocket. We’ll be cutting our phone bill almost in half and get more features than I would have thought of.

The “gizmo” will be arriving in another week and we’ll see how well it works. I’ll keep you posted.

The Big WebOS Roundup

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I’m not sure if everyone has heard of a WebOS but it’s basically an operating system (like Windows) that runs completely in the browser. With the popularity of AJAX and the like people are forging ahead in making applications run in the browser. Examples of this on an application level are Meebo, Google Docs (formerly Writely), Google Spreadsheets, Google Mail, and others. But the WebOS goes farther–trying to incorporate all the applications typically found in an operating system like a calculator, MP3 player, etc.

I read a great article about 10 of the top contenders (excluding GoogleOS which, as far as I know, is still just rumor) and tried out several of them.

I tried out the following: DesktopTwo, Glide, SSOE, XinDesk, Goowy and YouOS. Some of them are lame, and some are built entirely on Flash (which I don’t like). But they are all interesting.

Just so you all know, I actually and daily use Google’s suite of applications including Spreadsheet, Notes, Calendar, e-mail and Meebo! One thing I wish Spreadsheet had was graphs but I can still live with it because it’s accessable from anywhere.

Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music

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This might only be of interest to those people who like techno music but Ishkur’s guide to Electronic Music is a very interesting site that maps the development of that music genre with examples of music as well. It was a fun little site to explore.

DIY Projector

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I’ve been holding onto this post since October 26, 2006  but probably even earlier (that’s the last modified time stamp I have).  Not that anyone really wants to build their own projector now with Hasbro releasing the Zoombox DVD Entertainment Projector for the masses. But what this home-brew kit lacks in compactness it makes up for in heat, lumens and bulkiness. I present the URL for it now for historical purposes:

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