Friday, June 30, 2006

Harry Potter & the Pharma Spam - by Brad

Ever since my work email address was posted on our office website, I have been receiving numerous junk emails. The most common junk emails I receive are for… well, let’s just say… self-help pharmaceuticals. I am starting to believe that the self-help pharmaceutical companies are somehow behind these emails.

Seriously, are there really more than three people in the world who have ever tried buying these drugs from an anonymous email they received? [hmm, I so can’t believe that I started out my sentence with “seriously”… what-ever!]

This makes me think that this is just a big advertising ploy by the self-help pharmaceutical companies. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I did learn from some marketing classes that one of the largest aspects to marketing is name recognition. For example, I heard that Coca-cola has a marketing goal that every person will see their logo at least three times a day. This doesn’t mean that they need to think, “Ooh, I want to drink some Coke.” Rather, they hope that when the time comes for someone to buy a soft drink they will recognize the Coke label and automatically go for that product. [I am no way tying a connection between Coca-cola and the self-help pharmaceutical companies.]

All this to say that if those pharmaceutical companies are not behind the junk emails I receive, then they sure are receiving a huge amount of free advertisement. [not that I plan on partaking or anything]

Also, has anyone else notice the odd text that they add to some of these junk emails? It seems that they are out of some poorly written novel. I assume that the additional text is just there to fool junk email blockers, but come on spammers, give me something interesting to read! Is this the best you can do? I received the following text in a pharmaceutical junk email today at 10:47 AM:

Harry hardly dared believe her, yet his heart was lightening almost in spite of himself. That dream I had about your dad and the snake, though -Harry youve had these dreams before, Hermione said. You had flashes of what Voldemort was up to last year.

I looked up the characters and I am assuming that this is taken from a Harry Potter book. This could make an interesting blog game titled... "Guess the Self-Help Pharmaceutical Email Text".

Well, maybe not.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

'Round Town - by Brad

Here is Elliott's photo documentary of his drive to Safeway and back... narrated by himself [with dad's comments interjected]. This is the perspective of a 3 1/2 year old in his car seat.

That's the case of the camera...
[I guess you have to begin somewhere]

That's about mom in her seat driving...
[and Starbucks in the background, go figure]

A picture of the building of Safeway... and Diet Coke things...
[he was probably trying to take a picture of the coin operated car, but it was too small for him to see when he was describing these to me]

That's a picture of Wesley eating his cookie...
[at first we thought it was a McNugget, but then we remembered that they get free cookies at Safeway]

Friday, June 16, 2006

Additional Info - by Brad

So Lindsey and I were pretty much just set on two kids. About 6 months ago, Lindsey started wanting another baby. So after a couple months of convincing me…badda-bing, badda-boom… baby number three.

The timing will actually work out alright. Elliott and Wesley are two years and two months apart. If all goes as expected, Wesley and Baby X will also be two years and two months apart.

We won’t know if it is a boy or girl for about another 10 weeks. However, if it turns out to be a girl, we will call her Darcie… we have had that name picked out since Elliott. However, we ran out of boy names that Lindsey and I could agree on. Currently the number one pick is Spencer (it intially sounds a little nerdy, but it grows on ya). Any other suggestions are welcome.

So far, I have been calling the baby, “Baby X”. This seems a little impersonal, so I am thinking about changing the baby’s pre-gender-identification-name to Spendar (in tradition of the recent celebrity name combos such as Brangelina or Bennifer).

However, Lindsey thinks Spendar sounds like a Star Trek character. I think more of “Spendar – Conqueror of the Womb” [with a couple following grunts].

Maybe the name Spendar won’t stick. How about Darncer? Or Darspence?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

January 15, 2007 - by Brad

215 days and counting...

For this Father's Day, I received
a picture of my third child!
(although it may look like a lima bean)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Al Infinito, Y Mas Alla! - by Linz

I was at grocery outlet the other day looking for something special to use as a reward for Elliott keeping his pull-up dry at night. There is a great toy aisle full of bargains. It had to be a toy that Elliott really liked for my plant work. Then I saw it. A talking Buzz Lightyear! So I grabbed it up and set in the cart.

Here was the scenario: I showed Elliott the toy, which he loved, and explained to him that we would not be able to play with it until he could keep his pull-up dry all night for three nights in a row. So Buzz sat quietly in the cart. Elliott sat talking constantly about Buzz Lightyear and what would happen when he pushed the button and how he "loved buzz lightyear a lot!"

When we got home we set Buzz in the closet where Elliott could see it (so as to be motivated) but was not able to reach it (so as to increase the motivation)! I have to admit I was feeling pretty good about this plan.

After about two weeks, Elliott finally had 3 dry nights and was able to play with Buzz. Brad got up early with the boys on Sunday morning and I could hear Elliott yammering on and jumping up and down as Brad tore into the box and removed a ridiculous amount of packaging.

The moment was finally here. Elliott pushed the button and...


Brad: What?
Elliott: I think he said something about a machete.
Brad: Does this toy speak Spanish?
Buzz: Yo soy Buzz Lightyear!
Brad: I wonder if there is a switch to make him speak English.
Mom (from the next room): LAUGHING!

Somehow in the excitement of finding a great toy at a steal of a price, I failed to notice that this was a Spanish speaking buzz lightyear, despite the packaging which in retrospect should have made it quite obvious.

Fortunately, the plan still worked and it didn't bother Elliott a bit. He has spent the better part of the last three days playing with his new Latino buddy!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Englilish Ponderance - by Brad

Since there are a few englishy people who read this, I thought that I would pose a question that I have asked before. I believe that I got some sort of answer a while back that satisfied me (thanks Mom, Toby and Lindsey), but I have forgotten it by now.

In Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham, should the "green" describe both the eggs and ham? Or is it just green eggs and regular ham?

Well, according to his illustrations, the green describes both eggs and ham.

What if I have a sentence that states, "Look in the sky, there is a pink bird, airplane, and UFO!"

Does this mean that I am calling the UFO pink?

This isn't just nonsense for me. Working in government, I have to read a lot of laws. These laws often list many options or exceptions. To read them legally, I would like to know how the English language works.

With math it is easy. I would call the book: Green (Eggs + Ham)

This states that the green applies to both the eggs and ham. With the other example, it would be written: pink (bird) + airplane + UFO

This would show that pink only applies to the bird, not the airplane or the UFO.

Is there an English rule for this situation?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Many Faces - by Brad

We asked Elliott to make a few faces after dinner tonight, and like any 3-year old, he was willing.

(although he was actually trying for SAD)
and the face with the most practice...