Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ha ha. I forgot about blogs. Since the last post we had a baby, we called him Soren, he is 2 and a half now, we moved to Arizona, and we are having another baby in about 2 months.

Monday, January 03, 2011

2011 - Time for a blog post...

Well, I've been meaning to make a blog post for a while, but life gets busy, and time passes quickly.

We've been back in the icy clutches of Canada for 7 months now. As you can tell I am no fan of the cold. I do have a job now (for those who were wondering) doing market research consulting. It's mostly designing surveys and analyzing/reporting the results. I enjoy it and it's just challenging enough.

For some reason I have stopped watching television. This wasn't a conscious or planned thing, I just realized one day that I no longer watched TV at all. Chrissy and I had been watching a few TV shows on DVD or on the computer. We finished '24' and 'Battlestar Gallactica' both in the last few months, and since then have not started anything new. It's amazing how much less-annoyed I am with the moronic level of most TV shows when I am unaware of them!

What I have been doing a lot is reading. Every day I have to take the bus downtown, which is about an hour each way, so I have a lot of time to read. Some of the books I have read or have been reading lately are: Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and so forth etc.

Christmas time always reminds me that there is lots of food that I do not like. (And some that I do like).

Speaking of that, here is a picture of a mouse's nest that we found under the fireplace:







For those that are not aware, we a planning on having a baby this month or next. We think that it will be a boy. It's been more than 5 years since we've ventured into baby land, so I'm sure that there will be all sorts of hi-jinks as we readjust to that life.

The end

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday

My family has this thing they've been doing this year where everyone is supposed to answer all these questions when it's their birthday. Here are mine:

Name: JJ Olsen
Birthday: Sunday, June 19, 1977 (Father’s Day)

1. How old are you turning this year? 33

2. What is your favorite food? Pizza, Hot dogs and Steak.

3. What is your most frequently purchased grocery item? Soda Pop

4. What is your bedtime routine like: I usually read until I fall asleep

5. What are three things you absolutely have to do every day? Besides the obvious bodily functions? Nothing.

6. What do you listen to most (artist, radio station/program, podcast)? Lately I’ve been listening to Muse, Metallica, and some ‘best of the 80s’ type nonsense

7. What’s one skill you wish you had? Telekinesis

8. What skill are you most proud of? 49-second Rubik’s Cube solve

9. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go? Lhasa

10. What is your favorite place you’ve been? Arizona

11. What are three of your favorite books? The Silmarillian, Ender’s Game, and The Count of Monte Cristo

12. If you had to buy any magazine what would it be? Wired

13. What is one thing that gets on your nerves? Ignorance, especially when enthusiastically put into practice

14. What is your favorite sport to watch or play? Darts

15. What do you love to do when you have nothing to do? Play the guitar or piano

16. What are three things you wish you had? Nothing too special; just a rocket car, a solid gold house, and millions of dollars

17. What is your favorite treat? Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

18. What are a few things you hope to accomplish or learn this year? I will finally read War and Peace this year

19. What are your favorite things to watch (tv show/movie)? Lately I’ve been watching Battlestar Gallactica

20. What are your three most visited websites (besides facebook/email). Google News, Slashdot, and Wikipedia

21. What is something of interest the others in the family may not know about you? When I read bedtime stories to my kids, I almost always speak with an accent.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

New Blog Post

Ok, maybe that last blog entry was a bit of a joke. I have been up to a little bit over the last several months. I keep coming up with important thoughts that I mean to include here, but of course I never write any of them down, so I can't remember most of them.

More about books: During my MBA time I did a lot of reading, but it was nearly all textbooks and case studies. So after I graduated I decided to shift focus to novels. I began by reading Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and it's accompanying 7 or 8 sequels. Next I read a varied smattering of science fiction-ish stuff by Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Arther C. Clark, Robert Sawyer, and Michael Crichton. Then I read a bunch of books by Dean Koontz, definitely too formulaic. And most recently I finished up the 6 Alvin Maker books, again by Orson Scott Card. Oh, and somewhere in there I read that horribly unreadable drivel by Dan Brown called The Lost Symbol. I don't know how Dan Brown can feel good about that half-thought-out pseudo-novel. Anyway, I think I've averaged one book every four days for the last five months.

Has anyone noticed that there have been no good movies Lately?
I recently watched Corpse Bride for the first time. Did you know that it was 'filmed' with a Canon dSLR still Camera? I also recently watched a funny documentary called The King of Kong. Arcade people are so weird. I'll stick to Zelda II - The Adventures of Link on the NES emulator on my laptop; because that's so much cooler than playing Donkey Kong...right?. And a few months ago a saw Slumdog Millionaire. I had heard from all these people that it was super intense and disturbing etc. I found it to be kind of a letdown and somewhat predictable.

I don't like getting my hair cut. I have yet to find a place in AZ that can even do a decent job, let alone a good job. Maybe I should get a perm.

Have you ever noticed that blogs are more fun and interesting when they have pictures?

Me and the kids have been watching The Muppet Show recently. It's so funny to watch them laugh at it. We've watched the first 18 episodes so far. The funniest part to me is that practically all of the guest stars are people I've never heard of before. It's weird to think that Jim Henson died almost 20 years ago.

The other day I was starting to feel really nostalgic for Canada. Then I remembered the whole French language thing, and the nostalgia quickly evaporated.

Today we went to the Phoenix Zoo for the opening of the new Komodo Dragon exhibit. It was fun to see the backs of the heads of all the people that were looking at the komodo dragons.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The last 4 months

I noticed that I hadn't posted anything in the last 4 months.

So here's what I've been up to:

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Home alone for 17 days...

My family is set to return in about 4 days. I haven't gone completely insane yet, but there is still time left.

I have continued to look for a job. There is a job that I'm hoping for, but it wouldn't start until after the summer, so I'm conflicted about how hard to look for something else. That being said, I have turned in a plethora of applications.

I've been reading a lot. I decided to read the Ender's Game series. It's a science fiction series focused on a boy named Ender who leaves home at age 5 to train as a soldier in the fight against Buggers (giant space bugs). Right now I am on the 5th book called Ender's Shadow. It's not quite as good as Asimov's Foundation/Empire/Robot series, but it's close.

I've also been watching the new Conan O'Brien show. After the first week of that I have to say that Conan seems nervous when he's doing his monologue, and the comedy sketch bits are usually way too long. I was also disappointed when he announced that the bit when look into the future is no longer going to say "in the year 2000." I thought the irony of that was the best part. Now they say "in the year 3000" so as to make it more in line with the fact that it's about the future. That might just be the beginning of the end for Conan.

I have also been playing the piano a lot. I posted three new songs on YouTube:

-Hard to Say I'm Sorry
-Love of a Lifetime
-Gummi Bears

None of them are perfect of course, but it was fun to do.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Alone - Day 2

Today is the second day that I'm alone in AZ.

Here's a rundown of some of the things I've been up to:
  • I took the iMac in to a repair shop to see whether it's a $250 job or a $1150 job
  • I went to the Business school to do some photocopying
  • I went to Staples to get some envelopes
  • I finished up my OPT application
  • I decided to learn Don't Stop Believing on the piano
    (it's not as easy as it sounds)
  • I made myself some food, but not as good as I have when I'm not home alone
  • I turned down a pesticide salesman at the door who then called me an idiot :)
  • I killed a cockroach with Raid in the living room
    (these last two points seem to be connected somehow...)
  • I got out my guitars and realized that they all need new strings
    -and I need new callouses on my fingers
  • I watched an episode of Surface, a little-known sci-fi series, on Netflix
  • I continued to apply for jobs, which is not fun
  • And I played 5 or so games of Scrabble
That's about it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Home Alone 5 - Unemployed MBA in AZ"

Some of you are probably wondering why I'm not in Canada at Tiffany and Jimmy's wedding. Without boring you with all the details, it's because I can't leave the country and then re-enter until a particular visa application is approved AND I have a job. Because both of these criteria are so-far unmet, I have to stay put for the time being. Chrissy, Laela, and Ivy all flew out this morning to Calgary, and it was sad for me to have to say goodbye to them at the airport.

But anyway, on a happier note, I am finished with my MBA. We had two graduation ceremonies last week. On Wednesday we had the President of the United States of America give us a little pep talk in Sun Devil Stadium about how to deal with the 'current economic climate' (which means good luck finding a job!). Then on Saturday we had the MBA graduation at Wells Fargo Arena. It's nice to be done, but I've become so accustomed to being a student, that I'm not yet sure what to do with myself.

So now I'm looking for a job. My MBA was in Marketing, and specifically focused on the marketing of services; so if any of you are executives at companies that are trying to figure out how to market services, please hire me.

It's only been about 9 hours that I've been home alone, but it feels like it has been a week. Other than trying to get a job, I don't really have anything else important to do. Today I bought a new 4pin/4pin IEEE 1394 cable so I can communicate via video with my family and others in Canada over the next several days. I'm reluctant to do any major home/yard improvements as we may not be living here for too much longer. Of course I will have plenty of time to play the piano, but two or three hours of that each day is about the most I can take.

Another thing I might do with all this time is catch up on some reading. I pretty much only been reading business cases and textbooks for the past 2 years, so I welcome the opportunity to dig in to a novel. Any suggestions? I like stories that are complicated, have lots of robots, and are grounded in fundamental philosophical problems. Ha ha ha. I added the robots so nobody would suggest any of the 'classics.'

Well, anyway, anyone please feel free to give me suggestions for either jobs, books to read, songs to learn on the piano, or just things to do for the next three weeks!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Laela may be insane

"Mommy, sometimes I feel like everyone I see is a reindeer in disguise!"

Monday, May 04, 2009

Random Update from the Last Week of Business School

Hi everyone out there in internet land. It's me JJ Olsen. You may remember me as the Friday morning DJ on WSFX radio in Nanticoke, PA in the fall of 1996, but that was a long time ago and not at all relevant to this post. Anyway, I have only a single week left until I have completed all the requirements for an MBA degree. I had been fairly certain until just a couple days ago that I would be staying in Mesa or Tempe and working at the company where I've been an intern for the past year. Well, they had a 'hiring freeze' recently instituted, and I wasn't entirely keen on remaining as an intern. So I find myself without a job and with more owing in student loans than I thought was possible.

This Thursday I'm heading with 3 MBA friends to Chicago to present the findings of a 4-month project we've been working on for the Diagnostic Division of Abbott Laboratories. The project is concerning the sale of Services to diagnostic laboratories in Turkey. It has been interesting and time consuming. Everybody at Abbott has been really cool, and it seems like it would be a great place to work (hint... Abbott HR people).

I am really going to miss being an MBA student. I have to admit most of the first year was torturous for me to varying degrees. Accounting and Statistics were especially difficult, which is ironic because I now consider myself to be very comfortable with statistics. It took some practical application to really make it sink in. As for Accounting... I'll leave that to others. Now that I'm at the end of the two years I feel like I'm just starting to figure out how to enjoy the experience, but I guess a lot of things in life are like that. I have really enjoyed hanging out with some of the other students in my program. It's funny how the stereotypes about MBAs hold true, and the most interesting classmates are of course the ones who don't always fit those stereotypes. I will miss being a student, and I would like to say that I'm going to pursue a PhD, but it's really too soon to say for sure.

Well, since I can't legally start working until July, I suppose my family is going to get re-acquainted with me in the next few weeks. I wish I knew where we were going to end up. It could be Arizona, it could be somewhere in Canada, or it could be pretty much anywhere else. If anyone has any really good ideas, by all means let me know!

One more thing. Yesterday Laela (age 5) said something out of the blue, and kind of funny:
"Snowmen are Just like insects. The bottom part is the abdomen, the middle part is the thorax, and the top part is the head. Just like an insect!"
I thought it was funny.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Car Names

Why is it that there are no car names that contain the number "1,000,000" ?

There's the Hummer H2, the Audi A3, the Smart fourtwo, the BMW M5, the Pontiac G6, the Mazda RX-8, the Saab 9-5, the Infinity G37, the Mayback 62, the Volvo C70, the Ford F150, the Chrysler 300C, the Nissan 350Z, the Ford Five Hundred, the Mercedes Benz S600, the Ferrari 612, the Porsche 911, the Dodge Ram 3500, and the Mazda B4000. But there's no 1,000,000!

Ok, I know what you're thinking, the 'Infinity' is even more than a million right? Yes, but I'm talking about model names here, not car company names.

So if you own a car company, and your trying to decide what to call your next model, you know what to do, right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Random stuff

I now have only 7 weeks left until graduation. Yikes! And I found out that our commencement speaker will be Barack Obama, so that’s kind of cool. It’s not every day you have a sitting president speak at your graduation.

I still haven’t found a job. The place where I’m working as an intern has instituted a hiring freeze until June, so I’m now looking elsewhere more aggressively. I recently applied for marketing positions with Fender, Gibson, and Yamaha. I’m not holding my breath but any of those would be super cool. Fender is based here, so that would be extra convenient.

I volunteered at Laela’s Kindergarten last Friday. Mostly I just helped kids write in their ‘Journals’ and do some counting worksheets. I had very little interaction with Laela because she doesn’t really need any help with school work.

I recently purchased Scrabble for my phone. I have been playing Scrabble on my phone (or Palm PDA) for years and years, but lately I couldn’t get any of my pirated versions to work so I finally broke down and paid for it. I play against the computer/phone on the hardest setting and I still win about 75% of the time. I think it’s programmed to just play the highest possible scoring word for each turn, but sometimes it’s not as strategic as a human. I’ve got 4 versions of ‘physical’ Scrabble at home, but it’s not always easy to find people to play with. Anyway, if any of you humans want to play Scrabble with me on facebook, just let me know.

I’ve been trying to learn new songs on the piano recently. The three I’ve worked on most recently are “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt, the “Gummi Bears” theme song, and “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie. I do enjoy playing songs I already know, but learning new ones is so much fun. Luckily for my family we have a Yamaha Clavinova that sounds as good as an acoustic piano, but can be played with headphones.

This evening we’re planning on watching Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Laela and Ivy have been excited about that for several days now.

We have a hummingbird feeder in the back yard, and there are apparently some hungry hummingbirds out there because that thing empties out super fast. I’ve been trying to get a good picture of one of them, but they seem to be able to smell the camera coming. They don’t mind when the kids bang on the window and call to them, but if I sneak up quietly with the camera in my hand, they’re gone right away.

Have I mentioned that I love living in Arizona?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Netflix, Star Wars, etc.



We periodically rent movies from either Blockbuster or iTunes, and recently we decided to try a couple of other alternatives.

First we tried 'Redbox.' There's a Redbox dispenser at a gas station nearby, so I went over and looked through the menu. It wasn't much better than iTunes as far as selection, but it was somewhat of a novelty. We rented The Rocker starring Dwight from The Office. It was a mostly unfunny knockoff of School of Rock that might have worked if the music the kids were playing wasn't awful! Skip that one.

So then the other day I finally decided to sign up for Netflix. I've been meaning to do so for several months, but because the web-based viewing option relies on Microsoft's Silverlight player, it doesn't work on G5-based Macs or in Linux. But right now I'm using Windows for compatibility reasons at school, so Netflix was go (just like the 'Fit is go' in the commercials).

We got the 'one movie' plan which is like 9 bucks a month. There are about 10,000 movies one can watch online, and then about 100,000 that you can get in the mail.

The first movie we got online was Man on Wire which won the Oscar for Best Documentary this year. It was about a totally crazy French dude that spent 6 years planning for a covert tight rope walk between the WTC towers back in the 70s. This guys was all undercover and everything, taking pictures and movies, and building models. Anyway, great movie, very entertaining.

The next movie we watched online was Ratatouille. I enjoyed it and the kids did too. I think the moral was that even the most thinly-disguised impostors can find success through collaboration with common vermin.



Then we decided to get a movie in the mail. So after consulting Laela and Ivy we settled on Star Wars, Episode 4, A New Hope. I remember watching the Star Wars on Video in about 1980 at age 3 for the first time, so I thought it was sufficiently appropriate for my 3 and 5 year old daughters. Laela was concerned that there was often little justification for the killing in the movie, but she really liked the big hairy ape. She couldn't figure out how he kept getting on the spaceship though! Ivy was admittedly only marginally interested as we watched, but she did take in most of it. Laela, of course, knows most of the back story through past casual conversations; so she was asking about Darth Vader's history quite a bit. She was also especially interested in the good guy/bad guy status of each and every character. I also thought that it was funny and odd that she didn't realize that it was fictional until about 20 minutes in (after the large space battle and the droids walking around on Tatooine ). Laela still wants to see the other 5 movies, so I'd say it was a success.

Then the other day we watched an old collection of Bugs Bunny & Roadrunner cartoons. The kids loved it, but I felt that I had outgrown some of the nuances that had made it more funny when I was 5.

Another cool thing that Netflix does is that it allows you to 'rate' any movies you have previously seen, and then with those ratings it compiles lists of recommended movies for you. So it takes a lot of the effort out of trying to decide what to see next. I used to spend like an hour at Blockbuster, so this is welcome feature. You can also browse by genre, age category, release dates, etc. Honestly the 'watch instantly' selection does leave something to be desired, but I suspect this is largely due to licensing issues on the part of the movies studios. Hopefully that situation will improve in the future.

I still have a $15 iTunes gift card, so I'm afraid that I haven't settled on Netflix, but I would recommend it to anyone who watches 3 or more movies per month, and who can't be bothered to drive for 5 minutes to Blockbuster. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2 months to go!

I only have 2 months left until I graduate with my MBA. If you'd have asked me a few years ago if I'd ever get an MBA, I would have laughed at you. My undergrad degree was in Psychology. I also took a lot of classes in Logic and Philosophy, as well as Linguistics. At the time I really had no idea what I'd end doing with a Psychology degree.

I occasionally mused about pursuing further education and eventually becoming a Psychology professor. But my interest in that diminished significantly as I neared graduation. I also toyed with the idea of becoming a Lawyer. My dad is a lawyer and until quite recently he'd always suggested that being a lawyer was no fun. So in retrospect, I'm glad that didn't pan out.

I also thought about Architecture. I loved architectural drafting back in high school. After I graduated I went back and took an Architecture class at the University of Calgary. For whatever reason though, that also didn't work out.

I worked for about 4 years after college, and as I saw how different companies operated and how incompetent some people in executive positions could be, I began to gain a rudimentary interest in business. Taking the GMAT (test required for entrance to an MBA program) had been on my to do list for quite some time.

As my dissatisfaction at work increased I finally got to the point where I was sufficiently motivated to start an earnest attempt to get into business school. I began by making a list of about 100 schools that I would consider applying to. Over a period of several months I narrowed this list down until I only had about 8. The schools I left on my list were:
  • University of Victoria
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Toronto
  • Cornell University
  • University of Arizona
  • Arizona State University
These schools all had different application deadlines and so I finished them in the order they were due. The first two that had to be completed were Cornell and ASU. I had mostly completed the applications for the other 6 schools, but I hadn't submitted any of them yet when I received an invitation to interview at ASU. I was given the option to do an in-person interview in Tempe, AZ, or to do a video-chat interview from wherever I was at the time. I chose to go to Arizona so that I could see the campus and get a feel for what the school was like. I really enjoyed the interview and the campus tour, but I continued preparing my other applications while I waited to hear from ASU.

During this time I also got a denial letter from Cornell, which was disappointing, but not unexpected. Then I got accepted to ASU. I was thrilled about it. So much so that I dropped all my other outstanding applications. So it ended up that I applied to two schools and got accepted at one of them, Since then most people I've talked to have said that I would have been crazy to want to go to Cornell. It's a great school, but apparently Ithica, NY is a miserable place to live for most of the year.

So after the most intense (by far) two years of my life I find myself here about to graduate. I've got only two classes left to finish in the next 8 weeks. Now I have to move on to another stage of life. I am certainly not ruling out further education, but in the immediate future I must find a job. Not just any old job either. I have to find the kind of job that will allow me to pay off excessive student loans! I'm currently working for a medical device company as an intern, but I'm not 100% sure that there will be a permanent position for me there. There is also the complication that I'm not an American, which generally scares off most potential employers.

Anyway, I didn't say it was an interesting story. Ha ha ha.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Music into which I am

I know I had a recent post about concerts, but because music is important to me I decided to write a post about music in general.

As a kid most of what I listened to was kid's music like Raffi and Disney songs that I had on LPs. For those of you that don't remember, music used to come on dinner plate-sized disks made of vinyl. They were known as an LP because they rotated slower than a 45 or a 78. If that doesn't make sense, then you are not in my target market.

Anyway, my parents also had record collections into which I would occasionally delve. I recall my dad having some Beatles, several Chicago albums, the Beach Boys, Bee Gees, and a Burton Cummings album that I liked.

Around about 1983/84 I remember starting to get into watching the music video shows. The one I remember was called 'Video Hits.' Back in those days it was mostly new wave and 80s pop, but I didn't know any better. Maybe that is why I have always been such a big Devo fan.

During that same time, as those who were there know, one artist eclipsed all others on popularity; and that of course was the king of pop himself, David Hasselhoff. Just kidding, it was actually Michael Jackson. At school there were at least 20 kids running around in red faux-leather jackets that were covered in zippers. I never had one, but my best friend at the time, Chad Alexander (I wonder what ever happened to him), certainly did. I credit Michael Jackson for Weird Al Yankovik's meteoric rise to fame during the mid 1980s. It's profound to think that without MJ's 'Beat It,' we would never have had 'Eat It.'

By the time I reached the age of 11 or 12 I began to develop a rudimentary sense of the types of music I enjoyed. My family drove to Disneyland in the summer of 1989 and one of the tapes (a tape was like an LP, but a lot more messy) we took with us was some 'best of' Beach Boys compilation. I listened to it over and over and memorized all the songs, and even started learning some of them on the piano, because everyone wants to hear Beach Boys songs on the piano.

In Grade 7, one of my friends was selling a couple of portable CD players for really cheap. My family had never had a CD player, So I shelled over the $40 and shortly afterward my parents bought me 4 CDs:
-The Righteous Brothers, Unchained Melody
-The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour
-The Beach Boys, 20 Golden Greats
-The Monkeys, Best of the Monkeys
Having only 4 CDs, I listened to these 4 albums A LOT. I really liked the Beatles album, so I subsequently bought a couple of others including Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul.

As I went through Jr. High, my tastes in music began to be more heavily influenced by the radio and of course my peers. It was probably around 1991 or 1992 when I first began listening to popular music on the radio to any significant degree. For some reason it seems that there was a lot of dance music that was popular on the radio. Maybe I was just listening to the wrong stations. I just barely missed the whole 'hair' band era (I would have to re-discover it later). This was also the beginnings of the 'grunge' phase.

I first heard Evenflow by Pearl Jam and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana on the radio. At first I don't think I thought too much of either of them, but then when I discovered Columbia House (10 CDs for 1 cent) I decided to get what I thought was 'cool,' which was a lot of this new Seattle-based music. It turns out I liked it, and I ended up listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden a lot during that early 90s period.

During my senior year in high school (94-95) I started getting into some of these new 'punk' bands like The Offspring and Green Day. At the same time though, I was actively discovering Classic Rock' for the first time. I went to a Rolling Stones concert in 1994 and quite enjoyed it. I also started to get into older stuff like Pink Floyd, Neil young, Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, and Rush. At the time it difficult for me to explain to people what kinds of music I liked because it wasn't cool to like classic rock and punk and alternative grunge rock.

I got a guitar when I was 15 and this probably had a significant impact on the kinds of music I listened to. Some of the first stuff I tried learning was Nothing Else Matters by Metallica, Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chile Peppers, and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. I ended up getting really into Ozzy and Metallica both of whom I saw in concert in '96. This only complicated things because now I was into punk, grunge, classic rock, and metal.

For the last half of 1996 I lived in Pennsylvania with my aunt and uncle. My cousin Nathan was really into Punk and Hardcore at the time, and so I drifted in that direction; but at the same time I still stayed into everything else. It was during this time that I also got more into the band Bad Religion. Gregory Walter Graffin, Ph.D, who is the lead singer of Bad Religion, is well known for his large vocabulary and poignant commentary on social and political issues. I felt that I could identify with most of the issues he sang about, and so for a time they were my favorite band.

Needless to say, once I became an adult, I no longer had the ability to adapt to new things or know what was cool; so I am more or less still only into the music that was cool in the mid 1990s.

That's not entirely true. I have got more into Raffi again lately.

Friday, February 06, 2009

100 Random things about me...

There has been a lot of buzz lately about this '25 Random things about me' chain letter thing.
Because I'm almost exactly 4 times more interesting than other people, I am posting 100 random things about me:

1. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta
2. I have 3 laptop computers
3. I have 3 Palm PDAs
4. I have been to Mexico five times
5. My favorite color is invisible
6. I have attended six colleges/universities
7. I attended six elementary schools
8. I started dating my wife less than 2 months after she turned 18
9. I have been in approximately 7 car accidents (very few causing injury)
10. I was a private investigator in Calgary in 2003-2004
11. I have read Lord of the Rings 3 times
12. I have five suits
13. I have 4 pairs of Dr. Marten shoes/boots
14. I saw Star Wars for the first time when I was about 3 in about 1980
15. As a kid I watched Inspector Gadget every day at 4:00 PM
16. I broke my right big toe in 1993 and it still hasn't fully healed
17. I majored in vocal music for my first semester of college
18. I have camped in -30 degree weather more than once
19. I have two pairs of Converse All-Stars shoes
20. I have Hard Rock Cafe hats from Las Vegas, Cancun, San Francisco, and Rome
21. I lived in Pennsylvania from June to December of 1996
22. Several of my ancestors were polygamists
23. My paternal grandfather was my principal in grade 2
24. My school laptop has a 1920x1200 15.4" monitor
25. I do not have a 'land line' telephone
26. My kids were born in 2003 and 2005
27. I started playing the piano when I was 3
28. My Fender Stratocaster has replacement knobs
29. I have had two Blackberry phones in the past
30. The most hot dogs I've eaten for one meal was 7
31. I once rented an electric keyboard for an office party
32. I didn't like apple juice when I was a kid
33. I get dizzy really easily
34. I do not think that time travel is possible
35. I have never been arrested
36. I have not been skiing for about 13 years
37. I once threw a penny off the front of Hoover Dam
38. I have been to New York City twice
39. I have only been to California 3 times
40. I have 20/16 vision, whatever that means
41. I am 5'9.5" tall, and have been since I was 15
42. I am a Photoshop expert
43. I have never been to eastern Canada
44. My left ear is noticeably smaller than my right ear
45. The fastest I've gone on my bike is 44 mph (downhill)
46. I was once hit by a pickup truck whilst riding my bike
47. I am one of 3 Canadians in my MBA program
48. I have lived in 11 different cities/towns
49. I am the oldest of 6 kids
50. My favorite poem is The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
51. I recently applied for a grant for almost a million dollars
52. My iPod holds 160GB - 40GB more than my Dell Latitude D830
53. I haven't logged into my MySpace account for over a year
54. I have memorized most of the dialog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
55. I can solve a standard Rubik's Cube in 49 seconds
56. I have had my Hotmail account since 1996
57. I once got an email from Brian Baker, the guitarist from Bad Religion
58. I have never been golfing
59. I have not been to a psychiatrist in the last 10 years
60. I once fell into a duck pond in Vernon, British Columbia
61. I lived in Dolan Springs, Arizona for 5 months
62. I can do David Blaine's 'levitation' trick
63. I do not know how to shuffle cards
64. I cannot remember my own birth
65. I have a YouTube video with over 16,000 views
66. I went to a Jewel concert in 1996 without knowing who she was
67. I didn't vote in the 2008 US presidential election
68. I have my gmail account set to the 'Ninja' theme
69. I like cats way better than dogs
70. I am uncomfortable swimming in the ocean
71. Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch (nicht sehr gut)
72. I have not turned on my guitar amp since last summer
73. I eat at Subway usually at least once per week
74. I often take the bus/train to school
75. I am 31 years old
76. I almost always wear socks
77. In 7th grade, I had locker number 77
78. I prefer the heat to the cold
79. I like to program in BASIC
80. I change my Facebook status several times per day
81. I once got in trouble at a Boy Scout camp for shooting a metal pole with a 22
82. I have eleven Rubik's Cubes
83. I fried an egg on the sidewalk last summer (it tasted fine)
84. I have a Fender Stratocaster tattoo on my lower right calf
85. I was a big Pee Wee Herman fan when I was about 10
86. I have had about 18 different jobs so far
87. I have been to the following states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Georgia
88. I have been to the following provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan
89. I've been to the following Mexican states: Sonora, Nayarit, Jalisco, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo
90. I don't like mushrooms
91. My fashion sense became dormant sometime in high school
92. I have 48 applications on my phone right now
93. I have 42 applications on my main computer (other than pre-installed junk)
94. I prefer Linux to either Windows or Mac OS X
95. I like Scrabble and frequently score above 400
96. My favorite flavor of potato chips is Salt & Vinegar
97. I am a marketing intern for a medical device company
98. I like The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes, and old Dilbert comics
99. I have never been to an NBA or NFL game
100. I love making lists

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Not Part 2

So, I kind of lost interest in my autobiography. I'll do that later.


Right now I just wanted to say how much I like the theme song from the Gummi Bears cartoon. It's got a catchy tune, a sing-along chorus, and the real selling point - a key change from Bb to C in the middle of the second verse. Whoever wrote that song was a musical genius.

Monday, February 02, 2009

JJ Olsen - The Story

WARNING! LONG POST

My Dad was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada in 1955. His mom, my grandma, moved from England to marry my grandpa who had been a missionary in England back in about 1950. My dad grew up modestly in Edmonton. His father was a school principal and his mother was a secretary.

My mother was born in 1957 in Ottawa, but grew up mostly on a farm in southern Alberta; then moving into the small town of Cardston when she was in high school. She was the third of 8 children, which is how things went in those days.

My parents got engaged and married in the spring/summer of 1976 and I was born 11 months later. I am told that we lived in a small apartment when I was an infant, but I have no memory of this, and am therefore suspicious.

My earliest memories are of living in 'the ghetto' as it was affectionately known. The ghetto was Pleasantview, a low-rent townhouse complex near Southgate Centre in Edmonton. We lived in a three-bedroom/three-story unit with a single bathroom and an unfinished basement. Whilst there our family expanded to include three children.

In about 1980/81, my dad graduated from the University of Alberta Law School, and so naturally we upgraded to a 3-bedroom/3-story townhouse with an unfinished basement and -get this -two bathrooms! Aside from that, in my memory, the house was very similar to the one we'd left. While we lived there I gained two more sisters and about 4 years.

In 1985 My dad got transferred to Calgary, so we moved into a 3 bedroom three story duplex with 3 bathrooms and a finished basement (with two additional bedrooms). I'm not sure why, but for at least part of that time there were 4 of us all sleeping in one bedroom. This house also had a garage, which was a first for me. I enjoyed riding my bike in there, around and around in circles, all winter long. Ha ha!

The second year we lived in Calgary, I was 9 years old and in 4th grade. That was the first year that I attended an entire year of school. My mom had home schooled me for all or part of every previous year. I credit this abnormal educational experience with making me into the imbalanced genius that I am. Also, my youngest sister was born during this time.

In 1987 we moved to Cardston, where my mom is from, because my grandfather was terminally ill with a brain tumor. At least that's why I think we moved down there. My dad still worked in Calgary so he was gone 3 days a week for the 1 year that we lived there. My grandpa died in June of 88, and we moved back to Calgary that August.

So for 6th grade I found myself attending my 6th school (including home school). It took me a while to adjust, but I soon found my place as the class clown. I remember at one point declaring part of the classroom to be under British rule. I put up a Union Jack near my desk and then took it so far as to play 'God Save the Queen' on my little electric keyboard during a school assembly. There are other stories from that year, but I'll save them for some other time.

From 1989 to 1992 I went to Junior High. I attended the same school for 3 years in a row, which was (and still is) a record. During that time I went through the awkward adolescent stage (which is almost over as of 2009). I often had trouble making friends and fitting in, but I got through. It was during this time that my parents' marriage began to become obviously unstable. They were separated for occasional periods of time, and I always tried to cover this up to my friends.

As a stress reliever, I often played the piano for hours at a time. I had started playing the piano in about 1981 or 82. My Mom's sister Gale lived with us for a year back in Edmonton and had taught me a few things. I took various piano lessons here and there, but never anything too formal for too long. When I was a teenager, Gale (again staying with us, but for a shorter time) introduced me to the concept of 'chording.' Maybe it's actually called something else. Anyway, once I figured out how to play songs just by listening to them a few times, the piano became my escape from the humdrum of everyday life.

For grades 10 and 11, I attended Henry Wise Wood High School in Calgary. I was not an exceptional student, and I was a bad student in some classes. I loved architectural drafting class, but I didn't care much for anything else. I had never been much of an athlete. As a kid I'd done brief forays into soccer, baseball, and basketball; but nothing ever stuck. While at Wise Wood, I joined both the track and cross-country teams. I got to really enjoy both short and long distance running. During every other gym class we had the option to run about 5, 7, or 8 kms. I ran the max distance every single class and was one of only 2 to do so. I also did the 100m and long jump. I was never great at it, but I enjoyed it. Unfortunately I pulled a muscle pretty bad during a practice once, and never really got back into it.

For my last year of high school I transferred to Lord Beaverbrook High School. I don't really remember why I switched. I think I was just generally unhappy with school and wanted a change. I started out strong. I was taking calculus, physics, chemistry, English, math, and I think art as my one optional class. Anyway, I ended up dropping art, calculus and physics. I failed Chemistry and just barely passed math. By the middle of the year I realized that I needed more credits to graduate, so I signed up for two music classes. I took Concert Choir and Jazz Choir. Luckilly for me, this was something that I was good at and that I enjoyed. I had long since abandoned all hope of being 'cool,' so that wasn't really a problem either. As an extension of the choir classes, I ended up forming an quartet. I was the second tenor. We had just a couple of minor gigs, but it was tons of fun. A highlight for me was performing at Pike's Place in Seattle during a school trip.

In the summer of 1995 I just barely graduated from high school. I had scored in the 99th percentile on my ACT test, so I figured I was smart enough for university; but I wasn't sure at all what the future would hold for me. Would I get into politics? Would I become a competitive skier? Would I become a lion tamer? Stay tuned to find out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nothing special - just another post

I've been waiting for something especially interesting to happen so I can post about it, but nothing really has. So here's just a boring update...

I went to San Francisco the week after Disneyland. It was for a school trip for mostly marketing students. We visited GMR Marketing, IDEO, Hewlett Packard, The Oakland Raiders, Electronic Arts, and Facebook. We also had an alumni networking night with some Bay area alums. It was a lot of fun to visit those companies and to see SF. It was the first time I'd spent any time there other than at the airport. I totally want to live in Palo Alto now. It's like the perfect city (except for being prohibitively expensive). It was also fun to get to know some of the first year MBA students a little better. There were only 5 or 6 of us old-timers vs. 15 or so of them.

Then for the last couple of weeks I've just been getting back into the rigors of full-time business school plus the part-time job. I'm starting on a new 4-month project for Abbott Laboratories. That's on top of the other project I'm still doing for Siemens. So, I may have more than one trip to Chicago in the coming weeks. I have to say, at least for me, the second year of MBA school is about a billion times more fun than the first year. The amount of hands-on experience I've been able to have has been super cool. I'm just at the point now where I am getting sad that it's going to be over so soon. It will be cool to have earned an MBA (from a top 25 school no less), but I will definitely miss being a student.

We went out in the (new) canoe for the first time a couple of days ago. As some of my long-term readers know, our old canoe was stolen back in Oct/Nov, and so we were forced to buy a new one. I absolutely love living on a lake, and I always half-jokingly say to Chrissy that backing onto a lake will always have to be a requirement for our future accommodations. I think the kids enjoy going out on the water and trying to feed the ducks. We didn't see any turtles this time, but I know there in there somewhere. I can smell them (just kidding). The kids' little paddles were stolen along with the old canoe so Laela and Ivy have no way paddling backwards while we're trying to paddle forwards. It's very sad for them, but we move much more swiftly through the water! Ha ha ha.

That's all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disneyland

We took Laela and Ivy to Disneyland/California Adventure and Sea World last week. Ivy had a lot of fun on the rides, Laela got a little bit scared on most of the rides, and Chrissy and I were exhausted by the end of it all.

I'll post some pictures of the trip somewhere, sometime.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Concerts

Janelle's post about Christmas music got me thinking about concerts I've been to.

The first one was an Amy Grant Concert I went to with my mom in 1989. I was 12, and I didn't know any better.

The next concert that I recall attending wouldn't have been until I was about 16 in 1993 or so when I saw the Rolling Stones on the Voodoo Lounge tour.

After that it's kind of a blur. I saw about 50 bands in the following 3 or 4 years. Some of those included: Green Day, the Offspring, Bad Religion, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Steely Dan, I Mother Earth, the Tea Party, Collective Soul, Silverchair, Junkhouse, the Watchmen, Everclear, The Riverdales, Rhymes with Orange, Zucherbaby, Dodgy, the Philosopher Kings, the Afghan Wigs, Jewel, April Wine, Neil Young, Finger Eleven, Earth Crisis, etc etc etc. If you haven't heard of some of those it's because their Canadian.

Then in the summer of 2000 I went to the Warped tour where I saw Green Day again, as a well as NOFX, Pappa Roach, the Long Beach Dub All Stars, and a whole bunch of less memorable bands

Since then my concert-going activities have been much more sparse. I saw Def Leppard about 3 years ago. I saw the Beach Boys around that same time. That was fun. I went to Styx & Boston here in Phoenix just a few month ago. That was kind of fun too. I've meant to go to several more that didn't work out -mostly because I'm way too busy. I'd still like to see Bon Jovi, Elton John, AC/DC, Paul McCartney, Muse, Pearl Jam, and a few others.

That's my concert history in a nutshell.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What have I been up to?

For the 0.5 people who regularly read my blog, I must apologize for neglecting it. I've been spending a bit more time than I'd like to have spent on school. I've been taking this Digital Media Entrepreneurship class over at the Cronkite School at the downtown Phoenix campus. This past Thursday was the deadline for our final project, Boomstick, which is finished, but still not accessible to the public.

I've also been working on a different project, this one for my Customer Relationship Management class. This project is a market research project that I've been working on for Siemens Building Technologies, which is headquartered in Chicago. We are tentatively scheduled for later this week to go to their offices in Chicago to present the results of our study to them. So that's added a bit of pressure to do a good job.

We've also been planning a trip to Disneyland and Sea World with the kids during the first week of January, and I'm planning on going to San Francisco for a three-day Marketing Club trip the week after I go to Southern California.

Apart from all that, and the two other classes I'm taking, and working at Bard Biopsy Systems, and all the family Christmas planning activities, that's all I've been up to.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's headlines...

Auto Bailout Talks Collapse

Auto bailout talks collapse over union wages

U.S. auto bailout package dies in Senate

It's Over: Auto Rescue Bill Fails in Senate, Voting 52-35

Rescue Bill Dies: End of the Road for Big Auto?

Auto Deal Collapses

Auto bailout talks collapse

Breaking News 11:29 PM ET:
Auto Bailout Talks Collapse in the Senate

"Three Words" Sink Auto Bailout In Senate

Car bailout falters in US senate

Auto bailout dies in Senate after compromise talks fail.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Detroit 'Big 3' Metaphor:

“The situation can be likened to a lifeboat with three passengers, one has gangrene from his toes to his bellybutton. That’s Chrysler. Another, GM, is a 350-pound man, and there’s a 250-pound man, Ford. There’s only enough food on board for two thin men. So who should get the food?”

from Bloomberg.com

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi)

We ordered a new camera a couple of weeks ago. Chrissy has been collecting AirMiles reward points for about 15 years, and we decided to finally redeem some of them.

Our old camera, a Sony DSC-V1, takes great photos, but lately we've been having some issues with it. When we were at the Grand Canyon it ran out of batteries. And the last couple of batches of photos have all been out of focus in the top left corner. We got that camera in 2004 when Laela was 7 months old just before we took her to Mexico for the first time, and just before my sister Brooklyn's wedding.

So we were trying to decide which camera was best and we pretty much settled on either the Nikon D60 or the Canon EOS 450D. Both are great cameras, but the kind folks over at dpreview.com convinced me that the Canon would yield superior picture quality across more diverse conditions. So that's the one we settled on.

For some reason this camera has three different names depending on where you buy it. In Japan it's called the Kiss X2,



in the USA and Canada it's called the Digital Rebel XSi,




and in the rest of the world it's called the EOS 450D.




note - it's interesting how the layout turned out nothing like it was supposed to!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


From TIME:

"At the end of a presidency of stupefying ineptitude, he has become the lamest of all possible ducks."

"He is less than President now, and that is appropriate. He was never very much of one."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Binary


8-bit:

64 32 16 8 4 2 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
=64+32+16+8+4+2+1
=127

1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
=64+1
=65

0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
=4+2+1
=7

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
=1

There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why is NBC TV show online viewing so difficult?

I was trying to watch Heroes today with Chrissy, whose birthday is was. For some reason watching shows on NBC.com works well only about 60% of the time. Why can youtube have millions of perfectly-functioning videos, but NBC not? iTunes always works too for that matter.


The question then becomes: is NBC inherently defective, or does the problem simply lie with the people that work at NBC? Regardless of your political affiliation I'm sure you agree with me that it has to be both, because that would also explain the awful coverage of the Olympics and the company's apparent refusal to replace the peacock with a dancing bear -which would be way more hilarious.

From now on I may be forced to watch TV on the TV. No, I'm just kidding.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy 450th Anniversary Queen Elizabeth!

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth has been queen for 450 years? She was crowned on November 17, 1558.

Oh, someone just told me that wasn't the same Queen Elizabeth.

Never mind, I guess.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Living on the Beach


Our family has spent the past four days staying in a condo overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Puerto PeƱasco, Sonora.

Every time I come to Mexico I can't help but try to figure out a way to not have to leave. Even Laela and Ivy have been asking if we can stay here.

Living in AZ has made it a lot easier (and cheaper) to come down here, but the 4.5 hour drive, combined with the less-than-flexible MBA schedule, is just enough to prevent us from coming more than about once a year.

We were lucky enough this time to be here at the same time as the annual Rocky Point Biker Rally (or whatever it's called). I don't understand how it's pleasant to spend time on the beach in boots, black jeans, and black long-sleeve Harley t-shirts, but to each their own I suppose.

I'll maybe post pictures sometime, either here or elsewhere.

Cheers

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day


Happy election day everyone.
Hopefully this president won't be both evil AND a complete moron.
Then again, we didn't necessarily know that about GWB in 2000 did we?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Missing Canoe

Having something stolen is one of the most aggravating things that can happen.

I had a cop over this evening. He pretty much said that there's nothing we could have done. Even if it was locked up someone would've taken it if they wanted to.

Right now there's an ad on craigslist that matches the description pretty closely. He's selling a red Coleman canoe for $100 ($200 less than any other ads I've seen recently). He also says he's had it for years but he's not sure how long it is. Sounds suspicious to me.

The cop told me that IF we had the canoe registered or something (canoes don't have to be registered in AZ) then they could act on an ad like that, but that in this case we'd have to carry-out a sting operation ourselves. There is a registration number on the canoe from 1997, but it's not linked to us in any way via any sort of paperwork.

The worst part is that this is my week off from school. I would have been using the canoe a lot more this week than usual.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Someone stole our canoe right out of the back yard! It was tied up to the dock and everything. Who does that? I'm so mad that I don't even know what to say.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Regression Analysis


If you don't know what this means, you're missing out!

Regression analysis is a statistical method that allows you (among other things) to determine how well a set of variables can predict another set of variables. There are all sorts of caveats and conditions, but I've been spending a lot of time figuring out how it works.

If you only have one set of dependent variables and one set of independent variables, then the formula is:

beta[x]=(sum((xi-avg[X])*(yi-avg[Y]))/sum((xi-avg[x])^2)

and

intercept = avg[Y]-(beta[X]/avg[X])

Then any new x variable can be multiplied by beta[x] and then added to the intercept, and that gives you your predicted value of y.

Simple huh?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Final Exams

Final exams start for me today. This is the fourth of six 10-week trimesters in my 2-year MBA program.

Final exams are generally anti-climactic. I never feel really great coming out of them; but then again, they never really change my grades that much.

After finals are done I get a whole week off school. That means I actually get to see my daughters every single day for a whole week! It will be fun, and hopefully we'll get to do lots of cool stuff like going to the zoo, the planetarium, hiking, etc.

I was going to add canoeing to that list, but we do that almost every day anyway. That's our standard after-dinner/before bed activity.

Today whilst canoeing, we got about one foot away from a big turtle sitting on a little platform on the lake. He was alone this time, but I've seen as many as nine turtles all piled up on that same little platform. I'll add a picture sometime if I remember.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I like living in AZ

I'm sitting here in the back yard studying for final exams and I just can't believe how nice it is.

There are turtles and ducks swimming by, the palm trees are swaying in the gentle breeze, and the temperature is perfect.

Not bad for the end of October!

Who knew that Arizona had such a great climate?

Well, probably the other 4 million people who live in Phoenix. And everyone who comes here from Canada for the winter. I'm sure they knew.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Barack Obama



We here on the editorial board of JJ Olsen have decided to officially endorse Barack Obama as our pick in the 2008 presidential elections.

This decision wasn't reached easily. We had to weigh how many times we had seen each candidate in-person, and that wasn't an easy task.

Well, it was kind of easy.



As the photos clearly demonstrate, I had a very up close and personal encounter with Mr. Obama and a few others. And that is enough of a reason to make this endorsement. Also, the decision of John McCain to appoint an embarrassingly unqualified Sarah Palin as his running mate made it easier.


That's all. You can all go back to whatever it was you were doing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

AZ is Cold & Dark!


This morning at 5:15 when I left the house for work, it was as dark as it is in the middle of the night. It reminded me of when I worked as a landscaper in Edmonton in December 1997 when it was dark until 10:00 AM.
It felt almost as cold as Edmonton too!


This is my first blog entry via phone.
I just thought you should know that.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quotes:



I'm retiring this from facebook and sticking it here. They both come up with hilarious lines every day, but I'm not quick enough to write them all down.

Laela: "Mommy, do you know what would be inconvenient?
If you shoot your mother with a cannon."

(Ivy gets in bed with us in the middle of the night)
Chrissy: "Is there a lizard crawling around in here?"
Me: "No, it's just Ivy"
Chrissy: "I mean besides Ivy"
Ivy: "There were 2 Swipers!"

IVY: Daddy, I have something very 'portant to tell you.
ME: Yes Ivy?
IVY: Cat poo poo! Ha ha ha!
(you can't make this stuff up)

LAELA: Mom, can I tell you something?
CHRISSY: Yes Laela.
LAELA: Did you know that I'm an ape and a candle?

Laela (while getting her fingernails clipped): "Mommy, do you think they're scared because we're killing them?"

LAELA (While deciding whether or not to email anybody a flash-based parade float that she made in a PBS-Kids online game):
"I don't want to send this one to anyone. It would break their brain. I don't want anyone's brain to be broken."

"Daddy, I miss the dwarf Tyler. He's a DWARF! A DWARF! Daddy, do you know what a dwarf is?"
-Laela Olsen

--also--

LAELA: "When I grow up I'm going to be a magician."
IVY: "I'm going to be a train station!"

--and finally--

Laela: "I know what it's like to be dead...but I'm not going to tell you...for lots of reasons. It would take all night."

Monday, October 13, 2008

JJ Olsen -Author


I recently finished writing my autobiography.

It is less than 1,200 characters long because that is all the space that the Blogger "about me" text field would accept.

Now that I'm an accomplished author I think that I will take some time off to do research for my next book...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Sun Microsystems


Tomorrow I'm going to listen to the Chairman of Sun Microsystems speak. I think it's pretty cool to hear from people like this, but that opinion is not shared strongly by my fellow MBA students. I've been trying to invite just 5 people. So far, of the 10 or so people I've spoken to, only 3 of them have confirmed they will come.
It's almost as if nobody is interested in UNIX or the Java programing language! I just don't understand it. We need more nerds to get MBAs.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Cockroaches


Today Chrissy found a large cockroach in Tim's fishbowl. Tim is Laela's Betta Fish. The cockroach was just floating there, and Tim wasn't paying any attention to it. I didn't know that cockroaches could climb into fishbowls.

Ah, the joys of living in Arizona!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

BASIC.
I've been an 'amateur' computer programmer since I was a teenager. I wrote a program this morning on the bus with "Palm Basic" on my Palm Treo 755p. It pretty much just approximates the functionality of an Etch-a-Scetch.
I decided to post here.

print "Welcome to Etch-a-755p"
print "PLEASE SELECT BRUSH:"
print " 'a' for inverted"
input " 'b' for draw: "ll$
print""
input "Need Instructions? (y/n) "i$
cls:print""
if i$="y" then print "up/dn: up/dn buttons ", ,"left/right: mail/home buttons","exit: phone button"
print"":input "'Enter' to start... "vv
cls:m=80:n=80
do until keydown(4)=1
a=a+keydown(2)
b=b+keydown(3)
c=c+keydown(6)
d=d+keydown(7)
x=n+d-c
y=m+b-a
if x > 159 then x= x -159
if x < 1 then x = x + 159
if y > 159 then y = y -159
if y < 1 then y = y + 159
if ll$="a" then invertline x,y,x+1,y+1 else drawline x,y,x+1,y+1
loop:cls
print""
print" 'menu' + 'R' to start again..."
print""
print" 'menu' + 'E' to edit code..."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

UBUNTU
I use Linux on my main computer. Linux is an operating system like Windows, but it doesn't have all those broken parts like Windows does. It's a lot more like Mac OS X, but you have a lot more control over the way everything works. Anyone can install Linux on their computer. All you need is a free* CD. Ubuntu is the easiest 'version' of Linux for a beginner to install. You can download it for free.


*of course nothing is actually free. You have to buy a blank CD and burn the Ubunutu installer onto it.

Monday, September 29, 2008



OK,
So it turns out I've been a "blogger" for nearly 5 years now. Who knew. Quite a prolific one at that I might add.

For those of you who don't know what I look like, see the picture on the left.

The picture on the right is a 'tesseract' which is the 4-dimentional analogue of a cube. There will be a test on that so make sure you understand it.

Our family went to parent-teacher-student conferences this morning at Laela's school. Her teacher said: "Laela is really good at everything she does." So now Laela is going to have an even more over-inflated ego! Her teacher did say that Laela needs a bit of practice writing in complete sentences, which is fine given that some kids in her class are still working on writing individual letters. Ivy spent the whole time passing gas, so that Laela's classroom would smell really nice when all the other kids arrived.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The other day I was at a gas station and as I was leaving a truck cut me off so I drove over a small curb and my airbag went off.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I have now installed the Blogger widget for Mac OS X. Huray!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

This may work. If I don't like it I'll stop using it. over and out.