Monday, January 5, 2015


In case anyone still has their readers or subscriptions still pointed at this blog I made a new post over on Laurel's blog. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bag of Crap

So if anyone knows me all that well you will know that I like to frequent the website If you don't know much about that site it's ia nifty business idea. They sell one item a day. Usually it's electronics or nerd related but not always. If the item sells out before the end of the day then that's it, you can't buy anything for the rest of the day. However, they don't sell out all the time, which means that they will start to accumulate a lot of inventory of items where they don't have enough to warrant a full day sale, but they have to do something with the excess.

So they came up with the idea of a "Woot-Off". In the Woot-Off they will sell one of those items until it is sold out and then put another item up. A Woot-Off will generally last 2-3 days. Woot-Offs have become great places to get even better deals than originally offered. I would imagine their traffic spikes a lot on those days as people habitually come back to the site to see what the new product is.

Another fun feature of the Woot-Off is the Random Crap item, also known as the Bag of Crap or BOC. It is like a mystery box of stuff. It could be one of their high end products, or it could be a bunch of crap. People also rarely refer to it as the Bag of Crap anymore, instead trying to think of clever substitutes for the acronym BOC. Give it a try yourself, Box of Carp. Bastille Only Credentials, Beginners Oft Cry.

Another thing to note is that the Bag of Crap always sells out within 10-15 seconds. And it only takes that long because the servers need that much time to process the massive amount of orders that go in all at the same time. Basically if you blinked when it was posted, you missed it.

I have been trying to buy a Bag of Crap for like 2 years now. It's never happened. I'm never on the ball enough, so this time arond when the Woot-Off started I though, maybe I can help myself out a little. I wrote a VBA program that will log on to Woot and refresh periodically and if it detects the BOC then it will go through and purchase it. So whenever a new product was about to come on I would set the program running.

Well it worked! And I got it this time. Unfortunately... it was also mostly crap. But that won't stop me from trying next time!

- 3 XL Fruit of the Loom t-shirts
- 1 USB hookup Hulk smash button (I guess it commences the gamma ray sequence on your computer?)
- 1 Design maker
- 2 Frames ("One Cool Dad" and "Worlds Best Mom")
- 1 Pair of headphones
- 4 Electronics screen cleaner cloths
- 1 Gym duffle bag

I actually find the screen cleaner cloths quite useful for my tablet and phone. And the gym bag isn't too bad either. Headphones never go out of style, but the other stuff... well, they don't use the word crap for nothing...


In our latest exploits, SUSHI! I got myself a nifty sushi kit for a whopping $3 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and now I can make sushi. I learned that the rice for sushi is a bit different and has to be seasoned at but the rest is pretty easy. Just get some seaweed sheets, whatever filling you want and roll it all up with rice. It turned out pretty good. Now I can eat sushi without having to go to a restaurant (though that practice will still continue as they make it much better).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cinnamon ROLL pancakes

I like cinnamon rolls but I think I mentioned before that they are really hard to find around here and even harder to make. So much preparation!

Also, I find breakfast to be an interesting meal. Kind of boring to cook for. A lot of people I know love breakfast and it's their favorite meal of the day. "There are so many options! Such variety!" I'm told. I don't quite get it though. I can pretty much list every breakfast food variety off the top of my head.

So I have a little trouble getting my creative on when it comes to breakfast. But apparently some other people don't. I came across this recipe this morning and made it for breakfast. They are delicious. And even though I didn't come up with it, it seems quite creative and I like that! So here is the link to the cinnamon roll pancakes.

Click here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scarcity of Charity

In Elder's Quorum we were talking about being charitable and one of the class members commented that he was trying to be more planned/deliberately charitable. He is good at being randomly charitable. Say he's raking leaves off his lawn, he'll just hop over and do the neighbor's lawn or something. His goal now wasn't to stop being randomly charitable (I suppose serviceable could work here too) but to start being more organized. His flow chart of charity went kind of like this.

Take care of family --> Take care of Home Teachees --> Take Care of Everyone Else

If you think about it, this kind of reasoning makes sense. Let's assume that everyone was charitably perfect. Meaning all their free time was given to performing charitable acts for others. Now in this world these people only prescribe themselves to random acts of charity. You would think that this would mean that everyone would equally receive adequate charity and on average you would be correct. The average amount of charitable acts that people receive would be something like 5 per day.

The problem with this system is that even though we have a high average, there are people who get more and people who get less, or might be missed completely. (Now I'm starting to sound like Occupy Wall Street). So what it looks like to me is that the Lord has given us a system that makes sure that everyone gets covered. We have all sorts of stewardship programs. The Prophet and apostles steward the church, the 70's steward regions, Stake Presidents steward smaller regions, Bishops steward wards, Quorum/Relief Society Presidents steward units within the ward, Parents steward families and then to top it off we assign people a small number of other people to steward through Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching programs.

Now if only we could get to that point of perfect charity...

Monday, November 21, 2011

[Citation Needed]

Have you ever been reading Wikipedia and after it asserts something you'll notice a link that says [citation needed]? It has turned into one of those memes of popular culture that you can bring out anytime you are unsure of someones facts and challenge them to prove the source.

This related nicely to my Sunday School lesson yesterday. The last part of the lesson is about false teachers from within the church. The scriptures in the lesson talks about people who seem pretty malicious in their intent to deceive. I also think that we should be wary of those who might not be maliciously misleading, but unwittingly doing the same thing.

We have quite a few things in the church that are practiced but aren't actual doctrines. Some are harmful, and some are harmless. Like raising your right hand to the square to sustain. There's no doctrine that you need to raise your hand to the square. A quick look at the conference edition of the Ensign shows the apostles in all different states of arm extension (I'm counting this as my citation as well as citing my D&C teacher John Farmer or was it Farmer John...). Though really this is harmless if you ask me.

Something that was a bit more harmful was a cultural practice that only men should pray at the beginning of sacrament meeting. In fact when I was on my mission and became Branch President in a little branch my departing companion and former Branch President told me that he'd been told it was better to have a priesthood holder say the opening prayer and that the meeting just runs better if you do it that way. I think I followed his counsel for about a week and then I didn't. Apparently it was a misinterpreted comment that Ezra Taft Benson made a few weeks before he died. It started to go around with the pass of "doctrine" stamped on it. Turns out it has no doctrinal basis.

Now that I think about it the talks generally follow a wife first then husband. I don't know if Bishoprics ask the man to go last or if that's just how the couples self select their order. Next time I'm asked to speak with Laurel I'm going to have her go last. :)

So my point in the class was that there are somethings that end up in the church that aren't doctrinal and sometimes we need to say "Citation Needed!" It's also up to us to seek out doctrinal bases. I guess that's why we are supposed to continually search the scriptures.

And yes I already anticipate at least one comment saying "Citation Needed" on something I said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elizabeth Bennet, Queen of Hard to Get

I have been reading Pride and Prejudice lately and I got to the part where Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Elizabeth politely and promptly refuses his request for her hand in matters of matrimony with the utmost eloquence. Mr. Collins replies that he believes her goal in refusing him is to make him ever more so interested in her so that when she does accept his hand he is even more smitten. He fully expects her to accept him on his second humble request. Indeed he does not begrudge her such antics as it is quite expected among ladies of such a well established background. Despite Elizabeth’s profuse and insistent efforts to dissuade Mr. Collins, her efforts only affirm to Mr. Collins that she is indeed playing “hard to get.” The situation is rather ridiculous and humorous to the extent of a hearty mental “har har har har….”

I don’t think many people believe that playing hard to get is very effective these days. At least not once they get past 8th grade. Perhaps it is effective but the window of effectiveness is very small and therefore very few people actually manage to hit that target successfully. The consequences of missing that target are quite high.

Let’s consider the situation portrayed in the book (at least from Mr. Collins point of view). A suitor is outwardly interested in a lady. The lady is inwardly interested in her suitor but doesn’t show it and thinks that she can increase his level of interest. This would make the relationship more beneficial to her (and him for that matter) later on when they get together. So she concocts a plan to increase her suitor’s amorous desire by leading him along on a string with a hook attached to his nose. She plays disinterested and lets her suitor use his imagination to create an image of her that is even more love stricken. The result is when she does accept his hand he is properly wrapped around her finger and life is ever so much happier than if she had initially accepted his advances.

The theory seems to make sense. I have not yet devised an experiment to test the results of such efforts. However I go back to my small target theory. I posit that it is possible that playing hard to get can be a fruitful tactic. I also posit that the window of success is so small and the risk of failure so large that the efforts are almost certainly bound to fail.

If a girl doesn’t play hard to get long enough then there will be no positive effect and it will possibly even hurt her chances because the guy is going to suffer an initial blow to his interest level due to rejection. So she will have been worse off. Then the guy will start to think about her more often and perhaps his interest will start to increase. Then the window of opportunity will open for the girl. His interest will surpass his initial level of interest and the girl finds some way to encourage him that there might be a chance and he takes it. But since the girl has no idea when this time is, she will probably miss it.

Then there are two more phases. The guy starts to idolize the girl beyond what she really is. If the girl manages to pull him back he will then be disappointed and his interest level will drop even more. Now she is worse off. If she doesn’t rope him in at that point then he will lose interest completely and move on. So now she has no guy at all. She lost that dangerous game.

When I started thinking about this blog I thought, you know I haven’t done an econ related blog in quite some time. It’s too bad that this one doesn’t work out. Well it turns out that it does. However this blog is getting rather long so I’ll leave the rest for another entry.