Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Twitter Log: 2009-04-01

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • The 7 Deadly Sins of Religion in Science Fiction: http://tinyurl.com/dfvd95 #
  • RT @bradbaldwin: Logitech’s UT office looking for a QA Hardware Electronics Engineer. 3+ yrs exper & EET / CET degree or equiv. DM 4 more. #

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Twitter Log: 2009-04-04

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • RT @davewiner: I think it would be good for Twitter users if Google bought them. lauramoncur: Tell that to the users of DodgeBall… #

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Twitter Log: 2009-04-05

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • RT @davewiner: Danny Sullivan’s excellent survey of URL shorteners. http://tr.im/iffi #
  • RT @davewiner Sarcastic, dismissive response from new bit.ly investor re hazards of URL shorteners. http://tr.im/ifIq #
  • Arrived at CodeAway. Rock Band 2 set up and ready to go! #

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PostSecret: Jury Duty

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 6:21 am

This postcard from PostSecret made me smile today.

PostSecret: Jury Duty

It reads:

You’ve been selected for jury duty:

I’m SO excited!

Just last week, I was also selected for jury duty. I felt the same way. It was like I finally have a chance to do my civic duty beyond just voting in a state where my vote doesn’t count.

I had to call a specific number each evening to see if they needed me to come into the courtroom. The first night, the automated message said they didn’t need prospective jurors to come in on Monday morning, but to call again Monday evening. When I called Monday evening, however, the automated message said that they didn’t need jurors for the rest of the week and that this concludes my jury duty.

I know that I should be happy that the town of West Jordan (where I was called to serve) is so quiet that they have an entire week when they don’t need jurors, but I felt disappointed.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


Twitter Log: 2009-04-06

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • Working my butt off this morning to build up a backlog on blogs. #

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I’m Pretty Damn Pissed Off At House Right Now

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:05 pm

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of House, do NOT click to read this post!

(Continue Reading…)


Twitter Log: 2009-04-07

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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Kal Penn Is Working For The President Now?!

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:56 am

Kal Penn at a Barack Obama rally at the University of MarylandWould you believe that the reason why Kutner died is because the actor got a job working for President Obama?

He says he’s working as a liaison for President Obama and will be working in the Executive Office of the White House?!

He went on to talk about the sudden death:

One of the things I love about our show is you never know what’s going to happen. So that news struck me in the same way we hope it strikes the audience: there was a little bit of anger and some depression. You really go through those emotions, especially when somebody dies in that fashion. Ultimately, it was a really interesting choice for them to make. We don’t really know why he did it, unless it’s resolved in the episodes after [I left], which, of course, I’m not privy to anymore. At least in [last night’s] episode, we don’t really know why he did it. There’s no note. There’s no explanation. And as a testament to David and Katie, that’s a huge risk. ‘Cause it is going to make people upset, and it is going to piss off some of the audience. And, ultimately, in my opinion, that’s what art really is — when you can conjure up those kinds of emotions. And it’s rare nowadays to be able to do that on network television, but they managed to.

Am I buying it? I don’t know…

Wikipedia would have me believe it and support it with photos of him at the Obama rallies.

Penn was a surrogate for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 and a member of Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee.[8] He appears in the Barack Obama video “Sí Se Puede Cambiar” by Andres Useche[9] and appeared with comedian George Lopez on January 18, 2009 at “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.”

Here is a video of him during the campaign:


I guess I believe it…

I think I searched so hard to prove that it was a fake because I’m still in denial about Kutner’s death. :(

Via: Michael Moncur (email link) and Matthias Shapiro (comment link)


Dora Klem’s Obituary

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 12:10 pm

Dora KlemSometimes I post things here so that I have a record of them somewhere. My great-grandmother died last month and I found her obituary online.

Dora Klem, 104, of Rosemount, died March 9, 2009. She was born Aug. 12, 1904.

She was preceded in death by husband, Nicholas, and son, Jarvis.

She is survived by children, Walter (Donna), Zonia (Raymond) Wilson, Benjamin (Patricia), Olga Lee, Boris (Constance), Eugene (Kathleen) and Antoinette (Ray) Jones; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation and a funeral service were held March 14 at Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church in Burnsville with the Rev. David Tiarks officiating. Arrangements were made by Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, Apple Valley.

Here is a photo I took of her when I was fourteen years old in 1983:

Gene, Dora, and Jarvis Klem

Left to right: Eugene, Dora and Jarvis Klem


Jane Doe Says, “FU”

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:52 am

This postcard from PostSecret seemed ingenious at first.

Jane Does Says, "FU"

It reads:

I have a new signature for when
I am unhappy to sign that particular thing —
I add “sfu” after my name, and it makes me so happy!
Jane Doe “says fuck you!”
taxes, rent, car pmt, insurance

When I saw this it made me smile and I thought maybe I would add an “sfu” to the end of my signature when I didn’t want to sign. Then I tried to think when I would use it and I was stumped.

Would I have used it for those two years when Mike and I had to pay for a car that had been totaled by the insurance but wasn’t paid off yet?

No… I didn’t really blame Key Bank for the accident or the insurance that didn’t pay off the car.

Would I have used it for my house payment when Fairbanks Capital was harassing us and interfering with the sale of our home to pay off the IRS?

No… I hated Fairbanks, but I was grateful to have a home over my head, despite its burden.

Would I use it NOW to pay the IRS every month for their fees and interest on our tax debt from the first Dot Bomb?

No… As burdensome as the taxes are to us right now, I am still grateful for the libraries, and the roads. I’m even grateful for the soldiers that keep me safe from Somalian pirates and terrorists.

The more I thought about this PostSecret card, the sadder I got for Jane Doe. Instead of being grateful for what the taxes, rent, car payment and insurance pays for, she is just angry that she has to pay it. I wish I could send her a warm hug so she could feel the gratitude of having a country that protects her, a roof over her head, a car to drive and the financial protection of insurance (however flimsy it may be).

I don’t think I’ll ever be signing anything “Laura Moncursfu.”

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


Twitter Log: 2009-04-21

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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Twitter Log: 2009-04-24

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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No Privacy In the Restroom

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 11:17 am

I have a recurring nightmare in which I need to go to the bathroom really bad, but I can’t find a restroom. I am usually in a public place such as school or maybe a shopping mall. There are no bathrooms anywhere. When I do find a bathroom, sometimes the toilets are all clogged and filled with feces. Sometimes it’s a co-ed bathroom and the stall doors do not shut (or are missing). Sometimes I find a stall, but can’t seem to relieve myself because of all the people in the restroom.

I’ve had this dream many times and once again last night. I woke up at 2 am desperately needing the bathroom. I guess I shouldn’t have drunk so much lemonade at the Geek Dinner last night.


Twitter Log: 2009-04-25

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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In Defense of Twitter

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am


There has been a lot of talk about Twitter in the news lately. From Ashton Kutcher talking about how great Twitter is to communicate with his fans to Maureen Dowd’s insulting editorial in the Wall Street Journal, everybody is all a twitter about Twitter.

I have been using Twitter for two years now and I still don’t trust it to exist next month, much less change the freakin’ world (for better or worse). All of this seems like too much talk for what I consider a tool. It’s a very useful tool for me, but it’s a tool none the less.

Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG said exactly what I was thinking:

The comparison I often make here is with ball-point pens.

Imagine a world where everyone uses typewriters: they write novels, manifestos, historical surveys, and so on, but they do it all using typewriters.

Now the ball-point pen comes along. People use it to write down grocery lists and street addresses and recipes and love notes. What is this awful new technology? the literary users of typewriters say. Ball-point pens are the death of humanism.

Nevermind, of course, that you can use ball-point pens to write whatever you want: a novel, a screenplay, epic poems, religious prophecy, architectural theory, ransom notes. You can draw astronomical diagrams, sketch impossible machines for your Tuesday night art class, or even work on new patent applications for a hydrogen-powered automobile – it doesn’t matter. You can draw penises on your coworker’s paycheck stub. It’s a note-taking technology.

Who cares if people use ball-point pens for writing down phone numbers and movie times, or even drawing little hearts on someone else’s notebook in the middle of English class? It doesn’t mean that they hate literature.

Similarly, who cares if someone uses Twitter to say that they’re bored, or to list what they ate last night? It doesn’t mean the barbarians are at the gates.

He goes on to point out that this is more about the media moguls casually inferring who does and does not have the write to publish their thoughts:

Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, now that the other half writes, it seems comparable only to a kind of police action that the people who once thought they were the chosen writers, that they were this generation’s idea-smiths, are now so up in arms. Those other people – those everyday people who weren’t supposed to have thoughts, who aren’t known for reading David Foster Wallace or Dostoevsky or James Joyce, those overlooked people from whom we buy groceries, who fix our cars, clean our houses, and vote differently than we do – weren’t supposed to become writers.

Well, Maureen Dowd, I am the one who checked you out at K-Mart. I am the one who filled your prescriptions at the pharmacy. I am the one who tested your AIDS and cancer medications on animals. I am the one who processed your pharmacy claims at the insurance office. I am the one who sold you that nice house. I am the one who typed up your paperwork to build the electrical transmission lines that lead to your neighborhood. I am the one who burned the CDs of geological information about the oil in your car.

I think it’s MY turn to be a writer now. I might have a little more to talk about than you do.

Via: Twitter / Jason Alderman: “Twitter is just … a ball-point pen. Get over it.”


The Newest Bandwagon: Making Fun of Twitter

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

In contrast to yesterday’s epistle, here are a few of people who have jumped on the bandwagon of making fun of Twitter.

Joy of Tech:

Click to see the full comic on Joy of Tech

Twitter Dat:

Twitter Whore:

Twouble with Twitters:

Only the future will tell what Twitter will be to us. Will it be the next Second Life? Will it be the next Microsoft Word? It’s far too soon to tell right now, but kicking it while it’s “down” is just jumping someone else’s train.

Twouble with Twitters via: BloomBurst – The Vox Pop Design Blog » Blog Archive » Twitter: Location Independent Friendship or Narcissism Unleased?


Twitter Log: 2009-04-27

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • Testing Birdhouse. I think it might be better for me than some other Twitter clients. #
  • RT @codeaway: The SMCSLC Meeting on May 21st needs a venue. Does anyone out there have one? http://smcslc509.eventbrite.com #

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Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 1:00 pm

Surprise! by LauraMoncur from FlickrMy family and friends threw me a surprise birthday party two weeks ago. I’ve been waiting for some pictures from the party to talk about it, but I haven’t received any photos yet, so I decided I couldn’t wait any longer.

I’ve talked before about how important my birthday is to me:

Being Jehovah Witness as a child, I missed many birthdays, so every birthday is REALLY important to me, even though I’m an adult. This year, I turned 40, which is a major milestone for some people, but it doesn’t feel all that different from 30 to me, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.

We had plans for my birthday with my family on Sunday, but Saturday, my mom said she wanted to take me shopping for my present. I was alright with that, so we spent a few hours at Fashion Place Mall looking around. I let my mom buy me a purse, some shoes and a couple of video games. We were all meeting at my house to go to dinner afterward. When I walked into the door, they all yelled, “Surprise!”

I have never attended a surprise party. I tried to throw one for Mike for his birthday about fifteen years ago, but I couldn’t keep the secret and I told him. I was completely fooled. I had no inkling that anything was going on, so the surprise was complete for me.

Surprise! by LauraMoncur from Flickr

You know in movies, when they show somebody’s life pass before their eyes? They always show a scene from a surprise party. Do you want to know why they do that? It’s because, when it really works, at that moment you feel so completely loved. All these people went to all this trouble to set up a party just for me. They kept the secret for weeks. Hundreds of emails went back and forth, planning and deciding all without my knowledge.

Last Saturday, Stacey saw that my balloons still had some bounce to them and said, “Hey, Laura’s balloons still have helium in them. We should use them to sing songs on Rock Band.” I sniped back at her, “Don’t you touch my balloons!!” Mike smiled and said, “I was going to suggest that it was time to take them down. I guess I dodged a bullet there.”



Twitter Log: 2009-04-28

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • RT @rishil: Great Example of how boring products can be made interesting with a bit of creativity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWRyj5cHIQA #
  • Who eats Papa John’s Pepprocini? (via @SteveJerman) I do… #
  • If you are following me for links to UT Tech events, please follow me here: https://twitter.com/codeaway #
  • RT @ThinkGeek: “for int’l, non-US geeks who we <3 very much indeed: get $10 off order > $30 (excl shipping & taxes) w/ code SAVE10.” #
  • RT @PatnOscars http://twitpic.com/44br7 – Test our Big O cookie topped with vanilla bean ice cream at our San Marcos and Mission Valley … #

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Hannelore Gets Ready For The Swine Flu

Filed under: Other Sites of Interest — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Hannelore on TwitterI have been reading the Questionable Content web comic since the beginning. One of my favorite characters is Hannelore, the germ-fearing OC savant. With all of the hulabaloo about the swine flu, it’s nice to know that Hannelore is ready for the Apocalypse.

I’ve got 500 surgical masks, twenty gallons of hand sanitizer, and a flare gun. As ready for swine flu as I’ll ever be.

Don’t forget your Tamoxifen, Hanners!!

I had no idea that Jeph was writing tweets for all of his characters in the comic. It was a joy to read them all!


Twitter Log: 2009-04-29

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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Just A Reminder… I’m On Twitter

Filed under: Living in Utah,Utah Geeks — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Follow us on Twitter!I just wanted to remind you that I’m on Twitter. Every post from this blog has a link on Twitter and any random thoughts I have throughout the day will show up there as well.

You can follow me here:

If you live in Salt Lake City and are a geek, you should follow my CodeAway account:

That is the account where I’m going to be posting all of the Utah Geek events like CodeAway, the Utah Blogger/Geek Dinner and anything else I hear about.


Twitter Log: 2009-04-30

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am

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Wow! That’s SOME Pattern!

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click to see full sizeI love this photo of the Summer Pimps here:

When I was a kid, all the grownups wore clothes like this. It all reminds me of my childhood. I remember looking through the Sears Catalog for toys and finding clothes just like this all the time.

Blue PatternThe guy on the right has the most awesome pattern on his outfit. I took a bit of it and made it blue. I couldn’t get enough of the pattern to tile, however. Here is what I came up with.

Maybe someone out there has better Gimp Skillz than I do and can make a tile-able version of this pattern. That would be totally cool!

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