Wednesday, April 29, 2009


WARNING!  The following images are NOT for the faint of heart!

...Got it?

...Okay.  Don't say we didn't warn you.

So, last week on Wednesday, Ashley was getting ready for work.  We having a running joke, where I tease her not to drop the soap, because she always does.  I'll be eating my breakfast, hear the noise, and yell, "Don't drop the soap!"  This time, she dropped it on her foot, and I said my usually line.

Yeah, well, it's all fun and games until someone loses a FOOT!  Look what Ashley discovered later on at work!

OUCH!  And it probably would have been a worse bruise if she hadn't been wearing compression socks, normal socks, and tight shoes for work.

So the lesson is this: soap is a deadly weapon, and should be handled with extreme caution.

Don't drop the soap!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Brand New Home!

[Note: This is really David. Ashley got the pics ready, and I'm doing the writing. Aren't we such a good team?]

Okay, we've been really, really busy lately, and so we owe y'all some pictures. We still don't have the stuff from San Antonio ready. But we do have some photos from our NEW HOME!

Here's Ashley with the house keys, right before I carried her over the threshold. Isn't that exciting? Our own house!

Now, any house is going to come with neighbors. And there's all kinds of neighbors. In this picture, taken from the back window in the master bedroom, we see an AWESOME neighbor. I don't know if you can see it, but that's an entire trailer that's been converted into a barbecue grill! It was HUGE! This is the guy you wanna be friends with, because he clearly knows what he's doing. :)

Here's the first sunset we shared together in our new home! This is also from the master bedroom. It was a lot prettier in person, but you get the idea.

And this is me, doing a carpet angel in the living room. Apparently this is just what you do in a new house. Also, we have no furniture there yet, so... ;)

We went back on Saturday and changed the locks and cut some of the bushes, which are WAY overgrown, and we're going to be slowly moving stuff in. But we are WAY excited! Finally, we're home!

Friday, April 24, 2009

EPIC FAIL - Spammer messes with the wrong guy

Just now, I received the following email from

Hi,  David Merriman

We are contacting you because we have seen references about your work online.

We would like to include you in our directory of interviews with  professionals working on technology and creative fields.

We invite you to take part in this interview. It is free.
You will also be able to include any web links to samples of your work on the internet.

To start the interview just go to this web address and start responding to questions:

You can also respond to questions in any another category that seems appropriate for you.  
Here, you can find some examples from other professionals:

Elsa Wide

The following is my response to them:

No.  You may not interview me, even if you offered to pay me.  I believe you are a scam artist.  Here is why:

First, I doubt you have seen any references about my work online.  Can you cite them?  I doubt it.

Second, I have no reason to believe you are a legitimate business, as you have given me none in your email, and I have no other contact with you.

Third, your email domain is different than the web address you provided to me.  This is abnormal for legitimate businesses, but perfectly fits a scam artist.

Fourth, the whois entry for your domain ( lists an invalid phone number.  Most legitimate businesses have phones.

Fifth, the whois entry for your domain also lists an email contact at a domain separate from your link or your own email address.  Fishy, no?

Sixth, the domain listed in the email given in your whois,, is a website that consist only of a abstract icon.  Why would you waste that money on a domain name, only to put nothing there?

Seventh, the contact on whois is listed as Jerni web development.  I don't see how such a company could get any web development business if their own page is nothing more than a logo.  

Eighth, the address of Jerni web development seems to be an apartment complex in Miami Beach, zoned for residential development.  You wouldn't be illegally running a business out of an apartment, would you?

Ninth, you ask me for information about myself and my work, without indicating that there will be any benefit to me at all.  What's my incentive?  Were you just hoping I wanted my identity stolen, or spam phone calls at my work number?  Were you going to ask me to help you launder some money for Nigerian royalty next?

I could go on, but I worry that double digit numbers are beyond your capacity for reasoning.

Have a nice day,

A not-quite-gullible-enough email user

P.S.  Please take me off whatever list you have me on.  If you email me again for anything other than to apologize for your unsolicited message, I will have you investigated and prosecuted for all federal and state laws that apply.

Basically, I don't like spam, and I really don't like identity theft, so I decided to share.  Hopefully the above is useful to you, in seeing how you can easily identify fraudulent email, using the message content, the WHOIS utility at, some Google searching, and some common sense.

Has anyone else received anything from these people?  Please put your story in the comments if you have.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


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To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

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Friday, April 17, 2009


So, Wednesday Ashley and I made a day trip to San Antonio.  I'm not gonna tell you about it yet, because we're not ready with all the pictures or anything.  But I do wanna tease you all with it...  Here's what you get to look forward to:

  1. Temple trip!
  2. Random encounter with a drunk Mexican mariachi player in a parking garage
  3. Sign making
  4. The River Walk
  5. The San Antonio Tea Party, with Glenn Beck!
  6. Dinner afterwards
Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Random Philosophy While Sitting On A Rock

So, at about 3 PM yesterday, I was sitting on a rock in the parking lot of the apartment complex. I got up, turned around, and saw what looked like a little stick floating in the air. I thought maybe it was a stick that got caught in a spider web, until it started wiggling. Clearly, this little stick was alive, and it was climbing. It was working real hard at it, too, and doing a pretty good job, in spite of the wind and all. I figured it was probably some sort of caterpillar, and I found the skin it probably shed on the ground nearby. It was probably climbing up to form its cocoon and to the whole metamorphosis thing to become a butterfly. So I just stood there, admiring its hard work, when out of nowhere a wasp flies in and starts attacking the poor thing. Before long, the silk thread broke. The wasp tried to haul it away, but it was too heavy, and they both went down into the grass somewhere.

The reason that this really stuck out to me, and really, the reason I was sitting on a rock at 3 PM in the parking lot, was that it was a perfect example of what had just happened. I was waiting for the police to show up to investigate the fact that Ashley's truck had a smashed window and the amplifier was stolen. I wondered, "What kind of person does that sort of thing?" I mean, do they really think that having that amplifier will make their life better? That whatever rewards they get from breaking into cars will give them happiness? Do they think of themselves as good people? Do they even care if they aren't? Does anybody respect them? Will they ever become contributing members of society? Will they do anything memorable that will outlive them after they are gone?

My conclusion was no - as long as a person remains in the mindset that permits them to do this type of thing, they have no respect, no true happiness, make no contribution to society, and will be forgotten when they are gone. In short, it takes a greater man to create than to destroy.

Let's go back to the caterpillar. I was thinking about that a lot after it happened, and it seemed to me that this is a lot like what's going on in the United States. Let the caterpillar represent the private sector. It was something big and beautiful - the caterpillar before it shed - until the recession. Now it's a lot smaller - the floating stick - but working as hard as it can to make itself something bigger and better - the butterfly. Suddenly, the government - the wasp - swoops in, and, for its own benefit, begins attacking the private sector. The government may not think it's attacking the private sector, but it is. And the sad truth is, just like the wasp could support the weight of the dead caterpillar and carry it off to its nest, if the government kills off the private sector, they are both going down.

Let's look at this. The government has:

  1. Attacked the banking industry by forcing bailouts onto banks that didn't need or want them, and by not allowing them to pay them back while writing laws giving them sweeping new powers over those banks that had accepted bailout money. Wells Fargo is probably the best example here.
  2. Attacked the hotel and convention industry through the public vilification of any company deciding to hold any kind of conference involving booking a hotel or flying to some conference center. Las Vegas is a prime example of this.
  3. Attacked the energy industry by threatening to put a massive carbon dioxide emissions tax in place using a cap and trade system. If this ever goes into law, it will literally bankrupt the coal industry, something Obama himself was proud of on the campaign trail.
  4. Attacked the auto industry, most recently by firing the CEO of GM. However, this attack is not new; the auto industry was already ailing due to parasitic labor union contracts, but things got much worse with the CAFE standards, and the recession was just the breeze that pushed them over the cliff.
  5. Attacked the tobacco industry with massive new taxes in order to pay for new health care spending. If you don't smoke (which I don't), you probably don't care, but the shear magnitude of this tax hike is incredible. The tax on a pack of cigarettes is going from 39 cents to $1.01. The tax on a pound of tobacco for rolling your own cigarettes increases from $1.09 to $24.78. That's about a 2200% tax increase, and that is insane! I mean, I'm all for not smoking, but the government's job is not to save you from yourself. That kind of taxation is ridiculous.
  6. Attacked the health industry, by including provisions in the budget and stimulus bill that would pave the way for socialized, government-administered and government-controlled medicine.
  7. Attacked the defense contract industry by shrinking the defense budget and trying to stop production of F-22's. Incidentally, aside from the jobs that defense contractors lose if this happens, our nation is also less secure by giving up on the most dominant weapon in the history of mankind, besides the atomic bomb. You can bet that Russia and China are licking their chops - and oiling up their Sukhois... (Fun fact: According to our analysts, the Sukhoi 27 fighter, which is used by Russia, China, and India, among others, is superior to the F-15, F-16, and F-18. That's why we need the F-22. Why doesn't our government get that?)
  8. Attacked the food industry by attempting to regulate the production of food on farms of all sizes, right down to your home garden. Ridiculous? Yes. Real? Absolutely. It's called H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. It's still in committee, so you may have a chance to stop it. Act quick, and call your congressman!
  9. Attacked all private companies by introducing legislation to allow the government control executive pay in several situations - usually in conjunction with bailout money, but sometimes even without.
I could go on, probably, but I don't want to get too pissed off. Shouldn't it be enough that they've attacked your bank, your car, your food, your health, your troops, your energy, your garden, your vacation, and your company? What will it take before we finally say, "Enough is enough - you're fired!"? If we want to be truly great, we need to stop these destroyers so that we can continue to create what will hopefully remain the greatest nation on earth.