Friday, October 28, 2011

Chuck Premier Night

Roll out the red carpet for this Special Edition podcast. Tonight is the premier of the final season of NBC's Chuck. Enjoy listening to guests with actual credentials. Spencer's origins and destinations are analyzed just for fun. With only a few handfuls of Chuck episodes remaining we pay a great tribute to this life-changing series.

No Flash? Here's QuickTime

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Death and Taxes

Nothing is more important to Spencer than money. He'd kill to get it. And then he'd capitalize on the losses.

With these new ideas, however, everyone is a winner. Warm clothes. Key rings. Happiness. This podcast is full of surprises, especially for the guests.

No Flash? Here's QuickTime

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Computer Relations

It's every podcaster's worst nightmare: choosing between a girl and a laptop. The two options might not be so different after all. The tech specs are laid out so you know what kind of motherboard you need and how to finance it.

No Flash? Here's QuickTime

Note: This podcast was taped the day before Steve Jobs passed away. He is an inspiration to both of us.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Creative. Innovative. Artistic. Inspiring. Genius.

Here's where it is. I heard a familiar tone. I reached into my pocket and grasped on to my iPhone. Breaking News. Steve Jobs had died.

Here's where it began. I was only nine or ten. My parents had just brought home a new computer for the family. It was the Macintosh LC III. It came complete with games and a word processor. It had everything.

I'll never forget the day I learned there were more than 32 colors

That was the beginning of my Apple experience. A few years later we purchased an iMac (sexy as ever in pink). My computer was now able to run advanced video games such as StarCraft and The Sims. A short while later we got the Internet. Instant messaging was all the rave and I was able to develop immaculate typing skills during those many late nights of chatting.

It was on that very computer that I created Facebook. Well... it wasn't exactly named Facebook. It was named G-House, but it carried all the same features that Facebook has. G-House had exclusive membership rights. Several of my high school friends were soon invited and a utopia of electronic communication was created. G-House had a message system, a calendar, and The Wall (Do you think the statute of limitations is up on our trademark Landon?), a message board used to post ideas, plans, and group conversations. I loved G-House.

All good things must come to an end

Things weren't always perfect with my Mac ways sadly. I often wondered if life would be better as a PC guy. You have to realize that during this time Apple wasn't considered cool. It wasn't necessarily uncool either. It was just why. Why? That was the question I always got. Why would you have a Mac? Why would you want to pay more for software? Why would you not want to be like everybody else? Why don't you want to be able to upgrade your computer? Did you know that black hides dust and smudges much better than white or pink? I would often have these questions myself. I asked my parents why we didn't get a PC and they just responded that they didn't want to learn a new operating system. So I made up some pretty cool answers to that question. "Because colors are cool" I said. "I like having everything in one. Less annoying wires." It was a tough argument. Deep down inside I knew that Apple made sense. The interface. The simplicity. Why not?

The day soon came that the iPod was invented. If I had money then I would have bet that anything made by Apple would not do as well as the generic mp3 players. I was certain that people would make fun of me for having white headphones instead of black. I was wrong. Apple suddenly clicked with the common man. It took an entire reformation of the music industry for it to happen, but it did. Suddenly the magic box that is Apple agreed with the people. Together with iTunes people were able to have their music on demand in the most simple way possible. You no longer had to drag your desired songs to your mp3 disk. They just magically appeared on your iPod after you downloaded them. You no longer had to push the scroll button six million times to get to the song you wanted. You just simply slid your finger around in a circle. Music was revolutionized. Apple was in front. White was cool.

But not everyone is a believer. There are those who believe the PC is simple enough. There are those who believe Apple is cliche. There are those who believe Mac buyers are throwing away their money for a brand. Lucky for you, I'm not going to argue those facts. Instead, I'm going to simply tell you why I like Apple, why I believe they are now successful, and how they have changed the world forever. And to make things more fun, I'm declaring this week Apple Week. There are more posts to come. I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Superman's Dead

Kryptonite has done its damage. As new television shows emerge, we take a moment to remember one show which has ended. After ten great seasons, Smallville has completed its journey. Reasons for its successes and rough patches are analyzed. Spencer learns a valuable lesson on physical attraction. Landon joins us and I ruin his day. This mild mannered podcast will take your breath away.

No Flash? Here's QuickTime

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goodbye Westridge

Last week I said goodbye to an old friend. Westridge golf course is soon to become freeway. Going with it are trees, grass, wildlife, and memories. Spencer and I relive many of our special experiences from our days as manicurists of this great course. It's a pod like you've never heard before. This is the final memory of Westridge.

No Flash? Here's QuickTime

Not bad for three years of growing

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Asset Protection

"Thank you for shopping at Wal-mart and have a nice day." Those are comforting words to shoppers around the world. When entering one of these stores I am usually greeted with a smile and personal acknowledgement or I am stranded trying to make eye contact with an individual who is missing a Halo party with his friends. Both scenarios are comforting. The "greeter", as they are called, is designed to be an asset protection employee for the world's largest retail giant. They are there to check returning merchandise and to deter merchandise from leaving the store without payment. No armed security personnel, Wal-mart prefers to take a more "friendly" approach to protecting its vast inventory.
But, sadly, Wal-mart is not always a place of smiles. The Deseret News and KSL ran stories several months ago on a happening at the Layton Wal-mart. I will paraphrase the story here but feel free to read it on the Deseret News website.

Low prices that just make you want to smile!
Wal-mart, like many retail stores, has a strict policy on how their employees should address shoplifters. On January 13th, a "shopper" unwrapped a netbook computer and hid it under his clothes. (Now, being the proud owner of a netbook computer, I can understand why he would want one.) Employees spotted him and the manager in charge of asset protection met him at the door. Per Wal-mart policy, this employee ushered the would-be thief to the asset protection room to confront him. Wal-mart chooses this method of confrontation so that other shoppers are not witnesses of the accusations and dealings. Keep on smiling everyone. Also per Wal-mart policy, three other employees were invited into the room to witness the proceedings and to make sure everything was handled according to the employee handbook. So far these all seem to be very wise moves on the part of corporate. 

Enter policy AP09. Policy AP09 simply states that (quoted from Deseret News) "employees are allowed to use 'reasonable force' to limit movements of struggling suspects. If a weapon comes out, however, associates must 'disengage' and 'withdraw'." Another seemingly smart move by Wal-mart. Obviously it is much better to protect the lives of the employees over the store merchandise. It seems to be sage advice that the life of an employee should be put over a $300 laptop. They must have also ran some calculations to show that it is more cost effective to hire a non-violent withdraw-ready "greeter" than armed security personnel trained to protect their merchandise. It all makes sense.

What happened next back in that asset protection room is shocking. The suspect drew a pistol and held it to the back of one of the employees. He threatened him and began to use him as collateral to make an exit. Per policy AP09, the employees were told to disengage and withdraw in the presence of a weapon. Fortunately these employees had souls. They immediately disarmed the suspect and detained him. They chose in that split second to exercise their rights as Human Beings to defend themselves and others rather than adhere to Wal-mart's policy. No one was injured.

Rather than extend to these four individuals medals and promotions, Wal-mart decided to fire them for violation of policy AP09.

Consider the alternative. One or more of those employees could have been killed. A violent gunman could have gone running through the store doing whatever he desired. A deadly hostage situation could have brewed. Instead, a crisis was averted through the brave actions of sales associates.

I understand the need for companies to protect themselves and their employees. But choosing to enforce that policy through dismissals over common sense is disgusting. It's true that had the workers let the man go, everything could have turned out all right. But nobody knows. And personally, if you have the clear opportunity to disarm a criminal and save someone's life, throwing the dice doesn't seem very reasonable. I guess that's business.

What is the human response to danger? Is it to reach for the corporate manual? Or is it to act on guts and instinct to do everything in your power to keep yourself and others safe? I'd imagine there isn't much time to think in those situations.

KSL recently released surveillance video of the event. That also wasn't without controversy. KSL filed moves to receive the video from Layton City four times before it was granted. Walmart opposed the video release by stating the following in a letter: "If Layton City intends to release Walmart's video tape to KSL, Walmart will move forward in district court, seeking an injunction to prevent Layton City from doing so under GRAMA." This leads me to the following question: Why wouldn't Walmart want the public to see video evidence of blatant policy AP09 violation?

When it comes down to it I guess these employees were left to choose between protecting their jobs or protecting themselves and others from being shot. I guess they could have gambled but that's just not the way they reacted. It was a lose lose situation for them. They had to react one way or the other. After all, they had already followed their company policy to bring an armed robber into their asset protection room. I mean, they could have lost their jobs if they hadn't.

At the end of the day, assets need to be protected. The laptop was saved. Company policy violations were enforced to their fullest extent. Hey, and no one got hurt. That should give everyone (who kept their job) something to smile about.