We all scream for ice cream

We all scream for ice cream

I’ve never lived anywhere where the neighborhood ice cream truck was as persistent as the one we have here. Every time we hear those clanging chords, we announce “There’s that noisy truck again. It plays loud music, doesn’t it?” […]

Good people pretending to be bad

Good people pretending to be bad

Anyone superficially familiar with “Mormon cinema” recognizes the face of one of its early rising stars, Kirby Heyborne. Now his latest career move is certainly turning heads among his predominantly LDS fan base, and provoking deeper reflection about the boundaries of Mormon morality. […]

Blockbuster loses a customer

Out west (in Utah, at least) a little upstart rental company called redbox is giving Blockbuster a run for its money. The concept is simple: set up DVD “rental stations” similar to vending machines outside of popular locations like McDonald’s restaurants and Smith’s grocery stores. Charge folks 99 cents per rental per night, with the rental automatically converted to a sale after 25 days. Stock the machines with tons of new releases (since those tend to fly off the shelves most quickly), toss out a free rental code or two every so often, and voila! Instant phenomenon.

I remember when redbox began its test market trial run in the Salt Lake/Utah County area a few years back. It didn’t take long for word-of-mouth to spread about this neat little vending machine outside the Mickey-D’s that let you watch movies for a buck a night. Soon the lines to get at this machine stretched far into the parking lot, and it was regularly out-of-stock of the most popular releases. What to do about that? Why, add another kiosk, of course! And so the “redbox craze” spread like wildfire up and down the Wasatch Front, such that when we left Provo back in August you could find one (or multiple) redbox kiosks at nearly every McDonald’s restaurant and Smith’s store around. And both of those businesses are pretty popular all by themselves.

More after the break . . .


Problem:  Kindergarten is a full school day here.  Possible Solution: Preschool (so Jonathan gets used to the idea of going to school). Guess what?  Georgia has a free “Pre-K” program to better prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten Problem: Pre-K is a mandatory full school day, too.  If parents pick children up early or drop them off […]

"To Old Times"

It’s about a week old, but Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal wrote an opinion piece (08/24) attesting to the inherent goodness and class of American soldiers that I found genuinely touching and wanted to share with you all. Even better, the article is free for public viewing. Go check it out. I won’t […]

Reactionary responses

Following the tragic incident involving Stephen Anderson and Utah prison inmate Curtis Allgier, various readers of The Deseret Morning News have weighed in with several over-the-top, reactionary responses to both the News‘ coverage of the story and the steps that should be taken to prevent an event like this from happening again. Here’s one mother’s […]

Thoughts on standardized testing

Jonathan just turned three, and with his birthday came his three-year-old "well child check-up" with the doctor. About five or ten minutes before the doctor came in, I was given an "Ages and Stages Questionnaire: A Parent-Completed, Child-Monitoring System." I always find these interesting. They’re like little attention-getters, saying: "Hey, at this age your child […]

"Student" families

I hate being labeled as a "student" family. OK, so Bryan is a student, so I guess the literal label is appropriate. What I don’t like is all the baggage that comes with it. Usually, a "student" is someone who: Can and will move out at any time, usually within a year ("short-term"), and will […]

Proof that history is boring

Here’s an intriguing little sidebar from The Wall Street Journal illustrating the short shrift great people and events in history are getting from Wikipedia, that bastion of all useful knowledge in the universe.  Some of these comparisons are pretty sad, but Terry O’Quinn’s John Locke from LOST is waaaaay cooler than that other guy, who’s […]

Delegitimizing bad behavior

It seems that everybody has an opinion on the appropriateness of Dick Cheney’s invitation to speak at BYU’s April commencement. A few prominent professors voiced their concerns in a Daily Herald (Provo’s newspaper) article yesterday (03/27/07), and four others wrote a Viewpoint in today’s (03/28/07) Daily Universe (BYU’s paper) calling on people to flood local […]