Humor from on High

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Funny. To nerds. And English majors.


Some liberal arts professor teaching English somewhere should use this and create a whole semester out of it. Seriously.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Maybe I'm drunk on a workday, but one of the worst feelings in the world is a blog left unattended. Staring at the date of that last blog post is like ninjas of guilt assaulting my genitals with dozens of tiny, tiny throwing stars.

Or something.

Seriously though, it has been awhile dear readers who may still be left. It is remarkably ridiculous how much has happened in life since the last time we spoke. Life has a way of doing that to you once you advance to a certain point, and unlike the video games that my roommates of the past used to play, there is no convenient "save place" available to me now to stop the wheels of time from turning in order to pause and properly reflect on past events. All that liberal arts training for naught. Should have gone to technical school.

Dude! 18 freaking months man! What the hell!? There are not enough arbitrary brain energy units left in the old occipital lobe to chronical everything that has happened, so let me give you a few highlights in order to get us back on semi-equal footing and attempt to transition into a possible (but doubtful) semi-regular posting schedule for the forseeable future, especially but not limited to the fact that I sort of promised details (two ago) last October(s):

1. Got married. Awesome.
2. Got pregnant (well, not me of course). Fun, but mostly for me and the auto DD privileges.
3. Became "da da" for a ridiculously cute baby. (link) Also awesome.
4. Got first "real" job of life. Good but bad.
5. Multiple marriages, births, deaths, significant life events of friends and families.
5. Renewed committment to blogging as possible creative and emotional outlet (results pending).

In other words, the usual.

HOWever, in agreement with the consensus human condition, "the usual" for each individual is incredibly personal and spiritual and important, but mostly only to myself. So much has happened since Oct, '08, but in that weird way that happens when you become a real-life adult, things also appear to happen SO slow. The baby is 11 months last Tuesday...but simultaneously it seems so LONG ago and JUST YESTERDAY that she was a little squeaking, squealing, newborn. And now she points to every god-forsaken thing she wants, adorably says "da da", "ma ma", chases the dog on all fours, and spews banana and oatmeal-mango-rice-artichoke baby food like a dug-out WWII German machine-gunner. It wasn't that way for the first two or three months, where nothing major really seemed to change. We are just getting into that phase where grandma-care providers are constantly commenting on how much she has changed since, you know, two days ago. With two working parents, one with serious mommy guilt, and another emotionally unavailable but with heavily internalized approximation of mommy guilt, weekends and evenings become extremely precious and former iron-clad friendships become disapointing and guilt-inducing rough approximations of their former selves. This is not to say that life is not good...because it absolutely is. But let's just say that prioritization has never been more elusive, or more in need of innovation and optimization than ever before. Life is GOOD... but oh so different than it once was.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008


Things are happening.

Has it really been since last spring that 6'2" has seen some action? As you might imagine, a LOT has happened since then. Foremost in mind is that fellow 6'2" (and sister-blog Tuesdays With(out) Torii) contributor Hops, along with Ms. Hops, have given birth (well, Ms. Hops did most of the work I hear) to a beautiful, bouncing, baby boy. That, along with other significant life events in both of our lives, have lead to an anti-climatic semi-retirement of TWT which we have cleverly announced in the most passive aggressive way possible....by not posting anything and not really telling anyone about the end of days. It's kind of like leaving things open for a sequel, or maybe for taking up the mantle once again when the Twins do something inspiring enough to deserve concerted effort. Whatever the reason we eventually choose to start up again, it was totally planned in advance.

For me personally, life has taken several serious zigs and a couple of zags here lately. A few I will wait to share until later, but one zig I alluded to in the title. I was for a time, underemployed (copywrite: Hops).

Now fortunately (I guess), underemployment is actually distinct from unemployment, although no less frustrating and man-parts-disfiguring. You see, the company I was currently working for had sorta kinda run out of money. That happens when you work for a start-up company, but in our case it was somewhat unusual. We are in the medical field, and recently conducted human clinical trials to get our product through the rigorous (understatement) FDA approval process to become commerically available to sun-dappled soccer moms in Edina and Wayzata. The trial went well -- great, actually -- and we met our primary endpoint* for efficacy and nearly all of our secondary endpoints were extremely favorable for us compared to the current market leader and gold standard treatment. Plus, no ones face fell off. Great, right? Apparently...wrong.

*My favorite tidbit of this whole process, which will be familiar to people in the industry and some who aren't, is that our primary endpoint is a statistical measure called...wait for it..."non-inferiority". Basically a fancy way of saying "just as good as, but not necessarily better, but could be"....a statistical backhanded compliment. But the phrasing strikes me as funny whenever I hear it anyway. Kind of like, "Do you love me?" "Well...I can't say for certain my feelings are that strong, but I can assure you confidentally and with accuracy that I don't HATE you." Try that one with your gal next time...

Anyway, right after meeting our primary endpoint of being not statistically sucky, our licensing "partner" backed out on our deal, a deal that had been put in place at least 18 months before. We had held up our end of the bargain at every milestone up to that point, and this company had raised almost 25 million in venture capital money on the strength of our product and technology (to market and distribute it).... and then chickened out. Do they have to give the money back? Of course not. And what about us? Screwed. The management has spent the intervening 9 months or so trying to put together a new deal. But for the first six months of that, the 9 and 12 month data from the trial was still outstanding and every possible partner wanted to wait to see the results before committing anything (I don't blame them). And once that promising data came out, talks have been better. But still, these things take time and when you are a pre-revenue start-up company such as mine was, time is especially money.

Now being on the science side of things (literally, our labs are across the hall from the offices), I was somewhat unaware of these types of things on a day-to-day basis. But being at a small company you do always hear rumblings, because you run into everyone in the company every day, and talk to people who are in those rooms having those discussions. But still, I wasn't expecting to get called into the big office in July and hear that basically the entire company was being laid off. Bit of a shocker. For the office folks, they had about five or six days until they were cut off. For a few others, a limited stay of engagement while the company runs on the few gallons left in the tank, and the president and founder puts his house up for a second mortgage and distributes his salary to the few of us that were still left. For me, I was supposed to be done on July 15, but then was still there for a special encore performance due to the aforementioned salary redistribution plan. I learned several new phrases as a result of all of this, including "retroactive cost-of-living increase" and "deferred salary". Fun, right!?

It's a strange thing because I have no doubts that the company will raise money and be back on it's feet again soon....the exact time-frame of "soon" however, is not a great comfort for me and so I had been actively looking elsewhere for work. In fact, I have now, since August, been at a fabulous new position and as happy as can be for a variety of reason that I hope to write about soon. And since then, a number of other happy life events have also occurred...big ones...more on that soon....

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random Quote

I'm not sure I even like Monsieur Cook, but this is solid....

"I couldn't even drink a big glass of water for years."
--Dane Cook, commenting on the scariness of the movie Jaws

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


...daddy's busy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Sorry for the gap in communications. I'm on imagined vacation and will be back soon...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Top Albums of 2007

Well, as a self proclaimed music snob, I feel as though it is my duty to report my reflection of the 2007 music scene. Hopefully you have heard of many of these bands, if not check them out. Some thoughts about 2007: Tupac is still making records every month, Seal has a new album (good for him), and the Goo Goo Dolls released a Best Of album. The top ten hits in the world consist of such great artists as Rihanna, Fergie, Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, Akon, Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Timberlake...which makes me wonder who purchases music these days besides 16-21 year olds. Alas, the list:

1) Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

You know an album is great when you can listen to it from beginning to end without skipping a track. Cease to Begin falls under this category. The sophomore effort from this band is outstanding with a mixture of slow and fast songs and songs which combine both dynamics. As Josh Wilhelm said after seeing them in concert, "They play loud...and were awesome." Vocals of the lead singer resemble those of "My Morning Jacket" lead singer and are extremely haunting and pure. Oh ya, the album has a track entitled "Detlef Schrempf" which makes the album number one of all time automatically.

Top Tracks: Islands on the Coast, Ode to the LRC, Is There A Ghost, The General Specific

2) Sugar Ros - Hvarf-Heim

I've been in love with this band for a few years now for their originality, beautiful instrumentals, and the fact that they are Icelandic and I can't understand a word they say. A very relaxing band that has toured the US a few times and is apparently great in concert.

Top Tracks: Hljomalind, Staralfur, Salka, I Gaer

3) Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger

The blend between Alternative and modern country. No, I'm not talking about Shania Twain. Ryan Adams' depressing love songs are well written and his up tempo rock songs are a great change of pace as well.

Top Tracks: Two, Halloweenhead, Goodnight Rose, I Taught Myself How to Grow Old, Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.

4) Angels and Airwaves - I-Empire

Before you say anything about this selection, just know that AIA is not a punk band--in fact they do not resemble anything close to the lead singer's former genre with Blink 182. They have the most original sound of any current rock band minus a few (Muse comes to mind among others). This album falls short of their debut album, but still remains strong due haunting guitar rifts and use of various types of instruments which resemble U2 (actually the bands top influence).

Top Tracks: Call To Arms, Everything's Magic, Sirens, Secret Crowds

5) Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

Classic acoustic singer resembling Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith. Has some great tracks on this album and worth a listen for any acoustic fan.

Top Tracks: Scythian Empires, Imitosis, Plasticities

6) VHS or Beta - Bring on the Comets

Wish I could have gone to this concert, but nonetheless the album is great. Very powerful band with a strange sound to them.

Top Tracks: Can't Believe a Single Word, Bring on the Comets, Burn it All Down

7) Newton Faulkner - Hand Built By Robots

Not the typical acoustic singer, Newton is British and has long blond dreadlocks. Yet, he amassed one of the greatest albums of the year with an album that can be listened to from beginning to end.

Top Tracks: Dream Catch Me, People Should Smile More, Teardrop, All I Got

8) Coconut Records - Nighttiming

As if Jason Schwartzman wasn't cool enough as an actor, he headlines this EP with his new band Coconut Records. A step up from Phantom Planet with a more real sound listeners can enjoy.

Top Tracks: Nighttiming, West Coast

9) Rooney - Calling the World

No, I'm not a 16 year old girl who watches the OC, but I really enjoy this California pop band. Loved the first album, this one follows suit. Every song is catchy and makes you want to go surfing...

Top Tracks: Paralyzed, When Did Your Heart Go Missing?, Love Me or Leave Me

10) Interpol - Our Love to Admire

Pure rock band with great guitar and drum combos.

Top Tracks: The Heinrich Maneuver, No I in Threesome, Rest My Chemistry

Honorable Mention:
  • Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice
  • Okkervil River -The Stage Names
  • The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
  • Silverchair - Young Modern
  • The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
  • Feist - The Reminder
  • Future of Forestry - Twilight
  • Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long
  • Colbie Caillat - CoCo

See you next year.