Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Facebook needs to go away

The social network called Facebook was in my opinion a trend that has flickered out. It started out as a fun interface that allowed users to chat and email friends both near and far away. Unlike its inspirational predecessor called Myspace, Facebook has gotten so big that big businesses are into it now and using it as another marketing tool. I think My Space is just a network now filled with perverts and cops pretending to be little kids trying to catch the perverts.

Other than Facebook stock plummeting, and Mark Zuckerberg being asked to step down, I believe Facebook is on its way out for two reasons: 

1. That new stupid timeline layout. It is ugly, and it manipulates all users to change to with it with no option to switch back and 2. Facebook has gotten so big that even parents and other family members have discovered it. There is an article posted by that asks the question: Is it good to have parents as friends on Facebook? In my personal situation it was not a good thing. “But Kirk," you say, "all you have to do is ignore their friendship request.” I wish it were that easy.

I also noticed that the same five people were always online for Facebook and would constantly update everyone on how they were feeling, what they had for breakfast, and worst of all why they were going to vote for their preferred presidential candidate, with derogatory pictures and cliche criticism towards the opposing candidate. It was too much.

The “Like” button was annoying as one of the only ways you could non-verbally respond to someone’s stupid statement. I once asked their customer support why there wasn’t a “Nobody Cares” button, their response was that Facebook only wants to regulate positive buttons to support kindness. Oh well, I suppose it worked for Pleasantville.   

I have left Facebook by completely deleting my account for the fourth time now. Why do I keep coming back? Because a college professor which I had for three different semesters demanded that I set up a Facebook account because that was the only way he preferred his communication. He was always amazed to see by the show of hands at the start of every semester who was not on the network. Now that I am through with school I may be able to stay off of it now. I never know when life may put me back on it.

Do you agree with me or do you still love and support Facebook? I would love to read about either opinion in the comment section. 

 Here were two of my last Facebook profile pictures before I deleted my account. I'm thinking of creating a calendar.

This was my cover picture for the stupid timeline. You are welcome to use use it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Podcast "Nostalgic Radio"

My Podcast Cover

Nostalgic Radio

[We Put the Fun in Funeral]

While I was in college I took a class called "Authoring for Digital Devices." It was pretty much a class to teach us about podcasts and how to make them. I learned as long as you have recording equipment, you too can create podcasts that can be downloaded by the mainstream media.

Our instructor wanted us to not only create 6 episodes, thirty minutes long, he also wanted us to document everything onto a long drawn-out paper.

Here is the synopsis of what my podcast was all about:

The podcasts were made to educate the millennial generation in an entertaining way by introducing a different radio comedian each episode, like Jack Benny, Red Skelton, and more. Each episode included a brief introduction and a life overview and then I would play a 30-45 minute sample of the artist's show.The podcasts hopefully persuaded an older crowd to get interested and more involved in podcasting through this familiar atmosphere. The podcasts were strictly audio: no videos or visuals, with exception of the podcover.
Tagline- We Put the Fun in Funeral

Slogan- We’ll take you back in time to when radio dominated the mainstream media

This link will allow you to listen to my pilot episode. I know it may be too long for some of you with ADD, so if you just want to skip to 16:58 on the track you might find my commercial I had to make somewhat amusing.

Did you like it? I may set up a link for the other five episodes or not depending on your feedback. I want your honest opinion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Experience at the Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus

Every October I try to make it to at least one spook alley or haunted house. This year I decided to try the Strangling Brothers' Haunted Circus in Draper, Utah. The following is my personal experience and reaction to it.
First of all, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of similarities between this and the Haunted Forest in American Fork (which I attended last year). Tickets to both places are at least 20 bucks a person and you have to wait in two long entertaining lines to get into the venue.
They both then take you through a series of different rooms that have obstacles like mazes, bridges with tunnels that have the illusion that the walls are spinning, and other fun-house attractions. They then of course have a gory butcher’s room that is meant to gross you out. A cemetery with open graves, dark hallways, and of course you always see a room with a girl who has either been dismembered or stuck in cage, calling out to you for help. Both end with some chainsaw guy that is meant to push you out of the attraction so you don’t linger around it.
Of course the Haunted Circus tried to have more clowns and a carnival tone to it where the Haunted Forest seemed to be unsure of its theme. Either way, my overall response to the Strangling Brothers' Circus is extremely overpriced, you pay a lot just to get rushed through their spook alley.I don’t know if I’m getting old or this trend is, but I’m starting to lose my savor for things like this every year. I have plans to start my own free spook alley for trick-or-treaters so it is beneficial to go to these businesses to gather ideas.
Have you been to any of these above mentioned spook alleys?
Do you think they are overpriced?
To my beloved followers: for personal reasons I will be taking a break from this
blog during the Holidays. See you in a few months!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Had this been real would I have survived?

So if this mock scenario of a zombie apocalypse was real I would have died. Three zombies did pass me by. The man that came in first place had actually registered as a zombie.

The hardest challenge for me during this race was trying not to die laughing at all the different costumes I saw. There was a man running in a banana costume, there was another guy dressed up like a mentally challenged kid, and another guy only wore a leopard spotted speedo and shoes. Two boys dressed in drag and held hands as they crossed the finish line, and there were a ton of brides and expensive wedding gowns worn by what looked like both human and zombie.  There were too many people that just didn’t take it seriously. I too, like the above mentioned participants can’t take it seriously and find people who do very amusing.
Do you think anyone who is seriously immersed in the Zombie trend is a dork?

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Play the Game in a Zombie Race

All money and contributions to Night of the Running Dead go to The Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Are you a penny pincher or do you know someone who is? Do you like to run but hate having to pay the hefty registration fees to participate in a race? If you don’t have a guilty conscience you can “play the game” by not paying a thing to participate in the race.  I found out that the registration is quite easy. After you have paid your registration fee all you have to do is pick up your race packet before the race starts.

What is included in your race packet?
  • A t-shirt
  • Lots of advertisements
  • A window sticker
  • A small unofficial race number

The small unofficial race number that you pin on yourself at race time identifies you as a runner in the race even though the number does not make any sense. I was number 2012 and so were about 22 other people. This number is optional, some runners who dressed up as zombies or whatever did not get harassed or even questioned for not wearing the number.
After seeing how casual the registration was, how easy it was to sign in and how there was zero security checking to make sure the participating runners were actually registered, any cheapskate could easily just have figured out the meeting day time and place and just showed up, time themselves and run for free.
Do you love running races but don’t want to pay for them? Unless they change things this may be an option for you next year.

The concluding blog post explores the following quandary: if this had been real would I have survived?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Overall experience at Night of the Running Dead

I love running but have never signed up for an official race before. So, when I first heard about this I thought this would be the coolest thing ever, being hunted by zombies in a 5k race. Then I read their terms and conditions - waiver of liability and rules of the race, which summarized is: no props, no contact at all with other runners, don’t touch them, or taunt them, if you catch up to them you can pass them but that’s it. And then I said, “That’s totally lame.” After wrestling with indecision I decided to sign up anyway despite how lame this actually sounded.

My overall experience with night of the running dead was this: I signed up as a human not a zombie, so I just wore my regular running attire. All runners were corralled to the starting line where we had to watch an intro movie about zombies at 8:50 pm. They then shot fireworks off and I was confused and asked a runner next to me if that was the starting signal. They said no. At 9:00 pm they started the race by someone just saying go through a bull horn. According to the program they were supposed to start the zombie runners at 9:02 pm but that didn’t look like that happened. 

They 5k race in Sandy Utah went through a trailer park, (I noticed that many trailer park patrons were watching us) down the Frontage Road and around the Sandy South Towne  Mall.

According to this link to the overall results for the race:

I was the 29th runner out 137 participants to cross the finish line. My time recorded was 24.49.6 a little under 25 minutes which calculates to be around 8 minutes a mile. Because I didn’t pay the extra money to get “chipped” and monitored I didn’t qualify for any awards and my spot on the list says Unknown male participant.
Since this was my first official race I set some personal goals:

1.       Never stop running

2.       Don’t be the last one to finish

3.       Try to make it under 40 minutes

Mission accomplished. Would you try to run this race if the rules were different and they said you could touch or taunt other runners?

Stay tuned: next blog post is titled How to Play the Game in a Zombie Race. Now that I know how they handle things I will share with you what you can get away with.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Call Center Woes

Have you ever worked at a call center before? Have you ever thought about working for a call center? Consider these 13 points of what call center life is like:

  1. During your interview, every call center claims they're different from the average call center. They are not, this is a lie.
  2. Every call center at the interview tells you that you will not be on the phones long, that this company is growing too fast and they will need staff elsewhere soon other than on the phones. This is a lie.
  3. Every call center is always hiring (I wonder why).
  4. Every call center gives you a very brief lunch break and they encourage it to be as short as possible because they need you on the phones.
  5. Every call center has a phone queue that counts the minutes a caller is waiting for service. The call center team leads freaks out the higher up those minutes go.
  6. Every call center has programed phones with different categories of putting yourself on hold whether it's for an emergency bathroom break, technical down time, or you just need to log in notes from a previous complicated call. Even though this "Hold" option available to you, don't ever use it. You need to always be available to answer calls no matter what.
  7. Every call center has a hired staff of "over-seers" specifically hired on to electronically watch your computer and phone status to make sure you are never off of or away from your phone.
  8. Every call center listens and records your calls incoming and outgoing to use--they say--to protect you and the company against law suits, but it's more to be used against you in future force and criticisms.
  9. Change! If you don't like your job, wait two weeks. Every call center changes so much and so fast: policy, rules, job shift, even your salary, will all change at a moment's notice and not to your benefit.
  10. Every call center wants was a phone agent to answer any question the caller may have even if its not job-related.
  11. Every call center has usually has shifty and entrapping terms and conditions with account orders. Even though they are completely legally compliant they can still be misleading to the average customer. This is why they need over-the-phone agents to deal with the huge demand of angry customers. Think about most big businesses that require you to sign a contract with them. Most of the time the only way to inquire about your contract and account is over the phone (because this is easier than dealing with people face-to-face).
  12. Most call centers have only one source of communication... over the phone. Sometimes you may have an email option.
  13. Most call centers have escalations and tech support that is supposed to be there to assist you but they highly encourage you to not use them or transfer calls to them because you need to deal with the belligerent customer yourself.
If you have ever worked in a call center before, leave a comment and share your experience with me. Do you think my 13 descriptions are accurate?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I Love Halloween Part 3

This was the most expensive part of my budget this year for Halloween: finding a skeleton. After searching for skeletons at all the stores and online this was the most decent one I could find. I realized that I just needed to splurge a bit and get my own Budget Bucky Anatomical Skeleton (4th Quality) built for educational purposes. It's meant for anatomy classes but since it's 4th quality there are some flaws so he can't be used in school. They still charge a hefty price for a 4th quality skeleton.

After I purchased Bucky I was automatically signed up for a subscription to "The Anatomical Chart Company" magazine, just in case I wanted to buy charts and other plastic body parts.

My long term plan for Bucky is to decorate him to look like a rotting corpse in the coffin. Unfortunately, I am running out of time this year so Bucky may just be a simple skeleton resting on display for trick-or-treaters this year. I will continue to update you on this project. 

Do you also have big plans for projects but not enough time to complete them? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Love Halloween Part 2

After my coffin was constructed I had to paint it.
We had some leftover wood stain finish that was originally used for our garden box to help prevent termites and decay, so I used that to give it a more rustic look.


The odor turned out to be very strong and it still stinks up my basement
After I had finished staining the wood, I wanted to add rope handles to the coffin to give it more of a distressed look.
After my coffin was constructed, stained, and 'handled' there was only one thing left to do to complete this coffin.
I added lining to the inside of the box by stapling old cheap fabric I bought from Savers. This completes my coffin. Now the next question I have to work on is: What will go inside the coffin?
Originally I wanted to lie in it and jump out to scare trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately I am a little to big to fit in it. My wife fits perfectly inside of it but that just a coincidence and I digress.
My next option was to create my own rotting corpse to lie in it. Stay tuned for the next blog which will show you the step in completing my corpse. 

How are you going to celebrate Halloween this year?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I Love Halloween Part 1

I love Halloween! As a boy I would always save my lawn mowing money to buy Halloween decorations to spice up my home for the upcoming all Hallows Eve festivities.
My new hobby is to make my own Halloween decorations because, let’s face it, all retail stores and the seasonal Halloween stores are a money pit. This year I have decided to do a graveyard scene out in front of my condo with things I built from the local hardware store.
You can buy an animated corpse in a cheaply built coffin that, if you sneeze on it wrong you will tear it in half from a Halloween store, or you can build one yourself for half the price.

After studying other blogs and websites I decided to try to build my own wooden old west toe pincher style coffin with rope handles.
I bought 16 wooden pickets 6’ long and then I followed the following diagram kindly provided by

I used this diagram generously provided by

The following photos show me constructing the life-sized wooden coffin:

Screwing in the base boards

Adding the finishing touches in construction

Finished box ready to decorate

 Do you think Halloween decorations are too expensive too?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Have you been to Asylum 49? (Part 2 of 2)

Previously on Confidential Unrestricted Malarkey I had the opportunity to interview Kimm Anderson, who is the owner and founder of Asylum 49.

I have included a youtube link of the crew from Ghost Adventures from the Travel Channel when they investigated this facility. If you aren't afraid, please watch this video and answer the following questions:

1. Do you think this place is legitimately haunted?

2. What is your opinion on Kimm deciding to have half the building still functioning as a rest home and the other side as a Halloween spook alley?   

Any and all feedback is welcomed!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have you been to Asylum 49? (Part 1 of 2)

            Last October, I had the opportunity to interview Kimm Anderson, who is the owner and founder of his own business that he runs, and loves every minute of it. He says it’s so much fun it doesn’t even feel like work. In the outskirts of town in Tooele there is a creepy old hospital that is located at 140 East 200 South that was built in 1943 and finally closed its doors in 2002. Kimm was lucky enough to buy the building when it first came to be available on the market. Kimm, like me loves the Halloween holiday.

As a youth he grew up working in the March of Dimes Haunted House, and followed his childhood dream, which was to eventually run his own haunted house professionally for Halloween with employees and revenue he could enjoy after the month of October. He claims he was a troubled youth and therefore he likes to hire on young adults. He feels he can relate to them and gives them a chance to work in a fun environment. He claims, “There isn’t much to do in Tooele as youth. I want to keep them off the streets.” He has one rule and that is they must get good grades in school: if they can’t do that, they are off of his staff until the grades improve. He also enjoys teaching kids handy work and different techniques in construction and working with tools.

Last year he claimed he had no problem keeping up and even met his scheduled deadlines a month ahead of schedule. He loves marketing and has worked well with getting his company out in the public eye with advertisements on the radio. He even had a promotional activity that involved the Utah Blitz, a women’s football team. Kimm matches my current career goal because he owns his own business, enjoys it, and is progressing in business during a bad economy. The following is his interview.

What Experience prepared you for your career choice?

“I worked for a Haunted House (March of Dimes) when I was a kid and loved it. I eventually helped start Nightmare on 13th; I really wanted to start my own haunted house.”

What type of degree, if any, would benefit in this position?

“A Business Degree” Do you have a Business degree? “No, I wish I had one” I’m still envious of you, my teacher in my career preparation class pretty much told me that my degree is worthless and it’s not what-you-know but who-you-know. So instead of rigorously studying expensive books for the past decade I should’ve been kissing up to Larry H. Miller or something like that. “In Utah that seems to be the case but I’ve found that out of Utah say like New York, that “who-you-know, what-you-know” statement is reversed.”

Why did you decide to enter this career field?

“I love doing it so much! It’s not a real job.”

If you had to do it over, would you make the same choice?


What advice would you give a novice in this area of work?

“Do what you love, then it will be better then everything out there.”

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

“I’m my own boss.”

What do you like least about it?

“It doesn’t last all year.” Why not is there a law against it or is it just business is business? “No, there’s no law against it. It’s just as you said, business is business. Utah is a very funny state when it comes to the seasons and the holidays. They are really big into being scared and love Halloween and will go all out for it, but once October is over then they want something else like Christmas or whatever.” I’ve heard of some haunted houses that are open in September and October, and some stay open a little into November have you ever tried that? “I have, and both September and the first week of November was completely dead. We do, however, offer ghost hunts in the hospital starting in January and we have that open for a couple of months. We offer classes on ghost hunting as well.” Is the hospital really haunted? “Oh yes.”

What are your most difficult challenges to succeed in your current career?

“I don’t have one, anything is possible.”

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

“Being the best haunted house in the nation!” That’s great, Kimm, I’m sure you will be someday.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed meeting Kimm Anderson and was very grateful for his time in giving me an interview. I’ve learned through Kimm that if you have a ton of ambition you can accomplish a lot of things that you want to do in life. I also sadly learned that when it comes to succeeding in your career in Utah, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I hope that I can take Kimm’s example to heart when I start pursuing my career after college.

Do you think in order to succeed in Utah you need to know someone important or is a college degree worth it?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Kirk’s Family Feel-Good Merchandise

We all know about Covenant Communications Inc. which happens to be the primary provider and publisher for Deseret Book, and Seagull Book and Tapes merchandise. 
Every now and then I get a brilliant business idea that I want to pitch to them in hopes that they will mass produce it and put it on their shelves. I usually don’t reveal my brilliant ideas to the public until after I have created it but I want your feedback on it. Take a look at the diagrams below and please tell me what you think. I did this while I was in my daughter’s playroom.

You may or may not have seen these dopey pieces of wood that has inspiring faith building words stenciled on them. Words like Faith and Families are Forever... yeah, you know, kitchy feel-good stuff like that. Imagine this hanging up over your mantel. Your house is definitely the home of a celestial family now. I think I’m going to bypass Covenant Communications all together and sell these myself. Who wants one? 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Tribute to Porter Rockwell

While I was attending Salt Lake Community College I had to take an introduction to drawing class as an elective. We had to pick a final project that would take us a few weeks to finish. Since I seem to like drawing pictures of ugly hairy men I chose to sketch a photograph of Porter Rockwell. I learned one of the big secrets to drawing hair is to never just do lines.

I got an A on this project and in the class. I am debating on whether or not to enter this into next year's Springville art show. What do you think? Is this showcase worthy? 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I was Slaughtered by the Hog!

I have been defeated! In one of my previous blogs I mentioned about how I was a food challenge champion because I conquered the 24 incher challenge at Sensuous Sandwich not once, but three times.

I was then challenged to try “The Hog” at D Boys barbecue and grill restaurant. The hog challenge is where you have only 20 minutes to completely consume a huge burger, a large bowl of fries and a 32 ounce soda. If you win this challenge then the 20 dollar meal is free, you get your picture taken, and you receive a complimentary t-shirt which says “I slaughtered the hog.”

Since I normally eat a lot of food anyway I thought I could beat this challenge. Let me describe to you what the hog burger looks like: It was about six inches tall and included

·         2 huge chunky beef patties

·         coleslaw

·         2 huge clumps of bacon

·         4 huge sausage links

·         About 3 ounces of pulled pork

·         1 tomato

It was also drowning in barbecue sauce mixed with fry sauce. They allowed me to fill up my cup with PowerAde instead of soda. They allowed me to temperature test the fries. They took my picture before the timer was set, and then I was into it.

Since the burger was physically impossible to bite into I grabbed a fork and worked my way down from the top. I thought I had this challenge beat until I came to the hideously huge sausage links that grossed me out. After that I was nauseated the rest of the time. The first beef patty was too fat and took a while to swallow. They then told me I only had six minutes left. I grabbed fist fulls of fries to try to take this pate down but the sausage links' aftertaste still lingered in my mouth and I had to fight back dry-heaving.

So unfortunately, my dear friends, I think my food challenge days are over. If you think you can slaughter the hog you are more than welcome to try. Please let me know how you did.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Utah’s Colonial Heritage Festival at Orem Part 2

Sorry this blog is a little late but that's how it was scheduled. So I went back to Orem's Colonial Days on the 4th of July. There were a few changes to the festival that were not there the Saturday prior to the 4th. For instance we went back to the blacksmith shop to see Liam, my little artist buddy who drew my portrait for 99 cents now he had made is booth bigger and was now charging 2 dollars to do people's portraits. I think I created an entrepreneur. There was a tent around the guy boiling wax for candles now. They also had a wood worker who was advertising his business for selling wooden coffins to anyone who dared be buried in one. The following pictures help show our day at the park.

Military Muster: Ready, Aim, FIRE!

A Colonial Cannon

Colonial Calligraphy! Our names written with a Feather Quill

A blunderbuss this redneck farmer's gun is what helped take down the British in the battle of New Orleans

As I was talking to some of the volunteers/colonial impersonators, one of them mentioned about how they are trying to find a more permanent theme park for them to do this year-round in Utah Valley. Do you think a permanent historical park would benefit our community or ruin it? What are your thoughts?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Albino Women of Amoonguna

While I was serving a mission in Australia I got to spend a lot of time out at a few Aborigine camps one was called Amoonguna. Every Monday night we were invited by Rosemary, the matron of the village, to spend Family Home Evening (FHE) with her and the rest of the women and children of Amoonguna.

Rosemary, Elder Baxter, & Regina

We would always have FHE outside around a camp fire where we would entertain the children with primary songs and simple lessons and then we would invite one of the grown-ups to share something.  One particular night one of the women named Regina told us one of her scary stories from the bushy outback.  This story she called the Legend of the Albino (she pronounced it albeeno) Women of this village. Here is her story:

“Three sisters lived in this village many years ago. They were spinsters and kept to themselves mostly.

One day they wanted to make some stew but were so poor that they needed to borrow a pot from their neighbor who happened to be the village’s witch-doctor. They were ungrateful and returned the pot without even cleaning it. This enraged the witch doctor who immediately cursed these three sisters which disfigured their bodies. They all turned ghostly white. They were unable to go out in the daytime because the sun would kill them. The worst thing about the curse was that they could never satisfy their hunger nor could they die of starvation.

The albino women moved into a cave nearby Amoonguna, and they always prowled the outback at night looking for flesh that they could consume.

Rumor has it that they kidnapped a young man who was touring around Alice Springs which is the tourist trap of a town closest to this cave. They took him to their cave but they could not eat him because he was so handsome instead they broke his legs and fed him the meals they made for him for the rest of his life.”

I heckled Regina by bursting out in laughter and saying, “Undead Albino women? What a load of hooey!” “I’m serious Elder.” Regina proclaimed “You shouldn’t tease, they might come for you.”

After I laughed at her story for a good four minutes she challenged me to go to the cave with her since she knew exactly where it was. I agreed to go with her on my next preparation day.

The following Thursday, I went with my three other missionary colleagues which included my zone leader to meet Regina at her home. We followed her car in our Toyota Tacoma about three miles east of Amoonguna, deep in the bush. She immediately pulled over on the road and led us out not even ten yards to what appeared to be three foot wide in diameter hole in the ground.  

Cave Entrance
“You see Elders now do you believe me? Here is where they live.” I peered into the hole which disappeared into darkness there was no guessing how deep it was.

“Elder Bennett,” I said, “back the Tacoma up over here and get the tow hitch.” Regina asked, “What are doing Elder?” I said “I am going  down that hole to meet the Albino Women!” “Oh Elder you are crazy!” The strange thing was that my zone leader nor my other companions were not the least bit concerned with what I was about to do. My zone leader actually had a camcorder and taped this whole ordeal. I am still trying to contact him for a copy of it. So I was lowered into the dark hole which turned out to only drop down 12 feet into a small cavern that was no bigger than small car. I had a flash light and looked for any other pathways or tunnels. There were none, the floor had a lot of garbage from people throwing litter down the hole. There were mostly empty beer bottles and cigarettes.

As everyone up above looked down at me I said “Albeeno women! Where are you? I am a handsome unsuspecting virgin that you can take and keep! What’s for dinner?”  I was laughing so hard that it angered Regina. She threw her lit cigarette at me. Elder Bennett immediately followed me down the hole with his camera to catch all of this footage.

Luckily, Regina and I were close enough friends that she didn’t hold a grudge for busting her urban legend of the Albino Women of Amoonguna. Have you ever done anything this crazy?