18 December 2008

lunch hour of power

Today a few of my friends/roommates and I took the occasion to have lunch together in sharp protest to the snow-laden weather of Provo. It was probably the best lunch hour I have had since my buddy Seth treated me the the Skyroom Cafe and we got Mango-Strawberry smoothies in the middle of the summer.

Indeed, it was so fun, I decided to let you all in on it and describe a few of the details. Enjoy!

The Players:
  • Ms. Harris (the Liar)
  • Kimball (the Getaway Driver)
  • Justin (the Cruise Director)
  • Samisté (the Scrounger)
  • Walker (the Commentator)
  • and Alisha (the purportedly married waitress)
The Scene: Red Robin (located at the Provo Towne Centre Mall)

The Topics: After a lively debate on who was "Cruise Director" and what his responsibilities entail, we head to Red Robin where our heroes engage in a wide variety of topics and activities. Here they are in no particular order:
  • Replacement Roommate
  • Feats of Impossibility (of the following listed, some were actually accomplished and some were only advocated. I'll leave it to you to determine which is which.)
    • Snapping three straws in half consecutively
    • Driving around on the little model stock car asking the waitress for her telephone number
    • Wearing your polo shirt inside out (but not backwards) as a fashion statement
    • Kissing a Parisian
    • Palm Reading
  • The true nature of Grenadine Syrup
  • Proper etiquette of drink ordering
  • Uncle Sam's creator
  • Uncontrollable "yummy noises"
  • The cause of the noise that is heard when snapping your fingers
    • I'll give you a hint: it is not caused by the heat of a thousand suns
  • Zodiac signs
    • by the way, if you are Capricorn, you are basically the embodiment of perfection...just in case you didn't know
  • Word of the Day: Vomit
  • Whether "math" is just a really good trick or actually magic
  • Chaco sandals and their existence in the 50's
  • Real-life Mario Kart

09 December 2008

Coolest Christmas Idea of 2008

I am a big believer in Christmas miracles.

If you read my blog, you also inherently show your faith in miracles (e.g. it would be a true miracle if the 45 seconds you spend reading one of my crazy entries actually persuades you to read another one) and since my blog has had over 1,700 hits with over 400 unique visitors, most of which come back at least once, it pretty much proves that miracles happen. For further reading on the subject, please refer to one of my personal favorite blog posts I have ever written. *Editors note: Does anyone else catch the awesome irony of the last two sentences mixed together? :)

Alas, I digress. Here is the Coolest Christmas Idea of 2008

I know this couple. Lets call them Jon and Kim (since those are in fact their real names). Jon and Kim are perhaps the most adorable family you have ever seen. Jon and Kim would like to expand their adorable family, but are having some challenges. For those of you who have ever had personal experience with infertility, or know someone who has, you can understand how significant of a struggle this has been.

Here is where the idea comes in.

Jon and Kim realized one day that if all of Kim's Facebook friends contributed 20$, they would be able to afford the expensive InVitro/adoption costs. Since Kim has since posted this on Facebook, I have no reservation letting you all in on the awesome idea. However, it would be a true miracle if all of Kim's Facebook friends were able to contribute.

Here is where you come in.

Odds are you don't know Jon and Kim. But I would bet good money that you have an extra 10$ or 20$ you could contribute to a Christmas present for a great couple you neither know nor may ever meet. Isn't that the Coolest Christmas Idea you have heard all year?! Imagine Jon and Kim's surprise when they see tons of people (who they don't even know mind you) helping them on their quest for a Christmas 2009 with an adorable family of three!

Here is where the miracle comes in.

Jon and Kim have created a PayPal account that we can contribute to. Go here to their blog and click on the PayPal link on the bottom that will get you directly to their baby fund. If you don't have a PayPal account, no worries. It will let you contribute with just your credit card information. You may have to put your name down but remember that its all part of the experience for Jon and Kim. Contribute whatever you can, and bask in the fact that you aren't the only one who believes in Christmas miracles or in the scripture Acts 20:35.

I personally think this is a fantastic way to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas both this Christmas season and the even the next. I invite you to join with me in doing something small to be a part of something great. I also invite you to get others involved even if they don't know our friends Jon and Kim.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!


29 November 2008

haha #4

"You shouldn't have picked rock."

-Jenae's commentary on a lost round of paper/rock/scissors

19 November 2008

11,749 feet

Pictures from Mt. Timpanogas.

Thanks B. Robert!

15 November 2008

living life sometimes can end it faster

The festive holiday season will soon be upon us. In addition to comforting fires, fellowship of friends and family, my world is always warmly induced with a holiday treat that contradicts many of my deepest principles: eggnog.

I don't know why I like it so much. Then again, just take a look at some of its prominent ingredients:
  • 22 g of sugar
  • 9 g of fat
  • 10& DV of calcium
Good gravy! (hmmmm...gravy) Why does my body endure, nay enjoy such an attack on its own arteries?! Of course, I have no plausible explanation. I can't even chalk it up to ancient family tradition. My parents dont ever take the drink, and my sisters dont foster near the attraction to the stuff as I do.

Just like a drug addict, I distinctly remember my first experience with eggnog. I was a college freshman living in the BYU dorms. By most accounts, times were good. I ate well, I slept well, and I carried a fashionable 3.2 GPA. We were in the midst of semester finals and were looking to find ways to burn the meal plan account balance that easily accumulated during the last weeks of a busy semester. A group of my chums and I walked down to the Old Creamery looking to spend our fortune, and there it was, in all its on-sale glory.

About 22 hours after I finished the half-gallon carton, I finally fell asleep and was greeted by a host of sugar-induced dreams of holiday wonder and joy. 22 hours later, I woke up to a new world; a world with eggnog. In my freshman ignorance however, I could not concieve that after the New Years sale finished off 3 weeks later, that the world would go devoid of this potent liquid for another 11 months.

Since then my stomach has enjoyed its yearly reunions with the substance know curtly as the "Nog" and delights in its consumption contrary to conventional dietary wisdom. So to all you fellow holiday helpers with high metabolism, I declare: "Bottom's Up"

12 November 2008

Unlikely but effective combinations

Lowfat yogurt & Honey Nut Cheerios
Calculators & Cell phones
November 10th & Christmas Music
Star Wars & The Muppet Show
BYU Alumni & cheering for U of U football last week
Eggs & a dash of Cinnamon
President G.W. Bush & Positive media reports

05 November 2008


I just wanted to write a few congratulations to a few folks.

Props to America.
I don't care who you voted for. Yesterday was an exciting historic event that was impressive to experience. I thought the president-elect delivered a fantastic speech that highlighted some of the dramatic changes that his presidency will come to symbolize. I still claim that he has yet to earn my vote and I'll hold him to what he promises, but I am increasingly and hopefully optimistic. If you haven't read or seen Sen. Obama's speech from last night (I personally think its more inspiring to watch)...you should repent.

Props to California.
I'm glad Prop 8 passed. I still would have been proud to call CA my home state even if it wouldn't have, but I am prouder yet to see that a majority of her voters still care to express their support of a traditional marriage. However, the battle over moral values continues to deepen. Lets keep truckin.

Props to my roommate Sam.
Samiste registered to vote almost a month and a half ago. He didn't receive his absentee ballot until Monday afternoon. The deadline for the ballot to be sent to the LA County Registrar was Tuesday 8pm. Sam overnighted his ballot to ensure his vote was cast and counted. I'm glad he was willing to pay a little more than 42 cents to participate in the democratic process.

Props to my Pops.
Dad got pretty involved this election to campaign for the marriage amendment. My parents have always been a model of good citizenship, but I was glad Dad chose to put in the extra effort to push hard for something he believes in. More important than a ballot measure passing...his character passed.

02 November 2008

Things that totally freak me out as a man...

  • big buzzing bugs...that wont die
  • scratching noises inside your house...walls
  • the infra-red sensor toilet a few stalls down from you that flushes...without anyone using it

31 October 2008

a small favor for Tuesday (Prop 8)

Alma 37:6-7 teaches us a profound principle that I am learning to trust more and more as my life rolls on.

If you read my blog, and know anyone besides me that is from California please do me a favor and place a phone call, e-mail, etc. to them and encourage them to vote in favor of Prop 8 this next Tuesday. Just a quick note/call to even the most casual of acquaintances can assist in helping to support this important measure. Feel free to refer them to my earlier posts or to protectmarriage.org, preservingmarriage.org, or any other forum that discusses this issue in an honest, open, and positive light. Remember to simply express your personal convictions and ask them to carefully weigh theirs and not be swayed by outside pressures that unjustly skew the matter.

It might be small, it might be simple, but it will be great!

Thanks, I owe you one.

28 October 2008

Math is delicious

28 Oct 2008
1:41pm MDT

Avocados were on sale for 33 cents a piece today.

I came home with nine of them an hour ago.

Now there are six left in the fridge.


27 October 2008

prop 8 video updates

Good news! My absentee ballot came in the mail last week and I am about to send it off.

preservingmarriage.org has recently posted some very well done video spots featuring CA young adults expressing their viewpoints of Prop 8. This site is an official website of the LDS Church and shows the quality of media that can be produced in aims of expressing the viewpoints of the church and its membership.

Here is a cool video posted by a fellow from my hometown catching some candid viewpoints of Prop 8 supporters in SoCal.

May I point out the particularly handsome chap 7:35-8:30 on this video. Not only is he responsible for half of my chromosomes, but he is a great example of the force for good we can be if we are involved. (and if we get up early before rush-hour traffic)

PS: Please also take notice at the subtle shot at at my marital status cleverly slipped in at 7:51. :) I won't take offense, but only because Pop managed to get posted on YouTube before I did. (a great moment in my life I might add)

16 October 2008

In memoriam...

To BYU's perfect season:

It was a nice dream, but simply just that.
We started with grace, then just fell flat.
Who knows what happened,
Was it just a fluke?
I threw up a prayer,
then bent over to puke.

Here's to next season fellas. 2009 could be divine.

wake up, gear up, stand up (Prop 8)

Hello everyone. Hope you all watched the debates last night and had a good chuckle at the constant references to "Joe the Plumber." Gear up for some immanent hilarious SNL flak on that one! I was amused at how much face time was given "Joe" by John McCain considering Barack Obama actually discovered the man. I'm pretty sure Obama should demand some royalties from the whole bit. Yes, yes, royalties in the form of electoral college votes.

Anyhow, irregardless of whom you choose to vote to take the highest executive position in the land, please be aware of one of the most important matters hitting the books on Nov. 4th: Proposition 8. Let me introduce you to this measure, and why you should be in favor of it passing. Wake up to the facts.

-Fact 1: In the 2000 general election, over 60% of the voting population of the great state of California choose to define marriage in a statute called Prop 22. The text of the statute was only 14 words:
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

-Fact 2: Earlier this year, the 4 out of 7 judges in the California Supreme Court overturned that measure as unconstitutional and instantly changed the social landscape of California.

-Fact 3: In this 2008 general election, Proposition 8 will seek to revise the CA state constitution to define marriage as stated above. It will differ from a statute (which is vulnerable to the judicial review/nullification) and directly change the state constitution to affirm the foundational view that the institution of marriage is reserved only for a man and a woman.

-Fact 4: This proposition does not attack the civil or legal rights already claimed by homosexual partnerships. Such unions already enjoy the same legal rights (e.g. joint ownership of property, tax status, etc.) as traditional married heterosexual couples. Proposition 8 only seeks to preserve the status of traditional marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

Those are the facts. Gear up for my reasons. Stand up for yours.

Reason #1: Why everyone should be involved on this issue. California bred or not, this is an alarming social issue that should get you thinking about what is going on in our nation right now. Not just interesting trends in opinion, but clear legal stances on what we as a society accept or reject. Yesterday it was Massachusetts. Today it is California. Tomorrow it will be the United State Supreme Court (yet another important reason that should weigh heavily in your vote for US President as he appoints our Justices). You need to make up your mind as to what your values are in regards to the family as the basic unit of our social fabric, and how you personally will advocate those values in all arenas. One thing is certain, that which we strive to believe but fail to advocate will be weakened. Don't stand on the sidelines. Know what you believe, and why you believe it (even if you don't have to formally vote for it in 19 days).

Reason#2: If 4 judges can instantly change the social landscape of a state without the clear ratification of the populace, then we need to check such action with our united voice. Democracy is great when it is exercised properly, so lets do it! Obviously, the judges would not have overturned the measure except without some strong pull from the dissenting minority. What I see is that we have one group of people who are being heard in this matter and one that is not. Lets decide the matter with 100% of the constituents being able to voice their stance. Lets no let a few judges decide the matter for us as a whole.

Reason #3: Getting involved. This is a chance for us as the rising generation to realize how we affect the matters of the world in direct and indirect venues. We need to realize the power of our own individual influence and the potential of a united collective influence. If we understood what we can and need to accomplish as a whole, we would be wasting less of our time and contributing more positively to the world. I claim no perfection in being an exemplar of social/political activity but I am starting to get a glimpse of what we are up against and what our responsibility is to our heritage and our society. Lets use this issue to wake up to a sense of our own power.

To conclude for now, let me be clear as to where I stand in regards to my prior injunction. I accept the family as the fundamental unit of society and a divinely ordained institution. The security of the family is founded primarily in the strength of marriage which I only accept as a solemnized union between a man and a woman. No other alternative form of partnership can replace traditional marriage in its primary role in our society. I support all action aimed to guard and strengthen the family relationship and the institution of traditional marriage. Proposition 8 falls in this category.

Wake up. Gear up. Stand up. Vote YES on Prop 8.

PS: Feel free to comment on this one with additional insights and questions. I will do my best to respond to them.

09 October 2008

Waxing politcal

Ahhh. The great month of November is almost upon us. November is annually filled with many days of importance (e.g. the best holiday ever created by man and the only holiday ever created by me). This year however, November becomes even more power packed with the upcoming General Election. Here is some discombobulated commentary on the matter:

  • Thought #1: Democracy rules! (actually not as trite a statement as you may have first thought)
  • Thought 2: Im disappointed that John McCain's campaign has degenerated into a mud sling. The best effects of general elections are generated by multiple open-minded and forward thinking individuals trying to put their resources into telling us why we should vote for them and their policies/viewpoints. Not by shallow (and in many cases deeply skewed) character attack advertisements shouting to why NOT vote for the other. Let me be frank. I admire Sen. McCain's robust past history of public service. But at this point, he needs to start spitting out some plausible ideas to address the key issues of the United States and not spitting on Sen. Obama's reputation. Both of the men have their own vices. Lets look past their faults for the answers they can help create and implement.
  • Thought 3: I'm also disappointed at Tom Brokaw's less-than-best moderation of Tuesday's debate. C'mon Tom Brokaw..."Yes, or No is Russia the Evil Empire?" What a very foolish and very loaded question (which did NOT come per the supposed "town hall format" I might add) to pose to the two candidates about a very serious situation that should be handled with care.
  • Thought 4: Have you registered to vote yet? If yes: Way to go! If no: Repent...now.
  • Thought 5: No, seriously. If you haven't registered yet, go to your state website and print out a form ASAP. Registering to vote is easy and fast in our modern world. If you are blessed to be a Californian, but cursed to living in another state register to vote absentee today. This election is absolutely critical.
  • Thought 6: YES on Prop 8. If you don't know about this one you should. I will post soon specifically about this one. It has weight not only to CA residents but to the rest of the nation as well.
  • Thought 7: Four state judges should NEVER be able to negate what 61% (or 4 Million) of the voting population in CA voted for. Need I remind them of Thought #1? For more on the ruling see the source.
  • Thought 8: Here is what gets me wondering. Both POTUS candidates are suggesting some very important measures to take in terms of national and foreign policy. I am wondering how much they really will be able to accomplish with such a partisan congress. Will the congressional makeup (or the ability to incite more bi-partisan cooperation) change with this election in a way that will help passing these important measures? Lets hope for the best.

Note: Sorry for all the hyperlinks if that bothers you. My nature (and academic training) tends to regular sourcing and practical application of knowledge. Be it known that many of the referenced sources in this post are not entirely clean of bias, but lets not forget the adage, "Just because I am biased, doesn't mean I am wrong."

15 September 2008

assigning my own homework

My life has taken off to a different route in the last few weeks. My internship with BYU finished off nicely, and I have deferred my graduate program for a while so my available time has expanded and my possibilities with it.

I have found that it is necessary to assign myself tasks to keep me occupied with things to do and prevent the early onset of dementia (assuming I don't already have it).

Here are some things that I have assigned myself to do in the last few weeks:
  1. Join an ultimate frisbee team
  2. Replace my defunct cell phone
  3. Eat healthier food
  4. Climb Cascade Mtn.
  5. Find out how to replace a car starter
  6. Listen to BYU football domination
  7. Take my sister out for lunch
  8. Play more chess
  9. Think about getting a job
  10. Attend a missionary lesson with a friend
  11. Hike a slot canyon
  12. Save money
  13. Spend money
  14. Visit my grandparents
  15. Go to the temple
  16. Digest some In N Out Burger
  17. Pray more often
  18. Visit old friends
  19. Visit new friends
So, thats the glory of assigning your own homework. Its a blast, I highly recommend retirement to other single males that aren't using their college degrees at the moment.

22 August 2008

Holy Amazingness!

All I have to say is wow. I'm really glad that Microsoft has finally delivered on a really super idea with lots of practical applications. Lets hope that it only takes a few years to take hold.

First, a little background on the previous statement. For those of you who are not familiar, TED Talks are pretty much one of the premier prophetic voices in the world of technology. If you want to keep up with the emerging developments, read lots of blogs, and watch videos from the annual TED conference.

Below is a link to a really cool one about a tool called Seadragon that has been developed with some help from Microsoft and holds some amazing potential. The other application that is discussed after it is pretty cool too, but is no way as exciting to me.

Check it out:
Seadragon/Photosynth TED Talk

I have only one suggestion for immediate application: restaurant menus. Trust me, it will be big someday. Maybe I will blog this "consumer prophecy" later.

14 August 2008

quote of the yesterday

Yesterday was a good day. I enjoyed a delicious lunch with a friend of mine which included a salad and conversation that incited some much needed New England mission nostalgia.

As the food induced coma was beginning to take effect, the word "nerdy" came up in the conversation. These days words like that can have slightly different connotations depending on who uses them. Naturally, I asked her what the word nerdy meant. She responded with one of the greatest definitions I have heard all summer:

"Nerdy: Loving the pursuit of knowledge to the point of ignoring and/or violating multiple social conventions." -Rachel K

25 July 2008

Hiking pictures

Below are some pictures from a recent excursion to Sliver Lake up in American Fork Canyon. It was a blast!

I highly recommend the hike to anyone who doesn't mind going for a moderate 4-5 mile round trip (a little extra for some fun exploring/climbing) and has a car with a higher undercarriage clearance than a Ford Focus (the dirt road going up isn't kind on non-trucks).

Heres a good start for all you that are interested.

18 July 2008

pet peeve

I don't claim to despise, hate, or detest very many things in life, but today I pinned down one of my pet peeves that really gets me: foods that cut up the inside of your mouth.

You know the foods I'm talking about, the stuff that causes your mouth to be lacerated every single time you chew. We have all been there: starving, in a rush, requiring some kind of caloric intake, desperate for something to save us from starvation (or at least to helps us claim that we still believe in eating breakfast). These food provide what we need, but at a stiff price: the cost of safe gums.

Lets face it. These foods are the equivalent to chomping on some razor blades that contain some minimal nutritional value. Let me list off a few that we know aren't good for our mouths but we still con ourselves into eating sometimes:

  • Cereals (i.e. Cap'n Crunch, Cheerios, Cookie Crisp, Count Chocula)
  • Croutons
  • Chips
  • Chips Ahoy Cookies
  • Coffee (I've never experienced this one myself, but I do know that hot chocolate isn't too kind on the mouth unit)
Lets hold on for a minute here. For those of you like me who watched Sesame Street for hours as a kid, and was really good at the "One of these things is not like the other" game, take another look at the list we just created.

Am I the only one who gets a little suspicious that all of those foods have the letter "C" at their beginning? There must be some kind of diabolical plot associated with the third letter of the alphabet and things that appear like they are going to make your life better, but really just chew (starts with C!) you up in the end. Here are a few more examples:
  • Communism
  • Checking accounts
  • Chevrolet Cars
  • Cocaine and/or Caffeine
  • Chess
  • Chef Boyardee products
Heres my end point: the letter C is out to get us. Which makes me realize another one of my pet peeves: rogue alphabet letters.

17 July 2008

Plug for SLC

So, about three months ago I was paid to essentially go tour Salt Lake City for the better half of a day. Prior to that experience I have never realized what a nice town SLC really is. There is actually alot of cool stuff there, and its pretty clean and developed nicely in my opinion.

I need to make an excuse to go on another day trip. (Too bad it will be hard to get my office to sign on to another excuse and pay me for it, but you never know). Here is a fun picture I took from my recent excursion. I entitle it, Salt Lake City: deserted at 6:37pm

08 July 2008

life and death

This week turned out to be quite the eventful one.

It started on a sudden, but exciting note. My aunt delivered my newest cousin David earlier last week. He was born at 32 weeks and has had one crazy ride getting ready to be born. His mother was hospitalized multiple times during the pregnancy, and is still having to work through some very rare and serious conditions. David was born just a little under 4 lbs and with a full head of hair. He probably is the cutest kid I've seen in a long time. Here he is saying hello to all the folks who read my blog:

Unfortunately, the week ended on a very sad note. A good friend of the family, Craig Decker, drowned on Saturday while boating on the lake with his family. He dove into the rough water to retrieve some equipment that had been knocked over by a strong wind, and was overcome by the waves. Needless to say, it has been a tough blow to his family, our family, and so many others who knew and appreciated Craig.

As I reflect on the highs and lows, ebbs and flows, and the beginnings and endings of life, I am glad I have the perspective of the restored gospel of Christ to help me see a more complete picture of our existence and our purpose in life. My view on death is gladly adjusted by the deep assurance I have in the resurrection, the immortality of the soul, and the eternal nature of the family.

So, to my new friend David I say, "Welcome! We are glad to finally have you here but just because you finally can breathe on your own doesn't mean you need to slow down on your goals. Life only gets better after you learn to cook and feed yourself."

And to my departed friend Craig, "Thanks for everything. I'll see you in a few."

24 June 2008

Operation: Cash dispersal

Hey all! I just finished up working on the conference I haven been helping to plan/execute for the last 8 months. It was a great success, and I may blog about it soon when I get some photos of it. Notwithstanding its massive success, it came at a price...actually few of them.

Price #1: I put in a record 90 hours or work within 7 days (that even includes taking the Sabbath off). Good thing the place where I work has a bigger budget than most other university departments. I work well, but after 40 hours, I'm not cheap.

Price #2: I was running off of 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the week of the conference. To some of you this may seem normal, but to me, it took its toll on my sanity. I require a hefty dose of REM's to keep my mind from wigging out.

Price #3: Connected with the previous loss of sanity from lack of sleep, my well-being also suffered from a lack of good chocolate milk. I was forced to consume the U of U chocolate milk for 5 days over the course of the conference breakfasts. Don't get me wrong, I rarely refuse food in any form, yet compared with the glorious chocolate milk of my alma mater, this U's pithy substitute did little to medicate me in my moment of emotional need.

It was a crazy week, and it proved to be a little much in the end. I checked into 'overtime rehab' last Monday and didn't check out until Wednesday morning. I may have to write a little about that one too in a future post if enough people ask me continue asking me about it.

Anyways, on to the focus of this post. Needless to say, I now have a little more "disposable income" than I had budgeted for, and now need a few suggestions on how to eliminate it as fast as possible. Please kindly post any suggestions.

24 May 2008

it takes a village

The following is an open letter to all you folks who take time to visit my blog:

Most revered readers,

My sincere apologies to all y'alls for not writing very much in the last month. I know many of you spend almost 10-15 seconds a week checking this site out to see if I have spewed forth any new ridiculousness and/or finally made good on that promise to post that very real and completely authentic treasure map to the lost city of El Dorado.

Well, I haven't.

Sorry, but I am currently a little busy. If you would like to see what occupies most of my waking hours between 9-5pm six days a week, you may take a look by visiting this website: ICED2008.org

If you want to see what currently gets most of my attention from the hours of 4-7pm of many weekdays feel free to visit: here or here.

Lastly, if you still wonder why I don't seem to have enough time to sit down and contribute to the world wide blogosphere, its probably because I am trying to put a little more time/energy into this aspect of my life.

Lest you get overly excited for the forthcoming day when the aforementioned activities cease to take up much of my time, don't forget my favorite June pastime and this little resource that I hope to use much more often when work/school cools off, and the weather heats up.

So my loyal readers, although I hate to burst your blog-reading bubble, but you must realize that the summertime does not produce optimum conditions for me sitting at a computer with the sole purpose of dumping out my most obscure thoughts and travelogues. However, I promise not to be so stingy with my future postings as I was in the month of May.

Best regards,


29 April 2008

Bollywood bonanza

So last night some of my friends threw a Bollywood night. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Bollywood is India's equivalent to Hollywood. Despite being homeless at the time, and being engaged in a semi-casual search of a place to live, I couldn't in good conscience turn down an opportunity to eat some amazing home-cooked Indian food and watch a film with a dozen of my friends. It was a blast!

The best part of Bollywood night was that we watched a Bollywood film. Allison did some fantastic recon and found four or five different filsm we had to choose from. The one we finally settled on was Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Brave-hearted will take the Bride) starring one of the demi-gods of Indian pop film, Shahrukh Khan. Let me break it down for you:

I know of no good Bollywood films that have running times of less than 3 hours. This film was no exception. Melanie put it best when she commented after the movie, "I can't remember what life was like before we started watching that movie!" It was long, but it was power packed.

You see, in addition to being many hours long, each blessed Bollywood movie combines at least like 5 differnt genres. You gotta have the romance, you always have some of the kung-fu fighting (in all its obviously fake punching glory), you get musicals complete with the best choreography your eyes will ever witness, you are never at a loss for the comedy element, and always the good Indian culture/moral instruction throughout every film. Believe you me, any self-respecting Bollywood film has got the plot twists and turns to weave all these elements together like this was going to be the last movie ever produced. It's pretty crazy.

Another cool thing about Bollywood is that you always get the subtitles going off and on during the film. This happens because there is a good amount of English phrases that are scattered in the conversation. You will hear some over protecting father rail his son in Hindi, and then a few seconds later you hear "I'm sorry Pops." Quite the mix, let me tell you.

All in all, it was the best 4 hours I have spent yet in my spring/summer Monday nights. Not only did it get me psyched for cooking some mad Indian cuisine (in the kitchen of the new house I called about, looked at, and got a contract all in the course of the middle of the film) this next few months, but I now know a little better the meaning of the phrase "enduring to the end."

12 April 2008

bad drivers

I debated a long time about whether or not to actually tackle this topic. It's a sensitive one with the locals, and odds are I might be in Utah for a couple more years. So know this blog reader: I put my reputation, good name, and livelihood at stake with this post. You may ask then, why am I taking this issue on? All things considered, it all comes down to the fact that I just don't like coming two feet from death or injury every time I go out on the open highway here in Utah.

Something needs to be said. Something needs to be done.

Let me begin by building up my credibility in the matter. I've seen all sorts of drivers. I learned to drive on the I-5 freeway in southern California. I wasn't behind the wheel for more than a few minutes before my pop ordered me to go northbound (at the peril of both my life and his) and taste freeway smog before my first bout with driving was complete.

Later in life I served my LDS mission in New England. There are two types of drivers there: crazy slow ones, and just plain crazy ones. The great thing about drivers from Massachusetts is that they use their horn almost as much as they use their brakes. I learned the "Boston crawl" and how one can muscle their way into any line of traffic. I learned the true essence of "slow riding" in Maine where the "freeway" (there's tolls all over the place) speed limit is 55 at its best (and I'm bound by solemn oath not to drive the church cars even 1 mile over the limit) with snow and slush aplenty. Then of course there's the dirt roads in Vermont where you discover how 4 foot potholes can form overnight (and how to properly employ NASCAR swerving technique to avoid them).

I've lived in Seattle where I swear has lowest amount freeway space per capita on the planet. Lets just say that it is no coincidence in my mind that Pearl Jam and 'traffic jam' have more than one common denominator.

Nuff said...I've seen lots of different drivers with a large range of driving ability. It all apexes into one point. When I am driving outside Utah, I fear for my fender. When I drive in Utah (particularly Utah Valley), I fear for my life.

As I have now lived in Utah for a cumulative 5 years now, I think I have finally narrowed it down to a few things that makes me the most anxious about Utah-bred vehicle operators: they consistently run red lights, and they don't use their blinkers...ever.

I can't count on less than two feet the number of times I see people run red lights in the city of Provo on any given week. To them, the yellow light doesn't direct you to slow down. Rather, a yellow light gives a Utah driver license to increase their forward speed by 2-3x. More often than not, this increase of speed is still ineffective to get them past the light before it turns red. People, learn this simple mantra my driver's ed teacher from the inner city taught me: when the yellow shows, you just gotta slow.

I learned a new term when I moved up to Utah: t-bone. Never heard of that one in California...just fender bender and 48-car pileup.

Then there's the issue of the blinkers (or lack thereof). I can't even count on one hand the amount of times today that I a car merged right into my lane, right in front of me mind you, and didn't use their blinkers. And I only drove a grand total of about 5.7 miles. Seriously folks, it is ridiculous. Somethings gotta give, or I'm sure one day my prized 97' Geo Prism is going to get sideswiped by some no-brained, no-blinker...er.

It's not that Utah drivers aren't aware of the cars around them, no I think they are plenty aware of the people they choose to cut-off. Its more of a matter of what they aren't aware of: the basic rules of safety. ie. don't cut across two lanes at a time in the middle of rush hour traffic, and know what blind spots are.

Granted, California drivers aren't the easiest to get along with. I admit, we like to go fast, and we have the well founded reputation for not ever completely stopping at stop signs. But hey, at least we are safe. When we merge in 95 mph traffic, we always use our blinkers.

Lastly, I'm not one to just complain and not suggest a remedy. Here is my simple solution: we install in every intersection in Provo one of those cameras that monitors/takes pictures of the cars that run red lights and then instead of giving people tickets, we require them to swim in Utah lake for at least 15 seconds. I'm pretty sure that kind of consequence would scare everyone into a little more road safety.

11 April 2008

Haha #3

"Source analysis...it happens."
-Ray Pickett

Declared over the pulpit 24 Feb 2008 according my personal notes from that Sunday.

02 April 2008

secret of a good microwave

PREFACE: this post will be more of an opinionated rant than an informed declaration. Though many of you may think these two types of posts seem congruent in most blogs, I usually try to lean towards the former while keeping the appearance of the latter. This post however, will not pull any punches. That being said, on with the rant!!

Guess what we got last week in the kitchenette where I work....a new microwave!!

I am a strong proponent of a regular upgrading of key office supplies, especially the microwave since I bring my lunch most days of the week. This new appliance is a nice one by most standards: shiny white, Emerson 700W, model MW9710W, with a little turntable that spins around at a brisker speed than any other unit I've used in the past. I was pleased that the directors at our office cared that much about my personal lunchtime satisfaction , that they felt it important to provide all us employees with a brand new microwave.

Ah, but the dream didn't last long. You see, there's one huge problem with the new microwave: it is missing the most important feature that any good microwave must have...the 1 Min plus button!

You all know which button I'm talking about don't you? The single best button ever placed on a microwave is the 1 Min plus button. This button automatically starts cooking whatever you got in the microwave for 1 min instantly after you push it. No other action needed. You push, it cooks. Oooooh, and another key function of the button...if you push it again while your delicious food is still cooking, it just adds another minute to the cooking time. In short, this button is the most easy and effective feature ever designed by mankind in terms of modern kitchen appliances.

This little button makes cooking things in the microwave super-easy. Lets look at the facts: I think I went all of last summer cooking things in the microwave everday, while only using two buttons: the 1 Min plus button and the stop/clear button. I never had to worry about the whole long Cook-> mulitple # buttons->Start button pushing process...the 1 Min plus was all I needed.

Don't be fooled by the fancy footed marketing that some of the appliances tote these days, I would assert that any microwave that doesn't have this single feature is simply not worth the investment. In reality, I wouldn't even care if the microwave was missing the clock feature and/or the "8" button (I mean, who uses their microwave to keep time anyway?? and since when does a cooking time really require the number 8? C'mon! If you are using the number 8 when setting the cooking time for a microwave, you are either a real stickler for exactly how long your quesadillas are being cooked (i.e. 48 seconds), or you probably should be cooking whatever you got in a REAL oven).

Going back to my situation. Old work microwave: a little beat up, not quite as powerful, but had the 1-Min plus button. New work microwave: nice and shiny with 18 different buttons, but not the one that counts. I gotta to say that this single feature changes everything, and I can't honestly give my approval to any appliance that falls short in this matter.

Thanks for listening to my rant. And if per chance you hear a story in the news in a few weeks about some deranged grad student rewiring the office microwave into a time bomb...

No. Naw. Nope. No sir, don't point any fingers at me. I am going to the next building over for lunch, where they use a proper microwave. One that only requires me to press 1 button.

28 March 2008

Smart people

This week I attended no less than 5 lectures, each about different subjects. I didn't have class this week since my professor was out at a conference, so I needed to get my academic fix from other sources. My search was definitely not in vain. Here are some of the topics I heard about all within a 72 hour spread:
  • New church advertisement campaign
  • Emotional expression effects on children who witness IPV
  • Instructional design applications
  • Evolution of BYU's role in LDS higher education
  • Generating valuable discussion in interviews
I would have went to one on string theory too, but I slept in that day. Looking back I don't think it wasn't such a bad idea to skip that one after all, I think my head would have swollen to the size of a large watermelon trying to pack in another new concept, especially string theory. I mean seriously, 5 lectures almost put me into a knowledge induced coma. 6 lectures??!! Lets just not even go there.

All this exposure to so many new things made me come up with one core notion: there are alot of smart people out there!

And thank the heavens there are geniuses among us. Think about it, what would we have done if nobody ever invented being smart? I'll tell you: we'd all be idiots. Believe me when I tell you that we do not want to live in a world of idiots. Wasn't 7th grade as close as we ever need to get to that kind of nightmare?! Of course there's the argument that if we were all idiots then nobody would actually realize that he or anyone else was an idiot thereby eliminating any negative perception of our collective lower intelligence and blah blah blah ....yeah lets not get into the whole self-reference paradox thing. I think it's safe to say that the fact that there are geniuses living in the world at this very moment make our lives much better.

Here are just a few smart people from recent history that I think we should all pay a few moments of homage to for making this world a little better because they were smart:
Needless to say, we need more smart people to rise up and push the limits and make life better for the rest of us idiots. Thanks to all of you out there who are well on your way!

20 March 2008


Its March Madness, and thanks to my buddy Ian, I am in full swing this year. The only problem is every year I get roped into submitting a bracket for the Big Dance, without fail, it tanks within the first half of the first round, and of course I don't even have the morale to check up on how I am doing after all of the teams I thought would make it to the Final Four get upset in the Sweet Sixteen. It's really pathetic. Basically, what this whole mess comes down to is that I just really stink at guessing.

But not this year! No sir, this year I actually did some research on the teams that I picked. I looked at the numbers for the last 10 or so games of each of the team's seasons, checked a few injury reports, read up on some analysis on ESPN Sports, and of course consulted a my tarot card reading rubber chicken for some advice, and then put together a really solid bracket. I must say it is a work of art, especially if you are a UNC fan.

Then, just in case I was completely off, I made a different bracket called "What IF?" This bracket is essentially my pick of what would happen in BYU took the whole tournament. I don't know a single person who really thinks this will happen, but I wanted to see if by some strange miracle, I could predict BYU's greatest basketball season finish ever.

The funny thing is that at the time this post is being published my real bracket has already missed one pick out of five. My "What IF?" bracket.... still perfect.

So, I pose this question to all you who dare read this blog post within the first few hours of March Madness 2008:

What if ????

13 March 2008

Cognitizing taste

I work with a gal who is quite adept at talking about food. Discussing the culinary arts is one of my favorite pastimes, except of course on the occasions when I skip breakfast. On those days such a conversation feels like a strange mix between enlightenment and torture (which combination as it turns out feels alot like eating shredded wheat). We were discussing recipes one morning when I had a glorious realization.

Great cooks/chefs/bakers/etc. have the uncanny ability to 'cognitize' tastes. Much like a good photographer knows what the shot will look like before actually taking a picture, these marvels of culinary kind can accurately think what the taste will be like before the food is finished or even sometimes before being prepared. They are able to envision amazing things, like what two flavours will do when they meet each other in a stew. They seem to be able to predict the difference one ingredient will make in the food without having to give it an entire test run first. I submit this is a great ability nigh unto super-human.

Many people can't do this very well if at all. For example, I have a sister. She loves to eat yummy food. She also likes to cook the yummy food. The problem is that she only likes to cook the yummy food only when she is absolutely sure that it will turn out yummy. Thus, she lives and dies by recipes. I told her once about a fabulous chicken/rice dish my old roommates and I used to make (which we affectionately called Vomit) and how tasty it was. She calls me up later that month, really excited for a new cooking adventure, and asks me what the recipe is for Vomit. I responded by listing off
  • Chicken
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Cream Cheese
  • Onions
  • and on and on down the list...
She was appalled. "But HOW MUCH of all of that do you put in?" she immediately pressed. Came my unhelpful reply, "I don't know, just whatever you feel like until it suits you." Needless to say, she didn't try out our Vomit 'recipe' that weekend. Why? Because she just can't cognitze tastes!

Others in the world can cognitize tastes quite well however. I'm sure you know one or two in your life. Treat them well. Or if you aren't opposed to breaking one of the Ten Commandments, worship them even. They may at some point bestow upon you a scrap of food that falls from their mythical dinner table, or give you a slice of dessert that slightly fails to meet their omniscient gourmet standards. I guarantee you such an experience will be way better than eating shredded wheat.

03 March 2008

tired of being anemic

About 7 years ago I went in to have a blood test and discovered that I have a slight iron deficiency. This condition is by far not the worst thing in the world to have but it does have one slight side effect that seems to pop into my life every once and again: fatigue.

As my sleeping marathons are a thing of legend amongst my old roommates, there is a biological reason for their occurrence. I think my record is something like 17-18 hours in one stint. One day I saw a bumber sticker that really described it well,
"Consciousness: the short period that happens between naps."
Lately however, I have seemed to be doing pretty well in keeping the sleep times down to a regular rate...until last night.

I got home from the church broadcast and started to read next week's lesson on John the Baptist. Fifteen minutes later, I was out like a fat kid in dodge ball. I figured it was close to 9pm anyways and I would get an early start the next day so I went to bed. I woke up for while between 12-1:30am that I used to brush my teeth, check the e-mail, and get ready for the night. I eased in bed, and figured I'd get a good 8 total hours and wake up at 6:30. Next thing I knew....it was 10 o'clock in the bloomin' morning. So much for that plan.

So, I figure its about time to go on another iron-rich diet again so I don't single-handily throw off the worlds sleep statistics. If any of you happen to be cooking liver, asparagus, beef, lentils, kidney beans, or anything drenched in clam juice, just give me a ring! I'll be over there faster than a fireman on a caffeine binge.

If I don't answer...keep trying. (I'm probably asleep).

25 February 2008

Technology rocks my socks

This morning I was at work, doing my thing when I had a great realization. I had just finished sending off an e-mail to a few new professional friends in Western Australia when I realized that I had just been in a three-way e-mail conversation with two people located half-way across the planet. And the exchange was free, took only a few minutes to complete, and gave me instant resources that I needed right away...all from Western Australia!

Think about it. If I told someone about this event 50 years ago, they would have said it was impossible. 100 years ago, they would have laughed. 250 years ago, they would have burned me at the stake for advocating witchcraft.

Yeah, I'm a big fan of technology.

24 February 2008

status: engaged

Hahaha, I had y'all there for a minute didn't I? I bet you were thinkin, "Walker's engaged?! Praise the heavens...miracles still occur...my faith is renewed." Nope. Although I assure you that miracles still happen (as briefly referred to in an earlier post), the heavens are still closed in regard to my marital status.
But NOT for my sister's!!!!

No more than 4 hours ago my sister became engaged to be married to a great guy she has been dating over the last year. Needless to say, I am very pleased with this new development.

Their story is a good one. Indeed, one could say it has the most perfect beginning of any relationship story: they first met at the drive-through of an In N' Out Burger in Southern California. I mean honestly, with a start like that, how could the relationship end any other way besides, "Happily ever after?"

If this event alone does not prove the divine qualities of my favorite fast-food institution, I don't know what would. Congratulations C+J!!

p.s. dont forget to send me an invitation :)

20 February 2008

Musical Exegesis cont.

Sing us a song you're the piano man,
Sing us a song tonight.
Well we're all in the mood for a melody,
and you've got us feelin' alright.
-Billy Joel

Part II: Out of the Woods…and into the Gauntlet

In order to really understand the next phase of my musical development, it is necessary to briefly examine the technological revolution I engaged between the years of 1992-2000. It seemed for a while that every other year there was either a new format to adapt to or some new device to buy. This torrent of technology created a musical brain freeze that didn't quite calm down until the end of the decade, and surely had its impact on my preferences.

Technological Tune-up(s)

It was yellow, but sporty. It was bulky, yet sturdy. It was a tape-player, but it was portable. It was...a Walkman!

I think I was about 10 years old when I first obtained one of my very own. It must have had a battery life of about no more than 5 hours. But those were a good 5 hours, and they could be spent anywhere. I loved the fact that I could take my music wherever I went. This development coordinated perfectly with the mountain bike my father bought me in exchange for mowing the lawn every week for an entire summer. Many a bike ride to my friend’s house across town was complemented with my bulky yellow Walkman blasting some sweet tunes in my eardrums. Although this practice contributed to some minor hearing loss, my musical senses were sharpened and honed.

The musical drug of choice was usually some tape I found around the house. We had a couple of oldies compilation tapes that my parents got from some Shell Oil promo long before I entered the world. I learned to appreciate Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, especially since I could match his high range as I had a few years to go before puberty. The Doobie Brothers got me "listnen' to the music" and the Beach Boys taught me the many virtues of "California girls." Life couldn't get better...or so I thought.

It was on the day of my birthday that my mother presented me with what still remains my largest present by size/volume that I have ever received. Inside was a big black stereo; a boombox or 'ghetto blaster' if you will. Along with it came my very first two CD's. A Beach Boy's compilation and REM's Automatic for the People. After giving this new system a test run by playing "Man on the Moon", I soon knew the days of the magnetic tape with its 'rewind squeals' and 'high speed dubbing' were numbered. In no time at all, my music collection had quickly phased out cassettes to compact discs.

But of all the many musical delivery systems in my lifetime, none do I remember so vividly as my first portable cd player. I don't recall for exactly how many months I scoured the Best Buy ads looking for one that suited my fancy. I do however remember my excitement when I finally found 'the one' that I was going to buy. It was a super sleek silver Audiovox Discman. Since I had already tried out all of my buddies machines, I knew very well that if a cd-player didn't have at least a 10 second skip protection, it was worth about as much as a one legged table. Consequently I was happy to find out that this model had 15 sec skip buffer and ultra bass boost. I promptly procured a ride over to the store, and forked out the best 20 bucks I've ever spent. I hit the jackpot too. That little player lasted for quite a few road trips and hundreds of early morning cross-country bus rides before it met its well earned demise. With the appropriate technological armaments, I was ready to engage in a glorious period of bliss that all musical lovers reminisce upon with glee and fondness: the rise of the peer-to-peer sharing services.

Enter the Napster

Contrary to what any music label will try and tell you, file-sharing programs were the best thing to ever hit the music world. All at once, virtually every type of music was at the fingertips of anyone that had a computer device capable of soaking up bandwidth. Random acquaintances with cd-burners became good friends. Friends with cable modems became best friends. At the height of the late 90's anyone could access just about any song from any major group that made music from the 60's and onward (even Metallica if you were Naptser savy). Musical libraries were built up faster than Wal-Marts in the suburbs, and music-crazy adolescents like me were cashing in on this new resource.

By then my musical tastes had already been formed to some extent. I lived off the classic rock, and the hits of the oldies. I dabbled in some New Age but only if it was Enya. Despite having my regarded favorites, I will still up for a little experimentation.

I remember my buddies and I would have 'music burning fests' where we would gather at a house with the fastest internet connection we could find, a list of the stuff we wanted and about 15 blank CD-R's. I remember having the single "Hotel California" by the Eagles on one of my lists. Before the end of the night, I had both the Eagles greatest hits albums all on one cd minus the songs I had already previewed and dismissed as unworthy. This method of course had its faults as manifested by what happened when I brought home the disc and played it in my father's presence. When the disc was finished he turned to me and very sternly asked, "Why isn't Desperado on this cd?!" I had no good answer.

Of course my morals on music sharing have come full-circle and I now wholeheartedly respect the rights of musicians to receive a just remuneration for their services to mankind, but to a 16 year old kid with no idea about the breadth of music available to the itching ear, Napster was heaven-sent. I downloaded all sort of songs and listened to them sometimes only to delete them after a single play. I got to know just about every classic rock band that hit it big in the 70's and I knew all their hit songs. I must say that this motivated me to go and purchase many albums as a result of my exposure to all this input, but usually only the albums that were mostly full of good songs I already knew. After all, I think it was Confucius that said, "life's too short to listen to musical rubbish and pay 15$ for it."

In short, Napster and the other p2p sharing programs helped my musical tastes in two ways. First, I got to be exposed to a virtually infinite amount of new material. Second, I learned to prune my tastes, and only accept the 'best’ of what was out there. You could spend all day sampling, but when the cd playlist got finalized, only the quality had better remain. If somehow a lemon slipped under the radar, you were fiercely reminded of your bad judgment every single time you listened to the mix thereafter and eventually always ended up asking the same quintessential question, "What evil spirit possessed me to put Backstreet Boys on my Downtown Driving Mix?"

Haven't stopped reading yet? Well, now you have to because Part II is over. Get set for soon-to-be release of Part III of the musical exegesis including "The Two Year Fast" and "Rise of Acoustics."

18 February 2008


A co-worker of mine and I got on a tanget in the midst of a meeting a few days ago and somehow mexican panchos came up. This made me question 1st why I don't own a pancho, and 2nd where I can possibly obtain one as it is currently only 45 degrees outside and 800 miles north of the Mexican border.

On a side note, some buddies and I are off to conquer a mountain today. It should be fun, but there is a high chance there will be snow/ice/death near the top of the peak.

On another side note, If I die, bury me in a pancho.

15 February 2008

My Musical Exegesis

Exegesis: A systematic process by which a person arrives at a reasonable and coherent analysis or explanation.

I was humming in the shower today. This happens more often than not, but today it was a punk rock song that I haven't heard (much less hummed in the shower) in many moons. I realized that my musical tastes have changed significantly over the course of my lifetime and I mused at the thought that it would be fun to track and see the evolution of my musical taste. That being said, this may be a long, possibly painful, but hopefully amusing process. Let us begin.

Part I: Birth to Bedlam

Aside from the singing of heavenly choirs when I was born, I am not cognizant of any exact moment where my musical tastes really started to begin forming. I seem to remember that my parents had a goodly amount of music around during my early childhood years. In fact, I remember we had an old school vinyl record player and a small collection of records that we played once in a blue moon. Included within the collection was The Beatles ‘Revolver’, Bill Cosby (not music per say but still a great record), and another record with lots of flower power and paisley art on the cover. No doubt this mystery album was a product of the 70's, and my best guess it was the Mama's and the Papa's. Speaking of Mom and Pops, it was my parents who primarily influenced my musical taste during this phase of my life, and of course it being well into the eighties, some of these influences were less than ideal.

Example A: One of my first musical memories occurred while driving in the family car when I was about four or five years old. Back then, we lived in the south part of L.A. My father's family lived just an hour or so up the coast, so we would often drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH) to visit. My love for the beach was cultivated during these drives as I watched the coast out the window and listened to the tunes on the radio. It was on one of these visits that I was scarred forever. I distinctly recall hearing a certain song played on the radio. It was over two decades ago, but I'm 99% sure it was "Straight Up" sung by Paula Abdul. Don't ask me how I remember this, I can't explain it and even if I could…I wouldn't want to explain it. This particular instance was significant because I remember realizing that I had heard this song before, driving up the PCH, around the same time of day on an earlier day.

In my five year old mind I started to think deeply as only five year olds can. I eventually determined that since I had heard the song played at a similar time of the day (2:00) before, in the very same place (PCH) as before, the radio MUST know to play that same song every time we were driving up the beach at 2:00 in the afternoon. It was pure genius. I remember feeling a glad satisfaction I had figured out another small piece of my ever-expanding world.

Fast forward to a subsequent trip down the PCH. It was a sunny day, around 2:00 in the afternoon. I remember it very clearly...almost like it was yesterday. I waited anxiously for the clock in the car console to blink form 1:59 into 2:00. According to my five year old reasoning Paula Abdul was surely to come on sometime soon after 2pm. However, the magic moment was not to come. 2:00 turned into 2:15 within no time at all, and I still did not hear the song I had expected to hear. This is the first real moment in my life I remember experiencing true disappointment. In fact, I think this episode is the foundation of my undying hatred toward the world of pop music. Even looking back on the experience and acknowledging my lack of thorough reasoning on the matter, I still believe my current resent for eighties pop music is still correctly founded.

Ever since then, I have not turned to the corrupted airwaves for direction in my musical consumption, as many in society seem to do in this day in age. No my friends, instead, I have relied on my immediate friends and family to supply me with music worthy of my ears. And I have not been disappointed...

My next phase of musical development was comprised of all the auditory nonsense that kids are exposed to through things like television and more specifically in my case, TV theme songs. To this very day, I can quote...verbatim mind you...every word of the Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Inspector Gadget theme songs (even as I write this I am quietly mumbling...go gadget gooo, ba dum dit dit bum bum, ba dum dit dit bum bum ).

TV theme songs get drilled into the heads of impressionable children like myself primarily because of two very significant reasons:

  1. Repetition. Every single Saturday morning at 8:30am kind of repetition. Such exposure leaves its mark and is not easily removed in this life or in the life to come.

  2. Tv Themes are a superb blend of both compression and "catchyness." Within 30 seconds one not only learns the detailed history of how four small turtles acquired kung-fu mastery but can also be indocrinated in the eternal struggles of good vs. evil and pepperoni vs. three cheese pizza.

These TV themes not only left their impression upon my long-term memory, but upon my musical psyche as well. At a young age, I formulated a pre-disposition to quick and captivating tunes that would set the stage for the next great development in my musical journey.

Turn in next time for Part II of my musical exegesis beginning with the "Walkman revolution."

14 February 2008

it's about time...

Everyone hear the good news? The writer's strike...is over! You may now rightly expect that this blog will start to have some decent content on it.

13 February 2008

Haha #2

Here's a good one I heard today:

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” -Jack Handy

05 February 2008

multiple personalities

Today for lunch I was eating the results of my very first attempt at cooking fried rice, enjoying it thoroughly (as my Chinese roommate is a great chef trainer), and found myself trying to evaluate the overall success of my culinary experiment. I took a few bites, munched on the mouthfuls of rice for a while, and said to myself:
"Self, this probably needs a little more soy sauce next time."

Then...to my surprise, another voice (distinct from the first one mind you) shot back,
"You idiot! Why don't you just enjoy your food for once instead of trying to get all 'perfectionist' about it? It’s YOUR FIRST TRY AT FRIED RICE...so what if it's not exactly 'soy sauced' the way your Iron Chef roommate makes it?! If I have to listen to another one of your deluded criticisms again I'll..."
Just then the first voice cut back in,
"Now hold on right there a minute. I was merely suggesting that the dish could be improved upon our next attempt by adding a few tiny drops of..."
It was at this very moment, that I came to a realization of something I have never realized before:
I have multiple personalities.

And they only come out when I'm eating...usually by myself.
Er... I mean selves.

This fact actually explains quite a bit now that I reflect upon various and totally bizarre occurrences I have experienced during my lifetime. For example, every once in a while I will have a sudden and profound craving for something very particular. Lets say this time it might be ummm...a turkey sandwich.

I of course follow my stomach's promptings because for the most part it has done a fine job at keeping me alive thus far. So I gets on my shoes, drive over to the deli and proceed to examine the menu for a turkey sandwich. No sooner than right after I have examined the menu, something strange happens...I suddenly get this thought,
"No, you don't really want a turkey sandwich. That breaded chicken one is what you need."
I then begin searching the menu for that breaded chicken sandwich I just read about. Pretty soon, I'm about to order when I get hit with another snag...
"Mmmm this time get extra tomatoes. It really doesn’t matter what the meat is, as long as you get a tower of tomatoes along with it. Tomatoes will make all your troubles in life go away."
Before I know it, I've switched again from tomatoes to ketchup, then decide that ketchup only came up because of that suspiciously tasty corn dog I had in third grade, and that the corn dog thought was just a way of unconciously reminding myself that I needed to make a vanilla milkshake.

How does something this crazy happen to a more-often-than-not rational person like myself? There can only be one answer:
Multiple personalities.

Eventually I can't take it anymore and leave the deli, (without buying anything) only to go home, walk through the door, plop myself on the couch...and decide that a cheese enchilada would really hit the spot.

30 January 2008

Engaging the ebbing economy

The Fed cut interest rates again today. Wow. Two times in 9 days? Good gravy! That's more often than I do laundry. Anyhow, this combined with all the hoo-haw about a possible recession is making alot of people worry about the economic health of our nation. I wasn't too shaken up by all the talk of economic trouble until I came upon a very disturbing discovery just recently. Allow me to explain.

I woke up at 8:26 on Tuesday morning. Normally the time doesn’t phase me considering my lack a rigid schedule at this point in my life, but Tuesday is one of the three days of the week I absolutely have to be conscious and on campus by 9am. I scrambled and got going in lightning speed. No time for breakfast, but hey no problem. There is one easy solution that I historically turn to in moments of caloric or emotional need:

BYU Creamery Chocolate Milk!

As far as I am concerned this wonderful drink is about as close to legally marketing bottled happiness as it gets. Aside from a laughing at a funny joke or a 3-4 mile run, this is the fastest way I know of to introduce endorphins into the bloodstream. As I walked up to campus in the chilled air, I happily thought that drinking a chocolate milk would be just a perfect start to a great day.

However, my morning bliss was rudely interrupted by the depressing discovery I made as I started to surrender my cash money into the vending machine. As I looked down at the price of my favorite beverage I realized that something was wrong...something was very wrong. Instead of the familiar 1.10 that usually smiles at me from item #55, I saw a ghastly 1.15. You read correclty folks, one dollar and FIFTEEN cents! What has this world come to? I've been attending BYU off and on for the last 7 years. I've seen tuition raised six times, been hounded by the Choose to Give campaign every year, and even seen an 45% rate increase in the student sport pass price but no, not once have I recieved such a punch to the financial gut of this magnitude before.

When I finally regained some composure, I tried to come to grips with the new dreary reality I was now encountering. What kind of dire economic straits could have motivated such a price hike? Has the increase of campus construction projects really strained the budget enough to generate cause for the BYU administration to now literally "nickel and dime" all the loyal consumers of chocolate milk? Unfortunately, I had no clear answers. Fortunately, I had a nickel.

In my quest for breakfast Tuesday morning I had a personal showdown with all the economic fears that you hear about in the news. I had faced inflation, and gave it mighty battle. I lost that battle, but in the end I realized the silver lining to the dark economic clouds. Now I have uses for all types of coins: all my pennies go into a sock that I can use to combat possible assailants, quarters provide for to my laundry demands, and now both dimes and nickels can fund the closest thing I have to an addiction: BYU Creamery Chocolate Milk.

28 January 2008

warming up for super tuesday

Source unknown.

“Here’s my take on the 2008 presidential race. There’s no doubt history is in the making. We may have either the first Black president, the first Woman president or the first Mormon president. Why not kill three birds with one stone, elect Gladys Knight and call it a day?”


Heard this one the other day.

Question: What's the difference between a high school history teacher and a large pizza?
Answer: One can feed a family of four.

26 January 2008

burrito of providence

At about 7:05pm tonight I hit up the drive-thru of a local mexican food haven I frequent from time to time. The order was simple: a ham breakfast burrito. The price was even simpler: $3.33. The situation turned sour however as I realized right before it was my turn to pay that in my wallet I had only three dollar bills and a twenty.

I sat in a catatonic stupor for about 3.33 seconds: I really didn't want to break the twenty.

THEN, like a flash of inspiration I reached down into my almost forgotten car spare change compartment and there they were: two dimes, two nickels, and three shiny pennies. I probably would've sat there for another 3.33 minutes and reveled in the moment except there was a car behind me that was filled with guys who looked hungrier than I was.

A few minutes later, I happily exited the drive-thru with a burrito containing enough calories to power the starting lineup of the L.A. Clippers, and a empty change cup. And people say the days of miracles are past...

Take that procrastination!

There, it's done. I finally created a blog. Cross that item off my list! I should probably work on a few more items, but Ian just called me up to go watch a movie with the guys. I'll get back to the list sometime tomorrow.