31 December 2009

wrapping up 2009

Here are some pictures I took whilst doing 80 on a lonesome highway somewhere around here:

View Larger Map

My Last Utah Sunrise of 2009

Grand Canyon N. Rim Forrest


Into the Valley


I sing when I drive by myself

Here are some AZ shots when I wasn't going so fast:






22 December 2009

Subconcious rambling

Yesternight I had a wicked cool dream.

I was part of an elite commando squad charged with infiltrating the enemy. I was hanging around in my old elementary school cafeteria (which we all know is the best place ever to conduct wartime espionage), when all of a sudden I saw Hitler bolting across the room toward the door! I sprang into action and took down his ugly and frail Nazi business to the ground. It was a piece of cake (one, because he was old and weak; and two because everything is always really easy or insanely hard in dreams).

Once that was done, I figured the war was over so I started to walk home. Home to my bombed out village in New Mexico that is. I was mad. Partly because the Germans had bombed my tiny pastoral village, but mostly because the bus system was down because of the war and I had walk the whole way.

Luckily, I met up with this really gorgeous friend of mine and we walked together part of the way. Then she got tired, and so I had to sling her on my shoulder while she took a nap. I got tired of carrying her around, so I broke into an abandoned house and let her sleep in one of the beds while I went and tried to catch a bus.

The bus system still defunct, I decided I had just better finish walking home. I arrived at my village and saw that there were tons of homes that were all bombed out, and some that were just fine. My house happened to be in the "blown to pieces" category, so I was pretty disappointed.

Yup.

16 December 2009

merry christmas

This link is to my notes for a Christmas address I gave to the Mormon church congregation I belong to last Sunday.

14 December 2009

Quote of the yesterday #5

"Mandolin?! Is that like a violin...for a man??"
-Lady Lisa

07 December 2009

correspondence with the elements

The following is my open letter to the weather.

Dear Old Man Winter,
Greetings and salutations you old quack. I knew you would show your ugly face sooner or later. I secretly hoped you got stuck in the Canadian tundra, but it seems as though you found your sweet way to the valley once more to torment me again. Don't take this personally, but I despise you.

I hope you don't mind me being frank, as our relationship goes way back. Remember the time you showed up that one November morning in Maine and helped me slide off the road? Or last year when you left me a present on the top of that roof when I was hanging Christmas lights that almost spelled my doom? Yeah, those were fun times. Thanks for finding ways to frequently remind me of our incompatibility.

I know I shouldn't be completely harsh on you. I don't think I ever properly thanked you for that snowstorm or two that provided for the appropriate context for some fun outings with that beautiful girl. But, don't consider that one favor as a flag of truce between you and I. One good deed is not enough to wash away a lengthy record of consistent indiscretions. And I didn't initiate this conversation to call off the war between us.

No, the real reason I am writing this letter is to ask a simple favor. This year, instead of usual spreading of hateful remarks and continuing my regular practice of slandering your name amongst my peers I figured I would attempt some civility. I assume you are going to be tarrying around here for a while, but I was just wondering if you could intersperse a day of sunshine every Saturday for the next two months. I know it might be an inconvenience to you, but lets face it, 'inconvenience' is your middle name! It would really mean alot to me if I didn't have to worry about the roads being awful every time I drove up the road to the temple at 545 in the morning.

Think it over some. Try it out for a few weeks. Let me know what you think. Just don't do anything rash is all I am saying. Otherwise I will have to file a formal complaint with the authorities.

Cold regards,

Mr. Walker

26 November 2009

Ben is a genius

My friend's briliant idea for his 4 month old's first Halloween.

24 November 2009

paradigm shift

This morning I came to work and my classroom seemed different. Alot of my decorations were missing, my books were not the subjects they usually are, and there was all sorts of quadratic looking rubbish scribbled on my white board.

I commented on this strange phenomenon to a few of my boys who instantly burst into snickering laughter. You guessed it. I was a victim of a high school senior prank. And so was the math teacher!

When my linear teaching associate came later we all had a jolly laugh about the whole thing. But then as school time and the rest of the boys started to arrive, we decided to have a little fun. Right as school started, the math teacher looks at me and asks "What am I teaching today?"

I responded without a pause, "The Berlin Wall just fell down. What do I got?" "Algebra II" was the answer. Got it.

So, while my buddy taught the Czech factory workers revolution and Tienanmen Square, I taught the square roots of irrational numbers and 'factoring' irregular equations. This proved slightly difficult since the last math class I attended was nigh unto a decade ago. However, I did manage to pull off some pretty nice off-the-cuff Algebra.

It was a blast, and the boys had no idea how to take it all. Some of them were amazed we could teach both subjects. Some of them just kept asking questions like I actually knew math. It was a riot. Chew on that senior pranksters!

04 November 2009

A Poetic Rant

It is not enough to complain, you need to be heard.
You won't be heard by just speaking. You need a message clear enough to hear.
You won't be heard if you use only words. Your actions personify your message.
Can you see what I am talking about? Am I being clear?
Understanding precedes appropriate action. Do you understand?

Questions help build the bridge of understanding.
Just don't assume you can already see what is on the other side.
If we are honest, we will admit we don't.

The truth is you may find yourself on the same side after the bridge is built
The side that doesn't know how to solve the problem

Problems are solved with solutions, not by yelling at them.
I never met a math equation that backed down after I cursed at it.
People are not problems. Don't yell at people.
Most problems always have multiple solutions. Most solutions, have names.
People have names
Like you

I know your name
I wish I knew your problem
Either way, they need us to find a solution
What do you have to say about that? Will that be a problem for you?

Working with me?
And not against me
To create a solution
And understand the problem
To see our voices in our deeds
The bridge that answers our true question:
"Can you hear me?"

In the end, I sometimes hear the "no." But I still live for the "yes."
And that is enough for me

03 November 2009

haha #5

"Keep hand higher on the lady's back."
-First line on my buddy's Dance 180 foxtrot evaluation form

31 October 2009

Orcs Orcs Orcs!

For those of you who don't know my current roommate, he is a full -time cool roommate, part-time cool film maker guy. He works on films in multiple capacities (e.g. writer, art department, visual design) and loves his craft.
His latest project is titled Orcs! Orcs! Orcs! If that isn't the coolest name for a film you have ever seen I will buy you a pizza. Seriously. Think about it, what kinds of images flood your mind as you ponder that name? Whisper them with me...orcs, broken shields, magical adventure, orcs, mud, Lord of the Rings, pointy teeth, orcs, death, destruction, sweet awesomeness... Orcs! Orcs! Orcs! How could a movie with this title NOT be amazing????


Without question, this film is one that will inherit one of two destinies:
  • Capture the minds and hearts of the American public for generations to come
  • Go completely unnoticed by the masses except by Japanese sci-fi channel enthusiasts
Which side will win? You and I must decide.


This guy knows what team he is on! Team Orcs!

Check out these resources to help sway your allegiance:

http://orcs-movie.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orcs-Orcs-Orcs/125277308156

Anyways. A bunch of my friends were cast as extras and we are super stoked to see the film when it is "released" to a small theatre in Utah Valley early next year. Until then, my buddy is waiting to get royalties checks from all the cable networks that will pick this one up in one to two heart beats.

26 October 2009

cool new internet toy

I might be one of the few who is into stuff like this, but this website proves I'm not alone.

http://textalyser.net/

Word density analysis made easy! You should try it out.

24 October 2009

Operation: Classroom Decor

Yesterday the academic director of my school handed me a check for 200 bones...cash money.

However, there was a catch. Here is how the conversation went down.

P: "Here is a check for 200$"

W: "Whoa, thanks! I knew all those times I told the boys to not waste paper would eventually catch up to me with good karma."

P: "Actually, there is a catch."

W: ????? <--- (sully expression of anticipated disbelief)

P: "The CEO wants you to spruce up your classroom with more decor. He wants your room to reflect your personality more."

W: What if my personality is boring and dull?"
(I am the history teacher for crying out loud. Isn't that one of the job requirements?)

P: "Sorry. Sometimes you have to do things at your job that are hard or impossible. I am sure you will manage. Just remember to save your receipts."

W: "What if one of my decorations is a shelf full of history documentary dvds?"

P: -smiles- "I'll think about it. Get a few more things besides that though."


So, I need suggestions on what to decorate my history class with that reflect my personality. I already have put together a small list:
  1. American flag that is roughly the size of a small soccer field. (Every history class needs one of those)
  2. This picture.
So that still leaves me with about 167$. What else should I get. My classroom is only about 20'x22' so a merry go round is out. That's about all I got.

22 October 2009

reading my blog is good for you

"I've been sayin' it. For ten ----years I've been sayin' it. Ain't I been sayin' it, Miguel? Yeah, I've been sayin' it. "

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-study-finds-that-searching-64348.aspx



ps 10 points to the first one who can name the film quoted above.

20 October 2009

Soreness

Did my first route ever at a rock climbing gym today with one of my boys.

Learned the true meaning of:
  • V-1
  • "bump"
  • bulging forearms
...and it only cost me one blister.

18 October 2009

new words

A long time ago, I graduated college and went to work with my pal up in Washington state. We painted parking lots...at night...all night...for loads of cash. We would keep ourselves sane by chatting in the truck as we drove from job to job. Sometimes we would make up words to fit the nature of the conversation, with little regard for the English language. One of my favorites went something like this:

7:20pm Kent, WA

W: "Dude, where are driving to first tonight?"

B: "Everett or Bellevue. I vote we go north."

W: "Fine by me. (they are both north) Freeway it is."

B: "Aaaggghhhh, curses. The freeway is piznacked!"

W: "Sure enough sucka, we're in a tight spot. Good thing we are on the clock."

Yeah. I used the word piznacked the other day in another conversation. The other person with whom I was conversing did not have a clue what I meant. I thought I would elaborate per blog.

What other cools words have you/we made up?

14 September 2009

Sandbox therapy

I learned how to do a play therapy technique called "Sandbox" a few days ago at work. The therapist I work with lets me come to group sessions sometimes and listen in. This time we had a boy that usually dosent attend group because he is a little too restless/reactive. However, today the therapist did a Sandbox. Heres how it works:

The method is versatile, but always includes a few key elements. The members of the session are invited to take manipulatives (toys, drawing materials, objects) and arrange them according to how they feel or perceive about a situation or context. Then you discuss what is constructed and talk in terms of the manipulative.

Two of the boys got a hold of the fireman/police figurines and a white board. Before just a few minutes they had drawn an elaborate depiction of "how they felt the group was doing in general": this included a picture of a giant house on fire with two firemen putting it out, one fireman running away with a lunch box, and the last one using his fire ax to kill innocent bystanders. After a few moments of guided introspection, the therapist magically got the boys to spill some of their deepest darkest anxieties by focusing on the "firemen" and how "the toys" each felt and dealt with the situation.

Quite the technique eh?

You have no idea. I actually got to practice it out in a discussion a few nights later with my roommate about his frustrations with current dating prospects. Before we knew it, a pile of socks and a cell phone were transformed into my homeboy on the possible paths to love that lie before him. Four days later he was on date #3 with a girl.

Yup. Chalk that one up in my 'random collection of skills and obscure training' list. Right underneath the "teaching Buddhist meditation techniques to 13 year olds" entry.

p.s. Tonight is Beatles Rock Band night at our house. We are competing with the premier of "The Office" so we will see who are true friends are...or at least which of our friends don't watch network television.

08 September 2009

sad day

Lets play a game. Its called "What's wrong with this picture?"


Let me point out some key elements:
  • Brian is sitting next to his car.
  • Brian is sad.
  • Brian's car has no CA license plates.
  • The car is filthy because it rains dust where he lives, for it is a desert filled with bad drivers that Brian constantly bad mouths and labels per their distinctive license plate of which he now shares a common trait.
Yeah. Synthesize all those observations and you can determine their relationship/connection with each other.

Alas, there is a silver lining to this tragic event.


NEW CLASSROOM WALL DECOR!

Deep Thinking: Economy

I was at dinner with one of my chums tonight, and we got talking about what makes a great economy. I'm not econ major, but I'm getting to being a decent consumer so I guess that makes my whimsical thoughts at least worth blogging. Here is what I got. I'd love some constructive input or cool POV's on the subject. Its messy and scattered, but is fun to write.

Assumptions:
  • A good economy serves the needs and wants of its consumers.
  • It is in someone's best interest to serve others interests.
  • A person-person relationship is a highly desired function of consumerism
  • Individuality and variety are also desired traits
  • Most consumers are self-aware of their needs and wants
Elements of an Effective Efficient Economy:

  • Low concentration of large quantity suppliers and high concentration of small specialized experts with networked access to producers

Lets get one thing straight, places like Wal-Mart have their place. When there are basic goods that everyone needs access to, and we already know how to make them very well (e.g. like making papers plates, napkins, nails, or door hinges), we should have a place where these type of things are available to the masses in great supply and cheap cost. HOWEVER, for most goods this is not helpful to local business, individual identity/culture, or innovative progress. What this looks like in an ideal economy is a giant hardware store with tons of practical goods. Home Depot has got this down fairly well. Its basically a general supply store with tons of options and basic goods.

In an ideal economy there would be these type of stores. However, for most specialty goods (including clothes, most food, entertainment, rare goods) there would need to be a different way of obtaining them. The secret to satisfying the specific needs of the consumers is to have high instance of specialized experts in the production/distributing sector. When I have a specific need, it dosent make any sense for me to become an expert in everything I buy, albeit interesting and fun at times. The fact of the matter, is that I need to spend less time thinking about consuming and less time consuming so I have more time to do other stuff, (like producing my own cool services).

Solution: I go to the expert who I can detail my request and get feedback on what my options are and introduce me to the proper variety of available goods and services. I then make an informed choice, and then proceed. For choices I make repeatedly, I slowly become the expert as I become more educated about the options and provide this service to others.
  • Prolific access to information/communication
  • Super-streamlined and efficient shipping system

(i might still work on this one a little)

31 August 2009

telekinesis

Turns out I'm a big fan of telekinesis. I am still unsure if I have actually witnessed the actual phenomenon with my own eyes, but must confess the idea intrigues me. I mean, if I could move with my mind what I didn't feel the drive to move it with my hands, what would I do? This serious question calls for some serious pontification. Let us proceed.

Situation #1: It's the one that's just begun, but evidently it's too late... Sorry, my roommate is playing the guitar and I got off track there for a moment.

Scenario #1: (Ah, much better.) The Dreaded Grocery Store Mishap
Ever been at the market and the item you need it higher than arms length away?! Sure, guys like Gavin Giraud never have this problem, but short-stacks like myself could use a good dose of telekinetic powers at moments such as these. I'll get you soon bottled pesto sauce...mark my words.

Scenario #2: Billiards
Playing the pool balls could get really interesting if you could give the gamely spheres a little nudge with your mind. Then the only pocket you would have to really worry about is the one in your jeans and how its going to be loaded with all your winnings from scamming your pool-playing associates that like to bet on their cues.

Scenario #3: Procuring the Salt and Pepper
Yeah, no more mealtime manners and quaint requests for the condiments, just stick out your hand and catch em' like a fly ball.

Scenario #4: Lights out
When sleepy time is nigh, and you lack the wherewithal to get up from your blankets, walk to the wall, shut the light off, and attempt to navigate back through the blackened abyss that bedroom becomes whilst avoiding injury from rogue items on the floor...telekinesis baby. Solves it every time, every night, every Sunday afternoon when Walker gets home from church.

Scenario #5: Public Restroom
Those mental powers could come in handy when avoiding germs is your priority, cause there is no way any part of my body is going to physically touch some of what I've seen in those stalls.

Scenario #6: Taking down random holiday ornaments from 3-story house ceilings and roofs
I don't know how tall that ladder was that you used to get that reindeer statue up there, but its about 33 feet too far away from the crust of the Earth to make me want to go retrieve it myself. However, with my handy-dandy telekinetic abilities that I acquired through years of solitude and meditation in the Tibetan tundras, I'll go ahead and snag it before you fall to a painful gravity-induced demise.

Yep. Got to get me some of that.

24 August 2009

Tall tales and classroom madness

So, today I was teaching about the New Jersey and the Virginia Plan, and philosophizing about the greatness of the Constitutional Convention. I was getting pretty into it, when before I know, it I am in the middle of a heated discussion of whether or not there is a McDonalds ball play pen in the US Capitol Building. No foolin. :)

Here is how we got started off on that glorious tangent.
















Sometimes I can't believe I was ever once a teenage boy.

17 August 2009

the only way to injest fiction

video

Storytime Robyn at her finest.

This reading comes from "The Witches" by R. Dahl.

Pure brilliance.

25 July 2009

Moab Madness

To commemorate the holiday of pioneer-age I decided to dehydrate myself as quickly as possible. The ideal location turned out to be Moab, Utah. Attached are some visual documentations.











12 July 2009

blast from the past

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir just announced a new Associate Director.

I'm no music major, but I'm stoked about Ryan Murphy being installed because he actually directed the only choir I have ever sang in. It was my freshman year in college, and my pal Mikey and I decided to sing in a Chorale group that was open admission (hence how I was accepted). I can say from months of personal experience that we can expect some great things to happen on his account. This man is brilliant. Now its just another reason why I can barely wait till Oct Conference.

10 July 2009

Flash point

I did it.

I finally bought a digital camera.

I know I've talking about it for years....

Now its a reality.

Why did I wait so long?

Lots of reasons.

All of them superficial,

But effective.

Sam tells me that I live an inertial lifestyle.

Maybe he is right.

But not today.

07 July 2009

congrats katie!


I don't know she still follows my blog, but my friend Katie just delivered her first this morning. Congrats Katie and Patrick on your baby girl!

Can you dig it?

Today we had our first dig site for my archaeology class I teach. It was hilarious! I buried like 30$ worth of thrift store antiques in a field that my school owns about three weeks ago, and I took my favorite group of students out there for their first field dig. I have never seen teenage boys enjoy digging around in the dirt for items of equal-or-lesser value than a cheeseburger more than I did today.

After about 20 minutes they started to lose some steam, then I told one of the boys in jest that there might be a slurpee buried another foot underneath where he was digging. The mysterious slurpee was never recovered, but James now has a nice callous and a broken shovel to prove he wasn't going to pass up a chance that it might exist.

Stats for the Dig:
Artifacts recovered: 16
Claims of heat stroke: 204
Actual cases of heat exhaustion: .5
Cubic ft of dirt excavated with 99 cent garden trowels: 8
Boys who now want to become professional Archaeologists: 6/6

20 June 2009

lawnmover man

Today I mowed a lawn for the first time in like a year. Cutting grass is one of my favorite pastimes for many reasons. When I am overly lazy/tired, all I need to do to get the blood flowing is fire up the mower and take it to town errr....the backyard. Landscaping generally engenders the sweet cocktail of brow sweat and freshly cut grass. A winning combination indeed.

Hmm...
They should seriously make that into a cologne for manly men.
Seriously.

In the event that I have had problems with false doctrine that week, all I do is imagine that each of the blades of grass is a misconstrued claim and I just chop them all up thousands at a time. Okay, maybe I don't really do that, but I COULD, and THAT'S the beauty of lawn mowing.

You should all try this out. Its summer, you got neighbors who have yards and mowers. You got the need for friendly service. You got to make it happen. Trust me.

16 June 2009

Hi friends.

I just wanted you to know that you are swell. Thanks for being a part of my life today. :)

-Walker

06 June 2009

zions trip may 2009





The bros and I ventured to Zions National Park last month. It was pretty rad to have everyone there with the kiddies and spouses. Stevo took over 600 pictures for us, and combined with B&K, the Pickups and the Allreds we totaled almost a 1,000. Here are some of my favorite:








01 June 2009

"Peace out" to Italia

Dear Robyn, Kristyn, and Abby,

I noticed that someone from Italy dropped by my blog the other day. I have a striking suspicion that it may have been you girls. Hope your trip to has been fun and exciting. Eat some genuine pesto for me! I expect a detailed report and recreation if possible.

Arrivederci,

Walker

18 May 2009

"word" to the sur

Dear Louis,

I saw on my Google analytics that someone from Chile checked my blog a few days back. Since you are the only one I know remotely connected to Chile at the present, I just wanted to give you an official hi and hope that you are living it up with the science, shiving, and the siestas.

Rock on bro.

-B Walker

16 May 2009

License to teach

So guess what,

I am a school teacher,

at a high school,

where I teach history,

and have the key to my own classroom.

ISN'T THAT NUTS??!!

I just finished the Cold War with my US History/World Civ class and the US Cabinet with my Government class.

I gave my first semester grade yesterday. He got an A-

Ummmmmm, so thats why I haven't been blogging a ton, or at all. Its because I actually am doing something productive and using my college degree for something other than a file separator.

More to come. Send me ?'s and I'll shoot out some answers.

18 March 2009

Instructional design

For those of you who don't know what instructional design is, you are wrong. You actually do. We all know what it is, but some of us don't know what to call it, or even recognize it when it happens.

Here is a decent definition of instructional design.

Most people participate in instructional design on a regular basis. Parents are the ultimate instructional designers. If you have ever tried to teach something to somebody, you have (albeit perhaps a bit unconsciously) done some instructional design.

Instructional design is something I do all the time. Lets call it one of my favorite hobbies (mostly because I am not getting paid yet to do it professionally yet). I enjoy it, and am getting better and better with each formal try.

Here is my latest attempt. This is a simple method for creating a meaningful scripture study with a ordered string of connected goals to use the method with. I worked it out in mind for those of us who need to rediscover the power of scripture study. I'd love some feedback, especially if you want to try it out with me.

16 March 2009

quote of the yesterday #4

An exchange from last night's unsolicited reading time commentary:

Allison: "Puberty."
Brian: "Pirate puberty?"
Louis: "Hmmm. Hits you like a freight train."

11 March 2009

Quote of the yesterday #3

Other hiker: "Good day for snowshoes! How far back in the canyon did you go?"
Me: "Follow the trail until there is only one set of tracks and then follow those tracks until they stop. About that far."

06 March 2009

newsflash

I got into grad school...again.

But this time I am actually going. (I just hope I can pay for it!)

Take a look at what I will be studying.

04 March 2009

Breakthrough

Most of you know that I am into family history. Something awesome happened in the last few days that I am completely stoked about:

I crossed the Atlantic!

(Well, more precisely, my great-great-grandparents did back in the 1860's)

But I finally traced a few of them back to England before they did and now am rocking the proverbial family tree with some serious genealogical research. You have no idea, I actually had how to use the olde microfiche records (which of course I taught myself since all the FHL folks had gone home at 10:30pm and I was dying to take a look at some old parish records).

So yeah, I am a happy camper in late-industrial Lancashire for the time being.

Cheers.

28 February 2009

hit the nail on the head

I agree with this chap 100 percent.



You are sitting in a chair...in the sky!

20 February 2009

Remember when...

...we stayed up too late and made a ridiculous movie?

video

I may be biased, but 3:26-3:53 is pretty much the best 27 seconds of dubbed video footage ever produced. Seriously, Mikey's face at 3:31 is pure genius. Just in case you missed it, here it is in full effect.

video

I swear we must have watched that clip like 3,000 times when we lived in Apt 207. I don't recall Third Eye Blind giving anybody permission to redo their music video for them, so don't let this thing go viral.

12 February 2009

what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

I've made the trip from Utah to LA dozens of times. I know the I-15 corridor like Denzel Washington knows cool. I made the trip again this week. I expected it to be uneventful and just like normal.

It wasn't.

As some of you may know, my Uncle Leonard passed away suddenly last Sunday in Oxnard. When my folks called and informed me, I was hit hard. The paternal side of my family has always been close and the news came as a shock. Even with the truths of the gospel, these events are trying. I wanted to be there with my family to support them so I decided to make a trip back home. Luckily my sister was already up in Utah visiting friends and was driving to CA the next day. The timing was great, no doubt; but it seemed to be the only thing that worked well as the trip ensued.

8:45am After a quick lesson on vehicle maintenance (e.g. checking your fluids and making sure you have oil in your car before a 800 mile trip) we were on the road.

11:23 am Hit the tail of a snow storm just outside Cedar City. Wasn't too crazy, but the roads got really nasty for about 20 miles. We figured we would go slow and be just fine.

11:29 Scratch that last entry. While going 35 mph, my sisters 97' Expedition decided that the engine needed to shut off and sent us spinning into the snowy median. We narrowly escaped "harm or accident" by about 15ft. I am convinced Heaven's providence started the engine back up and we used the 4WD to re-assume freeway patronization.

12:18 In N' Out Burger stop in St. George. The best part of the day.

2:31 While entering North Las Vegas, the Expedition starts acting funny. By funny I mean the speedometer shuts down, the odometer turns off, and the tachometer registers 4500 rpms while going 20 mph. We decided to turn off the I-15 and get some help.

3:01 My mother's Google proficiency lands us a tip for a transmission place in the industrial district of Las Vegas. We decide to take it in.

**Let me at this point of the blog post key you into a very important piece of information: I don't like Las Vegas. Take that back, I detest Las Vegas. To me the place is just a dirty, hedonistic, spectacle of excess and consumerism. When I plan any trip through Vegas I make sure it is only through Vegas. There are only three places in the entire town that I enjoy. At this point of the story I am now stuck in a place I take great effort to avoid. I am not pleased. (Seriously, I questioned the fates: Why couldn't have we broke down in Henderson??? Such a nice town, and only 10 more miles further.)

4:05 Turns out the transmission needs open-heart surgery and will take 2 days to finish. My sister has an appointment for her new job in LA in T-16 hours. Not good.

4:45 For the first time in my life, I rent a car. Adding plenty of salt to the wound, I had to rent it from Circus Circus. They have only one model left: a Dodge Charger. Where I live, Chargers are what the cops drive. But, as I have no choice, we fork out a ridiculous amount of dinero to secure vehicular passage back home.

5:15 We are back on the freeway heading south to the holy land.

9:52 We cruise into our driveway in sweet blessed suburbia.

Yesterday I drove back to Vegas to drop off the rental car and pick up the fixed Expedition. By then I had spent about two days driving the Charger around the valley. I must admit it kinda grew on me and think I started to take on some of its personality traits.




Moral of the story: Never leave California!

02 February 2009

Quote of the yesterday #2

"Tepees fall down but log cabins burn down!!"

Commentary of the two styles of camp fire lays.

great first line of an unwritten book

The only problem with having all your ducks in a row is that it only takes a single shot to knock them all down at once.

29 January 2009

10 things you never knew about Mr Walker

Okay, I crack. Thanks to my persistent pals on the Facebook I will now give into peer pressure and let you all in on some of my little known secrets. I hope you expectations are not too high, because I am not going key you in on the location of the lost city of El Dorado. Here we go.

Top ten things you never knew about yours truly:
  1. My secret ambition is to become a butler for an insanely rich family. Maybe this stems from me watching too much Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when I was a kid, but I would pick this job up in a heartbeat. So many perks: get to cook good food, wear a tux to work, answer the door with class and style...
  2. I detest waiting in long lines. I grew up in Southern California. I had a season pass to Magic Mountain. I ate religiously at In N Out Burger. I know what it is like to wait in lines. Long ones too. It dosen't mean I like it though. When I am by myself, I will always adjust my schedule as to avoid waiting anywhere at just about any cost.
  3. I am super punctual. At times, this does not work well with #2.
  4. My optimum temperature is 80 degrees. I like the sun. I like the heat. Heaven only knows how I endured two winters on my LDS mission to the Northeast and came back loving God more than when I left.
  5. I like drinking juice straight from the container. Speaking of my mission, in Maine I started a habit of buying bottled juice and not bothering to use a cup/glass when I drank it. This habit continues to the present. *Disclaimer I will always open a new juice if I have dinner guests. I usually have a few extra on hand just in case.
  6. I was a commercial fisherman for three years. Well, three summer seasons to be more exact. My Uncle John is the captain of a 47 ft pelagic fishing boat on which I worked when I was growing up. It was awesome. We caught anchovies and sardines (and the occasional barracuda) of the Ventura coast. I still leave it on my resume because it is so fun to talk about. I caught literally millions of fish, got a great tan, and got to spend time with my rad family.
  7. One of my biggest regrets in life is not breaking a 5 minute mile time. I used to run all the time. I've done a full marathon and most of the races that come before it, but I never did make a mile faster than 5 minutes and it still gets to me. Maybe someday I'll give it another go after some speed training.
  8. I mimic different voices. I'm no Bill Hader or Mike Hardy, but I got a decent and diverse repertoire. It mostly started when we were kids. My sisters and I would make up names for their stuffed bears and then different voices to go along with them. Most of the people I mimic now are folks that I know personally and I like to tell stories about. It is pretty fun.
  9. I am a deeply committed Mormon. If you don't know this about me yet you are missing a huge piece of my life. I am a very active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and am very committed to my faith. One of my favorite things to do is talk to others about the gospel and learn new things about it with them. I believe that my church is unique and has the very message that each person, family, community, and nation needs to obtain true happiness. I am getting better at sharing my faith, so feel free to ask me about it sometime.
  10. I am a vegetarian. Naw, just kidding. I bet I had you for like two seconds though. :) In truth, I really like most types of food. I have my favorites (ten points to anyone who can tell me what my favorite beverage is) and I cook a fair amount of them. I like to learn new recipes and make them for those in my immediate proximity. If you have any requests, I am usually very happy to acquiesce.
So there you go. Now I got to go back to hunting for a job.

26 January 2009

interpret this one for me

Last night I had a dream.

I first went to the market to try and find some cheese that was on sale. I found some, but saw that it had been left out of the refrigerated section and was starting to get kinda nasty. But then I realized that my old buddy Richard lived in an apartment complex connected to the back of the store. As I dropped by to visit him, I realized he had the exact same bath towels as I did and didn't know which one I had brought. I was confused, but then settled on one because we were in a hurry. We then went to the beach with our friend Cole and had to pretend like we were plasma donors to the security guard before using the beach. We threw our things in this old shanty and were about to go surfing. As I got into the water I realized my glasses were missing and I saw some fuzzy black thing in the water. I reached into the sea and grasped my glasses victoriously.

Then I woke up.

Next time, I'll think twice before eating a few peanut butter sandwiches after 11:30pm.

23 January 2009

Wheat grass


  • It doesn't taste as bad as you imagine it does
  • The orange slice they give you after tastes about the same
  • Cambells soup = chunky Wheat grass shot= not chunky
  • Goes down easier if you are listening to "The Police" in the background
  • Probably not worth the money you pay for it...but it's worth a shot (hahahahahahaha)
  • Undisclosed side effect: increase in bad puns

13 January 2009

basil pesto: act one

So, one of my favorite aunties got me a mini-food processor for a Christmas gift. I am convinced that she has some sort of extra-sensory talent deigned from heaven to give exactly what I need. For example, on my LDS mission to the great state of Maine, most people gave me food for the holidays. She gave me wool socks. Those socks have served me well for nigh unto 5 years and I think of her every time I slip them on and save my feet from premature separation from life.

Now the tables have turned. I don't need socks anymore...I need basil pesto.

At approximately 7:37pm July 4th 2008, I was reintroduced to the world of basil pesto. It was a warm introduction with a cheese pizza being our mutual friend. I soon after started buying it as a "splurge" item every once in a while for special occasions involving lunch with females or other random recipes. Then one day I was talking with a friend from Genoa, Italy (which happens to be the self-proclaimed birthplace of pesto) and was informed that making your own wasn't as challenging as I has previously conceived. My interest peaked. What if?

Enter Auntie Sue.

Even though she claimed that salsa was the intended product that inspired her to give me a food processor, there was only one proper way to christen my new kitchen appliance. After a few hours of recon I placed 1 cup of basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, a pinch of salt and some olive oil into my new found toy and pushed down one button that magically created one of my new favorite things to make.

The button on my processor now is aptly labeled, "Press for Paradise."

04 January 2009

08' was great, and 09' will be divine

So 2008 was one of my best years ever. I did a ton of cool stuff, met even more cool people, and have had an overall great year. Here are some of the highlights:

Great Walker Moments of 2008
  • I started this blog
  • I re-booted my academic life
  • Got accepted to grad school
  • Bryan and Kristin got matrimonial
  • Presented at two academic conferences
  • Organized and ran an international educational conference
  • Climbed Timp and Nebo
  • Moved thrice in a two block radius
  • Hiked my first slot canyon
  • Ian Prescott went on a date (and a few 2nds too!)
  • All my missionaries started coming home and running into me at BYU
  • Worked at the CTL
  • Dan and Delight's 50th Anniversary!! Complete with family temple trip
  • Skyler convinced Rachel to say yes
  • Gaverino got accepted to law school
  • Tobias Sandler was birthed
  • Mitt Romney took a good shot for president
  • All 5 of the Walker Clan now proudly sport BYU diplomas
  • I met 'grandfather goat'
  • Summer lunch excursions
  • Temples visited: L.A., Jordan, SLC, Reno, Provo, Timpanogas, Mesa and Manti
  • Davey K made it okay
  • Retired...again
  • Hung holiday lights and cured my vertigo
  • Dinner dates with my sis's
  • Moni got home from NY and gave the coolest homecoming talk ever
  • Nertz nights with the gang
  • Prop 8 passed
  • Pie shakes at Sammy's
  • and tons more...
If you haven't noticed, most if not all of these included one or more of you. So thanks for a great year. 2008 simply rocked. Feel free to add any more cool moments on the comments.

Now commences 2009. I'm pretty excited for it. Do me a favor and jot down a few prophecies for Walker's 2009 Moments of Greatness. Then we will make them happen!