Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On March 13, 2017 at 8:36 pm and 10 seconds

I will be one billion seconds old.

While reviewing my notes for my biology final, I found that note that I wrote in a boring lecture. The time is using Nevada time. Who knows where I'll be living in 8 years.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last chance stories

Since today is the last time that I'll probably be posting until after finals, I thought I would end with a bunch of stories that I planned on sharing, but didn't get a chance to. These are ideas that I wrote down a while ago that I thought would be good blog topics.

Scar

I think scar stories are the best. I have a little scar on my forehead that's about half a centimeter long. It all starts when I was in first grade...
We lived in El Centro, California at the time. I was six years old and Chris, my brother was eight. We were playing in the backyard. Our backyard was basically a field of dirt, but it has a metal pole sticking out of it. I guess the pole was used to dry clothes on, but I can't remember. Chris and I were playing out there and we decided to have a "gong" contest. We had to find something to hit the pole with and see who could make the loudest gong. I got an aluminum baseball bat and hit it as hard as I could. It was pretty loud and the vibrations hurt my hand. Chris said, "That was nothing. Watch this." He took a PVC pipe and hit the pole has hard as he could. The PVC pipe shattered and a pointy, long shard hit me right in the forehead. I started to bleed pretty bad and Chris went to get Mom. I remember Chris telling me that it took two big towels to soak up the blood, but now that I think about it I think that was an exaggeration. If it took two towels to soak up the blood, I'm pretty sure I would've gotten stitches, which I didn't. I tried to take a picture of the scar for you to see, but the flash washed it out so you couldn't see it, so you can imagine that it looks kind of like this.

Family sayings

We had a lot of things that we said as a family that are inside jokes. And they have been repeated for years. Here is an incomplete list of some of the things you can say and situations in which you would say them:
  • "63" (As in "Man, David is so 63 right now.") Use this when someone is all sullen and grumpy.
  • "JP" (As in "Nathan looks very JP tonight.") JP stands for Johnny Polite. You say someone is JP when they're dressed up all fancy and speak with a British accent. It helps if you hold your hands like the Van Trapp children and have a part in your hair right down the middle.
  • "Edwin Redslob" (As in "Chris looks like Edwin Redslob in many of his school pictures.") I mentioned him before. He is pretty similar to acting JP, but you have to flare your nostrils.
There are others, but I don't have time to explain them all, so I'll just list the rest: flexibles; Austins; buy the mystery by the mystery; family friends; bayer; Aidan; the Lewis family tragedy; and get my wish. Can you think of any others?

Gender

I've been thinking about gender lately. I'm glad we have the Family Proclamation that teaches that gender is an essential characteristic of eternal identity and purpose. Without that knowledge, I think there could be a lot of confusion, especially nowadays. We were learning about all the different types of chromosomes in one of my biology classes and we talked about the different things that could go wrong with the XY chromosomes. It was pretty freaky. I think the weirdest one is this disorder where someone has the XY genotype (meaning they are technically male), but the Y chromosome is repressed so they look exactly like a girl and their body functions as a female body...until they hit puberty. Then the Y chromosome is activated and the girl's body changes into a boy's body. How weird and emotionally challenging would that be? Luckily, this is extremely rare.


And that is it for NaBloPoMo. Whew. I think by November 2010 I'll be ready to do this again. Hopefully I'll be able to think of cool topics by then. Well, depending on your time zone, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Katie


Sorry about all of the lame-o posts these past couple of days. I've been enjoying my break. It's so nice to be able to spend the entire day with Katie and Olivia. It feels like a real vacation because I don't have any homework to do, either.
I thought for today's post I would write about how great Katie is.
I've known Katie for over five years. She's my best friend and my favorite person to be around. Here are some reasons why I love her so much.
1) We like the same sort of things. We both like to decorate the apartment in the same sort of way. We both have the same level of acceptability of cleanliness when it comes to our apartment. We both like the same type of music. We enjoy the same type of food. Except tapioca pudding. And white chocolate. She loves that stuff. I don't like it so much.
2) She is really creative. It seems that she is always working on some new project that she finds online. She is always looking for ways to beautify the area around her. She can find solutions to problems really fast. She is an excellent writer and a good drawer, too. She draws little faces and people on my sandwiches baggies for me to find later.
3) She has a contagious laugh. Last night I watched Bourne Ultimatum and it made me think that I had superhuman powers. I tried to flip the light switch off with my foot put I couldn't reach it so I ended up on the floor. Katie laughed for about an hour straight. The thing was that I had to laugh along too. When she laughs so hard you can't help but laugh with her. She finds humor in almost anything.
4) She loves me for who I am. I could spend hours in the library or a bookstore, and Katie lets me when we have time. The other day we were in the library and the baby started to cry really loud and Katie took her and held her so that I could spend time looking for audio books. There are other examples where she does something that she thinks is really boring because she knows that it makes me happy.
Basically, she is the best, and I feel lucky to have her.

!!1!

No time
to post

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cop out post

My favorite Youtube video of all time:

Butterfingers is easy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratitude

I decided to make a list of things that I am grateful for that I have never expressly said on Thanksgiving that I was grateful for them.

Free music

Books on CD

Internet

Farmers

Government

My childhood

Plumbing

Cotton

Libraries

Nerds

Immune system

Fingerprints

Flavors

Freckles

Manual labor

Art

The smell of sunscreen

What things haven't you said you are grateful for?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Point of view


I remembered something today that I thought was really enlightening and clever. Many years ago the whole family was riding in the car. I think we were going on vacation somewhere. My mom brought some cookies for everyone, but there was only enough cookies so that everyone could have four cookies. Within the first part of the trip she handed everyone one cookie. A little while later, when she was asleep, I sneaked a cookie. I didn't think she would be able to tell if one was missing, and nobody else noticed. However, when it came time again for the next round of cookies, either she noticed or someone else noticed that there was one missing. I confessed to sneaking one, and as a punishment I only got one more cookie instead of my two that were left for me.

Now, I think most people at this point will feel cheated or a little jealous of my siblings who gloated over their cookies. They had three more to eat and I only had one. But I decided that I would try an experiment. I pretended that there were only two cookies total. I stole the first cookie, and my mom was so proud of me for stealing it that she rewarded me with another cookie. I could just pretend that my siblings didn't get any cookies and that I got two. You see, I get two cookies either way, and whether I'm satisfied with what I have was mostly dependent on how I compared myself with others. It's your whole point of view of the world that makes the difference, not what you actually physically have.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Jack Nelson

I have heard that I'm related to John Nelson, a.k.a. Black Jack Nelson, the infamous stagecoach robber of Logan, Utah. He lived many years ago, maybe late 19th century. I don't know much about him so I went to the internet to look him up. I guess he's not as infamous as I thought. I could only find three websites that even mentioned him:

The first site I found is a blog of a family that purchased the home of Black Jack's parents. It's kind of interesting to hear about his story from someone else. Apparently he has some hidden buried treasure somewhere near Malad. How cool would that be to find it?

The second site I found was a "this-day-in-Cache-County-history" type of website run by the Cache County Sheriff's Office. You have to scroll down a little bit until you get to 1865. From this site I learned that Black Jack started his criminal career in 1865.

And, finally, the third site I found was the Family Search site. I used the information I had to look him up(father's and mother's name and place of birth). I guessed his birthday was within 10 years of 1845 (that would make him maybe around 20 when he started his life of crime). It came up with this:
I think this is him. Maybe not. If it is him and the Sheriff's site is also correct, that means that he was 10 years old when he started his life of crime. Do the brackets mean that it's an approximation? And does anyone know how I can find out how I am related to him? I think I could find out on this site...if I had my membership number. But I don't. Maybe I'll get it on Sunday. Anyway, it was pretty fun to take a break from studying for 20 minutes to do some genealogy.

*Warning: If you decide to Google "Black Jack Nelson" be prepared to get lots of websites related to Willie Nelson's song, "Blackjack County Chain."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Math and Science


I've been trying to think of things to write about, but all my ideas sound boring right now. I've been keeping a running list of topics in an email draft that I have saved so that I could resort to it in a moment like this, but all those ideas are stale now.
At work things are crazy. Last Friday was the deadline for the subject librarians to submit their orders for books to us. They dumped literally thousands of orders on us and we get to sift through them and buy the books we don't already have or that aren't on order. I ordered this one book called Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, by Ian Stewart. It looked pretty interesting, so I looked at the reviews on Amazon.com. I clicked on the icon that lets you read an excerpt, which is here. I read the first puzzle which starts on page 4. Maybe Professor Stewart put the easiest one first so that you'll feel good about yourself, but I felt awesome because I got the right answer. Well, I'm pretty sure that I got the right answer, but I can't be certain because the book review doesn't go to page 252. If you think you got the answer, feel free to leave the answer in a comment. The winner gets to give me an idea of what I should write about tomorrow.
I took my third physiology midterm today. Part of that test covered digestion. Let me tell you, learning about the physiology of digestion makes eating repulsive to me. Especially when you refer to food covered in spit as a bolus and the food in your stomach is chyme. And pancreatic juices being secreted in your duodenum to digest food. Its all pretty gross. On the other hand, the urinary system is quite elegant. I learned how the kidneys purify our blood through filtration and how hormones from the brain control how much we urinate. It's really amazing how the whole body functions together.

Goals

While at church today, I was thinking about how important it is for us to change to become better people. This reminded me of all the times in my past where I set goals for myself to do certain things or accomplish something. I am a pretty goal-driven person. I thought I would share a few goals I had in the past:

1) Train to be a Navy SEAL. I read everything I could find in the library and online about Navy SEALS when I was 13 or 14 years old. They were the epitome of coolness to me. I set up a physical fitness training pattern so that I could be ready by the time I was 18. This constituted that I do 50 push ups and 100 sit ups right before bead, and I would increase that number by 1 each night. I followed this program for about 3 weeks until I went to a scout campout and was too embarrassed to do my push ups, so I got out of the habit and was too lazy start it up again. The great thing about this is that during my 3 week training period we did a physical fitness test in P.E. and I could do the most push ups in my entire grade. I even beat Ricky Hernandez who was the most athletic kid. I felt pretty awesome.

2) I set a goal for myself that I would ride my bike every day to school in the eight grade. This may not seem very hard core, but it was. My school was about 5 miles away, and the winters in Berlin were brutal. There were days that I would come to school riding my bike and I couldn't lock it up at the bike rack because my fingers were too cold. The keys kept falling out of my hands. And there was this one time where I was riding on the side walk and a car was parked on the side of the road. The person sitting in the passenger seat opened the door right in my path and I had to swerve into the bushes. I flipped over the handlebars and landed on my back and got the wind knocked out of me. I then tried to explain in German that I was alright, but I was so out of it that I'm not really sure what I said. I think I had a handful of near death experiences during that year. Trust me, bike riding is hard core.

3) I set a goal that I wouldn't eat chocolate for a year. I was talking to someone who did this before and her mom paid her $100. I asked my mom if she would pay me $100 if I didn't eat chocolate for a year. She said no. But because I'm so awesome, I decided to do it anyways, just to see if I could. I started my chocolate fast on Halloween of 2003 and made a goal of not eating chocolate until Halloween of 2004. I almost made it. I slipped up at a German Christmas Party for my AP German class at Stone Bridge High School. I ate a chocolate muffin. I was so angry with myself that I decided to go without anything sweet for the rest of December. That was hard. But besides that, I didn't have any chocolate. I used to dream about Peanut M&Ms and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I ate tons of Reese's Pieces because they almost tasted like chocolate but contained none. I even wrote a letter to the Reese's Pieces company explaining how much I loved eating their candy and asked for some free bags of it. I never got a reply back from them.
Let me tell you, Halloween 2004 was great. I ate so much chocolate that I felt sick.

4) I have made a goal that I will never buy a tie. I never have.

That's all I can think of. I guess my goal now is to not fail any of my classes. I haven't yet.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Avoiding conversations

We were playing Skip Bo yesterday evening with our neighbors and we all confessed to something that I didn't know everyone else did. Maybe you do it, too. Sometimes when I'm walking somewhere I see someone I kind of know in front of me walking to the same place. Now, a nice, normal person would kind of speed up and talk to the person in front of them and keep them company until they reach their destination. But I always try to avoid talking to people. It turns out that everyone else did the same thing!
Here are some tactics that I use to avoid catching up to people:

-Pretend to tie my shoe so they get far enough ahead that I can't catch up. Sometimes I actually first untie my shoe and then re-tie it.

-Whip out my cell phone and have an actual out-loud fake conversation. This way, when I pass the other person all I have to do it kind of smile and do a head nod like this.

-If they have to go around a building I run around the other side and speed walk until I pass them.

I was thinking how cool it would be to be a colonist today. It would be fun to go where no one else has been before and build a whole civilization up from scratch. Actually, I probably would only think it was cool for a couple of weeks. Or if I didn't have a baby. That would be crazy. I guess I'll have to wait until we're all being called to gather in the New Jerusalem. Man, that will be so cool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Third Wheel


When Katie was in the hospital giving birth, there was another girl down the hall from us, also in labor. I didn't pay much attention to her, but I did notice that she had a lot of family with her. I was kind of preoccupied to get many details.
However, my mom was there and overheard a conversation in the lobby or in the room or somewhere that the girl giving birth had two guys holding her hands by the bedside. One of the guys was her husband, the other guy was...her boyfriend.

What?

Yes, her boyfriend and her husband were there, both assisting and comforting her while she was in labor. Very strange.

Since I heard this from my mom, I have been trying to think of scenarios that would allow such a situation to occur:

1) She got pregnant with her boyfriend, broke up with him, starting dating another guy and got married to him all all within 9 months, and the boyfriend wants to be a part of her child's life.

2) While married to he husband, she was unfaithful and has a relationship with her boyfriend, got pregnant, the husband found out and was forgiving and wants to adopt the baby, and her boyfriend needs to be there to give consent.

3) She has had a relationship with both her husband and boyfriend for a while and nobody knows who the father of her child is. They are both there to determine fatherhood through DNA testing after the baby is born.

Can you think of any others?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Police Beat


Every week in the Daily Universe (BYU's newspaper), the BYU Police publish a report of some of the criminal mischief and suspicious activity that occurred on campus. This is really the only interesting thing to read in the paper, besides the occasional letter to the editor claiming that it's wrong for the Bookstore to display Halloween decorations (it's Devil worship), complaining about the price of bus passes, or noting that it is improper for women to wear messenger bags across their chests (it's a modesty issue).

Here are some excerpts from some recent Police Beat publications:

Nov. 5:
A man in his 60s and woman in her 20s showed up at the Morris Center. They went to the back of the cafeteria where the woman posed provocatively while the man took her picture. An employee asked who they were and the man said he was a BYU alumnus. They were gone when police arrived.

October 31:
Six individuals were reported throwing something wet off the Tanner parking structure. The substance was determined to be soup. The suspects were instructed to clean up the mess.

October 26:
A caller reported a male behaving suspiciously in a parked car. Officers investigated and the suspect was simply taking a nap.

October 30:
Several males were running through Brigham Square wearing only capes and underwear. When officers arrived, the caped crusaders were gone.

October 23: A call was received at 4 a.m. from Heritage Halls reporting five students arguing about a laser pointer. The students were shining the laser into the eyes of people driving and students walking by. The students with the laser pointer were informed about the dangers of laser pointers and given warnings.

October 9: A suspicious male was reported to be wearing a long black coat and cracking a whip in a parking lot. Police were not able to find him.


Important questions these reports raise:
-where did the police learn about the dangers of laser pointers?
-what kind of soup was it? Was it still warm?
-is the Morris Center known for attracting the wrong kind of crowd?
-how do all the suspects disappear before the police arrive?

If you want to read the Police Beat online, just go to http://universe.byu.edu/police. You wont regret it!

My Professor's Sad Story


I'm taking physiology from Dr. Rhees this semester. It is a really interesting class. I think it's the most interesting class I've taken at BYU. It's pretty competitive because everyone in the class is trying to get an A to be accepted to either the nursing program or medical school. I just need to get at least a C-. So I'm not too stressed about it. I just enjoy it.

Anyway, we are the endocrine system now, which is the system where hormones are secreted in the blood (like from the pituitary gland or he adrenal gland). This is my professor's favorite subject because this is what his doctorate research was about when he did it in the 1970's. He's been teaching this class for decades. It's the only class he teaches.

He talked about his doctorate research for a while and told this sad story:

He wanted to research the hormones that come back to the brain to inhibit the release of more hormones but didn't know how he could do that. Then some researchers found a way how to make the hormone radioactive and this made my professor really excited. So he found about 20 ducks and injected them with this radioactive hormone. 30 minutes later he cut off their heads and opened their skulls and removed their entire brain, being careful not to crush it. His plan was to see where the radioactive hormone was in the brain so that he knew where that hormone's receptors were. After removing the brain, he immediately placed it in aluminum foil and then put it in liquid nitrogen to freeze it solid. He then had to take the 20 brains and take them to a special lab. In this lab it is freezing cold. He had to wear clothes that Antarctic explorers wear. There he sliced the brains to be very thin and placed the slices on glass slides that were dipped in one of those solutions used to develop photographs. Because of this, he had to work only in the red light used in dark rooms. He did this every day for six weeks. Finally, when he was done, he placed in in a container and put in in a fridge and had to wait a year until the radioactivity killed enough cells to make it visible. Let me say that again: he had to wait a year. After the year was up, he took out the container and found that all of the brain samples has slipped off the glass slides and formed a nasty soup. It was totally wasted. He called some specialists to see what he did wrong (turns out you need to heat the glass slides up before you put the brains on it). He then decided to do the whole thing over again. So he got 20 more ducks and repeated the whole process and waited an entire year. He was worried that he would be spending the next 10 years of his life working on his PhD. Anyway, at the end of the year, he opened up the container and it worked! He found the spot where the hormone grouped (which was a very unusual place in the brain, a new breakthrough in science) and wrote his research up and was about to submit when a man on the other side of the country submitted his research on the same subject 3 weeks before my professor could. This other guy became quite famous in the endocrinology field and to work in a really prestigious lab which enabled him to publish more than 200 articles. My professor was heart broken. If only his samples worked the first year, he could have had this other guy's opportunities.

Anyway, I thought that this was an interesting story. It seems kind of typical of most people's lives: so close to fame, but content where they ended up in life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yuck --> Yum!

There are a few foods that taste really good, but when they're described sound absolutely disgusting. Here are some examples:

1) Chicken nuggets with honey. McDonald's used to give out packets of honey automatically with your Chicken McNuggets, but now you have to ask for them. It's so good.

2) Strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar. I remember feeling sick when I first heard about this, but once I ate it I was hooked.

3) Mixing Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal with Honey Roasted Honey Bunches of Oats. This personally didn't sound gross to me, but Katie thought it looked nasty. It wasn't.

4) Mixing ice cream and birthday cake together until it becomes a sweet, grainy, dark brown soup. This even sounds and looks gross to me still, but I do it every time I eat cake and ice cream. Don't judge.

5) Flan. Actually, I don't like flan. It looks gross and it does taste kind of gross.

Can you think of any others?

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's A Miracle!


Last night the baby slept the whole night. I went to bed at 11:30 pm and woke up at 7:00 am. I was worried something happened to her when I woke up, so I hurried to her room only to find her sleeping! It was amazing--I wasn't even tired. That was the first time since Sep. 3rd that I slept without waking up in the night. Man, it felt good.

Dates and Sides

Last night was great. Lisa volunteered to baby sit the baby for us, so all we had to do was decide what Katie and I wanted to do with our 2 1/2 hours of freedom. After looking at the movies showing at the dollar theater and activities around Provo, we decided that everything looked either too lame or too expensive. We eventually decided that it would be more fun to get pizza and watch a movie in our own apartment...without being interrupted by a needy child and where we both can eat an entire meal together at the same time.

We dropped off the baby and got some pizza. We also got some cheesy bread and marinara sauce to be a side dish for the pizza. When you think about it, cheesy bread really is a cop out side. I mean, you have some pizza, which is some bread with tomato sauce and cheese on top...and then you have cheesy bread, which is bread with cheese that you dip in tomato sauce. Sounds to me like you're eating pizza...with a side of pizza. What a gyp.

(Don't worry, Anna. You're chicken nugget post will be coming up soon.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A funny headline

I was thinking about what to write about today and, in the spirit of The Onion, I though of a funny news headline.

"Gang wars rage across nation between Munchkins and Oompa Loompas"

Ha ha! Isn't that image hilarious?! Katie didn't think it was that funny....

VS




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Handwriting


I think I have fairly good handwriting. A few semesters ago I was sitting in one of my classes and there was this girl who I didn't know who sat next to me and told me that my handwriting was perfect. No joke. I don't know what she was talking about, because it is far from perfect. I don't know if that was her version of flirting or what, but I just said, "Oh, um, yes. Thanks. I work hard at it...I guess." Then I made sure that my wedding ring was visible for the rest of the class, in case she tried something else.

The truth is, I do try to have nice handwriting. I think it is an art that is slowly declining. I think it's inevitable. I think anyone who went through elementary school after 1970 never really learned how to write cursive very well. If they do write cursive, it's because they basically stuck with it even though it wasn't emphasized very much in school. That's my opinion. I believe that computers and cell phone texts are basically the cause of this demise.

The nice thing is that one can learn to improve one's handwriting. Take Heber J. Grant, for example. His handwriting is all fancy. And when I say "improve" your handwriting, I don't mean writing in all capital letters to make it uniform and blocky to make it legible. I mean making it beautiful and capture your personality.

Did you know that there is a pseudo-science to determine your personality based upon handwriting? I don't know if I believe it or not, but it kind of makes a little sense.
Take this handwriting for example:

Seems nice enough, right? I mean, its pretty sloppy and it slopes, and who writes in cursive any more? But, according to this website, it turns out that this person is "dogmatic and dictatorial, emotionally unstable, bad tempered and possibly even violent!"

Watch out!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dream Journal


DISCLAIMER: I had planned on writing this post the day before Chris wrote about his mission journal and his flying dreams. I did not copy him. This was my own idea.

When I was serving my mission in Switzerland I often had very strange dreams. Sometimes I thought my dreams meant something important, almost like a prophecy or a vision or something. I decided that I would keep a dream journal so that I could record these dreams and maybe learn something from them. The thing is, the dreams that I recorded are weird. Really weird. I don't think there was much divine intervention in them, at least as far as I could tell.

Here are some excerpts from my dream journal:

August 3, 2006
I was doing doors with Elder Jones (name has been changed). This was before I was companions with him. Everyone was rejecting us. On the next door Elder Jones saw a horse calendar and started having a nice conversation about horses. The family listened and let us in only on the condition that we only talk about horses. After we left, I asked Elder Jones why he talked about horses and not the gospel, and he said, "Don't you know? People don't want to talk about the gospel. You have to talk about things they want to talk about."

Feb 2007
I was on a huge grid in the middle of space, almost like a huge checkerboard. I could move only along the straight lines of the grid. However, I didn't want to move. I just wanted to be left alone. There were golden stars sliding around on the lines of the grid. They were making a piercingly loud noise that made my eardrums throb. I said a prayer sitting on the grid, asking God to send the stars away. The stars then vanished.

July 5, 2007
I had a dream that I was hanging out with Breg (pronounced Blake) who was an Olympic diver. They were training for the Olympics in 2007 in France or something. Breg had his friends with him and was trying to teach us all how to dive. A girl who I spoke with previously [in real life] was Breg's girlfriend. She was having a lot of challenges diving. In order to help her, Breg made a little bungie cord made out of a lot of little bungie cords hooked together and then attached to a backpack she wore. Breg kept making fun of her since she was always made [sic] mistakes, but she quoted Winston Churchill saying, "Mistakes aren't a sign of failure, but an opportunity to learn and grow." We were at a medium sized swimming pool with four highdives on it, two on each side. Four divers would jump off at the same time and battle in the air until they hit the water.

Weird, huh? I thought it was weird that I knew how to spell "Breg's" name, even though I just made him up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pocket Doors

Have you ever gone to the bathroom at someone's house only to realize that the door to the bathroom is a pocket door? I get really nervous when I have to use one of these bathrooms because they almost never close all of the way. I always ended up sitting there on the toilet, pushing the door closed with my hand jammed in the little circle so that my older brother can't slide open the door on me and run away laughing, leaving me in the predicament of deciding to hobble over to the door and slide it closed again, or just quickly finish before anyone else walks by. You would think that they could design the door so that the little latch actually reached the hole.
Another thing I don't like about these doors is that there is always a little grove on the outside so you can open the door with a coin in case someone gets locked inside and doesn't know how to get out.



The unfortunate thing with this is that older brothers can unlock the door with a coin when you're inside, too. Especially when there is company over. It has happened more than once. So, inevitably, you end up sitting on the toilet with one hand on the lock at all times to prevent it from being turned. This has led my arm from falling asleep. Let me just say that it is difficult to, um, clean yourself after using the bathroom with an arm that you can no longer feel.
This is why I plan on installing a deadbolt on my future bathroom.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Study Spots

Doesn't that wheelchair look comfy?

I tend to switch study spots every two weeks. Today is a switching day. I'm currently sitting in the new study area in the periodicals section of the BYU Library. I like the fact that I have a whole table to myself, a huge row of windows to my left, and copious amounts of light.
Previous study areas include the music section of the library, the computer lab by the Wymount Creamery, the first floor back cormer, and other remote corners of campus. I can't study at home--too many distractions.

Are you the kind of person who sits in the same spot in class, or do you like to switch seats for every class? I used to have to sit in the same spot each class, but now I try to sit in a different place. It's weird, but it's good. I think I like it because it makes each class period unique and I can remember the material better because the new ideas are associated with the new perspective. When I read my notes later I can often remember where I was sitting when that particular subject was discussed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

School


I just realized that I will be in school until I am 28 years old.
That's a very long time, especially considering that I have been in school since I was five (with a two year break when I was 19).
That's a total of 21 years of schooling.
Sometimes I wonder if it will all be worth it considering the time lost, the debt, the stress of studying, etc...Then I consider the alternative: working a minimum wage job doing something that I don't like. It is hard sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I get trapped into thinking, "OK, I'll be able to relax once I graduate," or "once I pay off all the debt I have or will have accumulated." That could be a while.
I'm working on enjoying life now. I figure that if I can't enjoy life now in the middle of school and stress, when would my life be easier? When I'm retired? I can't wait that long.

Assuming


I think that I have a habit of talking about things as if I know a lot about them, even though I only know a little bit about the subject. I say things that I assume are true, as if it is fact, and if in the rare instance that someone (usually Katie) calls my bluff, I respond with the classic, "Well, it could be true..."

Case in point: Whenever someone mentions that they like the smell of rain, I tell them that what they are smelling is actually the smell of everything in the area, because the increase of humidity makes it possible for us to smell things a lot more. This is true. However, I often embellish the story with an explanation of why, which COULD be true... For instance, I would say that we can smell things more because the polarity of the water droplets would ionize the particles of the objects around us, making them free radicals, or ions with lone pairs of electron. The repulsion between these charged ions would make the ions move at a faster rate, and this, paired with the fact that there would inevitably be more ions in the air, would result in a stronger scent being registered when the ions hit our chemical receptors in our noses. See? Doesn't that sound like it COULD be true? And it makes the explanation more interesting.

The fun thing about this is that most people believe what I say. This can be dangerous. Especially if they tell someone who knows more about the subject at hand than I do, and they tell them that it is completely bogus. Then the person spreading the story simply says who gave them the information and BAM!--all credibility lost. It's a dangerous game. But well worth the challenge.

Here are some more things that I have assumed:
--The Finnish and Korean languages are similar because some Koreans crossed the North Pole and taught Swedes Korean in order to trade with them. The Swedes that spoke Korean moved their colonies a little west and their language shifted a little, too, and this gives us the people and language of Finland.
--You can keep a plant alive in a closet with no sunlight by feeding it sugar water. The whole purpose of photosynthesis it to create glucose out of CO2 and H20 and photons, and then the plant uses the glucose to make ATP, or chemical energy. By giving the plants glucose directly, it can bypass the whole need for sunlight and make ATP from the glucose.
--You can tell how close a religion is to Christianity by which day they choose as their day of worship. The closer it is to Sunday, the more similar it is to Christianity (Buddhism = whenever; Islam = Friday; Judaism = Saturday).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Quick post right before midnight!

Whoops I almost forgot! Ummm....I had something cool to write about, but I don't remember what it was. Maybe tomorrow?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hair


In the break between my 9 o'clock class and my 10 o'clock class I made a quick stop to the bathroom. While I was washing my hands, I saw this guy who was adjusting his hair in the mirror. He had a kind-of-faux-hawk going on, and he was making it so that the sides of his hair were identical. Once he was satisfied he paused and smiled a little bit, nodding slightly to himself. I could imagine him saying, "Oh yeah...it's symmetrical, baby." The funny thing is, I couldn't even tell much of a difference. It was as if moving a piece of hair half a centimeter would either make or break his whole self image.
I was laughing to myself about this when I realized that I kind of do the same thing. It's kind of embarrassing, really. I worry that if one side of my head of hair looks more curly our if the top is more flat than the sides, I look like a complete clown. It was then that I realized that the little adjustments I make with my hands--either smoothing or fluffing--don't make any difference at all. People can't tell. I look like a fluffy haired person either way. Needless to say, this has liberated me in a small way. I don't waste the 10 seconds after the shower any more. I just rub my head with a towel and my hair does its own thing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

4 AM


Our baby falls asleep for the night sometime between 10 and 11 pm and she gets up at about 4 in the morning each day. I usually go and console her at the time, and if she continues to cry I change her diaper. If that doesn't help, I figure she's hungry and I feed her some milk that we stored.
It's a pretty good little system we've got going. The only problem is that sometimes I don't think too clearly at 4 am.
For instance, I think I was getting a little sleep deprived because I started to hear voices. First, I thought I heard the baby crying and when I checked on her she was sleeping pretty deep. Then I thought I heard Katie calling my name really loud and then I looked at her and she was sleeping. It was kind of creepy, so I woke Katie up and asked her if she was dreaming or calling my name, and she said no.
This morning at about 4:45 when the baby fell back asleep, I crawled back in bed not looking forward to 7 am when the alarm goes off. Then it hit me: if time goes forward and music comes out of the alarm clock, maybe if I sang music into the alarm clock then the time will go backwards!! I started to hum a little bit, but the sound of my own voice woke out of this crazy stupor. I felt ridiculous. I'm just glad that Katie didn't wake up to me singing to the alarm clock.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Found

I was working on some homework last night in the library when I noticed a piece of paper on the desk I was working at. I picked it up and looked at it, and this is what it looked like:
It's a piece of paper with four call numbers written on it, and one of the four numbers was crossed out. This paper reminded me of something that Lisa told me about, where a guy goes around collecting notes and shopping lists and photographs and tries to learn a little about the person who left them behind. I was pretty curious, so I decided to look up the books on this paper. Here they are:
  1. TK 5105 .888.R67 = Information architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville.
  2. Z 666.5 .B38X = Information architecture for information professionals by Sue Batley.
  3. T 585 .M68 = This wasn't in the catalog.
  4. QA 760 .D26 M35 (this was crossed out) = This wasn't in the catalog either.
So maybe that was a little creepy-stalker of me, and the books were a lot more boring than I thought they would be, but it was kind of fun the do a little investigative work.

Here's the book that I mentioned earlier. It's called Found, by Davy Rothbart. Maybe I will convince the library to buy it. It looks kind of interesting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spam

Sometimes I really like reading my spam. Especially when my spam is from scammers from Nigeria, telling my that I am next of kin to some general and are contacting my to give me his money, and the only thing I have to pay is "the $150 (United States US Dollars) courier fee. Take note of that."


I think the best spam I ever received was from Mr. Kofi Annan himself. Enjoy:

"How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?,You may not
understand why this mail came to you.
We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2
days ago with the then secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of
the world, the UNITED NATION have agreed to compensate them with
the sum of US$ 100,000. This includes every foriegn contractors that may
have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an
unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to
Government probelms etc.
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you,
this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of ZENITH BANK NIGERIA PLC, as
he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your
Cheque/ International Bank Draft of USD$ 100,000. This funds are in
a Bank Draft for security purpose ok? so he will send it to you and you
can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone
number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the
Draft to you.
Conatct Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:
Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia
Email: jimovia_77@yahoo.com
Thanks and God bless you and your family.Hoping to hear from you as
soon as you cash your Bank Draft.
Making the world a better place
Regards,
Mr. Kofi Anann
Former Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).

I would never have thought that Kofi Annan would stoop so low…

I also like how he misspelled his own last name.

ِِ

Monday, November 2, 2009

Errors Run Amok


There was quite an uproar at work today.

We received an email from the subject librarian in the Science Reference today stating that the APA Publication Manual was riddled with mistakes and falsehoods. I remember ordering 8 copies of this style guide on Amazon earlier this year for reference desks all around BYU campus. It turns out that there was about 30 pages of errors in this book, mainly having to do with the placements of commas, how to cite URL's, when to use brackets or parenthesis, and so on.

Anyway, students and professors alike at acedemic instituitions across the nation were justifiably angry with the quality of the manual, so much so that the APA decided to recall all of their books and republish them, all on their own tab. I can't even imagine how much that will cost them.

So my boss sent me to the different reference desks in the BYU Library to pick up these manuals, but there was one missing. Turns out that a student checked it out. I hope he/she realizes that there are some issues with it before he/she turns in his/her research paper. (I hate that there is no neutral third-person pronoun in the English language.)

If you want to read an article about this issue, look here. It also has a list of all the corrections that were made. Some of them are pretty ridiculous.

NaBloPoMo

So since Olivia's been born, I've been considering either just deleting this blog ... or writing in it again. A few times I almost just got on the computer and just deleted it. I just don't like it when projects of mine are "unfinished." I guess that doesn't make much sense for a blog, because there is no end, but whatever. But then I saw my brother and sister-in-law announcing that its National Blog Posting Month (if if you're in a hurry you say NaBloPoMo). It's where you basically commit to writing every day for the month of November. And that motivated me enough to pick it up again. At least for another month.

I make no guarantee about the quality or quantity of writing, but I'll try to make it enjoyable to read. Ha!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baby's here!

She was born this morning at 3:56 AM. 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Katie was in labor for about 20 hours before they did the C-Section. She and the baby are doing fine. Katie is exhausted, though, so it will be a little bit before we can have visitors.
Stay tuned for pictures!

Friday, June 19, 2009

NO SCHOOL!!!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! No more school until Semptember!

And then there will be school and a baby...

better enjoy the vacation while it lasts

Friday, June 5, 2009

My life has come full circle

Because I work in the Acquisitions Department of the BYU Library, one of my duties is to check the work of the other person who is buying books for the library. We check to make sure that the right record was imported from the Library of Congress, the right edition, the right price, the right vendor, the right shipping option, and so on. It can be very tedious.

Anyway, I was checking a book that the girl I work with ordered, which was written by Christian Welzbacher. One thing we look for is if we have any other books written by the author. I looked up his name and it turned out we did have a book written by him. When I saw the book's title, I couldn't believe it. It was too crazy. This is what it said:

Edwin Redslob : Biographie eines unverbesserlichen Idealisten

(Translation: Edwin Redslob: Biography of an incorrigible idealist.)

I had to look up what "incorrigible" means. (Definition: incapable of being corrupted or amended; not reformable.)

EDWIN REDSLOB!

For those of you who don't know the significance of Edwin Redslob, let me explain. When we lived in Berlin there was a new street near our house that had a playground on it that we went to a few times. The name of the street was Edwin Redslob Stra
βe. We thought that was the most ridiculous name in the world and whenever some one imitated him, they had to flare their nostrils. comb their hair with a part right down the middle, purse their lips, and speak with a British accent. Like this:
(This person has red hair because David was the one who could always do him the best.)

This has become a running joke in my family for years and years and I forgot that Edwin Redslob is a real person. This is what the real Edwin Redslob looks like:



Turns out that the real Edwin Redslob was the director of art for the Weimar Republic before Hitler came to power. Who knew?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Every Freaking Year

I think that's what EFY should stand for.
I heard that from a guy doing BYU's version of stand-up comedy, and it's so true. Thousands upon thousands of teenagers wandering around campus flirting incessantly with each other, clapping and doing the cheer at random times, everyone so annoyingly chipper. . . maybe I'm just jaded from my experience working for the Registration department.

I learned something new yesterday. When police are interrogate you, they can make up evidence against you so that you will confess to committing a crime. The only stipulation is that the police can't promise a more lenient or more stringent punishment if you confess once hearing the "fake" evidence, and the police can't threaten you physically.
This seems really, really disturbing to me. There was a murder case of a 12 year-old girl and the police thought that the 14 year-old brother did it. They interrogated him for 11 hours and he eventually confessed to killing his sister when later they found the actual murderer on the streets with the girl's blood on him. Why did the boy confess to killing the girl? The police told him that they found her blood and a knife in his room (which the police just made up) and when the boy said that he can't remember killing her the police told him that it is a possibility that he could have blacked out after murdering her. After that, the only possible solution to the situation that the boy could see is that he was the murderer and confessed to the crime.
The police weren't necessarily bad police officers. They genuinely thought that the boy did it. They even taped the whole interrogation; if they were doing something shady they wouldn't have taped it. There was no sign of a broken lock or window, which led the police to believe that the murderer lived in the house. I don't know, the whole thing seems pretty crazy. The boy was released once they found the actual killer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My new pastime

While working at the library purchasing the sometimes exotic and rare but usually boring and technical books for professors across campus, I am given the luxury of being able to listen to anything I want. I have never had this freedom at a job before and immediately took advantage of it by listening to the online radio, Pandora.com. However, I often found myself quite bored. I had heard most of the songs before and when I heard a song I didn't recognize I often didn't like it. Then I decided to listen to white noise online, but that was even more boring because the work I was doing was inherently dull. I figure that white noise is only good to listen to when you have some intense thinking to do.
I then discovered talk radio. At first I listened to the conservative talk radio, but they repeated themselves a lot of the time and got angry a lot, too. I didn't like the way I felt while listening to it. I wanted something that talked about the lighter, more interesting side of life.


That's when I discovered This American Life. It's a weekly broadcast where they select a theme and invite writers to address that theme with a story. They usually feature three or four stories in each episode. The themes can be basically anything; from telephones to politics. I usually listen to two or three episodes while at work and it has made work so enjoyable.

I don't know if any of you have heard of it or have listened to it, but I highly recommend it. The internet address is ThisAmericanLife.org.


I think my favorite one is a story about babysitting, mainly because the things the older brother did in that story remind me of things that my older brother would do to me, or that I would do to my younger brother. I also enjoyed the story of the woman who trained herself to become a superhero. And then there is the story of the 10 year old American girl who became pen pals with Manuel Noriega, the drug trafficking, murderous general of Argentina.

In any case, its worth trying.

In other news, I have had a change in my career choice. A few weeks ago, sometime last month, I had a dream. In that dream, I was an optometrist. I often have weird dreams involving things that seem to be all out of order and make no sense, but this one was different. With my other dreams, they are often ignored and/or forgotten. But I couldn't get this dream out of my mind. In order to ease my mind and hopefully put it past me, I decided to research optometry a little bit. There is a pre-optometry organization on campus and they provided me with a lot of information and internet links that provide more information. The amazing this is that the more I learned, the more excited I got. I went into an optometrist's office and shadowed the optometrist for a while and asked him some of my questions. I then prayed and fasted about it and it really felt like something I want to do and something that would benefit other people's direct lives. The only problem is that my major is construction management...how many more years of schooling would I have to take? Overall, just one. Turns out that my baccalaureate degree can be in anything I want, as long as I take all the necessary prerequisites. These include things like anatomy, physiology, lots of chemistry, microbiology, and other things. After graduating from BYU, there are four years of optometry school, which is similar to medical school but only pertaining to eye related things.
I was worried what Katie would say in response to all of this, but she was very supportive and wanted me to be happy. I think she was happy to learn that optometrists generally have very stable jobs and work schedules with enough money to support a family, and with only one more year of schooling compared to architecture, it doesn't make that much of a difference (except when you look at the price of schooling these days...).


Friday, May 15, 2009

Pants




I always wondered why the words "pants" is plural. I mean, we always say "My pants ARE ..." instead of "My pants IS ..."

Is each leg a pant? So if you wore some pants with only one leg, would you refer to it as a pant?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Racism

When I was serving my mission in Switzerland, I came across quite a few people who were racist. It was really strange to meet them because I thought that racism was a dead issue. I had never met a racist person before. I totally floored when one person totally ignored the African investigator we had with us and then told in private afterwards that we should be teaching only Swiss people and that we should avoid Africans at all costs. It left a really bad feeling.
In order to demonstrate how absurd racism was, I decided to be prejudiced against people with brown eyes for a while. I called them "poo eyes." Anyway, a third-grade teacher had the same idea I had. I saw this video for my Organizational Behavior class. This was filmed right after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. When she told the kids that blue eyed kids were better than brown eyed kids, the blue eyed kids wouldn't let them play games with them, use the same drinking fountain, and more. The teacher than reversed the role and told them that actually brown eyed kids were better than blue eyed kids, and the brown eyed kids immediately started treating the blue eyed kids even worse.



It's pretty sick to think that this problem still exists today. And not only Switzerland. There are still some Americans that I know that are racists. Luckily, it's only a couple.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Things I love about my mom

1. She is one of the most mannered people I know. For instance, here are some table manners that she tried to drill in our heads: sit up straight at the table, chew with our mouths closed, take little bites of food, stay seated while others are still eating, don't start eating dessert until the server has had the first bite, and so on. And that's just concerning food. We had a whole other section concerning the usage of language (never say stupid; only say things that are true, necessary, and nice; etc.). I always thought that these things were a nuisance when I was younger, but I am grateful for them now. I hope to be as good an influence on my kids.

2. She isn't scared of what other people think of her. She is super outgoing and can speak her mind in a crowd of people, sing a song in a busy place, and then she tries to motivate us to do the same. At times I was really embarrassed, but now I admire it. Sometimes when I want to ask a question and I am too embarrassed to raise my hand, I know that my mom wouldn't be afraid and that motivates me to ask. I remember in Sunday School she could comment on anything and she had to remind herself not to comment so much.

3. She really applies the Gospel in her life. I remember getting up really early some mornings when I was younger and seeing my mom sitting in the armchair in the living room reading her scriptures. She taught us the importance of praying every day and reading the scriptures every day, even if it is just one verse. She is always trying to become a better person and always corrects herself verbally if she did something wrong. She bears her testimony often. She was my Seminary Teacher for one year and I got to hear her teach and bear testimony every morning.

4. She is very adventurous. For example, when we moved to Germany, the only one in my family who could speak German was my dad (from serving a mission there when he was younger). We didn't live on a military base--we had to learn the language. I can't imagine what it would be like to move to a foreign country with six little kids and have to do the shopping and drive around the city and a million other things while everything is in another language. She can speak fluent German now and I can't remember her complaining once about the circumstances. On the contrary, when we visited Berlin after my parents picked me up she said that it was "like returning home."

I could go on and on with literally hundreds of other points (healthy, smart, compassionate, loving, wise, ...) but it would never really suffice. Thank you for raising me so well , Mom. I hope that when my daughter is born in just a few months I will be able to raise her just half as well as you raised all of us.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Noise and Concentration

When I read a textbook for a class, I go crazy when my environment is silent. I need to have some sort of audible distraction to keep my mind focused on what I'm reading. However, when I listen to music I often find myself focusing on the music more than on what I am reading. This is problem. As I was listening to my Coldplay radio station on pandora.com while trying to read Creating Effective Organization, 5th edition, I remembered my mom saying that I used to fall asleep listening to the vacuum cleaner. I wanted to find some white noise to listen to so that I could zone out out my surroundings and focus on my reading without being distracted by melodies and lyrics. I found this site, simplynoise.com, that creates three different types of noise: white, pink, and brown/red. I prefer the brown/red noise, put on oscillating volume. It reminds me of an ocean, but deeper and more predictable.
I discovered that my reading speed has at least doubled and my comprehension has increased as well. Try it out yourself and let me know if it helps out you with your concentration while reading. I want to know if this is just a weird thing that helps me or if it is a universal thing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Labor gigs

My last job ended on Wednesday and my next job starts Monday. I was trying to think of what to do on my two days off so I checked Craigslist for any jobs that someone needed done on Thursday and Friday. Under the "labor gigs" section I found that a guy here in Provo needed some help doing some landscaping on Thursday and Friday and that he was paying $12/ hour plus bonuses. I called him and worked for him on Thursday for half a day because I had some errands to do in the morning. We unloaded 5 pallets of concrete blocks, used a pick axe to rip up the sprinkler lines from the ground, and roto-tilled the hard clay for grass to be planted. I hadn't worked that hard in such a long time. My body ached so bad. The great part was that I got paid $80 for 4 hours of work. The unfortunate thing is that I just overcame the flu on Tuesday and working so hard made it come back. I thought I could tough it out on Friday so I started to walk to the guy's house early Friday morning, but I got exhausted from walking so I had to stop in the library to rest. The library is a tomb in between semesters. I saw maybe five or six other people in there. I called the guy and said I'll try to come in the afternoon, and then promptly fell asleep in one of the soft chairs. I slept for about 3 1/2 hours and woke up with one of the biggest cricks in my neck. I hobbled back home and slept on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. I was kind of bummed that I couldn't make some more sweet moolah, but I'm glad that I'm better now. School starts again next week....not enough vacation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Job Hunting

You would think that the fact that I was a male model would make finding a job a cinch. Turns out, the Afternoon Traffic Officer Dispatch position did not need someone who was really, really, ridiculously good looking. Too bad for them.

I just had another interview with the Acquisition Department of the BYU Library. The lady I had the interview with will contact me within the hour as to whether or not I got the job.

Press your thumbs for me! (As the Germans would say...)

Monday, April 20, 2009

For Polly

So, rather than trying to describe in detail the alarm clock that reminds me of my mission, I decided to post a picture of it. Two pictures, in fact.

This is a picture of the alarm clock in Fahrenheit mode.

Celsius.

I think the company name is MoonPhase, but I'm not sure. I bought this while I was in Switzerland, at a store called Migros, so it might be a stretch to imagine that Eric had the same one. But you never know...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sounds and Smells

Two finals down, four to go. I have two finals today than I'm not looking for to so much.

Katie has a runny nose. It mostly leaks when she is trying to lie down. In order to accommodate her, we set up camp in the living room last night and she slept on the couch with 40 pillows behind her and I slept in my sleeping bag with a foam pad underneath. It was pretty fun for me until I got up in the night to get something and I smacked my forehead on a door handle. There's still a mark.
In order to get up on time I took the clock that usually sits on top of the microwave and set the alarm to go off this morning. This clock is the alarm clock that I used all throughout my mission. It's really cool: it tells you the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit (I still understand Celsius way better. Hurrah for the metric system!) and it even tells you the moon phases. The only use I could think of for knowing the moon phases is if you were a werewolf, but it's cool either way.
When it went off this morning I thought for an instant that I was on my mission because of the sound of the alarm was so uncannily familiar. I first felt guilty for wanting to press the snooze button and then I was dreading doing my morning exercises. And then I heard Katie on the couch and felt a huge wave of relief come over me.
A similar thing happened a while ago. Katie bought me some new shower gel and the morning I used it, the smell took me back about seven years ago. It was the same shower gel that my mom got me to take with me for EFY. I remember using that gel and these feelings of excitement and worry about trying to impress the ladies were all flooding in. It was the most bizarre thing in the world.
I just think it's pretty crazy how a simple sound or smell can trigger so many emotions and memories.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I saw this and had to post it

I received this image from my Grandpa Lewis. Ha! Talk about an ineffective Prohibition Promotion...

The lady on the left with the light dress looks especially scary. I wonder if this ad ever made anyone not want to drink?
Click on the beer bottle for some fun facts on prohibition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Typo

When I do my daily vending routes in the morning, I usually grab a copy of the Daily Universe to read in between stops (except when it's my turn to drive). Yesterday, there was not a newspaper to be found. The newspapers had all been delivered early in the morning, but then someone noticed a little typo on the front page and called the editors. Every copy of the Daily Universe was recalled and recycled and new copies were reprinted and redelivered by noon. Everyone was wondering was the typo was. Luckily, there were a few people who had picked up some newspapers before they were collected and we searched for the typo. We found it on the caption of a photograph of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sustaining someone (the article was a review of General Conference). This is what the caption said:

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote.

Over 18,500 copies were recalled, and each copy was 14 pages long. Thats 259,000 pages. Using a calculation from this website, that would be cutting down 3.2 pine trees. Maybe less because newspaper sheets are bigger.

This was the first time in over 30 years that the newspaper had to be recalled because of an editing error. If you want to see the Daily Universe's explanation and apology, you can look here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

LEED

I applied to take the test made by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to become a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional).
The USGBC is a non-profit organization who has set up a point system to rate buildings on how "green" they are. By being LEED accredited, I will be familiar in the point system and can assist owners and builders in order to give their buildings the highest buildings possible.

There are a total of 69 points possible for a building to have. For a building to become a certified "green building" it needs at least 26 points. 33 points will get the building the Silver rating. Gold buildings need 39 points, Platinum requires 52 points.

The points include things like having places for bikes to park, reusing an existing building, reduced water usage by efficient landscaping, and redeveloping a brownfield. (A brownfield is an area of land that has been condemned, such as an old refinery, a gas station, or a landfill.)

Anyway, I have until June 30th to take the test. I have been attending study sessions this semester on Saturday mornings. Hopefully I'll have more time in the summer to study before I have to take the test. This is definitely the way of the future (the way of the future, the way of future, the way of the future).

To see all the buildings that have been certified in the United States, you can look here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's a...

Girl!

Yay!

i was trying to post the video of the ultrasound, but it wasn't working. I'm not sure why. Once we do figure it out, you can be subject to 10 minutes and 38 seconds of bliss (I think that's how long it is.) We kinda had to take the nurse's word for it when it came to the gender. We couldn't see anything there (maybe that's how she knew it was a girl. Ha.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Boy or Girl?

We find out today!

YAY!!! and AAA!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grameen Bank




I had an assignment last week in my Accounting 200 class to research this bank online for at least 1 hour and then write a two page report about what I found out.

This bank is amazing.

Maybe you've heard of it. Last month's Ensign mentioned it in one of its articles on self-reliance. (I only knew that because Katie read that article and when I was telling her about it she said that she already knew about it. Way to go, Ensign...stealing my thunder like that...)


Anyway, so this bank was founded by a man named Muhammad Yunus who is from Bangladesh. Basically, the purpose of this bank is to give very small loans (maybe $20) to poor people who have no credit or collateral and they will pay it back with a small amount of interest ($2-3 dollars). These loans are primarily made to women (97%). He does not require any sort of written contract since most of the people he does business with can't read anyway. He works on an honor basis. To get a loan, you need to join a group of five or so people and take out a loan together. That group motivates and encourages each other to pay off the loan. If someone can't make a payment, the other members of the group usually help her to make the payment, although they are not required to do so. If someone chooses not to make any more payments, that doesn't affect anyone else in the group.

The people who take out the loans are also required to adhere to the Sixteen Decisions, which are basically rules of conduct created to socially engineer the people of Bangladesh to live a better life style. These decisions include agreeing to repair their own homes once they become damaged; sending their children to school; building and using a pit-latrine; growing vegetables year-round, eating plenty of them and selling the surplus, and much more. You can see the whole list here.


This bank is a huge success. He has one of the highest payback rates of any financial institution (over 98%), which is quite astounding since his clients have no credit and not written contract. He believes that human life and honor should be credit enough. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts to alleviate the predicament of the poorest of the poor. With these micro-loans, poor people can jump start their businesses and provide for their families. Many other banks around the world were founded that have similar policies.
What I really like about this idea is that its not some humanitarian effort and he is just donating his money to poor people. He is earning money and letting poor people help themselves. When he sees a poor person, he doesn't think of welfare; he views them as a client.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lisa's Half-Portrait

Due to some complaints, I have re-drawn Lisa on MS Paint. The first portrait still technically counts since I basically restructured her face and look on Paint, so this drawing exists purely to quell any lasting bitterness in those who lost. Also, it was kind of fun to draw.

I would also like to say that I drew this without looking at any picture of Lisa, so I make no guarantee that it looks like her...



P.S. It looks better when you click on the picture to see it zoomed in.
I spent three hours shading the upper lip.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Answer

Okay everyone, this is the moment you have been waiting for!

The answer to the riddle is:

...

(drum roll)

...

the man was a billionaire and after a few years he became a millionaire because he lost so much money! Ha!

So, I guess the person with the closest answer is Lisa since she said that "he was being nice and generous," so Lisa will get half of a portrait.

Here you go, Lisa. Bask in all your glory.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hint

Sorry, no hint.
HA

Monday, March 23, 2009

Riddle

I'm taking an Accounting class and an Entrepreneur Lecture Series this semester. These classes are pretty cool, especially since they make me want to start my own business someday. In my Entrepreneur class, we have local people come in and tell us their stories of success. Almost all of them are multi-millionaires who have started some business in their basement and sold it 10 years later for millions of dollars. I think if I were to start a business, I would want to keep it and make it into a sort of family tradition. We'll see...
Anyway, thinking about these business classes made me think of this riddle. I think it was originally a Mindtrap question (best game in the WORLD, by the way . . . contrary to popular belief), but I have adapted it to make it my own. Here's the riddle:

An American man decided to start a business by buying bananas in bulk for 17 cents a pound and selling them to poor villagers in third world countries for 10 cents a pound. Interestingly, this business model made this man a millionaire in only a few short years. How is this possible?


If you want to guess the answer, leave a comment. The winner will get a realistic portrait of them drawn in MS Paint posted on my blog. What a prize!


=




Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Milestone

While looking for ideas for baby names, I noticed that Bryan is ranked #78. Brian is #81.
HA! This is the first time that I have seen that Bryan isn't the "different" way to spell it. Yesssssss.

Well...it still says that "Bryan" is a form of "Brian."

FYI, "Brian" was in the Top 10 list of boy's names when Queen was really popular. (Lead guitarist = Brian May)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Bike

Last semester by bike got stolen by our apartment management. Well, not really . . . but kind of. I had locked it up to the bike rack near our apartment building, but since my bike had a flat tire, I didn't use it regularly.
Every year, the management here at Wymount goes through and clears up any bikes that haven't been registered with their office. They warn the tenants when cleaning season is coming in their monthly newsletter, which I unfortunately didn't read that month. It wasn't until I went to look for my bike a few weeks later that I even noticed what had happened. I talked to the lady who is in charge of that and we went looking through the piles and piles of bikes they had picked up this year. There were about 300. I'm not even exaggerating. It looked kind of like this. But my bike wasn't there. It was weird. I'm not sure where it is. The lady felt bad for me and said that when they get around to donating them to either DI or the juvenile detention center (where they apparently have a great bike repair crew), I can go back and pick out a bike of my choice. All I can say is "!!!!!!!!!!!". I got a call from the nice lady today and she said that I can go on Thursday afternoon to find my dream DI bike. This bike will most likely be a step up from the bike I had lost. I got my old bike from Craigslist for about $60. This one will be free!
I'm thinking about getting one of those racing street bikes with the curvy handlebars and thin razer tires. You don't want to have one of those go over the back of your knees. That's bad for the veins (see 1:21).

Bike riding is easy. Tasty life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fact

It has been proven that when someone enters a store in the Mid-west and buys diapers at 5:00 pm, their next most likely purchase is a case of beer.

That is why in many stores in the mid-west there are snacks to go along with the beer next to the diapers.

A store who tried this snack placement increased their sales by 17%.

(All of this information brought to you by BYU's Accounting 200 class.)

My advice: don't buy diapers at 5:00 pm or else you might need to talk to your bishop.