Y’All Should Move
November 5, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: ,
Get Goin'!

Get Goin

Ladies and Gents, the votes are in and we woke up this morning with a new President-elect.  For better or for worse, he’s who we’ve got.  I won’t say at the moment who I voted for or why I voted the way I did.  However, I will say, I’ve heard a whole lot of Repubs threatening to move to all sorts of places because of the would-be socialist agenda of our President-elect.  When I’ve asked for examples, universally, people have named universal health care as an example.  Just a couple thoughts to keep in mind.

Go ahead and…

Move to Canada, it’s not like they don’t have a socialist system in place for Health care, the very one that you find so unappealing.  They’ve got such a stable government that supports a conservative agenda like the one the Repubs profess to believe, right?

Move to Japan, they’ve got the best sushi around.  And their education system is top notch, so you should hit that up.  Oops, they’ve got universal health care

Move to England, they’ve got a completely different system of government that may appeal to you more.  Pal around with Prince Harry, nice enough guy.  They do have that universal-like health care system, so you’ll have to figure out how to get around that.  But you know, they’ve never been known for great dental work so what’s the difference.

Move to Mexico, they’ve got the best Taco’s in the world.  If you don’t try Horchata or a bowl of Mole, you haven’t really lived.  Just make sure you don’t get sick, because they’ve got themselves a goal for Universal Health care by 2011.

Uh, I’m really trying to find a place for you all that want to escape the Swath of Socialism in government as its been put.  However, every place I wikipedia seems to indicate the major countries of the world seem to have adopted a Universal Health care system.  So, if that’s your big concern, I don’t quite know what to tell you.  However, if you got the cash, you can take the Cosmonaut express up to space.  And I know for a fact that there isn’t any Universal Health care or socialist agenda in the International Space Station.  However, if Boris is up there with you, he may tell you all about his mother country’s Universal Health care.

All I’m saying is that for all of you that fear socialist agendas, like Universal Health care, for worse or for better, most countries have already adopted them.  Personally, I don’t want a universal health care system, but the one we’ve got seems to be pretty unique in the first place.  So go ahead and move if you don’t like it here, but all I can say is I tried to help.  Looked all over, where I could find a standard of living equivalent to here.

I wish you the best of luck and I can recommend the Backpacks at http://www.REI.com, they’re the best!

If you don’t like it, let’s get Mitt’s 2012 campaign going, I’m there with ya!

New Blackberry Wallpaper for BYU Cougars
October 13, 2008, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Heh Guys,

I realize I’m a giant dork, but I made this new wallpaper for my Blackberry with the BYU logo on it for anyone that wants it.  Not too complex, but its nice to have.

BYU Blackberry Wallpaper

BYU Blackberry Wallpaper

I Hate It When People Can’t Hold Their Politics
October 3, 2008, 3:23 am
Filed under: Politics, Ramblings | Tags: ,
Im Your Contrasting Opinion

I'm Your Contrasting Opinion

Let’s get it on!  This is the second time in the last eight years where I have found myself supporting a candidate opposite of my own party.  This is the second time in two years that I have found myself underwhelmed by the mediocrity of debate and discussion of core topics so important to America.  This is the second time that members of my own party and let alone my own faith have shied away from debate and went straight to making it personal.

Politics stems back to the Greeks and the senate of Rome.  The philosophers of these times enjoyed the exploration of thought and debate.  For in the debate and the discussion, only then could one truly discover his/her opinions.  The nastiness of the debate between candidates has really soured my opinion of both individuals.  Furthermore, the greater nastiness of one candidate has truly soured me to this individual overall.  What truly saddens me is the inability of some of peers to refrain from practicing the very same nastiness and making personal the debate.

For those who choose to make it personal, they’re taking the easy way out in the debate.  To call names or make personal references to the validity or the intelligence of believing one way or another shows the narrow thinking of the accusatory individual.  If we are unable to discuss our thoughts and opinions from a calm and reasonable perspective, how are we to expect others to hear our own thoughts from a calmed and reasonable perspective.  Spending two years in a city populated with those that lived in stark contrast to my own personal beliefs, how could I expect tolerance on their part for my message if I was unwilling to listen with an open-mind their opinions.

Having an open-mind and willingness to listen is not the sign of sheep or lemming, but rather the sign of a thinker.  In a democracy, we should expect nothing less from our politicians and especially of each other than the ability to not only freely speak but debate the issues close to our own hearts.

So, stop taking potshots at me or others for the simple fact that we don’t share your opinions.  I’m not gonna force you to agree, nor will I force you to listen, but for crying out loud don’t make me feel like less of a person for the simple fact that I don’t agree with you.  Plus, now that we’re all adults lets step it up from Playground Debate Skills (Stupidface, doodoo head, and peabrain) and move on to the more mature (you silly man, addle-minded, rapscallion).

Sarte’s Airplane Hell
September 19, 2008, 5:34 am
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: ,
10,000 feet up, not so much an exit as it is a life style change.

10,000 feet up, not so much an exit as it is a life style change.

Sarte’s play, No Exit, seems to be the perfect illustration of what plane ride can be.  Literally, up in the air, there are no exits.  The sign says exit, but how can exit be an exit if it leads to death.  Well, then, actually, it is an exit of sorts.  Anyway, if you haven’t read the play you should.  The themes in this play have quite considerably shaped my life.

This blog post has really formed itself out on this last business trip.  Flying home today, I found myself sitting(admittedly “husky” myself) to two very-overweight individuals that caused to me to sit in what I would refer to as a permanent tilt (I highly suggest it for those looking to cause back pain).  Two ladies in front of me chose the time we spent tooling around the runway getting ready for take-off to carry out a lively discussion of tube tying, hysterectomies, and (how these two were qualified to speak on this, I don’t wanna know) vasectomies.  Just to add flavor to the whole discussion, one of these women had the voice of a five year old girl.  For those of you that have five year, imagine her spelling out the pros and cons of a surgery on you-know-what to prevent you-know what.  If you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable reading this, you’ve experienced a fraction of what I felt.  Trapped, and due to FAA regulations, unable to flip on my iPod and float off to a happy place.  Finally, four kids under the age of two all sitting across from me within two rows.

Over the many trips that I’ve flown on this past year, I’ve found little routines to help me escape to this happy place I described earlier.  Three of these are a book, a portable dvd player, and an iPod.  You have these, you have everything.  Well, maybe an oxygen mask would be nice to pack as well.  Because when you think about it, when that person coughs next to you, there’s nothing hermetic about the way they’re covering their mouths.  So as that air cycles over and over again in through the closed circulation system which is your own little private petri dish, think about what juicy bugs are floating in the air your breathing.  You also may want to pack a tazer in case the fat guy next to you decides to use your shoulder as a pillow.  Knee pads might be nice as well to help you take on the guy next to you who decides to play king of the hill with your leg space.  Finally, I suggest you pack one last item to help you deal with plane flight.  A sense of humor.

In all things, a little dab of humor makes like a little more enjoyable.  On this last trip on the outgoing leg, two boys under five flew by themselves and amazingly acted like two five year olds do.  Well, actually after a recent trip to the Malt Shoppe in Utah, I see that the fart jokes, the shoving, and overall goofballisms aren’t limited to five year olds but can be applied to rugby players as well.  Anyway, a gentlemen sitting in front of these two boys lost his temper and turned around and threatened the boys to stop.  He proceeded to further threaten them that if they cried, he’d give them something to cry about.  I must confess, I felt bad not intervening, but at the moment I felt more observer than advocate.  I waited to see how the boys and this man reacted.  One of these brave little boys looked at the man and very proudly announced something about someone not being someones boss.  The man turned around and still looked pretty angry, when another woman reamed him.  I mean she tore him up.

Life is too short for people to be that guy.  Sarte points out in his play that people locked in a room can create their own private hell.  Visiting with family and friends on this last trip, it occurs to me that if I were locked with these people in a room for eternity we’d have a pretty good time and a good laugh.  I’ve been very lucky in these latest few chapters in my life to have been blessed with great familial relationships and deep friendships that make life sweeter.  Short your friends and family on your next plane trip, consider finding the humor in your sufferings, surroundings, and annoying neighbors.  Otherwise, you just may find yourself in some kind of airborne hell.

Why I watch West Wing reruns…
September 6, 2008, 7:35 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags:
West Wing

West Wing

At some point during my high school curriculum we covered the medieval era and the subject of folk songs.  I believe there was another name for them, but in all you could label them as folk songs.  Essentially, without NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS people relied on something different than a box of wires.  If they heard a story from Tivo, then it probably came from some peasant or blacksmith that didn’t much care for naming his offspring.  I digress, the point is that the peasantry would share these stories with one another at home or in the drinking houses of their time.  They did this, said my teacher, to forget about the dark times in which they lived and escape their reality.  Many times since that conversation, I think about how TV and movies are our version of these folk songs.  These are our escapes from our personal realities.

In that spirit, I thought I might share why my own reality needs a little escaping.  The West Wing in my opinion is one of the best series ever written for television.  Spawned as a play for the stage, and adapted for the small screen, Aaron Sorkin depicts a bit of unreality in which politically people get things done.  The writing quick and witty.  At this very moment, my DVD is paused in the middle of a West Wing scene.  I like escaping to this unreality because of a love I have for noble causes.  A group of people working for what they think is a true, noble cause.  Also, it seems that these characters find so much more meaning in what they do when I compare it to my marketing of packaged lines of code to the corporate masses.

My unfavored reality aside, another reason for watching this show came to mind as I watched the Sarah Palin speech at the RNC.  Some would say she did a great job of rattling the ol’ saber pointing out faults in the democratic party from stage props to religion(or lack thereof).  She got them with her “I don’t know about these guys” grins and winks.  Her Alaskan charm melted the hearts of the GOP, and they soon were cheering loud enough for the five people in the town over which she was mayor could hear.  I thought of the West Wing how worked hard to point out that on both sides of the aisle people were trying to get things done.

Looking at the Democrats, there really isn’t much to look at over there either.  This is no Bush-Kerry election, but in the end we all end up saying that we’re picking the lesser of two evils.  Plato once said that true leaders are the ones that only lead because they are forced to because there is no one else to lead (paraphrasing).  This contest is sexy, especially with the addition of Mayor of Alaska (or is it Governor).  We’ve got precedent setting on a racial and gender basis occurring on both sides.  We can stand proud in the knowledge that candidates on both sides are running when a short time earlier in the history of this country this wouldn’t happen.  But where are these Platonic (I think that works) leaders.  Where’s my Colin Powell?  He chose not to lead for his own personal reasons, but he declined.  Let’s get him.  Where’s the guys/gals that stand firm on issues that evolved through personal discovery and research.  Not one guy that walks a political tight rope and another that is floating on his hot air abstracts that vaguely resemble ideals.

The West WIng offers a truly fictional escape from this political reality to one where people still try and accomplish some good.  I acknowledge this is one of those three AM ramble sessions that I’m prone to writing.  But I can’t help but wonder how my own MTV generation and the current texting generation isn’t influencing the way the news media are disseminating the news.  Britney Spears and Paris Hilton’s recent police busts have served only to further dumb us down.

Once on a show, one character points out to the other the difference between Clark Kent and Superman.  “Superman is who he is…” he says, “Clark Kent is the way he views humanity.  Weak, feeble, and inept.”  If those traits that Superman portrays as Clark Kent are his reflected opinions of humanity.  Let’s consider the way the News Media wraps up truth and their reflected opinion of our humanity.  Their opinion is we care more for Brangelina’s 100th adopted baby, some poor girl’s pregnancy, and something that a movie star said whe he was drunk.

In all, I watch the West Wing because its an escape to a world where the reflected humanity is a little less about being entertained, but more about being informed.  Final thought…as a missionary I once reached for a cup to eat my cereal out of because of a lack of clean bowls and I was too lazy to wash them.  Another Elder stopped me, and washed a bowl and handed it to me.  He said, “Elder why settle for what will due when you can have what you need.”  Think about it.

Process that and your haircut.  Free dinner to the person who can figure out that last haircut line.

Facebook: Stalking Made Easy
August 15, 2008, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:
True Stalker

True Stalker

You’re a facebook stalker, I’m a facebook stalker, let’s just admit we’ve got a little stalker in all of us.  It used to be that you had to wait outside someones house for hours on end, snag their mail, and call their home in the middle of the night to have any clue what was going on in someones life without talking them.  Now, thanks to technology, there are very few secrets.  So, here’s some Facebook stalking confessions and I challenge you to share  yours:

High School Friends:  I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve added that I knew in some form or another in high school.  If I gave them a call, we’d have to sit through an hour of awkward conversation and probably would garner a few details.  With facebook, I can tell you everything my old friends have been doing in some form or another.  You can find out where they went to school what their job is now.  You can find out if they’ve been dating anyone seriously.  That secrets easy to find, just look through some of their photo albums.  If the same person of the opposite sex (most cases) appears in more than five pics, their likely sharing more than digital image space.  The same way you can find out who they still hang out with high school and who they don’t.  In particular, they’re not hanging out with you anymore because you’re not tagged in any of those photos.

Ex-Girlfriends: Girlfriends in my lifetime, I won’t act like there are a whole lot of them in my memories, but there are some.  It’s fun to peruse their pics and their posts to see what they’re up to now.  And there is no small comfort taken in finding they’ve married a guy that looks like he got beaten by an ugly stick.  You can find out if they’ve changed at all, or a warm feeling to see they’re married and have three kids already.  All good.  You can also find out how much an ex-girlfriend really hates you and won’t let you add her as a friend on facebook (that’ll be a post for another day).

Potential Girlfriends:  For work, I’m in the Competitive Intelligence business where I’m trained to examine behavior and other bits of information to make a determination about future events with regards to a particular company.  Applying that kind of tradecraft to dating makes life a little bit more interesting.  Case in point, you meet a girl, you want to know what she’s like, who her friends are, and if she’s as cool as she seemed to be last night when you got her number.  Almost like running your own background check.  I’m sure for all of you that open up your profile on a network, pretty much everyone can run this little check on you.  And let me tell you, some people they seem normal at night, but you’ve got to wonder about them in the day time.  Some pictures that you see or things that they write, well, it does add a touch of flavor to their personalities.

So, I confess, I’ve facebook stalked and from what I know I haven’t committed any felonies and I’m not going to be waiting outside anyone’s house.  In fact, most facebook stalking, mine included, occurs between the hours of 8 AM – 5 PM when you get bored and need your own version of a smoke break.  So, happy stalking.

Something New, smackedstupid.wordpress.com
July 14, 2008, 1:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So my Buddy, Chris, and I started up a new blog. Smacked Stupid, seemed like an appropriate discussion topic focusing on all the stupid things that happen in the marketplace and government, and even to a point stupid people things. Just broad enough, that we can talk about almost anything. We’ve had some fun arguments in the past, and I thought it might be fun to capture them online. Let us know what you thiink. It’ll take us a while to get up to speed and be as funny as we can, but it’ll come.

My Dating Resume
July 3, 2008, 6:31 pm
Filed under: Dating

Dating\'s HardSuccess and failure is something that goes hand in hand with anyone that’s attempted to date since now and since Anthony and Cleopatra.  Failure occurs for many  reasons, and like King Benjamin I’m not going to tell you all the ways that you might fail, because I’d hate to give you any ideas.  But in conversations with a friend the other day she shared with me how her professional success was holding her back in her dating efforts.  Apparently, we men can be a bit intimidated by women who break the “I want to be bake pies all day” stereotype that go out there and make something of themselves.  My next line was going to be, “while they make something of themsleves, before they get married.”  I only include it to point out that I’m not immune from such stereotypical sexiest pig type of thinking.  Let’s be honest, a woman’s career does not have to nor should it be expected to end when the first kid pops out of the womb.  The inbetween and hereafter are between Man and Woman and how they choose to go through life hand in hand. *Sigh, precious* 

The point, our successes and our failures play very heavily into how successful we are at dating.  You can be Johnny Six-Pack with abs that make washboards jealous, but if your chosen profession aside from staring in the mirror is dishwasher you’re looking for a sugar momma or a quick divorce.  Either way, the point is a lot of history and current occupation plays into dating.

My friend, the successful professional women, suggested that she might eventually turn to handing out resumes on her first dates to make clear from the beginning what her capabilities are and what she’s done in the past to get rid of possible concerns or inhibitions of the fella sitting across from her at the dating table.  If you think about it, handing that Dating C.V. over does shorten up a lot of the necessary conversation to find out the general dating questions we try and harvest from conversation during the first few dates.  A resume would let Mr. Schmo go back to his pad and look over the resume and sincerely consider if further interviews are warranted.

So the wheels in my head are turning and I thought I might churn out my own dating resume.   However, I’ll against the recommended resume format and go backwards.

Viddy S. Hunky

Preschool: Maryland

  • Offerred a chance to call a girl Hot Lips
  • Went on four playground dates a week
  • Voted by fellow cheese cracker eaters as the Head Cracker
  • Convicted for stealing one of the three little pig puppets when the teacher wasn’t listed

Elementary School:Chile and Maryland

  • Successfully escorted one girl to Back to the Future
  • Was slapped by a girl, but then subsenquent kissed on the cheek when I cried.
  • Followed Chilean fashions while living in the US, which meant incorporating short shorts into my wardrobe.
  • Discovered that baggy pants weren’t made baggy by the length of pants, but by the waist size.
  • Wore pants too long by two inches for two years.

Middle School: Virginia

  • Very Little Dating Occurred at this point.
  • Recieved first Bowl Cut after graduating the Eighth Grade.
  • Became a skilled Matballer, still wearing the short gym shorts btw
  • Maintained a 4.0 in being afraid of Girls

High School: Virginia

  • Went on first date, after which my date promptly threw up.
  • Took out one girl twice, who on both occasions decided to ditch me.
  • Discovered a fashion sense, and received the label “preppy”.
  • Began campaigning for Most Likely to Say Hi, my freshman year, and won my senior year.  Several restraining orders are no longer in place.
  • Escorted a sophomore to my Senior prom purely for the fact that she was cute, and no I can’t remember her name.
  • Once argued with my Junior Homecoming date while our two friends unbeknown to us made out in the back seat.
  • Worked four summers for my grandfather on his house.
  • First note recieved from a girl that liked me on the last day that I was in town before returning to VA.
  • Stalked by one girl for the first time.
  • Elected Senior Class Treasurer, but thwarted by my Chorus Teacher, was never allowed to attend meetings.
  • 2nd string Guard in Freshman and JV Football and JV wrestler for two years
  • 2nd in the District, and 4th in the Region Shotputter. 
  • Rid myself of the bowl cut and stuck with parting hair down the middle.
  • Rid of the down the middle part and stuck with the tossled hair look.
  • Graduated and almost hit by a flying mechanical fish during the graduation ceremony thrown by the Principal.

More to come…

Family Reunion 911
June 30, 2008, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Dating, Ramblings | Tags: ,

matchingFamily Reunions are among the many rites of passage in this life.  Birth, the First Date, the First Kiss, your Graduation, and attending a reunion in the latter end of your twenties.  At this point, your old enough that the perspective you had picking your nose at the kids table is extremely different from the one you hold sitting among the myriad of ages spanning your family relatives in someone’s backyard.  In some ways, in the very extended family reunions, it can be the preview of the many disparate life-paths before you.  From cousins with kids, grandparents with grandchildren, professionals in all shapes, and marriages of all sizes.  You look at these, knowing more of family background than the casual observer, you have some idea what it takes to get there and you have the opportunity to ask if you want to get there.

Another thought, Family Reunions for single upper twenty-somethings and greater are a lot like being a 3rd world country hanging out at the UN.  A lot of people with a lot of experience, more than willing to give you all the advice and the counsel on how you should be running your country (your dating life) more effectively than you are now.  Now let’s not forget these countries own civil wars, diplomatic debacles (never get to use that word), and changes in identity.  Let’s forget the fact that your world is a whole lot different.  Where relationships can live and die based upon a text, blog post, or facebook wall message.  Let’s forget, switching metaphors, the finding a spouse is nothing like taking a trip to the batting cages and waiting for your pitch until it comes.

In truth, the advice is more a sign of affection in the form of an emotional nuggie that reminds us of Uncle Ted from Bobby’s World grabbing Bobby and tousling his hair with his knuckles.  These emotional nuggies are appreciated, because it shows that your family does care and love you, otherwise an absence of these could mean they could care less if you reproduce.  However let’s look at some of the repeated quotes and break ’em down like a fraction.

“Are you sure you’re trying hard enough?” –No, I’m actually not.  I need to spend more time doing background checks on girls not just that I know, but one’s that have the potential to be in my immediate vicinity in the coming week.  That way, knowing their likes and dislikes, I can come prepared with an arsenal of conversation topics that we both may find each other as fasciniating as possible.

“Aren’t you maybe being just a little to picky?” –True, marriage is nothing like the tattoo that once you wed it to your body, your stuck with what it has to say, looks like, or makes you feel.  And its removal can be a slow, arduous, and painful process.

“You ought to go back to the ‘Y’, and find yourself a girl there.”–Five years and several hundreds of gas and restaurant dollars spent, I think we’ve established that that diamond mine’s run out for me.

“Where are you looking, maybe you’re not looking in the right places.”–True, Russia, Vietnam, and others have flourishing mail-order-bride programs whose resources I have yet to tap.  I should look there for sure.

“Maybe you need to lower your standards a bit?”–You’re right, I should lower my standards and then at that very moment someone will pop up and suddenly fit my requirements.  Then, on our wedding night as we get on board the plane to our honeymoon destination, I’ll be sure to whisper in her ear, “Man, if I hadn’t lowered my standards, I never would’ve met you.”

All in all, I’m really not bitter, I just find the advice funny now and then.  I am looking forward to marriage and I am, for the record, looking.  I also very much look forward to the day that when I get married, I get endowed with all this dating advice from on high about the right way to date that I may impart on you sorry bunch of twenty-five and up somebodies out there.

Admitting it, not quite enough!
June 23, 2008, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So recently in conversation with a new friend we found a difference in personality.  This difference is kind of a base quality that I like to think I have and this individuals view of it as a weakness, well, it took me aback (love that word).  Further discussing their view of this characteristic as a weakness this person said to me defending themselves, that the fact they recognized this viewpoint was a flaw in their own personality was a step in the right direction.

My answer…no.  Not quite.  Not at all. Forget it.  My response…admitting that you have a problem is not a solution to the problem.  It’s not a first step, it’s not the first coin in the vending machine of solutions, it’s not the first fin flip in Nemo’s path home, it’s not the first flip in a gymnast’s routine.  Pick your metaphor, it doesn’t get you any closer to solving a problem.

You drink too much, that makes you an alcoholic.  Admitting you drink too much, well, you’re still drinking and you’ve removed denial, but plenty of people continue to drink and call themselves an alcoholic.  Murderers murder.  Infact, the moment that they kill someone they kind of recognize they have a problem.  So their recognition of the problem doesn’t quite change the situation a bit.

So, I’m just saying for all y’all out there who are of the opinion that admitting that you have a problem is the first step, well, you’re kind of wrong.  Admission, is good and great and all, but the first attempt at change though possibly met with failure, is the first step.  It’s that first tossed, unused cigarette pack.  It’s that first emptied bottle down the sink.  To make it personally, admitting that I need to go to the gym more hasn’t dropped a single pound for me.  In fact, it’s down pretty much nothing except for add to the daily list of things to feel guilty about.  Like enjoying the TV show Angel, singing show tunes in private, and thinking it might be nice to smack some people in the back of the head sometimes.  I know it’s a problem, but it’s a good first step right.