Wednesday, December 19, 2012

T-58 : Bad Wrap

At this time of year I dread wrapping.  I don't enjoy cutting the paper.  I don't enjoy taping.  I don't enjoy folding imprecisely.  I'd love to take all my presents to a place downtown and pay someone per gift to wrap them and hand them back to me.  In fact I bought a couple of presents from Amazon this year and paid the extra to have them wrap for me.  I know I could have probably bought a whole roll of wrapping paper for the same price.  Last night I even wrapped a bunch of presents in Sunday circulars.  Is anybody with me or do I stand alone here?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

T-59 : Berry Birdies

Today I saw birds out the window flitting and fleeting.  When I approached to see what was the matter it didn't take long to see that they were voraciously eating some sort of berry from trees that had already dropped everything but.  I remember seeing a similar sight at the in-laws' tree in Montana.  Apparently it happens more than I realized.  In fact, even goes so far as to prescribe which types of berry plants will attract birds in your backyard: (  Any idea why they wait until mid-December?

Monday, December 17, 2012

T-60 : Lonely Roads

8a649c3009e90130faaa001dd8b71c47?width=450I've driven the loneliest road in America.  It's U.S. Route 50 in Nevada.  Maybe we should be alone with our thoughts a little more often.  It's lonelier on a plane.  Losing track of e-connected devices is a shock to my system; but, arguably, a good one.  The guy next to me seemed like he didn't want to talk, though.  In fact, he had an iPad and was watching shows from Fox; must have been downloaded ahead of time.  It's getting harder and harder to unplug.  Find a way.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

T-61 : Kinda Strong

Seneca said, "All cruelty springs from weakness."  Some people think that life is cruel.   Elvis counseled us not to be cruel to a hear that's true.  Nick Lowe said that we have to be cruel to be kind.  I think I'll stick with Seneca.  The counter to his thought would likely be, "All kindness springs from strength."  I choose to be strong so that I can be kind.  You?

Friday, December 14, 2012

T-62 : Smug Mormons?

Strange BrewYears ago I had a good friend who confided in me that he thought too many Mormons he knew were smug.  Wikipedia says, "Self-righteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes) is a feeling or display of (usually) smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person."  I think he was mostly correct.  I think we as a people tend to think that, because the Church is true, that all those who aren't members are somehow less than blessed.  We forget that there are many members who aren't living the tenets; let alone with less goodness in their hearts than some of our "external" brothers and sisters.  What it boils down to in my mind is that it doesn't matter if you have more or less holes in your swiss cheese than I do.  There's reasons for both of us to exist.  In the words of Jerry Maguire (or was it Rodney King?), "Can't we all just get along"?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

T-63 : Ex Pert

Free RangeOscar Wilde said, "Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes."

Niels Henrik David Bohr said, "An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field."

When I make mistakes, especially at work, I need to remember to mention the fact that it's part of my long-term plan to become an expert.

The beauty of it is that you can be happy either way.  You're either doing well or learning to do well; thus always growing!  Right?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

T-64 : Stupid Sounder

I think this is just dumb:
"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." ~ Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)


T-65 : December Thunder

On the first day of December in the year of our Lord 2012 there was a thunderstorm that produced thunder (hence the name), lightning, and hail!  I don't recall ever having seen such a sight in any Winter month.  I am aging, however, and my memory is fading.  It's hard to believe that it hasn't happened in my 44+ years.

I just returned from a business trip to New York.  While I was there I drove out to Rockaway Beach for a few minutes just to look around at the remnants of what Hurricane Sandy had done to the area.  I didn't have a lot of time before I had to get back to JFK to catch my flight home but I did see many piles of debris in the streets, seemingly awaiting the sanitation trucks.  It probably looked worse earlier.

We went on a family trip down South the year after Hurricane Katrina and saw many more evidences of high water marks and devastation.  Maybe that's because we spent more time there.  Maybe it was a worser storm.  At any rate, I consider myself lucky to live in the relatively-protected area of the Mountain West.

What's the worst/weirdest weather you've seen?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

T-66 : Dough Nuts?

In the 6th Grade Spelling Bee I was one of the last 3 contestants.  My word was "dnt".  I started off with a "D" followed by a confident "O".  Then I paused.  I pondered whether to go with the "U" "G" "H" or to head right for the "N" "U" "T".  A vision popped into my head of the "DONUT" shop in Idaho Falls and I was convinced.  The second vision I had of a tub of "DOUGH" having anything to do with the tasty morsel paled in comparison.  With all the confidence I could muster I finished off with the "N" "U" "T" and was promptly met with a frown from the judge and politely asked to sit down.  The next part of the story is a bit hazy in my memory but I seem to recall sitting in the audience watching Jeff and Kenneth battle over numerous words that neither of them could spell until one of them finally got one.  Further, I imagine that I could have spelled at least one of those that they'd missed if only I wasn't dismissed for missing the "UGH".  Perhaps this disappointing tale has shaped my life for the better after all.  I like to think so.  I was probably bitter for years, though.  Don't let this happen to you.  Focus on enjoying the "small usually ring-shaped cake fried in fat" rather than persnicketing over some silly letters in a contest.

T-67 : Diabetic Reaction

Today at a work luncheon one of my coworkers had a diabetic reaction.  I've never really been around someone when something like this happened so it was a little freaky to me.  We were giving him soda pop and candy to try to get sugar in his system as fast as we could.  When he finally came out of it he said that honey is actually the best emergency antidote because it's nearly pure sugar and that the bees have already processed it.  He's got some in his desk drawer.  So, I'll know better next time to run downstairs for the honey instead of to the candy jar for a holiday Snickers square.  Hopefully this is helpful to you and maybe you can even share with me even more tips?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

T-68 : Car Crattle

Strange BrewThere's a rattling noise in my Corolla, especially when idling at the light.  Click and Clack, the guys on Car Talk, would likely tell me to turn up the radio.  I wonder if anyone else has any good tips for narrowing it down?

T-69 : Stretch Armstrong

Reality CheckI've gotten pretty steady with my workout routine over the past few years.  One thing I could stand to get much better at is my flexibility.  I can't even touch my toes -- standing or sitting -- without bending my knees.  Anybody got any good remedies?

T-70 : Short Cuts

The Flying McCoysThere's more than one barber school here in Rexburg.  The other day I overheard Tara and a sister-in-law conversing about the speed (or lack thereof) of getting in and out of one of those establishments.  I'm just thankful that I haven't been to a barber of any sort in years.  Early on in our marriage my sister -- a trained barberina -- taught my wife the art of the buzz cut.  Now I get trimmed in the kitchen for free!  It's a wonderful life!

T-71 : Room Possession?

I'm trying to make more room each and every day.  How about you?


T-72 : Tree Hunt

The other night for Family Home Evening we went Christmas Tree hunting.  We've retrieved trees from almost any place you can imagine over the years.  This year it was down to the trusty corner store, Valley Wide.  Trekking into the woods and hauling one back is fun but there's something to be said for the speed of simply picking one up pre-cut 3 minutes from home.  What's your favorite tree memory?

Monday, November 26, 2012

T-73 : IKEA Smoosh

The other day we went to the SLC for the weekend in honor of Tara's birthday.  After spending some time at the temple and at City Creek we moseyed on down to IKEA.  We were driving the Corolla and hadn't really planned on getting anything but a bath mat and maybe some stocking stuffers for the kids.  We ended up getting more, including some long boxes (contents may be included in children's Christmas presents and thus will not be divulged until a later time).  Some of the other cars I saw there, including some pictures I found on the Internets tonight tell me that I'm not alone.  Many apparently try to fit large items into small vehicles.  Anyway, I'm thankful that Tara rode all the way home with one knee in the jockey box without even complaining.

T-74 : Let's Snig!

When I was a teen back in the 80s I liked to watch Saturday Night Live.  One of my favorite characters was Rich Hall.  I especially liked his creations of words that don't exist but should, otherwise known as "sniglets" (  Bovilexia is the one shown in this example.  Did you have any of his that were your favorites? Or have you come up with any of your own?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

T-75 : Traffic Pleasures

I discovered recently that I can approach a green light while driving and count on how long it will stay green if I pay attention to the "Don't Walk" sign that's counting down the seconds; purportedly to help pedestrians get across the street in time.  I as the driver not wanting to be faced with a decision of whether to speed up or screech to a halt when the light turns yellow reap the fringe benefit.  I wonder why they don't do that at more locations.  At any rate, I'm thankful for this traffic pleasure!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

T-76 : Head Usage

RubesAre you an ostrich, a giraffe, or a lion?  I think I'm more often either a giraffe or an ostrich; looking at the other guy wondering how he could be so dumb.  Sometimes I don't even realize there's a lion around.  The key is to pay attention

T-77 : Passed Pepper

D14331a0040e0130f870001dd8b71c47?width=450Maybe we should have had an intervention with our cat sooner.  He passed away today after a long battle with a wound that we never quite knew where it came from and that never quite healed.  We'll remember the good times, Pepper.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

T-78 : Pedestrian Avoidance

Ever since I was little I remember avoiding people on sidewalks, in store aisles, etc.  What does that mean?  Do you ever do the same?  I'm trying to force myself to not veer neither right nor left but look into oncomers' eyes and at least say, "Hello".  Think it'll pay long-term dividends?

T-79 : Milk Dribble

Cold cereal is one of my favorite foods.  It's becoming a weekend lunchtime favorite.  Mornings are still reserved for oatmeal and an egg.  My problem with the cold cereal, though, is that I get milk dribbles on my chin.  I'm afraid my long-sleeve shirts are going to get lactose-soaked.  We've all got problems.  Do you dribble?

T-80 : Aerosol Match

I've noticed recently that I often can't get the air and the juice to come out evenly in some of the following aerosol cans:

  • Foot Spray
  • PAM
  • Air Freshener

Who's with me?  Do you have trouble matching the air with the juice?

T-81 : End OK

Are we there yet?
"Everything is okay in the end, if it's not ok, then it's not the end." - Author Unknown

So, just keep swimming!
"My mother assured me that if I stayed on the road of truth, even when it seemed hot and dusty, even when there were distractions, the end would be better than the beginning. I will be eternally grateful that Mother told me." - Bradley D. Foster, "Mother Told Me," Ensign, May 2010, 100
 Focus, Daniel San!
"Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!" - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Continue in Patience," Ensign, May 2010, 57
Well, OK, then.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

T-82 : Phony Privy

I don't want to gross anybody out but I need to share my thoughts about cell phones and toilets.  I admit that I usually carry mine in when it's time to take a seat.  In fact, I always carry it in my shirt pocket.  So it would be difficult to go potty without it.  Whilst sitting, I also admit that I take it out and read emails, news, weather, sports, etc.  I can't seem to sit and just let things flow without something to distract me.  A cell phone is more-readily available than a crossword puzzle book, you know.  There are cautions.

It's possible to drop the electronic device in the drink.  I've never done that but I did have an iPod fall out of my shirt pocket into the sink while I was rinsing my toothbrush.  That didn't end well.  I learned about putting it in a bag of rice for a few days to suck out the moisture before trying to turn it on after I'd already made the mistake of pressing the power button to see if it still worked.  Because of that experience, I'm all the more careful to lean away from the bowl when tidying up after doing my business.

Another problem within a problem is that cell phones supposedly carry 10 times more bacteria than is on a toilet seat.  So, if you have your cell phone with you while you're on the toilet seat does that math change at all?

Stay clean and stay dry out there, y'all.

T-83 : Failure Passage

You rarely become an expert on your first try.  An expert is the person who's made all the mistakes and learned from them.  Mickey is so fine, he said it this way: 
"You always pass failureon the way to success."Mickey Rooney
I think the key word in this thought is "pass".  The problem that I often have is that I meet failure without passing it.  That can create despondency.  I appreciate Mr. Rooney reminding me to push on through and keep my attitude up while I just keep swimming. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

T-84 : Crow's Age

Not to be confused with a "coon's age", someone in church the other day mentioned Boyd K. Packer as having referenced a poem about old crows and young crows.  I looked it up and, of course, liked it.  Here it is for your pleasure:
by John Ciardi

The old crow is getting slow;
the young crow is not.
Of what the young crow does not know,
the old crow knows a lot.
At knowing things, 
the old crow is still the young crow’s master.
What does the old crow not know?
How to go faster.
The young crow flies above, below, 
and rings around the slow old crow.
What does the fast young crow not know?
 So, kids, respect your elders.  Also, elders, respect them kids.  It goes both ways.

T-85 : Regimen Imposition

I'm excited about the change I made in my life nearly 4 years ago when I moved to Rexburg.  I lost 40 pounds by becoming active and eating better.  I think I've made the mistake more than once since then of not being understanding of why others couldn't do the same.  I've been self-righteous on occasion.  This thought, then, really touched me:
"The one thing more difficult than following a regimenis not imposing it on others"~ Marcel Proust
Thank you, Marcel.  This thought also comforts me when I see drivers coast through stop signs, pedestrians meander outside the crosswalks, or even shoppers cut in line in a hurry to get through the checkout.  Live and let live, right?  It's as if I'm now able to say, "I think I know better but I don't know your circumstances so I'll hold forth on the judgement and -- even though I don't hold 'Mother Mary' in as high esteem as the Beatles seem to -- just let it be".

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

T-86 : Blocked Views

My neighbor's trees are growing and "impeding" my view even more each day.  Of course, I knew this when I moved in.  I'm happy to have a house.  I'd rather have trees than open country, too.

At the movie theater the other night I was pleased with my seat until just close to showtime someone filled in the seats right in front of me and made it harder to see.  It's hard to remember that the world doesn't revolve around me.  I'm lucky to be able to go to the theater and it was a good movie, anyway, and I quickly forgot about my discomfort and compromised, like I should do more often.

T-87 : Never Same

My toe is healing.  The doctor, though, said it will never be the same.  Besides the unbendability of it there's a scar on top where the surgerization was done.  That adds to the other scars I have on my body.  I'm also gaining wrinkles, age spots, etc.  Whatever the issue, though, nothing will ever be the same.  Enjoy the change because that's the constant.  The resurrection's going to be pretty cool, though!

Monday, November 5, 2012

T-88 : Butterfly Rifles

Gun ButterFlys Layout Myspace Layout 2.0
This is one I should memorize.  I get too uptight about too many things too often:
A Recipe For Sanity
Are you worsted in a fight? Laugh it off. Are you cheated of your right? laugh it off. Don't make tragedy of trifles, Don't shoot butterflies with rifles.
Laugh it off.Does your work get into kinks? Laugh it off. Are you near all sorts of brinks? Laugh it off. If it's sanity you're after, There's no recipe like laughter, Laugh it off.~ Henry Rutherford Elliot

T-89 : Bark Bite

Loose PartsI recently realized that I need to be a better communicator.  I've asked my family to help.  Each of us has actually declared something that we want to get better at.  Each morning and evening at prayer time the person whose turn it is prays specifically for all 5 members of the family.  If nothing else I've been focusing on communicating better throughout the day.  I think I still have a long way to go.  I commented to Tara tonight that it's ironic that my new duties at work include managing email, Instant Messaging, and Group Chat; communications.  Can we talk?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

T-90 : Class Break

I found this picture in my drafts folder.  On Aug 22, 2011 I went to Portland for training.  During one of the sessions we heard a loud noise outside and saw this car careen across the parking lot and ram through the wall of this Asian restaurant.  Turned out the guy had a seizure and his leg locked onto the gas pedal.  You don't see that every day!  What's the craziest thing you've seen recently?

T-91 : Calculation Tendencies

Today I bowled a 176, 160, 191, for an average of 175.
This morning I weighed 24.91.
My Corolla gets about 30 miles per gallon.
When does a knack for numbers become unhealthy?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

T-92 : Hallowe'en Grinch

I enjoy the dressing up part of Halloween.  I like seeing what ideas others come up with; though it's usually with thoughts of, "...why didn't I think of that..." going through my head.  What I don't like about the holiday is the candy and the greed it spawns.  I guess that's another sign that I'm getting older.  I was thinking just this morning as I saw the Coca-Cola truck making its delivery to Jimmy John's that soda pop and video arcade games are just precursors to alcohol and gambling.  Am I off base?  I've got to now go get some kids from walking on my lawn!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

T-94 : Relatively Defensive

I have kind of a history of being an offensive driver.  I've been getting better with age, I hope.  I make myself feel better when I compare myself to campus drivers.  It was especially rough in last week's 6-inch overnight snow.  Of course everyone besides me is either driving too fast or too slow, right?

T-93 : Foreign Prayers

Today at devotional the opening prayer was given by a person for whom English was obviously a second language.  My natural reaction to experiences like that is to be frustrated with why people like that can't speak louder, slower, and more clearly.  Today I realized that trying to understand what someone like that is saying makes me listen harder.  In the long run I think that's good for me.  So much of what I hear doesn't sink in because of the "firehose effect".  Paying extra attention when someone is a little difficult to understand helps me focus more.  I appreciate that.

T-95 : Scary Singing

Today I have found seemingly-contrasting, yet wise, thoughts:

“It is essential to our well-being and to our lives
that we play and enjoy life.
Every day do something
that makes your heart sing.”
~ Author Unknown

Do one thing every day that scares you.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

So, I guess if we can do both at the same time we're doing really good.  Some days I guess we may have to do a singy thing and a scary thing separately.

T-96 : 6-Cylinder Words

My old friend, Rich Bick, from Frenchtown, Montana used to remark that he "...didn't know none of them six-cylinder words..." whenever anyone broke out with any long ones.  This is wisdom.  We should be careful with those big words.  Another friend of mine, Inigo Montoya, used to say, ""You keep using that wordI do not think it means what you think it means." — Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride, after one "Inconceivable!" too many"

T-97 : Word Passing

If your password is on this list it might be time to get a new one.  Here's this year's list of worst passwords, complete with ranking changes from last year: 
  1. password (Unchanged)
  2. 123456 (Unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
  4. abc123 (Up 1)
  5. qwerty (Down 1)
  6. monkey (Unchanged)
  7. letmein (Up 1)
  8. dragon (Up 2)
  9. 111111 (Up 3)
  10. baseball (Up 1)
  11. iloveyou (Up 2)
  12. trustno1 (Down 3)
  13. 1234567 (Down 6)
  14. sunshine (Up 1)
  15. master (Down 1)
  16. 123123 (Up 4)
  17. welcome (New)
  18. shadow (Up 1)
  19. ashley (Down 3)
  20. football (Up 5)
  21. jesus (New)
  22. michael (Up 2)
  23. ninja (New)
  24. mustang (New)
  25. password1 (New)
                                                The 25 worst passwords of 2012 - The Week

                                                Thursday, October 25, 2012

                                                T-98 : Creamy Tryptophan

                                                Turkey CakeIf you're not planning on having Thanksgiving Dinner with us in Montana this year you might want to reconsider:
                                                Turkey Cake
                                                Wow them with this centerpiece of your dessert table. Choose your favorite ice cream flavor, glazed with sweet toppings. Be sure to enjoy the sugar cone turkey legs! Use Product code H-59 to place order.
                                                Missoula Baskin Robbins, prepare for my order.

                                                Wednesday, October 24, 2012

                                                T-99 : Incessant Melodies

                                                In my quest of counting down from 365 blog posts -- though it's taking me more than a year to complete -- I've finally reached 99.  It doesn't seem like I can pass up this opportunity to pay homage to one of my favorite childhood songs.  Here's the scoop from Wikipedia:
                                                "99 Bottles of Beer" is an anonymous United States folk song dating to the mid-20th century. It is a traditional song in both the United States and Canada. It is popular to sing on long trips, as it has a very repetitive format which is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing. In particular the song is frequently sung by children on long bus trips, such as class field trips, or on Scout and/or Girl Guide outings. The song is derived from the English "Ten Green Bottles".
                                                The song's simple lyrics are as follows:[1][2]
                                                Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer.
                                                Take one down, pass it around, Ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall.
                                                Alternate line:
                                                If one of those bottles should happen to fall, Ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall.
                                                The same verse is repeated, each time with one bottle less. The song is completed when the singer or singers reach zero. Variations on the last verse following the last bottle going down include lines such as "No more bottles of beer on the wall, no more bottles of beer. Go to the store and buy some more, 99 bottles of beer on the wall." and simply "If that one bottle should happen to fall, what a waste of alcohol!". It takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes to sing all 100 verses.
                                                Sometimes, the word "beer" is replaced by the word "Coke" or "milk" when being sung by groups (such as religious groups) that consider the consumption of alcohol to be inappropriate.
                                                I don't know if I ever recall singing much more than about 10 verses.  How about you?  Would you rather sing the 12 Days of Christmas or The Song That Never Ends?  Or do you have a "favorite" that I'm forgetting?

                                                T-100 : Relative Misery

                                                The Flying McCoysThis post is not about my in-laws.  It's about pain points and perspective.  My department at work is going through a reorganization.  I've been uptight about it for months.  As it's finally coming to completion and I'm near to finding out my new job description we ended up talking about it at dinner last night.  I realized that most of my immediate family has no idea what I really do at work all day, anyway.  They basically just know that I'm a computer guy.  In the end, that's all the really matters.  What role I play in IT is of second importance to the fact that I actually get to be an IT guy; a job that I really enjoy.  Thanks for the perspective, kids.  I thought I was hanging on the wall but I realize that I'm glad just to still be alive and kicking.

                                                T-101 : Poultry Pilfering

                                                I'm listening to Huckleberry Finn in my car these days.  Today this phrase caught my ear:
                                                Pap always said, take a chicken when you get a chance, because if you don't want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain't ever forgot.
                                                I think there's wisdom there.  Of course it's not always going to be a chicken.  But, if you're offered something, accept it graciously.  You can always pay it forward.  Does this come too close to re-gifting, though?

                                                Tuesday, October 23, 2012

                                                T-102 : Pulpy Bones

                                                Halloween special – Papercraft Skeleton by DigitpropI'm lobbying to make this a Family Home Evening activity next Monday night.  Someone always seems to get done with their jack-o-lantern more quickly than everyone else.  This can be the second activity that keeps us together a little bit longer.  Who's with me?

                                                Papercraft Skeleton, A Halloween Papecraft Project For Kids

                                                T-103: Social Diet

                                                Social Consumption PyramidWhile I don't always think it's appropriate, the online comic "Doghouse Diaries" continues to produce gems from time to time.  Today is one of those.  We'd do well to treat "in-person interaction" a little more like the fruits and vegetables in our lives and realize that electronic/digital interaction is a lot more like the sweets that we need less of to be a balance person.