Monday, December 15, 2008

WARNING! Adult Content!

So we were playing the "ha ha" game yesterday. That's the one where everyone lays on the floor and rests their head on the stomach of someone else. Then the hilarity ensues. The first person goes "ha" (and the heads start bobbing). The next person goes "ha ha"...you get the idea. Usually the group just starts laughing and bobbing up and down at that point. That was about how far we got before we were all laughing ourselves silly.

Then Nate makes a stinker.

Of course, in normal families, this would stop the laughter. Not in ours. It amplified it. Then Mommy says "Nate has the buns of doom." And of course, the "jokes" continued. We use the word "chones" in our household to refer to undies, so I said "Nate: Attack of the Chones." Then Riley chimed in, "He's Count Doodoo." It finally degenerated into "Nate is Darth Skidius, Evil Sith Lord."

Nate of course couldn't get enough of it and tried in vain to come up with his own monikers, most of which were things like "Yeah! I'm Count Doodoo!"

Of course, trying to keep it high-brow, as we drove around looking at Christmas lights last night, I decided to "have a talk" to the family and discuss how it may be better and more appropriate if we start to talk "nice" and remove references to "body functions" from our dialogue.

All four kids were put to sleep by this. I heard snoring. I did.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What the crap? (Sorry about the title, Mom)

Never mind that the earth has been cooling for the last three years, the idiot climate global warming kooks are trying to take over your kid's Christmas program. My buddy in Salt Lake sent me this link--his kids were indoctrinated into this just this past week as they performed the drivel to his shock and horror.

Join your local PTA before Principal Gore makes this a horrifying reality at your local elementary school.

FYI: We live in a place where the kids can still sing Silent Night and say "Christmas." Yep, you guessed it, we're no longer in California.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've been a Reagan Republican for quite some time...

My mother emailed me this little tidbit this morning. I wrote it when I was eleven years old for a creative write assignment in sixth grade. It's interesting to me in that I was so cutting-edge in my political priorities. Economy. Alternative fuels. Homeland security. I was Hopechange before Hopechange was Hopechange!

Behold:

If I Could Vote....

If I could vote I would probably vote for Ronald Reagan. One reason is because I am a loyal Republican (even if I'm only 11). When I'm 12 I'll be a TAIR. Teen Age Independent Republican. Another reason is I like his way of doing things. I know he has a good record in California as Governor of that state. That sounds like a tough job.


What I would want him to do if he were elected is to help make a more stable economy, help bring down inflation, start searching for more American oil so we rely less on OPEC and other countries. To put more money into military spending and find safe ways to make alcohol and coal fuels.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Essay on Marriage

Since November 4th, when Californians again (without my help this time) affirmed their majority belief that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, I've had some interesting discussions with people on both sides of the issue, and have witnessed questionable behavior as well. I'd like to dispatch with all of those actions, thoughts, observations and votes and state my case for marriage between a man and a woman. I warn you, that my opinions and beliefs on this issue are formed as a result of my faith, conviction and experience, and I neither seek to "understand" or "be tolerant" of others here. My purpose is to lay bare the reasons why I assert that marriage is to be confined to that between a man and a woman. Before I continue, let me state for the record that I do not deny that there are numerous pairs of loving men and loving women who would like nothing more than to pledge their love to someone of the same sex--and who may very well be better at executing their homosexual relationship than many heterosexual couples. As you'll see by reading my commentary, I am not grading the "love potential" for lack of a better phrase of couples--homosexual or heterosexual--but want my friends and family to know why I believe and act the way I do. I also acknowledge both my inability to clearly articulate all that I wish to say and my own imperfection before a God who I will reference in these comments. We are all sinners in this life, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. That is a commentary for another day.

First and foremost, I know that I am a spiritual son of my Father in Heaven. I know that I was spiritually begotten of him before coming to this earth. My earthly parents, married since 1957 in this life, gave me life almost forty years ago--and in so doing, were made participants in God's plan of happiness for each of us--His children--here on earth. I know that God extends to all who will accept these same opportunities to partake of the blessings of creation and raising children in this life. As we are all sons or daughters of our Father in Heaven, He has entrusted us to help one another--our brothers and sisters--to come to know Him in this life and to work together to return to live with Him again, given that we've successfully exercised our agency in this life. He does not restrict us in this life. He has blessed us with the gift of agency--basically the ability to choose our path--in this life. It is why we are here. Life is therefore like a big test. He has provided us with study guides, mentors, proctors for the test and the answer key. He will not, however, force us to use any of these tools as we take this examination. He will merely show us where the helps are and allow us to choose for ourselves.

That kind of lays out the foundation. Another fundamental belief I hold--which has been confirmed to me as truth by a loving Father in Heaven--is that just as we lived in the presence of Him prior to coming to this earth, we have the potential to return to His presence if we are faithful in making and keeping the covenants He has laid out for us. Of course we first must apprise ourselves as to what these covenants are, but once we know--we must do. In addition to this, I know that the rewards for this life are not a "thumbs up--thumbs down" heaven or hell scenario. We are promised a variety or degree of glory commensurate to our disposition and actions here--basically we merit what we're comfortable with. (Think of the common idiomatic expression "as comfortable as a whore in church." We won't be comfortable in the presence of God if we've lived so as to exclude him from our lives or at least not make him the center. He does not want us to be uncomfortable--nor does he reward us or give us something we haven't warranted or desired, hence the situation as I see it.)

Because our Father in Heaven desires that we inherit everything He has, he has designed this life to provide us with opportunities to grow, learn and through trial and error, come to know what He knows and act as He does. He has also provided us the great eraser for our mistakes--our elder brother Jesus Christ. Basically, it's a foolproof plan--except for one thing: our own disposition to err. If we can overcome that basic nature, we can overcome the weaknesses and sins of this world and be blessed with a full measure of God's inheritance--just as a loving earthly father would leave his "millions" to his posterity.

Earlier, I mentioned "covenants" which I define as a two-way contract between God and one of his children--son or daughter. In order to gain this inheritance, God has prescribed that we faithfully attain to knowledge of His plan in this life and make covenants with him. One of the key covenants we must make is that of marriage--what he refers to as "the new and everlasting covenant of marriage." In other words, a marriage that is not just a "til death do us part" promise, but an eternal covenant that has effect after this mortal life has ended for us. In His definition, Father states that this eternal covenant is to be made between a man and a woman. The mortal purpose of raising righteous posterity to him and raising them (as I already noted) is key to our joy in this life. Our desire to make this covenant is critical to our eternal happiness.

So if we are comfortable with the marriage covenant being between a man and a woman, God will bless us with the blessings associated with that desire. He has noted that the reward for faithfulness in this regard is exaltation--in other words, eternity with all that He has, and the potential for eternal increase--an eternal family. If our desire is something else, He promises us blessings commensurate to those desires. My feelings are that any blessing or reward for something other than the eternal marriage God has prescribed will end when mortality for that individual ends. They may be "happy" with their mortal choice, but will never know "joy"--the lasting effects of making choices that are pleasing to God, not just ourselves.

So there it is--poorly written, but from my heart. I am blessed with a beautiful wife here in this life, but even more so, I am blessed with an absolute knowledge that this angel who walks by my side as my mortal equal in theory (and mortal better in practice) and I will be together in the eternities because we have chosen this as a course of action--and we know that God approves. He has spoken it to our souls, we have felt it in our hearts. A loving Father would do nothing less than to confirm that what we're doing is right. A loving earthly father would do the same. "Good job, son. I know you're having a tough time, but you're on the right track."

My Father in Heaven has told me the same. THAT is why I know that marriage between a man and woman is an integral part of God's plan for our eternal joy. I do not apologize for this view. I advocate it. I know there are many who disagree with it. I know there are many who ridicule it. I know that there are many who do not understand it, may call it outdated or any number of other things. Nevertheless, I know it to be true, and for that knowledge, I thank my Father in Heaven daily. I trust that if you do not have this same conviction that you take it to him in prayer--even if it's the first time you've had a conversation with your "Dad." Ask Him. It could be the start of something eternally beautiful.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Catherine Vogt Gets a Lesson at School

Here's a great story from the Chicago Tribune that shows just how unified America has become, and how the candidacy and election of Obama will most likely lead to more unifying unification, tolerant tolerance and understandification.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Hopechange

Well, despite my one vote to the contrary, everyone else in America, including the collective staffs of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, RAI-1 and RAI-2, TVE-1, Telemundo, Galavision and CNBC voted for Barack Obama. So the landslide was complete. Obama: 49 bazillion, McCain: 1.

So, where does that leave us as a nation? I'll tell you this: on election night, I went out and stocked up on two-inch plastic "supplies" for my little slice of the 2nd Amendment. Alarmist? Maybe, but I'm not getting caught flat-footed if this place goes wacky (news flash: stock market bombs on Nov. 5).

We've elected the most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate--who successfully hoodwinked the majority of the electorate into thinking he was a centrist. He is just the third sitting senator to be voted into the highest office in America, and no doubt, the least-experienced of the three. Oddly enough, despite Chris Matthew's shivers of ecstasy up his leg, others in the media, including none other than Tom Brokaw (on the Charlie Rose show), have quietly admitted that "we don't really know much about Obama or what he'll do." It's the most impressive job of marketing that I've witnessed since we purchased Moon Shoes for my daughter two Christmases ago, after she swore they would help her jump 20 feet into the air. Within two hours of opening the gift, she was telling us that "Moon Shoes are the worst toy ever!"

I wish Obama well. I'm sure it won't be as uphill a battle as the asserted in his acceptance speech. He already has a willing propaganda arm in the American media who will no doubt coddle him, write glowing reviews of his time in office and blame any missteps on the opposition in America. That's what the press is good for here--and that is why print media circulation continues to drpp faster than a lead balloon floating over an electromagnetic gorge. (There was a spike on Nov. 5, as people clamored to get a piece of "history" at the local 7-11.)

Here are a few of my observations: you normally can tell a man by the company he keeps. Unless his name is Barack Obama. Apparently decades of political and religious affiliations with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers and Rashid Khalidi don't count as "questionable" or "dangerous liaisons." Instead, they qualify as "people I hardly know." Also, Barack Obama, according to his close friends in the media, "didn't really work for ACORN (the notorious voter fraud peddlers--sign up the Dallas Cowboys get a free t-shirt)" but had only heard of them or some other dumb excuse when he got his hand caught in the cookie jar. Redistribution is apparently okay as long as you are the recipient of whatever is redistibuted--and voting for the redistributor--not if you're the victim of this shake down. Agency and ability be damned--choice and accountability are out, replaced by arbitrary assessments by the elected elite as to who qualifies as "rich." (According to Bill Richardson [ironic name], Obama surrogate, "rich" is now $120K. This figure is the only number to fall faster than the stock market in October--as it started at $300K--losing more than half its value in a matter of days.)

So, again, the P.E. is in for a tough road. Because I'm an American and I respect the office of president, I will not refer to Mr. Obama as ObamaHitlerMcChimpy or any other iteration of the vitriolic names the left has been using against Pres. Bush for the better part of the past eight years now. Instead, I will respect him as much as he does me. He keeps his hands off my "stuff" and I'll play nice.

But I will not vote for him in 2012--regardless.

Friday, October 31, 2008

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them?

I picked up a free subscription to the Economist, a UK-based weekly magazine, using frequent flier miles. I started reading it casually while in business school, and usually liked what it had to say. If offers a different perspective--not another parroting of the American MSM.

The latest article that caught my eye was on p. 43 of the print edition. (URL here)

The article discusses the Mormon work ethic, and how the economy in Mormon-dominated Utah continues to grow--and unemployment remains low compared to regional neighbors. Two pieces of this article stuck out to me, and I quote them here:

The "cultural thing", as businessmen from out fo state delicately refer to Mormonsim, helps in other ways. Utah's almost universal conservatism makes for stable, consensual politics. It took the state legislature just two days last month to plug a $272M hole in the budget. By contrast, California's budget was 85 days late. Nevada's politicians are preparing for a nasty fiscal fight next year.
Mormons do not come to work nursing hangovers, and they are inclined to stay put in the promised land rather than pursue better-paying jobs elsewhere. Matthew Donthnier, who is hiring for a new Proctor & Gamble plant, has only one complaint about the local workforce: it can be a little difficult to persuade people to toil on Sundays.
"I teach people correct principles and let them govern themselves." -- Joseph Smith

Friday, October 17, 2008

Every Once in a While--You Pause...

I never knew Stephen Fortunato, yet I am fortunate that he served me--and the rest of America--for all the right reasons. I want to thank him and the thousands of others like him for selflessly serving me and the rest of this great nation of America, and for giving his life in that struggle. It would seem by the included blog post which he wrote, that the sacrifice he made was done so willingly, with a clear head and with gratitude for the opportunity.

From Boston Globe:

If I may …

I'd like to say something....Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush's agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the "war on terrorism." i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America's sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.

I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don't care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don't care if you don't think our freedom within America's borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America's power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There's nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.

I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else's country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.

...One last thing...a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn't that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That's right...you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don't try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.



Thank you, Spec. Fortunato. Rest in peace.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I think I just wet my pants laughing.

HA HAH HAHAAHAHAHAA!

HAHAAHHHAAAA!!!

HAHAHAAHAAAAA!!!!

Umm...Let's do the Math.

At first glance, this story from Indystar.com looks terrific. Voter registrations in Indianapolis are up. People are taking a stake in the elections. I've always said that it's shameful to have anything less than a 90% turnout in elections (hey, you get sick, you travel, it happens--100% is a pipe dream).

Well, apparently, 100% was setting the bar too low for Indianapolis. According to some quick math figures by blogger Ogden on Politics, there are now officially 105% of the eligible voters in Indianapolis registered to vote. Uh. Um...er...what?

I notice that Say Anything has made the obvious connection. Yes. ACORN has an office in Indy.


Photoshop courtesy of Blind Mule.

Monday, October 06, 2008

First Rule of Nate Club: Don't Talk About Nate Club


Nate loves his bike. Nate loves to ride. Nate's bike is about a half-inch too big for him. Nate goes down hills on the Boise Greenbelt. Nate goes downhill under bridges. Idiots stand under bridges in the bike lane. Nate hits idiots who stand under bridges in the bike lane. Nate's Dad wants to cold-cock the idiots who stand in bike lanes acting as targets for five year-olds who are riding down hills under bridges on Greenbelts.

Contrary to what this picture shows, Nate is not trying to become a cage fighter or even taking Rex Kwon-do classes. I just wish Nate were my size, because the idiot who was standing in the bike lane in the dusk under the bridge would've taken the worst of it.

Keep on riding, Nate. We'll get him next time!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Minnesota Vikings are Worthless

Well, not only have my beloved Vikings started what was supposed to be a "Super Bowl" caliber season 0-2, but according to Forbes, the team is the most worthless in the NFL--even worth less than the crappy Raiders.

The silver lining, though, is that the owners, the Wilf Brothers, have actually made a $239 million USD return on their investment in the three years since they bought the franchise from Red McCombs. Of course, that silver lining only benefits the Wilf Brothers. I'm not a Wilf.

Darn it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Children's Bookstore

My neighbor is now online! May I suggest that you take a moment and link to ChildrensBookstore.com. It's a site dedicated to kids' books, helping kids learn to read, sharing tips and ideas and looks to be pretty easy to navigate. It's been a collaborative effort for a couple of my neighbors, actually. One is the creative genius behind the content, and the other has put together all the nerdy back-end applications stuff. If you like either and would like to get in touch with them for your project, drop me a note.

In the mean time, read to your kids!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Minnesota Awesomeness

Okay, if you've never been to the Minnesota State Fair, too bad for you. It is greasy goodness, deep-fried and on a stick. Arteries cringe at the sound of the fair approaching. You pay $11 to get in the gate and have the pleasure of shedding years off your life in delicious fashion. Behold, the list of "on-a-stick" foods, courtesy of Fairbourne's Food Finder. Nummy.

We were able to sample the following foods:
-- Deep-fried cheese curds: a Fair staple for decades, these are ridiculously good;
-- Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies: ten cashiers wide and a line of 10-15 at each cashier purchasing a $14 bucket o' cookies means Sweet Martha is taking baths in twenties;
-- Key Lime pie on a stick: seen this in the past, this was the first year we went for it. Good, but would be better with non-dark chocolate dip;
-- Cheesecake on a stick: get. get. get. and get another one.
-- Zeppoles: Italian something-or-other dough bathed in powdered sugar: a winner
-- Dairy building "malt": nothing more than soft-server ice cream smothered in blackberries--it was good, but wasn't a malt;

In the past I've sampled the Lutheran sundae, which was a pile of mashed potatoes with a big meatloafy meatball and gravy on top, which is quite tasty, an egg roll on a stick and many other things.

Make plans to come next August. Totally worth the trip. And I'm totally biased about it, too. I own it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

While You're Sleeping...

There's a great article in the WSJ regarding what's going on in Georgia, as the Russian Army allegedly is withdrawing. Too many feet on the street say that this is simply not happening. The media continues to ignore this in America, as they are overwhelmed by his Obamaness and the anointing ceremony of the supreme Marxist commandante in Denver.

About thirteen years ago, I met a higher-ranking government official from Georgia on a train in Spain. He had married a woman from Barcelona and was on his way to pick her up after she'd spent time with family there and then head back to Georgia. Georgia was a new democracy back then, in its infancy, but after having a wonderful chat with this man, I could tell something burned in his chest--the flame of desire for freedom. I've since read in other places that the Georgians "get it" when it comes to fighting for freedom. Soldiers I know who've deployed to Iraq and have fought alongside and trained the Georgians have told me that they "get it" more than anyone else--sometimes more than the Americans. Watch the reception that President Bush got in Tbilisi in 2005 and you'll see a nation of people that "gets it." This was the infamous "watch stealing" episode (that wasn't), but the Georgians welcomed this president, who talked the talk and walked the walk about defending nascent freedom, with arms wide open.

To have the Russians move in on Georgia, attempting to quash a people who "get it" and take from them the freedom they had won not even fifteen years prior, is evidence of a troubling dichotomy in the Russian sphere. In Russia, you have a nation who was once proud, immensely powerful, feared and had since become a shell of its former self. In Georgia (and the Ukraine, and other former "SSRs") you have a sovereign nation who, now that it has drank deep from the fountain of freedom, relishes its opportunity and even stands boldly against those who would attempt to deprive others of a chance at it. To ignore the Russian aggression against Georgia is to say the men and women dying in Iraq and Afghanistan promoting democracy is a waste--that it somehow is not worth it.

Let's take a lesson from the Georgians. Let's "get it" and stand up to a Russia driven by unfulfilled dreams of empire, attempting to forcefully control something that cannot be controlled: the Georgian desire--the human desire--for freedom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MS Ride a Success (Day Two)

Day two began with the prospect of being a bit shorter (50 instead of 60 miles) a bit flatter (less climbing to start the day, less elevation gain overall) and a different kind of scenic.

Everything went as planned except that I totally bonked about ten miles from the finish. About the half-way point, I hooked up with a group of riders from Mountain Orthopedic (some of whom I'd met at the start) and we got in a sweet paceline as we put about 15 miles on in about 45 minutes. I pulled and then let Henry (Enrique) and Alex (Sr.) do the pulling too. Both of these men are Basque (surprise that I gravitated to them) and they were both in their 60s making me look like I had a wooden leg and a plastic lung. They rode like machines. I really need to train harder. That's Henry in the front of the picture below and Alex right behind him. I'm taking the picture over my shoulder while pulling. The ladies in back are daughters and daughters-in-law.


I made it back into McCall solo--as I got dropped when I hit the wall. No worries, though, as I got to the massage table while there was no line. $10 for a thirty-minute post-race was $10 well spent. I think the spa (located in our home town) has a new client. I'll probably send Carrie first. She earned it.

Total stats on the ride:
Day one:
Distance: 59.32 miles
Time: 4:32:23
Avg. speed: 13.1 mph
Max speed: 35.8 mph
Calories burned: 5020
Avg. cadence: 68 rpm

Day two:
Distance: 49.20
Time: 3:19:09
Avg. speed: 15.2 mph
Max. speed: 37.6 mph
Calories burned: 3284
Avg. cadence: 69 rpm

I used my heart-rate monitor on the Garmin 305 Carrie bought for me for the first time on this ride. It says my average heart rate was 126 bpm and my max was 143 bpm. I have no idea what that means, but I assume that the first number is a bit high and the fact I didn't die may be a good thing. If anyone knows what that is, let me know--or I'll look it up myself. Everytime I go to the doctor, they tell me my blood pressure is normal and my heart rate is too. So I'm putting it out there for your closet MDs to tell me if I should be concerned.

Thanks to all my sponsors for their wonderful (and GENEROUS) support on this ride. I know I ask you folks every year to do what you can, and you continually amaze me and my family with your generosity and true devotion to this cause. I invite you to come ride/visit/watch next year. McCall is a beautiful location and would be a great place for a vacation.

Thanks again--and lots of love to each of you!

MS Ride a Success (Day One)

I finished. The MS Ride up in McCall this year was terrific. It was tough. It was challenging. It was well-supported. I love the ride and I love the opportunity to participate in such a fantastic cause. I've got a few pictures from it--although only a pair of them with me, since I didn't really know anyone in the ride (that changed after I rode...I'm a talker), but enjoy!


On day one, I climbed the first thirty miles--seriously--it was an "out-and-back" ride of mostly climbing the first thirty miles--and left the lunch stop ready to head down the mountain. About a mile or two into it, I noticed something on my front tire that looked like tar or goo. I stopped and realized that I had a "herniated tire" and that unless I could find a tire (not a tube), my ride would be over, and I would miss the downhill I had earned. See the picture below for a look at what a herniated tire looks like (note the blisters):



So I hopped into the SAG wagon that would take me to the twenty-mile rest stop and waited. He was also the Sweep car, so we had to wait for the last riders to go--he couldn't use his radio because he wasn't "HAM-certified" or something. Yikes. On our way down the mountain, we came across two brothers (who I'd seen a few times already) who were having their fair share of mechanical problems. One of them had just gotten his third flat of the morning (that was about one per hour). His brother Jason had already flatted once and also broken a cleat on his shoe. Good times. I suggested the issue wasn't "tubular" but instead "rimular" or "spokular" and that he ought to check that out. To make a long story short, we swapped wheels, rims and all, so I could ride down the hill (he was done--plus the SAG wagon had beer and he was thirsty). Here's a nice picture of the "two wrongs make a bike" pair of wheels:


That night, I joined my family, was super grumpy and sore, and actually got a reasonable amount of sleep. Special thanks to my wonderful wife for putting up with me and allowing me to do this without too much "leaving the kids alone" guilt. I love this cause and I love this ride. Mostly because I love my Mom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where I'll Be Riding This Weekend

Just in case you're wondering where the MS Road, Sweat and Gears ride is this weekend, here's a look:

DAY ONE RIDE

And the elevation:






Both the day one and day two rides are "out and back" rides, which means I'll be on either side of the road, depending on the time of day. I'm excited about the ride, but the elevation should prove to be quite a challenge. I find that the harder the hills, the more I think about my Mom...so Mom, your ears should be itching or burning--or whatever they do when people think about you--almost all weekend!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Uncommonly Common

In the vein of "you can find anything on the internet" I got a bug to look up my surname and see how common it is. I don't see it as all that common--and the variations of it are even less common. Little did I know that my name is #574 in America and there are an estimated 52,495 Randalls in America--meaning that 19.46 people per 100,000 share my last name.

My wife's maiden name is #807. I guess the Randalls have been more "fertile."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obumper Sticker

I'm really kind of tired of the bumper sticker soundbites that keep dribbling out of the mouth of Barack Obama. Today he offered more "change" for America as he called for excessive taxing of American oil companies and "windfall" profit taxes "while we're paying $4 a gallon and they're making record profits."

Um. Hello? It's not Exxon's fault they're making major profits. They don't set gas prices. They make the gas. The price of oil per barrel is set by excessive speculation in the petroleum futures markets. Obama is entirely clueless on this issue--but since America by-and-large is also clueless as to how markets work, he can say this sort of crap and get away with it. I mean, hey, who wants to stick it to the consumer when it's "big oil's fault" or "greedy corporations" that are fleecing us, right? He'll "close the loopholes" in taxation. Of course, he'll drive small business out of business in the process--but he's not interested in that. His party wants you to become enslaved to big government (the state) and rely on the state for all your needs because you're incapable of taking care of yourself.

(Um...hey...that's Fascism, if you're wondering.)

Do yourself a solid and do NOT vote for this cardboard cutout of a candidate. Hopichangitude is nothing more than socialism...and if you appreciated the depth and length of the Great Depression, then you'll understand that's what we're staring at in an Obama White House.

We've already declared independence from foreign powers. I wouldn't have thought we'd have to fight for independence from government intervention in how we buy goods, work, do business, etc.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Am Awesome!

Okay, so that title is a bit presumptuous, but I accomplished something yesterday that was totally unexpected. Background: I had read in Bicycling Magazine about a year ago that the best way to teach a kid to ride without training wheels (and also the fastest) was to take them to a grassy hill with a slight incline and basically send them down it. That's the first video you'll see below.

videoAfter breakfast-for-dinner last night, I took Nate out on the "hill" in our common area behind the house and got him on his bike for some "lessons." Nate took about four trips down the grassy hill and wanted to hit the pavement (not literally). That's the second video you'll see.

The time difference between the two videos is fifteen minutes (Carrie said it was actually fourteen). The article in Bicycling promised fifteen minutes. They delivered. Nathan rode his bike to TCBY last night (about two miles) and wanted more this morning. He's doing so well! Plus he learned to ride a bike two years before Riley did and three years before his old man. (I've made up for my late start!)

GREAT WORK, NATE! Ride on, my brother!
video

Friday, July 11, 2008

Awareness

I just came across this awareness test that you might find enlightening. I know I did.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Maren Elise

It's no secret that the thing we do the worst as parents is come up with names for our newborns in a timely fashion. This latest attempt was no different. Carrie and I wrestled with the names (Carrie knows illegal ninja moves from the government, though, so the wrestling was hard for me) for quite some time. She even acquired a baby name book from the hospital (Clotilde? Really?) for inspiration. In the end, we decided on Maren Elise for our little one. I chose Maren, and I think Carrie likes Elise. She did come up with it.

Here's why I came up with Maren. The name is in our family from the Danish side through my mother. I had originally suggested Maren Marie, as I believe that is on both mine and Carrie's sides, but Marie was shot down...which is certainly fine with me. Pretty common (Mary), too. Anyway, Maren Marie Henriksen (Denmark) was by great-great grandmother, and Elise Pedersen (Sweden) married my great-great-grandfather Jens Christian Sorensen, who was widowed with three children (my great-grandmother among them) in 1880 and raised them plus the six other children born to her with Jens.

Additionally, in December of 1995, I had dinner with Andrea and Maren Gibb in Montclair, CA. A pretty average dinner at Olive Garden--I had known the Gibbs as I volunteered for the Upland Stake Creche Festival, and they were involved in the execution of the event somehow. Anyway, they must've noticed something in me and over dinner mentioned that they had a friend who was also a teacher (true), also spoke Spanish (true), and was also very funny (very true), so therefore we "should get together and go out." So Maren and her mother are the reason why I have such an incredible wife and an awesome life.

I can't think of a better tribute than that. We mix family and friends with one name. I really do have a great life!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Baby, A Baby, We Have Got a Baby...!

The family count is now six. I'm good with that. Carrie says she's good too. We'll see who flinches first. Our latest little bundle o'joy arrived at 11:49 a.m. MDT today. She was six pounds, thirteen ounces at birth, and if I heard right, she's twenty-one inches long. I left to go get the siblings before they measured her. Carrie had a pretty quick delivery (according to her doctor it was a push and a half...beats twenty-four hours of hard labor!).

SHE'S TINY. A total peanut. Enjoy the pictures and video!










video


video

Monday, June 30, 2008

Latest on Landis

In the latest--and last--option for Floyd Landis, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the appeal that Floyd Landis had entered to keep his 2006 Tour de France title. He was stripped of that title for elevated testosterone. I for one have always maintained that Floyd was innocent. This decision does little to change that opinion. I don't have any personal insights or insider info that makes me think this, just a gut feeling and a few questions:

1) Doping before the biggest race of the year, I can see happening. Doping DURING that race, knowing that if you win (even a stage win), that you'll be tested? No way.
2) Doping by taking testosterone--which doesn't even kick in immediately--and is the easiest performance-enhancer to catch, since it's been around longest? No way.
3) I just trust Floyd. I'm not sure why. He's not even my favorite cyclist. I just trust that he's been honest. Until he comes out and says "I was lying all along" (which I don't think is coming), I will believe Floyd.

I really believe he was a victim of either faulty testing or some sort of conspiracy against American cyclists--who, with Lance--had dominated the TdF for eight years straight.

Floyd Landis--MY Tour de France 2006 Champion.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Current Temperature in Hell: 34 degrees Fahrenheit and falling?

If you're familiar with the UK weekly "The Guardian" then you're aware that their M.O. is usually to bash the U.S., and over the last eight years, to ridicule, belittle and besmirch the Bush administration. That's what makes this column all the more unexpected.

It basically sums up--from a much larger pulpit--what I've felt all along: George W. Bush, although not perfect, has been right on the War on Terror in general and the pursuit of al-Qaeda elsewhere in the world. He understood clearly, post-9/11, the threat that islamists would pose to freedom and democracy worldwide, and took the fight to their yard. A few excerpts:

The theocratic barbarism responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers was driven not by what America and its allies had done, but by what we represented.


He continues:
The most fundamental decision in western security policy in the past seven years has not been the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It has been the recognition that the most voluble adversaries of western society are not merely a criminal subculture, and still less an incipient liberation movement. Rather, they are a reactionary, millenarian and atavistic force with whom accommodation is impossible as well as intensely undesirable.


Read the entire article. It's not a pro-Bush honk, but a seemingly objective look at the overall Bush policy of pursuit in lieu of passivity.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm (not) Old

Well, I officially had a terrific birthday yesterday. It all started with a thrashing at the hands of three friends in doubles tennis at 6:00 a.m. We played one set, which my partner and I dropped 7-5. Then we switched partners for set two--which my new partner and I dropped 6-2. I was officially a loser by 7:45 a.m. I headed home with my racket between my legs and Carrie took the kids down to DK, bringing me home some delicious jelly-filled doughnuts. With losing now a distant memory, I looked forward to lunch plans with a different group of amigos at the local Chicago Dog joint. Polish dog, french fries with celery salt (that's good, by the way) and good conversation made for a nice birthday midday. Got some work done in the p.m. and then about 6:15 we went out as a family for dinner. We ate so much--and then they brought out my birthday dessert (a foot-high mudpie piece with hot fudge all over it)--that we still have a completely uncut birthday cake in the kitchen--seriously. We blew out the candles on it (ha hah---only 6) and no one wanted any because we were bloated. The kids hooked me up with a t-shirt that has their hand prints on it and says "hands down our daddy is..." on the front, and "the best!" on the back. Got socks a belt, a couple of CO2 tire inflation guns for my bike and the day was complete.

I have the bestest family in the whole wide world!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Just a short note about my awesome Father's Day. On our way home from California this weekend, my wife asked me what I wanted for dinner on Father's Day. Without hesitation, I requested one of her awesome paellas. So there I was today, surrounded by good friends and an incredible wife eating one of my favorite foods. Remember, Carrie doesn't even eat paella. The only reason she learned how to make it was because I love it so much. If you ask me, she makes the most delicious paella on the planet. Anyone who disagrees with me is free to take a taste. That ought to shut them up!

Thanks, honey!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Last Night I Partied Like it Was 1985

As you can see by the stellar image quality from my Motorola Q, last night I stepped back into my high school days and did something that I've only done on a pair of occasions now since I told myself in 1993 that I wouldn't ever do again: I went to a rock concert.



Strike that. This was no ordinary rock concert. This was my second go-round (the only band I've ever spent concert ticket money on twice) for Rush. On the ride over, my three concert-mates (and neighbors) and I were trying to do the math as to the age of Geddy, Alex and Neil. Their first album was released in 1974. If they were 17-18, that puts them in AARP range now. Of course, they're Canadian, so maybe it's CAARP, but you get the picture. Let me just state this for the record: THEY STILL ROCK.

Watching these "old" men run around on stage, play their music (my buddy Jake says each has a doctorate in music), work the crowd, inject some emotion and basically blow the roof off the arena was pretty cool. This was also the first go-round for me seeing parents bringing their kids to a concert that wasn't sponsored by the Wiggles or Nickelodeon. Nate told me today that he wanted to go "to the concert next time." Well, if the energy Rush displayed last night was any indication, he may be taking his kids.

They started off the set with Limelight, and ended it with YYZ (I think...they threw in A Passage to Bangkok somewhere at the end). They played a bunch of stuff off Snakes and Arrows, their latest studio album, and then gave the mass of humanity what they wanted with Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio, a nice long Neil Peart drum exhibition (anyone who says he's not the best drummer on the planet is obviously smoking some sort of illegal substance and should be beaten about the cranium), the Trees, Subdivisions and many other darn good songs.

Biggest disappointment: NO songs off Power Windows. Only one off of Grace Under Pressure (although it was "Between the Wheels" which is excellent). Only one off of Hold Your Fire...and in my opinion, not the best one (but again, a good choice with "Mission".)

Some cool things: As they headed off for an intermission, Geddy says, "since we are no longer "sprrrrring chickens" we need to take a short break." Frankly, I couldn't stand for the nearly three-hour set anyway, and needed a "sprrrrring chicken" break, too. In between sets, they would run this little video story with the bandmembers as the actors. The opening sequence had Alex in bed dreaming of snakes, awakening in a sweat. He leans back and says "honey, I had a dream about snakes. Why am I dreaming about snakes? Honey?" Neil Peart emerges from the other side of the bed--they look at each other and scream. Then they run a bit about Tom Sawyer with the South Park cartoon. Cartman has long Geddy hair and sings, "Monday warrior, today's Tom Sawyer, he floated down a river with a black guy." Then he says "that's what the book says, I read it...and I'm Geddy Lee, I'll sing whatever lyrics I want." It's that kind of stuff that helps you realize that this trio gets it. They're not self-righteous egoists. They're musicians. I really liked Alex's acoustic/electric solo--and during Neil's extended drum work, the pictures in back paid homage to Buddy Rich.

You know what the coolest thing about them is? They play music. Sure they let their opinions come out in that music, but it's not in-your-face politics, just make-you-pause stuff. And they didn't cuss all night. In fact, I've never heard a cuss word in ANY of their songs. No sex. No swearing. Just good music played by three guys who know their way around their instruments. If I could pair them with Kepa Junkera on some sort of something, I'd be in music nirvana.

I'd go see them again. Tonight. If I could.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ride of Silence

This past week, we joined a couple of other cyclists to participate in Boise's version of the Ride of Silence. This is a worldwide gathering--dozens of rides--dozens of locations--to honor those who have lost their lives in automobile-bicycle accidents. Last year we had a woman killed here in our hometown by a woman who shouldn't have been driving, as she was on medication which carried the label "do not drive while taking this medication." Worse still was that the woman was driving a Hummer. A Smart car would kill a biker. A Hummer leaves no doubt. There was a ghost bike at that corner for months.

At any rate, I brought my two oldest kids to ride with me on the Ride of Silence here. My daughter rode alongside me, and my son in the Burley. Because of the timing and the local community advocacy groups being tied up in other pursuits, there were only five of us on the ride--after hundreds last year. I think it was a wake-up call for us. This sort of thing is only impactful if it is done in volume. I've posted a couple of pics below of the ride and its participants.

Next time you're out in the car, take a look around you. The life you save by being aware of cyclists may be mine. It's definitely someone important--to someone.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Extras

I just found a cool website that lets me sync and manage everything on my Windows Mobile smartphone at www.dashwire.com. I like it! I also found some old pics I'd forgotten about on my phone due to the site. I'm putting them here. Some are from the trip Nate and I took to Provo to watch a BYU volleyball game and others are just random stuff. I know you want to see them. You really do.

Nate hangs out with the Colonel:


Nate drives a mini squad car in Rancho Cucamonga:


Nate and Riley in line at Soaring Over California:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just for Joneel

Our good friend in California has posted her score from Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. I counter with this salvo. Of course, our annual passes expire at the end of this year--but since we're a bazillion miles away from Anaheim, they're just not as useful as Joneel's. She's definitely got us there.

Behold the reason why I feel safe at home at night:



I am completely safe from alien attack.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What exactly do you do?

A lot of times people ask me, "exactly what is it that you do?" I actually had a friend ask me that on the way to lunch today. Well, I offer this YouTube clip to help show you the end process of what I'm working on now for Nokia. The project I'm working on is designed to create a program to connect Nokia, their channel partners and independent software vendors (ISVs or developers) in an effective go-to-market program. The Nokia partner here is Invisible IT based out of the Bay Area. The ISV here is Agito (a company I've had a pair of meetings with and who I can say have great leadership), and the handset is a Nokia eSeries device. This ain't your cell providers freebie Nokia handset. Nokia makes from pretty kickin' handsets--and this is one of them, as you'll see.



So, now do you have a better idea what I do? Didn't think so!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

This is Interesting. America More Popular?

I found this little story while tooling around this morning. It's interesting to get a voice that seems to run contrary to the mashed potatoes we are consistently being fed via the MSM. I would wager to say that this opinion piece hits closer to the truth than most, not because it echoes what I suspect--and therefore sounds good to me--but that it's supported with hard data.

The key point to me is that it highlights the respect that key Asian nations have for America so long as it keeps its commitments--and doesn't turn tail and run. Something like this should--and I emphasize should--influence the way we vote in November.

Sadly, it probably won't to most people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Devastatin' Dave Backs Barack


This just in: In a press conference this morning, "Devastatin' Dave the Turntable Slave" has officially backed Illinois Senator Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. Dave's comments this morning were limited to "Zip! Zap! Rap!" but Dave seemed really excited about the possibility of becoming relevant again after his 80s-style cotton candy rap fell out of favor with the 100 people who bought his LP back in the day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Idaho's Democratic Primary a LAUGHER

This story makes me want to go and register as a Democrat here in Idaho. If I do, I could vote for Keith Russell Judd, who is in prison in Texas until 2013. According to the story, all you need to get on the Dem ballot here is $1000 of discretionary cash.

I'm not sure which part of this story I like more: that a convicted felon is on the same ballot as an unconvicted felon and an America-hater; that a man who can't vote in an election is eligible to be on the ballot for an election; or that it only costs $1000 to get on the ballot. When we lived in California, I almost put myself on the recall election ballot that got Arnold Schwarzenegger elected, but I think it would've cost me $2500. I've got better things to do with my $$$ than beat Cruz Bustamante or Gray Davis.

Hey Dems in Idaho: HAAAAHAAAHAHAAAAAA.

Monday, April 14, 2008

If Al Gore Speaks In San Francisco, Does He Make Any Noise?

I work in the IT industry and therefore subscribe to a lot of email and RSS feeds of industry rags. ChannelWeb, who publishes VARBusiness magazine and other things gave me this little nugget that you probably missed since media was not allowed into Al Gore's recent keynote speech at the annual RSA SecurWorld Conference.

I can definitely get behind the "be better stewards of the earth" philosophy that should underscore this debate. But it seems that it isn't a "debate" to anyone on Mr. Gore's speed-dial. It's over to him. We're all hot fire-breathers who expel carbon carbon and more carbon and are killing the planet. Never mind the real scientists who have proved these theories false time and time again. According to the Gospel of St. Albert, they are nothing more than kooks and fools who have bought into the neocon cover up of global warming.

FYI: It snowed in Boise last week. The day after it was 75 degrees. Whatever, Al. You go ahead and put mercury-laden bulbs in your sockets--your grandkids will clean up after you.

Oh the Places You'll Go!

I found this little widget via Facebook. Kinda fun.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Just in case you missed it....

You should log onto YouTube and subscribe to my channel.
There are new videos at least annually.
Enjoy.

Vertigo is so Much FUN!



Vomit. Projectile vomiting. Nausea. Upset stomach. Happiest place on earth.

Monday, March 31, 2008

You might be a redneck...


I knew we weren't in the Bay Area. I also knew we weren't in Westwood. What I didn't know is that by stopping in Nevada for gas, we had entered the land of the coolest t-shirts ever made.

Behold, I share with you this awesome t-shirt that accomplishes two wonderful purposes:
1) It expounds the virtues of eating meat
2) It sticks a pair of fingers, a la Moe, in the Curly-esque ojos of PETA and all the other "animals are more important than people" folks.

Fire up the BBQ, folks. Summer's coming soon!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies Should be 501(c)

As my daughter's Girl Scout cookie sales wind down for 2008, I'm left to ponder whether or not the $320 we spent on lipid disks was worth it. If only Uncle Sam would make cookies tax-exempt under some number like 501. Funny thing is, we wouldn't be getting the largest deduction on her sales. That designation is reserved for her grandma in California who has now made two separate orders--and has yet to taste a cookie. They're sitting in our garage. My wife was on the phone with her Mother this morning taking a second order with the purpose, I believe, of pushing our daughter's sales total over 500 boxes. To her credit, she sold door-to-door and didn't pansy out like other kids by sending their cookie order sheet to work, plus she's worked all three store-front booth sales. That is one man-hour intensive little patch, baby. And she earned EVERY stitch of that little embroidered piece of fuzz!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Look lady, it's $7.42. Geeesh.


I got a call yesterday from a woman who was returning my call from Saturday. My daughter and I were out delivering the Girl Scout cookies she'd sold in January* and we came across a house which now had a "sale pending" sign in the yard--and where after two visits, no one had come to the door. We had a name and number from our sale sheet, so I called and left a message asking where to deliver the cookies.

The call on Sunday went like this:

Lady: "Hello? I didn't order any Girl Scout cookies."
Me: "Um, I have your order right here, Mrs. Weddle."
Lady: "Yeah, but I didn't order any cookies. I think you have the wrong house."
Me: "Well, let me check. You're Mrs. Weddle at [address] and your phone number is [number], correct?"
Lady: "Yes. But I didn't order any cookies."
Me: "How do I have your name, address and phone number written in handwriting other than my own, then?"
Lady: "When did you come by?"
Me: "Most likely, it was late January."
Lady: "Well, my husband was here then. He must've bought them."
Me: "Most likely. Where can we deliver? It's $7.42."
Lady: "I'll be home all day Monday."

Seriously. It's $7 for Girl Scouts. My wife delivered today. I hope she enjoys them after all the denial she was floating. I especially enjoyed how she disdainfully referred to how her husband must've bought them.

*My daughter is a cookie sales MACHINE. She racked up 352 boxes in pre-sale, and while we were out delivering sold another bazillion. She's getting like 59 patches and a trip to see some really important person somewhere. Choke on that other girls in the troop! Ha HAH! Even though she backed off a bit (on purpose) from last year's total, she still smoked the rest of her troop like a cheap (candy) cigar. She was all mad-dogging other moms when they came to pick up their daughters' cookie orders of like 35 boxes and 72 boxes. She was all "Yeah, uh-huh. That's how I roll. Triple-digits, baby. Bring it. I'm a Samoa-selling, thin mint-hawking, Do-si-Doer, yo. You're weak. Now take your All-Abouts and get out of my garage."**

**These words may not have actually been spoken by my daughter. They may have, in fact, been only thoughts which entered the head of her overly-competitive father. Still trying to verify that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How the EU Pays its Bloated Bills

I'm a little upset at something that really doesn't affect me at all this morning. I read this story citing how the EU is fining Microsoft $1.5B USD for "violations of its antitrust ruling in 2004" and could only think, "this is how a bureaucracy supports itself." It's rather like socialism/communism/marxism. In order to maintain relevance and sustain its life, these ideologies confiscate, fine, tax and steal in order to feed the pig--the bloated, fat, hungry pig. Because innovation and socialism play together like lamb and a lion, socialism has to tax the innovation of others in order to keep up its existence. This is ridiculous. Sad. Expected.

So, what does 899M euros buy you these days, new office chairs for the Brussels bunker?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gimme tripz to Vegas. Kthx.

Go here to vote for my totally funny LOL cat and get me a trip to Vegas where I promise not to gamble. For I do not do those sorts of things. Kthx bai.

crazy, funny pix
More on the online Poker Cats Contest

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Fabulous Mrs. Lee

Take the next three minutes, thirty-one seconds of your life and get to know Debbie Lee. She's earned that much of your time. Trust me.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Whether You Know Him or Not

I was talking with my wife earlier tonight and she had asked if I'd read about my sister's friend who was serving in Iraq. I said I hadn't, but feared the worst. Well, I read the email about Frederick Hinton, a friend of my sister who is serving the American and Iraqi people on his second tour there. Apparently, he had a mission which was to recover the bodies of five fallen brothers and return them to camp--a job that was "gruesome" to use my sister's vernacular. It seems Frederick can't sleep at night because when he closes his eyes, he sees the men he was sent to retrieve--and to add to the woe, one of his platoon members committed suicide shortly after they returned from that mission.

So the title of this post is this: Whether you know Frederick or not, pray for him, his platoon mates, the Marine Corps, the Army, all of our servicemen and women and their families. They are doing a terrific job in horrific conditions placing the freedom from tyranny and terror of the Iraqi people ahead of their own lives. Don't believe the garbage the media feeds you--the surge is working. These heroes will, when it's all said and done, have created a toehold for democracy in an area of the world that has never really known it. It's not just about supporting the troops--it's about supporting the cause of freedom, of being able to live, worship, do as you please, and the rule of law. Anyone who tells you different has an agenda--and it's an agenda upon which I choose not to be listed.

God bless the soldiers and civilians of all nations who have come together in Iraq and Afghanistan to pull these good men and women out of tyranny, poverty and fear. The process is not quick, rather steady. May they succeed. They must. They will.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love Me Some Klondike



Lookie what I did this weekend! Enjoy the frozen commentary! This was just south of Cascade, ID--and we had PLENTY of snow to work with. Snowed the whole time we were there, too.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

If you like chicken nuggets, kabobs and war...

Then you'll appreciate this.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Gordon Bitner Hinckley Goes Home


President Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was called home last evening. My first thought was how blessed I was to have been a contemporary of his in some small way. I'm honored to have followed his counsel and to have witnessed his tenure as president of the LDS faith. As I've read more about his life in the last few hours, I'm humbled by his dedication to the Lord and His Gospel.

I was there as he dedicated the St. Paul Temple and sat just feet away as he walked the halls of that building in preparation of its dedication. I knew then as I know now that he was the Lord's anointed. I thrilled to be in Madrid in 1999 as he dedicated the temple there--in the nation in which I served a mission. I took up his challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of 2005 and was blessed.

President Hinckley will be missed by all who knew him--but I can't help but think that all those who knew him are so very grateful this day that the Lord has called him home to be with his beloved Marjorie, and to continue this great work from beyond the veil.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

VISIT MY OTHER BLOG--DO IT NOW.

...and leave a comment: http://carvemyrushmore.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Critical Thinking

Just heard this old joke on the radio. Still a classique. Enjoy.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend.

"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes," replies Watson.

"And what do you deduce from that?"

Watson ponders for a minute. "Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has stolen our tent!"

Team Comeback?

I was reading in Bicycling magazine this morning that there's a new pro cycling team being formed in the US. If you look at the roster, you may notice that many of the riders are either retired or had been forced into retirement due to the Operacion Puerto doping allegations out of Spain.

The most curious involvement to me is that they're courting Floyd Landis to be involved. This is my favorite quote from the story, citing a Landis email in response to questions as to whether he's involved with this new team, Team Rock Racing:

Landis wrote, "No comment, but I wish them the best. They have hired a bunch of exceptional racers who deserve support. Support, I might add, that was taken away because of political pressure from out of control anti-doping agencies run by second place finishers."


Classic Floyd. And for the record, I still say he's innocent--and still the 2006 Tour de France Champion.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Look What My Wife Started...




You Belong in 1952



You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!



Fitting that I belong three years farther back than my wife. That's the difference in our ages.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Marketing to Four Year-Olds

Nate just came in and informed me that I should get the "Power Rangers Motorcycle." I asked what that is, which he happily informed me was a motorcycle that helps you be a Power Ranger. He then provided me with the location of said motorcycle: "Dad, you can find it on the Power Ranger aisle at Target."

I told him I'd look into it.

Dad's Helper


A couple of weeks back I asked my son if he wanted to help take down the Christmas lights. He did. He "helped" me do the backyard, gathered up the mess of extension cords and we got all the lights down pretty quickly. Nate was impressed with the extension pole that I use in order to avoid using the ladder. I think he would've just enjoyed using that for a couple of hours. Here he is "helping" with the cords.

My sister says that in her post-graduate linguistics program, she worked with an Indian tribe in California who has an actual specific word for someone who helps you complete a task, but that although you complete the task, by having their "help" the task is actually harder to complete. I like the concept--but in this case, no matter how much "more" work is created, I'll always love working with my little guy to get something done.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Proper Way to Ring in the New Year

Another thing we have up here in the north is "Bogus Basin." Don't be jealous that your ski resorts have names like "Aspen" or "Crested Butte" or even "Sugarloaf." You wish you had "Bogus" in the name. Think of it. You could have "Bogus Park City" or "Bogus Deer Valley" or even "Bogus Sundance." You wish.

But the original Bogus Basin has a tubing hill for the kiddies--complete with tow ropes for full-laziness. Behold the two runs we caught on video today. I order you to enjoy.

Bogus Run 1



Bogus Run 2