Friday, March 27, 2009
Please Note that I tried to find a picture of a guy throwing a burger through a drive-thru window - any brand - but gave up the quest when I found this fantastic burger bed. This thing is a babe magnet. I would totally be saying "Do you want a pickle with that" EVERY time Lisa and I went to bed.
by Merrill Markoe
A thirty-something high school art teacher writes her personal state of the union address on her birthday, assessing the current status of her life. This book covers 7 years, and the horror of what this special day has become.
Merrill Markoe is an Emmy award winning writer for the Dave Letterman show. A coworker reccommended one of her more recent books focusing on her dogs, and I found this book by her at my library. Quick and easy read, very funny.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
From the Associated Press:
Behind the push for the hearings is the subcommittee's top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. People there were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season.
Hatch said in a statement that the BCS system "has proven itself to be inadequate, not only for those of us who are fans of college football, but for anyone who believes that competition and fair play should have a role in collegiate sports."
Nora Roberts is one of those writers who produces such a large volume of work it was necessary to use several names so as not to dilute the brand. Now that she is a famous best-selling author all these connections can be made public, hence JD Robb is in fact Nora Roberts. Now I knew all this when I began the JD Robb series – future NYC cop Eve Dallas and her band of friends solve gruesome murders in the 2050’s – but was okay with it. Even though I have read all 28 of the regular books I have since learned that she wrote a joint book as both authors, the first half takes place in the past, and the finale involving the grandkids in the future.
This took me about two weeks to finish mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to carry a Nora Roberts book into my work break room. So I just read it a little bit at a time at night. Anyways, it was very good asusual and the basic plot involves stolen diamonds and the murder and mayhem used in an attempt to retrieve them. The Robb series is great and can be read independently, but for best results in understanding all the relationships start at the beginning, Naked in Death.
Best part is the Author’s note on the back cover. Nora Roberts and JD Robb share a house in Maryland, a husband, and a website that you can visit at http://www.blogger.com/www.noraroberts.com.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
by Christopher Moore
The always funny Moore takes us back to merry old England and brings us a tale of a diminutive jester and all the trouble he goes through to set the kingdom back the way it should be, back before his King went a little loopy. It is a humerous, but yet bawdy book. And for those of you who don't get subtlety, it is very profane and full of shagtastic interludes.
Whenever we have discrete pieces of meat like steak or chops, Lisa has me cut it all up and evenly distribute it among the kids plates. Lisa and I of course get a whole piece and our own knives, fan-bloody-tastic, I know. As the years have gone by Gunnar has graduated to his own chop and just recently so has Qatar. Qatar is having trouble learning how to hold a knife and fork correctly to cut meat, but we all have to learn sometime. Anyways over dinner we have this conversation:
Qatar: I really like my meat hard.
Gunnar: THAT"S WHAT SHE SAID!
*please note the opinions are the blogger's and definitely do not reflect said blogger's wife. At least not in public.
Even though I offer to help Lisa with her balloon animals, the kids just don't appreciate my creative genius.
This always troubles me as some people feel the need to make mountains out of molehills and further alienate themselves from their personal communities – somehow believing by setting themselves up on a pedestal everyone will come and bask in their glory. To extend the metaphor, what actually happens is they end up all alone with birds crapping on them. When I go to the movies I am betting that for 6 dollars I will get back an entertainment experience equal to that amount or more. Sometimes I win (The Dark Knight) and sometimes I lose, big time (Pokemon 2000); but the big picture is I am gambling money to get an entertainment experience.
When I go to Nevada (4 times in 40 years), I play the quarter slots. Typically I get a roll (10 dollars) and I see how long that will last, usually getting 2 hours out of it. So in my mind I am paying 10 bucks for 2 hours entertainment. When March Madness comes around and someone asks if I want to pay a dollar to compete and bond with my peers, I am in. Am I playing to win money? No. I am paying a very small amount for the experience. When Lisa goes skydiving this summer for her birthday, she is paying 200 dollars and actually gambling she will not die; but we define it as she is paying $200 for the experience.
That is what I don’t get when the self-righteous start spouting off. My one dollar once a year to bond with my coworkers and have fun makes me a bad sinner going to hell, yet my wife’s 200 dollars to gamble her life makes her awesome and adventurous? Do people actually think about what they are saying? I guess the more fundamental question to ask is there a difference between gambling and entertainment?
NOTE: I actually run a March Madness pool at my office for people who no nothing about basketball and/or just want to have fun. I do not charge anything to play and the winner gets to brag about how great they are. Mainly it is all the women I work with who participate, and right now two of them are sitting with 15 out of the sweet sixteen correct (one of them picked teams based on whose name sounded better). So there are other solutions then alienating yourself.
SECOND NOTE: Lisa is TOTALLY awesome for skydiving. And if worse comes to worse, her life insurance is fully paid up. CA-CHING and sign me up for LDS singles dot whatever!!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"Did that High School girl have the best breasts you have ever seen in that prom dress?"
I am to honest for my own good and replied:
"While they were nice, and I certainly appreciate them; being a man of 40 years I have seen a lot of breasts and no, they weren't the best I have ever seen."
I could compile a long list of impressive mammaries with some equally impressive pictures, but that isn't what this blog is about. Like I tell Lisa when she refers to her favorite program as "Supernaturals", that is a whole different show.
I think I will leave you with this short clip of a possessor of some very awesome boobies, and the secret of how she got them.
When Engulfed in Flames
by David Sedaris
Mr. Sedaris writes short, self depreciating essay's about his life, but the genius is in their pure comic timing. I like his philosophy that everything is funny. While reading his work is great, to truly experience ityou need o hear it. Mr. Sedaris is a regular contributor to NPR and that is where I first experienced him. He comes form a large family including his also funny sister Amy.
I highly reccommend all of his works, but while he is generally appropriate for most audiences, you may not want to listen to him with the kids.
Here he reads one of his ssay's on theLetterman show.
The Japanese, they're different, but their game shows are awesome.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Greg Rutter's Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something
This has all the classic websites and viral video's that make the internet so awesome. Like this classic for the ages:
Please note, he does also have in the small print at the bottom 4 bonus links. DO NOT GO THERE unless gay & lesbian geriatric coprophillic (involves poop) adult material does not shock you. They are quite famous links but trust me, your life is complete without them. The regular 99 are fine.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
by John Harvey
This is book three in the Charlie Resnick, troubled Nottingham detective, series. Some parts of the plot were a little stretched for me, but the writing is terrific. And as I have said before, Harvey is a writer whose writing just gets better.
Plot, someone is attacking members of a college hospital with a knife; a scalpel.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Go to this BBC news page for a video report
Thursday, March 19, 2009
But while Randy was at the hospital becoming a new dad, he left his car parked at work. He came back a few days later to find someone had gone ahead a moved it away to an undisclosed location - The BAD (BTW if you see a Honda Accord - UT license plate number 796 LXX -please let him know)And the totally AWESOME - Oldest Brother thinking "alright, another kid to look up to me", and the now middle kid thinking "What the crap is this - I'M THE BABY!!!"
I really love this photo.
by Hank Cardello
This book, written by a farmer Marketing Executive to several large food companies, goes on to say the food system we have in America is not set up to supply us with healthy choices. He does detail some interesting insider stories, especially to me being an insider of sorts myself, but does not really add nothing new to table. Basically, cost is the top driver, misinformation abounds, and general laziness of the consumer means no one is motivated to overcome it.
He does offer a somewhat stretced image of the future and possible solutions. A good book if you are into food production issues, if not there are better options for the casual reader.
According to the Iceland Review, the government is taking steps to ban strip clubs AND prostitution!!
It is a little ironic they are trying to shut down probably one of the few businesses that is actually making money.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
by Cylin & John Busby
This is a true story of a young Falmouth police officer, his family, and how they dealt with a horrific attempt on his life. Back in the 1970's Falmouth had a local bad buy and bully who had ties throughout the community. It was generally understood that him and his family were untouchable, except John Busby didn't see it that way. After arresting the brother on assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon among other charges, they tried to kill him with a shotgun. They managed to literally blow off his jaw, but he survived. The book was interesting and really showed a family dealing with stress. It is unfulfilling to the reader to see the non-effort put forth to solve the case, so I can't imagine the pent-up anger Mr. Busby must feel.Go Here for a great newscast/review of the story.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I mentioned a common friend, Geoff, who has a Bobcat. My friend Sean said we will need an attachment. He actually said:
I have never been set up so easily before my mind came up with about a million responses at once, so many I think it jammed up and I couldn't respond. Classic.
Please note the name have been altered to protect the innocent & guilty.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
by Stephen King
Stephen king is the reason I read so many books. In his biography/treatise On Writing, he suggested anyone interested in writing should be reading at least 100 books per year. I agree that my creativity has increased dramatically since I started doing that.
Anyone that think King writes nothing but horror are truly missing out on some great emotional talse he produces. This book follows the widow of famous writer Scott Landon some two years after his death. It deals with the love that conquers all, the life of the famous, and the emotional toll/cost of being a creative genius.
It was a great book, but do not read it expectiong Christine or the like. For goodness sake, Nicholas Sparks wrote the cover blurb.
by Josh Bazell
Bazell is a Englis major who went to med school, this is his first book. It was interesting enough and a very quick read (one day), but it was definitely a first book.
Pietro is a former mafia hitman who went to med school while in witness protection. While interning at the worst hospital in America a former associate comes in with cancer. Much fun follows, plus we get to learn why Pietro became the man he is.
The book is violent and quite profane, but I will be reading his sophomore effort when he writes it. Love the cover; without it I would have never picked it up.
This is what it seems like to me – Once Grisham reaches enough pages to be done he just finishes. All the character build up, all the plot development, it just doesn’t matter. I have noticed this trend in several of his books and it is just frustrating, especially because I really like his writing style and enjoy his books. It is like quitting a marathon at mile 25. Great story, crappy ending – could have used another 100 pages to really thresh it out.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Times have changed a little. Back in my day we were counseled as missionaries to stay out of the water, so no swimming at all. I remember being at the beach, the Welsh coast, and feeling somewhat guilty about wading up to our knees. Anyways the Salt Lake Tribune has a great column called Hello, My Name Is; and the recently featured Vaun Williams. Vaun is a 90 year old and wheelchair bound former flight control engineer and pilot. In his biography he shares this little gem:
While serving an LDS mission in Hawaii, he got permission from his church leaders to swim 12 miles from Maui to Lanai.
We went from 12 miles of open water swimming in shark infested waters to feeling guilty about wading in the Irish Sea. That is not a good thing.
The San Francisco Chronicle had a great little article about a Bishop’s Storehouse and the basics of the church welfare system. I highly recommend skimming the story and get to the comments section. The real education here is to get an uncensored coverage of what is really being said and thought about Proposition 8. The rudeness, ignorance, and misinformation knows no bounds, and that is just from the members of the church. The stuff from the nonmembers is much worse. Through the several 100 comments you can truly grasp what we as individual members are up against on BOTH sides of the argument.
Of course the big story of the week seems to be HBO’s series Big Love. Don’t get me wrong, the dynamic of 4 people in a fully committed, religion based, polygamous marriage is endlessly fascinating. As it focuses on relationships and what it takes to make the marriage work, I think the show has its place. Unfortunately they have now decided to focus on the religion aspect, including the Temple ceremony. That is too bad and smacks a little of desperation. For me the most perfect TV show with religion as a main character was The Vicar of Dibley. The program was funny without being sensationalist or disrespectful. At no time do you feel like being religious is a bad thing, or you are ignorant for having faith.
The New York Times does a summary of events, including HBO’s pre-apology. What is a pre-apology anyways? I know it’s wrong, but since we really don’t care we are going to do it anyways. And please remember the Church does not endorse any boycotting, so anything you hear towards that end is just some regular Joe Mo’s opinion, and not doctrinal truth. Since I discussed it before I won’t go beyond saying boycotts are pointless and ineffective.
I see this Book on CD when I am at the library and have always found the cover art to be intriguing. Typically I have considered checking it out, but something else always seems a little more interesting. But this last week I had a 14 hour drive for business (7 hours each way), and since I needed several books I finally got it. At roughly 5 hours long it is a beautiful tale about the stress of high school (and on a larger scale, life), the pressure to fit in, and the joy in just being yourself. It is the story of a new girl at school, her uniqueness of spirit, and the boy who wasn’t quite strong enough to love her. There is a sense of regret at the end, but I believe there is a sequel I need to read. Maybe he addresses that, but then again real life always has a little regret.
Of Interest, the late John Ritter is the reader on the audio book. I think it must be nice for his children to still have their dad read to them as they grow up.
Monday, March 9, 2009
A gay comedy quartet based in Utah is performing a drag queen routine to raise money for the local gay & lesbian teen center. Good for them I say because if anywhere needs a place for gay teens to feel safe and hang out it is Utah. But in the article they are asked how it is going in Utah, given the states very strong LDS presence and influence – any repercussions? Group leader Don Steward’s response is classically ironic:
"The LDS faith is not a monolith. Members are more flexible than the national media would have us believe."
"It's not like the Baptists down South. Religion is much more intrusive in those states. The LDS Church just lets you know where it stands; it doesn't really get in there and micromanage like the Baptists do.”
Nothing like refuting one stereotype by using another one. I am sure his intentions were innocent, but it is very funny all the same. No matter who you are, minority group or not, bigotry is still present if you look.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.
Chad Hardy, the creator of the Men on a Mission calendar, met with BYU to discuss getting his degree - Denied! I guess Chad finished school in 2002 and left, but unfortunately he was still a few religion class credits short of a degree. Away from campus he also left the church and everything went quiet out there, until he came up with the concept of a Mormon missionary calendar. So he rushed to get the religion class done through Independent study. The calendar came out and he was consequently excommunicated. Then BYU got involved and denied him his degree for behaviour unbecoming a student or something close. So the question is can a private university deny a degree to a student they do not want to be associated with even though he has completed the coursework? Well I predict we will find out as this is probably heading to court. Example news article from The Houston ChronicleFull disclosure, I totally looked like this off of my mission.
On the more fun side, Reed Harris decided to propose to his girlfriend Kaitlin after Institute class at the local Wendy's - totally romantic I know. So he invites their friends and then gets everyone Frosty's (ummmm - frosty!!). Then he hides the ring in hers and they hold an eating contest. Bottom of the cup and no ring - that's right, she swallowed it and never noticed. Off to the ER for X-rays to verify she "had" the ring and the engagement was on, and so was the worldwide publicity. This site even has the phone cam video of the swallowing.
McKay Hatch, and can I say that is almost the perfect Mormon name; to be a winner his middle name needs to be Orson or something similar. Anyways he started a No Cussing club which got a lot bigger notice than it probably should have. Now his local city council has implemented a citywide no cussing week. Cute, but do not read the comments to any of the hundreds of stories out there, unless you want to learn some really creative profanity - Lord bless the anonymity of the internet. Please visit the website to become one of the 20,000 bloody members worldwide!
Last and least is the Illinois member and Bishop in the Nauvoo Stake who took it upon themselves to write a very charged email to the general area membership stating that a gay civil unions bill in the state congress would destroy life as we know it. Of course this got out and the kid hit the fan. Why do extremely political people believe we all feel the exact same way they do about the issues, and thus they feel it okay to share there views whenever they want? Just stop annoying us with your emails, start a blog and then everyone can ignore it and not think you a total tool.
To be fair to the men, Chad Hardy is also releasing his Hot Mormon Muffins calendar this year, featuring LDS mothers.
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche
by Haruki Murakami
Fast approaching the 14th anniversary on March 20, the religious terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo released Sarin gas on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. Officially they were following a doctrine that the sooner they bring about the end the sooner salvation would come; unofficially it shows the danger when religious fervor meets mental illness unchecked.
Murakami, a novelist, had recently returned to Japan after spending 8 years abroad, and was living two hours south of the city at the time of the attack. In hearing the news reports he became interested in the stories of the victims and undertook to interview as many as would let him. Given the do not cause problems, do not talk nature of the Japanese this proved quite challenging, but he eventually got approximately 200 people to consent. The English translation only contains a sampling of them. After the book came out it was seen as one sided so he endeavored to interview current or past members of Aum Shinrikyo, and eight of those are contained in the English version.
As with any account of victims of terrorist actions (see Love from Greg and Lauren) or violence (see I am the Central Park Jogger) you come away with a great sense of waste. The overwhelming delusion of what the perpetrators were trying to accomplish, and the futility of their results. It just brings devastating sadness to a few, and destroys whatever they had. Books like this (see Massacre at Mountain Meadows) need to be read so we the silent majority don't become sheep to the few megalomaniacs out there. The sad fact of life is people will just go along to go along, even if they really don't want to be where ever it was they ended up. And by the time they get there it is too late.
Most poignant to me was the story of Tatsuo Akashi, whose vibrant younger sister Shizuko was paralyzed on one side of her body and had her mind reduced to a toddler without any memories of her past. Because his parents are elderly, he is the head of the family and as such he travels an hour by train after work every other day to sit with her until visiting hours are over, then travels an hour back to work where he can then spend another hour going home. He has kept this schedule up since the attack. The day before she had spent the night at his house with his family and was going to ride the train into work in the morning. Seeing how long that would take he offered to drive her to the local underground line so she would not have to travel as much. This is what he lives with now, saying "Looking back on it now, if I hadn't suggested that to Shizuko, she would probably never have suffered like this." How did this or any attack bring anyone closer to their God?
Well worth the read so these people are not forgotten and so you can inoculate your own soul, because regardless of what you tell yourself, we are all susceptible to performing great evil; especially if we do not we could.