Friday, February 22, 2008

Hugh Tell Me

...about the "zip-lock" bag sometime.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


No I didn't feel it. I was half asleep. I did hear some noise but didn't care. But yes there was a 6.3 earthquake centered near Wells, Nevada this morning.

This reminds me of the time that we were having family dinner on Jaquette Street in Grand Junction. At some point the table started bouncing up and down. I (being the wonderfully patient father that I was back then) said "Brad, Stop moving the table up and down" or something like that. He immediately lifted his hands up, moved back from the table and said "It's not me".

That's when I looked up and noticed that the hanging light above the kitchen table was swinging back and forth virogously. I wonder if there is a coorelation between earthquakes and false accusations?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Verifonics Update

I was trying to post a comment on Liv Simpl today.  I decided to play VERIFONICS (see Word Verification post Jan 2008) and I got the best one ever.  It was mdrwx.  Go ahead and try it.  
If you pronounced it MURDERWAX you are correct.  I shouted my interpretation out and David made a great observation.  Using Captcha's would be a great way to find names for rock bands.

More information for really bored people:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Grandma Smoked us in Bowling

Over the holidays we played Wii bowling. We thought we were pretty good. My high game was 148 and I was excited. Grandma kept watching us with an amused expression. We invited her to participate to no avail. Finally we coerced her into playing. After reluctantly agreeing to try, we showed her how to use the control, which buttons to use and how to perform the appropriate arm maneuvers. She of course demonstrated a hesitancy because of her age and because she doesn't engage in video amusement often.

The game started. We all took turns. Grandma bowled a strike. Then she bowled another and another. Her amused grin turned into a smirk and when the dust settled, she smoked us with a score of 180. Eager to redeem ourselves we egged her on for a rematch, after all she is 79 you know. We did, she did and this time her performance was not as good. She only beat us soundly with a score of 178.

We're more careful of what games we challenge her on now. We did the same thing once when playing a card game called scum. After feigning ignorance she cleaned us all out. You'd think we would learn.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mrs. McDonald

On the other side of the tracks, on the far side (northwest I think) of Azusa, California, there was a Lucky Lager brewery.  I remember it because it was a majestic building in an industrial sort of way.  In the vicinity there was also a park with lots of grass.  

At the far end end of the park there was a swampy area with murky stagnant water.   I think there were some trees at one end of the park, but most of it was just grass.  We went to play at this park a number of times as a family.  

One time we had brought a glass mason jar with us.  Dad took the jar and scooped up some of the icky water and showed us the contents.  There were these very small and funny looking creatures that Dad called pollywogs.  They had what looked like a big head and long skinny tail and that was about all.  At first glance I wasn't very impressed with these slimy creatures, but he explained that pollywogs would grow into frogs.  

Now he had my interest.  I thought frogs were about the coolest thing, well that is next to monkeys.  We harvested pollywogs a number of times and would take them home.  I was excited when a few of these grew into actual frogs.  

Our back yard was actually a pretty conducive frog habit.  The little tiny frogs were pretty fun.  Although very small they could really jump and were hard to catch.  I loved it when they got bigger.  It was always a good day when we would find one to play with.  I was always afraid I was going to get warts when they would pee on me though.  I don't really believe that malarky.

Dad worked managing the company store for Aerojet General for a while and would bring home lp records.  We enjoyed it when he would play his records on his turntable.  It was fascinating how the little needle could pick up the sound from the grooves on the record.  

I'm pretty sure that we fouled up his turntable and scratched his records numerous times.  Camelot, Messiah, South Pacific and the comedian Stan Freberg were some of his favorites.  He also had a reel to reel magnetic tape recorder/player.  I still remember some comedic routines from Frebeg and Alan Sherman.  Freberg had some moments in history routines that were hilarious and Sherman put funny lyrics to popular songs.  Won't you come home Disraeli and One Ton Tomato were two notables.

Dad brought some junk records to the park and we threw them like frisbees.  Of course no one tried to catch them.  It was fun but seemed unsafe at the time.  After I saw the James Bond classic Goldfinger I was pretty sure it was dangerous and avoided playing record frisbee.  Harold Sakata who played Oddjob in the movie, threw his hat and decapitated someone.  I was pretty confident that we could have a similar outcome if not careful.

Close to the park the was a small and modest little house.  An old lady lived there named Mrs. McDonald.  My Mom demonstrated great love and service to her.  She would often load us boys into the car and take us over there to visit her.  These visits were not the most exciting thing for a young boy to engage in.  In fact they pretty much pegged the boring-meter, but we understood that Mrs. McDonald was old and lonely and that the visits meant a lot to her.  I know Mom was very interested in her welfare and really cared about her.  Her example served me well as I grew older for learned to see older people, as people, and learned to enjoyed getting to know them.  Most have great wisdom, knowledge and humor to share.

At that time the most significant part of the visit for me was when she would take the lid off of the crystal candy dish and offer us a piece of candy.  At those moments I thought I truly understood the meaning of charity.

Mom would often get us ready for church early and drive us all-the-way-out-there to pick her up for church.  I don't know how far all-the-way-out-there was, but it seemed like a major inconvenience to me.  Besides I thought she was a little crazy.  She demonstrated her zaniness to me several times when she would stand up at church in the middle of a meeting and start giving an incoherent speech.   It may have been that she only did this during testimony meeting at the appropriate time, but I could swear there were some spontaneous outbursts at inopportune times.

Either way, my Mother taught me some great lessons about patience and love and empathy.  I cherish how she taught me by example how to show compassion and unselfish service to others.  Examples of the wonderful charity that my Mom and Dad have shown throughout their lives is legion.

As I reflect upon my life I remember that I, and that we, should all find some Mrs. McDonalds to visit and listen to, and to care for.  

Friday, February 8, 2008

Life's simple pleasures are the best

Sometimes with the rhythms of life we become consumed with the mundane and forget to look for things that give us joy. Today was one of those days. As I left for work Becky was standing by the front window waving goodbye and blowing me a kiss. As I drove to work I was grateful that it wasn't snowing. After arriving to my office I looked out the window and noticed that the sun was shining and the sky was blue. I realized that sunny days had been few and far between in the past months. I was flooded with the richness of color and warmth I felt in viewing the vista.

Soon I noticed an enormous flag waving in the illumination of the early sunlight. At that moment I also spotted movement and to my delight a flock of geese were in flight heading to the southwest valley. Then I noticed the beautiful caps of the majestic Wasatch mountains generously frosted with fluffy layers of powdery snow.

It was nice to begin the day with joyful observations and I realized that amidst a week of stress I was blessed to be alive. I then pondered the the richness of life I enjoy because of my family.
What simple joys have you enjoyed lately? I'd love to hear of your observations.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Family - A Proclamation

I was recently pondering the great and profound words of this inspired document. May all in our family and to whom I associate with, know that I sustain these principles to be true. I have seen the peace that comes from embracing these truths, and the sorrow, disappointment and regret that comes when one strays from them. If you have not read it lately I charge you to do so.
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
This proclamation was read by President Gordon B. Hinckley as part of his message at the General Relief Society Meeting held September 23, 1995, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

© 1995 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. English approval: 10/95. 35602

President Hinckley Speaks to Our Family

I love this quote and feel him speaking to me, and to all in our family.

“You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others. …
“In this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, you can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. You can become involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right” (Brigham Young University devotional, Marriott Center, 17 Sept. 1996).

Friday, February 1, 2008

Word Verification

On many blogs, readers are required to type in a word verification if they want to comment on a post. I'm told that the purpose of word verification is to prevent spammers from stuffing blogs with junk postings.

How can I be sure that is the real reason?

What if word verification is really some kind of code or cipher?

How do I know it's not from Obama Bin Laden?

Where do the word verification combinations come from?

Is there some word verification generator that resides at Hoover Dam or Area 51?

Please comment if you know the real reason, as I am flummoxed.

I love the letter combinations that are generated with word verifications.

Here's one I saw today: upkue

I love the sound of this one. Is that what you do when you have to step vertically to get in a line for tickets at a ballgame?

Other favorite’s word verifications include: zfwsw, ecuxl, tmscd and frxjq.

Randy and I used to play a game when we would go to lunch. We would look at the alpha characters on the license plate of the car in front. We would then try to verbalize the sounds phonetically. It was hard at first, since there were rarely any vowels, but we would make some great sounds. There were rules to the game and everything. Like you have to say it audibly.
People who didn't know what we were doing thought we were insane. People who know us know we are insane. We called the game PLATONICS. It was great fun. Ask me...I'll teach you how to play.

It just occurred to me that I could use word verifications to play a similar game. Take tmscd for example. It would be pronounced as "tomscud". Ecuxl would be "eckucxal". The consonants need to be pronounced very sharply with exaggerated tones and guttural emphasis. But it really is fun to play. Frxjq is harder, it would be more like "Frixjuhk" but you have to hang on to the j sound longer, then quickly dump the q (or k) sound a the end, while simultaneously adding an brief but airy "a" sound. Get it? Fun Huh? I think we could call this game VERIFONICS.

Next time you have to do a word verification when adding a blog post comment, try playing Verifonics.

Please let me know how it goes. For you advanced Verifonics users, try doing it while a coworker or roommate is around, and watch their reaction.

Well got to go. Ptypbq, oh, I mean Pitybobq(a). :)

Nothing? Fine!

That's what I have to say because nobody commented on my post "The Smoking Chevy".