Friday, March 21, 2014

Kickstarter is Awesome

I would like to suggest to anyone that actually reads this, go check out Albino Dragon's kickstarter campaign: Dragon Crate

What is Kickstarter? It's awesome. Sorry, I'll be more specific. It's a site that allows creators to showcase their projects - computer software like video games, engineering innovations, art, fashion, games, movies, and pretty much anything else - and ask for support from anyone and everyone on the internet. This gives creators a way to complete their projects without needing corporate funding. It's called crowd-funding. Now, why would you want to help people make their projects? To motivate people to help them, creators offer rewards to people who are willing to pledge their support based on their pledge amount.

I have gotten some awesome poker decks based on stories of favorite books from Albino Dragon. Here's their website:

There are tons of things on Kickstarter, I'll come back and show off some of the things I have because of my participation.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alien Abduction? Bring Your Sword

I had the weirdest dream that my sister was being abducted by aliens who had studied humans for centuries, well, earth really, and it was actually for millions of years. She kept being taken when they thought no one would notice because they thought she held the key for something and I was PISSED that they were doing this. Someone else and I staged an ambush but every time a new "agent" from the ship teleported in they would move too fast and take her away but we knew if we could grab them before they beamed up we could get beamed up too, but they were always too fast.

Then there was a Velociraptor that tried to kill us at first (see the aliens had been using dinosaurs for a long time and had even taught them how to speak) but I was able to get the raptor to become our friend. Then the next time my sister was back I decided it was ninja time and I guarded her myself. A guy came wearing a white gui and mask and moved so fast I could barely move before she was gone. Then something snapped and I could move that fast too and I nearly cut him in half with my sword. But he got transported right then, only because my sword was in him I got transported too. Then we were on the ship I guess only it looked like feudal Japan mixed with your average neighborhood, sort of. Cherry blossoms were blowing in the wind and the guy had put my sister down and was being helped by a couple other people. I calmly got into a defensive position by my sister, staying in contact with her in case they wanted to beam me back down so it would take her with me. But they didn't.

They healed the one guy I almost killed and then two others began to talk about me and ask themselves how best they should kill me. I suppose I should mention they all looked like samurai with traditional clothing, no armor, and I would say I was reminded of Bleach a little. They each had their own specialized weapon: the biggest one had a three section staff with spear points on the ends, the tall one had a sword and a naginata, and the one I had hit already was hanging back a bit, but he had a sword and that was it. I noticed my sword still had blood on it from the guy I sliced so I quickly spun my blade once and the blood flew off and landed like an insult at the feet of the three men, or aliens... They hung back a bit just watching me, and I watched them. They took turns trying to show off their moves to intimidate me and I just watched and remembered everything about their style and how they moved and they had a fine time showing off, yelling and hi-ya!-ing. Then they stood back and I guess it was my turn to make some sort of display, so I silently swung my blade and cut down a tree (as they do in anime shows, this was a dream after all) but I didn't make a sound and the tree slowly fell over. They were stunned that I had made no yell or any sound at all and all began to advance on me. The tall one and the big one talked about how I had not made a noise and wondered what style I used. The big one charged me first and tried to trap my sword in his three sectioned staff which I let him do. He tried to pull it from my hands and I let the force of that carry me into the face of the tall one, at which point I let go of my sword and deftly stole his naginata. I landed a short distance away and spun to face my opponents, only pausing to build my energy, and sprung forward with blinding speed, disarming the tall one of his sword and tripping the big one so that my sword came out of the tangle it was in. Grabbing it, I re-sheathed the blade and held the naginata at the ready. I had lost sight of the first guy I had cut, who had been healed, and he was there behind me. Swinging the naginata around I tried to block his blow but he was able to knock the weapon from my hands and now the big one jabbed at me with the point on the end of his weapon. While I was dodging, the tall one dashed by and stole my sword.

I landed and stood, now weaponless, in the center of the three men. I channeled my energy to make myself as fast as I had been and waited for them to move. The big one was first and I moved only enough to make him miss and then, taking hold of the end of the staff I spun outward and toward his body, breaking his wrist and elbow, and taking the staff from his grip. I blocked the sword of the little one with the staff and in almost the same motion dropped the big one to the ground and hit the tall one in the face with the staff who then dropped my sword. Dashing past him I picked it up and spun to face them.

The tall one asked me what style it was that I used as he had never encountered someone like me before and I figured the most insulting thing at this point would be that I had only just started learning sword play a month ago. I was right because his face got a red and I could tell he was super angry.
He shouted, "tell me what style you use! And how it is you release so much energy without a sound!" I simply stared back at him.

I decided to open my mouth, but this time I released a battle cry and as I did, the ground around me erupted, sending earth flying everywhere. As I charged him the ground continued to erupt behind me leaving a spewing wake of destruction and I could see the terror on all of their faces. As I got closer I started to drag my sword through the street and the cobble stones lit on fire and exploded everywhere my sword cut them. I slashed my blade up diagonally from right to left and gave a yell with the movement as they had done, and my blade sent out an arc of power, cutting and destroying everything to the left of the three men. I followed it with an identical slash upward and to the right and another arc of power destroyed everything to the right of them. I lifted my blade above my head and, still charging, gave the most intense yell yet, and the rooster tail of spewing earth I'd left behind me looked silly next to the volcano of destruction that was released now...

But just before I could bring my blade down I was transported back to Earth and so was my sister. I skidded to a stop and looked at the sky. I saw their ship go to FTL right there and streak out into the dark. I was pretty sure they wouldn't be coming back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1001 Realizations: Things You Should Have Realized By Now

I have a new blog.

This one is for my life stuff, and other stuff, and stuff.

The NEW blog is for those things people should know about the world, society, and stuff in general so they don't have that sudden realization in the middle of a big party or in class at school and look like the person who's lived in a bubble their whole life. You know, that time when your friend suddenly realized that pork and ham and bacon all come from the same animal? And he said that out loud in science class and everyone made fun of him for months? It's too bad this blog can't go back in time to help him... but it's here now, so go visit it!

And give me suggestions or stories about times you or someone you know had one of those "Ah HA!" moments, and they don't have to be the kind where it was embarrassing, it might have been by yourself in the car driving home from work.

seriously, go check it out. (remember it's brand new so there aren't 1,001 realizations yet)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So seems this person thought this was funny, well it has gone viral and no one is laughing. They are blowing up her workplace as she was on a trip with them when it happened. (picture and caption viewed from here, news article here)

Too bad the internet allows everyone to see people's mistakes. A friend you can forgive, but a stranger is evil, and on the internet you get to meet millions of strangers. People like strangers because they have no tie to them, no rapport that says we give them the benefit of the doubt, no duty to them to gently correct misbehavior, and all is fair game. Every insult, every slight, every condescending thing, and every person seems to feel the need to tell them what horrible people they are.

I don't know this person, I have no idea the intent, though I would guess it wasn't malicious, and while I am disappointed in the rudeness, I don't think she deserves to be disrespected in return. It means we lack respect.

I am pretty sure she regrets this photo, and things like this have cost people their jobs, caused psychological and emotional trauma that leave the offender scarred and wholly changed for years. Thing is while you'll forget them in days, they may suffer the effects of society's hatred for years. What gives you the right to ruin someone's life? Do we truly feel that one decision should damn a person for ever? And one that, though inappropriate, does not and cannot have an affect on you unless you let it? I don't think it should, because that would mean that our lives, riddled with stupid decisions, mistakes, shortcomings, and failed attempts as they are, ought to condemn us all to never having a second chance, to letting the world mock us, and I don't agree with that. Shame on her for thinking this was funny, but shame on the world for crucifying her for it.

Disrespect often begets disrespect.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Awkward Twister

Just got back from a great camp-out with my YSA ward (Young Single Adults) and we had a blast. We went up by Park City and camped at Affleck Park. Some of the group got there earlier in the day and went out on the boats at Jordanelle Reservoir and some of the group (I was among this portion) got there just before dinner... I would have taken pictures but my phone decided to go to camera mode for who knows how long and in camera mode it doesn't turn off.... -.- ugh. It died. Whatever.

After dinner we had a nice time trying to set up our tents all over the place. There was a lot of tall grass and lumpy ground and the first spot my little group picked had really hard ground and the stakes wouldn't go in which created lots of other problems, well mostly just one other problem, but it was a kind of big one.. the tent wouldn't stay up. Yeah, it was one of those kinds that sort of uses tension as a tool for its stability. Crazy, but whatever, what do you expect? It was designed by people that use math and stuff. I want to buy a tent designed by someone who goes camping. They make them, and they are flawless, and they are also expensive.. hmm, maybe I'll just go camping in my back yard where the ground is soft enough for cheaply designed plastic stakes. Yay!! Hahaha!

Anyway, after that catastrophe was traversed we had a lovely devotional and the Bishopric shared their thoughts and impressions about a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. They also shared some touching personal experiences with us and let us ask them questions about themselves or scripture or whatever we wanted. After a couple very personal and heavy topics I asked what his favorite flavor of ice cream was... He said something like butter pecan caramel swirl.. I just remember thinking, "dang! he answered that fast, this man likes ice cream!" We ended with a prayer and then I went to get a few... items from the car.

One new game I had never played before was called: Awkward Twister. In this game you must stand in a circle to begin, and one person starts by moving one of their feet to touch one of the feet of the person next to them. Then that person must move the foot that was touched without moving their other foot beyond pivoting, or touching the ground with anything but their feet, to touch one of the feet of the next person and so on, and so on. At first, that doesn't sound too hard, or very awkward, but given a couple of times around and people are starting to look funny due to whichever foot they have had to move and depending on what foot was available for them to touch. It starts getting funny when people are all tangled up in each other and people are holding on to whomever they can get their hands on to keep from falling. But, here's the thing, if you ever say the word "Awkward" as in "oh, man this is getting awkward!" you are out, and are immediately removed from play, and if you are in the middle, twisted in between two or three people that can be ugly ;) but very funny. We played a couple really epic rounds where we were feeling like working together and we got pretty intense. Some people were getting far apart, while others were being twisted together and one guy had to stretch all the way through the cluster to reach the guy's foot he had to go for on the other side. It was amazing. There was a ton of fun to be had and lots of people I probably wouldn't have been exposed to meeting were it not for an activity like this. After such an ice breaking game, I was pretty much friends with all of the participants.

We got some sleep and woke up the next morning ready for more boating! Well, some of us were ready, a bunch of us were bums and took forever to get up and going... oh well. After a strangely disjointed breakfast where only one thing was ready at a time and subsequently devoured before all had a chance to partake of each, we set out to Jordanelle and got our game faces on. There was some kind of "Earth Days" thing going on so they almost made us pay twice per car, but I guess people figured a way around this, we just stayed behind the Bishop's boat, and they let us go. Awesome.

We had a great time boating and getting to know each other better. I wish I had pics of anything but all pictures in this post were taken by Brad Marshall.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wormholes and Time Dilation Fields

I am sort of a geek. Or perhaps a nerd... maybe it is that I am nerdy about certain things... The words are basically interchangeable, but the exact meaning of each is contextual in most settings.

Whatever. Anyway, I like the Stargate TV shows: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe.

I also like the Chronicles of Narnia books: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, and The Last Battle. They are great books and if you haven't read them, I would recommend you do that soon.

I have recently been re-watching the Stargate Atlantis series and it got me thinking that the way the Narnia stories work would match up nicely with some actual scientific theories that drive the Stargate stories. Briefly, if you are unfamiliar with Stargate, you should remedy that ;) but the SG-1 series that ran for ten years did a lot to establish the mythology of the whole story, as would probably happen... over ten years... The Stargate is an interplanetary traveling device that allows you to step from one world to another almost instantaneously through a wormhole. Occasionally, outside circumstances affect the operation of the Stargate, causing energy feedback, or time dilation, or something crazy like that. So let's look at one of them: they come across time dilation, which is when one position in space and time is moving at a different rate than another due to some influence like a black hole. When someone is inside the field time passes more quickly, or more slowly than outside the field. This presents problems or opportunities depending on the situation as it gives entities on the other side of the threshold either and advantage or limitation regarding the differences in the passage of time. One is slowed down and the other is relatively much faster so the faster one can get much more done while the slower one does almost nothing. To each, time is moving normally and one wouldn't really notice anything special, but if you were on the outside looking in, you would see people and things in suspended animation so to speak.

That's kind of what happens in the Narnia stories, sort of..

~Narnia Spoilers below. If you want to read the books and don't know the story, go read those, and stop reading this~

In Narnia as the children go through the wardrobe they live out a good portion of their lives but then, after reigning as kings and queens, they find their way back into their own original time line by returning through the wardrobe. On this side of the wardrobe almost no time has passed and they are once again children, with all the memories and knowledge of their Narnian existence. Later, they go back (in another book from the first) and while they have memories of their time there they had become more like their childhood selves and had forgotten how they ought to act. They struggle with the memories of what they once were while they are currently less than that. Each time the spend time in Narnia next to no time passes in the "real" world (ah, but which world is more real?). Pretty crazy stuff.

I don't remember all of the correlations I had thought of when I first started thinking about this. I can't type fast enough. But I remember that in stargate they depict the wormhole's event horizon as a sort of vertical puddle of water, but theoretical physics tends more to the idea that because two points of space are basically now touching each other, as you looked through the event horizon of the wormhole you would simply see the other side of your journey. You would see the destination as though it were but a few steps away, when the point may in fact be light-years from where you start. That is what happens when Lucy first goes through the wardrobe, she starts in and as she pushes through the coats suddenly she is in a forest pushing past the low branches of evergreens.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool in my brain.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Childhood Was Better Than Your Childhood Is

Being a kid a long time ago was way cooler than being a kid today.

I was just thinking how cool it was when I was a kid to go to the store and get a box of cereal that had a prize in the box. IN the box. Not in some warehouse a thousand miles away where you have to send "just 10 UPC labels" to the manufacturer before you could get it. You would open the box, and if you were impatient like me, you would dig around for the prize, which always seemed to be in a little plastic pouch I had assumed existed to make sure the cereal didn't get contaminated by the toy... a purpose that I had defeated by digging through the cereal with my small, probably filthy, kid hands. When I think about it now, I think it must have been so that the cereal didn't get into the toy and mess it up.

Now if you find a "specially marked package" of whatever, it just has some weird code that you have to go online with to see if you have won anything. Most likely you will "win" a coupon for 50 cents off of the thing you just bought. So what you're really winning is a chance to give the company more money, but it's cleverly disguised as a prize. Sorry kids, I had an awesome childhood, where prizes were tangible and satisfying. You are stuck in today, where prizes are meaningless and cool things are unappreciated.

Today, you kids expect your parents to buy you an Xbox or PS3 by the time you stop pooping in your pants, but in my day video games were strange and wonderful things that only your coolest of friends had. We didn't just wake up and play these things we had other things to do, like ride bikes, climb trees, and pretend we were the Ninja Turtles, and after a nice long summer day of ACTUALLY playing stuff in REAL life, using what we used to call: our imaginations, we would go to this friend's house and play on things like the NES or SNES or SEGA Genesis. I remember when there was a time that every department store at the mall had a console station. It was right after the N64 came out and located near the checkout stands this colorful, wonderful child magnet ensured that parents could do their shopping unhindered by fussy kids. There was a 15 minute time limit per turn and the screen was somewhere in the stratosphere, the controller was immovable and we were too short to see all the buttons clearly, but Mario had never looked so lifelike and we were in love.

Technology was amazing, we didn't carry around super computers in our pockets to tell us the answers to every question. We would wonder about things, and then ASK somebody. The internet was this funny idea that someone had and people were struggling to find out if it was even useful. The world was at our fingertips, but it was the literal world, not the digital one. I don't remember expecting the world to be there at my beck and call, I didn't think that I was better than my teacher at school. My recollection concerning threats and comebacks consisted of "my dad could beat up your dad", not "I'm going to sue you".

We used to wait to talk to our friends on the phone until we got our chores done, then we would go over to the wall in the house where the phone lived and we would call our friend to see if they could play. That's right, we used to know our friends' phone numbers, not just punch our index finger at their face and then talk to them. And you know what? It used to be that it didn't bother us to leave a message with someone if they weren't home, or weren't available. When I didn't own a cell phone a few years ago, 20 year-olds were afraid to call my house because what if I didn't answer and they had to talk to someone that wasn't me? Oh no!! Or what if no one answered and they had to leave a message on *Gasp* an ANSWERING MACHINE!
I would ask these people, "what's wrong with leaving a message?"
"Well," they would say, "then someone else might listen to it." What? So?

Do you remember when you were a kid, and you played outside (for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's that place where the roof is the sky and there is this bright yellow thing called the Sun) and got your hands dirty climbing trees and playing in the dirt, and then one of the moms in the neighborhood would come out and have a bunch of otter pops and you just went right over and started eating one? You didn't worry that your hands were covered in sap, you didn't even wash your hands, and that otter pop tasted great. You know what I think? I think germs made us healthy. Today, you kids don't get a chance to get covered in dirt and dust and grime cuz you never go outside, and if you touch anything more than once your parents have been brainwashed to sanitize every surface of the house making it impossible for you to get sick. Right? If you never come in contact with a germ, you never get sick. That's what the media are telling us through advertisements. Just use this product to wash your hands/clothes/house and "protect" your family. Well, who doesn't want to protect their family? So what do we all do, rush around frantically killing the germs.

But if you never come in contact with germs you end up with a really wimpy immune system, and when a germ attacks you, you DO get sick, and then you get sick a lot. What we were doing playing outside, eating food with dirty little hands, getting scraped climbing trees, was building an immune system. How in the world are you supposed to train an army to fight if you never tell them what they are supposed to fight, or how?

In a world where everything is just there for you, readily available, ads are over-stimulating and full of garbage, and our parents are hyped up on the latest study about the dangers of things that have been around for eons, I feel that the children of today are being short-changed. I think if you don't know what that phrase means you've been short-changed. (it refers to this green papery notes and cold metallic stuff used for currency, you know, it's like a credit card, but made out of round flat metal, and paper stuff with numbers and dead guys' pictures on it, and how sometimes if you used some of this stuff at the store the cashier accidentally doesn't give you all the leftover stuff, called "change" and that meant you got short-changed)

I was listening the other day to a doctor who was talking about vitamin D and how your body needs it for things your body does. He talked about how when your body is deficient in Vitamin D you run into a lot of problems and it can also lead to many other things not directly controlled by Vitamin D but still affected by it and they weren't good things. Guess what happens when you are outside in bright sunlight for just 20 minutes... Your very own body PRODUCES more vitamin D than you could get if you drank 200 glasses of "Vitamin D" milk. Why do you think your body makes that much vitamin D? Maybe because it's important? This doctor was talking about our society and how we are spending more and more time inside and how we are all so afraid of the sun. We are told by the "Officials" that we need to be careful with the sun or we will get cancer. We need to put sunscreen on our kids and now-a-days you can only buy windows that are "UV Protective" so no sun rays can touch you indoors where we stay all day. He talked about studies being conducted right now trying to see if this lack of Vitamin D in our bodies was influencing any of the conditions we see today, such as the rise in autism or the increase in cancers and so on. It is pretty interesting that we as a society want the easy fix to our problems and we think that comes in a pill. The FDA has done a good job at staying in control of our beliefs on that front. But the funny thing is that the easy fix is just doing the things people have been doing for forever, like going outside and getting some sun. Obviously getting burned is bad, but unless you are allergic to the sun, 20 minutes is not going to burn you. People want to lose weight, but don't want to eat right or exercise... Ok, so how are you planning on doing that, maybe rolling through a cheese grater gauntlet? I'm sure the weight will come right off... Nope just want to sit there and get skinny and attractive with nicely toned muscles. Ok, good luck with that.

Now, your body needs a lot of different things, and my least favorite entity to get the "official" info from is the FDA. They have already decided that a disease can only be cured by a drug and a drug can only be something which they approve and a drug must also be a manufactured chemical compound. This means that doctors are not allowed to "cure" anyone by telling them to eat the right food or go outside or exercise. They can suggest these things but they also have to prescribe a drug to be sure that you get "cured". Now the FDA is deciding what can be called a food. They already decide what chemicals can be used to produce your food, what chemicals can be IN your food, and all the processes used to "purify" your food, and by purify, I mean sterilize. They are even saying that babies should not have mother's milk, because it may contain contaminates that will give the babies allergies and problems in development. Wait, at what point is the milk sitting anywhere long enough to get contaminated by something? It is in one place, and then it's in the baby's tummy. Ta Da! That's as pure as it gets folks. They also say that saturated fats contained in mother's milk are harmful to babies and they shouldn't be digesting it so early. What do they suggest instead? Formulas and pasteurized cow milk. WHAT?! How long have humans been feeding newborns mother's milk? I think since mothers had milk to feed their babies with. So, what the FDA is saying is that nature doesn't know what it's doing and we are much smarter so listen to us. That is BS! Mother's milk contains enzymes that help the baby's digestive system develop so they CAN digest other foods. NATURE made mother's milk with lots of fats, why? so that babies would have the energy to grow! Fats are GOOD for you people! They are the long burning fuel that let you go longer and stronger. They want to feed babies formula and pasteurized milk? What is that about? Formula has a bunch of sugar and some proteins and some vitamins. Nothing you make in a lab is going to beat out what Mother Nature has been doing for, let's see, oh, since the beginning of time. Pasteurized milk is better than raw milk? Have you ever seen a baby cow raised on pasteurized milk? No. And any farmer out there is going to call you a stupid city boy. You know why? Pasteurized milk has had the stuff that goes bad killed so it won't go bad as quickly. This is good for shipping milk to stores and then letting people buy it, but the stuff that goes bad is the stuff that is the most nutrient rich part of the milk. It's the part that is alive and vital to infant growth. It is also better for you than pasteurized milk, but since most of us don't live on a farm and we aren't relying on it like a little calf is for development, then it isn't a big deal for us full grown types. But for babies?! No way! Nature is doing this on purpose, and you know it, so that raises the question, what are the people in the FDA trying to accomplish? Make our babies weaker, earlier, and force everyone to buy drugs for the rest of their lives to "fix" all of the "naturally occurring" maladies we will see in about 5-10 years.

Anyway, back to other things. Kids face a much more complex and desensitizing world full of information, devoid of consequences or discipline from their parents, and powers they ought not have. How can we expect kids to grow up to be good citizens when they know they can get their teacher fired for making them feel bad. Since when has feeling bad been grounds to ruin someone else's life? You're going to feel bad sometimes kids. Try to learn something constructive from the experiences and maybe you won't be such a pig the rest of your life.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clean or Worn, Which Do You Trust?

So I was thinking, when something is worn out and beat up and dirty from traveling (either literally or figuratively) we trust that it knows a thing or two just by looking at it. Like say, your grandpa, who is not actually beat up or dirty as he most likely bathes regularly, but rather, we can tell he knows a thing or two simply from history etched into the callouses in his hands and from the depth in his eyes that tell you there are a few stories you've never heard before.

Let's draw from another example. Let's go with the Ranger. Maybe it's the Lone Ranger, he fights for justice, so we like to trust him, or maybe a park ranger at Yellowstone, they keep us safe and informed. Now comes my question, who would you trust more? The park ranger who has tanned skin, worn boots, a beard, and eyes that tell you they've seen every mile of trails the park has to offer and then some? Or the guy with the brand new uniform and a look on his face like he's not sure where the nearest rest room is? It's obvious right? The second one hands down! The first one is obviously a deranged serial killer who has stolen the uniform from one of his victims and has been hiding out in the expanse of wilderness for months. Just kidding, the first one is the right answer, sorry to derail you. Congrats to everyone that didn't fall for my joke. Why do we look at someone like that and think, "I'll ask him where ______ is." Because he looks like he's probably been there and back a few times.

Speaking of rangers that have been there and back again...

Look at the following pictures and tell me who you would want to lead you through an unfamiliar forest.

Here we have option A:
First off, he has a horse.

Second, notice the trail worn leather jerkin and belts... Obviously been wearing them for a while, and I'm sure they were new once upon a time, but no one remembers when that was.

Note also the long hair. He clearly hasn't seen a barber in a while. Maybe he likes it that way you might think, and maybe you're right, but I think he's just been away from cities for so long he hasn't gotten the chance for a proper cut.

The scruff. That just shouts confidence and street cred.

The shiny necklace that definitely belongs to a girl. This means there's someone somewhere waiting for him. As you can plainly see, this guy has been through more than you have, and he still plans on getting back. So, if a guy like this walks into the clearing in the woods where you are, ladies, he's taken, so don't go pining and sighing for him, (besides he's like, 83 or something) but you can trust him to get you out of the woods safely, cuz he sure as heck ain't letting something stupid like a bear or a thousand miles keep him from his true love. Don't fret, there's someone out there for you too, you just haven't met him yet.

Now look to the right.

This is option B.

This guy looks pretty legit. He's got the hooded cloak, and the bow and arrows, and the sword and the leather jerkin and the belts...

But we can't see his face, which means we can't tell if he has that awesome scruff or long hair that prove he's been on his own for a while. And he's not wearing something that definitely belongs to a girl, so it's pretty safe to say there's no "driving will to return home to his beloved" to save you from that bear.

Plus, everything is CLEAN, I'm not trusting no ranger with clean clothes. He doesn't look like he's been anywhere near the range.

There are signs of civilization. He's standing by a wall for goodness sake.

And finally, there is absolutely no horse.

I wonder if that's why people like the jeans with pre-worn holes in them... Does it make them feel like they've had experience? Because it doesn't make me believe it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lightsabers are Awesome!!

I recently purchased a couple lightsabers from and they rock. I got the Collectors Edition "Prophecy" RGB (meaning you can switch and mix up to seven different colors) and a Liberator V2 in Guardian Blue.

I have been wanting to duel with them ever since they came... and on March 11th I got my chance :)

My cousin Josh was pretty pumped about it and we took them outside to mess around a bit. After a five or so minutes we started filming and did this on the first try:


Lightsabers are awesome.

You're Welcome

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fun is Not a Scarce Resource

Ok, so I am still alive, but not like anyone actually comes here to see if that is the case... you come here for entertainment and wisdom blended boldly into a delicious life smoothie so you can walk away a better person.

Today's special:
Creative Liberty - Made with a healthy dose of imagination on a creamy base of established franchise. We mix in some shared experience and laughter and voila! enriched friendship and lots of fun!

Some people don't like this flavor for some reason. I don't really know why.

I am confused why sometimes something that one person thinks is cool is off limits for other people to like. If I had something really fun or cool, I would want other people to enjoy it too and then we all have fun and that is more fun than just doing it all by myself. Think about it. What do you like to do that is fun? Eat food, play board games, play video games, play jokes on people (nice ones that aren't destructive) watch movies or TV shows, go to the mall, go to Disneyland, go to parties, go bowling, dress up for Halloween, have a photo scavenger hunt, go on a date, chill, and anything else you like. These are all more fun when you have someone to do it with. Who wants to go to Disneyland by themselves? Or a yourself... yeah, it's better with someone.

Let's say one person knows a lot about something and has enjoyed it for a long time, then someone else who thinks it is cool but hasn't really put a lot of time into it comes along. Then they have a shared experience with that cool thing, and then an opportunity to get more involved with a group comes forward for the first person especially (since they are better equipped) but that is open for the second person to participate with and it sparks the second person's interest to get more involved. While together, the two are having a blast and laughing and joking, and eventually the experience is at an end and both go their ways feeling excited and satisfied. Now, the second person starts getting more into it and wants to talk to the first person about it, but the first person seems to be avoiding contact and starts talking everything down like it isn't really that interesting. What is the motive behind this? Does the first person not want the other to share this interest? Why would the second person's interest have any impact on the first person's ability to enjoy it? Making matters more confusing, the first person now complains to others that the second person is wanting to be involved. Why are they frustrated? It would seem that they are looking at things with some sort of scarcity mentality, like that there is only so much water available in this pitcher and if you take some there won't be enough for me. But this is FUN and ENJOYMENT and SHARED EXPERIENCE, it is not a finite measurement of water but a boundless ever expanding state of being. If one person enjoys a nice tuna sandwich, and someone else says, "I love tuna sandwiches, they are so good!" does this remove the ability of the first to taste the sandwich? Does this physically alter the sandwich the first is enjoying to another substance? NO! You simply have two people that enjoy the same thing. Perhaps the original individual will worry that this newcomer will want to steal his sandwich, but you know what? I bet if they thought about it, they would realize that a rational person would not try to steal someone's partially eaten sandwich, but would go make their own. And if they were to eat them side by side how could that hurt either of them? would the one sandwich rob the other of it's flavor? I don't think so.

Physical objects are easier to understand. They follow set rules, but people are irrational. Emotions are incalculable, and unpredictable, which is lame sometimes. The reasons behind these emotions are equally unpredictable and varied so understanding someone's motives or fears is next to impossible. Perhaps there is a desire to feel unique or special, or maybe it's less endearing and it's a need to be better than others, to assert one's superiority and dominance without fear of being eclipsed by some other person. I hope that isn't it. That is short sighted.

I guess I just wish it was easier to connect without complications. Why are we such fickle creatures?

Next episode:
Lightsabers are awesome.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time Zone Confusion

So I think my body wishes it was in New Zealand. I can't go to sleep at the right time. Instead of going to bed between 11pm and 1am like i usually do, this last week I have been going to sleep between 4 and 6 AM! Last night I couldn't sleep until 7am TODAY!! I'm falling asleep at the wrong end of the day!

It all started on Friday the 6th.
I was playing one of my all time favorite games: Transformers: War For Cybertron (hereinafter to be called TWFC). It was awesome, I was kicking butt and it was epic. I know what you're thinking, I got carried away just playing it for hours. Well, that's not entirely false, but it's not quite as simple as that. 
I'm a member of a forum where people who like the game can go and interact. It's nice to get a feel for the people behind the Autobot/Decepticon as it were. I have been a member for a while and shared my own insights or complaints, given feedback and received suggestions. I enjoy the community for the most part and usually check it daily. A bit before Christmas one of the veterans of the forums offered to buy a game for the person who could guess his favorite game of all time, or be the closest to a number between 1 and 1000. I had a dream a bit before this that someone told me that their favorite game of all time was Diablo II, but, I thought that was kind of weird, so I guessed Mario Kart and the number 444. My cousin Phil (check out his blog here!) had been talking recently about the number 4 in Japan and how 444 was like death or something, so I just threw it down. On January 2nd I got a message when I logged into the forum that one of the members sent me a private message. I went to my inbox and it was from the guy running the contest telling me I won! I guessed the closest number. His was 420. I checked the thread and he had updated the original post to include the information that I had won, what his number had been and what his favorite game was. Diablo II... Um... that is weird. Not that he likes the game, but that I dreamt about it. I should have just put it down, that would have been pretty awesome. Not that it mattered, I won anyway. So, in order to claim my prize I had to pick a game up to a $20 value, but for him to give it to me we had to be friends on Steam (a sweet PC game hub/community that lets you keep games installed directly on your computer instead of needing to pop in the disc every time).
Now, because I was friends with this guy, who is fairly prominent in the TWFC community, I started getting friend requests from a bunch of the other veterans. Shortly after I would add them to my list they would pop up in a chat telling me how fun it is to play with me and how good they thought I was. That was pretty cool to hear from guys that are in the top 50 for the game. One of the guys that added me is from England and one night he invited me to help him with some footage he is getting for a Transformers movie he is making. He needed someone good enough to pull off some crazy stunts with him. I said sure and we got started. The first stunt he needed was for me to be Arcee (a small "girl" autobot) and I had to run toward a low wall, jump over it and turn around mid-air, throw an EMP grenade so that it hits him and then before I hit the ground on the other side of the wall "dash" (special ability) to the side and down the ramp that leads to a lower level and then cloak still in mid-air. He had to be chasing me, get blinded by the grenade, jump over the wall turn and shoot a cloaked robot in mid-air while also in mid air and still partially blinded by the grenade. I did a couple practice runs and then he said he was going to film it. We never got it right during the practice runs, but we hit it first try when he was recording. We did a bunch of stuff and a couple other guys came in to help us do some scenes with more characters. It was really fun and we got tons of stuff filmed, but then I looked toward my window and saw light coming through it....
Yep, it was morning. For Mr. England man over in England it was no big deal because he was just doing his normal thing, but I am 7 hours behind him so I should have been sleeping.

So, now I can't really fall asleep before 3 or 4 if I try. It's pretty bad. I miss sleeping at the right time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

T.M.I. Thank You Very Much

You know how sometimes when someone asks you something and you give an answer, in your head you don't really know if your answer makes sense to them? So you think about what you could say to qualify what you just said so that it makes more sense or justifies your answer. Like if your grandma offers you a homemade treat and you say no thanks, you feel like there should be a reason behind your "no thank you."

Well, sometimes that happens, but sometimes you really don't need to say anything else. Please, don't go into intimate details. I really don't care, and now that you told me I can't un-hear it. Or stop thinking about it. Thanks.

I had finals last week and while those were super fun, I also got to handle finals all week at work too. I work at a school and my job is giving out tests and supervising the students taking them. It is not a hard job, but it can get pretty busy during finals. To make the experience more pleasant we will bring food to share so we can all keep our spirits and strength up. Well, one of my coworkers decided to bring a bunch of chocolate chip cookies to give to students as they finished their tests. This is a great idea and it provided smiles and happiness for tired stressed students, and if they don't want one, they can just not have one. I noticed that many students would come out and look at the tin of cookies, hand me their test and then just walk away, and I think they must not have made the connection that these were a gift for them. I then noted how offering a cookie when they came out garnered a much better response and more frequent cookie takers.

The day wore on and sometime in the afternoon, when the coworker who brought the cookies was sitting at the station with the cookies, a man came out to give her his test. Like normal she offered him a cookie and he said, "no thank you," and I thought that was it. He walked to the door as his test was being run through the scanner, and he paused, "I have a kidney stone at the moment..." oh really? please, do tell, "...and I can't really have chocolate. I have to avoid it. No chocolate for me." Ok, so I just learned that if one has a kidney stone, one should not have chocolate, apparently. Why did you feel the need to tell us that? Now I keep imagining what that must be like, searing pain, the sudden onset of xocolataphobia, the strange urge to divulge my current state of misfortune to people who offer me cookies. Kidney stones are no good I tell you, no good at all.

Chocolate chip cookies, however, are.

 Image from here

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello Again Friends

Wow, it's been a while hasn't it? When did I last post? AGES ago? yep you're right, ages ago. Sorry about that.

I have been well, and that is always good. I hope that you are also well. A lot can happen in such a long time, so tell me, how the heck are you?!

Ok, my turn.

At the end of September my car overheated and the radiator was the reason. It decided that it had finally had enough and burst while I was taking a girl out on a first date. Oh, and this was while we were just heading up the canyon to look at all the beautiful fall leaves, so we were quite a ways from home. We pulled over at a nice little turnout and ate our food in the dimming light while the engine cooled. I just happened to have some coolant with me and put some more in the reservoir. We decided that it would be best to just head back and try to get home as soon as we could. We had to stop at least three times to let the engine cool and my date was all the time laughing and having a great time. I'm actually really glad she was there, it helped me keep my wits about me, you know so I could show this girl how I could handle a tough situation and know what to do and stuff. Oh, and it kept me from pushing my car over a cliff. Eventually, we made it back to my parents' house and the car just quit. Sad day. So we went to plan B. We walked to her house and watched some stuff on Netflix. I think Dr. Who and The IT Crowd were on the docket that evening.

I was now without a functional car and stranded at my home of my parents and siblings for the whole weekend. This was General Conference weekend I believe and it was nice to spend the time with my family. My date must not have gone as horribly as I had imagined because the girl I went with, who lived quite close to my parents' residence, found several occasions to join my company. I did not find this to be disagreeable and we spent nearly the whole weekend together.

Reality began to set in when I realized that I would have to get my car looked at before I would be able to go much of anywhere, including: work, school, oh yeah, HOME! Well, I got the car looked at and they replaced the radiator and that seemed to do the trick. It was mighty frustrating getting the school the previous day I can tell you!

So, school and work both kept happening, and so did seeing this girl. Huh, yep, still there. Just stalking me everywhere. Ok, not really. I was asking her out and she was saying yes, and then she'd invite me and I'd say yes, and after a while I just decided I'd had enough and kissed her in the rain. Want a romantic kiss? Kiss in the rain.

School is almost over and I am feeling like it can't really get here soon enough. Two more finals and I'll be ready to relax for Christmas.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Microeconomics and Jedi

So in my microeconomics class I am learning about marginal utility and how you can maximize your total utility (or basically happiness) by using your income to purchase goods in such a way to get the greatest utility per dollar. I told my coworker about this.

I read an article about how it sucks to be a jedi. I started to really want a lightsaber. I told my coworker about this.

"I am pretty sure that a lightsaber would give me a lot of utility," I mentioned.

Without turning she said, "you're special James."

Yes, yes I am.

All Men Are Jerks?

"New motto for life: All men are jerks; until proven otherwise"
~Some frustrated young woman who had perhaps a handful of poor experiences and has therefore written off 3.5 Billion individuals who MUST be exactly like the few she's met.

You know, not all guys are jerks. I'd like to express my feelings on the subject at the risk of sounding like one. Expecting every guy to be a jerk until they prove to you that they aren't is unfair. If I walked into a room and even just one girl turned into a withdrawn storm cloud inspecting me for any faults I will guarantee I'm not going to talk to her even if I can't tell why she's acting like that. Actually, come to think of it, if I did know then I would especially not talk to her! Why not accept the challenge to uphold chivalry and honor and prove myself to her? Because I dislike silly games, besides the fact that nobody likes to be scrutinized for their imperfections.

If you're expecting flaws and imperfections, how does this allow you to give anyone the benefit of the doubt? This mentality only hurts the individual who mistakenly thinks themselves the better for it. You expect failure and imperfections and will, consciously or not, find them, become dissatisfied, and chalk it all up to that guy being a jerk too. It's kind of funny how ironically hypocritical it is to hold this sort of position. You think every guy is a jerk so you decide you're going to make them prove they aren't before you...what? trust them? respect them? let yourself be nice? stop making sarcastic jabs at them? Wait... I'm confused, who's the jerk?

Ok, ok, so maybe they just want assurance that he's not flaky or rude or something before they allow themselves to be interested. (why did I jump to that angle? Well, the above quote sounds like many such statements made by girls frustrated with the current ex-man-of-their-dreams.) This has probably stemmed from a tendency they developed over time which had them becoming interested in certain types of guys, a majority of which are jerks. The "Bad Boy" with his motorcycle and dislike for authority make it seem like adventure and excitement will fill every moment. But his dislike for authority probably comes with side effects like a dislike of trying to see other points of view and a disregard for others' feelings or wishes.

I don't want this to turn into an in depth look at all the types of guys that tend to be jerks. I'd rather tell you that most guys are not jerks, it's just that the most vocal and noticeable guys are usually the ones that do whatever they want and don't care what others think. Unfortunately, that can often translate to not caring what you think. Most good guys just don't know that they need to not be too nice. It makes them look like pushovers or like they aren't directed and sure of themselves and that makes girls not feel like that guy is confident enough to make things happen. So the girl goes for the jerk who seems like he can. Guys, step up and tell her you'd like to take her out on a date, tell her which days will work for you and then ask her if either of those days will work for her. Be confident, keep your chin level and look her in the eyes. Always treat every girl with respect, open doors, don't make fun of them, keep your language clean and above all, be a man. What I mean by that is, live your life, stay busy, be productive, and be kind to those around you. Girls will notice. At least the ones who aren't still rummaging through the garbage heap trying to find something that isn't there.

Girls, please notice the guys that are kind and good. Stop thinking that arrogant pigs will be nice to you and get over yourselves.

Thank you.