Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Some Food for Thought About the Scale of the Universe

I'm sure the way I mix up content in my posts would give an editor a stroke, but hey, that's the greatest thing about writing for fun: no one can tell you what to write!  Oh, and I think the image of Master Oogway will make sense by the time you're done with this post, that is if you get done with the post.

Well, we hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving and I think most of us have a great deal to be thankful for.  I'm primarily thankful to be a sentient being on THE journey!  I thank God for my wonderful family, friends, and a life that I love and am learning to love more with each passing day.

We had a wonderful time with both Sarah's family, especially since Rob and Jake, as well as Jake's girlfriend, Amy, we're in town (we missed you Laura) and with my family.  On Thanksgiving morning we hiked with my mom, April, Wes and Ryan to the top of Mt. Rubidoux.  Then, after showers and Claire's nap, we went to the Carter's and visited, cooked, ate and stayed up late playing games, etc. The next day we hung out at the Carter's.  I worked on Rob's wedding DVD which we never officially finished and Sarah went running with Jake and Amy.  Afterward we had an indulgent breakfast and then spent the rest of the day in downtown Riverside with both families.  Later that night we went to my parents' place and watched I Am Legend.  We'd all seen it except my mom and Sarah.  Sarah didn't get as scared as I thought she would.

Well, now on to what I've got for you, yes you, tonight.  Sarah fell asleep about an hour ago or so and I just got on and am trying to work on my backlog of email.  While doing so I found an email from a buddy and I thought I'd make a post out of it.  You see, when I find myself sinking into the attitude of ingratitude, I find that thinking about the cosmos helps me recalibrate and when I remember what an amazing, miraculous thing it is to exist and be alive, I find it much easier to feel grateful to be here, NOW, and, paradoxically, I both take things much easier and realize the vital importance of doing the right thing.  Now, that might sound like jibberish to some, but like the turtle master says in King Fu Panda, there are no accidents and I have found (previously to viewing that wondrous little film) that he's absolutely correct: there are no accidents or coincidences and the full realization of that truth changes one forever.

In the past I have created other posts regarding the scale of the universe, mostly because I think it's cool and very thought compelling.  Check out the older posts HERE and HERE.  Here's an old video that my friend Shawn recently emailed me that I thought I'd share.  Now, it's rather long, so watch the first three minutes or so, if you're interested of course, and then skip to about minute 6 when it starts to zoom back in.  Science says a lot, but it definitely doesn't have the final say on what's really "going on" around here!

Anyway, pretend you're in an old classroom in the 1970s and enjoy this video:

If you find the video boring, here's a more interactive way to see the same thing and you can control how fast you go through it.  I think it's good to challenge oneself to think about these things because, as you know, unless you're on Discovery or some other channel, TV and the evil minions behind the programming aren't going to try to stimulate much of anything above the neck line.

Yesterday is history,

tomorrow is a mystery,

but today is a gift.

That is why it is called the present. - Master Oogway

Friday, November 28, 2008

Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede

First greed was the major cause of our current economic crisis and now it continues to take lives on Black Friday (this has happened before). Can you imagine stepping on someone's throat as you run through the Walmart doors all in the name of saving fifty bones? I guess some people can. To some degree Black Friday seems to be nothing more than concentrated stupidity and diarrhea of the wallet...welcome to Consumerism Gone Wild! I am sure the Waltons will lose sleep over this one as they repose on their mattresses stuffed with hundred dollar bills and the letters of disgruntled small business owners they've deposed.

Updated Friday, November 28th 2008, 4:16 PM

Farriella for News

Police tape surrounds a Wal-Mart that was the scene of a deadly stampede.

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.


"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.

The cause of death wasn't immediately available pending results of an autopsy.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was knocked to the floor during the mad rush. She was hospitalized for observation, police said. Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said.

Three other shoppers suffered minor injuries, cops said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dave Tovar called the incident a "tragic situation."

"The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority," Tovar said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families at this difficult time."

Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.

"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."

Only a few stopped.

"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More fabulous food ideas (Gluttony post #3)

Denny's Introduces 'Just A Humongous Bucket Of Eggs And Meat'

JANUARY 17, 2001 | ISSUE 37•01

Denny's Introduces 'Just A Humongous Bucket Of Eggs And Meat'
  • Props:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You Want Good Deal?

I saw this on KCAL9 and thought you might want to check it out. By the way, the fact that I took the time to customize the image above is a sign of my mental sickness. Hey, what do you think that key on his necklace opens?: (online deals) (not pretty but really good)
(print out your own coupons)

A&W: Hopefully this helps answer your question!

Mark in Afghanistan

Mark Fisher, my cousin (my mom's sister Jill's youngest) is currently serving at Bagram Airbase just north of Kabul. Here's a brief description Mark wrote about what he does:

"I spend at least a few hours a week inside of the BTIF and see a lot of bad folks. There are a handful of personal assistants to Bin Laden, murderers, and guys that have spilled American blood that live there. A very bad place for a lot of evil men... [This] picture is of our little shop (the 3 of us) that services the theater of Afghanistan for...[those who] get accepted into the BTIF... We are at the General's aid with information about the detainees when it is necessary and provide everyone in Afghanistan guidance as to proper interrogation as well as detainee procedures. There is no one that knows more about the people inside this facility outside of me in Afghanistan (that's because it is my job and I have been here longer than the other two who I trained when they got here). We have to deal with the embassy, Karzai, and sometimes even "Gitmo" with detainee issues. We also have put in over 200 detainees since I have been here. That is what I do in a nutshell."

Mark will come home in early 2009 and we're excited for him and for his family. His wife Louise lives in Downey and manages a small apartment complex and takes care of their three children, the youngest of whom (Lafe) was just born a few months ago. She is a strong woman!

Podcasts...Who, What, When, Where and Why?

Do you love podcasts? Do you even know what they are (if you want to skip my confusing and wordy explanation, check out the Wikipedia entry)? Although I assume most people have heard the term "podcast," I don't think the majority of people understand their nature, listen to them and are really aware of how they work. In fact, a couple of years ago the term blog was similar: it was all over the news and the internet, but it took some time before it reached a critical mass.

Podcasts are basically recorded programs, generally in the form of the spoken word, which are created by individuals and organizations for the purpose of being download and listened to by individuals when and where they please rather than in live format on a traditional radio or internet radio site. For example, all of the NPR programs, such as Car Talk, Fresh Air and the BBC World News, as well as Ensign articles, talks, etc., are free and made immediately available via iTunes (which is also free) in the form of an MP3 files which are organized with previous installments in chronological order and available through syndicated download or a live feed. You can even set up iTunes to automatically download and install all new episodes directly to your iPod. If you don't use iTunes and an iPod, you can download the podcast directly from the website. Regardless of what you're into, from art to computers to scrapbooking, there are podcasts out there on that topic.

I was just talking to mom the other day and I realized that since they'd been living in a hotel while waiting for the deal on their new home to close, she hadn't had access to her desktop computer. Now, she has a notebook computer and a "Boysenberry," but the primary problem is that her iTunes account lives solely upon that machine. The problem, then, is that she hadn't been able to sync her iPod for weeks and despite the fact that her music collection is still on the iPod, and can be listend to as long as it had a charge, the issue--no, the tragedy--was her inability to update her favorite podcasts! Of course I am using some hyperbole here (don't you see a pattern in my writing...I mean, look at the Twilight post), but once you get used to downloading and listening to podcasts you get very used to having tons of content custom tailored to your individual taste right at your fingertips or, um, your ear drums.

I don't know exactly what my mom's favorite podcasts are, mostly NPR stuff I believe, but when you get used to driving and consuming information in that manner, the radio just doesn't hack it anymore.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts as of late:

These are little one minute episodes that deal with psychological findings often with a self-help spin. These make for great conversation starters over dinner with friends too.

I love honing my grammar and diction and the short episodes (approx. 10 min each) deal with various problematic language issues such as "Can I..." vs. "May and I..." and many others which are far more problematic. Obviously you have to care enough to try to improve and I don't think you should have to be a writer to care.

Available on iTunes
Podcasts of top philosophers sharing information about their specific interests and studies in bite sized form. I love this podcast because I can learn, albeit superficially, about various philisophical concepts and arguments.

Various talks, both old and new, pushed straight to your computer or MP3 player.

In addition to these, I listen to podcasts about technology (Leo Laporte's "The Tech Guy") and sports podcasts.

So, if you have an MP3 player and drive more than 15 mins to work, you may want to check out podcasting. Once you get it figured out, I think you'll love it.

Related links:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Trip to Green Valley Lake & Sister Oaks

Since I updated our blog while on the trip, you probably know that we recently made a trip to our friends Chani and Marilyn's cabin in Green Valley Lake, CA. We had a wonderful time drinking hot chocolate, sitting around the fireplace, cooking homemade meals, taking walks down to the lake, fishing, reading, watching movies, and taking a day trip to Big Bear for lunch and to ride the Alpine Slides.

From Sister Oaks November 2008

We had to take this one since Sarah's little brother is Eric Carter:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

Our first evening we took a walk down to the lake:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

As you know, not too long ago a fire wiped out a great deal of the forests in the San Bernardino mountains, including many homes in the GV Lake area. Here's what was left of one of the cabins/residences:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Cheesy, but he had to be done...
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Daddy made a fritatta:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

There was still snow on the ground from a recent storm (the front "yard" of the cabin is very shady):
From Sister Oaks November 2008

Before piglet transformation:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Carter had to copy Claire when he saw me laughing at her:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Rubber worms:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

My girls:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

Apline Slides!
From Sister Oaks November 2008

We took turns going on with Carter:
From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Here we are actually riding the slide. You can hear Carter telling me not to drop the camera and requesting that he hold it.

Post ride celebratory gesture. By the way, there were some Asian tourists who went very slowly down the slides and as they watched Carter and I barrel down the slide without using the brakes at all they were a bit shocked...but you should have seen their faces when we hopped off the slide and Carter busted this move. I don't know what they were thinking, but I am sure they thought I was raising a future hellian):

From Sister Oaks November 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Prop 8 Debate and Dr. Phil

Burned out on Prop 8? Me too. But the show must go on apparently.

SO, I must apologize that I never reported back regarding how the "debate" (it was more of a presentation) went regarding Prop 8. Well, supposedly the man I debated, Jason, is going to be a guest on Dr. Phil today at 4PM on channel 2, which got me thinking about it. So, here's a brief description of how things went.

Jason and I went out to dinner with the professor the class. We ate at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. He ordered a sausage and pepperoni pizza and I ordered their new Mediterranean pie which was excellent (feta, peppercinis, etc.). During the meal we discussed the topic of homosexuality and he shared with us that he had been "in the closet" up until he was about thirty-three. That was a bit shocking since he's very "pro-gay" and has been married now to his partner for a few years. I must admit it's tough to tell someone they can't do something, such as get married, when they're sharing their innermost feelings and describing their experiences in such an intimate way. I simply had to remind myself that the issue is not about rights but about the definition and concept of a sacred covenant (today I thought about it like this: if my Sarah died and I had to raise the children on my own, I would be a father, not a mother, despite the fact that I would do my best to "mother" them, it woudn't change the fundamental fact or definition of what a mother is...maybe that's not a perfect analogy, but it gets the point across hopefully(.

After we ate, the three of us drove over to the University of Redlands. Now, the professor did not tell the students which of us was gay and which of was straight; he had the students make a guess. Since Jason is quite masculine, the class was nearly divided and slightly more of them thought I was the gay one.

Once we were settled in, it was my turn to present the pro-8 side. I stood up, introduced myself and presented my point of view. Although I stuck to a secular, rational argument, the first thing I said was the I believe that God intended marriage to be between a man and woman. Actually, what I think I'll do is upload the PPT to a website where you, the lovely reader, can download it. The presentation went well and I felt blessed to speak clearly and to express my views plainly. I ended up skipping through many slides because I felt I had already made certain points. In the end, I expressed my gratitude to the class and made it very explicit that I, and those whom I represent, love all people and do not wish to hurt anyone. The class applauded, Jason stood and shook my hand and then he took the stage.

From both a rational and emotional point of view, Jason did a fantastic job. He initially expressed his dismay at the possibility of an amdendment, for the first time in US history, being passed that would take away the rights of a group of people. He then told his personal coming out story and how negatively his parents were affected. He then went into detail about how wonderful it was when they accepted him and his partner for who they were and showed photos from his wedding. I could tell the class was emotionally moved by his words. He went on and expressed a number of scriptures from the Bible about how it was OK to take slaves, stone people to death, and so forth and stated that although he believes in God and respects the Bible, that the books contained in the Bible were written for a certain group of people in a certain historical context and that not everything therein can pertain to our nation and world today, thousands of years later. He also talked about issues concerning church and state and so forth and so on.

In the end, we stood, shook hands, embraced one another, agreed to disagree and the class expressed their gratitude to each of us for taking the time to share our ideas, despite the nerve-racking nature of presenting such intimate feelings to complete strangers. The instructor then had a vote. It think 9 said they'd vote NO on Prop 8 while 3 said they'd vote YES and two were still undecided. Who could be undecided at that point? Strange.

It was then time for some Q&A and this is when things got a lot more interesting, at least for me. People started asking questions that dealt a lot more with spirituality and religion. I ended up sharing that I am LDS with them because the discussion turned to the "Mormons." There was a lot of misinformation regarding our part in the deal. In fact, one woman even had a false statement from the LDS church leaders stating that the church had made a terrible mistake on the issue and was immediately pulling support from the prop and asking all members to apologize to their gay and lesbian friends.

The most suprising thing that happened is that someone asked me about Mormons being persecuted and I explained our exodous to the West. I also detailed the murder of the Prophet Joseph and got choked up while giving the description.

Anyhow, the main thing that impressed them was our overall objectivity and lack of animosity for one another. Now, I cannot speak for Jason, but I truly felt no anger or frustration with him. I actually empathize with him. In my view, those who are stauncchly for gay marriage truly think it's the right thing to do. For me, it comes down to profound truths about procreation in this life and in the life to come.

As I drove home I felt a great sense of contentment and gratitude that God allowed me to stand and witness for truth and that the audience was respectful and thoughtful. Although there were only about fifteen students, it might as well been hundreds based on the way it felt to stand up and deliver.

So, if you get the chance, tune in and you can see Jason tonight on TV arguing that Prop 8 should be overturned for the sake of equality and love.

Thank you to everyone who supported me by giving me information and checking in on how things went.

***UPDATE: Jason was in the audience but not actually a panelist (he was sitting on the isle wearing a blazer of a green button up shirt and sitting next to his partner).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Am I the Only One Who Thinks Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Books Are Evil...or at least Problematic?

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Cheers to the Failure of Twilight

"Hey, is that the dude from Beverly Hills 90210?" asked Daniel with a gleam in his eye.

I feel like I'm going out on a limb here, but having grown accustomed to critical theory, this should be viewed as fun and engaging, even if you love Meyer's Twilight here we go!
If there's one thing one must NOT do if one does not want to alienate and enrage teens, tweens, those who still yearn for the days of dating the "bad boy" and those who relish the underdeveloped sensibilities of adolescent romantic love, it's to badmouth the latest vampire chronicle, Twilight. Now, I don't pretend to be a book critic--and I take no umbrage whatsoever if someone enjoys the Twilight series, art is subjective--but to me those novels are, how shall I say, "shallow" and simplistic and devoid of the kind of universal themes that make great literature, well, great! Now, that's my OPINION and I am a thirty year-old man who enjoys Hemingway and London, so my OPINION should be taken with a large grain of sea salt. With that said, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Many critics have already expressed similar views about the film, and I venture to say most critics will agree as the reviews come streaming in, and not all of them will be hairy chested knuckle draggers like myself.

Oh, did I mention that I'm just bitter I didn't write these books and make millions of dollars in the process? Ha! I wouldn't want to sell my soul for money actually! Ha! Also, I didn't even read the series, so I'm not officially qualified to critique them although I did check out the plot line and I believe that the main problem is that Edward is a highly unrealistic character that is so totally fantastical and "perfect" that it might lead girls to think that men have to be like him to be worth of their affections. It's like what we say to boys about pornography: don't look at it because it's an addictive lie; women don't look like that or behave like that and if you think they do, you'll fall in love with a lie and never be content and become addicted and act out and... etc. Well, Meyer's, intentionally or not, has created a sort of emotional pornography. Sure, this is fiction, but adolescents don't distinguish so well between reality and fantasy, even adults don't! Perhaps that seems a bit over the top, but I'll stand by that analogy.

Furthermore, her choice at the very end of the story arch, to stay with Edward and sacrifice what makes her human, seems to me equivalent to selling out one's core principles and eternal goals for the love of a fallen beast blood sucker dude
. That's exactly the kind of subtle theme I DON'T want my teenage daughter reading. Oh yeah, and the books, while not necessarily evil, have spawned dozens of much less reputable and darker novels related to vampires and the like (so what kind of fruits did her writing produce?).

If you want more of my criticism of the books as well as read an article by an LDS woman who feels the same as I, please CLICK HERE.

So, whether you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your take on this issue and PLEASE know that I do not think any less of someone if they enjoy this kind of art...ummm, I mean entertainment. (:

Here is an early review of the sappy and sanguine screen version of the novel:


Vampire romance Twilight makes an awkward leap from page to screen

Josh Bell

Thu, Nov 20, 2008 (midnight)

Stephenie Meyer’s freakishly popular novel Twilight (the first in a series of four) is all about a perverse kind of wish-fulfillment: Average teenager Bella Swan falls madly in love with perfect, ageless vampire Edward Cullen, who sweeps her off her feet (often quite literally), protects her from harm and loves her unconditionally. Meyer’s... pro-abstinence courtship story (vampire elements notwithstanding) has struck a chord with a large, mostly female, mostly young audience, people who long to play a damsel-in-distress role opposite a flawless, masculine rescuer rather than deal with the complications of real modern romance.

Studying the pathology of Twilight fans is key to understanding the appeal of Meyer’s overwrought, superficial novel, and in adapting it to the screen, director Catherine Hardwicke and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg have greatly improved the sluggish pacing of the book while making sure to retain its cardboard characterizations and gooey, romantic tone. What’s meant to come off as swooning and grandiose in print often sounds silly and uncomfortable when spoken out loud by actual people, and Twilight’s central romance thus has an even greater sense of falsehood onscreen than it did in print.

Compounding the inertness of the book’s Edward/Bella romance is Stewart and Pattinson’s complete lack of chemistry; they both give such wooden performances that it’s hard to buy their passion for anything, whether it’s love or blood or the lush greenery that envelops Forks. The creepy power imbalance that defines the story’s central relationship is that much clearer when we can see Edward spying on Bella as she sleeps or ordering her around with the excuse that he’s protecting her. Rather than a sweet teen romance or a love story for the ages, Twilight is a parable of codependency, and the movie version lays bare just how disconcerting that is.

Not that it does any better when it tries to modernize some of Meyer’s throwback style. Hardwicke has now directed four movies about teens, each equally clueless in its own way; here Bella’s non-vampire friends all speak in awkward, outdated slang, and the world of the high school is relevant only as a tool to bring Bella and Edward together (or to provide the magical romance of the prom that ends the movie). Twilight is devoid of intentional humor, although fans at the screening I attended tittered throughout, perhaps finding the story’s overwhelming cheesiness harder to take when seeing it enacted before their eyes.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

San Luis Rides Commercial

Jake finally shot a commercial for San Luis Rides. As you may know from previous posts, he's in the business of selling LEVs (light electric vehicles). He decided to get into the business after failing in his own attempt to find an LEV dealer in his area after he realized how much sense it would make for him to stop driving a car to work.

Personally, I think if you work fairly close to home, between 3-10 miles, you should consider purchasing an electric vehicle. You can save a ton of money by avoiding gas prices because even though they're declining, it still costs $30-50 to fill a tank, depending on the vehicle. One thing to consider as well is the wear and tear on the vehicle, particularly the brakes and tires, and then the need to put clean oil and other maintenance. Anyhow, I wish I worked closer to home, but my commute is over 30 miles round trip and includes freeway driving. Hopefully some day I can find a job that's about 5 miles or less from home and then I'd get one of the bikes and save money, help lessen congestion AND be able to turn off the electric engine and do some peddling.

Here's the commercial which I uploaded to YouTube:

Do us a favor: if you know someone who might be interested in an electric vehicle, regardless of where they live in CA, let Sarah or me know and we'll hook them up with Jake and get it delivered!

Roosters break up a rabbit fight...seriously.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random Shots...

...with "Shots" being both figurative and literal (photographic) in this case.

What a great day I had today with Claire. We ended up stranded, just the two of us, at my parents' new home waiting for the AT&T installer to hook up their new TV and internet service. She is the sweetest little thing and she behaves much differently (read: better) when Carter isn't around. We were "stranded" when I forgot to swap keys with Sarah which caused he to take off with the keys to the Odyssey, so the two of us hung out and Susie Q. (one of the nicknames for Sarah's mom) came to the rescue and ended up picking up Carter from F.U.M.P.S. and then brought him, and the keys, over to us.

Anyway, since I'm off until Dec. 1st (yeah, I know!), Sarah has picked up extra shifts at the hospital. It's a trade-off that works for us since it provides Sarah with a chance to do something she loves, namely nursing, and it gives me the chance to spend time with the kids and get work done at home, although I don't even want to talk about my writing and the work on the sprinklers in the backyard.

I got home a few hours ago from my folks'--my mom took the kids and me to dinner for the help we provided today--with both kids asleep and watched some Discovery HD programs I've been meaning to get around to (mostly fishing, outdoors and science stuff). Now I'm writing this while listening to a program about near death experiences (NDEs) which I have always been fascinated with and continue to study, although my understanding has changed a lot over the years. I should post some ideas about it sometime, but I suppose that might be more appropriate for my other blog, one which I don't post on very often, and that deals more with spirituality and science.

Anyhow, here are some random shots I found in Picasa that I never posted or printed and don't want to disappear into the void. I figure if I at least upload them to the net via Picasa, they'll be out there in the ether somewhere and I'll be able to sleep better at night.

Most of these are from the spring time and, you'll see, many come from a trip I took with my mother and father up to Utah to attend my cousin Christiane's wedding. Unfortunately, when our notebook computer crashed, I lost some data which I thought I had backed up on my external HDD but, as I found later, hadn't. So, this is very disjointed but some of the photos from the church's history center (I can't remember the "real" name) are worthy of a gander.

I thought all of the gleaming metal and the perspective I shot this from would make for an interesting photo:
From May 2008

I've been known to spend many an hour editing (not my blogs mind you!) and I can ONLY imagine poor Brother Gilbert:
From May 2008

I adore Native American art:
From May 2008

From May 2008

President Hinckley's corner:
From May 2008

From May 2008

Gifts he received from people around the world which I find quite touching:
From May 2008

I was suddenly accosted by a small crowd which demanded a brief yet powerful exhortation. I kindly obliged them:
From May 2008

Ever wondered what the speaker has up there? Here's an idea:
From May 2008

Sing in chillun!
From May 2008

One of my favorite paintings:
From May 2008

From May 2008

The Jazz were still in it before getting blown out in that last game against the Lakers. Arrrrggh! That brings out the Utah pirate in me!
From May 2008

These are the only shots that survived from the rest of the trip which is unfortunate because I don't have any of the bride and groom (Christiane and Jared) nor from the amazing hike we took with my Uncle Kevin, an outdoorsman after whom I'd like to pattern my outdoor activity level. It helps that he has the resplendent and mighty Rockies in his backyard.
Aunt Jill and Alissa.
From May 2008

Uncle Kevin (and Adam hobblin' in the accident...baad ice accident):
From May 2008

Hill Air Force Base (where Kevin works):
From May 2008

NOT a Cake Wreck:
From May 2008

Hey, some photos from the hike did make it, too bad those from the end of the hike where the water fall was, didn't survive:
From May 2008

Cousin Jake and my Mom:
From May 2008

La Fine