Friday, November 27, 2009

Why We Don't Say Things

The other night I was laying in bed awake.  It was one of those nights where I wake up in the middle of the night and don't really go right back to sleep.  This usually allows me some time to be alone with my thoughts, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Of course, I wasn't entirely alone.  Robyn was next to me but she was asleep.  If you think that she can't be involved in what's going on just because she's asleep then you are entirely wrong.  As I lay there drifting in my thoughts, suddenly Robyn whispered intensely, "Shhhhhh..  That's why we don't say things."

I think I may have missed something.  I'm not sure why we don't say things.  I just know that we don't say them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

I am a mean husband.  I have a very important tradition.  The problem is that my wife doesn't like this tradition.  But, I love this tradition and so I demand of my wife that she be uncomfortable for around 45 seconds on an annual basis.

But there are aspects of the tradition that I don't make her participate in.  I don't make her be at all involved in taking a yard that looks like this:

and making it look like this:

But here's the part I do make her participate in:

That's right, it's not ethical or moral to rake a giant pile of leaves and not jump in it.  With my meanness and cruelty I not only demand that she participate but I require that she have fun.  She should be grateful though, at least I don't demand this level of awesomeness:

(Image stolen from my cousin Jamie's blog.  This is her husband Nick.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Konami Code: Cheat Codes and Magic Circles

Remember when you were a kid and you would play nintendo?  Remember how cool it was to find out cool cheat codes?  Then you could kill all the bad guys, you were all powerful and the world was your play thing?

Ya, I remember those days too.  There was one cheat code that was used in a number of games by the Konami company.  It went like this:
Well, apparently among the geek underground (that includes people like Mark Zuckerberg) it is cool to hide easter eggs in your website such that when the Konami Code (for thus it is called) is entered on your website it does something cool.  This came to my attention recently when my friend Todd described this phenomena in his facebook status.  So right now, I need you, dear reader, to login to facebook and enter in the code (followed by the enter key).  Do you see the magic circles?  Is that crazy or what?

Apparently this phenomena exists on all sorts of websites.  There is a list of them at Of course, I didn't want to be outdone, so I have enacted this very same cheat code on my blog here.  Go ahead and enter it and you will see the true meaning of awesome.

But don't worry.  I thought about you.  I thought you might want your blog to have cheats enabled as well.  That's why I put the javascript code into a seperate file that you can reference.  All you have to do is edit your blogger template.  Look for the <head> tag (it should be near the beginning) and right after it just copy this tag in: <script src=""></script> then your blog will also be able to share the true meaning of awesome.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Rules of Scary Movies

So, October is a great month. Every station likes to play lots of scary movies to celebrate Halloween. For many years, this meant that I stay up late every night in October watching whatever scary movie happens to be on. In the modern age I just DVR a billion scary movies in October and watch them for several months after.  In all my movie watching, I have noticed a few patterns and some codes to live by if you're ever in a scary movie.  I thought it might be nice to share some of these codes of conduct.  Because I want you, dear reader, to be alive at the end of the movie.

1. Pay attention to warnings from little kids
There is always someone who knows what is going on before everyone else.  This is often a little child but not always.  This could also be your nerdy friend or someone who is crazy(by the way, that person usually isn't crazy, they've just been through this experience before and no one believes them.)  Basically, the warning will come from someone who you see as a non credible source.  If someone you see as non credible is giving you a warning.  Heed the warning!  Also, this is usually a good sign that you are now in a scary movie.

2. Never take shortcuts
If you're driving on a freeway and the map says it's shorter to take some random dirt road, don't do it.  People in scary movies don't die on the freeway.  (People in other kinds of movies do get in car accidents though, so always drive carefully.)  The same applies even more on foot.  Never take a shortcut through a forest or a dark alleyway.

3. Turn on the lights
I know you have a flashlight and you think that it gives you plenty of light.  But you heard a scary sound in the basement.  That means there could be something scary in the basement, and that scary thing is going to hide where you are not shining your flashlight.  If you don't have lights in the basement, wait until morning and go down there and install some lights in the basement.

4. Put on some clothes
This one will hopefully be obvious.  But, since it's a problem commonly manifest in movies I'll talk about it.  If you hear a scary sound and you need to go investigate, it's okay to throw on some sweats and maybe a shirt.  I know you like to sleep in that sexy nightie, but just put something over it when you go outside.  This is for 3 reasons:
1. I know it's late at night but you could still run into some friends or something, how embarrassing.  
2.  Your odds of getting killed increase dramatically when you're just in your underwear.  
3.  If you are in a scary movie then all sorts of people are watching you in a theater.  You should be more modest!  
You don't have to get all dressed up for the prom or anything, just have some clothing on.  In fact, I suggest even sleeping with clothing on.  Robyn puts on one pair of sweats, 2 hoodies and 3 pairs of socks when she goes to bed.  (Look for a future post about Robyn's bed attire, cause it's that good.) I have total confidence that she will survive if she has to check on a sound in the middle of the night.

5. Never be alone
Monsters and serial killers both prefer to kill you one by one.  There is safety in numbers.  The only time you're allowed to be alone is if you're the hero.  If you know you are the hero you can venture off by yourself to take on the bad guys.  But, even then, remember not to leave anyone else by themselves.  You may eventually conquer the bad guys but the ones you leave alone won't be around at the end of the movie.

6. Be Likable
The most likable characters always survive until the end.  If you tend to be a jerk, you're probably going to die.  The hero will live as well, so you better either be the strongest person or the most likable.  But, it's better to be fun and innocent then tough. Children tend to survive as well, because people like children and they are innocent.  If you are not a child it helps to have a child.  Rarely will both parents of a child die.

7. Shoot the bad guy again
I know you've just defeated the bad guy.  He's laying limp and he looks dead.  You want to kiss the girl/check on the child/say your clever closing lines.  Remember, bad guys/monsters play dead very well.  They are guaranteed to get up again.  While he's playing dead go ahead and shoot him again.

8. Do some introspection
Is it possible you're not who you think you are?  Do none of the other characters interact with you?  You might be a ghost.  Think back: Have you ever died?  If the answer is yes, odds are you're a ghost, although there's a chance you could be a zombie or a vampire.
Does bad stuff happen when you're not around?  Especially inside your house with no signs of breaking and entering?  Do you seem to lose track of time?  You could be the culprit, or at least one of your multiple personalities, especially if you recently had a traumatic experience.  Or, if it only happens once a month that you have unaccounted for time when bad things happen you could be a werewolf.

9. Stay out of scary movies
The best way to survive a scary movie is to not be in one.  The best way to do that is to be in other kinds of movies.  Some examples are: you could be in a crime movie by committing a crime, or you could be in an action movie by being a super hero.  But those both have their drawbacks.  My personal preference is to be in a comedy.  If you're always funny you can't be in a scary movie.  One warning to this approach:  Do not be funny by making fun of someone else's fears.  If you are doing that, not only are you already in a scary movie but the very thing you are mocking is guaranteed to kill you.

I hope that you'll take these few tips to heart and I hope that you'll survive all future movies you happen to be in.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My New Abode

When I started at my work, there were four of us at the company.  We started in a small office building and expanded to the basement of that building.  We eventually rented half of the adjacent building and then expanded to all of the adjacent building.  Even with having two seperate buildings we have slowly expanded to the point where everyone was sharing offices and parking had just gotten ridiculous.  So we took a giant leap forward and moved to a new building about 2 weeks ago.  The new building has 6 bathrooms, and even has 2 showers!  (So I could live at work if I needed to.)  The super nice thing is that there are plenty of offices so no one has to share anymore.  Since I have my own office now, I thought I'd try to do some decorating that would help portray my personality.  Here are a few pictures of my new setup.

This is my woot-off light. It's USB powered. When I bought it Robyn said, "That would go so great in your office." Roughly translated from female, that means, "You better not think that you can have that at home." I've discussed with some co-workers how to write some software to make the light turn on whenever there is an actual woot-off. It would just require disabling the USB port until the woot-off begins.

This is Darth Vader and he's driving a Cadillac XLR.  The XLR is the coolest car ever and Darth Vader is the coolest Sith ever.

This is a love note. It was originally written by Robyn on my whiteboard, but was later attributed to Dave. I mean it makes sense, who doesn't love Jeff?

This is what I look like when I'm working hard.  If you look closely there are some hardcore regular expressions going on.

Finally, this is what I look like when I'm chillaxin' in my office. Aren't I precious?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Someone is WRONG on the Internet

So those of you who know me well, know that I enjoy arguing.  I try to curb this desire due to the fact that it's not considered polite to argue with people.  It's not that I'm a disagreeable person.  But, I really enjoy thinking logically and trying to present an idea in a logical format.  I also enjoy hearing views that are opposed to mine because it helps me broaden my world view.

Well, I have discovered an excellent outlet for this desire.  That is the internet.  There are various forums throughout the internet where people post their thoughts and feelings on any number of subjects.  So, I enjoy posting in response to what they say and either presenting more evidence for why I agree or presenting an opposing view to theirs.  This hobby of mine has lead to several different times where the scenario pictured below has played out.

I mean what am I supposed to do, just come to bed?  Then they would still be WRONG!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember the Fifth of November

Today is an important day in history. Fifty Four years ago today, on November 5, 1955 a very important event happened that will change the course of human history. You see, Doctor Emmett Brown was standing on a toilet trying to hang a clock on the wall when he slipped and fell and hit his head on the bathroom sink. Before he came to, he received a revelation where he thought of this:

Of course, it's a flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible.

For those of you who thought I might be talking about Guy Fawkes day: Come on, which is more influential to human history, a guy(no pun intended) who tries to destroy Parliament or the invention of time travel? (My apologies to my British readers.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Latter Day Prophets

When I ride in my car, I usually don't listen to music.  I really enjoy using that time to learn new things.  Because of this, I am always looking for good CDs that I can learn something from while I drive to and from work.  I listen to a variety of topics but recently I acquired The Presidents of the Church: Insights into Their Lives and Teachings by Truman G Madsen on CD.  He gives about a 40 minute talk on each of the Latter Day Prophets.  While I was listening I tried to pick out one thing that I admired about each of the prophets.  It was purely for my own education and betterment, but I figured since I already compiled the information I may as well share it.

I recognize that there are many awesome things I could have written about all of these men.  If you are offended that your favorite story wasn't shared, I'd love for you to share it in a comment.

Joseph Smith
Lived: December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844(aged 38)
President of the Church: 1830-1844
Admirable Attribute: His caring for others. When he was martyred in Carthage Jail, he knew that the mob was coming for him. I had always thought that he was shot and just fell out the window, but according to Truman G. Madsen he thrust himself to the window after he had been shot so that the mob would see him fall. When the mob saw Joseph fall from the window they stopped attacking.  Joseph's last thoughts before he died were selfless ones and he saved the lives of John Taylor and Willard Richards who both would have surely been killed if the mob had continued to attack.

Brigham Young
Lived: June 1, 1801-August 29, 1877(aged 76)
President of the church: 1847-1877
Admiral Attribute: He was humble. One time Joseph Smith publicly rebuked him for something he didn’t do. Brigham would have certainly had the right to argue that he was being unjustly dealt with, but rather than argue about it he just replied, “What would you like me to do?”

Joseph, who had been testing him, came down from the pulpit, hugged Brigham and told him, “Brother Brigham you passed.” 

John Taylor
Lived: November 1, 1808-July 25, 1887(aged 78)
President of the Church: 1880-1887
Admirable Attribute:  He had total trust in the Lord. He struggled with the doctrine of polygamy, and especially struggled when Joseph Smith told him that Leonora (John Taylor’s wife) would not be sealed to him but instead to Joseph. He told Joseph, “If the Lord wants Leonora he can have Leonora. If you are asking, the answer’s no.” Joseph told him that the Lord didn’t want Leonora but it was a test and he passed.

Wilford Woodruff
Lived: March 1, 1807-September 2, 1898(aged 91)
President of the Church: 1889-1898
Admirable Attribute: He was a record keeper. He often said that he could not let his head hit the pillow until he had recorded the events of the day. He wrote in his journal every day for over 60 years.  He also would keep shorthand of sermons that were given by Joseph Smith as well as Brigham Young.  He would not go to sleep until he had transcribed his shorthand into regular writing.  He is the reason that we have the transcripts of many of those sermons today.

Lorenzo Snow
Lived: April 3, 1814-October 10, 1901(aged 87)
President of the Church: 1898-1901
Admirable Attribute:  He was obedient. He didn't want to get married because he didn't want children.  (I can relate, I wanted to get married and I'm happy I did but I'm somewhat afraid of children.)  Joseph Smith took him for a walk and gave him a good talking to about the importance of marriage and families.  He got married and eventually had 41 children.  (I told Robyn I can't be too bad if I started out with the same problem a prophet had.  But, I'm pretty sure we won't have 41 children.)  I admire not only his obedience, but he also had such a great love for his children.  He loved to share stories of the gospel with his children.  He was a true family man.

Joseph F. Smith
Lived: November 13, 1838-November 19, 1918 (aged 80)
President of the Church: 1901-1918
Admirable Attribute:  He was an amazing missionary. He went on his first mission at the age of 15, to Hawaii. It was at a time when others who had been called there had given up because they had no success. He went on to have great success there and returned many times, later as a Mission President.

Heber J. Grant
Lived: November 22, 1856-May 14, 1945 (aged 88)
President of the Church: 1918-1945
Admirable Attribute: He learned how to be Financially Prepared.  He had invested in some businesses that failed.  He had gotten deep into debt because of that.  He was over 100,000 dollars in debt which is more than one million in today's dollars.  He had developed a plan to pay off his debts with continual hard work.  He was called to be a Mission President in Japan and he accepted it knowing that it would greatly increase the difficulty of getting out of debt.

After accepting the call, John W. Taylor came to him and said, "It's been made known to me that you have made a great sacrifice today."  He said that the Lord would open the way for him to become financially free.  He was not to plan to make money but he was to just ask the Lord to guide him.  Within six months he was out of debt and went to Japan.

For the rest of his live he taught that being debt free was important, and he even brought the church to the point where it has a year's supply of money.  This means that if all tithing and donations stopped, the church could still continue for an entire year at its current rate of spending.

George Albert Smith
Lived: April 4, 1870-April 4, 1951 (aged 81)
President of the Church: 1945-1951
Admirable Attribute:  He was filled with kindness and charity.  He would donate to the Salvation Army because he said they reach people that we don't.  He was also known for giving to anyone in need.  One day he came home from work shivering.  His wife asked him if he had forgotten his coat that morning.  He replied, "No, but I gave it to a man on Main Street."

David O. Mckay
Lived: September 8, 1873-January 18, 1970 (aged 96)
President of the Church:1951-1970
Admirable Attribute: He had a reverence for sacred places. One time he saw two boys playing and climbing trees in the Sacred Grove.  He politely told them, "Boys, please this is a sacred grove, it is not a game, it is not for fun.  If you want to play, please play over there."

At another time he spoke about the temple and said, "I believe there are few, even temple workers who comprehend the full meaning and power of the temple endowment.  Seen for what it is, it is the step by step ascent into the eternal presence.  If our young people could but glimpse it, it would become the most powerful spiritual motivation of their lives."

 Joseph Fielding Smith
Lived: July 19, 1876-July 2, 1972 (aged 95)
President of the Church: 1970-1972
Admirable Attribute:  He had complete integrity.  He wanted to never deceive any person. One time a photographer came to him and wanted to take a picture of him signing a letter.  He asked President Smith to pretend to sign a letter.  President Smith refused, but said that he would find a letter that needed signing and would allow the photographer to take a picture of him actually signing a letter.

Harold B Lee
Lived: March 28, 1899- December 26, 1973 (aged 74)
President of the Church: 1972-1973
Admirable Attribute: He had an ability to listen to the spirit and have confidence in the answer. He was sitting in General Conference. Someone gave an anonymous tip to the city saying that there was a bomb that was going to go off in 20 minutes inside the tabernacle. They sent the bomb squad in and someone went and let President Lee know about the bomb. He thought for a moment and said, “There is no bomb in this building.” They went back and told the bomb squad there was no bomb. Imagine if he were wrong, he would die as well as thousands of members of the church. But he had total confidence that the spirit had communicated the truth to him.

Spencer W. Kimball
Lived: March 28, 1895-November 5, 1985 (aged 90)
President of the Church: 1973-1985
Admirable Attribute: He had a love for others and a strength of spirit always with him. A young Japanese convert was unsure about the church and was ready to walk away forever.  A friend encouraged him to stay at a conference long enough to shake hands with President Kimball.  After meeting President Kimball this young man said,  "Is that what a celestial world is like?  I felt the spirit so strongly that testified to me that our Heavenly Father is like President Kimball.  I almost missed the glorious opportunity of staying in the church."

Ezra Taft Benson
Lived: August 4, 1899-May 30, 1994 (aged 94)
President of the Church: 1985-1994
Admirable Attribute:  His dependence on prayer. He convinced President Eisenhower of the importance of prayer and got him and his cabinet to say verbal prayers at all of their cabinet meetings.

One time there was a drought in Texas. President Benson convinced the Texas Governor to declare a day of fasting and prayer. He did and it rained 2 inches. In connection with this event, the newspaper reported, “Benson has contacts that are out of this world.”

Howard W. Hunter
Lived: November 14, 1907-March 3, 1995 (aged 87)
President of the Church: 1994-1995
Admirable Attribute:  His ability to focus on his message: He had had health problems for quite a while. He had been sitting down to give talks in General Conference and elsewhere. One time he was feeling a little better and said that he wanted to stand at the pulpit. He did fine until one point he leaned a little bit backward and lost it. He fell straight on his back. He got up and finished his talk, they later learned he had broken 3 ribs in the fall, but despite that he still finished his talk.

This same calm courage came to the fore in 1993 when he was approached by a deranged man who had jumped up onto the stage at the Marriott Center while President Hunter was addressing BYU students. The assailant threatened that he would detonate a bomb unless Elder Hunter read a certain statement. Elder Hunter remained calm and said nothing. Eventually the man was subdued. The trouble averted, President Hunter proceeded with his speech as though nothing had happened.

Gordon B Hinckley
Lived: June 23, 1910-January 27, 2008 (aged 97)
President of the Church: 1995-2008
Admirable Attribute:  His love of the blessings of the temple. He said that he wanted every member to have a temple that can be reached within one day of travel. When he became President of the Church there were 47 temples worldwide. When he died there were 124.  At our most recent General Conference they announced that 80% of our church membership worldwide lives within 200 miles of a temple. 

Thomas S Monson
Born: August 21, 1927
President of the Church: 2008
Admirable Attribute: He has a great desire to serve others.  President Monson wasn't included in the Truman G. Madsen CDs.  But I love in all of his talks he speaks of the various people he has served.  There were many widows in his ward when he was a Bishop and he always talks about them and the story always ends with "and then I spoke at her funeral."  He did so much to serve those widows as well as so many others.
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