Thursday, January 31, 2013

Football is about Hugging


This Sunday is the Superbowl.  The Superbowl is a strange cultural occurrence in the United States where millions of people gather together in their homes to eat delicious snack foods and watch amusing commercials that are constantly interrupted by that hugging show.

Some people call the show football.  But let's be honest.  Football is about hugging.

Some hugs defy gravity

My dad used to watch the hugging show a lot when I was little.  I didn't really understand the hugging show.  It was the same show over and over, just with different colored shirts and different people hugging.  Over the years I have seen enough of the hugging show to get the general idea.  Since you will probably be invited to a commercial watching party, (but don't be deceived, the hugging show will interrupt those commercials a lot.) I will now explain to you the ins and outs of the hugging show so that you will know what's going on.

The game always starts out with a coin toss.  They flip a coin and someone calls heads or tails.  If they get it right they get to choose who gets to do the hugging first.

Next someone kicks a "ball" really far.  When I say "ball", you're probably picturing something round.  Normally, you would be correct.  In this case, imagine something that looks nothing like a ball.  Now call it a football.  You're getting it already.

After the football gets kicked really far, different people try to catch it.  If you catch the ball, you earn the right to get a hug.  Often the individual is embarrassed about wanting a hug so he usually pretends to run away for a minute.  Picture first grade girls chasing the boys.  It's kind of a similar scenario.  Eventually this person gets caught and gets their hug.

Next, you have a series of "plays".  A play consists of the "ball" moving around until someone gets a hug.

At the beginning of the play one guy hunches over really far in the middle.  This guy is called the "center".  He hunches over really far so that women at home can check out his butt.  It's a very important part of the game.

There is a very powerful individual called a "QB".  He checks out the center's butt for a minute and then he yells some secret code words that add excitement to the game.  Eventually, he tells the center to give him the ball.  As soon as he gets the ball, lots of people start to really want to hug him.

At the same time, other individuals called "receivers" run around and try to get the QB's attention.  All of the receivers want hugs.  But the QB chooses who gets a hug by throwing the ball at them.  So the receivers try to impress the QB by running really fast or puffing themselves up really large, or perhaps telling him how much they have in their 401K.  Eventually the QB selects the recipient of the hugs and throws the ball at them.  If the receiver catches the ball, he gets a hug.

Sometimes the receiver runs away from the huggers.  If he gets past a certain line they are not allowed to hug him.  This is considered exciting.

Other times, the QB doesn't feel that any of the receivers are worthy of a hug.  In this case, he will usually stand and wait for someone to hug him.  This is also considered exciting.

Sometimes, if the QB really wants to mix things up, he will throw the ball to someone who is wearing a different color.  If that happens you are definitely supposed to yell.  It is a very exhilarating thing to see.

Those are the basic principals of the game.  I didn't cover every possible outcome of the game, but that should get you through a good 90% of scenarios.  Also, watch for the guys dressed like zebras, whenever they say something, you should get angry.

But most importantly, don't miss the commercials.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Geeking Out About Falcons

A few months ago, a friend of mine suggested that we take a falconry class.  You may be thinking, "Falconry isn't something normal people do."  If that was your thought, congratulations, you're correct.

Since I'm not normal, I took the class.  It was super cool.  I even got to hold a falcon.

He is wearing a hood so he's not tempted to eat my face.
I learned a lot of things in my falconry class.  We talked about different species of falcons, what they eat, how they hunt, how to trap them and other fun facts.  But there is one lesson I learned which is probably the most important.

Falconry is hard.

Ya, it turns out that raising, feeding, and training falcons is a lot of work.  You have to monitor their weight.  They need to go out and hunt almost every day.  You have to build a place for them to stay.  And most importantly, you have to deal with a ridiculous government that heavily regulates falconry.

So, unfortunately, I'm not hardcore enough to own a falcon.

But I am hardcore enough to hang out with people who own falcons.  And that's where the falconry winterfest comes in.

For winterfest they all get together and do speed trials to see which ones can fly from one point to the other the fastest.  Sometimes they forget where they're supposed to go and fly into a tree instead.

video
But they're still awesome, even when they mess up.

After watching them fly, they all gathered together and put them on perches in a yard.  This allowed me to geek out to my heart's content.  I mean these are the descendants of dinosaurs.  How could I not hang out with them?

Here are some of the friends I made.
Great Horned Owl

Golden Eagle

The bird yard

Harris Hawk 

Gyr Falcon

Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Kestrel

Adult red tailed hawk
Screech owl
The best part of the whole thing?  The people who own these birds geek out about them even more than me.  I'm less geeky than them.  How great is that?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This is What an Inversion Looks Like

Monday was Martin Luther King day.  That meant that both Robyn and I had an opportunity to not go to work on the same day.

Unfortunately, Robyn was not feeling particularly stellar.  The air quality had been continually dropping.  (I wrote a letter to mother nature to address the issue, but apparently she's not concerned.)  It had gotten bad enough that Robyn had been having an allergic reaction to it.  Her nose had been stuffed up, and her throat hurt,  along with other unpleasant symptoms.  (Although she did gain the ability to sing bass, which is pretty cool.)

Like Dr. King, I had a dream.  My dream was to breathe some non-nasty air.  (My standards aren't too high, non-nasty is all I ask.)  I knew if we climbed high enough, we could find fresh air.  We hopped in the car, and started driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  I didn't really have a destination in mind, other than up.

As we drove up, it was like a miracle, Robyn's nose started clearing up, my eyes were less itchy, we both had bigger smiles on our faces.

We got up there and took a look back at the valley.

Ummmm... gross


It was amazing up there.  It was warmer, the air was fresher, the sky was blue.  (It had been so long since I'd seen blue sky, I didn't really remember how blue it gets.)

I didn't know that blue sky still existed in the world


Look at that happy face

Precious.


Eventually we had to return to civilization.  That was the worst part.  Since we were no longer used to the smell of the nasty air, we immediately noticed how much it stinks.  I blame all you stinky people.

Robyn's nose and ears plugged right up and she returned to a state of sadness.

But don't worry.  We found something to bring us gladness.  We stopped at the Cheesecake Factory on the way home.  If we asphyxiate, at least we'll die with cheesecake in our bellies.  (Can you think of a better way to die?)

There are no words to describe the deliciousness.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Do We Hate our Friends in January?

or Why we Need Bananafest Day

That bolded line there is a subtitle.  Blogger doesn't really have a way to do subtitles, so you get a bolded line at the top of the text.  Deal with it.

So why do we hate our friends and family so much in January?  What's that you say?  You don't hate your loved ones in January?  You think that just by labeling them "loved ones" that means that you don't hate them?

I know you claim you don't hate them.  But let's examine the evidence.

Let me take you back to December.  I know it was a long time ago, but just try to remember.  Remember how you had all sorts of events to get together?  You had one with your work.  You had one with your church group. You had one with family.  (Possibly several with different parts of family.)  You had some with friends.  In fact, there was so much getting together that you had to turn some of them down, because there just wasn't enough time to attend all of them.

When you weren't getting together, you were making treats for all of your neighbors, as well as other friends and family.  You spent time dropping by to deliver the aforementioned treats.  Perhaps you even bought gifts for various friends and family.

You placed gifts under a special tree, even taking the time to wrap them and make them look special so that they could be enjoyed aesthetically before the gift itself is enjoyed.

You might have travelled to see family or friends that you don't normally see.

Then the New Year came, and you got together with more people.  You gave a kiss to that special someone.  Perhaps you even found a new special someone to give a kiss to if you were lacking in the special someone department prior to that moment.

In short, you went out of your way to spend time with, and show love to family and friends.  But the moment the New Year arrived, your new schedule consisted of sitting inside and complaining that it is cold.  Did you know that those loved ones still exist?  Did you know it was cold in December when you loved them?

As undeniable proof of the cold, I present to you Santa's sleigh.
A sleigh is used to go through snow.  That means it is cold everywhere on Earth on Christmas day, even Hawaii.
Photo Credit

Now I ask you, why are you not spending time with loved ones the way you did in December?  Why do we pack so much into December and then forget that we love our family and friends the rest of the year?

It is an enigma to me.  But that is why we have Banana Fest Day.

"What is Banana Fest Day?"  You ask, excitedly.

I appreciate your excitement.  Banana Fest Day occurs every January 28th.  It was born out of a conversation I had with a friend of mine 7 or 8 years ago.  It's very simple.  You make something delicious that includes bananas as an ingedient.  Then you get together with others who do the same.  You eat each other's delicious food, and possibly even have conversations.  Even without conversations, you can still sit in the same room and eat food, thus simulating healthy relationships.

"What if I don't like bananas?" You ask, incredulously.

First of all, what is your problem?

Second, this isn't banana day.  We're not eating straight bananas.  The fest portion involves making other foods utilizing bananas, where the end result may or may not taste like banana.  You still like banana bread, right?  Just imagine all the other good things you haven't experienced.

So who's with me?  I hope that Banana Fest Day will someday be a worldwide holiday.  Let me know if you'd like to come fest with me.  Or, let me know if you plan to fest at your own home.  Thus, helping it spread.

Or, if you prefer, you can just tell me why you hate your friends in January.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Worst Things Ever 2013

I recently came upon this post from one of my favorite blogs.  I thought it might be a good idea to completely steal his idea of posting a list of the worst things ever.  (I am doing so shamelessly)

Also, I called it the "Worst Things Ever 2013" in case I need to post more worst things ever in other years.  Do I recognize the irony of calling it "worst things ever", which implies that there can't possibly be anything worse, and then attaching a year, which implies its only the worst things of this year?  Yes, I recognize that irony, I revel in it.

Enjoy.

1. When people say "literally" when they mean "figuratively"
2.  When your zipper is stuck
3.  Sand in your swimsuit
4.  It's cold enough in the morning that you need a heater, but hot enough in the afternoon you need the air conditioning
5.  Your cell phone battery runs out
6.  Standing in line to go to the bathroom
7.  Sweat on my forehead
8.  The blue screen of death
9. This

10.  Bacon Soda (Especially bad because it taints the name of bacon)
11.  When people say "irregardless"
12.  When the milk smells funny
13.  Socks (I think the worst part of wearing shoes may be putting on socks first)
14.  When there aren't enough free samples at Costco
15.  When Darth Vader says, "How is that possible?" (about Luke Skywalker being his son) and you think the Emperor is going to explain the birds and the bees to him.
16.  When your clothes blow off
17. This


18.  When Greedo shoots first
19.  Error 404: Page not found
20.  "Thank you Mario!  But our Princess is in another castle!"

Is there anything I missed?  Feel free to share your worst things in the comments.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Purple iPad

For all of those who enjoyed the posts I wrote about our experiences teaching the 3 and 4 year-olds in our church,  I have some sad news.  We have been released from that position and we now teach the 12 and 13 year-olds.  I'm actually really excited about it.  We just had our second Sunday working with them and I love it.  I have been super impressed with their knowledge of the gospel and their desires to learn and grow.  But, unfortunately, they probably won't say as many cute and amusing things.  I still reserve the right to write about them, but I don't promise it will be as amusing.

All that being said, I still have a story about one of our little Sunbeams.

I actually didn't experience this story.  It is a Robyn original.  However, I've written before about how much it costs to get Robyn to write on her blog.  I can't afford her services, so I'm just going to write it myself.

There is one girl who was a little bit difficult in our class.  She didn't like to cooperate and was often defiant just for the pure fun of being defiant.  Robyn was kind of amazing, and eventually got her to behave in class, but she had to spend lots of one on one time getting her to understand the rules.  I'm especially proud of Robyn that we never had to send her to her mom.

Now that our Sunday School with the 12 year-olds allows us to attend our 3rd hour meetings, Robyn gets to enjoy Relief Society.  She had been asked to come to the front and share some thoughts.  At that same moment, this same little girl was brought in by her new teachers to be with her mom.   She looked up and saw Robyn and whispered to her mom, "That's my old teacher.  She has a purple iPad, but you can't play with it if you're bad."

I guess, after everything we tried to teach her, the lesson that she feels is the sum of all our teachings is, "bad kids can't play with the purple iPad."  I would have hoped for something like, "Jesus loves you."  But we'll take what we can get.
The iPad is actually white, but it has a purple case.  It also has pictures of me, which makes it very awesome.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Open Letter to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,
Or do you prefer Mommy? Mom?  Mamacita?  Is it okay if I call you Big Mama?

Dear Big Mama,

I have a bone to pick with you.  This whole inversion thing has gone a bit too far, don't you think?  I'll be the first to admit that there have been some pretty sunsets, and I have enjoyed them as much as the next guy.  But, the other day I looked directly at the sun and I thought it was the moon.  Do you know what the sun is supposed to look like?  Nothing!  It's supposed to be blinding.  You look at it and you see nothing for the next 5 minutes.  I literally thought it was the moon, that is so inappropriate.

And what's with this ridiculous cold?  The other day, I checked the weather app on my phone and it was -8 degrees.
It is not supposed to be -8 while the sun is shining.  Do I look like I'm in North Dakota?  At 9:30 in the morning (when I took the above screenshot), it might be appropriate to be 8 degrees.  But do you understand that removing that little negative sign is a difference of 16 degrees?  In case you don't understand what 16 degrees means, that is the difference between 80 degrees, which my wife describes as "getting a little cold" (I'm not kidding) and 64 degrees, which my wife describes as "freezing".  (I've tried to convince her that there is actually a temperature that literally freezes water, and that temperature is half of 64, but there is no persuading her on this issue.)

Do you understand that this ridiculous cold violates our agreement?  Remember how I agreed to wear flip flops all winter long when you promised that I would not have to worry about losing my toes?  My cute little toesies have been a little uncomfortable these past couple weeks.
I have kept my half of the agreement.
Lastly, the air has been a little stinky.  Could you please remove the inversion with all of its yucky air business?

I appreciate your understanding on this issue.

Love,
Jeff

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bacon Soda, Not as Awesome as it Sounds

Robyn and I have a little tradition on New Year's Eve.  As we ring in the new year we like to try some new foods that we've never tried before.

This year, a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of something truly fabulous.  As anyone with taste buds knows, bacon is the greatest food ever to have been discovered on planet earth.  Naturally, it stands to reason that it would make an excellent flavor for soda.  That's where bacon soda comes in.

Don't I look like a happy lad?
Well, unfortunately it turns out that bacon may actually have some limitations. (I'm as surprised as you are.)  My brother and his wife came over and the four of us gave it a try.  Here is the result:
As you can see, the bacon soda could probably use some improvement.  But, don't worry.  I know you're sad you missed the experience.  That's why I made this video, so you could taste it right along with us.  (And by taste it, I mean don't taste it but watch us taste it and imagine what it tastes like as you see our reactions.)

The bacon soda experience was so profound that it inspired this poem.

Bacon soda, you're kind of gross.
Bacon soda, I hate you most
Bacon is yummy,
in my tummy
Bacon soda makes me sad
Bacons soda is so bad.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Best Post of 2013


.

It's a brand new year!  That means I can write a mediocre post and it will still be the best thing I've written this year.  But don't worry, I've included this graphic which will make your new year a happy one.



2012 was a fabulous year.  I had lots of great experiences.  I thought I'd recap a few that stood out.

1. I was published in a real publication.  (The Ensign, published by my church)
2. I left a tip of pi.
It happened to be a 24% tip.  That is love.
3. Beat my mother-in-law at Words With Friends.  (She's unstoppable.)
4. Went inside 4 new temples.
This is the Oakland Temple.  We're totally artistic.
5. Drove across the Golden Gate Bridge
6. Ate clam chowder at Pier 39.  (I have long yearned to have fresh San Francisco clam chowder)
7. Kissed behind a waterfall in Hawaii

I convinced a hottie to kiss me.

8. I drank from a coconut


9.  I read 41 books that totalled 10,027 pages.
10. I lifted 2.2 million pounds at the gym. (The sum total of all my reps)
11. I made this photo of me and President Obama as missionaries
12. I watched The Hobbit.  (Don't say it is just a movie.  Bilbo's actions were very important in the War of the Ring.)
13.  I tried Bacon Soda.  (More on that later)
14.  I experienced Lehi Foam Day for the first time.
15.  I went to Hawaii (I know 2 of the items above are in Hawaii, but it was either list Hawaii as a whole or list the thousands of things I did there.)

So, as you can see, 2012 was a very successful year.  2013 looks like it's gonna be pretty awesome as well.  I don't know what all it will hold.  But I'm a little hungry, so I think I'm going to have a snack.  2013 could be the year of snacks.

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