Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Grown Up Christmas List

We all have many things that we desire for Christmas.  Some are selfish and some are not.   I myself put together a grown up Christmas List that included the following:

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
That I would never lose a game of chess
That I would have lots of super awesome books to read
That I would never lose a game of foosball
That Zack(my little brother) and Delta would get married

Well, I have already received some excellent books, so that wish was fulfilled (I may write more about that later).  But more importantly, Zack and Delta have agreed to give me my biggest Christmas Wish!

They got engaged 2 days ago on December 22nd.  I'm so excited to have a new sister!  The funny thing is that Delta and Robyn were friends before either of them ever met Zack and I so that will make it super fun for Robyn.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a wonderful merry Christmas.

P.S.  There are a few more couples on my grownup Christmas List.  They know who they are.  But their relationships are not quite to this point yet so I am transferring them to my grownup birthday list.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Things you should never do

I admit it, I'm a nerd.  Sometimes I type random things into google to see what it suggests.  But lucky for you, I have uncovered a great treasure trove of wisdom.  Go into google and type "never p" you'll get some great advice:

I'd like to take the time to discuss a few of these:

Never Pet a Burning Dog
This is not because of any prejudice against burning animals.  It's just that you could burn yourself.  Put the dog out, and then feel free to pet it.  The dog probably doesn't want to be burning anyway.

Never Play Leapfrog With a Unicorn
Again, not a prejudice issue.  It just might not be pretty.  Offer to play something like chess.  Unicorns love chess.

Never Pickup a Duck in a Dungeon
I'm not sure exactly the problem with ducks in dungeons, but I would say it's best to avoid dungeons where possible.  I think it would also be a good idea to never pick up a dragon in a dungeon as well.

Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog
That's ridiculous, ketchup is delicious.  Google may be wise, but even google makes mistakes sometimes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Binary Hex Morse Everything Converter

This past week my friend Jacquelyn started posting all sorts of things on facebook in binary, morse code, hexadecimal and other such craziness. Of course, I wanted to get in on the fun so I posted some things to her in various codes and what not. She sent a reply to me in octal(base 8). I suspected that was what it was but I didn't want to do the math by hand and I couldn't find a good converter, so I decided to write one. Well, once my geekiness starts going it can't be stopped. What you see below is the result of my geekiness gone wild over a whole weekend. You can convert to and from morse code, binary, hex, or any numerical base. I even threw in pig latin because I felt it was necessary. I also put in the Ong language which was a language that my friend Cong Yong Long ee and I invented in junior high school. I know, I didn't provide a conversion back from Ong or Pig Latin. I was tired and decided I was done.



Decimal/Ascii Code


Any Base


Pig Latin


A few notes: I threw this together over the course of one weekend. All of the conversions work but I didn't try to prevent you from putting in any invalid input. I know that makes it not professional grade. If anyone wants to pay me I am willing to upgrade it to that level. For this reason, just be aware that if you put in bad input you'll get bad output. Also, things like the binary field are designed to view binary as a computer does, in bytes. So numbers above 255 won't compute. But the any base field doesn't have that restriction so feel free to change it to 2. The default is 8 because octal is awesome.

Also, one more thing: It worked in all browsers when I tested the javascript in a file on my machine. Once I stuck it in blogger it quit working for firefox. Blogger and firefox are stupid. Sorry if it doesn't work in your browser, blame blogger.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Genetics of Sound

What does a car sound like?  What does an explosion sound like?  How often do you see little boys playing with toy cars and toy guns?  They make pretty good sounds to go along with their play.  Have you ever heard a female make those sounds?

Tonight at our annual work Christmas party we got together and had some excellent food and excellent conversation.  Near the end the conversation turned to a very important subject.  Have you wondered why you never hear little girls making car sounds or explosions sounds?  I have a simple explanation.  I believe that the ability to make those sounds resides on the Y chromosome.

My amazing wife Robyn has agreed to share some sounds with you that she made.  She puts up with alot of wierd stuff that I make her do for my amusement.  This is one of those things.

First we have a machine gun sound:

No, it wasn't a sprinkler.

Next is a car sound:

My personal favorite is the "vroom."

Thanks again Robyn for putting up with me and being willing to share these sounds. Robyn and I had alot of laughs trying to record those sounds. We have alot of fun laughing at ourselves. She did an amazing job so maybe my theory is disproven. I'll let you decide.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Truly Awesome: Thanksgiving Leftovers

My friend Melissa has a series on her blog that I really enjoy. Every so often she writes about things that keep Melissa alive. Apparently there are exactly 364 things that sustain her life, of which she has (as of the writing of this post) revealed ten.

I thought this was an excellent idea. I have decided to shamelessly steal it. However, to make the plagiarism less blatant I am changing the title. I will be writing about things that are Truly Awesome. You can know in your heart that these things also help sustain my life.

One of the most truly awesome things in the world includes all leftovers from Thanksgiving. This is the first year that I've enjoyed those leftovers in all their glory. We generally go somewhere else for Thanksgiving, and while we always contribute a portion of the dinner (and thus get to keep those leftovers) we have never made all of the dinner within my family.(at least that I can remember) Well, this year my wife in her infinite wisdom decided to change that. We went to my grandparents for Thanksgiving and had a great time. But the next day Robyn cooked a turkey and made stuffing and mashed potatoes and all the other glorious foods that are traditional. We had a few friends over and had a magnificent dinner, but more importantly we had amazing leftovers.

There's just something about the turkey sandwiches and the microwave warmed potatoes that are still swimming in gravy that feels my heart with gladness and takes away all my sadness. It eases my troubles, that's what it does.

I finished up the last of the turkey with lunch today. There's maybe one helping of potatoes left. It's the end of an era. But I'll be spending Christmas with the Wrights this year and the word on the street is that the food there will take me to a whole new level of joy. It sounds truly awesome.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

28 Things I Love About Robyn On Her 28th Birthday

Today is Robyn's Twenty Eighth Birthday.  To celebrate, I have selected 28 things that are great about her.  Of course, I could write many more than 28.  If there is anything you feel I missed, I would love you to share it in a comment.

1. She is fun to be with
2. She is kind
3. She is beautiful
4. She is funny and makes me laugh often
5. When she's not funny she tells me to laugh anyway
6. She is smart
7. She takes care of me
8. She is loving
9. She works hard
10. She likes to cuddle
11. She gives me space when I want it
12. She is an amazing cook
13. She likes to beautify our home
14. She keeps our home clean
15. I enjoy conversations with her
16. She's a thinker, and I love to hear her thoughts on all sorts of subjects
17. She is an excellent kisser
18. She is a reader
19. She likes movies
20. She's amazing with children
21. She fits in so well with my family and friends
22. She celebrates me, even though I often embarrass her
23. She is a hardcore Trekkie
24. She knows when to have fun and when to be serious
25. She laughs when I tell her to, even if she thinks I'm not funny
26. She has good ideas all the time
27. She is good at surprises and having the "sneaky face" as we call it
28. There isn't anyone I would rather spend my time with

Happy Birthday Robyn!

Update: Carol (Robyn's mom) and Kayli both wrote birthday tributes to Robyn as well.

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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Fibonacci Sequence is Eternal

So this Sunday Robyn and I were sitting in church. She began to doodle and she drew a picture like this:

I took one look at what she was drawing and it seemed clear to me what she was trying to portray. When I saw the picture what I saw was "1..1..2..3.." Naturally, I knew the next number was 5, so I modified her drawing to look like this:

At this point she said, "You ruined it, I wasn't drawing the Fibonacci sequence, I was drawing the
What was Robyn drawing?
What is the Plan of Salvation?
Plan of Salvation.

Well, we learned some important things. I may be the bigger nerd, but at least Robyn was nerdy enough to recognize what my drawing was.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Non-Lame Date

This past week, Robyn has been planning a surprise date for me. Normally, I plan surprises for her. I did alot of surprise dates while we were dating, and now that we're married I even plan surprise vacations (she usually knows we're going on vacation, just not where) such as our honeymoon and our anniversary trip. So, it was fun knowing that she was planning a surprise for me. But when I told her I was excited, she would say things like, "Don't get too excited" or "I hope you're not disappointed." Of course these things lead me to ask her such things as "Why are you planning a lame date?"

Well, the date finally occurred last night. We doubled with my brother Zack and his girlfriend Delta and started by going to my favorite restaurant, Los Hermanos. That act alone assured that the date would not be lame ever.

After that they gave me an address to drive to. It took us into the ghetto of Provo. (Not that Provo really has a ghetto but if it did we would have been there.) There was a little haunted house there that some of Zack's friends work at. I love haunted houses and Robyn knows that. Unfortunately, she hates them. So I was pleasantly surprised that we were going to one. Robyn was holding my hand as we walked from the car to the building. The closer we got, the tighter her grip became. We actually entered the building and got in line to buy tickets. At this point Robyn's face started looking something like this:
She was doing her best to hide her fear, she really wanted to be able to go for me. I took one look at her and decided I didn't want her to go in. I told her that and she kept saying she wanted to go. I turned to Zack and we decided to go home and have some treats.

But I was truly amazed at Robyn's courage. Some of you may say, "How was she courageous if she was so afraid?" Bruce Lee said that "Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear." Robyn was ready to give of herself despite the fear she felt. She knew how much fun I would have if we went, and was ready to act on my behalf in spite of her fear. I greatly admire the courage that Robyn showed me she had. As Mark Twain said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave." Robyn certainly showed that she was brave despite the fears she held. Getting a chance to see that strength of character made the date anything but lame.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Curse of the Fat Man and the White Pants

Once upon a time I was a cute little LDS missionary serving in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Once a year we would have a special zone conference where all the zones in North Dakota would travel to Bismarck where the temple is and we would get to do a session after zone conference. It was really neat to be able to be there with our mission president and have him speak to us inside the temple. This was a big deal because Grand Forks is 270 miles from Bismarck so it's not like it's just a quick jump to get there.

Well, I had had a funky stain on my white pants and so I had sent them home to my mom. I commissioned her to either use her powers to get rid of the stain or just buy me some new pants and send them out. So I didn't have any white pants when we went to the temple. I didn't think it was a big deal. I was used to the big temples that have a rental room where you can go and rent any clothes you need. I had never been to one of the small temples before.

When I got there, I discovered to my dismay, that they don't rent clothes out. One of the workers (who was about my size but a little smaller) offered to lend me a pair of pants, which was very kind of him. I got into the dressing room and I couldn't quite get into them. I yelled to Elder Gessel, my companion, and he, being the saintly soul that he was, offered to help me. So he was pushing in my gut while I was trying to do up the top button on the pants. Through our cooperation and team work I was able to fit into the pants even though I couldn't walk very well. We ended up having a great temple experience.

Now fast forward to yesterday evening. When Robyn and I were engaged we went to the temple once a week. After getting married, our goal has been once a month, but we haven't been doing so hot on that. It's been several months since we have been there. But we did go last night.

I got into the dressing room and went to put on my white pants. This time these were my very own. I had worn them several months ago. But when I went to put them on I just couldn't do them up at the top. There wasn't even anyone I knew to yell to for help. I was on my own. Although there was a really tall guy in the stall next to me who must have been bewildered at the look on my face. (When I really concentrate on something my tongue starts going all over the place. And believe me, this took some concentration.) I was doing everything I could, sucking it in with all my might. Eventually I gave up. My pants have an extra button next to where you do them up. I did up that button instead so it was like an extender of sorts. I was able to wear them and have a good experience but it wasn't exactly what they were designed for.

So, I don't know what my deal is. I apparently can't wear white pants. But I have one month to lose about half an inch from my circumference in order to get back into those pants. Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Will Blow Your Mind

As your official self-appointed finder of cool stuff on the internet, I have found you this image that will blow your mind. Here's how it works: When it turns into the funky color scheme there is a dot near the center of the picture. Stare at that dot while it counts down. When it is done counting down it will switch back to the black and white castle. Commence mind blowing.

So here's the picture. Just stare at the dot.

If you care about the science behind it, it's because the photoreceptors in your retina that percieve certain colors become fatigued. So the colors you see on the castle are the opposites of the colors that your photoreceptors are too tired to see.

If you don't care about the science, just appreciate the mind blowing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is How Liberty Dies

On Tuesday of this week the Senate Finance Committee approved a new health care reform bill. There is still some work to be done before the Senate will actually vote on this bill but I wanted to share some of my thoughts before that happens.

Before I talk about the health care bill, I want to share something that Benjamin Disraeli said over 100 years ago. He talked about the cycle of the body politic. This is a cycle that all civilizations inevitably follow.

Everything starts in bondage
Bondage leads to spiritual truth
Spiritual truth leads to great courage
Courage leads to liberty
Liberty leads to abundance
Abundance leads to selfishness
Selfishness leads to complacency
Complacency leads to apathy
Apathy leads to dependence
Dependence leads to bondage

Bondage - The majority of earth's history is about people in bondage. The founding fathers of the United States fled England because they were fleeing bondage.

Spiritual Truth - D&C 101:80 says that the constitution was created by inspired men who were raised up for that purpose. They had great spiritual truth.

Great Courage - Samuel Adams, one of our founding fathers was summoned by Colonel Fenton, in an attempt to intimidate him enough to get him to back down from rallying the minds of the people. Colonel Fenton essentially said that Adams' life could be very comfortable if he were to back down, but it would be very uncomfortable if he didn't. He concluded by saying, "by changing your political course, you will not only receive great personal advantages, but you will make your peace with the King."

Samuel Adams, at the risk of being hanged, had a response that was straight and to the point, "Then you may tell Governor Gage that I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. And, tell Governor Gage it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people." He and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence were certainly men of Great Courage

Liberty - We became the freest country in the world. Our Constitution was established "for the protection of all flesh." (D&C 101:77) Today, almost every nation in the world has adopted a written constitution, and the United States Constitution profoundly influenced all of them.

Abundance - We live in a state of incredible abundance. Even those who live in poverty today would look with disdain at the lifestyles of some of the more wealthy who lived in previous centuries.

Selfishness - Unfortunately, our country has become very selfish. Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce. Certainly, there are legitimate situations where a divorce is needed but the majority of those divorces are stemmed from selfishness from 1 or both parties.

Complacency - This is where we begin to condemn the bad in the world from afar. We start to say, "the government should do something about that." We forget that the role of government is not to solve all our problems, we should be solving our own problems.

Apathy - This is where we cease to care enough to do anything at all about our own well being. We think the government will care for us.

Dependence - Today 3 out of every 10 Americans lives on some kind of government handout. We are already at 30% dependency.

Dependency descends to Bondage. - This is where I get into why I share all of that with you. You see, this health care bill would require every American to purchase health insurance. That may not seem like a super big deal, but let's go back to the Constitution for a minute.

The very same document that was given to us by inspired men grants certain rights to congress. Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 states: "[The Congress shall have power] To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;" So the constitution gives government the power to regulate commerce between the states.

Health Care is a multi-state industry so it's fair enough to say they have the right to regulate commerce when it relates to health care. But wait a second. Requiring every American to buy health care goes a little bit beyond "regulating" don't you think? If congress had the right to tell us what to buy, why did we need a stimulus package? Why didn't they just pass a law requiring everyone to buy American cars or to put our money in certain banks, or to buy certain newspapers? I don't think that wording in the constitution gives any justification for that level of government control. You can see the slippery slope that this bill puts us on. It reminds me of the quote from Star Wars episode 3 where Amidala says, "This is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause." Our nation is slipping from dependency to bondage. Contact your representatives to assure this doesn't happen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twelfth Moniversary

AKA First Anniversary
Well, it's been another month. It's time to write another edition in the Moniversary series. I believe this will be the concluding chapter in the moniversary series, because it was originally written to share funny anecdotes about being newlyweds, and now we're oldy moldy weds. But don't worry. This post is also the first in an exciting new series, the Anniversary series! Nevertheless, I do reserve the right to add to the moniversaries if I feel like it, cause it's my blog. :)

So the biggest event this month was our super sweet Anniversary trip. But Robyn has already written about that here. (I planned it, so she had to blog it, that was our agreement.) Here are some of the other interesting things that happened this month.

Robyn Speaks in Tongues
There was one night that we had been out pretty late and we had to do some grocery shopping before Sunday. On the way to the store Robyn screamed, "Naw Oshima, Oshima Bad" Since I have the interpretation of tongues I know that she was trying to express that she should be in her bed. Later, in the store, she saw they were having a case lot sale and started yelling, "Bach!" Again, the interpretation is she was saying we could buy boxes of stuff.

Robyn Takes over the Internet
A few months back, Robyn's computer passed away. We've been saving up for a new one, but meanwhile she had to use mine. This was very rough. She was taking over the whole internet and claiming it as her own. She would be logged in to every website, I accidentally commented as her on multiple blogs. We finally bought her another computer. Now we each have our own internet, for marital harmony.

Sleeping in Separate Beds
We got to our hotel room in St George, and they had 2 queen beds. We're used to sleeping in a king bed at home so we decided that after snuggling at night we would retire to separate beds. It was actually quite excellent, no one punched me in the face the entire night. But don't worry, Robyn made sure to hit me pretty good in her sleep the first night after our return.

It's been an excellent month and an even more excellent year! Happy Anniversary my love!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

When I was a small child (in high school) there were strict rules governing how one could obtain the privilege of riding shotgun in a car. You could "call it" by shouting "shotgun!" This gave you all rights and privileges of having the shotgun seat unless there was an attractive girl in the group that the driver of the car liked, in which case your call became null and void.

If someone were to call shotgun there was one way (besides being an attractive girl, which I couldn't do) to dispute the call. There were various contests that you could challenge the caller to and they were required by law to participate in the challenge and the winner would gain all the rights of shotgun that the caller previously acquired. These contests were as follows:

The classic game of rock paper scissors, best 2 out of 3 obviously.
You would have a spitting contest and the one who spit farthest wins
Before playing you would both select whether you wanted to be odd or even. One person is odd and the other even, together you say "once, twice, thrice, shoot!" When you say shoot you both show a number of fingers. You add yours with the other persons to see if the sum is odd or even. This practice is based on seeing George and Jerry play it on Seinfeld. (Of course, they call it "choose" instead of shoot.)
You would race to the car, first one to touch the door gets to sit there.
Each person performs a death scene, the driver of the car determines which death scene is better and that thespian gets to sit there.
You would perform a Canadian mating call, again the driver would decide which was best. (This originated from a friend of ours who was from Canada. He made this wierd screaming sound that we determined must be his mating call.)

This wide range of contests made for a more fair and equitable selection of who would get to sit in shotgun. Of course, you could eliminate these contests when calling. A very safe call would go like this: "Shotgun no rock, no spit, no shoot no race, no thespian, no canadian."

Why am I telling you all this? Well, just this past weekend I was with my brothers and my dad. We had gone to the priesthood session of General Conference together. On the way out to the car, I suddenly felt inspired to call "Shotgun!" I didn't bother to call out any of the protections, I didn't think anyone cared that much. Of course, my brother felt the same nostalgia I did for old times and he called "Rock!" As he and I were standing by the door playing Rock, my youngest brother got in through one of the back doors and climbed over the seat. Back in the day I would have been apalled at this lack of respect for law, but I happily got in the back seat while my brother, who had beat me in rock, proceeded to battle it out with the cheating brother. It was some fun nostalgia indeed. But it then occurred to me there needs to be just one more contest and that is Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock. You could call for it by yelling "Spock!"

To explain the game, here is Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory

As sheldon says:
Scissors cuts paper.
Paper covers rock.
Rock crushes lizard.
Lizard poisons spock
Spock smashes scissors
Scissors decapitates lizard
Lizard eats paper
Paper disproves spock
Spock vaporizes rock
Rock crushes scissors

Or, for those who want to see it visually I have included the following table:

As you read left to right, a plus means the thing on the left beats the thing on the top.

So, just think about it. Next time you want the front seat, try yelling "Spock!" It could change your life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Dinosaur Experience

To properly understand this blog post, it is important that you have one small experience before we begin. Please go to Google and type in the words "I like". Don't hit search or anything, just take a look at what Google is guessing you're going to type. Doesn't that make you happy? For those of you who are too lazy to have the experience I have included a picture for your convenience.
When I saw that I thought it was hilarious that Google thinks the most likely thing you are searching for is "I like to tape my thumbs to my hands to see what it would be like to be a dinosaur." But, more then that, I thought that I should have the dinosaur experience myself. So, naturally, I taped my thumbs to my hands, to see what it would be like to be a dinosaur. Here's the thing, I don't feel much like a dinosaur. I tried making dinosaur sounds, or walking like a dinosaur, but neither of these really helped the experience. The only thing I can say is that typing is much more difficult without a thumb so I now understand why I've never happened upon a blog written by a velociraptor.

In case you're wondering where the dinosaur experience started, apparently in one of those facebook notes that you share facts about yourself, someone out there actually shared that (that they tape their thumbs down to feel dinosaur life) as a fact. It was written about in an article on The article shares 25 random things that people have shared through facebook. The other one I may need to try is #21: "I once sent a teacher into early retirement by pretending to be a cheetah and swiping at her from under a desk."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

A while back, Melissa wrote a post about her OCD's. I really enjoyed it and decided it was essential to share some of mine. Technically, most of these are not actually OCD but wierd quirks or preferences. Also, a couple of them are ones that I have that Melissa's post reminded me that I have. So, feel free to compare and contrast mine versus hers.

Optimal Sleeping Conditions: For most of my life I've been an insomniac. This is only because I had not yet discovered the proper way to sleep. I get to sleep pretty quick if the conditions are ideal, but can't sleep at all if they are not.
1. I cannot be touched. Robyn and I like to cuddle until sleep time and then strict rules of staying on our own side of the bed are enforced.
2. I need a blanket to snuggle with. This is very important. Another important part of this requirement is that the environment needs to be cold enough that having a blanket wrapped around me is comfortable.
3. My legs cannot touch each other under any circumstances. If possible, I will keep my blanket between my legs, but if it's too hot, I will put a pillow between the legs.
4. My arm gets its own pillow. This is also important. I usually hug the pillow with one arm but sometimes my arm just rests on the pillow. Either way my arm needs a soft cushioney place to lie down.
5. My back must be scratched before I lay down. I have a back scratcher that is right next to the bed for this purpose.

DVDs must be put away I'm not a neat freak or anything in most areas, but I get really cranky if people leave DVDs out of the case. I have this incredible fear of them getting scratched or lost.

Number divisibility This one started from countless hours of sitting in Sacrament meeting as a child. I would stare at the numbers for the hymns and start doing random computations on them. The most common computation is figuring out what numbers they are divisible by. For some reason being divisible by 9 become very pleasing to me. So, I will first figure out what needs to be added to the number to make it divisible by 9. But, I also really like palindromes, so then I figure out what needs to be added to make it a palindrome that is divisible by 9. After doing this in sacrament meeting so many times, my brain just automatically starts running the calculations. It's to the point now where every morning when I get in the shower I notice that the UPC on the shampoo would be divisible by 9 if they would just add 1. It kind of gets frustrating sometimes.

Puzzles must be solved When I come upon a puzzle that intrigues me, I will not rest until it has been solved. Just this past week I read Natalie's blog about her freecell addiction and it occurred to me that I should figure out how to hack the scores on freecell. I'm not sure why this was important, but I had to stop the work I was doing and figure it out. Not that I'll ever use this again, but I solved it and took a picture of my new high score.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I know Regular Expressions

I know the majority of you won't get this comic. So I'll understand if this particular post is void of comments. But I just had to share this because something very similar happened this morning. I was at work and I hadn't even made it to my desk yet. One of my coworkers came in and said, "I need you, we have a serious problem that can only be solved with regular expressions." I wanted to be like, "Everybody stand back! I know regular expressions!"

For those of you who don't know what a regular expressions is, it is a language that allows pattern matching, but anyone who doesn't understand it sees a string of indecipherable characters. A well known example of a place I used regular expressions was when I was on the project for the LDS church where we were putting all the church magazines online. I used regular expressions to match anything that looked like a scripture reference and inserted an actual link to the scripture. So if you are ever reading a talk in the Ensign online and you click a link to a scripture, you can thank a regular expression.

Monday, September 21, 2009

World's Greatest Burger

With In-N-Out coming to town there has been some talk about what the greatest burger might be. Many people have strong feelings about the In-N-Out burger and are very excited that we will soon have access to them here in Utah. Others really love Five Guys. A staple that I have loved for a long time is Fuddruckers. But I'm here to tell you right now that none of those make the best burgers. It has become quite clear to me that the World's Greatest Burger is made on my barbecue using ground beef that my wife mixes with delicious sauces, spices and magic before barbecuing.

The following is an actual picture of the world's greatest burger. I have diagrammed the various parts of it so that you too can know the true joy of the world's greatest burger. (Click to enlarge photo.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Where No One Has Gone Before

Space – The Final Frontier; These are the voyages of Jeff and Robyn. Our continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where….. wait, sometimes I forget I’m not in Star Trek. It’s an understandable misunderstanding considering our amazing mission this past week.

We had the opportunity to attend the Christa Mcauliffe Space Center this past weekend. If you don’t know what that is, it is a program started by Victor Williamson in 1990. In the beginning, he just wanted to do something creative to help his students learn astronomy. He would turn off the lights in his classroom and use a projector as a view screen and they would pretend they were travelling through space. He later was able to get some grants to help build the Space Center itself. It is a simulator where you can climb aboard a Starship and join Starfleet. The stories are all based in the Star Trek universe. Since 1990 they have created several new simulators, so now there are 4 “ships” and a “space station” as well.

We got to be aboard the DSS Magellan. It is a space station that is equipped with a trans-warp drive. This means that it can actually jump to hyperspace and travel through the folds of space. Our mission took us into the heart of Romulan space. I was the communications officer. The bridge had no communications except for one phone. There were several projects going on on the bridge where we were updating various technologies. I got to contact the doctor about 14,000 times to let them know that we were experimenting on things and that it could cause people to get hurt and have to come to sick bay. I also got to receive subspace transmissions and I was in charge of decoding them and giving them to the admiral.Robyn was in charge of ship’s repairs. She was also the first person to get shot when bad guys came on the bridge because of the location of her seat.

Of course, a few of the best moments were:

1)The space station blew up because of improper use of the trans-warp drive (it wasn’t entirely Megan’s fault, only partly) and we had to start the mission over.

2)The Romulans had boarded our ship and were trying to to get onto the bridge but Kenny stuck his arm around the corner and continually sprayed the hallway with phaser fire. The Romulans kept screaming, “Come out here and fight you pansy.” And Kenny would scream, “No!”

3)We were working on generating a weapon that could destroy planets, and it was called the THX-1138. I don’t know how many people appreciated the name of that weapon but in case you’re wondering that is the name of George Lucas’ first movie. In honor of that movie he named his sound company THX and he has embedded the number 1138 in many of his later movies. But don’t ever see THX-1138, it’s a horrible movie.

All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I recommend that everyone give it a try. I also think it would be an excellent place for a Wright family reunion in the future.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eleventh Moniversary

Well, today is our Golden Moniversary. (We've been married 11 months on the 11th.) The last few weeks we've gotten a little bit boring because Robyn has been focusing most of her energy on starting a new year of school. Nevertheless, we've still had a few adventures this month. There were such fun things as Our family bear lake trip, rediscovering some items from my past and acquiring an item I've been forever searching for. A few of the other adventures I haven't yet written about are below.

Our Bedroom Goes High Tech
I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner, but we took my projector and put it on top of Robyn's dresser. We hooked a portable DVD player to it as well as some old computer speakers I have. It projects across the room and creates an image on the opposite wall that is a good 5 foot diagonal. So we can lay in bed and watch any DVD we have. We've been watching Star Trek episodes every night. We started with season 1 which is fun because I haven't seen many of them.

Robyn takes snoring to a new level
Normally Robyn's snoring is quite dainty. It's just a really quiet snore that you can barely hear. But one night, I woke up and I heard a high pitched whining sound. I thought she was crying. I asked her if she was okay and then realized she was quite asleep. I've never heard that sound before or since but it was truly amazing.

Robyn forgets I'm awesome
Robyn and I teach the sunbeam class in primary. (The 3 and 4 year old children in our church) Recently the lessons was on being thankful for clothes. We decided to bring clothes for the kids to dress up in. Robyn asked me if I had anything that would be fun for the kids to wear. I replied, "Did you forget I'm awesome?" Over the years I have made many cool costumes for Halloween and other important occasions. I grabbed various hats, ties, shirts, and all sorts of great stuff. Robyn made me leave the coolest stuff home like the mullet wig and the Viking hat. But the kids sure loved the Jedi Robe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Set a Date Program

When I was a missionary there were times when we would step out on faith and set a date to hold a baptism even though we didn't know who was being baptized on that day. We would pray about the date, and then after setting it we would pray that the Lord would provide the person to be baptized, and of course we would work our hardest to find that person.

Well, when I was single I did something similar. It was similar because I set a date and I didn't have a person. It wasn't something I prayed about or anything, but I picked the date of my wedding even though I didn't have a person to marry me on that day. To be honest it was mostly so that I could have something to say to various prying individuals who thought that I was a vile sinner because I was still single. They would ask "When are you getting married?" and I would say "September 9, 2009." I figured it was a good day, it was far enough away that it gave me plenty of time to find someone, not to mention that the date is 9-9-09 which is particularly pleasing to me. (Sometime I'll write a blog about my OCD's and my thing with numbers to explain all that.)

There were many who doubted I would make it, even though I picked this date 3 or 4 years ago. I had one friend who wanted to bet me $1000 that I wouldn't make it. I told him I don't gamble, but looking back it might have been nice to have an extra $1000.

So here we are today, on the day that I originally set as my wedding date. I had created the date somewhat tongue in cheek, but at the same time I still took it somewhat seriously. When Robyn and I started dating I asked her, "We will be holding a sealing ceremony on September 9, 2009. Will you prepare yourself to be sealed on that date?" Her answer was an emphatic no. She told me we would either be married or broken up by then, there was no way she was waiting that long either way. Well, Robyn has spoken. We've been married almost a year and it's been amazing. I'm glad we didn't wait until today. But it's still somewhat strange that today finally arrived. Today has been the day of my wedding in my mind, longer than my wedding day has been the day.

To all those out there who are still single: You can do it. You can find that person. I had to talk to literally thousands of girls to find Robyn, and I even beat my goal by almost a year.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some Important Flowcharts

I have recently discovered a few flowcharts that I feel will be helpful to all the world around me. The first is a flowchart I found on xkcd. I was very amused by it because of how true it is. I am often asked for help in software that I have never seen before and I follow this exact process and it almost always yields good results. Robyn is the tech guru at her school and she said that she sometimes uses this process as well. So, I thought I would share it with everyone so that you can all become local computer experts.

The other flowchart I have to share is from a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory. It has become a favorite show of Robyn and I. I often appreciate how difficult it is for engineer types to fit into normal society. The show is about physicists, but as a computer engineer I share some of the same geekiness as them so I enjoy it alot. Anyway, there was an episode where Sheldon was trying to make friends. He decided to distill the algorithm for generating friendships down into a flowchart. Robyn and I have noticed we don't hang out with people nearly as much as we used to. Maybe we'll use this flowchart and see if any other couples would like to join us for a meal, a hot beverage or the least objectionable recreational activity.

P.S. I can't take credit for making this flowchart. I googled it and found it on a blog here.

For your convenience I have included the clip. If you don't watch the show you should totally start.

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