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."
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