Thursday, May 31, 2007

All Growns Up

Yesterday was my sister's graduation.

Natalies Graduation 032
I'm sure its a strange time for her, but I'm excited for her to be looking ahead to college, where, if you ask me, life really begins. She's got one last summer to live it up without a rent bill to pay and food to buy. Oh, and since she's headed to the Y, this might be her last chance in a while to let boys use her bathroom. :) (Sorry, I'll let her go there, but I won't proclaim a moratorium on BYU jokes.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thats why I said "Wasn't It?"

If you haven't heard of Flight of the Conchords (New Zealand's 4th most popular folk parody duo), you should check them out. My good friend Randall Bennett, host of Tech Check Daily, encouraged me to check them out. Some of their songs have some swearing, but here's one that fun for the whole family.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Threat Level Yellow

The Dept. of Big Digital security has issued a relationship threat level advisory. The threat meter has been moved to Yellow, with the possibility of being upgraded to Orange within the next week or so. Please remain calm. Do not leave your homes or attempt to locate your loved ones. This is only a Yellow alert. In the event of a change in the current situation, the threat meter will be adjusted accordingly.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Did I miss a class on this somewhere?

Last week I was getting my haircut and my thoughts turned once again to the strange situation that I always find myself in there. Essentially, I go because my hair is too long and I want it cut. I mean "haircut" seems pretty straightforward, right? However, once there, the people who spend all of their working hours in this world of haircutting expect me to know all the technical terms to describe the manner in which I'd like my hair to be cut and to have strong opinions on each aspect of how things look in the end. I mean, when I go to Midas, they don't ask me how I want my brakes changed or in the end how I feel about what they've done. They don't even show me the new brakes. I just assume that they are in there. I don't even get to watch them change my brakes. I mean they are the experts, not me. I think the same ought to apply when I visit an establishment where the employees display licenses on the wall proclaiming their expertise in the field of cutting hair.

Granted I've been getting my hair cut for quite some time now, and you'd think that I'd have figured this all out by now, and to a certain extent I do -- one and half on the sides and back and finger-length on top. I just learned the finger-length part in the last year or so. Before that I would say "one and a half on the sides and back and a little longer on top". Even then, every hair cutting person (hairdresser?) that I know does things a little differently and so obviously its not going to be the same every time, especially given that I'm just walking into Great Clips and taking the next available chair. But really, I don't care too much. The only thing that really bugs me is when they cut the front of my hair (do men have bangs?) and I get home and find out that there are a few hairs that are clearly much longer than the surround hairs. Other than that, shorter = better, although I guess I'm not quite ready to shave it all off.

Always at the very end they ask me if I want it squared or rounded in the back. To be honest, I have zero preference on this, given the huge amount of time I spend seeing the back of my head. What I really want to say is whichever is easier for them, but I really have no idea, so I always opt for square.

So really, every time I get them to cut my hair shorter without feeling like a complete fool, I feel like I pulled a fast one. And 6 weeks later I'll be back to go through it all again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

#1 Again!

If you aren't familiar with the Baby Name Wizard tool, then you definitely need to check it out. Assuming that most of you web-savvy folks out there are already familiar with it, you should know that the data for 2006 has now been released and incorporated into the tool, and also is available at this site, which also allows you to do some other interested queries like looking at name popularity by state.

Most importantly, it should be noted that Jacob has once again managed to maintain its top spot for an unprecendented 8th year running. (It actually may have precedent, Emily is the top girls name for the 11th year running.) What important to know is that since I was born, the name Jacob has increased in ranking each year with nary a dip in my 28 years of Jacob-ness. (Whats not important to know is that its actually increased in popularity each year since 1967.)

Also of note, the name George is pretty much in the midst of a continuing slide toward obscurity. Which is only important if, like my older brother, you got that name handed down as a family heirloom. George is still popular (#153 for boys in 2006) mind you, but you know it really could use a face-lift when it gets beat out by Jorge (#120 in 2006).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh yeah? You don't say.

Being one summertime away from my 29th birthday and continuing to be a (faithful) single Latter-day Saint, I hear a lot about marriage. In fact, just this past Sunday, our high council speaker's wife felt like it was important for us to hear about the importance of marriage. She introduced her topic by saying she'd talked to a couple other single members of our stake and said that she was planning to speak about marriage. One, a guy, said "Please don't", and another, a girl said "Oh yes, please do." And she decided to side with the girl. I think at that point approximately half the men in our ward tuned out. When she launched into a talk from Elder Bednar that started with "Temple marriage is essential for our salvation", I'm pretty sure that the other half hit the mental snooze button.

Not to say that we don't care about marriage or don't realize its importance. I'm sure there are a few recalcitrant ones who don't agree to that or who really are putting off marriage because they don't think they can afford it right now. But I would say that the vast majority of LDS single men are not married because they haven't found what they're looking for, or when they did find it, it wasn't looking for them. Not because they figured they'd sail right on into the celestial kingdom without a spouse. Trust me, we're all well aware of the fact that only married people can go to the highest degree of glory. We hear it at least several times a year if not several times a month. So if you are worried that we aren't getting the hint, don't worry.

Along the lines of talks on missionary work, most talks on marriage fall into the camp of telling you how important it is, without giving you much in the way of how to go about doing it. Most marriage talks tell you that its important to be willing to be selfless and sacrificing and to treat your wife with the utmost of love and respect, and that qualities like a testimony and potential for being a good mother should be looked for above qualities like attractiveness. But rare is the talk that attempts to give a man some guidance in how to go about winding up with a wife in the end.

So essentially, several times a year, we get to sit and listen about how we need a woman to be our help-meet, and that she should be someone more spiritual than ourselves (a topic that deserves its own post), and that without her we're pretty much on the express train to ministering angel town, but without actually giving any counsel on how to actually get married, other than that we need to "date more". Keep in mind that most of the guys truly do want to be married. Pounding us over the head with how screwed we're going to be if we don't get married isn't going to do anything other than make us think that its not even worth trying any more. Meanwhile, the sisters get the whole "if things don't work out in this life, there's always the next" routine, as though if you haven't already gotten married by age 27, you must already be worried about your own personal salvation. (What happens to single people after age 30? Do they just leave the church? Has anyone ever actually gotten married in their 30s?)

Anyway, I'm sure there are topics here that could use some expansion, but for now lets just say that if you are worried that single adult men in the LDS church aren't aware that marriage is a requirement for exaltation, you can sleep easy knowing that we get the picture.

The Medium Digital

UPDATE: This morning I put my watch on and came to work. When I got here I looked down at my watch, and lo and behold, it had ceased to function. A mere 3 weeks or so after buying it, the display is blank, and no combination of button pressing has served to revive it back to life. Guess I'll be finding out about Wal-mart's watch return policy pretty soon.

The Medium Digital

Recently I suffered a blog-related tragedy. The Big Digital 3.0 suffered a crippling blow -- its band broke. Not just the little part that holds the two sides of the band together. That's always the first to go, and can be sufficiently replaced with a rubber band or a tape/plastic hybrid. No, this time, the actual band decided it couldn't take no more and tore all the way to one of the holes where the tongue of the band goes.

I've known for a while now that the time would come that I'd need to replace my watch, but I'd scoured the web looking for the correct model of Armitron, always unsuccessfully. I've found at least one on e-Bay, but it was being sold as part of a 17 watch bundle and it really wasn't worth the cost to buy (and ship) 17 watches. After having the band break this last time, I thought maybe I'd be able to be one of those of no-watch people who use their cellphones for time-telling purposes. I gave it a shot for a day or two and let me just say that they are not equally convenient. Digging into my pocket vs. looking at my arm -- no contest.

Having decided that I did not want to be watchless any longer, I made a stop by the nearby Wal-mart and browsed their selection of Armitrons. In the end, I settled on one with a reasonably big digital display (medium digital by comparison) and plunked down my $15.

This was about 2 weeks ago. So far its okay. You have to realize that The Big Digital was the only watch I wore (not counting the Fossil that I wear on more formal occasions) for nearly the last 7 years. I don't like the band as well as the other, and the numbers are not nearly as huge. It has a few more features that I'm sure I won't find a reason to use (2nd time zone?) and some icons on the face that I still haven't determined what they represent. The one thing I like that the Big Digital did not have is a little circle with the day of the month in it on the main face. No need to push a button to find out the date. Thats nice.