Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #39: I'm seeing double here! Four Krusties!

I realize that I've kind of been on a Simpsons/Seinfeld kick lately, but there are just so many great moments. This week's clip comes as Homer and Krusty have to perform a two-man tiny bicycle loop in order to appease the mob.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FSS 12: Late again!

This makes two weeks in a row that I've been late in getting this out. Maybe its the fact that all day long I stare at my computer and try to figure out what to write in my last paper, and it makes me not want to write recreationally so much.

Anyway, I'll keep this brief, but suffice it to say that this last week I did plenty of bowling. Two games on Friday, and three on Saturday. My lowest score was a 92, and my high was 146. The highlight of Friday was filming myself bowling a strike (while holding the camera in my other hand). Kind of like the Blair Witch of bowling. Its on Facebook, but since it wasn't on my camera I haven't been able to get it anywhere bloggable.

Also Friday night, I had a great time playing a game called "Buzz Word" with some friends. I think the fun of it just comes from the group and the different personalities involved. Lets just say some people were crying because they were laughing so hard.

Aside from bowling on Saturday, I didn't do all that much, aside from trying to find some sandals to replace the ones I have now, one of which has a have a hole in the bottom. I was, sadly, unsuccessful in my quest. Instead I bought a pair of basketball shorts, and some new swim trunks. Maybe I'll just have to make it through the end of the summer with my old sandals.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First cup sizes, then everything else...

Went to the newly opened "Five Guys" Hamburger Joint today for lunch. I'd been years ago in DC, but didn't remember much aside from liking it. Anyway, I ordered a regular bacon cheeseburger (as opposed to the "Little Bacon Cheeseburger"). Turns out a "regular" is a double quarter-pounder. And the "little" version is JUST a quarter-pounder. You live, you learn.

The Big Digital Plays Ward Softball

I went to our ward men's softball game last night hoping to just be supportive and watch, but dreading that we'd be short a few guys, given that today is a holiday and there were any number of other things also going on last night. Unfortunately, we were short guys, and I got roped into playing. Any guess where I played? That's right, as Brian Regan puts it, "I played out in right field, cuz I stunk". :) And my main goal was to make it through the hour without embarrassing myself. I think I somewhat achieved that.

I got up to bat 5 times, and managed to reach first base only once. I struck out the first two times I was up. The first because I hit two fouls. The second because I couldn't help but swing at a ball coming at my face. The next two times I was up, I grounded out to the pitcher. And in my final at bat, I once again grounded it to the pitcher, but the first baseman was unable to handle the throw. I'm not real good with baseball statistics (feel free to correct me here CJ), but I think that gives me a batting average of .000. Luckily my on base percentage is a healthy .200.

Now, thankfully, fielding went much better for me. As the right fielder, I didn't see a lot of action. In fact, in the (I think) seven innings we played, only two balls came to right. One was a grounder that I fielded and threw to 2nd base. The other was a fly ball that came pretty much right to me that I was able to catch for an out! I don't know if they do a fielding percentage stat, but if they did I think I was at 1.000.

Anyway, aside from my own struggles at the plate, we did manage to win the game in fairly dramatic fashion. In what we thought was the top of the last inning, we fell one run short (10-11) of tying the game. Then, because it was the last game of the night, and because guys on both teams were interested in continuing to play, they decided to give us an extra inning. We held them to 2 runs (10-13) in the bottom of the penultimate inning, and then put together an impressive last ups, scoring 10 runs to go up 20-13. I even managed to get on base, and over to 2nd before someone hit a grounder right to the 3rd baseman, ending my exciting time on the basepaths.

We held them scoreless in their last at bat and went home winners with an impressive looking 20-13 victory. Hopefully next week we can round up some real players and I can't go back to be an active supporter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #38: Pennypacker, Varnsen, Vandelay

For some reason I've always loved this scene from Seinfeld where Kramer, Jerry, and George each go to an apartment thats for sale for non-purchasing reasons. They each use the aliases that they've used previously in the series.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

FSS 11: A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Sorry I didn't get around to this yesterday, what with being all manly and all.

This last weekend was a pretty fun one. Friday night I met up with some friends in anticipation of our 11:00 showing of The Dark Knight. Prior to heading to the theater, we got take out from Italian Village, and then played Mario Kart on the Wii. Good times.

The movie itself definitely lived up to the "Dark" in the title, and was a very impressive film. Heath Ledger was great as the Joker, as were pretty much all of the actors in the main roles. Definitely not for kids, but otherwise worth checking out.


Saturday, having been out pretty late watching the movie the night before, I managed to sleep in until 11:00. After that I was fairly lazy, but did manage to clean up my room a bit, wash some dishes, and sew a button on a pair of shorts that I'd been meaning to get around to for a couple weeks.

Saturday night I headed to a birthday party for a good friend who I don't see quite so much these days. I had a good time catching up with some people I hadn't seen in a while, and also enjoyed rocking out with some good old Rock Band.


Sunday morning, I had to get up early for a 7:30 training meeting, and that happened to be the moment that my battery decided it was dead (leading to yesterday's post). Luckily, I was able to get a hold of another guy who was going and he was kind enough to stop by and pick me up. The rest of the day consisted of me bumming rides to whatever was going on (church, home teaching, ward prayer, movie night).

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a man!

One of my favorite Seinfeld moments is in an episode where Elaine goes to a bar mitzvah for a friend's son, or something like that. As you may or may not know, a bar mitzvah is a ceremony for 13 year old Jewish boys that marks the day that they come of age. At this bar mitzvah, the 13 year old kid, grabs Elaine and plants a kiss on her and yells out "I'm a man!".

I really love that, and I love to yell "I'm a man!" whenever I've done something particularly manly. :) Today, I had one of those moments. Yesterday (Sunday) morning, my car wouldn't start, so I had to hitch a ride pretty much everywhere I went. At one point, with my home teacher's assistance, we jump started it. However, after running for 15 minutes or so, I turned it off and then tried to start it back up again and it wouldn't start. Which led me to believe it was probably a dead battery, that wouldn't hold a charge any more.

I talked with my dad on the phone and he suggested I do an experiment in which I would jump start the car, then remove the battery cable from the positive terminal. If the car kept running, that would indicate that the alternator was fine, and the problem was probably the battery. If removing the cable killed the engine, that would mean it was the alternator that was having trouble. My mom just happened to be coming into town this morning, so she was gracious enough to stop by and provide a car with a good battery to jump start my car.

In preparation for the experiment, I had to loosen the connection on the positive terminal, so that once the car was running I could remove it. The bolt I had to loosen was pretty tricky to get at, but eventually I was able to loosen it up. We jump started the car, and then I braced myself in the fear that somehow I'd manage to electrocute myself while removing this cable. Thankfully that didn't happen (and probably isn't possible, but I just don't know enough about these things). The car kept running, so we felt safe in our diagnosis that the battery was the problem.

Getting the battery out of the car turned out to be a tad bit trickier than I had hoped, but in the end it came out. After a quick jaunt to the nearby parts store (My battery headquarters, no less, per their advertising), I was the proud possessor of a brand new battery. Another 10 minutes putting it back in and attempting to re-tighten all the things I'd loosened, and voila! my car was back up and running under its own power.

I'm a man!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Google search terms that may have led you to this blog

As culled from Google Analytics:

1. mcdonalds characters -- by far my most popular post.
2. 11 kfc -- not sure what people want at KFC that has an 11 in it.
3. big digital *name removed* -- hey some loyal customers
4. discontinued foods -- who knew there was such an interest
5. mcdonald's characters -- not just the regulars, but the ones that that McDonalds actually possesses.
6. discontinued mcdonalds food -- a perfect storm of search terms
7. *name removed* -- hey you found me. Of course I am all five of the top Google results
8. milk keeps going bad -- sorry I don't have any answers for these people
9. old mcdonalds characters -- I hope they weren't looking for the animals from the song
10. 11.kfc -- for those who like their 11 kfc with more punctuation

Other interesting search terms outside the top 10:

19. poptarts with butter - is there any other way, really?
25. "spaghetti bowl" pelicans - although if they had the same experience I did, I'm surprised they didn't leave me a comment
49. arbys magic trick toys directions -- I'm not even sure which post this search would take you to.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old Book, New Book #7: Get Shorty

So, I finally finished "Godel, Escher, Bach" this week. It was quite the journey, working to finish a book that never quite managed to capture my imagination and get me excited enough to power through it. Part of that was probably due to the large amount of information that it was spewing out and asking me to process at once, especially since I took so long reading it that some of the related topics in the book that built on each other were no longer fresh in my mind when I got to parts of the book that referred to them.

The book did have some very interested discussion of symbols, words for example, and their meaning, and the idea of Tangle Hierarchies, wherein the distinct levels of a system are no longer so distinct. For example, DNA provides the symbols (code) by which all proteins in a cell (and the larger organism) are put together. However, DNA is one of these proteins. Kind of a chicken and egg situation. There were lots of other parts I enjoyed, like the Diagonal method for proving that you can't make a complete list of irrational numbers.

Anyway, given that I'd finally finished GEB, I headed off to the library in search of something a little less weighty. I had a couple in mind, but one hasn't been published yet, and the other was not available, so I took to browsing. I ended up coming across the Elmore Leonard section, and as I've heard his name a bit lately, decided to grab "Get Shorty" as I knew it had been made into a movie. A movie I haven't seen, but at least it tells me that a certain number of people enjoyed it. Guess we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #37: Steamed Hams

Following on the heels of last week's Simpson's clip, today I bring you a great exchange between Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers. Inspired by a conversation I had today with the Chip Chief.

Monday, July 14, 2008

FSS 10: Rolling on a River

Happy Monday to all you loyal FSS readers who've been patiently refreshing to see what this last weekend brought me.

Friday night we had a stake-wide luau activity. For the past month or so they've been sending our ward activities representatives to hype it up with the following three items: 1) catered food, 2) hula lessons, and 3) fire dancers. 1) The catered food consisted of a single half-cup scoop of rice, a half-cup scoop of pork, and a half-cup scoop of canned pineapple chunks, which I declined. 2) The Hula lessons were I think dispensed to a high counselor and his wife. 3) Thankfully the fire dancing actually happened was pretty cool. Anyway, mostly at those activities I just end up shooting the breeze with people I know who are now in other wards. I did find a little time for some grass volleyball as well.

After the luau, I stopped by a park where some friends were playing ultimate frisbee, and watched for ten minutes or so until they were finished. The plan from there was to watch a movie at the apartment of some of the girls who were there, and eventually I made it there (after stopping at a Wendy's to get some food to supplement the luau), but most of the those who were supposedly coming ended up trying to help a girl get into her truck where she'd unfortunately locked her keys.


Saturday I slept in a bit and then got up and got ready to head down to Provo Canyon to go tubing on the Provo river. Its become pretty much an annual tradition, and for $10, its always been a fun couple of hours in a cold river on a hot day. This time was no different, and with Kirsten's help we managed to round up a group of about 15 people, 10 who met in Salt Lake to car pool down. I managed to avoid falling in at all, and only got real wet at the very end when I had to disembark in water over my waist to make it to the exit point.

After getting out of the river, we stopped for late lunch at an In-n-Out ripoff in American Fork called Chadders. Its a decent imitation, but not sure I care enough to make a specific trip for that purpose.

I made it home in time to get a brief nap in before my evening events started. At seven, I was meeting up with a few friends to go to a pool party out in Draper. It was at the house of a guy I know from a weekly volleyball night (which may not be on hiatus). It was in a gated community out in Draper at what looked to be a potentially fancy home. And my unofficial policy on such things is "When rich people invite me to their house for a party, I should go check it out, because I might see something I would never see otherwise." This house was no exception. Nice pool out back along with a lot of grass and a basketball court. Also, it was right down off the north end of point of the mountain, so there was a great view of a large number of paragliders and hanggliders cruising around above us while we swam.

Eventually, after I'd had my fill of swimming and feeling like Father Time, we made our exit and stopped by the house of another friend to finish out the night. We'd talked about watching a movie, but ended up playing a game called "Buzz Word" that I enjoyed, perhaps because I was really good at it. The host told me he wasn't going to invite me next time they played, unless I promised to be on his team.


Sunday morning, we had our monthly ward "Fellowshipping" breakfast, which is always a welcome way for me to eat breakfast on a Sunday. Sometimes I have to get creative depending on whats available in my cupboard. After that I had a presidency meeting, and we made it through church without any major incidents. I napped in the early evening and then made it to ward prayer which was well attended and then went to movie night after that, watching the first half of Newsies and the second half of The Incredibles.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Old Book, Old Book #6: The Road

Don't worry, I haven't given up on good old GEB yet. I actually am down to the last 50 pages, but as I only read it when I'm eating alone (books make for great conversation around the table) or in random moments, it may still take me to the end of this week to finish it off for good. Anyway, this week I took a short trip to DC and wanted something to read on the plane, but didn't start planning for my trip until the night before which was a Sunday. Which meant the library was closed. So I splurged and actually purchased a book. I'd heard good things about "The Road" on the Slate Political Gabfest podcast a few months back and figured I'd check it out on my flight. It was written by Cormac McCarthy who also wrote "No Country for Old Men", which was turned into last year's Oscar winning best picture by the Coen brothers.

I have to say it was interesting. Set in a post-apocalyptic US, its the story of a man and his son (no names ever mentioned) walking on "The Road" and heading somewhere. The style of writing was also pretty interesting. No chapters. No quotation marks. Some of the dialogue sections were a little tricky to follow because it never says who said what usually. Or else it says "he", which doesn't clarify very well when you're reading about a man and a boy. Lots of hope and despair. Its a pretty tender book, and I suspect that if I had kids I'd relate even better. Not sure I'd label it as a personal favorite, but it was good, and I was able to knock it out between two four hour flights.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #36: Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius!

I'm not back from DC yet, but I recently figured out how to write posts in advance and schedule them to publish at a later date, so I set this up before I left.

More from Its Troy McClure's award-winning performance as the human in "Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!" Its the role he was born to play, baby!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

FSS 9: Not exactly sure what the 'fin' is of this 'semana'

I'm in the midst of 7 days that I won't be going to my desk. Thursday I went to an old roommate's wedding which was super nice because all 6 of us old roommates were there. Friday was the holiday, followed by the regular weekend, and tomorrow I leave on a short 3-day trip to DC for a short conference.

So I guess today I'll just talk about my 4th of July weekend. Friday morning I got up and headed out to Grantsville to partake of the Grantsville parade that started at 11. My dad was riding in it as a member of the Grantsville City Council. Overall, I felt like the parade was a bit long, and that most of the "floats" were just people with trucks that had signs on them and they threw a little bit of candy. Tooele County Search & Rescue had at least 8 vehicles in the parade, which made me wonder a) how much gas money does it take to support that whole exhibit, and b) what happens if someone needs to be sought and/or rescued while the parade is going on. The highlights were probably the Tooele High marching band (Sorry GHS, but they were clearly superior) and a couple guys dressed as Napoleon Dynamite and his brother Kip, with Napoleon riding his bike, towing Kip behind him on rollerblades.

After the parade, we reconvened back at home for chicken and ribs off the grill, along with corn on the cob and other tasty goodies. I stayed out there until 6 or so, including a good game of "Ticket to Ride" with the special rules that my brother George taught us, which happen to be quite different from the actual rules, but still make for a good game.

After leaving Grantsville, I headed back to SLC for yet another BBQ, followed by fireworks at Murray Park. They were pretty good fireworks and it was fun hanging out with a lot of friends before and after.

Saturday was mostly taken up with errands and laziness. In the evening I went to a friend's parents' house where we played sand volleyball and then enjoyed the pool for a while when we were done.

I didn't take my camera with me at all this weekend, so you'll just have to imagine how everything was. Maybe I'll take some pictures in DC to share with you when I get back. TTFN.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #35: You'll block it every time

In honor of the 4th of July, I bring you Rex Kwan Do's star-spangled pants:

"You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys?"