Daily GUIDE-ance:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Is this about airplanes?

I wonder, did people used to make paper airplanes before there were real air planes? If so, what did they call them? Paper Birds? If they didn't, does that mean we might be able to make faster-than-light spaceships out of paper if only we could think of the right way to fold it?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Test Your Might

This will have to do for my response to being tagged by Colista. I find it hard to conform some how. I think that is why I never liked church dances. Dancing somehow equates to conforming in my mind. I dont know why right now.

So, I was going to teach myself how to do this all cool and HTML-ly and make it to where you like check the little boxes and then hit submit and then it mysteriously grades your paper and gives you a score without telling you the answers, but I found out you need to have something called something like an .asp page (or something) and I don't, so forget that idea for now.


It was going to be a quiz to see how big a John Sever Fan you are.
Liz isn't allowed to play, she knows too much. (-deleted TMI-)


1) What super power would John chose to have?(rank in order of likely hood):

a)Invisiblity
b)Super strength
c)Flight


2)What is religion would John most likely have subscribed to if he was not LDS?(rank in order of likely hood)

a)Buddism
b)Catholicsm
c)Some kind of Neo-pagan
d)Agnostiscm
e)Atheism
f)Evangelical Christianity



Fill in the blanks:

3) Booga, Eeka, _______

4)Deep Thought designed ______ ______.

5)We are the ______ of the ______ of ______.

6) ______-_______ John C. Sever the __________

7) Leery ______ Beast



8) Which of the following hollywooders does John consider unattractive:


a) Avril Lavinge
b) Selma Hayek
c) Jodie Foster
d) Jessica Alba
e) Gwen Stephanie
f) Uma Thurman
g) Jessica Simpson
h) Missy Peregrin
i) What's that one chic's name... Brad pitt's whore- oh yeah Angelina - well I guess i gave that one away. Nevermind, there is more than one correct ugly in this list.



9) What profession has John never considered pursuing?

a) Engineer
b) Astronaut
c) Palentologist
d) Doctor
e) Lawyer
f) Professional Baseball Player


Now I am supposed to tag what 6 more random people?-

Ok I tag Ken ,Barbie ,Mac Fly ,Annie ,Keegan and Richard Nixon. I don't know any of these people.

Ecclesiastes 7:3

"Sorrow is better than laughter..."

Noo-oooo-ooo-oo-ooo-ooo its not! Who wrote this thing anyway?!!
Somebody wierd I'll betcha.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One year since The Deathly Hallows

Pretty sure Monday the 21st marks ONE YEAR since the final Harry Potter book came out. What an amazing ride that was! Since I discovered Harry Potter (during the wait between book 4 and 5) I have:
  • Gotten married

  • earned a BS

  • had 2 children

  • spent a year mind-blowingly poor

  • Got my first, second and third "real" jobs

  • moved 3-4 times

  • best manned my brother's wedding

  • bought two houses


The first Harry Potter I ever read was the Book4, chapter one , (with a bit of the second chapter thrown in) -where Voldemort kills that old man and Harry wakes up after having dreamed it.


After that went to the library intending to get book 1. They only had book2 at the time, so I got that. After reading a few chapters, I had to introduce Trent(my brother)- who was 11 at the time-to it. (Trent has basically remained Harry Potter's age ever since) He very quickly became a ravenous reader. Shortly thereafter, my mom also became a huge fan. Me, Trent, our mom and our two other siblings, Todd and Ashley, spent hours and hours reading the first four books aloud to each other. This lasted for weeks... Soon, my girlfriend Liz and Renae and Bruce all got sucked in.


Reading out loud on Trents floor, laughing hysterically, and completely and utterly caught up in these stories- switching out readers, when we started losing our voices... Memories to take to the grave! (pardon me for waxing waxy) Trying to do Hagrid's accent... Trying to read the Yule Ball sequence, but dieing of laughter- "Wangoballwime?" Great stuff. The hours of speculation in between books. Make that years!


Anyhow... Last year Liz and I read the last book in shifts all day Saturday and Sunday- until we were both down to the last four chapters. Those we wound up reading together- not out loud, but sitting side by side in bed, for, what- an hour and a half?- each reading silently, waiting in suspense for the other to finish up so we could turn the page. It was the perfect way to end the series for me and Liz. We finished the book around midnight and just looked at each other and said: "WOW".


So its a classic. Better than Lord of the Rings. Better than Star Wars. (Star Wars has nothing on HP for suprizes and plot twists!) Better than Narnia. Totally unprecidented. JK Rowling is a once in a century genius. To write for that long, with that level of "world integrity" and plot foresight, and to have it be unbelieveably entertaining and engaging (sure Les Mis or War and Peace are long and complex, but, seriously, how addictive are they? How many kids enjoy them?)-- when has anything like it ever been done before? Amazing. Better than The Guide. Better than kicking Hitler in the groin. Better than being hurled into the depths of the sun. Better than starving to death.

I recently read on JKR's website on that she has written a short (800 words) prequel to HP that is being published for charity as part of a collection of short stories by famous people. Will be needing to read that naturally.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Free Good Ideas!

So some friends (see Cranky at right, I don't have time to create a link) and I got to talking and, really, we are very smart as it turns out. When I get around to running for public office, you'd be a fool not to vote for me. Just listen to some of the high octane $$$ making ideas we came up with, without even half trying. When I am elected, you won't even need to pay taxes after I have implemented these killer (ha ha) ideas. And just to show you that I am not only a frickin' genius but also kind and generous, I'm just going to give out my ideas for free right here, on the internet.

Prisons. Well, simple ideas first- everybody who is released from jail should get a bill when they leave that covers the cost of their incareration- food, housing, paying the guards, etc. Simple and fair.

Wait, don't go. That was easy- boringly simple. Lets get to the good stuff.
The death penalty. When I am in charge we will charge admission to every execution. We will make a killing! (narf!) And we'll put em all on pay per view too. World wide audience. Saving the taxpayers billions.

But it gets better. On Ebay we will auction off the privlegde to be the guy who "pushes the button" for each excetution. We could put a virtual button on the highest bidder's computer screen and all you have to do is click. (It could even be a trigger shaped button!) Is there any limit to how much money we could rake in this way? For famous criminals we'd make millions. I bet we could have gotten half a billion for Timothy McViegh.

OOO! yeah- and also on Ebay we could auction off the right to choose the method of death! We'd keep it clean- lethal injection, firing squad, electric chair, the basics- no slow dismemberments or boiling in oil, no crucifictions- but even so, it'd be a money maker.

But it gets better still! How about a Death Row Reality Show? I'm thinking something like survivor. 20 rapist/murderers on an island and each episode, they all vote one of thier number off the island- and they go straight to the chair! How awesome would that be? The winner gets to stay on for the next season... Or maybe we give him/her an extra year of life or something. That's a good prize.

So it's hard on the murder's family. Yeah that's sad, but they'll get over it. Like they were going to be happy anyway. Cruel to the deathrow guy? I doubt it. Who wouldn't rather die a celebrity than just die? I bet if we just took only criminals who volunteer for it, we'd have to turn tons away. Bad for the pscyhe of the nation? Pleeeeease! You can see worse on TV now, for free.

Ooo- maybe we could get sponsors, commentators, the works- "Well Bob, in just 10 minutes Ringo the axe fiend will be riding the lightning. He looks pretty cool there in the on-deck circle- looks like he's ready to go" "Yes Jack, he certainly does. Not like the Jamal the child molester we had on last week. I've always said Ringo was cold as ice. Time for a break folks- don't go away we'll be riiiight back!"

And then we cut to a commercial for Verizon, or tampons or something.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Manhole

Aaaargh! Too much serious stuff posted by me lately! It makes me feel ill. I like to be serious, but not for tooo long.

You remember my ditch that I wanted to explore? Brad came all the way from Oregon to help me explore it this week. It was great. It goes about a mile I would say, above ground before it dumps into a pretty cool creek, (like I thought it would). We took the kids and Liz maybe half way there. Erik and Jonni loved it, especially Erik. No neighbors saw us that I am aware of, although it was broad daylight and we were fairly exposed much of the time. Then we came back (using the secret passage I made into my backyard)(really) and dumped the kids in bed and Brad and I left Liz and went and finished exploring...

...ah... this is such a relief to be writing about something unserious. Life is a test. It is only a test. If this were an actual life you would have been born with more instructions...

The creek was pretty cool. I almost fell in. We might have explored it more thoroly, but Brad had his pockets full of electronics. (Very Brad). Even so, we explored enough of it to decide it is a pretty cool place. An isolated patch of semiwilderness in the middle of civilization. We headed back and that was when the real adventure began.

I would not have done this without Brad, but he thought we should explore the ditch going the other direction from my yard. I think you should be told that in the other direction, the ditch is completely underground. A tunnel, you know. Probably 4.5 feet in diameter. There was graffiti on the walls for 15- 20 feet and then it ended. Not too many people had explored that far back, apparently. (We hadn't brought any means of grafitiing ourselves.)

So I'm hunched over like Igor in this tunnel, holding the flashlight, doing a duck walk trying to keep a foot on either side of the stream of drainage water running down the middle of the tunnel. Brad is in the lead. We pass up several side tunnels that a crazy could have squirmed into, if they didn't care too much about whether or not they got stuck there. The water is getting deeper. I just give up and slosh along in the middle of it. It's hardish to walk with your feet on a curved floor/wall. The light behind us is still visible if you look, but it no longer sheds light, if you get my drift. At least the tunnel is not taking any curves. It occurs to me that I haven't hung out with Brad in years- no make that decades- and for all I know he could be a serial killer now. I beat him to the punch by telling him that I am one.

I would have wussed out pretty soon without Brad there, but he spotted a light of sorts ahead and we decide to make for it.

The light turns out to be the underside of a manhole. It took us a minute to figure that out. They look different from underneath. At this point, neither of us have any idea where we are. Brad sticks his GPS out the sewer opening to get a signal and it tells us that we have crossed the street I live on at least, but more than that is hard to say. So I shove up the manhole cover and stick my head out.

My head is at ground level. I am peering over grass and weeds at the back of a building I do not recognize. There is a car facing us. With some scrambling, we heave ourselves out. Once I am on my feet the world looks more normal and I figure out where we are. There is a parked car facing us that drives off. They don't pay us any mind.

So, I think we covered about 150-200 yards underground. We crossed a street, and passed beneath my front lawn and my neighbors front and back lawns and the length of the JW church parking lot. Brad and I haven't really done anything together since we were about 14. Crawling out of the manhole was such a blast. We went home and impressed Liz with how filthy we were. Then we dorked around on You-tube and got my cat to chase a laser light all over the living room.

Having Brad around again is the coolest! Definitely going to have to do more of this. So glad everything crashed at work that day several months back, leaving me with nothing to do but surf the net, plugging old friend's names into the search engine. It was Fate!

Oh, I picked his 8 year old up by the ears the other day. He thought it was funny, yet painful. And I tried to make his 12 year old girl like me. I think I succeeded somewhat, but she got hit in the face with a ball of some sort, right as I was trying to drown her in my parent's pool. One thing I have learned about the ladies during my many years of flirtatiousness is that getting them hit with something in the face while you are drowning them is often a non-ideal ice breaker. Oh well. Good Times!

Weather's here, Wish you were beautiful!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reposte!

I am re-posting something that I wrote on Dana's blog quite a while back. Timpani made the mistake of mentioning to me that she liked it (aaaaaah... the ego purrs!) and so I have been thinking for a while that I should put it on my blog if for no other reason than so that I don't lose it if Dana's crashes for some reason. In context of the previous discussion, I thought now was as good a time as any:

I am a born skeptic- it always takes me alot of convincing before I can accept anything as true. I don't know that this is always good or always bad- for me it just is. I like my skepticism- "Skepticism is the chastity of the mind"


Anyhow, when I committed myself, after 2 years of thinking, to the becoming a full time missionary for the LDS church for two years, at age 21,- I was going into it aware that my "testimony" was incomplete. I was not sure it was all true- not entirely sure. I knew that I didn't know. But I was at a point where I needed to take the next step in my experimenting with faith- and that had to be the mission. The chance I took there paid off in spades.

There are somethings I know now that I didn't know then- somethings that I could only learn through experience. There are still other aspects of Mormonism and Christianity that frankly make no logical sense to me, but that I accept because I have personal experience/ knowledge/ understanding of other, more core aspects of the gospel. For instance the notion that we live on in another form after death has an easy home in my soul- it seems so obvious to me that we are more than the sum of our physical parts. Other things are less obvious to me.

I can accept that there is much I don't understand. I suspect that there are many popular, widely held views within both the LDS church and within the world in general, that in the end, will turn out to be dramatically wrong. Life has always been this way. One thing that I think is apparent from history is that almost any widely held belief is bound to have some fundamental misconceptions in it. I first heard about Galileo in a children's story book written by religious folks about religious heroes, but during his lifetime, he was thrown in prison, threatened with torture, and forced to write a recant of his scientific discoveries by the religious leaders of his day. (Nice!)

Even- and I may be weird this way I dunno- the very core blocks of my personal beliefs are always available in my mind for review and reevaluation. At least I try to keep them that way.

(this is getting long)

The whole process of reaching for more truth and more personal perfection all must begin with admitting that you have been wrong about something, I think. In some ways, I think being able to say "I don't know..." is as important as being able to say "I know". Certainly there are more things to say "I don't know" about than there are to say "I know" about.

Good gravy-

time to goto bed-

thanks-

John

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two Providences

Going back to Huck Finn:

WELL, I got a good going-over in the morning, from old Miss Watson, on account of my clothes ; but the widow she didn't scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay and looked so sorry that I thought I would be- have a while if I could. Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it warn't so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn't any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work. By-and-by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn't make it out no way.


I set down, one time, back in the woods, and had a long think about it. I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don't Deacon Winn get back the money he lost on pork ? Why can't the widow get back her silver snuff-box that was stole ? Why can't Miss Watson fat up ? No, says I to myself, there ain't nothing in it. I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was "spiritual gifts." This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson, as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn't see no advantage about it except for the other people so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more, but just let it go. Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body's mouth water ; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow's Providence, but if Miss Watson's got him there warn't no help for him any more. I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's, if he wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he was agoing to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant and so kind of low-down and ornery.

yeah... Twain nails it about a million times better than I ever could have. I am a somewhat religious fellow- although it doesn't come entirely naturally to me- and I will right away admit that it is the secret of my success in so many ways- religion that is- but there are certain types of religious people who I just can't stand: The dumb ones, you know. By dumb I don't mean the less educated folks with a very simple faith- I mean the ones who seem to chose to be deliberately brainless and mean.


Ok... So maybe mean isn't quite the word I am after.

Here is what really digs me: The ones who think they have somehow managed to boil all the mysteries of the Universe (and all other universi) down into one simple, digestible ball of cheese.

Once during my short stint at BYU, I was taking a Book of Mormon class and I had to write a paper on some area of the BOM where it quoted Isiah. I wrote a very good paper (got a 100% on it) that assaulted a view exposited in the class textbook. It centered around the meaning of the phrase "familiar spirit" which any slightly decent student of the Old testament or of Dungeons and Dragons (I was both) could tell you means "a demonic power in partnership with a witch". There is no other intelligent interpretation. Well, the textbook tried to claim that it meant something else entirely-- (that the Book of Mormon would have a familiar feel to it if you had read the Bible, actually.)

I didn't have an alternative interpretation ready to hand yet, I could only tell that the textbook's interpretation was flat out lazy scholarship and nonsense.

I was kind of into this paper and started telling some of my friends about it. I immediately ran into resistance. The problem was that nobody could handle just Not Knowing the Answer. After I came up with an alternative interpretation, everybody I talked to was like : "Oh yeah- cool- the textbook is obviously wrong" but almost no one could handle the straight, unspun words fresh from the book.

But the fact is, life is all about not Knowing. The sphere of stuff we don't know is always a bazillion times bigger than the sphere of stuff we do know.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Twitter.

Twitter. I'm not home. This computer is wierd. I just made up a story about a little old man with a little old house on a little old hill eating his little old dinner one night, and he hears this swishy swishy noise outside in the woods. So he grabs a flashlight an a pitchfork (both little and both old)(and he grabs them one at a time hearing the swishy swishy noise in between) and winds up on his little old porch swing waiting for the monster to come out of his woods. Unfortunately he falls asleep.

...getting scary now...

The monster does come out of the woods. It sneaks up on the sleeping old little man and licks him. (swishy swishy all the while, see?) The man sleeps through it all though. Lucky for him, the monster decides that on the whole, he would prefer to eat the man with a little old salt and pepper. So he swishes into the little old house and finds the little old salt and the little old pepper shakers. He has a lick with salt. The man sleeps on. He shakes on some pepper. This makes the man give a little old sneeze. He wakes up.

Everyone freaks out.

The little man grabs his old pitchfork and chases the monster, swishy swishy, into his little old bedroom. The monster locks the man out and looks for a place to hide. the man grabs his little old crowbar and bashes in the little old door.

The monster is nowhere to be seen. The man checks everywhere and decides to go to sleep. Then he notices that there is something cold and gooey and swishy touching his toes. So he kicks around, gets comfortable and falls asleep.

What do you think the cold gooey thing is?

Well if you guessed the monster... Good Thinking!

It trys to eat the old man's little old toes. This wakes him up. The old man ties the monster up in his covers, ties the covers shut with a rope, slings the rope over a tree limb and lets the monster dangle till sunrise. He gets a new blanket and goes to sleep.

This is what I told my kids for a bed time story tonight. Jonni liked it. Erik was asleep on the porch swing.

The End

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ditch

I have a huge drainage ditch behind my house. It runs for at least a mile, probably more, behind all the houses in my neighborhood. People build little foot bridges across it or even erect sheds over it. It’s seriously huge. 4-5 foot deep at least and 3-4 feet wide. Its like a damp sunken sidewalk. In fact I know that a lot of kids around here use it for a sidewalk because they have left a lot of graffiti and also I caught some of them hiding in it spying on me recently. I think I acted sufficiently weirdly that they don’t want to mess with me.

My problem is that I dearly want to explore this thing. It’s clearly the best place to look if I want to find vampires, werewolves, extra-dimensional portals, buried treasure, secret passages, skeletons etc. If I were a kid, I’d have explored it thoroughly by now. Unfortunately, I only have this one body, you see, and it looks pretty darn grown-up somehow, and if the neighbors spot me climbing around in the drainage ditch in their back yard they are going to assume I am a child molester or something.

Its big enough that I could possibly hide while I explored it, but then if I get caught, I look like a child molester with a guilty conscience. I could go at night- same problem- or wear a mask-even worse- or both- but with my luck someone will call the cops and I’ll wind up in jail.

I have a partial solution, and that is to get me an orange safety vest, a hardhat and a clipboard and act like I am doing something official, but I don’t have any of that stuff, and it sounds like a waste of $$ just to avoid being embarrassed. I am JCS after all. I think I am going to tackle it at night.