Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It dawned on me as I sat at a dirty booth at my neighborhood Beto's this brisk November morning, that I have quite a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. And most of them are related, ironically enough, to that very special proprietorship I was visiting, known the region-over as Beto's.
Their breakfast burritos put all others to shame, inasmuch that I declare that we no longer classify them burritos, but
jurritos instead - thus retaining their distinction of tortilla rolled amazement of human ingenuity, but also acknowledging that they are in fact massive, dare I say, Jumbo in proportion to their smaller, more feeble cousins that plague convenience stores and other such eateries. But the marvelous work and wonder does not end there my friends; oh no. It lives on in their beverages, their condiments, and their service. Today I discovered their latest contribution to an awe inspired world. Guacamole. Your perplexity will be short lived, I assure you ~ allow me to explain. As a percentage of you know, their is a little place (built on drug trafficking monies) call Mamacita's in central Texas. Now at Mamacitias, they serve a very special chip dip that most pass of as mere "green sauce" when in actuality it is Tomatillo salsa. Nowhere else have I tasted that subtle yet superfluously bold taste of sweet mild goodness. UNTIL today where I specifically asked if tomatillos were used to enhance the already glorious guacamole. You can imagine how happy I was when told that my suspicions where in fact DEAD ON!
Yes friends, Thanksgiving is a time to remember the most important things in life, perhaps more so in this time of turmoil and uncertainty. But no matter what the future may hold for each of us, we can take comfort in knowing that out there in this big blue world are copious mounds of delicious mexican-style jurritos available day or night, 24/7, come hell or high water, just waiting for someone to love them. May we all live to be such a jurrito loving people is my prayer; Amen.

Also, guns. I'm thankful for guns.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Insomniatic Device

Should any of you nice folk have a solution as to "what to do at 3am when you can't sleep but have to get up in 4.5 hours", please post it in the comment box below.

Answers not acceptable include, but are not limited to the following;
1. Try and wake up before 2pm on Saturdays
2. Save caffeine beverages for midday not midnight
3. Playstations are fun, just not all-night-prudent fun

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Wussification of American Children

About an hour ago a friend of mine introduced me to one of my brand new favorite-est websites


The shear volume of information and direct nature of the text really outshines any alleged Man's Magazine that you would see at the local grocery store. Plus, it has a vintage feel of 19th century art and imagery - which goes against the grain of the post-modern GQ womanizer image that is thrust upon us today. Anywho, one of the articles under Relationships and Family was titled (and subsequently linked)

Quit Coddling Your Kids

It's a quick 5 minute read with a very interesting 9 minute video attachment that discusses how parenting has altered since the time of the baby boomers right up to Gen X parents. The synopsis was that as parents spent less time with their children, their personal needs for acceptance and validation as a loving parent drove them to behave as the child's friend more so than a traditional role of mother or father. As Gen X babies grew up with more and more lax environments they too subsequently portrayed even more exacerbated behavior.

"Generation X parents are even worse about coddling their kids. To many many Gen X parents, children are just an accessory you get to dress up with ironic t-shirts and fauxhawks."

Most of my blogs have been more theoretical, even borderline rhetorical, not allowing for a lot of direct dialogue and interaction with the audience (that's you, btw). And seeing that both you Aubry and Susan & Justin and Jessica both have lovely young daughters of your own. I wanted to see what your reaction was to the article and video above.
How willing and able do you think you could be at allowing your children to engage in potentially dangerous situations without supervision?
As this trend of hyper-protectivity (not a real word) continues and your children's peers are winy little brats who always get what they want and are rewarded for mediocrity, what will you do to educated them on how they will be held to higher standards, etc?
I'm sure you've thought of these things; maybe even tried to put them in the back of your mind and just enjoy the first "simple" years without all this hoopla and sociocultural issues.
But even the first years have such impressionable periods and lessons to be learned in regards to the child's relationship to others, risk v. reward, work ethic, and even vital developmental skills that can't be achieved from a glass bubble or a Dora the Explorer interactive DVD set (i don't even know if such a thing exists yet, but it will).

At any rate, they're your kids; so the bachelors philosophy may not carry as much weight as he would like, but I thought it would be fun food-4-thought.

On a side note, Albertson's was having a sale on Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (next to the simply orange and other beverages) and it is exquisitely yummy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hormel v. PETA

Now, i consider myself an animal lover just as much as the next guy (preferably medium rare and well seasoned), but beyond the realm of satirical humor the following is as far from funny as can be. A recent investigation by PETA revels very disturbing and downright perverse actions on the part of pig farm workers that are suppliers for Hormel, the biggest name in pork since Wilber. Now, everyone knows that a slaughterhouse is no picnic for the main ingredient in that #4 combo you bought at the drive-thru window recently, but if you don't wanna lose your stomach (as I almost did) I encourage you NOT to click the below link. These are some sadistic and vile people and I hope the entire industry gets a look at and violators of such actions are held accountable.
Now, I doubt Hormel has adequate knowledge about these actions, and if this video gains enough press - they'll disavow all involvement, cancel the supplier, and make some donation to save face.

PETA PIG FARM VIDEO - viewer discretion is advised

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The 7 a.m. Blues

The night was sultry. A vulnerable Grayson has just been possessed by a demonic force that forces him to log into BYU and sign up for classes far too early for any normal Adams to endure. With a swift click of the mouse his victim's fate is sealed. Now for 4 months the wretched youth shall be bound the bugling call of the angel of death, a small alarm clock, with beady red numbers and the cry of a banshee descended from the line of the eternally annoying Fran Drescher.
Woe to this student of sorrow!!!!!!

Yes, it helps me find a parking space before all the other clones have even had a chance at stumbling out their front doors, but getting to school at 6:45?!?! Jeez louise; it's murder, I tell ya.

My Secret? Clear and Clear Morning Burst Face "Stuff".

Perks you right up, well -
sort of.

Step 1: Manage to get in shower without opening eyes
Step 2: Grope around for the right bottle of "stuff"
Step 3: Lather Face and inhale like you're Rick James at an 80s coke party
Step 4: Stand under cascading steaming water until motor skills become fully functional (approximately 15min)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Hyperbolic Eclair of Death & Other Tales

The weekend of Aug 1-2 began with great perilous peril and ended in a near diabetic coma.
These are the facts.

For some time now I've been itching to test out my new gear and see the wilds of Washington. Well after some half@ss planning,
alleged miscommunications, strategic coaxing, and bad weather to boot, we (Myself, Todd R., Nathan R. (brother of Todd R.)) finally loaded up the truck with the kayaks and gear and shipped out NW towards our destination 1.5 hours behind schedule.
The "plan" was to take the 3 kayaks up from Longbranch 2 nautical miles before low tide through Pit Passage towards a little place called Pit Island (imaginative, I know) and stay the night after playing three man capture the flag with glow sticks as flags (ingenious, by the way).
Preliminary satellite reconnaissance provided by Google surveillance confirmed previously established intel from multiple sources that the island was A) uninhabited and 2); yes, "two", adequately secluded.

Fun Sentence, BTW ~ go me.

We would be able to launch from a harbor and ride the tide out hugging the coast of McNeil Island. It would go swimmingly perfect. Or so we thought.
After stopping for a pizza (remember the coaxing bit?) we grabbed the last bit of gear we needed from another Rawlings sibling that lives up the way
and were in the water with the sun already ducking its radioactive head behind the horizon. After a quick lie to the dockmaster about us going to somewhere that is legal to kayak we were off. The water was mildly choppy and brisk and the going was relatively easy.
Then, as dark began to fall we noticed that not 300 yards from pit island were people launching fireworks on the other shore (See Map 2, Point A). Thus, in the true manner of white man deception we proceeded to kayak
beyond Pit island on the eastside using the island to block the view of those on shore. (Y) As we landed on on the rocky shores of the far side we noticed what seemed to be rather new signs measuring 8'x4' "PROPERTY OF McNEIL ISLAND, MAINTAIN CLEARANCE OF 100 YARDS"
Turns out McNeil houses a medium security prison less than 2 miles from where we were.... Awesome.

So now we've surveyed the eastside of the island and because of cliffs (10-20') we cant get to the ideal camping site without approaching from the westside of the island.
Back in the boats. Using bird calls, hand signals and telepathy we ninja stealth paddled around the backside of Pit Island under a clouded night sky. (From Y -> Z) At which point a 50 billion halogen flood light went on at another residence close by where the fireworks were going off. (B) Now, having been in this situation before, I was keen on the fact that when lights seem to be "right on you" in fact those standing near the light source have limited visibility beyond a certain range depending on the focus of the beam.
Note to Aubry: A certain set of truck headlights at a certain ranch on a certain moonless night come to mind, if I remember correctly. "Oh Sh*t, Oh Sh*t, we're gonna die!"

With Kayaks carried and stowed away behind another "Get the Hell of this Island" big ole sign (Z) we proceed to take the essentials to the predetermined campsite to set up. (X) Unfortunately we had already decided, given the circumstances, that a fire would not be advisable.
Now, I don't know what is was, but for some reason, this island and the situation was as scary as all get out.

Oh wait, I do remember. BONES.

Nathan: What's that right there?

Todd: Looks like a rib to me.

Grayson: Yeah but not a human rib, it's too small (the rational scientific analytical answerer)
Todd (holding the rib up to his chest cavity where it fits
perfectly: Sure about that?

Then every freaky sound imaginable
happens, Blair Witch Project style. Stuff falling out of trees, rockslides coming from McNeil Island, (C) Blood-curdling screams of "Help me, Help me! Oh sweet mercy, he's got a chainsaw and a hockey mask!" The whole nine yards.

Twenty Minutes later there is over 600lbs of Man in my lightweight backpacking tent that was clearly designed for 1.5 real people, 2 Asians, or 4 oompa-loompas, but not 3 grown heterosexual men. Bad night all
around, I'd have to say; complete with nightmares and snoring to boot. And considering that I had a full Ziploc back of trail mix right outside the tent door I was a bit concerned about ravenous aquatic bears. I've never regretted not bring my gun with me more than then. Oh, and patrol boats were all over the place too. And the glowsticks didn't glow.

I hate you, Lowes Hardware.

Click adjacent map for full details.

Stuff happened Saturday morning, but is of little consequence until we come to the meaning of the title of this blog.
You see, there's this little restaurant called the Claim Jumper , originally out of Californi-way. And they have AMAZING foods (including a burger called "The Widowmaker") and house honey mustard sauce. We went there, and we gorged ourselves. Then however, against all logical data about how much the human stomach and digestive system can hold, we ordered this mammoth dessert called the I Declair. Ice Cream based, homemade eclair atop with whipped cream and fudge bundled around and over everything. Enough said? It was the bestworst thing I've ever done with food to this day. Went to bed at 5pm, woke up at noon the next day.

Kinda like how I feel right now. So if you were looking for a conclusionary summary. and closure? Bite me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Buy with My Little Eye...

I don't remember exactly what triggered me, but I came to the decision that my life should be spend more outdoors than it currently is (lived). And where better to get campy than in the evergreen state - amirite? So a quick trip to REI and a few hundred bucks later I'm prepped and ready for any number of solo expositions into the unknown. So much for living with a budget, right? Yeah, my self control is total weaksauce. But look at all this awesome swag!

Katadyn Viro Microfilter: capable of filtering over 500 gallons at variable speeds depending on the purity of the source, AND can be attached directly to a bottle or camelbak intake valve. Awesome.

Second. when you're cold and in the wilds, it all boils down to core temperature and layering. Answer - Vests. The fact that this one also destroys windshear and looks sweet is a bonus, as well.

Lastly, (and this has been a needed addition for many a year) is a the Lost Ranger +15F Sleeping "System" from Big Agnes. 600 fill goose down with built-in sleeve for air mattress ensures that you'll never slippy slide off in the middle of the night finding yourself atop a jagged rock in your kidney. At under 3 pounds is perfect for backpacking and versatile enough for camping in warmer to moderate climates. And what I didn't fully realize before, is that REI is mega-anal about customer satisfaction inasmuch that if you're not 100% AT ANY TIME return the item for refund or exchange. No questions asked AND at the end of the year 10% of purchases are returned to the customer as a dividend. Frickin A, man.
So now all we need is a good sunny weekend, a destination, and a map. I probably won't be summiting Mount. St. Helens anytime soon, but hey. You never know - there is a Mt. Adams just a hop skip and jump east of there. Maybe it would be a good psychological and metaphorical achievement.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Am I a Material Girl?

No. I don't listen to Madonna.

Let's just make that abundantly clear right here and now.

However, I~having recently acquired a paycheck for two weeks of laborious labors~ have experienced a very typical American reaction to getting money.

The dire & mindless need to spend it as fast & shameless as humanly possible.

Prior to receiving the said paycheck I had schemed down on a list (oh, how I love to make lists, and lists of lists) how I would divvy up each paycheck for optimum financial gain.

10% - Tithing ( we're hoping God knows a good credit repair guy)
10% - Long Term Savings (liquid)
10% - Investment Pool
20% - Outstanding Debt Service on Credit Cards and Student Loans
30% - Provo Rent and other obligatory payments
20% - Feel Good Money

I was very proud of this little formula until I actually deposited the funds at my local Wells Fargo.
Not two weeks later and I am now back where I started. No I didn't blow it on ammo, cheap thrills and gadgetry (more on that later) the student loan sharks took most of it, and then OPEC claimed a nice chunk, and then I have myself to blame for some luxuries associated with food and racquetball.

Too much month and the end of the money - they always say. Damn straight, people.

However, I have one happy discipline story to be had from all of this.

As the Moores already know, I haven't had a phone upgrade since '04, and the darn thing is nearly busted. Well, yours truly had his eye on a pretty little iPhone competitor called Sprint Instinct. Which has a number of advantageous features over the the Gen 1 iPhone, mind you.

Unfortunately the plan for all the bells and whistles would end up being some where around $1000 a year..... I'm not going to pay a grand just so I can check my friggin email in between classes or on the road, and even if the GPS and touchscreen and 8GB memory and digital voicemail and web browser and hi resolution streaming video are all super snazzy I can't justify the cost compared with what my avg usage would be. So, I've decided to dip my toe into the icy waters of the law of sacrifice pool by getting a simpler phone that will not be so hard on a wallet that's already been shot and bled dry. I know. Big step for us 21st century saints - giving up the latest and greatest communications device, but there you have it. Tuesday is payday again, and this time I'll be biting the bullet and render unto Caesar that which is Caesar and unto Caesar's pizza...well you get the idea.

10.33 - time to shuffle on downstairs and get ready for another day.

Growing up sucks. The End.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Now What?

I've been asking myself that question for the last seven years now. Although to my defense there have been definitive "do this" moments, but for the general outline it's been like one of those oil/sand desk flippy art things - shifty and inconsistent. Yes, I looked for a picture online but no luck so you're just going to have to use your imagination cuz I ain't changing my metaphor, dang it.

5 minutes later.

Seems I wasn't really sure where I was going with this idea...bummer.

I guess the point was today was a nice day- albeit the sun is a stranger this washingtonian summer - and instead of making plans that are bound to a sequential A-B-C order in order for its ultimate success it's better to just experience the present; do some A, some C, maybe even a little J & in the end see where you end up. Not a new thought by any measure, but there you have it.
A Slacker's Guide to the Galaxy, :)

...I'm not seeing any cheese around here

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Story of a White Boy and the mischieous TOM-TOM

Reminds you of Hummingbird Lane, doesn't it? Eh? Behind Walmart and all those ditches...and things.


Enjoy, Aubdawg

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hot Off the Press

This just in.....

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull -


Someone said it was better than Temple of Doom - lies.
I even went in with low (we're talking low here) expectations.
But not low enough.

After over a decade of rumors, anticipation, and preparation this was what the minds of Lucas/Spielberg were able to come up with ?!?!

It wasn't gawdawful, but it wasn't what i needed

Shea LaBeouf - Tool
H. Ford - Tired
Bad Guys - Poor russian accent
Plot - WTF, are you friggin kidding me?

Sigh. Sleepy, feeling a midday nap coming on.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Chill Tune

Mason Jennings - Ballad for my One True Love

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

When in Rome...

No, I didn't elope off to Italy, or anywhere for that matter. But I am in Washington and it is a doozie. Probably the most Washingtonian thing I've done is listen to Nirvana's "Heart Shape Box" while driving through the streets of Tacoma (south of Seattle) looking for the DMV. Which was closed that day, go figure. Work starts not this week but NEXT week, and as to what that will entail, I have no clue. So yeah, Washington. It rains here. and I have to pay 1.75 to get across a bridge everyday that I drive. Darn Hippies and their bridges and their taxes. I've taken up residency with the Rawlings, where a mission friend of mine lives with his folks and whose older brother is my employer-to-be. To keep myself occupied when I'm home alone during the day, I've been blistering my fingers away on Rock Band for the PS3. It's like Guitar Hero but with karaoke, bass and drum options as well. Very fun.

So I guess BlueRay has been all but officially declared the winner of High Def Media. Darn. I was really rooting against Sony on that one. But unlike the VHS/BETA battles of the late 80s, today's consumer is far more tech savvy and demanding (and willing) for higher quality entertainment.

I heard Indiana was "OK", I'll probably see it tomorrow or something.

We play racquetball almost everyday and I've decided I definitely sweat more in this humid coastal environment than in Utah

I also decided that the 1.5 people who are likely to read this should be aware of the above information. and that you should be grateful for it as well.

So yeah, unless you have babies this is the kind of thing you blog about, I guess. Summer Blockbusters, indoor sports, and perspiration.

The End.

Monday, May 12, 2008

If I only had a plan

May 1, 2008

Dear Grayson,

Congratulations! Upon review of your application, you have been accepted into the Facility and Property Management Major Program... et cetera - et cetera, so on and so forth.

Well. Not only did I not get kicked out of school this semester, but I even managed to finagle my way into the program of my preference. Jolly Good. Now however I have the daunting task of looking at exactly how long it will be before I graduate. This should be interesting.

State of the Adams Union

Total Hours Completed: 102
Hours Remaining For Graduation: 77.5
Classes Repeated: 3
A's: 13______ B's: 13
C's: 4 _______ D's: 4
E's: 3 _______ W's: 1
GPA: 2.94

Scheduled Classes

Spring 2008 Independent Study:
Org B 320: Organizational Effectiveness, 3.0

Fall 2008
CM 105: Construction Documents, 3.0
CM 210: Light Structural Systems, 3.0
CM 211: Finishing Methods, 2.0
PAS 103: Residential Landscape Design, 3.0
BusM 300: Financial Management, 3.0
BusM 371R: Entrepreneur Lecture Series, 1.0
Rel 355: Jews and the Gospel, 1.0
Total Hours: 16.0

Winter 2009
CM 155: Architectural Drafting, 3.0
CM 241: Electrical Systems, 2.0
CM 311: Quantity Takeoffs 3.0
CM 320: Mechanical Systems, 3.0
CM 426: Real Estate Principles and Development, 4.0
Rel 356: Islam & the Gospel, 1.0
Total Hours: 16.0

Spring 2009
BusM 340: Marketing Management, 3.0
Org B 327: Human Resource Management, 3.0

Summer 2009
FM 199R: Technical Internship, 2.0

Fall 2009
FM 291R: FM Lecture Series, 0.5
FM 310: Human & Environmental Management, 3.0
FM 360: Facility and Property Management Technologies, 3.0
CM 385: Construction Contracts and Law, 3.0
CM 412: Scheduling and Cost Control, 3.0
FM 420: Commercial Real Estate Management, 2.0
RMYL 483: Public Facility Management, 3.0
Total Hours: 16.5

Age: 27
Winter 2010
MCOM 320: Communication in Organizational Setting, 3.0
FM 340: Operations and Maintenance, 3.0
FM 399R: Capstone Internship, 3.0
CM 411: Advanced Estimates and Bidding, 3.0
CM 415: Project Management & Control, 3.0
FM 430: Capital Planning and Management, 3.0
Total Hours: 18.0

Just looking at this massive grocery list of classes makes me sleepy. But at least the end is in sight, right? You'll notice that there are no "in class" courses scheduled for this summer. Well, I've been given an opportunity in Washington just south of Seattle to work for a mission buddy's brother's management firm. It should be neat. More on this subject later.

Friday, May 2, 2008

An LDS Perspective on LSD

The druggiest substance I've ever been privy to in my days was some Vicodin when I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Even then, under a prescribed dosage, I said things and behaved in ways very uncharacteristic to my public nature.


Given a choice with a guarantee of zero consequences, psychedelics probably would shed some light on a few Pink Floyd songs that I've been listening to, as of late.

The real question that I propose at this juncture, is the following:

Do you have 21 minutes and 38 seconds to sacrifice your full attention to the following chill and mellow melody? Go ahead, think about it. I'll wait.


"Echoes" has three short verses with one of the longest bridges you've ever heard (AABA if B is the bridge) - and to be frank, it's was a bit tedious until I personalized some imaginative visuals to accompany it.

This instrumental break is more interesting to me than the lyrics themselves (be they, awesome as they are)

With themes of eternity, timelessness, infinity (all those abstracts) the music takes a constant steady and strong tone after the second verse. Kind of like a part of human history that is accepted as fact and heralded as a personification to man's greatness. But then, right around 10:30 (in this particular version), that slow steady beat fades away into obscurity, as history falls into legend, then myth, and is at last forgotten in some deep chasm beneath the ocean - screaming out occasionally, yet completely unheard. Until eons have passed, and everything about the former song is lost to memory until 6:45 on the second clip, when perhaps by chance or providence - something is being excavated, invigorated, brought into the light. Until finally, suddenly and almost violently, it breaks forth from an unseen darkness and blinds the world with it glory. And that, which no one believed existed only moments before, is staring them right in the face - apocalyptic and indisputable.
It's powerful moment of return, the third verse, feels all too short but all the same - familiar and warm. Then, it too fades away, remembered by a new generation, waiting in its own time to come back to life at some future point in time and space.

This may be the 3:13 A.M. in me talking, I realize that. But I think it's one of the most reflective and satisfying songs composed. Ever.

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
In labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine.

And no-one called us to the land
And no-one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can

And no-one calls us to move on
And no-one forces down our eyes
And any-one speaks and no-one tries
And no-one flies around the sun

Cloudless everyday you fall upon my waking eyes
inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no-one sings me lullabies
And no-one makes me close my eyes
And so I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chicken Coop Fairy Tales (FW)

I've been charged to list 10 random things about myself and it may come across as no surprise that I've procrastinated the effort. However, now being 25 minutes to deadline and with nothing else for a topic to write about I surrender the following.

Randoms of Mr. Random, himself

1. I have a special affinity for squirrels, inasmuch that if I'm ever allowed to make a world, my first course of action will be to remove all disgusting vile arachnid creatures from the program and replace them with miniature squirrels that climb on your shoulder and give advice when they're not killing insects.

2. When I was in my early teens I was still getting offered a child's menu at restaurants. Just last week, someone mistook me to be the father of someone who is only 4 years my junior (Alyssa).

3. My preferred mutant (special) power would most definitely be stopping time just like the girl from the show "Out of this World" where she put her index fingers together. Naturally there would be no aging effects on myself during these periods of prolonged time stoppage. I would never be late or miss a deadline and when I got tired of being around people I could take a year off anytime I wanted. It would be rad.

4. When I feel anxious, I clean my room (well, sort of)

5. My favorite on campus game is "finish the sentence" as I hear a soundbyte from someone's conversation passing by and then finish it with the most ridiculously possible outcome of my own invention.

6. I like the things I like, but when I see someone else behaving similarly often I mock disapprovingly at their actions.

7. I do voices when no one is around to hear me, for my own amusement.

7. I like to mess with people's minds. (gotcha)

9. That which I'm not supposed to laugh at is what I find the most comical.

10. I spent twenty minutes trying to think of a good number 10, gave up, and poured myself a glass of chocolate milk. Mmmm, good stuff.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

(FW) My Side of the Bowl 2

My Side of the Bowl
Part Deux: Below All things

The air hung humid and lactose heavy. Charlie begrudgingly pried his eyes open but only got them halfway; the light was giving him a blinding headache. “Back up! Give ‘em som’ room!”, said a hearty voice from behind. The other O’s shifted their weight on the constant but gentle tide of the milk below. “That was quite tha spill ‘ya took, laddy. Stupid really, but brave I’ll give ya’ that mooch.” His robust accent was gruff but jolly nonetheless. Charlie suspected that his wheat was of Irish origin. “How…how long was I out?” But before light could illuminate his questions, Charlie and those around him were suddenly scooped to the edge of the bowl. He looked over his shoulder just in time to see nearly a dozen of his fellow O’s begin to rise into the air, milk cascading over the rim of a massive stainless steel ship. “Farewell!” They shouted to those below. "The rapture hath declared us - the firstborn, elect above all others!” and then they disappeared into the air above. Zealot-O’s. Always declaring this birthright or claiming that predestination; Charlie was glad that they were finally gone and from the look of it so was everybody else. “Okay” He said shaking the last mothballs from his head. “You can do it Charlie, you’re ready.” This little self affirmation reminded Charlie of a particular Saturday Night Live episode he had once seen and it made him smile confidently.

Everything happened all at once, but at the same time, backwards and forwards and every other kind of “-wards” imaginable, yet it happened all the same.

The spoon-ship is now returning to the sea of O’s, their eyes wide, their mouths agape. It is coming right for him, but something is not right. He is looking at the bottom of the ship as it passes over him and in the convex mirror Charlie sees himself, confused and immobile. The ship dives into the O’s ahead, creating a massive shockwave both liquid and solid in form. He is lifted up and over the porcelain wall, teeters, and then falls. This is not like the fall out of the box. This is something rather alien and though Charlie searches for the word to describe it all (later referring to it as quintessential surrealism) he is at a loss for words, a loss for mind. So, he just falls, and while he does so Charlie decides the blame for all of this undoubtedly must belong to vitamin B6, and he remembers the omen from earlier that day. Then, in the moment before impact Charlie can think of nothing else and settles on a sigh and an inaudible “…figures” before he hits the surface below.

Hours passed. Charlie woke, convinced that this was some form of afterlife and had it not been for the throbbing pain in his side, his faith would have been complete. He was in fact, not dead and this new prison in which he found himself had been his savior; for the heal sole of an athletic shoe is rather elastic and forgiving, at least inasmuch as a falling cheerio can rely on. Gathering his wits, Charlie scanned for an escape route and, finding none, began to move toward the dark tunnel ahead. “What manner of place is this?” postulated Charlie “Where the earth is spongy and gives off a most offensive odor” He had heard of a place called New Mexico from a Pop-Tart at a distribution center, but quickly decided that this probably wasn’t it and considering the lack of credibility amongst fruit filled pastries, it probably didn’t even exist. Wherever he was, Charlie meant to find an exit and return to the bowl as soon as possible.
Ironically, it was the end of the cave that found Charlie before he found it. The all too familiar feeling of uncontrolled descent overcame Charlie for a third time and with his back against the wall a massive white sheathed five headed monstrosity entered the mouth of the cave and advanced on his position. “Back! Back I say!” but his voice could not match the courage of his heart, for it was saturated in dread and would not obey him. Charlie concluded that this was the end. He would be squished into a decrepit bran flake, his crumbs ground into dust. And to his shame, (which he told of to no one in his own account in later years) in the moment before the eyeless soulless creature devoured him, Charlie fainted and was thankful he did.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Side of the Bowl: A Cheerio's Tale (TA)

My Side of the Bowl
Inspired by a true story

Today was the day, that much was certain. When it came to record keeping and statistics, there was none more scrupulous than little Charlie, and by his calculations there was more than an 85% probability that today, this cold and dry Saturday morning would be his day. Pouring Day. Many of his brothers and sisters had already made the great journey, being packaged closer to to the top. For the last three weeks every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning (and sometimes Friday night) more and more of his kin had plunged excitedly into a variety of bowls both plastic and porcelain. Now there remained but only a few left at the bottom of the box and Charlie had spent the night making sure he was on top, closest to freedom. Fighting the urge to count away the seconds, he checked his provisions - placing everything in order. Whole grain goodness; check. Honey glazed coating; check. Supplementary vitamins and minerals; check. Everything seemed to be in order, and why shouldn't it be? He had in fact triple and quadruple checked merely minutes before. Once having been certain that he had misplaced vitamin B6 whereby causing a wave of panic and a terrifying image of failed amino acid assembly. Fortunately, it had been tucked in his back pocket and he had long since moved it to a more accessible location. Charlie sighed, absentmindedly checking his watch again. 9:48 A.M. It would be any moment now, he was sure of it, even insistent upon it. Then, a sound. Charlie didn't breathe, didn't even think lest his thoughts muffle the sound again. He waited. THUMP. THUMP. It was getting closer and then, without warning, it stopped. For what seemed like a month, Charlie denied the impulse to inhale, his shell now turning an acute blue. When he thought he could endure no more, the whole box was abruptly tossed from side to side. Charlie fell far and hard only to be catapulted once again upward, and then everything began to slide sideways and blinding light filled the dark void of the box. He was no longer at the vanguard of the O's, in fact, he was certain he had been placed virtually at the end of the line, all of his efforts having proved hopelessly futile. But then, he saw it. Gleaming, clean and concave; it was the bowl, and time seemed to halt at the sight of it. Reinvigorated by its beauty, Charlie schemed a daring plan. Forcing himself onto his side, he launched into a never-ending cartwheel, throwing all sense of caution and apprehension the wind. He would not be denied, not this time, not today. He was building momentum now, more than he had counted on and from the cyclical glimpses of the bowl he could already see that it was clearly filling up, almost to the brink. And then, the box began to change angles, pulling up and away from the bowl. It was now or never. With a final twist, Charlie dove over the edge and began to free fall through the air to the bowl far below. From his vantage point he could see the horror and dismay on the faces of the other O's below, who clearly did not believe that Charlie would hit his mark, but would fly right past the lip of the bowl into nothingness and grout. Charlie however, had not come this far to meet such a dishonorable end. Leaning back against the upward draft, his decent redirected slightly to the left and, bracing for impact, Charlie closed his eyes and landed with a heavy SNAP. Then the world dimmed and voices turned into distant muffles, but just before he lost consciousness, Charlie felt the cool creamy texture of milk washing over, through, and around him. He felt lighter, buoyant on its surface And then everything turned dark, and Charlie collapsed into a dreamless sleep, knowing that before the end came he would be awake to greet it.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two Birds, One Pint Chow Mein (RhyAnalysis - kinda)

I don't think 400 unwritten words have ever seemed so intimidating, cumbersome, and grizzly. Even right now you're thinking, "grizzly? WTF would be grizzly about it? and why am I swearing in acronyms all of the sudden? Who am I, Samuel L. Jackson? There's no snakes on this plane, what am I so worked up about?" I wish I had the answers to all your questions faithful reader - but I don't.

Cliche inbound, brace for impact.

I find that as I get older there are a lot of answers to questions (like those listed above) that I don't know.

300 words to go.

I found our discussion in class about style rather interesting as it brought up several issues I have with my - quote unquote Style. Even from my blogs most of what I would consider style is merely me trying to keep myself amused while I complete an assignment (some of which I'm rather proud of, if I do say so myself).

Other times after I've read some fictional work or another I'll see aspects of THAT author sneaking into my head and writing for a finite period and then it dissolves away until I pick up a new work - a new author. Other times my writing seems to be cyclical revolving on a wheel of sarcasm to somber to irreverent - round and round we go. So who has style - or impressive style from what I know? When I was a kid (3rd grade I think) riding home on the bus an older kid always had a stack of Calvin and Hobbes that he would share with me for the 40 minute ride to home. I remember getting to the point where I had read every book so many times that I would open the book, look at the first caption and remember the entire strip - laugh and then move on to the next. I'd be willing to even state that most of my vocabulary probably came from Bill Watterson.
The imagination, dry wit, and satire that accompanied every adventure along side Calvin & Hobbes as they fought mutant killer snow demons or the villainized babysitter or the infamous (in famous? IN FAMOUS?!!) bully Moe always stuck with me and account for how I see and interpret the world around me in a big way. How big I'll neglect to divulge considering that such eccentricities should remain behind shut (and often padlocked) doors. At least, that's been the Adams policy for a good 15 years running now. Although they do sneak out on occasion and run amuck - leaving a trail of confusion, amusement, and stale Doritos in their wake.

So keep a look out, or that next dorito just might be you.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Midnight Haikus

Time has no mercy;
Warden of our matchbox lives;
Burning bridges down.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hydrogen Blows (RA)

My topic research source was the documentary "Who killed the Electric Car?"

The documentary follows the conception, production, and recall of General Motor's EV1 electric vehicle that was introduced to the California market in the mid 90s.

Naturally, topics included a number of suspects for the termination of domestic EV (electric vehicle) including; General Motors, Oil Companies, California Air Resource Board (C.A.R.B), the Federal Government, and U.S. Consumers.

Chris Paine (writer / director) approaches the need for electric car technology from an predominately environmental perspective, giving statistics on southern California smog data and related health issues before addressing the issue of the demand and qualifications of the EV1. A majority of the information regarding the hindrance of the EV1 project suggests that GM is the primary suspect in the failure of the electric movement for various reasons.
1. Their advertising was extremely limited and inconsistent with previously successful advertising strategies
2. The EV1 was only available to the market under a lease option; when the lease expired no extensions were granted and all EV1 vehicles where impounded and crushed.
3. Markets that produced the highest amount of consumer demand and waiting list potential were closed down first so that market demand could be downplayed to the C.A.R.B.
4. Initial EV1 models were equipped with outdated battery systems in spite of more efficient technology available to GM.
5. A document from 1995 clearly expressed that the challenge to GM was how to control and discourage an overwhelming market acceptance to the EV concept

The area that I'll be focusing my efforts is on how the auto industry with the assistance of the federal government created this carrot on a stick alternative of Hydrogen Cell Cars.

Paine exposes that although the electric car is ready today the Hydrogen Cell has perpetually been 10-15 years away from production since the early 90s. The average car currently costs $1000000, hydrogen fuel cell stations are limited and inconvenient when compared with the plug in feature of the EV1. The amount of energy needed to run the vehicle is 4 times greater than electric, and the problem of hydrogen storage has not been solved by the industry.

The discontinuation of all hydrogen cell research, or at lease federally assisted research, in favor of hybrid systems is the focus of my topic.

That being said how much to devote to why hydrogen cell systems are lame as opposed to why hybrid systems that are achieving 148 mpg is so cool will need to be considered.

And that is 415 words. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Risk Worth Taking

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then technically I've exceed the requirements for todays assignment; dont you think? Sit, look, and ponder.
Well, I think points for originality and shear cheek should be awarded, at any rate. But that's probably why I rarely get put in charge, isn't it?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Julie Andrew's Unsung Song (Free Write)

“Dear friend, we are here today to counsel you that the time to stop being offended is now." - Elder D. Bednar (Apostle)

No doubt the above advice is something we all need to take seriously and sensibly; but in spite of my greatest and most noble efforts there are still a number of things in this world (and in this county) that make my blood boil and and my eye twitch (the right one, at least) in malevolent disgust. Perhaps by sharing these things we you, loyal readers (thou shalt not snicker) they will become less offensive over time; so let it be written, so let it be done. Amen.

  1. Popped Collars
  2. Presumptuous and unapologetic pedestrians
  3. Bug eye sunglasses
  4. MmmBop
  5. Paulie Shore
  6. Hearing people say "that one movie with Paulie Shore" on campus
  7. Guys who wear pajama pants into the Cougareat
  8. The Maverick Monster
  9. Salesmen who use the missionary tactic of "build a relationship of trust" in the Wilk or Mall
  10. Vegans
  11. Unschool
  12. European swim trunks
  13. Sycophants
  14. Rhombuses ( crafty little devils)
  15. People who use parenthesizes excessively....
  16. The Real World and other MTV atrocities
  17. Hippies
  18. People who talk on their cell phones so that the whole world is keen on 50% of the conversation
  19. Inadvertently meeting Americans in a foreign country
  20. Being surrounded by gigantic black spiders with nothing but a pump action pellet gun for protection and a broken down dune buggy (a dream you wouldn't soon forget either, I guarantee it)
  21. Latter Day Pharisees
  22. iAnything, or at least the notion that something promoted as counterculture can also be mainstream simultaneously.
  23. Esurance
  24. Ulcers
  25. Mountain Standard Time
  26. Awkward Silences
  27. .........................
  28. People who don't get witty jokes
  29. Guys who sing in public places, when they have no business doing so there or anywhere else for that matter.
  30. And finally, to round things out - the word "paradigm"
Well, it's not exactly raindrops on roses but I do feel considerably better than I did beforehand, in fact had I had room for a 31 it would have been "people who complain about too much", nevertheless we all have those certain things that just push the right button, and if you're lucky you'll find yourself in painful proximity to a person who inadvertently, yet skillfully, can push all of them in a choreographed symphony of blistering insanity; Aaah C'est la vie.....

Oh yeah, almost forgot #32 - French ________ (insert word here, excluding toast)

I'd be interested to what the rest of you folk find irksome ~ perhaps a "Top 5" or something

Thursday, February 21, 2008



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cruising at 2:20 a.m. (Rhetorical Analysis)

Stone Temple Pilots: Big Empty off their 1994 album "Purple"

Sing-along Lyrics

Drivin' faster in my car
falling farther from just what we are
smoke a cigarette and lie some more
these conversations kill
falling faster in my car
Time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to take a ride
it leaves today no conversation
time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to wait too long
to wait too long
these conversations kill

To much walkin', shoes worn thin
too much trippin' and my soul's worn thin
time to catch a ride
it leaves today, her name is what it means
to much walkin', shoe's worn thin

(Chorus 2x)

Unlike visual art like paintings, sculptures, etc. musical and specifically lyrical interpretation can be extremely liberal and broad allowing for multiple translations often giving more insight to the individual and not the composer's intentions. That being said, I find little comfort in divulging my interpretation in this Rorschachian experiment. Nevertheless, this song is kickin' and I create a little mental picture for the proper consumption of the piece.

Drugs, Girls, and Loss. Basically every rock song includes at least one to two of these key ingredients, "Big Empty" scores 3/3 for these criteria and even adds fast cars into the mix. The result - ubertestosteronecoolness (oh it's a word, don't cha know)

This was a perfect fit to the soundtrack of "The Crow" that had such gritty dreamlike quality to it. Each verse peaks with the crescendoing chorus before sinking back into the hazy stew of somber reflection and piercing single string guitar picking. Then there is the instrumental bridge that begins at 3:13 and over the next 35 seconds slowly simmers (hows that for a metaphor?) to an eventual overload of emotional riffs and drum beats.

For "some" (nice and vague), it's the perfect song for the open road in the middle of the night , whether around town or cross country and thoughts of personal reflection coupled with sleep depraved apathy are at their most inviting and sleep just isn't an option. All the more lucky are you if you're driving a car with a standard transmission thus allowing for timely shifting and high RPMs. However, should you be lacking a functional fuel pump like "some" of us, you might be reduced to making the shifting sounds with your lips like a 5 year old, possibly bringing unwanted attention to "yourself"; doing so in a supermarket with your cart up and down the aisles is ill advised, 2am or otherwise.

7 points for naming the source of the adjacent picture ---->

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Of Mustache and Men

1 In the beginning (mid 2007) there was the beard.
2 And the bearer of the beard trimmed it to a fashion and saw that it was good.
3 And the Bearded did groom it and wash it and set a border around about it to guard it against his enemies.
4 And for a season, the Bearded did take rest from his labors and departed into a far off land.
5 And after some time, the Bearded returned and found his face shaven and razor-burned, and pale from lack of light, for his enemies had come in the night and taken from him that which was most precious to him in the name of their honor code.
6 And the former Bearded one wept for he saw that his labor was in ruin and his face barren and lo his sorrow was great;
7 And it came to pass, that the Shaven did go forth once again and did sow root in the middle of the face thereof, and did nurture it, and hedged it, and styled it with the tools that he had made of his own hands.
8 And not many days thereafter, his labor was complete; And because his work was not like unto that which he had done prior, he gave it a new name.
9 And the Shaven called it, mustache. Which is to say, guardian of the lip, after the language of his forefathers.
10 And it came to pass, that the mustache did prosper exceedingly in the land; at least so thought the Mustacher.
11 But his enemies did come down again from the hills and from their hiding places disguised in a manner similar to that of the Mustacher; and lo they did work in all manner of abominations and whoredoms, convincing the people of the land that the mustache was the source and power of their iniquities, which were many.
12 And behold, the people knew not the true mustache from the impostor and because they did thus fear so, they did cast them all into the fires, and into pits, and into lions dens; and this they did in their hearts and in their minds and in shifty eyes.
13 And fearing the loss of his own ego, the Mustacher did depart thence from the land into the wilderness northward called Canada; and there he did find peace and sanctuary.

- The Gospel of Yanni, Chapter 5

Ok, but seriously guys, I'm fully aware of what the "stache" looks like; I do have mirror you know. But my condescension and self sacrifice has been the means to a much grander experiment and social observation. Having been on campus consistently now for over 6 weeks, I have discovered infallible proof of the following;

Guys with mustaches can't be nice EVER, only creepy.

At least for those of us who are a) single b) under 35 and c) in happy valley
There is not a hallway you can stroll, no door you can open for someone else, nor lollipop you can offer to little kids out of the back of a van without getting those oh-so-blatant eyes of mistrust. {That being said sometimes sarcasm and satire can even turn around and bite you if you're not too careful(come on, people)}

So where does this perception come from? Well I'm glad you asked, because A-holes throughout history have been abusing their mustache privileges and causing all sorts of negative externalities (side effects) on us modern folk.

Example A: Adolf Hitler.
Not only did this fascist hurt the image of mustache, HE KILLED A WHOLE STYLE!!! Though not my favorite, who knows where the this cut could have been without 60 years of maltreatment.

Example B: Joe Stalin. And he looks like such a lovable Dedushka, doesn't he? But nooooo, genocide was his Christmas gift to all the good little boys and girls

Example C: John Wilkes Booth. Talk about cheap tactics, shooting the president from behind while he's out at the theater. No wonder people don't want you opening doors for them, they're afraid you wack em over the head with a blackjack.

Example D: Jeffrey Dahmer, A bit more of a contemperary creepy mustache serial killer guy look, complete no less with over-sized glasses and a slight smirk.

But just as there are traitors to the cause there are those defending it as well,
Sir Tom Selleck has done more for the mustache in the last 30 years than any human being, bar none. Friend, we salute you. And Albert Einstein? Well you may have an IQ of 180, but you're still a little freaky, thanks for relativity though, that was pretty sweet.

In this world of proclaimed tolerance, I implore you dear reader to look down deep and see the mustache toting man for who he really is - a kindred spirit, worthy of the same justices and confidence of any other man... unless he really is driving a van and has a lisp, in which case run, just run the other way, screaming bloody murder... or better yet, if he's writing insane blogs on Valentine's Day Eve, that should raise a few red flags; but that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Technique: Further down the Rabbit Hole

My original WATCO was centered around the idea of what would happen as more and more children leave the public school system for private schools. It was based on a simple economic model of competition, supply and demand, and free market principles. After several half hours of research apparently I'm talking about vouchers, although I saw the subject sounding a lot cooler in my head. The Voucher program got it's face blown off by the people of Utah in 07; so my immediate relevance has somewhat been shaken considering that Utah Legislators wont touch the subject at all this year. Perhaps I can find a state that is approaching a voucher related vote and position them as an audience. From my brief look at the Utah plan I think the majority of parents agree with the concept of free choice for education, but they don't think their public school systems are so far lost that they're willing to shell out more money for a voucher system.
As of now my position is that vouchers could, with the right regulation and negotiations be awesome, but the execution may be too costly and produce marginal benefits.

It's like unemployment or pollution. You will NEVER get below 3% unemployment and you will NEVER reduce emissions to 0, the cost would increase exponentially the closer you came to these limits; some kids are going to be failures, it's simple statistics. No matter how many computers, or teacher student ratio improvements, or standardize tests you throw at them, some will get "left behind". That being said, the effects that the mere threat of vouchers (a flawed system) has on parent and public awareness of public schools (a FLAWED system) in and of itself has tremendous benefits in reform. Monopolies are bad (public schools with teachers having virtually unlimited job security), unions are bad (NEA), and increased government intervention is bad. No wonder more parents are home schooling their kids (a flawed and naive system)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Techical: Education Brainstorm

I'm not sure what this is supposed to look like, but I'm going to play word association for this topic, with each word in the list being the immediate association with the one prior to it. I kind of have a direction but perhaps this will lead to uncharted and heartier waters. Enjoy.

Private Schools.
Cost/Benefit Analysis.
Quantitative Results.
U.S. vs. The World.
Cultural Influence.
Bilingualism, advantages.
Structured vs. Liberal approaches.
Military School.

Well, we're 6 feet closer to nowhere than when we started. In general I'm not interested in the U.S. federal education system, it's simply too big, too slow, and too unchangeable. However, lack of interest doesn't rule out necessity of topic selection, now does it? An associate of mine (yes, once upon a time I had associates, or at least I walked around like I did) once mentioned it was his dream to create a private school that would resemble a business school more so than an elementary school. Economics, real estate, finance, accounting, and law would be more common curriculum over the sciences, arts, etc. No single system is the answer for every child, mailable though they may be. The best way to reform public schools is to give them competition and the more options that become available and accessible to parents, the more tax dollars get routed to the private sector and force Washington to really accomplish something.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mixed Martial Arts: Sensible Brutality (FREE WRITE)

A bag of M&M's and a glass of milk. That's my brain trust for this evening's topic.

In the beginning there was an idea. Locker room talk of which discipline of martial arts was superior and what would happen if you put conflicting styles against one another. Boxer vs. Sumo, Wrestler vs. Muay Thai? These questions become dollars for the young entrepreneurs of the UFC in the first ever, "no rules", pay-per-view tournament. It was bare knuckle fights with the option of knock out, tap out, or referee intervention and the results were stunning. Three years into the sport, John McCain received a video tape of a UFC bout and attempted to get the company banned from exhibition opportunities in all 50 states. "Barbarism" was one of his favorite words in his crusade against the young sport. What's hypocritical about this is that McCain was a fan of traditional boxing, which research has shown to be a far more "brutal" and, dare I say, savage option for fighters of fortune. Granted there is more blood, faster action, and hightened aggression in a mixed martial arts fight there is the single most key principle, that when a man is knocked out, the fight is immediately over, end of story, and fights never last over 25 minutes In boxing a man can go over 40 minutes of constant trauma to the brain, get knocked down and thus, knocked out, several times and still be allowed to fight. One need only listen to a rant from Sylvester Stallone to understand what permanent brain damage can do to someone.

Because of all the political pressure over the last 15 years there have been modifications to the sport. Gloves are worn, crotch shots and hits to the back of the skull have been made illegal, weight classes were introduced and excessive blood loss or impaired vision can lead to a fights end. Late last year McCain even reversed his original stated opinion, though considering his presidential election hopes, little anyone says in his position is believable. Fighters are far more versed in defending themselves against a number of attacks and submissions and generally have longer careers than traditional boxers. Although MMA has lost some of its original appeal and the variety of fighters has become watered down, the sport is still growing and a number of competitor companies such as Pride and WEC is proof of the increased demand for this style of fighting.
In the end, guys like watching other guys beat the crap out of each other.

Pictured Left, and by left I mean right: Brian Stann, 1st Lieutenant USMC, MMA light heavyweight contender, certifiable Capt. Awesome.