Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
And this duo can scat!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Surely our Heavenly Father “knoweth what things [we] have need of, before [we] ask him.” Pondering this scripture has helped me to appreciate more fully the power of prayer and how through inspiration we can ask the ‘right’ things. Knowing what things I need to learn and do gives me the greatest satisfaction in my day.The prophets teach that men (and women) should “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” And if through the test of faith we feel as the prophet Nephi described, being “led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which he should do,” then rest assured that the Lord will not disparage nor leave us comfortless, for he promises the faithful, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” This is especially true even when things don't exactly seem to be going our way as it was for the prophet Joseph Smith during some of the darkest days of his life, having been wrongfully accused by his closest friends and incarcerated in
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It is quite remarkable to think that newborns have already learned the pattern of their native language just by observing their parents voices in utero. It would seem that our most rapid strides in learning take place in our infancy. Babies are like little mental sponges absorbing and analyzing vast amounts of data. Babies are also very efficient food processors and they like to poop, a lot.
We come into this mortal world having left from a much more exalted realm, a pre-mortal existence, learning and progressing as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. No wonder babies are quick studies, look where they all come from! As Wordsworth wrote, they come "trailing clouds of glory."
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This is the message that the Maroochydore High School, Queensland, Australia staff voted unanimously to record on their school telephone answering machine.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
I'm grateful for these one-on-one moments. I can learn so much from them. For example, I asked my dad how we was able to deal with so many low-blows throughout his career. He responded exuberantly that the Lord had always provided avenues for him to make a living even in the bleakest of times. It was never an easy road, it required sacrifice and diligent effort, but the Lord provided for our family. This heartfelt testimony from a parent can be one of the most powerful influences on a child. There is a grand purpose to this life and it begins and ends with family.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I've always had the distinct impression when I see a newborn that they carry with them a clear memory of their heavenly home. Apart from their cries and other gurgling petitions, what if their tongues could be loosed just for a moment and they could speak to our understanding? What would they tell us or remind us of?
Last year I helped out in the primary with all the kiddos during church and during our brief lessons when we could actually keep their attention away from screaming their lungs out for Mom or running wildly around the room, we would occasionally hear some simple yet powerfully deep thought uttered from their little mouths in response to whatever the lesson happened to be on. It reminds me of the scripture in Alma 32:23 "And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times, which confound the wise and the learned." Very cool indeed. General Conference weekend is upon us and I'm excited to hear some more inspirational thoughts from apostles and prophets.
Here's Rhys and Liz aka the "A team" with baby Forster:
* - not essential but definitely worth it if you have the chance.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So this brings up a good question: how do you stay awake at work? Let me share a few exercises that can be done right in the privacy of your own cubicle; however, if that's not an option, try the parking lot or an abandoned elevator shaft. First, raise one foot and try balancing while periodically bringing one hand to your nose. This will probably look silly so you should only do this if you are not overly self conscious and/or have a sweet headband:
And if exercise isn't your thing, then perhaps eating is. Raisins get the saliva glands pumping, ripe apples always have a good kick and opening a can of tuna is like opening a can of 'Hello World' ocean potpourri. Crazy as they sound they all work and will keep you working, right up until it's time to go to the restroom.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This afternoon, a most amusing sight caught my eye:
It would seem that this male behavior stems from the void of certain femininity. Look how still these male specimens lie on the pavement as if immobilized by the thought; "What's for dinner?" Surely left to their own devices, men would slowly solidify into statues, and some hungry statues at that. But honestly, where on Earth would we be without the righteous women in our lives? Most likely up the creek, paddle-less, and hopelessly lost despite the extra concentration of iron in our noses.
Elder Uchtdorf sums it up well, ".. you [women] are endowed with a divine birthright. You are the real builders of nations wherever you live, because strong homes of love and peace will bring security to any nation. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fullness of the gospel."
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Prophets in the scriptures would on several occasions climb to the tops of mountains and other high places to speak with God and receive His divine counsel. In somewhat similar fashion I too have trekked the heights seeking answers to prayer, and come away with a thankful heart.
After several days of haze, the clouds finally parted and I took full advantage of the weather to share a few pictures to y'all (click on the pictures for greater resolution):
Monday, August 31, 2009
After stewing the herbs and other ingredients for a good 12 hours it was finally ready to serve. In all honesty it wasn't as bad as I thought, nothing at all like mom's hot tati recipe of death. So here's a toast to vitality and may you live to a hundred years!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Despite the bad wrap, I am thankful for my father's long-standing commitment to "just eat it." Truth be known, one of my biggest peeves is a picky eater. Perhaps if a 'no picky eating' lifestyle were adopted, there would be world peace. Hear me out; increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and fiber will lead to a grand exodus of gastrointestinal fumes, relieving stress and improving consistency. This boost in mental health will certainly help people better cope with one another and thus lay the ground work for global harmony. No picky eaters in my house I say. Choose you this day what you shall eat.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
As part of my daily googling, I learned that "wrestling is one of Mongolia’s age-old 'Three Manly Skills' (along with horsemanship and archery)." Thankfully I am not deplete of the essence of manliness. But had I been reared in the steppes of Asia I would have become a great proficient. I can picture myself in jodag (a tight, collarless, heavy-duty short-sleeved jacket) and gutal (leather boots) creating no small stir among Mongolian women.
Other skills I believe are worthy of "manliness" are:
Yak Riding and
Monday, July 27, 2009
I heard some staggering statistics today about the rising costs of health care. Approximately 9 cents of every dollar spent on health care goes toward treating obesity-caused illnesses, culminating in a whopping 93 billion dollars every year! I read such findings and wonder how is it that some people can pack on weight effortlessly while other people, like me who go to extraordinary effort, manage only to evaporate weight by way of processing a few brainwaves and ka-ZAM it disappears into 'thin' air. Well, patience is a virtue I suppose. The journey of a thousand juicy meatball sandwiches starts with just one bite, and I intend to finish that journey.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Yesterday I was privileged to experience the wonders of modern medicine in the form of a technologically modified garden hose. Jamming this pricey contraption down my esophagus yielded no buried treasure or other abnormalities which in one way is comforting to know. A good sister in the ward drove me to and from the hospital, wrote down the doctor's diagnosis, and made sure I had food to eat at home. This and many other acts of genuine kindness have taught me that the Lord is truly mindful of the needs of His children and that through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, each of us can help build the kingdom of God. His tender mercies are all around us once we awaken our spiritual eyes to behold and receive them.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
For some time now my health has been anything but regular, though lately I've found a few ways to keep my mind and body at ease. Morning and afternoon walks through nearby Highland Park are relaxing, but add some pseudo Tai Chi Yoga and you've got a world of awesomeness. I always stop at my special post and begin warm-ups followed by an improvisatory routine of Tai Chi, learned from a DVD I ordered at Amazon.com, coupled with brief and simple Yoga poses found on the internet. In a strange way I feel like Rocky as he trains for the next big fight or Karate Kid as he balances on a pier, striking a sweet pose, and peering out into the deep expansive ocean. Sure the onlookers probably wonder what that tall skinny white dude is up to, but to me, I only hear the soft brushing of leaves in the wind. But enough soliloquy, go to your happy place(s)!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My body is trying to tell me something important, though in a foreign language. I'm just trying to figure out how a 27 year old, relatively disease-free individual, could contract a 2+ week episode of furiously constant (nigh unto insanity) heartburn having no prior history of acid reflux? Diet changes and acid-reducing drugs seem to have only temporary effect.
I suspect fowl play.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The adage goes "The idle mind is the devil's workshop." I am currently battling an idle state at work due to program cuts and doing my best not to succumb to the ill effects of cerebral scurvy. The corporate compliance training courses have begun to invade my REM sleep with their ethics dialogue. On the plus side I know that if I ever have a question about export control that I can always go to the export control lady whose office spans the coastal beaches of Peru and is a Karate Grandmaster. Freaky dreams aside, idleness is a very real danger and I'm beginning to see just how many things in my day-to-day life are affected by that rotten scoundrel. Awake and arise, O ye slumbering nations!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Fluffy pancakes, fluffy biscuits, and now fluffy galaxies. For years scientists have been perplexed by observations which reveal ‘fluffy’ central regions of merging elliptical galaxies where large black holes reside. As these supermassive black holes unceremoniously binge-eat neighboring stars like Denny’s grand slam specials, one would expect to see a bend rather than a bulge at their cosmic core. Thanks to a team of astronomers made up from
Stellar buffet-style comes with a price. When two supermassive black holes enter the same hen house, feathers fly as rival Alpha-males dance-off to a rendition of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” while the backlash from their sweet awesome moves slingshots the whole coup of stars off into space and thus giving rise to a fluffy ending.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I am a young and relatively health-minded individual, intimately acquainted with a vast array of trigger comestibles and their "undesired effects" upon the human body. For example, five years ago on a lazy summer day I discovered how ingesting copious amounts of dried prunes may speed up the delicate process of the digestive tract. Unbeknown to me, chicory root extract is a not-so-distant relative to my dried prune buddies. And to evince you of the truth of such claims, take a closer look at the the nutritional facts on the side of the box:
As you can see, a single serving of one bar contains 9 grams of fiber (or ~35% of your daily valuable assuming a 2,000 daily calorie intake), yet despite this figure, the health benefits do not outweigh the potential risk of unleashing a staggering 490g of total farts (or roughly a DV of %6000) into the atmosphere. So what does this mean to the average working Joe? It means you stay in your cubicle, act normal and if anyone offers you a bag of dried prunes, just say no.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Wife: "There's trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "Water in the carburetor? That's ridiculous."
Wife: "I tell you the car has water in the carburetor."
Husband: "You don't even know what a carburetor is. Where's the car?"
Wife: "In the swimming pool."
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Linking engineering principles to life lessons and the eternities is not a strong point of mine, yet this dynamic system is of particular interest to me. As I recall from analog feedback controls coursework, time domain parameters such as overshoot, rise time, settling time and ringing for a given system may be analyzed to design a controller to help minimize those undesired quantities. But controllers aside, "Formally, knowing the step response of a dynamical system gives information on the stability of such a system, and on its ability to reach one stationary state when starting from another," as cut and pasted from our friends at Wikipedia :)
So how does this control theory jargon apply to you and me in a spiritual sense? Simply put, as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father (second order systems), our faithful (optimal) response in giving head to spiritual promptings (e.g., analog or digital system inputs) will determine our success and happiness (system stability) in this life and the life to come and how we can mature spiritually as exemplified by the Savior, from "grace to grace" (i.e. ability to transition from one state to another), until at the end we reach that perfect day (no overshoot, rise time is near instantaneous, and settling time and ringing are n/a).
And just so you don't think I'm trying to pull a fast one on you, here's a snapshot of the step response for a common second order system:
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Acclaimed author, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once wittingly remarked, "In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." My take on this phrase is that a "no pain no gain" mentality can help one to avoid contracting "social hernias" brought on from past regrets. In essence, it is imperative to understand and be willing at times to "take it like a man," especially when life gives you atomic lemons. But can this really be healthy? Of course, just as healthy as getting sucker punched or the age old character building experience of explosive diarrhea. But like all helpful advice, be prudent and act responsibly (e.g. do not operate heavy machinery whilst "taking it like a man").
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
So from now on, it's all about keeping myself from doing really stupid things.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Taste Bud Revolting, and
Luckily I was able eat enough to avoid developing any of these symptoms, and instead experiencing:
*Weight Gain, and
Complete Nirvana (thanks Rhys and Liz!)
* - Sadly effects are only temporary
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In light of these circumstances and also remembering the fact that there sits a sparkly corporate medical benefits plan totally untouched atop the top shelf like a proverbial cookie jar, I stuck my hand in a pulled out a chiropractor visit. Today happened to be my first "adjustment" which is just a fancy way for saying man-handled by a fully licensed professional 'bent' on subluxation jargon. This is not a sugar coated experience by any means especially for first timers such as myself; however, it sure beats the alternative. I did learn one helpful tip that saved me quite a bit of sleep last night: sleep on the floor.
not on the stomach silly :)
Monday, April 13, 2009
Precise measurements are crucial and great care should be taken to ensure correct ingredient amount, nigh unto the atomic weight. So I ended up making my regular pbj sandwich on butt bread today which tasted just like it sounds, though looking on the brighter side, I think I've invented a material more resilient than articular cartilage.
Friday, April 3, 2009
"A minister was urged by his congregation to explain the difference between heaven and hell. 'They're not as different as you might think,' he said. 'In heaven, the British are the policemen, the Germans are the mechanics, the Swiss run the trains, the French do the cooking, and the Italians are the lovers. In hell, only minor changes take place. The Germans are the policemen, the French are the mechanics, the Italians run the trains, the British do the cooking, and the Swiss are making love.' "
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I wore a tie to work and caused an office upheaval. Everyone was asking me if I had an interview or a big presentation that day but in fact I had just wanted to wear the new shirt, shoes and tie I got at a fantastic discount from Kohls. In the past two weeks I have spent a pretty penny at said department store acquiring new cooking ware and clothing among other fanciful yet utilitarian items. I am pleased when I find bargains and now that I have 'some' disposable income I can be a little less stringent from my college days of not buying anything that wasn't absolutely necessary* to keep myself alive (*not including Chipotle burritos).
The weather is beginning to smile upon the inhabitants of Binghamton. I hope there's enough time to enjoy the Spring foliage like the autumn colors of last October. Beauteous!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
For those that are unawares, I am a sunbeam teacher (ages 3-4?) in Sunday school and for two hours each Sunday I sing songs and teach the kids about Jesus and not about hitting each other. It's actually beginning to get better from only a few weeks ago when the kids would scream for Mommy or run around the room losing various articles of clothing along the way. I've found that the best way I can keep their attention is by playing my violin for them and bringing other interesting props. For example, I brought in a a piece of fruit to represent the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and got a little carried away:
In other news I bought a top-of-the-line Belgian waffle maker that oddly enough made me a smidgen giggly. I was about to buy some other cooking items like a huge wok or an earthshaking spatula but decided against it as their massive dimensions would serve me little purpose other than to clobber intruders. Though I suppose I could then restore them back to health with tasty waffles...
Monday, March 2, 2009
I watched the Sound of Music last weekend and found myself singing "Do Re Mi" all day long. That also made me smile. And did you ever realize what a babe Liezel was? Sure she's probably around my mother's age now but thanks to the gift of motion picture she is forever fine.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Earlier today I helped make some strawberry filled Mochi - a Japanese desert - with some friends and it was rich in flavor and texture. It also happens to be one of the messier foods to make. There must a direct correlation between the quality of foods and the amount of cleanup required afterward.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
All of this thinking has prompted me to remember to always keep an eternal perspective in all that I do. Having this beyond-line-of-sight can help clear the less-insignificant cobwebs and obstructions in life that creep up all around. It makes the little things each day worth living and the big things just that much more. In essence, having an eternal perspective helps one find joy in the journey.
My random thought for the day is brought to you by the letter A, as in air. Air has many stunning uses as you know and one of particular awesomeness is insulation. I guess everything is an insulator to some degree, but next time you unplug a current-happy cord from an electrical socket and sparks shoot out, think about how wonderful air is for keeping you safe from Mr. Zap and his ionizing buddies.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Cornell is the kind of school that the typifies the movie 'Dead Poet's Society.' As I walked the corridors of the gothic-like construction I could almost hear the paintings on the wall of generations past chant "Carpe Diem" - or perhaps it was my stomach fond of a lunch break.
I had a blast, met a lot of new friends and even managed to get my groove on. One of the crazy activities Saturday night was a battle royal of Ice Soccer and it's pretty much what the name implies. Picture an ice rink, two goals, a soccer ball and ~30 people falling all over their rumps feverishly attempting to dribble the ball in street shoes. It's a miracle no one managed to crack their skull open but honestly I cannot remember the last time I had this much fun. Slide tackles and body checking were no strangers on the ice but rather a sense of the vertical. Needless to say we were all incredibly sore the next day in church - and there was much rejoicing...
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
1) Professional Male Wrestling
2) Video game instructor
3) Anything to do with 'Adult Only'
4) Whoopee cushion manufacturer
5) Fake ID/Visa/Passport dealers
6) Sea Shepperd
7) Lumber jacking on protected land
8) Pimps & company
9) Anything to do with the Tobacco industry
10) Casino & online gambling
11) Spam mailers
12) Identity phishing
13) Mafia henchmen or other muscle for hire
15) Day trader
16) Bingo caller on a cruise ship
17) Lawyers (the kind that preys on the weaknesses of society)
18) Politician (the kind that is bought with the right price)
19) Professional beggars
20) Illegal immigration 'coyote' smugglers
21) Narcotics Dealer
22) Patent 'Whores'
23) Get-rich-quick scam artists
24) Weapons smuggling
25) Seal Clubbing
There ye be warned. But enough of the obvious, there are a myriad of jobs that fall in between the Admirable and Not-So Admirable spectrum. One of the many odd things about myself is my fascination with reading first-hand accounts of hilariously crumby jobs and laughing along. So with that, what's the worst job you ever had?
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1) Snow Plowers
2) Rocket Scientists
4) IT gurus
5) FDA scientists/quality assurance personnel
7) Commercial Airline Pilots
8) Public Works - including Garbage men!
9) Music Teachers
10) Micro Drivers in Santiago, Chile
13) Orchestra pit musicians
15) Public School Teachers
17) Air Traffic Controllers
18) Truck Driver
21) Military servicemen and women
23) Supply Chain Managers - thanks Jared!
Next weeks list: 25 Not-so Admirable Professions
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
In other news, I cooked-up a fresh pot of homemade chicken soup last Saturday and then promptly seasoned it with salt & pepper and garden seasoning. Nothing. Then I added some garlic powder and cumin. Still no difference in taste. I have yet to deduce the root cause behind the mysteriously strong kick which now holds my soup captive though I have a general idea that it started with the thought, "hey, I have Cajun seasoning!" Luckily I discovered an easy fix to stomach said spicy stew: hearty servings of barbecue sauce.
Now that's a happy ending.