Saturday, March 27, 2010

random joke

I was reading on, a great (and somewhat vulgar) way to waste time. I cried when I read this joke (it has been edited slightly for politeness).

Three men who were lost in the forest were captured by
cannibals. The cannibal king told the prisoners that they could
live if they pass a trial. The first step of the trial was to go
to the forest and get ten pieces of the same kind of fruit. So
all three men went separate ways to gather fruits.

The first one came back and said to the king, "I brought ten

The king then explained the trial to him. "You have to
shove the fruits up your butt without any expression on your
face or you'll be eaten."

The first apple went in... but on the second one he winced out
in pain, so he was killed.

The second one arrived and showed the king ten berries. When the
king explained the trial to him he thought to himself that this
should be easy. 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8... and on the
ninth berry he burst out in laughter and was killed.

The first guy and the second guy met in heaven. The first one
asked, "Why did you laugh? You almost got away with it" The
second one replied, "I couldn't help it, I saw the third guy
coming with pineapples."

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, it's finally time. Dani and I are leaving this apartment. We've really enjoyed our time living here--we've been here for almost three years (2 years and 9 months, to be precise). We've had a lot of wonderful neighbors here, and some not-so-wonderful neighbors (Stogey's Smoke Shop and Ozz, namely). We've had a lot of fun in this ward. N and V were born here.

Unfortunately, our apartment has grown very cramped with two kids. We have to move furnature around every night to comfortably sleep everyone. V sleeps in our bedroom until we go to sleep--at which time we shift our living room around a bit and roll her out to sleep near the book-cases.

Right after we got home from Arizona this last Christmas, we realized that we wouldn't be able to stay comfortable for the next year or so while I finished school, and we started looking for a house to buy. This new job has been very good for us financially, and we've been saving up for this since I started working there.

Well, when we did our taxes, our return brought us to exactly where we needed to be to get a down payment on a home. We looked and looked, and found a number that had a lot of potential. Long story short, we found one.

Incidently, the google street view is one of the best pictures we have of the exterior. The house is 2600 sq ft, was built in 1980, has five bedrooms and three baths. It's currently occupied--this house was a short-sale. Here's the upstairs living room:
We really feel like we found the diamond in the rough. There are quite a few smaller jobs that need to be done on this house, but it is, overall, in great condition.
It has a huge backyard for N to run around in. we'll be planting a garden this Spring and I'll be making plans to build a swing set for the girls. Here's a pretty good shot of the south-half of the yard:
Here's the kitchen, it's really quite spacious, but some of the appliances need updating. Dani and I are planning on putting in a new stove and dishwasher.
This is the room that I'll probably spend a lot of time in, the downstairs basement. This house is already wired with cat 5e (computer network/internet jacks in the walls), and is good to go for fiber optic internet access. I'm very excited to get a 60mbps dedicated line to my office.

I don't know what we'll do with the bar. . .that door leads to the hot-tub outside (we're hoping we can get it working). I just see it as desk space, honestly, and a good item for entertaining guests.

Did I mention that this house has two kitchens? The basement one only lacks a stove. Actually, if we finish the last room in the basement to be a bathroom--then the basement could be a nice renter's apartment. We plan on doing that as quickly as we're able to. It will take a while, as we need to redo all the bedrooms too. In case you can't tell how ugly they are from this picture, let me point out that these walls are wood-paneled, not drywalled. I'm gonna have a "bedroom vs crowbar" day after we close on this room.

So, there's a quick whirl-wind tour of our soon-to-be dwelling. We're very excited to be moving up in the world here. I'm excited for the heated workshop attached to the garage, and N is very excited for the back yard. Dani is just happy to give V her own room, so she can have the chance to catch a breather when she's particularly fussy.

We'll be moved in by the end of April, and we'll close in the next two or three weeks.

Monday, March 15, 2010


N: Mom can I have a tot tard?
Me: Don't you mean a Hot Dog?
N: Yeah! A Tot Tard!

Friday, March 12, 2010

When N Calls

N got hold of her mother's phone today, and called me while I was on the bus.

N: Daddy?
Me: Yes sweet heart?
N: Is dis daddy?
Me: Yes, sweet heart. What can I do for you?
N: Can I get something to eat?

I almost busted up laughing.
Me: You might want to ask your mother, since I'm not there.
N: Um, okay, bye!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

N says

Picture: Todd at his desk with N on his lap
Todd: "She's feeding me her crackers."
Dani: "Guess she thinks daddy's too skinny."
N: "Yeah! He's ski-ee!" And pops another cracker in his mouth.

Picture: N on the couch looking out the window and Dani on her desk chair researching kitchen appliances.
N: "Cuh-we-go outside?"
Dani: "You need a yard to run around in. We need a house."
N: "Yeah! Et's get a hows!"

Picute: V swinging in her swing.
N: "Is a goo baby!"

Wii My Fitness Coach

So, Dani and I wanted to buy the Wii fit for a long time now. We just saw the balance board and the training exercises as so cool. Well, long story short, it still hasn't happened, and the deadline for it has past. Dani and I started looking for alternatives to in-home fitness. We tried Julian Michaels for a bit, but it made me sick to my stomach every time I did one of her workouts. We tried Tae-bo with Billy Banks for a while too, but it just moved so fast that Dani and I could hardly keep up.

I knew, from advertisements and what not, that Wii Fit was not the first workout or in-home fitness program for the Wii, I just couldn't remember the name of the first one I saw. Julian Michaels has her wii game, and there are a number of other newer ones, but I wanted to find that older one.

Today, almost by accident, I found it on It's call My Fitness Coach, by Ubisoft. It doesn't require anything but a wii to use, but can make use of an aerobics platform, hand weights, heart monitor, and exercise ball if you have them. They have 480 work-outs on file, and they start you off with a comprehensive health exam. They test cadio vascular, upper body, lower body, and flexibility. Based on your initial test results, they give you a recommended workout. In my case, it recommended upper body strength--something I've always been lacking in.

Well, I just bought it today, but already it's way better than any workout DVD I've ever used. It covers all the core health and fitness fundamentals--target heart zones, workout lengths, different types of resistance, endurance, and overall muscle strength. Sadly, Ubisoft put out a second My Fitness Coach and it totally tanked because they replaced the 3D trainer with workout video clips, so there probably won't be a third by them.

What it lacks is the intuition and experimental aspects of personal training. The trainer cheers at you and encourages you to keep going--and it does help, because she does it when you start slowing down, or when the workout is starting to get hard.

So, if you don't have the $100 extra for Wii Fit, $17 for My Fitness Coach will get you just as good a workout, and you won't need any extra equipment either. If you can't afford a personal trainer and a gym membership, well, this is probably the next best thing.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Violent Video Games

This is a subject that is very close-to-home for me. First off, I play violent video games. I play them often. I've been told that I'm really pretty good at them, and I have a knack for it. I am a gamer, and I don't feel like I need to apologize for that.

I read a report on a study among 130,000 people that concluded that violent video games increase the frequency of aggressive thoughts, and decrease pro-social behavior in everyone, regardless of age, sex, or culture. I'm inclined to believe it's true, even without seeing the data. Psychology is a "soft science," but it is a science and not an art.

The reason why I believe it's true is because I believe that we always absorb what we're around. Even if we try to avoid it, and even if we can completely transcend a situation, all you really are doing is slow the rate of absorption.

That being said, I don't believe violent video games are going away. They are entertaining. They are a great way to release frustration--even if not the most socially-healthy release. In many cases, violent video games are purely used as a social catalyst--like a movie, but usually simulate conversation.

Sadly, some people who play these games argue that it doesn't affect them. In reality, they are lying to themselves. You can't be given information, in any form, and not be influenced by it. The effects might be small--even unnoticable--but it is ignorance to say they aren't there.

I know that violent video games affect me, I know how much they affect me. I think the important thing when playing violent video games is that you counter those negative effects with positive ones. So long as you have positive social outlets outside of video games, you can have positive influences negate the negative influences that video games some times have.

It's like TV, or going to the movies, or just about any popular form of entertainment. There will be bad influences on you. Just make sure you have good influences outweighing the bad. Go outside, run, play a sport, go to a party, read a book, and doing things to keep your character and interests well rounded will negate the negative effects of violent video games.

One last point I'd like to make: watch yourself. Put yourself in the same real-life situation as the character. If you were in the middle of the battlefield being shot at, would you really care about how many times you shot enemy soldiers in the head? Make sure you still feel remorse when playing a game. Make sure you recognize, consciously, that if this were real you'd handle it in a human manner. If you can't do that while playing a game, and you're getting so into it that you lose sight of reality, then that game is bad and you shouldn't play it anymore.

So, I don't think I'm going to stop playing Crysis, or Team Fortress 2, or Halo, or any game like that, but I do recognize that I could stand more positive influences in my life, since I have noticed a decline in my own "pro-social" behavior.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....