Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today is my thirtieth birthday. I guess that is another step on the Confucian Journey:

At fifteen, I set my heart on learning. At thirty, I was firmly established. At forty, I had no more doubts. At fifty, I knew the will of heaven. At sixty, I was ready to listen to it. At seventy, I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing what was right. (Analects, 2:4)

I feel a little bit bad that I am not anywhere close to being firmly established, but I guess doubting if I am doubt-free at forty will be worse.
I don't even really know why I am writing, maybe it's because senility is one step closer. Maybe I just wanted to ignore the propriety of generation gaps and go a little sagacious on y'all. I'm not sure.

My sister gave me a book for my birthday, and I guess it is supposed to guide my attitude for when I wake up tomorrow morning since it is full of the "born again" and "this day" rubbish I don't really care for.

But this one spoke to me:

"I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet will I endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge." (Og Mandino)

That's it. I'll leave you with that, and go back to my counting coup with pain. After all, "the slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny." You?


Monday, March 17, 2008

Treasure in My Basement

Amazing that we can start to accumulate junk after only living in a place for a year. I thought we de-trashed when we moved out of University Housing, but I guess not. This Saturday I spent some time cleaning out some boxes of stuff that have remained packed until now, and low and behold I found some CDs I have been looking for. One is a compilation of a few bands and has some rare and unreleased (on albums) songs by bands like The Bad Brains, Green Day, and NOFX. Speaking of NOFX they are coming to Salt Lake in May. I haven't seen them in a long time, but their blatant irreverence still manages to point out the obvious. Here's a taste for those curious.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Go Away, Sunny Day

I'm a scientist. I've been trained to be one. So what exactly does that mean?
I would say that means I use hypothesis driven research to answer questions. In other words, when faced with a problem I start asking questions. Once I have some background information, I form some kind of idea, and then go about poking holes in it until it crumbles to the ground, or it pokes back.
If asked the right way, any idea can be broken down into IS or IS NOT. For example, take the statement "Pure water is made of Hydrogen and Oxygen." As most of us know, that statement IS true. Or another example "Obama will be the next president." At this point, the statement must remain a hypothesis until we can further test it, but there will come a day that the statement will be either one of the IS, or one of the IS NOTs.
So what about God and religion. I can make the statement "God exists." As with the above examples, this statement must too join the ranks of IS or IS NOT. What I find interesting is that people both inside and outside of religion seem so afraid of testing this hypothesis. Is it bad to question God's existence? I would argue that it IS NOT bad to question, because by questioning we can find the answer. What are people afraid of? Are the religious more afraid of finding out the answer might be IS NOT, or are the non-religious more afraid of finding out the answer is IS? And why do we hate each other for asking (or not)...
The fact is, the statement "God exists" has a literal answer. Accepting it or not in no way impacts the answer. But does the answer itself make an impact? - that is the real question.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A little late, but worth the wait. Halloween will always be the greatest holiday of them all. When else is cross-dressing humorous, monsters a friendly sight, and blood a joy?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Prophet's Passing

Following Jerin's Lead, I thought I could weigh in. I don't have any special story of Gordon B. Hinckley. I shook his hand once, but didn't exchange pleasantries, but I think I can imagine the conversation if we had. It would have been like talking to a friend, one that you feel comfortable opening up to, and are always sure of their sincerity and loyalty.
They say that the true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good. With President Hinckley, he treated everyone exactly the same, so you could never tell who he liked or valued more, everyone was the same. I guess he measures pretty high.
The weather was bleak on Monday. Somehow I think it is fitting that the sky was clouded over, weeping frozen tears and the wind moaning all day long. It was as though our mother earth knew that she had lost a good soul, and was mourning with us all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Interweb - the good, the bad, and the wiki.

2008. Good Crap.
I remember 10 years ago when I was in high school making mixed tapes, and zines. Sometimes the tapes included our own music recorded as we all stood around the ghetto-blaster, and the zines were full of pics of local events, and our own anti-everything articles. I remember when the radio was one of the most fascinating things ever - free music, cool DJs, announcements of all the local shows and events. Thanks to the internet all this has changed...

I made a mixed "tape" for Amei yesterday. That means I pulled up iTunes and drag-and-dropped a bunch of files into a playlist and burned a CD. Gone are the days of speaker-to-mic recording from your buddy's deck to yours. Gone are the days of double tape decks, pushing "play" on the left, and "record" on the right. The CD took 10 minutes, and sounds amazing. The tapes took hours and sometimes days, but sounded amazing.

Now if I was going to make a zine, I would probably use Adobe Publisher. Start with a nice template, import some photos right-click-copied from the internet, and arranged around my spell-checked rhetoric. Gone are the days of scotch taped cutouts aesthetically placed around typewriter editorials, then photocopied at the local kinko's for 5 cents a page. Gone are the days of hand collated pages, stapled down th middle, folded and placed in a backpack to be handed out at school or the next punk rock show.

And the radio. Maybe I take it for granted, but there are only 2 or 3 stations even worth programming into my one-touch favorites these days. Even these shows are bowing to capitalism, replete with advertisment for the newest and hottest text-messaging-GPS-mp3-cell phone that only costs $250 after a mail in rebate of $500. Sure these couple of stations still hit on local events. But it is all the filler that irks me. Gone are the days of truly independent, local, and interesting radio.

So maybe you are asking yourself "what the heck does this have to do with the internet?" The answer is everything. Thanks to downloadable music, there isn't much room, or necessity for porting around a walkman anymore. If you want some music, just open up google and type in the name of your favorite artist. I'm sure someone will have a sight dedicated to them, with a few free songs for your listening pleasure. Or if you want to fork out the buck a song, you can hit iTunes or other similar services. The radio? Sure you still turn on the radio in your car and listen to what they give you. But now thanks to streaming audio, anybody, anywhere sitting in front of a computer can access shows from all over the world. This means that local shows now have broad based audiences and the corporate bandwagon shows up with ad revenue enticements that fill up the majority of the air-time. The zine. The fact that I am writing a blog right now should answer that. Everyone now has free, reletively labor-less access to promote their ideas and media.

Ask yourself, has the internet done us a favor? or has it eliminated the true labors of love?

I miss the handmade zine, but I love instant access to a million ideas. I miss my ghetto-blaster, but I love my iPod. I miss my radio, but I love surfing the independent casts from around the globe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Salvation Army Veteran

I've been shy, trying to figure out how to break the ice and write my first ever blog post. I guess now that I have an ipod, a flat screen TV, and now officially a blog, the only thing left in my modernization is to learn to text message.

I figure that for the most part I don't have anything of particular interest to say, so maybe just a good old story will suffice.

For those that know me, you will also know that I am not a big fan of Christmas. I won't digress to elaborate at this point, but a recent event rekindled my anti-love of the season - I went to Smith's Market Place here in Salt Lake to get my fix of antacids and diet Dr. Pepper, only to be met at the door by a vagrant. He looked to be about 40 years old, nice crusty clothes, a 3+ day of facial hair growth, and the grimy suitcase to complete the set. As I walked past he asked gruffly for change, "hey dude, got any change?" I politely responded (honestly), "I don't carry cash." To which he backlashed, "that's bullsh** man, you're so full of sh**, that's the worst fu**@$#" excuse I've ever heard!"

Fantastic. What else can I say. I almost turned around to respond, but a women was on her way out of the store where she had just donated her spare change to the salvation army guy inside. Again he demanded, "hey lady, got any cash?" To which she responded (honestly), "I just gave it to the salvation army guy inside." His rebutle? "Fu*&#! bi$^#, what the hell did you do that for? I'm a salvation army vet!! And it's christmas, you should give it to me you damn hore!"

Fantastic. What else can I say. The fact that the commercialization of Christmas has penetrated to the lowest levels that even the vagrants EXPECT to get extra this time of year just reminds me how far from the truth we really are. Not to mention getting cussed out for not giving.

Maybe I will take pictures next time...