Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (no PC-ness here!) and was able to enjoy family, friends and the reason we celebrate this time of year.

With the exception of the two-hour delay at LaGuardia causing us to get back to the apartment a little after 1am, our trip to NYC rocked. We stayed plenty busy, played the part of tourist by taking nearly 200 pictures in the six days and hitting the major sites the capitol of the world had to offer. To get a better idea of our adventures with accompanying pics, check out the blog Paula keeps here.

The highlights of the trip for me included (in no particular order):
1) Seeing Les Miserables at the Broadhurst Theatre. It was incredible, to say the least. I’ve seen four Broadway shows now and I rank them in this order: Les Miserables, Wicked, The Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera. I honestly almost got choked up in the last scene – it was that good.

2) Going to Ellis Island. We hit the Statue of Liberty, too, but her torch wasn’t a candle to Ellis Island. Paula hit on it in her post, but there’s something to be said for the feeling of a place where millions and millions passed through to begin a new life.

3) Meeting people. Dave is from South Carolina and headed for an 18 month tour in Afghanistan. He has a daughter who just graduated from college and he’s LDS. That was a cool connection; we met him while grabbing some pizza after putting our name on the 1½ hour waiting list at Serendipity. Nice guy.
Met an ex-NFL player and his family while chillin’ in the lobby of our hotel; they were really nice. He played 9 years in the league, 6 with the Bills as their center. He’s going to law school now and they live in New Jersey.
A couple from Rockdale County at LaGuardia sat across from us as we waited for our flight. Paula Zahn was on CNN with this report about racism in America, the focus on white people being racist towards others (of course there was a clip from the Michael Richards debacle) and how not that much progress has been made since the 60’s. Meanwhile, I’m sitting next to my Hispanic wife having an enjoyable conversation with a black couple.

4) The crowds. You have to take New York in doses and by Day 6 I was ready to get back to the slow Atlanta pace (this from one who hales from a town of 200 in Wyoming. I’ve evolved), but there’s something to be said for being part of the massive hordes of people. I know NYC isn’t even the biggest city in the US, but the throngs and throngs of people all on the street is incredible and something everyone should experience.

5) Being with my wife. I’m not trying to win points here (I did that with the trip and the bracelet from Tiffany’s. I should be set for a while), just stating the facts. Life without hardships is a wasted life; it isn’t the Creator’s divine plan for his children to float through life without challenges and obstacles to overcome. But, if the opportunities present, there should be brief periods when there isn’t a care in the world.

That’s what New York was: no punk kids from dysfunctional families for Paula to worry about, no monotony of work for me; no meals to prepare, no house to keep up; carefully planned budgeting and saving for the past nine months abolished any worry of spending too much money.

It allowed me to reconnect (not that we ever disconnected) with my best friend, remember the wonderful idiosyncrasies that inspired my break up with Abby, quit my job, move to a new state and start this phase of my life. I’m no cockeyed-optimist; I honestly look forward to life’s challenges – they’ve always made be better and the Lord has always seen me through. But it sure is great to be able to step back a enjoy everything I’ve been given.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Birthday... Cyber Commorancy!! It turned 1 on the 13th and what a year it's been. It all started with a suspended license and has culminated with the untimely death of my beloved car - The Buck. How poetic, really: starting with a car I shouldn't be driving to a car I can no longer be driving. It's the circle of life, a wheel of fortune. Where's Simba?
Speaking of my recently expired car, I just want to say thank you to all those who have expressed their condolonces on our behalf. And while there is a sense of loss, let there also be a sense of hope; in this little place we call mortality, our lives pass by as it were unto us a dream and the only thing that remains is the burning flame of memory and the joy that fire radiates. Such is the case with The Buck: though metal and rubber have passed on to that big open road in the sky, the memories shall never leave us (unless we suffer from amnesia or alzhiemers). But I digress...
In the past 12 months, Cyber Commorancy has discussed such topics as football, Halo, an appendectomy, politics, morality, Bode Miller, burglaries, automobile accidents and marriage. I revealed to the world I love to write and am working on a novel; I shouted out to family and friends, games and my old college car. There hasn't been much this little blog hasn't talked about... it's grown up in a hurry. It's had to - such is the world in which we live. But more importantly than topics is the legacy it has established.
Cyber Commorancy is a pioneer of sorts. I'm not saying it's a revolutionary as Al Gore and his invention of the Internet; however, it's led the way to a blog revolution. My wife has a blog, her sister Natalie has a blog, (they spend hours reading blogs about people they don't even know while Will and I roll our eyes because NONE OF US HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE!!!), my brother and his wife have one, my sister Rachell has one, Will has one...I guess four or five people isn't a revolution. Oh well, I'm going to say it is. Now it's on the internet and it must be true.
Anyway, I've rambled on and on. It's been a crazy year...the craziest of my life, to be completely honest...but it has also been the best. And I'm just glad Cyber Commorancy and all of you have been there to share it with me. Happy Birthday, each and every one!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shout Out: The Buck

We called it ‘The Buck’.
The ‘I’ decal had vanished somewhere in the Wyoming wilderness, leaving it to read BU_CK. Almost nine years old when I paid Shane and Miriam $3000 in straight Benjamin’s, it was no stranger to the road – a warrior in training, it had logged 165,000 miles upon purchase; even so, the best was yet to come.
The Buck had a rough initiation…roommates named Nathan, Archie and Zach ensured that. But it persevered and overcame to create a legacy of longevity and reliance. In memoriam, I feel inclined to recall some classic moments. Sit back and enjoy some of the exploits of the greatest college car a broke guy could have.

No plumber, just a crack
Though a minor incident, it is really the first of many “What the…” moments. A small crack in the windshield; Nathan pushed on it with his right thumb to be clever and it quickly expanded across the base. Thanks, bro.

Disengage! Disengage!
The Buck was the lone witness to my disengagement from one Valerie Barker. I had no cell phone, so the drive from Frannie to Billings and back was the longest road trip I ever took (the list of road trips we took together can be found below), though it was only 140 total miles.

Fire code violation
It wouldn’t set any records in Guinness, but still…We were headed out to create some mayhem and had a crew – 11, to be exact – and just one ride. Four in the front seat, four in the back, Nathan, Anna and Kristina in the trunk. We drove the 5+ miles to our destination, “The Fire Tunnel”. There’s a picture floating around somewhere…very incriminating…

Rocky Mountain High…and low
Archie and Zach wanted to borrow my car…to drive to Colorado. Archie wanted to bring up his motorcycle and only my car could be fitted with a hitch; on the conditions of ‘you break it, you buy it’, returned with a full tank of gas and obviously intoxicated I agreed. It got back in one piece, but hearing such things as ‘100 mph towing a trailer’ and ‘we had to borrow a gas cap’ have since made me question this move.

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
Winter is full of adventure when it comes to driving. The Buck had its fair share of moments. Taking the corner for the cut-off to Grand Targhee en route to a great day of snowboarding I went too fast and ended up stuck in a snow bank; coming down the mountain, the Buck became a ping-pong ball, bouncing from one snow bank to another; Archie opening the passenger door and hooky-bobbing at 30 mph on an ice-covered Rexburg street; throwing Archie’s $1 double-cheeseburger at him and it ending up on my upholstery. Good times

We went shooting clay pigeons – Archie, Zach, Archie’s brother Sam, me and some girl named Angie. I threw the bird and Sam was supposed to shoot it; a gust of wind and a slow trigger-finger later, the clay pigeon crashed into my windshield, sending three cracks sprawling across the top. Two years, six months later the crack Nathan made across the bottom found neighbors at the top. Perhaps it was fate…

“I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere…”
Long road trips :
Rexburg to Denver…and back (1,464 miles)
Rexburg to Mesa…and back (1,812 miles)
Frannie to Mesa…and back (2,356 miles)
Rexburg to Minneapolis…and back to Frannie (2,075 miles)
Frannie to Sacramento…and back. (2,200 miles)
Frannie to Minneapolis…to Nashville…to Augusta (2,100 miles)
Nine 325 mile round trips from August to Atlanta in two months (2,925 miles)

The Buck will be towed from apartment 1714 today, December 7th, 2006, never to be driven again. It leaves with 238,000 miles, a cracked windshield, a stolen gas cap, remnants of a BYU-Idaho sticker in the rear windshield and hundreds of pleasant memories that will never die. Viva el Buck!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006


Almost a month since the last post; my bad. A lot has happened, actually, so this is just going to be a little catch up post... a blogging buffet, a hodgepodge of happenings, echoes of events, a cornucopia of...stuff.

Concert time: Paula and I rolled with Natalie and Will to The Fray concert. (Check out the blog Paula keeps for pic’s.) It was sweet. They're really good live, almost better than on the CD, which was cool. I did feel a little old, though, with a large contingent of the populous proud graduates of the class of ’07-’10. There were a ton of cameras going off the whole time; a guy next to us about our age said “How does it feel to know you’ll be in the background of 1000 MySpace pictures tomorrow?” Hilarious because it's true.
A week or two after The Fray, Paula decided I could use some culture; we went to an opera at the Atlanta Civic Center. It was The Barber of Seville. All I knew about it was 1) it starred some guy named Figaro 2) he was a barber 3) in Seville 4) Bugs Bunny did a spoof in some Looney Tunes episode 5) it was going to be in Italian 6) I don’t speak Italian.
Two types of people are in this world: those who enjoy the opera and those who hate it like a root canal without Novocain. My wife is the former, I am the latter. I can do a lot of stuff that is in that realm: the theatre (Broadway stuff), art exhibits, classic novels, fine dining…but opera? No. Unfortunately, I will be unable to accommodate my wife in this area. As she goes shopping while I watch football, I'll find something else to do the next time an opera is in town. Like sleep.

Not as think as you drunk I am: My name is Logan, I was a recovering alcoholic, dry for 26 years, 10 months and 16 days. Then I fell off the wagon.
Paula and I attended the birthday celebration of our dear friend Melissa at Carrabba's Italian Restaurant. Evidently it was the only restaurant in all Gwinnett County because it was packed. But we finally got a table and ordered drinks. I ordered my standard issue Ginger Ale with lime; the server asked if I wanted that on the rocks. I said yes, lots of rocks. Melissa’s fiancé Greg also ordered a ginger ale. (As a side note, I’m a big Greg advocate – he’s cool, a doctor and looks like Jack on Lost. )
Anyway, The our drinks are brought out (we had 12 or 13 in our party) and Greg and I both get our ginger ale served in tumblers. It was different, but the place was packed, our server sounded like English was not his native language, so I didn’t worry about it. Until I took a drink. It went down really warm. I didn’t think it was ginger ale; I asked Dr. Greg if he concurred. He did. It was gin. Straight gin. This might not sound like a big deal, but as card-carrying Mormons, we don’t drink alcohol. I was the life of the party. (JK! We sent ‘em back and got our sodas.)
I was talking to my mom a couple days later and mentioned the occurrence; evidently, this wasn’t my first drink. When I was maybe 10 days old, my great-Grandma Bessie was watching me as my parents went Christmas shopping with my aunt and uncle. My mom asked how I was when they got back; Grandma Bessie said I cried and seemed a bit colicy, so she gave me some whiskey and sugar and I fell right asleep. Mom was horrified.

Blood is thick: We (Paula, her brother Ty, and I) rolled to AZ from Atlanta over Thanksgiving for Ben and Ryanne’s wedding in Mesa. (Again, see Paula’s post for pictures and such.) It was 1900 miles each way. Tickets are ridiculous expensive over Thanksgiving ($1000+ for us to fly) so I rented a car off of for $20/day. It was a 2007 Chevy Equinox with 4300 miles on it when I picked it up…it had 8400 when I dropped it off six days later. They probably should change the oil.
It was a really good time. I really enjoyed seeing my family and meeting Ryanne’s family. They are really nice people, very genuine and accommodating. My dad put me on the spot at the luncheon, telling me I needed to say something about Ben in about five-ten minutes. Some guy stood up right before me and said some stuff; let’s just say his rambling made my job really easy. That is all.
Anyway, it was quite the trek; we made the drive out straight through, much to the dismay of everyone but me. On long drives it’s like I become part of the vehicle and can just go and go and go. I drove 20 of the 26 hours on the way out and 18 of the 26 on the way back. One word, two syllables: Road Warrior.

BYU4LIFE: BYU beat Utah on the final play of the game, an amazing feat of strength shown by senior quarterback John Beck as he threw a touch down from the 12-yard line 34 yards across the field, across his body while in the grasp of a defender to the far side of the end zone to Johnny Harline for the TD.
Beck is 2nd in the nation in completion percentage and pass efficiency, 6th in passing yards (He missed the Utah State game with ankle injuries; his back up passed for over 300 yards, which would have put John at 3rd in passing yards.) and tied with Heisman favorite Troy Smith with 30 TD’s (again, in one less game).
I’m not a blind fan; BYU would get rocked if they played one of the top five teams in the nation; I think they’d be within a touchdown of any team ranked 6-10; I think they’d have a good a shot as not with any opponent 11-20. I predicted at the beginning of the season on this blog BYU would finish the regular season at 10-2 and MWC champs. Who’s the man? Me…and Beck…and Harline…and a lot of other people.

*&$%!: This is an expletive. Last week, Wednesday, I was driving home from work and was hit by another car – a 1996 Jeep Cherokee – and it bashed in my back door on the drivers side. The kid just wasn’t paying attention and nailed me; even now I am getting upset as I write. Anyway, the claims adjuster for this kids insurance company – Progressive – came out and said the damage is a total loss. I think that’s stupid because I still drive it to work, but because the damage is estimated at $2800 (overbid if you ask me) and my car doesn’t book for that much, they want to cut me a check for what it books for ($2000) and then I’m supposed to sign the title over to them!
Whatever. I’m going to tell them to gut me a check for a hundred or so less than the book value and I’ll go to a salvage yard, find a door and replace it myself. What am I supposed to do? Try to find a decent car with $2000? Seriously. The anger sharks are swimming…

That’s about it. Side notes: Nancy Pelosi is crazy…The BCS lives down to its billing…Reggie Bush may live up to his…Kramer’s career is over…Michael Irvin’s should be…Britney Spears is white-trash and a joke…The UN is the international version of Britney…The new Bond movie rocks…The USC-UCLA game also...I’ll be 27 soon…I’m hungry now…

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

UnPartisan Facts

Election 2006 has given me pause to reflect upon the state of our nation and the world in general.
A bachelors degree in Communications from BYU-Idaho doesn’t exactly make me an expert in political and social rhetoric; however, my belief in the divine establishment of this nation, upstanding citizenship, education, knowledge of God, and general intelligence are the credentials I will use to back up my comments. Plus, this is a blog; it doesn’t take a PhD to post on a blog.
My greatest concern is not that Democrats have taken control of the House; it is not that they may take control of the Senate. True, I find these things disconcerting and I anticipate an influx in illegal immigration and amnesty to all current illegal immigrants; an increase in government programs which will weaken the foundation of what made this country great (hard work); seeing more money taken from my paycheck in taxes; more money invested in already dismal government run schools. As unfortunate as these things are, they are simply symptoms of a greater disease.
It has been said that opinion is of little relevance, as it does not change truth. Opinions and remarks about those who embrace God and the virtues of morality are diverse; they quickly are becoming such that denigrate and mock those who hold virtue close. Prophesies found in the scriptures of a time when evil shall be called good and good evil have arrived. Individuals – regardless of party affiliations – are embracing the conscience-free philosophy of ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’ under the guise of tolerance and acceptance; those who engage in such behavior flaunt a grown-up view, that they operate on a higher plain and don’t need such old-fashioned ideas as morality, chastity, honesty and faithfulness to sustain them.
Such behavior glamorized by individuals in popular culture does not free anyone; it does not elevate to a ‘higher plain’. Rather, they resemble the animal that does whatever it has to do to survive and whatever makes it happy. The ‘liberated’ mentality appeals to the basest of behaviors. And because human beings are not meant to be just a notch higher on the evolutionary scale, but are destined for something greater, this behavior hinders progression.
Immorality has no party lines – JFK was an active adulterer; Mark Foley is a pedophile; Bill Clinton is an adulterer; Rudy Giuliani is an adulterer. Regardless of how the media may slant the story, the fact remains immorality and corruption run deep through the ranks of those we have chosen to lead our nation.
John Adams remarked "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31).The great thing about a government by the people is as long as the people remain moral and righteous, the nation will prosper; as the majority become increasingly immoral and distance themselves from the Almighty, party lines will matter only minimally.
As I’ve said before, there is no economic policy wise enough, no army strong enough, no social reform compassionate enough to save those who inhabit a land of promise if they persist in wickedness. God honors those who honor him; the only real safety for this nation is righteousness. Nothing else will suffice.
Opinions may be voiced and adopted by the majority, but it doesn’t change the facts. And those are the facts.

Monday, October 30, 2006

15:00, 14:59, 14:58...

Start the timer. I have fifteen minutes and counting left of fame.
If you go back in the history of my posts, you’ll find the one talking about how I had by appendix removed and was able to knock down a fat bill. In the process of time, Smart Money Magazine and this girl from got a hold of me and asked me some questions and stuff. I told them my story and they said they were going to put it in some article.
Well, Paula sent me this link and I went to it. It didn’t work, but I was directed to this site Basically, it is a really liberal site that is 180 degrees from my political and moral values; so I just Googled my name and the words “health care.” And boom: -
Some site -
Random Blog -
Yahoo! -
SmartMoney -

So, there you have it. With the exception of the first one – the Alternet one – I don’t mind the articles. I should have known that such an experience would make its way on to a couple of liberal/socialist healthcare oriented agendas, but I thought my experience could be really helpful to people. The key for me was to ask and the various places I owed money to were more than willing to work with me.
For the most part they got the facts right, though the numbers differ between stories. The reality is bills of almost $22,000 were reduced to just under $5000.
Anyway, I’m famous. Wahoo.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Year of WorkING

Today marks one year since I started at ING. A nervous recent college graduate enter the world of Corporate America, I put on my game face and began my first post-college job. A year later, I have my own cube and am not nervous. ING has been good to me; I enjoy coming to work 4 out of 5 days, I like my coworkers and I do pretty well with the assignments I have. The only part of my job I don't care for is the commute home on Thursday and Friday.
In commemoration of this event, I'm trying to set a record for the most applications configured by one person in a release - 24. This is all Greek to pretty much everyone, so suffice it to say it'll be cool if I can pull it off. Also in commemoration of 10/18, I treated myself to Wendy's. It was good.
I don't know how much longer I'll be at ING. I'm a contract employee. Apparently that means I get paid a little more, but there isn't such thing as paid time off or paid holiday or benefits. It also means on January 2nd, 2007 I will need to be commuting somewhere new; my contract is up December 31st, so yeah. Sort of nervous, the unknown and everything, but what do you do? Tomorrow is always unknown despite our best attempts.
Anyway, Happy Anniversary to me! One year as a working man who yields 1/3 of everything he makes to the government, 1/3 to my wife and the rest to bills. I'm a grown up now!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pictures: My Nemesis

Much to my dismay, we had a team picture at work today. I’ve never been a fan at staged, set pictures. Never. A root canal minus Novocain sounds equally appealing to me. I don’t know why I’m so opposed to such things. I guess if I am supposed to look good and don’t, there isn’t the excuse like when goofing around.
I have the notoriety of ruining a picture for120+ people. Let me take us all back almost 10 years ago to a little place called Wyoming in a little town called Cheyenne. For those of you who have been failed by the government monopoly of public schools, Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming. I was there with 120 or so male high school students as part of Boys State; no, it’s not something for delinquent youth (at least that’s not its design). A couple guys from each high school in the state are chosen to go and spend a week learning about various forms of government. They divide everyone into two ‘political’ parties and each guy has to run for some kind of public office and I chose secretary of state. At the end of the week, you go on this huge bus trip to Cheyenne and meet with your real-life counterpart.
Anyway, I won and Secretary of State was one of the big five positions (Governor, Lt. Governor, Sec. of State and two others) so in the picture take on the Capital steps, I was in front. Well, I wore a white shirt and tie while everyone else was in a dark suit. (I missed the memo) And I posed with my hands on my hips, feet shoulder width apart - Superman style - with a big, stupid smile. Needless to say 120 mothers were not happy, including mine.
Also in high school, I was a yearbook editor and our crew ruled the roost. In the 1997-98 yearbooks, there are a dozen or so ‘Where’s Waldo’ pictures with Nick, Nathan, Bryan or me (mostly Nick) in the background. It was awesome. It is awesome.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Holy crap. I can't believe it. It's a little weird, to be completely honest. Off and on for the past five years I've tinkered with it and a couple months ago I made a goal to finish the rough draft by the first of October. A day late, but it is done. There's a beginning, a middle, an end and 224 pages of single-spaced Times Roman 12 point font in between. (548 pages of uneditted publisher copy.) One of my friends mentioned that's a lot. I said that was before they took out the parts that weren't any good. He said like 10 pages then. I said 1, with a big picture on it.
Yeah, it might just be plain no good. I don't know. But the rough draft is done.
Just thought you should know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Office life

So it’s been a while…my bad. I don’t know why, it’s not like I don’t have time to drop a post in now and again; I just didn’t have anything really burning me up, or anything that was that humorous I felt a need to share. I guess it’s sort of one of those lull’s in life, where things are just rolling along nicely.
Last night had a little Office party. The capitalized ‘O’ isn’t a typo; the party was to celebrate the new season of The Office on NBC. Big fan of the show. For those of you who’ve lived in isolation over the past year, The Office is a comedy about a midsized paper company in Scranton, PA. One of the funniest things is it is filmed as a documentary, so there are these hilarious one-on-one interviews with the very eclectic employees. It won an Emmy for Best Comedy; I do a lot of laughing at that show. It is one of the few shows that is like Seinfeld inasmuch as I can watch it over and over and over and still get a good laugh.
Anyway, the first episode of the new season arrived; I thought it was really good. My wife was depressed because two of the main characters don’t hook up like you thought they would. But it is a necessary evil so the show can go on for many, many seasons. Everyone’s favorite character is Dwight K. Shrute, a power hungry, untactful awkward man played by Rainn Wilson. The picture posted is of Dwight. Anyway, I’m gonna leave you with some of his wisdom.
“Security in this office park is a joke. Last year, I came to work with my spud gun in a duffel bag. I sat at my desk all day, with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?”

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

BLUE 42! BLUE 42!!

Can you feel it? Companies everywhere are experiencing a drop-off in productivity from the XY employees as they delve into their wildest fantasy (league). The feeling is palpable; it’s a living organism with drug-like powers that grab hold of heterosexual males everywhere and captivating us for the next five months.
More powerful than scantily clad women is the draw of this most wonderful of seasons: football. The air turning cool, the sun setting earlier; sales of chips, dips and chicken wings have spiked. The raw, unadulterated grind of men engaged in an epic battle of monumental (though, in reality minimal) proportions, demonstrating incredible feats of strength on a field of real or imitation grass.
I’m living for the weekend. College football; professional football; even high school football draws me in. I’m in three fantasy leagues, with three drafts to attend next week; BYU is opening Saturday against Arizona on TBS at 10:30pm EST (that 6:30am bishopric meeting Sunday morning is going to come awfully early) and I watch it all, yelling, rejoicing and anguishing over every play. Here in the south, where football is king and people know ‘the Y’ as the YMCA, my opportunities to revel and revile in Cougar football is minimal at best; I’ve got to make the most of this.
Living in the south and having attended an Alabama game at Bryant-Denney stadium, I’ve realized folks out west don’t really grasp was college football is. Showing up in Tuscaloosa, I was one of maybe a dozen people not sporting crimson and white – not for long, because I went into the first shop I saw and dropped $50 on a hat and shirt. But it was crazy and awesome because everyone – parents, grandparents, students, babies, pets – was decked out. BYU fans need to be more like that: only blue, white and gold allowed in the stadium.
Even with this relative lack of football fanaticism (some would argue ‘proper perspective on what really matters’, but seriously...) I love BYU football; I bleed Cougar Blue; the wallpaper on my desktop is sportin’ the Coug’s and their 2006 schedule. Not since the 50’s have the cougars had three non-winning seasons in a row; I’m hungry for a great season. I need it, like a southerner needs their Coke and iced tea. And the potential is there. A Top 20 QB (John Beck) who finished #7 in the nation last year in yards per game; Top 10 TE (Johnny Harline) who led the nation in receiving yards for a TE; a 1000 yard rusher (Curtis Brown) with nearly 500 yards receiving; an O-Line that averages over 325 pounds. Defensively a new 3-4 scheme will take advantage of a strong linebacker corps; they just have to make a couple stops and let the offense rack up the numbers.
Prediction: 10-2 in the regular season, MWC Champs.
Rise and shout, it’s football season.

Friday, August 18, 2006


As some might know, I pretend to be a writer. In this capacity as a pretend author, I've reached a very cool and important milestone; at least to me. Today I passed the 200 page mark. If you don’t know what I’m talking about exactly, click here for the lowdown.

Anyway, I did a little Googling to try and get an idea of what my efforts would translate to if it was in actual book form, or at least what it should look like in manuscript form. Right now it’s just in MS Word default: Times Roman 12pt font, 1.25 margins. I discovered a manuscript is supposed to be in Courier New 12pt font and double spaced. This translates to about 250 words a page, which gives the editors an idea of the approximate book size should it be printed. I messed around with my document, making the changes to fit these specifications.

530. Pages


I’m excited.

They say it's your birthday...

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to siblings Amy and Dave Cashman. Yesterday was Dave’s birthday and today is Amy’s, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIDS!! This dynamic duo are awesome. I’ve mentioned them before, as has Paula on her blog. You couldn’t ask for better friends: they are always on the lookout for something to do to make your life easier. Dave gave me a sweet football for my birthday; Amy let us crash at her place after the breakin. More than once has Dave or Amy have picked up a tab when we go out to grab some grub; basically, they are just good people. I'm lucky to have such friends. Straight up.

Left: Dave with Paula at Longhorns.

Right: Amy with Jesse. Not 'with' with, just sittin on the same side of the table.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I just finished reading this article about Steve Young. My mom sent it to me because, growing up, I idolized #8. He was one of the main reasons I loved the 49ers. When I was in middle and high school is when Steve took over the helm at San Francisco and led the league in pass efficiency for four straight years. I lived 49er football. Allow me to illustrate:
When I was growing up, TV on Sunday wasn’t allowed; that was fine and no big deal until I discovered football. Then it became a little more difficult. As a freshman/sophomore, I was on the JV basketball team and had early morning practice, which ran from 6-7:30am. In order to get there on time, I had to catch the bus at 5am. When Steve and the Niners where rolling through the playoffs en route to the Super Bowl, I’d record the game on Sundays, wake up at 3:30 on Monday morning and watch the game before going to school so I’d know the results and be able to discuss it with my friends. The only Super Bowl I watched for the first 21 years of my life was when Steve got the monkey of his back and threw for a NFL record 6 touchdowns. Nathan and I snuck over to my Grandma and Grandpa Roberts to do it.
That was 10 years ago now and Steve is a Hall of Fame quarterback, getting in easily on his first year of eligiblity; more importantly, he’s a Hall of Fame person. We live in a day where heroes are determined by foot-speed and not faithfulness; by money and not morality; by popularity and not purity. These types of heroes entertain, but they do not inspire greatness of character. Steve Young is one who does what one should with wealth, fame and greatness. I know he’s not perfect; I know he’s made mistakes; however, I also know he has been a righteous steward over those things God has blessed him with.
I highly recommend the article to all to read. You can’t help but be impressed.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rookie Advice

August is going to be a crazy month. Every weekend will be occupied by weddings and receptions; we’re at that stage in life where our peers are involved in relationships that can lead to the big ‘M’. Also, Paula and I will have been married for five months this weekend as we travel to Minneapolis for Ty’s wedding. These events have caused me to reflect on marriage and why I’m so good at it. (First part serious, second part facetious; no one be trippin’.) Here are some things I've learned that have blessed Paula and me. (Minus prayer, scripture study, fidelity and such...they're givens.)
Hard times = best times: It seems masochistic, but it’s true. We’ve grown closest when everything hasn’t been roses; it’s been situations where we only have each other to rely on. The appendectomy (pre-marriage) and bills (marriage); working through that which shall not be named; having our apartment broken into; all in addition to the regular learning curve associated with marriage. I don’t enjoy trials; I do enjoy the cohesiveness it creates.
Speak up: When Paula asked my preference (what do you want for dinner, what do you want to do tonight, etc…), a lot of the time I'd say “I don’t care” because it’s not a big deal for me; I've learned to speak up and let her know. Ongoing, candid communication has helped our marriage because there are no pretenses – we both know where the other stands; if we don’t agree, at least we know. The first couple times aren’t easy, but the growing pains are worth it.
Less is more: We do better than most new young married couples: two incomes, no consumer debt. As such we wield the double-edged sword of disposable income. In a world where instant gratification is king, the temptation to accumulate things (easily absconded by punk kids) is powerful and one of the worst traps a young married couple can fall in. A goal of substance and working towards it nurtures a marriage; just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Debt for things (clothes, jewelry, trips, furniture, etc…) is plain asinine. It’s contrary to fundamental principles of the Gospel. I’m serious. The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn’t “Zero down, Zero obedience until the judgment bar”. It’s sacrifice now and blessings later, faith precedes the miracle. Try to find an example to the contrary. Dare ya. Good luck.
TO for QT: That isn’t 'Terrell Owens for Quik Trip'; it’s ‘Time Out for Quality Time.’ Between friends, family, work, errands, varying sleep schedules and church stuff, spending quality time together can be tough. We work out together 3-4 times a week, have a date night once a week, dinner together nightly and try going to bed together (during the school year Paula sacks out around 9-10pm; I’m more 11ish.). All these provide opportunities to talk and get to know the other. It may sound silly, but unless you make an effort you don’t see much of your spouse.
Grab the tab: For 26 years my parents paid for dinner; they provided food and shelter for 18 years. Since our marriage, we’ve gone out to eat with each set of our parents and picked up the tab. (I practically had to fight my dad for it, but after I told him if he didn’t let me pay I’d never talk to him again, he consented.) This reciprocity (the quality or state of being reciprocal: mutual dependence, action, or influence) was a great feeling. It let our parents know they're appreciated and now they can focus more on each other. Too often children want to be treated as adults, yet they don't accept adult responsibility; it's hypocritical. Parents will always worry about their children; they shouldn’t always have to provide for them. Let their primary concern be each other. It'll be the first time since the oldest kid showed up.

Friday, August 04, 2006

NFL (Never Figured it Likely)

I just had one of those ‘WOW!’ moments; you know, when you see or hear something that blows your mind and makes you think about what you’ve done with your life? It’s mixed with some covetousness, an inkling of incredulousness and a smidgen of smirk. What was it that made me stop short? Here you go: Brett Keisel signed a four-year, $13.1 million contract and will be starting this year at defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And so what? I’ll tell you what: Before number 99 became a multi-millionaire – before the starting spot with Pittsburg; before the Super Bowl XL ring; before his days as a starter at BYU – Brett Keisel was the starting tight end/middle linebacker for the Greybull Buffaloes and the big man on their basketball team. And I played against him. In three meetings, our football team never lost to Keisel. The first meeting I watched from the sidelines as a freshman as our first-team won the game. As a sophomore I had my first encounter with the future NFL starter; I was starting on special teams as the wedge man on kickoff return. Keisel had broken his wrist and had a cast, but was allowed to pad it and played. On one return, I went to block him and he laid that cast upside my head; my consolation prize was that he went down after getting tangled up in my limp, momentarily unconscious body and Brandon May returned the kickoff for a touchdown, My junior year, we (Greybull and Rocky Mountain) were tied atop the Five Rivers Conference standings at 5-0 when we rolled into town to take them on. It was their homecoming. Starting now at defensive end, my job – as explained by my coach (Brett’s uncle) – was to make sure he never got clean off the line. And he didn’t. We won 48-21. A defining moment of the contest was when Joe Hatch (friend and future college roommate) knocked Brett off his feet and on his back. It was awesome. I’ve tackled, sacked, chipped, blocked, defended, made a buzzer-beater over (not for the game, just the 3rd quarter) a starting DE in the NFL. My record in six contests is 5-1 while his is 1-5; I’m batting .833, he’s batting .167; I was an active part of four state championships, he was part of one. And that means… I don’t know. Part of me wants to say that if I was as naturally athletic – with a big, muscular 6’6” frame that supports 290 pounds – I could have a Super Bowl ring. But frankly, that’s contrived and vain thinking. Getting down to the brass tacks of the matter reveals it’s all about making the most of the opportunities we’re presented with. Brett has been presented with an opportunity to make a splash on the biggest sports stage in the US; he’s taken advantage natural abilities he’s been given and is making those work for him. That’s my life lesson for the day, my moment of Zen. Am I magnifying my talents in the game of life (a cliché, I know, but very applicable here so deal with it) as Brett has his in the game of football? That’s really what I should be asking, not why he made it in spite of his follies. So props to Brett making it big-time; I’ll cheer for him on Sundays and if he does well, maybe I’ll put him as a backup on my fantasy football team. It’s cool to see a small-town guy making it in the big time. (Brett you know you’ll always fear the Grizz.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Celebrating Will Ferrell and NCAA football

First, inasmuch as I love BYU football (it's a difficult thing to do sometimes, but I bleed Cougar Blue), this is a clip from when BYU's kicker Matt Payne demolished a Boise State's return man. The irony of the whole thing is our kicker could lay a massive hit but couldn't hit the game winning field goal. Dang.

As another tribute to the upcoming NCAA 2006 season (30 days, but who's counting?)and the Talladega Nights movie, I'm posting the following video. It's the intro to the 2005 Rose Bowl as USC and Texas played for the National Championship; having some smooth operator like McConaughey trying to match wits with Will Ferrell wasn't even a contest. If the game had to be decided by this clip, USC would have dominated.

Long live NCAA football and long live Will Ferrell!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Make your money make YOU money!

I've become very fiscally aware as of late. I bought Quicken 2006 Deluxe to track our expenditures; a co-worker gave me a copy of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and several worksheets in Excel to help with creating a budget and monitoring it. I am looking to get a Roth IRA for myself and Paula both. I'm really excited about it - there's something to be said for saving up money and disciplining your spending habits. Today's world is one of instant gratification and the average person doesn't put money away for large purchases; instead, it's all about financing a purchase with no interest until 2010 and hopefully nothing bad will happen between now and then.
Anyway, I got a little preachy there. My bad.
The real reason I wanted to do a quick post is because I'm looking at getting life insurance. I don't want whole-life because it's so expensive and you get so little back, so it's going to be term. So I found a $250,000 policy that will cover me for 30 years. It is $25/mo. So I got to thinking: what if I designated $100/mo to life insurance and put the extra $75 in just my ING Orange Savings account every month for the next 30 years? The account compounds monthly. So plug this into the Financial Calculator and see what nice little fund Paula and I would have at the age of 56, supposing we have $5000 in savings to begin with: Starting: $5000; Annual Addition: $900; Years to Grow: 30; Interest Rate: 4.75; Compound annually: 12 times
Not too bad.
Now, if you grab a Roth IRA through Vanguard (10-12%), max out your contributions of $4000/yr for the next 40 years and live an additional 20 years after you retire, your annual withdrawls available during retirement will be $207,947. Yeah, and that's per year.
But if I wait 10 years to start, giving me 30 yrs till retirement, that $207,947 drops to $77,286. The moral of the story: start saving NOW!

What should we do?

Mexico’s recently elected political party considered a radical offshoot of Catholicism called Locos continues hostilities along our southern border. Their radical label stems from their charter created in 1988, in which they’ve sworn to take back parts of the US they consider stolen – namely California, Texas, New Mexico and parts of Arizona – and are not going to stop until they get it back through a holy war:

“Our struggle against the United States is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Latino world, until the enemy is vanquished and God’s victory is realized…Holy War is its path and death for the sake of God is the loftiest of its wishes…There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad…The United States will exist and will continue to exist until we will obliterate it.”
These actions of our southern neighbors have taken a back seat to the trouble to the north. Canada has stood idly by as another radical, guerilla group called Canzollah (also sworn to wipe the USA from the face of the earth through Holy War) has gained power in the border region to our North. Apparently Canzollah has answered the call of their brothers to the south:
“The United States invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end…They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Catholicism. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.
"Countries surrounding the United States are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Latino and Catholic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Locos brethren in Mexico.
"As for the other Latino and Catholic countries, they are asked to facilitate the movement of the fighters from and to it, and this is the least thing they could do.”
They recently have mocked our requests to return our border patrol agents kidnapped early last month; instead, they’ve informed us they have 13,000 rockets, some of which could reach close to 100 miles inside our border. With over 10,000,000 people living within that range (mostly in the urban areas of Seattle, Spokane, Detroit and Cleveland) this is a serious threat.
Our offensive to drive Canzollah from this region and to destroy its weapons has drawn much criticism from the international community due to the civilian casualties with have occurred on Canadian soil from our attacks. An attack on a post in the immediate vicinity of a UN outpost (which has been there for six years and has done nothing to stem the tide of the influx of weapons by Canzollah to the region) resulted in the unfortunate deaths of four peacekeepers. Kofi Annan has called this 'an apparently deliberate attack'; this ludcrious statement makes no sense as we already have little support from the UN. Why would we want to garnish more critisism?
Some of our attacks have yielded civilian deaths aimed at Canzollah; this is a terrible consequence of guerillas hiding amongst the local population, using innocent Canadians as human shields. Meanwhile, over 200 rockets have been launched over our border with the intent to kill US civilians. Even so, the international community has been telling us to stop our efforts to eliminate Canzollah while this terrorist group is accountable to no one.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Shout Out: The Sound

I used to do shout outs - Zach and Archie, Nathan, Papa K, Mark - but have not done any such thing for a while now. Well, here's the latest. And it's not to a person. It's to a sound.
A chorus of male voices; a symbol's crash; electric guitar rising to a sharp crescendo; a steady beat of a war drum leads the ensemble forward. It instills fear and dread into women - wives and girlfriends are especially haunted by it. Men either smile or become giddy with excitement and anticipation; those familiar only by name simply shrug. This sound has ushered in hours and hours of therapeutic male-bonding; it brings men together to compete ferociously in a controlled environment.
Arch, Zach, Nerf, Crozz, Chris, T-Boz, Bean, T-Rav, F-Rock, Butcher, Shields, Andy, Muncie, Grover, Kyle, Brandon, Greg, Travis's roommate who liked pink, Brennan, Reed, Kevin, Mitch, Bryce...and any other fella's I've fought with, laugh at, sworn at, gotten mad at and flat our worked over: For all about to defend the universe - I salute you. Play on. Play on.

And here's a bonus track.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Paula and I are in the midst of a 10 day house-sitting stint for a family from church. It is a bit of an upgrade from El Bajos known as Eagles Pointe, the place we call home. Being part of an interracial/multicultural marriage, I’m trying to embrace my Hispanic-in-law roots by picking the language. For those of you who don’t “Hablar Español”, El Bajos is Spanish for “The Bajos”. Seriously. Not joking.
I understand many are under the impression we live in a posh place due to the ‘e’ on the end of Eagles Pointe. The misapplied vowel can be a bit misleading; a more correct spelling to give the correct impression of our apartment complex would be Beagles Poop as opposed to Eagles Pointe, or even Eagles Point. Besides the street address, there really isn’t much difference between the apartment and the house. Well, maybe just litte:

  • In the apartment is a 27” screen television from Wal-Mart featuring the 6 channels our antenna provides; in the house there are three big screen televisions which enjoy premium DirecTV service. Oh, and a regular one in the workout room.
  • At the house, we can order a pizza from Pizza Hut and they’ll deliver whenever we want; at the apartment we cannot get the closest Pizza Hut to deliver at all. The bajos-friendly Pizza Hut 2.5 miles away won't deliver after 5pm.
  • At the house, mail is delivered; at the apartment, the US Postal Service will no longer deliver due to the management’s failure to secure the postal boxes.
  • Our apartment in total is the size of the master bedroom and master bathroom at the house; our kitchen is the size of one of the two walk-in closets
  • The apartment has no personal computer so we use the work issued laptops (Oh wait, we are down to one since Paula’s was stolen in the burglary) and access the net via some neighbors wireless network; the house has four PC’s, high speed internet and wireless for the laptop.
  • When we're hungry at the apartment, we open the fridge; at the house, we explore the three refrigerators spaced throughout and peruse the walk-in pantry.
  • At the apartment, the ’94 Le Sabre blends in if not outdoes many of the neighbors; at the house, it’s a violation of several zoning laws and is feared by the neighbors.
  • At the apartment I can’t hide from my wife; at the house, I could hide for days. And survive by raiding one of the three refrigerators.

These differences could be depressing, were it not for one thing about house-sitting in this luxurious neighborhood which is reminiscent of Eagles Pointe: people still look at us like we don’t belong there. It’s comforting. Really.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Top 10...

As eluded to in the last post, here is my Top Ten Songs During My High School Years (Fall of 94 to Spring 98). This wasn’t easy. At first I had 10 and was pretty confident in them; then another would come to my mind and I had a list of 12…then 13…then 14. I've designated a couple of back ups I elaborated on, then some honorable mentions. I did a little research to try to find out how these songs did nationally and have editorialized a bit on each song. (BT 100: Billboard Top 100; MR: Modern Rock 50)
My criteria for the ranking consisted three parts: Enjoyment level then; Enjoyment level now; Sentimental value. For those who experienced the music of this period, feel free to give me your Top Ten or tell me how I’m wrong. (I won’t be wrong, but whatever the delusions of your mind want to think. Ha ha ha.)

10b. Santa Monica – Everclear (#5 MR, 1996)
Let’s be honest: can anyone name another song from Everclear’s first album? Not me. But this song I know. There were a couple more songs that were big before I graduated, but none really stuck out more than this one. Probably because all the songs Everclear does sound pretty much the same, so the first will always be the best.

10a. Good Riddance – Green Day (#2 MR, 1998)
Why not anything from the groups first album? It came out prior to my entering the ranks of high school, that’s why. But this song – way overplayed but equal to the task – was a great acoustic number by the alternative rock group. Since this time I have grown increasingly disenchanted with the group (political views at opposite poles) but this was a great song.

10. Name – Goo Goo Dolls (#1 MR, 1995; #5 BT 100, 1996)
This track comes from the debut album called “A Boy Named Goo” and was one of the earlier CD’s I owned; it is one you could stick in the player and not skip one song…well, maybe just one song. Anyway, this song and album kicked off the Goo Goo Dolls. Some might argue Iris is better than name…but they’d be wrong. (Do I need to elaborate more? It loses points for being on the City of Angels soundtrack; that movie was stupid. Aside from the fallen angel thing, how could Meg Ryan not hear a big diesel truck coming towards her on a quite country road?)

9. What I Got – Sublime (#1 MR, 1996)
The radio edit, of course, but there’s just something catchy about this tune. ‘Got to find a reason, reason things went wrong; got to find a reason why my money’s all gone.’ Considering the lead sing died from a heroin overdose, I think we all could answer that question. The bitter irony is that he died before the album was released. Lesson: Just Say No.

8. One Headlight – Wallflowers (#1 MR, 1997)
This was a great song and came from a double-platinum album. One Headlight, 6th Avenue Heartache, The Difference and Three Marlenas all were from “Bringing Down the Horse” and all made appearances on the Billboard Top 100. But One Headlight was the only one I knew all the words to.

7. Better Man – Pearl Jam (#2 MR, 1995)
This one barely makes the cut, not because of quality but because of timing. The album was released in December of 1994, the midpoint of my freshman year of high school. I don’t own any Pearl Jam and I highly doubt I could listen to an entire album over and over, but this song is a definite Top Ten.

6. Lightning Crashes – Live (#1 MR, 1995)
The olive green jacket and the oddly drawn minister walking along while people scoffed at him…it was a unique album cover. Of the several songs on ‘Throwing Copper’, this song was my favorite and is still as good today as it was then. And we can only be thankful these guys cut their hair. When I saw them perform with Chris Daughtrey from American Idol, all I could do was draw an Austin Powers correlation: Live and Mini-live.

5. Undone (Sweater Song) – Weezer (#57 BT 100, 1994; #6 MR)
The line is blurred here; this hit the shelves during the lame duck period between 8th and 9th grade. But, since this is my list, I’m allowing it. I don’t know of anything preceding Weezer that sounded remotely like Weezer. And this song was weird and cool all at the same time: the talking at the beginning, the mellow lyrics, the 80’s guitar riff in the middle, the singing in a round. Totally unique sound; and afterwards if anyone mentioned the word ‘sweater’ some clown tried to tie it into this song. (I may have been that clown once or twice.)

4. Good – Better Than Ezra (#30 BT 100, 1995; #1 MR)
From the album Deluxe, the one with a purple curtain and some gold hands, comes this classic alternative track. It was one of those where it was hard to figure out exactly what was being said, (is it Waha, Uhu, Walk-on, or Aha) so you had to listen to it a lot to figure it out. “Maybe I’ll call or write you a letter, maybe we’ll speak on the 4th of July…” One has to ask why the 4th? Why not Christmas or Thanksgiving? I’m not too sure and I’m not to proud to say…I don’t know. (It’s ‘Aha’, bytheway)

3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something (#5 BT 100, 1996; MR #30)
A one-hit wonder, who doesn’t remember trying to figure out the line in the chorus: “She said I think I remember the film and as I recall…” before seeing the lyrics on that show VH1 had where the lyrics scrolled across the bottom of the page. I remember where I was when I first heard this song: taking a shower before school. For the next couple of weeks I had a blank tape in the player waiting for the song to come on again so I could record it. 93.3 FM out of Billings, MT.

2. Semi-charmed Life – Third Eye Blind (#4 BT 100, 1997; #1 MR)
From the self-titled album, this little tune was prelude to one of those CD’s you could just pop in and enjoy the whole thing. Though the follow-up album “Blue” was okay, they haven’t been able to even touch the original. And there were two jackets: a green and a red; in the jacket the words to this song were in a square-spiraling pattern. This is one of the rare songs where the radio edit cripples the original; remember, you couldn’t hear the ‘and when the plane came in she said she was crashin’…One; and you hold me, and I’m broken’.

1. Push – Matchbox 20 (#1 MR, 1997)
Who can argue with this pick? Obviously America did because this song didn’t even rank on the BT 100. Ridiculous. Great song, great album, great sound. I’m cool with Rob Thomas and the solo effort; still, I miss the alternative, guitar and drums sound of the band as opposed to the pop thing. Released in 1996, the album spun off chart toppers through 1999 (Back 2 Good, #24 BT 100); it went platinum 10 times by 2000. It still lives in my CD collection. And even though Push is the classic track, it barely edges out track 12, ‘Hang’, an awesome song that got too little PT; it’s better than 3am, Real World, Long Day and Back 2 Good (these all landed on top charts).

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Hootie and the Blowfish (anything from Cracked Rear View); Alanis Morisette (Ironic); Offspring (Self-Esteem); Dishwalla (Counting Blue Cars) Will Smith (Getting’ Jiggy); Coolio (Gangsta’s Paradise); Sugar Ray (Fly); Tonic (If You Could Only See).

Friday, July 14, 2006

One Headlight

A caveat or two:
First, I don't really care for Bruce Springsteen or his political views. Not even a little; the Boss and I are on totally opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to our moral, ethical and political viewpoints.
Second, I don't really like seeing songs I like performed live; there's something about seeing some musicians sing that makes me want to hurl or drop the curtain so they stop embarressing themselves. It can be ridiculous and ludicrous.
Thus being said, this video I pulled from features the Boss and The Wallflowers performing at the VMA's in the late 90's. This song makes my "Top Ten Songs That Came Out When I Was In High School" list...I'll have to create a post with that info...and I think it sounds really good live. And I'll give Bruce this - he played a sweet guitar solo in this song.

More Alphabet Soup

Another week has come and gone and I have failed to post anything. That means it’s time for another version of Alphabet Soup.
Don’t mess with Israel
Basically, if you kidnap an Israeli soldier, expect a beat-down. Ask Hamas (the Palestinian based group sworn to destroy Israel) and Hezbollah (the Lebanese based group sworn to destroy Israel: they went into Israeli territory, killed some soldiers and kidnapped others; now they are experiencing a barrage of rockets and missiles and complaining about it, like they didn’t know it would happen. Lesson…don’t kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Thin Mints
This might be false advertising – I eat them and I get fat. Call them ‘Fat Mints’. Anyway, I was walking through the halls of ING, waiting for my computer to reboot after a Microsoft Patch. And what did I find? An unopened box of Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints) with a sticky note that said “Free to a good Home”. I can’t guarantee they’ll make it to my home, but they are good. ING has been good to me…and my waistline.
New Ride
My parents recently purchased a new vehicle, a 2004 Mitsubishi Gallant. It has 170,000 less miles than the Oldsmobile (210,000). I think this car will work out well for them, as it seems with their luck to get a good car about every-other attempt. The original Oldsmobile ran for nearly 200,000; the Yugo era (dad bought 2) was dismal; the Buick was a gem (they sold it to me with 166,000 miles and I still drive it with 233,000); the recent Oldsmobile has been so-so. The Gallant should be a good one…but I think my LeSabre will outrun it.
Paula and I in March, Ty and Abby in August, Ben and Ryanne in November…By the time we get back from Phoenix, Paula and I will have spent over $2400 in flights/rentals/hotels in a 12 months. I’m all for supporting family, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad there won’t be any weddings of family for 1-3 years. If there is one in prior to that one-year minimum…Hallmark card.
I was chastised by 'my smoking hot wife' (watch the trailer for the movie below) for not having a link to the page she maintains on my blog. Merely an oversight, I assured her. So, if you want to see what's going on with Paula, check out the new link on the right side of the page. It's titled "Paula's Page". I've atoned for my more sleepin' on the couch.
In conclusion…
I can honestly say this is the most attention I've paid to NASCAR, and it's not even real. Maybe that's why I like it so much. Anywa, just two more weeks until the movie of the summer comes out: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Go to the web page and check it out. You can even create your own racing nickname as I did.
"Thanks for my sons, Walker and Texas Ranger...."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Story Time

A story: Miriam had four children and no daughters after a decade of marriage. She wanted a little girl to dress up and go shopping with and stuff that girls do. Then Rachell was born and Miriam had a daugther; after a few years of incessant screaming (For NO apparent reason; her brothers never provoked her. She was just a screamer.) and a monopoly on the photo album worthy of an anti-trust suit, us boys embraced Rachell as family and there's been mostly peace and contentment ever since.
After a quarter century of marriage, Miriam still had only one daughter to go with five boys. Then in August of 2004, a miracle happened: Nathan got married! No one really saw it coming and it was a testament to the virtues of fasting and prayer. Now Miriam had two daughters - Rachell and Lindsay - and she loved them both. Then, like manna from heaven, another miracle more astounding than the first happened: Logan got married! Pegged as the brother who would be the favorite uncle with all the toys as a perrenial bachelor, the common comment was: "Has anyone actually met this girl? He's not making this up, right?" Now Miriam had three daughters - Rachell, Lindsay and Paula - and she loved them all.
Now, for the third time in just over two years, Miriam will have four daughters: Benjamin is getting married! Not sure whether Ben even liked girls, everyone is thrilled (and relieved). Now Miriam will have four daughters - Rachell, Lindsay, Paula and Ryanne - and she'll love them all. The End.

(Ladies of the Roberts clan, L-R: Ryanne, Rachell, Lindsay, Paula)
But seriously, congrats to Ben and Ryanne on their engagement! They are going to be married on November 24, 2006 in Mesa, Arizona for time and all eternity.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The American Way

Well, just wanted to give a shout out to our country, the United States of America, and share some thoughts and feelings I have concerning this day. (Readers be warned: there probably won't be a lot of humor in this post; I'm going to attempt to be serious, so read at your own peril.)
Will and I recently saw the new Superman movie. I really enjoyed the movie and recommended it; but there was one part that bothered me just a little. In the other Superman movies, the man of steel stood 'truth, justice and the American way.' In this newest one, the screenwriters played to the sentiment of the day and changed the wording of the phrase to 'truth, justice and that other stuff.'
It seems in the world today, the 'American Way' is mocked and ridiculed by people both foreign and domestic; those who espouse such a mind set are deemed at 'radical' or 'old-fashioned' in their thinking. The George Clooney's, Natalie Maines', Howard Dean's, Alec Baldwin's and Susan Sarandon's of the world would have us believe that America is the tyrant of the world, pushing around the world to accept our way of government. They would have us believe those who fight for our peace and safety are murderers, thugs and rapists. This is a hasty generalization, an unfounded assertion based on the actions of a minute contingent of immoral military men. Yet we would be led to believe it is common occurence.
I love this country; I love the precepts upon which it was founded. The wording of the Declaration of Independence, written my Thomas Jefferson and championed in the First Continental Congress by John Adams, strengthens my belief in the goodness of this cause called Independence. Below are some excerpts of the Declaration.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...That whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem
most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...But when a long train of
abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to
reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
security...We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for
the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good
People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United
Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States...And for the
support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our
sacred Honor."

There should be little doubt the Founding Fathers of our country were men of deep faith in a Supreme Being, who were courageous and honorable me. It has been said they were the best the Lord had on the earth at the time. And of the 56 men who signed the document, the oldest was Benjamin Franklin, age 71; the youngest, Edward Rutledge at 26. As a result of their conviction to the cause of independence, these men were forced to make terrible sacrifice. Five of the signers were captured as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary War; another had two sons captured. Nine died from wounds or from the hardships of the war.
Yet these were men who did not back down, who did not yield to the enemy of freedom. Liberty was the cause and they championed it until their deaths. I believe these men were inspired by God to set up a nation where religion was a right to be had by all, where the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ could be brought forth and prosper.
While I've mostly just rambled incoherently, I'll conclude with this. I love this country; I admire the men who pledge their lives, fortune and sacred honor for the establishment of a place where the individual is master; I pray that responsible citizens, men and women of good judgement and sound understanding, will step up to the task at hand and protect our freedoms from wicked and conspiring individuals. As J. Reuben Clark stated: "...the price of liberty is and always has been blood, human blood, and if our liberties are lost, we shall never regain them except at the price of blood. They must not be lost!"
So, as we spend today with family and friends, as we go to parks and lakes, as we spend time in the city or the mountains, as we watch fireworks and see the flag, let us remember those who went before us, who sacrificed all they had that we might enjoy such things.
Happy 4th.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Iiittttt’ss been one week...

A week ago today was when I arrived home to find the door bashed in and our apartment emptied of most of our electronic devices, some earrings and a couple of gym bags. I’ve learned a lot in the past week. Here are some of them.

The initial reaction:
My temper isn't as controlled as I thought it was
The control over my language is greater than I thought it was
My lust for revenge outweighs reason

The trespassers:
Are idiots and a myriad of other names (see comments in Violated)
Don’t know good comedy (they left Seinfeld)
Shouldn’t underestimate my ability to hold a grudge

The gun:
You have to drive to Cumming, Georgia to find a place that’ll sell you one
Without a criminal record, buying a gun’s easy
Anonymous wants me to ‘PLEASE BE CAREFUL!”
My sister wants me to “hit ‘em with your best shot”
My brother’s girlfriend wants me to “fire away”

The mental aftermath:
It’s hard not to stereotype
It’s hard not to stereotype
It’s hard not to stereotype

Couple of lessons learned:
Get to know your neighbors
Replace the 2” screws in your door with 4” screws
You can’t have too many locks
You can only have so many locks

The moral lesson:
Things are just things; they can be replaced
Joy comes from people, not material goods
I need to be more like the friends I have
Don't let the actions of others determine your happiness

Paula and I are safe. We appreciate the outpouring of concern, support and help we’ve received.
Amy, Melissa, Todd, Mark, Noelle and Holly: a special, heartfelt shout for your incredible generosity and undeviating friendship. Thank you all so much. We are blessed to have you as our friends.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

An ounce of prevention...and a slug

"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Any punk who tries to violate my home and disturb my peace of mind is going to find themselves in a similar situation as did the criminal in the movie Dirty Harry. They won't have the luxury of staring down the barrel of a little .44 Magnum; they'll get to face the consequences of a 12-gauge pump action Winchester shotgun with 3" slugs. Like to invade people's homes and steal things? Try it with a whole in your gut. How you like them apples?

This is one of the measures I've taken to help secure our home after the experience we had on Wednesday. (If you don't know what I'm referring to, just read the previous post.) It is a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun. Holds four shells plus one in the chamber. I've loaded a warning shot with pellets, followed by some 3" slug cartridges. Having experienced what we did and having experienced first-hand the depravity and pathetic behavior some of the baser human beings with whom we coexist, I've decided there are to be no chances taken as pertaining to the safety of Paula and myself.
So, Mr. Low-life Punk who has chosen a life of criminality and deviance, next time you want to trespass and take something that doesn’t belong to you, don't bring a knife to this gunfight. Papa bear has a little present waiting for you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


At 4:27pm on June 21, 2006, I received a call from Paula as I drove into our apartment complex – Eagles Pointe. Her voice was shaking.
“Logan, I think someone tried to break into our apartment.”In a moment I had parked the car and was at the door. There was significant damage to the door and frame; I was enraged.

The Door

More door

You can see how they use a crowbar and hammer to bus into the apartment

Without taking into account the appropriate safety precautions, I pushed open the warped door and surveyed the scene. Someone had not only tried, but had succeeded in breaking into our apartment. At once I noticed things missing. The rack which held all our DVD’s (20+), my X-Box games (10) was practically empty; our DVD player was missing; my X-Box and the three controllers I had were also gone.

The rack that used to be full of DVD's; the idiots didn't take Season 3 of Seinfeld. The most expensive set besides Band of Brothers.

Walking down the hall, I came to the first bedroom. All the drawers were pulled out and on the ground; the mattress and several blankets were strewn about the room. Several of Paula’s bags were missing, as was the Canon Rebel 35mm camera she loved.

Note all the books are still there.

Onto the master bedroom, I found several drawers open, the contents strewn about. Paula’s jewelry box was open and several items were missing, including her favorite watch, a Christmas gift from her mother. The most expensive item stolen was her school-issued laptop computer, and IBM Thinkpad. Totaled up, these thieves and low-life’s made out with at least $3000 worth of merchandise from our apartment; they transported the stolen goods in her gym bag was also stolen, in which was her MP3 player and headphones.

The most frustrating thing is not that these worthless individuals made off with some of our material possessions; it isn’t that we had no renters insurance; the thing that makes me angrier than I have ever been in my entire life is my home was violated. Strangers, individuals without morals, the thugs who are worthless except to God (and only through a love I cannot comprehend) rummaged through our possessions and violated the place we are supposed to be safe.
These imbeciles who trespassed into our home were not intelligent individuals; no books were taken. These asinine juveniles who stole from us were not doing it because they were hungry; no food was taken. These no good, dimwitted jackasses who have robbed my wife and I of our peace of mind were not in need of shelter or warmth; no clothes or blankets were taken. These pathetic wastes-of-flesh were punks who stole those things they can sell and get money for.
These subhuman encroachers, these parasites, are individuals who will never hold a job; they are putrid scum who will lie, cheat and steal their way through this mortal existence, robbing individuals of material possessions, peace of mind and eventual they will take someone’s life. These despicable vermin will not take advantage of a free education; they will not take advantage of government grants and subsidies. They will not use the gifts of living in the most generous country in the world because they are lazy, pathetic, loathsome creatures.
These miserable excuses for human beings will slough their way through life, leaching of your tax dollars and mine as we pay for their meals, housing and vehicles because they don’t work; our tax doalrs will pay their legal fees every time they are arrested; our tax dollars will pay their burial fees when they are shot by police, meet their end at the hand of one of their peers in prison or with a needle full of poison.
And when that finally happens, good riddance to bad rubbish.
I won’t cry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


People driving slow in the fast lane bothers me. A lot. It definetly makes my top five of things other people do that annoy me. (My TFTOPDAM.) Up for discussion today is another item in the TFTOPDAM. This gripes me more, actually. This item is the lack of respect and patriotism for this country. The basic freedoms and rights afforded the citizens – and non-citizens for that matter – are second to none; as such, these rights and freedoms are often abused by those individuals whose selfish endeavors belittle the noble and undermine the brave. It is the slimy byproduct of these inherent freedoms.
Patriotism – loving one’s country and supporting its authority and interests – is an essential attribute for maintaining freedom. Any organization that is successful over the long term understands the necessity for internal solidarity and unity in a common cause; without this, an organization may be successful, but only until a stronger and more unified organization decides to assert itself. Then it will fall to pieces.
Likewise with our country: unless the people have an overarching sense of loyalty and support to the nation in which they dwell, their country begins a swift and dangerous spiral towards ambivalence; from ambivalence to discontent, from discontent to disarray, from disarray to ambiguity. It is then the collective is weakest, having destroyed itself from the inside; and with no interior support its strength is an apparition.
Many of the malcontents who feel the need for this outdated passion (patriotism) come from a little town called Hollywood. It is interesting that many of these people are some of the least educated as to history and social science; many are the overindulged who have never been told ‘no’ and get what they want when they want it because of their status or money. One trio of gripers is the Dixie Chicks. In a recent interview with the London Telegraph, lead singer Natalie Maines made her view of patriotism very clear:

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity
for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our
land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the
whole country... I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Ah, the wisdom of the overindulged; why care about anything but yourself? Pick your social woe, become a vigilante for its cause and who cares about anything – or anyone – else. I think we should all adopt this type of mentality.
Let’s call in Mainestality.
Definition: It’s about me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Alphabet Soup

As the title of this post indicates, just some random shizzle. First item of business...

Someone – or something – left a comment on the last post. It’s really weird and posted below as it came:

Fister says.More car shoppers are Southwest Airlines flight skidded off a file charges until next week. features, and Acanthostega, the clear path to American citizenship for
This was from Manuel Spindleberger. It was posted at 4:44 pm yesterday. Hmmm. Interesting, isn’t it? Manuel must be a Hispanic-Germanic American. And who is Fister? If it's a he, then he'd be Mr. Fister. This whole thing is a little disturbing.
Next topic….

Went to Doc Chey’s last night with the ol’ crew. It was good. Had these funky salted beans...they were really good. After eating oodles of noodles, we went to Piedmont Park for the movie thing DaveFM does on Thursday nights. I don’t remember the name and don’t feel like finding it. There were thousands and thousands of people there. We didn’t see any of the feature – Ferris Beuller’s Day Off – because it was so packed. There are a lot of weirdoes and crazies that come out at night at Piedmont Park. But crazy people have to come out in public. Otherwise they’d just be people with big holes in their noses and ears with body art, sitting in their apartment watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

I’ve updated the content at For those who have been there, you know what I’m talking about. Those who haven’t, don’t worry about it. Anyway, there are 5-10 more chapters available for your enjoyment – or ridicule, whatever’s taking you there – so enjoy.

Today one of our supervisors brought in Chik-Fil-A for everyone. I mean a TON of it. I’d guess 20-30 Chikin’ biscuits, 20-30 boxes of tots, 20-30 boxes of Chikin breakfast burritous, 20-30 sausage biscuits and a big platter of some kind of cinnamon roll thing. I’m not exaggerating these numbers. It was like manna…but better...and not from heaven...and easily identifiable...and provided by Amy...I guess the only correlation I can draw is we were thankful for it. (I’m hoping that isn’t blasphemous, saying Chik-Fil-A breakfast foods are better than manna.)

Does it make me less of a man that I like the song For You I Will by Teddy Geiger? That's a rhetorical question, so no smart comments. You hear me Manuel? Sie hören mich, Manuel? ¿Usted me oye, Manuel?
Some other random songs I enjoy: Sister by The Nixons, Closer to Free by The Bodeans, Steal My Sunshine by LEN, Banditos and Interstate and Go Down by The Refreshments, and Zip-Lock by Lit.
Finally (and most disturbing)…

Why am I getting the shaft? In six short years I’ve built a dynasty out of the tiny Richmond Spiders, boosted attendance from a measely 8,000 to a maxed out 25,000, overcame NCAA probation (resulting in a limited number scholarships to recruit with), playing in a weak conference (the MAC), have won three National Championships, am currently undefeated and with one regular season game left am not slated to play in the championship game. It’s a travesty, a sham and a mockery…it’s a traveshamockery! Another example of the problems with the BCS system…
Isn't that incredible all that is 100% true...and can be found in a video game? I love techonology! Ich liebe Technologie! ¡Adoro la tecnología!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Teach the Children

So I have a new church calling. I’ve been called as the second councilor in the Young Men’s presidency; that doubles as the Deacon’s Quorum advisor. Trying to teach a bunch of 12 to 14-year-old’s gospel oriented material and helping to inspire in them testimonies of the divinity of Jesus Christ and how to use the Spirit to guide them is an interesting challenge. Kids will be kids and boys will be boys. It’s a trip.
Basically, there are four types of kids: The one who’s oblivious to all things gospel related; the one who knows everything and answer ever question; the annoying one who thinks he’s funny; the one who gets stuck on some tangent because his parents forgot the Ritalin. A couple weeks ago we had a lesson about fasting. The typical spectrum of answers to my questions sort of go like this:

What’s the difference between starving and fasting?

“What is fasting?”
“Fasting is going without food or drink for 24 hours; it is for a purpose and should be combined with prayer and scripture study. Starving's just not eating. Sometimes I…”
“It means you can run fast.”
“I’m hungry. I like licorice.”

Okay…great. Why do we fast?
“Does it mean you run fast?”
“To learn to put the physical desires of our bodies secondary to things of a spiritual nature. We are asked to fast once a month – the first Sunday – and pay fast offerings. Our fast offerings should be generous and aren’t the same as tithing. Tithing is actually a…”
“Seriously, I’m really fast.”
“I like red licorice.”

Right…good. What are some of the blessings that come from fasting?
“You mean like a medal for winning a race?”
“There can be an increase in testimony; people can be healed. Sometimes there is rain after a drought. In our family history, there was this time my great-great-great-grandpa was a boy and there was a drought….”
“You’re blessed I don’t race you.”
“I don’t like black licorice.”
Um huh...Did you know who fasted 40 days?

“That’s impossible. A person would die!”
“Jesus. He was in the wilderness and was tempted by Satan in three ways: turning the rock into bread, being given wealth and popularity, and also to have angels catch him. But these are also all figurative temptations… ”
“I bet I’m faster than you are. You’re old”
"Are Twizzler’s and Red Vines both licorices?”

OK! I think that's the bell. Time to go.