Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Reason to Bleed Cougar Blue

Just a quick post an another reason why I love the essence of BYU athletics.

Bronco Mendenhall's name was swirling around as a potential prospect for the head coaching gig at UCLA. In a time where there is maybe a minutia of honor or integrity left in the hiring process in NCAA programs, it is nothing short of refreshing to have a head coach like Bronco. I really like what he says in this video clip about why he coaches at BYU. While I make no naive generalization about the integrity of the entire population of BYU student athletes, I do have confidence that the overwhelming majority follow in the footsteps of their head coach.

Yet another reason to rise and shout...
Now for my soapbox speech:
I know personally and from life experience many people who hate - that is no exaggeration - BYU. H-a-t-e it. Passionately. The thought makes their blood boil. I'm not talking about the random hater. I'm talking about LDS folks. (Caveat: This isn't about folks who just prefer another university; I'm talking about the angry and bitter little people out there.) And I have to question why. What is it that invokes such indignation, such animosity, such bitter bile that people become almost unable to utter anything coherent?
Is it because of the standards BYU espouses?
Is it because of the rules BYU enforces?
Is it because of the meshing of spiritual thought and secular learning?
My hypothesis is this:
These people hate BYU not simply for all the above reasons, but because those who attend BYU are mortal; and, by being in such a state, they fall short of the standards, rules and codes of the institution - either by deliberate action or a hiccup of better judgment. And these transgressions make them hypocrites because they have not followed by every rule to which they agreed but still espouse the rules which they violated.
The ironic thing to me is that, each members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has made covenants to live at a certain standard. In essence, each has signed an honor code. And these people are mortal; and, by being in such a state, they fall short of the standards - either by deliberate action of a hiccup of better judgment - and transgress the code by which they promised to abide. And these transgressions make them hypocrites because they have not follow by every standard to which they agreed but still espouse the rules which they violated.
But that's just one guy's observation.
Cougar-faithfuls and Cougar-hatefuls, now it's your turn to tell me what you think.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I owe my family and the five other people who look at this blog an apology for the length of time I've gone between posts. I had one ready to go the second week of November but the pics wouldn't load right and I forgot about it. I've posted it now (it follow this one) so there are some month old pictures there from when G&G Roberts came out for Lydia's blessing the first part of November.
Anyway, life has been uber-busy. (Uber is a hip German world for 'really'; I don't know if that's an exact translation, but I'm not the New York Times...oh, maybe I am and I don't check my facts before I put it in print. Yikes! I am the NYT.) I haven't even read any blogs in the past month or so, much less written anything. Sort of out-of-sight, out-of-mind, you know? Anyway, to put the past month in perspective, this is what's been going on - my life since the first of November:

1st weekend: G&G Roberts come into town for Lydia's blessing. I end up have to work the weekend on a mock run of a major project at work.

2nd weekend: Have to Friday night, Saturday and Sunday on the live run of a major project at work; spoke in Sacrament meeting on the topic of service as it relates to the great commandment.

3rd weekend: Wake up Friday morning at 3:30 am to get everything ready to catch a 6am flight to SLC for Ty and Kami's wedding. It's our first time traveling with a child. Stay up until 11:30 local time with family and friends, making it a 22 hour day. Saturday is full of wedding activities and stay up until 12am watching the DVR'd BYU v UW game at the Brough's house w/ Elder Brough as we explore the intricacies of his new iPhone. Sunday wake up at 5:30 to go back to Atlanta. We also had a 4 hour layover in Minneapolis on the way home, which would have been awful if not for the chance to see Zach, Keri and Saylor as they caught a connecting flight to PA. It had been 1 1/2 years since we'd seen them and it was a pretty sweet reunion.

4th weekend: Thanksgiving on Thursday, paint the kitchen and dining room of the new house; Paula decided she doesn't like the color she picked out and has me repaint the kitchen and dining room with a new color that looks pretty much the exact same; attend Ty and Kami's open house; watch the DVR'd BYU v UU game. Get a call from my mom at midnight telling me the score of the BYU-UNC bball game, so I log onto the computer and listen to the game till 1am; get up early next morning for bishopric meetings; get released; smile.

1st weekend (December): As with week 4, spend every non-job working moment working on the house. Lay tile Thursday night from 8pm straight through until Friday morning 6am, with help from Todd from 11pm to 2am; go to the apartment for a nap, get up and pack boxes and work some more on the house; get up early Saturday to find out U-Haul can take a reservation, but they can't hold a reservation; get a different, oversized truck from Penske and move. Get a lot of help from some great friends.

So anyway, that's been the scoop. There are a lot of little things that go into moving into a house, especially one that needs work, and I'm not a "little things" kind of person. It's been a bit crazy and while I've managed to get all the big stuff done, some of the little stuff has hung around to bite me. Oh well, what can you do? Live and and learn.

There's the update. Pics will come later. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

G&G Roberts meet their granddaughter

Basically, you've got four kinds of bloggers:

  1. The kind that blog everyday with little, pointless drivel (not that the degree of drivel differs among blogs in general) that doesn't really do anything for anyone. Like liberals.
  2. The bloggers who post weekly, allowing interesting events to build up and turn the events into something worth reading.
  3. Those who post sporadically but with distinct flavor and excitement and those who frequent the blog anxiously await every opportunity to read and comment, even if there's nothing there - like college freshmen and dating.
  4. Then there are those who post once in a blue moon, so rare that you almost forget they have a blog and when they do post it's a mile long and takes almost the month before the next post to finish first.
Then there's this blog: pointless drivel, sprinkled with excitement sporadically as there are posts, but often far too long and sit down and really read. And I'm not sure that's something to aspire to.
Anyway, Paula posted some pics of my parents' visit to see their granddaughter. It was a good time, though I worked intermittently throughout their stay (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) which prevented ever venturing too far from home base. But we did have some good times. They are so great; Sunday night, Paula started feeling sick and their flight was leaving at 6:15am, which meant they needed to be at the airport around 5am, which meant we needed to leave by 4:30am, which meant getting up even earlier. So Grandma and Grandpa gave us the bed and slept on the single and couch while taking care of Lydia so we could rest. Seriously, a pair of troopers. They were so helpful and fun, not to mention very much in love with their first granddaughter. And Lydia reciprocated that love with a ton of smiles for them.
I'm going to just post some pics (with pithy comments) and wrap it up.

I'm practicing how I'm going to answer the phone when boys start calling for my daughter.
(Is Lydia there? Yep. Can I talk to her? Nope. Wha... Click. Dad!!! What? Wrong number.)

Statements like "My kid is the cutest in the world" always garnish an eye-roll from me. Really - yours is the cutest? Have you seen every kid in the world? So I won't say that. Cuz it's annoying and I'm a hypocrite in enough other ways I don't need another on the list. Even so, this kid's pretty darn cute.

This is at the World of Coca-Cola, not the North Pole. The polar bear really confused Lydia, but I assured her if it was the North Pole we'd have brought a jacket for her.

Outside the church building with G&G Roberts. Don't really have any smart comments for this...

Ah, the cousins. Both were very cute and both were imitating the other - Juliana awake and alert, Lydia passed out and fast asleep. What a couple of jokers. Whenever the general public finds out how close they are in age, the general consensus is that they'll be best of friends. We'll see; I hope so, but all bets are off when girls become teens.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I just noticed that it’s been over two weeks since I last posted. The weird thing isn’t the lack of posting – it’s that somehow the world continues to spin in spite of this. Is it possible that I’m not as influential as I think I am? Hmmm….

Since the world’s spinning, that mean time marches on and stuff’s happening. Since 90% of you who read me read Paula, you know we’ve purchased a house. Yep, I’ve just accrued a bunch of debt. And honestly, I don’t even care. Sure, I’ll probably care when something breaks and I can’t call maintenance (not that it’s done much in our apartment) but right now I’m just excited. It’s a pretty sweet house and I spent most of my day there Saturday prepping everything for paint, changing locks, killing fire ants and ripping out a nasty linoleum kitchen floor. I did some serious sweating, grunting and a little bleeding – so yeah, a good day. I’m starting to come in early for work so I can leave early and spend the evenings getting the place ready. It’s a wild ride, but exciting.

Lydia’s awesome. Still. She’s a big hit at church and other places, so that’s cool. I mean, I’m a big fan, but am also admittedly biased; having other people affirm my prideful ambitions is nice. But seriously, she’s a great kid. I’m sure it would be helpful if I posted some pictures. I’ll do that later.

What else….oh, upcoming events. Tomorrow I’m going to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. That’s right. Wild, eh? Well, my coworker and friend Jeff had a ticket and his wife doesn’t like the Pumpkins so I’m going for free. I’m not a huge fan, but it’s free and I know a couple songs from back in the day, so what the heck. I’m pretty convinced there are going to be a ton of crazies there, dressed in black and stuff. I’ll try to get some pics. You can all look forward to that.

Thursday night/Friday morning Grandma and Grandpa Roberts are flying into town to visit their granddaughter. That should be a lot of fun – I’m excited for them to see her and her them. From what I’ve heard, Grandpa can be quite the baby-monopolizer. Luckily there are only two of them or it could come to blows. That wouldn’t be good. But seriously, I don’t know what we’re going to do while they’re in town, but it will be nice to see them. Sometimes living a couple thousand miles away from your parents really stinks.

I’ve just re-read this post. It isn’t really that clever or informative. But it fills the space. Here’s a song from Finger Eleven. It’s called Paralyzer.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shout Out: Double Feature

It’s been a while since one of my world-renowned Shout Outs has made the blog – nearly 7 months. It’s time for another. This is going to be a dual S.O. (that’s what they call the Shout Out on the street), which would make this post SO-SO…basically like all the rest of this blog, minus the uppercase.

First S.O. goes to a fella we like to call F-Rock or Frocker. Forrest, the last of the brothers before the break (aka Rachell) and probably the sib who’s received the least amount of love on this blog. Not because it doesn’t exist, but just because he was away serving the Lord in a little place call Brazil for a significant portion of Cyber Commorancy’s existence.

My first vivid memory of Forrest was when Mom brought him to the elementary school for “Show & Tell” in my kindergarten class shortly after his birth. We called him Daniel then and for the first little bit of his life because Forrest sounded too old for a baby; while I don’t remember when the change took place, it wasn’t late enough for him to avoid having his chops busted in elementary school with the phrase “Run Forrest, run!” (To this day my mom hates that movie for that reason.) If memory serves correctly, Forrest let someone have it with a shot to the face after one such teasing and as such it stopped.

So, Frocker, here’s my tribute to you. While we have been separated by time, space and hair density for a large part of our lives, it doesn’t change the fact I’m a big fan. To the bond only brothers can have, the soon-to-be Forrest Roberts family and of course your b-day 22 years ago.

Now if you don’t think this F-Rock is the greatest F-Rock ever, I will fight you. That’s no lie.

Who is the second S.O. to? I’ll answer your question with a question:

I can look down on the world while being rooted firmly in it;
You may find yourself riding me if you make the team but aren’t good.

(I’m sorry. We needed that in the form of a question. We’d have accepted “What is pine” or ‘Who is Pyne”.)
I’ve always been a fan of both Greg and Melissa – Melissa for her unassuming kindness and generosity, Greg for his Halo skillz (that’s right, with a ‘z’), uncanny resemblance to Dr. Jack Shepard and ability to grow facial hair seemingly on demand.

Recently Greg and Mel have been uber-generous with their time and efforts with Lydia’s arrival in our family. Every week they come to visit us – the first time was at the hospital and for the past two weeks they’ve come to our apartment with dinner; afterwards Melissa watches Lydia so Paula can sleep; Greg helps me play Halo3. Last night was a particularly impressive effort as they stayed until 1am. This is no small thing as they live 40+ miles away. As those who've had children know, having someone come and allow you rest is invaluable. Cuz if momma don’t get her sleep than momma ain’t happy and if momma ain’t happy…dang.

So, Pyne family, here’s to you – to The Big Chill weekend in Augusta, the gin incident at Carrabbas, being addicted to Lost and to friends who are always there when you need them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Homeward bound

Hey friends! Greetings from the study/baby's room of our apartment. The little one is enjoying a delicious feast of...milk. So I got a little time to mention the going-ons of the family.

First, please note the links at the top of the left hand column of the blog (the right hand side if you're looking at the screen from behind it) as there are some links to some radio stations I've built on a little thing called Pandora. I blogged about it a while back. Anyway, if you are at work or at school or at home or the market (probably not the market;I just through that in there because saying 'the market' is sort of fun) you can come to my blog, click on one of the stations and automatically enjoy some tunes. My preferred station is Stroke 9 Radio; Breaking Benjamin is a bit aggressive; Jack Johnson is laid back; Phantom Planet is punk; Bother is...different.

Next up is a picture of Lydia. I was going to leave it to Paula to post pic's of our little girl on her page, but evidently she's too 'busy' with feeding and changing and bathing and cleaning and cooking and errands and regaining strength after childbirth...apparently this is 'time consuming' and 'requires a lot of time'. Also, Rachell left a comment demanding more pics of her niece and since I like my sister more than that boy from South Jordan does, I'm going to oblige her. Anyway, I think Lydia's still really cute. Her skin is adjusting to, well, air. This is causing her to breakout a little bit, but that doesn't phase me.

It still boggles my mind how little she is. I don't realize it because I hold her so close and have my face right next to her all the time that it seems she's bigger than she actually is. One of the reasons I'm including these two shots is because it reminds me how tiny she is. (you can click on the picture so you can see more of her and less of me. I'd suggest that). I mean, look at my hand in this first picture! it covers her whole body. Crazy. She's so precious to me that even after three short weeks of having her in our family I don't know what I'd do without her. It's mind-bottling, everything about it. Going to work is pretty much the worst and if it wouldn't ruin her sleeping habits I'd have her sleep on my chest all the time. Being a dad pretty much rocks.

Finally, I'm happy to report that we are going to be home owners! Sure enough. I think I may have mentioned it in a previous post, but we had bid on a bank-owned home and were outbid. We were surprised because there's some work that needs to be done and in today's market I thought we'd made a reasonable offer. Well, apparently the jokers who outbid us were all bark and no bite. Two Friday's ago our agent told us the contract had fallen through; we resubmitted our original offer and the back countered at just $2500 more than our offer. So we pulled the trigger and just got the contract today. After a home inspection we're off to the races. The lender we are going with said he can have this closed in 2 weeks, so just like that we'll be out of this apartment and into a house. We are excited to get out of this complex; our neighbors are new on a regular basis because the previous tenants find themselves evicted. So...we don't exactly associate with the creme de la creme of society.
It's hard to believe we're at this point. I was IM'ing the Nerf the other day and he said "Who would have thought two years ago when you were unemployed, single and driving the Buck that you'd have a job, be married with a kid and owning a home? At best I thought you'd be a single father in an apartment." He's always been a builder....but seriously, I appreciated the hilarity of that zinger. I laughed out loud and shared it with Paula. But there's some truth to my brother's pithy comment - life goes by really quick. And I have nothing profound to compliment that obvious statement. It is what it is. Enjoy the pics and descriptive captions...

Here's the front

What you seen when you walk in

From the kitchen. A 42" flat screen needs to go above the mantle

From the living room to the kitchen

The back yard and such.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week in Review

I’ll tell you what – it’s been one of those weeks. In a good way. Nothing incredibly profound or extraordinary, like winning a million dollars or having all the Dems experience an enlightening and turn from their path to socialism, but good nonetheless.

First, and perhaps most importantly I finished the fight. Master Chief (Spartan 117) again defied fate and saved Earth and the universe from the sinister parasite Gravemind and the delude Covenant. It wasn't easy and there were casualties everywhere - like my sleep. But freedom isn't free. Nor is it won without sacrifice.
I’d like to thank those that made this possible. First my wife for allowing me to dabble in silly things like video games and loving me anyway; my well exercised thumbs for the nimbleness and cat-like reflexes on the analog controller; Microsoft, for their aggressive and dominating marketing that hooked me; Archie, Zach and Nathan for countless hours of mayhem; and my new partner in Xboxing, my daughter Lydia.

Second, the Cougars of BYU pulled off a road win. This is no little task, especially since BYU is located in Utah and the state was 0-11 in road games this year until last night. I didn’t realize that New Mexico was 4-0 going into the game and that it was their homecoming, so this win is a little more impressive than it normally would. I’ve determined that we’re just a young team and as such, prone to some nervous mistakes. That’s good news for the future. Lydia was especially excited with the win, as evidenced by her wide-eyed, floppy headed gaze into the heavens and the fact she wanted me to enjoy her pacifier for her.
Editor's Note: The awesome BYU onesie is from the Sucher family. In the words of my wife's forebearers - Muchos Gracias.

Next, the season premier of The Office was this week. Not only would this normally be awesome, but the fact it was an hour long episode was icing on an already amazing cake. Three more weeks of hour long episodes...need I say more?

Also, I got a notice from Equifax that my credit score went up and it changes the rate at which I’d get a mortgage. I don’t understand this whole credit score thing and after reading up multiple times on it, I don’t think anyone does. There’s no clear cut criterion for what makes your FICO score what it is; my speculation is that credit scores were created the same way the doctrine of modern day Christianity was at Nicene: some one in charge who knew nothing about credit got together a bunch of accountants and told them to come up with some number system, though none of them really agreed about the body, parts or passions of the score. But it was the best they could do.
The reason I say this is because I have 0 (zero) debt of any kind. None. I carry no balances on any of my credit cards. I have 1 (one) delinquency notice three years ago on a Kohl’s card I didn’t know I had, but it’s only a month over due. But people with car payments and student loans and such have a better score than I do. Doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, the reason this is good news is because the house we had made a bid on a couple months back and lost on is available again. The contract fell through the seller agent called our agent and told her even before the contract was terminated that she thought it would and we should be ready to offer again. So we did on Friday. Who knows – I could be a home owner soon. Weird and wild stuff. Married with a kid and owning a home. I feel so established. And grown up.

Good thing I have an Xbox to clearly illustrate I’m not.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Finishing the Fight

Obligatory Baby Update: Lydia is doing well, just eating sleeping and soiling diapers. Not a bad gig, you know? She had an appointment with the pediatrician Monday and got a clean bill of health. In fact, she's gained two ounces since we brought her home last Thursday. Today she's a week old and as beautiful as ever (maybe more so). Half of my sleep deprivation comes at my own expense, wanting to hold her and look at her instead of actually getting sleep like I should. Oh well. Sleep will be there when I'm old and gumming up my food; my baby girl is only a baby for a little bit.

Well, today is the day. Master Chief is back to take on the Covenant horde, this time on Earth, in the final installment of the Halo Trilogy. I'm pretty excited about it and plan on picking up my copy on the way home from work today. I may even splurge and go with the Legendary Edition for an extra $15.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about the Halo Trilogy except that it revolutionized gaming and has a rich and compelling story line. (For those who want to learn more or if you lady's would like to read up and impress the men in your life with your intimate knowledge of the storyline, check it out here for an overview. Don't be afraid to click on some links to learn more.) And, like everything, it's exciting to have some kind of closure. Basically, without Halo 3 it would be like JK Rowling never penning HP and the Deathly Hallows - it would be frustrating and agonizing.

For those who say "What's the big deal?" let me throw some knowledge your way. The original Halo came was and is considered one of the greatest video games of all time and put the Microsoft gaming industry on the map, positioning it in the running with Sony and Nintendo. Halo 2 racked up $125 million in sales within the first 24 hours of its release; prior to the release today, there were well over 1 million pre-ordered copies of the game. The first two games have sold over 15 million copies worldwide since the original release in 2001. Even the stock market has reacted to the release of H3, with Microsoft stock rising 3.35 percent at one point.

Yes, Halo is just a video game. No, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. But either do shoe styles. Or trendy clothing. Or Harry Potter. (That sudden drop in oxygen levels are Pottheads everywhere gasping in dismay.) Or anything related to Hollywood and their ilk. It's simply a welcome distraction to the mundane; a guilty pleasure like Double Stuffed Oreo's and a glass of whole milk.
Except without the fat and calories and regret...and you save the world.

This first video is a teaser trailer. Very exciting.

This video is also a teaser trailer. More exciting.

This is a unique trailer done with a still frame diorama. Different and cool. Interact here.

Halo 3 - Believe 90 Second TV Spot

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cyber Commorancy Exclusive!

This is an exclusive for the viewers of my blog.

I know most folks will be looking at Paula's page for some pics and that her page will be the one filled with Lydia in the future, so I thought I'd give you faithful readers of Cyber Commorency a sneak peek. (Look quickly because once Paula finds out I haven't put any pics on her blog I'll be in trouble.)

Yesterday afternoon at 1:23pm, Lydia Roberts came into the world weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz.; she measured 19 inches and is sporting a full head of dark hair. I think she is gorgeous, though I am admittedly bias. But she has no bruising or smashed nose, is quiet as can be and loves sleep more than food.

Paula is recovering well. Though I loved her before Lydia, I love her even more now after seeing what she went through - what she was willing to go through - to bring our daughter into this world.

Anyway, I'll be sure to post with some deep and profound thoughts that will forever alter the view of childbirth in the 21st century (tongue firmly implanted in cheek) later on after I've had a chance to digest everything. But wisdom later, pics now

Immediately after Lydia was born - like 2 minutes. I was running around with a camera in one hand and blood on the other from the umbilical chord. It was a mad scene.

Grandma Kilgore with little Lydia. Paul and Julia came by about 1/2 hour before Lydia was born, so they were back in the room an hour later (Paula only pushed for maybe 15 minutes.)

Here I am. I'm going with the severe head tilt and look a bit like an idiot. Oh well. If you know me, I'm not one to get all excited and giddy (we all know my view on the over use of exclamation points) but I was running around like a decapitated chicken. What do you do?

Here's Lydia (right) with her cousin Juliana (left, obviously) a couple hours after the birth. Lydia was due on the 9th, Juliana the twenty....third? or twenty-second? but came last week on the 10th. They're almost the exact same size (L=7 15, 19in;J=8, 18in) with almost the same birthday. Weird, wild stuff.

Here's Paula this morning, about 17 hours after the birth of the little one. Like I said, Paula has become one of the people I most admire after seeing what she did. Incredible. They're a good looking pair. Heckagood looking.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just stuff

What’s crappenin? Huh. Evidently spell check isn’t working because it has accepted ‘crappenin’ as a word. Maybe the world has come to accept ‘crappenin’ as a legitimate part of the English language. Just another word or phrase that got its roots from the halls of Pine View in good ol’ Rexburg. It’s nice to see the world is coming around. Better late than never…

Anyway, that got me off on a tangent. Weird. What I wanted to do was start out by thanking everyone from their outpouring of support for the mighty Cougars. Six comments! That’s the most since the post about maiming…er, piercing…Lydia’s ears (7 comments) and equal to the cumulative total of the previous five posts. So, to all you who commented – the faithful, the converted, the investigator and casual observer – I, along with Bronco, would like to thank you for the outpouring of support. It was not in vain as our beloved Cougs laid a thumping on the UA Wildcats, grabbing an opening day win and setting the tone for the season. Check out for all the coverage. This week we’re taking on UCLA, ranked 13/14 in the nation and picked to finish 3rd in the Pac-10. I’m hoping for a win – especially after App. State laid the wood to Michigan at The Big House in Ann Arbor – but will settle for a close game.

Last week, Forrest and Rachell carried the load in Provo and will continue to do so for all home games. The Nerf is going to be in attendance, so he has proudly and courageously volunteered to harness everyone’s faith and bring it to the game. Cousin Ben Scoresby from the Allred side of the fam is making a road trip for the Tulsa game, so we got that covered. We just need reps at New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming and SDSU. Please let me know what you can make so we know where who to harness our positive thoughts through. Thanks.

Out here in GA things are moving right along. We didn’t get the house we had bid on, so we’re back in the hunt. It was a bummer to not get the house, but since there are 107,000+ houses for sale in the Atlanta area, I think we’ll be fine.

Lydia’s on her way. She’s due on Sunday, the 9th. It’s crazy to think about, that she’ll actually be here. Paula had a check up on Tuesday and was dilated to a 1. I don’t know if that’s TMI, but whatever. She was wish she was farther along and was bemoaning the fact the baby would never come. I assured her that I was quite confident it would; don’t know why, but that didn’t go over well. Apparently she knew that, but it just feels like the baby is never going to come. So anyway, we are still anxiously awaiting little Lydia’s arrival. We have everything we need – I surprised Paula with the travel system purchase last week and we have over 300 diapers at our place. I’m going to make a point to bring my computer to the hospital when the time comes so we can get picture up ASAP. I’m thinking of posting a live video feed of the birth. I kid! I kid!

That’s about it. Hopefully next week I can come to you with another Cougar win and pictures of my daughter.

It’s weird to say that.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bleeding Blue

College football approaches. Of more import than the dawn of that day are the blue and white rays of light that lie just over the horizon, stretching forth from amidst majestic mountains. There’s an excitement stirring deep within my soul – an excitement surpassed only by the anticipation of my daughter’s birth. I can say in no uncertain terms the expectation of a 5:30pm Eastern kickoff time is more palpable to me, more electrifying to me than the prospect of the bid we currently have on a house. Why?

I love my God. I love my wife. I love my country. And I love BYU Cougar Football.

I am truly a son of BYU, born in Provo, Utah to two young parents struggling to raise and support a family while there pursing a higher education; 20 aunts and uncles, 16 cousins, 2 grandparents, and four siblings have attended the school. I grew up in Wyoming a BYU fan and was subjugated to not only mockery, hostility and literal threats because of my love for the Cougars of BYU, but of my religious convictions because of this association. But never have I faltered; never have I wavered; never have I shirked from the responsibility of cheering for my team.

Now I live in the South, where college football is second to none. Coaches are paid a king's ransom to win games and a bowl system is designed to ensure a continual monetary supply. Here the ridicule is the same as my youth, though instead of stones slung by the pauper, I am accosted by the prince. I face ridicule from the proud and haughty hosts that mock the efforts of a successful team in a ‘mid-major’ conference. Little defense have I against the deluge of jibes and taunts of those who have amassed so much prestige and honor through years of on-field success and accolades; yet, even in the midst of such sneering and laughing I am not ashamed. Instead I stand tall, proud to be an ambassador for the Cougars. I am not ashamed because of what my team stands for, what they’re expected to be not only on the playing field, but in life.

Success on the playing field is not enough for the true Cougar fan. A perfect record, a flawless season, a radiant trophy, prestige and recognition…as wonderful and sought after as these honors are, they are but dross – hollow, weak, rubbish – without the commitment to a higher purpose that is required of those who come to compete at BYU. I can, without equivocation, boldly state that the student-athletes of BYU are held to the highest standard of moral, scholastic and athletic character than any other NCAA team in the United States of America.

Could any team that has won a national championship in the past 10 years even come remotely close if it were to ask its student-athletes to actually be student-athletes? Could any one team in the SEC compete with the others if it required its athletes to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, drugs and pre-marital sex? The answer is a resounding and emphatic no.

Give me men of honor, of integrity and of principle. Give me men who will contribute to society in a positive manner. Give me men who are not the greatest of athletes but are the greatest of men. Give me men who the world deems as sub par and inferior that continually exceed expectations while holding fast to principles that make men real men.

This is why I love it. This is why it is honestly more than a game. This is why I get so involved and invested in the successes and failures of this team. This is because no other team, at no other university, teaches such a powerful life lesson, a lesson that is needed more now that at any other time in the history of our nation, our world. That lesson is this:

Who you are matters. What you do outside of the window of public view matters. Actions in private have repercussions in public. It is not sufficient to be glamorous and eye-catching in the moment; it is paramount to be solid and grounded in character. Actions have consequences…always there are consequences. Success in the world is fleeting and can be swept away without a firm foundation. No prestige and honor can compensate for the lack of moral fortitude. As history old and new continues to make clear, when there is no conviction of character, surely follows conviction of a more sordid sort.

I want my football team to be men - real men, men of character who pursue perfection on and off the field. As a Cougar fan, one is not acceptable without the other. But if ever one must suffer, let it be the former; for without the it, accolades of the latter are simply hollow victories forgotten in time, helpless and without power to inspire greatness.

Give me substance.

Give me BYU Football.

(Transcript from the above link):

Today…is your defining moment. Expectations are extremely high, but you knew that before you set foot on this campus; before you signed the honor code; before you put on your first BYU shirt. We have a tradition unlike any other. Those who have gone before us are the giants upon whose shoulders we now stand. There’ll be no sitting on the sidelines. No waiting for somebody else to make to happen…and there will be no compromises. What I’m asking for…is for your performance today to come from a deeper place. No matter how hard, no matter how tough, you are expected to make a difference. There is no other way here, other than greatness, and now it’s your time to perform. My question to you is are you ready? Today are you ready? Are you at your best?

Because once you leave this room people are counting on you. They’re counting on you to be great. They’re counting on you to be great. And they’re counting on you to do all the things you’re supposed to do as a representative of BYU.

Please never forget why you’re here. Never forget who you are. And never forget – so much…so much depends on what you do today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Proud product of Public Schools

Okay. The tragic hilarity of this is indescribable. This contestant from South Carolina in the Miss Teen USA pageant was asked a simple question. And she Finkled it. Totally and unequivocally destroyed it. To me the best part is Mario Lopez (the host) trying not to bust out laughing.

If you can't understand what she said, here's the transcript.

“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

I'm not sure home school is the answer; however, I hear people mocking the kids who are home schooled as socially inept. This Lauren Caitlin Upton is making a strong case that the most damaged come from our lovely government sponsored schools. Good thing she aspires to be a model when grows up.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Everybody Knows...

The world is full of stupid people..." - The Refreshments, Banditos

I am so tired of the mentality that permeates society regarding actions and consequence. Just now I was watching ABC News – one of the only major network news broadcasts I can stomach – and there was a report on the mortgage crisis in our country. A couple people were highlighted who are experiencing the crunch because they got into a mortgage that was way over their head. One lady started crying because the bank told her a couple days before Christmas that the home was going into foreclosure. Some wacko in a bright yellow t-shirt said “The mortgage company got us in this situation and they need to get us out of it.”

Here in Atlanta we’ve been dealing with the Mike Vick situation. For those of you who don’t keep up with news, Vick has agreed to plea out to charges that include dog fighting (illegal), gambling (illegal), cruelty to animals (illegal), and other (illegal) conduct. There’s a stink being raised in some corners that it’s not fair Vick be subjected to these charges because people have done worse and the government is out to make an example of someone and this poor, misunderstood athlete with a $130 million contract is the victim of or prejudice society. Additionally, the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP has said that Mike Vick deserves a chance to play in the NFL after he serves his time.

Of course the illegal immigration issue rages one. Somehow it is the heartless, unwelcoming rich people that don’t want the illegal immigrants here; if the Statue of Liberty could cry she would because we are turning away so many poor and needy people. The same people who taxpayers foot the bill for when they become sick, when they have babies, when they need food.


I’ve had it up to here (since you can’t see, I’m pointing to my receding hairline) with the sob stories of individuals who chose to engage in high risk behavior and then when it’s time to pay the piper, they through themselves a pity party and wonder why they are being picked on.

With the mortgage issues: Don’t blame the mortgage company because you decided to go with an ARM or an Interest-Only loan and now you can’t afford it. Is it the mortgage company’s fault you bit off more than you could chew? It’s not like it’s your house. If you had to borrow the money to buy the house, it isn’t yours. Live in an apartment; try a smaller house; it’s so awful you can’t live where all the ‘cool’ (outrageously in debt) people live next to the trendy shops you can’t afford. If you can’t afford it, DON’T BUY IT! Show some self-discipline and go with out. The mortgage company is a COMPANY. They are out to make MONEY. The only reason they care if you get a house is because it means that agent can bring home some cash so he can pay his own mortgage.

The Vick debacle: What Mike did was ILLEGAL. Have people done worse and not gone to the slammer (Ray Lewis – watched two people get killed and did nothing; Leonard Little – killed some folks while driving drunk; OJ Simpson – well, you know this one)? Sure. Does it change the fact Mike associated with the dregs of society, financed them and broke the law? No. And it’s not Vick’s right to play in the NFL again. The NFL is a business, a multi-billion dollar organization. Like any business, it’s their prerogative to decide who will be best able to further their enterprise. I don’t care if Vick plays again. If some owner wants to take that on, that’s his choice; but it’s not some obligation they should have. If I owned a business and someone told me I had to hire an individual that would damage my image, I’d kindly show them the door.

Illegal Immigration: For me it’s so much more than the financial or economic ramifications of illegal immigration. Tell the 3000+ people who lost their lives on 9/11 that illegal immigration is okay and their no threat to our nation. There’s no hating on Hispanics – those who make up the majority of illegal immigrants in the US – with this. It’s about security. There are people out there – and thanks to our porous borders and jacked up system, in here – who wouldn’t hesitate to do you or I harm simply because we were born in the US and we support the Constitution. The Fort Dix Six are the perfect example of illegal immigration problems. The unwed teenage mothers at the high school Paula taught at who go to the clinic to have the baby they can’t afford…who foots the bill? You and I.

The fact of the matter is all men aren’t created equal. Sorry. They aren’t. Some people are attractive, some are ugly; some are fat, some are skinny, some are perfect; some are intelligent, some are dumb as rocks; some people are lazy, some people work hard; some people have handicaps, some don’t; some people are rich, some are poor. It’s the way it goes.

That being said, everyone starts out with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That doesn’t mean it’s our inalienable right to be happy; it means we all – short or tall, dumb or smart, rich or poor – have the right to pursue what is called happiness. It doesn’t mean you get it. It doesn’t mean that despite participating in illegal activities, making foolish choices or leaching off the system we still get to be happy. It doesn’t even mean that because we are good, hard-working, upstanding people trying as hard as we can that we’ll be happy. Happy is a state of being, not a position or pay scale. Sometimes life is just a kick in the pants. My hat is off to those who obey the law, build up people and society and still don’t have everything they want but choose to be happy rather than play the blame game.

That’s all. I’m done. I’m apologizing in advance for any grammatical errors as this was written in the height of emotion.

I blame Microsoft for not having a better grammar and spell check.

Bill Gates started this problem and he needs to fix it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Because I love my sister...

...I'm doing this. I try not to participate in silly things like mass email, chain letters, liberal media, the Disney Channel, etc…That being said, I have seriously contemplated whether or not to do this list thing – mostly because I’ve only seen it done by girls. Of course, I don’t see a lot of blogs being maintained by guys. So…since my sister Rachell tagged me, I’ve decided to go on ahead and do it.

4 jobs I've had:
1. ING
2. Dome Builder
3. Sports Writer
4. PR Specialist @ BYU-Idaho

4 movies I can watch over and over:
1. Casino Royal
2. Band of Brothers
3. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
4. Transformers

4 Favorite TV shows:
2. The Office
3. Seinfeld
4. Friday Night Lights

4 favorite hobbies:

1. Playing Halo2 with the fellas
2. Writing
3. College football
4. Destroying the fellas at Halo2. A little story regarding this:
Arch, Zach, Zach's bro-in-law Bud and I were playing Halo2 on Saturday. It was fun - we were killing each other, calling each other names, etc... Well, we played some teams and Bud and I were working Zach and Arch; naturally they were throwing out insults questioning my sexuality. Anyway, we decided to go Them (Arch, Zach and Bud) vs Me (Logan). I won them all, with an average score of Me 25, Them 8. And yes, there was a lot more name calling.

4 Places I have lived:

1. Atlanta
2. Nashville
3. St. Croix
4. Sacramento

4 Favorite Foods:
1. Steak
2. Sushi
3. Halibut w/ a side of asparagus
4. Fried Artichoke Dip

4 Places I would rather be right now:
1. Easy Street
2. Out West
3. The Caribbean
4. Austria

4 Websites I check daily:
4. Bank of America

I tag:
1. Nathan
2. Archie
3. Zach
4. Ben

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bourne Again

Hey friends! (The obligatory exclamation point due to the fact it’s Friday.)
Well, what to talk about….how about the Bourne Ultimatum? It was awesome. Seriously, the best of the series. Paula and I went last Saturday with a fairly large contingent of folks (Baltich clan, Sorensen’s, Crowley’s, Javier and his wife) and everyone enjoyed it. So there – if you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it. I also recommend Stranger than Fiction as a movie with an incredibly original story line and some incredibly dry and witty humor. In fact, I’d dare call it humour with a ‘U’. It’s not your normal Will Ferrell, but there’s nothing wrong with that either. Anyway, worth the money.
Last Saturday Paula had a baby shower. I went because Greg was going to be alone with a bunch of women (Melissa was hosting) so we played some pool and played G.O.W on the 100+ inch screen in the theater room. It was awesome, to say the least. When I make my millions, I’m going to have theater room, nay, a Theatre Room. And it will be glorious. Paula would (will) probably be a little disappointed when I still like to play video games at the age of 40, but it is what it is.

On the post after the reunion, the question was asked regarding the little flab reduction contest the Nerf and I engaged in. While, there was no official weigh-in, it was determined I was victorious. That's right, I'm #1. Boo-yah. So there's the answer. But seriously, we both looked better than when the challenge was made, so props to us both. But more to me. I bring this up at this juncture becausce weighed myself at Greg and Melissa's. We don't have a scale at our place (good thing, or I'd be even more anorexic) so this is the place I check my weight. Well, I've lost 17 pounds since engaging in this endeavor. So that's the update. It's not that I'm skinny now, I was just a chunk before.

Anyway, back to the shower. People really went above and beyond at this baby shower. I gotta say, when Paula told me – as I was caught up the gall of bitterness and misery at how much having this baby was going to cost - that we’d get some gifts and stuff from ‘baby showers’, I was confused because I though babies were supposed to be bathed, not showered. Then she explained that the shower is with gifts, which made me more concerned because babies are small and helpless and how could all these people feel right lobbing packages as a baby…but, apparently this is a figurative expression of people giving gifts in celebration and anticipation of the child being born. Then I was excited…and felt a little dumb.

On a serious note, people were extremely generous and even though Paula sent Thank You notes the next day, I just want express my appreciation as well for the thoughtful and generous nature of our friends. I’d never been so happy to have so much pink in my home. As some (my wife, in-laws, associates, Fraternal Order of Police, etc…) can attest, I am a hard-headed and cheap (I prefer ‘frugal’ or ‘conservative’ or ‘thrifty’ or ‘fiscally forward-thinking’ or ‘wise steward’); items of large expense can make me nervous (even the little white box of joy caused me a fair amount of anxiety). So, again, thanks for everything.
That was last weekend. This week has been fairly uneventful – some house hunting, which we will resume tomorrow with our realtor Rena. She’s a great realtor, so if any of you are looking for a home, I’m happy to recommend her as Dave did for us. Paula is going to some bar tomorrow night for a bridal thing for an acquaintance/friend of hers. Normally I’d be a little nervous about the whole thing…that she’d fall off the wagon… again…but she’s been pretty responsible with the baby. The hard liquor has been replaced with milkshakes, so the lesser of two evils.
Well, I’ve fired up the rumor mill. Now people will think my wife is a raging alcoholic. What do you do? In the spirit of David Webb (aka Jason Bourne) I leave you with the words of the great poet Moby:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Countdown to Kickoff

Rise and shout, Cougar Fans! Fall practice has begun, which means it's time to officially get excited about another season of college football. Don't get me wrong, I've been actively engaged in follow the new commits, projected starters, predictions, players breaking the law and it being front page material, though none of it would have made the news at any other school. But the start of fall practice really means it's just around the corner.
Here are a couple links to get you up to speed on this years campaign: - This picks up stories from sources around the nation (mostly Utah) about what is going on with the Cougs. Love it, need it.
Highlight Vids - This awesome site gives whets your appetite for some more football. I try to watch one or two a week, just to keep my senses sharp. Good for down time at home, the office, church, dentist, doctor, delivery room...
Total Blue Sports - This is part of; gives some more in depth coverage of your defending MWC champs and holders of the 2nd longest winning streak in the NCAA.
Chat - This site lets you chat it up with other BYU fans and a fair number of anti-BYU folks. Always good for a scoop, but make sure you have the salt shaker near
Official Homepage - This is the official site of BYU Football. Good stuff, including links to purchase some excellent BYU paraphenalia.

If any of you tried and true, Cougar Blue, thru and thru fans have other websites you'd like to give me, let me know and I'll add them to the list and give you credit for the find.

Rise all loyal Cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe.
You will fight, day or night, rain or snow.
Loyal, strong, and true
Wear the white and blue.
While we sing, get set to spring.
Come on Cougars it's up to you. Oh!


Rise and shout, the Cougars are out
along the trail to fame and glory.
Rise and shout, our cheers will ring out
As you unfold your victr'y story.

On you go to vanquish the foe for Alma Mater's sons and daughters.
As we join in song, in praise of you, our faith is strong.
We'll raise our colors high in the blue
And cheer our Cougars of BYU.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

July 2007

It’s not that a lot hasn’t happened since the 4th of July post, it’s just that I haven’t written anything. But now I’d like to remedy that.
Things are going well, just plugging along. Not much really – just a baby due in the next 4-5 weeks, making offers on houses, spending a few days in the wilds of North Dakota, seeing a brother who’s been out of the country for a couple years, getting more and more busy at work, counting down the days until college football is back (T-minus 31) – basically what everyone else is doing.
We found a house the other day and were actually making an offer, but missed the cut by about 2 hours. It was really nice – a 2200 sq ft foreclosure going from $149k. All it needed was a paint job and a carpet, but we just missed it. The paperwork was out, I had my offer in my hand and 25 Tums in my stomach, but we missed it. But, with all the idiots out there with interest-only, adjustable rate mortgages buying more than they can afford, I’m supremely confident we’ll find one soon. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it is that the short school bus is always overflowing with fools and I can benefit from their mistakes. Selfish? Opportunistic? Cynical? Maybe. But it’ll get e a good deal on a house.
We spent some time in northern North Dakota (Grand Forks) the other week with my maternal side of the family. The Allred clan is large – my mother is one of 9 siblings, I am one of 55-60 grandkids – and it was a bit different for Paula, who comes from a very small extended family. But she embraced our right-wing oddities and we had a good time. Forrest was there, having just returned from two years of missionary services in south Brazil. He looked good, despite the fact his hair decided not to return stateside with him. What do you do? But it was good to see him, to catch up with him and the rest of my family. On a serious note, I feel extremely lucky to have such a strong bond with my siblings and parents. While I’m not daft enough to think we don’t have differences, I know that I am always excited to see them, that they love me in spite of myself and support me, even if they disagree.
Paula’s large and in charge. I’ll probably get a look for saying that, but Lydia’s growing and hence is Paula. But she’s a good looking pregnant woman and though her body weight as increased by 20% in this pregnancy, she still only weighs 135 pounds. I weighed that once, 14 years ago. I’m pretty much ready to do this. The anticipation is killing me. K-I-L-L-I-N-G me. (It’d be embarrassing if I spelled that wrong.) We went to a birthing class last month – 8 hours, 1 day – and I took it pretty well. Sure, I saw things I hoped I’d never see, was told things I hoped I’d never know, learned things I hoped I’d never learn. But I am grateful for one thing: the epidural. I don’t want to feel a thing.
And finally, BYU plays Arizona on September 1st. 31 days. That’s no time at all. I could save enough for a John Edwards haircut. Some might think that I’m more excited for football season than Lydia’s birth. I just laugh.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The 4th, as related on the 9th.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. I did. And that’s what I’m going to post about. Plus some random and sundry things.
On this great day we celebrate our independence from the tyranny and oppressive rule of a powerful regime. Out numbered, with inferior weapons and only thedesire to live free, our forebearers were able to fight against these terrible odds and destroy those aliens thanks to the bold plan of the Fresh Prince and doctor from Jurassic Park. They fearlessly infiltrated the mother ship and planted a virus with an Apple computer that miraculously destroyed this advanced, space traveling horde.
Anyway, enough history – time for the present.
On this Independence Day, I celebrated my independence from work by playing all day. In the morning, I hit up Transformers with Jeff and Eric. It was awesome – I mean, it’s not going to win any awards (unless there’s a category for “Best Picture That Brings Out The Boy In Every Man”, then it would definitely win). Optimus Prime was one cool machine/alien life-form. And any film with Jon Voight is destined for immortality.
That little party ended around Noon:30 and Paula and I made the trek down south to spend the day in Conyers at the Pyne residence with friends and family. It was really something else, a non-stop foray into fun.First, the weather was really enjoyable for July in Georgia – relatively low humidity, high 80s, low 90s and the shade felt actually felt good – so it opened up a whole other avenue for enjoyment with a wide and versatile range of activities.
We started out with tossing around the ol’ pigskin in the backyard. Always a staple for a 4th of July celebration. After working up a sweaty sheen, we went inside where a plethora of delicious foods tempted me from my course en route to a victory in the ILTMW Cup (more on that later) but I didn’t flinch. In fact, I didn’t have one cookie, desert, chip or dip the entire day. So eat that, chubby brother. But I did have a couple burgers and several ‘Zero’ beverages and that was sufficient for my needs.
After housing some food off the grill, several of us engaged in a little game called Bocce Ball. It’s a lot of fun and I am pleased to announce my team won a best-of-3 series. It was an intense battle and since it is played with circular objects of varying size and color, there were plenty of wise-cracking, semi-juvenile innuendos. And lots of laughs.
We took a quick beverage break, and then it was to the front yard for some intense Croquet action. I’m pretty sure more time was spent debating the validity of Mark’s ball position in relation to the wicket on the backside than actually was spent competing. As glorious as Bocce was, Croquet was inversely pathetic as few of us could get where we needed to be because we spent so much time trying to hit the other team’s ball into the next zip code. Good times.
Intermixed in these events was a little thing called Guitar Hero 2. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s like that Dance Revolution, but infinitely better and incredibly more difficult. And you don't use your feet for anything. And you're playing the guitar, not dancing. That’s about all I can say. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and I struggled a bit, but managed to lay down a couple sweet tracks before the night was over.
As dusk settled in, it was time to light off some fireworks. Greg and I did the honors. And I almost died. Not really. Papa Cashman had dropped some coin for some less-than-legal fireworks and the came with this cylinder to shoot them out of. The looked like the grenades from Pirates of the Caribbean. It was awesome. Well, I dropped one in the tube and backed up. Then it didn’t leave the tube and the tube exploded in a dizzying array of color, fire and fear. Sort of ended the festivities, but it was fun.
Finally, the guys hooked up the 360’s to the plasma TV’s and engaged in some ferocious Halo 2 warfare until the wee morning hours – the perfect end to a perfect 4th.

Regarding ILTMW (I Lost The Most Weight): I’m not going to divulge how much weight I’ve dropped because I don’t know how much my competition has shed; however, I must admit that from the pics posted on their blog, he’s looking slimmer. That binge and purge strategy really seems to be paying dividends...and the fact he’s spending some time at the beach – a good tan goes a long way. Having seen those photos, I’ve had to alter my strategy.
I have a delicious Diet Pill Cocktail for breakfast (TrimSpa, Ripped Fuel, Dexatrim, Cortaslim and Relacore blended together in a Metamucil/ExLax base), another for lunch and then a sensible dinner. Working wonders. I can tell because I’m constantly sweating and my resting heart rate is at 120.
I was going to post something nice about my competition, but I got this little quip in my email:
"This is your brother. The one with his manhood still who doesn't have a facebook account."
Initially, I was hurt by mocking comment regarding my masculinity; then remembered I challenged his manhood throughout college while he shaved his chest. Tit for tat. Or as in that hilarious exchange from The Office:

Dwight K. Schrute: Tit for tit.

Jim Halpert: That is not the expression.

Dwight: Well, it should be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Playing Ketchup

It’s been what? almost three weeks since I last posted? My bad. The fact of the matter is…and Paula always gets fired up when I say this because it sounds like we’re boring, but it is what it is….that not much is going on. But, out of respect for the 3 or 4 people – 10-15 if we address infant ear-piercing – who faithfully check this blog, I will post some random drivel.

Weekend Wanderings
The LP Roberts family’s free time has been largely invested in two things:

1.) Looking for a house
2.) Wondering how people ever afford a house

For the past two Saturdays, we’ve traversed Gwinnett County for a house we can afford not in a drug neighborhood. Easier said than done. You know its bad news when the houses you can afford are in areas where the others houses have eight cars parked in the driveway, on the lawn, on the street, in the flower garden, etc…and they hadn’t got the memo on the invention of a little device called a lawnmower. But, what do you do?
We’re confident we’ll find something decent and safe; I’m not looking for the Taj Mahal, but something a little bigger than the linen closet.

Walk of Shame
We did trek out to Conyers a couple Fridays ago to see the new residence of Greg and Melissa. I don’t have any pictures to post because I forgot my wide-angle lens…I kid! I kid! But, seriously folks, it’s a beautiful home and we had a good time. So good, in fact, that most who came out stayed up until 3:30am playing pool and singing karaoke. Even Paula (who is not known for her ability to stay up past 8:30pm) was up until almost 2:30 – I was so proud! The singing was abysmal, to say the least. They don’t make buckets large enough for me to carry a tune in, and Dave, Todd and Greg share in my disability. So I was in great company. Paula and I crashed in one of the guest rooms and rolled out the next morning, arriving home in the same clothes we left in. Apparently this is what is referred to as “the walk of shame” (returning the next day in your same clothes). I almost felt like I was young again. But then I had to take a nap, and I remembered I’m not.

Weighting For The Results
Nathan and I are engaged in a contest regarding our waistlines. To put it gently, Nathan’s really porked out. He’s huge. Pavarotti, if you want to know what happened to your pants, I saw them in Nerf’s closet. (I think they’ve stretched a bit, so just buy new ones.) Meantime, I’m pretty much packin’ the six-pack abs I always have, modeling for Men’s Health on the weekends. It’s a burden I bear, this perfect body. We all have our crosses…
Really though, Nathan’s not huge and I’m no fitness model, so we are seeing who can shed the most weight by the reunion at the end of July. Nathan mentioned the other day he’s employed a strategy of biking to work, softball, swimming in the ocean and puking after every meal; the strategy I’ve employed has different activities since I don’t have an ocean, bike and hate vomiting. I engage in intense gaming to break a good sweat (10 pushups per offensive score, 15 per defensive in NCAA Football 2007) and using laxatives to purge. I’ve been able to get through the first 4 Harry Potter books with this strategy. You can’t do that throwing up…

Another Face In The Crowd
Finally, I’m now on Facebook. I was trying to hold out (like a blog is somehow infinitely superior to a social networking site) but got a couple invites from old college friends, so since I wanted to see what they were up to, I joined. I think that was last week and now I’m getting ‘poked’ and having my ‘wall’ written on by tons (or dozens) of old college friends and friends of college friends. So, if you’re a Facebooker, let me know. If I don’t confirm you as my friend, it’s nothing personal.
I just don’t like you.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What A Trip, Man...

Caveat: Some May Find This Post Objectionable.
This post contains a lot of pictures of a baby and is very long.
A week ago today I surprised the Nerf with a surprise visit to California. It was pretty much awesome since Lindsay and I conspired to keep it under wraps. We surprised him at work; he opened the back door of the car to see Beckett and found his big brother sitting there. It was like a MasterCard commercial:

"Round-trip ticket: $260. Hotdog: $14. Nathan’s expression: Priceless."

It was a great time in Beverly Hills/LA/West Hollywood/All-The-Other-Cities-That-Run-Together. It was the first personal time I’d taken in 2007 and served up the remedy I needed to the doldrums of everyday life. SoCal was great, primarily because of the incredible weather we enjoyed. The locals call it ‘June Gloom’ because it is grey and hazing until around 12-1pm; but then it just opens up to a beautiful mid-high 70’s with a wonderful ocean breeze. Basically, the weather rocks. I loved it. Someone offer me a job. As opposed to my lovely Atlanta residence where it’s mid 90’s with humidity and a breeze that feels awkwardly like an over-aggressive hand-dryer in the men’s room at the Citgo where people deal drugs and there are more adult magazines than alcohol-free beverages. But you’re out of gas and even though it’s a dollar more a gallon, you gotta put $5 in or you aren’t making it home…
I digress.
One of the highlights for me (and one of the main reasons I made the trek) was chillin’ with Beckett, the first of Roberts: The Next Generation. He took to me instantly and we had a great time, as evidenced by this video on their blog; it was awesome to see my brother – the one I fought with, played football and basketball with, roomed with and have competed with since I lost my exclusive rights on all attention at 16 months – interact as a father. Additionally, having been there within hours of the time Nathan and Lindsay met five years ago to now, it was fun to see them as parents. They do good work.
Anyway, I got there Thursday afternoon it wasn’t long until Nathan, Michael and I were playing Halo (I don’t care if you’re suddenly a parent or not – some things never change). Friday Lindsay, Beckett and I went to the mall, cruised around Beverly Hills and took in the sights. I’m not exactly sure if I was in Silicon Valley, but I was definitely in Silicone Valley. The 6 Millon Dollar Man had more human left in him than some of the women I saw.
Friday night we went over to dinner at Dan and Paula’s. This isn’t some fancy restaurant (though the filet mignon, baked potatoes, ice cream and endless flow of IBC root beer certainly would make you think so); rather, it’s Lindz’s uncle and aunt. They are awesome and we had some good times with them, their daughters Sam and Jules, and some friends Michelle and Peter. The have a beautiful home in the area fairly close to the ocean and I they were awesome hosts. Good times.
Once we got home, we played Halo till 1:30 in the AM. It never gets old.
Saturday we got a slow start due to the intense gaming session. Once everyone was up, we went down to Venice Beach to take in the crazies…oh, the ocean too…and all they have to offer. It was like Chinatown in NYC, except the peddlers were Hispanic and illegal instead of Chinese, the food was pizza and hotdogs instead of duck and egg rolls and the air smelled like the ocean instead of sewage and death. And I saw this guy strutting around in a man-thong. Big-G, little-Nasty - GNASTY (the G is silent).
Later that day Nerf and Linds went to the LA Temple for a session in the upper room in commemoration of the temple’s 50th anniversary and I watched Beckett. I fed him ice cream and soda and Swedish Fish and…oh, I forgot that’s all frowned upon for a 4 month old. Oh well, all’s well that end’s well.

Saturday night us grown-ups went to The Magic Castle. TMC is an exclusive club – I refer to it as the Augusta National of Magicians –you have to belong to or be invited to in order to gain entrance. Tie and jacket for the fellas, dress or suit for the ladies, was just up the road for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and is indeed a castle. We made an appearance because Nathan’s company was having a shindig and it was awesome. There was some great food and amazing feats of magic. Seriously. It was incredible. As Nathan aptly pointed out, it would have been more comforting to think magic actually was happening as opposed to the fact these magicians were so quick with their slight of hand.
Also, I met a kid Nathan works with who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. Tyson Mao was on the TV show “Beauty and the Geek” and is a celebrity of sorts. Tyson is a developer and writes the programming EWT uses for their trading; in fact, that’s how he can do the cube so fast: he created an algorithm by assigning numbers to colors on the cube. Crazy.

Sunday was church. It was cool because there was a kid there I went to college with. Wes and I lived in the same apartment complex for 3 years and were in the same ward for most of my post-mission collegiate experience. He’s married with a little one year old girl name Halle. So that was fun.
After church, we went to a park with the Eav family and us guys did a little lawn bowling. The parks there are awesome. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Suffice it to say as the rookie of the group, I didn’t grab any victories. I’m not bitter…stupid Bocce Ball!!!!!
Monday was my last day and Nathan worked a half day. I went on a walk with Linds and Beckett, Ashley and Arleigh, and Angie and Charles to the Post Office. It was a little weird as I was the only man with three women and three children in strollers, but when in Rome…
We grabbed a bite at Jack Sprat’s in memoriam of Rach and her days in LA. I had a delicious Mediterranean Quesadilla. Then we stopped by the mall to try to find me a shirt as all mine had spit-up all over them, courtesy of my awesome little nephew. But I didn’t find anything, so I just wore Nathan’s shirt home. It’s nice. I think I’ll keep it.
Anyway, that’s about it. We cruised down to the OC and I caught my flight at 8pm, arriving back in Hotlanta at 5am Tuesday morning. Good times. I sure miss the little guy (his parents too, but mostly the little guy…and working Nathan at Halo) and the weather, but such is life. I’m already excited to go back. In the words of Phantom Planet:

Pedal to the floor
Thinkin' of the roar
Gotta get us to the shore
California here we come

(I didn’t buy a $14 hotdog.)