Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Newest Roberts (Updated w/ pics)

As a follow up to today's earlier post, here's a picture of Lindsay and Beckett I just got via cellphone. He's huge for being less than 18 hours old.

This is likely the first picture the world will see of the little guy, found exclusively at Cyber Commorancy.


More picks of the little guy and his parents can be found on Rachell's blog

Uncle Logan

Hey World, I’m an uncle!!!
I mean, I’m already an uncle via Paula’s side of the family with Everett, but now I’m an uncle on the Roberts side! One of my siblings is a parent; it’s exciting, crazy and sort of unnerving.
N. Beckett Roberts was born between 9:30-10:00 pm January 29, 2007, in Los Angeles, California. Size-wise, Beckett takes after his Uncle Logan – 9 lbs. 8 oz. and 22 inches long. Both mother and son are doing well and in good health.
It was 2:10am when I got the phone call and my younger brother sounded all sorts of happy. It’s crazy to think that he’s a dad…not that he’s unqualified, but that if he’s qualified, then maybe I’m qualified and that is weird. The pair of us isn’t far removed from blowing things up, pulling pranks and shooting potato guns; and now Nathan is a father. Wow. It sort of boggles the mind.
Beckett is the first grandson on both the Hall and Roberts side of his family, the 2nd great-grandchild on my mom’s side – the Allred’s (missed being 1st by just a month) – and the 4th great-grandchild on my dad’s side (though the first with the last name of Roberts).
The little guy is starting out with everything a baby needs to make it in this world: parents who are good and faithful; extended family that is excited and supportive; a home full of love that is anchored by the gospel of Jesus Christ; a bedroom decked out in BYU Cougar gear; an uncle like me…the kid has it all.
Beckett, you probably already know this, just having come from the presence of our Heavenly Father, but I'm going to tell you anyway. You have parents who live honorable, righteous lives and love you very much - likely more than you'll know until you, too, are a parent; you have grandparents who are true and faithful; you have great-grandparents who weathered storms faithfully and came out conquerors. You are now part of a great heritage. We are excited you’re here and pray for the best for you and your parents for years to come.
Anyway, Beckett, just want you to know - though we've yet to meet - I love you and am excited for you to experience this little ride we call life.

Monday, January 29, 2007


WARNING: This post breaches racial issues. If you are easily offended or quick to anger and cannot handle an intelligent, honest discussion...you'd best navigate somewhere else.

Mike Vick’s (aka ‘Ron México’) latest faux pas has caused quite a ruckus. For those who don’t know, Mr. Vick was arrested in Miami when he refused to surrender his Aquafina water bottle to TSA officials at the airport. I could do a whole post about the stupidity of even trying to get on a plane with a water bottle, about refusing to give up a $1 bottle of water when you have a $130 million contract, about making a ruckus in general at an airport (does no one remember what happened to Greg in Meet the Parents?); that would be digressing from my original intent. Upon further inspection, this water bottle was no ordinary water bottle, but one that had a secret compartment.
The crux of this post is not the incident, but the banter that has ensued. Several people, including talking head Neal Boortz, have referred to Vick as a ‘thug’. It has ballooned now into a racial conversation, with many asserting that ‘thug’ is the new ‘N’ word and is racist. NBA star Joe Johnson of the Hawks said "I do think it's definitely a race-based stereotype. And I think it's one that, in our culture today, too many people are willing to accept and tolerate, even when they know it's wrong." (1)
This is why I’m irked.
Why is thug racist? Is it because it is more commonly used in reference to people of a certain color? I’ve gone and Googled the word thug; when the results are searched, the majority of the sites are about black people, particularly rap/hip-hop artists who have chosen to be known as ‘Thugs’ and associate themselves with the word.
Again I pose the question: Is thug racist because it is more commonly used in reference to people of a certain color? I say no. I submit that when a group of people begin to display behavior that a word describes, it is by no means the fault of the word. A word can’t make decisions; it cannot take on a persona; some would argue words are living, but they aren’t.
The original Thugs were bands of roving criminals in India who strangled and robbed travelers. Originally these gangs committed murder following precise religious rites to honor Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. I’m sure Hindi’s everywhere were up in arms at the negative connotations. (2)
In the 1920’s, thugs were overwhelmingly white. They were the enemies of prohibition – men who made a living breaking the law and getting rich off it, often killing, stealing and intimidating while simultaneously making light of the law and treating it as something to be mocked and scorned. No wonder Al Capone had such a surly disposition; it had nothing to do with the fact he was a murderer and an extortionist - he and his crew were the victim of a thoughtless stereotype.
In the early ‘90’s, Tupac Shakur brought the word thug into the world by glorifying it in his album Thug Life Vol. 1. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to much Tupac – something about the gratuitous violence, degradation of women and glorification of criminal behavior doesn’t appeal to me. But then again, I don’t embrace Thug Life. It was largely through his 'artists expressions' thug effectively made it into vogue and acceptable to engage in such behavior as associated with thugs. The 75 million albums he has sold world-wide show the support and acceptance his ideology has received. (3)
To say that the word thug has racial overtones is fine. It very well may. But does that mean that people should stop using the word? Was it born as a racial epithet? Such a philosophy is asinine and immature; it puts blame and responsibility on a word – an inanimate thing that cannot think, act or make choices. It is a weak attempt to remove accountability and place it somewhere else…the cancer eating away at the fabric of modern society. If a person or group of people begin to epitomize a word as Al Capone and his boys did in the early 20th century (overwhelmingly if not all white) or as rap artists and their constituents do in the early 21st century (overwhelmingly black), then the behavior placing those people under that umbrella needs to change. If it doesn't, those epitomizing the word have no right to demand change.
Don’t cop out and blame the word.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Sorry if I kept you up all night. Yes, that incecent banging and sawing coming from your modem was me. As you can see, I've been doing some work on Cyber Commorancy, giving it a new look - bold, cutting edge and intrepid. I felt the intellectual stimuli one experiences from visiting this place should be echoed in the electronic decor.
Additionally, I've fixed some broken links to Nathan and Lindsay's blog, as well as the Giddens. There are also a pair of new People to See: my old roommate Archie and his wife Shantay have started a blog, as have my brother Ben and his new wife Ryanne.
Feel free to check it all out and let me know whatcha think. Hopefully I'll be able to update today with something more reader-friendly and following in the tradition of witty and entertaining - though sometimes thought provoking - words.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Circle of Trust

The other day I was talking to one of my old roommates; it had been a couple months and he told me he and his wife are pregnant. A lot of people are having kids; I guess there's always a lot of people having children, but it just seems like there are more lately because I'm at that age where all my friends are married and moving forward with their lives. (For examples of people I know who are pregnant, click here or here)
Anyway, Jeff was saying how it was tough keeping it underwraps because his mother-in-law liked to tell tons of people, even though they asked her not to; Jeff then said that he's booted Kim's mom out of the Circle of Trust. For those of you who aren't familiar with the roots of the "Circle of Trust", it comes from the movie Meet the Parents. In honor of that conversation and to help you understand what's going on, I give you the "Circle of Trust" clip. Just click below and a new window will open up. (This is a clean clip.)

Anyway, the whole conversation just got me to thinking about what's going to happen when Paula gets fed up enough with teaching high school and we have a couple bucks and decide to do this whole pregnant thing. I mean, I'm not getting any younger and I don't want to pull a Steve Young and be attending my kids graduation when I'm 70...though being a multi-millionaire could dull the pain. But anyway, the fact of the matter, one day we're going to start a family. Will those in my circle of trust blab it to the world? Will they betray my trust?
This Judas/Brutus will probably be one of the ladies in the circle, because women talk alot. Serious. Case in point, my wife gets like a thousand more hits on her blog than I do. Why? Possibly because her life is more interesting than mine; or, she's tapped into the XX-chromosone network and hundreds of women around the world want to know what she's up to even though they don't know her and vice versa. It's the same reason women write gossip columns: it is part of the chemical make up of the fairer sex . It's science.
I'm a patient man - that's what 26 years of abstinence will do to you - but if someone breaks the circle, I'll put them back outside the circle; and once they're out they're out, there's no coming back. Because if I find that someone is trying to corrupt the announcement of my first-born child, I will bring them down, baby; I will bring them down to Chinatown.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Breakfast Memories

In the shower this morning I was thinking about breakfast. I don't eat it much anymore - basically, I'm trying to eek out just a couple more minutes of sleep and therefore forfeiting any right to a good, warm breakfast. Dang.
Well, like I was saying, I was thinking about warm breakfast and my mind was taken back to s different place and time when I was but a youth growing up in the wilds of Wyoming. Breakfast was a staple - never, ever, ever went without breakfast. Yet, this wasn't always a good thing. Why? Well, with six kids being raised on a school teacher's (the apostrophe here notes singular ownership, not plural) salary, it wasn't IHOP. And as kids, we complained sometimes at my good mother's hard work of daily meal preparation. She'd wisely and smartly quip 'This isn't a restaurant.'
Hot cereal was a staple because it was cheap and it filled you up right - "It sticks to your ribs"; they were the K-cars of breakfast foods: super cheap, these meals lasted along time and weren't in the least bit fancy. All were the old fashioned slow-cooked kind, too; none of this instant garbage. But as kids, we always found a way to candy-up these seemingly mundane meals.

Oatmeal: This delish-dish was best eaten with brown sugar and homemade apple sauce; if we were lucky, sometimes we'd be able to convince mom to break out the cream. Easily the most diverse of the four staples, these three ingredients were the trifector of toppings that made oatmeal just a shade away from delicious.
Cracked whole wheat: This wasn't this 7-grain sissy stuff - it was straight up in-your-face whole wheat, the kind that comes in 75-pound bags. It was the John Wayne of hot cereals: hard, tough and nearly impossible to break. As with the oatmeal, brown sugar was the staple that helped this medicine go down; sometimes some cream was administered.
Rice: Our grain-friend from the south Pacific made the breakfast circuit the least of the four. Rule of thumb: less is more. Butter and cinnamon sugar was the icing on this oriental grain; try to top it with anything else, you were asking for a quick trip to Gagville.
Cream of Wheat: This was the only name brand of these four and my favorite for a couple reasons. First, it was diverse. It could be enjoyed simply, with a healthy dose of brown sugar that would melt and run off the top to create a brown, fructose moat around at the edges of your bowl. Second, towards the end of my tenure at the Roberts Homestead, Mom came up with the crazy-good banana sauce to put on top. It was delicious. And finally, it was the only one with a catchy theme song:

(How I remember it)
Cream of Wheat's so good to eat, we have it everyday.
Cream of Wheat's so good to eat; it makes us shout 'Hooray!"
It's good for growing children (and parents too!) to eat;
We all have fun at breakfast because we all eat Cream of Wheat.

(Actual Jingle)
Cream of Wheat is so good to eat, and we have it everyday.
We sing this song; it will make us strong, and it makes us shout, "Hooray!"
It's good for growing babies, and grownups too to eat.
For all the family's breakfast, you can't beat Cream of Wheat.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

They'd of stoned Galileo

I’m incensed.
Rachell (my sister) just graduated from my Alma Mater, Rocky Mountain High School. Yes, you’re right; it is January. Again you are correct; the end of the school year is May. No, she wasn’t on a 4½ or 5 year plan. She decided she wanted to graduate early and experience a little bit of what the world has to offer. Already accepted to Brigham Young University for the Fall 07 , she will be moving to the LA area and living with Nathan and Lindsay; she plans on getting a job and earning money to put herself through school. Pretty ambitious. I’m proud of her accomplishment.
And she’s getting guff for it. One person asked her “What does LA have that we don’t?” Seriously…
I come from a small town/community in northern Wyoming. There are two stoplights in the county (one could make a convincing argument that is overkill); a population under 11,500, with two houses per square mile. (For more info, click here.) Even with the miniscule population, I enjoyed growing up there: the peace and quiet, beautiful night sky, the relative safety, the absence of rush hour…these are things I enjoy upon my visits home.
Like the Roman Catholic Church in the early 17th century holding fast to the geocentric model, a large number of the population believe the Big Horn Basin is the center of the civilized world. Those brave souls who venture out are treated as Galileo and deemed heretics. And as the Catholic Church, the local population is in error.
By no means am I a world traveler (far be it from me to label myself as such) and there's much I hope to see. But allow me to share some things I’ve experienced that cannot be offered in the confines of Zion...er, Utopia...er, the Big Horn Basin.

…seen Broadway caliber performances of Les Miserables, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King.
…seen some of the greatest art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
…lived in the Virgin Islands, scuba diving with sea turtles, octopus, eels, squid, manta ray and a cornucopia of amazing sea life.
…walked on a moonlit beach
….seen two Presidents of the United States of America, two first ladies and many congressmen in person.
….been one of 85,000+ at a sporting event
….seen the Grand Canyon, one of the 7 Wonders of the World,
….eaten sushi prepared by renowned Japanese artisans
….ordered a pizza at 2:30 in the morning
….been to 35 of the 50 states, including all west of the Mississippi except Oregon
literally driven from coast to coast
…had intriguing conversations with individuals from every continent on Earth (Antarctica excepted)
…been to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory
…been to such sporting venues as Madison Square Garden, Bank of America Ballpark (Phoenix), Bryant-Denney Stadium (home of University of Alabama), Three Rivers Stadium (former home of the Steelers), the Georgia Dome (including during Super Bowl XXXIV), Lavell Edwards Stadium, AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants), Sun Devil Stadium (former home of the Arizona Cardinals, Sanford Stadium (University of Georgia), Bobby Dodd Stadium (Home of Georgia Tech), Phillips Arena (home of the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks), Turner Field (Home of the Braves

To those narrow minded individuals – whether in the rural communities of the Big Horn Basin or the apartments of New York’s Upper East Side – ignorant enough to be purport the audacious idea there is nothing the world has to offer outside your miniscule piece of the world is to do as the Roman Catholics did…be ignorant now and laughed at later.
Have fun in LA, sis!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, Same Ramblings

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! (Embracing yet another aspect of my interracial marriage.) We bid a fond farewell to 2006 while looking forward with anticipation towards 2007 and its mysterious mysteries. I’ve heard some say this is the year of Bond (007) and based on the most recent addition to the franchise. I might hop on that wagon.
Anyway, whatever. This is going to be a rambling post (if you couldn’t tell that from the initial paragraph you haven’t hit up this blog much) so brace yourselves.


The entire day was devoted to a little game I like to call football. (Apparently other people like to call it that, too, because I see it everywhere.) I participated in a game where I ended up covered in mud and grass; I was embarrassed on a couple of plays and had a couple glimpses of dormant athleticism with a pair of picks and a trio of scores. I expected more from the 12-13 year olds I played against, but what do you do? (kidding)
After hitting the shower, the next 12 ½ hours were devoted to watching large, muscular young men – many from dysfunctional families – play the game at a slightly higher level. And I’ve got to tell you, I witnessed the greatest football game in the history of the game. Seriously. I never thought I’d root for Boise State, but at 1:00am I let out a shout in a darkened apartment, yelling “You’re kidding me!!!” as Ian Johnson took the two point conversion into the endzone for the climactic OT win.
And yet again the BS in BCS is even more pronounced (Check out Pat Fordes column)

So, how about that year 2006? Wow. In January I had my appendix removed…without being insured; February I got the bill; March I was married (finished out that engagement); April my brother-in-law became engaged to my ex-girlfriend (didn’t see that coming); May = Drama; June our apartment was burglarized (the angriest I’ve been since Zach hit me in the face with a cell phone, 2003); August I was put in a bishopric in a ward I’d been in for 4 ½ months; September-October endured job uncertainty; November trekked across these United States to Ben and Ryanne’s wedding via automobile; December lost The Buck to an unfortunate accident (Semper Fi…Semper Fi) and had to buy a new car; spent Christmas in NYC; other stuff.
Can the Year of Bond top it? Probably. And I want it shaken, not stirred.

This song is by Stone Sour. The lead singer is Corey Taylor, former lead man for a group called Slipknot (angry music). It’s called Through Glass and I like it. A lot.

In closing, I leave you with the self-identifying words of a great American…“Goodbye.”