Wednesday, July 30

From the High School Archives

It’s amazing what you can find on the Intertubes. Thinking back to high school (I know, the agony) I wondered if some of my stuff from the school newspaper was still there. It was. Lest it fall into further Interwebian oblivion, here are some keepers:

Some cartoons:
One of my friends (thanks Judd) on the staff got the crazy idea that I could do political cartoons. My first one managed to offend many, so I consider it a success. Feel free to be offended. For a high school newspaper I probably should have left the first letter of the profane verbages off, but I was trying to go for realism...

Reactions ranged from, “It was rude and inconsiderate” to “Hey I go to seminary and swear all the time--the cartoon was awesome!” The truth is, I was on a self-righteous anti-swearing brigade from age 14-18. (Not using profanity being the only thing that differentiated me from the jocks, of course. Well, that and dates.)

Trying to go a little more mainstream with this one--with a nod to my mother’s anti-mouse weapon of choice.

The last one was inspired by an AP Physics teacher who wouldn’t let us out during the fire alarms… we did have them almost daily though. Don’t let the phrase “AP Physics" fool you. I nearly failed that class, and it confirmed to me that I didn’t belong in the so-called “hard” sciences. Hello, Psych!

Some excerpts from an editorial (that portends my future in ersatz intellectual blogging):
Thank goodness for MTV
A bill was passed to take any talk of sex out of health classes. What next, taking God out of seminary? Or how about banning music from choir classes? I can imagine what it would be like during registration... "Let's see, I can take either 'Beginning Air Guitar', 'Plastic Child Development,' or 'Tonka Trucks Repair.'"

We're all just a bunch of little Dantes
In a recent issue of the Deseret News, Utah was said to be a very clean and moral state. In an article on the next page, 60% of Utah teens were said to be sexually active. Oh, I get it. Morality must mean not knowing anything. Since future Utah scientists won't know anything about AIDS, they can always work on finding a cure for hitchhiker's thumb or something else equally as important.

Not everyone has it as easy as Brian M*****
Why does Prom have to be so early? I know it wasn't as early as ***** High's Prom (February), but how am I supposed to get a date in such a short period of time? All right, I confess. I wouldn't be able to get a date if I had two years to try. But that is beside the point. I'm sure there are others who think Prom should be in May.
I loved being on the Newspaper staff. I often skipped other classes and stayed for hours after school rewriting headlines (if I didn’t think they were witty enough), and getting the paper ready. Being able to share some of my thoughts in print and know that at least three people would read it gave me a sense of satisfaction. I suppose that is why I blog. For those who are reading this, your IP addresses do not go unnoticed. Thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, July 29

Actor says enough is enough!

British actress Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) did not appreciate it when (in 2004) her breasts were enlarged on a promotional poster for a movie.

...the before and after... notice the tan enhancement as well...

Apparently these producers can't help themselves because they've tried to do it again (for a new movie) and this time she put her foot down. Kudos to her and any actor that refuses dubious digital enhancement. That poor studio. What are they going to do with such an obdurate actor? Just think of all the revenue that smash hit King Arthur would have lost if they did not have such a pneumatic poster?

My favorite comment from the article:
"If the size of her breasts were so integral to the movie and marketing, then they should've hired an actress that had the requisite size."

Saturday, July 26

Why do we not hold presidential candidates up to our own standards?

These are things that would keep them out of the FBI, or prevent them from getting a faculty position at most universities, yet somehow it is condoned if one is running for President. Perhaps we have no one that could measure up to flawless standards, but one does have to wonder…

Cindy McCain ran her fingers through her husband’s hair and teased, "You're getting a little thin up there." He reddened and fired back, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c*nt." McCain later apologized saying he’d had a long day.

Any wives out there that accept verbal abuse based on a “long day”? What will President McCain say to the Chinese ambassador after a long day?

Here’s McCain on a good day:

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."

Not to be partisan, here are two gems from Obama:

"...I've got two daughters… I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

The principle seems off here. If they make a mistake, he doesn’t want them to face the consequences?

"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person..."

I’m not sure what he means here, but I’ve often been critiqued for making generalizations around my colleagues… can someone this high get away with it?

I do not intend to slam both candidates, nor suggest that we should view it as choosing ‘the lesser of two evils.' We should choose the candidate we think is best for the job. My question is, should a presidential candidate be held up to higher scrutiny or personal standards than a daycare worker or a substitute teacher? No offense to those honorable positions, but this is the highest office in the country. 

I have had four background checks (for work and school) in the past two years, and have been told to be wary of what I write here, lest future employers base their hiring decisions on my words. Do politicians get away with abuse or questionable judgment because they have a monopoly on candidacy?

Oh yeah, and McCain committed adultery in his "immature" 40's, and Obama is the Antichrist. People believe both of those. One of them is true.

Saturday, July 19

Mamma Mia!

It has generally mixed reviews, but last night I saw Mamma Mia! and had probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a movie. Normally I don’t care about the rest of the audience at movies but it made this one feel like a live stage production. If you like musicals, and you can allow yourself to have some non-cynical fun, this one is highly recommended.

It started off with a trailer for HSM3, which I think was supposed to be a serious preview, but had the audience roaring (check it out around 0:53). The first High School Musical was bearable for a TV movie. This one (at least the trailer) looks unintentionally funny--never a good sign.

Back to the movie – Meryl Streep was really good. It was neat to see a 50-something actress carry a leading role that would normally go to someone 20 years younger, and do well at it. Pierce Brosnan was campy and does not have much of a voice, but I think he was aware of that fact so his singing parts feel like he intentionally hammed it up. The songs are all popular ABBA numbers--it’s immediately engaging. There was also a story but you’re not going to care once the musical numbers get going.

If you absolutely detest ABBA, you may not like this movie. Otherwise, GO! See it in a big crowd while you can, and go with someone who can let loose and have some fun!

A+: my expectations were lowered by the 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I was quite surprised by how entertaining it was. Mamma Mia! is rated 4.1.3 (PG-13) on Kids-in-mind for some sex-related humor.

Friday, July 18

Kitties can have IBS too.

Our cat Old Prospector used to struggle a little bit too. She never ate any toys, but she did succeed in BMing half her small intestine, which required some surgery that left her with a shaven rear for a few weeks. She was very embarrassed by the whole ordeal, as you can imagine.

Thursday, July 17

63 year-old Mirren works a bikini

After my recent post gave some unwarranted advertising to the men on a mission, I wanted to balance out the bare navel time and follow up with something a little more classy. To the right is a picture taking the Internet by storm of 63 year-old Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren. She has not had surgery, works out at the gym, and tries to eat a healthy diet. There's an article about it here.

Here she is in The Queen, which incidentally is a very good movie (96% on Rotten Tomatoes), and as you can see she is a bit more dressed playing the Queen of England.

mormon matters: Celestial Marriage Amendment

I read this letter in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning, and even though I know it’s a satirical slam, I could not help but agree with the idea proposed. Is that bad?
“Marriage for all eternity is being threatened. Many male members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are married to multiple women in heaven. Even today, prominent LDS general authorities are also polygamists in heaven. I believe in the importance of eternal marriage; therefore I would like to propose a "Celestial Marriage Amendment" that would define marriage in heaven as "one man married to one woman."
Continue reading...

Who is not an environmentalist?

18 out of 20 people in the poll here so far agreed we should take care of the environment. (For the record, one person who voted "worship it" actually wanted to vote "fear it" but that was not available so they "chose the next best thing.") We all probably suspected that would be the case. The real issue may be to what extent should we take care of the environment? This also made me wonder, am I an environmentalist?
  • I buy growth-hormone free whole milk for my son.
  • I believe that we are stewards of the earth, that we should use our resources carefully, and not put the economy above our friends the tree frogs without giving it a second thought.
  • I hugged a tree while I was in Hawaii.
  • I think we should practice the 3 R's even when it's inconvenient.
  • I eat some animals, but am mindful that their lives were sacrificed. Recently in a prayer before eating some chicken I even noted that to God and my wife and I started giggling. It just sounded funny, you know? But I am mindful, and grateful.
  • I like organic food.
  • I turn off the water when I brush my teeth, and try to take short showers.
  • I enjoyed An Inconvenient Truth and Who Killed The Electric Car?
  • I don't know how I feel about more drilling. If it would prevent wars (which is what McCain seems to insinuate) I could definitely see the use. It does however seem like giving more crack to an addict rather than dealing with the problem.
  • I think we have a responsibility to take care of animals, and treat them with respect.

To what extent should we take care of the environment? When do we go to far? When do we not go far enough? Should animals have rights? Are shopping malls more important than wildlife?

Monday, July 14

Wall-E: Clever installment from Pixar, or leftist propaganda?

In a recent post I compared some of my views with Glenn Beck’s to see how moderate I am. I found that I agreed with him maybe half the time; that like I thought, I am somewhere in the middle politically. Recently I saw the movie Wall-E. Very enjoyable Pixar movie, and more unique then most anime fare. In fact, it has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is extremely high.

Well, yesterday I was talking to a friend about it and he asked me about the apparent liberal/political bent that the movie has that conservative radio has been buzzing about. My response: "huh?" 

I didn’t notice it. Honestly I thought there were more similarities to The Matrix than An Inconvenient Truth (which it is being compared to). In the movie Wall-E is a trash-compacting, Hello Dolly-loving mini-robot trying to clean up the mountains of garbage that humanity has left behind (humans are now living on a space station, owned by the same corporation that produced most of the garbage). His only friend is a cockroach, of course.

So where is the political propaganda? I didn’t see it. Sure the movie has a pro-environment message, but really, who isn’t pro-environment? Everyone likes trees and clean water and other living things. We’re all environmentalists to some extent (please vote in the poll to the left), and I think Wall-E is a fun movie for all ages that is NOT going to make or break the election this November, or convert any of our nations youth into Al Gore worshipers.

Some quotes:
"The environment talk started to freak me out… I don't have much of a political bent, and the last thing I want to do is preach. I just went with things that I felt were logical for a possible future and supported the point of my story, which was the premise that irrational love defeats life's programming, and that the most robotic beings I've met are us." ~Andrew Stanton (Pixar)
“From the first moment of the film, my kids were bombarded with leftist propaganda about the evils of mankind.” ~Shannen Coffin
“And I just see Wally and he's on the Earth and he's cleaning stuff up and I looked at my wife and I said, it's a frickin' global warming movie…” ~Glenn Beck
“Conservative bloggers have dismissed the film's environmental bent as left-wing propaganda, while eco-lobbyists are suspicious of a pro-recycling film that will generate mountains of disposable Disney merchandise.” ~The Independent

I can see the irony of the last quote, but I don’t think Pixar is blind to the fact that they too are a big corporation, and there will be a lot of Wall-E toys in landfills in the near future.

What do you think? Did you see Wall-E and think it was propaganda? Am I more liberal than I thought?

Saturday, July 12

Sex Sells/Nephites Exposed

I just couldn't resist this juxtaposition:

This is actually old news, but now the maker of the calendar is up for discipline (he hasn't been active for 6 years, so I don't see what the controversy is about)... they are both muscly, but it appears that the 2,000 sons have better tans. Really though, one group is trying to share the gospel via war, and the other via sexy calendars... What's really amusing is the url for the calendar: "mormons exposed" or "mormon-sex-posed"? Kind of sneaky with that one.

What do you think? Is this non-news? Sensationalistic to even be reporting? I'm sure the man's calendar sales will go through the roof now that Fox has covered it, and some helpless girls out there will no doubt have their interest in the gospel piqued by those pectorals.

Wednesday, July 9

not the same

I just found out one of my clients passed away.

He was my age, but knew a lot more of the nature of suffering. Constant pain, all kinds of illnesses; one left him paralyzed. Had only been in for one session, depressed. “I still go fishing, but it’s not the same.”

Monday, July 7

Why do you abhor/love political discussions?

Recently for dinner I had homemade chicken enchiladas, a moderately sized bowl of Tillamook vanilla bean ice-cream, and a semi-charged discussion with a good friend about the morality of taxes.

He actively participated yet also averred his disdain for politics, (no question about the enchiladas here; as my father often says, “tortillas are way better than wonder bread”). My wife has also oft been inundated by a blitzkrieg of political discussion by my family and I, I think from the third date on. (That’s how we did things in our family, I guess… you know, first date hug, second date kiss, third date intense political discussion.)

I am intrigued as to why people so abhor political discussion. Maybe it’s me. After all, I did attempt to describe to my aforementioned friend that evening how I am both a socialist and a libertarian… But really though, why doesn’t everyone just love political discussion?

I get excited when discussing politics, but it is not schadenfreude (not trying to sound pseudo-intellectual, just practicing my vocab); I don’t take pleasure in starting agitating discussions (okay, maybe sometimes) but I like it when my views are disputed. I especially enjoy the challenge of remaining calm and disinterested when the other party is noticeably feverish… maybe that is a little sado-narcissitic (made-up word)…

Perhaps some people don’t like their latent negative emotions that come up during political discussion. Maybe they don’t feel competent, and don’t want to feel ignorant. Maybe they don’t care. Some people do care, but may not think debating the (un)controversy of Obama’s Robin Hood tax plan or McCain’s sordid marital history is going to solve anything.

Are you a lover/allergic to political discussions? Why or why not? Also, check out the related poll on the left.

Thursday, July 3

New URL or: More bumptious self-aggrandizement. And websites.

Yesterday I paid $10 to register "" as my new URL. The old link will forward to this one, but you really should link to the new address instead because it's just like totally so much cooler.

Also, in my quest for finding the coolest websites (for the left column), I've found some real keepers:
  • Howcast - videos on how to do anything from cleaning your grill to making a move on the couch during a movie.
  • iliketotallyloveit - things that people buy, that they like totally love.
  • Robert Kirby - the only man in Salt Lake who writes stuff that the MOs, ex-MOs, and anti-MOs can all laugh at.
  • Urban Dictionary - gives an urban word of the day, like "carbon guilt."
Those are all under "The Others" heading--the other two are "News & Politics" (which, I need to point out, contains quite a balance on the political spectrum.  Possibly the most balanced news/blog feed, ever) and "Science & Religion."

Under "News" you can also find FactCheck, which tells us when politicians are equivocating, or just plain lying, (like Obama's new ad that says he worked his way through school, when according to his campaign staff he only worked two summers). Check out that site during the debates this November and you will be appalled at how often all the candidates distort everything.

They're constantly updating so there will always be all kinds of good stuff for your perusal.