Friday, November 28, 2008

A Sad Commentary on Our Society

when a man is trampled to death by mindless shoppers trying to race one another to get a few bucks off a piece of merchandise. Story is here. I don't know what words can adequately describe the senselessness that happened today other than animal-like. Stampedes and the human species should only be linked when large amounts of them are trapped in a room caught on fire, and even then, some order should be hoped for. But this... I sincerely hope that the people responsible know who they are and know what they did. Something needs to be done to curb this type of behavior before something even worse happens.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prego update and more

Here I am at 6 months. I must say the time is passing faster than I thought. I am not looking forward to the end of it except the part where I get to hold a beautiful baby boy in my arms and call him all my own. I'm pretty much gaining about 10 pounds per month now and am going to pass up Jacobs weight much sooner than I thought.  I just have to keep telling myself it will all be worth it. It sure was the first time. 

It's snowing. (boo hoo) Lily keeps looking out the window and saying "bubbles" She loves it. I guess I am going to have to move those knives off the counter. She has not discovered that she can reach them yet but it's only a matter of time. 

I had some left over chicken baby food that I was going to throw out until I discovered you could make dog treats with it. Lily loves our neighbors dog and I thought she might enjoy making him some treats and feeding them to him. They smelled aweful but the dog (and Lily) loved them. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace

I took a little time out of my busy pre-finals weekend to go see the new James Bond movie with a friend from school. In case you wanted a reliable opinion on the film before you go see it, I'll be happy to provide. No spoilers here, so don't worry.
Quantum of Solace starts literally minutes after Casino Royale ends. So if you haven't seen CR yet, I would highly recommend it. Otherwise, you'll be annoying your fellow movie-goers by constantly asking, "Who's that?" or "Why is Vesper important?"
There were some great things about this film, and so terrible things about this film. Let's talk about the terrible first. Most of my complaints in this category revolve around the editing job. If you've seen even one of the Bourne films, you'll know that every single fight sequence is hyper-edited, super fast cuts, and nearly impossible to follow. If you love that, well, my complaints won't be so bad.
I don't know where movie editors and directors got it into their heads that the audience doesn't like to be able to follow a good fight scene, but somewhere they did, and we all have to suffer for it now. Bond has three or four big action scenes, and I'll be darned if I can tell you exactly what happened in any but one of those. Compared to Casino Royale, which was fight-light, this Bond packs a much bigger punch, and puts it right in the mouth... over and over again. And again, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you loved the simmering tension of the last film, you'll be missing it here.
Fortunately, there's plenty of the good to make up for QoS's shortcomings. The Opera scene. Not much more needs to be said about that, you'll know when you see it. It was just dang cool. QoS still had the emotional Bond trying to cope with the damage done by Vesper in the last film, and it was good to see him trying to deal with everything else on his plate. I think the writers did a good job working that in without making the film into another Walk to Remember.
The villains were decent, the girls were good, the acting was great. Lots of stuff blew up. All in all, the movie is a solid notch on the Bond Belt. If you're like me and you put Casino Royale as the best of the Bond films, then QoS belongs somewhere not far beneath it. I'd put it right underneath Goldeneye, at a solid number 3 of all time. That may change when I watch it again, and I have a feeling enough critics complained about the editing that they won't make that mistake again.... I hope.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recent Chest X-Ray Taken at My Physical...

Some of you probably don't know this, but I passed out after one of my lectures a few weeks ago. Nothing to worry about, I hadn't eaten in a while, and was hypoglycemic. After all 84 of my classmates worried and fretted over me for the next few hours, I decided to get everything checked out via a physical. The doctors ran a couple of X-rays, and you'll be amazed at what they found:

A small growth on my heart. So it's not just in my blood after all...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If You Haven't Read This, Then You Should

I've been involved in several debates and discussions with friends inside and outside of the church regarding the latest social/political issues that have reached the ballots this year and in recent years. It boggles my mind to find faithful members of the church that disagree with the church's stance on these issues. There is plenty of room in our doctrine to debate and disagree about, but when the leaders of the church speak out on an issue and ask for the support, work, and contributions of its members, the time for debate is over.
I'm speaking specifically on Prop 8 in California and its siblings in other states.
If you haven't read this INCREDIBLE talk by the late Elder Maxwell, it's time you did. Here's the link.
If you don't feel like reading it all, let me point out two VERY significant points. One is a quote from Elder Romney in 1941:
President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123)
The next is even more important, and undoubtably prophetic:

This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.

Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

If those words weren't fulfilled in part this year, I don't know what a prophecy is. He also talks about how religious opinion will be attacked and people will try to replace our state's recognition and embrace of religion with irreligion. I'm sure it was beginning back then, but it is full blown now, and very much a part of the Prop 8 debate.

I hope someone out there reading this is enlightened and understands a little better about how I feel.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lily Update

I can't believe my little girl is 18 months already. She had a check-up a few days ago and she has finally hit 20 pounds. She is doing great in all other aspects of development and we are so proud of her. 
Some things that I love about her....
She gives lots of hugs and kisses. So sweet.
she is very friendly to people. She says hi to everyone we pass in the grocery store and then says bye on the way out.
She carries around a tissue and wipes her own nose when it runs. I just have to watch her closely though because she will wipe other kids noses with it if they have a runny nose.
She is great at sharing food with me whether I want it or not.
She loves her blanky. The other day I told her she could pick two toys to bring in the bath and she picked a ball and her blanky.

I took the video below because she was doing so well eating with a spoon and I was proud of her. I have recently been trying to teach her colors. So far she just knows how to say them but that's a start. Our favorite color that she says is pink. I don't know how she came up with that sound for pink but it's pretty funny.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And now a word on gay rights....

This is a subject that has been near and dear to my heart for several years now. When I was in high school, our LDS stake president announced that the church was joining an effort to put an amendment to the state constitution that defined marriage as only between a man and woman, similar to what California, Florida, and Arizona did this year. I was the first one to raise my hand and ask "Why?"
The stake president told me why, and I don't remember the specifics of the answer, but I do remember leaving the meeting with the impression I needed to do what the church was asking me to do. So I petitioned.
In November, the amendment passed and since then, Nebraska has not allowed gay marriages.
Now the big issue in California and other states is that the homosexual community asserts that the amendment to the constitution is stripping away their rights as citizens. They say it is a an outrage similar to denying women the right to vote, blacks their freedoms, or any other example of discrimination you want to use. I assert that it is NOT.
If you will examine the Bill of Rights found in the first ten amendments to the US constitution, you will read about several rights GUARANTEED by the founding fathers. The right to bear arms, freedom of speech and press, freedom of religion, etc. You will also notice, however, that while everyone has the right to assemble, there is no right to marry. Marriage has never been defined, and I'm sure that's because our founding fathers never imagined that the notion of marriage would be challenged. Well, it is.
The Constitution was written by God-fearing men. It was. Get over it. Our country was founded by God-fearing men. And ever since then, we've operated and legislated partly based the majority of the population's Judeo-Christian values. God is in our Pledge of Allegiance, on our money, in our courts, He's everywhere!
Now all of a sudden, the majority of the country wants to define marriage as between a man and woman. Homosexuals are claiming that their rights are being stripped. WHAT RIGHT? There is no right being denied them. They can assemble if they want. They can have a gun if they want. They still vote, still worship, and still have life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Would it be too much to ask the homosexual community to take a step back and stop screaming "MY TOES ARE BEING STEPPED ON!" and instead ask, "What can we do together to meet the demands of both opponents and proponents of a homosexual union?"
Why does it always have to be us meeting their demands? I'm certain solutions and compromises can be found to satisfy both parties. It's been done before, and it can be done again. Rallying in front of the Los Angeles Temple isn't winning them any friends or sympathizers. They're creating more tension, more animosity, and more friction between themselves and their self-annointed opponents.
Here's a clue: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never made gays their opponent. They made it an objective to preserve the sanctity of marriage as they way they believe, and apparently as the way over half of California believed.
Instead of claiming the advertising was misleading and deceitful, why not try to find new solutions? Instead of claiming that you are hated and discriminated against, why not try to see the situation from your opponents' perspectives? Instead of filling your hearts with more hate, and then calling us hateful, why not try to love us, too, and sympathize with us?
I'm sure some of you out there now are popping gaskets, and I guess that's how it will have to be, but we don't hate you. We love you. And we believe differently than you do. We want to work with you so that you have the same freedoms guaranteed to you that everyone else is guaranteed. Just stop shouting at us so we can talk.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To President Bush

8 years ago this week, I cast the first ballot of my life and I did it for you. It wasn't because I hated your opponent or because I liked you, it was because I was raised a Republican and I voted accordingly. I had no idea what you would face or the kind of hell on earth you would be put through as our president. I don't think even you knew the vitriol you would face when you decided to leave your gubernatorial post and run for a higher office. Even if I had known, I would have voted for you anyway.
In these 8 years, I have become a man. I met my wife and married her, received a college education, entered graduate school, welcomed my first child into the world. In these 8 years, you have always been in the background, most often as a hiss and a byword, a bad joke made by comedians with no imagination and writers with no real sense of patriotism. You were the easy joke, like the kid in school that everyone liked to beat up on and tease just to make their goon friends laugh.
I remember vividly the day the towers were attacked. I remember the resolve you showed and promises you made. I remember being afraid that attacks would happen again, maybe even closer to my home next time. Fear for my future and safety was ever present, but in time it faded. The only reason it faded was because you, Mr. President, went on the offensive and hunted the organizations that threatened my safety.
In these 8 years, that was the only attack on my homeland when there could have, and probably should have, been more. Thank you, Mr. President, for keeping me and mine safe.
I haven't agreed with every policy and every decision you've made. I haven't always known who or what to believe when accusations were thrown about by both sides of the political spectrum regarding the reasons behind your choices, but I have always given you the benefit of the doubt because you are my president and I voted for you.
In these 8 years, I watched with sadness as your political enemies and supposed allies used a war to their advantage. Despite that their homes and families were safe, that they had food on their table and clothes on their backs, they still fought against you in the name of their political party. They put the best interest of the nation and her citizens second to their treasonous tactics to gain power. Rather than fighting back at them, you kept your attention focused on fixing our nation's problems to the best of your ability.
I am just a citizen going about my business as best as I know how, and I cannot judge whether or not you performed your sworn duty to the best of your ability. It's common to hear the saying that only history will be an accurate judge of someone's presidency, but knowing who writes our history books, I'm not sure that I agree. I assert that only God and you will truly know. So I will trust that you did.
Today we as a nation stand on the brink of electing a man who I did not vote for. Many say that his election is a direct result on your unpopularity. So be it. I only hope that he will perform his duty to protect me and family as well as you did, that he will pick up your mantle and continue to hunt our enemies to the ends of the earth so they can never harm us again, that he will continue to make it possible for me to provide for my family so long as I work hard, and that he will put America's interests before his own. Thank you, President Bush.
Thank you for enduring the harsh treatment of media, pundits, and entertainers, their hypocrisy and venom, the disloyalty of the members of both the opposing party and your own. Thank you for your efforts to help improve education, employment, and our country's problem with immigration. Your efforts may not have been perfect, but well-intended. Thank you for caring about America more than your own image. I hope history will be kinder to you than the present is.
Mr. Obama, you have large shoes to fill. Don't stumble.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This was Lily's first year really doing something for Halloween. I didn't know how she would react to the costume but she actually didn't mind it. She left the hood part on for quite a while. We had fun hanging out with some friends and eating lots of pizza and goodies. I am a dental student if you can't tell. I forgot to put my Dr. mask on. This is Lily's Halloween outfit that she wore multiple times a week because she loved the kitty on her shirt. I even had to put her down for a nap holding the shirt one day because she wouldn't let go of it.
Here we are getting all ready for the night. I felt bad because Lily was getting over a cold but she did ok.