it must needs be that i teach you

From Jacob's mouth:
48 Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.

I went to the Priesthood session of General Conference (for you non-LDS dudes and gals, twice a year all the Church leaders gather together in a HUGE hall in Salt Lake and speak to all Mormons (via satellite if you're not immediately there) about various issues and things. It's a time for us to hear the prophet speak. Very nice.) where they talked to us men.

As usual, we were chided (rightfully so) about duty. We all need to get more done, and not slack off... So that was ok.

Then they addressed the young men. You guessed it -- missions. That was cool. We need good missionaries out there, and we need young men willing to work. I had a wham-dinger of a time in France and would wholly recommend it to the next chap.

Then they got onto pornography and the proper way to treat your wife. Pornography is an evil sin and we can't be warned enough, but I couldn't help but think of that scripture I quoted up there. It made me wonder what kinds of things we would be able to learn about, what kinds of things the Lord would see fit to reveal if we didn't need to be warned and reminded of what sin is.

I suppose I'll just be patient.

I guess I've been tagged.

What do you like most about where you live?
It's the first place that's felt like home since I moved from Texas to Utah 8 years ago.

Is there anything strange about where you live?

Just me.

What's one of your all time favorite music albums and why?
I don't really have a favorite Album, but I suppose Weird Al's 'Bad Hair Day' would qualify. When I was in Texas, I had a pretty easy teenage timeperiod. Church was good, friends were good, and I felt like I was a mack daddy among the ladies at Church dances. This album was one that everyone listened to and sung along to at pool parties, on the way to and from Church dances, and in general what made us laugh.

Did you have a passion for something as a kid that you still have now?

I had a heavy rubber baseball that I'd throw against the small brick fireplace and then field the ball as a grounder as it bounced back. I did this while watching many-a World Series from the age of about 11 on up. 'Course, the strike really made me lose my lunch over everything. I'll have to blog about that later, but I was 13 or so when the strike hit in '94 and it never occurred to me that anyone could play baseball for any other reason than loving the game. Anyway, after my mission I watched the Angels-Giants World Series and got back into it.

I love baseball. :)

What do you like most about having a blog?
I feel like people are paying attention to me.

Who am I tagging?
Bryan, Emilie, Chance, Peter, and Eeyore.


almost joined peta

This past weekend, Bryan and Emilie decided that they wanted a cat on Saturday. So off they whisk myself and my better half to the humane society in Salt Lake City.

Man... I felt awful there. It was really depressing to see all the animals caged up like that. The worst was the section that housed the dogs. They had a little bulletin on each cage explaining about the dog. Breed, age, sex, what commands it knew, what animals/people it was good with, as well as the last one... why it was dropped off at the shelter.

Man it was horrible to read some of those. "Don't have enough time for him." "Misbehaves too much." "Gets into garbage too much." "Too much energy."

I felt like I wanted to join PETA and just volunteer all my time to finding homes and good people to take the animals. I left feeling really bad.

I hope I never visit an orphange. I'd probably just break down and cry.


kill bill

I watched Kill Bill (on TNT, of course) over the course of this week. I watched both volumes, so that I could make sure I got the full range of Killiness Billiness.

Sorry, Quentin, I thought it was kinda dumb. It was shaping up to be really good in the first 20 minutes of the first movie. I thought the different cinematography would go over well-- it's refreshing to see things different. I didn't even mind the out of order sequence of 'chapters.' (I guess other Quentin Tarantino movies have this same kind of weird sequence. Meh.) However much it was building to be a decent movie, I had radically changed my mind by the end.

Three things kill a movie for me:

  • Cheesy dialogue
  • Cheesy acting
  • Diversions from the established reality

Kill Bill basically had all three. Cheesy dialogue and acting require little explanation, although our individual tastes probably range significantly. However, the reality point needs a bit more elaboration. Since TNT filtered out the swearing, violence, and sex, there's very little to rant/report on there.

Movie reality is established by the element of the story. Obviously we can't have space travel à la Star Trek, but inside the Trek world we've created these established facts. I wouldn't expect people to sword fight on the warp nacelle going through a wormhole during a Star Trek episode. It's just not believable. With Kill Bill, there were a few instances where there was some pretty cool swordfighting shaping up, only to have superhero comic book type moves employed. This wouldn't have been bad, except I got the impression that this was a realistic story. When superhero leaps and jumps came into play, it just didn't mesh. It wasn't believable.

Again, sorry Quentin, and others who enjoyed the film, I didn't like it. But who cares.


Night Falls on Narnia

I finished the Chronicles of Narnia this morning. I would have had it done sooner, but as I TA this lab, these kids need my help every two seconds! Sheesh! What was that about reading while on the job? Nevermind.

I really enjoyed the books. I don't really want to offer any commentary at this point; I'm not really anyone who's particularly bright with literature, so I doubt my feedback is worth the bandwidth this blog takes up. I did enjoy it. Just wanted to say I had finished it.

A short note about reading, though... People just don't do it anymore. At least we don't read anything of note. At least I don't think so. So after I read the next book on the list, Mere Christianity, I want to go and get one Penguin Classic at a time, and read it. You know, good books. Things we ought to all have read. Little Women, the Grapes of Wrath, and other books that I'm not familiar with because I don't read. I've even got a Koran I'm gonna read.

Yeah, we should read more.


personality tests

You Are Gonzo the Great

"Is something burning in here? Oh, it's just me."
You're a total nutball who will do anything for attention.
The first to take a dare, you'll pull almost any stunt.
You're one weird looking creature, but your chickens don't mind!

And also...

You Are Batman

Billionaire playboy by day. Saving the world by night.
And you're not even a true superhero. Just someone with a lot of expensive toys!

Batman rocks.

St. John's Espiscopal Church

I attended Episcopal services for the first time on Sunday Morning. It was very different. I was a bit shocked at the level of freedom in theology they allow you to have and remain a member of the parish/diocese/Church. I realize the desire to not control thought, but if there's no harmony in doctrine, I personally have a hard time testing it to see if it's truth. One lady, giving a talk/discourse during the service, actually left a disclaimer open to the effect that the Bible is either a set of good rules or the word of God. I was really surprised at that.

But that doesn't matter. I didn't go to try to prove points of doctrine, and I didn't even get into any discussions. I'm sure they knew I was Mormon, but I didn't go there to evangelize. I really, honest to goodness, wanted to see other people worship. Seeing other people worship, especially when you don't hold to the tenets of their faith, is a very emotional experience. They trust me not to mock (which I hope I didn't sound mocking in the preceeding paragraph) and they trust me to respect their feelings. It was very touching to see heads bowed in prayer, and to see people kneeling and crossing themselves. Just because they don't believe the same way I do, or have the entire revealed word of God, this does not mean they love God any less than I do. We truly are all children of our Heavenly Father, and He loves us regardless of the way we worship Him. I appreciated the service very much.


St. Murphy

Today I taught for the first time. I had a real nice set of slides all prepared. I had a pretty good lesson plan. I had a very well planned idea of how I was going to teach and approximately how much time it would take. So what happened?

I lost my jumpdrive that had my lecture saved to it. Murphy's law...

I always lose jumpdrives. I've lost this one 10 or so times over, only to find it in some remote region of the closet after it fell out of a pocket. I think this particular one has also been through the washer at least once. They're sturdy little things, but dang... I really could have used it today. So instead I shot from the hip, opened the book, and filled in as much as I could remember. Ugh. I felt like it was awful, but the students didn't seem to mind...


bloggers block yet again

I don't know why I feel so busy. I really shouldn't be. I'm taking fewer classes, but it still seems like I just have so much to do.

So, yeah. I don't feel a big post coming on right now. I'm a bit anxious, I get to teach for an absent professor twice this upcoming week and following week, and I don't really want to. It's a digital design course, something I haven't taken for a good 2 years. Eeyore is getting an MRI. My wife is going for a job today at 4:30. I also have to prepare for labs I TA in addition to teaching the class.

My feelings are best summed up between a conversation between myself and a good friend of mine.

Me: Man this bites. I don't want to be here.
Friend: Where would you rather be?
Me: On a yacht halfway between Tahiti and Hawaii.
Friend: Wouldn't we all...


news tidbits

Back from Yellowstone. That was awesome. The cabin bed mattresses were HORRIBLE. Poor Gonzo had some difficulty sleeping. That was about the only real trouble those children gave us. They were excellent to have along. As I've said so often before, I wish I had better command of language. What I say just isn't justice to what Yellowstone offers. I only wish I could have stayed there longer. Lousy classes...

In the meantime, life is going pretty well. That's a big statement from a guy like me. Lots of stuff is coming up that I'm pretty excited about. Mrs. Sixline and I are exploring investment opportunities, hoping to keep financial goals alive. People today just don't worry about stuff like that, although we should. I also found out that some really good friends of mine were hurt pretty bad when I didn't invite them to my wedding. It was totally inconsiderate on my part, and I admitted to them that I was wrong and apologized profusely.

Good friends are rare. Really, with the twists and turns of life it's hard to keep in contact. It's hard to find people you can really trust with your children, with your past, and with all your weaknesses. It's really a bad thing if a good friendship ends because of selfishness. I'll explain why I didn't invite them later, but that really doesn't help. ~sighs~ Mistakes aren't any fun. Not for the guy making them, and definitely not for the guy who has them happen to him.

Under that light, it's a bit ironic that I've been feeling good the past few weeks. It's always hard for me to feel good; my shortcomings are always in focus and I'm the kind of guy who doesn't like to relax until the work is done. There's always work to be done, though, and there's nothing wrong with feeling like you're moving along the way you like.

Here's to progress.


Off to yellowstone...

Leaving this afternoon with the Muppets. I'm pretty excited.

By the way, my discrete math professor is a hoot. I think he missed his true calling in life, either court jester or stand up comic. I like that class quite a bit so far.