new niece

My niece was born! :D This is a late post, I know, but I never really knew if my sister and her husband were cool with me posting until now. This is the website they decided to host instead of sending attachments everywhere.

Joylyn Eve Meyer


I never do these.

I never do these, so it feels weird. At any rate, here it goes.

Three things I’m afraid of:

1. Losing Mrs. Sixline
2. Never having kids
3. Russel Crowe's facial hair

Three People Who Make Me Laugh:

1. Homer Simpson (Simpsons)
2. Jerry Seinfeld
3. Dr. John Dorian (Scrubs)

Three Things I Love:

1. Marine aquariums
2. Star Trek
3. Orioles Baseball

Three Things I Hate:

1. When the O's lose
2. Fighting with Mrs. Sixline
3. Making mistakes

Three Things I Don’t Understand:

1. People
2. People who tell you what to do
3. Why other people don't think the way I do

Three Things On My Desk:

1. Computer
2. Books
3. Note from Mrs. Sixline

Three Things I’m Doing Right Now:

1. Watching baseball
2. Sitting on couch
3. Keeping quiet

Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

1. I won't die.
2. See point 1.
3. See point 1.

Three Things I Can Do:

1. Type extremely fast. I finished before you read, more than likely.
2. Make extremely hasty judgments that are more or less accurate.
3. Sometimes I can lift the seat.

Three Things I Can’t Do:

1. Lift the seat.
2. Be bossy.
3. Stop from snickering when someone says 'duty.'

Three Things I Think You Should Listen To:

1. Opera
2. The Missionaries
3. Baseball on the radio

Three Things You Should Never Listen To:

1. Your parents (what do they know?)
2. Philosophies of men mixed with the Gospel
3. Emo

Three Things I’d Like To Learn:

1. Arabic
2. Economics
3. Chemistry (as applied to Marine aquariums)

Three Favorite Foods:

1. Mrs. Sixline's sandwiches
2. Hamburgers
3. Paint

Three Shows I Watched As A Kid:

1. Sesame Street
2. Star Trek The Next Generation
3. Baseball

Three Things I Regret:

1. Quitting little league
2. Never standing up to Eric
3. Somewhere I lost my confidence in the mistakes and roller coasters of being a teenager. I've always regretted that.

Three People I’m Tagging:

1. Peter
2. Chance
3. Bryan


a poet's hunger

I admire poets. Poets are artists, musicians, writers, and, well, poets. My engineer's brain rarely lets me be expressive. Things need to fit, they need to balance. Poetry isn't usually like that, though, right?

I can't draw something for the sake of drawing. I can't write for the sake of expression. I can only barely get myself to just take pictures for the fun of it. When I draw, I usually draw cubes or other polyhedrons instead of drawing how I feel. When I write, I want everything to flow properly and make logical sense rather than channel feelings. When I do photography, I usually spend more time trying to center the image and make sure settings are right rather than capture an object's essence.

I don't know. I'm not trying to say writers don't write correctly, or that artists don't ever draw geometric shapes, or that photographers aren't concerned with the settings of their cameras. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't been able to create art for me. Aren't the best artists just doing what they love? Everything I've done I've always compared with what should have been done. Can I verify correctness? Is the math right? Is everything square?

Art isn't like this. I wish I were more of an artist. I have the hunger of a poet, but not the soul. That's ok, though, because I like being an engineer.


news and notes

I was very proud of myself last week. It was a good post. It was well thought out and came from deep down. I wish more posts could be like that. Sadly, I can't bring myself to be that poignant every time.

I certainly need to make sure I care about what I post about, and that it flows. My thoughts by nature are very random, and they're often written down in the order that they crop up. This results in many drafts that never make it to the next step of being published. That's ok. I'd rather publish only the best of what I write, which in turn means I only publish what I care about.

In the world of news, I'm expecting a call from a company I interviewed with two weeks ago. The interview went well, and I have reason to be hopeful for a second visit with them. Mrs. Sixline and I are doing well, getting ready for our trip. In case I forgot to post, we're going to France the 14th through the 30th of May. We'll be visiting some very good friends and families of people I served with. I hope I remember names and faces well enough.

Now you're up to date.


on minorities and gender

All right, I'll admit it. I'm prejudiced.

It's not what you think. I don't think myself above women, black people, latinos, immigrants, arabs, homosexuals, or the Dutch. (The Dutch one was as close call, though.)

My problem is my perception. I've had a relatively easy life. I naturally assume that others have had an equally difficult/equally easy life as well. It's hard for me to think that people are denied any kind of amenity in life based on their social status. I think two things when faced with a story of someone being put down because of society's perspective on them: First, I think "Come on. When I'm denied a job/college entrance/promotion/whatever, I can usually think of a few good reasons why they're right as well as a few good reasons why they're wrong. I can give them the benefit of the doubt, why can't you?" Secondly, I think "I wouldn't treat them that way, and I can't think of instances where I've been treated that way. I think they're just saying it to rattle the cage and make some noise so that they can mentally overcome whatever legitimate shortcoming they do have."

My old perception was wrong. But, I don't think the issue can be so easily simplified-- in one direction or in any other. I have become convinced, primarily from getting older and partaking directly or indirectly in others' experiences, that there are those out there who are disparaged for reasons abhorrent to the majority of people out there. However, I think that it happens more than I'm prone to admit. The difference now with me is that I've let go of whatever guilty feelings I had that motivated me to identify with potential bigotry and deny its existence altogether. No white man wants to feel the weight of society's sins on his shoulders. And it's hard not to because whatatever European and American ancestors I have, I'm sure that many of them were directly or indirectly involved in the root causes of many of our social ills of today, be it slavery, anti-suffrage, anti-immigration, or anti whatever.

But not me. At least not knowingly. Whatever sins I have committed, I need to and will repent of them.

I think there is worthy fuel for the fire, so to speak. I think that minority and gender causes are true and noble. However, I cannot agree with many tactics nor the gamut of reasoning for the causes.

I think Satan will foment whatever environment he can to counteract the principles of the Gospel. Many women have become falsely convinced that all men are their enemies, that motherhood is cowardly, small and unfulfilling. Sadly, it's an easy fight for Satan. How many men demean their wives? How many men are threatened by a change in the status quo? How many marriages are devoid of the pursuit of perfection through knowledge, spirituality, and mutual respect? In the same vein goes the fight for many minorities. I can't imagine how easy it is for Satan to convince a young black man to hate white men because he was the victim of racial hate speech, racist jokes, or racial slurs. The natural reaction to be angry and frustrated is a breeding ground for a returned hatred, rebelliousness, and vengeance. These feelings don't let the Spirit in. They don't bring us closer to God. They create enemies both when they're present in the guilty party and in the victim.

It is a sad truth that there are a great many social injustices in the world, in America, today. I believe that there are far more than I imagined in my sheltered upbringing. I have since changed my views to be more-- dare I say it-- liberal. But I remain convinced that rancor is not the solution. Angry fighting will not get us as far as forgiveness, courage, prayer, and faith. Not only is Satan poisoning us with bitterness but he turns men against women. Women are men's greatest allies, and men are women's greatest allies. He perpetuates negative stereotypes on both sides of the race fence so long as we remain committed to our hurt and anger. If a black man was the recipient of harsh denigration at the hands of a white man, here is his greatest opportunity to be Christlike and forgive if for nothing other than the sake of forgiving a fellow child of God.

In the meantime, those guilty of disgusting sins of pride and hate deserve themselves and whatever apt punishment our society can mete out upon them. If our society could only embrace the Gospel, those responsible for spreading their ill fated ideas would be rooted out and no one would listen. Our families would share positive stories and we could sow love, friendship, and healing.

It is my opinion that forgiveness is the best way to fight these injustices. Forgiveness is a core concept of the teachings of Christ, and best implemented by faith in His redeeming power. Our social ills can be cured by His teachings, and it is my hope and prayer that they will be.


fuzzy logic

When I was younger, I never had a problem remembering little things about other people's schedules. It was very easy for me to know when all sorts of social gatherings were on the horizon. Now, I can't remember these small things to save my life. What happened? My poor wife has to tell me several times about something in the upcoming future before it sticks. I don't remember to plan visits to see my family. I don't remember to call anyone. I forget to email people to keep in touch. Is this normal? It's put a slight strain on the marriage, Mrs. Sixline wants (as would anyone) her husband to pay attention to her. The more important something is the more you pay attention to it.

I guess my problem is I'm too wrapped up in school, research, and Church callings. I just feel like so much is asked of me, and I can only stretch myself around two or three pegs at a time. It's not fair to Mrs. Sixline, she deserves far more of my attention and my desire to do things for her. I'm not talking about taking her to Anniversary Inn or dropping hundreds of dollars at her favorite department stores, I'm talking about forcing myself to think of her and her agendas more often. I bet it doesn't look so good for me when all I can think of Saturday night is watching a ball game and playing my computer. It's selfish of me to think my life is so difficult and demanding the only way I can unwind is through focusing entirely on things that please me. Quite the ruse, isn't it? The real way to unwind is through service and love. That'll refill your weary soul far easier and quicker than selfish actions.

Taking stock of oneself is always a difficult task. I think General Conference brought this line of thinking around. I've been feeling like my head has been in the clouds for awhile now. I hope that making sure I do pay attention to others (beginning obviously with Mrs. Sixline) maybe I can slowly become aware of the world around me. If I become aware of the world around me, I can have more opportunities to serve others. If I serve more, I'm confident I won't feel so tired and out of gas.

Here's to hitting several birds with one stone.