Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Trends

Hey everybody, happy Monday. It's 12:32 AM, and I'm finished with my homework for the evening. I am going to retire pretty shortly, but I figured I'd stop by and let everybody know how things are going. I've been pretty bad at blogging frequently- I fear I've been a little too ambitious. I keep thinking of good projects for the blog; things that would be really cool. The trouble is that they require a little bit of work because they're not just sit down and ramble posts. So, I procrastinate doing those because they're hard, and I procrastinate rambling because I ought to be doing the projects instead.

So, here we are. No project tonight, just rambling. Mmm mmm good.

Enough bid'ness. There are a few things that need to make a come back. In no particular order.

The Warrior Pride bracelets. Ya know, the rubber ones they sold last year. I'm gonna start wearing mine again. It's just too cool to pass up. I think you all should too. It's going to be a party.

Wearing a plain and white T-shirt to school. Not because of any musical influences, but because it's just way too cool. I don't know what it is, but I'm really digging it. I'm going for it. I already wore it this week. Maybe Friday? Let's have an organized white T-shirt Friday. Yep. It's official.

Class Participation. I'm going crazy with class participation these days; the results are pretty dang good. While teachers are cool and all, students just have way too much to contribute to their peers' education to keep quiet. That's the big deal with AP chem right now. We're migrating away from the Hansen plug-n-chug, and more towards the open classroom discussion. It worked really well on Thursday, not so well on Monday. We're going to keep working at it though; it's a golden concept. That's what I think we ought to do. We ought to really get in to our classes. Hop into the discussions, raise your hand. Make that class yours, own that class. It'll help you learn, it'll especially help others learn, and the teacher will think you're cool. It's a win-win situation. Do it.

So, what's new in my life? I've got a lot of projects on my plate right now. It's a little over whelming, but there's no way I'd trade it. I love projects. They're what keep me going, they're what get me excited. The prospect of taking this opportunity and making something out of it that the world has never seen, something better than anyone expected is too great for me to pass up.

Projects aren't like math assignments where there's just one right answer. A project is open ended, a free shot at making it big. A project, ultimately, depends on you. There's nothing holding you back. You are free to make something amazing. Projects are opportunity, and opportunity is the win.

I'm currently toying around with the idea of playing water polo this spring instead of running track. It's just a crazy idea flying around my neurons right now, but it's worth taking a look at. Water polo is a team sport, and that's something I haven't played on a school level for quite some time. It's objective based, not run-till-you-die based. It'd get me in crazy good shape, probably better shape than track would. And let's not forget that Kyle, Austin, and Stuart are doing it too. With a little coaxing, maybe Levi would do it. That'd be golden right there.

It's just an idea, but I think I'll go to a few practices just to see how things go. I'm not a proficient swimmer or treader, but I bet I could pick it up pretty fast. I'm excited to give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen?

Nick: Drown to death

Me: Oh shut up.

~

Rahaha, just kiddin' Nick, you're alright.

I was going to say something. I had one more talking point I wanted to bring up. And yet, here I am-

just kidding, I remembered it.

Trends. People are getting together. Levi has a girlfriend. Bahahaha.

You know what that really means to me, right? It means I'm usually the best one at halo now. The crown is mine!

Nah, but I think I'm alright with this business. I mean, I don't think it's for me right now, but I can accept that some of my friends are finding lady-friends. It's funny how they all expect me to want to smite them. Yeah, I am the president of the clean lips club and everything, but I'm a nice guy, I'm cool with whatever lifestyle you choose Levi.

Anyways, the important thing to remember is that this business can't get in the way of Ultimate. Whatever happens out there- Ultimate will be alright. I don't care what happens between you and me, you and her, me and her. I don't care if I suddenly fall in love with Kyle's leg-hair and then you steal it from me and then it tells me that I am nothing compared to you. Really, that's alright with me. Once we get to the Ultimate field, we're back to being friends. Maybe I'll hate you during the week, but Ultimate is a neutral place.

Not that I forsee trouble or anything. We're all older these days. More mature. We're gonna be fine.

But in the event that somebody gets jealous or gets their feelings hurt ---> It's alright, we're gonna play Ultimate anyways. Leave your personal lives behind. It's go time.

It's funny how my writing styles change and flow. This is my Late night conversation without a general purpose style right now. It's a lot more colloquial, much less proper. Lots of grammar and punctuation errors. Not so much cool words, but I sorta get the point across.

Compare that to my get-up style, and bam, there's a difference. My get up style is quick, short, and filled with all sorts of amazing adjectives. It's when I'm excited, ready to go. Dang, I love that style.

And then there's my important style, my wishful style, my off-night style. I've got all sorts of styles. I don't quite know how I feel about this current style. The one I'm using tonight (Or rather, the one I was using until I started writing about styles. My current style just shifted a ton now that we're on the subject.) Anyways. The style I was using tonight never really sits well down in my gut. There's always that feeling of unease, like I ought to go back and change it. And yet, because of the style, I don't go back to change it. It's my "I know this isn't the best, but I'm running with it anyways" style.

Hmm, it's not quite my style.

I do love writing. It's something I'd like to be better at. Something I need to practice more. I want to really get in to writing Water. I've got a complete rewrite planned. Haha, I only wrote three impacts, and I'm already ready to have a second run at it. It's a fun little idea in my head, that water is. Garbage Can, he'll be back. I'm going to write, no worries.

I really really like that paint sketch I made a few nights ago. It's the post that is two underneath this one. It's currently my messenger display pic. I like it a lot more when it's squished down than when it is full sized. I don't know what it is, there's something cool about paint sketches. It's unusual for me to express my feelings in a medium like that. I've never been too successful at letting stuff out through art. But here we are, I'm happy with it. I really think it says something, at least to me.

Who knew MS Paint could be so beautiful?

Spring is coming. I love it.

My friends are genuinely good people. I love that too.

I love the fact that they have important things to say. I love that we can talk about physics, and why me and brad messed up, and why kyle was the only one to get it right. I like that my boys have concerns and hopes and dreams and fears and the occasional wisecrack about my pancreas. We're independent beings with so much to offer each other. It's amazing to just stand around and bounce ideas off of each other, to be made better by being with one another. Good crap, I'm impressed with my peers.

I'm really excited for the future, just to find out where we all go. It's going to be an honor to be called a contemporary of any one of you out there. When they're doing a PBS special on one of us, oh yeah, we're all gonna be connected. Contemporary. It's a nice title.

Idea-a-day for January didn't quite work. Alas.

But that's alright. I think my focus in February will be to write as often as possible. I have something to write about every night, guaranteed. I could post every single day if I really really wanted to. I think that'd be a good idea. It'd get more feelings out, more ideas developed. It'd improve my writing, and maybe it'd give you something to do in the mean time.

Life's alright. We're moving along. I love my AP classes. There's a lot of really good feelings in this world.

There's nothing better than dominating your homework. That feeling you get when you can close one textbook, take a deep breath, and jump right into another. When you've read a whole chapter of history, and still managed to find time and energy to work your way through a golden physics assignment. Late at night, toiling away at that desk. It's a great feeling. Pulling it all off like that, I wouldn't trade it. I love it.

I love AP history. There's so much good stuff to learn in there. I love all my classes, I'm just crazy about learning stuff these days.

Yeah, things are moving along. We've got our issues, but we're getting there. We're gonna be huge, you and I. We're going somewhere, somewhere big. The world's never seen anybody like us. We're newschool, but we're not going to forget the power of the oldschool. We're going to change things. And yet, at the same time, we're going to uphold the things that need to be upheld. We're going to do the right things.

Yep. You and I- we're gonna be huge.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lessons - Part One

I have meant to make a 2006 review for quite some time now. I am, regrettably, 25 days late at this point. I hope that it was worth the wait.

I knew that I wanted to make the review, but I wasn't sure what form I wanted it to take. 2006 was a huge year for me, and I really wanted to do it justice. I considered a chronological listing of all the adventure's I'd had, or perhaps an analysis of all the big changes I'd made in my life. I thought about all the accomplishments I'd had, all the things I'd posted, and all the races I'd run.

In the end, I decided to choose the review that would be most helpful to me as a person.

I firmly believe that life is always trying to teach me lessons. Situations and conflicts are being thrown my way every day. The concept is that as I hurdle these problems I become more and more capable of hurdling bigger problems in the future. I develop skills and abilities as a result of my hurdling, and eventually I'll be able to tackle bigger, more important stuff, later on.

It's a learning process, one that I'm involved in every single day. Not a week goes by that doesn't have a valuable lesson in it for me to learn. That is really the jist of life, the whole concept.

Learn from it.

And so friends, I begin my 2006 review. Not an encyclopedia of my greatest ultimate moments, and not a showcase of stellar events or dates. Simply a look back at important realizations that I came to. Some of them are valuable advice I give to myself, and some others are just better ways of looking at things. In any event, these are the important things I've learned.

The review will come in a three post package. Post one will contain the least-influential ones. Post two will be the more important ones, and post three will be the culmination of it all, containing the really really big ones. It's gonna be awesome.

Without further ado -->

Lessons - 2006

Number One: Love-

2004 marked the first year that I had ever held a girls hand. 2005, consequently, marked the first year I ever broke up with a girl. It was interesting, the whole breaking up business. I honestly thought I'd be fine. In the weeks building up to the event, I was much more worried about how she'd take it than how I'd be. I honestly thought I'd be able to walk out of it and be alright.

Hahahah, funny joke. I was an emotional wreck- it was insane. For someone who prided himself on being emotionally stable, this was the last thing I expected. I was mad at myself for not being over her, and mad at myself for not being happy. I'm finally to the point where I can look back on the whole thing and laugh, even though it took me more than a year to finally be healed of it all.

At the first of 2006, I wasn't entirely whole yet, but I was getting close. It was in these early moments of the year that I came up with my theory on love. I know that it's incomplete, but it's a nice little comparison.

Love is like life on steroids. Being in love is just like any other time in your life, except this time it's multiplied by three. If, for the purpose of this example, we were to assign everyone a happiness scale, going from negative ten to positive ten, where zero was neutral. So, for example, eating lunch and being moderately happy would be somewhere around 5. Taking a test and not being prepared makes you sad, so it'd be somewhere around -4. Get the picture?

Great.

Throughout the day our happiness levels fluctuate; it's a normal and healthy thing. I'll wake up a two, have a six in seminary, go to eight in junior choir, and drop to negative five by the end of the period. It just happens.

But then you get a girlfriend, and the same day is crazy amazing. You wake up, and what would have been a two is a six. Why? Because there's a girl out there that is in love with you, it's a party. You go to seminary, and what used to be a six is now 18. Wow, life is good. The nine in junior choir is just a party, 27. That's unheard of during normal civilian life.

And then whatever made you hit that negative five suddenly makes you a negative 15. Ouch.

See, that's the kicker. In love, life hits the highest highs and the lowest lows. Everything is multiplied by three. There's amazing times, and there's heart-wrenching go-cry-yourself-to-sleep times. It's a gamble. Sure, you get more rewards out if you win, but you're broke if you lose.

We can compare it to hunting. Civilian, or normal, life is like hunting with a BB gun. You are really only able to take out small birds and squirrels, so you don't eat a feast every meal. You're still getting by though. One day you're out in the forest shooting woodland creatures and you accidentally hit your left foot. It hurts. You raise the gun and shoot a squirrel and eat it.

Now, Life in love is like hunting with a rocket propelled grenade. You can take down a wooly mammoth, you eat like a king all day long. Dinosaurs, Tanks, Nessy- nothing can touch you, you've got highly explosive projectiles at your disposal. One day you're trailing an African elephant, hoping to throw a great feast once you kill it, and you accidentally shoot your left foot. It hurts. You try to raise the fun to shoot the elephant, but the fact that both your legs and one arm just got blown off prevents you. Sitting there in the crater, you can't help but feel a little bit like a thumb. You've got no appendages! You're a quadriplegic! You live in a modified wheel chair for the rest of your life.

So, really. BB gun versus RPG. It's great to eat elephants and all, but what happens when you shoot your foot? I'll tell you what happens.

Wheelchairs happen.

Number Two: The only way to win involves spirit and legs

On February 10th, 2006, we didn't have a real frisbee club at Taylorsville. None of us had ever heard of the biscuit, and Brad Shelton wasn't even close to Bultimate. As far as I knew, I was pretty much the only sophomore that was in to Ultimate. I had tried to get my friends to play in ninth grade, but that didn't really work.

I had been playing around with the idea of bringing my boys to Frisbee Friday for a while, but scheduling never seemed to work out. That night was the first night that I ever really took my boys.

I remember it clearly. I can still feel the hard, frozen ground. I can still see the ice forming on the grass, the coefficient of friction plummeting as the night drew cold.

Only five sophies showed up, only five old folks too. This was back in the day when Brad Withers was in charge. He is still my greatest Ultimate inspiration. I can only dream of pulling off some of the stunts he performed.

It ended up that whatever team had Withers on it blew the other team out. We played three games like this, always joking about playing sophies versus old men. We knew that it'd be a blow out, but after so many blow outs, we were ready for a fourth.

Me, Levi, Kyle, Jason, and Glen all came over for a little team huddle before the kick off. We knew we were going to lose. It was inevitable, these guys were just too good. In the chilly moonlight, we promised that we wouldn't go down without a fight. We vowed to sweat and try harder than they were willing to. We were not going to be shut out, we were going to make them see.

And so we did. We couldn't throw as straight or as far back then, and our catching could have used some serious work. Our game plan was simple. Run fast, pass a lot. Quick, chaotic cuts. Never give up.

We scored. Four times.

It was that night that I truly began to believe in the power of spirit-legs. I was so moved by our victory that I wrote one of the most poetic and moving posts of my life. I suggest reading it.

February 10th, 2006. Game On

The concept is simple. He who is willing to run harder than the other will win. Now, this has its limitations, but there is much to be said about spirit-legs. We couldn't possibly beat the old men, but we had a much better shot at it if we ran than if we tried to out-skill them.

This is the philosophy I have tried to take with basketball. I am not Jamarcus- I cannot dunk. I am a 150 lb whiteboy; basketball is not my strong point.

And yet, I play. My only chance of winning is spirit-legs, and you better believe these little legs are pumping. I'm simply going to try harder than the next guy. That's what victory comes down to. I want to leave my whole soul out there on the court. The day that I can finally achieve that, then will I win at basketball.

The only way to win involves spirit and legs.

What'd I learn? I learned that I've got to run like crazy.

Number Three: Eat your Vegetables.

Last year, through some thinking, I came to the conclusion that nobody has ever really been me. People tell me all the time to eat my vegetables, but does anyone really know that vegetables are good for me? I mean, maybe they're good for Glen, but I've never had the opportunity to eat a vegetable on Friday, January 26th and feel good on Saturday, January 27th.

Nobody has ever gone to school as Kyle except for Kyle. Nobody has ever taken the exact same basketball shots as I have.

None of us have woken up on Monday the 29th yet. It's going to be a completely new experience. You and I are walking through paths that have never ever been trod before. We are an entirely new and fresh generation.

I'm new to this whole bit. This whole, life, thing. I don't know what Monday will bring. When it comes, I'm going to do my best to roll with it. Chances are I'll make mistakes.

The same goes for you. One day a girl will tell me she likes me. I've never been there before, so I'm gonna have absolutely no idea how to react to that. Kyle's got no idea either. Austin will probably pee his pants.

So, ladies, forgive us for being stupid sometimes. We're new to this. We're new to math, we're new to malthusian population crises, and by golly, we're new to Monday. We're all treading new ground here. None of my teachers at school have ever gone through one of my days doing exactly what I do.

So really, it's alright to have no idea. Because we're new. Scientific evidence is great and all, but those guys in lab coats aren't me. They don't know that eating broccoli is good for me. They know that, statistically, it's supposed to have health benefits. But nobody has ever run through 72 years of my life with me eating broccoli, and then the same exact 72 years of my life without me eating broccoli, to see what the differences are. Completely new territory here folks.

What did I learn from this? I learned that all of us are going to make mistakes in life, but that's part of the deal. We're all insecure sometimes, we're all awkward and learning. I also learned that nobody can truly tell me what to do in a given situation. Maybe they've done something similar before, but they've never had to make the decision that I, the real me, am going to have to make.

So hey, let's cut each other a little slack. We're new here.

~~~~

Bam, I think that's all we've got for now. Expect some more of this coming later. Honestly, these ones aren't all that good. I'm really only excited to write about three ideas I've had all year. I think it's a good idea to revisit the stuff I learned, but this stuff hasn't had a big impact on me. It's all about the big three. So, expect those soon, they're gonna be good. Hope you enjoyed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Post 198 - January 20, 2007

Welcome to another off-night. I've spoken of these before. They are the nights when I'm not my usual self because of the stuff that's going on inside of me. I don't understand them, but I think that's the point.

So here goes another one. A monument to the insides of me on January 20th, 2007. I know that tomorrow's insides are going to be fine. Me and them, we're gonna laugh and smile and play and dream about what's coming up. Things are going to be normal tomorrow. They aren't tonight; that's not a bad thing.

It's just a different thing, that's all.

Maybe I don't need to write tonight. Maybe things are alright. I wonder about that; it seems like a little bit of a let down. Really, I know full well how different things are tonight. That always makes for an interesting journey of self discovery that is of great value in the future.

I don't know how I feel about these semi-colons. Mr Harward taught me about my abuse of comma splices. I loved the way that it sounded; it just wasn't correct grammar. So now it's fixed, and whenever I would have put a comma splice before I just put a semi-colon and things work great.

But it presents a problem- one that I don't really like. I regard semi-colons as something marvelous and useful. As such, they deserve to be used rarely. The over-use and repetition of something glorious in writing leads to its devaluation.

And so yeah, it's grammatically correct. But c'mon, I don't want to rip off the semi colon. So what's the choice gonna be? Write in good form, or respect the semi colon? I'm not sure; we'll see what happens.

I have a slight head ache. Curious, because I never have head aches. Interesting, eh?

It all goes back to lessons I've learned. Tonight's peculiar, and I believe that it's peculiar for a reason. The trouble is that I can't figure out why it's so peculiar. What message am I supposed to be getting? What have I missed today? Where's the missing piece?

Because honestly, it's got to be out there. I know there's a message- a lesson, a moral, anything- out there.

I want to take a drive. I wouldn't mind driving to Logan right now. That's how I got a lot of my driver's ed hours in so I could get my license; driving to and from Logan. Andrew and Nathan were up there at school, so we always had an excuse to head up there. It was hard to sit for that long, and being a new driver it was a very very long drive for me. I had trouble staying awake and alert the one time, but I did alright.

I don't know why, a drive just sounds like the thing to do right now.

Of course, I'm not going to go on a drive. Tomorrow morning's insides aren't going to want to go to Logan. But hey, this isn't a monument to tomorrow, it's a monument to today.

What am I thinking? What am I feeling? Is this really what's out there? What about every other night? What about the adventures, and the quests, what about all of that? What about Ultimate? Ultimate doesn't fit into tonight.

Maybe that's it.

Yeah, I think it is.

Things are going to be ok.

That's one thing I can learn from tonight, because I have no idea what's going to happen, but I know that things are going to work out.

I don't know what Monday has in store for me. I don't know if I'm going to like my new schedule, I'm going to miss my friends. I don't know what's going to happen when I grow up. Where I'll live, how life will be, I have no idea. I don't know about the social situation.

That's the moral of the story. I honestly don't know what to do about some stuff, and that's ok.

I think that there was somebody I was supposed to talk to tonight that I didn't. We passed a few friendly words around, but not as deep as it needed to be. If that was you, sorry about that, I was sorta wrapped up in my own confusion.

Bravery, that's one step.

It's now 1:10, and I'm going to retire to bed. Monument to today's insides, eh? And already I want to take it down.

Here's to you, consecutive integers.

Here's to you, contrast.

Here's to you, hindsight.

Here's to you, conservation of Messenger happiness.

Here's to you, wonder.

Here's to you, off-nights.

I'm glad that I get to feel like this every once in a while. I hope that you're all doing well. I hope that you're all working hard and moving forward. I'm really going to miss my history and math classes. Leaving communities is a hard thing to do. You get attached and don't realize it. We're all in it together; we're all learning and growing in the same boat. We're subjected to the same treatment- we combat it as one. I'm going to miss my compatriots.

It's funny, the leaving communities business. I might have written about this before. I miss the guys from downstairs at mcdougal's. I miss mama weeks, me and her haven't had occasion to have much small talk for a while.

Things are going to be ok. We're moving along. Gears are in motion, my life is progressing. There's work to be done. I want so badly to make a difference. That's what I want to do.

Smile, things are going to be ok.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Than a Feeling

I'm going to go to bed really soon, but I feel I need to say a few things.

For starters, spontaneous was awesome. I'm super glad that Marissa asked me so I could go, cause I was way too lazy that day to ask anybody. I'm very happy it happened though, hooblay! It was just so much fun, being with all my friends, eating cheez-its. Good times, All y'alls rock.

And that last line is really all this post is about. My friends are awesome. They are good people, with a lot to offer the world. I'm so excited to see where the future takes each of you. We're going to change the world, do you realize that?

What is Eric gonna do when he grows up? I don't know, but I bet it's gonna be awesome, just like Shaun.

Things are going to be good. We're going places; we're going to change things.

Class of '08 rocks.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ferocious

Welcome to the bench.

It's the uncomfortable pause between the third and fourth quarters, and the good guys are down by 25 points.

The team looks downtrodden. We've been getting humiliated out there; we haven't done a thing. I know it's time for a morale boost, so I prepare to bust out the big guns.

Whipping off my sweat-band, I motion to the girls across the court to watch this mad action. Excitement builds, the wringing of the absorbent forehead decoration is a glorious sight to behold. I fold the band once, then twice. I place my hands.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out. This is going to be intense.

Deep breath in.

Pause.

Pause.

Twist.

.....

Twist again.

.....

.....

Grunt, twist.

Twist, twist, fold, twist, grunt, twist, grunt, twist, twist.

Pause.

Barren, that's what it was. The thing was freakin' dry. Not a drop; not a swig. It was the dryest sweatband in the entire gymnasium.

I was embarassed.

It was then, in that crestfallen moment that I realized why we were losing so hard.

We were not being ferocious.

And ferocious was what we should have been being.

~

All my life I've been me.

Being me, I've been blessed with many talents, characteristics, and abilities. Throughout my life these have come in handy. Be it dominating the national nerd tournament or running nine miles one Monday morning, I've got the tools to accomplish certain tasks.

Basketball isn't one of those adventures that I'm cut out for.

A wrench can't be scissors.

Why should it try to be scissors? It's not designed for that kind of labor, it's built to wrench-ify things.

By all means Mr. Wrench, stick to wrenching, for all of our sakes.

~

I am not a baller. I am not a big black guy with a name like Jamarcus and vertical hops like a freight elevator. I am not huge; I do not have post moves. I do not have streetball skills. I do not have churchball, schoolball- not even tetherball- skills.

But I'm tenacious, and I'm pretty sure I've got them on distance. I woke up every morning last summer and ran my heart out. My calves and quads got huge; my determination factor needed its own zip code. I went through a gallon and a half of water a day. I got sweat rings down to my belly button six days a week.

Fast, that's what I am.

Tired? I don't even know what that word means.

~

This Saturday, 3 PM, we take the court one more time. We're 0-2. We've got nothing to lose.

And you know what we're going to do? It's so simple; it finally clicked.

We're going to play to our strengths. We're gonna run the bad guys. To death.

I can't outplay them. I can't outjump them. The chances of me scoring a date with their sisters is slim to nill.

But you know what? I can outlast them. I can run up and down that court for a week after they've fallen over and been forced to eat their shoelaces for sustenance.

Ferocious. That's what we're going to be.

Sweat. That's what's going to be everywhere.

Bultimate's legacy lives on. I will never give up. I will run the bad guys every single play. I will hustle them up and down the court until they can be hustled no more.

I am not walking away empty-handed. I can't beat them on skill, but I refuse to be defeated on speed. I'm going to go down fighting; their only chance is to hope for an early-game knee injury, otherwise they're gonna be awfully embarassed when the nerdy kid is racing it all up in their grills.

Saturday, 3 PM. Game time. I will not slow down. I will not pace myself. I will not give up. I am Christopher Thatcher, I'm taking it straight to them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Double Replacement

I've got silver and lead in my hands. There's a gaping wound on my thumb. I'm about [ ] this close to sending my computer off to the glue factory.

All in all, I think I could go for a sandwich right about now.

First things first, I was pretty careless when me and Landon were mixing up chemicals for the normal chemistry classes' labs. It was a simple double replacement lab, so me and Lando just had to make some really weak solutions of a bunch of chemicals. Easy easy, japanesey. Landon did the math, I weighed the junk, added the water, and then swirled it around until mixed. It's a party in 5th period.

The concept of double replacement (And single replacement) is really easy. If, for example, you've got a solution of silver nitrate and you add another solution to it, something like lead sulfate, depending on how reactive the doobers are (silver and lead) they might switch. If Silver is more reactive than lead, the silver will ditch the nitrate and join up with the sulfate. So, you'll have silver sulfate, and then nitrate, and then lead floating around.

Of course, that's very inaccurate. Those are the only two chemicals I can remember off the top of my head that we used, and I'm pretty confident that those two wouldn't work together anyways. I'm pretty sure I mixed up the definition of the whole deal anyways.

The point, however, is that you get the junk from the solution, and it switches places with something else. It ends up that it switches places with the oils and fats in your skin as well.

So, no big deal, but I've got four or five tiny black spots from the silver I got on me, two purple smears from what I assume was the lead, and a few random brownish ones that seem to be something else. Haha, sorta nutty. It'll just look like I need to wash my hands for the next few months, that's all.

It's a fun story to tell, nothing to worry about.

As for the thumb wound: Stallion (my beloved computer) has been acting up lately; I have pursued corrective measures. It's clear that my power supply is in its death throes, I desperately need to replace it. Unfortunately, my computer budget is currently zero, so that's out of the question, at least until I make it to the bank. Anyways, I had the great idea of trying to switch it out with the power supply sitting in my brothers computer in the other room. Nobody is using that computer, figured it was worth a shot.

so, I swap em, and it doesn't work. In the process of swapping back I discovered that the inside of my computer case has some wicked sharp edges. Sharp edges that really hate my thumb. Yeah. Band aids don't do well sticking to the top knuckle of your thumb, so I wrapped a bunch of medical tape around it as well. It looks a lot worse than it is, sorta comical.

I had to format stallion tonight, I don't fully understand why. An experiment I tried resulted in me losing all the data I had accumulated over the last few weeks, since the last time I formatted. It's not a lot, nothing to complain about really. The only important things I lost was my region dance song list, and the few pictures I had taken with my web cam and my new digital camera.

I'm currently in the process of setting stuff up the way I want it. It's sorta fun, sorta obnoxious at the same time. Things will settle down soon though, it'll be great.

So, list of things to do regarding stallion:

1. Get a new power supply

2. If that fails to work, send to glue factory.

3. Get job, upgrade.

Yep. In that order, too.

There might be another post tonight, depending on how I feel. In the meantime, enjoy the complimentary snowflakes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Distract-a-Blog II



Yep.

Microwave melted cheese.


~later~

I'm back. It's 2:40 AM, but that's not the point.

There are lessons that I've already learned. Lessons that I should have applied but didn't. I have been reminded of those lessons, so now I get to remind you.

Lesson One: The more I write, the happier I am.

Therefore; I'm going to write more. Easy easy, japanesey.

That's the main jist of it. More writing. Organic. Idea-a-day? Yeah, still gonna throw a few more out. Not gonna hit 20 by the end of the month, that's for sure. Definitely going to make the region dance projector idea work one day though. In any event, it's completely and utterly bed time. So, therefore, goodnight all.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Idea-A-Day Five ~ Important Words

Idea Count: 5/20

Title: Important Words

Category: Social/Online

Feasibility: 8/10

Likelihood: 7/10

~~~~~

Words are powerful.

I have read some books that make me think. Not just think, but really get down in there and ponder this stuff. This stuff is deep.

Things that, I think, have made me a better person. Or if not a better person, at least a smarter person. Things that open up new avenues and ideas in your brain.

Deep stuff. You know the kind.

So what's the idea? It's a four step process.

Step One: Find Deep Stuff.

How am I going to find deep words? I've got to become better read. The AP list is a good place to start, so is wikipedia. There are resources out there that can point me in the right direction. I can talk to other people, I can talk to you guys. In short, I'm going to find deep stuff to read.

Step Two: Read Deep Stuff.

This one explains itself. I'm going to read this deep stuff, and then I'm going to analyze it. I'm going to devote time to sitting down and thinking about it. I'm going to write on it, I'm going to annotate it. I'm going to make myself a smarter person.

Step Three: Share Deep Stuff.

After I'm through reading this stuff, I want to pass the good stuff on to others. If there's something that I think is going to be of use to you guys, I'll let you know, and I'll put it up here. I wish that you will do the same for me.

Step Four: Write Deep Stuff.

This one comes later. I want to write this sorta stuff one day. Yep.

-Ahem-

So what does this all mean? This means that I'm going to try to devote more time to reading. It also means that every once in a while I'm going to link or suggest something good for you to read. We'll start tonight.

Harrison Bergeron - By Kurt Vonnegut

This one is really short, You can read it in five minutes. A few of you might have seen this in ninth grade, but it's a good idea to read it again.

Five minutes.

Read it.

Why?

Because it will make you think.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Idea-A-Day Four ~ Help a Brother Out.net

Idea Count: 4/20

Title: Help a Brother Out.net

Category: Social/Online

Feasibility: 8/10

Likelihood: 3/10

~~~~~

I like to go on dates. Dates are fun. I should go on more of them.

But see, I haven't been on too many dates. My bad.

But I distinctly remember homecoming. I remember that after all was said and done, after we had dropped the girls and Ryan off, me and kyle hung out at his house for a few minutes. We were both in our nice suits. We talked with his parents about how everything had gone, and thanked them for letting us have dinner there. As I started getting ready to go I turned to Kyle.

"Man, we totally pulled that off great. That worked out awesome. Good job buddy, way to go."

I really meant that statement. I felt great about the way that things had gone. We were pretty new to this business. It was a big endeavor, really. We had to pull off a day activity, dinner, the dance, AND shakes at Arctic Circle. We had to do it without real drivers' licenses and on a budget less than 50 dollars. While I stood there in the doorway ready to leave, we both looked back and a big smile came to our faces.

"Yeah, we did do pretty well, didn't we? Wow, we nailed that one. Booyah, let's do it again some time."

I was proud of him and Ryan for pulling the date off. Heck, I was even proud of myself. I was proud of our girls for not calling us tightwads and running away when we made them run through the forest in their dresses.

At the end of the day, we could look back and realize that we'd pulled it off. We had such a good time, and everything worked out great. It was golden, really.

And really, I don't understand why I haven't gone on more dates like this. I guess you could ascribe it to my lack of money, lack of lady skills, lack of whatever.

But really, it comes down to ideas. I rarely have good date ideas.

To illustrate this point, I'll fill you in on the most recent idea I had for a date.

So, it's a double date, maybe more. In any event, you split up into your couples, and each couple gets a hunk of play-doh/salt dough (bonus points if you make the salt dough earlier as part of the date). Anyways, you begin with a random noun that you pull out of a hat, like a cat. It's the first team's responsibility to mold a cat in 60 seconds or less. And then, it's team two's responsibility to think of something that beats a cat and then mold it, all in 60 seconds or less. At that point, it's back to team A, who has to beat whatever team B molded.

So, for example-

Team A does water, so Team B, to beat them, does Ice. Team A melts the ice by molding fire, but Team B puts the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Team A makes a fire extinguisher with a hole in it, so Team B molds duct tape to fix the hole. Team A, faced with no other option, molds Chuck Norris.

It goes on like that till you get bored, or can't beat the other guy. I'm not sure why I think this would be so much fun, I just do.

But this illustrates two points. First, I rarely have cool date ideas. Second, my cool date ideas really aren't that cool.

So, how do we remedy this? I want to go on dates, but I don't have any cool date ideas. Michael wants to go on dates, but he can't think of anything either. I recently emailed my brother in Costa Rica asking for date ideas, I was that desperate. He pulled through with some good ones, things I'll hopefully implement by summer, but that's beside the point...

So, how do we fix the problem?

-Ahem-

It, like most of my social problems, can be solved by the Internet.

We create a new branch of the Taylorsville Alliance. We call it Help-A-Brother-Out.net.

The main attraction will be a huge collection of date ideas. Before the site is launched, we'll send out several dedicated individuals on quests to collect as many good date ideas as they can. They'll ask their siblings, they'll ask their parents. They'll take surveys around homecoming and sweethearts and Prom to find out what worked well and what didn't. They'll create a huge database, and we'll put it online.

But the fun doesn't end there, oh no. Once it's up and running, you'll be able to log in to the site. You'll have a few options at this point. The easiest will be our custom "Suggest-A-Date" feature. You'll click this little link, and then fill in some information relevant to the search. The site will ask a few questions to find out what you're looking for. Example

  • Number of people involved?
  • Price Range?
  • Time Limit?
  • Desired Complexity Level?
  • End Goal? (Friends, Romantic, Impress, Obligation, Etc. Etc.)
  • Fun? Serious? Adventure?
  • Time of Day?
  • Season?
  • Etc...

Then, taking these things into consideration, we'll search the database and suggest five or so dates that will fit your needs.

That's the quick way out. Of course, you'd have to be able to search the whole database, search by price range, search by desired complexity, whatever whatever.

So, there are good ideas, that's cool. But we can take it one step better.

There'll be a rating and comment feature. After someone goes on the date, they can come back and leave a comment, that others will see when they check that date out. Stuff like "Worked great, they loved it." Or "Lamesauce, girls didn't like insect hunting as much as you said they would." They could give it a rating from zero to five stars, and you'd see that on the searches. If you see a date with all sorts of stars, hooray, it'll go over well. A date with fewer stars, well, that's harder to make go well, but still possible.

And then there'd by the suggest-a-date. Instead of having my team of crack dating ninjas provide all the ideas, people like you could suggest an idea. You could write about a good date you went on, or just a good idea that you had. The more people that come and use the site, the more ideas you'll have, making it a better site. It'll be a party.

Aside from the database, there'd be the general dating advice. Elements of a good date, tips, tricks, etc. Maybe there'd even be a section dedicated to dances, the whole, asking and answering whatnot. There'd definitely be a calendar talking about local events that would make for good dates. Something like "Free concert at the park" or "There's this high school play, or this exhibit at the planetarium" It'd help people out, and that's what's important.

Why is it important? Because people need good date ideas. It will make peoples lives easier, really. It'll let people with good ideas help people without good ideas. All in all, it's going to be a party. It'd rely upon the community to really make it work.

So yeah, your one stop resource for all your dating needs. What do you think?

********************************
Title: Plan 5
Complexity: Epic
Results: Even More Epic
1,000,000 out of 5 stars.
********************************

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Idea-A-Day Three ~ Scape

Idea Count: 3/20

Title: SCAPE - Super City Alternative Planned Energy

Category: Energy

Feasibility: 3/10

Likelihood: 2/10

~~~~~

This one' s going to be short. It's late, and I'm not too passionate about it. If Water ever gets written way far like I want to it will make a few appearances. Until then, enjoy the idea. It probably won't ever happen. But hey, it's gonna be fun to think about anyways.

Cities last for a very long time. New York has been there since the 1600s. Rome? Even longer. The thing about cities though, is that they are very organic. Every hundred years or so the whole city gets rebuilt, bit by bit. Building gets knocked down, they put another up. Another building gets knocked down, they put another one up. Great fun, really.

I'm a big fan of alternative sources of energy. I'm not a hippy, I just think they're really cool.

Alternative energy is tight. I think we're going to have to make bigger investments in it in the future.

So, if we're going to move more towards it, why not just go for the big show?

Cause after all, if you're going to go, you might as well go big.

So I have a request. Next time London burns down, let's rebuild it my way. Here's all I ask.

#1. If you're going to build sky scrapers, build them in a strategic way such that you funnel the prevailing winds down into just one corridor. Then put a huge wind-duct in that corridor.

When wind hits a sky scraper it's got to go around it. So, what if you design your city in a sort of wedge-shaped wind catching device. You still have all the functionality of a city, but the wind just gradually and almost coincidentally gets funneled down into one corridor.



Sort of like that, where the boxes are sky scrapers. The good news is that you can have all sorts of other stuff going on underneath the sky scrapers, a normal city. Just make sure that you build the tall buildings in a pattern like that, so you can funnel all the wind down into one little spot, where you can then make it turn a wind-duct.

A wind duct is a lot like a wind mill. Except instead of an open mill, it's like a windmill in a tube. More effective, but harder to use. But hey, you're doing this on a grand scale, why not?

Now, the wind's not always gonna flow in one direction, but you can basically say it will. Utah *usually* gets wind from the west. That's the way the jet stream works, that's the way that storms and clouds come across. Are there exceptions? Yes.

But c'mon folks, you're going to rebuild your city anyways. Why not make the most of it? It'd be sorta like putting up a lot of windmills, except this way you've only got to put up one, and just redirect the wind from the others straight to it.

#2. Instead of putting photovoltaic cells on everybody's roof (Which is expensive and requires wiring) just put mirrors of sorts on them that redirect the sunlight to one central location.

Photovoltaic cells are cool. They're the solar panel deals you can put on your roof like shingles, except they make power from the sunlight that hits them. I want some, really. They're really expensive, and not super super efficient, but still cool. But, coating a city in those would be terrible expensive and require a ton of work. Instead, we've got something even better.

So, next time you build a building with a roof, build the roof at a specific angle, and make all the shingles/tiles/whatever mirrored. Point those mirrors at the sun and the giant parabola of death above the heat collector mcdoober.

Let me show you a diagram.



So basically, all these rays end up getting focused on this black ball underneath the umbrella. That black ball could do a lot of things, it doesn't really matter what. You could use all the heat to turn water into steam which would in turn run steam turbines. Or, you could just make it a really efficient photovoltaic deal and do solar power with it.

The important thing is, you're shooting all the sun into one point, then using it there. Instead of trying to use it while it's still all over the place, you're using it in the one point.

C'mon, it's easier.

Of course, you get the problem with the sun changing position in the sky, that makes this whole process harder. In the summer it's North, in the winter it's south. So, you've got options.

You could make your roofs adjustable. That's sort of hard.

Or, you could just take the hit and decide you only need one of them. When is power consumption the highest? During the summer, when the AC is always on. So, angle them for maximum collection during the summer, instead of the winter. Yeah.

So basically, these are two very raw and imperfect ideas. But the concept behind them is sort of cool.

The concept is that you take a large scale thing that has to happen anyways (in this case a city), and then you make it work for you. It's going to be sitting there anyways, we might as well make it useful, right? It's a lot like having a brick and a pile of papers. The pile of papers keeps getting blown away. Why not put the brick on it so they don't? Well, nobody thought of it before.

Yep. That's the idea. Will it happen? Probably not, but it's a cool idea anyways. w00t.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Idea-A-Day Two ~ A Vital Improvement to the Region Dance

Idea Count: 2/20

Title: A Vital Improvement to the Region Dance

Category: Improvements/Upgrades

Feasibility: 8/10

Likelihood: 8/10

~~~~~

I love the region dance. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

Region dances are amazing for two reasons:

(in no particular order...)

Unity

I've got good friends. All of the guys I hang out with are Grade-A individuals. There's nothing quite as awesome as walking into the dance in my nice shirt and tie and being greeted by all my good friends in their nice shirts and ties. It's so great to hang out with all the good old fashioned stallions in a non-school setting. There's a social aspect there that's just amazing. Everybody cool is at the region dance. You get to see old friends, new friends, maybe even some Chinese friends.

It's a time to catch up and laugh with your buddies. It's a time to be able to just stand there and smile as you listen to Glen's most recent story of getting shut down by the ladies.

And then, when the music starts pumping, it's a time to line up with the all-stars and show the world what we're made of. You step in unison- you sweat in unison. There are few moments that have more electricity in the air than those first few measures of cotton eye joe or every time we touch, when all the guys are lined up, getting ready to go, eyes darting between one another. Smiles on our faces, we know that what's coming is going to be good. We've been waiting for this all night. For just a little while, everything in the world is going to be alright. You don't worry about anything else, you're in step with the greatest generation the world's ever seen. Austin, Alan, Kyle, Nick, Glen, Peter, Peter, Brad, Harsh. We're all out there, moving together. I can only assume that's how marching in step with an army must be. We're unstoppable, and we're grooving like mad men. Just you try and take a swing at any one of us, we won't let the bad guys win.

Girls

This requires no explanation. We all know why. But hey, since when has that stopped me?

At this point in my life, girls are like glaze on the donut. I suppose that, yes, theoretically I could live without them. But who just wants a regular donut? When given the option, who picks plain donuts over glazed donuts? Nobody does, that's who.

And it makes sense. Glazed donuts are better than plain donuts.

That's how it is with girls. The same way that glaze will take an ordinary donut and turn it into a delicious piece of pastral (adj. Of or relating to a pastry) magnificence, so will girls take the world and make it a more beautiful place to live. When they're around the world looks, smells, and is better.

Alls I'm going to say is this: modest mormon girls are the best kind of girls there are. And what better place to find them than at the region dance?

-ahem-

I've done a fair amount of study regarding region dances. I analyze and think about things, that's what I do.

And I often ask myself; what could have made this region dance better?

Aside from the stock answer of more slow songs, it always comes down to communication.

Lack of communication between the DJ and the participants is trouble.

Example: I'm standing there, sweating. A song just got over, and a new one is coming on. The beat is slow and irregular.

I turn to kyle, "Hey, is this slow?"

And he, still catching his breath from the last song, pauses for a moment. He beats his head along with the music for a few seconds, furrows his brow, and beats a few more. "No idea. Is anyone else dancing?"

I scan the gym. "Err, a few..."

He scans the gym. "Yeah, let's go."

I nod in agreement. "We're on the prowl, go go go."

And just then, the beat picks up, an electric guitar busts out a power chord, and all the sudden we're in a fast song. Kyle, who was quick to ask someone to dance, must awkwardly end the slow dance and sort of retreat back in to the shadows. I'm a little luckier, I delayed long enough to be spared the uncomfortable "Oh... it's fast.... haha..." Yeah, it's trouble.

And here is where the idea comes in. We need to increase the flow of information between the DJ and the participants. There is an easy way to do this, and I'm so surprised that nobody has done it before.

It's simple. You get a projector, and hook it to a laptop. Throughout the evening you constantly stream information on to that back wall. Everyone can turn around and see the following things:

  • Current Time
  • Current song, artist, album
  • Duration of song, current spot in song, time left in song
  • The next three songs coming up, the last three songs played
  • How many minutes till the next slow song
  • Total number of songs remaining
  • Number of slow songs remaining
  • Any other special messages. "We found a blue purse." "This is girls choice"
  • Above all, it's going to say "This is a fast song!" or "This is a slow song!"
How is this going to make my region dance experience better? Check it out. Compare and contrast for life:

Without the projector:

I wonder what time it is. I ask Kyle, he doesn't have his watch. I rummage through my pockets, get the cell phone out. It's 8:34. I wonder when this song is going to end, I can't dance to it. It ends, and the mystery song comes on. The conversation we had earlier is replayed, me and kyle scientifically analyze the characteristics of the song. After 30 seconds we realize that it's slow, and scramble to find someone to dance with. I go into hunt mode, and scour the gym for someone not dancing yet. I have no idea who I want to dance with, I'm hoping that someone will just jump out at me once I see them. I run around, a minute passes, still no one available. They're all either dancing or hiding from me. After two whole minutes, I find someone, and we dance. A minute later, the song ends.

And the chorus of ladies says: "Lamesauce (8)"

With the projector

I wonder what time it is. I turn around, it's 8:34, sweet. I see that there's a slow song coming up in two minutes. Who should I dance with? I'm not sure, but I've got two minutes to decide. After some intense thought while I pretend to dance like a gangster, I determine to dance with Girl A. As I see the song dwindling to the last 30 seconds, I gravitate in her direction. No way am I going to get beat to the punch. As soon as the first beat of the slow song starts, I'm boldly asking this girl if she'd like to dance. She glances over at the projector. It's a slow song, that's for sure. And it's only four minutes long, that's good. She sees that there are going to be seven more slow songs after this one. She agrees to dance with me. We dance the full four minutes, have a good time. I laugh, she laughs. The dance ends with a hug, things are good.

Why is the projector important? Because region dances are full of decisions. The more information we have, the better decisions we can make. At this point, region dances are full of mystery. I have no idea how many slow songs there are going to be, I have no idea when the next one is coming. I don't know when cotton eye joe will appear. What if I'm getting a drink when it comes on. I miss the party!

When I know that there are nine slow songs throughout the evening, I can plan accordingly. I know who I'm going to ask, and I locate them before I have to. There is nothing quite so frustrating as searching the room for someone while everybody else is dancing.

The projector makes my life easier. It helps me make good choices. It helps maximize the region dance.

After all, as the level of information we have goes up, our power goes up with it. We're able to make better choices. The projector will make the region dance a much better place.

Comments, concerns? Lay 'em on me. Anything else the projector should tell us? Leave me a message. Yeah buddy.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Idea-A-Day One ~ Go Time Spirit Consulting Inc.

Idea Count: 1/20

Title: Go Time Spirit Consulting

Category: Entrepreneurial-ism

Feasibility: 7/10

Likelihood: 5/10

~~~~~

February in Junior High was always the best month of the year. Spirit month allowed me an opportunity to dress as a ninja turtle and exhibit fierce leadership skills. It was a time for my competitive side to burst out and wreak havoc on anyone willing to get in the way of me and my spirit points.

Spirit month was intense for one reason: it lifted the bar.

Let me explain. In junior high everybody got 100% on the test. Nobody ever got less than an A. We were all the same in the lunchroom; we were all the same in everything we did. It was impossible for one student to out perform another, simply by the virtue that you could reach the top by giving a half hearted effort. When I showed up to game time with 120 points and Jason only showed up with 40, we both walked away with 100%. There was no difference in what we got back out of the system. Because you could only go so far before hitting the top, everybody won.
Helen: "Everyone's special, Dash."
Dash: "Which is another way of saying no one is."
-Elastigirl and her son, as Elastigirl (Helen) tries to explain why it's not ok for Dash to use his powers.
Spirit week removed the glass ceiling. For the first time in my educational career, I was free to give my best and be recognized for it. It didn't matter how far I went; there was always an open sky above me, beckoning me to excel even further.

There was no cap to creativity; there was no cap to intensity. There was never a point in spirit month where the- "Alright, that will do" -clause came in to effect. I could push as high as I wanted; no one was there to stop me.

Perfect example: Dallas Bruehl. It's 7th grade spirit month, the assembly. The big cheese, the final showdown. What happened here would largely determine the outcome of the entire month. Weeks and weeks of cleaning the lunch room and wearing makeup to school all came down to these final moments. Champions were selected from each grade to participate in brutal and hilarious competitions, all in the hopes of earning a few hundred spirit points and the respect and love of their classmates.

Dallas was selected as the seventh grade combatant for the food eating contest. He gracefully stepped up to the table. Noticeably shorter than the eighth and ninth grade competitors, he was written off from day one. Seventh graders never win.

The command was given, and three lone heroes began the disgusting march towards victory. The food before them was edible, yes, palatable, no. The eighth and ninth graders jumped in; they gave it their all. Bite after bite and mouthful after mouthful they downed the atrocious sustenance.

Dallas Bruehl was unfazed. A brilliant student with a slight attitude problem and a lack of motivation, he was looked upon as average during the scholastic school year. He was faceless, just like the rest of us.

Dallas attacked that monstrous plate with a tenacity and alacrity that first startled, then amazed the entire audience. He was efficient, fast, and machine-like in his war of attrition against the putrid food. No one had ever seen anything like it. He was massacring the competition; his onslaught was unprecedented.

The entire seventh grade student body, collectively, caught the fever. We knew we had this in the bag. He was blowing the bad guys away; he was unbelievable. A mighty rumble rose up and refused to die. A sea of supporters cheered and screamed for the mighty hero of ingestion.

Before long the competition drew to a close, and Dallas Breuhl was announced the victor. We all knew he was a hero; we all knew he was a legend. Within moments he was placed higher than he had ever been before. No longer Dallas Bruehl the average student, he was Dallas Bruehl, the master of all things comestible.

Dallas was an amazing eater. And yet, if the competition had simply been an animal cracker eating competition, the results would have been entirely different. If the goal was to eat three animal crackers for 100 spirit points, all participants would have won, and none would have been relegated to legendary status like Dallas was.

Dallas was given the opportunity to rise up and do the impossible. Additionally, both the eighth grader and the ninth grader were given this opportunity as well. Dallas went above and beyond the call of duty to bring home the trophy. He's a legend, and the other two aren't.

I live for these moments. Moments when it's not about eating three animal crackers, it's about pushing yourself to the highest, most extreme limits. Who could wear the most creative costume to school? Who could drink the most tobasco sauce? Who would rise up and ribbon dance for the whole world to see?

Everyone can eat three animal crackers. Congratulations; you found the red pen.

Spirit week removes the glass ceiling. Glory is, for the first and only time, accessible.

It is because of my deep love and appreciation for spirit week that I suggest the following plan.

-ahem-

One day when I find myself financially secure, I am going to start a new branch of my business. I'll call the branch Go Time Spirit Consulting, at least for the time being. We will be a branch devoted to the enrichment, education, and elevation of individuals of all ages.

We will achieve this through three main services that we offer. The first will be leadership training and team building exercises for corporations and other such organizations. We will have a campus of sorts, wherein people will come and learn how to lead, effectively communicate, solve problems, and ultimately increase the productivity of their group or company.

It's amazing how much of a market there is for these kinds of services right now, and I can only assume that the market will grow in the future. You know all those times that a teacher misses a class because they were at a conference, or were at training? Yeah, it's this kind of training.

Except, we're going to be a little different. We're going to be scientific about our approach, and we're going to be effective, yes. But we're also going to be more fun and more creative. One idea I had for communication training was a human-based-text-adventure-game.

You'd have your group, say, ten individuals. One of the individuals would be a boss, and he'd be led off to a little shack where he sits with his cell phone. The other nine would enter our course, a sort of grid with all sorts of business in it. The game would commence, and the boss would be sent a text that says something like "You are in a clearing. You see a tree. Exits are East, West, and North." After which point, the boss will text back and say "Go East." (Or, ya know, go West, depending on how he's feeling.)

Anywhom, then the group will be required to go East. So, they'll go through the East exit and find themselves in a new clearing. From then on, they are responsible for telling the boss man what they've got. So, one of them will have to send the text that says "You are in a clearing. You see a log, a book of matches, and a key. Exits are West, North, and East." Then the boss man decides what they need to do, and they do it.

The trick is that they can't do anything the boss man doesn't tell them to, they must do everything the boss man tells them to, and the boss man can't tell them to do anything that they haven't mentioned that they could do. The boss can't tell them to climb the tree if nobody mentioned that there's a tree.

Anyways, we'll throw some twists in there, some good learning experiences. They're going to have to make a human pyramid at least once.

Anyways, that's where we're going to make our money. Offering professional leadership courses and the like. We'll study it out, we'll make it pro. That's arm one.

Arm two is a remake of the eighth grade dream we all love: Stellar Squared. It's sort of like an amusement park, minus the rides. We'll have our campus, something that resembles a giant war zone. It will be strategically laid out so as to be the perfect capture the flag arena. It will double as several other things. Basically, it'll cost a dollar or two to get in, and once you're in you'll be briefed and you'll join a huge and persistent battle against the bad guys. Maybe one night it's a capture the flag match, maybe another it's an all out American-Gladiators battle. No one knows, but you'll be able to come on in, hop on a side, and battle it out for your comrades.

The park will be flexible. We'll be ever changing. We'll be able to line up fields for an Ultimate tournament, we'll be able to have a rockin' region dance under the stars if need be. The idea, no matter our current configuration, will remain the same throughout: It's a place to come for something epic. Epic competitions, epic dances, epic opportunities. It will be the place for epic.

We'll make some money off of it, but probably not too much. This is more of a public service than anything else right now. With any luck I will be financially secure, so I'll be able to do this stuff. No, we won't be losing money, we just won't be rolling in it.

Our third, and my favorite arm of Go Time Spirit Consulting will be just that: Spirit Consulting. For a very small fee, high schools or junior highs can contract with us to come run the most amazing spirit month the world has ever seen.

We'll send in our representatives to have a meeting with the sbo's and administration. We'll talk about what they want to accomplish, and we'll work together to implement it all. We won't just walk in a take over, oh no, we'll work together. We'll offer suggestions, but we won't do anything without their approval.

Ultimately, we'll bring a lot of things to the table. We are walking in with experience. We've had a team of researchers studying spirit months across the country for a year now. We've gathered data, found out what works and what doesn't, and now we're ready to share it. When the kids eyes light up and they say "Oh my gosh, what if we...." And then the administration will gasp in horror, and we'll nod mischievously and say "Oh yeah, we can do that." That's what we're there for.

A little less than a year ago I had a dream about the best spirit week ever. It culminated in an epic assembly, one with four predetermined events. Events like the DDR dance off, the Halo tournament, the school wide treasure hunt/adventure, all sorts of stuff. It involved doing most of the events before hand, and then showing taped footage of it at the assembly, sort of like what they did with the Olympics. Of course, the final portion of all the events would be done live, it'd just be cooler that way.

I realized that Go Time Spirit Consulting would be the only way to really realize these dreams. Stuff on this epic of a scale would be nearly impossible to pull off without outside professional help. That's what we're here for. We will come in, and make things epic.

There are many reasons why an epic spirit week is beneficial to the school. First and foremost, it builds school spirit, which is crucial to success. I firmly believe that things run better when you really believe in the school you're attending. You'll see more people going to the games, more people joining the teams. There'll be community, it'll be amazing.

Spirit months are also very useful for mobilizing a large number of students to do whatever you want them to do. Can anybody say food drive? Look at all that food, all the good that Taylorsville does every year. Now, sure, some of it comes from the goodness of the SBO's hearts. But, I'm confident that more of it comes from competition. With a truly epic spirit month, there's no end to the good that a bunch of students could do. Think big, we're gonna change the world.

Me: "Hey, I'll give you 10 spirit points if you'll end world hunger!"
Them: "Oh man, I am SO there."

Go Time Spirit Consulting is my way of making things epic. The goal is to enrich, educate, and elevate everyone we come in contact with. We will teach valuable lessons in our giant capture the flag matches at the stellar squared campus. We'll make companies run smoother and more productively with our leadership and communication training. Above all, we'll let kids everywhere live my childhood dream. We'll let them excel. They will be able to go higher and further than they've ever gone before. There will be no limit; life will be epic.

So, there's the plan. Not exactly a money maker, but we ought to make a few dollars on the deal. If not, well, we made the world a better place. Any questions?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Idea-A-Day

Happy New Year friends; 2007 never looked better.

There's a New Years post in the works somewhere, it'll be coming in the near future.

But for now, I'd like to detail a plan of mine.

For the month of January, I'm going to be posting roughly 5 ideas a week. You know the kind. Plans for energy, plans for making money, plans for kicking butt.

I'm setting the goal at 20 ideas this month. I've already got at least six outlined and ready to be ranted upon. I think this is going to be a good exercise for me. It's going to challenge me to think more, to think creative, and then to flesh out and defend my ideas.

And so friends, I hope you don't mind the increase in brain activity. I encourage you, nay, demand that you attack my ideas with questions and comments and all sorts of other such business. If there's an idea that you like, let me know it, and let me know how to make it better. If there's something that you just don't get, please, let me know.

This idea is risky and difficult.

Some wonder if it can be done....

I wonder why no one's done it before.