Sunday, July 29, 2007

*may contain peanuts

Ok, so I lied about the peanuts.

But it's been a pretty excellent day, and I just wanted to share that with everybody. I hope that you're all doing well, whoever and wherever you are.

It's a beautiful evening, and it's hard to not want to share the love.


There we go.

But seriously folks, keep up the good work. Together we'll make it through all this. There's a lot of excellence waiting right there on the horizon for us. Keep on truckin', we're getting there.

Beef (It's what's for dinner)

Pardon me if I've used that title before.

I've got some beef with the whole world. A bone to pick if you will. Something has upset me greatly.

I just finished watching most of "Grease" with my dear mother. It was on ABC Family. At the end of the show, I had no choice but to mimic the words of the ever wise comic-book-guy.

"Worst Episode Ever."

"I shall register my disgust upon the internet."

And here I am. Registering my disgust upon the internet.

Holy crap! How did that thing ever gain main-stream acceptance! I had never seen it before now, and now I know why! Who in their right minds would think that was a good idea? The whole show is swimming with nothing but extremely hateable characters and innuendo! There isn't simply no moral to the story, there's a freakin' anti-moral!

"Oh hi, I'm sandy, I used to be attractive. I was the good character in the show, the one you were rooting for. I'm the only character you don't hate. I'm not a skank"

"...Oh wait! End of the movie's coming up. I was about to teach you all a great moral about how you should be true to yourselves and do what's right and things will work out. I was going to be the poster girl for being wholesome. But, since there's only 5 minutes left, I need to go and dress like a skank and smoke and all that stuff so the boys will like me. I'm going to ruin the one good character we had. Let's go get drunk."

Oh great. Real good. How in the world is this thing still on the air? Fine, I know it was broadway and all that. But how come they just showed the movie? Huh? Why ABC Family, why?

Anybody who has ever said that simpsons was worse than that is insane. The whole show is run by innuendo! I mean really now, where's the point in the whole thing anyways?

Granted, I missed the middle half of it. Frankly, I'm glad that i did. I might have lost more brain cells.

"We are all now dumber for having watched that"

I'm upset. All my life I've known it was popular, it was some cultural thing. Everybody recognized it. I didn't, I'd never seen it.

And now I have, and I gotta wonder, how, how did this become a cultural icon? Why is it even recognizable? It shouldn't have ever gotten past the drawing board. There's no way it should be a classic. I don't even think it should be in the bargain bin at wal-mart!

This thing makes Ted Stevens look like a moral giant, a brilliant and eloquent orator!

The anti-moral at the end makes Brough's lectures look timid!

Two RAGING thumbs down for Grease. It wasn't just not good, it was bad. There's a bold and strong line between lacking anything good and being craptastic on purpose. Who wrote that crap? Who thought it was a good idea? Who gave that man a budget?!

In conclusion, I'm pretty sure that Grease takes the cup for worst cultural icon that I've never seen until now. Move over Peter Pan's What makes the red man red.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


It's Wednesday, July 26, 2007. What's on my mind?

Trees. Lots of trees. Not just any trees though. We're talking slow growing, time-appreciating awesome trees.

For 10 dollars (membership fee) you can get 10 trees, no shipping and handling. That's a dollar a tree. Not seeds, but little trees you can plant. For 10 bucks I could get 10 oak trees. Two Bur Oak, these are like the grandpappy of tres. They grow slow and big and awesome. And 8 other awesome kind of oak trees. How cool would that be?

Of course, I don't think that mom will spring for me planting ten trees in the yard. Maybe I could convince her to let me plant one though. Anybody want nine trees?

No seriously though, I want to plant some trees. I want to find out where I'm going to live when I'm older, and go plant trees there now. Trees increase property value and save money on heating and air conditioning. Not only that, but they're breathtaking.

So that's the plan. I'm gonna acquire some trees and plant them. If anybody's interesting in splitting 10 trees with me, let me know, because I'm pretty serious about it, providing that mom and pop are on board. Let me know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Idea. (Been a while)

So, I've had an idea. I don't know if it's a good idea. But it's an idea nonetheless, and I think it's worth taking a look at.

We'll cut to the chase.

What if in the commons at the high school we installed a huge whiteboard with lots of markers and erasers on leashes with a big sign above it that just said "Write on me" or "Go for it" or "Edit me"?

It's a risky endeavor. What could happen? What'd be the result if you let a student body of near two thousand write and draw whatever they wanted on a whiteboard that everybody would see?

You'd have people that just try to offend others. They'd write and draw things that ought not be written nor drawn.

You'd have people that write something studid, because they can.

You'd have people that would try to write something comical, or inspiring, or a "cute" note to their friends.

You'd have people with agendas trying to get their news out. Buy the litmag!

You'd have talented folks drawing quick drawings that make people smile.

You'd have SBO's trying oh-so-hard to garner school spirit.

You'd have unoriginal folks with a classic "Shirl*, will you go with me to Sweethearts?"
*(Yes, Shirl is a man's name)

Me? What would I write? "Kyle kissed a boy"? "Poo upsidedown"? "Come to Frisbee Friday"? "Go Warrior XC" ? Or something inspiring, something noble?

I don't know what I'd write. I know for sure what I'd erase.

But who would win? The vandals or the winners? Just going off of names, I'm gonna wager the winners.

It's an interesting prospect. It gives students an unheard of level of freedom. It's a lot of trust, cause they could put some very interesting stuff up on the whiteboard. It'd be totally student regulated. If I see something I don't like, I can erase it. If somebody else sees something they don't like, they can erase it as well.

Is it worth pursuing? I honestly don't know. Who knows if the admins will go for it. I'm not convinced that it's the right thing for us to do as a high school. I just think it's worth taking a look at.

Could it raise school spirit? Yeah, I think so. It shows trust. It shows community. It's a social experiment. Above everything else, it's new and fresh. Everyday wouldn't necessarily have to be the same old, same old.

What do you guys think? Plausible, feasible? Hmmmm.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


So, I'm off and away for a few days to Youth Conference. I'm excited about those prospects, it's gonna be good times. It's pretty late over here, and I'm way tired. I wanted to throw some words down before I went though. I've been thinking, and it'd be a pity to lose these thoughts. Yeah, they're just my thoughts, and in reality I could journal these thoughts and be fine with it.

Ok, so I don't really want to write these thoughts. I thought I did, but I guess I don't. Huh, funny how that works, eh?

The jist of it is that it could be a solution to the problems that have been bugging me this summer. For those of you not in the know, those problems are that I'm lazy and don't make much progress in any department.

Mind you: This is just me thinking. There was once a time when I'd state this all as fact and move on with my life. But that's just not how things really work. I'm still trying to figure this out.

The main concept is centered around a verse in the B.O.M, Moroni 7:40. Everything around there is really good. It's a great chapter, really. But it talks about hope. hope is a good thing to have. I think that that's a big key right now. I've got to get some hope going on.

Maybe there'll be more to that later. For now, It's late, and I'm headed to bed. Haha! For-The-Win.

Also, the Alliance is back with an entirely new premise that is actually cool. We've got content now! There's a reason to go visit. Yea verily, it's no longer a cool concept without any stuff, it's just plain old good stuff now.

It's worth a look. If you don't like it, well, you don't ever have to visit again. But I think it's cool.

Tville Alliance

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15th

Blogging has changed a little bit for me lately. There is much less of a drive to post working within me these days. I am not overly concerned about it tonight, because things seem to make a lot of sense tonight.

See, in the past I've had some really strong feelings about blogging. I liked to think that it was somewhat of my duty to blog, and that by blogging I was making the world a better place.

Now whether or not other people believe that isn't the argument here. That's the way that I felt, in fact, it might still be the way I feel. I am proud of the things that I have accomplished with this blog. It's been a great tool for me, and if along the way it helped just one person have a better day or do something along those lines, it's served its purpose.

I have certain things that I want to accomplish with my life. One of the big things that I want to do is help people. More specifically, I want to help individuals. I don't like when people write like this, but it's an important factor in my life.

Which brings us back to the blog. Did it ever do that? One could argue. I believe that it did, and that makes me very happy. That's not the exclusive reason why I did the things that I did, but I'm glad of it.

Many of you at this point might be wondering why I'm writing this. This is not a farewell post. It's more of an explanation and exploration post.

I think there may be a shift in my life coming. A transition from the blog being a very important part of how I communicate with the world to more personal, individual communication. This is not a prediction or foreshadow or anything of the sort, I'm just saying that it might happen. I sort of see it happening already, but we'll see.

That'd definitely mean changes for me and my current style. I absolutely love talking to people. A few nights ago me and Nick got to have a really good talk. I'm really glad that we got to have it, it was good for me and him both. I love talks like that, and I think that they're important for everybody. I do believe that more of those are in order. One will have to work on that.

This blog, at times, has been sort of like an imaginary friend to me. If I'm upset or particularly excited about it I can come and write and explain things. It's a way to communicate feelings with what feels like an audience. Whether or not there truly is an audience is never entirely determined until later. But one can communicate the important feelings of the day to the ever faithful 'create post' window.

There is much that I've thought about today. I've had some really good discussions with my mom and dad and Michael. A lot about the future, a lot about how I want to live my life right now and in the future as well. And therefore there's a lot that I could write here. I could talk a lot about soda pop and water and compost heaps and all that. About how I think you should live your life. About how I want to live my life. What I want to study, what I want to do. The differences between my situation and my brothers. All important things to me right now.

But I feel good enough that I don't think that this is the place for all that right now. I think that there'll be a time for it. A season, if you will. I do love the idea of seasons.

There's a lot out there. Tonight is an excellent night because I feel calm and open-eyed. I want to go for a walk, but it's 1 AM. Feels earlier though.

I think we're going to be alright. The future looks amazing. There's a lot of brightness out there. There's a lot of good stuff being lined up for us. Opportunities await. There's a lot that we can accomplish, a lot of good that we can do for people.

I often wonder about good. Does doing good do any good if it doesn't last?

There's a lot of good that we can do. And it will last. And it is important. And even if it's not a permanent solution, fixing something for a moment is good. Making someone smile, just for a minute, is important. I hope that this comes off right. It's not my usual style. I don't want to sound like I think I've got this figured out, because I don't. But I think it's what I want to say tonight.

Good. I want to do good. And I want things to be good. I want to be a more helpful person. I want to influence more people's lives for good. How am I going to do that?

I've got some ideas. Normally I'd write a list here. I don't necessarily feel like a list here. But I've got some ideas. And I'ma work with them.

Just know, if you ever need something, I'm here. I'm ready to talk. Give me a call, tell me and we'll go take a walk on the parkway. Man or woman, Nick or Kyle. I want to be there if somebody needs it, so here and there I am.

We're gonna be alright friends. The future looks astoundingly bright.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Water - Unfinished

I decided to write a few paragraphs to start the next little water doober. This might be temporary, but either way, here it is.


Ending a chapter with "...and then everything changed forever" has always been bad practice. Even prehistoric authors writing on cave walls felt it left a bad mark on their petroglpyhs. By the time Plato began his lectures on spelunking, "...and then everything changed forever", had been used as a quasi-cliffhanger so many times that it had prompted the entire city-state of Athens to forbid its use in any oral or literary form. Yeah, it's that old.

The author of this piece graciously acknowledges that information. It was after several moments of great caution, with an emphasis on deliberation and serious self reflection that the aforementioned line was approved for inclusion in the piece.

How else, the author concluded, could one adequately capture and portray the utter awkwardness of the whole situation at hand? Copeman Leeds, driving down the motorway, and suddenly his seatbelt didn't fit comfortably.

Things "suddenly" happen to ordinary people. Somebody writes about it. But Copeman wasn't ordinary and Copeman knew he wasn't ordinary. It was therefore unfortunate, as he saw it, that this seatbelt problem had arisen with such a queer sense of velocity.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Water - Ordinary

Stories don't start with someone extraordinary, and thus it is fitting that this story neither begins nor ends with Copeman Leeds.

He was a toaster advocate. When he gave friends and associates three guesses as to what his profession was, nobody ever got it right. As far as Leeds knew, he was the only one of his kind in the world.

Leeds had a quest. Ordinary people, when they heard his extraordinary plan, were never quite convinced he wasn't off his rocker. It was an admittedly ambitious plan, a long term endeavor that Leeds would never see come to fruition. He accepted that; it was his plan.

Leeds wasn't necessarily a brilliant fellow, but in some regards he could beat a dog at a game of chess. He didn't possess the hyper-focus that allowed some individuals to solve the great problems of the universe regarding the space time continuum. No, Leeds wasn't Newton or Einstein or even Richard Feynman. What set Leeds apart as an extraordinary individual was his ability and willingness to see the whole picture and act on what he saw.

He knew what he wanted, and he saw toasters as the means to obtain it.

One day as Leeds hungered in his youth he went to the freezer. A foreign package awaited him there, something he'd never seen in his freezer before. They were Eggos. Delicious and wholesome Eggos. He'd seen them advertised for years, but his family wasn't the type to go out and buy Eggos. He had wanted them when he saw the commercials as a lad, but he had accepted the fact that the path his family chose did not include the pseudo-waffles. L'eggo my eggo, the commercials said. L'eggo my dreams, thought Leeds.

But the fact remained that suddenly there were Eggo's in his freezer. He was hungry, and he had a strong faith that the Eggo's would remedy that. He selected a few and rushed off to the toaster. He knew a bit about the comestibles from the television commercials, and thus he understood that the toaster was the next step in the evolution from waffle to juices in his stomach. He inserted the circular goodness and depressed the lever to begin the toasting process. Life for the youthful Leeds was excellent.

There arose a serious problem. Leeds didn't know how long to toast the Eggos. His toaster, which so brilliantly detected when bread was done toasting, didn't know how long the Eggos needed crisping either. Frantically he checked the packaging. Packaging always told how long to toast things. He found no answers there. He longed for some sign from the manufacturers, some morsel of knowledge that simply said, "Toast on seven for a minute and a half." Was that so much to ask?

Leeds was globally-aware enough to realize that it was. Toasters are different. A seven on his Kenmore on the counter wasn't the same as the seven on Hernando Sanchez's Toastmaster he kept next to his desktop. Asking the fine makers of Eggos to somehow know exactly which number to turn the dial to on his individual toaster was madness.

But Leeds, no longer concerned about the now browning and smoking status of his Eggos, had an epiphany. Why is the seven on my toaster different from any other toaster? There's really no reason for it. What does my seven mean? What does my eight mean? Why does that toaster go to eleven when mine only goes to nine? There's no logic behind the system! There's a better way, surely!

Leeds knew it. There was no denying it: the toaster industry needed reform. He had known it was coming for a long time. He had seen the problems in other industries before. Why the Americans were still using the English system of measurement he had no idea. There was no reason that Leeds couldn't find out how long to toast his Eggo and on what dial setting. No reason, other than the fact that the toaster industry had no definable standards or leaders. There was no government there; only toast.

That was many years ago. Our extraordinary specimen of a man had been on his quest for three months now. Of course he had been planning long before the actual launch date. He went through college and formed relationships and networks. He led a life, and a fairly successful life at that. All that aside, he took his questing seriously.

Leeds' plan was unique in that it started with toasters. He fully expected that the world would change because of his plan. Nobody else, with such a lofty goal, had ever started with toasters before. He was forging a new path here. And, if he was successful, nobody would ever have to forge that same new ground again. Oh yes, Leeds was in it for reals.

The world needed to be more unified. Not unified as in government peaceful happy unified, but unified in the "let's work together to make sure I weigh the same in Thailand as I do in Canada" unified. Leeds knew his history. He knew about the World Wars, and why the Americans sided with one side over the other. The ties that bound them; the world needed more ties. Having the same number on your toasters was a big step to helping people realize that the Asians were just the same as the Germans deep down.

He would start with the toaster industry. He'd work as long as it took to get all the big names in bread-conversion to make a standard on their number system. He didn't really care what form it took, he just knew that it was needed. He'd document everything that he did, keeping careful record. After all the work, when everything was done, he'd publish it. He'd push his little envelope through every medium he could find. Online, scholarly journals, public broadcasting; everybody would know that the toaster industry had finally found its soul and become standardized. Then, once the masses were enlightened, he'd hit them with the winner shot. "Why, if the toaster industry can come together to make a logical method for telling how brown you want you toast, can't the Americans find a logical way to use the metric system? Why can't we find a decent way to communicate with each other? Why can't we make coal mining in China follow the same rules at Coal mining in the Nile Delta? Why must we fight?"

And then, after the emotional appeal that would be sure to woo the audiences, Leeds would fade into the distance. He was not the one to change the world, he was the one to start the ball rolling. He knew that he couldn't do it for them, he just had to help them realize that they had the power and the obligation to do it themselves.

It was ambitious. It was almost crazy. And yet, it would work. Leeds knew it. Anybody willing to listen to him and really give it a shot knew it. It was so out there that it was stunningly perfect. The toaster industry: it was the only logical place to start.

Leeds had just gotten out of a meeting with the big wigs at Honcho Home Appliances. Nobody truly appreciated how hard it was for Leeds to actually get an appointment with those guys. "Hi, I'm Copeman Leeds, I'm the world's foremost toast advocate. I've detected a serious problem with the dial you are using in your toaster models, and I think I've got a lot of insight onto how you could increase your business and save the world. Can I have 25 minutes to have a discussion with you about it?"

None of them took him serious in the beginning. It was a long process, but Leeds was actually seeing success. He knew it would come eventually, but the naysayers were surprised. They didn't matter to Leeds much though.

"Look mister, if we started using your standard for dial numbers, we'd have to have one through 55 plastered on every toaster! This is no Proctor-silex, this is a Honcho toaster. We could brown an entire buffalo in 66 seconds. Your scale just isn't big enough for us. Not only that, but we're very happy with our current number system. I appreciate the time you've taken to decieve my receptionist enough to make her let you through that door over there, but I'm just gonna have to ask you to leave. Take care now."

Texans, always with their reluctance to put one through 55 on their toasters. Another day, another rejection. It didn't matter. The time would come.

He was driving, pondering the plan, as usual. The plan wasn't his whole life. He was going home to his family. They loved him, and he loved them. It was a good arrangement really. He got on the motorway, and then everything changed forever.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Picture 0014

Yeah, that's a sand fortress. It's main function is to turn back the pacific ocean. Just in case you didn't pick that up by seeing the giant walls and all. Pretty effective, I daresay.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

263 - Pride

The title, one of my favorite parts of any post. Oddly missing from this one. I had this thought, a breakthrough, and had to post it. And yet here I am. With a post, and without a title. Quite the contrast.

In a way this post will consist of 50% recycled material. You can thank me later Mr. Gore. The breakthrough though, it's in the other 50.

This summer has been hard for me. Hard, simply because it's been so easy. There are some days when I haven't done a thing, and that disappoints me.

Conversely there have been some excellent days and weeks. By no means has this summer been a failure thus far-- it's just not been as manly as it could have been.

(That's the old 50%. Here comes the new)

Jaron wrote a post
about his Music dreams and all that stuff. He talked about making an album, writing songs, all that cool business. It was nice to read because it was just straight up. Here's what I want to do, and here's how I'm going to do it. Bam.

In effect, you could say that it inspired me. Jaron's out there following his dreams. I looked at myself in the mirror while shaving and thought, "Why are my dreams going unchased? That's the problem!"

It felt good to have that thought. All the sudden there were options. Like the man said, if I want something, I got to want it bad. I've got to want to chase my dreams with a vengeance.

A few moments later though, I had found yet another road block. What were my dreams? To be honest, I couldn't think of any.

And there, in that brief moment between shaving cream and three or four razor-blades, the path opened back up. Maybe it was the insulin, maybe it was the smooth face, but I felt rejuvenated.

Realizations don't mean results, but they sure mean a lot more than a simple shave.

So what's the plan?

Somewhere around the end of third quarter and the start of fourth I was really pushing it. Homework was fierce, AP tests looming like so many looms in the English textile industry. I was pressed, but I wasn't ever defeated. In a way it was the best time of my life. So hard, but yet so rewarding. One night as I listened to Insideout, like I so often did during those days, I came across crazy.

Oh, we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy
I adopted it as my unofficial motto for the weeks to follow. Life was crazy and raging. Mounds of paper conspired against me, but I leveled up as I hacked and slashed my way through them. What I was doing was something I'd never done before. I knew it was possible, but I'd never proved it myself. Hesitation and doubt didn't fit into the schedule. I knew that the only way to survive, well, was to get a little crazy.

And so I did. The image comes to mind of Hai Ho jumping off the diving board during a friday cross training workout in the pool during summer XC last year. Hai Ho, our little asian buddy, was eager to show us his mad skills. Never known to be the most graceful or athletic animal on the team, he was loved by all. he stepped to the board, did a little warm up, and with nearly no vertical jump propelled himself forward off the board, spinning on at least two axes with arms outstretched like a man excited to hit that water.

The only way to beat the classes, the obligations and survive was to jump in head first spinning like crazy. Hai Ho had shown me the way in water, now it was time for me to forge the path through Princeton.

I did it, and I did it crazy. Maybe this is out of line, maybe it's whatever, but I am proud of what I did. I am happy with the choices that I made during those trying weeks. When it was up to me, I rose to the challenge.

Did I fall? Yeah, all the time. Some nights just didn't see the studying or the working out that I said I'd put in. Some days I was mean. My language wasn't as clean as I wanted it to be. There were problems with those weeks. With the flaws I had to keep pressing on. I couldn't give up, I just had to adapt and fix the problems.

Crazy. That was the only way we made it happen. Launched head first into the waves. Not on someone else's word or will, but by my own volition. Hit the waves swimming and running, falling occasionally, but getting back up and fighting back.

Am I proud of it? Yeah, I am. I had a challenge, and I feel like I rose to the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this to boast or be arrogant. It doesn't really matter that you know this part of my life, but it's the way things are, and I'm writing it.

Why is it important to me? Here, on 4 July 2007, why is it crucial? Because here I am on the banks once again. Staring into the deep, taking those deep breaths.

But this time it's not a frothy tempest demanding attention and power on all sides. The sea is calm and arrogant. It stands before me with that smug look on its face that always seems to say, "Prove it. Prove you're who you want to be. Make me do it."

The sea is wide, nearly limitless. Waiting for me to tame it, to shape it and make it do my will. It's not the one throwing the punches this time. I'm the man with the gloves, and it feels like I'm about to box a glacier.

It's not like the glacier is going to counter my moves. It's just that it's a glacier. It's big and unmoving. To the glacier, it doesn't really matter whether I punch it or have a picnic in its shadow. It's a glacier, it's going to be there for a while.

But the picnic route just isn't good enough for me. It's simply not crazy.

The glacier, this arrogant sea that begs to be denied, it's going down. I will rise up. I will prove it. I will be the man I want to be. Taylorsville's pool couldn't stop Hai Ho from smashing it to pieces with his crazy dive, and this summer won't stand in my way.

It's been three weeks of not making it happen. Minus Mondays, three days spent making money, and three days for dates. That's 12 foiled days.

Hey Summer, right now it's 16 to 12, me. PLC week, plus the good stuff. That's right. I'm already winning. And you know what? I'm just getting started.

How am I going to do it? What secret moves will I pull off to pants Summer and laugh at it? All it's gonna take is a dream or two.

I've got a title.

I'm going to find out where I want to go, and I'm going to run, bite, and swim as hard as I can to get there. Right now I don't know where that's gonna be. The diving board has held me glued for long enough. Ladies. Gentlemen. Friends. It's go time.

Oh, we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Must defeat the bad guys! Summer is so slow. I'm about as unproductive as a genetically modified hippopotamus that's designed to be unproductive (and that's pretty unproductive).

I must defeat the bad guys! Something good, tomorrow? I sure hope so.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Song of the week 1

Life is Beautiful - Vega4

*note, the video has some political messages in it. They do not necessarily represent what I think. The important part: the music.