Thursday, November 29, 2007

Powerslide (Kudos!)

So, Nate liked my pokemon reference, and he told me so in the comments. I also earned a cookie the other day for identifying a simpson's quote that he posted.

I'm starting to think it'd be cool if we created a Taylorsville-Alliance-Approved kudos system. So instead of Nate awarding me a digital cookie to whoever nailed the quote, Nate would award one official "Kudos" or whatever we decide to call it.

Of course, we'd only award them for worthy things. No kudos for something square. We could even add a counter to our sidebars that shows how many kudos we've received.

What do you guys think? I think it'd be powerfully fun. We'd need a good name, and probably a good graphic to go with it. You guys in?

Utah State's web-page has a loop of random banners. One of them is Ultimate.

Yeah, they just scored some major points in the college-search game.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Two thoughts; one includes a Falcon

It's been a rather good day. I practiced my mad music with everybody else, and I'm feeling a lot better about it now. I'm functional on almost all of the pieces. There's still a lot of work to be done, but at least I know I'm not doomed. Score one for the good guys.

I was talking to somebody a few days ago about the litmag, or the Literary Magazine for you uninitiated types. I forget who it was or why we were talking about it, but it got me thinking about it again. I have nothing but fond memories for litmag. I remember last year first semester, the only thing I knew about it was what I read on Nate's or Jaron's blog. I got called into the class so I could work on newspaper stuff, but ended up being almost exclusively a litmag man. I climbed (clumb?) the ranks and was made co-editor or something like that. It was a really good experience for me.

But it got me thinking. The literary magazine should have been a lot better than it was. By all means, we had the talent in the class to make it happen. We produced a rather attractive product last year, if I do say so myself. We worked hard and did good stuff.

And yet, the magazine itself isn't life-changing. I think the reason for that is because of the content. Yeah, there's some good writing in there. There's also some not-as-good writing in there.

But really now, the literary magazine is about highlighting the great and significant. Not the extra credit.

And so that got me thinking. What is great and significant? What have I written that is great and significant?

I don't know the answer to that question. I believe that some things I've written might have been great. I think other things might have been significant. But I want something great and significant.

And so there you have it. I am going to write something great and significant.

I am also going to abuse the text-modification, as a side note.

I am going to write a senior paper. It will not be for any class. It will not be penned in blogger's text field, it will be penned in openoffice. I'll revise it, several times. It will be on a topic of my choice. It will be a length of my choice. There will be no parameters placed upon me by anyone else.

In a way, it will be a lot like a blog post. There will be nothing between me and my paper. No teachers and rules, not suggested topics. I will write what I want to write.

And when I'm done, it will be my senior paper. It will say what I want it to say. If there is a literary magazine this year, it will be submitted. It will hopefully appear on this blog. I may just submit it to a few places to compete, who knows.

The moral of the story? I want to write something great and significant. I believe that the only way to write something truly great and significant is to write it of your own free will. Great things and significant things may come of coercive writing, but great and significant things must spring from that which we pen of ourselves.

And so I will. I know what it will be about. I've known what it would be about for quite some time now. It's something that I've learned.

Do I challenge others to write a senior paper? I'm tempted to. I think it might be a great idea. Imagine, fourteen papers that mean something? Fourteen people who had something important enough to say that they actually said it. Fourteen individuals who were not hog-tied or beaten with hoses, but spoke of their own free will. Do you know what kind of change those fourteen papers could make?

Maybe fourteen papers wouldn't make a difference. But writing my senior paper will make a difference to me.

This is the big show, and I will treat it as such. This will, with any luck, be the very best piece of writing I've ever done.

Why do I do it? Because I feel that I've got something to say, and I feel that this is the very best way for me to say it. I feel that maybe our little corner of the world needs to change a little bit, and this is the way that I'm going to change it. I'm writing an amazing paper, what are you doing?


It has come to my attention that we have a new dance in town. Jimmy Falcon will be held somewhere in the neighborhood of January 5th, 2008, if I heard correctly. It is a boys' choice casual dance.

It hit me this evening that Jimmy Falcon is a new dance. I don't even think it's been officially announced yet. Nobody knows anything about it other than the fact that it's guys' casual in January. Few people even know where the name came from.

And that's where I come in. School dances are rife with tradition and obligation. There are certain things that a person *must* do. Everyone knows that the girls buy shirts for Sadies. Everybody knows that you need a new dress for prom and all that. Guys are supposed to get pictures are the school. There are things you do: it's tradition.

Jimmy Falcon has no tradition yet. It's entirely new, and, as far as my google searching goes, entirely original. Nobody knows what they're supposed to do yet.

There's a power vacuum here. There is no tradition. Are guys supposed to just reverse the role of Sadies? Do we get shirts? What about hats?

We are waiting for enlightenment. You can feel it. The men are ready for it. We're watching for any sign of leadership during the dark night.

And who does that leadership come from? Who is to decide what is and isn't appropriate for the Jimmy Falcon dance? Who will forge the traditions of the future? I think we're all naturally waiting for the SBO's to let us know. They're the ones who got the dance rolling in the first place.

But what if someone were to jump the gun? What if someone were to establish rules of engagement before the SBO's had a chance to have it their way?

There is a power vacuum, and anybody could fill it right now. I believe that numerous individuals have the power right this very instant to change the course of the future. All it would take is one bold man to make up the rules of engagement and spread the word. The world is ready for any leadership. It doesn't matter who it's from.

Do you understand the possibilities here? This is social engineering at its finest. You or I could make the rules of a high school dance, provided we played the game right.

And so naturally I've been kicking around a few ideas. My current favorite is the Jimmy Falcon Challenge. The concept is that I, with everyone's help of course, publicize the idea that the tradition behind the Jimmy Falcon dance is that you're supposed to ask somebody else's girlfriend.

It sounds a little far fetched, sure, but he made a great pokemon.

But listen to this. If the population believed that that's what has always happened for the Jimmy Falcon dance, wouldn't they go for it? It's risky business, I doubt most people would go for it. There would, however, be a brave few who took up the call of the Jimmy Falcon Challenge.

I'm tempted to do it. I believe that I could make it happen. I also believe that numerous other people could make numerous other ideas happen. It wouldn't be too difficult.

So here's the question of the day: If you could have any tradition for a high school dance, what would it be? If you were in charge of the "rule book", what would the book say?

I really do want to hear your ideas. This one isn't set in stone people. We're all ambling about looking for direction. I think it's time we rise up and declare direction. We have the means, why not make Jimmy Falcon what it's supposed to be?

It's a power vacuum, and we all know what that means. Somebody has got to fill it. Might as well be us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Olsen Jokes

What happens when you take the derivative of Optimus?

Optimus Prime!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bold Man for whitehouse

Mike Huckabee just released an ad with Chuck Freakin' Norris.

Chuck Freakin' Norris is endorsing Mike Huckabee for President.

This is way bigger than Oprah.


Tonight may or may not be a harbinger of things to come. Tonight is an event unto itself. Without reservation I declare that I am posting tonight. I make no promises as to posts coming in the future or posts that belong to the past and yet are absent. This is a post. It stands alone.

So what's the news? Where have I been? What am I going? Where am I now? Why am I writing in this tone and style? The voice that accompanies my writing within my head is switching between Ratatouille's Ego and some rather dignified American fellow with a British style. Hmm. I guess I'll have to put up with it.

Tonight I kind of just want to run with it. I don't necessarily have a theme for the post or a certain idea that I want to drive at. I want to hit a lot of different things. This is more of a free write than anything else. I'm going to go where it takes me.

So, let's go.

Do you remember all those times that we wanted to do amazing things with the Alliance? Such a cool concept was the Alliance. I really do like the template that it has. We pulled some cool stuff off for a little bit. The question in my mind is why we kept attempting the alliance? That's not a question of desperation or implication of anything, I just wonder what human characteristic made us want to do it so bad. I think we all really had a desire to do something epic, and I think that we wanted to do something we were good at (blogging) and collaborate with others who we knew were good at it.

It always made me excited, because the Alliance was a project, and I love projects. Not only was it a project, but it was a project that spawned other projects.

Why do I love projects? If you ask Adult Roles, it's because I'm a dude and it's the role that society has given me. All laughs aside, I think it's because a project is a challenge. It's an opportunity to show the world what I'm capable of. To do something that no one else has done before, to do something differently.

It's all a matter of the ceiling, I believe. In my life the ceiling represents the limit of achievement. One cannot go past the ceiling. I believe that most school work has a very definite ceiling. A worksheet that is fill in the blank leaves no room for excellence. The ceiling is placed at the floor. An English essay, inversely, contains a very high ceiling, assuming that the assignment is not extremely limited.

High ceilings can be problematic, that's most of the fun of the high ceiling. Writing an open essay is difficult, but it is also rewarding. As a general rule, the more difficult a task is, the more rewarding it is as well. Generally speaking, I see the two as directly related.

Yet one more example. My name is currently on the ceiling of the choir room. That is only cool because the ceiling is so ridiculously high. If the ceiling were usual height, it would be no problem to jump and place my name up, or jump and take my name down. It's only an accomplishment because it's hard to do.

Same situation, a few days ago Sylvia wanted me to get a helium balloon down from the cafeteria ceiling. Had it had a string on it it'd have been no big deal. Had it been a low ceiling it'd have been no big deal. But here it was, a helium balloon, on a fairly high ceiling.

And I got it down with a roll of masking tape. Not at all in the fashion that I had intended to, but I quickly saw a new way to do it after my first attempt and ran with it. The balloon was captured from the ceiling and brought down with no harm to the balloon and minimal harm to the bystanders. Once again, it's only cool because it wasn't easy.

Those two examples both included a real ceiling. Ceilings generally aren't real though. But whether or not they are actual drop-tile or not, it's our job to rise to the day. The higher the metaphorical ceiling, the greater the rewards.

College is fast approaching, and I am fairly excited for it. I'm looking at two schools right now, but leaning kinda heavy towards one of them. Acceptance and scholarship really aren't issues, so right now it's just a matter of decided what to do with my life.

For a long time I've said that I wanted to go into engineering. I have a great love for math and science, and I hear that that's where math and science come together to make the world a better place.

But all the sudden I'm starting to think that I love different things more than I love math and science. It's been a while since this happened, but I'm starting to think that business is more of what I've been building myself to go in to.

I love making things better, and I think that business might be the place for me to do that. Entrepreneurial adventures and all that. And I know that that's a little bit "childish" of me, it's kinda like saying I want to grow up to be an inventor.

But what if the kid that wants to grow up to be an inventor really does have good ideas? What if he's not just wishing, but that he really feels like that's what he could be good at and that's where he could make a difference? Sure, we might laugh at him and think, "He hasn't really looked at this seriously, he just thinks the surface might be cool," but honestly, what if he has?

I really think that no matter what I do, interdisciplinary action will be the key. Maybe that's why I think that business would be better for me. If I do go into business, say, with my own little company, what will we be doing? Definitely not business, that's for sure. We'll be doing engineering or chemistry or e-commerce or social interaction.

Or even if I don't go into business, even if it's science, how many chemistry guys and girls are there out there? There are thousands of those men and women who know their chemistry crazy well. So how am I to make a difference? Yeah, I could make a difference by knowing my chemistry, but am I going to make a breakthrough? Maybe.

But I've got a better shot at breakthroughs if I can bring other stuff in. All my life, success has always come when I've tied my knowledge together. Success in English comes because I paid attention in US history and can make the right argument using the right backup. Success in Jello making comes because I know my physics AND my chemistry and can apply them both simultaneously. Success out on the Ultimate field and the basketball court comes when I remember human psychology and rotational inertia and cross country and sugarhouse pickup.

To me, success has always been about using everything I know on the problem.

And, I figure, knowing more will make me better able to solve problems, right?

So what does that mean for me? Does that mean I'll be forced to dual major? Does that mean that I'll go to college till I'm 45, just hoping that I'll get enough cross knowledge to do something useful? I hope not. I don't know what it means.

But I think it means that I'm going to be doing things a little differently. I'm going to be pursuing things that I might not normally pursue. Maybe it's time for me to take an art class or two. Maybe it's time for me to take ceramics and see what that's all about.

Because I think that the world has been doing well for the past hundred years with single-button individuals. This is the next stage, and business and success is starting to require the next generation of problem solvers. I don't think single-button is gonna work for me. It's time to toss my one button out the window and trade it in for a keyboard of mad skills. I'll be rocking harder than the 80's.

I think I know why I love graphs so much. Adult roles says it's because I'm a guy and I'm hardwired for it. Yeah, whatever. I think it's because graph's show what's important.

Mr. Rockwell always taught us that the AP test would ask us about trends and patterns. He made it very clear that anything they asked about would have happened in the course of American history multiple times under different names. He guaranteed that if there was an anomaly, or something that wasn't what usually happened, it wouldn't be on the test.

I think that that was the most clearly and aptly any teacher has put the quest for education for me. Rockwell taught us that the general motion is important, not the specific case. It was about what was happening over time, not what was happening on June 11th.

Ever since that class, I've been a little hesitant to embrace anything that deals with exacts instead of trends. I believe that trends are more important than exacts when it comes to understanding.

And that's why I'm in love with graphs. Because graphs show what's important very concisely. It's incredibly easy to find out exactly when things started to change. It's easy to see what one thing was happening more often than another thing. We can see mins and maxes with alarming speed. Graphs are mountains of information available to us at a glance.

Because after all, it's not important what y is equal to when x is 14. We really don't care about 14. We care about when things start changing from going up to going down.

Graphs are beautiful. I've had a desire for a while to graph my life and make it a blog post. No specifics of course, but general motion. Stuff like wakefulness throughout the day, motivation, ups and downs, etc.

It's just really pretty cool.

I follow the search engine industry fairly closely. Not analyst closely, but closely enough to know what's going on. I think that that's a large reason that I am the way I am the way I am when it comes to business. Google is an extremely interesting organization, from a business stand point. I come from a very pro-google household, so I have a tendency to believe that they can do no wrong. I know that this leads to sometimes inaccurate observations, but I still like to see how that industry is doing.

The point is that I wonder if there's a better way to search. When it comes to the internet, maybe not. Obviously refinements are in order, as always.

But, as an individual, for maximum efficiency. Let's say that I'm preparing a speech and that I want to include an excellent quote. I can go online and search for an excellent quote. I will find many excellent quotes. But whether or not I find one that exactly fits what I need and want to say is an entirely different matter.

For a quote in a speech to be effective, we generally need to know what exact quote we're looking for long before we start preparing the speech. We need to know that it exists and then work it in. It's hard to find a noble quote that fits what we want to say without knowing the noble quote in the first place.

So that's why I begin to think that as humans, there's a better way to search, at least for certain things. If an individual went through his or her life constantly collecting good quotes and cataloging them, they would be prepared to whip something amazing out when it was applicable. They'd know that there is an excellent quote for this speech, and they'd know where to find it.

The concept is that they'd collect as they go, preparing for a time when they might need that quote. They'd know that it exists.

That's human problem solving. It's all about collecting that bag of tricks. The internet, search engines and all that, can simply brute-force a problem to death. Brute force is simply trying every possible answer until you run into the right one.

But as humans we don't need to do that. We've got a bag of tricks, and we can use it when we need it.

That's why it's important to get a big bag of tricks.

There is more to say. Industry and web 2.0; councils and their effect on my chemistry class. The hour draws late, and it's time for me to prepare for bed.

I hope to be back, but I make no promises. I desire to return, so I believe that I will. There is more to say, and I hope to be able to say it one day. Rhyming aside, it's time for me to depart. I hope that things are well for you all. Keep up the good work, let's take this thing to the moon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I wonder how many posts I have whose titles are some derivative of "hmm". I hope I haven't used one with four m's before.

Why is it that I'm so proud of myself when I finish my homework this late at night? There's just something about it I think. It's a victory to me. Belated, sure, but a victory nonetheless.

So, my character essay is completed, and I think it's decent. Not as good as my last essay, but it's a decent essay nonetheless. I finished, and I'm ready for English tomorrow. Bring it on Genghis Khan.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Today's homework is brought to you by the letters "A", "D", and "D" again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


1:33 AM, close enough :D

I'm not 100 percent for the evening. I'm choosing to table my calculus assignment. There's one thing I wanted to do with back to the future that I'm just not going to get done.

Will tomorrow be successful? Yeah, I think it will be. I've taken the steps necessary today to ensure that I've got at least a fighting chance. It's by no means a guarantee, but we're close.

I learned a lot of good stuff tonight. I've taken to writing the things that I learn down instead of typing them up here. I pondered about that change a bit tonight. There's a lot of cool stuff to that I think.

Normally I'd tell you about that. But if I did that, I'd sorta ruin it, wouldn't I?

So here's the situation. Tonight's not the night to write it. Tonight has served its purpose. There will be a time for all that.

For now, have yourselves a great wednesday night and even better Thursday. I think we could all use a good Thursday. It looks like it's gonna be one. Let's keep up the good work. We've all got to face tomorrow, let's make it happen.