Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I must be Emo

Two songs in one week? Chalk me up as emo- it's official

As a disclaimer, I post this tonight because I want to. I do not post this song as a cryptic message to anyone. I find myself on uncertain grounds in a few areas, and I do not intend for this song to mean anything to anybody about me.

I'm throwing it here because I really really want to. Reasons are my own.

I've been a bit spotty lately. Interesting subject. Maybe we'll all talk about it one day. For now, I think it's best to hold the peace.

In the interim, enjoy the song. It's one of my favorites.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fab Vocab [Fight the Power]

The 350 word extravaganza is coming up. V.B. built some study guides for us all online.

I'll probably take the link down after the test. I don't want juniors abusing the system. But since she went to the effort to build the resources for us, I'll do my part by sharing the good news. Read it, study it, love it.

Yay for fab vocab.

I Will Derive

Now, I've never been one to post random videos on my blog. Most things I've put up were made by me. One time I put up a song, because I really liked it.

Today I'm tossing up a video that I had nothing to do with it. It's a parody of I will Survive. It's about calculus.

Now, I know me and calculus are supposed to be broken up. And we are, really. But sometimes the right song can really take you back to the good old days. I'm not saying I miss her, or want to get back together. All I'm saying is that the song is incredible. Hooblay!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fifth Time's the Charm

A few quick thoughts before bed tonight.

First off, Laurence IV died today. Well, didn't really die. He started leaking after I threw him at Molly, so I abandoned him with Kortney. I'm not sure what's going to happen to him. The good news is that he's already been replaced with Laurence V.

Now, Laurence IV only lived about three days. Only one of those was a school day. Maybe it was slightly more than that, but still, pretty diminutive. I've decided that I can't keep going through children this fast. So I'm making a decision. Laurence V will live at least two full weeks. Rain or shine, I will make sure that this one gallon jug of mine stays alive for 14 days.

It's currently the 20th of May, but his life started halfway through the 19th, so we're counting it. Two weeks from the 19th is the second of June. If I can make it to June 2, I will retire the name Laurence and find a new one. At Laurence V's one week birthday, I'm pretty sure he'll wear a fun hat to school. We'll see though.

So, yeah. That's declaration number one. I'm going to be a better parent. It's going to be hard, though. If Laurence V is going to survive two whole weeks, I'm going to have to take good care of him. I'm going to be a good dad.

The other thought of the night is that my house smells awful good. We have all the windows tossed wide open, and I love the way the night smells. Our swampie is still out of order, so we're relying on the windows and fans to keep us cool. It's not working, but it smells great in the evening. Mom switched to a new laundry detergent to, and I can tell the difference as soon as I walk downstairs. I wonder if this new stuff is more potent than the previous stuff we'd used. I have a hunch that it's not, but that rather I had just been accustomed to the old stuff. Maybe the entire downstairs has always smelled like laundry detergent on laundry day, but that I was so used to the other stuff that I never noticed. Either way, I like the way it smells, and I'm excited to put that smell on in the near future.

Welp, Happy evening everybody. We're marching forward. The future has a whole lot of mystery to it, but I think we're going to be okay. I'm pretty excited about stuff. Keep up the great work, friends. Much love~

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Let's be honest here. For all the talk in the world, it's all about emotion.

I remember junior year's valentine's blast. Nickmo asks, "What would it take for you to have a girlfriend by the end of the week?" or something like that. I proceeded to set out a several step plan of incredible feats that this girl would have to accomplish in order to woo me over. It was logical and systematic. It wasn't a bad list, as lists go.

But, really now? Scratch the whole list. No one can convince me logically that I ought to be in a relationship right now. That's cause logically I'm too lazy, and I'm unconvinced that it's the absolute best thing to do.

To be honest, I could rewrite the junior year explanation a whole lot better in just a few lines. "I'd have to feel like it's something I wanted. I'd have to like the girl."

Really, I've seen a killer example of emotion vs. logic this past while. I'm still me, haven't done a thing about anything, so don't get all worried. Just been thinking about it a lot. It's not even a competition. Emotion beats out logic, every time. When it comes to this "love" business, logic gets its butt kicked.

That's not a bad thing. Just felt like finally saying it while I had the chance.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Investment [Relationships]

It's been a good day. I actually got out running today. I kept it really short and really slow, but it felt good to be out there. It was a beautiful day for a run. Like always, I'd like to get out and run more. Now that the weather is really nice, maybe I'll actually make it happen. I'd really like that.

So, I've been meaning for a long time to toss out my theories on relationships. Maybe that's not even a fair thing to call what all this is. Essentially, it's an excuse for me to over-analyze. I love to analyze. Here's the real kicker here, though. I don't fully understand this. I've got a decent idea in my head, but I'm trying to learn. I understand that this model is not a perfect one. It's incredibly logical. When it comes to relationships, logic isn't always the greatest answer. I'm really hoping, though, that I can start using this model to start making decent decisions. I've had one plan for relationships for high school for the past 2.5 years, and it has worked well, I think. It has had its drawbacks, but it has also had its sweet sweet side effects. High school is nearly over, and I'm not exactly sure what my new plan is yet. I'm hoping to build a good model that will make sense, so that I can use that model to better determine what my actual plan will be. Sound ridiculous? Maybe it is, but hey, give me a break. I'm just sorta exploring. This might crash and burn. Here we go!

Me, Kyle, Levi, and James have formulated a way to compare the actions of different guys towards girls. We've come up with the idea of investments, that is, long term investments and short term investments. We see a guy running up to a girl and giving her a hug (a la P Burn) to be a short term investment. It carries fairly high risk, but it is almost immediately either rewarding or disappointing. Its long term effects are not incredibly extensive. We classify short term investments as bold actions by a guy to get a girl's attention for at least a brief amount of time. These are very active investments.

On the other hand are long term investments. Me, Kyle, and James all see ourselves as long term-investors. Long term investments are actions taken by guys that will not immediately result in any significant recognition from a girl, but will, over time, improve our standing with them. In the most extreme sense, long term investments can be passive things we do without even thinking about influencing girls. Me going to school and doing well is a very small kind of long term investment. It will, I hope, eventually improve my standing with most girls. There are more direct forms of long term investment. Helping a girl with something, homework, door holding, etc. etc. can be a long term investment, as long as the guy isn't obnoxious and "Look at me!" about it. The key to long term investments is that they don't seek immediate recognition or reward. They are intended to accumulate over time, increasing a guy's standing with a girl or girls until he is in a favorable position.

My old model consisted of these two kinds of investments. I'm beginning to think, though, that this investment idea is not simply a binary operation. It's not just short term and long term. Rather, there is an entire spectrum of investment options. It ranges from the incredibly short term to the exhaustingly long term. There's an investment choice for everyone within the spectrum. There are investments that harmoniously blend the ideas of short term and long term. Investments can get pretty complex.

I've also begun to think that almost every action a guy undertakes can be looked at as an investment, not just the actions that the guy thinks about or plans. He doesn't have to actively say, "I'm gonna impress this girl" in order for it to be an investment. Almost every interaction he has with girls can be looked at as an investment.

The currency we're shooting for here is not US Dollars. It is, instead, attention and respect from girls. It is our standing with them. How well they regard us, I suppose. How cool a girl thinks we are. It's the gut feeling they have about us before they put any thought behind it. That's what we're shooting for. For the purposes of the discussion, I'm going to refer to this as "reputation". It's sort of taking a nod from RPG's where you gain reputation with a faction, and they'll give you stuff. If we can have a really high level of reputation with a girl, we're in good shape.

Within the spectrum of investments, there are ups and downs. In the old binary system, short term meant you actually got to flirt with girls, and that you actually had a chance at some form of relationship. Long term meant security and decent regard from a lot of different girls.

Sometimes the market is good, and most investments you make will result in a net increase of reputation. Other times the market is bad, and you'll lose reputation. This is sometimes outside of guys control. Whether it's long term investing or short term investing, we will sometimes lose reputation due to factors outside of our control. That's the market for you.

I love personal finance, and this model does a pretty good job of blending the harsh but beautiful reality of the economy with the harsh but beautiful reality of this whole high school scene. It's possible to apply the idea of diversification here. In almost every single guide to investing for dummies, the experts will recommend diversifying one's portfolio in order to make a more secure gain. That means that instead of buying a ton of just one stock, they will buy smaller amounts of several stocks. The logic behind this is that the stock market, in general, trends upwards. It will generally go up. Individual stocks within the market are very volatile. They will go up and down like crazy. When taken as a whole, though, the market moves upwards, generally. By diversifying, one can capitalize on that general market trend without worrying about the fickle nature of individual stocks.

Diversifying is always encouraged for new investors, because it is more secure. Warren Buffett, one of the richest investors in the world, does not diversify. He encourages everybody else to diversify, however. His logic is that he's a professional, and has been doing this his whole life. He stands to make much more money from picking awesome single stocks and investing very heavily in them. He feels personally qualified to make those calls. He suggests, however, that most people are not qualified to make decisions like that, and should stick to safer things.

Moral of the story? Diversification is safer, and will yield slowly appreciating results. Picking one stock out is much riskier, but could potentially yield very profitable results. Chances are you'll never become as rich by diversifying as you would by picking one stock. The same idea can apply to relationships. By focusing your effort on one single girl, you open up the option of a relationship, and that could be pretty great. You also open up the chance of getting your butt kicked and being tossed out, broke.

There are a million other market analogies that could be made. I'll leave that for another day.

What is the status of my portfolio? Because after all, theorizing about all of this is one thing, but it's entirely worthless if I can't understand how it relates to me. Keeping in mind that the market is volatile and that I don't know what will happen in the future, I think I have at least a decent idea of where I'm at.

I make it a policy here to refrain from discussing personal relationship details. It's not that I'm a coward, I just don't think it's good form. I have a lot that I could say about my personal portfolio right now. I've been thinking about it a lot, trying to make sense of it. If I have a good idea of how my portfolio stands, I can have a better idea of what to do next to keep building wealth. I would love so much to go into detail. I don't have many qualms about discussing it in person, but I just don't think it's good form to do it here, online. So I'll refrain.

The basics, however, remain the same. I've been a long term investor. I've built some wealth, slowly. But even long term investors, at one point or another, have to decide to cash in their 401k for retirement. One cannot make long term investments forever, or they will die with a million investments and no solid or tangible capital. Long term investments can take a guy 90 percent of the way, but it takes a riskier investment to begin a relationship.

It's an idea I've been calling the vulnerability point. The vulnerability point is a point on the spectrum that's very close to center. It's a mix between long term and short term. It's where the investor has to say, "Yes, I am interested. I want to try this." It's more long term than short term guys are used to, because it implies some sort of commitment to the future. It's much much shorter term than I'm used to, because it requires effort, and it carries a (relatively) enormous amount of risk. It's the vulnerability point because up to this point, very short term and very long term guys aren't at all at risk. Very short term guys never play for keeps, and all the girls know that. They do what they do, and then life goes on. They don't stand to lose much. Long term guys never stand to lose much because they're so careful to never do anything that would make them risk losing anything. By approaching the vulnerability point and migrating towards the center of the investment spectrum, guys open themselves up to serious risk for what could be the first time.

I recognize that this point will have to come. I'm not sure when it will come, but at some point or another I will have to stop investing solely for the accumulation of reputation.

That's my market theory for relationships. It's imperfect, clearly, but I like the idea behind it. It's a decent model, and it's something that I can grasp and run theoretical situations with. It's great for questions, because instead of analyzing feelings, I can analyze absolute value. For example, which is a better choice, diversifying and earning a little reputation with a lot of stock, or going for the gold and trying to earn a lot with one stock? Which yields more absolute value? What does a two year hiatus do to that absolute value? What effect do others' actions have on the market? Is this a good time for a long term investment, or a short term investment?

I'm sure I'll come under a bit of fire for all this, you know, likening something this irrational to something as mundane as economics. I'm not saying that I evaluate girls logically by any means, but I think I'm saying that I want to make the best choices that I can, and that this is one way of me trying to figure out what's best for me and for everybody else. It's just a theory that I've had some fun thinking about this week. Take it for what it's worth. Me, I think it's nearly time for bed. I'll keep watching the market, though, waiting for my time to pounce. Ok, so not really, but I do love economics. And kangen water. And string cheese, that too.

Thanks for reading friends. I hope things are going well for you. Keep up the excellent work. Peace and love~

A quick post before bed without any logical choice for a title

I just spent a good and hefty amount of time talking with Michael about girls, relationships, and all of that good stuff. It was a really good experience- for a lot of reasons. Me and Michael, for all that we joke about stuff like this, can talk really professionally about it all. We can be completely open and frank about things because we know we understand each other. We don't have to censor or worry about stuff, because we're not competing over the same girls, we know that what we say is safe with the other guy, and we know that we care about each other and that we're gonna watch each others' backs. I'm really glad I've got a big brother to talk to. We both came out of talking tonight feeling better about stuff, I feel. We both learned some valuable things tonight, and I'm excited to apply them.

I gained some insight tonight from Michael, and I really appreciate that. I also gained a bit more insight into the investment model that me and my boys have been using to explain relationships for a while. I've got a better idea of what I want to do, plan wise. I don't know what I want to do, but I've got a plan to make a plan to figure out what I want to do. I'm closer than before.

Two things come out of this. The first is that I feel much better. I had a rough start to the day. This evening was really great. After mutual, I hung out with a lot of really good people at Ricka's to watch the jazz game. We played some basketball outside, and that was incredible. It was a beautiful night. For the first time ever, I enjoyed playing basketball with girls. Yeah, sure, Melissa got injured, but I still had a good time. It was good to be out there with good people. Add that great experience to the great experience of talking with Michael, and it's been a good evening. I feel recharged and focused now. I needed this.

The second thing to come out of this is what I hope will be a good post. I want to finally sit down and write out the investment model. It will really end up being a breakdown of how I see things, and I'm really excited about that. I always learn so much when I analyze in a post, and I'm excited to learn more about how I interact when it comes to this topic. It will be hard to pull it off, but I really think it's something I want to do.

Moral of the story? I just wanted to stop by and say that it's been a good evening, and that I really liked talking with Michael. I'm hoping to write the investment post tomorrow. Part of me wants to make it a professional post, but the majority of me wants to keep it like it's always been. It'll just be me ranting. It'll probably end up fairly lengthy. Some people will be interested to read it, others won't.

Anyways friends, I hope things are going well for you. It's been a good evening, and I'm excited about tomorrow. Every day this week has felt like Friday. We're getting closer to it. Tomorrow is Thursday, yippee skippy. Have a good one friends~

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday, May 12

Hey hey, happy Monday. So, current status:

I have a 2.4 GPA right now, but that's only because of AP season. I'm done with all that now, so I can start building my 4.0 back up. I don't think winning it back will be much of a problem.

My college plans have changed a bit from what they were forever ago. I'm still going to Utah State, and I'm so excited about that. I'm planning on marketing right now, but that might change in the near future. I'm going to one year of school, then I'm planning on serving a two-year mission. When I get back, I'm hoping to transfer somewhere. BYU is a good choice, but if I get the itch, I might just go somewhere super prestigious (if they'll let me... and pay for it) in the East or something. We'll see what happens.

I am slated to graduate, no issues there.

I never made the announcement here, but I am speaking at graduation. I'm not the valedictorian or the salu-whatever, but I sure am an academic honoree. There were 10 of us with 4.0s, so the admins decided to let one of us speak. We haggled it out amongst ourselves, and we settled on me. I gave my first draft to Ward and Padjen today, and got the go ahead on it. I ran at about 3 minutes, 20 seconds. My allotment is only three minutes, but they told me I could go over if I had to. I'm going to do a lot of revising on it, but I think it'll work out. It's not exactly what I wanted for my speech, but it'll be pretty good I hope. I'ma try to keep it under wraps till graduation night, but we'll see how well that goes. I'm a bit nervous about it, but I'm excited about the opportunity.

I haven't run forever. I want to start doing that.

We just took the Wuthering Heights test in English. I did decent. I didn't really enjoy the book, but it was alright. I didn't like how every character was a dirtbag. I just really like good people. The terrifying thing about the test was that I started to relate myself to wuthering heights, and it started making sense. Yep, there are lessons in wuthering heights for me. How ridiculous is that?

Which leads me to my next point. Maybe it's the fact that it's May (you know, the lusty month of May...), but I've been spending a whole lot more time worrying about things that aren't calculus than I have about things that are calculus. Granted, the calculus test is over, but that doesn't automatically tell me to lose my mind, right?

Suffice it to say that there's a situation. I've even made a few graphs to better understand the situation. I've been using a Reimann upper-bound estimation to make a little more sense of it all, but it's not accurate enough to make a decent call. Next step: try the trapezoidal action. If that doesn't work, I'll see what the TI-86 has to say about it.

The senior dinner dance, as a dance, was not super great. I'll give it four out of ten stars. It was a good evening, and I'm really glad I went. I just wasn't too thrilled with the music. It's interesting to see demographics. From what I understand, the isntruction to the DJ was specifically rap heavy with little to no slow dancing. I did my best to change that up, but we still didn't get one hundred percent of what we wanted. It's hard for me to realize that not everybody wants what I want though. The people that I associate with all like the music I like, more or less. When a rap song would come up, we'd sorta migrate to the outside, but everybody else would come pouring onto the floor to dance. It was interesting to note that the DJ was pulling more people in when he'd do a song I hated than when he'd do a song I'd like.

Moral of the story? I think I was actually the minority at the dance. I wanted a million more slow songs. I miss region dances.

This brings up the idea of pseudo-prom. It's an idea I've had kicking around for a really long time. The idea is that on some Friday or Saturday in the near future, I'd host a dance. We'd have to find a venue, and I'd supply the music. Cool people would be invited. It wouldn't be a date, it'd be more like a souped up region dance. We'd call it out as a formal dance, but one where girl's aren't allowed to buy a new dress, cause that'd be stupid. So we'd have good friends there, looking really good, having a good time dancing.

It's got its pros and cons. Making something like that happen isn't as easy as it looks. We'd have to find a venue, I'd have to make a song list, and find some decent speakers. We'd have to find a day and time when people could actually come. We'd have to advertise well with the group in order to get people to actually show up.

It's got potential. It could be a really cool evening. There's nothing like it coming up in the near future, really. The senior dinner dance could have come close, but it certainly didn't. Maybe if there was an incredible region dance with a killer DJ, without, you know, freshman.

So I'm wondering whether we ought to do it or not. Sound off in the comments if you're interested. I'd like to hear your input. If you think it's a good idea, and you'd be willing to support the cause by showing up and maybe helping, let me know. If enough people are interested, we'll make it happen. I'm currently in the market research stage, so we'll see.

So, what's coming up in my life that I'm incredibly excited about? Seminary closing social is this Friday at the institute building. 4-7. It's going to be a good time. That's one of the last activities that we're in charge of as a council. We've got one more assembly, and then our evening with the new council, but then we're pretty much wrapped. It's been incredible.

I don't want to echo the same words that every single high school senior has ever said, but it's weird to realize that life is changing. Things that I've been working towards for the past million years of my life are about to be finished. I'm going to go to college. I'm going to be hanging out with some of the best guys that I know, it's going to be incredible. We'll be capable of pulling some pretty cool stuff off, if we work hard at it. I'm excited.

I want to play more basketball. I haven't played serious ball in a while. I think I might go sit outside for a bit. It's 11:35, but I took a huge nap. I don't have too much more to get accomplished tonight, so maybe I will.

I feel a little like I didn't accomplish much today. Maybe it's true. I went to three of four periods today, but that was allowable. I got some work done at the seminary building after school, but then I came home and took a nap. Had dinner with the family, then played a few worthless games of Warcraft. Wrote a post, that was good. There's still a bit I'm going to do tonight. Maybe I'll work out.

Yeah. As much as I love worrying about things that aren't calculus, it's so much less productive than worrying about calculus.

So, game plan? I don't know right now. I'll have one by the end of the night, I think. Me and Michael are gonna go toss a disc for a while, that makes me happy. He bought a new flashflight, I like it.

Moral of the story: Back to the basics... again. Personal study is important. Accomplish the things I've been asked to accomplish. Spend time with my family. Prioritize that which is important over that which is not important.

I'm not saying that not-calculus isn't important, because it certainly is. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that yet, and fretting isn't getting much done. I'll figure out what I'm going to do and then do it. In the meantime, it's time to focus on what's important. I'm gonna go toss to clear things up, score it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You Are My Calculus

By the time most of you read this, I will be a free man. AP Calculus test, starting in less than 12 hours.

Am I ready? Nearly.

At this point, it's not about what I know and what I don't know. It's about facing that test tomorrow, head on straight, brow furrowed, ready to kick some college board trash.

I've nearly filled myself with everything I can. It's not about filling anymore, it's about throwing me at the test. I'm ready to face it.

Today's been a great day. Tomorrow will be liberating. I'm so excited about this test. Can I five it? Yes, absolutely. It's within the realm of posibility. Will I five it? No guarantees. I'll have a good idea tomorrow whether or not I have. I won't know for sure for quite an agonizingly long time.

This is the moment-
My final test!
Destiny beckoned-
I never reckoned
Second Best!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's game time. This is it.