Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Books

Continuing my goal from last month, here are the books that I read in February (much shorter than my January list):

by Jeff Kinney

The most recent of the Wimpy Kid novels, it continues with more humorous stories of a middle school nerdy kid. I found this book enjoyable and fresh, even after reading the previous two books last month.

by Orson Scott Card

I saw this book in the New Books section at the library and, being a fan of the author, I thought I would give it a shot. It is an 800-page series of short stories (between 5 and 50 pages each) divided by category (fantasy, science fiction, etc.). While some of the stories were less than memorable, I thought it was worth reading overall. Interesting concepts behind the stories (such as Santa Claus being a spirit in a purgatory-like existence or God and Satan's Job-like bet that has brought about the world's views on socialism vs. capitalism) form the foundation for good storytelling. There is even a Mormon Stories section, where I found the author's introductory explanation of Mormon culture particularly interesting.

by Terry Brooks

The culmination of the 5 Terry Brooks books that I read last month. The books follows the same somewhat predictable path as those preceding it, and weaves everything into a fitting conclusion to the series.

I have also starting reading Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. I have been reading it for about three weeks and am only around page 200 (out of about 700). It's definitely more dense than most of the fiction books I have recently read.

Also on the docket for next month: 
  • The Stand - Steven King
  • Seventh Son - Orson Scott Card
  • Dune - Frank Herbert
As always, I am open to further suggestions for future books to read.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Ok, so I am somewhat obsessed with the movie GATTACA. It originally came out while I was on my mission, and the first time I heard about it was after I came home and I watched it with a group of friends. Maybe I'm just a big nerd, but the whole futuristic, scientific premise of the movie fascinates me. I recently had to do a research paper for my Employment Law class. I did my paper on the legalities of genetic testing and genetic discrimination in employment, and referred to GATTACA in the opening of that paper.

Ever since Deidra and I got married (and even before then), I have been passively looking to purchase the movie. Basically, wherever we went that had DVDs for sale (the supermarket, video stores, Bukoos, etc.), I would rummage through their collection to try and find.

Well, I am happy to announce that after years of searching, I finally found it this week at ROSS for $4! Deidra told me I had to buy it, just to finally be done with the whole ordeal. So now I am the proud owner of GATTACA!

(If you've never seen it, I would highly recommend it. Let me know if you want to borrow it!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And the winner is . . .


The February 15th deadline for the CD design contest has passed, and there were no submissions. There are a few reasons I can think of that might help explain it:

1. My friends aren't really as talented as I think they are. (I doubt that reason could be true.)

2. The contest awards were not high enough to generate interest. (This reason is very possible, but it's all I could offer in my current situation.)

3. My friends don't think they're really as talented as I think they are. (a.k.a. you don't think I am referring to you as you read this.)

At any rate, I am looking into other options for CD artwork, including purchasing software (probably Photoshop) in order to do it myself.

However, if there's anyone out there who would like to try their hand at the design, shoot me an email at Even if you are not working in a digital medium, we can work something out.

Golden Oreos - Santa's Gift that keeps on giving

I am a big fan of Golden Oreos, and Santa knows it. When I woke up at the home of my in-laws on Christmas morning, Santa had left a package of Golden Oreos with my stocking. Since we hadn't finished the package before we left to return to Logan, I took the Oreos with me.  Fast forward a week or two to when I grab the last two cookies out of the bag. I twist the top off of one of the cookies and see a grey-colored abnormality on both the inside of the cookie and the creme. Nasty!

I contact Nabisco/Kraft and they tell me that they will send me an envelope in the mail so that I can ship the cookie back to them. Along with that, they promise a couple of coupons. This was in early January, and I had not received anything in the mail by February. I contacted them again and was told that the original mail had been sent, but should not have taken this long to get to me. They resolved to re-send the package as certified mail so that I would have to sign for it.

Today there was a knock on the door. Deidra answered the door to see our mailman with the package from Kraft. She signed for it and we opened it up. It included a letter of apology, a pre-paid envelope so send back the cookie and packaging, and three coupons for free Nabisco cookies or crackers.

A short time later, I braved the falling snow to run across the road to our mailbox and retrieve the rest of our mail. Lo and behold, the original kraft mailing was in our mailbox with the exact same items (letter, return envelope, and 3 coupons). In addition to that, there was a regular letter-sized envelope from Kraft. That letter turned out to be identical to the other two, except for the signature at the bottom. It also contained one more coupon.

I contacted Kraft and told them about the situation and was told to keep and use all seven coupons. Sweet! 

I won't run out of Golden Oreos for quite some time now!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Two weeks remaining to submit. 1st prize DOUBLED!

Just a reminder that that submissions for designing my new CD are due on Feb. 15th - only two more weeks!

And GOOD NEWS! The 1st prize has been doubled from $50 to $100!

There are also a couple of questions that have been answered about the contest.

Good luck!