Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why NOT to force your kids to go to church . . .

I wish I could figure out how to embed this, but click HERE for the video of a 7-year-old in Utah leading police on a car chase because he didn't want to go to church.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cancel the moving truck!

We are no longer moving to Buffalo!

I got a job offer here in Logan doing development and delivery of business-related training programs. It pays more than the Buffalo job, and there is no moving required. What's more is that this job would be okay with me leaving after a year to pursue a Ph.D. The job in Buffalo was "informally" expecting a three-year commitment.

So there you have it! We're sticking in Logan for one more year, and then hopefully it's off to get a Ph.D.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a miracle!

Months ago, the inside screen went out on my cell phone. I could still see who was calling me from the outside screen, but I couldn't read any text messages that I received or tell who sent them. And I had to put the phone up to my ear and scroll down my contacts, listening to the automated voice tell me the names, in order to make a phone call.

Today I flipped open my phone and - viola! - the screen works again! I went through the 20+ text messages that had been sent to me since early April. (Thanks for inviting me to play basketball every week, Nate!)

Hopefully, it continues to work. I quite like having a fully functioning phone.

(P.S. Deidra had a similar problem happen with her phone, but she was without a screen for much shorter than I was. We're now both happy to have phones that work.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Feel free to press play and listen to the song as you read this post, since there's no video to go along with it.

We have finally resolved the last hurdle to accepting the teaching position I was offered at Trocaire College in Buffalo, NY. So it looks like we're officially moving! The job will start mid-August. I will be initially working on developing an Associate's Degree program in Human Resources, including getting approvals, getting it accredited, and writing course syllabi. Depending on how long that takes, I would start actually teaching classes in either January or next August.

I'm sure we'll need helping packing up, so we'll keep you posted as it draws closer and our moving dates get set. And if anyone has any leads on apartments to rent in the Buffalo area, let us know.

(minor tangent ahead)

A number of years ago, when I was playing shows as a solo singer/songwriter, I played a show in Alexandria, VA with Seth Horan, another solo singer/songwriter. He had previously recorded and toured as the bass player for Vertical Horizon. He was initially from Buffalo, and wrote a song about the city, entitled "Anonymity." Here are some of the lyrics:
  • Why live where no one wants to be? / There's nothing left here to discover, and nobody I'd want to discover me.
  • Everyone's tomorrow looks the same as yesterday / In a city meant for nothing more than anonymity.
  • Everybody's days are filled with animosity / And never meant for any more than anonymity.
Our initial introduction to Buffalo when we visited for the interview was pretty similar to these sentiments. But hopefully we'll find more in Buffalo than meets the eye originally and end up having a great experience.

(end tangent)

Anybody who wants to visit us in Buffalo is certainly welcome. We've got the Buffalo Bills (NFL) - now with the additional entertainment of Terrell Owens, Buffalo Sabres (NHL), and Buffalo Bisons (a minor-league MLB team). Niagara Falls is a mere 30 minutes away (make sure you have your passport if you want to go over to the Canadian side), Toronto is less than two hours away, and - for all you Mormons (or those interested in Mormon history) out there - Palmyra is only 90 minutes away. So there's plenty to keep you busy.

Anyway, there's our big news! We will keep you posted as this all develops.

(a Lawrence Welk version - just for you, Deid!)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fantasy Football Fever '09!

It's that time of year again, and I know you're excited!

I have set up a fantasy football league through Yahoo! and currently have six teams registered. We are looking to have up to 16 total teams.

If you are interested in joining, just follow these instructions:

1. Go here.

2. Click on "Join a League". (You will need to sign in with your Yahoo! ID. If you don't have one, you will need to create one.)

3. Click on "Join Custom".

4. Enter the league ID: 114684

5. Enter the password: roxor

And you'll be all set. Good luck!

Leave me comments on this post if you have any questions.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

June books

I know, I'm a slacker. But here are finally the books that I read last month:

Gordon B. Hinckley

I really enjoyed this book and learned a lot of lessons through it's teachings. Of course, it's hard not to like a book written by someone you believe was a prophet of God. :-) This book was very interesting, because President Hinckley uses personal stories, biblical scripture, and quotations from prominent historical figures, while refraining from using Book of Mormon scriptures or alluding to many references to the Mormon church. By doing so, he has created a book, based on true Christian principles, that is timeless and that reaches out to members of all faiths throughout the word.

Gung Ho!
Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles

This book is basically a treatise on organizational behavior and how to improve organizational effectiveness. But it is different than most organizational "help" books in that it is written in a story format. Basically, a manufacturing plant is close to being shut down, and they are able to save it by learning the "Gung Ho" style of business, which is taught to them by a Native American manager in the plant. This style is based on The Spirit of the Squirrel (worthwhile work), The Way of the Beaver (being in control of achieving the goal), and the Gift of the Goose (cheering each other on). I thought the basic principles behind the book and the narrative story were pretty engaging, though the reference points of nature and learning from animals just kind of reminded me of some cheesy Karate Kid type of movie.

Orson Scott Card

Despite a title and cover picture that make this book look like some sort of harlequin romance novel, this was probably my favorite book of the Alvin Maker series so far. It basically deals with themes of persecution, both with witch trials in the North and with slavery in the South. I thought the author did well in progressing the overall story line of the series, while also creating a book that could stand on its own.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Mitch Albom

After reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven, I was interested in reading this book, which is easily the most well-known book written by Albom. Like the other books, this one was an quick read, while being both poignant and heartfelt. It tells the story of a well-respected old man (Morrie) with a degenerative condition teaching a young man (the author) lessons on how to live best, even as he (Morrie) gets closer to death. It had a lot of great points and touching narrative, and it's easy to see why it is considered a classic.

These four books for June put me right at 25 - halfway done with my goal and halfway through the year.

As always, I welcome your input on other potential books. My initial list of books I wanted to read is getting close to being completed, so I am going to need some recommendations.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

300 miles

As I get closer to the date of the Top of Utah Marathon, the miles start racking up faster. It took exactly one month to go from 200 to 300 miles.

I thought that was pretty good, but one of the books I recently read (my June reading synopsis is forthcoming) is a fiction novel about a competitive runner. He would run about 120 miles per week! Now, that's crazy!

Speaking of crazy . . . the night before Chod and I were supposed to go on a long run (12 miles I think), Deidra had a dream that Chod and I were running and we got arrested by the police. They told us that running that many miles was just plain crazy, so they had to take us in and have us evaluated or something.

I can't say I blame them. Even I think it's crazy!