30 January 2008


Britain's Telegraph has some truly fantastic pictures of sharks hunting seals near South Africa.

Isn't the Great White Shark a marvelous creation? Ultimate aquatic killing machine.

Nothing but love for my Honda

I love my Honda Accord. We met in December 2000. It has been a magical relationship. We've been to Utah, Canada, California, Virginia, and parts in between. A few weeks ago she passed 100,000 miles. My Moto Q captured the magic moment in Tampa. Here's to many more.

We also have a Honda Odyssey. It's the best mini-van on the planet. We decided a while back that we would not succumb to anti-mini-van prejudice. It's a great car to drive, has fantastic utility, and is silky smooth on the road.

28 January 2008

Reasons I'm Glad to be American II

This one comes to us from China. It seems that over 200,000(!!!) Chinese are stuck in a train station in Guangzhou, capitol of Guangdong province. Over the next week that number may swell to 600,000(!!!!!!!). The culprit? Bad weather.

On our worst weather day how many people have been stranded in Atlanta? Or Chicago? Or New York? Not that many. The influx of travelers is due to the coming Chinese New Year. Many may be stranded far from family due to inclement weather.

I feel for those people, and feel gratitude for my life here.

Cuba and Poland UNITE!

I majored in International Politics at BYU. One of my favorite classes was Latin American politics, examining various political systems in the Latin American world. For my final paper I elected to explore the way that Catholicism influenced communism in Poland and in Cuba, in order to examine why it was such a powerful liberalizing force in the former and so impotent in the latter.

Religion was not the only component of Poland's liberation from communism. Brave individuals like Lech Walesa also contributed. He is now among the individuals initiating a petition imploring the Castro government to free political prisoners. The petition:

We are appealing to the Cuban government to free all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Cuba. Their continued imprisonment violates the fundamental humans rights. During her own enslavement, Poland experienced a great deal of solidarity from the free nations of the world. It is our moral duty to support the pro-freedom aspirations in Cuba.

It is heartening to see people like Walesa take an interest in Cuba's plight. You can sign it here. Don't worry, the form is also in English (thanks to DumSpiroSpero for the information).

27 January 2008

Farewell President Hinckley

In yet another example of new technology trumping traditional media, we were just made aware via text message of the death of Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He died of causes incident to age, no surprise at his 97 years. He served as Church president for almost 13 years, but it felt like longer, considering his many years of service as a counselor to earlier Church presidents. We who belong to the Church have been richly blessed by his service and example. I'm sure that others not of our faith will also mourn his passing.

I have asked myself about his legacy for me. He was a prophet and a man of God. A good man. I would like to be like him in the way I conduct my life and lead my family. I believe that he was called of God, and that he carried God's word. He served far longer than many people expect to live, and did so with vitality and enthusiasm.

I have no doubt that our next prophet will continue to build on the legacy of President Hinckley and those that came before. It is God's will. President Hinckley knew it. He gave his life to it. I will always be grateful.

26 January 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXI

This is a very poor video recording, but it is the teaser trailer for the new Star Trek movie, due in theaters next Christmas. You can see the super-high quality version here. Enjoy

25 January 2008


I went to the funeral of a client today. We were not well-acquainted, as the relationship was fairly recent, but I thought it important that I go. Aside from the professional obligation, I love history. Funerals are a fascinating way of understanding individual histories, often unsung histories. It is an opportunity for family and friend to remember the good and great about the loved one who has passed. For most of us, these are fleeting memorials. Understandably, there will not be plaques or statues enumerating our great deeds, at least not outside of the family album. Sometimes, as when death comes by way of selfless heroism, permanent monuments are appropriate.

Have any of you heard of Frankie Housley? Although I may have heard the name, the circumstances of her life were a mystery until I read this remembrance in the Knoxville weekly Metro Pulse (via Instapundit). Housley, a stewardess, perished heroically while trying to save an infant after a plane crash. She had already pushed and prodded 10 passengers to safety. Just reading this excerpt has left an indelible mark in my memory:

She opened the emergency door and looked down at an eight-foot drop to the ground. One after another, she escorted passengers to the opening. To those who resisted the jump, which was like leaping off a garage roof, she offered a firm shove.
She got 10 passengers out that way. Among them were soldiers, sailors, and young mother Manuela Smith and her two-year-old daughter. But Smith’s infant, Brenda Joyce, was still in the plane. Frankie went back in, one more time, but this time she didn’t emerge.
When the fire was out, they found Frankie in the scorched fuselage with the baby in her arms.

It is at once tragic and inspiring. Memorials were planned and promised. Those that were established have perished with the structures they inhabited. Others never came to fruition. It is clear that she should not be forgotten.

She is not alone. Several years ago I read the book, Black Hawk Down. It chronicles the famous incident where U.S. servicemen in Somalia were forced to work in the worst possible conditions. There are tremendous examples of heroism in those events. The legacy of Mogadishu is not an entirely proud one, but the individual heroes should not be forgotten.

I look forward to learning about more of the heroes in our current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. I look forward to learning about heroes who have come and gone during so many of our nation's turbulent times.

I will also look forward to those quiet services, where I will continue to learn about the men and women that I thought I knew. For a brief moment, their monuments will be clear. I hope to keep them a part of my mind, and a part of my history.

20 January 2008

Romney Prank Call

This is a prank call that Matt Romney, Mitt Romney's son, placed just before the Michigan primary. It's short, and pretty funny.

19 January 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXX

D-day, reimagined on a lower budget. This is a pretty cool project.

Knight Rider, in eSpanish!

14 January 2008

Lacy is Amazing

She is. She ran 13 miles on Saturday in the Walt Disney World 1/2 Marathon. I'm so proud of her. 

Cuba in transition?

I wish I had more time to write about this one, as it involves Cuba. This is from last week's Wall Street Journal. It deals with the seemingly inevitable succession of Raul Castro to the presidency of the State.

It provides some insights into what a post-Fidel Cuba may look like. There is reason for hope, though real progress will likely take time.

07 January 2008

I'm Against Change

I mention a really funny article by Dave Barry over at In Rare Form.

05 January 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXIX

Is your kung-fu better than his kung-fu?

04 January 2008

Caucus Catch-up

I am a Mitt Romney supporter, therefore disappointed with last night's caucus results. Only time will tell if he fares better in other states. There is some interesting commentary worth reviewing:

Finally, David Brooks wrote a piece in today's New York Times that I reacted to with a visceral concern. I'm going to quote liberally to indicate my concerns (any emphasis is mine):

Most importantly, [Huckabee] sensed that conservatives do not believe their own movement is well led. He took on Rush Limbaugh, the Club for Growth and even President Bush. The old guard threw everything they had at him, and their diminished power is now exposed.

Huckabee attacked a conservative icon and the sitting president. He attacked Rush on influence and Bush on foreign policy. The former is unquestionably powerful. The latter is strongest in precisely the realm that Huckabee criticized. Conservatives don't doubt the President's broad initiatives, but their implementation.

A conservatism that recognizes stable families as the foundation of economic growth is not hard to imagine. A conservatism that loves capitalism but distrusts capitalists is not hard to imagine either. Adam Smith felt this way. A conservatism that pays attention to people making less than $50,000 a year is the only conservatism worth defending.

Pays attention to? YES. Panders to? NO. And to indicate that a distrust of capitalists is a good thing? A conservative principle? In my mind this is heresy to the conservative movement. Conservatives distrust socialists and those who threaten property rights. In other words, economic liberals.

Will Huckabee move on and lead this new conservatism? Highly doubtful. The past few weeks have exposed his serious flaws as a presidential candidate. His foreign policy knowledge is minimal. His lapses into amateurishness simply won’t fly in a national campaign.
So the race will move on to New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is now grievously wounded. Romney represents what’s left of Republicanism 1.0. Huckabee and McCain represent half-formed iterations of Republicanism 2.0. My guess is Republicans will now swing behind McCain in order to stop Mike.
Huckabee probably won’t be the nominee, but starting last night in Iowa, an evangelical began the Republican Reformation.

Ick. I just discount this whole idea of a new conservatism. If such a thing exists, call it by a different name. I discount the idea that Huckabee has started something in Iowa. I don't want to be associated with that movement.

Doing it Right

I may be the only one that cares, but I enjoyed this story about Calais Campbell. He has been a standout defensive end for several years for the Miami Hurricanes. He has declared for the draft after completing his degree in 3 1/2 years.

He was one of the highlights of the game I attended in October, and he was the most visibly fired up player the entire game. When he wasn't directly involved in a play he was playing his role perfectly, and could be seen trying to fire up the crowd whenever possible.

He's a great player and I wish him well.

03 January 2008

The RIAA hates you

I'll comment on the Iowa Caucus tomorrow. This article is from the Washington Post, on efforts by the RIAA to claim that putting music from a CD THAT YOU OWN is a violation of copyright.

Does the RIAA have a deathwish? The only reason I buy a real CD anymore is precisely because I can have it as an mp3. I think that such small-minded and antiquated thinking will continue the descent in record sales that has been in evidence for so long.

The Best Sports of 2007

I don't want to let this go too long. The Wall Street Journal's sports blog, The Daily Fix, has posted their picks for best sportswriting on 2007. There are some winners here.

02 January 2008

I've got a good feeling about this

This is a great photograph, from an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair magazine. On the left is George Lucas, then Harrison Ford, and on the right is Stephen Spielberg. That is the ultimate entertainment triumvirate of my youth. From the three come Star Wars, E.T., The Fugitive, and of course, Indiana Jones.

The photograph accompanies an article about the 4th Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It is a good article, and it traces the relationship between these men, the creation of the character, and why Indiana Jones is such an enduring cinematic figure.

I love these stories. There is as much enjoyment in the memories that surround them as in the films themselves. I will be right there on May 22nd.

01 January 2008


The Romney-Huckabee feud continues in Iowa, with Huckabee choosing to create, air, then not air but show to the media, his own attack ad. This is a response to Mitt's ads.