28 February 2011

Cougar Rising

Regardless of what happens during the NCAA tournament, this season of BYU basketball has been the best I've ever known. The obvious draw is Jimmer Fredette, but this is the most complete team in a long, long time, which makes me think that we have a serious chance of making a good run in the tournament.

Here are a few write-ups about BYU's solid win over SDSU on Saturday:

Luke Winn explains how BYU won, despite Jimmer's "sub-par" performance in a hostile environment.

Andy Glockner thinks BYU has a chance to get a 1 seed. This is significant as 1 seeds do have a better winning percentage in the Tourney, by a significant margin, over 2 seeds.

SDSU has enjoyed a high ranking, and with BYU being it's toughest opponent, it is hard to gauge how well we stack up against major basketball powers. We may have to wait for the madness to find out.

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Dying Link

It is so sobering to think about how, with the death of people like WWI veteran Frank Buckles, we are losing living links to our past. Buckles was the last living US veteran of that war.

In another 20 or 25 years, the same will be true of WWII. Fortunately, we have video evidence of that conflict, though our modern, hyper-realistic entertainment stunts the impact of those visuals. It is the eyewitness accounts of war that provide context for those images, and unless we are diligent in recording them, as many have done, our memory will be incomplete. And an incomplete memory will be no way to prevent some of those horrible outcomes.

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26 February 2011

Awesome Video Saturday CLXI

This is a strange little video, and I'm not sure how it is a trailer for a Swedish short film, but it cracks me up EVERY time.

I love the music.

25 February 2011

A Visitor Tonight

Joseph had his first lost tooth. We are excited to welcome the tooth fairy to our house tonight.

23 February 2011


A few months ago I wrote about HP's rival to the iPad, and how it seemed to offer less value than the iPad.

I still feel that way, and this article helps explain why other companies have a difficult time matching Apple's iPad pricing.

It is expected that the new iPad will be introduced next week, on March 2nd.

Big Game

I like Seth Davis' answer about whether BYU/SDSU fans should worry about the polls. In short, they shouldn't, especially if they win out.

Saturday is a big game between these two teams, and you can watch it on CBS.

21 February 2011

Half the Man I Used to Be

Not quite half, but a good bit lighter.

In February 2010 I stood on a scale at the gym. My visit to the gym had been prompted by how poorly I was feeling. We were awaiting Isaac's birth, so life was pretty stressful and I was spending very little time on fitness or healthy eating.

So I felt lousy, and realized that I needed to start exercising again. The easiest way to do this was to run periodically, which I did. Ours was not a house for dieting, given the pregnancy, so that was the extent of my efforts for a while. My starting weight? 267 pounds! The highest I had ever measured.

I would run when the kids were asleep, and very rarely in the morning. never more than 3 times in a week, and rarely for more than 1 mile, at least at first. This small effort bore some fruit, so that by August I was down to about 250. By this time Lacy was ready for us to work together, so we started following the plan put forth in Bill Phillips' Body for Life. This meant eating 6 small, healthy meals a day, and exercise six times a week. I won't go into much more detail, as I want to focus on the results. I will say that for us, it has been an extremely successful plan.

The last time I weighed myself the scale said 204.9. Over the months between August 1st and the Christmas holidays I only missed six workouts in a week 2 or 3 times. We followed the eating plan pretty closely, with some small aberrations here and there and some big ones over Christmas. We've dealt with a lot of sickness since the holidays, but I've managed to better my goal and now have a new goal to be less than 200 pounds.

I plan to accomplish this by increasing the intensity of my cardio workouts and eating more fruit as the carb for my meals. I like to think that my brain works differently now, that it won't be possible for me to slip back into those terrible habits of sedentary living and unplanned eating. This will require diligence, because the slide downward did not occur overnight either.

The bottom line is that I was fat. Seem harsh? To put it in perspective, one year ago I weighed 30 PERCENT MORE than I do today. My old pants are enormous. I can't imagine ever fitting in them. I had several pairs altered back in October, and all of those are at least 2 inches too large in the waist.

My main incentive to keep the weight off is that I feel great. I haven't been at this weight since high school, and I'm convinced that I am healthier and more fit than at any other point in my adult life. It is easier and more fun to play with the kids, I can run more, and faster than ever before (I am not a runner). It has truly been a transformation.

20 February 2011

In Which I am an Environmental Hero

I have always felt like a good environmentalist. Not a fanatic, of course, but very conscientious. I recycle everything that is recyclable. I gather old batteries and household chemicals for proper disposal. And I reuse Ziploc bags whenever possible. This is my greatest achievement in the environmental area.


Isaac pooped the other day, as is his custom. It was my privilege to clean the young man, and faced with the terrible choice about where to put the diaper, I considered the following:

1. Bathroom garbage
2. Kitchen garbage
3. Direct to garbage can

Of the three, the latter is the least injurious. Any and all smells are taken outside. We never did buy a diaper genie, despite every intention to do so with each child. With Isaac we usually put the diapers in the bathroom in his room, the door of which is always closed. Most of the time this works well, but this this was an especially odiferous diaper, and I was struck with a marvelous idea.

Earlier in the morning we had been cleaning the freezer and had removed some freezer-burned fruit. The ziploc bag remained on the counter, and I decided to put the diaper in that used bag. This afforded me the great liberty of putting the bomb wherever I desired. It was liberating, and a wonderful second life for that plastic bag.

Before you remind me that putting a disposable diaper in a plastic bag, both of which would soon be on their way to a landfill, was no great act of environmental heroism, I can assure you that in the environment nearest to me, where my nostrils were now saved from accidental offensive olfactory ingestion, epic poems were thought of (though not written) and all rejoiced at the banishment of the beast.

19 February 2011

Awesome Video Saturday CLX

A truly impressive goal from Wayne Rooney.

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=foxsports&from=foxsports_en-us_videocentral&vid=d0c22342-6f41-4bd7-938c-d5f9a31eb7e8&src=FLCP:sharebar:embed" target="_new" title="Rooney's Bicycle Kick from all angles">Video: Rooney's Bicycle Kick from all angles</a>

16 February 2011

LOST Again

I love Lost. I never wavered in my enjoyment of the show and I found the finale very moving.

First, a cool video where this guy arrange 22 different themes from Lost into a single medley. It is nicely done. Michael Giacchino is one of my favorite composers and I think his work was truly critical to the emotional impact of the show. My favorite theme starts around 5:20.

I also enjoyed this article from Carlton Cuse, one of the showrunners for Lost. He describes what it was like to work on a show like Lost for 6 years and the process of deciding how to follow it.

15 February 2011

On Names

Where do they come up with names for prescription drugs? I just saw an ad for Beyaz, a type of birth control. The name is a little too similar to a certain word used in speech as a kinder version of an unkind word.

Just seems like a poor choice to me.

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12 February 2011

Awesome Video Saturday CLIX

This is a pretty cool video of the "worlds widest slip-n-slide."

10 February 2011


Count me among those that dislike NPR's leftist leanings. All that aside, I have found it to be far superior, along with the BBC, to the television media in it's treatment of the events in Egypt.

In many ways, especially in terms of realpolitik, Egypt is a small player. Their somewhat conciliatory attitude toward Israel has been important, but Egypt is still an economic lightweight and a less significant member of the oil-producing nations. Still, Egypt matters.

It matters because it is a young country. Like most of the Arab world, the average age is much younger than in the developed world. This has been a concern for the west due to fears that youth with too much time and too little economic opportunity might turn towards jihad to fill their lives. This idea failed to address the greater desire among many of the young to matter in legitimate ways. This means massing to demand democratic reforms and the end to autocratic regimes. In recent months this has repeated itself across the region, from Tunisia to Jordan and now, most notably, to Egypt.

The people have tasted the ability to effect change. The fact that Mubarak did anything showed them that they can influence him, and having seen him "blink," they don't want to stop until they get all of what they want, starting with his removal from office in name and authority.

Things may get very ugly over the next few days and weeks.

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09 February 2011

Super Fail

You may have heard that more than 1000 fans were kept from their seats at the Super Bowl. Some of what happened to those fans is chronicled in this article, that also puts a critical eye on the NFL's response.

The NFL will not be able to make this ugly occurrence go away fast enough.

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Change is Coming

According to this report from the Wall Street Journal Apple has started production on the new version of the iPad. I have loved and continue to love mine. I won't replace it any time soon, but I would love to have the camera feature.

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07 February 2011

On Saving Money

I was shocked and delighted by the GroupOn ad during the Superbowl (can be seen here). It starts as an apparent plea for the people of Tibet and ends in a plea for saving money.

As this article explains, not everyone was pleased by the ad, and GroupOn has been waging a bit of a PR battle. I think it was brilliant, and as a Christopher Guest fan, think his involvement was perfect.

We have too many sacred cows. Every once in a while we need to thin the herd.

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06 February 2011

Super Pick

The Packers are the fashionable choice. I usually root for the AFC, but I think the Packers have what it takes to win out today.

Packers 31, Steelers 24

05 February 2011

Awesome Video Saturday CLVIII

One of the best ads I have seen in a long time.

02 February 2011


I was listening to an interview on BBC Radio with an Egyptian protester. When asked if the danger and his own injury would keep him from protesting and he said the following, heavily paraphrased:

God willing I will be there, every day. Now I feel like a man. I know what freedom is now.

Very inspiring words as I listened to them live.

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