Michael's Blogger Shower

Welcome to my Google sponsored shower! I like to spout out the thoughts jumbled in my head, My original blog no longer exists.If you want to be able to post comments, contact me. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Last Electric Knight

I love the Internet!

I recall this movie. I remember the Disney Sunday movie intros by Isner, the scenes from other movies in the intro, the guy getting hit with the ball, Tinker Bell ... good times. 1986? I was about 10. Funny how time slips away.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Words and me

When I was a kid I remember calling this fruit medley a fruit-a ca-catella. It might be argued I was just making fun of the Norwegian language, but I was not that clever.

My Dad would get lost in the conversation when Norwegian was spoken at my grandparents house. He was as lost as everyone else. Well, at least all the kids. To relieve tension, he would joke about words like knife-a spoon-a, etc. I believe forka really means Fork.

Anyway, one year when I was at the library, I asked where the patriarchal music was. I got a lot of funny looks. The librarian, who probably was used to crazy questions, figured out that I was looking for patriotic music.

In high school I started using the word parameter as two words, para and meter. In my mind it phonetically sounded out like parachute and parabolic.

I like listening to the word of the day podcast so I can hear the pronunciation of a word before trying to speak it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Who made this man a gunner?

I did, sir. He is my cousin.

Why call it a shower?

I'm not exactly sure where the quote comes from, but i had heard once that this guy, possibly a preacher of sorts said "Some of the best sermons I have given have been in my own shower."

I'm not professing to be a preacher or having anything of value to say.

If I had the time to monitor comments, i might consider it. Basically, if I wanted to read any comments, I'd find your dribble on the web and read it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Movies in Heaven

I could not find the exact quote or maybe this is it and I just misremember it. Anyway the quote comes from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with regards to heaven. "all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. "

The other day the discussion diverged in to one about life after death. It came almost out of nowhere. One question I was asked is if we would have the same jobs.

I knew the guy worked with computers and I wasn't sure he thought very highly of it or was wondering if he could change things up. I also wondered if there would be better technology then we can imagine today.

I'm not omniscient or all knowing, so it would be in my best interest to have some database or contact list to keep track of everybody I know or meet. Also, some type of Wikipedia-like database would also be very useful.

Maybe we will have similar jobs. But I decided to be flippant and deflect the question. I proceeded to quote Mark Twain and explain my lack of musical ability.

The guy responded to the possibility of playing harps and singing praises all day would be a miserable existence. And I could not have agreed more.

He then asked if there going to be movies to watch.

"That I'm not exactly sure of."

I then proceed to quote, or most likely misquote, the passage in Doctrine and Covenants section 130. about there being same socialities which exists among us here will exist among us there. I followed it up with my own interpretation.

"What does that mean exactly? To people who lived in the 1800's might have a whole different idea about this than say us in the 21st century."

The footnote in the actual verse refers to family relationships so i may have totally messed that one up. Oh well, I still would rather not play harps and sing all day long.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

More noise pollution

When I do walk around without the noise reduction headphones, I am reminded how noisy the world can be: loud  vehicles, construction work, people rudely jabbering away on their phone, kids yelling, babies crying, dogs barking...

At other times, it is pleasant to hear other sounds: birds chirping, leaves blowing in the wind, friendly voices...

There is too much content to listen to. I feel bad when I miss some passage in a story or a comment in a podcast, but then I recall all the other things inter ever growing queue.

Strangely enough some days I feel like I have nothing to listen too and grab a book I have heard before. Some books are worth going back through.

Hopefully I can always find a quite place to listen to what I want and not what the world imposes upon me.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Guns in America

I first was quite offended by this BBC story called the 'Last American' in Damascus feels safer there than in US. The guy generally called me and everyone else a trigger happy gun singer. I don't even own a gun!

The guy's fear is kind of like those people who are afraid to fly because of the very few planes that crash or the even fewer planes used by terrorist.

Then I thought it was probably better this guy and others equally afraid should stay out of the US. He is one less person on the road, on the train,  or on the bus.

Looks like I missed he was an American. Now I think he is just a pansy.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Movie Wars

I used to work with someone who went to the movie theatre every Sunday because it was cheaper apparently. I barely watch any new movie. I can’t imagine watching around 52 new movies a year. I mean, wouldn’t you run out? How many movies come out every year anyway?

A couple years ago I decided I would stop going to the movie theatre as much as possible. I like going to see something on a big screen and great sound systems, but I was not sure it was worth the rising costs. Throw in Imax, and there goes another couple bucks. 3D doesn’t do anything for me.

There was a house ad at the AMC theatre once where these people were watching a show and were oblivious to the fact their surroundings were changing. It was like the screen was a sedative or some mind controlling drug.

Several years ago, I spent some time with a family where TV would do the same as this commercial mentioned above. When that screen was on, these people were fixated and nothing else could grab their attention. A couple times I wanted to wave my hands around or something to see if anyone would notice.

I do have to admit that it is easy to get lost in something very interesting on the screen, but I try to retain situational awareness. It is embarrassing if someone comes or goes and I fail to notice or acknowledge them.

My resolve to avoid the theatres was tested when Star Wars came out. I would have gone to the theatre and watched it with friends or family. But I never got an invite nor did I push for one. I could wait for it to come out on DVD or what not.

Just a note, the audiobook on the screenplay came out about the time the movie did. I had no qualms listening to the book so I know the story.

Yesterday, a friend and I were talking about going to see a movie. I tried to get him to come to my house and watching something on my mini projector, but he was leaning toward a new release. I mentioned I had not seen Star Wars yet so the plan is to go see it today.

I just looked up the schedule. The latest one for Saturday was 4:30 PM. Oh good, I thought. Might get the matinee price but no. Well, I guess I’m giving Disney my money after all… There is still time to talk my friend into streaming an older movie for free!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Restricted Freedom

I had an interesting experience in high school. OK, all of high school was an interesting experience.

This experience involved the Army Reserves or National Guard. They rolled up to the school in a big truck. After filling out of the truck  and into the school, they started imposing crazy rules like girls only hallways.

My locker happened to be at the tail end of a one way hallway. I didn't want to walk all the way around so I played the part and the guard felt sorry for me and let me pass.

That caused a brief uproar. They guys behind me started to complain.

Years later. Actually shortly after September 11, 2001, I was outside my condo waiting for my ride . I was standing by the road which lead to the parking lot. This would save time by shortening the distance my ride had to go to get me.

An old lady drove slowly by . I didn't think much of it until she had gone all the way around the parking lot and stopped right behind me.

I thought she might need something so I walked over to find out.

“Can I help you?” I asked after she rolled her window down a bit.

“What are doing?” She asked. Her voice trembling a bit. I figured she was just old.

I related the strange encounter to my Mom.  I was informed the news had put out some alert about a threat to residential areas  like apartment complexes. Or condos I thought bitterly.

Thanks paranoid people. I really don't need your help.

More years later. I was walking around my neighborhood as I often do. Another old lady came running out of her house and proceeded to the sidewalk a few feet in front of me.

I try not to walk directly behind people in general. I even make noise to make my presence known. I guess I'm a silent walker because I have spooked people unintentionally.

I thought about turning around and walking the other direction or crossing the street. Suddenly she stopped. I slowed and she turned to watch me.

I thought there was something wrong. Then I saw the fear in her eyes.

What was this all about?

“Go ahead of me ,”  she said.

I was perplexed. She had no reason to fear.I wanted to reminder her she ran out in front of me. She could have waited for me to pass her house before darting out. Was it my fault she didn't see me? I clearly saw her!

I was tempted to bump the parinoid, old lady into the bushes as I walked passed her.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Finding Nala

The Lion King was one of my favorite movies. I probably had it memorized at one time. Possibly could recite most of it today given the right ques.

Anyway, I had a girlfriend of sorts when I was in grade school. During recess we would chase each other around. I recall she would capture my sister and I had to rescue her. When I did my friend would run off and eventually capture my sister again.

My friend moved away after a while. I recall being chased around the classroom when I took her picture on the day she left.

I thought it would be kind of cool to run into her all those years later. Kind of like how Simba and Nala did in the movie. Even without the love song and all.

The University of Utah was known for it’s gymnastics team so I figured she might have been going there. I looked her up in my student directory, but there was no match.

I then thought she might be going to BYU, another major university in Utah. Until I could get a hold of a student directory, I did some research on my own.

The Internet was in it’s infancy at the time so I went to the local library in my home town, found an old phone book. I compared it with the current phonebook and crossed out all the names that were still in there. Once I believed I had her father’s name I proceed to track him down.

I recall talking to someone who actually knew the guy and told me they had moved to Arkansas or something like that. Some fly over state at any rate.

I finally got a copy of BYU’s student directory from a friend. There was a match! But it said she was not from Arkansas. I reached out to her anyway. I sent a letter because I was to embarrassed to call.

A couple days later, I got a call. I was shocked and impressed that it was my old friend and that she remembered me. We met in person a few days after that. It was great to see her again.

We lost touch again. I went away for a few years… who knows where she went. Every now and then I did search for her name on the Internet, but it is too common of a name. Oh well, it’s been a long time now. If she captured my sister again, I’d let her keep her.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Black Sheep

I like being at work. I have a lot of fun with the people there. I feel productive, am part of a team and am expected to do my share of the work. For the most part, despite all our differences or possibly because of them, we respect each other.

Getting to and from work is a different story. In general, I assume people feel about their job as I do mine. I often wonder however, if some people think too highly about themselves or the supposed importance of their job.

Take the guy in the suit. How much time does he take in the morning to put on that stupid tie? Does it really help him do his job or is he just trying to look important? Take that construction worker or that lady… what do they do? How do they feel about their jobs?

Anyway, I like being at church or surrounded by people who share the same values. It is almost always a more friendly environment.

I admit I do not have as much fun with these people because I perceive, albeit wrongly I’m sure, that they are better than me or trying to be. Better in the sense that Ned Flanders is better than his neighbor, Homer Simpson.

I also don’t feel as respected as I do at work. Nor am I so respectful to other professions. I suppose it is harder to relate to someone that you only see on a weekly basis and are not familiar with the struggles or accomplishments they experience on a daily basis.

I like being at home or around family. There I am known and respected, perhaps for different reasons. Similar values are often shared while in my case, others are repulsed.

One of my little brothers is often refereed to the black sheep, but increasingly over the years I often notice the similarities they all have and those I lack.

There is a list of differences I could note: For years I have resided on the opposite side of the country as everyone else. I don’t watch the same shows or listen to the same music. I admit I do not even embrace All things Disney as my family does.

If anyone is the black sheep. it must be me.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Stats class

I had to take a statistics class in college. I thought it would be fairly easy, because I had already taken a bunch of calculus courses. The teacher recommended a statistical calculator, but I didn't have one and I didn't think I would need one.The calculations involved were not hard, there were just a lot of little ones for one problem.

The class was during the short summer semester so it was a little accelerated. I was able to keep up for most of the time but I fell behind. At the end of the semester I did not have a passing grade. I only needed a few points.

Before attending this school, i was at the University of Utah. This school felt like a glorified high school and was rather shocked to see other students get extensions and extra credit for all kinds of stuff and with little effort.

Just this once, I tried to get extra credit or whatever but did not get any. In fact, I felt I was being looked down upon and was not worth the teacher’s time.

I had to take the class again the next semester. I'm purposely chose a different teacher but for some reason wound up with the same one. It was alright because I knew how he taught and my little brother, I found out later, always had a calculator that I could barrow. Not only was it a statistical calculator, but it was a programable one!

I spent a lot of time writing little programs that could symbolically show the steps it was talking to get the answer. It would look suspicious if I just magically wrote down answers on the tests - which I started to ace.

The teacher started to treat me like an esteemed colleague but I recalled his snub during the summer and did not reciprocate.

Towards the end of the semester I wonder if my tactics were being found out because I started to get questions like: If the p value was less than 1, what does that mean? I had no program for that!

Oh well, out of the teachers two classes that semester I got the second highest grade! Sadly, I did not learn anything about stats except that with the right population, you can pretty much prove anything.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Colonial Spies

When I would take people through the spy museum in DC, I’d tell them not to spend too much time at the start. When I think of spying, I generally think of WWII, James Bond, and more modern day. That and there is a lot packed into the museum.

 Anyway, while reading Walter Isaacson's Benjamin Franklin book it talked and Edward Bancroft, a double agent for the US and the British Secret Service. It was so fascinating, I read the chapter twice.

George Washington had a ring of spies called the Culpoer Ring - which I recently learned about as well. I wonder what else is out there.

Maybe I should go back to the museum and spend more time at the beginning.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Looking for a creative outlook

I guess like a few others, I'm going back to my blog.

We shall see how long it lasts.

Young Gun

Saw Young Guns II in junior high school. It was a movie about Billy the Kid. I had an affinity towards the outlaw and the lore surrounding him.

I had a teacher who shared the name with the guy who supposedly shot the infamous outlaw. I had some somewhat valid reasons not to like her though.

One time the Teacher went off on me and my writing and what not during class. She was sitting in a desk with her back to me. I was sitting behind her and was not sure she knew I was there.
I admit it was a crazy time for me so the Teacher might have had some valid points. Like everyone else, she probably did not know how to deal with me.

Another day I was going to hang out in the dark room but did not enter after hearing voices coming through the revolving door that kept light out of the dark room. I quickly identified the voices and thought I’d hang out there is the little alcove.

“You’re breaking a lot of hearts,” the Teacher said to the other occupant in the dark room.
“What do you mean?”

The Teacher started to enumerate through the list of people she knew that liked the girl she was talking to. The Teacher paused for a second and started to laugh before she said my name.

The Basketball Game

When I was 12 I was allowed on the basketball team Local teams were made up by age group and geographic location. A neighborhood could have a teams of 12-13 year olds, 14-15 year olds, and so on. Each team would play neighboring teams of the same age group. At the end of the season there was a championship of sorts.

I was excited to get out on the court and show off my supposed skills. I practiced every day for hours on end.

The problem was that all the 13 year olds were also anxious to play because they were benched the previous year to let the older players to dominate time on the court.

I believe we were known as the team to beat. I did not recall a victory pervious to my joining the team. I got tired of losing and was ready to turn things around.

At 13, I was ecstatic. Now it was all mine to dominate the court.

Unfortunately, there was another problem. We got a new coach. The coach had a 12 year old son who could not dribble a basketball to save his own like. Even worse, the coach's son had a bunch of friends the same age of equal talent.

I felt I did not seem to get much game time for the start of the season. Not as much as I thought  I deserved anyway.

To nobody’s surprise we lost every game.

The few of us older kids started to hold private practices. Did our best to determine who would work out best for the starting positions.

When we were ready, it feel upon me or I took it upon myself to call the coach to let him know the upcoming game on Saturday was at a different building at a different time. i’m still surprised he believed me.

We almost did not get to play however. The officiator stated the rule that an adult had to represent us. Fortunately, the referee was an 18 year old from our neighborhood and we were allowed to play. So, we started to warm up.

When they other team showed up, some on my team were already giving up. This new team were like giants.

There is no way theses guys are 13 years old! I said to myself.

I was also informed the team was undefeated.

My bolstering words of encouragement fell on deaf ears. Obviously, we did not get the jump ball at the start of the game but I managed to steal it and put up the first 2 points on the board.

“You see,” I stated. “We can take these guys.”

It was a rather rigorous game but we managed to not foul out of the game entirely. I was lucky not to get thrown out I’m sure.

Halfway through the game, I realized the flaw in the plan. I was planning on playing the whole game but it was apparent the team was tired. I wasn’t sure what to do as we stumbled back on to the court.

I was never so happy to see the coach. He had shown up with replacements!

I marched over and told him. “I did not care how you do it, rotate these guys out every few minutes, but do not pull me out. I’m not joking.”

The game continued and the on going rotation allowed us to keep the lead. With a few minutes left of the game, I was pulled out. I was beyond upset, but not as much as when I found out I was replaced with the coach’s son.

“What are you doing? Why are you taking me out?”,  I demanded.

“You look tired.” was the response.

“I’ll tell you what I’m tired of...”

I pulled off my jersey, threw it at the coach ,and then stormed off the court. I tried to calm down in the bathroom before going home.

As I splashed water in my face, I thought that even our pathetic team could not lose a 10 point lead. Time would run out and they should barely win. When I had cooled down sufficiently, I started to leave the building.

At that moment someone came running after me to beg me to come back.

“You had a 10 point lead!“ I protested. “Don’t tell me you already lost it already.”

Not only did they lose it, but they were now behind. I jumped back in the game to salvage what I could. At the last second I was fouled and was given two penalty shots. I recall lamenting why I was fouled and not a better free throw shooter.

Everyone lined up for the penalty shot. Just like in some movie, the place went silent and time seemed to slow. I bounced the ball a couple times and could hear the eerie sound of the reverberation of the sound bouncing off the walls. I released the ball in a perfect arch to the goal, it bounced off the back drop, rolled around the rim and fell outside the hoop.

Time returned to normal. The sound also. There was a cheer from the crowd!

Wait, there was a crowd?

I turned to look and sure enough there was a good 15-20 people cheering. In vain, I looked for someone cheering for our team. The guy in the back looked like he was on our side.

Just great. I thought. They brought a whole cheering section.

The second penalty shot went the same way as the first. The score was 31 to 30. I had two chances to tie the game. I felt I had failed. I felt like a mouse and wanted to scurry away.

I awaited a look or a scowl from my teammates but they were fixated on the score. I looked back at the score and thought it must have been a record for us. 30 points!

As we walked away in triumph although we lost, we discussed how things would be different against the next team.

Things were different.If I recall correctly, the team went on and won several games. I think their new found abilities went on for years to come. Unfortunately, I was not with them.

My short lived basketball career was over.