Saturday, January 31, 2009
About 5 ½ years ago during a routine emergency appendectomy, a hole was discovered in the back of my esophagus. As scary as that sounds – it was a great relief to learn. You see, for 18 months prior to that, I had been vomiting once a week. Despite all the test we were running, no reason for the vomit had been found. Then suddenly – the answer was clear: I had a Hiatal Hernia. However, the fun was just beginning. There are three ways to fix this type of hernia:
- Lose weight
- Stop eating certain foods
Guess which two my insurance though were great ideas. Guess which one my insurance (and every insurance I’ve had since) thought would cost too much.
For the last 5 years I’ve been very strict with my diet. I have not tasted citric in 5 years. No orange juice, oranges or orange punch. I don’t have peppermint. I avoid spicy foods, limit my caffeine and have greatly reduced my chocolate intake. I have managed my food intake so well that I had not experienced the vomiting since November 2007. (I have dry heaved since that time but never quite fully experienced the whole vomiting thing since 2007.) On Tuesday night that all changed.
For dinner I had two bowls of Denise’s Chilly and several pieces of Cornbread drowning in butter and honey. I had had Denise’s chilly before so I wasn’t worried. I retired to bed at 11 and was woken at 1.
Let me break here to mention that I’m a forgetful guy. I forget people’s names, addresses and titles. I forget recipes and work assignments. I forget the date every day. I can even forget the fun of vomiting if given over 12 months to not experience it.
So come early Wednesday morning I awoke to a feeling that I was going to throw up. Briefly I struggled with the idea of determining if I was really awake or not. I was and the clock was ticking. So I rushed to the porcelain goddess and began to spill my story to her. You haven’t lived until you’ve had cornbread flying through your nose at a high rate of speed. And no, it wasn’t as good the second time.
For about ten minutes I heaved. I had also forgotten that just because there’s no food in your belly it doesn’t mean you are done. At some point I started noticing blood in my bowl and realized I was now ripping away my stomach lining. Good Times.
Afterwards, as I sat there in the restroom trying to get the energy to go to bed, I was reminded of how lonely vomiting can be. No one cane to my aid. No one asked me if I were ok or if I needed anything or even if they could hold my hair while I upchucked. And, in the twighlight of that new day I suddenly missed my mom. I hope she is doing ok and someone is there for her just as I wished someone had been there for me. I look forward to the time where we are sealed as a family and can be there for each other again.
Friday, January 30, 2009
When I lived with John I had my father build me a closet because my room didn't come with one. When John got us evicted, my father suggested I save my old closet "because you never know when you might need one again." I begrudgingly kept it. Well it turns out the new place I'm moving into doesn't have a closet. So I dug this out of storage and now I'm eating crow.
Post #600 & Happy Birthday to John - his 41st.
I tend to avoid girls that have never been kissed. I am a very affectionate guy and I like having an affectionate girl and you don’t usually get that from a girl that has never been kissed. Usually a girl that has never been kissed is in that stage for two reasons: 1. Lack of opportunity (i.e. she was home schooled, only wanted to kiss Mormon boys and there weren’t a whole lot where she lived or she was an awkward kind of teen and boys didn’t know how to approach her) or 2. Not that affectionate. (i.e. some girls just don’t like to be touched. I’m not sure why this is.)
(Reason 1 I can work through on those days when I’m feeling patient. Teaching a girl how to be a good kisser is a drawn out process and you really have to be patient on how to teach her while not offending her while also making it enjoyable. For those who have ever struggled at getting pregnant can tell you – after a while of practicing the same thing over and over again is annoying. But sometimes you just have to do that with a girl before she can move onto the next step in being a good kisser. In part – this is why I prefer a girl whose lips have had one before. Someone already trained her and I can then work on perfecting those lessons. This is also why I tend to stay away from girls that had been kissed by 20 different guys. Usually at that point – they’ve had too many teachers with too many agendas. For reason 2, I really haven’t found a cure and there really is no end to the misery that type of girl will cause you.)
However, once I’ve found a girl that is affectionate, I must admit I am a private individual. I think that anything beyond holding hands should be reserved for the privacy of your own secret sacred place (whether that be your couch, bedroom, truck, Teton Dam, in the backwoods of Yellowstone National Park, or any where else where you and your companion can be alone and friendly.) Being affectionate is a way of showing appreciation for the person and body you are with. It should not be used to dictate ownership or control or possession or to make people in your congregation at church feel bitter or nauseas.
(and this is where it turns into a rant)
At church on Sunday there were 8 new couples. (which is great news for me because it means Bishop will stop pestering me to date those girls.) 7 of the couples were so cute and respectful. I have no clue what they are doing on the dining room table or at the park near their house. They held hands or loosely strung their arms around their companion as they sat in the pew. And then there was 8th couple. They were constantly grabbing and touching each other. If he didn’t have two hands on her at all time it was because he was changing positions. After Sacrament they each had people to talk to but this did not mean they were bound for separation. Instead they remained locked in hand and standing back to back. Then at one point the guy was holding her elbow as she shook hands with someone. Her ELBOW!!
We get it. We ALL get it. You like each other. You think we all need to know you like each other. You need each other to know you really like each other. But, please, stop. Save your affectionate for the car, the couch or the honeymoon suite. Not touching in public won’t weaken our faith in your relationship. It will just allow us to stomach your relationship more.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I got stood up tonight by a friend. We were supposed to move his TV. While waiting for his return call I found this nice web and tried to photograph it. First I tried my flashlight and then I tried using my flash. I'm not happy with either. I think for it to really work I would need to back light the web with a flash below the frame of the camera.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When I got out of church it was sunny over my head and very dark north of me. So I went down by the river and took shots of the storm moving south.
(More shots across the water - BTC)
(An almost complete rainbow, if I had merging software - BTC)
I hope you don't mind if I share.
1. When I was young, we used to travel to Elko Nevada for Thanksgiving each year. (Every year after Thanksgiving we would travel to a ranch in Mountain City, slice up a freshly killed cow and bring the steaks home.) One year I remember going to Sage Street and Dotta Dr in Elko. This was quite the gathering. It was my father, my Uncle Tim, Uncle Lynn (I think), and 4 or 5 cousins. Some women folk were there but I don't remember if my mother or grandmother were in attendance. My brother and I were there with our grandfather that day. Dotta Dr climbs a hill above Sage and between the two is a hill in a park (during the summer people use the hill for ice blocking). I don't know how long we were out for, but I remember the fun we had as we sled down that slick hill side. The mode of transportation was sleds and inner tubes. My brother and my dad held me tight as we traveled quickly down. (at the bottom was a tennis court with a snow bank of sorts helping you stop or flip out.) I was too afraid to travel on my own, but my fearless brother was going by himself all the time. I know there are pictures of the event but I don't know who has them.
2. During the fall of 2005, I had a good friend that lived in the Barnes Dorms at BYUI. There are two sides to the dorm and between them is a short hill/lawn. I used to run a blog called "The Rexburg Sledding Report" and felt it was my duty to sled on every hill in Rexburg, no matter how big or how little. One night, I met up with my friend Andria and we attempted the hill. At some point we invited her roommates to join us. Andria had two roommates - Lauri and Amanda. Lauri refused, but Amanda joined us. Amanda is beautiful. I'm not a blond haired kind of guy (I make that exception for one person at this point in my life), but Amanda looked great that night. I had so much fun sledding and getting to know that girl. Andria, Amanda, and I used tools from Andria (Rec Leader major) and me (Jack of all trades) to create banks where you went one way and then the other. I don't think I've been as inventive in my sledding path before or since. It was a great night with great company.
3. Also in he fall of 2005, another hill we attempted was Taylor Hill. It's not accessible anymore (because the Bednar Castle construction put up a big fence) but you used to be able to start at the top of the hill and slide down, over the sidewalk and into the Manwarring Round-About. If you were a large kid or if the ice was especially thick, you could slide all the way down to the ice rink. One night we are sliding and I saw a new friend. I was running the disabled skiing program and had just met Brian. Brian has Cerebral Palsy and had a bit of a difficulty walking so we had been inviting him to come skiing with us in our unique ski equipment. He declined. Any way, as I saw him I beckoned him to come over. He had just got out of a meeting and was in a very nice suit. I paid no attention to that and suggested he sled with us. He did and managed to get farther than any of us. We've remained friends ever since. (He's actually from a town near where I live now.)
4. Lastly at BYUI, there is an area called the upper fields (which now has more fields even more "upper" than them...). Around the base of the upper fields is a sidewalk. During the winter it gets iced over. The hill starts right at the sidewalk and goes up steeply for about 100 feet. Atop is a little ledge of 6 inches. On the other side of the sidewalk is a field that also lowers but not as steep as the hill. I bought a sled from Wal-mart (that I still own even though I don't live any where near an ounce of snow). On many occasions I took my little plastic sled up there and slid down. Sometimes by my self. Sometimes with a friend. I loved the work out, the peace and quiet in solitude and the comradely in others. It was just a really good time. I loved being out sledding. Sadly, those winters in Idaho were some of the driest Idaho had seen. It wasn't until the fall after I had graduated that they got the snow I wished they had to go out in.
5. As a boy scout we used to go snow camping. The one time we went camping and someone didn't end up with hypothermia or a broken bone was a time we went to PineCrest. We didn't have any sledding stuff with us (though we did have home made snow shoes which were cool), but we ran across a group of kids who had a disc and a sled. We worked as a troop to make jumps, curves, and snow stopping hills. I don't remember the number of times I slid down the hill, but I remember the fun we had as we worked together, were creative and as we enjoyed the experience. It was great.
I really miss my snow and the fun it brings.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I'm sorry. I recently discovered that I might be a bit of an embarrassment to you. You see, there is this girl that I like that doesn't have access to the internet for 18 months (Only 10 more to go). So she can't read Teaching Sean online. To help facilitate her ability to be taught about Sean, I print off appropriate posts from Teaching Sean (she doesn't get the poetry or anything majorly about her). When I copy the stuff off of the Internet I put it into Microsoft Word. Here in is where I'm finding the errors of my way. As soon as I click the "paste" button red and green squiggly lines over run my screen. It turns out I can't spell or use correct plurals or tense to save my life.
Please understand, I listened. I learned. I tried my best to retain. I know the basic structure of a diagrammed sentence. I vaguely remember that gerunds exist and that they are cool and annoying. I remember the history of English from that riveting book "Adventures in English." But for some reason - the red lines and green lines show up.
So once again, my apologies. I'm so sorry you have had to and continue to read my very poor English. I hope you are able to suffer through.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I try to not be political on Photo a Day, but I was very happy to be an American today. To see the dreams of Martin Luther King fulfilled and to see our country come full circle from the atrocities of the 1800s - what an amazing day to be an American. I watched as much as I could at home before going to work. Once at work we were left to listening on the radio as the bandwidth for the County's computers were over ran. I came home tonight and listened to the speech one more time and was reminded of what a great country I live in. I loved how Obama reminded us that we are the same hard workers and innovators as we were before this economical crisis. We are the people that put a man on the moon. We are the people who helped two men start a computer company in their garage. We are the people that brought home the Power Soccer World Cup. This hasn't changed since the economic crisis. We've made it through tough times and we will do it again. Because we are Americans.
As icing on the cake, it was nice of MSNBC to show the white moving trucks packing up the last of Bush's crap. Good ridance.
(BTC - More from Yesterday - I like the third one the best)
Monday, January 19, 2009
"Get thee hence Satan." St. Matthew 4:1-11
On Sunday in Gospel Principles class, we were studying the third chapter "Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior." The teacher decided that instead of writing down a list of Christlike attributes (because we could do that by going to page 12 in this manual), what she wanted us to do was to write read various stories about Christ and talk about what we learn about Christ from these stories. One story we read was of Christ fasting in the wilderness. After 40 days and 40 nights Christ emerged and Satan was there to tempt. Satan tempts several times before eventually Christ sends Satan on his way. Cindy asked: What did we learn about Christ?
Several people mentioned Christ's ability to resist temptation. I saw a different attribute.
Before the worlds were created we were all spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. (Who loved us as we loved him). In that pre-mortal realm we were all give our agency to choose good or evil. As we know from a whole host of scriptures, a division occurred in heaven and one third of the host of heaven CHOSE to side with Lucifer. As far as I understand the scriptures - even Lucifer still has the ability to choose.
When it came my turn I mentioned that this passage in St Matthew showed Jesus Christ being patient and not taking away Lucifer's chose to tempt or not to tempt. Christ patiently waited as Lucifer tempted and tempted again. It wasn't until the third temptation, the third time Satan chose to be a tempter, that Christ turned to him and told him to go. I think that shows a lot of patience. I know in my life I'm very impatient with Lucifer and would like him gone as soon as he arrives. So to patiently wait for him to have ample opportunity to let Satan express his resolve to continue to choose to be a tempter - I think that shows some good patience on the part of Jesus Christ.
I only share this because everyone in the class said that they had never thought that way before and that they liked my example. I think it is important to share when you receive knew knowledge, I hope you don't mind me sharing this.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
"There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing." - There is Sunshine in my Soul Today
When I attended BYU-Idaho, one of my favorite activities was to gather under the stadium seats near the football field on Sunday nights. It didn't matter the temperature - it could be in the negative numbers or the triple digits - I could count on others meeting me there and having a musical prayer with our Heavenly Father. Even though the event is referred to as Stadium Singing, as we know from D&C, it really is stadium praying.
Each Sunday people gathered in groups with flashlights and head lamps or even some just using the lights from their cell phones, and with one voice they sang out of the hymn books. There were some favorites among the groups, but it was all request and sometimes there was a new song to be heard. Sometimes there would be a primary song or a song from a church youth program called EFY - and at those times, I simply stood there and listened. I have a few special hymns (two more: 1, 2) in my life and every now and then I was blessed with a tender mercy to hear them.
I often don't feel well, and so on nights when that happened, I would open the windows of my apartment and hear the joyful noises serenade me. I miss having this every Sunday in my life.
I have had a cold for the last 6 weeks. For the most part it has been mild. I had 7 days where it was very intense, but the other 5 weeks I had at least a cough and usually a runny nose. (I made a comment to a co-worker that my nose had been running for so long it should be slimmer, toned and ready to run a marathon.) One of the downsides to this cold has been a cough that prevented singing. Worse than that, this no singing cough came at my most favorite time of the year - Christmas. I wasn't able to participate at church in the celebration of Christ's birth or in other miracles. Every time I would start to sing, I would start to cough, and I would continue to cough and eventually have to leave the chapel in search of water or cough drops.
Now I'm not a fantastic singer. When they ask for people to join the ward choir, occasionally some one will point out that they aren't asking for me in particular to join the ward choir. I'm good at backstage theatre which involves a incredible amount of not singing. However, I love to sing. I sing in my truck all the time (Usually to country those this song has been getting a lot of time in my mouth.). I have very much missed singing in church these last 6 weeks.
Today in church I was finally able to sing. It was so great. I sang with the congregation in my family ward and my singles ward. I sang in Sunday School and priesthood. I sang at the fireside tonight. I sang where ever I could sing praises unto my King.
At the end of Sacrament today, a window in heaven was open and I was given a tender mercy. After the closing prayer the postlude was played. I always sit and listen, mainly as a way to sustain the musicians in their calling. Today though I was blessed. As I sat there I thought to myself, "It is a shame we could not sing 'There is Sunshine in my Soul today.'" And as I thought it and my Heavenly Father heard it, over the pipes it came, filling my soul with love, happiness and joy. Unlike the other songs she was organing (?), our organist didn't stop after one verse. She played the notes to all four which allowed me to sing to my self verse two "There is music in my soul today," and to smile as I did so.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sadly, this is nothing new for me. After three years in Idaho, where the only time I saw a cop in action was when they were marching in a parade or telling a couple to stop making out in a car, I returned to California and was reminded of crime. On my first day back, after less than an hour of being home I saw the police arrest two juveniles. For the next year I lived in that apartment. It was not uncommon for John and I to come home to SWAT or to having our driveway blocked by EMS waiting to go in an clean up a mess, but had to wait for an all clear from the many officer gathering.
Prior to moving to Idaho, John and I lived in another part of Antioch where we had the privilege of having access to all the prostitutes and drug dealers we wanted. They worked the corners closest to our home. All we would have needed was a fistful of cash and an absentminded trust of our selected dealer. (I'm sure none of those girls had STDs and I'm sure the drug product was always pure - but I never took the time to test either. Just in case.) That summer was California's summer of rolling blackouts. As the lights were darkened, the searchlights, from above and attached to black and white cars, came out. John and I, and occassionally KNJ-P, would huddle at the window and watch.
Each time I hear the sound of that helicopter, I lock the doors, and thank God. I thank God because I know - I am safe.
In every instance in every neighborhood, I have found an oasis of safety. Except for the halfway house three doors down, everyone in this neighborhood is friendly. Everyone knows me and have been nice to me since I moved in. Prior to Idaho, we lived on a private road in a quiet neighborhood. Go one street either way and you were looking for trouble, but on our street - kids played in the street. We had street bar b q's where the topic was steak and baseball. In my last neighborhood, we were good friends with the four other apartments in the complex. I built a play set for a grandchild. John paid for and built a ramp for another neighbor. Desserts were passed back and forth as a revolving door of sweets was created. One neighbor even swapped apartments with another neighbor when the first neighbor on the second floor couldn't take the stairs any more. Where I lived, have always been palaces of peace.
So despite the exchange of brass, batons and battery existing outside tonight, I lock my doors and pray with gratitude. Tonight, I am blessed with safety.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
it sucks honey
come june i might be layed off
but it isn't till november when you come home
i wonder if
i will be able to be there for you
i wonder if
i can tell you everything will be okay
i wonder if
you will believe me
God is on our side
God wants us to be happy
God will provide a way
but now i wish i knew the answers
to be able to hold you tight and say
"Honey, we will make it through this,
at least for today."
Sunday, January 11, 2009
This leads to another interesting perspective I heard on NPR this weekend. Temple Grandin is Autistic and has a doctorate in Animal Science (after getting a BS in psychology). She was discussing Animal care when it comes to stockyards. One of the things she talked about that we have gotten to a point that our desire for bigger animals or more milk producing animals is creating problems in animals. For example, as ranchers try to create fatter pigs, the result has been increased structure problems in pigs. They have leg and hoof problems. Arthritis is on the rise among pigs. For cows the push has been to have more milk being produced. The result has been a break down of muscles, hearts, and other major organs. The theory is that a cow only has a certain about of milk in them (let's say 300 gallons). In a normal course of life those 300 gallons will come at a rate that the cow's internal organs can handle it. However, ranchers have found a way to force those 300 gallons out faster, but the increased stress on the cows has created a break down in their internal organs as the stress of 300 gallons in 10 years instead of 15 has excelerated the bodies response.
Gradin talked a lot about treatment of animals and how to make slaughter more successful, which was interesting, but it didn't spike my interest quite like the previous. (For a good 15 minutes she talks about the effects of Autism so for all those autism junkies out there - it's a good listen too.)
This topic intrigues me on so many levels. Just like how I think it is important to seriously start looking at vertical farming, I think we need to seriously look at how we treat our animals. I am hopeful that we can correct some of these problems before we have to result of the resturaunt stylings of the Donner Party. (I being a larger chubby kind of guy - I would probably go first.)
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
One of my clients brought in his new English Bulldog "puppy" today. It's name is Princess Fiona because just like an ogre, "this dog will only be pretty on the inside."
I put quotes over puppy because it already weighed 17 pounds. Not to complain but do you know how hard it is to hold a 17 pound bulldog in one arm and take a picture with the other arm?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
There is a new water fountain in Brentwood I've been wanting to Photograph, but sadly we haven't seen the sun and had me in Brentwood at the same time in several weeks. Finally today there was enough sunlight to go take pictures. I'm not completely happy with this one so I'll be going back at some point.
not like i thought i'd miss you
i miss the walking with you
i miss the holding of you
i miss the sweet nothings in my ear
and the soft touch of your hair
i miss not being told every plant
i miss miss your smile
i miss your thoughts
i know you are off
doing the work of God
but it doesn't make me miss you
Monday, January 5, 2009
"We have had a lot of miracle happen in this past week. We both have always had companions that have known the language really well. We aren't one of those. So, I am excited to be learning with someone. It was funny because last week we were teaching a lady the 10 commandments. I was thinking we were on the chastity/adultery one. Well we were really on the not killing on. I start going off on how this is something that is for after marriage. It's only between you and your husband. I pretty much said it was OK to kill her husband...and they were having marriage problems. It was corrected quickly and she ended up coming to church that Sunday....hahaha that just goes to show that it was the spirit that taught her and not me. "
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I hate moving. I hate packing. I hate interviewing people to see if I and them would make good roommates. I hate having to try to find a place near my gym, office, family and not a whole lot of commuting. So far I've looked at 5 places and none of them were places I wanted to live but could live if I needed to.
Then tonight the Lord blessed me. I was approached by some friends and asked if I wanted to move in with them. I already garden there and raise my rabbits there. Plus it is back in the ward boundaries for the ward I love to be in. It's close to my gym and to both the Antioch office and the Oakley office. I'm super oober excited. It was just the right blessing at the right time to cheer me up.
Some people get blessings by the plenty. But for me the Lord blesses me with blessings by the few. A choice few that come when I need them most. I think I'm okay with that.