Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mitt Romney for President 2012

You might think that my support of Mitt Romney is only skin deep, but it's not.

I thoroughly agree with the vast majority of his ideas.

This speech, probably 10-15 minutes, goes out to Seley (not Smiele) and all of my die-hard Obama friends out there. As always, don't get me wrong, I want President Obama to succeed, I just don't think that he's going about it the right way.

Here's the address:

Mitt Romney speech.

Link is courtesy of the Fletchword.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I won't go into my spiel about how awesome Qualtrics is, but needless to say, it's pretty dang cool.

Click here to take the super gravy survey that I put together.

It will probably take you less than 30 seconds. You can take it as many times as you want (please do) and you should find some fun surprises here and there.

Once you've taken it, spread the word to your friends and associates about how dynamic it is; we want everyone to experience Qualtrics!

Smiele Gets His Shout Out

I can't remember which day of the week it was, but in it one "Great" Scott Miele approached me with puppy dog eyes and whimpered something to the tune of, "Geez dawg, can't I even get a shout out on your blog?" Quick thinking, I retorted, "Well hey, you didn't get bronchitis!" But Smiele, not to be out done, came back with this, "Yeah, but you even gave Cman a shout out."

Okay. I give in; Scotty, your wish is my command. In the interest of your personal dignity and corporate professionalism, I'll spare you the addition of the survey link that went with the picture to the right.

You may not have contracted bronchitis, but your surprise survey solution was certainly worthy enough to blog about. I hope that you score plenteous loads of data and that the reporting on the back end is robust enough for you to get pretty granular with it.

In fact, please let me know if you need to borrow my sawtooth as I don' think that Keith's daisy chain will do you much good.


Last Sunday's (1/25) Spiritual Experience: Ye Must Become as Little Children

This one's straight out of my journal:

Sunday was an uplifting day. In the second hour (Doctrine and Covenants study), a sign-up sheet was passed around to see if anyone would be willing, if needed, to sub for Primary. And wouldn’t ya know it, a few minutes later we were asked to substitute! We were entrusted with the CTR 7’s (or in other words, the children who will be turning 7). It was a wonderful experience. I love how bright-eyed and excited the children are to learn and how much energy they have. They are such tender plants who only need to be nurtured properly and they will grow up in the light of truth and understanding. I can’t wait for my own little Maria, to teach her carefully and to wrap her in my arms!

(Note the Maria countdown on the right) =D

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lessons of Guidance from Nephi

*As an introductory disclaimer, I'm not sure that the actual Nephi was this ripped (or cartoonish), but I figured most of you would enjoy it.

I think I've mentioned before that I've been reading in a copy of the original Book of Mormon. Here are some thoughts that I had this morning:

Nephi Finds Food (See the highlighted portion)

Isn’t this a tremendous example of “Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given you, knock and it shall be opened unto you”? Nephi, in simple humility asks his father, “Where should I go to find food?” He is given, in my opinion, general guidance or instruction, “Go due east,” or perhaps, “Go to the mountain that is so many feet away,” and then he sought and as we read, he most certainly found. But what he found is so much more than simple sustenance for his family. In a very real manner, he found the path and way that all of us should also follow (as did the Son of Man), the path of faith, trust, and obedience, which lead him to promised provisions and survival. How often does the Lord give us the directions that we need but we simply disregard them, wandering in the mists of darkness and often toward the great and spacious building?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today's Spiritual Message: The Wheat and the Tares

Breathe easy, this post has nothing to do with fire and brimstone and everything to do with looking at other people in a positive light.

That's right, I'm talking about an aspect of the parable that has been commonly brushed over: give people a chance!
The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. . .
Have you ever judged someone to be a poisonous tare, only to find out later that he was a wholesome grain or vice versa? We often misjudge others and shout for fire and brimstone to be hewn down upon them when perhaps we, ourselves, are truly the guilty party or poisonous tare.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland recently (Tuesday, January 13, 11:00 AM) delivered a masterful devotional at BYU entitled, "Remember Lot's Wife." Amongst other inspiring words, he exhorted, "Let people repent! Let people grow! Believe that people can change and improve! Is that faith? Yes. Is that hope? Yes. Is it charity? Yes, above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried."

We often look for the worst in people, only to later realize how much potential for growth they actually have. Let us look for the silver linings in people more often and commit to set their seemingly blatant flaws aside.

My Prenatal Experience

Have any of you ever gone through the hardcore, six hour crash course to pregnancy? As of yesterday morning-afternoon, I have. Yes, the eyes on the ant to the left are also reticent of my own expressions yesterday.

To be candid, I don't remember 95% of what was said, but I do remember sobering up about pregnancy and how real it now is for us.

For the sake of young eyes and at my own risk of nausea, I'll spare you some of the more vivid details and just say that watching the informational videos on hand was, well, intense. That's right, men, labor and everything associated with it is not for the faint of heart.

Speaking of falling over, I guess I might actually have the opportunity to cut my daughter's umbilical cord. As we discussed that kind of scenario, I leaned over to my wife and asked if I should also bust out a bottle of champagne to christen the voyage. I'm not sure if I'll be mentally stable enough to cut the cord (F-Word, you remember the DUI video and the guy falling head-first into the wall?), but we'll just have to see.

To end the rambling, I'll conclude with a touching experience that I had near the end of our marathon instruction:
As we took a short tour of the maternity floor, we ended up looking into the nursery at all of the newbors (well, at least a few anyway) in their respective warming stations. One little child looked a tad underweight and was probably born premature. My first instinct was to (want to) pick the child up and make everything okay. It really made me melt to think that soon I'll have the opportunity to hold my own little girl in my arms.
Okay, men, you may now stop cocking your left eyebrow, and women you can hold off on the "awws." But seriously, all of the logistics aside, I'm getting super-excited for Maria to be here!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Standing Up for the Unpopular

While many are blogging there way to "change," allow me to stand up and say thank you to a man who does not deserve the public lashings he's received: George W. Bush.

Honestly, I don't want to hear about how he's the worst president ever, blah, blah, blah.

I'm usually a man of many words, but in this instance, I found an impressively written article that says it all.

So to be short in writing, read this to see what I also think and feel about President Bush.

Again, thank you for giving it your best, even if the "haters" malign you forever.

Bronchitis Ain't Cool

This one goes out to my man, Kspence, who has recently been diagnosed with an unfriendly dose of bronchitis. Seeing as he was writhing (or seething, take your pick) for the latest and greatest from the CA, I figured that this post would be fitting and that I'd dedicate it in his memory. (By the way, the image at the right is telling of my initial reactions this morning.)

I mean, for a guy who drinks over 80 oz.s of hard soft drinks a day, I'm amazed that he has any "health problems" at all!

Cman: I hope that you washed your hands after using his Kness' keyboard, I don't want to see you on the IR list as well.

But seriously, K-dawg, I wish you the best and a speedy recovery. I would recommend that you have JHarv mix you up some of his magical elixir: Theraflu mixed with Mountain Dew. I mean seriously, what else could do you any better than another stiff gulp of a 44 from the eMart?

Look on the bright side, K, at least this bout with the B. will probably keep you away from picking up that next pack of Marlboros . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is 25 My Magic Number?

"What the heck is this kid talking about?" you ask. No, I'm not talking about my upcoming birthday upon which I'll turn a quarter of a century.

I'm not talking about any kind of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, or even LeBron "King" James sort of gibberish either.

Yes, I'm talking about the number of law schools that I've applied to. "But you've already told us about all of this," you retort. Indeed I have, but in the past few days, I added the University of Connecticut and George Mason to my long and insanely complete list of schools I've queued.

"You never really explained what drove you mad enough to apply to such a nutrageous (which is, by the way, the CA's favorite candy bar at the moment) amount of law schools." In answer to your unspoken inquiry, I respond with the following: why not?

Yes, I (that is to say we) did have to throw a handsome sum of George Washingtons (the bills, not the school) to the wind, but I figure that if such a good natured gesture lands me at a Chicago or even a George Mason, it was money well spent.

Many years from now, I'll look back on this experience and chuckle. Yep, the meager amount of dough that I've divested myself of will be peanuts compared to even the most minor of legal positions. So in one sense, it was a very sound investment. In another, I'm just playing the numbers . . .

All of that said, still do keep your fingers crossed and your arms folded! While statistics is an abundant religion, I also need all the karma, prayers, and positive in-my-direction thinking I can get.


Today's Spiritual Message: Learning Through Trials

In today's elders quorum, we touched a little bit on the travails of the early saints and in particular, the brethren who went through intense adversity in their journey known as Zion's Camp. For a most likely LDS-biased synopsis, see the following:

For these men, they were eager to go to Missouri to take back the lands which had been wrongfully taken from them and to avenge themselves of other injustices. Surprisingly, the Lord declared that the time was not right and that the political end which they sought was not to be. “I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith” (D&C 105:19).

A trial of their faith! Many Saints had been mobbed, tortured, and killed. Homes had been ravaged, pillaged, and left desolate. As this is an incredible understatement, I can see why these men would have been eager to take back what was rightfully theirs.

Yet, in their journey, many of them faced hunger, disease, starvation, and even disenfranchisement. These many trials notwithstanding, later President of the Church Wilford Woodruf had the following to say:
We gained an experience that we never could have gained in any other way. We had the privilege of beholding the face of the Prophet, and we had the privilege of traveling a thousand miles with him, and seeing the workings of the Spirit of God with him, and the revelations of Jesus Christ unto him and the fulfillment of those revelations.
In the face of extreme adversity, we often feel to ask, as did the Prophet Joseph, "O God, awhere art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy bhiding place?" The Lord's response?
My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment; And then, if thou aendure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy bfoes.
In the next section, the Lord, after describing a long list of hypothetical ailments says the following:
. . . if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
To conclude, I know that Joseph Smith and the other brethren were given incredible adversity as a means of making them better. Nine out of the first twelve Apostles in this dispensation were members of Zion's Camp along with each of the initial Seventy.

As the Savior says, He has descended through all things, for our good. I know and testify that as we put our faith, trust, and hope in Him, we will be able to overcome all things. I testify that he was the Man that He said He was. I declare Him to be the Son of God and our only source of salvation from pain, sin, and fear.
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.
For more see this web page.

The CA is a Rockstar!!

At least to my unborn daughter. Okay, so maybe my wife putting headphones on her stomach and playing a long-winded clip of her husband yapping like a 90-year-old geriatric isn't exactly the stuff dreams are made of. However, did you know that your little one can begin to recognize your voice as early as 24-25 weeks? "So what's with the headphones?" you say.

Well, we're all about preventing as opposed to repairing. In other words, since Maria will be plenty used to hearing mom talk and sing (and goad), it's beneficial to get her used to her old man's tone of voice as well. Hopefully, by the time she's out of the oven, she will have warmed up to me enough to let me hold her for more than two minutes without screaming bloody murder. Recent fathers, you know what I'm talking about.

So in conclusion, sorry to throw you another bummer of a curve ball. But hey, at least this is a solution that any of you can implement (so long as you have at least a decent pair of headphones and some kind of recording device). Happy yakking!

Video Games: Bringing Spouses Together

Yes, most of you would probably assume that the wide, wide world of video games is ubiquitously used by men as clever escape from unpleasant confrontations such as in the image to the left.

However, for Yours Truly, it's as Deikembe Mutombo Mulombo Majumbo would put it, "Not in my house!" In other words, I use video games, not as an evasive maneuver, but as a means toward achieving Nirvana.

Honestly, how many men, single, dating, or happily married can legitimately claim to play video games with their significant other (I ain't talking about desperate teenage/college girls who will do anything to get a date) on a regular basis? Not many. This guy, on the other hand, has a wife who is sometimes more anxious to bust out the ole' Cube than he is!

As you embarked upon this intriguing blog post, you may have thought that I was going to submit a veritable remedy for all of your marital and feminine woes; sorry to burst your bubble. That's right, I'm basically blogging to gloat like the filthy villain that I am. I wish you merry gaming and may your significant other take as much pleasure in your second love as mine does . . .

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's with the Speed Racers?

Take a long, hard look at the cartoon above. Look familiar? Seriously, though. How many of you go to work, day after day, and see mirror images of this clown sack whiz by in their souped up Mazda 456s (or whatever), only to then realize that, gee whiz, there are still like 35 other cars in front of them!

Will there ever come an era when the light of day will seep into their speedy helemts to enlighten them about a concept we call "traffic volume"?

It seems like one of my favorite pastimes has turned out to be having one of these "Speed Racers" pass me by (or cut me off) and then for to meet up with him at a stop light only a few hundred yards ahead. Shucks for him.

Don't worry, "Speed," you'll get there!!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Tongue of Angels

In the spirit of of the Sabbath day (day of rest), I'd like to share a few thoughts that I had in my elders quorum (church meeting) this morning.

2 Nephi 32: 2-3 reads:
2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the btongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
A thought came to my mind. We often think of the words of Christ (or the tongue of angels) as specific good things that we should say. However, I've come to realize that this principle also applies to certain things that we shouldn't say. As Elder David A. Bednar (a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles) remarks in his talk, That We May Always Have His Spirit To Be With Us,
The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us.
Basically, the thought that I had is that part of speaking the words of Christ is also to not speak the words that He wouldn't. For example, He probably wouldn't say mean or hurtful things behind another person's back. But He would, however, say kind and uplifting things and not hold such words back.

Gmail Notifier Angst

Anyone who reads this post will probably know what an evangelist (vocally enthusiastic fan) I am of Gmail. For a while I really wanted to use Outlook for a few reasons, though. Mainly, I liked how I could have everything right in one area in Outlook and to be honest, Gmail is pretty much the poor man's (or the free version of) Outlook. More than anything, I think I liked the task functionality of Outlook. However, when Gmail recently released a tasks feature in its labs section, it made me think twice about Outlook and I ultimately decided to toss it out the window (more or less).

I mean really, about the only functionality that Outlook has other than the cool tasks that I use is a blue return font which is not really anything to write home about. Also, I couldn't stand Outlook's individualized email interface (as opposed to Gmail's conversation mode, which you Gmailers will have to confess is the best thing since sliced muffins). More than anything, Outlook usually gave me a ton of headaches, didn't work the way I wanted it too, and sucked up a boat load of system resources. So until I have 20 children and need Microsoft Exchange to look at people's schedules and schedule a room for a meeting, I'll be sticking with the Google interface. And by the time those 20 younglings are old enough to be running around, Microsoft will probably be out of business because it has refused to adapt to the web 2.0 world.

So to be short in writing, I've virtually abandoned Outlook.

As I should have mentioned earlier (because it's the point of this post) one of the reason's that I loved Outlook was thanks to it's new email notifier. However, I didn't like having to open Outlook just to get to it. Now I can use the Gmail notifier when I start up Windows.

We're finally to the meat of the post. When I got around to downloading the Gnotifier, I found, to my horror, that it wouldn't work! I frantically scrambled to find an answer but came up dry at each attempt. In my desperation this morning, I happened upon a thread (post) that gave me a ray of hope. It lead me to a Google sponsored help page which was immediately and very encouraging.

Unfortunately, the help Google gave didn't really work. It said to click on a yes button when it popped up and no such button appeared. Fortunately, I've tweaked the Windows registry on my lappy before, so using my quick goat thinking, I figured it out. I'll spare you the details of what I did unless you're really interested:

Gmail notifier fix

Happy closet techiness and best of luck to you all in your seemingly unfixable fixes!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yes, I'm Also Glad the Utes Won

No, seriously. You'll note that my title is the Cougar Abogado, which, if you haven't realized, is a blatant reference to my alumnus status with BYU. So why in the world would I root for the hated (okay, "hate is a powerful word," very disliked) UTES?

After grappling with this question in my own heart, I've come to a similar conclusion that the other true-blue faithful have: one of good ole, altruistic, self interest. That's right, kids. Utah's winning is actually good for BYU. Stop scratching your head and listen for a minute.

Everyone outside of Provo, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Fort Worth, and yes, Salt Lake City and all the rest, thinks that the stalwart Mountain West Conference is about as noteworthy as a kid selling lemonade in July. In other words, we're a bunch of "nobodies." Being labeled as a nobody means that our conference gets about a Las Vegas' chance of making the big time.

I will be the first to admit that I was blown away by Utah's rout (or at least impressive victory) over the impervious Tide. Maybe now the possibility of a playoff will be taken seriously (as if this were a new concept). Having the beloathed Utes fraternize with all the glory as my beloved Cougars choke in their most crucial moments throughout the regular and post season is the only bummer . . .

Hibernation Side Effects

So Christy and I are a little out of it these days. We were planning to visit the Provo temple last night and ended up switching that for tonight. After planning on it all day and driving the 20 or so minutes down there, we finally realized that . . . it's closed for the holidays. WOW. Haha. At least it was a funny experience. "Come what may and love it."

Opening Up

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions and at the behest of the Fletchword, I've decided to make this blog open to the wide scary world out there.

Hopefully, V-Mort will never find me here!

As the Fletchword would say, I doubt that more than two people (including this people) will ever read this blog, but hey, why not?

You can now set your Google Reader or various RSS feeders to this site and get updates on the fly. I know, the excitement is more than you can bare!

I figured that I don't really have anything on here that's privileged information . . . I guess that will just have to wait until I'm making my millions . . . Until then, enjoy the magic.

The Ministry of Angels

The Fletchword has encouraged me to post these thoughts I had from 1st Nephi. Enjoy.

  • We often expect to see amazing or unprecedented miracles in our lives when we are faced with difficulty. We look at the scriptures and we imagine up in our hearts that they are full of dragons and wizards, when they are often full of small and simple things. Nephi wanted his bands to be burst by the strength of the Lord; they were loosed. Many of us would want to have seen Laman and Lemuel and the rest of the rebels shaken or thrown to the earth; their hearts were softened by the one of the daughters of Ishmael and her mother. Elder Holland has said that in times of dire need, the Lord sends angels. Do we always recognize these divinely appointed messengers, whether they be mortal or immortal, seen or unseen? Do I give thanks to the Lord in all things or at least try to?
  • I have often thought that after Lehi followed the white-robed messenger for some time that he became lost, but this is simply not the case. Rather Lehi merely states the condition of the area that he found himself. He was in a dark in dreary waste. He then goes on to mention that he prayed to the Lord that he would have mercy on him. However, he does not elaborate extensively and to submit that the angel (messenger) left Lehi or lead him astray would, I think, simply be reading too much of our personal opinion into the text.
    • My personal opinion is that Lehi was following the angel when he realized that he is caught up in mortal frailties just like everyone else (a dark and dreary waste) and because of this, he had to plead with God for forgiveness, guidance, and direction. Is this any surprise? In my mind, it makes sense that as we follow heavenly messengers, we are unequivocally made aware of our current situation. This in no way implicates the messenger of failure or desertion; the case is, in fact, quite the contrary.

New Year's Excitement

Maybe it's just me, but I've never really been a New Year'sphile. Yes, I realize that a New Year has come and old things are made new. But what's the big deal? Doesn't this happen every year? Don't get me wrong, I'm down for wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and other miscellaneous yearly celebrations. I just don't get the huge buzz over a new year. Is it just another excuse for teeming masses to get sloshed? I hope not. Fletchword, your thoughts?

Friday, January 2, 2009


Yes, young padawans, Christy and I now have two years in the saddle and one Maria in the oven.

It's hard to believe.

To celebrate, I made a reservation at The Roof on the top of the JSMB in down town Salt Lake next to the temple. It was a gorgeous sight. Unfortunately, we didn't take a camera with us . . . But in case you'd ever want to try it out, here's their promo video. Geez, and they didn't even pay me for this!

The Roof Video (I tried to embed this bad boy but couldn't figure it out; I think that TR doesn't want anyone generating unforeseen income for it.)

I'll let your mind wander in regards to the food. Let's just say that it was sumptuous and call it good.

As we arrived at our table, Christy was greeted by a bouquet of flowers I ordered for her (seen below). Needless to say, she was smiling.

After our gourmet experience, we made our way back down among the commoners to see the lights around Temple Square and experience the crisp, chilly air. It was a night to be remembered, in deed.

I'll spare you the parking and getting lost after every details. Just smile, laugh and pretend that it was hilarious.

I feel so blessed and grateful to be married to the best woman in the world!

Here are the pictures I promised you.