Saturday, October 29, 2011

BYU v. TCU: Mistakes Were Made

I was really looking forward to last night's BYU/TCU game, as I considered the Horned Frogs the last serious opponent BYU would face this season, as well as the first serious opponent, since Riley Nelson took over at the helm.

In short, I'm bummed out BYU lost, impressed with some of its better moments, and still trying to wash the turnovers and mistakes out of my brain.

Riley Nelson.  Once again, I was super impressed with his grit and determination.  I was so impressed that, even though I wanted to jump off our balcony after his two desperation turnovers, I felt sorry for the guy, rather than disgusted.  Here's an example of that unerring determination I'm talking about:

How many quarterbacks will bust out a gutsy play like that and then high-five the line judge?  Full of win.  Next time, I just hope the high-five will come in celebration of an imminent victory, rather than a yippee, two-point conversion (when we're still down by double digits).

Special teams.  Wow.  Talk about a roller coaster evening.  I think we basically handed the game to TCU on special teams and field position (other than Falslev's punt return for a touchdown).  How is the defense expected to defend against a speedy TCU offense with just 30-40 yards between them and the end-zone?

Defense.  Speaking of the defense, I was impressed on the whole -- especially in the second half with how it kept stuffing TCU's offense when we had to make a stop -- and simply nauseous with some of the missed assignments that led to immediate scores.

Conclusion.  If I remember correctly, TCU got all or virtually all of its points under something like five minutes, total.  FIVE MINUTES!  Field position and missed assignments.  I loved how BYU battled back, in spite of what I believe was a 25-point deficit.

If Riley can learn to take a sack instead of creating a turnover, special teams can get the ball out of our side of the 50 on a punt, and if the defense can avoid touchdown-inducing mistakes, I'd call the team quite solid.  As things currently stand, who's next on the schedule?  The Idaho Vandals.  The who?  Is that a high school team?  Anyway, I guess we can look ahead to the bowl game against Army, Navy, or someone similar and a brighter season, next year (sigh) with better execution and greater success.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: What Our KJV Bible Cost

Sometimes, people assume that because members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons") accept scripture outside of the Bible, such as the Book of Mormon (a translated, ancient text) or modern revelation, that we disregard or disbelieve the Bible.

The fact is, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" (Articles of Faith 1:8).

Today, I started watching a three part documentary about the lives and martyrdom of those who gave so much so that you and I, or anyone who wishes, can have the word of God and read it for himself.  The presentation is called "Fires of Faith."

Here's a trailer.  I believe you can watch the full documentary, on demand, at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BYU Football 2011

Okay, this post represents my effort to keep a promise I made to a friend that I'd write on this subject.  Enjoy.

First few games:  I was very disturbed with the offense's inability to execute in the red zone.  Who cares if I can make long, sustained drives, if I peter out when it counts (putting points on the board)?  I really liked the defense's opportunism, particularly Van Noy's forced fumble in the Ole Miss game, returned for a TD, to basically win the game.  I'll simply forgo mentioning the UU game, other than to say I'll never show my face in SLC, again, for the next 30 years.  What I will say about the game is that it represented the story of the team's early-season mentality: great or okay one half, poor or awful the other.

Ah, sweet Van Noy delights, available at your local Lavell Edwards stadium or anywhere BYU plays a football game
Utah State comeback:  I almost lost it, with BYU down something like 10 points with only the 4th quarter to go against Utah State.  Seriously.  When's the last time the mighty Cougars lost to the Aggies at home? when Karl G. Maesar was BYU president?  I had been "most displeased" with Heaps' bittersweet performances and the offense's overall "apparent lack of progress."  Thankfully, as the F-Word so eloquently described, Samson, Sunshine, or just plain Riley, came out with his flowing locks streaming in the air, slashing through the Aggie defense and, eventually, leading the bleeding Cougars 96 yards for a, "Are you serious?!?" capstone, comeback drive.  I almost wept with joy.  That whole comeback was Beck-Harline in the endzone type of goodness, particularly the catch in the endzone goodness.  Full of win.  At a minimum, I felt and looked like Jean Luc Picard, as I celebrated that glorious (and relieving) victory.

Remember the Titans (as in the move)?
Since Utah State comeback:  BYU has since played San Jose State and Oregon State, emerging victorious in each contest.  I'll decline to comment on the games much, since I saw only recap articles, describing what happened.  On the other hand, from what I remember, the team has gashed open the yards with its offense, particularly the running game, and I look forward to seeing some serious scoring, when I witness my next game (hopefully, on Saturday).  

Regarding the team, in general, I believe I've read that the players are really excited with Nelson's grit, hard work, and determination.  Moreover, from what I saw of him in the Utah State game, I was, myself, singing his praises.  My questions are how long it will go on before he gets hurt (running the ball so much), and how will he fare against an excellent pass defense?

BYU Football independence:  I absolutely love it.  "[Y]e are a chosen generation, . . . a peculiar [football team]."  Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often seen as weird or, at least, different, and, frankly, that's our preference.  BYU's football independence symbolizes the fact that we stand for playing games on Saturdays, rather than Sundays and that the organization behind BYU football is much, much bigger (and more important to us) than the football team, and, dare I say, that BYU is willing to stand up for its Honor Code, rather than Ohio State its way through recruitment challenges.  In fact, many people have developed an interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simply because of BYU's football team, and, in my mind, that interest is worth much more than any number of national championships or fiscal riches flowing into the university.  D&C 18:10.

Would it surprise you if the term "Brothers," here, has at least a dual meaning?
So, could BYU rake in more cash with the Big 12 or some other hoity toity conference?  Absolutely.  Would BYU be guaranteed to play better teams and have a stronger schedule?  Hands down.  Would BYU-faithful be able to watch (or re-watch) most or every game?  I strongly doubt it.  Would the highfalutin conference give BYU guff about refusing to play on Sundays (and maybe adherence to its Honor Code)?  I think so.  In short, while I'd love to rise and shout about more bing in BYU's pockets, I'm happier than a clam, just to see the team gut it out as a peculiar team, a band of brothers.  For more on this subject, I highly recommend the article I linked to, above.

Okay.  I have shared my thoughts.  Rise and shout.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

HAPPY 500TH POST! Today's Spiritual Message: Things as They Really Are

"Time flies on wings of lightning, we cannot call it back."  I've written on this subject a few times and it's still something I greatly struggle with -- and I lived two years on a rigid schedule, absent TV, email, friends, dating etc., waking up early and going to bed by 10:30.

As I imagine some of you might also be having similar struggles with prioritizing your time, I'm confident you'll enjoy this brief video, incorporating words from Elder David A. Bednar, as well as the full video of Elder Ian S. Ardern's recent general conference talk, A Time to Prepare.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SEO & The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On a daily basis, I try to follow the Savior's admonition to, "Search the scriptures" (John 5:39).  Recently, I've coupled my study of the Book of Mormon with study of the New Testament.  In supplementing my reading, I often use study guides, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they incorporate explanations and insights shared by modern prophets and apostles.

This morning, when I went to pull up the pdf URL of the New Testament manual I use, I accidentally ended up on  (Using Chrome, I can search Google straight from my address bar.)  Apparently, Chrome thought I had typed in New Testament as a Google search.  What was the second result for New Testament (coming only after the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia)?

Try Googling "New Testament" and see what you find.
Curious, I did a brief search on the subject of the LDS Church and SEO, and I found this article from Daily Mail in the UK.  It turns out there are a number of Google searches that will yield a page from the Church in the top ten results, including friend, ensign (which comes in at #1), new era, old testament, etc.

Maybe the F-Word can enlighten us with a conspiracy theory discussion, here.

In the view of many Latter-day Saints, including myself, this result will hardly be surprising, as we were commanded by the Savior to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19-20).

Using the Internet as a tool to spread the glorious message that the Jesus is the Christ, and that He has restored His Church on the earth, today, is a method frequently encouraged by the Master's prophets and apostles.  Messages from Elder M. Russell Ballard and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf are just two examples that come to mind.  Said President Uchtdorf, "My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to 'open [your] mouths' (D&C 60:2) might today include 'use your hands' to blog and text message the gospel to all the world!"

Indeed, I firmly believe the principal reason the Lord has inspired men to create modern marvels such as the Internet and social media is to spread His message that His Church is on the earth, again, today, and "that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake"  (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, quoting a challenge from Ralph Waldo Emmerson to Harvard Divinity School students in 1838).

I add my witness, once again, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He has restored His Church to the earth, again, today, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  While some might call this declaration "bold" and feel disconcerted to hear it, many were also taken aback when the Savior, Himself, proclaimed His own divinity (see John 6:25-62, particularly 60-62).

Rather than take my word that these things are true, I invite you to visit, search, ponder, and ask our Heavenly Father for yourself.  I promise you that if you will "ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [the Eternal Father] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things" (see Moroni 10:3-5, which refers specifically to the Book of Mormon).

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Feature(s) Coming to Google Docs?

Okay, now that I'm fresh off some conspiracy theory reading from the F-Word, I want to do some hypothesizing of my own:  Something new might be coming to Google Docs, involving Google+.

How do I know, you ask?  Well, have a look.

In Docs, Drawings, and Spreadsheets, the notification count and share button are each conspicuously absent.  I checked this across three machines (HP, iMac, and chromebook), three OSes (Windows 7, Snow Leopard, and Chrome OS), three Chrome versions (canary, mac dev, and cros dev), and three separate Google accounts.  All three show the same behavior in docs, at least -- I have yet to check the others on all three and will let any adventuresome reader take up the call.

Is this a bug or something bigger?  I hope the latter.

What do I prognosticate?  In the absence of a bug, I assume this will be something like Google Maps rolled out, where we click on the share button to share the doc, drawing, or spreadsheet we're currently working on with our friends/circles.

What do you think?  Bug, feature, or conspiracy theory?  (I'll leave the Illuminati out of this one; I've already got enough to worry about, now that I know the truth about DIA.)

(Yesterday's) Spiritual Message: What Did Heavenly Father's Prophets and Apostles Say, Last Week?

Last week, I mentioned that prophets and apostles, called of God (our Heavenly Father), would be speaking to all the world.

Here is one of the messages the chief prophet and apostle (the equivalent of a modern Peter, Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc.), President Thomas S. Monson, shared with us all, entitled Stand in Holy Places:

In addition to President Monson, the Church is also guided and directed by other prophets and apostles (15, including President Monson) and seventys, as described by Paul in Ephesians 4:11-14 and called by the Savior, Himself, as recorded in Luke 10:1 (seventys) and Luke 6:12-13 (apostles).  An overview of who the principal leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are can be found here.

The messages given by all the prophets, apostles, seventys, and other Church leaders can be read, listened to, watched, and downloaded, here.

As always, I'd love to answer any questions, or you can certainly visit and search for yourself.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(Very) Basic Image Editor Lands in Chrome OS 0.16.1122.0

Some of us wanted it (at least I did) and the Chrome OS team supplied it:  A basic image editor.  Sadly, for me, it's one feature short of the main feature I cared about:  Blur/smudge.  Ah, well, at least it has crop.

Really, though, is this some secret plot for me to keep using Picnik, even though I much prefer image editors like Awesome Screenshot or Aviary Image Editor?  Sigh.

Also new in this build:  The Wi-Fi icon now has lines on it to more clearly delineate current signal strength, I assume (I actually suggested this a while back and am less thrilled with it, in practice); the plus tab button is now an inchoate + button . . . once I hover my mouse over the empty diamond, the + comes to life!  I can appreciate the hip GUI-ness of it, and I can also see some folks (especially those over 50) scratching their heads about where the plus tab button is.

This is the extent of what I, and at least WReithmeyer, have noticed that I consider worth mentioning.

What hidden goodies have you guys noticed that you'd like to add to the pile of fun? 

Click the Gallery button and . . . 
Now we can auto-fix, crop, brighten, rotate, or undo to our heart's content (or upload to Picasa, via Share button).
Maybe blur/smudge will arrive by Christmas -- sorry, Winter Solstace.
P.S.  Gotta love getting the green, your-update-is-ready icon (especially for an OCD update freak, like myself).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

The Lord's prophets and apostles speak, today at 12pm and 4pm eastern.  I invite you to watch and listen: