Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Receiving comfort at Christmas

Thinking of the beauty and love inherent in the Christmas season, imagine what it would feel like for your spouse to tell you, a day or two before Christmas, he or she had cheated on you and wanted a divorce.  Next, imagine how this would impact your two or three children.  Now, I invite you to watch this short video and witness what happened to a woman going through that very circumstance.  I'm confident you'll be touched.

I know Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of mankind.  He can heal and comfort anyone who stands in need of comfort, who reaches out to Him.  God bless you, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Cougars Disembowel the Aztecs

Seriously.  Three words for you:  KYLE VAN NOY.

Photo credit to the F-Word and wherever he scored this; apologies to Adam Sandler.

I also suggest you read this enlightening (and somewhat related) post by the F-Word on domesticated cat viciousness, as well as the BYU website bowl game recap.

Finally, I insist you read the F-Word's review and analysis of the game.  It might fail to win him any points at home, yet I relished nearly every word.

Ahh.  I'm so proud of my namesake Cougars, today.  (Even if the offense was awful.)  RISE AND SHOUT!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Active Chrome Extensions with Keyboard Shortcuts

This tip is thanks to François Beaufort.

If you're like me, you love just about all things keyboard shortcut.  I present you with customizable Chrome extension shortcuts!

Go to chrome://extensions, and find the "Configure commands" link at the very bottom of the page.  (By the way, I think the shortcuts must start with Ctrl+ or Alt+.)


Use your Chrome extensions with a keyboard shortcut of your choice.

I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Obvious (Once Learned) Gmail Secret: Quick Quotes

Have you ever wanted to (quickly) quote only a select portion of an email to include with a response in Gmail?

Well, simply select the desired text and then click "reply" or, if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled, press r.


It is so choice.

Via Gizmodo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is public interest in Chromebooks taking off?

If standalone 2012 October and November Google search data for "Chromebook" are any indication, Chromebooks might be on their way up.

On the other hand, if comparisons with "macbook" and "windows 8" are any indication, they have a long way to go . . .

Cross-posted from my Google+ account.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gmail/Drive/Google Search Field Test: JUST DO IT!

For all you CA readers who love Gmail and Google search, you will love, love, love the Gmail Search Field Trial.

Put simply, the forthcoming search change allows users to seamlessly search for contacts, specific emails, Google+ posts, and files from Drive, all in the beautiful blink of an eye, across Gmail and, at least, Google Search.

Seriously.  Go sign up for it.  Right now:  https://www.google.com/experimental/gmailfieldtrial  (You can thank me later.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Did Romney Under-perform McCain? Blame CA/NY

Part of this year's post-presidential election conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney blew it because he did worse than John McCain.  Let's consider that conclusion.

Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 6.jpgAs of November 14, 2012, Mitt Romney received 58,937,514 votes nationwide for the presidential election (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Presidential_election_(United_States)), compared with John McCain's 59,934,814 in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008).  How could this possibly happen when everything was expected to look up for Republicans?  It's actually quite simple:  California and New York.

Romney received 1,902,301 fewer votes than McCain in CA/NY combined, yet he received 905,001 more votes, nationwide.  He did 24.50% worse in CA/NY combined and did 1.73% better nationwide.  Hmmm . . .

John McCain official portrait with alternative background.jpgHow did the President do against himself?  He received a whopping 7,149,999 fewer votes nationwide or 10.29% off his 2008 landslide.  Excluding CA/NY, he did 6.24% worse.  In other words, President Obama did almost ten times worse against himself than Romney did against McCain (10.29% decrease vs. 1.66% decrease).  Excluding CA/NY, President Obama did about eight times worse against himself than Romney did against McCain (6.24% decrease vs. 1.73% increase).

See my numbers, here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApAMwTvwL4rWdEVYLTV1TlB6SEpBQUMtLVRjTHdEQ1E#gid=0

As the title indicates, blame CA/NY for Romney's slide in his vote total.  After all, how many people really expected him to carry either state?

As for other states, the only one I've found where Romney actually under-performed McCain is, I am sad and embarrassed to admit, Ohio.  The humanity!!  Why did Romney lose Ohio?  See here:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/in-ohio-the-gop-puzzles-over-missing-white-voters/article/2513293

Why did Romney lose the election?  Per Michael Medved, President Obama's nuclear warfare (his "dirty little secret"):  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/12/obama-s-dirty-little-secret-to-winning-the-2012-presidential-election.html

I got the idea for the CA/NY/nation difference from http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/the_real_lesson_of_the_election.html

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Reaction to the Democrats' Big Election Night: Trying to Stay Positive

Wow.  I am in shock and bewilderment the President was re-elected and the Senate retained for Democrats (I think they may have even gained a seat or two).  I greatly fear the looming consequences of Obamacare, a sputtering economy, reduced religious liberty, the fiscal cliff, and additional calamity, all descending ominously upon the greatest nation on earth.

I thought the voting electorate would be about D+0 or even R+1.  Looks like Gallup and Rasmussen both missed the mark, or perhaps the Obama turnout machine simply revved up the engine beyond belief.

While I am filled with anxiety about the future of our country for the next four years and even after (can Obamacare and the government takeover of health care ever be reversed, now?), I take solace in knowing I determine how happy I will be.

In my view, our country is going down a very dark and disastrous path.  Perhaps the ultimate outcome is more and more people will be forced to choose between God and Mammon.  Again, my level of happiness and optimism is up to me.  Said President Thomas S. Monson, "Your future is as bright as your faith."

You might want to watch this message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on resolutions and regrets, below.  Here is a brief excerpt:

"The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness.

"We do matter. We determine our happiness.

"You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness . . .

"Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances."

May we do so, and may God bless the United States!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

As Pres. Obama's "leads" crumble, the "undertow" election outcome strengthens

I recently read and realized that certain elections with big margins of victory are "wave" elections (obvious) and others are "undertow" elections (surprising and beneath the surface).

The Quinnipiac/CBS/NYT poll of FL/OH/VA shows Pres. Obama's leads vanishing (except in OH):  FL - 10/28: O+1, 9/26: O+9; OH - 10/28: O+5, 10/22: O+5; VA - 10/28: O+2, 10/11: O+5

These numbers are even more significant when we take into consideration their current party ID samples and compare them with 2008/2010 CNN exit polls:  
FL - Now: D+7, '08: D+3, '10: Even
OH - Now: D+8; '08: D+8, '10: R+1
VA - Now: D+8, '08: D+6, '10: N/A (no governor/senate election)

So let me get this straight, FL/VA will increase their 2012 Democratic voter turnout advantage by 4/2 in 2008.  Seriously?  And OH will remain D+8, even though it was R+1 in 2010?

Thus, the undertow narrative:  The current poll shows the President "leading" with Democrat/Republican turnout models that are the same or BETTER for him than 2008.  Wow.  In other words, if FL/VA had the same partisan D/R turnout as 2008 and ignoring independents (which Romney leads the poll in each state by 5 points or more -- 21 in VA!), the President would be losing FL by 3, VA would be tied, and OH would remain the same.  

Here's the beneath-the-surface problem for the President.  Sure, he's leading in the top-line, head-to-head numbers, yet no one outside liberal la-la land (or maybe even there) believes he will increase his base's 2008 turnout advantage in FL/VA or maintain it in OH.

How do we know the D+ turnout advantage will be lower in 2012 than 2008?  First of all, common sense:  In 2010, the D+ turnout advantage in FL/OH flipped 3/9 points towards Republicans.  Will it really flip back to Democrats 7/9 in 2012?  I think someone would have to live in a Doc Brown alternate universe to accept such a return (or improvement), in today's political climate.  Long gone is candidate Hope and Change and many O 2008 supporters have switched their allegiance or will be staying home in 2012.

What's the empirical evidence or hard data for this 2008/2012 shift?  Both Gallup and Rasmussen predict a Republican voter turnout advantage in 2012.  http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/swingometer-gallup-party-id-figures-predict-solid-romney-win/  Yet, the media fails to peek behind the curtians.  Skim this CNN update, e.g., breaking down our current Quinn/CBS/NYT polls:  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/31/polls-close-contests-in-ohio-florida-and-virginia/  ANY mention of Democrat oversampling?  "Oversampling?  What's that?" wonders CNN.

Here's where the undertow scenario emerges:  The President's leads in the Quinn/CBS/NYT poll all cling to an other-world-assumption that he will crush Republican enthusiasm with a huge Democrat turnout advantage, a la 2008 or better.  The media, liberal pundits, and liberals all believe (or ignore or are ignorant of) it, while Independents (who are strongly backing Romney) and invigorated/galvanized Republicans know otherwise.  Sure, the election's "in the bag" for President Attack and Blame, yet it might come as a shock to liberals and the media when he's sucked under the 2012 Republican current and tossed out on November 6.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/10/30/are_we_looking_at_an_undertow_election.html (where I got the undertow anlogy)

[Further undertow thoughts:  *MI* is only +3 Obama right now (he won MI by 16 in 2008!) http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/mi/michigan_romney_vs_obama-1811.html, with MN and PA(!) both in play, as well.  Republicans are killing it with absentee ballots over 2008 in OH with a 58% reduction of Democrat advantage:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvEOdIaw0fPNdHVOZnFENDdDYVFTRi1UMlgxQ0F4OVE#gid=0.  OH usually has less D+ turnout than the country and many OH "already voted" voters may actually be, cough, lying:  http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331593/why-romney-doesnt-need-poll-lead-ohio-josh-jordan  http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331854/national-polls-vs-ohio-polls-which-are-right-josh-jordan  Finally, why I, also, believe Pres. Obama is toast:  http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/why-i-think-obama-is-toast/]

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Our Eternal Life

Who am I?  Why am I here on earth?  Where did I come from?  Where will I go when I die?

If you've ever asked these questions, I invite you to find answers in the video, below.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Prophets and Apostles

There are prophets and apostles, again, on the earth, today.  Think of it:  Men like Moses, Noah, and Abraham.

I invite you to learn what they taught last Saturday and Sunday at the semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Read, watch, listen to, or download their messages at gc.lds.org.

Here is what the chief prophet and apostle, President of the Church Thomas S. Monson had to say, during his principal message (almost like a keynote):

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gmail Update: Search Inside Attachments

Via Google Operating System

If you're like me, you love updates to Gmail and you love Gmail's search capability.

Well, thanks to Alex Chitu over at GOS, I learned Gmail's search powers have been given some awesome sauce:  As the title indicates, users can now search inside the text of their attachments.

Witness the two screenshots from Alex, below.  The selected email lacks a subject header and any body text, yet Gmail found the text from inside a .ppt file, using the search terms.

You can narrow your search down by using has:attachment and including the file type (pdf, doc, xls, etc.) with filename:[filetype].

Enjoy!  Thanks, Alex!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yesterday's Spiritual Message: Patterns of Light: How to know what's right

How can we know how to do what's right?  Many people believe they have a conscience or some type of internal guidance system.  We do, in fact, have a divine influence within all of us, helping us discern right from wrong.  It's called the Spirit (or light) of Christ:

"For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God" (Moroni 7:16).

For more, I encourage you to watch this video on light, in general, and the light of Christ, in particular.  I'm confident you'll really enjoy it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

And It Came to Pass: Our Daughter Reads the Scriptures

"It wasn't really so, but it seemed to me[!]"

We do our best to read from the scriptures, as a family, on a regular basis.  The other day, our daughter convened the family, said a prayer, picked up the Book of Mormon, and started to say, "And it came to pass . . . mumble, mumble, mumble . . . And it came to pass, mumble, mumble, mumble."

And it came to pass!
If the Book of Mormon is new to you, it's a volume of ancient scripture from the Americas, and it contains the phrase, "And it came to pass" around 1,070 times, so I think you can see why our daughter might recall the phrase.

We were very tickled she remembered the phrase and, more importantly to us, we were thrilled she wanted to read and she remembered something from what we had read.

I'm intrigued to note one Egyptian scholar, an expert in Semitic languages, cited the frequent use of the phrase "and it came to pass" as evidence "the Book of Mormon was indeed a translation of 'the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.'"  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/in-tune-with-the-music-of-faith?lang=eng

I'll close with a similar story I heard while serving as a missionary in Peru, seven years ago:

"Many years ago, when our oldest children were six, four, and two, my wife and I sprang a pop quiz on them. We had been reading daily as a family from the Book of Mormon.

"'Who was the man,' my wife inquired, 'who went into the forests to hunt, but, instead, prayed all day and into the night?'

"After a few moments of silence, she ventured to help: 'His name starts with an E … e … e … e … e.'

"From the corner of the room, our two-year-old called out, 'Nos!'

"This child was the one who was playing in the corner—the one that we had thought was too little to understand."


I'm convinced our children are always old enough for us to start reading the scriptures with them.  I encourage us all to continue reading with them or make a commitment to start.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I shook Mitt Romney's hand, today: He's real

Crossposted from my Google+ account.

Yes, it's true.  (Although, I confess he could have been a governator-style nanomorph sent back by Skynet.)  I was impressed with how authentic and genuine he was, in contrast with what many pundits contend.

I enjoyed this pleasure because my family and I were fortunate enough to attend a Romney rally, this morning, in Cincinnati, thanks to a head's up from some friends of ours.  The attendance was so high, we were diverted into an overflow room in the basement of the museum (formerly a train station).  Over 3,000 attended.  Our daughter was puzzled what happened to her favorite haunt.  I imagine she must have felt like Cedric Diggery when he saw the Quidditch pitch turned into a Tri-Wizard tournament maze:  What 'ave they done to it!  She'll understand, some day.  :)

It was Mitt's first political stop, since being nominated at the convention.  (He made his first anything stop after the convention to visit the hurricane Isaac victims, who are still awaiting any visit from the current President . . .)  W00t, Cincinnati!

Mitt said something like our basement audience was the most enthusiastic overflow crowd he'd ever seen.  I assume we were at least up there!

I love what his wife Ann said about winning Ohio:  If each supporter can find only one discouraged friend who voted for President Obama in 2008, and have that friend vote for Mitt in 2008, we will win Ohio.

For the sake of our country, I hope you'll join me in making that effort.  Moreover, please be sure to support Josh Mandel for OH senate and Republicans everywhere!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Reclaimed -- Letting Go of Our Old Garbage

How often do you want to dig up your own or others' spiritual garbage?  What a discouraging prospect, when the Savior of us all gave His life and "[bled] from every pore" to blot out our transgressions and make us clean (see Doctrine & Covenants 19:18 and Mosiah 3:7).

Let's give up our old garbage and accept the Savior's atoning sacrifice, so we can be "purified even as he is pure" (see Moroni 7:48).

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Majorily Minor Chrome Discovery: Use "Tab" to Navigate Chrome's Omnibox Results

For a long time, I whined and moped about how in Firefox, I could tab down from the address bar to various search results, while in Chrome I had to use the arrow keys to navigate between them.  I imagine most of you will now grasp the meaning behind this post's title.

Well, fellow keyboard shortcut geeks, rejoice because we can now use "Tab" to navigate omnibox results!

As Salieri would say, "Finally! Such an immense joy. Diletto straordinario!"
Yep, go ahead and give it a whirl.  You might think it would conflict with tab-to-search, yet they exist in perfect keyboard shortcut harmony.  Ah, the world is saved.  The galaxy is at peace.  Samus may now relax until the next Metroid installment.

By the way, if you seldom visit my Google+ lair, you might enjoy an earlier post about an extension for searching only your bookmarks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

War in the Book of Mormon

Recently, I've been reading from the "war chapters," found in the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon.

Read about Moroni and the "title of liberty" he raised:
"In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children"
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we witness that "[the Book of Mormon] does not merely claim to be a moral treatise or theological commentary or collection of insightful writings. It claims to be the word of God—every sentence, every verse, every page."

If every part of this book claims to be the word of God, why is there so much discussion of war, in general and, occasionally, certain wars, in particular?  I did some research, this morning, and found an article from Richard Dilworth Rust, addressing the topic.  Here is an excerpt:
Who will fight the battles for the "true worshipers of Christ"? Ultimately, God: "I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever" (2 Nephi 29:14).
What, then, does the Book of Mormon do concerning this latter-day warfare? It shows the fundamental nature of the battle and gives hope to the Lord's people. With accounts of the victories of small minorities against overwhelming odds (often with no lives of the righteous being lost) or of escapes from their enemies (as with the people of Lehi, Nephi, Mosiah, Alma the elder, and Limhi), it confirms the truth . . ., "God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape."
I strongly suggest you read the full article (pretty quick read, maybe 5-10 minutes). I think you'll really enjoy it.

Let me add some likely duplicative insights of my own:  Rarely does the Book of Mormon give a blow-by-blow description of things such as army formations or granular tactics in battles or wars.  Instead, they are almost always spoken of in generalities and illustrate the power of God in delivering His people.  As the book's first prophet-writer explained of his own purpose in writing, "I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."  1 Nephi 1:20.  I believe the prophet-historian-abridger Mormon and other writers often illustrate this concept and promise in the Book of Mormon through examples of war.

Let me conclude by adding my witness that the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be.  It is the word of God, "every sentence, every verse, every page."  I know this is true because I have received confirmation of it from the quiet assurances of the Holy Spirit, and so can all who sincerely ask.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Taking Offense

"Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"  Matthew 18:7.

This message is for me, as much as it is for anyone who reads this.

This morning, I read the following from the Book of Mormon student manual, pg. 259, Alma 60:19–36. Moroni’s Letter to Pahoran:

Pahoran could have chosen to be offended by the letters sent by Moroni, but he did not. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the fact that we, like Pahoran, can choose to not be offended:

Elder David A. Bednar
“When we believe or say that we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. . . . 

“Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them’ (Psalm 119:165). . . . 

“. . . As described by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, the Church is not ‘a well-provisioned rest home for the already perfected’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1982, 57; or Ensign, May 1982, 38). Rather, the Church is a learning laboratory and a workshop in which we gain experience as we practice on each other in the ongoing process of ‘perfecting the Saints.’ 

“Elder Maxwell also insightfully explained that in this latter-day learning laboratory known as the restored Church, the members constitute the ‘clinical material’ (see ‘Jesus, the Perfect Mentor,’ Ensign, Feb. 2001, 13) that is essential for growth and development. . . . 

“You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. However, we do determine how we will act. Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2006, 95–97; or Ensign, Nov. 2006, 90–91).

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.  I think you will also love this talk by Elder Neil L. Andersen, given in October 2010.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yesterday's Spiritual Message: Staying in Bounds

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."  John 15:4.

In a world striving to convince itself there is no moral right or wrong, the Savior Jesus Christ invites us all to live a virtuous life, like His, and requires those who represent Him as missionaries to be clean.


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Chrome Wrench Icon Morphs Into Hot Dogs

For those of you (fellow) Chrome fanatics, I think you'll appreciate a brief dip back into Chromeland from me.

You may already be aware the Chrome team is considering (or planning?) to change the menu/wrench icon into a hot-dogs-looking graphic.  Observe the difference, from my Canary and stable builds:

Maybe hot dogs simply taste better than monkey wrenches.

Maybe the wrench would taste better with some Franch fries, dressing, bread, or perhaps, a bottle of Peru.

What do you think?  Would you rather look for/click on hot dogs or a wrench?  I can see the concern of how the lines would help people think of a menu, while the wrench would invite inappropriate thoughts of tinkering and settings.

ChromeStory reader Gil points out that in giving tech support to family members, referencing the wrench is real a time saver.  On the other hand, what about those poor type-writer users who think clicking on the wrench will, at a minimum, blow up the computer, if not all of humanity and they're too afraid to ask for help?

What say ye?  "Long Live the Wrench!" or "Vive La Différence!"?  Please sound off.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin

Cross-posted from my Google+ account.

We ran into some crazy lines at Chick-fil-A, today, and we loved it.  (Loved the food, too.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

What I Said Was, "We Need to Stand Behind Them"

Cross-posted from my Google+ account.

Riiiiiight.  In other words, just pretend I didn't say, "[they] didn't build that" or ever so subtly imply they're not paying enough in taxes (their "fair share") or that their success came from Government infrastructure (oh, and let's ignore they paid for that infrastructure, anyway).

Here's the full and glorious context of how he's "always struck" at the egotism of people who take credit for their own, hard-earned success (again, this coming from the world's greatest orator and Nobel Peace Prize winner who won because he wasn't Bush):

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

Yep, there's the real ticket to American economic success:  Re-elect the One, have small business owners team up with government bureaucrats to help them put out any economic fires they have or may encounter and make sure these business owners pay their fair share (read: more) in taxes (because they're not paying enough for those roads, bureaucrats, or firefighters).

Oh yeah, what's another quote of President Obama recently "taken out of context" about American business/the economy?  "We tried our plan and it worked."  (Except for that whole promise about keeping unemployment under 8% and the country struggling through its worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.)  I want to hear him argue this quote was taken out of context and that his plan didn't work -- at least we'd be getting somewhere.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: In re Aurora Shootings - Laws and Shaping Behavior

In the aftermath of a terrible act of evil and a great tragedy in my native state, I feel inclined to share a few thoughts.  First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of this despicable atrocity.  I am inspired by the bravery displayed by a few and deeply saddened at the loss and suffering of so many.

Many years ago, Enoch the prophet witnessed God weeping over the earth and inquired,
How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
Moses 7:29. 32-33.  I know Heavenly Father must weep over the great evils constantly manifest in the world, today.

For some, it took only hours or, perhaps, even minutes, after the Aurora chaos to shout it's time for the country and its elected officials to finally get tough with gun laws!  We heard a similar cry and laws were passed in the wake of the 2008 housing and financial meltdown, yet we still see dishonesty and corruption in those sectors.  I invite you to consider the following insights from Elder D. Todd Christofferson in October 2009 on the subject of using laws to shape and control behavior:

"'Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.'

". . . Reactions [to the financial meltdown] have focused on enacting more and stronger regulation. Perhaps that may dissuade some from unprincipled conduct, but others will simply get more creative in their circumvention.  There could never be enough rules so finely crafted as to anticipate and cover every situation, and even if there were, enforcement would be impossibly expensive and burdensome. This approach leads to diminished freedom for everyone. In the memorable phrase of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, 'We would not accept the yoke of Christ; so now we must tremble at the yoke of Caesar.'

"In the end, it is only an internal moral compass in each individual that can effectively deal with the root causes as well as the symptoms of societal decay. Societies will struggle in vain to establish the common good until sin is denounced as sin and moral discipline takes its place in the pantheon of civic virtues.

"Moral discipline is learned at home. While we cannot control what others may or may not do, the Latter-day Saints can certainly stand with those who demonstrate virtue in their own lives and inculcate virtue in the rising generation."

Two final quotes, in parting:  “The gospel of Jesus Christ provides answers and solutions to all of the world’s problems," and, "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior."  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/10/be-prepared-be-ye-strong-from-henceforth?lang=eng and http://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/little-children?lang=eng

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chrome OS Keyboard Shortcut: Select Screen Shot Region

Okay, I'm about one year late to the party on this one, apparently, as noted by the date from François' post from last August.

In case you missed it, I hope you enjoy the shortcut, via François Beaufort:

"<Ctrl> + <Shift> + <Maximize> [the key to the left of the dim screen key] = Take a screenshot of the selected region."

Selected range screenshot of my Apps/place usually known as the desktop.
I'm all in favor of cutting out extra steps, and selecting a particular range of a screen shot was certainly one of them.  Provecho.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Yesterday's Spiritual Message: If You're Reading This

Belated Happy Fourth of July!

On the Fourth, my family and I wanted to get into the patriotic feeling of the day, and we did, in part, by watching this video dedicated to soldiers who have fallen in war, fighting for our country.

As a husband and father, this really tugged and tugs at my heart strings.

I realize there's much more to America than simply those who have fought for it.  Yet, without the ultimate sacrifice given by so many, I doubt whether we would have the great land we have, today.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Am Wolf: Bar Study & Its Incidental Consequences

Recently, I feel like the wolf in this clip:


About all I understand anymore is the language of "stick it to the bar!"  Although, I suppose the clip would be more analogous if the fox and company found the wolf reading in the musty dungeon of a law school library . . .

Thanks to the F-Word for posting this video on his blog, where I first saw it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Memorial Day Heroes

Some people feel uncomfortable calling our fallen soldiers "heroes."

I am very comfortable calling them hereos, and, on this special day in their remembrance, I want to say, "Thank you."  Thank you for paying the ultimate price, so we can live a better, fuller life in the greatest nation on earth.

Thank you.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Our Great God": Simple Evidences of the Book of Mormon's Authenticity

Update:  I came across another insight this morning that I think you'll enjoy.  In the Book of Mormon, the phrase "redeeming love" is used only three times.  In every instance, it refers to the "song" of redeeming love or "singing" redeeming love and is spoken of by two contemporaries, Alma and Ammon.  Again, what remarkable, sophisticated, and unique character and background development for a mere (yet incredibly scheming and conniving(?)) farm boy!  [end update]

Some people disregard the Book of Mormon because they insist upon seeing the gold plates from which it was translated.  In reality, 11 people did see the plates and gave their names as a witness to the world that they saw them.  Of these witness, though many were excommunicated and some became very hostile to Joseph Smith, none of them ever denied what they saw.

As I have read and pondered the Book of Mormon, again and again and prayed to know its truthfulness, I have relished one challenge in particular:  On every page, the reader is asked to question whether Joseph Smith merely made up what's on the page or whether he actually translated it through the power and authority of God.

The other day, I came across such an instance I'd like to share with you:  Character development.

The Prophet Joseph Smith received little more formal education than an elementary school student, or perhaps even less.  In spite of this deficiency, he translated a work of 531 pages via dictation in only sixty-five to seventy-five days(!) (How Long Did It Take to Translate the Book of Mormon?).

Setting aside the Book of Mormon's length, the sincere reader is invited to consider its content, which brings us to the thrust of this post:  Unique individuals have unique manners of speaking.  Some speak with an accent or use characteristic words or phrases.  The other day, I came across the latter while reading in Alma 24.

In this chapter, a people who had violently opposed another (the Lamanites opposing the Nephites) for many years, accepted the doctrine of Christ and repented of their sins.  As part of their sincere repentance, they decided to physically bury their weapons of war, deep in the earth, as a witness of their conversion and sincerity (illustrated below).

The king of this group, in encouraging his people to bury their weapons, gave an uplifting sermon, and used the unique phrase "great God" five times in only eight verses.  I thought about how often I'd read that phrase in the Book of Mormon and performed a search of "great god" to check.  The search returned only five hits in all 531 pages of the Book of Mormon -- all five instances spoken by this same king, in a span of eight verses.

I was astounded.  I assumed this would be a more common phrase in a book that uses the word "God" in something around 1,300 verses.  What an ingenious touch from a mere farm boy!  Right?

The Lamanites burying their weapons of war as a witness of their repentance.
I leave you with another challenge, given by the late Hugh B. Brown:
I believe the Prophet Joseph Smith was a prophet because he did many superhuman things. One was translating the Book of Mormon. Some people will not agree, but I submit to you that the Prophet Joseph Smith in translating the Book of Mormon did a superhuman work. I ask you … to undertake to write a story on the ancient inhabitants of America. Write as he did without any source of material. Include in your story 54 chapters dealing with wars, 21 historical chapters, 55 chapters on visions and prophecies, and, remember, when you begin to write on visions and prophecies you must have your record agree meticulously with the Bible. You write 71 chapters on doctrine and exhortation, and, here too, you must check every statement with the scriptures or you will be proven to be a fraud. You must write 21 chapters on the ministry of Christ, and everything you claim He said and did and every testimony you write in your book about Him must agree absolutely with the New Testament. 
I ask you, would you like to undertake such a task? I would suggest to you too that you must employ figures of speech, similes, metaphors, narrations, exposition, description, oratory, epic, lyric, logic, and parables. Undertake that, will you? I ask you to remember that the man that translated the Book of Mormon was a young man who hadn’t had the opportunity of schooling that you have had, and yet he dictated that book in just over two months and made very few, if any, corrections. For over 100 years, some of the best students and scholars of the world have been trying to prove from the Bible that the Book of Mormon is false, but not one of them has been able to prove that anything he wrote was not in strict harmony with the scriptures. …

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Love Her Mother

How can a father raise a happy, well-adjusted daughter in today's increasingly toxic world?

Also, it seems like mothers particularly love it when fathers take care of the kids late at night . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Riley Nelson: Office Quarterback

This video appears to be a tamer shout-out to the iconic Tarry Tate: Office Linebacker videos.

While I was, um, a little less than amazed with most of the acting, I'm confident most Cougar faithful will find many golden nuggets to sift out from this production.


A high-five to the first commenter who can recall the story behind the ending touchdown scene.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: The Sting of Death Is Swallowed up in Christ

A classmate of mine at law school recently passed away.  I write this post with full respect for his memory and for his family's grief for, even though the Savior knew He would momentarily raise Lazarus from the dead, the scripture reads, "Jesus wept."  John 11:35.

Having lost my own father at a young age, I have experienced the loss of a loved one at an immensely personal level.  However, although I sometimes feel stricken with the absence of his society and the inability to personally know him any better than I did as a little boy, I will always remember how I felt at peace when he died, even at that tender stage of life.

An ancient Book of Mormon prophet, Abinadi, explains why I could so peaceably accept my father's sudden and unexpected departure from my life:
6 And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Mosiah 16:6-9.

Thus, because Jesus Christ is "the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25) of all mankind, such that all will be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:22, Alma 11:42-45), I am and was able to accept the death of my father or of anyone else as only a temporary parting, a brief season of separation.  Indeed, a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, likewise answered Job's question, "if a man die, shall he live again?" by declaring, "he shall live again."

The true meaning of Easter is so much more than tasty chocolates or enjoyable Easter egg hunts:  It is the resurrection of all mankind.

Truly, what sweeter words can we hear than, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen."  Luke 24:1-7.  As Paul explained,
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ brisen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1 Cor. 15:19-22.

While we rightly and  invariably grieve for those we have lost, knowing that Jesus Christ died so that we all may live, again, we boldly proclaim, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"  1 Cor. 15:55.  As Abinadi concluded, "But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."  Mosiah 16:8.

I know and testify this is true because the sting of my father's death was and is swallowed up in the resurrection of Christ.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chrome 20 Has Landed On Chrome OS Dev: What Happen'?

I have a lot of mixed feelings, here. On the whole, I think I'm disappointed with how the OS has changed: I feel like a lot of precedence has been given to making the system feel like a traditional OS, rather than to ease of use . . . It's almost as though Google got freaked out it was too forward thinking and had to take a few steps back to a desktop-like feel.

Before, I could easily see what time it was, what my battery/network were like, and even if I had caps lock on. Now, if I want to see those things, I have to dedicate a solid chunk of my screen or flip my mouse down, anytime I want to see them (thank goodness for extensions like Cool Clock).

Why move the apps section to a spot only on the launcher? I liked before, how it was right on my new tab page, ready to go. I feel like I'm taking a step back, having to go all the way down to the tile icon, rather than typing ctrl+t.

Is the reworked OS a step forward or, ironically, a step backward?
What's with the hold and drag down to minimize a window?? Is that the revolutionary anti-desktop thinking in this version?

What happened to the keyboard shortcuts to re-size windows?

WHAT HAPPENED TO PANELS??!!? Panels were one of my favorite parts of Chrome OS. I gather that whole concept's been jettisoned. WHY OH WHY?

This is a smattering of my initial reactions. Maybe things will change or maybe I'll get used to the newfangled-ness.

At the end of the day, I feel like I'm using a glorified Linux without the native applications. What gives, Google?

Am I simply having a knee jerk reaction, or has anyone else had similar reactions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New, Online General Conference Music Player

Cross-posted from my Google+ account

lds.org has added a simple, dynamic, and awesome General Conference music player at http://www.lds.org/general-conference/music?lang=eng

A user can listen to music from every General Conference session, dating back to October 2008, with more apparently on the way.

The player includes snappy features like click-to-play, group selection, randomization, and, perhaps my favorite, keyboard shortcuts (space bar for play/pause and arrow keys for skip).

I'm also pleased to see there's easy access to downloads. On the other hand, I'm failing to see any bulk download options. If there are bulk download options already built-in, and I'm simply missing them, would someone please let me know?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Happy Easter!

Cross-posted from my Google+ account:

On this Easter Sunday, I would like to share my brief witness of Christ's divinity and His centrality to our post-mortal life:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. 15:22

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Cor. 15:19

And [Christ] suffereth [the pains of all] that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day. 2 Nephi 9:22

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world. Doctrine & Covenants 11:28

I know these scriptures are true and that Jesus Christ is who He said He was: our Savior and Redeemer, the author of our salvation and the resurrection of all people.

Please join the discussion at mormon.org/easter and learn more about the resurrection at http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/resurrection.p4?lang=eng&letter=r

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finally, organize files in Docs, while they're open

Cross-posted from my Google+ account:


The moment we (i.e., I)'ve been waiting for.

Yesterday's Spiritual Message: What the Prophet Said

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons), there are many prophets and apostles.  On the other hand, there is only one president, like Peter, who is authorized to exercise all authority delegated to man.  The name of this president is Thomas S. Monson, and he gave his principal address ("talk"), yesterday, morning.  I hope you enjoy it.

To watch or listen to any message given during the five sessions of General Conference over the weekend, please visit this link (text will be available Thursday).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Memo to MSM and other liberals: Harry Reid is (also) a Mormon(!)

Cross-posted from my Google+ account:

Occasionally, I see headlines like the one below (The Mormon factor won't go away for Romney), and, over the next few months, as the MSM rolls out a vigorous defense of its liberal-in-chief, I'm certain we'll see plenty of whispers and silent gasps that Mitt Romney is a Mormon (and he was even a Mormon Bishop before he became a politician!)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/mitt-romney-mormon-bishop_n_1386592.html

What's this man's religion?
On the other hand, how often do we hear that the, arguably, second-most-powerful man in the world, Harry Reid, is also a Mormon? Hmm.

Maybe the MSM and its liberal friends would bluster, "Well, Harry Reid's not really a Mormon!" Excuse me? In 2007, I physically sat in attendance when Senator Reid declared, "I am a Democrat because I am a Mormon, not in spite of it" (italics mine). http://byudemocrats.org/?p=32

Wait, so why attack Mitt Romney for his odious beliefs and, let's face it, weird lifestyle, when Senator Reid says they're the very reason he's a Democrat?

As I shared this past December, 76% of Republicans said they were comfortable with having a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a Mormon) as President of the US. Democrats? Only 46% said the same:



Dare I be so recklessly bold as to submit the survey results were likely contextual to Mitt Romney's presidential run and merely represent liberal opposition to a conservative president? Are Democrats simply ignorant of Senator Reid's declaration of faith or do they brush it under the rug, so long as he supports abortion and ballooning the size of government and the welfare state?

So, tell me, my liberal friends and MSM, when are we going to start gasping and whispering that, horror of horrors, SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IS A MORMON!?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Mormonism 101 from a modern Apostle of Jesus Christ

A brief introduction to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from one of its modern-day apostles, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Please see http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/harvard-hosts-mormon-apostle for more.

Cross-posted on my Goolge+ account:  https://plus.google.com/110524638589641892271/posts/3oheH5GsciR

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Come Listen to Living Prophets

In the book of John, Philip informs his friend Nathanael he's found the Messiah.  Nathanael responds, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see"  John 1:45-46.

In our times, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaim the Savior has established His Church on the earth, again, with prophets at its head.  Some might respond similarly to Nathanael, "Prophets in our day?"  Like Philip of old, we invite you, "Come and see."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is there a "line-item" +1?

Cross-posted from my Google+ account:

A number of US presidents have requested "line-item" veto powers, enabling them to approve most of bill, while rejecting any specific portions they dislike.

In judicial opinions involving multiple judges, they have the option to agree completely, disagree completely, agree in part, agree with the reasoning yet reach a different conclusion, agree with the conclusion for a different reason, and more.

What about the ability to +1 a specific word, sentence, paragraph, etc. only?

I guess the ! mark is what would happen if I tried to +1 only a specific portion of something . . .

I often would like to +1 certain parts of a post, web page, and so forth, yet would prefer to avoid giving a +1 for all of it.

How many non-legal people out there (I'm in law school) would like to see this same functionality, or does everyone recommend I keep my legal ramblings to myself? (See! Maybe you'd like to +1 only the last clause of the preceding sentence and reject the rest!!)

P.S. I guess the +1 image from above is now actually this:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Today's Spiritual Message: Jesus Christ Is the Way

I hope you enjoy this message about a woman who felt like her life was irretrievably lost, until she began to feel and apply the healing and enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Also, for those who want to understand what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints think about "grace," I strongly suggest watching this message ("devotional"), given by Brad Wilcox, called "His Grace Is Sufficient."  I just watched it for the first time, this afternoon, and I really loved it.

The essential takeaway is Christ paid all of our debt to justice and his conditions of repentance are given to help change us to become like Him, rather than to repay Him for our sins (which would be impossible).
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.  Moroni 10:32 (emphasis added).