July 13, 2015

I dreamed a dream of a peculiar people

Almost four years ago, I wrote this post, and today I am compelled to add to it.  Get ready for some reading.  If not, skip to the last paragraph for the kicker.

Also, this is not a retraction.  My post from four years ago is exactly relevant today.  But, the moral or the goal of that post is oriented toward reconciling religious beliefs in government.  That is completely separate from the goal of religion, as I am coming to understand a little bit better.

So, I dreamed a dream, and wanted to share it with you.  You may have heard it before, as have I, but this time I got to be a part of it:

"I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste. And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.

"And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

"And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

"And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit. And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof a little way off; and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.

"And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also.

"And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them. And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit."
-1 Nephi 8:7-18

I must have read this at least 15 times in my life, and I always quickly made the association with missionary work, the love of God, keep to the strait and narrow, yada yada yada.  What stuck out to me in my dream, though, was what comes later.  First, we see the "world":

"And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

 "And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost."
-1 Nephi 8:26-28

And to really do it justice, or perhaps to understand better what I'm trying to point out, you should also read chapters 11, 12, and 13:1-9

So, back to those jerky-jerks in the great and spacious building.  What a bunch of jerks, am I right?  Good thing they got what's coming to them, eh? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) NO!  I'll just pick on myself here: too often I have been the one standing under the tree and pointing and laughing at those back in the building, and that is precisely NOT what happens under the tree.  No, what happens under the tree is what happened back in chapter 8, verse 37 & 38:

"And he did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent, that they would hearken to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them, and not cast them off; yea, my father did preach unto them. And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the commandments of the Lord"

All the feelings of a tender parent.  Or brother or sister.  Or friend.

So, my friends, you can look at this in the context of recent court rulings, or previous court rulings, or just every day life: are we scorning those in the building, or are we lamenting for a loved one and begging them to come and partake of eternal life?

Again, I absolutely love D&C 134, and recommend you look at that again.  When it comes to governments, we'll have to hammer out how to live with one another.  When it doesn't go the way we want, I'm looking at the beginning of verse 12:

"We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world"

Lastly, and for those of you who skipped everything, Alma gave up the judgement seat to preach for the rest of his days because he understood that it is the Gospel that will end up saving people, not the illusory freedoms of man.  Man's laws will always differ from God's laws, and the people who choose to follow God will always be a "peculiar" people.  If you're "preaching" by complaining about government...you're doing it wrong.

November 27, 2014

On Disney Princesses (and Princes)

This is something I've been pondering on for a while.  No strong opinion this time, but I would like to present another side of the story, as I see it.  I am seeing/perceiving a lot of encouragement for the "new" Disney Princess, and, as the father of three daughters whom I hope to raise as strong independent women, I am liking it.  My oldest daughter is turning 9, and I'm counting on her to take me to space someday.

Conversely, I'm seeing a lot of flack against the "traditional" Princesses as well, and it just rubs me the wrong way.  This isn't just a way for me to complain about the latest live action movies, but since I brought it up: They SUCK.  I may just be overcome by nostalgia in my bias, and I also purposely admit here that I do NOT understand what it's like to grow up as a woman, but they are all more concerned with the visuals than story, and I believe it is at the story's expense.  

Maleficent is the latest offender that I've seen; I think it could have been so much more.  I might argue that it was pandering with the demonization of men throughout the movie, including the representation of the twist on "true love's kiss."  Again, wanting to raise my daughters as strong independent women, this isn't a knock on the twist itself, just that I feel it was more of the "I don't need a man" thought than the redemption of Maleficent herself.  They completely rushed the story part of her coming to love Aurora and focused instead on the needless visuals.

If you're still here, and still awake, I'd like to go back to that nostalgia, and (of course) talk a little bit about myself; perhaps you'll come to understand what I mean about all this.  I was raised by three women: my mom and two older sisters.  My mom, being the provider, worked two jobs as a rule, and my sisters were in the same boat just trying to figure things out at we went along.  Though they were older, I saw them as equals, and wasn't concerned with learning life lessons from them in my youth (and still struggle learning from them as an adult...love you sissies!).  I attribute much of my early knowledge of life to my media consumption.  

The long and the short of it all is that though these early Disney Princesses are now maligned by feminists, and for many of the right reasons, I learned how to be a good man mostly because of them.  I was looking for Mrs Right from a very young age; I longed to be in love my whole life, and if I were to obtain the favor of such an important woman, I knew I had to act the part.  I had to respect her, adore her, and protect her.  I had to be valiant, have courage, and face hordes of "enemies" if necessary to be with her.  I would not be her master or superior, I would be her partner.  These lessons were later repeated with my sisters in my teenage years as they dealt with myriad stupid boys, and I saw not just their heartache, but their disappointment.

I guess the ending sentiment of this post is that I feel the need to defend the old DPs, not only because they helped make me who I am, but also because I think they can also teach girls that they are worth it.  Not that they need a man to be happy, but that they need the right man if and when that time comes in their life.

I guess it's all a moot point for my girls since they don't watch the princess movies anyway. :)

November 22, 2014

In defense of Michelle Obama

This may be a very confusing or contradictory post. Or not. I don't know, my thoughts are all over the place.

Going through my feeds this morning, I came across this from theblaze: #ThanksMichelleObama If you're vehemently against "supporting" a conflicting view by clicking on that link, I'll sum it up for you. That hashtag is trending around the country; Twitter users are showing many school lunches that are obviously less than tasteful, and the nutritional content could be easily debated.

No one is above criticism, no one. But I just want to go and ask each one of these kids if Mrs. Obama made a surprise visit to their cafeteria and she herself forced this specific food upon them. Do you really think this was her goal in her healthy lunch program?

Politics today, as a whole, is just one knee-jerk reaction after another, and theblaze article (and the sentiment of the trending hashtag) is case-in-point.

The author would like to take a moment to remind you that he thinks President Obama will go down in history as the worst President in the history of the United States until now. But I think that because of his policies. I believe that his ultimate goals of power are obvious compared with the altruistic prefaces he puts on them. Whether or not he understands what is at the end of the power-grab road that he is on, I can't figure out; though I'm still leaning toward he having a puppet-master somewhere.

This is not limited to President Obama, or even the Democratic Party, but I believe they are the worst abusers of public trust right now. Though I could point to several examples that are "Democrat" led (cough cough "Affordable" Care Act), I want to go back to the schools with Common Core.

Is anyone really against improving the education system? Just answer the question, please. No caveats, just that simple question: Are you for or against improving the education system. Now, there's a couple of problems that happen immediately after this question:

  1. Without getting into all the questions of "What constitutes improvement," or Federal v. States involvement, etc, I say the simple problem lies in all the add-on garbage. Specifically: "Data elements include or will include newborn screening (genetic) data; preschool screening including socioemotional (mental health) data; biometric data (like iris scans); homework; assessments, that according to the federal government will now include measurement of psychological characteristics; parental voting status and religious affiliation; extra-curricular activities; college data; income; and other employment data." - See more here.
  2. If you oppose common core because of one or all of these privacy intrusions, you're a monster that hates children and wants to murder puppies (cats, of course, are already evil, so you likely have one on your lap right now).

Loosely tying it all together, what do they say is their goal, and is their plan designed to solely accomplish that? I know that you have to measure progress in order to see if you were successful, but I fail to see how those intrusions fit in to the goal of improving education.

Back to Michelle Obama. Is she asking a barrage of unrelated personal questions and wanting intimate details about your family in order to move towards having a healthier lunch and healthier kids? No. She doesn't deserve this treatment. Her husband does, but not her. #stopthekneejerk

April 20, 2014

Watching the clouds roll by

First off, this is somewhat of a farewell post.  I'm back on the Facebook for the social stuff, but more importantly, I've found a replacement for blogging.  It's a service called OhLife, and it suits me quite well for a journal, which is actually what I've been using this blog for anyway.  That's right, driving away friends and family because of my religious and political views is just a side-benefit, one that can be more easily accomplished on Facebook. :)

Secondly, a LOT has happened in a short amount of time, so for those who are interested, here's the whole story:
Our family's goal has been to move to Missouri for quite a while now.  Recently, things at my job had taken a LARGE turn for the worse (something I actually predicted last June), and with the future of my company in serious doubt - the earnest searching began in February.  Three weeks ago I replaced my water heater and Jac had ear surgery for a perforated drum.  Two and a half weeks ago, I was offered a job in MO.  Two weeks ago, I accepted a job in MO. Twelve days ago, I picked up my car after dropping $3K on a new transmission (thanks Uncle Sam).  Eleven days ago, I listed my house for sale and put an offer on a house in MO.  Ten days ago, my car blew one or more valve seats in the engine and I didn't pull my hair out because I knew it would hurt a lot and just grow back anyway...so I sold it for $500 and cut my losses.  Nine days ago, I bought another used car with some help from family, but now I'm in debt.  Most free time since we listed the house has been spent doing little chores to make it more presentable for selling, stuff we just hadn't gotten around to fixing, weeding, etc, and I passed a 6 credit hour class at WGU after only studying for one hour - total.  This last week was spent wrapping things up for work and showing the house, and thankfully I got to celebrate my anniversary, a friend's birthday, and have a farewell of sorts before I left.  I arrived last night in MO after a 15 hour drive (starting at 3:30 in the morning), and I start my new job tomorrow!

There are two times in my life where I have looked up at the sky, seen the clouds being rushed so incredibly fast, and had the distinct thought: "Wow, God sure wants those clouds somewhere else in a hurry."  I kind of feel like those clouds right now, and I know that all these changes are His doing, and based on the faith and prayers of family and friends.  Thank you all, you know who you are.

To those that I missed in my truncated farewell, you truly will be missed.

December 09, 2013

Theoden revisited

Note to self, change the horrible post title later.

"How did it come to this" is a question I've asked before.  It was on my mind again this morning.  Only this time, I was thinking "How do you enslave a free people?"

How DO you enslave a free people?  A well armed free people, at that?  I've already said that before they can take our guns, they're going to have to shut us up.  Where do you think we are in that process?

I look around and I see parents being arrested for standing up against common core at the district "meetings" (read that "education camps").  I see kids being taken away from parents because they don't agree with a medical diagnosis...not to mention a slew of other doctors that think the diagnosis is wrong.  I see the President's uncle got his amnesty, while a German family that was GRANTED asylum in the US so that they could keep homeschooling had that asylum later revoked by the White House.  Hmmm...who's in the White House these days?  Doesn't matter, I guess, this has been going on since long before Obama.

Got your insurance cancellation letter yet?  Got your hours cut to 29.5/week yet?  Ready to buy some "affordable" insurance on the ACA website?  Look, just so we're clear, PRESIDENT OBAMA DIDN'T LIE about being able to keep your doctor.  You can!  You will just now have to buy one of the ACA plans (or pay the fine for not having insurance) AND pay cash for your doctor because they don't accept the ACA insurance crap, nor medicaid.  Those evil doctors, going into HUNDRED of THOUSANDS of dollars in debt with these money mills...er, medical colleges, HOW DARE THEY want/need to get paid?
(side rant: Is the health care industry royally screwed up? YES.  Is this the perfect opportunity for increasing government power?  See previous answer)

Get in line.  Toe the line.  Don't fight.  Don't even speak.  NOW turn over your weapon, little lamb.

November 15, 2013

It's a beautiful day!

I don't know why it is, but I started out downright chipper today, and it's only getting better.  Fair warning, this post has no cohesiveness, general theme, or direction.

I'm going to open up to you the way I did with my (unfortunate?) co-workers, and share a little guilty pleasure of mine: 90's R&B

Since I'm in the sharing mood, here's an awesome anti-common core vid I just watched:
Common Core SMACKDOWN  It's funny, I've got this Kenneth Parcell grin on my face as I write this: I'm very afraid for our local PTAs.  In my own interaction with the PTA, I can see how easily information is handed down from National as gospel, with a fall-in-line attitude for the PTA boards...or else?

It's also a VERY gloomy day outside, winter is coming.

Why am I so happy?!??  Oh, maybe because I did my budget.  That always cheers me up. #daveramsey

Oh yeah, another thing making me smile: the progressives are FALLING APART.  Here's a funny post from Stilton: The Dictator Speaks  (I apologize for the cartoon's language)
Now if only we could get our southern neighbors to kick McCain to the curb...or the landfill.  Oh, who am I to judge, we can't seem to be rid of Matheson or Hatch!

That's it.  Just some thoughts rolling around in my skull, and mostly happy ones.

August 13, 2013


I could swear I've posted on this before...oh well, now it has a title better than Get a Song Stuck in Your Head game.  I'm posting this here because the nerds that monitor Wikipedia are jerks, and won't let me create the page for this game.  Well, they'll let me create it, but then Editor Snobby McSnobberson comes along and deletes it.  YOUR LOSS. :P

A game where points are distributed by relying on the honor system, somewhat related to The Game because it never ends and the points don't give you anything other than personal satisfaction.  Oh, and I just lost The Game.

How it works:
The object of Tuneception is to get songs stuck in other people's heads, and thus scoring points when accomplished.  Points are only awarded after a confession by the target, "Now that song is stuck in my head!", OR if they are caught repeating the chosen song in any form: whistling, humming, singing, etc, AFTER one minute has passed from the time when the initial trap was laid, or else they could be said to be just joining in with you.
The only exception to the time rule is The ONE Word rule, and this is where the honor system comes in: There is no minimum time constraint if the target starts singing the intended song after ONE word/note is sung/spoken.  I say intended song, because if I laid the trap with "STOP" and I was thinking "Hammertime", but you immediately started singing "in the name of love," I couldn't claim those points with any honor.

Point System:
Points are distributed based on how the trap was laid.  Spoken traps are generally worth more than Musical traps (sung, hummed, whistled), and the fewer the words/notes, the better.  Here is the original point system:
Musical traps, five or more words/notes: 1 point
Musical traps, two-four words/notes: 5 points
Musical traps, ONE word/note: 10 points

Spoken traps, five or more words/notes: 5 points
Spoken traps, two-four words/notes: 10 points
Spoken traps, ONE word/note: 100 points

Let it be known that 1,000,000,000 points is worth about one Schrute-buck.

Since I swear I posted this game on here before, but I couldn't find the rules anywhere, I can only say that the game pre-dates May 4, 2008 based on a comment left on that day on this post: http://jimcalkins.blogspot.com/2008/04/worst-sound-in-world.html

I have found no evidence of this game in this form elsewhere on the web, but am happy to yield creative credit to proven parties.