Oct 31, 2010

Sunday Confessional: Public Speaking

Day 365

Well here it is. My last official blog entry. This last year has sped right on by. Since I am discontinuing (at least for the time being) Sunday columns I will celebrate this final one with another Sunday Confessional and one that is quite fitting for today.

Today I have to speak in Church and I couldn't be happier...

Wait, what?

Seriously, you heard read me right the first time. Okay, okay, I am lying just a teensy bit. I am not a huge fan of speaking in Church and I am not all that happy that I have to but I do like to speak publicly.

Can you dig it?!

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld had a real funny bit on public speaking:
According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.
Public speaking doesn't phase me all that much. Don't get me wrong, I still get nervous as all out and I did shake and I sweat to death. But the act of public speaking doesn't freak me out. But it is not the thrill or the rush of having a group of people listen and hang on every word that I love (although it is pretty close), I love the preparation. I love piecing together the talk, I love finding small interesting facts, I love including my own personal experiences. It is like having this huge puzzle that only you can figure out.

I am not the type of person that likes to write out word-for-word what I want to say. I am the type that likes to just have the Cliff Notes in front of me and then I wing it. If I feel that the audience needs more, I can give them more. If they catch the drift, I can cut parts of my speech/talk right out and move along. I usually over-prepare and I end up cutting out tons of what I want. But I would rather have that problem that not having enough.

The only thing that I fear when I speak in public is that the words get clogged in my brain and I don't say what I want to say. I fear the dreaded Brain Fart. That it will sound stupid and it will stink up the joint. I can usually eliminate that by practicing and timing myself and jotting down key words on a note card or single piece of paper.

Usually this works out good for me. I guess we will find out tomorrow after I give my talk in Church.

I love it when a speech comes together.

That feeling of satisfaction when it is all completed is one of my favorite feelings and one that will last for awhile. And yes, I think I would rather write my own eulogy.

Oct 30, 2010

Random Ramblings: One Day More!

Day 364

I cannot believe that tomorrow is my last column and that today will be my last Random Ramblings column.

This last year has certainly flown by. And I am very happy that I have chronicled it here on this blog. So what will Monday bring? Is the blog truly over?


I am only halfway through my NFL blogs and I still have to make it through the end of the year to cover all my New Year's Resolutions. And I think I will miss blogging, it has become a habit and a habit that I don't want to slack off on. But I am going to make some changes to the blog. The layout will remain the same but the banner and the challenge will change. And the title of the blog just might change too.

One thing I know that will change for sure is that I will not be blogging everyday. I am already looking forward to what will be my last Sunday column tomorrow. I just don't have much time and much energy for a Sunday blog so I am taking Sundays off completely. And I am thinking that I might reward myself a traveling holiday every week. So the plan will be to blog 5 days a week instead of 7. But that is not a hard rule, if I want to blog more I certainly can. But I will not allow myself to blog less. I think I can handle writing five blogs a week, that will be enough to cover my NFL and goals oriented columns and still give me some room to flex my writing muscles.

Speaking of Sundays, I shouldn't have been so cocky about speaking in Church to my fellow-blogger Lewis. She had mentioned on her blog that she was preparing a talk and I commented that I have not spoken in Church for about six years. Yeah well, I got the call last Tuesday to speak. Luckily I am only speaking for about ten minutes but I have to cover the topic of Faith. Talk about cramming a ton of stuff into a short talk! I have it mostly prepared, I only have a couple of notes and I plan just speaking from them. Yeah, I am going to test out my faith tomorrow!

I can feel a cold coming on too. I woke up this morning with a nice sore throat. I am hoping it clears quickly. I am not sure if it is a cold, it might be my allergies. The city came around yesterday and sucked up all the leaves that were in our street gutters. I am thinking it might be all the dirt and dust that was kicked up.

I am also looking forward to our Blogger Reunion Dinner. It looks like Saturday November 13th will the date. (Hey Lewis and Chels... does that work alright?)  It should be a lot of fun. I know that I have met all of you before this whole challenge came to be but this will be the first time that I have got to speak to most of these people in person. And of course I will have to take pictures and blog about it so the blog will have to continue.

Now we just have to decide where to go...

Oct 29, 2010

Platis Pumpkin Patch

Day 363

Last night we decorated some pumpkins for Halloween and ate some cookies and drank eggnog.

Here we are hard at work.

Here I am acting.

Logan trying not to smile while putting some eyebrows on his Frankenstein.

My black cat.

Ghost Rider.

Looks like real blood eh?

Logan's Frankenstein.

And the finished product. Kristy's pumpkin is the one in the middle.

Oct 28, 2010

Upon Further Review:

Day 362

Where does the time go? We are heading into Week 8 this week which means the season is half way over! And it looks like some teams might already be thinking that their season is over. Both the Vikings and Cowboys are struggling mightily and it doesn't look like things for them will be improving anytime soon. Both teams are in disarray and it might be too much for these teams to overcome.

Last week I scored 11/14! A big thanks to the Oakland Raiders who finally showed up when I wanted them to!

Washington at Detroit:
The Lions will make things tough for the Redskins but I am sure Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan has the Redskins thinking they can win the division especially with the Cowboys fading in the sunset.
Winner: Washington Redskins

Jacksonville at Dallas:
I feel a little bad for the Cowboys. I personally feel that the Cowboys thought too much of themselves and the pressure from Jerry Jones was too much. It will be interesting to see what kind of character this team has. They should beat the Jaguars; they have more talent that the Jaguars but do they enough willpower? I think the home team wins it and since it is at Dallas I will go with them.
Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Miami at Cincinnati:
Miami has the worst pass rushing in the league and the Bengals are one of the best when blitzed. Miami has won all of its games on the road but I think last week's heart breaker will be too much to overcome. The road wins stop in Cincinnati.
Winner: Cinncinati Bengals

Buffalo at Kansas City:
I was impressed by Buffalo's sudden offensive explosion against the tough Raven defense but I don't think they will have the same game when they come to Kansas City. Those Chiefs are pesky at home.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Carolina at St. Louis:
Carolina got lucky last week. Their luck stops short this week.
Winner: St. Louis Rams

Denver at San Francisco:
London Calling! Both teams lost games that they should have won last week. The only difference is that the Broncos were murdered last week. San Fran has the experience of winning games out of the country and I think they continue that streak.
Winner: San Fransisco 49ers

Green Bay at NY Jets:
The Jets will be tested after having a week off from football and the Packers are feeling high after beating the Vikings at home last week. It will be a close one but I think the Jets defense will close out the Packers like it did the Vikings and the Broncos the weeks before.
Winner: New York Jets

Tennessee at San Diego:
The Chargers almost came back to beat the Pats but they just came up short. I think this will happen again.
Winner: Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay at Arizona:
The Bucs are feeling good about themselves and will look past the Cardinals. Good thing for the Bucs that the Cardinals have no passing game and they should be able to sneak out a win. It will be close until after halftime when the Bucs get their act together.
Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minnesota at New England:
Moss Bowl I! Who would have thought that the Pats would be alright without Moss? It doesn't surprise me that the Pats have not lost a step offensively. It will just take them longer to score. Moss will get some revenge against his team but the Vikings will still be reeling from last week and the Patriots know how to take full advantage.
Winner: New England Patriots

Seattle at Oakland:
Seattle has been one of the more surprising teams to come out of the NFC but they will have their hands full with a Raider team that has some pride. Something that the Raiders have not had for a long, long time. I gotta go with the Raiders at home. The crowd will keep the Raiders in the game.
Winner: Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh at New Orleans:
The Steelers were lucky last week. Don't get me wrong, they are a very good football team but they could have lost last week. The Saints have lost their voodoo but Drew Brees will not have two bad football games in a row. The Steelers come to earth Sunday night.
Winner: New Orleans Saints

Monday Night:
Houston at Indianapolis:
The Texans have the rare opportunity to sweep the Colts and this might be their best chance because of the injuries on the Colts team. But this is Peyton Manning on a nationally televised game. It will be close but I see the Colts winning it on the last drive.
Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Next week I'll have my mid-season grades.

Oct 27, 2010

Did I Scare You?

Day 361

It is no secret that I love to scare people. My dad, wife, sister and kid can all attest to that. I love watching people get scared as well. I don't mind too much when it happens to me either. I don't know why but I like the feeling of fear.

Before serving my LDS mission I had the greatest opportunity to put the scare into people. I had just come home early from working at Pepperidge Farms and I noticed that Damond and his friend Tyge was out in Damond's driveway talking. I stopped to chat with them and they were planning their date for that evening. They invited me along but I was dirty and tired and so I politely declined. Then Tyge asked me if I would be interested in wearing a gorilla suit and scaring the crap out of their dates.

Like I would turn down an invitation like that.

So they told me that they would be up the canyon at the Guineva camping ground around 7-7:30. I took the costume and went home and showered and ate and then got ready to go. I wore the suit down (except for the mask) and by the time I got there it was already getting dark. I spotted Damond's car so I knew that they were close. And then I could hear Tyge telling this spooky story by the campfire. Damond was there with his date (I think it was Brenea) and Tyge was there was Damond's sister Denise. I put on my mask and crept down towards them. I hid behind a tree and was only a few feet away from the group. I peered around the corner to get myself familiar with my surroundings and then I made my move.

I jumped from out beside the tree and landed with a loud roar and crashed right in front of the them. What I didn't expect is that the gorilla mask shifted too. It fell down further off my face and masked my eyes so I couldn't see that clearly. But that didn't stop me. I ran towards Damond and ran gut first right into the picnic table! And that made me mad so I screamed at the top of my lungs.

I definitely scared them. Tyge spotted me right before I jumped out but Damond had no idea I was there and even though he knew I was coming, I still scared him. All I could see of him was that he was crawling over his date. One of the girls (and I think it was Denise) screamed very loudly. Finally they all noticed Tyge laughing and the gig was up. I took off my mask and I am surprised that the girls didn't kill me. I stayed for a few minutes longer and chatted with them before I went home.

But before I went home I decided to have a little more fun with the costume. I walked past the bathrooms and noticed that some girls that were going into the bathroom. So I waited for them to come out to give them a scare. I thought that I was being really nice because I wouldn't scare the pee out of them since I let them use the bathroom first. I stayed just off the path and barely in the moonlight when they came out. They got closer to me so I stepped in the moonlight and just on to the path. Just enough that the girls saw a hairy outline. They stopped right in there tracks and pointed right at me. "What is that? Is that someone?" They called out. I said nothing and then I moved a bit closer and more on the pathway. It didn't take them long to scream and bolt! I thought about chasing them but I thought that would be too mean.

But I was not done. As I was walking back to my car I saw a family sitting around the campfire and thought I could scare them as well. I put my mask on and ran into their campground and grunted and yelled. I ran right towards the family and jumped right over the campfire and kept running. I could hear a plethora of screams behind me. I laughed and laughed and took my mask off as I got to my car. As I was getting in I thought about how foolish this could have been. That dad could have caught me and beaten me to a pulp. But what was done was done. So I hopped in my car and drove out to the highway. As I was driving down the highway I passed a cop car that had his lights on. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw them pull into that camp ground.

I wonder if they were after me? I drove home and thought I should cruise main street in Logan with my mask on. I got a ton of second looks. Sometimes they would see me and tell the others in the car to look over and I would take my mask off before they could look.

I also drove up to USU and stopped by to see a few girls and of course scare them.

I wish I had a gorilla suit. 

Oct 26, 2010

Logan's Halloween Parade

Day 360

For Logan's first Halloween we dressed him up as Wolverine. We even made our own Wolverine movie which when I figure out how to upload it, I will debut it here.

Logan makes a perfect scarecrow for his 2nd Halloween.

I always wanted to have a cat.

He isn't just a Marvel guy. He dresses up as DC characters too!

Logan as a black widow.

I love his face here.

Instead of being a scary skeleton he wanted to go as one that glows in the dark.

This year he is going as a spider again. As you can tell he has his favorites.

Oct 25, 2010

From the SoapBox: Car Problems

Day 359

There are few things that really send me in a tizzy.

1) Computer Problems

2) Car Problems

3) Dental Problems

Today I got to find out what was behind Door #2. We own two cars but when I quit my last job, the Geo Prizm became expendable. So it has stayed in our driveway for the last two years. This wasn't a big deal since Kristy could use the car during the day and I only would need it late at night when I worked the night shift at my dad's house. Then last spring I switched to working during days but that still didn't pose a problem since Kristy would just ride her bike to work. But winter has struck and it has become much too cold to ride a bike in and I don't want to go back to the night shift so we need to bring the Prizm out of retirement.

And apparently, the Geo wants to stay in retirement.

It's dead Jim.

My dad came over to help me jump the car (nothing could resuscitate it) and so he gave me ride to go get a new battery. I was so excited to put a new battery in and get my old baby up and running.

And nothing.

I hate car repairs. I hate it when something goes wrong with the car. It is probably because I know that I am WAY out of my element. I know absolutely nothing about cars and I get a little embarrassed defensive that I know nothing about cars.

I am a man! I should know exactly how to hotwire the cooling  plate that is located under the iron plug.

See?  I know nothing about cars! I cannot even fake it.

So I am thinking. I just might have to go to mechanics school and take some classes. I would love to know what makes a car run and make repairs. Or at least know what the heck I should talking about. I hate asking for help (that could make for another blog) on my cars but in this case I am going to have to bite the carburetor and do it. I think it is the Starter. But I wouldn't put stock in that. Once I figure it out, I am very tempted to try to fix it myself. There is a ton of How-To-Do stuff online, I am sure I could find the right instructions.

Ugh.. I hate car problems. Anyone willing to help an car imbecile?

Oct 24, 2010

One More Sunday!

Day 358

One more week and I have successfully blogged for an entire year! I should do something special for today, I should have a Sunday Confessional that will knock your socks off.

But I have nothing.

For the last couple of months I have found that Sunday blogging is the worst. Between meetings, Church, choir and now football, I am struggling to come up with ideas to blog but even worse, I have been struggling with motivation to even want to blog. I still have things that I would like to cover here but like they say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is beat.

And now I have procrastinated all day specifically avoiding the blog. But then out of the blue I thought of something that I could blog about. Kristy had brought home these experiment things from her recent teaching seminar and Logan absolutely loved them. There was a ton of glow in the dark things and Logan was disappointed that he could not play with them during the day. So she told Logan to go into the furnace room and shut the door to see them. Logan was not having it at all.

And it reminded me of Grandpa and Grandma Anhder's spooky furnace room. When my Case cousins would visit we used to go through the furnace room with the lights out. Their furnace room was unique, the furnace was in the middle of the room and you could walk around it. With the door opened a crack you could see just enough to make your way around it. We would all huddle together to make the short jaunt around the furnace room. No one wanted to lead and no one wanted to be the last guy.

My Grandparents.

I remember one time Grandpa asked me to help him out. We went downstairs and he wanted me to help him move some stuff in the furnace room! It was just weeks after I freaked out with my cousins. If only Grandpa knew, he could have scared the stuffing out of me!

If I remember right, I think we tried to shut the door and either Josh or Jaimee. No one wanted to be locked in that room. While Grandma and Grandpa's house was always warm and inviting, that was the scariest room in the house. I didn't even like going in there when the lights were on!

I'll have to devote an upcoming blog about the time I was lucky enough to live with my grandparents. For some reason October and Halloween always makes me think about them. And not just because of the haunted furnace.

Oct 23, 2010

Pic of the Week

Day 357

An oldie but goody...

I don't remember what year this was taken. But it certainly was late seventies or early eighties.

Oct 22, 2010

List-Mania: Oh the Horror!

Day 356

I am totally stealing my cousin's (and fellow blogger) idea to list his favorite spooky movies. Since it is Halloween and a good idea is a good idea, I am going to list my 5 Favorite Horror Movies. I am not a huge fan of the slasher pics and I am definitely not into the torture stuff (Hostel, Saw) but I do like to be creeped out.

5) The Omen (1976)

Oh man. Kids can sure be creepy and this kid takes the cake. I would probably walk across the street if I saw this kid walking towards me. Why is this kid so creepy? Because he is the son of the devil, Damian. Gregory Peck was fantastic in this film as a desperate dad trying to figure out if his adoptive son is really the Antichrist. My favorite scene is when his dad takes a close look at his son's scalp (while Damian is sleeping) and finds a 666 birthmark. But that scene was trumped by the creepy smile we get at the end of the film.

4) The Shining

Stephen King can sure write some creepy books but unfortunately the movies that are made from the books fall a bit short. Sure we have Carrie, but that means we also get Thinner. But the Shining really is the best of the bunch. Of course Jack Nicholson is already a little creepy in his own right but make him trot around the empty halls sporting an ax and a demented look in his eyes and you have one of the creepiest dude ever. My favorite scene has to be when his wife (whom I could not stand!) discovers his novel and finds that it is just the same line repeated over and over again. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". And then he sneaks up on her. Even the poster for the film leaves me a weird feeling.

3) The Thing (1982)

Science Fiction has given us some of the scariest films around. From the Alien series to the Fly but John Carpenter's remake of The Thing was on an entirely different level. I loved the original movie and I loved the idea of a monster that can shape change. But this movie took a more realistic view of what would happen if there was a shape changer among us. The paranoia is ramped up to ten and I could actually feel the dread and anxiety of not knowing who to trust. My favorite scene is where they test each others blood to see if they are the creature or not. They put some blood in a small container and put a flame to it. That scene felt like hours. And the ending was perfect.

2) Night of the Living Dead (1968)

I do love my zombies and this classic is what started it all. I remember watching this movie on TV with my dad on Halloween and we were both drawn in. What made this movie great was not the zombies themselves (even though the little girl in the cellar was certainly creepy and I will never look at a cement trowel the same way) but it was how the survivors dealt with each other. Human nature is much more scarier than any monster. Now I don't want to ruin the ending because I highly recommend watching this movie, even if you are not a horror buff, you need to see this movie! The ending was so surprising, I totally didn't see it.coming and was shocking! And then just like that, it ended. My favorite scene was the last 20 minutes.

1) Halloween (1978)

Like I said before I am not a big fan of the slasher films but yet the grandaddy of them all is my favorite horror film. Jason and Freddy don't freak me out because I know they cannot exist. Michael on the other hand could certainly exist. And that is what makes him more scary than the rest of the films. Michael was not a monster but just a crazy person. I remember when this movie came out. I was only four years old and I was watching  Siskel and Ebert at the Movies and they showed a clip from this film. It was when she was hiding the kids from Michael and they said that the bogeyman was coming to get them. I ran upstairs to my mom it scared me so much. Just a small clip scared me! Flash forward to my college days and I saw this movie for the first time. And then I saw that scene again and I remembered that horrible creepy feeling. My favorite scene in the movie is when Dr. Loomis goes to the Mental Hospital and they find that the power is knocked out (and it is night time). They see these strange ghosts in the field when the lightning flashes and they realize it is the inmates of the hospital. And then they know Michael is on the loose!

I might have to watch a few of these here in the next couple of weeks. There are other Halloween films that I love too that are a little safer to watch and are not truly horror films. Maybe I will share those next week.

Oct 21, 2010

Under Further Review

Day 355

Finally we have big news in the NFL that has nothing to do with Brett Favre!

The NFL recently came down with a ruling that says that the NFL will suspend players who hit defenseless players. I applaud the NFL for protecting their players but at first glance I was not a fan of how the NFL was going to police this. But then I read this article posted on nfl.com that further clarified the league's stand.

I also found a very interesting take from fromer linebacker Tedy Bruschi:


And I agree with his statements. Besides every NFL player knows the risks involved. If they don't want the big hits to happen to them, they don't have to play. If a player wants to act like a whiny baby like the Steeler's James Harrison and leave the game because of it, I say don't let the door hit you on the way out. You are a professional athlete like Tedy says. You can adapt and continue to play the game you love and make more money than I will ever make. Think about it for a minute James. If I had a quarter of your talent (which would make me one of the better players around) I wouldn't care about any rule changes as long as I get to play in the NFL. You have the privilege to play in the NFL, not a lot of people can say that. And all the NFL wants to do is protect its players.

I am very curious to see how this plays out. I am sure during the off season we will see more adjustments being made. The game of football is changing, we have more athletic and powerful players, we have more intricate offenses and defences. Players (and fans) must learn to adapt.

Rising: New York Jets. The Jets rattled off 5 straight wins to get the league's best record. They really should have lost that tough game in Denver but they persevered and never gave up. Good teams beat other good teams but great teams beat those that they were supposed to beat.

Falling: Dallas Cowboys. I still think the Cowboys have a chance to take the NFC East but it will take a lot of work and a little bit of luck. But that window is slamming shut. No one in the NFL has made it to a Superbowl starting off the way they did but records are made to be broken.

I got 7/14 again. The trend continues!

Cincinnati at Atlanta:
I will never take the Bengals again. Atlanta lost a big game last week but I think they will bounce back and beat the very disappointing Bengals.
Winner: Atlanta Falcons

Washington at Chicago:
McNabb already proved to me that you can go home again and win when he beat Philly earlier. Now he goes to his true home in Chicago and he will win there as well.
Winner: Washington Redskins

St. Louis at Tampa Bay:
Now this could be a very entertaining game. The Rams are playing much better than we all thought and the Bucs have some life in them. For some reason, after Bucs QB Josh Freeman called out that defensive player for hitting him in the legs, I have become a fan of his.
Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

San Francisco at Carolina:
Can the 49ers win two games in a row? This will be a real test for the 49ers. They should beat the Panthers really easily and great teams beat the teams they should.
Winner: San Fransisco 49ers

Buffalo at Baltimore:
Poor Buffalo. Baltimore is coming off a terrible loss at the Patriots and going into a bye week and playing at home. Great timing for the Ravens, they need a good pick-me-up game. Bad news for the Bills.
Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Philadelphia at Tennessee:
Another entertaining game we could have here. The Titans opened up a can on the Jaguars and are feeling good. The Eagles put a whooping on the Falcons and are feeling good. One of them HAS to lose. I'll take the home field advantage.
Winner: Tennessee Titans

Jacksonville at Kansas City:
I learned something new last Monday night, cats can lay eggs. I learned this right after watching the Jaguars lay a colossal egg against the Titans. I think they will bounce back this week against the Chiefs but playing in Kansas City and on a short week will do them in.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Pittsburgh at Miami:
Lots of hitting in this game and I don't see either team changing their philosophy. Miami needs this win to stay within the Jets and Patriots. I think the Dolphins will be able to keep the Steelers from scoring a lot of points but I don't see the Dolphins being able to post points against the Steelers defense. Lots of field goals in this one with the Steelers getting the lone touchdown.
Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland at New Orleans:
At least rookie Browns QB Colt McCoy can watch and learn from Drew Brees as the methodically takes apart the Browns with the skill of a surgeon.
Winner: Colt McCoy New Orleans Saints

Arizona at Seattle:
Seattle has been one of the more surprising teams in the NFL. I don't know which Cardinals team will show up. I also don't know which Seahawks team will show up either. But I would wager the Seahawks will show up. At least the 12th man will be there.
Winner: Seattle Seahawks

New England at San Diego:
This is a case of one of those games that look good in the preseason but turns into a turkey. The Pats do have to make the trip cross country but that is really the only negative thing the Pats have to deal with. The Chargers always start slow but this year is different. They are getting beat by teams that have no business beating them.
Winner: New England Patriots

Oakland at Denver:
Oakland won its first game in 13 against the Chargers. Maybe they can beat Denver at Denver? Denver did lose a heartbreaking loss against the Jets and they will be without WR Eddie Royal. Am I just convincing myself to go for the Raiders yet again? Okay, last time Raiders. I think you can pull off the upset here.
Winner: Oakland Raiders

Minnesota at Green Bay:
Oh baby! I am so looking forward to this game. The Viking's offense has looked pretty decent the last two weeks and the Packers are just not playing well. I was totally going for Favre last year to beat his old team. But now I am kinda hoping Packers QB Aaron Rodgers puts a hurt on them. It will go down to the wire with the Packers winning one at home.
Winner: Green Bay Packers

Monday Night
NY Giants at Dallas:
The Giants have a grand opportunity to put away the Cowboys on a national stage. But I think the fear of Jerry Jones will make the Cowboys produce and stretch out there agonizing season.
Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Oct 20, 2010

Got Clutter?

Day 354

I have been doing some thinking. Yeah, that is what happens when I am feeling sick, I sit around and think about stuff. Lately I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed, a feeling that my life is too cluttered.

And then I look around my home and I know why.

Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. [D&C 132:8]
Now this is not a shot at Kristy or the way we live our life. This is a shot at me. I have way too much stuff and I hold on to things for very stupid reasons. I believe that my house should be a house of order, I know that when my house is clean, I feel good and I feel like I am in order. The more stuff I have cluttering where I live, the more cluttered my brain feels.

I watch Hoarders and it makes me feel better about my mess. Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for these people; I am not making fun of them. I am just thankful that my hoarding problem is not this severe. This is NOT a picture of our home.

And then I came across this blog: Do you hoard your underwear? I have to admit that I am like this. I hoard things. I hoard things that I don't even need. At first glance at reading this article I thought this was not me. But then I look around and I see this behavior in many ways. Take comic books for instance. I buy and read comics but then I will sell them so I can get a nice paperback or hardcover. But then the hardcover stays on the shelf UNREAD! They are just so nice, I don't want to ruin them! So why the snot did I buy them? I still want to read them right?

So I have been thinking...

It is time for me to make a change and last night I made a huge change. No, I am not selling off all my comic books. But I am getting rid of stuff that I have not read/used/listened too in years. I have been paring down my comic book collection for the last few years and I am proud to say that I have sold close to 2,500 books. I sell them to this online comic store and I get double the credit. So I do get comics in return but I am getting comics that I really want. So instead of having all this comic clutter, I have a collection of comics that I absolutely love.

Last night, I bit the bullet and I am moving into the digital age.

The last physical CD I purchased was Queen + Paul Rodgers The Cosmos Rocks which came out about two years ago. Every CD I have purchased since as been online through iTunes or some other online music service. Most of my CDs that I have now are in my iTunes library on my computer. I rarely grab a CD and listen to it. All my music is digital. So I have decided to get rid of my CDs. I have the music already, I just don't need the physical CDs anymore.

My main "worry" is that I won't have a copy of my music. Everything will be on my computer and what if that crashes? I make regular backups on an external hard drive which includes all my music files. And not only that, since I am so worried anal, I am going through my entire music library and converting everything to mp3s and then burning them to a couple of DVDs. So I will have another set of backups. Only this time, my physical backups will only take a few DVDs instead of the large stack of CDs I have now.

Now some CDs I will not sell, at least not at the moment. I will keep my Queen collection as well as others. I like to look at the CD pamphlet and I like to read the lyrics too. But I am only keeping a small percentage, merely a handful of what I had. The rest of them I have already sold online.

Not only am I getting rid of stuff I don't need, I am also making a tidy profit too. Sure, I paid much more for the music than what I am making back but if I don't use them anymore what's the purpose? The $150 I am making is worth it. I can find many, many things comics that I can spend that money on and I bet I will not even miss the CDs I have sold back.

Why would I? I don't listen to them now anyway.

So I am dejunking. And I am uncluttering the place where I spend the most time in. And already I can feel my brain work. It is hard work and I still have lots to do and it can be difficult to let things go but it will be well worth the effort I put in. Besides, I don't want to move and have to take this crap with me.

Oct 19, 2010

Halloween Howl '96

Day 353

One of my favorite things to do for Halloween is dress up. Unfortunately I am also quite lazy and I usually end up not dressing up because I had no time to throw together a costume. But when I take the time to dress up, I like to go the whole way. I like to put as much detail into my costumes as possible.

The year after I came home from my LDS mission I went to USU's Halloween Howl. This huge party is up on campus on Utah State University and it usually as a spook alley, dancing, hypnotists, comedians and a ton more. Everyone dresses up and it goes on into the wee hours of the morning.

My friend Damond and I decided to go and so we dressed up. I decided to go as a comic superhero (does that surprise anyone?) Robin. I had a pair of green sweats and a red shirt. My mom helped sew on my yellow cape and I painted one of my old belts yellow. I also made a Robin logo out of cardboard and my mom sewed that on my shirt as well. I made my own pair of boots and then found a mask at a store.

I think I did a pretty decent job. I thought about dying an old pair of underwear red to really make it look like Robin's costume below but I am glad I didn't.

Everyone loved my costume. In fact during the howl these Chinese exchange students pulled me aside to take a picture with me. What was really cool about that was that they also found a Batman, Catwoman, Joker and Riddler to go along. I wish I had a copy of that picture. So somewhere, someplace in the world, someone has this picture.

I wore this costume again during Halloween when I went to the local Pumpkin Walk. I went with Damond and a couple of girls from our Church. We had decided to stop by Smith's (a grocery store) to buy some treats for later. As we were walking out into the parking lot I heard a kid call out "Robin!" I turned and saw this little girl staring up at me with her eyes wide open. I smiled at her and walked over and said "Hello good citizen." She didn't move at all. I placed my hand on her shoulder and gave her a high-five with the other and told her that she should be good and help her mom at all times. She smiled and then ran to her mom excitedly (who was putting groceries in the trunk of their car) saying how she had seen and talked with Robin!

I don't know why that memory has been so ingrained into my mind. I don't even remember who all was with me and what we did beside going to the Pumpkin Walk. But I certainly remember that little brown-haired girl. I wish I was a superhero!

Oct 18, 2010

Breinholt Halloween Party 2010

Day 352

Thanks Logan for blogging for me yesterday. I am still feeling under the weather, my body is so sore and cold and I am quite dizzy. But otherwise than that, I feel alright.

I was going to blog about the Annual (well, it has been two years in a row) Breinholt Halloween Party yesterday and while Kristy and Andrea have already blogged about it, I feel like I need to blog about it too since they missed a few major details.

But before I get to the party I have a special announcement for ALL fellow bloggers.

**Andrea and I got to talking and we would like to have a special meet-up for all fellow bloggers next month. We were thinking of meeting in Layton/Ogden area for dinner the first weekend in November (which would be the 5th or 6th). We don't have to do it on a weekend if during the evening works better. So comment on my blog where you would like to go and when would be the best time.**

We all headed out about 11:30 and got to the Renae's church (yeah, she has her own church) around 1:30 and got some food prepared and got the gym all set up. There was a TV where you can watch some Halloween movies, there was a couple of bouncy houses for the kids, there was a table of food (for the adults) and a couple of other tables for games. Unfortunately not everyone could make it and I cannot say that I missed them since I was having a lot of fun. It would have been nice to see everyone though.

We played Pictionary (girls vs boys) and the boys almost won. If I had not rolled a one five our of the six times we would have. I thought this was a costume party so I borrowed my mom's cat Snuggie and put a tail on the back and put on some cat ears. Man, I am getting old. The real reason I wanted to wear that Snuggie is because I was cold.

I noticed that when Kristy is around family or food she likes to dance.

The girls did win Pictionary even though Kristy had to draw with her eyes shut.

It was fun watching all my nieces and nephews play. I have said it before and I will say it again. I am very lucky to have the in-laws that I have.

Logan (and all the kids) loved the bouncy houses. Logan took down each one of his cousins. This was even after Uncle Steven threw him head over heels OVER the slide. Here Logan is taking Addy down.

Logan taking Monkey Jessica. You can tell he is totally posing, he is such a ham.

His cousin Zade sure had a rough time. I have never seen a kid get hurt so much! Notice the same smile on Logan? Yeah, he is going as a ham for Halloween.

Naythan and Logan sure had a good time.

This is what happens when a grown up attempts to go down. Steven started it and Lynn and Kristy just had to do it too.

What a kid.

We also played this game on the PS3 that was like a game show. You had a buzzer and everything. I love this game and that is because I am so darn good at it. While other bloggers neglected to blog about it, I won both games. Yeah, ol' Baldy is filled with useless information. This party also marked the one year anniversary of the blogging challenge. It was last year at our first Breinholt Halloween Party that I issued the yearly blogging challenge. It is amazing how fast the year has gone by.

It was fun catching up with everyone and it would have been nice if everyone could have shown up. A fun time was had by all. Thanks Renae and Steven for throwing it together! I hope this continues to be a yearly tradition.

Oct 17, 2010

From Logan

Day 351

" Sorry" my dad is sick so he can't blog.

Oct 16, 2010

Game Night!

Day 350

At least once a week Kristy is out for the evening leaving Logan and I to have a Boy's Night Out. Usually we don't go out but we get to have our own time together. Most of the time we usually play a game of some sort or watch some cartoons.

Last Wednesday we didn't know what game to play. Logan kept choosing games that are more than two players and I thought about how I wished we had a game that was just two players. And then it hit me. I turned to Logan and I asked him if he would like to learn a brand new game. One that was only for two players and one that my mom absolutely hated. That got his curiosity piqued. He asked why Grandma Platis hated that game and I said it was because my sister and I used to argue and fight about it.

So of course he wanted to learn this intriguing new game.

Logan is doing an impression of the guy on the box.

STRATEGO! This is one of my all-time favorite games and it was a pleasure teaching Logan. Basically the game is two opposing armies playing Capture the Flag.

I quickly went over the rules and then it was time to set up our armies. I don't think I have played this for years and yet I remember how I like to set up my personnel.

Our first battle was between our Scouts. Very anti-climatic since we both killed each other.

After putting up a decent fight, I finally captured Logan's flag with my miner. Logan was less than thrilled.

Maybe this is why Jennifer and I argued and fought over the game. This is me gloating to Logan that I have his precious flag.

And this is how he took it.

I cannot wait to play another round. But we will have to wait until Kristy is not around.