Saturday, November 27, 2010


I am a deeply passionate BYU fan, and tonight my heart is broken. :(

Last year, at this time, I was relishing in the sweet taste of a BYU victory over Utah. I still remember the moment when the touchdown was scored. Andrew George, a tight end for the Cougars, pulled in the pass and, as he broke for the end zone, the stadium erupted with an explosiveness I'd never heard before. We rushed the field in a frenzy of elated euphoria. That was an incredible night.

This year couldn't be more different. With one second left on the clock, the Cougars lined up for the game winning field goal. Hopes, dreams, and breath hung for a moment. The ball was snapped, and, in an instant, the field goal... and my dreams of victory... were blocked. It's a strange and terrible sensation to be so primed to cheer, only to be suddenly deflated. What seemed so palpable and so real was, in a flash, swept away.


But such are the rewards and penalties of being a passionate fan. In some years, you will rush away from the game riding a euphoric high, laughing with no voice, hugging complete strangers, and gushing about what an incredible game it was. In other years you will walk away from the stadium in painful disbelief. I am aware of this and I accept it.

Football is a beautiful game and I would have it no other way. With that said, over the next few days, I'll be gluing together the shattered pieces of my broken, blue heart.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Cavity in my Wallet

Don't you hate it when you make a stupid mistake that ends up costing you a lot of money? We all do it at some point in our life, and for me that moment came today.

I received a call from my dentist's office while at work today. The woman on the other line told me that my insurance wasn't going to pay for my recent visit (cleaning, x-rays, and replacing an old filling) because my dentist was not on my plan. I was sure I had looked up my family dentist - the one I've been going to for the past 8 years - and had seen them in the list of providers covered under my insurance plan. I told the lady I'd call my insurance company and get things sorted out.

Before I did that, though, I went online to view the list again. I navigated to the website for my dental insurance and typed in my dentists name. Sure enough, he popped up in the list. I called the insurance company and spoke with a woman who sounded (of course) like she was twelve and foreign. I could hardly understand her and her voice was so sweet and calm it made me nauseous. I was in no mood for civil dialogue. I had the fury of hell in my veins and was ready to spew fire and venom at her for their mistake. Luckily, I held back.

She kindly explained (in broken English) that my dentist was a provider for only the paid plan, as opposed to my plan, which was free. Then she explained where on the page I could find that information - tucked away in the corner in small print. I told her that this was misleading, as there was no indication in the search that you'd have to specify which plan you were on before you found a dentist. Speaking from a web developer's point of few, I was adamant about the misleading nature of the website and the casual nature in which this important information was displayed. This elicited no sympathy from the woman with the Chinese candy* voice, though, and I was left to pay for the bill myself.

I called my dentist to see what could be done.

"Well..." she said, "The total for the work is two hundred ten dollars"

"Ahh, hell no..."

"Excuse me, sir?"

"Umm..." I sighed. "Is there any way we can get that lower?"

"Well, if you pay it all at once, we can give you a thirty dollar discount."

I paused, grimacing at the costly reality of my stupid mistake.

"Okay," I mumbled. "Let's do that."

Let this be a lesson to all of you. When dealing with insurance, you can never be too careful, too suspicious, or too overbearing.

Leave no stone uncovered, lest ye pay...


*You know exactly what Chinese candy is like. Strange, sickeningly sweet, and confusing. Yes, it perfectly describes this woman's voice. And no, that's not racist. It's a damn fine description of what she sounded like. :)

P.S. THANK THE GLORIOUS HEAVENS I HAD NO CAVITIES! I could have been out HUNDREDS of dollars. (Yes, there is a silver lining to this raincloud.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mustache Kart

This is the best Japanese commercial I've seen tonight. :)

Actually... this might be better...


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Alexa's Faces

Steve and Ash's little girl, Alexa, makes the funniest faces. Tonight, after Tyler's birthday celebration, Steve was showing us how Alexa likes to have her hands rubbed. EVERY time he did it, she'd open her mouth and make a funny face. It was hilarious...

He starts rubbing her hands and...

"WHOA! That's fun..."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Aftermath of a Nightmare

If you haven't read my post last night. I suggest you do so before continuing.

As many of you speculated, the post was inspired by this news story. I took creative license to embellish here and there and my post may not reflect, with perfect accuracy, how things went down that night. What we know for sure, though, is that the homeowner, realizing that his home was being broken into, shot the intruder through the sliding glass door. The intruder took off on foot and was discovered, dead, fifty yards from the home he was trying to break into.

It's a terribly tragic story for all parties involved - especially when you learn that the intruder was only a 19 year old boy. I saw his picture in the article and was struck with a little emotion. The kid doesn't look like a bad kid. He looks like somebody who made a stupid decision - caught in the wrong place at the wrong time - and paid for his life because of it. But as the homeowner, what can you do in a situation like that? How would you react? It's impossible to say that the homeowner over-reacted. It's also impossible to say that he didn't. Some moments in life have no defined black and white boundaries. We can only hope that in those moments we'll refrain from doing something we'd regret, and on that note I can't imagine what regret the homeowner must feel right now, even if he did feel justified in firing the shot last night.

I, like many of you who commented, would have tried to scare the intruder off before shooting him. And if I were to shoot, I'd have shot him in the leg - reducing the chances of death to something very minuscule. Then again, it's easy to say that as I sit, calmly, in my chair. In the heat of battle, in those moments of desperation, palpable fear, and split-second thinking, I'm not sure how I'd act.

Rest in peace, Kyle Poulton.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Like a Nightmare

You're suddenly awake. Your room is as quiet as it is black. For a moment you're not even sure of why you're awake as the only sounds you hear are those of your breath in the darkness and the silent rustling of your sheets. You blink a few times and turn to your nightstand to look at the clock. Three thirty four in the morning. You roll back into your pillow and close your eyes.


"What the hell was that!?" In an instant, every hair on your body stands on end and your senses become saturated with vivid life. You slide stealthily out of bed, your ears almost aching as they strain to hear something - anything that justifies what you just heard. As you stand there in the cold, by your bed, you become aware of a soft tapping, scraping, and wrenching below. Something or someone is working furiously at your sliding glass door downstairs - hammering into your home.

Without missing a beat, you open the drawer to your nightstand and pull out what you never thought you'd have to use. The cold, heavy steel sits menacingly in your hand and a soft click resounds and you turn off the safety. You grasp the gun like a knight wields his sword, ready to defend what is precious to him. In your case, it's your wife, who now holds a phone with trembling hands, and your children who you pray are still peacefully asleep.

You make your way downstairs, the shaking voice of your sweetheart fading into the background as she quietly pleads for help from the authorities. Every tiny fragment of sensation - the creaking of the floor, your shallow, frantic breath, the pounding of your heart - is processed a thousand times a second in your mind. Your thoughts weave and dart like bullet trains, astoundingly sharp, clear and quick. And yet, you can hardly think.

As you approach the sliding glass door you see a large, humanoid figure - the image of which sends a nauseating chill through your body. It suddenly stops moving. Time comes to a standstill, as your thoughts accelerate to a blur. You're unsure of whether or not you've been seen. The figure, with something in hand, raises it's arm. Acting in reflexive defense, you raise your weapon and fire a single shot. The figure falls backward, stumbling momentarily and then disappears into the night.


Did you do the right thing? Explain your thoughts.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some Pieces of Autumn

Took a few pictures yesterday, appreciating the last of autumn's colors before the the winter palette takes hold. I love the deliciously musty smell of the leaves and the way they rustle in the wind. I hope winter can hold off at least a few more weeks...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Memory of Summer

When the weather cools and the leaves drift from their visionary heights to the frozen tundra below, I mourn a little for Summer. I was reminiscing on warmer days tonight when I happened upon pictures from a hike I never posted to the blog. This shouldn't come as a surprise as most of you have likely noticed that my posts have become increasingly rare - like polar bears in an environmentalists nightmare.

Regardless, here they are. We hiked Timpanogos at midnight - an exhausting, exhilarating, and memorable adventure.

We arrived at about 1:00am full of energy.

At the top things were COLD. And the wind was WRETCHED.

This is the back side of Timp. In the distance you can see Deer Creek Reservoir and the Heber/Midway area.

In the moments before sunrise, the clouds were spectacular.

Just as the sun came over the mountains.

And just like that, the entire valley was filled with light.

Looking north from Timpanogos. This is the valley we hiked in the blackness. Much prettier from up here.

This panorama was stitched together from 25 photographs. Click here to view the high resolution version. You MUST see this. :)