Thursday, December 4, 2008


My wife and I have been considering getting rid of our cable. There are a few reasons why we would do this, and it seems to be a point of debate and consideration in many LDS families. Our's is no different. First of all, our cable bill is like $160 bucks a month or something ridiculous. When you bundle phone, internet, cable, and then add DVR, HD Channels, and a few Movies on Demand each month the next thing you know your cable bill is almost as much as your car payment. That's what me and my friends call ridonkulous. (BTW - I have 65 friends...according to Facebook. I added one more today. My brother Beau. Before that we weren't friends, but now thanks to Facebook we are. I also added my wife on Monday, so that's good. I was getting nervous that maybe she didn't like me, but when I got her friend request I was like "phew." Somehow my facebook network consisted of really obscure friends from high school, my mission, old jobs, and people I barely know. But my wife and my brother only made the cut this week. This is a lot to put in parenthesis. I shuold have put the first part of my blog post in parenthesis, and then left this part outside of parenthesis.) Anyway, our cable bill is ridonkulous, as I was saying, so we thought we might get rid of it. Also, we waste a lot of time watching TV when we could be more productive with our time. Like, if we got rid of cable, maybe I would blog twice a month instead of once. Also, I have some domain names that I own ( that I don't know what to do with so maybe I could figure something out if I didn't spend so much of my time watching Lakers and Real Housewives of OC (and sometimes Atlanta). Sometimes I just find myself watching TV no matter what's on. Like a couple days ago I got roped into watching this movie called "Neighbors" with Dan Akroyd and John Belushi from 1981. It was actually pretty funny. So Shalaine has had it on her to do list to call the cable company and turn off our cable - but she chickens out and puts it off. And let's just say I haven't been begging her to make the call either. Maybe after tonight's episode of Survivor and The Office...and they better be new episodes. Is there anything worse than sitting down to watch your favorite show only to realize it's Thanksgiving so I guess that means we're not interested in our TV shows? Last week was angering. My brother in law Eric cursed the TV when we realized that Survivor was just a re-cap episode, and The Office wasn't even on. So then we turned on Mario Kart and just played that for like 3 hours.

But now I've found the perfect reason to not cancel our cable. "The Secret Millionaire." This is the most uplifting TV show I've seen since, well, General Conference I guess. It's a new show on Fox in which millionaires go live in poverty for a week, interact with the poor and needy, and then at the end of the week give away at least $100K to various people in need. This money changes the lives of the poor, and the experience changes the lives of these millionaires. They profiled 2 millionaires last night. One rich lawyer from Newport Beach, and then this 36 year old guy who started a chain of chicken finger restaurants in the south called Rasing Cane's Chicken Fingers. He's worth $60 mil.
Anyway, these people ended up giving $100K to a family who had a 10 year old daughter with Leukemia, a lady who houses and feeds homeless children in her own home, a guy who was rebuilding a community center in Louisianna despite the fact that he still hadn't even built himself a home, and others who are poor but usually giving of themselves despite their lack of wealth. It was a great show and my wife and I were almost crying at the end because the stories were so inspirational. It reminded me how blessed I am, while at the same time it reminded me how poor I am - weird. It helped me put things in perspective and not worry about buying a bunch of meaningless gifts this holiday season. So I encourage all of you to not turn off your cable, and make sure you watch this show.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The First Puppy

I just came up with the most ingenious idea that will benefit all of us. November 4th was an historical day. (Do you know I actually did a report at BYU on why it's grammitically correct to put an "an" in front of singular nouns that start with "H" instead of an "a." Have you ever noticed that? You know that you use "an" in front of nouns that start with vowels, but have you ever noticed that you also put "an" in front of nouns that start with "H"? Well you do.) How awesome is this blog....talking about grammer and stuff. Most blogs suck cause they talk about politics, or funny stuff, or their family, but this blog talks about grammer and grammer is the coolest.

Anyway, November 4th we had a black dude get elected President. This is historic for obvious reasons, but to point out a few - not only is he black, he has no experience, his name sounds like America's 3 biggest enemies, Iraq Hussain Osama, and he gambled his whole campaign on the slogan "Yes We Can" which is obviously just the simplified version of something "The Little Engine That Could" says to help him get up the hill. It's also the name of an equipment distributor for handicap people out here in Palm Springs. Anyway, it's good cause now black people can't complain about oppression any more, or blame the man for holding them down. This election provides evidence that America has progressed beyond racism and provides opportunity to all no matter what ethnicity, gender, or religion.

We're fortunate to be a part of this history. There is so much to talk about with regard to this election, its implications on future elections, the social narrative of how America voted, and the implied message of this nomination as it relates to our interacial communities. So how come every time I turn on the news, everyone's talking about the Obama's puppy? This has taken over our news coverage. Obama gave this gracious and historic acceptance speech, and at the end he promised his daughters a puppy, and that's the only part of the speech I hear now. What kind of puppy are they going to get? Are they going to adopt a pound puppy? Are they going to buy a new puppy? Who's going to pick up the puppy's poop off the white house lawn? What if the puppy lifts his leg on Jackie-O's couch? What color is the puppy going to be? Do you know the puppy has to be hypoalergenic? Apparently this is the most important topic to discuss.

So my idea is to send T-bone to the white house. I think he's hypoallergenic. They can adopt him from the unfortunate circumstances under which he lives today. He's black, so that's good. He'll probably bark at heads-of-state when they first walk in the house, but as long as he can sniff their legs for a minute, he'll calm down. It'll settle the whole issue. We won't have to hear about it on the news any more. Shalaine and I don't have to hear his nails on our hard wood floors when we're trying to sleep. But we'll still get to see him on TV occassionally, and laugh when news stories pop up about him biting someone important.

So Barack. Just leave a comment on this blog post with your new address if you want to work out a deal. And maybe we can hook up sometime for some 1-on-1 hoops.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Family First

There is a popular saying we use in my wife's family. It is "Family First." While it may sound cliche', it's what we usually say in order to rationalize missing church cause family is in town, or missing a meeting to be with family, or forgoing some other responsibility in order to be with the family. The truth is, "Family First" is a pretty good principle for individuals and family's to live by, even if you do occasionally forgo what ever might be the more "responsible" use of your time. This past year, and especially the past couple of weeks, the importance of the family has been on my mind a lot. I have come to understand the importance of familial relationships in ways that I had not understood them before. I have come to appreciate more the roles that each individual plays in a family, in supporting each other through the most difficult trials, and in enjoying each other no matter what is going on. As our family has dealt with our mother's battle with cancer and her passing, the time we have spent together in mourning, reflecting, and celebrating have strengthened bonds that are eternal. We have stayed up late laughing, playing Wii, having trivial pursuit competitions, watching the World Series and Project Runway and Survivor, debating Prop 8, and eating a lot of food. We've woken up early to hike together, golf together, and go to church together. All of these seemingly menial activities have been the ingredients that have made up the spiritual and emotional support each individual needs during this most difficult time.

Anyone in attendance at Sharon's funeral service could not leave that service without a strong conversion to the importance of family. That service put life into proper perspective and allowed each in attendance to reflect on what is most important. A person's funeral service is probably a pretty good representation of the kind of life a person led. It was obvious from that service that "Family First" was a doctrine that Sharon lived her life by. A few days after the service, I talked to a non-member of the church that was in attendance. She is going through marital problems after having been married for 26 years. With tears in her eyes, she told me how much she wished her husband was in attendance with her to help remind him of how important their family unit is in the grand scheme of things. She said the service was such a powerful reminder of what really matters in life; that your relationships with your family is what brings true joy. After the service my parents remained in their seats for a good 15 minutes. I went and asked them what they were doing. My dad said they were recovering from the powerful spirit they felt there, and how grateful they are that I am part of this great family. (I think they were recovering from trying to corral my son Axel for an hour.)

This brings me to Prop 8. I know - we're all sick of Prop 8 and can't wait till we don't have to talk about it anymore. But Elder Ballard actually asked us to blog about it, so here I go. I'm just following the prophet.

All of this is under attack. Satan knows that it is the support system of the family that encourages individuals to live righteously, that uplifts individuals in times of trials, and that directly affects the success or failure of a society. It has never been more obvious to me, but it is not obvious to many. The fight for the legalization of gay marriage has never been more heated and more polarizing than it is today. It is because those of us who understand the importance of traditional family roles see it slipping away. We understand that future generations are at risk of not having the support system available to them that I have been so grateful for in recent weeks and months. We understand that without this support system, individuals function as individuals, more selfish, more confused, lonely, and lost as they struggle to understand where true joy can be found. The proponents of gay marriage have put forth convincing arguments. You don't think I'd like to have a man around the house to fix things? To put up shelves? To run our speakers through the ceiling? To fix my bedside light? Maybe to watch sports with? I would, okay. I get that. But that doesn't require the law to change the definition of marriage, and to corrupt the most sacred institution in our society. The marriage institution has already been beaten down and degraded through divorce and infidelity. To introduce homosexuality into marriage will virtually dispose of the institution central to the perpetuation, replenishment, and development of our society. (2 Steves cannot a baby make.) Actually, in order for a gay couple to have children, their only option is to rely on unnatural methods of attaining children. Perhaps that is an indication that such a marriage is not natural.

While I was out picketing for Prop 8 this last weekend, I was encouraged by the number of thumbs up and honks of support we got from passer-bys. It seems the majority of society still understands the sacredness of the family institution, and the value it is to individuals and to society as a whole. Aside from a few "F" you's and birds flying out of Suburu Outbacks (lezbos) and Mazda Miatas (gay boys) the support was overwhelmingly positive.

I apologize for the long and serious posting, and for the month long gap between this post and the last post about farting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Amid the gloomy financial/economic headlines, I found this story that made me laugh.

"Man Charged With Battery for Farting on Cop"

Jose Cruz had been arrested for drunk driving and was sitting in the police station awaiting a sobriety test. As the patrolman was preparing the machine, Jose scooted his chair toward the cop, "lifted his leg, and passed gas loudly" according to the "victim."

Next thing you know poor Jose is charged with battery. He's just a drunk Mexican trying to have a little fun. My guess is that he's "battered" his kids a number of times like this and they all thought it was hilarious. I know I was "battered" by my dad on a number of occasions. In the car. On the couch. At the dinner table. My dad was always "battering" us kids. I didn't know I could prosecute.

Anyway, Officer Parsons didn't think it was very funny. "The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting and provoking nature" he said in his complaint. So he's saying that Jose's gas actually made contact with him? Dude. That is crazy gas. Maybe a few too many refried beans and chile rellenos for Mr. Jose.

Jose did acknowledged passing gas but said the cop wouldn't allow him to go to the bathroom and complained: "I just couldn't hold it anymore." Now Jose could be facing time in prison, and could possibly even end up in the gas chamber.

Sorry - I couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lets Talk Race

There are a few things getting on my nerves during this political season. One is the term "Hockey Mom". I'm about to turn anti-Palin with all the hype surrounding her. I seriously heard some Republican Senator hyping Sarah Palin in these words: "She's a great woman, she's a great Governor, she's a great hunter, and she's a great mom." Okay. I'll definitely vote for her now that I know she's a great hunter. What does that have to do with anything? All these pictures of her sitting next to a big moose she just killed are silly. But I guess that really influences people.

Then the guy went on to say that she has foreign policy experience because Russia is close to Alaska. C'mon Republicans, you can do better than that. Are we that desperate to come up with reasons why Sarah Palin is a good candidate? She's a good hunter and can see Russia from her state? I've watched some stuff and read some stuff about her and what she did in Alaska and she is very impressive. There is enough there to focus on, and enough positive qualifications between McCain and Palin to warrant a vote, despite Palin's rather annoying voice and accent. She seems more like a character out of the movie "Drop Dead Gorgeous" than a VP candidate but that's okay. And Hockey Mom is so trendy now and everyone thinks they're clever when the say Hockey Mom.

The other thing bugging me is this talk about racism affecting Obama's chances...and the discussion of racism in America in general. This discussion needs to stop. I think it only perpetuates racism and allows it to continue when it has a chance of being extinguished in today's society. I'm sure there are a number of racist white people out there that still discriminate and are condescending toward blacks. But they are an extreme minority. My guess is that there are a lot fewer racists than there are blacks, and if blacks allow that racist minority to affect their success and lifestyle in America, that's their own problem they need to deal with themselves. So what if every time I see a black person in an expensive car I think to myself, "they must be an athlete or a rapper."

Now the interesting statistic. Barack Obama received 90% of the black votes in the primaries running against Hillary. 90%! And it's not like he was running against some "oppressive" middle-aged wealthy white businessman. No. He was running against a woman who was loved in the black community. If there was one white person out there that could threaten Obama's success against blacks it would be a Clinton. Bill was often referred to as the first black president because of the affinity the black community had for him. But instead, black people turned out in record numbers and 90% voted for Obama. So who is racist? The majority of the white population, or the majority of the black population? Think if Hillary got 90% of the white vote. What an uproar would occur. "Oh, the racism. White's won't vote for Obama! How terrible!" Instead, Hillary only got about 50% of the white vote, yet race is still discussed as a potential obstacle for Obama. It's not fair that the American public continues to be pinned as racists. That we're not intelligent enough to make decisions based on issues and not a person's color. Of course there are a few that will still let race be an issue to them, but it is a minority. It is the large majority of the black population that will only vote for a black person that I think should be scorned.

If Kobe Bryant were running for president, I'd vote for him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Life's Hurdles

Harsh critics. Geeez.

"Jumping Turtle. You don't post for like a month, and then you throw some crappy posting up about Hannah Montana and hurricanes. You suck!"

That's what people have been saying to me. Just because I have a hard shell on the outside, doesn't mean I'm not soft and sensitive in the middle. Well, here you go. Now you can laugh at me even more than you already do. I didn't want to have to do this but redemption calls for it.

It was a hot summer afternoon. I was 15 years old, and I had just finished my events at the regional track meet. I was on the track team which means I wore track shorts. Those of you who have seen my legs, now imagine them poking out of track shorts and you have your first laugh. Congratulations. I hope you enjoy it. Let's just say my legs don't look like Jackie Joyner Kersey's.

More like the guy from "A Nightmare Before Christmas."

Anyway, I thought I was done with my events. I stuck to the jumps - high jump, triple jump, and long jump - I wasn't much of a runner. All of a sudden the coach approached me and asked if I would be able to fill in on the 400 yd. hurdles. One of our guys couldn't make it. "Sure" I said. I was honored he asked me. I remember thinking, "This is going to be cake. I can jump, and I can run around the track one time no problem. I wouldn't be surprised if I win this thing." Remember, this was a regional meet, not just local. In other words, the rich white boys and asian kids I was used to competing against had been replaced by the black man who was counting on his athleticism to send him to college and, if things go well, provide a career. Whatever, I could hang.

I warmed up a little. Did some approaches to the hurdles. Hopped over a few to get an idea of the height. Did some stretching. I could touch my toes back then. It was sweet. We had this retarded kid on our track team - Patrick. He was special. He ran in a few of the races, including the 400 hurdles, and everyone cheered loud for him. He always came in last place, but all the cheers brought a big smile to his face and he must have been happier than the guy who finished first.

Time to get in the blocks. I settled in with my head down and my fists on the track waiting for the gun to pop. BANG! I was off. Screw pacing myself. This is only 400 yards. I sprinted out of the blocks and over the first hurdle. The second hurdle. The third. "Alright. It's a little harder to run and jump like this, but I'm okay. Just 7 more." By about the 5th hurdle I was really struggling. I had no rhythm. I would approach a hurdle and stutter step and then just jump over it. I think I started knocking some of them down with my knobby knees. I was even tempted to just run into them and keep running. By this time, everyone had passed me up except Patrick. It was just me and him out there bringing up the rear. I jumped over the 8th hurdle and the 9th. Then I heard the cheering start getting louder and louder. The leaders had crossed a long time ago. What was all the cheering about? "Uh oh. The retarded kid is about to pass me up isn't he?" I thought to myself. The cheering got louder. I glanced to my right and there he was inching past me as we approached the 10th hurdle. He lept over it like a gazelle with a big grin on his face. The moral dilemma presented itself. Do I try and pick up the pace, save face, and beat this guy. Or do I let him run to his first 2nd to last place in his track career. Then I realized I had no choice. Not because I'm some superior moral being and knew it would be the right thing to do to let him win. No. I was just too tired. Even if I wanted to try and catch up with him I couldn't. So I hobbled over the 10th hurdle like the cricket you just threw in the toilet that's trying to jump up the wall of the toilet to get out of the water but he can't, so he just gives up and you flush. I crossed the finish line. My face was red because I was embarrassed and I was really tired of running. My team was surrounding Patrick congratulating him on his first second to last. He was happier than I'd ever seen him.

I didn't get any scholarship offers to USC that day. But I guess I made someone happy. I hope he remembers that day - cause I sure do.

And Jumping Turtle was born.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Whoops. It's been a little while. Jumping Turtle went into hybernation. He's awake now, but kind of groggy, so he might go back to sleep.

Quick...what's the first thing you think of when you see that name - Hannah? I saw a headline today that said "Hannah Overwhelms Haiti." I thought to myself, "That's weird. I didn't know Haitians were big Hannah Montana fans." Then I saw the picture accompanying the headline and it turns out Hannah is a hurricane. That makes more sense, although it wouldn't surprise me if Hannah Montana overwhelmed Haiti with those big blue eyes, and gleaming white teeth. SO cute.

Were you like me? Was Hannah Montana the first thing you thought of? Sad...unless you're Hannah Montana - then it's happy. You know they name those hurricanes in alphabetical order. So I was glad when Hannah started making headlines, cause I was sick of hearing about some guy named Gustav. That sounds more like a creepy Romanian guy that unbuttons his shirt to his navel, not a hurricane.

Anyway, I'm glad I got my Hannahs all straightened out. As long as I don't see this headline in the near future, I should be okay:

"Miley Threatens the Gulf Coast."