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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm getting good at packing

Seriously, I've somehow managed to pack my entire room into three, maybe four boxes once I get all my clothes packed. I'm impressed. I had 7 when I moved into this place. I still am not sure when or where I'm moving, or even if I'll have a job after tomorrow morning, (more fun stuff that's come up in my life) but I do know that I'll be moving very soon.

Also, there's a new post on my music blog. Check it out.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Something I really miss

I miss writing letters, and getting letters in return. Emails are cool, but there's something about writing something by hand, and reading another persons handwriting. I miss the anticipation of waiting for letters in the mail. I miss the rush of adrenaline I got when I would open the letter, unfold it and start reading. Melinda and I wrote over a hundred letters to each other. I would sit for days working on my response, carefully wording every sentence, trying to come up with questions to ask. (As if I didn't her already.) I would wait to hear from her, and she would tease me on the phone, saying she was almost done with it. I remember waiting with eagerness to get he letters in the mail.

I miss it. I wish I had a good pen pal sometimes. I have a whole case of envelopes, and a full book of stamps. I need to start writing letters.

Stealing from Kate yet again

Sorry my voice kinda rumbles a little bit. It was late and I didn't wanna wake up my other roommate. (The sober one.) Also, I should be posting some new posts on my other two blogs in the next few days; I'll let you know when I do. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When it rains, it pours.

Well, just as I was getting better from my tooth, I had some more fun. Tuesday night, I had a panic attack right as I went to bed. I kept waking up with the shakes, and I had awful dreams. Then I woke up puking. I couldn't keep down any food or water. I called out of work, and then went around the house puking and trying to get a level head. I finally started to feel better right around time for me to go to bed, just in time to start having sharp pains in my chest. I ignored it and went to sleep. I woke up later around 430, and the chest pain was almost unbearable. I finally called my mom and asked for a ride to the hospital. They told me it likely had esophagus damage from the heaving, and gave me a nasty liquid that numbed everything it touched. When that didn't work, the doctor ordered an EKG. They did the EKG, and the doctor came in and said my EKG was normal, looked pretty plain, expect, It was classic EKG for a blood clot in the lung. SSSOOOO I got to get blood tests done, and then they took a CT scan of my chest. Fortunately, but unfortunately, both came back normal. It's good, because I didn't have to stay. It's bad, because It doesn't really answer the questions of what is causing the chest pains. In the mean time, I now owe Halifax $4,000. That's a lot of money, and it's money I don't have. I may be able to take a tax-funded assistance, but I may not be able to prove I qualify.

Monday, December 19, 2011

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

Jk. I've got four of 'em already.

However, I would LOVE those following...

Marshall JVM Head
Marshall 425 4x12 Cabinet 
Jackson Kelly 
Jackson King V V2

And about 90% of the shirts from snorgtees.

In other news, the hole in my jaw is healing well. Swelling is about all gone, as well as the pain. It looks super gross. I love it.

I have started two new blogs. One is about politics, and the other is about music.

I may or may not do a video blog soon. Maybe. We'll see.

Speed Safely.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And down to 27

I am now down to 27 teeth. I'm not particularly thrilled about this. Since I've already posted the background story, I'll just talk about how the extraction went.

A few days ago, my gums started to swell up, and my tooth became extremely painful. I realized the time for dragging my feet was up, and if I wanted to avoid really bad news, I'd need to do something about the abscess.  So I made an appointment to have my tooth removed, as that was all I could afford.

Here's how it went.

The office was running behind when I got there, so I had even more time to think about what was about to happen. When I finally met the dentist who was going to remove my tooth, he was a really cool guy. It was the first time I can remember going to the dentist and cracking up. So, he gave me two shots of Novocaine, then moved me over to the extraction room. About 20 minutes later he gave me a few more shots of Novocaine, then he got out a different needle and tried giving the injection into the root of my tooth, then actually through the part of my tooth that broke off. It was a total of 8 shots. (My body is resistant to Novocaine, and the abscess "sucked up" anything that reached my roots.) Then he got out what looked like a flat-head screwdriver and began pushing my tooth up.

Now, a lot had happened on the past few years since I last saw the dentist. I've been run over by a car, hit by a car, bruised my ACl, and I've had a score of problems with this tooth. I have a high threshold for pain these days.

Three pushes with the screwdriver was all I could take. The dentist then had to drill into my tooth, slip it and injected more Novocaine directly into my nerve. That wasn't pleasant. It also didn't do much. I wanted to back out. I wanted to jump up and quit. I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I saw him pulling out the two bloody pieces of tooth and the hygienist who was assisting putting gauze in my mouth.

So now, I am restricted to cold, soft foods, my jaw has disappeared, and I am in love with lowertabs. At least it's all down hill from here.

If I ever need another tooth pulled, I will be sedated.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Without Wax

I finished 'Digital Fortress" today. There was one code in the book that the main character never breaks- "without wax." Her Fiance always signs his letters "without wax", and she can never figure it out. The book explains that in old days, sculptors would correct mistakes with wax. Sculptures that didn't have wax, were called sin cera, "without wax." (This is where the English word "sincere" comes from) The fiance signs the letters "without wax" to say he loves her without flaw.

That's how I wanna love. That's what Melinda and I had. I miss that. It hasn't been there with either Laura and Bailey; not that I didn't love them, but there were flaws in how we showed our love, almost as if our love had been tainted. I don't want that. I want a purely sculpted love.
When I get married, I wanna love without wax.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things I've done since I got home from work

Went to the bathroom
Checked email/ Facebook/ ect.
Picked up where I left off with "Digital Fortress"
Took perishable food out of the freezer
Went back to reading
Read one chapter too far
Kept reading.
re-positioned myself several times over the course of 4 hours while reading.
Screamed at my book.
Threatened to painfully end said inanimate object's life.
Loudly said "Are you kidding me?" several times.
Went to the bathroom
Realized I still had perishable food sitting out- four hours later.
Found a lull in the action that I can leave-off at.

This reminds me of when I read 'Hunger Games". I was up till 230am.

I'm going to sleep now. Maybe
No, I wanna keep reading.
But, I should sleep.
But if I sleep, I'll have dreams about cryptographers and unbreakable codes and national security and treason and murder and paid assassins.
But I work 645-4 tomorrow, and I really need to sleep.

Damn you, good books. :/

Monday, December 5, 2011


(If anyone should have any cognitive discordance with the fact that I will be using a capital "D" when I type 'Depression", it's because I am referring to the proper name of a disease I was diagnosed with several years ago; therefore, it is a proper noun.)

With my current relapse into Depression, I wanna write an info-rant about Depression, because apparently nobody actually knows anything about it.

I classify Depression into two catigories: Clinical, and Temporary.

Temporary Depression is something everyone feels in life. It's a general sadness, caused by death, heartache, ect. It usually only lasts a few weeks to a few months, depending on what has brought it on. It has no medical causes.

Clinical Depression is different. It has a medical cause, and cannot be controlled. One of the biggest mistakes people make in dealing with someone with Clinical Depression is telling them to "just get over it," or something similar to that. Clinical Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Brain cells use certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters,  to communicate between each other. When there is not enough of these chemicals, brain cells can't communicate effectively. This imbalance is usually caused by either genetics or trauma, and it shows itself as one or more of the following conditions:
Manic Depression (Bipolar)
Social Anxiety
Clinical Depression

I've been diagnosed with 1, 3 and 4 on that list. I could write a million rants about all of these, but tonight, I'll just focus on Depression.

As I said, the chemical imbalance can be brought on by a few different things; for me, it was genetics. Both of my parents have ADD, and my mom also has Depression.

So what are symptoms of Depression? These are the ones I deal with personally.
Sleeping disorders
Disinterest in things I enjoy, like playing guitar.
Loss of apatite
Irrational Logic

What frustrates me the most, is that those symptoms are not me. They're not who I am. But, when this happens, I become that. I fight it, and I do my best to counter it, but this isn't something that's just in my head; this is something that is out of y hands at the end of the day. I can try to be happy, but I cannot forcibly make my brain produce enough chemicals.

Outside factors do affect me, though.

When I was on my date with Bri, I was so happy afterwards. Why? Because I was out, moving, and doing things that release Endorphins, which also causes an increase of Dopamine, both of which are chemicals used as neurotransmitters.

One of the worst thing about depression is the way it effects inter-social behavior. When someone has depression, others might accuse him of faking it for attention, or making it up, or being a sissy. Sadly, these are usually not true, and usually make things worst.

If you've gotten this far, you might be wondering why I decided to post this. Because I really need to vent. I'm tired of people telling me to just get over it. I'm tired of the dirty looks, and hurtful things said behind my back that I do hear. Not having a close friend is killing me. Everyone I used to be able to call has left me. I miss knowing I could just call and have a conversation with someone. Not about my problems, but just a conversation.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November in Florida

I've had so many blah posts lately, I figured I'd post some positive stuff.

This is the only ice rink where you can break out a sweat while skating. 

I think this sign is awesome; you don't see these everywhere.

I love the way our beach looks in the fall. 

That's a sunset from the top of the Seabreeze Bridge, north causeway. 

I had an awesome time with Bri. We skated for about an hour and a half, then we had dinner at Johnny Rocket's, an old-fashioned diner at the Ocean Walk Plaza. We sat and talked for an hour and a half. We then skated till they closed at 10. Afterwards, we hung out at her house for about an hour and talked. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

update on the tooth

Well, I went to see my old dentist today. First time in years. My tooth has abscessed, and will either need a root canal, or it will have to be yanked. Neither option is a happy one. If I get a root canal, it will hurt and cost almost $2,200, which is $1,998 more than I have right now; however, I will be saving my tooth, and aside from occasional maintenance on the cap it will be finished for good after just a few visits. On the other hand, I can have it pulled. If I do that it will only cost about $250; it will also screw up the alignment of my teeth, which grew in perfectly aligned. (Seriously, I have a perfect bite.) This means that I'll eventually need braces, which is about $5000 after all is said and done. Then, after all that is done, I'll have to get a bridge put in to correct the spacing.

I don't like My options.

Pics of my tooth will be coming soon. This sucker looks weird; plus, how often do you get to see the inside of a tooth???

Side notes_
I went ice skating at the rink they have set up at the bandshell (on the boardwalk along the beach.) I think this was the first time I can remember breaking out a sweat while ice skating.

I'm taking Brianna on a date to said ice rink tomorrow night. First date in... a while.

I think my depression has started to relapse. This, is not good in any way.

I'm working out a few ideas for rants. Most likely my next one will be on the Occupy Wall Street.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I cannot begin to express my anger right now

Anyone who knows me personally knows that while I do stress easily, I am very slow to anger.

So when I say I am as pissed off as I have ever been, you know it's legit.


Here's the story in chronological order.

About 10 years ago: I have very soft teeth. I get cavities very easily, and I have had several fillings, many of them rather large. Well, One of these large fillings is on my 1st molar, bottom right. It takes up almost my entire top surface, and in between the molar and 2nd bicuspid.

Late December, 2009: While flossing one morning, the floss got caught on a bit of over-hang on the filling. I tugged at it, only to break my filling and have about half of it come out. Surprisingly, I never felt any real pain. I was uninsured at the time, so I largely ignored it. I kept the hole cleaned out but never got it looked at.

Mid feb, 2011: I start getting a little bit of pain in the tooth. It gradually grows into severe pain, keeping me up all night several times and bringing me to tears a few times. (I was told by a friend who had a similar experience that this type of tooth pain hurts worst than child birth, so I don't feel too bad about the tears.) I found out they make temporary fillings; I got some from Wal-Mart, along with a few bottles of  Ibuprofen. (All NSAIDs work for tooth pain, but Ibuprofen works best, especially at high doses.) This helped relieve the pain when it's at it's worst, and I start looking up prices and options to get it fixed. I asked for financial help from my parents several times because I couldn't, and still can't, afford any of the treatment options available.

Today: The temporary filling had been chewed away as it always does. I was eating some Doritos, and as my tongue ran over my tooth, I noticed that it felt odd. No pain, but slightly odd. I checked it in the mirror, only to find that my tooth, has broken off in one corner next to the hole. The piece is still there, I am going to removed it and put a new filling over it soon as I hit the "publish" button.

I'll likely have to miss work Monday for this.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

my absence explained.

I, having no formal musical training, have been asked to arrange a special music number for the ward christmas party. The instruments to be used: Piano, Flute, Violin, Guitar, and Tenor Sax.

It's harder than it seems.

I've also started working on the lyrics for a song I wrote years ago. It is very obvious my lyrical writing as well as my guitar playing is largely influenced by Dave Mustaine.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What it's like to work in the drive-thru

Me: "Welcome to Chick-Fil-A, would you like to try our new peppermint-chocolate chip milkshake?"
Customer: "No thank you."
Me: (Waiting for the customer to continue talking, but she doesn't) "Alright, I can take your order whenever you're ready."
Customer: "Isdljhfwouldljhsdfjhlikejhdsfhjalyrwhnnvfouroljsadhfcountljhadfoukidsljshdfguohmeal."
Me: "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?"
Customer: "Iwouldlikeafourcountkidsmealplease."
Me: I'm sorry ma'am, can you speak a little slower for me, I'm having trouble understanding you."
Customer: "I........ Want....... A...... Four....... Count.......Chick..... en...... Nug..... get...... Kids..... Meal....."
Me: "Alrighty, and what would you like to drink with that?"
Customer: "Yes, please."
Me: (Pause in disbelief.) "WHAT would you like to drink with that?"
Customer: "Oh, well what drinks do you have?"
Me: "We have coke products, ma'am"
Customer: "Okay, I'll take a diet Pepsi."
Me: (Slowly shakes head.) "Anything else, ma'am?"
Customer: "Yeah, can I get one of those new mint shakes?"

You can't make this up.

But, despite things like that, I like my job. We have a guy who comes in wearing a cowboy hat, wranglers and flannel. His name is Dusty. Makes me think of :Life of the Cowboys" every time I see him, which makes me miss listenign to Prairie Home Companion.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

because I'm tired

1) Two more undefeated teams fall. This, is why I love college football. The final score from tonight's national championship game between LSU and 'Bama: LSU 9-6. That's why I love SEC football.

2) Fiddle> Classical Violin. (sorry Kate, but my Dixie blood runs deep lol)

3) I have a cavity on my top-left incisor. It's right at the gum. My teeth annoy me. They came in dead-perfect in the alignment department, but they are so soft they get cavities all the time. 

4) I love cold weather. I'm over the Florida heat, and worst yet, the Florida humidity.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I think they had it right

I wanna go to how they do it in "The Giver." They assign you a spouse whom you'd be comparable with. No breaking up. No getting your heart broken, or worst, breaking someone heart.

I hate that I had to break baileys heart, but I knew the spirit was telling me to do it, and I know why.

I hate knowing this was sudden for her, and that she's hurting.

I hate this.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Impromptu music lesson

I never knew it was possible to get an injury playing cards. Jammed fingers= illegitimate suckage.

Today was the primary presentation at church. My 3rd as a teacher. This is also the 2nd time I've played my guitar in sacrament meeting. This happened as a result of me opening my big mouth (in a not-mean way) when the pianist kept messing up a simple song a few months back. So I got to play a solo at the end of the primary presentation.

I showed up early
I set up the mic
I tuned my guitar
Tested the mic
Tuned my guitar
Set my guitar down
Tuned my guitar

Solo time comes up. All I can hear is a flat E string.

After church, Richard and Jefferson, who both play piano very well (concert level well) Bri (who doesn't know squat about music) and I were hanging out in the Young Women's room. (The only one with a piano that wasn't being used.) Bri asked me how I know where to press down on the strings.

Her mistake

Rich and I bombarded her with scales, semi-tones, frets, white and black keys, key signatures, note names, ect. I looked over to see her mouth open, eyes wide.

So, we made a diagram of a keyboard on paper, and made a way for her to memorize the keys and treble clef. We then helped her learn "Praise to the Man" (same song i did my solo to.)

We didn't leave until almost 3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The end of hurricane season

is next Monday. We've had two close storms. (One wasn't a tropical system, but it did a lot of damage.) I finally got around to uploading the vids from my camera. I'm gunna edit them together and post it on here when I'm done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 movies my future wife must also love

catchy title, no?

1) Regiletto: This a beautiful movie. It is one of the many movies Melinda's family exposed me to. This one, however, is far above the rest.

2) The Ultimate Gift: I'm man enough to admit I cried during this movie. So incredibly powerful.

3) Secondhand Lions: This movie showed much of what I wanna be like when I'm old.

4) The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King:   Yes, I loved this movie. I have yet to read the books, but the movie was very-well made. It's one of the few movies to come out in the past 10 years that didn't suck in some way, except for the 12 endings.

5) Father Goose: Old-school comedy. Clean. Intelligent. Just like it should be.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Political rants/thoughs because I can't sleep.

Why is it if it's hard working, patriotic, or christian, it must needs be conservative?

Today, I told a lady (a very liberal lady) that my dad used to be a lobbyist. She made a sour face. When I told her he was a democrat and lobbied for the teamster union, she said that was great. Why difference does it make which side you're lobbying for? if it's wrong for one side, it's wrong for all sides.

Is Fox "News" aware that the cold war ended a while ago...

Just because I want taxes to be done fairly, doesn't mean I wan't to redistribute the wealth. Whatever that means.

Name-calling is really quite childish.

So is arguing and yelling. 

We need a "1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice" voting system. Elections just might turn out very different. 

The Founding Fathers didn't agree any more than we do today; they just knew how to COMPROMISE! (Oh no, not the C word!!!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Put your kid on Ritalin, already!

I am getting tired of these hippy, hipster, organic, home-grown, local only moron parents who think ADHD was invented by drug companies to sell pseudo-scientific poison. I'm not talking about overall bad parents, either. After working in a grocery store for 2+ years, I could write a million rants about all the things I see parents do that makes me want to strangle them. (And, from time to time, the kids too.) I'm talking about these "informed" parents who think ADHD is over-diagnosed and over-medicated. True, ADHD and ADD are over-diagnosed in SOME age groups, it is severely under-diagnosed in adolescents, teens, and adults. Yes, 3 year-old kids are squirrels. That's how it is supposed to be. As you get older you calm down and focus better. That's why old people are crabby and young kids are happy: Kids can't focus on the bad; old people can't stop focusing. But at a certain age, a child should be able to pay attention to a 5-minute presentation.

There is a kid I know, his parents are good friends of mine. He is 8. He is an extremely intelligent kid. I like him.
But I am scared to death of having him in my primary class next year.
I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say he has a shorter attention span than the sunbeams. He cannot sit still and quiet for more than 5 seconds.

He has ADD. Not ADHD, but ADD

I don't why he isn't on medication. I don't really know how I could even bring it up.

Part of the problem, is that people don't know what ADD and ADHD are and are not.

ADD is the inablilty to concentrate. No matter how hard someone with ADD tries, they can't stay focused on something that they aren't deeply interested in for long periods of time. I know. I have ADD. NO matter how hard I try, I can't concentrate on lectures at school, how-to tutorials, or long-winded speakers. But man I can play music, listen to music, and watch music all day. It's called hyper-focusing. It's part of ADD.

ADHD is ADD, with the added ingredient of hyperactivity. This is why it is over-diagnosed in small kids.

ADD/ADHD is NOT becoming distracted by something random.

ADD Thought process are actually VERY detailed, and VERY logical. It doesn't make sense to some people because they cannot connect the dots. (It also doesn't help that these processes take less time than it takes to read this sentence.)

I personally believe that this extra-special ability to connect loosely-related ideas enhances creativity. It is said that the most brilliant minds in arts and sciences are believed to be/ are confirmed to have some form of attention deficit.

I hate the idea that ADD diagnosis's are so misused and mistrusted. Think of how many people would be able to succeed if they could actually focus. It changed my world in Elementary school. I wish I stayed on my meds all of my years in school. My 8th grade teachers thought I was lazy. When they found out I had ADD, they knew I wasn't and were able to help me so that I could succeed in class.

well, I had more to say, but MY inner squirrel just ran off with it.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An (extended) week of rants, part VI: Top-5 most over-rated guitarists.

Inspired by my last rant, I am going to give a quick list of the most over-rated guitarists ever. (please note, these are modern electric guitarists.) These guys aren't necessarily bad, but they are way too popular, and given too much credit.

5. Eddie Van Halen: Everybody thinks his song "Eruption" is the greatest thing ever played on a guitar. When he played it, it was new. Two-handed tapping was new, and the sounds he created, scales he used, speed, were all new. But in all perspective, he wasn't all that great. In order to be a great guitarist, you must also be a great musician. Eruption

4. Slash: Slash sucks. Seriously. Everything he does is played with a Wah pedal. While he has the basic concept of feeling, he rarely is capable of matching his the tone and sound of his solos to the sounds and tone of the song. Slash

3. Kirk Hammett: As I stated previously, Kirk has no feeling, no technique, no skill. His picking is kinda fast, but not much else going for him.Kirk

2. Yngwie Malmsteen: He is the most well-known Neo-classical guitarist; also, he is the least-talented. His idea of guitar playing is that: Play scales and arpeggios really fast. That works great with bowed instruments, but they have a short sustain- a guitar has prolonged sustain, and that should be used. Yngwie.

1. Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix is the most well-known electric guitarist. He did so soem really cool stuff, but Rolling Stones voted him the best guitarist ever. Seriously? No. He plays cool-sounding stuff, but as I've stated before, their isn't much more than lose expression in it. A guitarist must also be a musician, and Mr. Hendrix is not.  Voodoo Child

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An (extended) week of rants, part V: An argument that doesn't make sense.

I hate most of Metallica's music. (Most anything that wasn't written by either Dave Mustaine or Cliff Burton.) I don't really make a habit of listening to them or watching Metallica videos on Youtube; however, I do watch  few from time to time.

Now, James Hetfield, Metallica's rhythm guitarist/lead singer, is alright. His guitar riffs aren't too complicated, and about half of his lyrics are the word "yeah", but he's decent. Metallica has always had outstanding bassists, but Kirk Hammett (lead guitar) and Lars Ulrich (drums) suck. They are terrible, and worst, over-rated. There are millions and millions of fan boys and fan girls who swear Lars and Kirk are the greatest ever. (Don't get me wrong, there are tons of Megadeth fanboys who think Dave Mustaine is the greatest guitarist ever, but while that isn't true either, he is at least much better than Jame and Kirk.)

I see a ton of people who bash Kirk and Lars. It's everywhere. It's not as much that we are singling them out because we hate them or wanna destroy their careers, but they get way too much credit. But every time someone calls out Kirk for playing out of key, or Lars for playing off tempo, (both of which happen regularly...)  some idiot always comes back with "Well can YOU play better than him?"

What a stupid comeback.

I can't even draw a strait line, (or even a crooked one) but I can sure as hell tell if someone else sucks at drawing as well.

I don't play Violin, or write classical music, but I can surely tell you "Cannon in D" isn't all that amazing

I'm not very good at spelling, but I can surely tell you any1 who talk like dis cuz they cool n u don't b hatin is a complete moron.

What makes this worst is a lot of the people who call out Kirk and Lars PLAY the freakin' guitar/drums. I know Lars isn't very good at drumming because I listen to his beat patterns, and they are easy, and always the exact same. He uses the wrong symbols at the wrong time. He seriously sounds like a little kid with no sense of timing or musicality. Kirk always uses the Em Pentatonic scale for EVERY solo, over-uses the Wah pedal, uses very basic tapping techniques and never follows the chord progressions. (Don't get me started on his lack of feeling.)

I play guitar. I played on drumline. I love music, and have a well-developed ear for music. I know what both instruments should sound like, and these guys don't have it. I'll never undstand why they are so popular.

I'll never understand why Kirk is put in with the likes of Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Joe Satriani, Al Pitrelli, ect.

I'll never understand how people can compare Lars to Bonzo, Nick Menza, Jimmy Digrassio, Neal Peart, Pete Sandoval, ect.

I don't understand!!!

Proof Metallica sucks 
Video One
Video Two

Speed Safely

Saturday, September 24, 2011

sorry bout the silence yall. been busy the past few days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A week of rants, part IV: The ignorance of Florida drivers.

For those who don't know me personally, I don't own a car for financial reasons. I bike everywhere. I've been hit by cars numerous times, with injuries ranging from scraped hands and twisted ankles to being bed-ridden for a week with a severity bruised ACL. None of those were my fault. So, as a PSA, I'm going to teach everyone some lesser-knows driving laws and general safety tips. And don't knock it just 'cuz I don't drive regularly- I got a perfect score on my driving test, perfect score on my driving law knowledge test, and everyone I've ever driven with think I'm a great driver.
 Please note these are the laws here in Florida. Other states may be different, but they're all pretty close.

1) When making a right-hand turn, ALWAYS check down BOTH directions of the sidewalk and bike path. If there is a tie at the crosswalk, bikes/pedestrians lose, but YOU pay. (Just ask the guy who drove his car into my knee.)

2) Bikes have the same right-of-way privileges as cars. If a bike is going strait, and you're making a turn, the bike has right-of-way. (As a general rule, unless you have a green TURN ARROW, you do not have the right-of-way when turning, left or right.)

3) Bikes have full legal right to the left-hand turning lane. Do NOT drive around them in the lane.

4) When passing a bike in the roadway, the minimum distance in 3 feet, but you must leave him enough room to lay down his bike/ swerve to avoid obstacles, whichever is the greater distance. Also, in the state of Florida, if the lane of traffic (space between lane markers, NOT just the pavement) is less than 12ft wide, a bike may ride as far to the left as the middle of the lane.

5) Bikes are not required to ride on the shoulder of the road. Also, bikes are to ride as far to the right as PRACTICAL, not possible.

6) As a general safety tip, before entering an intersection, follow the pavement from the front of your car down the road in BOTH directions. This is the only way to ensure you don't miss anything.

7) Bikes, (and pedestrians, too) are NOT required to follow cross-walk signals. They follow the traffic signal on the same side of the roadway they are on. (closest lane of traffic)

8) When stopping at an intersection, your ENTIRE car must come to a stop BEHIND the white line on the pavement. That white line is the edge of the intersection.

9) ALWAYS look BOTH ways before turning onto a road. Sidewalk traffic is uni-directional. If you hit any cross traffic in the crosswalk, you are at fault.

10) In Florida, Bikes may use either the sidewalk OR the bike path/roadway, whichever is deemed safer. In other words, a bike is NEVER required to stay off the sidewalk.

The next person who hits me is getting sued.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A week of rants, part III: Virginity, Virtue, and Value

This one can be a bit touchy, but I am going to address it anyways.

I'm sure my readers remember my rant on RMs and dating, so this one is going along similar lines: Virginity and Virtue are NOT interchangeable. Not all virgins are virtuous, and not all those who are virtuous are virgins.

There are some things that are always said in church, by well-meaning people, that irk me. One of them is the "bubble gum analogy." The basic premise is would you rather have a fresh new piece of gum, or one that's been chewed already. Some people add to this by adding that once gum has been chewed, it cannot be returned to it's previous state.

I hate that analogy. It is a spit in the face to repentance and the true power of the atonement. While it's true that being a virgin is a one-time loss, the bubble-gum analogy implies that someone who has had sex outside of marriage is damaged goods. This is not true. When someone repents, truly, they become just as pure as they were before. While there may be long-lasting implications of the actions, (STDs, pregnancy, bad memories, ect.) a person themselves may become just as pure as they were beforehand. (See Isaiah 1:18) As much as I enjoy Dear Bro JO, there have been many things where he and I disagree. One of these is when he told one girl that men will not consider her for marriage because she wasn't a virgin, and that they had every right to. IMHO, there isn't a bigger load of crap. In some way, EVERYONE is ABC gum. The only difference with sex is that no amount of repentance will ever restore physical virginity. But, the innocence, the purity, and virtue can be. Virtue isn't a set of requirements- it's a manner of living. A virtuous person lives his/her life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. A virtuous person lives a life of true sexual purity, even if it hasn't been perfect; inversely, someone may do lots of things, but never go "all the way," thus being a virgin, but not virtuous.

This is where the 3rd V, Value, comes in.

When we look at the value of a person spiritually, are we looking for the right things? Shouldn't we be more worried about someone who is virtuous, loyal, and spiritual, rather than a set of requirements that may not be fair? If Heavenly Father has forgiven a person, and thus "remembers [the sin] no more", (D&C 58:42) than who are we to hold it against them? If the fact that someone has transgressed bothers you, than you have no testimony or faith in the atonement.

II remember once hearing a story of someone who was a chain smoker. He was shunned a lot by members of the church because his clothes smelled of cigarettes. He said: "The only difference between me and everyone else is my sin has an odor."

Let us learn to forgive everyone, as it is required of us. Don't EVER judge another person for past mistakes they've repented of.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A week of rants, part II: What does it mean to be a man?

First, read this article. 

Now that you have an idea of what a man truly is, I'ma make a list. (I suppose- I'm kinda making this one up as I go.) This list will include examples, scenarios, and just plain are/are not lines of what manhood really is.

1) A real man loves everyone woman in his life and treats every one of them with the up-most respect. A man would never share intimate details about his wife, mother, daughters, sisters, or any one else. A man would never use a woman, for anything. A man never hits a woman in an attacking manner. ( I do believe a man has the right to defend himself if attacked, but self-defense doesn't necessitate beating someone up.)

2) A real man loves, honors, sustains and respects his wife.  This includes how he speaks to her and about her. A real man doesn't raise his voice with a woman. A real man doesn't belittle a woman to her face, and would never dream of speaking ill of her behind her back. An example of a guy not being a man is someone I'll refer to as "Vance." A close friend of mine, Vic, whom I consider a 3rd grandpa, used to go have "Vance" as a primary-care doctor. Vic told me, after Vance had run off with a younger woman, (something else a real man would never do,) how Vance would brag to Vic about the things Vance's wife would do sexually. I got sick when I heard that. What type of person would betray his wife like that? The things that a wife does to show her love to her husband should NEVER be discussed outside of the marriage, except in situations where is it necessary, such as marriage counseling.

3) A real man owns up to his mistakes.

4) A real man doesn't let another person be singled out, or get thrown under the bus. In example, when a girl I know got caught making out with her boyfriend, (no, it wasn't me) her boyfriend didn't run out the door and drive off. He sat down and took the beratement that the girls father gave them both. 

5) A real man loves Heavenly Father and Jesus more than ANYONE else and ANYTHING else. No questions asked. This may seem to contradict numbers one and two, but if a man loves his God more than anyone else, a total and complete love for his wife, mothers, daughters and other beloved women will naturally occur, because in order to love God, a man MUST obey God's commandment to love Gods daughters.

6) A real man works. This may include a plethora of things, but a man works hard at every task he undertakes, takes price in his efforts, and does his employers well.

7) A real man takes care of his family. This means providing for them temporally, and spiritually. A real man always takes his children's feelings into consideration, and would NEVER intentionally hurt them. This includes yelling at them or losing his temper with them. Every man has the ability to control himself, and will be judged according to how well he actually does.

I could go on and on and on, but for the sake of those reading this, I'll keep it short and generalized. If anyone reading this would like to discuss this further/pick my brain on the subject, feel free to email me. 

In general, a real man truly is like Jesus. When I think about the type of man I want to be, I think of men I know personally. Men like Brother Vause, Brother Long, Brother Allen, Brother Singler. I have a complete and total respect for each and every one of those men. They are so close to the Lord, and it shows. I want to be like them. I wish I had known that when I was a teenager. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A week of rants, part I: How to save millions in the Federal Budget

Eliminate the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives was born from the idea of states with larger populations having a greater say in the goings on of government. They wanted this because during the era of time when the Constitution was being drafted, the states had to compete with each other for governmental resources and  favor. But this is no longer the case. A single state, or group of states, cannot gain favor without affecting the other states as well. The welfare of all the states is tied together.

There are 435 representatives. The salary of a representative is about 174k a year. Speaker gets 223k. The majority and minority leaders get 193k. That's
That's 75M+.223M+.386M

76 millions dollars spent on just the salaries of the HoR. That doesn't include operating costs, salaries to pages, ect. That's just salaries. Health benefits and pensions aren't included.

Why are we spending this money? We are the only Republic government in the world (that I know of) that has two legislative bodies. It's a waste.

It also bogs down the system. The senate easily passes bills. It takes more than twice as long for bills to pass the House than it does for them to pass the Senate, even when the bills are wildly popular ones. Part of the reason for this is the fact that the entire house is up for re-election every 2 years, and popular opinion swings quite far, and very quickly. (Another thing about american culture I strongly dislike.)

So how do we fix this?

We eliminate the House of Representatives. We keep just the Senate. But, in order to keep the accountability in the Legislative Branch, we add a 3rd senator from each state. This way, we have one senator from each state up for re-election every 2 years, as it is with the entire HoR, but only less than one-half would be up for re-election, so bills would still pass the senate. Plus, the extra salaries would only add $8.7M in extra salaries for the Senate, which is MUCH lower the the $76M. $67.3M lower, to be exact.

It will never happen, but I can dream, can't I?

Time for an update

So, I have been terrible at keeping my blag lately. I'm sure my three loyal readers are just oh-so sad about this.

Chick-Fil-A is awesome. While I have been under a lot of stress during the 2pm-4pm period, that's just part of working fast food.

With a single click, my weeks and weeks of work (weeks of procrastination and a few days of work) was gone. That's right, my long-awaited taxes rant was accidentally deleted. I'm gunna do an abridged version later today. I've decided I'm going to do a series of rants. My ideas so far are
Taxes", "What is a Man?", "Virginity, Virtue and Value" and "Common Courtesy".

I also might add a rant on a crazy  idea I have for saving money in the federal budget: eliminate the House of Representatives.

Stay Posted. First rant should be up later today.

Monday, September 5, 2011


So as I read articles and talks about love and marriage, I've had some interesting thoughts.

When I was in middle school, my mom bought a book called "How do you know when you're in love?". It was very interesting to read. It was written by a psychology professor at BYU. He broke down what he called a "complete love" into three catigories: Friendship Love, Christlike Love, and Romantic Love.

Friendship Love is the base. It's the start. It's what makes you enjoy being around another person. It's what makes you wanna talk to the person.

Christlike Love is the spiritual aspect of love. It's what gives you concern for the other person's well-being.

Romantic Love is what gives you physical desires aside from lust. It is what makes you wanna express affection, kiss, cuddle, hold hands, ect. (you know what else there is.)

Friendship love is what makes you wanna sit next to your significant other on the couch.
Romantic love is what makes you wanna cuddle.
Christlike love is what keeps you from going too far physically.

It's amazing how it all works. You don't actually "fall in love." "falling" in love implies it is accidental, and you can't control it. But you can. You choose, though mostly subconscious. In the book, the author says you should never ask why someone loves someone else. 

But that makes me thin about something else.

You fall in love with someone because there are things about them that you adore and admire. Why is it then that when you break up, the other person is horrible? I've never been that way with an ex. I've been "in love" twice in the past, and while I have been very hurt by those girls, I still admire them. Melinda and Laura are wonderful women. I still think Mike is a very lucky guy to have married Melinda, and whomever Laura's future husband is is also very lucky. But I've moved on. Bailey and I have been "unofficially official" for a little over a week now. I love her. The distance makes it hard, but I don't regret this. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Time!

I shot some awesome videos of the hurricane today. Took a little break to eat dinner. I've been at the beach most of the day. I'm gunna head back tonight around 10 or 11, which is about when the storm should be at it's worst. I'll post my videos later tomorrow or Saturday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What amazes me about these

Is they still sound awesome just like this. It also is worth noting that neither of these guys have ever taken formal lessons.

These are the master tracks used in the studio versions of the songs. Pretty cool I think

OH yeah, I got job finally. Chik-fil-A yipee!

Friday, August 12, 2011

10 Reasons to come to Florida

Here are a few reasons to visit Florida. Some of these, you may already know about. A few of them, I bet not

1) Gators. How can you tell a native Floridian vs. a Tourist? A native will look at a 6 ft. gator and say "It's just a baby." It's okay though; gators might swim and run faster than people, but they can't climb trees.

2) Large, flying roaches. A native Floridian will look at a 2-inch cockroach flying by and say "eh." Secure small children.

3) Hurricanes. In 2004, we had 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks. Sure, wind sailing in a gale is extreme, but just imagine going it with 130 mph winds!

4) Sunburns. If you're going to the beach with your family for Thanksgiving, be sure to bring sunscreen. It's hard to enjoy a nice turkey dinner when you can't even put your back against the chair.

5) Venomous Serpents. There are three varieties of of poisonous snakes in the US. Florida is home to all 3. Doesn't that make you feel great. No? Keep this in mind: Thanks to idiots letting their pets free, the Everglades now has a thriving population of pythons.

6) Cougars. No, I'm not talking about geriatrics Miami Beach. I'm talking about the Florida Panther, a type of cougar. They're endangered. That means if one attacks you, and you defend yourself, FDLE will kill you anyways. But let it maul you.

7) No winters. Florida's season go like this: Light Summer from April to May, Summer From June to October, Light Summer again in November, Late Fall in December and January, and Early Spring from February to March.

8) It's Flat. Stand on a tuna can, see coast to coast.

9) Old People. You will always be able to find Prune Juice. Blue hair is abundant. Ask them about how things where done back in their day.

10) No one knows how to drive. more than 50% of Florida's population is under 25 and over 65. A great place to practice those first aid skills.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Because I don't talk about myself often enough

Stole this from Kate

1. I hate Salad dressings. All of them. I eat my salads dry, or with olive oil.
2. I also hate Mayo, miracle whip, and anything similar.
3. Add sour cream to that mix.
4. I can be a very picky eater, but not as much as my sister Sarah. She still called tomatoes"ickies" even though she is now 24 years old.
5. I am the youngest of 6- 4 boys, 2 girls.
6.I am also tied with my brothers Micheal and Bryan as the Tallest.
7. I am the only sibling in my family who inherited my dad's hair- Thick, wavy, and prematurely graying.
8.I've been finding grey hairs since I was in 8th grade.
9. I am the only member of my family who studied music but never took professional lessons.
10. I am also the only member of my family who still plays.
11. I originality picked up guitar to get girls.
12. I gave up the guitar for a few years in high school.
13. to date, I've owned 7 guitars: A Squire Strat, a Yamaha ES Acoustic, a B.C. Rich Warlock (bronze model), a 1985 model Epiphone Explorer, an ESP-LTD V50, and a Jackson DKM2 Dinky Pro.
14. I've changed the strings I use many times. I went from 8-gauge Ernie Ball, to 9-gauge DR Colored, to 9-gauge EB, then to 9-gauge B-52, to hybrid-9 B-52, to 10-gauge B-52, and now I use 10-gauge Cleartones.
15. I also use string lubricant on my guitars. It helps, a lot.
16. When I was in Elementary School, my favorite band was Backstreet Boys.
17. If someone has known my for a very long time, they usually call me Boomer.
18. I cannot stand most Metal bands out today.
19. I haven't listened to the radio in YEARS
20. When I was younger, my mom would suppress my Southern accent. She would tell me to pronounce the "g" at the end of "something."
21. For the most part, she was successful. I have a very slight accent, which usually only comes out when I'm around someone else who has an accent.
22. I use a lot of Southern vocabulary, though. ("Yonder,'' " Y'all," " Fixin' to," ect.)
23. I love Southern Culture.
24. I love the South in general. I hope I never have to leave.
25. I am capable of speaking articulately, and I can hold my own in intellectual debates/ conversations; however, I don't make a habit of it. In the words of John Folgerty, "It ain't me."
26. I can be a serious grammar nazi at times, but I have forgotten a lot of rules on capitalization. Feel free to correct me when you see mistakes.
27. I hate when people use the improper word, such as there/their/they're. It's/its, and your'/you're will almost always irk me.
28. Interestingly enough, I'm not sure if it's "Your Welcome" or "You're Welcome."
29. I also have when people use commas to separate independent clauses without a coordination conjunction.
30. I am also peeved when people semi colons improperly, as well as when people use a colon incorrectly.
31. I love weather. The more severe, the better. If there is a tornado warning, I'll be the one running outside with a camera shouting "THIS IS AWESOME!!!"
32. I hate when people use metaphors and sayings from the scriptures in everyday speech. (My joy is/was full, my cup runneth over, ect.)
33. I found Mormons can be VERY rude at times. I'm not sure why, but members of the church seem to have no qualms with interrupting two people who are conversing, just to say "great talk." This frustrates me, and it makes me sad.
34. I've also found Mormons can be very ignorant and close-minded about other religions, opinions, and political views.
35. Interestingly enough, "high-ranking" members, and those whom most everybody respects the most, don't fall into the three categories above.
36. I'm already running out of things to say. I might not reach 100.
37. I am considering becoming a Free Mason. (Did you know Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Gordon B. Hinkley and Thomas S. Monson are free masons?)
38. I have two friends of mine who are high-ranking Free Masons.
39. I love reading.
40. I seriously cannot think of a more attractive quality in a woman than reading. Both girls I've ever loved read all the time.
41. I love baseball and football.
42. I played little league for a few years. I never practiced during the off season, so I never got good.
43. I played on the drumline in 12th grade. My friend said they needed someone who could read music.
44. I had wanted to join in 6th grade, but my mom said I needed to learn a real instrument. When I joined in 12th grade, she didn't find out until I had already done it. Then she was super excited to be a band mom.
45. I love having intelligent, thoughtful debates with my parents. Music, life, politics, anything.
46. I hate Rhetoric.
47. I hate political parties.
48. I'm not a fan of the 1950's "Stepford Wife" housewife. I want a wife who has goals, aspirations, and plans on achieving them.
49. That said, I do want a large family, and I hope to have a typical Mormon household. I'm not quite sure how these ideas will mesh.
50. I want my kids to be home-schooled. Every home-schooled kid I've ever known was FAR more advanced than public and private school kids.
51. I'm going to try and reach 100 facts. Wish me luck.
52. In my entire career in school, 1st grade through 12th, I studied for one test. That' it.
53. It was a spelling test in 2nd grade. I got a 90
54. I got 100s on every other spelling test in 2nd grade, even though I never studied.
55. I also rarely did homework.
56. I learn very quickly.
57. When I was in 5th grade, I was reading at a high school level.
58. When I was in 6th grade, I missed a perfect score on the reading test by one point. that Means I was understanding college-level reading material.
59. I tested out of reading a year later.
60. I am adamantly anti-standardized tests.
61. I graduated high school with a 3.5 GPA. I seriously under-achieved. I really wish I could go back and do it over again.
62. My drivers ed teacher told me I was the best driver he had ever taught. My ego doubled.
63. I have never owned a car.
64. I have only driven stick-shift twice.
65. I am the only person, aside from Vic, to have driven Vic's car.
66. I love cooking
67. I'm not such a fan of cleaning, but I am very good at cleaning.
68. I love the Atlanta Braves.
69. When I was 15, I got to go to Atlanta with my mom and sister to see the Braves live. It was the best day of my teenage years.
70. I want to see the Gators play in Ben Hill- Griffin before I die.
71. I am a fan of the Tampa Bay Bucs, but I can live without seeing them play live.
72. I prefer college ball over pro ball
73. I'm surprised I've made it this far with stuff to say
74. I never made it to Eagle, but I still did scouts and leaned a lot from it.
75. I look like I am a few years older than I actually am, and I have used this to my advantage many times.
76. I hate being clean shaven
77. I look terrible with a full beard, and silly with a mustache.
78. I pull off the goatee very well, though. Even my parents, who hate it, admit I look good with it. (Some people say I look better with it.)
79. My hair is dark brown, but my goatee has a lot of red. (and some grey)
80. I've only lived at two addresses my entire life.
81. I love Southern cuisine.
82. Grits are especially tasty.
83. Cracker Barrel is my favorite restaurant.
84. M&Ms are my favorite candy
85. I can't think of a favorite food.
86. I hope to serve a mission in Germany. I love that language.
87. My school colors were teal and black. Those also happen to be my favorite colors.
88. When I was 6, I wanted to learn to play Violin. My mom said "as soon as we can get you one." It never happened. (I can't blame her, though. Guitar is a lot less painful.)
89. I am very arrogant about music. When people tell me I would like such and such band, I usually say "doubt it."
90. Metallica was once my favorite band. Now, I can only stomach a few of their songs.
91. I'm almost done
92. I'll be 22 in 3 weeks
93. I think D.B. Pickles is the best local restaurant in Daytona Beach
94. I love being in the mountains. It's heaven. It truly is.
95. I think mountain hiking would make for an awesome honeymoon.
96. I love comedy.
97. George Carlin is my all-time favorite comedian. I can't stand most of today's stand-up comics. They suck.
98. MASH, Frasier, and House are my favorite TV shows.
99. I'll admit, I watch Family Guy and King of the Hill. Robot Chicken cracks me up.
100. I MADE IT!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's interesting

How much the numbers change when you get them from different sources.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RMs and Dating

On the "Dear Bro Jo" discussion page on Facebook, a girl asked a question about dating guys who didn't serve a mission. This was my very opinionated response.

I see a "red flag" as "Stop and back-up." I'm not sure that's the correct way to look at someone who didn't serve a mission. I see it more as a "use caution," which is why I said it's a "yellow flag."

First off, I don't think it's something that should need to be brought up early on. I know a lot of women who ask guys if they served a mission right in the first conversation. I don't agree with that at all. Asking someone if they served a mission while you're just getting to know him is possibly asking them for information you don't need to know just yet, because let's face it, if he says no, you'll wanna know why.

Now, if it is a point where the subject is appropriate to discuss, and he says no, you have the right to know why. This is something that I think should be talked about around the stage 5/6 in the levels of a relationship. At that point in time, you know each other well enough to be asking that kind of information, you know enough about each other already to be able to honestly look at him for who he is now, and you're not too emotionally involved.

Already knowing the person is important though. Sometimes, people may have a very complex reason for not going. It's a legit possibility.

Now, some reasons are red flags. One of them being he wasn't worthy. Being unworthy all the way from 18 to turning 26 in the MTC is a LONG period of unworthiness. At this point, you should really be careful. Now, if he has truly repented, is truly a changed man, is a worthy priesthood holder, and has/is working towards a Temple Recommend, than I don't think you should hold it against him; however, if he isn't worthy or honestly working to change, than leave him be and move on, especially if his unworthiness involved pornography. Honey, if he isn't winning his battle, don't get involved. It WILL hurt you.

Another red flag is if he is nonchalant about not serving a mission. If he doesn't really wish he had served, than he isn't converted to the gospel. He may very well have a testimony, but there are a lot of inactive members with testimonies. A testimony doesn't guarantee a person has converted to the gospel, and only someone who is converted to the gospel is worthy of a righteous Daughter of God.

There are thousands of possibilities and things that could be listed, but the important thing to remember, is that being an RM doesn't mean he's a great guy, is converted, or is worthy. An old bishop at the singles ward i used to attend said the percentage of RM's who hold current Temple Recommends is "a lot less than y'all would think." Not being an RM doesn't automatically make someone less qualified to marry. Who he is now is a lot more important than who he was 5, 10, or 15 years ago.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Taxes rant

will be delayed while I gather numbers to back up my claims. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow's rant...

...will be on taxes. OOOOOHHHH man I am not going to make any friends with my opinions this time.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

65th post

So, I'm thinking I might go back and delete some posts from Dec/Jan/Feb of this year. Not that I want to ignore the past, but I don't need that stuff out there for the worlds to see.

So, Thursday was a year to the day I first tried to break up with Laura. It's been an interesting year. I've learned a lot. I've grown a lot. I miss her still from time to time, the friendship. I'm glad she's doing well, though.

So I think when I get married, I wanna dance to this song. I dunno what it is about it, but I freakin' think that would be awesome

One month until we get to feel God's love again! (One month before College Football.) Seriously, Fall is my favorite season- Baseball, Football, nice weather, and Thanksgiving.)

Be on the lookout for another rant in the next few days. I'm quite annoyed right now.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh man! I... wow.

I don't think the "smokin hot wife" part was needed, but at least this guy knows what to truly be thankful for as a NASCAR fan. Seriously, I died when he said boogity! That cracked me up. (For those who don't know, Darryl Waltrip says "Boogity Boogity Boogity" at the beginning of each race.) How many of y'all honestly think about every word you use during your prayers? How often do y'all ask for brownies to strengthen and nourish?

We could have had a High Councilmen give the prayer. 2 hours later, we could all wake up and watch the race start.

This prayer was said in Tennessee, part of the bible belt. I highly doubt a lot of people in that crowd haven't heard an "appropriate" prayer.

I'd take this over testimonies laced with confession, sobbing, travel details, and verbatim statements that get repeated over and over again.

At the end of the day, NASCAR is a second religion to a lot us down here in Dixie.

Listen, If y'all agree to leave us alone, than we'll promise to try really really hard not to rebel again. I promise.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Actually, it doesn't matter where you sit

So today at church, I heard a lady complaining. I'm not sure who she was complaining to, as no one was sitting near her, but I heard what she was saying. She was saying how she had been sitting in that same seat for years, that she was a longtime member of this ward, and it was unfair that other people took her seat. Seriously? IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU SIT!!! I cannot imagine what is seriously going through the heads of these people. What matters is that you are at church, and you feel the spirit. uhg.

Yesterday was nice. I went to Mai Tai and just sat and watched everyone dance. It was good. I got to just think, but not feel worried. For a few hours, I felt normal again. I wasn't worried about not having a job. I wasn't frustrated with girls. I was normal for a few hours. I needed it. Back to the grind tomorrow. I really hate not having a job. I wanna work.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

sibling wars

My oldest brother (Ben) and I have been battling on Facebook over who is the most intelligent (and humble) sibling in the family. Now, I am severely dyslexic, and my mind runs faster then I can type, so my sentences tend to not make sense every one and a while due to mistypes words, missing words, and incomplete thoughts. Well, Ben tried to call me out. And he failed.

Ben Pillow: "Your grammer sucks!"

I think I win.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

my interview with Macy's

Manager: "It didn't say what department this was for, did it?"
Me: "No, it just said sales associate. Why? What department is it for?"
Manager: "Well, this opening is in the Women's Intimate apparel."

My friend Sam told me I should have said I was gay.

Monday, July 18, 2011

This past week

I don't really know where to begin on this past week. It is one I'm not sure I;ll ever be able to forget, for several reasons.

Sunday was a normal day, except for the potluck dinner we had in honor of Elder Ellis, who died. (Dying= mission slang for going home.) HE was the Zone Leader, so he gave the sister missionaries, who are one ward south, special permission to come to his party. I felt guilty about it, but I flirted with one of the sisters a bit.

Monday was incredibly frustrating. Tina, as usual, was a complete waste of space in the Deli. She popped in and out from time to time, but always had time to criticize my work and Joyce's work. Then she added more work for us to do and left after not really helping at all. Somehow, I got everything done that needed to be done before Joyce left. The, it got busy. Very busy. I did not get a break from the window from the time Joyce left (at 530pm) till about 730pm. I was so stressed out by it all, but I handled myself well. I only had one lady who seemed flustered with me because I wouldn't let her stand in the deli while I sliced her break for her. Well, I finished cleaning up and went about my normal routine, and left a few minutes early.

Tuesday, We had two new elders transfer to our ward. (Our ward has two sets of missionaries.) One, Elder Johnson, was replacing Ellis, and the other was replacing Elder Larson, who was transferred. Of course, Vic (a.k.a. "Grandpa") and I had to prank him. He pulled the usual mafia prank, excet this time we added Vic's friend Bill, who is a "Dry Mormon." (A non-baptized but has testimony.) Watch Video Here. Not our best work, but there's always next time

Wednesday and Thursday, didn't have much to report.

Friday, I got fired from Food Lion. I saw is coming. Tina Didn't like my HR complaint. They didn't like that I wasn't some brainless monkey who doesn't ask questions. In the end, this isn't going to matter. It's not the end of the world. I've already filled out 8 applications, and I have an interview Tuesday with Macy's. I went out with the Elders Friday night, and that made me feel a lot better. We taught a lesson to Bill, and tried to get him to commit to a baptismal date, but he is balking. It didn't help that Vic continued to interrupt the lesson, and even swore during the lesson. Eventually he calmed down and we made progress.

Saturday, I had dinner with the Button family and the south elders. We then had a tie-exchange session, and I went to the mall. That's when things got weird. As I was walking out of JC Penny, I noticed that the girl in front of me kinda looked a bit like Laura. As I walked past her, I turned to look at her face. She looked exactly like Laura- same glasses, haircut, smile, eyes, face was shaped the same. It freaked me out. I sat down. As this girl walked past me she looked directly at me, then turned around and walked past me again.

Today, I got the feeling that I needed to go to the beach and just take a ride. Now, there is a tropical storm just off the coast right now, so we have been getting feeder-bands all day. As I got to the beach, I saw something that made my day. Not sure what you're looking at there? Well, it's the under-side of this. Not sure what that is? Try the edited version. Yes, that's right, it's a waterspout. Florida has got to be the only place in the world where you can get a sunburn while watching a waterspout. I saw the top of the funnel while I was coming over the bridge, but I didn't realize it had made it all the way down to the water. When I realized it was also about to move onshore, I raced down to meet it. (It's barely and EF-0, so no danger at all really.) I missed it by about 10 seconds. I was about 50 yards away when it made landfall. It was so awesome to watch. The dust cloud, or sand cloud in this case, was about 100ft high before it fell apart. I loved watching this happen. It immediately started to pour after the at this point tornado passed by. It's weather like this that makes me never wanna leave this place. I knew Heavenly Father gave me that little bit of joy to end my week on a high note.


Thursday, July 14, 2011


Okay, these are some samples of Megadeth, my favorite band. I love their music.
Since Megadeth has had a lot of lineup changes, here are the people who recorded the songs. This is the people who appear in the videos provided- not always the ones who recorded the original studio versions. And yes, a lot of these have Marty Friedman, the same guy I talked about in the last post. He was Megadeth's lead guitarist from 1990-1999.

Dave Mustaine- Rhythm/Lead guitar, Lead Vocals (All tracks)
David Ellefson- Bass (#2-4, 6-10)
Chris Poland- Lead Guitar (#8)
Gar Samuelson- Drums (#8)
Chuck Behler- Drums (#7)
Jeff Young- Lead Guitar (#7)
Marty Friedman- Lead Guitar (#2-4, 6, 8, 10)
Nick Menza- Drums (#2-4, 6, 8, 10)
Shawn Drover- Drums (#1, 5)
Glen Drover- Lead Guitar (#1)
Chris Broderick- Lead Guitar (#5)
James Lomenzo- Bass (#5)
James MacDonough- Bass (#1)

1. Kick the Chair (political)
2. A Tout le Monde (dying man's last words)
4. Foreclosure of a Dream (Political, based off real events)
5. Burnt Ice (drug addiction)
6. Family Tree (anti child abuse)
7. Hook in Mouth (compares the book "1984" to the PMRC)
8. Tornado of Souls (break-up)
9. Peace Sells (political)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

snappy title goes here

Psh. I could totally play this.


Marty Friedman

So, last night I blogged about Jason Becker. Now, Marty Friedman. Most of These are doodles and excerpts from lessons. Enjoy

Heavy Metal Solo (Metal, obviously)
Exotic Clean Solo (Kinda new-age with eastern feel)
Blues-ish Solo (Blues, kinda)
Minor Key Solo (Sad, really. Just, very, very sad.)

Obviously, Marty Friedman's style is much for focused towards the emotions of the notes. While Jason Becker is more theory-based, Marty is more feeling-based. That's why so many people loved it when they played together in Cacophony; it was the perfect mix.

So, as I ranted about people who down-play the talents required to play metal, I guess I should talk about how much I think a guitar should be played more like Marty Friedman and less like Steve Vai. Don't get me wrong, Steve Vai is an excellent guitarist, but all instruments have different ways they should be played, and I think these videos show the best way to play guitar. A guitar is more suited to be played slower, with more holds and pauses than say a trumpet of piano' it's just the way it works with a guitar. Sometimes a guitar sounds great played at high-speed, such as when Jason Becker did Paganini's5th Caprice (Yeah, he was a little sloppy in that video. I think he should have done it without the distortion.) In the end, I think guitar should be more "feeling" based when played. But that's just one fellow's opinion.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Jason Becker

All day today, I've had various Jason Becker songs stuck in my head. Ah, Jason, the guitarist who can wipe the floor with any other guitarist, from any genre of music. He is very quickly becoming the largest influence into my playing, though I doubt he will surpass Marty Friedman, who has a bit more "feeling" to his style. A few samples

Eleven Blue Egyptians (Metal, with a few variations)
Air (classical)
Angel Eyes (Blues /Jazz Jam)
Jasin Street (Blues)
Opus Pocus (metal)

I should have seen this rant coming...

One thing I loved about Laura, is that she was open-minded to the quality and art offered by other forms of music. She is one of the few classical musicians I've ever met who can honestly say "While I don't listen to metal myself, I do see it's value." I get annoyed, and yet amused by these elitist people who think if it isn't written for a symphony, it isn't worth anything. They think It's easy. nothing could be farther from the truth. Guitar Player Magazine, which is aimed at all types of guitar styles, considers the solo from Megadeth's "Tornado of Souls" (written and recorded by Marty Friedman) to be the most difficult guitar solo to learn. It takes the average guitarist over a month to master a 62 seconds of music. (This is a video of Chris Broderick playing the Solo. I can't find any HQ versions of Marty playing it, and Chris plays it note-for-note in this version.) I guess what bothers me is when people think that metal is just a bunch of drop-D quarter notes and eight notes. True, some metal is like that, but saying all metal is that simplistic is like saying all symphonic music is like "Ode to Joy." There is better stuff out there, people.

Look, metal did NOT develop from rock- it developed from blues. The first band to play metal was Black Sabbath, back in 1965. They were a blues group when they formed, and slowly progressed towards metal. Speed and trash metal derive from neo-classical metal, which is influenced by the neo-classical movement of the early 1900s. All neo-classical guitarist, even the ones that suck, studied classical guitar, and most all of the well-respected guitarist today studied classical music, either on the guitar, or other instruments. Chris Broderick has a Masters Degree in classical guitar performance, and also has played violin since he was 7. Alexi Laiho studied Mozart for inspiration. Cliff Burton was a piano prodigy. (Okay, he played Bass, not guitar.) Dimebag Darrel played blues outside of playing metal.

I think my point is proven. Talent, art, and beauty are not limited to only select genres of music. Even some rap has value, though I personally don't enjoy it. It takes between 8-20 years to train for classical performance, and it takes between 5-15 years to train for metal performance. Even musicologists agree (well, most do) that classical and metal are very closely related. I love music. My mom made sure to raise me with a love it art and music. I've probably spent about 3 or 4 years total amount of time listening to classical music. I know what it sounds like. I've listened to tons of Blues, Jazz, Metal, Rock, and Marching music. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, the best of the best, all is very, very similar.


PS I should clearify: When I refer to "classical", I am generalizing the different periods together into one. Yes, I know they are very different, but for the point of argument, I'm presenting them together. I know the difference between classical and romantic.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Death Penalty

As I promised, here is my rant on the death penalty

I am all for it.
The end

Okay, not really. Yes, I am all for it, but no, I am not some nut-job who thinks we should just go around frying and injecting everyone who takes a piece of candy from the store.

My reasoning for the death penalty is along the lines of debt. For the most part, a criminal pays his "debt" by serving time in prison. A specific set of time goes along with each specific crime. Murder, however, is by itself an unusual crime because what we lose is something that cannot truly be paid back- life. This is why we have the death penalty; it isn't that we kill people to teach them killing is wrong, because that is just silly. We kill people because the punishment must be commensurate with the crime. When you murder, you intentionally end the life of another person; therefore, the debt owed, and punishment due, is another life.

End of rant.

PS Tomorrow is Free Slurpee Day!!! Head to your nearest 7-11 and get a free 7.11 ounce slurpee!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I don't care about Casey Anthony

[Please read: This is a highly opinionated post, and is likely to offend a lot of people who read it, so proceed at your own discretion. If you disagree with anything i write here, which i assume will be everyone who reads it, I am okay with that; I am a highly opinionated person; however I do not enjoy offending people; regardless, if you get so upset that you hate my guts and never wanna talk to me again: Go for it, and then go grow up. I won't lose sleep over it. I promise.]

Okay, that title isn't necessarily true; someone, somewhere, killed a little girl. I don't care about all this attention Casey is getting, and I can't believe people are saying things that are so evil, vile, and hate-filled. How can someone consider himself better than anyone else when he post such crap for everyone to see?These are a few of the things that have been on my Facebook news feed lately. (Please note, some are edited for clarity, content and the fact that I can't stand gross grammatical errors. I feel like my eyes are being [violated] every time I see one.)

"Oh well, the jury may not have served her justice but the people sure will. Hopefully she watches her back. R.I.P Caylee Anthony."

"Not Guilty? Really?"

"I love the justice system, because even when you're innocent, you still have to pay, but [getting] a lot of publicity being guilty, and [getting] paid, its amazing."

"Dear Mommy: I see you smile down there below...are those tears of joy you show? I'm glad you're happy, although you lied...I'd love to be right by your side...but by your choice, I view from above...tell my grandparents I send my's beautiful here is all I can say...your life will go on without me in your way...Love, Caylee Marie XOXO SO SAD:(. Repost if you believe that justice was not served today!!!"

"Dear Casey Anthony,

[expletive often used in reference to intercourse] you! You'll be dead by Christmas, just in time for the holidays!

[an idiot]"

Thankfully, I had one friend who was intelligent enough to realize this had more to do with media hype and less to do with justice.

Like I said earlier, I'm upset that a little girl was murdered, and I'm upset that her mom obviously had some role to play in it, but what's bothering me more is the reaction by the general pubic about this whole situation. This is something that, in all reality, has nothing to do with anyone else. "Justice" and judgement are not our place in regards to other humans; it's God's. A lot of people are not interested in justice because they are denying someone who has the rights to a fair trial. I used to be one of them, until my mom said something to me which actually made me question how I was initially reacting to the whole thing from the beginning of the trial: "Everyone is entitled to due process." It's true. The Constitution is very clear about that, and it's a wonderful protection: one has no burden to prove himself innocent; the accused must first prove him guilty. (this is not always the reality of it, but it's great in theory.) It is the job of the prosecution to prove their case, and it is the job of the defense to cast reasonable doubt on the case brought by the prosecution; while they may feel passionately about their jobs, and they may be (and probably are) motivated my personal convictions of right and wrong, it is still a matter of them doing their jobs; only in the case of our legal system, only one can do his job well enough.

If I had been on that jury, I likely would have found the same verdict. While I believe she is guilty of something, I do not believe the prosecution proved their case.

NEWS FLASH! A VERDICT OF "NOT GUILTY" IS NOT THE SAME A VERDICT OF "INNOCENT." It's just like how a plea of "No Contest" is not the same as a plea of "Guilty."

Something else needs to be said here. This is not a matter of justice. This is a matter of punishment. Our legal system does not bring justice, nor is it any for of justice at all. Our courts are not meant to be moral guides; they are meant to ensure proper enforcement of the law. This is a matter of someone who broke the law, and the state could not prove who it was. Please remember, they also accused her of lying, and she was found guilty of that; they did prove that part of their case. Justice is in the hands of God. Only he knows all things, knows our hearts, and has a true understanding of what is fair. In the end, everyone will pay fairly and justly for the part each played. Until then I am going to be concerned with being the best person I can be, doing what I know is right, and protecting those whom I can and should protect.


P.S. I feel a rant about the death penalty coming on. Spoiler alert: I'm all for it.)