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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Narcissism is glorious. Let us all bask in my epic infallibility!

I did one of these a few years back, and I figured why not. I'll see how many I actually do. I'm not doing 100 facts about myself at 2am

1) I hate when people try and make themselves sound like something they're not. (Like that idiot Chiropractor who called himself a physician.)
2) I used to wonder why MDs didn't respect Chiropractors. The more time I spend around the medical field, I understand.
3) I believe that most forms of healing have a place, as long as they actually work.
4) I injured my right knee 4 years ago when I was hit by a car on my bike.
5) I was bed-ridden for about a week.
6) I recently have started having problems with that knee. It's getting worst. I can barely walk sometimes.
7) It needs an MRI; however, I'm poor and have no insurance.
8) I'm not bothered by profanity in some cases. I actually feel like it can be used correctly, and "substitute" words don't convey the same meaning.
9) That said, I hate when people can only use profanity to make a point.
10) My first favorite band was the Beach Boys.
11) My first favorite song was the old theme song to "All Things Considered"
12) My Second favorite band was Backstreet Boys
13) Then Lincoln Park
14) Then Aerosmith
15) then Metallica
16) Now it's Megadeth
17) I'm not sure how I feel about Megadeth's new album. I like some of the songs, but I can't stand the pseudo-enlightened political dribble.
18) Dave Mustaine used to have really well thought-out lyrics, especially when it came to political songs. I miss those days.
19) Old Dave (1990): Brother will kill brother/ spilling blood across the land. Killing for religion/ something I don't understand. Fools like me/across the sea/ they come to foreign lands! Ask the sheep/ do you still believe/ do you kill on God's command?
20) New Dave: Sentenced to work a dead-end 9-5/ trapped in a dingy corporate cubicle heel. Then go to work on the midnight shift/ any chance you get selling gas at the corner Shell. 3-letter groups listening in on you/ courtesy of Big Brother.
21) Those facts aren't about me
22) That second song has a pretty cool chorus.
23) My current roommates has made me lose a lot of respect for homosexuals. The way they treat non-gays is actually pretty disgusting.
24) Back to music: I'm not shocked that I enjoy metal. I was raised on classical, and I always gravitated towards the darker and more aggressive forms. I can't really get into romantic era; I love the baroque era.
25) My favorite classical works: Night on Bald Mountain, Winter and Summer from the Four Seasons, Adagio for Strings, Fantasia on a Theme, Firebird Suite and Rites of Spring.
26) Yes, I find that previous fact ironic.
27) Growing up, all I listened to was classical, blues, jazz, oldies and some soul. Then one day my sister played a Metallica CD when my parents weren't home.
28) I hate small Dogs
29) I love big dogs.
30) Before realising I needed to go into medicine, I wanted to be a cop.
31) I couldn't decide between doing SWAT or being a K-9 Handler.
32) I think Siberian Huskies are the most beautiful animals ever, followed closely by the German Shepherd.
33) I would make an excellent businessman, but I hate business.
34) I am a character in a horror book.
35) It was written by my friend Tom as a "creative writing exercise."
36) It's called 'The Daily Death: How I Killed my Coworkers in 30 Days."
37) He was working with me at Food Lion at the time. Every day he would write about the fictional death of one of us.
38) I died after getting struck by lightning during a concert.
39) I'm worried about not fitting in socially at BYU-I.
40) I'm extremely introverted
41) My experience with YSA also tells me I have very little in common with my peers in the church.
42) Best I can figure, the total crap I've dealt with over the past few years has changed me a lot, and I find other's lack of maturity about life annoying.
43) I don't think facing homelessness multiple times is something a lot of people deal with as an adult. It's not an easy thing to go through.
440 I once almost chewed out a missionary because of an off-handed comment he made about how I don't let small things get to me anymore. I wanted to badly to tell him about all the crap I've dealt with since last year and ask hi how he would react to it.
45) I wasn't having a good day that day obviously.
46) I really miss playing Baseball and Football
47) If it wasn't for my knee I would try out for one or both at BYUI
48) I'm looking at a few guitars. As soon as I have the money, I wanna get these, in this order: King-V Soloist 7-String Soloist 

I'm done. Goodnight

Friday, August 23, 2013

Re: Kate

I've actually been meaning to update my blog, and Kate's comment finally got me doing it. So here's the skinny:

I am on the Winter/Spring track; however, I plan on staying in Rexburg year-round. I declared Physics as my major, but I will be changing it to Biology/ Neuroscience. (This damn 120 credit ceiling sucks.) I have narrowed down my apartment to either Arbor Cove or Georgetown. I am --hopefully-- going to ship my stuff with my friends Mike and Kat. They're on the Fall/Winter track, and they have an apartment in IF. They are renting a POD and Kat told me if there is room I can put some stuff in there. She also said that there will be room since their stuff is mostly wedding presents. I am planning to fly into SLC on the January 1st, and I've gonna spend a couple of days in Provo with my sister Cherryl until the 3rd. From there I will either hitch a ride or take the SLE to Rexburg.

I have a heckuva hill to climb once I get there. Med school applications are done in may of your junior year, and you have to complete all your pre-med courses by that semester, which means I have to have the following done in no more than 5 semesters:
6 credits of Math
6 credits of English
8 credits of Biology, w/ lab
8 credits of Inorganic Chemistry w/ lab
8 credits of Organic Chemistry, w/ lab
3 credits of Bio-Chemistry, w/ lab
6 credits of Physics, w/ lab
3 credits of Spanish (not required but encouraged)
3 credits of Psychology (Not required, but is part of MCAT)

Yeah.  The good news is math and english are covered by my foundations classes, and  Bio as well as InorgChem are part of the Neuroscience major.

I'm gonna have to do fast-track, or change to Fall/Winter track. The latter is actually better, as I would then be graduating in April instead of July. (Med Schools usually matriculate early-mid July.)

So for the right now, I quit GFS. I walked out. I refused to be insulted by them only offering my 9 hours a week. Goodbye.

I start at Winn-Dixie in 7 hours. I'm really not looking forward to it. WD usually caters to the most difficult of shoppers. (think ratchets)

I have considered not working until November when UPS does their annual temp jobs. I know they'll rehire me. Plus, I'm moving out next week, so I don't have to pay rent the rest of the year. I am so glad to be moving out. I will never live with gay people again. I know that sounds bad, but they are absolutely the worst to live with. I'd rather live with a bunch of drama-ridden girls.

Well, my somnolent hallucinations have progressed to the point of my keyboard looking and feeling round, so I think I should go to sleep.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I don't know how to deal with all of this.

Working at GFS cost me my job at Jersey Mikes. Now GFS is cutting hours and I am making less that I made at JMS before. I barely break even at the month. I have no money is savings. If I continue down like this I'll only have maybe a 50 bucks to my name when I go to Idaho in January. I can't do that. I can't completely transplant to a new place where I know almost no one and depend completely on money that I won't even be getting until the second week I'm there. If I continue to live where I'm at now I will have to keep paying 400 a month in rent. If I move in with the Hawthorns, I won't have to pay rent (though I would still, though not 400) but I'll be living in an environment that isn't good for me. I don't wanna move to Idaho with my stuff infested with roaches and everything smelling like smoke. It took me three months to get that smell out of my suits last time, and I was only there for a month. Between my 4 suits, my ties and dress shirts I have over 1300 dollars invested. I don't want those things ruined. I don't even know how I'm gunna get my stuff out to Idaho. I know no one out there who I could ship it to ahead of time, and it would cost too much to take in a suitcase on the plane. Hell, I don't even know how the heck I'm supposed to get from wherever I fly to the school.

I had my first dental checkup in 5 years today. 16. I have 16 cavities, three of which may require a root canal. the total cost to do all these fillings, assuming I don't require any root canals is 2600. If I need any root canals, it'll be close to 2000 each.  My parents said they're gonna pay for my dental work, but they don't know it's gunna be that much. I know they can't afford it. On top of that, My upper teeth are shifting back. The dentist wants me to go see an orthodontist. Not only is that several thousand more that I don't have, I lose the ability to say my teeth are naturally aligned straight.

Sarah is over in New Mexico; she's been there since may. It's slowly killing us. It's not that we need to see each other to be together as, we only have phone calls right now. When she was only on the other side of the state we had skype; now, we have nothing. On top of that, the time difference and terrible reception are making our phone conversations, the only thing we have, agonizing. Add in the time difference and it's even worst. By the time she's ready to call I'm ready to go to bed, and I don't really feel like having a conversation, which leads to bitter feelings and fights. With skype and when we're in person, silence isn't awkward, but it is on the phone. Unfortunately, when it's midnight, and I'm tired and stressed silence is my default.

All of this actually isn't a lot, except I don't have any of my coping mechanisms.

I used to read. But my bishop wants me to read an incredibly boring and ill-written book. I feel like I'm reading a damn dictionary every time I pick it up. I used to breeze through books like they're on fire. NOw every time I pick up a book I want to read, I remember I'm supposed to be reading something else, and decide I'll just not read at all.

I used to bike. But my mountain bike requires several hundred dollars in new parts, and is currently in several pieces. My road bike needs both derailleurs and the bottom bracket replaced, which is another thousand or so that I don't have. I can ride it around town, but I can't take it out on US1 and just ride till my feet fall off like I used to.

I used to play guitar when I was stressed, but I had to sell my Jackson (electric guitar) to pay rent several months back. I thought I could just use my Epiphone electric for the time. Well, the truss rod inside the neck is broken and I can't find any replacement necks that will fit. All I'm left with is my two acoustics, which work alright, but I can't play most of the stuff I wanna play. You just flat out can't play just anything on an acoustic guitar.

I used to enjoy listening to music. But when I hear good songs, It makes me wanna go play 'em. See above.

I used to play baseball and football. Now everyone I played with has either moved away or quit playing.

I used to be able to deal with stress.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

general update (lots of pics)

So, I haven't really posted any pictures of Sarah and I lately, so here ya go

This is my favorite picture of us 

This was us when we went ice skating back in December. (I love that the City did the beachside ice skating again this year. So cool and unique.) Notice I am clean shaven. This is rare for me. I had to for my job at UPS. kinda glad I'm not doing that anymore. 

This is us in line to ride The Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure, the #1 rated steel roller coaster in America. Worth every second of the wait.

Outside Ollivanders at the Harry Potter world at IoA

I just like this picture. 

So a few weeks ago, I got some free tickets to the race here at Daytona. (NASCAR races here twice a year. The Daytona 500 is in February. It's the first race of the season, and the most coveted trophy in NASCAR. No driver's career is complete without winning the Daytona 500.  The July race is the Firecracker 400 (Otherwise known as the Pepsi 400, and currently the Coke Zero 400) It's not as prestigious, but still a great race. 

4 of NASCAR's most well-known (retired) drivers love on TV

So I got to be one of those annoying fans who jumps around behind the live broadcast trying to get on TV. 

She did a pre-race concert. Her accent sounds so fake and so forced when you hear it live. She ain't Dixie. 

My favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, during driver introductions. 

Kyle Bush's car on display outside one of the local Wal-Marts. (this is a show model- they put hundreds of hours into building and fine-tuning the actual race cars, so they don't risk them being damaged by the general public.)

Kevin Harvick's show car

Greg Biffle's show car, and the hood of Joey Logano's show car. 

How drunk do you have to be to pass out with that much noise?

I also shot a few videos:


Green Flag:

3rd lap (first lap at full speed, roughly 195-200 mph as they drive by)

And, I shot a pass-by right next to the wall. I thought my ears were gunna explode. SO FREAKING LOUD! My ears physically hurt for about 10 minutes afterwards, all from 5 seconds of this:

Back in November, I checked off a big item on my bucket list: Go see the Gators whoop ass in the swamp!

This is the pool where Ryan Lochte trained for the olympics 

Love the blue trees

Amazing precision. I was geeking out so bad when the band came out. I miss band. 

I should add this was a 3rd and 21... needless to say, they punted next play. Can't beat the Muschamp defense.  

TD! (Well, a second early)

Not the best Offensive performance, but we had 3 ints, and a W is still a W

And of Course, opening kickoff:

I had two more teeth removed. I'll simply link the photos from my FB; they are a bit gross if ya don't like blood.  MY TEEF!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jessica Rey: moral stand or marketing scheme?

If you're LDS, have friends who are LDS, or are somewhat savvy with today's viral topics, than you've more than likely seen this video of Jessica Rey speaking on why she decided to start a line of one-piece swimsuits for women. She speaks of the history of swimwear, and then talks a little bit on two studies done on the correlation between bikinis and male objectification of women. 

Obviously if I'm posting about this, I have issues with this video.

For the sake of length, I'll ignore the historical issues with her video. I'll just say that Bikini-type swimwear dates back to around 4000 bc, and was quite common in ancient Greece. 

On to the neuroimaging studies. Or study. It's actually just one study, published here

Jessica Rey argues that the study proves that bikinis cause men to objectify women. She says that neuroimaging proves that men will view women as sexual objects when shown immodest wear. The reality is the study actually doesn't prove that, and actually kind of disproves that point. 

The first first part of the study tested the amount of time it took four groups of people to sort 1st and 3rd person verbs while being shown images of clothed and bikini clad women. (This video gives a rough demo) Two male groups and two female groups. All groups were divided by gender and hostile sexism scores, high and low. The idea is that those who objectify women will associate them with 1st person verbs and sort quicker with 1st person verbs being in the same column as the bikinis.  From the Study:

In line with our first hypothesis, male participants with high HS [hostile sexism] scores were faster to associate sexualized female targets with first-person action verbs and clothed female targets with third-person action verbs than the inverse. This suggests that sexualized women are more closely associated with being the objects, not the agents, of action as compared to clothed women, but only for men who possess hostile sexist attitudes. [p. 547] 

Or in other words, Only men who had high HS scores objectified the sexualised women as compared to the others. 

In the second part of the study, 21 men were shown images of women in bikinis. neuroimagery was used to show what the neurological reaction was to these images. Again, men were ranked according to their HS scores. According to the study, the higher a test subjects HS score, the less activity in the parts of the brain associated with empathy; likewise, there was an increase in the regions of the brain associated with tool use. For those test subjects with high BS [Benevolent Sexism] scores, the opposite was true; they had no increase in objectification as shown in the neuroimaging. \

So basically, only sexist tools associate bikini-clad women with tools. At least that's what this study suggests. 

But there are a few major flaws in the methodology of this study.
1) Sample size is was too small. 21 men does not in any way constitute scientific research. 
2) As of yet, there has been no reproduction of the study or peer review.
3) There was no control group of any kind in the second test.
4) The images had no face. From the study: "For the body recognition task, images were cropped from neck down to mid-thigh." [p. 543] This is problematic because we associate the face, especially the eyes, as the "person." When you look at someone, you look them in the face. Because the faces were removed, there was  an added incentive to objectify the images because the body is naturally perceived as an object in comparison to the face, where we naturally perceive the "person" to be.  

Now, I support modesty, but only in it's true form, and for the right reasons. We should never allow another person's possible perceptions dictate our behavior and choices. Whether or not a bikini, or any other type of clothing, is modest if highly subjective; likewise, modesty should always be a matter of personal choice. May we follow the admonition of Joseph Smith, Jr. when he said "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves."  I use this as the base for my class rules in my youth sunday school class. I have only one rule, to be Christlike. I do not tell them how to interpret that, nor do I give any requests beyond that. It's worked wonderfully. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Baby Names

If there is one thing Sarah (my GF) and I both hate is stupid baby names. My biggest annoyance is with my fellow mormons who name their kids after BoM heros, throw together a few random syllables, or uniquely incorrectly spell common names. I'm okay with ethnic and cultural names (as you'll see below) but not the plain dumb ones you see on blogs like this. (Example of ethnic cultural name. My nephew, who's mother is British, is named Fox, a traditional British name)

We've brainstormed a few names ourselves. Seeing as Sarah and I both identify with southern culture, we have a few southern names. (written in red)

Joshua Aaron, Jr. (Aaron) (Southern tradition to call oldest by his middle name)
Jackson Lee (Jack)
Jonathan Thomas
Nikoli Stewart
Michael Robert
Daniel Jacob
David Scott

Rebekah Lynn
Elizabeth Kathryn
Jennifer Ann
Savannah Rose

If i could have it my way, it would be:
Joshua Aaron Pillow, Jr
Elizabeth Kathryn Pillow
Jackson Lee Pillow
Michael Robert Pillow
Savannah Rose Pillow
Jonathan Thomas Pillow. (Bubba)

Why? My Family is:
Joseph Benjamin Pillow (Goes by Ben)
Cherryl Emily Pillow (The spelling for Cherryl is a family thing that goes way back.)
Bryan James Pillow
Michael Thomas Pillow
Sarah Elizabeth Pillow Flaniken
Joshua Aaron Pillow

Each daughter has an older and a younger brother to scare away potential suitors. And all those guy names are strong masculine names.

What better way to end this post than with "Boy Named Sue"?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Torch it.

In Capitalist America, bank rob you.

But, ya know, this is just the way things work, right?

"[schools] are indoctrination centers where children are sent to be stripped of their individuality and turned into another brain-dead soulless member of the American consumer culture." -George Carlin

Friday, April 26, 2013

The fallacy of perfect-world logic.

I don't think there is anything that annoys me more than when someone begins a sentence with "We/they should just..." It's wonderful to have ideal situations and solutions based those ideal situations; however, we rarely never see that when facing the complex issues we have at hand. Our problems are too complex for simple solutions, and logic based off the perfect situation does not apply to imperfect realities.

I usually see perfect-world logic in political and socioeconomic debates, such as when debating welfare or entitlement programs. An extreme example of perfect-world logic was an LDS friend who argued that we should all just live the United Order. While this would be the perfect solution, it would not work in practice. The United Order requires that everyone involved willingly give everything, which is unlikely never going to happen as long as people are subject to greed.

While not all cases of perfect-world logic are as extreme or obvious as bring up the United Order, we often hear similar fallacies without noticing.

Perhaps it's most often disguised in phrases such as "Wouldn't it just be best if..." or "Shouldn't we really just..." Notice how the word "just" is a bit of a motif in those phrases? "Just" is actually the the crucial part of perfect-world logic, as the limiting scope of it's meaning destabilizes any rebuttal. When scoping use of "just" is conjoined with the absolute truths that perfect-world logic is derived from, it becomes difficult to dispute without acknowledging the absolute truths, thus weakening the dissenting opinion.

However, the largest problem with perfect-world logic is it simply doesn't work. It's like nailing Jell-O to a tree. When we eliminate human tendencies and use only azoic rules, we ignore the very essence of any given problem's core- humans. When solving a problem, we must take into account perceived, expected and unexpected actions and reactions of both the affected and unaffected. We cannot force rules upon those who do not wish to have them.

Ultimately, large complex issues will have large and complex solutions for as long as we live in an imperfect society, a society that includes innumerable opinions, preferences and lifestyles.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Haha, I'm just kidding. Why would I write a new post for consecutive days?

I've realised to the problem, though: I hate the physical act of writing. It's not being creative and expressing my opinions the bother me; it's the physical act of typing.

I need a speech-to-text converter

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Week of Rants, Part Deuce: Bias in the Media, Church, Bloggernacle and more.

Because I've been lax in my blogging, I'm going to do another week-o-rants. It will include "Different Strokes: How different people find fulfillment in different ways"  and "Folk-doctrine, including prophetic infallibility"
Today's rant is on bias and unilateral thinking

Recently, a Sgt. in the Port Canaveral police force was suspended. The first headline about this said he was using a picture of Trayvon Martin for target practice. I held off making an opinion, because I knew there had to be more. Finally, Brighthouse News Network (Channel 13 News) reported that it was a training target intended not to be shot at; also, it wasn't actually a picture of him but a silhouette of his profile. Now, this was still a boneheaded move on his part, but using his silhouette for the intent of not shooting it is quite different from the intentional shooting has his actual picture. Still, this has been portrayed as if the officer was committing a hate crime, and not just being stupid.

Actually, the way the entire Trayvon case is being handled is disgusting me. The first headline said that a unarmed teenager was gunned down for being black. Then came the stories of how he was just walking home with some skittles but this overzealous pseudo-cop gunned him down without provocation. The media  showed Trayvon's picture from when he was 13, and used Zimmerman's mugshot from years earlier. They never told of how Trayvon had a history of violence, that he was on suspension from school for fighting, and how he had attacked Zimmerman after Zimmerman followed him. (Yahoo! eventually released the pictures of Zimmerman's injuries.)

 It's easy to show bias without telling a direct lie.

"Unarmed Black teenager shot dead by white man"

"Teenager shot and killed during fight"

"Older man shoots in defense against attack from African-American teenager teenager"

While all three are factually correct, only the middle one tells the story from a non-biased point-of-view.

I've seen this alot lately in many circumstances. There has been a lot of anger over the way the media defended the men who committed the Steubenville Rape of a 15 year-old girl. They Talked of how their lives were ruined. (Never mind the girl's life and the effect this has on her.)

Look at how the bloggernacle has blown up over sister Dalton's last talk. Sure, she annoyed me too, and I felt like her talk should have been worded differently when referring to rape, but at some point in time, you've got to stop whining about semantics and move on. (Let me add here that I believe the church needs an overhaul on how it talks about rape, and sexuality in general, but blasting Sister Dalton for not understanding the exact meaning of the exact words in a scripture is a little bit hypocritical. I've had someone very close to me sexually assaulted, but there is a point in time where we learn to understand intent.)

I could go on, but the point is simple: How do we detect bias, and how do we move past it?

I think one of the first things is to think "Is this really logical? Does this usually happen in real life? Does the world really work this way?" While we may all have different answers, just asking those questions would have raised a red flag for anyone when they were told an innocent teenager was gunned down in cold blood simply for being black. The world doesn't work that way these days in this part of the world.

It's also important to consider the source. I've stopped listening to certain people and news sources. Some people have no intention of being accurate if it doesn't prove them right.

I think sometimes, just certain words trigger a fight-or-flight mentality of sorts. As soon as I brought up feminism with my dad (a registered Democrat, interestingly enough) he didn't seem happy that I was labeling myself as a feminist. (After a long talk, he did admit to me he feels things aren't entirely being done correctly in his opinion.) Do you automatically shut down or go into defense mode when taught or controversial topics are brought up? Sometimes, we need to listen and seek to understand those with different views, no matter how much it may agitate us.

I guess what I'm trying to say is question everything and think logically. There is a wealth of information out there to be learned, but we instead choose to let others pick out their favorite parts, and take those parts as the whole.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The last eight days.

The last eight days have certainly started with a smash. Literally.

Jacob was having the YSA over at his house. Lauren decided to drive, and invited Richard and me to ride with her and Ryan. Richard and I live on the same street, and Richard was the last one to pick. After waiting a few minutes for Richard to come to the car, we started off for Jacob's house. We got about 300 feet. All I remember is Lauren and Ryan both freaking out, Lauren hitting the brakes, then a smash, followed by a thud and the sound of breaking glass. All I remember was me realising I was clutching the seat belt with glass on the seat. Our car was sitting in a yard across the intersection. Lauren was on the verge of a breakdown. Richard was covered in glass and in shock. I turned around and saw the other car. It was obviously totaled. The engine was pushed back several feet into the cab.

Everyone walked away. I think I may have gotten the worst of the physical injuries. Lauren isn't doing too well, though. She was charged with the accident. It's her second one.

Saturday wasn't any better. I won't talk about it here, but things aren't going well here with Todd.

Sunday was decent. I talked to Bishop Crookston about my financial situation, and he assured me I won't end up homeless. President Button did some adjustments on my neck. It's sufficiently awesome having an EQP who is a Chiropractor, as well as three members of the Quorum who are licensed physicians. 

Monday was alright. Monday night I had three episodes of sleep apnea. They may be from my whiplash.

Tuesday I got an awesome book from the library. It's called "The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat." Look it up. Serious motivation for my future career in neurology/psychiatry.

Wednesday I got more adjustments from President Button and played basketball with a few YA from the ward.

The rest of the week has been uneventful aside from renewing my DL and not having to pay for the Driving test, and then getting two Gator hats for 10 bucks.

I see Sarah today. So excited.