Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wood - Music Videos

Ever since Al Gore created the internet, we've been able to reach audiences that would have otherwise been impossible.  So our new quest as Wood is to produce some quality videos of originals, cover songs, and even proper music videos of the originals we plan to put on our upcoming albums.

Here's our first cover video - an acoustic version of The Killers' "Human"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Art of Spiritual War

Sun Tzu was a legendary general in China during the middle of the Zhou Dynasty.  He wrote the book, "The Art of War", that contains 13 key strategic points to winning in battle.  Think of it as the 13 Articles of Faith for army generals.

I bring up Sun Tzu because I've had a couple of questions that I felt were blog-worthy recently, and one of the points Tzu brings up links the two questions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TV in the UK

This week will be one for the record books.

Last Saturday I got a message from my friend Jason Hogan.  He mentioned some strange thing about his younger brother Chad Hogan and about a Scottish comedian named Kevin Bridges.  He asked if I wanted to be the band for some party...

Here's the connection between Kevin Bridges and Chad Hogan:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


When I was but a lad, Mamma Sweet used to encourage me to hurry up by using the phrase, "come on!  Motate!".

As it happens, "motate" is not a proper word.  It exists in the urban dictionary nowadays, but not in any classical one.  I always took the meaning of "motate" to be of the same root as "motion" or "move".  And that seemed to be the same thinking Mamma Sweet had in mind, because only motion would appease her encouragement.

I never moved out of my own will back then.  I was compelled to move.  I was going to be late for church, or we were going to miss meeting dad for lunch, or I wasn't eating my cereal fast enough to catch the bus, etc.  In my "motating", I was only going through the motions.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why People are Neat

So I've been told recently by kid sister that one of the reasons I might actually marry some lovely girl is because I "see why people are neat".

"Seeing why people are neat" isn't listed on my resume.  And to be frank, I'm not sure I understood it when she told me that.  I probably don't now - but I've been pondering it over the past few days.

Here's what I've come up with:

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Working at Night

    Some of my favorite moments in my life are when I discover things about myself through passive pondering.  For example, I discovered one night that I like watching "feel good" movies late at night - because when I do, usually I'm the only roommate who lasts through them.  So when they're done, I can ponder the message of the movie without being disrupted.

    Through reflection, I've identified another thing I like to do:  work at night.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    The Human Mind

    "...the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God." 
    - Joseph Smith Jr.
    The development and capacity of the human mind has been on my mind (no pun) as of late. It seems the process of deepening thought, sharpening focus and extending one's attention span involves more than simply the brain.

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Web Design: Weebly vs WordPress

    Since creating the acoustic duo, Wood, I've had to learn all sorts of web design tomfoolery.


    The website for the band was initially created using a tool called "Weebly Drag and Drop Editor".  It makes for incredibly easy building of pages - but it doesn't allow for much customization.  For instance, you'll need to use one of their pre-designed templates, color schemes, etc.  And while there are a whole lot of templates, it would sure be nice to be able to change the background color easily or adjust the height of a banner. is currently built using Weebly.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Elder Bednar's Q/A and a New Semester

    Yesterday Elder Bednar came to Logan.  He held a fireside in the Logan Tabernacle with neighboring stake centers connecting in through video conference.  It was interesting to see him reply to college aged questions.  He's a class act, that Elder Bednar.  His main principle (and also his apostolic blessing) dealt with understanding moral agency.  He taught the concept under the principle of obedience and how every choice we make reduces or sustains our agency.

    This is the last week I have to prepare to teach my class.  I need a lot of preparation still.  And I'm a bit worried about finishing my thesis.  I need to focus like crazy.  Grind it out.  I'm sick of it, but I have to clear it out of my way before I can do other things.

    There are a couple of projects I'm working on that might change what my life consists of over the next year or two.  I'll elaborate more later though.  For now I should head to bed.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    An Interesting Sunday

    Ahoy team!

    So today in church we learned to be courageous.  This track star who had to have his leg amputated spoke to us about it.  Nifty guy.

    I'm waiting for my home teaching companion to schedule visits (it is the 31st after all), and so I figured I'd drop a line or two on the old blog.

    This past week, my boss talked with me about time management and accountability.  When he was a young engineering professor, he had to bill his time to several different accounts.  So he kept a journal and made notes to what he was doing down to 15 minute markings.  I'm supposed to start doing that this week too.

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Moose Stress

    I lay here on the floor of our poorly-carpeted living room.  Sunday afternoon.  The sound of fans purchased from Walmart years ago is drumming away the day.  The obnoxious roommates have all dozed off or retired to their rooms, and the rest of us are quietly typing/reading having ran out of offensive things to say to each other and embraced the calm.

    The show that caused the rest to zonk was a Netflix documentary about Stress.  As I listened to the show, I realized that the Moose lived a life overwhelmed with stress.  Consider the effect chronic-stress has on health:
    1. Hair loss - this is more evident in us who don't have AWG 18 thick hair like Moose did.  But he did thin out a bit as the company went under.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    PhD and Bass Guitar

    So I realize that nobody in the family ever knows what I'm up to.  For example - how many times has mom spread rumors about me being: a) engaged? b) graduated? c) employed? d) enlisted? e) in shape?

    In light of the lack of information known about me (not that being anonymous really bothers me), I figure I'll update a few big decisions I'm making as of late...

    Yes.  More school.  Yes.  Still in Logan.  No.  Not Mechanical Engineering.  I'm currently standing with one foot in Mechanical Engineering while I finish my MS and one foot in Engineering and Technology Education while I begin my PhD.

    Google+ and the Glory of Group Video

    What is Google+ ("Google Plus"), you ask?  Why it's the latest, greatest, not-yet-fully-accepted social networking site.

    What does this mean for you?  It means you no longer need to send 18 texts to you buddies to figure out where you're going to eat, you can just do a "huddle".  See this demo.

    More importantly and to help sustain our family's laziness, it means we can group video chat.  (Same demo as above - use the tab called "hangout").  So if Adam and Punjab have their computer on video chat, Luke and Piemer have it on theirs, Con and Rob (who's combined age is nearing 150yrs - the equivalent of almost six of me...) are online with cameras, Mary and Min repent of their no-technology stance and turn back on their computers, Beth and Joe turn theirs on, Sarah and MC do as well, and Theo and I each have our respective camera-enabled computers on...  WE CAN ALL SEE EACH OTHER AT ONCE.  There will be one big screen (displaying the loudest of us - probably either Luke or Kate), and all our little videos below.

    In order to have Group Video a.k.a. "Hangout", you'll need to have: 1) a computer with a camera, microphone and working speakers (most of us can check this item), 2) a decent connection speed (Wireless N or hardwired in would be ideal.  Wireless G would be wanting.), and 3) a Google+ account.  If you don't have a Google+ account (currently Mom and I are the only ones), you'll need to be invited.  It was open to everyone for a while, but it became so popular that it bogged down Google's servers.  They're handling the traffic by having invitation-only adds for a while.  You'll also need to add the rest of the family into your social circles.

    Once we're all to that point, we can argue just like the good old days - face to face.