Politics, Puppets, & PC Paint

In line with TIME Magazine's recent comparison of Presidential Candidate Forerunners, I thought I'd hop on the political bandwagon and do my own side-by-side comparison of the candidates--with their appropriate Puppet counterparts. (My apologies to Jim Henson, who will be lightly rotating in his grave as you read this). Here they are, in no particular order:

Pictured: Sen. Barack Obama (D) & Franklin Delano Bluth, Puppet
While I thought they had similar skin tones, I think the pairing works for several reasons:
1. Wish they had “street cred”
2. Seem to have a magician's hand up...well, somewhere inside of them
3. Franklin Delano was named after a democratic president; Obama wants to be a democratic president; neither is appropriately realistic

Pictured: Rudy Giuliani (R) & Gollum, CGI Puppet
This one should be obvious:
1. Bald, squinty-eyed, violently confrontational, checkered relationship past
2. Both are so tricksy—I don’t know who I’d trust in the path of Kirith Ungol
3. Try to claim credit for things they didn’t do: Giuliani for cleaning up NY, Gollum for finding the ring; surprisingly, everyone seems to believe and pity them…until someone gets their finger bit off

Pictured: Sen. John Edwards (D) & Sen. John McCain (R)
What?! Where are the Puppet Counterparts? Hmmm….so many puns, so little space. It’s still an interesting comparison:
1. One looks too good to be true, the other sounds too good to be true
2. Both passionate about things they shouldn’t be—the rich one about poverty, the old, cold one about global warming
3. With their forces combined they are…..Al Gore.

Pictured: Sen. Fred Thompson (R) & Sam the Eagle, Muppet
I don’t even need to explain this one, but I will:
1. Official symbols of Law & Order
2. Bear a frightening resemblance to Richard Milhaus Nixon when on TV
3. Famous for saying “Why am I here?”—one at the Muppet Family Christmas, the other at the latest Republican Presidential Candidate Debate

Pictured: TV Personality Stephen Colbert (R/D) & Woody, Toy
The resemblance is striking, and their personal philosophies bear striking similarities; all in all, very striking:
1. You’ve got a friend in both of them
2. View life with the optimism born of truth, freedom, and the American way
3. Fictitious, funny, and a wee bit fruity

Pictured: Gov. Mitt Romney (R) & Guy Smiley, Muppet
Mostly, it’s the hair, the smile, the chin, the suits…OK, these guys could have grown up on the shores of lake Superior together!
1. Famous for hosting seminal American events—the Olympic Games and Sesame Street’s “Here is Your Life”
2. Appreciate the value of a power tie and a solid hair part
3. Skilled in their respective management areas—venture capitalism and muppetism

Pictured: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) & Ms. Piggy, Muppet
Perhaps the most obvious of all comparisons.
1. Sense of entitlement for being…piggish
2. Spotlight hog
3. Married to a slimy amphibian

1:44 AM

missing Her.


Our Feet in Our Mouths: How the Honor Code Fails to Protect Academics In Football

PHOTO ABOVE: What I can only surmise is a fight, brawl, or worse, these scenes of violence and cheating will only worsen unless we stop the tide of football tomfoolery... Therefore, it's time for more Honor Code Revision Committee Comments!!
This past Saturday, as I drank in the sugar-free athletic kool-aid that was BYU v EWU (THE MIGHTY EAGLES!!!), I wondered out loud to my friends Spencer and Dan whether, in fact, the Honor Code applies to sports feats performed on the football field. It's an interesting conundrum: should football players be held to a lower standard on the field than off it? Does sports cheating constitute a violation of the Honor Code? Would a holding penalty constitute improper touching and/or a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy?
In order to better illustrate my point, I present a close reading of some of the pertinent clauses of the Honor Code and how they may relate in a football context. (Note: the scope of this analysis is strictly limited to the football field; no off-the-field "action," if you know what I mean).
Student Academic Honesty Policy
From the home of the Honor Code, http://www.honorcode.byu.edu/, I will first look at the Academic Honesty Policy:
1. The Purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy
"The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to "be honest." Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work but also to build character. "
a. The first "injunction?" My first reaction to that word was "a legal remedy whereby a judge orders an individual or group to refrain from acting in a certain manner." However, Princeton defines an injunction as "a formal command or admonition." OK, so BYU students are commanded to be, above all other things, honest. I'm alright with that.
b. Let's take a look at that second sentence: "Students come to the university...to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work." First, and let's be honest with ourselves, about 95% of football players are convinced that, 1) they have a sure career in football--either pros or coaching, or 2) their sociology degrees will take them far. While both convictions are probably farfetched for 95% of that 95%, let's just keep in mind that, in their minds, the "skills" they learn for football--tackling, throwing, running, catching, etc.--are intended to "assit them in their life's work."
Assuming, then, that in the lives of football players, practicing and playing football is an essential step--taken in a University atmosphere--towards their life's work. It is, essentially, an academic pursuit. With that established, let's look at...
Also in the preamble to Academic Honesty, the Honor Code states that "President David O. McKay taught that 'character is the highest aim of education.' (The Aims of a BYU Education, p.6.) It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim."
a. With "character [as] the highest aim of education," we're now ready to really draw the line between the pursuit of sports perfection and the same in academics. See subsection (b).
b. Bronco Mendenhall, head coach of the mighty Cougars, has adopted the philosophy of recruiting, instilling, establishing, and building character in his players. He has instructed those players to "Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price for a worthy goal."
Both BYU Football and BYU academics set character as a principle goal, one to be achieved and encouraged at all costs. Therefore, whether football and academics are substantively the same or categorically different, their relationship is not one of "apples to oranges" but of "jots and tittles." Even by analogy, where academics is a mental pursuit and football a physical pursuit, because they both seek to develop skills and character essential in the lives of those who participate in them, in a University setting, standards set for one should be consistent with the other.
Thus, the Honor Code, and all its policies and rules, should apply to a football/sports context. (Note: don't even try arguing against that logic).
With that in mind, a series of questions must be answered in order to examine the practical effects of the Honor Code on football, and therefore determine what must be implemented immediately into the Athletics Department to stay consistent with BYU's mission to build character.
3. A Series of Questions:
What are the pragmatic effects of the Academic Honesty Policy on Football?
I. The Rules
BYU Football players, as academians, should "avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms." The Honor Code further defines dishonesty and misconduct as "including plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating...."
1. Dishonesty. Ever seen a false start in football or an offsides penalty? Both seek to claim an unfair advantage over the other team. Dishonesty at its core.
2. Misconduct. Roughing the Passer or Personal Fouls of any kind? Misconduct in the extreme.
3. Hybrids. Holding and Pass Interference? BOTH dishonest attempts to gain advantages and misconduct.
4. Fabrication or Falsification. Ever seen an offending player hold up his hands with a look of pure innocence on his face? "Wasn't me, coach!" Well, because of the beauty of instant replay, we know it was that guy! Fabrication and falsification of a story.
5. Cheating. Come on. This one's too easy! Any penalty committed in football is obviously cheating at some level.
OK, that was really the only question I had so far as academic policy goes. But what about respecting others? What about observing dress and grooming standards? (Volleyball anyone?!) And what about the improper touching of another individual? Doesn't that speak to the law of chastity? These are all important questions that, without answers, may spell the ultimate downfall of BYU athletics.
II. Enforcing the Rules
The Honor Code Office (HCO) is ultimately responsible for tracking and establishing the appropriate punishment for offenders of the academic honesty policy. I don't envy their job now that it is about to grow substantially every Saturday in the fall, but I feel it our duty to enforce these rules, even on the football field. Perfection of the players is all we ask. The relevant statutory language of the Honor Code states a three part approach to violations of the Academic Honesty Policy:
1. "The HCO will maintain a record of all violations of the Academic Honesty Policy reported to it by the faculty."
Ouch. This one might take a lot of work, seeing as how the Cougars average approximate 35 penalties per game. I feel bad for the offensive linemen and the defensive secondary, as they're often the so-called "victims" of fouls and penalties. Actually, this brings up another key point--a paradigm shift. We need to stop thinking of penalized teams and players as victims. They are, simply put, the perpetrators of these horrendous actions. That they suffer from these actions is besides the point. Do we consider prisoners victims of the crimes they committed?! NO!
2. "If the occurrence is sufficiently egregious or if a pattern of dishonesty or misconduct is discovered, the HCO may take additional action on behalf of the university based upon the nature of the infraction(s)."
This one begs a couple of questions, the first being: What is "sufficiently egregious?" This one's easy to implement. NCAA Football has already devised a scheme to determine the level of harm and punishment associated with penalties. Five-, ten-, and fifteen-yard penalties all have their associated penalties because, presumably, some are more harmful or prejudicial than others. I'd recommend a full expulsion for fifteen-yard penalties.
What might be more time-consuming is determining whether a "pattern of dishonesty or misconduct" can be established. Thankfully, we have all the games on film and can analyze them after the fact.
3. "The HCO, in consultation with the involved academic personnel, may determine to place a student on probation or to suspend or dismiss a student for academic dishonesty and other forms of academic misconduct."
Wow. This clause seems pretty sharp. Probation, suspension, or dismissal. BYU should simply implement these penalties on perpetrating players in the following manner:
Five-yard penalties: Immediate probation. More than three, suspension. Establish a pattern: dismissal.
Ten-yard penalties: Immediate Suspension. More than three, dismissal.
Fifteen-yard penalties: Dismissal.
III. Policy Arguments For Strict Enforcement
BYU fans, coaches, and administrators alike have expressed their disdain for the inordinate amount of penalties committed by BYU. But just imagine if the students at the school were held to such a low standard for their own penalties committed off the field? Some practical examples:
Jonny is caught cheating on his Biology exam. He has anticipated the beginning of the exam by a full five minutes before the rest of the class may begin, and has time to carefully think out the essay before everyone else.
That kind of behavior wouldn't be tolerated in a classroom. But a similar football penalty, offsides (where the defender comes across the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball) is met with only a cursory five-yard penalty: hardly the kind of punishment that rises to the level of dishonesty displayed.
Another example. On her way to class, Kim sees one of the top students who's always bragging that he's "the top of the top and will remain at the top of the top." Seizing her opportunity to finally do something for the greater good, Kim runs up behind the top student, trips him and shoves him down a set of stairs. Just to make sure he's down for the count, and for good measure, Kim waits for the top student to stop rolling, and launching herself from the top of the stairs, body slams him.
Not only would Kim's actions earn her at least a dismissal from the school, it would probably result in both civil and criminal penalties in the courts. But every Saturday, quarterbacks are subjected to this kind of treatment by 300 lb giants who aren't even taken out of the game. Often, in fact, they are smacked on the butt with a salutory "good game" or "nice job!"
Therefore, the same standards imposed on traditional "academic" students should be imposed on non-traditional "football" students. Penalize the athletic penalty perpetrator as you would the academically dishonest, for they are one-in-the-same. This approach would simultaneously encourage sportsmanship and character and discourage the shameful behavior that has, for far too long, been accepted as part of the norm. The football status quo cannot be accepted at BYU. We have been, and must coninue to maintain our status above the bar set for other schools. To do less is to settle for what the world accepts--and while we may play football against the world, we are not of the world.
This type of egregious behavior must stop. In order to protect the academic and spiritual integrity of this fine institution, football players must be held accountable for their actions both off and on the field. A double standard can no longer be held between the classroom and the stadium. We must take action immediately. Stand up and demand a more fully invested football team. Require that they raise a bar. Insist that, like the rest of us, football players are accountable for their own character building.
And to those doubters, or to those who may encourage the status quo, or who may ask "What's the big deal? It's just a game." Yeah, well, when you come down to it, isn't life just one big game? It has a beginning, an end, and winners and losers. In my book: Game.
Finally, to those who ask "Why did you write this?" I give you a turn on a John Donne classic--Don't ask for whom the whistle blows. It blows for you.



Just remembered a story about hunger. As a young man of about 16, I had to visit the dentist and get some work done. (Why do we call it dental work? Shouldn't it be something appropriate like "Dental Pain Which Costs Me a Lot of Money and Makes my Mouth Sensitive to Tin Foil, Ice Cream, and Radio Waves?") Dr. Theurer was my dentist at that point (and continues to be, thank you). He was, and continues to be, very careful to make sure that I didn't feel any of the hellish pitchforks of pain that can often be associated with Dental Work. He shot me up with that enormous novacaine needle that should only feel like "a small prick," but really feels like an enormous novacaine needle being shoved sharply into the back of your jaw. Just to be sure, I'm pretty sure he shot me up twice. In a matter of minutes, I was slack-jawed and slobbery: Eric: I sheenk we've Ogay to GOah Dr. Theurer: Alright, let me just jam these instruments into your now-numbed chasmous mouth. Normally, this procedure would cause you to pass out with pain, but thanks to the miracle of novacaine, you don't feel a thing! Eric: Tha'sh grayd, doktor, can we jusd do thish theengh? Dr. Theurer: Ok, but before I stick this drill bit down your throat, have you ever heard that Bill Cosby sketch? Eric: YESH!! "Thair'sh shmoak cumeengh aut auf ma mouf!!!" (Laughs) Dr. Theurer: Exactly. It's not funny though. This is going to be like a calcium and flouride barbeque. With that ominous warning in mind, my body inevitably latched onto the keyword of the pseudo-verbal exchange: barbeque. As was usual every 30 minutes or so at that age, my stomach attacked me with a quick, rather sharp pang of hunger. You haven't filled me for at least 45 minutes! it seemed to say. I heartily agreed with my stomach, as is the usual case even now, and resolved to remedy the situation as soon as I got my Dental Pain done. Dr. Theurer's office was located right on 1300 East and 2100 South. VERY CLOSE TO WENDY'S IN SUGARHOUSE PARK. I have to admit that then (and now) I was a sucker for the quarter pound combo meal with a Frosty in place of a drink. So, I made my way out of the office towards my teenage holy grail: the Number Two Meal. Slavering, either at the thought of the succulent burger or because of my novacaine-induce lack of salivary control, I made my way over to Sugarhouse and the promise of ground beef goodness. Rolling up to the drive-through intercom, I smoothly queried "Kahn ah-ee git ah Numbor Toooo, pleash, and kahn ah-ee git a Froshtee in shted av ah dweenk?" Amazingly, the clerk's response was "You sure can. Your total will be 4.59 at the Second Window. Have a good day!" For the first time in my life, both the teller and myself had understood each other, and were together edified. It was a joy that would not long last, I'm afraid. After getting home with my prize, two horrible things occurred: I dropped my Frosty (which made a very self-satisfied "Shplunk!" sound as it shplunked all over the kitchen floor) and, to my horror, I realized that my mouth was still incredibly numb. Totally, incapacitatingly numb. I nearly sobbed. By this time, my stomach was rebelling and had begun to devour itself slowly. My survival instincts were beginning to kick in and take over. I had to do something, and quickly, otherwise I was going to starve to death in the middle of our kitchen. I often informed my mom that one day she was going to come home late from work and find her eldest son passed out--or worse--from hunger in the middle of the kitchen. She always thought I was kidding, laughed, and said something about me "being a big boy" and I how I "deserved it" if I couldn't fix myself some food. Now, with my food half in front of me and half around me on the floor, and with no way to eat it, I couldn't believe how cruel my mother was. Cold, insensitive, uncaringly cruel. How could she laugh at me?! This is an emergency! I thought. Panic stricken, I resolved to do the only thing I could do: BRAVE THE BURGER. I slowly brought the juicy thing to my lips and, to my horror, couldn't even take a bite. It was like a wall had been erected in front of my teeth. I tried again...with no success. I decided I needed a mirror to make sure I was doing this right. In the bathroom, then, I quickly discovered from the mustard marks on my face that I had unsuccessfully tried to feed my chin. With a mirror in front of me, my burger in hand, I thought I had it made. Carefully, watching my reflection raise the foil-wrapped wonder to my mouth, I took a reverse bite and wondered if my taste buds would be numbed as well. Oh, sweet world! Don't take this last joy from me! The world didn't take that last joy. To my eternal relief, I could taste the burger! How the sweetness of the tomatoes mixed with the sharp onions! The briney pickles with the hearty beef! Oh, but the crispness of the lettuce only accented the grainy, sesame seed bread. Nothing could have been sweeter. Nothing could have brought more joy to my juvenile mind and/or stomach. Except.... except, it seemed like I was chewing a bit more than I had taken off. Watching my jaw work in the mirror, there was definitely more substance to what was being mastigated. Intrigued, I poked around and prodded the inner depths of my mouth a bit with a forefinger and, mortified, discovered that I hadn't bitten off more than I could chew--I had chewed up a bit of my tongue. This might disturb some readers. Frankly, it kind of disturbs me right now. But by that point, this seemed the easiest problem I had to encounter that day. No problem! I thought. This is something I can remedy. Eric's not dying today! So with the resolve of a starved Peruvian man stuck high in the Andes with no other source of sustenance than his since-passed-on friends, I grabbed the burger in my right hand, held my tongue in place with my left index and middle fingers, and proceeded to heartily inhale my Wendy's meal in the bathroom, watching the intricate fast food ballet in the mirror. So, I guess the moral of the story is, when I hear about people chewing their arms off or calmly breaking their own bones to escape some horrible situation in order to survive, I just think to myself: I've been there, man. I know their pain. I know their pain. And that's why I'm in law school.


A Day in the Life of...

Here's a minute-by-minute snapshot of today's action: 12:01 am: realize, to my chagrin, that I still have a few hours to go on my 20 page brief which will be due this evening at 8:00pm sharp. Wonder where the Mountain Dew is. 12:03 am: find the Mountain Dew and my source of caffeine. Wonder simultaneously to myself "Ah! This should do the trick" and "Hmmm...it's been a long time since I've had caffeine coursing through my capilaries." 12:05 am: Return to the computer, stare blankly at the screen... 12:15 am: Discover myself still staring at the screen; check my email, my blog, my facebook account, my bank account, my old email, and the news... 12:25 am: Return to my Word document. Stare deeply into the nether regions of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and wonder "why did the Founding Fathers make so many promises?! WHY?!" 12:26 am: Check my email, my blog, my facebook account, my bank account, my old email, and the news...just in case something important has come in recently. 12:30 am: Wonder "WHY ISN'T THIS PAPER GETTING DONE?!" Force myself to take responsibility for my actions and begin to type... 1:00 am: After a full paragraph of "All work and no play make Eric a dull boy," decide that law school was a bad idea, moving somewhere far away would be good for me, and debate between whether I should write a novel and/or run for election in the far away Senate. 1:05 am: Remember that reality bites and say a little prayer for Dana Carvey 2:00 am: Think "Thank heaven for Mtn. Dew! I'm awake, alert, and typing away!" 2:05 am: Wonder why 18-year-old neighbors are blowing one of those annoying football horns. Turn volume on music up. 2:10 am: Think, MAN, the Doobie Brothers really had something goin', didn't they? 2:30 am: Realize that somehow my paper has finished itself. Say a prayer for both Mtn. Dew and the 18-year-old neighbors. 2:35 am: Check the email, the blog, the facebook, the bank, the old email, 'cause you never know, right? 2:40 am: Still not feeling tired, decide to learn a new song on the guitar. 2:45 am: Realize that for every song I learn on the guitar, a BYU girl gets her ring. 2:50 am: Realize that I have to be up at 7:45 am. Lay me down to sleep. 2:53 am: Toss 2:54 am: Turn 2:55 am: Dedicate the remaining waking time I have until I fall asleep to composing a letter to Mtn. Dew promising to never buy, use, or recommend their product again. 3:15 am: Still stuck on whether "Dear Sir or Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern" is the best way to begin the letter 3:17 am: Can't imagine how the 18-year-old neighbors have the energy to continue tooting their horn. 3:30 am: Say another prayer for Mtn. Dew, caffeine in general, and my idiot self for leaving so much to do for so late at night. Promise myself to never do it again. 3:31 am: Come to grips with the fact that it will happen again. 3:32 am: Sleep. I think. 7:45 am: Alarm goes off. Groggily imagine that someone is calling me. 7:47 am: Wonder why they don't hang up. Somehow manage to take battery out of alarm with three fingers of one hand so as to allow the maximum amount of skin to stay under the covers. 8:45 am: Wake up with a start and think "Damn that Mtn. Dew! Vile Caffeine!!" 8:50 am: Shower. Thank the Romans for interior plumbing and heated water. 9:00 am: Realize that I'm hungry, but no time for food. Brush teeth and run out door. 9:10 am: Arrive at the J. Reuben Clark School of Law. Remember what it was like and visualize an imaginary trashcan so that I can imaginarily vomit into it. 9:20 am: Walk past the trashcan dedicated to and sponsored by a former student; briefly flirt with vomiting into it, but remember that I haven't eaten today. 9:21 am: Reaffirm my promise to one day sponsor a golden urinal at the J. Reuben Clark which reads: "Law School--Please be Courteous and Remember to Flush Dreams Away." 9:30 am: See friends from law school, remember that even in the worst situations, nice people can sometimes make up for some of the crap. Remember that I still have to read for Evidence. 9:40 am: Decide I need to check my email, blog, facebook, news, bank account, old emails, and new email again instead of reading for Evidence. 9:50 am: Once again, promise myself to stay on top of my reading. 9:51 am: Overhearing my whispered promise, a friend tells me to come to grips with the fact that it will happen again on Wednesday. 9:53 am: Swear I overhear the BYU girl get her ring. 9:53:05 am: Swear I overhear the BYU boy who gave the BYU girl her ring hit the floor with his forehead. 9:53:07 am: Swear I overhear a voice on the wind whispering "If you buy it, she will come..."; consider whether it could be cubic zirconia... 9:59 am: Decide that my email needs to be checked one last time... 10:00 am: Begin a four-hour marathon of class. Promise myself that today will be different, today will be unique, today will be a day to beat all days in the world of legal academia... 10:01 am: Dimly aware that my brain has turned off. Somewhere, somehow, a part of my soul weeps. 2:00 pm: Stomach informs brain that it hasn't been filled recently; brain, annoyed at being turned back on again, tries to silence stomach. However, stomach reminds brain that gastro-intestinal system, of which stomach is a member, can make brain rue the day it first thought. Brain backs down and tells legs to make way to Creamery, forces hands to pull out wallet, and induces mouth to speak to cash register person. Stomach is appeased, body returns to state of Defcon 2. 2:45 pm: Now that the threat has been quashed, brain reminds Eric that paper must still be edited and proof-read before turn-in. 2:50 pm: Not used to brain's instructions, I hastily check email, blog, facebook, bank account, old email, old news, and purportedly new news before finally agreeing with brain. 3:00 pm: Try to finish paper. 3:25 pm: Come to sudden, unexpected realization that grammar is finally cool. 3:26 pm: Sob into my hands for making that realization. 4:00 pm: Remember that I have another class at 5:00 pm. Imagine what life must be like outside the concrete walls of the J. Reuben Clark. 4:02 pm: Walk over to a window and see what life is like outside the walls of the J. Reuben Clark. 4:03 pm: As life goes by outside the walls of the J. Reuben Clark, another BYU girl gets her ring. Promise self to never propose on a sidewalk in the middle of the day. 4:04 pm: Come to sudden, unexpected realization that any proposal that elicits a "yes" is better than an elaborate or creative one that ends with a "no." Say a prayer for Sauce girl from Tomasito's last year. http://ebv.blogspot.com/2006/11/byu-law-we-stay-as-far-away-from-campus.html 4:15 pm: Get ready for the next class. Attempt to convince myself that my paper will get finished between 6:30 and 7. 5:00 pm: Begin to bite nails and wonder about my paper. 5:01 pm: Run out of nails to bite and consign myself to mediocrity. 5:45 pm: Class gets let out early. Reaffirm faith in a higher power and run back to desk via the stairs. 5:46 pm: Have to slow down, put hands on knees, and catch breath. 5:48 pm: Still trying to catch breath and curse my sedentary lifestyle of books, study, and intermittant, caffeine-interrupted sleep. 5:50 pm: Stagger over to desk and start up laptop. 5:51 pm: Check email, in case someone else has written my paper for me. 5:53 pm: Disappointed that no one has finished my paper for me. 6:00 pm: Begin the proofing and editing process. 7:00 pm: Amazed at what I can do in an hour when I have to. Print out five copies of the brief, hand them in appropriately, try to make brain accept the fact that paper is done, and realize that brain has been powered down since 5:01 pm. 8:45 pm: Wake up brain to watch the TiVo'd episode of Heroes. 8:47 pm: Brain releases endorphins. Now: Thankful to finally write on the blog instead of just checking it. Wondering if Brain has been powered down the whole time. Promise myself to check email less and work more, because I have to. Tomorrow: Realize that my "Now" me is much more idealistic with "Tomorrow" me's time than "Now" me's own. Promise to remedy that. Tomorrow


Dr. Who

After seeing this picture, I realized that it's OK to be a Dr. Who fan. We all watched it on Ch. 7 when we were kids. Don't even try to deny that you did. Tom Baker was a household name, children used to hide behind the sofa from the Daleks and some weird medusa looking thing, and finally we understood the Brits.
Anyway, I had to share this photo. It makes me happy.
Pictured: Peter Davison (left), aka The Fifth Doctor, &
The Man I Am On the Inside (right)
I'd say this picture was magic, if it weren't science fiction. It's probably the conglomeration of a gamma ray fluctuation in the space-time continuum, wherein the quark/wave dynamic produced the perfect Dr. Who fan moment. I'm pretty sure that poking of the T-Shirt made him an honorary Time Lord.

Ah ha! While "magic" didn't quite work, I think "Timeless" is appropo to paint this Meeting of the Titans. Thus, it shall be christened "The Timeless Meeting of the Titanous Time Lords!"

PS--I really do like Dr. Who. Sue me.



I'm invoking my right to direct this blog a little bit left of humorous today. Please, bear with me on this one. This was such a bittersweet weekend for me. First, the mostly sweet: I got to spend time with my Dad up at our cabin on Hebgen Lake, near West Yellowstone, Montana. (Pictures Pending). While the weather was mostly bad and the fishing stunk (I lost a bubble, broke my rod, and caught ZERO fish for the first time in a long time up there), I had a great time. While there, I realized that I'm a very easy man to please. This is all I need to be happy: a few days and nights in the mountains, away from the rush and bang of the city, watching the cloud cover creep over the lake, smelling clean, crisp air, and realizing that my biggest worry of the day is how to beat Dad at Scrabble that night. That's all I ask, and thankfully, I can get it one or two weekends a year. On those days we didn't want to fight either nature or Idahoan fishermen for a sweet hole on the river (mostly because of all the snow and the POOR fishing lately), we spent our time reading, fixing things, playing Scrabble, and listening to General Conference (bless BYU-Idaho Radio!). I can't imagine a better way to spend my time. Seriously, I needed this weekend. The pounding drudgery of life at law school can get to be too much some days. This was a breath of fresh, Montana mountain air that made school seem...well, less bad. On to the Mostly Bitter. A friend of mine--ward member, neighbor, and impressively good man, Tim Filichia--was killed over the weekend in a head-on car collision in Arizona. He was returning home from Arizona after spending time with his family during the Conference Weekend. I didn't know Tim very well. We only talked a few times at ward choir or at some activity, but I have to say that the man had such a charisma about him that you couldn't help but know and like him. He was funny and caring and an examplar of living kindness, and far too young to leave life now. He will be missed and most definitely remembered. Sometimes. Life ebbs and flows too much for you to hide away from its juddering, defining tides. Sometimes, they ripple and swirl around you in an uneasy, unearthly dance; sometimes they lick your leg as light and quaint as down; sometimes they promise to engulf you as a menacing, white-capped crush. But it is exactly at those times that you must cut the water--step into the shallows, plunge into and manipulate the depths, slide over and through the waves; do something, ANYTHING, but live life while it is at your toes. But don't, Don't let the water simply sluice through your fingers and drip away. Embrace the currents and rip them. We'll miss you, Tim.