Showing posts from April, 2011

Things That Wouldn't Make Me Cry

If my car was hit... by the Publishers Clearinghouse Prize Patrol van bringing me a check for $10 million.

If Hollywood sank into the ocean.

If my

Housekeeping Note

The preceding post is an article I wrote for the e-newsletter sent out by Back when I was on Blogger, I used a separate blog for that, but I'm just combining everything on here. If you don't like that, you're a terrible person.

Be of Good Cheer (but Don’t Overdo It)

By Joel Hiller

Most people who know many latter-day saints would agree that members of the Church are, as a group, happy. In the media we are often portrayed as excessively cheerful and optimistic. Obviously, this mostly stems from the fact that living the gospel naturally brings us happiness—for me, the prospect of exaltation makes up for a lot of rainy days in this life, and the blessings that come through obedience are undeniable. But we are also specifically counseled in the scriptures to “be of good cheer,” and Church leaders have advised us that enduring to the end means more than simple survival.

An eternal perspective also gives us insight into the need for trials, however. Few members of the Church would deny that great blessings can come to us through overcoming the tribulations we all face. None of us will escape trials in this life, and many of our most severe tests can bring about life’s greatest joys. Parenthood, for example, is one of the greatest responsibilities we can …

Coming Soon


Explosive Confession

One day, when I was a teenager, some friends and I had several boxes of those snaps that you throw on the ground during fireworks season. For some reason, we decided to come up with a creative way to use them. In the end, one of us (possibly me; I have largely repressed my memory of the incident) suggested that we unwrap them all and combine their minuscule amounts of gunpowder to make a super snap. So, we got a paper towel and sat on my friend Krista’s porch, unwrapping the snaps and pouring their contents onto the paper towel.

Star formation is very interesting, aside from all the math. It turns out that one way a star ignites is through gravitational collapse, which occurs when the mass of a dust cloud becomes so great that it collapses in on itself, heating up to the point that the fusion reaction begins.

So anyway, there we were, sitting on the semi-enclosed porch, with our heads close together over the ever-growing pile of explosives. And then the pile reached the Jeans mass, and …


It was a weird Saturday. This morning I decided to take Sam so he and I could get our hair cut. But today was the Salt Lake Marathon, and our house is in the middle of the loop, so we can only go a few blocks east and west. When I explained the delay to Sam, he said, "We'll never get there, and my hair will grow the size of the moon!"

We did eventually get our hair cut, and then I went for a run. It was nice to run 10 miles for the first time in a year. And I managed to get sunburned a bit, which was something I wasn't expecting this early in the year.

After that, I took the kids to Cabela's, because we looked at their website and it looked like just a fun store to hang out at. I'd never been there, and I wanted to give Katie a break. so we went and looked at all the taxidermied animals. Allison wanted to touch all of them, and Sam kept trying to convince me that he needed a giant, stuffed shark pillow (we compromised on a less expensive toy gun).

Then tonight w…

He's Busting Mad Rhymes with an 80% Success Rate

So if I ever send a song to Katie, she is mainly concerned with the lyrics. She wants to know exactly what it's saying, regardless of how it sounds. A friend at work is the opposite. He doesn't really care what the lyrics are; it's the sound of the song that he cares about.

So my question is, are most people like that? I personally care about the sound at first, and then if it's enjoyable I will look up the lyrics. Both parts have to come together for me.

Is anybody out there primarily a music/lyrics person?

Quote from Sam

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Shall I Return?

While I enjoy the features of WordPress, sometimes I think about coming back to Blogger. Does anyone out there have an opinion on that?

I Called It

Okay, this is pretty amazing. Remember when I posted this?

Of course you do. Well, take a look at this.

Yes, I am awesome.

Worst Post Ever?

I wasn't going to post this, because it's unbelievably boring. But there is something noteworthy here, and that is the fact that I could find this interesting:

Read at your own risk (of crushing boredom.)

So as dinner is in the oven, I'm sitting here waiting, staring at the labels for peanut butter and honey, because Sam's having a sandwich. I was wondering which had more calories. The honey label says that one tablespoon (21g) has 60 calories, and the peanut butter says that two tablespoons (32g) has 190 calories. Hang on, that's weird. One tablespoon of honey is 21 grams, and 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter is 32? What's the deal there?

Oh. As I look it up, I realize we're converting volume to mass, so the peanut butter and honey have different densities.

Hmm, according to, two tablespoons of peanut butter equals 22 grams. So the label is wrong, unless for some reason Jif has a markedly different density from whatever peanut butter tha…

Out of Character

Lately Sam has been strangely courteous. He's started asking me question such as how I slept, and if I had a good day at work. Then he'll try to stab me with his toy sword, cackling as I act out a death scene. It's a very odd combination of traits.

Chat Log

Here's a chat I had this morning with my friend Rob Wells.

me:  I'm sure they'll call any minute

robisonwells:  I'm sure you'll get a punch in the neck any minute
(because I hired a guy)

me:  I'll do it for half the price

robisonwells:  no, when hiring a hitman, I find it best to avoid possible conflicts of interests. You know, I'm all about ethics.

me:  Why would you hire a hitman just to punch me? That's like hiring a doctor to apply a band-aid.

robisonwells:  because I take pride in my work, no matter how small the job
also, when looking to hire someone to punch someone in the neck, your options are pretty limited.

me:  He bruised his knuckle on my vertebra. We're going to try again.
Much better.

robisonwells:  oh goof

me:  But he says he's going to charge you for the extra punch

robisonwells:  but, oh goof also
that hitman, he's such a goof!!!

me:  So how much am I supposed to tip him? These situations are always so awkward.

robisonwells:  you'r…


Not getting into running as a teenager.

Made in...

Our kitchen chairs: Malaysia

Fingernail clippers: Korea

Running shoes: Vietnam

Frying pan: France

Screwdriver: Taiwan

Every other object in the house: China