Cool Fact Monday
Spiritual Content Tuesday
Update Wednesday
Future Thursday
Ask Me Friday
Story Saturday and Sunday

Back online, though the quality can not be guaranteed yet, it may start out as random ramblings until I get a system up again.

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26 November 2008

The Tragedy of Facebook

Oh the horror! I have been absent for far too long and it is all [or mostly] [or at least in the beginning it was all] the fault of FACEBOOK.

A person may argue that I have been a member of that wretched site for at least 6 months or so and only now I am complaining. This is true. The world in which I live is all to be found on facebook [all but a couple of really special people that havn't signed up yet, maybe they are the lucky ones.] I soon found out how many friends I really had and how many people still remember me or are willing to claim that they know me. It is wonderful when there is one website where family, friends, church, politics, events, parties, movie nights and business can all be found. I have been able to feel loved and included when sometimes I wouldn't have been, it was a dream come true.

As with all good things there is a reverse side. Gradually I was sucked in to these little horrors called "Applications". It started with "little green patch". That is a fun application that also helps you feel as if you are accomplishing something great by saving pieces of the rainforest. Here I could send people plants, receive plants that people would send to me and unlock new plants so that I could then send more plants. You get the idea. Thats alright, I could accept this one little time waster, because I was helping to save acres of rainforest, right? Wrong! After going for the "Little green patch" I soon added, "Speed Racing" where I could sup up my car and save up money to buy my dream car and race other cars. Then came "Heros Ability" where I gained the ability of Pirokenesis. Here I could attack people with fire attacks and become stronger.

I could go on, there are "LDS Pictures", "Vampires", "Chinese Symbols", "Dragons" and "Fairies", all of these are just pictures that you send to people and get more pictures and unlock pictures. Then you can join "Kidnap" and kidnap your friends in odd ways and unlock more odd ways to kidnap friends. There are also surveys and questionairs that tell you what movie character, super hero or any number of things that you could be. You can join the wars in "Mobsters", "Vampire Wars" and "Dragon Wars", where you attack people and encourage your friends to join so that you can be stronger and attack stronger people. And the latest application I've added is "Farm" where you create your own farm and grow things and take care of animals and send gifts.

All of these things take time and before you know it you are spending the time you would in a full time job, online with all of these applications. Those aren't even all of the applications, there are millions and friends continue to send more and if you don't accept you wonder if they will still be your friend. All of the pressure to waste more time online where you accomplish nothing.

I have now joined the FA or "Facebooks Anonymous". At first all I did was avoid facebook completely for one week, but the problem with that was I got sick and said "I'll just check my messages, no harm in that." Before I knew it my day was gone and all I had done was log onto facebook. I admit it, I am a Facebook Addict. I have now set up the organization for myself and will be attending my first meeting this week. It will be a once a week meeting where I will look at my addiction, see where I was the past week, set goals for the new week and read scriptures and such that pertaining to the atonement. Gradually I will turn my life over to the Lord and allow His great goodness to help me overcome my problems.

This is a Trajedy I allowed my life to fall into but luckily I think this story will end with "Happily Ever After".

28 October 2008

Oh what a Sunday

Sunday was pretty full and interesting, I am just so thankful that the Lord was with me, watching over me and guiding me.

To start, I have to mention a little bit of Saturday. I was out costume item shopping for a few last minute accessories for Halloween. My parents and my grandfather were with me. All of a sudden my phone rings, this is actually a common thing but the 'all of a sudden' sounded better. It turned out to be Brother McCamish. It was probably about 4pm when he called. That should have been plenty of time to get home and prepare something really awesome. Except for the fact that we weren't done with our shopping day. Then we raced to my house by 5:30, the time Kirsten would be meeting up with me to go out for the mid-singles activity. That adventure has already been told right before this one.

Well I had a bowl of Tomato soup and a cheese sandwich and finished just as Kirsten drove up. We took off and had a great time. I don't know what time it was but I'm guessing between 9 and 10pm sometime Joan called me and asked if I could teach the Relief Society Lession. With out thinking I said sure and told her to email it to me.

Now, on with Sunday. I set my clock to wake up with still plenty of time to atleast read over the lesson and prepare my talk. I got up, had breakfast and checked my facebook real quick. Good thing I did because there was a message about the Ward Councel meeting I'm supposed to attend once a month. I got ready and ran out the door. I made it to the meeting and learned a lot of good things that will help out the activities. Then I raced over to pick up a friend for church. We made it just in time to sit down before the meeting started. So there I sit, supposed to give a 15min talk and I have not even picked a subject. Although on the way to pick up my friend I had thought of a great opening line and some good opening scriptures.

Durring the opening prayer, I also silently prayed that the Lord would be with me and help me to say the things that he has called me to say. Durring the opening song I write quickly the scriptures and thoughts that came to me. Durring the sacrament I turned to atonement scriptures and gaines some more insight for my talk. Then a song that I had written years ago came to my mind, though I could not remember all of the words I could remember the important ones. I was amazed how well the talk actually turned out but you know I shouldn't be amazed. With the Lord all things are possible and the things of the spirit never seace to amaze me.

Well then I spoke with the bishop about a great many things and it took longer than it should have. I was supposed to give my friend a ride back home, she wasn't feeling very well. I bairely had time to get her home and make it back in time for the lesson in Relief Society. I arrived just in time and found out that they didn't even know I was teaching the lesson. They were prepared to wing it, surprisingly enough that was exactly what I was going to do. I pulled out the lesson and, just as with the talk, the Lord blessed me and we were able to have a great discussion and lesson. We ended right on time, it was perfect.

All I can say is that with God all things are possible.

The rest of Sunday was time to visit with some great friends. It was Sara's birthday and she had a small party where we were able to have fun and cheer her up. It was the greatest. Everyone was happy and relaxed. A great time to be with friends and lift others up. Then everyone left and Kirsten and I had a little chat in her car. We saw that the Narita's were still up so we came up to say hi again and spent some time visiting.

Then it was time to go home and go to bed. We were both exhausted. Oh what a wonderful Sunday.

27 October 2008

Pizza, Mazes and Denny's

Our first adventure to a mid-singles activity. We have never gone so we don't know any of the people who go. We were late to Mary's Pizza Shack and weren't sure which group was them. With only two of us who have poor group social skills and are pathetic, we watched a group we thought was them. They already had a full table that could not be grown any more than it already was. We pathetically got our own table far away and shared a salad. Then we took off quick to wait at the corn maze instead of talking with the people. It was fun driving all around since Jullien kept changing his mind on where we were supposed to go. We ended up taking some back roads but it was an adventure.

At the corn maze we hung out watching other groups meeting and getting together. It was hard to tell if we missed our group or if we were ever going to see them again. We kept the faith, before entering the pizza place we had said a prayer to have the strength and spirit to actually be more then we really are. Well the group showed up and we followed quietly from the back. I don't think they knew we were part of the group and we never vollunteered the information. We went to the group line to collect the money and get our tickets. We saved $1 each for group rate.

Through the entrance, up over the first bridge, turn in our tickets and we're in. Well the large group broke off in to seperate smaller groups. We could have followed either of the groups, the first one to break off seemed to really know what they were doing. Although I got a good feeling with the group stopped and staring at the map. There were some guys there that had good spirits that felt right. Later Kirsten told me that she wanted to stay with that group because they seemed to be in charge. So we both had our reasons, never talked about it but were on the same wave length.

We followed this group and had quite a few little adventoures. (Later I learned the names of all the people in our group but for the sake of the story I'm going to use their names right now. We had no idea who was who while following them.)

Scott looked down to see a milky way wrapper, he used his flashlight and read "Not a winner" out loud. Too bad. Then the conversation turned to the movie "signs". Probably because we were in a corn maze. Well it was interesting to hear how many people thought the movie was scarry and thrilling and how many thought it was stupid. While we were talking Kirsten took the initiative to accomplish our first mission.

As interlopers and alians in a new uncharted land meeting strange unusual beings never before contacted. Kirsten turned to Bob and said, "You don't mind if we tag along in your group do you?" "Oh no, not at all." We made first contact. Our second mission was to separate so that we would mingle more with the group rather than clinging to each other in our sorry little group of two. We didn't accomplish this task right away. We were the last two in the back of the group, following along.

I was second to last, the main one following and Kirsten was following me. This turned out to be a bad idea. Anyone who knows me knows my sense of direction or lack there of. Even when following a group of people I still find ways to get lost. We could be all the way at the end of the maze with only a few turns to get out. If you put me in charge we would be in the maze another 5 or 6 hours and find ourselves back at the begining instead of making it to the end. Kirsten tapped me on the shoulder and asked if we were following the right group. "Of course we are." I said and kept walking. "I don't think this is our group." She said again a little louder. I looked closer and didn't see anyone familiar. "Oh no. We are lost or at least from the group we had been analizing and hoping to, at some point, join.

We turn to each other, should we just keep going or should we try to back track? Kirsten heads back and I follow. We get back on the main path and follow it to the right. There is a bridge, we walk up the stairs and there is our group. They are huddled together, going over the map, deciding which way they should go. Westen came up to us and we talked for a bit. We said we were just so glad to have found everyone. There was a couple who came up a little frustrated. "Where is the Starbucks? Some guy with a coffee passed us and said that there really was a Starbucks in this maze." I turned to them and said "This is Starbucks station, but that is just the name of the bridge." The lady was a little disapointed. They hung out for a bit calling out a girls name, trying to lead one of their party, probably their daughter, to the bridge.

We made a decision or at least the leaders of the group did and we headed off. Now we began accompishing mission number two. I was near the front and Kirsten was in the middle of the group. Sometimes we even made small conversation with others in our group. It was a fine time. There were quotes from movies like Laberenth, willow and zoolander. There were also bits of Monty Pithon and the Muppets. It was hillarious.

One of the other groups called Scott and asked if he'd like to race and see who could make it to the end the fastest. He declined. We really didn't know what we were doing and they did, it was good we didn't race. They got out quite a bit before we did. There was corn all over some of the paths. It was important to be careful, it would be so easy to slip and possibly twist an anckle or something. Some of the paths were not really paths, they had been created by numerous people walking by and thinking they were paths. To complicate things even more people would take the flags and move them around. It certainly made things interesting. We even saw someone walking around with one of the flags.

We would constantly run into other groups. At one point this group of 4 guys ran up to us. We were all staring at our maps, talking and trying to decide where to go. One of the guys who ran up said "Which way to the exit?" Without even thinking Scott looked up and said "That way". Pointing in a direction. "Thanks" The guy said and then they all ran off in that direction. We all burst up laughing. We had no idea where we were, standing here staring at maps and these guys took us seriously. It was great.

We then ran into two people that were origionally from the main group that was at the begining. They ended up staying with us and their navigator teamed up with our navigators to help get us through this mess. At one point we were lost completely. We took random turns and kept staring at the map and none of the flags were correct. We had no navigational guides to follow and for a while the map was useless. A few people in the group started talking, "Who brought the bread and water, we might still be here come sunday morning." "Good thing we are with a group of priesthood holders."

We were completley lost as a group for a good 10 to 20 min. In one spot there was a torn up map on the ground. "This is the part where someone got a little frustrated." "Gave up on the map." That was also the turning point spot. We ran into that spot a few times and finally chose the only other direction left to us. A couple more turns and we found a flag marker that was correct.

And we're off, Scott taking the lead and Krisanna reading the map. With her abilities to follow the map and his sense of direction we found our way. The last 20 to 30min was just racing through to the end. There were patches we could hear laughter and smell the sweet smell or Marajuana wafting through the air. Then we make turns and it goes away but after rounding another corner we would find ourselves imersed in the aroma again. Then we were out. The sweet joy of freedom.

To better enjoy our sense of freedom we all decided to go to the ledgendary Denny's. Home of the late LDS hang outs and fun memories. Well we got to our car and asked Jullien if he would help us find Denny's. We ended up on the same back road we had been on earlier. I am so good at getting turned around, it's amazing and sometimes a little creepy how well Jullien knows me. We did arrive safely to Denny's and I was bursting. At Mary's Pizza Shack I had so much water and then went to the corn maze and walked around so much.

Well as soon as we got to Denny's I turned to Kirsten, "I need to use the restroom but if we decide we don't want to stay or that we weren't able to accomplish our mission of mingling we could leave at any time. The first thing that happened when we walked in the door was to meet Bob. He asked if Suzanne had been able to turn around. We mentioned that we didn't know anyone. "My name is Bob." He held out his hand, "nice to meet you." Then I ran to the ladies room.

It was easy to tell that many people from the corn maze stop by Denny's, at least at this time of night. There was straw, hay and bits of corn maze at the entrance and in the ladies room. Also I had to avoid a huge lugie that was also surrounded by a puddle of spittle. Extreamly gross and in a ladies room.

When I got back to the front the entire group was there and we were being seated. Too late to take off but just in time to continue with our mission. I ordered Nacho Fries because once I saw that, who could resist. But, wait a sec, hadn't I made a commitment with myself to avoid fast food for the month of October? Oh, thats right. No fast food. Ok, well there's ummm....soda. I don't like soda and after walking so much with only soup and sandwitch for dinner I was soooo hungry. Hamburger? Oh wait thats fast food as well. Nacho fries, no forget the fries. cream? No, I don't like a lot of sugar desert stuff. Nacho fries, no forget the nacho. Ummm...Nacho's? Yea, we like nacho's and with fries too, that makes them even better. Nacho fries, how delicious. Tempting and delicious in all of it's meaty, cheesy goodness. All drizzled over freshly baked fries. Who could resist. [Hold on, I think I need to run over to Denny's real quick to grab I have a new comitment no fast food from now to the end of November.] So I ended up buying them and they were as good as they promised to be and for Denny's that is surprising. Most of their food isn't my favorite but they are the only place open and their food isn't bad.

Suzanne bought a hot chocolate and when the waitress brought seconds she didn't want it so I got a free hot chocolate. Yum. Our new friends names are Alison, Paul, Krisanna, Virginia, Jarod, Westen, Susanne, Scott and Heidi. These friends are from Dixon, Davis, Oakland and us from Vallejo. They brought up an interesting topic about the McDonalds in Tailand and how to never go there thinking you are going to get something american. It is extremely spicy and not what we would consider normal.

All in all it was a very sucessful Saturday night. We accomplised our missions and made some great friends. I was so exhausted for Sunday. Wow....Sunday now that is another story all in itself.

24 October 2008

Driving Adventures

Taya is a good friend of mine. We have known each other for 3 ½ years now and we still get along. She is a delicate Asian girl with surprising strength, pain tolerance, patience and diligence. We keep in touch and love going on adventures together. We would go all over California, spontaneously. Sometimes others would go with us and sometimes we would go alone. The only problem would be the fact that neither one of us has a good sense of direction. We would always get lost and end up wasting gas and time trying to get places we were supposed to be. One time, when we were with Tina, we were coming home from San Jose. Tina was exhausted so we were in charge of the navigating. It was time to get back to the Vallejo area. With Tina asleep, Taya and I figured we would be able to get home, all we had to do was retrace how we got there in the first place. It sounds easier than it is, we ended up lost in downtown Oakland, going the wrong way on a one way street and being pulled over by a cop. I was so worried about getting home that I didn’t even care if I got a ticket. Well the cop took a look at my license and then smiled and said he didn’t want someone like me driving around his city when I don’t know the roads or what the heck is going on. He told me to follow him and then led me to the freeway. Taya and I cheered when we got back on the road, Tina was still asleep through all of that. Then somehow I ended up in downtown Sanfrancisco. Tina woke up for this one, curious where we were and why we weren’t home yet. While Taya continued to try to get us out, I explained to Tina what happened. We stopped at a gas station because I was on empty and I swallowed my pride. I went into the station and asked for directions. That took a lot for me and Tina was shocked. Well the directions weren’t even that great and I continued to be lost. Finally Tina saw a road she recognized and she ended up leading us all back onto the 80. Well Taya and I were able to find our way for the rest of the trip but Tina was unable to fall asleep again.

That was when we met Jullien. He is very good at directions and helps keep us company when we decide we want to go somewhere. At first Taya and I were so happy to no longer be getting lost as much that we all got along great, although Taya would not talk to Jullien. I guess she was a little jealous of the attention he was receiving. As usual with certain of my friends, I ended up the middle person. Both wanted to spend time with me and I wanted to spend time with both but they didn’t like being alone together. Well Jullien went through a period where he was a little confused. He would act like, look like and talk like a girl. Even with his name, which could be considered feminine, many people thought he was. I even caught myself calling him a she. Well he didn’t seem to mind. We went on different adventures but after awhile he began to get on my nerves a little bit. He was so strict on his navigational skills that there was no wiggle room. I wanted to go one way and he would get frustrated and upset with me. Sometimes he would just yell back his directions over and over again just to make me upset. Other times he would give me the silent treatment and refused to give me directions at all. I ended up getting lost at times but things always seemed to clear up and we would all get to where we were going.

On our latest adventure, Kirsten went with us. We all drove to Utah for General Conference, to see friends and to watch a friend in his play. The drive up was uneventful. There weren’t any arguments until we arrived in Utah, probably because all we had to do was stay on the 80. We made one stop for gas and that was it. In Utah the drivers were crazy, scaring both Taya and myself. It took me a couple of days to get used to how people drove and how I could get away with driving. Kirsten thought the arguments were funny and at times would even encourage them. Well the Utah environment changed us all a little bit but Jullien most of all. Towards the end of our trip he decided that he didn’t want to appear feminine anymore, he gained a love for the Spanish language. He isn’t terribly fluent but has learned certain phrases and words, which he likes to repeat over and over to see who he can annoy. His voice is a deeper masculine voice that Kirsten really likes to hear and she calls him Antonio. Well the change kept everything content and free of arguments for a while but by the time we got close to the California border we were arguing again. Taya was exhausted, and Kirsten having too much fun egging us on in our argument. I was mostly grumpy for lack of food and Jullien didn’t know the area very well and said that there really weren’t any food places nearby. I knew we should have stopped for something to eat while in Nevada. I spotted a huge In-N-Out sign, Kirsten was tired of burgers but I was needing something before my migraine became unbearable. I pulled out anyways and then Taya spotted a Marie Calendar’s and Kirsten said we should go there. After being fed it was time to finish our trip. We were all tired and kept mostly to ourselves for the rest of the trip.

14 October 2008

Mysterious Van; What if?

Now there is a real story brewing. On the way to Institute my brother Steven and I saw a van. It was a non-descript white van, with no definite markings. The unusual thing was the two sets of long, heavy duty antenas sticking up from the back. It could have been an under cover news van, FBI, CIA or who knows. It could also have been linked to the procession of cop cars I saw earlier. Everything is pretty hush hush. The traffic on the freeway was stopped because an alian ship, vessel, sighting or portal to the fantacy realm was opened. When this happened of course the government would want to be involved, but they weren't allowed. The alians or magical creatures have spies in many places and the ability to control minds and bodies. They had control of those cops, that was why they came out evenly paced and in a straight line. Now the van comes to cover up any radio waves, news reports etc... If this blog is found I may be taken in for questioning or to have my mind erased. Hey it could happen.

Cops on the 80

Driving back from fairfield today I saw a large procession of cops going east bound on the 80. East bound traffic was completly stopped right before one of the on ramps a little after I passed the entrance to hwy 12. I saw so many cops going in a straight line in the middle lane lights blazing. When I started counting I counted 50 cop cars before I lost count. So there were more than 50 cop cars. Was there a visiting dignitary? Was it a funeral?

If anyone knows why this was going on it would be good to know. When I find out I will add it in.

Blue Angels

Sunday was good and bad. I was sad to miss out on church, which is an important spiritual boost. It being fast sunday was even harder because the testimonies that are born are usually so special. Afterwords I missed out on mexican food for break the fast, some of my favorite foods. I also missed being at church with my brother who is an amazing individual and came up to visit.

The good parts? Well I got to go on the ship "The Golden Bear." This is the training ship for the students of the Califonia Maritime Academy. I worked the bookstore and got to meet a number of different people. Where the bookstore is set up is called "pirates cove." The only thing that would have been cooler would have been to dress up as pirates, but thats not professional in a business stand point. We had a porthole we could look out of to see the ocean as the ship moved out to sea.

It was fun. One minute you would be standing still and the next the ship would start rocking or leaning and you would have to rebalance yourself. I loved the feeling of being on moving ground.

Outside there was a lot of good food and drinks. This was a time for the families to relax and see what their students get to do while at the academy. Many people brought folding chairs and enjoyed the ride. The working ship had become a cruise ship, for some. The students that were on board were, most of them, dressed in their uniforms and working in different areas of the ship.

I was able to tour the engine room. It was amazing and loud. To protect your ears everyone is required to wear earplugs. The students that work the engine room have these special ear covers, they look like heavy duty headphones. The control room has so many levers and buttons it is confusing to someone like me. It is amazing the knowledge these people must have just to move a ship through the ocean. It is increadible. In the engine area there are so many pipes and pullys and who knows what else they are called. The walkways are metal mesh that mazes through all of the different areas of the engine room. This is to make it convinient for those working to get to any area they need to. The only quiet area, at least while the ship is stationary, is the place where the propeller is attached. It's a big room with a large metal cylinder, that moves the propeller when it spins. We were standing on a platform with railings able to look down at the metal cylinder. That was the only time we could really hear our guide, because we could take out our earplugs. She was wonderful, but had a soft voice.

Robin closed down the bookstore when it was time for the blue angels to fly. I got to watch the show. It was fabulous. The angels flew so close it seemed like they were going to clip the top of the ship. I could see the details of the planes and even read their numbers. I didn't remember that my phone had a camera until it was almost too late. Even though they didn't fly so close again, I did still catch a few good shots. It was fun to watch them fly in formation and flower off, creating paterns in the sky with their smoke. The engines were loud, though where I was standing on the ship was pretty loud too. I could only hear the angels when they were flying directly overhead, otherwise I was hearing the ships engine. It was such a wonderful experiance.

Then it was back to work at the bookstore. Everything was organized so that people could see the different patterns of what we had in stock. We would then check if we had the right size under the table. The pully bears, cute little stuffed animals that you can pull their arms and legs so they either have really long legs and short arms or really short legs and long arms or one of each. They are such fun little toys. They were one of the most popular items other than hats and shirts and sweatshirts. I learned how to calculate sales tax by hand, since the register wasn't able to go online. We did everything old school, by hand. It was a learning experiance and because everyone is on the same ship all day, no one really complained about having to wait a little longer to do the purchase.

It was over all too soon. We packed everything up and counted our inventory of what we had left. Then we scooted to the front of the line to get back to the bookstore on land. We got to watch the ship pull into the docking area. As the ship closed in to the dock things got really crowded. People all around, it was a little unnearving for me, since I don't do so well in crowds. It was a relief when we were able to be one of the first ones off the ship. Robin got a wonderful picture of the outside of the "Golden Bear" I hope to get a copy.

The walk back to the bookstore was happy and sad. I will miss the ship but there was still work that needed to be done. The sun was setting gorgeously along a calm sea. Robin opened up the bookstore and finished all of the transactions from the ship. Andrew and I were able to hang out and relax. Robin treated us and Shell to chineese food, which was really nice of her.

All in all I had a wonderful day but I know it was hard and stressful for Robin. I hope I was enough help to make it that much easier on her. Plus, any opportunity to see the blue angels fly right over your head makes any thing worth it. If the chance ever came up, I'd do it again.