Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dirty Old Man


I made a quick appearance on the news Friday night. Earlier in the day I had been walking down Main Street when John Hollenhorst stopped me and asked me what I thought about Sarah [Palin]. I knew that the only way to make the final cut was to come up with something quotable so I did my best.

To be honest, I find the following clips a little embarrassing. I look like a nut, I'm making all these funny faces and I just called John McCain a dirty old man on Utah television (Which he is, by the way). The first clip is of the 4 PM newscast (did you know they show the news at 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 6:00 and 6:30? That seems a little much if you ask me). The second clip is from the 10:00 PM news. My part is a little shorter and makes me look like an angry disenfranchised American (aren't we all?).

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In addition to making the TV news, I was quoted in two separate web stories on ksl.com as well. See Poll: Utahns think Palin will help McCain and Utahns react to McCain's choice for VP. Now forever more, if you were to wonder what I think of John McCain, just google McCain Tyler Squire and the first link will spill the beans.

This isn't the first time I've been interviewed by ksl either. A couple of days after the Virginia Tech shootings ksl was up on campus interviewing students for their reactions. I thought I had posted a video of it here on the blog, but I can't seem to find it. So, here are two more videos of my escapades in the news (the first one is around 2 1/2 minutes long and you'll have to look a little more closely to see my part in the second one):

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My most memorable quote comes from an article in the Sacramento Bee in March 2007. We were there for the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. I just happened to mention to the reporter that we had a tendency to overeat and clog toilets on these trips... (I blogged about it here, if you can stomach reading about it).

You've got to come up with something quotable if you want to make the final cut.

Friday, August 29, 2008

'tis the Season

Oh boy. Fall is a great time of year. Utah opens their season tomorrow against the Maize and Blue in Ann Arbor. I wish I could be there, but I'll settle watching the game on network television. Expectations for both Utah and BYU are high this season, which makes the first game all the more exciting.

Utah has a veteran team. They return the majority of their starters on offense and are pretty solid at most defensive positions. Their biggest weakness is the defensive line. Their biggest strengths are probably the offensive line, quarterback/runningback and defensive back positions. If Brian Johnson, Brent Casteel (who, in all likelihood, will win the Heisman this year), Darrell Mack and the DBs can stay healthy, Utah should be fighting for the top spot in the conference come November.

Their biggest problem - getting up for the 'small' games. Utah has the uncanny ability of playing at the level of their opponent. Last season they beat a decent UCLA team and were then shutout by a bad UNLV team. They can't let stuff like that happen this year or they'll lose some of those 'gimme' games.

My thoughts on tomorrow's game? I think it's going to be a good one. Michigan will not blow Utah out. Utah will probably not blow Michigan out. Michigan is so unchallenged, so inexperienced and unknown that I like to think that Utah can come out and surprise them. Michigan will have the better athletes and depth but Utah will play more as a team. It's going to be a defensive struggle with Utah's seasoned offense moving the ball better on the Wolverines then they will on the Utes. I'm going with Herbstreit and Fowler on this one and picking the slight underdog - Utah by 7.

I got this sweet schedule from my brother-in-law's brother a couple of weeks ago (click on the picture below for an enlarged view). It's got all of the Division I teams schedules organized by conference. If you'd like one for yourself, I've made it available for download here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Photo

So I was searching google the other day, and now I'm a little freaked...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

PSP vs. DS


Although the voting numbers were small, I appreciated everybody's input. I'll now let the truth be known.

I actually took both. First, I took the PSP. It was worth more than anything else on the table and I was planning on just selling it on eBay. I'm not really a Sony fan (MemoryStick, exploding batteries...) and there's no way that I'd spend $40 (or more) on games for the system. The pros for the PSP are that it has wi-fi capability and can play movies (which are ridiculously expensive as well).

After sitting with the PSP for a few minutes, I decided to exchange it for the Nintendo DS (which I decided I would actually use). The day after I took home the DS I went out and bought the game Brain Age (which I've always thought I would probably like). Now, Alison and I each play it for a few minutes most nights. On my first day playing, I got a brain age of 24 (it's now 26 or something).

Anybody know any good games for the DS?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Under the Banner of Heaven

Last night I posted a review of the book Under the Banner of Heaven - a Story of Violent Faith on my book review blog. I'd be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks about this particular book (if you've read it) or your general impressions.

One of my favorite quotes from the book helps describe why those of us that didn't grow up in Utah county (or have never lived there, member and non-member alike) always feel a little awkward down there:

"(p. 77) For a person accustomed to the multiethnic commotion of Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, or even Denver, walking across the BYU campus can be a jarring experience. One sees no graffiti, not a speck of litter. More than 99 percent of the thirty thousand students are white. Each of the young Mormons one encounters is astonishingly well groomed and neatly dressed. Beards, tattoos, and pierced ears (or other body parts) are strictly forbidden for men. Immodest attire and more than a single piercing per ear are forbidden among women. Smoking, using profane language, and drinking alcohol or even coffee are likewise banned. Heeding the dictum "Cougars don't cut corners," students keep to the sidewalks as they hurry to make it to class on time; nobody would think of attempting to shave a few precious seconds by treading on the manicured grass. Everyone is cheerful, friendly, and unfailingly polite.

Most non-Mormons think of Salt Lake City as the geographic heart of Mormonism, but in fact half the population of Salt Lake is Gentile, and many Mormons regard the city as a sinful, iniquitous place that's been corrupted by outsiders. To the Saints themselves, the true Mormon heartland is here in Provo and surrounding Utah County--the site of chaste little towns like Highland, American Fork, Orem, Payson and Salem--where the population is nearly 90 percent LDS. The Sabbath is taken seriously in these parts. Almost all businesses close on Sundays, as do public swimming pools, even on the hottest days of the summer months.

This part of the state is demographically notable in other aspects, as well. The LDS Church forbids abortions, frowns on contraception, and teaches that Mormon couples have a sacred duty to give birth to as many children as they can support--which goes a long way toward explaining why Utah County has the highest birth rate in the United States; it is higher, in fact, than the birth rate in Bangladesh. This also happens to be the most Republican county in the most Republican state in the nation. Not coincidentally, Utah County is a stronghold not only of Mormonism but also Mormon Fundamentalism."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nintendo DS lite vs. PSP (PlayStation Portable)

Last Friday Alison, Ada, Kate and I all went to Lagoon. It's a yearly thing that Spectrum Engineers does for their employees. The nice thing was that we didn't have to spend a penny on parking, ride passes or dinner. After dinner, the company had a big drawing for a bunch of prizes. They had a surround sound system, Rock Band, at least 8 iPods, a few Garmin GPS systems, cameras, Sony PSP, a couple Nintendo DS lites, Best Buy gift cards, and other items that I can't remember right now. The odds are pretty good that you'll win something, and when my name was drawn out there were still a couple cameras (which we don't need), a PSP and a couple of Nintendo DS lites.

My question for everyone here is: which would you choose?

Let me know in the comments or in the poll on the right. I'll reveal my choice in a couple of days.

Monday Photo

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't Ever Give Up!

I know I've mentioned recently how much I enjoy the Olympics. One thing that always amazes me is the level of competition. I find it very hard to comprehend how the competitors can always be getting so much faster and stronger. World Records at the Olympics are pushed around like they are meaningless. How long can people continue to destroy these records? Is there no lower limit to the times that the competitors can put up?

For example, consider the 100 m dash. Before the final race I predicted that Usain Bolt would win the race with a time of 9.69 seconds. This was a new world record by 3 hundredths of a second. I was right on with my prediction (feel free to check with Alison), but he could have run so much faster. With 20 meters to go he was already celebrating with his arms out, looking side to side and pounding his chest. Another prediction: sometime soon he'll easily surpass this time (Consider that the race in Beijing was held with no headwind or tailwind, Almost all of the previous world records were set with tailwinds in place).

Obviously, one of the most exciting things to watch has been Michael Phelps' miraculous run. He is the greatest Olympian of all time. Al an I have been Tivo-ing the Olympics every night and we'll start watching after they've been going for an hour or two. This method has its pros and cons. On the one hand, we don't have to watch the commercials. On the other, we're up far later at night than we would like to be. How can we miss all these good races?

The lesson to take from Phelp's seventh gold medal race is to "Never give up." With 4 feet to go, Phelps is apparently 3 feet behind (He is on the left in the picture below). His decision to swim hard to the finish allowed him to win another gold medal by 1 one-hundredth of a second. Amazing.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beijing 2008

I'm a sucker for the Olympics. I was excited to watch the Opening Ceremonies last night and I've got to say, the Chinese didn't disappoint. I'm usually bored by a bit of the pageantry but this one was so over the top that I was fascinated the whole time. The sheer magnitude of it all is just astounding. 15,000 performers, $300 million performance!

Last night I helped to clean the Bountiful Temple from 9:30 to 12:00. When I got home I watched a bit of fencing, air rifle shooting, badminton and boxing. Like I said, I'm a sucker. Here's to the US winning the medal race! Here are the current standings:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hard at Work

Have I mentioned on here lately how much I love my job? It's challenging, overwhelming, difficult, and even stressful but I really like it. There is just so much to learn that I often don't know where to start on the projects that I am given.

In other news, Alison and I got new callings a little while back. She is a ward missionary and I have been called as a counselor in the Sunday School Presidency. Neither of us have had callings anything like the ones that we've got now, but we're both excited for the challenge and the chance to serve.

Last week I bought a Black & Decker battery powered edger. I bought it for $100 and it came with 2 18 volt batteries. Each battery lasted about 20 minutes - which should be good enough for our yard. I used both batteries up because the yard hadn't been edged in over a month and I had to learn how to edge (considering I've only edged once or twice - and both times were in the 90's). I recommend it for people with small yards - as long as you're not expecting too much.

The best news of all is that football season starts in just 24 days - just a little over 3 weeks away! We'll know immediately whether or not the Utes will be any good (assuming that the Wolverines are ready to play). I won't make any bets but I expect they'll be alright.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Overheard on the Street

A drunk beggar walks up to me on Main Street asking:

"You don't have 50 cents to share with the grandson of James E. Talmage, do you?"