Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today I paid under $30 to fill my car (not to mention that I got more than 35 mpg). A part of me wants the market to continue tanking - as long as gas continues to get cheaper...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Utah 37, Weber State 21

Everybody should know that this game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. Not to make any excuses, but Weber scored two of their 3 touchdowns very late in the game against Utah's second and third teamers. They should have still been able to stop the Wildcats though.

Once again we are waiting for the game that Utah's offense will really shine in. For at least one more week, they've underperformed and left everybody wondering where the magic is. It was nice to get a better look at the backups though.

Utah's defense is still rolling. They lead the conference in pass defense and total defense. In addition, they are only giving up 60 yards per game on the ground, a number all the more impressive once you realize that they've already played Air Force. Nationally Utah's defense is in the top 5 in a bunch of categories as well.

Thursday night's game against Oregon State got a whole lot more interesting after the Beavers beat USC. It just goes to show that any team can have a bad night (everybody just hopes their team doesn't have a bad night on the same night that the team they're playing has a great night). Utah should still be able to handle the Beavers. They looked awful in their first three games and Utah won't let Jacquizz Rodgers run all over them like he did USC. It's a good thing it's at home (at least I think it is. ESPN.com has other ideas though. I'll be ticked if I show up at Rice Eccles and find out the game is on the road...)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Manly Man?

I saw this on Popular Mechanics Website - 100 Skills Every Man Should Know. I decided to see how I stack up (and what I need to work on). So, much like my 200 Have-or-Have-not post, I decided to share my manliness with the whole intarweb.

Red means I HAVE done this
Blue means I'm reasonably certain that I CAN do this, and do it well
Black means I suck

1. Handle a blowout - especially if it's Ada or Kate's
2. Drive in snow
3. Check trouble codes - I just go to Checker
4. Replace fan belt
5. Wax a car - I waxed the family suburban when I was 8 years old... granted I kicked the side door in. I was an angry child.
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
7. Use a stick welder - I don't even know what this is
8. Hitch up a trailer
9. Jump start a car

Handling Emergencies
10. Perform the Heimlich
11. Reverse hypothermia - Just get naked and cuddle, right?
12. Perform hands-only CPR
13. Escape a sinking car

14. Carve a turkey - not well...
15. Use a sewing machine - I could figure it out
16. Put out a fire
17. Home brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way
23. Solder wire
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer - ??
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife - What is this?
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree - I chopped down a tree at a scout camp once with a hatchet. All the leaders were pretty ticked...
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. Sweat copper tubing
39. Change a diaper
40. Grill with charcoal
41. Sew a button on a shirt
42. Fold a flag

Medical Myths
43. Treat frostbite
44. Treat a burn
45. Help a seizure victim
46. Treat a snakebite
47. Remove a tick

Military Know-How
48. Shine shoes
49. Make a drum-tight bed - Probably not to military standards
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup - Just one, though

51. Run rapids in a canoe - This is something I'm good at
52. Hang food in the wild
53. Skipper a boat
54. Shoot straight
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike - I've ridden from the top of the tram at Snowbird all the way down into the SL Valley.
56. Escape a rip current - Hint: swim parallel to the shore.

Primitive Skills
57. Build a fire in the wilderness
58. Build a shelter
59. Find potable water

Surviving Extremes - I won't profess to know anything about the real survival skills required to make it through a disaster unscathed. I like to think I'm prepared though.
60. Floods
61. Tornados
62. Cold
63. Heat
64. Lightning

Teach Your Kids
65. Cast a line
66. Lend a hand
67. Change a tire - As long as the lugs don't break
68. Throw a spiral
69. Fly a stunt kite
70. Drive a stick shift
71. Parallel park
72. Tie a bowline
73. Tie a necktie
74. Whittle - Not well
75. Ride a bike

76. Install a graphics card
77. Take the perfect portrait
78. Calibrate HDTV settings
79. Shoot a home movie
80. Ditch your hard drive

Master Key Workshop Tools
81. Drill driver
82. Grease gun
83. Coolant hydrometer
84. Socket wrench
85. Test light
86. Brick trowel
87. Framing hammer
88. Wood chisel
89. Spade bit
90. Circular saw
91. Sledge hammer
92. Hacksaw
93. Torque wrench
94. Air wrench
95. Infrared thermometer
96. Sand blaster
97. Crosscut saw
98. Hand plane
99. Multimeter
100. Feeler gauges

Ok. Truth be told, I thought that this would turn out more interesting than it did. Nonetheless, without scouts and working as a construction grunt for a few years, there would have been a bunch more things on the list that I hadn't done. There's still work to be done!


I actually thought that McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for VP was a pretty shrewd move... That is until I started hearing her interviewed. Now, I'm leaning towards her being a pretty scary choice. She is such a hard-line Republican that she makes me a little nervous. Here's a little clip from an interview she had with Katie Couric (she kind of reminds me of South Carolina Girl):

Now a pretty funny SNL spoof of the same interview (I still can't get over how much Tina Fey looks like Palin):

The Vice-Presidential debates Thursday night should be pretty interesting. One of the oldest, most experienced Senate debaters vs. somebody having trouble putting her thoughts into words. This could be a disaster (for the Republicans, that is)...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Audacity of Football

I just finished reading Barack Obama's most recent book, The Audacity of Hope. I won't give a review here, for that check out my book review blog. I did want to point out a few things that I found interesting though.
  • After Bush's tax cuts, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his receptionist or most average Americans. Copying the quote from my book review blog:
"(p. 190 - Opportunity, Obama recounting a conversation with Warren Buffet) "I did a calculation the other day," he said as we sat down in his office. "Though I've never used tax shelters or had a tax planner, after including the payroll taxes we play, I'll pay a lower effective tax rate this year than my receptionist. In fact, I'm pretty sure I pay a lower rate than the average American. And if the President has his way, I'll be paying even less."
  • I don't actually remember the other items. Oh well. I'll just keep going with other random tidbits.
  • In the Colley Rankings (used in the BCS calculations, not to be confused with Austin [shoot your mouth off] Collie), the Utes are the #1 team in America (due to their incredible win over perennial powerhouse UNLV). If the season ended today, Utah would be playing Wisconsin for the Colley National Title.
  • According to the Massey Ratings (another one of the 6 computer algorithms used in the BCS rankings), Utah is just a little behind USC for first place. Regardless, if the season ended today, those two teams would be playing for the Massey Title.
  • Are we really sure the season needs to continue? Playing Weber State isn't going to help those rankings...
  • There's been a wootoff the last few days. While I didn't score a bag of crap (I tried though. The crappy servers were too bogged down) I bought my parents a computer and I got a cheap bluetooth headset.
  • YouTube broke when I was watching a video earlier today. You should really check it out. Really, I mean that.
  • I've been working late the last couple of evenings helping my boss finish a big project. No sweat though, I still love my job.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Utah 30, Air Force 23

The Good

Utah's offense was very productive against Air Force, averaging almost 7 yards per play. The Utes had two backs (Mack & Asiata) run for more than 100 yards. Their defense was also stellar, holding the Falcons to only 53 yards on the ground (their lowest total since 1980). Utah's defense forced a safety and two interceptions, with one occurring in the last minute of the game to seal the win for the Utes. Brian Johnson's passing game looked the best it has all season. Most of his throws were crisp and he had more zing on the ball than he has all season. His only interception was the result of a lucky defensive tip by Air Force. The mere fact that Utah beat the Falcons is a positive because Air Force is the only team in the Mountain West with an overall winning record against the Utes (as I read somewhere, the Falcons are to the Utes as the Bobcats are to the Jazz).

The Bad

King Louie (Sakoda, the punter) missed two field goals. One of them can hardly be blamed on him because he was kicking into a fierce wind. The second (from 54 yards, with the wind at his back) had more than enough leg, but his aim was a little off. This one was on him. Utah also got burned a bit by the pass. This was because the Utes sold out to stop the run, by packing the box with one or two extra guys. Forcing Air Force to beat you through the air is always a good plan, considering they had 0 completions against Houston the week before they played the Utes.

The Ugly

Brian Johnson was sacked 5 times. For a senior quarterback he has been making a lot of bad decisions in the pocket. Add to those sacks two fumbles (both by Johnson), with one being returned directly for a touchdown and the Utes know what they need to be working on this week. This game should not have been as close as it was. But, every year, the Utah - Air Force game comes down to the last drive, this one was no different.

This week the Utes meet mighty Weber State from glorious Ogden, Utah. The triumphal return of Mac (aka Ron McBride). This game comes at a good time for the Utes, because they've got loads of things to work on and improve upon before they will be a true Force.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Today is one of my favorite holidays of the year. If only people would stop looking at me so strangely when I wear my eye patch around.

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Utah 58, Utah State 10

I know that I say this every year, but I like Utah State. I cheer for them when they're playing anybody but the Utes and I like to see them do well. Unfortunately, they haven't been playing well all that often anymore. I even had a Presidential Scholarship to Utah State when I graduated High School. As you probably know, I passed that one by.

While BYU was in Provo playing like the best team in the country, Utah was showing off their weaknesses in Logan. They struggled on the punt returns and didn't hold onto the ball all that well (in fact, all of Utah State's points came off of Utah turnovers deep in their own territory). Utah's offense looked pretty good, but there still seemed to be something missing. Once Brian Johnson and his receivers start clicking, the Utes might be unstoppable. Their running game is strong and it's fun to watch Asiata line up in the "wild hog" formation popularized by Darren McFadden at Arkansas.

This week I also went with my parents and brother to the Kyle Whittingham coach's show at Famous Dave's BBQ in Midvale. The food was good, I forgot to wear red (unlike most of the crowd) and my brother Jordan won a football and had it signed by Coach Whittingham and Louie Sakoda (the punter, and possibly the Utes only draft pick next spring). I probably won't go again but it was a fun night nonetheless.

This week Utah has a really tough game in Colorado Springs, CO. Air Force is one of the four unbeaten teams in the Mountain West Conference (more than any other conference). Utah lost to Air Force last year at home and Air Force has been racking up the yards on the ground. This will be a real test for Utah's defense - but I think they're up for it.

Monday Photo

A picture of me as a child:

Or maybe it's a picture of you?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Which Conference is in the BCS?

Mountain West vs. Pac-10
TCU Horned Frogs 31 - Stanford Cardinal 14
New Mexico Lobos 36 - Arizona Wildcats 28
BYU Cougars 59 - #26? UCLA Bruins 0
UNLV Rebels 23 - #15 Arizona State Sun Devils 20 (OT)

So, 1 team from the Mountain West lost today (San Diego State) and 6 teams from the Pac-10 lost today (Cal, Washington and the 4 teams mentioned above). Tell me again, what conference is in the BCS?

Where's the justice?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Utah 42, UNLV 21

This game started out reminiscent of last year's game at UNLV (where the Utes were shutout by a team that only won one other game the whole year). UNLV converted on the first drive of the game, only having to convert one third down inside the 10-yard line. The Rebels finished the quarted with almost 200 yards of offense (The only good news up to this point was that we had chicken wraps from Red Robin for the MUSS tailgate).

Utah was lucky to be tied 14-14 going into the locker rooms at halftime. They got some breaks from UNLV penalties and an overturned fumble call that allowed them to keep their drive going. In reality, they should have been down a couple of touchdowns considering the way they played.

The second half was full of good old Utah football. Brian Johnson completed 90% of his passes, the running game was clicking and the Utes scored touchdowns on 4 of 5 posessions (running the game clock out on the 5th). If consistency was Utah's strong point, then they would really be a scary team. As it is, it's still hard to guess what team is going to show up when.

This week Utah travels to Logan to take on the mighty Aggies. While I'd love for the Aggies to make it a game, I expect the Utes to win this one easily. Go Utes!

She would be proud

A couple of things that would make my High School English teacher proud (I never really cared much for English):
  • I just posted my 50th book review on my book review blog. I never liked having to do book reports in school, but I usually enjoyed reading most of the books. I started my book review blog as a place to keep my thoughts on books I read. I have a real hard time remembering movies or books after I've watched or read them. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep it up when I started, but I'm proud of my reviews.
  • Last week when I was on campus picking up my MUSS tickets I also picked up a book in which I was published. It's a journal of abstracts (titled University of Utah Undergraduate Research Abstracts) that will be archived at the Marriott Library. Maybe I'll post the full text of my abstract sometime...
  • Tomorrow I'm being interviewed by a consulting magazine. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Late last night we took Kate to the emergency room at Primary Children's Medical Center. She had been running a fever of 101.0 degrees and after calling her pediatrician's office they told us to take her right in. We got to the ER at about 9:45 and got all checked in. As fate would have it when she was called into triage she wasn't running a fever of any kind.

They told us that they just about had a room ready for us but we ended up waiting for quite a while in the waiting room. A 3-day old Kate had come in just before us and they had mixed the two up when they were calling us back (shocker, eh? I thought ERs could do no wrong...). They inserted a catheter to get a urine sample, they put an IV into the back of her hand and drew a few blood samples and sent everything off to the lab. We were hoping for everything to come back negative so we could get home and get some sleep.

They came back and let us know that they wanted to do a lumbar puncture (i.e. spinal tap) in order to check for meningitis. The resident tried to insert the needle/catheter but was unsuccessful after which the Nurse Anethetist completed the job. Around 1:00 AM the doctor let us know that we would be staying the night in order for them to monitor her. They thought that she had a bit of a urinary tract infection and gave her some antibiotics before sending us upstairs at around 2:15 AM. I left soon after that to be home with Ada.

The plan was to do an ultrsound of Kate's kidneys and ureters to make sure that everything was connected properly and that all of the proper equipment was installed. They also planned to do a VCUG, where they inject a radioactive dye into the bladder and image it with an x-ray machine to make sure that her bladder is pumping her urine out of her body and not back into her kidneys.

This morning Kate's regular pediatrician paid her a visit and told us that they didn't think she had a urinary tract infection anymore. They weren't sure if it was a viral infection or something different and we're still waiting for the lab results on that one. Poor Alison has had to stay with Kate all night and day and has hardly gotten any sleep. Too many nurses, techs, residents and doctors all measuring the same vital signs. She would leave to sleep if Kate wasn't exclusively breastfeeding. The sacrifices she makes are overwhelming.

Kate has been mostly oblivious to the whole ordeal. She fusses a bit when they poke her and check her mouth but she's been the same happy baby throughout it all. All the nurses love her because she's not shy about flashing her gorgeous smile to all of them. It's difficult to believe that she is sick because she seems like the same little Kate to us. We're glad that they are taking everything so seriously, though. They get worried when babies so small get fevers of any kind.

Thanks to everybody for your prayers and support. Alison and I are doing great (considering the circumstances) and Ada is enjoying the extra time spent with grandparents and cousins. I'll be sure to post updates as things change.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Utah 25, Michigan 23

Utes win! Utes win! This game should not have been as close as it was. Utah simply dominated the first half with Johnson throwing for over 250 yards and holding Michigan to only 4 yards on the ground. Throughout the first half, it felt as though Utah was up by a couple of touchdowns - but they had so many penalties that they were never able to really pull away from Michigan.

They took a 12 point lead into the locker rooms at halftime. The Michigan coaches made dramatic changes at halftime which led to en entirely different game in the second half. Utah struggled to move the ball while their defense held strong until Louie Sakoda had a punt blocked. This gave Michigan the momentum they needed to grab a couple quick scores and close in on the Utes. In the end, Utah's defense returned to their first half form and they kept the Wolverines at bay through the end of the game.

Anybody that didn't give the Utes at least a fighting chance didn't know what kind of a team the Utes are this year. This win will benefit them immensely (and has already) due to their exposure on national television and the mere fact that they beat Michigan (the winningest college team of all time) at the Big House (regardless of whether or not Michigan is any good this year) (/end overuse of parenthesis).

Utah will most certainly jump into the polls and has already made espn.com's bowl projections list as this year's BCS busters, picked to crash the Fiesta Bowl once again. To be honest, I'd rather not see the Utes on this list so early. There's a lot of football yet to play, and it is incredibly difficult to run the table. The good news is, BYU looked very extremely beatable with their mistake-laden play against NIU.

This week, I expect the Utes to come out with a vengeance against UNLV. They were embarrassed (to put it mildly) last year and won't let that happen again, especially not on their field.