Sunday, October 29, 2006

How I remembered to pick up packing tape

I few weeks ago I was sitting at a stop light waiting to make a left turn. While sitting on my scooter at this extremely long light (San Marcos Blvd and Rancho Santa Fe Rd for those who know San Marcos CA) I glanced over at a car to my left. It looked to me like there was a grandma with her grandchild in the car. The child looked to be about the age of my daughter who will be two in December. I started to think about how cute the kid was just sitting in that car seat with their limbs flaring. Then I thought how weird it would be if that was my kid in the car with that lady. I thought, “What if someone had kidnapped my kid and I was sitting on my scooter next to the person who did it? What would I do?” I would drop my kickstand, open the door, and jump in. I would do that in case the driver punched the gas in an attempt to get away. Then I would proceed to pummel the driver and take control of the car. I have a helmet on my head, so I would venture to say I would head butt the driver.

I then started to think about Rachel being taken and Jamie trying to contact me while I was in class or on my scooter. I mute my phone in class and there is no way I will hear my phone while riding. Then I thought about how I normally check my phone after class and how I did not do it today after I left class. What if Jamie did call me about someone taking my daughter and this was my daughter in the car next to me? That would be weird, so I moved up a few feet to see the kid. It wasn’t mine.

Then I changed my thought to other questions. What if Jamie called to see if I could pick up something on my way home? Then I remembered that I asked Jamie to leave me a message as a reminder to pick up some packing tape on my way home.

Oh, crap! I need to get some packing tape… Oh, crap! The light just turned green. Their happened to be an Albertson’s just 300 ft away. After making the turn, I pulled into the shopping center and got gas and packing tape.

It is funny that a thought about my daughter being kidnapped could lead me to remembering to pick up packing tape. I looked at my phone when I parked and there was the text message I asked for.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Scooter Vs Car

Back in 2000, I got my first real car. A real car- one that is purchased and paid for by the owner, not one received from parents or grandparents because it sucks. It was a 1996 Acura Integra SE. The SE model has an upgraded suspension, but not the top engine. I got it for a great price with all the modification I could ever ask for. It was lowered about an inch and had a catback exhaust system. There was a high flow intake system and a short throw shifter kit. In addition, I installed headers and an MSD ignition system.
This car was fun to drive. The exhaust was loud and the car seemed fast (it wasn’t really).

I drove that beast 50000 in the four years I owned it. In 2004, I sold my beloved car for a vehicle that was more economical; I got a scooter, a Yamaha Vino 125 to be exact. I purchased the scooter 26 months ago and it will have 9000 miles soon. The mileage may communicate that I don’t drive it much, but on the contrary, it is my primary mode of transportation.

Recently I have been thinking about the contrast between these vehicles and have wondered how much I have saved by owning the scooter. Therefore, I came up with this list of differences and some stat on cost.

Vehicle Passenger Capacity:
Integra: Four seats (comfortably with adults in the front seats)
Vino: Two passengers (one if you want to keep up the speed)

Top Speed-
Integra: 128 MPH (on the way to Vegas)
Vino: 55 (down hill with the help of wind)

Fuel Capacity-
Integra: 13.1 gallons
Vino: 1.093 gallons

Average MPG-
Integra: 25
Vino: 75

Insurance for Six Months-
Integra: $512
Vino: $88

Integra: No problem
Vino: Only if you are stupid (not legal either)

Engine Size-
Integra: 1.8 Liter or 1800cc
Vino: 0.125 Liter or 125cc

Integra: Five speed manual
Vino: One speed auto

Integra: Yes
Vino: Forget about it

Fun to Drive-
Integra: High
Vino: Cold day-Low
Warm day-Point A to B (higher then cold day)
Hot day- Driving down the 101, Glorious

Stats over two year period, 9000 miles driven

Integra: $512*4 = $2048
Vino: $88*4 = $352

Gas at $2.50-
Integra: 9000/25 = 360 gallons, 360*2.50 = $900 in gas
Vino: 9000/75 = 120 gallons, 120*2.5 = $300 in gas

Geoff G you know you want a scooter too!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hillbilly Halloween

I was thinking the other day about what I should be on Halloween. I thought about dressing like a nerd, but that is problematic because people will make stupid comments like, “I didn’t notice you were in a costume, I thought you dressed like that everyday,” or “So, that is your costume? You look normal to me.” Then I thought about being a hillbilly. I could get some fake buckteeth or blacking out my teeth except one- the latter is more realistic. I could also talk so incomprehensible that not even an all-powerful being could understand.

This train of thought dropped me off at and interesting station. I started to think, “I wonder what hillbillies dress up as on Halloween. Do they dress up like city folk or yuppies? If they do, what do they use as there costume?”

I have made up a fictional hillbilly character to get some answers to these important questions. His name will be Cletus.

Cletus would start his costume by taking his annual shower and brushing his tooth. Next, he would shave by attaching leeches to his face and tearing them off one by one. Then he would use some deodorant that he borrowed from his redneck neighbor (rednecks are a little more civilized then hillbillies, but not by much). His shirt and pants will be the same ones he wore to his gator’s funeral. Besides, they are his only pair of clothing that is not flannel shirts and overalls.

To make his costume complete he would say special phrases like, “How is ya’ll portfolio,” or “I just went and got me a high-bread. It has one of those electric engines” and talk on his fake cell phone he wittled out of one of his pet logs.

No, maybe I don't want to be a hillbilly.

Just to clarify, Joe Dirt is a red neck and the other guy is a hillbilly.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Elder's Quorum, the most unsocial place on earth revisited

Where do I start? If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may recollect a post titled Elder’s Quorum: The most-unsocial place on earth. Since I wrote that post there have been some changes in my perspective and some change attempts in the quorum.

First, my perspective-- I believe the core social problems still exist in my quorum; it is still one of the most-unsocial places. My perspective has changed though. The quorum is only as unsocial as one makes it. For instance, I now try to talk to those who are in my general vicinity before the lesson starts. When new people are being introduced, I say welcome to them when I can. I also make comments during the lesson to give the teacher a sign that not everyone is asleep. Many of the elders sit with their heads down or they look straight ahead into oblivion. I used to teach elder’s quorum and it is like pulling teeth to get group participation so I try to help the teacher where I can. Therefore, my quorum is still the same, yet my perspective has changed because I have changed how I interact with others.

Now keep in mind that I am the kind of person who likes to know the people sitting around me whether I talk to them or not. And not knowing anyone inspired my previously mentioned post. Not everyone wants to know who is around him or her as I do, but no one wants to be alone in a sea of people, especially at church. If they did, they would not come to the quorum in the first place. Therefore, my quorum is still the most-unsocial place on earth for others but I have found a bit of social action in a barren wasteland.

As a side note, I have to mention that we also do not have any activities for the guys. It seems to be an unwritten law that if the elders got together for some activity with out their spouse and family it is unacceptable because we should be home helping. I am tired of hearing things like, “Brothers, please do your best to help the Sisters be available for (fill in this space with an activity) on Tuesday”. Just once, I want to hear the Relief Society say, “Sisters please do your best to help the Brothers be free for Thursday night (fill in this space with an activity)”. The Sisters in my ward have a book club and a recipe night. This is a double standard and I do not like it. To address this problem we’ve had two video game nights in the last month at my friend Mike’s house. Mike has almost every system under the sun. He has Nintendo, Game cube, Atari, X-box, and a few more.

Ok, now the second part of the change I have seen. There have been three attempts by a member of the presidency to get the elders to sit closer to each other. The first was right after my first post. One of my readers tipped off the Pres. to my post and the Pres. had the elders sit together for that one Sunday. The second was by one of his counselors after I mentioned to him in passing as to how unsocial the quorum is. The third was by another counselor who had the great idea of dividing the already divided quorum (figuratively and physically) into two groups to play a game. The rules were each team competed against each other to answer a scripture question. If your team won, you got to stay in your seat and the other team had to get up and sit on your side (we meet in the gym so we are spread out).

These attempts are great and I hope that a member of the presidency makes it their mission to bring the brethren together. This mission would need to be much broader then getting the elders to sit together. That is one tool but it is not the all in all. This mission should be the drive to build brotherhood among the elders. Brotherhood translates to a more spiritual group which makes better individuals.

I do not mean to sound negative about my quorum. I love my friendship with my brothers from other mothers. I also really love video game night. MORE MONKEY BALL PLEASE!
Mike W.!!! when is the next video game night?
Shawn D!! When are you getting your Wii?
Matt C.!! good luck in getting the quorum in order.