A true random entry!

Sunday with church at 12:30! Time to journal some random thoughts and stories.

#1 First, journaling on journaling. I miss back when I first started my blog and I’d just write down any interesting thoughts I had, even one liners, and post them almost daily. I think it’s fairly common knowledge that acknowledging things you’re grateful for makes you notice even more things you’re grateful for, and all around makes one happier. In the same vein though, I found writing down things I found interesting made me notice more things I found interesting, and thus made life more vivacious! Really it seems like it’s all plusses and no negatives.
Thinking about it, I feel like there are two main reasons I haven’t continued.
A) the hard part is finding time to write. I’m not a short winded person, and often I like to tell the stories in a bit of detail like the rest of this post. Back when I blogged regularly I had my computer, always. But now I have my smart phone instead, it’s way easier to lug around, but it’s harder to write a long articulate thought on. And once I get to my computer at work, even if someone doesn’t need something first thing (which is common) it feels a little weird doing personal journaling on my work computer.
B) The leisure time I do have in the morning is mostly taken up by scripture study. Currently my goal is a half hour a day. I’m really enjoying this goal by the way. Goals like “a chapter a day” were too easy for me to zone out and hurry through so I could move on to whatever was next in life, and I wouldn’t really feast or ponder. 10 minutes is too short for me to get in depth. 20 minutes I often zone out thinking about work or whatever is next. But with 30 I manage to force myself to hone back in, or stay focused knowing it’s a meaningful chunk of time, and as result I get a lot more out of it. Plus, it’s ok to stop and look up other articles or see how the modern translation of the bible compares or write an email to ask my institute teachers of the past a question or whatever, because these things don’t increase the time chunk allocated. It’s great! And as a side note to this side note, I prefer reading on my phone to my computer, the bookmark system on gospel library doesn’t work right on the website, so I can’t track where I’m at with the computer alone anyway. But I digress, the point is the 30 minutes is a long time chunk, and usually makes me late getting to work at 8 like I prefer (I don’t really have to be there until 9, so showing up at 8:15 isn’t bad from a job perspective, just a personal one. I love having a great job that allows this flexibility though :) )
So, there you have it. I’d love to blog more, I’m going to try, but I fully recognize there’s a good chance it’ll fall flat haha. My one conciliatory prize for you is that writing about writing isn’t the only aspect of this entry. Onwards and forwards!

#2 We* went and saw Josh Groban last night with the tickets my parents got us for Christmas! It was a fun adventure because mom realized day of that we didn’t have handicap tickets, so we had to rush over midday to swap our seats, we even had to show my handi-placard despite the fact I was there in person! But it worked out, pretty good seats at the Usana amphitheater, although I’ll bring binoculars next time… it was mostly great! His voice was as rich and clear as you’d expect, despite the fact he kept commenting on how thin the air is here haha. He’s a fun guy! speaks in total rapid fire. Almost half his show was Italian or french songs, I wish he’d sing stuff I knew, or at least put the English translation on the giant projector behind him. But the MOST interesting part was he swore a few times, and you can just feel the Utah audience tense up haha. He didn’t even swear a lot, but I think just based on his music it was unexpected from him. On the way home, both mom AND Tess swore once too, it was contagious!! Sadly I can’t repeat the swear joke my mom made because I’m a firm no-swearer even for comedy (the most tempting of reasons for me), but it was hilarious.

#3 So I have a new set of people getting me in and out of bed now. Mostly guys from the singles ward (Jeff Garner, Talin Schick, Brandon and Tyler Idunnotheirlastnames. Thanks guys!) plus Delynn Summers as the angel who does my bowel care at 5 AM. It’s always interesting to see what things they pick up naturally, and how fast they learn the stuff that doesn’t come natural. Altogether this set has been one of the fastest learning sets ever, I basically showed them once and they’re set for the next time already. So that’s cool. But I find it super interesting how one guy instinctively gets how to swap out my pee bag while another takes a few minutes to get it off. Or how one guy easily gets the basic instruction of “get my hair wet and comb front to back until it’s organized” and others don’t. And it’s not like one guy doesn’t get all the things and another is good at all of them, each has a different blind spot, it’s just interesting. Oh, except apparently I use ⅓ as much toothpaste as literally everyone else in the world. You don’t need a ton you guys! I went to the dentist just week and had no cavities again for like my 11th time in a row!

#4 Now on to a serious topic. Ducks.
I didn’t learn this until a few weeks before my wedding, but Tess loves feeding ducks. When she is doing so she shows some of the most childlike glee I’ve ever seen her exhibit.
The first time we went the ducks were all spread out down the river, and when we’d approach they’d swim to the other side and ignore the stuff we threw at them. Finally we got to the very last duck and he knew what was up and came close so we could throw bread down to him. Slowly the other ducks noticed what was going on and joined the party, and we had somewhere around a dozen ducks before we ran out of bread, Tess was giddy, it was adorable, it’s likely you as a reader have never even seen her like this.
Anyway we finally went a second time this past weekend, and this time the whole pack of ducks recognized us or something, because they were all on board right from the start. We had 11 ducks and we fed them all about half our bread. Tess loves throwing it equidistant from a few ducks and watching them race for it. One duck gets it and the other few just accept it and turn back to watch for the next throw.
To me the interesting part was halfway through when another duck flew in from nowhere. As soon as this girl landed 8 of our 11 previously enthralled ducks immediately started swimming the opposite direction. We even ran ahead and threw bread in front of them but they could not be deterred! You know in high school movies when the awkward teenage girl protagonist comes to lunch for the first time, and the whole crowd of popular cheerleaders immediately stands up, puts their noses in the air, and haughtily walks away? That totally happened with the ducks!! So anyway we fed the 3 remaining and the newcomer, eventually the others came back, but! Whenever the newcomer got the bread first in a close race, the others would follow him around and peck at him! I felt bad for our awkward picked on duck! But it was super interesting to see the duck social… structure? Hierarchy? Thing. The duck social thing. Apparently it’s serious business.

* Author’s note, I’m “totes murried” now (as the kids should never say it) and I don’t want to be typing “Tess and I” or “I ‘n Tess” or “me and my spicy wife” all the time, it sounds like a lot of work. So if I ever just say “we” and don’t specify who we are, you can safely assume it’s me and my wonderful wife who beats me. (at board games)

Life Update July 2016

Time for another life recap! Looks like I only went nearly 3 years without posting this time so I’m making forward progress! *awkward cough*

Well, things went downhill for my job at SRS/MPI/Autopoint and I got hired to work at Vivint in April 2014. I knew I’d fit in there when I made wheelchair jokes in the interview and they laughed rather than getting awkward. Seeing as I’ve worked there over two years now I could write whole entries on my experiences there so far, but to sum up a recap I’ve love my entire time there, and I’ve been on the front lines of building two new products ground up for the company and it’s been super fun. I love it there and lately I haven’t even bothered to maintain cordial terms with recruiters because there’s just no way I’m leaving anytime soon.

I got called as an Elders Quorum president at the Ventana ward and was very humbled by the experience. Then I moved in with Bryan and Kayla for nearly a year and had a great time. I bought a condo in Bluffdale mid 2015 and rented it out for a year. And I went skydiving somewhere in there. All big things maybe I’ll write more about someday.

As for the focus of this post though, in Feb 2014 I met Tessa Sommer. And now I’m writing this post at the tail end of our honeymoon at the Shakespearian Festival (all the shows we saw here were AMAZING by the way! Much Ado About Nothing, The Coconauts, and Murder For Two). Anyway at our reception we had some posters detailing our story, and I wanted to post them here. So here!
tess intro.jpg

So! There you have it! We live together now in our condo in Bluffdale, and we’re working through kinks, but I’m so ridiculously grateful for the many blessings in my life, particularly my eternal companion.

Long time no post

    I wrote this a couple weeks ago and forgot to post haha

                  Alright, I haven’t really blogged in quite a long time, and I’m sitting around on a quiet Lake Powell afternoon, so I figured having time to write isn’t a good excuse today, and I should take advantage of it. There are some reasons I haven’t written and some excuses. I haven’t been trying as hard to make sure I’m writing as regularly (excuse). I have been writing some things, but I write shorthand and expand my thoughts into full sentences before posting, I haven’t taken time to do that either (excuse). A lot of the things I’ve been writing about are more personal than I want to post to just anyone on the internet, although if you’re curious and ask I’m an open book and willing to expand on a more personal basis (reason).  So, here’s a five month update on various things.
                I’ve done a lot of self reflection over the past span and it’s made me aware of the seriousness of many of my weaknesses that I’ve been downplaying in my mind. As result I’ve been trying to turn to the Lord more and do better, and the results have been positive. For example, I’d go back and forth at work feeling dumb and useless to smart and intelligent. Recognizing I’ve been promised the gift of intellect, I’ve prayed to receive that blessing a lot and I feel like the Lord has answered my prayers.
                Oh work. I think the last time I posted work was still in pretty big drama and upheaval. Robert got fired, and Paul (dev lead) and Allen (CTO) have taken a much more active role in our day to day. A lot of false rumors were squelched. We hired six (yes six) new guys, and the results have been tremendous. Allen is not the greatest people person, but he IS an excellent CTO. I definitely feel like he is the man responsible for pulling the company out of a nose dive and getting us on a sustainable track. We just released EDGE 3.19 last week, which uses a completely different code base, build system, and deployment model. We can update daily now if we want. And we massively reduced the chattyness of the software. All around mandatory fixes that will save our bacon, and I’m real happy about.
                Also at work, I feel useful and appreciated. Often Allen or Paul will bring me in for my opinion about something, when I’m just a standard dev. Or Paul knows he can give me management like tasks and I’ll follow through. All these changes combined basically mean my job is a whole new beast, and I’m definitely growing a lot.
                Dating I can basically sum up with the same pattern. There’s been ups and downs. Great dates and ok dates. Sometimes I’m confident and sometimes I’m frustrated. There’s interests to pursue but I doubt they’re the ones. All in all I’m much more focused on submitting to the Lords will in this than I have been in the past, but I still lack patience frequently enough that I can’t really feel smug about where I’m at in this category.
                I worked with Dr K on a special side project getting paid a buttload an hour and it was great. And I was debating doing grad school again. I even paid the $185 GRE application fee. But I decided the timing still isn’t right, and I’m just doing a masters to try and force my will on my life rather than God’s will; Or I have shame based motivations for doing a masters; Either way it didn’t seem right, so I haven’t.
                Living with CJ Bryan and Josh has been the greatest living arrangement of all time. We’ve had so many great times whether with apartment friends, or just ourselves playing Dungeon Defender. Not to mention many neat late night chats. I’m sure my relationship with all three has been strengthened for life.
                Lots of our new friends left on missions, we haven’t made many new ones over the Summer, but we have made some. Cj and Josh are moving out the end of this month, and we’ll get two of Bryans work friends as new roomies. I hope we can find our own mesh to have a similarly awesome experience.

                Aaand I’m burned out writing haha. Good night Neverland!

Random Thoughts 34 (12/2/2012)

Thursday, November 01, 2012
- Funny book quote
“Anything I should, uh, know?”

“You’re expected not to know anything.”
Ah, then I might even exceed expectations.  –The Blinding Knife

Friday, November 02, 2012
- Having your Bishop walk in and catch you red handed… in the middle of magnifying your calling, good feeling haha :D
- The problem with trying new Subway subs. If I picked the bread, the cheese, the veggies, and the condiments, how do I know if I even made it as intended?

Sunday, November 04, 2012
- Excellent home teaching quote in the priesthood manual I’d like to implement! “Each visit should focus on a planned purpose. Before visiting a home, companions pray together. They discuss ways they can strengthen those they will visit." (pg 42? Melchizedek priesthood section
- Home teach on other days of the week so people have the opportunity to feel the spirit on other days than Sunday.
- Text home teachee’s when dozing at work. Good way to chat with people when you need.
- So I failed Saturday. I had the whole day open until a birthday party in Salt Lake at 6:30. I had all sorts of good intentions to be useful. But all I did from 8-5:45 was listen to an audiobook I’ve already read, and play a flash game. I kept thinking I should at least go home and hang out at my parents place, but I didn’t until after the birthday party. I decided to sleep over there (Gambit slept with me! So worth it! Love home :) ) and I found out Mom missed me extra, Dad could have changed my oil, and Mason went to his first dance! And I missed the opportunity to be there and get excited with him!
So the next morning I left to get back for church, and as I was driving away, I felt like I should check our “grab from home” list. And “cereal” hit me hard. And I was like “am I being prompted to grab cereal? Nope, I’ll be late for church, that wouldn’t make any sense.” But I kept feeling prompted, and I totally failed to listen to promptings Saturday.  So I was like “FINE!” and I went back. As mom was bringing out the cereal, I noticed my pee hose was totally twisted! And that would have been trouble! THAT’s what the prompting was about! Yay for following!
- So random thought inspired by Mason’s dating. He is mostly-officially dating his first girlfriend, who happens to be CJ’s first girlfriends younger sister, small world eh? Anyway, Mason has a goal to not kiss a girl until post-mission, or something along those lines. And he was taking Amy to their first dance, but he was afraid if she wanted him to kiss her he’d have to say no and it’d be awkward or what not. Anyway, on the date, Amy was like “we need to talk about something” and Mason was like “uh-oh”, and she basically conveyed “I know we’re dating but I don’t want to kiss yet, is that ok?” haha!* (*story retold from a secondhand account a month after hearing it). Anyway, the interesting part to me was, Mason was worried and didn’t want to kiss, so clearly he wasn’t putting pressure on her. Amy was feeling pressured enough to talk about it, so clearly she wasn’t putting kissing pressure on him. So who was? Society? Peers? Lame.
- I feel like Word should have the same level of spell correcting that smart phones do.
- I feel like I have bursts of random thoughts. I recognize partially why though. Thinking about interesting thoughts makes one receptive to more interesting thoughts. And when I finally flesh out my short note thoughts so I can post them, I’ve spent a bunch of time thinking, so I have a bunch more interesting thoughts right after I post. It’s usually not until after a cycle of a week or two of mindlessness and back to thoughtfulness that I finally post them though haha.

Monday, November 05, 2012
- I posted this today on FB:
“Today is my 8 year breakneckversary!!! In honor of this day, I will reduce all political posts on all of Facebook by 90% by the end of the week.
You're welcome.”
And Steve added this haha:
“Remember, remember the 5th of November. The wet shoes and injuries they brought. I know of no reason this break-necking season should ever be forgot.”
- “da Vinci once said: ‘You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself.’ Then he goes on to say that ‘the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment.” –OTM 271

Friday, November 09, 2012
- Take time to think about what makes your dreams more enjoyable than real life, and change your life to fit.

Saturday, November 10, 2012
- So I had a slightly bad experience with Divine Comedy today. Well, it DC itself, the show was great, it  just happened to be the venue. I tried organizing 9 people to meet at 5:00 and go in 2 cars. Instead people went in 3 cars closer to 6 and people kept needing directions and it was stressful lol. I used to love organizing groups and events, but I’m really not much of an organizer anymore ;/
- Also, I didn’t want to ask people who didn’t pay for their $5 haha. My justification is I spend money on other people for dates, but not these people. Like I owe everyone a little bit of money. Weird. I hate asking people for money though, even money they owe me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012
- I really really miss cuddling. I don’t know how it ended up so 100% out of my life, or how to get it back short of having a girlfriend. And a girlfriend appears to be something I still don’t get to have yet. Missing cuddling is a common theme lately though.
- Family singing is the best

Monday, November 12, 2012
- So I want to find some ways to exercise. Even just cardio.  I think it’d be good for my blood flow. This morning I couldn’t sleep through bowel care, so I decided to hold up my arm and bounce it until it got tired. I did literally 1000 and my arm still didn’t burn :/ need to find something better haha.
- I was so excited to be at work today, I literally peed on the floor. Take THAT Monday!
- I should eat lunch with others at lunch, makes deciding where to eat practically meaningless to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
- They laid off Naor, Chad, and Dinesh today. I was shocked. They said it’s because they didn’t have the skill sets the company needed for the changes going forward. But I know for a fact Chad and Naor are far more experienced than I. The only possible explanation is their talking about skills other than technology knowledge, or there’s a strong likeableness factor that had people defending me. Whatever the case I’m very grateful for the Lords hand in protecting me in this position. We went from 6 EDGE developers to 2 (one moved to another team).

Friday, November 16, 2012
- Showed up to work today with no shoes haha. Woops.
- Funny how some people dislike the attention in small settings but hate being ignored in large settings.

Saturday, November 17, 2012
- Mormon 1:16 The people were so wicked that Mormon was forbidden to preach by the Lord? Yikes! Looks like our society has a ways to fall yet sadly. It’s kind of nice that we know the world will fall so far though, it makes it much easier to find hope for the future knowing things are going as expected.

Sunday, November 18, 2012
- Reading through old institute notes, found this quote from Brother Bartholomue. "If I were the devil, I'd know I can't get the saints to sin. I'd just make them busy." Strikes home! What’s worse, I’m not even busy, and I’m still terrible at missionary efforts.
- if you knew the Savior was coming tomorrow, what would you do differently today?
how can I reach out and bring others to Christ?

Sunday, November 25, 2012
- As a family we were discussing with Ryan his objectives with the custody battle (that’s coming up late December). And there was a slightly contentious air. But Charie made a comment that instantly brought the spirit in and I was at peace with the topic afterwards. I really do want a girl like that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
- I think I’d be more reluctant to marry a divorced 20 year old than a divorced 25 year old. If it’s right though I’d go for it either way :P
- read an Isaiah chapter until you learn a principle regularly.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
- To increase your desire to serve others, increase your testimony of the atonement. (Advice to Amber in MTC)
- Moroni 7:45 replace the word charity with your name to learn what you need to do to be more like Christ. “And Corby suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not his own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Well let’s break this down! Note these all probably depend on the category/circumstance. But I don’t need to work on the stuff I’m already good at haha. I’m still far closer to the cocky end of the spectrum than the lack of self worth end. So don’t think I’m too down on myself for the comments below. I need to recognize my weaknesses before I can work on them no?
1- “And Corby suffereth long” –I have ups and downs with patience in dating. I have all sorts of good intentions to really study for 15 minutes minimum every day, but somehow almost every time I can barely ‘suffer’ 10 minutes of semi-attentive reading and I burn out. I feel like I could add more here but they aren’t coming to mind.
2- “and is kind” – Definitely could do better to reach out and fellowship others. I feel like the first month or so of moving somewhere new I’m really outgoing, but then I fall back into the comfort of the clicks I’ve created. I also always seem to have one person that can get on my nerves. Said person bore their testimony today and I kept thinking “just stop! You’re embarrassing yourself!” and I could do better.
3- “and envieth not” – um, maybe I’m ok here? There was a time I felt a bit of resentment seeing others get married, but none of that envy is focused at the individuals nowadays. And it’s much less as per previous dating ah-ha’s on this blog. I would love to play instruments again but that feels more like a longing than envy.
4- “and is not puffed up” – definitely guilty. I still put way more stock into my own opinions or the few people I really respect than I do into most anyone else’s. However the improvement I’ve had in this category I’d say is one of my most apparent personality differences between now me and high school me.
5- “seeketh not his own” – I really can’t think of anything I do regularly that’s for anyone but me. Even when I index or go to the temple, it’s more so I feel good about how I spent my time than it is about serving others. As always I really need to find more ways to serve.
6- “is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” – Not much to add here besides not even having that one or two people that provoke me easily somehow. With the rest of my friends and family I’m usually pretty patient. Actually I’ve been a little short with CJ sometimes when I feel like he failed to communicate something important or left me waiting around unexpectedly for a while :/ I can improve there.
7- “rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth” – I certainly don’t rejoice in iniquity, but I’m not the best at rejoicing in truth either. I do love drawing people’s attention to the rare times when truth is spoken I popular media.
8- “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” – oh, just all things? EASY! Ok fine, dating, the difficulty of independence, dealing with money, dealing with insurance, dealing with health, all things I’m likely to be bothered about weekly. Believeth all things I feel I have a decent logical grasp, but not a deep enough confidence in that faith to act like I believe or hope for the help from the things listed above. Not completely consistently anyway.
Whew, that was cathartic.

Sunday, December 02, 2012
- do I often feel like I don't have the spirit with me because I need to learn to do the right things even without? Sounds weird to me.
- I always tell people in life to focus on utilizing their strengths rather than dwelling on their weaknesses. I think I need to do better focus on utilizing spiritual strengths rather than dwelling on spiritual weaknesses. As long as my weaknesses aren’t perpetuating sins of commission, then it’s better to dig in powerfully where I serve best rather than try to make sure I can barely do a little bit of everything.
- Parable of the loaf of bread. To make dough into bread, it needs to be kneaded, beaten, and cooked. Probably not fun for the dough. Our lives are often like this :D

Random Thoughts 33 (11/1/2012)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
- I think 3 is an unofficial burn out number for me. If I try to spend time with someone, and they are busy or flake out 3 times in a row, I tend to give it at least a few months. Dunno why I thought of this at random right now lol.

Thursday, October 18, 2012
- The new CTO at work is enforcing a “be in at 9:00” attendance policy. Not a good leadership idea :/
- CJ is just like Dad when you ask him to do things haha. He has to finish what he’s doing or often he sees something and starts that instead, like taking out the garbage. Maybe it’s just a guy thing.
- The promotion demotion was a total easy blessing for increased pay without complicating my life more. Awesome!

Friday, October 19, 2012
- “A person’s god is the thing or being in which he trusts and which he believes has the greatest power. It is the thing to which he looks for whatever salvation he believes is available. All other beliefs and actions are affected by that belief or object of his worship…. If a Latter-day Saint will not
tithe, is it not because he centers his trust in worldly things and the system that produces them instead
of in the providence of the Lord? In that sense, then, the things of the world become a god to him, for he trusts more in them than in God’s power. Those who do not pay tithing would likely be shocked to think they were guilty of idolatry just as the ancient Israelites were guilty of idolatry. The form differs, but the sin is the same.” – OTM pg 254
- “under the rule of the judges the people must demonstrate loyalty to the Lord and His commandments for this ideal form of government to function properly.” – OTM 258 I’d argue the same about our country

Saturday, October 20, 2012
- It’s funny how social and anti-social I feel at the same time right now.
- I am not a reading learner, this is why I can’t seem to get well read on politics!

Monday, October 29, 2012
- Awesome line from The Black Prism, “Kip spluttered, making some kind of sound like he was drowning. Seriously, if embarrassment were a muscle, I’d be huge.”
- Talking with someone online (Molly is her name, great fun so far J ) and I wrote this novel that I figured I’d preserve on my log. My Utah bubble rant, tangent inclusive. I do recognize and acknowledge the existence of the Utah bubble, but I don’t think it’s as big of a deal people make it. For example, I remember once being teased because I didn’t know a word was also the name of some random alcoholic beverage. First of all, there’s like a million alcoholic beverage names, pretty sure almost anything works. Second of all, I don’t drink alcohol, why should I even know the names of obscure mixes? If it was some sort of derogatory or offensive term that I was misusing, that’d make sense to know. But a drink name? Who cares! The point being, a lot of the things that people are sheltered from in the bubble are often things not really necessary for us to know. Random sexual terms, drink names, gang signs, and so on are all things that one can live an entirely healthy life without ever knowing. Maybe there’s hard life lessons that people would learn faster outside the bubble, but there’s nothing significant to our eternal salvation that we can’t learn regardless of where we live.
That being said, Utah Mormons can definitely take the passive sheltering of just being in a different environment a step too far, and actively shield their kids from everything. This is not good parenting. If you’re afraid your child might drown, you don’t try to keep them from ever being near a body of water. Someday they’ll end up at a party with a pool at the house, and when they get pushed in they won’t know what to do. No, you get them swimming lessons. In a similar way, you can’t teach them not to swear by never allowing them to hear swear word, you can’t protect a child’s chastity by forcing your will on who they date, you can’t protect your kids from pornography by not having a computer or tv. You need to teach proper principles and allow their agency. Anyway the main point is I think the bubble is less of a big deal than people make it, if you’re really living the spirit of the law you’ll be fine.
However, overall I am not very proud of Utah Mormons. I’d love to be wrong about this, and I never feel my opinions or observations are absolute. But I would say the vast majority of Utah Mormon’s would not fit in the valiant category. I have been pressured more to break my standards (both passively and actively) by my LDS friends than I ever have by my non-LDS friends. On the flip side, I would say the vast majority of members I’ve met that grew up out of state (excluding some parts of Arizona or Idaho, which are pretty much like extensions of Utah) are way more valiant than the majority of Utah members. I don’t have any personal basis to say this, but it almost seems like it’s just as hard to find a good member to date in Utah as it is everywhere else. The difference is there are just so many people in Utah who SHOULD be good members.
Living out of state where not everyone already knows my standards, where I could have open discussions with people about their different takes on the world (here it’s pretty much the Mormon take, an all out anti-Mormon take, or a “I don’t want to think that hard about things because I’m afraid my conclusions would require me not being so lax” take) I’ve LOVED the comparatively few times I got to discuss religion with a Jew, or a practicing Catholic, or an Atheist, or what not. It’s so interesting. BUT! I’m also super super close to my family, and I can’t imagine living far from them, so I don’t know what I’d do. Not to mention it’s a little harder to move your roots in a wheelchair.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
- Fun random fact. The average person reads 250-300 words a minute. If we go with the upper average of 300, it would take the average person just under 240 hours straight to read the entire Wheel of Time series.
- Had an interesting conversation with a friend today. They mentioned how in games they are more willing to make firm choices even when the consequences are ambiguous, because the consequences are irrelevant. They could win, or they could end up dead, it doesn’t really matter. It can’t be that way in life though, because in life consequences matter.
For the most part I agree. Consequences in life certainly matter. Ended up dead in life experimenting with something brash is no small deal. Drugs, pornography, anger, lies, any form of sin really, have meaningful consequences we are meant to learn from. Luckily choices like these seem to have the most clearly defined consequences in human experience, and the consequences really matter. It’s good though that we don’t have to step on a nail ourselves to know it’s not enjoyable.
Going on in a religious light, the consequences of sins of omission are similarly clear (although not as vivid or direct). Not going to church our testimonies become lax, not serving in our callings we end up thinking less of others and more of ourselves, not receiving all the temple ordinances we won’t be eligible to enter the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. All still moderately straight forward. All very real consequences that really matter.
The interesting thing to me here, is the choices in between these two categories. I’d argue that the consequences of these in between choices hardly matter. Note, this is if you’re living the gospel enough that you’re in tune when the Lord tells you no. But the consequences of whether you take this girl or that girl out, or whether you pursue this career path or that, while seemingly significant, I submit are not very consequential. Or at least not consequential such that we should be as paralyzed about our decisions in them as we frequently are. I mean, take asking a girl out for example. Maybe she’ll say yes, maybe she’ll say no. If she says yes it may make us happy, if she says no it may make us sad. But unless she ends up being our eternal companion, or unless the sadness drives us to sin, the consequences were really just more experience. I’d wager that people who are willing to step into the dark with good goals, without knowing the consequences, have much more to show in their lives than people paralyzed with the fear of consequences. I KNOW the people who step out all the time like that have had more failures than people who rarely do, but they have more successes too.
Well, I do think my above “consequences hardly matter” category does have consequences that matter. I just believe that win or lose they’re for the best for us when we look back someday and see it all. And if they worked out for the best, it didn’t matter really. Not in a way we should be very worried about our decisions anyway.
This is all a somewhat hypocritical rant for me by the way. I’m still fairly disenchanted with dating. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs how low I’ve been. And while I do feel like I’m on the uphill now, I still have less faith in this category than I once had, and would like to have again. Not willing to take action becomes one is afraid of failure isn’t good, I call that a fear driven motivation. But not being willing to take action because I have low faith in the meaningful consequences of the effort is just as bad really.
-This may be idealistic, and it's definitely easier said than done. And it's not even a point I've reached so maybe talking about it is hypocritical. But as long as or opinion about ourselves is derived from others, we'll always be controllable by others. The only reliable and sustainable confidence is when we get our validation ourselves and from God. Someone confident with their standing with God is waaay more confident (and thus likeable) than someone who is likeable just because the crowd says so. And it doesn’t require any outside validation to find peace between ourselves and God.

Thursday, November 01, 2012
- No matter how justified anger is, it will consume you if not bridled.
- Awkward moment, I woke up with this song stuck in my head http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-su4WO5TVxQ and I wanted to show CJ, cuz it has Final Fantasy tribute in the middle. I thought the band was called GString. They’re not, the song name is. But I Youtubed G-String, not even thinking about what a G-String was for some reason.
I was assaulted with butts.

Random Thoughts 32 (10/14/2012)

So, the quick version is life has been crazy and different (and mostly great J ) since moving out, August 14th. As such, I've rarely had the motivated alone time to update my blog. However, when I have something I want to write, usually I write down a sentence reminding me of what I is, so I can come back and fill it in later. Well it’s later. Oct 14th later (hey”! exactly two months!) and so some of these things will be written with as a past event, that I’m filling in later, and some will be written in present tense. Deal with it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012
- Bucket list goal, get nuzzled by a large cat.

Saturday, August 11, 2012
- Just slept for 11 hours, like a boss.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
- I don’t fully understand how they split books in the BoM. I mean the last half of Helaman is actually Helaman’s son Nephi, and then the book of Third Nephi is Nephi’s son Nephi. So why wasn't the book of Helaman just shorter, and Third Nephi was right after? *shrug*

Thursday, August 16, 2012
- So I noticed a failure to follow the spirit in regards to buying my education week ticket. I put I off a few times, and I thought I was just procrastinating. But even when I actually bought it I was feeling reluctant about it. In my head I was like “woahh, ed week is definitely a good thing to do! This can’t be a prompting!” and bought the ticket anyway. Turns out moving would take more time, I’d feel more sick, and I’d have less van then I planned haha. I probably should have done just Friday or some such. Throwing away $30 is a failure consequence I can handle. I hope I’m wiser next time though.
- So I had a night where I felt particularly tempted to make a stupid chastity blunder, and I didn’t, but I was SUPER upset about it anyway haha. I’ve been clean and making good decisions I feel consistently, and so I was totally blindsided by the temptation. It was too close for comfort though, so I decided to study more. What I was referred to was a talk called the abc’s of addiction. It talked about how with any addiction, we tend to focus on the behavior, but really the behavior is just caused by a deeper need. If someone keeps falling and getting bruised, and we just tend to the bruises every time, we’re never addressing why they keep falling in the first place, and their bound to fall and get bruised again. 
What I got out of it is that I was feeling lonely, and for the most part I was finding non-sinful ways to bandaid my loneliness, but I really still needed to find comfort and contentedness with just myself and God, or there was still the risk I might do something stupid. Luckily I didn’t have to get bruised to have this ah-ha, but it was a dangerously close stumble.

Saturday, August 18, 2012
- In connection to the talk mentioned above, I think maybe my shame or sheepishness from using a dating website is probably because I was “acting out” by using it (even though there’s nothing wrong with dating websites), and a subconscious part of me knew it.

Monday, August 20, 2012
- Impressions of new ward

Thursday, August 23, 2012
- The new ward has been AWESOME!! There was a small group of close ward friends over the Summer, and they were ready and willing to invite all us new people into their circles. Also, tons of the new people were cool and ready to step outside themselves and make friends. We’re on the first floor right near the entrance, so basically we leave our door open and people just come in and hang out. It’s been way fun! And our apartment is a great clean inviting environment. Love it J

Saturday, August 25, 2012
- AWESOME Saturday! I got a great sleep in, then I went to work (since it’s so close now) to work on my creative spark. While there I got to chat with Sierra and Dr. K. and I even came home in time to socially with people while we left the door open! Awesome!

Sunday, August 26, 2012
- My apartment is such a different atmosphere from when I last moved out. Where with my last apartment I had to crank up my music to drown out anime or the like so I could study, this morning I cranked up my Pandora to drown out CJ’s loud conference talks in the shower haha. It’s like “HEY! Can you turn down the words of the prophets so I can study the words of the prophets!? GEEZ!”
- Money is not the root of all evil, the scriptures say it’s the love of money. This has never really stuck out or mattered to me, I’m not driven by money, I don’t feel greedy of worldly things, so it’s not a big deal. But in Sunday School, Salah (awesome name) put it this way, “it’s a sin to trust in money to solve our problems rather than trusting in the Lord.” That hammered me! I mathed out my finances and I theoretically will profit $30 a month with my health care spending, my crazy van payment, and my current spending trends. I was thinking “well, I’ll just have to make it work until I can get a promotion. Likely in February because that’s when they usually do them.”But this hit me hard. I was thinking “you'd have an easier time being independent if you had more money.” But no, I'd have an easier time being independent if I trusted in the Lord more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
- Amazing day! Lots of neat thoughts from institute to follow, I’m going to love that class (with Brother Soderberg).
- So remember my note above about deciding to rely more on the Lord on Sunday? Well, Monday Robert pulled me into his office at work, and asked me to be the new team lead for the Client team!!! (since we let go of the Uruguay office) So excited!!
- How can I make Christ not just an influence in my life, but the controlling influence?
- You should care more about how long you read than how much you read. (future addendum, I changed my daily study from ”1 chapter a day” to “15 minutes” and the results have been wonderful.)
- We don't have to fight the devil. We fill ourselves with truth and the Lord fight the devil for us. D&C 93:36-37. Endowment movie follows this pattern. He sends people down.
- Reading the book of Mormon doesn't bring us closer to heavenly father than any other book. Abiding by its precepts does.
- Nephi emphasizes blessings more than trials, implied by the order he mentions them at the very start of the BoM.
- Oh man, Brother Soderberg and I DEFINITELY have very different trials haha. He came from a broken home and never wanted to get married. One day he prayed and told the Lord he’d do whatever the Lord wanted, be whoever He wanted him to be, except that he wasn’t going to get married. The next Sunday he met his future wife and was basically bludgeoned that night with a revelation he should marry her. He said “I rolled over in my bed, and swore.” Haha! Ahh man, I would LOE to be bludgeoned with a revelation of who I should pursue and marry. I do like meeting people for fun purposes, but I am waaaay ready to be out of the searching phase.
- If you pay tithing you will be able to do more with your 90% than you would with 100%. Tithing your time with temple attendance works the same GOOOO!
 - When you stop yourself in relationships, take note of why, and if it works for you.

Friday, September 07, 2012
- So Kellie (sister) was doing school for emotional processing. She encouraged me to try it (not with her) and I figured “why not?” and scheduled one. Long story short I didn’t really get much out of it sadly. I’m pretty self sustaining apparently. The two main things though were #1 I need to let go of the guilt of people I’ve tried to help and failed at. #2 I backed off on physical expression  too far, and it doesn’t make me happy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012
- Super awesome day today. Wish I wasn't having to write on my phone. I write my ideas better on my computer. But I'm already in bed.
 To sum up, we had an awesome stake conference where Elder Oaks wife ( who didn't get married until she was 53) talked about how you may not be doing anything wrong, it's just about the Lord's timing, dedicate yourself to him whatever that means. Marriage or no. Then me and CJ went home and had an awesome day with the family. Then we came back for ward prayer and went to this small scripture study group afterwards, and it was AWESOME! I have a powerful renewed commitment to dedicate my life to the Lord whatever that means. We talked about how everyone who makes it to the celestial kingdom will have to undergo their own Abrahamic trial, being willing to give up the thing do you love most in this world for the Lord. I'll bet we have various of these types of trial throughout our lives. I know putting the Lord before Brandon Sanderson novels is hard for me. Ridiculous but it's true. But I'm sure and even bigger one is not getting married yet. Being willing to fully commit myself to the gospel even if it means no wife. There has been times when the thought of this is painful or ridiculous. But I feel like I've been tempered enough to trust in the Lord in this, whether that means I get a companion in this life or not. I just want to be a tool in his hands whatever that means. People make such a huge deal out of things like gay marriage. But I love it when the prophets come out and ask us to make a stand. I guess maybe I could be more outgoing with my stand. I'm not really sure what that would look like. But the real point is I love having an opportunity to follow the prophet when he asks something of us that society doesn't agree with. I know I'm probably only at the most basic point of faith, and that I will probably get barraged with crazy hard trials as I make this commitment. But I do definitely want to be whatever the Lord wants me to be. I am done assuming I know what He wants. I'm done assuming even I know what I want or need. My first big hurdle will probably be developing a confidence when I get an answer or prompting versus when I'm having a stupid thought on my own. But I want to be the type of disciple that would trust in the Lord enough to take my only son up to the mountain for sacrifice if I knew that that's what the Lord asked of me.
 On other news, my parents are pretty sure they'll be able to sell my van this week. So I went and opened the door with the taillight one last time. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the independence that van had brought me over the last five or so years. It also made me want to commit my life to Heavenly Father.
 Also it was awesome that I can listen to conference talks with CJ on the way back to Orem.
 Also it's 12:37 and I have bowel care in four hours, ugh. Haha.

Monday, September 17, 2012
- “You NEVER check your religion at the door.” https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/ces-devotionals/2012/09?lang=eng Whew! Elder Holland is a powerhouse!
- “When He comes, I want to be caught in the act of spreading the gospel.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012
- Double tender mercies yesterday. Leaving work, I needed food but I didn’t want to eat alone. I told myself “if someone texts me I’ll take them to dinner” and Claudia did. So I did J Usually stuff like that doesn’t work. Anyway on the way back I had to drive the long way around my building to get to parking, and I passed by Chelsea/Kylie/Ayrika’s window, and Chelsea saw me and kept calling my name as I got out of the car, so I ended up hanging out with them the rest of the night haha. I Love this place.
- I’m not very good at journal lately… but my scripture study has improved!

Saturday, September 22, 2012
- Get the little big planet Beethoven song as a ring tone. (future note, I totally did this :D)

Sunday, September 23, 2012 (phone notes)
- Go to the temple or fast with the purpose of understanding your patriarchal blessings better.
- I was baptized last CENTURY!
- Don't ask "what am I doing wrong?" ask, "what more can I be doing right?" Or "what other good can I do?"
- Read discourses of the prophets

Saturday, September 29, 2012
Interesting day. Scott Pilgrim and Tetris with Micah Josh. Chicken enchiladas and monsters Inc. with the youngins (Ayrika, Kylie, and Jodee are all 18 :/). Tried to get on our hard couches but no go. If there is an appropriate cuddle outlet I haven't found it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012
- In answer to your unspoken question, yes, I am holding a small adorable child who is feeding an even smaller adorable child. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012
- True disciples speak often with others about the gospel. 3 Nephi 24:16 “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”

Wednesday, October 03, 2012
- Is my hug instinct diminished? I saw Kylie, who is super cute, at the end of the hall, and didn’t drive to her for a hug! Maybe it’s cuz I was just playing a TD…

Friday, October 05, 2012
- “I bless you to be actively engaged with people that you might live as a beacon of hope and promise for the future in their lives as well as your own.” Phrase in my blessing stood out to me today, just felt to write it down. Particularly the “as well as your own” part.

Monday, October 08, 2012
- Haha ok so since I’ve been promoted to team lead work has been absolutely CRAZY! I run around all the time! It’s a good thing I wasn’t in a phase where I had someone I’d text or FB chat with regularly, because they would have felt ignored.
Anyway, we also got a new CTO (chief technology officer) and BIG changes have been going down. Team structures, testing strategies, who is under which VP, etc… Wednesday is our dev complete day for 3.17, and there have been so many crazy quirks and bad requirements and technical pitfalls and such this sprint. So Monday, Robert pulls me and Naor into his office and tells us Allen (new CTO) has decided to “flatten the teams”. So me and Naor are going back to being developers. This may sound sad, BUT! #1 I was pretty darn stressed, and it was an instant load of passing it to Robert. #2 they aren’t revoking my pay-raise :D.  #3 I feel like my experience as a grunt lead will make me a better grunt myself. #4 it’s not like I did anything wrong, Naor has been a developer for 12+ years and our team lead since May, and they pushed him back into the team too. Anyway it was cool.

Sunday, October 14, 2012
- And now we’re finally to today! Nothing particularly interesting to report. I’m still trying my best to dedicate myself to whatever the Lord wants me to be, and I include it in my prayers. I took Kylie to Divine Comedy last night, it was fun. She’s an amazing girl but I doubt she’s romantically interested in me, which is fine cuz she’s 18, but she’s great companionship. Work is great, I’m well used to my new van and wheelchair. It’s starting to get cold outside and it makes me sad. Yeah… Oh! I’ve decided I really need to make a bucket list, something to look forward too. It’s not of dire import because I’m pretty happy as is. But it’ll be good to have stuff to look forward to the times I am feeling low, seeing as I’m usually not in a brainstorming mood at such times :P.

Gratitude and new stuff

Tuesday, August 07, 2012
- Well, I’d sure be ungrateful if I didn’t take a minute to recognize and acknowledge God’s perfect timing and gentle but powerful reminders. So insurance is supposed to replace my power wheelchair every five years. There have been various problems with that, like trying to work with government health care, and changing private health care providers, twice. My chair was doing ok though, and we were a bit discouraged, so we weren’t pushing as hard for the new chair. One morning I woke up and my chair’s recline functionality wasn’t working. Sounds like a small deal, but I can’t even fit under my steering wheel if I can’t adjust my chair. I had to cancel work and have mom drive me to the wheelchair shop, where they tapped on the motor and that fixed it haha. A great long-term solution :P. So we redoubled our efforts on getting a new wheelchair, and following up weekly and such. And finally got the new chair… a month ago? I didn’t start using it yet though because it’s slower and the joystick apparatus is different than I’m used to. I figured I might as well wear out the one I liked first.
Meanwhile, my van is at 160,000 miles, and I know that doesn’t sound terrible, but it springs a new leak at least twice a year, and I even saw a list at work of problems my van usually has. I’ve already fixed seven out of the eight of the most common ones. And “most common” for some of those meant “20% of the time this model has this problem by the time it hits this mileage”. It putters randomly when starting up, the air bag light won’t turn off, the fan in the back sounds like a witch being boiled, etc… It cost me an average of $171.25 a month in car repairs over the last 12 months (that’s up $45 a month since February! Man it’s cool to be able to figure out stuff like this in seconds using mint.com haha). Anyway, we’ve been shopping since like, September 2011? (p.s. whenever I say “we” I’m probably referring to me and my amazing mom. She really gets full credit for the van shopping) Finally found a great van, and I’m paying a ridiculous sum for it, but that’s what modified vans cost :( (fun fact: the modifications for me to get inside and drive independently cost more than the van itself, good thing I’m a bachelor and a college graduate with a wonderful job that I love) it’s been taking FOREVER to modify (I’ve made five payments on the van already haha) BUT! It’s almost ready!
So today I took the day off because the guys at Mobility Solutions were ready to have me come park my chair in place behind the steering wheel, so they could see exactly where to put the lock and hand lever. And coincidentally (hah! Coincidence? No.) my power chair broke this morning. So I had to finally switch to my new chair, and so that was the one I fit to the van.
The interesting part about this whole scenario, is that once I was working hard on getting my new chair again, my old chair stopped having problems (problems we never really fixed, mind you) and once I bought my new van, my old van kept running (with it’s quirks, but things like the door and the battery, frequent problem children in the past, were fine). And THE DAY I was getting into my new van is when my old chair finally died. I feel like the Lord reminded me gently that my stuff was dying and I needed to get new stuff, but then once I was moving on it, He sustained what I had as long as I needed. Until the day of even, THE DAY OF. Pretty neat. I’m very grateful for the tender mercies of His timing, and for the means to stay independent.