Saturday, July 30, 2005

Dreams, Iraq, and Air Conditioning. Oh My!

Last night I had a dream I joined the marines and needed to go to Iraq but I couldn't because I was still working at my current job. I eventually ended up going and ended up shooting a girl that was trying to snipe one of our soldiers. She got hurt but not killed so a bunch of us worked on her wounds and asked her why she tried to kill us. We tried broken arabic but she didn't understand us. Then I tried portuguese. She understood better and told me in english, "You don't have to struggle so much. I speak english and spanish." I don't remember much of the rest of the dream but I think it had more stuff about leaving Iraq in time to get back to work so my boss wouldn't fire me.

Yeah, wierd. Oh yeah! I watched an interesting documentary on the History channel about living in the desert. Much of our modern desert hiking/camping gear has its roots in the Beduin tribes wandering around Africa and the Middle East. They were experts at desert survival. Much of the american west's electrical needs are directly related to airconditioning. We go from our air conditioned house to our air conditioned car to drive to our air conditioned office. Our world is always 72 degrees!

This summer hasn't seemed as unbearable to me even though it has been its typical upper 90s type weather. I'm not sure why I'm tolerating it better this year but I'm not complaining! Remember to stay hydrated.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wow! Wireless Isaiah!

Okay, I'm trying a blog wirelessly from my Palm OS Treo 650. So far so good.

I was just reading 2nd Nephi 17. In it, Isaiah talks about Israel joining forces with Syria to beat Jeruselem. In the end, Juda/Jeruselem is okay and Israel defeated. Stabbed in the back by Syria?

It got me thinking of the parrallels. Jeruselem was the faithfull followers of Christ. Israel was the apostate, former members. Syria was the world with Satan at its head. In the end the church survives and those that abandoned it get used and then crushed by the adversary. Moral of the story: Stay on the Lord's side. Man! Isaiah rocks!

whew. this is hard on a PDA.

Now its gone...

I had a lot to say over the last week or so but now I can't remember much of it. I was busy. Isn't it strange how when life is at its fullest there is the least amount of time to record it. I had time yesterday to blog but the internet was down all day.

Lava Hot Springs was good but short. Ben went down the big red slide for the first time. I thought he would be terrified. He was scared at first but went anyway. I saw him twisting and spinning down the slide. You're supposed to go feet first the whole way but his little body just went in every direction at once. When I made it to the bottom myself he told me he wanted to go again. So we did.

I wish we could have spent the whole week. Instead I had to come home early for work. Real Life(TM) likes to get in the way of Fun (patent pending).

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Weird Dreams

Last night I had this weird dream. I was heading home from St George or somewhere south in a car with some of the family (don't remember exactly who). We stopped by a dollar store just off I-15 in Sandy to get paper cups and plastic utinsiles. After getting back to the car, it wouldn't start so I walked(?) to Skypark (the airport in Woodscross) and got a helecopter to bring everyone home. I flew it back to the car where Becca insisted we needed to return the cups and plastic forks & spoons. The store refunded the full amount to us even though we only brought in 2 or 3 cups out of a pack of 50. We then got back into the helecopter to fly everyone home but found out there was not enough room in the helecopter. I then recommended that I fly part of the family home in the helecopter and Dad fly the rest home in the car (which apparently wasn't broken anymore). Oh yeah, and there were some people in the store parking lot anoyed by the helecopter taking up valuable parking spaces and police at the broken down car wanting to throw the car into the river to make room for other traffic.

Yeah, it was kinda random... although I did take the car into the shop this morning for some engine diagnostics. Maybe that's what my dream was about. My subconsious was preparing itself for the trauma of auto repair.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Politics in the shower

This morning while in the shower, getting ready for church I was thinking about an NPR segment I heard on the radio on Friday. It was about the Neo-Conservatives and their history.

The Neo-Con movement started around the 1930s among jewish and other democratic groups. At that time it had no defining name or lable but the ideology was there. It wasn't until the 1960s and 1970s that the Neo-Cons began switching to the Republican party as the democratic party was being reshaped by the anti-vietnam hippy flower power social unrest. It was around this time that "neo-conservative" became the lable given by their fellow democrats to marginalize them. Reagan's entering the oval office really closed the door for democratic neo-cons and shifted them into the republican camp. Reagan's agressive stance on the Soviet Union was really to their liking.

Anyway, that was the radio segment part. I was thinking about the parties, platforms, and liberalness/conservativeness of each. I feel it is a misnomer to call the democratic party the liberal party and the Republican party the conservative party. Its not that black and white.

On social and economic issues, the democrats are liberal. But on geo-political & foreign policy issues, they are conservative. Liberal - turn the nation into a socialist welfare state. Conservative - Keep the status quo in foreign matters and don't interfere (even with evil dictatorships, etc).

On social and economic issues, the republicans are conservative. Let market forces decide economic matters. Keep government out of people's personal lives. On geo-political & foreign policy they are liberal. Conservative - Minimal government interference. Liberal - Actively spread democracy abroad, through force if necessary.

Its kinda funny too that I watched National Treasure for the first time last night. I can't remember if it was in the film or the special features that the point from our founding fathers was that an entity (individual or nation) that sees wrong in the world and has the power to do good is not merely requested to help right the wrong but obligated to do so. For evil to win, good men just need to do nothing.

And I think that is what scares me the most about the current crop of non-interventionist movements in the US and abroad. They are willing to let thugs kill their own people to keep themselves comfortable. I don't believe in needless medling but I see the comparison between modern terrorism and the Gadianton Robbers.

The lamanites fought the robbers and purged them from their society. They probably lost a lot of lives doing so. The nephites figured they couldn't be defeated so they embraced the robbers. Doing so led to the near destruction of their entire society. You can't appease thugs and expect the problem to go away. It takes sacrifice and constant vigilance to defeat such evil secret combinations.

I find it scary that so many short sighted people would rather appease the terrorists than fight them. The islamic people are very good, industrious people. I've met a few and they are good people. What I find wrong is their own leaders. Rather than build schools to teach thier people how to become doctors, engineers, and other professions. They are left with schools of hate and dispare. The leaders are filled with corruption and line their own pockets while their own people starve. I'm pleased to see a a slow but steady shift in the moslem world. Some are waking up to the realization that the west isn't the cause of their suffering but their own leaders.

Expect to see violent clashes between the moderates and extremists. America's freedom was paid with blood. Iraq's is being paid with blood (both ours and the Iraqis). I pray that Iran's, Syria's, and the others will be less bloody but still find the freedom those fine people deserve. Our Father in Heaven's plan of salvation rested largely on agency. Christ paid with his own blood to ensure our free exersize of agency. Let us do the same for the Islamic world. Pay, with our own blood if necessary, to free them to a destiny of their choosing. Some things are worth dying for.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Yay for paintball!

Today, Chris and I went paintballing at the Special Ops field. I spoke with Robert from COPS911. He was impressed with my homemade vest. If I can impress the world's best paintball softgoods manufacturer with my sewing skills then I must be doing something right. He wants me to work for him but I don't know. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Last night, Ben and his cousins got swing crazy on the flagpole. Not exactly the safest thing to swing on. This morning Ben and I went to Home Depot and picked up some rope to make a proper rope swing. Now our cherry tree in the front yard is properly adorned with the tools of childhood bliss.

It sure would be nice to be a kid again. No troubles, no woes. I'm still trying to figure out what to do when I grow up. Today, while watching Ben and his friend Kyle play on the new swing I got thinking. I need to save oodles of money for school and finish my education and fullfill my dreams of flight. I would like to work part time as a flight instructor, and if the FAA won't let me (medical conditions?), then something like a parasail instructor. I can keep my current job and still pull off these dreams.

Maybe I should just finish my Computer Science degree even though it really isn't a passion for me like it is for Michael. It can pay the bills though and let me live my real dreams. That would be nice.

...Tune in next week when I change my mind and feel like doing/being something else ...again.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Obla Di Obla Da! goes on. Yesterday, Mary got kissed by her boyfriend, Adam. And I had a date with Sarah, which apparently didn't make the family Sunday Dinner Love Story-athon(TM). But I'm not bitter DANG IT!

Apparently if I want to get married or something I'm going to need to do a lot more dating and probably some kissing too. Telling the gory details to the family at the weekly SDLS-athon would probably be required too.

Sarah, Ben, and I went to the ward crawdad fry. Sarah ate like a mouse, Ben ate like a mouse trying to lose weight, and I ate like a guy using chopsticks for the first time. Crawdad's are tricky to crack open and get the insides of. After making a huge mess and eating very little I was finally instructed on the "proper" technique.

After the dinner we played at the park so Ben could get his energy out. Sarah and I talked while Ben played. When the sun went down we picked cherries in the fading light. It gets pretty hard to distinguish the ripe ones from the others without much light. The night ended with a hug. Maybe it would have been more news-worthy with a kiss.