Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the Eighth Day of Christmas A Doctor Gave to Me...

Kamas, Utah - The well worn out phrase, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” was tested yesterday when a group of snowmobilers went in search of medical attention after an accident disrupted their plans for an adventurous one-day getaway.

Tadd Farmer, a junior at BYU, and his friend, Dustin Higginson, both took dates on their trip to, Kamas, the “gateway to the Uintahs,” but neither could have predicted how this day would unfold. Kamas had already received several inches of fresh powder, and the day continued to threaten more as the snowmobile adventure began.

“I’ve been on four-wheelers and waverunners before, but I’ve never been on a snowmobile,” Tadd said. “I was ready for a fun day with good friends.”

Perhaps inexperience may have played a factor in what happened. After making one successful run down the mountain, Tadd was ascending back to the high elevation cabin with two other guys riding on back. As he approached the turn, the weight situated on the back of the snowmobile caused the machine to continue forward and not respond to the turning of the front skis. Slowing down to a try to make the turn, the snowmobile slipped into a small depression on the left.

“I felt the snowmobile tipping to the left which caused me to fall off and hit my head on a poorly placed ‘For Sale’ sign.” Tadd said of the experience. “When I got up, I first checked my teeth to make sure I still had them. Then I noticed blood coming down my ski goggles and knew that I probably needed a little help.”

“I was about to throw up. When I got back to the cabin, I asked for Tadd’s girlfriend (this was Tadd’s second date) and told her that I could almost see his brain,” a witness reported.

After putting a shirt on the wound, Tadd was immediately driven to a fire station and medical center in Kamas, both of which were closed. They finally found an open medical clinic in Heber City, about an hour and a half after the accident occurred.

The 6 mm deep wound above his left eyebrow required eight internal stitches, and nine external stitches to close it up. It was actually the first case of stitches to be performed at the brand new 5 Minute Medical clinic in Heber City. After taking some Tylenol, and after a forty-five minutes ride back to Kamas, Tadd and company spent the remaining time playing games and even made a few last runs on the snowmobile.

“I knew I wasn’t seriously hurt,” Tadd admitted. “I felt bad for messing up a day that promised to be so entertaining. I am grateful for those who made sacrifices to get the help that I needed.”

Tadd also readily admits that the accident could’ve been worse. Had he hit the sign any lower on his face, his eyes may have been damaged. One thing he appreciates a little more now than before is his sight, and the close proximity of hospitals in Provo.

Editor: The next picture may be a little disturbing. If you can’t handle a little blood and guts, don’t look at it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

I wanted to give a shout out to my Dad on his birthday and thank him for all he has done for me. I have been blessed by great parents!

He has been my coach in at least three different sports throughout most of my life. More importantly, he has been one of the best coaches for my life. Always willing to listen and teach, my Dad has helped me get to where I am today.

He would always ask at least one of my brothers or sisters to help with a project around the house and it wasn’t because he needed our help. He probably undid everything we did and did it over again once we left. He wanted to be with us and teach us things that would be useful to know.

Whenever he went grocery shopping, he would always bring back a bag of candybars and let us choose which one we wanted. He would always pick last.

My parents have been the greatest supporters I have had in my life. They had faith in me when I thought my odds were small. They had confidence in me when I had none. They taught me what I needed to know to truly be happy.

My Dad has a witty sense of humor that can make anyone laugh. He makes people feel comfortable when their near him, and doesn’t have an enemy in the world. Our driveway is always the last to be shoveled.

In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Village Blacksmith, he wrote of a hard working and noble blacksmith. This is how I feel about my dad!

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend

For the lesson thou hast taught!

Thus at the flaming forge of life

Our fortunes must be wrought;

Thus on its sounding anvil shaped

Each burning deed and thought!

I love you Dad!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

I am concerned with a recent trend of bloggers becoming increasing silent in their blogging responsibilities. The cause of this is still undetermined, but one could argue that the downturn of the nation’s economy is as much to blame as anything (or anyone) else. Think about it, with our stocks becoming bottom-dwelling creatures in the sea of economic tranquility, who would think to do something incredibly blog-worthy like replace an old pair of shoes with gold-plated go-go gadget spring shoes or have a chocolate fondue party where even the guests are covered in chocolate?

Because of the serious nature of this concern, my first thought was to write my lame-duck president for a portion of the 700 gazillion dollars of bailout money to go to bloggers throughout the nation. I decided against that idea because I don’t have a stamp and I doubt the president is in to blogs anyways. So I thought of an easier solution to bring back the blogs. Write one yourself.

My biggest challenge to blogging is that I never have anything to write about. As you can tell by my previous posts (or at least this one), you know that that has never stopped me in the past. So to get you thinking, I decided to generate a list which can either get you thinking of something you can blog about, or stop reading my blog altogether.

-The best thing about yesterday
-Your children
-Your lost-then-found sock
-The thoughts you had at 11am today
-Gary Coleman
-Ninja Turtles
-Gary Coleman vs. Ninja Turtles
-Your view of a flat, open, or closed universe and the possibility of other “people”
-What you like about Christmas
-What you like about me
-A childhood memory
-What you think a haberdasher is

Well, if that doesn’t help than I maybe I should go get some stamps. But come on people, who wouldn’t want to see Gary Coleman fight the Ninja Turtles?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reasons to Vote Republican, Despite the Republicans

I like to think of myself as a nonpartisan voter when it comes to politics. I tend to lean to the republican side of the aisle when it comes to most issues, however, I have also sympathized with many democratic philosophies. Over the past several months, I have tried to ignore the political game between McCain and Obama because both candidates seem painfully weak and inadequate to meet the challenges of our country. Despite some good characteristics in both candidates, there really is no good choice for the Oval Office. Obama is a charismatic leader whose ideas and words sound nice but he lacks the experience to run the world’s superpower. McCain, a former POW and Vietnam vet, has the experience Obama’s lacking but looks and acts as if he’s been walking around with a perpetual political chip on his should for the last 26 years. With no clear leader in the campaign, I offer you my two reasons to vote Republican despite the Republicans.

My first reason for voting Republican for this election cycle is maintaining a conservative voice on the Supreme Court. As it now stands, the average age for the Supreme Court is 68 (the oldest being Justice Stevens at the age of 88). This means that there is a good chance that the next President of the United States will decide who will fill the vacancies left on the bench. With liberal reforms to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion coming before the courts with increasing frequency, it’s too risky to vote for a candidate who will place a Justice on the bench with liberal leanings. In an age of judicial activism, we cannot allow for the Supreme Court to legislate liberal laws and policies that could change forever the American way of life.

My second reason for voting Republican is to maintain a true checks and balance system between the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. It is a dangerous proposition for the American people to have one party control both the Legislative Branch and Executive Branch of government. Recent history will provide enough evidence of that. From 2000-2006, the Republicans controlled both branches of government which increased the power and influence of President Bush, making his presidency one of the most ineffective and disastrous presidencies in the history of our nation. Add a liberal Judicial Branch to the liberal Executive and Legislative Branches and you have an entire government dominated by a single ideology. Democrat or Republican, it is dangerous to have too much power.

I don’t know how you all feel, but I’m already looking forward to 2012.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Down In Front!

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize that there’s not much sport in the sports I watch. It has gotten to the point that every sport I go to is almost the sideshow to some other kind of gimmick. Who decided that we needed entertainment for our entertainment? Let me explain with a couple of examples.

My BYU football tickets aren’t anything to brag about. Sixth row doesn’t sound half bad but it is when your stuck in the end zone. If that isn’t bad enough, imagine trying to watch an entire football game through a pyramid of cheerleaders! Isn’t it exciting enough just to be at the football game? I almost dread timeouts because it means that I will be exposed to the latest and newest cheerleading stunt involving twists, flips, and flops that I don’t want to even consider. Do they really think that we need to be exposed to constant recreational stimulus for the entire 3+ hour game? Who am I, some kind of ADHD Mt. Dew addict who always needs to fill my caffeine fix? Can I have a timeout please?

I believe in the golden rule. You sweet-spirited cheerleaders, how would you feel if we invited the football team to hold a scrimmage on the sideline during a cheer competition? Cheer your guts out, but could you stay down in front?

My experience at the last Real Salt Lake game showed me that distractions at sporting events are not only caused by cheerleaders. During part of the game, some RSL people starting throwing stuff into the crowd. I reacted like a typical 4 year old as I reached to catch a ball that was coming my way. As I caught the ball, the entire stadium erupted in cheers and I knew immediately that the cheering wasn’t for me (even though it was a good catch). RSL just dropped a goal in the back of the net and I missed it because I was busy trying to catch a stupid hacky sack that even the sweatshop workers in India wouldn’t claim.

Why is free stuff so popular at games anyways? Did you ever go to a game because you’re sick of your summer wardrobe and you thought you needed a new shirt? And what about you who scavenger the underside of the bleachers looking for that cubic zirconia coupon? Was that on the wedding preparation to do list? Why is it that they can throw stuff into the crowd but anyone who throws anything back is escorted away by the police?

The more cheers I hear from the cheerleaders and the shirts tossed out, the more appealing baseball is becoming. By they way, I just posted a really cool soccer hacky sack on ebay so let the bidding begin!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In Case You're Not Sick of Polls By Now...

I just wanted to explain my new survey that I've included on the right of my blog. After writing a new blog post last weekend, my conscience made an uncommon appearance in my mind. I couldn't publish the post I was working on because I thought that it might be a little too sarcastic. That caused me to think of all of my blog entries. I do not try to vaunt myself or put other people down in my blogs, I just try to write the things as I see them (with a little extra, of course). So, I'm really curious about what you think. Let the polling begin!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Okay, So I Don't Travel Much...

This week I had an opportunity to travel to Lake Tahoe, Nevada to present a research project I’ve been working on with a professor from BYU. The project is about student teaching, and if any of you are interested, let me know and we can talk about it sometime. However, my blogging patrons are few, and probably won’t be able to stomach a blog on academia, so for their sakes and for mine, this blog is about my extracurricular experience at Lake Tahoe. Be aware that you are about to wade around in the shallow waters of my mind. Whether or not my infrequent travels results in my simple mind, or if my simple mind is why I don’t travel much is for you to decide.

I didn’t have to go any further than my hotel room to find something to blog about. One of the first things I noticed about my room was that there was a phone in the bathroom. I have never in my twenty-three-and-a-half years of breathing seen a need to use a phone in that locale. I hope I never do. As much as I would hate to need to use the phone in the bathroom, I would definitely not want to be on the receiving end of that call.

I was surprised to find that my shower was almost completely surrounded by glass. I enjoyed watching TV while taking a shower. I would not call it obsessive, I’d call it efficient.

I’m not much of a tree-hugger, but I sympathize for environmentalists. It seems like they were born with only half a brain or at least without common sense. On the sink in my bathroom counter was a sign that read, “Save the planet one towel at a time.” The sign then proceeded to beg me to hang up towels that I could reuse and leave dirty ones on the floor for them to launder. That was a reasonable request. Over the next few minutes of exploring the room, I found numerous piles of towels all over the place. In all, I counted 13 towels of all sizes left for me (and only me) to use during my two-day stay. It seemed to me that if they wanted me to use fewer towels, they’d give me fewer towels to use. Over the course of my trip, I looked for 13 legitimate ways to use each and every towel at least once. I know it’s not much, but someday our children and grandchildren will be left to deal with these environmentalists.

My time in Tahoe went by quickly! It was a great experience for me and one that I hope to repeat in the future. I am grateful for all those who did so much to make it possible for me to attend. Thanks!

P.S. I don’t know if you can “P.S.” a blog but I’m going to do it anyway. This blog was written before I went home. Between now and the time I wrote this blog, I had the unfortunate opportunity to use that poor phone!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here’s To A Friend

A insincere compliment is about as useful to me as a coupon to a liquor store; I wouldn’t use it and would probably end up passing it on to someone else who doesn’t need it either. I’ve never been very good at thanking and complimenting those around me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for what they’ve done. It’s mostly because I’m at a loss at how to do it. Anything I could say or do seems completely inadequate compared to what’s been said and done for me.

Recently, I’ve noticed how even the simplest interactions with others can leave a deep and lasting impact on my life. There are things that I have learned that have opened my eyes, helped me see what I could not see, and help me be what I could not be.

The tragedy is that most of these friends leave without the slightest idea of the difference they’ve made. It’s to those friends, past, present, and future, that I wish to pay tribute. Thanks for lending an ear to my mouthful, helping me make sense of my jumbled thoughts, and for being a friend when I have been unfriendly. You may come and go with the passing days, but your impression will last throughout my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Flag Tossed All Around the World

Barry, how do you like the asterisk you have next to your name? I’m asking as a BYU football fan because we’ve brought one home with us after our win in Washington last weekend. Yeah, we have a “W” to put in the win column, but it’s a win with conditions. Apparently one of the referees got in the line and blocked the PAT attempt by Washington to tie the game and send it into overtime. I never saw the play, but that’s how it’s been explained to me.

BYU has been hounded by negative press this week over the excessive celebration call on Washington’s quarterback (I guarantee it wouldn’t have made news if it was a MWC game). This call has sent columnists and bloggers crying bloody murder as if BYU didn’t already dominate the game in every statistical category. According to them, the refs handed BYU the game. One writer for ESPN went as far to say, “It was one of the absolute worst calls I've ever seen in football.”

Are you kidding me? Did you ever watch football before official review was instated? Bad calls were part of the game!

Obviously, I’m biased towards BYU. The fact is that there was a rule in place, the rule was violated, and the call was made accordingly. And like any good team, BYU made the play to get the win.

My biggest beef about this controversy revolves around the ridiculous reasons given by the media for why the call shouldn’t have been made. The worst argument of them all is that an action like that taken by Washington’s quarterback should not be made if he was acting on emotion. What? Do players ever commit unsportmanslike acts without emotion? Can you really dismiss a call because a player acted out of emotion?

Where was that when I was a kid?

If that same logic applied to my childhood...I would’ve never visited the principals office for throwing shingles at passing cars. I never would’ve spent time in timeout or be forced to reconcile my differences with my older sister. The yellow card I received in soccer would’ve stayed in the ref’s pocket because my illegal slide tackle in the 18-yard box was definitely an emotional reaction.

Moses would’ve become the King of Egypt after he killed the Egyptian, Islamic fundamentalists would be Delta airline captains, and Georgia would be singing the Hymn to the Russian Federation.

Are you kidding me?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Kids On the Block

Over the past three days, college freshman have been more numerous around campus than bobble-head Obama supporters at the Democratic National Convention. This increase of freshman has led me to believe that one of two things must be true: EFY has extended the age limits on their summer youth programs to include college freshman or a brand new school year is about to start. The gut-grinding, mind-malfunctioning, money-spending complex I’m developing leads me to believe in the latter.

I’m serious when I say that I like seeing freshman around campus. How else can I get so much joy from knowing that the same beehive girl I hometaught as an eighteen year old will be joining me in my astronomy class? The feeling of maturity that I’m experiencing is almost overwhelming!

Truth is, I’m enjoying the chance I have to watch the freshman as they explore the great campus of BYU. Observing them has caused me to think about my own freshman experiences and the lessons I learned from them.

When I was a freshman, I learned the importance of my family. Being away from them taught me how much I truly depended on them for... everything. I cherished the phone calls, the weekends I went home, and even the occasional letter in the mail. I was blessed to still have my sister, Jill, in Provo. I remember walking three blocks to her house with a homemade cheesecake in my hands, taking each step with great care as if my gift to her was something sacred. It was a little token of my appreciation to her for the dozen papers she proof-read and her simple decision to stay nearby.

I learned the truth behind the idea that if you don’t put God first, in the end, it will make no difference who (or what) you put first instead. I learned this from a girl, the source of too many of my freshman lessons. The Homecoming dance was coming around and the girl I had my eye on was asked out so early in the year that she may as well have been predestined to go with him in the pre-mortal life. I sloughed it off as if it was nothing and asked a good friend of mine if she would go with me. With a seriousness almost uncommon in a freshman, especially in a cheerleader, she politely denied my invitation on the grounds that she didn’t want to be my second choice. I stayed home the night of the dance. If a college freshman has a difficult time accepting second place, how then, must the God of the universe feel when we place Him and His first commandment behind on our lists of wants, wishes and desires?

I began to learn my freshman year how large the world really was. It didn’t take me long to realize that Centerville really wasn’t the center of anything more than my childhood memories. The world was a big place, and I had only begun to realize my part in it. Walking around on an unknown campus made me feel infinitely small, and the headphones in my ears that guided my tour of the library didn’t help any. I learned that my new campus, like any new experience, was not any different than any good pair of hand-me-down jeans. It must gradually be grown into until it fits so well that you can’t believe it first belonged to someone else. It had become yours.

And to you, naive little freshman, good luck and a thousand good wishes your way. That is, of course, if any freshman happens upon this little blog of mine. I assume it will go unnoticed, lacking the ability to compete with the several class disclosures that you have already begun to memorize. My freshman friends, consider this blog, advice, and memories, my hand-me-down to you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, and a Whole Load of Wedding Presents

I began to understand how important wedding pictures were when I started receiving more announcements than credit card applications. I soon realized, however, that both my friends and my potential creditors were both after the same thing, my money. The only difference being that my friends wanted it in the form of Target gift cards. Despite all this, I am proud to report a near perfect credit score.

While I could go on about the money sharks about me, I will not because one day (hopefully) you will get a announcement from me, and hopefully I too will earn that highly coveted spot on your fridge between sister Sally’s out-dated sixth grade picture and the Christmas card from a long lost (and never again found) friend from your wild college days.

What is more significant, even eternally significant, is the engagement photo itself. To those getting married, today, tomorrow, or several years from now, THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH! The picture needs to say what you would like to say if you had no heart or sensitivities. It should say something like, “neener-neener,” or “I told you so,” but in a Sunday-conversation type of way. Having my refrigerator clothed with such engagement photos, I am qualified to give the following advice.

Throughout your engagement, you have most likely learned the importance of your hands. Whether it be high-fiving with your hands, holding hands, or giving your hand in marriage (in that order only), hands are very significant. In the wedding picture, please don’t use your hands to choke, strangle, or harm in any way your significant other. That’s what we call “mixed signals.”

The background of your picture can be a good way to distract people from a poor haircut, a bad side, or even just an unnatural smile so choose your background wisely. You may not know this now, but what you stand in front of is an image of who you are as a couple. If you choose to stand in front of a rustic cabin, people will say, “hey, these people have Little House on the Prairie values.” Likewise, standing in front of your dad’s half-restored Ford Taurus may not send the kind of signals you’re going for.

For those of you who may be indecisive, especially when it comes to deciding which picture to choose for your engagement photo, may I make one suggestion? Instead of having one picture, try having one big picture that you mostly like surrounded by fifteen other pictures you kinda-sorta like. That way, you don’t have to make a decision! You could even change outfits if you’d like!

Hopefully that will get you lovebirds started. I would spend more time giving away my helpful advice but I need to work on photoshopping myself into a picture in front of the Indy 500 Speedway. Hey does anyone know where to find a good picture of Miley Cyrus?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Country Roads That Took Me Home

Every once in awhile, life offers a small dirt road to drive down apart from the four-lane highway you’re used to. The road doesn’t come often, but if you look closely, it’s always there when it matters, and if you’re careful, you’ll learn lessons that are fundamental to life. That’s what happened to me this weekend when I took the opportunity to go with some of my friends to Emmett, Idaho. A small city outside of Boise, Emmett is so unknown and obscure to the outside world that it might as well be protected by lock and key.

Despite the title of my blog, Emmett is not my home in the traditional sense of the word. It is not the place where I grew up, where my family lives, or even a place where I have visited before. In fact, before this weekend, Emmett was a place that existed to me only in the stories of my dear friends. Nevertheless, in Emmett I learned, or relearned, important lessons that I had once been taught in my real home. These are a few things that I learned.

Sometimes when we’re going through life, the road curves, our wheels skid off the track, and tragedy results. When the dust settles and the wounds begin to heal, we can get back on track and move on with our life. Lately, it was difficult to imagine being on the wrong side of the bell curve, the bottom of my target grade, or even a little off-track in my dating life. Sometimes I forget how good my life really is.

Doing something new is not nearly as scary after you do it. I've been learning that lesson for the past four years of my life and I still haven't mastered it. The height of the bridge is not as intimidating looking up as it is looking down. That idea can help us do things that are difficult, things that we would do on our own if we could find a way to be our very best self. President Heber J. Grant often taught, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the things itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.” These words never become quite clear until after they have been followed.

When wishing on a star, what comes first, the wish or the star? For me it was the star. As I laid on my back listening to Elvis Presley scare away the deer from eating Grandma Hallam’s corn, I counted the shooting stars as they passed by. I counted only one in the first half-hour, and it took me nearly that long afterwards to make a wish. Then I began to think of the wishes I had for my life. The stars began to appear frequently, four or five every few minutes. I soon ran out of wishes and I thought about how sad it is to run out of wishes when the night will never run out of stars.

Just like any great weekend, it came to a close too soon. The same road that took me to Emmett finally took me back to the four-lane highway I’m used to. But these little lessons will continue to stir my mind as long as I need them. Then, I will carefully look for another bending, dirt road to take me where I need to go.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Economics for the Soul

Suppose student A is enrolled in a university economics class due to a supply of economic classes offered and the demand by the university administration and core curriculum requirements. He has not had a math-related class for more than 6 years due to an extreme allergic reaction which often manifests itself by a shortness of breath, fits of rage, and frequent episodes of trichotillomania. He has ten hours to study or work each day and his test scores relate to the amount of time he spends studying, as seen in the following demand schedule.

Quantity (hrs)                   Score (%)
0                                          0
1                                           5
2                                          10
3                                          20
4                                          35
5                                          55
6                                          62
7                                          66
8                                         69
9                                         72
10                                       73.5

Assume Student A is in a perfectly competitive market, answer the following questions.
A) Graph the above information. What is the optimal time to study for student A? (hint: notice the diminishing marginal product)
B) What would be the marginal benefit of studying for one more hour each day? Would it be worth it?
C) In the short run, should he stay open or should he temporarily shut down? In the long run, will he exit the market? Explain.
D) Is Economics 110 a sunk cost?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

These Days, It's All About Babies

I learned the other day why my blog audience is so pathetically small. To be fair, I guess I can't blame it on a singular event or factor. Doing that would be like blaming the entire success of the movie Titanic on the sinking ship. It's not that I want my blog to attract lots of attention as much as it is to help people believe that I'm still alive and kicking.

As I was perusing through the other blogs I like to read, I came across Stephanie and Lon's blog about the adventures of their baby, Eden. I admit, it was a great blog which included some really sweet pictures of their baby surrounded by entertaining commentary. I really can't compete with that. What impressed me the most about their blog was the amount of comments that were posted at the end of it. If blog viewership was measured by the number of comments in each blog, Stephanie and Lon's blog compared to mine would be similar to the circulation of the New York Times compared to the Davis County Clipper. Does anyone read the Clipper anyway?

So, the lesson that I learned from reading Stephanie and Lon's blog is that it is all about the babies. That's the only thing people are interested in nowadays. This little realization of mine didn't help my situation any. You see, I don't have a baby, I'm not a baby, nor do I have close access to a baby that I could borrow to blog about. What I have done, however, is dusted off some of my very own baby pictures from the Farmer family vault, some of which have never been seen by my own blood, in hopes to increase my blog audience. Enjoy!

This is a nice picture of me swimming when I was only eight months old. Water has always seemed like my natural habitat.

Halloween was always a fun time at the Farmer's. However, I wasn't too fond of getting my picture taken in a pumpkin and it took me nearly ten more years to eat pumpkin pie.

This was an awful day in my life. The physical scars healed quickly, but the emotional scars have lasted to this very day.

There you go, people. I delivered what the world really wants to see. Babies. I hope you enjoyed my stroll through memory lane!

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Taxonomy of the Troll

We can safely assume that the difficulty of naming our Norwegian friend stems from our inability to figure out exactly what he (or she) is. Therefore, if we can apply the practice of scientific observation, and with the help of wikipedia, we will be able to properly classify this fellow and come up with a proper name.

It is clear from the early hypothesis of other family members, namely Heidi, that classifying this animal is anything but easy. I am indebted to her astuteness when it comes to this subject. However, I am thoroughly against the notion that this creature is a goblin, but is, in actually, a true troll. I will, therefore, prove to the blogging world through a diachronic taxonomy and careful observation and research that the creature is a troll and nothing else. The result of this blog will be a load of useless information and an unfinished econ assignment.

In discovering the nature of this beast, it will be helpful to make careful observations. Since I have had possession of the troll for over a week now, I am fully qualified to do this. First, its skin is an olive tone with a texture that resembles the skin of the aged. The hair of the head is also dark with no particular style or fashion. Its nose is elongated telling us that it could possibly be a member of the pinnochius family, which uses its nose mostly for lying and reaching glasses in the cupboard that are too high to reach flat-footed. It's eyes are not real. The clothing of the creature is quite peculiar. It wears only a green pair of overalls that can lead us to make only two logical conclusions. One, it is most likely a male, and two, it never attended Ricks College.

Now let us examine the possibility of this creature being an actual gremlin. Gremlins are an American invention that have originated in the 1930s. They are most closely associated with airplanes and have been the cause of many airplane accidents including the not-yet revealed reason why the Lost people are still on the island. Our friend obviously has no fear of air travel so this fact seems to correspond. However, from looking at pictures of gremlins from the movie, Gremlins, it is easily seen that our creature bears no resemblance.

The next idea is that our creature is a gnome. That explanation is simply inadequate. If we would apply the principle of Occam's razor to keep things simple, we would go from gnome to nome which would put us in a city in ancient Egypt, a long way from our friend's nordic homeland. Plus, he has no pointy hat.

The only logical we can come to is that this creaturely is a thoroughbred troll. I understand that the confusion stems from the following comparison.

I believe that this misidentification mistake is a result of American Globalization and overprotective parents. As Nordic traditions have diffused into the United States, we have acculturated those traditions to meet our own needs and wants. This has unfortunately resulted in a plethora of these warm and friendly creatures that have invaded our very own playrooms and TV screens. The origins and mutations of the troll that have been caused by American Globalization can be seen the in following timeline.

The original troll.

When the troll hit America, it went one of two ways.

Because that was all too scary for most American households, this was what resulted.

As we have mentioned earlier, overprotective parents can also be blamed for the troll confusion. Before the troll became what we know it today in America, it was what every American children's nightmares were made of. American pop culture has a great way of taking something scary and frightening and turning it into something harmless. Now this adaption isn't as uncommon as you might think. One of the greatest products of our popular culture is is the virtual domestication of undomesticatable animals, as seen below.

Therefore, I still believe that our friend is a troll. But I think that Nilbog is a good name.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Hair Cut, A Fair Cut

I've been putting off getting a haircut for a while now, and I knew that it had been too long since my last cut when I discovered that I could floss my teeth with my own hair. My problem wasn't so much not wanting to cut my hair, rather, it was paying for someone to do it for me.

A place just opened up in Provo that advertises $5 haircuts for both men and women so today I thought I would give it a try. I've had a lot of bad haircuts in my life (just look at my school pictures) so I thought I couldn't loose. Let me explain to you why a $12 dollar haircut at Great Clips doesn't sound so expensive to me anymore.

The first thing I noticed when I got to the salon was actually what I didn't notice: people. Usually when I go to get my haircut, I put my name on a list, flip through a People magazine and make the same conclusion I always make, that is, I will never allow my daughters to have a magazine subscription. But, at $5 Cuts, (yes, the price of the haircut is also the name of the store. It makes it easier to remember), when I walked in the door I was immediately ushered to a chair that would be my seat for the next half-hour.

The stylist who cut my hair was actually very nice. She was a fake blonde recently removed from Vegas who loved to ask me personal questions and wash my hair (she did it twice). She had come into $5 Cuts only an hour earlier for a job interview to find out that not only did she get the job, but that the job started right away. Like me, she never had time to flip through the People magazine. She admitted that I was her first haircut at this salon but she quickly reassured me that I was not her first haircut...she had graduated from a hair academy three years earlier. What a relief...

There was another person in the salon with us. He was a little older than me, well-dressed, and possessed the type of mannerisms you'd expect to see in the owner of the salon. He comfortably slid into our hair-talk and casually asked me several get-to-know-you type questions. In my mind I asked, "why is he talking to me? Isn't that what the stylist gets paid for?" I didn't have the heart to tell him the principles I had learned earlier in the week in my Economics class, namely that the opportunity cost of him making smalltalk with a customer like me was valuable time he could spend doing more important things like advertising, budgeting, or planning to take over the haircutting world.

To be honest, my haircut experience wasn't that bad. Whatever mistakes were made will soon grow out and whatever was missed will get cut next month. Actually, I found out that today was really my lucky day. Tomorrow the price of a haircut goes up to $6 which leaves me wondering how I could be so lucky and what the name of the salon will be!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Call for A Retraction

To stay busy, I have subscribed to both the National Geographic Magazine and the Smithsonian Magazine. I have subscribed to National Geographic before, but this is my first experience with the Smithsonian. Can you imagine my surprise as I noticed that there was a major article on Mormons in my very first issue of the Smithsonian? What a coincidence!

As you may imagine, I had very little tongue left to bite as I endured through the entire bigoted article. I immediately felt the temperature in my apartment begin to rise as I checked the frozen-over thermostat to make sure the temperature was still at 50 degrees.

I am losing more and more faith in the "fair" and "balanced" media. Ignorance cannot be an excuse anymore. With all the counter-media efforts made by the Church to dispell rumors and myths about our faith, there is no excuse for any journalist from any major media organization to continue to believe and report their biased "facts." It is flat-out intolerance.

My major concerns with this article are mainly concerned with:
1. An overabundance of secondary sources (historians with a biased view)
2. A scarcity of LDS sources to create an important balance
3. The creation of the "Utah War" between Brigham Young and the entire United States
4. The concept of polygamy permeating nearly every paragraph of the article.
5. Fighting words written by the author to incite new negative feelings toward Mormons and the Mormon Church

I am so opposed to this article that I have written a letter to the editor expressing some of my views. Since my letter will most likely go unheard and overlooked by Smithsonian, I have decided to post my response on my blog and use this as my soap box. This is also a way to follow Elder M. Russell Ballard's counsel to BYU-Hawaii graduates to use the media and technology (such as blogs) to define our beliefs.

You can read this article yourself by copying and pasting the following link in a new browser window:

Here is my letter.

To the Editor-

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel outraged at the bigoted views expressed by author David Roberts in the article about the Utah War. The theme most often repeated in this article was that from the very beginning, the Mormon Church was at odds with the United States government. It is a fact that the early Mormons did feel abandoned by the same government that promised religious freedom to all people, but Mr. Roberts made no attempt to record the efforts made by Joseph Smith and others to legally and lawfully seek proper redress from the government. Dozens of letters were sent and many visits were made by members of the Mormon Church to every United States president between the years of 1825-1845. Joseph Smith personally visited with President Van Buren twice in 1839 and 1840 and both times he was told by the President, “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.” Joseph Smith was even a presidential candidate in 1844 when he realized that all his efforts at redress were in vain. His campaign ended abruptly when he was murdered on June 17th 1844.

No efforts were made by Mr. Roberts to explain how Mormons fulfilled a request made by President James K. Polk in June of 1846 to have 500 Mormon men join the United States military in their campaign during the Mexican-American War. These 500 men were living in Iowa, halfway between the homes they were driven from in Nauvoo, Illinois and the homes they hoped to make in the unsettled territory of the west. Still, at the encouragement of Brigham Young, the request from President Polk was filled and the men left their families. They would not return to their homes for several years and some of them would never return.

Mormon support for the cause of America is not new. Our scriptures teach us that the Lord caused the Constitution to be written by wise men, and that those who keep the laws of God would not break the laws of the land. Joseph Smith wrote to a newspaper reporter on March 1, 1842 that “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

This article is a perfect example of how historians, such as Mr. Roberts, attempt to write about popular contemporary issues while remaining disguised in the comfortable cloak of history. Surely, this is an attempt to feed off of the recent activities of the FLDS Church, a church we are not a part of and who is not a part of us.

As an American and a Mormon, I am willing to lay down my life to defend either cause. It is the eventual religious freedom of this land that gives me a chance to practice my faith and religion. It is the doctrines and tenets of my faith that teach me, and other Mormons like me, to do what we can to make this land a better place for everyone. To me, both my citizenship of this great nation and my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ create the very thread by which I live my life.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I've Been Trolled!

It was only a matter of time before our little Norwegian homeboy made a visit to Provo. Yesterday, after I finished a shift at the MTC, I noticed as I was walking to my car that there was something left on my window. Occasionally, I'll get a little note or flyer left on my car but I could instantly tell that this was not an ordinary gift. As I got closer to the car, I was surprised to see our unnamed friend severely duct-taped to the driver's side window of my car. I immediately broke out in laughter!

When I finally recovered, I started to think of what I was going to do with the troll. I didn't have my camera with me, and if there was any excitement in my life, this was it and it needed to be documented. I kept the little guy on my window as I routinely drove the two miles back to my apartment. As luck would have it, I got stopped at nearly every stoplight on the way home which provided many people with a great opportunity to get a peek into our interesting family prank. I noticed several people staring at me as if to ask, "why do you have a troll duct-taped to your window?" Confidently, I looked at them as if to ask, "why don't you have a troll duct-taped to your window?" Thankfully, the lights in Provo change quickly.

Has anyone really looked at this troll? This thing is hideous! The things nightmares are made of! I wouldn't be surprised if there's some kind of age requirement for anyone who even wants to glance at this thing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Un-Common Cents

One of my favorite tricks to pull when I was young was to wet my hands in the sink, sneak up behind an unsuspecting victim, wipe them off on their face and say, “there are quarters in the toilet!” Their reactions were always worth the repercussions I experienced. I never knew, however, that there might really be quarters in the toilet. To me it always seemed to be such an illogical place to keep spare change.

Mom inherited a lot of great qualities and attributes from Grandma Allen like great musical and cooking abilities. One the other great things mom has inherited from grandma was a desire to be frugal in all money matters. This became apparent on our trip to Florida.

One morning before a big day at Disney, Marissa and I were sitting in the hotel room waiting for mom to finish getting ready and for dad to return with breakfast. Suddenly, a shriek came from the bathroom which immediately turned our attention from the TV to mom. We questioned mom as to the cause of her cry and she answered quite seriously, “I dropped money in the toilet!” Apparently, mom was pouring the contents out of her purse in the bathroom and some of it fell right where things don’t return. By this time dad had returned with breakfast and mom summoned him to fetch out the money. He, like both Marissa and I, refused to retrieve the dirty money. All three of us then sat on the beds and listened to the groanings and moanings of mom as she carefully fished out the twenty-six cents she dropped in the pot. It was thoroughly entertaining.

A little advice for the grandkids - if grandma offers to pay you twenty-six cents to do a favor, ask her to write out a check.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Little Taste of Change

Walking into the Windermere chapel was like ripping a page out of my missionary journal and living it over again. Many of the people I knew and loved in the nine months I served in that ward were still there, however, there were many people who were noticeably absent. From the time I walked in the building to the time I left, the memories of the past were battling with the memories I was presently forming in order to take front position on the stage of my current thought. Out of all the thoughts in my head today, there was one in particular that I wanted to share. Forgive me for a nostalgic moment.

The Flores family moved into the Windermere ward a few months before I moved out. Brandon Flores, then eight years old, was preparing for his long-awaited baptism when I was helping my investigator, JaCouri Bell (also eight years old), prepare to be baptized. Thankfully, Brandon willingly allowed us to share his baptism day with our investigator, JaCouri. Both were baptized and both entered into the very same important covenants.

Today I noticed Brandon was one of the dozen deacons who helped pass the Sacrament. In the four years Brandon has been a member of the Church, he has stayed the course and progressed.

There were several people who were just as faithful and excited about the gospel four years ago as Brandon was on his baptism day, but who, for whatever reason, have not stayed the course or progressed. They were not there today, but they needed to be and they should’ve been. The reason for the absence is not important. What matters is what reason they will have to come next week, and forever after that.

There was another young brother in the ward today that I didn’t know, but who was baptized only yesterday. If I came back to the Windermere ward in four years, I would want him to pass the Sacrament to me. Then I will know that he has stayed the course and progressed like my good buddy, Brandon. And I hope that I would see all of the friends I saw today, and perhaps several other families who should have been there but were not. And I hope that four years from now they would still recognize me as “Elder Farmer,” and welcome me back as if I was still one of them.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Always a Groomsman, Never a Groom

Over the past month, I have completed a task more uncommon at BYU than getting a bad grade on a religion exam. I have successfully, and with great care and consideration, married off all three of my deserving roommates (Brandon Sunday will be soon). This task is not for the weak or the wimpy, but only for those who are able to endure hours of counseling, complaining, and commitment making. The side effects of such a feat is still being discovered, but an aversion to dating can already be seen. However, there have been many of life’s great lessons that I have learned from my experiences that I would never have learned otherwise. So, to pay tribute to my long departed friends, I wish to share some of these important lessons. I have learned:

1. Garters are worn around a bride’s upper leg and, therefore, should not be handled by anyone other than the bride.
2. Lemon poppyseed wedding cake starts a mean food fight.
3. The colors at a reception ARE life and death decisions, at least for the groom.
4. The adrenaline experienced by the groom at a wedding can make him do just about anything, including stand in a line greeting strangers for hours and dance to a country song with their new mother-in-law
5. The Best Man should be a paid position.
6. Successful wedding photographers must be able to do a great Kermit the Frog impression.
7. You can’t expect a bride and groom to do anything on their wedding day, including picking up after their own party.
8. Target has a lousy wedding gift return policy.
9. People don’t like you as much as they enjoy getting a free piece of cheesecake and a newly concocted type of slushy.
10. The love two people have on their wedding day is a true miracle.

There you have it, ten of the greatest lessons I could share with anyone who may be considering marriage, or even anyone planning on going to a wedding reception. Consider yourself warned. But, to my friends, best wishes to you all and may life bring to you everything you could ever hope for!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've Been Tag-Teamed!!!

My blog is now back by popular demand. I'll post again in a couple of months!

Ten Years Ago...
I could frequently be found playing basketball on my driveway. I was automatic from my sweet spot from a cracked spot on my driveway that was shaped like Africa. Buzzer-beaters were my specialty. I was probably somewhat annoying to my older sister, Jill, and was probably somewhat annoyed by my little sister, Marissa. I have repented from both. I would often daydream of what life would bring to me.

5 Things on My To-Do-List:
Spend time doing nothing
Get 8 hours of sleep
Watch the Jazz sweep the Rockets
Start/finish my education proposal
Go on a second date

What Would I Do If I Were Suddenly Made a Millionaire?
My first impression would be to pay someone to blog for me but than I realized that with that kind of money, I can do better. I would probably hire an entire production crew to follow me around all day and document visually my entire life. They would catch the incredible drama that I face each day when I have to decide whether I will eat Frosted Flakes or an older box of Frosted Flakes for breakfast. They would capture the mediocrity of my school classes and the restlessness of my missionaries when I’m teaching at the MTC. When I go home for the evening, they wouldn’t be surprised to find me again facing a difficult decision: should I have grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese for dinner? All of this excitement would surely be followed by a rousing chapter in the latest book I’m reading. What a plot! An instant blockbuster!

4 Bad Habits:
Pulling my hangnails
Teasing my engaged roommate
Snoozing my alarm for thirty minutes everyday
Wearing too many t-shirts

5 Jobs I’ve Had:
Soccer Scapegoat (referee)
Grocery Transportation Specialist (Bagger)
Quality Control Specialist (warehouse worker)
Cattle Driver (EFY Counselor)
Preacher Teacher (MTC Teacher)

Places I’ve Lived:
Centerville, Utah
Provo, Utah
Orlando, Florida
Jerusalem, Israel

Things I Like to Do:
I love the simple life...friends and family, food, games and good conversation. With 2.5 engaged roommates, I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent talking to them about their relationships. Late nights are fun, early mornings come too soon. A good book can be my best friend and a sink full of dirty dishes is often my best listener. Ah, the simple life...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the campaign of all campaigns

People who don’t know me well may not understand how aware I am of the critical issues that define our lives and shape our futures. While the war in Iraq, the current healthcare system, and the economy are all important issues, I am more concerned with the issues that live on in apartment 17 of the Brittany apartments. That is why I have decided to get down in the trenches to work at these problems and that is why I have followed the example of my older sister in running for favorite roommate in 2008.

You may wonder how I could possibly do this. It’s not easy. It’s not easy. And I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this apartment, I just don’t want to see us fall backwards. You know, this is very personal for me, it’s not just political it’s not just public, I see what’s happening. And we have to reverse it. And some people think that elections are a game and think that it’s about who’s up and who’s down, it’s about our apartment, it’s about our dating life, and it’s really about all of us together. Some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us, because we care about our apartment. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong, and some of us are ready and some of us are not, and some of us have thought about what we will do the first day and some of us haven’t thought that through enough. When we look at the array of problems we have, and the potential for spinning out of control, this is one of the most important elections our apartment has ever really faced. I just believe so strongly at who we are as an apartment so I’m going to do everything I can to make my case then the voters get to decide.

The Brittany apartments are broken! I have spent the last five years working in the private sector and I have fixed everything. When my roommate would sing incessantly, I put a stop to it. When there was a fight amongst roommates, I stood in the middle and worked it out. I can do this! I can fix the broken Brittany apartments!

Now what we need to ask ourselves is what kind of change we want to make. Now everyone will make a change, a change for the bad is still a change. So what we need to decide is who will make a good change. The change of all changes. The mother of all changes, if you will.

My ancestors were born without a shirt on their backs so I should be elected. It’s not about having a liberal apartment or a conservative apartment, we are one apartment. It’s not about having a clean apartment or a dirty apartment, we are still one apartment! And I had a dream about it one time!

So, if you really know what’s good for you, you will vote for Tadd, Favorite Rooommate in 2008!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

making a list

It may be a little too late to be making New Year’s resolutions but a good friend of mine gave me a good idea of what I can do with all of my newly discovered free time. You see, time was commodity I’ve never had enough of, but with my new school schedule, I have realized that I have more free time than I thought. My friend stopped by the other day and told me that one of her friends makes a list on her birthday of things that she’s going to accomplish before her next birthday. Her list consists of one thing for each year she’s been alive and I’ve decided to try it out this year and see what comes out of it. This being my twenty-third year, I’m trying to make a list of twenty-three things to do but I’ve only managed to think of fifteen. Some of the things on my list are big things like visiting Washington D.C. and running a half marathon. Most of the list, however, are little things such as solving a rubrics cube or watching the Lord of the Rings (which I have never seen). Anyways, the reason why I’m blogging about this is to reach out into my vast blog readership of three people and suck all of the good ideas that you may have. I understand that this invitation to all of you leaves me open for snide, sarcastic and sardonic remarks about getting married, getting a life, or picking a “real” major but it’s a risk that I’m willing to take. Besides, any joke regarding those subjects has probably been used and overused on my older brother and has therefore unwound all threads of humor. Anyways, happy blogging!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

stuck in the middle with who?

My truck is prehistoric. I’ve dated girls who are younger than it. It’s been in the family since its birth which I have no recollection about. As far as my memory extends, it has always been old. Lately, my truck and I haven’t gotten along so well but it’s not because it’s old. Last week my truck added some new sounds to its operation without my permission and I’m kind of upset about it. Whenever I start her up (yes, it’s a “her”), it sounds as if a three-year-old is playing wac-a-mole on my engine block, and I’ve never liked that game.

The strained relationship between me and my truck is shared as I haven’t been the most careful operator. I added a new feature to my truck that will in no way improve its sales value unless I’m selling it to a demo derby driver. The feature I added comes with a story that might offer some philosopher an experience to overanalyze.

A few weeks ago, one of my good friends accompanied me to birthday party for two of our mutual friends. After the party was over (which occurred surprisingly at the same time as our departure), I took my friend and dropped her off in the parking lot of her apartment complex (I wasn’t in the mood to be a gentleman). It had snowed earlier that day and the cold night turned the snow and water in the paring lot into a ghetto ice skating rink. Between the parking lot and the street was a driveway which could also double as a halfpipe for skateboarders, and this too was covered in ice. I reversed my truck into an empty parking stall so I could go down the halfpipe-like ramp headfirst. As I started to go down the ramp, my truck slid until I was perpendicular to the walls on both sides of the ramp, and I started going down the ramp sideways. I got stuck in the sideways position about halfway down the ramp and responded to my precarious situation with a fit of laughter. I had done it now!

I didn’t want to be the only one to enjoy this experience so I called the girl I had just dropped off and asked her to come out and “help” me (all I wanted her to do was be a witness of my stupidity). I quickly surveyed the situation and discovered that I would have to use my bumpers for what the were designed for: bumping. With only six inches from the back and front bumper to the wall, I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. I stepped on the gas and went forward until I bumped the wall in front, then I rolled the truck back until I hit the wall (which happened to be a building) behind me. I continued this pattern until I was able to complete my twenty-three-point turn and get enough angle to finally straighten out. After messing up my rear bumper and leaving a racing stripe on the building, I finally got out of my situation.

This experience has given me something to think about. In some ways, I have felt like I have metaphorically been in a similar situation as my truck over the past few months. I have been unable to go forward with life without getting bruised and unable to reverse without suffering the same affliction. Because of this, I was content to stay put until I was forced to go one way or the other. Well, for me the time has come and I’ve got to move. And it won’t be without some pain but I will be better for it.

I went through the car wash yesterday so my truck and I are on better terms. But if you know of a demo derby driver who’s looking for a new ride, I’m willing to make a deal.