I Am Bismark

2008-06

pissed off about the new SMART grant limitations… 1 effing credit!!!!!

ye olden days of facebook

there was an editorial in the daily unifarce by some dude from bowling green university about the olden days of facebook. lame? yes, but it did make me wax a bit nostalgic. i remember first laying eyes on facebook during the winter break of 04. i was less than two months off of my mission and i was over at dumesday’s house. one of his brothers friends was logged on and checking out girls at his university. i was admittedly skeptical, it didn’t really seem of much worth. now, remember this was before the days of applications, before the days of news feeds, before the days of non-college students, heck, before the days of photo tagging. nevertheless, i joined the crowd of freshman in the dorms and jumped on to the facebook bandwagon. i remember searching through the freshman girls on there hoping to find the name of the girl i had seen in the dorm lobby a few nights earlier. just out of curiosity i still have message threads in my inbox from january 2005 that i had sent back and forth with a crush. in fact, the way i started hooking up with first girl i dated at byu was from me finding out her name during math class, looking her up on facebook, and sending a message (so crazy seeing her at the airport last december totally preggers and with her husband). it was such a source of entertainment as a freshman… i really wonder how i got by on so little sleep. since the system was so simple back then, i remember one of the only ways of defining yourself was through the groups you were in. i think we had some pretty classic ideas for groups that semester too:

  • “Get a Room: The Anti-Making Out in DT Lobbies League”: i talked about our good times with this one here though you should notice that we changed the original name to “The Anti-Making Out in Public League”. one important part of the story i had forgotten to mention: about a week after i created the group, i was sitting in the morris center cafeteria and i overhead two guys in the booth next to me start talking about the group. they claimed that the people who created it were obviously idiots and that they were probably breaking the honor code by taking girls into their rooms. they also made fun of latenighthunter because he had (still does have??) britney spears listed under his favorite music. we were so proud of ourselves that people we didn’t know were talking about us!

  • “Immodest is Hottest”: haha, i am surprised we never got called in to the honor code office for this one. i am quite quite certain that i lost a lot of potential friends for being the creator and admin of this group. of course i think its important that we respect our bodies, but i just couldn’t get over the idiocy that those “modest is hottest” tshirt people were all about. and i have always just loved rustling feathers. i noticed a few messages saying how i need to follow the honor code better in my perusing message inbox.. wonderful! “shoulders are not nipples.”

  • “The Coalition towards the Female Waxing of the Upper Lip”: once again, semi tongue in cheek group created in order to ruffle feathers. basically it was a rehashing of the classic “if boys aren’t allowed facial hair on campus, then girls shouldn’t be allowed to have it either”. i think i was most proud of the picture i found for the group of step by step picture instructions for the waxing process.

  • “NCHO: Non-committal hang out”: latenighthunter came up with this one. talking about, joking about, and even participating in ncmo (non-committal make out) was/is all the rage among byu freshman, and this was a wonderfully clever twist. the whole return missionary/looking to get married stigma made life always a bit more interesting, so it was a good way for us to declare that just like our pre-missionary friends, we did just want to hang out with girls for fun. its even more classic because my spring term homeboy scot couldn’t figure out why the girl he was pursuing would keep going out with him but refused further commitment until he noticed that she was in this group on facebook. it all became clear.

  • “The I Love Asian Women Group”: ah those freshman nights… in hindsight i think this one lost me any chance of ever hooking up with asian girls through facebook, so i guess its good i got over my yellow fever pretty quickly. now, having this group of course brought me years worth of excuses as to why i didn’t want to get into any commitment (“oh, shes not asian, so i’m not interested…“). it turns out i should have made it about mexican women, since they seem to be the ones i have found the most interest in.

anyway, i just thought i would get a few of those down for posterity’s, especially since i am no longer a part of any of them. excuse me as i become a bit serious, but i do worry about the lack of historical record that we are leaving behind in our digital age. we aren’t leaving behind letters and journals for our children’s children to read, we are leaving behind emails, blogs, and digital photos, stored on hard drives that will only keep spinning as long as there is the money and will to keep them spinning. i have been trying to keep a local copy of all of these blogs, and i hope that someday i was get around to creating a hard copy just in case blogger doesn’t exit 100 years down the road. will anyone really care that i am writing this anyway? eh, i enjoyed it at least.

life as a man

this post is for boys/men only. if you are a girl, i warn you to stop reading now. you may continue to do so, but i take no responsibility for you being upset by what you read. close your web browser NOW.

ok, so i think its a well known fact that males tend to have more “active” digestive systems than females. we can be pretty “gassy” at times. i don’t think i am all that abnormal, though if you ask my roommates from the missionary training center, they might disagree. anyway, despite it being a well known part of life, i don’t like just being free with releasing gaseous byproducts into the atmosphere around girls, especially ones i am trying to impress. so, as i am sure you other guys have experienced, it can be quite the task to spend a few hours with a girl while holding everything in. it can get downright uncomfortable towards the end of the night, especially if you ate something particularly nasty for lunch. now, please understand, i don’t like saying goodbye to a girl at night. i really want to keep spending time with her, and its tough bringing myself to let her go into her house/apartment. i’ve said a few times that the drive home is quite lonely. BUT, let me tell you, it is also brings some of the most satisfying relief as everything that has been building up in my intestines for the past few hours is finally set free. i roll down the window and just let go. its quite liberating.

am i the only one who experiences this?

torture is not a family value

i don’t think this comes as a surprise, but it still makes me sad.

Report: Exams reveal abuse, torture of detainees

money quote:

“There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes,” [retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio] Taguba says. “The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.”

dear supreme court

thank you to the 5 members who made the right decision and put an end to the executive branch’s power grabs at unconstitutionally suspending habeas corpus. it makes me feel much safer knowing that the executive branch is still limited by checks and balances and the constitution. even if the candidate i support for president wins this november, i would hate to see the same excesses that have been displayed for the last 8 years by the current administration. thank you for defending what i believe to be a divinely inspired document.

new record!

ok, so i’ve set a new record of number of posts in one month, and we aren’t even halfway through!! i guess its just been a perfect storm of technology, politics, and social life for me to get on a blogging roll. thanks for keeping up friends and family!

conquering evil

i always knew i could learn something by reading the daily unifarce. here is a great quote i definitely plan on using in my moral government sacrament meeting talk:

Let us conquer ourselves, and then go to and conquer all the evil that we see around us, as far as we possibly can. And we will do it without using violence; we will do it without interfering with the agency of men or of women. We will do it by persuasion, by long-suffering, by patience, and by forgiveness and love unfeigned, by which we will win the hearts, the affections and the souls of the children of men to the truth as God has revealed it to us.

— joseph f. smith, gospel doctrine 253-254

back from a run, going to bed, planning on a morning workout

should i buy an iphone? part 2

given monday’s iphone 3G announcement, i think its time to revisit this post.

lets reexamine my pros and cons, this time from a upgrading from an original iphone to an iphone 3G perspective:

pros:

1. its sexy. i love apple products. every time i meet a friend with an iphone i will just sit and play with it incessantly.

well, i already have a sexy iphone. the real question is the iphone 3G sexier? tough call. i like the brushed metal back of the current one… i think i will have to see one in real life to make this call.

2. windows mobile blows. i have a samsung blackjack right now. it is a pain to use. it has an ugly and unintuitive interface and slow loading apps. internet explorer mobile is worse than its desktop counterpart. and of course there is no good free way to sync it with my mac. i need to spend $40 on the missing sync.

obviously now a moot point.

3. i’m already on at&t and i am paying the exact same amount now as i would be if i switched over to an iphone plan. no changes there.

here is where things do really change. lets assume that i am only interested in the subsidized $200 iphone. this means that i will have to sign a new contract with at&t, which means i will have to get the smartphone data plan. this is $30 compared to the $15 data plan i am using now on my hacked phone. this puts my bill at $80 a month, which is going to be quite a lot once i return to my life of poverty come september.

4. as mentioned above, its not only a phone, its also an internet device (to feed my email and browsing addictions) and a media player (which automatically syncs with the app that i keep my media collection in, itunes).

only difference here is that now its an internet device with a much faster connection speed. its comparable to upgrading from a dial-up modem to DSL. less waiting time.

5. apple just released the beta sdk. there are going to be some sweet apps coming in june.

its now been pushed back to july. the new 2.0 firmware will be available for my current iphone, meaning i will get most of the benefits. there may be some apps that require the A-GPS system, and its still not known if the new iphone 3G has updated hardware specs that some apps might require. another big question is whether or not the 2.0 firmware will be hackeable or not. if its not, i could always get an original iphone plan, which is still $15 dollars cheaper, but i would be losing my intel employee discount. this is something we can only wait and see about.

cons:

1. 3G. let me repeat that again. 3G. the iphone does not yet have it. despite the suckiness of the blackjack, websites do load dang fast on it. i don’t know if i could handle dial-up speeds on my phone.

obviously fixed if i get the new iphone.

2. iphone 2.0. this is directly related to con #1, since we all know that iphone 2.0 will have 3G and probably more. the biggest issue is when this will come out. some people speculate june. if thats the case, then my best bet is to wait. i would not buy the missing sync (since i would only use it for a little while anyway), and i would not purchase a micro-sd card for my blackjack. other speculation says sometime before christmas. this is a little tougher. i would really need to weigh in my above pros with the $500 i would be throwing down. if iphone 2.0 is going to be next summer, then yes, i would want to get an iphone now. it would definitely be worth it for me. but since i have no way of knowing when it will be, i am stuck.

no longer applicable.

to be honest, i am almost leaning towards not getting the new phone. one possibility of changing this is entering into a family plan with molecularbond and charlie. depending on how many minutes we would decide on, i might be able to get a low enough monthly bill to make it worthwhile…. gosh i want one, but gosh i need to be fiscally responsible.

righteous government

i am giving a talk in two weeks during sacrament meeting on the topic of righteous government. oh gosh it is going to be so hard to not use bush/cheney as an example of unrighteous government:

BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions

“It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”

In the run-up to the invasion, … a contract potentially worth $7bn that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president. Unusually only Halliburton got to bid - and won.

crooks and liars.

update on saving gas and money

there is one major downfall to my windows down scheme: messed up hair. my hair is getting a little long, and the blowing wind tends to poof it up.

“only time will tell!”

from my missionary journal, dated friday, august 29th, 2003:

“Tonight Yoshiki, the Toyama elder’s eternal investigator and the fluent English speaker in our Eikaiwa [english conversation class], took us out to a tabehoudai [all-you-can-eat restaurant]. We ate a lot and had some good fun talks, mostly a debate as to whether I am going to BYU after my mision ends and finding a wife very quickly or if I will stay outside of Utah, but only time will tell!”

interesting what time has brought.

saving gas and money…

pretty typical that as soon as i get myself a car and have a need to get back and forth to work, gas prices would shoot right up. grumble grumble

some things i’ve been trying to do to save on gas and money:

  • when i drive 65 mph on the interstate, my car is at 2500 rpm, and when i go 70 mph, my car is at 3000 rpm. i am not a mechanical engineer, so i don’t at what rate gas is burned in a four cylinder engine per rpm, but i do know the motion = energy = fuel = money and 3000 rpm is more motion than 2500 rpm. people might be annoyed with me going 65 on the interstate, but its saving me money.

  • i have spent a good deal of my life learning how to handle being uncomfortable (distance running, full-time missionary, etc). i can handle no air conditioning in my car. windows are down when i am on surface roads, fan is on when i am on the interstate.

  • i will never let my gas tank get empty. in fact, it would be better if i never let it drop below 34 full. gas keeps jumping up on price. the more i can keep my gas full of yesterday’s cheaper gas, the less i have to spend on today’s more expensive gas.

a lot of these things do have time costs, but since i am paid hourly, its hard to monetize my off work time. i am relatively free of commitments, so a five minute longer drive home and a three minute fill up at the gas station seem like they are worth the money savings.

well…

iphone 3G is coming out on july 11th. mouth, meet foot. but after seeing what i will be getting in a bit over a month, anything will taste sweet…

twelve hours

twelve hours until the biggest event in technology of the year. work is going to be VERY tough to do tomorrow, with live blogs, post keynote commentary, (hopefully) downloading of new firmware, searching through the app store for new programs, solidifying sales plan of my current iphone, and counting my pennies in anticipation for june 15th (i will eat my foot if i am wrong on the date). now i remember how christmas felt as a little child.

dear senator clinton

thank you for doing the right thing.

travelogue

been meaning to get this posted for a week now.

so yes, i went home to baraboo last weekend for my little brother’s high school graduation. it was good. i think its been thanksgiving of 2005 since all of the family has been together at one time.

airplane ride there was uneventful and uncomfortable as usual. i landed in o’hare around 1 am, and my grandpa came and picked me up. nice “comfortable” rest on the floor of the hotel six…

we headed towards wisconsin at about 7 am. the scenery was beautifully green, if only i hadn’t been extremely nauseous and holding a plastic bag in case of vomit. after a stop at the rest stop at the wisconsin state border i felt much better though. it was only 10:30 am, but my grandpa insisted on stopping by the culver’s in deforrest. even with an upset stomach earlier that day, i couldn’t resist a turtle sundae. i am actually a bit sad that i never got around to getting a malt… anyway, we made it home near noon, and it was fun to see everyone. my nieces were quite excited, and so was babe the dog. babe started doing her “bunny run” when i started playing with her, and she got so riled up that she basically gave katie a side check into the couch. plenty of tears, no permanent damage done though.

i thought it would be fun to go hit up the high school and say hi to some people. lots of memories, and i was glad to see they still use the same visitor badges that i designed six years ago. saw my old band teacher. he still has the “king” logo i had torn off of my trombone case ten years ago up on his clock, and he also keeps dixieland duet in the back of his music folder. apparently my old friend had gotten a kidney transplant, so that was kind of a shock. i also stopped up to see coach. he said he was recovering from an injury, so we didnt go running together. it sounds like the team has lost some of the sense of tradition and respect, which of course has made them not do so well the last few years, and coach shared with me his plan to get things back on track. good luck to him. hung with little bro for a bit, made me feel old.

it was nat’s birthday, so we went out to moosejaw. food was decent, we all made fools of ourself wearing moose antler hats. everyone was pretty tired by the end of the night, so we all crashed pretty early.

friday morning was the drive to la valle and the carr valley cheese factory. beautiful drive, lots of amish people. cheese factory was less than spectacular to watch, but the cheese was amazing. the cheese curds were still warm when they put them out, and the room was loud with squeaks while we enjoyed it. drive home things got really humid. felt like the summers i remember growing up with. molecularbond, charlie, and headed down to devil’s lake. the breeze made it really nice and not too buggy. we walked about halfway down the tumble rock trail, took pics and chilled on the rocks next to the water. the wind died down and the bugs started swarming just as we got back to the north shore, so that was good timing. once we got back home, i went for a run along the river path. don’t know how many hundreds of times i’ve gone on that run. it was only in the low 70s but it was so humid i was soaked with sweat when i got back. showered and my dad’s parents showed up for little bro’s graduation dinner. mom made lasagna and did a pretty good job. she started crying and said that she was just so happy that the most important people in the world to her were all together in one place. made me glad that i could make it. weather started getting perfect around 7 pm, so we walked to the high school for the grad ceremony. it dragged… certainly feels a lot different when you aren’t too excited to graduate to care how hot and stuffy it is in the gym. the choir sang sting’s fields of gold. i was confused. saw a few people from high school from a distance. went home, gave little bro his graduation gift (ssb brawl) and then watched the king of kong with molecularbond and charlie. it was good. just a good reminder of how normal i really am.

saturday, molecularbond, charlie and i walked down to the farmer’s market. too early in the season for much of anything, and the old amish woman with the amazing cookies appears to have been replaced with some other amish guy. his cookies had such fancy packaging that i questioned their quality… molecularbond bought some homemade horseradish from a one eyed farmer. hope she doesn’t die. went back home to help prep for the graduation party. mom bought 25 dozen cookies without realizing just how many that is. i think we made it thought like 7 of them, especially after the full sized cake that little bro’s friend (it was a double party) brought. ate a brat, enjoyed it greatly, fell asleep on the couch while surrounded by a ton of people. saw glen, my old boss. it was good to say hi. party finally died down and i hit up luke’s house. we had to grill sausages from a distance so we didn’t get eaten live by mosquitos. sat around, shared stories (apparently andrew j is married!?!), listened to music, and scared ourselves watching 28 weeks later in luke’s theater room. movie was not that great, but when the walls shake as a zombie jumps through the window, it makes you jump. good to see the old boys again.

sunday was church. the ward is growing. they had 157 people the week before, 140 or so that day. if they average 125 for the month of june, they get to expand the church. should be quite exciting for people like my parents who have been serving there for over 20 years. got home after a potluck, had to rush to get packed and off to madison for the bus. had to leave home at 1:30 pm cst, finally got back to sacramento at 11 pm pst. just a long trip. they played fool’s gold on the airplane ride, i couldn’t stand watching any more than 10 minutes. i drove home, and consequently locked my keys in the car. at least i was able to get in my apartment and sleep until 5 am and then take care of getting my car opened.

there was my trip home. i am glad i did it, i know it made my mom happy. missed someone and wished she was there.

dear friends and family

please do not vote for john mccain. his willingness to continue the unconstitutional expansion of executive powers and infringement on personal privacy and liberty are an insult to American values. the chances of another “conservative” president making any changes to the few social/moral issues you might be concerned with are quite low, while the chances are quite high that he will continue the same terrible policies of the last eight years which have brought this country into economic depression, made us lose our moral authority in the world by using torture and other un-American “anti-terrorism” tactics, and spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives on a war that we were lied to about.

random thoughts so far this morning

seriously, who likes raspberry jelly? barf.

hillary clinton supporters are turning out to be crazier than the paulites. i really want to have faith in this country, but its tough seeing this sort of thing.

if there is anything in the world that you should not be stingy about, it should be the quality of your toilet paper.

annoyed about locking myself out of my car. i am just too careless with keys these days.

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