I Am Bismark

2010-01

Anyone else wish you could get an iPod touch with the $15 a month 3G plan?

more soaking jeans

I really hope my tub isn’t permanently stained blue.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed…

— US Constitution, Article 3, Section 2.

Why is there any question about whether or not the 911 highjackers should be tried in New York? I hate this terrorist boogeyman we have created. It (not actual terrorists or actual actions) is one of the greatest threats to our freedom today.

got the home button working, but now my car battery is toast even after an hour of attempted jump starts. sigh. what an evening.

well, everything went beautifully on replacing my iphone glass screen. except now the home button won’t work :(. sigh

Just got my shrink-to-fit 501s. No time to shrink them today. Maybe tomorrow.

I’m halfway through Aaron Hillegass’s Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X book. It’s pretty good, finally starting to understand Cocoa/Xcode.

Oh, she might be a nice wedding photographer. Wait, her site changes the size of my browser window and requires Flash? Goodbye…

The Proposal

Mariam and I in love

It’s been a few days now, so I figure it’s time to get this down. First off, thanks to everyone for the well wishes and congratulations. I really appreciate all of your support and couldn’t be happier!

And of course, everyone wants to hear the story of how it all happened (especially since it did not go according to plan), so here it is. Just as a warning, this might occasionally slip into “romantic” stuff. I bet if I was just seeing this in my news reader, I would probably skip it…

Anyway, my original plan was to arrive in Provo around 7:30 PM and take care of things by around 8:30 PM. Well, of course my flight from Denver to Salt Lake City was delayed, so I didn’t land until around 7:00 PM. I picked up my car and headed down to Provo to find her. As an aside, I must say that my rental experience with Alamo was MUCH better than Hertz. Very quick service, free upgraded car, and no trying to scare me into getting insurance.

Well, Mariam wasn’t at her apartment. This didn’t surprise me too much, since she had mentioned she might go out with a friend that night. I had thought ahead to contact the friend so I had her phone number, but when I called, she said she wasn’t with Mariam. She told me Mariam had mentioned something about a ward activity. Mariam wasn’t picking up her phone, so I had to start searching. None of the apartments in her building had any fliers about an activity on their doors, so my next best guess was some big event going on at the Wilkinson Center on campus.

As I was walking up to campus, I was coming up with the ways I would convince the BYUSA people to let me inside without a BYU ID card. Turns out I didn’t have to try, since I was able to see in through the doors enough to see she wasn’t there.

9:49 PM Jan 22nd:

Everyone keep a lookout for a tall brunette Latina woman. She’s not at her apartment nor the Wilk…

I headed back to her apartment and tried knocking again, and this time her roommate was there. She told me she was at a stake activity that was somewhere near Payson, UT (a bit under 30 minutes south of Provo). Mariam finally returned my calls, and she confirmed that that is where she was. I didn’t want to spoil my surprise, so I just pretended I was at home and asked her to call me when she was done. Her roommate wasn’t sure where the activity was, but thankfully some people walking into the apartment building had a flier to give me.

Of course, the address on the flier didn’t come up in a Google Maps search. So I just started driving south. I have yet to mention that the weather was somewhat crappy, with quite a bit of snow falling. Everyone was going around 40 MPH on the interstate, so getting down to the exit took longer than I had wanted. With no map to help me and limited visibility, I drove past the street I needed to pass twice.

Once I finally figured it out, the roads weren’t any better and people were going even slower. I started getting close to the address and the road turned into an incline. All of the cars in front of my began stopping and a long line of cars coming the other direction was inching it’s way down the hill. Still dunno why everyone was stopped, but the only thing I could think was “Gosh, the roads aren’t that bad.” Well, I ended up sitting there for about ten minutes before figuring Mariam was in one of those cars coming down the hill, so I turned around and started heading back to Provo to meet her when she got home.

Not being one who gives up easily however, I wanted to just double check. So all the driving back to the interstate, I was calling her phone. After about 30 calls, she finally picked up (I think the #1 thing on our wedding gift registry is a phone Mariam can actually hear while it’s in her pocket). She told me she was actually still in the parking lot of the place and about 200 cars were lined up trying to get out of the parking lot. She figured it would be at least an hour by the time she got out of there. This was not an acceptable solution.

I told her to just call me when she was home (still trying to keep my secret), and I turned back around, ready to drive any stupid drivers off the side of the road if needs be just to get to where she was. I got to the final turn off to the parking lot, which was an uphill narrow road. A couple of cars coming the other way started blinking there brights at me, so I stopped.

A very excited dude came running up to my car yelling something about having 400 people stuck in a parking lot and saying I couldn’t go any further. I might have argued with him, but stopping on the snowy road while on the incline left me with no traction to go up, so my only option was to turn around and go back down. As I started driving back to the end of the road, the guy started yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs that I needed to slow down because the road was so slippery. I should have told him to go back to the OC. I made it to the bottom of the hill without incident.

Anyway, being turned around by the “bro” in his first snowstorm was the final straw for me, so I called Mariam and said “Ok, I am here, I have come to rescue you, walk down to the bottom of the road and I will be waiting for you.” Took her a few seconds to realize what was going on, but then her and her friend started coming down the road. This is when I first checked my phone to see that everyone was congratulating me because this had posted.

11:41 PM Jan 22nd

omg it did not all go according to plan!!!!! sitting on the side of the road in elk ridge Utah!!!!!

11:45 PM Jan 22nd:

this will make a great blog post.

It was definitely a relief to finally see her and have her next to me. Of course, getting back to Provo took forever and a day. The snow had stopped and the roads were slight damp and slushy in places, yet everyone was still driving like molasses in February. We FINALLY got back to Provo around 11:30 and dropped off Mariam’s friend.

12:35 AM Jan 23rd

found her, alive in Provo, still haven’t given her the ring…

Of course by this time I am starting to get sleepy, but I need to get it taken care of that night, so I finally set my plan in motion. Before we go on, we need to take a short trip (or two) down history lane…

I spent the beginning half of the summer of 2007 in Japan. For the month of June, I was staying with a really cool elderly couple, Nobuomi and Yoshie. Nobuomi was one of those old men always cracking jokes even if no one laughs, and Yoshie and I spent many evenings together enjoying Japanese t.v. dramas such as 冗談じゃない!. Anyway, Nobuomi spent one evening showing me how to make nesting origami boxes similar to this. As I was folding these boxes, I thought how great they would be for giving a girl some sort of gift…

Fast forward two and half years to last October. I flew out to Utah for General Conference and to celebrate Mariam’s birthday a bit early. My gift for her was a bunch of these little boxes with a love note written on each piece of paper, and then inside the smallest box, a promise ring. I thought it was a pretty sweet idea, and I think she liked it too.

Ok, now getting back to present day! We finally got to her apartment and I told her I was hungry so she made me something to eat. After I had eaten, I told her I had something to give her, so I pulled out another set of the origami boxes just like I had given to her before. She opened it up, and inside was… a little clay heart I had painted with our initials on it. She was expecting the proposal, so I thought I would tease her a bit with that. I could tell she was half disappointed but also half relieved that I didn’t use the exact method as before to propose.

By now it’s almost four hours later than I had hoped to pop the question, but there was no stopping now. I told her that we should go out and play in the snow. She agreed.

How about some more backstory? And a also a quick digression… :D

Mariam and I first met at Wendy’s. Well, more like walking with a couple of friends to Wendy’s, but standing in line to order food was the first time I actually had the courage to look over at the beautiful woman whose presence I couldn’t believe I was in. So the original plan was to take her to Wendy’s before proposing to bring things kind of full circle, but it was too late by then, so sadly that part of the plan got nixed.

Anyway, Mariam always tells me that her favorite date (also the first time I got to hold her hand!) was going out to play in the snow on the fields next to Wyview. We made snow angels, wrote each other messages in the snow, and gave each other white washes. Good times.

So, I figured if that was her favorite date, we should do it again. This is finally when I realized that the snow that caused me so much agony a few hours earlier was actually a blessing. The field was covered in a beautiful layer of fluffy, pristine snow. We ran out and had our date all over again. Snow angels, white washes, and a few snowballs.

I started writing a message in the snow and told her not to look until I was done. It said “Kiss Me”, which she did, so that was cool. Then it was her turn, so she wrote “TKM”, which is apparently how all of the cool kids write “I love you” down in Mexico these days.

Then it was my turn, so I wrote my message while she closed her eyes. When I was finished, I told her to look. It said “Marry Me”. She turned back to me and I got on my knee, pulled out the ring, and told her I loved her, I wanted to be with her forever, and asked her if she would marry me. She then started saying something about loving me too, blah blah, and I was like, “Wait, are you going to say yes or not?” She laughed and said yes. Kissing, hugging, putting on the ring, more of the kissing and hugging. It was good.

As we were walking back to the car, I pulled us both into the snow just for good measure.

And that’s how it happened.

had to install eclipse to do the andriod hello world assignment. eyes are bleeding

I maxed out my deductions in 2009 and I am STILL getting a fat return. Can’t complain.

if you send out a mass message on facebook, PLEASE TELL EVERYONE TO NOT HIT THE REPLY ALL BUTTON. I WILL DEFRIEND YOU IF YOU DO NOT.

The iPad is a hardware engineering masterpiece. What have the system software engineers at Apple been up to? Wait and see..

ugh, people are whining on the byumug list about flash on the iPad. so sick of it.

Things that make me say “meh” about the iPad

  • Apps come from the App Store only. I can handle having a locked down system for a phone, since I expect a lot less from it. For this large of a device, I expect a more flexible and open platform.
  • Syncs through iTunes. iTunes is for syncing music and other media to media devices. The iPad takes us even farther from the original iPods, so why are we still using the old system? The iPad should be able to act as a stand alone device, and all syncing should be through a separate sync application with plugin functionality. That way syncing is not restricted to what Apple builds into iTunes. When I press sync, why can’t I have ALL of my apps sync? It sounds like iPhone 3.2 allows for a shared files folder that can mount on the host computer, though how this works, we still don’t have details. If somehow apps can automatically sync using this, that would be a little bit better than the current situation, but it seems like an awkward separation of syncing methods.
  • Honestly I don’t care that much about multitasking; the only things I wish I could have are: 1) streaming audio apps being able to play in the background and 2) an easier way to handle texts/emails, such as a pop-up that doesn’t force exiting the current app.

The hardware seems great to me. I don’t care about the specs.

I guess I really just wish Apple would have taken Mac OS and skinned it with a new touch interface instead of taking iPhone OS and making it bigger. I don’t want a big iPod touch, I want a tablet Mac.

Honestly, I am secretly hoping that this will be a big flop so that Apple can take the beautiful things they have done and make a really amazing device.

this guest lecture about programming language theory is waaaaay over my head.

Flash, please die a quick death. I am so sick of people whining about it.

looking at past AT&T bills… looks like I average around 150 MB per month. 256 MB maybe not as bad as it first seems?

it’s pretty. but my macbook can do so much more.

how do i get my iwork documents from my mac to my ipad? wifi? drag and drop? OTA syncing?

ooh, a custom apple chip in the iPad? now that is pretty interesting.

got a twitter fail whale… anyway, steve has yet to show me anything compelling about the iPad. why do i need it?

I’ve decided that I won’t be disappointed by anything Apple announces today. I may be pleasanty surprised, but if it sucks, life goes on.

my windshield wiper fluid turned into a slushy. guess i should have changed it somewhere between california and Wisconsin.

the state of last.fm native mac apps looks pretty terrible. thanks for the tip though Chris.

thinking of getting pandora one just so safari won’t lock up when i listen, but AIR app? bleh.. any streaming audio w/ native mac app?

really getting into keyboard shortcuts.. makes mail, things, netnewswire, etc much faster to use.

my credit union is keeping it’s 2% apy for at least another month! hooray for making money by doing nothing!

finished up month fifteen on my mission memoirs. at this rate, i should be done by 2012!…

there is only about 15 people on this flight. hello exit row.

I remember November 3rd 2004 being here in Minneapolis airport and feeling so excited about all the signs being in Japanese.

6 am flight out of slc is not one of my better decisions.

cracked my iPhone screen. guess this is a good excuse to finally clean out all the dust that built up underneath.

Ok it’s taken care of. We are officially engaged. Stories to come tomorrow.

found her, alive in Provo, still haven’t given her the ring…

omg it did not all go according to plan!!!!! sitting on the side of the road in elk ridge Utah!!!!!

engagement ring

If all has gone according to plan, Mariam should be wearing this by the time this posts. She is an amazing woman, and I have realized I would be a fool to let her out of my life.

Or maybe my plane has crashed and I am dead. If so, well… crap.

Everyone keep a lookout for a tall brunette Latina woman. She’s not at her apartment nor the Wilk…

crap.. just broke the yolk in my eggs in a basket while still in the pan. :(

oh so that’s what it feels like to go to the weight room after [censored because it’s embarrassingly long] months…

props to AT&T for the quick customer service and the immediate removal of incorrect charges from my bill and for giving an extra refund!

Times and Seasons 2009 Mormon of the Year: Harry Reid

Just for the record, the last two posts were concerning the above article and the debate it has caused in the Daily Unifarce. Many students were upset at the choice and argued that other Mormons such as Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, or even Stephanie Meyer are more deserving. Meh.

beck-palin 2012, brought to you by the lipton tea company. show your patriotism by buying a pack of freedom tea bags!

ah, the legacy of the bush era lives on. corporations have first amendment rights? really supreme court? really?

The Mitt Romney Report

I find it a bit ironic that Harry Reid was lambasted in the Daily Unifarce’s Reader’s Forum and now multiple students are proposing Mitt Romney for the “Mormon of the Year” award. The most common criticism of Harry Reid was his comments on Proposition 8. Perhaps those submitting Romney’s name should know what one Massachusetts anti gay marriage group thinks about their former governor.

Oh Daily Unifarce “editors”. You stay silent while all sorts of dribble and idiocy is printed in the Reader’s Forum. But if someone dares to sully the hallowed name of the greatest of all Mormons, yea even our beloved Glenn Beck, then like the heroes you are, you rise up and set the blasphemer’s falsehoods straight. Thank you for showing your true colors.

Just got an Acorn 2 upgrade that’s been on my wishlist for a while through www.indierelief.com. Great opportunity to give.

Obama’s biggest presidential blunder: scheduling the State of the Union address on the same day as the Apple Tablet announcement.

What your blogging platform says about you

Livejournal: You have been blogging since before it was cool and you probably like fanfiction.

Blogger: You don’t care if your blog looks butt ugly and you haven’t moved on from 2005.

Wordpress: You think that SEO actually works.

Tumblr: You desperately want other people to think you are hip and a design snob.

Moveable Type: You are a masochist.

jean washing night. i hope no one needs to use the bathtub.

Just was told some weirdness by Fedex that the address on my driver’s license has to match the shipping address when I pick up a box. Hmm.

Resolved: never again will I buy a tshirt from the Gap. I bought two with a gift card to wear down in Mexico and they are terrible. They got stretched and misshapened just from me looking at them. Never again.

distributed systems class is going to be awesome.

really wanted to sign up for a spanish class this semester. but $120 for the course and $100 for the textbook is a bit too pricey :(.

Comments are back!

BTW, I’ve put back comments on my blog. Don’t be shy, say hello!

Single’s wards

Ani, a friend of mine since, well, the womb, sent out an open letter to a bunch of people in her address book. She gave me permission to republish it and make some comments. Here is the entire text of the letter and my commentary is at the bottom:

To those who are concerned:

I am sensitive to the pervasive questioning within the church of what to do with all these un-married young adults. As a 26-year-old unmarried woman I am eager to share my perspective.

I am excited and awed by my current position in life and by my opportunities for the future. I do not doubt the great influence for good which I can affect on the world, nor do I shirk that responsibility. I seek to enlarge it. For the last two years (and for the first time in my 26 year-old-life) I attended a YSA ward as I completed my degree at Brigham Young University. I feel that I have a unique perspective on such congregations, as the majority of my “young single adult” life I have attended family wards and branches. I grew up in a small Wisconsin town and attended two Midwestern universities before transferring to BYU. In each University setting, LDS were in the minority and the closest YSA congregations met at least an hour away; so, I only visited them for monthly activities. Each Single Adult Ward I have attended in Provo has been a positive experience. I have relished the many deeply spiritual Sunday school lessons where the focus was uniquely adapted to the needs and concerns of our demographic. I have been impressed by the well-prepared talks, musical talent, and the silent reverence concentrated into sacrament meetings. I have gained life-long friends and confidants. And yet, I feel deeply persuaded that Single Adult Wards are in fact resulting in the exact opposite effect than that which was intended by their creation. Rather than encourage growth, these one-dimensional communities perpetuate stagnation. By sequestering individuals on the basis of marital status, the church as a whole is losing out on valuable time, talents, and energy. And, the ones labeled “single” continue to grow—just as the label suggests—in unnatural, monochromatic isolation.

As time passed at BYU, I increasingly felt more estranged from real life. One day I caught myself staring, entranced, at a young child skipping across campus. I realized that it had been months since I had even seen a child. It had been months since I’d been in any family setting at all. I found myself fully immersed in a peculiarly unsustainable community of transients. No elderly, no children, no married couples, no permanent residents. Such a scenario is impossible in a family ward, where just by attending church on Sundays one networks with all societal age groups. In Wisconsin and Iowa, I gained from the insight of older adults who had both lived my experiences and had wisdom beyond my years to share. And I, in turn, was looked to as an example and mentor for the young children and teenagers. Heeding my current sense of loss, I have since made attempts to get to know elderly neighbors, and to serve in areas where I can connect with young children and see families interact. But, these opportunities only come in secular environments. All BYU church settings are saturated by one “single” dimension of our population; they are void of families.

My desire to move my records into a family ward came as a shock to both my Bishop and my peers. Though most students I talk with roll their eyes at the state of single adult wards, few would feign to change his or her position. It is just so easy in a singles’ ward, especially at BYU. Half of the sisters in my last Relief Society served missions, and all of the Elder’s quorum held the Melchizedek Priesthood. There were not enough callings to go around. For months last year, my sole calling was a visiting teacher to two active girls who lived next door to me. My VT companion was my roommate. Our visits were always enjoyable, but mostly our best efforts to serve were just a perpetuation of a good habit of obedience rather than requisite to our spiritual community. Please don’t misunderstand me. I make this observation not out of ignorance at the spiritual importance of Visiting Teaching, but out of a throbbing understanding of the need that exists in this world and a passionate desire to be part of the solution. After growing up in a small branch where I accompanied my mom on visiting a list of 10 women, mostly inactive, and many who lived an hour’s drive away, and after serving a mission in areas where the “inactives” outnumbered the “actives” by a magnitude of ten, I have experienced the undeniable power of Visiting and Home Teaching. I know they are divinely inspired programs. I have witnessed their miracles. I absolutely recognize that no singles’ ward is devoid of need, yet the summer-camp experience fostered by these family-less congregations unhealthily hides need from view. Following the sterile definition of our label, no one has a family; the majority of us have only one person to look after.

In stark contrast to the mission field, I find myself enveloped in a self-centered world. My well-plotted daily plans are full of necessities: attend my classes, do my studies, complete my homework, go to my work, earn my money, prepare for my future family. Following this agenda, it sure did not take long for me to notice that my happiness factor was diminishing in direct correlation to the amount of time I spent on my own personal growth. I have covenanted with my God to give all I have to the building of His kingdom, and so, when I scan the rows of chairs at a single adult sacrament meeting, I am burdened by the thought that my peers and I sit as a mass of wasted time, talents, and energy. I have seen the work of a single mother, the financial strain of working parents, the inescapable busyness of parenthood. At this time of our lives, when our responsibilities have not multiplied to that magnitude, I believe that young single adults are the greatest potential resource for service that the church has. And yet, if there is a community of need around us, we do not know it. Instead, own wards’ activities committees toil day and night to discover new and exciting ways to entertain us: renting out the movie theater for ward movie night, preparing an elaborate evening carnival up the canyon, brainstorming new water games to play in the park. I am neither a prude nor a recluse; I enjoy the entertainment as much as the next. But, I worry that the institution of Singles Wards simply delays adulthood and hinders real community-impacting experiences.

Conversely to what I perceive the intention of singles’ wards to be, being immersed in a population of stellar singles actually increases my desire to stay single; there is great freedom, opportunity, and predictability in it. In contrast, when I am in family settings, observing healthy marriage relationships and interacting with children, my desire to be a wife and mother is re-ignited. So, how does one resolve the dilemma of being in a singles’ ward, but not of a singles’ ward? Marriage—though the most obvious answer—is the least controllable. Moving to a new location had to wait until after graduation. To find balance as a student, I occasionally attended a local Hispanic ward in the mornings before my assigned ward met. Now I work and reside in Salt Lake City where I have chosen to attend a family ward. In doing so, I have encountered numerous other singles who have made my same decision. One YSA in my current family ward told me she feels like she is now a member of a “real ward” again. We feel that our lives are enhanced, not hindered, by connecting with a more diverse population of less transient people. I understand that a large scale flood of singles into family wards could very well dilute the family wards to an un-stable condition, and so singles’ wards may be an unfortunate necessity. However, some creativity may lead us to more productive arrangements where the sequester non-married members of the church may become more integrated into the church family, and where our un-tapped time, talents, and energy may be of greater use to the Lord’s kingdom.

Sincerely, ani

Hard to know where to start commenting on this.

In contrast, when I am in family settings, observing healthy marriage relationships and interacting with children, my desire to be a wife and mother is re-ignited.

(emphasis mine)

Actually, I think if single guys had to interact with children at church, none of us would ever get married… I kid, I kid. Children are great… from a distance :).

So, let’s start with my criticisms first (some of these will even venture into realm of the devil’s advocate).

As time passed at BYU, I increasingly felt more estranged from real life.

Honestly, I think this is the nature of attending an educational institution full-time. Even when setting aside the “Provo bubble”, going to university, sitting in the ivory towers, does not give anyone a sense of what “real” life is like. So I don’t think we can completely blame single’s wards for this.

In Wisconsin and Iowa, I gained from the insight of older adults who had both lived my experiences and had wisdom beyond my years to share. And I, in turn, was looked to as an example and mentor for the young children and teenagers… All BYU church settings are saturated by one “single” dimension of our population; they are void of families.

I think that interacting with young adults provides unique opportunities that those other relationships cannot. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with an environment outside of the typical Mormon cultural setting.

I make this observation… out of a throbbing understanding of the need that exists in this world and a passionate desire to be part of the solution… I find myself enveloped in a self-centered world. My well-plotted daily plans are full of necessities: attend my classes, do my studies, complete my homework, go to my work, earn my money, prepare for my future family.

What is so wrong with a temporarily self-centered world? Should we really expect to be able to go out and change the world without focusing some time and energy on developing our knowledge and talents? And even though our college years are full of self-serving activities, even within the Provo bubble there are plenty of opportunities to take a break and help someone else.

I am burdened by the thought that my peers and I sit as a mass of wasted time, talents, and energy.

Calling the time, talent, and energy wasted seems rather subjective. Like I said, focusing during one’s college years on personal development is hardly a waste.

[I]f there is a community of need around us, we do not know it. Instead, own wards’ activities comities toil day and night to discover new and exciting ways to entertain us…

I think the fault here lies completely with the ward’s activities committee. I know I was able to take part in a number of community service oriented activities while in Provo. And of course, just because there is suffering in the world doesn’t mean we are required to eschew all entertainment.

We feel that our lives are enhanced, not hindered, by connecting with a more diverse population of less transient people.

I think the transient aspect of a single’s ward can be viewed as a blessing. It provides countless opportunities to form long lasting relationships that can turn into a personal world wide network. Such a network can become an extremely powerful avenue for doing good things in the world.

Ok, now for things I agree with. Actually, I do agree with Ani that single’s wards often do not provide environments that explicitly encourage marriage between members. However, I am not entirely sure I believe that that is the actual purpose of a single’s ward. Sure, it defined by the marital status of it’s members, but the purpose of the ward is much greater than changing that status.

As a college student I was too self-centered sometimes, I admit. I look back and wish I had taken more opportunities to step outside of my study cave to serve other people. Single’s wards do have a responsibility to promote community service and to do things besides movie nights.

I don’t think single’s wards should be done away with. I don’t think the ward structure itself is the cause for any complacency or social myopia, that is strictly a personal choice. Single’s wards can be a force for much good (outside of nuptial inspiration) and I think they provide opportunities that a family ward could not provide to a young adult.

“if i had my bassoon here i’d play you something happy.”

just spent way too long cleaning up weird quirks in my blog archive markdown files. doubt anyone else will ever care, but it feels nice.

Writing the following preference makes Xcode place the opening brackets according to the Allman style (which is the easiest on the eyes IMHO) for the if block text macro:

$ defaults write com.apple.Xcode XCCodeSenseFormattingOptions '{ "BlockSeparator" = "\n" ; }'

Saved for future reference. Found here: Hidden Xcode build, debug and template settings.

funky behavior between a google apps account and a regular google account with the same primary address. annoying.

so the salt lake temple plays mormon tabernacle choir for its hold music.

So, Tianna was kind enough to do the research I should have done and pointed me to the info page on the Even More Plus plans. Looks like you do not need a contract for a $79.99 plan with unlimited minutes, texts, and data. A 500 minutes Even More Plus plan is $59.99 (which gives you the equivalent of what comes along with the subsidized Nexus One). The math turns out to be:

  • $529 unsubsidized phone + $59.99 plan x 24 months = $1968.76
  • $179 subsidized phone + $79.99 plan x 24 months = $2098.76
  • Difference = $130

There is an incentive to getting the unsubsidized phone. Kudos to T-Mobile for doing something cool (Do the other carries have something similar??) and I suppose also for making me look like an idiot!

nytimes.com is annoying!

I have this weird habit of highlighting the paragraph of text that I am reading on screen. I have no idea why I started doing it; I guess it helps me keep track of where I am reading on the screen.

Anyway, one thing that I really hate about nytimes.com is the stupid little question mark bubble that pops up when I highlight a word. When I try to highlight a paragraph by double-clicking on it, instead my first click highlights the word and my second clicks the bubble, which pops open some completely worthless page with a word definition or something. Makes reading on the site absolutely terrible.

Sometimes, these fancywancy “Web 2.0” value-added things are just total crap.

I don’t really understand how the whole “subsidized phone” thing works. For example, the unlocked Nexus One is $529. The T-Mobile subsidized plus two-year contract version is $179, a $350 difference.

If I buy the unlocked phone and the T-Mobile “Even More individual 500 Plan”, does that mean I only have to pay $79.99 - ($35024) = $65.40 a month? Can I get that exact plan without a contract? If I do sign a contract, can I end it without an early termination fee? As far as I know, the answer to each of those questions is no.

If the price of a subsidized phone is built into the contract price, why can’t I get a cheaper monthly plan without strings attached if I buy an unsubsidized phone? Everyone always says that Americans only want subsidized cheap phones, but I think the real reason no one purchases phones for full price is because there is very little incentive to do so. The wireless carries have made sure of that, since long contracts allow them to boast about customer “churn” instead of addressing how crappy their network is. Lame.

UPDATE: Nevermind, I need to research before I start blabbering.

every lesson in the new priesthood manual is only ~2 pages long. i foresee many early-ending classes for the next two years.

Am I the only one who would prefer Apple announcing at the end of the month something like iPhone OS 4.0 instead of a “tablet”?

CES: a conference about already leaked gadgets that will either never see the light of day or will end up being totally craptacular.

mummy face

Honestly I am not sure if I should be impressed with iPhoto’s face recognition capabilites, if I should make a dark joke about the “Add Missing Face” button, or if I should just feel creeped out.

Mariam and me with tamales

Mariam and I enjoying tamales on New Year’s Eve. After everyone stuffed themselves, it was a pretty subdued party. I think most of us would have just napped through the new year had Mariam’s aunt’s dogs not started going crazy with the fireworks and gunshots at midnight. It certainly was nice to finally have someone to kiss to bring in the new year. Definitely the right way to start things off.

made it through security. the definitely have nicer chairs on this side.

Pizza at Houston

My flight out of Monterrey was delayed, so all of the scant eating locations outside of security here in the Houston airport were closed by the time I arrived (trust me, I looked). My flight to Milwaukee was not for another 8 hours, so the thought of zero sustenance for the whole night seemed rather unpleasant. Once again my iPhone came to the rescue: I loaded up dominos.com, ordered a medium pizza to the airport hotel lobby, and waited. 30 minutes later and I was enjoying my dinner. Now it’s time to enjoy a long night with a full belly on a hard airport chair.

trying to look inconspicuous here in the hotel lobby while i wait for the pizza guy.

pizza has been ordered to the airport hotel lobby.

flight delayed about 30 minutes out of Monterrey. I’m worried that all food will be closed after getting through customs in Houston…

ok heading into security, we shall see if there is wifi!!

come on internet, come up with something entertaining for me to do!!

at monterrey airport. i only have to spend the next 28 hours on planes and in airports then i am home. the things we do for cheap tickets…

planning to hike at 10 am on new years may have been a bit too ambitious.

having tamales and champurrado for new years eve.

10 years ago: I went streaking with my cross country teammates.

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