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29 December 2012

My Kidding Around About the Diet

So, you've probably figured out by now that my diet hasn't been going great... since I never came on here to tell you ow great it was going.  I do intend to continue to change my eating habits though, and working out has been great.

My Miserables

I saw Les Miserables for te second time today.  The music is incredibly inspiring to me.  It literally made me rethink my life and change my goals about where I'm headed academically.   Thanks Schonberg.

10 December 2012

My Soreness

So today was my first 'day after lifting weights' for a long time. Such a good feeling, so annoying. I think the worst moment for me was when I tried to pull open a locked door,

Today, I pulled up Netflix but I wanted to study my scriptures more than watch a TV show. The only problem was, I was going to pull up Netflix to listen to something while I showered after my workout, not exactly a convinient time for me to study. I was surprised that I felt that way though. I know it's a good thing, don't get me wrong, but I love being lazy. Maybe this workout thing is taking a toll on my mind too... Haha

05 December 2012

My Beginning

So if you want any more info about the program I'm following check out http://bodyforlife.com

A number of years ago I based my workouts around the Training-for-Life method but i didn't stick to the Eating-for-life as well as I could have.

One thing I like about this eating plan is that it gives you a day off every week where you can eat whatever you want.  In that sense, I guess you could say that I started today and had a day off, I did work out after all. ;)

I mean, check out that sweat on the ground, oh yeah! Anyway, I bought healthy food to eat.  So I "officially"start tomorrow, or today when this posts I suppose.

Let's do it!!! :D

04 December 2012

My Reasons

It's 1:05 am this morning and I am currently reading Body for Life by Bill Phillips. Once upon a time, I weighed 340 pounds and I needed to get my weight down to 296 so that I would be able to serve a full time mission for the church. It took a few months but I made the change. I actually used this blog back then to update who knows who on my progress.

I want to make the change again. The last couple days, as I've looked at pictures, even from within the last year I've thought, 'man, I used to be so much thinner and so much more attractive.' Not that I'm unattractive, lets be real ;) haha but seriously I'm like... What have I been doing?

I'd like to share this experience with anyone who is interested.

What are your reasons for making the decision to change?
1) My physical appearance has a great impact on my negative self perception
2) I will feel better for holding myself accountable to the knowledge I possess
3) I want to be able to dunk a basketball
4) I want to have a nice vert to be able to hit and block in volleyball
5) I'd like to be even sexier
6) I'd like to not feel limited or constrained from a physical activity
7) How will I inspire others if I can't make changes in my own life?
8) Other decisions in my life will be easier once I am in control of this aspect of my life
9) I want to set an example for my family
10) A lot of people think I'm cool, I want to think that I am really cool

What are the five most important specific accomplishments you need to make in the next 12 weeks for you to be pleased with the progress of your body and life?
1) I want dunk a basketball.
2) I want to get on a scale and cheer or cry from being overwhelmed with the change I made.
3) I want to motivate someone else to make a change their life.
4) I want to weigh less than 300 pounds.
5) I want to break dance.

I suppose this isn't important but i also want a girl to be attracted to me based solely on my appearance.

When people guess my weight, they usually range between 250 and 270. In reality, I currently weigh 328 pounds. Although I carry it well, I am definitely overweight. 270 is my ideal weight. The last time I weighed that much, I was probably in high school, at least five years ago, and I wasn't very in shape for that height weight ratio either.

So, please feel free to encourage me, I hope to be starting this again in the next few days.

Also, I included this drawing I did for tummy just for fun. :D

04 November 2012

Let's Talk About: Fasting

Look Mom!  No food!
"To voluntarily refrain from eating or drinking for the purpose of drawing closer to the Lord and requesting his blessings. When individuals and groups fast, they should also pray to understand God’s will and to develop greater spiritual strength. Fasting has always been practiced by true believers." (Fast, Fasting; A Guide to the Scriptures)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected to fast once a month, usually on the first Sabbath of the month, in addition to their personal fasts for personal or family reasons.

What constitutes a proper fast?  
While serving a mission in California I worked in both Spanish and English congregations.  During my studies I found something interesting one day; the Spanish guide to the scriptures said that a fast was to be for 24 hours.  My whole life I had been taught that two consecutive meals was the correct policy, and you will see that taught by various church leaders.  The nice thing is, both are correct.  Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy stated, "We are taught that there are three aspects to a proper fast day observance: first, abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals or, in other words, 24 hours; second, attending fast and testimony meeting; and third, giving a generous fast offering."  This means that if your two meal fast consists of breakfast and lunch, the fast should properly begin the night before the fast Sunday, after dinner.  This way, it is approximately 24 hours between the meals.

In the same article, Elder Pratt shares that his family fasts beginning after lunch on Saturday and miss dinner and breakfast as their two consecutive meals.  The churches standard is 24 hours and two meals. Which two meals those are is an individual or family choice.  Elder Pratt's family has kept this tradition as they feel a "spiritual advantage" in attending fast and testimony meeting at the end of a fast.

Let us make a distinction often overlooked by members of the church.  When we speak of fasting in the church, we are seeking to be obedient to the law of the fast.  As previously stated, merely refraining from food and drink, although fasting, does not constitute obedience to the law of the fast.  This is our goal after all with fasting, as fasting is a commandment for those who are physically able to.

So in order to obey the law of the fast, the Lord has asked us to attend our fast and testimony meetings and to donate a generous fast offering. The recommended fast offering donation is the cost of the two meals that you did not partake of.  In addition to these guidelines, it is also important that we fast with a purpose and with prayer.  It has been said that fasting without prayer is simply going hungry.  I would suggest that this is true, for if we do not involve the Lord in our fast, how will he be able to bless our efforts?

How can I make my fasting more meaningful?
I love these suggestions from Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy on how we can apply principles of fasting and fast with power:
  • As a fast day approaches, think about a purpose for your fast. That purpose could be as simple as expressing thanks.
  • Begin your fast by praying. Talk with Heavenly Father and share with Him the purpose of your fast .
  • Fast for two meals, or about 24 hours. (Those with medical concerns should follow doctors’ orders). Whenever hunger pains come, use them as a reminder to pray again about the purpose of your fast.
  • Give a generous fast offering.
  • If you feel impressed to do so, bear your testimony in fast and testimony meeting.
  • During the time you would have spent preparing food and eating, engage in worthy pursuits such as studying the scriptures, writing in your journal, or serving others.
  • After Sunday meetings, end your fast by praying.
  • Commit to being a better person, and make plans with God on how you will improve.


While a member of the quorum of the Twelve, President Henry B. Eyring taught that fasting enables us opportunities to keep our covenants and have the proper attitudes toward the bearing of testimony during fast and testimony meeting.
"The fast also helps us to feel humble and meek so that the Holy Ghost may more easily be our companion. By our fast, we both keep our covenant to care for others and we prepare to keep our covenant to bear testimony.Those who have prepared carefully for the fast and testimony meeting won’t need to be reminded how to bear testimony should they feel impressed to do it in the meeting. They won’t give sermons or exhortations or travel reports or try to entertain as they bear witness. Because they will have already expressed appreciation to people privately, they will have less need to do it publicly. Neither will they feel a need to use eloquent language nor to go on at length.A testimony is a simple expression of what we feel. The member who has fasted both for the blessing of the poor and for the companionship of the Spirit will be feeling gratitude for the love of God and the certainty of eternal truth. Even a child can feel such things, which may be why sometimes the testimony of a child so moves us and why our preparation of fasting and prayer produces in us childlike feelings.That preparation for the fast and testimony meeting is a covenant obligation for members of the Church. The offering of the gospel to those we meet and to our families are covenant obligations. We can take heart that our honest effort to keep our covenants allows God to increase our power to do it. We all need that assurance at times when our promise to love and to witness seems hard for us."
It's really not about the food.
Sometimes I have to take a step back and remember, it's not about the food. It's a hard mental switch to make, but when we understand the principles as Elder Bowen and President Eyring taught, fasting becomes so much more. It becomes about separating our spirits from our natural selves, and as they separate from the natural man they move closer to God. Fasting becomes about communing with our Father on a deeper level than we can with prayer alone. It becomes about experiencing an added portion of spiritual strength from the guidance of the Holy Ghost. It becomes about allowing the Lord to change us to become like Him.

Why 24 hours?
Elder Bowen clearly teaches that fasting can aid us in overcoming addictions, bad habits, and burdens and in calling down the powers of heaven. He also explains the process that occurs in the body when we fast and how it relates to us in putting off the natural man and achieving these desired consequences:

"...Our physical bodies are created in such a way that we can have a spiritual victory over the natural man each time we properly fast.
“When a person starts a fast, biochemical adjustments begin in the bloodstream to compensate for the lack of food. A carbohydrate substance known as glycogen is released from storage areas in the liver and the muscles. The body uses glycogen as food to keep cells supplied with energy. After 24 hours this food source is used up, and another source of energy is needed.
“Dr. Siegfried Heyden of Duke University’s Department of Community and Family Medicine says when this happens, the body starts looking for other energy sources. ‘The first thing happening after a 24-hour fast is the breakdown of fat cells. And these fat cells, when they break down, produce ketone bodies, as they are called. And these ketone bodies seem to have an effect on our psyche in that they make us no longer hungry.’”
After 24 hours without food or drink, the body (the natural man) submits to the spirit (the spiritual man). When the spiritual man is victorious, we experience greater sensitivity to the influence of the Holy Ghost."

How interesting is that? It's really not about the food, from the physical standpoint, it is about how our bodies relate to our spirits.  When I read through the many blessings the Lord offers us as we obey this law it becomes evident that He truly loves us and wants us to succeed and make the most of our lives.  I'm so grateful for His concern for me as one of His children.

13 August 2012

My Angry Bird

Her name tag read: Kim Sales Associate. I don't know how long she's worked at STAPLES on Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas, VA but if she wants to keep her job she better change something. She called me a liar. She called my dad a liar. She called men everywhere liars.

The following story is true. I type it with my own fingers and relate it to the best of my knowledge.

My mom needed some boxes so my dad and I went to STAPLES to pick some up for her. We found the boxes and proceeded to the check out area. On the way there I saw some Angry Birds flash drives. My dad greeted Kim pleasantly to we she responded, "All you men are liars."

Now, I don't want to lie to you, I don't remember the exact phrase that my dad said to Kim. At the time I was actually trying to think of a good Angry Birds flash drive joke. It was something along the lines of "Hello."

After the accusation my dad questioned, "What?" to which she replied, "Oh, I'm sorry, I meant boys, you boys are all liars."

Okay okay, I'll admit, I was pretty surprised. For one human being to interact with a stranger that way would be considered inconsiderate. What makes it worse was that we were speaking to an employee of the company. I guess her tag didn't say Kim Customer Service but I still expect to be treated with respect.

Well, my dad and I are pretty nice guys. We aren't upset. In fact as soon as we walked out of the store we were laughing. As we proceeded with our purchase my dad continued politely, deflected the insults and left it open for her to apologize. I even looked at my dad and said "Wow, and you're one of the most honest guys I know." "Still true," she retorted. She never let up.

If you're interested, it looks like Staples is still hiring.  So if you know anyone who is kind of mean and looking for a job, send them the link to this blog.

I feel so bad for this girl. I probably would have flirted with her if she hadn't been blatantly rude to us. I would say this was even worse than when I was kissed on the cheek by a guy who was trying to get fired from Burger Boys. I hope her bad attitude, whether it's just today or always, doesn't collide with some guys who actually are liars.

Leave your worst customer service experiences in the comments.

02 August 2012

My Bar

Some people go to a bar to drink away their problems, I simply visit the doctor. Anywhere with free refills will do, but they have to have Dr. Pepper. Most recently I did it at a Burger King. Can you order soft drinks at a bar? I've never been to one. Heck, I don't even know where any bars are.

With that experience, I can definitely see the value of a bartender. It's boring to sit around and get wasted on Dr. Pepper on your own at a Burger King. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to. I think I could be a bartender, listening to people's problems and giving them advice, or maybe that's just what they do on TV. I probably wouldn't be a good bartender though, because I know nothing about alcoholic beverages. Burger King also doesn't have loose women wandering around looking to hook up with you. That's a plus, unless that's the reason you go to a bar. I better find cooler places to hang out, because I don't want to have to say "We met at a Burger King." my whole life.

Actually I did see something really cute when I was there. This older couple was walking up to the door and the husband licked a coupon and stuck it to his wife's forehead. They saw me seeing them and I smiled. I'm tolts doing that to my wife when we're old.

Have you enjoyed the Olympics? They only come around every four years you know, and this year they make me crave volleyball. I mean REAL volleyball, not like the volleyball we played this morning for work. I was set zero times each game. I've only watched one event so far. I just follow the updates throughout the day on Twitter. Don't worry, there is still plenty of suspense. The nice thing is, I can just follow it all on my phone and it doesn't interrupt my work day.

What is your favorite part of the Olympics?  What is your "comfort drink?"  What do you do to relieve stress?

25 July 2012

My Recommendation: We Shot the Moon

UPDATED 18 August 2012
Here is a link to purchase Love and Fear. Enjoy.

A couple years ago, I went with my roommates to a Sherwood concert in Midvale, UT at the Circuit.  I was particularly impressed by an Indie Pop Rock band called We Shot the Moon headed byJonathan Jones.  I liked them so much that I went and saw them again the next year when they were near my hometown in Virginia.  I have a great love for music and I like a lot of bands, but there are only two bands that I've bought a shirt from, and this is one of them.


I currently own both of their albums and EPs.  They have a new album coming out on August 14th which I am definitely looking forward to.  It is called Love and Fear.  Their first full album was called Fear and Love and it is still my favorite.  If you'd like to hear what they sound like, their second full album is available FOR FREE on noisetrade right now.  I mean, I bought it a while ago, and if you know me, you know I love free stuff. :D

Go check it out and you can pre-order their new album too.  Know anyone else who might like this?  Please share this post with them.


Click here for the download:
http://noisetrade.com/weshotthemoon 
(it only requires an email address)

You can follow @weshotthemoon on twitter.
https://twitter.com/weshotthemoon
or catch them on FB:
https://www.facebook.com/weshotthemoon


18 July 2012

My Identity

"Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your hearts... You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine."
-Deiter F. Uctdorf

Have you ever wondered who you are?

I mean, I'm pretty well acquainted with myself, after twenty-two years of living in my own head I should be anyway, but who am I? If I was to abandon my perceptions of my own self that I have imposed on myself, what would I see? What I mean by that is, I have conditioned myself with certain ideas about who I am, how I would act in certain situations, things I like, etc. I think that I might be surprised by what I would become if I wasn't bound by my paradigm.

How do you have a paradigm shift about your own life? I guess that is my real question.

Stephen Covey makes the observation that post World War I, personality ethic replaced character ethic as the basic view of success. Instead of striving for "integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule," people have become obsessed with "personality, ...public image, ...attitudes and behaviors, skills and techniques, that lubricate the process of human interaction." Communication skills are definitely appropriate to learn but if we all developed our integrity wouldn't we naturally get along better? Plus we'd be way more sincere and trustworthy.

Nowadays people care a lot about what other people think of them. I'm beginning to think there is a direct correlation between how much someone cares about his lawn and how much they care about what other people think of them. I think that there are also others who don't do their lawns just because they don't care what other people think of them. Anyway, this personality ethic has made life such that you can't trust people the same way you did back in the day. I mean, I wasn't around "back in the day" but it was a simpler time. Even in the last twenty years I watched as we began to interact less and less with the neighbors in our court. Life has become more about networking than working things out, more about servicing than serving and more about trending than trusting.

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out exactly who I am. Most of my life I have let myself be defined by others. More recently I have not worried so much about what other people think, but more about what I think of myself. I have plenty of imperfections, bad habits, things that I don't like about myself. I have allowed those aspects of my life to determine who I have become. My inner battles are fought by letting my shortcomings define me. If I could step back, look at my life and ignore all of the perceptions of myself that I have, what would I see? Would I be happy with who I am? Who I really am?

So, this post probably doesn't transition very well, and I apologize for that, I'm just typing out my thoughts after all. The nice thing is, I can decide to set aside my current paradigm, I'm just not sure how. I'd be interested to see what happens in my life if I didn't keep holding myself back.

15 July 2012

My Trip to NY 2012

I left from East Brunswick with Q$ and Ben from The Ben and Ben Show. We picked up another friend, who we will call "Mike," but who is a girl, and we embarked on an epic journey toward Palmyra, NY.

As we travelled up Mike told me that I should write music, so I worked on writing a song on GarageBand. I'm actually sort of impressed with myself with how it has turned out so far. You can here part of it on this video.. On the way up Mike also complained the whole time about how we weren't talking to her. Which is ironic because we were talking to her about talking every time she brought it up.

Anyway, we got to the Hill Cumorah right in time for the opening prayer. The pageant was wonderful. I tweeted about it. #hillcumorah I decided that I'm never going to go again, unless I have a nonmember or recent convert with me. Also, I might go again if I'm married.

After the pageant we went to McDonalds where I threw away anti-mormon literature. I realized this year that half the stuff that the protestors are yelling is true doctrine. Kinda funny if you ask me.

We went to the campground and we slept on the ground. I liked being able to look up at the stars in the night sky. I actually saw a shooting star. I wished that Syntax Error 48291.42.

In the morning we went to church in Palmyra where we heard the former Provo Mission President.

Then we drove home.

10 July 2012

My Indian Friends

I wish I could describe for you just how difficult this job can be. Today was no exception. I'll share this with you: I've never made a sale on a Tuesday the entire summer. This was brought to my attention last night when met with my manager and we looked at my stats. It's not a mental barrier or anything, its just worked out that way.

So today I set out to change that. Hour after hour I knocked door after door. Nothing. I stopped for lunch with my coworker and I went to a different part of my area to work. This time I just got doors shut in my face continually and some people wouldn't even open their doors. Honestly, it was frustrating I like to keep a positive attitude but my esteem was just getting worn on and on.

Sometimes it is hard to choose to have a good attitude. Sometimes it's hard to choose to have a good bad day.

What was worst was that I had no where to channel my negativity. I would just keep trying to shake it off. "Just do the next door." "Just keep going." "I can do this, I can do this I can do this." The mental war was tough, especially when people are treating you like you're an annoyance. It would have been so easy to just sit on the curb and have the same results as knocking all of those doors.

At 8PM I decided that I would take a bathroom break. I went to Laurel Acres Park across the street from my area. I walked out and sat on a bench for a moment looking out at the lake and fountain and taking a moment to breath.

That's when I heard it. The sounds of a volleyball hitting hands and arms. I ventured over to the court and asked if I could join in. It was me and five Indians against six Indians. There were a couple decent players in the group but my skills stuck out like a six foot three white guy playing volleyball with a bunch of Indians.

All of the mental anguish and emotional taxing vanished as I found a place to channel my grief. We won all three games I played. I thanked them all and shook their hands. Then I stood next to a picnic table and danced to Skrillex while I waited for my ride. People watched me as they walked by and one lady actually applauded me.

As i said earlier, sometimes it is hard to choose to have a good attitude and sometimes it's hard to choose to have a good bad day, but that doesn't mean you can't make something worthwhile occur. We are children of God, the great Creator. One thing that sets us apart from His other creations on Earth is that we are made in His image and likeness. We like our Father are capable of creation. We can create opportunities and make memories on a daily basis.

Although I felt rotten all day, I chose to make the most of it. Heck, when we got home, I showered all the sand off me (such a great feeling by the way) and went out to get a pizza from Papa John's. It was a large pie topped with Canadian bacon, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and Canadian bacon. We are getting a free pizza soon because we bought that one today. :D

Create. Don't let life happen to you. Get out their and live.

Photo of Laurel Acres Park

08 July 2012

My Visor

I am a visor guy for sure. Let me tell you, I love my hair. My entire life I've grown up with the fear that I will lose my hair. My father and both my grandfathers have/had no hair on top of their heads. Everyone says that baldness comes from your mom's side of the family. Whatever the case, as far as I know, all my patriarchal ancestors back to Adam are bald.

Anyway, I like my hair. I'm not a big fan of hats, because I like to style my hair with product. Sweat and gel in a hat... Not my favorite idea. I think my hair looks dumb when it's down. So, I style my hair.

Check it, with a visor, I can style my hair AND still have shade. Muahahaha. Although, I'm a big fan of the backwards visor, which doesn't give
Much shade anyway. It's just a me thing I guess.

So a few weeks ago, one of my coworkers locked her keys into her car. I looked up how to break into a car on YouTube. Long story short, I got into her car. The relevant part of this story is that I used her work hat to protect the paint on her car from the wedge. That hat got holes ripped into it, so I cut it up and sewed it down turning it into a visor. No joke, it was pretty good. I surprised and impressed myself.

With my new visor, I felt way more confident and comfortable working. Then guess what happene:. Batman stole my visor. I'm not even kidding. I went on Batman the Ride at Six Flags and the G-forces lifted my visor right off my head. Crazy huh? So I was really bummed.

The good news is, ever since I stopped wearing my visor out on the doors, people have been much more responsive to me. I think a big part of it is that they look at my eyes now instead of at my visor. I've gotten a sale a day for the last two days. In my kind I feel like it can't be making that much of a difference, but for some reason it does. What a joke... Hahaha

What lesson can we learn from this? Sometimes you have to abandon or sacrifice things that you like in order to achieve your goals. Wearing a visor isn't bad, but it sent a message to potential customers that didn't fit my sales style. Funny how that works.

When we choose something, we are always choosing against something else. It isn't always between right and wrong as in the case of the visor. When I choose to wear the visor, I am choosing to not not wear the visor. You're probably thinking, well duh...
but then, you probably don't know much about truth functional logic. I just feel better saying it that way.

V :: ~~V

The same is true with how we use our time. I like playing video games, and not every video game is inherently evil, just QWOP, although most are pretty time wasting.

In the 7 Habits or Highly Effective People book it talks about using our time wisely by prioritizing so that we do things that are important but not urgent. These are things that if done regularly will improve the quality of our lives. Often we know these things will be beneficial to us, but we choose other activities. When we choose one activity, we are choosing against another.

Life is short. What are our most worthwhile activities? Let's do those! What is most important to you? Let it drive you. :D

I miss my visor, but Batman showed me that in order to get ahead, I needed to uncover mine. I'm grateful that I lost it now, because things have been better for me.

What is one thing that if you did it on a regular basis would greatly improve the quality of your life? Get off Facebook and go make it happen today. Note how you feel after, especially how you feel about yourself for making and keeping a personal promise. Let me know how it goes.  I guarantee you will feel better than that guy. --->

07 July 2012

My Gwen Stacy

When it comes to relationships, it is important that each partner recognizes and appreciates the strengths of the other. Let's look at Gwen Stacy, especially the one plays by Emma Stone. ;D She dated both Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn but ultimately falls in love with Peter Parker because of his intellectual personality. She is a science major and basically a nerd right? Both she and Peter are very intelligent and therefore they could each appreciate the intelligence of the other. In my opinion this makes them an ideal match.

So, my Gwen Stacy. She isn't afraid to dance and sing, she likes making other people happy, and she loves the scriptures. My Gwen Stacy has a passion for life and wants to create memorable moments. She is also super cute. Attractive, yes, but I mean cute like makes me smile.

Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spiderman (2012) made me reevaluate my standards.  Dude, have you seen that movie?  Super cute.  If I had a girl treating me the way that Gwen was treating Peter in that movie, I'd be smiling all the time. :D  Anyway, the movie Gwen was supposed to be seventeen, but I felt like her character was much more mature.  I don't mind that.  How could a girl shuffling her feet like that not make me smile?

If you haven't read the Spiderman comics, then you don't know that Gwen gets thrown off the George Washington Bridge by the Green Goblin.  As she falls, Spiderman webs her, and catches her leg.  Unfortunately, she died from getting whiplashed... lame.  Hopefully that doesn't happen to my Gwen Stacy. :( haha

03 July 2012

My Summer Experience

So, this is definitely one of the hardest things I've done in my entire life. SALES. Let me think of a good acronym for that...

Some
Ants
Like
Everything
Stagnant

So they mind control people into not wanting pest control. So I'm going door to door everyday and meeting interesting people who may very well be ant zombies for all I know.

This is going to sound really cliche, so get over it... I'm learning new things everyday. I'm learning new things about myself, about the world and about life.

Okay okay okay. Heres what I'm learning. People don't have the skills to be successful in their lives. I read recently The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I've been able to identify how I can do better with my own behaviors and I've been able to recognize better the "bad habits" in others.

One obvious kind of thing is that we take the proactive approach to pest control.  Many people seem to think that this is ridiculous.  They want to wait until they have a problem to call an exterminator.  What is funny is that after they call someone out once, they end up on a contract for a year, and then they just keep it going.  People who are new to pest control get all worked up and freaked out just because they don't know how it works.

The other thing that is sad is that most people's pest control companies aren't doing very much but people are just satisfied, so they aren't motivated to change.

More and more I have felt like I possess the skills to be successful in life and to interact well with others.  Unfortunately I don't quite get this whole selling thing yet... hahaha

15 June 2012

My First Time for Everything

I'd just like to start out by saying thanks for taking an interest in my life. I never know who is actually reading these posts. I only see the view count. :P

I was offered a beer for the first time in my life.  I turned it down and I was grateful that I made that decision a long time ago.

25 March 2012

My Contribution

So tonight I had the opportunity to beatbox at the White Chocolate Benefit Concert. I also helped with the set up and striking if the stage. I got a lot of compliments so thanks for those! :D

OnMonday I'll be auditioning for BYU Vocal Point. I went and saw them today and felt like I would really enjoy the opportunity to participate in something like that. I talked to Tanner, the current vocal percussionist, the other day. He told me that he might not be doing Vocal Point next year. So, I have high hopes for my audition.

I don't consider myself an incredible vocal percussionist, mostly because I don't know what I actually sound like when I beatbox... Haha. I think of myself as improving. Anyway, wish me luck? :D

Great job tonight White Chocolate!!!

24 March 2012

White Chocolate Benefit Concert

http://www.facebook.com/events/263146073768728/

Please share this with your friends!!!

Come to Spoon It Up in Provo,UT at 6PM tonight to this free concert!  White Chocolate is raising money for Kassidy Pendleton.  Kassidy is a student at Utah Valley University and a personal friend of White Chocolate.  Kassidy has been battling a rare form of leukemia for three years.  She has been through many stages of treatment, but all have failed thus far.  All money raised at this benefit concert will help Kassidy and her family pay for the continued treatment of this illness and will demonstrate the community's support of her fight.

Donations will be collected at the event, or can be sent to 1981 N 110 W #136 Provo, UT 84604

There will be a raffle for prizes from Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, and Gold's Gym.  You don't have to be present to win.  Raffle tickets are $5 and $10 dollars.  Once again, all proceeds go to Kassidy.

I'll be featured as a vocal percussionist on a couple of White Chocolate's songs.  If you have questions tweet me! :D





23 March 2012

My Addiction

Drugs are expensive.
Sushi is expensive.
Therefore, sushi is a drug.

This is an invalid argument, but it doesn't change my opinion.

I've never been much of a seafood person.  I remember going on vacation with my family in New Jersey.  Every year when we did this, my mom and sister would always have a special seafood date.  I never cared for any of the food that they were eating.  Don't get me wrong, I love fish sticks.  Love love love fish sticks.  (It's like a chicken nugget but a different flavor!)  Also, I liked eating tunafish sandwiches... It took me a while to bring myself to try salmon.  When I did, I didn't really like it but now I do, I'm not sure when that change happened.

My first exposure to sushi was in California.  I was serving as a missionary in La Verne, California and was taken to a restaurant called Shogun.  I had my first spicy tuna roll there and I've never looked back.

I haven't had a lot of experience with sushi but from the experiences I have had, I love it.  I often crave it.

Lately I've been getting sushi at a place called Sushi Ya in Orem.  According to my knowledge, not a single person who works there is Japanese.  I'm certainly not complaining, everything on the sushi menu (well... almost everything) is very good.

These are my favorite rolls to get there:
(this is only off the lunch menu)
Spicy Tuna
Rainbow
Hybrid
New Orleans
Crystal Shrimp
49er's
Godzilla
Summer - my "dessert" sushi

And Nigiri:
Hamachi
Unagi
Upside Down Shrimp

There are honestly only a couple of rolls there that I didn't care for... but they were on the dinner menu anyway.  So, go with me sometime?  All You Can Eat Lunch is $13.95. :D

22 March 2012

My Presentation

My roommates and I were asked to rap and beatbox at a modesty luau that one of our ward relief societies was putting on. My roommates fell through... so I ended up at the activity without them. I'm up for a challenge, but I didn't think that trying to beatbox and rap at the same time would go over very well.

Instead, I gift wrapped a box and said, they asked me to rap but there was some kind of miscommunication. I then shared from the following comments:

"Your body is God's sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God..." -For the Strength of the Youth

The way that a gift is wrapped is a reflection of what is on the inside.

Don't lower your wrapping standards for any occasion.

The wrapping shouldn't be revealing in any way, it will ruin the surprise.

Don't wrap it too tight because it might rip. Also sometimes people can figure out what a gift is if it is wrapped too tight.

Don't wrap it too loose because the wrapping could fall off.

Accessories are often appropriate but avoid extremes.  One modest pair of bows is suitable for all occasions.

Avoid sloppiness or inappropriately casual gift wrap.  Gift bags are the sweatpants of gift wrap, they are appropriate for certain occasions.

Ask yourself, "would I feel comfortable giving this present to my bishop?"

Gift wrapping should prepare you to wrap presents for your friends when they get married.

Dressing appropriately for certain occasions.

A couple more words I would like to add here about modesty.  Thank you women, and men too I guess, for dressing modestly. Although I don't often say it, I do appreciate your efforts to dress appropriately.  You'll often here girls greet each other saying "Wow, you look so cute today" or make a comment about appearance in general.  Guys, on the other hand, don't tend to say such things and I am no exception.  It is easy to notice someone who is dressed immodestly.  Please don't feel that your efforts are unrecognized.  I tend to pay more attention to a girl's eyes and smile than her outfit.  I'll try to be better about recognizing your awesome outfits.  I know you put a lot of effort into choosing them. :D

20 March 2012

My Special Delivery

Last Friday night at the Harris Fine Arts Center there was a big party called night at Night at the HFAC. There were a bunch of cookies that were left over and they were given to the ticket office.  


I took the remaining cookies, probably more than a hundred and gave them to people on my walk home from work.  I gave three away before I left the HFAC.  As I walked home, it was interesting to see people's reactions to receiving or not receiving a cookie.  Those who took a cookie were extremely gracious and for those who did not accept a ticket they felt the need to give me an explanation.  I repeatedly stated that I wouldn't be offended if they didn't take a cookie.

One of my favorite stops on the way home was at Pizza Hut.  I gave cookies to all of the employees on duty as well as some of the patrons waiting for their food.  My favorite moment was when the parents of a family of four, who spoke Spanish, said that I could give cookies two their two little kids.  Their children's eyes lit up as they eagerly thanked me for the galletas.  The joy in those kids eyes... man, that was sweet.

This was on St. Patrick's Day by the way, and because of that, as I was walking through the Riviera, I knocked on the door of some unsuspecting girls.  I chose this apartment because they had painted St. Patrick's Day decorations on their windows. I was delighted to discover that one of the girls who lived there is in my volleyball class. They were watching Psych. They were so excited to get cookies and to know that their decorations were appreciated.

As I walked into my apartment complex I had only a few cookies left. By the time I reached my door I only had three. I shared them with my roommate.

I can't tell you how happy I was to give those cookies away. I mean, sure I would have been happy to eat them myself... Plus this week I'm broke so that could have been my food for the week... But doing that service brought me more satisfaction than eating them ever could have. :D

My Apology

Yesterday I created the door that is pictured. You may not think that it looks that strange but it is actually missing a big poster that is normally on the door. This poster was brought to my apartment and put on my door. Because of these events, she who made the poster had hurt feelings. This post is the beginning of my reparations with this girl.

I'd like to publicly express my sincere regret. My actions were not intended to be more than a simple prank. My hope was to make a memory, to cause a brief panic but not to make her sad. I know that misery is a part of life but I did not intend to cause unnecessary sadness in her heart.

Please... Forgive me... :(

17 March 2012

My Good Turn

As I was preparing to cross the street I saw a man taking a photo of a woman next to a BYU sign. Here is the sign:


As I crossed the street, the man handed the camera to the woman and posed by the sign to take his picture. I approached them and offered to take a picture of the two of them by the sign together.  They graciously accepted my offer.  I took two pictures of them and returned to them their camera.  I asked if they were visiting the area and they informed me that they were indeed visiting from the Philippines.  They were very nice and it was nice to hear their accent.  It has been a while since I've spoken with someone from the Philippines (I miss you Hervie!!!)

Anyway, lately I've been thinking about how cruel the world can be.  People tend to be pretty selfish these days.  Today as I performed that simple act of service, I realized that my life doesn't have to be that way.  I can  make a difference one day at a time.

As I thought of that photo that i took I felt filled with hope.  I know the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in that moment, as I took that picture I had an impression that that picture might have a lasting effect. I don't know who will see that picture or if anyone will enjoy that picture. I just felt like that picture would be meaningful for them or for someone else somehow. I may never know but I know how I felt in that moment.

24 February 2012

Girls Confuse Me Update

Remember this post?

http://bengbrown.blogspot.com/2012/01/girls-confuse-me.html

Well guess who I found on twitter because she is still in my phone?  You guessed it, the crazy girl who I wrote that post about! :D

this is a link:
her twitter account... WARNING: She swears like a sailor!!!

Let me just share with you a couple tweets from her...  Lets see who this girl really is...
I put stars in for the bad words... sorry for making you think of them...
RT means she 'retweeted' another post.  so it wasn't her own but it's on her profile.

Jan 1 - So ****** hungover.. But such a bomb *** party! Way to bring in 2012! 
Jan 10 - Whenever my parents say "I need to talk to you." I remember all the bad things I've done in the past month... 
Jan 10 - Every Saint Has A Past & Every Sinner Has A Future. -Oscar Wilde
Jan 12 - All men can talk.. When will they learn how to act?
Jan 12 - RT - Theres two types of people in this world. Those that get caught and those that DONT. 
Jan 13 - Oh you hate me? That's funny, we haven't even met. ******


Anyway... so I'm sure that that last tweet is definitely for me.  So I responded to it today.  I don't mind revealing her identity now because if its on twitter its public anyway...


Feb 23 -  never said I hated you. Hope things are going well for you! :D


her more recent tweets indicate that she has a boyfriend.  i like this one:


Feb 4 - That awkward moment when you're making out with your boyfriend and his mom walks in... 

Anyway, I'd just like to share that this is not the kind of girl I'm looking for, in case you were wondering.

 So, my twitter has a link to my mormon.org profile which has a link to this blog.  So, if you managed to find this:

Hello Cassie, 


Welcome to my thoughts.  I'm all for repentance and change, and from some of your tweets that I read it looks like you hope to be better than you have been in your past.  I respect that.  I make mistakes just like everyone else.  I hope you find what you're looking for in a man.


I'm not like other guys.  My favorite colors are orange, purple and pink.  My favorite movies are Enchanted, Tangled, and Never Say Never.  I love Yo Gabba Gabba.  Many of the t-shirts I wear, I purchased because I thought they were "cute."  I'm on pintrest.  I'm a momma's boy and I'm a crier.  


I don't know what I want to do with my life, but I do know this: I want to be a father.  I want to be the #1 dad.  I want to braid my daughters' hair and paint their nails.  I want to prepare my sons to be some of the most incredible missionaries the world has ever known.  I want to have an eternal family.  The girl who I share that family with will love the Lord more than she loves me.  


I think you know what it's like to be hurt and know that I do too.  I never intended for you to feel hurt by me.  I believe that everyone deserves to have happiness and you are no exception.  You are a daughter of God and have an incredible potential.


Good luck with your life,
Ben

And as for the rest of you reading this post.  Thanks for reading.  Sorry I haven't been blogging much lately.  I've been feeling a lithe off for a little while.  I deactivated my Facebook account but it will be back.  Please feel free to comment.


31 January 2012

The Secret to Life

Have you ever gotten excited about something only to be disappointed with the outcome?  Don't worry, you're not the only one, has happened to me too.  Recently it occurred to me to try something new which I have found extremely helpful.  I call it the secret of life, but more accurately it would be called: Something that you can control that will allow you to obtain more enjoyment from your experiences.  That thing which you can control is your expectation of what will occur.  If you are disappointed with the outcome of an experience, it is because it did not meet your expectations. Therefore, if you would like to be less disappointed in the experiences you have, then you should lower your expectations about the outcome.

I understand the immediate objection.  If you go into something with high expectations and those expectations are met, the satisfaction is much greater.  I submit thought that there is a risk in this.  Let us look at this example.  I am a college football fan.  The teams I root for and take time out of my life to spectate are Virginia Tech and BYU.  When I watch football, I want to see both teams do well.  I want both teams to play their best and I want the game to be close and intense, but I want my team to come out the victor.  Watching those close games brings a great thrill and I expect my team to pull out a win.  When those last seconds tick down and my team is on top, I feel great.  On the other hand, when the last few minutes are played in desperation to achieve the few points necessary for a W and those points don't come, I feel terrible.  There may be some psychological thing or brain chemical thing at work here, but I have not been educated as of yet on these things.  I know that there is a certain level of stress I experience during those games.  I know that when my team wins, that stress is relieved and I know that when my teams loses, that stress remains.  I don't like the lingering stress.

I have also watched games, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, in which an 'underdog' team comes out ahead of a 'good' team.  I had a low expectation for that team but I still experience a great amount of satisfaction for their achievement.  If both a low expectation and a high expectation can yield a great amount of satisfaction, then I submit that the risk of lingering stress is not worth it.

 The bottom line is, I've enjoyed every movie I've watched recently.  I also really enjoyed the new Napoleon Dynamite TV show.  That's my advice for the day, and for your life.  Don't go into things with high expectations and you will find greater satisfaction.  I predict that oftentimes your expectations will be exceeded. Note: don't lower your standards, just your expectations.

If you need anymore evidence.  Just think about your experience with Google+...

In other news, check out these dolls.  They are married.  I thought that was funny.
 
Also, here is my cousin planking.

18 January 2012

Granted

Remember the first time you saw something that was touchscreen? I remember being totally astounded. Now here I sit typing on a touchscreen keyboard on my iPhone, totally taking it for granted.

I hit a guy in the face today and knocked out two of his teeth. Okay, so he just chipped two teeth. He's okay. Also it was an accident. We were playing volleyball, it was totally not my fault.

Have you ever been hit in the face with a volleyball, that happened to me last week, I don't recommend it. When I got hit in the face by that volleyball, I realized that I take not getting hit in the face by a volleyball for granted.

I hope I don't take you for granted.

Is that even how you spell that? Is it really one word? Forgranted. It's just starting to sound weird to me.

Thanks for being real. You know who you are.

I'm going to try and be more thankful and take less things for granted. I am so blessed.

I like good things

Once a gain here is a song for while you read:



I set a new record for most packages received in one day in my life.  The record is now thirteen!  What a great day!  I used the money I saved from buying my textbooks on amazon.com as an excuse to buy a bunch of CDs.  I spent more than I saved... of course.

Actually, a number of weeks ago I deleted all of the music from my iTunes that i had downloaded for free from the Internet.  Now all the music that I have is purchased.  Yay!

Today i spent hours in the Computer Science Lab working on a lab assignment.  I went ahead and added a little flair to them.  For example one program I wrote will convert Fahrenheit to Celsius.  I added a bunch of unnecessary dialogue.  Like: "The temperature in Celsius is 35.9328 degrees.  If your Mexican friend asked you, you would probably say it is 36 degrees."  You know, just a little flair.  Another one was about drawing a life size dinosaur.

Anyway, it was nice to get out of there.  I also would like to share that in my logic class the TA asked my friend and I to stop passing notes.  Okay, okay, I'm in college, I guess I'll grow up.

Let me share with you another thing that happened in my class.

Look at the following argument:

A v B
~A            ∴  B

Let me dumb it down for you.
This might as well say: You chose an apple or a banana.  You did not choose an apple.  Therefore, you chose a banana.  This is called a disjunctive syllogism.

Today, twice and last class one time, my teacher did this to me:


A v A
~A            ∴  A

It is a valid argument.  I just don't like it being at my expense...

Here is one such instance:

Teacher: Why did you do that?
Ben: To get a contradiction. (A)
Teacher:  No. (~A)
Ben: I don't know why then.
Teacher: You should be trying to get a contradiction. (A)


I'm confused about his logic.  Good thing he's the one teaching me.

Have you heard of Bangarang?  They are the hottest rookie Wallyball team in the BYU intramural open division .  I'm the captain.  We have a game tonight at 9:15 in the RB if you want to come cheer us on.

Love you readers. :D

17 January 2012

F.Y.Eudaimonia

Here is a song to listen to while you read my post:



I really liked this song today.

I just spent the last hour and a half trying to prove the Conditional Negation is a valid Truth-functional Shortcut Rule.  I have a proof for it, but unfortunately we are not allowed to use the Disjunctive Syllogism rule.  For some reason I just can't get it to work.  My incredible roommate Scott suggested I take a break.  Thus, I am adding a new post to my blog. :D

Anyway, did you catch my last post about MLK day?  In my ethics class we discussed hedonism.  Hedonism is a eudiamonistic theory which suggests that of our actions are driven by our desire for happiness.  Eudiamonism suggests that happiness is the highest good thing that we can obtain.  After class I pointed out to my teacher that lots of people derive happiness from having a holiday like Martin Luther King Day.  I then pointed out that we would not have had this holiday if there had not been racial discrimination.  People are generally unhappy about racial discrimination and would say it is morally wrong.  How odd that a source of unhappiness has now  contributed to the happiness of many in our nation.  My teacher chuckled at this.  


I like it when I make my teachers laugh.


I really want to make a new video for my youtube channel.  Usually the videos I've made have been for contests but I was thinking I should just make an original video. Do you have any suggestions?  Please leave them in the comments.


Today I ate at Burger King because a little coupon book came in the mail.  Yay for a free whopper!


Once when I was little, my mom took me to Burger King. I was small enough to not be able to control my body very well.  Don't worry, nothing too weird happened.  I just grabbed the top hamburger bun and flung it across the room.  It was probably quite embarrassing for my mother.


Another time when I was little, my mom took me to Wendy's.  We were sitting at the table.  I was eating a Frosty.  I sat up and leaned across the table.  My mom thought that I was going to give her a kiss.  As she leaned into my face, I let a mouthful of Frosty out of my mouth.  


Hmm... I guess I should publicly apologize to my mom for these events.  Sorry Mom!!!  She is the greatest! :D


Speaking of Wendy's, remember when they used to only have one kind of Frosty?  I remember when they came out with the Vanilla Frosty back in 2006. I went through the drive thru and when they asked chocolate or vanilla I replied, "There is no such thing as a vanilla frosty."  They lady taking my order assured me that there most definitely was a vanilla frosty and asked if I wanted to try it.  I just continued to deny its existence.  


I think I want to try to find out what the date was that they made that change. Twenty years from that day I'll go to Wendy's.  I'll order a Frosty and when they inquire about the flavor I'll say, "What do you mean?"  
"Would you like Chocolate or Vanilla?"
"There are Vanilla Frosty's?"
"Yes, would you like to try one?"
"How long have there been Vanilla Frosty's?"
"I don't know, since before I was born."
"Wait!  What year is this?"
"2026"
Then I'll start freaking out about how I've travelled through time and cause a huge ruckus.  


Apparently now there are lots more different kinds of Frostys.  I have still yet to try the vanilla flavor.  Is it any good?


Are you a girl?  If so have you applied to be my valentine yet?  Now would be a great time!


Did you enjoy that song?  I recommend the whole album.  Well I should probably get back to my homework.  To those of you who are students, are you having a nice break from yours? Get back to work!!!


:D Love you guys! Thanks for reading!

MLK Day


Excerpts from Wikipedia article appear in this color
Commentary by me appears in my favorite color.

I decided I'd do some reading about the holiday, and thought I'd share some interesting things with you.
The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, United States Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and United States Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office).  Only two other persons have national holidays in the United States honoring them: George Washington, the first President of the United States, and Christopher Columbus, whose voyages led to general European awareness of the American continents.   Because Christopher Columbus definitely held a public office... 
Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. So, pop-culture contributed to the creation of the holiday. Six million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 article in The Nation as "the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history."
At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, creating a federal holiday to honor King.  It was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.The bill established the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday, and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, was made a member of this commission for life by President George H. W. Bush in May 1989.



While all states now observe the holiday, some did not name the day after King. In Utah, the holiday was known as "Human Rights Day" until the year 2000, when the Utah State Legislature voted to change the name of the holiday from Human Rights Day to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In that same year Governor Michael O. Leavitt signed the bill officially naming the holiday "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day".
In Virginia, it was known as Lee-Jackson-King Day, combining King's birthday with the established Lee-Jackson Day. The incongruous nature of the holiday, which simultaneously celebrated the lives of Confederate Army generals and a civil rights icon, did not escape the notice of Virginia lawmakers. In 2000, Lee-Jackson Day was moved to the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, establishing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday in its own right. However,Mississippi still shares this co-celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and Robert E. Lee's birthday on the third Monday of January.  This isn't the first time Virginia has doubled up on a holiday.  From wikipedia article: "Virginia also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in theRevolutionary War. "
In Arizona, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is known as "Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Day"; while in New Hampshire, its official name is "Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Day".

Premisses:
Paid federal holidays contribute to wasting government funds.
If there was no such thing as racism, I wouldn't have had a day off of school today.
Virginia is cheap when it comes to holidays.

Conclusion:
No matter what you call it, Happy MLK Day. :D




Also, I ate sushi today.  It was good.