Saturday, May 31, 2008

Psalm 34

4 I asought the Lord, and he bheard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked unto him, and were alightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The aangel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O ataste and see that the Lord is bgood: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Click on the hyperlinks for footnotes, e.g.:

Lam. 3: 25.
25 The Lord is agood unto them that bwait for him, to the soul that cseeketh him.
Heb. 11: 6.
6 But without afaith it is impossible to please him: for he that bcometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a crewarder of them that ddiligently eseek him.
Alma 37: 37 (36-37).
37 aCounsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for bgood; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the cmorning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Ps. 4: 1 (1, 3).
1 aHear me when I call, O God of my brighteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in cdistress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Aimee Mann, Boxing and Shrek

A singer named Aimee Mann was being interviewed on the radio this afternoon. As she talked, it came up that she had learned boxing before she made it as a singer. She said it taught her some important life lessons.

When you box, you have to stay on task and on your plan. If you get hit, you don't suddenly lose focus and just try to hit the other guy, you will just lose. No, instead you work your plan. She said she applies the same lessons when she gets cut off in a parking lot. Instead of getting diverted into anger at whoever cut her off, she focuses on her goals.

She said that staying on track is what has made her a success in her life and in music. Oh, and that let her make the music in Shrek the Third her own.

News links:
I initially resisted comparisons between what the YFZ families are going through and the Indian experience of the last two centuries. Tim Giago's column makes a good case, particularly in the context of Indian boarding schools, however I still think the comparison is a strained one. An argument can be made that both the FLDS and Indians were targeted by the government due to their religion and culture, true, but one raid, however mismanaged and ham-fisted, hardly compares to 200 years of cultural genocide. The FLDS lived on that ranch because they wanted to, not because the Federal government seized their homes and herded them there. The FLDS are considered human beings under the law, a distinction not bestowed on Indians until 1879. Family members who objected to the removal of their children were not indiscriminately mowed down by Army howitzers.
The quoted author has an excellent point, there have been terrible injustices that are still on-going in our world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random Musings

More fat women than fat men go to water parks. Especially with the young, no one cares, which is kind of neat. Bikinis are just normal wear. If you aren't at BYU, a tankini is considered extremely modest. Last three times to waterparks in the past couple of years, I saw no speedos. That is an improvement. Everyone wears what we used to call surf jammers (long shorts that go to the knees for guys). Even girls are starting to wear them.

We observed Memorial Day at church Sunday. Bishop Benson talked about his grandfather, who was born in the late 1800s, like my grandfather Mylonas. He talked about how he would listen to stories about World War I and how his grandfather rode a horse (he was in the artillery). About how when his grandfather talked to others, the thing he remembered most was the fear, the death and the terror of war. How when his sons went off to war in World War II he cried and wished he could go for them to keep them from it.

There is so much we have to be grateful for, much more than waterparks and people who accept each other. Though it was neat to see people who didn't seem to care about race or fat or a lot of other things, just having fun together.

Bishop Benson's grandfather would have been pleased to see that.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reasons // Social Networks

It’s not the pattern of the Lord to give reasons. We can put reasons to commandments. When we do we’re on our own.
1988 Elder Dallin H. Oaks

There is a lot of sense in looking towards acceptance rather than explanation. In grief, so many explanations others will give you are facile, shallow, self serving and harmful.

I'll also note that a co-worker convinced me to put a profile on Facebook.

Other than family, I'm not friending anyone who isn't my age, but it did get me back in contact with some old friends. Interesting experience. Another one I'm facing with acceptance rather than explanation.

My web site is and I'm a part of the JRCLS.

My weightlifting log is at t-nation.

Finally, of course, I group blog at Mormon Matters.

What kinds of social networks do you belong to outside of the bloggernacle?


I end up talking with people on this theme several times a year.
  • a mother whose only boy has died, and who can't have any other children, and who feels betrayed that God has left her without sons;
  • a father whose wife has become an alcoholic and whose children are losing their way;
  • someone whose interaction with food has gone terribly wrong and who can't stop gaining weight;
  • people recovering from disasters who feel that calamity should not have befallen them;
  • a kid who wants to serve a mission but who has developing mental illness issues that medication doesn't quite resolve;
  • the list goes on.
Affliction, especially affliction that seems permanent or life altering, causes a number of emotions. A sense of loss, pain, hopelessness, bereavement and others. Bitterness and betrayal seem to be two of the hardest to deal with. In some situations (such as a spouse who has an attack of the "middle aged crazy" or who has been unfaithful) the emotion seems unavoidable.

Many people who have read my blog know that I've been reading 12-step literature in the hope that it would apply to grief. It does, a little, sometimes. I've written about that too.

But, and this is a big but, there is one area where there is a 12-step group that has feelings of betrayal and resentment down cold. That group is Al Anon. Al Anon is a group for people who have an alcoholic in the family (one of the sub-groups is for kids who have to deal with an alcoholic parent). They have a lot of literature. But, a constant theme, over and over again, is dealing with feelings of betrayal, resentment and the need to control someone else.

This is especially true when people feel betrayed by God in what has happened to them.

Yes, I'd advocate anyone with those emotions to seek counseling. But, you can read things (e.g. here on the official site, and an excellent collection of essays on-line here). No matter what is causing the feelings (and alcoholics often are unfaithful, mentally ill, betrayers -- that is all part of the disease), they have an excellent tool set to help you while a professional gives you additional support.

No question, I value The Anatomy of Peace. But if you need more, there are books like One Day at a Time in Al-Anon (available for 12 cents or so used on Amazon and probably in your local library) that can help with the emotional states, to give you encouragement and hope in dealing with the pain, confusion and anguish.

That can help you find peace.

For some "middle age crazy" links:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Checking traffic, misc. thoughts.

[this post was moved out of order, but was written 7/13/2008]

I was looking at the top search engine terms that got people to and found the following:

Top 20 of 6030 Total Search Strings

# Hits Search String

1 321 3.03% what makes a hero
2 237 2.24% joint custody
3 151 1.43% shared custody
4 94 0.89% dire wolf
5 91 0.86% sword makers
6 88 0.83% death of a child
7 86 0.81% loss of a child
8 79 0.75% what is mediation
9 78 0.74% fathers day talks
10 60 0.57% heroquest
11 51 0.48% diablo gif
12 50 0.47% verbal self defense
13 49 0.46% prayers of the faithful
14 46 0.43% lycanthrope
15 46 0.43% mediation
16 45 0.42% adr
17 45 0.42% fathers day talk
18 42 0.40% joint physical custody
19 39 0.37% father's day talk
20 37 0.35% tangible resources

I'm running about nine thousand pages a day, 180,000 or so a month (or 372860 or so hits a month, about two hits per page, the site is graphics light). Surprised me, did the fact that significant referrers to my site come from a Russian and French language locations.

As far as I can tell, not much of the traffic is coming from search engines. The old analysis system told me more than the new one does, though it has a lot of information (such as the fact that the average visitor hits 3 to 5 pages a visit).

Hits Files Pages Visits Sites KBytes Visits Pages Files Hits

Jul 2008 11328 9321 5612 1672 10853 1295324 21738 72966 121179 147269
Jun 2008 12428 9926 6173 1792 29571 3199966 53761 185215 297794 372860
May 2008 13648 10632 6894 2099 31955 3673124 65085 213723 329603 423094
Apr 2008 13218 10202 6264 2094 30931 3273145 62826 187948 306063 396551

Wish I knew what it all means.

Well, I guess if I leave it alone, it will leave me alone ;)

Monthly Statistics for June 2008

Total Hits 372860
Total Files 297794
Total Pages 185215
Total Visits 53761
Total KBytes 3199966

Total Unique Sites 29571

Sunday, May 11, 2008

.. bruise too easily ...

I bruise you
You bruise me
We both bruise too easily
Too easily, to let it show

I was going to write a post about how easy it is to bruise each other. Mother's Day can be a land mine like that. So many people whose parents are dead or estranged, too many mothers whose childen are dead or lost or who have never been born.

But that is really someone else's post. Instead I got to thinking about the people I've bruised. I remember an incident with Popcorn Popping (for example). Just because I had good cause did not mean I had sufficient cause. Which is why, in the end, I owed the other side an apology [see here].

I've been thinking about things like that recently. I've had a troll for a while. Tried to engage him, to see if I could get him past the incoherent insults. I suspect that whatever has made him upset with me, part (or all) of it is my fault. Which means I should apologize.

Anyway, today I reached out and apologized to someone I had bruised, and thanked someone who had given me useful criticism that helped me do better (and who was afraid they had bruised me).

Better yet, I was able to have dinner with my mother, without any bruising at all.

Sure sounds like a squirrel to me

A pastor was candidating at a local church [and] was asked to share with the fourth-grade-boys class ....
"What is brown and furry, has a long tail, loves nuts and climbs trees?"
Jimmy shot his arm into the air right after the pastor had finished asking the question.
"I know, I know the answer," he shouted.
"Tell us the answer, Jimmy" said the pastor.
"The answer is Jesus," he said with a slight pause, "but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me."
When it sounds like a squirrel, will we have the wisdom to say so?

I've been doing a fair amount of reading in ethics and philosophy the past couple years. I'm starting to get where I've read enough that I'm getting an idea of what I want to read. But I am finally learning when things sound like a squirrel.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Great Short Story

On-line, for free, by Suzette Haden Elgin:

What is really interesting is the vastly different things people take away from the story.

(It is related to Communipath Worlds, three novels she wrote in the early 70s that are still readable today. If you got to her by reading her Laadan feminist science fiction, you probably don't know that she wrote some early works that are still very readable today).

Also, just in from a link on The Mormon Archipelago:

Church Publications in Compressed Audio Format (including all of the scriptures)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Misc. links on lawyering

I enjoyed law school, much to the surprise of some of my fellow students. I like thinking about the law and I like practicing law. Of course today was a great day (I got two summary judgments today). But day in, day out I enjoy being a lawyer. I don't blog much about my job because there isn't much to say. I really like my boss, my co-workers are great and the work load is pretty close to ideal. I even get to walk my little girl to school almost every morning.

As a result, I'm a little biased as a source of advice or perspective, so I thought I'd share the links above for a counterpoint.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shakespeare "In the Original Klingon"

Shakespeare "In the Original Klingon" is a project I got started on once.

What is fun, someone has taken it a step further: Klingon Shakespeare Restoration Project.

The Klingon Hamlet
The Klingon Hamlet by Lawrence Schoen and Klingon Language Institute (Paperback - Feb 1, 2000)

Even better is:
Shakespeare in the Bush


Hamlet @Web English Teacher

Guess I should be more reverent with the classics, but I love them none-the-less.