Thursday, June 30, 2011

Punctuation Does Not Cost Extra

Handsome Bryce and I don't need another car, but reading the car classifieds on is some kind of addiction we suffer from. Why do we suffer? We suffer because of the horribleness of car descriptions.

First is the stealth stupidity. Everything looks okay at first glance. They might finish incomplete sentences with periods, but at least they seem to understand how to use the Shift key and have let Spell-Check smooth out some bumps.But then you realize they are probably totally insane or liars due to incongruities in their description. Let's just think about this, your car overheated to the point that it ruined your radiator, but the engine is in excellent condition? In case you don't know, this is what happens when a car overheats. Which part of that engine is excellent? Do you know what "excellent condition" implies? You make me sad.

Next is the person who fancies himself as E.E. Cummings, or he would if he knew who that was. They have a general disregard for the conventions of capitalization and punctuation.
These advertisers usually come off as abrasive, lazy, and uneducated. They will usually tell you vaguely about the "rebilt tittle" or try to get you to buy the car based on what they still owe on their loan rather than what the car is worth. You might actually be friends with this person, but your relationship is doomed because you will constantly have misunderstandings over their incomprehensible text messages and Facebook updates, also they will never pay you back that $5 you lent them.

Last is the person who is for sure crazy, too crazy to even try to hide it.
This person will manifest all kinds of literary tics: abuse of ellipses, inventing their own kind of ellipses, random or senseless capitalization, etc. This person pukes type all over a page and then decorates it with random punctuation. Usually they also want your "SPECIAL SECURITY NUMBER".

I don't know why we read these ads. Maybe we like having our faith in humanity ground down to a fine powder. Maybe we are secretly getting some kind of adrenaline high off of the head-exploding logic of these people. Maybe I just like to laugh for 3 minutes about the words "BUMBER had small SCRATCH"!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Better Snack

Lately there have been several frozen yogurt places that have suddenly popped up in Provo and Orem. I wanted to try one so I tried to bamboozle Handsome Bryce into going with me by making it the reward for winning a bet. (The outcome of the bet is so far undetermined, unless Max Hall's mom will write to me and tell me if Max's hair is red or brown.)

Even though I didn't win, yet, Handsome Bryce still offered to go try the frozen yogurt with me. So we drove by the first place:
Too crowded. The second place?
Even more crowded! The third place?
Seriously, what is going on? Has science invented a new unimaginably delicious frozen yogurt since I last tried one? I was under the impression that frozen yogurt was just the somewhat less delicious, but supposedly healthy, sister to ice cream. It's a respectable snack, but it isn't that great.

I could understand a mad rush to purchase something magically fantastic, like:
Ok, so that is basically a shish-kabob, but guys, it's steak. Steak is so much more delicious than yogurt!
I would wait in all three yogurt lines to try the Ice Crchurro. As you can see it is a churro injected full of ice cream. (p.s. Spell-Check thinks "churro" is not a word, but it seems to be ok with "crchurro", curious.)
This idea is so great I hope someone steals it from me and starts selling it right now. It is a giant tortilla chip rolled into a cone and filled with nachos. I love nachos, but I do not love their messiness. No more getting cheese-fingers from grabbing individual chips, and no more dropping your toppings! You can eat it like an ice cream cone! Why does this not exist yet???

If you own a frozen yogurt establishment, take a long look at yourself. Isn't it in your best interest to diversify? Please, the people need Nacho Cones!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Squishy Red Aliens

Now that we know we are having a boy, people keep asking me what we are going to name him. Some people tell me "Oh, I never name any of my kids until I see them, because I have to know what they will look like." Here's the thing, I know what your kid is going to look like. We all know that kids look like squishy red aliens when they first come out.

My mom told me that when I was born she thought, "Oh, other babies are all squished and red when they are born, but Rachel is not!" This shows you that my mom loves me, because yes, I was:Luckily all things have a measure of cuteness when they are small, (even Velcro-shoes,) but really babies just don't get very cute for a while. I, for example, looked like Winston Churchill for the first part of my life.

No one believes me when I tell them this. Usually people think I am kidding or something.
But I am not kidding.Don't worry. I'm cool with it. Winston Churchill was a pretty ok guy, and later on I grew some hair and a neck. Now Winston and I could barely pass for cousins.So we don't have a name picked out, but it is not because I need to see what our baby will look like. I am pretty sure he will grow out of that anyway.
Sharks are Awesome

I read an article the other day explaining that the word "awesome" has lost its meaning (awe inspiring) and had been marginalized to pretty much mean "good". In order to remind the internet of the true meaning of awesomeness let us all take a moment to reflect on the shark:Let's say you are swimming around in the ocean, kicking your gangling little legs around and getting salt in your eyes; when you look up and notice that 4 feet from you is a massive torpedo shaped shark looking at you. You would be feeling two things: #1 Awe, pure paralyzing awe at this giant death machine that came upon you without a sound. #2 A cloud of warmth, from where you soiled yourself.
Sharks are naturally scary. They have a perpetual frown on their faces. When they are attacking they will roll their eyes to the back of their heads, this protects their eyes and looks totally freaky.
Sharks are not made to retreat. They literally cannot swim backwards, only forwards, really fast.

Wikipedia says, "Contrary to the common wisdom that sharks are instinct-driven "eating machines", recent studies have indicated that many species possess powerful problem-solving skills, social skills and curiosity. The brain- to body-mass ratios of sharks are similar to mammals and birds."

So thanks Wikipedia, before I was afraid of sharks, and now I am extra afraid of sharks.
Sharks can be born in 4 different ways. Some have been known to duplicate without needing a father, weird. Most though, are born by eggs that hatch inside the mother, eggs that hatch outside the mother, or live birth.

They are pretty much punks from the moment they are born. Baby great white sharks swim away from their mother as fast as they can as soon as they come out.The mom might feel kind of sad about this, because she was 100% planning on eating that baby; so yeah, they never really grow out of that jerkiness.

Sharks have little dents on their faces that let them sense electricity from their prey, in case you somehow manage to avoid their keen hearing, sense of smell, or eyesight. Also, many sharks have to keep moving in order to breathe, so that means little or no sleep.
So go ahead and keep using the word "awesome" to refer to your breakfast waffles and new socks, but make sure you always follow it with the mental note, "but not as awesome as sharks".

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anniversary Ghost Town

A few months ago Bryce and I went ghost town exploring for our anniversary. We went to an old mining town called Dividend.It was a pretty neat place with really dangerous things, like bottomless gaping holes:

And flooded shafts:
Also a super handsome man:
And a really sad looking old stove:
A random room full of papers from the 70's:
Core samples:
A giant thing with a sign on it that pretty much said "Don't climb on this giant thing!"
An old sulphury smelling shaft
Which we did not go into because it was full of mouse poops.
It was really fun to explore, especially with my excellent husband! If you are curious about it you can read more at this web site.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Draft

Handsome Bryce and I love basketball and football. We especially love BYU basketball and football. We read a lot of sports articles, and have been pretty dissatisfied with the vast majority of them. How often do you read an article about an athlete and come away thinking "What the heck? Has this guy ever even watched sports?" Sports articles are so full of disconnected thoughts, general inaccurate criticisms and cliches that we started to wonder if there are real humans writing them at all. It really seems like a robot could do just as good of a job.

So we set to work and created just that! Behold the Sports Writer of the future! This robot writes articles for the NBA draft (tonight!!!) so it only uses male pronouns. You can select whether you would like the to generate a positive review, or negative review. Try it out, I think you will see it compares in quality to most articles you might come across online!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trent is a Missionary!

Today Bryce's brother went into the MTC, Missionary Training Center, to prepare to serve in the China, Hong Kong mission! He will be gone for two years, that's two Llama Fests he will miss. A mission is a pretty big deal in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is an opportunity for a young man or young woman to set aside two years to be selfless. Seriously selfless, not just a little. They spend all all all their time doing humanitarian work and teaching the gospel to anyone who is interested in learning. So, no Facebook, no video games, no dating, no reading your sister-in-law's blog; they only get one day a week to take care of normal things like laundry and grocery shopping! They study, teach, and serve all day for two years! This is what missionaries use to teach people about the Mormon church.

A lot of people think this is a weird thing to do, and they don't understand why Mormons are interested in doing it. If you are wondering that same thing, then I recommend this article/talk about Mormon Missionaries.

Some people are not very nice to missionaries, there is even a group of people who spend a lot of time trolling on Mormon Chat! (Some of them are pretty funny, but some are not.) A mission is a big sacrifice though, so if you see missionaries remember to be nice, one of them might be Trent! You can recognize Trent because he will look like this:
Except he will be wearing a dress shirt, and a better tie, and also his companion will be a human guy, not a llama, and his companion will also be wearing a dress shirt. (I didn't have a lot of pictures of Trent ok?)

Anyways, we are all really proud of Trent and his willingness to to serve the people in Hong Kong. The gospel is the center of our lives, it gives me peace and purpose. We will all miss him, but I know it is what he is supposed to be doing right now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boo Bubbles!

I saw a guy making dry ice bubbles on Youtube and it looked so magical that I needed to try it too. I pestered Handsome Bryce into making me a container that could make these happy little blobs. It turned out to be a really cheap project. We used an empty gallon milk jug, 3 feet of .5 inch clear tubing $.60, and some Liquid Nails $1.39. We also bought a pack of different bubble blowing tips for $5, this is optional, but it helps if you want to make big bubbles.

We cleaned the milk-jug and melted a hole at the top of the handle, which the tube was inserted into and held in place with the Liquid Nails. We let this dry over-night.

Once the bubble chamber was complete we filled it half-full with hot water and put dry ice pieces in it. We then dipped the end of the tube in a mixture of dish soap and water. After removing the tube from the soap one of us would cover the mouth of the jug, thus forcing the carbon dioxide vapor through the tube, creating magical cloud bubbles!

The outside of the bubble is warm from the warm water, and the inside is cool because of the sublimated carbon dioxide. They won't hurt you, we were wearing gloves so that we could hold the bubbles without popping them.

Yes, it was just as fun as it looks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Obscure Allusions
Sometimes, I see or hear something and it instantly reminds me of something else. It is convenient when then thing it reminds me of is something pretty much everyone else can relate to. For example "That rock reminds me of a big toe" is something to which most people will say, "Hey, you are right! It looks just like a hallux!"

Sometimes it can be impressive when the thing happens to remind you of an obscure piece of literature or art. Then you can say, "Oh, this song reminds me of Goya's Disasters of War prints." Someone might say, "You are totally right!" thereby making the two of you bff; or they might say "I've never heard of those" to which you can respond casually "Oh, they're not his most famous pieces" thereby making you seem more educated than you are.

The problem is when the thing you are reminded of is both obscure, and stupid. As you all know:Nevertheless, for some reason when I was 12 I decided to watch a random made-for-TV horror movie called They Nest. Probably it was a terrible movie that no one else would be afraid of (if anyone else besides me had ever seen it) but it left a lasting impression on me. If you follow the link you can watch the trailer and get the full impact, but basically what you need to know is that people on the East coast were attacked by hoards of roaches with paralyzing bites. Then the poor temporarily paralyzed person would fall down and a big, pulsating roach queen would crawl into their mouth. It was heinous, see?
It has left a lasting impression on me, though. Ever since I saw the movie I have seen things that remind me of that big ugly mother roach, and no one has ever been able to agree with me about it!

So from now on when I say, "Ugh, that reminds me of that giant roach queen in that weird They Nest movie" I expect all of you to respond with something like, "Eeew you are right!" and we will be bffs.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Did You Guess Correctly?
You guys, ultrasounds are so weird. I was so bewildered to see it was an actual baby squirming around that it still really hasn't dawned on me that it is a baby boy, but that's what it is! Have an excellent day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Too Fancy I just cut the corner off a ziplock and use that to frost things, but not this time.
My cookies still turned out ok, but I had to stand in frosting whilst finishing them.

Ziplocks, I will never forsake you again.