Thursday, March 04, 2010

A New Dawn

Just when I thought nothing could ever top the Sugarbowl of 2009, Sony goes and does this....

If Will Smith does a remake of "You're the Best Around," this could very well end me.

"Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Was on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mount. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very importnat" - Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, RIP I am thankful you did not see the shameful Runnin' Utes' performance last night.
"Kung fu lives in how we put on the jacket, be strong, take off the jacket, kung fu lives in how we treat people, everything is kung fu" - New Miagi

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great Fortune


In 2008 the highest paid CEO made $133.7 million, to even make the top 100 highest paid CEOs you had to receive almost twelve million, that’s for just one year of work. These numbers are pretty petty when you consider the CEO of CEOs Warren Buffet lost nearly twenty-five billion in the last year; bring his net worth down to number two in the world with a mere thirty-seven billion. In truth these numbers don’t mean very much to me, and I would prefer a simple life to one of these tycoons. However what Warren Buffett has chosen to do with his money, and why he's chosen to do so is very powerful to me.

Warren believed he made most of his fortune because of a lucky accident, mostly attributed to when and where he was born. His work was more richly rewarded in this time and place than those of teachers, police officers, nurses, doctors and those that truly care. So he’s going to give away 99% of all his money to a charity started by the current richest man in the world Bill Gates. This foundation was created because they believed that every human life has equal worth and their goal is to help billions of people get a chance to live a healthy, productive life.

I hope we can all take a page from Warren Buffet's book. In these times of economic hardship I hope we can all realize that our sense of self worth should have very little to do with our net worth. It's the amount we are able to give of ourselves and the care that we provide to one another that truly matter. Thank you Mr. Buffet for giving us thirty seven billion reasons to follow you. Thank you for making this purchase in humanity, I pray we will not let you down and it will be an investment worth making.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One Tenth of One Percent

In 1990 the U.S. Human Genome Project set out to determine the sequences of DNA, and identify all the human genes. Thirteen years later we learn the human genome contains 3.2 billion chemical nucleotide base pairs, the average gene consists of 3,000 of these base pairs, and the total number of genes is estimated at 25,000, much lower than the previous estimates of 80,000 to 140,000. Functions are still unknown for more than 50% of discovered genes.

The most interesting statistic for me, largely due to the fact that my understanding of this subject matter is severely limited, the human genome sequence is almost exactly the same in all people. We are 99.9% similar, with only one tenth of one percent difference among humanity.

On one end of the spectrum we are only genetically different by one tenth of one percent to drug dealers, murders, rapists, BYU fans, thieves, and Bill O’Reilly. But at the same time to think that we are 99.9% identical to the likes of Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Walt Disney, Thomas S. Monson, Mohandas Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela is pretty powerful. As humans we are all capable of a very wide spectrum of things. It’s tremendously hopeful that we are so similar to the greats of our time. The potential in each and every one of us is truly marvelous. I hope we can all find compassion and forgiveness to those that haven’t made the best of choices, remembering that even the worse people out there are only one tenth of one percent different than all of us.

It is more and more evident to me that in order to solve the problems we face as a family, community, region, country and world, our common humanity is greater than our differences. We are all much closer than we will ever understand and people care much more about one another than we often realize. Our surrounding, choices and actions are what separate us. If we all would remember our common humanity, over our small differences, I know we’d all be much happier.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

If


-Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet the Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your head and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year

2009 will be a great year.



Can't think of a more perfect way to start it all.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Welcome to Heartbreak

This song stopped me.



My friend showed me pictures of his kids,
And all I could show him were pictures of my cribs.
He said his daughter got a brand-new report card,
And all I got was a brand-new sportscar.

And my head keeps spinning, Can’t stop having these visions, I gotta keep with it.

Dad cracked a joke, all the kids laughed,
But I couldn’t hear him all the way in first-class.
Chased the good-life, my whole life long,
Look back on my life, all my life gone,
Where did I go wrong?

And my head keeps spinning, Can’t stop having these visions, I gotta keep with it.

I seen it, I'd seen it before.

My god sister getting married by the lake,
But I couldn’t figure out who I’d wanna take.
Bad enough that I showed up late,
I had to leave before they even cut the cake.
Welcome to heartbreak.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Rivalry?

College game day was destined to be at the Rice-Eccles Stadium this year. The stars had aligned, no one said it but every true Ute and BYU fan hoped it could come down to this, two top ten ranked teams, a BCS bowl for the victors, taking this fierce rivalry to a whole new level.

It was all for not, BYU had to go blow it and get embarrassed by TCU. This loss was in some ways suffered more by Utah, for BYU had allowed someone else to take from them what was rightfully Utah's. They say 90% of success is showing up, and every true BYU fan that believes in their own "tradition, spirit, honor" knows BYU didn't show up. To add to this painful set of circumstances, BYU's slogan this year "Quest for Perfection"

Thank you BYU, for not living up to your end of the deal and for not having anything for us really worth taking. Thanks for mediocrity, for helpingout the BCS's cause, and for taking the rivalry out of it. This game will be hard fought and come down to the wire, all in all a great game... but it could have been epic.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Where were you when the light went out?

The Utes were outgained, 416 yards to 275. They got fewer first downs, fewer rushing yards, fewer passing yards, and possessed the ball for fewer minutes. Last night it didn't matter; we had the black, we had the King, we had the MUSS, we got win # 10. Simply beautiful!

Never Know


One of the greatest feelings I had Tuesday night was when I came to the realization of what my children will never know. I am grateful for that preacher from Atlanta that made it so I too would not have to know. I have only had to learned about and not live through our tragic history of the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, and the bridge in Selma. For me and my posterity these struggles are of the past. Truth and love has already won over tyranny and hate. Barak Obama's victory has solidified to me, that preacher from Atlanta's dream is still very much alive and becoming reality.

As I look to the future, I am very hopeful of what this attorney from Hawaii has promised. I hope we may all be grateful for a few more thing to not know.

From President Elect Barak Obama's victory speech November 4th, 2008 - "America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made? This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: yes, we can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Note to Self


I send myself messages from time to time and I leave out any detail or explanation thinking with my memory of steel, I will know exactly the context and purpose for sending myself such a message. I have found lately, my mind is not what it used to be and even messages from me are unclear. I can attribute this error to the fact that my memory is failing and I have the first stages of dementia setting in, or possibly I am not as good of a communicator as I think I am.

The truth is my memory is still pretty good and the majority of the time I can get my point across at least somewhat clearly. The main reason for this communication breakdown is I forget to include some of the context of why something is being said. As I watch this political dog and pony show that our children's future depend on, it's shocking how easy it is to fall into this very trap. The media will take statements out of context and start telling a lie by stringing a whole bunch of truths together. People turn into zealots and pick their candidate looking at all the wrong sort of details.


Quote from Fight Club sent to myself on 2/17/06 at 12:31 AM
"An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very p*ssed off. Its not until you lose everything that you are free to do anything. The things you own end up owning you."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Memory Loss


They say our ability to remember is what sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. This ability forces us to be aware of our present and also allows us to plan and prepare for the future. This memory can also hold us back and make us resist change.

Lately I've been thinking about my memories and what about it makes it so hard at times. For me remembering my past is generally a pleasant experience given my blessed life to this point. The hardest memories for me are not really memories at all. They are the memories I have planned on but for whatever reason will never experience.
The expectation of the plans unlived are the hardest for me to give up. Kind of funny since I never really had them to miss. At various points in my life I have had to choose a new path, one unplanned and unforseen. It is at these times, I tend to struggle most, it is in these moments I resist change.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too much of a good thing?

The one reason I look forward to fall is the wonderfully glorious Utah football season. My passion for this team has lead me to some surprising choices in life, all of which would sound absurd in this context so I will omit the details. However this is evidence that if you follow your heart, you will be forever thankful.

I also enjoy my share of inappropriate jokes. I don't usually feel bad about this since I don't know if you can help what you find funny, but hang with me long enough and you'll find my humor at least somewhat disturbing.

I about fell out of my desk earlier this week when I came across this shot from the homecoming game. Thank you Sean Smith and Brice McCain for making me wonder the following...

1. Can you have too much of a good thing?
2. Does this look right to you?
3. What is your sexual orientation?




Monday, September 08, 2008

Tasting Liberty


I'll always be afraid to drink from that bitter cup.
But I see now that there can be no other way.
I surrender on my own free will and choice.
Break me if you must, but please abide with me.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

31 Hours 40 Minutes and 53 Seconds


Coach Watson's flawless recap of the Wasatch Back of 2008

"I have prepared much

I had the half marathon, the Salt Lake half ran in April

Full marathon in Ogden, we’ll be going past Ogden that I ran just about a month ago

Brutal though, but now I have just been doing a lot of speed work, track work,

talking to my coaches, talking to ex-Olympians, things like that.

I am ready to go..."

After this race in 2007, I promised myself I would not do it again. Naturally a year later I found myself as a team captain. The course was five miles longer and took team FANtastic five hours longer. Two months later, I look back at this whole experience with wonder and amazment. The Wasatch Back will be one of the greatest blessing of 2008. It goes to show how narrow one's perspective can be and how much we can miss if we don't pay attention.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Starting Over

When I picture progress I generally think of a steady upward slope. As we experience life, we are supposed to learn and get better as time goes on. As I look at my life, this doesn't seem to ring true. As I review my many issues, I realize I am not any better off today than I was yesterday. To be honest, I'm likely less capable of handling issues than ever before.

I have become a slave to many habits that are holding me back from what will truly make me happy. It's a very sobering experience to realize the very things I seek to for comfort are in fact the very things that are keeping me from the growth I need to become who I need to be. The truth is the fact that I ran a few marathons yesterday is not going to do me a bit of good today if I don't continue running. The accomplishments of yesterday are only valuable if we choose to continue to learn from them.

As I start over this fall, I hope I have the strength to get out of my comfort zone and embrace the changes I need.

"Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and more skilled, more self-confident and more successful." - Mark Victor Hansen

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Touch Your Heart

Portuguese sailors, passing Taiwan in 1544, first jotted in a ship's log the name of the island "Ilha Formosa", meaning Beautiful Island.

On the fourth day of March in 1980, Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe's first black prime minister. Halfway around the world production of Sammy Fan was finished in Taiwan. Giving the term "Made in Taiwan" a whole new luster.

My father's ancestors are commonly known as Hakka, a subgroup of the Han Chinese people who lived predominantly in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian in China. They immigranted to Taiwan sometime following the 17th century.

George Leslie Mackay, became the first missionary to be commissioned by the Canada Presbyterian Church arrived in Taiwan on December 31st, 1871. My mother's ancestors were converted to Christianity five generations before me. I have had little reason to respect the Canadians until I learned about Dr. Mackay.

I have just started to do research on my family history. It has already had a great impact on how I view my role in this world. If you're looking for some place to fit in, maybe start with where you've come from.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Perfect Ten

It's my ten year high school reunion tomorrow. I've had a lot of time this past month to really sit back and reflect upon my life. I watched "The Bucket List" with a dear friend earlier this year and we briefly talked about what might be on our own bucket lists. I actually have a file saved on my computer titled as such, but luckily I was never able to complete it.

For me such a list is hard to complete because there is one critical variable that we just don't know. How much time do we have? I've taken over ten hours of gerontology courses. From these studies, I have been able to gain an appreciation for the aging process and look forward to the many stages and changes we endure as we age. With this perspective also comes an urgency to live for today. I find myself from time to time asking, "If this was my last day/week/year on earth, am I doing what really makes me happy?"

That very question has helped me focus on what was most important to me these past ten years. Given my undefined life expectancy, I can say today with a smile on my face I am happy with the way I have spent my time. My to-do list for a full life is empty.

However tomorrow is a new dawn, and it is time for the next adventure. I don't really know what to expect, except to expect change. I pray I will continue to be wise enough to follow my heart, if I can hold to that, here's to another ten years of extraordinary experiences even beyond my greatest expectations.
"We must risk going too far to discover just how far we can go." - Jim Rohn

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Have you Lived?

Sometimes it hard to see one's potiential in the mist of failure. It seems these past few weeks I've had the opportunity to live just that. One brightside to all this is it has been a lot easier to get those little things done, like scripture study and running. I guess there is a time and a season for everything. It doesn't matter so much that we never fall, just that we get back up when it happens.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Let it Be




When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

Friday, May 02, 2008

Lessons Learned


I thought I took my last final over two years ago, I found out this week my round of finals were just starting, I'll have many more exams on my journey in this wonderful life. The final I had this week I felt like I had a chance to cheat. The outcome of the course I care about more than any other course I've ever taken, if I could just take this chance I would received a good grade. What happened surprised even me. I let myself bomb the final, knowing I would lose what I cared about most.

Dealing with disappointment and loss is not something I even attempt to know how to do. In the middle of all this I have been able to learn one invaluable thing about myself. When it comes to the things that matter most in life, I care more about doing what is right than what I want. These coming days I will be able to measure how quickly I am able to find the courage to take another course. I pray I am able to use this experience as a motivation rather than a crutch.
"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart... pursue those."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Man In The Glass

I find that I don't measure myself by the same standard for very long. It seems the man in my glass has a very fluid definition of success and befriending him is going to be a bit harder than expected. As I reach various milestones in my life I generally find a certain level of dissatisfaction and realize I have many more miles to go before I sleep.

I have also found a strange tolerance for the mundane that has made this journey much more enjoyable. The majority of my days are now spent outside my comfort zone, so much so I believe I no longer have any sort of comfort zone. In this state, I find myself constantly seeking guidance for I know I cannot accomplish all that I want to alone. As I repeat this process and take focus off myself, I find out a lot more about the man in the glass- with that comes a surprising sense of joy and peace.

The Man In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self, and the world makes you king for a day, just go to a mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say.

Although there are others in life’s pathway whose judgment upon you must pass, the fellow whose verdict counts most in your life is the man staring back from the glass.

You may win all the medals and “show” all the rest and think you’re a wonderful guy; but the man in the glass says you’re only a fraud, if you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the one to please, after all’s said and done, for he’s with you clear up to the end. And you’ve passed a most dangerous, difficult test if the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathways of years and get pats on the back as you pass; but your final reward will be heartaches and tears, if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nooner

I discovered today one of my favorite quotes originated from a good friend that serves me much more than a burrito at lunch time.

"You understand the full power of temptation by never yielding to it." - Karl Birkland



I appreciate this perspective; it really gives those that choose the right a sense of strength and validation. I hope I am one day able learn how bad I truely am.

“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.
That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.” – C.S. Lewis

Monday, February 18, 2008

We Happy Few

When I first arrived at the University of Utah campus I was introduced to the St. Cispin's Day Speech of Shakespeare's Henry V by a dear friend. He charged us to develop our convictions and fight for them as if my very life depended upon it. Our youthful arrogance and limited experiences helped us undertake and accomplish many things we would have never dreamed of. In going through this process together, we developed a bond with each other that goes beyond that of common friendship. At the end of it, Shakespeare proved right. We were few, we happy few, we were band of brothers.

Although those bonds remain, sadly I have lost much of this charge in my approach to life. I now tend to seek common ground, compromise and the practical; rather than hold fast to my convinctions. I simply lack the passion I once had. Recently, I have stumbled upon a young bright visionary. Her wide-eyed view of the world is one that is innocent yet true. Just a small glimpse of this world gives me a renewed energy. A retored sense (or lack of) to try the impractical, challenge the impossible, fight the very battles that cannot be won.

From Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598:

Henry V
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Whole Person

  1. A whole person is basically courageous. Because he is not afraid, he is open and curious and can look calmly and carefully at the world around him.
  2. He is not afraid of new situations.
  3. He can tolerate risks and uncertainty; not everything has to be planned and organized beforehand; he is not afraid to try.
  4. He is confident of his own ability and resources and does not panic easily. He does not fear losing control of his emotions and is confident that he can express them in an appropriate manner.
  5. He respects dangers but doesn’t magnify or escalate them, knowing that they do not automatically lead to disaster. He worries mostly about probabilities and not possibilities.
  6. The whole person is also a realist. There is a little wishful thinking in his makeup. He sees things accurately and does not confuse what is with what should be.
  7. He accepts the existence of cause and effect relationships operating in the world (that he can’t save money if he spends it; that he can’t lose weight and continue to over eat).
  8. A whole person is mature and disciplined. He accepts conventional standards when they are convenient. Most of the time, it is simpler and less complicated to do things in a conventional way; however, he modifies or rejects them when it is better for him to do so.
  9. Discipline shows also in the ability to postpone “instant gratification.” He is oriented toward growth and will not be swayed from his real goals by needs that clamor for immediate gratification. His main emphasis is on the development of his own skills and talents – that is gratification and satisfaction.
  10. A healthy person is in control of his own life, not driven by his neuroses; he listens to others, but makes up his own mind and takes responsibility for his actions. He can work as well as play.
  11. Good judgment is another quality of a healthy person; he is discriminating and selective. He does not get lost in unimportant details. He avoids extremes and sets realistic limits. He can be courageous and not reckless; frugal and not stingy; flexible without being wishy-washy; dignified and not arrogant.
  12. A whole person has a good measure of self-respect and self-esteem. He feels all human beings are worthwhile and valuable, including himself. He does not constantly have to seek approval from others to prove that he is a worthwhile person.
  13. The whole person is productive and creative. The major thrust of his life has been to develop his own abilities and resources. He has not scattered his energy in the pursuit of prestige or to impress others.
  14. The whole person is in good contact with his own feelings and can express them. He is not in doubt about how he feels. He is sensitive to himself and his own needs. He knows what he likes and wants even if he cannot have it.
  15. He is a good observer of himself and has the ability to stand back and look clearly at what is going on. He can respond simply and directly to what is going on at the present, whether it be with anger or with love.
  16. The whole person has a good sense of self. He knows who he is, what he wants, and in what direction he is going. He is natural and spontaneous.
  17. Finally, his relationships with other people are good. He feels lovable and capable of loving. As Freud once said, “Love and work, the healthy person is capable of both in full measure.”

–B. Freet

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Closing Time

As I finally slow down and review 2007, I am overwhelmed with a surprising sense of renewal. Last year at this time my main objective was to simply take things one day at a time and hope for better days. I guess they're here, for 2008 I am much more optimistic. I've found a sense of excitement for the coming year.

Before moving on to these new beginnings, I find my thoughts pondering endings and that inevitable end. Rest assured, I'm not planning for death by any means, but realizing it's coming for us all has forced me to reset my priorities. Helping me to spend more time doing things, and surrounding myself around people that I truely enjoy. These quotes may sound morbid, but for me they are inspiring as we all look towards a new year…

“Death is the one thing that connects us all. It reminds us that what’s really important is who we’ve touched, how much we’ve given. It makes us realize that we have to be good to one another.” –Heroes

“In this world, one day death is going to take the life from everything that you love. So while you’re able, love what you have. Takes the death from your life.” – Dean Koontz

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” – Socrates

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
“You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”
– Albus Dumbledore

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

TAG

I was tagged twice and since April hails from the motherland and I do anything Megs says here we go…

Places I've lived

  1. Downtown, Salt Lake City
  2. Sigma Chi House, University of Utah
  3. Holladay, UT
  4. Taipei, Taiwan

Places I've been on vacation

  1. Kona, Hawaii
  2. Cozumel, Mexico
  3. Vancouver, Canada
  4. Taipei, Taiwan

Foods I like

  1. Anything deep fried
  2. Mexican
  3. Sushi
  4. Actually try and find something I don’t like

Hobbies I have

  1. Watching my Utes
  2. Running and cycling
  3. Learning
  4. Ecotourism – hopefully I’ll get better at this one

Things I would do if I were a billionaire

  1. Travel the world
  2. Sponsor college students
  3. Take care of the little guy
  4. Fight a grizzly bear

T.V. shows I like

  1. The Office
  2. Heroes
  3. Scrubs
  4. Seinfeld

Places I'd Like to be

  1. With nature, in the mountains, going a little faster than I should at my skill level
  2. At a sporting event, preferable college
  3. With friends, the place doesn’t matter
  4. With you, I can’t stand being alone

Things people don't know about me

  1. I love the awkward, I truly do
  2. I hold on to things for far too long, the inability to let go is just one of my challenges
  3. I’m afraid of a lot of things, but my pride makes me do just about anything to hide/overcome this
  4. I have very high expectations for people, even you

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Revolution


Thomas Jefferson once said that every generation needs a new revolution. Just like every generation before, we face our own set of problems. Global warming, oil supply, terrorism, HIV, poverty, literacy, human rights, health care, the list goes on and on. With so many issues and so many people ready to tell you what's wrong, my generation seems to be overloaded and not responding very well.

I have had the privilege to be surrounded by many who do not share this same apathy. I get to see everyday many passionate and motivated people that are committed to doing their part and caring about those that seem to not care about themselves. They relentlessly fight the good fight even though the odds are not our side; they look out not for themselves but for others. They are more afraid of losing an opportunity then they are of making a mistake which causes them to act.

The greatest parts about these actions are that they are infectious. You don’t have to be around this behavior very long to start wanting to do something yourself. I believe this is how it starts; every generation on their own must find their way. It's about time we start getting in the game, it's about time for our own revolution.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box


Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D. was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - the world's highest recognition for contributions to basic and clinical medical research, for work he completed back in 1989. Apparently this delay is common, there is a long list of potential winners, it's a tricky selection process since they do not award prizes to anyone after they've past away.

In an interview Dr. Capecchi describes his comfort zone as the point there science and science fiction intersect. This man spent his days working where few ever dare, risking his career he ignored the practical and broke down barriers making what was supposed to be impossible possible. Without his man who knows when we would have been able to map the human genome.

For me Dr. Capecchi is much more than some guy that won a prize for doing something I really don't understand, he is also a Ute. And winning such a prize as a Ute actually made me proud of whom I was. It also charged me with an energy and motivation to chase my dreams and look for ways to add my own luster. I'm not saying I'm setting out to win a Nobel Prize, but in this age of school shootings, genocide, and Paris Hilton, it's nice to learn something worth feeling good about. For that Dr. Capecchi, I thank you.

Dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Anticipation

Growing up I never thought too much about where I'd go, what I'd do, or how I'd get there. I didn't really worry about those details; I just focused on what I was passionate about and knew I would end up happy. For the last year or so I seemed to have lost my compass and have been suffering from a serious lack of any real passion.

Not to say I haven’t had enjoyed my privileged existence, but I need to not be such a good sleeper. I can’t remember the last time I could not sleep or got up early looking forward to something I was doing. I am disturbed by this and have searched pretty deeply for some answers. It’s time I take the focus off myself and do something about it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Knockout


You never expect the blow that floors you, for this very reason it is able to knock you right off your feet. We try to keep our guard up and defend ourselves in every way, but eventually we all fall. I believe once it happens to you, you’re never the same.

They say the best boxers are the ones that have never been knocked down. Once a fighter has fallen, they carry a fear with them and no longer take the risk necessary to become a champion.

I say the boxer that has never been knocked down has simply not challenged a worthy opponent and a large part of life is getting a taste of that cold hard matte. A true mark of a champion is not one without defeat, but one that knows the pains and sorrows of life well yet has the courage to face them time and time again.

A champion has to be able to take a good punch. - Muhammad Ali

If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive. - Josephine Hart

I don't like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn't of much value. Life hasn't revealed its beauty to them. - Boris Pasternak

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thankful


The things I should probably be the most thankful for are the many things I don’t have that I don’t want. As I look at my life, there are just a couple things I have ever wanted that I have not received. Deep down I feel like I could still do anything, I just have to want it bad enough.

This privileged existence has been possible because I have been too na├»ve or stubborn to realize life doesn’t always workout the way you plan it, and the fact that there are few things I’ve wanted in life. I’ve been able to focus my feeble efforts on a select few areas and continued along said path until I got there.

In the end I guess life isn’t so confusing after all. We just need to figure out what we want, and decide not to give up until we get there.

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. -Oprah

If you can't be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lost and Found

Of all the things I have, I value my relationships the most. I thought I lost my most valued and important relationship this weekend. My foundation was gone and for a short period I found myself completely lost. I felt the sort of emptiness you would not wish on your enemies. This sense of loss is comparable to losing a family member, but in some ways worse because it’s apart of me that seems to have died. Thinking is too hard to do, eating seems like a burden.

In the midst of this emptiness I reacted in a surprising way. Instead of doing what I normally do which is act according to how I feel, I ignored my feelings of self pity and did what I needed to do. I did not change any of my plans and just somehow found the strength to push forward.

My state of emptiness allowed me to really listen and take to heart the messages I heard this weekend. I was able to come to terms with my situation. Although I am still very sad and confused by the state of my most valued relationship, I find comfort in knowing it is not a loss. This change is one of progress, and however fearful I am of the likely result, I find joy in knowing my foundation was found instead of lost. My source of strength does not lie outside, but rather within. Something I know I will be able to hang on to.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. - Norman Cousins

Real loss only occurs when you lose something that you love more than yourself.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

True Faith


In all my past experiences I feel I have had either ignorance to the importance of my decision or an obvious witness to the correct path. I have had a great guidance that has lead me to where I am today. In truth, I have rarely had to exercise faith and thus far have lead a privileged existence.

Although I am able to attribute my general positive discourse and outgoing attitude to this, it has not exactly prepared me for what lies ahead. There is still a great distance in what I actually do compared to what I know I should do. These next few years are going to decide many joys and sorrows I will experience throughout my life. I have been able to get a taste of what true joy is and for the first time feel like it’s not down some distance road but right in front of me.

At times, I wish I could lose this awareness and go back to my youthful carefree approach to life. I realize this struggle that I am going through right now is my very purpose and my trials however simple have adequately prepared me for this next test. I guess the real question is do I have enough faith to close this distance that lies in me?

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference. - Jimmy Carter

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Mask


Recently, I’ve run into a few old acquaintances. We go through the usual process and update each other; trying to sum up our lives in a few short minutes. It’s trivial and superficial, the kind of conversation which is more about waiting for your turn to speak rather than listening and really communicating. I never show my true self in these situations, just different masks I’ve picked up over the years. My degree, hobbies, or political views introduced with a clever punch line to appear witty and different is pretty much all you’ll get.

I’ve also had the unreal experience of getting to know one of my closest friends in a whole new way. In getting to know them, I’ve really had an opportunity to really get to know myself. I have been able to take off the masks that I thought I could never live without and really start accepting me for who I am. Exposing my inner most thoughts, dreams and fears is something I just don’t do – not even to myself. I have found there is however, something about the truth that simply sets you free. I’ve found a sense of peace and inner strength that I never thought possible.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage."
–Lao-Tzu

Friday, July 21, 2006

All packed


The past few months I’ve taken my fair share of trip or participated in events that require me to spend a night or more away from home. Each time I don't properly pack and without fail I leave something behind. In order to help correct my behavior, I do not allow myself to simply purchase the forgotten item, I force myself to go without and in doing so hope I will remember and correct this behavior.

This highlights how I view myself in many ways. I know I have everything I need in this life; sometimes I just leave some things behind and am forced to go without. In going through this process I learn. In this life we aren’t suppose to have it all, we’re suppose to leave something out, and in doing so we learn and grow.

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would in deeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.

–Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Friendship

I’ve come to realize in a very real way recently that nothing is unrelated. No single person is ever really alone. Everyone’s actions no matter how insignificant can and does affect something else. Things were designed this way, the sooner we can give in to this, the better off we will all be.

The challenges we are given are suppose to be hard, so hard that we cannot possibly go it alone. The struggles and moments of weakness are really just opportunities of friendship - to build and forge strong relationships with others. Even when we think are, we are never alone.

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares." -Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Life of Running

This last weekend I had the opportunity to run 175 miles with 11 other people in the Wasatch Back Relay. It took us twenty-six and a half hours to cover this distance, averaging about a nine minute pace through high elevation, steep grades and extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum. Take all that and factor in very little sleep, and you have yourself a pretty interesting experiment.

Going into this relay I was only concerned about the three legs I was supposed to run. My total mileage was about 14 miles going up 2,000 ft in elevation. Since I had run a marathon a month earlier, I figure this wouldn’t be as tough so it would not be as rewarding.

For the four plus hours before I began running I had helped seven other runners along their legs, soon their pain became my pain. Once I was on the trail and my lungs started to burn and my legs began to cramp I felt a pressure I was not aware of. In all my other runs, I was doing it for myself – this time I had eleven other people depending on me, this was not just about me – I was not about to let them down.

At the end of it all, I had run less than three hours of our twenty six hour trek. My body was a little stiff, but not sore at all compared to a marathon. To my surprise this experience of participating as a team was more rewarding than the runs I had done alone. I think I can take this lesson and apply it to other aspects of my life. Many times I am reluctant to let people help me and go at many things alone. In reality I know I’ll be less tired and more rewarded if I just let some friends join me along the way.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hungry?

It's funny how a little bit can really go a long way. The little insignificant things that we dwell on each day really do have lasting effects. I think this weekend when I cramped up on mile 17 - things really could have turned out badly. I could have ignored what my body was telling me and really put my health at risk, or I could have called in quits and walked off the course.

Neither option crossed my mind. Instead of ignoring the issue or looking for a short term solution, I just focused on the next step. I realized I needed to slow down, drink a lot of water and push on. After three miles I was able to get my legs back and finished strong. Any other day I might have gone with a different approach, but because of some people I saw along the course, I was able to keep my head in the right place. That alone, however insignificant, was enough to make all the difference.

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren into the forest and sat them down and said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight and it is a fight between two wolves. One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed. The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness, humility and love.” The children were very quiet and listening to their grandfather with both their ears. He then said to them, “This same fight between the two wolves that is going on inside of me is going on inside of you, and inside every person.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked the chief, “Grandfather, which wolf will win the fight?” He said quietly, “The one you feed.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Finding your pace


The first time I went to spinning I remember feeling like I had it all figured out. Spinning was supposed to simulate cycling which I do often enough, so I felt adequately prepared.

I adjusted the bike to match my road bike, and off we went. I enjoyed the upbeat music, felt comfortable and got my heart rate up in no time. Pretty soon the once loud music seemed to be drowned out compared to my racing heart. The instructor helped volumes by encouraging me to keep pace.

As I near the finish, I give it my all and use the little energy I have left to finish strong. I think to myself, I can get use to this spinning. Then it happens - the instructor yells out, “Warm up over, let’s pick it up.”

I am floored; I had saved nothing for the actual workout. I was so caught up in the details I forgot to look at the time and pace myself. At this point, all I could manage to do was smile.

I think this experience describes exactly where I am in my life right now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fresh


A few quotes to keep pace and stay on course - I haven't forgotten the goal I've set for myself earlier this year. It is our thoughts that have brought us where we are today, and it is in our power to direct where we are going.

There is something about this wonderful spring weather that makes me really appreciate this wonderful life, and our countless opportunities.

When I get home people 'll ask me, "Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? Why? You some war junkie?" You know what I'll say? I won't say a word. Why? They won't understand. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, and that's it. That's all it is. -Black Hawk Down

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves. -Hellen Keller

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. -Martin Luther King, Jr

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you. -Marian Wright Edelman

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own. -Confucius

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Out of Focus


I find it is really easy these days to get off course. In this so called information age, we have so much information that it clouds us from getting to the true knowledge I think we all seek. It takes a lot of energy for me to sort my many priorities and figure out what is really important and meaningful.

There are two things that I unconsciously do that I have recently become aware that are true measures of my focus. The first is if I don’t have my cell phone, I generally keep it close by in case of emergencies and if I’m not alone I will most likely not answer. Unless you happen to be my mother, she gets to interrupt me. I find it childish and rude those that seem to be somewhere else and constantly messaging or taking calls. The second is a rare luxury and that is when I don’t have my watch on and do not need to worry about what time it is. I think it’s important for all of us to figure out what it is we truly value and spend some quality time enjoying it.

For me this week it was a good friend getting married. It was an amazing day, filled with old friends, some new ones, coming together and celebrating one of the greaest joys in life. It was the kind of day that made me realize how out of focus some of my priorities are. The bride and groom have the kind of relationship that just doesn't exist anymore, the kind that this world needs more of. The greatest part was realizing that there are some things worth waiting for, and amongst this crazy string of seemingly unrelated insignificant events we call life - we can have things come into focus and there is a happily ever after, for all of us, even for me.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two Questions

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

If we don't yet know about life, how can we be expected to deal with death?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lost in Translation

I can’t help but feel we are wasting our greatest resource and getting further off the path by giving into technology. Instead of spending quality time with people and interacting with them live and in person; we call, email, instant message, text and blog. They are all poor substitutes and distract us from what’s really important.

Human communication is made up of everything from physiological changes, body language, voice inflections, speech, and much more that gets lost in the technology translation. So much of our communication is non-verbal, and text on a screen isn’t what I’m talking about. How many times have you known a good friend is having a bad day by their facial expressions, verse a text message they sent you?

I get about ten visitors to my blog a day. I have no idea by whom and they rarely leave comments. I get about five text messages a day, sadly I have started to reply to most of them. I have some friends that I email more than I see or even talk to, regretfully I can’t seem to hang on to them.

Sure with technology we can do more, but really what are we doing more of and at what cost? I find I spent far too little time face to face with the people I care about most and these substitute forms of communication are only distracting me from the quality interaction we all need - when it comes to communication, I‘m taking quality over quantity.

“The greatest danger isn’t that machines will begin to think like people, but that people will begin to think like machines”
“It is appallingly obvious our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
- Albert Einstein

Time did a
n article on this last month, I read it at the doc's office this afternoon.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Moments of Clarity

















I recently read my journal from when I was an intern in DC. It's hard to imagine that this was nearly five years ago. This entry made me think about a talk I heard this weekend on seeing the end from the beginning. I think there have been a few times in my life where this has happened.


May 26, 2001

I'm in New York City, its 9:00 PM and I'm sitting alone in our hotel room watching commencement speeches. I can’t believe the time I’m having. Everyone is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but I was extremely tired and wanted some time alone (very rare). It has been good, I figured out a lot today. I have a feeling of peacefulness and happiness right now. I think about my future and wonder about the things, places, and people that I’ll be with. I realized my faith today, the faith I have within myself. I will succeed; I will get what I want. I just have to figure out what that is.

This city gives me the chills. I love and hate it all at the same time. New York City is life, it is in your face. It’s Broadway, big business, capitalism, crime, violence, compassion, and vision. I need to get dressed and go out, I’m in NYC and it’s time to stop being introspective.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

End of the Beginning

I always imagined my life would have a clear beginning, middle and end – kind of like the 100 years song by Five for Fighting. After all there is supposed to be a time and a season for everything.

Eight years ago when I pledged to become a member of a fraternity, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to even begin to prioritizing my time. I had just moved out on my own for the first time, was taking a full load of school, worked thirty hours a week, and had added many responsibilities as a pledge.

The one thing I regret is I wish I would have gotten to know my big brother in the house. The countless times I turned him down for lunch, to go to a movie, or hangout late night because of a test or for work still haunt me to this day. I never took the time to really get to know him like I should have. I always thought maybe later when I’m not so busy, I’ll take some time and we could become close.

That time never came, he past away Halloween of 2002. Suddenly my priorities didn't make much sense, the time I spent studying or at work seemed trivial compared to what I gave up. I always knew looking back on tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on the laughs could make me cry.

My Personality

Your Five Factor Personality Profile
Extroversion:
You have high extroversion.You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!"
Conscientiousness:
You have high conscientiousness.Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life. Most things in your life are organized and planned well. But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.
Agreeableness:
You have medium agreeableness. You're generally a friendly and trusting person. But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism. You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.
Neuroticism:
You have low neuroticism. You are very emotionally stable and mentally together. Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly. Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is high. In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.
Type B+
You're a pro at going with the flow. You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer. A total joy to be around, people crave your stability. While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity. Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done. You're passionate - just selective about your passions.