Friday, February 29, 2008

Joshua and the Case of the Missing PB&J

I made the boys peanut butter and jelly sandwiches last night. I gave them each their sandwich and went to another room. A few minutes later, Joshua came and found me and said, "Daddy, I need to show you something."
"What is it, Bud?"
"Something happened to my sandwich."
"What happened to it?"
"I think someone ate it. I think Annie ate it."
(Annie was not at home at the time...)
"No, pal, I don't think Annie ate it, she's at Grandma's house with Jenessa."
"Well, I think someone ate it."
"Did you eat it?"
So I went with him and looked, and sure enough his sandwich was missing.
"What should we do?" I asked him.
"Make me another sandwich."
"Okay, Bud, but I need you to blow in my face for a second, okay?"
He did so and his breath betrayed a distinct peanut butter, jelly, and Grandma Sycamore's Honey Grain smell.
But since he was still hungry I went ahead and made him another sandwich anyway, which he heartily ate right up.I took this picture a little later (after Annie came home, obviously) just to document how gosh dang cute he looked yesterday in a sweater previously owned by his cousin Jackson.

A few minutes after this episode, Morgan was toddling around eating a Ritz cracker. I watched him approach the pets' water dish and before I could get to him he dipped the cracker and took a bite with lightning quick speed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Love Irony!

Ba ha ha! I just heard a promo commercial on FM100 here at work that went something like:
"Not everyone wants to be shocked when they listen to the radio. FM100, no parental advisory necessary."
I promise that I had not ever heard this promo before, particularly not before writing the entry below.

Monday, February 25, 2008

FM100 and Shocking Songs

Like many "offices" or work places in Utah, we play FM100 in the background all day at work. (By the way, if you do a google image search on "fm100," to try and find their logo or something, you may get a picture like this--introducing the "Feet Mittens!" I assume they are 100's, meaning they're pretty dang cool, better than the 99's anyhow.) The music pretty well serves to eliminate dead noise and create an atmosphere in which people are probably a little more comfortable than if there were no background music. But I've noticed something about the music played on this station owned by Bonneville Communications--a lot of the songs, if you listen to the words, have some pretty shady themes.

Case in point: a very popular song was playing today. I think the name of it is "More than Words." It's a nice raw-sounding acoustic guitar duet with neat harmonies and lots of repetition (I'm sure you all know the song). One of my coworkers walked past my desk and commented that this is a great song, but before I could ask him why he liked it so much, he had walked back to the service area. But I really wanted to know why he likes it, because if you listen to the lyrics it's kind of, well, should we say, naughty?

The whole point of the song is that the dude (or dudes I suppose) singing are trying to convince a girl that the real way to prove her feelings is not to just say that she cares or loves or whatever, but there needs to be something "more than words." And what is it that they expect? A physical relationship! And from the nuances of the lyrics it's pretty clear they don't just mean hand holding, a little snuggling, or even a standard-friendly kiss. So, my question is, what's so great about the song?!!

Moreover, a large portion of the songs on FM100 have similar themes. I try not to listen to them so much. My hope is that I'm always distracted by the hordes of interested Saturn-buyers constantly knocking down the doors eager to have me show them around, but in lieu of that much of the time I just read...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's In the Bag!

Back in October we spent a week in Disneyland. Today we were reminded of something that happened there. This is the story of the strange lollipop.

While waiting to enter the Tikki Room to listen to the singing colorful birds we were all ordering pineapple floats and thoroughly enjoying them. Then we noticed that Joshua was thoroughly enjoying something else, a giant lollipop. With plenty of adults who could have bought it for him we weren't immediately concerned about its origins. After asking around to find out who of his aunts, uncles, parents, or grandparents bought it for him and no one owning up, we got a little worried.

"Joshy, where did you get the sucker?" His response, "I got it from the bag." We asked him which bag and he kind of looked around and pointed to one that "looked like it" in a strange stroller.

By the way, this sucker had clearly already been enjoyed by someone else before being re-wrapped for later.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This wasn't the video I was intending on filming, but just look at those massive dark eyes. What can you do with a little guy like this?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don't Call Me Kyle Korver!

This post is all about haircuts. Joshua got his hair trimmed last week. He gave the stylist a hard time, teasing her and shaking his head back and forth a lot. But when it was all done, he looked better, a little more neat and "comely."
Last night while watching the Jazz game we noticed (along with most young ladies in Utah) that Kyle Korver had his hair cut as well. So at one point during the game when Joshua was doing something particularly silly I said something like, "Hey, stop that, Kyle Korver."
"Don't call me Kyle Korver!" he snapped back.

Fast forward to this morning. I was out with the boys on our way to an early lunch at Carl's Jr. where Joshua and Morgan could get some wiggle time in, and on a whim decided to stop at Dollar Cuts and get a trim for myself--after all, everyone else was doing it. I knew this was a dangerous choice inasmuch as I would be confined while my two little Holdinators would be free to roam around the place.
But bless the sweet lady who cut my hair! She immediately asked if it would be all right for the boys to have suckers (just tiny little dumb dumb size things) while she cut my hair. I didn't see any harm in that, so I agreed and miraculously they both just toddled around contentedly sucking away the entire time!
This is unprecedented! That place held all manner of interesting things to touch and play with, like brooms and dust pans (some of Morgan's absolute favorite things), hair products in colorful bottles, a number of magazines just begging to be torn apart and strewn all around the floor, many cords connected to interesting things like clippers and hair dryers, and of course drawers full of scissors and other "owies." But apparently none of these things tempted the boys. They must have invisibility spray that they use there that only affects the vision of children under the age of 12. Seriously, I couldn't account for their behavior.
But man, they sure earned their play time at Carl's Jr.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I'm not terribly clever, but I sure felt so today when I listed my other blog here on Holdinator. I built an acronym out of "Brian's Other Blog." BOB! What a clever little title! Ah, but that brings me to the reason that I renamed my link to it.
The BOB blog (I know that's redundant, but give me a break, people still say "ATM machine" and "PIN number" after all) is no longer just a general Mormon-ish blog, but has a purpose. It'll be for sounding off on thoughts I have about books that I am reading and a monthly home teaching installment, and that's it. It hasn't felt quite right until now, and it is so satisfying.
But I can't talk about Bob without talking about Bob.This is Bob Hawkins. He's a coworker of mine at Saturn, and one heck of a guy. He's done some very kind things for Jessica and I and deserves to be recognized for the dang cool guy that he is.

Monday, February 18, 2008

First First

Ah, I remember it well. Baker Street on a cold December morning in 1999. Elder Staker and I canvased the street in spite of a warning from a woman the day before, and we found plenty of interested people there. The first of these was a young mother named Julie. We knocked on Julie's door sometime between 11 and 12 that morning, and she agreed to here a message about Jesus Christ (what we missionaries called "The First Discussion). My heart beating fast, we entered her front room and began to talk to her about God's love for us, and eventually the prophet Joseph Smith. As I rehearsed to her the account of the First Vision I felt a surge of excitement run through me, and in the background heard music appropriate for the feeling, music from this daytime game show-
Yes! I felt as if I had just won it big in this my first real First discussion ever, and Bob Barker celebrated with a characteristic swing of his right arm.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Life One Year Ago

From a Calvin and Hobbes strip (Tianna sent me a link to the actual strip, which was so cool, but Blogger fuzzied it so it was illegible).

Calvin (to Hobbes while writing on a piece of paper): I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?
Hobbes (reading from the piece of paper): "The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender Modes."
Calvin: Academia, here I come!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Economic Stimu-wha?

So we're all (at least I assume most who read this blog fit into the brackets identified by the government) getting an extra tax rebate this year. If I did my math correctly, it sounds like a family of four that has a gross annual income of less than $150,ooo, like mine, will get just under $2000 this May or June. The leaders of the country want us to pump this money into the economy, thus creating jobs and revenue.

Sounds great, right? But wait, where is Uncle Sam getting this money to give to us? This is a multi-billion dollar stimulus package, they say. Multi-billion dollar? Who can fathom that?

Jessica and I have discussed this and the only thing we can figure is that someone from Washington must be planning a visit to Orem, UT in which he/she will spend a week canvasing State Street visiting these places:
I'm pretty sure that between 1600 North in Orem and Center Street in Provo they could find enough of these stores to cover every family in America (no kidding people, if you want to make yourself sick sometime, drive that stretch and count 'em).

When this representative brings back his/her haul of payday loans and the IRS starts cutting checks, I imagine one member of Congress quietly asking, "Wait a minute, in a month these places are going to want us to pay them back, and look at this, the interest rate is 42.25%!" But they will be reassured by everyone else in these terms, "Look at all the money we have! Don't worry about it, we're loaded!"

And so how are you planning on spending your rebate? I'm kind of thinking of applying it to my 2008 income taxes because I sense that maybe, just maybe the IRS could want some of that back.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Help Me Out Here

I'll be going to traffic school in a few weeks. You can imagine my excitement! I just can't shake the feeling that my ticket was inspired by a quota-reaching motive and not necessarily because I broke a traffic code. But I really don't know, so I'm asking for your help in the comments and also in the blog-poll.

This is the story. I came upon a four-way stop that was adjacent to a school (I was headed north by the way, that'll be important in a bit here). There was a crossing guard working the intersection, and lots of kids were being assisted by her. As I pulled up to the stop sign I noticed the crossing guard motioning for someone who was in the west-bound lane to go before she stopped the east-west traffic, but that individual apparently wasn't watching or didn't understand her repeated and exaggerated arm motions. Anyway, after failing to convince that driver (who had the right-of-way for the four-way stop) to go, she went ahead and stepped out into the crosswalk to stop the aforementioned east-west traffic.

Now I assumed that this meant that I was at liberty to go, inasmuch as she was not stopping north-south bound traffic and I was going parallel with the kids in the crosswalk. I also thought I was not in the wrong because the crossing guard did not seem to mind in the least that I was doing this (I figured she'd probably at least give me a dirty look if she didn't think I should be going, if not something more severe like stick out her tongue). However, I did notice a police officer who was in the south-bound lane turning right. I thought to myself as I pushed the gas, "I'm going to find out right now if this is legal or not." And indeed, according to the friendly police officer who then pulled me over, I was doing something very illegal.

But I'm a little suspicious of the event now in retrospect. He asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I ventured to guess that it wasn't OK to drive through an intersection with a crossing guard, even if you're going parallel to the flow of pedestrian traffic. He didn't exactly confirm my suspicions but said something really vague about, "Did you notice how the kids started running into the road?" I figured I should say that I did even though I didn't see any kids running into the road, because he had a gun and I don't like guns. That seemed to be his reasoning for pulling me over, and who am I to argue? But even if kids were running into the street when the crossing guard entered the crosswalk, wouldn't it stand to reason that they would be running the same direction that I was driving? Are we really expected to stop all four directions when the crossing guard is in any crosswalk? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the crossing guard using two separate crosswalks to stop two different flows of traffic? If that was the case, shouldn't the crossing guard just walk into the middle of the intersection and let the kids run wild diagonally or north, south, east, or west? I'm just sayin'.

Oh yeah. When the officer ticketed me he made it sound as if he was being very magnanimous and said, "I'm citing you, but I'm not putting that it was in a school zone, which would be an automatic $165 fine (the amount could be off)." I'm thinking that could have been a little bit of a threat. In other words he was saying, "You might be tempted to argue this ticket in court, but if you do and you happen to lose, you'll be paying more because it was in a school zone." So I'm stuck filing a plea in abeyance and going to traffic school for three hours some Tuesday evening later this month.

So my question is, Was I really in the wrong? Please help me understand.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I like to shower, on days that I work at 1:00 and Jessica is attempting to get some rest before a grueling 12 hour night shift, after I put Morgan down for his morning nap. This is the best time because Joshua will usually entertain himself in one way or another.
So today, true to form, I laid Morgan down at 12:00 and went to spend a few minutes in the shower. I could hear Joshua upstairs laughing and yelling at something... he sounded pretty involved in whatever it was.

It turns out he was playing the Wii. I gathered this much information when, in the middle of my shower, suddenly a rush of cool air invaded the bathroom and then the shower curtain was yanked back to reveal my little tow-headed boy looking earnestly at me. I shivered out a little, "What's up, Bud?"

He told me that we was playing Mario Party and the paddle went (at this point he made up a word, which he frequently does when his vocabulary fails him). I tried to explain to him that I would be happy to help him when I got dressed, but then he told me something else about Mario Cart. I asked him to please shut the curtain because I didn't want him to get wet (and I wanted to salvage what warm air there was to be salvaged in the shower).

I pulled the curtain shut and he started to play a game that he made up yesterday while I was showering. It goes something like this: He leans into the shower curtain with his arms outstretched (thus minimizing my moving space) and tries to grab my legs. It must be tons of fun for him, but feels just a bit invasive to me.

Thankfully, today Jess heard him in the bathroom and came and rescued me by promising him that she would help solve his Wii problem.

Thanks, Jess. I love you.