Jan 12, 2012

It's been a while.  It wasn't so much that I didn't want to write, or forgot, I just didn't.  So alot has happened in the last 6 months.  I've gone alot of places, met alot of people and done alot of things.  So I'll see if I can't start updating this again.

Jun 30, 2011

This must go

So I've been flying alot the last few weeks, Missouri twice, Seattle, Italy, and France.  One of the things I've learned is that even with of all the technological advances we've made; landing on the moon, artificial hearts, ipods that you could swallow; we still can't figure out how to board an airplane without causing mass havoc, hysteria, adults crying and cat fights between women.  But this all made me remember something from a radio station here in SLC where they do a segment called Things That Must Go, basically everything that they think should be done away with.  So here's mine that I thought of during my flights.

Emoticons :/
People getting upset when they find out I don't like Lady Gaga
Anyone over the age of 12 saying "Woot"
Politicians named Weiner sending weiner pics to young girls
People who take rec league sports too seriously
Philosophical Facebook Statuses
Bad Tattoos.  This includes all tribal tattoos on white guys
Whiney airline passengers
Tourists who try too hard to dress like locals
Creepy housewife cougars
Gold Diggers
Ed Hardy and everything that has to do with Ed Hardy
Summer alarm and pest control sales
People using the word "Premier" for businesses and events.  Ex. "This is the premier party of the year"
Self proclaimed hippies

Jun 1, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

This started out like the dozens, if not hundreds, of natural disasters that have occurred in my lifetime.  On May 22 at 5:41pm a category EF5 tornado, the most powerful rating in the system, tore through the middle of Joplin, Missouri, a town of 50,000 people.  In a matter of an hour 7,000 homes, hundreds of business, schools and churches were destroyed, over 140 lives were taken and thousands more changed forever.  I heard about the disaster through various news sources and as usual felt sorry for those affected but didn’t make a conscious effort to provide any assistance.  Then a friend showed me a picture of an intersection in Joplin with before and after views.  In a million years I would have never guessed they were the same.  I started to realize how awful the disaster was, but still wasn’t doing anything to help.  On Tuesday or Wednesday my friend Tracy posted a note on Facebook that she was trying to get a group of people together to go out and help with the disaster relief and for whatever reason, I hope that it was a desire to do something good for other people, I decided to go. 

Five of us flew out Friday afternoon; I didn’t know Tracy very well, I’d met Mark once or twice before and Karen and Rachel were new acquaintances who worked with Mark.  Karen grew up in Joplin until she was 16 and moved to Salt Lake with her parents but still had family in the area.  We stayed in Kansas City our first night and drove first to Galena, Kansas Saturday morning to meet up with Karen’s brother who was wanting to work with us. Since Galena is a few miles from Joplin it was spared from any physical damage but its residents lost jobs, friends and family in Joplin.  Karen’s brother, Ray, warned us that what we were going to see would blow us away. 

As we drove closer to the town we began to see signs of the tornado – broken branches, bent street signs, the occasional broken window.  But when we got to the edge of the tornado zone it was immediately apparent.  Roofs were caved in, windows shattered, trees toppled over, cars beaten and battered to little more than useless chunks of metal.   What we didn’t realize was that we hadn’t even come close to seeing the worst of the damage.  Over the next three days we saw the Home Depot that was nothing more than an enormous pile of scrap metal.  WalMart appeared to be intact until you looked behind the front wall and realized there was nothing there.  Hundreds of homes were completely obliterated.  I found a lot where the only evidence that anything had been there at all were front porch steps that led to nothing but a few rocks that remained from the foundation of the house.  Other homes were nothing more than giant piles of wood, shingles, stray metal, and anything the tornado could mix in.  The only way I can describe what I saw is that it looked like an atomic bomb went off.  There was just nothing left.  Even the bark had been stripped off the trees.

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind when I saw the homes, schools and businesses that had been affected was “What next?”  When I asked Ray he said that was the same question everyone else had.  The obvious answer was to rebuild but who knew how long that would take.  Who knew if the town would recover – if the jobs would return and if the schools would be filled again.  Everyone wanted answers to the same questions that no one knew the answers to.  President Obama’s visit on Sunday brought peace and hope to many people as he promised that they would not be forgotten.  America would not let them fall through the cracks.  That Joplin will rebuild stronger and better than ever.   It gave people what they needed –Hope –because sometimes that’s all we need in the moment.

Situations like this remind us of the goodness of people.  During the storm people gave their lives guiding others to safety until the walls came down on top of them; holding doors shut against the storm until they were carried away; sacrificing their own bodies to cover and protect others.  After the storm people came from all over the country donating time, money, services, and anything else they could.  Trucks constantly passed through the streets offering hot food and cold drinks to survivors and volunteers.  People donated equipment for debris removal.  Others gave free tetanus shots.  Others sharpened chainsaws, some gave free chiropractic work while some where there just for people to have someone to talk to and counsel with.  Everyone was giving in anyway they could. 

One thing that the storm couldn’t take away was the spirit of the people.  Whether it was the person with a sense of humor who spray painted “For Sale: Open Floor Plan” on their house with no roof and missing walls, the tree removal crews that hauled their equipment from out of state to donate their time and services, or anyone of the thousands of people who placed an American flag in the middle of the remains of their home for Memorial Day, the spirit of the people of Joplin lives on.  It hasn’t been broken and will not be broken.  They will rebuild.  They will be better because of this.  They’re not going anywhere.

*This is not the full story, if you'd like to read the rest shoot me and email

May 26, 2011

Headed to Joplin, Missouri tomorrow to help out a bit.  Should be interesting.

May 19, 2011

So I keep forgetting to write, but I'll write soon.  But remember my graduation list from a while back? 1. I got a dog - Kilo - Black lab/Newfoundland  2. I got a bigger bed

May 1, 2011


So I’ve come up with my Trillion dollar idea.  We’ve all had experiences where someone says they’re going to do something – go on a date, study with you, meet you for lunch, show up for a soccer game, call you back – but then they don’t.  Personally nothing bothers me more than this.  So let me introduce

So what is Flakes.com?  It is a website that I'm creating that is used to help normal, decent people determine who the flaky people in this world are.  There’s nothing more annoying in this world than having people not show up when they say they’re going to, waiting for an important call that doesn’t come or sprinting through campus to turn in an assignment because someone showed up to school with their part of the assignment 4 hours later than they said they were going to.  Flakes.com doesn’t cure the world of Flakes but it lets you navigate your way through life avoiding them and the consequences that come with them as often as possible.

So how does it work? Using nano-technology, quantum physics and applied nuclear triangulation I have created an amazing App called the Flakometer® to create a personal profile for every person in the world based on their phone calls, texts, social media interactions (facebook, twitter etc.) email, and outlook calendars.  The beauty of it is that people don’t sign up for it, it’s created without people’s consent, similar to Apple being able to track people via their iPhones, so they aren’t able to edit their profile to make it look like they’re reliable.  The app tracks people based on what they say they’re going to do and if they actually do it.  Each person is given a ranking 1-5 on which is visible on other sites like Facebook, eHarmony, Match.com, LinkedIn etc.  Every time they don’t do what they say they’re going to their score gets dinged similar to a credit score.  The way it works is that on a persons profile a little snowflake icon shows up.  You click on it and the persons flake.com profile shows up with one of the following rankings:

This person is extremely reliable and will follow through
with what they say when they say they're going to do it

This person is generally reliable and typically follows through
If for some reason they are not able to do what they said
they will call and let you know

This person follows through about half the time but is usually late
Excuses will include car trouble, sickness, getting stuck at work

This person says they'll do something but rarely does it. 
They are easily distracted and wil likely drop what they
are supposed to do with you should something more
interesting become available regardless of prior commitments

HAHAHA Not a chance this person will do what they say
If you're thinking of asking this person on a date it is recommended
that you instead rent a movie, eat ice cream and save yourself
the misery of waiting to see if they call back or show up.

This way you can see if the person you’re dying to ask on a date will actually go or if they'll say yes but then call back saying they're having emergency butt implant surgery.  If the person you invite to your Twilight viewing party will really bring the Edward cupcakes you assigned them.  If they 27 year old who says that he is the CEO of a major social networking site actually knows how to return a phone call.

I think the thing I’m most excited for with this is for the people who think they’re not flaky are going to have an unpleasant surprise and might finally understand why certain people don’t call them any more.  I won’t name any names but thanks to everyone, and there are a lot of people, who inspired this.  I’ll dedicate my first billion to you. 

Oh wait, they'll probably mean to check my blog but forget to

Apr 30, 2011


So a few weeks ago I posted a list of things I'm going to do when I graduate. One of those things was get a dog.  Well I jumped the gun a little bit since I haven't graduated yet but the opportunity came and I went for it.  He's a Newfoundland/Lab Mix, 7 months old and one of the calmest dogs I've ever seen.  I heard him sort of bark 3 times earlier and that was it.  And if you're not doing anything with him he just lies down and hangs out.  Pretty awesome.  I don't have a name yet so any and all suggestions are welcome.

Apr 18, 2011


Rough day today for 2 reasons.

1) I realized (for the 2nd time) that I can't control people's minds no matter how hard I try, even when it's for a good reason.  Kind of a bummer.

2) Cause of this: "Is Three Cups of Tea Writer A Fraud?".  If you don't want to read the article or watch the segment it's basically saying that Greg Mortenson, who has built dozens of school's in Afghanistan and Pakistan because of an experience he had over there where some villagers saved his life, fabricated much of his story and is using his non-profit as a "personal ATM". 

I've read the articles, seen the 60 minutes piece, read his responses and frankly, I don't know if he's a fraud or not.  But in my mind it doesn't matter a whole lot.  Just that fact that he was able to build even one school in the area is amazing.  How many of us have started organizations like this?  How many of us have dedicated years of our lives to helping children in distant countries?

My biggest concern about all of this isn't whether he made up stories or not, its what's going to happen to NGO's all over the world.  Now people are going to be more hesitant to donate time and money.  People are going to second guess what they're doing.  But you know what?  Every organization is going to make mistakes along the way.  Everyone is going to wish they had done something differently, but as long as they're able to help even one single person, its worth it. 

So find way's to help.  If you're one of the people who keeps saying that they really want to go on a humanitarian trip, do it.  I guarantee you it will be one of the best experiences of your life and you will enjoy it more than any cruise you can take or beach you can sit on.  I know that going on these trips is expensive and takes time so if you can't go try and help around your city, do it.  Every NGO needs help and will be grateful for anything you can give.  Here's a list of some I'm familiar with that would appreciate as much help - time or money - that you can spare.

Foundation Escalera  - Builds schools in rural parts of Mexico and provides scholarships for kids to go to high school in Mexico City (Donations and expeditions)
Choice Humanitarian - Works to end poverty around the world through schools and creating a better living environment for people (Donations and expeditions)
The Tipping Bucket - How far do you think $1 can go?   Check this out and see for yourself
4th Street Clinic - Provides free health care to Salt Lake's homeless and helps them get back on their feet
Ten Thousand Villages - Sells art and crafts from around the world paying artisans in developing countries a good and fair wage for their work

Apr 12, 2011

When I graduate I'm going to.......

Get a dog
Ride my bike(s)
Talk to a girl
Start playing the piano and drums again
Take the ugly bushes out of my yard
Plant some plants
Cook more
Print and hang some pictures
Tie up some loose ends
Fix my car
Clean my room
Organize my garage
Plant a tree
Ride my bike
Watch the stars
Race my bike
Sort out bikes and motorcycles
Get a bigger bed
Get some real furniture for my house
Grill a cow
Save some money
Work on a body with no tan lines
Eat more bacon
Drink less Red Bull
Paint the outside of my house so it doesn’t look like a banana split
Put lights up in my backyard
Go to Seattle
Go to Whistler
Whistle in Whistler
Ride my bike(s)
Take more pictures
Race some races
Learn actual songs on the guitar
Learn the banjo or mandolin?

Apr 7, 2011

No talking!!

Ya know what?  I'm tired of the library.  In this case I'm talking about the Marriott Library at the U.  I'm not a library hater in most cases.  Except as I found out yesterday, the City Library charges you $3/hour to park there or you can take your chances with the parking meters and probably get a $30 ticket.  But that's not the point of this.  It's the Marriott.  Almost 2 years ago they finished renovating it and it looks a krazillion (congratulations, you just witnessed the invention of a new number) times better.  You don't feel like you're going to get mugged when you're walking through the stacks or that a dust bunny's going to come to life and eat your soul.

So all these upgrades are part of whats causing the problems.  The library staff act like OCD interior designers.  The best example of this is the 3rd floor.  It has very comfortable chairs, study rooms, group and quiet study areas and is where the majority of the open study space is. The 4th and 5th floors are just for print making, book collections and administration offices.  So on this 3rd floor the library security personnel patrol it tighter than the Minute Men on the US-Mexico border.  If they see you have any sort of food, they're on you like a SWAT team.  They make sure that you walk over the garbage and throw your apple away because we all know how much of a mess an apple makes when it tips over.  Or skittles. Or a PB&.

But maybe the most annoying part is at 10:45pm.  They come on the PA system and announce that the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors are closing at 11pm for the night so you either need to move to the 1st or 2nd or leave.  Then they start flashing the lights, I'd imagine similar to what a pre-school teacher would do to get their kids attention.  So if you go down to the 1st or 2nd it's packed with no where to sit cause there were already people there, and then all the 3rd floorers came down. Now why they do this I have no idea.  Alot of universities have libraries that stay open 24 hours.  I think they do this because they realize that students do need to study at some point, and lots of times it just happens to be late at night.  Right now my study schedule is about 9pm -2am.  Did I choose this?  No.  It's what happens when you have things to do other than just studying.  But I would like to thank the semi-useless employees of the JW Marriott library for their continued annoyance.