Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Five Most Viewed Movies Of All-Time

Alright, so maybe the title was a little deceiving. It's true in part, but I left out two words: "By Me". I recently was reminded of a movie I used to watch over and over as a kid. I loved it. I decided to scour the internet until I finally found one company that actually sold the movie. I bought it for the kids and they loved it too! Now my little boy can have a crush on the same girl I had a crush on when I was young.

"Regina" in The Witching of Ben Wagner

This got me thinking about the movies I watched as a kid. I give you my top 5 most frequently viewed movies:

1. Hoosiers or The Natural

Such great movies. The two best sports movies of all-time. Who can forget this scene in Hoosiers?

Best scene: It sends chills up my spine just thinking of Jimmy Chitwood coming of the dribble and nailing the shot at the buzzer to win the Indiana State High School Championship. Not to be outdone, Roy Hobbs' powerful swing brought the NY Knights the pennant. Best scenes: Hobbs knocking the cover off the ball and nailing a home-run into the lights and creating his own "fireworks".

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Christmas Slap In The Face

I wanted to post a Christmas memory from two years ago that taught me an incredible lesson.

Yesterday my wife and I were watching Miles hobble around the living room. She mentioned that he was lying in her arms in the foyer at church and would occasionally pop his head up after she would ask "Where's Jesus?". He would look up at the wall and point to the picture of Jesus.

I wanted to see him do it so I said "Miles, where's Jesus?", hoping to see him fix his eyes on one of the pictures of Jesus we have on our living room wall. I watched his face intently, anxiously waiting for his cute reaction.

But it never came.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Divorce's Loving Betrayal

Sometimes circumstances bring a very bitter taste of devastation. I want to share one of those experiences with you, an experience that literally felt like a punch in the gut. It was one of those rare moments when emotional pain turned into physical pain. Even now, I'm shocked at how I reacted.

A long time ago I had two friends that were perfect lovers. They oozed love for each other. They had beautiful children. Every communication between them was loaded with admiration and enjoyment. Life was wonderful.

Then, abruptly, life changed.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wash You How?

We had close to eleven inches of snow last week. The kids and I spent most of the following day building an igloo. It was so much fun piling on the snow and carving out the "quarters". I almost slept in the thing it was so beautiful.

Due to the rigorous labor and multiple layers, I sweat through my clothes and my jacket stunk. We decided it was time to wash it, so to ensure it didn't shrink on us we look at the washing instructions. Get a load of this:

Three tennis balls or a clean sneaker? Say what? My wife and I busted up laughing. Too bad we only had dirty sneakers and no tennis balls!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Your Vote Counts, But Does It Matter?

I’ll have to admit. When it came down to it, on election night, a part of me wanted Mitt Romney to win over Barack Obama. Does that mean I would have voted for him? No. There’s a big difference. I feel that I am accountable for who I vote for, so I never would vote for someone who doesn’t adhere to certain principles. At the same time, I recognized that perhaps the only thing our country had going for us was a change.

It was interesting to read all the early morning, early afternoon comments from people on Election Day, declaring their pride in the democratic process of each citizen having the ability to cast a vote. Most of them had just returned from the polls, or were waiting in line and felt the need to declare to the world through social media that they were performing their civic duty. There is a sense of accomplishment when one does something even this simple, when there is an understanding of the collective impact in can have on a city, state, and nation.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Goodbye to the Hostess Twinkie

This has been a little outrageous. Twinkie fans everywhere are up in arms with the news that Hostess is going out of business, meaning goodbye to iconic cake products such as Twinkies®, CupCakes, Ding Dongs®, Ho Ho’s®, Sno Balls® and Donettes®. Bread brands to be sold include Wonder®, Nature’s Pride ®, Merita®, Home Pride®, Butternut®, and Beefsteak®, among others.

In memory of Hostess and their fine contribution to our culture, I thought it would be nice to leave you all with a few short Twinkie commercials as we reminisce about the good-old days. Look for Howdy Doody in the second video as he reveals the secret of how to make these delicious sponge bars.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The End of Twilight Gives Birth to "The Host"

Just as men/women around the world are celebrating/mourning the closing chapter of the Twilight Saga which hits the big screen in November, Stephenie Meyer and company have done it again.

Her latest book to hit the big screen, The Host, arrives in theaters on March 29, 2013. An alien race takes over earth but faces possible resistance from some strong-willed humans. One of the biggest questions people have going into the film is will the audience like Saorise Ronan's portrayal of Melanie Stryder better than Kristen Stewart's acting job as Bella Swan? What of Robert Pattinson vs Max Irons? My guess is Stephenie Meyer made darn sure, in whatever way she could, that the right actors were chosen. It could make or break this movie. Take a peak at the official trailer below. If you haven't bought the book, now is the time.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

The Mormon Mourning

I'll be honest, I have been completely shocked this past week to hear the reactions from the outcome of the presidential election. A large number of my Facebook friends are of the Mormon faith, and they seem to be in mourning. These same people, who a day earlier were singing the praises of a free land where every voice is heard, and every vote counts, now curse the fraudulent nature of the voting system that has apparently been manipulate by men with dirty hands.

Let me clear up a few things to try and ease the pain and suffering I've witnessed among those who supported Mitt. This is also done in an attempt to inform those who are not Mormon, that not all Mormons are in mourning. The way I look at it, Obama and Romney were pretty much the same. They like a war-based foreign policy, showed no commitment to cut spending, supported government run healthcare, and have an agenda of "security for America" (aka less freedom).

Here are some things to consider before you lose all hope in the future of our country:

1. I don't believe Mitt Romney was God's choice. I have no doubt he is a wonderful caring man, so I'm going to chalk up his political platform to ignorance. I have a hard time understanding how someone who supports the Patriot Act, the Federal Reserve, detaining US citizens indefinitely without a trial, and an aggressive, military minded foreign policy -  I have a hard time understanding how he was the hope of a people who follow the Prince of Peace.

2. Mitt Romney was not going to save the Constitution. Ron Paul was. Mitt even acknowledged (see here) that Paul was the expert on the matter. One one occasion, Romney was asked if it was constitutional to declare war without a declaration of war, Romney said "I'd have to consult my attorneys".

3. I have not lost faith in my religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still true. To clarify again for those not familiar with the Mormon Church, here is our church's statement on political neutrality. Our church as a whole was not backing Romney. I don't consider this a defeat for Mormonism. I wonder how many Mormons would have voted for Romney if he wasn't Mormon, and actually understood his policies on war, the federal reserve, civil liberties, etc. I also wonder who they would have voted for if Obama was the Mormon. I understand that many did know his policies and still supported him, but I also know of many who didn't listen to one debate, have no idea what he stood for, and voted heavily based on his religious persuasion.

4. I didn't vote for Romney, and not all Mormons did. I've always said, "The only thing more disturbing than not voting for someone because of their religion, is voting FOR someone BECAUSE of their religion." Again, this is not to say that all who voted for him did so based on religion, but it's just to reinforce that I don't understand how so many people can be SO devastated that he lost, when his record in Massachusetts and his platform is so disturbing.

I've played this over in my mind countless times. My wife has even asked me if I think I'm clouded. I've thought that many times through this whole election process. I keep having this one thought come into my mind: It's the actions that count. It's not what a man says in politics, but it's how he votes and it's the policies that he puts in place that is the measure of who he is.

Thus concludes my one and only Election 2012 post. Good night all.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Wounded Soldier

Please visit: to read my poem dedicated to those men and women who serve our country. May they be kept safe and brought home soon.

You can click on the picture below and it will transport you there in light speed!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

What's Your Word?

I think I should have been an inventor. I have always had lots of ideas about new products and gadgets, etc, the problem is I don't know how to put anything together nor do I have the business acumen to get any of these ideas rolling. So, I just let these ideas and inventions rot away in my brain.

I'm a pretty good inventor of words as well. I'm sure this is something we all do, you know, in a moment of frustration or anger, you invent words. Don't you? Perhaps this is just a Mormon thing, since we are encouraged to avoid profanity, and because of such, we are very creative in finding alternative methods to express our feelings.

I'll have to admit, I think I've found a winner. My word is schmuckamapoopoo. For some reason, one day it just came out. It's like it was fate or something. I'm hoping that this word catches on and can one day make it into the dictionary when they do their yearly updates. If "F-bomb" can make it, I think schmuckamapoopoo has a very legitimate shot. Just to make sure I wasn't copying someone else's word, I did a Google search and this is what displayed:

Your search - schmuckamapoopoo - did not match any documents.

So here's my question: What words have you invented?

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Politics in the Home

I have fond memories of my childhood. Living in a home where I was loved and cared for by great parents was a wonderful blessing. I had a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep on, and all my needs taken care of.

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother rocking me to sleep in the rickety rocking chair while singing "You Are My Sunshine" or "A Little Birdie in the Apple Tree". I remember her rubbing my legs at night when I had growing pains and my bones ached.

All of these positive memories perhaps lead to the sense of betrayal I had when my mother refused to tell me who she was voting for. In the earliest election I can remember, probably for George Bush Sr. she straight up refused to tell me her vote. At first I laughed, thinking she was joking. When she persisted in not wanting to tell me, I felt somewhat slighted, and then a little hurt. Why wouldn't my mother, who loved me, and sang to me, and comforted me in the middle of the night when I was in pain - why wouldn't she tell me who she was voting for?

I think part of me felt if she couldn't confide in me to tell me who she was voting for, then she must not love me and trust me as much as I thought. It might be twisted, but that's how my mind and heart perceived things.

Imagine my surprise when I came home last night and my wife said to me, "I decided that I wasn't going to tell you who I voted for?" Oy vey! I'll leave out my reaction and let you readers guess how I dealt with it, but this leads to a question. Do you tell your spouse who you are voting for? Did your parents refuse to tell you their vote?

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

Bless a stranger with a small, yet powerful, random act of kindness. T.F. Hodge

I'm sure we've all heard of the phrase "random act of kindness". I'm sure we've all participated in random acts of kindness. There are countless things we do every day on a whim that reflect the good nature of people. Whether it's holding the door for someone, smiling at a little child, allowing someone to move lanes in front of you - there are many opportunities for these kinds of acts, and I encourage them.

Recently I've been in a spiritual slump. I haven't felt good about my relationship with God, and most of it has been due to the fact that my prayers have barely been reaching the ceiling. This is because I haven't really had anything specific to pray for. Has that ever happened to any of you? When I don't have specific things to pray for, I can't as easily see God's hand in my life, so I decided to change my prayers.  I decided to wake every day and ask God to lead me to someone who needed my help. I no longer wanted to serve him and his children randomly, I wanted him to lead me to the people who were asking for his help. What a week it has been!

Let me just say that God is very interested in the lives of all of his children and he wants to bless everyone. However, he needs our help. He needs people who want to be instruments in his hands. He needs people who say to him, "I want you to use me today to bless the world".

I wrote this brief poem that expressed how I was feeling this past week.

I don't want to bless a stranger
I don't want to give alone
I want to give to someone
That God needs me to know

I don't want a random chancing
Not just any passerby
I want to find the seeker
To answer his suffering cry

I bow my head and bend my knee
Each morning when I wake
God lead me to the one in need
Care for this soul I'll take

I want to be thy servant
Not wandering by chance
I want to share thy love today
I want to be thy hands

Thanks to all of you who have a desire to care for others and ease the burdens of those around you. Check out this amazing video. I hope my children grow up with a desire to be like this young woman.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Your Only Two Choices

Tomorrow we will find out who wins the Presidential Election, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. We only have two possible results. The interesting thing is on my mail in ballot there are five other candidates that are listed. Of course, I've never heard of these people, and they have no shot of winning, but nonetheless, they are on the ballot. Ron Paul will probably end up with more votes than any of those five other no-names, and he'll only be a write-in. This got me thinking, what if all of our options in life were limited to two?

What if there were only two possible women you could marry, and you weren't attracted to either of them?

What if there were only two movies to watch at the theater?

What if you only had two occupational choices out of college?

What if there were only two kinds of ice cream?

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Friday, November 2, 2012

The One Thing We Bring to Heaven

I occasionally think about what arriving in heaven will be like, if I even get there. The whole process is intriguing to me. I've often thought about what the judgment will be like and how much judging will actually be done, and by whom. When I start to think about this, the following scene plays out in my mind.
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