Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finished. Time to revive some part of me that is not law school.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Full Moon and Christmas Lights over the Vineyards, from Art's House
I apologize, but this post became very random. But hey, it was sparked by an email I wrote to Dan Myers yesterday, coupled with a dream of old friends I had last night, so OF COURSE its gonna be random:

One more exam and this semester is finished. Unfortunately I'll be spending a significant portion of break writing two 50 page memorials for the Jessup International Law competition I somehow got duped into. Not only is it really complicated law, and far afield from my precious patents, but its also just different. I won't call the judges "Your Honor" but rather "Your Excellency"... Sometimes I feel like our country has too much pride, and that we need to change so badly, but things like this remind me of how lucky I am to be a citizen of the United States of America.

Again and again I take for granted that this nation was founded by noble men possessing honor, upon true principles of freedom and light. Our nation DOES deserve a high degree of reverence, especially when one considers the hollow, self-honored aristocracy of "excellency" that continues to hold sway in the outside world.

Only a few months ago I was in DC, and I felt so much awe and gratitude for the amazing country that God literally shaped with his own hands. And oh how fast those memories fade, being replaced so quickly with silly things like the laws of intellectual property or evidence. Alma and his progeny spoke truly in their counsel to remember, remember.

Anyhow, I had a dream last night of old friends, and I woke up this morning feeling all sorts of ways, happy for having such good friends in my life, sad for having not talked to so many of them for so long, anxious not only about all the grades I'm going to receive shortly but also about choices made very long ago, and not so long ago.

...I'm not describing this very well, because it sounds negative, when really its refreshing to feel strong emotion after weeks of just grinding away at the books. And although I haven't made sense of life as a whole, or the dream I had, I realized I just need to remember. I need to remember the morning I was vacuuming the Math Lab in the Talmadge building, when I felt the Spirit so strongly reassuring me of this course in life. I need to remember the brief, quite moments that I have had even in the last two weeks, when I have come home at 2AM and softly checked on my sleeping sons, and realized how precious a gift I have been given. I need to remember the moments in the temple when I made specific covenants with God, promising to obey his laws.

Honestly, this whole blog is premised on my desire to adventurize everything, because literally I desire to have real, exhausting, dirty adventures a THOUSAND times more than money or fame or fancy things. But when I properly contemplate life, adventure is silly when it stands next to the Kingdom of God. Or maybe more properly said, the adventure that is the Kingdom of God far exceeds any mountain or ocean that is there to enjoy. That is why this nation is so amazing, because it is the foundation upon which this kingdom is built. It was graced with the trailing clouds of glory of the restoration. I feel strongly that this nation is the mountain out of which the Church was cut without hands. And it is an adventure worthy to fill the whole earth.

God Lives, and those who know it have so much to be grateful for. Work hard, there is much to do. I hope that there are plenty of gritty adventures for me and my family to enjoy. Just remember.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I suppose its no big deal to get your pictures on Google Earth, but I was pretty happy that most of mine have been chosen. See

But I admit my photography is pretty lame when compared with Matt Beatty. See and more particularly

Thursday, November 05, 2009


So I got a MRSA infection in my elbow. My elbow was killing me one evening, so I went and got it checked. They took an X-ray, and then concluded that my Bursa was inflamed because of a really cool bone spur I have... Seriously, it looks like I'm evolving into a Pterodactyl or something. I also had a little bit of cracked skin on my elbow, from being in UT the last weekend, so they gave me some worthless antibiotic (actually its Keflex, so its not exactly worthless, but it does nothing for what I got)...

Anyhow, the next day my elbow was super red and very sore, and that night I had a fever. John Watson was dropping off a book or something and made a funny comment about me wearing a sweatshirt in this ridiculously warm Florida weather. The next day the red/purpleness had spread in a uniform circle away from my cracked elbow, and it was as swollen as all get up. SO I called Nathan Kelsey. Que trumpets.

He asked me if it 'crackled' to the touch, and for a second I thought it did. Luckily I was wrong because I probably would have had to amputate my arm had I been correct. Nate was effective at convincing me to go to the doctor, so I did that night. They took about a gallon of blood for cultures, and said that I had "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus." This article about one particular MRSA was my first result, and it is not cool. MOM, DO NOT READ THAT ARTICLE, I DIDN'T CATCH STRAIN USA600. After they told me "MRSA is all over down here," I got an IV of Vancomycin, and a subscription for Sulfamethoxazole (SP?)... Little did the docs know that I'd had all this stuff before with Dr. Ey...

So I went home with instuctions to come back in 24 hours. I did so, and was there until 5 AM getting another, bigger dose of Vancomycin, and a big dose of Levafloxcin (?...that might be totally wrong). I was sent home with another perscription for Doxycilin (?)...

As a side note, while I was there for that really long night, I had a 'roomate' who died. I never got to see her face so I can't tell how old she was, but she had breast cancer which had metastacized. She had been sitting up and talking to the EMTs on the way to the hospital, complaining of difficulty in breathing. But she passed out before she got to the hospital, and then went into cardiac arrest right when she got to the room. They tried soooo hard not to let her die, with epinephrine, and something else that starts with an 'A', and with the defribrillator, and then just CPR for like half an hour. They had pulled a curtain between us, but literally I was about 4 feet away while all of this was going on.

After she died, one of the nurses asked if I wanted to go sit in the hall on a different bed, and I said sure, because in my head I thought it would be wierd to have said "No, I want to hang out with the dead body while the coroner comes to clean up..." But it was nice to get away from the noise of hospital procedure, and contemplate the momentous event that had just happened to someone of close proximity. Its been a long time since I've been forced to think about death. I am really grateful for the times in my life that I have had to think about it. It changed who I am, I think in a really good way. It makes me sad to think how those memories have faded, and how I have progressed back to being my dumb, selfish, short-sighted self over the last 5 or so years.

Anyhow, the part of that lady's death that affected me the most was the moment her husband showed up. He was an elderly man, skinny with very dark eyes, and probably a foot shorter than me. He walked in about five minutes after they had stopped CPR. He had gotten dressed and had a plastic grocery bag with a change of clothes for his wife, along with her medicine (a couple of prescriptions). He was so quiet, and when they told him that he had passed away he nodded with a frown, and then nodded to a few more of their statements. I was about 15 feet away, but I tried not to blatantly stare, and when he walked away, he didn't notice me. He talked with the doctors for like two minutes, and then he walked away for a while.

As he was walking past me, I saw his lip quivering, and then he turned down a hall out of the view of the doctors, but in my full view, and I watched from behind as he started wiping his eyes. Then he turned and I didn't see him for like half an hour. I wish I had shared this sooner, because I feel like I'm Frost, telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence... But the next day, I was bawling all through sacrament meeting. And then John Watson came over to grab some books after church, and I tried to tell him about my night, and I almost started all over. The last time I cried that hard was when I tried to tell Sierra the things Ben had shared with me about his crash. I couldn't even get one sentence out without having to stop for like 30 seconds while I cried. This wasn't at all that bad, because Ben is one of my best friends and this elderly gentleman was just a stranger, but I felt so much sadness for him. And it probably also has to do with the fact that I was on like 3 hours of sleep, and was loaded up with crazy antibiotics that tax the soul.

Let me be clear, aside from all machismo, I don't fear my own death. I'm OK with it, because I've accepted the fact that our hearts, though stout and brave, still, like muffled drums, are beating funeral marches to the grave. I'm actually really excited for the experience, however weird that may sound. BUT, death is of necessity accompanied by separation. The separation of body and spirit is alright, but the separation of me from my loved ones, especially from Sierra, is an unbearable thought, and when I am forced to contemplate THAT, I get weepy.

Sorry for the cheese, but its the truth. Poor Josh Tillotson came up to me after sacrament meeting that day, I think because he wanted to comfort me. But the real comfort comes from the Restored Gospel. Families can be eternal, and this brings peace...

SO what about the laptop? Well, sometime during or immediately after this experience, I opened my email because I was afraid I was missing some meeting for one of the organizations in which I am a Vice President, and I saw a forwarded email for a free laptop. Just forward it on to your friends and include in CC. Its been "checked on snopes"... Yeah right. My brain said, "scam, scam, scam." But I said, to heck with it, its probably worth the 30 seconds, and my friends will forgive me. So I clicked the forward button, and sent that multiplied piece of cybertrash to a bunch of friends.

Needless to say, I didn't really get the laptop, but I did get into a great conversation with one of my professors about the iPhone. The end of my MRSA adventure was a check up with a Dr, who said everything looks fine. Michelle says that the adventure is never really ended, but I think I'm done. You, mr or ms reader, are amazing for having read all of this.

Monday, November 02, 2009

So I just registered my blog domain, but I was afraid I was going to delete the whole thing. Pretty stressful. I still don't have all the kinks worked out, but I'm happy with it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fortitudo, Vigilatia, Defensio.
Brought to you by the Department of Fairness...oh wait, I mean Justice. (wink wink Professor Bonner)

Olmecs in DC, ...who knew?

On a serious note, we all lead charmed lives, and I personally feel like I need to show as much gratitude to God as I possibly can. Alot of that effort is just plain obedience. How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yeah thy pure eye, behold from the heavens the sins of this people? Hopefully I am repenting at a fast enough rate that this question doesn't hit me smack in the middle of the forehead and knock me out.

I don't know if you can tell, but below is a stump of tree that was used as a defence for some soldier in the civil war. It is insane to think of the carnage that accompanied such. Anyhow, be righteous. Obey God.

So I wish I had a geiger counter to show the people whose faces were pressed against the glass at this display, just how much radiation they were getting from it. It might have freaked some of them out. This was at the American History Museum, so I'm not sure if they consulted any doctors or physicists before putting this stuff 6 inches behind some plexiglass for millions of people a year to look at, ...but I was OK with it. If Los Alamos gave it to them, they probably did so with at least some confidence that nobody would die.

Cold Fusion! Rock On! ...if only it were that easy. Look how small we could have made the engines for our nuclear submarines!

So yeah, I'm a physics geek, but its awesome that my kids were able to climb all over a particle accelerator... Hopefully there was no residual raditation...

Wesley doesn't understand the idea of a vehicle with no driver capable of finishing a race course, but he was willing to stand in front of one to take a picture.

Good times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There is so much to explore here, for better or worse. Its nice to see more than just the Hollywood version of this area. I feel pretty blessed that our family has not felt threatened once while we've been here. Sierra even asked these punk skaters to watch their mouth last night on the train. One of the kids started to pipe up afterwords, but I turned around and gave him a crazy-eyed "I might castrate you if you keep talking" look, and he shut up in mid sentence. Although I had given him an evil glare, I thought they were pretty good mannered for having acted the way they did. And although they continued their own conversations, I didn't catch any more swear words. Pretty cool. So yeah, we are lucky to be here in this day.
So I was telling Sierra a chronology of my favorite airplanes... First as a kid, I fell in love with the F-14 Tomcat, and I remember my parents go me one to play with that made sounds that would change as you flew it up and down. It was aweseome. Then I liked stealth stuff for a while, including the Blackbird... Then I served as a missionary in an area adjacent to JFK, and was able to watch the Concord take off on multiple occasions, which definitely stole my heart. I wish the experience was still available. But after seeing the space shuttle in person, right in my face, I am blown away. I think that is an achievement beyond my capacity to describe.

How much Heavenly Father has blessed this nation is beyond anybody's capacity to fully convey, and a teeny tiny glance of that is available at the Air and Space Museum...

Anyhow, even if you disagree with that last statement, all four of my favorite airplanes, what I consider to be some of the greatest achievements of modern man, definitely wonders of the modern world, are sitting under one roof out by Dulles airport.

So my Grandpa Brown worked on this engine back in the day. For a split second, I thought about going over to the Air Force Recruiters and signing up... Of course, I would want to work on a modern Pratt Whitney, like maybe the one in the about sweet. But its pretty cool that they have an animated model of the engine my Grandpa used to fix. It lights up and everything.

So there is also a bunch of art, and history in the Air and Space Museum on the mall. If you only get to two places on your trip to DC, go to both of the Air and Space.

The boys don't realize they are sitting in a piece of the tread of the massive hauler that carries the rockets to the launch pad... Wowza.

I hope the boyos can remember this place.