The observations and opinions of a person who has no discernible insights or ideas.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Binary revisited (briefly) 

I just stumbled on a site (okay, it was part of a site that I've had bookmarked for years, but I'd never browsed any of the rest of it until today) that has an applet that demonstrates how to count in binary on one's hands. It uses the big-endian approach that I disapprove of, but otherwise it can be a useful tool in showing how one should count. It goes all the way to 1023.

Monday, April 26, 2004

I did 

So, I’m finally married. The ceremony was great, and for those interested in how it went, I’d recommend the account by my friend that can be found at the Phischkneght forum. He was there, and at least he wasn’t trying to block everything else out. We had a wonderful honeymoon, during which we didn’t do anything at all (which is my idea of a good time), and since then we’ve had two evenings of greeting well wishers. It all went surprisingly well, but I’m still ready to be done shaking hands and being excited to meet people who I haven’t met before. All in all, getting married was pretty good. It wasn’t nearly as bad as being engaged. I’m not sure if I could handle doing that again.

Anyway, things are settling down, even though I doubt that I’ll be doing much posting for the next while. There’s no more plans for us to make peacocks of ourselves, and so maybe we can get on with living out our blissful lives together.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


I was cleaning my room today and found a score card from a game of miniature golf. It shows me hitting 6 (the maximum allowed score) on six of the first nine holes, which was just embarrassing. I did better on the back nine, but still lost the game 78 to 82. (I also incorrectly added the scores from the first nine holes, putting both of us ten strokes over what we had actually played. The arithmetic error causes me even more shame than my pathetic playing did.) The game in question was played on about the 7th of June, 2002 (it could have been the 8th). That was from our last date before my friend left for Germany, and so I kept the score card to remind me of it. Now, almost two years later, we are looking forward to a quiet vacation away from friends, family, and anyone else who wants to know if we’re excited to be getting married.

I’ve been wanting to marry her for a long time. She came to the weddings of my best friends from high school, and now both of them have three kids. We even broke up for a while, got back together, and then spent a year and a half in different countries with only letters keeping us connected (curious fact: I estimate that I wrote 300 single spaced pages to her during that time). How do I feel about finally marrying her? I don’t know. I’ve been waiting for this for so long that I don’t know how to do anything but wait.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I have some good news and some bad news 

Tonight was the bachelor party, or as we called it, the “Wine and cheese reception.” We had cheese (on pizzas) and Mountain Dew, which was about as close as we ever get to wine. We played round after round of Halo on two X-boxes that were networked together. I led one team, and my little brother who almost broke his arm today led the other team (and the individual scoring for almost every round).

Actually, the story about my brother is a good one, because it ends well. He was doing time trials for track this morning and tripped over a hurdle, apparently landing on his arm. During the day, it got worse, until his teachers kicked him out of class, and then I had to take him to the hospital (where our mom was working), and then to a clinic to get x-rayed. This pretty much took up all of my afternoon, but I was comforted in my belief that maybe he wouldn’t be able to play tonight. Alas, it turns out that his arm was just sprained, and so with a splint on it, the thing made some remarkable progress this afternoon, and he was able to play this evening. If his injured arm slowed him down at all, it didn’t show up in the stats where he usually outscored the nearest opponent by 25%, nor in the games where he was an unstoppable force.

We also learned that lawyer boy (my younger brother), my little sister, and I were slightly better than hurdle boy, my older brother, and our neighbor, but if my brother-in-law joined them, then they were significantly better than us. At least I held my own in the stats, usually placing in the top 3 or 4 spots, and once even getting the high score for the level.

Oh, and the strippers were great. What a party.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Finally, a list! 

After 2 months of writing here, it’s time for a list. Here are some things about being married that I’m looking forward to:

Driving in the car pool lane.
Having an in-house accountant.
Not living with the dogs, especially Big Stupid Ugly Stupid Dog.
Not having to watch my step because Stupid Little Rat Dog might be mad at someone.
Having an apartment.
Not sharing that apartment with several other guys.
People will stop asking me if I’m excited that I’m getting married.
My friends will stop bugging me about when I’m going to get married (although there are 8 kids between the three of them, so I think we can anticipate a new brand of nagging).
Same for my mom.
I won’t be engaged any more (engagements suck).
No more tracking down friends so that I don’t have to go to the movies alone.
Having my own food in the fridge (instead of my family’s, which just isn’t the same).
Not having to worry about brothers/roommates eating said food.
Having time to spend with friends who got neglected while I was engaged.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Say cheese! 

This evening, we went Easter egg hunting, but before the hunt, we had to wait for my brother to take pictures of my cousin. My brother is a fairly talented amateur photographer who hopes to become a professional photographer (and I think he can do it too). My cousin is getting married next month, which we just found out even though they’ve been planning on it since December (and people said that we moved fast). So, the pictures are to be engagement pictures, which may end up going out to hundreds of people. I did my best to ignore the whole affair this evening, but I couldn’t help but remember the two afternoons that we spent with my brother trying to get at least one decent picture of the two of us. This proved to be quite difficult because I don’t take good pictures. We did eventually get one that both of us found tolerable. It’s probably the best picture of us together, except for possibly the one of us in the stairwell.

My point? I don’t like having my picture taken, and I’m so very glad that I have that round over with. Now all I have to do is survive two more photo sessions (at the wedding and again at the reception). These will be with a different photographer, and so we’ll see how it goes.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Ding dong, the bells are gonna chime 

This evening, my mom told me that we’ve finally become an annoying engaged couple. We had done really well, but as the final date draws near, we’ve become more selfish and have been ignoring other people with blind disregard. She’s right. As I come down the home stretch towards this milestone, I’ve become quite oblivious to everything but her. I’ve neglected friends and family, for which I apologize. Once I’m married, I’ll probably lose some friends almost completely, and so for them, I wish them well and thank them for stretching my mind and character.

So, with my wedding coming up on Friday, I’ve decided to go with a theme this week. We’re having Very Special Wedding episodes until Friday, at which point the show is going on hiatus.

Today, a story from when we met:

I’m an insomniac. I rarely get to sleep before midnight, and it is not uncommon for me to be awake at 3 or 4 in the morning. During my sophomore year of college, my roommate would be in bed early every night, and even though we had been friends for many years, he was unaware of my peculiar sleep patterns. One night after restlessly trying to do some homework while watching a late night showing of a Bond movie, I crawled into bed sometime after 4. Either he was already awake, or my efforts to get into the top bunk woke him, because he started asking me about why I couldn’t sleep.

At this point, I was ready for bed, and the conversation wasn’t helping. His concern was genuine, and he felt that maybe my problem was that I didn’t have enough of a social life. This may have been true, but I was quite content with my level of socialization, even if it was far less than his (this is another area in which we differ). I didn’t feel like explaining this, and I just wanted to get to bed, and so I let him follow the Commitment Pattern to its ultimate conclusion and agreed to go to a football game with him, even though I didn’t like football (the things I’ll do to get some sleep).

At the game, we sat with two girls he had picked up at a tailgate party (hosted by the Honors Department), and somehow I wound up on the end next to this short girl I’d never met before. Since I care nothing for football, I struck up a conversation with her, and soon discovered that she had been a math major, and we shared a birthday. It was love at first chat, at a noisy football game on a beautiful Rosh Hashanah.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Städte & Ritter 

This evening, I had my first taste of the Cities and Knights (Städte & Ritter) expansion to Settlers of Catan ( Die Siedler von Catan). It was great. I didn’t win, although I would have won with a point to spare if the player just before me hadn’t ended the game. What I did do was everything that this new game allows. I built knights. I improved my cities. I had the game’s only metropolis. I had cards coming out of my ears (resources, commodities, and discovery cards), and I generally had a good run of things. In fact, my biggest problem was that my turns seemed to take far too long to everyone else. You try to manage a turn with six kinds of resources and half a dozen special cards to work through.

I highly recommend the game, with or without the expansion pack. I’m also excited because we’re getting it (in German) from the Freaks for our wedding. Thanks Andy!

Monday, April 05, 2004

"This is true love -- you think this happens every day?" 

In the last week, I watched Big Fish and Intolerable Cruelty. Both were fairly good films, but they made me realize something. I was really moved by the love story in the former movie, where the father and mother had been faithfully married for many years. The latter film felt cheap and shallow by comparison (in its defense, it’s about cheap and shallow people). The conclusion that this leads me to is that I don’t like infatuation. I only like the kind of love that is patient and long suffering. That’s why I couldn’t stand The Wedding Planner. It’s about a girl who gets all worked up over some guy who cheats on his fiancée to be with her, at the same time rejecting a man who has been devoted to her for the twenty years since they had met.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The answer, my friend 

Friday, it was terribly windy. This was the sort of wind that only comes once every few years, unless you’re in Logan during the winter time, trying to walk back from class into the wind that is coming out of the canyon (in which case it happens every day). With my little car, this sort of wind makes me nervous, and I don’t get nerves very often while driving. So, I drove with whatever caution I could muster. As I hit a fairly long stretch of highway that had no turns or exits, I found myself in some dense stop-and-go traffic, which is common on that road at 4:00 pm, but quite uncommon at 11:45 pm. It turns out that a semi had been blown over, blocking two of the four lanes. Between merging and rubbernecking, I was pretty glad to get by there before morning. Well, shortly after passing that wreckage, I noticed another semi lying on its side. This one had rolled off of the adjacent frontage road, and so it wasn’t blocking or otherwise distracting the drivers on my road. If that wasn’t enough, I came across another rolled semi, this one again on the freeway. This time, it was about 20 feet past an exit, and so I pulled off to take my chances with what turned out to be an entire blacked-out city (note: some drivers don’t know that stop lights become all-way stops when the power is out). At least I made it alive.

The Couches 

Friday, we got a couch and a love seat for our apartment. I’m very excited about it because I love couches. I’ve just barely met these two fine pieces of furniture, and in anticipation of all the good times we will hopefully have together (me and the couches, that is), I’m dedicating this entry to all the couches I’ve loved.

Years ago, my family was given a couch by our elderly neighbor. It was much bigger and softer than our old couch, and as such it could fit me laying down, even with my toes pointed out. Sadly, our family have caused the poor couch far more wear than this little old lady ever did. Plus once the dogs started getting on it, things would never be the same for me.

As a young missionary, I spent a night on our couch in Woodstock. It was quite nice, and so I ended up moving the couch into the bedroom and the bed into the living room. It worked out well in the end because we became a threesome, and so my old bed had its own occupant, and we weren’t forced to scrounge up a new one. It was with that couch that I learned that it’s harder to turn over when there’s only the back of the couch to turn to.

In Carbonear, there was a wonderful chair that was shaped like a low recliner. It was very soft and was a wonderful place to study. Few things annoyed me more than a jealous companion who compared it to the throne room of King Noah (“and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.”). I only spoke lying and vain words to him, so I don’t know what he’s complaining about.

My next area had no good couches. I had to study in a chair that wasn’t even overstuffed. I found myself staying awake through personal study with distressing regularity.

Bathurst was better though. I had my own love seat to study in, which was divine. The two extra pillows and blanket I kept there really helped on those cold winter mornings. Then there was the couch. After our apartment flooded, we found ourselves without a bedroom for a month or two (until the lazy landlord got the room painted), and so instead of taking up the living room floor with two mattresses, I just slept on the couch. It was great.

At school, I had half a dozen different couches, and yet they were all the same. They were there for me when I had to study (maybe you can do homework without a T.V. running, but I sure can’t). When I had friends come to visit, they gave us a place to gather. When my roommate came in drunk and muttering foul, violent things all night, it was a place of refuge (the chair in front of the door for him to trip on if he came in to kill me helped too).

So, with new couches in my life, I am sure that I have a lot to look forward to. So far, it looks like they’ll make out just fine.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

April Fool’s! 

I didn’t do anything to fool anyone today, but in that spirit, here’s a story:

Four years ago, I went to my girlfriend’s house to watch conference with her family. I brought with me a fake ring (well, the ring was real enough, but the “diamond” in it wasn’t) that I gave to her to wear. She was kind of embarrassed about the whole thing, and so she kept her hand hidden for the rest of the morning. During lunch, her sisters finally started hounding her to show them her left hand. We kept the whole thing going for a while longer before explaining that we weren’t engaged. It took a while after that for her sisters to forgive me (which is sort of flattering).

Now, four years later, we are engaged. It better not be a joke this time.

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