Friday, December 29, 2006

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

I read a translation of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" last night (Gads! I cannot remember the author's name, he won a Pulitzer and resides in Hawaii) and I want to recommend it to anyone who reads my tiny blog.

The reading goes quickly even though the style is archaic, and it provides a wonderful snapshot into the past. Gawain is actually one of four short poems attributed to "The Pearl Poet", an unknown possible cleric from the 14th century. He offers insights into the chivalric and daily mundane, a view into the old world and a moment of wreathed beauty and savagery twined together in an Aurthurian tale. It begins at Camelot and drags poor noble Gawain on a search for the Green Chapel in order to honorably keep his word. I will not tell more in order to keep it unspoiled (on the chance that you read the poem), but the Green Knight just might be Merlin (I side with the author on this one).

My words are weak here today, but the story is a metaphor for the stories of our own lives--a common theme we humans share--of virtue in a non-virtuous world, of trials and a testing effort to prove one's worth.

If you have an hour or two and want to read something out of the ordinary, pick up the book. You won't be dissaponted. You just may be mildly surprised (as I was) and find yourself wanting more when the tale is finished.

-Jay

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Whirlwind of a day!

Yesterday was the big dance, the whole enchilada, whole the ball of wax, the hot potato.

It started with my littlest waking up at 5 with a poopy diaper and a grump grump grump. She'd had enough of sleeping in a strange crib in a strange room. We were all tucked away in one of the spare bedrooms at Lynn and Karols, and vainly struggling to dream about dancing sugarplums, but in the end awoke to run to get medicine from home for Maddy and finally open presents.

What a great Christmas morning! Maddy and Griff were both so excited about every present being unwrapped, regardless of who it was for. They kept cheering and walking about the wrapping paper strewn floor to check out the loot. The older cousins were preoccupied with these fun tricycle/skateboard contraptions, and Melissa kept on saying how surprised she was and how much of a great job I did with her gifts. :)

We went to Great Grandma Jensen's house in Ogden, and due to the early hour of rising, we even made it to her house at 10:30-ish. We were the first ones there and got to enjoy her, Cliff, Lois, Ranelle, and Luann all to ourselves for about an hour and a half. Grandma of course spoiled us again with her inheritance money (this woman has close to 60 relatives she gives $ to each Christmas and birthday), and she cried and told us all how much she loves us. This is yet another woman in my life who is just an incredible person. Kind, hard working, and giving--she's an example to me. My miniscule words here are just a tiny smudge on her great canvas of life, but she always feels the need to have her family belong in that painting. Again, incredible woman.

We drove home, both the kids and Melissa snoozing in their seats. I wished I was asleep, but drove on, drinking Diet Dr Pepper and thinking.

By the time we got home I felt like I was in a dream. I was so tired, I tried to lay down, but Hyrum wanted some attention. He and I tried to snuggle for a bit, but Hyrum is 9/10ths wiggle worm and that lasted about 2 minutes. Dan came up the stairs to give us a Christmas Present of Hickory Farms Smoked Salmon (YUM!) and some mustard & horseradish sauce. He left for Dave & Tomas and we meant to join him shortly. Melissa and I loaded up the car with the remaining presents and the chocolates she has been painstakingly making these past weeks, and then went to wake up Maddy form her nap. She was grumpy, and after we carried her tot he car and proceeded to buckle her in, she promptly threw up all over the place. I am not talking cute little baby spit up; this was chunky industrial grade nuclear waste. And to top it all off, it just gets me right in the old ticker whenever one of my kids is sick, especially as babies. They don't know what the heck is going on, they are hurting, crying, messy, and the stuff is so smelly. I grabbed her from the car seat and carried her inside to the kitchen, she was all drippy and crying. Melissa and I rinsed her off in the sink, and then Mel whisked her off to the bathtub. I threw her clothes into the wash, then ran to Maverik, the only store thankfully crazy enough to be open on Christmas day. I bought a 2 liter of 7-up, and then came home. After kissing Melissa, Hyrum and I went to the Blair Party at Dave's house.

I may post more on that later. It was a blast between watching Dave, Chip and the Nephews play "Guitar Hero" on the PS2, to eating, the gift exchange and white elephant, and shooting hoops. Mom and Grandmother came, and having the both of them there was very special. There was much laughter and a great night of memories with my family.

Finally Hyrum and I drove back to Lynn and Karols, Melissa had me put Maddy down for a nap in the basement, and I proceeded to load up the Christmas Loot and transport it home. I was so tired and ornery at this time, thankfully the Movie they were watching ended (The Devil Wears Prada), and it was time to go. I woke up Maddy, who threw up again (this time on me), and tried to wash her up in the sink again. Melissa and Karol helped, and I packed all the remaining stuff out to the car, shirtless, as my clothes along with Maddy's jammies were in a bag in the back seat.

We drove home, readied the kids for bed in record time, and lay down. Finally alone! Sleep and our own bed had never felt so good...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Letting My Grandmother Go...

My grandmother is dying. Mom called me this evening to let me know Dave and Chip were heading over to the house and that Dan and I should come. I woke up Dan, he and I zipped jackets on Hyrum and Madolin (Melissa is at work tonight), and we jumped into his car after he scraped the windows clean.

Once we were at mom's house, she met us at the door. "The dogs let me know you were here" she said as she met us with a smile "Come on downstairs, Dave and Chip are already down with Grandmother". She held the door open for me and Dan followed me in--I carried Maddy who was bare legged to the cold save for mismatched socks, and he carried Hyrum who was wearing shoes and no socks. We'd really tried to get over here pretty fast. We made or way downstairs and Dave and Chip were sitting with Grandmother and talking cheerily. I suppose I was expecting something a bit more solemn, and the conversation warmed me. We visited and swapped stories for nearly an hour, Grandmother mostly listening and observing, strangely quiet from her recent strokes. During our visit, she had a few odd moments--like not remembering if she liked donuts, or what her opinion on something was. I even caught her a few times studying my face as if she knew who I was yet couldn't quite place her finger on it. I didn't know what to do and it made me uncomfortable, but the hug and kiss I gave her were warm and familiar, and in the short moment I was in her arms, she became what she has always been to me--my " 'Mer". Her smell and her eyes jumped out at me first, then her voice tumbled over me. "Hi baby" she said, her slightly husky Southern timbre washing me in its familiarness. I had heard her voice for much of my life, and I wrapped it around me now, a kitten snuggled in against the cold. I hugged her back, knowing this was the place that I knew I belonged, where she knew me and I could hide, like that child who sat with her in the church pews years ago, snuggled against her soundly asleep.

Kathryn Sue Allsworth Stubbs was the first member of our family to convert to the LDS church and she has always felt to me to be the beginner of a legacy. Her presence is thick with it and I revere her for it, she is as immoveable and stubborn as a pillar of granite, sunk deep into God's loamy earth. She is the kind of person who you want on your side, a confidant who has instilled in me in these past few months a better sense of who she is--more than the child comforter of my youth, more than the woman who taught me manners southern style--how to say "yes ma’am" and "no ma’am" and who jabbed me into complying into table manners with the pointy end of a fork. She became someone I could talk with, and in turn listen to when I was confused or concerned or just plain old tired. She would feed me with her words and her cheeses, make me sit down and tell me how beautiful Melissa and my little family were, challenge me to do my best for them, and reassure me that I was making the right choices in my life.

Tonight seeing her half there, seeing her in confusion and hesitant because her mind limited her vocabulary made my heart feel heavy. I wanted her to be the same and it made me sad, yet knowing from mom that she was tired and ready to pass to the other side made me anxious for her. I know she is tired, and has lived a rich full life. I do not desire her to stay just for my benefit, and I know she is ready to continue on the great journey of her life. In my belief, the afterlife isn't just some projection we make of our wishes and fears, it is real. I can't explain it without faith, and my words seem feeble this evening as I try to tangibly hash out something which will provide evidence that post mortal existence is true, but I feel it is there. I feel my loved ones reaching out to me, in a caring and interested manner. That what I do matters, and it matters to them. I believe they are all around us, and they know who we are--and in turn are just as concerned for our well being as Grandmother is in me. This makes my heart want to echo those beautiful words from 1 Corinthians 15:55 "Oh death where is thy sting, or grave where is thy victory?" I know I will see her again, not just as a wonderful Grandmotherly sage who has gone through everything in life (including two hip replacement surgeries). I will see her as a woman in her prime, released form this veil of cares and woe, working on her own progression in that celestial sphere. I know this time of her passing into the next life is painful and I will miss her, but I have faith that she and I will meet again, and talk about concerns and struggles we passed though in life. Perhaps we'll laugh at the smallness of our thinking back in the old days when these tiny bodies of clay limited us. Perhaps we'll sup with God in the great Mansions he has prepared for all who believe on his name. I cannot see the times ahead as my eyes are veiled by these mortal eyes, but I do know my Grandmother is at peace tonight. And if she passes into the next world tonight or a thousand nights from now, my love for her will not wane.

I am proud to be one of her grandsons, proud to have gone tonight with my three brothers to be with her and give her some peace through her latest struggles. Tonight I thank God for the grace he has for all of us, if we'll but open our eyes to it. His "grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before [him]...". All it really takes is us realizing He is there in everything we go through. I really believe that God can show me how to live my life, through all the trials, and still see his hand in it. For what purpose? His. And I thank Him for Grandparents and Parents who care enough to love me, show me faith, and lead me in a way that makes me want to reach back to him in gratitude. I just realized it, but life is truly one eternal round, all of us linked together forming the line stretched and curved back to God.
-Jay

Friday, December 08, 2006

We Wish You a Warmy Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Today Melissa and her mom went shopping for wreath decor and I was left home with a sleepy 21 month old. I lay Maddy down, deadbolted the front door (so you can see I am a responsible father), and commenced to go to the garage to play. I may not have a damnable myspace.com location, but the garage is definately MY SPACE. I love it there, my 5 bikes are hanging from the rafters, the tools all organized, the household stuff is trundled in their own boxes, etc. I am renting, so the place is not tweaked just the way I'd have it (insulation, polymer coated flooring, neon clocks, pinball machine, TV), but all in all it is more than fine.

Today I had planned just bolting together the child carrier mod which has been pending (cold weather, no walks) for a month, but after buttoning it together, I started looking at the couch and the ill positioned motoroil stained work bench. To paraphrase Apocalypse Now "I love the smell of [light demolition] in the morning." I tore it down, albeit carefully. To do so, I used a Craftsman hammer and a Craftsman hand woodsaw (to date no royalties have been paid to me for this plug for them), my miniature Buck Bros hacksaw to cut the nails so I didn't have to pull them (10 penny nails are pretty damn big), and an alternation of jumping on the top and lifting from the bottom. It worked quite well! I still need to pilot drill for where I am mounting the table on the new wall (the car, the couch, the motorcycle will fit much better now), all 38 3/4 from the ground so the salvaged legs can be reused, and I will be done. Voila, worktable moved from one side of the garage to another.

After the light demolotion, I washed a few sawdusty toys (dusty, compliments of my table saw-owning brother in law Dave--who stores a few tools at my place at no cost to me) :), swept up my mess, and washed my motorcycle. Beauty! I sure like the way it shines when cleaned up!

All this was done in the warm 40 degree December air. I love Utah! It can be winter, and colder than the Wicked Witch of the North's nipple, but if the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing then it generally feels pretty balmy.

It has been a busy day--lots of chores, and generally I have felt tired. I have caught some funky cold immediately after getting over my last one (my symptoms are different, more of a nasal thing). The house looks great, my wife is fantastic, my babies are growing and darn cute, and my dog is going to make me some coin this year.

Peace out ninjas
Jay

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Little Holiday Cheer Bicycle Style!

So I had this forwarded to me this morning from my intrepid father-in-law--in the spirit of the season, I just had to post it here!

Enjoy!

http://www.specialized.com/bc/microsite/holiday/index.html

-Jay

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Moments of beauty through the frantic work day

I had walked over to the HR building to ask about the AED device which was supposed to be posted behind the lobby security desk. The air was crisp, and rain was falling quietly, whispering off the last few leaves still on the trees and darkening the sidewalks. The ladies behind the desk were helpful, but knew no more than I, and I turned back around after politely thanking them. Yesterday I'd been trained on how to use the device, paired with CPR, to save a life. The procedures have changed in 16 years since my last certification and I must admit I felt a bit out of date prior to the training. Now I feel better.

The AED, if you are not familiar with it, is a device which is battery powered and can deliver a 300 joule shock to a defibrillating heart. If you are having a heart attack, your heart goes in to arrhythmia and gets confused. The AED shocks it, and between it and the CPR procedures (30 compressions to 2 breaths), the vascular and respiratory system can be held on long enough to keep death at bay 'till EMS gets there.

In the old days, if you were just trying to resuscitate with CPR, you had a 7% probability rate of bringing the person back. The figures are much less grim with the AED, and a fast EMS--75%. Amazing isn't it? These little devices can save you long enough till the EMT's get there if you have a viable heartbeat.

I was contemplating this gnarly responsibility when I heard a noise--it sounded familiar yet came at me from a distance, and I stopped and dropped my hood, baring my head to the rain in order to listen more closely. Geese! The sky was dark, consequently they were as well, but listening to their call as they flew in a loose formation made me reason they were Canadian geese. I counted them quickly and watched all 58 of them making their way darkly across the sky. The moment streched like an hour as I stood transfixed on the grassy parking median in front of my building. They flew past the roofline; I could still hear their calls as I made my way to the front doors. On the sidewalk below me, the last of the Ornamental Plum leaves were strewn across the sidewalk, still yet un-raked by the groundskeepers. It was a moment of beauty amidst a day of hurley-burley, and I winged back to my desk, my spirit awing with the geese.

-Jay

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ethos of work

What is it about our society, which paints the "something for nothing" mentality in such a beatific light? Is it the wish to have heroes that stimulates this prevalence? I can understand the idea of wanting someone or something we can project our selves onto, I believe that may be ingrained deeply in what makes us ourselves. It might even be a bit biological (think progeny here). The strange thing is how catty we all can be with our hero worship. The dollar can be whimsical and wealth can be easily squandered--wealth can be depleted, income can disappear and time in the limelight passes. We need only think of people like MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, or Debbie Gibson to realize this is true (These folks for all I know are really quite hard workers, please entertain my example here for illustrative purposes). I know...I am showing my age here by citing these particular artists.

The phenomenon to me worth mentioning is that these people held a fanatical following at some point, and their meteoric rise plummeted just as quickly when the en vogue faded. Why?

Lets look at another example. Las Vegas and it's two cities, Henderson & North Las Vegas own two of the top ten biggest growth rates in the US per the 2000 census. People want to move to Vegas baby, Vegas. No longer is it the "Jan and Dean" or "Beach Boys" era where "Mamas and Papas" are California Dreamin’, people are all about the benjamins baby. They want the big break, the big cash, and they don't want to have to wait for 65 to collect annuities from a lifelong investment.

Another example. Credit is well known as one of the easiest things to get these days. In case you just made an evolutionary leap from our troglodyte brethren, let me bring you up to speed. Banks and Financial institutions can offer bankcards which allow you to draw money against your established limit at a cost. This cost is an interest rate which compounds daily against your original balance. Brilliant right? Lend money easily and people pay you forever. It is a pre-changed Scrooge's dream, and Dickens is spinning in his grave at Westminster Abbey.

Credit has never been easier to get. The companies are trolling for easy fish, offering introductory terms that look as shiny and tasty as they innocently seem, but they contain a treble barbed hook of introductory rates, late fees, and minimum payments.


Add this to the fact that most up and coming Gen-x'ers grew up shell shocked and monetarily oblivious from the sonic boom the Baby Boomers generated, and we have a recipe for disaster. Many of the people in my generation (myself included) don’t really have the know-how to master their own money. Many even are so bemired in their own debts it will take many years to get through it (chapter 7 or 11 anyone?).

So, back to the idea of ethos. The basic etymology of the word means the fundamental character or underlying belief of a culture.

We all know Americans are Capitalistic folk. Generations of people before us have worked hard for the "American Way"--set down some roots, and earned the wealth that came to them by hard work and ingenuity. Sweat-of-the-brow stuff. Instead of this mentality now, I feel we all tend to the prevalence of the immediate payoff--the "play now and pay later" thought process (if you will), and it basically scares the shit out of me. What’s going to happen to my country, my America, when the ideals that help to make it successful are characteristics my generation doesn't care to possess?

Now, I know this is a broad brush, and I am painting the entire country in stereotypical fashion. I may be pulling a chicken little here, but what if? We need to think about these things.

Most likely the folks who followed the old ethos did not even know they had a mentality. That generation just did what needed to be done. They only knew that the thing needed to be done and it fell to no one else so they did it.

Today my generation can do the same thing. Refuse the excuses that I have listed above. Work hard, vote, put off spending your money until it is earned, use a thing up and wear it out. Most of all, don't be afraid of the previous generations of people before us. They were just leek you and I, they struggled with hopes and dreams, with the displacement and interruption of those dreams, and they succeeded in creating an America which you and I enjoy today. It isn't perfect, but it is what they worked for.

One final shot, then I am done on this soapbox. What will you and I leave behind as our legacy? Trillions on debt? Urban Sprawl? War and disease?

Lets invest less in the heroes built up from the almighty dollar. Lets think more green. We don't need to turn into ganja-growing hippies, but lets do something to believe less in this need for wealth and fame. If we can do that, I'd count our generation successful enough to proudly stand alongside the others that came before. We would be doing what needed to be done...

-Jay

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Beware the strength in your fingers!

So...this morning I was trying to correct a schedule (which had been hastily written on by a colleague) with some white out. More specifically, I was trying to use a White Out pen. If you have never had the pleasure of doing your own admin work and don't know what I am quite talking about, allow me describe it for you.

A White Out pen looks quite similar to a Bic ball point pen, except that instead of ink, it is filled with a larger reservoir of watered down white out (not the gummy sticky stuff you brush on from the regular small cylinder, think watery). The dispensing of the stuff is achieved by squeezing the bulbous reservoir and rolling the ball point applicator over the error on the paper. Some folks never get to use the things, as they never make mistakes, I have as of late graduated to digital format and have left the detestable behind, but in the past was well acquainted with the unfortunate devices.

I am sure if looked at an advertisement in Woman's Day or Business Week there would be something there about White Out pens--perhaps there would be a picture of some grinning goon of an individual who appeared in near euphoria at the opportunity to be using the device. Their face would be lit with a cherubic glow and they would seem to be in ecstacy while they are scratching out row after row of mistakes.

Now flash to my desk this morning--back to the aforementioned schedule and White Out pen. My fingers are closing around the bulb, I am pressing, and none of the erroneously scrawled words are disappearing. I shake the pen, look at the roller ball and press harder. Still nothing. I press even harder, thinking perhaps some of the white out dried and I can work the dried stuff past the pen nib. Blame the next action on the fact that my mind was muddled by the blessed felicity that is proximal to the White Out pen. Instead of hearing sirens alerting me of the hazard or my own robot shouting "Danger Will Robinson", I hear angels singing. I am a cherub in the clouds! My reverie is shattered by a nasty crunch and I see white...spraying everywhere. On my desk, on the computer screen, on my two phones, on my speakers, on my I pod (Blasphemy! Bismillah!). I do believe I stood rooted to the spot for an entire 10 seconds in shock, the stuff started to run, and then it dried while I was watching it. The good feeling was gone (so much for the afterglow), supplanted by dysphoria.

In retrospect, I am glad none of the crap got in my eye. These damnable devices need a warning label, perhaps they could read: "Warning, The State of Jayblairia has found usage of this device can create inexplicable feelings of fury and birth defects. If you have minimal finger strength and are prone to rapture induced by advertising, please don safety goggles and use at own risk".

I know I'd at least feel better.

-Jay

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sean Connery...

In the past week, I have watched Indianna Jones and the Last Crusade and The Hunt for Red October and I realized just how much I enjoy this guy. He has wit, charm, candor and an on screen presence that can only be called debonaire. If I were The Queen, I'd have nighted him too. Now, if he can only keep up the uber-masulinity and not follow Sir Lawrence Olivier down that path form which no traveler can return...ahem (need i say more than King Lear??).

I had hoped to ramble off something poignant tonight, but the words elude me. So, I must humbly request you go rent these two classics (strange that 1989 and 1990 are considered thus) and report back forthwith.

-Jay

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The perfect postum recepie

Ok, so most of the world drinks coffee. What are you to do if you don't indulge in a heavily caffeinated double espresso but you like drinks which aren't sugary sweet cocoa? I have come up with a personal favorite, and though the recipe may already be adrift in the flotsam and jetsam of the cyber sea, here goes.

1 spoonful of postum (a toasted barley powder, available at a store near you)
1/2 spoonful of honey
dash of nutmeg
2 dashes of cinnamon
3/4 cup of hot water, preferably from a tea kettle, it just seems so...traditional
1/4 cup of milk (I prefer skim, any will do, try buttermilk if you hanker for something strange, or are loath to induce vomiting...syrup of ipecac will produce the same results)

Put all the dry ingredients together with the honey in your mug, next pour in the hot water and stir until mixed. Thirdly add the milk, and finally, sit back and enojy (preferably with a nice bestseller or in front of a great movie with someone you love).

Peace out ninjas,
Jay

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring...

OK...I rode my moto scoot to RC Willey just a few minutes ago between rainstorms and I stood behind a guy who I swear was Noah. Or at least a New England Lobsterman. He had a slicker and a beard, and a hook on his left...no...right hand. And a parrot. Definately Noah. He was muttering about all this rain, oh wait, that was me. I mean, what the blazes? This is a friggin desert, not Seattle! Go home Noah! Give me that shiny yellow slicker first though ok?

Saturday is tomorrow. N I C E. I loathe dudgery and the panacea for the rat-race of the nine-to-five involves copious doses of my Melissa, time with the kiddles, hanging out with Dann-o, and working with my older bro. Dave (he is so fun, always has a story to tell me and has a lot to teach about building things). Being with the some of the people I enjoy the most. No punching the clock, no being fixed to "the man's" (lowercase, notice) puppet strings, no monotonous monochrome questions from my co-workers. I am my own man for 24 hrs--until Sunday, then I am owned by "The Man Upstairs" (uppercase), doing the things I like to do. Can I get a hallelujah?!?

Anyways, I am sure to the faithful few readers, this blog is about as enjoyable as listening to a male cat chasing a female in heat (if you've heard it, you know what I mean, HOLY RACKET!! The kind that makes you want to take off your shoes and whack the dumb moony vociferous animal dumb!)

Thanks for your support

-Jay

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fall is time for reading...voraciously

I have been consuming books like a man posessed these past two weeks. Nearly everything I have cracked the covers on is fiction, the stuff made up of the imagination and ether of the author's dreams--nothing dry and heavy like "New Morality in the Workplace", or "How to Rid Yourself of Peptic Ulcers". I choose to escape into a book, believe in the imagination that God gave me, and dream. There can be great beauty in lore and myth, many will write the spun tales off as trash, but myth has survived for thousands or millions of years (depending on your camp, it could be either) and has been passed down and along since time was first counted. Stories can communicate and unite with understanding, foster empathy and elicit a de-ja-vu response based on the fact that all of us share common threads of existence.

I think it is beautiful.

You can call it trash, good on ya. I don't care what you think Mr. or Mrs. Critic. You wax poetic about the political works, I will about the fiction. Perhaps you are enthralled by John Fiske, but I prefer Mark Twain. Like I said, good on ya.

As the poop flies, I have read the following in the last 2 weeks:

Wizzard at Large by Terry Brooks
The Tangle Box by Terry Brooks
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eldest by Christopher Paolini

I am currebtly reading

The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
Wiches Brew by Terry Brooks (EDIT: NOT Tolkien, apologies, I fat-fingered that one)
Culloden (non-fiction, GASP!) by John Prebble

-Jay "bookworm and self proclaimed nerd" Blair

Friday, September 22, 2006

Do you have a favorite addage?

Something old and sagely handed down through the ages of time that benefits countless millions? My favorite is a recent addition to the cluster of knowledge man has carded together out of the wooly morass of human thought. It flows like this:

"You and pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't roll your friends into little balls and flick them across the room."

It has saved me on countless times when I have longed to do such a thing to a colleague. First it serves as a prim reminder to not kill. Second, it adds some humor, which is valuable in this old world 'o trouble.

I am being facetious, but honestly, how often do we rely on old sayings. How often do we hold them in high enough regard as to make them factual? "A penny saved is a penny earned", "A stich in time saves nine", "Too many cooks spoil the broth". "A soft voice turneth away wrath."

There have even been times when I have used similar sayings like an incantation, chanting it at the back of someones head, projecting them towards that car which seems hell-bent on easing into 40 mph oncoming traffic on State Street, muttering them under my breath in a difficult situation. What would I do without this venting of my spleen?

I should be more like God wants me to be. Long suffering and patient. Perhaps this is a malaise like the Apostle Paul suffered from, a "thorn in the flesh". Allthough truth be told I give in to too many thorns in the flesh. More likely I give in to this impatience as I feel like life is passing me by and I will miss the things I want to accomplish. Let me throw in another wise saw: "Life is in the journey and not the destination."

My answers have unexpectedly come this Friday at work. My spleen has been vented, and the crow has been eaten. Such is the life of a manager, making up our place mat and eating up the dogs dinner another made of a situation. I do give thanks to God that I have come through it, and that words can be unmade. Monday requires a disiplinary action for my colleague, and hopefully my proxy apology email falls on a fertile heart and not stony ground.

Jay out

Thursday, September 21, 2006

OK, 2 posts in one day. Must be some kinda record. You gotta watch this video by Weird Al. The man is so damn funny! The king of parody!

I think the original song is silly. This parody nails it on the head!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw

-Jay out
Oh...my...hell...I am becoming a Sitcom junkie.

OK so maybe I was wrong about Alex. I watched the season 2 finale and his character evolved. Right before he picks up Izzy from Dennys bed, he shows a compassionate side of himself--a side that we only got a guarded glimpse of in the episode where the mom died on the table and he performed an emergency c-section to save the baby.

Wow. Another facet. Can't wait for tonights premier!

Here's a music video by Snow Patrol worth watching (cut and paste as my blog savvy still is pretty infantile)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vSWGNqI-sI

-Jay out

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Why does life feel like an exercise in futility sometimes?

Huh? Why?? I am here at work (which shall remain nameless), and feeling like I as a manager keep asking for the same things with a very small yield in my employee's results. I must say Iam a positive person. I am not abrasive or exceptionally disiplinary. Totally not my style. Yet I have peope making the same mistakes, and my out-of-town management feeling like they need to "guide" or "manage" me and my work. I should be relieved that it is not just me this phenomenon is limited to, it just seems to be this way on my little team compared to the vastness of corporate america.

There. I feel better. just talking about it makes me internalize my frustrations a little less. This is better than the psych couch, although I would be fine with the lights being dimmed a bit more and one of those soothing sea scapes and sounds thingies playing in the background. :)

So...my vastly better half (love you bay-bee!) has got me hooked on "Grey's Anatomy". I watched some of the DVD's of Season 1 several months ago, then kinda lost interest. My fascination was again piqued when Season 2 started showing up from Netflix. Meliss asked if I wanted to watch with her and the rest, as they say, is history.

It has been interesting to me to observe the initial opinions I formed of the characters in season 1 countered against season 2. I have to give kudos to the authors for the character development. It seems that every person in the show is developing and growing in their areas of weakness (except for Alex, c'mon the guy is a pissy jaded jagoff who only has acerbic honesty going for him). There are times that I want to shake/slap/ask WTF, but overall I have appreciated the character development. The show feels real, and empathizes with the human condition. It doesn't really apologize for our humanity per se, but it does sympathize with all the doodoo we become enmeshed in. It does catch hold on an indescribable thread of something magic--an ethereal, incandescent, fleeting shot of life being more than the mundane (if cardio-thoracic or cranial surgery can be mundane!!). It's that effort and attitude have meaning, and that relationships have purpose, and that life holds beauty inherent to it's nature.

The show has found a suprising place in my psyche and my heart. I have been lucky in the fact that I have been able to watch everything in chronological order at my leisure. I wonder at the myopia of season 3--I am not one for being hooked into network syndication (damn commercials)--I will be glued to the TV (alas no TiVo) every Thursday @ 9 pm for the next several months.

Jay out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Snow on Timp 9/15/06!

There is snow on Mt Timpanogos! I hope this year will be another banner year for snowfall. Last year, the year prior, and the year before were all fantastic years for the ainches of snow. In 04 and 05 I went snowboarding both times before Halloween at Brighton (05 was 10 days before Halloween). And the snow was deep enough that I never scraped the bottom of my board.

Come on 2007 snowfall!

The weather the last few days has been fairly wet and cold. Fall is here and the long sleeve shirts are being tugged on at the Blair house with anticipation. I have got some preparations for the apartment to get done, mostly weatherproofing the circa 1960's windows which insulate little better than wax paper ;) I have put new Schlage locks and deadbolts on all the exterior doors (killer mechanisms on those locks, butter smooth!), and feel better about that.

Gotta get new jackets for the lil sprouts, my two kids are growing so darn fast.

Anyhow, I am glad today is Friday!

Jay out...

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 5th anniversary today

I know the WWW will be clogged with thoughts memories ramblings dealing with grief and memory of 9/11 today, and my tiny corner of cyber space is not sigificant in the grand scheme of things, but I wanted to just post something about today.

What a day. The entire deal still makes me mad--so many peiople dying at the hands of extreme zealots. So...selfish. I know we are viewed as the western "evil" to these terrorists, also that Allah has a hundred virgins waiting in heaven for their good deeds. Do these men believe this is really going to happen? I can think of nothing that feels more skewed than this. Faith is just that, belief in things which are not seen, but some things just smack me as odd. Can you imagine being one of the 100 virgins who lived your whole life covered and veiled, living the values you leaned in the Koran, and basically you become a slave to someone who murdered innocents? W E I R D. Like I said, it smacks. It is strange thinking.

Anyway, I have no idea why I ranted about that. I am not against Islam. I believe by and large the religion is good. It just seems that there are mad clerics who have their own perogative in mind and they stir their people to rebellion.

So today is 5 years after the fact that terrorism struck on American Soil. The wounds feel broken back open every time I see images or read about them. The sadness is there, and it is still mixed with anger. Fear is not acceptible, as an American, I cannot let it rule my life.

So today I wear black, mirroring Johnny Cash: "...until things are brighter, I'm the Man in Black."

-Jay

Wednesday, August 30, 2006



zzzzzzzzzzz tired!

I went for a ride with my brother
and pedaled till my guts fell out
rode for 10 miles then another
now both my thighs do scream out

Why do you hurt us you cretin
by messing with this exercise stuff
if you'd slow down the food that you're eatin
your spare tire would be small enough

so to-night I sit and I do throb
a sore back and stiff lower half
I'm finding myself all a muss job
over a vehichle which requires gas

Friday, August 11, 2006

Shel Silverstein Anyone??

So, we were ruminating here at work 'bout the Shel Silverstein books Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Great books! The interesting thing to me is that the appeal appears to have gone across many demographics and locations. most of my co-workers, wether they are my same age ot even 10 years younger have read the books and they enjoyed them. Slightly rude, at times geared to the slightly crude, but always moral, the tales are great. If you have never read the books, you are in for a treat. Go to your local library and chek them out, you won't be dissapointed.

Sometimes I feel like the monster who yells out with bloody gore "Anyone for Tennis!?!", other times I feel like the boy who gargles his peas.

Life can be challenging at times, but a bit of humor and a differnt perspective can absoutely put a nicer spin on the mundane. Thank you Shel...

www.shelsilverstein.com

-Jay

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ramblings of a rancid or rabid nature (not...)

So I hate shaving. If I were rich I would go get all my facial hair lasered. I wonder what it'd be like? Would I be strapped out on a board with some of those funky tanning sunglasses (you rememeber the type, skinny, teeny ultra-black lenses that fall off at the first micromiter of movement and leave you cursing wonsering if your retinas just got fried), and attacked by a "technician" with a lazer-tag gun? I can just see them diving and feinting all over the place trying to get a good angle on my face. I am just going to leave it at the face for my hypothetical rich dream. Imagine the feinting if I were to get any, ahem, body hair removed!

So, my better half and I went to Pirates of The Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest last night. Leave it to Disney to milk some sequels out of a sucessful first film (seen Land Before Time IX lately?!?). I will say that I did have an enjoyable time, the best parts were the schtick and the monologue between the two crewman (baldie and wood-eye). All in all, it was ok. A bit more gory with people getting whacked by the jimmy-the-tuna of the high seas ("Captain, what do we do with the survivors?" "There are no survivors!" Whack, whump, splat!), so the kids prob won't see it for a few years as I don't want lil man getting any ideas. LOL

Anyway, got to go. So much for these things having a point...

-Jay

Monday, July 31, 2006

Harley Continued...

Poo, I can't load any images. Sorry yall...

Jay
Holy Hawg, I own a Harley!

Yes, yes, hell hath frozen over and the red guy with a pointy tail doth ski...I own a 2005 883 Custom Sportster. I bought it on Saturday after sitting at the dealership for several hours (5, Melissa just gestured that to me), and the suprising thing is how similar to a bicycle it is. The main difference is that the motobike is streered by countersteering versus steering in the direction you want to go. A strange phenomenon that.

I rode today to the Insurance co, to MotoX to pick up a very nice 70 dollar helmet, and then later when the jones hit me(and in the rain! Billy Joel would be so proud).

The damn blogger is freaking out on me so I will have to try and post peeeetures later.

Jay out

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

it is hotter than hell and tomorrows date is just plain old creepy

What is going to happen tomorrow? Cataclysm? Well, the creepiest yuck yuck movie is opening, and I have staff meeeting at work, but other than that I don't expect much to go on. I will however see the four donutmen of the avoirdupois (instead of the four horsemen of the apocalypse) whilst at work, and will be subjected to the fax machine of doom -- it squats on my desk with its chirping insistence that I change it's empty film (shut up damn you! I have checked and restraightened your roll times beyond number!).

No really, what is this about creepy symbols? Do people just use it as a marketing ploy for horror flicks? It's kinda weird how some people are like that, avoiding walking under ladders, steping on the 13th floor...

Anyway, time for the sandman to come visit me tonight. I am going to curl up with my horseshoe and my box of lucky charms (magically delicious) and hope kismet skips past me tomorrow. I will be a sandpiper on the shores of a balmy sea, trilling my tune through the bluster of a quick summer storm.

-Jay

Peace out ninjas
-Jay

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Tomorrow I run with Forrest Gump

I am tired. We drove to Ogden to visit Great Grandma Jensen and pick up the race packet for the Marathon relay tomorrow. I always love to see Grandma, Cliff and Lois, but I nearly fell alseep at the wheel (BNL song, that) a bakers dozen worth of times. Soooooooo tired.

Weather.com shows 70 degrees and a wee percentage of precip possible (10%). Yay! The last two days have been drippy and dreary. Bring on the sun!

School is done, 3 A's and 1 B+ (Bio, funny how I got the lowest of my grades from my favorite class of the semester). Work continues to be tough, I worked 10, 11, 12.5 hrs on Mon, Wed, Fri, and only 9 each on Thur and Fri. Basically with the promotion and the hours I am making a whoppin' eight fifty an hour. Yay Salary!!!!! It's not all bad, in fact I am seeing a huge improvement in morale of the team--also the response of our clients from the work my co-manager and I are trying to accomplish add to the job satisfaction. Ths account is going to be great and I know it is because of prayers, hard work, and showing the team I manage that I am serious about them doing a good job.

Gotta jet, tired as all heck. Wakey wakey time is in just a few bare minutes for the drive to the race. I can count 'em out at 240 minutes. I am taking my pillow and ipod and going to yell if anyone tries to get me to drive... just kiddin Dave.

Peace out banditos, happy Cinco De Mayo!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I love Biology...

Tonight was cool. First off I didn't have to take the dreaded unstudied-for test. I can delay and pay a measly fee of $4 to take it on Wednesday (incidenally 1 US dollar equals 11.0889947 Pesos, so the text extension would cost me a whoppin 44.35 if I were in Juarez, Mexico). I still am heaving that figuative sigh of relief, what with the whole double duty thing this week @ work (I got a promotion, yet am working it plus the old job till my colleauge returns from Disneyland) and the ominous promise of finals week looming just 4 days away.

Who the heck arbitrarily decided tests were all that great anyway? Most of the time they're designed to trick you into feeling like you are doing PDG, all butterflies and sunny meadows, but gully washer clouds form quickly after the examination is handed in and run through the scantron.

I propose that tests are a direct bi-product of the Norse deity Poki (devlish brother to Loki, Norse god of mischief), solelly designed to leave us gasping as if poleaxed, skewered toadily on the end of a frog-sticker . The test results always hustle and mishmash to reform into little faces on the test results page, their whizgigging geysering laughs mocking uproariously that I ever thought I was prepared. I know this is true to teh depths of my beings. The gods who meddled with Zeigfried in Nibelungenlied are fixed against me! It's like the Ides of April or something! Wreched!

Ahem...Back to Biology. Professor Heward talked today about more of the impacts of Humanity on environment, and it got me to thinking--how long can this good thing that we all share really last? Did you know that as a nation we use 10x the resources per person that a developing nation uses? Think about this also--China is still considered a developing nation (what happens when they are "developed"? I am not talking facial hair here) :). That roughly translates into a curent figure of 700 million using the majority of the worlds resources. The other stat that will shock you is that if everyone else in the developing nations were to really try for the "American Dream" then we'd quickly overstress our planet and end up in a tight spot. The carrying capacity of the planet is estimated at anywhere from 3 billion to 44 billion. Now obviously, we are well past the 3 billion, but 44 seems a bit high considering that over 1 bilion today go to bed hungry each night. This carrying capacity is good to remember for my next point. If those said developing nation peoples were able to come up to American standards, that would put a virtual stress on the planet of 10x the population (a rough strain of 50 billion on the resources). And you thought the tuna fleets were clearing the seas out today. There would be narry a sole to be found (haha!) in the sea.

So what do we do as response to this calamity hanging over the heads of our prodgeny? Will what I do really affect the future? I think yes. People are complacent for the most part, but we are sleeping giants by and large. If each of us picked up 10 pieces of trash when we went for a walk, got a recycling bin for 60% of that trash that really doesn't need to go to the landfill, turned down the thermostat, and carpooled or (gasp!) rode our bikes to work, it would be a start. I know there is alot to be done if we are going to help our childrens grandchildren out, but isn't it worth it? In this time of disposable everything, we snub our roots and thumb our noses at the conventional wisdom that lead our forbearers to "use it up and wear it out" instead of consume, consume, consume.

OK. I am stepping down from the soapbox and am going to recycle it :)

I just feel like we can do something, ya know?? We and all the life on this big old blue marble are interrelated (yes brother couchdweller, those pork-rinds came from something that is in the same Domain, Kindom, Phylum, and Class as you) and what we choose makes a difference as some of these animals are linked in ways that apathy will crush. Now I am not going to go all revolutionary and join peta. But I am somewhat shocked at the new perspective I have on things. We gotta give back to the planet!

If you would like a laugh, check out Gary Larson's "There's a Hair in My Dirt". I'ts pretty funny. Want a spoiler? The moral of the story is to Leave the King Snake alone when it's eating that cute little hantavirus carrier.

OK for the second time. I really am tired. Thx for reading, good night and good luck (picking up those 10 pieces of garbage).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jumping on the wagon of bands

Hola cyber time & space,

I join you as a citizen, one of the last few to enroot themselves out here on the big WWW. Doesn't everyone have one of these blogs? Ranting about the bum of so and so and how horrible Lost (t.m.) was last week? I join you heathen and kinsman, supporter and meek soul, and ask you to revel with me--as I labor to post my core, my psyche, sentiments, and turnabout ramblings.

Tonight I am still awake and trying, with moderate success, to load my CD collection onto an ipod (t.m.). The newfangled device has been under my commision for an entire 4 days (as of 10 hrs from now) and has only 1.15 of it's promised 30 gig filled with misc. tunes. What am I going to do to fill up the darn thing? I sprung for the larger one in hopes of putting it all on there--all 150+ CD's and then packing away the jewelcases and compact discs into a waterproof container and burying them till the year 2300 when they would bring a pretty decent price on antique road show (as longas they were wrapped in my unwashed blue jeans). I can imagine my great (to the 14th power) granddaughter digging it up and jamming out to The Beatles, Kila, Nickel Creek, Beethoven & Sting. Cool.

I am turning into an insomniac--this business of staying up till 3 am has got to stop--there is just so much to do! Clean the house, play with the kids, hang out with my better half, take the dog out to pee for the umpteenth time, worry about my garden, wish I was riding my bicycle, eat something yumm-o, say my prayers, work hard in the ol' salt mines, and get up and do it all over again.

I mean, I piss and moan like the best of them, but I really have got it pretty good. Roof over my head, no diease, 10 fingers and toes, a fantastic wife, two beautiful and fun kids, a mut that pees on the rug on occasion, and basically everything I could really want. Life is good. I have a great family (huge with all the inlaws and cousins etc, makes for some great times together), live in a free country, and can shop at walmart (uh-oh, another t.m.). Oh wait...I don't have Tivo(t.m.). You lied to me founding fathers! This land is not my land...Grrrrr...

So who in the heck is crazy enough to load every single one of their CD's on their ipod (t.m.,sigh)? Am I insane? Don't normal people just steal the music from creepy filesharing dudes wearing trenchcoats and a smile? I, um, heard about this guy who used to swap files (ahem), back in 1999-ish but I quickly found that I liked the liner notes instead of the guilt. And the cheap-o crappy white 10 cent a piece discs that had the titles scrawled on them in sloppy sharpie (no more t.m.! I rebel) kinda fell apart after listening to them 1 or 2x. I changed, was cured of my purcahsing convalescence and now stay up worrying about the Bio test tomorrow I don't really want to take (sorry Prof Heward), instead of Interpol busting down my door because I rented 30 CD's from the Orem Public Library and ripped them all to CD. Incidentally, do you know how long that took?? Even more humorous was how long it took to break each one when I decided to buy the albums I really liked and trash the trash ones (most of them). If I had a nickel for every ripped CD, I'd have about 82 cents (hows that for miscalculation).

Anyway, I am tired. Dave Matthews' Some Devil (legitimate CD, like all mine now, boooring old curmudgeon that I am) is playing now and ripping to my Ipood (saw a green shirt on ebay with that on it).

G'night all you cyber geeks and ghouls, remember the Alamo (t.m. Argh!).