Sunday, October 31, 2010

Missing

The more I look at this picture, the more I like it. The little guy forgot his flip-flop, but it didn't phase him too much; he hiked as well as the rest of us. I can learn a lot from him because, frankly, when I forget a shoe when I leave home, I'm a little put out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Contrast

This could be considered as a contrast post. Here is a lovely picture from my cousin Sara's wedding this summer and you can just feel the warmth and almost taste the strawberry lemonade in that pail. Now contrast that to the snow that is falling outside, and you'll know what I mean when I say contrast post.

Speaking of snow, check out these pictures of snowflakes that I found today. It will blow your mind! They are simply beautiful, and I don't know about you, but I can't even come close to those with a piece of paper and some scissors. I find it simply amazing that these intricate crystals can be formed out of water vapor by themselves. Amazing. I also find it amazing that the guy that took those pictures is one of the world's leading "Snowflake Experts." I didn't know there was such a position in which I could esteem.

Finally, if the snowflakes didn't do it for you, then maybe this will. Christoph Neimann has this illustrative blog on the New York Times. The post I'm linking you to is about sleep and it cracked me up, I hope you like it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cupcake

These pictures are from the summer, just after Amber and Dave's wedding. We had a little get together over at Nathan and Kristy's. Erin is so cute with her little frosting smile. It amazes me how much kids like sugar! I can remember liking candy a lot, but I see my nieces and nephews going after the confectioneries like there is literally no tomorrow.

Why do I have two pictures of Erin? I guess you can consider it a two-for-one. And I also know that one of my very few readers out there isn't actually a reader, but she likes to look at the pictures mainly. Kristy grudgingly read through my baseball post after making it very clear that she had no interest in the subject. At least she read it. I don't get it, she'll read and read on mod-bod and Two-Peas, but when it comes to her own brother-in-law's ramblings, she'll skim it at best... I just don't get it! (Ok, so the whole mod-bod thing is a joke, you'll have to ask her about it)

Also I have to make a correction to my last post, so I'll do it here. My past roommate Mike played a crucial roll in teaching me about baseball's ins and outs. In fact he is the one that taught me what a hit is, what the difference between a perfect game and a no-hitter is, and why players with the names Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio matter today. We would stay up pretty late watching the highlights of the day's games and even discuss in quite a bit of detail which team's uniforms had pinstripes and which ones didn't! We went to a number of Salt Lake Bee's games and I even went to watch him sing the National Anthem before one of the games. To say the least, it was quite a big oversight to miss Mike in my coming-to-like-baseball cascade. Thanks Mike!

Isn't Erin so stinking cute!? Rumor has it that she can be a stinking stinker as well, but looking at this picture I don't believe them for one second.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Baseball

Let me start out by saying that I was afraid of the ball in little league. I hope you don't blame me, it's a hard ball that moves pretty fast. Whether an inside pitch or a stray bounce on a grounder, it made me a little squirmy. In fact when my Pittsburgh Pirates got rained out on a summer afternoon and we couldn't play, I was actually happy. It was like a free ride. Maybe "fear" is the wrong word for how I felt about the ball, I think "respect" is more appropriate.

Now it's different. I got a glove and a ball this summer and have played catch many, many times. I have to admit that I'm like a little boy with the glove, I keep it in my car just in case an opportunity arises to play catch. I've tossed the ball back in forth at the park, in the backyard, and even at night under the light of a streetlight. My interest has burgeoned in the game as well. For a long time, I always got frustrated when Sportscenter would spend what would seem like hours covering all the baseball games during the Summer. Now, I like watching all the highlights.

I like the history and tradition of Baseball. I recently read a book about Lou Gehrig that really made me appreciate the older players of the game. This was a time when players played for the love of the game, and not the astronomically high paycheck they get now. I'm not saying that all the players today play for money, but Gehrig went to his first spring training with the Yankees with $12 in his pocket that would have to last him the entire time--in fact he looked for a part time job during spring training to help him out. The fall and winter before that he took a part-time job as a clerk and as time went on he began to think that the Yankees lost interest in him. Finally, when his contract of $2,750 for the 1924 season arrived he said, "I signed it and sent it back in a hurry for fear that they'd change their minds." To put that in perspective, that would be about $34,000 in 2010 dollars--which is less than what the average high school teacher makes in the United States today. Gehrig genuinely loved the game of baseball, and because of his love, that book, and my baseball mitt, I like the nation's past time even more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Face

I spent a little time with my nephews tonight and I had to grab my camera and snap a few pictures of Spee. He literally cracks me up sometimes. His faces below were from Christian and me telling him to make different kind of faces. Even his grumpy face is pretty funny-- you can totally tell that he can't hide his smile under his so-called sad face.

I think what I like the most about kids this age, is that they are sincerely happy. It's hard not letting their ebullience rub off on you, if you know what I mean.

One last thing, I heard yesterday that the NFL is now going to fine and suspend players that deliberately go for hits to the head. As a former Neuroscience major who would go to Elementary schools and talk about the importance of protecting your brain during the National Brain Awareness Week, I think this is a wonderful idea. I just listened to a guy's diatribe on SportsCenter about how this is going to ruin the game of football. People love football because they love the big hits, he says. Well I can honestly say that I cringe whenever I see a big hit that leaves a player unconscious or injured after that play. Like it or not, hitting your head again and again and again is not good for your brain.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Spirit of Getting By

I was brushing my teeth and listening to the Mormon Channel on my iPod (yes there is an app for that), and heard a message given by Lloyd Newell that made me stop and listen. While I was being enlightened, a frothy mess was culminating in my mouth--but it was well worth it. Here is the message:

There is a spirit that limits and shrivels the human soul whenever it remains unchallenged and unchecked. For want of better words, perhaps it could be called “the spirit of getting by”—of doing as little as possible, of giving as little as possible, of working as little as possible.

With young people in school it is sometimes evident in an attitude of cutting corners and simply slipping through: making a minimum of effort; studying as little as possible to acquire credit for the course; being satisfied with the lowest possible passing mark without reaching out for the further knowledge that could be had with a little extra effort. Young people often seem to suppose that there will be enough time in the future for all that ought to be done, and that it is smart for the present simply to get by. And sometimes very late they learn that the length of this life is limited—though sometimes they may not see it until they are looking sharply down the short side of life.

But it isn’t only among young people that this spirit has spread. . . . While the spirit of getting by . . . may sometimes seem smart and popular and approved, there is a law which says that the benefits and blessings are dependent upon performance. . . . He who shows a reluctant, unwilling nature, he who refuses to grow as much as he could, or learn as much as he could, or work as well as he should, whatever he may be doing to others, he is first of all cheating himself.

In short it may be said: He who is afraid of doing too much, seldom does enough. . . . The spirit of slipping through, the spirit of simply getting by, robs us of life’s richest rewards. (source)

Pretty amazing isn't it. Oh by the way, here is a beautiful photo of my nephew Joseph. What a good looking guy. If you haven't noticed, rarely to my verbose ramblings have anything to do with the picture. I just post a picture that I like, and say what is on my mind. How does that country song go? "Here's a quarter, go write a blog post for someone who cares"?? I think that is how it goes!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Little Jelly

Here's Finn with his dirty face and impassive look. I'm not sure what he was eating before this, maybe some sort of jelly. Either way, I still think this picture is really nice, I like his eyes.

I was reading an article in the New York Times about the miracle drug of Insulin. I was amazed to find how it was discovered and the impact that it had on the world. Before insulin treatments, children would be put on these diets that would practically starve their bodies. Their weight would drop as did their health and consciousness. Comatose skeletons would lie on the beds of the diabetes wards. Dr. Banting up at the University of Toronto found that a diabetic Yellow Collie, named dog #92, jumped off the table and began to wag its tail after the injection of insulin. Mother's of these dying children got word and would write pleading letters to Dr. Banting begging that maybe, just maybe, they could get their children some of this new wonder drug.

I think about it, and am fascinated by the ingenuity of the science world. The science education that my Grandpa Junius received is almost superseded by the advances and discoveries taking place right now. High school biology students have just as clear or even clearer view of the cell than did Dr. Banting back in 1921. It's an exciting time to be alive!