Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Meg is in the second row on the right, diagonal from Tate

It's that time of year again. Here's what happened this time around.

  • The Thomasons and I attended the BYU Gamelan concert in the Pavilion at the Hare Krishna temple.
  • I searched through thousands upon thousands of people to find my friends, and actually did find them (as well as a lot of other people I knew). Ah, I remember how there were only about 100 people, or less, the first time I went to Holi.

This picture really doesn't even do it justice. It was absolute madness. Some people drove down from Idaho to attend.

  • I was coerced, literally, into selling some of my previously purchased colors to complete strangers and earned all of my money back in the process.
  • Ali and I drove down to Payson (to avoid the traffic trying to get on the freeway in Spanish Fork) where we stopped at the Daily Freeze and I ended up getting dinner for free.

All in all, a good day (despite the hordes).

What did you do to welcome in the spring?

That's just the way I roll

I've been asked lately what I've heard from graduate schools. Well, if you asked me that question, you failed one of my social experiments. A number of weeks ago, when I'd heard back from the first one, I placed a new sidebar on my blog to track my progress.

Anyway, I'm currently two for two. Now the hard decisions begin.

On the Southwestern Front

Last week instead of sending a conventional letter to my brother who is currently serving as a missionary in the Texas San Antonio Mission, I sent him a copy of my "Technology Tantrums." As opposed to most of my letters, he responded immediately. Here's what he said:

What you really need to do is enlist some guerrilas in their own ranks. Try recruiting from the dissatisfied Bourgeouis technology that most rebellion movements snub, perhaps a foot massager or iPod. If I have learned anything from Risk (which as we all know has limitless practical strategic applications), this will be how you attain complete victory and utter subjection of your techno slaves.
Con Amor,
√Člder Sorensen

Personally, I found it a tad creepy how similarly we think.

And, secondly I want to know how someone would go about recruiting an iPod to join forces with them. I'm pretty sure mine would, if I could just figure out how to reason with it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Guerilla Attack

Guess what time I was supposed to be at work this morning?
8:00 am, yeah that's right.

Now guess what time I woke up this morning?
8:09 am.

Pretty sure its going to be one of those days.

Gotta love it.

PS I may have to kill my alarm clock which was on and set for 5:30 am and yet never woke me up. It must have joined the technology coups. Now that was a low blow.

Note: I do recognize and understand that guerrillas and gorillas are indeed quite different things. I simply find gorillas more interesting to look at.

Technology Tantrums

Well I'm not quite sure what I've done to anger the technology gods, but I've noticed a consistent plague of technology related schizophrenia--almost on a plagues of Egypt scale.

It began with the mysterious non-functioning external hard drive. Yes, the one that refused to work for me all semester then worked for Dad in about 5 minutes, and then promptly quit functioning after I returned to Utah. And it has progressed from there.

The second noticeable culprit was Jasper--my new laptop. Despite having been purchased at the exact same time as Meg's and being the exact same make and model, Jasper has a few personality quirks. In fact, Jasper frequently behaves very much like a two-year-old: he is a selective listener when it comes to voice commands, he tells bad knock-knock jokes, he hates to go to sleep, and he is especially troublesome when I'm in public.

Then my cell phone developed low self-esteem. I could charge it all night long and it would have full bars until I began talking to someone. At which point it would panic, absolutely certain it did not have enough power to continue, drop the call I was on and turn itself off. And it just kept working itself up and getting worse and worse.

I thought the preemptive strike I took against the old phone would end the string of unfortunate events, oh how wrong I was. It turns out that my other disobedient technology must be teaching my new phone some bad habits. At first I thought it was simply that I was not used to the "touch" technology and that was why it would call someone of its own volition every once in a while. Apparently this bolstered its confidence because lately I've noticed that it began to add random recipients to certain text messages. Clearly this was funny because it has also started not delivering messages for hours at a time or sending repeat messages in quick succession.

So if you have suffered any communication anomalies from one or the other of my technological lifelines, there's no need to worry about me--I'm just in the middle of coups. I am, however, masterminding a counterstrike, so be ready to be enlisted if the need arises.

My sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the current insurgence may have caused.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Copenhagen, Denmark

I've often discovered that I'm a little slow on the uptake, but today I discovered a fantastic use of google. On Google Maps you can not only look at maps of the world(including individual countries, counties, and even streets) but you can also see some absolutely gorgeous photographs. I am quite literally smitten. And thus my willpower to do my take home test is sliding quickly away. . .

Go to maps.google.com and type a place in (I think starting with countries is the easiest way to start getting cool pictures). Then click on one of the photos in the menu on the left for photos of the entire world to begin popping up. Enjoy.

Here are some of my favorites so far:

Richmond, England



The Lake District, England



London, England


Now I know where my next dozen desktop backgrounds are coming from.

Editor's note: In case you're wondering about the pictures' names/labels (if you click on them to get bigger views, for instance) please be aware that those are just the names I gave them as I downloaded them so I could remember and differentiate between them. Yes, clearly I think of movies far too often.

Mind Games

Here's a confession in homage to my friend Ali and her recent "Secrets" blogpost and in conjunction with one of mine a few back:

sometimes I wait to make sure I have comments before I post anything new.

And sometimes I'm just too lazy or too busy and therefore do not post anything new. I guess you'll have to decide which it is.

Now its up to you whether I'm the one playing the games or you are.

Though on a related note, during the past few weeks I've found myself conducting informal behavioral studies on the people around me. For instance what will my roommate do if I put my milk in "her spot" in the refrigerator? The answer yes, but the wrong roommates. One of our other roommates (which one is unknown) moved things around until everything was in the right place. If I leave a hint on the whiteboard about our floor needing to be mopped and how I cleaned other parts of the kitchen, what will happen? Someone erased the note and nobody mopped the floor (I might have, but its not my turn). If I leave the purple chair at the Lab Assistant's desk will the next attendant change it for the green one? The other female attendant leaves the purple chair there (or if the green one is there switches it for the purple), the male attendants all switch to/for the green chair.

Curious behaviors.

I also took the opportunity today to reflect on social conditioning. I would say that on BYU campus we have a 70% habitual compliance to St. Patrick's day (in terms of people wearing green). Off the dissenters over 60% are male. What does this mean? Are males just more disobedient, simply put less thought into what they wear, or are they less aware of calendars/holidays? Still, 70% is still quite a large compliance rate. I'm beginning to get ideas about what could be accomplished with social conditioning and someone with enough patience to wait for a good 20 years . . .

And finally, I'm experimenting with justified (in terms of alignment) posts. What are your thoughts? Do you have a preference?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Because I should be reading Section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants

Here's a post for the kiddies. I realize that my various nieces and nephews most likely aren't avid readers of my blog, however, I thought they're parents might be willing to show them these cool pictures I found. Incidentally, I found these at my internship last week while I was doing some fact checking for my peer review of the Madagascar CultureGuide. There were some definite facts about chameleons that I had to track down as well as the correct spelling of a certain lemur and one thing led to another.

Speaking of chameleons . . .

And who doesn't love Koalas? Except perhaps for Australians.

And finally, is anybody else wondering why this sloth is at the beach?

If you want to check out more pictures just go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/essexjan/sets/72157594251344280/.


A long time ago one of my sisters suggested we put radio links on our blogs. Well I'm just getting around to it, and it turns out that I really don't know how to add a/the radio, but I did give you some reading music. I was going to set it so you had to press play yourself, but that messed up the shuffle, so I'm really sorry in advance if you navigate over here while you're sitting in a computer lab, library, or other public space and are taken off guard by the sudden dulcet tones of someone or other who is on my list. It's always kind of embarrassing to have your goofing off outed (but speaking as someone who spends a lot of time in a computer lab, it happens to a lot of people). So just scroll on down--yeah, way on down--and peruse the eclectic mix I've provided.

Some, but not all, of these songs featured on the infamous playlist of several posts back. But I'm not telling you which one exactly almost got me to dance down the RB hallway. . .

PS Ah ha! I fixed it, you no longer run the risk of embarrassing accidental play. But you do now have to scroll way down there to push play. I guess that's the opportunity cost? It's been a long time since I took Econ, so I'm not sure that's exactly right, but you get the idea.