Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Six Word Stories...

Jet just sent me an interesting article that originally appeared in Wired Magazine (and on Wired.com). Here is an excerpt (and a link so you can read all of the great six-word stories provided by notable authors):
We'll be brief: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") and is said to have called it his best work. So we asked sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writers from the realms of books, TV, movies, and games to take a shot themselves.

Dozens of our favorite auteurs put their words to paper, and five master graphic designers took them to the drawing board. Sure, Arthur C. Clarke refused to trim his ("God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist."), but the rest are concise masterpieces.

[Wired's Very Short Stories]

My personal favorite:

"Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket."
--William Shatner

Friday, December 26, 2008

Classic Christmas Videos

Well, we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning down at my parents house in Provo. All of my nephews (Josh, Hyrum, Math, and Seth) were in town. We had a great time and got to play with lots of presents. I used my new Blackberry Storm to capture a couple of videos. Here are the best two:

First, we have Seth doing his "Star Wars" or "Jones" (for Indiana Jones) dance. My little sister, Jet, would start the ringtones on her phone and then Seth would spin in circles, "singing" along, until he got so dizzy that he fell over. Good stuff:

Second, we have Math using Jet's mini stair stepper while practicing with his light sabers. Of course, he falls off too. Something about little kids falling over (particularly on Christmas morning) is awfully entertaining. Good work Math!

Thanks everyone for the fun Christmas! We had a great time up at Sara's parent's house in Pleasant View (with Nick, Jyllian, and Captain Jack). The drive back home was pretty sketchy. There was so much snow on I-15 that there ended up being one or two lanes of traffic. It took a couple of hours and when we got back to Sandy, I had about 5 inches of fresh powder (untracked) on 13th East. There may have been a slight diversion to empty parking lots to determine how well the STI does donuts -- I mean, how well it handles in the snow.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Santa's Lawyers

Courtesy our "friends" at the American Bar Association, here is your Christmas card from me, Sara, and the rest of Santa's lawyers:

[Happy Holidays from Tyson and Sara and Santa's Lawyers LLP]

Here is a preview of the disclaimer/footer (anyone who has ever received an email from a lawyer knows all about the ridiculous disclaimer footers that we like to include):

This happy holidays greeting should not be interpreted as a guarantee that your holidays will be happy. Santa assumes no liability for the side effects of happy holidays, which may include weight gain, gastric reflux, sudden drowsiness, family discord, or pine needles all over your living room floor.

By asking for presents from Santa, individuals consent to the use of their names and likenesses for promotional purposes. All wish lists submitted to Santa become the property of Claus Enterprises, Ltd. and will not be returned. Santa reserves the right to substitute items on your wish list for goods of an equal or greater value.

Santa's presents are manufactured in a facility that may process peanuts.

Inclusion in Santa's "Naughty" and "Nice" lists is entirely at the discretion of Claus Enterprises, Ltd. Any legal claim arising out of inclusion on Santa's lists shall be settled by binding arbitration governed by the laws of the North Pole. "Naughty" and "Nice" are registered trademarks of Claus Enterprises, Ltd., and may not be used without permission.

There is plenty more where that came from, so be sure to check out the link. Maybe I should at that to my signature block for the rest of 2008. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Keep Tabs on Santa (via NORAD)

Kids, don't forget to remind your parents that they can keep track of Santa's progress at http://www.noradsanta.org (you know more about this Internet-thingy than they do after all).

And for a little more information about Santa, the experts over at NORAD have concluded that:
The fact that Santa Claus is more than 16 centuries old, yet does not appear to age, is our biggest clue that he does not work within time as we know it. His Christmas Eve trip may seem to take around 24 hours, but to Santa it may last days, weeks or even months in standard time. Santa would not want to rush the important job of distributing presents to children and spreading Christmas happiness everyone, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa functions within a different time-space continuum than the rest of us do.

So, if you can't get outside tomorrow night, make sure you're seated firmly in front of a computer (playing Starcraft) so you can check to make sure Santa is on his way.

Christmas Trivia and Fun Facts

Every year, our current Gospel-Doctrine teacher (and former Bishop), Dave Holdsworth, puts together a Christmas Quiz. I missed this year's version because I was subbing in a Sunday School class. Sara, however, quizzed me on the way up to Ogden, where we continued her birthday celebration with her family. That got me thinking. And seeing as tomorrow is Christmas Eve (and I'm somewhat distracted at the moment), I went in search of some more Christmas trivia and interesting facts associated with the holiday. I haven't verified any of the following but I do find it interesting:

  • The word Christmas is Old English, a contraction of Christ's Mass.
  • The first president to decorate the white house Christmas tree in the United States was Franklin Pierce.
  • Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.
  • The first Christmas cards were vintage and invented in 1843, the Victorian Era.
  • "It's a Wonderful Life" appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.
  • "Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.
  • If you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", you would receive 364 presents.
  • The poinsettia plant was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800's.
  • In 1843, "A Christmas Carol" was written by Charles Dickens in just six weeks.
  • The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama
  • Christmas became a national holiday in America on June, 26, 1870.
  • Coca Cola was the first beverage company to use Santa for a winter promotion.
  • Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word "X-Mas" comes from. Not because someone took the "Christ" out of Christmas.
  • Traditionally, Christmas trees are taken down after Epiphany.
  • More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.
  • In Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve is said to bring new love in the upcoming year.
Interesting stuff eh? I'll see what else I can find. Be sure to revisit for more Christmas questions and answers.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy Day of the Ninja

I'd like to take a moment and wish all you non-pirates a happy "Day of the Ninja." In case you are part of the uninitiated, December 5th is the official international Day of the Ninja. So dress up in your ninja costume and go celebrate (without being noticed by anyone -- after all, you are a ninja).

Day of the Ninja (Wikipedia)


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Birthday Present - STI Wingless Trunk

So, Sara and her family (Andy, Laraine, Nick, and Jyllian) totally surprised me for my birthday. Sara arranged to get a wingless trunk for our 2006 WRX STI and have it custom painted to match the car. I was completely stunned. Seriously. I just sat there with this blank look on my face while everyone (including the Red Lobster server) laughed at my surprise. We recently picked up the trunk and early today, with some help from Sara, I installed it (it wasn't too hard to install and way better than paying body shop labor rates). I'm pretty stoked about it. Here are some pictures. Now when you see a wingless, silver STI blaze past you, you'll know who it is!

From 081202 - STI - Wingless Trunk

From 081202 - STI - Wingless Trunk

From 081202 - STI - Wingless Trunk

From 081202 - STI - Wingless Trunk