Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For Classy BYU Fans...

Who needs words when a picture will suffice:

Don't worry Max. We are classy, we will stay classy, and we will always be classy. It is who we are.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Politically Correct Christmas...

I would attribute this but I don't know who to attribute it to. I have found it on numerous websites and various message boards. As an employment attorney, I found the the union/organized labor references and the equal employment references particularly entertaining.


Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh,
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called "unenlightened".

To show you the strangeness of today's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

So...half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife
who suddenly said she'd had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts...why, he'd never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur...
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales...while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone might get hurt,
besides - playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn't figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to be careful with that word today
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy - with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere...even you!
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...


Cartoon Credit: Glenn Foden, CultureAndMediaInstitue.org. Archive available [HERE]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Max Weinberg's Mormon Song

Conan O'Brien is awesome. It's true. I'll provide proof. You may have heard the Orrin Hatch recently released a Hanukkah song. Senator Hatch has released several full length albums and I think that that Hanukkah song was an excellent idea (the song itself is absolutely horrible -- but the idea of the song was a good idea).

Conan O'Brien, being the fine Irish Catholic that he is, got together with Max Weinberg, his Jewish bandleader, and they came up with a Mormon Christmas song to thank Senator Hatch for his Hanukkah song. And the catchy tune goes something like this:

Catchy no? I didn't know that Ziggy was Mormon. But I do have to say, well done. This clip will be watched millions of times in the State of Utah over the coming weeks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Max Hall - All Is Forgiven!

It is so nice to be on the winning side of the Holy War. I love the stuff that is coming out. It seems like every other email I get has a great picture or video included. Here is another one for your viewing pleasure.

It's true. It is all true. Especially the part about Gordon Monson (in my opinion at least). I'll tell you what. I can get used to a year of this. Thank you Andrew George!

Let the Poster Contest Begin!

As BYU fans, we've been starved for the last 365 days. Finally, we have the opportunity to let our creative sides come out in gentle mockery of our friends who happen to be Ute fans:

Feels good doesn't it? Here's to 363 days of more of the same.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Quick installment tonight. We are in the process of setting up Christmas and it is fun. I love Christmas. I really love Christmas lights. We have several new additions to our light parade this year. I don't have an excellent video yet but I wanted to give everyone a quick taste, so here you go:

Notice the awesome snowman on the porch (a birthday present to me from Sara's parents). Then we've got the candy-cane sticks that actually glow red (it is hard to see them because it was still light outside when I took the video) and the cool snowflakes that have all sorts of different patterns and display settings. Of course, we have icicle lights all over the house as usual. We'll be sure to post more of our awesome Christmas decorations as we polish them off.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BYU Fans For Utah...

For the first time this year, our porch was graced with competing flags. Our neighbors across the street, the Wrights, have been stalwart BYU-flag fliers all year. Admittedly, I missed a couple of early weeks but, after several other neighbors asked me where the BYU flag went, I've been more diligent. I got my flag out bright and early today. Then, when I wasn't looking, Sara got her flag out too (it was classic because Kyle Wright, our neighbor across the street, got his flag out while Sara wasn't looking, which frustrated her because I think she was hoping that they might have forgotten):

Note that Sara's flag is much bigger than mine. Anyway, there are a lot of split families and friends when it comes to the BYU / Utah rivalry. Prior to getting geared up for the next two weeks of rival bashing, Doug Robinson, from the Deseret News, was trying to answer a preliminary question: Can BYU football fans root for (ick) Utah Utes?

The answer is, of course, yes. But not very often. But that is beside the point. Robinson's column is focused on whether it was okay to root for Utah over TCU (it is moot now since TCU rolled Utah just like TCU rolled BYU). I say yes; if Utah beat TCU then BYU would win the MWC championship (because, of course, BYU will beat Utah). In setting up this question, Robinson penned the following, which I found to be hilarious:
The question you face is this: For whom do you cheer — TCU or (ahem, ahem, gag, cough, spit) Utah?

Welcome to "Sophie's Choice Comes to Provo."

Who do you like this weekend — the Frogs or your dreaded, detested, sick-of-'em Utes?

For BYU Fan, this is a difficult weekend. It must be like choosing between Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, Michael Moore or the swine flu, the firing squad or hanging, the BCS or the ACLU.

One of the three biggest lies in Utah County is about to be put to the test:

The first lie: I don't vote for the party, I vote for the person.

The second lie: I'm not going to get married until I finish school.

The third lie: I cheer for the Utes when they're not playing BYU.

Good stuff Mr. Robinson. Good stuff indeed. And just so you know: (1) I don't vote for the party, I vote against Curt Bramble; (2) I didn't get married until I finished school, twice; and (3) Ummmm... 5th Amendment please.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Winter Wonder Slam 2009

If you've been around since June, you probably remember a post about me going to the Relient K concert with some of the neighborhood kids (and their parents of course). Sara will tell you that the best thing to come out of that experience was the discovery of Owl City; nobody had ever heard of Owl City at that point (side note: my mom really likes Owl City too).

But Relient K was awesome. And hanging out with the Whites and the Platts was also awesome. Fast forward about six months and we're gearing up to do it again. Aaron is making the arrangements and it sounds like Aaron, Weston, Jackson, and myself are headed to Vegas on December 18th for the Winter Wonder Slam featuring TobyMac and Relient K.

There is nothing quite like a good Christian Rock concert to get you in the mood for a Rockin' Christmas. Here is the official Winter Wonder Slam 2009 Tour Widget; you can use it to check out some of the music and learn about some of the bands:

If nothing else, you need to listen to Relient K's version of Sleigh Ride. Just click on "Music" and then pick the Relient K song. Turn up the music, wish for some snow, and get ready for winter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BYU Basketball - Ronnie Ron & Roscoe

I know that we're still right in the middle of college football madness but BYU Basketball deserves some exposure for some of the recent promos that they have put together.

First, the official spot, which you can find on Comcast, Dish, and various other cable networks:

I too am a Cougar. But, no one epitomizes being a Cougar better than the two biggest BYU basketball fans, Ronnie Ron and Roscoe. If you don't know about Ronnie Ron and Roscoe, I'll catch you up. "Ronnie Ron & Roscoe are going to be walking you through the 2009-2010 BYU Men's Basketball Season. Respect your elders and show up to the game." That according to the BYU Hoops / BYU Basketball channel on Vimeo. You should subscribe to the channel (like me). But, if you're unsure, here are the first three Ronnie Ron & Roscoe spots; you will be quickly convinced I'm sure:

I'll be looking for all of you at that place "where the magic happens." There is something special about being in the Marriott Center as winter weather rolls in. Kind of like snow on Christmas; it just feels right.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I (heart) BYU Women's Soccer

Soccer. It isn't a gentleman's game. If you haven't heard about New Mexico's Elizabeth Lambert yet, shame on you. Ms. Lambert, a defender on the Lobo's women's soccer team, apparently doesn't like to get completely worked on the soccer field. You see, when Lambert (#15) continually got beat by BYU's Carlee Payne, a 5'4" freshmen (#7), she got a little frustrated. Well, a lot frustrated. I'll let the good folks at ESPN do some of the explaining:

I bet you never thought you would hear John Anderson doing BYU Women's Soccer highlights did you? So, after Payne scores the first goal of the game, Lambert-the-Enforcer decides that she has had enough soccer and it is time for some hockey. She then commits fouls that would have earned her a ten-minute major if she had been on ice. But soccer being soccer and officials being blind, Lambert-the-Thug ends up with nothing more than a yellow card. A yellow card!?! Yes, soccer can be physical. Yes, Payne was pushing and shoving too. But pushing and shoving is a part of soccer (as is taking dives and faking injuries). Pulling ponytails, kicking balls at peoples heads while they are on the ground, and punching people in the face are not part of the game of soccer (although, they are permitted in the stands, assuming you are in Europe).

Anyway, I was furious when I saw that. But then I saw this (and I felt much better -- much much better -- in fact, it made me extremely proud to be a BYU fan and even more proud that I could share these great clips with you and the rest of the world):

Watch it again. Notice on the wide shot where Lambert-the-Destroyer takes Carlee Payne down (again). Payne pops back up, shakes her head, has a huge smile on her face, and starts walking back down field. Lambert steps up to talk some more trash. And what does Payne do? The most devastating move in all of sports. It's true. No trash-talking, dance, taunting, screaming, yelling, fighting, complaining, can compare with the silent-but-deadly, non-chalant, point to the scoreboard.

That's right Lambert.


Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hallows' Even Eve

As I scanned the new Facebook "News Feed" and "Live Feed" (what's up with that by the way), I came across a bunch of pictures from current BYU Law students and their kids celebrating Halloween. One of the better traditions at the law school is to have all the law students' kids (and when you're talking about BYU Law, there are a lot of kids) come in and go trick-or-treating at the carrels. It is awesome.

I haven't been able to dig up any of the pictures from when I was in law school but I have something better. Thomas Rex Lee, or Professor Lee, has a resume that is the envy of nearly everyone. He is one of the country's foremost authorities on trademark law and trademark infringement. He was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the United States. And he does a pretty good imitation of Wayne from Wayne's World:

That picture is classic. We were 1Ls in Lee's Civil Procedure class. I knew he was going to be a good professor when he showed up dressed for Halloween. It seems like 2002 wasn't really that long ago. Of course, I look like I'm about 17 in that picture, so it might as well have been 1995 (and yes, I still have and regularly wear that BYU shirt). The last seven years have gone by quickly. I bet Professor Lee's foosball skills are lacking (he was quite adept at scoring in the goal he was supposed to be defending).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Awesome Halloween Costume - Transformer that Transforms

My cousin Blake tipped me off to this video (via Facebook). I've seen lots of Transformer costumes for Halloween but I've never seen one that actually does transform. Awesome!

I think the best comment regarding this YouTube flick is: "I hope they make a costume that transforms into Megan Fox too." Funny. And I'm sure there are plenty of costumes out there that will transform you into a bad actress so do we really need another one?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Too Love the Utah Jazz Bear

The Utah Jazz Bear (or the Jazz Bear as everyone in Utah knows him) is often spotted driving around downtown Salt Lake on his Harley. He has perfected sledding down the steep stairs at EnergySolutions Arena and can always be found doing all sorts of sketchy stuff during breaks of Jazz home games.

Travis Pastrana, the boy wonder, has X-Games gold medals in motorcross, freestyle motorcross, and rally racing. Like me, Travis drives a Subaru WRX STI (although his might be a little more tricked out than mine). Travis also has an MTV show called "Nitro Circus" that features Travis and his friends traveling around the world performing reckless and adrenaline filled stunts. So what happens when Nitro Circus makes a stop in Utah? The Jazz Bear shows up:

Now that is good stuff. Yes Travis, we too love the Utah Jazz Bear. Now someone needs to get the Travis, the Jazz Bear, D. Will, and Kyle Korver together for a dodgeball match.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Women Tech Awards 2009

You have probably heard (if you haven't, shame on you) that my Mom won a 2009 Women's Tech Council award for being a Technology Trailblazer. The awards ceremony was at the Grand America in Salt Lake City. Brant and Jordann joined me, Sara, my Dad, and, of course, my Mom. One of the side benefits was that one of my clients (one of my big clients) was a sponsor of the event and the awards; while my legal work may not be up to par, at least they are well aware of the fact that I come from "good stock."

Since I'm inherently biased, I'll quote liberally from the Women Technology Council Press Release:

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 24, 2009 — Sixteen women were recognized at the second annual Women Tech Awards Ceremony, presented by Women Tech Council and MountainWest Capital Network, which recognizes technology-focused women who are driving innovation, leading technology companies, and are key contributors to the community. The sold out event was emceed by Shauna Lake of KUTV 2 news Marguerite Hancock, Associate Director of Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, keynoted the event

Six Award Recipients were announced. Award presenters from EnergySolutions, Ernst & Young, Epic Ventures, Novell, USTAR, and Workman Nydegger recognized the following women:

  • Carine Clark, Symantec — Leadership Excellence
  • Cindy L. Snow, ContentWatch — Technology Trailblazer
  • Carolyn B. McClain, Novell — Technology Innovator
  • Angela Trego, Ph.D., P.E., ATK Space Systems — Rising Star
  • Nicole Toomey Davis, Governor's Office of Economic Development — Community Builder
  • Cynthia Furse, Ph.D., LiveWire Test Labs and University of Utah — Education Excellence

"Recognizing these women also gives us an opportunity to honor the great companies that foster their careers," said Cydni Tetro, Executive Director, Women Tech Council and CMO at FamilyLink. "We were overwhelmed by the support these companies made to their finalists."

Each Award Recipient received a hand-crafted statue entitled "Defying Gravity," specially designed for the event by award-winning artist Andrew Smith. A selection committee from private industry, venture, government and academic communities selected the Finalists and Award Recipients.

And here is a slideshow with some pictures from the event. The lighting in the Grand America isn't fantastic (at least when you are taking pictures with a point-and-shoot camera and a cell phone) but here you are anyway:

Congratulations Mom! Well deserved! We're all quite proud!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Google Wave - I'm Invited

So I hear that getting a Google Wave invite is a big deal. Apparently, a really big deal. Apparently, the biggest deal since Gmail accounts were selling for ridiculous amounts on eBay. I would have sold my early Gmail invites on eBay (they were very early -- very very early) but that was against the Terms of Service. Of course, it is against Google Wave's Terms of Service to sell invitations (I assume) but that hasn't stopped the entrepreneurs among us: Current eBay Prices for Google Wave Invitations.

Seriously though. Are people really paying more than $50 a pop for a simple Wave invite? If you are really that hard up, get in touch with me and we'll see what we can work out ;-)

I am surprised by the land-grab on Google Wave. It doesn't make much sense to me. Your Google Wave account will be based on your Google Account (which is generally your Gmail username). Since you already have your username, why do you "need" to get into Wave before everyone else? It is not like someone is going to take a name that you are hoping for. So put the $50 back in your wallet (or send it to me) and have a little patience.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Boy's Wedding - Friends and Family Edition

After seeing President Monson's jar of warm fuzzies earlier today, I figured that I should give my Mom and Dad some warm fuzzies of their own. As always, just click on the pictures / slideshow to go to a page where you can comment on the clowns (Boy, Cody, Jord, Rich, Tyson, and Zac) appearing in these pictures (John isn't a clown -- the Ph.D. gives him some semblance of credibility).

I have some more pictures that need posting. But smells of freshly baked banana bread or wafting up from the kitchen to the office. I guess you will all have to wait for the next round of pictures.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Return: Midnight Sun - Stephanie Meyer's Rewrite of Twilight - Manuscript Leaked

[Editorial Note]: I'm bringing a story back. That's right. Straight from the archives. This story was originally published on this very blog in October 2008. The title is/was: Midnight Sun - Stephanie Meyer's Rewrite of Twilight - Manuscript Leaked and you can click [here] to read the original.

Why am I bringing it back? Because we keep getting comments from people who think we are Stephanie Meyers! It is awesome. There is nothing better than comments from teenage girls with vampire and werewolf fanaticism. Check them out! A new one was added in the last day or two! Don't get me wrong; at least 50% of those living in our house love Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. For at least one of us, the best part of Transformers 2 was the New Moon trailer before the movie even started. But with New Moon coming out in theatrical form and no word from Stephanie about the status of Midnight Sun, I figured it was time to invite additional comments.

(Note to Stephanie Meyer's publishers and their attorneys -- we too (two) are attorneys. Yes. Both of us. I've got three words for you: Fair Use / Parody. Save it for the judge).


Midnight Sun - Stephanie Meyer's Rewrite of Twilight - Manuscript Leaked

Sara stumbled across the linked manuscript of Midnight Sun (the rewrite of Twilight told from Edward's (the vampire) point of view). Evidently Meyer distributed copies of the unfinished and unedited manuscripts to some family members and friends who then posted it on the net. Meyer has since decided that she is not going to complete the book and she has posted a link to the unfinished manuscript on her site. Here is a link to the press release on her website and a quick summary of the posting:

As some of you may have heard, my partial draft of Midnight Sun was illegally posted on the Internet and has since been virally distributed without my knowledge or permission or the knowledge or permission of my publisher.

I have a good idea of how the leak happened as there were very few copies of Midnight Sun that left my possession and each was unique. Due to little changes I made to the manuscript at different times, I can tell when each left my possession and to whom it was given. The manuscript that was illegally distributed on the Internet was given to trusted individuals for a good purpose. I have no comment beyond that as I believe that there was no malicious intent with the initial distribution.


I do want to take a moment and thank the wonderful fans who have been so supportive of me over the past three years. I cannot begin to tell you how much each of you means to me. I only hope this note will stop all the confusion and online speculation so that the Twilight universe can once again become the happy escape it used to be. After this incredibly busy year, I am now focusing on spending more time with my family and working on some other writing projects.

Links to the manuscript can be found on Meyer's website (the link above). Looks like Sara will have something to read for the next couple of days.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boy's Wedding - Nephew's Edition

So... You see... My brother ("Boy") is married. Shocker. I know. Congratulations Boy (and my apologies and best wishes to Jordann -- and her family lol). I'm kidding of course (mostly). Anyway, I think that Sara and I took as many pictures as the photographer. Of course, when I take pictures, I usually just run up to the "subject" and snap the pic while they aren't looking. It has some interesting results. We will be posting various editions of the photos we took. Let's start with the Nephew's Edition:

When I have this many pictures, I prefer the auto-play album that scrolls through the pictures. You can just click on the picture or the links to open the whole album (so you can give adequate attention to each picture). Notice all the shocked faces and surprised looks that resulted from me jumping in front of people with a camera flashing.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Here Come the Highlights #2

This highlight video was actually up well before the one I linked to below. It is longer (a little less than nine minutes) but is in HD (if you follow the link -- the embedded version is not in HD) and has great audio from the game. Other bonuses:
  • Max Hall chanting "we're going to win, we're going to win" as the team heads into the locker room at half (3:27 in the video)
  • Pitta running one of the sickest routes you will ever see a TE run, on 3rd and 10 mind you (5:08 in the video)
  • Great coaching by Bronco Mendenhall having two plays already called so that the team could get the fourth-down play off and running quickly, which led to an easy conversion (5:48 in the video)
  • Sam Bradford, your Heisman Trophy winner (6:27 in the video)

BYU vs OU from Brandon Orton on Vimeo.

The only thing missing was the classic line from the announcers that Max Hall was saying "whatever it is they say in Provo." Good work on the video. I hope (and am sure) that many more are on their way.

Here Come the Highlights...

When one of BYU's biggest football wins ever gets mixed with some Linkin Park and then put into slo-mo, well, it demands to be seen:

BYU vs OU from James B Ellison on Vimeo.

Great compilation. It isn't mine so no credit goes to me. I encourage you to forward the link onto friends and family. I feel a duty to spread the joy and love of BYU Football (along with the added side-benefit of giving props to an excellent Linkin Park song). So get to it already...

Monday, September 07, 2009

One Game; Two Numbers; Endless Possibilities...

LOL... It sounds like I came up with the team slogan for this year. All I can say is that:


never looked so good. Congratulations to the Cougars. It was a great weekend for sports in our house. Utah trounced Utah State, which made Sara happy. Boise State stomped Oregon, which made everyone in the entire world happy (note to Oregon: your uniforms are still ugly). The U.S. Men's National Team beat El Salvador and essentially locked up a spot in the World Cup 2010. And then, of course, the improbable victory over what was supposed to be an excellent Oklahoma team. it almost makes all those bad sports weekends seem worth it.

And yes, we watched the game after we got home from the Jon Schmidt concert at Thanksgiving Point. I would have watched the U.S. Men's National game (played here in Sandy at Rio Tinto Stadium) but the DVR didn't record it right. Oh well, it was pretty late by the time we finished watching the BYU (and replaying all the important plays over and over).

I'm starting to think that I am jinxed. We were in Korea for the Miami game (which BYU won) and I was at a concert during the now infamous (but badly played) Oklahoma game. I didn't attend or watch either of them live. I guess the exception to the jinx rule would be the 1996 team (I was at the Texas A&M game and the Cotton Bowl when BYU beat 5th ranked Kansas St.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Go Cougars...

Ahhh... College football is upon us. Enjoy the ride everyone (and go U.S. Mens National Team in a World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium here in Sandy, Utah).

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

You Are Working Too Hard When...

We were quietly at church last Sunday. We were fasting so rather than engaging in my typical practice of "borrowing" and eating snacks and treats from the little kids that sit around us (and more particularly Seth and his parents, Chad and Melanie who are nice enough to let us sit with them), I was simply "borrowing" the snacks and putting them in my pocket to eat later. Suddenly, Seth got a glimpse of my right hand, which proudly presented three Band-aids to all onlookers. Seth's glance went from the Band-aids to me and back to the Band-aids. A slight grin came across his face and he started to chuckle as he loudly proclaimed, "Whoa, you have too many band-aids!!!"

Everyone laughed. Especially Sara. But I was proud. When a three-year-old who is as adventurous and crazy as Seth tells you that you have too many Band-aids, you pretty much know that you've had an excellent weekend. More Band-aids = More respect (or at least that is how it should be).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sara is the Best and the Bestest Ever...

The reasons are too numerous to list, so I'll give you 2000 words (plus a couple extra via captions):

Can't beat the Slurpee and the Subaru WRX STI. And there are several additional "features" we plan on adding over the future.

I apologize for the screen but I doubt Sara would have wanted be to take a picture of her mowing the lawn. Seriously though, she mows it all the. It is the best!

Greatest wife ever. I know there are some other good candidates, but no one really stacks up. Good try by everyone else though. Keep up the good work. Between road-tripping, to rocking out while racing Evo9s in our STI, and our mutual love for sweet-potato fries, the combination clearly was intended from the outset.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter

We went to the new Harry Potter movie with Tyson's family last night - (all of his siblings were there - Melissa, Brant, Jet, as well as Tyson's mom, Cindy, and two of his nephews - Josh and Hyrum, and Brant's fiance Jordann). Totally fun!

Fun times with old roommates ....

The roommates aren't actually old (they aren't 80 years old or anything) - they are just my FoRmEr roommates. I just took a really fun (although short) roadtrip with Heidi and her little boy Pona, who is so darn cute that unless he is in a shirt that says "hey, I'm a boy" gets all sorts of "oh how pretty" comments thrown his way. Seriously, though, he is a little sumo wrestler and was a champ for all of the driving and hanging out.

We drove to Colorado to visit another old/former roommate - Alicia and her hubby Mike and baby Roman. Roman, a little older than Pona, is a little greek god with tons of teeth and had the one-up on baby Pona 'cause he could crawl (and was more adept at biting). I miss my roommates! Oh the fun times we had!

Here are more pics (did I mention that we spent a day at a lake - playing in the water, on the boat, and wave runner ... and eating lots of great food):

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Salt Lake Bees Baseball

Before I get started, no comments about the awesome Relient K videos? Seriously? People get comments when they simply complain about the weather outside (granted, for those of us in Utah, we've had plenty to complain about the last few weeks -- now I know what it feels like to live in Seattle). I guess my posts or so descriptive and thorough that no one else really has much to say.

Anyway, in what has become quite the tradition in our family (family, friends, neighbors, friends' kids, neighbors' kids, etc. all fall within that category), we went to the Bees game last night at Spring Mobile Park (formerly known as Franklin Covey Field). It was a grand old time. Literally. Brandon Wood blasted a grand slam. We were all pretty stoked about that. But the excitement didn't end there.

Later, with a man on third, the Bees went with the squeeze play. You don't see the squeeze play used that much in baseball these days so it was great to see the guy essentially steal home while the pitcher and catcher were scrambling for the ball. Of course, even more exciting was the fact that the squeeze play bunt turned into an in-the-park homerun (albeit scored a triple and an error). I don't think I've ever witnessed a bunted homerun (at least not since I played little league). It was fantastic. The weather was beautiful and we had a great night.

As you can tell, we were sitting on the berm in right field. Several members of our ward were with us, including the Moores, the Buxtons, the Joneses, and the Harrises. Great night for baseball.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Relient K and Owl City with the Whites and the Platts

So, about a month or so ago, I got an email from Aaron White (a neighbor and friend). He noticed that my Facebook profile included a reference to Relient K as a favorite band. Unbeknownst to me, Relient K was coming in concert and Aaron wanted to know if I was interested in going with him and two of his boys, Weston and Jackson. It was a no-brainer. The concert was Thursday, June 4th, at the Murray Theater. It was fantastic. Lance Platt and his daughters came too. Lance, Aaron, and I may have been the three oldest guys there. But hey, good music is good music right? It's not like you get that many chances to see Relient K live after all. Check out the videos of the White boys rocking out.

I also have a video of me and Jax in the mosh pit but, as you can guess, it is a little shaky. Besides, I'm not sure that Laurie would appreciate knowing that I took her little boy into the mosh pit (it was it his request, I promise!). Good times were had by all.

Owl City, one of the opening bands, is really good. Sara has been listening to them all weekend. There is an excellent review / description of them in the Deseret News:

If your household appliances wrote love songs while you were away on vacation, their cheerful blips and bleeps would pour out the windows, sweep through the neighborhood like candy-coated tidal waves, and you would return home to find crowds of people standing on your lawn, clapping and singing along to the happiest pop melodies imaginable. Welcome to Owl City. Based in Owatonna, Minnesota, Owl City features the music of Adam Young.

You should definitely check them out at http://www.myspace.com/owlcity. To keep the concert theme going for the weekend, Sara and I took my cousin, Zac, to the Ryan Shupe concert at the Sandy Amphitheater last night (Friday). The weather looked a little sketchy but it all turned out well. I'll post pics and videos when I get a chance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend in St. George

If you haven't heard of the infamous St. George Memorial Day weekend extravaganza yet, well, you must have not been there. Here is the deal. Back when we were in law school, the stars misaligned and this odd group of even odder characters ended up in the same study group. Now, being unable to forget those "glory years" of law school, we try to bring back those fantastic memories by crowding everybody into a single house (after we force Mark's parents to go stay in a neighbor's house so we can have complete run of the place).

Anyway, we had a great time. Golf, Wii, Shopping, Pizza, NBA Conference Finals, Swimming, more Golf, and lots of getting ganged up on by a bunch of kids (well, I think I was the only one lucky enough to experience that). Special thanks to Henry and Mary for being so hospitable and providing for our room and board. Here are some of the select pics:

You can make up your own captions for the pictures. There are too many inside jokes to even start. If you don't get 'em yet, you're never going to get them. For all our law school friends who like to keep tabs on me and my burgeoning legal career, yes, that is Chad (Hoopes), Mark (Mendoza), Layne (Smith), and Sara (my wife -- hands off). We were short a couple of people but hey, their loss (except for the Avaloner; Costa Rica is a close second to spending the weekend in St. George).

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Snows Love Sushi - I Mean Really Love Sushi

Most of you who know us know how much we like sushi. Sara absolutely loves Vegas Rolls from Happy Sumo but we have found several sushi places around town that we really like, including Benihana's (all you can eat) and Mizumi, which is a local place here in Sandy that is fantastic.

But what happens on Sunday when we can't go out for sushi? Well, we found out today. We just made our own. It actually ended up tasting really really good (I like to think that living in Seoul, South Korea for three years and then in Japan helps me in my sushi making skills). The presentation left a lot lacking (and I'm sure the Iron Chef judges would have beat us up pretty heavily on the presentation issue) but, my biggest concern is taste! And with that, I was well pleased. We made four different, but similar rolls (and Sara even threw together a nice yummy asian salad). Enjoy the pictures of our lovely Sunday dinner:
From 090503 - Sushi

From 090503 - Sushi
Like I said, when it comes to taste, it was fantastic. It was actually pretty fun to make too and didn't take too much time. Nor was it particularly hard to make. And when you're paying $15/roll at a restaurant, you certainly get more bang for your buck.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tyson Loves Tulips

Wow. Two post in one day. How about that. Anyway, when I pulled in from work today, while the sun was setting, I noticed how good our flowers looked. I grabbed Sara and Sara's camera and we snapped some quick pictures. Tulips are far and away my favorite flowers and, as of right now, I think we have the best tulips (and other flowers) on the street, if not in the entire neighborhood. Enjoy:

From 090422 - Front Yard Flowers

From 090422 - Front Yard Flowers

From 090422 - Front Yard Flowers

From 090422 - Front Yard Flowers

From 090422 - Front Yard Flowers

I guess I'm going to have to buy some more tulip bulbs this fall so that we can do even better next year! For the time being, spring has returned to Utah (75 degrees today). Who knows how long that will last. But, while it does, we will continue to enjoy our flowers. The irises should be coming out next.

Parents, Pruning, and Deck Remodeling

Some of you may know that Sara and I (with the help of many others) are in the process of "renovating" our deck. We thought we were going to have to replace the whole thing but, as it turns out, we're going to re-frame a lot of the support structure and then just replace parts of the deck itself. Part of the project involved ripping out a bunch of hedge-like bushes (Sara had fun doing that) and some much needed pruning on a tree next to our house. As the following pictures establish, neither my Mom (Cindy) nor Sara's Dad (Andy) are afraid of trees, heights, or chainsaws:

From 090410 - Deck Remodel (1)

From 090410 - Deck Remodel (1)

From 090410 - Deck Remodel (1)

Thanks Mom! Thanks Andy! The deck is coming along but the tree is now in tip-top shape! (You can click on the pictures to get the "full size" pics).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

#1 on Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Directory

Okay, granted, I have not even achieved the highly sought after "AV", "BV", or "CV" rankings that Martindale-Hubbell likes to dish out to attorneys, but this is still pretty cool:

Number one in Utah; number 12 in the entire U.S.A. My ranking on Martindale Hubbell is based on the number of searches and the number of visitors to my Martindale-Hubbell link and page. By referring to my link on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and various other social media outlets, I have achieved a traffic level that ranks me extremely high. So, as I go to bed tonight, I can honestly say that I really am the "#1 attorney in Salt Lake / Utah" (at least based on a semi-independent measuring stick). Way to go me! Just another example of how social media can create name or brand recognition and help you to publicize yourself and your knowledge.

Now I'm gunning for #1 nationwide. You can help by visiting:


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Google AdSense and Trademark Infringement

When you are married to a patent/IP attorney and you are as interested in technology as I am, you are bound to have some entertaining discussions. Add the fact that I'm a litigator and that I enjoy IP litigation, and the discussions get even more interesting. We were recently debating whether Google and Google.com should be liable for trademark infringement when they allow competitors to use another companies registered trademark in paid keyword advertising. It appears that Sara's position was the position most inline with current jurisprudence on the subject. Via law.com:
In 2006 a computer repair company called Rescuecom sued Google for trademark infringement, claiming that users would be confused by links to ads from competing companies that showed up on searches for Rescuecom's name. On Friday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with Rescuecom. The court overturned a lower court ruling dismissing the case, finding that Rescuecom could proceed with a trademark infringement suit against Google. Google is represented in the litigation by Michael Page of Durie Tangri Page Lemley Roberts & Kent. Rescuecom relied on in-house lawyer Edmund Gegan.
The Second Circuit followed the majority of district courts that have addressed the issue and concluded that the purchasing of competitors' names or trademarks to trigger keyword ads raises, at the very least, a threshold question of trademark infringement. Will Google ever respond or adjust its AdSense program in light of the increasing number of infringement suits filed against it? We'll have to see.

Credit: The AmLaw Litigation Daily

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

International Day of Books - Holiday for Authors

I have no idea whether this is a true holiday or not, but I do trust my friends over at the Legal Writing Prof Blog and, as they say:
Another date to save! April 23 is the Giornata Mondiale del Libro e del Diritto d'Autore -- the International Day of Books and the Rights of Authors. Celebrate with a good book . . . or at least a good author.
Thanks for the tip! I'm sure Sara will be extra keen on celebrating this holiday this year and into the future.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Three Rules for March Madness

Well, the NCAA tournament is about to tip off. With that in mind, let me remind you of my three rules for March Madness. These rules are generally universally applicable but there are slight exceptions here and there. Oh, and thank you to CBS and the Internet for creating an environment where I no longer have to sneak headphones in to listen to games (like I used to have to do during school). Now, for your rules:

1. A 12 always beats a 5.
2. There will not be four 1 seeds in the final four.
3. Regardless of who you picked in your bracket, unless your team is playing, you should always cheer for the upset. Always. This rule has no exceptions.

Rule number three is the most important. I don't care if you picked North Carolina to win the whole thing. If Radford is close as time is running out, you better be cheering for Radford. I'm just saying...

Go Cougs.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Jet @ Eliza Magazine...

I just got word from my little sister that she will now be blogging for Eliza Magazine. Fantastic! Eliza is a great magazine; as described by its owners/creators:
ELIZA Magazine is created for women who want to be stylish, sexy, and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment, and lifestyle. In a media culture that frequently objectifies and commercializes women and their bodies, ELIZA strives to provide an alternative to the current mainstream media that emphasizes sex and skin in order to push products or sell magazines.
Jet will be great at this. She is extremely fashionable. She has degrees in Public Relations and Digital Media. She knows pretty much everyone. And she will be able to provide all sorts of quirky advice and insights. I hear that her roommates are pretty cool too. Speaking of which, how come I had to read about this on your blog Jet? Is this why you couldn't join us for dinner and banana cream pie last night? Straight from Jet's blog:
Many of you have seen me discuss Eliza Magazine on this blog (which by the way, you can now view old issues online). I love it for its modesty and its gorgeous pictures. Now I have another reason to love it - I'm blogging for them!

So if I start slacking here, you now know why.
ELIZA Magazine's Blog. So congratulations and good luck Jet. Let me know when you need some legal advice ;-).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Pi Day!

It is an extra special Pi Day this year. We get more than the standard 3.14 (3/14 or March 14th). This year, we get many more of the irrational numbers digits: 3.1409159 (3/14/09 @ 1:59 p.m.) Long live irrational numbers! And thanks to all the math nerds (myself included) for making Pi Day extra special!
Pi, Greek letter (), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th.


First we have Pi Day and then we get Selection Sunday? Plus the sun is out and it is nice and warm in Utah! What a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Big Love...

Your last-ditch attempt at achieving some sense of relevance or ratings is as hollow as your feigned apology for what you are still "choosing" to do. I'm not asking you to stop; I'm not even asking for a boycott. You have your agency just as I have mine. You'll suffer the consequences of how you use that agency just like the rest of us will. However, given your superficial statement about presenting "facts" that are "completely accurate and to show the . . . proper context and . . . respect," I would like to briefly comment on your disclaimers and attempts at depicting the beliefs of others with "reverence" and "dignity." We all, Mormons and non-Mormons, see right through your "justification" and recognize your desire to prevent the demise of your show. To the extent that your ploy gets attention (which, I admit, I am currently contributing to), it is undeserved. Let me know if the ratings and backlash were worth it.

In the words of Joseph Smith: "The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, until the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah will say, 'The work is done.'"

The Church's official response is more than sufficient in describing my feelings about this nonsense. See The Publicity Dilemma @ LDS Newsroom.

I'll conclude with the words of Amulek (you should do a show about him; he is much more inspiring than actors pretending to be polygamists).
32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
Alma 34:32-34.

Best regards,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Curious Life of Law School Students

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be in law school? Have you heard horror stories about the Socratic Method and incessant sick-to-your-stomach feeling that surfaces every time you get called on in class? Thanks to the folks over that the NYU Law Revue (not Law Review -- people on Law Review would never stoop so low as to acknowledge that they weren't always paying attention in class), here is a little insight on law school in the days of WiFi and laptops. Enjoy. They pretty much nailed it:

Please Repeat the Question from Amanda Bakale on Vimeo.

So, go sign up for the LSAT and get those applications ready. Yeah, big firms are laying off associates left and right these days. But so what. You still have three years to spend surfing the web before you have to worry about any of that. Perfect!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Callaway v. Titleist and Titleist v. Callaway

Sara will probably appreciate this more than I (being the patent person in the house), but who doesn't love a good old fight about whether Titleist (Achusnet) or Callaway (formerly Top-Flite) makes a better golf ball? As reported and posted by the Am Law Daily:
Teed Off Golf Ball Companies Swing at Each Other (Again)
Isn't golf supposed to be a gentlemanly game in which disputes are settled over a drink back at the clubhouse? Not, apparently, when it comes to golf ball design. The bitter IP rivalry between the two leading golf ball manufacturers intensified Tuesday, when both companies filed suit in Delaware federal district court, each accusing the other of infringing patents on the top-of-the-line golf balls used by tour professionals.
Good stuff. Much thanks to the folks at Am Law for the heads up.
If you are interested, here are the Complaints:



Sunday, March 01, 2009

Vanilla Ice / Hammer

If you haven't heard about it yet, you should have. M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice had a reunion concert in, of all places, Orem, Utah, over the weekend (any irony in the fact that they were playing at the McKay Events Center). I know a lot of people that were there but work kept me away. So, for your entertainment, here is my little sister's summary.


Thanks Jet!

I hope everyone gets off to a good March and that yours is not as busy as mine.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Am I the Twitter Lawyer? Apparently, Yes.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tysonsnow - I am The Twitter Lawyer after all...

I'm wondering about starting a lawyer twitter blog and am welcoming suggestions as to possible names and domains (and even content). Please feel free to comment:

http://thetwitterlawyer.blogspot.com (http://thetwitterlawyer.com)


http://twitterlawyer.blogspot.com (http://twitterlawyer.com)

Happy Birthday to Heidi Too!

Well, today (at least it is still technically today) is also Heidi Durtschi Sitake's birthday and we just got back from an excellent dinner at Tucanos in Provo. Thanks to Pona for inviting us. It is always great to see Pona and Heidi as well as Rob and Sara. It is funny how some of Sara's old roommates are now some of my more enjoyable friends. Thanks again guys and Happy Birthday Heidi (and thank you Facebook for providing me with enough reminders that I actually remembered to say Happy Birthday lol).

I hope you didn't eat so much that you can't sleep! I think I might have.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy 27th Birthday to Amy Hoopes...

It is late and I still have a lot of work to do, but I wanted to make a (public) Happy Birthday announcement to Amy Hoopes. Sara and I watched their girls (Tori, Brook/Boo, Aubrey/A.J./Bubba, and Addison/Addi) so Chad and Amy could go out and celebrate. I'm fairly certain that Sara and I got more entertainment out of it than anyone else. So, Amy, here is your official Happy Birthday wish from the Snows:

Nothing beats a birthday cake after all (except for possibly free babysitting and house hunting).

Friday, February 13, 2009

The #1 Attorney / Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Okay, granted, I have not even achieved the highly sought after "AV", "BV", or "CV" rankings that Martindale-Hubbell likes to dish out to attorneys, but this is till pretty cool:

Not even doctored! Thanks to all those who diligently visit my Martindale.com listing to see where I rank. Without you, I could have never achieved the pinnacle. And, as I go to bed tonight (or, given the time, this morning), I can honestly say that I really am the #1 attorney in Salt Lake (at least based on a semi-independent measuring stick). Way to go me! I wonder what it would take to be #1 nationwide. I'm definitely going to have to recruit more twitter and facebook visitors if that is going to happen. In the meantime, you can help keep me where I'm at by visiting:

Or, if you prefer the longer link:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Motivational Poster: Blogging

I saw this on my friend's blog (thanks Tamara) and couldn't resist adding it here. Too funny. And so relevant and applicable.

You love it. I know you do. Now go waste some more time on your own blog already.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So You Think You Know Us Do You?

25 random things about Tyson (as described by Tyson):
[Click Here - Facebook]

25 random things about Sara (as described by Sara):
[Click Here - Facebook]

Enjoy! And be sure to tag both me and Sara when you fill out all of your random stuff.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Letter to Children: When I Was a Kid

Dear Children,

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... uphill BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda ...

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no freaking way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a freaking Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the cursed library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little punks!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove or go build a freaking fire. Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd

[Edited slightly for profanity]

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day

Happy Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. That is right. Bubble Wrap has its own appreciation day. Who knew? Here is the skinny:
By "pop"ular demand, Chase’s Calendar of Events has designated the last Monday of January as Bubble Wrap® Appreciation Day. Since its invention in 1960, Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning material has been used by - and entertained - people of all ages.
[Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day @ SealedAir.com]

As part of the festivities, make sure you check out the 1001 uses for Bubble Wrap at http://www.bubblewrapfun.com. Good stuff. My favorite tip so far? "Paint a small sheet of Bubble Wrap with red rouge and dab on your face to simulate measles or chicken pox. It's a foolproof way to get out of work or school." Excellent.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cool Inauguration Stuff from NPR:

Check out this widget. NPR meets Twitter and live updates. It looks like NPR is simply feeding the #inaug09 tag. Note that neither Sara nor I are responsible for any of the comments of the twitterers featured in the following feed. And, obviously, we're good lawyers. Enjoy:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Love Is (According to Kids)...

Sara forwarded me the following. I have no idea whether any of the quotes are actually true but they certainly made me laugh (and smile). Here are some of my favorites; the answers are all in response to the question of "What is love?":

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
* Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
* Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
* Terri - age 4

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
* Bobby - age 7

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
* Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
* Tommy - age 6

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
* Lauren - age 4

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Year in Review -- 2008

This is probably the best (and by best, I mean most entertaining) recap of 2008 that I have come across. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

And once again, Happy New Year!

Speaking of bread...

So I must confess that I am not very good friends with yeast. Any yeast-based recipe always seems to come out awful when I'm left unsupervised. I have seriously helped out on a number of good breads and even cinnamon rolls, but as soon as I try to make them myself, disaster strikes! In my defense, I'd like to say that I can do pretty well with sweet breads and any other non-yeast-based product, anything out of my bread maker, and the freezer rolls. Well, all was a disaster until my super nice visiting teacher / friend Kristine gave me an awesome recipe. Seriously, she gave me a loaf of super yummy bread a couple of times, and then gave me the recipe - never showed me what to do or anything. And magically, I can make it, and it includes yeast, and it is completely YUMMY. Tyson helps out a lot, and sometimes even makes it himself (I'll admit I think he has more of a knack than I do for making the recipe, but I'm just happy that at the end of the day, I end up with some yummy bread).

I've had a couple requests for the recipe so here it is:

Mix 3 c. flour, 6 T. sugar, 2 t. salt, 1/4 c. yeast.
Heat 2 c. milk, 1 c. water, 1 stick margarine in microwave. (I usually use a big measuring cup to add milk then water and plop the margarine in and nuke it)
Gradually add liquids to flour mixture and mix 2 min at medium speed. Add 1 c. flour and mix quickly for 2 min. Then add 3+ more cups flour. Knead for 5 min. and let rise in greased bowl 15 min. Shape into 2 loaves. Let rise 15 min. Bake at 375 for 20 min.

Super fast, super easy. We've also made rolls of various forms, mini-loaves, and bread bowls for use with soup. If Tyson is in charge, he usually pulls them out a tad early as he likes it a little doughy in the middle.

Enjoy! And never fear yeast again!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread...

So, have you heard of Amish Friendship Bread? It certainly isn't novel; Google lists about 76,300 sites that have references to "Amish", "Friendship", and "Bread". Even Wikipedia is up to speed on this "recent" phenomenon:
Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread or cake made from a sourdough starter that is often shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads, shared with friends, or frozen for future use. The sweet, cake-like Amish Cinnamon Bread is a common bread that is made from this starter; it is a simple, stirred quickbread that includes a substantial amount of sugar and vegetable oil, with a mild cinnamon flavor. It has characteristics of both pound cake and coffee cake.

So what is the big deal you ask? Let me tell you. The big deal is that Amish Friendship Bread is WAY good. We've been making it for several weeks (we got our starter from Sara's brother Nick and his wife Jyllian) and we've also been sharing it with relatives and neighbors. Everyone seems to like it. And then, come to find out, there are all sorts of extra "options" that you can mix in. My Mom sent me a bunch of recipe "tweaks" earlier today and I've posted them as a Google Doc so everyone can access them: Amish Friendship Bread Variations.

Interested? Intrigued? Want in on the fun? Let me or Sara know and maybe you will be lucky enough to get a starter from us in one of the next batches. Oh, and Happy New Year everyone!