Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cinnamon ROLL pancakes

I like cinnamon rolls but I think I mentioned before that they are really hard to find around here and even harder to make. So much preparation!

Also, I find breakfast to be an interesting meal. Kind of boring to cook for. A lot of people I know love breakfast and it's their favorite meal of the day. "There are so many options! Such variety!" I'm told. I don't quite get it though. I can pretty much list every breakfast food variety off the top of my head.

So I have a little trouble getting my creative on when it comes to breakfast. But apparently some other people don't. I came across this recipe this morning and made it for breakfast. They are delicious. And even though I didn't come up with it, it seems quite creative and I like that! So here is the link to the cinnamon roll pancakes.

Click here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scarcity of Charity

In Elder's Quorum we were talking about being charitable and one of the class members commented that he was trying to be more planned/deliberately charitable. He is good at being randomly charitable. Say he's raking leaves off his lawn, he'll just hop over and do the neighbor's lawn or something. His goal now wasn't to stop being randomly charitable (I suppose serviceable could work here too) but to start being more organized. His flow chart of charity went kind of like this.

Take care of family --> Take care of Home Teachees --> Take Care of Everyone Else

If you think about it, this kind of reasoning makes sense. Let's assume that everyone was charitably perfect. Meaning all their free time was given to performing charitable acts for others. Now in this world these people only prescribe themselves to random acts of charity. You would think that this would mean that everyone would equally receive adequate charity and on average you would be correct. The average amount of charitable acts that people receive would be something like 5 per day.

The problem with this system is that even though we have a high average, there are people who get more and people who get less, or might be missed completely. (Now I'm starting to sound like Occupy Wall Street). So what it looks like to me is that the Lord has given us a system that makes sure that everyone gets covered. We have all sorts of stewardship programs. The Prophet and apostles steward the church, the 70's steward regions, Stake Presidents steward smaller regions, Bishops steward wards, Quorum/Relief Society Presidents steward units within the ward, Parents steward families and then to top it off we assign people a small number of other people to steward through Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching programs.

Now if only we could get to that point of perfect charity...

Monday, November 21, 2011

[Citation Needed]

Have you ever been reading Wikipedia and after it asserts something you'll notice a link that says [citation needed]? It has turned into one of those memes of popular culture that you can bring out anytime you are unsure of someones facts and challenge them to prove the source.

This related nicely to my Sunday School lesson yesterday. The last part of the lesson is about false teachers from within the church. The scriptures in the lesson talks about people who seem pretty malicious in their intent to deceive. I also think that we should be wary of those who might not be maliciously misleading, but unwittingly doing the same thing.

We have quite a few things in the church that are practiced but aren't actual doctrines. Some are harmful, and some are harmless. Like raising your right hand to the square to sustain. There's no doctrine that you need to raise your hand to the square. A quick look at the conference edition of the Ensign shows the apostles in all different states of arm extension (I'm counting this as my citation as well as citing my D&C teacher John Farmer or was it Farmer John...). Though really this is harmless if you ask me.

Something that was a bit more harmful was a cultural practice that only men should pray at the beginning of sacrament meeting. In fact when I was on my mission and became Branch President in a little branch my departing companion and former Branch President told me that he'd been told it was better to have a priesthood holder say the opening prayer and that the meeting just runs better if you do it that way. I think I followed his counsel for about a week and then I didn't. Apparently it was a misinterpreted comment that Ezra Taft Benson made a few weeks before he died. It started to go around with the pass of "doctrine" stamped on it. Turns out it has no doctrinal basis.

Now that I think about it the talks generally follow a wife first then husband. I don't know if Bishoprics ask the man to go last or if that's just how the couples self select their order. Next time I'm asked to speak with Laurel I'm going to have her go last. :)

So my point in the class was that there are somethings that end up in the church that aren't doctrinal and sometimes we need to say "Citation Needed!" It's also up to us to seek out doctrinal bases. I guess that's why we are supposed to continually search the scriptures.

And yes I already anticipate at least one comment saying "Citation Needed" on something I said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elizabeth Bennet, Queen of Hard to Get

I have been reading Pride and Prejudice lately and I got to the part where Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth. Elizabeth politely and promptly refuses his request for her hand in matters of matrimony with the utmost eloquence. Mr. Collins replies that he believes her goal in refusing him is to make him ever more so interested in her so that when she does accept his hand he is even more smitten. He fully expects her to accept him on his second humble request. Indeed he does not begrudge her such antics as it is quite expected among ladies of such a well established background. Despite Elizabeth’s profuse and insistent efforts to dissuade Mr. Collins, her efforts only affirm to Mr. Collins that she is indeed playing “hard to get.” The situation is rather ridiculous and humorous to the extent of a hearty mental “har har har har….”

I don’t think many people believe that playing hard to get is very effective these days. At least not once they get past 8th grade. Perhaps it is effective but the window of effectiveness is very small and therefore very few people actually manage to hit that target successfully. The consequences of missing that target are quite high.

Let’s consider the situation portrayed in the book (at least from Mr. Collins point of view). A suitor is outwardly interested in a lady. The lady is inwardly interested in her suitor but doesn’t show it and thinks that she can increase his level of interest. This would make the relationship more beneficial to her (and him for that matter) later on when they get together. So she concocts a plan to increase her suitor’s amorous desire by leading him along on a string with a hook attached to his nose. She plays disinterested and lets her suitor use his imagination to create an image of her that is even more love stricken. The result is when she does accept his hand he is properly wrapped around her finger and life is ever so much happier than if she had initially accepted his advances.

The theory seems to make sense. I have not yet devised an experiment to test the results of such efforts. However I go back to my small target theory. I posit that it is possible that playing hard to get can be a fruitful tactic. I also posit that the window of success is so small and the risk of failure so large that the efforts are almost certainly bound to fail.

If a girl doesn’t play hard to get long enough then there will be no positive effect and it will possibly even hurt her chances because the guy is going to suffer an initial blow to his interest level due to rejection. So she will have been worse off. Then the guy will start to think about her more often and perhaps his interest will start to increase. Then the window of opportunity will open for the girl. His interest will surpass his initial level of interest and the girl finds some way to encourage him that there might be a chance and he takes it. But since the girl has no idea when this time is, she will probably miss it.

Then there are two more phases. The guy starts to idolize the girl beyond what she really is. If the girl manages to pull him back he will then be disappointed and his interest level will drop even more. Now she is worse off. If she doesn’t rope him in at that point then he will lose interest completely and move on. So now she has no guy at all. She lost that dangerous game.

When I started thinking about this blog I thought, you know I haven’t done an econ related blog in quite some time. It’s too bad that this one doesn’t work out. Well it turns out that it does. However this blog is getting rather long so I’ll leave the rest for another entry.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane

I’m not one of those drivers that you get stuck behind and will box you in. I generally try to go about the speed of what the fast lane is. I figure that if I’m going the speed everyone else is then a cop won’t pull me over because I’m just going with the traffic flow. (Even if that flow is 10-15 miles over the speed limit). I also try to be considerate of people that may want to go faster than me, which means I try to get out of the left lane if there is someone trying to get by (a courtesy that is lost on most people).

Making sure you are going the general speed of the fast lane, passing cars, making sure no one is coming up and getting stuck behind you and all the other things you have to be aware of while careening down a concrete pathway at speeds people 50 years ago would have though insane can be rather mentally demanding at times. I don’t think we notice it much, but everyone has finished a more stressful drive in traffic and felt that relief that it’s over.

Sometimes I like to take a step back and drive in the slow lane. It’s rather refreshing over there. No one is trying to get around you (all those people are in the other two lanes), you don’t have to worry about accidentally going too fast, people don’t cut you off as much, and you can almost feel a sort of camaraderie with your other fellow slow drivers. It’s like you’re all moseying along singing a silent mental tune saying “Life is good, we’ll get there and it will be fine on the way.”
In New Caledonia they have a saying: “Casse pas la tete” which translates to “Don’t break your head.” It basically meant don’t worry about it. Islanders are pretty good about not getting to caught up in life that you can’t enjoy it. I suppose if I lived my whole life on a beautiful beach it might go to my head too. “Why worry? We’re on a beach!

So I like to enjoy life from time to time and imagine that I am on a beach. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a breath, relaxing, and driving in the slow lane.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Salsa

So over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with salsa. I like salsa, but most store bought salsas are just kind of bland. I know how to make a decent pico de gallo but that takes a really long time to make and I don't want to spend that time every time I eat all the salsa. (Something that happens quite often). Pico de Gallo isn't really salsa anyway. (Which for those of you who have ever heard that piano piece I wrote called "No More Salsa" it should actually be called "No More Pico de Gallo")

So I have come up with a recipe that doesn't call for dicing 10 tomatoes into itty bitty pieces and tastes much better than anything I've found at the store. It's also much cheaper and you can customize it to your taste.

And like always, I never really measure anything so these are all guesses. Not measuring makes it more exciting because it's a little different every time!

1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeno added (This will make a medium spicy salsa. For Hot use two cans with jalapeno or mild 2 normal cans.)

4-5 Green onions

1 Onion (Give or take half an onion depending on how much you want.)

1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro

Concentrated lime juice (probably around 3-5 tablespoons)

Salt (like... 1 tbsp? You'll need enough to handle the canned tomato taste. Kind of like how plain tomato paste needs a whole lot of seasoning to work as spaghetti sauce.)

Drain the cans of diced tomatoes into a bowl, you'll need some (or maybe all) later. Dump the diced tomatoes into a large bowl. Dice the onion and green onions and add them to the tomatoes. Dice the cilantro by either wrapping it up into a tight bundle and dicing it or use one of those hand chopper thingies. Pour in some of the juice you drained previous till it's at a consistency you like. (This could depend on how many onions you put in or just how runny you like your salsa to be.) Add the lime juice, salt and mix it all up with a spoon.

There you go, that will cost you about 3 dollars in all and make probably about 9-10 dollars worth of salsa. And it will taste better!

You can play around with the quantities of the ingredients. I prefer to have it lean towards the cilantro and lime flavors, but not everyone likes that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stuffed Basil Chicken

I made this up a few days ago. I thought it was delicious.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts thawed
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 tablespoons basil pesto
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon rosemary
3 cloves garlic minced
baby carrots

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the mozzarella, sour cream, basil pesto, italian seasoning, garlic salt, rosemary, and minced garlic in a bowl. Slice the chicken breast in half long ways but not all the way through, like a hot dog bun, or a subway sandwich bread. Dip the chicken in the whipped egg then in breaded crumbs to get a nice coating. Fill the chicken on the inside with the mozzarella filling. Coat a baking pan with butter or Crisco and olive oil. put the chicken in and some baby carrots around the edge. Season the carrots with salt or rosemary or something good. Bake for 35-45 minute or until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Try to cook it the least amount possible. It will be more juicy and tender that way.

And voila. Eat it now.

More food!

So a few years ago I created one of my favorite dishes. I call it coconut lemon chicken. As always, I'm not much of a measuring person. I just throw things together, but I'll try to put measurements of what I can.

1 onion
1 can coconut milk
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips or 6-7 chicken tenders
3 cloves of garlic chopped (optional)
Garlic Salt
Concentrated lemon juice usually around 4 or 5 tablespoons... I think
1/2 can chicken stock (broth) or 1 cup water and 4-5 teaspoons of chicken seasoning granules or bouillons
Olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups rice

Set the rice cooking

Cut the onion into slices. Sautee the onions and chopped garlic with oil in a large sauce pan for a couple of minutes. Season chicken with garlic salt. Add chicken and brown. It's best if you just brown the outside of the chicken at this point, it will come out more tender and succulant! Add chicken broth or water and chicken seasoning. Add lemon juice and coconut milk. Let simmer for 7-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. (This is the point where just barely browning the chicken pays off as the coconut milk and other juices soak in.)

Serve on top of rice and enjoy.

I've always been rather proud of this one. I like cooking with coconut milk. That's New Caledonia coming out of me. Maybe you will like it too.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Common Sensiquette

In the Victorian Age children were taught strict rules of etiquette on how to behave in society. Many of these rules have lived to today and guide us all to show respect and be courteous to each other. Simple things like opening doors, and not burping at the table and so on. I personally think it gets a little burdensome and unnecessary when codes of etiquette to eat dinner with the proper utensil at the proper time in the proper way are more complicated than the story line of “Lost”. That’s just my own humble opinion though.

Anyway, one thing the world seems to lack is common sense etiquette. People can rave about how great the “good ole days” were and dream of returning to the Victorian Age (Until you remind them about no central heating, air conditioning, and outhouses of course), but the same people lack many of the basic things I would consider common sense. Here are some things I have noticed as of late.

Funnel points. Every room has them. They could be entrances, doorways, or just places where the hallway gets smaller for some reason. Why do people think this is the best place to stand? I don’t know why but people just plop down and hold huge conversations for 10 minutes in these areas during the most high traffic times like passing period in between class, the end of church, parties, and so on.

Take this picture for example. This is a highly sophisticated, to-scale model of the foyer at our church.

Now ideally you would think people would congregate in the following fashion to stop and catch up with their dear friends.

Instead it generally looks like this:

Please. Allow your fellow brethren and sistren to exit the building with their 6 children below the age of 10, strollers, baby bags, relief society center pieces and inspirational object lessons to pass without having to setup siege and eat their rations of cheerios and fruit snacks till the iron curtain blocking their exit is torn down.

This also happens in grocery stores a lot. My favorite is when there is someone who has their cart on one side of the isle and is looking for an item, and then someone comes from the other side and parks their cart side by side so not even Flat Stanley could squeeze by. I hope you found your favorite brand of miracle whip.

I thought I would have a whole list of things, but I guess I don’t. Other things that aren’t covered in etiquette that I might think of will probably have to do with emailing and texting each other. This post seems long enough though.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I came across this link of the 56 best analogies of high school students. Washington post held a contest for the best analogies teachers have seen over the years. I think I am going to start modeling my writing style after this....

1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

2. He was as tall as a 6′3″ tree.

3. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

4. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

5. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

6. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

7. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

8. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

9. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

10. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

11. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

13. The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.

14. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

15. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

16. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at asolar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

17. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

18. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

19. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

20. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

21. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

22. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.

23. Even in his last years, Grand pappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it hadrusted shut.

24. He felt like he was being hunted down like a dog, in a place that hunts dogs, I suppose.

25. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.

26. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

27. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

28. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

29. “Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.

30. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

31. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

32. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

33. The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.

34. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.

35. Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”

36. The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.

37. The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

38. She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.

39. Her pants fit her like a glove, well, maybe more like a mitten, actually.

40. Fishing is like waiting for something that does not happen very often.

41. They were as good friends as the people on “Friends.”

42. Oooo, he smells bad, she thought, as bad as Calvin Klein’s Obsession would smell if it were called Enema and was made from spoiled Spamburgers instead of natural floral fragrances.

43. The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in the House Judiciary Committee hearings on the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton.

44. He was as bald as one of the Three Stooges, either Curly or Larry, you know, the one who goes woo woo woo.

45. The sardines were packed as tight as the coach section of a 747.

46. Her eyes were shining like two marbles that someone dropped in mucus and then held up to catch the light.

47. The baseball player stepped out of the box and spit like a fountain statue of a Greek god that scratches itself a lot and spits brown, rusty tobacco water and refuses to sign autographs for all the little Greek kids unless they pay him lots of drachmas.

48. I felt a nameless dread. Well, there probably is a long German name for it, like Geschpooklichkeit or something, but I don’t speak German. Anyway, it’s a dread that nobody knows the name for, like those little square plastic gizmos that close your bread bags. I don’t know the name for those either.

49. She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.

50. Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

51. It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.

52. Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.

53. You know how in “Rocky” he prepares for the fight by punching sides of raw beef? Well, yesterday it was as cold as that meat locker he was in.

54. The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.

55. Her lips were red and full, like tubes of blood drawn by an inattentive phlebotomist.

56. The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Provo Ultimate

So Frisbee has been going strong this year. Here are some updates on what the world of Frisbee in Provo is doing.

- The BYU team and the Alumni officially separated into two separate teams and organizations leaving the BYU team as the “Destroying Angels” and the Alumni team took on the name “Killjoys”. This is a good move for both teams. It give the BYU team more autonomy and better organization as well, and it gives us old Alumni more organization and an opportunity to develop on our own in the direction we need. This also means that we now have two separate but very competitive teams who can scrimmage each other and improve greatly.

- The Killjoys have elected Dave Kroupa as team captain and Brian Howell as Assistant Team Captain. They will serve in this capacity for a year and the team will reelect new captains.

- We finally found fields that we can use during the winter. This has been a point of woe for as long as there has been competitive ultimate in Provo. During the winter there are no fields with lights to play on at night. Finally we found a field in American Fork that we are able to rent for $25 a night. There is still snow, but it’s leaps and bounds better than not having any fields.

- Killjoys are making an increased effort to get the whole team to condition individually so I have taken up running and parkour which will lead me to my next blog entry.

All in all the Frisbee world is going strong. We have scrimmages every other week against the BYU team and the competitive atmosphere is growing. We also have a few tournaments coming up. The Killjoys team is hosting its first tournament ever on February 26th. Teams who should be there include: Golden Spike Club Team, SUU, USU Alum, BYU, and Killjoys. It’s a small tournament, but it should be a good chance to see some other teams and prepare to the next week where we have another tournament in Vegas.