Monday, May 16, 2005

3 days gone in a flash...

Back from a nice three day weekend that went by faster than my drive to work today. Three days with no phones ringing, email or coworkers with crises that need immediate resolution.

But lest you say, "A three day weekend? How nice!", read on. Unfortunately much of Friday was spent having new tires put on my aging vehicle. As Incrivel said to me at church yesterday, "How many million miles do you have on that car?" Hey, it's paid for.

Naturally the tire people can't stop at selling you just two tires. You need an alignment, and you need new tie rods, and you need this, and that, and valve stems, and shop fees, and who knows what else. And I found myself saying, "Why was it, exactly, that I didn't go to Costco?"

So I politely declined the additional parts they offered, and will take the car to my trusted mechanic. While sitting in the waiting room at the tire place I got talking to another guy there, who is in DC for the summer. His home residence? St. George, Utah.

Here's the best part about the tire store experience. They quoted me the price for the new tie rods, which included 1.5 hours of labor (note: that's an hour and a half). When I said that I really didn't have time to wait around any longer, the sales clerk said, and I'm not making this up, "It shouldn't take too long. We can get it in the shop now, and have you out of here in less than an hour!"

Apparently he didn't recognize that disconnect.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Back to the basics

It seems we need a refresher course. I've been reading different posts on various LDS blogs lately, and one thought continually comes to mind:

In 1820, a young man knelt down in a grove of trees to pray.

One of two things happened:

1) God the Father, and Jesus Christ, our Savior, appeared to him, and gave him specific counsel and thus opened the dispensation of the fullness of times, as Joseph Smith testified;


2) Nothing.
It's really quite simple. Either Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, or he wasn't.

If he was, that means the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. All of it. Not just the parts that we like.

If he was, that means the same authority exists on the earth today and rests upon Gordon B. Hinckley.

If he was, that means the Book of Mormon is true.

If he was, that means that everything we have been taught over the last 175 years by the prophets and apostles is the will of God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ isn't a buffet, where you pick and choose what you want, like salad toppings. It is, quite succinctly:

"The Kingdom of God, or nothing." - John Taylor
Maybe I'm not an "intellectual" like some others out there--that is absolutely, 100% fine with me. Because I have a sure knowledge of those things which are most important (see above, re: one of two things happened).

In summary: for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. - Josh. 24: 15

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Life in VA

I saw this list, "You know you're from Virginia when..." over at Now, I have to admit, at first I was very skeptical.

You see, "Northern Virginia" and Virginia are like two separate states. Those of us in Northern Virginia really live here because of DC, whereas those in the rest of the state live there because we're up here making lots of money and paying taxes so those people can have passable roads.

So if I say, "I'm from Virginia," most people will say, "Really? You don't have an accent." You say you're from Virginia, and they think pickup drivin', chaw spittin', tobacco farmin' Southerner.

Of course I don't have an accent. I live in Northern Virginia. Big difference there. NoVA is full of people from other areas who live here because (A) they work for the government, or (B) work for a company who works for the government. For this reason I figured the Virginia list wouldn't really apply, but then I found it was written from a NoVA point of view (except for the last 6 or 7 items which I didn't bother to copy). I've bolded the ones that are really right on the mark.

Speed limits are just suggestions

You have at least two friends who have no idea what their relatives do...because its "top secret" government work

Most of your senior class went to Mason, JMU, Tech, VCU or UVA

When people ask where you're from, you tell them DC because its easier to explain

You've never told someone you're from Virginia without putting "northern," "central," or "southern" in front of it (See above.)

It's not actually tailgating unless your bumper is touching the car in front of you.

You know a yellow light means at least 5 more cars can get through. A red light means 2 more can.

You actually know what the black boxes at stoplights are for (smile, you're on camera!).

Despite the fact that Virginia fought for the south in the Civil War, you are not, under any circumstances, a "southerner"

You are amused by visiting relatives who are actually excited to see Washington, DC

You took a field trip to Williamsburg as a kid

You are amazed when you go out of town and the people at McDonalds speak English

You or someone in your family has a Smart Tag

An inch of snow and you miss 3 days of school

All the potholes just add a little excitement to your driving experience

Crown Victoria = undercover cop

Subway is a fast food place. The transportation system is known as Metro, and only Metro.

They just tore down the old farm house across the street and put 12 new Mansions in its place

For the cost of your house, you could own a small town in Iowa

If you stay on the same road long enough, it will eventually have three new names.

You have to dial the area code to call your neighbor
Too true, all of the above.

Cat's out of the bag...

So I had to ruin a surprise for Anne recently.

Next month I have a quick trip to Boston for a few days, and I had planned on getting Anne a ticket so she could join me for the first day and jet home the next morning. I planned to spring this on her a day or so before I left.

The problem, however, is that Anne is too organized and already had something planned that weekend. And it's church related, and it's something to which she had hoped to invite my mom and sister.

Now, I'm all for inviting my non-member family to church functions. But if you only knew how flakey my family can be... the last minute unforeseen bridge game, the sick dog, etc. I say, bag the church function and they can come to the Primary sacrament meeting in the fall.

So I came clean with my plans--plans she really liked--and we decided that she could invite my family to another choir performance a week or two earlier.

Upside: Problem solved.
Downside: Surprise ruined.

Then again, she probably would have noticed the unusual charge on the credit card statement...