Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

BBQ...Fun Times

Tonight we had an EQ BBQ for church, as part of the EQ Presidency got to plan the party. It was fun. We have sort of decided that for the EQ socials, we want to emphasize getting to know one another and having fun. In the past we have played different kinds of get-to-know you games, tonight we just let everyone hang out and chat. we grilled burgers and hot dogs for dinner and then made root beer floats for dessert. The kids really liked the root beer floats. I think everyone had fun. Then when we were finished they all pitched in and helped clean up. I really enjoy these get togethers to be able to spend time with people from church, outside of church.



There are some of us that have got together a few times to play games; board games, card games (scum) and RockBand. It is great to be able to socialize with families that are in our place. They are raising their kids and trying their best, just like we are. It has been a long time since we have had a group of friends that we hang out with. I think it is important for our kids to see how our family is just like everyone else's.

When I was a kid, my parents were friends with the McDonalds and Mendozas. We would go to one of their houses and the parents would talk and play games and the kids would play. I remember many times falling asleep on a couch while our parents would be talking with their friends into the night. I remember those times that we spent together playing "centipede" in the living room using the couch cushions for ammo. Or when we would spend hours and hours "lip syncing" to Starship and the Miami Vice soundtrack before we knew what lip syncing was. We didn't need Wiis or PS3s we used our imigination. I see my children doing the same thing when we get together with the G, E, and W's. These are the times that they will remember.

If you are not familiar with RockBand....watch this

Fact Check Friday

Emi Kolawole does it again. She does a great job of deconstructing the political ads from all sides and bringing out the truth. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paper Clips

Yesterday I posted about a new site Snagfilms.com where you can watch documentaries online for free. When I read about things like this I always try them out first. So when I visited Snagfilms the film that was on the home page was "Paper Clips", so I watched it. I did not know what I was getting into. "Paper Clips" is a the story of a Tennessee middle school project to learn about diversity and tolerance. It turned into much more than that. From the film website: www.paperclipsmovie.com

Synopsis
Whitwell, TN is a small, rural community of less than two thousand people nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. Its citizens are almost exclusively white and Christian. In 1998, the children of Whitwell Middle School took on an inspiring project, launched out of their principal's desire to help her students open their eyes to the diversity of the world beyond their insulated valley. What happened would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever… and eventually open hearts and minds around the world.



PAPER CLIPS is the moving and inspiring documentary film that captures how these students responded to lessons about the Holocaust-with a promise to honor every lost soul by collecting one paper clip for each individual exterminated by the Nazis. Despite the fact that they had previously been unaware of and unfamiliar with the Holocaust, their dedication was absolute. Their plan was simple but profound. The amazing result, a memorial railcar filled with 11 million paper clips (representing 6 million Jews and 5 million gypsies, homosexuals and other victims of the Holocaust) which stands permanently in their schoolyard, is an unforgettable lesson of how a committed group of children and educators can change the world one classroom at a time.

PAPER CLIPS, presented by One Clip At A Time HMA, is a production of The Johnson Group, in association with Miramax Films and Ergo Entertainment. It was named one of the top films of 2004 (documentary) by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, has been acclaimed by critics as "Oscar caliber" (Joel Siegel, Good Morning America), and has received audience and jury awards at film festivals across the country.
What a great story of a community coming together and learning about how we should treat each other and how we want to be treated. One of the reasons that God allows events to occur like the holocaust, is so that those of us that come later can learn from the past and not repeat it. Also, to bring people together, break down barriers, remove prejudices and bring us to a state where we are all God's children. Watch it. Take the message forward in your life. Share it with those you love.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cool new thing....

I like to embed videos and share them through my blog, here. So I recently found a site where you can embed and share videos of documentaries. Snagfilms.com is where you can go to watch videos. I recommend it to anyone looking to extend the boundaries of your world. I don't watch documentaries all the time, but I know that they can give a better view of the world, with less commercialism and show how the world really is. The films are free to watch and supported by advertising, so there are some ads in the middle. But, the price is right. So take some time and learn about the world around you.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Space...The Final Frontier

I don't consider myself a sci-fi geek. My wife might. I do however like the sci-fi genre. I own all six Star Wars movies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Back to the Future Trilogy. When I was 11 I had the chace to go to Washington DC and visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and it was great! I took an Astronomy class in college for one of the natural science classes. That is Astronomy not astrology! When I was a missionary in California I visited the Mt. Palomar Observatory. When I was in High School one of favorite TV shows was Quantum Leap. I have seen all but 1 of the Star Trek movies and the one coming out 2009 I will be in line for. I own the entire series of Alias on DVD (as my one devoted reader already knows). Alias would be more spy-fi, than sci-fi.



So maybe I am a sci-fi geek. It is who I am. It is with this premise that I share the following video. This is video taken from 31million miles away. I thought it was pretty cool.

Enjoy!

Fact Check Friday

Another edition of Fact check Friday! Time to get the numbers right!



www.factcheck.org

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I blog. Part II of II

Why I blog.


I blog because I like to talk. You can ask my wife, brothers, parents, even co workers. I am a chatterer (is that even a word). I have always been that way. When my honey and I were dating there were times when we would chat on the phone for hours and hours. Sometimes we would talk until one of us was falling asleep, since it was 3:00 AM. She and I still chat. I recently looked at my recent call list on my cell phone and more than 95% are to her. Sometimes they are little things and short conversations other times we talk from the time I leave work until I walk in the door at home 30 minutes later.


One problem that I Have due to my need to chat is that I am an habitual interrupter. Again, you can ask all the people previously named and they’ll tell you. But the person that gets the brunt of this bad habit is my honey. There is no excuse for it, I just do it. My dad does and so does my brother. I guess we just grew up and had to interrupt to get our voice heard.


With blogging there is no one to interrupt but myself. So I can ramble on and on about whatever and it is ok. And if I decide to change topics halfway though I can and there is no one to tell me that I am wrong.


I guess I blog because I have things to say. Right now I want to say that I love my honey and the little bees. They keep me going every day. When I am not with them I think about them all the time. My honey does so much for me and the little bees. And after almost 11 years we still have fun. I love you guys!



I blog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fact Check Friday...Back again

We took a couple weeks off but back again is FactCheck Friday. This installment tackles some misinformation and "fuzzy" math. As always they do a great job of sorting it out. As the election gets near it is important to know where to get good and accurate information. From Wikipedia

FactCheck.org is a nonprofit website[1] that describes its own goal as "[reducing] the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics". In its efforts, FactCheck claims to be nonpartisan.[2] It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.[2]

Most of its content consists of rebuttals to allegedly inaccurate, misleading, or false claims by politicians. FactCheck has also targeted the misleading claims from various partisan groups.




What is a blog and why do I blog? Part I of II

Part I
What is a blog?
There is a great article about what a blog is that I want to share. I normally don't do this but I am going to post the entire blog post from LDS Media Talk that explains blogs. There is a video at the end that tells even more.
Enjoy...Next I will post part II where I will discuss why I blog.

What is a Blog?

What is a blog?
Blog is short for “web log.” A blog is a Web site, maintained by an individual or organization, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other media such as graphics and video. You can start a blog about anything that interests you. For example, LDSMediaTalk is a blog by several authors who talk about the wise use of technology and media for LDS parents and youth. LDS CIO is a blog written by a technology geek to other technology geeks. Other blogs are simply a collection of thoughts and ideas, such as Richman Ramblings. You can create a blog that is open to anyone to read, or you can restrict who can read your blog.

Why should you start a blog?
To share your ideas and wisdom, to have an archive of interesting things you’ve discovered, or to share your beliefs with the world or with a targeted corner of the world. You don’t have to be an expert on a topic to blog. Blogging is a great way to share your own personal testimony and to teach people about the Church by telling them what it’s like on the inside. It’s also a lot of fun. When speaking to students at BYU-Hawaii, Elder Ballard said, “Most of you already know that if you have access to the Internet you can start a blog in minutes and begin sharing what you know to be true.”

Is blogging difficult?
It can be as easy or hard as you want to make it. Setting up a blog is very easy. Writing regular blog posts is the tough part. You’re most likely to enjoy blogging if you enjoy writing on the topic of your blog. It you really want a high-quality blog, you need to be committed to post often to keep people reading. If you decide to begin a blog about the gospel, schedule regular times each week. Every Sunday evening you could write about what you learned in Church that day and every Wednesday evening you could write about one thing you are thankful for, related to a specific gospel principle.

Where do I begin?
You can sign up for a free blog at LDS.net or on blogging sites like WordPress.com and Blogger.com. If you’re interested in starting a blog using your own domain name (your own Web address), you can get one at those sites, or contact the More Good Foundation for help.

Below is a short video in plain English about blogs:


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The end of an era....Hooray!

Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft. Good. I have never claimed to be a Microsoft fan boy. I am a Mac user and have been for many years. When i got my first iMac, Netscape was my browser of choice, even when I had to wait 15 - 3- minutes to download it on dial up. So when Microsoft was found a monopoly for the actions that they took against Netscape and others, it ws vindication. But as we know just because something is wrong does not mean that people will remove themselves from it (too many examples to name one). This week in Extreme Tech there is an article about Bill Gates retirement and what it really is and what his legacy should be.
Gates is simply following in the footsteps of the robber‐barons that came before him and he's taking his ill‐gotten wealth and trying to buy himself respectability and a better legacy than greed and bad products. Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and others are who Gates is using as his role models.
These men all accumulated truly vast concentrations of wealth through ruthless suppression of competitors and other shady business tactics. And many of them later tried to buy respectability through charitable foundations and giving.
Bill Gates doesn't want to be remembered for what he truly is: A robber baron and convicted monopolist. So he's deploying his ill‐gotten billions as he prepares to buy‐off as many people as possible to create an alternative view of himself in history.
He hopes that future generations will hear his name and think "wow, what a great guy he helped so many people with his money." Gates prays that they will forget the employees who worked for companies like Netscape who lost their jobs and he hopes that the pain and hell that he has put ordinary computer users through for so long with Windows will also be forgotten.
The Gates fanboy types will probably be horrifically offended at the truth of all this but then the truth hurts sometimes. It's something they'll have to work at getting over.
Those of us who see Bill Gates for what he is will have to—sometimes quite ruthlessly—correct those who either have been bought off outright or who weren't around when Gates and his minions were running wild and destroying their competitors through shady business practices.
So if you see a fawning article about how Bill Gates is going to save the third world or eliminate this disease or that disease...remember that it's all PR designed to get you to think differently about him. You're being played by a master spin‐meister who wants you to see him as a "caring" and "kind" person with deeply philanthropic tendencies.
Don't fall for it.
So I for one am not sad to see Bill Gates retire. I think that if you are the richest man in the world and you are billions ahead of those around you, it is not hard to see how you got there. Not to say that wealthy people are bad, but there is a reason that NOW Mr. Gates is being nice to everyone. Too bad he can't take windows with him! "Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you!"

read more here

Alternative Reading...Boise Weekly

When I worked at a convenience store we carried the Boise Weekly. I used to read it all the time. Bill Cope got me through many a slow morning at R&V Chevron. I read it more online today then I do in print, but I still like the coverage that the Weekly gives versus the daily papers. Here is a little video with a little more about the Boise Weekly. Here is a link to their site also.
Thanks to the unequivocal notion for the coverage.

Boise City Chamber of Commerce - Small Business of the Year from Boise Weekly on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Promise Fades...

There is a story in the Wall Street Journal today that seems very telling of the economic climate in Idaho. It deals with the Tamarack Resort in Donnelly. Working in Real Estate in Boise, I have dealt with many agents who are and have been involved with Tamarack. At one point they even chartered a bus to bring Realtors up to Donnelly to ski and catch a glimpse of the development. With Tamarack in the beginning it was all "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" and then the credit dried up and now the town is left with 40%-65% less business that it had. Let alone the continuous drop in land prices for everyone, who were told that it wold only keep increasing in value. Like a domino effect all property values have fallen and with the main source of employment gone, the people have moved on.
Donnelly's boomtown air is gone. Tamarack and its contractors have laid off many. Jerry Frank, a Boise contractor who is part of the Tamarack Club -- $60,000 a membership, at current rates -- says he closed his Tamarack office. Mike Pannell, a developer who bought the Little Firefly Cafe this spring, says breakfast business is down about 40% from last spring.

Lani Anderson, who manages the local Long Valley motel, says occupancy has fallen at least 65%. "All I'm catering to now is the weary traveler, and there's not a whole lot of them with gas prices," she says.

Locals lament the town's fleeting promise. Lorie Mauk had moved back to the Donnelly area last year for a Tamarack job, having left the area years ago. But Tamarack laid her off in February, and she says the town's job situation is back to how it was before the resort brought prosperity.

Tamarack's base village is unfinished. The area slated for a Thai restaurant is roofless. The ski shop and pub are in plastic tents.

Home sales have withered, says Judy Land, a local real-estate agent. In 2006, 1,250-square-foot Tamarack cottages sold for more than $900,000, the resort says; Ms. Land says she recently sold one for $650,000.

The resort is continuing visitor operations over the summer, with lifts running for mountain bikers, and expects to run ski operations this winter. Ms. Land expects the resort to recover. But for now, she says, the few potential buyers "want to get away from the depression, from a resort that's in trouble."
Source-http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121539589279431523.html
It is no wonder why the economy is THE issue for the upcoming election. It effects us all.
Read the entire article here.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July Letter to the Editor

In the past I have written letters to the editor of the local paper, The Idaho Press-Tribune. This week I wrote one on what patriotism means to me, similar to the blog post from July 02, 2008. Today it was in the paper. It was the only letter from a regular person and the rest of the opinion page were quotes from past Presidents of the United States, so I felt I was in good company. Here are the links.
Chris' Letter to the editor.

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! (Happy Birthday Uncle Randy!) Today is the day we celebrate our country's independence. From Wikipedia
In the United States, Independence Day (commonly known as the Fourth of July) is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Go out today and enjoy the freedoms that we all share. Spend time with family and friends. Enjoy the hot summer.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Patriotism...

I love The United States of America. I am a US citizen, I was born here and I will probably die here. I am an Eagle Scout and I was a Cub Scout before that. I go to church most Sundays and I pray daily. I am an American. The feelings of true patriotism that I feel have nothing to do with political parties or which candidate I am inclined to like this week. True Patriotism comes from a sense of obligation to the preservation of values that this Nation was founded on. These are not values that are either Republican or Democrat they are American. These are the values that brought immigrants from Europe in the nineteenth century through today to seek a better life for them and their families. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are things that we all desire. They are values that Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers knew that all people should enjoy. Not just those who agree with the majority politically. "No party or political philosophy has a monopoly on patriotism" -Source

I love America because you can be in the minority or in the majority and you still have a voice. No one silences you when you disagree with the elected government. If you don't like something you can effect change in your community, state and nation through the electoral process.


As we celebrate Independence day and think of those who have gone before and the challenges they faced to provide for us what we have let us remember that we are ALL part of the great experiment called The United States of America. How things are now is not how they will be in fifty years and things today are not as they were fifty years ago. Ours is a living, breathing, growing democracy; who learns at every opportunity how to better meet the needs of all our desires for freedom.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Susie Martineau 1984-2008

PRICE - Susie Martineau, age 23, our loving daughter, sister and friend, formerly of Price, passed away June 29, 2008 in Ogden.

She was born Dec. 9, 1984 in Miles City, Mont., the youngest of six children born to Stanley Dean and Vicky Crummett Martineau. Susie grew up in Grand Junction, Colo., and later moved to Price, where she graduated from Carbon High School in 2003. She played several different instruments in the high school band and also enjoyed playing the piano.

Following high school, she attended CEU, receiving an associate of arts degree.

She was attending Utah State University at the time of her passing.

She loved reading, animals (especially cats) and spending time with her friends and family.

She was a member of the LDS Church, where she received the YW In Excellence Medallion.

She will always be remembered as a loving and giving person.

She will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her parents; her five siblings, Stanley James (Dresden) Martineau of Roy; Karl Theodore (Kristin) Martineau of Provo; Tamra (Ryan) Wilson of Huntington; Dean Crummett Martineau of Bozeman, Mont.; and Holly Ann (Eric) Tucker of Price; and nine nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be July 3, at 1 p.m. at the Elmo LDS Chapel, 170 East Main. Viewing will be at 11:30 a.m. prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the Elmo City Cemetery. Services are in the care of Fausett Mortuary.

Source-
http://www.sunad.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=13464

Susie was my cousin. She and her mom (my aunt Vicki) came to visit our family shortly after my mom passed away. It was a fun dinner, we actually had Mexican and ordered take out rice for the occasion. That night I remember that it was the first time that I noticed how much Vicki looked like my mom. My brother Clark was close with Susie as they were close in age. While growing up he was able to spend a couple weeks each summer in Utah visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins. Susie had a great spirit about her and she will be missed.

It is the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that a loving Heavenly Father has prepared a way that we can be together eternally. Right now there is a loving reunion in the hereafter with Susie, her Grandma Crummett, Aunt Lynn, Cousin Catherine and countless other friends and relatives awaiting her arrival. Our prayers are with Stan and Vicki, Stan, Dean, Karl, and Holly at this time.
The Petersons Love you.