Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Tagged again!

Okay here goes:

The rules:Post the rules before giving the facts. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves - People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules - At the end of the your blog you need to tag (hopefully) six people and list their names - Leave them a comment on their blog, telling them they have been tagged and not to forget to read your blog.

Here are my meaningless random acts of drivel:

1) When I was 7, it was time to go to Primary, (a church class for kids, that at that time was held on Wednesday evenings), and I didn't want to go. I defiantly told my mom that I would rather live in a pig pen than go to Primary. Guess where I spent Primary? In the closest thing we had to a pig pen. In our dog run that was conveniently decorated with poop at one end. I went to Primary after that.

2) I have always been a good speller. In high school, I took a 400 word spelling test and only missed three words. One word had a hypen, one was a capilization, and the other I simply left out a couple of letters.

3) I have always loved writing. I recall one of my earliest works in first grade. I described clouds as thick as peanut butter. Throughout the years, I wrote several goofy stories. I was in college before I really started taking it seriously. I took a couple of writing courses, which dramatically improved my writing skills. I also took a correspondence course from the Institute for Childrens Literature. I am currently querying my first novel "Black, White, and Shades of Gray". I also just submitted an article to "The Ensign" which is a church magazine. The article was about my Bible that I posted about a few months back.

4) I have also always enjoyed music. Either playing it or listening to it. Over the years I have played several different instruments. My first of course being piano. I took up trumpet in Jr. High, then added bass guitar in 9th grade. Later when I was 17 or 18, I started tinkering with guitar, and eventually took on classical guitar. The trumpet is now in the hands of some under-privileged kid in Tahiti, my ex-wifes brother hawked my bass amp at a pawn shop, the bass which never was used much after that, eventually found it's way to Deseret Industries. I still have my piano, keyboard and classical guitar, though none of them get nearly the attention they used to. I have also written several songs.

5) I spent most of my childhood with people calling me by my older brother's names. Even my grandma did it. Except in her case, I got all of them: "Keithy, Kenny, Mikey, DAVY!" One day I told my mom that I wanted to trade names with my brother Mike. I got called that frequently enough, that it would have made sense. She didn't go for it though. At least they had sense enough not to call my by my sister's names!

6) I don't drink, I dont smoke, what do I do?

7) I have my own side business where I sell lots of varied things on the internet. I program the websites in PHP, and even built my own shopping cart system. I have been a programmer since 1988 using a variety of languages. I started with BASIC, used Pascal in college, actually worked at a job using C, then took up Foxpro with version 1, which eventually was bought out by Microsoft. I currently use Visual Foxpro on pretty much a daily basis. On the web I use PHP, Javascript, MySQL, HTML. I have written some rather sophisticated online systems for clients at work.

8) I met my wife when I was 36. We each had a son, then together we had the Bear. Hers, Mine, and Ours. We live in Mesa, AZ, where we just broke the record for the most consecutive days of over 110 degree weather. It's hot! Dang Hot! Frickin' Hot! They finally fixed the AC at work though, so that makes working much more pleasant.


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Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Seer of Sesame Street

A few days ago, the Bear gave a talk in Primary on Faith. He is still learning to read, so I was whispering in his ear and he would then repeat it out loud.

We were going along fine, with the Bear mimicking my every voice inflection, when we came to the line: "The prophet Alma taught..." I whispered that in his ear.

The Bear proceeded. "The prophet ELMO taught".

It took me a bit before I could continue.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Juror #9 by John Grisham... I mean Cheez

Today was the day that I reported for jury duty. There were a couple hundred of us there crammed in a room. It was quite warm.

We went through orientation, which included a video, a brief bio, and stating whether or not we would be able to sit on the jury for a 10-day trial. Collective groan. Each name was called and we had to say Yes or No. They wouldn't let us count loss of wages as a valid reason to say no, so I said yes.

Once they were done with that, they gave us a half-hour break. Then they called out 40 people. I wasn't among them. Everyone else did a "whew-ha! Got out of that one!" thing, thinking that we had escaped the 10-day trial.

We were told that we could leave for now, but that we needed to report back at 1:15 to see if we would be needed for another trial.

Since the courthouse is relatively close to home, I went home and had lunch, and played some games with the Bear.

When I reported back, they immediately called out another group of 45 people, of which I was not one. Again, I thought I had escaped. Then they proceeded to call another group of 45. I was number 9. From that point on I was referred to by my new name of "Juror #9". Once the 45 had been called, we were informed that we were the potential jurors for the 10-day trial. CRAP!

We were escorted up to the courtroom, and placed in our numbered seats. I recognized the Defense Attorney, because he is in my ward, and is also my Home Teacher. (He visits monthly with his son, and leaves us a spiritual thought.) I figured that would be my key out.

Once they got going, the Judge (a woman) introduced the Prosecutor, and asked if anyone knew him. Nope. Then they introduced the Defense Attorney and asked the same question. I raised my hand. I had to explain that I knew him through church. My idiot switch turned on when she asked if it went any further beyond knowing him from church, like had we done anything together. I proceeded to tell her that we had been on a camping trip. I was thinking of the ward campout, but then I realized that he wasn't there. My brain was spinning, because I knew we had done something together.

Then I remembered that he was one of the guys I had been golfing with in my earlier post. He had given me a blank look, as if to say, "What are you talking about?" Then I corrected myself. Then she asked if there were anything else, like does he come over for dinner or anything? "No, Ma'am." I sat down, turned bright red, then did my best to shut up the rest of the time. Unfortunately, several more questions required a response from me. Things like:
"Do you know anyone that has a concealed gun permit?" Hand goes up. "Father-in-law."
"Do you know anyone who has every been convicted of a crime?" Hand goes up. "Brother-in-law."
"Do any of you know anyone in law enforcement?" Hand goes up. "Wifes Cousins".

I was eventually selected to be in the "trusted juror" pool from which the actual 14-member jury would be chosen. That meant that they felt we had the ability to be impartial. We had a 15 minute break, after which they pulled us in, called the numbers of 14 jurors and sent the rest home. I got to go home.

DramaMama was freaking out when I would call her on our breaks. She was so worried about what that would do to us financially, having to miss so many days of work. She was praying all day that I wouldn't get chosen. It worked.

It was a criminal trial for attempted murder. The plaintiff is permanently disabled from the incident. The defendant was black and had just turned 20. He looked rather scared and nervous. From the questions the Defense Attorney was posing to the jurors, I got the impression that they were going for a self-defense thing, saying perhaps that the plaintiff may have instigated the thing but lost the fight.

I imagine that the fact that I knew the Defense Attorney, and that my brother-in-law was convicted of an almost identical crime, was the reason I was eventually booted.

DramaMama was greatly relieved when I called to tell her that I had been bumped.

Since I know the defense attorney quite well, I think I'll ask him about it after it is all over to see what happened.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Writer Boy

Writing has been going very well lately. I have really been working over the early chapters of the book, and have added four chapters. What was once chapter 3, has grown into chapters 3 through 7.

Although I am not really done with editing and writing these chapters, I have posted chapters 1 through 10 on my book blog.

There is a huge difference compared to the first draft. I am filling in holes and making things make more sense. I am really enjoying this, and I know that this will all be worth it.

This revision has turned out to be what I have been referring to as "sweeping". I have been breaking up chapters in order to have only one scene per chapter. I have rewritten parts, added a lot of new writing, and chopped out junk that has been bugging me.

I think I am going to start querying in earnest when I have this revision done. I have big plans for the third revision that should also be a sweeper. Oh to have more time.