Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Capstone Paper Day 2: Sports and a Big Mouth

So it's day two of working on the paper and no Facebook in my life. I'm actually holding out pretty strong. I know a lot of you out there are rather shocked and probably are wondering if you'll ever see me again. I will return, someday...

So about my day. It was also day two for my running with Megan. We went six miles today. I'm frankly shocked I'm holding up as well as I am. I love running with her though, we have a good time and it's just been a really good influence on me all around. It gets me up early and doing the important things first such as reading my scriptures and all that.

So I had some different homework assignments I was working on as well as my paper. Things went reasonably well as far as that. I think what made me the most happy was the fact that I finally am getting things to click for my Ethnic Conflict and Civil War course. Really it has been a very difficult subject for me to stay up and comprehend completely. But when I was in class today it all just seemed to click. It was fantastic. It really made me so happy because I have just seemed so lost as far as that.

This evening was a lot of fun. I went to Cougar Tip Off which was awesome! I'm really excited for the start of the season. It was good to be there with a group of friends and get excited for Cougar Basketball to start up again. They had this paper airplane contest and I can't deny I was really pathetic about it. My plane did not want to fly at all! I'm sure I looked like such a fool. Oh well, what are you going to do. Like my blog title says, this is The Short Bus Crew and it's definitely a very "special" look at the world because I'm a very "special" person. After the basketball game I had a flag football game. We played really great tonight and I got a sack. But unfortunately we came up a bit short and so that's the end of our season.

Now for the final part of my post, my big mouth. So anybody that knows me pretty well knows I'm rather blunt. Well, I'm pretty sure I've overstepped my bounds a few times recently as far as that and I'm kind of concerned that I might have offended a few people as far as that. It makes me sad, but what are you going to do? I've apologized profusely to all of them but still am a little concerned, especially because I think I'm letting it become a bit of a problem. It's really pathetic that I'm letting this happen lately. Our Bishop mentioned that we would have lessons on gossip this Sunday so I decided to study up on it a bit and I really appreciated a quote from President N. Eldon Tanner relative to this. He said, "The tongue is the most dangerous, destructive, and deadly weapon available to man." And so me, being the wise individual I am, I decided to do pretty much everything I could to go contrary to that in the past few days. I really don't think I hurt anybody too badly (hopefully). But I'm pretty sure I was out of line. And I'm sorry about that. I really hope I didn't hurt or offend anybody. I apologize to all those again that I might have offended and know that I do love you dearly, even if you never do see this blog post.

So yeah, definitely going to work on that wicked tongue of mine. Anybody that is interested in reading President Tanner's talk about gossip it can be found here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Capstone Paper Day 1: Signing Off

Well, I suppose I should address first things first. I can imagine there's been quite the uproar among many of my Facecrack friends. Yes, my status does read "Scott is signing off..." and I can imagine some probably have wondered what on earth that means. No, it is not the end. But I am taking a break from Facebook. I can imagine this is probably much to the detriment of many a good soul I've entertained for countless hours on Facebook. So I especially apologize to my roommates (my apologies to James and Jordan for that link. I don't know of an apartment picture with the two of you). And I apologize first and foremost to Matty Cakes. Love ya Matt :) :putnam:! Oh and I despise you and all that you stand for.

So the next big question I can imagine a lot of people are asking is why? Well as the title of this post suggests: I have my capstone paper due! It's on Nixon and the environment. On the plus side, it's not due till next Tuesday. Of course the down side is I really have not done nearly as much as I should have, so I'm going to definitely have quite a bit to do over the next few days. I figure I should have most things done with it other than like some of the fine points such as a bibliography by Thursday. But yeah, I definitely know not having Facebook in my life for a bit will help with some of my productivity, especially with something that is so crucial to my graduation.

So that leads to the next question: How long? Well, the quick answer to that is however long it takes. I think I'll probably be back by the weekend, but we'll see for sure. Of course that doesn't mean I'm still not going to have some fun along the way, but Facebook is the fun I'm taking out for a bit. I will be attending Cougar Tip Off tomorrow and then my flag football game afterward. Now I will give everyone fair warning as well. I will also be taking another Facebook hiatus starting Election Day. That one will be one full week. I have my reasons for this and I'm sure the world will be far different for it, but it's really my own little Facebook Fast. It's somewhat of an experiment and such.

So that being said, next question: How do you contact me if you want to talk to me? Well I'd recommend either email, my blog (yes, you could actually post a comment for once you pinko commies!), or come see me in the basement of the library in the Political Science Section. Yes, Harold and I have gotten to be rather good friends over the past little while. Although I've known him well through my years here at BYU. You can try to call or text me, but I don't get service down here usually and I will be down here for long hours typically so it will probably be a while before I see that I have a text or message. All right, I think that covers most of the questions, so I'll give everybody a quick update on my day.

I started my day really early. I went running with my friend Megan. This was the first time I had been running in quite a while and I was shocked I faired as well as I did. We were out there long before the sun was even up. It was fun running and chatting for a bit and that's going to be a daily ritual for us now. I like it because having a running buddy ensures that I'll actually run. She's a really fantastic person and so she made me an awesome pancake breakfast afterward. So great! Thanks Megan!

So I definitely was feeling it a bit afterward, but I was somehow able to stumble up to campus. I didn't have class till 3 today, so I was doing plenty of homework for quite a while. This included working on the dreaded research paper. We'll see how this all comes along. Class was AMAZING today. Professor Daynes is so funny. He is amazingly liberal. Look and I know I'm pretty conservative, but this is legit. He starts yelling and screaming during class, it's pretty funny. He gives all the conservatives a really hard time, it's semi-jokingly but it really is kind of messed up. If it weren't for the fact he's like 80, I'd probably be a bit more concerned. He goes off all the time about how Bush is the worst president ever (and no, I don't need comments agreeing with that statement, I've heard it plenty). So I can't deny I get a little bored in that class. We just talk about these reading assignments that are really pointless because it's for my capstone and most of the time they're not really on topic or anything. Just believe me, very little of it is related to what I'm doing. So I was reading some news on the internet (no Facebook though as I already stressed). And my friend that was sitting next to me (mostly because he was jealous he didn't have a laptop) goes "Oh man a royal flush!" So everybody in the class cracks up and my professor of course stares at me and honestly thought I was playing poker on my computer. We assured him I was not, but he was a bit overly concerned that I was "multitasking". Well, later he accused another student of "multitasking" as well and so I told my professor "Oh yeah, we play poker together all through class!" and my friend next to me says "Yeah, I watch and get all sorts of good poker strategies." Needless to say, everybody laughed pretty hard about it. Man, the jokes that fly around that class are hilarious and so often it is because of the inflammatory comments made by Professor Daynes. We've all learned to be rather sarcastic with him. And lest you think it's a case of Republicans/Conservatives gaining up on the Liberal/Democrat, a lot of the class is actually rather liberal. It's about half. But yeah, good times.

So afterward I've been working hard in the library finishing up this paper. I know, I know you're saying "Wait a second, you're 'working hard' yet you're writing your blog, that doesn't add up." Here's how it goes, writing is like everything in life. The more you practice it the better you'll be at it. Also, you really should kind of warm up, so that's what this post is: a warm up. But yeah, I really feel it all coming along. I really am working hard on this paper, good thing I have a built in camera on my computer so I can show you myself:

And a quick shout out to my buddy Ian. He also had a good (although much more brief) post about writing papers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Satan Cored Troll or the Wonderful Results of An Anagram Maker

So one of my buddies, Jack, just had up as his Facebook status about his name as an anagram. I thought that was kinda neat so I put my name in got some fun results. It's amazing how quickly a computer can create pretty much every single possible anagram for your name. Some of my favorite from my list were: Translated Color, Doctoral Antlers, Doctoral Rentals, A Contrasted Roll, A Collards Rotten, A Collators Trend, A Tsar Controlled, Arcade Troll Snot, Ancestral Old Rot, Anal Cold Retorts, Satan Cored Troll, and Satan Rector Doll. Yeah, pretty amazing.

So go ahead and enter your name and see what kind of results you get. And either share some with me or give me a link in your comment.

To share links in the comments section copy and paste this into your comment:
<(remove this space)a href=""><(remove this space)/a>. Make sure to put the link between the quotations and whatever the word you want to list in between the ><. So for example,
<(remove this space)a href="">My Example<(remove this space)/a>. Have fun with your own anagrams!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Facecrack or Internet Addictions of College Age Students

So I can't deny I've had a few people ask me lately about me and Facebook. I assume pretty much anybody that is going to waste their time reading my blog knows exactly what Facebook is. It's a social networking tool. Yep, a tool. I can't deny, I do spend a lot of time on there. All right, all right, I'm being modest. I live on there. It's my life now, I know no other life. You know though, it's funny how it really is most college student's lives. And here's the thing I'll say, I'm really just kidding when I say it's my life. The internet in general does suck me in though. In all honesty, that's what I do while I'm "on Facebook." I constantly keep up with news and blogs.

But I've definitely heard my fair share of the "Facecrack" jokes. That's what my friend Claire often refers to it as. It really is such an interesting thing how a device of interconnectivity does become such a common thing for us to almost defer our lives to. But here's the funny thing as well, Facebook has greatly amplified my social life! It's the truth. I interact with people so much more often because of Facebook and that actually gets me out of the house and away from Facebook.

Of course I can't deny the how pathetic that really sounds because I talk about Facebook almost like it's a person. Of course to some people it might as well be. My friend Carson refers to Facebook rather jokingly as her "boyfriend." So is this really unhealthy? I think not, but like all good things in life it must be moderated. One of the things I've really found about the whole Facebook craze lately is the way it honestly does make things better and more enjoyable for others. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was speaking about the idea of Christian Courage. In his talk he spoke about the idea of some of the negative publicity the Church receives. He stated, "We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment." Now I know his context isn't quite the same, but I believe the principle is still applicable. Really so much of what this is about is having the courage to do the right thing, which includes the idea of the kind thing. The kind thing is to try to keep up on our friends' lives and giving them words of encouragement or finding simple ways to brighten their lives. Lately I've been focusing a lot on the idea of commenting on blogs. I have a number of friends who have their own blogs and some of them update them quite regularly. It's a nice thing to know that people still know you're alive and that they care about you and what you have to say. I think that's something I love about Facebook. So many people are on there and they're on there quite frequently that it presents various opportunities to really brighten people's days. I know it's retarded, but seeing that little red bubble in the lower right hand corner of the screen does make people happy. It's like getting a phone call from a friend or a letter. There's just something special about it because you know somebody cares enough to put forth that kind of effort. Also, those that know me pretty well, know I can get rather silly when it comes to my Facebook habits. I really find that it helps me to release a lot of my inhibitions and just be happier about life. When I'm with my friends I'm more carefree, I'm more myself, and I can have even more fun.

So I guess this really does leave us with a bit of a conundrum. Is this addiction that is "Facecrack" really a nightmare? Or is it a way for us to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others? I guess like so many different things, that's really about us. We've been given a tool, we must choose how to use it. I like to make people and I love it when other people make me happy, so personally I'm glad I can have this interconnectivity with so many others and various times in the day. If that's not quite your cup of tea, that's fine. I'm happy for you. I hope the Facebook addiction doesn't suck you into something that you don't really want in your life. But either way, seek for those simple little ways you can brighten somebody else's day. Whether it be the untechnological means: Go visit or write a letter; the semi-techno means: make a phone call or drop a text message; or the full out internet age: email, write on their wall, comment on their blog, or chat with them through some sort of instant messenger, it all can really brighten a person's day. I think too often we forget to even speak to many of our Savior's sheep, especially when they're reaching out for help. We all need friends and thankfully through technology we can expand that influence and our circle of friends rather easily. We can show so many individuals they are important to us by brief little interactions and we don't have to forget about them. Bringing joy to others will certainly bring us the greatest joys of all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 25 Picks Week 7

Ok so I need to hurriedly make my picks (but frankly I don't put a ton of thought into them anyway. The Wake game is starting in about 10 minutes and I haven't made my picks, so I'll make the picks and I might add some commentary after the fact.

*UPDATE: So can I ecstatically say that I beat the kickoff of the Wake Forest-Clemson game by quite a bit. I guess the coverage time was quite a bit earlier than kickoff. You can never really tell as far as that kind of thing. But I need to breakdown my picks from last week. 14-4 for my picks last week. Not too shabby. Got one top 10 pick wrong and I'm not sure I made any real daring picks so I guess I'm not overly proud of that. I did feel a little off about the South Florida pick and it turns out I was right. Oh well. 4 teams were on byes and 6 Top 25 Teams played each other. So I've done this for 2 previous weeks is all but I'm 24-10. Wouldn't mind getting that percentage up a tad bit but that's not too bad. Things sure are shaking up now and I've updated this after this week's games have already been played, so they've really shaken up. At least BYU should come out of all of this in a rather favorable position. Hoping for the best against TCU.

Without further ado, here's the AP Top 25 for this week:

AP Top 25
1. Oklahoma (51) 5-0 1,608
2. Alabama (13) 6-0 1,537
3. Missouri (1) 5-0 1,487
4. LSU 4-0 1,444
5. Texas 5-0 1,374
6. Penn State 6-0 1,287
7. Texas Tech 5-0 1,163
8. USC 3-1 1,137
9. Brigham Young 5-0 1,103
10. Georgia 4-1 1,014
11. Florida 4-1 977
12. Ohio State 5-1 931
13. Vanderbilt 5-0 833
14. Utah 6-0 815
15. Boise State 4-0 677
16. Kansas 4-1 623
17. Oklahoma State 5-0 565
18. Virginia Tech 5-1 485
19. South Florida 5-1 392
20. Auburn 4-2 236
21. Wake Forest 3-1 205
22. North Carolina 4-1 196
23. Michigan State 5-1 161
24. Pittsburgh 4-1 121
25. Ball State 6-0 97

My picks:
1. Texas @ Oklahoma: Sooners. This game is actually played at a neutral location, kind of neat. I wish more big games could be like that. But frankly, the Sooners play phenomenal ball. They'll find a way to blow something big this season, rest assured of that, but I don't think this is going to be that one. Texas is a tad bit over ranked and isn't going to be a team of any real consequence after going through the Big-12. They'll win big in the Big-12, maybe even their division, but no way will they win the conference.
2. Alabama: Bye.
3. Missouri @ Oklahoma State: Missouri. Pretty much nobody can compare with Chase Daniel.
4. LSU @ Florida: Gators. Florida is a superb program that underperforms. That being said, LSU is over ranked. Look for a Tiger loss this week.
5. Texas: See #1.
6. Penn State @ Wisconsin: Nittany Lions. I'm convinced Penn can lose, but whether or not that will be in the Big-10, I don't know for sure.
7. Nebraska @ Texas Tech: Tech. They'll keep producing that awesome offensive show.
8. Arizona State @ USC: Trojans. They're back to full form. Look for more SC dominance.
9. New Mexico @ BYU: Cougars. Did you have to ask?
10. Tennessee @ Georgia: Bulldogs. Look for a great Georgia team to walk all over UT.
11. Florida: See #4.
12. Purdue @ Ohio State: Buckeyes. They're pretty good and Purdue really isn't.
13. Vanderbilt @ Mississippi State: Commodores. They'll continue their wins against a crummy team.
14. Utah @ Wyoming: Utes. Hate to pick them as always, might be an interesting game with their new rivalry.
15. Boise State @ Southern Miss: Broncos. This is a solid program, although not quite BCS caliber.
16. Colorado @ Kansas: Kansas. Colorado might be some trouble though.
17. Oklahoma State: See #3.
18 & 19. Virginia Tech & South Florida: Bye. Lucky for them.
20. Arkansas @ Auburn: War Eagles. Auburn is still pretty bad, but not Razorback bad. Plus the new offensive coordinator might make a difference, might...
21. Clemson @ Wake Forest: Wake. I really am a big Reily Skinner fan. Clemson has proven to really not be all that good too.
22. Notre Dame @ NC: NC. I really don't like the Irish. They almost lost to SDSU.
23. Michigan State @ Northwestern: Northwestern. I don't like the Spartans this year and it is an undefeated team they're playing at home (although undeniably unproven).
24. Pitt: Bye.
25. Ball State @ Western Kentucky: Ball State. They're good enough.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quick Hits For 2 October 2008

Hello new month! So there's certainly plenty of big things going on in the world. The economic crisis is still the hot topic and it's a new week of College Football (Go Cougars!). Otherwise, I think most of the world is kind of up to business as usual. Here's my rundown on some of the major topics:
  1. The Vice Presidential Debate - Anybody else think it's pretty ridiculous to have a lady as "moderator" that has written a book on Obama? I realize it's impossible to completely find somebody that's truly objective, but you gotta at least make it seem like the person is. I'd be griping about this irrespective of which side she maybe was on. That's just a poor job by the host of the debate. What's worse, the McCain campaign had no idea. Apparently he's not concerned. Also, there is some question as to the objectivity of Ifill in general. There is some question as to why the campaigns hadn't already figured this out. It's up in the air just how well Palin will do for sure, but she apparently has had a decent history in smaller scale debates. Here is a more in depth analysis of her Alaskan debate. The debate may be the first time we get to hear about a lot of Palin's stances on major policy issues. Up until now she's been rather reticent. For some analysis of what to expect at the VP debate read here... The New York Times explores some of Biden's potential pitfalls. The fact of the matter is, he has a big mouth so Palin's cluelessness may not hinder the McCain Campaign after all... Palin doesn't know where she gets her news. This poor lady just can't do herself any favors in the way she speaks sometimes, including her referring to herself as the leader for "Joe-six pack." You know, I'm sure there are some voters that kind of find this comforting, but frankly I'm not looking for a football buddy in a presidential or vice-presidential nominee. I want somebody that is more of an elite and sophisticated. She's definitely an elite as far as income, so I'm not sure she relates to the blue collar as much as she claims, unless that's more about her level of sophistication and lifestyle of choice. What do you think, Ahmadinejad would enjoy throwing back a few brewskis with Palin? There's a great foreign policy plan... The McCain campaign is trying to protect Palin from the media. Given what's happened thus far and her experience, this isn't really a surprise. Of course they've got to be realistic that she can't hide for forever and hiding her only makes her look like she's not prepared for the job. I wonder how much longer this will go on or that they can afford to do this... McCain has turned to Palin for foreign policy advice in the past. You know given what's happened thus far, even if that's true, I'm not sure I'd own up to that. Not to mention the fact his statement that "she has the world view that [McCain has]"sounds a little too much like cronyism... McCain deflects questions with sarcasm. I'm not sure what to think about this.
  2. The Economic Meltdown - Yep, it's still there. Here's my thing about it, problems take time to fix. Why do we think we're going to fix this one with one "simple" piece of legislation and with such immediacy? Hopefully I'm wrong on that. I'll add to this tomorrow.