Category Archives: Uncategorized

President Monson and me.

It is only fair, given that title, to admit that Pres. Monson never had a moment in his life to notice me in particular, and we never had a conversation.

I didn’t warm up to Pres. Monson right away.  His stories didn’t really strike me as particularly wonderful.  I didn’t enjoy his speaking style, especially his slowness in speaking, with big pauses.  Over time, I developed a hypothesis that this was produced by reading from a teleprompter in General Conference.  One day, I learned more about it. Continue reading President Monson and me.

The 1-2-3s of #1, #2 and other numbers

This idea involves some less than appetizing things.  You might not want to read this.  But, if you have a weak stomach, you may find it useful.  So here we go.

This is a method for communicating urgency for bodily process over which we have limited control.  Like, for instance, things we do in bathrooms.  It’s a scale, that works like this:

For any given X (peeing, for example), the scale is thus:

0 — I just Xed.
1 — I will need to X at some point, but it’s not at all urgent.
2 — I need to X now!
3 — I am Xing! (unable to stop, or it has progressed to the point that stopping is beside the point)

As my diabetes has progressed, I’ve gone from the time that I could hold at 2 for an hour or so, to where the time between 2 and 3 is sometimes just a few minutes.  And I’ve found it useful for the nausea after my migraines.

But this is handy when traveling, for instance.  And could be useful with children, when they say they need the bathroom.

TBM Guide: Definitions and concepts

Groups/types of Mormons:

Belief classifications:

  • Traditionally Believing
    • The TBM.  Generally believes this group to be the only real Mormons, with other groups not really being Mormon.  Label is most likely to be imposed on someone, rather than self-selected.  Some translate TBM derrogatorially:  Truly Blind/Brainwashed Mormon, etc.  I only use it to mean Traditionally Believing Mormon, which I do not see as derrogatory.
  • Literally believing
    • Refers to literally accepting every spiritual claim of the Church and any of its leaders, and of scriptures.  This means a very literal six day creation, a young (6,000 year old Earth), literal global flood, etc.  Generally describes the TBM.  “The scriptures say it.  I believe it.  That settles it.”
  • Nuanced Believing
    • Believes in God, Restoration, Priesthood, etc., but with understandings that are less than literal.  Generally make literalistic TBMs uncomfortable
    • less literally believing
      • Looks at the same events that a literal believer takes at face value for their symbolic meaning.  Not usually associated with the TBM,  but some TBMs are open to less literal readings.  Sometimes “Mystical believers.”
    • Non Believing
      • Cultural (only) Mormons
        • Raised in a Mormon setting.  Generally model themselves around Cultural Jews — identifying themselves with the people and identity, but not necessarily as devout or believing the tenets of the religion.
    • not literally believing
    • Agnostic
      • Literally means “I don’t know.”
    • Atheist
      • Don’t believe in God.
      • Believe there is no God.
  • Some categories of less/not literally believing Mormons:

    • Sunstone Mormons
      • People involved in the Sunstone Foundation, whether through subscribing to Sunstone Magazine, or attending any of the Sunstone Symposia.
    • Dialogue Mormons
    • Bloggernacle Mormons
    • Prefix-Mos
      • A term I use to describe a number of categories of Mormons that are outside the box.  Such as:
      • Ex-Mormons
        • People no longer affiliated with the Church.  Stereotyped as “angry,” and more likely to attack the Church and become anti-Mormon from the perspective of the TBM
      • Post-Mormons
        • People no longer affiliated with the Church, who accept that their time with the Church is over, but without the assumption that they are angry about it.
    • NOMs
      • New Order Mormons, who are trying to make a space for themselves, and a less-literal understanding of Church matters.  May or may not have retained a belief in Church truth claims, but what belief and testimony they have will be much more nuanced than what it was at an earlier date.

GHL: To staff: These aren’t normal kids.

A problem I’ve run into a number of times with people, including managers and directors, is not understanding that we’re not dealing with normal kids, and that normal kid things might not be a good idea with these kids.  Examples:

Playing tag isn’t a fun, safe game.  Tag is chasing, followed by punching.

Sand boxes, water tables, bubble wands turn into sand fights, water fights and billy clubs.

It’s not that the kids are horribly abnormal, or anything like that.  It’s just that they’ve had different enough experiences that they need to be in an environment that provides them with more support than the average kid.  That’s why they’re with us.  And we have contractual obligations to keep them safe that go beyond what you and I were raised with.  So even though Mom could put the fear of God in you with a vicious thimble thwap to the ear, you can’t do that to these kids.  Yelling at them isn’t going to produce a shock-and-awe response — they’ve been yelled at and experienced punishment beyond anything you could do to them without going to jail and getting fired.  I know what your mom would have done to you if you had done or said what these kids do and say to you and each other.  That doesn’t matter.

Tired of CINOs and their anti-Muslim paranoia.

Why is it not a thing among those who claim the label “Christian” to actually try to follow the things Jesus said?  Why is it such a thing among those same folks to fight those who don’t believe exactly as they do?  Shouldn’t it be Christian is as Christian does?  Or is there some misbegotten notion that they don’t have to do Christian as long as they believe and are saved?  Jesus had some very strong things to say about hypocrites, for those who don’t know.

I’ve really had it with the people who get so rude and abusive at anything Muslim, and the hysteria that results from any mention of “Sharia.”  “Sharia” is a set of Arab customs not required by the Quran (but neither is abusing non-Christians to be found in the Bible, so stuff that in your self-righteousness and smoke it) which some Muslim leaders see as required of righteous Muslims.  Like the wearing of the hijab and burqa by women as a show of modesty (Mormons who are anti-Muslim but worry about little girls with exposed shoulders take note — you have more in common with some fundamentalist Imam than you think).

I’ve seen and am trying to propagate the use of CINO — Christian in Name Only to describe the people I’m talking about here.  If you’re not showing Christian love to your enemies and neighbors like  Jesus commanded, you’re a CINO.  At best.  Matt 7:21 should be reviewed immediately by any such, along with the whole Sermon on the Mount/Valley.

My Separation Part 3 — The relationship

The relationship started entirely innocently. Some friends planned a get-together at a mutual friend’s home and I was invited to it. As a friend-level activity, I was okay with going. And then the other friends didn’t show up, so we had a nice conversation, and I found that we had a lot to talk about. So I began spending more time around her, and there was still more to talk about, and our kids got along okay (mostly) so we began doing joint family things (like pizza and movies for Friday nights), and spending more time together. After probably six months or more of this, things took a romantic turn that was rather surprising for both of us, if not for others around us. For about two years, we made plans and I got to practice my new relationship skills, and things got a little out of hand on my part. I made some (new) bad choices, not the kind I’d made with Faith, and she ended the relationship. I was sad, but found some new things to do with my life and time (mostly dancing), and a few years later, she got married, and seems to be quite happy with where she’s at. I don’t see the relationship as a bad thing, nor her as a bad person for being in it with me, but I don’t recommend relationships before divorces are final, and haven’t had any since. She’s still incredible and I’m glad she’s happy.

Equifax sold my email address to spammers.

Since I own my own domain (guess which one?), I have an infinite number of email addresses I can use.  So, when I create an account on a new website, I can give each one a customized address that I can track to know who had which address.  Then, if they sell the address to spammers, I can know exactly who did it.  Thus far, I’ve identified and and for doing so, and, today, joins the list.

So, if you’re considering using any of those websites, be ready to give them a throw-away email address that you can walk away from when they sell it.  I’ve added that address to an email filter so it goes directly to the bit-bucket, and I will never seen anything sent to that address again.

Payday, and payday again.

Today is Payday, which is very nice. But it was also a payday of another kind, which was very nice.  I don’t know when, but I decided at some point in the weekend that I would be going by the Seattle Temple this morning after work. I knew it would be closed (being Monday), but I thought I’d check out the Distribution Center next door if it was open or the Deseret Bookstore down in the mall below it. The Distribution Center, it turns out, is also closed Monday, so I took a walk around the Temple, and got some pictures with my phone.

Then, I went down to Deseret Book. By this time, it was about 9:20, and the sign on the door said DB opens at 10:00. Great! I’d really like to head home and get some sleep, but I also wanted a chance to see if they had what I came to look for (a little empty bottle with an eye-dropper top, useful for filling a key-chain vial of consecrated oil) (I want to use it for vanilla extract in my kitchen). So I parked, and went around the corner of the little mall to the Tullys. I’ve learned my way around a Starbucks, but this was my first time at a Tullys. I like Starbucks better — more non-coffee options — but Tullys had enough options to get my take-my-meds breakfast taken care of (not-too-hot hot chocolate and a white chocolate macadamia cookie bar). I tried their free wifi, but couldn’t get it to connect right, so I used the cellular modem to get online and check my FB until it was 10:00.  I packed up and headed over.

I looked around the store at what was there, and got an idea of what they had and what I might want to get at some time.  They didn’t have the little bottles I wanted, and I wasn’t really ready to get a new set of scriptures at the price they had.  I was just getting ready to walk out the door, disappointed that I had spent that time and had nothing to show for it, with my hand on the door, when I gave one last look back, and noticed the word “WARD” on the cover of a book on a shelf I hadn’t looked at.  It was the “Bestsellers” section.  So I thought I’d look at that shelf, and found that the book that got my attention was the Worldwide Ward Cookbook:  Mom’s Best Recipes. The name meant something to me.  Some months ago, I had been pointed to a website for the Worldwide Ward Cookbook that was accepting recipes for this particular volume.  I’d submitted my mom’s fruit cobbler recipe to it, altering the recipe as she’d written it to make it more like a cook book recipe, and then I’d heard nothing more about it.  I’d been thinking about that, not too long ago, in fact, since the rhubarb is up and it’s getting to be cobbler season. I was pretty certain that I would have heard something if it was going to be included, so I doubted it was in there, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to look.

So I grabbed the book, and looked to the index, finding a recipe for fruit cobbler listed.  I flipped to the page (243), and that particular page was a little bit stuck together, so it took a little doing to get it to come open.  And there was my picture, and the recipe I’d submitted, complete with the little note I’d written for it!  They spelled my name right, even!  The recipe was altered just a little bit from what I’d submitted, but it was essentially what I put down, so that was cool.  The best part was having this little remembrance of Mom in print.  Here’s the blurb I wrote:

This recipe is named for my mother, Della Carnefix Nelson, who adapted it from a recipe given to her by her sister.  Mom almost always cooked from scratch, and usually by “touch,” rather than from a recipe; she never felt comfortable preparing a meal out of a bix with instructions to “add water and stir.”  She liked this recipe because it’s so easy and because the batter starts out underneath the fruit and cooks through it, picking up flavor from the fruit on the way through.  It was one of two recipes we had her dictate while she was in hospice care, shortly before her death from cancer in July 2006.

And so now I knew what I was there for.  I bought the book, showing the clerk that this was me, but not because it was me, but because it was about Mom.  And it was payday again.