Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Week...

This was said by Brian Williams last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whilst discussing members of the US House of Congress...

"A 200lb Chimpanzee in an inappropriate relationship in Connecticut causes these people to jump all over monkey legislation, and you act surprised?!?!"

On other news, I had some high hopes for my buddy, Mack the Imam on this blog. Sadly, it's looking like he may not make it through the remainder of today. I'll post updates as they become available.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Missing a loved one...

I have issues!

Geez Koda! Tell us something we don't know.

Just over a year ago, actually exactly a year from this past Monday, I acquired my race bike. She's been good to me, allowing me to complete almost 1000 miles of racing and training, and aside from couple of flats, she's given me no problems at all.

She sleeps inside, since lately bikes have been going missing from garages and since she's worth about 4 times what my car is worth, it's probably best. Until last Saturday, I hadn't been on her since November last year, but since she's always right next to my computer, I don't think a day goes by that I don't get to run my fingers across her carbon fiber frame, admire her smooth lines, and fall in love with her all over again.

Part of the deal when I bought her, was that she got free maintenance for a year. With the year being up, I took her in for a quick tune up on Monday, just to make sure everything was good and that she's ready for what will likely be a very long and grueling tri-season.

I'm picking her up today after I go see the dentist... I CAN'T WAIT!!!

For those new to the blog, here are some pics from the day after I bought her. I'll have to get some new ones as well, since she now has Rastafarian colored grip tape on the aero bars, a Garmin mount and a couple of other new tweaks.

I believe the technical term for the following is bike-porn!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This is pretty funny...

But please be careful before you watch the following. Especially be careful not to drink anything right before or during the time it's on. After the quantity of water I just sprayed all over my keyboard and monitor, I'm wondering if I may be in danger of electrocution... Oh and thanks to Deidre of Money in the Raw for the find.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Senator Buttars is Right Though....

Senator Buttars should never have been voted back in as a Utah Legislator. Unfortunately in a state where many consider voting anything other than Republican to be a sin in the eyes of God, people like him get voted back in, purely because people are too ignorant or afraid of voting for someone else.

Last year, Mr. Buttar's referred to a specific bill he didn't like as being a "Black Baby" of a bill, causing a large outcry from the NAACP and more recently he has compared gays to Islamic terrorists and claimed they are the greatest threat to America. [See video below]

He's right, but not in the way you might think...

You see the thing is that the America, Mr. Buttars and people like him have created is one where fear rules. People like Mr. Buttars remain in power because they have convinced the population that they can defend us from evil people, like homosexuals, Muslims and other groups.

Whether or not you consider homosexuality a sin is kind of irrelevant here. The way I see it, people like Mr. Buttars paint groups of people with a very broad brush and then incite hatred and fear towards them. If homosexuality becomes more accepted in our society, those who have previously been afraid of them, and repulsed by their horrible sinful natures may actually learn that they are good people, just like you and me. Just because there may be differences in how we each choose to live our lives, doesn't mean we can't get on together and respect each other.

Yes, America as we know it may come to an end if homosexuals get equal rights, but it would end an era of hatred and bigotry and usher in a new era of respect and cooperation. At least, that's how I see it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fair and Balanced Approach

In light of my new desire to try and not sweat things of little or no consequence, I have decided to try a slightly different approach with this blog. In the past few months and years, I've found that my religious and political leanings have changed.

Religiously, I have become less concerned with outward appearances and rigid following of a specific dogma, and politically I gone from being an extreme right wing conservative type to floundering around in the pool of liberalism and left wing thinking (mixed in with some libertarian ideals - it's kind of a mess!)

I had an experience this weekend however that I may share more about as time progresses, but for now, I would just like to introduce a new guest whom I will allow to blog on occasion and hopefully balance out my views.

He has asked that I keep his real identity undisclosed, for reasons which will soon become apparent, and so he shall be writing and appearing as "Mack the Imam".

As soon as I can figure out how to get his login attached, hopefully he can share some of his opinions and ideas. He's not exactly a computer genius, and it's something which I haven't done before, but I'm thinking that between the two of us, we can figure it out.

Ladies and Gentleman! Let me introduce to you our newest blogger and hopefully the catalyst in a new error of fair and balanced opinions... Mack the Imam!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Letting Go

I should be working, but I had an epiphany of sorts, and if I don't write these things down, all to often they end up leaving and I forget the initial feeling, and in this case it's best that I remember this...

I found a new blog last week 'The Liberal Mormon that Could'. I probably spent almost 3 hours that first day reading through her stuff. She's a little younger than me, by a couple of years, but has many of the same questions and thoughts about Mormonism that I have - only she is far more eloquent in conveying those thoughts than I am. This morning she had a new blog entry posted, entitled 'Last Post'.


I'm likely going to butcher this, but if I could summarize her thoughts. Actually, let me just quote her, in identifying the problem... "the Church and my disaffection with it has become too central to my life. It dominates conversation and has shoved every other interesting part about me out." It's not that she hates the Church and wants to bring it down, but at the same time, she's not 100% committed to it either.

Anytime you are involved in something like the LDS Church, and you start to see things you don't like, you walk a fine line.

In the Matrix, there is a quote by Morpheus that I really like. After Neo has been pulled from the Matrix, Morpheus offers him a choice.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Four or Five years ago, when I started to see that things weren't what I thought they were, I had the same choice. I could ignore what I had found and plunge myself back into the blind obedience and faithful devotion that had been my life for the preceeding twenty something years, or I could take the red pill.

I chose the red pill. When faced with a choice, I prefer to take the option that opens up further options, rather than one which limits me. So it is with the Red Pill. I'm facing some new options...

  1. I can stay within the organization and try and effect the changes I think need to happen.

  2. I can leave the organization and effect change from the outside

I've been trying option 1 over 2. I worry that 2 would cause me to be labeled and apostate and shunned by community, neighbors and family, which ironically has pretty much happened as I have tried option 1. My worry with 2 as well is that I would degenerate into a bitter man, sworn to destroy anything good in the world - much of this is due to being consistently told by the organization that this is what would become of me, should I choose to leave.

After reading the comments in the 'Last Post', I realize I have another option...

Why waste my time with an organization that treats me like crap? It has a lot of good, but all to often that gets twisted and perverted to help corrupt men get what they want.

I realized this morning that I have far too much going on in my life to worry about this kind of thing.

I have 5 absolutely incredible children. I work far too many hours in order to support them, and they could really do with more of my time - rather than me spending it trying to change the culture in an organization that quite frankly, is what it is, and isn't likely to change.

I have an incredible wife who could really use more of my time and support as well.

I live in a great place with many outdoor opportunities, many of which I could share with my wife and children.

There is a whole lot more available for me to experience, and significant opportunities to make a difference in the world, that doesn't involve me being involved in trying to affect change in a corrupt organization.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not going to allow something stupid and relatively insignificant to consume my time.

As a kid I remember being told that Satan would only have as much power over me as I would let him have, and so it is with this. I have allowed something to consume my life, when it really doesn't deserve my time or attention.

Some of you may also be aware of some personal challenges I have faced recently as well. To those who have shared their love and support, I am profoundly grateful. It's another aspect of my life, I've come to realize is not worth my time or attention.

I have far too much good to do, noble responsibilities to take care of and wonderfulness to experience to waste my time with stuff which in the grand scheme of things is of little or no consequence.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I found a cool quote today, and a made a couple of changes to the layout of the blog...

First, the quote. (I found it here. This is by a guy called Hugh Nibley. He was one of the high up muckety mucks in the LDS Church a while back. I believe he passed away 4 years ago.

"The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances."

I've shared criticism and praise for the LDS Church on this blog. I believe it is based on a number of true principles, but I also believe part of it has become corrupt and a culture has developed which seems to be at odds with what the religion should be standing for. In the last 2 congregations which I've been involved in, immense attention has been paid to dress and grooming standards. I myself am currently sporting a full beard, for personal reasons, but also to annoy the Pharisaical leadership amongst whom I find myself living!

I've also made some changes to the blog... On the right are links to "Just Good Stuff". Blogs which I read daily, or try to at least, and whose content I find informative and amusing.

Below that are links which existed before but which I have now categorized and will continue to add to. I like political view points by people who have taken the time to think them through, and formed their own opinion. Even if I don't agree, I like to see the other side of the coin, as it were.

Below those are some religious links. Most of these are humorous sites, poking a little fun at the idiosyncrasies of LDS Culture. The more fundamentalist types tend to miss the point of these blogs. If you're not LDS, some of the content may not make a lot of sense, but then again some of it is hilarious no matter what your religious view point. On the other hand, if you're a religous zealot, who support Prop 8 because you were supposed to and would find my facial hair offensive, you probably want to steer clear of these. You have been warned.

Monday, February 09, 2009


So Mrs. Koda and I have been going to marriage counseling. Now I know what you might be thinking, but that's not why! A friend of mine is working on a degree which deals with marriage counseling and needed a couple to volunteer to undergo some sessions.

It was actually an excellent experience, and one that I would highly recommend to any couple, no matter how good you think you have it. After the first session I was just blown away by how good I really have it, and how well my wife and I communicate.

Apparently for a marriage or any relationship to be successful you need to have a ratio of at or above 4 positive comments to every 1 negative comments. One of the exercises was to figure out what our ratio was... We're not really sure. We think it may be up around 40:1, but the 1 negative we had during the week was actually more of a positive, or at least it turned out that way after it was brought up.

I bring this up because I've had other interactions lately which have not been so positive. Here are some things I've learned over the years about communication and relationships.

  • If you look for and expect the worst in the other person, you'll find it. Even if it isn't really there, you'll still find it.

  • If someone disagrees with you, it's OK. It doesn't mean they hate you, despise you, or think less of you in any way. Actually I almost prefer talking with someone who differs in opinion. It gives me more of a chance to learn and grow.

  • If for any reason you have a disagreement with someone, trying to discuss it using the "You Suck, you're awful, you are the worst person in the world because in the past you did, A, B and C, now lets talk" method is generally not the best approach to resolve problems.

  • It's OK to make mistakes. We all make them everyday - Me probably more than most. You can either learn from them, or dwell on them. Denying that such mistakes ever happened though, doesn't mean they didn't happen, and is more just an indicator of your true character.