Thursday, September 30, 2010

Found: Attic Fashion Treasure!

When I was fourteen, my paternal grandfather passed away. I can't say that I knew him particularly well; he wasn't the warmest person. However, I do have many fond memories of him suddenly opening up and sharing a moment of closeness with me, in a restaurant showing me the trick to getting especially viscous ketchup out of the bottle, or helping me straighten out my (clip-on) tie at my Aunt's wedding. Still, I was fairly shaken by his death, as he was the first of my elders to pass, and especially because my dad took it surprisingly hard. We returned from the funeral with a few items that had been handed down to me, most notably my grandfather's Marine Corps Dress Blue blouse and a few articles of clothing.

This morning, for whatever reason, I was compelled to dig in the attic through my old Tucson clothes box, which I hadn't been through since we moved to Salt Lake nearly ten years ago. Lo and behold, I found my inherited clothes! A couple dozen vintage ties, a tan sports coat, and the crown jewel: a navy waistcoat that fits like it was made for me! Huzzah! Waistcoats, or vests, have recently become acceptable again for those willing to take a little chance in their wardrobe, and it will fit perfectly with my old-school style. In fact, I recently purchased a new suit (which I pick up today! Delightful!), which is a very nice mid-gray solid. Wearing the navy waistcoat with this suit will contrast nicely, and add the extra "pop" at functions like a wedding, signaling that I have "dressed up" a little extra, given that I wear suits regularly.

Thanks for everything, Pop-Pop!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Good morning, world!

I am proud to announce that last night, I took first place in the college's talent show. There were something like 20 contestants, many of whom also sang and played guitar. How did I stand out? There were two things that really set me apart and, I think, helped push me over the top:

1) I played an original song that I wrote, "Melody Maker," which is coincidentally about writing songs! By portraying myself as a songwriter, and then delivering a solid performance of a decent original work, I demonstrated a depth of talent that went beyond those people simply performing another artist's song.

2) I played harmonica along with guitar, true to singer-songwriter form. This really sizzled.

There were many cheers throughout my performance, not just at the end - a first for me. Also, and I didn't realize this until I was done playing, but this was my largest audience yet, easily over 100 people. Now, maybe there have been times out at the People's Market where there have been more people than that within ear-shot, but these people were all there listening intently, and digging it! This is really a huge boost, one that I surely needed right now. Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Tired, World

So I literally just woke up from a nightmare about getting mauled by a pack of wolves. What's worse, I don't need to sit and think "whoa, what does that mean", or seek feedback from some tie-dye skirt clad guru. I know exactly why I had this dream; it was the first thought in my head when I woke up.

I've felt lately like the world is just out to get me.

Let's start with school: I feel totally alienated. Almost everyone at my school is young, so god damn young. Fresh out of high school. And they all seem to know each other, and though I am trying, they don't seem to want to get to know me. Now part of this is my fault. I show up in my suits while they're riding their skateboards around campus; I think the disconnect is fairly clear. They're sitting in a group, getting loud and excited about getting drunk at a party, a party that I desperately want to be invited to, when they get quiet upon suddenly noticing me looking sharp, assuming I'm part of the faculty and that they may have just incriminated themselves. Even the career resource center's business department adviser asks me "why are you all dressed up?" Okay, I get it. Like Conor Oberst said to Amy in the White Coat: "you should look more like us."

Now...Better Living has up and completely stopped talking to me; won't take or return my phone calls, hasn't answered my last few emails, and has even started deleting my comments on her blog. You would think that she had dumped me...oh, wait, she did, but that was last NOVEMBER. We managed, with some early turbulence, to maintain a decent (if distant for my tastes, but hey, that's just me, the dump-ee) friendship. I even recently sent her a note to express my thanks for her graciousness, and my gratitude and happiness that we were able to remain friends. Um...was this yet another fucking case of my being too nice? Was she suddenly weirded out because I wrote in the note that I loved her? Hello, as a friend. And also because, in my world, you don't just stop loving people. Okay, so maybe you do stop talking to them (for some reason), but the love is still there - I sure hope that isn't what started this.

Now, I'm not trying to be bitter. I'm actually trying very, very hard to be positive, hopeful, and optimistic. It just gets hard, especially when it feels like the whole world is after me. I hate to be this wounded animal begging for mercy, but please, call off the wolves.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Late Edition

Well hello there world! After my pouting yesterday, I figured I would talk about some fun stuff that I did today that help to brighten my spirits a bit. I am officially part of the chicken co-op at school; I will be tending to the school's five chickens every Monday. This entitles me to a share of the eggs but, as I already have eleven chickens at home, I am letting the other co-op members have my share. So, I am essentially doing this out of the kindness of my heart. Good to know there is still some kindness in there...

I also went to an open house at a CPA firm. The highlight: the firm's national recruiter complimented my tie. Twice! It was a brand new tie that I got out at the state fare. A new company out of Ogden, "Neck Strings" was there selling their not-too-shabby ties for a jaw-dropping 2 for $15. While these ties aren't actually made locally (they design them here and have them made in China), the quality is up there with designer ties from Nordstrom or Dillards, which come from China anyways but cost $50-$70. Score!

Sometimes, it is the little things that make all the difference...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, I can't say this is exactly the happiest birthday I've ever had. I think I am officially over the hump in that I no longer look forward to this day each year.

"Oh, cheer up," you say, "this is your day!"

Well, I am claiming birthday immunity.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Those Silly Chickens

So we have eleven chickens, who give us around 7 lovely eggs a day. Yum. One in particular is "my" chicken. She's a turken, a particular breed of chicken that has no feathers on its neck, causing it to resemble a turkey. Fitting her look, and her status as one of the alpha chickens, she is named "Reverend Mother Helen Gaius Mohiam", after the Dune character of course.

Well, recently, she has been "brooding", which is a term for the silly chicken behavior of staying in the coop and nesting on top of the eggs all the time. Also it can include acting crazy and hostile when not nesting on the eggs, as another of our chickens demonstrated last year, but Helen has been pretty docile. She just stays inside, always on top of the eggs, to the point that we wonder how all of the eggs are even getting under her. Does she move to allow the other hens to lay? Or are they laying around the coop, and then she gathers the eggs to her nest? Hmmm...

Well, this morning I went outside and there was Helen, running and scratching around in the outdoor run, like a normal well-adjusted chicken! Let's hope she keeps it up, and that her brooding days are behind her. Also, maybe this is a sign that my own days of "brooding" and being "cooped up" might be coming to a close...

Ah, the simple life of a silly chicken!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Week

Here we go, starting another week of school. This one promises to be full of more work than fun activities, but isn't that the point? Still, let's look back on the fun times I had last week to be reminded that there may be more fun times ahead:

1. Accounting Resume-Writing Workshop: A managing director of the local PriceWaterhouseCoopers office individually critiqued our resumes and then offered up many helpful hints about what to include and what not to, particularly when seeking a job in public accounting. My resume is pretty solid; it certainly doesn't hurt that a professional writer helped me put it together.

2. Campus Garden Open House: So my nifty little college started a nifty little organic garden a couple years ago, and this year they added chickens! I stopped by to meet the organizers and volunteer my help in caring for the chickens (since we have eleven of them at home).

3. Casino Night: I stayed late at school on Wednesday to participate in the student government's 'Casino Night'; I played in the Texas Hold 'Em tournament, staying in until about half the players had been eliminated. For quite a lot of the game, I was chip leader at my table. But, as usually happens when I play Hold 'Em, I got kind of bored and started making silly bets to spice things up. I feel good, though, because my stupidest and most costly bet furnished the lone tired professor participating with a ton of chips, getting him back in the game.

4. Meet the Firm Night: A panel of six professionals from different accounting firms, Goldman Sachs, and even the FBI came and spoke at the school. The main point I took away: I need to get a master's degree and my CPA license as soon as possible in order to really work in my chosen field in a capacity that will really suit me. Oh joy.

5. Theater Society Opening Social: Lately I've found I don't enjoy movies or television very much, but live theater continues to intrigue me. Now, I haven't acted since high school and I've only ever been to a hand-full of plays, but it is something that does intrigue me, and, the theater kids are all (as expected) very personable. I enjoyed myself very much getting to know some new people and playing charades.

So there you go...the fun fun times for him. Hopefully I can find some engaging social stuff to do this week in between the homework assignments!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting my Rushmore on

Now that I am back in school, there is a lot more going on in my life to stimulate my mind and occupy my time. However, I am only taking three classes, and there is still a lot of empty space each week. I've decided to fill this with all manner of clubs and activities. I realized at the beginning of this semester that my last year or so at college is really my last chance to make a lot of hip young friends all at once. Now, this wouldn't be such an issue, as I prefer to maintain a small group of close friends whom I am truly devoted to...but, my small cadre of near-and-dears has managed to first implode and then evaporate right out of my life.

So, I am aspiring to get involved on campus, and to get to know others who are as well. This is a difficult task at my school. First of all, I transferred in as a junior, having already earned my associate's degree at the community college. This puts me at a social disadvantage, as my peers have already been going to school together for two or more years. Complicating matters further is the fact that I live off campus. The kids in the dorms even have a term for this, which I find has some derogatory connotations: "commuter". To make things even worse, I am attending a prestigious liberal arts college. The sort of students that go there are, by and large, eccentric weirdos and hipsters. While this is certainly more of my crowd than say, the lunatic sports fans who populate the public university, they aren't the easiest bunch to get to know.

I liken the majority of students at my school to New Yorkers - everyone walks around with their head down, in their own world. If you stop someone and engage with them they will perk up and be very friendly and helpful, but once this interaction is over and done with, they want nothing further to do with you and continue right back on their single-minded path. This is not to say that they are an anti-social bunch, but they are mired in what appears to me to be a rigid system of cliques and coteries, one that is particularly distrusting of outsiders.

I could go on and on (and often do) about how frustrating this is for me, a genuine, direct, no-nonsense person who honestly wants to get to know nice people for who they really are and build lasting friendships with them. Complaining, though, doesn't get anything done, so I have been (and will continue) taking action to get myself involved. I'll wrap up by saying: Look out kids, here I come!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I Like: Accounting

I am in the second semester of my junior year as an accounting major, and I after some recent reflection, I'd like to reaffirm my happiness with my selection. Textbooks often refer to accounting as "the language of business", and I think that as a well-established scientific system, it also functions as the rules of business. Knowing the rules enables one to effectively play the game.

When my enlistment in the Marine Corps ended several years ago, I knew that I wanted to do something in business. I had come to this realization when it occurred to me that every job out there belongs to some kind of business. Further, almost everything in life functions like a business, at least on some level or in certain ways. I was pretty ignorant when I started college, and without a lot of direction; "business" is, like I've said, broad and far-reaching. So those first few classes definitely informed my choice, one of which happened to be Financial Accounting 1.

I'll admit, at first I didn't get it. I was perplexed by the double-entry system, wherein every transaction is recorded twice, effecting two different accounts. This is the system of debits and I losing you already? Further complicating the matter, transactions are recorded in a journal, a chronological list, and then later posted to a ledger, a collection of all the different accounts and their balances. Still not getting it, eh? Okay, so here is the thing - some accounts (usually assets, like cash or a house, and expenses, like your electricity bill) have a debit balance, while others (liabilities, like your mortgage loan; equity, your net worth as an individual or the book value of owners' stakes in a business; and revenues, like your paycheck or sales) have a credit balance. sure look confused - I did too!

This is where it all fits together: the entire system is based on the accounting equation, which states that:

Assets = Liabilities + Equity

So...those double entries each effect, in some way, both sides of the equations. Therefore, the equation stays balanced. Okay, so I know that no one except people familiar with accounting have any idea what I'm talking about. But that's okay, I don't think anyone is reading this blog anyway (*wink*). Still, when all of this finally clicked in my head, I knew that I had found my education path and my place in the world of business. Why? Because the equation has to balance. Everything is assigned values, and though these change, the equation stays balanced. You can be relatively sure that everything is at least mostly right if your accounts all balance out.

This is all very basic stuff; I think I have just poorly explained the first two days of class. It gets so much better. These accounts and their balances are used to prepare financial statements, which tell you all sorts of things about how a business (or, say, your personal finances) are operating. You can then do all manner of analysis with the data, giving you even more valuable information. Management and the marketing department can talk all day about pricing strategies and their big new global initiative (and I don't mean to downplay those people and disciplines; they are extremely important), but the financial statements lay it out plainly to see for those who know how to read them. The "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" book series by Robert Kiyosaki, though mostly a giant fluff piece by a hustling snake oil salesman, did contain one great piece of advice: "Learn to think in financial statements". If more businesses stopped to think about exactly how that decision they're making is going to impact not just the bottom line, but the intermediary steps on the financial statements, and how that is going to impact all the various means of analyzing and comparing and projecting...well, I think we'd get far less stupid decisions.

So there you go, world. I like accounting. It works.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

War Story Wednesday: Gentlemen VS Modern Discourtesy

In these modern times, with facebook and twitter serving as the means of communication for many young people, I worry about common courtesy going by the wayside. The symptoms are everywhere to be seen: people don't RSVP to events in advance, because who knows what kind of tantalizing text message might invite them to something better at the eleventh hour? Grown men have feeble handshakes and avert their eyes when being introduced because most of their introductions happen electronically. People don't know how to conduct themselves at a fine restaurant or a dinner party, because most of their meals are wolfed down hastily whilst watching television or checking their favorite blog.

Now, I won't claim to be an expert on these matters, nor will I attempt to outline all of the myriad rules and customs of courtesy. But I can offer some tips, and generally admonish the public to be more courteous to one another. So here is some helpful advice, bits I've learned from my father, Better Living and her cultured friends, and the Marine Corps:

  • When meeting someone new or when you run into someone you haven't seen in a while, firmly shake their hand (but don't crush it; this does not demonstrate your manliness, it makes you an ass), and always look them in the eye. I cannot stress this enough; you should always look people in the eye. It not only displays your confidence, but shows your respect and that you are mentally present and engaging with the person.
  • When you are going to an event that has been planned in advance, for god's sake turn your phone off and participate with the others present for the duration of the event. If you have to have your phone around, for an emergency or some such, keep it on vibrate. If you receive other calls, ignore them, and if your important call comes through politely excuse yourself and take your call in private. I don't care that everyone else is texting at the dinner table or in the middle of conversation; this is incredibly rude.
  • Never point at people. It makes them uncomfortable, probably because it is a dead giveaway that you are talking about them to someone else. If you really need or desperately want to identify someone else from a ways off, gesture with your whole, open, flat hand. Get your hand ready to karate chop, then, with your palm facing up, sweep your arm in the direction of what you are trying to point out. I know this is a minute detail, but seriously, don't point.
  • When someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you, hand-write them a thank-you note. Mail it through the postal service if possible, or hand deliver it otherwise. They went out of their way to help you, so you should go out of your way and go beyond an email to say thank you. A good guide to when and what to write can be found here.
Doing these simple things will get you started being a more courteous and thoughtful person. People will notice.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I like: Cufflinks

Okay, so I proposed to share my limited knowledge about fine mens clothing, and the single item that launched me into the wide world of tailored suits and custom shirts was french cuffs and cufflinks. I received my first french-cuffed shirt and cufflinks as a birthday present some years back from Better Living, and so began my 'fancification'.

Okay, let's start at the very beginning. French cuffs have a "double cuff" - twice the amount of fabric at the cuff that is folded back on itself. Also, french cuffs have no buttons, just button holes, and must be fastened in some manner. Enter the cufflinks. So why do I like french cuffs and links? Well, there are two main reasons, which are both actually very practical. The first is, a french cuff seems to me to more properly fill a suit sleeve. It just seems made to fit; it takes up the whole space and makes the sleeve conform nicely. A french cuff sitting rightly in the sleeve will provide a nice skeleton for the jacket sleeves, making the buttons and their little flap of fabric actually stand up. The second reason is that good cufflinks (mine are sterling silver and pretty chunky) weigh the shirt sleeve down so it doesn't ever get stuck up in the suit jacket; it hangs perfectly on your wrist at all times.

Now, there are some choices when it comes to what kind of links you want. The cheapest option, and I think it is pretty fashionable, is "silk knots". These are little fabric knots which take the place of proper cufflinks; I like them and would probably buy some if I ever saw them in a shop. They allow a dash of color to get added in, which does admittedly perplex me a tad, but I've seen them around and they look handsome enough. Then there are the double-stud style of metal cufflinks; these have a larger stud that goes on the outside of the cuff connected by a curved metal band to a smaller stud on the inside. Now, some people prefer these as you get "double the mileage" out of your links as there are flashy studs on the inside of your cuff as well as the outside. I prefer the final option, toggle cufflinks, over the double-stud style for a number of reasons. First, they are the most plainly obvious. There is no doubt that yes, those are in fact cufflinks, not elaborate buttons or snaps or some such. Second, the straight metal bar and the toggle really make the cuffs take a nice shape: a nice, crisp "kissing cuff" where the two sides of the cuff are snug and flat against one another. The curve in the metal link on the double-stud style (necessary because otherwise the link would be really short and difficult to get between those four buttonholes) tends to, in my opinion, leave the cuff rather loose and unshapely, letting the extra fabric puff out to each side. This makes them look, to me, sort of like unbuttoned barrel cuffs. This loss of definition defeats, for me, one of the major advantages of the french cuff I espoused above: the shape.

Alright, that's all for now. I'll try to get some fun pictures up in the future.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting my fancy on...

Hello world! How long has it been since I last posted, over two months? Well, that simply won't do, especially considering that I would like to fancy myself as at least an amateurish writer. I'm back in school, so that should provide many fun topics to fill up posts, the first (and not least of which) being men's fashion.

I've always found the suit to be the quintessential male garment, and given my status as a moving-and-shaking student at a prestigious private liberal arts college, I feel well within the bounds of reason wearing one to class. No, not every single day, but certainly every day that offers up any sort of reason. For me, the first couple weeks of the semester are reason enough to show off my wardrobe, letting the kids see firsthand what style and class look like. Then I can dial it back and save the suits for special days, such as classroom presentations, job fairs, and social events.

Okay, honestly, my selection of fine clothing is both small and, well, not that fine. But it is pretty decent for me and my needs, and will surely expand over time. Now I won't continue pretending to be the master of male style, but I will try to update my blog regularly and include the nifty bits of fashion know-how I feel comfortable taking an authoritative stance on.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blood Angel Blues

I've been working on painting up my new jump-packers, but I am still not sure what exactly I want to do with my Blood Angels army. I definitely want to keep cranking out jump pack models, but I am not sure what exact tweaks to throw in. I am thinking that I want to keep my number of jump packers small, and really kit out some honor guard and vanguard veterans. The high points cost means that I won't have to get too many models...

Of course, the new codex presents some very interesting opportunities for the mechanized army. With Baal Predators being moved to the Fast Attack section of the force organization chart, the heavy support section is opened up to take more tanks. Maybe Vindicators? Or triple lascannon tank-hunting predators? I also only just realized that Blood Angels Land Raiders can deep-strike. Doesn't that just open up a can of worms? I'm not exactly sure what I would put into a land raider or two. Of course, assault terminators are the obvious choice, and I have been wanting to get my big boys back into my army. The clerk at my friendly local gaming store suggested death company; 15 of them and a chaplain could ride in a crusader. However, this death-nugget would cost around 650 points. What also really disturbs me about trying to deep-strike in a land raider is the fact that the model is huge, and could scatter up to 12". Putting over 500 points at risk by potentially having to roll on the mishap table is really scary. Depending on the terrain layout and enemy unit placement, there might not really be anywhere on the table that would serve as a feasible deep strike target.

I am really enticed by the Stormraven gunship, but alas, at present there is no model for it. I am definitely not up for scratch-building one, and I am not sure what would really work as a proxy. The best option would be a Thunderhawk gunship, but the $550 price tag HURTS; it would have to be, essentially, my only warhammer purchase for the whole year. Still, I have always wanted one as a centerpiece for my army, and I would have it around for Apocalypse games and whatnot once GW actually puts out a Stormraven model.

So, yeah, I really don't know what to do. I guess I need to get out there and start playing some games and testing some smaller lists, getting a feel for how the new codex plays before I go all-out and settle on a full scale 2500 point army and variations. Any advice from you gamers out there would be appreciated!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fun Stuff

I've been keeping busy lately. I'm working three days a week at my new job and keeping myself well entertained in my free time. I've gotten really into the game Red Dead Redemption, by Rockstar games. As many people have observed, the game plays largely like a western-themed Grand Theft Auto, featuring a large map where players are free to roam about and do as they please. One can steal horses or shoot whomever they fancy, becoming wanted in the process and fighting off lawmen and bounty hunters. You can cheat at cards, and if you lose, slaughter your opponents and loot their corpses for your lost cash. However, this is what I find least intriguing about the game. I was showing off the game to my parents and our friends (It really is beautiful - dusty trails wind off towards distant mesas, wildflowers sway in the wind beneath stunning photo-realistic sunsets), demonstrating the breadth of freedoms granted to the player, when I was asked if the game would let me kiss a passing woman.

"No," I told them, "but I can lasso and hog-tie her." There was laughter all around as I proceeded, but it occurred to me then that most of the freedom in Red Dead Redemption is violent in nature. You can shoot anyone and everyone, but kiss no one. In fact, you can't even talk to most of the game's vast population. I suppose that gamers like the high level of action; I don't really mind it, but I find myself wishing there were just a bit more in the way of pacifist activities. This is what I really like about the game; exploring scenic canyons, hunting down the wildlife and trading animal hides and meat in town, taking the time to play a round of horseshoes, and collecting the various medicinal plants scattered around the game world. I enjoy taking a slower pace, riding off the beaten path, and just exploring the rich digital desert.

Last night I was talking to Dustin, and I spent a sizable chunk of the conversation gushing on about Red Dead. Dustin had tried to buy it, but I guess the Walmart out in South Carolina was sold out. We're hoping to get in some online gaming together before he has to deploy again, this time to Afghanistan. He seemed to enjoy my scathing critique of the movie "Avatar", which I did enjoy, but which features many glaring holes I was only too happy to point out. Chiefly, after the "blue hippies" (as they were christened on 30 Rock) defeat the humans and force them off of the planet...everything is rosy? Um...wouldn't people back in the world be angry about all of the workers who were killed, and the sudden loss of their uber-profitable mine? I can't help but envision more redneck former Marines coming back to nuke the site from orbit. Also, where is the government throughout the whole movie? There are apparently jittery corporate shareholders back home, but no regulatory bodies or compliance inspectors? I tend to think that a crazy planet with lifeforms that can all connect to each other via a network of sentient trees would be extremely conspicuous, even in the future, drawing the attention of all sorts of red-tape slinging bureaucrats and a swath of non-bathing, hemp-wearing, sign-waving activists. Finally, why is the foolishly named "Unobtainium" (I had convince Dustin that I wasn't making it up) so important? They disclose that it is highly valued, but not one application is named. This kind of omission doesn't add to the mystique for me; it interferes with my suspension of disbelief. In the "Dune" novels, the pivotal Spice Melange is given myriad uses critical to the function of that fictional society; hence it's high value.

Which brings me to my last bit of rambling today - Dustin told me about a new Dune movie that is in the works. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but things aren't looking so good at the moment. Apparently, a first draft of the script has already been scrapped, along with the first director. Worse, Twlight's Robert Pattinson has supposedly been having talks with the director about playing Paul Atredies. Hey, no thank you. Also, the director's interest in doing the movie in 3D doesn't sit well with me (I smell lackluster CGI sandworms). Sigh. Let's all get a dose of 80's Dune by checking out these videos of conversations between David Lynch and Frank Herbert. Cool.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Death from Above

So I've been out of the Warhammer scene for a while, but after mulling over the new Blood Angels Codex while in California, I've decided to jump back in. I am planning on taking a break from running my "II M.A.R.S." mechanized army and fielding a jump-pack airborne force. The new Sanguinary Guard models are just too cool, and are ultimately what swayed me. There has been a lot of chatter online about whether or not the Sanguinary Guard are effective for their cost, but models that cool demand to be played. I've always (to my disadvantage, sadly) favored style over substance in my armies anyway.

Today I purchased several different jump pack kits, and began assembling them. I'll try to post some pictures over the next few days as I make progress on painting them up. I've worked up the following 1200 point list; it isn't anything special, but it seems like it will be fun to play with:

*Dante 225

*Honor Guard 265
-Jump Packs
-Chapter Banner Bearer
-Power sword
-Melta Bombs

*Assault Squad (x10) 250
-Power fist
-infernus pistol
-Meltaguns x2

*Sanguinary Guard 230
-Power Fist
-Infernus Pistol x2

*Vanguard Veterans 230
-Glaive Encarmine
-Power Swords x2
-Plasma Pistols x2
-Thunder Hammer

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

War Story Wednesday: Man VS Gold

My father and I recently spent a week in northern California prospecting for gold. It was quite the fun time, although we didn't find any gold to speak of. We were actually plagued by a string of bad luck; impassible roads, overflowing creeks, and persistent snowstorms. Still, the beautiful mountain vistas, rich river valleys, and a day out at the coast made for a very fulfilling time.

My father is planning to return later in the summer when the prospecting conditions may be more favorable. I won't be able to join him on account of my new job, but hopefully he is able to locate some of the precious metal. He has grand hopes for finding a glory hole or maybe even making a mining claim (yes, people are still making claims in gold country), but I would be happy if he can back with just a few flakes or nuggets.

Here's wishing him the best of luck.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Working Man

Alright. From now on I really am going to make the effort to stay on top of writing something every day (during the week at least).

So, yesterday I started work at my summer job. I am taking customer service calls and doing invoice processing for Comfort Systems USA, a nation-wide HVAC chain. Not quite the fabulous accounting job I had hoped for, but the billing work that I am doing between calls is part of their accounts receivable process, and as such I am working in the accounting department. I guess we've all got to start somewhere!

It is a seasonal assignment through Office Team & Accountemps (Robert Half International Inc.), and my hope is that if I do a good job on this all summer and can work out a manageable class schedule for fall, that they can get me into a more substantial accounting position. It will really help me hit the ground running when I graduate if I have been working in the industry part time all throughout my senior year.

Time to go get ready now. It sure feels good to be a working man!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


That's right...GOLD!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ahhh! I have felt especially overwhelmed lately. Nothing in particular; I am a bit behind on schoolwork and there are Peoples' Market activities I could be up to, but it isn't really that. I think there is just a lot of apprehension since I (still) don't have internet at home. Also, my apartment has been really cold lately, even with the warm weather.

I am trying to make a daily and weekly schedule and stick to that, I think that will help. Also, I've been trying to go on little walks around my new neighborhood. I would like to switch to either walking, biking, or using public transportation when the weather is nice. I think that will help eat up some of my idle time (the devil for me, always, is my own idle hands), and also help keep me in shape and things.

Okay...gotta put in a solid school day today. I hope you are all out there pulling for me (just a little), I could use the good energy to help push up and out of my little rut I've been in...

Friday, March 12, 2010

People's Market Site Makeover & General Awesomeness

The Peoples' Market website has received a welcome and fabulous update:

We have our friends over at Third Sun to thank, as well as Patrick Commiskey, PR Guru, Tweeting Expert, and horn section in the market's house band. One of the coolest new features is an online vendor application.

In other Peoples' Market news, we have been officially recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt public charity, and we were selected to receive a Pete Suazo Community Justice Award for Community Leadership and Advocacy.

Still no convenient internet at my apartment...regular posts will resume then.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cut off at the Apartment

So...whichever of my neighbors whom I was piggy-backing off of slapped a password on their network mid-week, hence the lack of posts since then. Soon I will get the internet I had set up at my parents' moved to the apartment. Then I won't have to rely on errant wifi signals.

So what have I been up to lately? The highlights included:

*Having my parents over for dinner; I made them the lovely mushroom-alfredo pasta that I perfected while at Better Living's.

*Wearing blazers/sports-coats with all sorts of outfits! Mixing up jeans, dress shirts, v-neck shirts, blue blazer, old pinstripe gray suit jacket, varied belts, a tie once, french cuffs a few times...

*Dropping off my Mr. Mac suit to get altered down to at least somewhat fit me, now that I am back to my Marine Corps lean-and-mean build. I also picked up some patterned, french-cuffed, no-wrinkle, and even spread-collared new shirts, as I have yet to encounter such nice shirts at Mr. Mac.

*Financing a television and getting the apartment moved along towards a a state of being fully and fashionably furnished.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fever Blerg


Came home early from class with a that I thought had gone away, but is now keeping me up.

I just want to sleep, but it is so hot...

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Job Well Done

So, the DEX competition over the weekend proved to be very fruitful for my fellow Westminster College students and I. There were three of us competing, and in each of our events, we took 3rd place. Hi-ho! Sounds like an auspicious start to me! Now, we just need to go wave our awards in the Dean's face and try to drum up some publicity, and I think that the Westminster College chapter of Delta Epsilon Chi may actually become a reality.

I was also pleased to see a multitude of fellow DEXers sporting French cuffs and cuff-links. While my initial reaction was sadness (I no longer hold the monopoly on elegance within DEX), ultimately I was happy to see men taking pride in their appearance, and having the guts to wear French cuffs, ties in colors besides black and gray, and even one three piece suit!

I found myself more satisfied with the weekend than I had expected, and I decided to reward myself accordingly; I purchased two essential items that no household should be without:

A Bodum double-walled French press and a bright orange Le Creuset kettle!

Of course, my thanks must go out to Better Living, for introducing me to the vastly superior coffee that a French press produces. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 Utah Delta Epsilon Chi State Career Developmemt Conference

It's that magical time of year again...when Utah's wackiest business misfits, slickerthanshit future used car salesmen, and well-styled leaders of tomorrow (*ahem*) gather together under the auspice of education to:

*Suffer through an almost unbearably contrived "opening session", wherein the state officers (I am one, sadly) embarrass us all by poorly reading directly from a uniquely uninspired script. Then, after a bathroom and leg-stretching break, a grade-A, class act keynote speaker is brought up...and speaks for about 45 minutes too long.

*Compete in wildly varied business role-playing simulations and presentations (to win medals and glory for ourselves and our schools); there are over twenty events and everyone can choose two. I am doing Financial Service and Financial Statement Analysis.

*Meet exciting business wierdos from all over....Utah.

*Catch hell AGAIN from the Dixie and Weber students about how alcohol should not be consumed by students attending the conference, even after hours.

*And finally, in spite of all the sarcasm and bitterness stated above (which is certainly intentional, but also exaggerated for comedy), the best part is seeing old friends, making new ones, and looking damn good while doing it.

; )

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Home Sweet Empty Home

So, though I've had the lease signed since last week, I didn't move in to my new apartment in a functional way until the past couple of days. I have the bare necessities: PB&J, honey-nut cheerios, several gallons of gatorade, towels, an old futon mattress to sleep on in the meantime while the weather precludes transportation of my nice bed and chest of drawers.

Let me say, it sure is exciting to be out on my own; my head is spinning thinking of all the furniture I would love to have, and all of the finer things that I want to get so that I can have a nice quality life. There are moments when I worry that I will simply rush out and buy exactly all the fancy items that Better Living taught me to appreciate...but of course, it being my place and all, and my taste being so varied, I am sure it will (eventually) have a uniqueness to it that doesn't sacrifice style or function.

Here is the morning light coming in through the nifty bay windows...
...and, though drearily adorned with some pillows and a metal folding chair (which is VINTAGE and Bombproof and the only good find after many hours combing the D.I.), I still am just thrilled to death to be able to look out across my vast living room and know that I am king of all I survey. Now, let's get to filling some of the voids...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wild Weekend Roundup

So, my long-time friend Carlos headed home to Vegas yesterday. Our long weekend, while exhausting, featured quite the assortment of fun activities:

1. Skiing and Snowboarding: I skied whilst Carlos boarded, and though my skill level is well beyond his, we were both equally worn out and sore the entire weekend. We didn't get in as much time on the slopes as we had wanted, but we did make it up there and had a good time. Also, we managed to not get hurt!

2. Gaming: We got in several rounds of Halo on Xbox Live, with my dad playing as well. Long live team Atredies! Also, Carlos and I played the card game "Flux" for the first time. This wacky card game has become all the rage with my friends, and comes in several different flavors (we played Martian Flux).

3. SLC Nightlife: It is no wonder that, being single and having come from Las Vegas, Carlos was eager to go out on the prowl each night. I think I spent more time in bars and clubs this past weekend than I have in the entire preceding year. It was a total blast, though neither of us had much success with the ladies. I really enjoyed flirting, meeting new people, and tossing around big tips that made the bartenders smile.

4. Shooting: I took Carlos to the indoor range, where we fired CAR-15 and M-9 equivalents. Carlos had only done the tiniest bit of pistol shooting before, but with a few helpful tips from me (I was a rifle and pistol coach in the Marine Corps, after all), he got pretty damn good pretty damn quick. I even saved our targets, mainly because I was impressed with his accuracy.

5. Paintball: Carlos had also never played paintball, so after a quick Google search, we found a good indoor field with remarkably decent prices. We played a total of 6 matches with strangers, about 8 players to a team, and did fairly well. We were always on the same team, and our team won most of the time. Unfortunately, in the second-to-last match Carlos took a shot right in the goggles, leaving him essentially blind for the final match.

....and I think that covers most of it. It was a great time for me, and Carlos seemed to enjoy himself quite a bit as well. My thanks go out to him for coming to visit, and to my family and friends for the generous hospitality they extended to him. We've got a plan in the works now to meet up in Vegas with Dustin...let's hope that works out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Special

So the heavens opened and let their light shine down on a glorious ski day. Now we'll get to really enjoy ourselves.

Snowbird Mountain Stats
Average Annual Snowfall: 500”
Vertical Drop: 3,240’
Base Elevation: 7,760’
Top Elevation: 11,000’
Skiable Acres: 2,500’
Terrain: 27% Beginner, 38% Intermediate, 35% Advanced
Number of Runs: 85
Lifts: 1 tram, 4 quads, 6 doubles
Miles to Major Airport: 29

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Late Edition

Lease= signed.
Apartment = empty

Lift tickets = bought.
Mountain = socked in with clouds :(

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Tremendous Trample of Thursday!

Oh my what a day!

9:00 AM: Checking out the apartment that I am almost certainly going to move into. There is a totally excellent large living room. Now I have graduated to thinking about, stressing over, and delighting in FURNISHINGS!

12:00 PM: Managerial and Cost Accounting. Oh the fun fun accounting times for him...he was a willful little accountant...

2:30 PM: Carlos, my classmate and friend from grades 1-12, age 5-26 and counting, will arrive via promotional rate flight from Las Vegas.

In an interstellar burst...

So I have had a very busy and productive day today, and I am feeling pretty good about myself. I have been trying to change how certain things in my life operate, and one of those things involves writing a post 7 days a week.

Now we'll see how long I make it...