Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Laverkin Photos...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Green Meteors and Ham...

Tonight, on my way home from Laverkin, I saw a huge green fireball in the western sky...It was streaking from about 110 degrees from the south...I guess fireballs are quite rare and I feel lucky to have seen it. The last time I saw fireballs, I was only 7 or 8-years old. We were leaving President Bradshaw's house in Phillipsburg Montana and saw a red fireball, followed by a green or blue fireball. My dad said something about them maybe landing in Stuart Lake, but obviously they just burned up in the atmosphere. They are cool though...

Monday, November 27, 2006

It is official...

I spoke with my chair today. He has been sick with the flu and that is why he didnt' get back to me earlier. He approved the changes I made, and I currently have 3 of the 6 signatures I need. I am waiting for two committee members to show up to work, then I need to get the Dean to sign it. I am so excited to be done...of course now I need to worry about getting a psych resident license and studying for the EPPP... :(

Saturday, November 25, 2006

They didn't disappoint

I watched the BYU-Utah game and it was amazing. I thought after the first quarter, when it was 14-0, that BYU was going to blow out another team. Then Utah played well the second and third quarters. The fourth quarter, they were up 10 on BYU, then BYU turned the tables and was up 3. Then with only 2 minutes left in the game, the Utes marched down the field, converted on a fourth and 2, then scored with 69 seconds left in the game. That 69 seconds was barely enough for the Cougars, with John Beck at the helm, to march down the field to the Utah 5 yard line. A messed up count, led to Curtis Brown losing 5 yards on a run, as the line did not block well on that play. So the Cougars were down 4 points with 3.2 seconds left in the game. John Beck took the snap from the shotgun. The line was blocking well...but no receivers were very open. Time expired. John rolled to his left, then a linebacker came at him. John then rolled to the right, someone picked up the linebacker, and John threw back to his left, across his body to a very open Tight-end Harline who caught the ball kneeling down in the endzone. It was the most exciting finish to a game I have ever witnessed, and we beat our rivals. :)

A touch of class, I saw Weddle congratulating John Beck at the end of the game and both players had a smile on their face. I know it was a well-fought contest, a hard loss, but Weddle still showed great sportsmanship. I hope to see both he and Beck in the NFL next year.

"They're as good as any top 10 team, I promise you that"--Rocky Long, UNM Head Coach

Well, BYU plays Utah today...I know BYU has been playing well, but I worry that their confidence might turn into overconfidence. BYU players were predicting a blow-out victory. If they execute well, it will be a blow-out, but I just hope they don't get overemotional in this emotional rivalry and blow it...We'll see at 1:30 MST

Opportunity Cost...

My daughter had a "crabby" day. Today when we got home from shopping, she was so whiny! Someone would just look at her and set her off into tears. She was crying most of the night. She only gets that way when she is tired, so just before sending her to bed, I had a little talk with her. I asked her what it means when she is crying all the time, and she recognized that this means she is tired. I asked her when she is tired, why doesn't she just go to bed, or take a nap, so she can wake up happy. She responded, "I might sleep a long time and not get up." She basically was saying that she might miss out on something because she would sleep too long. I used to be the king of opportunity cost. In elementary school, my friends would invite me to their house. When I would ask my mom if I could go, I always wanted to find out what I might miss if I did go. I would ask if she was going to make cookies, or buy candy bars for the family, or take them to icecream, or play a fun game, etc. If a friend invited me to a sleepover, I wouldn't want to commit until I knew that another friend wasn't going to invite me. In college, I would never commit to date a girl on the weekend, in case a better opportunity came up. The funny thing is, always counting the opportunity cost made me lose out on a lot of opportunities. I think I do better with this now, but still realize I do it to some extent. I think over-analyzing the opportunity cost of a situation can be paralyzing to some degree....
I asked my daughter if she had fun this afternoon/evening. She had to admit that she really didn't. She was so worried that she might miss out on something, that she was miserable for half of the day. Anyone else play the opportunity cost game?

Black Friday...

First, I want to congratulate Officemax on their great website, and offering Post-Thanksgiving deals on Thanksgiving...I ordered many cheap SD cards (1GB for $12.50) for my camera and future MP3 players... That helped me beat the rush today...

We got up at 5:30 to go mingle with the masses in seeking out great deals. I purchased another SD card (you can never have too much memory), a 60 GB handheld external harddrive for $40, a $16 "SmartGlove" for my poor carpal tunnel afflicted hand, a $1.99 protractor for my son (math class), an $8 USB jumpdrive (1GB) for my wife, a leather executive chair for my desk for $49 as the other one was broken so badly, that you would almost tip over and fall on the floor if you leaned to one side or the other, and another expensive purchase that shall remain nameless for now...It was fun to get some good deals...

The worst place to shop today: Circuit City...They advertised 1GB SD Cards for $2.99, and 1GB jumpdrives for $3.99...Every man, woman, and child in the Provo/Orem area must have been crammed in that store. I went in and left after 4 or 5 minutes it was so bad. I don't care how good their deals are, it isn't worth standing in line for 3 hours.

The best place to shop today: Officemax...they allowed many purchases to be made via their website on Thanksgiving. Also, they didn't advertise cheap computer memory, so not very many people were crowding there. I was in and out within 5 minutes with a purchase.

Second best place to shop today: Staples...They had a lady walking up and down the lines, scanning purchases and giving plastic cards with the amount..then all you had to do was hand the card to the cashier and pay them...It made it move a bit faster.

I am tired after all that shopping (we did more that I won't detail on here)...Unfortunately, I have to work all night (11-7) and then all morning (7-3) tomorrow... :(

12 and 1

The Jazz came from behind in the 4th quarter to beat the Lakers by 6 points...this is the best start they have ever had, and I think they are going to continue to improve. Nice to have the Jazz back...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cougars Win All Out Conference Title

And speaking of my favorite teams, the BYU Cougars beat New Mexico, John Beck became the second BYU Cougar (along with Ty Detmer) to have over 10,000 all purpose offensive yards, and Curtis Brown became the all-time rushing leader for BYU...It all happened today. Great Season!!! I am proud to be a BYU fan again...

Jazz Festival...Top of the NBA

What is up with the Jazz??? I have always been a fan, but I might actually become a fan that watches games and shows more interest in the game...I guess that makes me a fair weather fan...

Thursday, November 16, 2006


It appears that scientists have begun mapping DNA from Neanderthal fossils...Mapping the DNA will enable them to discover more about the species, if Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor, and if Neanderthals bred with homo sapiens. The news article I read stated:

"While the DNA shows no evidence of widespread interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals, scientists say the study is far from over."

Maybe it will prove true that when people call someone a Neanderthal when they are crude, rude, or criminal, they really are part Neanderthal. How would it be to find out you were part Neanderthal?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kurdistan: The Other Iraq

I saw this video today on the internet and found it very moving...I wish the whole of Iraq would lay down their arms and unite in peace and a spirit of cooperation, then US troops would leave, and Iraq would be an occupied state no more...

Monday, November 13, 2006


I saw a suggested MSN search on Arcoxia...I thought it was a portmanteau for that Arquette guy and Courtney Cox...You know, like Brangelina, Bennifer, etc.

Turns out it was for this:

Results Mixed On Merck's New Painkiller Arcoxia
(AP) CHICAGO The first published studies of Arcoxia, the drug that Merck & Co. hopes will take the place of its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx, are getting mixed reviews from doctors, some of whom say the results do not make a case for the medication's approval. The critics cite not just Arcoxia's side effects but also that Merck tested it against diclofenac, an older painkiller known to raise heart risks. A fairer comparison would have been to a medicine that does not do that, such as naproxen, sold as Aleve, they say."The development program for Arcoxia is fatally flawed," said Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who formerly headed the Food and Drug Administration's cardiac drug advisory panel. "My advice to the FDA is that they should not approve this drug."Dr. David Graham, an FDA drug safety expert who has criticized his agency's handling of Vioxx, agreed."It's my own suspicion that this study was intentionally designed to minimize the possibility of their having a repeat of what happened with VIGOR," the study that revealed Vioxx's heart risks, he said.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Me sorry?

I was showering this morning in preparation for church...My 2-year old came in and opened the curtain and got sprayed with water. The next thing I heard was "Don't do that ever again...okay Daddy?!" and then "Say your sorry!" I was just thinking, "It's my shower, stay away if you don't want to get sprayed." (but apologized anyway...then said "get out.")

Thursday, November 09, 2006


How is this for ironic??? Taken from an AP news story:

"Abu Abdullah, a member of the Sunni minority from the northern city of Mosul, said his sect, fighting in an anti-U.S. rebellion, needs U.S. protection from Shiite militants."

In other words, please protect us from the Shiite militias so we can better wage our insurgency against you...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Almost Done...

I had my oral defense today at 10AM...I spent about 100 minutes explaining my dissertation via powerpoint and answering questions. Then I was asked to wait in the hall. Based on the questions, I was a bit discouraged thinking I would have to put a lot of time and energy into revisions. After about 10 minutes, the door opened, and Dr. Wells shook my hand and said, "Congratulations Dr. Houston!" I wasn't sure how to react. It was somewhat anticlimactic because some work still needs to be done, but not very much. I can have it done in 1 or 2 days of work. I then went to lunch with my wife and treated myself to three hours of fishing in freezing cold water...I even wet-waded. :) It feels good to almost be done....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Torture? Or Immaturity and Unprofessionalism?

I read this part of an AP article today about the 20th hijacker housed at Gitmo.

"Mohammed al-Qahtani, detainee No. 063, was forced to wear a bra. He had a thong placed on his head. He was massaged by a female interrogator who straddled him like a lap dancer. He was told that his mother and sisters were whores. He was told that other detainees knew he was gay. He was forced to dance with a male interrogator. He was strip-searched in front of women. He was led on a leash and forced to perform dog tricks. He was doused with water. He was prevented from praying. He was forced to watch as an interrogator squatted over his Koran.
That much is known. These details were among the findings of the U.S. Army’s investigation of al-Qahtani's aggressive interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

The allegations are that this is torture...

Granted it is unprofessional! Granted it is immature! Granted it likely doesn't work that well at obtaining information! But torture? I don't disagree that such tactics probably shouldn't be used to obtain information, but let's call it what it is...It sounds more like a day in the halls of any high school in the USA (except the lap dance and strip search)...than torture...In other words, professional bullying!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Oral Defense 2: The Sequel

Well, my new chair thinks my dissertation is ready to be defended...I have it scheduled for November 8 (Wed) at 10:00 AM...

Wish me luck....

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Furby with Wings???

What the hell is that on his shoulder? A furby with wings with pyramids in the background?

What do you think it looks like?

Buy My Friend's Voodoo Masks

Here is the latest item I have for sale on Ebay...They are wooden handcarved German masks. Buy them from my friend, and I get a delicious lunch in two weeks at my job... :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Freudian Slips...Slip of the tongue...

I have been following the outrage over Kerry's remarks at a campaign rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides. He apparently said to a group of college students:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

And I am sure he chuckled, and the crowd likely chuckled as this was just one of many "jokes" he told during the rally. Now it turns out that he was supposed to say:

“Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”

Which you have to admit is MUCH funnier...

So why the uproar? At first I thought it was just politics at its best...capitalize on an opponent's mistake, make it a bigger deal than it actually is, etc. However, with further thought, maybe it is a big deal. I don't necessarily think Kerry thinks the troops are stupid, but when he read his prepared remarks, and later shared them with a huge audience, that is what he said, and everyone laughed about it...I doubt anyone booed the remarks, but for some reason, the crowd thought it was funny. Now that actually is disturbing, and disrespectful to the men and women in uniform that are serving our nation in Iraq. Kerry does not need to apologize for the joke that he intended to deliver, because it was hilarious and poked fun only at the Commander and Chief; however, I think he should apologize for his slip of the tongue AND THE REACTION TO IT.

And I think he should stick to reading from a teleprompter from now on whenever he delivers a speech... :)