Monday, December 24, 2007

Anniversary Dream

I don't know if it was the Christmas holiday or the decade and a half anniversary of me returning home from Norway! on December 19, but last night I had a dream that I had to go back and serve some more mission!!! I flee over, but was told that I would be serving in the Danish mission, which I was okay with, but when met with the mission president, he told me that Greenland was a part of the Danis mission and he was sending me there! I woke up completely startled, worried that I might have to go to the even further north than Norway... and THAT'S saying something.

Can you imagine serving in Greenland? That ranks up there with South Provo for sucky places to serves mission. Although at least with global warming, Greenland would be warmer than Utah.

Friday, December 14, 2007

You only exist if you're looking at me

This morning I learned a painful yet important lesson. Trudging out to the bus stop on a cold, wintery morning, knowing that a bus was coming any second, I had hoped to minimize the time spent trying to keep warm. When I was within 5 feet of the stop, the bus zoomed by! Evidently my proximity to the bus stop wasn't enough to signal that I wanted on the frickin' bus. No, they expect you to be standing at the stop, looking the driver square in the eye, flailing your arms as much as possible, and flashing money or something else if you want the bus to stop. By the time the next bus lumbered up, it was all I could do to flail my numb limbs more than 6", but fortunately the money was frozen to my hand, so I didn't have to clutch it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Only three more days until Margaret and I make the trek back to Utah Zion© for the holidays. We're so ready to get away from work/being-reminded-that-we-need-to-remodel-our-bathrooms/dreary weather that we can taste it. Although with leaving so early necessitates us cramming activities into every day between now and our departure date, which has us multi-tasking like crazy. Although not as crazy as this contraption I saw on the Internets:

The Victorian-era rocking chair/butter churn/cradle oscillator. Intended as a means to harness "hitherto wasted female power," the levers-and-pulleys-intensive device was designed to divert its user from wasteful feminine pursuits like "novels, beaux, embroidery," and the making of "opera-boxes and bonnets."

My gosh! With all the energy Margaret pours into her opera-boxes, beaux, bonnets, and embroidery, she could be powering my Wii; "Rock faster! I'm almost to level ten!" Think of the money we'd save!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Stuck in the airport

I came home to Idaho over the weekend and planned on flying back first thing Monday morning and get back to Portland before work even noticed I was gone. It would have worked out, too, if there hadn't been a big snowstorm last night and delayed all the flights. And of course instead of being trapped in a big airport with shops and restaurants and indoor toilets, I'm stuck in the Lewiston, Idaho airport, where I can buy a "Darth Tater" t-shirt with a potato dressed as the villain on the front. Thank heavens they have a wi-fi signal... and not just in the outhouse, or I'd be going crazy right now.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Frog Prince

This was forwarded to me and I couldn't resist:

A old widow was very lonely, so she decided that she needed a pet to keep her company. Off to town she went to find a pet shop. Upon entering the pet store she began her search for the right companion. Nothing seemed to catch her interest except an extremely ugly and wart-covered frog. As she walked by the barrel he was in, he looked up and winked at her! The frog whispered to her, ‘I’m lonely too! Buy me and you won’t be sorry.’ The woman figured, what the heck, she hadn’t found anything else. So, she bought the frog and sat him next to her in her old pickup as she drove away.

Down the road the frog whispered to her again, ‘Kiss me! You won’t be sorry.’ So, the old lady looked behind her in the mirror and figured what the heck and kissed the frog. Immediately the frog turned into a tall, handsome, buff, young man. Then he kissed her back and do you know what the old lady TURNED INTO?

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

She turned into the first motel she could find!

Let's fly away!

Hey! Why are you staring at my crotch?

(Hmm, I wonder if these come in khaki?)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Buck's Brownies©

Last night, right as I was sitting down to watch the season finale of Heroes (which was great, by the way), I got an email from a former fellow Norwegian missionary/pseduo-fiancĂ© (it's a long story that I'll regale you with at another time). Anyway, just like on the movie "National Treasure," she'd uncovered a holy grail everyone... even this item's creator... thought was lost to the sands of time. Yes, she had rediscovered the lost recipe of Buck's Brownies©! Self-declared "The ONLY Decent Brownies in the Universe." They were the most coveted and delicious of all the missionary brownies we had in Norway. The last time I was able to partake in their ambrosia-like perfection was in a little village in southern Norway near the end of the last century and with the disappearance of any known copies of the recipe, the next time I thought I'd get to taste them was at the welcome reception they host in the Celestial Kingdom.

You may think that I'm exaggerating about these brownies, but they truly were legendary. Everyone talked about them in hushed whispers and passed the recipe, carefully crafted by none other than "The Buck" himself, (actually, his name was Dan Buck, but he was never called Dan or even "Elder Buck" which would have been what we should have called him... he was just "Buck.") only to our closest friends.

In one of my areas, I sustained a sledding injury (another story for a later time) and was housebound for several weeks. Well, my companion and I lived on muesli and these brownies. Seriously, we made a batch a day for several weeks. In fact we were constantly running low on eggs (and money, as eggs are very expensive in Norway) as the recipe calls for A THIRD OF A DOZEN EGGS (okay, that's only four, but a third of a dozen sounds more impressive)! It's a good thing we were young, as these brownies have enough cholesterol to require you to dissolve Lipitor in the milk you drink with them. It was here that we discovered the rebellious-feeling modification to alter the recipe, replacing the almond extract with rum extract. Mmmmm. Sacrilicious!

Okay, one more Buck's Brownie's© story before you're completely bored of me talking about dessert. One time, a visiting church General Authority from Salt Lake was visiting the Norway mission. It was a HUGE thing, and every missionary in the country came to Oslo to hear him. Since I was serving in Oslo at the time and knew the scheduling secretary pretty well, I hand picked the exact missionaries who would be staying at our apartment. Needless to say, it wasn't the group you'd expect to stay up late into the night discussing the scriptures and gospel principles and kneeling in prayer. What we did stay up late into the night doing... and I'm talking about 4 or 5 in the morning... was play games and, you guessed it, eat Buck's Brownies©. The elder who made them refused to let anyone eat them unless they were frosted. And since we'd run out of powdered sugar, we needed to walk to the 7-11 a mile away to get some. It was around midnight when we set out on that trek, and the entire group... all 10 of us... had to go because no one trusted that those left behind wouldn't eat the brownies while we were gone. After getting back and frosting the brownies, we then had enough sugar in our systems to keep us buzzed until almost 5 am. The General Authority talk was at 9 am, so it should come as no surprise that none of us really heard much of the talk. I don't blame myself as much as I do the Buck's Brownies© for my spiritual downfall.

Now, without further ado, I give you the actual recipe, written in The Buck's OWN HANDWRITING, and written on a sacred missionary weekly planning sheet, to boot! Enjoy! (But don't forget the Lipitor.)

(click on the image for a larger version)

Thanks, Jennifer. From your discovery, the world will never stumble in the dark without the recipe for Buck's Brownies©.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wind storm

Well the Oregon coast got its first ever hurricane warning and it's been quite a doozy already. Yesterday there were wind gusts up to 100 mph and 45 foot ocean swells. Lots of towns were without power and the second part of the storm is supposed to hit sometime this morning. The saddest part of the storm is that it blew the top off the co-highest Sitka spruce tree in the world (it was over 200 feet tall). Now those bastards in Washington with THEIR Sitka spruce get all the glory and all we have is a stump to pull over on the highway to gawk at.

And gawk at it we did. We only drove by that tree once without looking at it. It was THAT amazing. And now some paper company will reduce the once-glorious pinnacle of Sitka spruce achievement to a couple hundred rolls of toilet paper.

Talk about inflation!

If you go to this website, you'll be able to find out little tidbits about how old you are, like the fact that I'm 13,455 days old! (Or put another way, I'm a bouncing 448-month-old boy.)

And speaking of 448 months ago, check out these numbers from the year of my birth:

Bread: $0.25/loaf
Milk: $1.32/gal
(That's how much we pay for a 20 oz. bottle of WATER nowadays!)
Eggs: $1.18/doz
Car: $3,742
(That's how much car insurance costs... well maybe not EXACTLY that much, but it FEELS like it.)
Gas: $0.36/gal
House: $28,300
(Can you even buy a decent CAR for that much!)
Stamp: $0.08/ea
Avg Income: $11,583/yr
Min Wage: $1.60/hr
DOW Avg: 890

You can check your own at here.