Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Recently watching TV I have been seeing a lot of Nikon commercials. It's that whole series endorsed by Ashton Kutcher. Now at first I liked them, but now I find them more and more annoying(the commerials, not so much the cameras...well maybe some of the cameras). And you know me, I'm constantly trying to protect the sanctity of cameras. 
So when I first see the commercial for the new Nikon D90, it does sound like a good camera, 12 megapixels, the D80's update(I liked the D80), slightly faster, blah, blah, blah. But then they say it has Video Mode that shoots HD movie!! Wait! Say what?! Video mode?! Why on earth would a digital single lens reflex camera need video mode? I'm sorry but that's just not the point of an SLR! Thank goodness this camera isn't high-end. These stupid consumers who want to be just like professionals with their little dSLR's. And now they want stupid video mode? I mean, I love video mode on my little point-and-shoot as much as the next person, but I would not want my camera taking energy and function away from my still shooting. And those who get the D90 to shoot video should be ashamed of themselves. It's like those rich people who buy $8,000 cameras just because they can, even though they don't know how to use it, and their pictures turn out mediocre. As if they thought they could get better pictures just because they have an awesome camera. It makes me want to vomit! j/k But no, seriously if Canon ever thinks of putting video mode in their cameras, I might disown them!! I think I will write them an email....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposition 8

Yes of course I have to blog about this. I've gotten pretty worked up over it. Maybe I've gotten so worked up that I have a disproportionate view, but I don't think so. It's a huge issue here in Utah because of the high concentration of LDS people. I don't want this to be too long, but I feel I must get this off my chest, and out in the open. I'm sure I'll get some flack for it but whatever...

First off, I actually think Prop 8 is kind of silly. It seems like all we are fighting about is one word, "marriage". If Prop 8 does not pass, then civil unions between same-sex couples will be deemed a marriage. So we're wasting all this money on a single word to be applied to same sex civil unions? Yea...there are many other more important causes we could spend money on...like helping 3rd world countries, or improving the environment.

Moving on, of course being an LDS Democrat, I'm kinda torn on the whole same-sex thing anyway. On one hand, being LDS, I obviously don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle. But on a different level, I feel they deserve the same rights, status and privileges heterosexual couples get. I'm absolutely in love with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights and it's shameful how we often forget about these important, fundamental documents our country was founded upon. If it hadn't been for these papers, our country would not be what it is today. Specifically a passage from the Declaration of Independence states-

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

So who are we to say, "No you cannot have a civil union because you are of the same sex."? I've gotten ahold of a few reasons our society would be doomed if Prop 8 does not pass. And I present them below.

1. Children in school will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage.
     -There has been talk that parents are not allowed to pull their kids out of school if there is material being taught they would rather their children not hear. I think that children should know that there are same-sex couples out there. I am also living proof that you can support same-sex marriage and still support the church. I feel in my conscience that is the right position for me, and I will teach my children tolerance for all lifestyles even if my religious beliefs don't necessarily agree. And who says you can't pull your kids out of school? If it means that much, school districts will usually allow you to enroll your child in another district, or you could enroll them in a private school or even home school them. This is similar to the whole issue about teaching evolution in school, or stopping the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance because it talks about God. Plus, whatever happened to the PTA? Or to School Board meetings where parents could go and voice their opinions about various things?

2. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide same-sex couple housing, even if counter to church doctrine.
     -This is absolutely not a valid issue. A PRIVATELY funded school has the right to do whatever they see fit, without pressure from the government. That's the whole point that it's PRIVATE! It's not in any part, owned by the government. It's like saying the government is going to force you to allow someone in your PRIVATE home. They can do that if they want to compensate you (see Amendment 3 of the Bill of Rights), but otherwise it's a private matter. There is a PUBLIC college (the name escapes me right now) that is considered a Jewish school. It is not private however, so in that case, then yes this school would eventually have to allow same-sex couples housing (which actually might just be allowing same-sex couples to live in the married housing). That's the point though, they cannot discriminate because they are partially funded by the government, and the government has a say.

3. It will cost you money. This change will bring about a cascade of lawsuits. (e.g. photographers cannot refuse to take pictures of gay couples, doctors cannot refuse to artificially inseminate gays, even given other willing doctors)
     -So isn't one of our whole ideals is that we cannot discriminate against anyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender? Isn't that Fair Employment Act thing at the bottom of every job application you fill out? So as I am a photographer, if I refuse to take photographs of a gay couple, aren't I discriminating against them? So basically they have the right to sue me. Yes I have the right to refuse, but they also have to right to react to my decision. As much as some might say it isn't about not tolerating same-sex couples, this reason seems to me all about intolerance of the same-sex lifestyle. We have a choice but we also have to deal with any consequences. That's free agency.

4. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriage may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines.
     -This is a potential issue. But because of our beloved Bill of Rights, the First and one of the most important Amendments is freedom of speech. Now it has been stated that the First Amendment may not necessarily apply to "hate speech". But in conjunction with Amendment 2, Freedom of Religion, this could protect ministers from lawsuits. In addition, you can call being gay a religion as well. And I could be in error saying this next sentence because I seem to have a fault with always wanting to see the good in people, but I don't think that the "gays" are out to get us "straight" people. Yes there are going to be a select few who might want to sue over every reason, but they just want the same rights and status as heterosexual couples. Some fear that homosexuals will try to force their lifestyle on the world, but this is absolutely not the case. All the gay people I've known have never tried to force their lifestyle on me, and sometimes even joke about it themselves. They are sometimes even more tolerant than us "heteros". 

There are a few more reasons in this list, but right now it's 12:30am and I'm too tired to type more. Maybe in the next few days I will address the rest. This whole situation seems very familiar to me...hmmmm where have I seen this before? Could it be from the 1970's when Blacks were fighting for Civil Rights? Could we go through all these reasons and substitute "blacks" for "gays"? Could all these have been issues back then? Has the passing of Civil Rights for ALL people regardless of race ruined our country? The answer to all questions is "yes" except for the last one which of course is "no". I honestly don't see any difference between what is happening now, as opposed to what happened during the Civil Rights movement. Yes there were some bumps along the road of integration, but it's all pretty smooth now. There will always be opposition in the things we do, because that's the beauty of our country. We have the blessing of being able to think whatever we want and being able to worship however we want. As LDS members, "We claim the privilege of worshipping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow ALL men to the same privilege, let them worship how where or what they may."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Creeped Out

Right now it's midnight and I'm in my room. Big G (my grandma for those who don't know) has this doorbell that when you ring it, it plays two songs. There's a song for the back door and one for the front. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it would appear that the doorbell wiring has shorted or something because it will randomly play a note or two. Well occasionally it'll play like 1/4 of the song and then just cut out! Eeek!! Needless to say I'm a little freaked out. Apparently Big G heard it at 3am last night! 

Of course it starts right around Halloween, and adds to the fact that I've always been a little afraid of my grandmas house for some reason. It really doesn't make sense that I should be afraid of it. No one has died in the house except my grandpa, who was a fantastic man and I can't imagine he would be haunting the house. Also my grandparents built the house, so they are the only ones who have ever lived here. 

I've had this fear for as long as I can remember. To give you a picture of the layout, there are two bedrooms on the first floor, and there is a bedroom in the basement. When my family would visit, my grandparents of course had their room on the first floor, and my parents would stay in the other upstairs bedroom. Us kids would then have to sleep either in the basement bedroom (which was usually my older sister and brother since they were more "seasoned"), or they had a hide-a-bed (bed in a couch, occupied by me and my other older sister) which was located in the basement "family room". I typically would feel fine when I slept upstairs. But when I had to sleep in the basement, even in the bedroom down there, I would always feel like I was being watched. Even when it was just me and my mom visiting and she was downstairs with me (since often there were quite a lot of family staying) I could never shake it. Plus the house would always make strange noises and I just didn't feel comfortable. I figured when I got older I would grow out of it, but even now as I'm almost 22 I still get uneasy feelings here. I get it upstairs (more so when all the lights are off and I'm staring down the dark hallway), but usually it's still the basement that gets me. I used to shower at night and most of the time everyone had gone to bed by the time I was finished, and there are several dark storage rooms down there where there could easily be someone or something lurking. I will say though, one time(only a year ago) I was in Big G's room watching TV. My mom came in for a brief second, turned to leave and right as she was about to go through the door, a wind chime ACROSS the room started swinging and chiming. Now I'm not about to use that as evidence that the place is haunted. My mom had been over there and could have brushed the wind chime with her head. But what we thought was weird was that it didn't start chiming until several seconds later, where it should've started chiming as soon as my mom brushed it(if indeed she did). Plus there was no window open where the wind could blow it, nor were the floor vents blowing. Hmmmm..... 

So again I've constantly wondered why this house creeps me out so much. As far as I know it's been a place of happiness, so there shouldn't be a reason why it would feel this way. I'm one of those people who's really into ghosts, but the thought of actually seeing one scares the crap out of me. I've gotten into this show called Ghost Hunters and watching that has educated me a little bit on the subject of the paranormal. What I like about this show over other ones of the same type is that they use scientific devices to catch hauntings. They don't just go into a place and "feel" that it's haunted. They use video cameras, thermal cameras, EMF detectors, and sound recorders to solidify the presence of a spirit. They say about 80% of locations people claim to be haunted really aren't (or they just didn't get any proof). One tool that I'd like to get my hands on is the EMF detector. EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field. It's basically energy that some believe are spirits trying to manifest (or show themselves). The only issue with this tool, is that it also picks up electricity. You can usually tell if what the EMF is picking up is a bonafied spirit, or just electricity by moving the device around. If it seems like the "reading" is coming from the wall or a light socket then it's obviously man-caused. However, sometimes the energy field seems like it's just floating in mid-air, with no apparent source. This would indicate that something is trying to manifest. So long story short (too late) I'd like to use this device to see whether or not there's a strong EMF field coming from somewhere in the basement. You see, it's not usual that wires, sockets, lights, or electrical boxes have EMF readings. Even though there's electricity flowing through them all the time, good electrical devices block the EMF's from "seeping" out. The reason for this, is because high EMF's can cause sickness, uneasiness and a feeling of being watched for those who are sensitive to it. If the EMF is really high, even people who normally wouldn't be affected can still sense it. So not to say that when my grandparents built the house they used crappy electrical stuff (although who knows since it was built over 50 years ago). But there could easily be an EMF leak somewhere and I wonder (well more like hope) that this is the cause of my fear. Although, it could be as silly as my brother or mischievous cousins, scaring me at some point and then as a result me being scared the rest of my life. You'd think I'd remember that though if it caused such a huge effect on me. 

But wow, this turned into one silly thing as the doorbell short circuiting, to a long essay about Big G's house. I guess I wasn't as tired as I thought.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hodge Podge of Thoughts...

When I found out that I would have to stay in Utah for 5 weeks, after I returned from Alaska I didn't know what I was going to do to pass the time. I thought, should I get a job? I considered it for awhile, but just didn't because I was a little burned out from working 70 hours a week for 5 months. So then my mom suggested I get a bike! I wasn't sure of the idea at first, but the more I looked into it, the more I wanted one. So I figured out how much I could spend, and headed over to my local bike shop. I was really set on getting a Specialized. My Dad recently got a Specialized road bike, and my brother-in-law has a Specialized mountain bike. I guess everyone and their mother also wanted a Specialized, because the bike shop didn't have any, nor did Specialized have any in their warehouse (of the models I was interested in). So the bike shop guy steered me toward Trek. Now I still wish a little that I would've been able to get a Specialized, but the Trek 7.2 FX WSD I got is awesome!! It's a hybrid, so the tires aren't as narrow as a road bike (does better on gravel) but not as wide as a mountain bike. It was delivered on Tuesday and all I did was take it out for a short 2 mile spin. On Wednesday though I went out longer (a little over 14 miles), and I discovered the bike path down Hobble Creek Canyon! Today I'm going to lengthen my ride to at least 15 miles (if my butt can go that far, it's a little sore), and eventually I want to get up to 20 miles. I still have about 2.5 weeks until I leave so that'll be plenty of time. When my parents get here, we want to do a ride along the Provo River bike trail, which sounds really fun!!

Onto other matters, the widely talked about GOP VP Nom Sarah Palin!! I hate talking about her because everyone talks about her, but I have to get a few thoughts out in the open. First and foremost, the incident at the Flyers game a few nights ago. Now I will admit, as much as I dislike the woman I did feel a little bad for her when over half the audience was booing her as she walked out to drop the first puck. But then I thought, well honestly she deserves it. Why does she think she deserves, or has the experience to be the Vice President of the United States? Just because John McCain picked her, doesn't mean she is a good choice. In fact, like I said before in one of my previous blog entry, what rock did her find her under? I mean you pick one of the smallest populated states in the country, grab the governor and say "hey! wanna be my VP running mate?". To be frank, it's extremely selfish on her part. She has to realize that she doesn't have the experience to be the VP and she thinks it's OK to bring the country down even further than where it is now? And then she goes around slamming Obama for random things to ruin his credibility when in fact she has no credibility herself. I have as much foreign policy experience as she does. In fact I might have more! j/k The fact that she didn't have a passport until 2006, I'd already had mine for three years! Why don't I run for VP?

Now I know that there are some people who just love her and hate the fact that the "liberal" media keeps poking fun at her. And some claim that if it were any other woman, they wouldn't be trying to "crucify" her all the time. I'm sure Hillary got her fair share, and now the media has moved on. And really, if she can't handle the media then she shouldn't be in the spotlight. Even the Europeans get that she's a horrible choice, calling her a "half baked Alaskan disaster". It's not just Palin I'm afraid of. It's McCain also. There was one line that caught my attention during the last Presidential Debate. It was when Obama said the if we vote McCain in office we'll get the same policies that have been plaguing us for the last eight years. Now I for one, want change. Let's put aside the fact that some of us just can't "bring ourselves to vote Democrat" and finally be responsible for our country. 

Being in Utah, the most conservative state in the world, I have heard many strange things coming from people about why they dislike Obama. One is that he spends more on his campaign than McCain does. Seriously? Um, well if McCain had the money he would spend it too. Why should it matter if Obama spends a lot of money on his campaign. I will admit I see less pro-McCain ads, but is this really a legitimate reason to dislike Obama? Give me a break!! I know practically no one reads my blog, which is probably good since I seem to babble a lot and smash the Republicans (and the majority of my family is conservative). But I was sent this article which is a good read for political affiliation. The link should post somewhere in this entry...