The Old Testament Prophesies of … Santa Claus?!?

December 20, 2006

Reposted from last year, for your amusement:

Several people have expressed concerns about celebrating pagan symbols, such as Santa Claus, at Christmas, since he is a “lie“. Well — I am here to lay all your concerns to rest, because the Old Testament prophesies of Santa!!! So let’s open up our Old Testaments, shall we?

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F***ing Austria!

December 19, 2006

Since most of you know that I am not one typically giving to swearing, I hope you will forgive me for the title of this post. I am really not intending this as a crass word. This post is about a town called “F***ing” (pronounced “foo-king” in German) Austria. Apparently, the folks in F***ing Austria have had trouble with British tourists removing the F***ing sign (Ronan- if I read about that sign disappearing in the near future, I will know who to call…: Read the rest of this entry »

To Catch a Predator in Murphy, Texas- Update

December 15, 2006

It seems like, generally speaking, the dust is settling in Murphy from that Sting Operation last month orchestrated by Dateline NBC and Perverted Justice. I still am not sure when the Murphy sting will air on television, but it does not appear that it will be this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Journey to a Million

December 15, 2006

I just discovered an interesting new blog run by a fellow Latter-day Saint. It is entitled “Journey to a Million” and the author, Ryan, invites us to “[f]ollow the journey and help or learn along the way” as he attempts to make a million dollars starting with nothing from age 21 to 30. Will he make it??

It seems like his efforts are concentrated on “flipping” Real Estate. Has anyone in the ‘Nacle actually succeeded in doing this? Maybe he should also think about giving away a free handgun with every purchase

It is an interesting notion to be sure.

Free Security System with Home Purchase!

December 15, 2006

A Houston Real Estate Agent is offering an innovative buyer incentive to entice people to purchase new homes- a free handgun. Here is a squib:

Julie Upton, a Houston-area real estate agent, spurned traditional buyer incentives like free gasoline cards or home improvement store gift certificates.

Instead, she placed an advertisement offering a pistol with the purchase of any home worth at least $150,000.

To be fair, the offer is only available to law enforcement personnel. Still, it’s an interesting idea. I say- only in Texas!! 🙂

Patently Google

December 14, 2006

As of yesterday, Google offers the ability to search US patents ( It is text searchable back to at least 1836, and very fast! You can even view images of original patents online. Read the rest of this entry »

The Last Ten Years

December 14, 2006

Tanya S.’s post over at Millennial Star about returning home from her mission ten years ago has made me wax nostalgic about the last ten years. I thought it might be interesting to post squibs about approximately where I was at around this time each year for the last ten years. It might help my readers (the ones who don’t already know me well) to get to know me a bit better.

I would challenge others (especially in the Bloggernacle) to engage in a similar exercise, either on their own blogs (with a link back so I can find it) or in the comments section here- it is fun to think back about where I have been, and I would love to see where you have been. So permit me to now engage in a bit of “navel-gazing“… 🙂

My last ten years:

One year ago (2005):
Just finishing up working my first year at this law firm, getting ready to have our fourth child, and working a TON of hours (it was a very busy time at our firm last year for litigation- a lot of “irons in the fire” so to speak).

Two years ago (2004):
Studying like crazy for my last round of law school final exams at the University of Michigan Law School to graduate in December 2004 from law school. I think Church & State, Evidence, and Patent Law were up on the table then. I was also very busy finishing up some papers (in Complex Litigation and my awesome Bloodfeuds class), grading final exams from my German students (I taught undergraduate German at the University of Michigan), and preparing to move my family to Texas at the end of the year. It was a crazy time!

Three years ago (2003):
Studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan– I think Copyright and First Amendment law were the big substantive courses that semester- and teaching undergraduate German. Andrea and I were also getting ready to move to Texas in the Spring to do a summer clerkship at some law firms in Dallas, and one in Phoenix. This was also the year I started blogging on a (now defunct) blog called “Life According to Jordan”, the domain of which has now been taken over by some calling card scam. 😦

Four years ago (2002):
I was studying for law school exams at the University of Michigan- this time is was contracts, constitutional law, and criminal law that were up for testing (typical first year fair)- and teaching undergraduate German. Blah. It was a tough time- very busy. We were also getting ready for the birth of our third child.

Five years ago (2001):
I was still in my Ph.D. program in German and Linguistics at the University of Michigan and teaching undergraduate German courses. However, I had just taken the LSAT and was secretly applying to law schools around the country to get out of the Ph.D. program, facets of which I intensely disliked. I was so glad to be admitted to the University of Michigan Law School one month later, where my family and I could stay put in family housing and where I could keep teaching and have the German department pay my law school tuition (which they did!!) 🙂

Six years ago (2000):
I had just finished the first semester of my Ph.D. program in German and linguistics at the University of Michigan, as well as my first semester teaching undergraduate German there. What a ride that was! I was preparing papers for or studying for exams in Phonetics and Generative Syntax- basic graduate-level courses for the Linguistics aspect of my Ph.D. program. Andrea and I were also preparing for the birth of our second child.

Seven years ago (1999):
I had just completed the Michaelmas term of my Master’s program at the University of Oxford. Oxford has three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity, each term being 8 weeks and there being an 8 week “break” between each of the three. During the Michaelmas term, I had studied the History of the Yiddish Language and Classical Hebrew, as well as attending series of lectures on advanced literary analysis and the German poet Heinrich Heine (the latter being the subject of my Master’s thesis). Andrea and I were very, very poor but very much enjoyed living in England.

Eight years ago (1998):
I was still in my Junior/Senior year of undergraduate studies at BYU, and was gearing up for final exams. Andrea and I lived in Provo, Utah in BYU family housing, and had just had our first baby. I was also working full time as a Sales Associate at First Security Bank (for those who know it, the branch inside the Albertson’s Grocery Store on the corner of State Street and 16th North in Orem).

Nine years ago (1997):
Andrea and I had just moved out of our first apartment and were living with my parents in South Jordan, Utah for a month until I was slated to begin studies at BYU in January 1998. We were both working at different branches of First Security Bank in Salt Lake City. We had been married in May of this year in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah.

Ten years ago (1996):
I was living in Rexburg, Idaho, having just completed a two year mormon mission to Germany, trying to complete my associate’s degree at a private LDS (Mormon) College called Ricks College (Now BYU-Idaho). I was working as a math tutor, and desperately trying to convince Andrea that I was her man (a successful endeavor, in the end 😉 ).

So there is my long-winded recap of the last ten years. They have been good years, all in all. I can only hope that the next ten will be as good to me and see as much progress as the last ten years saw.

O Tannenbaum!

December 14, 2006

Every year in our family, about a month before Christmas, we set up a glorious Christmas tree in a prominent spot in our home. A Christmas tree can be a wonderful symbol. Among other things, when we use an evergreen, it represents to me the everlasting life brought to the world by Him, even the babe in the manger grown into a man, who said: “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26). Now, I wish to also reflect on some other thoughts that come to mind as I gaze upon the Christmas tree. I wish to reflect upon the “trees” of Christmas.

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On His Way To London-Town!

December 12, 2006

Everyone wish John good luck as he and his family move this month to London, England, for a new career opportunity. John has decided to leave us Yankees to work at a large, “magic circle” firm headquartered in London. While we are all excited for his opportunity (and for the opportunity we will have for free lodging in London!), we are of course sad to see him and his family move so far away.

Good luck John! Remember who you are and where you came from!! 🙂


The World is not Your Ashtray

December 12, 2006

This morning on the way to work, the woman driving in front of me down the 75 tossed a spent cigarette out of her car window. I watched it bounce on the pavement a few times before it hit my car and flew off elswhere. I wanted to get out and tell her that the world is not her ashtray!

One of my pet peeves (note the use of the term “pet peeve”, which means “a minor annoyance that can instill extreme frustration in an individual”- this is my acknowledgement that the frustration expressed here is over a trivial thing that just happens to annoy me) is people who smoke and then casually toss out their cigarette butts into nature, onto the street, or whatever, caring not one whit about where it lands or how it adds to the trash already inundating our streets and the nature that surrounds them. To me, it shows extreme disregard for other people and environmental hazards.

For one thing, people don’t like to drive down the road or walk down the sidewalk and see used cigarette butts nearly everywhere the eye looks. They are ugly- eyesores- and they contribute greatly to a general impression of trashiness. I don’t want my town to seem trashy!

For another thing, people throwing out their still smoking cigarette butts seem entirely impervious to the danger of starting a fire. The climate in Dallas this last couple of years has been much drier than average, meaning that the brush and grass surrounding our roads is more like fuel than vegetation. When I drive at night and some careless litterbug tosses out a live cigarette butt, the accompanying shower of glowing, red sparks across the roadway is impressive. But don’t these people think about the fact that this impressive display could start a fire, especially given the current tinder-like capacity of the vegetation surrounding the roads?

Come on people- you already know that smoking is disgusting in today’s society. There is no reason to turn the world into your ashtray! 🙂

[/rant about meaningless pet peeve]