Saturday, September 27, 2008

What to Blog? Politics, Blackbeard, Mesa Visit

My friend bought Freddie Mac stock at twenty eight cents and it was up to $2 yesterday. She was really excited about it. She is banking on the bailout passing. I did some research and the Congressional leaders have reached an agreement, but it hasn't been voted upon yet in Congress. The word on the street is that it will pass, but narrowly. There has to be a better solution than this!

Mindy and I after Blackbeard 
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But onto happier things. I saw Blackbeard yesterday. It was wonderful. The music was beautiful, the comedy hysterical, and the intrigue marvelous. I laughed, I cried! I embarrassed Mindy because I'm a groupie. But I still love Jordan Bluth and Rob Gardner! Tyler Maxson was incredible. He sings and sounds like Richard Harrison from Camelot. This is him singing in this youtube video. So fun. Listen to the words!

The first night I got to Mesa I went and saw my favorite biology teacher, Mrs. Mary Whysong. I love that lady. I hadn't seen her in two years, so it was good to touch bases. She inspires me. Then I headed to Holly's house, watched my first episode of "The Office". Up early, at 8 to swim with Mindy and Emma in Holly's beautiful Hawaiian themed pool, including Tiki torches, and palm-frond huts. I should take a picture to add here. I went and saw Bonnie for about an hour. They are adding a giant RV garage and office onto their house. I'm happy for them. Then off to Hong Kong's Best Dining for my favorite Mesa Chinese food at lunch time.
We went to Deseret Industries to look at shoes. Mindy didn't find any, but Emma tried on several pair. I will add those pictures when I get home on my own computer. She is so darling!

Then we went to Mindy's for Emma's nap. I studied for my Abnormal Psychology test, and watched Queen's Bohemian Rhaspody on Youtube.

Not so sure why, but I love it. It definitely went along with my study of depression and mood disorders for psychology.

Then we took Emma to the other grandma's house and we headed for Chipotle for dinner. It was yummy. Then we drove to Phoenix to see Blackbeard. There was a Diamondback's game so parking was a bit of a joke. The Hermberger Theatre was plush, the audience small, but the entertainment fabulous! I talked to Rob, Tyler, and Jordan. Such talented young men. When Jordan ends up famous I can say I was one of his first big fans! I hope Rob gets his dream of Blackbeard going to Broadway!
So up this morning for an 8 am swim again. More studying, more playing with Mindy. We went to the Women's General Conference. President Ukdorf's talk was perfect about being creative and compassionate like God. I saw some of my Elmwood ward friends, but not many.
But I'm off to study some more psych. and listen to a bit more Queen. Tata for now:)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Government Bailouts and the Economy.

Dr. Craig Peterson of Utah State University said that this last week was the scariest week he has lived through economically and he is an economist.
Our government is proposing to bailout a number of failing companies to save the country from a severe economic downturn to the tune of trillions of dollars that they don't have. I believe it is a temporary band-aid that will only lead to socialism. Do we only believe in a free market except for when it doesn't work?
The mortgage industry loosened qualifications for mortgages so much that it jeopardized all of us. Investors artificially drove the housing markets up in places like Las Vegas and Phoenix. And to top it off, home owners used the inflated equity in their homes as credit cards and spent tomorrow's paychecks.
But we all know that hind sight is 20/20. I don't know much about the economy, government, or business, but I do know that I shouldn't spend money that I don't have. If our government is spending money that it does not have, it will have to take it from the people in the way of higher taxes. This only can hurt us in the long run. These bailouts will put our government in such a pernicious situation that can only be rectified by huge tax increases, which Obama proposes and will be more justified in implementing if elected. Even the Republicans will have no choice but to raise taxes. The people of Alma were in bondage to the Lamanites when taxed at 50%. We are so close to that now...higher taxes, inflation, bigger government, and on and on. Bondage.
My son, Ryan said that he would rather be working hard, poorer, and free than live under socialism. We have come so far from what our Founding Fathers built under the Constitution. I see it deteriorating more and more.
Tonight I wrote my congressmen and the white house. Is it too little, too late?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mindy and Her Fun Friends

I was just reading around in Blogland and came upon Mindy's and her friend, Amanda's blogs. The pictures show how fun these girls really are. If you haven't visited these blogs, go give them a looksie!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Obtain the Prize"

I found this on quote on ANWA's Founder and Friends. President Thomas S. Monson said, "Finishers have the capacity to visualize their objective--vision without effort [though] is daydreaming; [and] effort without vision is drudgery; but vision, coupled with effort, will obtain the prize."

I personally have been accused of not finishing what I start. I have a tendency to let life get in the way of personal goals. Sometimes that is appropriate, when it means that I am putting my family before myself, but other times it isn't. I have lost my vision, or changed it when I've learned new things or adjusted my perspective about what is truly important. As I told my mother once, I've stuck with the most important things in my life. I'm still a good mother and I'm still married!

Reading President Monson's words, "effort without vision is drudgery" helped me realize that at many times in my life I have done the work because it was necessary, but my heart wasn't in it. I'm thankful for that the work was available when it was needed, but I always hoped for a time that the work would be toward my dreams. I've been fortunate to have a husband that supports me in putting effort toward my visions. Someday I may even get paid again to do the work that I love beyond my family. But right now I'm finishing the education to get me there. I may be a bit old for college, but going keeps me young. It is never too late to pursue dreams and to finish goals. I didn't quit, I just postponed it until later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Anne Bradshaw's Book Contest

Anne Bradshaw is giving away Enjoying the Journey by Jaime Theler with Deborah Talmadge. Go enter the contest to see if you can win. Or don't so that I have a better chance!

What Does Obama Want to Change?

I have a number of friends and neighbors that are voting for Obama, and I really don't understand why they truly think he'll do a good job in the White House. I've heard them say that they want change, but what kind of change? They want out of Iraq. I can understand that. I didn't agree with going into Iraq when we did. I don't think that we should be the world's policemen. But to vote for Obama and get bigger government, more taxes, more socialism, more abortion? I just don't understand.

I whole heartedly agree with this email/letter from Joe Porter of Champaign , Illinois. This is just a little of it.

"I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and
convincingly why this man [Obama] is qualified to be President and
Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth - other than
the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change. We've
all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim
background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a
moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to
be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?

"Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters
who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing,
as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've
spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal
media can explain why he should be elected. Political experience?
Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one.
Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's
thesis from Princeton , look it up on the web. This is who's lining up
to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's
constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes."

It scares me to death! Obama has no true track record in the Senate. What does the man really stand for? Look at his jet!

He took the American flag off of the tail of his jet!
Snopes says this is TRUE --

Go read the book Obama Nation to see what this man truly stands for. He doesn't believe in the America that the founding fathers set up, of checks and balances, and limited federal government. He believes that the government knows better than the people, that the government should cure all the social ills.

Let's give the government all our money and see how they manage it...oh, wait, the government has a track record of this. It pays for other people's abortions when I don't believe in abortion. It pays for illegal aliens' health care, food, and education without being able to tax them. Look at the mess in New Orleans. The government isn't set up to take care of all the people. People should be mostly accountable for themselves. True charity, where people care for their neighbors, is better than socialism any day. But if I'm forced to give the lion's share of my income to the government in way of taxes, I won't be in the position to help my neighbor. Let's look at socialized medicine in other Canada. People in Canada come here for treatment because they can't get life saving procedures in time in their country. It isn't working there, why will it work here?

Voting for Obama to me equals less freedom, higher taxes, more world-wide government, less national security, and less national sovereignty. I thought that when the nation voted in Bill Clinton and didn't hold him accountable for his perjury or adultery, we would then be punished for our iniquities. Could that have been 9/11? Knowingly voting to reduce our individual agency, and accountability is just as bad. But do the good people of my neighborhood really know what they are voting for? I think not. Obama is indeed a good persuasive speaker. Is that enough?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said it Better!

Candace Salima hit the nail on the head with the following post on her blog.

"Liberal Media Attack Sarah Palin and the Western Way of Life

Posted by Candace E. Salima
September 09,
Warning: Serious rant ahead. Really, really serious rant ahead.

Maurine Proctor of Family Leader reported: "They hate Palin because she is a feisty, vibrant, can-do reformer who represents everything they hope to marginalize. She believes in life, marriage, family and religion. She believes in good and evil, right and wrong and is willing to say it. When faced with giving birth to a Down's Syndrome child that studies show some 90% of parents would have aborted, she not only gave birth to Trig, but says of him , "Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a special love."

"Governor Palin has the Left shivering because she can be such a powerful force to rally the enthusiasm and hope of ordinary Americans who still hold traditional values. She has reignited the troops in the culture war.

"Examples abound of Palin's shoddy treatment. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd compares her nomination to watching a chick flick. She writes: "This chick flick, naturally, features a wild stroke of fate, when the two-year governor of an oversized igloo becomes commander in chief after the president-elect chokes on a pretzel on day one.

"The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.," President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig's diaper. "Now that Georgia's safe, how 'bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?"

Gloria Steinem offered this in an opinion column, "This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need."

I don't even know where to start! I get so sick of people, like these two morons above, and yes I know exactly who I am calling a moron and I'm standing by it! I have to assume that people who have never had to work the earth for their food, care for the cattle or bison, hunt wild game in order to feed their families, don't really know where food comes from. In all their ignorance and stupidity they trot on down to the grocery store, or pay someone to do said trotting, wander up and down the aisles picking up packages of food without ever stopping to think where it came from or the people who made it possible to be there." Read more...

Also, here is the You Tube video of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech for you who missed it. Candace is right, Steinem and Dowd can't discredit Palin's strength or tenacity in standing for family, life, or the true American way so they have to resort to ridicule of those very things.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Mom Song

Thanks to Candace Salima I now know how to post videos off of You Tube. I'm so excited! This is the first one that I saw ages ago that I just had to have on here. I could sing it to my children every morning and never have to talk to them the rest of the day!

The Freedoms We Enjoy From the Sacrifice of Others

This last week in my American Institutions class at USU, we watched a video about the Revolutionary War. In it was a man quoting Thomas Paine in Common Sense.

As I sat in class, the truth of these words brought tears to my eyes.

"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a City, a County, a Province, or a Kingdom; but of a Continent — of at least one-eighth part of the habitable Globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith and honour. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters."

To be a beneficiary of the sacrifice of those patriots who cared more for the freedom of our country and their fellowmen than themselves, leaves me humbled, and grateful, without words to adequately praise them.

I've considered myself a quiet patriot. But as I sit in class and learn more about the knowledge and understanding the founding fathers had and the sacrifices they made, I realize that I am only a lazy recipient of others' diligence. I need to repent, to get involved in the current fight for freedom. As I look around at the state of my county,
it has come so far from the full freedom our founding fathers secured for us. And I know that I haven't done much to preserve that freedom.

I've enjoyed it. I've taken advantage of the rights that I have to pursue happiness, to worship as I see fit, to educate my children in my home, to speak out, to hold differing views and not have to hide in fear of my government. But how long will it be before my own slothfulness, combined with those around me, will take those precious freedoms away? I truly fear the answer. I hope it is not "everlastingly too late."

After the video, Dr. Craig Peterson said that he never hears the words in Common Sense without choking up. I was glad that I wasn't the only one. If only I can remember the heritage that I have been given, and do my personal best to preserve it.

Advice from Elder Bushe

I found this this morning and it is beautiful. Just what I needed to set my Sabbath day off right.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin

On Candace Salima's blog I found the full content of Sarah Palin's speech. If you missed it, go give it a read. You can also go watch highlights of it here.

I thought she was great!

(side note: she is only 2 months older than me! Wow, we are young!)

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Margarete and the dreaded disease of CCQ

This evening I went to my American Institutions Student Instruction (SI) supplemental class. I met a lady who is a bit advanced in years to be attending college (yes, even older than me, by about 20 years). Her name is Margarete.
I visited with her and asked her about her current enrollment at Utah State. She said that she often gets questions about "what she wants to be when she grows up?" I laughed because I get that a lot, too. I even ask it to myself. Her answer is, "educated." I like that answer. I think I'll borrow it from now on.
Margarete said that school is her "expensive hobby". I can relate! She also said that she needed to stay away from her past disease of CC&Q. When I questioned her about what that meant, she said, "Crocheting, Cross-stitching, and Quilting!"
I think I'll hang out with Margarete more at school. She makes me laugh.

Far World Author Interview

Farworld, Water Keep by J. Scott Savage
Back cover;
" Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes and trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place--Farworld.
"When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two worlds.
"But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass's secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld's only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elementals--water, land, air, and fire--and convince them to open a drift between the worlds.
"As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them--Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages know as Thrathkin S'Bae.
"Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of the friendship, and the depths of their unique powers."

Welcome, Mr. Savage to Old Main Hill at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Thanks for visiting my hometown.
Mr. Savage, do you go by Scott or Jeff?

At home I go by Jeff. But while promoting my Farworld series, it's easier to go by Scott. Honestly though, you can call me anything but late for dinner.

I'll try to remember that! Is it okay to address you by your first name?

I don't know. I kind of like people saying, "Hey Savage!" Actually though, that makes me think I am back playing football or in the army. I definitely like being called by my first name.

Scott, I am a big fan of your previous books and was wondering why you chose to write fantasy?

Thanks. I'm glad you like my other books. I really didn't "choose" to write fantasy, even though I love reading the genre. I'd have to say it chose me. I didn't think I could write it, because it was so different from what I have read in the past. But I had this idea stuck in my head that wouldn't let me sleep. I started writing this book at 2:00 AM to prove to myself I couldn't do it and get this crazy storyline out of my head. But five hours and five thousand words later, I realized I was writing a fantasy and I was having a ball doing it. The rest of the book seemed to flow almost as easily. Now that I've done it though, I'm really glad I did.

That is so unfair that writing comes so easily to you! How long did it take to write your initial draft of Farworld?

Three months from first sentence to last sentence. But much editing thereafter.

Have you always wanted to write fantasy?

I've always loved reading fantasy. But it is such a different genre style, that I felt I couldn't pull it off.

Who is your favorite fantasy writer?

I love so many of them. Books, Donaldson, Gaiman, King, Straub (I believe horror is a subgenre of fantasy.) They all bring different strengths to the table.

How many genres have you written in?

Well, I've published High-Tech thriller, drama, mystery, and fantasy, but I have a supernatural thriller/horror that I hope will be published in the not too distant future.

Wow, you really are a well-rounded writer! I've read almost every book you've written, but I don't know about reading horror. I'll probably try it because you are the author. What is your favorite genre?

They are all fun but different. Fantasy probably has the most freedom.

When is your next book coming out?

Well, Farworld book 1 comes out in September, then my next Shandra book in the Spring, then the next Farworld in the fall of 08. Other than that, we'll have to see.

I will have a lot of reading to do to keep up with your writing! What is your favorite part of Farworld?

Depends on whether you mean the book or the world. I’ll combine the two a little bit and say that my favorite part is trying to understand how things work. What is the basis for magic and why does it operate the way that it does? We’ve peeled back the onion enough to see that there are elementals under the skin, but what are elementals really? Why do they exist? Where did they come from? And what does the Dark Circle hope to accomplish. It’s like scientists here learning about the atom.

Is there anything special that you would like to share with us about the book?

I just want to tell readers not to think they’ve seen everything yet. If Water Keeps level is all there was to the series, it would be a fun read. But I don’t know that it would be memorable. I hope that as things begin to expand, people will really be surprised that there is more to this than just a fun little romp through a magical world.

How many reviews have been written so far on your blog tour?

Over a hundred for sure. I haven’t done a full count lately.

Do you feel that it has been successful thus far?

Definitely. I really wanted to get two things out of the tour. One was obviously to get the word out about the book. And I think that tour had done a good job of that. But the second was to get quality feedback from a large group of really intelligent readers. That is so helpful in seeing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. This has been incredibly successful in that regard.

I'm sorry that I don't have more readership on my blog to help publicize your book.

It’s not all about eyes. It’s about planting seeds and getting valuable feedback. You have definitely done both!

I wish you luck in all your future endeavors.

Thank you! Great questions.

Farworld Book Contest Winner

The winner is...(the competition was high as you can see:)

Amanda Kristeen!

Thanks to all those who participated!

I'm waiting on the author to send answers to my questions before I post the review. I'm sure you are all on pins and needles!
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