Windows Doesn’t Love Me Anymore

I have evidence that Windows is preemptively leaving me — preemptively because I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at Macintoshes.

1) Windows Update has been stuck at 3% for more than a week now. If I try to run the updates through a browser, it also gets stuck.
2) IE crashed on me when I was browsing Apple’s homepage.
3) IE 7 crashed on me to the point I had to uninstall it and go back to IE 6.
4) Windows has been spending a lot of time on the phone with her mother.

Don’t push me, Windows. You keep this up and you’ll push me right into the loving arms of a Macintosh, you understand? We can still make this work, you and I, despite my misgiving and indiscretions, but only if you’re willing to work WITH me.

The Tums McFlurry

A friend offered to bring me lunch, but I had already eaten, and had some heartburn to boot. I said “Is there such thing as a Tums Milkshake?”

To my surprise, he said there was. He was adamant about it. “They don’t put it on the menu or anything, but you can order it.” Sorta like a lettuce-wrap, I thought.

When he came over, he handed me a McFlurry. With Tums in it. You know the adage about seeing is believing? I was convinced.

I knew he couldn’t be serious, but here it was! The Tums McFlurry! It all made sense — of COURSE they’d offer Tums, what with the quality of their food and its typical effect on the gastrointestinal system. And he’s not the type of guy to pull pranks and whatnot, so sure, I finally let the reality of it sink in.

Oh, and yes, I started eating it. Mmm, vanilla ice cream shake and Tums. Mmm, mmm, antacidy!

As he was leaving he finally admitted he’d put the Tums in there himself.

I… I was fooled. I don’t know how my brain failed me on this one, but we’re gonna hafta sit down and have a little talk.

I was so careful to not allow myself to be suckered, to not be called “gullible” — alas, I failed.

To make matters worse, I still have heartburn. I’m gonna go get a Pepto Smoothie.

More no sleep

There’s really not enough violence in the world to describe how much hatred I have for insomnia.

It’s not really insomnia that I hate, either. I hate SLEEP. I hate needing it, craving it, being unable to get it… I hate it.

Sometimes my sleeplessness presents itself as more of a lack-of-deep-sleep — I’m sleeping, sure, but sorta like how a stone skipping across a lake is “submerged”. Which is to say, not very.

I also hate giving quick answers to questions from my boss — on my first day of new responsibility — that are entirely wrong. Hate that. I also hate apologizing for it and not getting a response.

I hate computers. I hate their complexity, their inability to ever be truly user-friendly; I hate seeing a thousand purchase options of which precisely NONE have the solutions I’m looking for.

I hate time’s linearity.

So, yeah. I guess I’m pretty depressed. I can’t think of a single thing that would give me any pleasure or joy right now, except for sleep, which of course eludes me.

I’ve gone more than 50 days without caffeine — I think I’m ready to huck this resolution and go back to caffeinating my days. Will it keep me up at night? MAYBE, but it can’t do much worse than this.

Damn I’m pissed at my bosses for not throwing me a “that’s okay” bone. Makes me want to quit. Day 1. Good start.

If I Had a Million Dollars

I’ve been thinking lately about what I would do if I suddenly had all the riches I hope to have someday. Reading Nibley’s “Approaching Zion” is powerfully condemning of wealth-seeking. But he does acknowledge the window left us by Jacob, who said that after we’ve obtained a hope in Christ, we’ll find riches if we seek them, and we’ll seek them to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, etc.

Well, I’ve always TOLD myself that’s why I want wealth — money can be leveraged for good or for evil, and the more money you have, the more leverage you have. I don’t think I’ll ever own a Dodge Viper or a Ferrari or anything like that, because I won’t be able to justify the expenditure — sure, it’s my money, but shouldn’t I find a way to share it with the disadvantaged? I’ve been given meals by people living in tin-and-cardboard homes. Could I really ignore their plight so I could have a really fun car?

That extends into a lot of purchases, and it gets difficult to find a firm line, so we consider stuff prayerfully. (Except with the recent purchase of a dining room table. It’s beautiful, it matches our imagined design perfectly, but it’s 10 times more expensive than a Costco-style dining set. I wasn’t thinking very well; it was definitely an impulse-buy. It bugs me to see it sometimes. But whatever.) The answers we felt kept us from splurging on a high-def plasma TV, for one thing.

(I’m not trying to trumpet my generosity, here — I’m NOT generous. But I do WANT to be generous.)

But back to having wealth. Clearly the answer to how-to-spend-this-windfall is not to tear down my barns and build bigger ones. (What’s the origin of the phrase windfall? I’m too lazy to switch windows and Google it.) But what would I do? If I’m serious about helping others, where would I put the money?

I’d probably pay off my house; getting out of debt seems perfectly all right. But I still have plenty left.

The answer is… tricky. I mean, I don’t have what I consider THE answer, but what I’ve been thinking is this — I need more than a million.

What I want to do is create uplifting, Gospel-value-centered entertainment. I’d like to preach the Gospel from the spotlight — not because I want the spotlight on me, but because it’s a vantage point of greater reach. (I DO want the spotlight on me — I have plenty of pride to eschew — but I’ve always wanted it so that I could have more leverage to help others. I’m pretty sure I’m being totally honest with myself when I say that.)

Now, perhaps entertainment seems of paltry importance when weighed against world hunger and poverty… and maybe it is… but consider: if the entertainment could teach people how to help stop world hunger and poverty, how valuable is it?

Teach a man to fish, or give him a fish… What I’m thinking of is more like setting up The Fishing Institute, where would-be fishing-teachers go to learn how to fish.

The problem with the give-a-fish/teach-to-fish phrase, I’ve noticed, is that while you’re teaching the man to fish, he might die of starvation. Some fish-giving has to happen.

I don’t think I can just start saving up for the day when I can produce my own pilot episode and hope it gets picked up — which would cost me roughly $1 million, say — because there are people who need fish now. (Man, I hate fish. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a long, unpleasant lifetime.)

I’m rambling, can you tell?

Like I said before, though — I don’t think I have an answer. Just the thought comes to me that what *I* want to achieve will require more money than I see coming in any one windfall, and in the meantime I need to keep giving to other charities as I see fit.

Maybe the answer is that what I achieve in terms of fish-education-or-donation is not really up to me.

In the meantime, however, I’m still gonna keep seeking riches. Maybe if I had a Ferrari and a HDTV I could entertain some well-to-do investors to discuss my Fishing Institute ideas….

Half-Sabbath

The title says it all: “Half-Sabbath”.

It’s the solution to the What-To-Do-On-Sunday dilemma! As we all are aware, the number of appropriate Sabbath Day activities is far outweighed by the amount of time we have on that day. “I wish Sundays were longer” is not a phrase ever heard by the strict Sabbath Day observer; we’re admonished to not seek entertainment, to not shop, to not work… for those of us whose lives are readily divided between “work” and “play”, there’s little left to do.

Oh, sure, you can do the Lord’s work. But honestly, how much is there to do? And how long can you read scriptures or other worthy books in a day? How much geneaology can you research? How many sick can you visit?

Enter my solution: the Half-Sabbath!

Attend Church, get in another few hours of family time and scripture study, then return to whatever activity you were avoiding. Play video games! Work on your side business! Watch the Superbowl!

If you vote for me for General Authority, you can get all this freedom and more! That’s my promise to you. Make the Lord’s Day an exercise in serious worship, for at least 6 hours. Show your true devotion for a full half-day, then relax and give yourself a more playful Day of Rest.

[Paid for by the R. Stone Tayler for General Authority Commission.]