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Monthly Archives: October 2006

Greetings From India!

Hello everyone, and good morning. It is currently 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, Ooctober 18, here in Delhi (6 p.m. the previous day back in San Francisco). I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I did want to post a little something here just to let everyone know that India has been a fantastic time so far!
The first four days were spent doing entirely wedding things, including learning a dance that a group of six of us performed at a pre-wedding party called a Sangeet. Apparently, there IS video of this, so when I manage to get ahold of it, I hope to post it online for all of you to enjoy and laugh at.
I’ve been keeping a detailed journal of my travels so far, so it is my hope to convert some of these into more detailed entried about how I’ve been spending my time once I am back in the States. Until then, let me just say that the pomp and circumstance of India that you see in the movies is true, particularly when it comes to weddings. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the weddings are more elaborate than even the movies make them out to be. Of course, the movies do exaggerate some things greatly, but on the whole, the real deal surpasses any movie I’ve seen. I’ve never been to a wedding that was this much fun.
Well, I’m off to the Taj Mahal this morning. This is one of the world’s most well known structures, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to visit it. Unfortunately, one member of our group probably won’t be joining us. He got ill on Tuesday and was admitted to the hospital here yesterday. They think he will be well enough to leave the hospital later today, but he is going to take it easy for the rest of the day once he is out. As for myself, I’ve had a few digstive issues, but nothing particularly violent or worrisome, and certainly nothing needing hospitilization.
To the Taj!

Categories: A Day in the Life | 2 Comments

Words to describe rice

So, I sometimes take online surveys just for the fun of it. They tell me I can win cash, but in the year or so that I’ve taken part in these surveys, I’ve never once won a dollar. Today was one of the most bizarre surveys I’ve taken. It was a survey about rice. Yes, those little grains that are so popular in Asia. Now, I understand that the survey is probably intended to gauge brand awareness and identifcation, but seriously, some of the questions they are asking are ridiculous. For example, I was given ten brands of rice and asked to mark which brand(s) I felt had the following characteristics:

  • Fun

  • In Touch With My Needs
  • Human
  • Helpful
  • Understands my lifestyle
  • Approachable
  • Boring
  • Down to earth
  • Confident

WHAT? None of these words describe ANY kind of rice… when is the last time you encountered human rice that was confident and understood your lifestyle? Oh wait, the last time I was in the grocery store, I remember the following encounter:
LANCE: Oh, look, it’s a bag of rice walking towards me…
RICE: Hi! I’m Mr. Rice. Can I help you today?
LANCE: You’re a bag of rice… I don’t think so.
RICE: Now, now… don’t let this whole “rice” thing throw you off. I’m a person just like you!
RICE: Ah, I understand what people with your lifestyle need… watch as I confidently perform this backflip as proof of my humanity.
RICE: Crap, that damn can opener caught my plastic and now I’m leaking.

Categories: A Day in the Life | 2 Comments

Have an hour to spare?

If you have about an hour to spare and you’re interested in a presentation on the Existence of God and the Human Condition, check out this recording of the presentation given at our most recent Young Adult meeting at St. Dominic’s. This presentation was originally given on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 by Mike Huxley and Greg Hornby. I hope you enjoy it!

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Happiness is Easy

I received a letter from Comcast Cable today, and I wanted to share it with you. Here it is:
Dear Mr. Johnson,
Have you been struggling trying to find happiness? We know that true happiness has eluded the majority of people throughout space and time, so we at Comcast set out to make the world a better place. Today we are pleased to announce that we have the ultimate solution to your happiness: the Comcast Triple Play!
That’s right, with the Comcast Triple Play, Happiness Is Easy™! No longer do you need to worry about things such as companionship, spiritual fulfillment, family, or any of those other mundane wastes of time. It is hard to put a price on happiness, but we found a way. Now, for only $99 per month, real happiness can be yours. Imagine the happiness you’ll feel when you come home from work and are able to spend all of your time watching those television shows that give your life its true meaning. At the same time, you can surf the internet on the wave of happiness that our HappyNet™ offers you. And as if that wasn’t enough to bring true happiness into your home, we also offer Digital Voice phone service! Dial our special HappyPhone™ number and an automated voice will tell you how happy Comcast is making you.
Life really doesn’t get any better than this, Mr. Johnson. Why struggle with happiness any longer when it can be yours for the low price of $99 a month? Just think of all the money you’ll save by not having to go out with friends! Those savings alone are worth more than the $99 price of happiness we are charging.
As an added incentive to sign up for the Comcast Triple Play today, we’re offering you a special bonus gift – Comcrestaraunt, a virtual cafeteria for your television that will eliminate your need to cook for yourself ever again. Simply turn on the Comcrestaraunt and you’ll experience true satisfaction from hunger and thirst!
We at Comcast are continuously striving to provide our customers with the most reliable products on the market. If you don’t think Happiness Is Easy™ after you order the Comcast Triple Play, we’ll laught at you and tell you you’re not using it right.
Call 1-800-COMCAST to sign up, and GET HAPPY™ today!
Comcast – Life’s True Happiness Delivered™!
Yours Truly,
Brian L. Roberts, CEO
If you couldn’t tell, this advertisment that I saw in Berkeley today REALLY pissed me off. I’m boycotting Comcast from now on.

Categories: Commentary | Comments Off

A Solicitation for Prayer

Friends, I write today asking that you offer a special prayer for my grandmother who is in critical condition in the ICU back home in Utah. Last week she had a routine operation to repair a hernia. At first, it was believed that the operation was free of complications, but yesterday she was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. It was discovered that she was suffering from severe internal bleeding. The bleeding would not stop and her abdomen was filled with fluid. Her blood was too thin to operate immediately, but because the internal bleeding would not stop, they had no choice but to perform the emergency surgery. She lost significant amounts of blood, and despite having been given four units of blood since the surgery ended, her blood pressure is far too low and is currently only being maintained through a very high dosage of dopamine. While the drug causes her blood pressure to raise to a healthier level, it is causing damage to her already weak heart. I ask, therefore, that you offer a prayer for my grandmother that, God willing, she will recover quickly.

Categories: A Day in the Life | Comments Off

Oh, how the body can forget

I spent the weekend in Yosemite National Park with the St. Dominic and St. Vincent de Paul young adult groups, and I intended my first post upon my return to be something in regard to the trip and how much fun I had. Now, I’ll do my best to actually report on that soon in another blog entry, but an incident on the way home requires comment first.
As we were driving back towards the city, my passengers suddenly decided that their earlier breakfast hadn’t been sufficient and wanted to stop for a bite of lunch. We stopped at a cafe in Big Oak Flat along HWY 120 about 40 miles or so out from camp. It took us about an hour to eat, and then we headed out. As it turns out, we were just in time to basically witness a terrible accident 30 miles further along at the intersection of HWYs 120 & 108. While traffic prevented me from actually seeing the collision, I did hear a horn, squealing tires and a loud crash, and I then saw a Mercury Tracer fly across HWY 108, drive up an embankment, then roll over and land on its top in a ditch. Needless to say, I immediately pulled over and ran to the scene.
It is amazing how quickly your body can forget how much it hurts when it comes to a crisis situation. Having spent 11 hours hiking an outrageously strenuous trail on Saturday, I woke up hurting today. I have blisters on my feet, my legs are barely strong enough to move me from point A to B, my back aches something terrible from a heavy backpack, and my shoulders are a disaster. Just standing up, let alone moving, are deliriously painful chores. And yet, somehow, when it came right down to it, I was able to run painlessly from my car to the scene of the accident.
As I was arriving, the driver of the other car involved, which I hadn’t to this point seen, was just emerging from her heavily damaged and smoking vehicle. She appeared distraught, but mobile and aware, so I ran straight to the overturned Mercury. The rear window was smashed and pieces of car were everywhere. As I arrived, so did several other men, including an off duty fireman, doctor and EMT. Given their presence, I did my best to give them room to deal with things, while remaining close enough to assist if needed. I assisted (kind of) as one man crawled through the back window of the car to try and get the doors unlocked so the passenger side could be opened. The driver’s side was inaccessbile, crushed inside the ditch. I didn’t see her myself, but the woman inside the car was apparently injured, but alert, as she was able to give someone her cell phone and asked that we call her son to let him know of the incident. I ended up making that call using her cell phone while others were working to extricate her from the vehicle. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach him on either number programmed into her phone, but I left him a voicemail saying that his mother had been in an accident, she was alive, emergency crews were on the scene and she had asked that we call him.
It was a very scary incident, I will admit. I’m not sure why I ran over to assist, and I’m not even sure I should have, but somehow the accident reminded me too much of my sister’s rollover, and I didn’t want to just ignore it and hope everything was alright. When the fire department and ambulance finally arrived, they were able to successfully extricate the woman from her car. I never did see her, as I was staying as out of the way as possible at that point. All the while, the driver of the other car (a young, college-aged looking girl) was on the phone with her father trying to tell him that she had been in a terrible car accident. I’m not sure if there was just too much noise around or if she was getting poor service, but her father didn’t seem to understand.
I don’t really know any more than that. When I realized that there was nothing more I could do, my passengers and I returned to my car (this time having to wait for an officer to stop traffic so we could cross the now re-opened highway) and headed along our way. I hope that you will all join me in praying for the drivers (and sole occupants) of both vehicles.

Categories: A Day in the Life | Comments Off