Friday, October 31, 2008

Two More of My Favorites This Week

I am really looking forward to the end of this election so that I can return my normal, apolitical life (Sherrie will be really glad when it is over). I don't know why I have become so embroiled in this election. I guess I have fewer children at home, so I have more time to worry about other things. Well, it will all be over soon enough and then I won't have to hear anymore gottchas or betchas or the sound the Grinch couldn't stand in the least, "Drill Baby Drill." I will also be able to reconnect with family and friends who have become alienated by my political stance. Well, back to the polls to see if anything has changed in the last five minutes....

Cartoon for my Republican Friends

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Great Political Cartoon

I really like political cartoons. I saw this one and had to post it. I think it really summarizes what the basic underlying problem in the world is, overconsumption, or in other words, gluttony - fiscal gluttony, environmental gluttony, physical gluttony. We have quit caring for Eden and have taken to consuming it faster than it can replenish itself. Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. In some Christian denominations, it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. The need to have and to go and to consume have gone out of control worldwide. It takes an entire garbage can to hold the waste generated from preparing our family's food each week (wrappers, containers, cans). All of these discarded items were manufactured which consumed and generated waste. All these items were shipped which consumed and generated waste. Houses have become larger without regard for impact on the environment and society. Water and air continue to become more polluted with only mild solutions offered up. I agree that gluttony is one of the deadly sins and may prove to be the most deadly in the end.

The Economist Endorsement

The Economist came out with it's endorsement. In summary it states, "America should take a chance and make Barack Obama the next leader of the free world." It really is worth reading.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jared Wednesday Update - 10/29/08

I received the weekly email from Jared this morning. He is doing great. He enjoys the companion that he is working with. He has some good families that he is teaching. And he got to go to the NASA Space Center for the 4th time! He doesn't think he will be transferred, but who knows.... I am grateful everytime I receive his letters for having such a good son. I have been truly blessed with the children I have. It is hard to believe that Jared has been out just shy of 6 months (176 days to be exact which equates to 24.1%). It will be difficult not having him here for Christmas this year. It will be the first Christmas ever that we haven't had all our children at home. But we his Christmas presents ready to place in the mail. We just want to be sure we know where he is going to be for a few weeks before mailing them. He sent a couple of pictures, one of himself and one with his companion, Elder Myrvang.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Deep Thoughts

I really don't have time to blog since I am well past my bedtime and have retired past my bedtime for several days running (a nap at my desk for lunch may be required tomorrow - oh the joys of aging). I had a good day and a very nice evening. Sherrie and I ran some errands (that means we went to Walmart) and afterwords we drove up on the bench near the old smelter and parked that car and looked out over the valley and the Great Salt Lake and just sat and talked. It was so nice. The only disappointment in my day was Cloris Leachman was voted off Dancing with the Stars. I'm not a great fan of the show (it is a little too cheezy for my taste), but I have to admit I enjoyed watching Cloris dance. It was inspiring to see an 82 year old woman go out on the dance floor and really dance. She looked old, but didn't act old. I hope I can have as good of health as she seems to at her age. After the show we looked at some blogs and facebooks. I continue to be amazed at Jordan's artistic talents. He and his friend, Kim, can do some amazing things with digital photos. While I am not as old as Cloris Leachman, I've decided that I am old enough to start bragging on my children and their accomplishments. Well, off I go to dreamland and the all-too-soon annoying alarm clock. Buenas Noches.

My Eden

I just read my brother's blog. He blogged about how he deals with the difficulties he see in the world right now (economic, etc.). It started me thinking about how I feel about the world now. Maybe the blood pressure medicine has decreased blood flow to my brain to the point that I am semi-delusional. I haven't felt terribly traumatized by the financial problems currently plaguing the world. Because I limit my financial world to my online banking system, I am sure that I don't fully comprehend that extreme circumstances we find ourselves in perched on the edge of the "depression precipice." As long as I am able to meet my monthly financial obligations and throw money into the 401(k) hole (bottomless pit) I guess I am satisfied. Unlike most of my family (well, probably all of my family) I have different political leanings. I actually feel energized by the political season. I am excited to see history being made. I feel very hopeful and excited for the future of this country. Inside of my I just feel like things are going to get much better. I look at my children. I have so much to be grateful for and proud of. While it causes feelings of melancholy to watch your children leave home. I also feel so much happiness for them as they make good decisions and pursue courses that are going to improve their lives. While there are always rough spots in marriage, I am grateful and blessed to have married such a talented, beautiful and focused woman. She truly is the love of my life. I commented to Sherrie last night that while our house is not what I would have dreamed of 21 years ago when we were married (we had that house in Idaho Falls and Eugene), I have come to realize that property, houses, careers, eduction and other worldly pursuits are not nearly as important as one's spouse. With the economic downturn I may not have much to retire on (although I am confident that it will turn around again -it always does) but I have a companion by my side that I love so I won't need much. The political winds will continue to blow and change, and to be quite frank, in 46 years they haven't really had that much influence on my life (so I don't expect much influence in the next 46). I am happy to see my children grow and mature and I am anxiously looking forward to the day when I will get to play with my grandchildren. While the world is broiling in turmoil, I feel like I live in a little haven (my own little Garden of Eden in my backyard), nestled up against the mountains in Tooele, Utah (who ever though).


I'm not sure when I first took offense to Governor Palin. It might have been the first time she opened her mouth and said something. Since that time I've had an occasional chuckle at her quips and mispeaks. However, when she implied that those that have an opinion that differs from hers are "UnAmerican" I see how truly unfit she is to serve in a leadership capacity over this great country. Quoting from the October 22, 2008 Washington Post, "In an interview on CNN, Palin said comments she made last week in North Carolina praising small towns as 'the real America' and the 'pro-America areas of this great nation' were not intended to suggest that other parts of the country are less patriotic or less American." If that is not what she intended that is certainly what she said. There are more or less 300,000,000 Americans. Only a very small minority would be willing to give up their citizenship. And countless millions more are clamoring to enter this great country.

The spectrum of political persuasion is broad. That was the intent and design of the founders of this nation. They recognized that many varied ideas and approaches would result in great ideas and approaches being pursued. They recognized that while all men/women are created equal they are also endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. They recognized that these endowments made people different. That is why they were guaranteed the rights to religion and speech. The leaders of this country and those aspiring to leadership must always remember those rights and the greatness those freedoms have brought to this country. We cannot and our leaders must not condemn those Americans who speak or think differently that we do. That is why I believe Palin is not fit to lead America.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Morning After halloween

Leave it to Jordan to carve a creative pumpkin with a message. I really laughed when I saw this. He and his roommates carved pumpkins for their porch. It sounds like they have some festivities planned for the holiday. He is sure having fun (and studying very hard) at school. I am sure proud of him. I guess we will go to the store tomorrow and pick out our carving pumpkins. I like to carve the creative pumpkins from the templates. It is really hard to believe that Halloween is already here. Time is going by so fast it is SCARING me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Treats - NOT

I found this funny article and it had me laughing so hard I had to post it here. These are almost the exact same thoughts I had as a kid going trick or treating!

The 10 Most Disappointing Treats for Trick-or-Treaters

On Halloween night, some houses struggle with the idea of candy. There are good houses, and there are bad houses. The best trick-or-treaters know to avoid the latter. At the food site Serious Eats, we all love Halloween, but wish certain homes would just stop handing out the classically bad "treats." They weren't good last year, the year before that, or now. Our own Erin Zimmer put together this list of our top 10 Halloween treats that nobody wants...


Dentists and orthodontists should not be allowed to celebrate Halloween if they're going to get all tooth doctory on us. Do not bring your work home with you, folks! We all have a personal responsibility to brush, and maybe some of us will forget, but your complimentary bristles on a stick (instead of a Snickers) will not help us remember. It will make us despise you and your trade.


Little boxes of stuck-together shriveled globs are not what little kids schlep around the neighborhood for all night. When they say trick-or-treat, they want candy that will rot their teeth, not wrinkled grapes. (Using an empty box as a kazoo-like instrument, though, is kinda fun.)

Candy Corn

The most polarizing candy of all. The fruitcake of Halloween; it just never goes away. If you love them, fine. But don't subject the rest of us haters to the sickeningly sweet triangle that tastes like neither candy nor corn.

Smarties and Necco Wafers

These chalky candies are supposedly "fruit-flavored," but no fruit I know tastes like dust -- and makes everything eaten after taste like dust, too.

Dum Dum Lollipops

Usually, foods on a stick are yummy (corn dogs, ice pops), but Dum Dums just can't be included on that list. Not even if they were breaded and deep-fried and served at a fair.


Long before "poisoned candy" scares, evil people were handing out apples instead of candy on Halloween. This disappointing "treat" is the main reason to avoid unwrapped food while trick-or-treating.

Tootsie Rolls

It looks like chocolate and sort of smells like chocolate, but the mini brown tubes are not real chocolate. They taste like watered-down chocolate, and have a chewy texture that will strip the fillings right off your molars.

Miscellaneous, Wrapped Hard Candies

Halloween is supposed to be a holiday for young people, not senior citizens who suck on hard candies all day. Something about the strawberry-shaped strawberries, gold-wrapped butterscotch, and peppermint feels past the expiration date. (These usually get set aside for Granny.)

Laffy Taffy

I do not laffy when I get these. I sobby. I get depressedy. Because it gets all stucky to my teethy and doesn't even taste that goody.

Anything Fun-Sized

Who started calling it this? Since when is one bite fun?! Give us the rich houses with the sprawling driveways and full-sized candy bars any day. Portion control doesn't need to start this young.

McCain's Economic Stimulus Package

John McCain has finally found the solution to our economic crisis and world image crisis. His new plan is to give every family a $150,000 "accessory" credit. This would come in the form of a prepaid VISA (likely American Express or Discover also) that families could use at high-end clothing stores to redo their wardrobes. This would pump money into the economy, help retain the high-end retailers which would generate more tax revenues so that taxes could be cut for wealthy Americans so that they could spend more money at high-end retail stores and generate more tax money .... In addition, the fashion conscious European states and the emerging Asian powers would look more favorably upon a well-dressed and coiffed America. This is why Sarah Palin makes the perfect Vice-President. She would head the to-be-formed government office of Fashion and Lateral Economic American Stimulus (FLEAS). Given her fashion sense and extensive experience as a beauty contestant and TV personality, she has the wherewithal to oversee the direction of high-end retailers in obtaining styles that are fashionable yet conservative. Remember, accessorize before you VOTE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Now There's An Attractive Couple

If I don't say so myself! This was taken at the Second Chance Prom in Idaho Falls in 2000. I am amazed how much weight I was able to gain in just 7 years. It was all the running in Eugene. I lost weight there and then moved to Utah and gained back twice as much as I lost. Well, since I don't look at myself and get to look at my better half, the scenery is still really good. This is motivation to get back at it. I went and signed up at the new Gold's Gym and I'm ready to hit the treadmill as soon as they open (which fortunately isn't until after Christmas - yea!!).

A Picture is Worth .... at least some words

These are some of my favorites for this week. I durst not initiate one of my political diatribes lest I cause offense. I must wonder if my political persuasions and leanings have set me up for extermination from this great land. Nufsed Comrad.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Holiday that Isn't

Well, today is Deer Hunt Holiday (I've always found that to be a quirky Utah thing - we celebrate the annual deer massacre). I could be at home repainting my bedroom (yes, repainting already, the original colors we picked just didn't work for us so we found some new colors while we were up in Montana), but instead I am here at work. No, I didn't choose to come to work over repainting my bedroom. I exchanged the holiday today for Friday of last week. It doesn't work well when Sherrie and the children get Thursday and Friday off and I get Monday off. This day seems to be dragging on with it so quiet here. I actually feel recuperated from our northern excursion. Yesterday I was feeling it in my back. Every time we go to the cabin it seems that I engage in too much heavy lifting. This was our last trek up there for the winter, so I had to winterize it, which included placing plywood "shutters" over the lower windows. Last year we didn't put up shutters (well, in fact in it's entire lifetime it has never been shuttered), and we lost a window. It was such an inconvenience to get the window repaired that I vowed to shutter the cabin every year now. Lifting the boards into place for marking the hangers and then relifting them to hang them did a number on my back (I guess it doesn't help that I haven't been to the club for almost 4 months). We started the "vacation" on Thursday afternoon, much to the dismay of Jonathan and Sarah. They didn't want to go to the cabin. They are both teenagers and would have preferred to spend the long weekend in the pj's sleeping or watching TV. Being the awful parent that I am I made them go. We arrived at the cabin on Thursday at about 9:00 pm. It was beautiful fall weather and I didn't even need a coat unloading the car that late in the evening. Friday Sherrie, Jonathan and myself went to West Yellowstone. Sarah wanted to stay at the cabin and watch movies. We had a fun time in West shuttling between the boutique and hardware store. We found the paint for our bedroom and Jonathan's bedroom. We had the shutter boards cut and loaded up on antifreeze. Before heading back to Island Park we made our last stop at the candy store to buy our fudge (we thought that would help Sarah feel better). Jonathan had us buy (an overpriced) Parchesi game in West so that we could play it back at the cabin.
We had a fun round of Parcheesi. It has been a number of years since I played this board game. Of course, Jonathan won and Sherrie came in a close second (they are hardcore gamers). I came in dead last! After that we went for a game of Hearts. Again, Jonathan won, but I redeemed myself with a second place (barely). It was nice to sit up in the cabin with the fireplace going and the quiet of the forest outside. This time of year they are very few people up there so we only saw a couple of cars and a few walkers through the course of the weekend. Saturday we got up and made the shutters and hung them over the windows. I then hurried to finish winterizing the cabin so that we could head back to Tooele. Sarah had a Stake Dance to attend that started at 8:00 pm so we rushed to get on the road (we had originally planned to return on Sunday). It is always hard for me to leave the cabin. If I could I would live up there for several months at a time. I enjoy eating breakfast on the front porch while watching the squirrels and birds. I enjoy going into West Yellowstone because it is a small town where people are friendly and helpful. I feel a lot more peace when I am up in the mountains. We stopped in Idaho Falls for lunch and to see Sherrie's father. We found out that he had been transferred to a hospital in Pocatello the day before. We were going to try and see him in Pocatello, but Sarah needed to get home. We arrived home at about 8:30 pm just in time for Sarah to get ready and be fashionably late. She made it to the dance and had a good time. We stayed up to wait for her and to watch SNL - poor Sarah Palin, I would have advised her not to do the show, because they made a fool out of her even with her present. After church on Sunday we drove down to my parents home in Saratoga Springs to visit. My brother Eric and his wife Natalie brought their new baby, Tateym, up. Sherrie had a nice baby gift for them (a fancy blanket and "shoe" socks that she got at the boutique in West). We arrived back home tired. We sat up for about 45 minutes "chatting" online with Jordan through Facebook (I still don't have a very good grasp on the Facebook concept, but I am learning - I think I still prefer blogging.) So here I am sitting at my desk, tired and wishing that I did have a holiday today so that I could rest up from the "vacation" taken on the weekend. I've place a slideshow of the cabin after the blogs for anybody interested in seeing what it looks like inside now. Until next time.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Elder Gibby Status Update - October 15, 2008

It is hard to believe that it is Wednesday again (I know I say that every Wednesday). They are seeming to roll around faster than they did when Jared first left. He has been out 161 days (22%), but whose counting (well, I can think of at least two people). He is continuing to enjoy his mission and work hard. Jared is now starting to see some of the fruits of his labors. It looks as if they will have some baptisms in the near future.
He enjoys his new companion. I won't try to spell his name because it isn't one that I am familiar with. He is working as the new Elder's trainer. Sherrie received a nice packaged from Sister Hann and Jared last week. Jared sent her a beautiful bracelet that spells out "MOM" with silver M's and rhinestone O's. Sister Hann sent her a beautiful music box with pictures of Sherrie and Jared in the top and a hand beaded bracelet (Jared must have told her how much Sherrie loves bracelets).
Jared stated in his email that they are trying to divide the Huntsville Stake and they need additional active Melchizedek Priesthood so they are really encouraging the missionaries to step up their efforts (I don't know if Jared could work much harder than he already has). Anyway, we are really proud of his determination, enthusiasm, faith and work ethic. I know he is proving to be a great blessing to the Birmingham Mission. Sherrie and I are already looking forward to going down there when he finishes his mission.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snow in Them There Mountains

We had our first snowfalls this week. The initial fall was up in the mountains and then on Saturday morning we woke up to about an inch on the lawn and sidewalks (well everything). I timed my fertilizing just right again. On Thursday I mowed the lawn and applied the fertilizer anticipating that it would snow. I find that is works best if there is a snowfall just after application. That cold moisture seems to really put it to work on the roots. I have mixed feelings at this time of year. I am glad to rid myself of the labor of caring for gardens and lawn. But at the same time, I miss the beauty of the gardens and being able to sit outside (I guess I could still sit outside if I bundled up warm).

Where Have I Been?

Somehow this week escaped me. It came and went and I find myself standing here dazed, because I'm not quite sure where it went. That is the trouble with getting older (not that I am old or even close) is that time does accelerate. There must be something about the space-time continuum that we don't understand.

It has been a week since Jordan visited us. It was so nice to have him home. I guess maybe that is what happened. I was still thinking about how nice it was to have almost our complete family under the same roof that I just missed the week afterwords. Jordan is doing great. His friend, Austin, came over for a few minutes and we found out that his mission call is to Croatia (Jordan had that confused with Micronesia - good thing he is an art/graphic design major - wouldn't want him in Travel and Tourism making people's vacation arrangements). Joking aside, he is excelling in all of his classes. I am starting to feel a little pride (in spite of that conference talk years ago) about how my children are turning out. I have two that are out living on their own and doing it right - WOW! I have two still at home that give me no trouble and are also excelling in school and other areas of their lives. Well, so much for my self-ingratiation.
Ruby was sooooo happy to have Jordan home. He had warmed up to me until Jordan showed up. Now we are working on it again.

We had a nice dinner out while Jordan was here last Saturday. We went to the Mayan (Sherrie was out-voted) and have a nice dinner. Jordan likes the Mayan (I do also). It was fun to have everyone out together. Jordan also took some time to show us his unicycling skills. He apparently learned to do this while we lived in Idaho Falls. His good friend, Scott Obert, is a unicycler. He did pretty good for not having ridden one for several years.

We also were able to meet his friend, Kim, via webcam and Facebook. She is a graphic arts major also. She is really an accomplished and cute young lady.

I was also nice to hear Jordan's music again. He took time to play the guitar and piano for us. He has become quite accomplished on the piano in the time since he quit taking lessons.

I guess that I have bragged on Jordan enough to embarrass him. This week I also started painting my bedroom. I don't mind painting, but it is always so difficult because I have to move things around like a puzzle to get to each wall. It would take so much less time if I had that ability to just go in and paint without constantly moving things around. Sherrie picked a pale pink and moss green color scheme for the bedroom. It will match a beautiful quilt for our bed that she has just about completed. It is nice to have fresh paint on the walls and trim (well for about 3/4 of the room). I ran out of time and will have to try and complete it during the week. The biggest problem is I have to move the bed to get to the last wall. And moving the bed is all that difficult in and of itself, it is just all the stuff we have stored under the bed that will have to be moved also. It really won't be all that bad when I actually get after it. Next I am going to tackle the master bathroom and retile the hot tub and bathroom floor. I'm sure Jonathan is wondering when I will finally get around to painting his bedroom and putting the loft bed in there and getting the large log bed out of his room. I might be able to get that done before Christmas if the cold whether holds out. I did remember to go out and disconnect my hoses before the hard freeze (maybe I shouldn't have and then I could have had some new carpet (at least in the lower level of the house).

This week Sarah had her Standards Night (I can't remember what it is called now). It was really nice (although Sarah was sick she went anyway). She had a pretty table that highlighted some of her many accomplishments. The Young Women's Presidency had put alot of work into the evening. There aren't very many young women in our Ward (only 12 that came). Sarah's friends are in the other ward. She is having fun serving on the Stake Youth Committee. This weekend she used her Cricut to make the poster advertising the Stake Dance (retro - disco). She is very talented in that area and designed a really nice poster.

What else occurred this week? I watched Survivor. I watched CSI - not great surprises there. I blogged (tonight). That about wraps it up....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My sister, Kimberly, sent me this cartoon today. It gave me a good laugh (which I needed). I haven't blogged for several days because I have been really constrained on time (and sick - part of the constraint was sleeping). I will try to get caught up tonight.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Surviving the Debates

I watched the Vice-Presidential Debate last night. It wasn't nearly as entertaining as I had hoped it might be. I did, however, find it very information (at least from the candidate who knew something). I have to admit I wasn't entirely sure about my decision (I still consider myself an independent). But after last night I am much more confident. I think that there may have been enough material for Tina Fey to give it another go on Saturday Night Live (I've haven't laughed that hard in a longtime as when I watched the videos of the first two performances.) I find it curious that the media is hesitant to criticize the Governor's performance, instead preferring to say that she was essentially successfully by not screwing up. What I saw was Senator Biden answering the questions that were asked and providing facts to back up his statements. What I endured from the Governor were repeating, pre-prepared mini-speeches, more often than not, not addressing the question posed. I did not see the grace, presence and professionalism that I would expect from a candidate at such a high level. By contrast, I watched the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, address the nation following the vote on the infamous bailout (I won't go into that rant here), and she was in an entirely different league, with poise and grace and authority. I didn't hear any "gotchas" or Joe Sixpack from her. Well, I can feel that I am spiraling down into a rant.

On a positive note, Survivor was on last night after the debates (I was so intent on watching the debate that I I thought I had to forgo watching Survivor). There wasn't much exciting that happened, but it helped to get me calmed down before I went to bed. Tonight Jordan is coming up from school. I am excited to see him. It will be fun to spend time together as a family and maybe even go out to dinner (that's why I'm so fat, we celebrate everything with food). Last night to celebrate the debate, Sherrie went and got us donuts (I think I ate a dozen - well, not really, but I could have).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So Who Is To Blame?

I found this good article (click here for the entire article) on the current "economic crisis" and the various contributors. It is non-partisan and points essentially to greed (in my view):

So who is to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn't fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn't do. As The Economist magazine noted recently, the problem is one of "layered irresponsibility ... with hard-working homeowners and billionaire villains each playing a role." Here's a partial list of those alleged to be at fault:

* The Federal Reserve, which slashed interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap.
* Home buyers, who took advantage of easy credit to bid up the prices of homes excessively.
* Congress, which continues to support a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive houses.
* Real estate agents, most of whom work for the sellers rather than the buyers and who earned higher commissions from selling more expensive homes.
* The Clinton administration, which pushed for less stringent credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families.
* Mortgage brokers, who offered less-credit-worthy home buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments, but exploding interest rates.
* Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who in 2004, near the peak of the housing bubble, encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages.
* Wall Street firms, who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral.
* The Bush administration, which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market.
* An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic.
* Collective delusion, or a belief on the part of all parties that home prices would keep rising forever, no matter how high or how fast they had already gone up.

The U.S. economy is enormously complicated. Screwing it up takes a great deal of cooperation. Claiming that a single piece of legislation was responsible for (or could have averted) is just political grandstanding. We have no advice to offer on how best to solve the financial crisis. But these sorts of partisan caricatures can only make the task more difficult.

Jared Wednesday Update

Jared's weekly email arrived early on Wednesday. I didn't get any pictures this week. He and Elder Lee were going to the Space Center again (thank you Hanns). Elder Lee is going home this week and Jared is getting a new companion. He will now be a trainer and have a greenie (Jared still has a green tinge on his extremities). I am excited for him. He is really demonstrating his ability to take on a difficult task and stay with it while giving it his all. He has an interesting teaching pool. He spent a couple of hours with a gentleman who has been a preacher for years. Don't ever Bible Bash with a baptist preacher because you will never win (he won't hear anything you say). They have an investigator set for baptism - that should be a great experience for him. He is excited that he will be staying in Cullman for the time being. Jared summed up his approach to missionary work at the end of his email; "Well, I’m doing great and still accentuating the positive. Enthusiasm works."