Monday, August 10, 2009

Nebo and iTunes' Prank on Me

Story number 1: Nebo

Some of the basic truths of our faith are rarely mentioned in testimony meetings. Example: All single twenty-five year olds are dating failures. Failing to set them up is like failing to feed a starving person in your very midst. Four wanna-be Cupids were shooting arrows at me just over a week ago. My blind date for that Saturday fell through, so I decided to hike Mount Nebo instead. On the whole, I've lost a lot of faith in blind dates.

I enjoy hiking. Hiking can be a wonderful social event and an pleasant outing. This hike, however, was neither. This was to be a Man Hike. I convinced myself that my awesomeness was directly proportional to how quickly I could get to the highest point of the Wasatch Mountains. My ascent would consist of Godzilla Steps with a some running. An occasional Man Roar (the kind that would intimidate a Viking) would be appropriate.

Thus I found myself moving quickly past a couple who had stopped to rest after a steep part.

Bryan: Hello!
Guy: Wow, you're like in fourth gear, aren't you?
Bryan: Ha, thanks.

I got to the top, ate a granola bar, and turned back down the mountain. About an hour and half after our first encounter, I passed the couple again as they continued their ascent. The first words out of the guys mouth were: "I've got a smokin' hot sister that I want to set you up with. You seem like a nice guy. She's a hiker."

What did this guy know about me? I hike fast. I'm wearing a BYU shirt. Two (friendly) words: "Hello" and "thanks." I'm not sure if they'll actually convince the sister to go out on the date, but I gave them my number. I don't expect it to go anywhere, but wouldn't that be an awesome "how we met" story?

Story number 2: iTunes' Prank on Me

In reorganizing my music, I told iTunes to fetch any missing album art for my iPod touch. The visual recognition adds a little convenience.

The problem is, many of my songs were ripped from the CD by other programs before I became an iPod user. iTunes doesn't always get the CD right. I did this for my entire music library, only to discover some errors while listening. I had my entire iPod on shuffle last week, when a Bach song came on from The Only Classical CD You'll Ever Need. This is what I saw:

I began laughing hysterically, right there in my cubicle at work. "On Fire: Hottest Bellydance CD Ever" is certainly not something I'd ever buy, but I still haven't cleared the album art. I'm too amused every time I see it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I'm programming at work, working with code dealing with Wi-Fi connections. In the last 20 minutes I've found the following spellings for the word "disassociate" in the code:

  1. dissassociate
  2. dissasociate
  3. dissocaite
  4. disassociaght
  5. diassociated
And they say programmers aren't creative! Fah!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Timpanogos Trek

Today I was called by Hollingshead, and old friend, who hadn't heard from me in months. He told me that the Eloquist wasn't exactly helping me to stay in touch with others. Time to start posting again.

Yesterday I got to work super early. By the late afternoon I was pretty brain dead, and I stepped outside for a few minutes to think. Mount Timpanogos soared overhead.

I thought to myself, "I want to be there... Whoa. I could actually do it." I didn't walk back into the office. I walked straight to my car, got in, stopped at a gas station for Gatorade and snacks, and drove to the trail head. I began hiking at 5:00pm, and I didn't have a lot of sunlight left. I ran for most of the first hour and then hiked like a madman to reach the summit a while before sundown.

If you're keen on a moment of majestic solitude, might I recommend watching the sun go down from the summit of Mount Timpanogos?

There is still a lot of snow on the far side of the mountain this early in the year. Fortunately you can go down steep snow covered mountains much faster than you can go up them. I hiked back to my car by the light of a full moon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Probability of Kitchen Disaster

After about 3 it starts to get crazy really fast.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Turning my faith loose

It was the career fair again today. While wandering, I was stopped by a black student.
"Why are you here, brother?" he asked.
"Just looking for a job," I answered.
He placed his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said, "Just remember to turn your faith loose."
Then he turned and left.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I'm usually about as sentimental about my things as Chuck Norris is about his boots. But over Christmas break I had to say goodbye to my watch.

For a moment, please imagine a movie with a beautiful horse, a beautifuler young girl who rides it every day, and her brother who can't ever remember to feed the chickens. The girl becomes a horse jockey in an effort to win prize money to save the family farm. Of course, she has to race against the horse and jockey of some rich guy that looks a lot like Kingpin, but lacks the threatening pants. And, of course, the horse breaks its leg and has to be put down.

This is the same basic tragedy, with a few plot substitutions:
Tender little girl = Bryan
Horse = Ironman Triathlon Watch
Saving the farm = Reminding Bryan to remove ginger snaps from the oven
Breaking Leg = Failing to beep when timer reached zero

The watch was on my wrist continuously from my sixteenth birthday until Christmas 2008, except for while sleeping and showering. In that third of my life, we went through four batteries and over ten wrist bands. It's been there for every date I've ever been on, every moment of a four year degree, and an entire mission. But once it let my ginger snaps overcook, it was all over between us. I had flashbacks to Toy Story II as I left the once precious object to be forgotten in a box until the next yard sale. It's been replaced with the new version of the Ironman Triathlon, which is mostly identical, but with blue buttons.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Personality Test

I'm done with finals and rather bored, so I wasted my time by taking a facebook personality quiz. It consisted of 100 statements that I could rate on the "Strongly agree" to "Strongly disagree" scale. The statements went something like this:
  • "I have a vivid imagination."
  • "I talk to lots of people at parties."
  • "I'm incredibly mean to everyone."
Then you are given numbers in five personality categories: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Apparently I'm very open, conscientious and agreeable, moderately extraverted, and not much of a neurotic.

In high school a similar test gave me compatibility rankings for various careers. I think one of my better matches was mortician. I've never trusted these things at all. So when I finished, I was rather surprised to see what it thought my college major should be:

What's with the purple anyway?
  1. Out of 60 majors, it got mine perfectly.
  2. My personal next best fit? Not decide on any particular major at all.
  3. Computer engineers and general studiesers have extremely similar personalities. Supposedly.
Surprises 2 and 3 support my old "Personality tests are rubbish!" feelings. At the same time, those feelings seem entirely discredited by surprise 1. I'm not really sure what to think.

Oh yeah. Apparently I wouldn't do well in cosmetology.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crazy people

People outside Best Buy all night before Black Friday? People camping outside a movie theaters? People camping just to buy a DVD copy of the Dark Knight at midnight? I laugh at these people.

At the midnight release of Harry Potter 7, I took my brother to Barnes and Noble to stand in line. (Actually, one hour into the event and halfway through the line, we discovered that Hastings had the book without a line just down the street.) But that was only because he needed someone to take him there, not because I was that crazy. And when I spent a few hours in line for BYU vs Utah basketball game tickets, it was only to keep my friend company. That's all. Never mind that I also got tickets and waited in line just as long.

So on Thursday night into Friday morning, I spent quite a few hours trying to justify why I was in line. I was alone, so I can't really blame anyone else. I'm still not sure if I'm embarrassed or proud of myself.


Capitol Theatre, Salt Lake City

When: I left after a midnight Walmart run with my cousin. I got back the next morning at about 10am.


Approximate attendance

My appearance:

My iPod and book were photoshopped out.

Appropriate appearance for such an excursion in December:

Net cash flow: -$596.00

The Goods:

The line was nearly four blocks long at one point. There was a lot of nervous laughter as the 5AMers showed up and realized that they might not be getting tickets after all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mystery Girl

Setting: BYU vs Wyoming Football game
When: September 20, 2008
Where: North end zone student section, Lavell Edwards Stadium
Who: Me, Tia, and Mystery Girl

(Halfway through the game)
Tia: "Bryan, that girl up there is cute. You should ask her out."

Bryan: "Hah, okayyy..."

(15 minutes later Mystery Girl turns around and Bryan sees her face.)
Bryan, joking: "You're right, Tia. You should get her number for me."

(End of shutout out game. Crowd is dispersing in all directions. Mystery Girl turns left, my group of friends turns right.)
Tia: "Bryan, you're letting her get away!"

Bryan, still joking: "Hah. Darn. You failed me, Tia. I told you to get her number for me."
Tia does an about-face and begins moving quickly in the direction of Mystery girl. I suddenly become very concerned and pretend that I don't know what is going on. I keep walking with everyone else in the opposite direction of Mystery girl. I'm already pretty embarrassed. Tia catches up to Mystery Girl, well out of ear shot. Tia walks up and introduces herself to Mystery Girl, shaking her hand.
Tia: "Hi. I'm Tia."

Mystery Girl: "Hi. I'm _______."

Tia: "We were sitting behind you a during the game, and my friend thought that you were cute."
Girl laughs.
Tia, quickly making up an excuse: "He and I had a bet about if the game would end up being a shutout or not. If Wyoming had scored, he would be getting your number right now. Can I get it for him?"
Mystery Girl appears flattered, but she laughs uneasily.
Mystery Girl: "Sorry. If he wanted it, he should have come to get it himself."

Tia and I had a pretty good laugh about the situation. I was glad she didn't get the number - that way I didn't have to be pressured into asking her out and feeling like a creepy stalker.

Flash forward a few months.

Setting: The Wilk.
When: Last Friday, December 5, halfway through my lunch.

I look up from my food and notice someone at the table next to me. She looks familiar, yet somehow I don't think I've ever talked to her. A friend of a friend? Did I have some GE with her a long time ago? Is she just some good looking girl that I've noticed on campus before?

No, wait! It's her! Wyoming Football Game Mystery Girl!

But she doesn't know who I am. I wasn't there when Tia talked to her after the game. Too bad I'm even more afraid of approaching her now than I was then.

(10 minutes of mental deliberation later)

I slide my chair around so I'm closer to Mystery Girl and facing her directly.

Bryan: "So I have a funny story to tell you."

Mystery Girl, smiling: "Okay."

Bryan: "I'm Bryan. Earlier this year at the the Wyoming football game I was sitting behind you and my friend suggested that I get your number. I never planned on getting it, but I joked about it with her a little bit. As you walked away after the game, she ran up to you, made up some story about a bet that we had, and asked for your number. So... yeah. I'm the creepy guy behind that whole incident. I just recognized you here and spent a few minutes talking myself into telling you so that we could laugh about the whole incident."
Mystery Girl laughs, and then reaches out and shakes my hand.
Mystery Girl: "I'm Sharee. Nice to meet you. Sorry, but you've totally got the wrong girl. That wasn't me at all. I liked your story though!"


Thursday, December 4, 2008

You know that you are in an engineering building when...

... you need to plug your laptop in, and you have 38 empty power plugs within 15 feet. And no windows anywhere.

Note that all of the power plugs are a permanent part of the room itself - no power strips.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lame ways to break up

Worst Ways Bryan's Friends Have Gotten the Break Up Message:

3. Several sentence email, when the person lived about a hundred feet away.
2. Facebook chat.
1. Accidentally running into his girlfriend while showing physical affection for another girlfriend.

New Addition: Text message. (I always used to joke about this, never thinking anyone older than 14 would actually do it.)

Does that get added between 1 and 2, or between 2 and 3?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hair cut

Today I got a hair cut and then went on a run. I ran to a park and did quick laps around the park with short rests between them, trying to run each lap faster than the previous.

On one of these laps I sprinted toward the finish line, which was a giant pole with lights mounted at the top. A bird atop this light fixture showed true marksmanship with moving targets. He delivered a sticky white substance to the top of my head just as I crossed the finish line. I shook my fist and challenged him to a gentlemanly duel, but he smugly ignored me. We both knew he had already won. I ran two more laps, defiant of his attempt to make me quit early.

On my way home I ran by a friend from an old ward. She said something nice about my hair cut. She was too short to see the top of my head.

"So... um... please explain what caused you to start a blog."


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"The Most Horrible Day of My Life"

Vocational tip

The other day, out of nowhere, my friend suggested that I move to California and become a dolphin trainer.

Maybe I can blame some of my bizarre behavior on my awesome and peculiar friends. Or does the possibility of me becoming a dolphin trainer seem reasonable to you?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pointless Inventions

In case you were too busy laughing to read the scrolling white text at the bottom: "The ultimate patent pending machine that will change our country from a fat one to a fit one."

How is this better than, say, running? Is adding that much weight worth keeping my shoes from touching real pavement?

I don't get it. Who comes up with this stuff? Who buys it? Am I working way too hard to earn money?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dating With Lazy Evaluation

I regularly apply engineering principles to everyday life. It's my effort to try to demystify complicated and incomprehensible things like dating. It doesn't seem to help much, but it is entertaining to me and the nerds I share it with. This blog's captive audience, if existent, might have a low trekkie to socialite ratio. That ratio may go up after nerdy posts like this. Oh well.

"In computer programming, lazy evaluation (or delayed evaluation) is the technique of delaying a computation until such time as the result of the computation is known to be needed. The actions of lazy evaluation include: performance increases due to avoiding unnecessary calculations..." -Wikipedia

Lazy evaluation is pretty cool. You don't do something until you are sure that it is necessary.

Yesterday my friend called me to tell me a funny story. Friend has told me many times about Girl, who is replete with attractive qualities. He hasn't yet succeeded in going out with her, though he has tried a time or two. Friend knew that Girl worked on the day of a very expensive concert. He didn't have tickets, and they've been sold out for a long time. Never having succeeded in asking her out, and knowing about her work that day, he almost jokingly invited her to the concert.

Friend: "So do you have to work on Thursday?"
Girl: "Yeah, why?"
Friend: "Darn. I was going to invite you to __________. "
Girl: "Well, I could shift things around!"

My friend is now committed to the date. He will probably end up spending over a hundred dollars getting the tickets on eBay, though she assumes that he already has them. Rather than laugh at him, I admire his genius. He's using lazy evaluation with his date! He didn't bother getting the tickets until he knew it was worth the effort. If it makes computers more efficient, it should do the same for dating, right? Besides, having very expensive tickets and nobody who wants to use them with you... that problem stinks. I would know.

UPDATE: He spent $100 on each of two front row tickets. She backed out two hours later. *mutters something about fickle women*

Monday, November 10, 2008

Funny Dialogue In The Last Week

"Bryan you ARE a literary genius and should have gone into English." -The only person who has admitted to reading this blog

"I've got game." -My Dad

As I walked to campus, I was approached by a girl I had never seen before.
Girl: "James! You're back! How are you?"
James, huh? How is it that other people can remember names but not faces? You clearly don't know James all that well. This could be fun...
Bryan, in his best I-think-I-remember-you-too-but-help-me-out-here voice: "Hey!"
Girl, catching the slight question in my response: "I'm Lindsey, remember? How are you? Where did you serve again?"
I'm going to come clean with her in a moment anyway. Let's just throw things out until I get something wrong and she realizes that I'm an imposter.
Bryan: "I'm good! I just got back from Brazil three months ago. How have you been?"
Lindsey:"Really? Brazil? I forgot that - I thought it was Asia or something. Cool! Have you seen Justin?"
Bryan: "Well, both Asians and Brazilians are short and eat rice. I haven't seen hardly anyone from our freshman ward, but of course I've seen Justin!"
Lindsey: "You guys were hilarious."
Bryan: "Yeah, it's too bad I'm one of those boring return missionaries now. Enclave Village just isn't quite the same as Helaman Halls."
Lindsey: "Really? Did you hang out there much? I never left Heritage that whole year."
*I begin laughing, regretting my lapse in impromptu acting skills. I explain myself, apologize, and Lindsey turns red.*

A guy came up to me to discuss his efforts to date my friend. He wanted me to find out how his efforts were going. I already had this information (that she wasn't really interested), but I had been asked to keep quiet about it, so I did. There was not a drop of sarcasm in anything he said to me afterward.
Guy: "You know, man, you've got to start with one girl, get some confidence going, and then drop her for someone better! It's kind of like a ladder. I've done it a few times, and I'm to the point that I can get pretty much any girl that I want."
Wow. I'm suddenly inspired to encourage my friend (who you aren't getting so easily) to go for you.
Guy: "Yeah, bro, I'll help you out too! Yeah, I've been thinking about you, man! You've just gotta get yer hair together into a Mohawk with some mousse and some hairspray. Then we'll get you some skater shoes and you'll see the difference, bro! We're gonna turn you into a ladies' man!"
Wow. Thanks, "bro."

Monday, November 3, 2008


Yesterday at church someone asked Bryan how he had been. The week was full of many forms of woe, but Bryan didn't particularly care to discuss any of them. His hesitation to respond, however, precluded a very convincing "good." He settled for another more truthful word: "Tired." This answer satisfied both honesty and privacy.

Walking away, Bryan thought about the root of that word. Graphically:



He realized just how spot-on his answer had been, albeit unintentionally. And he may never see that word quite the same way again.

Later that night, feeling tired about a lot of things, he received some advice concerning one of them from an old friend with whom he hadn't spoken in a very long time.

"Maybe tonight you can WILL her to come into your life. Instead of counting sheep, visualize the girl of your dreams running toward a white picket fence, then hurling herself over into a heap on the other side. Then she gets up and runs around to do it all over again. Poor dream girl. Pretty soon she will be so crumpled that she will have no choice but to appear to you in reality so she no longer has to endure the torture in your subconscious. Just a thought." -Lanelle

Bryan laughed, and laughed, and tried to sleep, and laughed some more. In his first class this morning, the professor commented three times on how Bryan kept smiling and laughing during the lecture, when neither he nor any other student in twenty years had found signal field graph modeling quite that entertaining. Eventually Bryan became slightly concerned that this mental image should probably cease to amuse him so, but then he squashed out the concern and laughed again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Random Photos

On the way to school yesterday, Bryan saw a chicken.

Domesticated Fowl in Provo

It reminded him of mission conversations about how much he would miss seeing chickens randomly in the street. It always seemed a miracle to him that on a Uruguayan street with 37 starving dogs, a chicken could calmly strut around all of them without being hurt.

Today at the BYU football game, Bryan saw him:

There he is!

And then Bryan's life was seriously endangered. Probably inspired by the most violent of video games, Mario Kart, some hardened criminal attempted to cause a serious wreck as Bryan pulled out of the his parking garage. Were it not for his extremely acute senses, this could have been a tragedy.

Recipe for disaster

Saturday, October 11, 2008

FHE Group Info

Bryan's roommate Brendan recently created a Facebook group to help coordinate FHE. The night that he created it, it looked like this:

They laughed pretty hard when they saw it. They've also been the only members of the group for several weeks now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Appropriate Career Fair Dress

Bryan has always enjoyed a minor breach of protocol when he can get away with it. He's sort of in denial about being a conformist, and he uses any minor contravention of societal norms as indisputable evidence that he's not a lemming. And what could possibly be more rash and rebellious than not dressing up for a career fair? If a company doesn't hire him because he was wearing slacks and a polo shirt, he probably didn't want to work for them anyway. Engineers don't ever dress up, so why should wannabe engineers have to? Besides, most hiring teams are made of engineers who find formal dress no more important than washing one's hands after eating a bag of Cheetos.

At last week's career fair, however, Bryan wasn't seeking an engineering job. He was looking for a job for a friend - an English graduate. How exactly was it different? Impress HR instead of nerds? Could he get away with the same protocol when seeking something so different? Should he actually dress up, despite being little more than a resume paper boy?

These questions caused Bryan to spend a full five seconds looking at his closet, pondering what clothes to wear. Even unseen by others, this eternity planning clothes caused Bryan to feel entirely too feminine. He was beginning to feel hypocritical for years past when he mocked his sister for planning her "outfit" the night before. Seeing wrinkles in his dress shirt, he hastily concluded that he'd just go with casual pants and a polo shirt. The tan pants on the top of the stack were selected. Made of thin cotton, they always reminded him of a video once shown by an earth science substitute teacher in middle school describing appropriate apparel for harsh desert conditions. Somehow they are better than shorts. Thus Bryan left for the career fair with the confidence that he was not only differentiating himself from everybody dressed in suits, but that he was also at least twice as appropriately dressed for the Sahara.

As he swaggered through the entrance to the career fair, he found his way impeded by a stern girl in a blue vest. "You hafta put one of these on. Put your name and your major on it," she said sternly, handing him a rectangular sticker. Annoyed at such an unreasonable request, Bryan mentally calculated his chances of being able to force his way past her (rather good) and not cause a scene (not as good - she looked stubborn). Probably not worth it. But what to put on this sticker? His own name, or that of his friend? His own computer engineering, or her English? Not wanting to explain either a sex change or a dramatic change of study to those he knew, he settled on the former.

It got easier after that. "My friend writes good," and "My friend's resume. She be good editor." Professionalism was second nature.

Some time later Bryan left, got lunch, went to the library, attempted to do homework, walked home, and gave a friend a ride. At about five thirty in the evening he went to the bathroom in his apartment and made a remarkable discovery. There was a six inch tear in the seat of his pants.

What Rafiki would look like wearing these pants.

This post's poignant sapience: Desert-ready thin cotton pants have a finite duration. Use sparingly.