Thursday, December 29, 2011

Made another blog!

Hello everyone,

A late Merry Christmas to you all. Things have been a barrel of monkeys here. CoolWife got me some awesome presents and we got to spend the day with family and even go to Church, which seems like an appropriate Christmas activity. I might have, however, slept through most of church. My excuse is just that it was so peaceful and nice (and warm) in there. We spent the afternoon with CoolWife's fam and the evening with my sister Jenny and her family. They fed us an amazing three-course meal of butternut squash soup, pork tenderloin with potatoes, and an elaborate chocolate tasting for dessert. We then played Blokus and Sequence; both great games. We also had a Google Hangout with just about all my family, which was a party. We should do that more often. We may need to establish some etiquette, but I think it's a great way to get all caught up together. I feel very blessed to have such a great family where everyone gets along.

In other (very unrelated) news, I've decided to start a second blog called Mike Likes Games ( It's going to be very video games-centric, so if that's your thing, or the thing of someone you know, feel free to go over and check it out. I'll still post here when I feel like it, but I've been wanting to write more about my classes (in making video games) and gaming, and this didn't quite feel like the right spot.

And a Happy New Year to you!

Friday, December 9, 2011


I think we're all aware that brains generally look like this.

However, I'm pretty sure that today mine are in a state closer to the following.

You may be skeptical. I'm sure everyone reading this knows enough about brains that if a person's brains were to resemble scrambled eggs with beef, peas, and carrots on rice they probably wouldn't be able to live, much less write a blog post about it. Be advised that I'm averaging about two typos per word as I type this.

I have plenty of evidence on my side to back up my theory, but little time to recount them all. So I'll just leave you with the fact that it took me about five minutes to add up the hours on my time card (which only totaled 37 hours, so it's not like there was anything hard there) and the following little tidbit.

I keep thinking to the tune of "Cat Scratch Fever" and another song with I can't remember anymore even though I last did it about 15 minutes ago.For example: "Check--ing--books--in! Dun dun dun duuuuun!" or "I--feel--hun--gry! Dun dun dun duuuuun!". My favorite so far is definitely "Nope--Chuck--Tes--Ta!! Dun dun dun DUUUUUN!".

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School - Fall 2011 Edition

Well, it's been another first week of school.

I don't really feel the need to establish that The University of Utah and BYU are very different places. I think most people already know that. But I'm still going to go over some of the more interesting things that have happened. I think this might just come out in a list form, because there's just too much.

I've gone to Salt Lake City every day this week and have only put 6 miles on my car thanks to public transportation. Yeeeeeah!

Before-mentioned public transportation is free! (It was $90 a year at BYU, which paid for itself very quickly, but they don't offer it anymore.)

I'm registered for four classes and all of them seem like they'll be good. One of them is literally called "Intro to Video Games." Ha! The professor's degree is in English, however, so there will be much writing of papers (about video games).

The art class I need for my program had a few more sections opened up, so I was able to get into that!

The scheduling on my program is pretty strict, so I have a lot of the same people in my classes. Most of them seem really nice, and I've already made a few buddies.

I've made a pretty sweet website for my programming class, which is where we post all our assignments. Check it for updates! I'll be putting a Paypal donation button on there soon, feel free to give!

The campus here is much bigger and has lots of green areas between the buildings. You almost never see a dense crowd, even by the student building where they keep all the food.

There are a lot of cool looking restaurants on and just off campus. There's more than just Taco Bell and Scoreboard.

The library here is very cool. The whole bottom floor is mostly study areas and a cafe.

They totally have Starcraft 2 on the lab computers here. Woo!

I spend three to four hours on the bus/train every day. Yuck. This is sort of convenient for reading, but most of my reading assignments are online, which means I need to read it all on my little iPod screen (I ain't truckin' my laptop here and back every day). This is would be a lot easier if I had iPad. Wink. Wink. Wink.....

Apparently, Aubrey's sister Martina is the only Mormon girl that attends this school, because all the other ones either just don't value clothing or have lots of tattoos. (This isn't really as prevalent as I make it sound. But it is swift and obvious change from BYU and American Fork. When we saw Martina on Tuesday, she made the same comment.)

I ended up having to drop the "Gender & Social Change" class I was enrolled in. I was actually pretty excited about that class, but it turns out the professor liked to swear a lot and he warned us right out of the gate that he's going to be using racy (or in his words "definitely not PG") material to get concepts across. So....that was the end of that.

Funny story about that gender class: I got to the classroom pretty early because I didn't have anything else going on. But by the time that there were only about five minutes until the bell (actually, they don't do bells here, but you know what I mean) the entire classroom had filled up with only women. I didn't remember if the professor was a guy or a girl so I started to worry what it might be like to be the only man (particularly a married, Mormon, one) in a gender class. Fortunately, a few guys came in just before class started. I let out an audible sigh of relief and the 6 or so girl closest to me all started laughing. I was getting pretty nervous!

I'm taking Calculus....again....

Still haven't been able to find a job. Hopefully when I do find one it'll work with my school schedule.

Well, I think that's about everything. It's been a pretty crazy week. More updates soon.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh I went I went a fishin'...

...On a hot summer day. I went fishing outside of Alaska for the first time a couple Saturdays ago. I have mixed feelings about the event overall (spoiler: I got sunburned all to crap, again) but it was a lot of fun. Actually, we did more than just fish. We also rode horses.

This is Milo showing obvious signs of inattention.
Apparently it's a "horse thing" that they need to be retaught to be good little obedient horses on their first ride every year after the long winter break. Unfortunately, winter lasted until August with the horses that we were riding. It was a pretty short trip once Aubrey found out about this. Also, I'm pretty sure Milo was so excited that he forgot to eat breakfast, because he would keep stopping to eat at whatever plants were around. At one point he pulled up an entire plant that was about two feet tall and was carrying it around with us.He then stopped in the middle of the road while we were crossing it and stopped responding to any and all commands/nudges. We didn't get hit by any cars though, as the car that came speeding around the corner saw us in time to slow down and stop.

My first Utah catch. I named him "Butch" (not really).
 But anyway, after I almost died thanks to a horse (which, based on my past experience means I'm maintaining an average of 66% for my life to be seriously threatened any time I get on a horse) we went fishing. We were up in the Uintas, so we went to this giant reservoir named "Starvation" of all things. Rumor has it there's some serious fishes up there, but we sure didn't see any. I don't want to overstate the obvious, but fishing for widdle fishes is a lot different than fishing for salmon. The biggest difference between salmon and these little perch was that I couldn't ever really tell if they were hooked or not. Many, many times I would see my bobber bobbing around, I'd give it a yank, it would continue to move around...yank...still moving...and I'd reel it in only to find that most of my bait was gone. Two of those many times, this very same thing would happen but a very tiny fish happened to be on the end of my line, looking confused. Silly fish, not even enough sense to fight it (or enough weight to be noticeable, which would have been nice).

But we did have a great time. We've certainly got a little bit of the fishing bug. we wanted to go again this past weekend of it didn't work out. We'll definitely get back out there before school starts. 

Aubrey's grandpa Larry. A mountain man if there ever was one.
Aubrey's dad and grandma Patsy.
 Note: The presence of cowboy hats in some pictures does not mean that Aubrey or I ever wore cowboy hats. I feel like this needs to be stated somewhere.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Official Annoucement

You know how I post about a major life change about every six months? I didn't want to let the tradition die, so today we'll be discussing my transfer from BYU to the University of Utah.

When I decided to go into Computer Science, it was because I wanted to go into video game programming. It's just an added bonus that there are about a thousand tech companies that need programmers in this area. So I figured if things didn't work out, I could always just go for one of those other "less awesome" jobs.

Shortly thereafter, I found out about the University of Utah had its own Computer Science program with a game-making emphasis. Oooooh. Then I found out it was ranked #2 in the nation for such undergrad programs. Hmmm..... However, I was hesitant to make such a big change. Having already made one university transfer, I knew that bad things happened to your hard-earned generals and such. When I started my first couple computer classes, I really liked them! But there was a problem: someone put a flyer for the U's game program up in the computer building near the labs. So every time I walked to the lab (which was most days) I saw the flyer.

For a while (like three days), this was okay. Then the thoughts about how I'd rather be there started creeping in. After a few weeks, the longing started. When the semester was close to the end, I started to stop and read that dumb poster from top to bottom once a day and wish I was going there instead. Coupled with my job getting weird and becoming very tired of BYU and Provo in general, I decided to get brave.

Due to the fact that I have a very, very wonderful, sweet, and accommodating wife, she was actually very supportive. We made up an outline and thought about it for a few weeks. Then we took the plunge and I applied to the University of Utah. It took a couple weeks to get the kinks worked out, but I'm all ready to go for the fall. I'm actually excited for school to start. Can you believe that? I know it'll be tough, but I'm very motivated to make things work with school this time. I've even managed to make a few industry contacts (all of which are active Mormons, so there goes that stereotype) that have been very helpful.

To finish off, CoolWife and I decided we should go check out the campus and figure out where my classes are. Here's a couple pictures of me looking like a freshman at the U last week.

The campus is big. Really big. I'll need to get a map of my own eventually.

But hey, one of my classes had a dinosaur on the name plate! How cool is that?

Here's Aubrey with the full-sized version of the dino skull. She was even more excited than I was.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not that I needed convincing...

Now that my readership is to an all-time low, I've decided to write again.

A lot has changed in the last few months, but we can discuss that later. Today I want to talk about a little town called Fairbanks. The Fairbanks in Alaska. The Fairbanks that I've never had any desire to visit.

CoolWife and I are in Alaska right now. We've had a wonderful time traveling, seeing the sights, eating tasty foods, and hanging out with my parents (photos probably to come). But we sure didn't go to Fairbanks, and one little conversation pretty much sealed the deal for me that I shouldn't bother for the rest of my life.

While we were visiting Denali National Park, Aubrey and I were checking out some gift shops near our hotel. (Also near the hotel: The Salmon Bake. Go there.) One of the shops had something to do with a Fairbanks Bowl Company, which sells overpriced wooden bowls and hires insane people to work at their stores.

"Wait!", you say? "What's this talk of insane people?", you ask? Keep reading.

First I'll set the scene. The store has shelves that go to the ceiling along the walls, and a few rows of waist-high shelves through the middle of the shop. The shop itself is only about 30ft by 60ft or so. We walk in, and after seeing the price tag on the first item by the door I've decided that there's no way I was going to buy something there. But CoolWife likes to look in shops, so we began making our way slowly through the winding rows of merchandise.

After about 30 seconds, the girl manning (or girling) the store comes out from her counter and tells us that everything in the shop was made in Fairbanks, and if we went there, we could see it ourselves. My face must have betrayed my thoughts ("Fairbanks? No frikkin' way.") because she called me out on having frowned when she talked about Fairbanks. I told her that we weren't planning on going to Fairbanks.

Sales Girl: Why wouldn't you go to Fairbanks?
Me: Well, I've never really had the desire.
SG: Are you from around here?
Me: I'm from Anchorage, well, Eagle River actually.
SG: THAT'S why. You've just never been and you don't know what good things are there. First, there's Chena Hot Springs, there's not so many people as there are in Anchorage, and it's pretty much a jumping off point for the wilderness if that's your thing (this last part about "my thing" was said condescendingly).
Me: Hmmmm....

Firstly, the hot springs aren't in Fairbanks, they're another 55 miles north of Fairbanks. If the #1 attraction for your town is another hour out of the way, you might want to restructure your argument. Secondly, I prefer to live in urban areas, and lastly, which city in Alaska isn't a jumping off point to the wilderness? At this point I felt pretty validated about not having been to Fairbanks.

She must have sensed my good feelings, because she sure didn't stop there.

Sales Girl: Yeah, it's not like Eagle River, you can just go off by yourself in the woods and no one will bother you. And if you get lost and die out there...Eh, you're biodegradable.
Me, not altogether sure I heard that last part right: Oh really? So no one will come looking for you?
Sales Girl: Oh no, we'll just leave you out there to die.

This is the point where I got really nervous and figured we should probably get out of there soon. I decided to go for a "diffuse the situation" tactic instead of just running for the door. Also, CoolWife is still with me but not saying anything at all to help me out; she's just enjoying the show.

Me: Oh...well...I lived with a few guys from Fairbanks in college (three, to be exact), they were all really cool guys. They only had good things to say about the place.
Clearly Insane Sales Girl: Where was this?
Me: Idaho.
SG: Yeah, you don't really count has a true Fairbanks Person until you've left Fairbanks and come back. So their opinion probably didn't count.
Me: Oh? Well...they liked it....
SG: Also, winters in Fairbanks are way worse than Idaho or Anchorage. If it's too cold for your car to start, that's just your car's fault.
Me: (Now moving towards the door) Well, I guess you can't plug in every car to make sure they start (I was referring to engine bloc heaters, I just assumed she would know what I meant there).
SG: Also, going to Anchorage counts as leaving Fairbanks.
Me: Right.... Well, bye!
SG: Be sure to visit our store in Fairbanks when you go! If you go....

(Now outside)

Me: Holy crap!
CoolWife: WOW!!! That was amazing! Sorry I didn't have your back in there, but that was hilarious!

At this point, I feel like I should stick up for Idaho a little bit. Rexburg is actually very much like Fairbanks. It's small, really far away from anything worthwhile, and the winter does suck pretty hard. However, those aren't exactly the selling points. Fairbanks appears to embrace those traits. So if you're looking for cold and miserable nine months out of every twelve in a place where your friends and neighbors really will leave you out in the wilderness to die, Fairbanks is your place!

Also, if you ever find yourself in need of a good lawyer that won't cannibalize their own argument, don't ask around at Fairbanks Bowl Company.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

50th Post, Woo!

For my grand 50th post, I have only the following to say:

There has been mention that this blog is dead/offline. That is incorrect. I just haven't been posting on it. Also, why hasn't anyone said anything about the triathlon I posted about on Facebook? I'm serious!

- CoolBoy