Rants, Recipes and Ramblings


Debate with a denier. Are Mormons Christian?

It is always entertaining to have someone try and define you based on their belief and if you don’t believe the same way they do that you can’t be a member of the same “club” because his “faction” made up some new rules.  The following was an exchange on FB going round and round on the issue of can Mormons be considered “Christian” if they don’t march in step with those that accept the “Trinity” Doctrine as put forward by a 4th Century Non-Christian Roman Emperor.

Continue reading

BYU Sports Videos from the 1980’s

I was a cheerleader during the 81-82 School year but after my mission and returning to the “Y” I was a cameraman for KBYU for the 84-85 school year. These 8 videos are from that time period. Enjoy…


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BYU Football Sports video from the Early 80’s

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Another Sports Video from BYU that we put together back in the early 80’s. This one features many of the sports teams at BYU. Video was set to a Van Halen song.

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This video was never completed “back in the day”. The music the clips was set to is Van Halen’s “Panama”. Maybe that is why we never finished it. ;-> Continue reading

The Great Santini

One of my favorite books growing up was the Great Santini by Pat Conroy.

I can remember sitting on my bed in our house on Ft. Bragg reading this book and when I got to a particular part of the book I was laughing out loud with tears coming down my face. My Dad opened the door to my room and knew exactly the section of the book I was reading. (page 192 – 196)

Pure gold.

Here is the eulogy that Pat Conroy gave for his Dad.

COLONEL DON CONROY’S EULOGY by his son, Pat Conroy.

The children of fighter pilots tell different stories than other kids do.

None of our fathers can write a will or sell a life insurance policy or fill out a prescription or administer a flu shot or explain what a poet meant.

We tell of fathers who land on aircraft carriers at pitch-black night with the wind howling out of the China Sea. Our fathers wiped out aircraft batteries in the Philippines and set Japanese soldiers on fire when they made the mistake of trying to overwhelm our troops on the ground.

Your Dads ran the barber shops and worked at the post office and delivered the packages on time and sold the cars, while our Dads were blowing up fuel depots near Seoul, were providing extraordinarily courageous close air support to the beleaguered Marines at the Chosin Reservoir, and who once turned the Naktong River red with blood of a retreating North Korean battalion.

We tell of men who made widows of the wives of our nations’ enemies and who made orphans out of all their children. You don’t like war or violence? Or napalm? Or rockets? Or cannons or death rained down from the sky? Then let’s talk about your fathers, not ours. When we talk about the aviators who raised us and the Marines who loved us, we can look you in the eye and say “you would not like to have been American’s enemies when our fathers passed overhead”. We were raised by the men who made the United States of America the safest country on earth in the bloodiest century in all recorded history. Our fathers made sacred those strange, singing names of battlefields across the Pacific: Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh and a thousand more. We grew up attending the funerals of Marines slain in these battles. Your fathers made communities like Beaufort decent and prosperous and functional; our fathers made the world safe for democracy. We have gathered here today to celebrate the amazing and storied life of Col. Donald Conroy who modestly called himself by his nomdeguerre, The Great Santini. There should be no sorrow at this funeral because The Great Santini lived life at full throttle, moved always in the fast lanes, gunned every engine, teetered on every edge, seized every moment and shook it like a terrier shaking a rat. He did not know what moderation was or where you’d go to look for it. Donald Conroy is the only person I have ever known whose self-esteem was absolutely unassailable. There was not one thing about himself that my father did not like, nor was there one thing about himself that he would change. He simply adored the man he was and walked with perfect confidence through every encounter in his life. Dad wished everyone could be just like him. His stubbornness was an art form. The Great Santini did what he did, when he wanted to do it, and woe to the man who got in his way. Once I introduced my father before he gave a speech to an Atlanta audience. I said at the end of the introduction, “My father decided to go into the Marine Corps on the day he discovered his IQ was the temperature of this room”. My father rose to the podium, stared down at the audience, and said without skipping a beat, “My God, it’s hot in here! It must be at least 180 degrees”.  Here is how my father appeared to me as a boy. He came from a race of giants and demi-gods from a mythical land known as Chicago. He married the most beautiful girl ever to come crawling out of the poor and lowborn south, and there were times when I thought we were being raised by Zeus and Athena. After Happy Hour my father would drive his car home at a hundred miles an hour to see his wife and seven children. He would get out of his car, a strapping flight jacketed matinee idol, and walk toward his house, his knuckles dragging along the ground, his shoes stepping on and killing small animals in his slouching amble toward the home place. My sister, Carol, stationed at the door, would call out, “Godzilla’s home!” and we seven children would scamper toward the door to watch his entry. The door would be flung open and the strongest Marine aviator on earth would shout, “Stand by for a fighter pilot!” He would then line his seven kids up against the wall and say, “Who’s the greatest of them all?”  “You are, O Great Santini, you are.” “Who knows all, sees all, and hears all?” “You do, O Great Santini, you do.”  We were not in the middle of a normal childhood, yet none of us were sure since it was the only childhood we would ever have. For all we knew other men were coming home and shouting to their families, “Stand by for a pharmacist,” or “Stand by for a chiropractor”. In the old, bewildered world of children we knew we were in the presence of a fabulous, overwhelming personality; but had no idea we were being raised by a genius of his own myth-making. My mother always told me that my father had reminded her of Rhett Butler on the day they met and everyone who ever knew our mother conjured up the lovely, coquettish image of Scarlet O’Hara.  Let me give you my father the warrior in full battle array. The Great Santini is catapulted off the deck of the aircraft carrier, Sicily. His Black Sheep squadron is the first to reach the Korean Theater and American ground troops had been getting torn up by North Korean regulars. Let me do it in his voice: “We didn’t even have a map of Korea. Not zip. We just headed toward the sound of artillery firing along the Naktong River. They told us to keep the North Koreans on their side of the Naktong. Air power hadn’t been a factor until we got there that day. I radioed to Bill Lundin. I was his wingman. ‘There they are. Let’s go get’em.’ So we did.”  I was interviewing Dad so I asked, “how do you know you got them?” “Easy,” The Great Santini said. “They were running – it’s a good sign when you see the enemy running. There was another good sign.” “What was that, Dad?” “They were on fire.” This is the world in which my father lived deeply. I had no knowledge of it as a child. When I was writing the book The Great Santini, they told me at Headquarters Marines that Don Conroy was at one time one of the most decorated aviators in the Marine Corps. I did not know he had won a single medal. When his children gathered together to write his obituary, not one of us knew of any medal he had won, but he had won a slew of them. When he flew back toward the carrier that day, he received a call from an Army Colonel on the ground who had witnessed the route of the North Koreans across the river. “Could you go pass over the troops fifty miles south of here? They’ve been catching hell for a week or more. It’d do them good to know you flyboys are around.” He flew those fifty miles and came over a mountain and saw a thousand troops lumbered down in foxholes. He and Bill Lundin went in low so these troops could read the insignias and know the American aviators had entered the fray. My father said, “Thousands of guys came screaming out of their foxholes, son. It sounded like a world series game. I got goose pimples in the cockpit. Get goose pimples telling it forty-eight years later. I dipped my wings, waved to the guys. The roar they let out. I hear it now. I hear it now.” During the Cuban Missile Crisis, my mother took me out to the air station where we watched Dad’s squadron scramble on the runway for their bases at Roosevelt Road and Guantanamo. In the car as we watched the F-4’s take off, my mother began to say the rosary. “You praying for Dad and his men, Mom?” I asked her. “No, son. I’m praying for the repose of the souls of the Cuban pilots they’re going to kill.” Later I would ask my father what his squadron’s mission was during the Missile Crisis. “To clear the air of MIGS over Cuba,” he said. “You think you could’ve done it?” The Great Santini answered, “There wouldn’t have been a bluebird flying over that island, son.”  Now let us turn to the literary of The Great Santini. Some of you may have heard that I had some serious reservations about my father’s child-rearing practices. When The Great Santini came out, the book roared through my family like a nuclear device. My father hated it; my grandparents hated it; my aunts and uncles hated it; my cousins who adore my father thought I was a psychopath for writing it; and rumor has it that my mother gave it to the judge in her divorce case and said, “It’s all there. Everything you need to know.”

What changed my father’s mind was when Hollywood entered the picture and wanted to make a movie of it. This is when my father said, “What a shame John Wayne is dead. Now there was a man. Only he could’ve gotten my incredible virility across to the American people.” Orion Pictures did me a favor and sent my father a telegram; “Dear Col. Conroy: We have selected the actor to play you in the coming film. He wants to come to Atlanta to interview you. His name is Truman Capote.” But my father took well to Hollywood and its Byzantine, unspeakable ways. When his movie came out, he began reading Variety on a daily basis.  He called the movie a classic the first month of its existence. He claimed that he had a place in the history of film. In February of the following year, he burst into my apartment in Atlanta, as excited as I have ever seen him, and screamed, “Son, you and I were nominated for Academy Awards last night. Your mother didn’t get squat”. Ladies and gentlemen, you are attending the funeral of the most famous Marine that ever lived. Dad’s life had grandeur, majesty and sweep. We were all caught in the middle of living lives much paler and less daring than The Great Santini’s. His was a high stepping, damn the torpedoes kind of life, and the stick was always set at high throttle. There is not another Marine alive who has not heard of The Great Santini. There’s not a fighter pilot alive who does not lift his glass whenever Don Conroy’s name is mentioned and give the fighter pilot toast: “Hurrah for the next man to die”. One day last summer, my father asked me to drive him over to Beaufort National Cemetery. He wanted to make sure there were no administrative foul-ups about his plot. I could think of more pleasurable ways to spend the afternoon, but Dad brought new eloquence to the word stubborn. We went into the office and a pretty black woman said that everything was squared away. My father said, “It’ll be the second time I’ve been buried in this cemetery.” The woman and I both looked strangely at Dad. Then he explained, “You ever catch the flick “The Great Santini? That was me they planted at the end of the movie.” All of you will be part of a very special event today. You will be witnessing the actual burial that has already been filmed in fictional setting. This has never happened in world history. You will be present in a scene that was acted out in film in 1979. You will be in the same town and the same cemetery. Only The Great Santini himself will be different. In his last weeks my father told me, “I was always your best subject, son.  Your career took a nose dive after The Great Santini came out”. He had become so media savvy that during his last illness he told me not to schedule his funeral on the same day as the Seinfeld Farewell.

The Colonel thought it would hold down the crowd. The Colonel’s death was front-page news across the country. CNN announced his passing on the evening news all around the world. Don Conroy was a simple man and an American hero. His wit was remarkable; his intelligence frightening; and his sophistication next to none.

He was a man’s man and I would bet he hadn’t spend a thousand dollars in his whole life on his wardrobe. He lived out his whole retirement in a two room efficiency in the Darlington Apartment in Atlanta. He claimed he never spent over a dollar on any piece of furniture he owned. You would believe him if you saw the furniture. Dad bought a season ticket for himself to Six Flags Over Georgia and would often go there alone to enjoy the rides and hear the children squeal with pleasure. He was a beer drinker who thought wine was for Frenchmen or effete social climbers like his children. Ah! His children. Here is how God gets a Marine Corps fighter pilot.  He sends him seven squirrelly, mealy-mouth children who march in peace demonstrations, wear Birkenstocks, flirt with vegetarianism, invite cross-dressers to dinner and vote for candidates that Dad would line up and shoot. If my father knew how many tears his children had shed since his death, he would be mortally ashamed of us all and begin yelling that he should’ve been tougher on us all, knocked us into better shape – that he certainly didn’t mean to raise a passel of kids so weak and tacky they would cry at his death. Don Conroy was the best uncle I ever saw, the best brother, the best grandfather, the best friend, and my God, what a father.  After my mother divorced him and The Great Santini was published, Don Conroy had the best second act I ever saw. He never was simply a father. This was The Great Santini. It is time to leave you, Dad. From Carol and Mike and Kathy and Jim and Tim and especially from Tom. Your kids wanted to especially thank Katy and Bobby and Willie Harvey who cared for you heroically. Let us leave you and say good-bye, Dad, with the passwords that bind all Marines and their wives and their children forever. The Corps was always the most important thing.

Semper Fi, Dad
Semper Fi, O Great Santini.

Fate or Path?

My Cousin posted an interesting observation and question on his site.


My comments back as to God and Fate were

From my own beliefs formed within the traditions of my specific Christian sect.

He is not his own son (that is just made up Nicene Creed doctrine with no prior foundation).

While he is concerned he also gave us free agency to determine our own path (not fate).

If we are his “children”, and I believe we are, then for what benefit would it be for use to be forced to do something and have our lives be determined by predetermined fate. That provides no learning.

Therefore if we are learning and gaining in intelligence during the short period we are on this Earth is the purpose to then die and do nothing by lay around in paradise for Eternity playing harps? That’s stupid.

It will be to incorporate what we learned here and add more knowledge in the next phase of our existence

Bill questioned back with..
Hmmm. Apparently the word “fate” has been reformulated to infer something other than what I intended it to mean. What is my fate? That which lies at the end of the path I choose for myself. Path? Fate? Same thing. What’s the next phase of our existence, Dave? Who can attest to this?
To which I replied… 
I did not (and do not) see that you had redefined the meaning of the word “fate”.

Fate specifies that regardless of your action or inaction that the end result is predetermined. That is the polar opposite of being able to determine your pat…h and consequences through your own choices.

I do not believe that God has predetermined our fate. Even in my own tradition God did not predetermine Christ’s path. He could have chosen the path offered by Satan in the Wilderness.

Do your choices determine your fate? Nope. You could decide to go to law school. Does that mean you will be a lawyer or sit on the Supreme Court? Not hardly. You could get hit by a car on the way to class. Did your choice determine that fate? Only if by choice you include your the car you were driving and the road you were traveling on. Maybe the person that hit you was also on their way to school and were studying criminal justice to become a Cop. Was it their fate to cross the centerline and hit you head on? Only if you include their inattention to look down and pop in a different CD.

Path is the culmination of the totality of your journey. Fate (if you believe in it) takes the choices that made up the journey out of your hands rendering the choices meaningless.

Next phase? I know what my tradition, faith and belief indicates are the possibilities based on the choices I make on my path. Will that end up being reality? I don’t know. I am willing to to take things on faith.

If I have a road map that says take Freeway X to reach City Y and I have never been to City Y before do I know for sure that I will arrive at City Y? No, but I head down the entrance ramp to the Freeway in the belief and faith that I will arrive at my desired destination.

Can someone “attest” that City Y is really where I will end up? Sure. Do I know for sure? Nope. I have to take their “testimony” with faith that what they are attesting to is true.

Some people beleive their parents when they say the stove is hot. Others have to test and burn their fingers.

If live is determined by fate why bother living?

Medal of Honor Recipient Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez

Last week at the Phoenix Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter dinner our scheduled speaker canceled at the last minute.  Our Treasurer brought an old inspirational VHS tape and we played that instead.

I offered to convert the tape to DVD so that it would be both easier to play as well as being able to better preserve the material.

Added some content to the end and made this flash file.  Enjoy and be in awe that Men like Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez walk among us.

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2010 Chili Recipe

This is the recipe for my entry this year in our Ward’s Chili Cook-off.

People (otherwise known as wimps) complained in the past that my other entries were too hot.  I like heat as long as it is controlled and still allows the flavor to come through.  This recipe has little to no heat however.  I also like chili with beans and vegetables as opposed to a traditional Texas “bowl o’ red”.

  • 4 lb Stew meat.  Trimmed and cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 Sweet Onions, diced
  • 2 Habanero Peppers, seeded and finely minced
  • 32 oz  Beef Stock
  • 28 oz  Crushed Tomatoes, 4 cans
  • 15.5 oz Dark Red Kidney Beans, 2 cans, drained
  • 15.5 oz Black Beans, 2 cans, drained
  • 15.5 oz Whole Kernel Corn, 2 cans, drained
  • 2 Tb Roasted Garlic, minced
  • 5 Hatch Green Chilies, roasted, seeded and minced
  • 2 Green Bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 5 Tb Yucatan Sunshine Habenero Hot Sauce
  • 7 Tb Chili Powder
  • 2 Tb Colgin Mesquite Liquid Smoke
  • 6 Tb Salt
  • 2 Tb Brown Sugar

Brown meat in a skillet lightly coated with oil, remove and add to kettle
Add onions and Habenero pepper to the skillet, lightly sweat the onions until just before they start to carmelize. Add to the kettle
Deglaze skillet with some of the Beef stock.  Pour into the kettle
Add the rest of the Beef stock and the balance of the ingredients to the kettle
Heat to a slight boil over medium heat
Reduce heat to “Low to Medium” (closer to low), cover and stir occasionally.

Serve with some Honey Corn Bread

Mapping Social Media

This is a pretty cool map that demonstrates in geographic terms the area in use by various forms of communication.

In the upper left corner are two smaller inset maps. The “World” of Spoken language and then a zoomed in map to Email and TXT which in turn zooms down to Social Media (which is what makes up the large map.)  The two smaller maps in the lower left and right hand corners are zoomed in detail of isolated areas within the bigger map.

FYI: Selecting the Thumbnail below will open a huge image that is 3072 x 3571 pixels

Korean Movie Posters

Collection of most of my Korean version of American Movie posters.  Still have most of these, though I did sell a few on eBay.


This is a site for me. If you stumbled across it fine. Enjoy looking around. Maybe you’ll learn something that will adjust your world view from that of the rest of the lemmings on the left and right.

The articles posted here are either monologues or email exchanges on topics I find interesting. Because the writing is generaly “stream of consciences” there are probably spelling and grammer errors in every paragraph (or even sentence!). I don’t care – this site is for me.

Clicking on the Title at the top of the page will take you back to the beginning.

You can use this Search box to find articles on this site. Simply type in a word, hit search and every posting that has that word in it will be presented.

Tyler and I displaying our 1958 Triumph TR3 at the Highland Games in Mesa, AZ (1998 or 1999?)

Cool Song and Videos

Really like this song by the group Kharma 45


Incredible video from Afganistan featuring the song from the blog badgerjake.blogspot.com


The posted decription of the video is… “This video was sent to me by one of the Irish Ranger Co. guys that we had the privilege of working with.  Our teams often worked in support of the Brits, and this video depicts what they went through for the week that they occupied a patrol base just outside our FOB.  The video in the below post, where I’m commentating, probably took place while this base was under attack.  You’ll see that the Brit’s, especially the Irish, love a good fight, and they love to do it in comfortable style- notice the gym shorts and flip flops.  Don’t be fooled though, these guys were good, and we were privileged to work with them.”


Down the soul
And this
Aching breaking my
Bones are shaking I
Feel me quaking I
Come down easy but
Far to easy I’m
Feeling sleazy got
On my knees singing
I won’t breath and I
I can’t sleep in this
Hotel room will just
Fall apart she said
Come to my door I’ll
Give you some more if
You’ll go easy and
Feel the beat coming

You give me sweet ecstacy
She gives me sweet ecstacy

Feel the
Hotel room shaking
I feel my body
Quaking in the soul
Til me shaking I
Feel the strokes and I
Feel the streets and I
I feel it coming down
I feel it hit the ground
Feel my deamons beat
Heal the summer street
Feel the base line I
I feel it shakin I
I Feel the soul and this
Hotel room will just
Fall apart from the
Haters at the top

She gives me sweet ecstacy x4

And I come down
I can feel the escape
Watch me come down
I can only see your face
Let me come down
Come down
Come down
I can only see your face

I said I
I think I drink too much
I think I smoke too much
I think I take too much
I think you talk too much
But I can feel my soul
Feel it all implode
Feel my world explode
But you feel the
Hotel room shaking
I feel my body
Quaking in the soul
Til me shaking I
Feel the strokes and I
Feel the streets and I
I feel it coming down
I feel it hit the ground
Feel my deamons beat
Heal the summer street
Feel the base line I
I feel it shakin I
Feel the soul and this
Hotel room will just
Fall apart from the
Haters at the top

She gives me sweet ecstacy x4
She gives me sweet
You give me sweet

Rocking the Rides

Andi looking like she\'ll die riding Goliath

Goliath is one of their “Max” rides. We rode it after Colussus (the old Wood rollercoaster). Andi got a little psyched out for Goliath because the kid riding in the car with me kept saying how scary Goliath was. It has a near vertical 61-degree 255 foot main drop (26 stories @ 85 mph) that exists through a 120-foot long tunnel. The ride lasts 3 minutes.

Check out the look on Andi’s face during the drop. Allie missed the whole drop trying to keep her little sister alive. As you can see from my face I’m having a blast in the car in front of them.


Andi and Allie on the Sidewinder at Knotts Berry Farm. Think of Disney’s Tea Cups on a Roller Coaster. The cars rotate freely during the ride.


Scott and Tyler on the new ride X2 at Magic Mountain