Last Sunday, our Stake Presidency hosted their semi-annual Youth Standards night. This meeting brought back quite a few memories from my own youth (only 10 or so years ago), where we’d get frequent frank talks about abstinence, the internet, drugs, and a host of other societal ills.

This was my first time attending such a meeting as an “adult”, and it was really weird being on that side of the line. As we started talking about the technological minefields of today, social networking and texting, I found myself saying “Wow… this is worse than it was when I was a youth.”

I immediately caught myself.  Have I, in a short ten years, become the old fart I used to mock in my youth who was completely out of touch with what was “now”?)

The best was saved for last when, instead of continuing the harping on TXT messaging and social networking, the topic turned to Honesty.

Though his main motivation seemed to be to encourage the youth to be honest with their Bishops and not let little problems turn into big problems by trying to cover them up, the more nuanced parts of his talk made me reflect more sincerely on the general topic of honesty.

Honesty isn’t just a religious topic.  President Ward started out talking about doing the right thing when no one is looking.  In his case, that was stopping at a four-way stop at 4am, even though 100% of the time there was no one at that intersection.  Whether he believed that God was watching or whether he’s just heeding the social contract that we make with each other as drivers, the honest thing to do is to stop at the stop sign.

Complete honesty:

  • Prevents problems from happening
  • Prevents real problems from ballooning in size and scope
  • Enables you to live a less stressful life

The key takeaway for the youth was to be honest with themselves, be honest with God, and be honest with their leaders and Bishops. A common theme – to do the right thing even when no one else is watching. However, this reminder made me think more about the subject of honesty and how truth and honesty are the antidotes to most of the troubles that surround us.

Outlandish Want: The New Mac Mini

How could I not want one of these!?!?!??!

It’s a NEW, incredibly redesigned Mac Mini!

They’ve created a unibody enclosure, and reconfigured the ports on the back!

They are clearly shifting the focus of this small device to the people (like me) who use it as a home theater PC (HTPC).  They’ve incorporated a HDMI port (with audio!) on the back!

I currently use an old Power Mac which is hooked to my projector and entertainment system.  This Mac runs EyeTV, which recieves the over the air, high definition TV – all the TV I need.  No cable.  No monthly bill!  Woo hoo!

I remember when I first built the system, I did the calculation that I could only justify spending the hundreds of dollars for the parts for the system if I kept it for 3 years.  Only after that time would I start to realize the gain from not spending the monthly fee.

Now that I’m in the black from that original investment, I wonder how I’m going to convince myself (and my auditor) that I can make this additional $700 investment???

An Empire of Relationships

I have a theory about men: Men are empire builders.

I’m not talking about Nero, Constatine, or Caesar (though he created a great salad).  Empire building on a worldwide scale kind of went out of favor in the 19th century… I’m talking about local empire building.  I’m taking about men who build an empire in the immediate vicinity of their own being.

A man’s empire consists of the things he loves and values most.  Most of his satisfaction and joy is derived from watching that empire grow.

Let me give you a few examples:

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Picking a Fight Online

I’ve been enjoying Stallion Cornell’s recent blog series, recounting his decade-long online brawl with Languatron, both of whom are WAY too into Battlestar Galactica for my tastes.

The internet is a great place to pick a fight for nerds like me.  (I would say us, but I didn’t want to speak for you, Stallion)  I’ve been pretty good with words for most of my life, but never very good at fighting in real life.  In real fighting, I usually let my temper get the best of me and I end up making a fool out of myself, which tends to end up in just laughter.  Online fighting, however, favors those who can carefully (and quickly) type a few words or phrases that pack a nice zing.

However, I must be careful to use my powers for good and not evil… (right, wifey?)

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