Thursday, September 28, 2006

Training In Chicago

I have been in Chicago the last few days. I am here for a seminar for work. We are learning how to do Internet programming.

I work for a municipal government. In the future I may be developing web applications for citizens to do business with the city online, such as renewing business licenses, obtaining building permits, paying utility bills, and so forth.

It has been a challenging class. There is a lot of information to absorb in a short amount of time. I have found that my mental "sponge" is not quite as absorbent as it was in my younger days. I am getting the information down, but my pace is a little slower than it was 25 years ago.

This was supposed to be a "beginning" class, however, it doesn't help one's self-confidence when there are a lot of "ringers" in the class -- those who have already been using the design tool for months or even years. They are taking the class to learn any tips or tricks that they may have missed in their self-learning process. I don't begrudge them being there, I might have done the same thing myself. However, It makes those of us who are true beginners look like we're a little slow on the uptake!

Also, I am not used to being the oldest one in the room! There were a few others who, like me, were "forthy-somthing's in the room". I noticed that we were a bit slower than the "thirty-somethings" in the class. Dang! It bites getting old!

Fortunately I will be able to study this material (at my own pace!) when I get back home. Hopefully I will be able to start developing some simple programs on my own in the next little while. I know if I go home and don't keep using the design tool, that I will get rusty in a hurry.

All in all, it was a good class, and I believe it will be worthwhile for the city.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Backyard Camping

One of the privileges of living in the Salt Lake Valley is having the Cottonwood Canyons so close by. From our house, in as little as 30-40 minutes, we can go from an asphalt and concrete metropolitan jungle to a cool, green, alpine forest -- complete with babbling brook. This year, we visited the canyons a couple of times for picnics, and had a really nice time. If you camp there, its almost like camping in your own back yard!

One of the things you appreciate the most in the canyons is the markedly cooler temperatures, especially during the heat of the summer. A temperature change of 20+ degrees is not unusual. A hot summer day in the 90's becomes a pleasant afternoon in the 70's in the canyons.

A few days ago, we spent 2 nights, and 3 days at the Spruces Campground, up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We liked being able to spend two nights camping. If you only do one night, it seems like you spend the first day setting up the tent and organizing camp, and then the next day your're taking it all down again, with hardly any time in-between to just relax and enjoy your surroundings.

We purchased a Springbar Tent a few years ago, but we haven't used it very much. We've decided to change that. We had cousins visit us from St. George. We used the tent for a backyard camp out. The kids had a great time playing/sleeping in the tent. We used the tent again for this camp out.

We brought some handicrafts with us -- some bead work, and leatherwork. The idea was to give the kids something to do so they wouldn't get bored. As it turned out, boredom wasn't really a problem. They got to do a lot of exploring together, and they had a great time.

Here you can see Bryan and Amy with necklaces that they made. Bryan's neclace is made with real buffalo teeth.

We also enjoyed playing our recorders around the campfire. At one point or another, each of us played together. I taught Amy how to play "I Think The World Is Glorious" on the recorder. We had to play it over and over again, until she finally got it right. From now on, I hope she remembers our time together, at the Spruces, whenever she hears or sings that song.

That's Me Playing the Recorder around the Campfire

We're not done camping yet this year. We have a trip to Moab planned during UEA weekend in October. My mom, dad, and brother will be joining us -- only they will have a motor home at their disposal.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mine Own Work

I Am Able To Do Mine Own Work
(2 Nephi 28:20)

I have taken to reading the Book of Mormon during my lunchtime recently. I have the Scriptures on my Palm Pilot. It’s a comfort knowing that I always have the scriptures available, right in my shirt pocket. It also comes in handy during some of my sleepless nights.

Today while I was reading, I came upon this statement by the Lord, as recorded by Nephi: “I am able to do mine own work”. (2 Nephi 28:20)

The context of this scripture has to do with the translation of the Book of Mormon, and how the Lord would rely upon the unlearned (Joseph Smith) to translate, rather than the learned man (Professor Charles Anthon, in this case.) Through doing this, the Lord would be able to demonstrate that He is able to do His own work, and not rely on the learned and supposed wise men of the earth.

As pondered this scripture, it gave me great comfort. The Lord has all power. There is nothing that man can do to stop His work from proceeding forth. In the end, the Lord will prevail. There is nothing that He cannot do, but that he will do it. With Him on our side, we too will be victorious.

When you look at the condition of the world today, and the wickedness that appears to abound, sometimes we may wonder if we are outnumbered. But then we need to remember in whom we have trusted. His promises are sure. We need not fear. The earth is in His hands, and he has power to do with it as he pleases.

He has the power to change the world. And he has the power to change our hearts.

Christ will overcome all. Our job is to decide whether or not we will follow him. If we choose to follow him, we will join with him in the victory. With his help, we too will be able to overcome all things as well. If we choose not to follow him, then we will be on the losing side. Its really as simple as that.

Joseph Smith once said:
“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (HC, 4:540.)