Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wyrick Family Time

My family will be here on Saturday. I can't wait for the fun!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Phoenix has Landed.

I don’t know if anybody has been following the MarsPhoenix mission, but it’s incredible! The whole thing is super fascinating to me. I’ve been following its progress from the day it touched down on Mars. This is seriously cool stuff. Now I’m not holding my breath for microbial life forms, not that interesting if you ask me. I am however intoxicated with the idea that this robot that we built is somewhere nothing has been before. Sure there are places on the Earth that have never been explored, but this is another planet. You don’t get much more “out there” than that. Every time I look at the pictures that MarsPhoenix sends back it makes me think “Wow, no one has seen this before. That little rock right there, never seen by a human being until right now.” Pretty cool stuff. It’s gotten me all whipped up into an existential fit. I’ve included a few photos below. Also check out this cool site for updates It is a micro-blog site that the Phoenix team set up to let the public track the progress of the Phoenix lander. The team writes the blog in the first person, like the lander is actually answering questions and giving updates. I can almost see Wall-E answering the questions.

This picture almost reminds me of that teaser for Transformers. Any minute now a huge robot is going to pick up the lander and all we'll see is static. That is until Shai Le Beouf goes to buy a new car, or so he thinks....

See that big flat rock toward the top of the screen? I stared at that thing for a good ten minutes when I first saw this picture. It was a total "Pink Floyd German disco Laser Show" experience. Ground that has never been touched by anything man-made until now.

This image is supposed to show some interesting shapes in the ground indicating periods of thaw and freezing. I just think it's rad because you can see all the way to a horizon and past that horizon is another "undiscovered country".

This is an image of the MarsPhoenix lander as it descends to the surface of Mars. The white things are the parachutes and the fleck of blue is MarsPhoenix. This is so cool.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tom Cruise for President...he's got something to say.

I had a funny thought today. What would a conversation that used only clichés sound like? In school all my English professors lectured the class to “Never use clichés” because they were meaningless. I actually wrote a paper about clichés and how they can be viewed through a certain lens (English snob way of saying "different point of view") as the ultimate form of communication because everyone understands what is trying to be said. I was such a rebel, and also very wrong. Clichés are like the Tom Cruise of language. Making a lot of noise and thinking they are so clever, but never really accomplishing anything aside from confusing people or offering empty emotion (Help us Tom Cruise!). Using a cliché is like saying “I don’t really have anything to say but I bet I can trick you into thinking I’m intelligent.” This is how a cliché would solve a problem:

Hank: Well Jeff, when at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.

Jeff: You got that right Hank. The road to success is always under construction.

Hank: Sure is. We will just have to take it one step at a time, and remember: you can’t have it all.

Jeff: You bet. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day Hank.

Socrates: Huh?

Completely meaningless, but I’m sure Jeff and Hank both feel they’ve contributed to the solution. Poor Socrates on the other hand is left with more static in the air and no solution in sight. Some of my personal favorite clichés: “What goes around comes around.” Really? When? I am constantly on the lookout for the Karma Police; sadly they are like the real police, never around when you need them. “It could be worse.” What a messed up thing to say.

Man 1: That SUV came out of nowhere.

Man 2: It could be worse.

Man 1: Both my legs are broken and I can’t remember the last year of my life. Wait let me check … yeah it’s worse.

The accompanying cliché is “It has to get worse before it gets better,” I think that was the project slogan for the Manhattan Project. Next time someone asks you for advice give them a good cliché and see what happens. It could be really funny.

Carl: I’m not sure if I’m ready to buy a house yet.

Jerry: You gotta go for it Carl. There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.

Carl: You think so Jerry?

Jerry: I know so. Carpe diem bro. Life is short.

Carl: You’re right man.

(A few hours later Carl is talking to his wife)

Wife: So did Jerry give you some good advice?

Carl: Yeah, he did.

Wife: Great. What did he say?

Carl: I can’t remember.

Cliché: the easiest way to say something without saying anything. I’m going to coin my own cliché to close, “Don’t say anything, say something.” See how easy that is? It sounds profound doesn’t it? But trust me it doesn’t mean a thing. Just like a celebrity endorsing a presidential candidate, completely meaningless, but kind of amusing (“Oh Suzan Sarandon thinks people remember who she is. That’s cute.”) The quasi moral of this entry is when you hear a cliché enter the room, kill it and kill it good. All a cliché does is take up time, space, and brain power that could be used in otherwise useful endeavors. Just give your conversations a 110%, and remember there is no “I” in team, but there is a “me” (Oh sports cliches are genius!).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend in Review-Part dos

We had one of our most favorite couple friends The Flores come for Memorial Day weekend. We spent a lot of time together in Rexburg during our last year there. We were in the same ward together. Josh meet Mannie playing paintball 2 summers ago and they became friends. I think Jessica cut my hair one saturday and then we became instant friends. Then we all hung-out (we probably went to dinner, I can't remember!) and we have all been great friends every since! Needless to say we missed each other and this was a much needed visit!

We hadn't seen each other in 6 months! This was our first time meeting their adorable baby Damien. He is seriously so cute! 
 This was taken on the last day they were here. On the first day we went to Chillis and Indiana Jones.   Mannie and Damien the night before the tournament. This is what happens when you drink Sparkling Lemonade and Monster. Josh thought this was a great "check-me-out-I'm-cool- cause-i-party-and-i-get-drunk" myspace picture(there was no alcohol involved, just great acting skills). Mannie found this fun lemonade at Target. This was a pre-party celebration the night before the tournament.   This was the Ikea Trip. We went after the tournament and we were all pretty beat. This was when we were having fun. Midway though we were tired and over stimulated by Ikea. But at the end guess who we ran into??? Hillary! It was fun to see her.     After Ikea we went to Bennhianas. This was Josh and I's first time and it was soooo good! I have never loved fried rice as much as i do now. Thanks Mannie and Jess for treating us! My professional stylist gave me a much needed trim! 
We are all big game fans. We got a lot of game playing time in. Cranium WOW is a really fun game because you get to do so many things. Plus its hilarious watching everyone. 

They are probably laughing at Josh.

I think Josh was trying to get me to guess "Drive Thru." Amazingly enough I got it!

We really had fun this weekend. I realized halfway through we were having our dream weekend that we were talking about a year ago. My favorite part was all the talking and laughing. We don't really have many close friends in UT and it can get kinda lonely so this was a real treat to have the Flores here and to see our other friends (Kyle, Kadee, John) and family (Jackie, Errol, Mitchel, Matt(thanks for working on everyone) Carrie, (sleeping) Fisher and Tyler) too.