For you, while you last


Hungry for your
Adam's apple,
Pointy-fanged creatures
Prostrate themselves across
Your path
Hoping you won't
Allow for their
Larcenous needs and will
Linger on your way
Only to be
Waylaid and wasted then
Eaten and
Enjoyed and fondly remembered as a
Nice-tasting fellow


Th. Whore of All Blogylon


Ladies and gentlemen---

Boys and girls---

Friends of all ages---

I am selling out.

In a misguided attempt to bring my blogging from the realm of the purely charitable to that of the crassly commercial, I am introducing various doomed-to-failure propositions, three of which I am announcing today, October 30, 2006.

Pretending to be your friend while hawking for the enemy

I have not decided which company to align myself with (my original choice seems to deem me unworthy and so I remain standing at the wall, scoping out the hot corporations, considering whom to ask next), but at some point, all this friendly bantering I do about books, movies and music will in fact be peppered with specially formatted links that could end up getting me a percentage of every dollar you spend.

I anticipate this will make me about exactly nothing per annum.

Turning over precious real estate to people who see you as a pocketbook waiting to be opened

Sometime soon--possibly today, certainly by the end of this week--ads will start appearing on Thmusings. I've considered doing this for over a year now, and I'm finally going to do it. I'm not sure why. Unless it's the fortune in zeros I anticipate raking in.

Thmazing's Thtore

This will probably make me the least money of all, but I have to admit I'm excited about it all the same. The store design is weak and inconsistent (I haven't asked for Lady Steed's help yet), but the product will be consistently awesome. I present to you Thmazing's Thtore.

You may have noticed its link in the sidebar. That's new.

Unlike most stores on CafePress, Thmazing's Thtore will not be just a bunch of whatever left there to sit forever on the off chance someone will someday buy it. No. In fact, Thmazing's Thtore differs in several significant ways:
    1. I don't expect anyone to ever buy anything from this store. Except me. Because let's face it, everything in the Thtore will be awesome--just like me.

    2. The designs are all limited edition. Currently, we only have our flagship tshirt available (just in time to be too late for Halloween) (but what the heck! buy it for next year!), but two more designs will soon be available. Everytime I introduce or retire a design, it will be announced here. I imagine the average design will last four to six weeks.

    3. One word: awesome.
Like I said, I doubt this will be a money-making venture, but just in case you need an awesome tshirt....

Because let's face it: Tshirts available for purchase in the Thtore will make you cool. They will do this through one of three methods:
    1. A good tshirt will not only be cool to look at, but it will also make people looking at it think you are cooler than them because you know about something cool that they don't. My Don Hertzfeldt shirts do this for me. The Thtore's flagship shirt will do it for you.

    2. A good tshirt makes you look sly and ironic. We haven't any of those up yet, alas, but for those of you who are sly and ironic, worry not--we will meet your needs.

    3. A good tshirt shows your allegiance to what is good and right in the world. Will a Thtore tshirt do that for you? Like duh it will!
Anyway, I'm totally corporate now. Support me in this decision by wearing Thmazing Brand Apparel. You know you want to.

For the lady thashionistasFor masculine thashionistas


The Economics of Svithing


Living in Berkeley has many advantages. One of which is gospel discussions which are frequently intellectual as well as spiritual. For instance, one of the sacrament talks our first Sunday here was both excellent gospel instruction and a fascinating introduction to Japanese literature. I love that.

That week or the next, our elders quorum president, an economist, gave this lesson I will be attempting to recreate here.

I originally intended to make this my first svithe back, but that was when I thought we would be online months ago. Now time has passed and I am the only college graduate in America who hasn't read Freakonomics and we're going on months-old notes by an English major. I hope this turns out well.

This formula was created by Devin Pope (watch out--that link's a pdf) from an idea of Matthew Rubin's (that one too).

Note: This was easier to write in jpegs, but Blogger refuses to blow them up within the blog page without distortion. Clicking on any section of the rest of this post will open it into a new window where you should be able to more easily read it.

B. U. Got it?
Up your insurance payout now!
It's fun to pretend.
Look out for the arrows!
Here they come again!
Darn that perception!
Keep in mind we're talking about perceptions here.
Just don't ask me to explain the GDP....

Visit last week's svithe


I didn't buy a book today.
I especially did not buy Lisey's Story.


I once again successfully visited Costco today without purchasing a book. I manage to do this with surprising regularity.

Just how many books we Thteeds own is uncertain and will remain uncertain until the Thteed collection is fully catalogued, but my guess is 3,000 volumes. Which is a healthy number. A number which is frequently supplemented with stacks of books from library sales and other such nearly free bibliorgies. The one thing I do not do however--no matter how strong the desire--is buy new hardbacks.

I love hardbacks.

I love new books.

I love buying a literary work and knowing its creator is getting a percentage.

I do not often act on these loves.

Even at Costco, where the books are dirt cheap (for new hardbacks, anyway).

I did not buy The End.

I did not buy The Ruins.

I am a good person.

Yes, I did buy Fragile Things, but Lady Steed was there and she let me buy it.

(She did not tell me till afterwords that this was now my "Christmas present.")


I like books. I read a lot of books. I have more books than I will ever be able to read. Yet I need more books. I need more books. I need more books. I need more books.

And I need Lisey's Story in hardback. Have you seen that thing? It's beautiful....

free bonus


Theric takes on Wicked


Occasionally, here and there, passions boil over regarding Wicked--specifically the book. I've often wanted to comment, but wasn't 100% sure how my memories of the book measured up to my original feelings on reading it. My memories skew positive--and reading The Wizard of Oz around the same time made me realize how vastly superior a product Maguire's book is. He took a crap book and a crap movie and made something worth reading.

But it was by no means all love between me and the book, but my specific complaints were lost to memory. Until now.

I recently unpacked my Utah-era notebooks, and amongst them I have found this [please note that I am transcribing my handwriting without checking spelling of character names, etc]:

a few thoughts after finishing Gregory
Maguire's Wicked, May 12, 2004 ~6pm

First, yes, I feel for Elphaba. But I feel more for Dorothy. Elphaba was lost to her misery and had abandoned happiness. Dorothy still had hopes of atonement , and melting Elphaba must have been unbelievably devastating, something that will haunt her forever. For though equally an accident as Nessarose's demise, the action that led to Elphaba's death was an action, a purposeful action.

Second, I now see The Wizard of Oz as a piece of propaganda. Nothing more, nothing less. I arrived at this view by struggling with the obvious differences between the two books. I wanted Maguire to create history by filling in the holes in Baum's outline of a story--to treat TWofOz as history, gospel, and make his tale w/o altering the original a bit. He did not do this, and I struggled in deciding how to feel about it. Finally I came down on Maguire's side, which required declaring Baum a propagandist. Anything which does not fit in this view, eg, emerald glasses, is signs of latent sedition. Q: Why then the trip to Glinda? A: Get Dorothy home; elevate Glinda. Q. Why? Is Glinda high up or symbolic in the new gov't?

Third, speaking of Glinda, she is very hard to read. She doesn't seem at all revolutionary, but has retained the peasanty pronunciation of her name still, after all the intervening years. There is much to her, but it's all deep, deep inside.

Fourth. I hated one line, and still do. With a passion. It's excision would improve the book noticeable. It is the line that expresses an absurd, false belief that there was too much history between Elphaba & Glinda for a pair of shoes to come between them. That's ludicrous. And, as events show, patently false.

Fifth, did you notice the homoerotic underflow? Between the two silly Shiz boys? Between Glinda and Elphaba? Just wondering if you'd noticed, and what you had thought.

Sixth, there are a few things I want to go back to Baum and check. 1) Boq's appearance. 2) Did the WWoftheEast set the spell on the axe? And I'ld like to know how many details in Wicked come from other Oz books--geography, tiktok men, etc.

Seventh, I don't know that Elphaba's supposedly desperate need for forgiveness was developed at all well. It did not seem to bother her as much as the story required.

Eighth, what was with that beast under the dock? And Yackle? And the dwarf?

Ninth, do you feel Maguire normalized Oz too much? Or that he oversimplified the geography?

Tenth, the clock lies, we know this. So why do I hope, weirdly, that the wizard is her father?--the point of believing it? And does she at all feel that way herself?

Eleventh, and last, what just are the connections between our worlds?


English majors


So I've been playing some hearty basketball Tuesday nights and I have one particularly noticeable defect as a ballplayer:

It is common to say things like "Good shot!" to complement a player who has made (for instance) a good shot. The nice thing about expressions such as "Good shot!" is they fit nicely in a single breath.

When one of the gentleman made the first shot of a game this evening I said "Auspicious beginning!"

Which did not fit in one breath.








So I'm teaching third graders this week and yesterday I drew a skeleton, a Frankenstein monster and a Grim Reaper on the whiteboard.

I would have to say the drawings were pretty successful.

I made one cry.

I guess this means I need to get a scanner so I can start illustrating my blog....



Return to Svithing: What Elder Nelson Said


So with the return of the www to our home, I am returning to regular svithing. I suppose it might be appropriate for me to start by restating my personal philosophy of svithing. Now that several people have turned svither, my own philosophy is but one of many. All the same, I think it's worth it (at least to me) to restate.

First, since I am by nature an abhorrent person who would as soon swallow puppies as feed starving children, regular svithing lets me pretend to be a good person.

Second, I spend so much time blogging that it seems only appropriate that I should dedicate a portion to God, which portion I term a svithe (being a portmanteau of seven and tithe and taking one full day of blogging per week).

Third, everyone should try to make the world a better place and a religiously themed svithe seems more likely to do so than typing the letter x 175 times.

That said, I am svithing again. Please visit every Sunday. My svithes appear both on Thmusings and The Weekly Svithe. For information on how to comment on svithes, please visit here. A complete list of known svithers (current/former, regular/occasional) appears in The Weekly Svithe's sidebar. If you need to be added to this list, please let me know.


Last week was our stake conference and Elder Nelson was there visiting us.

I admit that I have a bias towards Apostles who are interesting writers and Elder Nelson is about as interesting as they come. He is constantly adventuring into the edges of what a Conference talk can be. He has incorporated singing from the choir into his talks; he has written 15 minutes of pure alliteration; he experiments. I admire that, even if I'm not sure it always works.

But beyond that, I admire Elder Nelson as a man and as a leader. He's one of those people I think I would really get along with in person. And we puppy-swallowers don't find so many of those.

Anyway, Elder Nelson was here and he spoke to us and I thought for my first svithe back I would let someone with better credentials do the preaching.

Why the Church was restored?
    1. To make good on the promise to gather Israel.

    2. So that families may be sealed lest the earth be wasted.

    3. To prepare the world for the Second Coming.

Mission v. Ministry
    Elder Nelson made an interesting distinction between the Ministry of Christ (those being the things we can emulate--his service, charity, humility, etc) and his Mission (those being the things only he could do--the Atonement for instance).

A joke on being released (apropos because our stake presidency was being released)
    "Be grateful you get to be released. I have to die to be released! Well, there are other ways...but I'm not interested in that!"

A miracle, as stated by a doctor (that doctor being Elder Nelson)
    We have seen a miracle in Gordon B Hinckley's health from April to October.

On what we were created for (general)
    Each child in this earth was created to be successful in his mortal existence.

On what to do during the sacrament
    Elder Nelson can no longer even read the scriptures during the sacrament. He focuses only on the Atonement. Me, I focus on keeping the two-year-old noise down. It's a start.

The Miracle TG Diet!
    If Elder Nelson had a young family today, he would use the Tropical Guide's fifty-seven subtopics regarding Jesus, using one per week. Ditto if he were a missionary. That's fifty-seven days of morning study taken care of right there. It should, in fact, Elder Nelson said, be each missionary's core curriculum.


That's where I'll stop.

They were pretty good talks.

See you next week.

I'll bring along some economics.


the mad svither)

previous svithe

previous regular svithe


Home again, home again, jiggedy jig


So here I am. At home. And you know what that means.

(Those who do should immediately let her know.


75th Lunaversary


Today Lady Steed and I celebrate seventy-five months of marriage.



Thoughts relevant to Friday the Thirteenth of October

(that you may be prepared)


1. I read The Ersatz Elevator this week, so I'm halfway to being ready to go buy the End. I don't think I'm going to make it.

2. The Copeland Sports by our house is closing down, so you can get your camping hatchets and hockey masks for as much as 80% off.

3. The ancient one-eyed ape that creeps through the grass with bloodied obsidian in his grasp knows where you live.

And he is coming.


Thmazing and Lovecraft: Joint recommendations for an unhappy Hallowe'en


The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. These facts
few psychologists will dispute, and their admitted truth must establish for
all time the genuineness and dignity of the weirdly horrible tale as a
literary form. Against it are discharged all the shafts of a materialistic
sophistication which clings to frequently felt emotions and external events,
and of naively insipid idealism which deprecates the aesthetic motive and
calls for a didactic literature to "uplift" the reader toward a suitable
degree of smirking optimism. But in spite of all this opposition the weird
tale has survived, developed, and attained remarkable heights of perfection;
founded as it is on a profound and elementary principle whose appeal, if not
always universal, must necessarily be poignant and permanent to minds of the
requisite sensitiveness.
----------H.P. Lovecraft

So I just read Lovecraft's essay on the history of spooky literature and I did a whole lot of underlining of stuff that sounded good. I did not underline works by Poe and Wilde and Stephenson and Shelley and Manchen and whoever that maybe sounded good but which I had already read. So! if you're looking for a classic scare, here are our suggestions:

Thomas Moore
-----"The Ring"

Ann Radcliffe
-----The Mysteries of Udolpho

Charles Brockden Brown
-----Wieland; or, The Transformation

Matthew Gregory Lewis
-----The Monk

Jane Austen
-----Northanger Abbey

Charles Robert Maturin
-----Melmoth the Wanderer

William Beckford
-----History of the Caliph Vathek
-----Episodes of Vathek

Dr. John William Polidori
-----The Vampyre

Lord Edwrad Bulwer-Lytton
-----"The House and the Brain"
-----A Strange Story

Emily Brontë
-----Wuthering Heights

Frederich Heinrich Karl, Baron de la Motte Fouqué

Wilhelm Meinhold
-----Amber Witch

Guy de Maupassant
-----"The Horla"
-----"Who Knows?"
-----"The Spectre"
-----"The Diary of a Madman"
-----"The White Wolf"
-----"On the River"

-----"The Invisible Eye"

Villiers de l'Isle-Adam
-----"Torture by Hope"

Nathaniel Hawthorne
-----A Wonder Book
-----Tanglewood Tales
-----"Ethan Brand"
-----The House of the Seven Gables

Fitz-James O'Brien
-----"What Was It?"
-----"Diamond Lens"

Ambrose Bierce
-----"The Death of Halpin Frayser"
-----"The Damned Thing"
-----"The Suitable Surroundings"
-----"The Middle Toe of the Right Foot"
-----"The Spook House"
-----Can Such Things Be?
-----In the Midst of Life

F. Marion Crawford
-----"The Dead Smile"
-----"The Upper Berth"

Irvin S. Cobb

Leonard Cline
-----The Dark Chamber

Clark Ashton Smith
-----The Double Shadow and Other Fantasies

Rudyard Kipling
-----"The Phantom 'Rickshaw"
-----"The Finest Story in the World"
-----"The Mark of the Beast"

Matthew Phipps Shiel
-----"The House of Sounds"

John Buchan
-----"The Wind in the Portico"
-----"Skule Skerry"

Walter de la Mare
-----"The Tree"

E.F. Benson
-----"Negotium Perambulans"
-----"The Face"

H.R. Wakefield
-----"The Seventeenth Hole at Duncaster"

H.G. Wells
-----"The Ghost of Fear"
-----Thirty Strange Stories

A. Conan Doyle
-----"Lot No. 249"

Hugh Walpole
-----"Mrs. Lunt"

L.P. Hartley
-----"A Visitor from Down Under"

William Hope Hodgson
-----The House on the Borderland
-----The Ghost Pirates
-----The Night Land

Arthur Machen
-----"The Great God Pan"
-----"The White People"
-----The Terror
-----"The Bowmen"

Algernon Blackwood
-----"The Willows"
-----"The Wendigo"
-----"The Listener"
-----Incredible Adventures
-----John Silence--Physician Extraordinary

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Eighteenth Baron Dunsany
-----The Book of Wonder
-----A Dreamer's Tales
-----The Gods of the Mountain
-----A Night at the Inn
-----The Queen's Enemies

Montague Rhodes James
-----Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
-----More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
-----A Thin Ghost and Others
-----A Warning to the Curious
-----The Five Jars
-----"Count Magnus"

Read up!


2-D is the new silent


It would seem that the Pixar Revolution is over. Sure, there are a few stragglers, but it's done. 2-D is the new silent.

Now of course, just as Chaplin was able to make money with silent film years and years after everyone else gave it up, Miyazaki and a couple other auteurs will likely keep 2-D animation alive for a little longer as well. But the battle's over. Even the Disney machine's final 2-D efforts were tromped at the box office.

The death of 2-D is a shame. And so was the death of silent. You can't remake an old Chaplin or Keaton or Lloyd and expect to succeed in the same ways the originals did because their art required silence--much of it just wouldn't play if punctuated by one-liners and splats. Some truly great movies--Sunrise and Vampyr come to mind--simply cannot work in the medium of talkies. They are silent films first and silent films only.

2-D is also a distinct artform. Animation may be animation, but 2-D is not 3-D. They have distinct strengths--and by abandoning 2-D, we are losing its particular strengths forever.

I heard a rumor that Pixar/Disney under Lasseter might make some new 2-D films, but I'm not holding my breath.

Silent died because, for all its strengths, it was, as a whole, a much more limited medium than the talkies were. There is so much you can't do when you ex out language. And once an audience is acclimatized to sound, you can't take it away from them. So I understand silent's demise.

But 2-D is not so awash in weaknesses! 2-D is as strong as 3-D and I challenge you to prove me wrong! (They're both all done on computers now, anyway.) Home on the Range didn't bomb because it was 2-D! It bombed because it sucked! The same reason The Black Cauldron bombed ten years earlier!

2-D, my friends, is not the new silent! 2-D is the new black and white.

And so if it dies, it dies as black and white died. It dies a nondeath. And talented auteurs (ala Hitchcock and Spielberg and the Coen Brothers to b&w) will be able to return to 2-D when it is the fitting and proper choice for their film.

2-D is not dead. It has just gone into a working retirement.

So it will return.

And we will see great movies.


Like a good fob


We recently checked Elmopalooza! out from the library. Half of it was scratched beyond watching, but we did get to see some funny stuff with Jon Stewart and Chris Rock and some decent musical numbers.

The Big O's favorite was Shawn Colvin and Ernie singing the prettiest song in the Sesame Street Canon. We watched it on repeat about a zillion times and it never got old.

But I'm happy to announce that my favorite song--just edging out Shawn & Ernie, was the Fugees' number.

All Fobs rejoice. My loyalty has been assured.


176½ General Conference (svithe)(tacular)


Great thing about General Conference is a) it's actually happening thousands of miles away and b) it starts with all kinds of songs and prayer. Ergo, we were not late late, but merely (and harmlessly) late.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
    President Hinckley loves numbers and using them as symbols of the Restoration.
    You know, I have no first-hand experience with vigorous 96-year-olds.
    Even money, in the Ensign, this will be called "Welcome."

The Choir sings
and I take this opportunity to introduce this svithe. I did a running commentary last conference and, to my surprise, many people actually read it. And so I'm doing it again. We'll call it a tradition.
Besides, that svithe brought (and is still bringing) all kinds of Googlers to my blog. Especially fans on Ronald Rasband. Who will be this conference's Ronald?
Viva la svithing!
Viva la conference!
Viva la Google!

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
    I thought he said "some have loved one to death." Time to listen better.

    Talk to the heavy laden. Listen up, folks!

    Isaiah: prophesied Christ's ministries to the poor and the bruised.

    Be of good cheer because the Savior has overcome the world. He went forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that he may succor us. As promised.

    "Healing blessings" ___ come suited to our needs.

    Alma's people's burdens were made light so they could not feel them. But the burdens were still there. Think about it.

    "'Come unto Christ,' the prophet says, 'and be strengthened (?) in him.'"

    Fear not but be believing.

    The healing power of Christ is available to all, regardless of the affliction.

    Relationship with the Savior---->healing, quality of.

    Learn of Christ; he is your best fgriend; he knows your pain because he has already felt it for you.

    "I knew it would be difficult, but I did not realize what I would have to go through."

    Where do the challenges come from? Who cares? They exist. That's where we start. From there we move... forward?

    "and I will give you rest...unto your souls"

Richard H. Winkel, Elder
    Lady Steed and I didn't attend the Sac Temple open house. Looks cool.

    As we listen to Elder Winkel speak of family and eternity, we watch the Big O play with a doll, a baby. He's pretending to change its diaper. It has its poignance.

    5am?!?! 2am?!?! 3am?!?! 4am. Wow. Bowling. Huh.

    "...never taught a more comforting doctrine..." --who is he quoting here? I can't place it....

    O just put the baby in the microwave.

    Think clearly!

    In the temple the dust of distraction settles, the haze of obscurity lifts. (molaq)

    saviors on mount zion---

    The opportunity to be proxy and to simulate Christ.


Elder Paul B. Pieper
    Big Branch
    What a lovely way to think of the Church.
    He could have run with that.
    Pity he'd probably already written his talk___

    ! First generation members over half the membership.

    In many ways I am jealous of first-generation members. It's like being a frontiersman. Felling timber. Sculpting the landscape. Changing the world.

    Wait. In 40 years he's spawned 5 generations? Is that possible?

    Good advice to all: Never underestimate who you are and your own power.

    "fellow members of the first generation...a chosen generation"
    Holy blessed pioneer.

Choir & Congregation

Elder David S. Baxter!
    A Scot! Now we're talking!

    1. Faith (O2) in Jesus Christ
    breathe life into our very souls

    Wow. He has big ears. Is he older than he looks?

    Ah, but would I give away all my sins to know Him. THat's certainly a question.

    2. Selfless service
    the antidote to worldwide self-indulgence

    Sorry. I've been distracted. Did I miss any?

    Don't do it! Don't abandon faith just when you need it!

    "Cast down but not destroyed." Been there.

    Faith, Service, Constant & True Comewhatmay

    People are always looking for themes. Is this one for 176½?

Elder Robert C, Oaks, soldier
    -suffereth long
    -is not easily provoked
    -beareth all things
    -endureth all things.


    Therefore Charity requires patience

    Job griped but Job did not sin. I find that fascinating. Is grumbling not a sin? I'm saved!

    Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

    ->What manner of man ought ye to be?
    verily I say unto you
    even as I am.

    Whoops. Titles guys are falling down.

    "Patience is heavenly." -----JS

    Oh, I hate that stuff.
    How dare you preach patience.
    Ah, what a world.
    Not me. I am innocent. Blame others.

    If you've forgiven, you'll never be able to count to 70x7.


    Appropriate objective....

Elder M. Russell Ballard
    w/40 minutes to go.

    Go, Ballard, Go!

    O! be wise! What can I say more!

    -How to be wise:
    watchover / serve / love one another
    be anxiously engaged
    provide meaningful service
    focus on the people served
    strive to keep a proper balance
    see that all things done in wisdom and order
    do not run faster than able
    focus on people & principles -- not programs
    use meeting to lift and focus on people
    remember the worth of souls is great
    remember! remember! the needs of the people
    innovate as serving (innovate≠complicate----often means 'simplify')
    think! create!
    allow others to perform their own stewardship--even when they suck
    motivate through love and positive reinforcement (not guilt)

    "As mortals we can't do all things as once."
    (Speak for yourself.)
    (j/k, of course)

    I just had a brainstorm for a better tapenade. Using Lady Steed's VitaMix on 1, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, kallamatis..... Hmmmm.

    Just do the best we can? Okay. Done. Good. Can do. Will do? Not sure. Must do. Yes.

    _____Just took O to the bathroom. Missed the end of Elder Ballard's words. Shame. It'd been a good talk so far. I like Elder Ballard.

Return of President Monson, sogaes Elder Faust.
    Ironic beginning. But my thoughts lack propriety.

    I just said the word "cement" 10 times. Ask the Big O.
    Now I have a train between me & the tv. Fiddlesticks.

    Acts really is a good read.

    How have I never heard this Zapatista story before?
    If you missed it, look it up.

    I wonder what kind of scars tarring and feathering leaves?



-----------end saturday morning session-----------

On time, this time. With more than a minute to spare. We are conferencing in the Nursery. Big O toys. We watch. Parfait. Lady Steed sits in a Heywood & Wakefield. I sit in classic metal folding.

MTC folk will be singing. Looks like they don't have to wear nightgowns.
(Lady Steed doesn't usually feel that sobriquet is usually accurate, but this morning, oh!)

Speaking of young people, we watched Murderball last night and I was floored by how yound those damaged veterans were. They don't look like they could possibly be 18, let alone legless and decorated. What a world.

I don't think we know anyone in the MTC right now.


Was there ever a time before the singing started?


Elder Robert D. Hales

    The Scriptures!

    It is true that as we proceed through the scriptures, we find story after story about the scriptures. Stories of their creation, preservation and rediscovery. OT, NT, BofM, D&C, PofGP--all have these stories. It's all very meta. And telling.

    And it is also true that it is quite simple, in scriptural record, to tell which peoples have the scriptures anbd which don't Very easy.

    And it that is so with the benefit of the perspective offered by time, mightn't it be true without. Look closely. Can we tell?

    (And if we can't, hadn't we better? So what's wrong?)

    Listening? Try reading.

    Old things are done away and all things are become new.

    Withstanding the fiery darts of the adversary....

    May we be among them I so pray....

    (note: he doesn't mean the fiery darts--I obciously left something out here)

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
    An optical illusion just made Elder Wirthlin look two feet tall.

    But he's not that short.

    Did he say his mother's name was Bednar?


    Hey! An English major joke!

    Is all fear based on the potential for loss? Is it?

    As a principle principle of the gospel is restoration, faith therein should therefore cast out fear. Is it not so?

    No matter that (terrible things here) happen, Sunday will come.
    (ie, the day of the Resurrection)
    (therefore: looking forward to the Resurrection/Restoration)

    Bold, Boldly, Boldness

Sister Elaine S. Dalton
    Oh, babies.

    Get it?

    I just remembered I'm 30. (!)

    She's switching cameras like Elders SCott and Nelson, but they're not following her. Of course, she's moving about a lot, but I wonder prior arrangements are also a factor.

    Shun evil!

    The Spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples.

    A sense of identity really is vital. That is what determines direction and therefore destination.

    I don't think those photos are 1968.

    Live to be worthy for when you need immediate blessings. Hoosh.

    One thing I am never comfortable with is elevating someone's remarks to being the Words of the Prophet just because he became the prophet some years later. I dislike the logic. Time exists for a reason. Things are and aren't when they are and aren't that is all.

    Anyway. Worthiness. And now more singing.

We're singing along.

The Big O: Stop that! Stop that! Stop that! Stop that! Stop that!

Elder Shayne M. Bowen
    Airport...park...(I'm guessing we'll end at the temple)...Idaho Falls Temple....


    The airport and park are both built on dumps.

    I like where this analogy is leading.

    That Alma sure likes long verses.

    Don't dig up trash, people. Not even your own. Capiche?

Elder Daniel L. Johnson
    On tithing. (This all probably works for svithing too.)

    (Ignore at your own peril.)

    A standing law forever.

    "The Lord is our father and as our father he loves us."

    "Ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of blesings...."

    I suppose every commandment is simple and easy once it is simply something we do. Doing creates simplicity.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
    (bathroom trip #2)

    What is a testimony?

    Something tender and sweet

    Filet mignon?!?!

    No, an accumlation of feelings.


    Not a collection of cold facts.

    Well, at least it's not cold.

    What part of the cow is filet mignon anyway?

    It is easier to talk about a testimony than to acquire one.

    (Still sounds like filet mignon.)

    I like Elder Uchtdorf's use of volume modulation. Iy's rather a neglected technique, I fear.

    1. Desire to believe. Experiment! (Alma's word, not mine.)

    I'm not [illegible].
    Consider it!

    2. Search the scriptures. Have Qs. Study them out.

    (Lady Steed's asleep. Go reprimend her here.)

    Shoot. I missed 3. Learning and then doing God's will, I believe?

    Christ did his Father's will. As should we. As he invited.

    4. Ponder, fast pray.

    (Not pirate-way. Plunder, ravish, prey. No! Not that! Wicked sinner pirates....)

    Alma seems to be Saturday's prophet.

    But, as Eld Ucht says, we can have the same sacred experience as Alma's today.

    It's like that 70s song: Baby if you want me to be closer to you, get closer to me.


Brother Monson--sounded like he said Alma Daylight Time. This proves my point.

Elder Richard G. Scott
    I always like my Scott stern. Let us have it!

    On Peace & Happiness

    is not rockclimbing
    (stupid rockclimbers)
    (don't they know exercise is bad for you?)
    (also long falls?)

    Even with carabiners, it's still a crazy pasttime.
    Haven't you people ever heard of books?!?!?!

    Mmmm. Companionship.

    Down with danger!

    The metaphor: the Savior will be our lead.

    ---Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding.---

    The divine bookkeeper....

    ....prevent an eternity under the dominion of Satan.

    The Big O has discovered xylophony. (...)

    With unimaginable suffering and agony....

    And why?

    You know why.

    ------------> the Celestial Kingdom


Finally a hymn with a beat!


Oh yeah. Dig it. If all hymns were like this, I could conduct.

---------------end Saturday Afternoon--------------


President Monson is conducting again. I sense he is the only one up to the frequent standing.

Elder Henry B Eyring

    Re: quorums.

    Strength of a quorum comes largely from the members' unity. Which unity should be uncomprarble to worldly parallels.

    Unity recipe: Preach nothing but repentance and faith in the Lord

    The COVENANTS, teach according to


    Covenants are solemn promises.
    We are promised eternal life
    if we make and keep said cov'ts

    All cov'ts require faith in Jesus Christ
    Thus we inherit eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God

    Seek the council of the quorum's president if you want to teach properly

    Ah, but lessons are only the beginning of learning.


    We can perform more service than just one of us.
    Or more than even our total numbers would suggest.

    Wouldn't you like to be the one who invited?

    Unity--not just with each other, but with the Savior

    (If ye are not one, ye are not mine.)

    Don't say no for someone else. Let them say it for themselves.

    Good talk.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
    ironing machine for mother/lunches/crying

    What a great photograph....

    On being a Man:

    "young men stuck in neutral"
    hot needles in the flesh

    Hey! I haven't been arrested either! Awesome!

    Provide: necessities of life, protection

    "Thw girl you marry will take a terrible chance on you." --GBH, 1998
    Oh, it's true, it's true.


    "Behold, The Man!"

    Be even as I am.

    'Jesus went about doing good.'

    ...not to be ministered unto, but to minister....

    opposing evil & error

    Let us be Men, even as He Is.

Elder Marcus B Nash
    trout fishing
    (trout no good on land)
    (stupid fish)

    Fish don't have joy flopping about on the ground.

    If Fish: Me
    Then Water: Gospel

    Misery outside those gospel waters

    (There is only ONE great plan of happiness.)

    Devil is miserable
    And he is ready to set the hook

    ----->exquisite joy

    and as many times as they repented, they were forgiven

Elder Stanley G. Ellis
    Power of Attorney

    Great scott. Priesthood as power of attorney. Holy smoke.
    Big stuff.

    Seems like entrepreneurs are disproportionately called to be mission presidents....

    a "greet"?

    Oath & Cov't
    -faithful in obtaining 2 p'hoods and magnifying calling
    -Spirit and all my Father hath

    (I should check that. Need the precise wordage. 84.)

    Sec. 121 --- p'hood only can be exercised in righteousness
    ->restudy regularly

    Maintain Worthiness

    We must be ready at any time

    This Minuteman theme has been recurrent today--------

    Thou wicked and slothful servant! (parable of the talents)

    The Lord expects a difference.
    More than we were given
    Increase? Improvement?

    He that abideth in me & me in him, the same shall bring forth much fruit

    I am so out of practice in note-taking....

    Let's use this power according to His will in His way.


Pr. Faust (ii)
    Grazing cattle--an idyllic opening

    Slowpoke the horse

    Grandpa sang all day. And he turned out okay.

    Rock salt, moving [illegible]

    Broken Hearts
    Contrite Spirits

    3 things (pending)

    h.s. senior reading NT after telling naughtiness
    those idle words, ah!, an accounting cometh


    solution: live what is learned
    else what is the point?

    Spiritual nutrients....
    Whatr are they?!?!

    service project: food for the needy
    Jim's cartful given away to a woman who had nothing to give save one can of peaches
    Well done, Jim.
    "Don't ever forget they way you feel tonight; that's what it's all about."

    Service---spiritual nutrient

    (so I guess the scriptures were #1)

    a leg swollen to ≥2ce its normal size
    won't miss a meeting
    ill: "I believe it."
    And so he was healed.
    Point made.
    And a joy & a happiness that cannot be described

    (The piritual nutrient of Faith)

    The Salt of the Earth

    So...vitamin water?

    It is constantly shocking to me how not long Conference feels. It is ever over before it begins. Yet it is 10hrs long. In 2hr blocks. Astonishing.

President Thomas S. Monson
    little boy bears his testimony:(smiles only)

    He cracks me up.

    Fear God and Keep His Commandments for this is the whole duty of man
    (saith the Preacher)


    Let every man learn his duty and act in all diligence.

    By no means am I so prepared....

    Rupert watching the crowds.
    The lost emerald!
    Grandmother's needs.
    Darn sheep.
    Moping at the stream.
    Could it be?!?!
    It is!
    The king's emerald!
    Darn sheep.
    Do your duty, that is best
    Leave unto the Lord the rest

    Never retreat! Never surrender!

    Darn trick-or-treaters
    Visiting Max at the hospital
    Dual blessings

    Reach out!
    We are on the Lord's errand
    We are entitled to his help

    I should start researching how many times he has quoted Shanandoah (& Music Man & cetera)

    What is the source of his oft-quoted Alexander story?

    1. Learn what the Lord wants.
    Then magnify
    that they people will be glad to follow.

    Also: save souls.

    Do, not hear merely, do.

    Those who want to return but do not know how to begin.
    On discouragement....

    Clean hands
    Willing heart
    to deliver what the Lord would have delivered.

    Lesson: Don't answer unanswerable questions. Just smile. (Bookends!)

    "catasrophic conflicts come and go"

    Wherefore now let every man learn his duty and act therein in all diligence and thereby follow in the footsteps of the Master.


President Gordon B. Hinckley
    The time has come to go to work.

    Hymn: 323/4 (1911)

    --as brothers of the Son of Man, Rise up! o men of God!

    "rise up out of obscurity"

    yes, it's true. I could improve my life.

    What a fascinating tie he has on.

    I'm dressed a little slouchy myself. (blush)

    No! Profanity!

    Pr. Kimball's swearing nurse story.

    In revelation we are instructed to educate ourselves.

    73% F grad h.s.
    65% M grad h.s.

    Both numbers shockingly low.

    In 2010, expected only 40% of enrolling college students will be male.

    Rise up and discipline yourself.

    Hope not, b/c she won't have you. Not likely. She knows better.

    What's shocking to me is the understood and expected ubiquity of pornography today. Deing pornfree is assumed a lie of the hypocritical prude. God willing this be not so.

    It's true, those adjs, porn and perv, are commonplace--the new normal. Practically unavoidable. How do you teach children? What a question to have to ask.

    Be thou humble and the Lord thy God will lead thee by the hand.

-------------end p'hood session---------------

We're quote late. We're doing Sunday morning with our friends Couscous and The Chemist.

President Monson is speaking on studying the scriptures.

    It's the Service that Counts!
    (the Lord's service

    First time I've ever watched conference on a laptop.

    cancer in the leg
    no more Timp Cave?

    The Chemist made a snide remark re: Timp cave and the feed froze.
    Way to go.
    We're switching to audio-only.
    It's already another talk.

L. Tom Perry (?)
    (Monson's butting in.)

    (we award the win to Perry)
    (no more video)

    working out our own salvation with God's help

    life in mortality: purposes thereof
    1. gain experience
    2. gain a mortal tabernacle

    (if die while going up the straight & narrow, we'll keep going)

    Elder Perry's speaking of Resurrection, but I'm looking at the kids. Besides the Big O, we have CC&TheC's S-Boogie and Hlad. So much under-3 enthusiasm!

    We're up to the First Vision now. The Book of Mormon and its new witness that Father's love has no bounds.

    Amulek said the words of Christ bring us salvation
    So, Repent!

    S-Boogie has a plumber toy. A six-inch plastic figure with a plunger. Interesting.

    Wait--there is still some sort of video fee--

    O remember! remember! that these things are true!

    Oh. Vid's on, but its sound's off.

Mystery Seventy
    Driving a 14-(40?)-yearold Hudson at Jackson Lake, Wyoming.

    water in the oil
    car to mechanic
    water to gar makes better mpg?


    Return the towels by mail! suggests The Chemist.
    It's a good suggestion.

    Dishonesty. Rampant. Impacting others (eg, the Enron employees)
    Cheating in schools
    Medical school cheats--operating on you!!!

    Anti-Nephi-Lehites distinct from everyone else because they were honest.

    Don't steal newspapers.

    We'll never have honesty in the world till we have honesty in our hearts.

    25¢ really is a fantastic deal. Where else can you get that much reading material for a quarter? (Outside a library sale.)

    We have a sacred obligation to live honestly.

    Guess: talk title is "Three towels and a twenty-five-cent newspaper"

"A Woman's Voice"
The Chemist says it's the Primary President
(she is talking about children and being like a child)
    Yes. I do not like violence and exploitation.

    Lady Steed says she's first counselor in the PPcy.

    2N 25:10 (yes?)

    Who we are in our hearts is something quickly discerned by children.

    Raise children in love and righteousness.

    Learn the kids' names. Be a useful (loving) adult.

    Lilith? Gilberth? Lillillillian? (I didn't really get a good look at it.)

    Manatees on the ark? Don't be ridiculous! Who makes these coloring books?

    The angel hotline.

    The Savior is the great protector, and source of love and health and healing.

    Loving children can be rough.
    Cheeky little....

    A miracle: seeing our own hearts change.

    Song time.

    (Lifferth, Margaret S. 1st counselor)

Elder Anthony D. Perkins (The Psycho guy? cool!)
    Evil devil guy
    deceiving even the very elect

    Media: You're stupid ugly worthless
    Sounds like ... the devil!!!

    Missionary dragged down?
    Depressive, hope-lost woman?

    Then: become as a little child & feel the love of HF&JC.
    Faith in the love.

    For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

    5 changes for the hearts and minds to better feel the divine love

    1. see yourself as precious child of loving Father in heaven
    (focus on talents not weaknesses)

    2. place your burdens on Jesus Christ
    (doubt/fear/worry indicate we're trying to go it alone)
    (actually, it is only through Christ that we can do all things)
    (so cast it!)

    3. Forgive yourself of sins and imperfections
    (we're not expected to be perfect in this life)
    (John 3:14)
    (of us it is required to forgive all men (starting with myself))
    (Understand! (command form))

    4. Sustain hope in Eternal Life

    5. Find joy each day
    (one source: service)

Edler Nelson?
The Chemist agrees
    the Gathering of scattered Israel

    The Chemist's mom was his surgical assistant once.

    The Bog O's arguing that lobsters are frogs. (He's wrong.)

    Prophesies of the Gathering as sure to be fulfilled as were those of the Scattering.

    The Primitive Church degenerated and was lost.
    The Falling Away prior to the Final Dispensation

    The BofM is a sign to the entire world that the covenants are being fulfilled.
    The Abrahamic cov't

    My eyes feel all...ocularly...hypertense.

    I spent much of this talk assisting in a Tigger puzzle.

    Elder Nelson will be up here in a couple weeks.

President Hinckley--conducting and now speaking (closing)
    Personal matter: President of the Church belongs to the entire church; his life is not his own.
    health is certainly astonishing (ie miraculous)
    I like President Hinckley. I always have. I'm glad he's still alive.

    "in the face of terrible opposition"

    2006 - 150th anniversary of Willie & Martin Handcard Companies
    I don't think I knew that already, actually.)

    The Grape Juice Follies. Starring the Big O & S-Boogie

    "a lightweight conveyance"

    This Brigham Young story is an in-action example of James's take on true religion, pure and undefiled
    Let's go rescue the weak and dying. Let's send our best. Let's go now.
    I'll bet that was a thrilling talk.
    "otherwise your faith will be in vain ... and you will sink to hell"
    200 died, but 1000 were saved

    Faith is not demonstrated only in big, heroic events
    Also: small, "insignificant" events
    eg: George & his hernia (he dies)
    ----Martha loses his ring (all he left behind)
    ----there it was
    ----here it is--representative of the faith of a widow

    such faith is the wellspring of activity.

----------------end sunday morning---------------------------
80% finished

It's starting!

Return of President Monson as The Conductor

5th and Final Session

Let's settle in for a whole lotta music

Now both vid and aud are ablitzin.
How to choose?
Vid picks up where it left off.
Aud stops less, but skips back ahead.

Elder Packer? I thought he said Elder Bednar was first? Huh.

    Faithfulness in marriage
    Work in Church
    Renew Cov'ts
    Honor the Priesthood

    Establishing stakes of Zion in all the nations of earth

    Do you fear what awaits us?

    Avoid narcotics!

    We do not criticize or attack or misrepresent others as they do us.

    So we do have horns!

    high standards are a magnet

    We are not to be afraid--even in a war of hostilities that will never end.

    High on a mountaintop
    a bandana is unfurled

    Safety in the Church, Gospel

    the power of God unto salvation

    2N 25:10 (?) again


this must be Elder Bednar? I assume? Sounds like him. But I don't know his voice as well....
    (Play-Doh diversion)

    We choose to be offended____________________________

    Saying others can offend us removes our agency and, instad of being agents unto ourselves, we become agents to be acted upon.

    Choosing to be offended is often a symptom of more serious spiritual illness

    "'The Church is not a well-provisioned nursing home for the already perfected.'"
    --Elder Neal A. Maxwell

    We will all have multiple opportunites to choose to be offended. We can't control other's behaviors or intentions.
    We can control ourselves.

    eg: Pahoran could very easily have been offended by Moroni

    One of the greatest symbols of spiritual (im)maturity is how we react to others' potentially offensive behaviors.

    Bless your enemies
    them that curse you
    pray for them who despitefully use you
    for if you only wave at friends,
    so what?
    Don't scum do as much?
    That's right;
    they do.

    Get over yourself.


    Yeah, you self-righteous, supereomatic pridemongers!

    Great talk

Merrill, S. S. Pres. (Sunday School, that is) A. Roger
    Alma's wish

    But behold, I am a man and do sin in my wish....

    Receiving by the Spirit

    the Holy Ghost! (a formal act)

    "scriptures replete with the act of receiving"

    ask and ye shall receive----the great theme of scripture

    what does is profit a man to be given a gift if he does not receive?

    1 Seek
    "here I am, now inspire me" doesn't cut it
    2 those who receive feel
    3.those who receive by the Spirit intend to act

    When we are all there, we will be different.

    something about moving mountains

    by the way, we're listening to the audio, but the video is still up. It's running about 5 minutes behind.

    It's hard to remember that it will not take as long to read this as it does to write it.

    his name is Craig A. Cardon actually, sorry

    Q. What waxes your confidence strong?

    Let virtue garnish your thoughts unceasingly.


Choir & Congregation
---Sing ye sumthing of the Lord

Elder Don. R. Clark
(cardon's still talking on video)
    I'm glad I'm removed from reliance on the land.

    Wireless! That heaven is really cutting edge!

    How did Jim Drinkwater become one the Lord could trust?

    There arent' so many requirements to become an instrument in the Lord's hands. The only real question is: are you willing?

    Take Ammon et al.....

    We should all carry around books to record revelation.

    The more promptings we obey, the more trusted we become.

Elder ___________________ Edwards
    finger in the hinge


    Why hast thou forsaken me?

    Poor Nephi

    (cleaning up Play-Doh)

    Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands....

    Interesting. Faux stigmata.

    Witness of Chirst

Elder Larry W. Gibbons
    he's a doctor?

    Rabbi Hans Kishner (?)
    doesn't miss pork chops

Elder HBEyring
    keeponmg the commandments makes all the difference

    the only standard that makes sense for any of us is a Celestial standard

    the summer cottage in Babylon (Maxwell)

    serving the lord without offending the devil (Romney)

    Stop drifting!

    80/20 principle no good in gambling, pornography or honesty

    Sell the summer cottage in Babylon!
    (Before property values drop any more!)
    (Because they're only going down!)

    At the end of the day, it is the keeping of the commandments that matters.

    Don't dabble!
    Don't flirt with Evilra!

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
    There's an idea.
    Take someone up into the wilderness and force them to listen to General Conference!
    Take that, nonmember!
    What a funny story.
    Those BYU people....

    Co-ome listen to-o a-a prophet's voice....

    There is again a living prophet upon the Earth speaking for the Lord!

    And why not, really? Who can claim we don't need the help?

    To Accusations of irrelevancy: Not so. They're in touch. They're careful and meticulous. (He's speaking of the First Presidency and Twelve.)

    See, I could never be an apostle because I'm lazy and out of touch and anything but humble.
    (one less thing to worry about)

    700 miles is a long way. In the snow. Even if you do have shoes.

    disappointment and death and more, He suffered, that we might survive them

    Mercy Endureth Forever-----the Messianic Promise

    My hand is stretched out still
    (the nice interpretation thereof)

    His charity never faileth

President Monson marks the end of another conference.
And this certainly has been an excellent session.
Even if I am getting sleepy.

Now President Hinckley's concluding remarks
    What a miracle these conferences are!


    We wish that there were peace in the earth and constantly pray that it may come (amen)

And that's it. Amen. See you in six months at the 177th.

Previous svithe

176th Annual General Conference Svithe
---on Thmusings---
---on The Weekly Svithe---

The end.