Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Presidential Trivia

(this post is about presidents past and NOT the current election)

        Jenna and a classmate are going to give an assigned PowerPoint this week.  I haven't seen any of it as it was a project they worked on it at school.  The first PowerPoint that I remember Jenna doing for her current school was a presentation on one of our former presidents.

        Before she had been assigned this task, I had told her that if ever she was to do a report on an American President, to pick either William Henry Harrison or Gerald Ford as William Henry Harrison was Pres. for only one month and Gerald Ford is the only President that hadn't been voted to be president (or vice-president) by the public.  I just like interesting facts that set apart from others.  But I suppose they all have something interesting about them.

        She did get an opportunity to do a power-point on a president, but not totally of her choosing.  Presidents' names were written on a paper and placed in a hat or box.  Students could draw two and make a choice between the two names drawn. 

        She came home one day and asked what I knew about  Martin Van Buren.  Not much.  I know that he was president during the time when the members of the church were being harassed in Missouri and Joseph Smith went to the white house to talk to the president and was not impressed with Martin Van Buren and decided that he, himself, would run for president.

        Jenna thought that was a cool story and wanted to use it, but the story has more to do with the Prophet Joseph Smith rather than the  Van Buren - except to say that Van Buren was arrogant and did not want to interfere with Boggs order of extermination as elections were coming up and he did not wish to lose the vote in Missouri. (Stevenson, 2013)

        Though there are some names that stand out for us more than others, there is tons of information about each of our past presidents if we but look.

Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president while James Monroe was the shortest. (Fun Facts, 2003)
Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest President to take office (at age 42) while Ronald Reagan was the oldest (age 69) Taft was the largest president and had to have a custom made tub.
Franklin D. Roosevelt served more terms than any other president.  Grover Cleveland was President twice (#22 and #24)
James Buchanan was the only president to be single throughout his term.  According to the History Channel, Cleveland is the only president to have his wedding ceremony in the White House (Siese, 2015)
though John Tyler was the first to marry while in office

For more fun facts and scandal, you can visit the following (or click on cite dates in post)

AMERICAN HISTORY: Presidential Trivia, Fun Facts and Firsts. (2003). Retrieved from Legends of America: http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-presidenttrivia.html

Siese, A. (2015, June 3). These 2 Single U.S. Presidents In History Prove There's Precedent For Candidate Lindsey Graham's Bachelor Status. Retrieved from Bustle: https://www.bustle.com/articles/87904-these-2-single-us-presidents-in-history-prove-theres-precedent-for-candidate-lindsey-grahams-bachelor-status

Stevenson, F. (2013, May 20). Top scandals and controversies of each United States president. Retrieved from Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/top/1512/8/Top-scandals-and-controversies-of-each-United-States-president.html

Saturday, October 22, 2016

fairytale addiction

Lately, when I can make the time, I have been watching reruns of "Once Upon a Time".  I see more darkness than I had the first time around, and lots of symbolism - though I don't know if that was the writers' intent.

"Magic" represents a force greater than ourselves.  Most of it reminds me of addictions.  We are addicted to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sugar, gambling, sex, pornography . . . the list seems almost endless.

You've got your fairytale characters like Rumpelstiltskin and Regina (the evil queen) who have each tried to stop the consumption that has eaten away at them, but hard as they try, they each give into their weaknesses and somehow resort back to who they are.

Rumplestiltskin has many names: Crocodile, the Dark One, the Beast . . . Belle sees Rumple the way God wants each of his children to see one another.  She constantly believes that there is something locked up deep inside that needs to come out, just as Snow believes in Regina.  She actually has a first-hand account of how good Regina was before Cora (Regina's mother) intervened, believing that power is what makes one happy.  Power can never make one happy if misused.

Not many characters trust Rumple or Regina.  Hook wants to kill him; Bae (aka Baelfire and Neal; Rumple's son) does not trust Rumple.  Often the queen and Rumple try working together, and it's a wonder if anything gets accomplished as they don't trust one another. Nobody trusts the queen (Regina)

Red Riding Hood turns into a wolf and Peter Pan is not to be trusted.  I think Jenna had tried to watch the show with me initially.  She showed no interest, however, once Peter Pan was introduced.  Seeing Peter Pan as a bad guy did not set well with her.  But this morning as I watched an episode for the second time, I realized that the shadow is dark and playing tricks with the intent to deceit.  He doesn't wish to grow up or accept responsibility.  His goal is to bring other boys to Neverland so that he may rule over them.  It makes him feel powerful. 

Wendy believes in the magic.  She is delighted by the idea of "the large and spacious building" per se; Baelfire had warned her to stay away - just as our prophets, parents, teachers, friends have warned us to stay away - but for some of us, the temptation is just too great.  We have to give in.  We have to see if it's as awesome as we have led ourselves to believe.

I feel blessed that my sibs and I were always able to learn by example, and not have to experience certain dark events for ourselves.  Some people get cocky and don't think the rules apply to them or that they won't be swallowed in the way that others are. How many of us have heard, "I can quit anytime I want?" 

Once we have crossed over to the other side, we realize that it was just a facade.  We feel trapped, ensnared - and some of us are fortunate enough to get out and stay out.  Others get out for a while and then return - hoping to feel that same high sensation, hoping for better - only to find our situation is even worse than it was the first time around.  Some attempt to get out again and find it even harder than before.  Some go down even further on that road to destruction - seeking vengeance, seeking something greater, seeking  the dark one to change their blackened hearts - which only become blacker.

Despite Snow's attempts to believe there is good in Regina or Belle's belief in Rumplestiltskin, they are not perfect.  Each fairy tale character is flawed in one way or another.  Each of us can possibly relate and identify our own strengths and weaknesses against another or against ourselves.  We're really not different from Fairytale characters overall.  They were, after all, based on one of us. Perhaps we know a real life fairytale character.  I know a real life Donald Duck.

Fairytales can teach us.  I love seeing fairytale characters painted in a different light, giving a new spin to the plot, giving new meaning to the character that we thought we knew but perhaps don't.  I think that's how it is in real life.

Friday, October 21, 2016

It's a Surprise - Don't Tell Grandpa

          Recently I had dragged some blankets out of the shed.  On one, there was a picture of a deer in a snow covered wood.  I smiled as I held it out, not because of the picture, but rather the memory of getting it.

          It was a gift to Roland from Tony, Rochelle and Ester. I don't know how hold Ester was at the time - two, probably. She is the one who presented the gift to Roland (I'm thinking on his birthday) and beamed as she watched him open it.

          "It's a blanket!" she announced before he had it completely unwrapped.

          I wish I could bottle up that joy and enthusiasm and take it out during those times when I am really not feeling joyful.  Currently, I am taking an accounting class.  It is my only class and so I have more time for just one class then I have with every other mod taking two classes. 

          Accounting: the language of business.  Oh, gag me with a fork.  What in the world possessed me to pick a major associated with business.  Admittedly, I think I like it better than my management class - but then again, I've only had one week of it.  I'm struggling a bit - I think more with the concept than the work itself. 

          I'm actually not the only one in my accounting class that has these emotions.  I can sense some tension amongst my other classmates.  At least two are more troubled by the concept of the course than I am.  What have I gotten myself into?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Constitution Day - My First Online Assembly Experience

Well, the assembly was mostly on our voting responsibility - or at least that's what I got out of it.  The instructor asked.  What is November 11?  Here are some of the answers:


"the best liar wins"
"Election hot mess, the day of voting"

We were referred to this website and quote.

John Adams said:

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution."

We watch a less-than-exciting video and then the conversation starts up again:

"I've heard that many reports say that the voting system is rigged, can be hacked, is faulty, that is fixed, that we just show up with false hopes in that the decision is already made by the 5 big families"

"The election is like, you have to pick your poison. My question is this. If the votes do not go the way that the ones who govern our land. Who has overall finally say so?"

"Trump is going to make our country file for its own bankruptcy"

"you can vote for any one even Mickey Mouse"

"there is a city in Georgia in which it's illegal to vote for Mickey Mouse - I don't know how they enforce that as our ballots are supposed to be private"

"what happens if someone gets the most votes to be president and they weren't running or don't even want to be president?"

The instructor didn't know, as it has never happened; perhaps we'll learn this year?

"So basically make sure you complete your ballot and won't no one vote for you, pretty much is what you are saying?"

"I get my ballots mailed to me...so I'm definitely voting"

"When did the popular vote start?  Article II Section I talks about electorates, equal to the number of reps and senators per state, and they vote.  So why do we even have the popular vote?"

"Utah is a Republican State.  I only know of one time when all 5 electorial votes weren't all Republican.  One time.  If I were to vote Democrat, I feel like it's such a waste.  It's like my vote doesn't even count.  Heck, just in my own household we seem to cancel each other out."

". . . but if almost the whole republican state vote democrat than what? because i know Idaho is a Republican state but I remember a year we were blue so that confuses me a little"

"At the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin stated his belief that public servants should not be paid a salary, for in paying the civil service, our government would not be made of "the wise and the moderate ... the men fittest for the trust" but instead by "the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions ... in their selfish pursuits.'"

"funny how I learned all of this in government and i don’t remember anything and everything you are saying right now is like a reminder of oh yah we learned about that."

Our instructor asked the question, which constitution states: “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,”


"i honestly have no idea"

"How 14"

"the one in the Constitution"


The next set of comments were made during the second video.

" i like Donald Trump's hair!"

" Isn’t that awesome??"


"Donald Trump and Martin Van Buren.  Fine hair."  

"This is true; They might be related lol"

"There is a lot of awesome Presidential hair out there- Van Buren and Buchanan both had Presidential hair!"

"What happens to the money left over after they get the job? It is not going towards the US debt. Which I think It needs too. Since getting a government office is just pretty much based on
how much money you can raise."

"It goes onto a server in their basement..."

". . . fine haircuts"

"Elvis has left the building!"                       - I don't know why that got put in there

Now, this video and comments

"blast from the past"

"Please say that is the Steven Crowder video..."

"now that takes me back"

"I love this!"

"omg i member watching this in government class lol"

"i watched this in high school"

"Really school house rock....lol"

"I love SNL version better lol"

"This used to be on Saturday Morning cartoons.  I loved this!"

"i watched  this as a kid every sat morn"

"Saturday morning cartoon were the best!"

"yea i watched in a history class my Junior year"

"I know they should put these back on for our children"

"yup...good ole Saturday morning cartoons...and Reading Rainbow...<shutting up before my age starts shining thru"

"LOL…me, too"

"great and fun way to learn"


"Everything I know about history, I learned from schoolhouse rock"
"The good way to Learn"

LOL…. I hope you learn more here!"

Of course that was only just some of the dialogue.  Conclusion.  Class members said their good-byes and the assembly was over.  90 minutes after it started.