Monday, June 30, 2008

Card Game: Kent

This is a card game I learned to play with Rook cards, though any cards with multiple sets of 4 numbers may be used.

Number of Players:
4, 6, 8 (only these even numbers)

Objective: Collect 4 cards of the same number each round, signal to your partner your achievement, and be the team with the most points.

Preparation: 4 cards are dealt face-down to each player. Pair off into teams of two players. Each team secretively decides on a subtle sign (flaring nostrils, biting cheeks, holding cards a particular way, etc.) that will be used during the game, with the intent to get their partner's attention but not the attention of the other players.

The Play: The dealer takes four cards from off the top of the remaining deck and puts them face-up in the middle of the table. Players are free to take the cards off the table and exchange them with cards in their hands (in no particular order), so long as each player keeps 4 cards in their hand when they are done. When no players want the cards in the middle, the dealer replaces the cards on the table with 4 new cards from the top of the remaining deck.

Scoring: The goal is to get 4 cards of the same number in your hand and then as subtly as possible make your signal to get your partner to say "Kent." That team then gets a point if no one catches them before "Kent" is said.

If an opposing team catches you making the sign they may say "obvious" and then must identify the sign that was being made. If the accuser is successful at identifying the sign, they get a point, otherwise they lose a point. The team with the discovered sign must regroup and come up with a new sign.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Joseph Smith's First Vision

A friend of ours was giving a talk on the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and made an interesting connection to the importance of Joseph Smith's First Vision. He said that of the people he has talked to that have served foreign missions (I would assume the same goes for native speaking missions), no matter how long ago, they can still retell the Joseph Smith story verbatim in the language of their mission. I thought about that, and to my surprise (even with my Spanish growing rustier by the year) could do it without a pause. I'll do it again here without looking at anything:
Vi una columna de luz mas brillante que el sol directamente arriba de mi cabeza; y esta luz [gradualmente] descendio hasta descansar sobre mi... Al reposar sobre mi la luz, vi en el aire arriba de mi a dos Personajes, cuyo fulgor y gloria no admiten descripcion. Uno de ellos me hablo llamandome por mi nombre y dijo, senalando al otro, "Este es mi hijo amado: Escuchalo!"
I missed "gradualmente" but I think my point is still pretty clear. Anybody else out there find this true?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Obama: Strike 1!

On the Economy
According to Obama's speech on the economy, he blames credit card companies and partially John McCain for American consumer debt. It seems that the democrats try putting the blame of national crises everywhere but where it belongs. Another example is that the state of our economy is all Pres. Bush's fault, go take a lesson in economics people! It sounds a little too much like the priests of King Noah.

Could it also be that interest rates aren't high because credit card companies are bad (for the most part) but also because of the number of people who file bankruptcy and never pay back their huge credit?

On the Environment
Obama wants to create a tax on the windfall profits of oil companies? Won't that just increase the cost of R&D to find other oil, causing a rise in the cost of oil in the long run? Oil companies might make $.10 on the dollar, the rest is already going to the government. Since when is a windfall profit bad, isn't that the point of capitalism, aren't we leaning a little closer to socialism with his ideas?

On the Supreme Court Vacancies
I'm glad someone pointed out the possibility that we would be forfeiting 6 seats in the Supreme Court (though I haven't found any news articles on it). A fully democratic run gov't would be bad (as is a fully run republican gov't) we need both views present and balanced in order to best represent the people. (If you can prove otherwise be my guest, but I still don't believe democrats are 100% evil or that republicans are 100% holy). Though in the case of the Courts, we need judges who espouse the Christian views of the majority of the US, who will uphold the sanctity of marriage along with other Christian ideals, it is quite obvious that republicans win this debate.

I've still got Obama's biography to watch. If anyone see's anything Obama would do better than McCain, please comment!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Bipartisan Rant: Obama for President

Why do political parties exist? They seem absolutely worthless. I'd like to do some research on why they came about (possibly stemming from those for upholding the Constitution and others wanting to keep the Articles of Confederation, but that will be another post.) You have Republicans thinking that democrats are evil and vice versa, and with the misunderstandings /lies spread about the opposite party, can you blame them?

I've been raised in a very conservative environment, and from what I understand the LDS (Mormon) faith is quite conservative as well. By conservative I mean - pro-life, upholding traditional marriage (between man and woman), complete abstinence, etc. mainly a push for more conservative morals than anything, as the Church stays as far away from politics as possible. I feel that the republican mindset is that democrats are evil because they want to obliterate our agency by increasing government involvement in our lives by increasing taxes and government programs that steal from the rich to give to the poor and middle classes. I don't think that democrats can possibly be so Marxist/Satanic.

What's wrong with the government extending a little help to those who have had no chance to make something of their life? Sure the welfare program needs reforming, but both republicans and democrats are aware of that and nobody elected seems to do anything about it.

I think we can all agree that the reasons for going to war in Iraq were not the best, but things have gotten better (we've at least done some good, though at the expense of the morale of the American people and derision of the globe), whether the President is Obama or McCain the war will probably end soon under either person, making this a moot point.

What about the economy? It makes absolutely no sense to blame the state of the national economy on one person. Just take Economics 101 and you will see that it's much more complicated than that. We just don't know enough about what's going on so we tend to blame the guy at the top. I'm sure some of the decisions that have been made in our government have contributed to our current economic state, but our government is made up of republicans and democrats, and with what little I know, the democrats make up a majority of the House and we're split in the Senate.

The list goes on and on. Why pit your party against the other, why not look at both and determine which things are good and which are bad, measure them against the candidate that best fits that mold and not be afraid to support someone your party is against. I admit that I don't know either candidate's position on a lot of issues, but because of my background I tend to stick with the republicans and then I end up thinking anything the democrats do has to be wrong. With that in mind I think I'm going to say I'm voting for Obama, unless I can find some evidence before the next election that sells me on why I should vote for McCain. It seems as though I'll have to sift through the garbage the republicans and democrats dig up about each other's candidates to find out about the issues that really matter.

If anybody knows of some legitimate source of info on the candidates and their issues I'd welcome your comments. I've come to like US News and World Report and Article 6 Blog. I do listen to talk radio once in a while to hear what the "hot topics" are (do democrats have anything similar?)