Wednesday, December 31, 2008

25 Things About Me

I have a friend that posted 25 things about him and he challenged me to do the same. I tried to think of things about me that most would not know or that might be interesting. ENJOY!

1. I have lived in 8 different states. The western states are better. Sorry!
2. I attended 10 different schools growing up, including 3 different high schools. Once again! The western schools are better. Sorry!
3. I have ran a mile in 4:50, many years ago. My goal was to break 5 minute. I DID IT!
4. I have jumped off a cliff over 85 ft high into water, OUCH! My pants split open. Luckily the only girl there was my sister Christine. Whew!
5. I drove my dad’s car to 125 mph in high school (His first turbo, he has a much faster and nicer one now, but I will not take this one to 125). My father suspected something when the gas mileage was way down. My sister Lisa later told on me, years later. DOH!
6. I drove my first car a Mustang GT Turbo, yes turbo (they only made these one year) to 135 mph coming out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Yes! I won the race. Looking back, hmmmm, DUMB!
7. I drove my bullet-bike (Suzuki Katana 600) to a speed of 140 mph, Yes! I just had to take it faster than my car. And Yes! 140 mph on a bike is quite intense. I know it would go faster, but this was enough. Can you say, ROAD KILL!
8. I have run across a field with burned crosses with one of my friends in Arkansas. Can
you say KKK. We are sure there was a gathering the night before. SICK!
9. I have chased a shoplifter in a store in New Mexico. I almost caught him, but he threw a table at me. AAAAARRRRGGGGG! I did write down his plate number on my hand though. They caught him later, about a year later. He ran to Mexico for a while.
10. I was involved in a couple of scuffles in New Mexico in my 20’s. I had a good friend that taught me how to handle myself in New Mexico. Yes! This is important if you are going to hang out in Espanola as a white guy. One in Espanola and one in Los Alamos. Yes! I was victorious in both. I knocked the guy in Espanola “out cold.” The one in Los Alamos was a fight with a large group. Sorry, but I guess they will think twice before they mess with someones Mustang GT Turbo again.
11. I have never done any drugs, but I have been on a drug deal with a biker named “Chongo” in Espanola, New Mexico. And yes he did have the “Chongo” bars on his Harley. DUDE!
12. I have been asked out by both genders. Sorry, but I only went out with the women. I did try to ask one girl out during college in New Mexico that just never showed much interest. I found out years later that she was interested in my wife. I wonder why she did not show interest in me? Just Wondering!
13. President Thomas S. Monson spoke at my commencement at the University of Utah. He is also Utah Alumni.
14. I graduated in the top 2.5% of my class with a 3.935 GPA from the University of Utah. I think I had less than a 2.0 in high school. Perhaps I was bored in high school.
15. I have driven a Porsche 911 Twin Turbo, YES! VERY FAST! 0-60 in about 3 seconds. After driving this Porsche my bullet-bike seemed slow. DANG GERMANS!
16. I have run from the police with my Mustang GT in New Mexico. It was night and yes, I got away. ADRENALINE! Let’s just say I was going more than double the speed limit and I was in a 55 zone. I am sure this would have been bad news. He was going the other way. He turned on his top lights!!!!!What a head start! SEE YA!
17. I can ride a wheelie on my motorcycle for just about as long as I want. No, not my bullet bike, my dirt bike I had growing up. I liked to keep both wheels of my Suzuki Katana 600 on the ground. Call me CRAZY!
18. I have had my foot caught on the rope behind a motor boat, OUCH! Luckily the rope broke, because my sister Lisa and her friend Jennifer driving the boat did not know I had gone down until they heard the rope snap. LUCKY! I do remember thinking to take a breath before I went under, GOOD THING!
19. The first time I went to kiss my wife I missed and kissed her nose. Good thing she did not have a cold.
20. I lived in the ghetto in Russellville, Arkansas. South Houston! Scary for there! I have been to a real ghetto since. South Phoenix, Arizona. Russellville don’t worry, you are just fine.
21. I rode in a helicopter before an airplane. Completely different!
22. I have seen a Grizzly bear in the wild. ROAR!!!!
23. I attended 3 different colleges and graduated with 187 credit hours, most people do around 120-125. I should have a Ph.D, but only a B.S. Lucky Me! Doe anyone want to buy them??????
24. I have been “stalked.” NOT FUN!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25. And best of all!!!!!! I married a Princess in the LDS Arizona Temple, Mesa Arizona, on February 25, 1995.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I love the Christmas Season. I am so very grateful for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love the joy and peace that most of us enjoy this time of year. I wish that the world could feel this joy and peace all through the year.

You probably saw this coming, but I will not bore you at this time with technical details of my thoughts. I will save this for a later post. You probably know by now, by reading my blog, that I love to think about very detailed and head spinning ideas. Having a strong background in the Earth sciences I love to research items relating to the Earth's history and Earth system processes as related to religion. The more that I research and study these processes the more fascinated I become with the Creation of this wonderful Earth and the creation of the Universe. I know that our Heavenly Father uses laws and rules as to how He and others created this great universe. As I continue to learn and study the universe and our Earth, I gain a further respect for how great this Creation is. My faith grows as I continue to learn and try to understand such a grand design.

There is something that I think about at Christmas time pertaining to miracles here on the Earth. I will just mention this and leave it for a future post, perhaps! Could the Star of Bethlehem been a Type Ia/Ic Supernova in the Andromeda Galaxy? Perhaps, not that this matters, but very interesting to think about. What is so great to think about at Christmas is how not just the Earth, but the Universe was in obedience to the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Whatever this event was perhaps a conjunction of planets, stars, moon and sun, or "just" a supernova, it does not really matter. It was the star that signified the birth of the Saviour. This event was so great that the Universe changed and obeyed in order for such a great event to occur.

So this Christmas, I hope that I leave with you a little something to think about. The birth of our Saviour was probably the greatest event here on Earth, but stop and think, this event was so great that it caused things to change in the Universe. This helps me to gain a greater understanding as to the importance of this event. His life is very important to us here on Earth, but it is greater than this, it has significance throughout the Universe. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Lisa

Lisa and Karl 1972

Tuesday December, 23rd is my sister Lisa's birthday. She is one of my three sisters. I wanted to wish her a "Happy Birthday" and share a little bit about my sister. I will never tell you her age, but I will let you know that she is older than me. While she has been here on Earth there have been 7 different Presidents of the United States of America, also the same number of Presidents of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Although she was not born when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, she was "In Utero." On Tuesday she will have completed roughly 39 successful solar passes of our sun, while here on Earth. Once again, I have never stated how many years of age she is.

Lisa and Karl 1972

My sister Lisa is a very kind and caring person. She is probably one of the most innocent and honest persons you could know. Growing up she was very popular in high school and there was a lot of things going on around her that she had no idea about. She would ask me about boys that would show interest in her and wonder what I thought of them. Well, a lot of these boys were not for her. I would just tell her not to worry about that certain boy. I would just say that I hear stuff in the locker room and you don't want to go out with them. She really was very naive in high school and I think to an extent that really was better for her. I know that she set a very good example to her friends around her in high school. I also think by being naive in high school it also protected her from some negative influences. By not really knowing what was going on I am sure this helped her to be such the great person she is.

Lisa and Karl 1973

I wanted to end with just a few trivial facts about my sister Lisa. She has killed two dogs at once while driving her dads car. She can belch "LOUDER" than anyone I know, but she refuses to perform this task now. She has dated "Rednecks" in the past, thank goodness! She can not eat a salad gracefully, as far as I know. And best of all, she was a car hog of a 1986 Mazda 626 GT Turbo in high school, according to her older sister Christine, even though Christine had nowhere to go.

Lisa and Karl 1975


Lisa and Karl 1975

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Quotes" from my Dad

I thought that I would do a little different post this time. My father is a very smart man. I have learned many things from him, by example, through the years. Growing up I was always "the flashlight holder." This may not sound like fun, but it was. I would always help my father by holding the flashlight when he was fixing things such as cars, trucks, televisions, and many other items. These were very valuable experiences. I learned many things while holding this flashlight, Thank You Dad. I hope to be able to pass this on to my boys by having them help me fix things. Some of you may know this, but my father was a nuclear engineer and worked many years in nuclear power, but later in his career he worked with nuclear weapons, much more exciting, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This was the location of the making of the first atomic bomb. Growing up my father would explain to us how a nuclear power plant functioned and in "great" detail. I really enjoyed listening, but some of my siblings would lose interest quickly. The thing I did not like about him telling us about work came later in his career. Yes! Los Alamos. My father could not tell us anything, other than he worked with weapons. Even now that he is retired, he can not tell us anything. I would really like to hear stories, but I understand the security behind this all. What I would like to do now is share some of my favorite quotes from my father over the years and perhaps by these quotes you might receive a little understanding of how I received a thinking mentality. I am thankful for having such a great father. And mother, "Look Out" you are next and in the works. Enjoy! These quotes may not be exact words, but close.

When speaking of why he could not sleep one night. "I could not sleep last night, because of the 10 to the 6th dogs barking, that's one million, by the way." (Sorry for the incorrect scientific notation, the blog does not allow superscripted exponents)

When speaking of rain. "I perceive that moisture has commenced to precipitate earthward."

When speaking of when the Sh!t hits the fan. "There is going to be a fecal-velenatory collision."

When speaking to me. "Do you know if you park your car facing north and south, it will be longer that when you park it facing east and west, but don't bother to measure it, the tape measure will do the same."

While visiting my grandmothers he knocked some nuts (nuts and bolts) off of the counter and as he picked them up he said to me, "It hurts when your nuts hit the floor."

When speaking of using his cars. "You can run them out of gas, but don't run them out of oil."

When working on an old Zenith Television set, back in the late 70's. Yes! I was holding the flashlight. "Don't touch the back of the picture tube, it has a lot of stored electricity and will shock you." ZZZAAAAAAPPPPPP! "Sh!t." As my fathers arm brushed up against the back of the picture tube.

There are many others, but I will leave it at these. Thank you for the fun times Daddy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Full Moon, Earthquake????

Last night I enjoyed viewing a very bright and full moon. Beautiful! And if you thought perhaps it was a little closer and larger than normal, it was (Of course you were!).The moon's average distance from us is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km). Friday night it was just 221,560 miles (356,567 km) away (Wow! 17,295 miles closer). It was 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during the year. This was the closet the moon has been to Earth in nearly 15 years. So, is there any significances to the moon being so close to Earth, well yes.

Earth's oceans are pulled by the gravity of the moon and the sun. So when the moon is closer, tides are pulled higher. These tides are named perigean tides, because the moon's closest point to Earth is called perigee. The farthest point on the lunar orbit is called apogee. Sorry, back to the point. Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides. And also people go crazy during full moons, well there is no scientific evidence of that, but it sounds good. More women give birth during a full moon? Well, Shari is still pregnant, so thank goodness for that not being true.

The new theory I would like to discuss is full moon causing earthquakes. Can full moons and the pull of gravity cause earthquakes? Lets start off by using some statistics to make it look as this is very true. Of the only magnitude 9.0 or greater earthquakes in our Earth's recorded history, 3/4 of them occurred during a full moon. The Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami in 2004 occurred at full moon and yes, this was one of the greater than magnitude 9.0, it was a magnitude 9.1. A group of Applied Geologists at Madras University in Chennai, India predicted the 2004 earthquake with minor deviations of 150 km and missed it by 30 minutes. Could they be onto something, perhaps. Russian scientists and others have observed that probability of major earthquakes is high at or 1 to 3 days after full or new moon when the line of gravitation crosses close to the tectonic plates boundaries. These Chennai scientists sent their prediction of the 2004 Sumatran earthquake to several institutions such as US Geological Survey, International Union of 'Geodesy and Geophysics' and NASA, but were not taken seriously and they did not receive any reply.

There is no research to conclude that a "full" moon contributes to earthquakes, however there are indications that a planetary alignment could contribute to tectonic disturbance. I will leave it at this, I will bore you no more with planetary alignments. I am in no way saying that these scientists in India have this thing figured out, but with science we need to continue to research and try to find answers. After all, people thought Nicolaus Copernicus was crazy for thinking that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of everything revolving around the Earth.

The Earth and the Heavens above are a miraculous creation and we do not know it all, but by research we are able to understand these things better. THINK ABOUT IT!

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


"Twilight" (1820) by Caspar David Friedrich

I have something I need to get off of my chest. I have always been interested in "Twilight." Please do not let my wife know, she will never let me live this one down. Although, she reads my blog and will most certainly find out, please DO NOT let her know. It could damage the town. Twilight is very interesting to me. It even reaches farther than we know, even into other planets. and galaxies. That is how far reaching "Twilight" is.

There are many versions of "Twilight." My wife has all of these on our bookcase. I see them every day and wonder which version is best. Technically, there is only one truly defined "Twilight", but there are three established and widely accepted subcategories of twilight: civil twilight (brightest), nautical twilight and astronomical twilight (darkest). Civil twilight begins in the morning when the geometric center of the Sun is 6° below the horizon and ends at sunrise. Evening civil twilight begins at sunset and ends when the center of the Sun reaches 6° below the horizon. Nautical twilight is defined as the time beginning when the geometric center of the Sun is exactly 12° below the horizon and ending when the sun's center is exactly 12° below the horizon. Astronomical twilight is defined as the time beginning when the center of the Sun is exactly 18° below the horizon and ending when the sun's center reaches exactly 18° below the horizon. I prefer the version "Civil Twilight in the Morning," but my wife prefers another version of "Twilight."

"Twilight" can have varied durations of time, depending on the latitude of the observer. In the Arctic and Antarctic regions, twilight (if at all) can last for several hours. I know that at my geographic location, "Twilight" can last all night and keep me awake for many, many hours. There is no twilight at the poles within a month on either side of the winter solstice. I am going to enforce this rule at my house, this sounds like a great idea. At the poles, twilight can be as long as two weeks, while at the equator, it can go from day to night in as little as twenty minutes. "Twilight" even reaches the Martians. Twilight on Mars is longer than on Earth, lasting for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset.

I know that "Twilight" will continue around my house for quite some time, but I guess I should be very grateful that "Twilight" is not continuous. Within the polar circles of Earth, twilight literally lasts for weeks in the polar fall and spring. Poor men. What makes me most grateful is that it could be much, much worse. There is a planet in a distant solar system, the name escapes me, that continually faces its sun. By doing this there is one side that is continually light and the other side is continually dark. Yes! you guessed it. Poor, Poor men, if any there. There is an area on this poor planet, roughly 200 miles wide, from pole to pole, that is in continuous never ending "Twilight." This sounds like a planet that my wife and many of her friends would like to visit, but not me. I will be happy with intermittent "Twilight" here at my geographic location.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Is 186,000 Miles Per Second The Speed Limit?

Back in September I posted about the speed of light and how there is nothing faster. Ever since I posted that I have been wondering if that is true. I know, that is really something that most people worry about, but it keeps me busy thinking about. I know scientifically and theoretically that there is nothing faster. That has been proven by the calculations of Albert Einstein with his theory of special relativity. We know that light travels at, roughly, 186,000 miles per second or 299,792,458 meters per second. Since then we have found that the speed of light can be manipulated. Light can slow as it is refracted passing through much denser materials, such as water, glass, and much slower through diamonds. We can also temporarily speed up light. One experiment in 2000 made the group velocity, or speed, of laser beams travel for extremely short distances through caesium or cesium atoms at 300 times the speed of light, WOW! now that is fast.

Now let me let you in on what I have been thinking about. We use many wavelenghts of nonvisible light for communication purposes. Most common is radiowaves and microwaves, no not ovens, but that makes me hungry. There is another form of communication that many use each day. This may get a little deep in thought so bare with me. Prayer! Prayer, what is the mechanism used to transfer our thoughts and words in prayer? Is it some sort of wavelenght of light? Perhaps, but it all depends on how far our prayers need to travel to be heard and then the time it takes for our answers to travel back. We do not know the exact location of our Heavenly Father, but it is probably pretty far. Let's just say we probably know that it is farther than our sun. Our sun is roughly 93 million miles from Earth. Using a wavelenght of light for communication and using the distance of our sun as our prayers destination, that would take our prayer 8.31 minutes to arrive and then an additional 8.31 minutes to return if answered immediately. I know that I have had prayers answered almost instantly. So, probably not a wavelenght of light, since we know that the speed of light is constant, but could caesium surround us while we pray? (I am joking here) That could speed up our prayers, I sure hope not, that could be very dangerous. Caesium is highly reactive and is highly explosive when it comes in contact with water. I don't know about you, but I have often cried while praying, so that could be deadly.

This is what makes me wonder, what is the mechanism used to transfer our thoughts and words in prayer. Whatever this mechanism is, our Heavenly Father has it all worked out and I do believe that it is much faster that the speed of light. It all depends on where are prayers are going and how far that really is. Or could it be that we all live in very close proximity, just in a different dimension perhaps? After all the veil is very thin at times between this world and others, but that is just going WAY TOO into things. That is another thing I think about, but I will just leave it at this point. The point is that I believe that the speed of light is theoretically the fastest, but I also believe that this mechanism that transfers our prayers is much faster that the speed of light, how fast? Who knows, but science can not measure this. THINK ABOUT IT!