July 2004

Original article posted by gandhi2:

Yesterday morning, my supervisor said he needed to talk to me, and to logout of my computer. I was nervous, because I usually don’t need to talk to him in private. The last time that happened, I was told I got a payraise from $6 tp $7 an hour. An hour later of twiddling thumbs, my boss came in and said they’d just be a minute. Another hour later, I was hungry and went to heat up my chili/baked potato. I was told to put it back, the bosses were taking me to lunch. My first reaction was that it couldn’t be all bad. Nobody gets fired right AFTER they are taken to lunch.

The lunch was going ok. Chitchat. Good sandwiches. How is work? How is your family? How is school? We have a proposition for you.

Background first, they said. The company had hired a new CFO. We are going in a new direction. We want to make use of your excellent communication and salesmanship. So we are offering you a job as a scout. Find leads, we pay comission, make the sale, we pay higher comission.

Naturally, this sounded interesting. I would have more time at home. This would be fabulous for my school schedule. I would have more time to do things, because I could set or unset my OWN crazy work schedule. I told them I was interested, and how long do I have to think about it.

Remember that new CFO? Yeah, him. Well the first thing he said was cut overhead. Obviously, the position in which I’ve been complaining about feeling expendable was the first to go. You have no job as of now. We hope you choose to stay with us, and feel that you’ll take to sales like a fish to water.

So. Hurrah. I was in control of things before. At least I knew that I’d get a paycheck every two weeks, no matter how meager it was. This felt, to those of you who know, just like being in a fight with a DC Weaver whose almost dead, and having two more DC Weavers coming up behind you for a potential gang rape, and possibly no net gain, but great rewards if you could fight such fuckulence.

I agreed to take the job. Its not like I can’t back out at any minute. They’ve made it quite easy to do that. And it will be good come school time. Financial aid is sufficient to sustain me and mine. Still, the situation merits a rant. Until next time, dear readers, keep on working. The world has dictated that man is destined to hate whatever it is he needs to do to survive.


Original article posted by Greg:

Just kidding.

Movecalls, or transfers, or whatever you want to call it, was pretty stressful for me this time. First, because I actually moved this time. And second, because I also got my mothers-day phone call sunday morning. Yeah, it’s a little off, but I had permission.

It was weird to talk to my family again. It did make me a little homesick, though. I found myself thinking about it after I hung up – like “What are they doing now? Are they talking about the conversation? Are they watching a movie?” It just made me want to go back and be a part of that life again. It was a little sad, but sad because of love, not because of depression. This is a higher quality type sad. It’s like the Carrabbas of sad, compared with the Mcdonalds of sad – which would be lingering, greasy, screaming children in colorful tube type sad.

So it’s okay. Really.

But then it was off to church. At church my companion proceeded to tell everybody that I was moving. So we had a big elder-Hamblin pity party. Luckily there wasn’t much drama, except on my part – as the ward members all are used to missionaries coming and going. I spent the whole time thinking of all the people I was going to miss.

But that was yesterday. Now it’s today.

Last Wednesday night I selected a new hero for myself. I am hoping this will help me better cope with the stresses of serving a mission My new hero for the mission, and perhaps longer, is Alfred Pennyworth.

I figure I need to recognize that I’m not capable of doing all the things I wish I could, like fighting crime, but I am capable of being the perfect assistant to those who can do the things I can’t.

I mean, think about it, Alfred is awesome. He always did exactly what was needed for Bruce Wayne to continue being Batman. He was completely unselfish and didn’t want any glory or recognition. He did his very best at all that was asked of him and always got the job done with dignity and speed.

So I figure if I can accomplish that much – that is, someday learn to be an Alfred – I’ll be doing pretty well. After all, how many people do you know who are that cool?

000 messages 000

BLAINE: when serving mission, remember alfred.
STEPHANIE: thanks for your letter. Don’t do anything that would make me look at you in a stern manner. Also please write with your new permanent address, seeing as you said your parents are moving.
RODNEY: I am sure I had something meaningful to say. Perhaps you should try writing while I try to remember.
TOM: thanks for the goods. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.
KAYE: hee hee. I called you kaye.

What an unusual and delightful group of friends I have.

Busy in Banqiao,

Original article posted by Cube:

Forgive me for any confusion that may result from the deprived ramblings of a hungry mind. I have been forced recently to endure an unanticipated fast of sorts and I am afraid the results are not to my liking, or to societies for that matter.

All seemed normal in the beginning, the long day of waiting for work to end, so my life might begin. For I have discovered that there are many things that a man might happily wake up for in this world, and rarely is work one of them. Even the drive home seemed acceptable, with my usual daydreams sucking up most of the time so I would not have to be mentally conscious during the 50 minute trek from St. George to Cedar. Surprisingly the cursed college ding bats that inhabit the apartment across the street from mine had not awakened from their drunken stupor early enough to steal my parking place, as often happens. So all seemed well and good, and as I entered my study to begin my life that day, I noticed something very peculiar, something that disturbed me greatly, for yes indeed, my arm was missing.

Now a normal man might have noticed it earlier, for wouldn’t it have been hard to program at work with only one arm, yet the day had gone by smoothly. On my way home as I was changing gears in my standard Honda civic wouldn’t the absence of an arm become apparent? Apparently not! No it was not until I walked into my study and sat down to the happy tones of the Crono trigger symphonic album and prepared to enter the gaming world for the eve that I noticed my arm was not there and dang it, that was important if I was going to game successfully this eve.

Curses from the depths of my soul sprang to mind and were quickly brushed aside as I thought of my day ruined. I had woken to go to work this day. I had not clumsily wallered out of bed with the drive to and from work on my mind. I had arisen for the sole purpose of gaming and now my day was taken from me. My fast had begun.

How important is an arm, can you live without it, well yes you can, but it is right up there with vacationing with cannibals somewhere in the Congo on my to do list.

What would you miss in life?

You can finally work on answering the question of what one hand clapping sounds like, along with the ever popular task of one armed hang-gliding.

Yet despite how enjoyable those events seemed at the moment theie luster quickly grew cold as day after day passed by with this malady. It seemed as if life was no longer worth the effort of living without my arm, and I spent most of my time dwelling upon how much my arm had meant to me and how much I had taken it for granted.

I called up experts to hear their advise and hope that perhaps modern science had produced some sort of acceptable cure for this physical crisis, and yet no one seemed to provide an answer, well none that is until one fateful morning as I was sitting on my couch in a dark and dismal depression. When I heard the familiar ringing of my computers windows feature, of new hardware found.

In a panic I rushed into my study disbelieving the site before my eyes, Yes, Oh Yes my cable had been restored and yes I was able to join my life online once more Thus with my arm restored I promptly forgot the misery of my last few days and proceeded to download the updates I needed to resume my play.

-It is the darkness that defines the light-

Original article posted by Greg:

Also I have gained new insights about revelation and the guidance of the spirit – which is grand.

Also this week I had my first rejection through faking deafness. I walked up behind a guy and said “Hey there, how are you?” He turned around and read my nametag, then didn’t say anything, then turned back to his groceries or whatever it was. I said, “Hey, sir, can I talk with you a minute?” He turned around again and covered his ears and then pointed to his mouth, followed by a shrug – as if saying “Oh, too bad, it turns out I’m a deaf/mute. Nobody is more dissapointed than me. Oh well, maybe next time I’ll be better.”

It was an expressive shrug. And smile.

The week has been like that a lot. We usually don’t get shut down so fast, but lately it’s been a lot of “Hey, sir, can I talk with-” “Not interested.” and “How are you today?” “Really bad. Bye.”

Weird. Maybe it’s the heat.

During mid-day, the shadows almost… almost dissapear. As the sun is nearly directly overhead. It makes me smile.

For the first time in my life I found myself really disliking another religion. It’s a church which I will not give the name of, because I don’t want to criticize other people’s churches. But it’s not like most other churches. I think that most churches will either teach people to try to be good, or at the worst just ‘don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.’
But this one is more like the devil’s own church. It’s pretty small, but it exists in a few countries. It’s very cult-like in that it uses ‘secret’ methods of worship and prayer and is secretive about meetings and leadership. And every person I meet who belongs to it seems thouroughly brainwashed. The members we’ve met have all been willing to talk but not willing to listen whatsoever. 90 percent of those we speak with proceed to tell us how we are too young/inexperienced/dumb/bad with chinese/spiritually lost to understand. One person said ‘You don’t know where your spirit is. You can’t know. But I know.’ Another said that the location of the soul is between the eyes above the nose, but that’s not as important as experiencing the evil things in the world.

People probably think this about my church.

But the part that I think of as evil is this: That this church seems to tell every member exactly what he or she wants to hear. Anything to get that person to be completely converted to the church. Even if every member has different beliefs.

and I could go on.

Truth is truth.
Truth does not change based on perspective, need, thought, or desire. If you want to know truth you have to go to the source of truth – not to those who say they know. The end.

-Elder Hamblin

P.S. Please leave comments or send letters.

Orginal comments:

Nickname: thewendy
Re: chewy
that church you will not name
sounds creepy
almost as creepy as yours…(smiles)

hope you are well and having a grand time brain washing poor souls

in all seriousness that church does sound icky. telling people what they want to hear. good way to get converts.

Nickname: squishous
Re: chewy chewy email
Don’t really have anything to say. Just wanted to say hi.

Don’t join that other church. it’s scary.

Don’t lose your shadow, they are hard to replace. that is all.


Nickname: Stephanie
Re: chewy chewy email
My address is
Stephanie Juker
PO Box 233
Parowan, UT 84761 USA
😀 write, write…I shall write back!

Nickname: chamblin
Re: chewy chewy email
Thanks for the comments. I’ve sent them to Greg. He loves them.

Original article posted by ravenpaine:

Entry 69 – July 21, 2004

Strangely, this article will fail to be depresssing despite my incredibly bad mood.

It was orignially going to be the kind of piece that you often see out of me, full of bile and hatred and the things that I want to see changed in the world and why everyone’s opinion of me only serves to make me more angry and resentful.

But then I got a message from the Wendy that tells me she will not be visiting. This makes me seven more angry and suddenly…

I see the man behind the curtain and once again I can say with confidance and a wry smirk, “I’m on to you world.”

Because I’ve seen through the veil that the world was casting about me. I see the strings of Fate and the machinations of the gods and I know where I am and what is supposed to be happening, for you see, I have been here before.

This is the nexus, the place of calm where my decisons ring with clarity and I can see my path through the trees and I can navigate this path as easily as I can navigate the road from the Highlands back to Bastok.

One too many times, one obscure refrence.


When I first started writing a journal back in January I had intended certain things for the entries. Certain truths would be revealed by me sorting through my day and laying down the concise, if not occasionaly humorous, exploits of my day. Things went wrong almost immediately in that plan, but the plan itself was not to blame.

I am a bad writer. I don’t really talk about the emotional impusles or implications of thoughts in my characters or in myself. I tend to write just the surface details with some flashy bits and enough angst to balance out the quirky humor. I don’t give the full scope of anything, no descriptions of anything or anyone. This anonymity disconects the reader from the work and makes it possible for me to write for pages about things that will ultimately only matter to myself and those who may know the subtext. The protaxis, if you will.


I don’t write enough to stop myself from certain bad habits. I don’t read enough to remember what it is to dream. I do not work on the projects I assign myself because I would rather not do then fail.

Which is true of almost anyone, I only mention it here as to further elaborate on where I am and why.

In any given day, each of us is asked to make decisions based upon what it is that we are doing and where it is that we are going. I tend to think that if properly analyzed many patterns will form and a person could very well guide their lives based upon the pattern of decisions they have made so far.

I’m getting away into my head at the moment and cannot justify, prove, or elaborate on this, but I do think that it is important in more than one way, which I wish I could explain with greater ease.

For now, we will simply resign ourselves – I should say, that I will resign myself – to working on certain long term goals before working on any more short term goals. Short term goals tend to lose you amongst the vegetation and you can never see where you are going. Like chosing a camera angle that looks at your character so that you see every detail there, but shows so little of the landscape that you spend all your time checking you map in hopes of getting to where you are going. And while checking your map you cannot see yourself anyway and you run straight into a pack of Goblin Leechers and soon it is all over.

I apologize again for the obscurity of this reference, but for those who understand it I have just said something remarkebly profound.

My head is fogging up somewhat faster than I would hope. I will close now and sleep until I’m healthier.

If I could make a request of any reader out there it would be to simply follow rule number 1 of Rodney.

Sometimes the best you can do is just shake your head and say “Oh that Rodney.”

Rodney TGAP
Bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.

Orginal comments:

Nickname: Cube
Re: So.
It is surprising how often those Leecher’s appear when you have a distraction of any kind cross your path, and by the way, let me be the first to say, that yes I do find myself on occasion repeating the phrase “Oh that Rodney”.

Nickname: thewendy
have found that needing to buy a computer, 14 books for my classes, getting into a new apartment, buying some more supplies for my classroom, living, and gas for truck has become more expensive than i’m used to and my budget is limited by small utahteacherpaycheck.

other words-i’m close to broke. would love to visit. would love to talk you into not thinking and ony just writing.

so i’ll send you words instead of me. turn off that silly thing in your brain. just write. non-stop for 5 minutes, no editing aloud.

stop thinking.
very bad for you.

sending hugs

Original article posted by Chellee:

Well, I’ve noticed traffic in our lovely little community has gone down quite a bit. I’ve become somewhat of a hermit of late. I’m well aware that I was probably not missed because I blended in with the hordes of other hermits so well, but please let me keep my illusion that I am loved on this site.

I am just here at work, wondering when I’m actually going to get enough gumption to actually quit. I’ve been working here at the homeless shelter for over a year now, and it’s killing me. At first it was fun and interesting. Now it’s tiring and annoying. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people who can’t take care of themselves. I’ve become bitter. And what’s worse is that I spend so much time thinking about work, everything now relates back to it.

I got an email saying that an apple is more effective at making a person feel more awake than coffee is. All I could think about was what all the homeless people would do if the coffee jug were to be replaced by a bowl of apples in the morning. They would literally kill for their coffee… That is, if they could stay awake long enough to actually find an effective weapon. When all along, they could just eat their apples, find a nice dull butter knife, and continue on their merry way. Fools.

I frequently hang out with my friend Gwen, watching Court T.V. because that is her channel of choice, and all I can think about while viewing stories about murderers and psychos and various assorted crazy people is, “Hey, I know people who act like that. I know people who show those signs… In fact, I’m pretty sure that guy has stayed at the shelter at some point… Hmm… I guess I ought to be glad I’m not dead…”

I actually had a guy freak out on me because he forgot to buy cigarettes, and I wouldn’t let him break the rules to get some… And where, in that sentence, does one figure that everything is my fault? Somewhere between crazy and denial, I’m quite sure.

No, but in all seriousness, they say CRAZY’s not contagious, but I’m pretty sure I’ve caught some. Yep, I’ve definitely got a serious case of CRAZY, and if you don’t watch out, you might catch it, too.

Original article posted by Greg:

Dear home, friends and family,

Not much of interest this week. There was one time when I was riding down the street and an unmarked truck with some big mysterious looking oil drums drove by. The day was hazy, with an 80% chance of morning ominous. The truck hit a bump pretty hard. The drums were okay, but a small canister full of some green fluid flew out of the passenger-side window straight towards me. I got a quick glimpse of the letters “T.G.R.I.” and then deflected it towards a nearby storm-drain. The last thing I saw of it, it seemed to break open and get that green… ooze, I suppose you could call it, all over a puppy, snapping-turtle, some mosquitos, about 350 cockroaches, and a bunch of rats wearing little mini t-shirts labled “NYMH.”

I’m sure everything will be fine.

Well, I just wasted about 1/2 of my email time relating that story.

Other news: We baptized 3 wonderful girls this weekend. Hopefully more to come. It’s a great feeling to help people begin to find themselves.

Went into the old apartment (that was where we used to live.)

Having problems focusing again I’m not sure what the problem or the cure is… so I’m just trying to endure.

Somebody needs to purchase the following websites: “Neckbolts” and “forbiddenlemon” Because, dang, those are good website names.

Currently there is a kid playing bomberman online behind me with anoying techno music turned up really loud, which music he has increased the speed on by about 1/4 – so we have “The Chipmunks Techno Hits.” Yay.

Let’s go tracting.

Tracting is going out knocking on people’s doors, trying to find those who want to learn about these things. No not, bomberman online, purpose of life type things.

Most buildings we tract are called “Fivestacks”. A fivestack is just a five story building. The reason we tract them is because buildings larger than that usually have a guard. Guards don’t usually let us in.

We walk up to the top story and then tract our way down. Lately its gone like this:

me: Knock knock.

door opens

Person: What in the world?

Me: Hello, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We would like to share a message with you about Jesus Christ. May we come in for a moment? (and yes, I can say all that in chinese. hooray for me.)

Person: What in the world?

My companion: He said we’re missionaries. You probably didn’t understand cause he doesn’t speak so well. We would like to..

Person: Don’t use.

Person shuts door.

Okay, sometimes it’s like that. But a lot of times the main entrance to the fivestack is locked, so we have to buzz the doors. I have yet to see this actually succeed. Usually we buzz, explain who we are and what we want, they say thanks- but no thanks, and hang up. But every once in a while we get the uncautious person who just buzzes open the door for us without finding out who we are. Then we get to go up and show him that we’re not who he was expecting. He then says don’t use. We proceed to knock on every other door in the building.

Sometimes we knock on a door, I say all that I can think of about how great the message is, the person still hasn’t replied. Then I get to the part where I can either say, “May we come in?” or sit in ackward silence. Every once in a while, somebody says “Great. Come in.”

The upside of tracting is that sometimes we get to meet somebody and teach them a whole first discussion in the same meeting. It’s a really great feeling.

I really want to do un-christlike things to the speakers of the boy behind me.

My time is up. Somebody buy neckbolts for me.

Cogito Ergo Learn Chinese,
-Elder Hamblin

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