Matt’s Legacy

I’ve been meaning to write something on this subject for awhile now, but I hadn’t yet been able to find something that I considered a suitable way to present it. But now, I figure that I can’t put it off any longer.

This week, my beloved grandfather, 94 years of age, passed away. He had a stroke about a month and a half ago, and had not been able to return home since. He had been improving until struck by an infection. The final blow was when he got pnemonia and refused treatment. Of course, it had been very difficult for him, not being able to walk, talk (& be understood, that is), etc. But he held on long enough to give all of us a chance to visit him.

Today was his funeral, and it was spectacular. I must admit that the knowledge that I have as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been incredibly helpful in this respect. I mean, there isn’t much better than knowing that I’ll be able to see him again (and get to know him better than I ever had a chance to here) sooner than I may think. God’s plan for us is perfect.

“There is no tragedy in death, but only in sin.” – Pres. Spencer W. Kimball (link)

How true is that? Death is a necessary part of life. It is, and always has been, completely unavoidable (Except in the case of people like Moses and whatnot… But I’m not quite at his level of spirituality). It is no tragedy in a life well-lived, where the person has been faithful to the Lord’s commandments.

And in closing, I’d like to include a song with words by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley:

“What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

“O God, touch Thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

“There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for vict’ry won.
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.”


The Wisdom of Drizzt

A little over a month ago, before school and other things took up my time, I asked my brother, “Do you know of a good book that I could read?”

After explaining that I wanted a novel, not something non-fictional, he suggested the Icewind Dale Trilogy, by R.A. Salvatore.

This trilogy is very enjoyable just to read; it also includes many well-thought statements about life itself. One of such is an article supposedly written by one of the characters, Drizzt Do’Urden. I would explain who he is and whatnot, but I don’t want to make this too long. Now, this article is about respect and its influence on our relationships with other people. I’ll include some excerpts of the comments and wisdom found therein.

“The world is full of ruffians. The world is full of people of good character. Both of these statements are true, I believe, because within most of the people I have known lies the beginning points of both seemingly disparate paths….

“Initial impressions are sometimes difficult to overcome, and sometimes become lasting, but beyond race and appearance and other things that we cannot control, I have learned that there are definite decisions that I can make concerning which reaction I will edge someone else toward.

“The key to it all, I believe, is respect.

“When I was in [a city] with [a friend], we crossed through a tavern full of ruffians, men who used their fists and weapons on an almost daily basis. Yet, another friend of mine…, often frequents such taverns, and rarely, very rarely, ever gets into so much as a verbal argument. Why is this? Why would … a man of some wealth, and a man of respectable society as well, not find himself immersed in brawls as regularly as the others? He often goes in alone, and stands quietly at the bar, but though he hardly says a word, he surely stands out among the more common patrons….

“What keeps [him] safe is his ability to show respect for anyone he meets. He is a man of charm, who holds well his personal pride. He grants respect at the outset of a meeting and continues that respect until the person forfeits it. This is very different than the way most people view the world. Most people insist that respect has to be earned, and with many, I have come to observe, earning it is no easy task! Many … demand that anyone desiring their friendship first earn their respect, and I can understand their point of view, and once believed that I held one similar….

“[He] takes the opposite approach, one of acceptance and one lacking initial judgement. This may seem a subtle alternative, but it most certainly is not. Would that the man be anointed a king, I say, for he has learned the secret of peace. When [he] enters a tavern of common peasant thugs, most within the place, and society at large, would view him as superior. And yet, in his interactions with these people, there is no air of superiority about the man at all. In his eyes and in his heart, he is among peers, among other intelligent creatures whose paths have led them to a different – and not better or worse – place than his own. And when [he] grants respect to men who would think nothing of cutting his heart out, he disarms them, he takes away whatever reason they might have found to fight with him….

“How rich is his life! How full of wonder and how wide of experience!”

Incredible. May I say so? I sincerely hope so. I hope that this has made a difference for you as it has for me. It seems to clear, and yet such a thing is so very difficult. To do so, one must put away his pride and judgement. And I know that I have not been even relatively near accomplishing that. But hopefully one day I will. Hopefully.


Of Tablets and Buses

I’ve thought about writing various posts in the past few days, though mostly due to the beginning of school I have, as of yet, been unable to do so. But, it seems that I have now found a moment that is calm enough to write a post.

As I stated, this week I began school. It’s been pretty exciting. Tuesday was the first day, which meant an early busride down to the lovely city of Provo. I don’t yet know how I feel about riding in a bus twice a week, but thus far it certainly hasn’t gotten on my nerves. It gives me a chance to do some homework, read, or write a post in a nearly undisturbed, if not entirely comfortable, situation.

The Utah Transit Authority has done a decent job of making the rides simple and pain free. I have access to good ‘ole wireless internet, which is very appreciated. Of course, a good deal of the time it lags around at the rate of dial-up, but at least it’s the internet. Plus, it makes me appreciate the fast internet at school and home more.

Aside from the buses, I also decided to write about a superb discovery that I made today. During one of my classes, we took our first trip to the computer lab that we will often be using. There, I found not just one, but a great many beautiful surprises… Wacom Cintiq tablets staring at me from 80% of the computers in the room. They are $2000 jewels of amazingness for those of us who want to draw on our computer screens as if they were pieces of paper. I remained in awe for several moments. Rarely have I beheld such a stunningly beautiful sight. My only complaint is that they don’t include the required pens… So I’m going to have to get one so that I can utilize the amazing things.


A Curious Occurence

You know, I think that I have to say that troubleshooting problems is my favorite activity of all time. No, no, it’s really not. Considering the fact that I’ve spent over three hours attempting to fix a small but incredibly annoying glitch with the audio on my computer, and barely begun to make the slightest amount of headway, I have to look back and think… “Now, is that what I wanted to be doing with my time?”

And the answer to that is a resounding, “No. Not at all.” But, at the same time, in an attempt to keep this from becoming no more than a long complaint, I’ve got to say that the feeling that one gets after fully resolving a problem, especially one that has caused much pain and hair-pulling, is undeniably pleasant.

I write this because of the fact that somehow, though I knew not that it was possible, the WiFi connection on my computer is interfering with my audio, making it stutter in an incredibly annoying fashion. After completing ALL of Dell’s troubleshooting steps, I had made it nowhere. Or so it seemed. I had reverted my computer to its original settings and it had been successful for, at the least, a few minutes. But then the problems suddenly started again.

Anyway, after a long time of being rather frustrated, I returned to the settings that I had (thankfully not having to reinstall all my programs and whatnot), and decided to try disabling the WiFi. With the simple flick of a switch (literally), all the distortion disappeared. And I was again listening to beautifully clear music.

But, this leaves me with a dilemma. Internet, or music? As of right now, I can’t really have both at the same time. Hopefully I’ll be able to resolve the issue shortly. I’ve sent another email to Dell asking them about their insight on my latest discovery. Hopefully they’ll know something.

Anyway, thanks for listening. It’s been good fun for me.


Apollo Has Arrived

ApolloI am currently seated aside the famed Grumblefoam (Who really isn’t that famed, except among some of my friends… He’s our desktop computer that has lived forever), though not currently using him to type this report. The reason that I am not using him is because he has a new friend. This new friend, as you may suppose, is the Apollo mentioned above.

I’ve decided to name him Apollo because lately I’ve taken to naming computers and other electronic devices after Greek gods, and, according to the Wikipedia, “Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more.”

As that seemed a rather fitting description for the latest of my electronic possessions. He’s rather beautiful, as you can see in the photograph accompanying this post, and hopefully he’ll serve me well. I’m pretty darn excited about him, to say the very least.

Anyway, that’s it for right now, as I have much installation and whatnot to do, though I promise that I’ll post something more interesting than this shortly.


In a Bind

In pondering Shaine’s Comment about my site, I’ve started looking at a number of other blogs and how they manage the titles of their posts.
The conclusion that I have reached is that there isn’t a whole lot of variety among the more popular blog sites. Many sites have a very limited amount of styling/design on the posts themselves. As far as that goes, I don’t believe that I completely agree with it. Why not have a nicely designed title for your emails, and not just an overly large bit of text?
Mainly, I’m just a tad bit frustrated that I haven’t been able to find any absolutely stunning designs for the titles of blog posts. I’m working on something new for my own, because I agree with Shaine. But the simplest solutions that I have yet tried really haven’t turned out well. As a matter of fact, they’ve all looked quite a bit worse than what’s currently there. So, if you have any genius ideas, shoot them my way, please.
Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until I come up with my own.


Vantage Point

Vantage PointAt this moment, I swear that my blood pressure is at least twice what it normally is. Not only that, my heart has been racing at over 120 bpm for approximately the last hour and a half. Man. Seriously, I am just about at a loss for words.

I just finished watching the movie Vantage Point. It’s all about assassination attempts and whatnot, if you didn’t know already. That’s something that has been vaguely close to my family’s line of interest, and so this movie seemed all the more amazing.

But truthfully, if you want an action-packed movie, you can’t get much better than this. There are less than three dull moments throughout the entire thing. If you don’t believe me, well, then you’ll just have to watch it yourself. I caution you, however: if you already have high blood pressure, Consider yourself warned. You may die while watching this movie.

It’s full of incredible action scenes, plot-thickening, and some amazing twists in the storyline that will really throw you for some loops. But overall, I have rarely enjoyed a movie more than this. I haven’t the slightest what it’s gotten in its reviews, but if I were to review it, (which I so happen to be doing right this moment) I would give it a 95/100. Well done. It’s an amazing movie.

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I’m Reasonably Happy

It’s true, I am. First off, I’m happy because I’ve almost got the styling and whatnot done for the site. Well, ok, at least I’ve overcome all the major errors. That’s the biggest thing. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap everything else up in the next few days.

I’m also relatively happy because lately I’ve been watching the Olympics, especially the swimming part. There have been some incredible performances by members of the United States Swimming Team, specifically in the Men’s 4×100 relay, which can be found here. I would highly suggest that you watch the video of it – or at least the last 15 seconds of the race if you can manage it. It’s pretty stellar.

So, yeah. That’s what it comes down to. Mostly I wanted to write another post so that I could see something else while I’m working on my site’s content, because I’m getting tired of the other post.


The New r.t

Well, here I am… Yet again, I’m making another blog. I know, before, with the exception of one, they didn’t work out very well. But I’m gonna try again. So, please forgive me for that. Right now, as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a work in progress. I just barely started. So, there you have it. If you’re here right now, viewing this post, either you’re going back a ways or I’ve given you the address to my new site before it’s near being done, just so that you can look at it and keep updated.

Its pretty cool, eh?
It's pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, during this post, I wanted to express my happiness at seeing the little ‘A’ in the picture at the left. Before Tuesday of this week, that ‘A’ didn’t exist. It was simply a dash. Now, please, let me explain why that’s significant. That ‘A’ stands for the word ‘Add,’ which is referring to adding, or registering, for a class. That particular course happens to be a program-specific course, requiring admission to the Industrial Design program.

So, basically, my seeing that ‘A’ there means that I have been admitted to the Industrial Design program at Brigham Young University, which just so happens to be one of my greatest aspirations at this point. That means that right now I am rather happy. And that’s the whole point of my taking a picture of that little, seemingly insignificant letter.