Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Discovered while celebrating my 2nd year wedding anniversary, Arella Pizzeria in Bountiful Utah is by far the best pizza place I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. I can't say enough good things about it. If you enjoy pizza (and even if you don't) you need to go to Arella's. They cook their pizzas in a wood fired brick oven, which gives such a wonderful flavor to the crust and cooks it perfectly. The toppings they use of course are fresh and very tasty. It is a thinner crust, really good cheese, and a really excellent sauce. Like I said...I can't say enough good things! Basically, imagine the perfect pizza place. Then, go to Arella Pizzeria and you will find it.
The pizza is not the only amazing thing about Arella's. They have really good house salads as well with house made dressings (some of the best salad dressings I have ever had). Then, save room for dessert as well. The chocolate calzone is what I would recommend myself...it is really really good. The atmosphere of the restaurant is really fun as well. It is decorated really cool, and its nice to see them make your food etc. Anyway, Best Pizza Joint Award! Go try it today!
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in the same movie can not be a bad thing. Neither can shooting your film in Venice. Three things that make this movie work. The story was actually intriguing as well, considering I did not really know the plot before hand. It was an entertaining movie, and I would think that if you liked movies such as Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job you would like this film. Check it out.
Talking With or Without Your Hands.
As you, the reader, have noticed, I use my hands to communicate in this blog. I let you know how I feel about different things, and when I'm just making some commentary. I don't think most people know how often they actually do use their hands when they talk or communicate with others. My brother served in Italy, and he can vouch that they indeed use their hands a lot when they are talking. I challenge all of my readers to go a whole week without using your hands while you are speaking. When you are talking to someone, your hands need to be by your side not moving. Give it a try, let me know how that works out for you.
As Ursula from the Little Mermaid once said, "don't underestimate the importance of body language." If you think talking without your hands is hard, you should then try talking without hands, and without moving your body all while keeping your face complacent or relaxed and unchanging as possible. Something to think about.
And that is How Lou Sees It.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
By President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency
By President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Henry B. Eyring, "The Book of Mormon as a Personal Guide", Ensign, Sept. 2010, 4–6
All of us feel, in our best moments, a desire to return home to live with God. He gave us the gift of His Beloved Son as our Savior to provide the path and to teach us how to follow it. He gave us prophets to point the way. The Prophet Joseph Smith was inspired to translate the record of prophets that is the Book of Mormon. It is our sure guide on the way home to God.
Joseph Smith said of that precious book, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”1
The precepts of the Book of Mormon are the commandments of God we find in it. Some are direct commands from the Savior through His prophets as to what we are to do and what we are to become. The Book of Mormon gives us the Savior’s example to increase our faith and determination to obey His command to follow Him. The book is filled with the doctrine of Christ to guide us. Here is an example from 2 Nephi:
“[Jesus] said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
“And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son” (2 Nephi 31:10–11).
The book makes plain that we must receive the Holy Ghost as a baptism of fire to help us stay on the strait and narrow path. We are taught that we must pray always in the name of Christ, not fainting, and that if we do, we have this promise: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).
The Book of Mormon makes plain in the marvelous sermon of King Benjamin what it means to have a love of God and of all men. When our natures are changed by the power of the Atonement and through our faithful obedience to the commandments, we will be filled with the love of God (see Mosiah 4:1–12).
The Book of Mormon also gives us confidence that we can become so purified in this life that we have no more desire to do evil (see Mosiah 5:2). This hope gives us courage and comfort as Satan tries to tempt and discourage us on our way.
Each time I read even a few lines in the Book of Mormon, I feel my testimony strengthened that the book is true, that Jesus is the Christ, that we can follow Him home, and that we can take those we love home with us. It has been for me the book of books. It is the word of God.
I pray that we and all those we love will drink deeply and daily from it. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that it is a true guide.
Remember what a great blessing it is that we have the Book of Mormon. Happy Sabbath everyone.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Mickey Mouse and a paintbrush. The idea of the game is a good one. You are Mickey Mouse and you enter a world of old Disney creations that have been forgotten. You are armed with a magical paintbrush. You have the option to create things using paint, and to destroy or remove things using thinner.
One of the main things that I disliked about this game was what I would like to call Navi-syndrome. For those familiar with the Zelda Orcarina of Time, you know of what I speak. For everyone else, it basically means you have someone who annoys you like crazy telling you what to do all the time. The game is also a little slow. The controls are fairly good, although there are times when you can't get the camera to go where you want it to.
I rented the game for two days, and truthfully it may get better as the game continues, but for my short time with it, I was not really impressed very much. It is driven by meaningless quests. I felt like I was playing some sort of old role playing game online. "Oh, I sure would like to help you, but I gave that book to George who is at the city gate. If you get me an egg, I will take you too him." You go visit George. "I do have the book, but I lost my sword in the forest. If you get the sword, I would be happy to give you the book." And on and on and on. Yeah, not the best way to move a story along. I'll take Mario and Link over Mickey any day.
Pregnant women. Speaking of pregnant women, my wife has now joined the ranks. That is right, Lou and his wife are having a baby! Exciting times for sure, but until the little rascal pops out, the little one is causing all sorts of mischief already. Somehow, the little guy (about the size of a raspberry), is making my wife really sick all of the time. Nothing sounds good for meals, and she is nauseated a lot. I would send the squirt to time out, but I think he or she is secluded enough from the world.
You will be getting a lot of movie reviews from me now and in the future. I have started renting movies from Hastings (49 cents per day rentals) and I love movies. You know you like movies when you have lots of fun just browsing through the movies for hours on end (I do this with books too). Anyway...to the movie review.
Labor Pains stars Lindsay Lohan who pretends to be pregnant. I thought it would be a funny one for my pregnant wife and I to enjoy and laugh at. It was ok. My wife enjoyed it more than myself (she would give it a 2 or 3 fingers up). It had some funny moments. I enjoyed her performances in Freaky Friday, The Parent Trap, and Mean Girls more than this performance, but maybe that is because she was doing more drugs at this point in her life.
So, do you remember the movie Jurassic Park? (Great movie p.s.) Well, we are well on our way to such an establishment. In 5 years from now Japanese researchers hope to have the first living Mammoth. My guess is that if this is successful, dinosaurs are next. And why not? Well, I guess if we take the Jurassic Park movies to heart, we should think about the fact that we are creating some animals that would want to eat us all. But the main reason why they would create such a park is of course money. Having the only living dinosaurs in the world would create a very high demand. My hope is that I will be able to be hired on as an engineer to design the rides in the park. But I get ahead of myself, we are only at the Mammoth stage. If they are successful, we shall see how well it is excepted. I am pretty sure that the zoo in Japan will raise prices and be making bank. Maybe the US should start on the dinosaur thing right now...get a leg up on the competition. (Mammoth News Link)
Hastings also has video games to rent. I like the idea of renting games and being able to test them out before you purchase them. I could actually see myself buying this game in the future. It is a great workout for one thing, and really fun to dance too. I am speaking of Just Dance 2 for the Wii. I look forward to dance parties with you all. I have learned some pretty nice dance moves.
Note: Stay tuned for future updates including new Cornelius Fly cartoons, new Polls, and many new posts.
I apologize for the lack of reading material over this past week. Charade, my beta fish, has been very ill. I think he has a few more days to live...maybe a few more weeks. True, he is elderly (a little over 3 years old - we have had him for almost his entire beta life), but it is still a sad time. It also brings back past memories of past pet friends from my childhood (Remington Steel etc.). Stay tuned for a post that explores and gives you the full 411 on Lou's pets.
Your prayers for Charade are appreciated...that is How Lou Sees It.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I have lots of fun with my posts throughout the week, but I intend this weekly Sunday post to be of a more serious nature. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and He wants us to have eternal happiness. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to Atone for our sins. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that He has provided us a way to return to our Heavenly Father and to be with our loved ones for eternity. I know that the church of Jesus Christ and His teachings were restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that God has called a prophet in our day, Thomas S. Monson. I know that anyone willing to ask God with all of their heart in sincere prayer can also gain a personal testimony of these things.
"Sacrifice means giving to the Lord whatever He requires of our time, our earthly possessions, and our energies to further His work. The Lord commanded, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). Our willingness to sacrifice is an indication of our devotion to God. People have always been tried and tested to see if they will put the things of God first in their lives." - Gospel Principles, a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Jesus Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. "Because of His great sacrifice, everyone will be saved from physical death by the Resurrection and all can be saved from their sins through faith in Jesus Christ."
Sacrifice is two fold. There is the sacrifice of temporal things as well as spiritual things. The Lord said "Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood, ... and your burnt offerings shall be done away. ... And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (3 Nephi 9:19-20). When asked by a young rich ruler, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Christ answered, "...Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he was sorrowful. He was very rich and had his heart set on his riches (Luke 18:18-23).
Lamoni's father from The Book of Mormon, a great king in his day, was taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The king understood sacrifice. When taught of eternal life and the joy that could be obtained through Jesus Christ, the king said "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy. ... I will give away all my sins to know Thee [God]." (Alma 22:15-18)
My hope is that we may all strive to have the same desire as Lamoni's father, the king. My hope is that we may recognize the great joy in store for us, and be willing to sacrifice everything to obtain that joy in this life and in the eternities.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Buttons vs the Zipper.
Once upon a time, I was given a pair of jeans (why they call them a pair of jeans, when there really is just one jean is beyond me). Like the old classic t.v. show and Hasbro toy, there was more than meets the eye with these pants. No, unfortunately my pants were not a transformer sent to be my guardian, but it did have buttons instead of a zipper (it also had a secret pocket located on the seam...yeah, pretty awesome pants).
There are definitely some pluses to having buttons instead of a zipper. The main benefit about having buttons ironically is not having a zipper. Take zippers in general. How many times have you had a zipper get stuck? Frustrating is it not? Now, imagine that frustration while you have to go to the bathroom, and you can't. You see the problem with a zipper? I do admit that this does not happen very often, but it is a risk of the zipper. Another reason to go with buttons instead of a zipper - its unusual and very cool. Also, not a bad conversation starter.
So, why are most pants made with zippers? The answer - belts. For the gentlemen out there who step up to a urinal with zipper pants, you do not have to undo your belt. If you have buttons instead of a zipper on the other hand, you must undo your belt. I realize it sounds like a simple thing, but it can be annoying. When it comes down to it, I still prefer the zipper. It should also be noted that most of the skater jeans I have seen utilize buttons.
The Big Bang Theory.
Penny...Penny...Penny. Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors. She's so chatty. Under normal circumstances I'd say I told you so. But, as I have told so with such vehemence and frequency already the phrase has lost all meaning. Therefore, I will be replacing it with the phrase, I have informed you thusly. I find zombies dancing in choreographed synchronicity implausible. And also it's really scary. I'm not insane, my mother had me tested! A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies "for you, no charge". Bazinga!
Wow, do I really need to say anything about this show? Yeah...I do. Its awesome! When you are as geeky as I am, there really isn't a whole lot of shows out there better than this one. It has everything. It's like a geeky Seinfeld (oh, I do miss that show). Comic books, superheros, LOTR, Star Wars, math, physics, the girl next door, and great geeky fun.
To Bean or Not to Bean... Want a really fun and easy card game for 2 to 7 players? I highly recommend Bohnanza the card game dedicated to farming beans. Yes, you read correctly. If you like games like the Farming Game, Pit, and Settlers of Catan you will really enjoy this game. Even if you don't like those games, I think you will really have fun and be addicted at once. With simple game play and lots of player interaction with 3 or more, this is one of the best games ever made. So, check it out or come over to my place and I'll introduce you. Here is also a link for more information if you would like (Bohnanza Info). I say definitely Bean.
And that is How Lou Sees It.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Not today folks! Happy 1-11-11 day! Today reminds me of all the times that I have looked at the clock and have had the time be 3:33, 5:55, or even 1:11. Those are daily occurrences though, and today is not your average day.
This is just the pre-party though! Everyone is invited up to our place 11-11-11. Mark your calendars (its a Friday). In honor of the day, we will watch Ocean's Eleven and go to 7-11 for Slurpees among other activities. A day like this won't come again until 12-12-12 (which will be another AMAZING day and the last of its kind until 2101!) We need to make the most of these days while we have them friends. Start planning your parties now! Forget new years and the rabbit that leaves behind eggs, remember to celebrate these special times.
Another thing that can be relative is the weather. A snow storm back in Texas of a couple of inches would close down everything for at least a day or so, while in Idaho it may snow a foot and everything moves right along like nothing. There is one thing now that I think should be considered standard and not relative (when talking of outside temperatures) - What is cold?
I declare that cold is anything below zero. I have now experienced cold. Arriving at work today it was -10. Leaving work, a pleasant 6 (yes, these are in Fahrenheit not Celsius). Really, when you pass zero into the negatives, you don't feel much difference...its just darn right cold. I walk outside of my bus in the morning and within a couple of seconds my moustache and nostril hairs are frozen stiff (its actually kind of a cool feeling, no pun intended).
ZERO: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. (Book by Charles Seife)
A New York Times Notable Book and winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, "Zero" is a fantastic and interesting book. My wife, who is a math educator, favors this book above most others and recommended that I read it. I have been reading it while on the bus and during my lunch at work. Besides having many really fascinating facts, the book gives a history of zero and the ideology/philosophy that comes with it (the void and the infinite). It explains why it was rejected in the past and how important it was to accept it to further science and mathematics. It has also solidified my desire to read biographies on the great scientists and mathematicians of the past (Einstein, Newton, Pascal, Curie, and others). I highly recommend this book to all.
And that is How Lou Sees It.
Monday, January 10, 2011
You either ride the bus or you don't. There is really no in between. Take me for instance - I am an avid bus rider. I am on a bus for about 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours each day. You don't get much more avid than that. Now, you might being asking yourself - "why on earth do you spend that much time on a bus?"
A valid and excellent question. Well, you see, I work somewhere that is about an hour away (1 1/2 by bus) and there are many reasons why I ride said bus (in no particular order). Reason 1 - It is actually much cheaper to do so. Spending 90 dollars a month on a bus pass is totally worth it compared to $200+ on gas and wear and tear on a car. Reason 2 - This way we don't have to buy another car. My wife can have the car, and I take the bus. Reason 3 - I really don't mind driving in the winter that much, but winter here in IF with all the wind drifting snow is a different beast. I don't have to drive in crappy weather. Reason 4 - Since I have to catch the bus at 5:10am, I am pretty tired. I don't have to drive. I can usually get a good 40 minutes nap each way. Reason 5 - Buses are pretty cool and fun to ride. Reason 6 - There is a bus stop right outside our apartment. You can't really beat curbside pickup. I am sure there are many more.
There are some downsides to riding the bus. Downside 1 - I do have to leave earlier than if I drove. Downside 2 - Sometimes you have to sit next to someone with less than adequate hygiene-ness. Downside 3 - No seat belts. Maybe its just me, but I feel a bit safer strapped in. Downside 4 - You can't leave early or late without taking a different bus and you are a slave to when the buses leave.
Overall, the bus is great and I enjoy it. Currently we have no constant bus driver and its kind of annoying that they have to learn the route each time. The bus this morning was noisy when the heat was on, and the driver was really slow. Its like playing Russian roulette with the buses and drivers. Its interesting to note that the older buses are actually more comfortable than the newer ones. The new ones have little t.v. screens, but they are never used since everyone sleeps.
Jack in the Box restaurant.
Moving to IF I was saddened when I could not locate one of my favorite fast food places, Carl's Jr. There is on the other hand a Jack in the Box near by. My wife and I decided to give it a try...see if it could be our new Carl's. Carl - you have nothing to worry about.
Jack in the Box does have some good qualities. Things like seen on the commercials here: they serve breakfast all the time and they have a good selection from burgers to rice bowls. That is about all that is good.
What good is either of those good qualities when the food is gross? A great big selection of many different kinds of crappy food. Breakfast served all day...well, its gross breakfast - so, maybe they should limit it to 6am to 7am. Truthfully I have not tried a rice bowl, but I don't need to. The burgers are sub-par and their secret sauce is probably ketchup and mustard mixed together (and yet they somehow made that gross too). You don't need to try it, and I give it the hairy back of my hand with a thumbs down.
SALT (The motion picture).
Salt, starring Angelina Jolie and Wolverine's brother is very worth your time and money in any regard. Go see it in the theater. Redbox it. Order it through Netflix. Buy it when it comes out on DVD. Pick and choose any combination of the aforementioned and you will not be disappointed. If you have enjoyed movies such as the Bourne Identity trilogy, The Fugitive, Mission Impossible, Casino Royal, and or U.S. Marshals ... you will enjoy Salt.
There are lots of well done action scenes and a pretty intriguing plot. Although the plot is predictable at times, it still does a fairly good job at keeping you interested and is not drawn out like some action movies. I really enjoyed this movie and would love to add it to my movie collection. Angelina Jolie does such a great job with this movie and the rest of the cast does as well. Thumbs way way up!
... and that my friends is How Lou Sees It.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
This blog will be a compilation of reviews and commentary by yours truly. I will be reviewing or critiquing everything from movies, books, music, television shows, and restaurants to more obscure things like toothpastes, superheros, blogs, news stories, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
I will also always have a poll to get your opinion on things. You are more than welcome to comment and let me know how you see it as well.
There are so many things that I have opinions about, and truthfully most of them have not been shared with many. You want to know how a I feel about spiders? Well, they scare the crap out of me (of course not literally). I don't like the way they move...its creepy. Eight legs? Five or six legs would be creepy enough. Their eyes are pretty intimidating as well if you are unfortunately close enough to look into them. I really don't like that fact that they can dangle on their webs either. Just the other night I was watching a movie in bed with my wife, and low and behold a spider lowers itself within inches of us. They can attack from anywhere. The only thing worse than a spider, is a spider that could fly, or one of those super spiders from Stan Lee's Spiderman. I don't want to even imagine one of those spiders in my apartment. Although, I guess there would be a slight possibility I could gain super powers...naaa...I wouldn't risk it. I do have to admire the creatures. I doubt I could move that fast with eight legs. You might think that the more legs you have the faster you can go, but...seeing that I have trouble with my two legs sometimes, eight would be a legfull. They are master builders. I could watch them build a web for hours. They are brilliant. They way they adapt and the different ways they trap their prey is astounding...from the basic spider web (classic) to spiders that lower "nets" and catch little fish...they are masters of capturing insects. And insects are pretty annoying. So, thank you spiders for keeping the pesky insect population in check, but could you please do it outside of my apartment. And speaking of outside (which happens to be freezing cold - stupid winter), there is currently a man on a snowmobile that keeps riding back and forth and back and forth by the canal outside my window. Very loud. I just imagined him being eaten by a large spider...weird.
So, I invite you to join me on a journey of intrigue, laughter, and lots of opinion. I know that you will enjoy my remarks, and that's just How Lou Sees It.