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Wed, 02 Oct 2002

Where to start?  There are so very many topics to cover that I'm not sure which one I should hit first.  I'll go with the easiest one first:  Family names.

I guess I had better start with my own name.  I have yet to find Tyran in any baby name books or on any baby name sites, imagine that!  Oddly enough, most languages have some variant of Tyran but it usually deals with tyrant, shocking!  For years (20+) I figured I was the only Tyran on the planet.  I was wrong but not very wrong.  The first person I met that shares my name was a cashier at a local grocery store but she pronounces it ti `rann whereas I pronounce it more like tyrant without the final t, `ti run.  Now for the fun part:  When my father was six years old, he developed an extreme fascination with dinosaurs and his favorite was, of course, Tyrannosaurus Rex.  He informed my grandmother that he planned to name his first son, Tyrannosaurus Rex.  She told him that was an awful idea and left it at that.  When I was born, being the oldest, he informed my mother that I was to be called Tyrannosaurus Rex and her response was basically, That's nice dear, I'm leaving and taking the boy with me.  A compromise was agreed upon and I was named Tyran Rex.  My next younger brother was slated to be called Coaltrain but ended up Wayne Scott after John Wayne and my father.

My oldest son is named Jonathan (Jona) Scott.  As I grew up, I was always impressed with the story of David and Jonathan from the Old Testament.  Even though King Saul, Jonathan's father, wanted to kill David; Jonathan and David remained the truest of friends.  When David learns of their deaths, Saul and Jonathan's, he wept openly because his dearest friend and his friend's father were dead.  Now even though they were friends to each other, it is always Jonathan that is recognized as being the true friend and this is my son's namesake.  However, we usually call him Jona and that seems to throw people for a loop.  Jon or John is a common nickname for Jonathan and Jona certainly is not.  One day I was explaining the reason behind choosing Jonathan to Shanna and as I was holding the Bible in one hand, my thumb happened to cover the last for letters, than, leaving the Jona exposed.  I laughed and jokingly said that we could call him Jona as a nickname.  Shanna loved the idea and despite my protests the name has stuck.  His middle name, Scott, is after my father.

McKenna Lynn is next.  Shanna loves the movie Somewhere in Time  and McKenna is named after the character Elise McKenna.  Her middle name is of my choosing and after her mother, Shanna Lynn.  There is a great grace and musical quality to this name and it fits my daughter, actually I should probably get used to saying oldest daughter, very well.  There is a beauty and radiance about this little child that is somewhat frightening to me.  She seems to me as if she were spun from the clearest glass and the finest silk, both curiously resilient yet infinitely delicate and fragile.  This beauty hides a very mischievous streak that she tries to cover by lying.  She is discovering, however, that it is much better to pronounce one's own guilt than to lie in our home.  Doing something wrong and admitting it might earn time alone in her room and/or a swat on the butt.  Lying always earns a day or more being grounded on top of whatever else may come.  Thankfully, she's finally figuring out how to avoid both problems.

Currently, the tail end is George Aaron.  The poor boy has at least four family namesakes with his first name alone!  Shanna's father and his father are both Georges.  My great-grandfather was George Ormond and my mother's side also boasts a George although much further back in the family line.  George was specifically named after the first three.  To a man, they were and are all men that worked hard and carried a strong if quiet faith in God with them.  My greatest concern, though, is his middle name:  Aaron.  Men tend to have a more difficult time experiencing a spiritual life.  Women tend to this much more naturally, hence the term women's intuition.  The result being that I've turned to the scriptures for my sons' names to help them remember the spiritual aspect of life.  Aaron is for Aaron the brother of Moses.  The exact reason is because here was a great man, chosen to be the spokesman for the prophet of God and he faltered while in the wilderness.  Even though he faltered, he turned back to God so completely that he and his sons were given the priesthood of God and called to tend to and be servants of the tabernacle and later the temple.  That worries me, is there a rough road ahead of George or will he learn from all his namesakes and stay a steady course?  Only time will tell but I have a firm hope that even should he falter that he will turn again as did Aaron.

The future tail end will be Jillian Fae.  Jillian, like McKenna, is a name that Shanna loves.  Unlike McKenna, it does not involve any movies.  Fae is my mother's middle name and Fay is her mother's name.  Who is this child?  One who is at home rough-housing with the boys and yet delights in wandering the realms of fancy.  One equally at ease making a mud pie or dressing-up as a fairy princess.  How can I say that with any certainty when she won't be born until after the New Year?

Shortly after Jona was conceived, I was making homemade chicken noodle soup and I saw myself as an older man with a younger man at my side.  We stood together silently as I made the soup and watched a young brown-eyed, brown-haired boy, who looked amazingly similar to myself at that age, play on the floor.  I remember looking at the young man next to me and recognizing him as the boy's father and as my son.  I was amazed at how much he looked like me and how his personality was very much like my own and yet so dissimilar at to be almost foreign.  There is no better way to describe Jonathan.

The ngiht before McKenna was born, I came home late from work.  In fact, it was 9:00 PM when I walked in the front door and that's when the first contraction hit.  Contractions continued but they were very irregular.  I told Shanna that this was a very contrary child and knew that she would demand that things be done her way.  While this does not define McKenna completely, it does describe her relationship with me fairly accurately.  :o-)  More importantly, as I write this I have realized that her's is a figure that I have known since I was about eight.  In fact, I met her once, like I did Jonathan in the paragraph above, while in high school.  We talked across a black desk and when she left I took a book down from its shelf and wrote about my hopes and dreams for this beautiful child.

George, like Jona, I've known from very early in the pregnancy and I've always labeled him all boy, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in one package.  I've always imagined him with a toad and snake in one hand and a paint brush in the other.  Since the day we decided his name, which he received the day before his ultra-sound, I have feared to look too closely at him exactly because of his name.  Fearful of what I would find and that I would try to change him because of it.  One thing stood out strongly and that was a resistance to authority just as Tom and Huck refused to be confined by their circumstances.

I should mention at this point that I am three for three on the personalities and four for four on knowing the gender before the ultra-sound.  How?  As I have said before, we all knew each other quite well long before any of us were born here.  Is it any wonder then that I would be allowed to remember something about those who would become my sons and daughters?  Why?  I have longed for and often prayed to be given some form of attachment to my children before they are born.  Shanna has the advantage of feeling them growing within her.  No matter how often I reach out to feel them move, I can never know the bond that she already has with them.  Because I too crave such a bond with these little ones, I've always sought to find out who they are.  Besides, if I'll do my job and remember what I know about them, like I have today, I will be a much better father to them today and in all their tomorrows.

This entry authored by Tyran at 18:00

Thu, 03 Oct 2002


While this is not the post that I intended to be here this morning (I'll post it later this evening), this is a bit more important and urgent.  Bugbear is a virus on the rampage.  One of it's features has me quite worried, it can spread via open file shares.  The result is a huge increase in network probes looking for open windows shares.  So, what are people to do to prevent such things (BTW, Bugbear installs a key logger so it can capture all keystrokes made on your keyboard – passwords, usernames, CC numbers, whatever) from happening to them? 

  1. Secure your PC's file shares
  2. Install a firewall
  3. Install virus protection software

Before reading further, please be aware that if your computer is on a LAN (Local Area Network) that doing any of the following will probably cause your IT department to drop you to the bottom of all their support lists.  Bring these items up with them, but do not act without their knowledge lest your data vanish in a flurry of screaming bits.  Also, if you don't know what I'm talking about don't do it.  Find someone who does and get them to do it and unless you are related to me that someone can't be me.

Secure your PC's file shares.  If you aren't on a network, then you have no need to have printer and file sharing enabled, disable it using the network control panel.  If you are on a network, make sure that your file shares all require at least passwords if not username and password verification.

Install a firewall.  Every machine that connects to the Internet needs a good firewall.  Connecting to the Internet without a firewall is like playing ice hockey in your underwear, you're just begging to be hurt.  I strongly recommend ZoneAlarm as they offer a great free firewall and a couple of more professional versions.  Installing and using a firewall means that you are going to have to read and reread the documentation until you understand it.  Using a firewall is fairly simple (especially with ZoneAlarm) but it still needs a bit of effort on your part to set it up.

Install virus protection software.  Even if you don't do either of the other things suggested here, do this.  Running without virus protection is like offering to be the puck in the above game.  The best virus software available is F-Prot from Frisk Software International in Iceland.  One, the user interface is well designed (although the info screen saying F-PROT Antivirus therefore detects at least: 68622 viruses and Trojans. tends to throw people for a loop.  That's how many it can detect not how many are on the machine).  Two, their definition files are very up to date (Bugbear came out Monday but before I had even heard of it, I had an updated def file on my machine).  Three, the price is right:  $25 per year for a single machine.  It get's better though, if you want to buy it for two machines it's $40 per year.  If you want to buy it for up to 20 machines, it's still only $40 and every machine above 20 is only $2 per machine.  We licensed 80 machines at work for $160 per year.  The next cheapest (in price, the quality was worse than questionable) would have cost us $4,000 and half of that each year to renew!  Good virus software would stop things like Bugbear in their tracks.

Why the concern about Bugbear?  At last count I am seeing 34 hits per hour on my machine at home.  All of them are looking for open network shares and I'm willing to bet that over 95% are from Bugbear infected machines.  ZoneAlarm is doing a good job defending my machine and if something were to slip through, I have F-Prot's RealTime Protector monitoring my machine at all times.  Still, that's a huge load on my ISP's network and as such it impacts me in the form of slower response from the Internet, and forces me to be more vigilant in reviewing my firewall logs when I would rather be doing just about anything else.

This entry authored by Tyran at 10:00

How it came to be, Part I

Shanna and I had always had lockers near each other during school but we never really met until the end of our junior year.  We had both been asked to serve on a student council the next year, she as the historian and me as the VP for academics.  Even so, there was no romantic interest between us.  For one thing, she was going steady with a fellow a year older than us and I had a nearly fatal crush on another girl on the council.  My crush continued unabated through three other relationships that the other girl had and was still thriving while I was on an LDS mission.  In fact, it continued strongly right up until I got that wedding announcement while I was in Arizona.

After I finished my two year mission, I returned home and went to work at E.N.U.F. Internationale.  I can't believe I've actually written those words as I developed such a passionate distaste for certain individuals there.  Anyway, once I finally decided that I could actually survive being in the company of a woman — for those who don't know, returned LDS missionaries tend to be social dorks and I literally jittered if I was left alone with a woman/girl of any age for nearly six months because I was so nervous — I started looking for that special someone.  Forget dating for the sake of dating, I had three simple (HA!) goals in mind:  Find the future Mrs. Tyran Ormond, get married and move out of my parents' home.  Well, after numerous . . . um . . . character building experiences, I gave up.  27 November 1992, I wrote off the possibility of ever marrying as a complete impossibility.

The next Thursday, 4 December, Shanna called me at home and asked if I would like to go with her to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see the Christmas lights.  She had a friend that wanted to take a fellow out and she needed a safe date so she wouldn't just be a third wheel with her friend and her friend's date.  Shanna had plans to go on a mission but needed to finish up school first because her athletic scholarship would dry up if she left to serve a mission.  As such, a safe date was one where there was no chance that a romantic interest could develop.  Since I had given up on marriage, I was the perfect candidate and we'd known each other extremely well for four years now and never had there even been a glimmer of romance between us.  There had been strong love between us throughout the time we had known each other but it was the romanceless love of dearest friends.  Anyway, we went to Temple Square and as we were bumping shoulders and shivering in the cold near the southwest corner of the Temple, it hit me:  Shanna and I were going to get married.  My mother had always told me to date Shanna and suddenly the safe date became anything but safe.  It took me quite by surprise but as surely as I knew my own name I knew we would be married.  I wasn't quite sure how to handle the rest of the date.  We basically continued as we had been, we bashed men for being the insensitive apes that we often are.

At one point that night, I asked her a question I was to repeat often:  What will you do when Mr. Right comes along? and without batting an eyelash she responded with: I will turn and run the other way. We dated regularly through December and saw each other nearly daily after Christmas but nothing more than a quick hug when I dropped her off at home came of it until February 28th, 1993.

This entry authored by Tyran at 18:00

Fri, 04 Oct 2002

How it came to be, Part II

We left off on February the 28th but before we pick up there, let's go back two weeks to Valentine's Day.  As she had that first night in December, Shanna continued to answer my question, What will you do when Mr. Right comes along? with I will turn and run the other way.  I had given no indication that I felt Mr. Right had come along and was now just biding his time but I decided that Valentine's Day was a good time to break my silence on the issue.  Shanna was out of town on a track meet and was scheduled to fly into Salt Lake in the evening on Valentine's Day.  I had purchased a single rose and intended to go by her place and give it to her with a blank card, so I could explain that I had no words to express how I felt about her.  I had already talked with her father about when she would be home but before I could muster the courage to do this, she showed up at my house!  I gave her the rose and card, sans explanation as I was too confused by her appearance on my doorstep, and she gave me a card in return.  It read:

You may think it's funny,
To kiss your honey,
When your nose is runny,
But it's snot.

We chuckled a bit and she left.  I was beside myself, did this mean there was hope for something more than just friendship between us?  Did I dare risk having her turn and run away if I expressed my feelings for her?  I don't remember much of the next fourteen days other than being heartsick for not following through with the card on Valentine's Day and for being so full of doubt about what I should do next.

Which brings us back to Sunday the 28th.  My next younger brother, Wayne, had been given a farewell in our Sacrament Meeting as he was leaving for a two year mission the next Wednesday.  Shanna and Wayne had been on the track team together for a year during high school and she had wanted to be there for his farewell (not to mention that we had been on three or four double dates during past months).  She was, however, out of town on another track meet; so, she came by the house that evening.  The night before, Greg (my closest male cousin), Wayne and I had watched Arachnophobia  over at Greg's place to celebrate Wayne's imminent departure and to scare ourselves silly.  The three of us were sitting in the kitchen, planning to take the video over to another cousin's home (Jen, my closest female cousin) and scare the socks off of my aunt.  She had introduced us to The Birds  so we thought it only fitting to return the favor!  Just as we were ready to leave, Shanna arrived.  At the time, I was somewhat disappointed because I knew we all wanted to go and yet I knew I would have to stay long enough so that Shanna wouldn't feel uncomfortable.

We all talked for a bit but I could tell that Greg and Wayne were becoming a bit impatient.  It was obvious that they wanted me to either let Shanna go home or ask her to come with us but I needed to do something.  My mother's intuition kicked into high gear at that point and she asked two questions which forever changed my life:  So Shanna, what are you plans for the future?  That one was easy, I could rattle the answer off by heart.  Imagine my shock, when Shanna started studying the floor and instead of the rote I'm going to finish school, go on a mission and start a pre-school when I come back, I heard her almost mumble, Well, I want to finish school and then open a pre-school or maybe go on a mission.  MAYBE?  MAYBE!?  That maybe hit me like a ton of bricks.  There had never been a maybe, ever.  Mom smiled and then said, The boys are going over to Nila's to watch a video, are you going too?  Obviously I had no choice but to quickly invite her as if that had been my plan all along.  That didn't matter though, she had said maybe!

We have a saying on my mother's side of the family:  If you bring a date to a family function, it's not our fault if the date thinks we're all nuts and never speaks to you again.  You can only imagine the fear in my mind, because we were on our way to the aunt's house who has been known to bark at people just to see their reactions!  My loving family members made sure that everyone sat on the couch and that meant being packed so close together that we almost had to take turns breathing.  During the movie there were some fairly intense scenes and Shanna managed to cram her right hand into the small space between our two sandwiched thighs.  There I was trying to watch this show so I could laugh at my aunt as the spiders give her the willies and instead I was dealing with these knuckles being dug into my flesh as Shanna tried to make a fist with that hand crammed between us every time one of the eight legged beasts appears.  Out of pure self-defense, I yanked Shanna hand free.  That meant that her hand was finally free to convulse into a tight fist which it immediately did, around my poor unsuspecting hand.  For the first time in our three months of nearly continuous dating, we were holding hands – something that nearly ten years later we are still doing.

Move ahead to Wednesday the 3rd of March.  My family had spent the day sending Wayne off to spend two years serving as a missionary and I had come to a decision, I had to act on that maybe.  That night, Shanna and I sat in the living room at my house and talked for a bit.  To this day I don't remember whether it was so late that my parents were already asleep but that was the one and only time I had been alone with Shanna in that house.  I told her to wait a moment while I got something for her from my bedroom.  It was a poem I had written, unfortunately it appears to not have survived the passage of time.  This is the piece I had written and reworked into the piece I gave Shanna that night:

I have imagined you walking in stately halls
Where the noble walk and talk amid the shimm'ring walls.
In my mind I have seen you in gardens of great majesty,
Arrayed in beauty and glorious splendor, a sight you should see.

The poet once wrote, “She walks in beauty, like the night”
And I claim that it was you who inspired his sight.
For as I see you standing, talking, walking there,
I can not help but wonder, “Do I dare?”

For in my eyes and others like me,
A woman of great charm we do see.
Your voice is as music from heaven above
That sings to the heart as a white turtledove.
Your eyes are gems set amid fire
Clearer than any jeweler's desire.

Your beauty is great as all can see
And so I must ask, “What does she think of me?”
For in my own land
With might and honor I do stand.
But as I view your wondrous grace
I falter and stop and stand out of place.
Where once with might I did stand
Now I am become a stranger in the land.
For I have imagined you walking in stately halls,
Where the noble walk and talk amid the shimm'ring walls.

Shortly after she had read the poem, I walked her to her car, told her that I loved her and sent her home with a kiss – again a first in our dating.  As with holding hands, I love you and a kiss has continued to be our usual way of parting company, even if it's just a trip to the grocery store.

Skip forward another few days to Sunday, March 7th.  Shanna and I went to an evening devotional at BYU to hear Elder L. Tom Perry speak.  She was wearing a white dress and as we left I marveled thinking that it could double as a wedding gown (not really but that's what I thought at the time)  All through the devotional, a very (to me) audible voice kept telling me to ask Shanna to marry me.  Every time my reply was Leave me alone or Not right now!  I could feel the exasperation at my lack of faith.  Hadn't I been told that Shanna and I would be married one day?  Hadn't I been guided and protected countless times over the yeasrs and yet now I chose to tell this, my greatest friend, to leave me alone?  Now, when He was the only one of the two of us that could think clearly, I chose to ignore Him?  No wonder I felt exasperation directed my way.

We left and went back to Shanna's house.  We sat in the living room and talked and watched TV for quite some time.  It was quite late, we were watching a Sesame Street  marathon on PBS and Super Grover was doing something or other.  Shanna was tired, lying on the couch and using my leg as a pillow.  I asked her, What am I going to do with you? and she replied, Hold on to me and don't ever let me go.

I smiled and knew that it was time to stop biding my time.  I said, Then will you marry me?  Shanna rolled her head to where she could look up at me and she just kept looking.  Have you ever seen a deer or rabbit just stare into a bright light?  They are completely unable to move or seemingly to even think.  That was Shanna at that moment.  I began to panic, she sat up and I stammered, Well not right now or even tomorrow but someday, will you marry me?  She finally came back to herself and said yes.  I later learned that she knew this was coming but figured it would come later.  She had also planned to tell me no and then tell me yes but my question so took her by surprise that she had no choice but to say yes.

Four months and three days later we married for time and eternity.  On July 10th of this coming year we will celebrate ten years together.  Like all marriages, ours has had ups and downs but I have never known a more loving and supportive person than my wonderful wife.  While it is true that the greatest gift one can receive from God is eternal life, it must be something beyond imagination to be better than the marvelous gift He has already given me in Shanna.

This entry authored by Tyran at 09:35

Tue, 08 Oct 2002

I'm upgrading to the latest beta version of Blog today (finally).  If all goes well, I'll be back to posting later this evening.  If all does not go well, I'll restore a backup and still post later this evening!

This entry authored by Tyran at 07:54

Well, this is definitely not the topic I had intended to cover this evening but it's the topic of the night around here.  Shanna's paternal grandmother has been languishing for quite some time now and it appears that she will pass away soon.  Tonight we talked to the kids about this fact.

Shanna told the kids that Grandma would be leaving to live with Heavenly Father soon.  McKenna was quite at ease with the idea, but then again a five year old with no experience with death would naturally see this as just another great adventure.  Jonathan, on the other hand, has a better grasp of the finality of death and almost immediately he burst into tears.  We talked for a bit about being sad when someone dies and I asked him why people are sad when someone dies.  He told me that it's because we'll never see each other again.  We talked some more and I explained that the reason people are sad is because we love the person who has passed away and we'll miss them.  Needless to say, that did nothing to comfort the poor boy but only served to bring on another wave of tears.  I asked him if he remembered why we celebrate Easter and in his quivering little voice he said, Because Jesus died.  I told him no that that was not the reason and had him think about it again.  Shortly he came back with another answer, Because He was resurrected.  I asked him what being resurrected meant and he stumbled out that it meant being alive again.  We talked more and I explained what death and resurrection are all about in terms that would appeal to this distraught seven year old.

I explained that just like everyone will die, everyone will be resurrected. . . .

This is much more difficult than I expected it would be.  This touches on something that I hold to be more dear and precious than anything and that's making me dance about a bit.  I explained to Jonathan that the Savior died just like Grandma and each of us will.  I also explained that just like the Savior, we will all be resurrected.  I explained that this is a literal resurrection, that we will be alive like we are today our bodies and spirits being completely reunited.  There will be two obvious differences though:  Firstly, a resurrected person cannot die.  Jonathan perked up a bit at this point.  Secondly, resurrected bodies become perfect bodies and Grandma, who has been confined to a wheelchair for so long now, will be able to walk and run and dance and play.  She will be able to see again and hear her grandchildren's voices when they sing to her.  At this Jonathan seemed to relax and the tears faded away.

There is more that I didn't explain to the kids.  For years I've looked forward to my own resurrection.  I won't have to worry about not being able to find my glasses (I can't see well enough to find my glasses without them on my face).  My twisted right leg won't be twisted any longer.  My hideously flat feet won't be.  Now, while I have more personal reasons (I don't want to create a laundry list of my own physical problems) to be excited about resurrection; I have an even greater reason to look forward to that day:  Jonathan himself.  There are great things that I can do for Jonathan but one thing I am not permitted to do is clear away the Autism which veils his mind.

This entry authored by Tyran at 23:26

Sun, 13 Oct 2002

Life continues.  Wednesday night I received a phone call from my mother.  As soon as I saw the number on the caller ID, I knew that my maternal grandmother was dying.  As I listened to my mother, my insight was confirmed.  Grandma's kidneys were shutting down (they were at 22% of capacity) and that between her failing kidneys and her congestive heart failure her lungs were filling with fluid.  Grandma is 86 and her living will precludes any extraordinary effort to keep her alive; so, we all knew it was only a matter of time.  Mom was, needless to say, beside herself.  She and Bev, her sister, were calling all the family and I had been assigned the task of informing my two married brothers.  I was to tell them that they should not come by that night as she was too weak but that they must come by the next day.  As we hung up, I had something happen which never has before.  I wondered whether she had been given a blessing.  I knew that she had not and I also knew that I needed to be the one to bless her.

For this to make sense, I need to give some background on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Through incontrovertible evidences, I know the following to be factual and will present it as such but I am not asking you to take my word for it.  If what I write stirs a curiosity, a need to know in you; then I would suggest that you turn to God and ask Him whether what I write is true or only so much fairy tale.  Anyway, in 1820 a fourteen year old boy named Joseph Smith was absolutely confused about religion.  He knew that God lived but was concerned that no two religions seemed to believe the same thing.  He felt that he needed to find out which religion's belief was correct so he could follow God the way God wanted.  He read the following:  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)  Joseph figured that if anyone lacked wisdom and yet needed it, that person was him.  He went to a grove of trees near his home and knelt in prayer to ask God which religious belief he should follow.  As he prayed, two persons appeared to him:  God the Father and Jesus Christ.  The Father called Joseph by name and said, pointing to the Savior, This is My Beloved Son.  Hear Him!

Joseph asked which sect he should join and was informed that he should join none of them.  The Lord said they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. (Joseph Smith History)  After ten years of training and preparation, Joseph was instructed to organize the Church.  During that training and preparation, Joseph Smith was given the Aaronic Priesthood (the same authority that Aaron and his sons held to act in God's name) by John the Baptist.  Later he was given the Melchizedek Priesthood (the authority and power held by Moses and all the ancient patriarchs before him and by the ancient Apostles) by Peter, James and John.  These same priesthoods are held by all worthy men in the church today so that we might be a blessing and comfort to those around us.  One way this is accomplished is by a priesthood holder placing his hands on a person's head and pronouncing a blessing upon that person.  This is what came to mind as I hung up the phone on Wednesday night.

It is quite unusual for a man to insist on giving someone a blessing, we would not want others to feel that we are imposing our own will upon them.  Suggesting that a person seek a blessing is one thing, telling someone that I will be right over to give a blessing is something else entirely and yet this is exactly what I did.  I called my mother back and asked if Grandma had received a blessing.  As I already knew, the answer was no.  I informed my mother that I would be over shortly to give Grandma a blessing.  About an hour later, with the assistance of my brother, I blessed Grandma Fay.  Knowing full well that the doctor had just told my mother that Grandma would not last the night, I blessed her with the health she needed to accomplish the few things left for her in this life and I promised her that the end would come quickly when it does.  The degradation in her kidneys stopped (normally once a person's kidney fall below 25%, they drop rapidly to full failure) and her breathing was much easier as her body started to cope with the blessing.

I spent most of the day with her on Thursday.  We talked about a number of things, focusing mainly on what had been promised her the night before.  I told her of an experience that I had after returning home the night before and again that morning.  While I won't go into detail here, I was given a message to deliver to my Grandmother.  I dressed in my finest and stayed at the hospital until late in the evening so I could deliver the message and make sure that she understood it.  When I left the hospital Thursday night, I knew that she still had not fully understood the message I had delivered.  I had also explained it to my mother over dinner and made her promise me that she would remind Grandma of what I had told her when the time comes.  She reluctantly agreed, either doubtful of or unhappy with what I had told her.  Friday morning, as mother was in the lobby silently praying, she heard her own father's voice (Granddad passed away 1 May 1985) say quite plainly, Tell your mother that she has to ask.

These experiences and others related to them have pushed my own faith further than it has ever gone before.  I have never been faced with such responsibility as to literally hold another's life in my hands and to pour strength and vigor back into that life.  It makes me tremble to think of the responsibility that has been laid upon me and the promises I have given.

Do not think that the God of Miracles one finds in the Old and New Testaments is asleep or is no longer a God of Miracles, for He is very much awake and as active today as He was then.  Do not long for some hidden ancient way to connect you to some power greater than yourself, the Priesthood of God has been returned to earth.  It is here and its ordinances and blessings are freely available to all.  Do not despair and feel that you are alone in your plight, Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of all mankind.

This entry authored by Tyran at 09:01

Tue, 15 Oct 2002

Just a quick post to keep things updated here.  Grandma Fay has been moved to transitional care and is expected to stay there ten days according to the doctor.  Her children have decided that she will only stay there as long as it's beneficial.  If she starts slipping, then they will bring her watch and watch vigil over her so that she can pass away in her own home instead of a hospital room.

We've started, or rather I've started testing applicants for the opening in our MIS department.  Emotional nightmare, it is.  First I couldn't sleep because I was worried that the test would be too hard and no one would pass it.  Turns out that it is passable.  Then I had to tell the second applicant I tested that the test did indeed reflect the requirements and that I should know as I wrote both the requirements and the test.  I hate shattering people's dreams.

Well, I am exhausted from the emotional roller coaster I've been riding today.  I'm going head to the hospital, see Grandma and then go home.  I'll tell you all about my parent's thrill ride from the weekend tomorrow.  If you like bears and carnival rides with no brakes, be sure to tune in tomorrow evening.

This entry authored by Tyran at 17:33

Wed, 16 Oct 2002

While I am writing this tonight, it likely won't be published until morning, in fact I know it won't because I feel like an absolute slug right now and want to just crawl into bed.  'Tis the season to dream of hibernating after all!

Well, last night I promised bears and carnival rides with no brakes and I'm here to deliver.  First some quick background:  October is formally known as October but informally it is known as the holy month of the deer and elk hunts.  In preparation for the festive days to come, my dad decided to take their camping trailer down to the Lower Ormond Ranch in Boulder, UT, which is commonly known as Burns's place because Uncle Burns still lives there.  Dad was planning to do this despite Grandma Fay's condition and mom was planning to stay here because of Grandma's condition.  Everyone was OK with this as dad is an awful person to have around a hospital and that was that.  Well, everyone was OK with it except Grandma.  She informed my mom in no uncertain terms that if dad was going then mom absolutely had to go as well.  Further, if mom did not go then something horrible was going to happen to dad and Grandma would never be able to forgive herself if it did.

Mom listened to this wise old woman and went to Boulder Town this weekend.  As they rounded the East End of Boulder Mountain, they passed the Lonesome Pine as they always do.  There was a difference this time though, dad looked at mom and said, There's something wrong with the truck.  Moments later he announced that the power steering had failed and mom noticed that the battery light was lit.  Almost immediately he told mom that they had no brakes.  The road down off the East end of the mountain into Boulder Town changes shortly after one passes the Lonesome Pine:  It becomes steeper and more twisting.  This is the stretch of road where the power steering and the brakes had both failed.  Oh, did I mention that the trailer brakes weren't working either?  No?  Well, they weren't.  Naturally dad took his foot off the gas and allowed the weight in the truck and trailer to slow them down slightly but it was only slightly because that same weight was also pulling them down the steep grade into Boulder Town.  Dad down-shifted at every opportunity but those came far and few between.  They survived the descent from the mountain and sped on through Boulder Town toward the nearly right angled right turn at the Burr Trail Cafe.  Somehow dad managed the turn but now they faced the hills immediately before the Ormond Ranch.  At the bottom of the last hill was a sharp left turn through the narrow gate and into the ranch house yard.  Mom said that they barely missed the west gate post and dad tromped on the emergency brake.  The brakes finally held and they came safely to a stop with no more injury or damage than screaming raw nerves and herds of newly grayed hair.  Was this the reason that Grandma sent mom with dad?  While it seems it must be, I tend to think it is not for I have not yet told of the return trip.  Also, my father is an excellent driver under any condition, even guiding an out of control VW through the mists of a German night, wedging it firmly between two trees instead of plowing into them and saving the lives of all four men in the car.  Did I mention that he did this all from the passenger's seat because the driver was unconscious?  No?  Well, he did.

As for the return trip, they were able to fix the truck (a pulley had seized and shattered).  As they neared the Steep Creek area, again on the East End, they saw a truck off the side of the road with a couple of fellows in hunter orange.  Mom and dad stopped to see what the hunters were seeing and they saw a black bear the size of a cow.  Even with my mother there, dad was out of the truck to see it.  The bear took a good look at my folks, the vehicles parked there and then crossed over the road and headed into the high country.  While this part of the story is nowhere near as gripping as the trip down the mountain on its surface, it is much more frightening when one knows my father.  Without my mother there, it seems very likely to me that he would have followed the bear.  While dad is also an excellent tracker and hunter, I fear this would have ended with unfortunate consequences.

Either way, car wreck or bear mauling, I am thankful that Grandma required mom to go down to Boulder Town with my dad.  Our family has gained some of Grandma Fay's enthusiasm for this grand new adventure that she is about to take but none of us would have fared well if some horrible thing had happened to my father this weekend.

This entry authored by Tyran at 20:36

Fri, 18 Oct 2002

You couldn't pay me to do that!

My writing here has become a fairly important thing in my life.  Not quite an obsession but not just a hobby, writing these entries is something that I look forward to doing and something I feel slightly guilty about if I miss a day.  I think that one of my favorite parts of writing here is the feedback I receive from readers through the comments, personal email and even in person.  In July of this year there were 1,018 visits to the site and the number just keeps climbing – 1,379 in August, 1,710 in September and just over 1,000 as of yesterday for October.  This amazes me, it absolutely amazes me.  I've had people describe reading the Whinery as everything from a guilty pleasure to a rival of the syndicated advice columns ala Dear Abby.  I'll stop blowing my own horn here before I go too far off the deep end but I bring this up for a reason.

As everything above, and more, has percolated through my brain now and then I always come back to the one regret that I have in relation to the Whinery:  Time.  I never seem to have enough time to devote to this part of my life and I do regret that.  Of course, that's a common complaint from most aspects of my life:  I want more time for my family, for my yoga, for my yard, for my job, for my whatever seems neglected at this moment in time.  Who doesn't feel this way, please raise your hand and tell us all the secret of your success!  As these thoughts drifted through my brain a while back, a startling idea came to mind.  I don't remember who said it but I recall having read that the secret to enjoying your job is to get someone to pay you to do something you like doing.  I enjoy programming and working with computers in general so I tend to enjoy my job; however, I love to write here so it should follow that if I could get someone to pay me to blog that I would then not just enjoy my job, I would love it!  Thankfully, a large reality check with my name on it was hand delivered to me not more than a second later.  Forget the hurdles of trying to find someone to actually pay me for writing the Whinery, forget the hassles of trying to fit into a new job, forget all of that.  This check came in the form of something I overheard my father say a long time ago.

Dad has had a number of skills and has had a number of jobs over the years:  Junkyard mechanic, welder, tank commander, explosives expert, English and history teacher, weapons controller, summer camp counselor and others.  While I'm fairly sure that Dad enjoyed most of the jobs he's had, I am also fairly sure that there's never been a job that he absolutely loved.  The reason being that I can name the things that dad loves to do and he's never been paid for any of them:  Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, backyard bar-b-ques, writing (poetry, prose, amazing things), carving and painting.  During the early 80's, American Fork was holding an arts festival of some sort and somehow dad was asked to display some of his paintings.  One of the pieces he showed I call the Rhino, not sure what he calls it, and it now hangs in my office at work.  Someone offered to pay him $2,000 for it, which he declined.  I remember him saying, I don't paint to sell my paintings, I paint because I enjoy it.  Selling my work would destroy my ability to enjoy it and betray the very reason that I do paint.  He fears that selling would turn his passion for painting into just another job that would become tedious and mundane.  I immediately understood exactly what dad had meant, something I've never been able to do before on this subject and so I echo his sentiment:  You couldn't pay me to do that!

This entry authored by Tyran at 04:50

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