Saturday, October 21, 2006

Conservatives rebelling against the Republicans?

Well, there's a lot of stupidity going on among the conservative part of our population who want to punish the Republican party for it's ineffectiveness in the Mark Foley scandal. Seems many of them are not planning to go to the polls and vote in the November elections because they don't want to vote for anyone who would look the other way from this kind of scandal.

Unfortunately, not voting only assures that people who don't agree with them will be elected to public office. Getting the dems elected doesn't help the Conservative Christian movement with such things as abortion, gay marriage, etc.

Think about it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Auto Dealer Scam

I'm sure you're asking "which one?", because there are so many. The one I'm referring to is the ads that say something like, "No negotiation required. Our cars are already marked to their lowest possible price, so you don't have to negotiate." Give me a break! Whose interest does that serve? Sure, there are people for whom negotiation is so painful that it's worth it for them to pay thousands more for a car than what they should. Auto dealers get away with murder on this one. The only way to get a fair deal on a car at most dealerships, is to be able to negotiate. The first and only dealership I've ever been to that had this policy (Willey Honda of Bountiful, Utah) , I walked away from once I offered them something on the car I was interested in and the salesman said, "Oh no, this car is already marked at it's lowest price." Yeah sure. It was $2500 more than the Kelley Blue Book said it should be, but it was the "lowest price". So I left. A day or two later, after I'd made a deal with a private owner on another car, the guy called me back and said that maybe they could negotiate some. Too late!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Book Learning

I'm the kind of guy who reads numerous books at a time. For example, right now I'm reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam by Robert Spencer, America: The Last Best Hope by William J. Bennett, The Fast Food Diet by Stephen Sinatra, M.D and James Punkre, Restoring the Ancient Church: Joseph Smith and Early Christianity by Barry Robert Bickmore, and last but not least, The Constitution in Exile by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano.

Wow, the blogger interface wouldn't let me shut off the underlining for that last one. Let me just make a few comments on the above books, or some of them at least. Judge Napolitano's book is a great treatise on the historical abandonment of the Constitutional principles espoused by the Founders. I find it appalling that America as a nation has drifted that far from the original intent of those who drafted the Constitution.
On the other hand, his bitterness toward Abraham Lincoln is a bit much. Bennett's book takes a much more even-handed approach to Lincoln. I think it’s more fair. The book is well-written, researched, and highly readable.
Robert Spencer’s book evaluates the disparities between what the “religion of peace” claims, and what their actual texts say. Interesting to say the least.
The Bickmore book examines the claim by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Christ’s original church was removed from the earth through apostasy, shortly after the apostle’s deaths. I’m only partially through this one, as with the others, but already Bickmore’s claims have a lot of credence.
The Fast Food Diet is a book for those who must eat on the road, and how to eat more healthily.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Can't figure out why I can't post now

I just tried to post a bit about the Fidel link being gone, but for some reason it wouldn't post. Hmm. I wonder if this one will.

Oops, the Fidel debate is over...

Looks like funtrivia pulled the debate over Fidel Castro. Got a little too heated I suppose. I must try to bite my tongue a little bit harder and keep things calmer. Well, I'll be posting on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tomorrow, and I believe that it will be a much calmer thread--at least on my end of things! And I ended up quitting my position as a columnist at The Muse Marquee.
That should give me a bit of breathing room for the time being.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Debate over Fidel

I've been debating for the past couple of days with some folks at , over the atrocities, or lack thereof of Fidel Castro and his regime. The discussion can be viewed here- clicky clicky.
I hope you enjoyed that interchange. Not much happening in my world other than work, but in the world of sports, Barry Bonds is near eclipsing Ruth for second place in career home runs. I hope the steroid taking cheater (uh, alegedly) never makes it past Hank Aaron.

Here's a tip for guitar teachers. I've recently downloaded Nick Minnion's two e-books. How to Make a Living Teaching Guitar, and Fifty Lessons. The first is $19 and the second is $35, so they're kind of pricey, but I think they are well-worth it--especially the fifty lessons book. Here's the link:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Web Filtering Software

One thing I hate is the web filtering software blocking out the word girls from my posts if I forget to turn off the filter. I just had to go back and edit a post because of this. ARRRGGGHHH!! It's caused me a lot of headaches when I've forgotten about it and then shot off an e-mail or two to prospective editors, with my stories cut and pasted in and the words deleted from the manuscript. It makes a guy feel real idiotic.

College Graduation

I'd like to shout out to my daughter, Rebecca, who graduated from the University of Utah today. One thing I wonder is why in the world these graduation ceremonies need to be so long? We had a ceremony this morning that lasted from about 8 am to 11 am, then we had a brief break for lunch and came back for another ceremony (her individual college ceremony) that lasted from 1:45 until about 3:30 or so. Too long! Anyway, here are a couple of pics of my daughter and my granddaughter, Gillian.
And yeah, here's my ugly mug (up at the top) playing the guitar too!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just thinking out loud

I recently rediscovered a fun place to waste time on the web. It's called, and it's a site with all kinds of fun quizzes to take. I've written a few under the name of "Jubal". I just wrote a new one and I think it will be up in a few days. I've tentatively titled it "Who Are These People".
I haven't been writing as much as I'd like to lately--just too darn much to do. I can't keep up with all the extra stuff I have--I'm an assistant with a Boy Scout troop, I have yard work, I have a wife and a grandaughter to spend time with. I can't keep up with the critiquing or the reading I have to to, to say nothing of the column I write for The Muse Marquee. I think I'm going to need to drop something pretty soon and simplify my life.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I need a new e-mail account

I'm tired of major web giants like Yahoo and Google, selling out Chinese dissidents. I'm looking to change my e-mail account to something a little more freedom friendly. What a bunch of jokes these companies are, turning in people who are seeking freedom in the world. Hey, Yahoo! Hey Google! I hate you. You are the epitome of greed taking precedence over decency.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just heard from Ben a few minutes ago. He's doing well in Peru. His girlfriend, Marie, just got called to Peru on her mission as well, though not the same part of Peru. Pieru, I think it's called. So that's pretty wild.
Bad day at the p.o. today, so I'm just about done with my lunch and have to quit this blog for now. Anyway, hasta la Bennie Hanna

Sunday, April 16, 2006

More Musings

I just discovered recently a cool site called . I've been cataloging all my books on this site and I'm up over 900 right now. It's time consuming, so I'll be happy when I'm all done.
I just got done writing to my son, Ben, who is in Peru serving an LDS mission. He's currently in a small town called Ascope, which he says kind of reminds him of the countryside in Field of Dreams. The photo above is of his last area in Gran-Chimu, Trujillo. Obviously not part of Field of Dreams. This is a dirt poor area, but the people are really humble and teachable--except for the ladrones, which means "thieves". He was robbed twice there.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Smaug's Musings

Smaug's Musings

Well, I started teaching guitar lessons about three weeks ago. So far I've taught two 7 year olds and one 10 year old. It's been interesting. I really think I'm going to like it, but the freakin' books I've tried to order for the kids have not come in yet, so I have to keep running to the copy center for handouts. Really, the reason I decided to teach in the first place was to help provide for my son Ben, who is on his LDS mission to Peru.
I've begun writing again. I went back to, writer's workshop and started reading the posts again (hi folks!), and got a little bit fired up to write once more. I'm still involved with the Muse It Up Club, and I'd provide a link, but I always get it mixed up. Anyway, there should be references to it here: The Muse Marquee
Gosh, for some reason this blog site wants to keep everything after the link underlined and made into a link.

Okay, now I'm going to have to figure out how to put in some photos here, and when I do--you'll have to view them.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Muse On Writing

The Muse On Writing

Well, maybe I can get back to the writing world a little bit. I basically have taken the entire last two months off--except for my column. This last month or so has been spent getting the guitar studio up and running, and I started teaching today. It was the first time I've ever taught guitar lessons, so I was nervous as all get out. I've got three students, but only one showed up tonight--a little girl of 7 named Kylee. It wasn't as bad as I thought.
Now, since I'm not stressing over that anymore, I can get my next column up and running, and maybe even start up my burnt out brain and write some fiction. Seems my one month sabbatical has acquired some permanency and I'm not real sure I like that.
Anyway, you may see more from me in the near future.