Sunday, October 28, 2007

Daughter Photo Shoot

We did a quick little girl's photo here to see the rest of them...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vampire books...

Let's get one things straight: I DID NOT read the book(s). I had two sister-in-laws talk to me about the Twilght series books. In fact, one SIL didn't want to tell me about the books because she thought I wouldn't let Janese read them (like I can tell her what to do).

I was razzing some girls in my seminary class because they were all so in love with Edward. They finally told me that I couldn't make fun of a book I had not read. Isn't that what the cover is for? To give me a reason to judge a book without having to read it? So, in the spirit of wanting the make fun of the book, I decided to read it. I know....stupid choice. But I did.

I got through the first 200 pages an gave it back to Janese.

I'll tell you what...if I was in 10th grade, and I was a girl, I'm sure I'd love it. But I'm not, and I don't. At all. I got to some part where Edward was stroking Bella's chin or something like that and the thought exploded into my mind like a ray of early morning sunlight, I could not care less about a character. I recently finished Kiterunner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, so this book paled, horribly, recklessly even, in comparison when it came to getting me to care about the characters (or the plot, or author, or page numbers, or jacket cover, or ISBN number, for that matter). In fact, I read an advertisment for binkies in Parenting magazine yesterday and I cared more about the characters there than in the Twilight book.

With that said, I just took a questionairre to see which Twilight character I am most like. Turns out, using this highly scientific experiement, I am most like:

You're Carlisle Cullen - You are very intelligent and have high moral standards. You truly care about people and helping them. Your knack for solving problems and pleasing two warring sides makes you unique and a desirable friend to have, even if sometimes you have to tell people what they might not like hearing.

Whoever this guy is, he most be pretty special...

Go ahead ladies, take the quiz here. It is free, and really quite scientific and important to take. But remember, THIS BOOK IS FICTION. You can't marry Edward. He isn't real.

Sorry for the spoiler. :)

Now, for the record, Janese took the quiz. She is most like:

Friday, October 26, 2007


I have been listening to podcasts for quite awhile now. Recently I asked my students how many of them listened to any podcasts on a regular basis and was suprised to hear that very few of them even knew what a podcast was. There were a few little misconceptions concerning podcasts that we cleared up and a couple students now listen to podcasts on a somewhat-regular basis.

I love podcasts. I get to listen to the information I want, when I want, and skip anything I don't want. I can search for regularly updated material on subjects that matter to me (or just plain entertain me). I even have my own podcast (well, had my own hasn't been updated since episode 9).

{Plug: my podcast is called "The Family History Minute" and was a top-ten listened to podcast on the educational podcasts in can find it by going to or by going into iTunes, going to the iTunes Music Store, and searching for "Brian Mickelson, or "Family History Minute". I am currently deciding if it is worth the time to re-record/edit the thing and add two more episodes...we'll see. If you listen to it, send some feedback or episode ideas...I could use all the help I can get. I have received emails from people from all over the earth concerning the show. The feedback has been wonderful and I've enjoyoed conversing with people from wherever...}

Anyhow (now that that is over) here are the basics:
1. You don't need an iPod. Or even any type of mp3 player. Those only help if you want to listen to podcast when you are out and about.
2. You find a podcast you like and "subscribe" to it. Then, whenever they post a new "episode" it automatically downloads to your computer. Most people use iTunes to subscribe to podcasts, but there are other options.
3. Most podcasts update regularly and are well done. In iTunes, people vote on podcasts and give reviews and that helps you know what will be lame and what will be great to listen to.
4. Most media organizations have podcasts that are well done. CNN, NPR, etc....
5. iTunes keeps a list of the top-listened-to podcasts. Careful...they are not all "clean" all of the time. If there is explicit information in a podcast, they mark it that way. That helps.
6. All podcasts are free. Ya, I Sweet.

Here are the podcasts I am currently listening to:
1. This American Life: Weekly podcast lasting about an hour. Usually cut into a few segments all focusing on one theme. This has been a top listened to podcast for quite awhile now. Very well done.
2. RadioLab: In my opinion, this is the best-produced podcast on the planet. VERY well done.
3. CarTalk: Don't be fooled. I don't know a thing about cars. I probably never will. I don't listen to CarTalk because of the cars. I listen to it because these are two of the funniest guys I've eve heard. I love this podcast (which is actually a weekly radio show from NPR) and listen to it every week. Tom and Ray...these two guys from have to hear them...
4. Grammar Girl -- Guide to Better Writing: I don't know why I like this one. Maybe because it is short and makes me smarter. Or seem smarter. Well, it is short and well done anyhow.
5. Family History Minute: I don't really listen to my own. C'mon. I hear myself everyday. But, people like it (not everyone...).

I have listened, in the past, to a bunch of other podcasts and I periodically go back to them a listen to recent episodes. I enjoy the PopSci Podcast, most stuff from NPR, some of CNN's stuff, and then a few random podcasts on subjects like photography, photo editing, genealogy, news, and whatever else I think of.

I'd be interested in hearing about what you're listening to. Let me know.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


This is what photography should be. Now, I realize that I have moved the photography portion of this blog to the photography blog...I know. But, I'm posting these pictures here, not there. Why? Because I want to.

There was good light in the bedroom. I grabbed the camera, the daughters, and took about two minutes to shoot pictures. No direction. No "smile!" Just hitting the button. Now, after about ten minutes of editing, I'm posting...

I'm putting these here because this was more about life in our home than photography. Plus, these are my daughters and I can do whatever I want...

Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm glad I live where I live...

Because I would never, ever, want to live in Philadelphia. At least not after reading this report. And I quote:

"PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Philadelphia is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed on Friday.

"The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News."

Now, it isn't that I'm helping out Northern Utah by living here (I may be pulling our averages down), but I don't want to be living in the ugliest city in the US either. The article goes on the mention other "ugly" cities in the US.

Why did they report on this poll? Wouldn't having the 76'ers and the Eagles in your town make you feel bad enough?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

When Janese gets an idea...

...she really gets to work on it. I'm not sure if we were finishing a project from some time ago, or if this was a new project that we just started. All I know is that we spent the majority of Saturday painting. And painting. And painting. And, Janese did most of it. But, for proof that the rest of us jumped in a "helped"...I took a few pictures.

Sweet Bubble Day...

Here are a few more pics from the day of bubbles...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Decision made...most likely...

Drum-roll please...

The decision is...iPhone.

Here are the reasons:
1. They are cool.
2. I like them.
3. The Blackberry data plan through Verizon is lame.
4. The iPhone will have my "The Office" episodes on it.
5. The iPhone will have a few of my MST3K shows on it.
6. The Blackberry is the size of a cheeseburger in your pocket (thanks Harmony!)
7. The iPhone is sweet.
8. Steve Jobs has one (or two).
9. Bill Gates doesn't (well, he probably does...).
10. Uh...the iPhone will have Suduko on it?

So, there you have it. A bunch of people have given my, thanks. And the iPhone it is...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Keeping the Sabbath Day holy...I think.

The weather is great right now. There is rain in the forecast. We've been in the church building for three hours (eight hours if you are me, and today wasn't nearly as busy as usual). And, most of us have been kind of sick over the past two weeks. So we, as a family, played "bubbles" outside after we took a walk, bombed each other with crabapples, and threw water on the neighbor girls. I caught a few great pictures. I would have a few more of the other children but they were too involved trying to use light-sabers to cut the bubbles asunder...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What an angel...

The special (and kind of sad) circumstances under which this sweet little thing had her pictures taken make this particular picture one of my all time favorites. What an honor it was to be the photographer! To see more of this special family, click here...

Make sure you click right on this picture to get a larger, more detailed view.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A little TECH help please...

Here is my problem, desribed completely and perfectly in one, well-crafted sentence:

I am sick of using a stylus.

There. I said it. Not only am I sick of using a stylus (and won't, ever again) but I lost mine. So, when I am sitting in a meeting trying to input some notes into my little Palm device, I use a pen cap. Lame, I know.

So...I have a decision to make. Rather than simply go buy something that looks cool (which is what I usually do) I am trying to make this complicated by weighing all of the options.

PROBLEM: I need a PDA, cell-phone, MP3 player, paired down to one or two items (I'm not carrying three devices).

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: First off, here is what I'm NOT doing. I'm not getting a Palm-anything. Not the Treo. No Palm stuff. Don't ask me why. We'll get into this big debate about it and everything all boils down to me listing a bunch of reasons why Microsoft is making it easier for the aliens to take over our planet. I realize that Palm isn't owned by Bill Gates, but there are a bunch of connections...

Here are the most likely options:

ONE: I'll but an iPhone. I'd have to switch to ATT. But iPhones are cool. They don't have a to-do list that syncs with iCal (for some reason) and that is a problem. I could maybe use Google Calendar (which would be syncing at all). iPhones are expensive, they have a pretty small harddrive, but they are pretty cool, too. I like them.

TWO: Blackberry Curve or the Blackberry 8800 phone. I don't really need to have email capabilities from the PDA like BB's are famous for, but it would be nice I guess. Their data plans aren't cheap (the iPhone's is only $20/mo). I like both Blackberries quite a bit (but now I'm tired of typing...)

So, here is what I'm asking for. Will you ask all of the people you know who have either/any of these devices and get opinions and then post those thoughts? And quickly?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Is there such thing as a Conference hangover?

As my SIL so aptly described, conference was awesome this last weekend. I got to work on Monday and told the guy I work with that I thought this was the best conference ever. He said, "You say that every six months." Ya, I probably do. They get better every six months!

But, and herein lies the problem, I feel so gross right now. I start looking forward to conference months ahead of October. I start planning what I'll eat weeks prior to the event. We gather the ingredients we'll need days before. By the time conference starts I'm on the couch ramming nachos, Seven-layer dip, tater-tots, and french-toast with bacon into my mouth at such an unhealthy rate that I can literally feel my heart laboring under the pressure of shoving my blood through my now-too-closed-off arteries. My stomach expands to accept the double-portion. My knees buckle when I pull myself off of the couch. The buttons on my shirt hold on for dear life. While wrestling with my children, I nearly crush them like an elephant.

It isn't pretty. At all.

But, it feels pretty good. And, I love listening to the talks and discussing them with Janese and the children. So, it is a great weekend.

Then Monday comes. It isn't so much that I feel horrible. I just feel a little gross all over. My muscles ache. My head spins a bit. My stomach feels full all day whether I eat anything else or not. I can't enjoy food. And it last for days. Up to a week. Ugh...I'm not looking forward to the rest of this week.

So, though this was the best conference yet (this time I'm sure of it) I feel gross.

With that said, I loved conference.
The Elder Wirthlin Elder Nelson moment.
Every word Sister Beck shared.
Every word Elder Holland shared.
The calling of Pres. Eyring and Elder Cook.
Elder Hallstrom's Priesthood Session talk.
"Good, better, best".

And there was so much more. That is why I'm excited for conference to be posted on the church's website. I'll download the talks in MP3 form and print a few off to mark. Then the November Ensign will come. Janese and I will both have our own copy so that we can study and mark each talk. I noticed that Pres. Hinckley challenged us, again, to use the conference talks in FHE. So we're going to make a more concerted effort in our home to do that. I'm excited.

Even though I still feel so full I might fast for the next three days.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

A few more edits...

I've edited a few more family pictures from our recent photo see more, click on the BJM Photography Blog...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Brian's Pregnancy?

My pregnancy is going quite well...thanks for asking.

Janese caught these uniquely flattering pictures of me swimming this summer. I thought I was playing enough tennis to counteract the huge amount of nachos I consume. Apparently I was wrong. Really wrong.

I hope the 2nd and 3rd trimesters go as smoothly as the first one has...

Since I'm up anyway...

I'll post a picture from the most recent family photo shoot...ours. Go to the photography blog to see more...

4:44 am...

Or maybe 4:41 am...I don't know. Last night, the last thing I said to Janese (besides telling her that she was a wonderful wife an to never leave me) was that I was excited to sleep in until 7:00 am. That is all I wanted. Well, I just woke up and the first thing I saw was 4:44 am on the dang alarm clock. The dream I was having woke me up.

In my dream I was in charge of diving to the bottom of a swimming pool at a restaurant and trying to sift through the debris on the floor of the pool, looking for items people may have lost. I couldn't see very well and kept asking people for those mining strap-on headlamp things, but no one would oblige. This was all taking place during dinner. Meaning, the pool was surrounded by people sitting at tables eating dinner. They were all wearing nice clothes and there was music and the lights were low. It was a pretty nice place...with this gross, unused, debris-filled swimming pool smack-dab in the middle of the room.

Well, I pulled up some forks and necklaces and other lame stuff and finally was able to go home from my shift. As I was getting to the parking-lot to head home, I realized I had forgotten something "at work" so I headed back in. As I opened the door to the restaurant, the head waiter said, "Well, Mr. Mickelson, we've been waiting for you..." He escorted me to one of the nicer tables and everyone stood and clapped. They awarded me some medal or something because I had rescued all of the garbage from the pool.

It was a pretty satisfying dream.

And here I am. Posting on Blogger at 4:42 am.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Greased Piggy...

After our FHE lesson, our family decided to play Monopoly. As the children were setting up the board and the pieces, I noticed Madelyn staring at the game board from the kitchen. She was wearing only a diaper and a wicked smile. In a starteling display of athletic prowess, she dropped her head and shoved off, running at the group of siblings quietly setting up houses and counting out fake money. Like a bulldozer without a driver, she rammed into the children, stomped all over the game board, and sent Monopoly houses and money flying everywhere. It was awesome. For the next five minutes or so the kids tried everything to stop her and she enjoyed the new-found attention. Over and over she ran into the kitchen, waited for the dust and giggles to settle, and then made another suprise attack. Round after round of baby carpet bombing ensued. After a few minutes of this, the children begged us to not play Monopoly, but instead, to play, "Try to Catch Maddie While She Screams and Giggles and Stomps All Over the Game Board". Or, in other words, Catch the Greased Pig...

Love FHE...