Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This commercial is brilliant!

Enjoy this gem.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Harry Potter

Since this is what all the other blogs are talking about, I figured why not. Chenae and I finished last night. Who else is reading? Who has finished, what did you think? Who hates/loves these books. Regardless of your take on the books their popularity is amazing. I've found them, especially this last book, to be one of my most enjoyable literary experiences. I'm curious to see to how history treats Harry Potter. While the prose may not be of classical calibar, I have to admit that I haven't found myself emotionally moved (e.g., tense, elated, excited, sad, relfective, etc.) by a book too many times, as I was while reading the Deathly Hallows. Maybe this is reflection of deep rooted immaturity on my part or psychological scarring from never being able to dunk or maybe they're just good books.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

McDonald's Dogfood

My elementary school teacher Mr. Jackman had a policy that if a kid got straight "commendables" at parent teacher conference evaluations he would take the kid out to lunch. (You were rated in each area as commendable, satisfactory or unsatisfactory, I think.) One time I pulled it off (I'm still not sure how, since I never finished my writing assignments for Mr. Wilson) and I got to go to lunch with Mr. Jackman and his wife. As we drove off he asked me if I wanted to go to McDonald's. I hesitated for a second and then said, "Ummm . . . how about Hardee's?" So off we went to Hardee's instead. For as long as I can remember my Dad had referred to McDonald's as "McDonald's Dogfood" so I was sure I didn't want to go there. It wasn't until high school when Tony dragged me over to McDonald's that I realized, "Hey, this is just like any other fast food place!" I didn't feel deceived--I'm glad my Dad discouraged me from eating fast food--but I am amused by how deeply I had absorbed my Dad's disdain for McDonald's.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stay at home or be employed full-time: an unfortunate dilemma for many

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that only 21% of working mothers consider full-time work an ideal situation. That is contrasted to 72% of fathers who consider full-time work ideal. A solid majority of working mothers (60%) would prefer part-time work and 19% would prefer to not work. Interestingly, only 48% of "not working" mothers considered not working to be ideal. 33% would prefer to work part-time. For more fun check out the thread on this study over at Times and Seasons. They're always good for a variety (and I mean variety) of Mormon perspectives.

These results seem consistent with what I've found talking with some of the female graduate students at my university. They feel trapped on the full-time career track and want alternatives that are family friendly--either to work part-time temporarily while the kids are young or to get out of the full-time career track altogether. A lot of this dilemma is probably a function of job benefits. Women who would prefer to work part time may feel stuck in full-time positions because their husband is self-employed or works for a small business so a full-time job is the most affordable way to obtain health insurance and a retirement savings plan.

Another interesting finding was that higher education negatively correlated with how high mothers ranked their own parenting performance. The same was true for employment level. Stay at home moms ranked their own parenting higher than part-time moms and part-time moms ranked their own parenting higher than full-time moms. I didn't see if they controlled for employment with the education result, otherwise I would expect that the education result is just a function of highly educated women being more likely to have full-time and part-time employment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

POUND (a short film by Evan Bernard)

And I thought the headbutt handshake was cool . . .

To Become a Classical Music Snob

That's my goal folks. When I hear a symphony or concerto I want to be the guy who can say, "Hmmm, was that Mozart's 24th or 25th?" But how, you may ask, did I come to such a woeful predicament? I blame my wife. She checked out The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music from the library and I picked it up, naively presuming it just another innocuous tome. Regrettably, I fell prey to its allure--probably due to a combination of predisposing genetic and environmental factors.

Even though the unwashed masses may hurl their disdain against my delicate and refined musical tastes, it has been fun learning more about classical music. I like trying to guess the composer, or at least the century, when I hear something on the local classical station. Also, I'm starting to take note of which composers consistently impress me.

This is the part of the post where I attempt to elicit comments. Are any of you into classical music? Do you have a composer or work that you particularly enjoy? Do you dislike classical music? Which composers would you say have had the greatest influence on Bootload of Boogie? If you could name a cello after a tenor, which tenor would you choose? Let's hear it folks.