Friday, February 29, 2008

Bissextile...Not a Dirty Word

Happy February 29th! Thanks to the Gregorian Calendar, every 4 years we have an extra day tossed into the mix. Unless of course it is the beginning of a century that is NOT divisible by 400.If you really want to get messed in the calendar head, during the 1700's as an act of rebellion, the Swedes decided to throw in a February 30th. Obviously it didn't stick. But then again...they are Swedes...what have they ever done? (Just kidding)
Bissextile has Latin origins and references the extra day of Leap Year. I have a good friend who was born on the 29th of February. I also have a cousin with the same birthday. I wonder how many people get married on the 29th of February? I know guys would probably have no problem with that...the girls on the other hand...probably not huge fans of the idea.
Apparently, this is also the only day that "society" doesn't frown on girls proposing marriage to their beaus. So girls...get out there and propose!
(I know, I know...I am going to get a slew of comments pointing out that I have 365 other days of the year to be asking for a hand in marriage.)
Anyway...I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful, fantastic, bissextile 2008!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Pause for just this moment...this moment right now...and ask yourself:

"What am I passionate about?"

What answer did you come up with?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 for VICTORY

Towards the end of the second century before Christ the Savior was born, a little-known Rhodian sculptor in an obscure corner of the Greek islands, was putting the finishing touches on what would later become one of the most famous sculptures of this time. Still a nascent art technique, the marble carving and shaping would set the precedence for would-be masters for generations to come. The title of this piece is the Winged Victory of Samothrace (Named such for its discovery off the Samothrace islands). This image was captured forever in stone with a look of defiance into the challenging winds of toil, strife, embattlement and invasion. In what could only be described in modern terms as a "marketing ploy", this piece was used as an icon for the conquering navy after several of their more harrowing battles, the Winged Victory was always prominently displayed by the conquering forces as a badge of triumphancy. Although many of the original pieces have been lost, it's solid stance in the path of even the most fracas donnybrook still impresses art patrons to this day.

Speaking of victory...the Writer's Strike is officially OVER!!! And as an added bonus, Toshiba announced that they will be discontinuing the HD-DVD format, thus ensuring Blu-Ray the sole monopoly on high definition movie formats for years to come!

Monday, February 18, 2008

So...That's It?

I have no idea who this girl is...but I couldn't resist posting the picture. many of you know, I just returned from Disney World in Florida. First and foremost, I actually got out of the airport, made it to my hotel and several LONG days later, made it back to my place in California. Woo Hoo for me!
So this was my first forray into the realm of the Magic Kingdom.The very first thing that I noticed was how BIG this place really is. For anyone who hasn't been to Disney World, it actually consists of 12 parks and recreation areas each designed to grapple every last dollar from your wallet, a myriad of hotels paying obescience to the world of Walt, and a collection of "necessities", (such as gas stations and food establishments), all of which will extrapolate whatever remaining savings you may have hidden away into some 401K or ROTH IRA that even the IRS didn't know about.Basically it is a money-sucking fiefdom that bows down to the feudal lord of Mice.Now to be fair...I did have a good time. On Thursday night, when most people in this country were wooing their loved ones with whisperings of sweet nothings, I and several thousand other people, were enjoying ourselves at the Animal Kingdom. It was a night full of wonder and awe, and two white people "dancing" (I use the term loosely) with nary a care in the world in a sea of black people who actually could dance. You see these new movies coming out about street dance competitions?Well, this was the Family Feature Films version.Ashley (one of my long-time friends from the Russian team) and I were out there just having a ball, and all it took was some music, a DJ, a whole swarm of people who knew what they were doing, and the company to rent out an entire theme park for the night. Who says you can't have fun at other people's expense?
Oh we did get to go on two rides that night, the "It's Hard To Be A Bug" experience in the "Tree of Life".
(This thing was HUGE)
It was a pretty cool 3-D movie that was VERY interactive.We also got to ride on the Conquer Everest roller coaster a couple of times.On Friday we really didn't have much time to do anything fun...we a self-serving shout out to myself, (after all, this is my blog), I was invited to help do one of the presentations at the convention. This is an opportunity usually reserved for people in positions of a much higher tax bracket than me, so it was a great chance for me to get my name out there into the upper echelon of company management.On Saturday, we were back to the whole work thing...however, an hour or so into it, I got a call from my boss that went something like this:
Boss: Zach! I have good news and bad news...which do you want?

Me: Bad News.

Boss: You have to go back to your hotel and get your suit.

Me: Why is that bad news?

Boss: Because several people saw your presentation yesterday and they want you to give it again today.
So I got to give the presentation again. I was very happy about that.
Saturday night we were able to go to Disney's Hollywood Studios. After a long meeting of recognition of many of our top leaders, we then had the whole park to ourselves. This meant that we could walk up to any food vendor and ask for whatever we wanted...and they gave it to us.We were also able to go on the Aerosmith Rock'n'Roll Rollercoaster
(This thing was WICKED fast)

And we also went to the Hollywood Tower of Terror
(This was AWESOME)

Sadly those were the only two rides we got in that night. After getting food and such, they herded us like cattle into the Fantas-imagination-Doo-Hickey Show, (that's the official name...really!'s actually called "Fantasmic").Of all the live productions that I have ever seen...this one shot straight to the top. And I have seen "Wicked".After the show we all went back to the various hotels where we were staying. I was in the Caribbean Beach, and no matter where I looked, I never did get to see Jack Sparrow.Several of us ended up sitting down on the man-made beach just looking out over the water of the private lagoon there. We all had to catch the buses at 3 and 4 in the morning, so we weren't in any real hurry to get a good night's sleep. What was the point? It was already 1 AM. We did all end up getting about an hour of sleep before heading to the airport. This is where MY adventure began.I won't bore you with the harrowing details, (because you have already endured enough), but I will give you the Reader's Digest version:

I ended up at the Orlando airport 2 hours before my first layover was in Ft. Lauderdale...ahh...the memories...I ended up sitting there for 4 hours before my next flight to Atlanta Georgia. I wasn't supposed to be in that airport for very long, however, a swarm of tornados decided it was time to surround the city, so all flights were grounded until it was safe to fly again. That was almost 8 hours later. THEN we had to worry about the curfew of the OC airport. If a plane is coming in after 11:30 PM, it has to re-route to LAX because of city noise ordinances. By this time we had a 7 minute window in which to land. We were told by the Famous Airport Voice that we had been "authorized" to take a quicker route from Atlanta to Orange County. I am scratching my head head trying to figure out what faster route. Where they going to buzz some bison in Montana on the way over?Anyway...with our new "faster" route, we made it on luggage was there...and I was able to get home and into bed by 12:30 AM. All to get up this morning, come in and open the office.

I have never had a hang over...but I think I know what it feels like now.
In summary...Disney World...Disneyland...Amusement Parks in general:

Did I have a grand ol' time?


Did I stop and pause every time I saw a price for admission, or a $50 shirt, and think, "How on Earth do people afford to bring entire families here???"


Will I ever go again?

Only if I suddenly find myself with a whole stink load of money and absolutely nothing else in the world to spend it on. Or I get married and my wife and kids bat their tender eyes at me and say "Please".

I better start saving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

For those of you who are familiar with my less-than-stellar performance in the Spring of 2001 involving Florida airports, you will be excited to know that I have successfully LEFT the airport and made it to my hotel room.

Three Cheers All Around!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Recently a friend pointed out that I must be “popular” because my last few posts have generated a lot of comments. I pointed out to her that it is only because I have REALLY awesome family and friends. We went on to discuss this “blogularity” (popularity + blog). I decided that I wanted to do a “Shout Out” to my family and friends who are always there to make me feel good.
I seriously have the most wonderful family and friends. In fact, a little over a year ago I was talking to my brother-in-law Erik about a girl that I was interested in. The topic of it being serious came up and he asked me if he needed to give her the “In-Law Talk”. I asked him what that was, and he went on to explain that when he married my sister, he soon realized that he had won the Jackpot in the In-Law Lottery. He said that anyone lucky enough to marry into this family wins. I think most of the people who have married in to the Lifferth Clan would agree that this is a pretty amazing family. So without further adieu, I give you the Blog Shout Out to some of my favorites: (chosen in order by the comments made in my latest entry)

Esther: Esther is a wonderful cousin who has always been fun to hang out with. I remember the time she let me ride her horse down in Henrieville, (whatever happened to that horse?). Anyway, I was riding him around, when for no reason at all, he started bucking. I can happily say that I rode him to a standstill and didn’t get thrown off. But afterwards, Esther looked at me and deadpanned: “What did you do to him? He’s never done that to anyone before.” (That was the last time I was ever on a horse...I need to fix that.) She is also one of the most scrappy basketball players I have ever come up against. More than once in that little church gym, she schooled me in a game of roundball.

Whitney: Ahh…Whitney…by far one of my favorite recent additions to the Family. I remember the first time I ever met her. We were all at one of Uncle Richard and Aunt Carol’s famous Singles’ Dinners. There were quite a few new girls that Spencer and friends had invited. At the end of it, after most of them had left, Aunt Carol asked me if any of them had caught my eye. I replied, “If that Whitney girl were about 8 years older, she would be a fun one to get to know.” Fortunately Spencer recognized how cool she was, and shortly thereafter, she joined the family. She has jumped in with no problem at all. Her whit (get it? Whitney…Whit…I’m hilarious), and sarcasm are a perfect fit to the mold. I seriously enjoy every conversation I have with her. Amazing girl.

Emily: Emily is one of those quiet giants that everyone always looks up to and admires. She always stood out to me because unlike everyone around her, she was very calm and mild-mannered, (whereas the rest of us were and still are, quite boisterous). She is a great example of strength in humility and patience. She also has a surprisingly quick tongue and dry sense of humor. She also married a fantastic addition to the family. I really like Dave and I always look forward to seeing these two together. It’s obvious they really love each other. I hope my someday-marriage is as good as theirs.

Scott B.: Technically, by blood and genetics, Scott isn’t family, but as one of my all-time favorite mission companions, I count him as such. Scott and I had a blast in Russia together. He was my first junior companion. I had only been out for 3 months when we got put together. But despite neither of us speaking the language or having any clue what we were doing, those were some of the greatest (and most productive) times of my mission. He has since become one of my dearest friends whom I can always rely on for anything. A fantastic and truer friend, I doubt you can find. And he has a fabulous head of hair.

Craig: I could write pages and pages about what a wonderful person Craig is. I had the privilege of being his roommate before his mission. We had so much fun together. Not only is he one of the greatest basketball players I have ever seen, but his dry sense of humor and sarcasm is so fantastic, it is unbelievable. Whereas some of us throw out joke after joke after joke, hoping that two or three out of a dozen will be funny, Craig delivers the perfect line at the perfect time every time. He is also a Spiritual giant to be watched as a true example of someone living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He can always make you smile, and he is just an all-around wonderful person.

Monica: Now I have a fantastic Sister Monica, but this tribute goes to Cousin Monica who married into the family through Aaron. Ever since the day I met her, I have liked Monica. She is unbelievably amazing. If you knew everything that she has done and continues to do on a regular basis, you would have to sit down and catch your breath. Not only is she fun and entertaining to talk to, she is extremely intelligent, sarcastic (in a charming way), a wonderful mother, a devoted wife, and her service to our country is commendable. I have never seen her down or sad in any way, and while devoting all of her attention to you, she is also always looking around to make sure that everyone in the surrounding area is happy. I don’t know how she does it. I really enjoy even the shortest amounts of time I get to see her and Aaron.

Hayley: Now, I have actually only known Hayley for a few weeks. We were introduced through Aunt Gretchen. However, it was quickly unearthed that Hayley is a spectacular young woman. I have had the pleasure to meet a LOT of people…but there have been very few that are as giving, compassionate, and overall selflessly-concerned-for-everyone-else-but-themselves as Hayley is. You’ll notice a few posts ago, I put up a picture of a Hot Dog Roller Machine…yeah…Hayley sent that to me. She totally surprised me with them. All I sent her were some crummy flowers, and to say thanks, she gave me the gift of Hot Dogs in my Bedroom. Not only is she generous and kind, she is also very fun to talk to. She is witty, sarcastic, funny, intelligent, and really loves life. If you ever need a cheer up…talk to her for 5 minutes and you will be loving life again.

Mindy: Who doesn’t love Mindy? Seriously…as the self-appointed Blog-Update-Police, she has kept us all on our toes making sure that everyone else knows what is going on in our lives. On top of that, she is raising two adorable girls, recently graduated AND started a new job, and all the while finds time to decorate her home with awesome iron-work pieces. (It wouldn’t surprise me to find out she welded that herself and just “said” that she bought it). Mindy and I have a special connection in that we went to the same elementary school in Kindergarten, only she went in the morning and I went in the afternoon. She doesn’t know this, but all growing up, whenever I heard how fabulous she was doing in school, I was secretly comparing myself to her and found I was constantly falling short of her accomplishments. She is a big reason that I did as well as I did in school…I was trying to be as good as she was. Always fun to talk to…very funny and intelligent…she is a great person to be looked up to. Also, her husband Marty is awesome! I love this guy. He and I are undefeated in Foozball competition. Good pick Mindy!

Sonja: You ever meet one of those people who you know you will never forget? Sonja is one of those people. I met her almost 10 years ago at the company we were both working for. I knew from the start two things about her: She was kind to a fault, and she always put EVERYONE else’s well-being ahead of her own. Sonja is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. She was friends with everyone and ALWAYS looking for ways to make everyone’s day just a little better. I don’t know how many free shirts, bags, and other marketing memorabilia she gave to me, just because. She gave me my first corporate T-shirt. I know it is a small thing…but it meant a lot to me. It was a badge of acceptance. She loves everyone she meets and accepts them no matter what. An amazing example of Christ-like love. I am a better person because of her.

Mom: Nothing I could write here would give an adequate tribute of this incredible, selfless, loving, wonderful woman. First of all, she brought me into this world. Everything I think of to write just falls short of the love and admiration that I have for my Mom. I will just say that if I can find a girl who ends up being even half the mother and wife that my Mom is to me and my Dad, then I will have done far better than I deserve. I know right now she is shaking her head saying, “Oh Zach”, but it is true. She is a wonderful example of someone who truly loves her family, her neighbors, and is striving every day to live as much like the Savior would have her live as she possibly can. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful woman.

Jed: Jed is one of those guys that everyone should know. He is the kind of guy that every other guy wants to be, and the kind of guy every girl hopes to find. (Sorry girls…he is taken.) First of all, the kid is strong. I remember growing up, he and my brother Noah would get into flexing contests. He had the biggest biceps of any teenager I ever saw. He could probably bench press a Buick. Any time we got together to hang out, it was always fun. He was always game to do whatever crazy scheme we cooked up. He is funny, sarcastic, witty, and just an all-around nice guy. He and I had the unique privilege of being in the MTC at the same time. We were together when we found out about Grandpa Lifferth passing away. That was a special bonding moment that I am forever grateful I got to share with my cousin Jed.

Jen: This is another one of those people that one paragraph is not sufficient to boast all the accolades I could write about her. Jen is my 4th sister. We have been not only cousins, but great friends for as long as I can remember. From little kids putting together our own rendition of “Aladdin”, to her ignoring me as I pounded on her front door a few weeks ago, I have ALWAYS enjoyed hanging out with her. We have traveled to so many different places and went on so many different adventures. She set me up on many memorable blind dates. Her husband Jeff is one of the greatest examples of a Son of God that you can find. Jen is intelligent, fun, sarcastic, caring, a great friend and a fantastic mother. I could go on…but you get the idea. Jen is absolutely amazing.

Jamie: Jamie is another example of quiet example. Slightly more outspoken than her sister Emily, she was still one of the quiet ones that I always admired. She has always been supportive of everyone and everything going on around her. She always participated, no matter how crazy we got, and she was always willing to jump in and make things fun. She is awesome to just talk to. I know that she is a fantastic wife to her husband Brian, (who by the way is also a great guy and one of my favorite people to see at reunions). Jamie can be described as a busy-body, always seeking to help anyone around her in any way that she can. I know she is a wonderful mother and aunt…and one of my all-time favorite cousins.

Mandy: What to say? Mandy and I have a sordid history that dates back well over a decade. I won’t go into the gritty details of our past relationship…but rather, I will skip to what an amazing person she is. She recently has had some major changes in her life that involve her and her children. Despite it all, she has kept her kids taken care of, put herself through school, worked full-time and still found time to help other members of her family. Selfless just barely begins to describe this wonderful daughter of our Heavenly Father. She never puts herself ahead of anyone, even if she doesn’t exactly like the person. Through some of the hardest trials anyone could have to go through, she has kept her head above water and still looks to the Lord for support. She KNOWS what is important and continues day after day to strive for it.

Karalee: Seriously…I don’t remember Karalee ever NOT being a part of the family. I know that she only married in a few years ago…but from Day 1, she has seamlessly fit in like she was born into this gallimaufry collection of personalities we call Family. She is funny, sarcastic, competitive, caring, smart, and just fun to talk to. I have always admired her patience with Scott and the rest of the family. She always wants to make sure that everyone is taken care of and is having a great time. She is a fabulous mother and a great friend. She gives a great haircut, even when (apparently) I have multi-colored hair and some birthmarks that drive her nuts. Karalee is an amazing person and I am forever grateful that she joined our family. She really just fits.

Becca: Becca is awesome. Growing up, I didn’t get to spend as much time hanging out with her as I could have…her brother Jed and I would usually take off as soon as we could ditch everyone else, but I always remember her dominant attitude and her fearless way of life. She never seemed to be afraid of anything. She doesn’t know this, but I REALLY admire her for her chosen career path. She went into a field that, frankly, not a lot of women venture into that I am aware of. But she sought out the education and has stuck with it. I always have admired the bold way she has taken on life. I know I don’t get to see her much these days…but I want her to know that I still admire her and think she is awesome.

So there you go. I have a pretty fantastic family. The list goes on and on…(over 250 people long), but I will end there. I love them all and I hope they know that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Most people don't realize how strong an egg can be. If applied evenly on all sides, an egg can withstand as much as 20 lbs of pressure and still remain intact. However, even the slightest alteration of pressure between respective areas...and the yoke is on you.

I lost a friend. Much like the egg, a friendship can withstand a lot of things...however, despite going through all sorts of action awry can shatter it beyond repair.

My friend has every right to be upset. I understand now what I did. I accept full responsibility for the collapse of something great. I am not one to typically go around with cavalier bravado, shattering relationships on a whim. My actions were never intended to bring down this house of cards...but they did and it happened.

Now I stand here with egg shells in my hand.

I don't like this feeling.

I don't like it at all.