Thursday, May 29, 2008 THAT'S why they call it a STING Ray!

It all makes sense now!

This morning I drove down to Carlsbad to hang out with my brother Noah and his family. They didn't have any plans today and I didn't have to go into work until later in the afternoon, so we decided to hit the beach.

Noah wanted to try his hand (and feet) at surfing, so we had our wetsuits and my board and a wide open ocean to give it a go. He went out for a while and did far better than I ever did my first voyage into all things surfing.

When he tired, he came back in and we traded places. I went out and started having some fun with the board. After a while, I came in, and he not being ready to go out again, let me take a second hit at the waves.

This time, however, as I was walking out into the ocean, when I reached a point where the water was about to my thigh, I felt a sharp cut across the side of my right foot. Thinking it was a piece of glass, I figured I better head back in and assess the damage. When I got close enough in that I could lift my foot out of the water, all I saw was blood POURING out of the side of my foot.

Keep in mind, 3 or 4 weeks ago, there was a fatal Great White Shark attack about 4 miles to the south of where we were.

So I hobbled on into the beach and sat down to start cleaning the wound.

Fortunately, after wiping away most of the blood and all the water that had mixed with it, the cut wasn't near as bad as it had first appeared. It was only about an inch long, but pretty deep. It was still bleeding quite a bit.

I want to pause now and thank all of Corporate America for their generosity when it comes to t-shirts. Those logo emblazoned team-building promotional items make great make-shift bandage wraps.

So as I am soiling my latest t-shirt, a local beach comber strolls by and asks if I got tagged by a sting ray. I told him I was pretty sure it was just a piece of glass. He told me that I will know in about 5 minutes if it was a Sting Ray or something else.

Sure enough, within 5 minutes my foot felt like it was on fire, wedged in a closing vice, and crushed under a 5-ton elephant. (Not that elephants actually get that large...but you get the idea.)

Well, I had to head into work, so I cleaned it up the best I could, hopped-along to my car and drove for the next hour or so back to the office. All the while, my foot was throbbing like a love-sick swooner's heart as he stares at a picture of his gal. Only it hurt too.

Long story short...about 3-4 hours later, it stopped hurting all together and I now have a clean slice right across the inside of my foot.
My friends have said that I am now, officially, a Local.

On another note...happy Mt. Everest Anniversary! It was on this date in 1953 that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the pinnacle of the tallest mountain in the world. A truly remarkable feat!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pride is a Sin...

And I am NO Saint.

Many of you know that I am teaching Early-Morning Seminary this year. I have the Freshmen class and we are studying the Old Testament. Combine all these factors, (crack of dawn...pre-adolescent, Isaiah), and you have the workings of...well, Chaos.

Keep this in mind as I tell a tale of wonderment and pride!

So this evening we had our End of Year Scripture Mastery Night where all of the classes in the stake get together and we have a fun contest to see which of the classes best retained their knowledge and understanding of the 25 Scripture Mastery Scriptures. It is a big event hailed by all members of the Stake, most especially the parents.

We brought together the Seasoned Seniors, the Well-Versed Juniors. There are two classes of Sophomores, each preambulating around the room with boisterous confidence. As special guests, we had the combined classes of the San Juan Building, and finally, we had my riotous Freshmen.

The battle lines were drawn...the contest commenced. It was a grueling struggle. Tears were shed...confidence was shattered...entire teams opined expressions of grief and juxtapostioned joy. But in the end, the points were tallied and each of the classes was able to see how they performed.

When all the chips had fallen, the Freshmen class had turned in a respectable amount of points taking the third place position.

But wait...the points were given on the performance of individual students and then collectively gathered as a team. This meant that those classes with more students, had significantly more potential to earn points than those classes where only a few participants had arrived. So algorithms were sequestered, calculators pounded, and as our Stake Presidency representative asked for silence in the gymnasium, he read off the final stats to a hushed audience:

For the first time in recorded history, (at least as long as anyone could remember), the FRESHMEN Class gave a resounding wallop to all other challenging classes...every one of which had experienced veterans of the Scripture Mastery Night. The Freshmen Class took First Place overall.

I know it is a church event...I know pride is a sin...however, I can't help feeling just the slightest little twinge of swelling in my heart to know that my students actually pulled off the victory.

I think a tear might be shed in honor of this moment.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


This post has nothing to do with the confusion in the previous post...however, I have a choice to make. For a reasonable deal, I can upgrade from 1080i to 1080p. If you know what I am talking about...share with me your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What's that word...?

The relentless pandering of each minute as it steadily tick-tocks its way into the abyss of oblivion has not wasted itself echoing on deaf ears. Oft times we find ourselves precariously staggering that fine line between sanity and the great depth considered as “at a loss”. Ergo, the natural instinct is to stand idly by, gathering a substantial amount of relevant (and irrelevant) data, presume to postulate on the situation as best we can understand it, and then to take action as is finally deemed necessary and appropriate. Concordantly, I have metaphorically been taking this leave of absence on all things pertinent, and delved into a self-indulgent assessment of where I stand.

So I welcome you to this culinary fusion of drama and humor that is considered in all respects, My Life, and invite you to briefly allow yourself to be subjugated to the wandering muses that constitute my rambling. I would not be so pompous as to assume you will chase this roe of a thought as it leaps and hurdles through diverse cross-sections of all things Zach, but the sheer concept that you have taken a portion of your 24-hour allotment of Present Time is appreciated far more than mere words can attest.

I suppose the crux of the situation comes down to choice. How often do we find ourselves flitting about with all the logic of an erratic butterfly cranked up on speed, assuming that our paths are those we have chosen, forever salivating in a Pavlovian reaction to the telltale ring of the Bell of Life? Do we really presume ourselves to such a degree that we unceremoniously accept everything that we have as the works and glories of our own hands and action? Only in the delirious state of self-absorption could one feasibly dilute the facts of reason and logic into a melting pot of self-serving aggrandizement. How easily do we forget that we are no more than symbolic tetrarchs of our own destiny?

It is only through constant daily reminders that there is a Power that is greater than what the mere mortal mind can conceive of that has graciously given us all that we have, and on top of that, has given us the opportunity to CHOOSE whatever it is that we want. We have been given choice, the ability and knowledge to do as we wish. Every action that you take today will be because our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, gave you the opportunity to choose.

However, before dashing off into a myopic trance of ultimate choosing, let us not forget that consequence is the Siamese Twin that is eternally bound to the freedom of choice that we have been given.

So with choice…as I enjoy having its traveling partner along for the ride, and even though an understanding of this eternal concept always seems to sally forth just out of reach of my simple mind, I am still obligated to exercise this right. The tomfoolery imagination that I might abstain from choosing, in the hopes of negating any possible fall out, is easily derailed on its way to the train station of acceptance by the glaring notion that to not choose…is simply choosing not to. Consequences shall rain from the skies, in spite of the abjectness of inaction.

Choice. Thy movements reflect the choreographic beauty of the Wind Dancer. Here in an instant, gone in a flash, just when the warmth of understanding begins to wrap its woolen arms around, lulling you into a sedentary state of comfort and security, the drenching power of the cascading cold consequence drowns out your feeble assumptions.
I have choices to be made…but I still lack the one word that I am searching for…the one word that will draw this all together…the one word…

Confusion! That’s the word I was looking for.