Sunday, February 24, 2008

Upcoming Movies!

My kids love to make movies. Here's a sample of some ideas they are planning for this summer's movie-making season. (Preview movie compiled and edited by Krista.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Family Video

Here's a quick experiment with a video upload... It should be a sample of a video compilation I've been doing of all our home videos... (Warning: It may take a while to load @ 21MB -- it's not in its fully compressed form yet.)

I'm not pleased with the way .wmv compressed the music... and it's not quite done... but for those of you who may have missed my kids' younger years, there are some pretty classic shots in here. Krista with her "raggie". Kira talking to the camera (we have hours and hours of this). And Katie in her little dances.


Darren's 100

1. I haven’t followed a TV show since the cancellation of Xena: Warrior Princess

2. I’m somewhat embarrassed that came to my mind first when sitting down to make this list… but not enough to change it.

3. I’m a card-carrying member of Cramerica.

4. I dressed up as a birthday cake for Halloween.

5. I've climed the highest peak in Southern Utah

6. Exercise would be great if you didn't have to shower afterward

7. My favorite movie currently is the "Pride and Prejudice"

8. Despite #7, my wife tells me I am not in touch with my feminine side.

9. I live with three daughters and a wife and #7 is still true

10. I hate dogs

11. Our dog is named Peter (which is English for Pedro).

12. I Love Waterskiing!

13. My all time favorite song is "Only Love" from "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

14. I like too many types of music to have one favorite group.

15. Model Airplanes fill my garage.

16. I am color blind but didn't know it until I was in my teens.

17. I believe the "Big Bang" theory largely explains how God created the known Universe.

18. I hated math until Calculus.

19. I rejoiced the day String Theory adopted the 11th dimension and unified their formulas.

20. I keep up with my friends -- all of them that will let me.

21. My 12th grade locker combination was 42-14-26

22. 42-14-26 are Barbie’s theoretical measurements.

23. I find shaving annoying

24. I should replace the word "hate" with "don't appreciate" during GH week.

25. I love my car even though Nicol thinks it's "Mid-life crisis red".

26. I cannot sleep in Hotels, but can on Airplanes.

27. My favorite church calling would be 6 families to Home Teach and nothing else.

28. I get bored writing long lists

29. My daughter taught me to text in ride lines at Disneyland.

30. I'm learning to play Bass Guitar

31. My first kid is named after Olivia Newton-John, for obvious reasons.

32. As soon as my kids are out of the house, I'm getting my pilot's license.

33. I'm amazed how different all my kids were from birth.

34. I like quoting movies

35. I'll use my wife's left over coloring to dye my hair.

36. I sing whenever I can

37. I threw firecrackers a girl's window well when I was a teen.

38. I've always been a sucker for big, dark eyes.

39. The only way you can ruin Chocolate is to put something else in it.

40. I'm a huge BYU Football fan

41. I have a uni-brow if I don't shave it off (refer to #22).

42. I'm meeting Ron and Steve for lunch today

43. I want to live part-time in Hawaii

44. I have successfully surfed for a combined total of 2.38 seconds

45. My mind is a steel trap, but someone forgot to oil it.

46. I played clarinet in the marching band

47. I wrote my first computer programs on cards

48. I once wondered what I’d do with all the space on a 20 Meg hard drive

49. I was the reason my sister thought she grew up in a haunted house.

50. I can’t figure out why I don’t mountain bike more

51. I like my music loud

52. I’m a big fan of old moves.

53. I try not to show how mad I am when my kids beat me at video games.

54. GrapeNuts with chocolate sauce, MMmmmmmm!

55. I used to melt plastic army men in the water heater

56. I don’t like snow after January 15th

57. I believe the biggest threat to our country is class action litigation.

58. I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Panama, Korea, China, Japan, and Colombia

59. I couldn’t do a desk job.

60. I donated to John McCain’s presidential run in 2000, but don’t like him now.

61. BBQ ribs are well worth the mess.

62. My kids get along a lot better than I remember getting along with my siblings

63. I want to play a significant role improving education

64. I love walking in through Thanksgiving Point Gardens with my wife

65. I don’t go barefoot.

66. I know all my neighbors – and their kids.

67. Flying Radio Control Air Combat is a complete riot.

68. I can adapt my personality to my company… and it’s fun.

69. If I have one possession from my youth it would be my graffiti wall.

70. I watched scary movies alone in the basement starting at age 7

71. “The Color Code” book changed my life

72. I don’t see a conflict between Religion and Science and I study both.

73. I still learn from my friends’ parents.

74. I live well below my means and I don’t miss superfluous goodies.

75. If the price of wheat goes much higher, I’m selling my food supply.

76. My kids think our bishop looks like Fred Flintstone.

77. I find Steven Wright is the funniest man alive

78. I wish I could wear jeans, golf shirts, and running shoes everywhere.

79. I didn’t support the war in Iraq to start, but think we’d better win it now.

80. I don’t take pills unless I have to.

81. I think it’s ludicrous the US doesn’t lead the world in Nuclear Power generation.

82. I think my wife is hotter now than she was when we were married.

83. I take risks in moderation

84. Trading stocks is my favorite hobby, currently.

85. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone

86. I don’t like big crowds

87. Laura Ingram is my favorite political commentator

88. I think my kids are awesome, thanks mostly to their mom.

89. I’ve witnessed a murder

90. I’ve been stung by jellyfish more than bees even though I live in Utah.

91. I can’t understand why anyone would subscribe to a magazine these days

92. I’m an optimist

93. I dated two sisters growing up, and I’m still close to both of them.

94. I believe in random acts of kindness

95. Two Words: Chocolate Swamp

96. I manage my life with Excel spreadsheet.

97. I wish I had more than one life.

98. I like playing games – of about any sort

99. I don’t like hats, they mess up my hair.

100. I still don’t feel any different

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dawn of Greatness...

Story? You want my story? Okay!

Life was never easy for me; I was born a rich Mormon boy. My Father was of those geek electrical engineers with entreprenurial spirit and my mom was a florence nightingale-esk nurse who loved fine arts and manners. So, as you can see, I started life with every possible disadvantage.

From there, it gets worse. Growing up in the 80's, I was schooled in all the pleasantries of the Reagan era: impeccable music, high fashion, computer science and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, I learned the valueable life lessons like: donning the silk and satin of a Youth Choir (Second soprano section until age 13, when my voice and life changed immensely), building useful scientific items such as electro-magnetic cannons to destroy those pesky Ruskies, and discovering that no matter what the d20 said, Gerklebobs cannot be killed by dragonslayers*. Oh yes, and most importantly, I learned every possible use and mis-use of a pre-teen boy's favorite element: FIRE.

So were the days of my youth: studious, judicious, and serious. *cough*

My adolescent life began promisingly. My schoolmates and I invented the forerunner of "Warcraft" circa 1982, only to discover the state-of-the-art TI-99's of the day did not have enough memory to store even the icon sprites. We've been considering litigation for years about the rights. We have the code memorized, but it's in the funny noises from loading programs off cassette tapes. Lawyers only cringe when we try to display our evidence by "singing" the audio code then call security to escort us out of the building. (If you are a real geek, you are laughing your head off right now... if not... you missed a truly awesome age of technical wonder).

Girls, unfortunately, had not yet figured out that Geeks were poised to rule the world and the Jocks were destined to be Roid Rage debacles. For reasons I cannot explain, in that era, girls took to the Quarterback much quicker than the acne-encrusted code-monkey. I grew up before everyone knew Bill Gates would make Darth Vader look like a South American dictator.

Their naivete about the Future of Earth put somewhat of a damper on my social life -- well that and the 1972 Mercury Montego I drove... aptly named City Assault Vehicle or CAV. CAV was a typical creation of the 70's... 1/4 inch all american steel lined the hull powered an engine so big you could see the gas gauge dropping while idling at a stoplight. The upside was I could haul 13 people all with personal space left over. The downside is my date, when I was lucky enough to have one, could sit in Nevada while I drove up I-15 in Salt Lake City.

As everyone in knows, the cure for a Young Man in my situation is to ship him off to a backward foreign country to eat bad food, ride a bike in a suit, and teach peasants churchy-stuff for two years. This process, obviously, turns geeky guys into burning-hot stud muffins.... at least it does in Utah. But I promise, Utah is NOT a wierd place.

This process worked so well for me a girl that should be well out of my league decided to hitch her wagon to my One Way Ticket to Paradise (or nearest convenient parallel dimension).

And there, begins the tale detailed in this compendium of pixels.

A Missive By the Hand of:
Darren Hintze

*Variables preclude a fixed number.