Friday, May 30, 2008

Comments are CRUCIAL!

Seriously, folks. They're as necessary to any bloggers well-being as the sun-warmed nectar is to a honeybee. Comments run through the veins of a blogger to capture the enthusiasm of the internet and provide energy to the writers of blogs, much in the same way chlorophyll flows through the leaves of a tree to capture the energy of the sun. Do you need any more mundane analogies, or do you get the idea?

I think you get the idea.

Really, though, for those of you who have blogs out there that I never comment on, PLEASE TELL ME! I will gladly read your blog and comment on it. I will do it because I like communication. I hate talking to an electronic wall. I realize that reading is, by nature, a sort of dead communication. I mean, you can't read a book and tell the author how you feel about his or her insights. You can't read a newspaper and reach out to the journalist to give your opinion on things. And therefore, you can't be expected to comment on a blog.

The problem with this train of thought is that with the new internet, and the roots of technology bursting through every information packed corner of our lives, you CAN comment! Most authors now have sites where one can post in a forum on what you think of their books. Sometimes they participate and offer their counter-insights. In many newspapers online now you can comment on any article, discussing with other readers the ins and outs of the story. And, every blog comes prepared with a handy little peice of HTML coding that allows you to post comments.

I love comments. You love comments. Let's share the comment love. We'll all be happier.

P.S. If you read my blog and have one of your own, please put it in my comments. I would love to start a list of all of my blogging friends. All cool blogs have them. I, for now, am lacking, but I look forward to establishing that list and enjoying your blogs. :) Have a great day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blogging: This Generation's Soap Opera?

I would be willing to bet serious money that more stay-at-home mom's now have forgone soap operas for their list of favorite blogs. I for one have never cared for soap operas. I don't think most (straight) guys do. And, therefore, I feel safe making the generalization that this blog applies more to women than it does to men.

I don't assume that only women are interested in blogging and reading blogs. In fact, there are a million blogs out there dedicated to gadgetry, nerd-dom, and the like; all of which tend to attract the male crowd in mass quantities.

I'm just saying I think blogging and soap operas have some key similarities. I'd even say that blogging is better than a soap opera.

Consider the following:

1) Blogging is real. People write about their ACTUAL lives, which, as it turns out, happen to be just as interesting as all the smarmy bull crap written for t.v.

2) You can read them whenever you want. You are no longer a slave to corporate television programming.

3) Sometimes they are updated multiple times daily, meaning if you're truly addicted, you can get your hit more often than a "Days of our Lives" addict gets theirs.

4) You can create your own Soap Opera by starting your own blog. Generally speaking you'll find at least a handful of people willing to read about your mildly interesting existence.

I'd say there is a pretty strong argument for the blog being the soap opera of the Web 2.0 generation.

What do you think?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones....

...and the worst sequel of the series.

That's what the movie should be called. I saw the latest Harrison Ford flick today and was less than impressed. The entire movie stank of ridiculous stunts and poor plot development. Mr. Ford was stale - lacking that all important glimmer of confident swagger he exuded in the earlier movies. He's lost the spark as far as I'm concerned, and because of it the movie faltered. The real problems go much deeper than Harrison, however. There is little to no character development between the crazy action scenes. It's like the creators of the movie decided what amazing things they wanted to do with the action sequences and then wrote filler later on as they gorged themselves with beer and pizza. I really don't like that Hollywood thinks it can churn out a can of crap with a fancy, pretty sticker on it and sell it to us for a higher price than the quality stuff they used to make. Speilberg's ego was certainly a size too big for this movie. I get the feeling he was so obsessed with the idea that everyone would love the movie and overlooked the crucial elements of great film-making that were so wonderfully apparent in his earlier movies.


If you really want to see this movie, rent it when it comes out. If you must see it in the theater, go to the dollar theater, or have somebody pay your way. It's just not that good.

Now excuse me while I wash the bad taste out of my mouth with some Raider's of the Lost Ark. :)


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Nevermind the post below! I just fixed the banner. Oh, man... I can sleep in peace now! Woot! Honestly, you have no idea how happy I am now.

Ohh... read the post below.... because there's more to it than just the banner. What I meant by "nevermind the post below" was that you shouldn't worry about the errors I mention. All is well. : )


Banners and Pitas!

I was in a creative mood tonight and decided to create a new banner! Just as I was finishing it up and admiring my digital handiwork, I realized it was 60 pixels short of the necessary 660-pixel-width size that sets it flush with the left and right borders. My heart sank a little bit. I think it turned out well, but being the perfectionist I am (especially with my design work) I can't help but squirm a little every time I see that the banner doesn't extend all the way to the right. : (

Besides that, I really do like how it turned out. : )

On another note, Steve and I worked out today and had a blast. After pushing our poor muscles to the limit of exhaustion (and speaking in the obligatory Ahnold accents) we decided to hit the Pita Pit for a bit of healthy, yet tasty, dinner. He had never been there and really ended up liking it. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an alternative to the typical burger/taco/sandwich fare. The pitas are as fat as well-fed puppies (not that I would eat puppies) and fill you quite nicely. You can find the Pita Pit on the corner of Bulldog Ave and University Ave in Provo, just kiddie corner from Provo High School.

I told Steve how much I disliked their logo (shown above) and he responded with a laugh. "Is that all you see anymore?" Which I thought was funny, considering that I really can't look at a logo or any design for that matter without critiquing it extensively. I figured the logo sucked because it was a little local place, but when I searched for this logo online, I found that the business is actually a nation-wide chain. Yeah. No excuse for the crappy logo now.

Maybe I'll offer them a redesign.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Capitol Reef

This past Saturday, I was invited to go down to Capitol Reef with my cousins, Chad and Ryan, and my Uncle, Brent. I'd only been to capitol reef once, when I was 17 or so, so it was fun to get down there again. For those of you who love the hiking of Zions and such, but don't want a four hour drive, you may be interested in this gem of a National Park. The drive was exactly three hours, and most of the drive is passing through beautiful little towns like Loa, Koosharem, Scipio, and Torrey. It's quite the charming little road trip!

Anyway, we got up at 5:00am on Saturday and were on the road by 6:00. It was early, and I was certainly dozing all the way there, but when we drove into the valley entrance, just west of Torrey, we were greeted with this view:
Look at those buffalo! It's straight out of a movie!

After a quick stop at the ranger station, we headed out for our first hike: Spring Canyon. It takes off from the Chimney Rock trailhead, and goes into a canyon where apparently a small spring seeps out from between two layers of sandstone to create an effect similar to weeping rock in Zions.

Weeping Rock. Zions National Park. Notice the lush moss and damp, dripping walls.

Ryan, Chad, and Brent. My cousins and uncle, respectively. Here we begin the first part of our hike.

We had just turned one of the first bends and I look over spot this baby - petrified wood! It was ALL over out there!

I LOVE the chunky, rugged texture of the rock down there.

We soon came upon a little crag in the rock, which practically begs you to get out of the harsh, mid-morning light and take a picture with some gorgeous, soft light. I like how it turned out.

Chad was nice enough to climb up on this rock for me so I could get this shot, which turned out really great! The guys were really patient with my nearly obsessive picture-taking. : )

The cottonwood trees in this area of Utah are full of these caterpillars. They build huge silken nests in the trees which look like giant spider lairs! To add to the creepiness, they are consistently falling out of the trees, which makes walking underneath them akin to passing through a wormy gauntlet.

One of the creepy nests. It was like some horrific, biblical plague.

It was hot, but stunning!

Later in the day we came to the waterfall in the main canyon just south of the small orchard-town of Fruita. Sadly, I had not even thought to bring my swimsuit!

Brent brought his, though!

Later, we drove to the gorge to hike to where there were some petroglyphs.

And here they are! Some jackasses vandalized them awhile back, so they're a little hard to see, but still very cool.

Even after the vandals, the sun still shines. That makes me happy.

Some pioneers left some markings of their own a little ways down the canyon. I think Garn was courting Sue.

This little guy stopped long enough to let me take a very close picture. : )

A small, natural bridge located just above one of the natural cisterns of very dark, deep, stagnant water.

I'm the bright green thing.

By now, we're very happy to be in the shade.

On the way out of the canyon, I spotted this beautiful little plant about thirty feet up the rocky cliff walls. I climbed up and shot this. : )

This was the closing view of the canyon before we made our way out of the last bend. What's funny was that just as I shot this picture, an old man next to me, with a Nikon D80 looked up and said, "He's right." And shot the scene as well. I was happy to have influenced his photography!

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed the pictures. We did end up finding the spring in Spring Canyon, but it was dried up. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of it. I guess I thought it was gross looking and didn't think pictures were necessary, but as I think back, I realize that it would have provided you with a nice contrast to what we expected to find.

Anyway, it's late! I gotta go to bed!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

A team I can connect with...

The Jazz won today at home, 123-115, in one of those games that literally TOY with your heart. With three minutes to go the Jazz were up by 10 points and it looked as if they were surely going to win the game. Sadly, it's rarely that easy for my team to wrap things up so tidily. All is well, however, as the series is now tied, 2-2, with some nice momentum in our direction.

I've been thinking lately about how wonderful it is to have a team I can connect with again in the Utah Jazz. I remember the glory years, 1996-1998, where Jazz basketball was about Karl Malone, John Stockton, and the myriad of bench players that made the team great. Names like Bryan Russel, Shannon Anderson, Antwoine Carr, and Jeff Hornacek became commonplace in any conversation about the team. As I watched them play, I grew to respect and admire them. They felt right with the team. I could relate to them and wanted so badly for the team to succeed. I remember waking up in the morning to read the paper and check the NBA standings. There was a time, for a few years, when we would be near the top of the list. John Stockton was approaching and then surpassing various NBA records. Karl Malone was doing the same thing. It was a great time to be a Jazz fan.

After the 1997-1998 season, the Jazz, who were very much deflated from their inability to win a championship in two trips to the finals, fell into mediocrity. The spark was lost. Soon after that fall, I went on my mission and forgot about the Jazz. My only tie to sports in the states was in BYU football, who at the time were doing exceptionally well. When I returned to the states from my mission, the Jazz roster consisted mostly of names I'd never heard of. I had no familiarity with the players, no interest in the team, and no real expectations to become a hard-core Jazz fan again. I figured the glory years were behind me. The outlook was bleak, at best.

I remember when the team acquired Deron Williams. I didn't know anything about him or his college career. I only hoped that the current acquisition could do something to rejuvenate a team that was long due for a major overhaul. I felt the same when Carlos Boozer signed with the Jazz. My hopes were high, but I hadn't done my homework and I wasn't entirely invested in the success of the team anymore. I had no idea if these players would turn the team, or if they would fall, like so many before them, into the musty depths of failed potential.

But in the years since, I've seen a group of skilled players form a truly successful team. I look into the faces of Williams, Boozer, Okur, Kirilenko, Milsap, Harpring, Korver, Miles, and Price and I see the face of the Jazz. They work together much like the teams of the 90's did. It's obvious that Sloan has created a team that fits well again into his style of teaching. This makes it an exciting time to be a Jazz fan.

The Jazz are once again a passion of mine and I look forward to their further development and maturity as a team. In the long run, I hope they can continue to improve so that eventually Jerry Sloan gets the championship he so rightly deserves. In the short run, I hope they beat the Lakers in LA this week, and wrap up the series with a win at home.

Go Jazz. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

If money were no object.

Do you remember in high school when you'd talk to your guidance counselor about what you want to do with your life? I don't. Because I never did. I didn't know there were such things as counselors in high school. Or, better said, I knew people were there to talk to, but I figured they were only for the troubled kids - ya know, the druggies, the teen pregnancies, the gothic kids, and the like.

That didn't matter so much, though, because from grades nine to twelve we were periodically given tests that supposedly told you what you were supposed to be when you "grew up." The questions were always a little bizarre. "Do you like working with your hands?" "Do you enjoy filing paperwork for hours?" "Have you ever seen a grown man naked?" Wait, what?

Looking back on these tests, I realize that I didn't take full advantage of their potential for guidance. Instead, I had figured out which answers led to which career and would fill out the test accordingly. If you agreed to questions about paperwork and leading people, you would almost certainly become a successful business executive, complete with hot sports car, and a nice corner office with a view. Likewise, questions asking about playing outside in the woods and making friends with woodland creatures would lead to a career as a "Forest Manager" complete with loneliness and loss of care for personal hygiene.

What ninth grade boy didn't want a hot sports car? We were a year from driving! And besides, playing in the forest (or at least in the fields behind our house) was part of our daily life anyway . Who would want that as a job!? HA!

Oh, the folly of youth...

Anyway, I'm happy with where I am in my career. I've been lucky to learn while working, which is something you can't beat, and I enjoy what I do.

I would be lying, though, if I said I wouldn't like to be playing in the forests all day.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The day I found the OTHER one...

Have you ever googled your name to see what would come up? I do it from time to time to see what kind of mark I'm making on the world, where I've popped up on the world wide net, and such. Thus far, I've only been mentioned in some race results from my high school cross country days, and in a description for the meatloaf video that my sister, my cousin, and I made. It's not a very promising outlook as far as world-wide recognition goes, but that means nothing to me... unless I can somehow market my name for huge piles of money.

So, tonight as I'm looking myself up, I see this:

You'll need to click on the picture to view it at full resolution, but LOOK! It's like me, but from an alternate universe! "Barry Cann. Friends with Bobby Henson and Elaine Oswald."

Isn't that just weird!? It's like something out of the twilight zone! Yeah, a guy would see this profile, and pretty soon he'd realize that this other person with his exact same name is taking over his life, and all of his friends and family start disappearing into the alternate dimension where Barry Cann is a midle aged man with 5 friends until at the end of the episode the guy just fades out of existence. AGGHH! I'm doomed!

Or maybe not. I decided to add him to my friends, anyway.


P.S. Is this CREEPY or what?

What the eff is that about? : (

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My new banner!

I decided to finally put my web design skills to work and create a new banner. I wanted something simple and fun, yet vividly colorful and sharp. I think it defines me well.

I will be changing my banner from time to time. The next step, however, is to animate this with flash. How many blogs do you know of that have flash animation in the title? : ) You're gonna love it.