LDS weekend news

Well, I enjoyed my Saturday off, but I wish it could have been more. Yesterday was back to work, unfortunately.

I was following some news from my Church this weekend as well. They just dedicated the 150th temple yesterday, with a cultural celebration on Saturday evening. It’s the Provo City Center Temple, which is the second temple in the city of Provo, Utah, where the Church’s biggest university, Brigham Young University, is located (My parents met while they were both students there). There are a lot of church members there, and one temple was no longer enough. It was built from an old tabernacle, a historic building that was gutted by a fire 6 years ago, and everyone was happy that they could save the shell and do something with it.

Next Sunday is Easter, and the day before, the Church kicks off its General Conference with the Women’s Session. The other 5 sessions will follow a week later, with 3 on Saturday April 2nd, and the last 2 on Sunday the 3rd. This will be the 186th Annual Ggeneral Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the following Wednesday marks the 186th anniversary of the church’s founding in 1830).

All the highest leadership of the Church speaks at the conference, as well as a selection of lower leaders. We also have a lot of wonderful music, including by the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. These meetings are broadcast all over the world on satellite and the internet, and it is an occasion when Latter-Day Saints all over the world gather to listen and learn from our leaders. It is a time of great spiritual fulfillment for us. I will be working for most of the conference, but I will follow news from it and download the content a day or two later.

At the General Conference, many people expect to hear new temple locations announced. 3 were announced 1 year ago, and since then the Church has dedicated 6 new temples, and broken ground for 7 more. There had been quite a backlog of temple announcements that were not yet in the construction “pipeline”, and for that reason there were no temples announced between April 2013 and 2015. Today, there are only 8 temples that have been announced and are still waiting for their groundbreaking, including the 3 just announced a year ago. That is a big improvement.

There are, however, a couple of disturbing points when it comes to temple construction. First, one of the temples that is generally listed as under construction, has been halted for many years, in Fortaleza, Brazil, probably because of legal challenges. The Church may have to move to a different location in that city (this happened with the temple in Honduras as well). This was supposed to be the 7th temple in Brazil, but now I think another one is likely to be completed first.

Second, it looks to me that temples in the United States are moving ahead very quickly, while the ones in other countries seem to take a lot longer. There are 4 more temples expected to be dedicated this year, and only one is outside the U.S., in Japan in this case. We’ll see more international ones in 2017, as 2 in Europe are very close to completion, in very exciting locations, Paris and Rome.

Well, I intend to post more about temples, and about the organization of the Church (I want to contrast it with the Catholic Church, after listening to Tom Woods’ bonus episode from last Sunday). But I am out of time this morning, gotta get some more Zs.


Second round of March Madness over

I didn’t find the time to post anything yesterday, but I was checking on the first couple of games. We are down to the Men’s Division I basketball Sweet Sixteen now.

There were three upsets in the Second round, plus three teams that are seeded lower than 4th advanced to the regional semifinals because of an upset in the first round.

The next games are on Thursday, the 24th. The south and west regions will have their 4 games that day, with east and Midwest the next day. Only one lower seed plays Thursday, which is number 5 Miami. But 5 of the 8 teams playing Friday are 5 or lower. Amazing.

Unfortunately, as I was cheering for the University of Utah, they were defeated by Gonzaga in one of the upsets, by 23 points.

In other Utah basketball news, the BYU women’s team lost their first round game on Saturday, while the BYU men’s team, in the National Invitation Tournament, won their second game on Friday and will play again on Tuesday. The same day Utah has their presidential caucuses.

Yes, I know the last one isn’t basketball. Sue me.


Looking forward to a day off

I have the day off from work today, though I normally work every weekend. Once a month I take a Saturday for my board game meet up which I host in Rochester, New Hampshire, at Jetpack Comics’ big game room. I’ll be there from 2 pm until they close at 10:30, or whenever I decide to leave if the other people have left.

I look forward to spending some time with my games, which I don’t normally feel like playing by myself. I have a few games that can be played solo, but it just isn’t the same experience.

In other news, I just learned that a new employee at my store, a transfer from another location, is related to one of my liberty friends. Next Thursday I’ll be at another Seacoast liberty meet up and ought to see him.

I’m also intending to see if anyone wants to run for state office there. I’ll be preparing, over the next week, a document listing off all the state reps in Strafford County, and their liberty scores. Anyone with an NHLA score below B could be facing a challenger from the pro-liberty crowd! I’ll also print out the details about filing requirements, and the ward maps for the 3 cities in the county (Rochester, Dover, and Somersworth).

Well, gotta get started on it. I’ll do that for a bit and then go back to bed for awhile. I didn’t sleep very well, I’m afraid.


Friday basketball update

Well, 16 more games have been concluded, 16 more teams eliminated from the tournament, which is now down to 32 teams. Today and tomorrow they will all play and we’ll be down to the Sweet Sixteen, with only 4 teams left in each region.

There were 6 more upsets yesterday. The biggest one was a #15 team beating a #2. Middle Tennessee pulled ahead of Michigan State in the 2nd half and wound up 9 points ahead. The final score was 90 – 81.

We also saw a 14 over 3 with Stephen F Austin over West Virginia. There have been 13 upsets total, with the following high seeds being eliminated , out of 4 of each rank: one 2, one 3, one 4, two 5s, three 6s, two 7s, and three 8s. The only rank to see all 4 stay in were the number 1 seeds. But three of them now face a number 9 team who just pulled an upset of a number 8. Butler did the best, winning their upset by 10 points. Virginia better be on their guard tonight.

I was not surprised but still a bit disappointed that Weber State fell to Xavier, 71 – 53.

In other Utah team news, BYU is in the NIT tournament, seeded #2. I don’t know if they played again yesterday, but I believe they are a couple days ahead of the NCAA in terms of rounds.

So the NCAA has 8 more games today, starting at 12:10 and going until the final start at 9:40 pm.

More later, bye!

First round of March Madness continues

Well, the first 16 games are over, and 16 more games today will wrap up the First Round of the men’s basketball tournament. 7 of these college team winners are upset victories, and since it would take too long to list off all the winners, I’ll just talk about those upsets. There were three games involving a number 8 seed against the 9th, and all 3 were won by the number 9 team. My friend at work was excited about Butler’s victory since a relative went to school there (My college is way too small for Division I, so they’re never making it into this tournament).

There were also two upsets each of a 12th seed over 5th, and 11th over 6th. One of the 12s is Yale, who I noted as being in the tournament for the first time in many years. Next they face fellow Ivy League school Duke. The other 12, Little Rock, beat Purdue and now faces Iowa State. The two 11s are Wichita State and Gonzaga, who now face #3s Miami and Utah.

Speaking of Utah, this is the highest they’ve been seeded in the tournament since 1999, according to a video on Rant Sports that my phone did not let me watch all the way through.

I tend to cheer on any Utah teams in the tournament since I have my roots there. I’ll go more into my genealogy later but my father and all 4 grandparents were born in Utah. My father’s parents spent their whole lives in that state except for a brief stint in Iowa. My first ancestor to reach Utah was just a few days behind Brigham Young in 1847. By 1870, I think all but one of my ancestral lines had arrived there, though some lived in neighboring states for a while after that. Anyway, that’s the state I feel the strongest connection to in terms of teams, especially since there are none from Maine or New Hampshire.

There’s another Utah team in the competition as well, which I just noticed this morning. Weber State, seeded 15, will play today against #2 Xavier. Good luck, guys!

Tuesday’s results, updated

I’m going to be taking a bit of a break on covering the election after this. Only 2 more states vote in the Republican primaries during the rest of March, Utah and Arizona.

But I need to update on Tuesday’s races. Trump won 4 states: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina, and came in 2nd in Ohio behind Kasich. As I said, Rubio has dropped out. Missouri was so close (in both parties) that the second-place candidates (Cruz and Sanders) can legally call for a recount. Trump also won in the Northern Mariana Islands. On the Democrat side, Clinton won all 5 states, but Sanders is still in, expecting more wins in the near future.

I will be writing about other topics until the 22nd, next Tuesday.

NCAA March Madness first round starts today

I am not normally a sports fan, but I do like to follow the March Madness (NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament). It’s not about the basketball for me, but I enjoy the bracket and the single elimination process.

I started to follow the tournament yesterday, the day that the First Four games concluded. I just printed out a bracket (sorry I can’t give a link posting from my phone) and will be writing out the results of the 16 first round games playing today, the first of which starts at 12:15 pm today. That first game is between 4th seed (in the west regionals) Duke vs 13th seed North Carolina – Wilmington.

In the previous 4 games, Wichita State beat Vanderbilt, Fairleigh Dickinson demolished FGCU, Michigan beat Tulsa, and Holy Cross edged Southern.

One more thing: Yale is in the tournament for the first time in many years, but their team captain, about to graduate, was just expelled recently  over a sexual assault allegation that had absolutely no evidence to back it up. I’ll try to find the link where I read about that and add it to this post. Hope the crazy feminist ideas about “rape culture” don’t kill their chances, such as they are (they are seeded 12th and have to play a 5th seed, Baylor, at 2:45 today in Providence RI).


My Flickr account

Hello all. I just re-established my access to my Flickr photo account, which I haven’t updated in more than 2 years. I’m glad I have it, because I lost my offline copies of most of the pictures I’ve ever taken with my digital camera, up until a few months ago.

You’ll see various types of photos here – some are of board game meetups, a group of recent ones are from my high school 20-year reunion in 2013 in eastern Maine, also you’ll see my garden that I did that summer. I don’t know how far back you can see, since I no longer have a paid Pro account, but they seem to have increased the amount of data I can use since I was last on the page. It’s possible you can see all of my pictures. I have quite a few on the site from before I moved to New Hampshire in 2011, or during my move when I stopped at an outdoor zoo / safari in Nebraska, featuring all North American native animals. Some of the pre-move pictures include snapshots of my Mom’s 2-acre commercial garden enterprise in northwestern Colorado, and images from my 2010 visit to New Hampshire to attend my first Porcfest.

Anyway, here’s the link:

Flickr page (“Freedomrambler”)