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While we go running in the morning, Ariah often says, “I need to run all by myself. You stay here.” So I stop as she runs ahead. By the time she’s about 20 feet ahead of me, without fail, she slows down, looking back with concern. Finally she says, “You need to come.”

“Can I watch a movie, mommy?” – “No.” – “Can I watch a movie, daddy?” – “No.” – “Grandma!” – “Grandma’s not here.”

I am a child of God, and so my needs are great. Help me to understand his words before it grows to late.” (Turns to Mom.) “Mommy, it’s growing too late! … Lead me, guide me … Mommy, guide me!”

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Puppet Stage Model X2000

I finally finished my new puppet stage Model X2000  (with Teresa’s dedicated help). It’s been an arduous undertaking, including a plethora of trips to Home Depot and Lowes, and more money than I care to disclose. While my old puppet stage was ugly and took about 20 minutes of high stress to set up, my new stage is much prettier and takes about 1 minute to setup. Oh yeah.

I had my doubts about my show as I drove to a performance, but there was magic as I found myself manipulating the audience as smoothly as I manipulated the puppets, knowing just how to make them laugh on cue. It’s fun … when you’ve got the mechanics down. I still lack a trustworthy, easily ported sound system, so my throat is always raw by the end of a show. And my stage didn’t yet have a full implementation of the amazing elbow-matic bar, upon which I’ll be able to set my arms without any strain on my muscles, but that will be done by my next series of shows (tomorrow).

I certainly hope that performing will turn into a more significant part of my career. We shall see.

What’s with these Halloween stores that are popping up all throughout Utah? It’s July.

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I will never make fun of another goose – thunder storm

Today while running my second lap around a park, I approached the goose, who, on the other side of a fence, routinely stands as a sentinel, fluttering his tail feathers, threatening anyone who gets too close. I replied, “Honk! Honk!” Then I recalled the myriads of times people on my mission hollered (in the most disgusting “American” accents imaginable) “White boy!” And then I felt bad. Like I was as an elder of Israel, the goose was just doing its duty. I vow to never make fun of a goose again.

Today there was a warning on TV about a violent thunder storm. As soon as it came to town, I ran outside in my swimming trunks and had a very good time. It was wonderful.

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A conversation with Ariah

Ariah: Daddy, I can I lie down in my bed?

Daddy: Not until we clean your room. Come on, let’s pick up your toys.

Ariah: But I want to lie down!

Daddy: Not until we clean your room.

Ariah: But I want to lie down!

Daddy: If you don’t help me pick up your toys, I’ll put you in your bed.

Ariah: No!

Daddy: One …

Ariah (screams)

Daddy: Two …

Ariah helps daddy pick up the toys.

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Teresa and I saw the final Harry Potter movie. When it was over, I had to shout for joy. I haven’t been that excited in a movie theater since, after a lifetime of waiting, I finally got to witness Yoda wield a light sabre in Star Wars Episode, and I got up and danced. Nefi and I decided that we’re going to start a school of witchcraft of wizardry. The only problem is that magic doesn’t seem to actually work. So we’re going to make it a school of technology instead, because technology is modern magic. Just ask anybody person how a computer works. He’ll have no idea. It’s magic.