Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Camera

The Shadow of Bryce finally breaks his silence. I bought a new camera a few weeks ago and I've loved learning to take more professional pictures and especially being able to take high quality video. Today I played tennis with my friends Mike and Donny so I decided to also film a little bit and do an experiment with slow-mo. I think it looks pretty suave so I'm excited to use this feature in the future. Here's the video and a picture I took at the top of Poo-Poo Point...real name - promise I didn't just make it up - see: The lake in the distance is Lake Sammamish.

And here is the video of Donny and Mike playing tennis. The song in the background is one of my favorites. It's from a Starbucks commercial, but I think it's still ok to listen to. Make sure you watch in HD for the full effect, (switch the 360 to 720)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Do we worship Jimmer?

There has been a lot of hubbub lately about Jimmer Fredette.

For those of you who read this blog and are a little further removed from BYU and don't follow college basketball, Jimmer (James) is the point guard for the BYU basketball team, is the leading scorer in the country this year and has been named the National Player of the Year by many media outlets. He is widely regarded as the best and most interesting player to watch in college basketball. He is by far the biggest story to come out of BYU in recent history, and has been the subject of countless articles and news stories over the past few months.

With all this said you may yet be wondering why I'm dedicating a blog post and likely a fair amount of time to writing about him. Well, as luck would have it I have a reason and I'm going to tell you...Currently BYU is right in the middle of an incredible NCAA tournament run. Again for those who don't follow college basketball: There are 68 teams to start and over the course of 3 weeks each team plays until they lose and only one champion remains. BYU is currently in the final 16, popularly referred to as the sweet sixteen. So far BYU has beaten Wofford and Gonzaga and they will face Florida on Thursday. On Saturday, after BYU defeated Gonzaga I was listening to the radio and the announcer was describing the atmosphere at the game. The game was in Denver but he said it felt like "Provo East" and that the word he used to describe the adoration and enthusiasm for Jimmer was "idolatry". Many students at BYU have made similar remarks and some have been severely criticized for their declarations - just search "Michelle Peralta".

So finally I will tell you what my point is. We ARE idolizing Jimmer. By we I mostly mean me, though I'm sure at least someone out there is very similar to me. To make it easier I'm just gonna break it down by definitions and numbers.

Idolatry (according to Merriam-Webster) -
1) the worship of a physical object as a god
2) immoderate attachment or devotion to something

I think I mostly fall under definition number 2 here, but both are relevant. Now what evidence do I have to back that up?

For the week of March 14th:
Time spent in devotion to God:
Prayers: ~1 hour
Scripture study: ~ 2 hours
Church: ~3 hours
Total time devoted to God: ~ 5 hours

Time spent in devotion to Jimmer:
Jimmer study (online articles): ~ 2 hours
Jimmer church (watching his 2 games): ~ 4 hours
Total time devoted to Jimmer: ~ 6 hours

I'm guessing those numbers won't be the exact same for you but they should be fairly similar for most other church-going basketball fans.

Now you may argue, "But wait, with this reasoning I'm also worshiping my Professors. I spend 3 hours in their class and 5 hours reading for their class. That's even more than Jimmer!"
This is where it differs. When you're sitting in church - clearly a place for devotion to God - do you ever start chatting with the person next to you about the latest on Professor ______. If your Professor has a poor teaching performance does it ruin your week?

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about this and reading about idolatry but I didn't want to bore you with that here. I will share one quote I found from this talk by President Kimball:

"As I study ancient scripture, I am more and more convinced that there is significance in the fact that the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is the first of the Ten Commandments. Few men have ever knowingly and deliberately chosen to reject God and his blessings. Rather, we learn from the scriptures that because the exercise of faith has always
appeared to be more difficult than relying on things more immediately at hand, carnal man has tended to transfer his trust in God to material things."

Obviously, we're not all terrible people for enjoying watching Jimmer. I think we should celebrate excellence in all forms. He has proven that even without the prototypical body type or physical characteristics, anyone can do great things. His performances have inspired me and many others. I'm sure his talent and his story have led several people to seek out more information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he has done an incredible amount of good. But, as we prepare for this Easter season and turn our focus to our Savior Jesus Christ, I thought it a good time for me to check myself and I hope that we can all find ways to improve.

Am I crazy, are we really worshiping Jimmer?

You decide.

Yes, I will be watching on Thursday night. (5:30 MST, on CBS)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My name is Bryce and I'm a Mormon

So, I commented to someone the other day that I thought the "...and I'm a Mormon" videos were really cheesy. I don't remember who it was that I had talked to so I feel the need to make a public withdrawal of that statement with the hope that this person reads my blog. When I made my disparaging comment about the videos I had only watched three videos, one of which was less than stellar. I decided that to form an accurate opinion I should watch more videos. It turns out that after watching more than 20, there is still only one that I didn't like. Here it is:
Please notice the awkward 15 second delay before he says anything. Also my favorite line "my mobile camera on my mobile phone..." Here it actually is:

I'm sure this guy does relate to somebody...maybe the Microsoft type? There are actually several really good videos though and I recommend watching all 41 if you get the chance. I've only made it about halfway so far but some favorites include:
Josh Maready-Skateboarder/Photographer
Rob/Tracie Morris-NFL Player and his wife
Valentin Pavia-Recent Convert/Rehabilitated Teen/Sweet Chopper-style bicycle rider
and my absolute favorite video was this one - mostly because it almost made me cry:

If I had a video it would say, I'm a blogger, I'm a baller, I'm a dancer, I'm a musician, I'm a composer, I'm a friend, and I'm a Mormon. For more info check out:

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Some quotes from wikipedia:

"People with red hair are often referred to as redheads or gingers. Approximately 1% to 2% of the human population has red hair."

"Cultural reactions have varied from ridicule to admiration; many common stereotypes exist regarding redheads and they are often portrayed as fiery-tempered."

"Queen Elizabeth I of England was a redhead, and during the Elizabethan era in England, red hair was fashionable for women."

So, here's the deal. Redheads often get a bad rap, but they were once the cool thing. Just ask anyone who knew Queen Elizabeth. I don't have much evidence to go on, but I think redheads may be coming back. I can think of just four redheads. I'm going to ignore Carrot Top because with a name like that you have to put him in the orangehead category.

1) Red Head TA
- This guy was probably the worst redhead I've ever known. He was bitter, hated life, but loved history. Probably the least sympathetic TA in all of BYU. I think I got a good grade in his class so this isn't just built up anger about him. He really just didn't like people. He is very feisty. A definite thumbs down for redheads. - 1

2) Andy Dalton, Quarterback, TCU

Though he wasn't even invited to the Heisman trophy presentation, this guy should've been a top candidate to win and definitely is the best QB in the mountain west in recent years. He definitely should've at least been considered...if it weren't for redhead prejudice. His team went undefeated and yet somehow will not have any chance to play for the national championship either...if it weren't for redhead prejudice. He does seem a little feisty though. Still he wins a thumbs up for redheads. + 1

3) Ashton (not Kutcher)

Ashton is one of my best friends and is also one of the top five nicest people I know. That list is very exclusive. Although she hasn't been a candidate for any national championships or trophies as far as I know, she does have skills at several sports. Plus, her brother-in-law Noah is on the BYU basketball team and if they win a national championship this year, Ashton deserves some sort of credit. And if that weren't enough...Ashton is going on a mission to Argentina in two months. That's Elizabethan's a redhead joke if you don't get it, study wikipedia. She does exude similar feisty tendencies to other redheads, though. But she's more than good enough for a thumbs up in my book. + 1

4) Matt
This is Matt, another top-notch friend. Like Ashton, he is also on my top 5 nicest people list. Now that just blows my mind. Only 2% of people are redheads but on my nicest people list, 2/5 (40%) are - we may have a new redhead prejudice forming. Maybe redheads are feisty but nice? Unfortunately Matt isn't very feisty. Kinda bucks the trend there. Red head TA has enough feistyness for him and Matt both so we'll count it. Matt comes from a foreign land, and can match wits with the best of them. That just reminded me of Conan who also has red hair. We'll pretend I don't know who he is - this blog is too long already. Anyway, Matt is awesome. He gets a thumbs up. + 1

I'm not sure what to think of it all. I say we bring redheads back to their Elizabethan glory. What are your thoughts??? I only have 6 followers, so if you're not one but somehow found this blog, feel free to comment...

On a completely unrelated note - this was an amazing talk by D. Todd Christofferson. It's 35 minutes about how to live your life with the proper perspective and how to be happy. It's definitely more valuable than watching a 30 minute episode of whatever you're going to watch on tv, so watch it: Click Here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Win-Win Situation and Thankful thoughts.

On Saturday I went to a sports bar in Seattle with a group of friends from the singles ward to watch the BYU vs. Utah football game. We had a few Utes among us, but fortunately they didn't detract too much from the atmosphere. This was an interesting game because I think that fans of both BYU and Utah should be satisfied with the outcome. For Utah, winning was more than they could have asked for, and a blocked field goal just sweetened the end. For BYU, the fact that they were able to dominate Utah, a team that has been ranked all season, for more than three quarters was quite a shock. Things are finally starting to click for BYU and on that day they were the better team, but sadly there were about four unlucky things that happened in the last few minutes that changed the outcome. Thus, for the first time in years BYU and Utah have found some measure of mutual satisfaction. Here is a picture of all us feeling very mediocre after the game. I feel awkwardly tall.

It's the Thanksgiving time of year so it seems appropriate to say some things that I'm thankful for:
- A job that I like
- Being able to be back at home
- Cheering for BYU. Even if they lose you still feel good about it.
- Dates that go well
- Eating whatever I want. In most places they're grateful just for food!
- Facebook
- Getting messages on facebook from a girl who I've never met, yet still have a small crush on
- Hugs
- Intense late night scooter rides
- Justin Bieber
- Killing time in the Cabana at Cafe West in Provo
- Love
- Missionaries, I've started teaching some lessons with them and it's quite fun.
- Never say never
- Opening presents on Christmas
- People watching
- Quilts, I don't care much about them, but they're important to my mom!
- Rain
- Snow, Snowmobiling, Snow Days
- Tennis
- U, as in you...
- Vick, Michael - He's proving to the world that people can change.
- Windows, not the Microsoft trademark, the ones you look through
- X-Rays. So you can find out if you have broken bones
- Young single adult ward
- Zurg, from Toy Story

Thursday, November 11, 2010

23 cent water

Today was Veteran's Day so as a federal employee I didn't have to work. I went up to the cabin last night and enjoyed eating nachos and other healthy snacks and watching one of my favorite movies, "The Mighty Ducks". This morning was quite cold so we didn't do too much before coming home, but I did get in a quick ride on the mini bike and we also had a bonfire, mostly fueled by lighter fluid so it only lasted about 5 minutes.
On the way home we stopped in North Bend at the Dairy Freeze (Not to be confused with the Daley Freeze in Payson, which is much better). I got an average quality hamburger and good onion rings. I asked for water, which is generally free at most places, but when I got my receipt I noticed I had been charged 23 cents for my water. What a rip.

Also the outlets in North Bend aren't very good. I did get a reversible belt for $14.00, but I'm pretty sure that isn't a really good deal. It's Nautica though so people will assume I'm a sailor when I wear it. That's cool because I do sail, so that would be a correct assumption.

Blogging is fun. It probably feels similar to how the guys who used to do TV shows on iprovo felt. You assume that nobody is watching but you never know, there could be someone with a broken TV who watches your show everyday because it's on one of the two channels they get.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome to my blog.

Well, If you know me, and I hope you do since you're reading my blog, I'm moving on with my life and will be moving back to Washington for a new job and to finally be reunited with my family.

Because I will be away from so many of you with whom I've become so close over the past several years, I've decided to create a blog to keep you aware of what happens in my life. I will also probably post well thought out perspectives on current issues facing our society and my theories on life in general. Please become my follower and join the shadow troopers of Bryce.

Just so you know, this blog will probably have nothing to do with shadows, troopers, or anything to do with the dark side. I pledge to keep this blog G-rated and welcome the readership of your children and other small friends.

In fact, my first post will end with a plug for the movie that I plan on watching tonight: High School Musical 3. I first saw it with my friend Ty (last name o
mitted to preserve PR cred) on opening night at midnight nearly 2 years ago! We do have a valid excuse though...we went with girls, one of whom I thought I wanted to date. Here is a picture of us just moments before going to the opening night showing of HSM 3.

Anyway, it's a great movie with fun songs, annoying songs, and a pretty good message. Plus I really like the scene when the little kid versions of Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu are dancing in the junkyard. We were probably the only gentlemen above the age of 16 in attendance.