Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bed Frame and Nightstand

This is my new bed frame and nightstand (the one to the left of the bed). I really like how the chocolate and blue colors work together. It feels elegant. There are two problems though. One is that the bed frame is a little low. This normally would be fine but since I have been relying on putting plastic bins full of blankets and towels under the frame for storage I now need to be a little creative and improvise. Also I was planning on having the bed closer to the right wall. The movers put the frame in the middle of the room and I didn't check where the frame was until after they left. I don't want to move the frame because I don't want to risk breaking it as the mattress is heavy. I can't imagine that moving the frame by myself is not going to be risky. Yes, I could take off the mattress but that will be a hassle that I don't feel like dealing with. I actually like it in the middle of the room. The only potential problem is that I still am waiting for a dresser. I think the dresser should fit, but I won't know for another two weeks. If it doesn't I'll take care of it then. Lets hope it does.

Only in Iowa

This is car advertising at its finest. This car is advertising their company "Kustom Kreations" which is a detail car company. To persuade us consumers to hire them to detail and spiff up our cars, they've decided to save the "best" for themselves. Now, this isn't the best picture, so I will describe some things for you so I don't do them any injustice. First notice the flamingo pink rims that remind us all of what was wrong with the 80's. Second is that the car is raised. This makes sense, if you own a truck. And lastly, it's not even a sports car. It's a ten year old car that reminds me of the ones that get used up by our parents. Then when it is on its last wheel the car is given us. This is totally fine as I am going to do this exact same thing with my kids, except if you're going for "cool" this is not the way to do it.

I support small businesses, but not all of them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Holy Ghost

Today during Elder's Quorum we were learning from lesson 21: "The Gift of the Holy Ghost" from the Gospel Principles manual. Towards the end we were discussing as a class how we need to help people recognize when they are feeling the Holy Ghost. One class member brought up Galations 5:22-23, where the Holy Ghost is described as emotions of love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. He mentioned how when we feel the Holy Ghost it is a large combination of those emotions. This is what separates the feeling of joy when we eat a great tasting Oreo Mcflurry from the joy that we feel when the Holy Ghost is present. It is not just joy, it is a combination of many of the feelings that are described by the Apostle Paul in Galations.

This caused me to think and contemplate one of the emotions listed. I know this post is long but really the thought process was only twenty seconds. The emotion described in Galations that I was dwelling on was peace. There is often times where I think I feel the Holy Ghost, but I don't feel peace. I feel anxious, fear, and doubt. What of those moments? Was I wrong in thinking that I felt the Holy Ghost? Was it my imagination? Then a thought occurred to me. The experience of Nephi and Laban.

In 1 Nephi 4:6-18 Nephi has a unique spiritual experience. In verse 6 he was, as he describes, "led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." Nephi probably felt feelings of peace, joy, love, gentleness, good faith, etc. at this moment. Having these emotions presently with him probably caused him to suffer from extreme shock when he realized what he was being led to do: slay Laban.

As we can read in verses 10-18 Nephi immediately felt doubt and fear. Why did this happen? If Nephi was being led and guided by the Holy Ghost (which we know he was), why didn't he feel immediate confidence and certainty that he knew he was doing the right thing? It is because he is human, and as humans we can think.

Nephi immediately starts to reason to himself why he shouldn't slay Laban. Killing a human is a sin. He had never killed a human before and I am sure the realization that he would have to carry that with him the rest of his life was depressing and daunting. Why would God command him to do such a trying act? What happens next is key. The Holy Ghost tells Nephi, and I am sure that it was a quiet, soft voice just like when he speaks to us, that it is necessary that Laban is slain. Laban had the brass records, which as we know consists of the teachings and commandments of Jehovah (as Christ wasn't born yet) as well as the writings of the modern (for them) and ancient prophets. Nephi and his family needed the brass plates in order to continue to worship Jehovah correctly and accurately. In essence, they needed the records so they wouldn't accidentally fall into apostasy. The Holy Ghost explains this to Nephi, which again I am sure happened the same way it happens for us; through feelings and impressions. It is now that Nephi obeys the Lord.

So what can I learn from Nephi's experience concerning the Holy Ghost and it's promptings? A few things. The first is that when I am led and guided by the spirit, not knowing beforehand what I am being guided to, if it is not what I am expecting it doesn't mean I misread the impression. Nephi didn't think in his wildest dreams that he would be led to kill Laban. The second is that if I receive an impression and then feel fear, doubt, or reservation, that does not mean I didn't actually feel the Holy Ghost. Most of the time, I, like all of us, is asked to take a leap of faith; to stretch myselves in ways that I'd rather not do. As a result I feel fear and self-doubt. This is because I am still human, I can think for myself, and I often times let my emotions get the best of me. This is normal. In fact I am sure Heavenly Father expects it. It is what I do afterward that is key. When the spirit tries to speak to me again do I run away, or do I act like Nephi, listen to what he is saying, and take the leap of faith and trust His guidance? Nephi listened, and as a result he received the impression and revelation as to why he was commanded to slay Laban. And that is what I (and all of us) must do.

Just because I feel fear and doubt doesn't mean something is wrong. It just means I am afraid, and that is okay. It is what I do after that counts.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Yesterday was the beginning of the reason why I came to Palmer: NUCCA. The first club meeting was yesterday and for me, it did not disappoint.

A NUCCA doctor named Dr. Robert Brooks spoke to Palmer students at the meeting for forty-five minutes. Dr. Brooks graduated from Palmer around forty years ago. In his practice he would perform segmentation, which I gathered from his description consists of techniques that adjust and work on the whole spine. Basically the techniques that are done when we think of chiropractics. He noticed that his patients kept coming back again and again with really no progress. Their symptoms would be alleviated but only for a short amount of time. The patients were consistently coming back with no long term progress. He became frustrated by this as he felt he was not helping his patients in a way that was satisfying for them or him. He decided to go to seminar after seminar in search of an objective technique that he felt treated his patients on a consistent and effective basis. Forty or so seminars later, he found NUCCA.

He decided to test it out because he didn't believe the claim of NUCCA that their technique could result in consistent results and patients needing less treatment because their corrections held. After three years of putting NUCCA to the test and coming away with the results he was initially yearning and looking for (objectivity, consistency, and effective treatment) he decided that NUCCA was all the it was cracked up to be (no pun intended).

During the meeting there were two points that he made as to why NUCCA is effective. The first reason is that the NUCCA technique is not a segmented technique. What he meant by this is that the majority of techniques in chiropractics the doctor will adjust the area of the spine where he/she thinks the pain is and/or where the area of the spine is causing problems for the patient. The problem with this method of adjusting is that the spine is not made of separate, individual pieces. What I mean by this is that yes, there are individual vertebrae, discs, and tendons, but they are all connected and as a result move, interact, and influence one another. In essence, you may have pain in your lower back which means that you probably have a lumbar vertebrae that is out its normal alignment. This does not mean that it is the only vertebrae that is out of alignment. Since the vertebrae are all connected through discs, tendons, and ligaments, if one vertebrae is out others are as well, even if it is not manifested through symptoms. The lower back pain may reside, but the relief will only be temporary and will not last as long as it could. What do we do then? We adjust at the spot of the spine that will affect all of the vertebrae in the spine. This is because we need to think of the spine as one unit that has many parts that interact and affect one another.

With NUCCA doctors are able to look at and treat the spine as one unit as they only adjust the C1, which is the top vertebrae of the spine that rests just below our skull. It is also known as the atlas. Once the C1 vertebrae is straight the rest of the spine will follow. This, once again, is a result of the relationship the spine has through discs, tendons, and ligaments. With this approach the problem is being treated at the source, as it is the head of the spinal column, and the body is able to stay in alignment for a much longer period of time.

A problem that arises is that the body has muscle memory. Our body likes to create homeostasis, which is another word for balance. As a result our muscles will get used to their new position that is an outcome of the spine being misaligned. The doctors need to break this pattern and create a new muscle memory, one with the spine being in it's natural and correct position. The body fights this just as our teeth fight their new position as a result of braces. That is why in NUCCA x-rays, measurements, and finding the vector are so important.

A vector is a line in an angle that provides direction and magnitude. The x-rays allow the doctor to take precise measurements of the spine and plug those measurements into a formula that results in a vector. Taking x-rays is key to finding the vector, and the vector is vital. The vector provides the doctor with the right direction and location of where to adjust the C1 on the patient that will effectively break the forces of resistance that have been built up by the muscles of the patient's body. Once the resistance that is caused by the patient's muscles are able to be broken the spine will fall into perfect alignment. Follow up adjustments are needed to help the body form it's new and appropriate muscle memory, as it likes to revert back into it's old spinal and musculature formation.

What makes NUCCA objective is the preand post x-rays, measurements, and vector. The doctor can know exactly if the patient's spine is aligned.

Now, I have only been in school for two weeks and only one NUCCA club, so there might be some areas in this post that may be slightly inaccurate. I am definitely open to corrections from those who are knowledgeable in the subject. That being said, the club helped me further realize why it is imporant to adjust just the C1 and why finding a vector for the adjustment is important. Adjusting the C1 is the most effective way to align the spine. Finding a vector is the most effective way to break down the forces of the body that are holding the spine in its unnatural and damaging position.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's A Me, Mario!!!!

So, sometimes there's comes a time in our lives where we act impulsively. One of those times was today. At the end of the day I was in class and decided to go over my class load. This resulted in me thinking to myself:

Darin, even though you are in class all day you still have some free time to kill. Yes, you have books to read, and a great instrument of time killing they have been! But what about those times when you just don't want to use any more brain energy? When you feel so fried from studying that all you want to do is use enough energy that requires sitting in a chair like a half-functioning zombie? What then? Will a movie work? Eh, they are getting dull and require to much time in one sitting. What about TV? I have no desire to get into a new TV series, so no. So what can I possibly do that will satisfy my need for a brainless, time wasting activity to relieve some stress from myself? Then it hit me: Video Games. And I knew exactly which one.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 would be the perfect thing for this task. Basically you pick 4 awesome super heroes from a cast of 30, choose to use three of their super-fantastic powers, and kick bad guy booty (did I mention that this game is perfect?!). Now, you are probably confused because picking four awesome characters from a cast of 30 takes brain power, as does choosing their bad guy butt-kicking powers. This is true; for your average person. But with nerds like me who have a great supply of nerdy super hero knowledge, it's all instinct. And instinct doesn't require conscious brain activity. You don't think; you do. And the crowning jewel? Three other people can join the super hero action with you at the same time!

After school and in excited anticipation I quickly raced to Best Buy. I went immediately to the Wii section and searched earnestly, like a blood hound on the hunt for the fox, for my new necessary time waster. But I searched in vain. Alas, I couldn't find it. The fox had eluded the hound. What was I going to do?! My brilliant plan had failed me. Rejected, I accepted the loss. But then, as if by fate, something had caught my eye.

A little Italian plumber, with a black bushy mustache and a bright Christmas red hat grinned at me from a clear plastic case like an old friend. And old friends we are. In my younger years we spent so many Saturday morning together. Jumping on koopas, kicking turtle shells, shooting fire, eating mushrooms...yes, those were the days. Why didn't I see this earlier? I mean really, is there an awesome super hero better than Mario? No. Do I really have to think when I participate in this activity when all I do is jump on people and run forward? Double no. And here is the kicker: four people can play Mario on the the same time! I mean really, who doesn't want to conquer Bowser with your other good friend Luigi as your on-screen ally? I declare no one!

Was me going to a store that didn't have Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 so I'd purchase Mario instead a coincidence? No. Was it fate? Yes. Mario, game on.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thai Chicken Curry

So I found this recipe from a cook book I received as a gift titled "Cooking" by James Peterson. It was really easy to make and very delicious :) First you cook the chicken in half a stick of butter on medium heat. It is not fatty as the butter liquefies the fat in the chicken and only a portion of the butter goes into the chicken. In fact there is less fat in the chicken after you cook it in butter because if the fat's process of being liquefied. It was very moist, tender, and delicious.

To make the curry all you first melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. Once it is melted you put in 1 tablespoon of curry powder and 2 teaspoons of flour and whisk for about a minute. One the consistency is just right you pour in a can of Thai coconut milk, stir, and let simmer for 5 minutes. I used brown rice as well and put the curry and chicken over it. The dish is incredible.

In the picture I also added a fruit salad of grapes, cut up strawberries, and pineapple. Unfortunately the asparagus was way over cooked as my can opener doesn't work so I had to be creative with the coconut milk can. The asparagus got neglected in the process.

Anyway, this is a great tasting, healthy, and easy meal to make.

Funny Happenings of the Week

So, I've realized that my blog has evolved from when I first started it a few years ago as a sad attempt to be a funny writer to now an actual journal of my life. Now obviously I would never post things that were personal, but actual experiences that happen in my life that I don't care at all are public. As a result some of my posts can be very long. I applaud those of you who actually read them. Basically, I want to do a disclaimer to those of you who wonder why I post so much or why they are so long. This is my public journal. Anyway, to the topic at hand.

As this was my first week at Chiropractic college you all where probably thinking that I was going to write about my first week experience in this post. Not true. All that has happened there is that I am busy, busy, and even more busy. It's a good busy though. I really enjoy school and the people I am meeting. But there was three experiences that happened to me this week that, when you read this, will cause you to think, "Of course that would happen to Darin. Typical."

The first was something that I imagine happening in a comedy movie. I decided that I wanted to get to know more people in my ward so I decided to play basketball at the church on Thursday night. I was pretty happy with my performance as I haven't played basketball on a consistent basis since I broke my leg. After tripping over my feet and shooting a couple air balls I got my feet settled and played well (it is amazing how not worrying about how you look can affect your overall performance). Anyway, during the game I ran into a member of the other Davenport ward. Side note: when playing basketball in a state outside of Utah, Idaho, or Arizona it is best to ask, "Do you go to this church?" because if you ask, "What ward are you in?" you may get a very confused look. It took me a little bit to realize this. I introduced myself and he asked if I was married (he is single himself and going to Palmer). I said no, to which he replied, "Oh! So you're the new guy. I heard about you. We had a welcoming party for you." I immediately replied that I was not that new guy as I never got wind of a welcoming party for my arrival in the area.

I felt bad because he probably felt a little awkward and probably wondered if my feelings were hurt as there was no party held for me. I didn't think anything of it. An hour later when we had finished playing he approached me and asked me what my name was again. I told him, to which he told me that I was the new guy that the singles in the area had had a welcoming party for, to which I never got invited. I couldn't help but laugh as I have never been a part of a party where the person it is for doesn't know about it! I was not offended in the slightest but strongly wanted to clear my name that I am not the new jerk from California. I am not "too cool for school" and ignored their invitation. I can imagine how weird it must of been though for the people who went when they arrived and the new guy never showed up. Come to find out that they didn't have my number so they weren't able to contact me. I was flattered that they would plan something where I could have met the singles in Davenport. It shows how great the church is at acclimating new people to the area. I want to make that effort when others are in the same situation because it did mean a lot to me.

The second experience was with putting on my license plate. In summary, something that should of taken me 3 minutes took me 15. After misplacing the plates, periodically losing screws, and having to go back and forth into my apartment 4 or 5 times (no exaggeration) because I would forget or lose tools, it dawned on me that I need to really sharpen my handy-man skills. A lot. And that crawling on the pavement on all fours in the freezing cold looking for tiny pieces of metal is not fun.

The last is not so much the retelling of an experience but more a bit of advice. Unbeknown to me you can't show your teeth when you have your driver's license photo taken. So what did I decide to do? Well, I didn't want to have a straight face in case I looked angry (which I very much do in my last photo) but since I couldn't use my teeth I still decided to smile. Bad decision. Very, very bad decision. I would of rather kept the "I'm an angry, teenage, white-trash street thug" image from my last photo the rest of my life than temporarily have the, "I'm a happy creeper who probably scares parents, children, and single ladies with my disturbing half-smile" photo. So the advice? The next time you have your driver's license picture taken, just don't smile.

A Brief History of the Week

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Darth Google

If even half of this video is true it is scary to think about.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Frist Day!

Well, today was my first day as an official student at Palmer. I did have an orientation yesterday that was so long and tedious that I felt like I was performing a 100 mile jog on a treadmill in a dull white room, so technically this is my second day, but who really cares about technicalities. Today I was in classes. Today I was a real student. Today I realized how busy I am going to be for the next four months of my life. And I have to say, I feel ready for this. Will it be tough? Yes. Will I have break down moments? Probably. Will there be times where I think to myself, "Darin, what are you doing here? What have you really gotten yourself into?" I guarantee it. Despite all of this will it be worth it? Yes!! Yesterday I wasn't so sure...

At the crack of dawn (7:30 exactly) I had to be at Palmer for orientation. Since I am a night owl and usually fall asleep around 1 am I knew that I would be more tired than a Boston marathon runner at the end of their rigorous race. What I was not expecting though was the gathering of the perfect storm of events that would cause sleep to evade me like Glenn Beck evades the Left; no matter how hard they try to conquer him he just keeps winning.

It all started with the fact that I fall asleep at 1. Obviously I won't be able to change this pattern in one day. I realize and accepted that. I decided I was not going to take a nap on Sunday so just in case I am tired early Sunday night I can fall asleep faster. Alas, my intentions where thwarted. At around 4 pm my body was tired, my eyes felt like they were being pulled down by boulders, and I was weak willed. I thought if I just closed my eyes for ten minutes I'd be okay. Well, ten innocent minutes turned into two viscous hours. I knew I was a goner. And I was.

Midnight rolled around and I was wide awake. I tried everything to fall asleep. I read, breathed slowly, and even tried to make my mind go blank. Nothing worked. So I gave up and looked at Facebook. It wasn't until 3:30 that I think I fell asleep. And yes, waking up was brutal. I woke up at 6, had no idea what was going on, and kept falling asleep for five minutes only to wake up thinking I was a dragon who had to hatch out of my own egg and to do that I had to go back asleep (I went to bed reading Fablehaven). It was bizarre.

Finally at 6:30 I got my bearings straight, got up and made it through 6 hours of orientation. I met some nice people but I knew that things probably wouldn't go anywhere substantial as every time they saw I was from California their eyes would perk up and they would get excited and talk about drinking. I think they've seen Lagoona Beach and The OC too much and assumed that I was a party animal. I told them that I don't drink and had to smile to myself when the light in their eyes would immediately dim, they'd mumble "Okay" and then stop talking to me. I was fine with this as I don't want to be around a party atmosphere, but I was getting a little worried as I want at least some friends in my classes. Today, that prayer was answered.

On my way to school I ran into someone I met walking to my car yesterday and we seemed to get along. We were joking and talking on our way to class but I brought up how I don't drink. He got a little quite but I didn't think anything of it. We walked into class and I asked if he wanted to sit towards the back. He said, "No because I have contacts" and hurried away towards the front. I didn't think anything of it so I followed him. Well, he sat next to someone else and talked to them the whole time and ignored me. I then realized what had happened. He was trying to sit somewhere else and away from me! I wasn't hurt by this but mostly thought it was comical. I have been in the Provo scene way to long to be so ignorant that this type of thing would happen. I was wondering how I was going to get out of this awkward situation. Thank goodness class ended early so I got up to "get a drink of water" and sat in the back as I reentered class. And I am so glad I did.

I knew when I initially walked into class I should of sat in the back. In fact when I was sitting next to the kid who was ignoring me I had the feeling I needed to sit in the back. When I did it immediately became apparent as to why. In the back there were three other LDS students. I noticed one from my ward and he introduced me to the other two. The rest of the day we were together, saw other LDS students and where introduced to them, and helped me realized that I will be fine with making friends in my classes. The student in my ward one time during the day leaned towards me and said, "Isn't it great being LDS? You automatically have friends." It's true. We don't really know each other but we are LDS. We have the same standards, the same beliefs, and have a very important thing in common. The rest just falls into place.

I also met an LDS student who is very involved with NUCCA here. He told me about the influence of NUCCA in the school. I can practice NUCCA on patients when I am in doing my clinicals so family and friends, when that moment comes there is another incentive for you to visit. He also took me out to lunch and was just very friendly and nice.

I realized once again today how the LDS church can be our family. It can be a great way to make friends, meet people, and survive potentially lonely situations. Of course, we have to go out of our way to make this happen. Sometimes we get shy but if the student in my ward hadn't said hi to me and introduced me to others today would of been a very different day.