Joe Everett is a genealogy librarian at FamilySearch, responsible for patron services in international branches of the Family History Library. Joe was previously the head of International Reference at the Family History Library and a technical services librarian, cataloging Slavic and Germanic records. He also spent several years as content manager at Ancestry.com. Joe earned a B.A. in Russian Language and Family History/Genealogy (Germanic emphasis) from Brigham Young University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (Kansas). He has been active in library and genealogical associations and has lectured and published articles Central & East European research.

24 July 2008

HowToTuneAGuitar.org

My 7 year-old son bought a decent acoustic guitar the other day at a yard sale. When he isn't playing with it, I have been picking it up. I have tried to pick up the guitar a few times before, but what always got in the way is getting it in tune, which I had no clue how to do.

I found this amazing web site: http://www.howtotuneaguitar.org/. Not only do they have a simple online tuner right there on the homepage, but they have a ton of other great visual helps for learning how to play the guitar. I started playing only Sunday, and I can already (sort of) play 4 songs, including the chord accompaniment to Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (not the guitar picking solos, mind you!)

It has been a lot of fun to finally learn how to play my favorite instrument a little bit. (My fingers hurt though!)

23 July 2008

Lulu.com - Self Publishing

I recently discovered Lulu.com and I love it. In just a few minutes, you can create book and start ordering copies for yourself or to distribute, or you can sell them right from Lulu.com. Lulu.com manufactures each book on demand, so you don't have to worry about inventory sitting around, and you don't have to invest a bunch of money up front to print a minimum number of copies.

So far, I have created two books for my own personal use. Off and on, I have written my journal using the computer, rather than a handwritten journal. I did that in 2002 and again in 2005-2007. I enjoyed writing on the computer, because I could write faster, and edit as I go, so I was able to express myself better and say more. The only problem was that I missed being able to just pull the journal off the shelf and read it. I also began to worry about losing the data. So I have been looking for a long time for a way to print and professionally bind these computer journals. Lulu.com to the rescue.

For only 20 dollars plus shipping, I was able to print a copy of my 2002 journal (64 pages). It is a sturdy 8 1/2" x 11" volume with a glossy hardcover binding that will last forever. I loved it so much, I have created a book for my 2005-2007 journal and, get this, it is more than twice as large, but the cost was almost the same! I guess the binding makes up the bulk of the prices, and the number of pages is not so important.

By the way, private projects such as these journals are secure on Lulu.com. No one else can view them or order them unless I make them public. I have a few other things I would like to put into book form for personal use, and then maybe I will take a look at actually publishing and trying to sell some other writings. We'll see. For now, I'm just thrilled that I have found a cost-effective way to produce hardbound copies of my journals. After 2008, I will be going back to the computer for journaling, since I know I have a great way to preserve it when I'm through.

08 July 2008

Glenn Beck: We The people


I had the privelege of attending this speech live. These are just some of the highlights. Fabulous speech. (Glenn got a standing ovation as he entered the arena. He got pretty choked up about it, too.)

Shaun Barrowes

Check out Shaun Barrowes. He is one of my younger brother's best friends from back in the day, and also a friend of mine. He is now an up-and-coming professional singer, looking set to make the big time. One of these days, I will have to reveal a funny story about a camping trip Shaun enjoyed with my Dad and me and a couple of other friends...

19 May 2008

Dwayne Wade gives mom a church

This is a wonderful story. Superstar atheletes usually fail to measure up to their status as role models, which like it or not they are. (Whether they should be is definitely debatable, but the fact is, for better or worse, they are role models.) Here is one athelete who has done something that truly deserves praise, but he will give all the credit to his mother.

28 April 2008

2 Truths & 1 Lie

I was at a business summit meeting in Munich, Germany earlier this month, and as an ice-breaker, each of us was asked to tell two truths and one lie about ourselves, then everyone would guess which one was the lie. Here is mine. See if you can guess which one of these is not true:

1. While traveling in Spain with my family, thieves slashed open our tent with a machete, knocked us out with sleeping gas, and stole my grandma's dirty laundry.
2. My Mom has met Prince Charles.
3. I once competed in a junior regional ski competition in Germany and came in 3rd.

21 April 2008

Elephant Painting!?!?!


You have to see it to believe it. I'm still not sure... I think maybe the attendant is tapping or holding the elephant's ear, and the elephant is trained to respond, so the creative vision is human, and the elephant's trunk is kind of like a big computer mouse. Still amazing, but not as amazing as if the elephant were responsible for the creative vision and artistic expression.

12 March 2008

Meridian Magazine: Two Latter-day Saints Shine on “American Idol”

I NEVER thought I would get into American Idol, but these two have won me over--even before I found out that they share my faith. If their nerves don't get the better of them (as David's did last night) they could wind up as the top two, but even if they don't, they will have everything to feel good about, because they sang fabulously well (at least most of the time), and showed integrity to their faith.

06 March 2008

Why does Crist care about seating Democratic delgates?

Speaking of the controversy over seating delegates, why does Governor Crist care so much, as a Republican, that he has become one of the most vocal supporters for seating delegates to the Democratic convention? I question his integrity for supporting this. I think that the position is insupportable. (See my last post.)

I believe Crist cares less about the enfranchisement of Florida Democrats than he does about the opportunity for his own polical gain. By speaking out in favor of seating them, he gets three potential political gains:

1. He has a chance to dig at Democrats in general, by drawing attention to the rift within their party, and chiding party bosses for silencing the voice of the people. Making Democrats look bad is good for aspiring Republicans like Crist.

2. He gets to boost his already high approval ratings among Floridians, including Democrats, as he is seen helping them fight the battle to let their voices be heard. (Do I hear Crist 2012?)

3. He gets his face on national TV and the Internet again. It's hard for lesser known, but aspiring politicians to find such opportunities to boost their name recognition. The last chance he had was when he made a late endoresement for McCain that helped catapult McCain to frontrunner status. (I'm waiting to find out what kickback he gets from McCain for that endorsement.)

Don't be fooled. Crist is just out to earn some political capital. And he is willing to flaunt rules and written agreements to do so.

Why is the media spinning for Clinton?

I don't get it, but the media seems to be helping the Clinton campaign spin two big stories.

First, that Clinton's wins in Texas and Ohio have "leveled the playing field" and marked a comeback, when the net gain in delegates was only between 5 and 15, depending how the caucases go, which Obama seems set to win.

Second, that it is legitimate for Clinton to argue for Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated.

Regarding the first story, in terms of delegates, which are what counts, Clinton gained virtually nothing. And her margin of victory in the Texas primary was so slim (barely more than 1%), and likely to be offset by a caucus victory for Obama, that one could argue that Obama, not Clinton, was the winner in Texas.

As for the second, why is there so little outrage in the media about the very idea of seating those delegates? Why is it being reported on as if it were a perfectly legitimate and fair question?
The argument that you can't change the rules in the middle of the game is one thing. I think a more fundamental question is, how could it possibly be considered fair to either candidate to seat them based on how the votes were cast back in January? How many people stayed home in both states, because they knew that no delegates would be awarded? At least everyone was on the ballot in Florida, but seating Michigan would be ludicrous, because only Hillary's name was on the ballot.

05 March 2008

Don't Listen to Limbaugh

I am angry at Rush Limbaugh's call for Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton. I believe that people should choose whom they want to vote for, and do so, and not treat a vote as a strategic play. It seems inherently dishonest to me for someone to vote for someone whom they are really against. If Republicans hope that a vote for Hillary is ultimately a vote for McCain, I think that they may find this strategy blowing up in their faces.

What also bothers me is that Limbaugh and his followers are blindly supporting the Republican side without even giving any consideration whatsoever to the possibility that one of the Democrats might actually be a better candidate than the presumptive Republican nominee. This is not a sports contest, where the die hard fan supports their team no matter what. People need to listen to the different sides and make an informed choice, and not just vote strictly by party.

Personally, I lean Republican, but have been listening to what Obama is saying and I think that I could potentially vote for him over McCain. I feel that I know enough about Hillary to know I don't want to vote for her. I'm hoping for Obama to be the Democratic nominee, because I want to have that choice open to me in the general election. I still don't know for sure whether Obama would have my vote, but I would hate to see him lose his party's nomination because of Republicans dirty tricks.

03 January 2008

Paul Potts Audition on Britain's got Talent

I'm not really big into shows like American Idol and the like, but this is a must see. I can't watch it without tearing up. Whenever I feel discouraged, I'm going to watch this again.

02 January 2008

CowboysDen

CowboysDen Check out my brother's new blog on the Dallas Cowboys. He has talent as a sportswriter. Look for more perspective on the Cowboys as they roll through the playoffs.