Friday, March 31, 2006

A Note on the Final Copy

I got it.

My self-published book finally arrived from Lulu this week and it looks phenomenal. I had a few problems with the type-set and those things but the book is very professional looking and the Wife's photo on the front looks outstanding. I would strongly encourage anyone looking to do that kind of thing to look into using Lulu.

To look at the final product please click here.

From start to finish, the project cost exactly $16.07 and the book looks so good I almost can't believe I wrote it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Note on Templature

Tamara at Cybervassals, the great chick that hooked me up with my old template is switching things up at her place and I have momentarily lost the Sea Cow and the old template and with it the blog roll and various other things. Hang in there folks, I hope to restore it all, but for now, I went with a standard blogger template until the hosting is up and working again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

A Note on Jeopardy

So last night I attempted the Jeopardy online contestant test. It was fifty questions and they ranged from impossible to relatively easy. I think I did okay, but they don't release any final scores so it's hard to say just how well I did. The test in and of itself was difficult but throw in the Touchdown Factor and it was a nightmare.

I mistakenly thought Touchdown would remain in the front room watching Big Disney (you know, Raven and Zack and Cody), so I prepped her by saying, "Touchdown, Daddy has a big meeting and he needs to have you stay out here." She replied that she would be a big girl and watch Big Disney. The test only lasts ten minutes so I felt confident she could do it.

Well...I got three questions into the test and she comes knocking on the door in a panic. She has to go to the potty. I can't help her. She knows how to go, so I encourage her to go by herself. Nope. Instead, she just pees her pants and then screams bloody murder right in front of the office door.

The steam that was coming out of my ears was observed in at least five neighboring counties.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Memory of Childhood Wonder

I don't know what got me thinking of this but I thought I would do a little post on it anyway.

Today, I was walking home from church and the Teenager and I were swinging Touchdown high into the air and she was thoroughly ecstatic. She couldn't have been having any more fun. She was in her element; an element where the world is good and just being in it is sufficient. It got me thinking of things that used to be good enough to waste away a day doing. These are some of them.

1. Making a blanket fort. My brother and I loved this, and who doesn't? There is nothing as totally carefree as a good blanket fort. We love draping the blankets over the card table and the ping-pong table in our basement in Heyburn.

2. Having Dad throw the nerf football over the side of the house and diving to make the catch. If my brother or I succeeded in making the catch, it was imperative to emerge from behind the house with the ball held high like a trophy.

3. Jumping out of the Swings. It could get dangerous, as the swings at the elementary school were exceedingly high, but even if you plunged to your death trying to break the record, there would be glory and admiration from all of my buddies.

4. Jigsaw puzzles by candlelight. Often in the middle of the winter when the snow was drifting over the houses and school was cancelled and the power would go out, we would all sit down at the dining table and do a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle by candlelight. It was a good enough way to spend the evening.

5. Throwing rocks to our dog, Sally. Yep, Sally was a rock dog. She would chase the rock down or catch it in her mouth and then bring it back to us so we could throw it again. She was quite the dog.

6. Burning the ditchbank. Since we lived on the farm and burning the ditchbank was required, we became quite the little pyromaniacs. I still enjoy a good flamethrower.

7. Collecting aluminum cans from the side of the road. My brother and I would walk about six miles or so to Norland collecting all the cans from the side of the road. It was a long and dirty chore but we made like 2 cents a pound.

8. Bologna sandwiches. I used to love to bend them in half and take a bite out of the middle so it looked like a hole in the middle of the sandwich. I still like doing it to be truthful.

9. Listening to Karen Carpenter, Neil Diamond, Ray Coniff, and Burt Bacharach 8-tracks in the basement of our house in Heyburn. This was usually combined with the blanket forts and the bologna sandwiches. "Hey, won't ya sing, another somebody done somebody wrong song?" I don't really remember how it went.

10. Getting grounded and sent to my room only to play catch with my imprisoned brother who was also grounded in his room across the hall. The reason for the grounding was usually that we were fighting, so it made sense that we would then play catch with each other.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A List of Hypothetical Questions

These questions have little to do with anything but I will ask them anyway.

1. How long should a single person wait to ask out a widow/widower following the death of their spouse?

2. At what age does a tattoo become unsexy (presuming it was ever sexy, which I doubt)?

3. What is your batting average?

4. Is it okay to talk to people in truck stop bathrooms?

5. What would you do if you discovered a grown sibling was now doing drugs?

6. I know love is blind, but when exactly should the eyes be opened?

7. Is it okay to put mayonnaise on a pastrami sandwich?

8. Girl and guy getting married, guy's last name is Fagg. Should the girl insist on name change?

9. Do you still call shotgun?

10. The King and Queen shuffling off to Puerto Rico over the summer. Two days in Vieques, three in San Juan? or two in San Juan, three in Vieques?

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Note on Fantasy

So, with one full weekend of March Madness in the books, I look to the brackets to discover that the King's worst nightmare has indeed come true. Not only is the King languishing in the middle of the pack, but The Wife and the Wizard are leading the whole thing. It is a nightmare.

As for the WilkeWorld Book, you may still purchase it by clicking on the link. For those that want to know, it took me a good two weeks of copying/pasting and editing. I added a little narration to help things along and I didn't include every single post as some of them were repetitive and redundant.

Last but not least, I have to tell all of you that when the Queen is sick, the castle goes to pot. I'd clean it up, but I am down and out as well. I hope someone is taking care of the kids.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Note on the WilkeWorld Book

Over the last several weeks, I have been compiling and editing all of my blog posts for the first year with the intention of publishing a Best of WilkeWorld book. Well, I did it. Now before you all accuse me of selling out to the POD world and before you all accuse me of self-aggrandizement, let me just say that the whole intention behind the publishing of this book was so that I can keep a copy of it for my grandchildren.

It isn't to make money on, or even to see my name on the spine of a book, but rather it was to preserve this year of my life on something other than blogger. I had only to pay a measly $16.07 to have it published, and have one copy sent out to me so that I could edit it. I do not encourage any of you to buy said book, but if you do for some reason want a copy of it, don't buy it until I have a copy of it in my hand and I can vouch for its quality. That should occur in the next 3 to 5 business days.

However, should you want to check it out please click here. You can also click on the link in my blog roll. It was a lot of fun and I would encourage any of you that want to bind a journal or print up a family history to do so at It was very easy to do all of it.

Again, wait and see how it turned out when I get the proof copy.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Note on Burning Bosoms

The King is now in a huge funk. Not only are his NCAA Tournament picks going down the proverbial toilet, but he has a tremendously bad chest flu that makes him sound as if a lung is going to come flying out of his mouth at any time. What's that burning in the bosom, you ask? Oh, about a gallon and a half of Mentholatum. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Note on the First Round (Atlanta)

Again I realize that my normal readers are looking at this and wondering what in the world has got into the King, but, hey, it's a three week period each year that I get all awash in the Madness. So here are the first round picks. Yep, all 32 games.

Atlanta Regional

#1 Duke over #16 Southern--I want to pick a sixteen seed over a one seed, but, c'mon, this is not the year to do it. This game will be tight for about 10 minutes but by the end of the first half, the Dukies should be up by 15-18 points and cruising. Look for Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts to get a lot of time on the floor in the blowout, just to get some experience.

#9 NC-Wilmington over #8 George Washington--This is a trendy pick considering Pops Mensa-Bonsu is questionable, but even if he is healthy, I like the Seahawks. They have a lot of senior leadership and they are balanced. GW has also struggled down the stretch, even before their loss in the A-10 tourney.

#5 Syracuse over #12 Texas A&M--This is one of those dangerous 5/12 matchups that look like it could be an upset, but let's look at a few numbers. Texas A&M went 10-1 in their nonconference schedule but played total cupcakes and all at home, except their one loss at Pacific. Yes, they are on a roll, but outside of a win against Texas they really haven't played a tough schedule the last few weeks either. As for Syracuse, look for a letdown after the Big East tourney, but they should be good enough to squeak this one out against a bad Aggie team.

#4 LSU over #13 Iona--I think this could be a big upset in the making as I like Iona a lot and LSU has been a product of a down SEC this year, but I see two games that tell me LSU should handle this. They beat West Virginia on the road and they had a one point loss at UConn. Sure they lost at Northern Iowa, but they handled their business in the SEC and that should carry them here. Also, Iona has struggled down the stretch. Look for this to be close, but I like the Tigers.

#6 West Virginia over #11 Southern Illinois--Another game tagged as an upset special, but I wonder just how good the MVC is. This Saluki team lost to a Div. II school early in the season and got beat by Monmouth as well. They are dangerous, but they are also vulnerable. To wit, they lost to La Tech in the Bracket Buster. As for West Virginia, they are coming in with the same cast as last year and that is a big plus. They might be overconfident, but they have some leadership and some shooters. I'll take them if only because I like saying Pittsnogle.

#14 Northwestern State over #3 Iowa--Yes, I know the Hawkeyes won the Big Ten tourney title and the Big Ten was one of the top conferences in the country, but I can't help feeling that they are ripe for a letdown. I like that NW State won early games on the road at Oregon State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State and they also gave Utah State a heck of a game in Logan before falling at the end. They have a lot of senior leadership (as does Iowa) and I like them to pull the biggest upset in the first round.

#10 NC State over #7 Cal--A tough call. Cal has played well down the stretch and Powe is a beast in the middle and the Wolfpack has struggled mightily, BUT I like Herb Sendek and if you give him a full week to neutralize the big man in the middle, I think he can do it, especially because he has fouls to burn and Powe will have to guard Evtimov on the perimeter. It's all about matchups in this one and I'm going with Herbie.

#2 Texas over #15 Penn--A matchup nightmare for the Quakers as I think the quickness and height of the Longhorns will make this a big blowout. It could be close at half if and only if the Quakers shoot lights out. I don't think so.

There you have it folks. On to Oakland.

#1 Memphis over #16 Oral Roberts--I am not that enamored with the Tigers but Oral Roberts has floundered this season after a promising start. In the end, Calipari should have no problem advancing.

#8 Arkansas over #9 Bucknell--Another trendy upset pick where one team has overachieved and the other is a middle of the pack power conference team, but I will stick with the power conference here. It is tough when expectations are so much higher (just ask Gonzaga) and I think that Arkansas will see themselves as the underdog and come out motivated. Hey, we are still talking the Patriot League here.

#5 Pittsburgh over #12 Kent State--I'm not sold on the MVC and I am sold on Carl Krausser. Pittsburgh could lay claim to a higher seed than this and I like that they will have a chip on their shoulder.

#4 Kansas over #13 Bradley--Another upset special, but Kansas just has too much talent not to win and with last years Bucknell debacle, Coach Self will have his kids ready for this. Critics may point to Kansas' lack of experience but with them I think it is a good thing, they can't overthink things. This will be close at half but look for the better athletes to take over in the second half.

#6 Indiana over #11 San Diego State--My heart says SDSU but my head tells me Marco Killingsworth will cause Abukar and Slaughter to get in to foul trouble. I am going with the Hoosiers on the emotion as well. They will win one or two games in this tournament for Coach Davis. Come to think of it, shouldn't Steve Fisher be retiring here soon.

#3 Gonzaga over #14 Xavier--Yes, the Zags have struggled in the WCC and have squeaked by on occasion, but they are a dangerous team with veterans and a seasoned coach. They also will be playing in SLC where they will have a home crowd advantage. It will take them a half to work out the jitters but look for Derek Raivio to break out of his shooting slump when the doubling down occurs on Batista and Morrison.

#7 Marquette over #10 Alabama--I don't really like either team to go very far but I think Marquette has the better individual player in Novak, so I'll pick them. It is interesting though that Marquette lost to Winthrop and Alabama beat them. This is really a toss up for me.

#2 UCLA over Belmont--In a blowout of epic proportions. UCLA is really rolling right now and I think Ben Howland has them in a real confident place. I like UCLA to go a long way in this one.

Whew, on to D.C.

#1 Connecticut over #16 Albany--UConn gives everyone terrible matchup problems and this should be no exception. Look for Rudy Gay to get his 20 and then sit down for the second half.

#9 UAB over #8 Kentucky--Kentucky has been so incredibly inconsistent this year that this could be a blowout either way. I'll take UAB however, because I like the run-and-gun style that they play and the fact that, outside of Rajan Rondo, Kentucky's assist-to-turnover ratio is atrocious. I think they will overplay Rondo and force someone else to handle the ball. Should he get ahold of it, though...

#5 Washington over #12 Utah State--This will be an interesting contrast of style game with the Huskies blitzing up and down the floor and the Aggies slowing it down with Harris and Carroll. I think Stew Morrill is a basketball genius, but they couldn't handle a quick guard last year in Salim Stoudamire, (although they held Arizona to only 66 points) and I don't think they can do it this year either. Too close for Husky fans, but they squeak by.

#4 Illinois over #13 Air Force--Basketball purists will again be attracted to this game, but in the end they will see Illinois dominate things inside. I am a Mountain West apologist, but even I think Cincy and Fla State were robbed. Air Force is a nice story, but one that will end promptly.

#6 Michigan State over #11 George Mason--Which MSU team will show up? The one that got clobbered at Hawaii early on or the one that pounded BC the following week? The one that won three straight against ranked Big 10 teams in the middle of the season or the one that lost 5 of 7 down the stretch? I am betting on the former and Tom Izzo setting these guys on a mission. Lastly, who did George Mason beat? Manhattan on the road, that's who. And a tired Wichita State team late. Not too impressive. Hofstra had a better resume.

#3 UNC over #14 Murray State--I want to see this be an upset, but UNC is soooooo talented. They will not lose this early in this tournament. Maybe in the next round but not this one.

#7 Wichita State over #10 Seton Hall--The exception to the rule. The MVC will win one and this is the one they'll get. Seton Hall is a mediocre team that got the bid 'cause they beat Cincy the last week of the season, but they really don't scare anyone. A two point loss at Northwestern and a bad loss at Richmond early on attest to that. No, the Shockers aren't much to look at this year either but I like them here.

#2 Tennessee over #15 Winthrop--Two words...Bruce Pearl. They are the most vulnerable #2 seed, but I just think Pearl is the funnest coach in this thing and he will have his boys motivated and excited. Don't think I haven't seen what Winthrop is capable of, but Tennessee has the horses to make a run in this thing and the Eagles won't be able to top them.

Almost there...Minneapolis

#1 Villanova over #16 Monmouth--This could be a teaser for a half before Villanova decides they should just spank this club. It will be another style game with Monmouth playing deliberately and Villanova chomping at the bit, but Villanova will run and run and run and overwhelm the already tired Hawks.

#8 Arizona over #9 Wisconsin--Toss a coin. Neither team has shown itself to be consistent and neither team really shoots the ball worth a darn. I will take Lute Olson if only because I like his hair.

#5 Nevada over #12 Montana--Could be a closer game than expected. The other Coach K is a great fit in Montana and has his guys playing very well now but Nevada ruled the roost in a very difficult WAC and should get by on the strength of Mo Charlo and Nick Fazekas.

#13 Pacific over #4 Boston College--I am taking a real flyer on this one because of the SLC factor. Teams struggle with the altitude and BC will be flying across the country to an arena that will have a West Coast bias. Add to that the success of Pacific last year and I think this is an upset special. Of course, the Eagles are the better team, but I have to pick upsets and this is it.

#6 Oklahoma over #11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee--Taj Gray will not let the Sooners blow this one. Yes, the prognosticators like this one to be an upset, but I just think the big man will have his day. They won't make it past the next round but they will not lose here.

#3 Florida over #14 South Alabama--Florida might win the whole thing. They are big and strong and quick. I don't see them floundering here despite their inconsistency in the big dance the last several years.

#7 Georgetown over #10 Northern Iowa--MVC goes 1-3 will be the headline on Saturday morning and Billy Packer will be smiling, but I just think any team that handles Duke like they did will win a first round game in the NCAA's.

#2 Ohio State over #15 Davidson--Ohio State kind of snuck up on me this year. They can shoot it and they are capable of making a deep run in this tourney. The Davidson kids scare me cause they've been here before knocking on the gate, but they struggled in their conference and the Buckeyes did not. Close for a half before the Buckeyes screw down the clamps and run away with it.

Thank you everyone for indulging my habit.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Note on the NCAA Tourney (2nd Year)

It is here yet again, Citizens. I know that none of you care. I know that you are all rolling your eyes at me right now, but I don't care. The NCAA Basketball tournament has arrived yet again and I have set up a NCAA bracket on Yahoo Sports for all of you. It is completely free. Just go to Yahoo Sports Fantasy and sign up for the Bracket Challenge and then join the WilkeWorld group.

The Group ID is 49151
The password is seacow

I hope you will all join. The winner will get something special from the king. I know that you all don't care so it should be fun to whoop up on someone who does care, like me. Good luck.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Note on Karma

Okay, so I live in St. George, Utah in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. I live thirty minutes from Zion National Park and the average daytime temperature this time of year is about 65 - 70 degrees. We live in the high desert and it is wonderful. The golf courses are open for business 365 days a year. We live here for a reason and that reason is the weather.

So imagine my excitement when the teenager got out of school for Spring Break and took the kids for the morning so I could go golfing. I was so stoked. I got a new putter for Christmas and haven't been able to use it at all. I was on Cloud Nine.

The night before we heard news that a storm might be on the way with a 20% to 30% chance of precipitation. I was crossing my fingers, but I woke up to clear skies. I got to the course and we were the first twosome out. I went with my best friend, Jeff, and we established a little wager to see who would buy hot dogs at the turn.

Things went well as I won the front nine and was treated to a delicious hot dog. Then we went back out to find that the clouds had rolled in and it had chilled off considerably. By the tenth hole it had started to snow and by the twelfth hole we found ourselves in an all-out blizzard. A blizzard. We get a snow storm here once every three or four years and it just so happened to occur on the one day I got to go golfing. I go golfing once every thousand days and it snows every thousand days. What were the chances the two would coincide?


Somehow, I should have known.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Note on Toddler Wisdom

Okay, so the British Bulldog reference got everyone a little off kilter. Wizard and Jensen, British Bulldog is a game where one person is in the middle and tries to tackle people as they go back and forth across the "field". When one person is tackled they join the other person in the middle and attempt to tackle others. Eventually the entire school is in the middle and two or three speedy youngsters try to make their way through to the other side. Jamie Loveland and I were usually the last ones to be tackled.

I hope this clarifies things.

As for today's bit of wisdom, I offer up this little gem.

The Wife notices that Touchdown is wearing only one sock.

The Wife: "Touchdown, where is your other sock?"

Touchdown: "Up on the counter."

The Wife: "Don't you want to put it on?"

Touchdown: "No."

The Wife: "Why not?"

Touchdown: "That foot's not cold."

The Wife: "But you're wearing a sock on that other foot."

Touchdown, looking at the socked foot: "It was cold."

The Wife: "But this one's not?"

Touchdown: "Nope."

As I look out there now, she is still in one sock.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Note on British Bulldog

I am not entirely sure that I haven't already posted this somewhere already, but I must tell you all about it sheerly because it is a curious subject that I think most of us are aware of but rarely discuss as adults.

Girls have cooties. It is a known fact. All of the men (boys) that occasionally read this blog have been taught since they were young enough to comprehend the cootiness of women that women (girls) have cooties. If we somehow were to touch one, we, too, could get cooties.

Now, I have been told by various females that they, too, believed that boys had cooties as well. I am not convinced of this phenomenon, although as a youngster I often felt itchy. Perhaps they were the cooties.

Anyway, as a kid I liked one girl in particular that I don't think had cooties. Her name was Paula Lloyd. She was super-fast. She could run like the wind. She moved away in the second or third grade and then all the girls had cooties except one. Jamie Loveland was the queen of British Bulldog and if we said she had cooties, she would smash us. Jamie and I were never boyfriend/girlfriend, but we were always the last two kids left when the school would play British Bulldog.

I remember few things about my life as a grade school tyke, but if I could go back and relive a few precious moments it would be the glory of British Bulldog with Jamie Loveland.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Note on Sugar Highs

Note to self: Diet Pepsi tastes like total dirty drain water after one has licked the frosting off a cupcake.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Note on Daniel Day Lewis

You would think that a kid would have a fifty percent chance of getting their shoes on the right feet even if they knew nothing of shoe putting on. You would think that, but you'd be wrong.

Now, I don't pretend that my little Touchdown knows her left foot from her right foot, but we have perhaps told her nearly 1000 times that the buckles go on the outside of her feet. She does know that, or, at least gives us lip service that she knows the difference between inside and outside of a foot. Given that instruction, you would think that the averages would roughly even out and we could expect a fifty-fifty split. You would think that, but you'd be wrong.

You might also think that if a kid put on their shoes and found them tremendously uncomfortable to the point that they begin to cry, that they would take them off and switch them around. After all, her toenails fell completely off due to this phenomenon. That might improve the averages, right? We might even expect that the halfway point would seem realistic. We'd be wrong.

I can't wait to teach her how to tie those things.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Memory of the Youth Ranch

As many of you are aware, I spent a good portion of my childhood at the Idaho Youth Ranch (a 2000 acre ranch with 35-45 juvenile delinquents). I loved my childhood immensely and today I want to illuminate you all with a few memories of that place. My wife wants me to clarify that I was not one of the delinquent kids but rather the son of the Youth Ranch's Grand Wizard (I guess that makes me delinquent, but I am not sure).

1. On various occasions, my friends would run away and be sent to juvenile detention in St. Anthony.

2. We had a full-sized activity center with a gymnasium, game room, weight room, and locker room. I became a very accomplished shuffleboard player, pool shark, and dodgeballer.

3. One of the runaway kids was named Dusty Rhodes. We thought that hilarious.

4. We didn't ever lock our front door.

5. My brother and I would build forts in the haystacks of the ranch.

6. Our friends would often have to go home when we were playing so they could attend "Group Meeting".

7. The kids taught me how to grow marijuana and rob a bank; two skills I have never really needed thus far in my life.

8. Most of the kids were scared of the Wizard, cause they would hear stories of him whooping three and four kids at a time. (The Wizard is a big man.)

9. Our dog, Sally, died in front of our house out at the ranch when I was in fifth grade.

10. All of our water came out of a well. It was the best tasting water I have ever tasted.