Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hace Un Mes

It has been almost a month since I last updated this blog and I think now is as good a time as any to do so. Over the last month, I have taken a few trips. A few weeks ago, I went to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to go bird-watching. It was great! I saw a some pretty sweet birds.
Then I went to Idaho for Memorial Day to hang out with Todd and Nicki. It was pretty fun. Todd barbecued some ribs and Nicki made some pretty good desserts. We also went to Mesa Falls which was pretty cool. If you really want to see pictures, just visit their blog. Then this weekend my roommate and I went up to the Uinta
National Forest by Midway. It was pretty sweet.
What is even better is the fact that on Wednesday I am leaving for MEXICO!!! That's right, I will be gone for 2 weeks. I am pretty excited.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 days in a row...

Yes, I have some free time; it IS summer. With that said, I am sure some people are wondering what I am up to. So to appease all those who actually want to know, I am simply working and enjoying myself. Lately I have started birdwatching again. Thanks to my free time, I have been able to go a few times every week. Last Saturday I went to Deer Creek Reservoir. It is only a thirty minute drive up Provo Canyon. The south side of the reservoir is full of boats and people; so, I went to the other side. The birds there were pretty fun to watch. To my excitement I saw a flock of White-Faced Ibis as the flew away. Also, I enjoyed watching two different species of Warblers; the Yellow-Rumped Warbler and the Yellow Warbler. As far as water foul, there weren't many. Just the usual American Coot, Mallards, American White Pelicans, and some Western Grebes. The highlight however, was the sighting of not one, not two, but three Sandhill Cranes. I also saw a Great Egret which was pretty cool. They are enormous and beautiful birds. On Monday I decided to head over to Strawberry Reservoir. Most of the reservoir was still frozen. There were many areas that were not, but there was nothing too exciting (just some old guys fishing). However, as I was hiking trying to get a better view of some birds I saw in the distance I stumbled upon a few Turkey Vultures. Because there were not many birds on the lake I went exploring. I took a dirt road and almost got my car stuck in some mud. But I continued and followed a tributary. Eventually I saw some elk, a beaver, a Mountain Bluebird, and a Northern Flicker. It was pretty relaxing to sit there and watch the beaver. By that time it was getting pretty late so I decided to go home. On my way back out I discovered to Great Blue Herons fishing in the same tributary. It was pretty sweet. Yes. I am Troy and I LIKE birdwatching. It is fun and therapeutic. I just wish I had my dad's camera to take some pictures... oh well. I took some pictures of the paisaje using my phone and posted them on facebook. That is about all I have been doing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ingmar Bergman

My last post probably came off as condescending. It was. However, I will avoid that route this time in favor of something more positive. If you are looking for me to give an update on myself, here it is: I am fine, 'Nuff said. The real reason I decided to post was to profess my growing admiration for Ingmar Bergman. I know, he didn't live the most wholesome life, but the man is a genius. I just finished his movie The Seventh Seal. Not long ago, I watched The Virgin Spring. In the German and Scandinavian Cinema class that I took a few semesters ago I also watched Fanny and Alexander, Persona, and Wild Strawberries. After viewing some of Bergman's films, I can definitely say he is one of my favorite directors (Fritz Lang in second and Lars von Trier in a distant third). There are many others that deserve praise, but I would prefer to focus on Ingmar. Really, if you haven't seen any of his movies you should start with either The Virgin Spring, The Seventh Seal, or Wild Strawberries. After having watched these movies, I added more of his movies to my queue on Netflix and moved them to the top of the list. I will be sure to enjoy Bergman's films for some time because only a few are available online. With that said, I hope you take this seriously and WATCH some of his films.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Virgin Spring

A few semesters ago I took a German and Scandinavian cinema class at BYU. During the class, the professor introduced many geniuses like Fritz Lang(M and Metropolis), Lars von Trier (The 5 Obstructions, Dancer in the Dark, and Dogville), Jorgen Leth (The 5 Obstructions and The Perfect Human), Aki Kaurismaki (The Man Without a Past), and many others that I cannot recall. However, there was one among the many that stood out; Ingmar Bergman. Bergman is literally a genius. I feel it is important to state this as clear as possible especially now because many people are referring to Michael Bay, James Cameron, and others as geniuses. Such people provide as evidence of their genius such successes as Transformers and Avatar. I feel that referring to such directors as geniuses is more offensive than stepping in dog poop. First, I find it suspect that such people are qualified judges; this because of their evident lack of depth or experience in good movies. I know, by now I sound very presumptuous and haughty; nevertheless, I maintain that it should be a grievous sin to use the same word to compare great minds to the weak money-driven minds behind Transformers or Avatar. After all, I find it hard to believe that Ingmar Bergman or Fritz Lang would ever cast Megan Fox in a film. So what brings this scathing rant to the forefront of my mind? After watching another film by Bergman, I realize how superficial today's world is. People used to make films because that is what they liked doing (fortunately some still do "film as literature"). The film that brought this about, is Bergman's 1960 The Virgin Spring. This movie touches themes as revenge, virtue, and religion. Just as many of Bergman's films, there is an evident tension between religion and reason. The film's plot is simple; the only daughter of devoutly religious parents is raped and murdered. Her murderers stumble upon the farm that belongs to their victim's parents. How will the family react when they discover they have given shelter to the daughter's murderers? I guess all I can do is encourage all who actually read this to watch good movies before hastily passing judgement on the mind-numbing porqueria that is out there. If you have the time here is a link to watch The Virgin Spring on Youtube. Here are some other Bergman movies: Wild Strawberries, Persona. As I watch more, I will be sure to recommend more.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Poco dinero y Mucho trabajo

Things>Time + Money
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I dislike math. Honestly, I would probably like it more if I were good at it. Kids, let this be a lesson to you; Don't spend your time during freshmen algebra class sharing jokes with your friends. Also, don't spend the whole class period drawing drunk indians and cowboys on the whiteboard during your sophomore math year. If you do these things, you will be terrible at math. This is my testimony. Amen. With that little rant over, I can proceed to ramble about the other seemingly meaningless thoughts I have at the most random moments (mostly when my roommate TP starts talking nonsense, which is mostly ALWAYS). This week has been pretty long. Monday started with a BANG via the policy paper I had to write for my foreign policy class (also due on Monday). Then came the goliath that was my research paper for American Political Theory. I don't know why I referenced the biblical story, probably just to throw a religious cliché in this post. I apologize because it was a terrible reference, especially because this story did not end with a victory for the smaller, rock throwing David. Before I continue to waste your time, It is important I share this jewel with you. I don't know how long ago, but it has been awhile since a friend introduced me to Camera Obscura. This group is amazing. With that said, watch these videos (starting with my favorite of course).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a lawyer. I don't know why, (probably the high consumption of T.V. dramas like Law & Order) but now that I have been thinking about it, I don't think it is the best fit for me. As a matter of fact, I kind of think it would be boring. I just don't like the idea of being stuck in one place for the rest of my working life. I also don't like the idea of the ball and chain that come with the job. If I did end up in law, I would like to practice immigration law, or even family law. The money would be good, but I just don't think that is what I want to do as far as a career. However, this semester I am in Plsci 376, U.S. foreign policy. My professor has been giving us the pitch for the foreign services. Honestly, She has been doing a good job selling the foreign services. She seems to really like what she does/did. I think I would enjoy this career a little more than the other(lawyer). My head is not in the clouds, I realize that the foreign services is extremely competitive; however, what isn't competitive right now. I am still conflicted, but I am leaning more towards the foreign services. What do you think?

Foreign Services?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Hot

Lately I cannot get enough of Hot Chip. They are obviously the recent favorite listen, along with jj, and the lovely Joanna Newsom. Some people would refer to these groups as an "acquired tastes". Those are the people that have NO taste (according to me). Anyway, here is an update on me. I'm studying for a test I have to take by midnight tomorrow. I also have to write a research design about the institutional effects on judicial voting habits. In other words, I need to write a paper on the effects of procedures on the way the Supreme Court justices vote/rule. I also need to write a policy paper for my 376 class. For that one I need to investigate to what extent the U.S. is providing support (fiscal/technological/intelligence...) for Mexico in its war on drugs. Then I need to take a position and argue if the U.S. should increase its support for the Mexican government or if it should decrease the amount of support it provides. This sounds boring and tedious, but I kind of find it interesting; more so the paper for Psci 376 because everyone knows I love Mexico. Also, at this moment I have bad gas. It kind of sneaks up on me then screams for release. Other than that, not much is new. Here is a favorite Hot Chip song, Over and Over.