Monday, November 29, 2010

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

Sally and I rarely watch television, and in fact don't even have a useable set. The only one we have is hooked up to the Wii. So we watch a lot of movies on the computer, thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Fancast, etc.

It came to me that it would be fun to review some of what we watch. What you will read here talks more about me than it does about the movies, of course, but that's the point of this blog anyway.

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain was a complete delight and something of a surprise. I don't know wat I was expecting, though with Hugh Grant as the main character Reginald, there is generally going to be a "gentle soul" who may or may not also be a klutz.

Well he is not a klutz, and is in fact a cartographer on tour with his boss fixing up map problems for Her Majesty.

They stop in a small southern Welch village whose claim to fame is Ffynnon Garw, reputed to be the "first mountain in Wales". Only an earlier survey missed the fact that the peak is 16 feet less than the 1000 needed for mountain status.

The village is incensed and under the impetus of the local pastor and "Morgan the Goat" (played by Colm Meaney of Star Trek fame) the townsfolk decide to add the missing 16 feet, and 4 to spare.

Betty from Cardiff (played by Tara Fitzgerald) is set in Reginald's path to entice him into going along with the plan and eventually they fall in love, though TEWWUAHBCDAM is not exactly a love story. Well it is a love story, but more the love of the local citizens for their village and their mountain.

What I liked best about this movie was the was the whole town came together despite obstacles and long-running feuds. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eldred G Smith

Eldred G Smith was the last functioning Presiding Patriarch of the Church and as such was a direct descendant of Hyrum, the brother of the prophet Joseph.

While at BYU one Sunday evening I went to a fireside where Elder Smith was the speaker. I was fascinated by all that he knew and by the things he talked about that I had never even read about. Of course as a relatively new convert (this was after my mission, so I had been a member for about 4 years), all this stuff that everyone else had grown up with was intriguing.

I remember he was talking about the box that Joseph had commissioned to keep the plates in and safe while he was translating them. Joseph described it as being a wooden box, or chest, with a lid and a lock.

Then Eldred Smith reached down under the podium, brought something out and put it down in front of him and declared "This is the box".

I was so moved by the experience that I have never forgotten it. I even went up afterwards so that I could see it. It was plain and worn with age. And it had held the golden plates.

Bekah kept me awake

Every year, like clockwork, we piled the whole family into our 9-seater VW van and made the trek to Utah.

We had learned that the 12-hour trip went faster and easier if we went at night so that the kids slept. I'm sure millions of parents have done this over the years.

Well the problem was, of course, my staying awake. We solved that by having a designated talker - Bekah - sit up front with me and keep me from dozing.

She was the perfect choice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tomato Soup

I don't know why I don't like tomato soup. I never have, maybe never will.

I remember that when I was in grade school before we moved to Paris (I went to Hill School in Novato, CA) I only got to buy my lunch every once in a while.

You guessed it, almost every time, lunch was tomato soup.