Tristi Pinkston’s New Book

Today, I have a blurb that’ll send you to a whole new world. Well, to see my author friend Tristi.
Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana.When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her.They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son.What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways.First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day!All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Second, come to the book launch!

You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!


Hazardous Universe

Well, yeah, that’s a given when you live with a fairly destructive almost 2-year old little boy who thinks that anything electronic is a weapon of mass destruction.

But you know what, Hazardous Universe is the title of a new book coming out written by the awesome Julie Wright. (In case you don’t recall, I named Julie one of the five finalists in Survivor: LDS Authors. To this day, she’s still honored. If she says she’s not, I’m sure she’s lying.)

So, what’s important to know here? It’s Julie. I actually know a little about the book too. But I’m sure I’m mixing up a few things in my head right now. What’s really important is that tomorrow night from 6-8 pm, Julie and Kevin Wasden (who came up with the idea for the book and did all its illustrations, from what Julie told me) will be at Barnes & Noble in Murray, UT for their epic launch party. How do I know it’ll be epic? Do I need to go through this again?

So, to sum up what I said on Twitter and Facebook yesterday: Be there or be stupid.

And as always,

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


So, this memory/random post is in response to Josi Kilpack’s post about hugging. (And a quick plug for Josi, I’ve never read her books, but based off their yummy titles and her comments to the Survivor LDS Author post, I am intrigued enough to read her mystery books. I’m probably one of few guys to say that. So go check out Josi Kilpack’s books Lemon Tart, English Trifle, and Devil’s Food Cake. You can get them at and I think sells them as well.)

I don’t know why, but throughout my life, I’ve been very comfortable hugging other people. It doesn’t bother me. My dad and brothers have all hugged me and each other. It’s not a ‘less-than-manly’ thing to do. I mean, Super Bowl winners smack guys on the butt or give them hugs. Why can’t normal people? (Because, let’s face it: the day I win the Super Bowl as a football player is the day Satan starts wearing a ski jacket while holding a shotgun aimed at flying pigs.)

Anyway, this story comes from my college days. For my first year at Utah State University, my apartment was connected through a stairway to a girls’ apartment. During my first semester in this apartment, I had become good friends with these girls. Now, on the flipside, for these three, there were guys that had no tact when talking to girls. Three of these tactless guys were in the girls apartment. Now, these girls were so nice that they didn’t mind the guys there, but didn’t want them there to begin with.

I had just returned from class or the store or something and I went to say hi to the girls, since none of my roommates were home. Well, April (the one from “Popcorn Can’t Write“) greeted me with a big hug. That was pretty cool. Then Necia walked into the kitchen and gave me a hug. A moment later either Stefanie or Olivia did the same thing. So in about two minutes upon arriving at the girls apartment, I received three hugs.

Well, one of the guys asked the obvious question “Why does T.J. get hugged when he walks in?” The ego-building answer that April or Necia gave (sorry, my memory doesn’t serve perfectly) was “Because the world revolves around T.J.” Funny enough, the other two girls agreed to this. “Well, my day got better,” I replied.

The real answer, that I know was in these girls’ minds, was “T.J.’s not here to flirt with us endlessly in some hope that we’ll eventually go out with him. He’s here to hang out and be normal and cool.” (Ok, that last sentence may not be accurate, but I’m 99.99% certain that the first sentence was.

Anyway, this seemed like a random and fun post to do.

How much do hugs make your life better?

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

King of Swing Part I

Before I start today’s post, I have to say, I’m glad I’m not the only member of my family that enjoys Thanksgiving for its NFL games. Thanks, Apryl for not making me feel alone on this one.


Since I need a Memory Day for this week, I figured I’d jump back to high school again. This time, it would technically start with my freshman year and go all the way through until my second year of college at Utah State University. That would be from 1996-2005. Wow! That is a long time. I’m only going to go with the time from 1996-2000 though for today’s post. The rest will be a later memory day.

My fascination with swing dancing came from my brother’s friend Jarom. Jarom and his sister Serene would swing dance at all our church dances and look really cool. Well, at least to 14-year old me, they looked awesome. To me, 17-year old Jarom will always be the King of Swing. Of course, I feel like I took over his throne after he became too old to attend these dances.

So, I did my best to mimic their moves with Kim and Kirsten. During our boring summer we hung out a lot. So, Kim and Kirsten and I would try to do different swing dancing moves that I had picked up from watching Jarom and others at these dances.

Well, during my freshman year of high school, I (re-)met Tasha. She and I were in 5th grade together at Loma Vista Elementary, but she went to Cabrillo Middle School for 6th and I went to Anacapa. Anyway, during our freshman year, our mutual friend Katherine would bring Tasha to our church dances and that is where Tasha and I started swing dancing.

During our junior year we became quite famous for swing dancing. We had showed off a lot at church and school dances. It was a given that the two of us would swing dance when a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy song, or Zoot Suit Riot, or Jump Jive ‘n Wail would play. It would’ve been taboo for us not to do it.

At this time, Kirsten’s gymnastics group was doing a show and wanted to do a swing number with Kirsten being one of 5 girls doing it. Her partner was an obvious choice because of his great swing dancing ability. (Me of course. Oh, I’m not arrogant or anything.) So for a few months, Kirsten and I practiced Zoot Suit Riot to our minds discontent. The song can get on your nerves after a while. The coolest part was being able to finally do the ‘around-the-world’ move. Kirsten and I had to practice this many times in order to make sure that poor airborne Kirsten didn’t bonk her head on the ground as she flew from behind cradled in my arms, to behind my back, to being cradled in my arms again. Sixteen/seventeen-year old me felt so bad for all the misses we had. (Kir, how come your neck never broke?) After our two-performance show, we got to perform this dance a few more times. Once was at Knott’s Berry Farm. Which was cool, except Kirsten wasn’t my partner. (Thankfully it was the nicer girl between the two girls I had to choose from.) Another performance was at the Ventura County Fair the same day that the VHS marching band had performed at the county parade. So, a lot of my friends from the band came to cheer me on, especially when they announced my name in an attempt to embarrass me.

During my senior year of high school, the AP American Government class had to do a presentation on the various decades in American history. Some friends of ours had the 1940s and asked if Tasha and I would dance in their class. Of course we did that without any concern. We even got out of our normal classes that day for it. That was cool. For our senior ball, Tasha and I decided to dance like always. Problem? Our dance floor was tiny for the couple hundred seniors and dates at the ball. Well, that didn’t seem to matter. Not enough people wanted to dance as much as they wanted to watch us. At one point, my vest came unbuckled and I had to throw it off. I had no clue where it landed. Thankfully, someone kind grabbed it or I would’ve had to pay $50 for that thing.

Shortly later, there was a talent show. Well, Tasha and I desired to audition for the show, except Tasha had to work during the audition times. So, I, as a joke, auditioned for the MC. Nope, didn’t get the MC (which was fine) but the teacher in charge (the AP American Government teacher) asked me why I wasn’t dancing. I explained that I was just improving the MC stuff. She then replied by saying “No, I mean why aren’t you and Tasha swing dancing.” I told her that Tasha had to work at audition times. The teacher replied with telling me to meet her before school in a couple of days to audition. Well, Tasha and I went to her classroom. Instead of auditioning, the teacher told us “I’ve seen you guys dance before. Just come prepared for the dress rehearsal on (some date).” Well, we were stoked for that. Our talent show was going to be a two-performance thing. A few minutes before our performance, Tasha and I decided to change up our dance a little bit because of a part that was slow. Well, one of the changes was adding a cartwheel to the routine. So, during my cartwheel in the morning performance, my right shoe flipped off my foot and flew into the audience. I immediately kicked off my other shoe and continued the dance. For the evening performance I wore different shoes so not to have that happen again. Embarrassed? Nope. It was pretty funny in all honesty.

Well, after that, I didn’t get to swing dance much more…until college. But the story of “Teesha” will be saved for another day. Until then, more useless vain trivia.

The answer to yesterday’s question is “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” is the song that plays on Mary’s phone when I call her.

Which do I think would be the coolest Super Bowl match-up?
a) New England Patriots (having beat the Colts) vs. New York Giants (having beat the Saints)
b) Indianapolis Colts (having beat the Patriots) vs New Orleans Saints (having beat the Cowboys)
c) San Diego Chargers (having beat the Jets) vs San Francisco 49ers (having beat the Giants)
d) Houston Texans (having beat the Browns) vs Detroit Lions (having beat the Saints)

The answer may surprise some, but not others.

No Fear of the Dentist

Today was Lizzie’s first real checkup at the dentist. She did really well. They all loved her and thought she was so cute. Who doesn’t right? I mean Mary and I make the world’s cutest babies (oh, and that’s nowhere near up for debate either.) As much as you’d love to hear about her this blog’s about me and we’re going with a memory day today.

Actually, a few memories concerning dentists and oral surgeons.

When I was preparing for my mission, I had to get work done on my awful teeth. Eleven cavities in all. Oh wow! Patience and pain went hand-in-hand for that 3 or 4 week ordeal. Seriously. I really liked Dr. Jones (I’ve heard him called Jack and John and I really have no clue what to put on here, so I’m going with Dr. Jones), the dentist I saw in California. That great man had patience in dealing with my teeth. But you know what was the worst, he put enough Novocaine into my system that I’ve grown a tolerance to it, therefore the numbing experience lasts only about a half-hour to forty-five minutes. Not his fault, bad oral hygiene. Seriously Casey and Kimmy, you never told me my breath stank! Maybe you did. Neither one of you had problems telling me of flaws before.

Next, a few months later, we have my awesome time visiting Dr…….um…..tip of my tongue….Anyway, I had my wisdom teeth taken out by this doctor. That is an awesome experience. Being put under for the first time in my life was a little nerve racking to say the least. But I did my best to keep myself calm. After surgery, they woke me up and took me to a recovery area where my brother was asking me questions about how I felt or something else all together. Regardless, I was pretty out of it. The best part was when they wheeled me down to the car. I seriously felt like I was on a roller coaster the entire time. I must’ve looked psycho or something. It was fun.

And finally, a few years back, Mary convinced me to go to Dr. Nance, her favorite dentist ever. He’s a pretty cool guy. Well, on my first filling at this company, they offered me nitrous. Well, never had it before. Thought it’d be cool. Let me tell you, the combination of the nitrous and watching The Italian Job, makes a great movie even better. Probably would make movies like Howard the Duck, Rocky 5000, Legally Blonde 2, and other annoyingly horrible movies pretty good.

Now That It’s Over, Why?

So, this will probably be the last Big Brother-VHS post. My reason for this post is to explain why the 12 people were chosen for the ‘game’ that was somewhat played by some and ignored by others and completely unknown of their involvement by a couple. In all honesty, if I had to cast a group of people I went to high school with, these are the 12 people I would’ve cast. There are a few alternates that I’ll add later.

Aaron: Aaron is a very interesting person. It would be challenging for me to be in the Big Brother house with him, but that’d make the show all that much more interesting. He most certainly would be the first person I’d be gunning for. However, he would add a lot of flair, style, and interesting possible drama to the Big Brother game.

Britt: I chose Britt because of her attitude. She doesn’t give a crap about other people’s crap and isn’t into gossip and annoying small talk. She’s a strong woman who’d be a threat to win competitions but also tells it likes it is which could cause some tension.

Pat: He can annoy people. But it’s been years since most of us have talked to him. He’s an interesting guy because of his personal life history. He’d make the house fun for his time being in there.

Jon: Probably the one person that I’d be afraid to trust but would want to trust. Jon’s a nice guy but can turn on the heat when topics hit his personal beliefs. He’s a tough competitor and a great guy. It’s been years since I last officially talked to him but he’s someone I think would make the game fun.

Maggie: The real Big Brother needs to seek Maggie out for their next season. No doubt in my mind. Like Britt, she tells it like it is. She’s got a friendly personality that can make people laugh, but she’d be playing the game and having fun doing it. If she had to lie, I’m sure she would. I was sad when she got voted out, but she would be tough to beat in the end.

Kimmy: I’ve known Kimmy for over 20 years. It makes sense that I’d want to play this game with her. I’d honestly have a final 2 deal with her before walking through the door. I would’ve voted Casey out and done what I could have to get Casey out of the game. Of course, Ariel would have had to go so I could’ve kept Maggie in the game longer to keep Kimmy in the game longer. She would be my second choice for “who out of these 12 should really go into the Big Brother house?” Maggie being first of course.

Bruce: I felt bad voting Bruce out. If the game were real, again, poor Ariel would’ve been gone if this was the final 6. Why? I knew that if Bruce had won the following HoH, then Casey would’ve been gone and it would’ve been easier to get to the final two for me with James. The real game is for $500,000 and that would’ve been the better strategy.

Emily: Emily adds an exotic style to the game with her Indian heritage. She also would be the nicest and sweetest person through her stay. She probably would have taken the keys for the people to nominate and thrown them in the air and whoever’s landed a certain direction got nominated. Emily is too nice for this game and probably would never play it. On that list that Maggie gets #1, Emily gets last only because she would want to do a self-nomination and/or self-vote at the beginning of the game. Then again, if $500,000 were on the table she could learn to play.

Ariel: I felt bad for voting out Ariel. I also feel bad for stating she’d have been gone earlier than she really was. However, Ariel’s very smart and could be a very calculating player in my opinion. The problem with alliances in this game is that they seem to circle around and Ariel would be someone that I probably wouldn’t have an alliance with and we’d be trying to get each other out. It would make for an interesting game to have her and me trying to get rid of one another and yet we’d still be friends.

Tim: Of course I’m putting myself in this game. Duh!

James: When I started high school, James and I were on the Freshman football together. Somehow, we hung out here and there, had friends in similar circles. Our sophomore year we both went to prom and ended up in the same group that shared a limo. Our senior year, he dated Kimmy and hung out in the same group as me during that time. James is just someone that everyone likes hanging out with. He’s right though, he’d ended up going earlier because of his competitive spirit.

Casey: This cast was done based off of conversations between Casey and I. I would’ve been tempted (and would be in the real game) to sell Casey out and get her voted out early. Why? Because she’d be such a good player at the game that no matter who she faced in the final 2, she’d win. Hello, notice that she won this mockery of a Big Brother season? Yeah, there are reasons for it. But again, if I was in the final four and had to choose between Casey and Ariel to go to the final three with me and James. I’d be so tempted to get her out of the game that she’d probably have been on the jury, if she didn’t go sooner.

And so, that’s it. But who would be my alternates?

Lorelei: The majority of us had a class of hers. Yes, she’s a teacher. She’s crazy enough to just make this game a little more fun and a little more interesting.

Lacey: Lacey and I always had an interesting friendship that was very loud and very fun. It’d be fun to see us fake-flirt consistently. Lacey can get dramatic (part of her acting nature) so it would fun and funny having her in the game.

Josh: (the little one for those reading and know two Josh’s that I could be referring to.) Josh is just someone that would add interest and humor to the show just because of his actions/reactions to things. That’s why he’d be fun.

Brandon: Ok, many people didn’t like Brandon. But, given ten years since I graduated with him I think that he would make the show so fun/interesting to watch. I mean, Big Brother does want arguers and I can see people arguing with him.

Tasha: She was a good friend of mine in high school. Somehow, drama followed her around wherever she went. Maybe it’d do the same in Big Brother.

Well, that’s it for now. Say goodbye to Big Brother VHS. Oh, I’m still going to be blogging, this was just fun.

Big Brother – VHS The Finale

Ok, here it is. The finale. We get to see the final HoH, the final vote out, and the final vote to determine the winner of Big Brother VHS.

Casey, James, and Tim had their alliance from the beginning go all the way to the end. Celebrating, the three sat in the backyard. But it turned to a lot of questions as to who would take whom to the final two. No one was really sure they were going to the final two unless they won the final HoH. And with that, let the games begin.

The final HoH is done in three sections. Whoever wins the first competition automatically goes to the third. The other two battle it out in the second competition. And then the winner of competitions one and two go on to the final competition.

Final HoH part 1: All three Houseguests had to stand on a playground merry-go-round. After about 5 minutes Casey got off and promptly vomited. “I just can’t take this kind of thing.” James and Tim had a stare down as they continued on. After a few more minutes, Tim was taunting James. “You’re looking a little queasy there buddy.” After the speed got cranked up at the 15 minute mark, James told Tim congratulations and got off the ride. Tim was excited he got to compete for the final HoH.

Final HoH part 2: James and Casey had to compete against one another. Suspended, each one of them had to climb around a thing of scaffolding grabbing in order the names of the eliminated houseguests that were painted on flags. Then, they had to go to the other side of the scaffolding to grab similar flags but for the names of the HoHs in order. After both were done, Casey was sure she had done it quick. However, it was James who beat her by 5 seconds.

Final HoH part 3: Tim and James had to sit and listen to complete statements given by voted out houseguests and current jury members. After 3 rounds, Tim was up 2-1. However, Tim got the following three wrong, with James getting them all correct and winning the final HoH at 4-2.

Eviction: James had to name his eviction 5 minutes after the competition ended. Casey and Tim had to sit in the nominee chairs. James stood before them and said. “Alrighty. Well this is a tough decision. I expected to have been voted out earlier in the competition due to my competitive spirit. My vote will try to have no personal attachments. Both of you are my friends, and it’s hard to pick one or the other….
I vote for Tim. Please be gentle on the jury.” And with that Tim was finally voted out of the game. (Haha! He’s gone! Wait…I’m Tim. How did I get voted out of my own game? That’s not right! Whatever!…ok, seriously though, no big deal.)

The final 2 are James and Casey. Let’s get to the winner.

The jury consists of seven members of the most recent evicted houseguests: Jon, Maggie, Kimmy, Bruce, Emily, Ariel, and now Tim  (I still can’t believe it. Voted out of my game! I made this game!) (Ominous voice: Shut up, Tim!).  These people had to make a decision on who to vote to win between James and Casey.

Jon: I vote for Casey, even though she voted me out, she’s the type of person I’d like to have in my wedding.

Maggie: I really hate all of you for voting me out and really should have won. But since I have to vote for one of you, I vote for Casey to win.

Bruce: You know, when I found out that the final three was James, Casey, and Tim, I had hoped that James made it to the end. Casey, you gunned for me for too long. My vote is for James to win.

Tim: I have had an alliance with Casey since the beginning of the game, she would’ve been the person I would’ve taken to the final two. However, I am shocked that James dodged being voted out twice thanks to Ariel and Emily and was able to make it to the final two. (It was really luck.) So, I’ve decided that I vote for James to win.

Kimmy: Really, I was not pleased that I was voted out. But, oh well, let bygones be bygones. I vote for Casey to win.

Ariel: James, you nominated me twice and voted for me once. So, I vote for Casey to win.

Emily: With Ariel’s vote, that means Casey won. And since my vote doesn’t matter, I can’t feel like I’m going to offend anyone. So I kindly vote for Casey to win, since I’m being forced to.

And with that. Casey wins Big Brother-VHS by a vote of 5-2. Congratulations to Casey, who knew she was going to win from the get go.

Maybe we’ll do it again sometime.