Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 90: Mustache March 2012

Friday night at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts black box, I joined with the Improvables in putting on our Mustache March show. It's the second time we've had one of these nights honoring facial hair, and it's now looking like it's going to become an annual tradition for us.
Here, the members of the troupe who participated in growing facial hair pose for a picture:
During the evening's performance, we also recognized two audience members - one male and one female - for their excellent mustaches and awarded them free passes to come back to a future Improvables show. After the show, our M.C. for the evening, Ryan, posed with one of the winners.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 89: The Evolution of Rock Band

If you've been a follower of Disconcertingly Choppy from the beginning or sometime close to it, then you undoubtedly know by now that Rock Band is one of my all-time favorite video games. Well, apparently, it has now evolved.
With the release of Rock Band 3, a keyboard element has been added to the game. I had known this for some time, and I finally got to try it out when, over the past weekend, Ben and I attended our friend Jared's monthly Rock Band party at his home in the southern end of the Salt Lake valley.
The keyboard is actually a lot harder than it looks, Maybe it would have been easier to play if I had kept up with those piano lessons like my parents urged me to do when I was 12 years old, huh? Oh, how the words have come back to haunt me over time.
At any rate, it's still Rock Band, and it was still a lot of fun to join with good friends in singing and "playing" some of our favorite songs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 88: "Festival of Fruit Loops"

For a number of years now, I have observed with some degree of bewilderment and also fascination as friends and associates of mine here in Utah have traveled down to Spanish Fork in March for the annual "Festival of Colors," which is hosted by the hare krishnas who have a temple there. The main goal of attending this event, apparently, is to get "culturally enriched" by getting yourself covered in powder and dust that comes in many bright colors, taking pictures of it, and then posting them on Facebook. According to some skeptics I know, these colors are rumored to be carcinogenic.
Then, about the time of last year's event, a thought occurred to me: Could I accomplish basically the same effect by buying a box of Fruit Loops (similar in color as they are to the assorted powders and dust), mashing them into a fine powder, and then dumping the box's contents over my head?
The thought occurred to me again over the weekend when I saw more pictures from this year's festival, and so, earlier today, with some free time on my hands, I decided to put my theory to a test.
First, of course, I had to buy the box of Fruit Loops. It was $3.85 plus tax. Then, I had to have a couple of bowls, because Fruit Loops are just too good to waste a whole box on something like my project.
After enjoying a tasty breakfast, I got down to business, first by running over the box multiple times with my car.
I then found an unexpected ally in my mother, who observed what I was in the process of doing and who offered to assist me by then mashing up the bag some more with a rolling pin.
My next step was to mash up the rest of the bag's ingredients into a powder by using a hammer.
I was then finally ready to start dumping the powder onto my own head.
Behold, my new Facebook profile picture. I think it rivals many of the ones taken at the actual "Festival of Colors":
Conclusions: The powder turned out to be a mostly yellow concoction, but for the most part, I believe I was able to duplicate the "Festival of Colors" experience. I saved a lot of time and money (again, just $3.85 plus tax) that I would have otherwise spent on gas driving down to Spanish Fork and back. The powder was a bit tough to shampoo out of my scalp, but those are the breaks, I guess, when you're breaking new ground, as I feel I just did.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 87: Giant Mutant Pigs from Outer Space!

The other day, I pulled into the driveway - or, rather, I tried to pull into the driveway - and found this thing blocking my path.
Turns out the roof was getting fixed, and this was the trash bin for collecting scraps and junk. And here I thought we were being invaded by giant pigs that had left their equally giant feeding trough in their wake!
I guess you had to be there.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 86: McKenna Hijacks My Camera II

Yesterday, my niece McKenna once again "borrowed" my camera and took several pictures, including this self-portrait:

My guess is it's the sassy new haircut.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 85: Meeting Jacob

A few weeks ago, I posted on the birth of my new nephew Jacob, although I was not able to visit him personally due to illness. At today's family dinner, however, I got to see and hold him for the first time.
Yep, the story checks out; he's a cute (and tiny) little bundle. And yes, again, I'm more than a bit biased when it comes to my nieces and nephews.
Here, he is cradled by his Uncle Mike and Grandma Plowman:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 84: Bellydance like an Egyptian

Ben and I were among the family members in the audience earlier this afternoon to watch our 14-year-old niece Kylee perform in her school musical, Aida, up at Fairfield Jr. High in Kaysville (Layton?).

Kylee played the role of one the Egyptian slaves and, in addition, I must say, made quite a convincing bellydancer. I don't have all that much experience watching bellydancers, and I'm a bit biased as her uncle, but there you go.

At any rate, I had previously heard the music from Aida but had never seen the show performed live, and we enjoyed the show a great deal. The kids were not perfect performers, as many of them are still finding out who they are at that age, but they obviously had fun and gave it their all. After the show, our little thespian, still in her Egyptian makeup, posed for this picture with Uncle Ben:

Day 83: Kenna's New Haircut II

Kenna came over to visit the other day and showed off her latest new haircut.

It's different, but then again, "different" is what we Plowmans are. We like it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 82: Improvables in the Clipper

If you're a Davis County Clipper subscriber - and there are literally dozens of them - you may notice an article in this week's paper that features your favorite (and only) Davis County-based Improv troupe, the Improvables.

Yours truly (*ahem*) is quoted no fewer than three times, and members of the troupe, including my siblings Steve and Biz, are featured in a handful of photos from last Friday's performance at the DCPA. If you haven't already done so, please pick up a copy now, won't cha?

You can also read the article online here:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 81: I Am Spartacus!

At Wednesday night mid-singles Institute classes, we are always given the opportunity to fill out a name tag when we arrive to help introduce ourselves to new people. Occasionally, I write my real name on those tags. Tonight, however, was not one of those occasions.

Why do I do it? For one thing, it's to see if people pay attention. It turns out that quite a few of them do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 80: A Fistful of Sushi

I have to confess that a guilty pleasure of mine is becoming sushi, or at least the kind of sushi that looks like this:

These (California, I believe) rolls are actually quite delicious.

The first few times I tried sushi, I didn't much care for it. But it's slowly growing on me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 79: Jeff's Peach Crumble

One ironclad rule that I've learned over the past few years is that when my brother-in-law Jeff makes his peach crumble, it is definitely not to be missed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 78: The Life of a Prophet, Part III

Either I'm becoming a voracious reader, or I have a lot of free time on my hands. Or a combination of the two.
At any rate, I finished my latest biography of the modern-day prophets this afternoon. This one centered on John Taylor, third Church president in the dispensation. As with the other biographies, I enjoyed this read quite a bit and learned a lot about this good man.
One of my favorite stories (which I'll have to paraphrase) centered around a sermon Pres. Taylor gave in his early days as a new Apostle in the Kirtland area in Ohio. Certain members of the crowd threatened to tar and feather him if he spoke, but he did so anyway. When he was finished, he tore open his shirt and basically shouted out, "Now, come and get me!" The men who had previously threatened him had been so touched by the sermon that they instead left him alone.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 77: If You Give a Three-Year-Old Some Gum . . .

. . . you need to be prepared for the consequences, I guess.
Jackson is much like me in that he, apparently, believes it's better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. He had already stuffed two pieces of gum into his mouth when he asked me if he could have a piece.
That's really a pretty clever strategy.

Day 76: A-Hunting Dallin Goes

When he came over to visit the other day, Dallin was anxious to show off his new toy gun, which, admittedly, is pretty cool. It kinda works like a toy machine gun.

Unfortunately, he was also anxious to shoot people with it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 75: Tetherball

Today's photos are also from the aforementioned family trip over to the park from earlier in the week. While we were over there, Luke discovered tetherball for the first time and found that he really enjoyed the game.
I was a little tempted to go all Napoleon Dynamite on him, but the feeling soon passed. It's really a great game and one I hadn't played in a very long time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 74: Pi/Pie Day

Today is March 14, which also, assuming you are one of the many nerds taking part (and I include myself among that group), makes it Pi Day (since, you know, Pi begins with 3.14 and then adds a whole bunch of other numbers afterward).

To celebrate the occasion, we ate delicious pie (get it? Pi/pie) after tonight's mid-singles Institute class. What a great holiday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 73: Monkeys' Uncle

Following our bi-monthly family dinner over the weekend, Dad, Mike, Ben, and I took the kids over to "the park" (aka the playground at Hannah Holbrook Elementary School, located next door) to play. It's the same field and area where I spent many of my own recesses when I was in elementary school a few years back. One of their favorite things to do was to climb across and through these bars.

I'll be a monkeys' uncle, indeed!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 72: Feeding the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

Over the past year or so, Mom and Dad have adopted several of the birds who frequent their neighborhood, and by "adopting," I mean "feeding a couple of times each day."
This shot of a group of these birds hanging on the telephone wires outside is about the best I was able to get, as they tend to fly off if you attempt to get close to them.
That's gratitude for you, I guess.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 71: The Revenge of Davy Crockett

At today's family dinner, Davy Crockett suddenly appeared, wearing a coonskin cap and armor, and attacked us with his sword.
Of course, it wasn't really Davy Crockett but Jackson, claiming to be Link from The Legend of Zelda, who had come up with an interesting costume choice while in the playroom downstairs. I think he captured the essence of Link - or even Davy - rather well.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 70: "Musical Fairy Tale"

Kim captured this photo from last night's Improvables performance in the black box theater at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts. It was taken in the middle of a "Musical Fairy Tale" based on "Jack and the Beanstalk," as Bryan sang part of the story in a Broadway-style tune and Willis and I acted out the chopping down of the beanstalk.
As with many Improv moments, you just had to be there, I suppose.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 69: The Life of a Prophet, Part II

Earlier today, I finished reading my latest biography of one of the modern-day prophets. This one focused on President Heber J. Grant, and I found it to be very educational and full of many great stories about this good man who was called as a stake president at the young age of 23, as an Apostle at 26, and then served in the Quorum of the Twelve and as president of the Church for an incredible 63 years, including through the Great Depression and the first two World Wars.
My overall experience reading these books has been amazing. I look forward to completing the next one.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 68: The Game Boys

It's not all-that uncommon for the boys and I to spend our afternoons together on this couch, playing the Xbox 360 together.
It's a pretty great way to spend an afternoon, really.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 67: New Life Begins!

Today's photo is of my new nephew Jacob Christian Plowman, born this morning at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City at approximately 8:58 a.m. and weighing seven pounds and five ounces. Both mother (Jessica) and baby are doing well and are healthy.
Jacob Christian is named after two of his Plowman Danish ancestors: his great-great-great grandfather John Jacob, and John Jacob's son, Christian Jorgensen - both of who crossed the plains with handcarts to Utah in the 1860s.
Don't even get it into your heads that my nephew was named after anyone in the so-called Twilight "saga."
Happy birthday, kiddo.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 66: A Fistful of Wontons

One of the benefits of doing a majority of my work from home is that I have a flexible-enough schedule to go out to lunch when the occasion demands it. Well, the occasion demanded it today, and at my parents' invitation, I got to enjoy another great meal at Joy Luck, our local favorite Chinese eatery. It was my first time ordering the sesame beef plate, which was delicious.

In addition, our lunch included this plate of scrumptious wontons, which was good enough to take a picture of and write today's post about.

No need to thank me.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 65: A Visit to Job Corps

Earlier today, I had a very eye-opening experience. For the first time since I've worked for Reading Horizons (going on five years now), I visited a location that has been using our product in the classroom and got to see up close and personal the kind of impact it is having on people in the real world.

My friend Grant Murray, who is one of the instructors at the Clearfield Job Corps, invited me to visit the campus and to sit in on a couple of class periods as student immigrants from multiple international locations, including Africa, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia, use Reading Horizons in their efforts to master the English language. I met and conversed with young men and women from Eritrea, the Marshall Islands, Vietnam, and a few other places I didn't even know existed before today. The Clearfield Job Corps is, believe it or not, the most internationally diverse Job Corps site in the United States, with people from 48 states and 33 foreign countries attending.

I am grateful to Grant and his co-workers for showing me a little piece of the good things they're doing day in and day out. It's the kind of thing that has motivated me to try to do better in my own day-to-day efforts and has reminded me yet again that I am fortunate enough to work for a company that is truly making a lasting difference in many people's lives.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 64: Cute Ukelele Player

Last week, as we were getting to play another competitive and frenzied family game of "Pass the Parcel," this cute ukelele player sat down beside me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 63: Everybody Loves a Clown

Today's photo comes from earlier in the week, when my siblings and their families were over at the house for family dinner. Sometime during the course of the evening, I heard giggling coming from one of the rooms and discovered Kenna looking like this:
She's only eight years old, so I have to assume that she'll get many more chances to practice before she makes a habit of wearing makeup.
Jenna, her partner in crime, was also trying on makeup but ran off and washed her face before I could get a picture. Smart kid.

Day 62: Parker and the Clown Bib

After our Friday night Improv performances, we members of the Improvables frequently go out to eat at Dee's. It is really the only time outside of our shows that we hang out together.

At any rate, the evening's entertainment rarely ends at the conclusion of each show. If you were to join us, you'd typically see something like this going on at Dee's:

That's a clown bib, normally intended for kids who eat at the restaurant. Long story short, Parker decided to try on one of his own. I think it's a good look for him.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 61: Flat as a Pancake, Again

Yet another flat tire awaited me when I came out to my car today, making it the second one of 2012 so far.

Yeah, I know. You're jealous of my wheels.