Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I love the now-deceased television show "Arrested Development." There are often scenes set in prison where the family members are visiting the father in prison and there are guards standing close by while the prisoners and visitors talk at tables. If anyone tries to touch anyone a guard will explode with, "NO TOUCHING!!!"

My point of bringing that up is that apparently there is now a Connecticut middle school that has the exact same policy: absolutely no touching. So whereas the hall monitors in my junior high might have halted kissing, teasing, or (obviously) fighting... the hall monitors at that middle school may shout, "No high-fives!" Or... "NO HUGGING!" As if junior high didn't feel enough like a prison!

Here's a segment from an article on the policy established by the principal:

"Students and parents are outraged. ...
"Potential consequences and disciplinary action [for touching] may include parent conferences, detention, suspension and/or a request for expulsion from school," Williams wrote.
Many think the school's no tolerance policy goes way too far. Others said it's utterly ridiculous.
"Now it's almost as if it's a sanitized school. Where you have to keep your distance from everybody? And that's not what school is about," one father said.
"What if they are out on the playground at recess, or in gym class?" parent Kathy Casey wondered. "You know, gym class is physical."
Source: http://wcbstv.com/local/school.bans.hugs.2.969949.html

I find this policy QUITE ridiculous. Apparently the principal established the no-contact rule after a student was hospitalized from a violent kick to the groin. So... why not react like any other school and punish those responsible... hold to a strict no VIOLENCE policy... and allow the other students the ability to give their high-fives and hugs freely. That might be too normal.

It's a weird world. K, bye!


Last night was fun. Spencer was having some killer pains in his side and so I ended up driving him (in his car) ( poor Gregory) to the ER. They called him in fairly quickly and then made him do a WHOLE LOTTA waiting. We got there at 2 am ish... we left at about 5:00! It was a long night. Kidney stones. Yikes. K bye.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Abondoned Gregory...

Well, here I am in Logan finally. I got home about an hour ago, but I left from American Fork about 6 hours ago! It was quite the journey. The weather was completely fine up through to Salt Lake. Then when I got to Davis County it started snowing. Then I hit this point where suddenly the snow was sticking and it was a slippery mess! Gregory's tires are also VERY bald. (For those of you who are wondering, Gregory is my Nissan Sentra's name... I decided a fuel-efficient and small car needed a good nerdy name. No offense to any random Gregories that stop by my blog.) So I was driving WAY slower than the rest of the freeway traffic, but sliding a lot more, too. Then I passed a few people that had slid off the side, and then a couple more who'd gotten into accidents... that was enough for me... especially when the snowy/rainy/icy sludge stuff was also obstructing my view pretty badly. I pulled off of the first exit I could see, and I had no idea where I was. But as I slid my way into a "Famous Dave's" restaurant parking lot I saw the "Layton Clinic" across the street. So I called my friend Kelsie who's from Layton and she was awesome and tried to guide me to her parent's house. I couldn't quite make it up the hills to her place without being too dangerous, so I ended up a few blocks from her house on the side of the road. Meanwhile, Spencer left Logan with his girlfriend Katie to come pick me up. They're champs! Also, Kelsie's parents took me to their house so I didn't have to just sit in my car to wait. And they're going to move my car when the snow clears. I owe a big fat thanks to all of my helpers tonight! I'm glad I stopped though... If I'd tried to keep going it would have surely ended badly or at least not as well or as soon as it has. Anyway, there's my random adventure for Sunday evening. That's how Gregory got abandoned in Layton while I'm in Logan.

Well, I'm going to try to study a bit for my Spanish test before I fall asleep. Seeyalatabye.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

NCAA Tourney...

Boo. I only got one of the final four correct. My final two (and therefore my national champ: Louisville) are already out of the tourney. I stunk this year! Boo.

I think I may have had an allergic reaction to all of that chalk stuff from the Festival of Colors. Yeargh.

K... that's all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Festival of People Who Need To Shower... aka... Festival of Colors...

Wow! Today was a long day, but a very good one. This morning I went to Lehi and watched my nephew Andrew's baptism. I can't believe he's 8! Time has flown by watching my sisters' children grow up. I was one of the witnesses for the baptism. I love getting to see him and all of my other nephews and my nieces. They're so fun!

After the baptism I went to get a Gandolfo's breakfast sandwich. (Getting one has become a staple of almost ALL of my visits home.) I LOVE these sandwiches. I think they are honestly amongst my favorite foods of all time, and are almost definitely my favorite fast food items. After devouring that I took a nap and then went to get fitted for my tux for Anthony's wedding in May.

Then came the really fun part. I went to Julianna's place in Orem. We prepared ourselves to go to the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork for their annual: FESTIVAL OF COLORS! We had to fight our way through the swarms of people but we found a parking spot and made it to the temple. First we bought our colored chalk stuff and then just looked around the temple and fed/pet the llamas on the grounds. The chalks are REALLY bright colors and after the people set an evil demoness effigy on fire, everyone is supposed to start chucking their colored chalk stuff in the air and it gets on everyone and turns into a big fight. Really it was more just a chaotic scramble to get covered in as much color as possible. It was fun! Although... there were some interesting bad things that had to come with all this chalk a-flyin'. First there was the amount in the air that you breathed in and swallowed... not way great. Secondly, there was blowing my nose afterwards and seeing for the first time in my life... PURPLE SNOT! There was also the sting in my eye as someone lobbed a gob of purple chalk into my left eye. And then there was the pink armpit... someone aimed a great shot right down my shirt sleeve. Even though these things were a bit upsetting/disturbing... IT WAS TONS OF FUN! I totally would go again if I had the chance. After the chalk settled and we listened to some music and the crowd did some chanting stuff we assessed the damage and headed out. We were all quite hungry and after getting to Provo we decided to go to a barbeque pizza place. It was really good. It was funny though, because as we walked in we got a bunch of funny stares and there was a group of biker dudes and biker chicks. We explained where we'd been and they were like, "You can stare at us if we can stare at you!" It was funny. It was a very strange shower when I got home. It was very COLORFUL! Fun day. It ended with hanging out with Anthony and Marche. We grabbed Spence and got Frosties! Woot. Well... that was my eventful day!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stereotypical blog...

I'm afraid that my blog has become the stereotypical rantings and ravings of an abnormal person that are read by ONLY that person! Oh well! Such is the fate of Rand-o-mania.

NCAA Tourney: My ESPN bracket is still doing pretty well. It says I have 97% of my guesses correct. Not too bad. Still not perfect though. Anyway, I'm hoping that things go well for my teams tonight. They have thus far, but Pittsburg gave me a scare.

I've gotten Larry the Macbook up and running again. Everything reinstalled, re-setup. That's good.

Played racquetball today. Finally! It's the first time I've played this week. Spencer and I did best of 5, he kept killing me at the beginning of each game, but I'd make a lucky come-back win. Well, I won the 1st, 4th and 5th games. We're a pretty even match when it comes to racquetball.

Still don't know what I'm going to do this summer... ugh. I hope I can find a job. I also haven't heard from the school whether I'll be a UTF or not. Probably not with the way USU's budget seems to be going. (Oh, and thanks USU students for passing the stupid athletics fee increase... I'll spare you, my MANY readers, a rant about that whole deal. Lame sauce!)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Thoughts...

Random thingy I did in Adobe Illustrator. You might need to click on it to be able to read it... but I'm not sure why you'd want to read it... it's pretty lame. :)

I'm glad that it's snowing.
I realize that that is a crazy statement to most Loganians. However, it's really helping me with school. Last week we had some seriously kick-trash weather up here. It was nice and warm. Then the storms came a-rollin' in. It's now cold and there are a couple inches of snow on the ground outside. Ya see... last week I had some SERIOUS spring fever. I was dying to get out of school and do something fun in the warmth. Now it's cold and bitter like Logan should be this time of year. So I'm fine to be in school now!

I'm not quite as observant as I think I am. I've just now noticed that there are SIX different colors on the walls here in the UR Graphics lab. SIX! It's taken me years of working in here to realize this. I know I'm not the MOST observant person ever... but how did I miss that there were a full SIX different colors?

I'm giving some serious thought to going by my middle name. Ok, that isn't completely true. OK, OK... it's not even CLOSE to true. I've just thought about what it would be like to be Martin Ricks. I'm convinced that I'd become an entirely different person. Although, I hate it when people call me Jeffy now... it would be infinitely worse to be "Marty." Ok, forget I ever brought this one up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Volume 5, Issue 2

Introducing the new revolutionary 24-Hour HEALTHNUT CLOCK! Do you need little reminders to eat right? Have you found your diet slipping away? Have you been so stressed that you forget to eat? Well, The 24-Hour Healthnut Clock is your answer to all these questions, and more! The Healthnut reminds you to get all your meals in, and get them in healthy fashion as well! You'll be in tremendous shape in no time! Start your day off with a fiber bar PACKED with protein. Move on to a complete balanced breakfast. If you're REALLY a health nut you'll even force down a heavy dosage of healthy fruit to chase your breakfast. Can't you see how this system could work for you already?! At 15 o'clock you'll find a fine lunch followed by a revitalizing snack to tide you over until dinner. Your dinner-reminder's main course will give your body ALL the essential vitamins and minerals it craves. This system even allows a lite dessert! (Watch out though, it will give you extra vitamins!) And the Healthnut Clock system even reminds you to get in that late-night snack before your complete night's rest! With Healthnut there's nothing to fret over! WE GUARANTEE YOU TO SEE A CHANGE ON THE SCALE, OR YOUR CLOCK IS FREE! Call now! 1-800-HLTHNUT *We also deliver to Mexico, ask for the Spanish version: <<¡EL RELOJ LOCO PARA ADICTOS DE AZÚCAR!>>

So, so flippin' tired...

I had the HARDEST time coming to work this morning. I was up until 5 am finishing a paper last night. I'm REALLY excited for the nap that I HAVE TO TAKE after my Urban American History class. Ugh, as much as I'm interested in urban redevelopment and its ramifications for African Americans in the mid-twentieth century, I'd still rather have slept longer! I have not been letting myself sleep enough lately. It's nuts. I should not have procrastinated writing anything more than the first few sentences. It took me forever to get out of the first paragraph last night.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm writing on here today... I don't have anything to say really. Although I AM very excited that I do have one "follower" in Amelia! Go Amelia! I think you'll remain the only actual reader for quite some time. That is if you can even handle reading this mumbo-jumbo for too much longer.

Well, I'm about falling asleep now... I need to go get a drink of water.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Aggies, Brackets, and Shirking...


So anyway I'm just shirking doing my homework right now. I should be writing a paper for my Urban American History Class, but I'm writing in the void that is the blog-o-sphere instead. Real productive, Jeff... REAL productive.
I'm actually glad that it snowed. It's helping to calm my spring fever a bit. I was about ready to throw in the towel last week because it was nice outside and I didn't want to be in class anymore. Anyway, this isn't going to be my best semester, but it's still going pretty well.

Random: I just drove past the Panda Express here in Logan and one of the a's and the n in Panda were burnt out so I saw it and shouted, "PDA EXPRESS!!!" I thought it was pretty darn funny. I was returning from rollerblading... how random is that?! I haven't done that in probably a decade!

The serious bummer of Friday... the Aggies lost by a point to Marquette. It's a BIG bummer because Marquette left the door open for the Aggies, but they just couldn't grab the opportunity. That's alright, they did have a kick trash season and had their last game of the season as ESPN's #25 ranked team. Good job guys! We'll miss Gary Wilkinson. He's a great player. Anyway... my bracket has been doing ok. I'm currently 3rd in my family contest. I'm seriously doubting some of my choices now though. We'll see. I LOVE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!

Well, I guess I should stop this mindless blathering and get to semi-productive partially mindful blathering. See ya.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Poor Larry...

My Macbook's hard drive is apparently dead. Ugh. That's not great news. It's not TOO devastating, but I lost my Chinese History and Urban American History notes, a month's worth of journal entries (I'm sure they were stellar), and possibly some music. I took it in to get fixed today, and Skyler says I can get it back tomorrow. With all the problems I've had with buying a refurbished computer, I'm NEVER doing it again. I'll just fork over the extra hundies next time... well, I'll convince my mom to fork them over anyway. I think that's why I'm not torn apart by Larry being dead. I'm REALLY lucky to have the laptop in the first place. My mom bought it for me. She's a great gal.
For those of you (of my millions of readers) who are concerned for my well-being, yes, I still have this stupid canker sore.
I'm tired. Work has gone by really slowly tonight, and I still have to prepare my Spanish presentation for tomorrow. But enough whining.

I won 4 of 7 games of racquetball with Spence today... cool, huh? Ok... I'm stretching to put anything on here. Apparently I don't have anything to write about tonight. Well, I could go on and on about the NCAA tournament, but maybe I'll save that entry for another day, especially because my Aggies play tomorrow.

Well, adios.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Canker Carmex Coma, Wednesday Thoughts 2

Here are three Wednesday Thoughts:

There is a clear canker sore/stress cycle. According to some sources one of the causes of canker sores (mouth ulcers) is stress. I currently have a canker sore that won't go away. I think I got it from stress (or those darn fries I ate last Wednesday). Anyway, I think that it won't go away because it keeps itself alive by causing me stress! It's a vicious cycle!
I find Carmex superior to Chap Stik. I fairly recently decided to try Carmex because a friend said she thought it smelled good. I don't know about the smell, but I HAVE found that it works for me a LOT better than Chap Stik ever has. Awesome.
Poor Larry the Macbook is in a coma. I think my laptop is in a coma! Who knows when I'll be able to help him emerge from his current vegitative state. This isn't a battery issue mind you, the computer starts up and then instead of showing an Apple logo like usual and then moving on, it flashes a folder logo with a ? on it. It's very troubling. I went through all advised troubleshooting methods and none have worked. It seems that Larry needs to go to the hospital. I'm not excited for that at all.

Those are this week's Wednesday Thoughts. K, bye.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day...

I'm not really sure I get what the big deal is with this day. Really, WHY is it a holiday? I suppose for this short shift today I am going to find out what the deal is with St. Patty's Day and determine whether I have any desire whatsoever to take part. Perhaps if I was Irish I would feel some compelling need to take part in the festivities, but I'm not Irish. So I do NOT feel any obligation.

Ok, after doing some research, basically I found an article that I thought was funny and thought I'd share an excerpt. This guy seems to agree with me that this is another of many holidays that is totally missing the point of its creation.
"Sure, it’s fun for some
people to dress all in
green, right down to their
skivvies and up to their face
paint. Shouts of “Erin Go
Bragh!”—sometimes twisted to “Erin,
Go Braless!” as the day drags on and the
blood-alcohol content climbs—seem relatively
good-natured, even if your name is Erin. But all of that undermines
the holiday’s potential: The day could have developed
into a rallying cry of solidarity among people of Irish descent
just as Puerto Rican Day is for that cohort. The celebration
could have offered a way of saying,“Thank goodness we made
it, after that potato famine nearly killed every last one of us.”
Rather, St. Patrick’s Day simply casts a spotlight on corned
beef, soda bread, and the little dude on the Lucky Charms
cereal box. [The irony? His name is actually Lucky. –Ed.]
(Don’t even get me started on Columbus Day. That holiday’s
more screwed up than my eating habits are. How a
conquistador of uncertain origin with a bad sense of direction
and a boatload full of syphilitic mercenaries became a
symbol of Italian pride is beyond me.)
This is the power of brand, of tradition, of the
crowd. It doesn’t matter that, in Ireland,
St. Patrick’s Day is still largely a religious
holiday commemorating a glorified
snake charmer. It doesn’t matter
that mentioning leprechauns or
shamrocks will get you a punch
in the face any other day of the
year. [This isn’t hyperbole.Marshall
knows this firsthand. –Ed.]
Americans—Irish and otherwise—
have appropriated the
holiday and made it their
own, regardless of the day’s
original intent."
This is from an editorial in Customer Relationship Magazine by
Marshall Lager lager@destinationCRM.com
CRM Magazine; Mar2008, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p50-50, 1p, 1 color

He's totally right that this holiday has been stolen, twisted, and ransacked for whatever it's originally about. Just like Valentine's Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Easter, and Christmas have all been twisted, St. Patty's Day is just the same. I think many people at least still really get what Easter and Christmas are about, and I'm really glad that the church helps me to remember the upside of those days, but the rest of those holidays absolutely annoy me. I see no purpose in them whatsoever. St. Patrick's Day seems like a lame excuse to wear green and get drunk. (Which makes it an even MORE pointless day when you're Mormon!) Really, if anyone can see any great value in this day, I'll go change into some green and wish everyone I see a happy St. Patrick's. Otherwise... STOP BUGGING ME THAT I'M NOT WEARING GREEN!

Ok, I'm sure that this long of an entry wasn't really necessary, but I have successfully passed a lot of my work-shift by. Which was a primary goal of all of this.

Monday, March 16, 2009

And About The Wedding...

Well, I guess that Obit for Spring Break isn't really enough about the past couple days to suffice. Yesterday my brother Jake got married. I was really excited for him, but yesterday was REALLY long. I got up at 5:30 am, got ready, went to the temple, signed the wedding license stuff, waited for the sealing, after the sealing, we waited for them to change, then we all took pictures on the temple grounds, had the luncheon at noon, after the luncheon my mom and I drove straight home, changed, and then went to Highland Gardens to set up (Spencer helped out, thanks buddy!), when that was done we went back home to change again, went back to Highland Gardens to take more pictures, started the reception at 6, it finally started winding down at 8:30, I got home at 10pm. Whew! After I watched the last few minutes of the Aggie game, I CRASHED. I don't do that. I fell asleep on the couch without meaning to. I VERY rarely fall asleep without trying to do so. Anyway, I'm glad it's over. The sealing was really great though. I enjoyed it a lot. There was a great feeling there. I was struck with awe as I looked around the room and saw each of my sisters sitting with their husbands for eternity, and as I looked at my brother and Emily making that same bond. It's just amazing that each of my siblings has set the same great example for me and others and have such great spouses. I'm lucky to have all of them. Not to mention my many aunts and uncles, grandma, cousins, and of course my mom that were all there, too. I'm really blessed with a great family. I'm sad to not be able to see Jake as often with him living in Arizona, but I'm grateful that he's finally found his wife to be happy with. And he really does seem very happy. They'll do great.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Break... R.I.P.

I'm mourning my good pal, Spring Break. His lifetime wasn't very exciting. He spent his time playing Risk, watching a lot of college basketball, and sleeping. His life was concluded with a marathon day that left him ragged and worn out until the end... that is... when he died this evening. Spring Break, I hope you're happy wherever you've gone, I'll miss you buddy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

This blog might as well be a secret!

Apparently I'm the only one that reads my blog, but honestly that's probably for the best!

I can't get enough college basketball right now. I normally don't really care, but since my school is playing well I suddenly am really into it. I've been watching all the conference tourneys and am really excited for the NCAA Tournament! My Aggies have had an awesome season. So awesome that they actually caused me to have school pride! I even bought a game day shirt to prove it! They're a blast to watch and I hope they can actually win the WAC and get into the big dance, even if they're out in round one.

That's about all I have right now. ... ... Ok, bye.

Vapors of Smoke and great pollutions...

There's a section in the Book of Mormon (Mormon 8: 29, 31) that says: "Yea it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands; ... Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth." It's talking about the emergence of the Book of Mormon in our time. So it's talking about today when it mentions these vapors of smoke, and great pollutions.

I thought of that scripture when I saw this article:

I guess that's one revelation that's certainly true. It's creepy to me to think about the sun slowly getting blocked by crud in the air though... I'd rather that didn't happen! How 'bout you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Thoughts...

U2 might not be my favorite band anymore. Their newest album is not great. Not great at all. There isn't one song on there that I really like. It's all just blah-music. I gave No Line On The Horizon a 3 of 5 stars on Amazon. A 3 OF 5! That's just weird for me to think that low of a U2 album. I'm thinking it might be time for those guys to pack it in. Bono's voice is NOT even close to the same these days. So that's a bummer.

Turns out water freezes when the temperature outside is less than 32ºF outside. DID YOU KNOW THAT?! Spencer and I tried to go flyfishing this morning. It was fun for the first 5 minutes until I realized that my line was no longer moving through my rod... and then I saw the newly formed ice chunks in each of the eyelets on the rod. Not great. We only fished for about 20 minutes total. Sorry Spence!

Clear plastic containers are not the most appetizing way to present a burger. Spencer and I stopped at the Dairy Keen in Heber just after our sad attempt at fishing, which I'm now calling "Spencer's First Wading Lesson," and got some food. I ordered a "Train Burger." It was a great burger, had ham on it, wonderful tasting thing. But they give it to you in a clear plastic container like you'd expect when you receive a nice brownie or a cheesecake slice. This is very much not appetizing. The burger humidifies its little glass box... then the bottom... oh the bottom... it shows every last drop of leakage that most burger wrappings would disguise or absorb. Again... not the most appetizing presentation. It was a kick-trash burger otherwise.

Well, there's three Wednesday Thoughts for you. The End.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Music Advice?

Occasionally people ask me for advice on what newer music they might like. I've decided to assemble a list of great albums that I've discovered from various artists that will serve as decent starting points for those of you looking to broaden your musical horizons. I'll try to separate them into genre-ish categories. Really they all fit into multiple categories depending on the song, but hopefully this helps a bit.

For those of you that are into more poppy/upbeat stuff you may enjoy:

The Republic Tigers' album "Keep Color." --I especially enjoy "Buildings and Mountains"

Gomez's album "How We Operate" -- This is a very eclectic gathering of songs. I particularly like "Cry On Demand," "How We Operate," and "See the World."

For those of you that are into pretty straightforward simple, yet great, rock music you may like to start with:

Carbon Leaf's "Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat." -- I REALLY like "War Was In Color," the title track, and I also quite like "Bright Lights."

I especially recommend
Travis's "Boy With No Name" album. It's awesome! Greats include: "My Eyes," "Big Chair," "Selfish Jean," "Closer," "Three Times and You Lose," ETC.

Nada Surf's "Lucky" or older albums like "The Weight Is a Gift": Check out songs like "See These Bones," "Concrete Bed," "Always Love," "Ice on the Wing," etc.

If you like REALLY mellow music you should check these out:

Local act The Mollies have an album called "Yours Around the Rosies." It's some really chill stuff with two female voices. It's great for background/going to sleep/ chillin' music.

I really love Matt Pond PA, and I quite like their album "Several Arrows Later." They use a lot of strings and orchestration mixed into their rock. It's chill, it's great.

For those of you that like interesting/weird stuff, indie, miscellaneous stuff check out:

Ratatat's electro-rock instrumental album "Classics." I especially like "Lex" and "Wildcat."

The Decemberists' "Crane Wife" album is definitely not to be missed. Songs: "The Crane Wife 1 & 2" "3" and check out "O Valencia!"

Sea Wolf's album "Leaves in the River" is different, but great. Check it out if you're into not-so-typical stuff. Favorites: "You're A Wolf," "The Cold, the Dark, and the Silence," and "Winter Windows."

I don't know if this list is at all helpful, but if I help anyone find a new band then I've done my job. Listen away! Ask if you need more advice, and let me know if these were way off your taste, because I may still yet have something for you.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Since the recent death of my good friend and blog: Tiny Observations, I felt it necessary to start a much more open and general blog. I kind of pinned myself down to one type of entry with Tiny Observations, and it didn't really work out. So I've decided that I'm going to have an all-in-one. Granted, Random Combos will still be Random Combos and I won't put those types of entries on here, but EVERY other type of entry you could imagine is fair game on here. We'll see how this goes, where it goes... if anywhere. I think my main goal is to have a blog that I actually want to write in frequently, and that won't get small pox like Tiny Observations did.

Rand-o-Mania, like my other blogs, will both serve as random entertainment for me while bored at work, and for insight into who Jeff really is. It will also frequently just give readers an update of the goings on of Jeff's life, whatever they may be. Don't expect too much, and you might occasionally be pleased with what you find here.
And thus, I have reached the conclusion of the introductory entry in my new blog: Rand-O-Mania!!

(NOTE: All entries archived before this one are from my former blogs: Random Combos, and Tiny Observations.)