Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to ask a girl out (and take her out too)

Due to some recent (and not so recent) experiences had by some friends of mine, it has come to my attention that young men do not know how to ask young ladies out on dates. Since dating and courtship are necessary aspects to maintain our healthy society I have felt it might patriotic duty and social obligation to do something about this. And so of course I have turned to the blogosphere to get my message out.

image found here

How to ask a girl out

Now asking a girl out is not actually a physically difficult task, and I assumed it was a somewhat natural part of life until I realized recently that it must now need to be taught. Asking girls out has always been emotionally taxing though and I won't deny that. But it is worth it.

Step 1: Decide what you will do

Here is the first major difference between dating and "hanging out" in my mind. You begin with a plan, long before you ever actually talk to the girl in question.

Never go up to a girl, ask her out and then ask her what she would like to do (while this may be appropriate at times when you are in relationship with a girl, you will always when major points for having a plan first. That is something we married men need to remember).

Deciding what to do should not be difficult, choose something that is fun and not to expensive. Good dates always include a chance to talk to each other which is why most dates should be made up of two elements: an activity and a treat.

ProTip: If you are going to a ticketed event you can greatly increase the likelihood you will actually ask a girl out by purchasing the tickets before you start asking girls.

Step 2: Choose a girl

Now you may have done this first, but if you have not now is the time. Remember you can take out a variety of girls on first dates, you are not committing to anything except to provide them with a safe and enjoyable evening.

How do you find a girl? They are all around you!

A few good places include: Church, School, Work, Clubs, Service Organizations, Food Courts, etc.

A few bad places include: Bars, Internet Dating Sites, Tinder, etc (sure there are relationships that have worked out from these, but dating is a game numbers and percentages and you should play the odds).

Ok you have chosen a girl, now choose another, and probably one more for good measure. Why have a back up? It makes rejection less stinging because you know what to do next.

Step 3: Ask her out!

There are only two acceptable ways to ask a girl out:

  1. Talk with her face to face
  2. Call her on the phone
The only exception to this rule is if you have some very extra creative way asking her out, like with a treasure hunt or a poem, for a special event like homecoming or the prom.

Never ask a girl out by:
  • Text message
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • WhatsApp
  • etc
Sorry I have to be the one to tell you this, I wish it had been your dad, maybe it was but you didn't listen to him. It's time for you to step up and be a man and actually talk to a girl to ask her out. 

Now this means you either have to see her in person or you have to have gotten her phone number. There are lots of ways of getting a girl's phone number. Obviously if you were thinking of asking her out over text message than you already have it. If you don't have it than you could use Facebook or some other way of asking her for it, but not to actually ask her out. 

When you ask her out be really clear, don't leave her confused about what is going on. Tell her what you will be doing, what time you will be doing it, and what time you will pick her up. 

How to take a girl out

Step 1: Pick her up

I don't care if you have a car or not, you pick the girl up. Unless she has offered to drive and you have made arrangements for her to come to your place first, otherwise you go over to her place and pick her up. 

Why? Don't you want her to like you? Don't you want her roommates or family to like you? A great way to start things off on the wrong foot is too not pick a girl up. That's like a huge red flag that says "Hey, I am not competent!"

Step 2: Open every door

You listen well, I don't care if it is old fashioned, you open every door for her. Car doors, outside doors, inside doors, gates, etc. You open all of them. The only exception is bathroom doors, she can open those herself.

Step 3: Never leave her guessing

You make sure she understands what is going on. Never walk away from her or a head of her. Never make her wonder who is paying if money is involved.

ProTip: YOU are paying, for everything. If she asked you out then she would pay, and that is fine, but in this scenario you asked her out, and you are going to do the paying (if money is involved, which it does not have to be).

Step 4: Ensure she is having a good time

If she isn't, or she feels uncomfortable, or she fills ill, you make it right however you can. Your job on this date is to make sure she enjoys herself.

Step 5: Take her home

Now you listen to me good here, you always, 100% of the time, without exception, offer to take a girl home after date. If it is a day date and she has something else going on after it she may not need you to take her home, BUT she will be the one to tell you that, you will never make that assumption. If it is an evening date she does not have anything else going on and you will take her home.

This should not be a hard concept but I am afraid for many today it seems to be. You take her home, you took her on a date and you are responsible for her safety. You walk her up to the door and you tell her good night there. I don't care if it's awkward, you do it anyway.

And that is it, that is how to ask a girl out, and then how to take her out. I think you can do that without to much trouble. For a little more reading on this subject you can take a look at this talk by Dallin Oaks. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please check out my regular blog here, or follow me on twitter, @halduauthor. And please share this post using the social buttons below if you know anyone who can benefit from it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Roots: Mads Nielsen

I've been doing family history for a couple months now, but I figured it is not enough for just me an Papa to get to know who our ancestors are, I'm learning all this information and it ought to be something all of these people's descendants can see and learn about. First I would like to talk about a man we've been searching for for a while now: Mads Nielsen. We get our Nielsen name from him so he ought to be important to us. Previous to Mads the surnames were changing every generation using the first name of the father and the suffix sen or dr. That practice was made illegal by the Danish government eventually and Mads happens to be the point in our family in which that took effect. 
     Mads was born in the town of Aaby, the county of Aalborg, in Denmark, to Niels (sometimes Njels) Madsen and Maren Larsdr, on Sept 10, 1830. Mads was the oldest of at least 7 children, and being the oldest boy he took his father's father's name as was common Danish practice. We don't have a lot of details about Mads' life, we do know that he spent most if not all of it in Aalborg county, although he and most of his siblings left home at young ages to become workers. We know from census records that Mads left home at least by age 15 to work for a man names Lars Pedersen in nearby Biersted. The census at this time lists him as a servant or worker. Lars wife, Catherine Larsdatter was a sister to Mads' mother Maren, named Ane Katrine in other records. By the 1950 census Mads was 19 and had moved to the Parish of Vadum to work for a man Niels Larsen Kudsk. Five years later the census found Mads living with his parents again, they are living in Biersted with two of their younger children, Lars and Karen. At the next census Mads, now almost 30, is still single and once again working for his Uncle Lars.
     Mads' married Marie Andersen and they had six children. Their youngest son was Jens Christian Nielsen and he is my great grandfather. As far as we can tell Mads took over the family plot from Niels later in life, although for a while he farmed or worked in the neighboring town of Biersted where Marie was from.  It appears that Jens was the only one of their children to come to America. Mads' name was sometimes written Mads Nielsen Vad and we don't know where the Vad comes from or what it means. Sometimes Mads said he was born in Aaby and sometimes in Biersted, the two are close together and it is possible that they are sometimes referred to as the same place. I have not been able to find a record of where or when Mads died. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolution, the second solution

As you, my loyal and faithful readers, will know, it is that time of year for the all dreaded goal setting. This was a time much hated by my younger self. I knew as a child that whatever Monday most closely held proximity to New Years day would have a segment of Family Home Evening devoted to setting New Years Resolutions. I loathed to the utmost writing these statements on a blank sheet of paper and then hanging it by my bed, resolutely resolving not to look at it. I could never really think of anything good to put on these sheets of paper, much less something I would actually do. I was pretty perfect in my own estimation so what could be the use in pretending toward improvement. And isn't that the case with most of us, even within a single soul, half the soul will not commit for fear of failure and the half refuses to acknowledge faults. So it goes that we walk through life pretending we are perfect and feeling like we are terrible.

I believe one of the key things that is not understood is failure happens, in point of fact the presence of opportunity for a resolution at all is because we have failed, it is the re-solution, the second solution, because the first one failed. And thats ok, as long as it doesn't stay that way.

I forever be grateful that my parents taught me to set goals, no matter how much I disliked it. Later on my mission and now in life, I would and will need goals to accomplish anything worth while. Elder M. Russell Ballard said the following which I now whole heartedly agree with:
 "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."

So now, Meagan will tell you, I don't always like setting goals and I really don't always like following up on them, but I believe them. I want to do better, and I know you do too. We got problems, and its ok to re-solve those problems. I highly suggest that those looking to improve read the talk by Joe J. Christiansen called Resolutions, which changed the way I looked at goal setting by trying to emulate Christ. It discusses four areas that Christ grew in, that we each need to set goals for improvement in.

I'm excited for my goals this year, let me share just a couple with you: I have resolved to do more family history, I have resolved to read more books, and I have resolved to exercise more. Please feel free to share some of your resolutions in the comments section below, and don't hesitate to share this post with friends if you have found it yourself, sharing links are located at the bottom of each post.

I wish you all a very happy a successful week, and a happy new year.

The Simple Chef: Going Green

In my conquests as a simple chef I recently made some headway over the Christmas Holiday into an area I am very excited about: Guacamole. During the first five days of being back at my parents house Meagan and I did a brief body cleansing diet which consisted of eating fruits and vegetables on the last day of the diet we were allowed to add ground beef. My loving mother made us hamburger patties and then I found there were avocados in the fridge. I did not know how to make guacamole, but I knew it could not be beyond the power of the simple chef to do so. With my more complicated chef mother instructing I made the guacamole, that even, Meagan who hates all green things, liked.

Avocado -- as much as you desire
Onion -- diced very small, in proportion to the avocado
Garlic -- plenty, minced, pressed, or crushed, whichever you prefer
Lemon juice -- best if fresh squeezed, to taste
Salt -- more than a pinch, less than a handful
Mix all ingredients together as shown below, refrigerate leftovers.

The finished beautiful green guac

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Power and the Pain: the paradox of self-evaluation

Of late I have been jotting down ideas for things I would like to accomplish next year in preparation for New Years when I know I will be hard pressed to remember everything that I want to improve or do. This has set me to consider the remarkable change that has taken place in me since I was a child in regards to goal setting. I will probably do a more in-depth post on resolutions and goals at the new year, but this preliminary thought process has given me pause to consider a paradox that comes out of an aspect of goal setting and that is self evaluation. The paradox is this, the power that comes from knowing and understanding yourself immense, but the pain that comes with a truly honest evaluation of your weaknesses and shortcomings can be just as intense. So intense in fact that even the thought of it keeps many people walking on slivers for years.

What do I mean when I say walking on slivers? I remember when I was a boy I would spend a good deal of time running about without my shoes on and at times tiny slivers of wood would puncture my foot. Now the most sensible thing to do once you realize you have a sliver is to get it removed right away. But the pain of a having a sliver removed can be quite intense, momentarily much more intense than the constant throbbing that results from leaving it in and walking on it. So I would often keep my sliver hidden from my mother for days at a time to avoid having it removed. Many people take this approach to their own weaknesses or problems, the pain of acknowledging and facing up to their existence can be so bad that they would rather endure the constant throbbing of living with them everyday, especially if like my sliver dealing with them will involve another person.

I lived this way for years, and at times I am still apt to do it. But it is not a truly livable strategy, splinters if left in too long can become buried in the skin and healed over, so that it almost looks as thought there is no problem there at all, but in fact the easy means of dealing with the problem, the little bit hanging out, is the only thing that has been lost. The wound will actually now have to be reopened to deal with the problem and the spot may become infected leading to bigger issues. I now have a system in place to help me do better with this problem. One of the pieces is yearly goals with weekly evaluation of them. Another piece to help discover splinters is a monthly introspection, where I take stock of myself through several processes that I find helpful and discover areas where improvement could be made or splinters could be removed. Let me assure you that the process is painful indeed, but the joy of walking without a dull throb is well worth the moment of fire as a splinter is tugged loose from its places.

I am reminded of Eustace in C.S. Lewis's masterpiece the Voyage of the Dawn Treader which Meagan and I have been reading. He was a boy who never acknowledged his faults or weaknesses until he was turned on the outside to what he was on the inside, a dragon. This period is a time of self discovery and evaluation for Eustace, a very painful but in the end rewarding experience. There is one particularly applicable quote where it says "He began to wonder if he himself had been such a nice person as he had always supposed" certainly not a comfortable question to be asking oneself, but it does get better and the great lesson of the story is that Eustace begins to change, but cannot complete his change with out the help of the Lion, Aslan, who is Christ. And that is a great message for all of us, when it is too painful for us to do the removing ourselves, Christ will do it for us.

So don't be afraid, be better.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Boy, the Queen; the Witch, the Sith

To get what they want they become the very thing that they despise.

In my ponderings sometime ago I came across this strange association of Anakin Skywalker and the Witch from Snow White. No it is not the simple concept on the face that they are both villains, nor is it the fact that both wear dark hoods (although this is interesting), it is this idea that in striving to achieve what they most desire, both of which are selfish pride riddled desires, they become in essence the very thing that the most despise.

In many ways these two characters are fundamentally different. The Witch has one goal in life which she has already seemingly achieved, that is to be the fairest of them all. Anakin's desire he has never had and that appears to be a longing to shield himself from pain and trial, and consequently he also desires to do the same for those associated with him, but more because he doesn't want to have to deal with it than that he loves them. So one is looking to maintain or recapture her desire and the other is looking for a way to accomplish the impossible that has never been. But they both fall to the same thing in the end. Anakin becomes a Sith Lord that thing he feared so much as a boy and has despised as a Jedi, and the Witch of her volition turns into the most haggard and ugly of individuals.

I believe this is highly representative of souls cankered in pride and self absorption, they can never achieve what they truly want but they will go to great lengths to try, even the destruction of that the have previously worked for (and then had to wear ugly hoods).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why the Wii U marks the beginning of the last generation

Every once in a while I like to do a post on technology, and I have been thinking recently about Nintendo's new system, the Wii U and what it will mean for the technology industry. I don't actually really play video games anymore even though I was once very involved in them, they have just decreased significantly in importance for me. But I do like technology and I feel this new nintendo system marks a very important point for video games, the beginning of the end of console gaming.

Let me explain why, first of all we have seen the handled gaming market, once considered a nintendo stronghold, dismantled in a mater of a few years, primarily by the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Nobody else (Sega, Sony, and Nokia had tried) had been able to touch nintendo's gameboy blockade on the market, the most interesting thing is that nintendo was the first company to really introduce touch screen gaming into the market with their DS and many of the technologies they developed there were what would later make the tablet market successful in gaming. They were also the first to introduce gyroscope motion sensing technology into handhelds which has also become a major part of phone and tablet gaming.

Now Nintendo has introduced a game system with a tablet controller, a touch screen motion sensing device in the living room. This will pave the way for people's actual tablets and cell phones to become the controllers they use for video games on their TVs, this will help with the breakdown of the console system.

The second major factor will be the recession, the economic troubles have already stalled this generation of consoles, elongating the time the the Wii, 360, and PS3 have sat on the top of the heap. I fully expect both Microsoft and and Sony to release another set of systems next year, but I think it will be their last. People will no longer want to pay for a separate set of hardware for gaming during times of economic trouble when they already of devices capable of playing games.

The final blow will come from Apple as it generally does. Apple will release a TV that either runs iOS or some similar operating system which will be capable of running apps as well as a million other things. This will integrate the iPhone and iPad into the livingroom in such a way that will make video game consoles obsolete and cumbersome. What points to this? The current Apple TV already allows for you to mirror your tablet onto your TV, and hackers have found code inside it that points to gaming being in development. Apple is also widely rumored to be in production of an actual TV monitor instead of just a set box top. Once this happens Google and Windows will be forced to follow suit in some way. Microsoft is already well set up to make this change with the Kinect.

All of this seems to point to the death of console gaming as we know it. I think the Wii U will provide the bridge into this manner of gaming, my only question is why nintendo is doing this, it doesn't make sense for them to bridge their way into their own demise. Whatever happens doesn't really make much difference to me, but its something to think about.