Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sting Thing 2014

Hello all,

I have awakened from my graduate school-induced catatonia to tell you all about the day I was almost killed by a yellow jacket. What started out as one sting on my ankle escalated to a visit to the emergency room and an IV of adrenaline. Let's start from the very beginning.

First off, this is a yellow jacket. They suck.

Pictured: Sucks
They really suck. They are aggressive wasps that are extremely common in North America. You've most likely seen them before, and may actually mistake them for the honeybee, which is golden-colored, furry, and actually a little cute.

I mean take a look at this guy

Honeybees make honey and are usually not aggressive if they're not close to their hive. Yellow jackets will attack at the slightest provocation and look more like demonic attack robots than an organic creature. And in fact, I believe I have only ever been stung by yellow jackets. The first time was at 9 years old at a day camp. Then there was when I was riding a bike and I swatted at a bug that flew into my collarbone. Then there was the time I was walking by a flower pot that was a solid three feet away, when a demented insect erupted from within its floral camouflage and deposited a healthy dose of pain into my left arm. I don't need to tell you the identity of that villainous arthropod.

Let's bring it back to the present, but then rewind 2 years. July 8, 2013. I'm biking back from work on a Monday afternoon to get home so I can catch the train going outside the city for a tennis match. In the middle of my ride, I see flash of yellow and black dart towards me, into my shorts on the side of my right leg. Instantly, a familiar burning pain. I yelled and start frantically shaking out my shorts. By some force from a benevolent creator, I was not stung again. I gritted through the pain and powered my way home to get my stuff for the match. After icing the wound, the pain became tolerable enough to walk normally and I grabbed my things and headed out. What greeted me was an insane rainstorm. Readers from Toronto will know how ridiculous this storm was. For the uninformed, see this picture of one of the major highways in Toronto, taken only about an hour after I left my apartment that evening.

This car's situation is defined as a "serious bummer"

The storm quite literally drowned the city of Toronto and held its neck underwater for a few hours for good measure. Despite this freak occurrence, I made it to my friend Hans' house, and we won our doubles match that evening with our trademark dynamic gameplay.

As the match wore on though, I noticed that my right leg was getting tight. It was subtle at first, but by the end of the match it was bad enough that I was limping. Upon finally sitting down at a bench, I pulled back my shorts to see that my entire right thigh was red and swollen. When it was time to go, I could not stand up on my own anymore. After being helped back to the car and back to Hans' home, I took some benadryl and went to sleep, hoping it would be gone in the morning.

Not so. I could barely get out of bed in the morning, and eventually was only able to walk with horrific limp. I called in sick to work that day and needed another full day of rest before the swelling reduced enough to walk and bike normally again.

Now, this is just the prologue.

Wait, stay with me! This where it all comes together and you don't wanna miss it.

Cut to June 30, 2014. Day before my birthday. I'm at my girlfriend Felicia's cousin's house that evening, playing soccer with his 7 year old son. Things get heated, I'm trying to let him have a few goals so he has fun while still asserting my athletic superiority, when we both ended up chasing the ball into a corner. A corner that turned out to be filled with yellow jackets. Displeased with our competitive intensity, one wasp catches me on the ankle. I feel it instantly and yell at my opponent to evacuate the corner immediately, which unfortunately for a few seconds he believed to be mind games on my part and continued attacking the ball. Luckily, I was able to convince him of my situation and get him to run away before he was stung. I got ice for the wound, the pain faded, within 10 minutes I was fine.

Then I got itchy. Really itchy. All over. I wasn't sure if I was just hot and sweaty or I was reacting to their dog. But it kept getting worse. When I realized I was seeing hives, and ran to the bathroom and saw that the midline of my face was flushed bright red in an inch wide stripe running from the top of my forehead, over my nose, to my upper lip. Over the next 20 minutes, my nose, lose half of my face, and right arm began to swell. Initially thinking it would pass, I refused a ride to the hospital. As I became increasingly worried about my throat, though, I was finally convinced to be taken to the ER. I took a picture of my face right before we left.

Form of... a deformed clown-man!
During the ride to the ER, I was constantly aware that at any moment my airway could suddenly close in on itself and the only thing all my friends and family would remember me for would be "that dude who died from being stung by a wasp wow really that's how he died? oh man that really sucks". After arriving at the ER and waiting for a couple young  soccer players ahead of me (why are , I was admitted into the ER, but not after being slightly admonished for not coming directly to the desk because I was having an allergic reaction. As midnight struck and I turned 23, I was lying in a bed with an adrenaline IV nestled in my left arm. The swelling went down, I was prescribed an epipen, and by the time I went to bed that evening, I was back to normal, except now with a specially enhanced paranoia toward aerial insects. I guess that's not very climactic, but it was an adventure I felt was worth sharing. The next time I get stung by a bee or wasp, I'll take comfort in knowing all I have to do is jam a needle into my quadriceps.

Allergies suck. And so do yellow jackets.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trapped on Campus

So I have been spending way too much time in the library. One of my friend's phones recognized the library's wifi and actually told him one day, "It looks like you spend a lot of time here. Would you like to set this as a home location?" That's always a clear sign that it is time to go home. The other night was so bad that I actually was in the library until it closed. I didn't even know it closed. At BYU the library apparently ends every night as a party. At 11:45 there was a threat of arrest for being considered a trespasser and a friendly invitation to leave, followed by "Come Sail Away" by STYX being played over the loud speaker! No joke! I always wondered how you could ever work at a library, now it doesn't seem too hard.

I really have two homes. My second home is the basement of the Talmage building. That's the Computer Science Building. I tend to avoid telling people that I'm a Computer Science major and just tell them that I'm studying animation. I do that to avoid these kind of questions: "You're a computer science major! Oh Great! I spilled Mountain Dew on my laptop. Do you know how to fix that?" Which of course... I know nothing about. Plus I don't think anyone knows how to fix that. I only know one thing as a CS Major so if the question has anything to do with computers, and the words "for" and "loop" are not included, I am equally clueless as everyone else.

That's about right. Of course I am proud to say that my CS room has dry erase boards instead of chalk.
Come on. We are computer science majors, we use advanced technology but they have to use chalk?

I'm convinced that BYU is trying to hide Computer Scientists in the basement for a reason. If I were to classify us I would put us into 3 catagories:

80% Really weird people
10% Really weird people who at least try to act normal
10% Normal people

So we're the last people that the campus wants recruits to see on a campus visit. But recently I have noticed a sharp increase in the number of abnormally attractive girls in the basement of the Talmage building. I suddenly understand why Mexicans would stare shamelessly at me, a white boy, in Mexico. I do the same to the girls now! It has nothing to do with the girl being pretty, pretty girls are all over campus, and all over Facebook. We can find them through the internet that we, computer scientists, have wired into our cave. It has everything to do with her being down here. What? Does the nursing program now have a prerequisite CS class?

Sorry Arrow, I don't buy that Felicity actually knows how to
code even after they try to make her look like a nerd.
I am often tempted to offer them help when I see an especially attractive girl in the Talmage basement. I feel like they don't know where they are or how they got there. I know its ridiculous to think that, but since my classes are already 90% men and 10% women, and 50% of those women look a little bit like men anyways, I just assumed that programming and beauty came together about as often as North Korea and night lights... I imagine I should sneak in, like the hero, and whisper, "Listen closely, I know how to get out of here. Hurry, take my hand and follow me. Don't make eye contact with any of the CS majors. They haven't noticed you yet, but when they see you here of all places? I don't think anyone could stop them, they'd propose. We'll get out through the secret staircase, or maybe the public elevator. How long have you been trapped down here?"

"Wait... I'm in the Talmage Building?"

"Yeah. The Basement!"

"What have I been typing? for(int i = 0; i
"Let me take you to a more creative building. Or at least the Nursing building..."

I then think better about it and realize, they are probably just the girlfriends of the 10% normal CS majors! Of course I have nothing against pretty girls programming, I'm just convinced that something about the words pretty girl and programming repel each other like two positive sides of a magnet.

Here's a good Computer Science Major joke to end on:

 How can you tell the difference between a extrovert CS major and an introvert CS major?
          - The extrovert will look at your feet while he's talking to you.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Warning! Math disclosed and explained

 So today in my CS class we were introduced to a bunch of new mathematical symbols that I didn't even know existed. I'm in a class called Discrete Mathematics (shhh!). I can never remember the different names of the symbols, so I find myself making up names for half of the symbols. Here is a quick summary of the names of the symbols for your personal reference.

Most common names: 
Other names:
Sitting giraffe
The Water slide

Most Common names:
Triple bar
Identical to
Other names:
The wedding cake
Rotating subway security door
Bunk bed for triplets

Most Common Names:
For any for all
Universal quantification
Other Names:
Glass half full
Pink Floyd's Prism upsidedown

Most Common Names:
Summation Operator
Other Names:
The Auto Fuse
The Pod Racer

Try using the alternate names every time you run into it in your book and it should make learning math a little more fun. Example:

Read like this:
"One n just realized that he is being closely followed by a pod racer that is driven from anyone in the race who's name is between 1 and I (that's a lot of names...)."

Yeah I don't have any idea whats going on in my CS class because I apply this too much.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Don't ever miss your plastic boat

This week I have decided to tell a story of another missionary in my mission that he related to me and I found hilarious!
Right so I better explain why I posted a picture of a nasty brown river this week. Well turns out that river is a river of poo... Those exist down in Mexico. Its just a sewage river that flows through the area of a missionary named Elder Jackson and into mine. Well turns out one night while it was raining he and Elder Garcia (his companion at this time) were trying to get home on at 9pm, because it is a rule to be in home before 9. Suddenly they noticed that their usual route home was completely submerged by the appropriately named "poo river," or also the appropriately dubbed, "poo canyon." So they decided to try a second route and began running upstream to cross. As they turned the corner they arrived just in time to watch their last hope of a path get swept over by poo river. Frustrated, they turned around and, now horrified, watched the path they had used to get there get flooded with poo water too. They were stuck on an island with poo river rising on both shores. So, not having any other options, they said a prayer. Basically they said, "We're trying to be obedient, and now we're stuck, so we could really use a way to get to the other side so we can get home." As soon as they finished their prayer a plastic boat floated down the river right at them, then got stuck right in front of them. A legit boat! Big enough for 2 people! With oars and everything just floated to them! But there was a catch. To reach the plastic boat, Elder Jackson would have to take a step into the poo river and only then could he reach it. So he decided to pray again. 

"I'm really thankful for this boat. Its really awesome. But can you move it just a little closer, because I really dont want to get my shoe covered in poo water." Sure enough, after his prayer, the boat started to float a little closer to him, then when he finished, the tree branch snapped, the boat spun away and floated away. Well they missed their plastic boat God sent to them, and the water was rising, which left one option. They had to cross a poo river up to their thighs... Moral: Sometimes God sends you an answer but you might need to get one of your shoes a little covered in poo water to get it. Never miss your plastic boat! I got stuck in the river the next day but no plastic boat for us, we had to throw a bunch of rocks in the river and jump it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Hey there every persona. Sorry for the long time absence. I have recently gotten home from my mission and therefore have been unable to blog. So... Now we shall resume. I have not been loitering nearly as much as I should be and I have not been loitering progressively for many years. So I will now write what is most commonly written on blogs to start of with a new chapter of Progressive loitering:

I don't know what to write about...

Whew... Glad that's over... I felt very very crappy bloggy.... ugh.... I fortunately have lots to write about. Not a lot to do. But today I would like to focus on how weird it is to go from Spanish to English. And basically my whole trip home from Mexico where I have been living for the last two years. It started normally. Monday morning I was to fly from Aguascalientes (a little city in Mexico (yes I know. it is called "hot waters" (its because there are hot springs nearby (I never got to go because I was a missionary) and because the water that is in the pipes is sometimes hot) the joke didn't get past me) well technically its a state (try figuring those parenthesis out)) to Dallas, then from Dallas to Denver. All was well because I was going to get home at about 12 pm. Cool. Well we got to the Aguascalientes airport where our plane was waiting for us. But had no intention to go to Dallas. Until like Thursday... I, unwilling to wait for 3 days decided it would be better to fly to Mexico City first where there were more flights. I told him and he informed me that there were NO flights from Mexico City to Denver so I would have to take another flight from Mexico City to LA then from LA to Denver. Ok whatever... Just let me go home. So I took the 30 minute flight from AGS to MC

I landed and walked out to the waiting gate to look for my LA plane that wasnt supposed to leave until 230 and found on the departure board the following: "Flight to Denver 930 - On time" and "Flight to Denver - 11am - On time" What the? CRAP. Well too late now. So I chilled in the Mexico City airport like a goober for 4 hours arguing with Elder Smith about which superstar athletes are not dirtbags. (Winners were: Drew Brees, Roger Federer, and Peyton Manning). Well finally I took the 4 hour flight to LA. Where I had so much trouble adjusting back to English. Seriously it is hard to convince Immigration that I am American when I cant talk to him in English...
"Please put your passport on the table." he said.
"Da me un momento! Se que mi pasaporte esta aquĆ­ pero no me acuerdo donde lo puse!" said I.
"Crap! I'm americano! Hold on!"
"Would you please stand off to this side please?"

Somehow, miraculously I got through to find out that my plane was already conveniently waiting for me in DC. Oh... awesome. Everyone else left me about a half hour later to Utah. Afterwards I learned that my ticket was stolen and we paid in cash. I had a bad story but somehow American Airlines believed me and put me in first class. I was sure I was going to sleep in the LAX airport but I was promised that the DC -> LA flight only took 5 hours. Oh thats all. No problem. Except that there is nothing as impatient as a missionary's mom who hasn't seen him in 2 years and was promised to see him at noon and it is currently 6 pm and his flight doesn't arrive to the LA airport until 1030.
My brother put it this way: "Nick, Stop torturing your mother and come home already."

I did get home though, at about 3 am. And am excited to get this blog up and running again. Well I'ma make me some enchiladas. Got to go for now.

Paz afuera hogares - put that into google translate. You'll like it. Just don't ever actually say it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chemistry fun!

Hello all!

I apologize for the extended absence. Things have been a bit...dusty in here. But I'm here to revamp! Rework! Resurrect!

First of all, I have an honest question for the Loitrons (If you're still there. If you are, awesome! I've missed you too). Have you ever failed a midterm? I'm asking honestly because, two weeks ago, almost halfway through my final year of university, I just did...

No one does, Dug
Don't you laugh! Let me explain these circumstances. I am applying to med school this year, an undertaking that, until now, was going pretty smoothly. I had all my things in place, except for one small thing. US med schools require one year of organic chem with lab and one year of "general" chem WITH LAB. This "lab" business creates the problem. You see, U of T, with its ever-considerate chem department, offers first year chemistry as two half year courses, intro to organic and intro the physical chem, both with lab. In second year you can go on to take the second half of orgo, again with lab, and the second half of physical, again with...oh wait...no lab? But...why? I guess there might be another option...

 Thus was my dilemma. But indeed, as I discovered, there is another option. Intro to inorganic chemistry. A full-year chemistry course ONLY OPEN TO CHEM MAJORS. I had to get special permission to take the course and everything. I jumped through hoops, reorganized my schedule (4 hour labs) and was finally ready to take the course. People said I was crazy. I called it ambition.

I should've listened.

There were warning signs. The very first lab period, while everyone was methodically carrying out their experiments and being very organized and timely, I was running around, spilling potentially dangerous chemicals everywhere (Was that mercury? Doesn't that eat your brain? This course is actually going to kill me), breaking a crucible, and generally making a fool of myself. It was carnage on a chemical scale.

But nevertheless, I stuck it out until arriving at the first midterm a couple weeks ago. I knew that I was at a disadvantage here, as chem is not my strength by a long shot. Let me tell you something about chemistry students. Chemistry and physics students are crazy. They operate on a whole different level than you and me, the commonfolk. They are the master race. They would rule us all if they didn't thirst for knowledge. Every one that I have met has astounded me with their intellect. Needless to say, as a lowly biology student (bio is science for people who aren't all that great at science), I was out of my league. But I studied. I spent the week before, and my reading break, a 4 day weekend, studying non-stop. Gradually, my confidence grew.

Why are these children holding a confidence sign?
Test day came. Everyone was nervous and chattery, including me. I felt like I was back in first year. The test was hard, as expected, but I knew what I was doing. I knocked it all down and strutted out with my head held high. I did it. I could hang with the big boys. I was no chump. I was a genius.

I also developed an insatiable desire to enslave mankind
Well, I got to feel that way for a week. Then grades went up. It's hard to explain the feeling of seeing a grade as low as I did on Blackboard. At first I couldn't process it, my brain couldn't find the right number. 59? Oh ok, thought I'd do better, but that's not catastrophic. Wait no, that's the average. Oh 62 then, that's a bit better! Wait, that's the median. What is the point of a median? We get it, it's not skewed. So wait, where is my grade? 29? Out of what, I don't see...

Then it hit me. My brain was trying so hard to hide it from me, to save me, but I had to find it eventually. 29/100. That's not just failing. That's walking in with a crayon and drawing shapes on the paper for an hour. That's getting points for trying.

It was worse than when I found out my dad was totally evil
And so here I am. I'm not very inclined to dropping a nuclear bomb on my GPA, so I've decided to drop the course. But all is not lost. As if they were the only ones in Canada who make sense, the university next door, Ryerson, offers a general chem course with lab. So the med school dream stays alive. My self-esteem though, has a long and difficult rehab process ahead. Remember kids, chemistry kills dreams. Actually, if I did get mercury poisoning, you can probably take out the dreams part.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mission to Mexico Leon Letter Promises

Promises made by Nick Evans to anyone who writes him on his mission:


1 letter: He will write you back.

2 letters: He will write you back and think good thoughts in your direction.

3 letters: He will owe you one good deed upon arriving home.

4 letters: You’ll find a kitten. A good one!

5 letters: A free High-5 coupon.

6 letters: He will include you in his daily journal.

7 letters: In his homecoming talk, he will give you a shout out.

8 letters: He will do any dare given to him after returning home.

9 letters: He’ll tell you an awesome story (Spiritual, funny, embarrassing... by request).

10 letters: He’ll send you a local dead bug.

11 letters: Honor to you, honor to your family.

12 letters: He’ll send you a lock of his hair.

13 letters: He’ll send you a letter about the superstitions of the Mexico.

14 letters: He’ll draw you a doodle. A good one!

15 letters: You’ll gain a super power! (Possibly only Batman’s super powers).

16 letters: You’re grades will improve (especially in English after all this practice).

17 letters: He’ll answer any question you have about anything (Answer will be: 42).

18 letters: People will begin throwing their money at you everywhere you go (This is more of a curse than a blessing, especially if people are only carrying change).

19 letters: You will meet the individual of your dreams.

20 letters: He’ll send you a small dead animal.

21 letters: He will write you back in pirate.

22 letters: He’ll send you a lock of his companion’s hair.

23 letters: He’ll write you back in third person.

24 letters: WILD CARD! (Either send a request, or expect something weird).

25 letters: You won the Game! You won it! Really! You’re free!

26 letters: He will send you some real Mexican food. (May not ship well)

27 letters: You will have secured yourself as a permanent Facebook friend.

28 letters: He’ll send you an awesome picture!

29 letters: He will send you a Christmas/birthday gift.

30 letters: He’ll send you a dead medium sized animal (perhaps a cat or a large squirrel).

31 letters: He’ll write you a song in Spanish.

32 letters: He’ll send you a lock of an Investigator’s hair.

33 letters: He’ll throw you a free nacho party (but it will be in Mexico).

34 letters: You’ll make a new friend. A Good one!

35 letters: He’ll send you 50 pesos and a sugar cube!

36 letters: Post Card!

37 letters: Mini Mexican flag and a letter!

40 letters: He’ll send you a dead Drug Cartel… probably…

42 letters: He’ll send you a lock of the Mission President’s hair… probably…

48 letters: He’ll give you his prized “Perry the Platypus” hat…

49 letters: Look behind you… look harder… now look down… yup, right there. There’s a tiny Unicorn isn’t there? It can fly too, you know!

50 letters: The Unicorn is now a Dragon! Right on!

100 letters: He will probably marry you. (That’s just 1 letter a week! Best Value!)