Eleven lists. Eleven items. Eleven words. Go.
List One: Eleven people who have made an impact in my life
1. Jill. Nobody knows me so well. And she likes me anyway.
2. My mother. Aside from the obvious, she always believed in me.
3. My father. Silent. Strong. Serving. Kind. What more can I say?
4. Brother Lathan. Always had a smile and kind words for me.
5. Tim Perry. He liked that I was different from other kids.
6. Brother Carlson. He told me I was like Nathaniel of old.
7. Bishop Buhler. His kindness and laughter helped me through difficult years.
8. Anjalique. She taught me what it means to be a friend.
9. Mrs. Steele. Eighth grade English. But she taught us about life.
10. Mrs. Danielson. Third grade teacher. I had a crush on her.
11. Bishop McKnight. He said I was the man for the job.
List Two: Eleven books I’ve read more than once (or wanted to)
1. The scriptures. I could cheat and list them one by one.
2. Ender’s Game. Maybe not for everyone. But I really loved it.
3. The Lord of the Rings. And the movies were amazing, too.
4. The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles. Just the title alone….
5. Where the Red Fern Grows. I need tissues to read it.
6. The Bridge to Terabithia. Another story that leaves me in tears.
7. The Last Unicorn. Highlights the difference between life and our aspirations.
8. Les Miserables. Unabridged version. Wanted to read again, but it’s daunting.
9. The Grapes of Wrath. I really struggled reading this one. Impactful.
10. Harry Potter. My daughter actually reads this over and over again.
11. Ida B…. (The title is longer than eleven words.) Truly amazing!
List Three: Eleven cities I’ve lived in (or wanted to)
1. Boise. City of Trees. Grew up there. Snickered at lesser towns.
2. Kodiak. Age ten. Eleven months. Absolutely loved it. Cold, dark winters.
3. Caldwell. College. Freedom. Love. Amazing days. Now with wife and children.
4. Provo. Two months. One of the best times of my life.
5. Las Arenas. A year. My introduction to Spain. Quaint. Beautiful. Picturesque.
6. Vigo. Six months. A beautiful hilly city on the Atlantic coast.
7. Pamplona. Sprawling green city with old castles. Running of the bulls.
8. Burley. Long lonely days there. Never gave it a fair chance.
9. Fruitland. First place I owned a home. I was so proud.
10. Issaquah. Only in my dreams. I loved the dense green forests.
11. Laguna Beach. Or somewhere like it. I loved visiting. If only!
List Four: Eleven things most people don’t know about me
1. I’m not as shy as you think, once you know me.
2. I love to cook, although I’m not sure why. It’s magic.
3. I learned Perl through books and built GoldToken.com. (That’s one word.)
4. I taught myself photography through the internet and trial and error.
5. The thing I love most about photography is working with lights.
6. The thing I hate most about photography is working with computers.
7. The musical instrument I most wanted to play was the flute.
8. The first time I kissed Jill was the day we married.
9. Like my father, I enjoy ketchup on scrambled eggs for breakfast.
10. I think peanut butter is ambrosia. Add chocolate and wow! Yummy!
11. I feel blessed, like I could, with determination, excel at anything.
List Five: Eleven things I want to do before I die
1. Write a book. Even better: accepted for publication. But no pressure.
2. Write a book by hand. With blank pages and a pen.
3. Learn to draw. I used to draw a lot. Not anymore.
4. Pen a comic strip. The world needs another Calvin and Hobbes.
5. Learn to swim well. I feel weak and helpless in water.
6. Compete in a triathlon. I don’t want to win. Just finish.
7. Scale a mountain. Nothing major. Mount Borah would suffice for me.
8. Learn an instrument. Likely: piano or guitar. Ideal: xylophone or flute.
9. Learn a language with a funny alphabet. Greek? Hebrew? Maybe Russian?
10. Meet my great grandchildren. I wish my children knew my grandfathers.
11. Stay healthy. Don’t live in nursing homes. (So far so good.)
List Six: Eleven games I enjoy
1. Trax. Elegant in its simplicity. Devious in its complexity. And fun.
2. Soccer. I realized recently: running on grass is my favorite part.
3. Chess. Even though I’m not very good at it, it’s challenging.
4. Backgammon. Luck of the dice, but skill is required as well.
5. Lines of Action. This game surprised me and pulled me in.
6. Monopoly. With my children. We’re making good memories while having fun.
7. Risk. If only it weren’t so long. It’s hard to start.
8. Settlers of Catan. Different and challenging with more than one objective.
9. Ultimate frisbee. Football for wimps. Should be a mandatory Thanksgiving tradition.
10. Scrabble. You might not realize, but it’s a game of math.
11. Go. I actually don’t understand this game, but wish I did.
List Seven: Eleven things I hope I never say
1. “I give up.” Life offers too many possibilities to accept failure.
2. “Hey! I ordered pickles on this!” Don’t sweat the small stuff.
3. “Okay, everybody. Watch this.” Certain to be featured on youtube tomorrow.
4. “Don’t worry. I know exactly what I’m doing.” Famous last words.
5. “I can’t.” If you think you can’t, you’re most likely right.
6. “… if it’s the last thing I do.” Sometimes you really can’t.
7. When arguing: “What about the time when you …?” Forgive and forget.
8. ” … ” (Not saying anything when I should have said, “I love you.”)
9. “Are you really that dumb?” Ignorance is not stupidity. Teach instead.
10. “If only ….” Don’t waste time wishing. Smile and get to work.
11. “Yes, please.” (When asked if I want anchovies on my pizza.)
List Eight: Eleven things I wish I had done more often
1. Taking off my shoes before entering the sandbox in the park.
2. Going on long walks with my wife and talking about life.
3. Holding hands with my wife and my children. For no reason.
4. Wading in the fountain at the college or at the park.
5. Giving my wife a massage after a long day of work.
6. Putting down my work when a child asked me to play.
7. Staying up after the kids are asleep to tidy the house.
8. Waking up early to make breakfast for my wife and children.
9. Studying the scriptures. Praying. Fasting. Serving. Testifying. Becoming closer to God.
10. Writing letters. Applying stamps. Addressing envelopes and dropping them into mailboxes.
11. Reading. Becoming better acquainted with poetry and classics from all ages.
List Nine: Eleven things I’ve cooked recently
1. Homemade pizza with all the trimmings. Three nights in a row.
2. Homemade macaroni and cheese casserole that puts the box to shame.
3. Homemade whole wheat bread. So good fresh out of the oven.
4. Biscuits with sausage gravy. An amazing breakfast any time of day.
5. Chaws. If you have to ask, you are really missing out.
6. Chicken pot pie casserole using a pie crust top and bottom.
7. Beef stroganoff made entirely from canned goods. Open, heat, and eat.
8. The world’s simplest lasagna recipe. In the oven in thirty minutes.
9. Whole wheat waffles with homemade maple syrup. The kids love it.
10. A chocolate pie to die for. Soft and not too sweet.
11. The Best Coffee Cake. Ever. Try it. Seriously. It’s not hyperbole.
List Ten: Eleven inventions the world is ready for
1. Flying cars. I mean, come on. This is the 21st century.
2. Okay, how about at least cars that drive themselves for you?
3. And robot housekeepers. Where are they? Nobody wants to clean house.
3. Smart shopping carts that eliminate checkout lines. Grab stuff. Swipe. Leave.
4. Also: voice activated shopping assistance. “Where is the sauerkraut?” “Aisle Twelve.”
5. Wrinkle free fabrics. For all clothes. We should never iron again.
6. A button on the television that makes the remote control beep.
7. Phones that download only important email. Everything else on the computer.
8. A single washer dryer combo. Nobody wants side by sides anymore.
9. Teleporter. That way we can overlook the whole flying cars fiasco.
10. Microwaves with audio sensors. Because timed popcorn buttons can only approximate.
11. A single charging interface. How many different chargers do you have?
List Eleven: Eleven things I could have been doing instead of making these lists if only I had budgeted my time more wisely
1. Writing letters of gratitude to people who have impacted my life.
2. Discovering a new favorite book or reading an old classic again.
3. Hunting for houses in Issaquah or Laguna Beach. For future reference.
4. Refining my idea for the next website I want to program.
5. Purchasing a xylophone and finding a local instructor to teach me.
6. Playing backgammon with a friend. Or studying Go strategy for beginners.
7. Finding everyone to whom I should have said, “I love you.”
8. Pushing my children on the swings. Asking them about their day.
9. Finding a new recipe and cooking it up for my family.
10. Calling up General Electric about an audio popcorn popping button sensor.
11. Writing one thousand six hundred some words for my NaNoWriMo goal.