Thursday, March 31, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con #FANX16 - My Experience Through Memes

This past weekend, I traveled with my employer, Future House Publishing, to the bi-annual Salt Lake City Comic Con, affectionately called 'Fan Xperience.'

I worked hard to ship books, carry books, sell books, and talk about books as much as I could, working with fellow employees and authors alike to promote our brand and pique interest in the amazing things we're doing over here.

Of course, I saw an opportunity to detail my experience (and all its idiosyncrasies) through the medium of memes. Once I came home, I prepared everything and threw them into this blog post.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Even though I thought I was going to have to wait until Saturday, I finally got the final shipment of the copies of my book in.

Check it out.

(Seriously, this will be the last unboxing video for a good long while.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Final Proof & Bookmarks & Bumper Sticker Unboxing Video(s)

I got three Ama's Watch/Kickstarter shipments over this past weekend. 

Don't forget to buy Ama's Watch on Amazon! $3.99 for eBook, $9.99 for print!

Here are all the unboxing videos, in their unparalleled glory.*

*'Unparalleled glory' is a phrase used gratuitously. The glory of these unboxing videos may, in fact, be paralleled.

Monday, March 28, 2016

#EngineForGabriel - What You Need to Know

"Ok, I'll bite," you say. "What is #EngineForGabriel?"

The best way to introduce this is to show you the YouTube video that inspired me to write this post in the first place. So here it is!

"Cool, Zac," you may say to me. "Why do you even care?"

It's a good question. Obviously I do for some reason.

Gabriel has a dream. I may bash the idealistic notion of following your dreams, but that doesn't mean I'm not a dreamer myself. I'm trying to self-publish a book on Kindle Direct, for crying out loud. If that doesn't scream 'dream-chaser,' I don't know what does.

But let's say Gabriel makes it into the air using this engine of his. That is inspiring. That is legendary. That will challenge the perspectives of all realists everywhere, including myself. Dreams can happen. Dreams can come true.

So I want you to consider your life. Have you ever had a dream that seemed unattainable? A dream requiring mountains of obstacles to overcome? Are you chasing one of those dreams right now?

Well, for all the dreamers out there, support #EngineForGabriel. Let's make a man fly, and in doing so, inspire contemporaries and generations to come.

Unfortunately, Ylvis' rabid fans got there more quickly than I could. I couldn't find too much information on updates, but here's what I found.

So we can't donate to help out now. However, click here to visit And even though you can't help out, be sure to follow the story and see Gabriel make his first flight!

Make dreams happen.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Policies K.O.-ed! Morals Ultimate Victor! Will Politicians Change?

This last Tuesday, I asked my readers which was more important in their political candidates: quality morals, or quality policies?

I discovered that 3/4ths of the commentators thought morals were more important. A moralistic politician will naturally produce, if not strong, then well-thought-out policies. Morals build the foundation to good policies.

However, it's important to point out that every commentator thought a combination of both policies and morals should be considered when picking a candidate. Remember the two candidates I talked about on Tuesday? I'll summarize below.

CANDIDATE A has strong policies, but a weak moral code. 

CANDIDATE B has weak policies, but a strong moral code.

Based on mere percentages alone, it seems as though Change and Cherish Blog readers would pick Candidate B. However, those same readers would not particularly like to choose Candidate B, because a quality candidate should be a perfect combination of both strong morals and strong policies. This is best illustrated by the statement made by Mr. Harris.

Either way, one of the reasons I don't like Donald Trump is because I feel like he has absolutely no morals. His resulting worldview and policies grind against much of what I believe in.

If his morals were different, would I oppose his policies? Even better, would his policies still look the way they do now? 

This Week's Top Comments

Friday, March 25, 2016

#Hallelujah - My Easter Testimony

In honor of the #Hallelujah Easter campaign, I wanted to use this Good Friday to share my Easter testimony.

I know that Christ took upon Himself the afflictions and turmoils of mankind, experiencing the pains and weaknesses of every single individual who ever has and ever will walk upon this earth.

I know that Christ was crucified, and that He rose from His tomb on the third day.

I know that the Resurrection is real, and that all of us will rise from our own graves when He comes again.

You may ask how I could possibly know these things. I wasn't there. I haven't personally died and come back to life in a perfect body.

But I do know.

I know it as well as I know that I sit here typing at this keyboard. I know it as well as I know my own name, my own identity. I know it as well as I know of the material existence of this very Earth.

You may not believe my testimony. But I bet that you can believe I believe it.

The question might be, "Why?" It might even be, "How?"

I sought answers. I studied. I prayed. I spent many nights wondering if I could ever believe. I waited for enlightenment and went back to the drawing board when I found none.

Answers came in the form of thoughts and feelings, the former of which coming with an eloquency I can never hope to repeat or pen, the latter of which more powerful than words themselves.

And I know.

And you can, too, if you'd like.

I'm not saying you only have to ask. I'm not saying it won't take time and effort.

But if you don't know the truthfulness of the Resurrection, I challenge you to begin that journey today.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Your Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts of 2014! - Throwback Commentary #63

Hey there! This is a commentary about the post I wrote on December 29 of 2014. Click here to read the original!

2015 brought amazing prosperity and progress to Change and Cherish Blog. That much is apparent by comparing the Top 10 posts of 2014 and 2015.

I was still getting my feet underneath me as a Blogger in 2014, and most of my posts were slice-of-life anecdotes that I rarely advertised. The very top post of that year, coming in at 93 views, was about me going home teaching and drinking an overpowered protein shake.

In comparison, 2015's tenth most view post came in at 100 views. The topics were much more mature and broad, including commentaries on tattoos and gay marriage.

This blog is ever changing, and I'm grateful for that. In fact, you may even say I cherish the journey I'm chronicling.

But hey! Whether you haven't crawled through the archives in a while, or you just started reading today, why not check out the top posts of C&C's first year? Click the bottom or top of the post to give it a look-see!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CustomInk T-Shirt Unboxing Video

That's right! Backers at the highest tier of my Kickstarter got T-Shirts!

If you want to know what all those words mean, click here to buy Ama's Watch for $3.99!

In the meantime, come writhe with jealousy as I unbox all the things in the below video.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Should Politicians Have Morals? - Tuesday Thinkjoust #41

I feel like the discussions leading into the upcoming presidential election have revolved around a single question.

 "Which do American voters value more: Morals or Policies?"

Obviously, everyone knows the stereotype that all politicians are immoral. However, it has become very apparent in the recent presidential race that some politicians have more of a moral code than others. At the same time, it appears that policies are the major factors drawing voters in.

So let's imagine you have two potential candidates. You like them equally, but for different reasons. You are aware of a major distinction between them. 

CANDIDATE A has strong policies, but a weak moral code. 

CANDIDATE B has weak policies, but a strong moral code.

When it comes time to vote, you decide to consider NOTHING but the balance between their policies and morals.

Which would you choose? Candidate A, or Candidate B? Do you choose a moralistic candidate over a candidate with strong policies, or vice versa?

I'm inviting my readers to express their opinions via the comments section or social media engagements. Any arguments may be featured in the follow-up post on Saturday.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

You may notice a certain individual who was previously blacklisted on Change and Cherish Blog. Don't worry; more explanations are soon to come.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Owl City's "When Can I See You Again" FHE Amateur Music Video Cover

This past week, my FHE group participated in a ward-wide music video production showcase.

The video we produced for the showcase can be found below. We kind of ran out of time to finish, so it cuts off abruptly. I personally felt very comfortable in my role, considering my last assignment in Jamaica.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Date You Should Kiss On & Why I Hate It

On Tuesday, I asked people on which date they thought the guy should kiss the girl. I said I personally don't want to kiss a girl until I've made some sort of direct commitment to her.

Special thanks to my models.

The responses were mixed. Some people took the time to chat about a first date anecdote (I didn't save these comments for posterity because they didn't necessarily help answer the question). Some people agreed with my philosophy. Others thought my philosophy was stupid.

The arguments against my philosophy were more eloquently put than were the arguments for my personal philosophy. As it was, the answer to my question seemed to be, "Second date or bust."

The thing was, several of my close female friends have told me they liked my way of thinking. And when I talked about my post with a new friend of mine, she told me I was spot on with my philosophy.

Of course, all this confusion didn't really answer my former question. "Which Date Should You Kiss On?" There didn't seem to be one answer, and I agonized over how to write this post.

Then, all at once, I had it.

See, there's two different versions of 'The Game'. One is the version I just made you lose. The other is a shortened way to say 'The Dating Game.' And nobody likes the dating game. But what really is the Dating Game?

A failure to communicate.

For example, when a girl looks between the lines of every text a guy sends, she's playing the dating game. She is assuming he's not being forthright in his statements. She guess and second guesses every move he makes, expecting ulterior motives because she doesn't want to ask exactly what he's thinking.

On the flip side, when a guy looks between the lines of every text a girl sends, he's playing the dating game. He is assuming she's not being forthright in her statements. He guess and second guesses every move she makes, expecting ulterior motives because he doesn't want to ask exactly what she's thinking.

If people were more upfront, the 'Dating Game' would die.

So let's go back to kissing. It's pretty obvious that many different people have many different viewpoints about kissing and when you should initiate. What if people with different kissing philosophies start going on dates together?

Why not talk about it?

Me: "Hey, girl I'm into! I really enjoyed this second date, and I want to kiss you, but I personally don't feel super comfortable kissing girls until I'm committed to them."

Girl: "That's totally fair! However, I don't feel super comfortable going on a third date with you until you express your interest with a kiss."

Me: "So you're saying if I don't kiss you, it's a deal breaker?"

Girl: "Yeah! What if we don't kiss before we start dating officially, and it turns out you're a super gross kisser?"

Me: "Yeah, and what if you're a super gross kisser?"

Girl: "Uh ... sure?"

... or the girl says she's willing to wait or whatever. The point is, if you're willing to talk about it, you can figure out not only how to mesh your kissing philosophies, but also how you can talk through things together. That's also important to know before you guys start reaching critical commitment levels, anyway.

But what do you think? Be sure to leave a comment below!

This Week's Top Comments

This was a text message from my sister forwarded to my email.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Second CreateSpace Proof Unboxing Video

Blurry screenshot of the video! YEAH!

That's right, folks.

I have another draft of my book printed.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Christmas Report - Throwback Commentary #62

December 2014.

My parents ask me, "What do you want for Christmas?"

I say, "World Peace. The cure to hunger. A pet zombie."

Christmas Day 2014.

Of course they came through, surprising me nonetheless. And every single one of those gifts they got me are still on my desk, along with the rest of my desk ornaments.

It's amazing to me how much a gift can mean and how long the appreciation for said gift can last. I still have some gifts from years back that mean a lot to me, even if sometimes I feel like a bit of a pack rat.

And I'll never forget them.

What are your most cherished gifts? Be sure to comment below!

Hey there! This is a commentary about the post I wrote on December 26, 2014! Click here to read it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Which Date Should You Kiss On? - Thinkjoust Tuesday #40

Let's talk about dating etiquette!

My personal policy is that I don't kiss anyone until I've made a commitment to them. I will not be changing this policy anytime soon.

At the same time, a few of my friend's female friends recently told him they expect to be kissed on the second date. After all, they said, if the guy hasn't kissed you by then, that means he's not interested. They wouldn't believe the guy is interested even if he's asked for a third date.

I found their philosophy, which was so contrary to mine, fascinating. My friend's friends and I represented two different ends of a wide spectrum. If I were to date someone looking for a second date kiss, then I might unintentionally alienate them by operating under my own policy. My friend and I discussed how many potential relationships may end based on people holding these sorts of differing viewpoints.

I'm writing this blog post to try and get a feel for the average first kiss expectations among my readers. I plan to use Saturday's post to present my findings. My studies will include any arguments you deliver via the comments section or social media engagements.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Monday, March 14, 2016

My eBook is Now on Amazon! Kindle Edition only $3.99!

AMA'S WATCH is a satirical medieval spiritual comedy about two bumbling assassins seeking justice for their people and the true meaning of happiness. 

When the benevolent king of Intus inherits seven corrupt advisers from his late father, the assassins Livens and Rubeus seek to kill every adviser in a single night. As they move from one target to the next, the assassins discover they misjudged the obstacles keeping them from success. It is not the members of the night watch, not the advisers' guards, nor even the personality-burdened advisers themselves. Rather, it is the assassins' own rambling conversations. 

The assassins' run through the city prompts discussions concerning everything from pie to the Goddess Ama, while the debate over which assassin is the other's hallucination proves the most pressing question. Even Livens' own self-doubts are tested when he ponders the meaning of happiness as posed to him by Caritas, the baker's daughter, who may know more about the advisers and even the assassins themselves than she's letting on. 

AMA'S WATCH features layers of comic, psychological, and spiritual depth, subtleties fans will research and debate for years to come, and a delightfully unreliable narrator who will sow a desire in readers to return to the novel after the explosive conclusion.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Traffic Week: American Border Control Should Be Optimized

I'll be honest, I've always been for opening the borders further.

For one thing, I know that illegal immigrants take jobs for which no American citizens would ever apply. For another thing, I've met good, honest people from both Jamaica and Arizona* who struggled to immigrate legally. I remember one good woman who tried no less than four times to enter the United States legally, but corrupt border officials destroyed her papers every time. Finally, she gave up and hopped the wall illegally.

At the same time, I know that weaknesses in our current border policy have allowed crime between countries to flourish. I don't feel comfortable asking our local police forces to tackle crimes that technically shouldn't be America's problem in the first place.

So I propose a compromise of sorts.

Make immigrating legally easier.

America can accomplish this by removing unnecessary bureaucratic red tape (which you know exists) and doing a better job investigating the current border guards for corruption.

Run more extensive background checks.

I don't know the current procedures for background checks, and I imagine they're quite extensive. However, I believe most background checks are composed primarily of lists of deeds, like criminal records and employment histories. I think background checks should be more focused on the character of the immigrant. Search for character references and observe them in their day-to-day life.

My confessions.

I don't really know a lot about border control. I suspect this post is riddled with holes in my arguments. However, I have met illegal immigrants who represented America well, and I have met individuals who would represent America well if given the chance. I don't think we should make things even more difficult for them.

And as CougarMan quoth below, "I was a stranger, and ye took me in."

*Where I served my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This Week's Top Comments

Friday, March 11, 2016

Traffic Week: The Angry Lady

I have written two posts this week, both of them detailing various aspects of my road rage.

Here is the incident that prompted me to begin changing my ways.

I recently made the decision to make a quick run to Wal-Mart at 4:00PM.

You know. The hour before 5:00PM.


Once I realized my tactical error, I gave in to the madness. Turning up my jams, I rocked out as the cars slowly inched their way forward.

When I say traffic was packed, it was packed. It took me about two or three tries to get through each green light before it turned red again. Movement was a rare commodity.

At one point, I made it through a green light just as the light a block ahead of me turned red. One of my personal peeves is tailgating, so I gave the car ahead of me ample room as I slowly coasted forward.

The only reason I mention this is because I have no other explanation as to why the lady behind me got so mad.

I first noticed her because of the erratic movement of her vehicle. She kept swerving back and forth behind me, like she was trying to peek into the lanes on either side of her. She looked angry, and she kept throwing up her arms with these huge, exasperated motions. I assumed she wanted me to catch up to the car in front of me, but I didn't really see the point, considering I was about two car-lengths behind and coming up on a red light. Even after we came to a stop, she kept waving her arms.

Finally, she appeared to have had enough. When she had the chance, she pulled into the next lane over and shot up beside me. I was fairly certain she was going to do something interesting, so I looked over at her.

Sure enough, she threw up her arms and sneered at me, shaking her head with the most disgusted expression.

Unfortunately for her, the lane she'd commandeered was moving more slowly than the lane I stayed in. I cruised far ahead of her before she pulled into the shoulder and zoomed past everyone.

I shook my head at her retreating bumper. Man, it's not like I or anyone else really have control over the traffic. Why is she so angry?

Why is she so angry?

Why do I get so angry?

And thus Traffic Week was born.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Traffic Week: Tight Parking - Throwback Commentary #61

An Analogy: Tight Parking, the featured post for the day, represents a time in the history of Change and Cherish Blog when I focused much more on the spiritual aspects of my day-to-day life. I used to tell people C&C was a journal/pseudo-religious blog. Now, I think it leans more toward an author opinion/political blog.

I think Traffic Week has reminded me more of the early days of the blog than recent days. Either way, while the featured post has an analogy all about parking, I have a new question for you ... all about parking.

I live in Provo, Utah, a city that seems intent on maximizing parking wherever possible. As it is, the parking spots are REALLY TINY.

Whenever I try to park between two cars, I am faced with a dilemma threefold.

1.) I could park closer to the left side, thus giving the owner of the right car ample space to get in and out of the driver's seat. However, this option gives me insufficient space, forcing me to squeeze out my own car.

2.) I could park closer to the right side, thus giving myself ample space to get in and out of the driver's seat. However, this option gives the owner of the right car insufficient space, forcing them to squeeze into their own car.

3.) I could park directly in the middle. This will give both myself and the owner of the right car an equal amount of barely more than insufficient space.

So what do you guys usually do? Be sure to leave a comment below!

Hey there! This is a commentary about the post I wrote on the 8th of September, 2014. Be sure to read it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Traffic Week: Fire Trucks and my Personal Idiocy

I find myself running late for work quite often. When I'm feeling stressed about this potential tardiness, I usually get much more impatient and annoyed with things like stoplights and slow-moving vehicles.

On at least two recent occasions, the traffic around me came to a standstill because of emergency vehicles, specifically fire trucks. People slowed down and pulled over, and I slammed my head against the steering wheel in frustration.

No, the wheel, not the horn.

Of course, looking back on these incidents, I realize I was being stupid.

It's not the fault of the fire truck that I'm running late for work, it's my fault. And if my house was burning down, I'd want the fire truck to ram people in their way.

Okay, maybe not actually ram people, but you know what I mean.

The point is, I find it easy to get angry about obstacles I can't control. Even worse, I allow these obstacles to fuel my resentment toward others. And the absolute worst is that, sometimes, something I perceive as an obstacle is the means for someone else's relief.

So, like my post from Monday, my road rage often gets the better of me. It's time for me to get a new perspective.

Did you notice when I mentioned I looked back on the fire truck incidents? The sad thing is, I didn't realize how dumb I was being until some time after. It took someone else to show me I need to change my ways.

But I'll tell you all about that on Friday ...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Traffic Week: Should the US Strengthen Border Control? - Thinkjoust Tuesday #39

Ok, so maybe border control is only loosely related to traffic, but I'm counting it, anyway.

The borders of the United States are under heavy scrutiny right now. After all, many of our current presidential candidates are demanding major changes in immigration policy. The question is, should border security be increased? Decreased? Or just stay the same?

I plan to use Saturday's post to present my up-to-date opinion about the minimum wage. However, I want to gain a full understanding of the different viewpoints about this issue. My studies will include any arguments you deliver via the comments section or social media engagements.

I look forward to hearing what you all have to say.

For those of you looking to understand more about this issue, here are some recent articles discussing the subject:

US Southwest Border Remains Vulnerable to Illegal Activity

House Democrat: U.S. Muslims Are Being Radicalized by Politicians Calling for Border Control

UNM students protest border control agents at job fair

Pope Francis, Illegal Immigration And Border Security: How Mexico Became Tougher Than The United States on Migrants

Full Measure: Border Control

Monday, March 7, 2016

Traffic Week: Rubbernecking and Why I Hate It

That's right, folks, I have a whole series of posts chatting about traffic! Will I have fun writing them? Definitely! Will you question my ability to write six different posts about traffic? Absolutely! Will I write them anyway?


Thank you, Meme Faces, for illustrating my rage in ways I never could have written.

Seriously, why do people rubberneck? Let me give you several reasons why you should never rubberneck.

1.) Rubbernecking is pointless.

No matter how long you look at the aftermath of a car accident, you will never be able to figure out all the details. If you start rubbernecking so you can 'figure out what happened,' guess what? I can already tell you what happened. AN ACCIDENT, GENIUS/.You'll never know who was at fault, how many people were injured, how much property damage was caused, or, really, any other detail. An accident's an accident. Move along!

2.) Rubbernecking is rude.

So somebody just got into a car wreck, they're pretty shaken up, police are firing hundreds of questions at them, and now they got the ENTIRE HIGHWAY gawking at their plight. Hey, listen up, rubberneckers, didn't your mamma ever tell you it's rude to stare? And if she didn't, let me tell you something: IT'S FLINAZZLING RUDE TO STARE,

3.) Rubbernecking is selfish.

Let me expose the mindset of a rubbernecker. "Oh, hey, look, someone having a bad day! I'm just going to slow down and stare at them for a while. Who cares that there are hundreds of people behind me, trying to reach home or work or other important things. Yep, I'm just going to slow down and take my time to ogle the accident. I'm in no rush, so why should anyone else be?"

Yo, listen up.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

IN GOD WE TRUST Follow-Up - Does It Really Matter?

My Personal Views

I am a Christian of the Mormon variety. I believe in God, and in God I certainly trust. However, I can see why some people might not be too happy about the phrase appearing all over their coins and federal buildings. As it is, I think both sides of the debate have a point.

Argument for keeping 'In God We Trust'

Does it really matter what it says on our coins and federal buildings? In regards to coins, I never even look at the details of the dang things. It's not like you look at a coin and stare at the phrase 'In God We Trust' with barely-contained fury before handing it over to a cashier to buy a candy bar. 

And let's be honest here, Christianity is the dominant religion of the United States. True, Christianity has so many splinter factions that no one Christian religion dramatically dominates the rest. But hey, with all of Christianity's powers combined, they wouldn't form Captain Planet, but they would form one clear religious majority in the United States. 

Given that the United States is a democratic republic, there are more people who believe in God than people who don't. Therefore, if the phrase 'In God We Trust' is supposed to represent at least a majority of our citizens, then it continues to. And consider that our country's foundation was built upon religious freedom. It makes sense for us to acknowledge that in some way. Why not the pieces of metal nobody really looks at anymore?

Argument against keeping 'In God We Trust' 

Does it really matter what it says on our coins and federal buildings? They could put Hillary Clinton on the quarter and I probably wouldn't even notice until someone hashtagged about it on the Twitters and Instagrams. And based on my recent studies of trending topics, that trend would last for three, four hours tops before everyone grew more interested in the latest One Direction music video.

So if we were to change the phrase on the coin to a more universal phrase, like E Pluribus Unum, would you really notice or care? I mean, it's not like you really need some materialistic reminder of your religious beliefs. If you absolutely need one, carry a Bible or a clerical collar.

And seeing as how the United States has a rich history of welcoming others into the country who believe in deities and practices other than God and traditional Christian rituals, wouldn't a phrase that represents the collective American populace be more suitable to put on general government property? And wouldn't a statement that favors no religion better represent the concept of religious freedom? And who cares if nobody looks at the coins, I still know the phrase is there.

My Final Thoughts

In the end, I'm not convinced it really matters. I'm not going to get up in arms if we remove 'In God We Trust' from coins and government buildings, but I'm certainly not going to try and change it. I will say, if I wasn't religious or even Christian, I doubt the phrase would offend me. There are so many other, more important battles to fight.

This Week's Top Comments