Mind your Business

I'm David Rampton, and this is my Blog.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How about some pics???

I've picked up my camera again. Clearly, I've got a long way to go before my photos begin to look "great" again, but it's fun nonetheless.

Lately, the Bishop of my church has emphasized to the congregation the importance of keeping our commitments both to our fellow man and the Lord. His stated intention is to help us improve our integrity over the next two months.
The importance of commitment and integrity, as one of the major keys to living a successful family life, has been communicated to us both in Sunday Sermon as well as a written letter. The principle of commitment is of great importance both in the spiritual and temporal worlds and we are measured by our degree of integrity in both ecclesiastical and professional/social realms. I believe we are always rewarded spiritually for keeping our commitments both to the Lord and fellow man. Often times, we are rewarded temporally for keeping our temporal commitments.

I intend to document all of the commitments I have made, both publicly and privately, so as to be able to scope the expectations of me by both Divine and non. By so doing, I hope to better understand my level of integrity and identify areas for improvement. I quote from the letter:

"The basic concept is simple: if you say that you will do something, do it. If you do not intend to do it, do not say "yes." An honest "no" is always preferable to an insincere "yes." This basic principle applies to all aspects of our lives. We often think of commitment in terms of major events, but the things that most define our character and our level of personal integrity are the smaller decisions we make on a daily basis. Over the next two months we as a Bishopric would like to extend a challenge to every member of the Ward to take a look at our lives and search for ways to increase the level of integrity shown in our dealings with other people and the Lord."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gotta Love them Haterz

The recent protests of prop 8 held in front of the LDS Temple in Westwood, California have brought some very stirring thoughts to mind. Personally, I have found the actions of the protestors in front of the temple thus far to be quite inappropriate. The mere fact that the aggressive behavior of these individuals merited the dispatch of a tactical response team in full body armor and the arrest of at least 7 protestors is manifest of the violence imbedded in their cause.

The Temple on Santa Monica Blvd is a symbol of many things to those both in and out of the Mormon faith. Primarily, and especially to those who have entered in there, it is a symbol of reverence, of sanctity. As the engraving above the entrance reads “Holiness to the Lord”. It is a sanctuary for escaping the chaos and tumultuous storm that is life on earth. The protestor’s outlandish display of mindless fury yesterday immediately stripped them of any cloak of benevolence they hoped to hide behind by exposing the contentious nature of their motives. In unholy and un-American attempts to interrupt the worship of quiet temple patrons, they decry the hate of a reverent people while with passionate ignorance exude the same.

The Yes on Prop 8 campaign was extremely well planned and organized. It was a highly unified, grass roots effort that extended beyond The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. However, since the LDS church is being singled out in this ‘hissy-fit’ of those who childishly oppose the democratic system, it is important to note how the Mormons composed themselves in the campaigning of prop 8. Decisions were made after prayer was invoked. Efforts were made primarily from the comfort of quiet homes over the phone, guided by non-confrontational scripts. Signs were tactfully displayed. Members engaged in conversations via the World Wide Web to voice opinions. And though not perfect, for the most part they tried to be accurate and respectful. Motivated by a love and reverence for the family as well as a trust in their leaders, members of the LDS faith went forth with Christian courage, steady and united in standing for what the media portrayed as an unpopular belief. Had they been motivated by the anger and hate for which they are falsely accused, their actions would be more reminiscent of the opposition to the prop; disorganized, scattered, accusatory, rambunctious and violent.

“….by their fruits ye shall know them.” Regardless of adherence to Christian doctrine, this statement rings true with the logical and sound mind. To paraphrase the late philosopher James Allen, author of the timeless treatise on thought, As A Man Thinketh, people are like gardens. Thoughts are seeds planted in the garden of the mind. The fruits of those seeds that sprout forth are the actions of humans resulting from the thought seeds. To those who accuse the Mormons of hatred and bigotry by their insulting signs, angry chants and threatening shouts I say, ‘Wherein lies the hate?’

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Real simple, educate yo-self

I can think of no greater cause to involve myself in then that of protecting the family by helping to preserve traditional marriage. The above video contains comments from a number of friends of mine. I think it's important that the world knows there is a large portion of Millenials who take a more conservative approach to this issue.

About 8 years ago, Californians voted on Proposition 22, the outcome of which defined marriage in the state of California as being between a man and a woman only. Last May, 8 years after the voice of Californians had been heard, the State Supreme Court decided to overturn the proposition, essentially silencing our voice.

As an American, this is my chance to make sure that I excersice my right to have my voice heard. As Americans, we have the obligation to prove that 4 judges cannot simply silence the voice of a majority vote.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Manny's up to bat

I'm gonna bring this one full circle, so don't think I'm just yappin about my weekend, ride it out.

I had last Friday off so I went and surfed County Line (so named because it lies on the border between L.A. and Ventura County). It's a beautiful spot. Way up in Malibu, just across the street from Neptunes Net. It feels really far removed, which is nice. The surf started out pretty nice, some of the bigger surf I've had all summer. I went with my buddy Sam. The surf died after about an hour, but enough time to get some waves in.

Next day, while I'm at the gym, Same calls me up and says "Wanna come fly with me?". He's training to be a pilot and gets hour sessions in small 2 man airplane. This plane we took up only weighed 650 lbs. It can fly at 25 mph and not loose altitude!!! I know this because he told me and then showed me. So, we flew out of the Long Beach Airport. He took us up to 2000 ft. and we cruised out over the Queen Mary, south past San Pedro and out over the Donald Trump Golf course in Palos Verdes. By the way, before we took off, he insisted on taking the doors off the plane. So we were cruising around some So Cal coastline, 2000 ft. in the air with no doors on. I was a little scared, but it was so much fun.

That night we went to see the Dodgers battle it out against the official spoiler/rival team, the San Fansisco Giants. The Dodgers won and it was a great game.

What I really want to talk about though is the last statement I made about the flight. I honestly am afraid of heights. I think I always have been. I'm also scared of big waves. Nevertheless, I love flying, skydiving, surfing, cliff jumping and other action sports. I'm lead to believe that one of the reasons I love doing these things is because they scare me.

While talking with a friend last Sunday, we began to discuss the notion of how being afraid of somthing could make you like or even love it. The conversation wandered into the realm of relationships. As I'm sure many people have, I have often found myself doubtin and afraid in some of my relationships, which has caused them to not work out. And then it dawned on me, if being afraid of the many risks and dangers involved in the sports and hobbies I enjoy can make me love them more, why couldn't the same principle apply to my relationships? This would take some meditation to see how it might work.

I started to write the conclusions I came to on the subject, but it got pretty long. I'll finish that in the next post. For now, go Dodgers. Go Joe, go Manny! The magic number is one. October baseball is just around the corner. See you in the playoffs!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Double D

Last Saturday I went to see a guy called Aesop Rock with my buddy Josh. He was performing at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Aesop performed with a guy named Rob Sonic. Rob was easily + 300 lbs. but moved around on stage like a feather weight. One of the opening acts was a guy named Busdriver. He was like an eclectic, indie, LA underground hip hop sound. All his beats were performed live on stage. Worth checking out.

Mack Dawg Productions has created some of the best snowboard videos ever since the sports conception. Some of my favorites have been True Life, Stand & Deliver, Chulksmack, Follow Me Around, People, From ____ with Love, Jibbing with Jeremy Jones, and more. This year marks the 20th aniversery of their making and releasing some of the most inspirational snowboard films ever. The title of this years comemorative production is appropriately titled Double Decade. One of the things I miss most about Utah is being apart of the crowd that follows around all the new snowboard movie premier events. Pros show up to sign autographs, sponsors give away free stuff and kids fight over boards and jackets that get thrown into the crowd. The scene for stuff like that down here is pretty meger. Nevertheless, as soon as the movie premiers, wherever it does, I'll be there.

I was running on the beach yesterday. I could smell that summer was ending, fall was here and winter was on its way. The beach has begun to seem more peacful, more like I have it all to myself again. Winter time on the LA beaches is much different than the summer. It has a beauty that I wonder if most people who live here ever stop to appreciate. I won't say that I totally prefer winter time at the beach to summer time, but I am anxious for October to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


About 3 years ago I wandered out of my apartment bedroom in Provo Utah into my living room to find my roomates watching the second episode of a telivision show called 24. I was all ready for bed, dressed up in my pj's, but somthing about Jack Bauer locked me in like a junkies first shot. It was season 2. I'd never seen season 1. I didn't need to. I was hooked. From that moment on, I spent a better portion of every day watching episode after episode. It was the first for me, the first tv show that I got addicted to. I swore that when that season was over, I would never watch another episode of 24 again, and to this day I never have. But it didn't end there.

A year and a half later I got ahold of the Prisonbreak season 1 DVDs. Watched them insatiably. Then came season 2 and 3, and I watched them all. Whenever I get started on a cliff hanger tv series like that, I just can't stop. So, recently, I got hooked on Heroes. My roomate brought home the DVDs for seasons 1 and 2 and I finished them both in about 2.5 weeks. Several years ago, I may have been ashamed to admit that I watched these shows with such obsession. Now, however, I am open about my addiction and allow my inner nerd to shine forth on occassion.

But seriously though. This show is sick. Hiro Nakamura has got to be one of the top 10 tv characters of all time (p.s. I'm pretty sure he might be Peter Patrelli's half brother!!!!). My obsession takes me beyond what NBC broadcasts over the television network. I get into the back story or, the mythology if you will. The Heroes website provides a series of graphic novels and webisodes that accompany the basic storyline and dive deeper into the Universe of Heroes (For example, a personal inner quest by the Haitian to be reconciled with his Father and ancient religious traditions). Further insight into subplots and secondary characters can be found on the deleted scenes on the DVD sets (i.e. A demonstration of Hiro's father's - Kaito - power!!!).

The Hadron Particle Colider started firing this week. This particle accelorator is the largest of its kind and is being called the most expensive experimentation ever. By smashing particle together at these amazing speeds, scientists hope to break them apart in search of the heart of all matter, the God Particle. If you don't know about that, get on it. Time to brush up on your quantum physics, string theory, theory for everything and knowledge of basic elementry particles. One of my favorite websites to learn about this stuff and anything is http://www.howstuffworks.com/.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This weekend I was privileged to receive a visit from two good friends from up North, Mike and Jay. Mike's getting married in about two weeks and wanted to go out on one more (last) adventure. He's recently got hooked on surfing and decided that for his last hoo-rah he'd come down this way and surf for the weekend.
We got some slightly better than typical, LA, early morning surf on Friday down at El Porto. The main objective however, was to surf San Onofre on Saturday. I managed to put together a small crew to go down for the day. Mike and Jay were in of course; Mike's buddy Sam who lives down here in Gundo (El Segundo); my friend Leanne and; her out of town friend Jess. We got to Old Man's at about 7:30, only to find that there was a huge line of cars waiting to get down to the beach. Rather than wait, we continued on down south to Trails. We got in the water by about 8:00 and stayed out for a long time. With the exception of a few breaks, we stayed out till about 1:00. The surf was just about perfect for some of these guys who had never gone before, or had only surfed a handful of times. We all had a blast. It was a great crew, positive attitudes, down to have a good time, everybody getting along, etc.... We swapped boards around, giving the girls a chance to try different longboards, funboards, and whatever, to see what they liked best. They were such champs. Despite pearling 9 out of 10 waves, they never gave up.

The best part of the day was the realization that it was the group of friends I'd brought along that made this so fun. A lot of times you get a group where some one is easily discouraged, or has a defeat-us attitude / dooms day mentality. Someone who would have been really upset at the fact that Old Man's had a line and we couldn't get down at our original spot. Could have had someone get all down and bummed that it was overcast to start the day (the sun eventually came out). It almost seems expected that one of the girls trying it out for the first time might have gotten discouraged because she kept falling, but they didn't. It was as if all aspects of the day had been taken into account before hand and a group of people who's personalities were perfectly hardwired to optimize happiness for that experience were hand selected and the entire day was orchestrated by a divinely omnipotent maestro. The crew we brought along was perfect for the day. It made for a perfect day.

Good friends are hard to come by. I believe I've been blessed to have many. I hope to have many more. I hope to have many more perfect crews for perfect days.