Thursday, September 29, 2005

All Poop, All The Time

If you have ever had a fascination with or love of poop, do the world a favor and volunteer to look after toddlers. For some inadequately explained reason, 90% of all poop accidents occur less than 5 minutes before you have to leave to be somewhere. But since poop accidents take a minimum of 10 times longer to clean up than to make, if you have a toddler you will inevitably end up being late to somewhere.

Bagel has discovered how to take off his diaper, and he does so whenever he can. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to keep his diaper clean, "whenever he can" usually occurs when the diaper is full of poop. After he relieves himself of the burden of a dirty diaper, he will go on a free-hanging frolicking romp all over the house. Last week he climbed up into Sonshine's bed and sat on every single one of his blankets. Yesterday, he was confined to his crib during the diaper removal, but he still managed to spread feces all over his sheets, as well as putting a good-sized puddle in his pillow. When he's not flinging his own poo like a monkey, Bagel needs constant poopy diaper changes. I guess all that food he eats has to go somewhere.

This morning Sonshine decided to get in on the poop action, and had a small accident right before we were to leave for school. He was cleaning it up himself, but he somehow managed to get his sleeve wet with some liquid that, by the time he got to school, had turned the fabric from blue to yellow. I still haven't figured out what he managed to dip his sleeve in (he just said "I don't know" when I asked him). I hope the stain comes out, although if it just turned his sleeve yellow like that, I doubt it's reversible.

The only child I have who doesn't have a poop problem is Princess. She has a pee problem; she keeps on wetting her pants when she's over at a friend's house.

I would really, really like to have thirty entirely poop-free minutes today...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

All Roads Lead To Rome

If you've ever wanted to actually be a Roman, here's your chance. Nova Roma is sort of like the SCA with togas-- or at least, what the SCA would be like if it were very much more about spreading Christianity. They're just a bit more into the old Roman religion than I'm comfortable with, but your comfort level may vary. At any rate, it's an interesting site to explore.

Link via Basil's Blog and The Oubliette.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Magic Treehouse Books

My kids just adore the Magic Treehouse series of books. I really don't like them. I know all the schoolteachers are just thrilled with them, but I'm a lot less than thrilled.

They're not bad books-- which is why we have not restricted the kids from reading them-- they're just very, very poorly written, and they have extremely boring plots. For an example of the poor quality of their writing, take the glaring use of sentence fragments. Sentence fragments are fine for spoken-word or informal applications (I use them all the time on my blog) but I just don't think they're appropriate for literature, even cheap children's serial literature. There are tons of books out there that, in addition to having first-class illustrations and writing, somehow manage to use complete sentences. One wonders whether the author, Mary Pope Osborne, made a deliberate stylistic choice to use sentence fragments frequently, or whether she actually did not study English grammar before deciding to write books for the edification of children. Either way, I'm not much impressed.

For those unfamiliar with the series, all the books have pretty much the same plot:
  • Jack and Annie (brother and sister) find the magic treehouse, which is the property of Morgan le Fay.
  • Jack and Annie use books and library cards found therein to transport themselves to another time and place.
  • Jack and Annie perform a vital task in that time and place, which usually involves 50% learning about the time and place and 50% imposing modern value judgments on it. In the later books, those drop to 33.3% each, with the remaining action involving some sort of complicated four-book subplot that usually has to do with Merlin or some other character.
  • Jack and Annie go home via the magic treehouse.
The way Osborne co-opts characters like Morgan le Fay and Merlin really grates on me. Osborne certainly isn't the first person to adopt characters from much better literature, but her version reads more like amateur fan fiction than, say, Marion Zimmer Bradley-style or J.K. Rowling-style character adoption (I mention these authors because they both adopted the characters of Merlin and Morgan). After reading these books, I wonder if my kids will ever really be able to appreciate the original versions of these characters.

These books basically fill the same role for children that historical romance novels fill for adult women. They are mostly-harmless, poor-quality fluff that leave the reader with the mistaken impression that they've learned something about the history and culture of another age and place.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I Know Where It Is!!

CAUTION: This post will not make sense to you unless you are such a diehard Harry Potter fan that you have already read Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

After a careful re-reading of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, I now think I know where Slytherin's locket is. By now you've probably already guessed who R. A. B. is. Well, I think Slytherin's locket was in his former house in the curio cabinet next to the genealogy tapestry. The only question now is, what happened to it after the "cleanup" in which it was tossed in a garbage bag?

Two possibilities: (A) it's in some sort of wizarding landfill; (B) Kreacher has it. I don't think Mundungus has it, although I have my suspicions that he may have one of the other horcruxes, probably Hufflepuff's cup or the unidentified horcrux. If it's in the landfill, I wonder if you could go there and just wave your wand and say "Accio Horcrux!" and it would jump out of the landfill and into your hand. That'd be cool, considering that the alternative would be to search through about two years' worth of wizarding garbage (or, God forbid, for Voldemort to win). Considering how long it took the authorities to find Lori Hacking's body in three weeks of Salt Lake City garbage, the landfill search for the locket would take the greater part of Book 7, and it's a pretty good guess that J.K. Rowling wouldn't want to turn her capstone work into an endless landfill drag.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Economics 102

The price of crude oil is going down, but gas prices are going up. Some intelligent people (like FH) are beginning to wonder if there's price gouging involved. Congratulations to these people, who evidently have passed Economics 101. While we should always be on the regulatory lookout for price gouging, there's a better explanation (I think), but it involves understanding Economics 102. I am not an economist, but I know enough about how my own supply chain works to think myself qualified to pontificate on the subject. Here is how I explained it to FH.

First of all, cars don't burn oil, they burn gasoline. Gasoline is made from oil at refineries. When refinery capacity is taken offline, as it is with the hurricanes, then you have two problems. The first problem is that there is not as much gas being produced. The second is that there's not as much oil being used.

The first problem, decreased supply of gas, leads to increased gas prices, because (as we learn in Econ 101) rare things cost more so long as people still want to buy them. The second problem is what to do with the oil that isn't being used at the refineries in Texas and Louisiana. It will have to be sent elsewhere and sold to people who otherwise might not have bought it. In order to do that, the price will lower.

And that's why the price of oil is going down even as the price of gasoline goes up. If this happened when there was no loss of refinery capacity and no other problems in the supply chain (like a trucker's strike or something), and the price changes were dramatic (as opposed to a 1-cent change in the price of a barrel of oil), I'd be suspecting price gouging too.

Another thing to remember is that the relationship between disabled refinery capacity and gas prices is not a linear relationship. You might think that if we lose 10% of our refinery capacity that gas prices should go up by 10%. Well, take that to its logical extension: if we lose 100% of our refinery capacity, and can no longer produce any gasoline at all, then prices should only go up by 100%, i.e. they'd double and never get any higher (that is, unless you're one of the 8 out of 5 people who thinks we can lose 120% of our refinery capacity). Clearly, that's not how the market works-- Stradivarius is 100% dead, but his violins keep going up in value anyway; they didn't stop going up in value when they reached double the price they went for during his lifetime.

Blogged For Later Access...

Here's a link to an article about the candidates for Tooele mayor. I don't think I'll be able to vote in the primary, since FH dragged his feet getting his voter registration app filled out (and thus delayed sending mine), but it'll be interesting to watch and see what sort of vision Tooelians (?) have for their city. Will it grow, like Logan, into a place you'd want to live in and wouldn't have to leave to go shopping? Or will it become the barn where Salt Lake City sends its hired help to sleep at night?

It's A... Baby

For those who have been following the Baby #4 Saga, we can now officially confirm that it's a baby, because we can feel him/her bopping around.

We are now soliciting suggestions for names. I think it's a girl, and everybody else with an opinion on the matter seems to think it's a girl too, but since we don't know for sure we'll take boys' names too. Our criteria for names are:
* They have to be pre-existing names, not made-up names. "Pre-existing" is defined as "having been used as a name for children of that gender for at least 100 years". Preference is given to names from our family tree.
* They cannot also be Scottish surnames or the surnames of any past President of the United States (i.e. no "Mackenzie" or "Madison").
* They have to pass the Elementary School Teacher Pronunceability Test.
* They should not be in the top ten baby names for either this year or last year.
* They have to sound good with the last name "Natividad"

Sonshine suggested "Emily", which was an improvement over his previous suggestion of "Blanket" as a good name for a snuggly little baby. However, "Emily" was #1 in 2004, so sorry Sonshine, it'll have to go.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Weekly Gripe: Don't Call Us, We'll Call You... Or Not

It seems that the latest trend in customer service is to pretend that your customers don't need service, and then get all grouchy with them when they demand some.

Case in point: Several weeks ago we called an appliance repairman to come out and look at our fridge. The fridge that came with this house has some problems with the hinges; the freezer doesn't close right so it's constantly defrosting, making puddles on our kitchen floor. The repair guy came out and looked at it, said he needed to order some parts and they'd be there by the end of the week. That was the last we heard from them. I called them a week after his service call to check on the status of the order, and they were a little annoyed at me for pressuring them into producing the parts, but assured me that when the parts came, they'd call me. Two more weeks went by without a call or a message, so I called them again. First, the lady expressed her extreme annoyance that I would call and pressure them into producing the parts. Then she asserted that she had in fact called me to give me the information she had given me the last time I called her, which was a bald-faced lie that a quick check of my caller ID verified. And finally she told me that the parts were back-ordered at the factory, but she wasn't going to bother to tell me this until they had an estimated arrival date on the parts.

And it's not just this one firm, either. I ordered some parts from Fastenal and they said they'd call me when they came in, but they didn't. I tried to call them, but for some reason they weren't listed in the phone book. (They said it's because their store just recently opened.) So I had to go in and see if my parts were in (thankfully, they were and I hadn't wasted my time). I also dropped off some used clothes to sell at a used clothing boutique. They were supposed to call me on Saturday to let me know how much store credit I'd have, once they'd sat down and figured it out. It's now Tuesday and I'm going to have to call them to find out if they've even gotten around to figuring it out. My guess, based entirely on my experiences during my visits to this boutique, is that the woman who runs the place has spent the last 48 hours surgically attached to her phone, bitching to her girlfriend about how horrible her husband is for not reacting properly to all her petty concerns.

In fact, out of all the firms I've dealt with in the last two months (and there are a considerable number of these with all the business I've been trying to transact), you can count on one hand the number that have EVER called me back. I've always had to call them and keep a fire lit under them to get them to do anything. You'd think they were all in business just to sit on their lazy @$$es and complain about how those lousy customers were pressuring them into actually doing work.

Is this the new trend in customer service-- to sit around ignoring your customers, wishing they would go away?

UPDATE: More outrage-- when I called the used clothing boutique, the lady claimed she had called and left a message on Saturday. I didn't get a message on Saturday. I'd gotten a message on Friday from her but it wasn't about the store credit, it was about some imaginary dirt she thought she saw on the clothes. I checked my caller ID and I received no call from her on Saturday, only the one call on Friday. So if she called someone about my account on Saturday, then it wasn't me. Is this part of this trend-- not only to not call your customers back, but to then turn around and claim that you DID call them?

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Debate Over Kids' Beer

A Japanese company has come out with a new product called "Kids' Beer" which is basically soda packaged in a beer-like bottle. Loads of people are just horrified by this product and dearly hope it doesn't come to our neighborhoods. They believe that having this product will encourage kids to drink real beer and turn them all into horrible drunks. And they pull out all the science and statistics that prove that kids drinking alcohol is bad.

I do not dispute those facts. I think beer drinking is bad for kids. Personally, I think it ain't too good for some adults, either. But I think these well-intentioned people are overlooking a few key points here.

First, the stuff is not beer. It's soda. And while soda isn't the healthiest thing for kids to be drinking either, nobody's yet argued that it causes brain damage and car accidents. That is, until it came packaged in a beer bottle. So while it's important that the public be aware that beer can be very damaging to adolescents, it does not magically morph into an argument that soda is that damaging just because the soda comes in a beer bottle.

Second, I have never heard of a single study-- not one-- that shows that drinking soda, even drinking soda out of beer-like bottles, increases teen drinking rates. In fact there already are several sodas on the market that are sold in beer-like bottles (not to mention the fact that up until recently all soda was sold in bottles, or the fact that beer is now sold in cans but somehow canned sodas don't lead to beer drinking). My favorite, IBC Root Beer, even has the word "Beer" on the label! And somehow nobody objects that IBC Root Beer increases teen drinking rates.

Third, there's the issue of what kids do in fantasy play versus what they actually grow up to do. By the anti-kids'-beer logic, we should never let kids dress up as pirates, because it will encourage them to piracy, and piracy (as we all know) is morally wrong and a drain on the economy. There goes Halloween, folks. We don't want our kids growing up to be zombies or ghosts! Kids do all sorts of stuff as a way of acting out fantasies and exploring their world. I used to jump around the swingset wearing my moon boots and pretending I was flying space fighters. I used to build houses out of Legos. Notice that I as an adult am not involved with the aerospace or construction industries. I also used to try on my daddy's shoes, but I'm not a cross-dresser.

Fourth, kids love imitative play. They have play kitchens, play workshops, and dress-up clothes for a reason. They enjoy the feeling that they're "just like Mommy" or "just like Daddy." Even older kids like that feeling. Now if Mommy and Daddy drink beer, then they want to feel like they can too. To exclude them from adult activities only increases the mystique of those activities and makes them more inclined to see them as "coming-of-age" activities-- and it's those "coming-of-age" activities that teens lean toward to prove their independence. We provide imitative play activities for kids because they are "safe" versions of adult activities-- we don't, for example, send them out into the corporate world to make a living, but we do let them put on ties and Daddy's shoes, drag a play briefcase, and pretend they're coming home from work. We give kids allowances as a simulacrum of earning money. We give them toy cars and let them drive them around in the driveway, even though driving is one of the most statistically dangerous activities we do on a day-to-day basis. We let them engage in all sorts of kids' versions of adult activities.

Fifth, I don't know what the soda tastes like, but I dearly hope it tastes as close to beer as possible, because if it does, it'll have a negative effect on kids' beer drinking. I have never had beer myself, but I'm assured that it tastes truly horrible and it's definitely an acquired taste. One sip of a Kids' Beer that tastes like beer, and those kids will make a beeline for the 7-up.

The bottom line is, those thirteen-year-olds drinking beer are not doing it for the taste, and they're not doing it so that they can have a certain shape of bottle in their hands. They are drinking beer, and especially binge-drinking beer, because of the alcohol buzz and because they see it as a coming-of-age activity. It's failing to discourage that sort of activity, not drinking soda out of bottles, that is dangerous. The attitude that it's a good idea to drink yourself silly drunk is the problem. And that does not come from a bottle full of soda, nor does it come from adults modeling responsible alcohol use.

The single biggest influence on what kids decide to do in real life, as opposed to fantasy play, is the actions and attitudes of the people around them, not what props are available to them or what fantasies they have. When we were kids, my siblings and I used to play "Las Vegas." We sat at the bar in the kitchen, on the barstools, playing blackjack, smoking candy cigarettes, knocking back shots of apple juice and saying Las Vegas things like "Hit me" and "Give me a double." Even after my parents discovered us doing it, they did not switch over to grape juice or get rid of the cards or barstools. So far none of us has become a smoker, drinker, or gambler. The main reason why we didn't grow up to live the Las Vegas fantasy is that our parents taught us something different to do with our lives.

If your kids are so vulnerable to the influence of Demon Liquor that you think Kids' Beer Soda would drive them to drink, then you have much bigger problems in your family than can be cured by banning the soda. What? Your kids would be fine? Then whose kids are you worried about? Is this about "The Children?" Because that kind of nanny-statism would be the topic of a whole other post.

Recipe: Hearty Barley Soup

My mom sends this recipe that was a favorite of ours when we were kids. It's called "Hearty Barley Soup," but my brother used to call it "Barbie Barbie Soup." A nice dish for when the weather turns cold.

Hearty Barley Soup

1 lb left over pot roast or beef roast, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped cabbage or fresh broccoli stems
½ cup barley
3 1/2 cups beef stock
½ cup tomato sauce
½ teas salt
1/8 teas pepper
1/4 teas ground marjoram
1 bay leaf
dash of chili powder

Brown beef and onion in heavy pan and add celery and cabbage/broccoli stem and barley and stir fry 3-5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer, covered, 1 hour or until barley is tender.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Whenever I see a woman wearing low-slung hipster jeans with a stylish tattoo over the waistband, I snigger. For one, there's the fact that she's wearing her waistband in the precise location that maximizes the apparent size of her butt (and the factory-faded wrinkles and the cut of the jeans over the buttocks only enhance that effect). But that's not my main cause of sniggering; women have been wearing wide-load fashions for ages (remember the humungus butt-bows of the late 80's??) for the simple reason that they cannot see themselves from behind-- it's all the OTHER women whose butts look big in that. No, it's thinking what she's gonna look like ten years from now, when empire waists are back in and she's got a hundred extra pounds underneath that tattoo, 25 from each baby she's had. Not such a hot young thing now, are ya??

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Boy With The Teflon Feet

Sonshine, being a smallish boy, is highly prone to small bleeding injuries on his extremities-- not large enough to be worrisome, but deep enough (and on dirty enough parts of the body) to require bandages to prevent infection. Unfortunately, the same activity that causes the injuries also causes the bandages to fall off quite rapidly after application.

We thought we'd tried everything to keep bandages on this kid, but nothing worked. His skin is just made of Teflon. Brand-name bandages, waterproof bandages, extra-sticky bandages, wrapping in gauze, waterproof tape over bandages, waterproof tape over gauze and bandages, even duct tape-- all of it slides right off of him, especially his feet, in ten minutes or less.

But finally, I've found something that worked.

I was wandering through our local feed store, exploring the shopping here in Tooele, when I came across this stuff called Vetrap. It's sort of a self-sticky elastic wrap. I thought I'd buy a roll and give it a try. Animals, after all, are very active and likely to rub off their bandages, not unlike smallish boys. So I bought a roll.

The other day I had occasion to try it out, when Sonshine injured his toe. I put a bandage on the toe, and then wrapped his entire foot in Vetrap. And the bandage stayed on! For two days! By the time we took the Vetrap off, the wound was sufficiently healed to not require a bandage. Amazing!

I'm now using the Vetrap on myself, because I split open my little toe for the second time in as many weeks. While I can keep a bandage on my toe for about half a day at a time, I thought it would help to keep my toe tucked in to prevent me from re-injuring it before it healed again. I didn't have to wrap my entire foot, though; just the top half. This stuff works!

Scamming the Nigerian Scammers

You've gotta check out what Steve H. at Hog On Ice is doing; he's got some pet Nigerian scammers dangling on leashes. And he's starting to sic them on each other, too. Kinda like cockfighting. You've gotta read his letters to the scammers; they're pure comedic gold. Here's a sample:
Dear Okra:

This is a flabbergasting offer. Are you seriously saying you're going to give little old ME 12 million dollars???!! Why, I would have no idea what to do with that kind of money! Although I guess I could give it to my favorite charity, the Heinrich Himmler Memorial Fund for Indigent Nazis.

I don't know if you have heard of this charity. After World War Two, a lot of German officers were accused of trumped-up "war crimes," and in the decades that followed, they found it really hard to get jobs. So a group of American citizens of German descent created this fund, and we send these poor gentlemen monthly stipends so they can live in nice fortified homes in Chile and Argentina....

I could give them some of the money, although I think I would spend some on myself as well. My goiter has gotten so big I can no longer wear turtlenecks.

Stephie Schicklgruber Hopkins
Manganese Creek, ID
Read them all, and die laughing.

Also, while you're there, check out his recipe for mini-pit-roasted-pig. Then you can die laughing AND full of tasty food.

Link via Basil's Blog.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What Would That Look Like?

What would a world without racism look like?

Well, as far as I can tell, a lot like our world today, only without Jesse Jackson, Kanye West, Barack Obama, and all the other people who are on record accusing President Bush of racism and fomenting hatred on the basis of race.

See, if there was no racism, then you wouldn't hear people talking about race as if it mattered. And that's exactly what you see every day, at least around here. I can't speak for other parts of the country, but here in the West, it's only a few loonies who talk about race as if it matters. Even the most vehement anti-illegal-immigration people care more about citizenship than race. Nobody around here utters a single racial slur to us or refuses to be friends with someone because of their race. Nobody even blinks when our interracial family walks down the street.

So when I hear people accusing a President who chose his cabinet with more regard to talent than to race, of hating black people, I have to wonder: who's more committed to creating a world without racism, the guy who made race a non-consideration, or the people who use race as a lens through which to see the world?

We have raised an entire generation of people to whom race does not matter. We should rightly be proud of ourselves.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Recipe: Fresh Peach Cobbler

This time of year is peach season in Utah. Because FH is allergic to fresh fruits but still wants to enjoy the goodness of locally grown, tree-ripened peaches, every year at this time I make him a fresh peach cobbler so that he can share in the traditional eating of the sweet, juicy fruits.

Most cobbler recipes say they'll serve 4 to 6. Yeah, 4 to 6 very small KIDS. Real men want more than half a cup of cobbler for a serving! Plus they tend to invite over their real-man friends to show off the fact that they have a wife who can cook like this. So this one makes a man-sized cobbler, which will serve 6 to 8 normal people who really, really like peaches.

Fresh Peach Cobbler

8 large tree-ripened peaches
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter, softened
2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder

Remove pits from peaches; slice into thin slices; remove skin if desired. Toss with sugar and cinnamon. Place in bottom of large casserole dish.

Mix remaining ingredients to make a sticky dough. Drop dough by spoonfuls on top of peaches, making a layer on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until dough is cooked through.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Welcome Katrina Refugees

500 refugees from Hurricane Katrina are coming to the Tooele Army Depot. We've been asked to donate toiletry items to help them out, so I made up a box. I want them to feel as at-home as possible here in Utah, even though it's not their home. At least it's a safe place, which is more than can be said for where they came from.

Somebody mentioned they'd heard about the refugees coming to Tooele in the news, so I went to look it up to link to it in this post. I couldn't find it, but I did find this article:
About 50 people were loaded onto a plane late Saturday, but when told they were going to Salt Lake City, nearly 20 people got off. "There's nothing to do in Salt Lake City, nothing," said Sandra Lawrence, 32, who stayed on the plane. Most of the people on board had thought they were going to Houston.
Well, I guess that's understandable, as New Orleans is a really vibrant city full of plenty of exciting activities. Why, on any street there, you can shovel mud, sift through debris looking for bodies or food, or sleep out under the stars while trying to defend your family from lawless looters. I can see why they might find Salt Lake City boring, since all we've got here is hot showers, free food, warm beds, and kind people. Honestly, people are evacuating them to these cities out of the kindness of their hearts, not because they need to go to a place with nightclubs or fancy restaurants. Are they really going to look a gift horse in the mouth at a time like this? What ingrates! I'm just glad we're getting the ones who aren't snobs.

UPDATE: FH claims that he heard on the news this morning that after that incident with people getting off the plane rather than go to SLC, they just didn't tell refugees where they were going. When they found out they were in SLC, they asked where that was and how close it was to Atlanta, then called their friends to come and pick them up.

My question is, if they had friends in the Atlanta area who were willing to drive out to UTAH to pick them up, why couldn't they have driven out to NEW ORLEANS to pick them up a week and a half ago?

I couldn't find the TV report he saw, but I did find this article about it.

In the meantime, I'm putting together a box with everything from the list of urgently needed items that I can spare. At the rate it's going, it'll be two boxes before I'm done. I urge everyone else to do the same.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Book of Mormon Citations

This fascinating article follows the use of the Book of Mormon in proselytizing, General Conference citations, and other indicators of interest in the Book of Mormon among Latter-Day Saints. Interesting factoid: Book of Mormon citations in General Conference peaked at 40% (meaning that 40% of scriptural citations came from the Book of Mormon) around 1986 (when President Benson exhorted people to make better use of the Book of Mormon) but before that were at around 10-20%. After that they have been around 25%.

I think it's intriguing that so little use has historically been made of the Book of Mormon. Early Church members defended their faith mostly on Biblical grounds. It certainly puts the lie to the commonly held idea that Mormonism draws its scriptural support primarily from the revealed texts and not from the Bible. Before the 1980's spike in BoM citations, citations from the revealed texts (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) combined was around 40%, suggesting that whatever the conventional wisdom might say, Biblical sources are definitely a sine qua non of Mormon doctrine.

Link via FAIR, which, by the way, is an excellent website for LDS apologetics. Both member and non-member will find excellent and scholarly explanations and defenses of LDS doctrines there, plus answers to some of the more esoteric questions people sometimes ask (such as the meaning of the stars on the exterior of the Salt Lake Temple).