Saturday, January 31, 2009

Science Projects

I hate science projects.

When I was a child I did everything I could to not do a science project. I was pretty lucky because at my school science projects were usually extra credit. I don't think I did more than two in all my school years.

Now that I have two kids it is different. My kids have been required to do a science project every year of their school. The project is part of their grade. I cannot stand it! Not that we haven't done some pretty cool projects in the past.

One year, Chloe and I went downtown and rode a bunch of elevators to see how your weight changed while in an elevator. Once, Jordan did a project about shadows and different times of the day. It was pretty cool as well.

Last year, Jordan did a popcorn project that was fun. He wanted to see what popped the most kernels, the microwave or the air popper. Chloe did one on name brand cereal versus off brand cereal and how long the cereal stayed crunchy. It was a fun year of projects.

This year, we could not find a project that we were allowed to do and wanted to do. Chloe finally got her idea right from her science teacher, and like usual, we waited until the day before it was due to get it done. I guess everything turned out OK because Chloe got selected for the science fair. Only 16of 80 kids get to go to the science fair, so it is quite an achievement, but I hate science projects, so, I just look at the extra work that this might cause for me.

Jordan is doing his project today, it is due Monday. We are going to go to the track around here and see how many steps it takes to walk and then run the track and also measure you to see if how tall you are leads to less steps. It will be a fun time. We will see how it all goes down later. We will then work on his board today and tomorrow so it will be ready for Monday.

I hate science projects.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Brown Bagging It

I have actually been brown bagging it at work. I usually either go out to lunch or just do not have lunch. I have refused to brown bag up to this point. There has been a couple times where Diana has tried to switch me over, but I resisted. This time, I am not resisting. Diana and I have had a long talk about our current financial situation. Things are fine. We really have no money problems. Little debt, relatively cheap car payments, and I make enough money to be able to put some away at the end of every month. So you are now asking, why were you talking about your financial situation?

Well, Diana and I have plans, we want to progress in life. Once day move to St. George, buy a big house, ensure ours and our children's future by putting away enough for college for the kids, plus saving more for weddings and other things that will surely be coming. All this and my company has frozen salaries for the year. How am I going to get a raise to help us along our financial path? The only way I get a raise this year is to save money.

"Brown bagging is saving money." That is what I say to myself as I take my lunch in the morning and eat it in the afternoon. It is just so much funner to eat out. To make things fair, I am still doing Monday Wendy's and then one other day a week I go to Costco for a hot dog or a slice of pizza (I love Costco pizza). This seems like a pretty good trade-off.

We are doing other things as well. Refinancing the house to a better rate (a no-cost streamline refinance). I am looking at our car insurance to see where we can save (will be switching in April when current contract expires). We have also been looking at other items that we could reduce our monthly spend on.

It is going to be a long year, and it also looks as if things are going to get worse out in the world before it gets better.

Who knows, maybe a year from now I will like brown bagging it so much I won't even notice.

Been Sick

I have not felt well lately. I really started feeling bad last Wednesday (it probably did not help that I spent the [late] night playing basketball). I have been very achy and my throat has had a little bit of a scratch in it. The worst was my nose. I was overflowing awesomeness (my nose was running) all day. Thursday my nose stopped running, but I was still congested. My head was hurting, I could not breathe through my nose. I kept blowing my nose but nothing would come out. When I spoke you could tell there was no air coming through my nose. I was awful.

Even though I was sick, I was still working. I had many things going on at the end of the week (I did have donuts on Friday) so I could not stay home. Saturday I basically stayed in bed and rested. I got up to help make meals and to go to the restroom, but otherwise, I was in bed. I took a couple naps and it was good. On Sunday I had meetings in the morning and then church, which I could not miss. I got home, had lunch, ran a couple more errands and then faded fast. I dropped into bed and I was out. I slept for multiple hours. I did not get up until after 6. It was quite a nap. I woke up and my wife said that I did not snore (which was a first for the weekend). I still felt stuffy and sore, so I had some dinner and watched the first 5 episodes of 24 and then went back to bed. I was tired.

It is interesting, when your head is all stuffy like mine is and you wake up. While you are laying down you are OK, but as you stand you get all dizzy and feel like you are going down. You just have to stand for a second to get your bearings back. That was me as I woke up. And it had snowed the night before so there was multiple inches on the ground and I just did not have it in me to shovel. I decided right then that I was going to have to work from home today. I just did not want to wait in traffic for an hour to just to get to work.

As the day has progressed I have felt better. Still sniffling, still blowing my nose plenty, but I am on the right side of this cold now. Good thing, too, I have got to get to work tomorrow, lots to do. Today was a good work day though. I spent the morning updating the wiki training area of my works intranet and the afternoon working through the timeline for our next European conference. In between both of those items I worked on other projects I have going.

Diana has also been sick. I feel bad for her. Her sickness is different than mine. She says her liver hurts. I have been giving her a bad time about it, but it is funny. She also says she has been stuffy, but her main complaint has been the liver.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday Morning Wake Up Call

I wasn't going to post this (I already look like a big enough idiot on most days on this blog). I decided that in fairness to my "brutal honesty" mantra I had to let you know. On Saturday morning I was woken up by a cop. No, he was not in my house, he was ringing my doorbell. I grumbled awake at the sound of the bell and thought, "Who is ringing my doorbell, what a jerk. It is 6:00 am!" I got to the door and saw the officer. He asked if the white car over there was mine. I was expecting a busted window or something, but noticed that the trunk was ajar. Then I thought, "They broke into my trunk, good things my golf clubs are in the basement!" I walked out and looked at the car, nothing to show a break-in. Nothing gone. Then I am thinking, "What is going on here?"

The cop asks me to go get my keys so we could look inside. I go in to the house and notice that there is things on my keychain pressing the trunk button. I am an idiot. I was not careful with my stuff and it bit me in the butt. As soon as the cop was happy and left I climbed back into bed for a little more shut eye. I told Diana that it was all a misunderstanding and closed my eyes.

I suck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hard Day

"In this economic climate."

How many times have you heard that statement in the past couple months? If you are at my house or at my job it has been quite a lot. Well, today "the economic climate" became very real to me. People actually lost their jobs today (not me, thank goodness). I know this is going on all over the world and there are probably places that are no where near as nice as my place of employment that has let people go, places where people were actually better off not working there. That does not make it any easier. Letting people go is never an easy decision, and I am sure many sacrifices were made. On days like today I count my blessings and vow to never forget how much I love my job.

Hopefully, Obama and his people can get something passed in congress that can help spur the economy. Until then I will be saving my money and not going out as often, being a little more careful with what I have. I also know that I will get my tax return submitted and get the money in the bank as soon as possible.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Had a Bad Day

Everyone has those days where things just don't seem to go right. Where you think you are the unluckiest person in the world and one of the biggest losers (not the kind that is on TV losing weight).

Today was not one of those days for me, but for my lovely wife. She woke up with a big migraine, that is never fun. Migraines are the worst. Maybe they are contagious because Jordan went to bed last night with one. Diana slept in to get rid of the migraine so she was not able to get her list of things done today.

Then, on the way to pick up the kids from school...well, I better tell this the way I was told from Diana. "I was driving and I cut a person off, so as I went to wave [editors note: the one-finger wave?] I did not see how close the person in front of me was...and then my foot slipped as I tried to stop. We barely even touched!" That is her story...not mine.

Diana says there was no (hardly any) damage to the person she hit. Our car looks like this:

Just kidding. The car is fine. There is a little crack in the front bumper, but the car is just a thing and Diana is a person, so it is great that she is OK. When she called me she was hysterical, but I had her laughing pretty quick.

The day did get better as it went on. The migraine cleared up, she went to activity days and learned all about the girls she will be working with, she got to hang out with me (this is probably the best thing you can do if you are having a bad day) and she had friends commenting that they hoped she was OK on facebook after I updated my status that I was worried about her.

Hope things stay good for a while honey!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have many iPods (as you probably know). I really like music, almost all kinds (I despise 99% of country music). I can listen to almost anything though, and I have. When I worked at the paint store as a young man, most of the employees wanted country so I dealt with it. Sometimes they would go with 80's rock. That stuff is really bad! But, to the point of this post...

After Christmas and Diana's birthday we have a $75 credit at the iTunes store. I have $15 and Diana has the rest. I need some ideas on what to buy. So far, I have bought "Crack the Shutters" by Snow Patrol. Comment some cool new (or old) music that would is good for the ears.

Diana is working her way through her credit as well. She has bought the Adele and A Fine Frenzy albums. I really like A Fine Frenzy, her voice is great and the music is awesome. Diana also purchased a bunch of other singles for her iPod.

One last shout out for Apple: Apple recently switched 8 million (of 10 million) songs to DRM free. That means you can download once and copy as many times as you want. It still downloads in AAC (which is the iPod language), but once you download the music you can export it to MP3. We all really know that you should all just get an iPod, the greatest music player in the world. If you want even more fun, get an iPod Touch and a world of applications are yours! You can also get an iPhone if you have AT&T, but AT&T sucks!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

St. Geoge Weekend

We spent the weekend in St. George and having a fun time. It was Diana's birthday, so it was also a special occasion. We drove down on the 1st of January hoping to get some yummy dinner at Marv's and then get a Golden Spoon. Our hopes were dashed when we get to St. George and everything is closed! We ended up at Quiznos getting subs and then not getting our Golden Spoon either. Sad for us.

The next day we got up and I went golfing while the kids and Diana hung out. While in St. George we were planning on spending some time with our friends, the Ridings. Imagine my surprise as I arrived back at the condo complex and in the parking lot is the Riding car. I go in and the Riding mom and kids are ready to get out on the town. We end up at The Pizza Factory having lunch and then off to the movie theatre to see Bedtime Stories. Bedtime Stories was hilarious by the way, one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. I laughed freely and loudly as Jordan told me he could here me laughing from where he sat (the kids and the Ridings sat away from me and Diana). After the movie we took the two Riding boys back to the condo and Riding mom and baby girl went back to their home base for a while. They said they would come back later to play games. I thought they might be a while, but about an hour later there was a knock on the door and the Riding were here to have dinner, watch the Sugar Bowl and play games. We watched the game and talked for a while and then taught the Riding adults how to play Nertz while the kids just played and played. By the way, way to go Utes with the big win. I counted them out a long time ago but they did it. Good job. The Riding left after Diana and I won at Nertz. We were awesome, we do not usually win. After the Ridings left us idiots stayed up and played Phase 10 until 2:30 in the morning. At least I can say I won, I don't know what excuse anyone else is using for staying up so late.

Saturday morning came quickly for us. We had decided to go play laser tag with the Riding boys. I go to pick them up and we head to Laser Mania in St. George to get a two hour pass. We love laser tag. It is awesome. I know why Barney loves it so much. We laser tag for our time and have a great time. I win almost every time out, usually destroying everyone. It was fun. The kids loved it. The Riding dad even got injured while trying to jump through what he thought was an open square, but was really covered with chain link fence (it is hard to see in the playing area).

After laser tag the Ridings had to go home, but we had a blast with them during the time they were in St. George with us. Can't wait to do it all again around Easter when we will be back down. We came back from Laser Tag and just hung out for a while. I got a car wash and went to Great Harvest to get the bread for Diana's french toast on Sunday as well as Golden Spoon for ice cream. Diana got Gingerbread and she loved it. I also got some Chocolate Malt for Sunday, it wasn't very good. Saturday night we went to Texas Roadhouse and met Diana's brother that lives in Vegas. He made the drive up with his wife to see us (last time we were in St. George we drove to Vegas to see them). It was a fun time. I am still not a Texas Roadhouse fan, but it was not as bad as I remembered and I would probably go there again. I just think I could spend $5 for the whole family and get a better meal at Lone Star. We came back from Texas Roadhouse and played Mexi Train until about midnight and then went to bed. I was exhausted.

I love going to St. George, it is just so much fun. The weather is pretty good and we just go, go, go the whole time. I can't wait to go down there again!

Driving Home From St. George

The family spent the weekend in St. George. It was fun. The weather turned bad Monday morning. We were driving home Monday. The day was cloudy, gray, and cold. The snow started as soon as we left St. George and before we hit Hurricane. The roads became wet and slippery. I slowed down enough so I could change the Pathfinder in to four-wheel drive (you have to be under 60MPH to make the switch), and then I took off. The snow got worse and worse and worse and worse. It was crazy. We saw three cars that were on their sides or tops. There were many other crashed vehicles and even many more cars that had slid off the road.

We drove and drove and drove and only stopped for gas once in Scipio.

The best part of the drive was when I was in a place where the snow was so bad you couldn't even see the lane markers, it was just snow everywhere. In this driving there was a car that decided it was best to just drive in the middle and not make room for any one else. I come upon this vehicle and did not know what to do. I did not want to slow down. I just veered off to the side (mostly staying on the road) and passed this joker in no time. Diana was not real pleased by it. I loved it.

The drive took a little more than five and a half hours (I can usually make this drive in four hours). It was OK. Even after all my great driving I still did not win the MVP on this drive. That award goes to Diana for making it the whole drive home without taking a potty break. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Diana's Birthday

Sunday was Diana's birthday. Once again, she is 29! It was a good day. We lounged around my parents condo and watched movies and ate snacks for meals. It was fun. Just the kind of day that Diana wanted (I hope). We had some yummy Cinnamon Burst french toast for breakfast. Diana got a bunch of Facebook friends that contacted her to wish her a happy birthday. Diana had friends call and leave her messages of birthday wishes. Diana had my parents and family wish her a happy birthday face to face at the condo. It was a good day.

The one thing that my wife did not have on her birthday was either of her parents call to say, "Happy Birthday." I could not believe it. It was a joke. Diana acts like it does not bug her, but I don't act. This really pisses me off. How hard is it to call your own kid to wish them a good day.

I can't say anything else or I might make people mad.