Tagged: Family

Maker Faire

After a week with the Google tech elite today was a day dedicated to fun, curiosity and fascination. Callie brought Devin down Yesterday so we could spend today experiencing the inventions of the Bay Area's eccentric, creative, technology minds.

I'm not sure how to describe Maker Faire. There are vendors selling everything from small CNC machines to youth groups with kits. There were more 3D printers than I could count including one about 20 feet tall that could print some truely monumental sculptures.

giant 3D printer

There were classes on how to grow from mushrooms and a truck converted into a mobile green house. There were sculptures that spewed fire, a Tesla with panels that lit up like a zebra and a giant forest of lit up inflatable astro-flower things. It was pretty cool.

justin and callieforest

There was a StrandBeest which is amazing to see in person:

The R2D2 club was on hand to ...

Continue Reading →

Viva Las Vegas

Day 1. The Dam Day. - March 29

Our first day we leave Las Vegas (doesn't everyone?) and head out to Hoover Dam to take the Dam tour. It's a really big dam. We pay our dam money, ask a few dam questions and wait in a dam line to watch a dam movie. We know this will be a dam fun time. We watch an old dam movie about building the dam, carving giant tunnels, and cooling dam concrete. We finish the dam movie and wait in another dam line while we wait to take the dam elevator. We descend in the heart of the dam and visit one of the massive dam tunnels carrying a lot of dam water. We behold a marvel of engineering and the fruits of the labor of a generation a hundred years old. Next we visit the dam building and view the dam turbines that provide power to the southwest United States. The floors are marble with intricate designs by master craftsman. We don't build industrial facilities like this anymore. We exit the dam and walk the road that caps millions of tons of concrete. The ...

Continue Reading →

Gifts

It's January. That means a couple of things:

  1. I'll be forgetting to write the correct year for several weeks.
  2. I'm older so the forgetting will probably last for more than several weeks.
  3. It'll probably be 3 months before I'll be outside on a road bike.
  4. I have 3 months to ride my fat bike.
  5. I have collected a year's supply of chocolate in my basement.
  6. The credit card bills from the holidays are due. Judgement day is coming.
  7. This is going to be a bit sappy. Don't feel obliged to read any further.
Once again we spent a bunch of money on a bunch of stuff. On Christmas that's the American way. I love it. I don't regret it. Finding the perfect thing that brings someone joy is a wonderful feeling. Now that several of our children are getting older you realize that you only have a few years of really magical (and extremely early) Christmas mornings.

A few months ago I was listening to a podcast on happiness. I'd read research on the topic o...

Continue Reading →

Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education

My mother in law received a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education this evening - a well deserved honor befitting her work as an educator over the past 16 years. Out of the 21,000 teachers in the state of Utah, 2 elementary school teacher, 2 junior high teachers and 2 high school teachers along with a principal, volunteer and special education teacher were honored so congratulations to those who were chosen. It's kind of a big deal.

I've always respected Jon Huntsman (Sr) for being incredibly successful in business and even more so for his work in creating the Huntsman Cancer Institute. This evening he talked about teachers and leaders as moral examples for their students. He talked about lifelong friends, more than 50 years of marriage, 9 children and 56 grand children. His words weren't polished or elegant but they were powerful because they are backed by the acts of a loving family man who is working to make the world a better place. While the selection committee for...

Continue Reading →

Kids these days

When I was a kid we watched TV on a 20" screen that weighed 600 pounds, output 480i (the antithesis of HD TV) and only provided very fuzzy, analog network channels. Howe we wished for a big screen TV. They were the size of a VW bug, 480i and still only provided fuzzy analog. Of course you could overcome analog and watch whatever you wanted once VCRs came out. My friend's dad bet on Betamax. Some days I look at my collection of HD-DVDs and I know how he must have felt.

Now that I am grown and I have children I wanted to be sure to fulfill all their wishes and dreams. We have big screen TVs. There's a 1080p 60" plasma in the Home Theater with 7.1 surround sound. It's hooked to a Blu-ray, X-Box, Wii and an Apple TV. You can watch pretty much anything using iTunes, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon (except for new seasons of Firefly and Stargate Universe - anyone want to pick those up and start again?). Upstairs there's a 42" LED Smart TV in case we need to watch the n...

Continue Reading →

Major Holiday With the Wife and Kids

It's not often that the stars align and two big events coincide. Today is Father's day, but it's also our anniversary.

Today is a big deal since it marks 15 years of being married to the most beautiful, kindest, and most wonderful woman on earth. I can't believe that 15 years can go so fast, but I'm planning on at least another 60 more so we have plenty of chances to celebrate. Still I don't think there are enough years in one lifetime to spend with such an incredible companion.

Today, being Father's day, also marks an opportunity to celebrate 5 great kids. We love them each individually even managing them collectively is more like crowd control than parenting. I couldn't be happier.

Continue Reading →

Haulin’ Balls

We're driving across the California desert right now. The thermometer says it's 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Every time we have to stop and get out of the car the kids tell me the heat is "hurting them". Pioneer children they are not. The biggest dilemma facing us as we cross the long, arid, punishing desert is the lack of 3G coverage, not being able to figure out the entertainment system in the car and the missing states in the license plate game. We have a lot of 1st world problems.

The trek from home to Southern California is a trip I dread since I’m not a fan of driving all day. However, this trip Callie has been kind enough to do most of the driving. I’ve spent most of the time sitting, working on the computer so it’s not that different than what I do every other day except that the scenery is changing. The South West has a stark beauty and is fascinating in its color and expanse.

Life's really hard, but we're driving a new car.

I don’t deliberately plan on bu...

Continue Reading →

Doggie Shed

We're visiting my parents in Idaho for the weekend so that the kids can go to my grandmother's house to hunt Easter eggs. It's a long story that involves who can be in town when and cousins that are travelling to Texas and stuff.

Anyway, the kids spent the day playing in the yard with the neighborhood dogs and begging me, "Please, please, please" can we get a dog and me saying I'd rather have surgery to remove and intestinal blockage. I'm sure someday my kids will have lots of animals and think that their father still has that same blockage which is why he's so uptight.

Anyway, it reminded me again of doggie sheds which is an odd thing that I would have never thought of unless Devin came in and started talking about them. I have no idea why.

He likes to talk a lot. So much in fact that I wonder where he gets all the words. He's not great at distinguishing between 'd' and 't' which is sort of the point of this rambling.

He comes in t...

Continue Reading →

It’s Not Child Rearing It’s Crowd Control

I told Callie today that we deserve parent of the year awards which was especially funny given the state of affairs in our home. I've heard that one child isn't to bad. We'll never know. We started with two. For us it's been crowd control all along. We don't let the kids go to the car and wait for us anymore. The last time we did we went out and my dear, sweet little girls were punching each other engaged in a full on brawl in their church dresses. That's our redneck roots coming through right there. Today I heard Aubrey scream. Apparently Devin had punched her right after body slamming Alyssa. Asked "what are you doing?" He said, "hurting my sisters."

Last night Jenna threw a fit because Callie cut her finger nails. She went to bed in hysterics. As a father it's my duty to comfort my children so I started a pillow fight. Callie doesn't approve but Jenna thought it was funny and calmed down after she whipped me with a blanket. Somethi...

Continue Reading →

What I Got for Christmas This Year

We're home from my parents which in a way marks the end of the Christmas celebration for us. Although, I am pushing for a return of the Twelve days of Christmas which doesn't end until January 5.

Here's what I got for Christmas this year:

A chance to play Santa Claus with the most beautiful Misses Claus in the world until 3 am. I'm glad she wraps the presents and puts everything together while I eat the cookies.

A few (short) moments of watching my children excitedly rip through presents during the few years that they still feel the magic of Christmas.

A few days away from my computer and from code. I love my job but sometimes I forget what it's like to be a normal human being.

One Lego train from a beautiful Misses Claus and an hour to put it together with my brother. I'm getting old but it is nice to remember what Christmas was like when you were ten.

2 loaves of my grandmother's bread.

A couple of days with family.

A couple of days to go home and recover ...

Continue Reading →

The Princess and the Pea

I made cashew chicken for dinner tonight. It has peas in it. As is typical of any dinner that doesn't consist of corn dogs or chicken nuggets, Alyssa complained and didn't eat anything. The other girls finished the food we gave them and got cup cakes as a reward. Alyssa complained about that too, but still sat staring at her food (four peas, a couple of carrots and a piece of chicken).

We cleaned up and she still sat there. Finally, as we were putting the dishes away she tells me that "she ate half a pea and didn't like it!"

She actually went to the effort of biting half a pea so she could tell us how gross dinner was.

She didn't get a cupcake.

Continue Reading →

Family Trip Day One

Day one of the annual Ball family trip is now complete. We started the day by taking a long time to pack as usual and yelling at the kids. The first stop was the train museum in Ogden at which point my son, who loves trains, nearly exploded. We had lunch at Adventure Cakes which was expensive, but really quite good. I've never seen my kids down $6 grilled cheese sandwiches so fast. Our next event, one which is great when you have kids, was to wait in traffic for an hour to move 2 miles. It was one of those times when you wait and wait to see exactly what it was that was holding you up expecting to see some major construction or some serious accident and then when you are finally at the end and all the traffic starts moving, nothing.

We finally made it to the museum at Hill Air Force Base around 2:30. Those planes are much bigger than I remember from Desert Combat. They have an SR-71 which I've always thought was an incredible plane. One of the volunteers told me that most of th...

Continue Reading →

Conversations With Devin

Today my two year old had this conversation with my wife: Devin: I want juice. Callie: How about milk. Devin: How about juice. Callie: How about milk. Devin: How about juice. Callie: How about milk. Devin: How about I ask dad.

Continue Reading →

Dude, it’s 420

Today is 4/20. That is significant for two reasons. One is that it is my parent's wedding anniversary. My dad likes to get license plates with significant numbers. For years the plate on our van was 11111. Later it was 1701 (any Star Trek fans recognize that number?). When my parents got a new car it was time for a new license plate and a new number. My dad snagged 420 when it came up because of it's relation to their wedding day.

Then funny things started to happen. As they drove down the road kids would honk, give them peace signs and cheer as they passed. At gas stations random youth would pose by my parent's car to get their picture taken. It was a year before my dad was having a conversation with one of my more colorful cousins and told him about the situation. My cousin busted up laughing and then gave my dad the lowdown on 420.

His plate now reads 204.

Continue Reading →

Aunt Dawn

I've been a pallbearer a number of times over the years. It's an honor that I doubt very many people love since it means someone close to you has passed away.

A week ago my Aunt Dawn was driving back from Arco. In a tragic bit of bad luck a freak snow storm made the road slick. Her car hit a patch of ice and an oncoming car crashed into the side of her vehicle. Luckily, the people in the other car walked away.

I learned a few new things about my Aunt and was reminded of a few things I had forgotten. She lived a life of service. She loved little kids. She also carried a loaded 357 magnum in her car and even slept with it under her pillow. She and her sisters, my mother included, did everything together. She was my grandmother's caretaker in many ways, but really she was her best friend. The void she leaves can't be filled. I regret that I always took it for granted that Dawn would always be there. I think that we forget that life is a temporary state. Sadly, the people a...

Continue Reading →

Snow and Rain

I just manged to get the kids in bed. It's 9:00pm. I started at 6:30. I'm sitting here watching the rain letting my brain idle for a few moments until I get back into write code.

It's a bit odd that its raining given that it is January. Over the Christmas break we received treacherous amounts of snow. Maybe it was like this when I was a kid and I just don't remember, but it sure seems like the weather various a lot more these days.

I don't really mind. I don't love the cold. Christmas is over spring can come.

Continue Reading →

I Got Older

I turned 34 yesterday. I assume you'll ask why I didn't write this yesterday and my response is it was my birthday why the hell should I have to do anymore work than just get out of bed?

I've come to enjoy my birthday less. It is a marker that indicates my body no longer heals or performs as quickly as it used to. Age forces us to confront mortality and I don't really like that much.

Callie is great about making my birthday great. She takes care of everything, let's me sleep in and tries to find things to do on New Years day. You ever try to find something to do on New Years besides overcome a hangover and watch football?

Callie took me to lunch at a local Japanese place. I think we've only ever taken the kids to a Japanese place once before.

There is a reason for that.

Jenna was really good about the food and even tried a california roll and liked it in spite of the sea weed. Aubrey loved gyoza. Alyssa at a bit of miso soup. Mostly the all just ate rice. Devin ...

Continue Reading →

I Got Older

I turned 34 yesterday. I assume you'll ask why I didn't write this yesterday and my response is it was my birthday why the hell should I have to do anymore work than just get out of bed?

I've come to enjoy my birthday less. It is a marker that indicates my body no longer heals or performs as quickly as it used to. Age forces us to confront mortality and I don't really like that much.

Callie is great about making my birthday great. She takes care of everything, let's me sleep in and tries to find things to do on New Years day. You ever try to find something to do on New Years besides overcome a hangover and watch football?

Callie took me to lunch at a local Japanese place. I think we've only ever taken the kids to a Japanese place once before.

There is a reason for that.

Jenna was really good about the food and even tried a california roll and liked it in spite of the sea weed. Aubrey loved gyoza. Alyssa at a bit of miso soup. Mostly the all just ate rice. Devin ...

Continue Reading →

The Nutcracker

We took Aubrey, Alyssa and Jenna to the Nutcracker Monday night. It is part of our effort to expose our children to culture. Devin doesn't like ballet and utterly refused to go.

Once we were there I sat next to Aubrey. She had all kinds of questions and comments. Why is there a giant Nutcracker on the curtains? When does the Nutcracker come out? There are a lot of kids. I like the girls in the purple dresses. Why is daddy surfing the net on his phone and eating tic tacs?

Callie asked the girls what their favorite part was. Aubrey said she liked the clowns, Alyssa liked the sugar plum fairy and Jenna liked the dew drop princesses. I like the Arabian princess. During that part I was really enjoying ballet and thinking that I was very cultured.

It was fun. The girls clapped like pros. We'll probably go again next year.

Continue Reading →

Rode Stoddard Creek Friday (A few Fridays ago)

These days I only manage to ride motorcycles with my dad, brother and brother-in-law about once a year. This time we made our way to Stoddard Creek. Its about 60 miles north of my parents house. Very few people can find Idaho on a map which is fine with me. Because of that fact there are a lot of great places to ride within just a few hours. Most of the time we are alone in the mountains even on a Friday or Saturday. The solitude is nice, but there is that nasty possibility that you wreck and nobody finds your body until spring.

Most people don't like logging these days, but thanks go to the logging industry for this trip. All of the roads in the area are old logging roads. I doubt the Forest Service has the motivation or the money these days to build trails into remote locations.

Here's the photos:

Sunset

The only accident of the day

 

 

My Truck

 

Give me your...

Continue Reading →

Rode Stoddard Creek Friday (A few Fridays ago)

These days I only manage to ride motorcycles with my dad, brother and brother-in-law about once a year. This time we made our way to Stoddard Creek. Its about 60 miles north of my parents house. Very few people can find Idaho on a map which is fine with me. Because of that fact there are a lot of great places to ride within just a few hours. Most of the time we are alone in the mountains even on a Friday or Saturday. The solitude is nice, but there is that nasty possibility that you wreck and nobody finds your body until spring.

Most people don't like logging these days, but thanks go to the logging industry for this trip. All of the roads in the area are old logging roads. I doubt the Forest Service has the motivation or the money these days to build trails into remote locations.

Here's the photos:

Sunset

The only accident of the day

 

 

My Truck

 

Give me your...

Continue Reading →

Last Alfred William Ball Family Reunion – 57 Years

For 57 years the Ball family has held an annual reunion. This year was the last. Alfred William Ball was my great grandfather. This many years later the family has gotten so large that I don't really know/recognize anyone. For that very reason I was very careful who I dated in high school and I went out of state to find a wife.

I have always wondered about my ancestors. As far as I knew no one had any information about their lives. By total luck I talked with the one person at the reunion who just happened to mention that she found this website for the Weight Family. It has some information about where the Ball family came from. These types of discoveries are why I love the internet.

Continue Reading →

Last Alfred William Ball Family Reunion – 57 Years

For 57 years the Ball family has held an annual reunion. This year was the last. Alfred William Ball was my great grandfather. This many years later the family has gotten so large that I don't really know/recognize anyone. For that very reason I was very careful who I dated in high school and I went out of state to find a wife.

I have always wondered about my ancestors. As far as I knew no one had any information about their lives. By total luck I talked with the one person at the reunion who just happened to mention that she found this website for the Weight Family. It has some information about where the Ball family came from. These types of discoveries are why I love the internet.

Continue Reading →

Yellowstone 3

Day 3. More driving. Always driving. We went to Tower and watched more water fall off rocks. That seems to happen a lot around here. There were a couple of colorful characters hanging around near the parking lot with a sign that said, "save the buffalo" or something like that. The guy was really hairy and looked like grizzly adams. I would think he should have a "save the bears" sign, but I guess they figured the bears with those big claws could take care of themselves. Next to the couple was a sign that said something like "first amendment at work." Below that was something like the park service has nothing to do with these crazy nuts who haven't showered in weeks. I'm glad the constitution still works. I told dad that we need to setup a booth. Something like "shoot the damn wolves" or "bison make great burgers."

We ate lunch at Roosevelt and then hiked to 'lost falls' which earns its name, but we found it. The hike req...

Continue Reading →

Yellowstone 2

Sequels are never as good as the original so keep in mind that this one won't be as good as the last one which wasn't that great.

I met more rangers today. Two of them seemed like very nice polite people. It probably helped that in the one case the lady was in a brand new air conditioned visitor center. At any rate I now have a sample that I believe shows that only 50% of park rangers are annoying: 4 rangers 2 annoying 2 OK out of the group one was a good looking blonde so I will also conclude that 25% of rangers are hot blonds.

We went to the Canyon today via the Dunraven pass. It sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings. Actually it is part of the secret ploy to kill as many tourists as possible. This is another one of those roads that remind you of some sort of perilous video game were the bad guys send RVs from Mordor your way to push you off the edge into oblivion.

I guess the view was cool.

The Canyon area of Yellowstone is a great place to reduce family size if you...

Continue Reading →

Yellowstone

We went to the happiest place on earth, now were off on a family vacation to the stinkiest place on Earth - Yellowstone. Like the Earth's anus this place belches the nastiest gas you have ever smelled. The girls love it, but hold their noses a lot. I am good with it except for the terrifying narrow roads with the sheer drops seeking to plummet you to your death. There are a lot of animals too. Big ones. I guess that is to be expected. When I was in high school I used to bring dates up here. I got stuck in a herd of 300 buffalo and nearly missed our show at Pierre's Playhouse. I wonder if that place is still around. My dad doesn't know, but that was the same day that I had a park ranger pull up while I and said date were picnicking and tell me there they had had reports of a red car a lot like mine flying past obnoxious RVs at 100mph which was very illegal in the park.

I had (and still have) no idea what he was talking about. Luckily my brother destroyed any evidence a few y...

Continue Reading →

Watching for Signs

I wrote this on May 11th but never got around to posting it:

We took the kids to Thanksgiving Point yesterday to look at the gardens. They had a great time. Whenever we travel through the Salt Lake area it seems that my wife has a $10 coupon for JCPenny that "would just be silly not to use." The signs were not in our favor and we ended up down a dead end road. We turned around and made our way through some of the darker areas of that part of town until we saw a lot of cars and chose to follow them. That led us to the store. Who says following the crowd doesn't work? We made it to the mall just before closing. All the kids needed to use the facilities at that point so at 10 at night we hauled all the kids into the store so they could pee. As we stepped in the front door our quest was almost over before it started. Right as we walked in the front door there was a sign that said 'Restrooms'. We started walking down the short hall but there were only two doors and nei...

Continue Reading →

Watching for Signs

I wrote this on May 11th but never got around to posting it:

We took the kids to Thanksgiving Point yesterday to look at the gardens. They had a great time. Whenever we travel through the Salt Lake area it seems that my wife has a $10 coupon for JCPenny that "would just be silly not to use." The signs were not in our favor and we ended up down a dead end road. We turned around and made our way through some of the darker areas of that part of town until we saw a lot of cars and chose to follow them. That led us to the store. Who says following the crowd doesn't work? We made it to the mall just before closing. All the kids needed to use the facilities at that point so at 10 at night we hauled all the kids into the store so they could pee. As we stepped in the front door our quest was almost over before it started. Right as we walked in the front door there was a sign that said 'Restrooms'. We started walking down the short hall but there were only two doors and nei...

Continue Reading →

Our First ‘Phone Call’

My daughters are in kindergarten this year. Today we got our first call from their teacher. Apparently, Aubrey pinched someone. Callie said that Aubrey realized when her teacher called and ran and hid under the bed. I guess she had to 'pull a card' at school which is a lot like being sentenced to 15 to 20.

I asked her what she did wrong and she wouldn't answer. Then I said that instead of pinching perhaps we need to enroll her in karate so that she can learn to fight properly. I don't think Callie was amused.

Continue Reading →

Our Tax Date

Tonight was the first time since September that I and Callie have been alone, together, outside of the house. We were able to spend 15 minutes eating a Quiznos sub in a gas station in Tremonton, UT. After that we visited our accountant (The best accountant in the world - Michael Bruce in Tremonton) and did our taxes. I know that everyone already knows this, but I am sure my wife will tell you that I am a hopeless romantic.

Continue Reading →

Family Search Conference

I am at the FamilySearch conference at BYU today which means that I had to get up at 5:30 this morning which is one my least favorite things in the world. Luckily caffeine is my friend and I managed to stay awake for the drive down. I did discover this morning that my truck's top speed is 75 MPH and that it is scary to drive it that fast.

Here are some highlights from the keynote.

Ransom Love is talking about Social Networking and is showing Geni, FamilyBuilder, WorldVitalRecords - especially their Facebook application 'We're Related'. All of these companies have open and collaborative technology, use social networking and focus on family relations and because of that formula are extremely successful.

Guesses there are 70 billion records in the world and they have 6 billion records and 3 billions images in the 'vault.' Over half of all children have no official record of their existence. What they currently have will require about 24 petabytes of storage. Record...

Continue Reading →

A Life Of Service

I attended my great uncle Wes's funeral today. I never like the idea of going to funerals but every time I go I am glad I did. I didn't spend a lot of time around Uncle Wes. Mostly I would see him at family events at my grandmother's (He is my Grandmother Della's brother.) The image I always remember is of him taking care of his wife Velma. She has MS and he was always by her side to help her when she needed help. He retired at 62 after 32 years as an elementary school teacher to spend more time with her. Some of his former students attended and said that years later they would still contact him when they needed someone to talk to. He was also the family historian. I never did get some of the pictures he asked for to him.

A couple of things struck me about the funeral. These are things I know but it hits you harder when you see it. One is that the family structure endures. You might be annoyed by your family at times. As a youth you fight with and beat on your siblings....

Continue Reading →

A Life Of Service

I attended my great uncle Wes's funeral today. I never like the idea of going to funerals but every time I go I am glad I did. I didn't spend a lot of time around Uncle Wes. Mostly I would see him at family events at my grandmother's (He is my Grandmother Della's brother.) The image I always remember is of him taking care of his wife Velma. She has MS and he was always by her side to help her when she needed help. He retired at 62 after 32 years as an elementary school teacher to spend more time with her. Some of his former students attended and said that years later they would still contact him when they needed someone to talk to. He was also the family historian. I never did get some of the pictures he asked for to him.

A couple of things struck me about the funeral. These are things I know but it hits you harder when you see it. One is that the family structure endures. You might be annoyed by your family at times. As a youth you fight with and beat on your siblings....

Continue Reading →

Weddings So Totally Suck

Weddings suck. Everything about them, surrounding them and having to do with them is really quite inane. Although I am sure I will take a lot of crap for writing this which may or may not result in a dissolution of a certain matrimony which required such an event, I am going to do it anyway. Honey I am so sorry in advance. Having put up with one wedding I pray I never have to do it again.

Marriage bliss begins with the ludicrous purchase of an overpriced rock from a fancy store that is every bit the opposite of the war torn country that forced slave labor to dig in the mud from whence said rock came. Of course this tradition dates all the way back to the 20th century when Dabeers decided it needed to suck blood out of every poor sucker in the western world (figurative blood) as well as every poor sucker in Africa (actual blood). In Utah where the couple is typically more or less right out of high school this purchase will help them to start their future off right by placing them in sig...

Continue Reading →

You’re Welcome

Aubrey has been really good lately. Callie told her, "thank you for having such a good attitude." She replied, "Thanks .., " then whispered, "whatever that means."

Continue Reading →

Target

On the way back from Salt Lake we stopped at Target because we always do - there isn't one in Logan. Target is a more interesting shopping experience than Walmart. Target has stuff that is more cosmopolitan than us country bumpkins be gettin at Wally World.

One of the things they have, that I love is Harry and David Moose Munch. That stuff is awesome, but is so Calorie dense that a mere handful contains enough energy to feed a child in a third world country for a year. No wonder people hate America. I ate most of a 900 Calorie box on the way home.

While hanging out in the candy isle looking for a, no way is any of the ingredients in this thing found in nature, candy, Hello Kitty bracelet for my daughter, the woman standing next to me asked if the Valentine sports thing she was holding would be an appropriate gift for a guy. Given that I don't care for much sports I was about to say I have no idea, but she was nice and looked like she needed help so I said, "sure. That'...

Continue Reading →

The Flower Shop In Logan

My brother and sister in law bought the flower shop in Logan (Utah). It is always scary to start up a new business even when you are buying an existing one. My brother is even learning how to build web pages (he is the 'webmaster'). After all these years of me trying to convince him to learn to write code it takes his wife becoming a florist to convert him to the dark side. At any rate I know how stressful small business can be so I wish them the best of luck. They'll need it.

The good news for me is that I have a cheap place buy roses and other flowers when I need to avoid divorce.

Continue Reading →

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

Aubrey lost a tooth a couple of weeks ago. It was loose. We were eating dinner. She wanted an apple. I gave it to her. She took one bite and disappeared into the bathroom. We figured - you know, natured called. She didn't come back. Callie found her crying. The first bite into the apple took the tooth right out.

That is very traumatic for a kid. However, it was of course for the best.

Then Alyssa got a loose tooth. She was a bit more excited about it than Aubrey and would even show it to us. Aubrey wouldn't hear of showing her second loose tooth to anyway.

Given Alyssa's excitement I thought she wouldn't mind having her tooth pulled out. It has been loose for weeks and the new tooth is growing in. Not a chance. I tickled her and held her down until she cried. It didn't even take a yank. It came right out bled for a couple of minutes and she was fine.

Aubrey knew what I was doing and ran and hid.

For her pulling a tooth was more like preparing for your last meal or l...

Continue Reading →

Visited the Tetons

I grew up in southeast Idaho which is in close proximity to Jackson Hole, Wy and Grand Teton National Park. When I was a kid (I am going bald and my back is causing me problems so I get to say that now), we would visit "the park" 5 or more times a year.

Now I have to laugh with sadness as I drive through the places where I spent my childhood recreation. Land values in the area are beyond absurd. I know this because as we drove through Tetonia and Driggs this last weekend I saw real estate signs bearing the name of Sotheby's. This is amusing to me because I associate Sotheby's with expensive art painted by eclectic dead guys, rare books and the fine and over priced things in life. During our drive I saw the name attached to run down gas stations with busted windows and rusting junk in the side lot. Another place bore a rusted sign swaying in the breeze reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock film. Until a few years ago you couldn't have paid someone to take over these p...

Continue Reading →

The Spawn of Satan

My wife's best friend moved to Kentucky a number of years ago because she married a guy from back there. We lamented that they were so far away because they were fun to hang out with and because of the distance we rarely saw them.

Then they moved back out to the great state of Utah and now we lament that they live so far away in the tiny town of Tremonton (30 mins away) and we never see them.

Right now we are coordinating with them to see if we can hang out on Friday night because it really is pretty lame that we live 30 minutes away and don't see each other anymore than when they lived all the way across the country.

There are a myriad of reasons we don't see each other anymore often than we do, but I put the primary blame on the fact that their children are the spawn of Satan. More specifically, they have triplets and the two boys in the triplet gang are mostly assuredly evil. (They are very cute and funny which makes the evil that much more sinister).

Because of this fac...

Continue Reading →

Bored at Church

Yesterday, my daughter, out of the blue, told her sunday school teacher, "I'm so bored I could fall asleep." We told her that she shouldn't say things like that to her teachers - she is going to kindergarten in the fall so we need to teach her stuff like that.

The irony is she didn't fall asleep. Instead of saying it, I just fall asleep. I don't remember the last time I made it through sunday school.

You have to love the hypocrisy of parenthood.

Continue Reading →

David Ball

I attended my Uncle David's funeral yesterday. He hadn't been doing well for the past few months, but his passing was still a shock. This kind of funeral leaves you with mixed feelings. I will miss visiting Uncle David on our trips to Idaho to visit my parents, but I have to believe he is happier now than he has been in years. I have often though of my uncle as a modern day Job, only without the happy ending. Years ago he was divorced. Since then his kids haven't been around much. I don't think he got to know his grand kids very well. About 5 years ago he and my dad were up motorcycling. I think they used to do that a lot. David fell and hit his head. For most of us the helmet would be enough to ensure that such a fall would result in a headache and a day of riding cut short. David had arthritis ever since getting home from an LDS mission in Alaska. His neck was weak and the result was a break that left him in the hospital in Salt Lake for 9 months and in a wheel chair ...

Continue Reading →