Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My new favorite website...

This is perhaps the coolest website I have ever seen. What are they going to come up with next? THIS IS AWESOME!

Monday, July 09, 2007

The neighbors...

My neighbor Kyle has two children, Jordan (12) and Kylie (6), who come stay with him in the summer, a quick vacation from their Louisiana home. They spend a lot of time at my house when their Dad is at work. This weekend I taught them how to play dominoes, Mancala, and Scrabble. They are also a great companions when I go to the pool down the street. Dallas is not a pool rat like I am. So it works out well that I can "take the kids" to the pool to cool off. Our neighborhood pool has both a 1 m and 3m springboard. Kylie has no fear and Jordan kept attempting his famous double front flip. Check out the quick movies...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

First of all, I now completely understand why so many dentists take off Wednesdays. Having a day off in the middle of the week means that you are never far (no more than 2 days, in fact) from your next day off.

Our 4th of July began with the Freedom Run in Provo, UT. Few cities in the US can rival what Provo does for the 4th of July. It's a month-long event. Last year we attended Stadium of Fire. This year, I decided at the last minute to run the 10K. The funny part of it was that online registration closed before I decided. Us last minute participants had only one option: register on-ite no later than 6 am. I was up at 4:45, our the door by 5 am, and at the registration site by 5:27 (Draper to Provo in impressive time :)). Since the race didn't start until 7, I had plenty of time to mill about. FYI -- racing and fun runs are much more fun when you do them with friends and family. Rufus -- I missed you as my buddy -- you would have loved this run! As I was walking to the starting line, a tall rather athletic looking gentlemen asked "Is this the way to the 10K starting line?" It was none other than the infamous, or famous if you are a 49er fan, Steve Young. Apparently he runs this race as a tradition. I responded "I think so, but I certainly don't want to be running next to you!"

The race course starts at Kiwanis park and has you run up 9th east until you make a left on University Avenue. Nothing says patriotic like a 1 mile uphill start! Then you drop down past the stadium, hang a left in front of the Richards PE Building, and run 2 miles down Freedom to Center street. It was AMAZING how many people had lined the streets in preparation for the parade. Provo lets you "stake your claim" several days early. It would have been more dramatic if they all would have cheered, but some of them were just waking up!

I finished in just over an hour -- impressed with myself as I had also passed about 15 people on the last hill which was nearly 1 mile long. My average heart rate was 163 and I peaked at 175 (that's the info Dad wants to know :)....

The neighbors, Dallas, and Cindy and Scott McEwen met me at the finish. Afterwards, we all headed down and watched the parade.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New York For Pleasure -- And It's Not NYC

Dallas and I left last Wednesday for Buffalo, NY for vacation. That's right, Buffalo. For those of you who have never been there, Western New York in the summer is spectacular. I have a dear friend that lives in a small town of about 5000 people who we stayed with as we gallivanted around. Our adventures included: a trip to Niagara Falls complete with fireworks, the jet boat ride up the Niagara River, a "nine-and-dine" couples golf tournament, a friendly round of 18 at the Fox Valley Country Club, and a tour of the Erie Canal locks and Old City Hall in Lockport, NY, just to name a few! May I also mention that we ate, ate, ate....Dallas will now be entered in a chicken wing eating contest, at the request of our hosts, when we return! Buffalo has restaurants that rival NYC and SF. The weather was spectacular -- 75 degrees and very little humidity. Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend Buffalo in the winter, but everyone should make a trip up there sooner or later!

We have been traveling maniacs lately. Three weeks ago we were in San Diego visiting Ruth and Janean. Two weeks ago we made the drive across the Nevada desert so I could compete in the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon. I'll need to catch up on postings. I only share that information at this point to let you know how funny it is that when our neighbors, Kyle and Carrie, picked us up from the airport last night, they said "You guys are only here for a few days and then you'll be off to Saskatachawen." They crack me up...

P.S. I'm registered for IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene 2008.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Benefit of Sitting In Front of a Computer ALL DAY

The new job is in full force. I've been here three weeks, have taken my first corporate trip (to Charleston, SC and I'll blog on that later), created a to-do list that is currently 17 items long for today, and received my business cards. It's been nice to have an office to go to daily (especially considering that it is less than 3 miles from my house). I have become an "office employee", meaning that I participate in pot-lucks, meetings in a conference room, pranks and sit in front of a computer quite often.

It's been a shift, but one of my co-workers introduced me to this website:

Anyone who is into anything outdoors must add it as a bookmark. I warn you -- as he did me -- it is quite addicting. But, damn they have some great deals.

P.S. We run on MAC's at the new company -- I'll never go back.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One of the Best Cleaning Tools Ever

If you don't already have one of these, you must get one. I think Suzi was the first one who originally introduced me to the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I wish I knew what was in is amazzzzzzzzzing. Since I haven't quite taken on the project of covering every white wall in my house with paint, there were quite a few ding/black marks on the walls and floors that needed to be taken care of. I went through 4 of these things getting most of them "erased."

Friday, May 18, 2007


It's 11:07 pm. I can't sleep. We've been in Idaho for the past three days helping Phil and Buelah on the farm. OK, as helpful as one who grew up in the city could be. I did learn how to move handlines and stake them so they don't fall over. Dallas fixed one of these pivots by adding two new gear boxes and motors. He calls them "a real man's sprinkler." Work starts Monday. Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A 30 Day Unplanned Vacation

So...a brief report of what's been happening around here while I wait to start the new job on June 1.

1. Dallas' Freeways To Fuel project -- taking off and getting great press, see below (I was the unofficial photographer at the press day)

2. Reading a few books:

Junk Science -- Dan Agin, PhD "An overdue indictment of government, industry, and faith groups that twist science for their own gain."

Why Beauty Is Truth: A History Of Symmetry -- Ian Stewart "Anyone who thinks math is dull will be delightfully surprised by this history of the concept of symmetry."

Eat, Pray, Love -- Elizabeth Gilbert "At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing." These destinations are all on the beaten track, but Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work."

3. Golf, Golf, and More Golf: Hobble Creek, South Mountain, golf is the best! We played 18 at South Mountain today. I don't believe they have a single fairway that is flat (see picture above) I lost by two strokes to the neighbor...

4. I have cleaned the house, including things that probably haven't been cleaned since I moved in. I cleaned out the garage and organized everything into plastic bins. Dallas thinks I'm a little OCD, but at least I haven't resorted to the labelmaker yet (although I really want one).

5. Triathlon Training...I love it, I miss it..Did 2100m swim and 5K run yesterday. Getting back into the swing of things feels good. I am planning the race season for the remainder of this year and '08 as well. Here are the planned races for this year so far: -- Big Kahuna 1/2 Ironman

6. Watching the Jazz v. Warriors series (Jazz are now up 3-1 and I am hoping that I can finagle a way to get tickets to game 5) and the Buffalo Sabres v. Rangers (that's over and now they are playing Ottowa). As much time as I spent in Buffalo these past 5 years, I consider myself a local fan. While I am on this topic, I need to remind myself to blog about Buffalo. It is a destination that everyone should put on their list. Shelley will probably laugh, as I think she just returned from a trip to India, but Buffalo has a lot to offer! :)

7. Checked my credit report. Everyone is entitled to do this annually for free:

8. Picking spuds out of the cellars for Dallas' "Fresh Spuds" business. People have no idea how many potatoes fit into one of those cellars. People also have no idea how bad they smell when they start to go bad.

9. Attempting to catch fish in the "Hanks Private Reserve" with the Mexican farmworkers and then attempting to catch them with my hands in the stream. I am 0 for 32.

10. Gardening, or rather, attempting to begin to have a green thumb. The wildflower garden is coming along, the lillies are coming through, and I planted a few more flowers this weekend. Pictures to follow...I am amazed as to how a tiny seed grows into a beautiful flower.
11. Checking out cool things on the internet. Here's a great find for everyone who just can't remember what they have run out of when going to the grocery store. The price is ridiculous, but the concept is awesome!!!! I mean, come on, how can anyone turn down uploading their grocery list on their IPOD?
12. Figuring out a way to get my Mathematics Teaching Credential:

If anyone has any unfinished projects, babysitting, or research that needs to be done, I'm available :)

Freeways To Fuel

Dallas made big press with his 'Freeways to Fuel' co-venture between UDOT and USU. Here are the press links....He is quite humble, but I am awfully proud. Hanging out on the side of the freeways was pretty cool....
They were still talking about it Sunday on the thumbs up Opinion page..
and Saturday on the opinion page of the "Buffalo Chips and Beehive Page" of the Daily Herald:

Best Story here on the front page of the Tribune:

Good Story:
Short CBS Blurb:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Day 1

I officially shipped all of my corporate materials back to the office yesterday at approx 4:30 pm MST. Therefore, I consider that the beginning of my "cooling off period" prior to starting my new position. Dallas is in full swing with his "Freeways to Fuel" project with UDOT and USU -- (there will be an official press release next week so stay tuned for that) and so it's not as if we can just jump on a plane and run away. Oddly enough, I do not have a passport so our choices are limited anyways. We looked last night and there really isn't any place I am longing to go domestically. Big suprise :)

I spent the rest of the day and the first part of today cleaning the house, catching up on Season 2 of "The Office" and checking my e-mail about 100 times. It's funny how you become co-dependent on your computer and your phone. They should offer separation anxiety courses for people who leave jobs like this.

The funniest part of this morning was where I checked my bank account and found out that I was paid the normal amount I am usually paid on the 1st and 15th of each month. That's hilarious. Someone forgot to tell accounting that I am no longer employed.....

Monday, April 30, 2007

Doing the Right Thing

I attempted to handle my resignation in the most professional manner, for the ultimate benefit of three parties: the company, my clients, and myself. It did not work out as planned. Everyone who has left the company in my position has been ostracized, criticized, and crucified. I was silly to think it wouldn't happen to me. I arrived at the Buffalo airport on Friday after my final meeting. I was informed my flight had been cancelled and was re-booked on another flight. It was subsequently cancelled and I was informed I would be flying home Sunday. About 5 minutes following, I received a phone call from the VP of our firm accusing me of stealing intellectual property from the company and forwarding it to the new company I would be working for. At this point, as I write about it on Monday, it is laughable. However, on Friday, I was hurt and disappointed that the company I had given my blood, sweat, and tears to for 5 years was choosing to put forward such allegations. Being falsely accused of theft with no proof makes you feel pretty lousy. At this point, all I can say, is this:

If you are going to quit a corporate job where you have "at-will" employment: resign immediately and take a 30 day vacation without your phone, computer, and Blackberry. It's much easier that way....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's official

I submitted my resignation. One minute, I feel like I just got out of jail. The next minute, my stomach is in knots wondering if I made the right decision. Ultimately, when I look at the pros v. cons, it's a no brainer. So that's that --- and now the adventure begins.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Things I am going to do when I get a new job...

1. Cook at home
2. Workout and become the kind of triathlete I used to be -- Ironman in '08
3. Drive my car more than back and forth to the airport 15 times a month
4. Write more letters and cards
5. Read more books and go to the library
6. Fix the horrible paint errors I made over Christmas when painting the house
7. Take online classes
8. Play lots of golf
9. Actually ski in Utah -- I have lived here over 1 1/2 years and have yet to do this.
10. Join a gym
11. Join a cycling group
12. Go to church on a regular basis (they might actually recognize me)
13. Have regular neighborhood BBQ's and dinners (I'm going to bring back how it was in Sactown in '01)


First rule -- Don't knock it until you try it.

Dallas and I flew to Phoenix for less than 36 hours for our NASCAR inaugural event. Now I've been to a lot of various sporting events, but this is one of the most exciting things you will do.
We had pit passes and got to see things "up close and personal". Jeff Gordon, the only NASCAR driver from Northern CA, ended up taking the victory.

Try it -- if not, don't knock the left turns.

Airport Tourist Stores

I’ve noticed how many stores there are at airports touting wares from the local state – Friday I left Harrisburg PA and noticed a store that was selling all things Penn. There were Penn State sweatshirts, Pittsburgh Penguins apparel, Amish quilts, and the typical tourist fare. I can’t decide if there are more business travelers or people who travel for pleasure. There’s probably some data on this that I could take the time to research, but won’t.

I think the stores at the airport are made for business travelers. It’s a way to pick up a trinket for your loved ones, that you didn’t have time to go to the real source for, and bring a little bit of your arduous journey back. The problem is, I could have bought an Amish quilt (they were ludicrously priced at $1000 in case you were wondering), and pawned it off as a “treasure” of my trip to PA…Like I had actually seen it being made, taken a trip to the countryside, and enjoyed some personal time amongst the rat race. Problem is that I didn’t visit an Amish farm. I didn’t even see a horse and buggy this trip. If they wanted to sell things at the airport that were really representative of the “memories” of your excursion; they should sell two things: little hotel soaps and hotel valet dry-cleaning cellophane. These are what the business traveler sees and very little else. If you people think you are missing out on “exotic travel”, you are sorely mistaken. Go find your wife that forgot to tell you she spent the $100 in the checking account, your husband that refuses to sort his laundry, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your children that spilled red Kool-Aid on the white carpet, your dog that peed in the house, your cat that ruined your new sweater…Grab them, hug them, tell them that you are grateful you are home with them. Enjoy your own shampoo!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Job Interviews and Being Successful

I had a job interview today. I've worked for the same company for nearly 4 years now and the travel, as evidenced by the title of this blog, is wearing on me. In any event, I presented my resume with work experience, education, and interests. I know their are HR laws against most "personal" questions, but I found it odd that no one asked my marital status and whether or not I have children. I got in a "heated discussion" with my mother this weekend about how people in my neighborhood must not think I am successful becuase I am lacking those two things. It bothers me that people at church label me as unsuccessful. I feel them staring and pointing -- Mom insists it is all in my head. Perhaps.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

First Class

This is a picture of United's new "first class suite with XM." First of all, I have never seen a first class section on any flight of mine that is as extravagant as this. I don't fly international -- this must be where this type of "luxury" exists.
I used to be envious of people in First Class. I fly in first about 80% of the time now -- solely based on complimentary upgrades for all the miles I fly. I am not envious any more. They should have a sign in First Class: "People here fly too much and have no life" or "People here have too much money and are missing out on what's really important" -- Coach is better. I've decided. First Class is something that is to be enjoyed on special occasions -- like a great pair of shoes. If you wear them all the time, they become just like anything else.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekends when you travel for business

It's funny how people ask you what you did over the weekend as if they expect it to hold some exciting thing that they missed out on. News flash people -- weekends for people who travel for business involve staying home, eating cold cereal rather than the breakfast buffett, catching up on movies and naps, working out in your own gym, and figuring out ways to decorate your space which you are only in 2 days of the 7 day week. I like being home. We have been "dog sitting" for the neighbor's dog -- who practically lives at my house when I am home. Borrowed pets are the best. We take him to the dog park (here is comedy if you ever wanted to see it) and put lamp shades on his head and take pictures -- Dallas says he never thought he would be this kind of person, but he is far worse than me. They have a morning "hug" and Dallas is always thinking of what concontion he can feed Brock. I'm not sure he has the spoiled life of Rilo, Michelle and Lloyd's patterdale terrier, but he is living the good life. Ok, I'm guilty too, I found myself in the "pet attire" aisle of Target. It was fun. People will probably say we need kids :) You can't give kids back to the neighbors! LOL
P.S. The airlines lost my bag again today -- thats twice in less than a month. I'm just waiting for the third time....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What we get used to...

This was the view from my hotel this morning in Ocean City Maryland a.k.a. the "White Marlin" capital of the world. Just as an FYI -- March is not the "high season" here in the "east coast O.C.", but it certainly is not short on beautiful sunrises. Being from the west coast, I never quite get used to seeing the sun rise over the ocean. I didn't think much of it this morning when I took this picture...

Later in the day I found out that an client of mine had their 13 year old son die of a heart attack over the weekend. Up until that point I had taken this day for granted...Be grateful for each one.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jen and Ryan Plus One

I feel I am in constant repentance when I write. I had intended to be a dedicated blogger like some other people I know and it is just not happening. Enough apologizing. I'll write when I can. No one comments anymore so I'm thinking everyone has given up on checking this -- Ok, I'll repent and write more frequently.

Jen and Ryan are getting ready to have a baby. They are what I used to refer to as my "single married friends" becuase they were the only couple I knew who I could still communicate with and not be made to feel guilty because I wasn't married or didn't have children. OK -- a bit less of exaggeration is probably more appropriate -- they are a few more than them, but not many. They are in full swing now and we missed seeing them last weekend when we were in Sacramento. Best of luck on the birth of Lilly you two -- I can't wait to meet her.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why airport security is a joke

I was at the Cleveland airport last week and saw this in the security line. Come on. Did people really try to bring this stuff on the plane? I believe the TSA is the government's biggest piece of propaganda. I've made it through with my liquids out of a bag, a projector that alarmed the "explosive" test they do, and my brother Tom made it through with these pins that he just had removed from his hand. (He is bringing them to show me). Come on people --

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Football and other weekend musings...

I was thrilled to see the Colts pull it out over the Patriots. And the Bears....I've been rooting for them all season. It's going to be a good Super Bowl. I couldn't believe that the owner of the Colts mentioned God as did the head coach as "the Lord" in both of their acceptance speeches of the trophy. Good for them. Didn't realize the networks wouldn't bleep it out...
I'm getting ready to head out for two weeks straight. Ugh.
Training is going well. Rode a trainer ride with my coach today. He killed me but I'm getting faster. I feel good about training in the middle of winter. I feel like it gives me a head start...Until I get a call from Michelle who tells me it's 70 degrees in San Diego and she's just finished a half marathon. Hopefully this altitude thing will help me eventually...Here's the race I'm registered for and frieking out about -- It's my home page so I look at it everytime I turn on the computer. I must say -- it is motivating and makes me get to the treadmill at gross hotel closet work out rooms whose equipment is from 1982.
And I finally saw Little Miss Sunshine. Loved it. We also saw "Alpha Dog". You will either love it or hate it. I won't spoil it for you. Someone give me some good reccomendations for movies...I'm running out of things to watch on the plane (when I should be working :))....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Return to Blogging and Home Improvement

Ryan reminded me about the importance of blogging. So here I am. I had written a lengthy blog over the holidays when I was on some ridiculous slow speed connection and didn't have the good sense to save it. So -- rather than recap an entire six weeks, I'll pick up here and probably fill in the details later.

I'm back on the road having been home (and home at Mom and Dad's in CA) for over 3 weeks. I started to feel like a normal person. Now I'm living in hotel rooms for the next 8 weeks. It's ridciulous, but looks something like this: Vegas. NYC. Home for 36 hours. Charlotte. Lancaster, PA. Boston. NYC. Cleveland. Home for 48 hours.Pittsburgh. Buffalo. Home for 36 hours. NYC. Harrisburg, PA. Home for 3 days -- Whoa. Billings, MT. Home for 48 hours. San Fran. Sacramento. Fresno. -- Yep, that takes us through the end of February. Now that I write this out in this fashion, I realize I am crazy.

Since I was home and have lived in my house in SLC for just over a year, I finally decided to put up some paint and have the wood floor installed. May I say that I am learning to like home improvement? The floor thing was a little much -- I started to panic when carpet came out, baseboards came off, and the house looked as it was moving backward in time. But Dallas finished it while I was out of town, which was probably a good thing, and now it is beautiful. As far as painting is concerned, I have a long way to go. I stink at taping properly and not getting paint on the ceiling no matter what gadget I use that Home Depot employees asssure me is "the solution." I'm learning, both how to paint and how to be a little more patient.