Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New home keeps you busy

We have our officially accepted offer on our new home and are now going through all the hoops and red tape before we can close. Yesterday we made our own inspection and had a professional come inspect our new home. I was nervous as we are getting this home for a really good price and so was worried that something was wrong with it. But our home inspector could not find any major issues, which was wonderful news.

Now we are trying to see how much it would cost for new carpet and a new paint job, plus some new appliances. With the amount of snow on the ground at this part of town. I have decided that I will need to purchase a snow blower. Having a RV pad as well as a driveway also encourages this purchase.

We are excited as can be and just can't wait until we are moved in. We are projecting a move in date of Saturday January 17th. We will send an official invitation when the date is firmly set. But we hope many of our friends and family will be available to help. The move will be very simple. We only have an apartment to pack up and load up. The rest will be in a Pod that we will have delivered just before move in time. With the help of the Pod people, our move will be much easier.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A snowed in Christmas

Christmas has come again and like many parents, Jen & I spent much of Christmas Even wrapping presents and getting ready for "Santa's" visit. Karen was so excited for Christmas that she came out of her room a few times while we were preparing and we had to quickly get her back in bed to preserve the surprise. On Christmas morning we were woken by a very excited Karen who informed us that Santa had came and she wanted to start opening presents. After some persuasion from Karen, we all got up and began Christmas morning. An hour later the kids had more toys that they could play with, Jen had a new computer game and dagger. And I got the 20th anniversary box set for MST3K and a really cool UofU shirt.

Now we are spending the day playing with our new toys and watching "A Christmas Story" on TV. We were planning on going to my parents house to enjoy the day with them. But we have a large storm hitting the state today and the roads look terrible. I had been checking the Internet to see if the weather would let up so we could travel, but I don't think it will be worth the risk. So we are enjoying a snowed in Christmas. But seeing the kids enjoy their new toys makes this a very happy and enjoyable time.

See ya next year

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Finally. After months of searching, and pinching our budget so much that if it was coal it would have turned into a diamond. We found our new home and made our best offer on it. Yesterday we learned that our offer on the home was accepted! We now have our new home and could not be happier. The home is on the very western border of Riverton, but Herriman would be a more correct description of where it is.

We could not ask for more with this home. It has a finished yard and is fully fenced. It has a nice sized kitchen, fire place, enough room for us all to live on the main floor. The basement is unfinished but over time we can add more bed rooms, family room, storage and a bathroom.

I will need to be like my brothers and father and will now have a longer commute to work in West Valley. But with gas prices back down, it should not be a major issue and thankfully Banganter highway is very close.

We look forward to having our offer officially accepted on Monday and then creating a time line towards taking possession of the home. We also look forward to being able to show the home to friends and family.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Were going home...once we find it

Our exhausted search from the new Stark family home has taken us all over the valley and into every kind of neighborhood out there. We have seen most every type of rambler home that has been built. We finally feel like we had found some homes that we could enjoy and on Wednesday we put a bid on 2 of them. But right after we made those two offers, Jen found the best house we had ever seen . We fell in love and put an offer on that home too. So we now have 3 offers made on 3 different homes. We are optimistic that by the end of the year we will have one of them.

With these offers I finally feel like we are progressing in our home search and we can now sit back, relax and try to enjoy the holidays. We should receive within 3 days a response for 2 of our offers. Until then we will wrap presents, watch Holiday movies and treat ourselves to hot chocolate and scones from Winder Farms.

The physical toll for searching for our home has been exhausting. Poor Michael came down with a fever and I'm sure us running from house to house has not been helpful. But we have agreed to suspend our house search for the holidays. We surly could use the break.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland of a weekend

7 years ago yesterday I was blessed to take a beautiful bride to the temple and start our lives together. Now our family consists of both of us and 2 cute and very happy children. I am certainly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Jen has given me so much that this year's anniversary I wanted to take charge and try to treat her.

We celebrated our anniversary on Friday by getting a baby sister for the kids and then headed downtown. I had forgotten how busy downtown gets, especially during the holidays. But we eventually got our car parked and we enjoyed dinner at the Lion House Pantry. I was impressed with the place and really enjoyed a good steak. Then I surprised Jen and took her to the Christmas performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra. They had special guests Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Herrmann. The performance was wonderful. We enjoyed numerous holiday favorites and some new songs that we had not heard before.

Brain Mitchell sang a song that was from the perspectives of the animals who were in the stable on Christmas eve and what they gave to the Christ child. He sang with different voices for the donkey, cow, sheep and dove. It was a wonderful song and was sang again during music and the spoken word on Sunday. I enjoyed it both times.

Edward Herrmann narrated a story of how the song "I heard the bells on Christmas day" was made, while the choir sang in the background. That was a delight as well.

We enjoyed the evening and look forward to another 7+ years together.

The remainder of the weekend was spent surviving the snow storm, attending a ward Christmas party, looking for a home and spending time together. I enjoyed it and feel that we are close to getting our new home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Going bowling

The Utes fantastic season continues with a BCS bowl and high quality opponent. Last night we learned that Utah will be going to the Sugar bowl for a game with Alabama. I would have preferred the Fiesta bowl as more Ute fans could travel to that game. Instead we will be playing at a site full of Alabama fans. But I am OK with it. I am just thankful that this BCS bowl will give the Utes a true BCS opponent. Last time we were stuck with a un-ranked big east team that was a complete joke of a team. We had to go undefeated to earn the right to play in a BCS bowl and Pittsburg was able to coast in with 3 losses. Now we get a team that was number 1 and undefeated (like us) until just last Saturday. This should be a tough but good game and win or lose, I am excited for our team and the mountain west conference.

BYU will be returning to the Las Vegas bowl, but our 10-2 team will be playing a 7-5 team from Arizona. Kind of a disappointment but the Las Vegas bowl has always had a problem getting a high quality opponent from the Pac-10. At least the poinsettia bowl will be a good game. a 10-2 TCU team from the Mountain West will play a 12-0 Boise State team from the WAC. That will be a BCS type of match up and I am looking forward to watching it.

Now my favorite season begins. The Christmas/Bowl season. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Its life jim....but not as we know it

Not much to say about this week. Disappointment on the housing search. Interest rates took a dive around Thanksgiving which got us really excited as we could now afford more and so increased the price range in our housing search. But we have yet to find that house that screams out at us. We have a bid on a short sell, but the bank seems to think that there is no decline in housing prices and so is hesitant to sell us the home for a price lower than what they think it will get. So we continue to enjoy the comforts of our apartment and hope that our house will show up soon. I am sure it will, but the waiting is the hardest part.

I am looking forward to all the Christmas activities we have planned. Looking at the lights at the zoo, scones at Winder Farms, choir concert by my mother, ward Christmas party and the main holiday itself is always fun. I really should start on my shopping.

Jen & mine anniversary will be next week and I've got something special planned. Last year Jen surprised me by taking me to a bed and breakfast for the weekend. We had a lot of fun and a nice break from being parents. This year I am surprising Jen. It will not be a cool as what she did for us last year, but I am excited for it and we will have fun.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and James Bond

One of my favorite holidays has come again and I am enjoying it. I really like the 4 day weekend, along with lots of turkey to eat. We were with my family on Thanksgiving day and with Jen's family on the Saturday after. Both days were enjoyable with turkey and games shared at both. Our kids are now at an age where they do not need constant supervision and so we let them play and were able to enjoy ourselves with our family members.

On Friday went to see the new James Bond movie with my family. I was looking forward to it as I thought Casino Royal was a very good movie and wanted to see how it continued. But I was kind of disappointed. The movie was not bad, just not as good as Casino. We had to sit in the second row of the theater and so had difficulty in watching the full screen of action. The action was like the action in the Transformer movie. Difficult to see with the shaky camera and constant cuts between scenes. I don't like those kinds of movies. I was also disappointed with the ending as it did not seem to conclude the whole quantum plot point. This unknown organization was a large plot point, but they seemed to forget about it by the end of the movie. I know that they will most likely continue that plot point in future movies, but they should not ignore it either.

If you are a James Bond fan I certainly recommend seeing the movie, but it may be worth waiting until DVD.

Tomorrow concludes our relaxing holiday weekend. We put up Christmas decorations and now look forward to the Christmas festivities.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wild and wacky weekend

This was one of those weekends where it would be easier to tell you what did not happen, rather than what did. All week we were boxing up our home to move it on Saturday. But on Friday we were able to take some time out for ourselves. Jen & I dropped the kids off at my parents and then were treated to the new "Twilight" movie by my financial planner. It was nice to put the move out of our minds and just enjoy an evening together. The movie was entertaining and as someone who has not read the books, I would recommend the movie to others. There was some fun action in the movie, along with the romance. My only complaint was that the final climatic scene was not long enough. But it was still fun.

Saturday we woke up and began loading up our pod and moving van. (Our Realtor had a moving van for his clients, for only $17 a day. Nice deal huh?) Because we had packed everything up before the move, we were able to load both the pod and van. Travel to our apartment and get everything unloaded within 3 1/2 hours. Having members of my ward and my very helpful family from both sides was the secret to our moving success. Plus one of my pet peeves is to go help someone move and show up with nothing boxed up and nothing ready. So we were determined that this would not happen with us. So we were all moved in by 12:30 and are enjoying the pleasures of living in a small apartment.

We were done with our move in time to enjoy a pleasant evening in front of Adam Meyer's big screen TV during the hours of 4-8pm. Thankfully the TV was on the station that showed the Utah game and Jen & I thoroughly enjoyed it. Adam was not as excited with the outcome as we were. But to see our Utes repeat as undefeated BCS busters was the best thing for our busy and stressful weekend. The high I was on after the game did not stop for hours. It will be nice to not have to sing the BYU fight song due to losing a bet I make with co-workers every year. It will be nice to hear them try to put their singing voices to good use. My advice to them concerning singing, "its a quest for perfection." :)

So that's the weekend. Looking forward to thanksgiving with the family and eventually moving into our permanent home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Huray its boxing day

This week has been dominated by packing and loading tons of moving boxes. We've been going through everything we own to see which box it will go in and if it goes into storage or with us to our apartment. I'm sure everyone is amazed by how much stuff they accumulate during their lives and I have been realizing that lately. We have everything from unused flower seeds to letters from old boyfriends. (Well from Jen's old boyfriends, I don't have any old or even current boyfriends.) Its a good thing we are going to end up in a larger home, so that we can have room for our accumulated stuff we will be getting more of during our life.

We are getting closer to moving day and things are finally progressing well. We are getting many things boxed up. The people who are buying our home have started to install a fence today and did their final walk through. They look like a nice couple with a 4 month old baby. Tomorrow we will close on the selling of our house and then we will be renters once again. It will be strange to go back to living in a small apartment and we will be motivated to get back into a home as soon as we can. But we will be even more motivated to be completed with our move in time to enjoy the Utah BYU game this Saturday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


So we learned that the home we are trying to buy could take up to 6 weeks and possibly more to purchase. We need to be out of our current home by Saturday and so need a place to live in the mean time. Thanks to Jen's sister letting us know about an apartment complex that allows 2 month leases. We have found a place to live. Ironically it is very close to our first apartment we had when we got married.

So this Saturday we will be moving out of our home and into a small 2 bedroom apartment. Many people have emailed or listed comments on our blogs that they would love to help. If you are still interested in helping, we will be moving this Saturday at 9am starting at our current home on Collins Camp Court. Let me know if you would like to come give us a hand and we will provide details.

Well, life is taking a strange turn but we are rolling with it. It will be a bummer to not be in our new home in time for Christmas. But once we are in our new home, it will all be worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Never a dull moment in the world of home buying

This month has been anything but boring. We found a home that we liked and could live in for some time. It is much larger than our current house and has a finished yard. The basement is not finished but it could be fun to work on my own house, building it up and making it my own. So we put a bid on it, starting low so we could have room to negotiate. But the home is a short sell and so expected to wait a few days to hear from someone in a bank office to accept, reject or counter offer. Instead we heard very quickly from the seller's Realtor.

He reported that the bank was sick of the home and wanted it to go away. So they were ready and prepared to foreclose and send the home to auction, just to see it disappear. But with us showing up with an offer was a ray of hope for the people who owned the home, and hoped to avoid foreclosure, and for the realtor who wanted to sell the home and collect a commission. The Realtor called the bank and fought for a chance for our offer to be reviewed and accepted. The bank gave in and stated that if our offer could be raised to a specific amount and would be presented within a hour. They would accept it and allow the sale to go through. They would also allow the home to close within 3 weeks, a rare thing with short sells.
So we jumped at this chance, revised our offer within the hour and got it in on time. We have not heard back officially from the bank to confirm that the offer has been accepted, but are very optimistic that it will and that within 3 weeks, we shall be in our new home.

Very ironically we also heard from the owners of a home we bid on last week. They have a very nice home that we both liked and would have enjoyed very much. They were asking for 225000 for the home and just would not come down a single penny. So we could not reach an agreement and we had moved on and bid on the house across the street (as described above.) Suddenly they approached us again asking if we were still interested in the home. I should not feel competitive in this home buying process, but it did feel kind of good to tell these good people that we were thankful for their interest in our past offers. But we were in the process of pursing the home next to them and so could not pursue their home anymore. So because they were unwilling to negotiate, they missed their chance with a good and qualified buyer. I guess my imperfections are now clear for the world to see within this blog.

Despite all our efforts to find our new home, we are still without temporary housing. A apartment that our Realtor offered us may not be ready when we move this next Saturday. But we will finalize that on Monday (Hopefully) If not, we could always live in a tent in the park.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still homeless

So last week we dedicated all our efforts to finding a new home. We found a wonderful home that we both loved and stretched our budget to the max and offered all we have for the new home. After a very nervous and long Sunday, we finally heard back that they did not want to accept anything less than their asking price. This remained out of our financial reach and so we are back to house hunting.

I was completely baffled that someone would put their house on today's market and expect to get their full asking price. The home is a very good home and someone may in fact give them the price they are asking. But they should expect people to want to negotiate a price of a home and so they should have priced their home higher that what they wanted so they could meet at that price. But just because that is the way I sold my home does not mean that other need to do that too.

So we need to find temporary housing extremely quickly. So far, all my efforts to rent a home for the remainder of the year has been fruitless. But we are not discouraged and will find something before the end of this week.

When we finally end up in our new home, I will never move again. Or at least not for 15-20 years.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I've always wanted to rush the field

My Realtor gave me front row tickets to the Utah TCU game last night. I grabbed a friend and together we came to cheer on the Utes. We showed up just before the end of the 1st quarter and by that time, TCU was up 10-0 and had over 200 yards of offense. So it did not appear like the Utes were headed to a victory. But the Ute defense stepped it up and kept TCU from scoring. They got a interception which lead to a last second field goal going into half time. By this time the score was 10-6 and the Utes were stopping TCU but could not get enough of their own offense to find the end zone.

Our tickets were on the first row of the north end zone. It was cool being that close to the field, but people kept walking in front of us trying to get us to stand and cheer. But our seats paid off in the second half. Twice TCU got within field goal range and tried to score. But the first field goal bounced off the upright and we were able to cheer at the sound of the ball hitting the upright. Then they got back into field goal range and tried again. This time they missed so bad that the ball missed the net behind the goal posts and went right to where I was sitting. Me and my fellow fans all jumped for the ball, which bounced off of me and ended up with the fan behind me. Once again we had plenty to cheer as twice the TCU kicker could have extended their lead but instead failed.

But now there was less than 3 minutes left and Utah had not been able to find the end zone and we were down by 4 points. But that was when the magic happened. Within 2 minutes Utah marched 80 yards down the field and scored their only touchdown. We made that stadium shake with 44000+ fans all jumping and cheering. With 43 seconds left, TCU tried to march down the field to tie or win the game. But our defense not only held them, they intercepted the ball to seal the win.
At this point, my fellow fans began storming the field. I had always enjoyed watching fans do this when I watched games on TV. But here was a chance for me to live it. So I to jump onto the field and joined the jovial crowd, jumping, clapping, cheering and chanting "BCS BCS." I loved it. After the week I've had, this was the best think for me to forget about the election and to be distracted from my upcoming move.

I have no ideas where I will be living on Nov 22 when BYU comes to Utah. But I have a goal to be all moved in and done by 4pm so I can watch the game. Until then Go Utes!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is coming

Well our family is going to see some significant change and not just from the political side. We have been trying to sell our house since July and had not had much luck with it. So at the end of October we decided to take our home off the market and just stay in our current home. But out of the blue, an offer came in for our home. (Literally at the last second.) The offer was too low, but we thought it would not hurt to counter with an offer we could accept. So we did and it was accepted.

So we have sold our house and do not even have a new house picked out yet. We had given up looking for a new house and so are completely unprepared. On top of that, we need to be moved out of our current house the weekend before thanksgiving. So the remainder of the year is going to be very busy for us. We will need to move into temporary housing and then find our new house and move into it. I am not a fan of moving and so having to move twice is not fun. But if we end up in a house that we will stay in for the next 10-20 years. I will consider this a successful endeavor.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ever seen an election from the candidates point of view?

Today I learned that one of my candidates for the Utah State House needed some help putting up door hangers on the homes of frequent voters. I had some time and so came to help. It was an eye opening experience to see the election from the candidates point of view.
He was trying to run a honest and fair campaign. But his opponent had just sent out some mailings with some negative and incorrect statements. He had to then make a choice. Should he not respond and risk having his opponent see that he will do nothing and so encourage her to do more negative ads. Or should he respond with a mailing with his own that attacks his opponent and risk looking like he is now running a negative campaign.

He did not want to go negative and I was impressed with how he responded. He did respond with what could appear as a negative mailing. But he held back from making it a purely negative mailing and instead pointed out some of his opponents ineffectiveness instead.

It must be hard to run for any office. You can be a person who tries to be an fair, honest and an ethical person. But when you run for office, people start saying lots of things about you and many times it is incorrect, false and even a blatant lie. Voters will hear this and regardless of its truth or not will believe it and and use it to decide who to vote for. But if you try to correct the lies you will either not be able to convince others of the truth, or worse. The lie was given just a few days before the election and you don't have any time correct the lie in time for the election.

We have seen this a lot lately here in Utah. 4 years ago a democrat in the county attorney general office suddenly decided to bring up charges against the republican county mayor, while the mayor was running for re-election. The charges were for something that happened over a year earlier, but for some reason, could only be brought up during an election year. The republican mayor lost her seat but was acquitted of all charges after the election. This year a democrat leaked to the press information that suggested that a republican had tried to bribe another legislator to vote a certain way. The republican demanded that the ethics committee investigate and decide well before the election on whether the charges are true or not. He was cleared, but was then left with very little time to get the word out that he was innocent.

This is not one sided, I'm sure republicans have done this to democrats too. But I do not know of any examples currently. But I have grown very tired of tricks like these to get elected. Many voters don't know much about local candidates and learn most of it from headlines only. Some candidates know this and spread untruths about their opponents that they know will make headlines and then influence voters. Because of this, it is very discouraging for an honest and fair person to want to run for office. We need good people, but because bad people do what they do, good people do not step up to serve.

This is a very good reason why I will never run for any office. I would not want anyone to spread falsehoods about me, my family, my beliefs or any other thing I hold dear.

But I was glad to be able to assist a good man in his election bid and I am hopeful that we will elect a good person to represent us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

These little wonders, these twist of fate

I had a very unique experience last night. There is a song I enjoy by Rob Thomas called "Little Wonders" The song helps me appreciate my wife and family and recognize the unexpected moments I have with them that bring joy and happiness in my life. Last night was one of those moments that this song will remind me of.

I had heard that the song Little Wonders was in the Disney movie "Meet the Robinsons." So we borrowed the movie from my brother and watched it together as a family last night. If you have not seen the movie, I recommend it. It is about a orphan boy who, by use of a time travel machine, goes into the future and meets his family and sees that he turns from a orphan to a man with a large and happy family.

Something about this movie had an effect on my subconscious. Because near the end of the movie, both my kids suddenly wanted to have a bowl of cereal. So I run into the kitchen and very quickly I grab two bowls, some spoons, the cereal and put two stools at the table and begin serving the cereal.
Then very suddenly it hit me. It was like I had taken my 12 year old self, picked him up and just dropped him into my now 33 year body. And I was just realizing that I was a husband and father of 2 children who were now anxiously looking at me, expecting cereal. As I stood there, holding a bag of cereal in my hand, all I could do was think "How did I get here?" It was not that I was in a negative place, I just suddenly felt like I had no idea how I got to this point in my life.

I guess my epiphany caused me to make a verbal sound of shock, which got Jen suddenly very scared, thinking something was wrong. She began urgently asking what was wrong and I very sheepishly had to respond. "Have you ever found yourself somewhere and cannot remember or figure out how you got there." After I explained to her how I was feeling, she could not stop laughing. But for me, it just suddenly felt so real. But having gone through that feeling, I must admit that I do feel happy with where I am now and I think that if my 12 year old self did see where my 33 year old self is. That I would be happy.

We spent the remainder of the evening watching the rest of the show and then playing together. Our son surprised us by picking up a wrapper off the floor with his toes. Pretty impressive for a 2 year old. He then danced around while singing "shake your body." Karen also joined in the dancing and pretended to get away from her tickling mother, but she loves to get caught by any tickling parent. This was an evening that I will think back on fondly, as a time Jen & I enjoyed our toddler children and the happiness and laughs they brought us.

We also had a busy weekend with Halloween activities. We had a Halloween party with our ward on Friday, which included a trunk or treat. My brother Monte and his family joined us and then we joined them for their ward Halloween party on Saturday. Our kids really clean up in the candy department. And they still have Halloween this Friday.

Been a busy weekend. But we sure had a lot of fun with our little wonders and the twists of fates we experienced.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I hate being sick

Wednesday I woke up feeling strange. Went to work and tried to do all my normal things, but by noon it became clear that something was wrong. So I came home and tried to sleep. By the evening I was feeling even more sick and most of the pain was in my intestines. Somehow I got a bad case of diarrhea and have been suffering from it the whole week. I think I may have gotten the parasite that went around to all the pools last summer. I swim a mile each week and so have plenty of opportunity to catch anything that would be found in a public pool.

It was a total bummer too as I wanted to do a few things this week and could not. I wanted to help a sister in law move, mow the rain forest in my from yard and help pass out door hangers for a candidate I would love to see elected. But all will have to wait for future days.

At least my football team and fantasy football teams were victorious this weekend. My Utes are now leading the BCS pack of the non-BCS schools. If they keep winning they will go to a BCS bowl. If they lose one game, I will not feel terrible about it. Their season is already a great success.

Friday, October 17, 2008

BYU fans need to learn from the chicken

To the BYU Football Players: Don't get down my friends. You are still a very good football team who will continue to have a great season and will enjoy a well deserved bowl. 1 loss does not ruin a season. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it. There is plenty of football to play and you are still a MWC powerhouse. You should also remain nationally ranked and deservedly so.

To the BYU Football Fans: HAHA. I really enjoy a quote from Abraham Lincoln. "The chicken is the wisest of all the animals. She only cackles, after the egg has been laid." You guys have been so cocky this season. "We are the best, we will be perfect this season, we will bust the BCS, etc." It appears that you spoke way to soon. Starting a season wearing T-shirts haughtily declaring your team is perfect and unbeatable. How goes that quest for perfection now?

May I point you to a example of how to bust the BCS. In 2004 a certain team from Utah start the season with a plan. Take each game 1 at a time and strive to win that game. Once that game is won, then move on to the next game and strive to win that one. Do not start looking to a game that is not the next game until it arrives. You keep that up, you will find yourself undefeated at the end of the season, with all your fans rushing the field. You will also find your self with a BCS bowl berth. That my friends is how you do it.

Good luck next year with being that year's Utah.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Loving football season!

The summer time is a depressing time for me, sports wise. I am not a baseball fan and nothing else, with the exception of the Olympics, catches my eye during the summer months. But when fall arrives, I am in sports heaven with both college and NFL fantasy football. I am cursed to have Dish network for my satellite provider, so I do not get 2/3 of all the mountain west football games. But my Dad has those games on his TV. So under the disguise of saying that I wanted to attend their local temple, I was able to infiltrate my parents place this Saturday and enjoyed both the Utah & BYU games. (Yes I did go to the temple, but was out in time to watch most of the football games.)

I really enjoyed seeing the Ute defense score more touchdowns than Wyoming did in all of its MWC games this season. The Ute offense did score 20 points, but need to improve by November when they face conference contenders TCU & BYU.

BYU finally had some good competition this week. New Mexico kept the game surprising close for most of the game. Their defense did a good job holding BYU to only 1 touchdown in the first half. But BYU's defense was much better by stopping the Lobos multiple times in the red zone. (Sorry cougar fans, just like you can't redefine marriage to include same sex couples, you cannot redefine the red zone into the blue zone.)
I am thrilled to see both Utah & BYU undefeated and nationally ranked. I hope they both continue their winning ways until Nov 22nd when Utah repeats as the MWC BCS buster. This is the season I had hoped would happen in 2004 with their undefeated season. The only way that season could have been perfect was if BYU had a better season and we were able to soundly defeat a good BYU team, rather than beating a rebuilding BYU team of the 2004 season.
The only sad part of this season is the rankings. Both teams win, but move nowhere in the polls. 3 of the top 4 teams lose this weekend and we don't see the Utes or Cougars advance in the polls. Have we hit the glass ceiling already?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I just had to laugh

So the election is in full swing and we have many local candidates seeking office in our area. There is a home that is located on the corner of two busy streets and so has many political signs displayed on it. I drive past the home everyday on the way to work. Whoever lives at this home gave me a chuckle today. Very early in the campaign season they put up a sign for a candidate . Then last week they had another sign posted next to the first sign. This one was for that candidate's opponent.

I always get a chuckle when I see a house showing signs for both candidates seeking the same office. It shows that the home is either really undecided or do not know enough about the people they are endorsing. I would assume that when you endorse someone, you had compared them to their opponents and then decided on endorsing one of them. But if you do not even know who the people are who are seeking political office, are you informed enough to start advising others on who to vote for?

Some one from the candidate's camp who had the first sign up must have approached the home owner and pointed out that they have a sign for their opponent and they then took it down. So I guess that proves that the owner of this home was one of those uneducated voters who did not look at or compare the candidates before they started encouraging us to vote for someone. The funniest thing about this is that this home is not even in the district for the office that these candidates are running for. So not only does this uneducated home owner try to tell me who to vote for, they don't even have a vote in this contest. They should be worrying about their own candidates rather than telling me how to vote with mine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is it done yet?

Been very busy . But after watching Washington flip flop on the bailout and the market still fall like a rock. All I can say is, Is the election done yet? Another month of this!? Dang it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is going to happen now!?

Due to extremely bad choices by many of our nations largest financial institutions, we are stuck in a very uncomfortable economic situation. There is no doubt that the major cause of this problem was institutions lending money to people or businesses that could not pay it back. But now the cause is not the major issue, but what to do about the problem. Do we do nothing or something. The bailout seemed like the only logical step to take. I did not like it but doing nothing seem to be a worse option. So our government got together, worked out a compromise and then promptly voted it down and began the blame game.

At a time when we need true leadership and bipartisan cooperation, we only have partisan games being played. As soon as the bailout failed to pass, Nancy Pelosi ran to the press and promptly blamed everything on the GOP. Even though her party holds the majority in the house and if she had all the democrats vote for it, it would have passed. But 90 democrats did not vote for it. I wonder who Nancy will blame next year when she has control of congress and a new president? According to the news, she gave a very partisan speech just before the vote, that swayed many GOP to not vote for it.

The GOP are not off the hook either. If they say we should not provide the bailout, then what should we do? I would love to find any option that does not require tax payers to spend 700 billion. But if no other option is provided, then why vote against the bailout? However they may be right. What if they do not pass the bailout and we turn out to be OK economically? If a bank fails, doesn't a different bank come in and buy up that bank and keep it in business. Like what happened with Washington Mutual bank? So we may not need the bailout. But if that is true, where is the leadership that is calming our fears and leading us on a safe path?

I really am scared about the next 4 years. At least I can sell my blood for income.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Presidential Debates- How to say something without saying anything

First off, check out my wife's blog for a report on a family outing we had this week to the circus. It was very enjoyable for all of us and I'm very glad the circus only comes once a year. (Very tiring taking the family to an event like this.)

Last night I watched the first debate between McCain & Obama. I did not hear anything that has caused me to change my vote. But I did appreciate hearing what both candidates would do so I can know what to expect from the next president, regardless of who it will be.

I had to laugh at Obama when he said that he listens to and believes the words of the military commanders in Afghanistan. But he refuses to listen to the commanders in Iraq and insists on following his own agenda, oops, I mean plans, concerning Iraq. I wonder why he will listen to one and not the others?

I also liked the comment that McCain said about Obama. "You cannot reach across the isle when you are that far left." That is the same problem I have with Janice Fisher, who is my house representative in the Utah legislature. She is the 5th most liberal member of the house and so is ineffective in working with anyone on the other side of the isle. Which in Utah is the conservatives who hold a 2/3 majority in the house. So she cannot work with anyone and cannot get anything done. I surly don't what that in a president. But if Obama is elected, we will certainly have someone who only works with people on the left and never the moderates or people on the right.

The Moderator correctly pointed out that the bail out that is being worked on, will prevent many planned programs from being funded by the next president and ask both of them what they would give up for the bailout. But neither of them would say what they would give up and only what they would pay for. That is a major problem with all politicians. None of them are willing to stop spending money, even if it is the only option. McCain does say that we need to cut spending, but I don't think either of them will do it enough to make a difference.

I don't think either McCain or Obama won the debate or gave the other a knock out punch. I would be surprised if any voter changed their vote based on this debate. At least we can watch Saturday Night Live to laugh at their interpretation of the debate. Plus we have 2 more presidential & 1 VP debate to watch. Maybe we will see a difference from those.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time for the Election

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mountain Con 4-the search for big name stars

It had been a long summer and Jen & I did not have much alone time since our spring time vacation. So we found an excuse this weekend to pawn our kids off on my parents and head out of town. But we did not go far (nor could we at today's gas prices.) We went to Layton to attend the local science fiction convention called Mountain Con. This was the fourth mountain con and we had the pleasure of attending all of them. We got a room at the adjoining hotel and enjoyed the quality time together.

My brother Carl has been a major participant in past mountain cons, but took a smaller role in this year's event. The new managers of the con tried very hard to bring great guests and enjoyable panels. But they got some bad luck when their main headline star, Kevin Sorbo, had to back out. Leaving very little time to find a suitable replacement. So we did not have any spectacular stars attending the con this year. But we still had fun. Check out Jen's blog for the pictures we took at the event.

They offer a chance to eat a very nice dinner with the stars. We normally do not participate in that as I find the cost to be unrealistic, just like the prices they charge to give autographs. But they were unable to sell all the tickets they had for the dinner and since they had already bought all the food that was going to be served. They asked Carl and his entourage if they wanted to attend for free. So the weekend started off with some wonderful food and some good time spend with good people. My 8 year old niece was instant on sitting next to me during the dinner. It is nice to be liked by my brother's daughter. She is fun and cute.

I got to hear a presentation about what we know about Mars from someone from the Clark Planetarium. That was very cool, as was playing a role playing game with my wife, watching a fan made star trek film and taking a starfleet course about romulans and Capt. Kirk's first 5 year mission. They had a panel about Stephanie Meyer's Twlight series and I made the mistake of joking calling the books a romance novel. All the girls in the room gave me the evil eye and one began to blame me for every mis-characterized author in the entire known universe. I learned not to joke about Stephanie Meyer.

It was very nice to have some time with just me and my wife. I relaxed, slept in, ate out at restaurants and enjoyed spending some one on one time with the woman I fell in love with and had a great weekend. Hearing that both the Utes and Cougars won their games completed the perfect weekend.

Quick book review: I am currently reading the book "Paul of Dune" which continues the Dune series. I am a third of the way through and so far I am enjoying it greatly. I enjoy the works of Kevin Anderson and Brain Herbert very much. I think I enjoy their books more than Frank Herbert's works. I will give a full review when I am done with the book but can already recommend it to anyone who wants to see what happens to Paul before and after the first Dune book.

Monday, September 15, 2008

John Adams & New Carpet

It has been a full week since I have been able to post a blog. The reasons are football, carpet & John Adams. As many of you know, I am an avid fan of history. So when the HBO mini series on John Adams came out on DVD, I placed a hold on it at the library and waited. My waiting finally paid off this last week and I had 7 days to watch all 7 episodes and extra content. That was difficult as we were having new carpet installed this week at the same time. More on that later.

John Adams lived in one of the most changing times of the world, and he was right in the middle of all the change. He was the loudest voice for Independence, was sent to European nations to solicit support for the revolution, was the first American to stand before the King of England after the war and request a resumption of relations, served as our first vice-president and the second president before falling victim to party politics.

His story is truly amazing to hear. While president, he was faced of resisting the popular opinion of his people and his party to go to war with France, a war he knew would destroy their young country. He fought for and obtained peace with France, even through it cost him re-election. If there is ever an example of a politician who did not follow traditional party politics, John Adams is the one. But we will never see another John Adams, because if there was. Someone like Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton would be right there to play party politics and seize power from Adams.

I enjoyed the show and loved the close friendship that John & Abigail Adams shared. When Abigail died and John was left alone, I found myself very sad and very thankful for my wonderful wife and friend. I had to share with her my love and that if any of us had to die before the other, I would want it to be her so that she would not have to be the one left behind and all alone. That got me brownie points with my wife. :)

We had been looking for new carpet and finally found it on Monday. Tuesday-Thursday was spent moving every piece of furniture we have while we received the new carpet. It was hard work, but certainly worth it. It feels like we have a whole new house and we feel more comfortable with staying in our home if we are unable to sell this year.

Because of all the work moving furniture in our house during the week, I looked forward to a relaxing weekend. I almost got it. I took our kids to the zoo and then ended up helping a neighbor move. I greatly enjoyed watching the Utes defeat the Aggies, as well as seeing all but 1 MWC team win their games this weekend. Things are looking great for the MWC and the Utah BYU game this year could be the biggest ever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Third party canidates have no chance of winning

I started a reply to a blog my brother Carl posted. But I got so long winded that I decided to add it to my blog. Many people are looking at the presidential candidates and finding it too easy to find faults with both of the major candidates. So some are complaining about the lack of good candidates and are looking to third party candidates. Here is my opinion on that:

Warning: Another political rant by a Stark.

I don't think that 3rd parties are the answer. Instead if people actually participated in the primary elections, then they would have a choice on who the major candidates will be in the general election. Instead, most people just wait until the general election, after the major candidates have been decided by the primary election. Then when they don't like the choices in the general election, they whine and complain and start looking to third party candidates. But if the third party candidates has no real possibility of winning. (Which has been true since 1912) Then any vote for them is actually a vote for the major candidate that you certainly would not vote for. When was the last time a 3rd party candidate even took 2nd place in the general presidential election? Answer: 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt ran on a third party ticket.

So if you want to make a difference and want good candidates available to choose from in the general election. Get involved in the early primary and caucuses. Join a party and run for the delegate positions. Then you can attend conventions and vote on candidates who 9 times out of 10 are chosen there before they even get to the ballot. Don't just wait until the general election, when the choice on who the candidates are has been made for you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Raising McCain

The conventions ended last night with John McCain speaking at the GOP convention. This is a first for me. I had watched more of the democratic convention than the GOP convention. But I did catch it Wednesday and last night and I liked McCain's speech. He spoke of his military service and why he loves his country, took a few jabs at Obama but not as much as Obama did to him. He stated what he wanted to do and gave some details on how he will do it.
I really agree with him on the differences he has with Obama. McCain wants a smaller government, Obama wants a bigger one. McCain wants to keep taxes low, Obama wants to raise them. McCain wants to bring the troops home in victory, Obama wants them home with or without a victory. McCain wants to use all available options to fix our energy problems, Obama wants us to inflate our tires.

I really liked how McCain did not turn a blind eye to the failures of either party. He acknowledged that both parties failed to address our energy crisis. He blamed both republicans and democrats. I agree that both parties failed us in this area. McCain talked about working to get things done rather than focusing on taking credit for our country's success. Again, this is what I want from all of my elected officials. One who does not fight against a good plan just because his party did not think of it first. McCain has shown throughout his entire political career that he is not a traditional politician who only works for his party. But a politician who works for what is right and fights what is wrong, regardless of which party the opposition is part of.

McCain has proved to me that he deserves my vote and that we probably should have voted for him back in 2000 rather than who we did elect. Unless some extreme change occurs between now and the election, then I will be casting my ballot for John McCain.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Those Gremilns are at it again.

If your like me, and I know I am. Then you really enjoyed the Gremlins movies of the 80s. Well a fan created his own Gremlins made movie where the Gremlins jump into other movies on your DVR. I loved it and so wanted to share it. I recommend that no one under 13 watch the first movie they jump into as it is the exorcist. Click the below URL to see the show.


Take my house please!

So I am feeling a little gloomy about our efforts to find our next home. We have seen the writing on the wall and so lowered the price on our home to stay competitive. But the prices of the homes we want to live in have not seemed to come down, leaving me depressed about the whole situation. It seems like every time we find a house that we like, we either cannot buy it because we have not sold our house yet, or it is still out of our price range. This is a reminder of how much I hate the home buying/selling process.

After looking at a few homes last night we ended up a lowes to check out new carpet. Most people who look through our home complain about the carpet and I don't blame them. So we are going to replace it to increase our homes appeal and because if we stay, we will replace the carpet anyway. But how many different names can you give the color brown? They have english toffee, or hazel nut or oak bark for colors. But they all look brown to me. Good thing my wife has an eye for these different colors because I surely don't see the difference.

Many have asked for my opinion on Sarah Palin being the VP for John McCain. Like most Americans I was caught by surprise and did not know much about her. But from what I have learned and heard so far, I like her. She has fought corruption, regardless of it being from a democrat or a republican and she has fought against raising taxes. I certainly agree with those policies and so feel good about her.

Go Utes!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama hits the field

Like millions of other Americans, I watched Barack Obama's speech last night. I am grateful that a speaker at the convention finally explained what the democrats are going to do and how they will do some of those items. That had been something that was missing from every other speaker. All they were doing was complaining about everything that is happening, including what they voted for.

I am thankful that I have lived during the time when Martin Luther King's dream has come to fruition and anyone, regardless of the color of their skin, can run for any office. It was nice to hear from John McCain saying the exact same thing. It certainly is a good day for our country.

I noticed a re-occurring theme through the entire convention. The democrats are excited to be able to finally defeat George Bush. I wonder why they kept mentioning that until I realized that they failed to beat him twice and so they think that the third time is the charm. However they do not seem to realize that because of the 22nd amendment, George Bush is 1 of only 2 living people who are now unable to ever be President again. Regardless of if you love or hate Bush, he must leave office and never return. But the democrats do not want him to leave until they have defeated him in at least 1 election. So they are pretending that they are running against George Bush. But they are not, they are running against a total different person who felt that he was different enough from Bush that he ran against him 8 years ago. So stop trying to defeat your past opponent and focus on your current one. But I have the feeling that the democrats cannot do that and that most Americans will fall for the illusion that Bush is running for president again.

It was nice to actually hear some of the plans that Obama has for his presidency. I agreed with some of them. But I soundly disagree with his desire to redefine marriage, increase the government's role in all of our lives and his desire to increase all our taxes through the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, his increase of taxes to corporations which will be passed along to consumers and his not mentioning one word about getting rid of our deficit and paying off the debt. For these reasons and a few others, I will not be voting for Obama.

I fear any government created program that is designed for and paid for by all Americans. Those government programs have proven to be terrible and far more in-effective than any comparable program offered through the free market. Social security & medicare are just 2 examples. Each year I get a statement about my social security benefits and each one mentions that by 2041 social security will no longer have enough funds to meet all it obligations. I am afraid to see how a health care program would end up. I don't want my government to compete with the free market, I want my government to help lower the prices in the free market.

Well, today we should learn who the GOP vice-president candidate will be and then we will hear from the GOP convention next week. I'm sure we will see more finger pointing, but hopefully some of them will say what they will do if they are elected.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hey Hillary, were the ones paying the high gas prices!

Just finished watching Hillary Clinton speak at the Democratic National Convention being held in Denver. She blamed the Republicans for giving oil companies their large windfall profits. I'm sorry Hillary, but the Republican party is not paying for the billions of dollars of profits that the oil companies are receiving, nor are the Democrats. WE THE PEOPLE ARE!!!

We are the ones paying 4 bucks a gallon, not the government or a political party and so we are the ones giving the oil companies their big profits. So don't try to pin this on your opposing party and tell us exactly how you are going to give everyone health care, how you will bring the troops home, how you will produce all this green energy and how you will fight for gay rights. You gave a rousing speech but did not say a word on how you and the democrats were going to deliver moon beams home in a jar. All you did was say how great you are, are supporting Obama and pointed the finger at Bush and McCain. Change? No, it looks like more of the same politics.

I hope Obama does a better job of telling us how he is going to save the world on Thursday night.

Thanks for letting me rant. You should see less of it by November 5th. Think you can survive till then? Will I be able to survive after then?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend-Partying with the Stevens family

Friday was a crazy day for me as two branch offices for Winder Farms were moving into new locations. Meaning that I had to be on site at Orem and remotely help Las Vegas get all their phones, computers and Internet connections transferred, set up and tested. Nothing ever happens perfectly. After we had moved all the equipment and services, we could not get a connection between the both branch offices and the main office. It made for a stressful end to the week and made me welcome the weekend. Thankfully everything got resolved by late Friday night and so the weekend could be enjoyed without work related stress.

Our ward had a picnic on Friday night and even though I was late to it due to the afore mentioned location move, we had a lot of fun. I tried to imitate the USA mens gold winning beach volleyball players in a game of volleyball with my fellow ward members. But I think I proved that I am a better spectator than competitor.

Saturday began as a day of house hunting. (Be vary quiet, I'm huntin houses) But like Elmer Fudd, we have yet to catch our prey. But we ended the day well by hanging out with the Stevens family. They have 4 kids, with ages similar to ours. The kids had a lot of fun playing with each other and on Sunday Karen asked me to take her back to the Stevens house so she can play with them again.
While we were with Rob & Heather, we played a game called "Wits & Wagers." For those of you who I have talked into playing this game with me, you know how much I love this game and how well I do at it. But Rob's & Heather's 9 year old daughter was able to beat me in this game. They sure have a smart daughter who was able to spout off historical dates and events that would impress any history professor.

Thank you Rob & Heather for a pleasant evening together. We will do it again soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympics, Blogging & VPs

The ratings show that this has been the most watch Olympics ever. I am certainly one of the many Americans who are staying up late and watching them. The lack of sleep is starting to catch up to me and I am looking forward to the Olympics being over so I can go to sleep on time again. I was planning on going to bed at my normal time last night. But a US men's beach volleyball team was playing in the gold medal match and it turned out to be a very close and exciting game. I just could not bring myself to turn the TV off as it came down to the 3rd and final set to find the champion. The US team pulled it off and now the US has swepted gold in both the men's and women's beach volleyball.

It was a disappointment to see both the mens and womens track and field relay teams drop the baton and so become eliminated from medal contention. It was also interesting to see that investigations have been opened to look into the age of some Chinese gymnast who won a few gold medals. If these girls are proved to be under 16 then the US will receive a few more gold medals, which will be very beneficial to keeping the USA ahead in the medal count. I really enjoy watching these competitions and seeing many Americans succeed in their quest for gold.

It has been fun to see many more family members join the blogging world. All but one of Jen's sisters are now bloggers and it has been extremely helping in keeping informed and feeling close to Jen's family. With Jen's father passing away earlier this year, it looked like there would be fewer opportunities to gather together as a family. But with each family writing blogs, I feel closer to them then when we had the frequent family events. Another benefit to having the Internet in our lives. Thank you information age.

OK. So everyone is excited to see who Obama and McCain will pick for their running mate. But because none of them are sharing their plans with us, it only gets us more anxious to learn who their VPs will be. Its like everyone is on pins and needles as they were when Michael Phelps was trying to get 8 golds. Only the VP selection is really not that important. I only want to see if McCain picks Romney. I was kinda bummed when Romney did not get the GOP nomination, and so if he gets on the ticket, it will get me more excited about the election.

Well, that is enough ramblings for one day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Star Wars & Birthday time with the family

We have a tradition in our family to gather together and celebrate all the family's birthdays and anniversaries for the entire month. Some months have lots of birthdays and August is one of them. So last night we all gathered together and had many extended family members attend as well. My wife was reminded that when I get together with my Brothers and with my cousin Richard Eddington, that I get really goofy and we all try to out do each other in cheesy jokes. After an hour of hearing every political and paris hilton joke we could think of, she had very sweetly asked me when we could leave. She sure is patience with me when I get together with my family and turn into a teenager again. I sure love her for putting up with me.

Our kids were able to play with all their cousins and had a ball. Karen learned how to roll down the hill, which made Michael want to also learn how to. It looked like they were having fun, until they started rolling in spilled food. Thankfully it did not stick.

Jen was extra special nice to me on Friday night. She found out that a friend of ours got free tickets to see the new Star Wars movie and she got me invited to go with them. So I was able to have a guys night out while she stayed home to care for our kids and get the house clean for the open house we had the next day.

The Star Wars movie was pretty good. It takes place after episode 2 during the clone wars, but after Ankin has been made a full Jedi Knight. He takes a Padawan learner and together with Obi Wan Kenobi, they strive to win the clone wars. The 3-D computer animation was pretty cool and the story was very entertaining. There was a character who was the uncle to Jabba the Hut, name Zero the Hut. Zero seemed to be the bisexual verison of the Hutts. He had a female voice and dressed like he was going to a tribute to Freddy Mercury event. It was comical to see this character.

I recommend seeing the new Star Wars movie, but it does not need to be in the movie theater. The movie would be just as good on the small screen as on the big.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First time I've wanted to move to Wyoming

So gas prices have begun to slowly fall. But for some reason, prices outside of Utah are now averaging 3.75. But not here, we are just approaching $4 a gallon. Why are we suddenly so blessed to be paying the highest gas prices in the nation? No one can say. Doug Wright on KSL has been trying to find an answer and the only one forthcoming is that it cost more to transport the gas.

If memory serves me well, isn't there a refinery in North Salt Lake? Why would we need to pay higher prices for transportation cost if the transportation is less than 10 miles? That refinery also provides gas to Wyoming and Nevada, each with lower gas prices than us. Why doesn't the gas company just come clean and admit that they have higher prices because they can and we cannot do anything about it? Then I would think that they are honest thieves instead of the lying thieves that they currently are.

Some possible good news from Congress. Republicans continue to stand on the darken house floor demanding the right to vote on a energy policy that would try to address our energy woes. This has inspired 10 Senators, 5 GOP 5 Dems, to come together and compromise on a bill that would allow off shore drilling and encourage alternative energy sources. It may result in higher taxes as the gas pump, but I am encouraged that some politicians are actually trying to work out a solution to the problem.

However I am disappointed at some conservatives and GOPs (like Sean Hannity) who are trying to continue to play the political game. They feel that the current energy woes will benefit the GOP in the upcoming election, which it probably will. So they do not want to work on a compromise with the Dems to address the energy problems, cause it may benefit the Dems and allow them to get re-elected. This is just playing politics, plain and simple, and I hate it no matter who is playing it. Our current politicians are elected to address our current problems now, not use them to benefit from them politically and then address them after the election. We need solutions and it does not matter if the solution comes from someone with a D or a R by their name, or by a group of both Ds and Rs.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The best parties are thrown by the Communist Parties

It finally came. 8-8-08. The first day of the Olympics in China have started and I must say that the communist know how to throw a party. I was greatly impressed with the opening ceremony. I had picked up some Chinese food and sat myself in front of the TV for the next 4 1/2 hours. I was impressed with the visual effects and the use of China's most abundant resource within the show, her people. They used people as paint brushes and block lifters. (If you saw it then you know what I mean.) The saddest thing was when the Nazi looking soldiers took the flags from the cute children and hoisted them on the flag pole. I made me think we were watching the 1936 Olympics with Hitler. But other than that, it was cool. It is always fun to watch the parade of nations and see which countries have smaller populations then the amount of people in the stadium. USA always sends a big team, but this year I think China sent a bigger one and could win the metal count.

Saturday I was happy to watch beach volleyball, gymnastics, bike riding and Michael Phelps blow the socks off all the competition. That man certianly is amazing and it is nice to have a role model who does not get to the top of his game by using illegal drugs like steroids. I look forward to watching the Redeem Team try to take home the gold in Basketball. It is nice to have a distraction from all the busyness of today.

Go USA!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Democrats are against the energy policy after they are done being for it

I'm amazed that it has taken me this long to go on a political rant, but now the time has come. We all suffer from extremely high gas prices. (The words suffer & extremely are correctly used.) The prices are so high that it has a significant effect upon our economy. Prices on all products are going up because of it. Everyone agrees that this is a significant issue and according to polls, it is the number 1 issue of this election.

The President and many members of Congress have been pushing for an up or down vote on allowing more domestic oil to be obtained and sold to the public. But instead of allowing the vote to happen, and most likely pass. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi quickly adjourned the Congress for 5 weeks, thus avoiding the vote that she knew she would lose. Because of this, many members of the House stayed in the house chamber to debate the issue and call for congress to return and vote on the issue. But instead, Pelosi turned off the lights, cut the microphones and prevented CSPAN from filming any of these events.

When asked on a news program why she would not allow the vote, Nancy replied that it is her duty to save the planet. I ask, is it worth it to save the planet at the expense of the people who live on it. Food and heating prices are growing to levels that many people cannot afford, but (according to Nancy) this is unimportant compared to the needs of the planet. Does she feel that we do not have the ability to extract oil from the planet in an environmentally safe way? If we cannot, then why does she allow any oil in any part of the world from being refined and sold in the US? According to her, any oil regardless of where it is refined is causing environmental problems. It is because our economy is to much dependant on it and she knows this. But since we are so dependant on it, shouldn't the short term solution be to increase the amount of oil on the market so that the prices will decrease and our economy does not suffer further?
John McCain was against drilling for more domestic oil, but he saw the writing on the wall and knows that this is needed for the short term solution. Even Brack Obama, who has been adamantly against domestic drilling, has turned around and now acknowledges the need for it. Some democrats say they are for it too. However this may be because 70% of Americans want it and so these democrats want to be re-elected. However these same democrats have put and will continue to put Nancy Pelosi in as Speaker of the House and she will do anything she can, including mis-using her power, to prevent this issue from even being voted on. That leads me to believe that many democrats and going to flip flop and say that they are for the energy policy and once they are elected they will then be against it. Else they would force Nancy Pelosi to allow the vote, like what the Republicans standing in the dark house chamber are trying to do right now.(They have been on the darken house floor since Friday 8/1/08, but cannot get any news coverage. But that is for a different blog.)

I am sick of political games being played rather than work being done to address this national emergency. If our current politicians will not do their part to fix the problem, then I say throw the bums out and get someone who will.

P.S. For those who want to know what my idea is to fix this problem, here it is. I think our short term solution is to increase the amount of oil on the market to drive down prices. This includes getting more domestic oil sources that are not under the influence of OPEC which is a monopoly that drives prices up. We also need more hybrid and natural gas cars. Our long term solution is to obtain alternate energy sources. Someone invent a car that runs on water please! If we could drive our cars and fly our planes on an element that we have a lot of, then price would never be a problem. And if we could use an element that is already in our environment, then we would greatly decrease our pollution problem. What do you think?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Random Weekend Events

Monday has arrived again and I have to admit that this past weekend was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable weekends I've enjoyed in a while. This whole summer my weekends have been booked solid with either home improvement projects, house hunting trips, family & holiday events or work emergencies. But not this weekend. Here are some of the things we were able to do:

Dr Who season finale- The last episode of Dr. Who was shown on Friday night and it was extremely bitter sweet. It was another phenomenal episode that was worthy of the season ending type of episodes that Dr. Who normally has. Since I have a brother who has not yet seen it. (Come on Carl, catch up.) I don't want to give away any details. But it was exciting to see an old foe re-emerge in the series. I am extremely depressed that they will not be releasing the next season until 2010, and that will just be in England. So it will be some time before we see some new episodes of Dr. Who. But I will be waiting and watching for it.

Torchwood- Because of the Dr. Who finale, I decided to check out the spin off series called Torchwood. I had enjoyed the character of Caption Jack, who moved from Dr. Who to Torchwood. But I could only get through 2 episodes before I had to give up and send the remaining DVDs back to the library. The show is sci-fi based, but it is to much like an episode of Sex in the City. But instead of the traditional relationships, it is human-alien or man-man, woman-woman or alien woman-human woman, etc. I had always hated the soap opera portion of Battlestar Galactica. This show had it 10 times worse and I did not enjoy it. So that was a disappointment.

Open house & Temple trip-We had an open house for our home we are trying to sell. Jen wrote about that in so you can check her blog out for details. But I really enjoyed going to the temple with my wife and doing a sealing session. I just enjoy kneeling at the altar and looking across at my lovely wife who is dressed in white. It brings back many happy memories from December 14 2001.

Star Wars: Empire at War-I really enjoy playing computer games and any that involve Star Wars is a double the fun for me. One of those games are Star Wars: Empire at War with its expansion pack. I get to play the good or the bad guys and attempt to take over the universe. It is a long game to play, which Jen can attest to, but it really relaxes me and helps me unwind.

Parks & Friends-We had some friends who had moved away come back to town and visit this weekend. So a bunch of friends got together at a park to spend time together. It was a lot of fun and there was cloud cover, which helped it not be to hot. We played a little volleyball which has always been an enjoyable game for me. I left the park feeling happy at the time we spend together. Even my kids were able to play with us on the volleyball court. When the ball rolled off the court, Michael would be the one to chase after it and return it. And Karen learned how to hit the ball and did a pretty good job. I wish I had pictures to share.

Sunday was as it should be, a day of rest. So we had a wonderful weekend. I am excited for this month. The Olympics begin this week and football is just around the corner. I will be able to watch the season finale of American Gladiators tonight and pre-season football is starting up. Now if only I could get into my next house before football season begins. Then I would be all set for the fall.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Power to the people...who pay their power bills

I have a very cool little device in my office called a sensor phone. It is cool because it can call me if someone walks into my office, it detects water in the server room, the air conditioner has gone out or the is a power loss. The device is cool because it can do these things, but I have started to loath the device as it has been keeping me from getting a good night sleep on Sunday nights. 3 of the past 6 Sunday nights, I have received a call from this device in the middle of the night about a problem. This week of was due to a power outage.

Sunday night we had a pretty strong wind storm. Because our company gets its power feed from hanging power lines, it was affected by the wind storm and we lost power at 11pm Sunday night. Apparently we were not the only ones affected as the power company did not get out to see us until 1130am, conveniently the same time we had our generator finally hooked up and going. At noon, we finally had the power restored. That was when my life got busy.

Since I am in charge of all the servers for the company, I then spent the remainder of the day bringing the servers back up and testing to ensure that everything worked. We had also performed some upgrades to our delivery system over the weekend so not only was I trying to fix the problems caused by the power outage, but also the bugs that are showing up from the upgrade. This kept life pretty busy for me. Although there are advantages to being busy. Time flies and your day does not seem to be long drawn out moment of boredom.

I like my job and am very thankful for the means it gives me to provide for my family. But an example given by my boss correctly describes how life in the IT world works. "IT is like a plane ride. For most of the time, things are running extremely smooth. But at the end there is usually 2 minutes of hell."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Families are forever...visiting each other

This weekend we had the Henry Nelson family reunion. My grandfather on my mother's side had 2 brothers. Each served in WWII and survived to have families of their own. Every year we all have a reunion to get together. It is really fun and a good chance to visit with distance cousins.

This year, my mother was put in charge of the reunion. She asked her kids if they had any ideas for the reunion and any events we could do together. Since I have a problem with keeping my mouth closed, I gave her some ideas on what could be done. Since no one else gave any ideas, my mother asked me to be in charge of the main event for the reunion. We decided to identify one of our pioneer ancestors and profile him to the family. We discovered that my great-great-great grandfather Jeppa Nelson was one of the early settlers of the Pleasant Grove area of Utah and that a Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum had one of the griannery that he built on display. So we planned to have the reunion at a nearby park and I put together a full presentation on Jeppa Nelson that included a tour of the museum that had Jeppa's griannery.

I must admit that I had a lot of fun learning about my 3x great grandfather. He grew up in Sweden and was converted to the LDS church and immigrated to America. He grew up poor but was very blessed to never be in want in his adult life and was very generous to others. He allowed anyone to enter into his unlocked griannery and take whatever food they needed. He was truly a generous and Christ like man and I was proud to teach my family more about him.

In the past I did not enjoy family reunions very much, as they were just excuses to get together and have a meal. But this time, everyone seemed to enjoy each other and many of them were thankful to learn about an ancestor and said they wanted to do this with future family reunions.

I am just thankful that we will not have to plan one again for at least 3 years.