Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Rachel and I have been married for about 6 years, and every Christmas we have spent Christmas Eve at the house of one set of parents and spent the night and Christmas morning with the other set of parents. Not an ideal situation if you ask me. Why? Because neither house is warm enough for Rachel and neither of us sleeps well on air beds or fold-out couches. While I do enjoy spending time with my family on Christmas, I like getting a good night's sleep even more. And where better to get a good night's sleep than at your own house in your own bed. Especially since my bed is a Tempur-Pedic bed. So this year, Rachel and I decided that we would have Christmas dinner with our parents, go home and sleep in our own bed and then go back to the parents house later in the afternoon on Christmas day. I liked spending Christmas morning at home with just the three of us. It was nice and quiet and I didn't feel like I got lost in the hubub of the holiday rush at my parents house. Not that I don't like to spend the holiday with my family, but sometimes you just need a break. We had our own real tree, and decorated our house and opened presents and everything at our own house. It was also nice to be able to focus on Ammon's first Christmas, and not have to compete for anyone else's attention. It just made for a more pleasant morning (since Ammon isn't big enough to know that he needs to wake up as early as he can to see what Santa has left under the tree for him!), and then at our own pace we went and spent time with the family. No rush, no pressure. So I think that's what we are going to do every year from now on. And starting next year, we are going to cut down our own Christmas tree as well. And get the house decorated earlier. And make sure the majority of the shopping is done before my peak season at work starts (like two weeks before). And have the house clean. And set up proper video equipment. And...

Next Subject

I decided to split this post up into a few sections so that it looks like I have been better about blogging. In this post I would like to actually talk about Christmas. Our small little family decided to do Christmas at our own house for once. I really liked the idea of sleeping in my Tempur-Pedic bed and having Ammon sleep in his own crib. I hate sleeping at other peoples houses, if only because Ammon doesn't deal with that very well at this age. He is most comfortable and most likely to sleep through the night in his own crib, and that is really better for everyone involved. Anyway, we went over to my parents house for dinner on Christmas Eve. It has been our family tradition for the last few years to have steak and seafood for dinner that night. I don't know why, but I'm not gonna complain. I love steak. I love crab, shrimp and scallops. I love them even more on the same plate. Mmmmm.....
Then since Aaron and Courtney (brother and sister-in-law (who doesn't like seafood, incidentally)) and their daughter, and Micah and Nancy (brother and sister-in-law) were over, we decided to open family gifts. I got some "interesting" things: a Pez Dispenser, a Superman sports bottle, a 2gb micro-SD card for my mp3 player, and some other odds and ends. My parents gave me a new coat and the promise of a good butchers knife, which I have really wanted for a while. Rachel gave me a portable DVD player that also reads SD cards and has a Ipod video dock. Now all I need is an Ipod video... Ammon gave me a can of Spaghetti-O's since we both like them and he thought I might share with him. I got Ammon's present out of the trash, it's a computer keyboard, since he likes to pound on the keys when he sits at the computer with me (like right now). I got Rachel a little keychain digital picture viewerThat was broken out of the package, so that was fairly disappointing. I also got her a Nintendo Wii. The jury is still out on whether she really likes it or just kind of likes it. I'll let you know later, when she's had more of a chance to play with it. I am pretty fond of it though.

Ok....Two Days Left In 2007

Where did the year go? I was just getting used to writing 2007 at work, and now I'm gonna be confused about the date for at least a month. That happens to me every year though, so it's nothing new I guess. Ok so where should I start? How about with work? The last two weeks before Christmas are known affectionately as Peak at Fedex. That means that our lives and the lives of our families are given up in order to deal with the chaos of the Christmas shipping season. I worked over 60 hours both those weeks and about died. Most drivers just have to deal with increased volume on their own routes, and most can handle it without many problems. Me on the other hand, I get dumped on since I don't have my own route. This year, it was my pleasure to pick up all of our bulk shippers. That meant I got a large Penske rental truck, and it was my job to fill it up. I picked up at places like and Pure Food Fish in Pike Place Market (the only fish mongers I would go to or order from there) and RPI (an online printing company, where I picked up 5,000 packages one day). I filled the truck up twice on really heavy days. Luckily it was NOT my job to unload the truck, because I probably would have collapsed. I got to eat lunch while 3 other people unloaded the freight. The only really good thing to come from all that was my paycheck. Other benefits include a sore back, getting up really early, getting home really late, not seeing my family, and working in the cold wet weather for hours at a time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Only one post in November? Lame!

So sue me. So I only got one post in in November. November is a lousy month anyway, right? The only thing worth talking about in November is Thanksgiving. And my grandma's birthday, which I forgot to acknowledge because I am a bad bad boy. We had Chinese food for thanksgiving this year. It had kind of become the new Alldredge family tradition, Chinese on Thanksgiving. Here's the reasoning: Rachel and I have parents that live in the same city. Both sets of parents want to see us on Thanksgiving. Both sets of parents want to have dinner with us. My brothers and sisters aren't able to come for Thanksgiving till the weekend. My mom wants to have traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family, but not twice in one week. That's just not how we do things in my family. The same meal more than once a month is unconscionable, let alone in the same week. So, to solve the conundrum, my mother decided that we would do Chinese for lunch on Thanksgiving. Home made, too. Mmmmmmmmmm..... good! Then, we have turkey on that Saturday, when the whole family can get together. That allows Rachel and I to eat lunch at one house, and dinner at the other and we are spared the horror of trying to eat two turkey dinners the same day. It just works better that way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ammon Updates

I know I haven't been updating here as much as I probably could, but I have been kind of occupied lately. Ammon in the last two weeks has learned to crawl and four teeth have come in. He also got the flu shot, which was not a problem when he got it, but three days later when he is sick... Now it's a problem. I guess his dose of mostly dead flu virus wasn't as mostly dead as we would have liked. Also now that he is crawling, we have been running around trying to get the house "baby proofed" so to speak. Anyway, I don't have a lot of time even now this late at night, I just got Ammon down to sleep, and I have a pot of baked beans simmering on the stove that I have to go tend to. He normally doesn't go to sleep until 10:30 pm. It makes both Rachel and I tired to have him up so late. We hardly get any time alone. Ahh... The joys of raising children. By the way, in case you didn't get it the updates were that Ammon learned to crawl about a week and a half ago, and his two front top and bottom teeth have come in in the last two weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

HazMat Fingerprints

Today I went to have my fingerprints taken for the DOT. As a swing driver at Fedex, I am required to have at least a class "C" Commercial Drivers License, with a Hazardous Materials Endorsement. This is so that I can legally transport a 3-bar radioactive package (also known as medical equipment) or any shipment of hazardous materials over 1000lbs. or something ridiculous like that. What a bunch of garbage. In the five years that I have been working at Fedex, I have only seen one 3-bar radioactive package that I couldn't transport. That's not to say that there haven't been more shipments than that, just one's that I couldn't be directly responsible for. So in order to get a CDL-HAZ license, you have to go to first apply online to get your fingerprints taken by the Dept of Homeland Security, pay $90, spend your money on the gas it takes to get to the nearest Fingerprint Collection Station (in my case, an hour away in Bellevue), wait for the government to do a background check, go spend another $100 to take the CDL test, then spend more money to take the HAZ endorsement test, THEN prove you can drive the vehicle you are going to be using to transport the HAZ in. And don't get paid for your time. They reimburse your expenses to actually take the tests and get fingerprinted, but it's on your own time, when you have time. Then they are going to make me come in on a Saturday (and not get paid) to do the driving portion and waste that day. What a load of junk. Needless to say that I'm not too thrilled about the whole process, and more than the process, the time I have to spend getting something for work and not getting paid for it. When I had to get my TSA Badge to access the airport, they paid for my time and driving costs. What makes this any different....?

Monday, October 22, 2007


Ok, so last time I said I would talk about my VW Bug. I got it about 6 (wow has it already been 6!?!) years ago when I heard it calling out to me from the side of the road. I looked back and there it was, all gold and shiny, calling my name. I pretty much stopped the car I was driving and and turned around to go look at it. I called the number on the car to find out more and set up a test drive for the following day. Now you might think from the way I have described it that the car was in pristine condition. I mean who would be interested in buying a used car that looked all beat up, right? No the Bug had obviously been around the block a few times. The speedometer didn't even work right. There were rust holes in a few spots, and the exhaust wasn't completely hooked up, so it was pretty loud. But I could see that it needed me, so I bought it. It was a good thing too, because the other car I was driving conked out on me a few days later. But I love my 1974 standard Beetle. It needs a lot of work. I blew up the engine driving it on the freeway, or at least that's what it felt like when the valve broke in the combustion chamber and punched a hole in the piston. I am in the process of repairing the rust holes in the body. I have to do body work on the front end because I got into a minor fender-bender because of some slick roads and squishy brakes. I have replaced all five tires, and am going to replace the drum brakes with disc brakes. The original engine was 1600cc, and I am building a 1904cc to replace it. I have to replace all the duct work for the heater and all the carpet. The dash pad and interior plastic parts, ie. vent covers need help too. Then I am going to paint it dark forest green. Oh and it needs a new steering wheel, new windshield washer/wiper, dome light, upholstery, fenders, signal light covers, bumper, side boards, ect...
But don't get me wrong: I am not discouraged. I enjoy working on it. I just can't buy all the stuff I need all at once. It comes in bits and pieces. But when it's done, it'll be a real looker, just you wait.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuff And Things:

It's Friday! Fridays are good, because after a week of lifting heavy boxes at work I'm pretty tired. The only problem is that Saturday I have more to do, so the weekend is not about getting any rest. That's ok though, because the things I do on Saturday are much more fulfilling than the work I am doing during the week. Like building furniture. I really enjoy building things I know are going to be useful. The idea that I can make with my own two hands what most people will purchase from a store, and make it exactly how I want it, not how someone else wants it is a good feeling. My only problem is that I need a bigger workshop. My little shed in the backyard is really not big enough for all my tools AND the stuff I'm building in it... Maybe in my next house. And I can't convert my garage into a shop like most people would because I have yet another project in there: My '74 std VW Bug. It is in pieces right now because I am rebuilding the engine and just about everything else on it. But that is a story for another time. Probably next time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Well, recently I have been spending a lot of time on Facebook. It's kind of addicting, but I think that is the point of the whole thing. Making people come back because you have all sorts of mindless interesting things to waste your time at. For instance, those that know me well know that I am a pretty big Star Wars fan. I have a rather large collection of action figures in their original packages, I have movie posters, I have a few lightsabers, I have life-size cutouts, ect.
This was my Christmas card from about three years ago. The point is, on Facebook, there is a Star Wars application. It is Jedi vs. Sith. There are ranks, trivia, you can use the "Force" to send someone a message in the form of an attack, and more. I have become addicted to it. I have probably answered a bajillion trivia questions (most of which I get right, by the way). I don't have a lot of friends right now who have added the application, so most of my Force attacks are directed at a few people. But they keep coming out with cool new additions to the application, like an interactive role-playing universe, text based. Most people don't get how to use it, but it's a good idea. They also have a Strength section in development, so I hope to rise through the ranks to become a Jedi Grand Master. I am a Jedi Knight now.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because that would be the ideal for my blog. I would like people to come back and spend time here and see what I have to say. I want people to come back to see if I have added anything interesting since they were here last. I think that this format is a good way for people to get to know one another, or at least to get to know me and the kinds of things I think about. Anyway, thats enough deep thought for now, back to Facebook.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Do The Puyallup!

Yesterday we went to the Puyallup Fair which is the biggest and best advertised fair here in Washington. I have gone almost every year since I was about 15, and have enjoyed it each year. Since Rachel and I have been married we have gone 5 times I think, and our interests in going have been slowly changing. We first went for the rides. They do have great rides there at the fair, don't get me wrong. Lots of jerk-you-around-twist-and-turn-flip-upside-down kind of rides. Roller coasters, a giant slingshot, ferris wheels and more. They have all the carnival games too, which we used to do when we first went. The good ones like shooting out all the red star, darts, knock over the bottles with a baseball, squirting water into a target to make your horse run across a track and tons of others. But for the last few years, we have gone more for the home and gadget show, and the art stuff and hobby hall than anything else. Now I guess you might say that all of that "artsy" stuff is pretty boring, and I can tell you that for a teenager, it is. But my desire to have my guts wrenched out and lose all my money playing unwinable carnival games has steadily decreased as I have gotten older. Especially since it costs a lot more now than it did when I was doing it. For the last three years, Rachel and I have made pretty big purchases at the fair. Partly because things are generally cheaper at the fair, and also because you don't have to pay sales tax at the fair. Two good reasons to buy new living room furniture, a Tempur-Pedic mattress, and a new dining room set. Thats what we have bought the last three years. We get some pretty odd looks when we tell people, but all it takes is a little explaining, and they are convinced too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ammon is Sick

Today Ammon got sick. Not the really scary kind where you rush off to the emergency room, but the annoying that just gives him a stuffy nose and makes him cough and sneeze all over. So I am not worried about him, but now I have to make sure that he sleeps in sort of an inclined position like in the car seat, so that way his sinuses can drain properly. Other than the frequent nose cleaning with the snot-sucker of doom, when he really gets upset, he is pretty happy. So that is good. Also he is being pretty vocal, since he can't really breathe through his nose. That's kind of cute. I recorded some of it for posterity. He is sitting in his bouncy chair right beside me even as I am writing this post, smiling and chattering away. Also he is staring at the new mp3 player I got today as it charges in the usb port. It is called the Sansa Express, by sandisk. It is a pretty cool little device, and while it is charging it has a picture of a dog (I think it's a dog?) running back and forth across the screen. It's the lights that he is staring at, not the mp3 player though. I don't really think he even cares that it is an mp3 player, or would care if he knew what one was. He just likes the lights...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Last Week's Recap:

The family reunion was mostly a large success. I say mostly because I didn't get to go fishing since I didn't remember to buy a fishing license. However my brother, who always goes fishing on every single camp out that we go on, did go fishing. His license cost him $17 for the day as he lives out of state. He did not catch a fish though. His wife did, which was pretty funny since she has never really been fishing before. My brother almost always manages to catch the biggest fish on whatever camp out we go on, so to have him come back with a fish that his wife caught gave us all a little ammunition against him that weekend. It was pretty good eating though, I must admit. She didn't even try it, since she doesn't like fish to begin with. His $17 fish.
I also tried skim-boarding on the beach there at Deception Pass. If you don't already know what that is, I will tell you: you take a piece of 3/8in plywood, cut it into an oval shape more or less with a pointed end and a flat end. Bend the pointed end up a little and put a bunch of coats of paint and shellac and you have a skim board. I guess it is pretty popular, since I saw 20 other people doing it. I tried it for about 3 hours and gave up, because it seemed like too much effort for a 15 to 20 foot ride, which was about as far as I got it to go. It seemed like the guys that weighed less than 140lbs had much better success at it that us 200+ lb guys.
Another interesting thing that happened was that Ammon decided to sleep through the entire night while we were camping. I'm not sure why he did that, but we may have to go camping more often, if only to get a little more shut-eye.
Then the rest of the week was pretty typical: Sleep work eat sleep sleep eat work, blah blah blah. Nothing of interest to report. Except that we are still recovering from the unpacking process. Meaning that we still haven't put everything away yet. That is also pretty typical. Oh well...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We're going camping

This Labor Day weekend, my family and I are going camping. Right now, even as we speak, Rachel is stressing about what to bring, and what to leave behind. What is the weather going to be like, ad can we trust the local forecast? What make it doubly hard is that she is packing for both herself and Ammon. This will be his first camping trip, and she isn't sure what to bring for him. She wants him to have everything he needs so he wont be too hot during the day or too cold at night, but then again there's the problem of trusting the weather reports. We can't bring everything... For women, this seems to be one of the great struggles in life, "What To Pack?" For me, not so hard. We're gonna be gone three days. So A pair of jeans, plenty of clean underwear and socks, three t-shirts, my fleece sweatshirt and a light jacket. And some shorts. And my swim trunks. And...
Yeah, two hours later and we are still packing. Any questions?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mowing the Lawn

Today I am supposed to mow the lawn. I'm not a big fan of lawn mowing in general. It's not that I hate it per say, but it's the fact that I have to do it every week or else I'll regret it. That and pruning the photinia hedge that I have. I just don't like the fact that I HAVE to do it. But if I don't, then it ends up being even more difficult and taking even more time and then I like it even less. For instance, I have mowed my front lawn (the one everyone can see) each week. I have not, on theother hand mowed my backyard for about three weeks now and the grass back there is about a foot and a half high. So now I have my work cut out for me. Get it? CUT out for me? No? Whatever. It would help if I got some award or something at the end of mowing the lawn, but nooooo, all I get is the satisfaction of knowing that I'm gonna have to do it all over again next week. And the week after, and the week after that too. And that's not really much of an award is it? In fact, it's more like punishment for having a lawn in the first place. You have to mow it and water it and fertilize it to make it look nice. What a waste. I think my neighbors have it right: rip up the lawn and make the whole space into a flower bed. Put in a few bushes and some flowers and cover the rest with landscaping fabric and beauty bark and forget about it. I'll never do that though because I like grass....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Our 6th Anniversary

So yesterday Rachel and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. The day was spent with both of us at work. Sounds like fun, huh? Anyway, it was a stressful day for her mostly because her boss couldn't let her off as early as she thought he was going to. Apparently he had a bunch of work to do and Rachel had to stay to man the floor. But he could have been nicer about it... It was fine in the end though, because our dinner reservations were not until 8:30pm. So Rachel came to pick me up for work and we went into Downtown Seattle, sort of on a scavenger hunt to find as many of the fiberglass pigs as we could before dinner. Sounds weird, I know, but it was something to do. We drove aimlessly throughout the city both looking for the big pigs on the sidewalks and in the plazas. We did find quite a few of them, about 20 I think. But while we were looking for the pigs, Rachel turned into Pike Place Market, because we knew there were some there, and everything was closed up cause it was about 7:30pm and the shops close by ten. What was interesting was the crowd of people standing around the big garbage bins though. There was this huge group of people milling around, and it looked like they were digging through the bins for something, so Rachel wanted to know what they were looking for. She stopped the car and got out and saw that the crowd was digging for flowers. In the Market, there are many fresh flower vendors and at the end of the day, they dump their leftovers into the garbage, some of them still in pretty good shape. So Rachel got in and started looking. She got a pretty good bouquet after a while. I took video, I thought it was pretty funny, myself.

Anyway after that, we headed to the restaurant where we were going to eat. Rachel wanted steak, and what better place to get good steak than Ruth's Chris Steakhouse? (Thank you Sean Hannity!) I had specified on the reservation that it was our anniversary, and they didn't disappoint: they gave us our own table away from everyone else, put little sparkles on it that said "Happy Anniversary!" and all that good stuff. Rachel was pretty happy about it. The waitress was very good, and made good suggestions and we had a very enjoyable dinner. We split a lobster bisque, a house salad, garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli au gratin. We each got our own steaks, Rachel had a ribeye and I had a t-bone. Bar none, the best steaks I have ever had. And for those of you who go, splitting all the sides is the way to go, that way you don't get too full for the best part: the steak! I like that place because everything is ordered separately, you can get exactly the meal you want, kind of ala carte. It makes for a very nice experience overall. I was very pleased with the quality of the food and the service. But be prepared to drop $100 per person!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I don't know

Ever since I have started this blog, I have been getting more and more interested in what I can do to reach out online. For instance, I have installed Hamachi, which lets me create a virtual LAN over the internet. Now I can play games like Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne with my brothers and some of my friends without actually having to be there. Kind of nice if your brothers and friends live in different states and don't get together very often. It also allows us to share files and pictures without e-mail and chat without AIM or any of those other programs that eat up processor time. If I want to I can reach out and put a new picture right into the shared files folder on one of the other computers in my virtual network and they don't have to do anything except click and open the file. And I can print to the other printers in the network too. Kind of cool.
Also I made a MySpace page a while back but never did anything with it, and recently I went back and updated that page, mostly to herd people back here though. But it is another way to connect with people.
Then today, I got an invite from someone to be a friend on their Facebook account, so I made a Facebook page and joined that too. I can apparently upload as many pictures as I want to that site, so that's kind of cool too.
But just so you all know, I will be spending most of my time here blogging. I will visit these other sites occasionally, but this is the one that I am most interested in and the one I will update most frequently. So check back often and if you haven't already done so, join my Frappr Map and give me a shout out. Just click where it says "Please Add Yourself." Upload a picture and say Hi. You don't have to sign up for anything...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flying the Friendly Skies?

So this last weekend, Rachel Ammon and I flew down to Salt Lake City, UT to attend Rachel's grandparents 60th wedding anniversary/family reunion. It was going to be a whirlwind trip, with us leaving on Friday night and returning Sunday afternoon. Since I work for Fedex, I get pretty good discounts with most of the major airlines. I like Southwest airlines the best, because they don;t usually give you as much crap about stuff. And I like being able to choose my own seat. And I like that if you are boarding with young children you can board first, and not have to deal with fighting other people for seats and carry-on space. The only bad thing about my deals with the airlines is that I have to travel standby. Sometimes that means I wait for a while for a seat. But if the airplane is not totally sold out, then it's great. Round trip tickets for $70 plus all the govt fees and taxes. But that is a heck of a lot cheaper that driving, even if I do have to wait for a few extra hours in the airport. We didn't have any trouble getting on the flight down to SLC, we even got to sit right in front of the airplane and had a whole row to ourselves, which meant that Ammon could ride in his car seat and not in our laps. However, on the way out of SLC, we encountered a few problems. The lady at the customer service desk when we first got there was very nice and helpful. We didn't get on the first flight out and she was very nice when she explained to us our options. She went out of her way to help us, checking all the other flights for any possibilities. When it came time for the second flight Rachel got a spot on the plane, and so she took Ammon with her, but they only had the one seat available, so I had to stay for the next flight. I asked this nice lady about further options, and she told me that if I didn't make the next plane, that I should try to get to Phoenix or some other city, because there were more direct flights from there. So I waited. The next flight was about 3 hours away' so I decided to get some food and something to read to pass the time. When I got back, the nice lady was gone. There was a guy in her place, so i guess her shift must have been over. So I went up to talk to him about 45 min before the next flight left, and told him who I was and where I was going. He looked at me as if I were from another planet, and about halfway through my intro, he started shaking his head telling me that there was no way I was going anywhere, and that if I was going to get somewhere I was going to have to figure it out all by myself since he didn't have the time to help me. Ok, I thought to myself, this guy... not so nice. He then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't look up any other flights for me, but that I could get creative and start looking up other flights in their 100+ page printed flight schedule, and come back later and talk about whatever options I could find. But he also warned me not to get my hopes up, since he was sure I wasn't going anywhere in the first place. He was a jerk. That's what I get for waiting 8 hours in the airport, I get to deal with an unfriendly, unhelpful jerk. I was pretty upset about it, but we are really at the airlines mercy when it comes to stuff like that, so... it's not like I could go complain to his supervisor. So I went and got a flight schedule and started looking. About 30 min later, the flight that I had been waiting for was almost finished boarding, and I waited for an announcement over the intercom about standby passengers, whether or not they were going to accept any or not, but the call never came. Nothing about how the flight was full, but not to worry, your name was on the list for the next flight or anything. It was like that guy didn't even care that we were there. I was a paying customer, I just didn't pay as much as the other guys. But I was treated like a beggar. There was another flight about 30 min after that, and again no announcement for the standby passengers. So after this jerk walked off, another guy came to take his place, and I quickly went up to him to discuss my options. He was very nice, and told me that the rest of the flights out of SLC were already overbooked and that the only flight I had a chance of getting out on was a 9:30pm to Boise, ID. Then I would have to stay in the airport overnight and try to get the first flight out in the morning. But at least he tried to help me. At least he told me why I wasn't going to get to Seattle that day instead of just saying that I wasn't. So I decided to give up and just drive back with my inlaws the next day. Driving isn't so bad, but flying is better.
Sorry that this was such a long post, but I had to get that out of my system. I wish I could remember that jerks name so I could post it here...
Tomorrow I'll post about the Family Reunion itself.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Weekend Vacation

This last weekend Rachel and Ammon and I went down to the Portland area to visit my brother Micah. We stayed at his place for a few nights and just basically got away from home. Although I must say that coming home to my TempurPedic mattress was a wonderful thing. I don't care how nice a blowup mattress is, it doesn't compare to mine. It does wonders for my back, and I seem to sleep better. Anyway, while we were down there, we went on a little hike to some waterfall that I can't remember, but this is what it looked like:It was a really neat place for only being about a mile hike in. It's the kind of place that everyone wants in their backyard, and it was only missing a lake to be perfect. Here's another of Rachel and Ammon that I liked:Then on the way back we found a cave. I mean that Micah and Nancy said that where the cave is there is usually a small waterfall, but when we went there wasn't, so the cave was visible. It didn't look like it went back very far at first so I took Ammon spelunking:But when Ammon and I got back there a little ways, we saw that it did indeed go back farther than we could see. So Micah and I decided to explore:
It went back at least a hundred feet, and it was pretty wet the whole way back. I had to get down on my hands and knees, but Micah didn't want to get his knees dirty so he went back on his hands and feet. Kind of like he was doing push-ups the whole way. I was the first one in and the only light that I had was the little LED on micah's cellphone, which didn't do much. After a while I was about ready to turn back, cause I couldn't see the end, and I didn't know how far back it went and the LED only showed about two feet in front of me. There wasn't any other light. The cave kind of curved around, and the rocks didn't reflect any light, so it was pitch black. But then I almost ran into the end of the cave and called Micah in to take my picture. It didn't turn out very well, but I say it was pretty good for a cellphone camera:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday Night

So to start off, I bought H.P. #7 on Saturday at about 1:30pm and finished it at 5:30am on Sunday. I enjoyed the series immensely and thanks to this book, a lot of unanswered questions have been answered. I think It came to a very effective close. I would be surprised if there was ever any more written, I think I would just feel like the author was just trying to cash in on the success of the series. I don't really think any more needs to be written, unless you count stuff like an encyclopedia-type book to give backstory and definitions and stuff like that. But nothing that adds to the story. Cause it's over. And just let me say that I now understand book 6 better, and don't hate it so much. Actually, after I read book 6, I was pretty upset but now after reading book 7 I understand why things had to happen the way they did. So If I think of book 6 and book 7 as one episode, it makes me feel better about the story. So thank you J.K. Rowling for the good times and the sad times in a magical world I have enjoyed spending so much time in.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Night Before...

Saturday! Haha I'll bet you thought I was going to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But you were wrong. While I am going to go and purchase it tomorrow, and read it probably in 3 days or less, that isn't what I wanted to talk about tonight.

Wait..... what did I want to talk about? Dang it, now I can't remember. Thanks a lot Harry Potter! You just made me lose my train of thought. Well, since I have started on H.P., I might as well say that I saw the H.P. 5 and enjoyed it very much. This time they did a better job of following the book than in 4, but even then they got the idea across, I suppose. But H.P. 5 was better. I still prefer the books to the movies because I can envision whats happening as I read, and the words almost become pictures that I can watch inside my head. But I find that it happens that way (the pictures in my head thing) with any book I read, not just H.P. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I enjoy movies, but I enjoy reading the books more. Unless it was a book based on a movie. Those.....not so much since they rarely have anything substantial to add to the story being told. I think that the only movies that I enjoyed watching as much as reading the books were Lord of the Rings.

Ok I remember now what I was going to talk about:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last Week In A Nutshell

This last week I have not been feeling very motivated. I'm not sure why, cause until today the weather has been very nice. Up in the 80's even. I don't know, it's just been hard to get excited to do anything of consequence. That isn't to say that I haven't been doing anything though. Cause I have. Mostly chores around the house and setting up the new stereo system and little things. But nothing big, like the changing table. Tomorrow I plan on working on it though. I had to buy a new router cause I broke the other one making the last part of the railing for the crib. And I should probably buy a new table saw, cause the one that I have now has a broken switch on it. So the only way to turn it on and off is to plug it in or unplug it. Not very safe if you ask me...

Since I have put the stat counter up, I have gotten a few visits. Mostly from people like family that I know, but I keep getting a few people that visit using the link on my mission page. They are the Anonymous visitors you see on the map, from Austin Texas. I think that they are just the administrators from the page, checking to make sure that I haven't posted anything inappropriate here. But it would be nice if maybe they were people I knew, who I haven't been able to get a hold of from the mission. By the way, in case you didn't know, I'm LDS (or Mormon) and I was a missionary in the Mexico Veracruz Mission. I have a lot of good memories from those two years. Maybe sometime I'll share a few from my journal or put up some pictures or something.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Transformers and other stuff

We saw Transformers the other day with Ryan and Becky Jo. Ryan has already seen it 3 time cause he likes it so much, and this is still the first week! I can understand the motivation to see it more than once in the theaters though. If someone invited me to see it with them, I'd go. In a heartbeat. But not on my own. I can wait to buy it on DVD to watch it again on my own. But I have to say that not counting Star Wars 4, 5 and 6, LOTR and Superman, it would be in the top ten fav movies section. Even Rachel enjoyed it, and she never really got into Transformers as a kid.

As a side note though, we did have to pay for babysitting. I just couldn't bring myself to drive from Tacoma to Maple Valley to the theater in Federal Way to Maple Valley to Tacoma in one night. I drive for a living, but sorry, I don't like to drive THAT much. Even though babysitting is soooo expensive now. I think we got charged $5/hr for babysitting! Holy schnikes!

Also I have been playing the Hangman game I put up and it's not easy! The last word I got was "cholestasis." Who knows what that word eves is!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Fourth of July

I have to say that spending the fourth at my parents house is the best. Family, friends, food, fireworks. The four F's of the Fourth. That's kind of funny. Anyway, since the Indian reservation is pretty close to where we live, we usually all stop there to get some good fireworks. Not the stupid ones that they sell on the side of the road or in the grocery store parking lots, but real ones that you can't get legally off the reservation unless you are a professional. So I dropped $100 and got artillery shells, the kind that are launched out of a tube, shoot straight up into the sky, explode into a bunch of different colors and shapes. I got a few different kinds, cause anyone knows that you don't put all your eggs into one basket. What happens if you buy one kind but don't like the effects? You can't take them back... Better to buy a few different kinds and see what happens. All in all I had 64 shots I think, or about $1.56 per shot. Not bad when you consider that they originally want like $3-$4 per shot. We had some good times trying to get the best deals too. Usually you go around to all the different stands and say, "So and so down the isle has the same thing but for $5 less. What are you going to do about it?" But this year the Indians weren't having any of that. A few of them even got pretty mad when we tried to haggle them down. One finally told us that if we found such a great deal somewhere else, that we should go back to that guy and get our stuff from him, cause she wasn't going to go that low "so get out of here and stop wasting my time!" We were kind of shocked. Anyway, we ended up buying most of out fireworks from white guys, or maybe they were Indians like I'm an Indian, four generations back on my mothers side, and five on my dads... But the were the ones giving the best deals, so we bought from them.
Ammon was not a huge fan of all the noise, my mother-in-law brought him out and was watching the show for a few minutes, but decided to take the baby back inside, cause he got fussy. I think he likes the lights, but not the explosions. And I made a lot of explosions, up to the point of lighting off 7 shells at once. That makes for a lot of BOOM and a big light show. Anyway, my fireworks lasted for about two and a half hours, more than enough time to put on a good show for everyone else. I was pretty happy with it. We all had a pretty good time, and came home VERY tired. I only wish I had taken some pictures and video of the show I put on. But I was too involved with everything else to remember to do that. Oh well, there's always next year...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Making My Blog More Visitor Friendly

So now that people might be coming to my blog to read the wisdom of the ages, I thought it would be appropriate to make my blog more interesting. Not that what I have to say isn't interesting, but, well I thought I would make the page itself even more exciting. So I have added a few dodads here and there, a way to easily translate the blog into another language (since I have a few friends that might want to read it who don't speak english) and a hit counter at the bottom to see how many unique people visit my blog. I thought it would be nice to know how many people came to visit and read what I have to say. By the way, do you know how difficult it was to find a free stat counter on the web? EASY! But do you know how hard it is to find a free stat counter that doesn't put a bunch of ads on your page, or link your page to some random online store or something? HARD! I spent about 30 minutes and signed up for a bunch of different free counters before I found the one I went with. Anyway, that's not really newsworthy.
I want to add the copter game to the blog (mostly for me) so if anyone who reads this knows where I can get the code or whatever, I'd be grateful! I think might just be addicted to that stupid little game...

Sleeping Habits

So I put my son Ammon down to sleep tonight and he likes to sleep kind of on his side. Not quite on his back, and not really on his side, but somewhere in the middle. Anyway, I put him in the crib just now and he sort of rolled himself up into a ball, put his knees up into his chest with his feet suspended in midair. I don't know how he can hold that position for very long, but he does, for hours sometimes. Then what was funny, after I went to put Ammon down, I went to check in on my wife, and she is sleeping with her knees bent in kind of the same way. So both my wife and my son have similar sleeping positions.
Mine, I'm not sure of since I'm asleep when I would be able to check. All I do know is that I tend to snore like a buzz saw when I'm sleeping on my back and quiet when I'm on my side. How do I know this you ask? Well, my wife will wake me up and tell me to turn over after I've woken her up with my snoring. Apparently I have woken Ammon up in the other room with my snoring, so you know it's loud.
And now to completely change the subject, apparently people are going to start reading my blog now. I got one reply from some unknown person, and I have given out the web address to a few friends and family. I guess I probably shouldn't publish anything that I don't want anyone else to read. But I'm not worried, since anything I say here isn't anything I wouldn't say out loud anyway. This is just an easy way to keep track of my thoughts. So I guess I'm alright with other people reading this, just don't do it when I'm looking, cause that's weird.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday Morning

Well, guess how much of my to do list I actually got done. If you guessed none of it, you're wrong. If you guessed all of it, you're also incorrect. I got done three things on that list. I bet you can't guess which ones...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Morning

Today I have lots of things I need to do:

First item on the list is the dishes.

Then the laundry.

After that, I need to repot my grapefruit plant. Yes, I know I live in Washington, but I'm gonna try to grow one indoors anyway :-b

I also have to fix the weed-eater that a guy at church wants me to fix. I've only put that off for 3 weeks now...

I need to run to the Hardware store and get some more lumber and some chain to build a porch swing and keep working on Ammon's dresser.

I have to mow the back yard.

I've got to finish pruning the hedges. That takes forever, even though I've got a nice electric trimmer.

I have to build corner shelves in Ammon's room so that Rachel can put more junk on them...

I have to read through and prepare my Sunday School lesson.

I probably should look at the Saturn to try and figure out what is making it rumble SO LOUDLY THAT I CAN HARDLY THINK!!! But I really don't want to.

I have to finish filling out those crazy surveys for the University of Michigan, but at least I get paid for that ;-)

There are undoubtedly more things that should be on this list, but I can't really think of any others right now. I'll try to get as much done as I can, but it's only 24 hours. And the last time I checked, I was only one man...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Where I Work

I don't remember if I have mentioned this, but I work for FedEx Express. I think I did somewhere in this thing, but then, who knows? Anyway, that's where I work. I am what is know as a swing driver, which means that I have to know most of the routes in the station, so that I can fill in on them if someone calls in sick or something. Today, I went to pick up a bulk stop at a medical shipping company downtown. I drove our biggest regular truck, a 900, and filled it up. This is what it looked like (more or less):
It isn't very fun loading all those boxes into your truck, knowing that you are just going to have to unload the all over again in 15 minutes. The only thing that makes going there worthwhile is the free vending machines. I always get a couple of cans of orange juice or apple juice when I go there.
My boss was gone this last weekend. He took Friday and Monday off, so we went ahead and toilet papered his office while he was gone. The funny thing about that is that he already has an actual toilet in his office just sitting there, not hooked up of course. So we thought that the toilet paper added a much needed boost to the office decor. We also used the label maker and made a tag saying "Men's Room" and stuck that on his office door. But we put toilet paper everywhere. I taped it to the ceiling and ran it through the blinds and tacked it to his pegboard from one side of the room to the other. I thought I had done a pretty good job, but my boss said that he was disappointed because it only took him like 15 minutes to clean up. And most of that was spent scraping the mens room tag off his door. Lame. We only had one roll of TP though. Next time I'll know and bring some of my own...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Crib

Today I finally finished the baby crib. It is in Ammon's room right now and he is sleeping in it. He is not sleeping well, but I think that has more to do with the house being so muggy and hot than with the new sleeping arrangements. Rachel said that she really likes it except for the couple of blemishes where the wood didn't take the stain very well. I thought it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself:
P.S. ignore the clutter around the crib, it is there because we had to move stuff to fit it in. It takes up about 1/4 of the entire room.

I made it out of poplar and birch plywood, so hopefully it will last a while. It is a convert-a-crib, so if we don't have another baby by the time Ammon is ready to move out of it, it can be set up as a toddler bed as well as a full size bed. All in all, a good project, and it only took me 3 months of part time work every fourth or fifth day! So really about two weeks altogether. Now i have to get started on the changing table...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ammon is 4 months today!

Well today Ammon is exactly four months old. He is growing fast, faster than I think I want him to. It's kind of hard sometimes to see how fast everything is changing. Today he went in for his four month checkup and we found out that he is growing normally. His height is a little under average, but when you think about the family he comes from, that is kind of a given. I'm the tallest member of my immediate family at a staggering 5'10". But he is gaining weight nicely and his physiological development is progressing normally. He is vocalizing frequently now, and prefers to sit up instead of lay down. Or is it lie down? I don't remember right now. Rachel has decided it was ok for him to start on solid foods now, so earlier this evening she opened a bottle of applesauce (I think it was applesauce) and he got a few mouthfuls down. He wasn't quite sure about the whole solid food thing at first, but he seemed to be enjoying it at the end. I tried to give him some mashed up banana like 10 days ago and Rachel wasn't too happy about that. But today since the pediatrician said it was ok, now it's ok. Fine.
Rachel has been considering selling our current house for one that is closer to where she works and where Ammon is during the time when we are both at work. She says that she feels like she live in one place and sleeps in another. My parents have taken quite a liking to the idea and have been looking up all the listings for waterfront property in the area. I wish we had that kind of money to spend. It is one of my life's goals to eventually live on a small to medium size lake, where hopefully I will be able to build the exact house I want, kind of like my parents did. But to get started, my dad found one place that he is really excited about. It is a long skinny house on kind of a smallish pond/lake called Lake Killarney. We went to the house last night to check it out. My dad says that the place has lots of potential. If only we had the money to take full advantage of it. It really is a nice lot, and it has sort of a private lagoon. It is not classic waterfront in my mind, but it is waterfront. It looks like someone about 50 years ago took a backhoe and scooped out a bunch of land in back of their house and the lake just "happened" to fill in the empty space. So I don't think that it was originally a waterfront lot, but it is now. There are a few negatives though, apart from the fact that we don't have enough money to buy it. 1: its on septic. I hate dealing with septic and would want to connect to the sewer. 2: the house is straight out of the 60's. I mean architecture, style, feel, everything. 3: the lake is more giant pond than lake. It is shallow towards the shore, then deeper then in the middle it gets shallow again. Not much of a swimming lake, in my mind. I suppose you could do laps... If my parents wanted to give us the money to make up the difference I might consider living there. But it isn't somewhere I want to go out of my way to purchase. Maybe if I saw it during the daytime...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More pictures of Ammon

I think these picture of Ammon are some of the best ones yet! These were taken at a wedding we attended, by one of my good friends who also happened to be the photographer at the wedding. It was kind of funny to see her spend as much time as she did taking pics of Ammon instead of the wedding party. I'm not complaining at all though.

Our First Date

Tonight, Rachel and I left Ammon with someone other than family for the first time. She knows them real well, but I don't. They seemed to know what they were doing though. I called my mom to ask her what the going rate for babysitters is since my youngest sister is frequently called upon to do that sort of thing. She said $3.50 an hour for just one kid. I don't know if that is high or low or average. Anyway, for our first night out together without Ammon, we went to a movie and dinner. We saw Meet the Robinsons in 3-D and that was pretty neat. I enjoyed how the special effects didn't really detract or take away from the movie story at all. I have seen a few other 3-D movies and they always try to wow you with the effects at the expense of the story. But not this one, I was pleasantly surprised. I will probably end up buying the movie when it comes out on DVD.
Then for dinner we went to Billy McHales and I had a rib-eye and Rachel opted for soup and salad. She got a weird soup that she didn't like and also didn't eat. She also decided to go sing in the karaoke bar, so I ended up eating most of my diner alone. Sad. But it made Rachel happy, since our karaoke system has been down since out stereo blew up. She enjoys singing very much, so I am going to have to do something about getting a new stereo pretty quick. That and it's no fun watching movies with the sound coming through the TV.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Week Later...

As our story continues, there is nothing new to report. Rachel has started her new job, and she seems pretty happy with it for the most part. I am almost finished with Ammon's crib, and have started on the dresser, but with the way the schedule is working out, I don't see that getting done any time soon. Ammon has started to laugh more regularly, and be more interactive instead of reactive. He also slept through the night for the first time on Wednesday and that was great, let me tell you. Getting a full nights sleep is something I've needed for a while now. Hopefully it's something we can expect a little more regularly from now on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Don't Have A Title

Today I don't have a title. There are a few things I would like to talk about. First: overly emotional cousins. I just don't understand sometimes why people act the way they do. I asked one of my cousins today if her brother was going to show up at the event we were at, and she said no. My brother who was standing right beside her said that no he wasn't going to be there because he was working. I said "That figures" and then she got mad and said something to the effect of "whatever, I don't want to hear any of your negativity toward members of my family" or some such nonsense and I was totally blow away by the hostility in her attitude and voice. My cousin is always working, and doesn't make it to a lot of family functions, so it figures that the reason he was not in attendance was that he was working. Anyway, I didn't quite know how to respond to that much negativity, seeing as how I really didn't understand where it was coming from. Maybe she thought that I was criticizing the her brothers absence or something. So I said that one of my brothers was not going to be there either, that he was at a Mariners game instead. I don't know, maybe I was trying to level the playing field or something. Anyway, I turned away before I could say anything more that I might regret later. She just has problems with me and I am tired of it.
So that was a real positive start to the evening, but things got better when I saw Wendy. I didn't even think that she was going to be there. But I should have guessed, since she has been the photographer at all the other events. I have been trying to get her to come over to take pictures of Ammon for weeks, but she hasn't made it yet. She's hasn't been at the top of her game lately. Anyway, it was good to see her and catch up on life and her kids lives. She did manage to get some very good shots of Ammon while we were there though. I'll have her send me the files so I can post some of them. She just seems to have a way of taking the perfect picture. I guess that's what makes people good photographers.
I was also able to catch up with some other cousins that I don't see very often and was able to confirm that indeed Dale and Jen are pregnant. My grandmother is going to have a new great-grandchild to brag to all her friends about. I have a feeling that they are going to start coming more quickly now. Three of my brothers are married and three of the Curfmans are married, so that makes eight married grandchildren, including me. Anyway, Jen is seven weeks along. I remember when Rachel was seven weeks along. She was always worried about getting morning sickness but never did. Apparently Jen is having the same luck so far, so good for them. Seven weeks and you are still trying to get used to the idea that you are going to have a baby. It's pretty exciting, and kind of nerve-racking and scary at the same time. Dale said something funny though; he said, "We had been trying to get pregnant for a while now, and we were starting to get worried that there was something wrong with one of us." I looked at him with a wry smile and said, "A while huh. Rachel and I were married five years before we were able to have a baby, so don't give me a while. Five years is a while. a few months is a drop in the bucket." But I guess from his perspective a few months was a significant portion of their marriage; they have only been married for about a year now. But we had a good laugh about it. I wish they lived closer, Dale and Jeff and their wives. I like them and would like to see more of them.
Then with some other cousins we started talking about women in high heels. I just don't get them, at least for the girls. For the guy, high heels push the girls' butts up and their chests out. So heels=good for guys. But on the other hand, for girls, they are uncomfortable to wear and the shoes distort their posture and their feet. So heels=bad for girls. And yet women always wear them whenever they dress up for any occasion. They just can't really be comfortable in those shoes. The things people do...

Thursday, May 10, 2007


It seems like the only time I have to do this is when Rachel and Ammon are sleeping. That is really the only time I get to myself anymore. Not that I really regret it, but I find I can't get through books like I used to, or get stuff done around the house or in the shop anymore. I guess that is what happens when you have a kid... your life ceases to be your own. I think that's ok though. For the most part.

I think that another good thing about having to do all my own stuff after everyone is asleep is that I have a whole day of things to choose from to write about. A whole day's worth of inspiration, if you will. Today I think the most exciting thing is that Ammon has really started to use his hands for grabbing, not just hitting. Not hitting, but like he didn't know how to grab at things when he wanted to interact with them, so he had to bonk them around with closed fists. Not much you can do if you can't figure out how to open you hands and grab things. And it's not just the clutching reflex either....
He also has started to giggle. He has always been a very happy kid, smiling all the time and making happyish sounds, but just recently he has started to giggle. It's cute. And exciting at the same time, to see him growing and progressing like he is.
Ah, the joys of bing a father.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today the Second

So I just got home from work, and my back is killing me. Tonight during the package re-load, I was assigned to work in the cans. The cans are bad. They make me mad. I was not glad. The cans are about 8'x10' and packages come down the belt too fast for any one person to scan them AND load them at the same time. Especially when you get ten or more in a row that weigh 100lbs or more. That is what I hate most about working for FedEx Express. Working in the cans. I can hardly believe that we hire people to just work in the cans. They come to work for about two hours and just work in the cans. Maybe tomorrow I will take a picture and post it so I have proof as to how bad it really is, just in case someone out there doesn't believe me.

Now on to happier things...

I was able to mow the lawn today. That made me feel good to get out and work in the yard. It was pretty nice today and I got the lawn all mowed nice and pretty, I whacked away at the photinias today and made some good progress there. They have been so out of control lately. But they make for a great hedge. I also did some repair work on the stream/pond I built in the backyard. Al in all, a productive day. Also, the stain has dried on the crib parts so tomorrow I will try to find some time to go out and treat them with some polyurethane and finish that project up so I can start on the changing table/dresser. Ammon is three months old and he still doesn't have a real crib yet...
That's ok though because Rachel still doesn't let him sleep on his own. She will put him in the travel crib we have and then put that right beside the bed, but as soon as he starts fussing, she picks him right up. I think he has her trained. But all that will change once the crib is done.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Today the First

Well, I guess it's actually the 8th and it might be the 9th by the time finish, but it is my first official post to my new blog, so I think the title is appropriate.

A little about me and my family: My name is Nathan, I am 27 years old, my birthday is in January and my SSN is #########. Can I also interest you in bank account numbers or credit cards? Anyway, I currently work for Fedex Express, and no I can't get you any really good deals. So don't ask. I am also trying to get up the nerve to go back to school and finish Calculus so that way I can stop working for Fedex Express and get into a job that I might actually like to do...

My wife's name is Rachel. She is also 27, older by 1.5 months. She works for US Bank and yes, she can get you some good deals. That is her job, and she is really good at it. She enjoys singing, chick-flicks and dumb movies, and being a mom. And shopping.

My son's name is Ammon. It is is pronounced like hammond, but without the h and the d. He was born 3 months ago, and is growing up very quickly. I can hardly believe how fast it's going by. He doesn't fit into the same clothes he fit into last week, but I still see him that small and so I still try to put him into those clothes.

Well, that's my small family (so far). I am not sure what else to put into this post since I don't know exactly who is going to be reading it. I just thought it would be nice to put some thoughts down once in a while and I am not much for writing in a journal. I am however on the internet, and so maybe this blog will inspire me to be better at the whole journal thing. I don't know. What ever.