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: