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Monthly Archives: June 2007

Seven Years in Riverton

On July 1, 2000, Robin and I moved in to our first home in Riverton. It’s really hard to believe that it’s been seven years since we bought this house. When we moved in, we didn’t have enough furniture to fill half of the bedrooms. Now we’re bursting at the seams with furniture, clothes and toys. Back then, we only had a one child, one-year-old Parley. Now we have three children with another one on the way. When we came to this neighborhood, I had just gotten my first “real” job out of college. Today, I own my own company and make six figures. (Okay, that’s not true — unless you count my own company as Lambert Video Productions, and calculate six figures in terms of cents not dollars.)

Life has been good to us over the past seven years, and I feel very grateful that we were able to purchase this wonderful starter home relatively early in our marriage.

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Over the last seven years, we have worked hard to make improvements to the home. Sometimes we made changes because we wanted to, other times it was forced upon us due to something breaking down.

During this time, we have replaced numerous appliances, including: the water softener, water heater, dishwasher, range, oven and hood, refrigerator, disposal unit, microwave, toaster and TV.

Other changes between July 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 include:

Décor
New draperies in living room, front room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms
Painted living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and girls room (twice)
Put up wallpaper and painted Parley’s room

Kitchen
Replaced metal banister with wood banister and replaced the baseboards
Replaced kitchen sink and faucet (twice on faucet)
Removed carpet and linoleum and installed a laminate kitchen floor
Refinished kitchen cabinets and replaced light fixture

Bathrooms
Remodeled the entire master bathroom
Replaced hall bathroom faucet, repainted, added border and retiled part of tub

Garage and Yard
Replaced garage door, garage door opener and springs
Installed secondary water and new sprinkler control system
Replaced mailbox
Removed five dead trees and re-sodded most of front lawn
Repaired five different sections of fence and re-painted entire fence
Dug up and planted front flower bed

Whew! It makes me tired just thinking about all the work we’ve done! We’ve sunk lots of money, time and effort into improving, decorating and repairing our home to make it more beautiful and comfortable. It’s been a lot of work, but a lot of fun too! Our home has increased in value by about 60% over the past 7 years, mostly because of this crazy housing market, but partly because of our work and effort.

Who knows how much longer we’ll stay here before we need to find something larger to accomodate our growing family. But we’re very grateful for the past seven years here in Riverton!

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Harry Potter Mania

Okay, okay, I have to admit that I’m counting down the days until the final Harry Potter book, “The Deathly Hallows.” Three weeks from tonight, I will be at a local bookstore to get my hands on a copy at midnight. I am quite excited about the movie as well, but I already know what happens in “The Order of the Phoenix,” while the “The Deathly Hallows” will take us into uncharted territory. Plus, it will be the end of the series, where many questions will be answered (hopefully).

I have to admit that I check the Harry Potter fan websites a couple of times a week when I have a spare minute, and my desktop wallpaper came from the Harry Potter movie site.

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I even found the cover artwork for the British version of the book, which shows Ron, Harry and Hermione in a room full of jewels with, presumably, Dobby on Harry’s back. (I’m nerdy, aren’t I?)

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For me, July will be Harry Potter month. I know, it’s just a book/movie, but it’s so much fun. I’m stoked because I finish my last class on July 19, just in time to ditch the textbooks and dive into the world of J.K. Rowling for one last time…

Here’s what I think will happen:

  • Harry will find the horcruxes with the help of Ron and Hermione
  • He will face Voldemort and will vanquish him (perhaps not kill him, but remove him as a threat)
  • Severus Snape will be vindicated as a good guy, but will die in an effort to save Harry’s life
  • A couple of important characters will die — I’m guessing possibly Hagrid and Mr. Weasley?

I’m not sure how Rowling is going to wrap up all the loose ends satisfactorily in 784 pages, but I intend to relish each one.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2007 in Popular Culture

 

I Want an iPhone!

Have you ever just wanted something — not because you really need it, but just it’s really cool? That’s where I am right now with the iPhone from Apple. It’s being released this Friday, June 29, and it looks SOOOO cool. I would LOVE to have one of these babies. It’s an awesome video iPod, a sweet cell phone with the ability to browse the internet and check email, not to mention the 2.0 megapixel digital camera in it!

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I mean look at it. It’s a thing of beauty. There are some awesome videos that demonstrate the incredible features of the iPhone on Apple’s website, and it makes me want one in the worst way. You see, my iPod Nano has died again (it came back to life briefly, but the battery is shorted out after spending 30 minutes in the washing machine). I do miss having my iPod, but admitedly, I CAN live without it. In addition, my cell phone has not been working very well lately and I’ve been hankering for a phone and PDA that I can use to surf the web and check email from wherever I am (althought that would further my somewhat unhealthy addiction to email, and now blogging).

I can think of lots of reasons why I it would be cool to have one — it’s just that the price is prohibitive right now. It’s $499 for a 4GB phone and $599 for an 8 GB phone. Yikes! Also, the cheapest plan from AT&T is $59.99 per month, which includes 450 anytime minutes, 5000 night and weekend minutes and unlimited data (website browsing, email, google maps, etc.) That would end up being about $10 more per month than I’m paying for two phones (Robin and mine).

Of course, my scheming mind thinks that maybe Robin doesn’t need a cell phone that much (she rarely uses it) and that maybe I could get her on a cheap, pre-paid plan for emergency calls. Still, the $500 for the phone plus activation fees and taxes is pretty tough to swallow, especially when I think of all the other things that I could do with that money (not to mention the fact that I don’t really have the money anyway!)

Perhaps I could find some things to sell around my house… anyone want a gently used treadmill? Or perhaps I could start selling my plasma. 🙂

 P.S. Here’s an update on an earlier post. My lawmower is back and the repair shop fixed it again for free. So I guess I won’t need to get any cows for my backyard, Andrea.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2007 in Technology

 

Controlling Your Universe

So on Saturday night, I went to over Redbox at the McDonald’s near my home to pick up a movie. As I was browsing through the options, I saw the new Adam Sandler movie called “Click” and despite the little voice in my head telling me not to, I rented it anyway. I should have listened to that little voice. Call it my gut or simply the knowledge that my wife wouldn’t be too keen on it — I was foolish to ignore that nagging feeling born of past experience.

You see, I have seen four or five Adam Sandler movies in my life, and every time I have watched them, I have thought — “Wow, that movie sure had a lot of objectionable material.” Filled with casual swearing, crude sexual / potty humor and just pain stupid, over-the-top characters and situations, these films are what pass for comedy in today’s word. They’re not cleverly written or witty — it is simply low-brow humor for those who find flatulence hilarious or think that children swearing is funny. No thanks.

But for some inexplicable reason, I thought this movie would be different. Duh! It wasn’t. I was attracted to the basic premise (which I’ll discuss below) and it had an okay message about putting family first in your life (yadda, yadda, yadda), but it was unnecessarily peppered with vulgar references and embarrassing situations. It’s definitely not a movie I’d want to watch with my bishop! When it was over (and yes, I’m sorry to say I didn’t just turn it off and put in “The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd”), I resolved to avoid movies produced by Adam Sandler in the future.

Don’t take this as a confession of any grievous sin — it’s just an expression of frustration that I didn’t listen to my gut. As they say, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them.”

We humans are so foolish sometimes. We know the consequences of our actions, but we often choose incorrectly nevertheless. My son Parley was complaining the other day that he didn’t want to wear sunscreen when we went swimming. Since my wife is so dutiful in protecting our little ones against the UV rays with SPF 30 sun block, Par has never really had a bad sunburn. I was tempted to just let him get fried so he could learn from the experience, but I didn’t. Interestingly though, even though I’ve been burned (literally) by this same mistake in the past, I have ignored my gut and gotten burned again. How lame! They say the definition insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

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Anyway, back to the premise of “Click.” Adam Sandler’s character is given a universal remote control that can pause, rewind and fast forward his life. It also allows him to revisit different parts of his life through a menu screen, so he can see various episodes in his life (including his own birth) with perfect clarity. Now wouldn’t that be cool? With my hectic, busy life, I love the idea of having a remote control that would let me pause the rest of the world while I get caught up. Just think, you would never be late to anything again! If you were running behind, you could just put everyone on pause and get where you needed to go, or finish up the work you didn’t have time to do.

I also like the idea of an “Undo” button for life. Isn’t it great that if you make a mistake while typing, you can hit “Undo” and go back to various points of time in the past? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the capability in life? Have you ever said something unkind to someone and immediately wished you could recall it? In just about every argument I have had with Robin, I wish I could just go back to the beginning and use greater restraint. This would work well too for car accidents, personal injuries, careless words and stupid Adam Sandler movies that you wish you hadn’t watched!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2007 in Spirituality

 

The Mormon Miracle

On Friday night, Robin and I decided to make the two hour drive down to Manti to visit Robin’s maternal grandparents and attend the Mormon Miracle Pageant. After stopping for refueling and dinner in Nephi (complete with a 30-minute wait in line at the Wendy’s there), we arrived in this unique town in Sanpete County that is adorned with one of the largest and most beautiful temples in the world. The temple dominates the city and seems to permeate everything the people do.

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Upon arriving, we saved our seats with blankets and went to visit Robin’s grandpa, Max Call. (Her grandmother is in the Gunnison hospital and we hope to visit her before we head back today.) We then drove back to the temple grounds, watched the pageant and then, at about 11:30 drove back to Robin’s grandparent’s home to crash for the night. (Our kids were SOOO tired…)

Anyway, I haven’t seen the pageant for about 10 years and they have made some major changes to it, including more sophisticated sets, better special effects, more elaborate costumes and better staging. The best change is a new scene that depicts the Savior’s visit to the Americas, which was very moving. Of course, the essence of the pageant (including most of the original narration and music) remains unchanged.

Pageants are just that… pageants. The “acting” consists of waving one’s arms about and totally exaggerating one’s movements so that people can see that you’re the one who is talking. It’s pretty melodramatic and larger-than-life, and it takes a little getting used to.

The principal narrators, a man and a woman, are very dramatic in their readings and the script uses flowery language that is uncommon today. And many parts of the recording is downright “roll-your-eyes” cheesey, but in a campy, endearing sort of way.

Now, don’t take that the wrong way — I don’t want to sound snobby or condescending (too late) — I enjoyed the pageant very much. There is a very sweet spiritual feeling on the temple grounds, sitting under the stars surrounded by 16,000+ people who are watching a cast of 500 youth and adults share the powerful doctrines of the restoration in this unique way. It was a wonderful spiritual experience, and my heart was filled with gratitude that I could share it with my little family.

The last time we saw the Pageant was about 10 years ago. And we’ll probably wait another 10 years before we see it again. Just think, Parley will be 18 years old and will be getting ready to go on his mission. Brianna will be nearly 16 and Lily will be a Beehive (13). The yet-unnamed baby will be 9. I wonder where we will be in life at that time…

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2007 in Spirituality

 

Anniversary at Unishippers

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On June 22, 2007, I celebrated my three-year anniversary with Unishippers, a franchise organization headquartered in Salt Lake City that resells shipping services to small to medium-sized businesses. Our business is to basically help these business customers get the best shipping rates, customer service and billing options. We don’t actually drive the trucks or fly the planes that get the packages where they need to go — we have contracts with a large network of shipping carriers to do that. By consolidating several smaller shipping accounts under one large account, we can get volume discounts from our major partners, including DHL, Roadway, UPS Freight and BAX.

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My job is to handle the internal communications between the franchisor and the franchisees, along with a variety of customer-facing marketing efforts and public relations. I manage the content of three different websites and write / edit three different newsletters. It’s generally challenging and interesting work that I enjoy.

Anyway, I feel very lucky to work for this company, which this year is celebrating 20 years in business. Unishippers has been a great place to work. I enjoy my co-workers very much, and I have a great boss whose demand for excellence has brought my quality of work to another level.

The company provides me with a fair salary with regular annual increases, a generous bonus plan, health/dental insurance, a very good 401(K) plan (100% match up to 4% and fully vested immediately), a good working environment and great company parties. It also has also provided me with numerous opportunities for professional developoment, the chance to use my talents in a variety of ways and the opportunity to visit cities in more than a dozen different states.

In short, Unishippers has been the right place for me. Prior to coming to Unishippers, I had been pursuing multiple job options, and I’m very grateful to have ended up there. I have grown in so many ways, both professionally and personally. I’m not sure what the future will bring, but I can definitely say that the past three years have been a true blessing.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Dumb Lawnmower

Early this spring, I pulled out the lawnmower after a long winter’s rest and coaxed it into life again by pulling numerous times on its chord. Then I noticed that the drive portion of the mower wasn’t working anymore, which means I would actually have to push the thing. D’oh! So I took it into a shop and they said it would take at least three weeks for them to even look at it. Well, five weeks passed and they finally called to say that it was a broken belt and that I could now pick up my mower ($7.99 for the belt, $50 for labor). Within 45 minutes of getting it home, the belt broke again. Isn’t that fun? So last night, I had the fun of mowing extremely long lawn with a mower that won’t move under its own power… Needless to say, I was sweating pretty well when I finished.

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So now I have a decision to make. Call the repair shop and demand answers? Chalk it up to a lemon mower since this has happened before? Buy a new lawn mower? Or just suck it up and mow without the drive for the rest of the summer since I probably need the exercise anyway. What do you think?

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2007 in Random Thoughts