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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Pioneer Day Fun

I love holidays. And I always want to get the most out of a day off of work. When I have a “bonus” day, I like to be sure I use my time wisely. I hate sleeping in, puttering around the house, running errands and basically pittling the day away. Some find this to be a very enjoyable way to spend the holiday, but not me. I like to feel like I got every ounce of fun out of the day. Thankfully, my wife and children put up with me.

So when Pioneer Day came this week, I was anxious to get the most out of the day. For those of my vast reading audience who are not from Utah, Pioneer Day occurs in Utah every 24th of July to celebrate the arrival of the first Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. With Independence Day just three weeks before, it’s fun to have yet another holiday in July. Of course, not every business in Utah is closed or offers the day off to employees. I’ve been fortunate to work for companies who have offered it, at least as a floating holiday.

Pioneer Day 2008 started out by getting up early and loading the kids in the car. We were on the road by about 7:45, which is really early for us. The rest of our day went like this:

  • Eat breakfast of Sausage McMuffins purchased at the drive-through of McDonald’s.
  • Hike to the top of Ensign Peak to see a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley (fun, despite the vertical climb and the constant complaints of my oldest – why should he complain, he wasn’t the one carrying the baby!)
  • Watch the Pioneer Day parade at the northern entrance to Liberty Park (although we didn’t have the best seats, the kids enjoyed seeing the floats and hearing the bands.)
  • Eat orange creamscicles while walking through the vendor food booths and smelling all the delicious ethnic foods (the pioneer day celebration includes pioneers from all nations!)
  • Play in the Liberty Park water playground and the Seven Canyons fountain.
  • Enjoy lunch at Chin WahChinese Restaurant in Sandy (Parley loves Chinese food; Lily hates it, so we got to deal with the two extremes).
  • Watch a movie at the dollar theater – “Nim’s Island” starring Jodie Foster as a agoraphobic writer who travels across the world to help a young girl on a remote island. It was fairly cute and Robin and I enjoyed Jodie Foster’s comedic performance, recalling her classic roles in “Maverick” and “Freaky Friday” (the original version, not the Lindsey Lohan remake…)
  • Drive to Snowbird to walk around and play by the stream (by this time everyone was getting tired but I wasn’t done having fun yet, so they grumpily humored me. It was about 20 degrees cooler up there, so that was good.)
  • Eat hamburgers hot off the BBQ with fresh tomatos.
  • View a church video about the pioneers while eating Double Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream.
  • Light off a $10 pack of fireworks in the back yard before putting the kids to bed.
  • Watch “Fool’s Gold” DVD with Robin, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew Mcconaughey (I admit, I slept through some of this due to the busy nature of the day.)

Anyway, it was a great, exhausting day. Unfortunately, I had to go back to work the next day. Oh well, we had a great time.

Next up, Labor Day…

Here are a few pictures from our hike to Ensign Peak.

 

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2008 in Family

 

No Soliciting!

Part of my job at the bank is to prospect to business owners to talk with about their current banking relationships and upcoming financing needs. I try to dedicate a certain amount of time each week to making cold calls, either in person or on the phone. Sometimes I come across some funny “No Soliciting” signs. Here’s one that I recently encountered that I especially enjoyed.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

A Case of the Shingles

So the house has been on the market for over three months now, and despite about 40 showings, we haven’t gotten an offer yet. It feels like going on tons of first dates and not being able to get a second date, let alone a marriage proposal. You begin to feel like something is wrong with you (or, in this case, the house). A month ago we decided to drop the asking price to see what would happen. It seemed to increase the number of showings but didn’t bring in any offers.

Our realtor (a friend of mine from high school) had been telling us all along that our old roof could possibly be driving people away. But before fixing it, we decided to wait for a few months to see if we could sell it without doing too much. This week I finally decided to just do it. I got a good bid from a roofer, ordered the singles and scheduled the re-cover of my old roof. It took two guys about eight hours over two days to do the job — and they did a good job. We used 30-year architectural shingles in a similar color to our old shingles. Check it out…

Pretty exciting, huh? Next on our list: new carpet for the entire house. It’s coming this week and I get to move all my furniture and tear out all the old carpet and pad before they install it. And then, if our STILL doesn’t sell, we’ll have a nice new roof and new carpet to enjoy!

BTW our house just had a birthday. It turned 30 years old. I found a picture on the county tax website of my house when it was first built. Robin calls it our house’s “baby picture.” I’m including it here alongside a picture of our house as of today (with the new roof).

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2008 in Family

 

Quotable Quotes

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a date with Lily May, my four-year-old daughter, in which we went to the lake at Daybreak and walked around and also got ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery at The District (a Cold Stone ripoff). Anyway, at the end of the date I told her: “Lily, do you know what my favorite part of the date was? Being with you.” She smiled and said, “Do you know what my favorite part of the date was, dad? Ice cream.”

Last week as we were on a family vacation at Bear Lake, my nine-year-old son gave me the ultimate backhanded compliment. He said: “Dad, when I grow up I want to be like you in pretty much every way… except for the blubber.” 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2008 in Family

 

Where have all the bloggers gone?

About one year ago, blogging became popular in my family. My wife and I and several sisters-in-law started blogs and contributed to them regularly. (Two of my brothers and even my son Parley also started blogs but didn’t add much to them after a few entries.) Now, after about a year, the blogging fad seems to be wearing off a bit. Or perhaps these bloggers (including myself) are simply taking a break. Of the blogs that I read regularly, few have added anything over the past month. And I haven’t done much better. So where have all the bloggers gone?

I think there are a few factors that contribute to our lack of blogging:

1. Summer is here. Who wants to be sitting in front of a computer when there are all kinds of outdoor activities to enjoy? Not to mention that the kids are out of school and so there is less time.

2. Blogging has lost its novelty. At first, it was really cool to see my words and pictures on the Internet, now it’s not quite as exciting.

3. Losing steam. What to write about? Does anyone care? Does anyone read it? What if I don’t feel like writing anything? I don’t want to feel guilty for not writing, I already have enough things to feel guilty about.

One thing I’m sure about blogging: if you don’t contribute regularly, you don’t give people a reason to continue to visit your site. And if they don’t have a reason to come back, your readership drops and you write less because fewer people are reading… It’s a vicious cycle.

In short, I find this blogging phenomenon to be very interesting. I plan to continue blogging since it gives me a creative outlet and is a good way to do family history. But I always want to have fun doing it. So I promise that my next post will be more FUN!

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2008 in Random Thoughts

 

Die-it or Live-it?

Two months ago, I started yet another weight loss contest my my friend, Mike Peterson. We set it up so that if we missed our weekly goal, we would have to pay each other $15 per pound over the goal. With weigh in’s every Friday, I was constantly motivated not to have to pay out the money. And so far I’ve been lucky. I’ve met my goal most of the time and when I haven’t, Mike hasn’t either so we decided not to penalize each other. The results are encouraging. I dropped from 197 to 179 in 9 weeks. That’s 18 pounds, or approximately 2 pounds per week. Mike had similar results. My pants fit better and I feel much better about my appearance.

Problem is, I leave for vacation tonight and vacations are extremely difficult to avoid gaining weight. However, I am planning to bring my scale with me to keep me accountable and if I gain any weight over the next week, I have to pay Mike $20 for every pound gained. My plan is to eat what everyone else is eating, just less of it. And I’m going to avoid snacking and drinking sugary soda. I also plan to be very active and get lots of exercise. Will it be enough to keep me from gaining that hard-lost weight back? I hope so.

You know, it amazes me how easy it is to put it on and how hard it is to take it off. It’s just not right. But it’s the way it is, at least for my body. I’ve lost weight before. Check this out:

  • May-August 1996 – Lost 35 pounds (from 201 to 166)
  • Jan-June 2004 – Lost 33 pounds (from 204 to 171)
  • Jan-May 2007 – Lost 20 pounds (from 198 to 170 )
  • Aug-Sep 2007 – Lost 11 pounds (from 196 to 185)
  • May-June 2008 – Lost 18 pounds (from 197 to 179)
  • Mike and I plan to continue the contest until we lose some more pounds. I hope to get to the low 170s and keep it there. As I bounce around the scale (as evidenced above), I feel like the smoker who says, “I know I can quit smoking, I’ve done it dozens of times.” I have to permanently change my lifestyle, my eating habits. As the title of my post says, I have to stop “die-itinng” and start “live-iting.”

     
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    Posted by on July 2, 2008 in Health