Friday, December 19, 2008


is the most popular girls' name of 2008.  Hmm.  I wonder why.  haha.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Can I just say that moving is a nightmare? I absolutely love my new house but I feel so claustrophobic and OCD about all of the stuff laying around my house in boxes. AHHHH! Let's also talk about how fun it is to move when it is raining and it's the week before Christmas. Oh yeah. Woo.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Vote for ME!

It's Michael here.
Friends and neighbors, I have an announcement.

I love sharing my opinion on important issues.  I love debating everyday things that people care about and determining why they feel the way they do.  I believe in careful commitment to decisions that supports a better future.

Does that sound too politician-like?

How about this:

I want to run for Town of Gilbert leadership in 2010 or 2012.  Although I believe that Gilbert is one of the best municipalities in the nation, I feel that there are three areas that need to be addressed to make sure that Gilbert remains among the best places to live.

1.  Citizens need to be heard.  There are two recent examples where Gilbert citizens have been ignored recently.  One was by the school board, which went through the motions of openness only to insult citizens by ignoring their voice in the decisionmaking process.  Similarly, recent zoning decisions around the future temple site have been made without adequate consideration of the citizens' opinions.  Simply explaining what I am doing and why is not sufficient.  I must do what I do because I and the citizens both understand that the future will be better for what we do today.

I will address this concern by establishing a "Lobbyist Chat".  In these sessions, I will allow citizens to discuss with me what is on their mind.  I will call it "Lobbyist Chat" because I want the citizens to know that their lives and opinions are the voices that will steer my decisionmaking.  They will be my only lobbyists, and I will encourage citizens to make sure their opinions and lives are recognized in the leadership of their town.

2.  The city zoning hasn't been forward looking.  Nearly everybody who lives in Gilbert works elsewhere.  Why does Gilbert have some of the highest transit times in the valley?  Because city planning has failed to establish employment opportunities within the community for the citizens.  Without forethough and serious planning, Gilbert will continue to grow and be one of the best places to live... for perhaps another decade.  Then, Gilbert will become the new Mesa, a bedroom community full of great people who drive across town borders to work and spend.  Unfortunately, as we see in Mesa, when the citizens spend and work across the town borders, then the municipality cannot support the necessary infrastructure to maintain a safe and pleasant community.

I will address this concern through working towards a comprehensive city plan.  Town planning and zoning leadership can help Gilbert to become the community of the future that is the premier place to live, not just sleep.  I will work with the planning and zoning leadership to establish and communicate Gilbert's plan to be the most livable city in Arizona.  Although I do generally believe that a smaller government is a better government, I do believe that a city investment in business incentives to attract quality jobs and tax revenue is something that should be discussed and considered.

3.  City responsibilities of infrastrucutre and policing have been neglected.  Gilbert average transit times lead the Valley.  Public transit is not adequate or useful.  Gilbert police staffing is among the lowest in the valley.  Although this may be proportional to Gilbert's current level of safety, I am not sure that the level of police staffing is adequate to maintain the safety and comfort of Gilbert communities.

I will address these concerns by encouraging a reprioritization.  Gilbert should focus on utilization public transit through park and ride facilities that link to Phoenix's new light-rail system.  Gilbert needs to evaluate the utilization of roads, using a logistical analysis to determine if further progress can be made in light timing and speed limits to encourage a smoother, more efficient commute.  Finally, the police force needs to be strengthened.  Gilbert will manage the police force in a way that city leaders, citizens, and police leadership feels will maintain the safety of Gilbert.

That's what I'm thinking.
What do you think?
Are there obstacles I should be aware of?  Would you support my campaign?  Do you think I should run?

Now, I need to make sure that the house we're buying becomes ours so that I can live a year in Gilbert before the next election.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twilight... What the heck?

Okay... I haven't read the books, but my mom and sister dragged me to see the movie.  I really enjoyed it despite some super cheesy parts.  Now I am finding myself obsessed and wanting to read the books.  What the heck?  This is craziness.  I feel like every silly young girl in America does right now.  haha.

The love story is great.  I have felt those same feelings.  I remember when I really started loving Michael and wanted to be around him all of the time. (I was 19 or so.) I had literal heart burn for him every moment that we were not together... Over 2 years... I'm hardcore, I know.  I just really love my man and to quote my friend Amanda, "Sigh.  Everyday is Twilight for me."  Seriously.  And you know what's even cooler?  I get to be with my man FOREVER and he doesn't even need to bite me to make it that way.  The temple is the TRUTH and my love story is REAL.  I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be married in the temple.  Families can be together forever.  I'm glad that we both made good decisions growing up so that we could go to the temple.  I LOVE MICHAEL!

I guess I'm glad that Stephenie Meyer wrote stories that remind me of my love.  It's fun and it makes me feel 19 again... but I still get to be the almost 24 year-old me and enjoy the fruits of my marriage.  ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Primary Thoughts

Okay... I gotta warn you that this post seems surprisingly Relief Society.  It must be that primary has kept me out of priesthood for a while.

Ya know, I only have a few memories from primary:

  • I remember the chorister teaching us to sing like "wide-mouth frogs" for the alphabet-Christmas song.
  • I remember one sharing time where a boy had to touch a lit lightbulb with a hot pad (his name is David Faust).  I think the moral was that making bad decisions keeps us from feeling the spirit.  I remember that he kept touching the lightbulb while the member of the primary presidency was teaching because she never told him to stop.  Then he said "I can feel it now."  We all laughed and he didn't have to touch the lightbulb anymore.
  • I remember that one of my primary teachers gave me my very first Altoid.  Holy cow, that was intense.
  • I remember a sharing time when there was a wrapped present with only a slip of paper that said "Holy Ghost."
  • I remember going over to my primary president's condo for my exit interview.  Her name was Sister Panell, I think.  I had to recite all 13 Articles of Faith.
  • I remember that Jessica Fuller could enunciate beautifully while reading verses in the scriptures.  I tried to copy the way she read the letter "s"... she said the "s" sound through her teeth.
  • I remember that I was chosen for a special primary choir.  I sang really loud (REALLY loud).  I think some kids made fun of me a little bit after that.  I haven't really liked to sing (other that congregationally) since then.
  • I remember Cub Scouts and my first experience with a hot-glue gun.  We got it on our fingers on purpose, and it hurt really bad.  We were making neckerchief slides.
  • I remember playing pogs on the foyer floor in the 40th St. & Oak building with Curtis Mortensen.  I remember that he moved far away.
  • I remember bearing my testimony in Sacrament Meeting and getting all sniffly as I returned to the pew.  My mommy was so proud.
  • I remember getting really upset that I wasn't going to be in sr. primary for another year.  I thought they changed the rules just to keep me out, but I think it was that there weren't any kids in the class above me, so when everybody got older, I still had to sit on the jr. primary side of the room.
  • I remember leaving primary during the last hour after I turned 12.  I got to go to priesthood.  I was the priesthood pianist, and I could play any hymn (as long as it was 106, 142, or 239).
  • I remember the primary presidency changing and all of the women crying.  I didn't understand what the big deal was, since I'd still see everybody in the chapel.

Haylee and I only have a couple-three weeks left in our calling... Ya know, it's been hard. Sometimes, it seems that no matter how prepared our lesson is, no matter how involved I am in making the lesson enjoyable, and no matter how well we follow all of the instructions for making the class valuable, everything falls apart and we are a failure.

But because I can add a few special moments to my "Primary Memories" list, I realize that it is all worth it:

  • I remember having a primary party at our apartment, where we watched a movie.  Almost everybody had seen it and there were no surprises as the plot continued, aided with whispers.  
  • I remember coming to sharing time determined to learn, and leaving with a deeper understanding of the atonement.
  • I remember having a really tough lesson...  It seemed that nobody was being receptive.  As I was getting more frustrated, I got to the part of 3 Nephi where Jesus called for the children.  I started to get choked up as everything changed and our classroom became a holy place.
  • I remember knowing that as I was being called in with my wife for a quick moment with a member of the bishopric, I was getting the one calling that I really didn't think would work. 
    How inspired was my calling!

I remember, and I am thankful.

Do you have any special primary remembrances?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thoughts on Marriage

Today I was watching national news on ABC.  They talked a bit about the protests outside of the Los Angeles Temple.  I saw pictures online today that captured the moment as thousands of angry people brought their signs and graffiti to the fence around this special place.

There, on Santa Monica Boulevard, Haylee married me.

I thought I'd share a picture that reminds me why some things are worth fighting for.

In primary last week, Haylee was teaching the lesson about how Mormon was watching his people perish in wickedness.  They weren't fighting for the right reasons, only "their wives, and thier children, and their houses, and their homes" (Mormon 2:23)
Those are all valuable things.  But they didn't understand that the fight is for "our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" (Alma 46:12).

They left out our God, religion, freedom, and peace.

To me, it sounds like they let the religion out of their marriages, replacing it with worldly property.

Cobbler Gobbler

Haylee burned her thumb pretty bad today.  So I made dinner.  I made some quick tuna on toast, but that was only an appetizer.  The real dinner was dessert.  I decided to try my ol' Dutch Oven cobbler "recipe" in a pyrex cake pan.  Behold:

Peaches in a pan...  most of the syrup drained off.

Cheap cake mix and butter:
About an hour at 375 degrees (I think that the cake mix doesn't really start cooking until the remaining peach syrup boils, which is just before halfway through)
And the final result, served in a bowl.  (Check out our awesome pot-holders in the background!)
We didn't have ice cream, since that's one of those yummy things (like soda) that we don't bring into our house except for very special occasions.
So we ate it and it was yummy.  I think I could have added a dash of cinnamon on the top.  And I probably drained a tad too much syrup at the beginning, but it takes a few times before I'll be able to perfect the process outside of the dutch oven (in the pyrex, the moisture can escape).
So friends, that's why I rock.  I think I have magnified my breadwinner calling.

In other news, I watched both Rodeo Championship and Nascar on Sunday.  And now I'm watching CMA.  What the heck is wrong with me?
So there's a group called "Lady Antebellum" that performed for the CMA.  Those jerks stole the old band name.  Actually, we were just "Antebellum".  But still, that's totally a stolen name.  Here's proof.  2004!!!!!!  
This is just like when my friends and I made lego lightsabers in 8th grade about a year before the Star Wars lego sets came out.  Sometimes I feel like I'm on the Truman Show and the producers think it would be funny to steal my good ideas and see how long it takes me to realize that I've been copied.

Have y'all (uh-oh... Nascar/Rodeo/CMA) had great ideas that have been stolen to make someone rich?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Letters From Mikey

Dear Wifey, 
You're practicing the piano right now.  I'm so proud of how hard you're trying to get done with school.  Keep it up.  Please don't procrastinate your essay much longer!
Love, Hubby

Dear Snowbirds,
I've noticed you've returned.  Please go the speed limit.
Sincerely, Late4Something

Dear Self,
How is it that you had a 3 day weekend and still haven't really done anything?
Sincerely, Times-A-Wastin'

Dear Christmas,
I think that this year will be meager for many... I hope that this helps us to focus on what's really important.  I think we will buy a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree from Walgreens this year to remind us that it's not the things that matter.  That should prove a point.  I look forward to you.
Sincerely, IronicConsumption

Dear Foreclosee,
I appreciate how you purchased many upgrades for the home we're going to buy.  But sometimes I feel like we're stealing the American Dream from you.  Until I remember that you sold all of the appliances.
Thank you, WhatWasYoursIsAlmostMine

Dear Laundry,
Why do you torment us so?  One day we're done with you, then you sneak up on us until you've consumed all of our clean clothing.  I try to beat you by wearing the same pants for almost a whole week, but then you change tactics and go after the whites.  You rascal.
Sincerely, YouStink

Dear Mac,
I want you.  I need you.  Why will you not let Netflix play movies through your OS X?  It's breaking my heart.
Sincerely, StuckWithDell

Dear California,
Your rallies are large and impressive.  But you forget that your chance to speak was on November 4.  Please stop harassing others who used democratic means to express their opinions.
Sincerely, SilentMajorityMember

Dear Appliance Manufacturers,
You make expensive stuff.  I'll be watching Craigslist for black appliances, hoping to not need to buy your stuff new.  But if we do need to buy stuff new, it will be after Thanksgiving.  That should boost your Q4 profits.
Sincerely, MoneyIsExpensive

Dear Netflix,
I am very happy that you added like 1000 new movies on the instant playable movie list through Starz.  I've already selected the 30-40 that I like.  Please add thousands more.
Sincerely, NoPopcornNeeded

Dear Blogspot Bloggers,
I covet your blog comments.  I tried to leave some on your blogs so that you'll try to return the favor. It's hard to comment.  You don't want to say what everybody else said, but you don't want to be weird.  And you certainly don't want to leave a comment more than a week after the blog entry, or you risk being never read.
Sincerely, Blogstalker

Dear Monday,
I have a case of the yous.  And it's still Sunday.  I hope you're happy.
Sincerely, MyCubicleAwaits

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Arizona's State

Okay.  Hopefully you've already read my national post.  This is going to have a somewhat different tone.  By the issue:

Proposition 100 - Yay no new property taxes.

Proposition 101 - "Protect Medical Choice" - This one had me torn.  I actually changed my vote as I was driving to the polling place.  I don't really care, because I don't see socialized medicine as a state issue.  I don't think that the socialized medicine threat will come from the state, and if it's a federal issue, then our little proposition won't do anything to stop it.  I voted yes for the ideology.  But I don't care how this one turns out.

Proposition 102 - Marriage Amendment - At this point, it appears that this proposition will pass.  I do believe that this proposition is necessary.  I would be happy to discuss my beliefs on this issue with anybody.  Please understand that I would welcome legislation for domestic partners of all types to enjoy the benefits of shared health coverage, property ownership, and hospital visits.  This legislation will protect my religion from claims of discrimination and will ensure that the education of my children, should it happen in Arizona, will not be contrary to my beliefs.

Proposition 105 - "Majority" - It is silly to consider non-voters as no-voters.  I'm glad that this is handily defeated.

Proposition 200 - Payday Loans - Heck yes!  This makes me so happy.  Payday loans take advantage of citizens.  I'm glad that voters saw through the incredible money that the payday loan centers poured into this issue.  I look forward to the day when their legislative permission to exist ends.

Proposition 201 - Homeowners' Bill of Rights - I don't think that this would help homeowners.  I don't mind that it failed.  There are other routes to get homebuilders to do what they should.

Proposition 202 - Stop Illegal Hiring - I'm glad that voters realized that this would roll back more powerful legislation.

Proposition 300 - State Legislators' Salaries - Come on folks.  Give legislators some dough.  Their salaries are pitiful.  Worse than schoolteachers!  I don't mind this time, but if I ever run, I'll need a bit more.  So keep that in mind.  It's not very much money, at least compared to the money that Gov. Nappy has thrown away.

This makes me sad.  Very sad.  The solar team is a joke.  I've attended the debates.  They don't know the damage that they will cause.  100% solar is not the answer.  I won't whine too much more, but I am WAY glad that my new house is in SRP's service territory.  APS rates will go up.  Unfortunately, since SRP's power plant siting and line siting is also under the control of the ACC, SRP rates will probably go up too, but at least SRP won't be bound by silly renewable mandates.  Barry Wong is an Arizona superstar, and I believe that pure ignorance has prevented Arizona from making the correct decision here.

What the heck is wrong with Tucson?  Pima County is outta control.  They need to be moved to New Mexico or something.  Too Democrat.  

No surprises.  Get to work, representatives!

Of course.  Keep it up, boss.

Thoughts on the Nation

The election is settled for our next President, and I think I'd like to share some thoughts.

Given my previously expressed economic and political views, many of you may be surprised at this entry.

I've been torn.  I could not vote for Obama.  I have ideological dissonance.  However, there are some promises that Barack Obama has made to which I look forward.  There are also some consequences of this election that I will welcome.  They follow:

1.  Alternative energy.  For those of you who are familiar with my employment, I see many things that involve the energy future of Arizona and America.  I am generally unhappy with the direction we have been pursuing.  My hope is that Barack will have the ability to achieve his clean energy transformation.  I would love to see the American innovative spirit dedicated to new-age geothermal, next-generation biofuels, and solar technologies.  I think that the one national action that can make any of this possible is an improved grid.  

2.  Taxes.  I have the underlying feeling that we're having a "read my lips" repeat.  But I would love to have reduced taxes for at least most of Americans.  (Mostly me.)

3. Education.  American children are at a disadvantage because of unqualified and underfunded instructors and instruction environments.  I don't know what the magic change needed is, but Barack has promised that it will come.  And I want it.  However, I fear that states want control over education, and I don't know if the federal powers will have the influence they would need.

4.  Unification.  Perhaps to overcome racial prejudices, Barack has been redundantly harping on unity and a lack of division.  He wants all parties, peoples, and places to join together in a fresh American push.  I like that.  But then I see the exit polls, where 97% of African-Americans support Barack Obama.  Perhaps it is a belief that Obama will bring them some sort of elusive equality.  In any case, I hope that this is the last time that we ever talk about anybody's race, gender, or religion in an election.  I want the result of this election to be that there aren't such rifts between the races.  In the name of fairness, equality, and unity, I think that a result of Barack's presidency should be that African-American voters never again need to be so one-sided toward any given party.  I don't know if this change will come through a reformation of the Republican party (which I would not oppose - but more on that later) or a change in the American psyche, but I want it either way.

5. Republican reformation.  I think that the Republican National Party would be stupid to believe that everything is okay.  It reminds me of what I have heard of the Democratic party in 1968.  There need to be changes in leadership.  I've stated before that the Republican party needs some rockstars.  My nominations are Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, Mike Huckabee, Aaron Schock, and John Boehner.  Of course, Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani are worth keeping around.  However, the image of the party and its spokespeople should be carefully guarded.  Unlike the Democrats, we do not have the ability to stand behind a Waxman or a Frank and expect to grow.  The goal should be to excite moderates by teaching sound principles.  I think that the unbridled power of the Democrats in government will leave some alienated moderates looking for a home.  I think that jumping back to Conservative Christians will only stretch out the hospital stay for Republican ideologies.

I do not wish to be negative, so I will only mention my national concerns that are expanded with the tone of this national election: taxes, budget, outsourcing, electricity prices, international trade breakdowns, reduction of healthcare quality, supreme court changes, and expansion of affirmative action.

I trust that the new government will not use swift and unreasonable legislation to alienate those who ideologically disagree.

Congratulations to those who have completed an historic, successful campaign.  I personally would like to thank those that have freely shared their thoughts and spent their time in defense of their beliefs and values, especially as they find that their views are contrary to those around them.

As for my thoughts on Arizona, that will be another post.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is so cool.

Houses Cost a Lot of Money

They just do!  Yikes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Favorite Magazine

So... we don't subscribe to many magazines. Most of them are expensive and waste a lot of trees. BUT... when we can get them for free, we love them!

We got our newest issue of Domino Magazine today. Michael has already made his way through it. haha. This mag gives us so many ideas for decorating our future home. It's awesome! I don't know how we ended up getting a free subscription, but I hope it keeps coming.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We might get a house..........!!!!!!!

The Park across the street:
One of the bedrooms:
Master bath:
Master bath:
Dining area w/ door to patio:
Entrance, stairs, 1/2 bath:
Living room:
Pathway to the house (3rd on right):
Pretty floor:
Granite counters w/ tile backsplash:
Whole kitchen, no appliances :
From living room looking into dining area:

The house:

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I have no time to blog. Bummer.

I will take a moment to share that I had a crazy experience finding hair in the Sacrament bread on Sunday. It's all blessed, right? Blech.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's talk bailout - and election - and politics, etc.

Before I get started, let me express that it is in my best interests for house prices to tank another 20 or 30 percent.  I would love to buy a cheap house, and I don't care if the value of every home in the city fades away.  

My job is likely to still be here, so I don't really need job growth, either.  And I don't have a whole lot of cash deposited, so if our credit unions fail and the NCUA can't meet their insurance obligations, then we're not out a whole lot.

Of course, I will need to make sure that financing is available so that I can buy a home, but I have full confidence that the next president will have plenty of time to throw together a first-time homebuyer program that will enable me to jump into a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood for half the price that my (new) neighbors paid a couple of years ago.

Call me selfish... it's true.

But let's ignore all of this and talk about why the bailout (as currently written) doesn't make me happy:

1.  Price of mortgage-based securities:  As written, the treasury under the instruction of Paulson can buy the worthless mortgages from banks until they use up their $700Billion.  But the problem is that there is no set price for these failing mortgages.  The reason that we have this credit crisis is because banks can't sell the mortgages to anyone.  The prices offered are crazy low and the banks are demanding buyers that want to pay way more than the failing mortgages may be worth.  So the government is willing to jump in and buy them.  And although I know that Ben and Hank are smart guys, they want to pay "up to" original value of these failing mortgages.  Let me explain:
Banks bought mortgages like gold; they expected them to be worth even more, failing to realize that those paying the mortgages couldn't keep paying the mortgage.  They put them on the books at, let's say, present value of $250k for a $200k mortgage, since they would get so much interest.
Homebuyers started defaulting and home values sunk, meaning that homebuyers owed $200k for a house that is only worth $160, and their creative financing agreement meant payments go up.  Since they owe more than the house is worth, the homebuyer couldn't refinance because they had negative equity.  So they had ballooning payments but no extra income to meet the payments.
Now the mortgages are going into foreclosure.  Some people are willing to buy that $200k mortgage at, say, $40k, hoping to work with homeowners to make partial payments or just hoping that a few of those bad mortgages can somehow make their payments.  But banks valued it at $250k, and $40k seems insulting.  So they go into foreclosure, kicking out the homebuyers, ruining their credit, and trying to sell the house in a market where there's no bank willing to finance any new mortgages.
So Ben and Hank want to pay "up to" original book value, or $250k for this mortgage, knowing full well that it is not worth $250.  They say that they are not going to actually pay $250k, but the bailout plan needs to say that anyway so that nobody can interfere with the surgery.
In my opinion, the mortgages are worth what is being offered.  So it is obscene for anybody to offer more than $40k for this bad mortgage.  Now I consider that my tax money is going into buying these mortgages, knowing full well that the price will be higher than the present value of expected future cash flows (there ya go, finance buddies).  Which means it's a dumb investment, which Ben and Hank think is a necessary sacrifice for the better good.

2.  Reworking mortgages.  I do not like the idea of the government reworking the contracts of these purchased mortgages.  If a homebuyer agreed to pay 18% interest on their mortgage forever, then they deserve to pay 18% interest on their mortgage.  I do not believe that people should be absolved of their agreements.  EVERYBODY knows that you're supposed to understand the mortgage before you sign it.  It is well known (and often joked about) that you may be signing away your life, and yet the government feels that we should absolve homebuyers of any responsibility that they agreed to at the time that the mortgage was signed.

3.  Nancy Pelosi.  If she likes something, I don't.  I thought her speech today on the floor of the house was distasteful and overly partisan.  And then, upon failure of the bill, she came out with fighting words about partisan politics, which she had absolutely no room to speak about.  I do not know of one good thing that has come from congress under her Speakership, and with all due respect, I fully believe that she and Harry Reid are the two people responsible for congressional approval ratings camping below presidential approval ratings.  It makes me sick to hear of all of the times when the Republicans have screwed things up in congress (with the exception of filibusters), since there is Democratic control of both houses.  There is absolutely no excuse for the Dems to not pass a climate change bill.  There is definitely no excuse for this bailout to not get out of the house in one day flat.  The reason is that Nancy Pelosi is labeling the legislation as partisan, even though the bailout plan did not even have legitimate Democrat support (at least not among those representatives that have a tight race this election).

So what's silly is that the government is going to buy these mortgages at an inflated price.  Then they will adjust the terms so that they are worth even less.

Let's talk Obama a bit.  Every time he mentions "John", I can't help but think "same ol', same ol'".  His campaign isn't a change at all.  It is the exact same campaign that every other old-school candidate has ever run.  I don't even care what his "real" issues are; everything he says is exactly what he says he's trying to get rid of.  

The debate...  I hated the format, full of unstructured interruptions.  I thought that Senator Obama was more rude than I would have liked to see.  I was impressed with the frequency of Senator McCain's calm responses continuing through the frequent and rude interruptions of Senator Obama.

So Senator Obama seems to be the quintessential partisan presidential candidate, which says many things to me, none of which are "Change".

And limiting short-selling of securities still makes me very unhappy.  I think that today shows that the market can drop significantly even without short-sold financial companies.  In fact, short sellers have to buy back sometime, and I think that the short-squeeze potential has the same potential at boosting prices as the original sale had to reduce it.  I find the limiting of short sales to be morally repugnant.

Okay... So I bashed the bailout.  What do I think is acceptable?
1) Capital injection through other means, such as the Federal Reserve is already fully capable of doing and is doing today in combination with other central banks.
2) Purchase of securities at a set price.  This will be hard to do, as nobody knows what mortgages are bundled in the mortgage-based securities (aka "mortgage-backed...").  But it's only fair, and it will stretch my tax dollar further while offering hope for a return (even though I do not think that the government should be in the mortgage business).  We cannot have "up to" original book value used, as the legislation dictates and Ben supports.  We must also make the purchase price at a low enough level that it is in the bank's best interest to try to negotiate the mortgage.  Once the mortgage is purchased by the government, I do not believe that there should be any negotiations of mortgage terms.

Anyway, Haylee's hungry, so I'm going to leave this and make some dinner.

Many of you might find this post to be boring,
and the rest of you may be strongly opposed to my statements.

Either way, let me know and I'll explain why I'm right.  (Yeah... I'm selfish AND prideful!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm here

Funny how many of the good names for blogs are taken.
I was looking for a new name for some of my more individual thoughts and rants, and I seriously had like 20 in a row that were already taken that I thought were original.  I noticed that most of them hadn't been edited since 2001 or 2002.  Jerks.  Stealing the good names and camping on them For-Ev-Er.

So the economy is rough.  We're looking to buy a house.  I figure house prices are pretty good.  So now we need to see if we can get a mortgage.

We would really like our own place.  It'd be spectacular.  But I still don't know if the time is right.  An Oppenheimer analyst said today that prices should go down another 25%.  I would hate to jump in now if that's the case.  But then again, the new socialist bailout proposals are sure to keep foreclosures down, which means prices go up.  Which means more expensive houses.  Good for banks, bad for me.

Actually, I'd like to rant on that for a minute.  I had a rant typed up but I deleted it because it makes me angry.  Suffice it to say that I find the bailout plan, capping short sales, and and this last minute response to be reckless, harmful, and overly socialistic.  And McCain's comments have kinda made me sad.

The Office starts in 2 days.  And Pushing Daisies starts October 1.  These are our favorite shows. 

In other news, Haylee is not enjoying some of her classes at school.  Apparently music theory can be a beast.

I start work at 6:30, so I'm doing pretty good at getting to bed by 9:30, but Haylee's been staying up later working on homework.  

In fact, I'm going to go to bed right now and she's still at her choir practice.  Poor Haylee.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Politics - A Rant with Endorsements

O Republican party, where is thy rockstar?

As I enjoyed the Democratic National Convention, I couldn't help but wonder where the Al Gore or Bill Clinton or Obama of Republicanism is hiding. Honestly, Arnold is the best we've got, and not only is his Republicanism less than strict, but his political career is at its apex. Ronald Reagan is gone and we are stuck with the wrinkles and negative political capital that eminates from the Bush and Cheney and Dole families. Honestly, dear conservative allies, why have you alienated yourselves from the future?

In complete respect for the great Republican political machine, I refuse to believe that this election is over, but Republicanism has relegated itself to a future of wrinkles and presidential victories that rely on a carefully placed minority of the popular vote. It is true that Republicanism is plagued by old ideas and a delivery of those ideas that hides any optimistic excitement and passion.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that tomorrow's announcement of a running mate gives us some excitement. I hope that the Republican convention is not focused on separation from our present, but rather a unifying vision of a solid tomorrow.

America does need vision. Obama wants change, but change has already come. America needs reassurance that our America can be the same. Our America fought over 200 years ago for the principles of justice and freedom. In the 1860's, our America faced a great division and emerged with a new commitment to principles of justice and equality. Our America fought throughout the 1910's and the 1940's to ensure that the divinely delivered rights of freedom and justice were not destroyed through arrogant dictation of thought and action. Even on our own soil of the 1920's, 1950's, and 1960's, the principles of freedom and justice were defended by valiant Americans who shall live on through the rights that they secured for all Americans, regardless of race or gender.

The change has occurred. We know that change has already come because it is now unAmerican to buy an American-made vehicle. We know that change has already come because our Suburbia is suddenly desolate. We know that change has come because we are watching nations emerge competitively into the arena of world trade, in many cases showing American corporations a product that in all apparent measures is of acceptable quality while at a much lower cost than American counterparts. We know that change has come because we are surprised by the changes we observe in our climate and the ferocity we observe in our weather extremes.

We don't need change. What we need is reassurance that America will be the same America that has overcome every barrier and obstacle placed in its past. We need assurance that the same America that sprouted from the dreams of valiant men centuries ago can emerge from the economic and environmental challenges of today.

Senator McCain, please help me to hope that America can be the same.

Friends, please vote on September 2 during the primaries.

My endorsements:
US Rep (District 5) - Jim Ogsbury
State Senator (District 18) - Russel Pearce
State Legislature (District 18) - Cecil Ash
Corporation Commission - Barry Wong and Bob Stump (I know you can choose 3, but I will only choose 2 until I can vote for Kara Kelty in the general election)

(The rant and endorsements are the views of Michael and not necessarily Haylee.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I decided to take the freeway home today. I would get on the 202 at Center and get off at McClintock. That is around... meh... 2 miles. I get off work at 4pm, so traffic is usually pretty good, but I hardly ever take the freeway because it's too unpredictable.

Today: Case in point.
During my short 2 mile drive, there were THREE accidents. That's right. Count 'em.

1. (haha.. dumb guy in smart car!)

I could hardly believe it. I knew something was up when I was passing the first accident and didn't see the traffic let up. So I pulled out my blackberry and tried to take pictures to share this craziness with all two of my readers while staying out of the accident tally myself. I realize that the traffic doesn't properly capture the pure essence of the traffic situation, but trust me, it was frustratingly bad.

Usually, taking surface streets, I get off work at 4, exit the parking lot around 4:05, and get home around 4:20.

Today, I got off work at 4, but I was at another building across the street for a meeting. So my car was closer. I got out of the parking lot BEFORE 4:05 and didn't get home until around 4:35. Which cut 15 minutes out of my Rock Band time. Go ahead. Ask me if I'll be taking the freeway again. 15 extra minutes for TWO MILES!

Civilization is okay.... Sometimes I kinda wish I lived in the forest with a windmill, solar panels, a fireplace, and thousands of acres as a buffer between those who I want to be with and... well... the incivility of civilization. I think civilization is the new ironic word of the day. What's civil about it?
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Rock Band update

So I thought I would show off my newly acquired Rock Band skills.
So far, I'm pretty good on medium, not so good on hard.
My first drum solo song... 602 note streak!
My first 100%, playing as Haylee's guitar person. I then got a 100% on a song called Seven.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rock Band

We purchased RB. And it's beautiful.

And I also purchased Guitar Hero 3 so that we can have 2 guitars, but that was on ebay and I won't get it for a few days, at least.

Life is beautiful.

Haylee starts school tomorrow. She's not too happy about that, but I think that it will be good. Especially if we can settle in to a productive schedule.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Neverending Story... I mean School.

School starts Monday. In case anyone is wondering, I am going into 18th grade. Bachelor's degree, here I come! (Only 2 more years...)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

World's Worst Wife...

That about says it all.

I feel like I am always cranky and tired and Michael just keeps loving me. Regarding the last post, I wasn't sure what the "ladder thing" was. I'm very pleased with the end result.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We are SOOO Crafty (Part 2)

Okay... So here's how it works:

I (Michael) get Saturday's off. Haylee does not regularly get Saturday's off. So I thought I'd do something to surprise her while she was off at work.

I was scanning and found a backing for pictures.... Like... a wall panel that the pictures are on.

We had talked about how our living room pictures don't offer much contrast, as you can see in this "before" picture:

Perfect opportunity to surprise Haylee!!!

I read that the guy who posted his design on hgtv stretched some fabric over a frame and hung the pictures on that. I didn't see any instructions, but I figured it must be easy enough. So I drove off to Home Depot to buy me some lumber. And a saw. I made it out of there for under $20. I bought an $8 saw and 5 pieces of 8 ft 1"x2", each under $2.

I took the pictures off the wall, moved our coffee table out of the living room, and lined the pictures up on the rug to see how I would like them. I used the rug as my square, since it has some convenient lines. I then laid the lumber down to get an idea for spacing and size.

Time to cut the lumber. It was ONLY around 105°, but it's monsoon season, so the "dry heat" made me sweat like a pig. I went outside and sawed away. I got two 6 foot pieces and seven 2 foot pieces. Then, I used our awesome staple gun and went to town. Each joint has at least 10 staples holding it together. The corner ones have around 16.

Around this time, Haylee called. She was done with work. She asked what I had done all day. I bet she thought I'd say something like "watching the olympics" or "took a nap". I said "I have a surprise for you. Hurry home."

Now, I knew that the fabric wasn't on there, but I figured that I needed some womanly advice in picking the fabric so that it would match okay. So I just placed the "ladder" in its appropriate spot on the wall. She walked in and saw this:

Her exact line was "I don't know how I feel about that."

So much for romantic surprise.

After I explained my full vision and inspiration to her, she agreed to go pick some fabric with me. We ran off to JoAnn's and found some pretty awesome green stuff that was on double clearance. We paid $2 per yard, 3 yards. So a total of around $6.40. This brought our project total up to $25 (including a saw, around $17 without the saw).

I started stapling the fabric on. Finally, it was time to put the nails in the frame to hang the pictures.

I had this all laid out on the floor. I asked Haylee to take a look at what I had done. She was sleeping. I woke her up and she said, "yeah. Looks great." She then rolled over. She didn't even look.

So I said "whatever. I'll surprise her by getting it all done before she wakes up."

So I placed the nails. This was the final output:

While I was nailing these on, I figured it looked pretty darn good. Haylee would be so surprised that her husband is so handy and romantic.

Haylee, upon awakening, asked "why are they not centered correctly?"

As you can see, there is more panel below the pictures than above them. And now our birch framed smaller pictures are not vertically centered with the larger white frames. (Compare with the "before" pic)

So much for surprises.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our Rockstar Friends

We went to Jenny and Steven's house Saturday night. While there we ate tacos and played Rock Band. Good times. Our sweet band is called afi. haha. Hardcore. Somehow Jenny didn't get into any of the pictures. She totally rocks the bass.
If you didn't notice, Steven is singing AND playing guitar. BLITZKRIEG BOP!

We had to take a break to check the cellphones. These guys are popular. What more can I say?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vacation Part 2

I guess I never quite got around to doing Vacation part II.
Here's more pictures.

In Lakeside, which is the Utah town bordering Bear Lake, there's a great pizza place. They serve Home"Style" Pizza. Alternatively, the magnet on our fridge says that they serve "HomeStyle" Pizza. One of their signs also said just plain old homestyle pizza (no quotes).
That's why Utah rocks.
Seriously, though, their pizza was good.

This is Haylee's dad coming out of the trailer. That trailer is packed full of fun goodness.

Under the trailer's awning, we all sat in camping chairs (except that Haylee and I brought our kitchen chairs from Ikea - $8 each). Then we had bonding times.

As we passed through the Arizona strip on our way to California, we had a flat tire on that fun-packed trailer of goodness. We stopped at a combo Arby's/Gas Station in Mesquite, NV. This is where we experienced the surprising Cheese-flavored water bottle...

and the miracle of the Cross Onion Petals.
(Minor photoshopping... For contrast improvement, of course)
We went to Six Flags once we finally arrived in California. This is one of the few meaningful pictures we took. Other than this, we took lots of silly pictures in line.

Then we came home.
We were going to go to Idaho, but we found out that next year's reunion is in Boise, and we were feeling very time-strapped, so we saved around 6 hours of driving and decided to spend the time with Haylee's family in California, instead.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vacation Part 1

While Haylee is getting ready for church, I thought I'd post a bit about our fun vacation.

The plan was to go to Bear Lake for a family reunion (Haylee's father's family) and then go explore some of my old mission turf in the Boise area.

I woke up Wednesday, July 23 and my throat was super-dry. Not cool. Whatever caused this also caused me to lose my voice later that day and cough every night from Fridayish on.

So we took off to Bear Lake in our car (the new-to-us Accord). We averaged over 30 MPG! (In fact, on one leg, we got 42, but that was downhill.)

And we stopped in Salt Lake to spend time with Luke and McKenzie. They were nice enough to put us up for the night. Before we went to bed, we played Rock Band.

There we are! Actually, there they are. I was taking the picture. I think McKenzie might have taken pics too, so check her blog and someday there might be pictures up.

Yay. Nighttime came and morning came and the great Utah holiday Pioneer Day was upon us. We watched the parade on TV with McKenzie & Luke and McKenzie built us some delicious breakfast burritos with turkey sausage. This was not the last time that we enjoyed turkey breakfast meat on our vacation, but more on that later.

After leaving the house of our (new for me) friends, we had Taco Time in Layton or Kaysville. I was not so impressed with the size of the burrito, as I was hoping that it would be more Rubios-ish. But it tasted great and Haylee had a good time remembering the good ol' days when she was at the Y.

After realizing that we don't have any clue where we're going, we stopped at Walmart and bought a GPS (by the way, please note that it is no longer Wal-Mart. It is now one word. See the commercials). And our good friend TomTom, voiced by Borat, took us to Logan.

We stayed at the Baugh Inn, owned by Best Western. It was a cute little place. Here's the outside of our room:

We could pull right up to the door. That was nice. Easy to put stuff in the room.

We had dinner at Blackstone, a restaurant a block or so away. We drove because we had already walked all over town looking at the "we're closed to celebrate this great holiday with our families" signs on all of the shops. We ordered the appetizer sampler, some flavored lemonades, and ribs. Everything was out of this world good. Seriously, an outstanding restaurant in Logan. Check it out if you have the chance. A bit pricey for an everyday place, but just right for a nice stop on a big vacation. Because we had a late lunch at Taco Time and because I was feeling a bit sick, we didn't eat as much of the food as we would have liked, but at least we didn't gorge ourselves sick.

The next morning, we enjoyed the continental breakfast and went to Bear Lake. Check out this cool boat we saw:

That is all for now. Haylee will upload some other events that came before the vacation probably. And then we'll wrap up the rest of our vacation. Yay for travel-logs!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Summer is Flying By

So... We are way behind. Not that anyone really pays much attention.

July 4th I was still healing from the horrendous tooth extractions, but that didn't stop us from buying a car. Yes, a car. We are crazy. Now we have 3 cars and don't really know what we're going to do with all of them.

The "new" 2001 Honda Accord EX. This picture was taken in a KFC parking lot. Yeah, we ate there. Crazy, I know.

Monday, July 7, 2008

We Are So Crafty

We both had the day off from work today and couldn't decide what to do. We went to the oral surgeon, Michael's parents, T.C. Eggington's (breakfast place), SuperCuts, Scottrade and Gilbert. All of this was before 1 p.m. We decided to drive home and I had the wonderful idea of making a headboard for our bed. I know... I'm like a genius or something.

Michael thought that was a good idea so we went to Home Depot and JoAnn fabrics. After a lot of hardwork (on Michael's part) and a few tears (on my hormonal, drug withdrawal part) we got it done!

Check out our sweet room: