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.