Thursday, November 30, 2006

Soapstone Bowl

I was out taking pictures today and found this Soapstone Boulder.
It's really interesting. Read the sign for more info.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Well, as usual, I'm a bit behind. Only recently have I started really watching videos on YouTube. I have seen some before, but didn't really spend any time looking at the site.

Now that I have watched a bit more for a few weeks, I can say that YouTube is fun.
Everyone has heard of it, but if you haven't really checked it out, you should.

This girl, Lonelygirl15 is now famous. She was posting video blogs onto YouTube. She had a great story and lots of people were watching her videos. Then she was outed as a profesional actress. Pretty big deal really. Everyone thought they were watching the problems of a 15 year old girl.

I had seen some of her videos before she was outed. Anyway, here is a link to her story. I found it very interesting how the whole thing took place. Even if you weren't familiar with this story, you might find this interesting.

While you are on YouTube, search for BlendTec. One of my favorite short videos.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Conserve Energy

child: "How does saving energy help the environment?"

first adult: "Saving energy means the power plants won't burn as much coal to produce the energy. So there will be less air pollution."

2nd adult one room over: "Yeah, it's better if the nuclear power plant would cut down on its coal burning!"

names have been hidden to protect the identification of the first adult.

Friday, November 24, 2006


It's 4:30am and I've been awake for thirty minutes. I'm headed to work to deal with all the maniacs that love to shop on this day. I'll drive past a Walmart on my way to work and I'm sure their parking lot will be full already.

It'll be a fun day watching the sales numbers get bigger and bigger on that computer screen.
I'm off for work. Have a good day, shoppers!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Birthday! - the conclusion

I followed Cari into the bedroom. She got her pajamas on and climbed into bed.
"What is your problem?", she said half laughing.

I laid down on the bed. My strategy wasn't working at all. I crossed my arms and stared at the ceiling as I came up with a new plan.
My tone changed from a pitiful whimper to an almost angry sound. I didn't say much for the next few minutes. With a frown on my face I continued to figure out a way into Cari's head.
Cari said, "I can't believe you are getting angry about this".
"I'm not angry.", I said with a frown. "If you don't want me to have the wheel today that I'm fine with that."
I was trying some sort of reverse psychology. Obviously I have not been trained in that field because Cari replied, "Ok. Good night".

I sat up quickly and suggested we go out and take one more look in the box before bed. Cari refused but said she had to get up and check the timer on the coffee pot. That was my first hint that I was going to win. She didn't want to give up the fight but she also didn't want me to give up. She was enjoying this and would give me clues of hope when she suspected I may quit.

After following her around the house, we ended up laying on the bed again. I tried crying. I tried laughing. Nothing was working. She continued to threaten going to sleep and discussing this more in the morning. Then she asked me, "What do you think your chances are at getting the wheel tonight?"

I didn't want to sound confident. I told her there was a ten percent chance of me getting it. In my head, I felt like I had an eighty percent chance.
"Go play with your new wheel.", she said.

"I WIN! I WIN! I WIN!!" is what I thought, but I said, "Thank you!"

She told me that it was never planned to be a birthday present. She intended on letting me open it from the beginning. She just wanted to watch me beg for TWO HOURS!

The comments I received the other day were great. Thank you. They pretty much turned out as I expected. Women take Cari's side, men on mine. Thankfully, Abbie and Michelle didn't leave a message because that would have put my side into the minority by far.

So I have now had several days with the new wheel. It's great. It was well worth the battle I put up to get it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Happy Birthday! Part 2

Cari ordered my birthday present a month a head of time. She told me the day that she ordered it that I would not have it until just a few days before my birthday in December. The reason to order it now was to ensure its availability.

When it arrived the other day I begged to open it. Cari, of course, refused. Inside the box is the Logitech G25, a racing wheel and pedals. I have read every scrap of information I could find over the past three months. Now, it is sitting in a brown box in my room. How can I wait a month to try it?

I asked Cari if I could take it out of the brown box and photograph the product box. She agreed, but reminded me it would not be opened. After a few minutes of obsessing on the box, I took my photos.It was still not time to give up on getting my wheel. I needed to wear Cari down, but I had to do it in a way that would not cause her to get annoyed and take the box out of the room.

"Can I open the box and smell it?" A request that should seem harmless to her.
"Smell it?" she looked at me like I was crazy.
After a few minutes I negotiated the box getting opened long enough for me to smell it. It was then closed. You might be wondering what a Logitech G25 wheel smells like. Inside the box the wheel and pedals were covered with clear plastic bags. The pleasant aroma was a mix of leather and plastic.

The next time I opened it was to get the instruction book out. Again, it was immediately closed.

I felt like I was getting closer to wearing her down. The box had been opened twice.

She stood up to leave the room and go to bed. Going to bed would be the end of my battle. I had to stop her. Down on my knees I begged. Yeah, like a small child that wants a piece of candy, I was groveling at Cari's feet.

On her way to the bedroom, she told me that opening it would ruin a special moment of my birthday. "It's already special. Let's open it and really admire its specialness!"

She continued to walk to the bedroom. Of course, I followed. I was desperate to get at this wheel. Cari had a huge grin and laughed as she realized she had total control.

Now I am begging you, my readers, do you really think it is fair to make me wait a month? Show Cari that it is already a special present and I should not have to wait!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy Birthday?

Look what the UPS man left for me!
What's inside? This box caused tears, laughter, and some strange behavior. Most of that before the box was even opened. I'll tell you about that next.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Some people are just crazy about shopping. The best time to identify this group is on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The real shoppers will meet at retail stores around 4:30am no matter how cold it is.

Why call it "black Friday". One person said it is because shoppers go out while it is still dark. The real reason is because that is the start of the shopping season where retailers make a bulk of their profit. I had a friend that was a store manager at a Toys-R-Us. She said that the store loses money for operating every month until "black Friday". She said as a manager it is scary to watch your store not make any profit month after month. They make up the whole year in two months.

The ads that come out that day can be exciting. The retailers keep it under tight wraps until the day.

In fact, my own company will not release the information to me until just days prior to the ad coming out. That makes it a bit harder to do my job, but they feel they want to protect the information.

Thanks to I was able to obtain a list of my companies ad for "black Friday" and most other major retail stores. Another great site is They had several of the same ads and then some others.

I wonder if my company will feel like they can now give me the official information.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's my fault

Sometimes I don't realize all the people that read this blog. There are roughly four people that leave me messages on a regular basis. It's easy to forget how many people are reading this. I got a call from my good friend Rick today. He told me that I cost him an hour and a half of sleep last night. I haven't talked to him for weeks and I wondered how I cost him sleep. He said he read the blog last night and downloaded Google Earth after reading what I wrote. He stayed up too late tagging houses of family members. No need to argue, I assumed the blame, "Yeah, I guess that's my fault Rick."

I had this past weekend off from work. On Saturday we took our Cub Scout den on a hike in the mountains. The trail was almost two miles. We all had fun and the boys collected some of the fallen leaves, trying to find ten different tree leaves. There were some complaints after we passed the half way point. It was getting a bit long for them. Having been the one that chose the hike, I said to the complainers, "This is a great trail guys. If it is too long for you, it's my fault."

Both of my children have strep throat. Cari took them to the doctor and got them medicine on Friday. By Saturday they were acting like they felt better but come Saturday night they were coughing again. On Sunday the kids and I stayed home from church. Cari went on without us. There was two reasons for this. The kids were still sick and I was still sleeping. I got up with the kids when Cari left. By the time she pulled into the driveway after church, we were running around outside flying paper airplanes. "If the kids missed church because they are sick they don't need to be running around in the yard." I was told.

After one more throw, I answered her, "It's my fault."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


We were talking today at work how men will spend lots of money on toys. Women will spend money on things for the house, yarn, books, and things like that. Normally costing a fraction of the toys. One woman in particular was complaining about her husband running out and buying expensive gifts for himself without consulting her. I'm talking about three thousand dollar gifts!
When she complained he said that it was his money. I'm under the impression they still hold separate bank accounts.

We all laughed and joked together about making large purchases. I couldn't help but to think this woman's marriage can't be a very strong one. If they are acting independently are they more than room mates? It's kind of an exaggeration to say that, but shouldn't the married couple act as one unit?

My newest toy is much cheaper than that. My new toy is Google Earth. It's free! It's been around for a while and I have always heard people talking about but never took the time to download it.

YOU MUST TRY GOOGLE EARTH. Don't laugh too hard, but I will tell you that I was up until three in the morning the night I installed it. Why? I was tagging all the race tracks around the globe. I was zooming in and tagging houses of my relatives. Google Earth is FUN! I even found the house of one of you!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hiking among the Fallen

Our latest hike took us back into the mountains in search of another waterfall. The trail was heavily covered in fallen leaves. The smell of fall was strong in the forest of red, yellow, and orange. We talked about revisiting some of our previous hikes during the winter to see how things changed. Some places would not even look familiar with the bare trees.

There were a lot of fallen trees along the trail. One particular tree fell over a valley between two hills. It was a bridge! I talked about climbing up and walking along the top of the log for a photo. Cari laughed, saying I would fall, and we continued our hike. Only a hundred yards past the log, I turned us around and got the camera out of the bag. Something inside me wasn't going to let that "bridge" go unchallenged.

I walked about thirty percent of the way out and realized the top of the log was not as flat as I thought. I felt like I was walking on the top point of a triangle. I took baby steps trying to get farther out for the picture.

My feet felt shaky after a few pictures. As I stood there I realized I was not going to be able to turn around. I threw my walking stick down and sat straddling the log. Of course, Cari was there to snap more pictures of my weak moment. I was between six to seven feet off the ground and did not feel good about turning around, even in my sitting position. I scooted backward hugging the log. I'm sure this was funny to watch. At least that's what Cari said.

After an hour of hiking, we arrived at the falls. There wasn't a tremendous amount of water flowing, but the scene was gorgeous. A rock wall of about 60 ft was in front of us. Many jagged cliffs stuck out from the face causing the water to dance it's way to the ground. Someone had made a bench from some stones and a half log that we used to take a break. Cari told me that this was now her favorite one. It was funny, because she says that almost every time.On our hike out, we came across another "bridge" of a fallen tree. I challenged Cari to climb up there for a photograph. Just like the first time, we kept walking. About a hundred yards up the path, I stopped and looked back. There was no convincing Cari that walking that tree trunk was the right thing to do. Maybe next time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A lesson in Geocache

I decided to introduce Randy to Geocaching. What boy wouldn't love to seek out hidden treasure? The cache we were seeking was hidden in the cracks of Stone Mountain.

We arrived at the spot and did some searching. It didn't take us more than ten minutes to find the cache. I explained the game to Randy as I signed the log. He looked at the trinkets inside and decided there was nothing worth taking.

I took a sun catcher out of my backpack and placed it in the cache. Then I started to pack up. Randy protested. "I want that thing."

"It's been in a drawer for years at our house. I don't think we need it. I have three more like it at home."

He started crying, "I want that one." I desperately tried to explain to him that we were trying to share with others playing the game. He claimed a bad person would find it and smash the sun catcher.

His attitude continued to disintegrate. I snapped this picture of us with the cache.
I agreed that we would continue our hike and discuss the situation. At least that got him moving again. I didn't hear much about the cache until we were started down the mountain. Then the boy started getting crazy again. Crying and having a fit that he wanted the sun catcher. I offered to leave a yoyo from my bag in its place. He of course didn't want me to give up the yoyo.

He told me to erase my name out of the log, take my sun catcher back, and pretend we had never been there.
I distracted him past the turn off point leading to the cache as we continued to the bottom. Unfortunately the second half of our father/son hike was ruined by his fit. He wouldn't stop talking about it or crying about it.

Back in the car he continued his fit for about twenty minutes.

It will be a while before I even consider taking him on another geocache hunt.
It wasn't all bad, the happy picture at the top of this post was taken while at the top.