Friday, October 29, 2010

The Wheel of Time...

"The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and go. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the shadow. Let the dragon ride again on the winds of time"
Robert Jordan.
I have never been a big reader of any kind of books. While I have a general draw and interest of stories I have never really been able to sit down and read a book for a an hour without falling asleep. Very few books have kept my interest so much that I haven't fell asleep while drifting through its pages.
Lately I have been reading a few books, well maybe i should clarify that statement and say I have been listening to a few books. This past summer I listened to the following books.
Harry Potter 1-7 Done.
FableHaven 1-5 Done.
then I started the last one.
The Wheel of Time Series. I started book six just before school started and now I will have to start it again during the next vacation time.
I could listen and work, although not as effectively, to the storyline. I really liked it and was able to get through the book in less than a week.
It surprises me how many people have read these books. I have even come across women who enjoy this series and admit it. With pride in their voice they say things like, "I'm on book nine!"

When I saw that three of my coworkers where reading this book I decided that I would make room for it. first started to read this book I thought this is going to be so lame. Shortly after the story begins it has the main characters start out on the run.
Needless to say the book was great and I moved on to the next book. They just get better and better. However there are a few similarities between two other novels which I will relate next week.
Until then. Adieu.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

There comes the day...

There come the day when you have to sell your first car. I bought this car seven years ago to the month. This car has taken me from Orlando, FL to Seattle, WA. It is my 97 Mercury Cougar. I bought this car in October of 2003 as the first car that I would ever have my name on the title. I wasn't looking for this car but it turned out to be a deal that I could not refuse. It belonged to the Catholic Church the my Grandpa attends. I was told that they were going to sell this car in a silent auction. At the time the car was retailing for around $5,000 I place a bid for $3,030.01. If I got it then fine, if not then I would still be okay.
Back then it had ~104k miles, a faulty alarm system, check engine light for the EGR valve, and it was a little dirty. I paid $60 dollars for the EGR valve to be cleaned, spent several hours cleaning the car inside and out, and then after a few years I bought a static manual on CD that eventually showed me that my car had keyless entry and the alarm fault was due to a connection in the trunk. Someone had reversed the connection which would set off the alarm anytime you would use the power locks.
Three months into owning this car I found myself speaking with a police officer. It was a quick visit... to make it short, I was passing someone on a two lane road and got a little over zealous. The next car coming down the road was a police officer. He claimed that I was doing 93 mph in a 60, Oops. I never again was pulled over in that car. More often then not I would follow the speed limit, but I do remember driving 110 on the interstate for about a minute to get away from an annoying driver.
After getting married I had a class II tow hitch installed on the car. I did this for one purpose, to tow all of our stuff from Florida to Utah to start school at BYU. The trailer was a 6'x12' and we had only one problem. I literally could not drive over 45 mph. That trip was a very long drive. We made it safely and have lived in only two places while out here in Utah. A cute little apartment, and our home.
During the last six years I have fixed several things on this car, and it has given me a fair share of problems, but something I have done has taken good care of this car. I wish I could have taken it up to 200k miles before I got rid of the car. However I did not, and it only made it to 190k. It still runs and does everything just fine.
Maren and I have finally decided that it is time for a four door car. Fixing the car would not be a problem, but it needs little things here and there because it is getting old. i.e. battery, windshield needs to be resealed, radiator cleaned or flushed, new/junkyard PCM, and registration fee. Only $400 to $500 to get it running on the road for another year.
I would love to keep the car for a fun project, but Maren doesn't want me to turn our small Utah home into a redneck haven for cars in need of TLC.
In the first year of owning my car I dove it 36k miles, and then over the next six years I drove another 45k miles for the grand total of 189k miles.

The day has come and I am selling my first car...
It's time for Maren to have a car that she likes, enjoys, and doesn't feel like the car is out to get her.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


For many of you that don't know... I am a runner. Yes I know that I don't look like one now, but many years ago I did. While in high school as a freshman I started off doing the typical jock sports, football and wrestling and track.
Football was fun and what I found myself playing the game when I got together with friends. I went out to be a wide receiver, but they placed me in at corner. I still remember some great plays that I made for my team. Wrestling was great the first year. I did very well on the junior varsity team at 130 lbs. Sophomore season was the killer. I ran cross country weighing 140 lbs, and I practically starved myself for four months to reach 125 lbs to stay on the varsity team. The highlight of that year was I almost pinned a national champion. After my season was done, I gained 30 lbs in 3 days. I decided then that I was not going to come back the following year.
I wasn't planning on doing track, but I was convinced that I should give it a try after someone found out that I ran a sub-six mile (5.42) in gym class. So with no real hopes of doing anything I went out and practiced with them for a couple of days. I soon discovered that I had no trouble keeping up with the leaders even though I was a freshman. When track meets eventually came around coach was putting me in the 4x800m relay, 800m, and 3200m races. I won my first three 800m with a time around 2:20, but that was actually competitive in those years. By the end of the year the coach through me into a 1600m race. That race became the first time that I broke five minutes that race. I posted a 4.55 for my mile and I was one of the fastest runners on the team, and the district. I did race in regional that year in the 800m but did not qualify to continue on to states.
Sophomore year was one of those years that if things could be done all over again I would have skipped wrestling. Because of what I did in wrestling my sophomore season in track was terrible. I decided from that point on that I was not going to do anything in high school except Cross Country and Track. I was hoping to get a scholarship for college and knew if I got one it would be because of running.
So I set goals and started to run year round. Cross Country my junior year was better but nothing to make a few heckling teammates eat their words. Track season started and I was determined to go sub-two minutes in the 800m, and get back on the 4x800 relay, which I didn't make it in my sophomore season.
My chance came during a local track meet in the first part of my junior year. The runner that heckled me the most, became the no show, and coach said that I was going to run the relay. As I looked at who I was going to be running against, as the third runner of the relay, my hope became a tremble of fear as I looked upon Cross. Cross was an athlete that placed in state in 5A Cross Country. Surely I am no match for him and his ability. When it was my turn to run I just ran as fast as I could and didn't look back. The last hundred meters felt like I couldn't move my legs. As I crossed the finish line I looked back and Cross was just rounding the bend, 100m behind me. I opened up about nine seconds on him. One of my teammate came up to me and said that I had just ran a 2.05.1.
I didn't believe him and I had to see the time myself. Sure enough, I did, and after that race I was tied for second on the the relay team. The heckler was no longer the fastest on the team, he was now the fifth man and I became the break away man. Each of my teammate had a role to play on the relay. First man would open to a decent position, second man would catch the leaders, and then I would break away from the pack and open up the lead to five seconds, and the last man would ensure the win. The third leg of the relay was my spot and I kept it all year, until the stress fracture ended my season at regionals. I didn't give up and I was able to get my time back down in my senior year to 2.02 for the 800m and 4.36 for the 1600m.
Several of my friends where upset that I put all the training from high school aside to serve a mission. Graduating at 145 lbs, I returned from my mission at 165ish lbs. I was determined to run and get back in shape. I took a health class that taught me the importance of eating with training, and I set a goal to run a sub-six mile. I did and in the process I dropped down to 155 lbs. After strength training I was up to 162 lbs. When I came out to Utah, I spent so much time between school, work and home that I quit running. My less active lifestyle had consequences and I slowly reached 215 lbs. Currently I am at 200 lbs and dropping. My overall goal is to get back down to 175 lbs. I have 25 lbs to go still.
Running is something that defined my life, and will always be a part of my life. Now I have many more thing in my life that make me who I am. Running is still there, just not the most important. To what extent will I go as I start running again? Well I've never been the kind of person that wants to run a marathon, but I am not ruling it out and it will be many years and 5k's from now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

After the Nervous Twitch

One lovely day while working, I met an interesting and complete stranger. This gentleman and scholar looked like he could use a little pick-me-up. So I asked him if I could buy him a "coke". He gracefully accepted and chose his preferred form of "coke" from a BYU vending machine. He left with a huge smile on his face absolutely thrilled that he was the recipient of this social test.
I admit that I enjoyed seeing the smile on his face. I liked it so much that I suddenly realized that I also had a smile on my face. I really felt good buying someone else a "coke". In a way, it seemed like we were both uplifted by one simple act. In a way I started thinking about a movie. The movie had a main theme called pay it forward. In the movie a concept was presented by a young elementary student,who was given an assignment by his teacher. This student took the assignment seriously and presented the concept of Pay It Forward. When someone does something nice for you instead of doing something nice back to that person, you would do something nice for three other people. This students idea was to help as many people as possible.
I wonder if this complete stranger would have, or ever, considered doing something nice to someone else because he received something that may have uplifted his spirit.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Dreaded Day

Every parent fears the day. The day when their child learns to climb out of the crib. Yes on Sunday morning i woke up after 6 hours of sleep to my son climbing up the stairs to my room. I wasn't upset that he got out of the crib, this isn't the first time. the first thing that crossed my mind was does he have his diaper on? Please, Please, Please, have a diaper on!

Maren had the experience with Evan when they were in Seattle, WA. Apparently early one morning Evan escaped from bed. Thinking that he was more that ready to be independent, he proceeded to try and change his own diaper. During his attempt he left little... nuggets... on the ground. He grabbed a few wipes from his diaper bag and sat down next to the little nugget. At this point you may be thinking how cute, however his little bottom was not clean and he sat down on white carpet. Bless his little heart he did realize this and proceeded to move to a different spot so he could clean where he just left a smear mark. By the time mommy woke up and came to attend to the little munchkin, he had pulled quite a few wipes out and covered every nugget and smear stain that he had made in the carpet.
Lucky us he had a diaper on that morning and he climbed into bed with us. Evan then told us that he had a poopy diaper and wanted us to change it. Disaster averted and I was up to watch over our early riser.
This is were I think it gets funny. While in the living room Evan decided that he had a lot of energy. So he started to run around the house... as I timed him. Six seconds running, and sixteen seconds on the tricycle. This lovely munchkin is starting to run everywhere he goes.
Just like his daddy did when he was little. I would know too, my mother has told my stories of what I have done to her.