Thursday, November 29, 2007

Home Prices in Utah

I glanced at an article reporting the best/worst cities in the world with the crappiest/best housing markets in the US. Salt Lake, N. Davis & Weber, Utah counties fared in the top 5 (out of 287 metro areas reported). That's awesome. Read the article here.

Doctored Christmas Picture

Yesterday Cathi took some pictures of the kids for this year's Christmas card. She took alot of pictures and there was one where 5 of the seven were perfect. So I went back and found pictures of the other two where they alone were perfect and I copied them from one picture into this new one. Here is the final product. Can you tell who I doctored?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interesting read this evening

I need to change my home page when I open Internet Explorer. I recently installed IE 7 and the default home page takes me to There was a picture of a black NFL player claiming that a "Black KKK" had taken another victim.

What? Black KKK? What the heck is that? My curiosity was spiked. I clicked on the image which took me to Jason Whitlock's article. Instead of reading the typical blame-the-white-folk article, Whitlock (who as you can see is also black) calls for African Americans to look in the mirror and realize that it isn't white people that statistically the ones pulling the trigger against black men.

That isn't to say that racism is extinct. But like Whitlock points out in his article, there is alot of poison that the black community is feeding itself. It was very refreshing that Whitlock is asking for more accountability. I also read alot of comments from others and there are quite a few people who also agree from the black community. Sure there are those that are in denial, but it is great to read the comments of many who have opened their eyes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Review of SanDisk 1GB Cruzer Micro (U3)

SanDisk 1GB Cruzer Micro
Today I bought four SanDisk 1 GB Cruzer Micro's from Walmart for $18 each. I first noticed that it was preloaded with stuff which I didn't want so I formated the drive. It removed the preloaded stuff (so I thought). I started putting stuff on them. I started getting errors like "Path too deep" and "I/O error" when copying some jar and zip files. I didn't get this error on all the jump drives I copied data to. Just a couple.

I noticed that when I plugged them in that it also created a virtual CD drive with some crap on it. I reformated the drive again and noticed that there was still 4 MB or so that the drive didn't have free. I researched and found that the U3 launchpad needed to be removed using a special program found here ->
Once I ran the removal program, I was able to load the jar and zip files without problems.

Gotta love company's who try to preload all sorts of crap on my drives! Don't presume to know what I want! Anyhow - after I got that stuff removed I'm happy with the product.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gridley Mission Statement

In our last Stake Conference and Ward Conference, President Brant stressed three things:
  1. A family mission statement
  2. Improved Temple attendance
  3. Daily personal scripture study

I liked the family mission statement. We decided to go with the traditional Gridley motto which is in French: "Devant Si Je Pois" which loosely translated means "Ahead if I can". We changed its meaning from that to "Keep moving forward". This last week I made a replica of the Gridley Coat of arms and put it up on the wall and underneath it our family's Mission statement.

We sat the kids down and asked each one of them to come up with one attribute they thought was important to have. They each came up with one which we have noted and put some details of what each quality should mean in our lives. Here is a copy of the mission statement.

If you're curious about who came up with what:

Dad - Assertive
Mom - Service to Others
Austin - Flexibility
Jacob - Truthful
Lucy - Valiant in the Gospel
Jonas - Integrity
Isaac - Fun-Loving
Sam - Seek Learning (via Mom)
Oliver - Self Mastery (via Dad)

The kids didn't come up with the exact wording, but the concept they tried to express is the same.

Utah Open results for Gridleys

Austin and I played doubles against Carol and Byron Davis. Our goal was to get at least five points on at least one of the 3 games that we would play (assuming that we would lose three). We got 7 on the first game, 5 on the second and barely lost a deuce match on the last one. We were pleased. We almost won that last match. It was exciting.

We then played Helen and Gaav. That wasn't as pretty. Helen had a nasty serve which Austin had a hard time returning and those matches weren't as fun.

On singles Austin and Jacob both played in the C Division. Jacob didn't win a single match, but he was dancing around like he didn't care much and still tried, but had fun at the same time. Austin beat Jason and a few other people in his bracket and ended up taking third in his bracket just missing the cutoff for advancing to finals.

I was in a bracket with: Carol Davis, Sami Kergaye, Chris Collins, Jilin Guo and Scott (forgot his last name). I beat Scott 3-1, Chris 3-2, Carol 3-0, and lost to Sami 1-3 and surprisingly to Jilin 1-3. Because of that loss to Jilin (who was beaten by Chris and Carol), and because Chris only lost to me and beat Sami, I was like Austin just barely passed by on the cutoff. Sami and Chris advanced and I got to go home. I was disappointed.

I wish I hadn't signed up for the US National Tournament in December. My game isn't advancing the way I'd like it to. However for Austin's sake we'll keep going with it. But as for my lunch breaks. I'm going to go back to lifting. I'm done getting frustrated and worked up over table tennis. Maybe if I give it a break (at least at work) I can get build up my mental toughness as well as get stronger physically.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Damn! Cathi was going to start watching a couple of kids just for half a day on weekdays to earn a little extra money. Never thought that Cathi would be forced to improve her child rearing skills and lower her prices to compete with a growing global market for child care.

Report: Many U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hilary Clinton shooting herself in the foot

I must admit that was very much considering voting for Hilary Clinton if Mitt Romney doesn't win the Republican nomination. Before you send me hate mail, or leave nasty comments keep reading! In the past when I saw her speak she seemed sincerely concerned about the American public who have to struggle. Also she has alot of experience in politics (compared to the two front running Republicans).

Well this morning on the way to work I was listening to NPR. I heard a report done by an apparently non-partisan reporter. What made me mad was that Hilary visited this small diner and the waitress was a struggling single mom. Hilary even mentioned her in one of her speeches. But when the reporter went back and tracked her down to discuss her experience with Hilary it appears that the waitress was stiffed. That really made me angry. Why would she not leave a tip (even if the service was bad which I doubt with her being such a celebrity) especially when she must have apparently had a conversation to get to know the waitress' situation.

The problem with being a candidate is that people rarely vote for you because of the right reason. Well, my consideration of Hilary has been lost over a really stupid reason. But this experience shows the true colors of the person. I've never stiffed anybody and I've had some really crappy service. I just don't get it. I honestly was disappointed that she couldn't be smarter. Did she think the waitress would be impressed with being stiffed?

If you want to read or hear the report I heard click here and hit the "listen now" link at the top to hear the full thing. It really is worth a listen to understand the situation. I saw the editor's note at the top. Hilary's cronies responded saying they left $257 that day at the diner: $157 for the meals and $100 in tips. They said they gave the money to the manager. Well if that's the case, then why did the waitress think she was stiffed? Did the manager not share the tip? Something doesn't smell right. Hilary should have been smarter especially with all the cameras and left a tip right there on the table for the waitress who served her. Very disappointed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mountain Dew Glowstick

Very cool vid that Shannon Cowley at work sent me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I won something!

I don't usually enter drawings or call radio stations to win stuff. But I figured since I have a code inside my mountain dew lid I might as well go online and enter it to see if I won something. I probably entered less than 10 codes and each time when they did a drawing at the end of the day didn't get an email saying I won anything.

But this last week I got a black XL Hoodie in the mail.Mountain Dew Hoodie Spec

Dust mite poo is removed

A couple weeks ago we got a new LG front loading washing machine which has been awesome. Our old one died and the repair guy said it would cost $250 to fix. So we just bought a new washing machine which claims to only cost $10/yr to run. It generates its own electricity to help power it and uses much less water.

Anyhow, with the problem a couple weeks ago not being able to breathe (which honestly was persisting for several months) we washed EVERYTHING in our bedroom. I dusted everything using dust spray and a rag which had to be shaken outside several times. Washed the sheets (which we do probably every month anyway, but need to do every week from now on), all the pillow cases, got new pillows, washed the blankets, vacuumed the mattress really good, got a new mattress cover, etc... It took a couple of days, but within two days my right nostril was at 100% which it never was since March of 2007.

So if you are having nasal problems at night, don't buy those stupid nose strips to open your nose up wide. Just do some deep cleaning and replace covers on things. Sleep so much better now!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween 2007

This year I was a deadbeat and didn't dress up. Usually I get an idea in the fall and I go with it, this year I drew a blank. However I did get see some cool pumpkin carvings from an email from Grandma Richins so I did one.Pumpkin on our porch eating a little guy.

The kids had fun. Jonas went all the way around the block by himself while we were getting the others ready and we didn't notice until we were ready with the others. I drove around the block and found him and honked. He looked up smiled real big and waved at me. When he saw my face he quit smiling and frowned and put his head down like he was sad. He knew he was in big trouble. I chastised the boy and gave him a lesson on using the buddy system.

Then we went out. Austin and Jacob ran off like hooligans Austin Witch, Jacob Ugly Girland I took Lucy, Jonas and Isaac out. We did the entire two blocks north of us. By that time Isaac was tired and dropped out. Lucy and Jonas wanted more, so I took them out and did two blocks south. They all ended up with huge amounts of candy and a great time. Jonas - Buzz Lightyear, Isaac - Dinosaur, Lucy - Gypsy

Sam stayed home with mom (although he did dress up as a green monster earlier in the day for a parade which Mom forgot to get a picture of) and has been stealing candy from his brothers, but when chocolate oozes from his stuffed mouth while he is smiling its hard for him to get in too big of trouble.
Sam getting looks from Isaac when he dips into the candy pool.