Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Primary Program and Stryder arrives

This last weekend we went to the cabin and I challenged the kids to get in the stream going into Logan river.  The water was 43° F and they all did it!  I was very surprised.  We had a very fun weekend together playing games and enjoying the fall weather.

We went home late Saturday evening so Cathi and the kids could participate in the primary program.

We also got a pleasant surprise that Steve and Meg's new baby boy arrived.  His name is Stryder.  Here's some video (Hit the Expand icon (The four arrow at the bottom right of the video) to blow up the video good enough for you to see.  I didn't zoom in on the video)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My thoughts on Charitable donations

So some guy facebooked about this news story saying that charitable donations shouldn't be tax deductions.  At first I was a little defensive.  You know I count on getting a little bit back every February and I appreciate it.  But what if the government kept that money and didn't allow me to count it as a tax deduction?  Two thoughts:

  1. That would probably really help get our nation out of debt.  Imagine all the charitable tax deductions that if the government were able to keep how much more revenue that would be, and hopefully that could be used to reduce the deficit. 
  2. Why do you give to charity?  I would imagine that most people don't give to charity BECAUSE it's a tax deduction, but because they feel supportive of the organization they're donating to.  The tax deduction is a little perk, but if that perk were taken away, would it remove the incentive to donate?  Maybe for those who are on the fence about it.  But those who feel strongly about their charity of choice would still donate.  
In my case, I pay 10% to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Some argue that it isn't a charity and that its a flat rate percentage and mandatory.  Mandatory?  Define mandatory.  Would I lose my membership in the church, No.  Would I be branded on my forehead that I'm a non-tithe member? No.  Would I have a temple recommend.  No, but if I wasn't paying tithing, I wouldn't expect to either.  It takes faith to believe in what the temple represents, just as it take faith to pay tithing.  So it's absurd to feel robbed of temple blessings by not having a recommend because I wasn't paying tithing.  Everyone who pays tithing does so out of choice.  The church doesn't have the right to automatically take money out of my account.  So the argument that it's mandatory is ridiculous.  

If the government decided to remove tax deductions on charitable donations, I wouldn't freak out.  I'm not sure if members of the church in other countries with different tax laws are given the same incentive to pay their tithing, and they still pay it.  It takes faith to pay tithing, and not getting that perk of a hefty tax refund every February would make the faith to continue to pay more significant and I believe the blessings would be also more powerful.   

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Family Home Evening at Black Island Farms

We got a good deal at for Black Island Farm entrance.  We got there at 5:15 and went immediately to the pumpkin patch because the line was only about 20 feet long and typically is much longer than that.  Each kid got to go out in the field and pick their own pumpkin.  There was some pretty impressive ones out there.  Jacob picked his out while on the way, and ended up running back about 300 yards to get his.

After that we went in and did the corn maze and all the slides.  Lots of fun all evening!

Cathi told me "This is one of the highlights of the whole year!"  It was so fun watching all the little ones run as fast as they can from the end of the slide back to where they climb back up.  Full out sprints.
I ended up getting them small lightsabers at the farmers market.  It was hilarious watching Oliver fight with his imaginary Sith opponent.

We were there until 8:30 and it was dark and cold and lots of kids were complaining that they were too cold, even with their winter coats on.  Sams hands were like ice.  They all had a ball and burned a fun family moment into their memories.

Here's some pics and vid:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jacob Gridley, the most qualified marathon swimming support crew person I know

Jacob is 13 years old, but he's not your typical young teenager.  Just like many teenage boys, he enjoys learning and mastering extreme sports: snowboarding, unicycling, pogo sticking, etc...  But what makes him stand out is that he has exceptional endurance.  He has run six half marathons and is aspiring to run a full marathon very soon.

Jacob finishes the 2011 Pocatello Half Marathon
 A recent example of his extreme endurance:  Three days ago he ran the Pocatello Half Marathon, then two days later paddled solo in a kayak, nearly 20 miles in grueling conditions, the length of Bear Lake. Jacob is one of the most experienced kids his age, in long distance lake kayaking. Here are some examples:
All this starting when he was 10 years old!

With all this experience that he's gained, he is probably one of the most qualified people I could have with me on the boat as I swim the English Channel next year. He's demonstrated that he's got the physical and mental endurance.  He's already got a significant resume built up as a valuable support crew member for marathon swimmers.  I'm honored to have him on my team!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Don't you worry, there's someone out there for you too!

Don't you just hate those people who seem to have it all?   Trust me I don't have it all.  I have a yard full of weeds, the carpet in the house all needs to be replaced, and I'm about 20 pounds heavier than what I'd like to be at STILL!  But I must say, I DO have the woman of my dreams!  I feel bad for people who are still finding the love of their lives and I don't mean to come across like I'm snide, but "I'm sure there's a babe out there for you too."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mt. Harrison ride/hike/snowshoe

The annual tradition of Cycling from Albion City Park to Mt. Harrison was again completed!  Got up at 5:30am and got everything ready to go up there.  I packed snowshoes this time because I knew that the snowpack up there was going to be insane!  I was right on, cause they were definitely needed.

I left at 6am exactly from the park and the sun was just coming up as I got to the turn off the highway up to Mt. Harrison.  Took several breaks for pictures.  When I got about 2 hours into the ride, the smell of the air was extremely refreshing!  That alone was worth the trip!  If I could can that air I'd be a millionaire.  Loved it!

Once I got past Pomerelle, I hit my first snowbank on the road that required carrying my bike.  Then I got past the gate on the road and crossed over a couple more snow bank patches on the road.  Then I got up to Lake Cleveland and from there I stashed my bike and hiked/snowshoed the rest of the way.  I did about 3 miles of hiking/snowshoeing.

I was nervous about seeing a bear up there.  Then when I get about 1/4 mile from the top.  I saw a big hole in the snow with tracks coming from it. Man was that thought enough to pump my blood even faster!  I got to the outlook and noticed that this time, they had locked the deck around the building.  I took pics, but no vid from that point since my camera battery was dying and wouldn't let me take vid from that point on.  It was a perfect day.  No clouds, not very windy, and I left early enough in the morning that it wasn't hot.  Plus it wasn't that cold despite the snow.

Absolutely perfect ride!  The last time my butt sat on that saddle was last year when I did this ride. I've been focusing so much on my swimming that I really had to blow off the dust on my bike and get it oiled up for this ride.  I was sure I could make it, but I knew it would take time.  It sure did!  And most of it was because of the detour in my planned trip.  I back country'd a good portion of it.  What an adventure!
Here's all the pics/video in Picasa:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jacob turns 13

It's official, I now have two teenagers in my house.  Just a month ago, we became a family where diapers were no longer on the shopping list.  But with the older boys getting bigger and eating more.  The money saved from buying diapers goes right to buying more food!

Jacob is a joy to our family.  He is a really hard worker and is great at helping us out.  He is so nurturing to the younger brothers especially Oliver.   He has especially been supportive to me in my swimming adventures as a support crew captain.  I love Jacob!

Yesterday we were able to spend the day at Lagoon and I took a bunch of pictures and video.  You can seem them here:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Oliver!

Oliver was born four years ago today.  What a joy he has been in our family's lives.  Here is a short 2 minute slideshow of his life as a 3 year old.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flashback of scary spitting laughing man on the wall of the cabin

For some reason I remembered this creepy toy on the wall, with the laugh.  I think Grandma had a rule that we could only pull the tie once a day.  It kept us kids entertained.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Yesterday my Mom and Dad came over for dinner.  Austin, Jacob and I were busy making chicken, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, rolls, pumpkin pie.  We were in the kitchen for hours!  But it was like thanksgiving and it was delicious.  Cathi was able to just read to the little ones while we made dinner.

I sure love Cathi.  She is a fantastic Mother!  We are currently attending a dance class on Saturdays for four weeks.  We've learned Foxtrot and Cha Cha.  She's so patient with me.  I occasionally make a mistake and step on her foot.  Plus I wear my normal everyday boots which are steel-toed.  Not the best dance shoe, especially for her.

Monday, May 2, 2011

MSNBC edits out profanity from video of Al Jazeera correspondence

This morning I saw this video on MSNBC, and while the Al Jazeera reporter was talking I heard a male voice I assume coming from potty mouth Joe Scarborough from the MSNBC studio whisper the "F" word a couple of times.  They have since edited out that whispering.  The editing was so poor that you can hear the clicks of when they removed the whispering.  Listen closely at 4:36 and you hear the sound all of a sudden get "smothered", and then a "click" where the whisper removal happens at 4:50.

I am amazed that it was allowed to go unedited for several hours.  I had troubles with my Audacity this morning cause I wanted to record it, but gave up after wasting time with it.

MSNBC,  make sure your idiots in the studio who whisper stuff for whatever reasons (which is totally audible and annoying), at least use language that isn't obscene.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bragging on my bro

Brendon finished the SLC Half Marathon in 1:57:32
I hope I don't embarrass Brendon here, but I'm feeling a little honored to have this guy as my brother in law.  Two years ago if he opened a fortune cookie and it read "You will run a half marathon in under 2 hours", he probably would have laughed and said, "Yeah right!".

But as I was thinking about all the obstacles he's overcome, and his willingness to try something like running which at first is pretty painful and takes some mighty willpower to keep doing day after day when it hurts, I thought of a motto that seems to fit him:  "Busting down barriers, and hurdling all excuses."

In my opinion, those are just a couple of problems that people have with losing alot of weight and getting into shape. (Speaking from experience being huge and out of shape) I'm sure he's feeling so much happier finding a new life of fitness, healthy eating, and looking good!

Way to go Brendon!  Running your first half marathon should definitely be a confidence booster for Ragnar!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Work related post - Don't use NOT EXISTS in query

Ever need to look for missing data? For instance, the table TLD_HEADER is the header for TLD_SALES_DATA, TLD_MGR_OVERRIDE, TLD_REASON, and TLD_TENDER_DATA. Originally there was no foreign key on these child tables to TLD_HEADER so after years of collecting data, there were some cases where TLD_HEADER records did NOT EXIST for the other TLD_ records.

 Once we made it a true parent of the other TLD_ tables, we had a problem and had to create a script to create the TLD_HEADER records in order for the delta that creates the FK to run successfully. (Create_TLD_Header.sql)

This query was used to identify missing TLD_HEADER records from TLD_SALES_DATA:

select distinct site_no, tran_dt, reg_no, tran_no
from tld_sales_data tsd
where NOT EXISTS (select *
                                     from TLD_HEADER
                                   where site_no = tsd.site_no
                                       and tran_dt = tsd.tran_dt
                                       and reg_no = tsd.reg_no
                                       and tran_no = tsd.tran_no);
However in a customer's environment it was taking 7 hours and 53 minutes.

A sql guru looked at the script and suggested this query instead:

SELECT /*+ index_ffs(tsd TLD_SALES_DATA_PK) index_ffs(th TLD_HEADER_PK) */
distinct tsd.site_no, tsd.tran_dt, tsd.reg_no, tsd.tran_no
FROM tld_sales_data tsd, tld_header th
WHERE th.site_no(+) = tsd.site_no
AND th.tran_dt(+) = tsd.tran_dt
AND th.reg_no(+) = tsd.reg_no
AND th.tran_no(+) = tsd.tran_no
AND th.rowid is null;
Very interesting. Do an outer join, but where the th.rowid is null? That's kind of weird. But believe it or not this query picked up the same number of records, but did so in 26 minutes. That's 18 times faster! How embarrasing. So if you need to locate records that DON'T exist, use this method where an outer join is used instead of an inner join with a NOT EXISTS!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Russell Hantz gets farted off Survivor

Russell "the best player ever to play Survivor" was finally muscled out of the game and none too soon. Now I can enjoy the show and not hear this guy run his mouth about how awesome he is.

Anyone else glad or does anyone actually like this guy or respect how he played?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Uncle Karl's interview on the Radio

I found out about an hour too late yesterday that my uncle Karl was on the radio with X96.  Thank goodness they offer free podcasts.  So if you missed it and want to hear him discuss the ins and outs of being a football referee, you can listen to it here:

Nice job Karl!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Posting from my nook

I have been looking at ereaders since Matt D at work gave
me a demo of his kindle. I ended up getting a nook which
is similar and includes 3G free.

bIt isnt the best interface for web browsing,

Monday, January 10, 2011

These Jammies are Fatastic!

After I gave Oliver a haircut I put him in a warm shower.  After Sam's turn getting a haircut I put Sam in and got Oliver out of the shower.   Got him dried up and told him to go get some pajamas out of the closet.  He came running back and threw the jammies at me to help him get them on.  He said, "I love these jammies Dad!  Their Fat-tastic!".

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I know its a little cold outside, but c'mon guys! Really?

So this last week I pulled in to work to see a guy get out of his BMW.  He had a scarf loosely wrapped around his neck and the wind was about to blow it off a couple times.  He struggled with it to get it to stay around his leather jacket.

Then I park my car and I see another guy get in to his Range Rover and yes he too is wearing a scarf that is also wrapped just once around his neck and dangling down to his pants.  Coincidence? Or are there more effeminate men in SLC than I thought?  Scary.

If you're a guy wearing a scarf (and don't want people questioning your manhood), it better be like 40 below and you also better be wearing a coat, gloves, winter hat, boots and covering the scarf inside your bulky coat.

If you're a woman and you have eyes for a guy who is wearing a loose scarf as a fashion accessory, I question the proper linkage in your brain.  Because he's very likely the type of guy who would probably leave you for another man.  Just sayin.

Stay warm, and Happy New Year.