Thursday, July 31, 2008

Steak is one of my best friends

Seriously, I think I have a problem. I could eat a ribeye steak for each and every meal. Our house smells like meat.

When we first got married, I was very proud of the fact that I had an eye for finding cheap steak. By cheap steak, I would find that $2 a pound steak that you would not feed anyone except for those you hated. I would cook that bad boy up and chew and chew and chew it down. For me, it was meat, so I dealt with it. Brodi was not impressed, nor was she impressed when I baked a steak. I think I turned her off of steak for about 5 years. $2 steak will not impress anyone.

Anyway, those days are gone. I go for the good stuff and I eat a lot of it. I know that moderation in all things is a good general rule, but I think we can make an exception for ribeyes. Carter has joined me on the steak bandwagon. A day does not go by when he doesn't ask me for some steak. When I told him that steak was my favorite, he quickly and loudly proclaimed: "Me too daddy, steak is my favorite too. It's so very, very, very, very, very, very, very, good."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is this 'helpful' to anyone?

I still get the newspaper delivered to my house. I read online, but I love having an actual paper to read while I eat breakfast, etc. In fact, I get 2 papers (the SL Trib and the DesNews). Today, I was just reading thru some of the different sections and came across the Hints from Heloise column. I remember reading that column when I was growing up. Readers give random hints about day to day living, things to do in the house, etc. and Heloise responds to them.

Well, I came across these two beauty hints today. The first one: A reader wrote about how audiobooks are not new to those that use them while driving, but this reader had a brilliant idea that she was dying to pass along--Audiobooks, as she says that she 'discovered' are also good to listen to at home! You can listen while you are doing things at home. Crazy stuff. And Heloise took this one step further with this "Audiobooks are great! You can 'read' a book on the way to work or even at lunchtime." All I can say is, that is a truly helpful hint.

The next great 'hint' was a reader that puts notes on her keychain of things she has to pick up or do during the day so that she is reminded by what she has to do. After reading the hint, I guess you need to be the judge on how great of an idea that is...but Heloise had a genius followup hint on this: "Also, if you put your car keys in the refrigerator at work, you can't leave without them." Huh? Seriously, is this your hint? I can just see someone following this genius advice and putting your keys in the fridge and at the end of the day you go out to your car and can't get in because your keys are in the stinkin' fridge.

I think my biggest hint to those that read Heloise's column is to take her advice...and then do the opposite. With all that said, I have quickly realized how pathetic I am with spending 10 minutes to make a post about Helpful Hints from Heloise.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

South Carolina recap

We had a great trip to South Carolina (with a bit of Georgia sprinkled in). We went up with Brodi's parents and Brodi's sister and her family. We spent 3 days in Hilton Head riding bikes, strutting our sexy stuffs at the beach, eating at the Salty Dog Cafe and just having fun.

We then spent a day in Savannah, Georgia walking around in a huge rainstorm. Savannah is cool with the real southern feel and we ended up having a nice lunch at the Mellow Mushroom.

After that, we headed up to Myrtle Beach for another 3 days where it was more beach time as well as going to an amusement park, playing in a kiddie swimming area and just staying active. Myrtle Beach is much more touristy, more crowded and crazier than Hilton Head but we were able to still find some good things to do. A lot of fun.


There are a few things that I did learn about though:
  • 3 years living in Washington DC did NOTHING to prepare us against 97 degree 70% humidity.
  • Gas was 20 cents cheaper on the East Coast as it is in the Intermountain region.
  • 4-hour plane rides with a 2-year old was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.
  • Miniature golf in Myrtle Beach is huge...incredible surroundings and setup, though the actual holes were pretty average.
  • Paying for airline food, yes airline food, is crazy talk.
  • Carter loves vacations, 'Can it be vacation forever?'
  • 6 kids under the age of 9 can drink A LOT of milk...gallon after gallon after gallon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The prison inmates stamping out these plates must be getting a good laugh

One thing that has caught my eye here in South Carolina is the fabulous license plates. Seriously, I am assuming that their new license plate is supposed to give you warm fuzzies but it has simply left me giggling (not a full on laugh, but a hearty giggle).

How was that ever approved? Who thought that was a good idea?

Was 'We Welcome you with open hearts and a loving embrace' already taken? Was 'Great Scenery, Inviting Homes' also taken? C'mon, that is a license plate that Utah would approve, not a great Dixie state like South Carolina that is proud of its heritage. I am disappointed in them for coming up with this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

THIS is how we ride

We picked up our car in South Carolina from our car rental place. I think they must have confused who I was--I am not a Pimp or a Mafia guy or an 80-year old man, yet they still gave us the beautiful silver Grand Marquis.

Seriously, this car is awesome. Trunk space that would make you the envy of anyone who wants to live in their car and use the trunk to store a gazillion interior that screams 1970s with nondescript updates (a cd player update on what used to be an 8-track tape player, etc.)...and a sex appeal like no other car. I have grown fond of this car and I dread having to give it up. I would buy one but I think they only make these cars for 30+ year olds who rent from Avis--just so people can laugh at us.

Monday, July 14, 2008

How many toys does it take to fill up an entire basement floor? A LOT!

A few days ago, Carter and his cousin Necie were playing downstairs in our basement. They seemed to be having fun and finally, Carter came upstairs and said 'Daddy, come down and see what we have done.'

Those seem like sweet words and a naive father would think 'oh cute, I bet my wonderful boy and my adorable niece have cleaned the bathroom for me and want to show me' or 'Those two cute little rascals probably scrubbed the floor downstairs' or 'I love those kids and I bet they put the bags of salt in the soft water unit.' Those are things that would have been awesome. Instead, when your boy says "Daddy, come down and see what we have done", he means "hey daddy, we did something crazy, now come and look." And yes, they did do something crazy...they took out just about every single toy in our basement and filled the basement with these toys all over the floor. Put two 5-year olds in a basement together and you get nuttin' but trouble.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Tennis Stars

A couple of weeks, Brodi was talked into playing doubles in a local tennis tournament. Though she played all growing up, she hasn't played much over the past couple of years so when her friend, Alissa, signed them up for a tourney, she was excited to do it.

Let me set the stage...match began at 9am at Liberty Park. It was already around 80 degrees. Their opponents had played for years together and were playing often. Brodi and Alissa had not played together and hadn't played much tennis recently. So, what happened? An EPIC tennis match.

The ball went back and forth...grunts, power shots, beautiful volleys, terrific groundstrokes. Alissa's husband Brandon and I sat back amazed, in the blistering heat, as neither side was ready to give up.

3 hours later. That is not a misprint. 3 hours later, the match concluded. Brodi and Alissa had fallen by a score of 6-4, 5-7, 7-6. It was 90 degrees by the end of the match. Let me tell you, Brandon and I were exhausted from the tension and the heckeling that we directed at the other team. Just kidding. They will live on to fight another day and this match will be remembered by the countless fans watching (and by countless, I mean, myself, Brandon and their 4 boys and Brodi's parents) as a fabulous struggle of good vs. evil. Though the good lost the battle that day, they will be back to conquer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am looking for an address...

When you drive down a street trying to find a specific house number, it can get frustrating with real small address signs under a mailbox on a front porch or a washed away address in the street gutter.

Well, I saw this house and they have solved the problem. 5' high signs giving its address. Never get lost again. Think how easy it would be to find any house you are looking can see the address from 200 yards! You can't miss it. That is awesome.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Random Thoughts Tuesday

You know its hot when our country manager from Pakistan was in town a few days ago and he remarks 'Wow, its really hot, isn't it?' This from a man that lives in Lahore, Pakistan where the average temp in the summer is 120 degrees at 70% humidity.

Did you know that NBA players who on average, make $5 million a year, get a per diem on road trips? Yes, that is right. Kevin Garnett makes $23 million a year to play basketball, but when he gets off the team bus in Atlanta, he is handed an envelope of cash at $106 a day for food and incidentals. It is comforting to know that these players can have their $10 meal at Dennys covered with per diems.

I remember being in high school and gas prices were under a $1. Now we are over $4. That is some pretty depressing stuff.

I saw a home for sale listing on craigslist the other day that had this line in it: "This home is Voted # 1 in the area by all the neighbors. This will go fast." Interesting--mythical rankings of homes in an area. I can just see the realtor going home to home saying, 'So, which home would you rank as the #1 home in the neighborhood?' I can see all of the homeowners meeting monthly and ranking each home in the area...'sorry Jim, your house fell a couple of spots because Steve updated his basement playroom and Phil added a nice patio in the back. Buy a new appliance and it should vault your home back into the top 5.'

I have no idea how more people are not killed or injured lighting off fireworks during the 4th of July. Seriously.

I have enough steak in my freezer and refrigerator to last a normal family of 5 about 3 months. For me, it will last a couple of weeks. At most. I could eat bone-in ribeye steak for every meal.

I went out and played tennis the other day with a friend of mine, Brandon. He is really, really good. It was rather discouraging though to realize how little I play tennis nowadays considering that I used to play 15 hours of tennis a week for about 10 years of my life. I am rusty and out of shape but it is good to be back on the court again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pioneer Park: Friend or Foe?

For those that live or have lived in Salt Lake City, you know all about Pioneer Park. It is a downtown park on 3rd West and about 3rd South. It has quite a history though often not a pleasant one. It is the park that loves drugs. By that, I mean that there are more drug dealers and troublemakers per squarefoot than anywhere else in Utah and it aint even close.

I remember my freshman year in high school taking the school bus from the Avenues to West High School (we were the first class from the avenues to go to West High) and we would go under the viaduct close to Pioneer Park. One of our classmates yells loudly, 'look, there is a dead body there.' We didn't see many dead bodies up in the avenues so this was thrilling and we all rushed over to the side of the bus for a better look. He was lying on the ground and he wasn't moving so he was either sleeping or he was dead. Nobody really knows if it was a dead body but it made a halfway decent story.

Anyway, SLC has little idea what to do with the park. People stay away because of the drugs, sex and rock and roll (rock and roll being the poor homeless man playing his ukelele). But with large developments going on around it (Gateway, $1 million loft apartments, etc.), the city is stepping up its efforts to clean it up and have it be a destination spot for families who are visiting downtown.

The Farmers Market is a funky food and crafts place every Saturday at Pioneer Park. Brodi and I go at least a couple of times every month to pick up bread, drinks and a little crack cocaine (just kidding). The kids have a blast. They get to wander around and pet dogs, play with trinkets and eat some food. For one day at least, Pioneer Park becomes a fun place to hang out.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July tomorrow

If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye, well then, you have a heart of stone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Federal Government efficiency ROCKS!

I worked for the Federal Government back in Washington DC. Yes, the above picture is the beautiful building that I walked into every day. Let me just say, I actually enjoyed my job but it had its quirks (I could go on and on for hours, such as the over-abundance of yellow stained under the armpit white shirts that fed gov workers seemed to find stylish). Anyway, I managed a project that could lead to over $1 billion in energy savings for our country. I would explain further, but you would be asleep before I finished. I will just say that it was a rather important program and my name and office number was splashed on the internet on how to contact me.

That was 3 years ago. Yesterday, I called my old office number. And guess who picked up? Me. My old voicemail. It is still my phone number with no forwarding or no explanation. It is as if the ghost of Sam is reaching from the depths of a government building and crying out, 'Will someone change this number and help those looking for answers to their questions!' I left a message just saying 'hey Sam, give me a call when you have a chance.'

I have no doubt my government email is still working. If I ever go back to my old job, there are probably 1,344 voicemails for me as well as 12,210 emails. I did have great insurance and now I am wondering if it is still active.