Sunday, August 29, 2010

Going out with a bang

Well, this has been a pretty great summer of adventure... but Cam's School starts tomorrow. We decided it was best to go out with one last bang. Cam convinced a guy from the Sierra club to let him review a hike for a book they're updating. It followed some old train tracks out in the Tillamook National Forest 5 miles out through 2 tunnels and over 2 train tressels. The old guide told us to just listen before crossing, and then go quickly since sometimes the tracks are still used. The guide also told us that if we hear shooting, not to worry because we're out of range of the shooting range...but it wouldn't hurt to bring a whistle.

It's a good thing Cam happened to pack his headlamp...
We're pretty hardcore...
We're planning to tell the Sierra Club not to worry... I don't think many trains make it anymore.
But the official best part of the trip was the next morning, Cam was complaining that he hadn't seen any wildlife, not even squirrels. Not a minute later we looked down by the creek near our camp, and a coyote came trotting out of the trees with something in it's mouth... a stick? Nope. It was a deer leg. I think we all went home satisfied, and more than a little sore.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Ten Book Summer

During our first two weeks in New York Kim went to work everyday and when she came home we would go on our adventures. During the day I would look for a job. But after looking for so many hours and putting in so many applications, I would get tried of job hunting. Kim had brought along a copy of The Phantom of the Opera and one afternoon I sat down and read it. I enjoyed reading so much that I went to Goodwill the next day and scoured their shelves for books that I thought would be interesting. I have now finished ten books this summer! I don't pretend to be a literary critic, but this is what I thought of them in a sentence or two:

The Phantom of the Opera - Exciting, full of suspense, and it ends with a beautiful lesson of love and sacrifice. The Broadway show was great as well.

The Bourne Identity - Action thriller with lots of mental stimuli. An entertaining quick read, but not terribly meaningful.

Crime and Punishment - Excruciatingly dark and boring for the first 400 pages with the last 150 making it all totally worth it. It gave great insights into what a crime is and what punishment really is.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - A very emotional series that completely engulfed me in a different world. If you are going to read one, you really must read all three. It left me feeling optimistic about the world and the ability of truth and goodness to overcome trial and evil.

Dandelion Wine - Nostalgic. It seemed to distill the essence of youth and happiness and had a power to take me back to when I was growing up even though my experiences were completely different than the ones described in the book. Warning: don't read this book during the Winter, it will only make you wish it was Summer.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - A motivational book to say the least. It explains the ideals of the wealthy and dares you to live them.

The Tipping Point - Absolutely fascinating and well written! The nearly 300 pages held my attention the entire time as it examined the causes of epidemics from crime and disease to fashion and fads. It will change your perspective of the world.

Brave New World - Most of the book was racy and morally void but it did make a great case for the danger of allowing science to rule society instead of society ruling science. I especially loved the dialog towards the end where "the savage" bears out what true happiness is and chooses it over freedom from pain and misery. Although he goes too far the other direction to almost indulging in suffering.

I would recommend all of these books to you. Actually, I would recommend simply reading books. I have had so many thoughts this summer that I otherwise wouldn't have had. What books do you recommend that I read next.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fair Day

My camera broke last week while we were moving- it still takes pictures, but the LCD screen doesn’t work, and there’s no viewfinder, so I have no real idea what I’m taking a picture of. I just thought you should know that before we move into this next picture series…

Last week as per tradition, We went to the opening day of the Clark County fair with my family. We took the C-Tran shuttle over there and wandered through the craft booth. We saw Nathan’s first prize winning Lego creations (he was ecstatic).

Then we did rides, well, mostly Nathan did rides and either my dad or Cam went with him. There were four tickets left so my dad told Cam to go find a ride to go on by himself. He chose the Yo-yo (swings). But it wasn’t interesting enough for him, so he started swinging his seat, and actually hit the poor kid behind him which isn’t supposed to be possible. The poor 7-year-old kid kept yelling “quit it!” but once his momentum was going the wrong way, it’s hard to stop you know.

My Yo-yo picture didn't turn out, so I found this online.
Nate and Dad on the ferris wheel.
Nate and Cam being supermen

Last we went to the “jousting tournament” which actually a show, with a pre-determined winner (and they had to stretch for it to because our favorite guy kept beating him at everything). But they still did real jousting, running at each other on horses with lances and everything, a few of them even broke, which was pretty intense. The only part that was fake was their sword fight to the death at the end... because no one actually died, they just disqualified themselves. I suppose I would too given the alternative.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Keywords

I think I’ve mentioned before my obsession with running google analytics on my blog, as it’s the only website that I have access to right now. I generally check it after each post goes up, just so I can get an idea about whether it was well received, and make sure no creepos are coming.

The part that’s always really fun to go to though, is the keywords section- it shows me what keywords people typed in to their search bar that brought them to my blog. Here are are a few of the things that I find hilarious:
  • The number 1 keyword that people search that brings them to my blog is “Cameron H___.” Seriously guys? Whose blog is this? That search has brought 126 visits-compared to the 62 visits that came from the number 2 searched: “kim h___ blog.”
  • The search that has the longest average time on site is, “byu butterscotch brownies” which has an average of 36.4 minutes. Which tells me they probably take about that long to prepare.
The top two search results for pages per visit (meaning the person came and then explored the most) are:
  1. Someone who searched, “apartment in new jersey” - which I would have guessed was a fluke after my New Jersey, New Apartment post… except that they stayed 12 minutes and visited 15 pages! Which tells me we didn’t even live there and we were more interesting than actual sites about living in NJ.
  2. “ambi-winker” –visited 7 pages? I suppose it was probably just fulfilling to find someone else with the same disability. Just out of curiosity, I tried typing it in my search bar, and it turns out I am the very first ranked webpage on google for the term.
I would like to finish of today with a list of some of the more funnier search terms that I’ve seen, followed by the number of people who used them:

beauty product range men- 8 visits
best major ever-5 visits (with and average of 10 minutes each)
Cameron cousin nj- 2 visits
Hiking behind y mountain -2 visits
Kim due- 1 visit (6.4 minutes long)
Armies of helaman skits -3 visits
Why liquid detergent- 1 visit
Cameron diaz- 1 visit
Candyland border -3 visits (I checked – I was the top image result for awhile)
Pacific university college of optometry interview- 2 visits (avg. 7 pages)
How to tell a 6 year old about death of a goldfish- 1 visit

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Home Improvements

So I most of love where we live. It’s fantastically in the middle of a middle-of-nowhere town called Forest Grove.

And I love our apartment- it has tons of space and our manager got a brand new stove for us that I’m thrilled about. Up until yesterday, there were exactly three things about our apartment that I didn’t like. Cameron fixed one yesterday, so now there are two I need solutions for:
1. The sick sounding fan in our bathroom that came on whenever the light turned on. I was trying to decide if I was going to find a lamp to use in there or If I was just going to suffer through it. I asked Cam, and he unscrewed the bolt and disconnected it for me. He’s great.
2. The yellow window. You know the kind, mottled glass from the 70’s (earlier?). Well, it happens to be in our front room. It’s unsightly most of the time, but really gets to me in the late afternoon when the sun shines though it and the whole room turns yellow. I don’t want to loose the light, but I do need to loose the yellow color. Ideas?
3. Our across the balcony neighbor. Although he seems to be a very nice old man, is a heavy smoker. Our complex has a rule that there is no smoking inside apartments, which means that when he has to smoke for three minutes each half hour, he has to go on his balcony and sit on his air conditioner, and look straight through my glass door… which creeps me out a little. I could keep my curtains closed all the time, but then I have no natural light in the front room. Perhaps my best idea so far is to go over and share the word of wisdom. That’s sure to be received well right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Moved

We are no longer homeless! We finally were able to move into our apartment Friday.

My mom and Cam’s family helped us get stuff moved in. It turned out the couch that my parents gave us couldn’t fit in the door, so we were trying to figure out how to get it in our second-story apartment. Cameron suggested we go over the balcony, so he tied a rope the long way around the couch, and then Chad, Kaylie and I tipped the couch on it’s end and lifted it straight up to everyone up on the balcony, who tried to pull it up. Unfortunately for Chad, he is ridiculously tall so he got to the point where he had his arms fully extended and was lifting by himself because we couldn’t reach anymore. Fortunately for us, Chad is ridiculously tall so he could get it high enough that they could pull the rest of the couch over and into the apartment. Thanks everyone!

We finally got our internet hooked up also (It’s been ridiculous without email, blogs, OR Hulu.) We asked our manager for suggestions on what provider to use, turns out she doesn’t believe in internet. Come to think of it, we don’t think she has a cell phone either, I can’t believe there are people out there who still live like that. Yes, I have seen her wear clothes with buttons.