Sunday, November 28, 2010

Picture of Christmas

Cam and I went shopping on Friday so that he could buy me my Christmas present:
Isn't he Great?! Okay, so really I'd been saving up since we got home from New York, but I was still a tad short so the last bit was my Christmas Present.  It's the new Nikon D3100 which is a lot like the D5000, but it also does HD video.

Now that I finally have a new camera I can show you what I was working with:
Cute, I know. But when the screen stopped working and there was no viewfinder, it really added a lot of...guesswork. Am I zoomed in? Is this good lighting? Did that take? No idea. It was being back in the pre-digital days. 
Really the most ironic thing is that my new camera had to have it's picture taken by this guy... but let me tell you, my pink Kodak EasyShare never looked better!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Sale!

I don't think I've mentioned this before on my blog, but I collect books. Once I even showed up at 7 to the BYU 90% off book sale that opened at 8, and then I missed my 9:00 class standing in the checkout line. But I digress.

This week was the Forest Grove Library book sale. Since today was the last day of the sale, you could get an entire bag (BYOB) of books for $5. I sent Cam to scope on Wed since he had the day off. When I told told him we were going to be at the doors a half hour before they opened, and he thought we would be the only two there. Well, he was wrong. There were a few people already waiting when we got there, and by the time the door opened the line was to the parking lot. 

We were lucky we came with a gameplan because it was pretty much madness in there. I was also sorely tempted by the encyclopedias for $5 (for the whole set!) but Cam talked me out of it since we still have many a move ahead of us. Will I regret that the rest of my life? Probably.

Cam was in charge of packing our bag while I scoured for paperbacks and small children's books to fill the spaces. All in all we ended up with 51 books (thats 10 cents each). Just so you have an idea of how awesome that was, we added up the prices on the back of the books and it was over $350. A pretty good deal. 
So in the near future, if you happen to find yourself in need of Australian Animals in my Backyard, The Unbelievable Bubble Book, or perhaps Sailing Alone Around the World: A Biography... you know where to find them. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raisin Maven

I haven't posted for awhile, but I have a couple days off school, and Kim put writing about this experience on my to-do list:

One of the many books I read a book described a maven as "a person that is an expert in a particular field". They know all the details of all the different brands, all the best places to buy them and the best sales to watch out for. They're the kind of people that you would talk to before making a big purchase. Naturally the makers of these products would like all the the mavens in their field to think that they are the best thing since sliced bread. And so they make maven traps.

To illustrate, I'll share an example from the book: if you look on the back of a Dove soap wrapper, there is an 800 number asking for comments and questions. Well nobody really cares enough to call except for soap mavens, and in this way Dove can make sure that soap mavens everywhere are getting excellent customer service, special coupons, and plenty of reasons to talk about Dove the next time someone asks about soap. The 800 number is a maven trap.

Last week I found a piece of rubber in my raisins. It was the same size, shape and color as a raisin. In fact, I didn't even notice it until it was in my mouth and I was thinking, "man this is a chewy raisin". So I found the maven trap on the bottom of the box and sent them an email. Within the next two days I was the proud owner of $4.00 of free money towards any HyTop products and two 24oz packages of raisins.It is good to be a maven, but perhaps next time I'll try something a little more exciting than raisins.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guest Post

Can't take credit for the writing on this one, just the good idea! This story was written by my sister KayCee who is at the Y. In her freshman English class they had to write a personal narrative and she called me for ideas. I reminded her of this story from last summer, and she was so funny I just had to share! (Don't worry, you'll see someone you know come up!)

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words… and a Few Laughs 
-by KayCee
       “What’s going on?” I ask my older brother Brandon. We had just safely pulled over to the side of the road after the old, red station wagon, which I nicknamed Myrtle the Mom Mobile, had suddenly turned off and left us cruising sixty miles on hour down the freeway in neutral.
      “I don’t know…” he replied as he frantically searched through the obvious answer to the mysterious behavior of our vehicle. Out of battery? No the lights and radio still work. Out of gas? No, according to his calculations we should still have five miles left. The engine isn’t smoking, the car smells fine. What could be wrong?
      It was the end of June and we were about three miles outside of Tremonton, Utah on our way to Brigham Young University. He was enrolled in the summer semester and I for the BYU gymnastics sports camp. I was sixteen and we were on the last leg of our tiring twelve hour car ride hoping to arrive in Provo by eight that evening. It was now five-thirty and we were stopped between a mountain and a ditch with only billboards and never ending green fields with lonely small houses dotting the side of the road for miles.
       Brandon finished his assessment of the car and the only conclusion is that somehow, though his calculations say otherwise, we must have run out of gas. His explanation of how at the rate at which the car burned the gas against the speed we were going and the head wind that must have been present didn’t mean a thing to me. I only understood that we were stuck, in the middle of nowhere, Utah, with no gas and no one within a two hours to rescue us.
      “I’m going to go over to that house…” he said pointing across the ditch down a dusty gravel road.
      “And do what exactly?” I replied. Was he crazy? How did he know that anyone was even home? No way was I going with him.
       “I’m just going to stay here”. After securely locking the doors, I watched my brother climb down into the ditch, hop the barb wire fence, and trek up the driveway to some stranger’s house. As he reached the door, a man came out of the garage. From my safe location, I could see them talking. Then the man went to pull his truck around as Brandon headed down the driveway. I felt my phone vibrate. It was Brandon.
       “Hey, he’s getting his truck and said that he’ll drive me to town to the gas station. It’s just a few miles up the road. We’ll be back soon. Call Kim and tell her we’re coming but will be a bit later than expected” Well that’s an understatement but whatever you say. So I dialed my older sister’s number as I watched Brandon drive off in the stranger’s truck. Our conversation went something like this:
        “Hey Kim, so guess what? We ran out of gas outside Tremonton, Utah. Brandon overestimated our gas mileage and now I’m sitting alone in the car while he’s off with some guy who happened to live across the fence from where we’re stopped. So we’re going to be a little late tonight. This remind you of anyone?”  I hear her laughing in the background. I was referring to the multiple occasions my dad has similarly overestimated his car’s abilities and left him mysteriously out of gas.
        “Yeah. No problem… in the meantime why don’t you take pictures? It’ll make the time pass by quicker, plus I want to see when you get here!” Um, because that’s weird?
        “Ok sure Kim. Whatever you want. See ya.” So… what should I do? Oh, take pictures. Right. I rummaged through the piles of suitcases, backpacks, duffle bags and pillows necessary to ensure comfort while at college until I found my camera.
        I searched for something interesting on the desolate landscape and my eye came across a billboard maybe two hundred yards away. I zoomed my camera in to see what it said.
         “Travel J’s of Tremonton Utah: 3 miles ahead.” Click. Putting two and two together I realized that this was the nearest gas station. Wow, Brandon was cutting it really close even before we ran out of gas. As this realization hit me a car passed by rocking the car and my heart along with it. Click. I watched it speed passed and grow smaller and smaller until it was out of sight.
        I continued my search for interesting things to take pictures of. A semi-truck came way too close rattling the car so hard I thought it was going to tip. Click. After recovering from the rocking I looked out at the freeway and saw no other cars coming. When would I ever get an opportunity like this again? I have always wanted to stand in the middle of the road, especially a freeway, because they’re usually way too busy. I was drawn to the idea the instant it occurred to me. Doubling checking that there really were no cars, like I had to, I cautiously got out and walked to the median of the two lanes. Click. Myrtle was sitting there looking as embarrassing as ever and, though the experience was thrilling, hurriedly I jumped back into the car. I scanned my pictures I’d taken so far. Billboard, car, semi-truck about it hit our car, and the car on the side of the road. Wow, what a collection. I began another search of something to take a picture of.
       I found another billboard, on my side of the road, was one of those “Pass it on” messages. This one sported a picture of Thomas Edison with big black letter that read, “On the 10,000 try there was light… OPTMISM, Pass it on.” Another car shook me as it passed by without stopping to help my lonesome self. Click. Wait, what did that say? I could not believe it. I had to get a picture of the incredible irony of the situation. Click.
       I continued sitting for what seemed like forever, by myself, with only an empty Cheez-its box (click), a few oatmeal cream pies (click) and Edison to keep me company. Finally, my brother returned with a full gas can and a thankful heart to the Good Samaritan who drove him to get some gas. Oh, Kodak moment! Click. Soon we were back on our way to Provo.
       I showed my sister and all my friends on Facebook, the beginning of my summer adventures.  The story of us running out of gas outside Tremonton has become a joke in my family. Anytime my sister passes through, I get a text saying, “KayCee, guess where we are…?” Running out of gas outside Tremonton has become the highlight of that trip. I give credit to my sister and how she made me take pictures of the semi-traumatic experience.
         And if a man ever knocks on your door asking for you to help him because he ran out of gas, please help him. I might be sitting in the car all alone, waiting for him to come back. 

The Proof: Brandon hops the fence and walks to the house

The nice man saves the day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our 50 Year Anniversary

For family night last week, Cam and I decided it was time to come up with some good life goals- in order to do this, we came up with a rough plan detailing the next 48 years of our marriage. It was a great fun time- we laughed, we came up with some good life direction, and we even teared up a bit when our first child graduated and moved out (they just grow up so fast). Some other highlights include:
  • Cam will be coaching soccer in 2017
  • I'm scheduled to nap from 2018-2019 so that's not a good time to visit
  • Cam gets to buy a new car if he pays off school by 2020
  • I'll have a hostile takeover of the PTA in 2023. Cam hopes to volunteer for the FFA.
  • Cam is scheduled to be balding around 2025
  • We'll be taking a summer off to motorbike across Australia in 2028 (anyone want to watch the kids?)
  • If all goes well we could probably pull off grandkids by 2036 and get a midlife crisis 2-seater convertible
  • We'll serve as couple missionaries 2047-2048, after which Cam gets down to business with family history and I make lawn ornaments to sell online
  • Cam will have the nicest garden in town in 2053 after his heart valve replacement
  • In 2058 we'll be dancing the funky chicken at our 50th wedding anniversary. Don't worry, you're invited.